Elysha's World

Elysha's World

Thursday, March 24, 2016

I Grew Up 2nd Hand



I grew up 2nd hand
With no man
Got no need to reprimand

If I try
I might fly
Hit the sky the upper hand

Climb the ladder
Reach the roof
Glass on the floor
Don’t need no proof

The hand that feeds me
I don’t bite
Instead I grab it
Hold it tight

The breeze blows hard
I’m holding cards
That no one gets to see

My poker face
They will embrace
When I am finally me

On the other hand
It may seem grand
What’s about to ensue

I’m not a wreck
I dealt this deck
Just watch what I can do!
Elysha 2-27-16

Monday, March 21, 2016

Chess



This weekend I went to a friend’s birthday party and was introduced to the musical “Chess.” We all were asked to dress up in black and white clothes and come enjoy the 2008 stage version of the musical. The cast was pretty amazing from Idina Menzel to Adam Pascal to Josh Groban. Tim Rice wrote the lyrics and the men from the band ABBA helped write the music. That’s exactly what it sounds like. It sounds like “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat” meets “Momma Mia.” 

I’ve been listening to the music all weekend and wanted to share a few of my favorite songs here. It’s a thrill when someone can teach me something about a musical that I hadn’t known before. It doesn’t happen very often, but I love it when it does! 

 Now that you've fallen in love with the music, if you have a few hours here is the link to watch the whole show! 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Need A Miracle? Be One.




Life! So many questions! I feel like a chicken running around with its head cut off. Sometimes, a lot of times, okay, actually most days lately I sit around and wonder what I should be doing with my life. What direction should I take? I timidly face one direction and move one foot forward and get shut down, so I return back to my same space. I turn the opposite direction and try the same thing, only to get the same answer.  

While I was sick last weekend I had a lot of time to think and feel sorry for myself. I wanted to go be with people, but didn’t want to give them what I had. I decided that part of the reason I love being with people, is because everyone has a different perspective, and helps me open my eyes to seeing things in a different light. When I’m sick at home I’m not helping anyone. I decided to write to some old friends and surprise them with an unexpected message in their inbox on Facebook. No sooner had I made this decision than I myself got a message on Facebook. 

The previous week I had sent a few songs to one of my friends who was struggling with something, and he was just getting back to me with what he’d thought of them. It had made a big difference to him. This was on Tuesday. Every single day since then I’ve somehow stopped to talk to more acquaintances than friends, and within minutes, all of them have opened up to me that they are struggling with the same things that I am. Most of their problems are even bigger than mine, and it’s humbling to realize that everyone is going through something. 

I listened to an amazing BYU devotional by Scott Esplin earlier this week and it was just what I needed to hear. If you have ever been fearful, single, married, a parent, or gone to the principal's office, then this talk is for you! https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hb3YHxZxgV4

There was a quote in it from Elder Maxwell that I really enjoyed. 

Our perfect Father does not expect us to be perfect children yet. He had only one such Child. Meanwhile, therefore, sometimes with smudges on our cheeks, dirt on our hands, and shoes untied, stammeringly but smilingly we present God with a dandelion—as if it were an orchid or a rose! If for now the dandelion is the best we have to offer, He receives it, knowing what we may later place on the altar. It is good to remember how young we are spiritually.

 I love that imagery. I had a mission companion who said a similar thing. She said that when she prays she pictures herself as a small child walking up to the Lord and pulling her hands out of her pockets and giving all she has to the Lord. That usually includes a half-eaten sucker, a potato bug, a marble, some dirt, and a penny.  Then He smiles and accepts her offering because he knows that’s the best she can offer for now. 




I really like what Elder Jeffery R. Holland had to say in his 2008 conference talk “The Ministry of Angels.”

I have spoken here of heavenly help, of angels dispatched to bless us in time of need. But when we speak of those who are instruments in the hand of God, we are reminded that not all angels are from the other side of the veil. Some of them we walk with and talk with—here, now, every day. Some of them reside in our own neighborhoods. Some of them gave birth to us, and in my case, one of them consented to marry me. Indeed heaven never seems closer than when we see the love of God manifested in the kindness and devotion of people so good and so pure that angelic is the only word that comes to mind…

My beloved brothers and sisters, I testify of angels, both the heavenly and the mortal kind. In doing so I am testifying that God never leaves us alone, never leaves us unaided in the challenges that we face. “[N]or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man [or woman or child] upon the face thereof to be saved." On occasions, global or personal, we may feel we are distanced from God, shut out from heaven, lost, alone in dark and dreary places. Often enough that distress can be of our own making, but even then the Father of us all is watching and assisting. And always there are those angels who come and go all around us, seen and unseen, known and unknown, mortal and immortal.”

While leaving work on Friday this song came on in the car and I had to pull over so I could Shazam it! Worth it! I loved the line “claim faith but waiver.” That is a familiar sentiment. Are we really having faith if we question every decision we make, and then turn around and fear that we’ve made the wrong decision? Natalie Grant says it best. Here she is!

Why wait for a miracle, when we you can be one?

Monday, March 14, 2016

Secret, Secret, I Got A Secret!



Happy Pi Day! I have a confession: Change is HARD! It doesn’t have to be, but sometimes it really feels like it. To put it as one of the main characters in one of my favorite musicals “Next to Normal” puts it, “They say you should stay with the devil you know, But when life needs a change and the one devil won't, You fly to the devil, you don't.” It really gets you thinking doesn’t it? 

I’ve been trying very hard to be more positive. I wrote a little bit about that in this post Piece by Piece last week. I feel like in this endeavor I take two steps forward, one step back. It’s easy to be grateful when everything is going well and easy in your life. However, I know that God puts trials in our lives so that we can grow and put more trust in him. 

I’ve been home sick with a cold this past weekend. I mostly never like to be home, and I always want to be out doing things with my friends. However, I have a friend who has a few family members in the hospital, and I realized I’d feel awful if I gave her what I had so she couldn’t go visit her family, so that’s what convinced me to stay home. I’m not writing this to get pity, about once a year I get sick, but just to show God’s hand in my life, and publicly notice the blessings he gives me. 

About 5 years ago I got really sick while in college. It only lasted a day or two, but I’d never had anything like it before. It was an all-day affair and my stomach was making all sorts of weird sounds.  I eventually threw up and felt better. This was weird for me, because I’ve maybe thrown up once in the past 10 years. Turns out I had the flu. 

I sat in my room really wanting to call someone for a priesthood blessing. However, I knew what my friends had been up to recently, and I really didn’t know if they would be able to give me a priesthood blessing or not. I laid in bed for a long time clutching my cell phone. I was desperate for someone, anyone, to come check on me and see if I was okay. Some of those said friends found out I was sick and brought me some soda, and then promptly left. 

I got really angry at God. I told him how unfair this was. Everyone else has brothers. Everyone else has a father who is willing to give them a blessing if they need it. I felt totally and utterly alone. This is the cycle I always seem to go through when I’m in need of help and don’t know where to turn. At the time I thought I had food poisoning, and my dad happens to be a Health Care Director. I thought that was ironic as well. In this moment where he would be the perfect person to talk to, I couldn’t. I hadn’t talked to him in 5 years, and we hadn’t been on good terms in 10 plus years. 

As I was laying there thinking of this unfair circumstance, this cruel joke that life had played on me; the words from a blessing I received from a family friend a few years earlier came to mind, “I bless you to know how pleased [God] is that you have acted in faith by using your agency to choose to receive a blessing by the power of the priesthood. Bless you to know that, that is an outward act of your inner faith. Bless you to not question your faith in the manner in which you have done, to dig deep and to know through these signs of the employment of your agency and see each one as an outward act of inner faith. Whether it is attendance of institute[…] requesting a priesthood blessing, saying your prayers or reading your scriptures, these are all outward acts of inner faith.”

I realized that I wasn’t having faith. I was letting my hurt, despair, and anger rule my life. I wrote up a text to my cousin Scott who lived in a complex behind me. I didn’t know him very well, and I was still embarrassed to ask for a blessing because I thought that showed that I was weak; That I couldn’t handle things by myself, that I was being a burden on someone else, and that I needed someone else to take care of me. 

I stared at that text for a long time. A LOOOOONG time. I thought of the words from my blessing before, decided I was going to swallow my pride, and maybe press send, but really think about it a little bit longer. I mean what if he couldn’t come? What if he was on a date? What if he couldn’t? I just kept praying to God that someone would find me, someone would just appear, but if not, that I would send the text. 

I finally had the text perfectly worded and I was about to send it when the doorbell rang. The next thing I knew there was a knock on my door. I looked absolutely awful. I went to the door and there were two of my high school friends Scott and Mike. They said that they were on their way out of town when they felt like they should stop by. They asked me if I would like a blessing and I just started crying. 

The Lord in all of his infinite mercy had not only sent someone to comfort and bless me, but he even chose some of my very best friends from high school and one of them even had the EXACT same name as the guy I was about to text. Some may say that’s just a lot of coincidences, I’d say it was a whole lot of blessings and love from a Father in Heaven.

They didn’t leave after, instead they stayed and talked to me in my cramped bedroom while I looked awful with tears streaming down my face. It was one of those moments where God let me know absolutely without a shadow of a doubt that he was there for me.
So what does that have to do with what I was talking about earlier? I felt sick. I’d stayed home for two days and I felt like I needed some extra help to feel better. What’s the best way to do that? Take some medicine and call a friend. I’d called my home teachers a few weeks ago when I was going through a hard time, so I felt foolish calling them again for a  totally unrelated thing a few weeks later. I started to get upset again. I started to ask God why I didn’t have any family living closer, or a boyfriend, or a best friend in my ward I could call? I decided to call a friend and he didn’t pick up. I texted a different guy in my ward and instead of saying, “Yes, when can I come over?” He said, “Yeah. Did you not want your home teachers to?”  Now, that’s a valid question, but in my weak, prideful, timid vulnerable state, I didn’t want to have to explain it to him. 

Eventually I did, and he had a good point. This is why the Lord instated Home Teachers. I, because of my life circumstances, should know that better than anyone else. I called up my Home Teacher and they said they’d come to my house in the next few minutes. I was still upset at my friend, and upset that God would allow me to get sick.

As I laid on the couch curled up in my blanket waiting for them to come, I realized why I had gotten sick. I was ungrateful. I thought of the above story, and started in on my list of things I’m grateful for. I’m grateful that I have a phone full of loyal worthy men I can call at any time night or day and they are more than happy to help me. I’m glad I don’t have a lot of roommates so that they’re not mad when I move into the living room for a few days when I’m not feeling well. I’m glad that I have friends who text to check up on me when they know I haven’t been feeling well. I’m glad I have the gospel in my life and a loving Heavenly Father who sees my angry ungrateful childlike tantrums, and is patient enough with me to turn them into teaching moments.Sometimes we need to be humble enough to ask.

Mostly, I just wanted everyone to know how grateful I am. That God is good, and he hears even the most insignificant  and significant wants of our hearts.