Thursday, August 27, 2015

Music: The lifeblood of Everything

What do you do when you have friends over?  You play music.  What do you do when someone you love dies?  You play music.  What do you do when you find the love of your life?  You play music.  What do you do when you want to worship God, but your words seem to fail you?  You play music.  You can literally play music for every single mood that you can think of.  Music changes your life.  It is always around you, and most of the time we don't pay attention to the message of the songs that are in our lives, but when you let it sink into your soul (unless you're a ginger, sorry), it changes you.  It speaks to you on a level so deep that it hits your core and resonates in a place that you didn't know existed.  Music can help us to remember who we are to God and realize our eternal worth.  Music can tell someone just how much we love them.  Music can make us miss someone so deeply that we ache.

I think the reason that we surround ourselves with music is because we have had it with us forever. I truly believe that music is an eternal principle.  When the Baby Jesus was born, his birth was heralded to the shepherds by "a multitude of heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good will toward men." (Luke 2:13-14)  The best way to share the birth of the Savior of the world was with singing.  The best sermons are in the hymns we sing.  Music is where I learned that "I Am a Child of God", that "I Need Thee Every Hour," that "I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go."  (These can be found in the LDS Hymnbook)  

Some people are concerned when I tell them that I sing all the time, that I love singing in front of people.  I think it's because I'm not exactly a terrible speaker, but because other people's words are normally better than mine.  When connected to a tune and a beat, those words can speak so much more powerfully and deeper than I ever could.  It has been proven that music actually completely bypasses the conscious mind and taps into the subconscious.  That's why lyrics can stay in our mind for years after any schooling we ever had.  It is something that connects itself to memories, and, so vivid are those memories, that they stick with us and can even bring us to tears.  For years, I couldn't get through "I Stand All Amazed" (LDS Hymns 193) without thinking of my Grandma Haws and crying.  It still happens sometimes.  

Remember, when you listen to music, how deep the impact is.  If songs can last for years, it can be those songs that have negative connotations that stick with us.  Do we really want to think about all the words to those degrading songs when we are trying to stay pure and virtuous?  Do we want to worry about angry songs coming up when we are fighting with those we love?  Do we want to think about these things while trying to raise our children to be upstanding people?  I'm not saying we are perfect.  Heaven knows I'm not. And I'm not trying to push my opinions on you either.  Just think about these things.  Music can make or break anything.  It can make an experience memorable, or horrifying.  

Be Happy, and listen to music!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Friendship-a journey to happiness and fun

"A true friend knows your weaknesses, but shows you your strengths." Unknown

This week, and month really, has shown me the importance of good friends. I have many good friends, and a few great friends, but I have 2 truly best friends who always have my back. One of them has been my friend for years, the other one since October. This post is about these 2 women who have shaped my life forever. 

The first one is Katie Daugherty. When I can home from my mission, I found out the greatest news a best friend can find out: she is getting married! She has asked me to be her maid of honor! I could not have been more thrilled to share this experience with her. My first day back, she immediately skyped me and we began catching up after not seeing each other for a year, and only corresponding through letters. It's amazing to me how easy it is to pick up where you and your friend left off, no matter how long it has been, if both of them still have respect and love for each other. I love her and I am so thankful for her support in my decisions, in my mission, and in my life. She always knew when I needed a picture or a letter of encouragement. She has changed my life for good. 

The next friend is someone that I didn't expect. Before my mission, I knew that  would meet many people that would influence my life and my testimony in Jesus Christ. And I made so many friends in the California Irvine Mission. There was one friend, however, that completely changed my life and left a mark too big to ever forget. Her name was sister Megan Gillins. She was my companion from October 28 until the end of my mission on March 4. We were together for 18 weeks, and in those weeks, we laughed, we cried, we sang, we taught, we testified, and we grew closer as sisters in the work of the Lord. The funny thing about the beginning of our friendship is that we had preconceived notions about each other that were not in the best light. We were worried at the beginning of our companionship that we would even get along, let alone work well together. But after the first day, we broke the ice over something stupid and instantly became friends. That something was Star Wars. She said she loved Star Wars, but no one ever expected it from her. The conversation that ensued, went like this:
Megan: "I want people to look at me and say,'there's someone who loves Star Wars!"
Kayla: "Then you should probably have more acne, less color in your skin, and a crazier look in your eye."

At that moment, we both realized that we had the same sense of humor, and the rest is history. 

Today marks 1 month since leaving my best friend, and only talking to her through email. It's hard, but it makes our time to talk that much sweeter. I cannot wait till I can see her again. 

Sometimes, people come into your life that you don't know will impact your life. If you are open to all people and allow them to get to know at least a little part of you, you may just find that your best friend is amongst those you meet. I heard a saying once that friends are the family you choose, but I believe that God puts you in the path of each other because he knows what you need to learn and what they need to learn. His plan is better, and so much sweeter than  we could ever hope it would be. 

So, hold dearly to the friends you have, who love and respect you the same way that you love and respect them. And allow friends into your life that you may not expect to come in. They can surprise you and change you "for good." (Name that song reference). 

With love,
The friend

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Dear Beloved Reader,

This is an uplifting blog about thoughts.  Thoughts in the bathtub, in the car, doing dishes, folding laundry, and any other mundane task.  I don't know about you, but I seem to do more thinking when my hands are busy and when I have time by myself.

These blogs will be my ideas and my thoughts.  Some of them might be religious.  That is because I am religious and it is a part of me.  Some of them might be funny.  I am a funny person.  Some of them might just be random.  This is because there is not just one side to me.  I hope that you can see this through these blog posts, and in part, see a part of me.

So, dear reader, feel free to read along.  Feel free to laugh, to cry, and most importantly, to think.  Heaven knows that's what I've done writing these blogs.

The girl with the Thoughts