Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Master of the Vineyard

Many of you have probably heard the talk by D. Todd Christofferson called "As Many as I Love, I Rebuke and Chasten." In case you don't remember the story of the currant bush, here's a reminder: 

              Heavenly Father knows what He wants us to become. He wants us to be something specific. And His plans for us are ALWAYS better than anything we could become without him. As I read in Jacob chapter 5 in the Book of Mormon, something stuck out to me. Chapter 5 is all about a Lord's vineyard and all his hard work to preserve the trees in his vineyard. He is constantly pruning, grafting, nourishing, replanting, fertilizing, and caring for the different trees and expecting them to bring forth good fruits. If you haven't read it, you should. It's awesome. The master of the vineyard represents our Father in Heaven and the trees represent us. The master has a servant, constantly helping the master and pleading for the master to keep trying with the trees that don't produce the best fruit. He is like our Savior, always our advocate. But anyway, you probably figured that out by now. 

             Verses 21 and 22 stuck out to me the most. The servant asks the master, "How comest thou hither to plant this tree? For behold it was the poorest spot in all the land of the vineyard." A lot of times, I find myself asking God this same question. Why am I here and why do terrible things keep happening?? (I know, I am a whiner sometimes.) But to this question, the Master responds, "Counsel me not; I knew that it was a poor spot of ground; wherefore I said unto thee, I have nourished it this long time, and thou beholdest that it hath brought forth much fruit."

               Heavenly Father knows what he is doing. He is the gardener. He knows what he wants us to become and He guides our lives to help us get there. Even when we think we are in a poor spot of land, He is always there nourishing us and helping us to become better than we were through our trials. We are never left alone. We need not strive to counsel God because He already knows what He want from us. Instead, we should ask for His will. Ask what He wants us to become. I know that through His guidance and love, and sometimes some trials, I can become my best self. I am so grateful for this knowledge that brings me peace and allows me to always be happy!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Lessons From Fall

Today was a good day. As I walked through campus, I was in awe of the beautiful Autumn scenery. The mountains are covered in oranges and reds, all over campus the yellow leaves are falling. My favorites are the trees that are just starting to change. One tree had just the tips starting to turn red and it looked as though it had been dipped in red paint, ready to create something beautiful. While admiring all the gorgeous Fall hues, I realized on thing. All the wonder of the Fall season comes from change.

Oh boy. If you know me at all, you know that change isn't really my thing. I love to stay in the same place and have the same friends and have the same role for a long time. For instance, I lived in Helaman Halls for four years straight with the same job. What kind of college student stays in one place for so long?? As I am sure all of you have heard from me many times already, I am in the Fall of my life. (Or one of the many I suppose.) Everything is changing or about to change. I am terrified. I don't know what to do in my new environment. The worst part about it is that I have been seeing my life as a scary almost dreary place. I have been seeing the dead plants, the cold, and the dark skies. In doing this, I have missed the beauty of change.

There are two ways to see Autumn. The leaves fall off the trees, there is no grass and here lately, it rains a whole lot. But then there is the other side of crisp sunny days and lots of exciting colors. Its really all about perspective. In an earlier post, I talk about focusing on the Sunshine. Well, in the Fall I need to focus on the beauty. Change is hard and scary, but it has amazing results. There is an alluring charm to change. Change is what shapes us.

So I can look at change as ugly and scary or I can view it as a glorious opportunity to become better than I was. When I look back to when I first left home, I was more scared than I have ever been in my life. But looking back, I know that I am better than I was in high school. I have grown and learned so much. The changes I have gone through have given me knowledge, understanding, and a firmer testimony of my Savior. I am not anywhere near perfect, but I have come a long way. I get to choose how I view all the changes in my life. I can go with it and see the beauty of becoming better than I am today, or I can see only the end of old ways and allow it to hold me back. Hopefully I can remember that life is about being happy and excited for the changes coming around the corner and the growth that comes with it.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Wow, its really been a long time hasn't it! Well, I think I am due for some extra positivity, so time to update the blog!

For those of you who don't know, I am in my last real semester of college! AH! Next semester I will be doing my student teaching and then I am done! So I am squeezing in all my last classes,working more than I have before, trying to get used to living off-campus, finishing all kinds of paperwork and licensing, and stressing out over it all. If you have seen or talked to me in the past few weeks, you are probably sick of hearing about it. But I am getting used to it! And everyday, I keep receiving tender mercies from my loving Heavenly Father that help me to know that I can get through it! The most recent one found in the scriptures. In 3 Nephi chapter 13 verses 32-34 it says:
"For your Heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself."
I am so grateful that I have this knowledge. It was such an important reminder to me that Heavenly Father knows what I need. He knows all about all this stuff that I have going on in my life! But He also knows what is most important. He knows what He wants me to do. And first and foremost, that is to draw nearer to Him. Before I do anything else, I must pray unto Him, and read His teachings and feel His Spirit. I must take the time to help someone else, to be a true disciple of Christ. If I can dedicate myself to this goal, Heavenly Father will help me to get everything else done. Everything else will fall into place. Now, I am not saying that I should take absolutely "no thought for the morrow." Heavenly father can't help me if I refuse to do any work. However, as I strive to seek Him first, He will bless me with the focus, the strength and the ability I need to succeed.

Another tender mercy that I want to talk about happened last Saturday. If you live in Provo, you probably remember this:

Basically there was this huge super random out of nowhere storm that delayed the BYU football game for like 3 hours. (The football Stadium is the Lavell Stadium...That's why this is funny. Haha)

So normally when it rains I freak out and just hope I don't get wet. But this time, I kept running from front window to the door and opening it, and running back to my room and looking out that window and back to opening the front door to see the crazy storm. It was beautiful! (Plus it distracted me from my homework. :) )
And out of nowhere, I started singing a primary song. "I like to look for rainbows, whenever there is rain. And ponder on the beauty of an earth made clean again." I realized that I want to be the person that sees the rainbows in the storm. 

There is something truly beautiful in seeing how our lives are changed when we get through something hard. For example, out of all the stress that I am going through this semester, I am going to gain an education that I can use the rest of my life, a degree that will earn me a job so I can support myself, and so many new friends that I know are there to support me. Trials are hard and scary just like storms can be, but if you look closely, you can always find a rainbow. Sometimes the only rainbows you will be able to find are simple truths like the ones I wrote about in my previous post, but there is always light and color in our lives if we search for it. I am so grateful for the storms in my life so I can learn to appreciate all the blessings I have received. I love life!! :)  

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


This Sunday, President Uchtdorf spoke at the CES Fireside. I was lucky enough to be able to see him live! Haha And I am so glad because he brought up his grandson or something and told us about how he gave a talk in church about preparing for a mission. The kid had a running countdown of years, months, weeks, days, and hours until he was old enough to serve a mission. It was absolutely adorable. The kid was like 12! Haha And that got me even more excited for my first baby brother getting his mission call THIS WEEK! AHHH! I am so proud of him. Anyway, President Uchtdorf's talk was on truths. What some are and how we must have an open heart to know them. How to discern them and how they are always true no matter what we think or believe. So to help me remain positive during these rough times, here's a few truths that I know are true 100% in my life. Sometimes I forget them or take them for granted, but I always know they are true.

1. I am a daughter of a true and living God. That Father in Heaven has blessed my life more times than I can ever count, and I can never repay Him for the love He shows to me everyday (even when I don't realize it.)
2. This gives me a divine nature. I am the spiritual offspring of a God. That gives me the potential to become a God myself someday after this life is over and allows me to inherit my Father's kingdom. This means that I have greatness within me. I have strength. I am a good person and can become even better as I strive to be more like my Savior. I think this is the hardest one to remember.
3. I also have an older brother  who loves me as much as my Heavenly Father does. He sacrificed unimaginable pains, that He might take my burdens, sorrows, and worries off my shoulders and guide me through this life. He died that I could be perfected and return to live with Him, my Father, and the rest of my eternal family someday. Words can not express my gratitude.
4. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ created this amazing world that we live in today. He created the laws of science that we strive to understand, but won't until he perfects us. He created the human body, which is the most amazing creation I could ever imagine. My testimony of this grows each day as I learn more and more about the brilliant processes the body undergoes to function and grow. Millions and billions of activities are going on simultaneously in the body and our amazing brains keep up with it all and we stay alive and breathe all the time and don't even think about any of it. It is an absolute miracle. This could not have occurred by chance. My body is a divine gift from God and is a testament of His power and love for me. This alone makes me one of Gods greatest miracles.

I know that to some people these things seem far-fetched and even wacky. But in my life i have received witness upon witness that they are true. Even if we don't agree, which is perfectly fine, I will always stand by these truths that are most important to me. They give the strength and joy to carry on in life and keep a smile on my face. Life is truly happy when I can remember these basic gifts given from God. And even when it is hard, I always have these truths to rely on and I still love my life. :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Only Believe

Last week while in the temple, I read Mark chapter 5. In it, Jesus completes three miracles. in each of these miracles, the people Christ helped were in dire circumstances. First, a man was essentially insane because he was possessed by a legion of devils. Then on the way to heal a man's daughter, another woman was healed of a life-long disease. He then continued on to raise the man's daughter from the dead. While Christ obviously had the power to do these things no matter what, He could not have done so if the people he healed did not believe in Him. Even the devils knew and recognized His power. The woman knew that if she merely touched His clothes and believed it would would work, she could be healed. And the parents of the daughter had to have faith, even when at the depths of despair after losing a cherished daughter, that Christ could in fact bring her back to them. For me this would be so hard. To have so much faith and hope that my sorrow was overcome? It's amazing that these two individuals had that strength. But I think something Christ said to them helped them. In verse 36 He says, " Be not afraid, only believe." How often do we allow our fears to get in the way of our faith? I know I struggle with that. But the solution is so simple. Only believe. Have faith and trust that Heavenly Father knows so much more than we do. He has so much power to bless and will do so if we do what He asks, even when to us it seems like we aren't receiving any blessings at all. He can do all things and we should not question it, only believe. 
Life Lesson #1: Believe in God and believe in Christ. 
Now as I have been thinking about this and entering finals week, I have realized that there is another part to these scriptures. This semester has been a hard one for me. I have often doubted my abilities at work, in school, and in other situations. For a while I thought I was going to fail a class, have to retake it, be here another few semesters because of it, and essentially never graduate. (catastrophizing, I know.) But some things I have read and heard from some friends has helped me to realize that I can't simply believe in God, but I must believe in myself. I can't hold back the gifts my Heavenly Father has given me. I can't let the fear of failing prevent me from becoming who I was meant to be. Because Heavenly Father won't just magically do things for me, but rather will grant me the knowledge, strength, and comfort I need to accomplish the tasks ahead of me. Heavenly Father has trusted me with so much, so why shouldn't I trust myself? Obviously, He knew I could do it. I have the ability to do all things through Him, through Christ and His Atonement. But I can't do it unless I believe I can. Each of us can accomplish great things if we know we can do it.
Life Lesson #2: Believe in and trust yourself.
Pretty sure this is one of the keys to being happy in life. Believe in God. Believe in yourself. Do your best, and if you fail, believe that you can learn from it and succeed next time. Believe in the Atonement, for it can truly heal us of all sins, heartaches, and failures. Believe in your strengths and in the Spiritual Gifts God has given you. Most importantly, believe that God loves you and wants you to succeed. 
Only Believe. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Everlasting Love

 Don't be fooled by the title. I don't plan on rambling on about some silly romance or chick flick or anything of the sort. :) The other day, my bestie and I were driving home from the temple and discussing what we had learned and realized while pondering in the baptistery. Obviously, For me it was that I needed to live up to my potential better. And one thing that I know my Heavenly Father expects of me is that I be a kind and loving servant, helping Him bless His other children. Which is not something I feel that I have been particularly good at lately. So, I decided in my scripture reading that week to read about charity. Wow! I learned so much from this! First of all, I now better understand what charity is. According to Mormon in his letter to his son (in Moroni 8:17), charity is in fact perfect and everlasting love. This means that it is absolutely, 100% unconditional. As most of you probably know, charity is typically described as the pure love of Christ. If you think about it, these two definitions are the same. Christ will never ever stop loving you and I no matter what we do. Likewise, if I want to be like Him, I must have unconditional love for those around me. That means no matter how irritated or hurt or jealous I get because of someone else, I should always look for the good in those people, because there is ALWAYS something good about everyone. Something else I learned about charity in my readings was found in 2 Nephi 26:29-30. This basically says that priestcraft is when people "set themselves up for a light unto the world" and do everything that they may gain something. The next verse helped me to realize that this is the very opposite of charity. If I do something to impress someone else or because I want something, I am too focused on myself. But rather, I should do things because I know it will help someone else. Lastly I read the classic verse about charity in Moroni 7: 45: 
"And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinkieth no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things."
As I thought about it, I thought, "Can I replace the word 'charity' with my own name? Am I kind? Do I suffer long and envieth not?" and it was a wake up call because I didn't really feel like I was particularly strong in any of those categories. so now as I walk through campus I try to think of how much Heavenly Father loves me and look and someone else and realize that He loves this perfect stranger too. If that perfect being loves him, why can't I? So rather than judging I have been trying instead to remember that and try to feel that love as well. I am no where near good at this. I still sometimes look at others and judge them based on their clothes, the people they are with, the things they are doing, but I am trying hard to ask myself, "are you being kind?" This is a hard thing to do but it has already made me a happier person. I have a long way to go, but I know that if I continue to try to see the good in others, I will better be able to see the good in life and be happier because of it. And isn't that what we are here for? :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Look Forward

The other day I was walking to work and thinking about a lot of things. At one point I began balancing on a curb. I was struck with the realization that as I looked down right in front of me or down at my feet, I began to wobble and had to step down off the curb. But, as I looked up and forward towards the end of the curb, I could stay on course, even though the curb was a little curvy. Many of you can probably relate to a similar phenomenon while driving a car. But as I walked along this curb, I realized that it is a lot like life. the road may be a little windey, and if we focus on that bend in the road and forget to think about all we have in store in the future, we're gonna fall off. BUT if we look forward toward our end goal, it becomes surprisingly easy to stay balanced. It is important to live life in the present rather than the past, but isn't it just as bad to forget about the future? If we become so stuck on the here and now, it is sometimes harder to be happy, especially if the here and now means a lot of difficulty and heartache. We get so wrapped in trying to figure out what to do with out lives right now, that the bug picture is overlooked. I am definitely someone who does this a lot. I think that because great things aren't happening for me right now, that they never will. However, I know that my Heavenly Father has given me promises I can count on and He will take care of me. And I have so much time left and so many opportunities to live through! I was thinking of some things like these and some other things I am going through as I read my scriptures the other day and ran across Alma 36:3:
"And now, O my son Helaman, behold, thou art in thy youth, and therefore, I beseech of thee that thou wilt hear my words and learn of me; for I do know that whosoever shall put their atrust in God shall be supported in their btrials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be clifted up at the last day."
In a previous seminary class, I had crossed out the words "O my son Helaman" and replaced them with "daughter" and my own name. For me, it was exactly what I needed to hear. I felt like Heavenly Father was saying to me personally, "Kazhia. You are still young and you just need to trust that I know what is coming for you and I am in control." Which is a scary thing to do. To just blindly trust that things will work out. That there is a being so omnipotent that He knows exactly what is coming up in my life and knows that I can handle it. But its true. I have felt His love and influence enough in my life to know that  He knows when and where the best timing and place is for me to experience everything. I am so excited to live though everything He has in store for me. I still get to go through the temple and learn so much from those ordinances. I have the opportunity to vicariously partake of those ordinances for my ancestors. I get to someday be sealed to a loving husband (who is still somewhere out there, unknown to me. Haha), and I will get to receive the blessing of raising some of Heavenly Father's beloved children as my own and watch their lives pan out. And there are so many other things that the Lord has in store for me. Probably death and illness, more heartache on the way to finding that E.C. (haha excuse my Provo abbreviations..), financial struggles, loss of friends, and so many other yet to be had trials. But I look forward, even to these events in my life. Because I know I won't be living through them alone. I have so many amazing people that surround me. I have an entire family who wants me to be happy. And in top of all this I have my Savior who lived and died that I might be able to share in His joy someday. Why look down at my feet when I could see all these amazing lessons I get to learn in the future? Basically, I like to think of the quote from Walt Disney. Of course its the one at the end of Meet the Robinsons (love it!):
“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. Wekeep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
I hope that I can continue to face my challenges with this attitude. Without looking backward, but forward, my eyes set on my goals with the courage to dive into new things and to do the hard things that will teach me the most. I can't wait to see what new paths I will find! Life is so good!