Sunday, April 29, 2012

Life as of late

I'm just loving it these days. Things haven't exactly turned out the way we expected but it's good. It's great even. Not being in school the last week has been awesome. We're just enjoying having very few responsibilities for the last time in a long time. Graduation was just as exciting as I had hoped it would be, and then the fun was extended for another week with Andrew's parents staying in Utah. My mother-in-law and I went to women's conference at BYU and it was just fantastic. I had always wanted to go -- all those ladies storming campus with their cute raincoats, holding little notebooks and travelling in groups of two or three looked like they were having the time of their life. Now having done it myself, I can say it was definitely a blast. I'd make this a yearly tradition if I could. Maybe someday.

We attended classes on "avoiding the entitlement trap", virtue and chastity for adults (we actually kind of fell asleep in that one... ahem), true beauty, bridging differences in marriage... this one was one of my favorite: it was`taught by a marriage therapist from Utah and her husband, a pioneer in the Church in Ghana. They certainly came across a lot of challenges together, and they had some great stories and advice. My favorite part in that session was the wife's answer she received to the question of whether or not they should marry: "if the Gospel of Christ is your culture, your marriage will thrive."

We also attended one session called "You can either laugh or cry. I prefer to laugh. Crying gives me a headache" - it was plenty of fun. It was essentially about meeting life's challenges with humor, having a positive attitude about things. Of course, we laughed a lot. We also attended a service night, where I tied my very first fleece blanket.

And some poor kid is going to have a messed-up blanket...

Whoops... I guess it's the thought that counts? Then there was a concert on Thursday night, and that was tons of fun. One thing is for sure: Mormon women love Alex Boyé!

It was hilarious, the crowds went wild! And we also got a surprise visit from Eliza R Snow herself :)

I think my absolute favorite talk though was one that Lisa & Matthew Richardson gave (Br. Richardson was just called as a counselor to the general Sunday School Presidency). They spoke together as a team (with those little mics that attach to your ear) and the way they played off of each other was hilarious. They were so much fun! And their enthusiasm was contagious. They spoke about being "armed with principles that never change." They also talked a lot about how work is actually a good in and of itself, not just something we do to get out of the way. That was kind of a theme I got from the whole conference in fact, that work is a blessing not just a duty. They used the example of Adam and Eve's marriage and life throughout the talk and Sister Richardson said something that really struck me: they were talking about how Satan told Adam and Eve to hide themselves when they had eaten the fruit, because they were naked. God comes and asks "who told thee thou art naked?" They didn't even know they were supposed to be ashamed, really, until someone pointed it out - and she paralleled that with today, when we are ashamed of our choices or feel inadequate because of what we think others expect us to do or be. Similarly, she asked the following question: "Who told thee thou art inadequate? Who told thee thou art not enough of that or too much of this?" We shouldn't be looking for the World's approval, we should be thinking about what God cares we do. I suppose I knew that, but putting it in those terms really hit home for me.

Who told thee thou art inadequate?

What an incredible reminder of who we should really strive to please, where we should set our sights. I'm posting my notes from the conference here, if you're interested -- they're kind of all over the place but there are some good bits :) This conference was a wonderful experience; the talks were inspiring and reinvigorating, and the company was absolutely delightful!

In other news, if you're still reading: I'm getting some dental work as well as getting all four of my wisdom teeth taken out Thursday. Wish me luck. The dentist promised happy gas, so at least the operation itself won't be too bad; it's the aftermath I'm really scared about. Voilà!

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