10.15.2013

lessons from one month and two days in seattle // "happy day, all is well"

I've been in Seattle for one month and one day; it seems like it's been much longer than that! Right about now, a month ago, my parents left me in my new surroundings and home for the next two years. It's weird to think it really hasn't been that long ago, but it has. Isn't it incredible that my dad happens to be in town for business today and tomorrow? I get to see him tonight and I'm the luckiest daughter!!

This month (plus two days) has been full of many wonderful growing experiences and here's just a few things I have learned from being up here:

Always bring a bag to the store with you; otherwise you have to pay an extra five cents per paper bag. Seattle is so green and environmentally friendly and such.

It's good to do a little yoga or cool down workout routine before going to bed. I mean, I always knew this...but I've been remembering it more lately and it's helped my mind calm down.

There's nothing better than a phone call or Skype session with a friend or family member.

A clean kitchen is a happy kitchen. A happy kitchen is a happy Catherine. A house of order allows it to be a house of learning, so I can't really focus when my room is messy or my house is a mess. So yeah...I'm a freak about cleaning.

In matters of the heart, you sometimes have to know when to retreat before a heartbreak occurs and let things come to you in due time. That's when true peace can come into your heart.

When my parents and I arrived here, we were at Ikea trying to figure out a few furniture and storage options. We commented on how the whole experience felt so cold (figuaratively) compared to the time my mom and I chatted at Ikea in Draper with a charming older couple two Decembers ago {remember?}. There's a thing up here known as the "Seattle Freeze" and I've definitely felt it more so than when at Ikea. On buses, while walking on campus, walking around the stores, driving on the narrow streets and the crowded freeways. I didn't know it was called that until I talked to my clinic partner/classmate, Bridget, about it. It's interesting going from a small town where everyone is so friendly to a big, booming city. However, I still see little glimpses that love actually is all around. People all have some measure of good in them and I have been trying to look for it in all of my scenarios. It's especially interesting to watch people up here and wonder what their personal trials and challenges are and why they may act the way the do. I'll never know, but  I'll keep telling people I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and it brings the most ultimate happiness into my life and I'll keep smiling and having people give me death glares in return. There has to be some form of sunshine in Seattle, right?

Sometimes you really luck out with roommates. I mean, what kind of roommate would get off the bus and grab your hubcap that you lost when your tire blew out two weeks ago, carries the hubcap all over campus with her, and then brings it home and informs you she found it when you come home after a super exhausting day? I almost started crying. The Lord will always bless you with good people in your life, if you put your trust in Him and make a leap of faith. He's so good at making sure you aren't alone in this life journey. Even when we feel like we are, we always have the Savior to rely on...

and that brings me to my last point...in Fast and Testimony meeting on Sunday, the Spirit was incredibly strong. We were asked to fast for our dear Bishop's wife, who was diagnosed with cancer after being in remission for six months. I was fasting for her, among other things, and I felt the Spirit so strongly throughout the three hours, especially while listening to the testimonies of my ward members. They kept testifying about the healing power of the Atonement and our Savior's love. I read a talk on my phone throughout the meeting while listening and the talk was exactly what I needed to read. It was like a floodgate of confirmations of many things I've asked and pondered about for the past few months. The Savior loves us. He invites all of us to come unto Him, especially those seeking refuge and rest. He will help you carry your burdens. This I know to be true and I've especially felt the Savior's love in my life lately. His love is all encompassing and unconditional. It gives me strength when I am weak. Thinking about that sacred sacrament meeting brings tears to my eyes. So many wonderful feelings and thoughts throughout the entire thing. For our closing song, we sang, "Come, Come Ye Saints" and I couldn't even make it through, because I was so emotional. So, I listened to my ward of 30 faithful people sing it and I followed along the words...despite the hard days I've had up here, I know I've been blessed to find moments in each day where I can say, "happy day, all is well.". I am eternally grateful for a loving Savior and Heavenly Father who have blessed me with those moments. I am eternally grateful for supportive friends and family and roommates and classmates who are getting me through what I think will be "the best two years for my life".

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