Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Far be it from me to squash anyone's traditions. I think the idea of starting fresh with ones year is the best possible way to look out into the open range of possibilities with untouched days ahead.

I don't exactly remember when I started my own new tradition, but somewhere in my mid-20's it hit me that I really don't do New Year's Resolutions... and I never have. I am a goal-setter by nature and already constantly set new goals for myself when the need strikes me. So doing this on a day when its said to be "the day to do it" seems a little unnecessary for me. Besides, how many times do we hear it joked that I set the goal on January 1 and by February 20 I can't even remember what it was I pledge to do or not to do!? So, I just don't participate!

However, the older I've gotten, I noticed how each year seems to hold a theme for me. Because I am a believer that I have a Father in Heaven who is in tandem with the ins and outs of my life and my choices, I noticed that with each step I take he provides trials and adventures to carve out the lessons I am trying to learn as I go.

So for the past few years I have begun a tradition of my own that I much prefer to the stale Resolution Making. MY YEARLY THEME.

2008 was my "Year of Change"

2009 was my "Year of Adventure" and boy did I ever!

2010 was my "Get All My Ducks In A Row Year" because having a whole year dedicated to adventure can sometimes lead to little loose ends hanging around ones life. What a pain!

So this year, as I looked back on this past year... the things I've learned and the paths I've taken and I see need for certain lessons that would do me a world of good. I also see how I am on the "pride cycle" up-swing and have been doing a lot of better of going to Heavenly Father for things I need and for direction.

In my searches and scripture study, I came across a familiarly favorite story in the Book of Mormon about the Jaredites... I like to lovingly call them "Tight Like Unto a Dishers" (appropriately named for the boats they boarded and proceeded to spend just under a year in).

As you will recall, they construct these boats that look like to bowls one on top of the other, with a hole cut at the top and the bottom so that no matter what end they landed on they could always open a hole for fresh air when they surfaced. These boats had no Rutter's, no sails... not a single way to steer them. Really? When I think about it, how much faith it must have taken to climb aboard, shove off and pray that you won't get stuck out in the middle of the ocean for the rest of your life, right?!

On top of which, they were in the ocean for 340 some-odd days being, as it is described, tossed and turned on the waves, plummeted into the depths... for almost a whole year. But their amazing example showed that never did they give up their faith... never did they stop praising God, nor trusting in him. Sure I can imagine that they weren't happy, bubbly people all the time. I don't even want to know the foul language that would probably cross my lips as for the 100th time I was getting tossed back and forth. But to trust enough that you know that at the end of all of that comes a land that was promised to provide happiness for you, provides the praise Heavenly Father is worthy of. I am humbled just thinking about it.

And true to his word, he guided that boat to the Promised Land. Never once did he stop those boats from headed in the proper direction.

So, here I embark on a journey I know has been carved out just for me. I don't have the slightest clue where I am headed or how I am going to get there; only that God has promised me something amazing at the end of all of it. I know that it's not going to come without some challenges and painful things... but if I've learned anything from the Jaredites, it's to have patience and keep praising the Lord and trusting that he knows what he is doing.

Okay, without further ado, I announce to this little blog my upcoming Yearly Theme:

2011 is going to be my Tight Like Unto A Dish Year! Okay, so stop laughing at the name. It may not be the prettiest name... but it means so much to me! I can't wait to see where I'm going this time!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Single Girl Thanksgiving (4)

older than I look
New England

As one who has been single much longer than I ever anticipated, I have gone through many phases of 'ok with my singleness'. I have had a few opportunities slip through my fingers. Each recovery was different. Each experience taught me something different. Most I am now grateful did end. The one that truly broke my heart and devastated me continues to teach me. It still makes me wonder about the purpose and order of things. In the end, I realize how blessed I am. Blessed to have the time to discover me, blessed to have the time to overcome the baggage of childhood and adolescence. Blessed to have the chance to become better...more of who I want to be. Blessed to have the opportunity to live and love and serve freely. I know that these things can be learned and experienced regardless of marital status. I am grateful that my Heavenly Father knows me and knew that the road He has taken me on was the best way for me to learn all of this and prepare me for all that is to come. There is so much yet to come, single or together.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Love On Your Own Terms

It was a cold winter's day, and this single girl was bustling about getting ready for a night on the town when her phone rang. Without even looking at the caller ID on her phone she picked up the phone,

"Hello Peggy, this is Bishop Olson (former bish). I missed a call from you, was that a pocket dial or did you mean to get in touch?"

"Oh, oops Bishop, it looks as though I did accidentally call you."

We chatted for a bit, and he asked how I was. I told him about calling off the wedding and filled him in on a few particulars and... then he said something... and that something has been rattling around in my head ever since. It's the kind of something that shifts ones paradigm. A something that stays with you forever.

"You know Peggy, you are so wonderful that I have no doubt that you will be able to find love on your own terms."

It was such a small and simple phrase- one would hardly think much of it. And yet, I did... and then as I pondered, I realized how much I needed to hear that in that very moment. AMAZING!

Love on my own terms. Have I not done that in the past? Well, yes... and no.

What does finding love on my own terms look like? What does that really mean?

Here's what I've come up with:

I have dated several men in my 31 years of life. Some have been good church going men, others have not. Some have been on the fence about their testimony and others don't even know what a testimony is. But in all my experience, all my mistakes, all of my own growth spurts I began to realize what MY testimony is... and within that context I realize not only how I want to live my life, but how I plan to raise my family as well.

The thing about dating men who either aren't a member of the LDS church, or even those who don't really follow its teachings (even if they are of the LDS persuasion) is that they really aren't in a place to live life along my side in a balanced and shared way. I don't mean to say that I am better than they are; that's not it AT ALL. Yes I have been on both sides of the coin, so obviously I can live knowing that really good people can sometimes find themselves making really huge mistakes. So it has nothing do to with someone being good or not- more of a question of how they live their life and what they want out of it.

The best question you can ask yourself when thinking about marrying someone is "if this person NEVER changed from today- could you live with all that they are?"

So I suppose I have found myself in past relationships with men who either couldn't or didn't want to give me the life that I dreamed of for myself: Big flashy cars, lots of extra cash for botox visits and massages by men named Sergio... oh... I mean...

A Loving home filled with laughter, Respect, Integrity and all of it centered around the Church to which I subscribe all of my beliefs.

People's weakness and shortcomings are all part of that package too... that's life right?- just so long as the fundamentals are there... that is what I want. Those are my terms. I shouldn't ever settle for less than that.

And so, as I move on with my life. As I look toward my future and the things I pray for- I know that God will bless me with a man who can and will give me all of the things I have ever dreamed of... LOVE ON MY OWN TERMS baby! That's so sexy!

A Single Girl Thanksgiving (4)

[so sorry for the delay... it's been way busier than i thought]


As a single, white female, I’m most grateful for time. Time to develop myself—to discover who I am and then rediscover me again. Time to learn. The knowledge I’m gaining since all my time is mine is something I would never trade, as well as something I hope I don’t ever take for granted or waste.

I’m learning vital life skills, like how to love and forgive myself and others, how to cook real meals that make me feel amazing, how to better understand human behavior and vulnerabilities, how to successfully communicate, how to speak other languages and experience other cultures, and how to best help children develop, feel safe, and receive love. While being single I can study and learn whatever I want and be whoever I want! Not to mention, I get to sleep 9 hours a night, teach refugee kids how to read, put my all into grad school and completely change careers, go to a midnight movie, have mad crushes on 20-year-olds and 40-year-olds at the same time, and do water aerobics with grandmas while looking hot in my swimsuit. I am becoming and celebrating and savoring each and every day. I am so blessed to be single!