1. august 23. day 353.

    today i went to our maintenance man’s funeral, who tragically passed away in my apartment last week (if you missed the story, click here). it was very sad, as most funerals are, but i think it was definitely something i needed to experience in order to help cope with and handle this tragedy. going back in my apartment has been kind of spooky since he died in there, but after going to the funeral today i was able to be comforted and gain fresh perspective. when we are able to move back in next week and our living room gets repaired, i think living there again will not be so bad because i was able to attend his funeral and celebrate his life.
    he was an amazing man who lived a spectacular life and always went out of his way to help others, including my roommates and i. he taught us things when he was alive and i learned so much more about him and his life lessons at his funeral. i feel so blessed to have known him, even just a little bit and only as a maintenance man. 

    and that is miracle to me.

  2. oh it is wonderful, wonderful to me.


  3. july 6. day 305.

    i have a cute plaque that hangs in my room that lists some components or ingredients that, if implemented, would make one’s life more happy (thank you, parentals!). i often look at this plaque as it in a central location, but it was not until today that the last line of the plaque really impacted me. it simply says:

    "…Leave all the nonsense behind, the less you carry the further you’ll go."

    for the first time i noticed the profound connection to religion and the gospel of Jesus Christ that this simple message holds. Christ’s Atonement was meant specifically for this purpose. we were sent here to this earth to learn, change, and grow into better people. when we mess up, get hurt, or even feel significant, He will always be there for us to help us carry those heavy burdens if we but have enough faith to left Him. life is a time for us humans to progress and learn. that is our purpose. none of us are perfect, but we can learn to be better every day. i am so grateful for the new perspective i was able to see this quote with today. i truly know that if we place our burdens and struggles upon Jesus Christ, the more He will trust us and be additionally willing to help us along our journey. and the less burdens we carry on our own, the more we will truly be able to travel further and progress more with His companionship and loving help. He invites us continually to place our fears, guilt, anguish, heartbreaks, struggles, weaknesses, and worries at His feet. it is such a wonderful and incredible miracle to me that He loves all of us so much to be there for each and every person on this planet, no matter what mistakes we have made, small or great. He will always love YOU perfectly and infinitely. do not ever forget that.

    and that is a miracle to me.


  4. june 2. day 271.

    i finally finished reading elizabeth smart’s biography, my story. it was really inspiring and interesting to hear the detailed story of what happened to her, but my favorite part was all the great lessons i learned from her experiences and commentary. toward the end of the book, i read this inspiring advice that elizabeth’s mother gave to her upon her safe return home:

    “‘The best punishment you could ever give [the man that kidnapped you] is to be happy. To move forward with your life. To do exactly what you want. 
    'At the end of the day, God is our ultimate judge. He will make up to you every pain and loss that you have suffered. And if it turns out that these wicked people are not punished here on earth, it does not matter. His punishments are just. You don't ever have to worry.
    'You be happy, Elizabeth. Just be happy. If you go and feel sorry for yourself, or if you dwell on what has happened, if you hold on to your pain, that is allowing him to steal more of your life away. So don't you do that! Don't you let him! There is no way he deserves that. Not one more second of your life. You keep every second for yourself. You keep them and be happy. God will take care of the rest.'”
    —“My Story” by Elizabeth Smart, page 285-286

    i have never been kidnapped. i have never had to endure the horrific physical, mental, or emotional struggles elizabeth had to overcome. but i have had to overcome trials where i learned that i could not let them get the best of me. whether dealing with bad test grades, people who talked behind my back, rejections, breakups, other boy problems, or disagreements or arguments with friends and family, this was something i had to learn (and am still working on). my challenges are petty compared to being continually raped and kidnapped, but the truths in elizabeth’s mom’s advice are applicable in both situations. life is meant to be lived in the present, not the past. and we cannot truly live, grow, and be ultimately happy if we dwell on past events, harbor grudges, and let the precious space in our brains and hearts be filled with negativity when it could be being filled with new knowledge, memories, happiness, and love.
    this was great advice that i needed to hear again, and i will always try and keep it with me. 

    and it is a miracle to me.

  5. may 18. day 256.

    i am so grateful for inspiring discussions. i am grateful for people in my life who are always there for me to build me up and encourage me, even when i do not deserve it and cannot possibly offer anything else in return. a good friend of mine had me watch this video tonight and it really touched me.

    "i’ve let Him down many times, but He’s never let me down. and i know for a fact He never will."

    to me, this is one of the most outstanding attributes of our Savior Jesus Christ. this is why i am a Christian and this is why i believe in Christ. this is the truth that keeps me going every single day and keeps me believing in myself and especially in Him. 

    "there are people out there who need help. and you don’t give up on them just because they’ve injured themselves. we’ve got to keep working on them to get them better. it’s what Christ asked us to do."

    we have all messed up before, in big ways and small ways. sometimes we get in accidents and make mistakes. fortunately, we can all be healed and rescued by Christ, no matter our pasts and imperfections.

    and that is a miracle to me.

  6. may 11. day 249.

    mothers are the greatest miracles.

    [read more here]


  7. april 28. day 236.

    one of the students i do speech therapy with went on a passionate monologue today about his life and the trials he has had to go through because of his diagnosis. i cannot go into much detail because of patient privacy, but it was one of the most heart-warming and most inspiring stories i have heard in a long time. i want to be like this man if when i grow up. he totally knows who he is, what his purpose is, loves serving and helping everyone around him, and is always smiling even though he faces challenges i can never even imagine having to go through.

    and that is a miracle to me.


  8. april 25. day 233.

    well today was graduation part II.

    yesterday was commencement and this morning was convocation, which instead of having all the BYU graduates in attendance, is a “smaller” (still pretty large) gathering with just my school, the School of Education.
    here are the next five incredible truths i learned from today’s inspirational graduation addresses:

    #1. take pride in graduating and celebrate the moment, but do not think this is a stopping point. there are so many other sights to see and destinations to reach. always keep progressing!

    #2. there is a very small percentage of the world that is blessed enough to have the opportunity to receive a college education. do not take this incredible experience for granted because there are millions of people in the world who would kill to be able to have the knowledge and experiences i have gained.

    #3. to be a good teacher/educator: be optimistic, work hard, have fun, and be myself. 

    #4. “teaching is the essence of leadership” -gordon b. hinckley

    #5. be happy that i am making a difference in people’s lives! real people, real lives, real changes.

    it is a miracle not only that i had the opportunity to get a college education but also that i stayed sane and graduated college (with decent grades)! i definitely could not have done this without the support of many friends, incredible teachers, and of course, my family. they have supported me through thick and thin and encouraged me to stay in school, keep studying, keep trying, and keep progressing, even when i wanted to give up.

    so, i now close of an amazing chapter in my life and start a new one of continued growth and learning, but in new ways.
    here’s to new adventures! onward & upward, as they say.

    life is full of great miracles.


  9. april 14. day 222.

    today, to go along with my awesome weekend of comforting talks and inspirational messages, i got this perfect message in my email from one of my best friends who is out on his mission changing lives:
    "i judge myself a lot and look for ways to improve. from this though, there are times where i get a little discouraged because i’m never good enough. but the thing that came to mind is that its completely ok if we aren’t perfect yet… its always good to evaluate ourselves and look for ways to improve and learn from our mistakes. the thing is, is that perfection takes practice. its through time and experience that we learn and grow. we need to have love and patience in ourselves. we need to set goals and make plans everyday then complete our goals little by little. and when we’re old and wrinkled, we’ll be the person that we want to be."

    yet another great message i needed to hear. i love my friend timber and his wisdom. he always has my back, even when he does not know it.

    and that is a miracle to me.


  10. april 11. day 219.

    it was as miracle that today at work i met a girl from estonia for the first time! it was the coolest ever and she had a cool accent. i am so proud of my heritage.
    also, it is a miracle to me that i was (once again) taught the ever important message that my Heavenly Father is totally and completely aware of me. He knows what i am going through and the thoughts and feelings and trials i am struggling with. and he always knows the perfect people to put in my path at every moment so i can keep learning this lesson and over and over. one of these fantastic people has once again come into my life and i was blessed tonight to sit down with an amazing guy who so patiently talked with me for several hours and discussed with me the love that our God has for all of us… and even me. he somehow even knew to remind me of one of my all time favorite stories: the story of punchinello. please read this story! it has totally changed my life and my perspective on my divine worth and how i can choose to let what other people think of me define me. in the end it does not matter what anyone else in the world thinks of me. all that matters is the opinion of my Father in Heaven and, miraculously, He will always be there and He will always love me no matter how much i mess up. 
    this will probably be a challenge and a mental struggle i will be working to overcome for several years to come, but i know that if i keep remembering how much God loves me that i will be able to conquer the bad thoughts that creep into my mind from people that are seeking to bring me down. i struggle with pulling myself down and being really hard on myself when people are not happy with what i choose to do with my life. i have always felt that i need to be perfect at everything and that is a stressful burden to carry. i will never be able to please everyone perfectly, i will never do everything everyone wants me to do, i will not live up to everyone else’s expectations. however, if i keep trying and pushing onward and upward, my Father will be proud of me as long as i am striving to keep getting better and working to return to live with Him again someday. i am His daughter and i have a lot to offer this world, even if i am not perfect at everything.
    i am grateful that i have the knowledge that there IS someone out there who does and always will love me perfectly and infinitely, and that that knowledge is a fact that will never go away. i know that if i diligently pray for comfort, help, guidance, and strength i can continue to grow and flourish throughout my life as long as i keep Him with me.

    and that is a miracle to me.


  11. april 9. day 217.

    so one of my coworkers is a forty-year-old man with down’s syndrome [i will call him bob here for the sake of privacy]. bob is the funnest, most purely kind-hearted people i have ever met and i have been lucky to get close to him. today, i witnessed this heart-warming experience:
    one of my other coworkers had the hiccups pretty bad. i was sitting at the counter and all the sudden i see bob come around the corner from the drinking fountain shuffling through a huge crowd of people. he had a paper cup filled up to the brim with ice cold water and he was taking the slowest, most careful baby steps toward the mailroom window. he did not lose a single drop of water! it took me a moment to register to realize what he was doing. he walked up to me and whispered, “would you please take this [across the room] to [our other coworker]?” i carefully took the cup from him and my heart swelled with emotion. 
    this was such an incredibly simple act, but it was a huge act of service and love. my coworker was so grateful for bob’s thoughtfulness, and her hiccups even went away after she drank all the water. it was a tiny thing but it opened my eyes to how important it is to be watching out for all those around us. all people in this care need to be looked after and if we all treated each other with that same, innocent kindness, this world would be an incredible place to live.
    i am grateful that i was able to witness this experience and that i could be inspired to be a better person through bob’s selfless acts of thoughtfulness and kindness.
    and that was a sweet miracle to me. 

  12. april 6. day 214.

    conference weekend. a miracle in itself.
    i absolutely love conference weekend and all the guidance, inspiration, and direction that we can receive from modern day prophets and apostles. 

    this video is from last year’s general conference, but the message in this video is the general message that i personally received from this conference: the message that our Savior loves all of us no matter our shortcomings our how many chances we need. the man in the video is not the only human that has ever faced this type of spiritual and emotional challenge. although we all may not have had trials regarding robberies and drug addictions, we are all still tempted and possibly even addicted to other things. however, no matter how minor or severe our transgressions are, we can all still change! none of us are perfect; we are all quite far from perfect, in fact. we are all humans struggling through life together. it is not easy, not one bit. but with Jesus Christ on our side (which He always will be, no matter who you are), we can change and accomplish great feats. 
    i know that because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ we can not only be forgiven of all of our sins, but also our burdens, heartaches, and personal trials.

    HE LOVES US. you, me, and everyone in between.

    and that is a miracle to me.


  13. march 28. day 205.

    today was just a great day! when i went to the temple, getting through was conveniently quick (not that i don’t like being in the temple longer, but when you have a busy day, it’s always nice to have a shorter temple trip). because i got out of the temple early, i was early to work which meant i got the best parking spot in the lot (and after my shift i left right when my best friend/coworker was getting there so i was able to give it to her when the only other spots that were open were far away). while i was at work i realized i had not eaten anything all day when my coworker informed me that there was frozen pizza in the fridge and so we split those delicious slices of heaven. i also went on a really fun date with some pretty fantastic people and tried divine blueberry pancake hushpuppies at denny’s for the first time. i am just grateful that in the midst of stress and school and the craziness of life that little miracles never cease to come along and make life a little bit better.
    we are so blessed, and that is a miracle to me.


  14. march 27. day 204.

    it is a miracle to me that i have the great blessing of having a healthy, hard-working body that can do amazing things. i had the opportunity to take an anatomy class a few years ago and that definitely changed my perspective on life. i could talk about the human body forever because every finite aspect of us humans is incredible and perfect. anyway, i am grateful for my body that can run fast and can push farther than i expect it will. my body has weathered it all throughout my life: illnesses, sicknesses, falls, surgeries, injuries, cuts, bruises, exhaustion, sleep deprivation, hunger, thirst, stress, laziness, and every day wear and tear. even though i do not always treat my body 100%, i am grateful that it can take care of itself and keeps going no matter what.
    this is a miracle to me.


  15. march 25. day 202.

    today i was having a kind of rough day and there is a freshman girl in my volleyball class that just rubs me the wrong way and acts like a bossy know-it-all. there are not too many people that can do that, and i actually felt like giving her a piece of my mind and telling her to shut her mouth for five seconds. however, by a great miracle i was able to not say anything and class ended before i lost it.
    also, i found out today that a family member passed away a few days ago, and that was rough. i am really grateful for the knowledge i have that she is now back in heaven with her Father and that families can be together forever.

    sweet miracles.