Sunday, February 14, 2016

life lately. and some personal revelations.

Um, hi. How is everyone? I hope that this Valentine's Day was filled with love and not sadness. And I hope that everyone had a phenomenal Sunday. I don't really talk about it a lot, but Sunday is actually my favorite day of the week. My next favorite is Thursday. But I'm not here to talk about my favorite days of the week.

I wanted to talk about something that has been on my mind A LOT the past couple of months(ish). When the mission age was changed and one of my dear friends was preparing to go, we were just talking about the struggle of figuring out garments and sizing and adjusting your wardrobe to them one day. I came home and mentioned something to my parents and they said, "You know, you should take out your endowments. That's something you could totally do,". I felt uncomfortable and was all, "Uhh, no. Not right now! I'm a baby! I'm DEFINITELY not ready for that,". Which, in fairness, I don't know that I was at that time. And I quickly brushed that off and didn't really think about it for a while.

Fast forward about a year, and my parents mentioned again that I should seriously consider taking my endowment out. Again, I was like, "Duuude, could you give it a rest?" And there were a couple lessons or talks at church or something that piqued my Spirit and I thought about it for a few minutes but QUICKLY brushed them aside (again). I still felt that at (what... 20? Ish?) I wasn't there yet. I wasn't going on a mission. I definitely wasn't getting married anytime soon. I hadn't even been on a second date or kissed a boy yet! (Both of those still apply, by the way. Someone PLEASE think that I am a good watermelon and pick me! :) Haha, humor from a talk at church today, I know like, 99% of you likely won't get that) AND, I was kind of... scared. To be honest. As the things that go on in the temple are verrrrrrryyyy Sacred, even us members of the church don't really know what happens in there. And that Unknown aspect was terrifying to me. I didn't want to go in there and feel like... "Oh my gosh, what have I gotten myself into?!" And the commitment just felt like too much for me. So, I again, brushed it off.

I didn't think about it for a while after that. I was sure that I would just do it when I was going to get married. Like a lot of people do. And that was okay with me. I was cool with sticking with the status quo on this one. Seriously. I was 100% cool with just waiting. In late 2015, I had the thought a couple of times that I could maybe take out my endowment before I got married. But that was it. I didn't go past that. I didn't put it into the context of, "I should start working on this RIGHT NOW,".

Then, all of a sudden (it felt like), liiiike in November or December of 2015, I could NOT get away from people talking about going through the temple. Talks and testimonies in church. Articles on Twitter. Posts on Instagram. And, on cue for my personality, I was like, WHAT?! What do you WANT from me? GO AWAY. THIS IS NOT FOR ME RIGHT NOW. And I tried and tried to push those thoughts of, "Maybe... it's time to take this... seriously?" and "Darling, it may be time for you to think about this NOW," away and not think about them (Avoidance coping at it finest, ladies and gents, as you'll see in a second, it didn't really work very well).

At the same time, everyone on Twitter was all fluttery and, for lack of a better word, twittery, about Al Carraway's new book that came out around that time, "More than the Tattooed Mormon". And so I asked for it for Christmas, and I received it. I was SO STOKED to read it, but, I also got myself a bunch of books for Christmas/around Christmas and I didn't end up reading it for a few weeks. When I finally read it, I was just happily reading along one day at work and I was getting kinda towards the end when BAM! Revelation happened and I was so... taken aback? Startled? Surprised? I'm not really sure how I want to phrase that. But, it happened and I hate to say this but, I DID NOT WANT IT. Ugh, I know! I was one of those people that won't ask the question because they know they are going to get an answer and then they'll have to actually DO something about it! I'm going to share with you the paragraph that I read, because maybe you're going through something similar? Or just so I can come back to this later and remember for myself. Either way. It's on page 116 and it's the last paragraph on the page. 

"If you are like me and are seeking to go through the temple outside of preparing for a mission or marriage, His timing truly is best, even if it is devastating to wait. The Spirit often speaks to us with recurring thoughts. If this [going through the temple] is something that keeps coming to your mind, it is definitely time to start taking that thought seriously. Don't let your age or anything else discourage you. The decision to go through the temple is between you, your bishop, and the Lord. In my opinion, the best way to prepare to go to the temple is to be ready and willing to accept everything you will learn and experience there. When you get to the point of knowing that the temple is the house of the Lord and that everything you do and hear there is of God, then you are ready. Many of you will go to the temple because you 'have' to go in preparation for a mission or marriage -- get excited!"

You guys. I was just sitting there in my darkened cubicle and I just about LOST IT. I was so... grateful that this passage had come into my life. And that I was finally in a place where I could hear what Heavenly Father has been TRYING to tell me for a long time. I do know that until that time, I wasn't ready. Which is probably why I wouldn't listen yet. And I was also SO MAD at myself for not listening before that. But, that was just a little baby mad, because now... I was listening. I was open to it. And I just... needed to come to terms with where Heavenly Father wanted to take my life. What direction He wants me to go in. Before, I had been letting my age (and so many other things) discourage me from taking this though seriously. This recurring thought that I kept yelling at to go away and "get out of my room!"... it was the SPIRIT. Trying to tell me something important!

Luckily for me, I was still being bombarded with articles and such about going through the temple. I follow this temple dress account on Instagram @qnoor_templedress and they had a blog post a week or so ago that was posted about a couple weeks after my big revelation (that I was honestly JUST coming to terms with and still trying to decide if I just made it up in my head) that you can read HERE if you feel so inclined. And just like that... I knew that it was REAL LIFE PERSONAL REVELATION. One thing about this article that I just LOVE is that she talks about how the endowment should not be overlooked and just as a stepping stone to a mission or marriage. Because the endowment is a saving ordinance! In and of itself! It is SO important! And up until that point, I hadn't really seen it as such. Not for someone living. I had realized this truth (mostly) for proxy work, but hadn't applied that to still alive people (that sounds SO weird, I know. But you see what I'm trying to say, right?)

Also, with the general tour of the Provo City Center temple and the Bridal room tour that I was blessed enough to attend... I just... I felt so... AT HOME there. And my Spirit was just like, "Girl, you need this in your life, just... be open to it,". And I knew that I had to give in and stop trying to push it all away. 

Since then, it's been ON MY MIND. And it WON'T leave. I think... it's time to start taking this seriously. I mean, I'm already serious enough about it that I talked to my parents about it over dinner tonight... this whole... journey, I've been on in coming to this decision. And that conversation just confirmed to me that it's probably time to consult with my Bish and see what he thinks. I know that it may not happen right away. And I know that this may be a long process, because I may not be QUITE there yet. But... this is a direction that I think I need to start going down. I need to at least make an effort at it. And... I'm kind of super excited about it. 

You guys... this Gospel is MIND-BLOWING and I am so so SO grateful to have it in my life. I honestly don't know what I would do without it. To quote one of my all time favorite passages from the scriptures, "But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words." (Alma 32:27) Even if you feel like you don't know what's up or down in the Gospel and you feel like your testimony would sink and not float or even swim if thrown into a body of water... I PROMISE YOU, that if you have a little faith, and you put in even a little bit of work, then you will find what you are looking for. What have you got to lose? And you and your testimony will surprise yourself. Really. You know more and believe more than you think you do. You just have to be open to it.

all the love.
     Reille K. :)

Sunday, February 7, 2016

i believe 02.07.2016

Hi there. Today is the first Sunday of the month. If you are LDS, that means it's the day that fast and testimony meeting is held (we abstain from at least two meals and are given an opportunity to bear our testimony in front of the entire ward during Sacrament meeting). I personally am not suuuuper comfortable with bearing testimony in this way, as I am not quite as eloquent when I am SPEAKING as I can be when I am TYPING or WRITING. I know that I SHOULD do it, because it will help me grow as a person and all that. But, I just don't think fast enough. And the thought of going up there without knowing what I am going to even talk about makes me want to vomit. 

But, the member of our bishopric invited us to share our testimony with SOMEONE today, so here I am. And I think it would be a good thing if I did a blog post of my testimony each fast and testimony Sunday. So, hopefully I remember that I am committing to do this. ;)

I want to start by saying that I know this Gospel is true. Without a doubt. I know that I am so blessed because of the choice I have made to stay true to this Gospel, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I know that I have SO much room for improvement, and I can do so much better than I am, but the fact that I am trying, is enough.

I have a testimony of eternal families. I am so happy that I get to be with my goofy family for forever, even when we irritate each other. My siblings have taught me so much from their examples, and have shaped the paths that I have taken without their even knowing it. And my nephews and niece, I just love them SO MUCH. I can't remember what prompted me the other day to think about how I would feel if one of them were to suddenly pass away... I couldn't even entertain the idea because it made me too sad. I feel so much for people that do lose their children and I just want to hold them in my arms and cry with each and every one of them. I'm so happy that I have the knowledge that I do of what comes after death. I mean, I don't know EXACTLY what's going to happen, but I know the general idea. And I know that I will be with my family as I make the right choices. I can live with that and not be scared of death. Sure, I'm still sad when someone leaves, but it's also so exciting for them because they've made it! 

Sorry, that got a little melancholy without my even meaning it to! We are so blessed to have so much technology at our fingertips. What we choose to do with that is so important! Are we going to let our lives pass us by because we are just constantly scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and repeat? Or are we going to use the technology to connect with those around us and uplift, encourage and inspire? When was the last time you bore testimony on social media? Or is the only indication of your faith to others in your bio? Do  you talk to your friends about the Gospel? Do you use your technology for any family history? Do you use it to Index? Do you follow the church accounts and other positive influences? I know that social media is such a huge HUGE tool for us. And Heavenly Father has given it to us in the time that it would be most beneficial to us and our brothers and sisters of the world. Please, please use it for good. 

A few weeks ago, Elder Nelson gave a devotional about the true meaning of the title "Millenial". The entire time I was thinking of that President Hinckley quote that we have all heard a million times about how we are a chosen generation. It is so true! There are strengths and talents that our generation has that will bring the work about in the most spectacular way. Not that those in older generations aren't just as important; they paved the way for us and they raised this generation. We are all just walking each other home. And that is so important to remember. Even though my generation has some faults (seriously, it's ridiculous sometimes), as I sit in church every Sunday and listen to my peers and their insights and how they are dealing with their struggles and trials and see their faith... I know that we are doing much better than people think we are. Than even WE think we are! And maybe it's just that my ward is SO FANTASTIC. But seriously. Every Sunday is just magical with the Spirit that I am privileged enough to be a part of. I love it. 

Last week I finished the Book of Mormon for the first time BY MYSELF. FOR MYSELF. And you guys, I am SO PROUD of myself. I have never been very good at reading my scriptures, and it did take me multiple years to make it through the whole thing, but I DID IT. It was so cool to do that! Even though it's not my strong suit, I know that the scriptures are true. And reading them definitely makes life just a little smoother. I bought myself a new nice set of scriptures so that I would be more motivated to read, and it has actually helped! My other set is the set that I have had since I was baptized when I was 8... so they had LOOOTS of yucky and distracting markings and stuff from 13 years of use. It was time. I needed a grown up set. :)

Anyway, I think this is long enough for now. :)

all the love.
   Reille K. :)

Saturday, February 6, 2016

on being vulnerable.

I get it. I do. It can be TERRIFYING to be vulnerable with people. Because you open yourself up to potentially soul crushing deceit and swords that carry the weight of truth that can be wielded in your direction at a moments notice. That is SCARY.

I had a good long THINK about vulnerability a few weeks ago. And I thought about the people that I've decided were "worthy" to be vulnerable with, and those who didn't meet whatever criteria I may have had at the time and thought was important. I thought about the course of our relationships. I thought about whether it would have been easier had I been/not been vulnerable.

One thing you should know about me is that I've a terrible track record when it comes to humans and relationships. I talk to zero of the people I was friends with in Jr. High and High School. I still talk to a handful of my childhood friends every once in a while. But even that is scarce. It's not like I do it on purpose, I just... Once a relationship becomes toxic at all, I tend to get the hell out of dodge. It's not something I'm super proud of, but it's just who I am. 

Even with this great THINK I had, I can't really put my finger on which is better... To BE or NOT to be... Because I've had it both ways. But, only recently have I opened myself up to someone and been 100% vulnerable. And for the first time since I can remember, I have a relationship with someone that I have no insecurities about. We know exactly what we are to each other. And it is freaking MAGICAL. She makes me believe in the power of vulnerability. She makes me believe that it IS possible to find a MAN that I have that with and can be with for eternity. And that is pretty dang stellar. 

I'm no expert, of course. One thing that I can say though, is that it is so FREEING to be vulnerable. It helps you to get to know yourself. Be comfortable in your own skin. It helps you own your identity because you talk about that with other people. It helps clear your mind of worrying what other people think of you... What you are, what you say, what you do. Those thoughts can be incredibly debilitating and paralyzing. Give vulnerability to those around you and you are giving them permission to be vulnerable with you themselves. You're allowing more opportunity for love, kindness, and service. You're deepening bonds and increasing the potential for a lasting relationship.

I've been trying to be more vulnerable lately and I am saying things to people that I never would have before. And then NOT WORRYING ABOUT IT. And you know? It is absolutely wonderful. I feel so FREE. And I am not obsessing. Which is new and different for me. 

So, what I'm saying is this: Even though it is freaking SCARY and TERRIFYING and you feel like your heart is going to beat OUT of your chest and you're going to VOMIT everywhere and your face is on FIRE and your voice is shaking from FEAR... BE VULNERABLE. Do it. Because in my experience, you only regret the things you DON'T do. 

all the love.
 Reille K. :)

PS, I'm typing this to you from my NEW LAPTOP. And I freaking love it. This means I will likely be blogging a lot more because it's going to be wayyyy easier. x