Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Daisy Principle

Wow, It has been such a long time since I have posted, and there are so many things that I want to express. Sometimes I feel like this blog is my arena to be myself, and say everything that I want to say and have some one hear. A pure and productive vent that lifts me more than anything else. So please indulge me because this post will not be much different.

Since my last post a lot has happened. My dear sweet grandma broke her leg again. I ache for her everyday. She has been probably my biggest support, now I am at a loss to how I can strengthen her. While sitting in the hospital with her I saw so many little episodes of charity, pure love. My uncle was also diagnosed with severe cancer. A fact that, to be honest, I choose to ignore because it makes me so sad. I also started my second year of teaching. I feel inadequate each and every day, but I am grateful to still be learning so much. I was also called into the relief society presidency in my ward. Yes, I again am not adequate in any way!

Now let me get to the true point of this post. All of these things mentioned above pretty much happened at the same time.  All of a sudden I felt like The Lord was asking me play several different roles, all of which required 100 percent of myself.  It was not like any of these roles were bad, or not completely wanted, but in other circumstances I would have devoted myself completely to each one of these roles, giving everything, and leaving little extra. Now I was asked to juggle. I am NO good at juggling. I wore myself out trying to be everything to everyone, and became bitter and empty.  Please don't think me saintly in any way, that is NOT what I am trying to say. 

Amid all this turmoil of my heart, the first day of school happened. If you want a whirlwind of crazy, try starting a 9 month long marathon of stress with 30 10-year-olds. Good times! I was really struggling because I felt that there were so many other places I wanted to be and I knew once school started it would take up most of my time. So there I was, teaching my guts out when a familiar face popped in my door. I couldn't quite place her, but she handed me a beautiful orange daisy and left. I quickly set it on my desk, and continued whatever monologue I was giving. 

I later opened the card that read the simple words "I hope you are having a great first day!" It was from the most fantastic man in my life right now, but aside from the adorable gesture from someone I care so dearly about that daisy became a symbol of perspective. It reminded me that there was a positive side to every situation. (p.s. He had his cousin deliver the flower.)

Now I understand that the issues I am facing are nothing compared to most everyone else in the world, but the principle is true. I had a very real choice, focus on the negative and everything I was lacking, or focus on the good no matter how small.  Seeing that daisy on my desk each day reminded me to check myself, and realign my thoughts to what I should be dwelling upon. I should always be dwelling on how The Lord blesses me every day! He has put incredible people in my world who help me learn and grow. He has given me opportunities to serve those I love, and learn to love/serve others. He has given me a place to share my talents, even those talents I am currently working on gaining. He has given me the knowledge of His gospel and an adjoining testimony. Above all he has given me the atonement, which allows me to receive comfort and forgiveness for my shortcomings. I am so weak, and am constantly not living up to the roles that he has asked me to fulfill, but I think He knows I am trying and that is enough for Him. Now I am faced with the task of convincing myself of this, but I am working on it through applying the principle of the daisy. Focusing on the simple, but positive aspects of life that out way the negative if we let them.  I am so blessed. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Summer lovin....BLESSING!

Greetings from summer bliss land! I have really been enjoying the simplicity that comes from having a summer break. As you few readers have probably realized, I don't really post until I have something that I feel would be worthwhile to share. A lot has happened this summer, but nothing huge that I could center a post around. So here are just some of the ordinary miracles thus far this summer...

  • My incredible besties. At the very begining of the summer I was able to spend a week with my best friend in Wisconsin. Yes, an odd place for a vacation, but it was so beautiful! The most miraculous thing of this trip was just being with my person. It was incredible to just spend time with her and soak up the comforting confidence that she has always given to me. I am so grateful for her. When I am with her, I am the puriest form of me possible. Stipped of all the pretences and false faces that we all put on for the world, I am just me. The surprising thing is that she accepts and loves me still. Amazing! I was also able to spend time with some other incredible friends, one who happens to be her husband, and his little brother. I adore those boys, especially the little brother. He has helped me face many insecurities and fears in his forward, but appreciated way. (Wow this is getting long and it the first one!) Last week I also got to see the other besties. I JUST LOVE THEM!!!! A couple of them are moving forward to grand new adventures in their lives and I couldnt be happier for them. It is amazing to see them take on the role of motherhod. They set such incredible examples for me. I am so grateful to have them in my life. I still stand by what I have said in the past. My greatest blessings that The Lord has placed in my life are my besties. I love them sincerely.
  • I GOT A FULL CONTRACT! Now for those of you not in education this will not make much sense, but bottom line I get to teach on a new schedule, ongoing contract, and more pay! YIPEE! The coolest part of this is that I can easily see the hand of The Lord in how this all played out. I am a very timid person, who does not like change! I know that The Lord had my career (eww, I kinda hate calling teaching my career. See earlier posts.) ok my career all planned to work this way becaus He knew that I needed things "line upon line, precept upon precept." I needed to gradually ease into teaching in a way that made it more manageable for me. BLESSING! 
  • Grandma: Having the summer off came at the perfect time. I have been able to help grandma as she transitions back to living indepenantly. It is such a blessing to be able to spend time with her. She is so amazingly sweet and SO strong. Let's just say that this is not a banner summer for her. Many things have come up that have caused her a lot of heartache. I am so amazed by her stalward optemism and strong spirit. I know she feels that i some how help her, but she helps me more than she could ever realize. I am inspired by her example, and lean on her so much for support. I love her so much! BLESSING!
  • ...yup. This summer I have had the oppertunity to get to know an amazing man. He makes me laugh and provides so much support. It has been fun getting to know him better.  He is probably the most optemistic person I know. His confident, but humble nature is incredible. It still amazes me how he silently deals with challenges in the most christlike way, all the while constantly serving others. Our relationship is still SUPER young, but I am grateful for the lessons he continues to teach me, and the support he provides. He makes me smile... the end.
Well, I'm sure I will think of so many other miracles as the last few weeks come. I am so grateful for the oppertunity to share my thoughts and express my thanks somewhat publically for the incredible blessings that have come into my life recently. It is amazing how The Lord constantly watches over me and blesses me...ALWAYS! WOW...I am so blessed!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Love Journey

About a month and a half ago I had a very innterresting experience with love. I was planning on blogging about it, but never got around to actually writing it down. I have no idea why this experience was so mind blowing to be, or why I feel the need to tell the 5 of you who actually look at my blog, but here goes.

It all started up and in Mantua where I was visiting my Mom's parents (yes, my grandparents.) I got a call from my other grandma's best friend in Orem telling me that my grandma had fallen and that the parametics were working on loading her into the ambulance. Now pause, if any of you know me well, you know that my grandma is not just my grandma, she is one of my best friends in the world! We hang out all the time and just that morning were planning a road trip together. This news of her falling was huge! I set the phone down and started bawling. I called the temple to put her name on the prayer role and could barely speak. At that moment I was completely helpless, and I hated it!

On the 100 mile drive to see her I didn't know what do to. I was hurting so badly and could do nothing, so did what I have done for 13 years now, I leaned on my people.  Within seconds I had texted my best friends, now scattered across the country to ask for their support and prayers.  Part of me felt stupid leaning on them for such a, what would seem to be, trivial matter,  but deep down I knew that they know me so well that they would do anything for me. As I recieved text back telling me that they had just then started praying, and expressing how much they loved me I couldn't contain my joy.  I can think of few blessings that have been as influencial to my life as these girls have been. I love them with all my heart, and regardless of where they are in their lives, I know they truely love me and I love them.

As I got to the hospital and saw my sweet grandma laying there scared, my heart was full. She is my biggest fan, and greatest support. I hugged her, kissed her, and held her hand as the nasty news kept coming.  I cannot express how much she means to me.  For some stupid reason she thinks that I take care of her... WRONG! She takes care of me in more ways than I will ever be able to repay. Seeing her there made me realize even more what an incredible blessing she is in my world. I need her! My love for her was fully realized and I am so grateful for the oppertunity to love her as I know very few grandaughters understand.

As we sat there waiting for news the doctor came in and told us about the sugery, and recovery. Amid the bad news I was blessed with a calming understanding that everything was going to be alright. This love from the ultimate source of love was undescribable. This reasuring prompting was mind blowing. I sat there, took a deep breath, and squeezed my grandma's hand.  In later conversation I was able to tell her about this feeling and it has carried us both through this long recovery, so far.  I am so grateful for the love that I feel from My Lord. I cannot express it here in words, so I wont even try, but that is the hugest blessing that I have in my life. I cannot imagine the despair that I would constantly feel if not for His tender love.

My last experience on this journy with love came from a very silly source. Before all this happened some of my favorite girlfiends had planned a night out. Because I basically lived at the hospital at this time I didn't know if I was going to make it. Then my crazy grandma wouldn't eat anything, so I made her a deal if she would eat some soup I brought her, I would go with my girlies to a movie. Silly yes, but it's how we roll. The movie we saw was a super sap called The Vow. It wasnt my favorite movie of all time, but it caused me to have another experience with love. As I watched this extremely devoted husband fight for the love he once had with his wife I longed for that depth of love in my life. This longing has been felt more and more lately and I am so grateful. I have struggled with truely desiring marriage in the past, but I am working on it. Through the tender care of a few extremely great men who have showed me what it feels like to be loved, I can now say that I am closer than I have ever been to deeply wanting that for eternity.

Now this may be the longest post, but it was a journey that I will never forget. To have all those experiences with love all in one week was exhausting, but purifying. I realized a lot about myself, and the relationships I have with those around me. It also caused me to realize, once again, how truely blessed I am to have these oppertunities.  Thank you for everyone who has been patient enough to love me.  I do not feel I deserve this incredible blesssing, but I am so incredibly grateful for the peace it brings to my heart.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Do you sparkle?

Many of the talks in the first session of The General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints were about being Christlike, and living the way HE would want you to live. That reminded me of a question I have had for a while. Not as much a questions, but a quest. Here it is....

Don't judge, but one of my favorite movies of all times is Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this movie! It is an amazing movie about self-discovery and finding joy. One of my favorite parts goes like this:

Mahoney: I'm stuck!
Mr. Magorium: To the floor?
Mahoney: No, as a person.

The rest of the dialog of this scene is amazingly insightful, but I will save you. (p.s. I tried to find a clip, but it's not out there.) Lately I have really related to Mahoney. I feel stuck as a person. She goes on to say that she mostly lives through the acomplishments of who she was in the past. Yes, I feel like that is me.  I was once completely satisfied with who I was.  Right now, I am stuck.  Scrapping to figure out how I can move forward to become that happily satisfied person I once was.  Later in the movie she see's a sign that says:

"Do you sparkle?"

I love this! Now, the sign is talking about your teeth, but I believe that everyone has the potential to sparkle (so does Mahoney,) to glow with joy and contetment. It does not mean that everything in life is butterflies and rainbows, we all know that rarely happens. But it means that dispite whatever is going on there is an underlying joy that cannot be deminished.  People are drawn to people who sparkle because they focus on the good. They find the SIMPLE joy all around them, and the happieness that comes from serving and making others happy. It does not take something spectacular to make people who sparkle happy, they FIND joy in everything...EVERYTHING! 

Now I have come full circle.  As I was pondering how to get my sparkle back during Conference it hit me, as it has before, that living a Christ centered life is the only way to sparkle. Pretty simple, and I have learned this lesson many times before, but there it is! I feel so incredible blessed to have the ultimate example of sparkle, and that is Jesus Christ.  I am so enthused to get out there and show the world that though I may be partially stuck, I can find the sparkle that I see in so many amazing people around me and become a better person. What an incredible blessing. Sorry kids, but I am the most blessed one!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Post-It Miracle

This week has been an incredible reminder of what a incredibly blessed life I live. Here is my story...

At the begining of this week I was at the end of my rope. Everything in my life was so dark, and my happy was no where in sight. To be honest, there was nothing going on that should have left me that down, but the combination of everying was nasty and hopeless. I was completely overwhelmed and unable to dig myself out. Silly me, of course I couldnt dig out on my own! I drove home BAWLING, called my good friend and just choked back the tears.  I got to work on Tuesday and I had to put my head between my knees to stop from crying at work. I had been pleading with My Father to release the bonds that were strangling my heart, but I was still bound.

Feeling nasty Tuesday morning I voiced one last plea before my students arrived in a few hours. That is when the miracle post-it entered my life. I vowed then to not just look for the positive, but search for it. Searching requires intense action and detication. I grabbed a post-it and decided I was going to document what I found on my quest. Nothing really changed... but everything changed.

My co-worker came in to complain and give me some bad news. I wrote down "My co-worker is comfortable sharing with me." A student came in an hour and a half before school starts, she was not supposed to be there yet and I still had a ton to do before my students arrived. I wrote down "My students know I am here to help them." The morning continued this way. Things were still nasty, but my perspective had changed.  I kept this special miracle post-it stuck to the underside of my desk. I didn't have time to document anything else, but I was more aware.

I know that I did not change my mind set on my own, and I know it wont keep without some serious work.  The complete night and day change was incredible. It is another testiment to me how much The Lord really loves me, not only did he bless me in my hour of need, but he placed many people in my life that I know were praying for me.

Things continue to me far from ideal, but they are so great! I have been blessed with a renewed desire to be happy and to recognize just how blessed I really am. WOW!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

"Fear Not"

I don't quite know how to start this post, but I feel like I have so much I want to share. I had a friend ask me what my blog was about the other day and I said...well since I don't really have someone special to express my random ponderings to, I throw them out there into cyber space and hopefully someone listens (and let's be honest, sometimes I just need to vent.) He seemed bored, as I'm sure all of you are, but I am grateful for the oppertunity to self-reflect.

This morning I read an email from my little brother (He is currentlyt serving an LDS mission in guatemala.) I had been telling him how hard work has been because I work so hard and sacrifce so much of myself, but still seem to fail A LOT! It was extremely heart breaking for me, leaving me feeling empty and worthless. He responded with some very wise council that I know comes from a little brother who is completely deticated to The Lord. He said something to the effect that The Lord only expects us to do our best. If we are working our hardest and doing our best, then if failure still comes then it probably be "for our good" in the long run. The Lord see's the full picture, and he knows the end. If we are trusting in Him and doing our best, then everything the happens can be seen as a quest to help us become who He wants us to be. That put a lot into perspective for me. Looking back on my life and the moments when I have failed, they have brought me closer to My Savior. They have required me to learn and grow in way that, though painful, have helped me draw nearer to My God.

This also caused me to contemplate my biggest fear...failure.  Most of my shortcomings stem from the deeply rooted and crippling fear.  I once had a very dear friend of mine tell me that ALL fear comes from satan, it is not a power of Heavenly Father. The Lord does not want us to fear, he wants us to have faith. Now, I understand that aprehension happens, but the crippling fear that keeps us from achieving all The Lord has in store for us, is not of God. I feel that this fear of mine has hindered my life for so long that it is difficult to give up. It is something that I cling to like a security blanket.  I hope and pray that I can use the principle taught by my little brother, through the spirit to break the chains of my fears.

In this crazy world failure is eminent, but through He has promised us He will not let us fail if we trust in Him. I am working on understanding this concept and applying it to my life. I know he watches over me, even when I feel like a complete failure. He's got things under controll, even when I can't see where he is taking me. I am excited to see where He will lead me and happy to try to learn from my failure, not let the fear of it cripple me. 

The picture shown is one of my all time favotites by Greg Olsen. I love it because at different times in my life seen myself as one child or the other. At times, I am safe and content in the arms of My Savior. At other times I am failing, struggling to know who I am and to find my happy, that is when The Savior reaches down and pulls me to safety. 

Sunday, February 12, 2012


I think that being around children who are still super pumped all the time makes me unable not to be excited as well. I am so excited to celebrate the people I love in my life on that special day. When making valentines with my fantastic roomies I started thinking about everything I love. For those of you crazy enough to endure my rantings, this is the list I came up with...

- Eating ice cream right out of the bucket.
-Brushing my teeth in the shower.
-Chocolate snack pack pudding cups!!!
-Those tender mercies that let me know my Heavenly Father loves me.
- A bubble bath while reading a good book and eating otter pops.
-Wishing on stars...but seriously.
-High School Musical dance parties with my BFF sister
-When my grandma tells me that everything is going to work out all right.
-My fuzzy star blanket and teddy bear
-Donut runs with my Dad.
-Giggling at chick-flicks
-Kissing someone who I know loves me, and loving him back (Granted, I don't have this in my life right now, but I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to experience that feeling.)
-Singing hymns at the top of my lungs on the top of my waterfall.
-The group of special angles I call my best friends who have helped me through so much and enabled me to become who I am today.
-The simple personal revelations that help me gain spiritual acuity.
-The ability to put names in the temple when I feel completely useless in so many situations.
-Being barefoot!!!!
-Leaning my head back and taking a deep breath
-Happy Flowers (aka gerbera daisies) Okay, maybe I just love receiving flowers.
-Playing with my Mom's hair (quite possibly the most comforting and supportive place on the planet.)
-Laughing my guts out with my co-workers.
-When my students succeed. (Or plan my future funny!)
-Fueling our addiction (Downton Abbey and Kool-aide) with my amazing roomies.
-Recognizing the even though I am a stubborn reluctant servant of The Lord he still loves me enough to bless me daily in a way that I can see and understand.

WOW I AM SO BLESSED! Thank you to everyone I love or ever have loved. I am the person I am today because of you! HAPPY LOVE DAY!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

An Unforeseen, and Sometimes Unwanted Blessing

I am in a terrible mood, so I shouldn't post, but I need to vent...again! Lately I have been in such a strange mood, probably due to multiple stresses that are going on in my world and the frail me not knowing quite how to deal. This mood is not new to me and it makes be feel so guilty in my needy-ness. To be completely honest, most of it stems from my lack of purpose at this point in my life. Those of you who know me well know that I derive most of my purpose by being needed by others, right now I do not feel needed on the level that I have come to rely upon, so I am left feeling empty. Now don't you fret, this feeling will not last long, I am not depressed or despairing, I'm just having a moment. 

This empty feeling has caused me to contemplate the true source of this feeling and the true reasons behind it.  In this reflection I have realized that it is a divine blessing. Not that The Lord ever wants us to be sad, but He does allow us to feel a certain way if it will propel us to reach our full level of greatness. Let me attempt to explain. This feeling if empty comes from not having someone to fill that role, I am happy, but something, no someone is missing.  I have been so incredibly bless to have had the opportunity to learn and grow from amazing people who, for a time partially filled this void, but again I am left wanting.  But deep down I am so grateful for this feeling of wanting. In the past I have really struggled with truly hoping for the possibility of finding my person because I did not feel that it was a possibility for me.  Now through much tender nudges of the spirit, I am beginning to hope for what I, for a long time, deemed impossible for me. Yes, I still struggle, and yes, I have no idea how I will feel when the choice is staring me in the face, but I feel I have made progress.

With this being said I feel like there are a few things that I have had to come to terms with, being an older single adult in this culture. My life is not what I had planned, but here it is. I have had to accept that I have a career. I am “successful” in the eyes of many. I have had to learn how to be financial independent. These are just a few of the things I have had to accept, though I never planned to tackle alone. These same personal realizations have also become trials. I find myself becoming a little stuck in my ways and creating a false checklist in my mind of the perfect man who will fit nicely into this world I have independently created.  A couple general conferences ago one of the apostles warned the men about his possibility. At that time I scoffed and agreed, now I find myself having to be careful not to fall into that trap. 

In all honesty I HATE being single. It is a difficult balance between total independence and desperation, but I don’t do well flying solo.  Now, I recognize that marriage is not all butterflies and rainbows (well as much as I can realize from a distance.) Trust me, I still have some serious apprehensions, but overall I am extremely excited... well I’m getting there. Recently I have had a few opportunities where I have had to make the “better” choice, (see previous post) when it comes to dating. When I saw this picture on facebook I almost cried because it is so true.  At times I just want someone to hold me and tell me that they realize that I am having a tough time, but I don’t just want anyone. I want this person to be the person I want to spend eternity growing and learning.  I want someone to take care of, and I selfishly want them to desire my happiness as well. 

Overall I am at peace. I can feel The gentle guidance of the Lord everyday. Things are not what I planned, but they are good. I have been blessed with an understanding and what I believe to be a righteous longing to find my eternal best friend. The person who will be my best teammate to serve The Lord, and encourage me to reach my full potential.  This is a blessing that I have never realized before, but I am so grateful.  WOW… I am blessed.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

I'm Moving to Australia

Well kids, as much as I love my world, sometimes I have times like my recent nasty when things are just not good. I can never imagine myself doing anything but teaching, but right now it really bites! Now, I am not a fan of posts like this, but I just need a little vent session. So here goes... things Miss Keyes HATES!

1. Double birthday days, double assembly weeks.
2. Inside days...the end!
3. "Miss Keyes, Miss Keyes, Miss Keyes, Miss Keyes..."
4. My performance being judged solely on how my students do on a test. Breaking down sobbing when one of my students don't do as well as I know they can.
5. The constant gossip and false judgements that fly around the school.
6. The residue the red markers leave on my white board
7. Never stopping work! If I am not working, I'm thinking about work. I feel like my to do list is constant and ever ominous.
8. Kiddos that poke me to get my attention. YARG!
9.  Being ornery and tired all the time.
10. Announcements that last a million years at the worst possible time!

Okay, so I started this post when I was having a very very hard week. Things were nastily for a bit, and while the spring is ending up to be insanely crazy (science fair, state testing, clear creek, 5th grade play, ect.) things are going good. I survived parent teacher and my huge observation... success! I feel so blessed to have to opportunity to work with amazing people and an incredible environment.  To make up for the venting here are a couple things that happened this week that make me LOVE being a teacher:

1. Sincere thanks from parents. Them telling me that there students are happy and enjoy school.
2. My funny co-workers making faces at me through my window as they walk their students to lunch.
3. My nuggets telling me that I should grow out my hair so I can catch a prince like Rapunzel.
4. A students writing that she is successful in 5th grade because of her "nice, smart, (and pretty) teacher."
5.  A lil kiddo getting so excited when he can teach the class a math concept...good times.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


In the recent past I have thought a lot about what it means to be courageous.  This may be because I don’t consider my self a very courageous person. I have never been asked to show any great courage.  My religion his never been openly attacked, I have never been faced with saving some one’s life, or accomplishing some great feat.  From most people’s perspective my life has been pretty easy, and I agree.  As I say in every post, I am incredibly blessed! Today I wanted to vent a little about how much courage it takes to do what is best.  So often we focus on doing what is “right”, these choices are the black and white, yes and no, choices we make where a clear “right” is present. Often times a clear “right” is not present and we are faced to do what is “best”, these choices are easy and most likely require, effort, pain, and courage.
In those moments when you are faced with something that from every point of view is good and right, but then The Lord steps in and asks you to choose what is best is when true courage is tested.  Courage is honestly some area where I do not excel, but I try to be grateful for the gentleness of my Heavenly Father in those moments.  Even though those times completely knock me off my feet and leave me feeling empty, I am constantly amazed at the tenderness of my Savior.  I once heard someone say  “every choice requires a sacrifice.” I completely agree! When The Lord asks you to choose what is “best” often times those sacrifices are very difficult to make because you are choosing to give up something that is good and possibly very dear.  I am not going to lie, sometimes having to make these sacrifices have left me bitter, hopeless and without faith.  I question sometimes why I have been required to make these sacrifices because to me, these are such good, incredible things in my life, why should I need to give them up?  I do not have the answers to many of these questions. All I know is that I only see a small portion of the picture and I trust that I can just do my best with what I have been given, even though I am such a little wimp.
I guess this reflection has been triggered by a recent event in my family who has shown incredible courage. I am so proud of them!  Both people involved have shown amazing courage. One person had to act on a prompting and the other has to recognize that it was from The Lord and cope.  WOW! I am so grateful for the people that set such great examples for me. Also, for the moments and people that have helped me become who I am today. Yup… I am blessed!