Saturday, October 23, 2010


Last year, my roommate and I were both going through extremely difficult times personally. Most days we'd wake up hopeful, determined to beat the black clouds that day, but more often than not we would return home in the evening with slow steps, sagging shoulders, and a drooping spirit.

Then dear Roommate had a moment of inspiration at the end of another very long day.
her: "hey, I have an idea."
me, having just crawled under the covers with all of my clothes still on: "egh?"
her: "If you haven't noticed, we've been pretty depressed lately, and I've found myself focusing more and more on the negative. We've just had a hard time being happy."
me, moaning out of the side of my mouth face down on a pillow: "I know! and I'm tired of being sad."
her: "me too! So, I've got an idea!: at the end of every day, let's take a second and say what the best part of our day was. That way we will be looking for the good and can try to be a little happier."
me, sitting up: "That's a good idea. Let's do it!"

We look at each other....
both of us: "ready, go!"

So, that's how "best part of the day" (also known as "b.p.o.y.d" affectionately) started. We have done it every possible day for over a year now, sometimes over the phone or through email on different continents, and the effect it has had on our lives has been incredible.

Some benefits:
  • At least one good thing happens every day. Focusing on it before falling asleep turns whatever mood you're in to one of memory, gratitude, happiness, and hope.
  • Even if the best part of your day is going home and ending it--you can still rejoice in that.
  • b.p.y.o.d has helped me go from sad to ecstatic, every day. I am happy to be alive and rejoice that the Lord sees fit to bless me with 24 hours of continued living, learning, and growing everyday.
  • Almost without exception, our b.p.o.y.d's have something to do with service someone unexpectedly rendered to us, a moment we were able to help someone else in a meaningful way, the realization of some goal, or something beautiful that touched our lives. This has helped us realize what is really important--gifts, money, new clothes, etc. have never been the b.p.o.y.d.
Over time, another question has been added to the b.p.y.o.d moments before bed--what did you do for someone today?

And gradually, b.p.y.o.d has been shared with others. Roommate's family, my family, friends who needed a pick-themselves-up before they picked themselves apart. Most recently we've enjoyed sharing our b.p.o.y.d's with new roommates as we've knelt each night (that we remember) in roommate prayer. Four nights this week those circles have included other friends that we feel blessed to be able to share our home with on a regular basis. Each night we reflect and rejoice together about the goodness in life. God does not forget us! and even though we sometimes feel like we're in a quagmire of standing problems, unable to move or go forward, b.p.o.y.d helps us to see that, little by little, we are getting somewhere, good is happening, and day by day, our lives do make a difference in the world.

The best part of my day yesterday was hanging out with my family at the end of a long day.
The best part of my day thursday was unpaid time I spent being a friend to a co-worker.
And the best part of my day today is yet to be determined.

So now, my question to you is, what was the best part of your day?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My Sport

Wanna know something that makes me rejoice?
Yep, that's right. That round-ball-kinda-like-football-but-oh-my-heck-why-aren't-they-wearing-any-pads-full-body-contact-game. Best. Sport. Ever.

Just two years ago I laughed at the ninnies who cried over BYU football losses and rolled my eyes at raw voices and scoreboard-induced depressions.
But no more.
I'm not laughing any longer.
Now I understand.

What is this fire in my veins?
What are these butterflies in my stomach?
What is this lack of ability to focus on my classes, homework, professors, or roommates telling me my secret crush brought me flowers (supposing that, if I had a secret crush, he'd ever stop and bring me flowers)?


Statement of fact: I am addicted to BYU Rugby.

And guys, it's serious.

I've sat in wind, rain, snow, hail, and all kinds of cold to watch boys beat each other up on a muddy field. I've sacrificed precious grocery money for tickets and once took at least a year off the life of my heart when I had a panic attack because twitter wasn't refreshing fast enough for me to keep up with what was happening at a game I couldn't go to. Please don't judge me too hard when I confess that I've alienated friends and roommates for up to 4 hours per weekend during championships while I alternated screaming, crying and yelling while jumping on or punching the couch I was perched on. You feel me? It's bad.

Anyway, then there was today.

Text I recieved from my sister at 4:47--"Rugby game today. 6pm"
My thoughts: Oh no! Don't do this to me! I have class. WHY do I have class? .... Okay girl, it's okay. Just focus. What's most important? That's right. School. Class. Not Rugby. It's not even a game, it's a scrimmage. Seriously. Quit it. You'll survive. Chill.

Honestly, I tried to.

Yeah, didn't work so well.
Heart started pounding, butterflies started in my stomach. My knee started bouncing, "Rugby" doodles appeared on my note paper, and I got a crook in my neck turning around to check the clock. Couldn't concentrate on the confidence interval theory my Prof. was talking about. And I like that class. Really. I just like Rugby more.

Suffice it to say, as soon as the lecture was over at 6:48, I was out the door! Book bag half-zipped, I booked it to the field to catch the last 15 minutes of play. Stood by myself, left before anyone saw me. To me, Rugby is personal. I don't need to share it with anyone, don't need to be escorted to the game or sat next to. It's just me and the game. Oh. Love it.

So, that was my night. And as I walked home I looked up at the beautiful mountains. The moon was hidden behind its highest peak, and for about two minutes the sky was DARK DARK DARK and SO beautiful. I feel privileged to have witnessed that.

Oh oh oh. Life is good.

So, question: what are you addicted to? :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

a sticky-note quote I have on my work computer:

"At times men are perplexed and full of care and trouble...; yet our judgment teaches us that it is our duty to pray."

Brigham Young
Governor, Utah Territory, 1850-1858
President, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1847-1877

Monday, October 18, 2010

three hearts

In my heart, I speak three languages. My soul relaxes to the sound of German poetry, aches when it hears "Dtonga," and toetaps to the rhythmic, drawling accent of an American farmer. Music from these worlds bring me to tears and my insides dance in different ways to their melodies. "Wenn ich tanzen will," "Praying for You," and "Sweet Southern Comfort." Why is my heart spread across three continents? Darned if it doesn't make planning a future inconvenient.

The Lord knows it though. In my memory He walks with me in Dorfgastein and on the streets of a Vienna twilight. We've hiked together through the Rocky Mountains and sat side-by-side on her highest precipices. He stood quietly behind me smiling as I took in the view of Neiafu harbor for the first time, with the smell of smoke and the sound of the wind in the air. He knows my heart, and He knows it's not easy. But He has great plans. He gave me this love. I can't be three places at once, but His spirit is, and it's with me when I go to each of them. How thankful I am for memory. Sometimes it can be a burden, but it's often my best friend. That and imagination. One captures the beauty of the past, and one dreams of the future. Together they comprise a life. A beautiful life.

"... I know my God is listenin'...."

Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve

One of the greatest reasons I have to rejoice is the fact that I am a student at Brigham Young University. I cannot accurately describe how thankful I am for this blessing in my life--the opportunity to study ALL truth in a setting that is home to such a GREAT academic heritage. Forget Harvard. Forget UC-whatev. This is the Lord's university, and here I can learn about Horace and Shakespeare and Evolution and Homosexuality hand in hand with REAL truth. Standford can't offer that, and neither can Purdue. This is MY university.

Today I was walking down the hall of the Jesse Knight Building heading to discuss Samuel Taylor Coleridge and the Imagination. I was 1.38 minutes late for class. As I rounded the corner a piano started playing the first bars to "Praise to the Man." 200 voices began singing in the Statistics auditorium. My heart sang with them.

Outside I see hills alive with red and yellow aspens and hear the resounding of the Carillon bell tower in harmony with the soft sidewalk padding of Airwalk-clad coeds. The temple sits in those hills. The hills themselves are a temple. And this campus too. HERE is where we learn. Then we go out to serve. Serve the Lord. Serve the World. Stand as beacons of light. In April I'm leaving Provo. I have six months left to soak the Spirit of this place in--to stuff every corner of my soul full of the beauty of God and learning and miracles and laughter and yellow aspen leaves and hope and dreams for the future and service and memories of friends who have changed my life--been a witness to the most important time of my life so far. But I know more is coming. So much good is coming. It might be:
New Zealand
or something else,
but it's going to be good. Great. MIRACULOUS. WONDERFUL.


But then again, I can. At least until April.