So, for all of you who have anxiously been checking my blog for the past two years that it has been in existance, I am FINALLY doing my very first post. I know...it's an exciting day for all of us ;) My roommate Kristen has been pushing me to write on it for the past year, but I always told her that my life just isn't exciting enough to blog about anything. So I kept waiting for life to become exciting. And that day has finally come. Okay...not really. Life is still just life. Life is good, but not terribly exciting. I actually was inspired to start my blog after watching the movie Julie & Julia this weekend. In the movie, Julie's husband tells her that maybe a blog would be a good idea because she listens to people all day and it would be a great outlet for her. So then my dad turned to me and said, "Hey, you listen to people at work all day. Maybe you should start a blog. It would be very validating for you." First of all, let me just say how proud I was that my dad used the word "validating". Apparently my social worky terms have rubbed off on him. And then I thought...he's right, it would be validating. Whether anyone in the world actually reads any of these posts or not, at least my thoughts are out there.
So....now for the actual first post part. This weekend was General Conference, and I have to say it was probably one of the best sessions I have ever watched. Why, you ask? Becuase it called me out on all of my crap. Which was much needed. Sometimes I feel like the talks that are given are really empathetic and consoling. They tell me things like "you're doing great", and "trials come but don't worry because you'll be blessed in the end." But not this time. This time the overall message I heard was, "Adversity happens. And it's most likely going to keep happening, so get over it and let it actually make you into something instead of just crying about it." Of course these things were said in a very kind and loving manner that made me really want to change myself rather than just give up completely. I'm actually not really sure whether that was the message that they were truly trying to get across, or if it was just what I heard because it was what I needed to hear. I think this is also something that has been on my mind the last little while. I've been reading a book entitled "The Continuous Atonement" by Brad Wilcox. Wow. It is an incredible book and all of you who may possibly stumble upon this post should read it....right now. In the book it talks a lot about how the purpose of this life is to mold us and to make us into Celestial beings. Here's one of my favorite quotes from it: "
"We don't walk into the celestial kingdom simply because a debt is paid, whether it is paid by Jesus or - as difficult as it would be - by ourselves. The Atonement is not just about paying debts but about transforming debtors."
The whole idea I am taking away from this book and from conference is that it's not just about enduring life...it's about learning from life. Like Elder Martino said, "It is not WHEN we will face adversity, but HOW we will face adversity." At my work I always call out my kids for playing the "victim". I talk to them about how just being a victim of our lives and experiences keeps us from ever becoming better and growing as a person. We get stuck at this point where we can never move forward because we just blame everyone and everything else. So here's my commitment to be better. To take life's experiences and not just close my eyes until the bad parts are over, but to actually let them mold me into something new, and something better.