4.20.2017

Thinking out loud

I don't think I ever understood true faith until I stopped going to church and started to come back.
If you are born and raised in the church, I don't think you get it entirely.
Around nine years ago I started coming back. What they don't tell you is how much more faith you will need and how much you have to really want it to come back.
I know the other side. I know it's easy. I know that buzz and release that comes with a few drinks. All of that is a lot faster and sometimes I could almost tell myself that it felt better.
Real faith is coming to church not out of habit or because you have to. It's praying when your body feels beyond tired/broken.
It's paying tithing, even if it's only partial because you don't know how you will survive without that 10%.
Or sitting through countless Relief Society and Sunday School lessons where they tell you that your life was wrong. Where you feel different and rejected. Your voice is the voice of sin.
Faith is doing everything you can to feel the spirit, when your natural man constantly reminds you otherwise.
Faith is moving forward against opposition.

1.28.2017

The Future in 12 months or less

Day 28 of 2017 and it's already been a year with some wonderful big changes. Like every year, I like I to "predict" what the future holds for the Hunt family.
This year looks a lot shorter, but I think that's a good thing. Less trouble to get into. ;)

1. Kindergarten- Cameron starts kindergarten this year. In fact, I'm pretty sure registration is next month.  What a weird stage to be in with a kid in elementary school.

2. Community Sports- I would love to get Cameron more involved in community sports, especially swimming before we go to Bear Lake again. She's had a small fear of water that I think some classes at the community center could help. With a little confidence, she will do so much better.

3. Emily will chat it up- Emily already talks a lot, but every week she seems to pick up more words and she's started to actually converse. Useful words she picked up recently include: Need help, poop, more, milk (which sounds more like mewt). More words will make it so much easier to take care of her.

4. Dave- Hard to say what's in store for Dave careerwise.  He feels like he's where he needs to be right now, but he's always looking for new opportunities. Not necessarily a promotion, either, but somewhere that he can learn more and be more valuable to the company.
He's been really active for the past two months and we've been trying to make healthier choices. He's starting to see some great things in his health. I hope this year he feel better and it continues in the way he hopes/wants.

5. Let's Go Out-  My biggest goal this year has nothing to do with losing weight or running a marathon. This year I really want to focus on my marriage. Not that we're struggling or fighting. It's hard when you both work full-time, especially when your schedules are split and you have young children, to maintain a connection.
We rely on babysitters during the week while we work, so it's sometimes hard to find a babysitter for weekend nights too. I've started to check in with the Young Women in the ward to start paying for babysitters. It's early stages. I haven't found anyone yet, but I'm optimistic. If we can get out more than once a month, I'll be thrilled.

6. Friends- 2016 was good and bad for friends, but 2017 looks really good. Reach out a little and it comes back around. It's all about action too. I learned that last year. You can't expect people to just show up and want to be your friend. If you want a relationship/friendship, you need to put the effort into it. I have great hopes. I believe in friendships both old/new. It's important to have community/tribe in your life. Especially when things go South, it's important to have people there to help/support you.

7. Finish It-  Here it is again. I'm pretty sure I've had this on my prediction post three years in a row to finish the book. This year I can do it for real.  I only have 1.5 point of view characters left. That's nothing. Last year I did 2.5 point of view characters, so really 2017 is mine for Project Torrent.
8. College Debt Be-Gone- Dave's college debt is almost gone and our financial goal this year is to finish it off. When we first were married, we had tons of debt between the two of us and six years later we're almost free of the big ones. Quick, knock on wood before one of our cars breaks down.

9. Work Venture- I see something new and/or different for me this year.  I constantly talk about how much I love my job.  I love the relationships I've built with the providers in my territory and making a difference with cancer research (even if it is kind of indirectly). It's given me a lot of purpose and joy to solve some of the insurance problems I run into.  Helping people is so important to do every day and I'm lucky I get paid to do it.  It's really wonderful and I have a hard time seeing myself doing anything else, but 2017 brought some unexpected changes in the past few weeks. Changes in our family needs (*cough* not pregnant) mean that my job may change.

10. Temple- Oh ya, I saved this church one for last so you can skip it if you aren't into it. Almost ten years ago, I made some less than stellar choices for a boy, a boy who dumped me pretty fast. I stepped away from the LDS church for a while and was pretty unhappy. I'm not going  to tell anyone what's right or wrong, I started going back to church because it made me happy. Man, it was hard. That's another topic for another time. I've been going to church pretty solid for about 8 years. Every year I say this is the year I make it to the temple. Saying and doing are different hings.  It's so terrifying after you have made very poor choices. It's frightening to sacrifice. It's terrifying to go alone. Even with repentance, those things helped me become who I am-even as a member and they aren't going to disappear. So even though I'm crazy scared and I feel super unworthy, I'm going to do my best to go inside this year.

2017 looks pretty scary in a couple of ways. There are a lot of uncertainties about the future, that I'll try to blog about as I go. I don't really know where my family or me will be at the end of the year. I hope the changes that look so scary bring more joy. I hope more than anything that I will feel happier this year. Isn't that the greatest hope for 2017?  More joy.

1.01.2017

Ground Zero: 2017 Day One

It's 7:30 am on January 1st, 2017 and I have to write.
Yesterday Kevin Smith of "Clerks", "Saving Amy", etc. posted something really powerful to me. You can find it on his  here.
He notes that when he was 19 he received a note from someone who told him he would never be successful writing.
He kept the note as a reminder and one day he wrote a manuscript that changed his life.
At the end of the post he said that "no one can write your story but you".
Today, at ground zero, no one writes my story-but more than that. Inanimate objects don't write my story.
In this age of addiction and depression, I'm not alone when I say that sometimes it's easier to let someone or something write your story.
Drugs or alcohol don't write my story anymore. It doesn't control what I do every day or how I respond to my life.
Today I think of technology as my story writer (hypocritically of course). I think smart phones can control the way we connect to each other - or not connect. Text messages or Facebook posts instead of seeing people or having a real conversation.
Today and this year I'm putting the phone down more. My life needs to be more than browsing Facebook and Instagram. My kids need to see what's important and how to write their own story.
At the start of 2017, let's find our writer and replace it with the one who calls the shots.
Only you can write your story.