Tuesday, March 30, 2010

finishing up my university experience

I graduate from BYU in April. I took a "Senior Survey" and wanted to share some things i wrote to illustrate just how valuable my university experience has been...

Survey question:
Think of a non-religion course that profoundly influenced you both intellectually and spiritually. What was it about the course (including the instructor) that was so significant for you? Please be as specific as you can.

My response:
Dr. Nate Kramer taught my Humanities 202 course. I took the class to fulfill my last civilization requirement. He was so good at introducing how to think and discuss art and its reflection of history in an analytical way. It was only after a couple classes that i felt comfortable contributing to discussion and expressing my personal reflections about the topic at hand. He was always very charismatic about listening to and expounding upon or just accepting every comment made in class- this created a comfortable setting for all of us students where we felt safe in exploring new ideas and concepts that may have been unfamiliar to us.

He applied spirituality in a very practical way. I remember learning about a poet who wrote about the almost "prophet-like" characteristics poets have in that they understand things more and are just above the normal human and can communicate with God, almost. This poet lived around the same time as Joseph Smith. Dr. Kramer explained that Joseph Smith was described to have these characteristics of a prophet-like poet by intellectuals not of the Mormon faith. My testimony was strengthened to hear about how others not of the Mormon faith that had met Joseph, recognized his spiritual connectedness and ability to prophesy and commune with God directly.

Throughout the course Dr. Kramer would challenge our thinking. When we'd study art pieces that seemed "weird" or irreverent he would ask why they were weird or irreverent. I learned that while I have my own values and experiences, others have different values and experiences. This helped me learn about God's love for all of His children. We read a book about a small African tribe that practiced rituals that seemed to go against all things normal and right to most of us in the class. But, as I read it, I realized that these people were doing what they felt was right and best for their families. I am grateful to have a knowledge of the Gospel and for how it shapes my habits and priorities, but there are many without that knowledge and it would be unfair to judge their worth or character based upon their actions when they know no different. Dr. Kramer helped me learn that.

At the end of the course he summed up what he had been trying to do all semester. He taught that learning about art/customs/history is a way of becoming more like Christ. As we learn more about how someone feels/thinks and how that is expressed through art/poetry/literature, we do not have to agree with or accept ideas that go against our spiritual knowledge but we can instead try to understand them as children of God with their own experiences that have shaped who they are.

My love for people of different races/religions/backgrounds/etc. grew immensely throughout this course. I will live the rest of my life with a greater appreciation for the diversity of God's creations because of this course.

Friday, March 26, 2010

ok, i'll post.

Boyd K. Packer said:

"Our marital relationship is too important for us to clutter our minds and hearts with resentment that is created by dwelling on the faults and weaknesses or our spouse. We need to forgive and move on."

This is key.

someone else's post

I don't have the motivation to write.... sorry, I don't get paid for this, so I only do it when I want to.
BUT.. Cjane wrote a post I really like.

Click here to enjoy.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

can't read, sleep, write... can type

Husband is doing homework. I want to go to bed. Need to read school books. Want to be in bed. Don't like to read academic books in bed. Tried reading pleasure book in bed. Couldn't concentrate.
So, here I am.
I'm behind in school. But I'm behind for good reason... this time. For a couple months instead of doing things for my internship I would clean the house so it looked good for my husband (I like the house clean too) and do laundry and vacuum and do dishes. Now that I'm hours behind on my hours for my internship I realize I can't do that anymore.

What will I keep doing?
Laundry, but at night with husband's help.
Dishes, with husband's help.
Vacuuming, with husband's help.

What will I start doing more?
Ask for husband's help.
Work on internship.
Cook meals at home... why? It's healthier and better for our family in general.
Watch less TV. Narrow the 5 shows we watch to 2... hopefully.
Read Scriptures in the AM (inspired by husband.)
I feel good about that.

Trip Home... Sweet Home

Grandma's 80th

Celebrating mom's birthday

Auntie + mom and dad Keller

Billy and Lily

Father and Son


Melissa with precious Mary

Beautiful Lily

Real Estate Mama

Popcorn Outside

Sleeping Alex

Monday, March 1, 2010

Defining yourself and Happiness

Don't let people define you by your weaknesses,
define yourself based upon your strengths.

What are YOUR strengths?

We have all been given strengths.
Comparing our strengths gets us into trouble because our strengths are all different.

Something that takes away happiness also is if we define others by their weaknesses. I believe we'd have stronger relationships and friendships more built on trust if we defined each other based upon our strengths.

What are some of the strengths of your FRIENDS and FAMILY?