Sunday, February 2, 2014

Potential


"You are literally a daughter of the Almighty. There is no limit to your potential. If you will take control of your lives, the future is filled with opportunity and gladness. You cannot afford to waste your talents or your time. Great opportunities lie ahead of you. I promise you that your [life] will be fruitful, that your happiness will be great, and that your accomplishments will be tremendous and satisfying in every respect. "

-President Gordon B. Hinckley

I was going through some old files on my computer the other day and I came across this quote. I have kept it pulled up on the desktop for a couple weeks now and have read it often. Here are some of my thoughts about potential. 

Every Sunday for 8 years I stood up and recited "I am a Child of God. I know Heavenly Father loves me and I love Him..." The next six years I recited, "We are daughters of a Heavenly Father who loves us and we love Him..." Each week I was reminded who I was and what that meant, but did I really understand? Elder Richard G. Scott gave this talk in 2003 about potential. He said, "With all my capacity I encourage you to discover who you really are. I invite you to look beyond the daily routine of life. I urge you to discern through the Spirit your divinely given capacities." As I read his talk, I was thinking about the importance of discovering who I really am. I know, without a doubt, that I am a Daughter of God. What does that mean for me? How does that knowledge affect my life and the choices I make everyday?

I was reading the Relief Society theme and it says, "We are beloved spirit daughters of God, and our lives have meaning, purpose, and direction." I love this. Understanding my potential as a child of God is what gives my life meaning, purpose, and direction. Our potential is limitless because of who we are and what we can become. As a child of God, we have the potential to become like Him. That is why there is no limit to our potential. 


Elder Scott went on to say, "You are of a singular generation with exceptional potential. No wonder Satan wants to cripple that potential by tempting you to violate the laws of God. He knows that he has no power over a righteous individual. Yet he is a master at making sin appealing to the undecided... Remain worthy. When you really understand who you are it is not difficult to resist Satan's temptations. Then he can't thwart the development of your true potential." Satan understands out potential and the power it has on us. He is doing everything he can to halt our progress and make us think that our potential is limited. In a sacrament meeting I attended once the speaker said something along the line of -- satan gets to good people by whispering in their ears that they aren't good enough. This has been on my mind a lot lately as I've noticed how satan works in people's lives but I know that satan can only have power over us if we allow him to. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, "Satan would rather that you define yourself by your sins instead of your divine potential." Satan tries to get people to feel their potential is limited and that they aren't 'good enough'. We can't let that happen to us or to anyone around us. 
It's important to remember that all of God's children have the potential to become like Him and we all need to work together to help each other succeed and remember that potential. 


As we continue to learn about our potential and what that means for us, we will grow closer to our Savior, Jesus Christ and our loving Heavenly Father. President Thomas S. Monson said, "Expand your knowledge, both intellectual and spiritual, to the fill stature of your divine potential. There is no limit to your influence for good." The more we understand and comprehend our potential, the more we will smile, say kinder words, listen closer, and live better. 



Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sunday Thoughts

This man is a true disciple of Christ. He emulates Christ in so many aspects. He forgave when it seemed unfair and he loved when it seemed impossible. I know forgiveness is hard, but through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven and we can forgive. Jesus Christ knows each of us perfectly. I testify that Christ knows how to forgive me perfectly, heal me perfectly, and comfort me perfectly. I know this because He has done this for me time and time again. Not only does He do this for me, but I know He can do that for you. May we all turn to Christ always; in our times of need, pain, agony, and rejoicing. I know He is always there and will never leave or give up on us.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

26.2

Here's the deal with this blog post. It's quite detailed and honestly, probably boring BUT I want to remember all these details so feel free to just scroll through the pictures. If you want to know all the details, then keep reading!

Back in December, December 11th to be exact, Louisa talked me into signing up for the Utah Valley Marathon on June 8th. (This picture was taken just before we went and signed up. We took it because we had a Welsh Choir concert that night and we wanted to remember that. But it just so happens to be the same night we signed up for the race.)


We decided to start training after finals were over. We ran once over Christmas break, wasn't the best start. When school started again in January, we got on a better running schedule. We ran three days a week. Mondays and Wednesdays we ran on the track in the Smith Field House and on Saturdays we bundled up and ran outside. 

Everything was going well and we were on track with our running plan until Lousia came home from the doctors with news that she had to get shoulder surgery and would be out for 6-8 weeks, which meant I would be training and potentially running the marathon by myself. It's hard for me to train for a race by myself because I like running with people so I start to slack of. I missed days of running way too often but usually ran my long runs on Saturdays. The longest run I ran before the race was 15 miles. 

During training, my foot started to hurt. Every time I took a step, pain shot up my leg. After a few days I could barely walk. I went to the foot doctor and got an X-ray. Luckily it wasn't fractured, but I did have tendinitis. I got some orthotics and was told the only way it would heal was if I didn't use it. So I stopped running for a week or two and it felt a lot better. Then I would go on a long run and it would hurt again. The cycle wouldn't be broken until the marathon was over; I couldn't afford to completely stop running. The orthotics helped a ton but it took some time for my feet to get used to them. The first time I ran with my orthotics was one of the worst runs I have ever been on. It was painful, but a different kind of pain than the tendinitis. Once my feet were used to the orthotics, I could continue running with a lot less pain and when there was pain, it was tolerable. 

I didn't feel at all prepared for a marathon. A month before the race, I ran in the Provo City Half marathon. I was worried about my foot (I was barely getting use to my orthotics) but decided it would be a good trial run to see how much it could handle. I ran the whole thing and beat my pervious time by 15 minutes. My time was 2:05. 



After completing that race, I felt awesome. My foot was fine during the race and I could barely feel my orthotics. I wasn't nearly as sore after the race as I was the first time around and I felt like I could keep running. This was a good sign! I realized that I could run this marathon. Even if I had to walk the last 13 miles, I knew for a fact that I could run 13 miles straight, and probably even more. About a half hour after I had finished my race, there were sharp pains shooting up my leg again. Feeling a little discouraged, I took a few days off. Taking a few days off turned into a few more days and the longest run I ran after this race was 13 miles, a couple Saturdays later. Needless to say, I was not as prepared for the marathon as I should have been. But the day came...

I woke up the morning of the race at 2:45 AM. Karissa got up and drove Hilary and I to the buses and off we went. I was nervous, excited, and didn't know what to expect


We drove 26 miles up the canyon where the bus dropped us off at the starting line. By this time it was probably 4:30 and the race began at 6:00 so we had some time to kill. I went to the bathroom once while we were waiting. By the time the race started I had to go again but thought it was just nerves and knew there would be porta-potties starting about mile 3 or 4 so if I really had to go, I could wait 30 minutes.


At 6:00 the race began! I felt so good when I started out. The weather was nice and cool and it was beautiful outside. I had my phone in my water belt so when Louisa came to meet up with me, she could text me to find me. At about mile 5, I got a text from Amber telling me good luck and this picture attached:

It said, "Go Alexis, Go!" I was excited to see all of them at the finish line! 

Well I still had to go to the bathroom and had yet to see a porta-potty anywhere. I was still feeling pretty good when mile 8 and 9 came up. They were uphill (not a super steep uphill, but still uphill). I pushed through and continued running. I still hadn't seen a bathroom yet. By mile 10, I couldn't take it anymore. I had to pee and I had to go now. (The race is on the canyon road so there aren't really trees and bushes to just run behind...)  I finally found a bush and was able pee. FINALLY. Unfortunately, someone had just gone to the bathroom behind the same tree and they didn't just have to pee. Lucky me, I stepped in it. I'm still not quite sure how this happened, but it was all up my leg and all over my shoe. Not only was it practically everywhere, but it smelled terrible. So I was behind this random tree, dry heaving, and trying to figure out how to get someone's waste off my leg and shoe. My first idea was to take my sock off and wipe my leg off but then I remembered I still had about 16 miles to run and didn't want to do that without a sock. Then I remembered my water belt that my neighbor gave to me. It seriously SAVED me. I poured the water down my leg and used leaves to wipe everything off. I am surprised I didn't throw up. I have a really bad gagging reflex and it was disgusting. TMI, I know. But it happened.
Anyway, I was back on the course in no time only to find about 50 porta potties at the half way mark, which was about 2.5 miles from where I went to the bathroom. Awesome.

Then Louisa met up with me. I was SO happy to see her! We ran a little past the 15 mile marker and I needed to stop and walk for a minute. My foot was hurting and I was tired. We would walk for a minute, then run a mile or two, then walk for a minute and so on for the rest of the race. We probably only walked a total of 3 or 4 miles though. I have never been so happy to see this sign, coming out of the canyon:



By the time we got out of the canyon, I knew we were going to make it. I had run that route a million times while training and the end was near. There were people on the streets cheering the runners on. That helps so much, especially by the end of the race when you are exhausted and just want to be done. By this time, my foot was in so much pain. I was no longer wearing my orthotic because that hurt my foot too. I couldn't feel anything under my waist and I just had to keep running. Thank goodness Louisa was with me or else it would have been a lot harder for me to keep running; I just wanted to be done. 

It was a great feeling when we could see the finish line! New energy kicked in and I kept running. I saw Amber, Andrew, and Karissa by the finish line, taking pictures. I almost started crying because I had done it! It took my 5:18. As I crossed the finish line, they announced my name and all I could do was smile. I did something I didn't ever think I could do.
I ran a marathon.

 



Before I started running races, someone told me crossing the finish line was addicting. I didn't believe them until I crossed one myself. That being said, I will probably run another marathon someday. I know I can do better. My next goal is to run a marathon without walking. Someday I will do that because I know I can.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

He's All Grown Up

My little brother graduated from high school. Class of 2013. He did it. 


Here's the funny thing about high school graduation. When I graduated 2 years ago, I felt on top of the world. I thought I knew everything. But then I realized something... I had no idea what was coming. College was a whole different ball game. There are times when I think back on high school and wonder why I ever got stressed out or complained about homework. I wonder why I thought I was so busy. I look back and wonder how I lucked out with the best people in the school who I still call my friends (I especially think about this when I see pictures during my 10 year awkward stage and wonder why they stayed friends with me). But in all seriousness, without high school, I wouldn't be who I am today. I didn't know who I was in high school, but I had great friends who helped me to see my potential and put me on the right path, so when I needed to figure out who I was, I was already in the right direction. As much as I don't miss high school, I am so grateful for all the experiences I had throughout the four years I was a bulldog. Now that I know what comes after high school, I am SO excited to watch Dallin as he goes out and serves a mission in Belgium/Netherlands then comes back and starts college. He is going to rock it. You know why? Because he has the greatest determination and attitude I have ever seen. We went to high school together for 2 years. We definitely had our ups and downs, I wasn't always the best older sister but despite those rough times, we are best friends and I am so proud of him and the person he has become. Love you Dal!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

To My Niece

Ella,
I simply can't get enough of you. No one in the family can. You are loved more than you can ever imagine. The moment you joined us on earth, you brought us more love and happiness than we had before. You don't know who I am yet but I can tell you who you are. You are a daughter of God. You were sent here to earth to fulfill His plan for you and He has a amazing, perfect plan. As I hold you and watch you discover the world and the people who love you, I can't help but think about what the Lord has in store for you. You have brought heaven a little closer to each of us. I'm excited to watch you grow and learn. You are special and I don't ever want you to forget that.
Love, 
Your (favorite) Aunt