November 11, 2008

start of the holiday season

is it really already november? am i really almost twenty-one years old? is the semester really almost over? is my brother really about to get his mission call that could send him anywhere on earth?

time is flying faster than i've ever known it to do before! one minute it's sunday and i'm preparing a seminary lesson, the next minute it's wednesday night and i'm frantically hurrying to accomplish all my school, work, religious, and familial responsibilities before the weekend comes. then suddenly it's saturday night and the weekend is already half over and i have to start it all over again. what is this thing called life if we don't take a chance to enjoy it? i admit that i've been quite a selfish human being this last while. between worrying about the present "here and now" of school and work situations, stressing about the distant future of marriage, and planning the short-term future of just this month ... i seem to have forgotten what the whole point was. somehow i've grown into a tired, grumpy old lady!

this semester of school will be done in a month while the end of my teaching semester is shortly after that. since there are no guarantees that i'll be chosen as a full-time teacher or that i'll pass all my classes college courses, there is lots of uncertainty cluttering my mind. in fourteen days i will be twenty-one years old, which everyone has taken to mean that i should be putting in mission papers. well, to be honest ... i don't know! the only thing i do know is that i have no clue what i'm doing. oh, and I know one more thing: Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have tenderly, mercifully taken care of me, my needs, and my wants. though, at times i wonder how long i can continue to receive blessings before the reality of responsibility and accountability come to smack my face. am i being stupid when i feel extreme guilt for the many blessings i receive?

through all my worries, stresses, and unhappiness, i have one thing that brings more happiness than the sun shining down on my face during the winter: the sweetest students in the world. all i want to do is talk with them, love them, think about ways i can help them ... that's become my life. maybe that's not the healthiest emotional state to be in. however, if it's the thing that keeps me going at times, why not? interestingly enough, the joy of being a seminary teacher is tainted by the crunch on my time for balancing everything.

i know in my heart that this is the way my life is supposed to be. when I get feeling lonely watching young families walking through the park with toddlers or a husband and wife out on a date ... i have to remember that i know the Lord - in His own time - will bring a special man into my life. even without that i can still enjoy the beauty of the holidays with those i hold dear to my heart. the meaning of christmas is not focused on having a husband and children to share it with but rather to remember the tiny babe in a manger who made the sacred union of marriage between a man and a woman possible. this holiday season is also a chance to remember His sacrifice in gethsemane and on the cross at calvary, from which we have all received the gift of everlasting life.

i am making a commitment this moment that i will live life a little better. i'll spend a little more time taking in the beautiful sunsets, the smell of the cold autumn air, the sound of dry leaves crunching under my toes, and the sound of rain on pavement. i need to do this because if i don't, it will be april before i know it and i'll have nothing to remember of this holiday season. that is the gift i'm giving myself. i'm making memories to cherish like the ones from this photo - holding my baby brother's hand. life is so beautiful - we just have to reach out and grab the opportunity to look at it with clear eyes.