Sunday, November 20, 2011


Deadlines.  Appointments.  Birthdays.  Anniversaries.  Waiting.  When.  Wishing.  Clocks.  Due Dates.  Calendars.  Sunrise.  Sunset.  Today.  Tomorrow.  Yesterday.  Next Year. 

What are we really measuring though?  

A to-do list?  Love?  Learning?  Friendship?  Achievements?  Making a difference?  
You know something?  Time is a strange concept.  

I think I've been caught up too much in the concept of tomorrow.  And, as a wise traveling salesman once said, "You pile up enough tomorrows, and you'll find you are left with nothing but a lot of empty yesterdays."  

I originally began this post thinking about how great heaven will be.  Thinking about how God's time is so different from how we define it on earth.  Then I realized that I shouldn't be longing for that right now, because I only get this earthly experience once.  Am I going to waste it longing for something else, or am I going to utilize it to gain knowledge for the next life?  Lately I think I've been more focused on the first. 

I have to chastise myself for that, even though sometimes I wish someone else would do it for me.  All too often people perceive me as having it all together.  I get a lot of people that come to me seeking advice, or just to confide in me.  I don't know why (although I am honored they trust me).  I don't feel like I have a lot to contribute to their situations.  Those people who think I'm composed, they have got it all wrong.  I have never felt so scattered and frazzled in my life.  So pulled in different directions.  And for as many times as I try to pull myself back together, I feel like there is a giant magnet pulling it all apart.  Could it be that Satan is working extra hard on me this semester?  Because that's what it feels like.  Apathy.  it's been on his front line of battle with me and it's time for me to call in the reserves and wipe it out.  Deep down I seriously care about school and succeeding.  However, I'm afraid that it might be a little too late to salvage my grades this semester.  I'll do my best, but I'm going to just have to accept the consequences and just keep moving forward, because backwards is just not an option.  

At least amid all of my uncertainty and instability there is one thing that remains constant.  I have the restored gospel of Jesus Christ in my life.  I know that God speaks to His children in these latter-days.  I know that with the faith to pray, Heavenly Father will answer my prayers.  He answered a humble 14 year old boys plea for truth, and I know that he is just as aware of plights in our everyday life to do the same for us.  

I am as strong as my testimony, and I will pull through. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Priorities and Tender Mercies

November 1, 2011 already.  Can you believe it?  It's been quite the semester so far.  I've had several great opportunities to grow, and I have made so many new friends.  For the most part life has been treating me pretty well.  My life has consisted of pretty much the following few things: school, PA's, church, work, family, and friends.  Sound pretty normal right?  Well, yeah.  For the most part.  The only problem is how I've been prioritizing them. 

I've been in a funk lately, and I concluded last night the best way to pull myself out is to re-prioritize. 

From top to bottom, I have gone through and decided what needs to come first. 
1.  The Gospel.  I need to focus on being a better disciple of Jesus Christ.  When my spiritual well-being is in order, everything else seems to fall into place.  My scripture study and prayers have been weak lately, and I am going to give them the 100% I need to. 
2.  Family.  I haven't done very well at showing I love them lately.  I am going to start making sure they know. 
3.  School.  Even though, as I type this, I am sitting in Intro to Political Thought, I need to invest some more time in outputting quality school-work.  I've been completely guilty of procrastinating everything to the last minute.  Today I start to be better. 
4.  Presidential Ambassadors.  I don't remember if I ever mentioned it or not, but this year I am the President of the PA's.  It's been such a learning process, and I count my blessings for the opportunity, it's just that because I've been giving so much to the organization, everything else has been waning.  I need to find a better balance, I think it's called delegation... Okay.  I've always stunk at delegating.  But I'm going to get better. 
5.  Friends.  Something that has always been SO important to me.  I just need to take a time-out from being social, and focus on pulling the rest of my life together. 

I know that if I can control myself to follow these priorities, I will get out of my funk sooner than later.

Last night as I sat in the library evaluating this, my roommates Amanda and Shelby came stumbling around the corner.  They had a f'real smoothie in their hands and so graciously bestowed it upon me with the words, "you need brain food."  

Aren't they the sweetest?  What a tender mercy :)
(Yes, I do in fact have black fingernails... I told you I was in a funk.)
Anyhow, I started that post on Tuesday morning, and I'm finishing it now.  You want to know what happened tonight?  I knew you did.  Well, I got a text earlier this afternoon from the ward's executive secretary asking if I could meet with the bishop tonight.  Of course I said yes, despite my fear of loosing my current calling of "ward greeter" (which by the way is THE BEST calling in the history of callings).  I set it up for 7:15.  After PA meeting, and doing task force leader interviews I headed home, ate some mashed potatoes and changed.  I showed up to my appointment two minutes early and the Bishop was waiting for me.  

He invited me into his office and we sat down.  He proceeded to tell me that he just wanted to get to know me a little better.  THANK HEAVENS!  (ward greeter is still in the bag)!   We talked about where I was from, and then got into family.  Of course when family comes up I almost always end up talking about my brother.  I shared with him the readers digest version, and he shared with me a hymn.  "Oh, What Songs of the Heart"  The words are beautiful. 

We moved on to talk about school and my well-being in other areas.  I explained to him my reorganization of priorities and he asked me to share with him.  So I did.  
Words of wisdom given by Bishop Jullian:

1.  Pray and go to the temple.  
2.  Follow even the smallest of promptings.  When you have a fleeting thought of somebody, just pick up the phone and call them.  Just do it, It's amazing how you will be blessed. 
3.  Have a study hour.  A set aside time each day when you just do homework. 
4.  Let ambassadors have their autonomy and agency.  They will take care of themselves and I will develop better leadership skills.   

He then moved onto asking about my future plans, asked about a mission.  I told him the truth, that my whole life I felt as though I would go on a mission, but right now, it's just not feeling right.  He made me feel SO much better about this.  While his response was somewhat generic, it meant a lot.  He told me that there were a million ways to be a missionary, and that I had the opportunity to fulfill them everyday.  He told me to keep the option open though, which I will.  I've got time after all.  

He left me with the counsel to simply pray.  The Lord has placed options in my life, and now I just need help being guided in the right direction.  I left feeling so much of the Savior's love for me.  I have a testimony that he is called of God, and was inspired to call me in.  The Lord knew I needed that.  Again.  What a tender mercy.  

I have every reason in the world to be happy.  So do you.  

Sydnie Juniper