Sunday, August 30, 2009

What The Lil Munchkin Taught Me

This last weekend, I met a lil munchkin by the name of Sophie.

Words can't describe how adorable she is.
Pictures can't capture how edible she is.
Alas, a video can attempt to do what I cannot.

She had just awakened from her slumber when I first met her. Shy and not yet ready to meet new people, she quickly smuggled her face towards her daddy's legs when introduced to me. Her shyness slowly melted away as she got excited for her bath and spoke in broken fragments of the things she needed such as her towel, her bath toys and squealed with joy about her princess shampoo.

Of all the many moments I spent with Sophie, the lessons I learned from her were mostly from the moments in her toy filled-easy-bake-kitchen complete-garage transformed playroom.

We didn't start out alone. I joined her and her Uncle Andy as she was having a sip of milk with him. Uncle Andy asked if I could also have some milk and she eagerly went about finding another cup. She politely confirmed with me if I wanted a drink (but in fewer words and more hand gestures) and after acknowledging I did, she meticulously rinsed the cup I would use with water (again, just the motions - no real water in this kitchen) before pouring (or the actions of pouring) me some milk. She had something in her microwave, sandwich particles on the side that she was scrambling to put together, and as her mum walked in to also join the party, she quickly grabbed another cup so she could get her mum some milk as well. A lil hostess in the making, Sophie took care of her mom and then continued on her way to prepare more food. Her mom and Uncle Andy left the room and it was just Sophie and I in her kitchen so what else was there to do but make some pizza!!!

The pizza toys were little wood slices with Velcro toppings we could arrange. She had mushroom, pepperoni and vegetable toppings available so we worked together to find all the pieces to top onto our wood slices. In a frenzy of gathering the right pieces to prepare our pizza, Sophie was going through all her supplies and kept bouncing up to grab something then back down to the floor where I was. In the middle of all this cooking madness, Sophie stopped what she was doing, grabbed her Dalmatian puppy dog (stuffed animal) and held it close to her chest, caressing it and softly speaking to it. I couldn't quite hear what she was saying but the moment was captured in my heart. For that split second, among the many tasks she had on hand, she stopped to let her puppy know she cared... something we adults too often forget to do with our loved ones. It looked kind of like this ...

I'm unsure if she was mimicking her own mother or if it was instinctive, but it was precious. After she was done with the puppy, she set him down and went about her cooking again. Knowing that Uncle Andy despises mushrooms, claiming they are fungus and why would he ever eat such a thing, I informed Sophie that a mushroom pizza should be made for Uncle Andy. I told her what the mushrooms looked like and when we found them, we placed them atop a slice for Uncle Andy. The rest of the slices were filled with pepperoni and vegetables and once finalized, she was ready to serve everyone her masterpiece!

Sophie carefully carried the tray of pizza we had made into the living room where her parents were. She served her parents but as she got ready to serve piggy and her baby, she stopped me and told me the mushroom slice was for Uncle Andy, picked it up and quickly shuffled her way to the bathroom where she knew Uncle Andy was. She shouted Andy's name on her way there and once there, softly knocked on the door and whispered Andyyyyy. As he opened the door, she lengthened her lil arms to extend the pizza she had proudly made for him. He smiled and reached out for the pizza, saying "gross" in a happy tone that could have been mistaken for "yum!" and she quickly closed the door, not letting him say anything more. She cut him off and shuffled back to the living room where she had to serve everyone else. So... maybe I shouldn't feed her lies about her Uncle Andy's food preference or once she learns how to cook, she may be making him mushroom swiss burgers, portabello sandwiches and mushroom pizza. *grin And from that I learned... lil white lies.. even if intended to be funny... are no bueno!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Looking Back...

For my senior year of college, instead of a boring thesis about the economy or financial fraud in the auditing industry, I chose to write a create thesis about what it was like growing up ABC (American Born Chinese). I haven't looked at the thesis since I got my "A" grade back - woo woo!! but just this morning, as I was printing it out to get copyrighted (you never know... just in case...) I skimmed through and realized how much I've grown in the last five years.

I was writing about independence and fearful of whether or not I could acquire it as I got ready for the real world. Five years later, I'm quite confident I've gotten there.. but lil did I know at the time that true independence wasn't just providing for yourself and living on your own.. but understanding yourself and knowing what is right or necessary for yourself regardless of the difficulties which lie therein.

"Independence has always been a difficult issue for me. It’s comforting to rely on someone else for help, advice, and financial support. My parents did exactly that for the past twenty years of my life. Whenever I found myself going through a difficult situation, my mother was always there to tell me what was right and how I should react. So why would I ever look elsewhere for a solution? Why would I ever feel the need to find my own answers?
My parents raised me with their values on life, which instilled in me important lessons on how I should live life. They have taught me so much, and these cherished lessons are the building blocks of who I am. However, I am still an individual, and luckily a self-reflective one who treasures my independence. For this reason, I must find my own way in life. My parents have given me the basic structure and value in life, which allows me to make the right decisions, but I must find my own path because ultimately, we are not the same people. This acceptance liberated me to scrutinize their beliefs and determine the best course for myself.
Armed with the financial support of my parents, I had before never understood the pain of paying for one’s bills. I had worked each summer, earned money, but that money had simply added to the banking account that my mother and father directly re-filled when I needed more money for school books, clothes, food, or entertainment needs.
I’m sure everyone goes through it, but for me, it was a very challenging experience. I was so privileged with money, so sheltered from reality, that I was not ready to face the real world. I didn’t know what it meant to have no money. I didn’t know what it meant to have to work for a living. I never needed to know.
But now all of a sudden, I am bombarded with more than I can handle. All of my time in college up until this winter break has been spent preparing myself for the future."

Perhaps I'm the only one who can sense the growth I've had since then and because I don't feel like explaining in detail what that means.. I'll leave you with this... What I learned was how important it is to always journal your feelings for yourself and maybe even others. I am guilty of ignoring my journal but remembering to make time for it is my lesson for today.

Cuz looking back is fun .. give yourself an opportunity to do so by writing in your journal more. I will start tonight!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Never Stop Smiling

because you never know when someone is watching.

But... what if you don't have anything to smile about?
But... what if you're too tired to smile?
But... what if you just don't feel like it?
But... what if you'd rather just grimace?

This morning, as I was driving between instructing a mini training session, errands and clients...I became lost in thoughts of "to do's," mentally attempting to organize my calendar for the upcoming week and a bit unsettled by the bleak outlook of finding a new job, uneasy about the decisions weighing my mind, and lost in what I found to be a frown. The only frowns I like to adorn are upside down ones known as smiles.

As I sat there wondering why I couldn't muster a smile, I found my mind drifting to the difference between feigning a smile and genuinely meaning it. Upon doing so, I realized there's not much difference to anyone but yourself. The difference lies in the power of impacting others as a simple smile from you can brighten their day or give them a reason to smile as well. Smiling is contagious. Nine out of ten times a smile gets me a return smile, a friendly comment or free stuff (the latter is not often) One out of ten times, a smile goes unnoticed .. but that is rare.

So if that's the case.. a fake smile is better than no smile right?

As my mind wandered into Negative Nancy-ville and pessimism permeated the air... I realized, I now have greater reason to smile besides the fact that someone may be watching. I now smile because God always is always watching over me. As this thought overwhelmed the pessimism in the air, my frown turned upside down and I smiled.

I smiled not because someone might be watching me, because someone is watching and caring for me. And no matter how tremendous life can feel, how overbearing choices can be, my choice to draw myself closer to Him was enough to bring a goofy grin to my face once more. And at the end of the day, that choice matters more than any other choice I make.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Stuck At The Airport When I Realized...

It's interesting how friendly people get when they've been waiting in the airport for a long time. Without knowing when the weather will improve, when the aircraft will be ready, when the "technical" issues will be resolved and when they can be on their way, the only thing left to do after yelling at the helpless air personnel or redeeming vouchers for expensive airport food, is to converse and make friends.

Conversation usually begins with shared sentiments of frustration soon followed by impatience… discomfort…. fatigue… and jolly consent that mutiny shall arise if this wait continues. The old adage "misery loves company" comes to mind and as I sit in the airport, finishing up some of the documentation I have left from the work week in order to fully enjoy my weekend in the City, I'm halted by the fascination (or distraction) I have with their meaningless conversation as they wait…. and wait…. and wait some more.

Out of nowhere, the air personnel suddenly announces their flight has been released to board and similar to a formation dance team, everyone waiting jumps up and cheers unanimously. "Finally" I hear a lot of them scream with pure joy. Eager to board their flight, everyone gathers their things and shakes hands with the new friends they've made and wishes them well for their weekend since they now know very well what each of their new friends is going to do whether it be a wedding, home or visiting family.

The reason I halted all work to blog about this was the realization that though not completely the same, it just might be a glimpse of what it's like on the other side of the veil. All of those spirits who have not yet been baptized, waiting for their opportunity based on the ordinances we perform here, may be conversing and getting to know other spirits as well. Their emotions may vary from one to another but overall, are consistent with one another. And when the work has been completed for them, I imagine sighs of relief and shouts of jubilee similar to what I just witnessed five minutes ago.

So what have I learned? … besides the fact that these poor people have been waiting for six hours to fly somewhere they could have reached by car now, I also learned to remember how great it is when the wait is over! And with that knowledge, I will continue to do the work for those on the other side with more OOMF and WOO-WOO than ever before!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

When You Least Expect It

Have you ever noticed something about yourself and before you had a chance to fix it.. someone else noticed as well?

The other day I was in the car with a handsome lad and decided I wanted to put my hair up. We were in his car so I quickly utilized the passenger seat mirror to do just that. It was a bright and sunny afternoon so the sun rays glared into the car. The sunlight is an interesting thing. It can brighten your day, bring a smile to your face, warm up your heart and oh yeah.. magnify the little hairs on your face. As I attempted a quick fix to the hair, I noticed my upper lip and quickly thought ... It's time to get my eyebrows did and the upper lip as well I quickly stole a glance at the handsome lad, noticing he was focused on the drive and talking about something that slips my mind at the moment. I scanned my mind, immediately organizing the afternoon schedule. The handsome lad took me to lunch with another so-so looking lad and his friend. After lunch, on the drive back, I was once again in the car alone with the handsome lad. In the middle of our conversation, we both laughed and as I turned to look at him, he had an expression on his face as if he had discovered gold. But in a matter of nanoseconds, he shut his face off and asked me to turn towards him. Uh-oh...

If you're thinking what I was thinking, I immediately thought ... did he notice what I did earlier? He was embarrassed to admit it but after some stealth persuasion and careful avoidance of the actual words "you have some excess hair on your upper lips" or "you need to get your upper lip waxed" it was obvious we were on the same page. I guess when you least expect it ... something a little mortifying can happen like that.

I normally go to two different Asian ladies for facials once a month in my hometown because 1) It's super cheap when you buy in bulk and you're the oldest customer paying the old prices since your face had horrific acne at 16; 2) they're family friends so you continue supporting them and 3) skin care is important if you refuse to wear foundation or powder on a daily basis. Having two ladies is great because when one is busy.. the other is usually free.

Elisa was free. I got to Elisa's and as I settled down for a quick 15 minute wax session, I relaxed and closed my eyes. But again.. when you least expect it....

Our conversation started as Elisa commended me for going to Church. Elisa is a very devoted Presbyterian Christian. I was not sure if she knew I was part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints but I would soon find out. She continued about how great it was and how great Jesus and God were and then as I agreed, she asked me to pray for her.

"Huh?" I asked.

"Can you pray for me?" she asked.

"Right now?" I asked. "What do you want me to pray about?" what an odd request, I thought!

"Well, how do you end your prayer?" she continued.

"Oh!" I was starting to understand where she was going. "In Jesus Christ" and as I began to say "Amen" she joined me in unison.

"That's what we say!" she exclaimed.

She asked me why I started going to Church and in my broken Chinglish, I attempted to explain struggling once more about how to say spirit and resorting to a lot of discussion about coincidences, emotions, and emptiness fulfilled.

"So what's so different about your religion?" she asked.

How does one say prophet in Chinese?!?!

Suddenly, I remembered - I had a missionary translation guide from Mandarin to English in my car. I told Elisa I could tell her the Chinese word for prophet if I got my guide after our wax session. The interesting thing was.. she had another appointment at 2 PM and it was about 2:15 when I left... hmmm, coincidence?

I got my book, showed it to her and as she looked through the translation guide, she told me.. "we believe in the same thing," and I chuckled - "yes!" I said. I began to tell her about the misconceptions people have and we started talking about what was hard. I told her refraining from alcohol was hard at first but even more were the lifestyle changes such as daily scripture study and keeping the Sabbath day holy. I saw her face light up with curiosity and she proceeded to ask me more. When I told her about not working and also not going anywhere where others worked, she nodded and told me she really needed to work on that as well. We talked about the commandments and then.... she leaned over as if to tell me a secret and asked me... "is it true the men can have multiple wives?" she was dead serious, as are many people when they ask.. so I explained it to her.

We kept talking and I offered to take her with me to the Chinese Ward the next time I went and she eagerly accepted. I told her she'd probably understand everyone more than me and she nodded with excitement and I really did see her teeth sparkle when she smiled. Then, she asked me if I had anything she could read in Chinese and .. when you least expect it .. yes...I did! I had obtained a Book of Mormon in Chinese for my parents but had been unable to get them to read it and though I was praying for them.. I knew they were on the 5 and 10 year plan (mom and dad, respectively) but how wonderful to realize I was armed with the appropriate tools to share with her! Elisa was excited and so was I. I had this amazing missionary moment... and .. who would have known...

I guess when you least expect, something wonderful can also happen.

When you least expect it...

Monday, August 17, 2009

From 14-0 to 14-1

Tiger Woods had something of an incredible streak going. 14 times he had led a major championship going into the final round. 14 times he had closed the deal and won. This last weekend was the final major of the year, and Tiger built up a 2 stroke lead over the rest of the field going into the final round. I literally chalked up his major count to 15, forgot about the fact that there was a major going on, and went on with the rest of my life. Then Sunday, as I was writing emails and getting in touch with people, I saw someone's status on Facebook mention something about Tiger losing. I didn't believe it, my mom taught me you can't believe everything you read on the internet, so I went to the source of all sporting truth, to confirm the fallacy of my friend's status.

The cover page picture was of some Asian dude holding the Wanamaker trophy. I checked my watch to make sure it wasn't April fools, and then saw my world spin into a mass of confusion. Tiger Woods... blowing a two-shot lead on Sunday?!?!?!?! My world was upside down. It was like the day I found out Santa Claus isn't real. (Sorry if I blew that for any of you). Horrible feeling.

I know Tiger is human, but he is such an extraordinary golfer. We have never seen the likes of him. Part of his success is that he has his competitors wondering if he was in fact human on the golf course. He still has 14 major titles. He has still won nearly 50% of the tournaments he has entered this year. He just had surgery and is the leading the money list of 2009. If past disappointments in his career are any measure, he will bounce back, start a new streak and move on. But he has never had a disappointment like this, so no matter how confident I am that he will bounce back... there's this small doubt that says things won't be the same.

Thankfully, when it comes to something that is actually important, we have Someone who we can look up to that won't ever leave us feeling the way Tiger left me feeling this past Sunday. We have Someone who is the same "yesterday, today and forever." Someone whose word will always be fulfilled. I thought I knew Tiger; maybe I did. Maybe he just had a bad day. He did have a bad day. But that's not good enough when it comes to making the type of sacrifices that God is asking us to make. If God were to have a bad day, in that moment when I needed Him - it would be a lot worse than looking at my Tiger pictures feeling like maybe I should replace them with Roger Federrer pics. But God doesn't have bad days. He is steady. He is constant. He is Someone whom I can put my full trust in. Someone whom I know will support me in just the right way as to help me to become more like Him.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

It's All Relative

Whenever I'm asked why I want to change jobs... my response is the same.

I really value work-life balance and as much as I love my co-workers, I'm sick of having dinner with them. Somewhere down the line, I hope to have a family and the idea of eating dinner with my co-workers instead of them saddens me. A bit preemptive but completely legit.

Whenever I'm asked if I like my job... my response varies.

I really have learned a lot in terms of research skills, Microsoft excel expertise, project management, treading through good and bad team dynamics and delivering a satisfying (most times) product under constantly changing, challenging and often unrealistic deadlines, but as with any job, the routine nature that it often becomes is not always as profound or enlightening as one hopes for. Other times, I'm grateful that the Company I work for has an awesome compensation package (when considering benefits and time off), is reputable and well known if I move jobs and supports community involvement and supports me in efforts to fight against breast cancer, AIDS, Alzheimer's, etc.

Whenever I'm told I work too much... I just shrug it off. Well, until I went to San Jose that is.

You see.. up until my 4 month tour up north, working a bit on the weekends, a bit after I got home from work and anytime someone e-mailed me for something-- didn't seem peculiar. Picking up a manager's call at 7 AM was normal. In fact, it was expected and pretty much what every other good co-worker did. Right?!

So really it was all relative.

And somehow.. I keep seeing this theme of "it's all relative."

This weekend was the California young single adult (YSA) conference. The theme was Ephesians 2:19 No More Strangers and it was a packed weekend of speakers, workshops, and social activities all focused on (1) reaching out to one another and those around us, (2) becoming better citizens, and (3) living a temple-worthy life. The conference was held simultaneously in eleven locations around California mapped by the temple districts. Apparently, it was organized because the priesthood leadership of California -- under the direction of the Area Seventy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints -- wanted us young LDS adults to come together to become spiritually strengthened and more unified.

I'm quite confident the mission was fulfilled and each and every one of our testimonies were strengthened. I witnessed so many who had gone inactive and were so touched by the Spirit and the realization of how real it all was. It was a huge spiritual awakening and so tremendously amazing. The counseling provided to all of us ... the stories shared with us... and the constant reminder of how powerful the Atonement was.. awesome! Yet... among all the stories- the chuckles, the emotional tings of oh my! I can relate! or even the teary eyes.. I couldn't help but ponder some examples and conclude... I'm not that bad.

But it's because it was all relative. Case in point: during the Relief Society's talk about provident living, the speaker gave an example of her "cute" daughter-in-law who was $25,000 in debt. I turned around, eyed my friend and whispered WOAH. We walked away thinking... we're not $25,000 in debt, we must rock instead of.. hmmm, we will continue to pay off all our credit card debt and start budgeting!

Later that day, we asked the men from priesthood what they had learned about. They told us they were taught how to better treat the sisters with examples such as shouldn't tell their any girl/woman/girlfriend/wife that the food she just prepared tasted almost as good as store bought.... (errrr) or that their hair resembled that of their neighbor's dog (ummmm).

The examples were a bit extreme. Nevertheless, they were funny. But in reality... they seemed to confirm to us that we weren't too bad. We seemed to be doing okay.

Which goes back's all relative, right?!

Unless.... you compare yourself to Christ... who is perfect.
Unless.... you start to liken your own actions to those of Christ.

So turn your relativism towards Christ and you will always be seeking to improve yourself and not settle with .. I'm not that bad.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Who Doesn't Love a Good DTR?!

For those of you who don't know what a "DTR" is, let me introduce you to the new term. A "DTR" is when you "define the relationship." Normally, this is a nerve wrecking, exciting and stomach turning pivotal moment in which two people must come together and have a discussion about what exactly their relationship is.

Men normally hate DTRs because they fear commitment, refuse to grow up and fear the words, "We need to talk." Women love DTRs because they love talking about how they feel, want a title and love saying, "We need to talk." But both parties can walk away from a DTR feeling melancholy if it didn't work the way they hoped or excitement if it did. Either way... DTRs are great because most times following a DTR, the relationship is solidified or decimated, nevertheless it is defined and both parties can move on - together or apart.

I'm a fan of DTRs because of their nature as a turning point. They also
1) often scare the other party you're asking to have a DTR with
2) frequently force both parties to man up and pick a road when you've come to a fork
3) typically is much needed as we all need some finite clarification of whatever it is we're feeling, needing or wanting if it involves another person besides ourselves.

I recently came to the epiphany that I am such a fan of DTRs that I can honestly, sincerely, and definitely say I have a daily DTR. And, you probably do as well.

During my DTR, I give thanks for everything I've been blessed with, ask for assurance and assistance with those things I need help with, seek comfort on behalf of others, and declare my love and awe for everything catered to me because of how well he knows me. Sometimes it's implicit, other times it's explicit, but everytime, I make a promise and further strengthen the commitments I have made to him. This DTR not only defines and redefines the relationship, but reinforces and reinvigorates me, and prepares me for the day or comforts me at night.

This DTR is the conversation I have with Heavenly Father everyday. He is the first one I speak to (unless Momma Chou walks by and I say Morning Ma!) and the last one I speak to at night (unless Momma Chou walks by and I say Good Night Ma!) and He hears me too. I know our DTRs are rather one sided and like a typical girl, I am speaking more but He hears and he responds - maybe not right away through the touch of the Holy Spirit but if not immediate, eventually, because I know He hears me when he gives me a response through a series of coincidental events that can't be coincidence and must be Him or angels here and now. And I do KNOW it is Him, that much I can tell you.

I know actions speak louder than words ... but sometimes, we have to remember that words are also needed. Case in point - a hug is great, but hearing that someone misses you is also wonderful. So showing Heavenly Father I love him by keeping His commandments is important but voicing it to Him is also crucial for me. Sometimes we don't believe something until we hear it. Sometimes telling yourself you're excited about going to work.. really does make you that much more excited. Sometimes words resonate more than actions.

So don't be afraid of DTRs. They don't bite. They just define the relationship and make it easier for both parties to communicate.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Sooo.... What's Your Deal Breaker?!

When it comes to interactions with those we seek to date and hopefully find eternal companionship with, we all have our deal breakers. Whether it's something small like an annoying habit of chewing with your mouth open to something slightly larger like a disturbing political belief and outpouring you can't digest to something unchangeable (without dramatic knee-breaking surgery) such as height to something more eternal such as wanting kids.... we all have filters set up to ensure nobody with that particular deal breaker we loathe so much .. make it past the finish line into our hearts, into our minds, and into our lives for all eternity.

What I find particularly interesting about "deal breakers" is the tenacity for tolerance we have based on our prior experiences. Whatever we are accustomed to.. might not make it as a deal breaker onto our list but might be on someone else's. For example, my brother is drawn to girls who he classifies as smart but often ditzy. He attributes the weird understanding of such girls as something he is used to because of our mom and myself. This could be a serious deal breaker to someone else but to dear lil bro, is completely normal and even expected. On the other hand, one of my friend's biggest deal breaker (albeit superficial to the max) is any girl with a fanny pack. A fanny pack?! Yes. A fanny pack. If you're thinking what is a fanny pack... I will bring you quickly back to the 80's and a time when convenience and fashion merged and show you what a fanny pack is...

This deal breaker must have emerged from a haunting and traumatizing event in his childhood in which his mom probably forced him to wear a fanny pack on a family trip or something... but it destroyed his ability to ever tolerate the use of a fanny pack! What I always wondered was... if the perfect girl comes along, would he deny her because of a simple accessory she utilizes from time to time? I think not!

Other deal breakers are more serious. These include considerations of consistent family values, morals, principles and standards of living.

My standards have changed a lot. So have my deal breakers. In the past... I was actually 100% against dating anyone religious and by religious, it's inclusive of any religion - Jew, Muslim, Christian, Catholic, Scientologist, Unitarian, Kabbala-ian... etc, as long as they are religiously active. These days... as you can guess... it's pretty opposite of that. Yet regardless of the preference or desire to find someone compatible and on the right side of my deal breakers, the logic is the same. Not having been religious before, had I dated someone who was, the compromises for both of us would have been difficult to stomach, the conflicting wants and needs for time spent spiritually and temporaly would have crashed and at the end of the day ... we probably wouldn't end up together. So... why even bother with something that is destined for failure? By that same token, these days... I don't want to date someone who isn't LDS or isn't open to listening about it (and taking lessons with the missionaries and converting) because as strong as connections... or chemistry or even love (or what one thinks is love) can be... without the basic foundation of a relationship and desire to strengthen with charity, love, humility, with and a commitment to God, we'd probably have a lot of arguments and unhappiness at the dedication I have and the time I am making for my promises regardless of how parallel our standards may be or even his tolerance for my beliefs.

Unfortunately, some deal breakers manage to stick around and hence, my head still turns every time a tall white guy walks by and my eyes still dart right to the left hand for a quick scan of the ring finger. But despite the superficial deal breakers, I do have other deal breakers that are more meaningful and intended to help me find someone who is a C student. He who... compliments me.. challenges me... and commits to me. As such, this list can be exhaustive and probably attributes to why I am still single at 27. .... awkward silence....

In thinking about deal breakers.. I was in awe at the fact that we indeed all have some dealbreaker - small or large, petty or not. But how amazing is it ... and lucky for all of us.. that God does not have any deal breakers. He might not be happy with us doing certain things.. but he forgives us and through the atonement of Jesus Christ, we are all given the opportunity to repent and be forgiven of our sins.

I never really understood the idea of repentence Christians believed in ... until I started investigating. It's one of the first principles of the gospel and key to temporal and eternal happiness. What I loved so much about what I was taught with the missionaries ... was how it wasn't just acknowledging a wrongdoing but working to change your mind and heart to ensure you truly comprehended the wrong and would not do it again. In addition... it's not just about turning away from sin but actually turning to Him for forgiveness and help to not do wrong again by working towards living a righteous life that includes the resolve never to transgress again. And interesting enough... it's not just about doing... but wanting to do ... and having a sincere devotion to rectify a wrongdoing. That... then accompanied by faith in Him and commitment to Him ... makes it 100% easier than if you were to do it alone. 100% guaranteed.

Keep His commandments. He does not have a deal breaker. Just a deal delayer.