Just when you think you aren’t making a difference…

State of anxiety

So… I’ve been in a state of anxiety ever since this summer when I conceived the idea of a group of people using their God-given gifts (Which sounds silly, but is accurate: they are gifts God gave us after all!) and talents to uplift the lives of others.

Then someone challenged me (Thanks Mindy!) to show up to that vision and make it happen!

I about did all the things that people do when they’re afraid: crap my pants, scream, cry, I think I actually threw up a little, and I did hide!

I know what I am doing is right!

But then I did it. I showed up to my vision in hope and faith that it would show up to me. I did it because my friend Mindy told me that it doesn’t matter if I end up looking like a fool while doing what I feel I was meant to do. She told me to trust my instincts and spiritual insights. I made that a daily declaration:

I fall in love with my ideas. I trust my instincts and spiritual insights. I follow my heart, no matter how scary or how foolish I may appear to others. I know what I am doing is right. I show up to my vision, and my vision shows up to me.

She was going through this herself: showing up to a vision that scared her, and that encouraged me as well. I found an image online that inspired me with this quote:

“She turned her can’ts into cans and her dreams into plans.” ~Kobi Yamada

Dreams into plans!

Time to be this “she”! Time to make can’ts: cans, and dreams: plans! So I bucked up and stuttered my way through inviting one of my best friends to join me on the journey. I totally messed it up. I texted her crazy stuff, didn’t make sense, it was awkward, and I was so embarrassed! It took me a week to “trick” her into seeing me one-on-one so I could explain myself in person. When we were one-on-one I was too nervous to come out with it and instead did some venting. Then while she was talking I rudely interrupted her to tell her what I’d come over for! I explained my vision and how I wanted her to join me, and she, amazingly, was pleased and excited to join me — and, might I add, hadn’t thought anything weird or awkward about the texts I’d sent! I knew some people would not feel drawn to my cause, but all the sudden here was this wonderful woman telling me how honored she was that I asked her first, how much she already believed in my vision, and how excited she was to be my right-hand hench-woman! Little does she know how much she is MY ROCK!

With that victory in hand, I invited my little sister to join us. I knew she was busy with PA school, but I needed her on my side. She was honored to join us — and does all she can in the midst of her busy schedule, which is really just hearing me talk about it and supporting me. And all that is all I need from my left-hand hench-woman!

I have since invited one other to join our team who declined, but that’s okay. I wanted him to know he was invited, and it’s okay that he doesn’t feel pulled to my cause, that his life is calling him currently elsewhere. I love him just as much as I ever did! And undaunted because I actually know he has a part to play with us in the future which he will love, and he will be amazing at!

Nancy’s DoGooders, a Team of Pure Awesomeness!

On August 31st, 2015, we did our first good deed together, Paige and me, and it was amazing! Paige and I, mostly Paige (I just gathered the information, helped with suggestions, and then cooked us dinner) made homemade pies for a bake sale to raise money for a baby’s heart surgery for a family I knew personally. And as we were doing it I knew my vision of doers of good needed something more! So I created the facebook page Nancy’s DoGooders, a Team of Pure Awesomeness that same day to encourage others to share their gifts and talents to uplift and brighten the lives of others.

That was when the panic started! I just told the world what I was doing. I just told them my vision! I just, what did I just do?! AH!

Should I just give up? Should I quit?

I immediately started scheduling doing good quotes for the page and came up with the idea of simple weekly missions. I went through my list of friends and invited people that had been generous to me. A couple people liked the page! And my aunt liked my page description! So with that courage in hand I went through my friends list again and invited a couple more people. I worried and fretted. I was so scared to just invite people openly to join. Not many likes. Should I just give up? Should I quit?

Never give up! Never surrender!

As I pondered on these things, the spirit brought to my recollection two of my favorite quotes:

“Never give up! Never surrender!” ~Commander Taggart, from Galaxy Quest

(Which just goes to prove that even a parody of science fiction can have lasting effects on our lives. Whatever your calling, follow it!)

“Never, never, never, never give up!” ~Winston Churchhill.

(From a man the world admires!)

and in cleaning out my closet, a task I was doing to hide from my calling, I found this one:

“When you cannot make up your mind between two evenly balanced courses of action, choose the BOLDER.” ~WJ Smith

Worth it for the one!

These three bulstered my own tenacious spirit, and I discovered that it doesn’t matter how many people like the page or the posts, or hates the group, or dislikes me. If Nancy’s DoGooders facebook page and missions helps just one person show up to their gifts and talents to help others, if all the many posts only brighten the life of one, and even if all the silly things I do makes only one person happy, that is enough. Just one is more than plenty! The worth of a soul, even just the one!, is GREAT in the sight of God. So once again I carried on through the mire. It doesn’t matter what it looks like, what I look like, what I think it might appear to others to be! It matters only that I’m heading in the direction that I feel God has called me to go in, and that makes my heart sing! And that’s scary!

Our next mission!

Yesterday, September 9, 2015, my friend Paige, my right-hand hench-woman, got in my car to go shopping with me, and one of the first things she said to me (after handing over the potato chips that she checked the ingredients list on to make sure I could enjoy them with her! <sigh> She’s so awesome!) was, “I have our next mission.” I will honestly share here what I felt: excitement, and dread. What if she suggested a mission I wasn’t interested in participating in? I think she was feeling the same, What if she isn’t interested in participating in my idea? But thank goodness she didn’t let that hold her back! Her project was amazing! It showed she understood exactly what my vision was about! It showed she knew me!

And so Nancy’s DoGooders next Special Ops Mission is to participate in the “Out of the Darkness Walk” event in Salt Lake City, UT on September 19, 2015 to help raise awareness about depression, suicide, and help those in need of hope. We made it a special ops mission on Nancy’s DoGooders page, and then posted about it with our personal donation pages on our facebook timelines.

Nancy's FB post about the Out of the Darkness Walk SLC 2015

What was I thinking?

I personally did this at 2am this morning. That’s when the panic attack hit me. I have been really sick for several months. I am on the up and up, but I don’t know that I will actually be able to participate in the actual walk. AH! I was so nervous what people might think about all my Nancy’s DoGooders stuff, and about that personal post. What was I thinking?

I didn’t want to get out of bed!

I didn’t want to get out of bed this morning. I certainly didn’t want to check facebook and see all the people who were ridiculing me and didn’t care — at least that was I was thinking! But I did want to check to see if our friend Alina had joined our team, so I braved the misty waters and noticed that not only had Alina joined our team, but that our little team had already received donations! Someone had donated on my personal page! WHAT?!?!

I am on the right track with the right people behind me! How blessed I am!

My dear dear friend Tammy Sauer had donated and left me this beautiful message:

“I LOVE you for doing this…Dad I miss you everyday!!! Lets help put a stop to suicide…” ~Tammy Sauer

I broke down in tears immediately! Now that was worth it! It was all worth it for Tammy and her dad! I immediately thanked her and asked her permission to share, and she immediately gave it! What an amazing woman! Then I thanked my Paige for thinking of this mission! Wow! Two great women!

That’s how I know what I am doing is right. That’s how I know I am on the right track with the right people behind me! How blessed I am!

Victories piling up behind me!

I look back over the past couple weeks, COUPLE WEEKS!, And see the victories piling up behind me, the lives changed, the hearts that sing! And I remembered that I shouldn’t judge! I don’t know whose heart resonates with my own! I openly invite every one to join my Nancy’s DoGooders! You know what happened?! People immediately did!

If it makes your heart sing, join us! Join Nancy’s DoGooders!

The world has need of helping hands! It needs your strength, your unique experiences, God-given gifts and talents, and your compassion. That’s what Nancy’s DoGooders is about! Using your own uniqueness and overflowing love and joy to fill the needs of others in ways no one else can, because they’re not you! We need you! We need what you can do! If it makes your heart sing, then join us! Join Nancy’s DoGooders on facebook. We are only just starting, and there is so much more good to follow, so many great things you will do!

We can’t wait to have you on our side!

Gah! THIS IS SO EXCITING!

It goes like this:

Zeke: I sick.
Me: I sick.
Dad: I sick.

Wait a couple minutes…

Me: I sick.
Zeke: I sick.
Dad: I sick.

Repeat.

It is also texted and IM’ed when it hurts too much to talk or if you’re in different rooms and can’t move. Email also works. Instagram isn’t recommended…

The bro: When I wake up my face hurts.

(Understandably as he had surgery a few weeks back. I sympathize.)

Me: I’m sorry bro. I woke up last night because my uterus hurts.
The bro: (frowns) I didn’t want to know that.
Me: … it actually still really hurts.
The bro: tmi! TMI!!!

He didn’t have anything to complain about after that.

Trouble

I’ve been in bed a lot lately so last week I watched the entire Anne of Green Gables series. After successfully persuading a grouchy old lady to her point of view, said old lady tells Anne:

Yet man is born unto trouble as the sparks fly upward. Job 5:7

I just love that so much because we do have a lot of trouble in this life don’t we? And, if you’re anything like me, most of it we cause ourselves! Yet I love that as we have trouble we can always rely on the Lord. He doesn’t always (almost never??) take our troubles away. Rather, at least for me, he strengthens us to move through them.

I got really sick last week, just five days after my gallbladder surgery. My mother and father didn’t know what to do for me. At 3am Wednesday morning I asked for a priesthood blessing. I was so miserable; I wanted to be healed so bad. But instead of healing, I was blessed with strength. I was hospitalized Wednesday afternoon, and by Thursday afternoon I was ready to rip out the IV and stagger home (and by stagger home I mean: lay in the back seat while Mom drove us home). I only just started eating solids again a few days ago (I ate an entire banana on Sunday!), so healing has been slow. But through it all I was never scared or worried: I mean, your parents being stumped on what to do is usually a scary thing! But I knew I was in the Lords hands, and he was strengthening me. While I was in the hospital, to help myself deal with the pain and nausea I kept counting backwards in my head from ten. In my favorite book series, The Amber Chronicles, Corwin says, “The hardest thing about time is doing it.” Yet the Lord reassured me through it all that I was going to get better, and to just take it slow. And here I am, eating bananas, cereal, and real chicken broth! 🙂

It gives me comfort to know that God knew we’d have trouble and sorrow in this life, but that he also provided healthy ways for us to deal with it all. Later on in Job, Job says that though his friends scorn him (and all the other stuff he had happen to him!), “but mine eye poureth out tears unto God.” (Job 16:20) God always hears us and knows our needs, and if we endure to the end, in the end He shall wipe away all tears from our eyes. (Rev 7:17)

The BRIT diet

I’ve been very sick lately, and as a result I have been eating extremely mild foods — been on the clear liquids diet thrice now! (The Italian Icee has actually been a great “clear liquid” for me. They’re very mild. Apple Juice was even too much. So I’ve been chowing down on jello, Italian Icees, and root beer popcicles. Interestingly enough, the root beer popcicles have been the mildest clear liquids for me, and very delicious. 🙂

Anyway, every time I think of breaking back into the solids I think of the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast). Only for some reason in my head it always comes out the BRIT diet. Every time I get to “A” I think it’s “I,” and for some reason just can’t think of what that “I” is supposed to be:

  • Ice?
  • Italian Icee?
  • Ice cream?
  • Italian soda?
  • Isaac Newton? Wait… That’s not right!

Perhaps it’s BRIT because I want to be British right now? Then the T would definitely stand for tea! Peppermint tea has been great too.

Go Get Them!

Well! It has been a long, hard, fantastic, crazy year for me! I started a new business as an essential oil wellness advocate, a new blog, and my master’s program in Entertainment Arts and Engineering (aka video game development) at the University of Utah on the engineering track. I have had three different jobs, two of them internships (Internships make life crazy complicated sometimes!), in five months. Currently I am at EA Maxis as a gameplay engineer intern, and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT! I get to make and play games, and work with incredibly talented and intelligent people. I’m living with my older brother, his wife, and their five adorable children. They have date night on Fridays, and two Fridays ago I was their date idea: we played cards til really late! It was super fun! I’ve met lots, lots, LOTS of new, fantastic, kind, and intelligent people! And I’m busy making plans for the next two, three years of my life. It’s been hard, and I’ve cried plenty, but it’s been great too. I don’t know that I’ve been happier except maybe when I was a little girl before my depression.

Just after moving out to California this summer, then living with my bro’s family, at the end of my first week at EA, I wrote something I’ve never written before, something that astounded myself, in my journal. I wrote:

Saturday I woke up happy.

I’ve had more days like this, days I woke up happy. I’m getting to know myself, who I am, who I want to be. And I know I’m heading in the right direction. It’s taken more than a decade for me to figure it out. I had to wait til I was thirty to have a day where I woke up happy, but it’s been worth it. It’s all been worth. All the sweat, the tears, the embarrassing moments, the failures, the successes, the mistakes, the apologies, the intimate moments of reconciliation, and the discovery of myself, my Lord, and my purpose.  I’m still figuring it out. I still have a lot to learn. But it is so peaceful knowing who I am and where my life is headed, for now. I’ve dug deep and worked hard. I heard once that it takes 5-10 years  to truly create change in your life once you start sincerely trying to make it. It may have taken me a little longer, but that’s okay. I’ve figured out enough that I have peace now. My life isn’t, by any measurement, settled. I still have a lot of work left to do. But I’m up for it. I understand now how to work hard — you take plenty of breaks! I’m so much closer with my family and friends. I’m so incredibly grateful for their help, love, support, friendship, generosity, and righteous examples to me. It’s been a beautiful experience.

Happiness is laying exhausted on the battle field victorious. It’s not easy. It is worth it.

Big things ahead!

I’m going to go get them!

Common Man

It’s funny how a song can be completely different for you during different parts of your life.

Today I dug out old CDs to test my external hard drive. In my digging I came across “COPLAND, The Music of America.” I remember when I first got the CD in my black hole of education (aka jr. high) years liking it, and that it quickly lost favor with me. I haven’t listened to Copland for a very long time since.

And then BAM! Fanfare for the Common Man grabbed me! How did I forget this song. It’s simply beautiful.

I don’t have the time to dig deep into my thoughts on “common man”, but allow me to put forth that I don’t believe any man to be common except those that settle for less than what they were made for, and I know that Copland believed the same because a soul grabbed by his music certainly doesn’t feel common, despite common struggles, and existential ponderings, common we are not.

I’ll tell you what we are: powerful, creative beings put forth on this planet by a loving Heavenly Father with an individual mission that our soul feels driven to fulfill because that is what we most strongly desire. And because we are these powerful, creative beings we can accomplish the soul’s desires. Copland believed we were and are and could.

Believe it! Put on your work boots and get to it!