Fight for the Good in this World

5aba503fdf77414b8d5b645caa8029d9In the wake of recent events *coughelectioncough*, people everywhere (the left and the right alike) are questioning the future – whether we can break past the rampant hatred in our current society. Honestly, I have, too. Particularly yesterday afternoon.

It had not been a good day. In addition to the negative tone of things happening in the world: I missed an appointment, realized that I had 8+ essays due in the next three weeks on top of all other homework, and lost my favorite button on my backpack. In short, I felt I had a sufficient list of things to whine about. Which is exactly what I did. Continue reading

Change, Oh Goodness!

Connor at the Airport

Connor at the Airport

 

“I need to let him go.”
Marie Lu, Prodigy

“When I leave, I won’t tell you goodbye—but only because I’m taking you with me.”
Jarod Kintz, Whenever You’re Gone, I’m Here for You

“Thank God I found the GOOD in goodbye.”
Beyonce Knowles

 

You’d think that sending out your third kid on a mission would make one a seasoned, poised veteran of goodbyes.

Nope.

Bidding farewell to my son, Connor, was a compounded kind of difficult. I was a massive ball of nerves. Partly because he was younger (he was 18. Ashley was 22 when she left on her mission, Lauren 19), and a great deal to do with is he ready?

Oh, don’t get me wrong. He is beyond his years brilliant, responsible, highly social, and has a commanding knowledge of the gospel, but organized…weeell, somehow that gene did not latch on to his DNA.

So I fretted about things that mothers are good at fretting: I worried he would lose his wallet or forget his credit card at a store. I envisioned him leaving behind a suit when moving apartments or misplacing his head if it weren’t screwed on tight.  How do you imbue someone with more awareness?  I’ll tell you, you can’t. You just cross your fingers that when they know mom’s not around, the efficiency kicks in gear.

There were many sleepless nights before Connor left. Surprisingly too many. Why am I such a nervous-wreck boob?  To me, the fear seemed beyond worry-wart mom allowance. So I’d question.  Am I not trusting God? Do I not trust Connor? What’s really going on here?

Then the answer hit me:   Continue reading

Holy Week

Garden Tomb by J. Kirk Richards

Garden Tomb  by J. Kirk Richards

Happy Easter week everyone!

Most of the Christian world refers to the week preceding Easter Sunday as Holy Week.  I concur.  Scan back through time 1983 years, and you will find Jesus in his final week upon this earth. It is a solemn time.  A holy time in which he is spending his last days teaching his disciples everything they must know to lead His church. Their task of spreading the gospel message to all the world is just beginning.  Christ’s earthly mission, however, is coming to an end.  Continue reading

Yet Another Star Wars Rant

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I’m finishing up my degree here at BYU, in my third week of classes now, and I have to say my studies are pretty eclectic at the moment. Italian grammar, Welsh grave inscriptions that reference King Arthur, Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essays, the bombing of Hiroshima, and Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. My brain is a funny place right now. Not least because every day this last week was a Star Wars day. Good mix.

Every day this week, I went to the fourth floor of the BYU library where they have “Media Viewing Rooms.” I remembered these rooms from before my mission. I remembered them being kind of low tech, with only about 5 chairs total, but you could reserve a room to watch a movie in them for a small group. Before I left, they had dvd players, but no blu ray. Upon remembering this magical little place, I looked up to see if they had blu ray.

The website said they did.

I reserved a room.

Upon my arrival, Monday afternoon, I step into the room and what do my wondering eyes behold? A GIANT SCREEN TV. IT’S BEAUTIFUL. IT’S AT LEAST 3 TIMES THE SIZE OF THE ONE WE HAD AT HOME. IT NEARLY COVERED THE WHOLE WALL.

Needless to say, I was a little excited. I reserved the same room every day of the week (you can only reserve it for a maximum of 4 hours per day, so I was limited to watching one Star Wars film each day).

But then, on Friday, I couldn’t reserve that particular room. No problem, I thought. One of the other rooms will do just fine. So I reserved a different one.

Well, Friday I found out that room doesn’t have a blu ray player, neither can it have one at all because the TV has no HDMI hookup.

“Well,” said the very helpful attendant trying to assist me. “It looks like this won’t work out….You could just use the small theater next door. The person who reserved it didn’t show up, so it’s available if it won’t make you feel weird.”

“Is there anything wrong with it?”

“Oh no,” she said. “It’s just usually for 40+ people, but it should work fine.”

So she leads me into this other room. Dude, it’s AN ACTUAL THEATER. The screen is THE WALL. IT’S BIG. BIGGER THAN I THOUGHT. LIKE AN ACTUAL THEATER. AND I GOT TO HAVE IT ALL TO MYSELF.

IN SURROUND SOUND!!!!!!!!!

So I watched The Empire Strikes Back in a private theatrical viewing all to myself. “The only improvement would have been if a hunky guy showed up with a large popcorn,” said Mom.

She speaks truth. It was one of the coolest movie-viewing experiences of my life (even without popcorn or a hunky guy). 

Watching the entire series from beginning to end (again), a lot more things jumped out. Like Vader’s sly dealings with the Emperor. Continue reading

Balance to the Force: A Story of Redemption

darth vader
Okay guys, we are going to talk about Star Wars, because YES. This past week I watched all six films and I realized that 1. I have been too hard on the prequel films, and 2. Star Wars is one of the greatest stories of redemption ever told.

Redemption comes for many people in the saga, but let’s be real: the only redemption arc we care about is that of Anakin Skywalker. Continue reading

When Our Story is Told – and It Will Be Told

Celebration City by J. Loren Reedy

Celebration City  by J. Loren Reedy

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“The sweetness of reunion is the Joy of Heaven.”
Richard Paul Evans, Lost December

“Let’s trust the future to tomorrow. Let the stars keep track of us. Let us ride our own orbits and trust that they will meet. May our reunion be not a finding but a sweet collision of destinies.”
Jerry Spinelli, Love, Stargirl

I have to admit, I cried when I saw the photo of my brother, Connor, at the airport leaving for the Mexico Missionary Training Center in prep for his mission to Chile.

Let me set it up for you:
Occasionally some random wifi works in our France apartment, and when I turn on my iPad, I see that I have seven emails. I look at them, starting from the bottom – all the temple pictures. Then I get to Connor in his suit at the San Jose airport.

I couldn’t hold back. I burst into tears and was weepy the rest of the night.

He is a missionary now, we are both on the same adventure. I know Connor is being protected and that he will do AMAZING work in Chile. I am so happy for him and so proud of him. GO CON-DUDE.

Then it hit me that I really won’t be seeing him for a long time. It was a rough night. But then another thought came… Continue reading

This is Why We Practice

Training Wheels

 

“The future depends on what we do in the present.”
Mahatma Gandhi

“Plan for what is difficult while it is easy, do what is great while it is small.”
Sun Tzu

“Practice makes the master.”
Patrick Rothfuss

 

True story:  There was a gal who made a spiritual journey to India to meet the Dalai Lama. The timing of her visit was an interesting one because a week before she and her friends arrived, tragedy struck among the otherwise peaceful Buddhist community. Some monks had been brutally murdered – alarmingly, by fellow monks!

The disturbing news of course couldn’t help but undertone the trip, so when this gal and her small group found themselves in a private audience with The Dalai Lama, their first words to him were ones of sympathy. His response was stunning. Continue reading