Saturday, October 25, 2008

Sunday School

Some weeks, preparing my lesson is so easy. Other weeks, I feel like banging my head against the wall. I have read the chapters for this week (3 Nephi 12-15) several times but can't seem to come up with anything to say. I kind of want to just read aloud and leave it at that. I mean, Christ is speaking to the Nephites in these chapters, so what more can I really add? Do I think I can explain the gospel better than Jesus himself can? So what do I say? I am also considering singing hymns for the entire 40 minutes, but I am pretty sure most of the class would not enjoy that (except, perhaps, if I was performing solo, in which case, I would not enjoy it). I have to give some sort of lesson, and it's not coming together, so we're trying something new: I'm going to blog it. That's right, I'm using this post to brainstorm my lesson, so here goes. My apologies to my readers who aren't LDS.

3 Nephi 12:13 reads, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, I give unto you to be the salt of the earth; but if the salt shall lose its savor wherewith shall the earth be salted? The salt shall be thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men." In my 24 years as I Mormon, I'm sure I've been asked at least a dozen times what it means to be "the salt of the earth." Yet, I can't actually remember the answer to that question--maybe I never actually answered it. As I was reading the verse today, something clicked. Salt is a preservative. To be the salt of the earth means to preserve the earth or to save it. In the Bible story of Sodom and Gomorrah, the righteous people can literally save the cities simply through their existence. Abraham and God have a whole discussion that results in God saying that if He can find 10 righteous people in Sodom and Gomorrah, he will spare the cities. God destroys the cities after sending Lot and his family away. When Lot's wife looks back to the city, she becomes a pillar of salt. Lot's family was the salt that was preserving the cities. Lot's wife seems to have "lost her savor." So how are we saving the earth? How am I saving the earth? Are we? Am I?

3 Nephi 13:25 reads, "take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body more than rainment?" (The next several verses continue in the same vein, and we will probably read them all in class.) Here, Jesus is speaking to the twelve apostles. Their work is so important that the Lord really will provide food, clothing, money, or whatever they need, and they do not need to concern themselves with it. Most of the rest of us, however, still have to earn a living so that we can eat, but the point is that if we focus on the work the Lord has for us, he will take care of our needs.

As I have mentioned before, I have anxiety disorder and bipolar disorder. I am pretty stubborn about taking my medications, by which I mean I only take them when I am in the depths of despair and feel like curling up into a ball and camoflouging myself among knotted piles of blankets. I don't like to think that I need a drug to fix me. Several weeks ago, I was talking to a friend about the stigmas surrounding medication for mental disorders. She said to me, "You know, I just figure it's better for everyone if I take my medication. Without it, I'm just not a functional member of society." I thought about that for a long time. It kept me up at night. When I am functioning, I am highly functioning. God gave me gifts that allow me to make amazing contributions to my society, but I am only able to use them when I get over my pride and all my other little hang ups, when I stop concerning myself with my "rainment," so to speak. If I'm curled up in a ball, sulking about not wanting to take my medications, then I'm not fulfilling the Lord's purpose for me. I know what I need to do, so I just need to get over myself and do it!

Ask yourself, "Where are my hang ups? What is keeping me from doing the work God has for me?" Then get over it.

So there are some of my muddled thoughts. What else, what else? I am still seriously considering singing hymns for the entire class, even if I have to do it solo.

Current song: "More Holiness Give Me" (totally singing this for the opening hymn tomorrow)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I Feel Like Crap

Any of 3 things can solve this: sleep, mood stabilizers, a declaration of love from the man of my dreams. Can you say "naptime"?

Current songs: all of U2's Rattle and Hum. I especially like the beginning of "Helter Skelter" when Bono says, "This is a song Charles Manson stole from the Beatles. Now we're stealing it back."

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Humor Me

Okay, so I am slightly calmer than I was when I wrote my post a few minutes ago. I have a question. I have been thinking about it all day and have come up with several answers, which I may or may not share at a later time. This is not a rhetorical question--I really want your answers. To those of you who do not know me: Why do you read my blog? Most of you started reading it because of the Bramble post, but why continue to read it? I had a professor who said that people are naturally voyeuristic--that's why we write and read novels (or blogs). But why is that true? What do we get from examining other people's lives, especially lives as mundane as mine? I am particularly curious to hear answers from people who don't like me. The people who do like me could give that as their answer--you relate to me, you like my writing style, you simply like me. But if you don't like me, why would you read what I write? It seems like a waste of time to me, but you're reading, so you obviously don't think it's a waste of your time. I honestly have been thinking about this all day as well as off and on since I acquired my extended readership. I can speculate, but I don't want speculations. I want to hear your actual reasons.

I'm Judgemental

So are you. Let's both just get the hell over it already.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Just Another Manic Monday?


  • On Saturday, I asked my super cute coach on a date (for this coming Saturday, and he said yes).
  • I was totally in control of my spending when I went to the Park City outlet mall this weekend. I only bought pieces if I could use them to put together outfits with other clothes I already own.
  • Yesterday, I baked. We hosted Sunday treat night at our apartment and I made peanut butter cookies and coffee cake.
  • Instead of staying up late playing games with my friends last night, I went to bed early enough to be rested and alert for my temple shift this morning.
  • I spent five hours organizing my room today. I rearranged the bed, my desk, and several other pieces of furniture. My bed is now prepared with flannel sheets and a down comforter to fight the winter chill with minimal impact on my energy bill. All my clothes are clean and put away, except for the ones in the mending hamper and the pile that I am saving for the day when my stomach miraculously returns to its once flat state with the defining line down the middle.
  • Vegetables won out over coffee cake and somehow ended up filling my tummy for lunch.
  • I was offered a job today, as an aide at a residential treatment center for women with eating disorders. They rejected me a year ago. I accepted the job, of course.

Whenever life goes this well, I wonder if my mind is about to be swallowed by that familiar black cloud of depression that follows the brisk winds of mania so closely. But this doesn't feel like mania. I don't know what this is.

Current songs: all of the Viva la Vida album by Coldplay but "Strawberry Swing" and "Violet Hill" in particular

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Five Things

I think I am supposed to complete this (yes, KTB?).

Ten years ago I
1. was failing Honors Freshman Physics.
2. played field hockey and ran track.
3. could not talk to boys. Ever.
4. wore my brother Matt's soccer jacket to school every day.
5. had amazing girl friends (and I still have them!).

Five things on today's to-do list:
1. work at Nick's
2. cheer on my super cute coach in his intramural football game
3. buy orange juice, bread, cream cheese, and lettuce
4. call Lizzy
5. work on my Sunday School lesson

Five snacks I enjoy:
1. strawberry Fruit Roll Ups
2. chocolate frosted doughnuts
3. smoothies
4. Cheez-Its
5. cheese

Five places I have lived:
1. Belmont, MA
2. Tokyo, Japan
3. Provo, UT
4. Orem, UT
5. world of pure imagination

Five jobs I have had:
1. research assistant, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Joining Lab
2. assistant to the president, Fusion Optix, Inc.
3. tutor/supervisor, Brigham Young University Publication Lab
4. early morning custodian, Brigham Young University
5. kitchen worker/delivery driver, Nicolitalia Pizzeria

Five pet peeves:
1. people saying they'll call and then not calling
2. people not putting the DVDs/CDs back in their cases
3. hypocrisy (in myself and others)
4. being left out of secrets
5. people letting the food dry onto the dishes so that it won't come off in the dishwasher

Five things that bring me joy:
1. working in the temple
2. cute clothes
3. the way Lucas laughs, then stops and thinks for half a second before laughing some more
4. watching/helping people learn
5. hugs

Five people whose business I want to know (i.e. tag, you're it):
1. Lizzy
2. Caranine
3. Deja
4. Annie
5. Liz

Current song: "You're Gonna Go Far, Kid," Offspring