August 31, 2006
Life continues onward.
I’m listening, as in days of old ( a couple years ago ) to some loud classical music and it makes me glad.
I’ve been back in school for 4 days now. I feel like I’m tensed at the starting line of some race and the guy who pulls the trigger is saying “On your mark, get set…. wait…. get… SET….. READY!….. On your MAAARK!……. don’t go yet…”
I’m used to the pace I set for myself during my online history course where it was basically a test every single night for a month. Now I have no real assignments but reading. I fear I’m not doing it right somehow and there’s going to be a hurricane of poor test scores in a couple of weeks where I am completely unprepared.
But I might be just fine.
In any case, I feel great about life and everything. Classes don’t look to be too much of a stress. I feel like I don’t see my wife as much as I’d like, but I’m still kinda used to honeymoon / summer schedule.
Kayeleen faces stresses at her work. I am convinced totally that I don’t want to have her be a working mom if at all possible. The stresses of both work and motherhood would be too much to ask of anybody. I just hope she’s okay with not seeing me as much as she would like to – which at this point is pretty much all the time.
My classes aren’t exactly what I expected. I was worried about taking a personal finance class, but now I find it to be extremely enjoyable. I’m remembering why I enjoyed business so much back when I took my first course in high-school. It has a lot to do with vision and goals and accomplishment.
We determine our habits. Our habits determine our destiny.
We also got our first credit card with my name on one and her name on the other. Plus it’s a “platinum” so that means something… I guess.
Not that we use credit cards, but we have one in case we have to.
Otherwise, Life is good. Continuing onward.
August 25, 2006
Today was my (insert big quotes) “Last” day of work at applebees. I don’t know if my managers understand that concept or not. I thought I made it clear that I can’t work for a month or more, after which I would like to just pick up a couple shifts now and then.
Monday school starts for me, while Kayeleen will continue on in the ‘real world’ as a secretary or office assistant or something. Monday is also the beginning of my new job as computer lab assistant. I’m told this means I’ll be paid to do my homework in a room full of computers for about 3 hours a day. At this point I hope it’s true.
My books total cost for this semester: 350 dollars American.
I think I have a picture that expresses my mood in response to this wallet rape.
Yup. There it is.
I’ve also looked very briefly into the possibility of being a consultant as a future career choice. It looks appealing at first glance – and it was only a glance. My biggest fear in making choices for our future is that I’ll lose time with my family. But it’s still a distant thing… ish.
Kayeleen is probably about to start her 2nd month of pregnancy just about now. She’s been sick in the mornings, and had 2 days where she had to stay home from work because of it. I think it’s funny that I didn’t mention it on this site earlier. For some reason I had this idea that it was a big secret.
We had decided we didn’t want to wait to have children for quite a few reasons – we’re older than most new parents, her family has a history of problems in this area, we don’t want to be in our 30s and just starting, we want to know if there are any problems right away rather than finding out in a couple of years when we feel ‘ready.’ We feel good about the decision so far, and it’s exciting.
Except for the gagging, coughing, crying part. But it’s infrequent.
Today I went to the bank and made sure our accounts are getting sorted out – names on the accounts, transfers of money, etc.
Tonight we are about to embark to the house where Kayeleen used to live to watch the movie “Legend” and eat food.
This has been an update of recent things
August 23, 2006
I’ve been thinking a bit lately about keeping commandments. I don’t have any stories to go with this line of thought – just little notices and impressions. I notice that many people ‘believe’ in keeping the commandments, yet a lot of those people don’t follow them in a strict sense. This means people will say “Yes I believe in _____, here’s how I interpret it.” Then they say what ‘keeping the sabbath’ or ‘adultery’ means in their standard.
I mention it because, while I strive to keep the commandments, I worry that too often I do it “my way” instead of seeking to know and understand what is the Lord’s way.
Cause hey, what other way matters?
Anyway this was my thought. I’ll have to remember to write if I feel like I’m doing better.
August 14, 2006
Today I put in my 2 weeks notice at applebees. So I soon shant be working there any longer. The reason why is so that our combined income can be less for a month so we can qualify for Medicaid. This way we can afford to have a baby.
Money is going to be a little tight. We have about 1,300 dollars in expenses each month before food. Kayeleen makes about 1,400 a month at her job. I’m trying to figure out ways to reduce expenses. I wish I hadn’t bought this stupid cell phone, for one.
We’ve decided that Kayeleen will be in charge of expenses and finances. This is mostly because she is thrifty, whereas I like to splurge like crazy.
I may be able to get a job as a computer lab assistant at SUU. That would be another couple hundred dollars per month, plus time to do homework while I was working. Which would be good… ish. If it works with my schedule.
And I should still be able to “Pick up” shifts at applebees on occasion.
anyway… worried about finances, but that’s something that pretty much everybody does pretty much all of the time. So why worry? Right?
Of course, right.
August 12, 2006
The theme for the month is humility, and we were told we could talk about whatever we wanted. So I figured there was no need to stick to the theme. Joking. I decided to speak on Trusting in the Lord. Because to me, that’s the alter-ego of true humility – to recognize that the Lord’s ways are infinitely superior to my own. And, having recognized, acting on that knowledge by trusting in Him.
I don’t have a lot of time, so I’ll have to be quick.
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths…. For the Lord giveth wisdom: Out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding… And whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he. (Proverbs)
Humility, Happiness, The Holy Ghost, Comfort, Trust, These words are all connected. I won’t take the time to try to talk about how or why except to say that the more you are humble and trust in the Lord, the more the Spirit will be with you and the Happier you will be.
I will talk about 3 ways we can trust in the Lord.
1. We can Trust in His Promptings.
Those who have served missions probably know about this, but the truth is that we ALL ought to know about this. We ALL should have and should continue to experience this gift of the Sprit. Sometimes it comes as gifts of knowledge, or warning. Sometimes promptings come to help us make decisions.
I will share an experience. One day about a month or two before the end of my mission I got a very thin letter from a certain girlfriend whom I hadn’t heard from in a few months. As soon as I saw it and how thin it was, I knew what it would say.
I was right.
And right there outside of the mission office, I thought to myself “How am I supposed to take this?” I had started a letter to her that morning with my usual mushiness, saying something like “It’s okay that you haven’t written, I’m sure you’re busy with graduation and post graduation stuff…” But I didn’t know what to do, having recieved that letter. It was a “Now what?” kind of moment. What could I do? I prayed.
Almost immediately came an answer, distinct and clear to one even as spiritually insensitive as myself. “Ignore it.”
So off went the letter, mushiness and all. It was followed by a few more mushy letters from me – and not another word from her. I felt a little insane ignoring such an obvious shut-down.
Long story short – things worked out. Given more time, I could tell you how more specificially. But if I had given up, things would not have been as good as they are right now.
We can trust in His promptings.
2. We can trust in His Promises.
For example, we can trust that as we obey the Word of Wisdom we will run and walk without weariness and faintness, that we will find treasures, even hidden treasures. We can trust that overwhelming message of the Book of Mormon – that obedience brings Happiness, and that wickedness never was, nor ever will be happiness. We can trust in the promises delivered by our modern prophets, who encourage us to marry and have children.
My mission president went to a prestigious business school where he got his masters of business administration. It was an environment in which he was in the minority and an example of LDS beliefs to his classmates. He told me once of a friend who discovered not only that Elder Perkins was married, but had 2 children. All before he had graduated from his masters program and well before the age of 30. This friend, intelligent and talented, said to him “And I used to think you were smart.”
Elder Perkins was keeping the proverb “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” He trusted in the Promises of the Lord.
Years passed by and as he crossed paths with his classmates, they would say to him “You were right. We all thought you were crazy, but you had it right.” They found themselves humbled.
We can trust in His Promises.
3. We can trust in His Plan.
His is the Plan of Happiness. He is the Lord of the Universe. He loves us. We can trust Him. To a great extent, our success depends on how much we do trust Him and His plan. We need to trust that He can not fail, and when we place our hands in His we will be led to Eternal Life which is the greatest of blessings. But if we don’t trust Him, He can’t make us happy. He can’t force us along the path.
We can trust Him. He lives. He has suffered so that we don’t have to. He has told us that the path will be difficult. We all know how hard it can be at times to remember His promise of eventual happiness – especially when the present seems so painful. But that experience is for a reason. Someday we will look with gladness on His face, and we will finally understand. We will understand and know why we had to endure what we had to endure… and why He endured what He did.
Every branch that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. He loves us so much, it hurts him to see us suffer, but it is always for a reason which will one day give us joy greater than we now know. And He is Always there, with us. He has been with me. And in suffering and overcoming by His wisdom and strength we become joint-heirs with Him.
It takes faith to trust that the trial is more precious than gold, though it seems you are tried with fire.
During those trials and afterward, you must have faith and trust enough to keep the commandments. To those who do He has said “Ye are my friends… I will not leave you comfortless. I will come to you.” I know he will. He has always come to me in my hardest times – directing me, comforting me, leading me, and loving me. I know He lives, for He has been at my side in suffering and in rejoicing. Jesus Christ lives and reigns in the Heavens. He shall not fail at any thing he has set his heart to do – and his only work and all his glory is you, and your eternal success and happiness. You can trust Him. Ask Him.
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
August 11, 2006
I admire those who know what they love. And those who put their energy into it withouth worrying about what they haven’t done, can’t do, don’t know how to do. Those are the people who are remarkable and accomplish much. Those are the people about whom others can be specific in their descriptions and admiration.
It takes a lot of emotional energy to limit yourself when you wish you could do everything. But that’s the only way to greatness.
August 10, 2006
Today professor Stein came in with 3 of his students from one of his summer courses. When I got back the signed receipt of one of them I saw the name ZHANG written on it in chinese. I said “Zhang.” She turned out to be from Taiwan and a member of the church. It was cool. We talked a lot while the other people at the table looked confused. She asked what my favorite food in Taiwan was. I couldn’t think of what it was.
It was nice. I found myself immediately asking if she was a member, and wanting to ask her if she’s been reading and praying. I could see she had to concentrate to understand some of my chinese, but mostly she seemed to get it. She says she’ll come in to the restaurant some time soon now that she knows somebody there can speak chinese.
Anyway, that was my fun and exciting event for work today.