Elysha's World

Elysha's World

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Broken Things

I realized something today. I mean I already knew this information, but it brought a whole new meaning today. I’ve been working with someone for a few months now, and at first we didn’t get along very well. She’s much older than me and we both have very strong opinions. I would complain to my friends about her, and just couldn’t understand why I felt so unneeded around her. 

I thought about approaching her about it, and trying to start over. We’ve known each other for well over a year. However I didn’t say anything, and I just tried to follow her lead. She has more authority than I do, and I realized that I needed to just calm down and let her do her job, so I can do my job. 

Over the past few weeks we’ve been spending a lot more time together. Through our job and the kind of work we were doing, we had to give a lot of personal examples to those we taught. Every time we’d give a new presentation I’d learn all sorts of cool information about her. She’s been to so many cool places, and has had so many cool opportunities. I’ve met her husband a few times, and he’s really great as well. 

I realized that it’s hard to love someone when you’re busy judging them. (I’m sure there is a quote about that somewhere.) It’s hard to see all the great things about someone, when you’re focused on their weaknesses. I’m lucky because in my case we both came to the same conclusion at the same time. 

People are my business. I love people. I am constantly meeting new people and making new friends. I find sometimes it’s easier to become friends with a total stranger, then someone you sometimes run into, because you’ve already formed opinions and ideas about the person you constantly see. I believe it was in an acting class that my teacher said, “When you walk into an audition you need to be confident. The people you are auditioning for, will judge you within 2 seconds of you walking into that room.” 

In order to meet new people sometimes we need to rip down our walls of defiance, and let the Lord take over. I used to think that being broken was a bad thing, but I think it’s a good thing now. It’s something that needs to happen in order to help us grow stronger and as a person. 

“Maybe you and I were never meant to be complete. Could we just be broken together?” “Praise His name, my God loves broken things.” 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Just Be Held

The last month or two have been very hard for me. The sun hasn’t been shining as bright and it gets dark early. I feel like I’ve been fighting temptations I never even knew existed. I’m in a constant battle with myself and with everyone else. I wasn’t happy with where I was, but I didn’t know where else to go. 

You should be able to see mountains in the background
I wasn’t sure how to explain all of this, and so I went back to the basics. I prayed with a lot more intent, I read my scriptures longer than usual, and I’d go to the temple for strength. I couldn’t understand why when I was doing everything right, everything was going wrong. I had inner turmoil, and the more I tried to figure out what it was, the farther away it seemed. 

I saw little miracles all of the time, but quickly forgot them consumed by how hard my life is. I didn’t want to look at the positive. I was constantly complaining, and I found myself in a rut. 

Yesterday as I got ready to leave my house to go to church, a thick fog quickly came and covered the valley. I’ve been in this kind of fog maybe once or twice in my life. I felt like I was in “The Hunger Games.” I got in my car and I started driving. I could see maybe only 2 feet in front of me. When I got to an intersection I turned left, and just prayed that no one else was coming from either direction. There was no one else around. I knew that there was a stop light up ahead, but I couldn’t see it, it seemed so far away. I finally could see it in the distance and changed lanes. I turned right and continued on my way. I caught up to a car that was in front of me. I wasn’t sure who was in it, but I didn’t want to lose it! It felt great to not be the only car on the road, and if it was in front of me, it could see what was ahead of us before I could. As we were winding up a long road it slowly began to get lighter outside. I asked everyone in my car “Is it getting brighter?” No one else saw it, but I did. The higher we climbed the less fog there was. When we got to the top of the hill we were above and outside of the fog.  We finally made it to the parking lot, and as I turned found that the ground was covered by black ice. Somehow we parked without hitting any other cars and then skated to the front doors. 
When I got inside I sat in awe of what had just occurred. I felt like that 10 minute drive perfectly described how I’d been feeling the last few months.  I feel like that is sometimes how I view life. When I’m in the dark and can’t find my way, I forget that there is sunshine above me. I forget that the Lord can see through the fog and direct my path perfectly. As I went to pull something out of my purse I noticed something that I’d never noticed before. My purse had words inside of it. I’ve had this purse for well over a year and I’ve never noticed them before. 

It said “Happy” and “Peace.” I don’t think it was a coincidence that the title of the lesson at church yesterday was “My Peace I Give unto You.” I really liked this story from the manual: 

“In 1989, President Hunter had another experience during which he felt peace in a troubling time. He was in Jerusalem to dedicate the Brigham Young University Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies. Several groups had protested the Church’s presence in Jerusalem, and some had threatened violence. One of the speakers at the dedication was Elder Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve, who later related this incident:

“As I was speaking, there was some excitement in the back of the hall. Men in military uniforms had entered the room. They sent a note to President Hunter. I turned and asked for instructions. He said, ‘There’s been a bomb threat. Are you afraid?’ I said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘Neither am I; finish your talk.’’ The dedication services proceeded without incident; there was no bomb.”

I can’t say that I’d be calm in a situation like that. However I’m trying to live my life with more faith and less fear. A few weeks ago I was driving and a song came on the radio. I felt the message in the song so powerfully, that I had to pull over so that I could “Shazam” it. 

Shazam is an app that lets you know the name of the song and the artist who sings it instantly, and saves it for you so you can look it up later. It comes in handy for the radio, or when you’re watching a movie. It’s been playing in my head non-stop for about a month now. It fits perfectly with a blog post I wrote about 6 months ago which you can link to here: I Love the Way You Hold Me.

If you’re feeling a little lost, and like you can’t see more than 2 feet in front of you, just remember that there are blue skies ahead. The storm will pass and the sun will shine again. 

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Alice Paul: Why I Can Vote

On Monday Google told me that it was Alice Paul’s birthday. Who is she? If you would have asked me that question 2 years ago I would have had no idea. Last year I bought this movie that looked interesting. It was based on a true story and was a movie made for TV. It was called “Iron Jawed Angels.” I put off watching it for a long time because I couldn’t tell if it would be scary or scandalous. It had an all-star cast, and finally one day I decided to watch it. I really enjoyed it. It came out in 2003 and got a 87% on Rotten Tomato's by the audience.

It follows the life of Alice Paul and other activists who fought for the right for women to vote. I think we take so much for granted. Things are just handed to us, and we forget everything that our country had to go through to get where it is today. I’ve been thinking a lot about that recently as I’ve been listening to “Hamilton” the musical on repeat. 

In “Iron Jawed Angels” some of these women give their life speaking out for what they believe. They go through awful things, and give up many things to make their dreams a reality. I just looked on YouTube to see if they had any cool clips of it, and come to find out, they actually have the whole movie on there! If you are looking for an educational movie that might make you cry, this is definitely it. Hilary Swank, Angelica Houston, Patrick Dempsy, the gang’s all here!

After I watched that movie I was still in the mood to celebrate the right that I have to vote, so I thought of the movie “Marry Poppins.” Mostly I thought of the mother in that movie, and the songs she sings throughout the movie. It was very enjoyable, and I hadn’t seen it in such a long time! Julie Andrews and Dick Vandyke are just classic. I thought a lot about the movie “Saving Mr. Banks” while I watched it. I feel like I would appreciate it more now, after brushing up on that movie. Here is a clip from it. 

Basically I’m just really grateful to be alive in this day and time and I’m grateful to all those who have gone before. They made a difference, and I feel blessed to be here to reap the benefits.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Hamilton - The Musical

Alexander Hamilton, have you heard of him? Isn’t he that guy on the $10 bill? Was he a president? He probably signed the declaration of independence. These are all things that I thought when I heard his name. 

A few months ago people started mentioning to me that there was this new amazing musical called “Hamilton.” They all had great things to say about it, however I just was not catching the vision. Last week I finally sat down and started listening to clips of it on YouTube, and now I can’t stop!
It’s a hip hop musical about history. It’s mind boggling. I learned more about our country in 2 hours then I previously had known. He was human. His story is inspiring and troubling. The lyrical genius behind this is seriously amazing. I only wish I had that kind of talent. The music gets stuck in your head so easily. Lin-Manuel Miranda tells this story like no one else could. Here is a news clip about his process and the musical itself.

There are a few truths/thoughts that he puts throughout the play that I find very inspiring. I tried to pick out my favorite songs, or at least some that show some of the talent in this play, but then I got sucked into listening to the songs, and now It’s more than an hour later and clearly nothing has happened. So, if you find you have some time on your hands listening to some of these songs and fall in love with Hamilton!