Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Tongue of Angels

If I give a bit of context, I think that this is a phrase that pretty much anyone can relate to. Even those who do not believe in God or angels have surely had the experience with something akin to what I mean by this phrase. It is those moments when someone says something, and it just reaches inside of you, it touches you, it heals you, it makes you feel special, makes you feel good. There are various times I've felt the tongue of angels could describe what people have done to me. Sometimes it is just someone saying I'm awesome or fun or amazing. It just makes me smile and feel good. It definitely described the feeling of laying in bed next to Stefanie, Mitera singing Nani Nanis to us. It often is a feeling when someone tells me that they love me. They speak with the tongue of angels.

With that setting...I had a discussion on my facebook the other day about swearing. I was frustrated and angry, and put up as my status "Sometimes I want to swear like a sailor...". I have not had strong feelings or an understanding of why not to swear, and when I get really frustrated, it seems like it would be so lovely to use these words. I walked away from that interchange wanting to figure out how I feel about swearing, to get off the fence. I know the church has recommended the use of "clean" language, but all the talks I could read about it still did not seem like compelling evidence. I guess it just wasn't anything that personally sank in to me.

And then I was looking up at my wall. Last year my personal theme for the year was to try and speak with the tongue of angels (which I was not very diligent about pursuing, but I did a little bit with it). Well I'll just copy to you what I have there, quotes from Jeffrey R. Holland:

"Heaven never seems closer than when we see the love of God manifested in the kindness and devotion of people so good and so pure that angelic is the only word that comes to mind. In this long eternal quest to be more like our Savior, may we try to be "perfect" men and women in at least this one way now - by offending not in word, or more positively put, by speaking with a new tongue, the tongue of angels. Our words, like deeds, should be filled with faith, hope, and charity, the three great Christian imperatives so desperately needed in the world today. With such words, spoken under the influence of the spirit, tears can be dried, hearts can be healed, lives can be elevated, hope can return, confidence can prevail."

If there is anything I want to do in the world more than anything, those last things are them: dry tears, heal hearts, elevate lives, give people hope and confidence.

While I was in that mood, I ended up calling someone I care a lot about a douche, which is a word I don't consider technically swearing, but a few hours, I felt really bad. I don't want to make people feel worse. I want to make people feel better. I want to spread love. I want to elevate lives. I want to speak with the tongue of angels.

I think of swearing. It doesn't really offend me, but never once has swearing made me feel anything resembling that feeling of the tongue of angels.

I don't expect to speak perfectly all the time, to always say uplifting and inspiring things, but I want to as much as I can. I don't want to damage the influence that I can have in the world.

And to all the angels in my own life, thank you. :) Your tongues have reached to my heart so many times, and even just the memories brings a smile to my face, and inspiration and determination to my soul.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Definitely Adventures Today!

I know my last post was talking all about the imposition I feel by the title of my blog, but today the title of it made it so I -had- to write about my day.

So I was in a pretty bad mood today, just because I thought I was done with Janardan's stuff, but I found more, and one of the things I found was this letter I wrote to him that he never read...even though he had like 5 years to do so. Anyway, so I've been pissy all day, just about that and whatever.

But Emily and I had tickets to the BYU basketball game tonight, so we were going to that, and me and Emily alone is always a fun time. We were going to walk there, but then I went to Communal last night, and was too full to get dessert, so I decided we should get dessert together tonight. So then we decided we'd drive, because if we walked home, we might just want to stay home and not go out again. So we get in the car to drive over, and I thought this car in front of me was slowing down for a light, so I lightly press on my breaks...but he was stopped. So I run into him, and the hood of my car kinda crumples. He was in an SUV, and he got a small scratch on the bumper. My car, a bit more damage (I'll get a picture tomorrow when there's light). And for some reason, this put me in a great mood. No one was hurt, just the front of my car, and I found it funny.

So then we take my car back home (we were just a few blocks away, and it still runs), and go over in Emily's van. Drive all over campus looking for a spot. Can't find one for forever. Finally get one in the far lot by the stadium, and we made it in time for second half (lots of jokes about how we lost time by driving lol). It was a good game, and apparently if BYU scores over 80 points, you can get a free piece of chocolate cake at Magelby's Fresh. It was less than a minute with 79 points. So that was the most exciting play of the game! Lol. It was so fun, though. Think I have to get season tickets next year. I love basketball. (Why did I never go to sporting events when I was a student? Well I will fix that when I go back and take classes this fall).

Then off to Communal for dessert. Yuuuuummm the chocolate bread pudding was -amazing-. Like really you can't go wrong with a dessert with Amano chocolate in it, but this went soo right. Delcious. Emily and me cracking up about who knows what, which caused me to spit water.

Come home to finish filing my claim and reporting my accident with Geico to find out that I do not have collision coverage. So, not completely happy about that, as I have no idea how much it's gonna cost to get stuff repaired. And then to look online and remember (because when I was signing up for insurance, I did not want to be stingy, so I signed up for the best coverages I thought there could be) that the reason I did not get collision because it wouldn't let me because of some other thing I had. I had no idea what either of them was really.

But still, it's annoying, but I think today ended up being a great day! Emily said to me, "So you just need tragedy to take you out of your bad moods." Perhaps I do. I like to be surprised by life. It doesn't have to be a tragedy. I like to reminded that things can be completely different to how I planned them.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Having the title of my blog be adventures can be a bit imposing sometimes. It gives me this false notion of what I should be writing about on my blog, or what I should be doing with my life, I guess. That it all has to be some grand adventure.

I've spent the past month being very go go go, always doing something, always busy with something, cleaning up this, checking on this, talking to this person, going to do this, cooking this thing, reading this thing, writing about this, biking this place, working on this goal, go go go go go. And I realize why I've been like that, it's a backlash against how I was in my marriage, where I rarely did anything, and everything took tremendous amounts of mental effort to do. Momentum makes action easy.

I don't work in the mornings. So I rarely have to get up to be somewhere, and I can wake up leisurely and lounge around in bed. But I hadn't done that in a long time until yesterday morning. I woke up, and instead of like usual just starting in on my series of actions that would last me until it was time to sleep, I just laid in bed, and thought.

I am quite perplexed by myself. Because I would not say that I am a person who suffers from low self-esteem. I am very confident in myself. But then, I have a tendency to bend my will to others for the sake of avoiding disagreement, or at least doing it on the surface, and suppressing my argument. Like, when disagreement or something contrary to what I want comes up, I immediately react with this "oh it's fine" thing, suppressing my own desire, and just giving up on what I wanted. It is an aspect that makes it easy for me to get along with pretty much anyone, and be friendly with lots of people.

It makes me think of something Carolyn asked me, when I was talking to her about my marriage last July, and she said "When do -you- get to be happy?" My own happiness matters to me when I am alone. It is probably a big part of the reason I've been so happy this past month or so. Because when it is just me, I can care about my own happiness.

But then, like, while I realize this is a problem, it is also hard for me to accept that it is not simply selflessness (even though it in some ways leads to selfishness). Eh, I'll figure it out eventually.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Gentle Guidance back to the Path

At girl's camp one year, our theme was "Hold to the Rod." We had a really neat experience, where we put on blindfolds, and then we were told to hold on to this rope, which was supposed to represent the iron rod. And so I went along, holding this rope, and everything seemed good. It was dark, and I had no idea where I was going, but I knew that this rope meant I was going the right way.

I got to a point where I felt like it was the end of the rope, and I was confused as to where I should go. It was then someone said to me, "Come over here." So I let go of the rope and went to where they were. And then immediately, there was another person who said, "No, come back here" and gently guided me back to the rope. After that, I held on with gusto to the rope, and didn't heed what anyone said, and just held on to that rod, because I knew that some of those voices would try to lead me astray.

We came to the end of the rod, and were told we could take our blindfolds off, and there was a beautiful tree lit up, with apples tied to it by ribbons. It was beautiful. And then we sat and were spiritually fed.

I see how much that experience reflects my experiences in life. I may be going along a good path, and then come to a moment of confusion, and it is then that Satan strikes, to guide me away from the path. But there has always been someone to speak gently and tell me I was going the wrong way, and lead me back to the good path.

Most often it will be my sister or mom. But it's been countless others as well, Young Women's leaders, Visiting Teachers, bishops, friends, roommates, or some random thing I hear somewhere.

I think of this woman, who was there standing by the rod, just there to watch over and make sure people stayed on the rod. She had so many to look over, all the probably 200 girls that would walk by her, but she took the time for me. And these people make time for me, and it makes all the difference in the world.

Because these things lead me back to the word of God, they lead me back to the scriptures, and back to feasting upon the words of God, and being filled with the spirit. And then I get to the tree, and feel infused with beauty. The people lead me to the rod, and the rod leads me to the love of God. How beautiful and glorious.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Today I feel like a writer

2.5 years ago, I read Harry Potter 7 for the first time. As I was reading the end of it, it was a very spiritual experience to me. It changed me. And it was then that I realized that my calling in life, if you will, was to be a writer.

It seemed kinda duh once I realized it. I mean, as soon as I could make letters, I was writing books. I wrote a ton as a kid, and even in high school when I had gotten past the idea that I thought I wanted to be a writer as a profession, I still kept about 10 different journals, and wrote in 3-4 of them daily. I write. It is what I do.

But the idea of writing fiction is a bit daunting to me, not that writing non-fiction at any length is any less daunting, because then I get worried about factuality. But, I felt like writing is what I am meant to do, and that fiction writing should be a component of that.

So I started writing fiction. And I'd write a little scene here and there, and I was so scared of writing that it was more convincing myself that I could actually sit down and write something than actually being anything I wanted to write about. I found a few things that interested me, and my mind still goes back to some of my favorite scenes from things I have written, but there doesn't seem to be much more than just a couple pages there. Then there is of course Words and Understanding, the short story I wrote. I still really like that story, and I feel a depth to it, though I think the writing of it does not convey it all, and I am not really sure why, but I also don't like it -that- much that I care to invest a lot of time in figuring out how to make it better.

So I was writing daily for a few months then, and then life kinda overcame me, and my fiction has gotten patchy. Then maybe a week or so ago, I decided I was going to be disciplined and start working on fiction again. So I've been making scenes or whatever, just like normal, only this time, I wasn't so overly concerned with product and doing something amazing, and just felt like it was the flow of things.

So I sat down to write last night at 2:30am. Thought I would be in bed by 3am, which is the late end of normal for me, but still not abnormal. I started writing, and I could not stop. I wrote until 4am, and I just stopped in the middle of something, because I decided I needed to sleep at some point. Then today I was working on developing characters, and I just see about 100 things that I could do to work on this story, and all these things that will be for background, so I know what is going on and can write it all better, and include the little details that don't seem important, but make something set out, because the secondary characters are really developed, and -I- care about them.

And so I have stepped into this world, and I want to discover so much of it, and find out about these 12 people that I have, and then there will be more they come into contact with. I have found something where I want to go back to it the next day, and probably will the next and the next. And who knows when I will want to move on to something else. But today I feel like I am truly a writer.

And I like the feeling.

Friday, February 12, 2010


Today I want to give a tribute to my amazing sister. (This is the only recent picture I had of her on my computer, and it was taken by Prairie, but I like it :) ).

When my sister moved out to Utah years ago, I was worried that she would want to come and see me all the time, and that I would feel stifled by her. I knew she cared about me a lot, and really loved me, but I was kind of a bratty sister, I guess. I hadn't learned to appreciate her yet. But when she got here, it was when Janardan and I were first dating, and she made it feel so comfortable to come over to her house. She understood that he was sick, and didn't judge him, and so we loved going over there, and would go over there all the time. And I began to see the beginning of what an amazing sister I have, far beyond what I had ever seen before.

Besides moving to Texas, I have moved progressively closer to her every time I have moved. From about a mile away, to a block away, and now we do not even have to go outside to go in each other's houses.

I think of how depressed I got when I first got married, how difficult that was for me, and how lonely I felt. I've been worried about falling into a depression with this divorce, and working really hard to avoid it, but in some ways, it is simply easier. I can walk right out of my door and into her house. I went over there sobbing a week or so ago, and I know that even though she's not the most physical and touchy person that she would hold me, and hug me.

She has been my unsung hero for so long, but I don't want her to be unsung any more. She is the one who pays attention, and bothers me if I'm not eating, so that I will eat. She is so willing to help me, and is there for me.

And so I offer this tribute to my amazing sister, Emily, and to amazing sisters everywhere. You do more than you know, and you help in ways that cannot be measured. I love you Emily. LYLAS!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Every Fruit in the Season Thereof

In June, we had a Sunday School lesson on the word of wisdom. (I don't really know how many readers I have who are not familiar with LDS theology. I tend not to explain much, and assume that most people know, which may be erroneous, but if I ever say stuff and you want to know more or know what the heck I'm talking about, feel free to email me or leave a comment, and I'll try to explain). Growing up, I always viewed the word of wisdom mainly as a guide of what to avoid, not to drink, smoke, drink coffee, etc.

Besides the word of wisdom, with my sister being into ecology, over the past few years, I've had a more ecological view of my eating, especially reading Collapse by Jared Diamond, and seeing the importance of sustainability. And so I've had all these ideas floating around in my head, with her stories of a family that would eat only things grown within 100 miles from their home, but I wasn't quite sure how to go about things, or exactly what to do.

So when we had this lesson on the word of wisdom, and there were a few people in our Sunday School class who pointed out that we do not, as a church, seem to pay as much attention to the commands of what we -should- eat, and only pay attention to those things that we are told not to consume or allow into our bodies. I walked away from that lesson wanting to try more diligently to eat fruits "in the season thereof", but I came away feeling like I had no idea what that even was. I can go to the grocery store any season of the year and get bananas, tomatoes, peas, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, etc. I can get anything I want at any time of the year, so what does "in the season thereof" really mean?

It made me realize how unaware I was of the seasonality of food. I wanted to learn what foods came in what seasons. I figured the best way to start was to go to the farmer's market, and see what local farmers were selling at that time. And so I started to do as much of my shopping as I could at the farmer's market, and while there to make sure I was buying from the local farmers (there was a stand that just looked like people had trucked up from Mexico, because they had produce that no one else had). And so now, I feel like I have at least a basic understanding of what season things come in.

I was excited the one week I saw grapes there, and got some, and they were so delicious. Everything is so delicious when it is eaten so fresh, and in its season.

I didn't store quite enough stuff for winter. I have one butternut squash left, which I am kind of saving in a way, as butternut squash is so delicious. I have one large can of peaches left, and they are so divine that I do not want to eat them. I have been making my way through my spaghetti sauce lately, which I thought there was going to be no way I would get through, but I think I may actually be out by the time tomato season comes around again. I have a couple cans of raspberries, but those are so precious to me that I cannot really eat them, unless I really feel like it is a special occasion (like -really- wanting to eat them!). I dried cabbage, and all of that is gone. I've used the zucchini and squash that I froze, and I think I have just a few green beans left. I have lots of corn, but the way I froze it makes it very difficult to use (live and learn, right?).

So I've been eating a decent amount of meat this winter, which seems appropriate with the corresponding decrease in the availability of vegetables, though I do want to store more vegetables to use next winter. (Like about twice as many butternut squashes! and maybe a few more spaghetti squashes too).

Then I have been reading The Omnivore's Dilemma, which makes me feel like everything I am eating is corn (especially with all the meat), and that all of that is really just based on gasoline and petroleum. So I have been like, aching for spring, for fresh peas and strawberries, and the beginning of that rich and bounteous time of the year, when each week there will be new and wonderful things to eat, and to enjoy.

So with all of this background, I went to the grocery store last night. I've needed a few things for a while, and finally decided I'd stop on my way home from work last night. So I started walking through, and was going past all the bakery items, which were basically a bunch of cakes and cookies. There were so many things that looked good, but I knew that they wouldn't really be that satisfying. And then I started walking through the produce section, and so many things looked wonderful and delicious. Bright orange carrots, green peppers, red peppers, strawberries, blackberries, peas, squashes, bananas, tomatoes, avocados, pineapples. Yum, yum, yum. I wanted to throw a whole ton of them in my basket, and then in the back of my mind, the thought of where all of this food came from, how it was grown probably thousands of miles away from here, and how it was only here because of gas. I looked around, and everything just seemed tinged by oil. It was all oil. I wanted to start crying there in the middle of the produce section.

I think it hit me right there, because it is the produce section most that gives off this illusion of being natural and close to home, fresh, and beautiful. Like, if I go buy a bag of chips, I have no illusions that it is not a processed food full of crap, grown who knows where, and gotten to me from shipping the hundred ingredients from a hundred different places, and then finally shipped to me, all on gasoline. The rest of the grocery store is full of things like that, which I do mainly avoid, but I don't have any illusion when I do go to those things that I am being in any way ecologically responsible.

But it is like, all of these things that I am looking forward to, that I at times ache for, for spring to come and to eat, and here they are! Right in front of me! But then the reality hits me that these are not the things I really want. I want the strawberries grown down the road, not in Mexico. I want the grapes from the vine of my neighbors, not ones shipped in from Chile. (I put those in my basket before I hit the produce section, and I felt a bit sick when I got home to see how far they had traveled for me to eat).

I have had a phrase running through my head lately - "it is not worth eating anything that is not worth savoring." I have thought about this as I have been eating my amano chocolate. That I know comes from all over, and actually from very specific farms. It is a luxury. I understand that. That is also why I don't eat very much of it, and I savor it. But I think of all the fixating I have done on spring (especially with this false spring and it being warm here!), and I want to savor everything I eat. I want to savor that butternut squash. I am going to savor those peaches. I will savor the strawberries when they come, and the peas, the tomatoes.

How wonderful it is to enjoy every fruit in the season thereof. I think I will eat my butternut squash tonight! Yum!

Sunday, February 7, 2010


I love being alive!!!!!!!

Life is great! Life is awesome. Like, it is such a beautiful thing to be alive, to draw breath in my body. I went to the temple today, and it is so amazing and beautiful. This world is beautiful. There are so many beautiful things in this world, but there is noting more beautiful to me than the work of salvation. It is so amazing! Especially since it does more to just change and create something new within the Lord's already amazing creation of his children.

Like I was looking at myself in the mirror in the Celestial room today, just like, shining, and being so radiant. And I was just like, man, this is beautiful!

I love being me, and I love being alive!

Friday, February 5, 2010

A thousand paths

There is in the universe a galaxy, and within that galaxy a solar system, and within that solar system a planet, and within that planet a country, and within that country a village, and within that village a house, and within that house, a room, and within that room a bed, and within that bed a woman.

This woman had hopes and dreams, a myriad of twisting and winding paths before her. The paths stretched before her view like branches from the trunk of a tree, that was her life. They reached and reached. Sometimes they were cut from her, some shriveled and died. These hurt her, and came back to the heart of the tree. But no single branch being cut from her could kill the heart of the tree. The tree would discard the broken pieces, heal up the broken parts, grow over, and put forth renewed energy to the existing branches, looking for the new branches, growing everything which looked like it could grow. She saw so many places where new branches could spring up. She saw new little branches creeping up, and she wondered where these branches would grow to, what path they would lead to. The overall effect, though, was that these branches reached upwards, and her trunk would reach and reach, and touch higher and higher, and reach the sky.

The twists and turns lay before her. She kept the paths open, trying not to squash the tiny little sprigs that would spring forth, even though they seemed so weak and frail, as if they would not last a day. She knew that every new branch would start as just a tiny sprig, so when she felt the inclination to give up, she would feed it more, and give it more opportunity to grow.

Life goes on. Welcome. My life is one big adventure, and this blog is here to catalogue my thoughts, my experiences, and whatever I decide to blog about :P.

There are thousands of paths that lay before me. Oh the deliciousness of possibility.