Monday, October 12, 2015

www.brentandmichelle.com

I am now married to the man of my dreams and living the dream. Our wedding and sealing was perfect. "Real life" together has already been great. At least for now, we will be using our wedding website as our blog which means I will rarely be posting to this blog.
For future updates- go to www.brentandmichelle.com


Monday, August 17, 2015

Perfect Circles


It's been a little over a week since my fiance's father passed away. I've been reflecting a little bit today on some of the many things I learned from him in the too-short time that I knew him here on earth.

I met him on New Years Eve (the same night that Brent and I became an official couple). That night, despite the toll that cancer had taken on his energy, I met a man who knew how to laugh and enjoy time with him family. I was very blessed with the opportunity to closely observe his subtle, yet magnificent example for the next 7 months.

While cancer was forcing his body to digress, I watched him progress unwaveringly in spirit and love. For his funeral, his wife wisely asked the man speaking to focus on the Plan of Salvation and specifically on the principle of progression.
I'll never forget a small and simple yet profound lesson he taught me on progression one evening.


I was over at their house one night, sitting with Brent's family in their living room. They asked me about my new job. I had just started a second job where I worked with and taught children ages 0-4 who come from difficult circumstances. They asked about details of my first day. I joked about how I was going to get really good at singing colors in Spanish, counting to 10, knowing the alphabet, and by the end of working there I'd probably even be able to draw a perfect circle. 

Brent's dad chimed in at that comment and added, "well, after that you could always learn to draw a perfect circle with your left hand". 

He was teasing, but that witty remark taught me a lot about his character. He was someone who was constantly searching for ways to improve and enhance life. And he was right. I had the ability to utilize my circumstances to gain so much more than I had originally thought of. Why settle for less when I could do greater things with such small means? I could have gone my whole life getting board of drawing circles, but instead I get to enjoy an occasional attempt at being ambidextrous. Simple, but it taught me a lot about living life to it's fullest. 

I am grateful for the example he set of finding ways to endure well: to progress and enjoy the journey now. I was blessed to watch as he found ways to tighten bonds with his family (including me), and to utilize every last moment he had to grow closer to God. The progress he made in his life truely attests to the fact that endured to the end.

Right now, my left handed circle looks a lot more like an abstract hexagon. I hope by the time I see him again after this life, I'll be able to draw a perfect circle for him with my right hand, with my left hand and maybe even with my toes too.





Thursday, July 30, 2015

Love. Always.



I've been missing from this blog for quite some time now. Why? I've been busy being swept of my feet by my best friend and fiance :)



I'm now engaged to the purest, most caring man I know. We've worked hard to get to this point and it's already so worth it. We spent a lot of time in prayer trying to figure out what was best. It was, however, when we took a step of faith into the dark and decided to move forward, that we were blessed to see how God had already been involved in the details of our relationship and had been confirming our choice as the best possible choice all along. Faith certainly precedes the miracle. I'm so grateful to be marrying the biggest miracle in my life this September. He's amazing and I love him. Always. 




To read more about our story, see more pictures and learn more about what we believe, go to www.brentandmichelle.com 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Only The Good

The other day I was reflecting on life and the atonement. Life is hard sometimes. It's confusing, it's scary. Sometimes (or oftentimes) we make mistakes. 
Yet, Christ atoned for us. He suffered for us, so that the bad can go away. 
Then something struck me: Christ suffered for the bad. He didn't atone for the good.
Let me try to explain what I mean.
When we make mistakes, when we need to give or receive forgiveness; Christ's atonement is there to wash that all away. He makes it possible to wipe all of that clean, as if it wasn't there. A lot of people refer to this as a "clean slate". But I don't think that quite captures it's true essence. A "clean slate" makes life sound so empty. In cleaning out the bad, Christ doesn't wipe away the good too. 

When a father yells at his son and shortly after feels extremely sorry for the way he treated his child, he can repent. As he repents, Christ takes away the burden of guilt and sorrow of that father's mistakes. Yet, in that process of repentance, Christ doesn't also take away the day that father went to his son's soccer games, or helped him with his homework, or read him a story, or taught him to pray. It's not an empty, clean slate. It's still full of good. Those don't get washed away. 
How very merciful is our God.


Because of the atonement, we can always focus on the good and look up. We can always look back with joy and hope. He takes away the bad and leaves only the good. 
When we look back at our lives through the eyes of the atonement, we won't need to remember the argument we had with our brother on the 4th of July, but we will remember the joy of being together as a family and looking up in amazement and wonder at the fireworks and the feeling we got as we watched our niece mesmerized by the magic of the night. 
So, look up!Through Christ, our lives can be only good.  
Love Always,
Michelle 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Changed Plans


A couple of weeks ago, we had a roommate reunion. My sophmore year at BYU was one of my favorites. I only knew one of my roommates when we began that year, but we certainly all became close friends by the end. We functioned very much like a family and I learned a lot from those lovely ladies. 
It's so interesting to think back to those sophmore single days. We can try to plan for our lives, but we're almost always so far off. 
Back then, two of my roommates were really set on going on missions (one especially). One of the other ones was in a relationship that she was fairly set on. My actual roommate and I were not in relationships nor did we plan on going on missions, we just planned to travel and serve our own way. 
Have you ever heard that "if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans?"
None of us did exactly what we planned to. 
The roommates who were dead-set on going on missions, decided it wasn't right for them and later got married to wonderful men. 
One of the roommates who was in a relationship, ended up marrying someone totally different and now has a beautiful little girl and another on the way. 
My other roommate and I, who were not even thinking about going on missions, ended up being the only ones to go. 


Yes, we have choices in our lives. Where each of our lives have gone from sophmore year to our reunion picnic several years later is a result of the choices we have made. But it's also a result of each of us following a uniquely designed God-given plan for our lives. It takes a lot of humility to replace our ideals and what we thought life would be like with that of what God is trying to tell us is best. But, when we do, it truly is best. 
It was so good to meet up again and see where we had all ended up. Everyone has hard things going on in life, but at the same time everyone is happy. God has taught us things that have been uniquely stretching and uniquely beautiful to each of us.

I'm so grateful (as I think each of us are) that the plan we had for ourselves our sophmore year was overruled by His whose plan is perfect. 

God tends to have bigger plans for us than we have for ourselves. 

Yesterday, my boyfriend and I went and did service that I actually used to do on a regular basis when I was living with that same group of girls several years ago. We went and sang hymns on Sunday at the hospital. That's always been a beautiful experience. This one was no different. One of the songs we sang has always been a favorite of mine: Lead Kindly Light



I love this song because I tend to want to see the whole picture all at once. I want God's game plan for my life in my hands; the blue print in full. But, he doesn't give me that. He gives me one step. One brick at a time. I have to use my agency to chose to take the steps and build with the brick he's given me, but he doesn't leave me directionless. One step enough for me. 

"God has a perfect plan for us. He never does it all at once, just step by step because he wants to teach us to walk by faith not by sight". 

Love Always,
Michelle