Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Developing Our Talents: An AH-HA Moment

You know when you have those light bulb AH-HA moments? It doesn't happen to me very often, but when it does, the light bulb really clicks and I feel quite brilliant. A couple weeks ago, my cousin Rosemary wrote a blogpost that resonated with me (reference it here, it's worth reading)! Her point was, it's okay to NOT be good at some things. Now I realize that I am NOT good at A LOT of things! However, I like to at least pretend that I'm good at most things. In her post, she compares and contrasts the things she is not good at with the things she is good at. Her final thought was:
I am going to focus on what I do well and get better at doing those things. I'm not going to try and get better at what I'm not good at in the first place. I am also letting go of all the associated guilt. 
I was inspired after reading. I don't know? It just really hit home for me. I think too often I feel guilty for not being good at something, when in actuality I'm really good at a lot of OTHER things. Fast forward to a couple of weeks later and I was at church in the Gospel Principles class. The lesson was on  "Developing Our Talents." The following are some things we talked about:
  • We all have different talents and abilities
  • We should use and improve our talents
  • We can develop our talents in spite of our weaknesses
  • The Lord will bless us if we use our talents wisely
WE ALL HAVE DIFFERENT TALENTS AND ABILITIES-- We have all been given these different abilities. One thing that was brought out in the lesson is that through these individual talents that we possess we can help others be successful as well. The lesson manual stated:
The prophet Moses was a great leader, but he needed Aaron, his brother, to help as a spokesman (Exodus 4:14-16). Some of us are leaders like Moses or good speakers like Aaron. Some of us can sing well or plan an instrument. Others of us may be good in sports or able to work well with our hands.  Other talents we might have are understanding others, patience, cheerfulness, or the ability to teach others. 
How important is it to recognize our talents and realize that all of us possess different talents. The things that some people are bad at others are really good at. I think so often we compare ourselves to others and how good we are at something, when in reality we should just USE our own talents and be good at what we do.

WE SHOULD USE AND IMPROVE OUR TALENTS-- When we are good at something, I think people are sometimes afraid to use those talents because they don't think they have any talent, or that others have more talent than them, or that they might fail or be criticized for what they are doing, or maybe others will think that they are being arrogant while using these talents. We need to USE and IMPROVE our talents! How do we do this?
  1. Discover our talents.
  2. Be willing to spend time to develop our talents. 
  3. Have faith that Heavenly Father will help us and have faith in ourselves. 
  4. Learn the skills necessary to develop the talent
  5. Practice using our talent. 
  6. Share our talent with others. 
The AH-HA moment came for me when I read that we needed to have faith that Heavenly Father will help us.

It's a fact. I hate sucking. I am a little bit of a perfectionist, okay A LOT of a perfectionist! I don't like to be BAD at things. One time, in college, I had to take a soccer class. I hate soccer. I hate soccer because I am BAD at soccer! The class was required for my minor and so I painstakingly made my way through the class. It turned out to be one of my FAVORITE classes. There were A LOT of people who were bad at soccer, but then there were some people who were GOOD at soccer that helped us make it through the class.

WE CAN DEVELOP OUR TALENTS IN SPITE OF OUR WEAKNESSES-- We all have weaknesses. No one is perfect! Ether 12:27 says,
27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their aweakness. I bgive unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my cgrace is sufficient for all men that dhumble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make eweak things become strong unto them.
Back to the AH-HA moment... having faith that Heavenly Father will help us! He gives us weaknesses so that we may be humble! The best part is if we have faith, then will he make those weak things become strong. What a great promise!

THE LORD WILL BLESS US IF WE USE OUR TALENTS WISELY--  The Lord is pleased when we use our talents wisely. He will bless us if we are using our talents to benefit others and build His kingdom here on earth. What better reason is there to use our talents than receiving the Lord's blessings?

So, here's to hoping I can be better at recognizing, developing, and USING these talents. If we all do this we have the wonderful promise of receiving the Lord's blessings. It's OKAY to be bad at things. Our weaknesses can be another person's strength. If we trust in the Lord and have faith, he will make our weaknesses become strong. What a great promise!

Monday, July 29, 2013

How Do You Wish To Be Remembered?

While I was at home, my cousin Sandra came over to the house, asking questions for the memoir she is writing about her grandma, my great Aunt Elsie. It was quite honestly one of my favorite moments of the summer thus far. We sat outside, Mom and Dad told stories that they remembered involving Aunt Elsie, meanwhile us kids added other stories of our own as we went, reflecting and reminiscing on childhood memories (and trust me there were lots... so many great memories living next door to Uncle Bill and Aunt Elsie). As Sandra asked questions, prompting answers, I reflected on how I thought people might remember me? How would they answer the questions she asked? Would they remember the good stories, the bad stories, the funny memories, the not so funny memories? What experiences would stand out most and what stories would they tell to someone writing my history? Guess I better start being nicer to people! ;) It made me realize the importance of family, interactions with others, and making memories. Not every memory has to be positive or life-changing. Many negative stories teach life lessons. However, what do we do in our lives that leave impressions on people? The experience helped me to reflect on my own life and how I wish to be remembered.

I have a quote on my computer by Jeffrey R. Holland that says,
When the Savior comes, I want to so be caught living the gospel. I want to be caught in the act of spreading the gospel or doing something good, if I can. I want the Savior to say to me, I recognize you not by your title, but by your life, the way you're trying to live, and the standards you're trying to defend. I see the integrity of your heart. I know you've tried to make things better. I know you weren't always successful, but I believe that you honestly tried.
I hope that if I can strive for this and living in this manner and in the process maybe there will be a good story or two about me that I can be remembered by! How do you wish to be remembered by others? What legacy do you want to leave?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Six Lessons Learned

As I continue the process of catching up (5/30, only 25 more to go!), I had the thought that blogging should be more than just a recounting of events that happen in my life. Not that it's a bad thing to remember these experiences but I think there are other things that happen that are worth reflecting on as well. So my hope is that the blog can be more of a reflection of events and experiences rather than a recounting of events. These thoughts came as a result of a series of books I have been reading. The author is LDS. I read the first one a couple of years ago and recently found out that it was a series. As I began to read the series, I quickly became bored with the seemingly similar plot lines and stories. I am an avid reader in the summer. You should see the pile of books that I have read and have yet to read. ANYWAYS! Back to my annoyance. I was annoyed because everything was the same. Every seemingly possible thing that could go wrong did, all of these terrible things happened, and then the people somehow lived happily ever after. However, after finishing the series and reflecting back I noticed that were some similar themes throughout all of them that had a meaningful impact on me. The following were the lessons learned:
  1. The importance of family
  2. God has a plan for each of us
  3. God's Timing-- Time & Place
  4. Genealogy/Record-Keeping (Temple Work/Ordinances)
  5. The Lord will ALWAYS help us if we just ask!  
  6. What we do in this life affect our lives in the future
Lesson #1: The Importance of Family I come from a large family, immediate and extended. I understand the importance of family. Some of my family members are my best friends.  Like a lot of people, I didn't fully appreciate them growing up. My mom always said that after I was done with school, I may not always have my friends but I'd always have your family. As I left for college I realized that I'd much rather be home hanging out with them! Point for Mom. Why is she usually right?The characters in the story were a very tight-knit family. Through their relationships it reaffirmed the importance of the relationships that I have with my immediate and extended family. 

Lesson #2: God Has a Plan for Each of Us I really and truly believe that God does have a plan for each of us. There are obviously many variables along the way that is the beauty of our agency and the Plan of Salvation. But I really believe that he wants what's best for us and with that, there is a plan for each of us individually! 
This scripture reflects my thought with this:
D&C 122:9-  Thy ddays are known, and thy years shall not be-numbered less; therefore, efear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever.
Our days are known, there is a plan for each of us, God will be with us forever and ever. This is a comforting thought. 

Lesson #3: God's Timing-- Time & Place
This next lesson goes hand-in-hand with God having a plan for each of us. God has his own timeline. Obviously this can be very frustrating; especially for those of us who struggle with being patient. However, if we trust in Him and realize that there is a time and a place for everything, good things will come. 

Lesson #4: The Importance of Genealogy/Record-Keeping/Temple Ordinances Throughout the novel, the main characters referenced journals from their ancestors to help learn life lessons and deal with all of the things that were going on in their lives. Without those journals, these characters would have been lost and not received specific guidance that not only helped strengthen their testimonies but also helped them cope and deal with life experiences. How important that we record seemingly mundane experiences as well as powerful experiences in order to help others cope with life's daily trials and experiences. Another theme that was evident throughout the series was genealogy. Without genealogy those who have passed on would not be able to receive the ordinances necessary to return to live with our Father in Heaven. I'm thankful for Temple Ordinances that can connect families and people forever. 

Lesson #5: The Lord will ALWAYS help us, if we will just ask! This has been one of the biggest comforts that I have had since graduating from high school. There are many things that we are faced with throughout our lives (good and bad). Knowing that there is someone who will listen to my concerns, problems, happy times, is extremely comforting and encouraging. I just need to remember to communicate. 

Lesson #6: Everything that we do in this life affects our lives in the future I sometimes have this thought that after this life there is FOREVER and eternity and it hits me, everything that we do in this life is a reflection on how our lives will be in the future. I remember a time in college that I was reading for one of my classes. It was a Mission Prep class and I read something (I don't remember what) but the thought I had after reading had never occurred to me before. After this life on Earth is over we will be in the eternities FOREVER. This feeling of FOREVER was a little bit terrifying at first. I think the terror comes from realizing how EVERYTHING that we do in this life affects our lives in the worlds to come. This is a thought that has continually come back to me. Now, it obviously wouldn't be so terrifying if I would just do all those things I'm supposed to do. The problem for me is that worldliness and life in general creeps in and all of a sudden I am extremely "busy" and unable to get enough done in the day. If I could keep the "forever" aspect in mind, I think it might be easier to do the important things (read, pray, go to the temple) consistently. Gordon B. Hinckley once said, "The cause of most of man's unhappiness is sacrificing what he wants most for what he wants now." I would be wise to remember not to sacrifice what I want most of all for the "busyness" of those things that seem to be important now. The following stories is one of my favorite examples of this concept. In October 2012 General Conference Elder Robert C. Gay gave a talk entitled, "What Shall a Man Give in Exchange for His Soul?" He says,
       The Savior once asked His disciples the following question: “What shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”1

       This is a question that my father taught me to carefully consider years ago. As I was growing up, my parents assigned me chores around the house and paid me an allowance for that work. I often used that money, a little over 50 cents a week, to go to the movies. Back then a movie ticket cost 25 cents for an 11-year-old. This left me with 25 cents to spend on candy bars, which cost 5 cents apiece. A movie with five candy bars! It couldn’t get much better than that.

       All was well until I turned 12. Standing in line one afternoon, I realized that the ticket price for a 12-year-old was 35 cents, and that meant two less candy bars. Not quite prepared to make that sacrifice, I reasoned to myself, “You look the same as you did a week ago.” I then stepped up and asked for the 25-cent ticket. The cashier did not blink, and I bought my regular five candy bars instead of three.

       Elated by my accomplishment, I later rushed home to tell my dad about my big coup. As I poured out the details, he said nothing. When I finished, he simply looked at me and said, “Son, would you sell your soul for a nickel?” His words pierced my 12-year-old heart. It is a lesson I have never forgotten. 
The things that we do in this life affect our lives in the future. Would we sacrifice those good things in the future for something as simple as a nickel, a candy bar, or something we think we want now. He continues his story,
        Years later I found myself asking this same question to a less-active Melchizedek Priesthood holder. He was a wonderful man who loved his family. He, however, had not been to church for many years. He had a talented son who played on an elite travel sports team that practiced and played games on Sunday. That team had won multiple major championships. As we met, I reminded him that, as a priesthood holder, he was promised that if he magnified his oath and covenant, he would receive “all that [our] Father hath.”2 I then asked him, “Is a national championship worth more than all the Father has?” He gently said, “I see your point” and made an appointment to visit with his bishop.
I distinctly remember a situation similar to this in high school. My senior year, I had been invited to play in a volleyball all-star game. This was a great honor. The game, however, would be played on Sunday. My high-school self rationalized that it would be just one Sunday. I had gone to multiple tournaments and games and had never played on Sunday. What would one Sunday matter? I remember begging my mom to let me play. Just the one time. I chose to not play and didn't think much of it. Basketball rolled around, same situation. It crossed my mind, but it was easier to say no. Softball, same thing. I knew I wouldn't be playing. I left, went to college, having been grateful to never have played a game on Sunday, even though I may have wanted to. One day while in college I received this email from my mom, 
I wanted to tell you about Sacrament Meeting on Sunday.  A lady was speaking and recounted this experience with Tracy a couple of weeks ago when they went to a PAL basketball tournament.  Remember I didn't want Tracy to go because I couldn't go and there was only one other member of the church going. Well she assured me one of the chaperones would take them to Church and that it was no problem. I talked to the chaperone and all seemed well,  lots of kids going etc.  Well it ends up they only have 7 kids. So on Sunday they will only have five people playing but Tracy assures me everything will be fine but I have a funny feeling about it.

On Sunday morning at church I get a call from Tracy they are at the church but it is Stake conference and it does not start until 10:00 and it is 9:00 and they are coming to pick them up at 10:00 so I tell her to call them and tell them not to pick them up until 12:00. They got a hold of them but one of the players gets sick or something and can't play like in the first game so they play with four. But the other member of the church already said she was playing in the afternoon game. Then during the first game one of the girls on the team falls and hits her head and has to go to the hospital and they are down to three players.  So when they show back up they want them both to play.

So the lady giving the talk (who was also a chaperone on the trip) says that the adults started saying like Tracy won't play and the lady told them "It's her choice" they weren't mean or anything just maybe amazed or something. Tracy never really talked about it with me other than to say She told them she wouldn't play.
The lady continued her talk explaining that she was not judging anyone who decided to play that day but explained how impressed she was with Tracy who was all alone without her parents or anyone there to tell her what to do who stuck by her decision not to play on Sunday even though the peer pressure from the kids and even the adults was so strong.

One of the reasons that she could be so strong is that you were such a good example as an older sister on keeping the Sabbath day even when it was really hard and it didn't seem like it would be that big of a deal. Anyway you were a good example.

Love ya, Mom 
Now I don't share that story to brag or anything, but what would have happened had I traded what I wanted most then, to just play in that game, for something great in the future? I wouldn't have been an example to my younger siblings. I wouldn't have been an example for myself. Is anything better than all the Father has for us? Is there anything worth doing that is better than receiving all the Father has for us? Even though it may seem like a difficult thing to do at the time, I know that if we will keep in mind that everything we do in this life will have an impact on us in the future and not to sacrifice the things that we want in the future for the things that we think that we might now, that we will be blessed beyond measure. 

Don't sacrifice what you want most for what you want right now because NOTHING is greater or worth more than ALL the Father has!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Dixie Basketball Camp

I.AM.SO.FAR.BEHIND.IT.IS.UNREAL! Really, the entire school year went by without a post. There was a small one explaining that I finished my Master's! But, other than that... I got NOTHING! So... rather than dig into the seemingly insurmountable task that lies ahead in catching up, I figured on starting with the most recent and working my way backward, in an attempt to hopefully be caught up by the end of the summer! Two more months? Hopefully I can do it! :) I'm giving you advanced warning now: I apologize for the excessive posts!

One of my favorite parts of coaching in the summer is the trip to St. George for the Dixie State basketball camp. This was our third year going! We have a great time and you get to play a LOT of basketball games! We started off the trip real excited! :) With a 7 am departure time we hit the road. And then we got to the Benjamin exit to pick up Sienna and the suburban broke down! After a minor delay, we got a school van and were on our way! 

 Snapchat was in full force throughout the week! Our fun car full of people! :)
We got to the hotel and checked in! Coaches had a meeting and we were off to start the week of games! We played A LOT of games throughout the week! Sophomore and JV were undefeated throughout the pool play part of it! We didn't have many close games! But we LOVE winning :) So that part was fun! Plus, we made our own fun throughout the games. Things like: singing the persons name who you were subbing for; watching other teams coaches freak out (i.e. the Bulldogs); playfully mocking other coaches words; the list could go on! :)

Funny quotes of the week:  (all of which are probably "you had to be there moments!" but I feel as though I need to document them!)

Bulldogs coach: "Why did you do that?"
Bulldogs player: **Rolls eyes and ignores coach.**
Bulldogs coach: "Oh, so that's how it's gonna be? You're done!"

"You're done!" became the phrase of the week! :)

Lyndsie Jordan had her own book of funny quotes:

Jill: (yelling) WHO HAD HELP?
Lyndsie: I yelled it, but I didn't have it!

Jill: (telling them which play to run) Utah!
Lyndsie: (after running the play and scoring) Hey! It actually worked!

Holli: "That's my goal, make Lydia cry!"
Lyndsie: "Push her in the pool with her phone and iPod and then she'll cry."

These next quotes were not so much funny as they were appalling! We couldn't believe she actually said them to her players!

Bulldogs coach:
- Come on B**** we have a game to play!
- Come on chubby wubby! I love Nay Nay but she's too fat for her own life.
- Pam, will you work? Come on Pam. Go Pam.
- Buckets!

The Bulldogs teams were our own form of entertainment! :)
Beating them was even more entertaining! :)

We also enjoyed watching the NBA finals throughout the week! There were some great games! The night of Game 7 we had a dinner reservation at 8:00 pm! We went shopping before, and most of us holed up in Dick's Sporting Goods Hunting Department to watch the game! We borrowed chairs from them and all! :)
After dinner, we made it back to the hotel in time for the 4th quarter. We split up by room (Heat vs. Spurs)! This was the good room! :) 
The week was spent eating breakfast at the hotel, heading off to games, meeting up for lunch at Dixie State College, playing more games, and then meeting up for dinner. Break times were spent at the pool, making runs to Swig, and doing a little shopping. Most of our time was spent in the gym, which was a good thing because it was SO hot! 
Sure love these seniors (a couple are missing)! It is always a little bitter-sweet as you start Dixie because the old group of seniors is gone and a new group has come! I will miss the old group, but sure do love the new group and am excited for the upcoming year!
The sophomore and JV teams were undefeated entering the tournament. Sophomore team got a #1 seed, JV got a #2 seed. Both teams had first round byes. First-round byes are the BANE of my existence! For the past three years, we've gone undefeated and then receive the first round bye and get knocked out next round. This year was no different. First round bye, out in the next round! The annoying thing about this year was that the team we lost to , we beat by 30 when we played them earlier in the week. Three really good players magically appeared for the tournament, and there we went in the first round for the third year in a row. Yes, I'm still bitter about it! And yes, Holli, I still blame you! ;)
We headed over to the JV games. They had a couple of close ones, ended up beating BOTH Bulldogs teams, and won the championship! :) It was an extremely successful week at camp!
On the way home, we stopped in Cedar to eat lunch. Nancy was playing in the Summer Games, so we took the girls over to watch her play. She had quite the cheering section and played great! It was an excellent way to cap off our trip!
So thankful for the opportunities that coaching brings me. So many great friendships and memories have been made over the years and for that I am so grateful!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Since Nancy left to go to Lone Peak, we decided we needed to get together over the summer since we wouldn't be seeing each other as much! :) We planned a day to the Zoo with Mandi! I don't love the Zoo unless there are little kids who actually enjoy it! :)

Charli and Peyton are my favorite! I am going to miss seeing them all the time!
 We enjoyed our adventures looking at all the animals.
 Most of the exhibits were "under construction" so that was disappointing! The grizzly bears put on a good show for us!
 The giraffes are probably my favorite! Those and the elephants!
 All of us! :)
 Two of my favorite people! :) Watching Savannah and the girls on the Merry-Go-Round!
 Swinging as we're walking! :)
 We had a great time hanging out! :) The weather was great. Not too hot!
 Afterward we headed to Olive Garden to eat dinner!
 Charli really enjoyed her broccoli!
It was such a fun day! I really am still heartbroken that I won't get to see these guys as often as I have! Still glad we can get together and have a great time! And that I'm still Charli's favorite! :)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend Wyoming Trip

Aunt Janene mentioned that she wanted to go to Wyoming for Memorial Day. She was going to leave on Friday. Graduation for us was on Thursday. I just needed to take care of a couple of things and I would be able to go! Thankful it all worked out because we had a great time! I love being able to spend time with family.

Aunt Janene got pulled over for speeding! Luckily, she just got a warning! :) 
 Once we got to Lovell, we headed to watch Chevelle play some 3-on-3 basketball!
 We had a lovely tea-party that night! :)
 The next morning we headed to Billings to do some shopping and watch Brandon's football game.
 He plays semi-professional football for the Billings Bullets. This guy on the sidelines killed me! Neon orange hat, jacket, shorts, iced knee, and cowboy boots.
Some of the cheering section!
 We drove by the Billings Temple.
 Two incredibly cute kids! We had a blast playing with them! They kept us entertained for days!
Just missing a few of the first-cousins! :)
It was a super quick trip! But we had a blast! Family is the best!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

SHS Graduation 2013

I wouldn't normally make a separate post about graduation. But it was a sad year for me. I said goodbye to A LOT of my favorite people! I was extremely close with this group of seniors. I was with them for all four years and they definitely have a special place in my heart. Extremely sad they are leaving, but excited for them and their futures! Also sad that I had to say goodbye to Nancy. She is the reason that I am at Springville today. Without the opportunity she gave me to coach with her, I would not be where I am now. I am so thankful for our friendship and for the chances I've had to get to know her better over the years. I am extremely sad she is leaving but happy for her family. It will be sad to see them all go, but I am so thankful for the friendships and memories that I have with each of them! Some pictures with some of my favorite people!

Savannah snapchatting us during graduation! :) 

 Some of my favorite teachers at Springville! Nancy will definitely be missed!
 The "Forever Freshmen"! :) Love you guys!
 Forever Freshmen and SydB! Some of my favorite softball girls!
 So glad these two moved to Springville and that I had the chance to coach them!
 The basketball team!
 Camille is the best! :)
And last but not least, one of my favorite people! The past six years have been amazing! Some incredible memories! Some that I will surely never forget! So thankful for our friendship!
I used this quote last year around graduation time, but I feel like it's definitely appropriate for this year as well!
“There is a universal truth we all have to face whether we want to or not-- everything eventually ends. I’ve always disliked endings. The last day of summer, the final chapter of a great book, parting ways with a close friend; but endings are inevitable. Leaves fall, we close the book, you say goodbye. But just because things come to an end there are some people who are so much a part of us they’ll be with us no matter what. They are our solid ground, our north star, and the small clear voices in our hearts that will be with us... always.”
I also dislike endings, but I do believe that these people will be there no matter what! So thankful for their friendships!