Thursday, July 24, 2014

Enjoy the buffering

I was sitting there watching an episode of Heartland the other day, and for those of you who don't know about Heartland it's the most wonderful, fantastic, sappy, Canadian, country, cowboy, CBC, TV show ever, it's my latest guilty pleasure. Anyways, as I was saying, I was sitting there watching an episode of Heartland when suddenly the unexpected happened...


I know. Buffering. It's the inevitable, yet for some reason we never expect it. It's like we expect our WiFi treat us better, and we feel betrayed when it makes is wait. Buffering always comes at the most intense moments of the movie or TV show, it always lasts longer than we would like it too, and it always comes more frequently when we don't want it to.

Something I've learned about buffering is that the more you sit and stare at the little spinning circle, the more you want it to go away. The more you want it to move on.

So after a solid 4 minutes of buffering I decided to quit and go sit outside.

While sitting outside on my porch I realized something. I realized that my life is in a current state of buffering. With my senior year of high school just around the corner, the fact that I'll be 18 in a little under two months, and a mission and college to start thinking about, and the fact that I am flying to Palmyra New York in two days has left me in a state of buffer.

I am anxious to move on to these new and exciting things, and I forgot to stop and enjoy the ride. 

I think life often does that to us. It shows us new and exciting things, and then promises them to us. Then it makes us wait. 

Like I said before, I've learned something about buffering, which I now realize I've also learned about life. Sometimes we have to wait for things. It's inevitable. The trial of our patience comes at the most intense moments. The moments when it's like we can almost smell what's coming next, but we just can't get close enough to taste it. The requirement of our patience always lasts longer than we'd like it too, but I guess that's what makes it a challenge. And I've realized that the more we stare at the little spinning circle promising things for the future, the more we want to dive into the future.

But I also learned something else. Sometimes when we are staring at the spinning circle waiting for the show to start again, we miss amazing things that are going on around us.

Like I mentioned before, when my TV show was buffering I went to go sit outside. And by "sit outside" I mean I went and "sat outside." No phone. No TV show. Nothing to read. No Twitter. No Facebook. No blog. No distractions. I just sat by myself and thought. And I realized that it's been a very long time since I've done that.

I remembered going on long road trips as a little kid, and the only form of entertainment I had was the people sitting around me, and the trees outside the window flying by. And it was something I wanted to have in my life again. 

At that moment I decided that I would stop anxiously worrying about the future, and live in the moment. 

Because I'm really enjoying this moment.

I will enjoy the buffering.

feel my sunlight

p.s. Seriously though, Heartland is the greatest. Any fellow Heartlanders out there?

p.s.s. If you caught the Jonas LA quote in there I want you to high five your screen. I also highfived mine so it's almost like I highfived you... only not... because you just highfived a computer. And if anyone is in the room they are probably looking at you funny because they think you are odd. But I respect your oddness, because you caught the Jonas LA quote and that is awesome. Sorry if your friends think you are weird now.


Monday, July 21, 2014

we are a meeting attending people

Never in my life have I ever walked out of a meeting that was better than the one we had today. Never in my life have I left a meeting in such a good mood.
Never in my life have I completely fallen in love with a group of people in a meeting.
Never in my life have I ever thought "man that was fun" after a meeting.
Never in my life have I enjoyed meetings.

Living as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints, we are often faced with meeting upon meeting for our various organizations; Young Womens meetings (girls 12-18), BYC ("Bishop Youth Council" who are presidents over youth organizations ages 12-18), YCL Girls Camp meetings (5th and 6th year girls who are "youth camp leaders" and in charge of camp), Family History Consultant Meetings (family history consultants help people learn about family history work), and Seminary Council Meetings (a group of youth who help plan seminary activities and invite people to take seminary.)

And those are only the meetings that I personally have participated in.

And I'm only 17 years old.

So we are a meeting attending people. Yet, nobody enjoys meetings. So why do we keep having them?

Because in a church with 15,082,028 members, things need to be discussed, things need to be planned, and meetings need to be held.

I have the opportunity to hold a calling to participate and serve on a seminary council.

As a council we help plan activities, invite others to participate, and ultimately strive to help bring others to Christ.

I've been in a lot of meetings, but for some reason the seminary council meetings are some of the best and most fun meetings I have ever been in. As I left our meeting this morning I began to ponder what sets these meetings apart from other meetings I've been in, and what can I myself help do to make other meetings more enjoyable to sit through.

So here is what I have come up with.

#1 Everyone wants to be there.
Attitude is everything. If you decide that it is going to be boring before hand than it will be, but if you decide that it is the place to be than it will be. Keep a positive attitude no matter what and you will find that you will have a better time.

#2 Participate
Nothing can happen until you open your mouth. Don't be afraid to work your ideas into the conversation. Your opinions matter and things are much more fun to plan when you are helping with the planning.

#3 Share testimony
So far in seminary council I have been able to hear the testimonies of every single person on the council because everyone has been given a chance to give a spiritual thought or lesson. Sharing your testimonies and sharing spiritual thoughts helps bring people together as friends. By sharing testimonies you can bring the people in the meeting closer as a group, and a close knit group is much more likely to get things done.

#4 Listen and qualify
Let everyone have an opportunity to talk. And if you hear something you like then let everyone know. There is no better feeling than sharing your idea with the group and having someone respond by saying "I love that you just said that...." By qualifying and lifting up other people you make it easier for people to share.

#5 Don't forget to laugh
Keep the spiritual moments reverent, but when it comes to discussing activities and whatnot don't forget that a little laugh here and there can make all the difference. Marjorie Pay Hinckley once said that “The only way to get through life is to laugh your way through it. You either have to laugh or cry. I prefer to laugh. Crying gives me a headache.” Well I think this same quote can apply to meetings. "The only way to get through a meeting is to laugh your way through it. You either have to laugh or cry. I prefer to laugh. Crying gives me a headache."

So there you have it. Ways to make your meetings more exciting. Let me know how your meetings go!

feel my sunlight

p.s.On a totally unrelated note: have I mentioned that I New York for EFY on SATURDAY?!?!?! I'm more than excited and I can not even handle it. It took a lot of work, and I had to give up my chance to compete at National Championships, but let me just say that I cannot handle my excitement for it.
p.s.s. Enjoy this video of a cute old man dancing. This is the kind of mood I am in right now.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

let us run with patience

When I was a brand new 16 year old I was asked to team teach the combined young women's lesson to the girls ages 12-18 with one of my best friends.

The subject? Dating.

Neither of us had ever been on a date and we hadn't the slightest clue about dating in the first place. We still don't. But we just read from the For The Strength Of Youth pamphlet and quoted a prophet and called it good.

What I didn't realize as a brand new 16 year old was that the class I taught on dating wouldn't apply to me much, at least not for a long time. It wouldn't apply to me because I wouldn't get any opportunity to apply that lesson on dating.

Starting when I was somewhere around the age of goo-goo and gah-gah I was introduced, as all little girls are, into a world were every girl is a "princess" and every girl is supposed to be swept off her feet by a knight in shining armor. I grew up dreaming of a Troy and Gabriella relationship only to find out that I'm more of a Kelsie when it comes to guys.

I found that I wasn't invited to the "balls" at the school and soon made friends with a guy named Netflix who kept me company on dance nights. I made a mental note not to check Facebook the night after a dance because it would quickly be flooded with pictures of happy couples in fancy attire before the head out on their dates.

So here's the confessions of a girl two months shy of 18.

I've only ever been on one date. I asked on that date.

I wondered sometimes if there was something wrong with me. If there was some kind of secret I was missing or some kind of potion I needed to drink to make a prince fall in love with me.

What I didn't realize was my divine worth.

What I didn't realize was that I am the daughter of a king regardless of the fact that my prince still hasn't shown up yet.

What I didn't realize was what Heaven saw in me.

Amongst painful teenager dateless-days I realized that the worth of a teenager has nothing to do with dates. I realized that what really mattered was what the King thought of me. I realized that if I wanted to find my prince someday that I'd better make sure I'm worthy of him. I'd better make sure that when the time comes I'm ready to enter into the castle.

So I want to write a message to the small girl in the little white dress. You might not go on a hundred dates in high school. You might not stay up late every night with a buzzing phone with messages from adoring men. You might go until after your 18th birthday to get asked on a date. You might have to wait longer. You might have sit on stand by as your friends go to proms and homecomings. You might be forced to live every Taylor Swift song ever written.

You are still a princess.

The worth of your soul is not dependent on the number of dates you have, but the amount of good you do.

The worth of your soul is not dependent on your prom dress, but your three white dresses.

You are beautiful and your prince awaits.

Now as a little girl you may think that happily ever after ever after starts as you ride away in a horse drawn carriage, but the truth is that your happily ever after begins now.

Run towards God and the right man will follow.

As for me, I'm still running.

"Let us run with patience the race that is set before us." -Hebrews 12

Feel my sunlight

p.s. This is a shout out to all you guys out there. Ask a girl on a date. It doesn't have to be me. Heck it might be better if it wasn't. Just tale a girl on a date.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

I'll keep writing

Hi I'm Whitney.

I didn't pass my AP test.

I know that this seems like something I wouldn't want to tell the world about. And something I defiantly wouldn't want to post on the internet.

So why am I doing it?

Because I know there is somebody else out there who also didn't pass their AP test. Somebody who isn't very good at the instrument they play. Somebody out there who didn't qualify for State Championships in their sport. Somebody who has disappointed their parents. Somebody who wants to be a cheerleader, but can't do the necessary back handsprings. Somebody who doesn't feel they are good enough. Somebody out there who doesn't have as many friends as they would like. Somebody who has been fired from their job. Somebody who loves music, but is tone deaf. Somebody who dreams of a college degree, but didn't get a scholarship. Somebody who has worked years to compete at national championships, and when they finally get there they find themselves in last place. Somebody who wants to open a restaurant, but can't get the financing. Somebody who dreams of playing at the symphony, but has to wait tables. Somebody who dreams of dancing with the school dance team, but doesn't see their name on the list of those who made it. Somebody who doesn't get the job the want. Somebody who feels they failed.

So sometimes in life we fail.

It's life.

Now, I'd like to share with you a list of people who failed.

Al {Fox} Carraway, My all time favorite speaker/blogger said in one of her talks that the only class she ever failed in college was public speaking. Did I mention she is my favorite speaker?

Henry Ford failed several times at his automobile inventions and his failures left him broke several times. Henry Ford later introduced the assembly line to automobile production and founded the very successful Ford Motor Company.

Walt Disney was fired from his newspaper job because “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” Today when I coach we often pretend to swim to stretch our arms when we are stretching. When I ask them where they want to swim to they all respond with an enthusiastic "DISNEYLAND!"

Fred Astaire received the response from an executive in one of his first screen tests saying: "Can't sing. Can't act. Slightly balding. Can dance a little." According to Wikipedia, "
"His stage and subsequent film and television careers spanned a total of 76 years, during which he made 31 musical films, several award winning television specials, and issued numerous recordings. He was named the fifth Greatest Male Star of All Time by the American Film Institute. Gene Kelly, another major innovator in filmed dance, said that "the history of dance on film begins with Astaire".

U2 received this rejection letter.

 U2 Rejection Letter 

J.K. Rowling was a single mom living off welfare when she began writing the first "Harry Potter" novel, and then Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone was rejected 12 times and she was told "not to quit her day job." She later went on to become the richest woman in the world because of her persistence.

If I were to remove the captions that go with each name you might think this was a section from the list of most successful people.

I'd like to add my name to the list.

Whitney Reid didn't pass her AP English test. Although she isn't seen as a good writer by those who grade the AP test, she is seen by a good writer by many others. She has been told countless times by people who read her blog that "they needed that at that very moment" and that "they love her blog." She was recently asked to guest post on a blog called This Little Light of Mine and was introduced by the author as "Whitney from the amazing blog, Feel my Sunlight! She is such an amazing blogger and her blog is so inspiring! She has an awesome style of writing and design. Just see for yourself! Go check out her blog- you won't be disappointed!!"

I don't add my name to the list because I want to show you that I am successful, but because I want to show you that you can be successful. Your name is waiting to be added to this list. We all accept failure and defeat, but those who get up and keep moving after are those who find success.

So here's to the people who fail at first attempt. There is no learning without failure. Success doesn't come overnight and it defiantly doesn't come easily. "It ain't about how hard you hit, it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward."

I failed my AP test, but I'm going to keep writing.

And because I am a power tumbler (gymnast) I spend much of my time scrolling through motivational gymnastics videos. This is one of my favorites. And if you're failure doesn't apply to gymnastics I want you to watch the video and simply listen to the words because they apply to you.

"Limits, like fears, are often just an illusion"
                                                    -Michael Jordan

What are you going to do?

feel my sunlight

p.s. Have you checked out Shelby's blog This Little Light of Mine yet? You should! She is amazing and I was a guest post for her a few days ago. Check it out!!!

p.s.s. Have you ever experienced a failure which later led to success? Comment and let me know!!

Guest Post!

Hey Friends!

I had the opportunity to guest post on the blog This Little Light of Mine written by Shelby from Kentucky!

Check it out HERE!

feel my sunlight