Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Musical Moment: "Bring Him Home"

Today's song is "Bring Him Home" from Les Miserables. It's a beautiful piece. The character of Valjean is at the barricades, praying for his adopted daughter's lover. All he wants is for Marius to live through the night to be with Cosette. It is applicable to the way our Savior felt during his time on earth. He sang a prayer for each and every individual. He loves us more than I can describe.

Isaiah 53:3-7, 10, 12.
He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
 But he was awounded for our btransgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his cstripes we are dhealed.
 All we like asheep have gone bastray; we have turned every one to his cown way; and the Lord hath laid on him the diniquity of us all.
 He was aoppressed, and he was bafflicted, yet he copened not his mouth: he is brought as a dlamb to the eslaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
 Yet it pleased the Lord to abruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an boffering for sin, he shall see his cseed, he shall prolong his days, and the dpleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
...and he bare the sin of many, and made cintercession for the transgressors

For AD.
"Bring Him Home":

Friday, May 25, 2012

Musical Moments: Intro

I am a musical theatre kid. I'm pretty sure most of you know that already. Music means something to me, and the reason I love musical theatre is that the songs tell a story. They are emotionally motivated. They are constantly moving forward. They can be inspiring. They can be just plain fun. They speak to people. That's what they are written for. This motivated me to create...

A new series! I will be posting a song from a musical with a short blurb on what it means to me. They will be titled "Musical Moment." This should be a lot of fun... I'm excited.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Junior Year's Over?

This school year:

- I caught the Black Death in school. No joke. There are pictures. (Okay, actually it was just facepaint...)

- I starred in a production of "Lord of the Rings in Five Minutes." I was the Ring. Best role I've ever had. Ok, maybe I wasn't the star. Fine, I was a prop. :)

- I saw The Lion King, Les Miserables, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Newsies on Broadway or National Tours.

- I was in the best tap class ever. We had more fun than anyone else. FACT. We also got to be edgy - we tapped to a Bach piece.

- I met Maesa. That girl is my soul sister.

- I went to another Owl City concert. This time, it was at the 9:30 Club in DC, and Maria came with me to jam and eat veggie burgers.

- I stormed the Bastille. It set off the smoke alarm.

- I went to the 1000 for Life rally outside the abortion clinic. We ended up with more than 2000 prayer warriors there, and saved lives of babies and mothers!

- I discovered I like He is We, Days Difference, First Aid Kit, Foster the People, Hellogoodbye, Ron Pope (Thanks Ben!), Kimbra (Thanks Maesa!), and random 80's bands.

- I went to NYC for a bunch of fun weekends. I am so comfortable there. I love it.  :)

- I took AP European History, AP Environmental Science, and AP Human Geography. They were so fun! The tests went well too. (Thank you, God!)

- I started watching Merlin, Sherlock, Community, Spy, and Hawaii 5-O (Original).

- I got addicted to 16 Handles. Froyo foevah.

- I fell in love... with demography. Human population is SO interesting. You may have seen the impact of this in prior posts.

- My dad started working in NYC. It's been awesome. I've loved going up there all the time and having adventures. I miss Dad sometimes, but we get to talk to him a lot on Skype and on the weekends.

- I was in "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying." THAT was a true adventure, and I'm so grateful I was able to be a part of it.

- I was a part of some super fun photo shoots with Bethany and other awesome friends.

- I saw Maddie baptized! Greatest thing. I love that girl.

- I went to my first midnight showing of a movie: The Hunger Games.

- I hung out with the best friends any girl could ever have. SGA <3

- I danced in the rain.

Generally, this school year, I feel like I've gotten so much older than just a few months. I have learned a boatload, which is one reason I'm so grateful I followed the prompting to start this blog. I have learned to accept what others have to offer. I have learned that sometimes being all sunshine and daisies can be an issue. To clarify, being too much like Jane Bennett can be a problem. I've learned to stick up for myself in friendships and relationships. I've learned that giving is important, but not to "cast my pearls before swine." Not everyone is going to want what I have to offer. Still, there are plenty of people who love me for who I am and who they see I can become. The best part is that they will help me become that person I can be. I've learned how to handle friendships ending (Step 1. 3 days of mourning. Step 2. Shave your legs. It works). I've defined my standards. I've made mistakes and won victories. Some friendships have ended, but I've been blessed with people who can teach me so much more than they could at this point in my life. I'm so lucky!

Again, I say that I feel so blessed to have had the school year I had. It was like a rollercoaster, the lower the lows, the higher the next high. I loved it. I pray that I will be able to take the things I've learned and apply them to my self betterment.

Have a blessed summer!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

"You're Way Too Concerned."

I feel the need to explain something quickly:

If I worry about you, it's because I love you. I'm not trying to be condescending, rude, controlling, or your mom. I just love you. I get concerned because I see your potential. I see the light in your eyes, and I can get frustrated when you don't live up to it. I understand it may seem like a lot of pressure, and you're not accountable to me. It's personal life choices between you and Heavenly Father (sometimes your parents too). If I am your friend, though, that means that I have a responsibility to you to help you be the best person you can be. That is my job. You have the responsibility to do so for me as well. I expect constructive criticism. Let me emphasize: CONSTRUCTIVE criticism. I have gotten quite a lot of gaff the last few days from people that was not constructive at all - just mean. Please be careful about what you say. You never know how it affects people. Maybe one day I'll let you know some of the ways I have been impacted by what people say, but it's a little too raw right now. I'm definitely not perfect, and I make mistakes, but let me be the best friend I can be.

Lots of love,

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Quality Time Love Language: Not Just a Cliche.

Ok. This is my second post on one of the five love languages. They make people so much less confusing. Here we go:

Quality time is a real love language. Most people are at least a little bit of a quality time speaker. Still, it is some people's primary love language. (I happen to be bilingual: physical touch and quality time.) What does quality time mean? "Quality time is giving someone your undivided attention." ( Ok, sounds simple enough, right? Then why do so many people struggle with it? It's a love language that is taken for granted, and is often brushed off as a cliche. Don't fall into this trap. Everyone deserves to be spoken to in their love language.

1. Spending time together.
Duh. QT speakers want to spend time with the people they love. They can't get enough of them. That means that if you don't see them often, make an effort to set aside a time when you can hang out with them. This is SO important. Taking a few hours to hang out with them is the same as giving a Gift Speaker an expensive present. I don't want to say that QT speakers are simple, because to them, time isn't simple. Time is a valuable commodity that isn't renewable (Thank you, APES.) It's limited and precious. The fact that you gave some of yours to them is so meaningful to them. Them giving some of theirs to you is the same to them again as giving you that expensive present.

2. Conversation.
Now, just being with the person isn't often what they have in mind. A QT will want to talk to you about their life - their likes and dislikes, the events, fears, goals, etc. Not everyone likes to talk about these things. QT speakers do. Not only should you at least listen, but try to share in return. That trust is something they crave. It's not just being there with them - it's also looking in their eyes and showing them you're interested.

3. Make spending time with them a priority.
If you want to have a close relationship with a QT, you're going to have to make choices about how you spend your time. If you think you're busy, guess what? So are they. They just make spending time with their loved ones a priority. They may choose spending time with them over other opportunities or things they may enjoy (like, sleep, or watching that show they've been counting down to). You mean that much to them. Don't abuse that.

4. Commitments.
This means that most QT speakers make plans and are hurt if people blow them off. I can think of a few times when my heart was broken by friends backing out of plans last minute. They didn't mean to hurt me, it wasn't anything personal, but try telling that to a QT speaker. It may not be personal, but that's how they take it. It's like the PT speaker with "play fighting." Keep your promises. It again is showing that you care enough about your QT to value their time.

Basically, QT speakers need you to realize that you are important to them. You can't "buy" their love with a gift or a letter. Relationship wise, a date is so much better than a gift. The fact that you would drop whatever you were doing in their time of need is so precious to them. I am a QT speaker, and I personally know how much it hurts to be stood up, and what it feels like to have people come to you as soon as they can when you need them. I love photographs, because it helps me remember those times I spent with friends. Some of my friends ask me how I remember every time we spent together, and it is because it's valuable to me. If you just "forget" a happy time, it says to a QT how little it mattered to you. I save memories like some people save notes and cards.

This is who I am. It may be who you are. It is probably someone you know. Be sensitive and look for ways to express love in a way that your loved one will understand.

Think about it.

For more on the Five Love Languages, including the love language assessment test, go to

Monday, May 14, 2012

"Why Didn't You Leave?!"

"Because... you said we were friends."

So, I start with a Community quote today. People have a limited vocabulary these days. In general, they don't know enough words to completely express their thoughts. They have to repeat words over and over again. The ironic thing, then, is the total lack of respect and reverence for words that should have meaning, such as "love", "promise", or "friend." One reason why there is so much drama in the world is that people don't know the meanings of these words. If people realized that words have meaning beyond the superficial, the world would be a better place. Friendship is worth more than just someone you hang out with. Love is more than just someone you make out with or have dinner with. A promise is more than saying you'll do something if it's convenient.

It is all a matter of simple economics. If you print too much money, the value of each dollar goes down. If you use a word too much, its value decreases.

The fact that we use the term "friend" on Facebook to refer to people we pass in hallways or met "one time at this party" belittles the real meaning of "friendship." I have friends I would die for. I have friends who have dropped everything to come be with me on a horrible day. I have friends whose Eagle projects I have worked HOURS on. I have friends with whom I exchange birthday gifts with even though we didn't have parties. I have friends who hate the guy who hurt me more than I do. THOSE are my friends. Can we please bring the term "acquaintance" back into everyday use? That what you call people you know from a dance, or a class, or someone you didn't really talk to at a summer camp.

Promises are another issue today. In the scriptures, you can see examples of times when battles ended because one side promised the other that they would never attack again. Another time, leaders of an army refused to make a promise that they would never battle the other again, because they knew their people would not be able to keep it. They did this even though their lives were on the line. Promises used to be a big deal. If someone promised something, they did it. End of story. There just isn't that level of integrity today. I've written a lot about honesty and integrity recently, so feel free to browse April's posts to find my two cents.

"Love". Jordan from Messy Monday has some great things to say in his video Like vs. Love. (He's a little excited in this video, so don't let it throw you off.) He's 100% right, though. People struggle with being able to distinguish when to use "like" and when to use "love." It's really too bad. It leads to all sorts of problems. How do you tell friends you actually care a great deal about that you love them when you just said that you "loved" that new gum you just tried? Yeah, not going to happen. Another problem is one that teenagers are facing now. How do you tell that special person that you care for them more than just "friends." Teenagers should NOT be telling each other that they are "in love." I'm sorry, but it leads to misunderstanding and confusion. I believe that real "teen romantic love" exists and happens, but that's the small minority of the time. The problem we have now is that they use the word "love" cheaply, and then have to resort to physical means to express deeper feeling. That leads to problems of its own. Can't we learn from Melville's "Billy Budd" and recognize that nothing good ever comes when words are taken away??

I wish everyone would read this and understand where I'm coming from. The quote in the title reminds me of a situation I was recently in. It was not the first time and it certainly won't be the last. That's the problem with trying hard to bring the true meanings of these words back - you sometimes get messed with by people who don't understand. But hey, you'll find people who are true friends, who love you dearly, and will keep the promises they make to you. I know that.

Think about it.