Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Getting a Grip of Letting Go

As a continuation from a previous post, I’m now ok, on some really important fronts. How I got there is something I want to write about here.

Over the last three weeks I’ve been internally struggling with an issue that I couldn’t understand. Someone I care about made a choice that I didn’t agree with and I didn’t understand why they had made it. I had spent days upset and wondering why and how and what lead to it. I questioned every little thing I had discovered about the situation and analyzed it until it blew the situation wildly out of proportion.

Then one day I had a real heart to heart with my Heavenly Father asking him to help me to understand, or if anything help me to move past the struggle I was in the midst of.  I opened up my heart and poured out my deepest feelings in sincere prayer asking for help. And then it dawned on me; I have a choice.

I have a choice just like anybody else. I choose to be ok. Nobody else has the ability to make the choice of whether or not I am ok. That’s 100%, no doubt about it, in-arguably my choice. So I decided to make that choice. Regardless of whether the choice of my friend was right or wrong it was their choice, not mine, and in that sense isn't my concern. I had legitimate reasons to be upset at the choice, but regardless, spending my time upset at someone is selfish, and yet not even self serving. There are so many other emotions I could be experiencing instead. So I began to get a grip and let it go.

I’m moving forward with my life making decisions that positively affect my well-being. A really good friend of mine said to me when I approached them about my situation to ‘take good care of [myself] and make decisions just for [me].’ My life is still mine to live regardless of any person place or thing I come across. Holding on to anger does more damage than good, so why bother?

The state I’m in didn’t happen overnight. I was given several opportunities to re-evaluate myself and the way I was approaching the situation. One in particular was a talk (<click here if you want to read it) I gave in church last Sunday on charity. While preparing it I did a lot of deep thinking and consequently began to see that person in a different light than I had before. I began to see them with more charity, patience and understanding. I may never get a full understanding of what happened, but it’s not my business to know unless they choose to tell me.

They are still important to me, and probably always will be, but I've learned at least in this instance to get a grip and just let go. To be happy, focusing on the things in my life that i'm immeasurably grateful for. My family and friends who truly love me and want to see me happy. This gorgeous planet and all the beauty that unfolds in it. The gift of sight and hearing to enjoy every moment. The knowledge that as long as I'm trying my best to be Christlike that I'm going to be more than ok when it all comes down to the end.

We are all given the choice; the choice to live happily, unhappily, or anywhere in between. When it’s put that simply doesn’t it make sense to choose happiness? Let go of the pain. Let go of the hurt you might feel. Let go of what you might think you have a right to. Let go of the things that aren't pushing you forward in a positive direction.


I had to...
Later ;)

Charity

The other week in church I was assigned to give a talk and I figured I'd share it here too. I'm really glad I was able to give this talk, it put a couple important things back into perspective. Hope it helps you guys somehow too (I apologize in advance it's a longer read than usual).



If you were to ask google what the definition of charity is, the first answer it would give you would be “the voluntary giving of help, typically in the form of money, to those in need.” If you were to ask the bible dictionary what the definition of charity is, you would get something more along the lines of “The highest, noblest, strongest kind of love, not merely affection; the pure love of Christ,” and that’s the definition I want to focus on today. To expand on that definition a little further I want to open to the book of Matthew, chapter 19 vs 43-44 “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. / But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” It’s a really difficult concept to swallow, loving those that give us no love in return, but if you really do focus on charity as the pure love of Christ, it’s the only way we can truly live to be like Him. He loves all of us, and each of us, unconditionally and therefore there is no limit or list of qualifications that we are put through to qualify for that pure love of Christ, so why do we see fit to create one when placing unrighteous judgement on others?

President Thomas S Monson in an article in a General Conference address in October in 2010 titled Charity Never Faileth related the following personal experience:
“Forty-seven years ago this general conference, I was called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. At the time, I had been serving on one of the general priesthood committees of the Church, and so before my name was presented, I sat with my fellow members of that priesthood committee, as was expected of me. My wife, however, had no idea where to go and no one with whom she could sit and, in fact, was unable to find a seat anywhere in the Tabernacle. A dear friend of ours, who was a member of one of the general auxiliary boards and who was sitting in the area designated for the board members, asked Sister Monson to sit with her. This woman knew nothing of my call—which would be announced shortly—but she spotted Sister Monson, recognized her consternation, and graciously offered her a seat. My dear wife was relieved and grateful for this kind gesture. Sitting down, however, she heard loud whispering behind her as one of the board members expressed her annoyance to those around her that one of her fellow board members would have the audacity to invite an “outsider” to sit in this area reserved only for them. There was no excuse for her unkind behavior, regardless of who might have been invited to sit there. However, I can only imagine how that woman felt when she learned that the “intruder” was the wife of the newest Apostle. 
Mother Teresa, a Catholic nun who worked among the poor in India most of her life, spoke this profound truth: “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”  The Savior has admonished, “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.”  I ask: can we love one another, as the Savior has commanded, if we judge each other? And I answer—with Mother Teresa: no, we cannot.”

In a hymn I’m sure we all find familiar titled Love One Another it reads “As I have loved you, love one another. This new commandment; love one another. By this shall men know ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” The words of this hymn are taken from John chapter 13 in verses 34 and 35. He’s speaking to his disciples as he washes their feet at the last supper. I don’t think that in his precious last moments with his beloved disciples he would waste his breath on a piece of advice that wasn’t meant to be taken seriously. I also don’t think that John would have written it into the scriptures if it wasn’t meant for us to hear and act upon. We, as the disciples and representatives of Christ and his church on the earth today, are meant to be loving towards one another both inside and outside of these walls, in the most pure and noble way, through the pure love of Christ, which is charity.

Sister Elaine L. Jack in an April 1992 General Conference address also titled Charity Never Faileth said the following in regards to the Relief Society:
Lucy Mack Smith, mother of the Prophet Joseph Smith, told the sisters of Relief Society in 1842, “We must cherish one another, watch over one another, comfort one another and gain instruction, that we may all sit down in heaven together.”
We are part of a grand whole. We need each other to make our sisterhood complete. When we reach out to clasp the hands of our sisters, we reach to every continent, for we are of every nation. We are bonded as we try to understand what the Lord has to say to us, what He will make of us. We speak in different tongues, yet we are a family who can still be of one heart. We work, play, give birth, nurture, dream dreams; we cry, pray, laugh, sometimes clap for joy, and find that mortality teaches us our need for our Savior, Jesus Christ.”

Now just in case the men in the room instinctively tuned out when they heard the words “sisters” or “relief society” I’m going to read that last bit again and paraphrase a little bit replacing those words because what she says is really important.

“We are part of a grand whole. We need each other to make the plan of happiness complete. When we reach out to clasp the hands of our brothers and sisters, we reach to every continent, for we are of every nation. We are bonded as we try to understand what the Lord has to say to us, what He will make of us. We speak in different tongues, yet we are a family who can still be of one heart. We work, play, nurture, dream dreams; we cry, pray, laugh, sometimes clap for joy, and find that mortality teaches us our need for our Savior, Jesus Christ.”

We need each other. Our Heavenly Father doesn’t expect us to walk through this life alone, He sends us, his servants, to comfort one another when we need it most. In order for this to work, He needs us to remember that in his eyes we are all important and special. From the cashiers and store clerks at the local Walmart to the Political leaders of the world, we are all in this together. We can’t see into another’s past present or future to know exactly where and why they are doing what they are in that moment.

A few days ago I was driving through a quiet neighborhood getting practice behind the wheel, as I’m a little behind and as of yet and have been too nervous to get my license. With my father in the passenger seat I came up to a red light and shifted down to a stop. The light quickly turned green and as I attempted to shift back into first gear and cross the intersection I panicked, stalled and had to restart my car. Across the intersection from me was an older lady waiting to turn left. I had the right of way so technically speaking she had to wait for me. In her impatience she honked her horn and zoomed around the corner. I now being flustered because of being honked at took a minute to compose myself, got through the light and pulled into a neighbour’s driveway. My father, knowing I was upset by the situation drove the rest of the way home.

I don’t know that lady personally or what she had been going through that day. I could look at it on the surface and say that she was rude and shouldn’t have done what she did, or I could look at the situation with charity towards her. Maybe she recently lost her job, or a loved one. Maybe she was late for a really important meeting at work or picking up her sick child from school. She doesn’t know that I’m an unexperienced driver who hates standard transmissions and who is still learning how to get off the line. But having charity towards her doesn’t simply mean I tolerate her because I have to. No negative feelings can be associated with charity as it is the purest of all the forms of love.

Going back to the address from President Thomas S Monson he expressed his concern towards the need for charity in the following words:
“I consider charity—or “the pure love of Christ”—to be the opposite of criticism and judging. In speaking of charity, I do not at this moment have in mind the relief of the suffering through the giving of our substance. That, of course, is necessary and proper. Tonight, however, I have in mind the charity that manifests itself when we are tolerant of others and lenient toward their actions, the kind of charity that forgives, the kind of charity that is patient.
I have in mind the charity that impels us to be sympathetic, compassionate, and merciful, not only in times of sickness and affliction and distress but also in times of weakness or error on the part of others. There is a serious need for the charity that gives attention to those who are unnoticed, hope to those who are discouraged, aid to those who are afflicted. True charity is love in action. The need for charity is everywhere.
Needed is the charity which refuses to find satisfaction in hearing or in repeating the reports of misfortunes that come to others, unless by so doing, the unfortunate one may be benefited. 

In a hundred small ways, all of you wear the mantle of charity. Life is perfect for none of us. Rather than being judgmental and critical of each other, may we have the pure love of Christ for our fellow travelers in this journey through life. May we recognize that each one is doing her best to deal with the challenges which come [their] way, and may we strive to do our best to help out.”

Thanks for reading :)

Sunday, September 20, 2015

It's OK

I realized the other day that I’m so afraid of letting other people know that I’m not ok. Why? Am I afraid I’d be a burden? Yup. Am I afraid I’d be hurt more? Sometimes. Am I afraid nobody will care? Kinda, but the piece of the puzzle that I’m forgetting is that I’ve surrounded myself with people that would do anything for me. My pains aren’t burdens to them. We’re friends because we help each other. We laugh together, cry together, and everything in between. Wearing a mask around them is only doing more damage by shutting them off. They know me well enough to know when I’m not ok, so if I tell them I’m not, they wonder why I won’t tell them. At least I do when the roles are reversed.

So here I am, not ok, I’m hurting. I’m not being obnoxious or seeking attention from anybody, but I’m also not trying to give off any sort of illusion that my life is all rainbows and kittens. I have problems, struggles and painful life experiences, just like everyone else. I deal with them one day at a time, with the help of my closest friends and family. I get overwhelmed a lot by my emotions and that can be really embarrassing, but that’s ok. It’s ok that sometimes I cry at the most inopportune times. It’s ok that sometimes I am so emotionally exhausted I can’t bear to do much in a day. It’s ok because there are also days when I’m so blissfully happy that my cheeks hurt at the end of the day from laughing and enjoying myself. It’s ok because I know who I am and that I’m important and unique and loved by so many people. It’s ok because my life isn’t about the bad days, it’s about the days that make me want to fly. The days that are so full of wonder that I can hardly sleep the next night because I’m replaying it in my mind over and over again.

So please promise me you won’t read this, or anything else of mine and compare your life wondering why mine is so wonderful and yours isn’t. Your life is wonderful if you look at it that way. Nobody likes wearing their problems on their faces. We are all going through different things at different times.

So here’s to the good days and the great people in my life. I’m not ok, and that’s ok.

Image result for it's ok meme gosling

:) Cheers

Monday, August 24, 2015

Tea and Cream. A DIY

Hello again!!
It's no surprise to those of you who actually read my blog that I yet again fell off the blogosphere for an extended period of time. But I'm here now so let's move past that shall we? K cool.
I'm here writing today because I am in need of a cream lace dress. A close friend of mine is getting married in less than two months and I was asked to be a bridesmaid *pause for imaginary applause*. I couldn't be more excited for her!! I'm honored to be by her side on her big day.
One problem.
I'm on a tight budget because I'm doing my own saving and every penny counts. So, I did some internet digging and some closet digging to come up with a solution. Which brings us to the topic of this post. I already owned a white lace dress that I'd only worn a couple times and decided to find out if i could somehow get it to be a little less white. Bridesmaids in white is a no.
So I discovered that I could use black tea to dye my dress, super cheap and easy. 
Here's how I did it:

First off I'll give you a list of the things i used
-earl grey Lipton black tea (four bags)
-tea infuser (optional)
-water
-salad tongs
-rag
-large pot (bigger is better)
-sink ready with cold water
-bleach small container and gloves
-blow dryer (optional)
-stove top and kitchen sink
-white clothing item (preferably cotton for better dyeing result)

So, to start off, I HIGHLY reccomend that if you're going to replicate this you wash your garment thoroughly, whether it's new and you've still got the tags on or you've worn it and sweat in it a couple times, you need to make sure you get rid of any chemicals that are currently on the fabric, they WILL change the way the dye takes.


Fill up a pot of water as high as you can without worrying about it overflowing (about an inch below the lip) and submerge your garment in the water to it's completely submerged and wet, this will ensure that the dye takes as evenly as possible.
Play with it for a bit making sure the water soaks everything and then wring it out and set it aside.




Put your tea bags into the infuser (if you have access to one big enough). This is to make sure none of the tea leaves escape the bag, although I'm sure they're designed not to I wanted to be extra cautious. Place the infuser in the pot and bring it to a boil. Watch and make sure it doesn't boil over, lower the heat if you have to. 




Once the pot of tea is steeped enough - how steeped it needs to be depends on your preference, darker tea means a darker dye, more tea bags mean a darker tea - this should only take about 5-10 minutes, bring the heat down to medium and take the tea bags and infuser out of the pot, then put the garment back in with your tongs. 




Continue to agitate the tea and move the garment around to make sure it dyes evenly. You may need to wipe up some stray tea with your rag, but no worries it won't stain your stove or counter if you clean it up as you go



After you feel you've reached a little darker than the color you want (it will fade a little bit with rinsing) I ended up having to wait 10-20 minutes, turn the heat off and wait another 10-15 minutes for the tea to cool a little bit



Take your pot of water over to the sink and carefully dump it out, don't burn yourself it will still be pretty hot. Keep one of the tea bags aside for later.Fill the sink with cold water and put your garment in to rinse off the tea. The cold water should help seal in the dye a little bit.


At this point you should check for uneven dye marks, and here's where the washing comes in. I didn't wash my dress before dyeing it and that's where these lovely stains came in. There was sweat that I couldn't see in the armpits and the tea took to that area like crazy, creating these nasty brown pit stains. Yum.



Thank goodness for bleach. But this won't make it perfect, just less noticeable, it turned out to be more of a yellow than the cream that the rest of the dress ended out, but the yellow won't be nearly as noticeable as the gross brown. 

I didn't get many pictures from here on out because my phone died but I'll do my best to explain. 
I took a small container and my rag, put on some gloves and got dabbing. As i dabbed I dipped the dress back into the water each time i was satisfied with the color to dilute the bleach and stop the process from turning the dress too white. Once I was done I gave the pits one final rinse.


The bleach still ended up whitening  some of the parts that weren't extra stained so at this point i took that tea bag i had set aside and dabbed it on the parts that needed to get darker. I'm not sure if it will stay but I didnt rinse it off after this step


 
I then plugged in my hair dryer and got to heat drying the dress outside of the dryer to avoid shrinkage and to help with yet again setting the dye.

All in all I'm pretty pleased with the way it turned out!! The stains under the arms aren't so bad once it's on and you cant even really see them in the pictures I took of it so I'm no devastated.

Here's a before and after against some white printer paper:



The lace shell was 80% cotton 20% nylon and the lining was 80% polyester 20% cotton so they dyed differently, but it's fine in this case.

Hoorah for DIY and saving a pretty penny! I couldn't find a single dress that was cream enough, long enough, and cheap enough to be what I needed, so four bucks to buy some tea and get a craft in to occupy myself was the perfect solution for me.

Till next time folks!



Tuesday, June 9, 2015

You Choose

Hello fellow internet surfers and blog followers, it's been too long since i poured my emotions into the carefully written sentences on this here blogisphere. It's good to be back regardless of how long I end up staying this time. In the time I've been gone I've lost and learned and loved and hurt, but it's been a journey I'm proud of taking, because after all I've been through, I'm still here.
I had made so many wonderful and great plans to be someone and go somewhere; go on a mission, travel the world, go volunteering. Yet every time I had made those decisions something got in my way of following through. I've gotten more and more upset about my current situation, not feeling like I amount to much next to acquaintances and close friends alike, until I decided to change my circumstance. I started getting out of the house more, whether it was to grocery shop, or walk around the block, or actually be around other people, leaving my house was a good start. I started shifting my perspective on my past and what I'd fought over, realizing that every bad day, road block or ignorant coworker brought me higher.
I made the choice to see the bright side of my trials. And I'm not telling you it came easy. I'm not going to run on giving you any false sense that being happy starts off easy, because it doesn't. Along with my choice to be positive I surrounded myself with positive people, and not jut positive people, but positive people who understood my hurdles. People who have walked through the same swamp with nothing but their flip flops and came out on the other side just like me.
Lots of people come and go in my life and I'm so grateful for what each one has taught me. Sometimes they leave due to some misunderstanding or even something that was genuinely under my control, but regardless of why they leave, it's their choice. I have no control over other people's actions, and to try and convince myself that I do was only making my mood worse if anything. I care a lot about people. If someone hurts, I hurt, especially if I've convinced myself It's my fault. I lose sleep, I can't eat, trying to figure out what I did and how I could have solved the problem.
Here's what I learnt.
Life goes on.
And I mean that in the most cheesy yet genuine fortune cookie way possible. Nobody else has control over what path you choose. Sure some people are extremely influential, but ultimately you can be in control in every circumstance. You choose where to go, who to be and what to do every second of every day. That's the last thing you want to hear when you're in a slum, trust me I get that. But you can't expect to move up if you're constantly looking down.
Sending love and good vibes your way!!
Till next time
xoxo

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Fresh

Hey guuuuuys!!! I'm back!!!
I have been completely off the blogosphere this last year. I'm sure you were all just peachy without me, but I figured I should get on here more, I miss it truth be told!! I have words to say and I much prefer saying them here. And I know I've said it a few times and failed, but I really do want to blog more often. My life seems to become more organized when I take the time to think about its contents and reflect more on what does and doesn't need to be done now and in the future.
2014 was a year with a whole lot of challenges for me, and I'm excited to continue on into a new year. I'm not setting and lofty goals or anything like that, I just want to be a better me. If that means being better at doing laundry, or getting rid of the mounds of clothes I've collected, or knowing when to reach out to those in need, or just getting out of my house more. This year I'm going to be better to myself in any small or large way I can. Simple as that.
I realize it probably means next to nothing to be reading my personal goals for the new year, even I personally hate those posts. But that's exactly why I'm not posting it on any social media site, texting anybody, or anything like that. If you want to read it, it's complete up to you. And it's the same for me. I won't be able to improve myself unless I'm completely motivated to do it. Writing it down is a great first step.
So here goes. Taking my first steps into a new year with new opportunities. And I'm going to embrace as many as I can. Hopefully I'll come here and document some of them for you guys!
Till next time :) here's to a fresh start

Monday, June 9, 2014

OJ

Sometimes, you have expectations for your life. Good expectations. And you go about making choices, so those expectations are met.
But more often than not, you get a couple curve balls along the way. And you can't seem to understand why your plans aren't moving forward.
Life has given you an orange. And you're thinking to yourself, I don't know what to do with this orange, how the heck am I supposed to make lemonade with an orange? What the heck, I'm so mad. Thanks life, you're real swell.
But then through lessons learnt and experience gained you realize that that orange wasn't for lemonade. It was instead meant for a refreshing glass of OJ.
And it isn't until that moment that you can see the OJ was the better option anyways. You had just only learnt about the goodness of lemonade, it's not your fault.

So all in all, don't be discouraged if life doesn't go as planned. Don't stress, have a glass of OJ, and just be thankful. Every thought, experience, happiness, sadness, trial and triumph, happens for a reason. Don't let the moment discourage you from your future. It's brighter than you can tell.

Later all ;)