Imagine this. 

You're 5 years old again.  You're learning how to ride a bike.  It's hard work!  You're trying to pedal and balance and steer and look like you're having fun, all while your mom mans the video camera and your dad shouts tips from somewhere behind you because he's just given you a push start.  

Okay, you think, I've got this.

And all of a sudden, you start to fall.  It seems to come in slow motion.  Your heart jumps to your throat and your face is about to meet the pavement.  Your hands come up to break your fall and you feel stinging on the palms of your hands as well as your knees.  The bike lands on top of you and you hear cries of dismay from the people you love that are watching.  

And now, you've got a decision to make.  You can either quit right then and there, or you can get up and do it again.  And again.  And again.  Maybe 10 more times.  Maybe 20.  Until you get it.  

And not only keep moving, but keep trying.  Because it takes practice to learn how to move forward in the first place. Moving is different than trying because once you've learned, you can move forward without really trying.

For instance, a bad day is like a fall on a bike.  Everything comes together to smack you in the face.  all you want to do is sit down and cry, and give up.

But then you remember when you were 5.  And you were learning to ride a bike.  And you wanted to give up so many times, but you didn't. And now you can ride a bike.

Maybe if you get up, get out of bed, brush off the dust now, in the midst of your bad day, you'll look back one day being able to do something you couldn't do once.

And you'll smile. 



This is for YOU.

You, with the long hair. Or short hair. Or no hair. Every mother, daughter, sister, grandmother, friend, neighbor. You are beautiful. Kind. Generous. Soft. Independent. Courageous. Important. Loving. Strong. Inspiring. Smart. Active. Funny. Radiant. Talented. Motivated. Opinionated. Young. Old. You are a woman.

You have struggles.  Perhaps it's junior high, wanting to be included.  Maybe you're in high school, wondering about the future.  You're in college, waiting to be loved.  Or you're a mother, wearing yourself out for your little ones.  You're battling cancer, wishing you could stop the pain. You mourn for lost loved ones.  You live paycheck to paycheck. You want the blessing of children, but haven't been able to conceive.

You also have triumphs.  You received a promotion at work.  You ran a marathon, tears mingled with sweat streaming down your face as you crossed the finish line, hands held high.  You got an A on an important test.  You can smile through the pain.  You made dinner -- and didn't burn it.  You spoke up for something you believed in.  You are a leader.  You made it through yet another day.  Your children learn and grow.

You have a divine role in society.  You aren't a woman on accident.  You were made this way. God made you with all the qualities you possess on purpose.  He loves you.  He loves all of His daughters.

You were meant to shine.

You were meant to be wonderful. 

You were meant to do great things.  Even if those things seem small to other people.

Embrace womanhood.  Embrace you.  Embrace the woman God intended you to be.



These days were the best days of my life.  Seriously.

Serving as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Hong Kong, China was the best thing I've ever done.

I had the best experiences with the best people and learned soooo much.

Some days, I look back through my pictures and want to be there again.  I want to be a missionary, live in China, serve other people 24/7, eat rice and fish, and be totally immersed in the gospel.

But also, I'm glad to be where I am right now.  The Lord has blessed me a LOT, and I know He's got a grand plan for me.  I have to trust Him exactly like I did on the mission.  I always knew that even when it was hard, He would pull through for us.  The hard things were for our good.  It was easier to see when I was a missionary.

Whit {my sis} emailed yesterday and talked about the hard things of her mission.  And I was reminded for a second of how hard it really was.  I tend to look back at only the good times and good things.  But being in Hong Kong was hard, too.

I guess, no matter where you are in life, the good things are good and the bad things are bad, and it all just depends on what you dwell on.  Happiness or misery.  It's all about our attitude!