Friday, May 14, 2010

Thank you, Pres. Benson

"Behold, are ye stripped of pride?" Alma inquires in ch 5 verse 28. What a question. I think, if I made one of those really cute mirror-signs that people tape to their bathroom mirrors and looked at it at least twice a day, it still wouldn't be enough of a reminder for me to strip myself of pride.

You'd think, after all I've gone through in past months, that humility (the antidote for pride according to Pres. Benson) would come easily. I mean, my life has been changed. I've lost lots of my ability to participate in the activities I hold most dear. I've had my independence stripped away from me, piece by piece. And yet, there are days, hours, moments, when I Miss the Mark. I lose sight of my ultimate goal and I fall into selfish thoughts. I fail the Pride Test.

It might begin by dwelling on a dream or a goal that I had that no longer seems possible due to my situation. That might lead to feeling sorry for myself because of the ex-dream. Which might lead to a few minutes of crying followed by a heavy dose of "why?" thoughts: why this, why me, why now, etc. This usually leads to a question for the Lord, which might leave me with less-than-cordial-feelings for the tests of life...I end up feeling miserable. I might even end up feeling jealous of those getting to live out my dreams: friends who are married or have their own house and get to work their own garden or get to travel the world or, right now, can just get into their car and drive should the desire arise...etc.

President Benson put it well when he said that the proud wish God would agree with them...they aren't interested in changing their opinions to agree with God's. I certainly know that I don't set out to live life with this attitude--it's just so easy to fall into. Isn't that shameful? That pride has worn a rut so deeply on the side of my path that I'm more comfortable walking in it than climbing and staying out of it?

It's extremely difficult, when you're out in the ocean without a raft, tossed by the huge waves and fighting to get each life-saving breath of air, to remember that there is a bigger picture and our Heavenly Father see it. So, even though I may feel like my life is ending or I am being denied things that I have been previously promised, I try to come up for air. And sometimes, while my head is above water, I try to remember that even though this was so, so far from my plan for my life, maybe there is a purpose in it and I need to humble myself, again, and try to submit to the Lord's will for me. Without challenging it.

On a different note, I will not apologize for the pride I feel in my baby sister. This weekend she has torn up the stage as she dominated the role of Maria in The Sound of Music. Months of rehearsal has paid off and she is incredible. Oh, and did I mention that she was offered The Wallace Sound? This is a full-ride scholarship to her college awarded based on her vocal abilities. She's just so good. :D I absolutely love her and couldn't be more proud of her.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Too much fun...

I have had the most fun today! Doing what, you ask? Would you believe...sewing? :D

I remember once, as a snotty-teenaged-brat, telling my young women's leader that I didn't want to learn to sew--I planned to make enough money to pay others to do that kind of stuff for me. Sister Godwin, I'm sorry.

Hurting for things to do these days with my limited mobility, I began searching the internet for something I could do for my mom for Mother's Day and found a small craft that involved sewing.

SO, I just had my first sewing lesson with my 87 yr. old grandma. :D She taught me how to use her machine (I mean, I don't even know how to sew on a button) and I dove in. Guess what? I LOVE IT!

Those of you who know me are probably thinking ,"Who in the world is this domesticated person (yes, I said domesticated) and what have they done with Jess?" Well, I guess it's never too late to discover hidden talents--I am good.

I finished 5 of these super-cute aprons today and have plans for more. I worked for 8 hours straight and loved every minute of it. I'm completely exhausted, but every time I glance over at my pet project, I just can't stop grinning.

Who'd a thunk?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Thanks to Dr. I-Don't-Know-How-to-Comfort-a-Crying-Woman, I know now how it feels to be a calf herded down a chute. Against my will. By some higher power. And completely out of my control. And I don't feel like explaining it here, so if you want to know, you'll have to ask. And no, I don't want any "Happy Pills." Thanks for the offer, though.

I like this quote--reminds me of a conversation I had recently with my sister: "Cowardice is labeling that which you don't want to change as Your Nature." Can't remember where I heard it, but I liked it.

Also, reminds me of this one, which I also love: "Please spare me your speeches about 'That's just the way I am.' I've heard that from too many people who wanted to sin and call it psychology." ~Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

Monday, May 3, 2010


So--there are no words to describe how frustrating it is to be helpless. Until you're in that situation, you can't realize how it want some cheese? Too bad. You can't drive or even get yourself out of the bed. Everything you do is an inconvenience to someone else. You want to search the internet, but your computer is 5 feet away and you can't get it. So you call someone to come out and get it and hand it to you. Then, in an hour, you need some water. Or a snack. Or a pen and paper. Caring for you becomes a full-time job for someone.

Then you feel guilty for the trouble you've caused everyone and the inconvenience that you are...just by being you. Seemingly every breath you take causes trouble for others. So what do you do? Do you stop existing? Just spend every day lying on a bed trying not to cause any trouble for anyone? Or continue trying to fill your days doing something useful and productive because, while your body is deteriorating, your mind is fine. And being an active person by nature, the sitting all day every day is getting annoying.

I've had patience. At least, I've tried my best to just roll with the punches and be easy-going...but 10 months is a long time, and I just don't know how much longer I can be okay. I really don't.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Be Strong and of Good Courage

It's that time of year again--GIRL'S CAMP 2010! I'm not currently in any shape to attend, but who knows where I'll be in a month. My daily dose of POISON is doing it's job, I suppose...slowly, but surely. We hope to have an appointment at the Mayo Clinic in the next week or two and I have hope that there will be an alternate plan.

Have I mentioned that I Love My Calling? I was so apprehensive about it at first because most of my adult church service has been in either the Relief Society or related to missionary when they asked me to work with the Stake Young Women, I was flabbergasted. I have loved every single minute of it. I work with the most amazing ladies and I couldn't love them more. I adore our work.

Recently, I have felt like a slacker because I've been too down to contribute anything. Being physically ill takes a toll emotionally as well--it's like your brain just shuts down and you don't think. Life passes in a daze--it's kind of like the last 6 or 8 months have just been a blur...I think I'm alive. I'm still breathing. Anyway, we had a meeting this weekend with our YCLs for camp and it was so much fun. We have the most amazing girls.

If there is any possible way, I will be at camp with my girls next month...even if I have to rent a motorized wheelchair and carry my own plywood ramps down to Tallahassee. :D

Saturday, May 1, 2010

How I Finally Taught the Big Guy a Lesson

"I did not provoke the fight, so I feel no remorse for what I was forced to do. We were arguing, and since I was right and he was wrong, he decided to fight to cover his stupidity.

He swung at me first, but because I was in top physical condition, I was able to act quickly and block the punch neatly with my head.

I then jumped to the ground, knocking him down on top of me. I placed my ear in his mouth and poked his finger several times with my eye.

His teeth hurt so much from the strength of my ear that he became irate and tried to kick me, but I cleverly blocked the onslaught with my ribs and face.

I scrambled to my feet and ran to my car in hopes I would get away and save this man from my deadly hands. Before I could start the car he pulled me from the still open door. I then proceeded to swing at him, but only managed to hit myself in the head.

To this I said, “What’s this two against one?” That was the final straw—I lost all control. There will be no mercy!!

Taking him in my death grip, I pounded him in the knee with my stomach—then I hit him two or three times in the fist with my teeth! He had had it! I could tell. After that he didn’t even try to pick me up off the ground. He was too chicken!!"

Perspective is everything!