Elysha's World

Elysha's World

Sunday, December 27, 2015

“Angels We Have Heard on High” -Mom’s Christmas Present

 I hope you had a Merry Christmas! I got to be home with my family this Christmas, and we even were lucky enough to have a white Christmas! As a side note, the movie “White Christmas” might be my favorite holiday movie. 

My older sister a few months ago had a great idea. We always have a really hard time shopping for our mother, because she already has everything she needs. When I say it’s hard, I mean nearly impossible to get her something she’ll use and enjoy. So my sister suggested we use our talents to make a gift for our mother. Use something artistic to show her how much she means to us. We’d be using our talents that she paid for like piano, singing, or something like that.

I thought about writing her a poem, but I’ve done that a number of times already, and it didn’t seem like quite the right gift. Well, it was a day or two before Christmas and a few of my sisters hadn’t done anything either. None of us know how to play the piano, even after all of those years, but we do know how to sing. We knew that my mom loved to hear us sing, so I figured we’d make a video, it’d take maybe 15 minutes, and then we’d all have made something for my mom. 

I was wrong. 

It didn’t take 15 minutes, it probably took an hour, and I don’t remember the last time that I laughed that hard. I was crying with tears streaming down my face, doubled over on the floor because I couldn’t breathe from laughing so hard.  I love my sisters!!! We had to recruit our other sister, because I could not remember how to sing. I think it’s because I was laughing so hard/ too confident in my abilities to sing the alto part. 

Either way, you better believe that I 100% know that part now. On Christmas Eve my mom had us sing for her a few different songs, and I kept trying to get us to go to bed, because I didn’t want her to have reached her happiness quota for us singing these songs, and then hear us sing them all the next day. I don’t think it really would have mattered, but she loved our gift to her! 

You may not find them very funny, but everyone I’ve shown these videos too has at least smiled. It’s kind of hard not to. 

Here are the 7 takes it took for us to sing the Christmas song “Angels We Have Heard on High.” They’re all on YouTube, and most of them are less than a minute long. Video #3 is definitely my favorite one.

Enjoy and Happy Holidays! 

Monday, December 21, 2015

I Like Life - Count Your Many Blessings

This week had been filled with little miracles. I feel like sometimes I forget to look at the good that happens and life, and I forget to write it down so it’s easy to forget. 

I don’t even remember all of the things that happened this week, it’s been so full of great things, but I’d like to share a few with you. The first great thing is that I finally saw “Scrooge the Musical.” A co-worker told me about it, and I was surprised that I’d never heard of it. It’s an old film and the music wasn’t even that great, but it made me feel the spirit of Christmas. We ended up talking for a few hours before and after the movie. There was a song in the movie that has been stuck in my head all week long. It’s called “I Like Life.” It’s really catchy and made me smile. 

I got to catch up with a lot of friends this week. I don’t know if it’s the holiday season, or people just want to get in touch with people. Either way I don’t mind; I enjoy spending time with people!

On Wednesday I went out with my friend to get Indian food because the night before we’d watched “The Hundred Foot Journey.” We had a great evening and then she paid for my dinner. She didn’t have to do that, but it was really sweet of her. This is just one of the many blessings from this week.

Thursday- I had a few options of things to do, but I wasn’t really feeling like doing any of them. I came home and sat in my front room (admittedly kind of feeling bad for myself for no good reason) and I realized that my friend came home from her LDS mission the day before. I went straight to her house to see if she was home and we ended up spending the rest of the evening together. I took her to a bunch of different apartment’s so she could reconnect and say hello to everyone. I smiled all night long. I couldn’t help it, my friend is finally home! 

Friday- I had a busy day at work and then came home and once again felt down because most of my friends had gone home for Christmas break. I didn’t have any fun Friday night plans, and I’m single and it’s the Christmas season. I decided it would be a good idea to spend a few hours watching funny YouTube videos. It did make me feel better, and I realized that I needed to go out and do something fun. As I was eating dinner I got this text from my friend. It was her birthday and she was feeling down and had been by herself all day. This is the second time this has happened to me this year. I immediately called her and planned out the rest of our evening and got some other people involved as well. (Mostly I realized this week, that I may feel down sometimes, but there is always someone who is having a harder time than me, and I need to get over myself and go find those in need of a friend. I’m constantly being reminded of this.) I was also honored that these friends felt they could text me when they were feeling down. It makes me want to be always ready to help a friend in need.

I put a present together for her and then we went skating. I told her I didn’t want to skate, but I’d go and support her. There were 3 of us there, but only she and her other friend were skating. I felt bad, but I wasn’t wearing the right clothes, and I was afraid of falling down and hurting myself. Our other friend showed up and we found out it was date night, so she paid to get in, and then got me a free voucher for skates or whatever I wanted. So I reluctantly took the voucher and went and got a scooter. I’m really glad I did.  This was another small miracle, but it made a big difference. Its two days later and I’m super sore when all I did was scooter. We had an amazing time and even though there weren’t very many of us, I know it made her night. We went to Denny’s and got her a free birthday meal after as well. 

Saturday - My roommate and I decided to go to Zupas for dinner (because we’d been out all day and didn’t want to cook) and when we went up to pay, they told us the register was broken, and that our meals were free! This by itself really was a miracle! 

Side story: *Earlier in the day a different friend had called me and we’d met up for lunch. If you know me at all then you know that I love to go out to eat and spend time with my friends. Before going to dinner with my roommate I started thinking of all of the times I’d eaten out this week, and didn’t really want to go out, but I wanted to spend some time with her, and neither one of us wanted to go home and cook. 
Monday- Ate at home
Tuesday- Ate at home
Wednesday –Indian food
Thursday – Burgers
Friday – Denny’s
Saturday – Mexican food, Zupas
Sunday-A friend’s family made me dinner

However, it turned out to be a blessing because my friend paid for my meal on Wednesday and then we got free food on Saturday. I kept thinking to myself that I eat out way too much, but then I think of all the conversations I’ve had with friends and I realize that maybe all of this is bigger than me. When I find myself worried about things, God always shows me that he’s there for me. It may have been a coincidence that we got our food for free, but to my knowledge, we were the only 2 people that this happened to that night; the girls after us had to pay. I jokingly called it our Jesus date, because he made sure our meal was covered. 

God knows all of the little insignificant details of our lives. He knows when we are tired and hungry. He knows when we feel down on ourselves. However, if we trust in Him, He’ll always make sure that we are taken care of.  I know this is true. I have no doubt in in my mind. He loves me. He loves you. Sometimes it’s nice to be reminded of that. 

I have further proof of God’s love.

I had a completely different plan for myself on Saturday. In fact I had plans to do nothing and sit at home and clean my room. As it turns out, I ended up going to lunch, spending 3-4 hours shopping with my roommate and friend, and then to top it all off getting a free meal. 

After the free dinner I came home to watch a movie with my roommate, and half-way through the movie someone came to our door, put something down, and then left. I waited a few minutes until the car had left to see what they had left. I figured it would be a plate of cookies. I opened the door and there was an anonymous note for me. I opened it up, and someone had left a coupon for a free 60 minute Swedish massage! I have no idea what angel left that for me, but that’s all I’ve wanted for about the past year. I’ve looked into going and getting one, but I always get too nervous, and tell myself that I don’t really need it even though my back is in knots. I feel like not very many people know that about me, so it was a total surprise! 

To top it all off! Sunday (today/yesterday since I’m typing this at midnight) – I went to my friends homecoming to hear her tell the congregation about her LDS mission. There weren’t a lot of people there because of the holiday season, but I got to catch up with a few old friends. After it was over I came home and my roommate and I ate waffles for lunch. (Basically we both really dislike cooking.) I had just finished eating when my friend showed up at the door. She said that our other friend had invited us to go to her house for a Christmas dinner. This was a total surprise and I was happy to accept. It was fun to spend a Sunday evening with my friend’s family and see all of the traditions that they had. They fed us basically a Thanksgiving dinner and we played games and read stories. We also drove around and saw the lights. It was the perfect beginning to a new week. 

A lot of the time I wish I had large amounts of money so I could buy extravagant presents for my friends and family. I wish I could give people what they want and need. I wish I could make their lives better and give them the security they seek. However, I know I don’t have the funds or the means. Lately however, I’ve realized that I’ve got something else to give. I’ve got my time. I’ve got my heart and I’ve got my attitude. It’s amazing really. 

My extended family is very well off. I grew up going out to eat all of the time. (That might be why I like it so much!) I know that money can buy you a lot of things. However when problems arise, money does basically nothing for you. Money can’t hold you. Money can’t tell you everything is going to be alright. Money can’t talk to you. Money will spend time with you, but it can disappear very quickly, and you’re still alone. I’ve seen the good and the bad of money. I think it’s an amazing thing; however, I’d take an hour talking to a true friend over a handful of dollar bills any day. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Did Mary Know?

I found my new favorite Christmas song on the radio last week. I was listening to K-LOVE and it came on. I had to Shazam it and find out who sang this beautiful song. It's called "Just A Girl" by Brandon Heath. I love all of the lyrics of this song, and I love “Just a million angels crowding in to see.” The imagery in this song alone, takes my breath away! Last week I listened to it for two straight days on repeat. I really cannot get enough of this song!!!

While at work this week I realized that all of my favorite Christmas songs revolve around Mary the Mother of Jesus. I picture this young, maybe 16 year old, being frightened, scared, and alone. I picture her trying to explain herself and her situation over and over again in her mind. 
Clearly I’ve never been an expectant mother, nor do I pretend to think I know anything about her life or what she went through, but I feel like I just understand her. I feel like these 3 songs perfectly articulate the feelings that I have when I think of Mary. This next song is "Mary Did You Know?"

Did she wonder? Did she worry?Did she know? Was she just a girl?

The last song is a song called "Breath of Heaven." I fell in love with this song when I was 17. The beginning of the song touched my soul and I've sung it to my self many times. Amy Grant sings this version, and I seriously love her. I got to see her perform live a few years ago, and it was an amazing concert. She was so real and down to earth. I've mentioned her before on this blog, but if you've never listened to her music before check her out! 

I’m just a girl. That’s what I’ve been thinking about the most this week. I am just a girl. However there are so many girls and boys for that matter who have changed this world. They accomplished something great. They were just people. They just lived normal lives, and they just made little decisions every day. Those little decisions added up and they made the right choices to be where they are today. 

So I will proudly answer the question, “Who are you?” one day by saying, “Just a girl.”

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Satan or Santa?

My friend told me a joke last week. She said, “Did you hear about the dyslexic Atheist?” I said, “Yes. He didn’t believe in Dog.” She said, “No, He didn’t believe in Santa.” I laughed pretty hard because I’d never heard it before and it was a holiday joke. 

I’m not laughing now. In fact I’m kind of annoyed. I’m really annoyed. Like what is Satan’s deal? I think it’s because lately I’ve been trying to strengthen areas in my life that I’ve always let falter, and He doesn’t appreciate that as much as I do right now. He has messed with my mind way too much in the last year, and especially in the last month. 

Fear is the opposite of faith. I’ve had to make some choices recently and I’ve been struggling way more than I ever have. I’m angry, worried, confused, and upset constantly. It’s a battle every day. Most of the time I just want to give up and say, “You win, can I go back to living a semi normal life now?” However lately I’ve wanted to fight back, and take back my mind and desire to actually do something. 

While deciding whether or not to write this blog post I remembered a dream that I had a few years ago. I was in a house with a bunch of friends when suddenly the lights went out for no reason, and it was rainy and stormy outside. I didn’t know what to do so I looked around and found a table/desk and crawled underneath it. As I hid there I heard the door open and someone walk inside. I was terrified! The person walked around the room and came and stood right next to the desk. He said, “I see you.” The lights came back on. I came out from hiding to see a shorter very handsome good looking man. Then he looked right at me as if he was peering into my soul and said, “Elysha, I know who you are, I know what you are capable of, and you will not win.” 

As soon as he walked into the door I knew who he was. I couldn’t see him at that point, but I could feel his presence. It was Satan. I was really surprised by how attractive he was. I had things to say to him, and I was ready to fight back, but as soon as I opened my mouth no sound came out. He had bound my tongue. He turned towards all of my friends and family who were all huddled together behind the desk. Because the lights had come back on, they weren’t afraid any more. He went and mingled with them. I tried to get their attention and tell them who he really was, but I couldn’t speak, and so even if I got their attention I couldn’t tell them what I knew. I was distraught and upset. I could see the evil lurking around them, but they had no idea. He was charming. They liked him. I wanted to help, but I couldn’t get to them. They welcomed him into their party and seemed to think he was a pretty great guy. 

I was very upset when I woke up. I had forgotten about that dream, but it changed my life. It changed the way I looked at things, and it made me want to strengthen myself and those around me. 

Flash back to tonight. I had a lot of options of what I could do tonight. I had a few invitations, and some were very inviting. However even though I know right from wrong, I found myself sitting in my car in an empty parking lot trying to decide what to do. It didn’t really take me that long to decide, but it took me longer than I would have liked. I decided to come back home at midnight and not stay out later with my friends. In fact earlier I told one of my friends, “I know you have to be at work in the morning. We really should be responsible and go to bed. Rain check? ” To which he responded, “When have I ever been responsible?” That was true. It was also kind of upsetting. It made my choice of coming home that much easier. I know he was probably trying to be funny, but it had the exact opposite effect on me.

I was happy with my choice, but the other choices seemed very inviting. Then this thought came flooding into my mind. Sometimes the hardest trials come right before something good comes. This is true for a lot of people right before they go on a mission. It was true for me. I’m usually confused and riddled with doubt. However, tonight I decided to “Doubt my doubts before I doubt my faith.” Then I thought of all the great young women’s lessons I could give one day all based solely on tonight.  I decided to try to find the silver lining and for once in my life am actually excited about the future. 

Instead of possibly making a poor decision tonight, I came home and blogged about it instead, and I realized that Satan knows us very personally. He knows our weaknesses and he knows how to make us second guess ourselves. He comes into our lives disguised as Santa with fun presents and sneaks in when we’re not looking. He brings new exciting gifts and thoughts and makes us wonder what might be inside. He entices us to try new things and “give no thought for tomorrow.” I guess he doesn’t know me as well as he thought he did. I gave some thought to tomorrow, and I’m glad I have nothing to be ashamed of or disappointed about.

This song sums up how I feel right now, and I wish I could share its message with everyone I know. It’s changed my life and its lyrics are powerful and true.