Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Friendships and the Atonement

I have recently realized what it means to have a true friend, and to be a true friend.
On Sunday afternoon, before church was even over, I texted a good friend of mine as a result of my insecurities. 

A while before this moment, I had experienced something during church that left my mind open for self-impeding thoughts. Usually when I'm feeling insecure, I can turn right back around and be happy and confident again. But at some point, these thoughts pile up, and eventually I experience a topper of a thought that causes the pile to fall to the ground. Needless to say, I needed to let some things out. Since I was at church when my pile was nudged over, I was pretty emotional, though the spirit comforted me just enough to get me through church. Instead of just going home and and pitying myself, I had this distinct feeling to talk to a specific friend.

So I texted this good friend of mine, who will remain nameless for now, and all I told him was that I needed someone to talk to who wasn't going to judge me, and someone who would actually listen to me.
I don't want to get too detailed, so, eventually he called me. Up until that point I had sat down and gone through everything I wanted to talk about, but when the time came to talk, I had no words.
It didn't show though, thankfully, and my friend continued talking. 

He told me some of his life experiences that coincidentally aligned with the things that I was going through. He told me that he got to a point where he realized he was trying too hard, and he wasn't allowing the atonement to work in his life the way it was meant to. The atonement of Jesus Christ makes all the difference, and even though I want so much to make everybody happy, I need to accept that I can't do that and make myself happy at the same time.

I really gained a greater understanding of how I should be living my life after I had this one ended conversation with my friend. I also realized that I didn't exactly need to talk about anything that I was going through, and I learned that I had a true, genuine friend at the other end of that call who understood me and cared to understand me. Someone who listened to the spirit that gave him the right words to share with me. Every single thing that he told me was what I needed to hear...and I barely even said a word.

I am eternally grateful for this friend, and for the prompting that I had to talk to him. I have learned through this experience how I need to improve, and how I can be a better friend to those around me. It is important when talking with friends, to listen to the spirit and allow it to take charge when a friend stands in need. We can all get so caught up in the negatives of this world, but I know that, even if I can't change other people, I can change the way a respond to them. I'm grateful for the spirit and for the friends that I have that truly care for me, and if somehow one of them ends up reading this, I want them to know how much I truly care for them also.

"Jesus doesn't make up the difference. Jesus makes all the difference. Grace is not about filling gaps. It is about filling us."
- Brad Wilcox


Friday, December 18, 2015

DIY: Monogram Collage Wall Decor

There's exactly one week till CHRISTMAS! And you know what that means. It's a time for giving and loving, making and sharing memories. It's also my favorite holiday because of these facts, in addition to it's true meaning CHRISTmas ....translating mas from Spanish to English means 'more'! More Christ!! That's how I look at it. hehe 
So anyways, I've come up with my own DIY for these letter collages that seem pretty popular nowadays. I've done this craft before, but I made it hard for myself. Which is why I'm trying it again! And this time it was MUCH easier! So I really hope you enjoy this DIY. I'm making these letters specifically for my younger sister as a gift for Christmas, so I hope this inspires you to create a heartfelt and meaningful gift that will mean a lot to your recipient.

So let's get started!!

 Here are the ingredients you'll need for this fun little time consuming project:

  • Crafting letters of your choice
  • mod podge
  • a pencil
  • tape runner(or glue)
  • paint brush/mod podge brush
  • printer paper
  • printed pictures(B&W or color)
  • scissors

First things first! You'll want to set your letter face down on a blank piece of paper and trace around it. Making sure to keep the line as close to the edge as possible, and the letter as still as you can.
You'll also want to cut out your letter(s) when you finish.

After this you will want to cut out your pictures, keeping in mind that you might eventually have to cut these pictures down smaller to fit in the collage.

 Next, you can use your tape runner or glue to start pasting your pictures. I recommend using the tape runner, making sure to cover each picture fully with tape so that the whole picture sticks, and sticks flat onto the letter's surface. Using the tape runner also makes sure that you get more of a flat, clean look rather than the lumpy effect you can get from a wet glue.

Continue doing this until your letter cutout is showing almost no white spaces.

Next you will want to turn your letter over, exposing the original cut out of the letter.

 Start cutting along the edge of the letter. What I did to make sure that the letter cutout fit on the letter block is cut the paper along the inside edge getting rid of a small amount of the letter. This makes the cutout just a tad bit smaller, so that it's not sticking over the edge of the block. That's probably really confusing....but I hope it's not.

Once you get the excess cut off, you'll want to check and make sure your cutout fits on the front of the letter. If it sticks over the edge a bit, just cut off a sliver around the whole thing....

Here's where you'll need your tape runner/glue again....*tape runner highly recommended* You'll run tape over the front face of your letter....ALL OVER! Don't neglect one single spot of being covered in tape!
Then....tape the paper letter onto the monogram letter, being careful to place it on there with much precision.

Now you'll take your mod's a pretty picture(: Haha!

And you'll simply use your paint brush/mod podge brush to paint a thin coating on your letter, making sure to cover the edges to secure the paper on the letter. You can put as many coats of mod podge on as you like, but I just stuck with doing one.

 Finally, you can let your letters doesn't take too long;)

Now you're finished and ready to wrap up your gift!! Unless of course you made this for yourself, then you could very well wrap it up and tear it open on Christmas day as a nice little gift to yourself.

Thank you so much for reading and crafting with me! I hope you enjoy this DIY and use it to create your own Monogram collages. Please leave a comment on another DIY project you might want me to tackle for you, or if you try this and want to share your results, I would love the feedback on how it worked for you. Don't forget to check out my other crafts on my 'DIY/crafts' page. Thanks again, and have a very Merry Christmas!(:

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Just Follow God...

You know, I've really been having such a hard time this past month trying to figure out what direction I'm supposed to be headed. With school, work, this gospel....this life! Up until Sunday I felt so overwhelmed by the fact that I felt so lost and confused about what I was supposed to be doing. If you read my last blog post you're probably thinking that I'd already come to the conclusion of going on a mission. But since having made that decision, I've still felt lost, and quite frankly....scared. Not of going on a mission...because I can only tell you how much my heart desires to serve a mission. But I just haven't felt right this past week.
I've been thinking a lot about what I want to study in school....I guess you could say I've been thinking for the past two years what I want to do in school. Let me tell you about this long list of things I've thought about education, music composition, photography, religious education(seminary/institute), ASL interpreting, ASL education....each and every one of these things I have studied a little bit about. Music is my life....I can't stand being away from it as much as I have this year because of the fact that I decided to try the sign language route. ASL is amazing and so much fun! But...I don't feel satisfied making it a career...I just feel that I'm not putting enough effort and passion into it. Photography...whether I study it or not, it will always be there. Religious education is my most recent interest. I've been going to institute for the past year, and I love listening and hearing from these teachers. I love learning about this gospel, and I love teaching it! I love being a relief society makes my heart so happy.
So do I choose?
This was my big question going into general conference, and even though I still have a few talks left to listen to, I still haven't seemed to find an answer.

This last Sunday, I was beginning to feel like there was something I was missing...something I wasn't understanding...
After I had gone to a lesson with the missionaries on Sunday night, I decided to stop by the temple, rather than go straight home. I know I know....the temple is closed on Sundays...
...But in that moment, I needed to be as close to my heavenly father as possible, I knew that the closer I was to Him, the farther away I'd be from Satan's influence. I knew I needed to talk to my heavenly father with little to no distractions in order to understand why I wasn't feeling right.
When I pulled up I just parked my car as close to the temple as I could, and said a prayer....
So many thoughts began flooding my mind, but one small, still, voice stuck out...'just follow God'. I knew for a fact that these three words did not come from myself...I knew they came from the Holy Spirit. I truly knew it, and there really was no mistaking it because I felt so much peace and comfort from that simple phrase. It was amazing. After this, I went straight into my scriptures, but it wasn't something I read that actually kind of answered my was something I remembered. The Holy Spirit reminded me of my patriarchal blessing and the answers that I suddenly realized were in it. As I sat there I could hear the patriarch retelling me the answers I needed so desperately to hear at this time of need.
I could remember one of the blessings I would receive in teaching others...and another was that no matter if I chose to serve a mission or not, it would be a good decision. At that moment, I knew that everything was going to workout as long as I followed the words of the spirit. Just follow God.....keep His commandments, trust in His timing, listen to the words of the prophets, and quite frankly the words of my patriarch. I have been told to listen to the council I receive, and I now have no problem doing so. I know I will have some hard times in the future. But right now, I'm so grateful for the simple words that impressed me so much that night. I know with all my heart that this gospel is true, and I know that my Heavenly Father is pleased with all that I do to try my best in following Him. Even more so now than before. Our Heavenly Father is truly amazing, and I love Him so much. Because of Him and the gift of the Holy Ghost that I received after my baptism, I am able to have that constant companionship...and I can feel it with every decision I make. I don't know where I would be without him...but I know for a fact I wouldn't be as happy.