Monday, November 16, 2015

My Heart



My Sister


My love

I pray for love I pray for light I pray for peace of mind.
May my prayer for you be true
To lead you safe and kind.

I pray for hope I pray for peace I pray for wings of flight--
When through a door your heart will soar
Far yonder toil and strife.

I pray for beauty and for strength I pray with all my heart.
Oh how I pray for light of day
To penetrate the dark.

What pity I cannot do more for it is not my place.
Oh please be strong and carry on
Though tears stream down your face.
Oh please be strong and carry on
Until you find His grace.



Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Happy Veterans Day!

Hi Friends,

I'm sorry for being absent. I guess I've been...thinking. About how I am sharing my thoughts with you in this blog. I'm kind of new at this you know, so I still have a lot to learn.

I didn't want to miss the opportunity to thank our veterans though. And for those pioneers who forge the way ahead to create a foundation for others to build on. Thanks to everyone who serves, in any formal or informal capacity.

Thanks to both of my Dads for all they do and continue to do to serve God and man--both formally and informally, but both in crucial ways. I'm grateful for their example and their love.  

Happy Veterans Day Everybody!

Love,

Janeel





Sunday, October 18, 2015

Magic



Last night my friend and I had the pleasure of joining my parents for the performance of the Orchestra at Temple Square. What life filled the hall! Oh! What a gift! And to think that the performance was free to the public! I look forward to many more performances in the future <3 In the past I have been very caught up with studies and whatnot, leaving the planning of such events to friends and family. I am grateful for all the cultural opportunities I have had; I treasure every single one of them! I feel like I've been missing out though. So much of my life used to be spent in the arts; it was the direction I was headed in until college. It is time to take back that part of my life, even if only in supporting the local talent :) Thanks to all the artists out there who share their love for life in wholesome ways that people like myself can appreciate. Someday I hope to give back. Someday :)


Sunday, October 4, 2015

Mercy vs. Justice

While listening to General Conference today the thought came to mind to go through the scriptures looking for examples of repentance. Why? I've discovered a couple different approaches to interpreting scripture stories that are a little incongruent with each other. One is focused on the law of mercy--on charity and the atonement of Jesus Christ, and the other on the law of justice--obey and be blessed, disobey and be punished. Wow, what a difference it makes the way you approach the scriptures!

The prophet Moroni specifically counsels us to focus on God's mercy while pondering the scriptures. "Behold," says he, "I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts" (Moroni 10:3).

In essence, Moroni is telling us to focus on what the scripture stories teach us about charity and the atonement of Jesus Christ.

The Lord himself counsels us in other verses to judge not but to forgive, until 70 times seven (Matthew 18:22). "For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged," says He,
"and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again" (Matthew 7:1; Nephi 14:1-2).

The thing is, the restored gospel is centered on the atonement of Jesus Christ--that is where the joy of the gospel is, through experiencing it ourselves and helping others to experience it. It does not come from escaping repentance through 'righteous' living. To feel joy, no one can escape the atonement, not even Christ. His own fulness of joy was only made possible through his atonement for the sins of man (in essence, his charity), though he was perfectly obedient.

Therefore, if we do well, or if we do evil, our joy is always dependent on the atonement of Jesus Christ. His atonement is the epitome of love; it is a combination of the first and great commandment, and the second like unto it. If we are to experience this joy we must not condemn ourselves or others (living or deceased)--for whatever reason, even for the cause of being wrongfully judged ourselves. Says Mother Theresa, "If you judge people you have no room to love them," or to help them, or yourself I would add.

The two-types:

I watched them tearing a building down,
A gang of men in a busy town.
With a ho-heave-ho and a lusty yell,
They swung the beams and the side walls fell.
I asked the foreman, “Are these men skilled, 
The kind you’d hire were you to build?”
He laughed and said, “Why, no indeed!
Just common laborers are all I need. 
They can easily wreck in a day or two 
What builders have taken years to do. “
And I thought to myself as I went my way:
“What part in the game of life do I play? 
Am I a builder who works with care,
measuring life by the rule and square?
Am I shaping my deeds to a well-made plan,
patiently doing the best I can?
Or am I a wrecker who walks the town,
Content with the labor of tearing down?” 
[Author unknown]
Below are some videos that touched me about charity versus judgment. The first is about charity and loyalty--the loyalty he expects of those who love Him. The other two deal with judgment. I hope you enjoy, and have a wonderful week everyone <3 May it be full of joy <3

Love,

Janeel



The First and Great Commandment, by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland


Charity Never Faileth, by President Thomas S. Monson

Removing Poison of an Unforgiving Spirit, by H. Burke Peterson


Monday, September 7, 2015

The Beam in My Eye

This picture has nothing to do with anything. I just love it! I love this fountain! And the flowers!
So for lack of anything else this is what you get!

Grateful.

I've been learning a lot about hope, and excuses, pessimism, and faith. 

Tonight as I drove down the darkly lit highway I consciously brainstormed about things that I want--ways that I want to be involved in and contribute to the world. We know that God will give us according to our desires, so why not think about the things we want, the good things we want and how to reach them? Instead of our fears and what we would prevent and how. It's so funny, I lived many years in fear, making good choices, but out of fear, fear of what might happen if not. 

So for example, if my siblings don't know I love them, well, what when temptations come, what will they choose? Will they have the self-confidence to choose wisely? It is almost laughable now, as if my love had the power to make someone else wise. Hahaha. Oh goodness. Somehow I had it tied in my mind though that love really was the answer to everything (it really just was my misunderstanding it)--that if everyone felt love from where they deserved it, their intimate family, in the way that they needed it, (healthy, of course), well, then of course they'd make the right choices that will make them happy. Oh goodness. I could go off on an educational philosophy tangent here but I won't. (Though it would be interesting to have a companion site that did go into all of that stuff :) Seriously though, I am just now realizing how naive a thought that is. And it guided my life, my thoughts, and actions for a very long time. wow. Anyway. 

Instead of making the choice to love as a means of preventing potential problems in the future, with my eye focused on the risks ahead, why not make the choice to love as a means of enabling to accomplish righteous desires and dreams, with my eye focused on the potential blessings or solutions ahead? Thus the focus is not on what is feared and fantasized, with the actions following to prevent it, but on the goal--ie what is real--with actions following to enable others to achieve it. 

While love is the pathway to choose in both regards, I believe that the end focus has an impact on the way everything plays out. And seriously, I'd much rather that others make choices to love me with an eye toward my success rather than in fear of my failure because, well, usually for the most part I choose to live with an eye of faith toward my goals as opposed to the reverse and when someone's focus is on my potential failure, well, it puts a wedge in the friendship. It comes across as the other person not believing in me. When maybe they do, but their focus is on the wrong thing, their fear as opposed to the goal. 

I think our actions will be a lot more effective for our good and for others' good if we choose to focus on our righteous goals instead of our fears, or what we would prevent. It is a sorry thing to think that instead of helping someone, through helping to prevent some future thing, that the reverse is what actually takes place, perhaps in part because of our paradoxical influence. It makes a difference what we choose to think about and why. 

I've spent so much of my time ruminating about all sorts of different stuff and it's a little weird for me to make the switch to thinking about things I want all the time, and what I'd like to do about it, good things of course, but I'm excited to play this out and stop worrying, honestly. What a relief that would be! :) I've stopped worrying about a lot of things but yeah I think I still ruminate about a lot of pointless stuff that just doesn't need as much time or attention as I give it sometimes :) 

I have a lot to be grateful for. My faith, family and friends, and yes my enemies too. I've learned a lot from everyone. It's amazing how intertwined everything is and how many gifts everyone has to share..and how that's contributed to what I know now. Life really is beautiful. People are beautiful. There is something good in everyone, and in every situation, no matter how rough.

Have a great week everyone and try to focus on the positive ;) Something may happen, you never know what...

Monday, August 31, 2015

Engine



This is from my brother's car. He learned everything he knows about cars from reading and following manuals and thus does not have any sympathy for people like me to don't know much about cars because, well, it's not hard to find a manual and follow instructions. Some day I'll be a car genius. The principles are the same for the gospel of Jesus Christ though. If we will read and follow God's manuals as provided by his prophets and recorded in scripture--past, present and future--then we can know a lot about life through the power of His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ.

Along those lines, I listened to Natasha Bedingfield's song "Pirate Bones" this morning and the word thirsty  just stuck out to me ("Thirsty in a desert with a bag full of gold") because Christ is the symbol of living waters, and he has promised those that come to him that they shall never thirst:

John 6:35
  • New Testament
And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst
John 4:14
  • New Testament
But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. 
3 Nephi 20:8
  • Book of Mormon
And he said unto them: He that eateth this bread eateth of my body to his soul; and he that drinketh of this wine drinketh of my blood to his soul; and his soul shall never hunger nor thirst, but shall be filled. 

Aside from just being a beautiful song because it is honest and Natasha has a beautiful voice, her message has some hidden meaning when you consider these scriptures.

If you haven't heard Michelle Tumes' song "Healing Waters" I really recommend it too. I fell in love with the song when I was introduced to it in the missionary training center in Preston, England. I'd link to it except all I can find are 'pirated' copies on YouTube. Maybe I'll have to redo her song so I can share it openly, though I really don't think I can match her style. It is so pure.

Ah well. Take care & have a great week everyone. Sorry for not posting anything last week :) Sometimes I just don't know what to say.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Sketches









I couldn't be bothered to clean these up. I kind of like their 'flaws'. Enjoy :)

Have a great week :)


Monday, August 10, 2015

Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Heavens


I find a lot of comfort in cloudy skies, so long as it is not bitter cold outside. When the weather is bitter I have a hard time enjoying the outdoors unless I am playing in some snow. Otherwise bitter is bitter. This year has had a lot of rain where I live because the weather has been more temperate than normal. And oh. Do I love the cloudy skies! And the rain! And the sunsets! I love how they envelop the sky as a soft cozy blanket. It really is glorious!

I took this picture about a week ago. The whole sky was lit up at the horizon on the east and the west and even toward the north. What a glorious sight it was to behold!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Pillow Talk


It's been awhile since I've put together a hidden picture blog post. The theme this time is pillow talk. I don't remember what furniture I spotted the boy on, but I remember noticing the man and woman. I was on a phone call with a friend when all of a sudden the faces popped out at me! Can you see them too?!








Sunday, July 12, 2015

Immunization Time

A close friend has been in the hospital for a couple of weeks, working through some tough things. It is interesting how hospital staff can sometimes be less than helpful while others are true angels. Or rather just 'human' instead of, well, idk. But I guess immunizations take many shapes and forms...sometimes in the form of a shot and sometimes in the form of personal attacks, or just blind ignorance and/or naivety for that matter. Such 'immunizations' can come from anywhere and anyone though, even loved ones in 'safe' havens, and/or hospitals of various types (medical, spiritual, et al.). And immunizations are good if they make you stronger. Funny thing is that with some 'immunizations' it is your choice whether or not they make you stronger or weaker, whereas the shots always make you stronger because your body's natural reaction to fighting the intruding virus is automatic and healthy, and it has little if anything to do with your conscious choice, if you will.

Just as no one likes the doctor's needle, nobody really likes the other immunizations. They can be painful and irritating, and it takes some time to learn how to successfully fight the intruding viruses in your system (contention, aggression, paranoia, or whatever) before normalizing and gaining resilience. It is worth the pain, though it can be oh so difficult, confusing, and disheartening at times. I guess that is why hope is so important. Without it what reason would you have to keep on trying until you've finally been successful with the immunization and become resilient? At least that's how I see and respond to personal conflict. I take the immunizations when I get them and do my best to become resilient so that in the future I can keep my cool. It's so important to take care of your daily needs though (spiritual, physical, et al.) so that you can have as much of your faculties available to you to help you succeed. Otherwise your efforts will be compromised and you won't be as free to fight off the 'viruses' (or to learn how to do so) in healthy productive ways.

This wasn't what I intended to write but it is what came to mind when I actually started writing. I guess I'll have to write more another day to address the original topic.

Anyway. There is so much more I wish I could say, but this will have to suffice. I'm grateful for the immunizations I've received, even though it took/takes me a long time to accept them, to be grateful for them, and choose to fight the 'intruding viruses' off in healthy ways so that the immunizations can be effective and work their magic.

I just wish that others understood the same principle. Many do. What a difference it would make in the way one approaches challenges and supposed 'set-backs' though, and interpersonal conflicts of any sort. Oh well. I only have responsibility for myself, though I am my brothers' keeper. I guess that's why I keep this blog. I hope that it helps somebody, somewhere.

Tomorrow marks the start of a new week. Have a great new week everyone, and best of luck in making the best of whatever immunizations you are given. Ultimate resiliency really is worth the initial pain, however long it takes to learn to successfully fight off the 'intruding viruses' in a healthy way, at least that's what I believe <3 I'm willing to suck it up. Either suck it up or endlessly suffer. I'd rather suffer for the purpose of becoming resilient through successful immunization rather than to suffer to suffer without hope of eventual freedom. I believe it's possible :)

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The role of protector

In a recent conversation with a friend I attempted to explain what kind of protection I desire from a future companion. I do not desire protection from physical harm so much as I desire protection from spiritual harm. Guys tend to geek out over their machoness, which, ok that can be cool, though I don't have a 'type' of build that I necessarily prefer in a guy, or machoness level for that matter. That being said, it is always attractive when a guy respects himself enough to take care of himself. What I really desire, however, is protection from spiritual harm. The major spiritual threats that I have fought in my life thus far are (how to describe?????):
  • bitterness
  • anger
  • fear
  • pride
  • envy
  • lust
  • feeling like I deserve to be treated a certain way, or spoken to a certain way, in order to get along with someone (ie me-centered thinking), instead of just accepting people as they are, weaknesses and all, and choosing to focus on refining my own manner of speaking and/or treating and accepting others 
  • et al.
I could give specific examples, so many specific examples for each of these threats. I have shaped my life by the way I have responded to such spiritual threats. The unfortunate thing about spiritual threats is that they are sneaky. They don't appear to be threats right off the bat. Instead of fighting them off I have embraced them, so many of them! Only to get burned. wow. They are so sneaky. They seem perfectly logical, useful, and desirable. 

I am grateful for my experience with these threats because I really believe without my experience with them that I would not/could not know peace, not the kind of peace that I have control over, or shared control over, regardless of situation and/or influence. Maybe I am just slow, but my experience has been incredibly useful to me in helping me to better understand these threats as threats, and to respond accordingly. It's a big step to recognize the threat in the first place. Learning/choosing to effectively combat the threat is an entirely other matter. That takes time, experience, and prayerful contemplation. God is good to me in answering my prayers. There is a lot that He allows me to learn through experience though, and repeated experience, because, well, it's just a really good way to learn. 

I love what the apostle Paul said about the war between the spiritual and carnal in Romans 7, mostly because it hints to the sneakiness of the threats I briefly mentioned. He really understood them. I really believe that God's law is designed to help us recognize and combat such threats, rather than succumb to and embrace their influence as I have done on so many occasions.

"For I delight in the law of God after the inward man" said Paul, "but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members."

"Oh wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?"

"For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not."

Such is the story of my life :) Oh it is not so awful. Not at all. The threats are real though, and at least for me, they are so much more real and dangerous and lasting than any physical threat I have ever experienced. Because they are so sneaky I really desire a future companion to be aware of these threats in his own life and to have experience in successfully combatting them. I just think that such a man will be more able to support and protect himself, myself, and any future children that may come along. 



Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Trespasses



Dear Everyone, 


I wrote this post a couple weeks ago, but just never got the chance to share it with everyone. I'm sorry. School is taking precedence :)





Definition of Life: a) A perfect setting to learn forgiveness b) ... c) ... d) ...


I am learning a lot about life, and about Christ. I wish I were more like him, like, a lot more like him. His way of thinking is just so-different! It is so unnatural to me sometimes. 



Christians don't believe that emotions should rule them and really, to an extent, others would agree. For example "Thou shalt not kill." Well duh. Anger, et al. associated emotions are better dealt with in other ways. But "forgive men their trespasses"? 

For those who are wondering, the dictionary definition of trespass is to: 1) enter the owner's land or property without permission, 2) make unfair claims on or take advantage of something (or someone), and 3) commit an offense against a person or a set of rules. 

Ummm ... there are an increasing number of ways for people to trespass nowadays and I am sorta not the most naturally forgiving person to those that would trespass, say, to get into my computer or phone, or say, my room or car. Emotional trespassing, yeah no, though I can't say I'm always free of fault. Umm. Let's see what else .. idk the list could go on and on and on and on.

I hate trespassing though. I hate everything about it. How it makes me so angry. And paranoid. And anxious. And yet. I am to forgive. Or rather, I have an opportunity to forgive, to learn how to forgive, and why I might want to forgive (as I would tell my nieces and nephews :) Such is the purpose of this life, well, one of the purposes of living in this world-at least according to my beliefs. How can you learn how to forgive in a perfect world? I don't really have anything inspiring to say about that other than that I am learning, if that's inspiring. 

I wish I were more like Christ, but I still have a lot to learn before I'll be able to stop holding grievances. I think part of my venom (yes my venom, my own bitter feelings about it, that I will take responsibility for), I think part of it is from my fear. Perhaps as I learn to trust God more I will loosen up and turn the other cheek, et al., instead of praying for revenge lol Yes. I did use to pray for that. Not in awhile, I hope :) But yeah. Now I pray to repent, or in other words to change, so that I will want to forgive instead of imagining up mean things to say to potential trespassers, or imagining up some type of just recompense. I think I've made some progress but I still have a long way to go!

This post was inspired by Matthew 6:14-15. I know I have these weaknesses, but Christ specifically points them out in these verses:

14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

I'm not very good at forgiving yet, but I'm working on it. Some day I'll understand it. Some beautiful day <3
Have a great week everyone and good luck with everything!


Matthew Chapter 6

Jesus continues the Sermon on the Mount—He teaches the disciples the Lord’s Prayer—They are commanded to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.
 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:
 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
 ¶And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
 10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
 11 Give us this day our daily bread.
 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
 14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
 15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
 16 ¶Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
 17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;
 18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.
 19 ¶Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
 22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.
 23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!
 24 ¶No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
 25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
 26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
 27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
 28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.