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The Best Night. EVER! No really. Ever.

i haven’t had SO much fun in SO long.
after dinner, we picked up our tickets.
can i just say again how EXCITED I WAS?! there were 30-something women everywhere and they were all just as excited as i was. we stopped by the merch table and i did. i bought a t-shirt. hot pink and glittery. yes. i’ll wear it.
(don’t you love those earrings?)
so … we walked into the arena as the 1st opener was finishing. and then the 2nd opener was introduced. you know who it was?!?!
natasha beddingfield
!
are you kidding me?! no lie. wow she was incredible.and THEN … the lights went dim and nothing could stop me. i screamed till my throat hurt. i jumped up and down. i reached for the stage. i clapped till my hands were red. i thought for a second that i might cry.
(i didn’t)
the lights started flashing and then there they were! i really felt like i was 11 again.
who knew i would get THIS excited?
(ok. maybe i knew.)
but it seriously was SO awesome. they sang a whole bunch of their old songs
(with the original dances)
and a bunch of new ones
and i sang every word and danced like nobody was watching.
(and i really hope no one was. cuz me dancing? oh my.)
my heart pounded and i was so jittery inside. and we were SO close.

it was seriously so amazing. and i really don’t have words to describe it.
i loved it so much.
i tried to describe it to kim when i got home and i did. i started crying. bahahahaha

last week, not only did a 10-year-old’s dream come true 20 years later, but i also just let go. i danced and i sang and i screamed. and i didn’t care. i just let go. have you ever done that? just thrown inhibitions out the window and tossed your guard and possible embarrassment to the side. have you stopped caring what others thought for even just an hour? stopped listing all the reasons “why not” and went with it? i hardly ever do that!

i know it sounds silly. but at the end of the day last saturday night, i felt free and happy and so smiley i was still smiling when i woke up the next morning. i felt like all my grown-up issues and worries and stumbling blocks had been danced away.
yeah.
it was the best night ever.

(following photos courtesy of Leigh who had the same seats as us on the opposite side of arena
and a puff-painted shirt that said “i [heart] joey”.)



 

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I’m as GIDDY AS A 10-YEAR-OLD

Do you know why?! BECAUSE I AM GOING TO SEE NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK ON SATURDAY NIGHT!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For my 11th birthday my mom spent DAYS trying to find a ticket to their concert but they were completely sold out. So instead I got a(nother!) poster and the VHS of all their music videos and tour footage. It wasn’t tickets, but when I opened it, I screamed like I was AT the concert. I was so excited! We watched that video over and over and over and over. I had ALL the posters BOP Magazine ever printed on my wall. In fact, when we evacuated for Hurricane Hugo in 1989 my mom told me to gather my precious belongings to take with me. You know what I took? My scriptures and all my posters of New Kids on The Block, which I tucked safely in my trapper keeper. And in 6th grade when it wasn’t “cool” to like them anymore, I still did. And I secretly listened to their music. I remember having to say out loud that they weren’t cool (so I could be) and inside I was totally crying. Ha ha.

Now, 20 years later … I AM GOING TO THEIR CONCERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Finally! I will scream, sway, dance, and maybe even cry. I’ll probably buy a t-shirt too. Ohmigosh. I seriously can’t even wait.

And to Rox, who had an extra ticket and thought to invite me?! Roxy I LOVE YOU! You are the best in the whole wide world and I will ever be in debt to you.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I’M GOING TO SEE NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK ON SATURDAY!

 

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i love my mom because …

she sends me text messages that say:

Tuesday, Nov. 4
9:15 a.m.
standing in an unbelievably long line to exercise our right to vote!

9:20 a.m.
Found out what was taking extra long. We got there after 2 retirement buses! They said it will be a little better now!

9:30 a.m.
I brought halloween candy and have been going thru the line handing it out! it’s fun making new friends!

10:30
So much fun! When we came out from voting, there was still a line so i handed out more candy and joked with the people!

That’s right. my mom is the lady in line with the candy. she’s the lady who wants to make friends with you, a complete stranger. and she will. she’s the one who makes long lines and waiting fun.

my mom is the best.

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The Countdown

Well folks. In four months and two days I will be 30. Lest you think I’m dreading this—I’m not. I’m actually super excited about it. I am positive 30 will be great, just like 25 was great. I really loved 25. It’s the perfect age, I think. 26 was ok. 27 was just plain awful. I can’t remember 28. And 29 has been … not as good as 25, but definitely better than 27. But back to 30. 30, I’m certain, is going to be over-the-top fabulous. I’m excited. I really am.

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I Am An Ordinary Woman, But …

I am an ordinary woman.

While I’m certain I’m pretty, I’m not the most beautiful woman in the world.

I have never invented anything particularly life altering. Actually I haven’t invented anything.

I’ve never won a race (except for Student Body President in 5th grade), and in fact I’m very non-athletic.

In my sphere of professional existence I certainly do important things, but when measured against the vast world of commerce, I don’t have an especially important job.

Please don’t misunderstand. I’m not feeling gloomy about my existence. Quite the contrary. Because you see, while I am an ordinary woman, I see the possibilities of today. And tomorrow. And the next. And now, perhaps more than ever, I believe in my ability to be extraordinary and do extraordinary things.

I’ve seen things and experienced things and been a part of things recently, that have changed me. Moved me. To my core. In ways I’ve never been changed. I’ve felt things that have caused my ability to dream and my capacity to achieve to grow so exponentially that it might perhaps be impossible to explain. I have seen greatness in others and in the lives they lead. I’ve seen the way humankind, when at its best, can love beyond expectation. I’ve seen generosity that defies all cause for want. I’ve seen miracles happen when men, and women, and children unite in their goal to better their corner of the world.

I believe. That every thing and every person has a purpose. And I believe. That one’s purpose is never small. I believe. That despite the things that make us ordinary, we are all meant to do extraordinary things and thus become extraordinary beings. I believe. That we are meant to dream, create, and achieve. I believe. We are meant and find and experience joy beyond words. I believe. That now that I understand this I can never go back. And I don’t want to go back. Only forward. Becoming more. Than I could have made myself on my own.

Yes, I am an ordinary woman.

But I can do extraordinary things.

 

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Am I Late? … No, I’m Early.

Sometimes, when Opportunity knocks, I don’t get to the door in time.

I can’t find the stamps so I don’t send the note that would’ve made her day. I’m working late so I don’t get to the temple like I’d hoped. I don’t raise my hand fast enough to get chosen first. I’m looking to the left when the sunset’s on the right. I’m looking to the right when “he” is passing on the left. I don’t “call within the next twenty-three minutes to get, not one, but TWO miracle blade sets, PLUS the juicer, AND the cutting board, AND free shipping!” I race down the stairs one morning to grab breakfast and dash out the door only to see that it’s 7:40 and I’m going to miss the 7:53 train.

That actually happened this morning. But then I thought:

Oh well. I guess I’ll just leave at 8:10 and catch the 8:23. Hm! I have 30 minutes! I, who usually jumps from the platform into the train’s closing doors, am ready 30 minutes early for the 8:23 train!

This morning I decided that I’m going to stop worrying about the missed opportunities. Because all it means is that I’m early, and ready for the next one.

Cuz the thing about Opportunity? He can’t stay away.

And he never doorbell ditches.

Oh and by the way … if you DO get a chance to “call within the next twenty-three minutes to get, not one, but TWO miracle blade sets, PLUS the juicer, AND the cutting board, AND free shipping!” Do it. Those knives will change your life.

 

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It’s Friday, I’m in Love!: Vanilla Honey Bee Ice-Cream

When I was a little girl, my mom was a health-nut. At least outwardly she was a health-nut. I think she’s secretly had a bag of m&m’s and a pack of Necco’s in her purse since 1960, even when she was grinding wheat and meat and telling people not to give her kids candy.

The health-nut phase only lasted a few years, but the damage had been done. By the age of five, I found myself in the midst of a love affair–the kind of love affair most children have with lollipops and cookies. But I knew nothing of sugar. All I knew was that every morning my dad gave me a bowl of Cheerios and I’d watch, wide-eyed with hungry anticipation, as he drizzled a spoonful of golden sweetness on top. Honey, I was certain, was where it was at.

In a house devoid of ice-creams and cakes, honey seemed decadent. It seemed too good to be true. It was all I knew of the saccharine side of life. And I loved it. Oh, did I love it. Like little children who steal cookies from the cookie jar every time mother leaves the kitchen, I took advantage of every private moment with that plastic honey bear who sat on top of the fridge and held a world of salivary bliss in his round little belly.

In fact, I clearly remember “casually” disappearing from the living room while my family watched the Cosby’s, to go to the “bathroom,” but instead, sneaking my way to the kitchen, only to climb on a chair to retrieve the honey bear, wedging myself in between the fridge and counter (so no one would me see of course), and guzzling the honey. I probably squeezed half the jar into my mouth.

So of course, when Haagan-Dazs, decided to create an ice-cream flavor solely dedicated to this most delicious nectar, I was first in line to buy my pint, along with an extra honey bear for drizzling on top. (Like I said, mom’s heath-nut phase only lasted so long and we Maurer girls have since been well-educated on the merits of refined sugar and high-fructose corn syrup.)

Well, here I am. Multiple pints later and I must say … I feel like I’m 7 again, sneaking something that tastes too delicious to be good for you. Yep that’s right. I am certain this pint of Haagan-Dazs Vanilla Honey Bee I’m eating is good for me. For two reasons. #1. It’s made with honey. Honey is good for you. It is. Really. And #2. For every pint I buy, Haagan-Dazs donates money to fund research to protect disappearing bee populations.

Disappearing bee populations?! You’re telling me there could be a day when there might not be any more honey?! That can’t happen! I love honey! I could drink honey! I do drink honey! And so I commit: I will buy as much Haagan-Dazs Vanilla Honey Bee ice-cream as I need to. If I have to eat a pint a day. I will do it. I will do it for the bees. You have my word.

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Sometimes I Am SO Smart …

… and sometimes I am SO not. You know when the Olympic swimmers are on the starting blocks and NBC posts their name and a picture of their country’s flag in each lane so you know where everyone is?

Yeah. I actually, and honestly, and seriously turned to my roommate and said, “Oh that’s cool. How do they get those on the bottom of the pool?”

Yep. I really asked that.

She looked at me like, “For real?”

 

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Living in my Haystack

I have not been here in a couple weeks. I’ve been lost in my haystack* (and really exhausted). But … there ARE some things I need to catch up on. Things that have killed me with delight. Things that are ordinary, common, and very drab — the daily presentations … the prayers that are made out of grass.

Two Tuesdays ago, I had a weird and wonderful experience as God unexpectedly led me to the temple one night. While there, I waited in the chapel for the next session. I sat alone. Contentedly alone. And in walked four ladies. Wrinkled and age-spotted and lovely. No husbands. Just friends. That in an of itself made me smile. But the conversations that then unfolded … well those were moments I feel privileged to have witnessed. They sat in the row in front of me and one leaned to the other. “Your terrible visiting teacher missed you again this month.” “Oh that’s ok,” was the reply. “Well, I keep thinking life will slow down one of these days. I still have a gift for you from last month.” Foreheads rested together. Smiles and giggles, yes giggles, were exchanged and all I could think was, “she’s waiting for life to slow down? She’s in her 70s! Oh I’m in for it. That’s my line and I’ve been using it for years as it is.”

As I smiled at these little ladies and their “undone” visiting teaching, the woman sitting next to me leaned forward and tapped another of the four on the shoulder. “Your hair is beautiful,” she said. And it was. It was gorgeous white. All of it. And soft like snow. “Is it natural?” she continued. The wrinkled eyes smiled and she laughed, almost as if she were an unsure 16-year-old and someone had just told her she was pretty. “Oh yes. I grew every one of them myself.”

Later in the session, as I tried to figure out why I was led there on this unassuming night, there came an opportunity, almost missed. But with a tear, a stranger’s unknown need, and a simple touch, I found my why. And I couldn’t have been more humbled by it.

On so many levels, it was a perfect night. A perfect little window of life that I got to steal glances into. Nothing seemingly grand. Nothing of seeming world import. But moments, and experiences, and conversations made up of the things that, at their core, are the most grand and the most important. I love living in this haystack.

*My favorite poem is Mindful by Mary Oliver (my favorite poet):

Every day
I see or hear
something
that more or less

kills me
with delight,
that leaves me
like a needle

in the haystack
of light.
It was what I was born for –
to look, to listen,

to lose myself
inside this soft world –
to instruct myself
over and over

in joy,
and acclamation.
Nor am I talking
about the exceptional,

the fearful, the dreadful,
the very extravagant –
but of the ordinary,
the common, the very drab,

the daily presentations.
Oh, good scholar,
I say to myself,
how can you help

but grow wise
with such teachings
as these –
the untrimmable light

of the world,
the ocean’s shine,
the prayers that are made
out of grass?

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I Am Swimming

Sometimes, the words fall out of my eyes, rather than flowing through my fingers. Sometimes, my world seems to circle into some sort of cosmic alignment, where the song playing on the radio has just the right melody for its words, or where the beauty of what I see fills me to the brim, or where the colors of the moment are more brilliant than dreams, or where I feel something so perfect that perfect words don’t exist beyond myself to describe it. And so instead, those intangible perfect words ebb and flow inside, peacefully, joyfully floating on rivers that find their way past my eyelashes, forging new streams down my cheeks only to empty into a lake upon my chest. A perfect little lake that I wish I could swim in.

I am swimming …

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You Have Sisters

Fosters (35)

I have two amazing younger sisters. One, at times, can be the most difficult person you’ve ever met, but she’s also the most loving, caring, and sensitive. She’s a fighter, a scrapper, and always a friend to the underdog. She climbs mountains in this life, rugged and steep, but she always makes it to the top no matter how long it takes. I admire her. I’m proud of her.

1939748_10153985230340529_247755911_nThe other is the baby. For the most part, that’s what we’ve always seen her as, and it’s what we call her. But today, my baby sister had to do a really hard thing. It may have even been the hardest thing she’s ever had to do in her life to date. And while it’s utterly impossible to love her more than I already did, I’ve perhaps never been more proud of her. Today I saw her for the woman she has become—and what an incredibly strong woman that is.

1929041_59385976332_1010757_nI’ve been thinking a lot today about an experience the three of us shared recently. A few months back, we went to a Colbie Caillat concert here in Salt Lake. We were so excited about it and I was particularly thrilled to be going with my sisters. We arrived early so we’d get good seats and waited through the openers. After the first act, they announced the second: Trevor Hall. The name sounded familiar to us, but we didn’t think twice about it until he came on and Kaycie (our baby) yelled, “Ohmygosh, it’s Trevor Hall!” He and Kaycie had gone to school together back in South Carolina.

1929041_59387236332_3259827_nMy sisters and I went to a private school that included second through twelfth grades. So when I was 18 and a senior, Karly (the mountain climber) was 16 and a sophomore, and Kaycie was 10 and in 4th grade—and we were all at the same school. We loved it. Going to the same school, I think, gave us each, particularly Kayc, a measure of security. If something went wrong, we knew we could find our sisters. And it seemed as though we were a bit of an anomaly. Many people told us how apparent it was that we three were so close and particularly caring of each other. I even remember Kaycie saying one day, “All my friends think it’s so cool that you are so nice to me and include me and you’re not embarrassed to hug me in the halls.” But we never thought much about it. That’s just how it was for us.

24572_339880991332_6868695_nSo back to the concert. Trevor finished his set, Colbie came on, and then after the show we waited around to say hi. When the lines finally died down and Kaycie could get up to Trevor’s table, she said, “You probably don’t remember me, but we went to school together …” and as she was finishing her sentence his eyes lit up and he shouted, “Ohmygosh! You have sisters!” We all laughed and she answered, “Yeah, they’re over there!”

It was such a funny, first thing for him to blurt out at that moment—“you have sisters!” But over the last little while I’ve thought a lot about his reaction. I’ve thought of all the things he could have said at that moment—any of the other memories from grade school he and Kaycie shared. But of all those things, the one thing he remembered first about her was that she had sisters. I love that. It says that the people around us know what, and more importantly, who, is most important to us.

1929041_59373716332_7639352_nI love my sisters so dearly. And I love knowing that each of us has two cheerleaders in our corner no matter what. And I’m glad, so very very glad, that that is what people remember about us.

Kayc, you know we love you most. But today especially, I hope you’ll remember that “You have sisters.” I can only imagine how your heart must hurt. I can only imagine the number of tears you’ve cried. But you are one amazing little woman. Kar and I are here. Your cheerleaders. Your safe place.

You have sisters and I couldn’t be more grateful to be yours, especially today.

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The Way

Allow me to ask a question. I hope you’ll give the answer serious thought.

Is there anything in your life right now that you’d like to change or have different?

Perhaps you are seeking an answer? Or maybe forgiveness? Or are you holding onto forgiveness that needs to be extended? Maybe you are trying to win the battle with an addiction. Maybe you are trying to reach a difficult goal. Maybe you are seeking greater joy or peace or harmony within your home, family, or self. Maybe you are making big life decisions and are wondering which path to take. Maybe you want to pursue a different profession. Or maybe you are trying to overcome a fear. Perhaps you would like more good friends. Maybe you are wondering when the ache in your heart will finally dull and go away. Maybe you are wondering when the tears will stop. Maybe you are in a relationship that needs healing. Maybe illness and fatigue are currently a part of your daily life. Maybe you are seeking a certain blessing to come your way. The list of changes we each might like to see in our lives is endless.

When December 31, 2007 arrived, I sat down to write my New Year’s resolutions just like I always do every New Year’s Eve. I’d been thinking about them for a while, and there were lots of things about my life that I wanted to be different. But when I sat down to write them there was only one resolution that mattered. I had examined my life much in the preceding months and I had come to the conclusion that I wasn’t who I wanted to be. I wondered where the bright-eyed, idealistic college graduate had gone, along with all the plans and goals and ways I was going to change the world. I couldn’t see the perfect-faith-filled returned missionary anymore. By no means had I become a horrible person, but I wasn’t who I had been in years past, and I hadn’t become who I thought I would once I “became a grown up.” Life had happened. I’d gotten a real job with real stress and heavy demands. I’d accumulated bills and responsibilities and busyness. And the busier I got, the less I seemed like me. And it seemed like the farther I got from “me,” the farther I got from heaven too. So come January 1, things were going to change. But like I said only one resolution mattered. And so I wrote:

This year I will know the Savior better.

In the weeks that followed, I tried to put a dedicated emphasis on that goal. I reimplimented habits like daily scripture reading, regular prayer, and reading the lessons for each Sunday. And I felt better about life in small measure. But I still felt as though I was far. The intensity of the Spirit wasn’t permeating my life like it had just a few years before. And so, I continued to clean out the cobwebs. I identified things that had crept into my life which were making it difficult for me to always have the Spirit– things like sins, weaknesses, imperfections, and grudges. I began to offer them up to heaven with the humblest heart I think I’ve ever had. I was so saddened by the weeds I had let overtake my heart.

I think I knew I needed change for a long time, but when I’m honest about why I didn’t do it sooner, it was because I was scared–scared to give the Lord this tattered, broken life. I was afraid piecing it back together would hurt beyond what I could bear. And I think I was also ashamed. He’s the perfect God of the universe. How could I ask the Lord to fix me, change me, remake me? How could I offer Him anything less than something beautiful? And so for a long while I tried to rid my life of the busyness and weaknesses on my own, while trying to add back in the joy, service, and dedication–again, on my own. But with the approaching New Year, the pieces began to come together. I couldn’t do it on my own anymore. And I don’t know that I’ve ever wanted to know the Savior more. It’s never mattered more. And I think that’s because I’ve never been more acutely aware of my need for Him. And I told the Lord so. I would do whatever it took. I didn’t care how badly it hurt or how long it would take. I wanted my life to be different. And I would do whatever He asked.

And as I did so, I felt things changing little by little. I found myself happier and more peaceful. Less burdened and more fulfilled. But something was still not right. Like I had hit another wall, where I had offered everything up–my desires, my sins, my weaknesses–but I still wasn’t feeling complete in the process. I kept praying, “What else do I need to do? What is the way to finally achieve what I’m seeking? I’m so close I can feel it. But I feel like there is one last thing. Is it just that I need to give you more time? Do I need to be patient? Or do I need to do something else? Just tell me and I’ll do it. You know I will.”

Now, you must know that I have always been my own worst critic. And, though I would never allow another person to believe this about themselves, I’ve always thought that I needed to “do more,” “work harder,” “run faster” in order to receive the blessing or find forgiveness. I think many of us feel this way simply because we’re so much more aware of our own imperfections. We tend to be hardest on ourselves.

In fact, I’ve often been known to say in prayer, “I haven’t suffered enough for this. If you need to punish me a bit more, I understand.” Or I’ll think to myself, “I need to do this and this and this and this, before I ask for help because certainly I can’t kneel before God if I haven’t read my scriptures, served my neighbor, gone to the temple, and completed my visiting teaching.” And in regards to this particular resolution, I think I’d been telling myself that the way to get past the wall is to read more, serve more, try harder. I kept asking, “What more do I need to do?”

But lately, I’ve found myself reminded of the lesson the Lord has tried to teach, and re-teach me my whole life. And I think it’s probably the lesson He’ll continue to have to teach me, as I’m obviously not very good at learning it.

Thomas asked, “How can we know the way?”, as he sat with his fellow apostles and their Lord after the supper on the memorable night of betrayal. I revisit the question I began with: Is there anything in your life right now that you’d like to change or have different? If so, “how can we know the way” to do so?

“Christ’s divine answer was: ‘I am the way…’ (John 14:5-6). And so He is! He is the source of our comfort, the inspiration of our life, the author of our salvation. If we want to know our relationship to God, we go to Jesus Christ. If we would know the truth of immortality of the soul, we have it exemplified in the Savior’s resurrection…He is the one Perfect Being who ever walked the earth; the sublimest example of nobility; Godlike in nature; perfect in his love; our Redeemer; our Savior; the immaculate Son of our Eternal Father; the Light, the Life, the Way” (David O. McKay, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: David O. McKay, 2003, 3-4, 5).

And so it is. At both the beginning and the end of my long list of “look what I’ve done Lord to change my life” there stands One. And ultimately, only He can change it. When I face the wall in front of me, it is He who says, “Thy walls are continually before me” (1 Nephi 21:16).

When we are lonely, it is He who says, “and lo, I am with you, even unto the end” (D&C 105:41).

When we are burdened, it is He who says, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:30).

When we wonder which direction to go or choice to make, it is He who says, “Trust in [me] with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge [me], and [I] will direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

When we are seeking greater peace in our homes, families, and hearts, it is He who says, “Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me” (D&C 19:23).

When we are saddened, faced with fear, hurt or illness, it is He who says, “I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you” (John 14:18).

When our world swirls around us, it is he who “arises, and rebukes the winds and the sea; until there is calm” (Matt 8: 26).

When we don’t feel strong enough to handle what we’ve been given, or face what is ahead, it is He who is our “strength and [our] song” (1 Nephi 22:2).

When we are out of breath, it is God who “breathed … the breath of life” into Adam (Moses 3:70).

When we feel dead, it is He who said, “I am the life” (John 14:6).

When we want, it is He who says, “Ask and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you” (Matt. 6: 7).

When we feel condemned and ashamed, it is He who says, “neither do I condemn thee” (John 8:11).

When we feel we need to suffer more for our sins, it is He who says, “I have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer” (D&C 19:16).

When we hunger, it is He who says, “I am the bread of life” (John 6:48).

When we thirst, it is He who says, “whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst” (John 4:14).

When the present seems dark, it is He who says, “I am the light” (3 Ne. 18:16).

When we don’t know the way, it is He who says, “I am the way.” (John 14:6).

“Considering the incomprehensible cost of the Crucifixion and Atonement, I promise you He is not going to turn His back on us now. When He says to the poor in spirit, ‘Come unto me,’ He means He knows the way out and He knows the way up. He knows it because He has walked it. He knows the way because He is the way” (Elder Holland, “Broken Things to Mend,” Liahona, May 2006, 69-71).

There is a journey we are all making. Some of us have the ability really run it. Others of us are slower. Sometimes we walk. Sometimes we’re frozen still, not knowing how to get to the end, or maybe scared to get to the end. But I testify that there is One who stays beside us. He knows the way because He is the way.

His life He gave, once for the world.
Collective majesty.
But today, in quiet moments,
He gave the world to me.

That little poem came to me as I contemplated this Man, this God, my God, my brother, my breath, my light, my life, my way. At every moment of our lives, and I truly believe that it’s every moment, we simply have to let go. We can clean out our lives. We can organize our homes. We can speak kind words. We can pray and read our scriptures and be good people. But at the end of all that, when we stand in front of the wall, or just before the finish line, at those simplest and truest places, it’s He who gives us the world. And He gives it over and over and over. And He loves that! He is the author and the finisher of all things. He is the way. And all He says is, “Come.”

I hope today we can all Come to Jesus–quietly and honestly. That we can bring our fears and our baggage and our sins and our broken lives and give them to him and not take them back and just … believe. Believe that He can not only fix them, but that He wants them.

There is a song I love that says:

Broken clouds give rain
And broken ground grows grain
Broken bread feeds man for one more day

Broken storms yield light
The break of day heals night
Broken pride turns blindness into sight

Broken souls that need His mending
Broken hearts for offering
Could it be that God loves broken things?

Broken chains set free
Broken swords bring peace
Broken walls make friends of you and me

To break the ranks of sin
To break the news of Him
To put on Christ till His name feels broken in

Broken souls that need His mending
Broken hearts for offering
I believe that God loves broken things

And yet, our broken faith, our broken promises
Sent love to the cross
And still, that broken flesh, that broken heart of His
Offers us such grace and mercy
Covers us with undeserving

This broken soul that cries for mending
This broken heart for offering
I’m convinced that God loves broken things
Praise His name – my God loves broken things
(Broken, Kenneth Cope)

I am broken. And I am His. However imperfectly I do that, and believe me, imperfect it is. But I am broken, and I am His. And I know He loves broken me.

 

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