Elysha's World

Elysha's World

Thursday, October 29, 2015

8 Days of Pencil

About two months ago my boss came into our office donning a new pencil skirt. She said her neighbor sold them as over stock online, and had a whole bunch of them. She said she gave her a good deal for $5 each. She called it her 7 days of pencil. All week long she came in wearing new pencil skirts. 

Naturally, I was interested in shopping at her neighbor’s house as well. About a month later another girl from the office and I went to visit her neighbor. She gave us the same deal. I bought 8 pencil skirts and adopted the hashtag #8daysofpencil. Then over the next few weeks I wore all of my new pencil skirts. It’s been about a month, and I have finally worn all 8 of them. This was not an easy task! Most of the outfits I put together involved me shopping out of my closet. Almost every single outfit I wore included completely new clothes that I’ve never worn before. I’d cut the tags off of everything that morning. It was fun to refresh my wardrobe.

It’s starting to get cold now, but luckily boots go great with pencil skirts! 

Forgive the dirty mirror pictures. My roommates have better lighting in their bathroom, however I didn't realize the mirror was so dirty until...now.  However, it just goes to show how real life they are! Sometimes I think people think that other people's lives are perfect, when really they're not. We see what we want to see. Life isn't always pretty or perfect, but we try our best. 

Now for one of my favorite outfits. I got a comment that I looked like a Kennedy, Barbie, and Cruella Devil. However, it's another point that people look a lot better when they add a filter onto their pictures. It's not real life. 
No Filter

The moral of the story is try making new outfits with the clothes in your closet! It's amazing what you can find. Also, fantasy is always going to be better than reality. 

Also, I love this quote by Susan W. Tanner from her 2005 General Conference talk The Sanctity of the Body. There is a story and quote out of it that I have never forgotten:

"I remember well the insecurities I felt as a teenager with a bad case of acne. I tried to care for my skin properly. My parents helped me get medical attention. For years I even went without eating chocolate and all the greasy fast foods around which teens often socialize, but with no obvious healing consequences. It was difficult for me at that time to fully appreciate this body which was giving me so much grief. But my good mother taught me a higher law. Over and over she said to me, 'You must do everything you can to make your appearance pleasing, but the minute you walk out the door, forget yourself and start concentrating on others.'

There it was. She was teaching me the Christlike principle of selflessness. Charity, or the pure love of Christ, 'envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own' (Moro. 7:45). When we become other-oriented, or selfless, we develop an inner beauty of spirit that glows in our outward appearance. This is how we make ourselves in the Lord’s image rather than the world’s and receive His image in our countenances. President Hinckley spoke of this very kind of beauty that comes as we learn to respect body, mind, and spirit." 

To learn more about how to update your wardrobe for little to nothing click here- Exchanging Clothes for Cash or here Rue 21.

To read more on how we let other people's views effect us click here - How Do You Define Yourself?

Saturday, October 24, 2015

A Letter of Recommendation From God

I’ve had a busy few weeks! We’ve had a few people quit in our office the last two weeks, so we’re in the process of interviewing people right now. I’m working close to 40 hours a week to help pick up the slack and learn new concepts. Transitional periods can be hard, but I think they’re important. It’s nice to start over and begin again. 

If I haven’t mentioned it before, I’m a Human Resources Assistant. I work in HR and I really enjoy what I do. I have a minor in HR, and kind of like this job, it just kind of found me. I’m definitely a people person, and I love solving problems and keeping everything in order. 

 As I was leaving work today I had an interesting realization. It was actually a pretty good thought, and I really wanted to share it. What better way to share it than to blog about it? In the last two weeks I’ve spent about 20 hours interviewing people. Interviewing people is actually quite exhausting. I have a lot more respect for the people sitting on the interviewing side of the table now. It’s easy enough to walk into an interview and back out, but when you have 11 people to interview in one day, it can be pretty tiring. 

I’m learning it’s best to be open and candid with the people who interview you. They’re going to figure out who you are soon enough, and if they don’t like your personality from the beginning, you probably don’t want to work for their company any way. It’s really important to be able (at least for me) to feel connected and appreciated by those whom I associate and work with. 

This week I was able to make some reference calls for some people who were applying for a position. I haven’t done it much before this, however I found it really interesting. People want to help people! If someone has a bad employee, they want you to know about the problems, so that you don’t have the same experience.  If they had a great experience, they want to express multiple times about what a hard worker their previous employee was. It was very eye opening.
As I left work I pulled out my phone and Facebook told me to look back at the memories from past years on this day. As I did that a post came up. I laughed to myself, and found it really ironic that after making “recommendation calls” all day, this is what I saw:

Isn’t that amazing? “If God were to write a letter of recommendation for you, what would he write?” This made me think of a post I wrote a few months ago entitled The Great and Terrible Soul Surfer.
I’m going to share a portion of that here:

There is a book series that I absolutely love! It’s called “The Great and Terrible” by Chris Stewart. I accidentally fell upon this book series about 3 years ago while working at a different University. I had a similar job and got to listen to books on CD every day. I went to the library and picked out a book that looked good, and started reading it. I’m not really an avid reader, in fact, this was the last series I read, and by that I mean I was tired of waiting for the CD’s that were checked out to come back to the library, so I got the book and sat down and read them!  

Someone once mentioned to me a very profound thought. They said, “When God is talking to his angels, and your name comes up, what words does he use to describe you?” It really made me think. I hoped it was good. Maybe something like, “She’s a little all over the place, but she’s a great listener” or “She’s not perfect, but she tries her best.”

So in the first book of The Great and Terrible series called “Prologue: The Brothers” There is a paragraph where the Lord does just that. He comes to visit a particular family, and starts talking with one of the brothers, Ammon, about his sister Elizabeth. She’s not around, but she’s a painter. Here’s a bit of the conversation that ensues:

Jehovah walked to the small painting and picked it up, examining it proudly. “I’m so pleased with her,” he said, his voice full of pride. “She has worked so hard. And she is getting very good.” He shot a knowing look to Ammon. “Can I tell you something about her?” He asked him as he smiled.
Ammon nodded anxiously.

“When Elizabeth first started painting, it was very difficult for her. But look at this now. Isn’t it wonderful! Isn’t it great how she does that: sets her mind to something, decides she’s going to develop a talent, then works patiently, not embarrassed by her efforts, even if she starts out a little behind. When it comes to talents, I wish all of Father’s children could be just a little more like Beth: not afraid of failing, not embarrassed for their weakness, not so prideful in their efforts to improve.”

Ammon nodded agreement. Jehovah admired the painting for several minutes, turning it in various directions to catch the different shades of light. “It’s wonderful!” he said finally. “I’ve got to tell her how pleased I am” ( Stewart 108).

So, what would God say about me in a letter of recommendation? I have no idea. As of late he might say, “She is constantly trying to be helpful and improve herself and her surroundings. She tries to be prepared and uplift wherever she goes. She struggles on the little daily things like praying and scripture reading, but if you give her a task she’ll complete it as soon as possible.”
I wish I could say I’d be happy with that answer, but instead it makes me want to improve my life so much more!

 At church on Sunday we had an interesting lesson on chastity. It was actually one of the best lessons I’ve ever been in, and everyone was very candid and honest with their thoughts and comments. The thought in the highlighted portion of this picture was in the manual, and I’ve been thinking about it all week.It definitely made me start to rethink some of things I’ve seen or thought about recently. I want to be a dependable daughter, and I want to be able to be ready and able to serve at a moment’s notice. 

Anyway, something to think about. Have a great weekend! 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Life is Beautiful

So I just found this song, and I basically fell in love with it! It was in the movie I watched tonight, and I looked it up after. I don't know if it has anything to do with the rest of this post, but the lyrics are so witty and true, that I decided I'd just add it to the top of this post. 

Sometimes life is hard and tiring. Sometimes I don’t go to all of the activities I should go to. Sometimes I come home and take a work after nap…that’s how tired I am, ha ha. Take a nap after work. Sometimes I have no idea what I’m doing with my life, and I’m okay with that. I woke up from my nap and decided that I was very hungry. I decided I was too tired to make food, and too hungry to wait to wake up enough to make food. So I went to CafĂ© Rio by myself and headed toward the surprisingly empty line. 

As soon as I walked through the door I saw my cousin! I haven’t seen her in quite a while and it was a miracle that I ran into her there. We awkwardly blocked all of the specialty drinks while we talked, and kept shuffling back and forth every time someone wanted a refill. Luckily there weren’t a lot of people there. I think God put her right in my path when I needed her. He does this a lot with me. I think it’s so I won’t feel so alone. It happens everywhere I go, and I mean EVERYWHERE I go. Taiwan, Washington DC, St.George, the mall, Walmart, I’m destined to see someone I know. 

After she left I grabbed my food and decided to watch a Halloween movie. I didn’t want to watch a scary one by myself, so I texted a few friends to join me. They were all busy, so instead I watched October Baby. If you haven’t seen this movie, it’s definitely worth your time! 
It’s about a girl who finds out that her whole life has been a lie. She finds out that she was adopted and a failed abortion attempt all in the same day. She has a great friend who helps her through it, and learns to forgive and heal throughout the movie. 

I found it very uplifting and made me think about my own life. Plus, it’s October! What a great time to watch it.  After it was over I called my sister and talked to her for a moment. I don’t know how it came up, but we were talking about trials, and I remembered a story from a BYU Devotional that I heard last year. The devotional was given by Elder Dallin H. Oaks in 1995. Click here to read the whole talk.

In her fine book called Adversity, Elaine Cannon shares this valuable example:

"An old cowboy said he had learned life’s most important lessons from Hereford cows. All his life he had worked cattle ranches where winter storms took a heavy toll among the herds. Freezing rains whipped across the prairies. Howling, bitter winds piled snow into enormous drifts. Temperatures might drop quickly to below zero degrees. Flying ice cut into the flesh. In this maelstrom of nature’s violence most cattle would turn their backs to the ice blasts and slowly drift downwind, mile upon mile. Finally, intercepted by a boundary fence, they would pile up against the barrier and die by the scores.

But the Herefords acted differently. Cattle of this breed would instinctively head into the windward end of the range. There they would stand shoulder-to-shoulder facing the storm’s blast, heads down against its onslaught.

'You always found the Herefords alive and well,' said the cowboy. 'I guess it’s the greatest lesson I ever learned on the prairies—just face life’s storms.'”
So I guess the moral of the story is to keep going! Stand strong and face the storm. Life may not be perfect, but it is beautiful! God is good. I’m just feeling a lot of gratitude for my life and the people in it right now. 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Gall of Bitterness - Gallbladder Pain

Today was a very interesting day. I realize now that in some of my other posts I have talked about getting sick and getting my Gallbladder out, however I’ve never described in detail how excruciatingly painful gallbladder attacks are. 

I’ve done my research and have found that young people don’t usually have problems with their gallbladder, or at least they normally don’t.  This organ has a purpose, and a lot of people don’t start having problems with it until they are in their 30’s or 40’s, at least that’s how it has been in my family.

Today I had an experience that reminded me of all the past pain and I figured I’d write it down just in case some person was trying to do some research online and somehow comes across this obscure blog. The one thing I know for certain is that everyone has similar but completely DIFFERENT symptoms when it comes to the gallbladder. 

I had my gallbladder out in 2012. It's been three years, and I'm pretty happy and healthy most of the time. Every once in a while I get these "phantom" gallbladder pains and they are excruciating! I did some research on them today, and besides the fact that people are talking about them online I am 100% sure that they are real. In the little research I found about 10-15% of people have these phantom attacks.

I had one today, and it'd been so long, I wasn't sure what was happening. After it happened it reminded me of all the pain I had been in a few years ago. Unfortunately, I was in a quiet public place, where it wouldn’t have been appropriate for me to curl up in a ball and lay on the floor. I started having immense pain in my abdomen, right under my ribs.  I could hardly sit up straight; I had to hunch over and practice breathing. This pain is like a long intense cramp that runs from the middle of my body all the way up my back. It starts out as a dull throbbing. At first I wondered if I just had air in my stomach or, actually, it kind of feels like the feeling I get right before my stomach growls and the person next to me can hear it. Then instead of growling, it silently screams at my stomach and heart. No one can hear or see anything, but I suddenly become very still, don’t move, and I look flushed. My heart starts to flutter and any breathing at all causes pain, especially deep breathing, so I stick to small quick breaths.

When I got sick back in 2012 which I talk about a little in this blog Coming Home Early -Don't You Worry Child. I started having hot flashes all of the time. That’s not supposed to happen to someone in their 20’s, that’s what happens to old people! They've never completely gone away. Today they came like a wave, one after another, after another, about 5 in a row. I wanted to get up and leave, but I was in a class and couldn’t. Besides that, even if I wanted to get up I didn’t know if I had the energy or if I would faint from all of this overheating. Most of the time all I can do is shed as many layers of clothes as is socially acceptable, roll up my sleeves, fan myself, and then I’ll feel a little better.

I realized my body was warm and I had sweaty palms, which has never been a problem for me. I'm usually cold all of the time. My problems started when I was in the MTC. My companion had to have leg surgery, and while at the hospital we found out that they’d taken 6 gallbladders out that week from missionaries in the MTC. My problems went away and then started up again while I lived in Taiwan for about 9 months. I think it probably had a lot to do with all the oily food there. The most prevalent and persistent thing that happened through my mission was nausea. I don’t often throw up; I have maybe 10 times in my entire life. However I was constantly nauseous on my mission.

I also never have had gallstones. For a long time they weren’t sure how to diagnose me. We did blood tests and told them all of my symptoms, but none of them really went together, so they had no idea what was wrong with me. Some people started to question if it was all in my head, and if I had in fact always looked the way I looked when I came home.  Eventually my brilliant angel of a mother with her nursing background put all of the symptoms together. The following list I found online, but changed it and added some of my own symptoms.

·  Severe abdominal pain
·  Pain that extends beneath the right shoulder blade or to the back
·  Pain that worsened after eating food, particularly fatty or greasy foods
·  Pain that feels dull, sharp, or crampy
·  Pain that increases when you breathe in deeply
·  Chest pain
·  Diarrhea
·  Heartburn, indigestion, and excessive gas
·  Pain gets stronger at night
·  Vomiting, nausea, fever  
·  Tenderness in the abdomen, particularly the right upper quadrant
·  Shaking with chills

Once we put all of the pieces together, we went to the hospital. They did all the tests, but they came back clean. So we did our own tests.  I can never remember the names of the tests you have to take, before you can get your Gallbladder taken out, but my mother documented all the tests and took pictures. Instead of rewriting all of the information, I’ll direct you to her two posts about them. Click here to read about that- This is the rest of the story: Gallbladder problems from a mother's perspective._ and Princess 2's Surgery Blessing

Back to this afternoon: I immediately started thinking over what I'd eaten in the last 24 hours. I couldn't think of anything out of the ordinary. (I would like to make mention that the pain in my back by my shoulder blade has never gone away. It just builds up until it's extremely painful and I have to have someone rub it. A lot of times I'll also put icy hot on my back before I go to sleep, to help me sleep and ease the pain.) Then I remembered what it probably was. I had gone to a friend’s house for breakfast, and she had made us toasted apples and told me to put some cream on top. I usually don't eat cream, and I’m slightly lactose intolerant. I weighed the options in my mind, “I eat sour cream and cream cheese. Both of those items have cream in them, so I’m sure this will be fine. However, I know if I eat half-and-half I feel extremely awful and bloated. I'll just use a little and I'm sure I’ll be fine.” I decided to try some. Besides, what would a little cream do to me? (Side note: I can eat ice cream if it's thin, like a shake, but I can't eat a lot of it, and I don't eat Cold Stones because of how creamy and thick it is.) I’m guessing that this little drizzle of pure cream is what made my body go crazy!

 I ate the cream at around 10am and the pain started out of nowhere at around 12:30pm. It's now 8:30pm and there is still a little bloating and radiating pain. However the pain is mostly gone. That’s how these attacks work, they come, they radiate, and they leave. (For those of you who missed it, that was in a Bugs Life movie reference kind of quote. “They come, they eat they leave.”)

I came home and laid down while I drank a small Coke. It helped me feel better, but the pain has lasted all day. When I first came home from Taiwan I couldn’t sleep at all; partially because of the time difference, but mostly because I was in so much pain. The only way I could find to help myself not focus on the pain, was to put on a movie, preferably Disney on low and drink a cup of Coke ( I don’t know if it’s the carbonation or caffeine that helps) and lay down in the fetal position while trying to focus on the movie instead of the pain. (Once home, this happened for about 3 months)

After editing this post it's now 9:40pm and I feel great! It's almost like it never happened. I can usually eat whatever I want, but every once in a while if I'm not careful, they come on fast and strong. Usually this happens if I've eaten something with a lot of oil or cream. These attacks happened a lot right after my surgery, but now it happens maybe 2 times a year tops. The rest of the time I'm able to eat when, where, and what I want.

This blog wasn’t written to get pity or sympathy, but rather to help others who are suffering and can’t find answers. My situation was unique to me, but perhaps by putting my story online, it may help others find some answers, or at least some comfort in knowing that they’re not alone in their trials.

Feel free to share this story with anyone who you think may benefit from it.