Saturday, February 8, 2014

Pure Bliss

You know that insurance commercial with the tagline "life comes at you fast" ???? I think they really were on to something deeper than just a good advertisement, life does move fast!! But somewhere in the wear and tear that occurs as we sit in the drivers seat of our 90 mile an hour life-ride, absolute bliss CAN be found. It takes work though to recognize the glitter in life that is scattered among the things that often seem mundane. That has been something I have honestly struggled with over the last month and a half.  The mission is perfectly scheduled and busy and productive and oozing with purpose.  Being home has been wonderful but I often have to ask what my purpose is and what I need to be doing to find purpose and fulfillment basically to create happiness.  I find myself laying my head down on my large, fluffy pillows and thinking of my day and wondering what what I did that day to help another or to draw closer to my Heavenly Father and feeling worried that I did nothing!  I realized it is rather easy to get lost in the game of "I'm not doing this...." or "I should be better at that....." but that game has no winners and really helps no one.

So, the past few weeks I have tried to focus on little blissful moments, the small details that made a difference and an impact in my week. The things that seem small but make a big difference.  


I love February! It is an absolute gloomy and freezing month but there is that magical 'love' feeling in the air which over rides the gloom and doom and keeps us going.  My life is full of wonderful things that I LOVE!!! On February 1st I hit a neat mile marker, two years ago from that day I received my mission call to serve in the Philippines!! At the time I had no idea where the Philippines even was and as you can see from my journal entry had no clue how to spell that strange country.  Now I have been home from my mission for about six weeks, like I said time flies.  The Philippines is no longer a strange spelled country out in the middle of no where.  I love the Philippines, it is a part of me. It holds memories of happiness, loneliness, joy, heartache, stress, excitement, anticipation, kindness, goodness, life and growth.  It is a land covered in coconut trees with crashing blue waves. And a place filled with people I love, miss and pray for every day.  

There is joy is loving other people and places so much that you think and worry about their well being more than your own.

I am so plugged in these days.  It seems that there should never be a "down moment." we have technology at our finger tips anywhere we go, giving us the capability to never be bored.  When I am at a stop light, or sitting in class waiting for my professor or walking across campus or into my work building I rarely just sit, or just walk usually I am pinning or texting or "likeing" something via my little white cellular device. The non-bored feature is nice but sometimes I wonder if I am missing something by being so busy. What about the stillness? 

Last week had was a fully packed schedule of go-go-go.  Finally Friday night rolled around a dear friend and I went for a drive and ended up at the city capital.  This place is special to me.  Not because of any specific event or reason but it just has a special place in my heart.  We stood on the steps and just listened to the world.  The air was clear and we watched the thousands of lights flicker around the city.  It was still. I felt happy as I stood with my dear friend knowing that life has such richness and color and joy if we will just listen for it or step back to look at it.   

I think we all need special people in our lives.  And we need special places to go with those special people. Places to go and just be still and watch the world and be happy. 

I have a dear friend named Kylie, she just got back from a mission too. She served in Texas and now every time I see her I have the sudden urge to watch Friday Night Lights. She is the kind of person who makes you smile and feel hopeful and happy when you are around her.  We, in our awkward still-semi-non-social returned missionary phase, find comfort and support in one another.  best friend date nights are a must for a blissful life.

Because joy comes in good conversation over grilled cheese and accidentally buying matching denim outfits.  It is in honest laughter - the kind that rushes out of you and you cant stop and leaves your stomach aching and your cheeks sore.  

I have a twin. We are twins but we are 5 years apart, seeing as she is much more patient than I am I most likely rushed out the doors in heaven and she patiently waited her turn and followed 5 years later. But my twin has been my best friend since I have been home.  She is has been there to hug me on the cold bathroom floor when I feel sad and work through "The Adjustment" as they call it.  She has been there with advice about everything.  To laugh at YouTube videos and jam out to Taylor Swift as we curl our hair.  She turned 18 this week and I decided to throw her a surprise party.

There is joy in surprises! It is wonderful to watch someones face light up and be surrounded by people that care about them.  I think everyone should give surprises as often as they get surprises because they make your heart leap a little bit inside; both the giving and the getting. 

 Epic Photo bomb Owen!

Yummy sushi for dessert.  Note: noodles are difficult to eat with chopsticks.  

I LOVE the Olympics!!!

And there is not a better way to watch the Sochi 2014 Olympics opening ceremonies than with this guy and all his Russian pride. Thank goodness that throughout his Russian travels he collected some Russian attire so we were fully prepared.  I love the energy of the Olympics! And no offence to the Super Bowl but the Olympic commercials were top notch... I even felt inspired by an add for a mens razor, well done Olympics, well done. 

There is joy in Unity and accomplishment. 

So even though life rushes on by there are so many wonderful things, wonderful blessings and it is focusing on these things that brings me bliss.