Tuesday, January 29, 2008

My tribute to the prophet

I would have posted this yesterday but I fell asleep at 7:30pm.  I'm always super exhausted when I start a new semester.

Religion isn't something often talked about around the lunch table at my work, in my lunch group we have a southern baptist, a methodist (she's a preacher's wife), a catholic, and a jew. However, yesterday, I was trying to find a way to pay tribute to President Hinckley and the enormous impact he has had on my life.  So, I decided that while I was at school I would find a way to bare my testimony of him as a prophet of God.  It wouldn't be appropriate to do that to the students so I decided I would do it at lunch to some of the teachers I regularly eat with.

I felt a little nervous as I sat down and took out my lunch. What would I say?  Could I express my feelings clearly without seeming "preachy?"  For a moment I almost chickened out, but then I saw a picture in my mind of President Hinckley, smiling softly, holding his cane up in the air as if to encourage me on.  I thought of the sacrifices he made his entire life to always share what he knew to be true and I knew that I couldn't let him down.  So I sat down and said "did you hear that the Prophet of my church died last night?"  Most of them had not, and one of them asked what his name was.  "Gordon B Hinckley," I said.  

One teacher expressed surprise that I called him our prophet.  The news he had heard had said that the President of the LDS church had died.  "He was our President," I said, "but he was our prophet too.  Actually, he wasn't just our prophet, he was the prophet to the whole world.  He was an amazing man, he was humble and wise and good."  And that was it.  The conversation went on to different things, but my heart felt soothed for the first time since I had heard that the prophet had died.  It was because at that moment, I knew that while his life has ended, his contributions to the world will go on through the faithful members he has spent his life teaching and preparing.  I truly hope that this will not be the last time that my words and deeds pay tribute to him.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Goodbye beloved prophet, you will be missed

The tears have flown freely tonight as I have learned of our prophet's passing.  Yet, while I already miss his sense of humor and the strength of his leadership, I can't begrudge him the companionship of his sweet wife.

Before I go to bed tonight, I need to bear my testimony of the gospel which President Hinckley dedicated his life to.  I know that this gospel is the restored gospel of Jesus Christ upon the earth.  I know even as our current prophet moves on, we will soon have a new prophet who will guide with the same wisdom and vision.  I am ever grateful for the sacrifice of the Savior, Jesus Christ and I hope that my life will be a worthy testament to him.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

just call me the Happy Hypochondriac

The hypochondriac part comes from the complete melt down I had yesterday when I was absolutely sure that I was getting sick again, would have to have surgery and basically have my world fall down around me.  The happy part comes from taking a half day of work, going to the doctor, getting an xray and having him tell me that I definitely am not forming another blockage, and that the preventative measures I've been taking seem to be working.  Whew!  Good thing Spencer loves me even when I am being totally irrational.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

3rd happiest place on earth

You all had very good guesses, but there were no winners.  The third happiest place is...

The Lincoln Memorial!  
I know, I am the geekiest person you know.  In August, 2000, I moved to Fairfax, Virginia.  A few days after I moved there, I took the Metro into DC to see the sights.  I didn't realize it at the time but I got off a few stops too early (Foggy Bottom) and had to walk several blocks to the Lincoln Memorial.  I can still picture the walk in my mind, passing by at least one embassy, seeing the Kennedy Center off to the right.  I just kept walking.  Then the road curved a bit, and all of a sudden, like a mirage, I could see the Lincoln Memorial in front of me.  A few more steps and as I looked to my left, I could see the Washington Memorial with the Capitol Building behind it.  I lost my breath for a moment, and then I began to cry.  Not with sadness, but with joy.  I felt so proud of my heritage as a citizen of this country.  I felt drawn to the Lincoln Memorial, and the closer I came, the tears fell more freely.  I felt so grateful for this great man who held our union together, no matter what it cost.  He knew the innate greatness of our country.

That is why this

is my favorite attraction at Disneyland, even though it is currently closed.  The Gettysburg Address is so short, but has had such an impact on my life.  Ironic really, when you consider his words "the world will little note, nor long remember what we say here."  Yet, I remember; and I hope that we can finish the work "which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced."  It has become fashionable to murmur about our losses in the current war on terror, but if you think about it, they are so much smaller than any generation before us has had to pay.  Their sacrifices have given us such great freedoms, how can we deny them to others?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

D-Land lesson #3 I love Spencer

Did I ever tell you that the first time I knew that I loved Spencer was at Disneyland?  We were at Rancho del Zocalo, the Mexican restaurant next to Thunder Mountain.  I can even remember right where we were siting.  We were in the middle of our meal when Spencer noticed my water glass was getting low, and without a word, he got up and refilled it for me.  As I he walked back to me with the water, I looked at him and knew that I was in love with him.  I had been fighting it, scared that I felt more than him, but at that moment, the fear left me. I know it sounds silly but that was it.  That night, sitting on my couch on Fidler Ave, he told me he was in love with me and we have never looked back.  

PS Spencer thinks I told him that I loved him first, but I say that while I thought it, he was the one who said it first

Monday, January 21, 2008

D-land Lesson #2 The Princess and the Sword

Just because I'm a pretty pretty princess doesn't mean I have to leave the sword fighting to the boys.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Everything I need to know I learned from Disneyland... #1

We are in California for the weekend, and so, of course, we spent all day yesterday at Disneyland (it is kind of a second religion for Spencer's family).  I have always loved Disneyland, in fact, I've always called it the second happiest place on earth (after the temple of course).  Anyway, I was thinking about all the great times I've had at Disneyland and I realized that I have learned many life lessons from there. So, I decided that I will post some of them over the next few weeks.  These will be listed randomly in no order of importance.

Lesson #1 I can do it!

Several years ago, when she was six, I took my niece Taylor to Disneyland and we went on the canoe ride around Tom Sawyer island.  I don't know if you have ever been on the canoe ride, but it isn't one of those rides that is on rails like the other d-land rides.  You actually have to paddle the canoe with a group of other people, and it is actually quite a workout.  So as we begin paddling, I look over at Taylor and see that she is very focused on the task, and seems to be whispering something softly to her self.  I lean over a bit and hear her earnestly whispering "You can do it, you can do it, you can do it," over and over again.

I think it is appropriate that she said these words while in the Magic Kingdom because Disneyland itself came to be because a man told himself that he could do it, even when others said he was crazy.

Since then I have often used those words for myself when trying to overcome an illness, figure out a difficult problem or endure an bad day.  "You can do it, you can do it, you can do it," I will whisper earnestly.  It may seem silly, but those words give me the emotional boost I need to endure and to keep trying.  

The truth is, I can do it.  No matter what trial Heavenly Father decides to throw my way, I can make it through, I can succeed and I can prosper.

P.S. If the Temple is the first happiest place, and Disneyland is the second, can anyone guess what I think the third happiest place is?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Looking beyond the "now"

Life as a high school teacher is full of urgency. Phones ringing in the middle of class that must be answered now, students who need to use the restroom now, bells are ringing now, and classes must be dealt with now. Unfortunately, I sometimes spend so much time dealing with urgent business, that I neglect those things which are every bit as necessary (sometimes even more), but are not urgent and so can be put off until later.
As an example, I am out of hall passes. I have been out of hall passes for at least two months. It is aggravating because every time a student asks to leave class I have to take the time to find a piece of paper and write one from scratch. Yet, getting new passes couldn’t be easier. All I need to do is go to the supply closet which is downstairs in the office. So why don’t I just do this? Well, it’s because when it is an urgent need, like when a student needs a pass, I remember that I don’t have any, but when I am leaving for the day and passing by the closet, I am concerned with the urgency of getting home to make dinner, or going grocery shopping, and I completely forget about my need for passes. I am so concerned with the “now” that I don’t remember to take two minutes to do something that would save me time and frustration later.
What I’ve realized is that this is more than just a problem with passes, it is a pattern that I have let take hold on my life. I have the worse kind of tunnel vision and because of that, important, needful things that would better my life and the life of those around me just don’t happen.
Like recycling, something I know is good and important, but never seems very urgent. How many time have I gathered bags of cans or newspapers to recycle only to throw them away a few months later because I never took the time to find a recycling center? Or keeping up with old friends. The ones who I love more than anything, but I always say I will call or write tomorrow.
I didn’t really make any New Year’s resolutions (not urgent enough), but I guess I am now. So here are three short term goals I am going to start with:
1. Pick up passes on the way into school in the morning.
2. Write an email or phone at least four out of town friends a month.
3. Unload my dishwasher when it finishes running instead of waiting until I have dirty dishes to put in it.

Not very earth shattering, I know, but it is a start in the right direction.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Richard Horton's Summary Reviews of Science Fiction/Fantasy Magazines

Richard Horton, an anthologist and reviewer, recently posted is year-long summary review of Orson Scott Card's magazine, Intergalatic Medicine Show, where he said that my story, Original Audrey was his favorite short story from the magazine for the year.  Yeah me!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

A carnivore no more

So, I've given up meat...  I've decided that my body just doesn't process it right.  I am absolutely terrified of ever having another surgery and so even though my mouth salivates for the precious flesh of animal meat, I am going to listen to my stomach instead.

Unfortunately, I don't really eat many vegetables either.  So what do you call someone who is neither a carnivore, nor a herbivore?  I'm not really sure.  Maybe a starchivore?  A pastavore?  A soupavore?

If anyone has any recipes that cleverly disguise vegetables and are easy for the body to digest, I would be most grateful!

To be serious for a moment, I have to say that I am not exaggerating when I say that I am terrified of going into the hospital again.  It's strange, I an honestly say that I have never really been afraid of anything in this way.   It feels like it is always lurking under the surface.  Any ache, any pain brings me into panic mode, imagining the worst.  This is even when my doctor has told me repeatedly that I am "cured."  I just wish I was as convinced.  It isn't like me to be so negative, but then again, I haven't really gone through anything like this before.

Luckily, I have Spencer, who is very good at holding me in his arms, kissing me, and telling me everything will be OK; and for a while the fear does subside and I do feel safe.