feeling alive in san francisco

last saturday after spending some time in the temple, i drove across the bay bridge to the city. sheesh that really does it for me - seeing the cityscape flash between the silver cords of the bridge as i drive over the azure bay. i parked my car and waited to meet up with kelsey and steph at the ferry building. as i wandered in the sunshine, i just somehow felt like i'd come home to myself. it was like i had a peek out of all the stress and work of the past month and remembered who i am and that i really love being alive - alive in my life.

we got milkshakes and sweet potato fries and walked them down to pier 7 and caught up. it was wonderful. isn't life wonderful?


because of him

happy easter!!!

seven years ago i spent easter in jerusalem. i prayed among the scarlet poppy flowers and brawny olive trees in the garden of gethsemane and walked along zealous good friday processions on the via dolorosa in the old city and sang joyful praises in front of the empty garden tomb as the dawn broke and filled the world with brilliant light. it was the happiest time of my life - i remember feeling so happy that my body was literally buzzing with joy.

i've been thinking a lot about that easter this week, which has led me to think about other easter memories. i've remembered egg hunts and spring break trips, singing with choirs in church, merry feasts and jellybeans and peeps, and from a young age connecting the joy of the celebrations of spring with the best news of all eternity: that jesus is alive. i've thought about the two easters i spent as a missionary, pouring my heart into the incredibly grueling work of sharing my faith in the risen christ.

and then i've thought of all the times i've celebrated the meaning of easter unconnected to the actual holiday on the calendar - times when i have felt comforted, healed, cheered, understood, forgiven, forgiving, cleansed, renewed and distilled with peace. i feel oh so blessed to know the source of those real and consistent experiences - they come from jesus christ.

i really really believe that he is an actual, living, breathing person and that because of him -- well, because of him ... everything.

because of him all that is unjust and wrong and confusing in this life will be made right. all will be compensated, all will be resolved, and everything will be okay.

because of him, there can be beauty for ashes, an oil of joy for mourning - deep and ugly despair can miraculously become beautiful.

because of him, healing happens.
because of him, perfect empathy with power to cure and mend and illuminate exists and can work miracles when activated. whether it is realized or not, it is the power of his sacrifice and love that ignites those miracles.

because of him, we have opportunities, as many as we will embrace, to change and correct and start again.

because of him, we can have a firm understanding that there is a wonderful (though often so hard) purpose to all of our lives.

because of him, i am inspired to use this life to serve others and to become.

because of him, the earth and our bodies are magnificent and sensational and terrific and in our lives there are moments of such intense beauty that we can feel completely transcendent.

because of him, we can experience true love in all of its shades, and feel confident that that love can grow and last forever.

because of him, there is hope - hope that is so glorious it outshines anything else.

so whether i am walking where he walked in the holy land or doing his work as a missionary or just trying to live like him in my daily life, whether i am celebrating his resurrection on easter day or its impact any other day of the year, i really love jesus.

{how's that for churchy?!}

i hope that whoever reads this has a wonderful holiday - whether it is steeped in faith or not. all of humanity has reason to celebrate the joy of spring and new beginnings and jellybeans and loved ones. i just believe that all that reason and all that humanity is...
because of him.


happy holy week!

i remember in middle school overhearing a girl talking about me behind my back (didn't we all have an experience like that in middle school?). she said, "charity is really churchy" obviously meant as an insult. i remember thinking to myself - "that's right, i'm churchy! you better believe it!", considering it a compliment.

i am very much an independent thinker, relish considering different ideas about faith and religion, really really value openness, tend to have some (relatively, in the mormon world) liberal beliefs, and believe that truth is everywhere. but yes yes yes, i am churchy! i love god a lot and would absolutely be willing to die defending my faith around his character and his plan for his children on earth.

so, that said, it's going to get pretty churchy up in here on this blog during this week (following that last post about the temple!). if you're not into that, come back after easter :) because this is holy week -- commemorating the single most important event in human history: the atonement of the saviour jesus christ. and i'm going to celebrate and share my celebration.

because through my brain and in my veins and my bones and with all of my heart, i believe this:

happy holy week!
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