Today is the first day of our new lives. It's been a loooong time since my last post. Blake graduated in April with a bachelor's degree in Psychology. I guess we figured that once he was graduated, he'd get his dream job right off, make lots of money, and all our monetary worries would be over. Instead we both just went through an entire summer (second one for me ) jobless. Things kept getting tighter and worries seemed to take over both our lives. We kept somewhat busy with the four callings we had in church, but we've both been stressed for a long time. Getting our car totaled in California didn't help at all. To say the least, I was having a really hard time with my faith. I started doubting God, his love for me and his love for all his children. It was a really dark place in my life. I was upset that there was so much suffering in the world, upset that I saw God differently and upset that I didn't at all seem to be the same person I once loved. I grew cynical, and I don't know where I'd be without Blake, friends, and especially my mom to guide me back to faith. I didn't understand why my Heavenly Father wouldn't give us the blessings we so desperately needed. All we wanted was a job so that we could get by, provide for our essential needs and be in the position to bless others. We were SO greatly blessed with friends and family that supported us, loved us and truly blessed us in our time of need. I was scared though, that we would always be the ones receiving help and never be able to give it. I began to have lots of negative self-talk. Convincing myself that I wasn't good enough, not pretty enough, not kind enough, smart enough, or special at all. Believing these things was the worst thing that happened to me. I lost touch with the girl I once loved in me. I had several key talks with my mother. Anyone who knows her, understands what an angel she is and how her testimony of the gospel blesses so many lives. She taught me I couldn't give up on the things I believed in. I had to stay strong, stay true and that if there was a time to show that I will obey my Heavenly Father no matter what, that time was now when I was being tested. It really put things into perspective for me. I was being blinded by so many things that I really forgot what this life was all about. It wasn't about being comfortable, it wasn't about making lots of money, or having an easy ride. I think I had kind of thought that as long as I did all the things I was supposed to, Heavenly Father would give me everything I ever wanted. I came to realize that in this life we find joy, but it is also necessary to have sorrow. Even if we keep all the commandments, we cannot escape trial and sorrow. We are meant to know these things and it is OK because this is the only way we become perfected. Over weeks of building my faith back up, I rediscovered my Savior's love for me and for all of Heavenly Father's children. This life IS hard. It is hard for everyone. My mother told me that she sometimes wishes she could just take all my pain away, that she could take away all the hard things from my life and save me from the worry and hurt. . . .but she doesn't love me as much as my heavenly father does. She would be hurting my chances at growth by taking away all the hard things from my life. My Heavenly Father LOVES me. And more than anything, he wants me to return to Him so that I can become like him. I know that seeing his children in pain must be difficult because he loves us, but he has the foresight to see what blessings and growth we will receive in overcoming those trials. I have seen the blessings from my trials. I have increased faith, hope, love for my spiritual brothers and sisters. I have more longing to do right, MORE compassion for those in pain, MORE gratitude, more trust in the Lord. . . . . and I am HAPPY. I am happy. . . I am HAPPY. I have peace. I have joy. My only fear is that I might someday forget the things I've learned.
It is a difficult thing for me to always remember the things I'm working for and what really matters in this life; what brings true happiness. It is a battle everyday, every hour to keep myself focused and grateful for the things I have.
Blake has been recently blessed with a job in Salt Lake. We can't begin to express our thanks for this opportunity. It's bigger and better than anything we could have dreamed up for ourselves. We have an outpouring of blessings. I have nothing but gratitude for my father in heaven who knew to keep certain blessings from us so that we could grow and receive the greatest of blessings now at this time in our lives. He is all-knowing and has infinite love for a sinner like me.
In getting this job, I'm only understanding better and better that the worldly things in this life are not the ones that bring happiness. Yes, money is important in the fact that we need it to provide for our physical needs, but other than that simple security it brings, money does not bring happiness. Money brings swift and fleeting pleasure. I'm certain that those who use their lives to make more money just so they can buy more things are never happy. They do make the money, and buy the item. And in the moment they buy that item they may seem satisfied. But that satisfaction is short lived and then they're immediately onto the bigger, brighter and showier. But when the focus is on the eternal. When the focus is on others, on personal development, on blessing the people around us, we find peace, joy and contentment. At least for me it's so easy to get caught up in things of the world; having this, doing that, owning such and such. . . . having the things others have. It only makes me tired, proud, and unhappy. There's always someone with more and you start resent others for the things they have. If I can just keep a reminder every hour of the things that bring joy (family, friends, good spiritual standing, relationship with my savior, talents, blessings, service, gratitude, etc. ) Then I will not only be happy with the life I have, but I will be happy for others who get blessed in their own special ways instead of always envying them.
I know that right now life is working out. But I also know that soon I will have another trial to grow through. I ache for all those in the world going through tough times. I ache and feel guilty that my troubles are relatively small. I pray for all of you that struggle right now and promise you that there is hope.
I have come to love Alma chapter 34. It reads, "[I would] that ye contend no more against the Holy Ghost, but that ye receive it, and take upon you the name of Christ; that ye humble yourselves even to the dust, and worship God, in whatsoever place ye may be in, in spirit and in truth; and that ye live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you. Yea, and I also exhort you, my brethren, that ye may be watchful unto prayer continually, that ye may not be led away by the temptations of the devil, that he may mot overpower you, that ye may not become his subjects at the last day' for behold, he rewardeth you no good thing [...] But have patience, and bear with those afflictions, with a firm hope that ye shall one day rest from all your afflictions."
Have hope. One day you WILL rest from ALL your afflictions. They may be great and hard to bear. Our Savior is there. His atonement is not only for our sins, but for our sorrows also and He will make our burdens light if we believe Him. If you feel broken and fragmented (as I did), He will make you whole again. He is good, He is perfect, He loves us and will never leave us as long as we keep choosing Him. This life is ours to make of it what we will. We choose to believe, we choose to trust in Him, we choose to obey, we are grateful.
I just made one of the hardest decisions for my future. In order to get into the BFA program for Illustration, one needs to apply and send in an application in the spring or summer. The summer deadline is past and I received an email from my Illustration professor, Brother Hull, a very influencial man in the art department. He wrote me this. . .
We recently checked the list of August Illustration BFA applications and discovered that you had not applied. You are very talented and we had hoped that you would continue through the BFA program. Even though the deadline for applications has passed you may still apply. The application can be downloaded online at our website at visualarts.byu.edu. After filling the form out take it to Jeana Clark in 3122 JKB.
If you are not applying tell me why.
I couldn't believe that they were allowing me to still apply even though the deadline was past. I figured if they were going to make me such an exception to the rule, I ought to at least consider applying. It's not something I had been taking lightly. I had worried over this decision for the past year and had finally come to the conclusion with a sound mind at the end of winter semester. I decided I would not apply. It hurts my pride not to continue my studies in Illustration. I will graduate with a bachelor of arts instead of a bachelor of fine arts. This is unless my professor can somehow convince me otherwise. I wrote him this email back. . .
Brother Hull, it's actually really hard for me to talk about this because I'm really torn. I hadn't been planning on applying to the BFA for several reasons. Now that I'm married, I wanted to focus more on putting my husband through his schooling. I intend to graduate, but I had wanted to do it as quickly as possible so that I could have my days free to work full time. If I did get into the BFA program, that would mean at least an extra year of school. That would be a full year of tuition to pay and no time to work for money. I also shy away from going into the BFA program because I know that I'm not as career minded as my peers in the department. I might like to do childrens books in my far future if I have the leisure time, but first and foremost I want to be a mother. Though a BFA would be essential to someone who wanted to make a living off their talent, I really just want to be a housewife. I know that that may sound aweful. I love art, and will get my BA for sure. I want to continue developing my portfolio at least on my own. Another, less important and more firivilous reason why I'm not sure the BFA program is for me is because I feel that I've really struggled in the art department. I know that my grades have not suffered, but my self-esteem has. I feel I came to BYU very confident in my abilities and having a passion for creating works of art. While here, though the critiques are to build our talents, I feel they have taken quite a toll on my artwork and personality. I have people come to me for art commissions and I want to turn them down because I have no more confidence in my work. I'm afraid that an extra year in the department will strip me more of what I used to love about myself. I know that sounds really depressing, and I'm sorry for that. For all the reasons that I feel I should not follow the BFA path, there is a pride in me that makes me want to do it. I know that it will be hard and I know I will be overwhelmed at times, but I know that I could successfully do it. I'm just wondering if pride is a good enough reason to continue? I truly hope I have not offended in any way, and I honestly would appreciate any advice you have to give. I'm sure you'll understand my situation and stances on why I might not want to continue, and I know you'll give me the best advice you can muster. I know this because you are a good man and a wonderful professor. I really love the way you teach and feel you sincerely care about your students. Thank you for taking the time to be concerned about my future, you're a good man.
Sincerely, Melissa Hudson
I'm afraid that his email was a last chance that the Lord was giving me to get my BFA. I pray about it and feel nothing. My sickness comes when I think of doing the BFA, it releases when I think of not doing the BFA, but comes again when I feel ungrateful for not taking their generosity and building my talents more. . . .What to do?
Blake and I, as of this Saturday will officially live in Springville! We found such a good deal on an apartment in downtown springville, just about 15 minutes south of the Y. Our apartment is a part of a tri-plex. We have our own front door with a little welcome porch. Might not seem like a big deal to all of you, but it's a lot better than entering our house from a door that looks like we'll be breaking in (our old apartment). The ceiling is a bit lower, but other than that, the new place has a LOT more room and we're especially excited over the extra space in the kitchen. We even have a back door! :) Even though the new place is a bit bigger, we'll be paying a whole lot less for it. It's only 475 a month and we only have to cover the electric bill. Needless to say, we're really grateful that we were able to find something so soon. We'll be moving in about two days, leaving us plenty of time to get situated before we take off to San Diego for two weeks. Thanks to everyone who has been praying for us!
I just want to say something, mostly for the benefit of my husband. So, these past two weeks have produced a lot of pain for my feet. I fell off a skateboard (making it hard to walk for a few days), I split my big toenail right down the middle, scraped off the back of my foot, busted my ankle at the tumbling gym and got two fat FAT blisters from playing night games. Now, anyone who really knows me and how I am when I'm in pain or am sick will know that I don't take medicine, and going to the doctor is a last resort. I like to rely on my body's ways of healing itself rather than taking drugs. If I get a sliver (which I did last week), Blake will be the first to come at me with a knife or needle. He's afraid that it could get infected. I understand that it could get infected, but I hate having people poke me with knives and needles (is that so crazy), and I'd rather the sliver just work itself out. It always has for me. Friday night I was playing this great night game called "Heist". It was a blast and a half, but I got the two biggest blisters I've ever had in my life, on my big toes. Blake, on cue, comes at me with that murderous twinkle in his eyes offering to prick the blisters himself so "they'll heal faster". "It won't hurt" he promises, "it's just dead skin". Well, I wasn't quite sure about that, so I told him as I often do, that I would prick it myself when I was ready. . . . . . . . . drum roll please. . . . . . . . . . This morning I woke up and SHAZAM!. . . both blisters were magically gone! So, either blake charged at my toes with a needle last night unannounced to me, or my body did as it usually does, took care of it by itself, without scary needles and knives. I rest my case.
That is, until tonight when undoubtedly the Lord will give me an infectious sliver just to teach me a lesson :)
I never never NEVER thought I would be the type to actually have a blog, but by persistent "pushes" from mothers, blake getting it started, and mama hudson showing me how fun it is to make it oh so cute, here I am, typing a blog post! Island Park adventures are on the way.
Well, its about time that I wrote a sappy "what blessings" post. After all, it is my second one already.
Well, yesterday found me working for about 12 hours straight, half of it not being paid for though as it is just an internship, I'm not complaining though, it is a great opportunity. They day before though, was a bright little nugget of happy sunshine after a few weeks of tumultuous overcast in the sojourn that is known as life. Haha, that was very fake. Anyway, I didn't have to go to work on Monday, but our neighbors from Boston called us over to help them out because they are, sadly, going to move away back to Boston. So we go into their kitchen and they tell us to just take anything and everything that we want from their fridge or cupboards cause if we don't they will all just go to waste. So we ransacked their whole kitchen and we walked away with SO MUCH FOOD!! Quoting Melissa, "It's like Christmas!!" she said, as we tried to fit all of the new food into our refrigerator and cupboard. We actually couldn't fit everything that we were given and I was reminded of the promise we are given from paying our tithing in Malachi: "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." Wow, and how a wow it was that we literally did not have room enough to receive it.
Not only that, but Melissa was given an opportunity to do something that she is very excited for. That is to teach dancing! If you were to ask her what her favorite things to do are, she would put dancing at the top; after all, we met at a dance on campus! She ran into quite a few unfruitful interviews, but now she has the opportunity to be an influential teacher for the community. I am so proud of her resilience in not giving up after so long of trying, she tried really hard to get a job.
We are going to Island Park up in Idaho in about 3 hours so I will put up some pictures!