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Saturday, April 3, 2010

On my knees

I have to say that I like my body. It is not perfect, but it's mine and I like it. I just wish that it liked me too.

A few years ago I got in a few accidents and my knee had the opportunity to sacrifice itself for me. I will be forever greatful, but unfortunately there are consequenses. My knee has kind of a self-serving attitude, and feels the need to remind me of the injury from time to time. Tonight is one of those times.

I would like to reconcile with my knee. I have done everything I know of. Brace, ice, runner's candy (Ibuprofen) but nothing is working. Hey, I like my knee just fine. Why can't it just accept that and get over the leeetle issue of a few surgeries and be nice to me? Just wonderin'.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Date with Destiny

Hey all! Don't you just wish this blog was going to be as exciting as the title makes it sound? Today in RS we were talking about preparedness through finding employment. It occurred to me how similar finding a vocation is to finding a spouse. At this exact moment in my life, I'm not too concerned about the whole spouse thing, but a vocation is always a good thing. Here are the similarities between the two that I found

  • Any righteous man and woman can make a marriage work. We've all heard that quote a million times, admit it. But the truth is that some personalities just work better together than others. Sometimes, no matter how righteous you both are, you just don't sustain each other merely because of the ways you are different. Other times you find a companion that you feel good around, and you want to be with them no matter what your differences are. Well today one girl said she wanted to be a mechanical engineer. Gag me, that is a circle of hell. Can you imagine spending the rest of your life doing math? Now that is honest work, and I'm sure she will be happy in it. I'm also sure if the Lord would assist me (a LOT) I could make that work as my career. However, my personality is so much better suited to the careers I've chosen for myself. So I pass up a perfectly wonderful honest career and everything it has to offer, and instead choose another equally wonderful career.

  • It's okay to explore. I've heard the statistic that the average college student changes their major 2.5 times. I think this is similar to the exploration known as dating. For instance, I took several psychology classes, and courted the idea of working in a battered women's and children's shelter. This is a very good vocation, but we had to break up because I realized I couldn't do it. I think it is good to try some ideas on for size, spend time with them, and get to know them, until you find the one that is good for you

  • I so look forward to the perfect job, and I intend to have it. But that perfection will still include bad days. Some days nothing will go as planned, in a bad way, and I will be handling thing poorly. The good thing about bad days, when you are in the right place and doing the right thing, is that they pass. Bad days will happen early in your employed life, and after you've been there most of your life.

  • Finally, understanding that things will change. I have talked to a lot of people about there long-lived working life, and they have all told me that the job changed over time, or there responsibilities have changed over time. Just like relationships change over time, hopefully for the better, but change for sure.

I don't know what the correlation means, but I find it interesting that there are so many correlations. The good news is that I can take all the relationship and marriage advice and understanding I have, and put it into something that is pertinent to me.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Book Review

Last night was very trying for me, and I handled it in typical Jana fashion. I curlled up with a book that seems like a friend. You can become so familiar with a book that every word in it is familiar, like comfort food only less fattening.

"The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" is right in the middle of the Chronicles of Narnia. I read it as #3, but I know most people now-a-days consider it #5, but either way it's really good. The first line in it "There was a boy named Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it"

This one is about King Caspian, the two younger kids, and their cousin Eustace, as they sail out to the eastern end of the world, searching for 7 people that went into hiding 10 years ago. On there adventures they find a cave that turns people into what they are in their hearts, and a river that finds what's underneath. They find another river that has the Midas power, and dicover the difference between the worth of an object, and the worth of a soul. They learn about what governs a God, and why someone with those powers does the things He does.

I have always loved the personifications C.S. Lewis puts into the Chronicles (i.e. "The birtch was the graceful and majestic lady of the wood, watching the Lords of the Sky (stars) tread their celestial dance) and this book brings that up to a whole new level. Somtimes I get lost in how poetic it sounds, and forget to wonder what the point of the story is. But when you really listen with your spiritual ears, so many eternal truths are between those pages.

I was reading about a wizard (I think a prophet figure in this book) named Coriarkin who is very unpopular with the people he has been given charge over because he makes so many unreasonable demands. He wants them to draw water from the stream 1/2 a mile away rather than walk 5 miles to the well several times a day. More importantly, he wants them to grow a garden, since there is no contact with the world off the island. It made me think that as human beings we can have a tendancy to complain about comandments, but really Heavenly Father's only purpose is to help us be happy. Every comandment ever given has been to that end.

I would love if all my blog readers could tell me what gems they have found in this wonderful story. I would love to look at it from new angles, like the lifelong friend that can still suprise you.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Overcoming Depression

Recently I've talked to many people who are depressed, and I want to help. Sometimes when people are venting, it is the wrong time to jump in and give advice. When they say they want someone to listen, they need to talk, they are not receptive to advice. I think that's fairly true of everyone. My experiences with depression anxiety disorder may not translate to anyone else, so if they don't apply to you don't use them. On the other hand, if there is a common thread, please take from here anything you find helpful.

I feel the single most important factor in overcoming depression is the righteous use of agency. Depression takes away some agency in how we feel and think. It does not take away our agency in what we do, but Satan would like to make us think it does. The temptation to stay in bed is overwhelming on some days, maybe even most days, but the choice to get out of bed is strike one against Satan's tactics. It's the first big step in not giving him power over you. Sometimes medication is needed to return agency. One thing that is very important to understand is that antidepressants can't and won't make you happy. They will return your agency to you so that you can make you happy.

Let us not make the mistake of thinking that people with depression/anxiety are not moving solely because they are apathetic. At least I had a million thoughts racing through my mind, and it took all my energy just to maintain the stream. At the same time, I had no idea how to stop the race. Depressed people are not apathetic because of laziness, on the contrary, they are working very hard just to exist from second to second.

There are two different kinds of choices: choosing not to do bad, and choosing to do good. I personally have trouble choosing to eat well, but I have less trouble with the choice to not have the whole pan of brownies (even though that one can be hard too.) I've heard many people say that you must replace a bad choice with a good choice, and I know that to be true, but in my experience I had to first commit to not making the bad choice. This decision in my life has usually been one of choosing not to act. Sometimes inaction is a lesser and safer evil. One such choice is the choosing of thoughts. We have to redirect, but we have to recognize our thoughts as bad first. The ones I have the most trouble with are where I am criticizing myself. It took me a while to learn that I have to get rid of those if they are dragging my spirit down. If they depress me it does not make any difference whether or not they are justified, because they dissuade me from change anyway.

But the best part about choosing not to do something bad is that it leaves the door wide open so that I can choose something good. After choosing not to eat the whole pan of brownies I could choose to eat some broccoli instead. But let's be honest, that's not too likely. It is more feasible for me to have one brownie and then choose to either eat a main course, or if I've already done that, choose to not eat anything until my next meal. After I choose not to cut myself down, I could try to praise myself, but that usually comes out sarcastic. I've found the best response in these moments is to focus on the present. Instead of berating myself about the past, or worrying how I am going to mess up in the future, I pick one homework assignment or activity, and just walk myself through that. Then my thoughts are geared toward action, the thing that will ultimately cause me to be better.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Why I Love Sara

Hi Sary! You are going to hate me for this post, but I have to write what's on my mind.

So why is the gorgeous and wonderful Sary Poppins Child on my mind? Because she is at my house, that's why! Sara is my cousin and friend since forever. Forever? You inquire. Probably I respond. Of course I can only go back as far as recorded history. Recorded history states:

There was this day, about 2000 years ago ( January of 1988 to be specific) when Scott and Kathy Christensen brought home a new baby girl. At least they began to, but they decided that they didn't want to go home and cook and stuff just yet, so they went to Cinda and Randy Child's place instead. They looked around for where to set me down in order to eat and visit. They found a crib, but there was a already had a 3 month old girl in it. What to do? They placed both girls in the same crib and went about their business. Little did they know they would be setting a life long precedent.

So now we are 22 and still spending time together. Doing what you may ask? Well, here are some examples:

You get the idea. Despite previous evidence, she is a serious person when the situation calls for it. Obviously, since she does well in nursing school, she has to be serious at some time. Sara has always been a very good student. In fact she tells me that having an A in a class gives you a lot more lisence to goof off to the teacher. Since she goofs off all the time and still does very well, I will take her word for it.

I have to say that even though I find Sara's dislike of so many good movies appaling, I am greatful to have her as a friend. She is the only one who can get me to act like a 20-something college student. I stop being uptight around her, and I let myeslf just let loose and have fun.

By the same token, she is the one that can get me to laugh when my sense of humor takes a nosedive. I don't know how she can make everything funny when I'm in a bad mood but somehow she does it. That is one of the few reasons I go shopping with her. Only the truest love could get me to go shopping, so Sary, you better milk it for all it's worth. Oh yeah, you already do.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Just Thinkin'

This Sunday has been very contemplative for me and I would like to mention a few thoughts that have touched me. In church we spent a lot of time discussing lost souls. My bishop asked us an interesting question...If the Savior entered a room full of people, would He sit by himself and wait for someone to come talk to him? I have always thought this tactic was futile, but it had never before hit me that it is un-Christlike. So much time is devoted to getting my needs met, I wonder how many others I don't notice.

Henry B. Eyring has said that if you assume everyone you meet is carrying a heavy burden, more than half the time you will be right. I've had a tragic experience that taught me that, and ever since then I have been very careful to try and not add to the burdens of others, but it is also a comfort to me to know that Heavenly Father will never allow me to suffer alone. He is always near me, but he has given me family, friends, a ward, and roommates who know what it is to struggle and be mortal with me. I think I am pretty typical in that when I encounter trials I am far more concerned with getting through than with learning something. I never thought I would be grateful to go through what are now my worst memories, but I am. Some of the people I love are struggling and I would have nothing to offer them, had I not overcome what I did.

Today Trev and I were talking about when he moves away from home, and he was saying that college separates families. I started thinking about our Heavenly Parents sending us away from home. If my Heavenly Parents are anything like my earthly ones, I bet there were tears. The reason they let us go is because they knew the blessings of living away from home. Physically college has separated me from my family more than I ever dreamed (now I regularly go 2 months without going home.) But emotionally I have stronger ties to them than I ever thought possible. It's amazing how distance can do that. As freaky as it is for me to see my *little* brother move away from home, I am so excited for all the blessings that await him as he makes his own life and the blessings that await me in the future as I continue my trek back to my home in Heaven.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Happy Birthday to MEEEEEEE!

Hello friends, family, all. I bet I know what's racing through your mind right now, "Wasn't her birthday a while back?" Well yes it was. So glad you remembered. This week was not my birthday. I have this in common with most people I know.

My birthday was over winter break and it was great. It had everything that makes me happy. Almost. The only thing missing was my gorgeous roommies. Well last night they remedied that by having a belated party for me. One that included singing and a gift that I did not anticipate.

My "birthday" was much improved by the presence of Jason, who kept us laughing and graced us with his beautiful voice throughout the evening. He also brought us the ice cream. We love you Jason. Much hugs and a few pictures ensued! You guys are wonderful. Thank you thank you and thank you.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Mad Skills

Okay so we all know I'm somewhat intellegent, right? No sarcasm please. So when we play smart people games I should at least be in the ballpark. Not so. I give two examples...Racko and Scrabble.

When I was in Thatcher I got to play Racko with Clel and Sherri and my new friend Jaime. At least I was only 75 points behind Clel in the end. The difference is that he played 3 less games than I did. And I still came in 1 game behind him. Don't get me wrong, that was a wonderful night and I loved every minute, but that is because I have accepted a simple fact...I loose.

Fast forward about a week. I was in Tempe playing Scrabble with Katie, Jason, and Jarod. Now let's be honest, I talk a lot and I know a lot of words. Do I know how to shut up? This may be the million dollar question. Fortunately there was a nameless person that was just as bad as me so I only came in a little ways behind.

Not to fear, my place (last) in the gamer hall of fame is assured!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

When it rains it pours

No joke. Okay so I had my first day of school today and it was intense. For starters I was on campus for 12 hours. Yeah, 7:30am to 7:30pm. It was fun. When the day began I was happy to see that it was overcast because I love the clouds. Then it started getting chilly. When my class ended early at 7pm I got to walk back to my car in the rain. That would be one mile away in case you were wondering. I parked my car where my day began, not where it ended. I was glad I hadn't worn the sandals, but the lacy shoes were not good either. Hey, it's not my fault that I couldn't find my tennies this morning. Keep derisive hoots to a minumum on that comment please. By the time I got home I had a puddle on top of each foot and another one I stepped in every time my foot came down. I was cold. I was shivering. I was cranky. And I did it. Did anyone else walk a mile in the rain? Well did ya? That's what I thought.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

My new motto for life

My philosophy is that one must have a theme song to succeed in life. Last semester it was "Into the Fire" from The Scarlet Pimpernel. Well I did go into the fire and boy was I refined...I think, maybe...anyway it was hard. And wonderful. Nothing went as planned. I didn't get into music, I now have a boyfriend, my roommates constantly challenge me to stretch and grow and become my best self. I liked my plan. It included music therapy and violins and violas. My plan had me in the Tempe University 5th Ward. I love that ward and all the people in it. I got my appartment so I would be in 5th ward. Obviously I didn't figure in possible boundry changes. That plan is not working out like I pictured it. However, my plan did not include Jeff Sparks. In my defence how could last semester's plan include someone I had not met at the time? But now I do have Jeff in my life, and that changes my plan on how to spend some of my evenings, among other things. Talk about a surprise blessing. (for more detail on Jeff go to

So now that we have established that my plan is out the window my response to it is "You Know Better Than I." I know that Heavenly Father must have something in store for me. I know that everything I have suffered and all the blessings I have received are not for nothing. This plan is not making sense to me now, but I have faith that it makes sense to my Father in Heaven. I will not venture to say that any of these things are divine intervention, but whether they are or not I know that He will consecrate them for my good and the good of others. The song is wonderful and I intend to hold it in my heart through every new challenge I face and blessing I receive this semester. This link will take you to the song and if you click more info in the gray box under the screen you will see all the lyrics

Monday, January 11, 2010

News Flash!

So a lot has happened in my life since I updated last. First all the stuff that most of you already know. I didn't get into the music program so my major is now elementary ed. Even though I have yet to get the necessary clearences I want to go into special education. That is where the most teachers are needed and students need to be loved for who they are and what they can do, as opposed to everyone who sees them for what they can't.

I went from school to Prescott where I got my best present ever. This wonderful guy asked to be my boyfriend. We met over conference weekend and started dating on Dec. 20. It is exciting and fun and we are both enjoying getting to know each other. Be for you ask how serious we are let me tell you...we're not. Right now we are having a great deal of fun getting to know each other. I like things the way they are and if we can maintain the status quo for a while I will be perfectly content.

I made bank at Christmas and loved every thing I got. I was probably most excited to get the GPS because of how much I needed it. To give you an idea, I used to get lost in Thatcher AZ. The town is small enough that getting lost there is an accomplishment. I succeeded many times. We are not even going to mention how my sense of direction fares in Phoenix.

I got to spend a week with my aunt, uncle, and two of my cousins when they came to Tucson. That included family bonding and enough shopping to make me sick. Thank you Sara.

After that came my birthday. Again, I got more than I thought to hope for. The best part was that Jeff (the aforementioned boyfriend) came to Tucson for it. It was interesting getting used to being together with him. He goes to NAU and I'm at ASU, so we don't actually see each other all that often, about once a month for a weekend visit. This was four days and it was fun to spend the time with him and my family. There was a lot of jazz and dancing, as well as movies and laughs. It was good times.

Today is my dad's birthday, and we have been spending the day together until I leave to vacation in Thatcher tomorrow. I love the time with my family and I will miss them a lot when I am gone. I guess it's a good thing, but it's still hard for me to move away again each time I do it.

That's me in a nutshell, I'll try to have funny stories next week.

New Years Resolutions

Hi there friends and family. I have made a whole list of resolutions that I will now share with all of you. This way I can be doublly motivated to keep them.

-Update my blog weekly. Yes I know that I falied last year but this year will be better.
-Exercise every day and eat more healthy.
-100% visiting teaching
-Think twice, speak once

Maybe I should set higher goals, but I'm pretty sure these will keep me busy. Thank you for all votes of confidence and for the mocking taunts and snorts. These resolutions might just last all year!