Wednesday, March 26, 2014

through photographs [26]

The twenty-sixth year of my life was really pretty great. It's been too hard for me to find a picture that I felt would be best, so I decided to show you the picture I meant to put in the post about my eyes (it was even the reason I wrote the post) but then I forgot.

25 years old

It's still a picture of me!

But I guess I can show you another one. It's my birthday, I could probably do as many pictures as I want. But I'll stick with a happy selfie.
25 years old
Thanks for joining me on this journey! I don't feel like doing one of my 27th year of life (which started today, hooray!) so this is the last of them.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

through photographs [25]

Here's a picture to celebrate my golden birthday (which is coming right up! By which I mean it's tomorrow).

24 years old

Monday, March 24, 2014

through photographs [24]

Day 24 of my blog's golden birthday celebration. Here's a photo to commemorate what I call the prime of my life.

23 years old

followers of my faith [Mormon Monday 34]

Rachel (at least I think it was Rachel) got up and bore her testimony about a principle she learned when her phone was dying. She needed it to be working so she could call and text people, maybe check the weather, I don't know what people use smartphones for.

But it was out of batteries. She had to plug it in and wait for it to be ready.

She likened the phone to herself. Sometimes God may need to use us to bless somebody's life, but if our spiritual batteries aren't charged, we miss the opportunity. So we need to always be living our lives worthily and making sure we have the Spirit by reading our scriptures, praying, etc., so God can use us when He needs us.

I really liked that thought.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

through photographs [23]

Welp, my birthday's this week. That means we're almost done! Thanks to all of you for watching along with me. I hope it didn't get too boring once we traversed out of the cute childhood years.

Here comes Day 23 of my golden birthday blog to-do!

22 years old

Saturday, March 22, 2014

through photographs [22]

I don't know about you, but I'm feeling Day 22 of my golden birthday celebration! I actually do remember a lot about my 22nd year of life, despite what I said yesterday. There's just a lot more blank spots. It happens.

21 years old

Friday, March 21, 2014

through photographs [21]

Here's day 21 of my golden birthday celebration. Can you believe I was ever in my 21st year of life because I can barely remember it (I remember it a lot better than most of my 22nd year though; more on that tomorrow I guess).

20 years old

Thursday, March 20, 2014

through photographs [20]

I've always been this self-indulgent. I just don't always post about it as publicly as my blog. Thanks for watching.

Here's Day 20 of my golden birthday celebration.

19 years old

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

through photographs [19]

So let me tell you how this works. When I first got this idea and started implementing it (on the third day of the month) I went through every year of life and found a picture from what pictures I had readily available. The ones I couldn't find I asked my mom to provide (and she did, in abundance).

But what that means for these later ones is that I chose them weeks ago and I'd completely forgotten what they were until I clicked the link. It's as much a surprise for me as for you! It's so great.

Here's a picture representing my 19th year of life for my golden birthday shindig.

18 years old

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

through photographs [18]

Happy Day 18 of my golden birthday celebration here on ye olde blog!

17 years old

Monday, March 17, 2014

through photographs [17]

I'll tell y'all a secret: I don't actually care that much about my birthday. But I do love photos of myself!

I'm celebrating that most of all here on day 17 of my golden birthday celebration here on the blog.

16 years old

followers of my faith [Mormon Monday 33]

Happy birthday to the Relief Society!

I dig this declaration:

For Christmas last year everyone in our Relief Society got this design framed. It's nice to visit my friends' houses and see their gifts on display. Because we believe it.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

through photographs [16]

Here's day 16 of my golden birthday blog celebration.

15 years old

Saturday, March 15, 2014

through photographs [15]

Here we are at day 15 of my golden birthday blog celebration!

14 years old

Friday, March 14, 2014

through photographs [14]

We're now into the second half of my golden birthday celebration on the blog. For those of you that are so annoyed by my daily clog of your feeds, I hope that's great news.

I hope it's great news for all of us, because it means my birthday is getting closer!

13 years old

Thursday, March 13, 2014

through photographs [13]

I am having so much fun with this, peeps. I love my golden birthday. (And I love the plans I have for it, which unfortunately do not currently include a trip to the Golden State.)

12 years old

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

through photographs [12]

Not every year someone has a golden birthday (in fact, that's probably impossible). I am sort of milking it for a lot. It's great.

11 years old

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

through photographs [11]

Thanks for joining me on my celebration of my very own birthday! I've found that I'm happiest when I make my own plans for celebrating, so this year I'm certainly doing that!

10 years old

Monday, March 10, 2014

through photographs [10]

Hello all. I hope you're having a great day and enjoyed the MM which at this point I haven't written but will surely have posted by the time you see this. Here's another picture to celebrate my golden birthday, this time from year 10.
9 years old

followers of my faith [Mormon Monday 32]

I just checked my journal; today is, indeed, 5 years from the day I began chemo, or at least checked into the hospital for that purpose. That was sure an exciting day. Got my port in, had to delay infusion because of bilirubins or something, and discovered the utter joys of anti-nausea medication through an IV (mainly incoherence and the shuddering halt of my digestive system).

My message today doesn't have to do with chemo specifically, but with another aspect of my cancer treatment.

I read this quote in Relief Society today:

“Faith is the moving cause of all action.” [Lectures on Faith, lecture 1.] If you stop to consider that for a moment, I think you will agree that it is absolutely true in temporal things as well as in spiritual things. It is true with us in our own acts, as well as with the acts of God. … (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Fielding Smith, (2013), 84)
 I thought about a temporal action I perform that requires faith. The one that came to mind was standing up from my chair. I have faith that when I go to move, my legs will support me. Even writing this post is a form of faith, that you guys will understand the language I use and that my fingers will type with proficiency.

A natural following thought was "What people don't have faith in such basic temporal actions?" And then I remembered that was me.

See, when I had the big surgery they kept me in the hospital for a few days until I could perform certain basic tasks, like walking around and going to the bathroom by myself. One of those checklist items was an ability to go up and down stairs. Guess what I couldn't do? Or at least couldn't believe that I could do.

Well, I made it up the stairs okay. With a bit of coaching and a lot of reliance on the banister, I successfully climbed all three steps of the makeshift staircase. But then I got stuck. I remember standing there, convinced that I couldn't step down, couldn't put weight on my injured leg ("Do you know how big of an incision I have?" I could imagine myself haranguing the physical therapist. "I have severe trauma and missing muscles and you expect me to support myself? With only the banister to help?"). And I didn't see why I had to. How many stairs was I really going to encounter the rest of my life?

Here's the thing about going down the stairs: you lead with your injured leg. You don't just drag it behind you like when you go up the stairs. It has to make the first move. And I was pretty sure that was not a thing that was going to happen.

Here's the other thing about going down the stairs: I had to in order to go back to bed. The physical therapist wasn't going to call someone to carry me down. There was only one way and that was to lift my injured leg (the leg with the giant incision and the missing muscles and the pain, that leg) and let it down onto the lower step. But that was not a thing that was going to happen!

I had zero faith I could walk down the stairs, as evidenced by my immobility. If I'd had faith, I would've done it already.

Similarly, when I am paralyzed by inaction in my life, that shows that I need an increase in faith. If I am acting contrary to my knowledge, I need an increase in faith. Faith causes action.

Anyway, I made it down the stairs eventually. And the next time they had me test my ability to climb up and down stairs, I was able to do it with a little less trepidation. That is a good example of Elder Bednar's "spiral of faith" (my words, not his).

Here's the talk, but to paraphrase there are three basic elements of faith: "(1) faith as the assurance of things hoped for that are true, (2) faith as the evidence of things not seen, and (3) faith as the principle of action in all intelligent beings."

For example, I had the assurance of the physical therapist and my mom that I would not fall down the stairs (all three of them) and break my leg, so I made the action of taking the step. Once I had done that, I had the evidence that I had successfully made it down the staircase. From that experience, I had greater assurance that the next time I had to go down the stairs, I wouldn't die, so I was able to take the action with further more evidence that my faith was not unfounded. And so forth. That's why it's called a spiral.

I hope you enjoyed this parable.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

through photographs [9]

Brace yourselves for another picture of me, celebrating my very own golden birthday all month long, with my favorite subject! (Me.)

8 years old

Saturday, March 8, 2014

through photographs [8]

I recognize that some of you aren't going to enjoy this golden birthday "celebration" as much as I am, but my mom and I have had a lot of fun with these.
7 years old

Friday, March 7, 2014

through photographs [7]

We're on year 7 of my "golden" birthday celebration!

Think it might be about time to take off the "quotation marks" of "golden" -- I'll let you know.

6 years old

Thursday, March 6, 2014

through photographs [6]

Here's year 6 for my blog's celebration of my "golden" birthday!

5 years old

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

noble and prized [Scripture Mastery Times: Abraham 3:22-23]

Whenever I read or think about this scripture, I am reminded of my Mission Prep class. It was a big class, over a hundred people. I don't remember that much about the class (in part due to dropping out halfway through), but I do remember one occasion in particular.

We read this scripture:

22 Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones;
23 And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born.
Then our teacher did something that may not have been appropriate. He had us show, by raise of hands, how many of us had the phrase "noble and great ones" in our patriarchal blessings.

The majority of the class had their hands raised.

When we discussed this scripture in Sunday School a few weeks ago, we learned that "noble and great ones" refers to the leaders of the Church. No one seemed willing to bring up that we are among them (at least if my experience in mission prep is any guide). And since I wasn't sure my memory was made-up or not, I didn't want to derail the lesson too much.

The purpose of the noble and great ones is discussed in D&C 138:56:
56 Even before they were born, they, with many others, received their first lessons in the world of spirits and were prepared to come forth in the due time of the Lord to labor in his vineyard for the salvation of the souls of men.
I don't think that you need to be a prophet, or even the Relief Society president, to fulfill this foreordination. We can all labor in the Lord's vineyard.

The basic doctrine this scripture helps strengthen is the Plan of Salvation, with an emphasis on premortal life.

through photographs [5]

When I was four, I was in my fifth year of life. Here is a picture commemorating that stage, as part of the "golden" birthday celebration I'm throwing myself.

4 years old

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

through photographs [4]

Continuing my blog's "golden" birthday celebration with year 4!

3 years old

Monday, March 3, 2014

through photographs [3]

I'm celebrating my upcoming "golden" birthday by daily posting pictures of myself year by year.

(Discerning readers might have noticed that today is actually the first day that I've posted any, despite what the timestamps may say. I came up with this idea yesterday and had not implemented it until now, but I'm not going to not do something just because I didn't think of it two days ago.)

Year 3!

2 years old

followers of my faith [Mormon Monday 31]

We've finally gotten a picture of Christ up in our home. I can't believe how much better it makes me feel to see it hanging there.

I feel very blessed to live in a home where we all try our best to serve the Lord and do what's right. There's less conflict and confusion, as well as less awkwardness.

I am also very happy about the piano now in the home.

(Note: This post was originally written in November. We have a few pictures of Christ now. But I just couldn't bear to post this if I had to delete the sentence about a piano. So this has been in drafts for months. But now the piano is here! And I am deliriously happy. And I can post this at long last.)

Sunday, March 2, 2014

through photographs [2]

As part of my "golden" birthday celebration, I'm posting pictures of myself year by year corresponding to the day of the month.

Year 2:

1 year old

Saturday, March 1, 2014

through photographs [1]

This year is my "golden" birthday, meaning the age I will turn and the day of my birthday are the same.

To celebrate, I'll post a picture of myself every day, with my age corresponding to the day of the month.

Today: my first year!