Friday, February 25, 2011

The Parable of the Burnt Garlic Bread

Let me start out by saying I don't necessarily have a testimony that "men are that they might have joy." Let me rephrase that. Clearly it is scripture, and therefore without a shadow of a doubt true, but whenever I read that particular passage I think I inadvertently read "other men are that they might have joy." For whatever reason, the principles of the scripture have always seemed to allude my grasp. Now, before you get all freaked out and call a suicide hotline or anything, don't worry, I'm definitely not depressed or emo in anyway. However, I think my life can be likened unto a piece of garlic bread.
When I was home this last Christmas, there was a loaf of garlic bread in the freezer. I love garlic bread. I was looking forward to eating it all break. When the big day came to finally eat it, it was unfortunately burnt in the oven. Some of it was salvageable, but I'm not going to lie, I was pretty disappointed. And thus is my life. Now don't get me wrong, I have plenty of fabulous blessing and tons of wonderful things that have happened to me. I mean heck, I still was able to eat some good garlic bread, but things just never seem to happen just right the first time. Sure, I imagine someday (hopefully) I'll graduate from PT school. Just not the first time around. At first it seemed like I got a fabulous job right when I moved out to Palo Alto, but then I happened to be the victim of some budget cuts a few months later. Or right after I got laid off and found the most perfect job opening EVER, and even though they loved me and really really wanted to hire me, went with someone else instead. And don't even let me get started on never getting asked out on a date ever, despite the reassurances of "don't worry, Prince Charming is out there somewhere!" (doubtful), or on the whole family issue. Despite all of these catastrophes however, there are delicious pieces of garlic bread that I have been blessed with. (You can see my previous "Grateful Tree" posts for a few of these fantastic examples).
So, the purpose of this blog, despite all appearances, was not to just whine and complain. The purpose was really for me to call myself to repentance. I read a really great article yesterday from Forbes magazine about Clayton Christensen, a Harvard Business professor and wonderful member of the church in Boston. This past year has also been kind of a rough one for him. Just one piece of background information: when he was a lot younger, like 30 years ago, he was diagnosed with Diabetes. So fast forward to 2009. Within the span of one year, this faithful brother had a heart attack, was diagnosed with cancer, and then suffered a stroke. And this is a man who leads a very healthy lifestyle, there was no reason he really should have suffered any of these things. And yet, despite all of the bad things that he has gone through, he still has a wonderful attitude and his testimony of the gospel grows stronger. So what right do I have to complain? Who cares if I get burnt garlic bread? There is still a lot of good bread that goes with it.
So I have decided that my daily morning studies are going to focus on joy. I'm going to read all the scriptures and talks that I can about joy until I do gain a testimony that "men are that the might have joy," and that I am actually a part of that scripture too, not just everyone else.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Grateful Tree Episode 4

1. I am grateful for birds. The cute little ones that have sing-song voices.

2. I am grateful for scones. And a lovely cup of herbal tea to go with them on a cold morning. Best. Breakfast. Ever.

3. I am grateful for opera. Don't judge. It makes me happy :) I'm also grateful that I get to see Turandot tonight, which is the last opera I have left on my opera bucket list!

4. I am grateful for Italian.

5. I am grateful for the new online journal/study notebook I discovered on For some reason I've become obsessed with it, it makes my daily scripture study so much more fun.

6. I am grateful for the book Jesus the Christ. I'm starting to read it again, since I have the time, and I love it. It always helps to strengthen my testimony of the Savior and all that He has done for us.

7. I am so grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and that because of what He suffered, we can return to live with Him and our Heavenly Father again. I am grateful that the Atonement can heal us, can cleanse us, and can make right all that is wrong or unfair in our lives. Christ is literally the Prince of Peace and only through Him can we find salvation, peace and all the happiness there is to be had.

8. I am grateful for board games and for friends who also like board games.

9. I am grateful for my mommy, who is always there to chat with, even when I don't need anything special.

10. I am grateful that I was able to go to the dentist before my insurance coverage ended, and that I didn't have any cavities! Unfortunately, I still have to go in for 2 fillings, since the new dentist didn't like the way the old dentist did them, and I suppose I should be grateful for that because it will prevent future cavities....

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Grateful Tree Episode 3

1. I am so grateful for the Oakland Temple! It is such a special place and I am so grateful for the peace and happiness I feel when I go there. It is literally the house of God!

2. I am grateful for all of the really really really old people that go to the temple, because they are ADORABLE!!! And it shows their love and devotion to the Lord that even when they are so old they can hardly move more than a little shuffle at a time, they are still so overjoyed to be at the temple.

3. I am grateful for flowers. Especially the great variety of flowers that exist on the earth, in all of their shapes and colors.

4. I am grateful for all food that is not grapefruit jelly.

5. I am grateful for the job interview that I had this week and that it went really well!

6. I am grateful that I found a fun book in my bookshelf that I had bought a year ago and had never gotten around to reading, and now I actually have time to dive into it!

7. I am grateful for fun letters/packages that arrive in the mail! :)

8. I am grateful I got my taxes done.

9. I am grateful for the random airport worker in Texas that picked up my hitchhiking brother and didn't kill him.

10. I am grateful for Mario Kart.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Grateful Tree Episode 2

1. Once again I am grateful for President Eyring and a fantastic talk that he gave. This one is from last General Conference and is called Serve with the Spirit. There is one part in particular where he shares a great story about when his dad was in the hospital and President Kimball, who was then the prophet, came to visit him. It was a fabulous story and if you haven't read it I'm not going to tell you what happens so that you are forced to read it for yourself ;) I also decided to experiment and tried the same thing this week with a few co-workers, and had some wonderful, sweet spiritual experiences.

2. Which brings me to #2, because I am SO SO SO grateful for the gift of the Holy Ghost in my life. (For those of you not familiar with what this is, here is a link that will explain what the Gift of the Holy Ghost is: Bible Dictionary--Holy Ghost). I am so grateful for the peace and comfort that comes from the Holy Ghost. I am grateful for it's guidance in my life. It is honestly the best gift that my Father in Heaven has given me!

3. I am grateful for my brother Taylor and all of the amazingly wonderful things he is doing with his life right now! He literally is one of my biggest heroes!

4. I am grateful for my wonderful home and visiting teachers who all responded immediately as soon as they heard I lost my job. They are so amazing and I'm so grateful for how willing they are to help with anything!

5. I am also so grateful for all of my wonderful friends, no matter what part of the country (or world) that they might be in right now.

6. I am grateful for gelato, especially the mixture of bacio and pistachio. Yuuuuummmmm!!

7. I am grateful for the latest Chuck episode, and that the evil Russian mafia bad guy was finally taken care of and that Casey was in fact not killed by suffocation or Morgan killed by deadly lasers and I am very very happy that Chuck and Sarah are FINALLY officially engaged! And I am grateful for Jeffster and all of their amazing awkwardness....oh Jeffster...

8. I am grateful for the sun, and how happy it makes me feel. I am especially grateful for how vibrant all the colors are under the sun, like how green the grass is, or how blue the sky is.

9. I am grateful for the BEAUTIFUL sunrise I got to see twice on my drive to work this last week. It almost made getting up at 5:30am work it!

10. I am so extremely grateful for the knowledge that I have that God is in charge, and that even when I can't see His big plan, I know that He has one and that he will take care of me and keep me in His hands through all of my trials. I'm so grateful that I know with every single fiber of my being that I am a child of God and that He knows me personally and loves me so very much!