Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cannot Fail

Think back on your education experience. How many times did you actually have an opportunity to really push yourself?
Through my entire general education experience and I can only think of one circumstance. My theatre class. No other subject do I feel that I left being better at it then when I went in. But in theatre I was given chances to push myself and develop. Which would explain why I thought that was all I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I did not think I was good at anything else.
Turns out, I'm good at a lot of things. However, it has taken me a long time to realize that I can be good academically.
A lot of that is due to the institution I am attending now for my graduate degree. I was talking to my best friend about the fact that I got A's in two of my classes that were half semester courses and how happy I was. I then told her of my realization I had about a month into my program.
When we first began they told us that we had to get B's to pass. I felt a little overwhelmed. I've worked my tail off in some of my college classes and just scraped by with a B so I was ready to work really hard.
After a month of a LOT of hard work in this program I realized there really was no way that I could get a B let alone not pass. Sure if I didn't do the work I wouldn't get the points. But why would I be there if I didn't want to do the work. And as long as I just stuck to what was expected of me and did my best well I'd end up passing just fine.
Is it hard? Yes! Am I being challenged? Very much so! But that's the cool part. I'm succeeding!
So I was telling my best friend, we'll call her Bill Nye, about this fact that I really can't fail. So although it sounds great that I'm doing so well, there is really no way I can't do well as long as I put in the time and effort. Bill Nye said, "Just like Heavenly Father."
I knew she was right but I asked her to expound on that thought. She said, "Well, He obviously wants us to succeed and make it back with Him. He does not want us to fail." This is so true.
We have a God that wants us to be successful. He provides us with all the tools necessary to do so and then it's up to us. But he sets it up so we wont fail. The only way we can is if we chose to. Just like my program. It's hard at times but I love this opportunity and time to prepare for my career.  But it's my choice how serious I want to take it. It's my choice.
Our Father sent his only begotten son to save us all. All. In the end it's our choice whether or not we want to be saved.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Day and Age

A snippet of a reoccurring conversation...

New acquaintance: "How old are you?"
Me: "27."
New acquaintance: "Wow! Really? You don't look that old!"
Me: "Thank you. I get that a lot."

But what I really think is. I'm not old! What am I supposed to look like?!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanks for Gratitude

grate-ful: adj. thankful or appreciative for benefits or kindnesses
grat-i-tude: n. the state of appreciation and gratefulness
thank: v. express one's gratitude; to credit
thank-ful: adj. feeling or showing of gratitude
thanks: pl., n. expression of one's gratitude

 Lately I've contemplated these words and what they really mean. What does it really mean to give thanks? How can I truly show my gratitude for something or to someone? I've felt that words are so trifling and cannot do my feelings justice.

Gratitude as defined above is a state of appreciation. A state that someone can be in, not simply a feeling. Then being thankful, or giving thanks is the result of the feelings that reside in us when we are in a state of gratitude.

I think that is what is most beautiful about the holidays. They become an outlet for us all to express our thanks and love towards one another. No wonder we all look forward to them with anticipation and joy. An inevitable result is a state of gratitude. When the holidays come around I always wish I was better at expressing my love and appreciation for those in my life on a more consistent basis.

As a christian and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, it is not a new idea to give thanks for the blessings we have in our lives. Christ showed an example of this in The Lords Prayer and we too are encouraged to remember those blessings that abound in our lives.

To commemorate this day I found a beautiful talk given by the Prophet of our church, President Thomas S. Monson. It is entitled "The Divine Gift of Gratitude." I encourage all to read his words and feel of their truth. Also that we may apply his council. For "by their fruits you shall know them"(Matthew 7:15-20). Pres. Monson states,"My brothers and sisters, to express gratitude is gracious and honorable, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live with gratitude ever in our hearts is to touch heaven."

I am filled with gratitude. I am overwhelmed by the many blessings I have in my life.
A family that supports me.
A safe and comfortable place to live.
A job that is flexible so that I can focus on my education.
My education and the opportunities that lay ahead.
All the people in my life that have helped shape me.
My understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Freedom of religion.
Temples that help me stay centered on what matters most.
Institute and its ability to pull me away from the world.
Friends that let me ramble off on things they may not fully understand.
Friends that make me laugh. (I know it's not hard to do. But it's very much appreciated.)
My talents and hobbies, for giving me moments of peace and stress relief.
The scriptures and their ability to teach me and answer prayers.
Prayer and its ability to bind me more and more to my Father in Heaven.
A Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ and through him the ability to be better each day.
A loving, kind, generous, patient, merciful, Father in Heaven. With whom nothing seems impossible.

I hope to us all a Happy Thanksgiving. May the feeling of gratitude influence us always to share thanks.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Singled Out

Alright all you non-single people out there, this is for you! I hope to develop for you my past weekend so that you'll feel as if you were right there with me. Soaking in all that is wonderful about being single! (insert sarcasm)

Friday night.
My night began with a birthday party for an old roommate. I got there early and visited with her before more guests showed up. Finally some mutual friends arrived which are really the only people you talk to at parties. Never do you meet anyone new. And if you do never do they continue to talk to you long enough to know if you want to be interested in getting to know them better. So you just stand around talking to the people you've known for years about the only things you know you have in common. In this instance, common acquaintances and sports.
I was standing talking to an old friend about ... well I don't remember. I saw a fairly attractive male walk in and say hi to my friend. We met eyes. I smiled. We both stayed in our groups that we knew and then I left. Magical right?

I then headed over to another birthday party. This one was a 'black light' theme. I went alone again and had friends there at the house. No one I'm really close with so I was often left alone as the people I was with ran off with someone else they knew.
I found myself in the basement of the house where the 'dancing' was going on. There was no dancing! Everyone was just standing around in a big circle awkwardly swaying from one foot to the next, staring around the circle at one another. AWKWARD! So, what do I do? With this group of about 15 twenty something year olds I just yell out, "Okay this is awkward and really lame. So what we're going to do is each person has to do something and we'll go around the circle and copy them. That way we're all doing the same thing and no longer staring at one another." There were yells of "Yeah! You start!" So I did. Then I tried to pass it to the guy next to me and he just stood there. Mortified. He said his mind went blank. I said "It doesn't matter what you do. It's better than us just standing around." He wouldn't budge. He just stood there like a deer in head lights. So a girl grabbed it. We kept it going for about 5 to 10 minutes. People were laughing. We seemed to have fun. Then people started getting hot and tired. They dispersed quickly. I think if it hadn't been dark more people would know really know that I was the crazy girl making everyone have a good time.
I didn't stay much longer after that.
I drove home and thought. I hate parties!

The next night I first headed out to a wedding of a friend. I went alone. Knowing I'd see someone there I knew. I parked my car and swung my left leg out of my car to hear a beautiful long tearing sound. Yup! Jeans ripped! Starting at my inseam and ran right along the left cheek. (no not my face) I think. Well that's just great! Luckily I was wearing a long coat. But I could feel some cool air and I was just hoping that it wasn't visible. So I carefully walk into the wedding and get in line. I didn't see anyone. So I realized I'd be standing alone with a huge rip in my pants. Apprehensive to move much, I slowly turn around and whom do I see but my friend Natalie! We both were so pleased to see one another. My joy was that now I had someone to tell me how visible my rip was. She reassured me that it was not visible.
After the wedding was a 'fondu party' my friends were throwing. Yes still with a tear in my pants. I show up and of course immediately tell my good friends that I had a rip the size of my hand along my butt! Two of which kept telling me to take off my coat. I didn't hear the end of it all night long. Pretty dang funny! What did this party consist of? Standing around and talking to people I knew. At one point I did talk to some new males. But we talked about how there were a ton of guys with beards at the party. So we started giving out awards for each beard... Needless to say that didn't go far with those guys. Later my friend and I plopped down on a couch for the rest of the night. Finally I was able to take off my coat! I left close to midnight, glad I saw my friends but again. We could have done that without a party.

One more night. Then I'm done.
Sunday night. Ward prayer. Why do we have ward prayer? Some have referred to it as ward stare. My experience, the same people go all the time. I go because I want to get to know the girls in the ward better. Plus when I try and talk to the guys... nothing. So I leave ward prayer with a friend and drag her along to a desert night hosted by another friend of mine. I was met by an old high school friend. The single world in this city is pretty small. Everyone knows someone. So I talked to him for awhile. Then I went to another friend from college. Then another friend. Finally after being there for an hour talking to no new people it was time to leave. I then see a guy that I happen to see every night this weekend. Someone I would go on a date with. But we've known each other for years. Has he ever asked me out? No.

So I ask you? What was the point of that all? 6 social events in 3 days. I think the idea is to meet people. But turns out I never do meet people. I just go to support my friends that are having the event because I care about them.

So do y'all miss being single?

(I'm really not annoyed with being single. I'm happy. I just hate the 'social single scene.' LAME!) 

Thursday, November 17, 2011


I believe in God. I believe he is a loving Father in heaven. I believe the scriptures to be inspired writings from those called of God to communicate to us. I believe in personal revelation from my loving Father in heaven. I believe he doesn't change. I believe in miracles.

Mormon 9:19-21
19 And if there were miracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being? And behold, I say unto you he changeth not; if so he would cease to be God; and he ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles.

20 And the reason why he ceaseth to do miracles among the children of men is because that they dwindle in unbelief, and depart from the right way, and know not the God in whom they should trust.
21 Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth.

3 Nephi 18:19-20
19 Therefore ye must always pray unto the Father in my name;

20 And whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you.

Matthew. 21:22 (21–22)

21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.
22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

Mark 11:24

Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

Moroni. 7:26
And after that he came men also were saved by faith in his name; and by faith, they become the sons of God. And as surely as Christ liveth he spake these words unto our fathers, saying: Whatsoever thing ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is good, in faith believing that ye shall receive, behold, it shall be done unto you.

I emphasised the repeating phrases. The first principle is believing in Christ and having faith in Him. Then asking. Now, comes the hard part. Believing and not doubting that you will receive it. That you will receive it! It shall be done. That is marvelous in and of itself.

Now. I know sometimes that prayers are not answered. Ones that come from the deepest corners of our soul. But in spite of those moments I do know that prayers are answered. Prayers that involve those things that are important to us. We must be willing to accept the alternative. But sometimes, and I think more than often, the Lord wants to give us our righteous desires.

Lately I've had prayers answered. Prayers that I was inspired to utter. Prayers that seems so weird or silly or insignificant to ask for. Let me rephrase that. Insignificant to ask a God for. But I now know that nothing is too insignificant to ask a Father for.

We only see miracles based on our faith. So lately I've asked myself. Okay how is my faith lacking. Well, I doubt and fear things a lot. Only very specific things(sorry they are a bit personal). And doubt and fear are the opposite of faith and they cannot coexists. So then the moments I begin to doubt and fear I must just replace them with faith. Easy?... So far, no. I still get moments of past thoughts and feelings rushing back into my chest that cause me to no longer have confidence in the things I know I've been told by the Lord.

But here is something that has helped. These scriptures. And more specifically memorizing them so the moment that I feel those feelings coming upon me I throw at them a scripture. And miraculously I'm able to be calm.

I believe in a God of miracles. I believe he wants our righteous desires to come to pass for us possibly more than we do.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I'm not sure how many times I begin a new post and then stop. Erase. And start again. I don't know why I do this. I have a lot of things on my mind and things I could share but... I get stopped by something. Prepare for an Alice in Wonderland(random) type blog post.

You know what I admire? People who have no reservations in letting others know who they are and what they stand for. Even if I do not agree with it. I just love it!

I hate how easily I slip into old negative habits that I, at some point have overcome. But that just makes me that much more grateful for my opportunity to go to church each Sunday and center myself with the Father and the Savior once again. I am in awe of their patience with me. But sure am grateful for it.

Today in class my professor told us how she hated rewarding middle school students with candy. She said "A ninth grader would sell their soul for a jolly rancher!" Ha! She then went on to say that she likes healthy food so she would reward the students with a rice cake if they did their homework. HA HA HA! I lost it! A rice cake! Seriously! So funny! What kind of motivation is that? Granted I like me a good rice cake. But I just found that so fun! The best part about it is the rice cakes worked! 

Oh. Did I also mention that a few months ago I was awarded the 'most distinctive laugh' award from my professor? I was so proud! And yes this made me laugh again. I have gotten a lot of comments along the lines of 'well if you want to think you're funny just hang out with Camille.' Now just to clarify. I do not think everyone is funny. But I just like things that catch me off guard. So if you do that... DONE! You get me to laugh. But some people are better at it than others... I love people who make me laugh. And that can make fun of me in a funny way. Not easily done. But they sure knew how to do it back in the day with groups of people.
p.s. Make sure you make a joke/comment that relates to what we're talking about. Otherwise it just goes over my head and I look at you like you're crazy. This happened on Monday night with a young man that I think likes me. But seriously if he can't make me laugh... well. I just know it's not going to work out.

I also get a lot of comments from strangers thanking me for smiling. Don't people smile? Are people just unhappy and do not make the time to even give a grin?! Come now. We have time to 'give a grin.' (oh my gosh that is so dang cheesy but I'm keeping it!)

I just started reading "The Four Loves" by C.S. Lewis it states in the introduction...
        ".. our the accurate refelction in consciousness of our actual nature. We are born helpless. As soon as we are fully conscious we discover loneliness. We need others physcally, emotionally, intellectually; we need them if we are to know anything, even ourselves."
I am far from an expert on love. But I know this statement is true. And to quote a favorite song...
     "I've heard you're really not somebody. Until somebody else loves you. Well I am waiting to make somebody, somebody, soon."

Okay I'll end there. I'm sure y'all didn't even make it through this whole thing. You've probably moved onto the next blog where there are cute pictures of someones new baby. Or a new craft that someone has come up with...

Friday, November 11, 2011

Music Memories

There is real power in music. It has the power to calm a broken heart or cause the heart to race. I wonder where my infatuation with music came from or began. But I think it is nothing short of being a part of who I am. Yes, I grew up dancing. I learned at a young age to associate music with movement and feelings. But that doesn't change the fact that the moment I hear certain songs I'm mesmerized. I have to be quite, stop what I'm doing react.
So I have found some songs that will take you through sort of a quick timeline of my life. Not all are inspiring. But simply remind me of a time of life.

I have vivid memories of this musical and riding in my mom's minivan. I'd sit in the front seat and turn up my favorite songs. I was only 7 years old when I saw it live for the first time. However, by that time I had the whole show memorized. Except maybe 'master of the house' and 'lovely ladies' I think my mom skipped those songs for me. But the rest... To this day takes me back and I just can't help but belt this song out!

This reminds me of middle school. While this reminds me of high school. So many good memories of enjoying hours of these boys. Let's be honest... The boy band era was awesome!

I tried to think of college and songs that I listened to a lot but this song is all that came to mind. Granted I remember listening to it countless times as I commuted back and forth to the U. But then this one always brings back awesome memories with my Siggies! Insti stomp all the way!

Post college is when I started my long affair with this guy. Seriously everything he does I just love. I've seen him live and he's simply amazing. I love playing his songs too. He's just amazing.

Now for my mission. By being a full time missionary for the LDS church I had some restrictions on songs I could listen to. But this hymn was my saving grace most days. I cannot recall the countless times it kept me from distraction. I would constantly hum it to myself. Never singing it out loud unless my companion was in the shower. So it became the song of my soul for my mission. To this day I adore it's words and arrangement.

Now for today. I can't get enough of this song. Plus the artist. Something about her music just speaks to me. And that's what I realized about most of these songs and times of my life. They just speak to me.

Music is like another friend. Someone that can say what your feeling. Someone that you can relate with on so many levels. I simply love it. It's apart of me and who I am. I can't escape it calling to me. Which brings me to my dilemma... I'm looking to be spoken to again. I've been looking for new music for a few months now and everything comes up short. Luckily my favorite artists keep writing music. But I feel this strange void. I want so badly to find a good cd and just play it over and over and over again, until I have it memorized! (sigh) I'm open for suggestions!

That's all! I hope you had fun on this music scavenger hunt of sorts.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Dear World:

Dear World:
You are messed up! But I do not have the time to tell you all the reasons why at this moment. So I'll get back to you.