Sunday, September 29

The Lord Knows All Things

"Well... It sounds like you have your hands full."  He leaned back in his chair.  "I am beginning to question extending this to you."  He paused and looked me directly in the eye.  "I know you are the kind of person who would never refuse a calling, even if you really didn't have the time to fill it."

I just watched him, feeling the Spirit confirm his words, even as it reinforced the need for me to accept whatever was coming.

"So I will say this.  Do you feel that you are in a position to accept a demanding calling?"

I felt some anxiety boil around in my stomach, thinking about how frantically I had been trying to organize this week's assignments, obligations, classes, and hours of work.  Unwillingly, I felt tears come to my eyes.

"It might depend on the calling.  But... Yes.  I would say so."

He smiled warmly.  "I feel it is right.  We do as a Bishopric."

The Spirit pulsed again, reminding me of the assurances that had come again and again through prayer- that the Lord was stretching me in needful ways.

"I can promise you Sister Black, the Lord will lighten your many burdens so that you may give adequate time to this calling.  It is of utmost importance to Him."

I could only nod.  Feelings of inadequacy.  Anxiety.  Pride.

The Spirit was warm.  This was a vital part of the next phase of my life.

"Very well.  Sister Black, how important do you feel that missionary work is to a YSA ward?"


Sunday, September 15

Fall 2013 Part 2

Turf Science

Yep.  Who'd have thought you could have an entire 3.0 credit class on THIS stuff?
Interestingly enough, this is one that I really enjoy.  We each have a small (4 ft square) plot of grass that we are supposed to take care of.  I've grown fond of mine... named it Longshanks.

Anyways, we are learning how to prepare soil for grass, how to plant it or to lay sod, and about different kinds of grass/fertilizer/herbicide/pesticide/etc.

Fun fun.

Econ 110
I could only avoid it for so long.

Let's just say I'm enjoying it more than I thought I would.  But it is a course that requires much babysitting.

And I am not the only senior there.  So HA.

Pearl of Great Price
SUCH an excellent class.  And I get to take it with none other than the amazing, spectacular Groslandia.
We are going to be reading it through a few times this semester.  He mentioned that some students read it through every two weeks, and I think I may set a goal to do the same.  This is one set of scripture that I haven't given enough time, that is for sure.

Careers in Landscape Managment

This is one of those one credit classes you don't really want to take, but you have to.
Pretty much they are going to try and get me to choose a career path.
This will be a battle of all sorts.  I am playing both sides.

Sunday, September 8

Fall 2013 Part 1

I've discovered that one of the ways I process things is to blog about them.  If I don't quite know what to think about something, I just need to type it out and try to explain it to a vague audience, and voila!  I am cured of my irritable disposition.  (Not really, but, well...)

So... I'm going to examine my new classes, now that I've had a chance to go to them all.  :)  This will come in multiple parts b/c I seriously have no time.

BUS M 488 - Agribusiness Management 1

Ooooh man... I think I've been dreading this class since I saw it in my major "plan".  I didn't even really know what it entailed.  But the title sounded intimidating.  This is also the closest I've gotten to 500 before in regards to "class level", so I just feel overwhelmed looking at the title.

In reality, however, this class won't be as heinous as I thought.  True, much of it will be debate and raising intelligent concerns/questions during group discussion, and trying to determine how to help particular companies to succeed and group work and all sorts of things that seem to me to make up some kind of private hell, BUT... it is doable.  The professor seems like a genuine, entertaining guy, and my classmates seem intelligent and respectful.  (None tried to draw me into unnecessary conversation, for example.)

Pretty much I will be studying strategic management, which basically means figuring out how a business can gain a competitive edge over other businesses--particularly in the green industry.

PWS 431 - Plant Health Diagnostics

This class makes me feel like a doctor for plants.  :)
Pretty much like it says, I will be learning to look at plants and how to tell what is wrong with them.  Lots of lab work and collecting, which is something I think I'll enjoy.  (Except for the fact that I have to find grasshoppers and learn how to spread out one of their wings.  UGH.)  But, hey, I've never gotten to collect bugs... or plants.  Or diseases.  I like this picture, because, WTF?! is on that tree?  Maybe I will find out.  :)

Sunday, September 1

Being An Introvert

Another bit of deep introspection and rambling.  Feel free to skip if you aren't interested:

One of the precious gifts that I received as a missionary was the opportunity to work with a woman named Trisha in my ward.  Meaning... she worked with my companion and I.  Originally, because of some medical difficulties, we'd begun meeting with her for my companion.  As part of the emotional help that she gave, she asked my companion to come up with a list of "concerns" or "burdens" she couldn't discard and was carrying with her.  Because my companion is stubborn and dislikes such intense introspection, I offered to help by doing one of my own so it wouldn't be "all about her".

Once these lists were written, we were required to verbally go over them with Trisha- to discuss what they were, why they were on the list, what the truth about them was, etc.  I hadn't know what I was getting myself into, but bit by bit these things were pulled into the open and discussed so that we could prayerfully give them up to the Lord.

I was at a point in my mission when I was thinking a great deal about regrets.  I felt often as though I'd wasted much of my mission- that I hadn't used it wisely.  I could pinpoint most of the failings and wasteful moments of my mission to my shyness, my disinterest in people as a general rule, my desire to be alone, etc.  These were all things that--subconsciously, at least, I'd hoped to change during my mission.  And here I was, the same as before.  If anything, with a greater longing to have time to myself than ever.

This made my list.  I think I wrote something like: "I am a selfish person who gives little thought to the needs of others" or "I am a proud, uncaring woman" or "I have been selfish and wasteful with my time and with my heart on my mission".  Something like that.  I was trying to put to words the guilty negative feelings that I had towards this situation.  Towards who I was or what I was.

I read my sentence aloud and she gave me a concerned look.  (This woman is very sweet, very blunt, and very spiritual.)

"That doesn't sound like you at all.  Do you think that's really true?"
"Well... yes.  I don't want to be around people.  I don't feel like I love them.  Or that I care about how they feel."

I can't quite remember what she said next.  I just
remember she seemed so sad.  So pleading.  She told me that I was not cruel or unkind or any of those things.  That it was okay to want to spend time by myself and to take greater joy in simple, quiet activities.  That I wasn't selfish.


That I am an introvert.

We had many conversations after that one about being an introvert- how large groups and endless social interactions were an overload for my brain, and how I needed to "recharge".  How there wasn't a problem with this- that it was an acceptable personality trait, and how I didn't need to change.

I don't need to try and change my desires; to interact with others and be more social and outgoing.  In fact, I am wired to do things this way and it works. 

I can't really portray how free this made me feel.  I didn't know anything about being an introvert or an extrovert.  And somehow, having this understanding has made me into a much better person.  It has made everything easier.

I guess this also goes back to the concepts we try so hard to understand--that we are all created differently for a reason.  That God does not intend for us to be the same.  That we shouldn't compare ourselves to others.

This is another thing for me to add to my now-growing list of "things I don't have to try and change about myself."  And I am so grateful.  Because the list of things we need to change is so very easy to add to!