Sunday, January 11, 2015


Distractions are a part of life. And while the word itself seems to have a negative connotation, they aren't always a negative thing.

A distraction is simply something that prevents us from giving our full attention to something else. How we feel about these diversions can be an indicator of whether our priorities are in the right place. For example, if you resent the interruption of your child while you're goofing around on Facebook... I would suggest that you check your priorities. Facebook doesn't NEED your whole attention the way your child NEEDS to know you love and care about him/her.

In my experience, it is the distractions in my life that bring me the greatest joy, the most tender moments, and that help me feel needed. 

So where am I going with this? Well, I was in the shower this morning when I realized I had only posted once on here this week. I started mentally kicking myself for not making my goal in the very first week I had set it! How could I let myself get distracted from something so simple?

When I thought over my last few days, the answer was clear: there were other things I needed to be doing. Two people very dear to me had two separate crises this week. I was asked to help someone Thursday evening with a personal emergency. My daughter had a friend over on Friday night, and I watched a movie with my family Saturday night. And through it all, there were kids to hug and people to feed and errands to run. Technically, these were all distractions from my goal. But I don't care. My heart is full today. My best moments this week took place during these "interruptions". These were the things that mattered most.

"Diligently doing the things that matter most will lead us to the Savior of the world."
~Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Monday, January 5, 2015

Tender Hearts

A few years ago my sister-in-law sent me a copy of this book called "If You Want to Write". She didn't give it to me because I had aspirations of being a writer. From what I can tell, it's a book about the importance of being creative - whether in writing, art, music, etc. I haven't ever gotten all the way through it, in fact. But I've started it about three times. I know that might not sound like a glowing recommendation for a book, but it is. I wouldn't have restarted it if I didn't think it was worth it. And the fact I haven't finished it has more to do with me than with the quality of the author's writing.

One quote that always stands out to me near the beginning is this:

"EVERYBODY IS ORIGINAL, if he tells the truth, if he speaks from himself. But it must be from his true self and not the self he thinks he should be."

Too often I am so focused on what I should be that I forget who I really am. I have come a long way in learning to cast off this facade of perfection that I used to carry around. Yet admitting my weaknesses doesn't mean that I am really showing others my true self. It simply means I am willing to stop pretending that I have it all together. I still hide my insecurities, from myself and from others. I don't like to look at them too long because I keep thinking I should be able to overcome them. And let's be honest here - focusing on insecurities doesn't make them diminish. If anything, the opposite happens and soon that is all we can see when we look at ourselves. 

I also concede that it's not a good idea to trumpet our flaws and tender hearts around for everyone to see. There really are people in this world who hurt other people on purpose. We need to protect our hearts from those people, too. Somewhere there is a balance, but I don't think I've really found it yet. However, I am not willing to lock up my heart to protect it. It doesn't work. Our hearts and emotions need sunlight, open space, and even the occasional rainstorm to thrive and blossom and grow into the kind of heart that can love others (and ourselves) unconditionally and without judgment. You can't have the joy without the pain, the happiness without the sorrow. When you love deeply, you can also hurt deeply. But at least you know you are alive and present in your life.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Getting Centered

I love beginnings. 

Monday is always my favorite day of the week, because it means getting back into routine and getting things accomplished. Perhaps that's why so many of us like to make New Years resolutions. It is a beginning and we feel like it gives us a chance to get something done we have been putting off. And while I've never been a dedicated resolution-maker, I do like to set goals and work towards something.

Tomorrow it will be a year since I've started this blog, and I have to admit that I haven't yet used it as the tool I hoped it would be. I still struggle with taking time for myself in quiet reflection each day. This time is vital for helping me to stay centered on what I need to do to nourish myself physically, spiritually, and emotionally. That being said, I do feel as if I have grown in 2014, and that means I am still heading (generally) in the right direction, even if I feel like I am weaving along the path sometimes.

I've been giving consideration to what I should focus on to continue improving my health, and I keep coming back to this blog. I need to write more. When I write I process the thoughts dancing around in my brain and organize them into a cohesive idea or principle. Since tomorrow is my bloggerversary (is that even a real thing??), this is a great time to set a goal.

So my goal for this coming year is to post here three days per week. Ideally I will spread it out, but I'm sure there will be times when I have to get it in on Fri/Sat/Sunday. Don't judge me. I'm in the process of becoming something, and I'm far from perfect - just like everyone else on this planet. 

Well, most of us.