Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Can you keep a secret?

I just figured out what I want to do with the next 2 years of my life. :) My 5 year plan just got totally spun on its head as well...

I love those moments when disparate things you've been looking at/thinking about for years suddenly come together and you see a bigger picture (Huh! This post coincides nicely with the spiritual vision I was talking about from the last post).

I'll keep you posted...

... PS Here's some more random pretty things I've found that I've never had a moment to post. Might as well throw them down today. If you can see a unifying principle within these disparate beauties, then you are a genius!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Willing to give up... what?

This devotional was a gold mine of ah-ha! moments for me this week. Watch, and then we'll talk:

My family and I have had countless discussions about the "Abrahamic trials" in our lives, meaning the trials wherein we suspect Heavenly Father wants us to put things we love dearly, things we hope for fervently, or things we are addicted to, symbolically on the altar and just... let them go. Just like Abraham did with Isaac. It is a lot easier for us to understand Abraham's experience when it's our own careers, our pride, or sometimes even our hope for our future families that we're being asked to sacrifice. Rough stuff. Refreshingly, Heavenly Father was very clear how that story ended for Abraham. One word: Blessings! And so it will be for us. But, as Brother Moody reminds us, they often aren't the blessings we hope for, or dream of, or want... but we do know that with those blessings that Heavenly Father sees fit to send us, we will be exalted.

Lately I keep thinking about the value of having spiritual vision (they mention it in general conference in this talk and this talk). If you find yourself unable to deal with the sight of things you hope for seemingly being taken from you, just try, TRY to keep in mind a vision of your marvelous eventual exaltation. Being with a glorious God who loves you, and a family who loves you, and your own spirit, at peace, forever.

Brother Moody reintroduced me to the story of Gideon's army, which I thought makes a fantastic "Part 2" to the story of Abraham and Isaac. Abraham wanted kids, but was asked to kill his only son. Gideon wanted to live, to see the glory of a triumphant Israel, but was asked to GET RID of his army, in order that that Lord might fight his battles for him. What an incredible amount of faith it must have taken for Gideon to do so, to be game when the Lord asked him to send away his men and to trust in the mental vision of the army of angels that the Lord planned to employ in Israel's defense.

I read a blog post from Harvard Business Review this week that asked, "What are you willing to ignore in exchange for success?" We all have lists of things we are willing to work on in order to achieve our goals, but it's equally important to conceptualize what we are willing to forgo for those same goals. The things that distract and dilute us-- they must be identified, and we must prepare to turn away from them.

Despite the somber tone of this post, my life has been pretty ok lately. Therein lies my special challenge. In times of self-sufficiency, I feel Heavenly Father asks me to put my ability to focus on the altar for him. I feel the prompting to buckle down and read my scriptures, to pray fervently with real intent for others (even if I don't feel much need to pray for things in my own life). I'm grateful for little reminders over the last two weeks to forgo and forget the little distractions, like tv and facebook, that creep in during these times of complacency. I am reminded that these little bad habits wreck what might otherwise be an important time of rest, learning, service, and preparation for me.

I have been counselling with a lot of friends lately who are in transition: quitting jobs, moving states, breaking up, having babies, etc. These things are hard, and it can be equally hard the day after they are all over, to drum up a vision of what will come next, to manufacture an understanding of how you are going to be better today than you were during comfortable, convenient yesterday. I'm writing from my current place of relative peace and stability to those in transition to say, "Wait for it!" I'm cheering for you! And, this too shall pass.

Even if I don't know who you are, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ do. Talk to them. They can lighten your burden and broaden your vision. Good things await. Safety, joy, peace, and prosperity have been ordered. Just gotta run the rest of the race first, one step at a time, like we all are.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

When Cobb and I play #SpottheShuttle, we play to WIN!

For the West Coast friends that are soooo behind the times (jk. I only heard about this yesterday), the space shuttle Discovery was piggy-back strapped to a NASA jet this morning and flown from Texas to Virginia, where it would retire at the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum, located out by Dulles Airport (about 40 minutes from downtown DC).

This morning the whole town was abuzz with shuttle sightings.

I asked Cobb's parents to let him play hooky from baby art class,and away we went, to witness the final nail in the coffin of every kid's astronaut dreams as it soared beautifully through the morning sky.

The plane was to make four passes over the DC area, to the delight of all those poor sad office-bound creatures down there. Meanwhile, Cobb and I raced the Rover down the VA-28 highway until we couldn't go any further through the traffic. We pulled over and climbed a hill covered with spectators and wanna-be cameramen, pulled out our own camera, and sat and wait. Here's the fruit of that labor:

Where is this space ship you speak of?

I lova dis face. Note the bomber jacket. Very fitting for today.

There it is! It flew rather slowly. Like, I thought it was going to fall out of the sky it was going to slow.

Discovery's final piggy-back ride. First booster engines then jet planes, that space shuttle sure is a lazy little space plane.

And he has a little minion plane accompanying his every turn. Bye bye shuttle. Go be historic now.

Best part of the day: I decided to beat the toll roads home by looping up through the Dulles airport, and we drove through the airport RIGHT when it was touching down after its final pass!!!!!!!!!!! I have superb timing!

Shuttle! This is the Arrival Gate! Oh, I guess you're allowed to be here today....
And that's my story. Thanks for playing.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Dear Pretend Diary That's Actually Not Even Close To Private,

Feeling a little low tonight, and guess what I did with that feeling?

I deleted numbers out of my phone! One of modern life's most poetic and purposeful, though simplistic, acts. The following is my paean to this evening's act of daring: my drawing (or rather, erasing) of certain people's lines in my sand... phone.

I rarely delete numbers. Ok, a few times out of rage, but I honestly can count those on one hand, and still have fingers left over. The majority of my scant deletions actually stem from sheer undiluted disinterest. I know we will never see one another again, you served a purpose in my life at one point in time and I in yours, and that time has passed. The only way we will meet again is if we randomly move into the same family ward in 30 years. No, strike that-in the past, the quickest way to come off my phone is if your name is just one letter in the alphabet ahead of a person whose number I ACTUALLY dial frequently. YOU, Jess-B-Not-Jess-Clayton, must be booted out so I can get to my bestie faster. Sorry.

The result of this lax attitude towards deleting numbers means that I have (correction- I HAD!) a few former fellas and friends in my little phone for whom I bear no ill will, but tonight... they are gone. Snip snip snip. That's the sound of my last electronic string to them being cut (unless we're fb friends. Which reminds me, my list needs a good pruning...).

Ahem. Good-bye former flames. I remember the good times, and hopefully learned from the bad. Hope you and your wives and kids, or you and your Master's degrees, are doing well :)

Good-bye old work contacts. None of us work at the bakery any more, let's be honest: that was kind of a he**hole. We've made it through and we're on to bigger and better things! Viann, you were super cool. Go become a doctor now.

Not even sure who that person was/is, that was back in the day when I didn't enter people's last names in my phone... oh the follies of youth.

And there you have it. A clean break with the past. All is right in the world. Feeling great.

And do you know what else feels great? Let me tell you a story. During finals last semester I received a voicemail from an unknown number. The voice was male, roughly my age. He greeted me by name and then proceeded (rather nervously) to tell me that he had had a great time with me and was wondering if he could take me out for hot chocolate or... dinner or something... soon. Mind you, I hadn't a CLUE who this man (he identified himself as Nick at some point in the VM) was; his number most certainly did not occupy one of the coveted semi-permanent slots in the LC Address Book. Nevertheless, I was intrigued. I listened to the message again, giggling at his very clear smitten-ness with this "Lindsey"--my alter ego?-- and then I heard it: something about taking me to dinner at a restaurant in Provo. And in a second, it clicked. NICK. I had climbed Y mountain with him during homecoming at BYU in 2008. He was a stranger, a friend of a friend, who just happened to be in the Santa B parking lot when Jess Clayton and I were setting out on a girl date to the Y, which we were all too happy to turn into a boy date. The evening was very memorable (but that's a story for a more private diary...). And apparently I had given him my number. And four years later, he still had it in his phone, and in his nervousness at calling and getting a second date with some other charming Lindsey, he had dialed me.

Young and innocent and on top of the world!
Aka Y Mountain.
I take it as a high compliment that I was still in his phone :) Maybe he's a slow deleter like I am. I can't remember if I called him back or not. I think I texted him to alert him of his mistake. Didn't want to embarrass him too much or let him think this other Lindsey didn't have a good time with him, too! I hope he marries that Lindsey. I hope that, one quiet evening, just before he realizes she's the one, he finally gets sick of scrolling past this OTHER Lindsey's name to get to his sweetheart's name. Hopefully I get deleted at that moment. That's ok by me. It makes for a great story.