Thursday, November 29, 2012

This is everything.

Just a follow-up to last night's depressing post.
Sorry (but not too sorry) about all the Les Misérables posts as of late.
But I just watched THIS again:

This play is more than a mere story.
It is a testimony.

Do you hear the people sing
Lost in the valley of the night
It is the music of a people
Who are climbing to the light
For the wretched of the earth
There is a flame that never dies
Even the darkest night will end
And the sun will rise

They will live again in freedom
In the garden of the Lord
They will walk behind the ploughshare
They will put away the sword
The chains will be broken
And all men will have their reward

Will you join in our crusade?
Who will be strong and stand with me?
Somewhere beyond the barricade is there a world you long to see?
Do you hear the people sing?
Say, do you hear the distant drums?
It is the future that they bring when tomorrow comes! 
When I lived in Paris, I had the opportunity to visit the home of Victor Hugo.
Unfortunately, it was closed for tours the day I was there, so I picnicked outside.
But I cannot express to you the overwhelming spirit of Christ and goodness that came from that place. What an inspired man. A few quotes from the book I intend to read cover to cover, highlight in profusely, and cherish like none other this coming Christmas holiday, with anticipation of the upcoming film:

“When love has fused and mingled two beings in a sacred and angelic unity, the secret of life has been discovered so far as they are concerned; they are no longer anything more than the two boundaries of the same destiny; they are no longer anything but the two wings of the same spirit. Love, soar.” 
“Diamonds are found only in the dark bowels of the earth; truths are found only in the depths of thought. It seemed to him that after descending into those depths after long groping in the blackest of this darkness, he had at last found one of these diamonds, one of these truths, and that he held it in his hand; and it blinded him to look at it.” 
“Nothing discernible to the eye of the spirit is more brilliant or obscure than man; nothing is more formidable, complex, mysterious, and infinite. There is a prospect greater than the sea, and it is the sky; there is a prospect greater than the sky, and it is the human soul.” 
“...We pray together, we are afraid together, and then we go to sleep. Even if Satan came into the house, no one would interfere. After all, what is there to fear in this house? There is always one with us who is the strongest. Satan may visit our house, but the good Lord lives here.” 
“If you wish to understand what Revolution is, call it Progress; and if you wish to understand what Progress is, call it Tomorrow.” 
“...Can human nature be so entirely transformed inside and out? Can man, created by God, be made wicked by man? Can a soul be so completely changed by its destiny, and turn evil when its fate is evil? Can the heart become distorted, contract incurable deformities and incurable infirmities, under the pressure of disproportionate grief, like the spinal column under a low ceiling? Is there not in every human soul a primitive spark, a divine element, incorruptible in this world and immortal in the next, which can be developed by goodness, kindled, lit up, and made to radiate, and which evil can never entirely extinguish.” 
“There is a determined though unseen bravery that defends itself foot by foot in the darkness against the fatal invasions of necessity and dishonesty. Noble and mysterious triumphs that no eye sees, and no fame rewards, and no flourish of triumph salutes. Life, misfortunes, isolation, abandonment, poverty, are battlefields that have their heroes; obscure heroes, sometimes greater than the illustrious heroes.” 

I certainly needed to read and hear these words today.
I'm finding hope.

All my love, B.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Brief explanation

My sincerest apologies to you dear readers who are faithfully checking in to see if I've updated yet, only to find out that....I haven't.

I am truly sorry for my prolonged absence from this social sphere.  I'm afraid I must admit that I have not written, read, or stalked any blogs in a few weeks.  

I logged onto my bloglovin' account a few days ago to find that I had THREE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY-SEVEN unread blog posts.  Yes, 387! 

I'm happy to know that even though I've been off in my own world, the blogosphere continues on.

I have had to take some time for myself.  Satan is trying so very hard to get me down.  He knows that my mission papers are being submitted next week, and like my post from a few weeks ago describes in exhaustive detail, I don't function well when I am down.

But I'm trying to live.
To enjoy life.
To make friends.
To strengthen  my vitally important relationship with my Savior.
And to just make it through the semester.

I know I say this at least once a year, but it is absolutely safe to say that Heavenly Father reserved this particular trial for me at this particular time, and I am being stretched and pulled in more directions than I knew existed.

One of those directions is not finding the ability to get out of bed.
To be ABSOLUTELY unmotivated to get anything done until I have absolutely no time left.
To let the smallest discomforts discourage me from fulfilling basic daily tasks.

This is not me. And I'm determined to prove it.

I will finish writing these last 16 lines of my french composition.
I will get 5 hours of sleep.
And then I will wake up tomorrow ready for a new outlook on life, with the Savior by my side and the certainty of a bright future ahead if I am living the way I should be.
And I will know that though I am sad, I am NOT weak.
For the greater the ability I have to feel pain, the more infinite the capacity I have to one day feel true joy.

But this blog may not be a part of that for awhile.

But I hope it will be again in the very near future.

In the meantime, if there are any of you who are struggling through anything similar, please don't hesitate to tell me.  I may be in my own personal little circle of hell at the moment, not knowing which way is up, but what I've said since the very beginning still stands: Even if I don't know who you are, I love you very much. And the Savior does too, and if you ever need an outlet, don't hesitate to get in contact with me.

This video is not about trial per se, but being reminded of the fundamentals of who I am and what my purpose is here in this life is always an immense help.

I also invite you to check out one of my best friend's blogs, Joy in the Journey, particularly her "Parable of the Teacup post." She is one of the strongest girls I have ever known, currently fighting one of the hardest personal battles I have ever learned of, and she is one. talented. writer.

Back soon, with a refreshed perspective on life and a calmer heart, and with all my love,

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

So there you have it.

So I don't know about you, but for me watching debates and elections is almost more exciting and cutthroat than football.  Especially in a presidential race this close.  Call me crazy, but I really love politics, even when they disappoint me. 
I won't go into some big political rant about how irresponsible and stupid Americans are for voting someone back into office who has already done so much damage, that's not what this blog is for.

I'll just leave it at that I was among those who became extremely disappointed in America last night, but...

I recognize that Americans, for the most part, exercised their right to vote, and therefore I will support the man that was elected into office for the next four years, with a prayer in my heart that he manages to turn things around.

That being said, I think everyone, regardless of either (or neither!) party you identify yourself with, could benefit from thinking about how far America has strayed from where we started.  I know I sure learned a big lesson.  

The opening scene of HBO's new series, "The Newsroom" says it best. One of my best friends Ashley posted it last night and it absolutely brought me to tears and got me really thinking.  Don't be put off by the title of the video, but listen to the message.  I know it's TV, but there is so much truth in his words. Greatest food for thought I've found in a long time.

All my love, B.

**NOTE: This SHOULD be the edited version of this video.  Apologies to anyone who may have watched the heinous swearing in the version I put up first-got the wrong one, sorry!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Mommy dearest

Sorry for my recent absence, but not that sorry...
because I was spending time with one of the most fantastic ladies I know.

Let's take a trip down memory lane, shall we?
Epcot center, age 15
Front lawn, graduation day, age 17
NYC, age 18
Today Show, NYC, age 18
Bluebonnets, aka my favorite picture of all time, age....I don't know.  Young.
(apologies for the color quality of some of these...all were taken long before my photo editing days)

I'll be the first to admit that it took a very long time...MUCH much longer than it should have for the relationship between my mother and I to be where it is now.  

I know that there will always be a few things here and there that we'll never agree upon, but as I've grown up I've come to realize something that I never let myself admit during my angsty, teenage years...

My mother is my greatest role model.

She gave up her entire life for her children, to raise them and love them the best way she knows how, and she's doing a top-notch job. I know that everything good that I am came from her, and when I have my own family, I'll be able to emulate all the things I love about her and add my own personal touches to how I will raise my children.

So, last weekend, I had the grand opportunity to to take her to some of my favorite places in Salt Lake, like eating at The Pie Pizzeria and taking her to see City Creek Center.  The next morning we went down to Payson to visit the cute Red Barn, who grows their own produce and makes their own ice cream and sells cute gifts :)

On that note, behold: The ONLY surviving picture of her trip:

We're cute.  I know.

Anyway, we ran lots of errands and finally, after working so hard and losing so much sleep, I let myself just get full on sick.  And it felt great to have my mommy there to take care of me.

Sunday, we had church together and then invited all the cousins over to my grandparents' house for dinner and catching up.

I've said goodbye to my mother dozens of times since moving out, and I'm always kind of just like, "Ok, see you next time, bye!"

But this time....I cried.  Oh, I cried so hard.  It broke my heart right in half driving away from where I left her at my grandparents' house, knowing that she would be in the state another twelve hours before her flight and because of class and work I wouldn't be able to spend any more last minutes with her.  

I cried when she hugged me goodbye and didn't want to let me go, and I didn't want to let go either.

I cried when she told me how proud she was of me and how far I've come and that she knew that eventually everything would be okay.

I cried when she took my hand, kissed it, set it on my cheek, and then leaned in to kiss my other cheek, just like she does to my baby brother.

I cried feeling like her baby again, especially after having pretended that I'm a grown-up for so long.

Good grief, I'm crying now thinking about it. 

42 days.

Sometimes your mom really is the only person that can fix it.

I love you, B.