Well, it’s now officially December, so it’s time for Christmas music, lights, trees (I LOVE Christmas trees), treats, and most importantly, Christ. Below is a wonderful Christmas video about Christ’s birth that is short, sweet, and to the point.
To be honest, I really don’t care if you read this post or not… it’s more for me and a way of listing all the amazing things I have to be grateful for. If this inspires you to think of all your blessings, then I think it’s a success and if you can’t think of any blessings… well… think harder :).
100 Things I’m Thankful For:
My relationship with Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost
My super-duper hard working dad, and the BEST momma in the whole world!
Having seven amazing, hilarious, unique, and awesome siblings
Having siblings that will be my actors in home videos
Growing up where there was always a younger sibling that was a baby… so much fun!
Trick-or-treating with the siblings (I love Halloween, remember 🙂 )
Our old home where I grew up, plus driving through our old neighborhood and reminiscing
Our new home where I’m still growing up
Living in a cul-de-sac at home
Brigham Young University-Idaho, my home for half the year
Two professors in particular, Brother Orchard and Brother Williams
Learning to walk on icy sidewalks and streets
Playing the piano by ear and figuring out arrangements of songs I like
Doing gymnastics for five years
Having the opportunity to coach gymnastics for three years
Earning a leotard for free because I knew the most about current gymnasts (back in the day)
Potatoes with cheddar cheese
Movies that are inspiring (Narnia films, Chariots of Fire, etc.)
That I actually enjoyed taking the ACT test three times (and improved my score each time)
That I was homeschooled
Because I was homeschooled I had more time to play outside, and read a TON
Being curled up in one of our blue chairs reading a book
Re-arranging furniture… I LOVE re-arranging furniture (although dad doesn’t like it, whoops!)
The experience of being a cashier at a restaurant (I’m thankful that it’s over)
My job at the library
Getting to do fun projects for college
Writing for fun!
Facebook (yes, I’m thankful for Facebook)
When I understand my schoolwork (specifically American Epidemic stuff, which I ended up loving!)
Experiences that taught me empathy
When I’m able to do small acts of service
That I was able to shake President Clark’s hand and tell him how much I love BYU-Idaho (he said he did too, haha, I hope so!)
Cheesy Christmas movies (think anything on Netflix)
Watching movies with dad that I didn’t appreciate as being good until I was older (Chariots of Fire, Man from Snowy River, etc.)
Finishing homework assignments early
Arriving at college after flying and driving all day
Seeing the temple from anywhere on campus
Petroleum Jelly (way better than Chap Stick)
When my older brother sings
Seeing my siblings as I walk out of the airport terminal after arriving home from a semester
Having uncontrollable laughing fits with Diana, or Kaleb, or anybody
Having a younger brother that won’t get mad at me when I get mad at him for waking me up
Having a younger sister who would act out scenes from movies with me and wasn’t afraid to be dramatic
Having another younger brother who was able to fight some super difficult issues from a young age and is super strong
Allie, the angel… as well as the one that I suggested her name and mom and dad chose it!
Spending the night in the hospital with momma after she had Allie
Streams… of water… but not the crying kind, the kind that is in our backyard
The Atonement (check out lds.org, or Mormon.org)
Sleepovers with friends when I was a kid
Miracles (there is so much to say about miracles this semester, I’ll have to dedicate another post to it later)
Hot single men, emphasis on the men, at BYU-Idaho
New apartment (with re-arranged furniture)
Being able to walk everywhere
That I love my major
That I appreciate weather in the 200’s after it being way down in the negatives
The BYU-Idaho Center
The employees at BYU-Idaho who all nicely answer the million questions I have
One teacher in particular who told me I was a good girl
Teachers who appreciate when I finish homework assignments early
The best bishops…. All of mine have been absolutely incredible, and kind, and understanding, and sweet, and more….
The Foundations courses and how they expand the way that I think about different things and parts of the world
Loving to drive
The Road to Avonlea series
Having siblings that will watch movies with me
The book, “Men are from Mars, Woman are from Venus” (SO good, and helpful!)
Being able to take a CIT database class
Learning new programs
When it is not windy at BYU-Idaho (I think any BYU-Idaho student would agree)
Visiting Grandma and Grandpa Dickerson at their two cozy houses
Grandpa Dickerson (don’t tell anyone, but he is my favorite grandparent)
Being able to understand math a bit better
Classes that get canceled
Having the best roommates ever!!!!
Deep religious conversations with my younger siblings (they are so incredibly righteous and smart)
Conversations with good guys/men
Random people who come up with hilarious videos to watch when I’m tired
Our military men and woman
People that believe in me
The ability to learn and get an education
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Prayer… it works!!!!
That Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love me… and you too!!!!
I love this scripture from The Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 9:6. It says, “But the Lord knoweth all things from the beginning; wherefore, he prepareth a way to accomplish all his works among the children of men; for behold, he hath all power unto the fulfilling of all his words. And thus it is. Amen.”
It’s so neat how much Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are willing to help us if we are willing to ask them for help. Also, when we follow specific commandments, we receive specific blessings from following those commandments and God has promised that if we choose to follow the commandments, and follow what He directs us, He is bound to keep His promise(s) (D&C 82:10).
Sometimes it is hard to be doing what I’m supposed to be doing and keeping the commandments, and to then not see the promised blessings or answers to the questions I have right then. God does promise that He will fulfill His promises, but it is in His own way and time, which can be really frustrating sometimes.
However, I have definitely seen God answer my prayers and the questions that I have (and I have a lot of questions!). Sometimes the answer may be to wait so that things can work out the best later, which would be hard to understand if we can’t see the end from the beginning. We just have to trust that God does see it all and knows what will best help us and help us to grow both now and in the future.
There’s definitely something really special about knowing that we can trust God and that if we ask Him, He will help us and will really answer our prayers. I mean, we have a connection with a god!!!! Who wouldn’t want to be close to our Heavenly Father and older brother, Jesus Christ? It’s so incredible that we are part of such an awesome family and that we can go back and live with them some day if we keep the commandments and do what they ask us to do.
It is so mind-blowing to have that knowledge and the knowledge that they do care about each of us individually and they want us to live righteously and to use our agency to choose them so that we can go back and live with them some day. That is so incredible! We have the opportunity and potential to become like them by following what they teach and command and by following the living prophets and apostles today.
Gosh, we are lucky.
Here’s a great video about trusting in God and in His will.
This week I have been kind of stressed about the future and how everything is going to work out. At BYU-Idaho there is so much pressure to be a good student, get married quick, make a difference in the world once you leave, etc. Seriously, I can only handle one thing at a time, which is, right now, working on being a good student. Of course, I plan on marriage and a family, but whether you like it or not, you can’t just make someone marry you, getting a degree sometimes takes longer than four years, classes can be really, really hard, and maybe you’re not as smart as you think. However, thinking positively, there is hope. It is possible to get an education, be smart, get married, and succeed in the world. It just doesn’t seem to be happening all that quickly for me.
I know there is hope because I’ve seen all of this happening to other people around me all the time. In fact, everyone around me seems to have all of this stuff happening… which is lessening my chances to find a man (in terms of marriage). 🙂
Okay, I just need to chill out. I know that things will work out. In fact, the last two days I’ve been unusually excited for the future, even though I really don’t know how everything is going to work out. It all goes back to faith and trust. Seriously (which is one of my favorite words), it will all work out, God has a plan, and I’ve just got to keeping having faith and trusting in His timing.
Below is a great video that has to do with having hope for a bright future.
I am currently taking a Family Foundations class (which is the reason I created this blog), in which various topics are discussed such as marriage, families, and children. Something that we discussed as part of my class this week was marriage and the sacred topic of marital intimacy. In the world we live in today anything related to intimacy is looked upon as casual and without any real meaning or responsibility for those involved.
There was a General Conference address given by Elder David A. Bednar, “We Believe in Being Chaste,” where he stated,
“Our Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son are creators and have entrusted each of us with a portion of Their creative power. Specific guidelines for the proper use of the ability to create life are vital elements in the Father’s plan. How we feel about and use that supernal power will determine in large measure our happiness in mortality and our destiny in eternity….
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a single, undeviating standard of sexual morality: intimate relations are proper only between a man and a woman in the marriage relationship prescribed in God’s plan. Such relations are not merely a curiosity to be explored, an appetite to be satisfied, or a type of recreation or entertainment to be pursued selfishly. They are not a conquest to be achieved or simply an act to be performed. Rather, they are in mortality one of the ultimate expressions of our divine nature and potential and a way of strengthening emotional and spiritual bonds between husband and wife. We are agents blessed with moral agency and are defined by our divine heritage as children of God-and not by sexual behaviors, contemporary attitudes, or secular philosophies.
…the Lord’s truth is not altered by fads, popularity, or public opinion polls.”
Wow. When I read this I thought, “Dang, Elder Bednar hit the topic right on!” Honestly, I don’t know what else to add. It really doesn’t matter what the world’s standard is on morality, we will each be responsible for how we use this power as individuals. Below is a great video I found that has to deal with youth who have chosen to be sexually pure.
Sheesh, I am tired. I guess that accurately describes the life of a college student. Seriously, the best thing that I can think of right now is a good solid 12 hours of sleep. I love to sleep. I love to eat junk food (but I’m working on eating healthier, kind of). I love to create video projects on iMovie or other video programs. I love college!!!! By the way, I recently realized, and told my momma, that when I am really serious or excited about something, I use four exclamation points!!!! If I’m feeling so-so about something, but want to pretend like I’m excited, then I’ll use one! I think that two!! Or three!!! Looks really weird, so it’s one, or four, or none. Below are some things that make me excited.
*Please note that if you were to ask me about the things written below, I would probably get excited (as long as I got enough sleep the night before) and you’d be able to hear the four exclamation points in my voice :).
Things that make me feel excited!!!!
Attending Brigham Young University-Idaho
Gymnastics (cartwheels, front and back walkovers, the splits, trampolines)
Creating home movies and editing video projects
Getting in bed knowing I don’t have to wake up at any particular time the next day
Coming home from a semester of college, walking through the airport, and seeing my siblings for the first time in three months
When other people are happy and excited about something
When someone gives me a compliment
When I watch an exciting or inspiring movie. Examples below:
The Chronicles of Narnia—all three (I think these have got to be the best movies ever made. The story is incredible, the music is absolutely awesome, the special effects are very well-done, the acting is great, etc.)
Chariots of Fire (dad used to make us watch this with him because it was one of his favorite movies and I thought it was so boring, but now I absolutely love it!!!!)
Pride and Predjudice—the one with Kiara Knightley (this is totally a chick flick, but isn’t dumb, stupid and pointless. It has incredible cinematography, music, the locations are beautiful, the acting is great, and the story is romantic without being over-the-top)
Outlaw Trail (speaking of dumb, cheesy movies, this has got to be one of them, but my siblings and I watched this on a night when we must have been really tired and we couldn’t stop laughing. Hence, it is one of my favorite, low-budget, but hilarious movies)
Ramona and Beezus (another cheesy, but hilarious movie. I love watching this one with my younger sisters)
Remember the Titans (does anything else need to be said? :))
Little Woman (with Susan Sarandon)
Pocahontas (my favorite movie from my childhood, I’m still in love with the animated John Smith 😉
Guns of Navarone (this is an older movie with Gregory Peck and David Niven, it is such an incredible action-packed movie with a great plot)
Rigoletto (this is the one made by Feature Films for Families and although really cheesy in some parts, the overall message and especially the music make this a great movie (if you can ignore the cheese))
Sarah, Plain and Tall (another one that we used to watch a ton when I was a kid, probably because this, along with some of my other favorite movies, were the only ones that the library/Hollywood movies had. This movie stars Glenn Close)
Christmas Eve (luckily Santa lets me help wrap presents for everyone in the family, so Santa gets sleep the night before Christmas, and I get the excitement of getting everything wrapped and set up. This is so, so, so fun and exciting and is one of my favorite things about Christmas)
July 4th, during our traditional family dinner and the never-ending fireworks going off during dinner, which leads us kids to jumping up and looking out every window that we think the fireworks are coming from, which leads dad to tell us to come back and finish eating, which lasts about 10 seconds until we hear more fireworks and jump up again. This happens literally every single year. Maybe we should just skip dinner on July 4th so we can watch the fireworks uninterrupted. Who needs food when you have fireworks to watch?
Halloween—when I’m at home. Taking the younger kids treat-or-treating is so exciting and since I start walking really fast when I’m excited (as do my siblings), there was one year when we went trick-or-treating and, because of speed-walking/running from house to house because we were so excited, my older sister tripped while holding my younger brother and she got a bloody toe and my little brother got a gash on his forehead. Interestingly enough, the next day, another one of my younger brothers slammed into a tree and cut his nose pretty badly. Mom and dad weren’t that happy with us that year and said that from now on we had to walk when going from house to house. At least they didn’t ban us from trick-or-treating J.
I can’t wait until I have my own kids and I can dress them up and take them trick-or-treating. I’m pretty sure I’ll be way more excited about the whole thing then they will, plus when they’re really little I’ll probably eat all their candy, but hey, that’s one of the perks of being a parent, right? 🙂
So, yeah. There are a lot of things to be excited about in life, you’ve just got to figure out what they are and go for them!!!! (Yes, that’s four exclamation points)