Friday, December 30, 2011
In July or so, we got a new Young Women's presidency. Our president was young and wanted to tackle anything.
"Guys, Young Women's in excellence isn't until December, but I want each of us to do something different this time. Instead of just standing up and saying something we did for personal progress, I want each of us to pick something that will help us grow closer to Christ."
A week later.
"Oh, and we're memorizing The Living Christ."
If any of you know my Papa Smurf, you might know his knack for memorizing. In his mind are a plethora of inspiring poems, conference quotes, and scriptures. When we travel, all he brings is his phone and a conference transcript. In his phone, he has saved a list of quotes he wants to memorize, and one by one, by that end of the plane ride, he usually has knocked out ten or so.
So as my mother and I embarked on the daunting task to memorize such a large and sacred document, I hoped that maybe my dad's "sponge memory" would shine through.
It was more difficult than I hoped. We were supposed to memorize a paragraph every two weeks, and each Sunday I'd go to church feeling inadequate and unprepared.
As we go halfway through, a leader saw our struggle and invited us to go to her house each Sunday after church to practice together. We went over the parts we stumbled on, and made up silly signs for the things we couldn't remember.
For a few months, each morning when I got up, I recited The Living Christ along with a man reciting it in a podcast. Those early moments in my bathroom were, and are still precious to me. Simply because of the love of the Savior that I felt in there, his sweet spirit saying, "Aubrey, I am here. I am the Living Christ. I will always be here when you need me."
Last Wednesday the youth went to Temple Square. As we squished on couches surrounding The Christus, sweet Abbie leaned over and said, "Sister Clark? Could we recite The Living Christ in front of the Christus?"
After a thumbs up from the missionaries, we all stood up there, and began.
"As we commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ two millennia ago, we offer our testimony of the reality of His matchless life and the infinite virtue of His great atoning sacrifice."
Tears began welling up in my eyes as I stared around the room. I looked at the moon and the stars, the world beyond measure. I stood next to my Savior, as the realization filled my soul that of all the immeasurable people in this world, He knows me. He loves me. He will never forget me.
The words that I had uttered almost robotically for months now had a divine purpose, to bear testimony that He lives. That He is our Lord and Savior and that, after this holiday season, we can never be so foolish as to forget that.
"...Jesus is the Living Christ, the immortal Son of God. He is the great King Immanuel, who stands today on the right hand of His Father. He is the light, the life, and the hope of the world. His way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come.
God be thanked for the matchless gift of His divine Son."
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Monday, December 19, 2011
At least once a week someone walks up to me and says, "Aubrey, did you know I had a dream about you last night?"
It seems like it mostly began this school year.
Have I recently begun inhabiting people's dreams?
Or are people finally getting the courage to tell me?
"You know Aubs, I used to be really intimidated."
"You? By what?"
"No, it's not bad. It's just like, there's so much Aubrey to handle when someone meets you for the first time. They don't know what to do with it all. It's really overwhelming. So you're kinda scared of it, and so I was intimated by you.
But it's cool. Because we're friends now."
When I was three I watched "The Wizard of Oz" for the first time.
I've made a promise to myself. My children will not be allowed to watch it until they are.... 8.
I saw the tornado, and that did it. In my young adolescence, I was immediately scarred.
I'm sure if my mother would have known the numerous traumatizing experiences that movie caused, I would have had to wait until I was ten too.
Folks, I was scared of the wind. Not a boogie monster, not some creepy thing under my bed. If a slightest breeze blew, I was clinging to the nearest stable thing. Whether that be a light pole, my father's leg, or in the best occasion - my primary teacher's waist.
Olivia technically isn't my first car.
You know, the white one with the red peace sign and cute seat covers.
For two blissful weeks, I owned a red car.
I love the color red.
She was a stick shift. I had never driven a stick shift before, but my dad in all his adorable love and patience, agreed to teach me.
That first time I drove it around the neighborhood I stalled what felt like every 20 seconds. By the end of it my poor father had whiplash.
Two days later, he got up and told me, "Why don't you drive yourself to school?"
I was absolutely terrified. "Daddy, what if I stall?"
"Then you'll just start it again."
At the time, it seemed so simple. But that was still so reassuring. If I failed to do something right, I could start over, I could try again.
I was coming home from work that fateful evening. I somehow stalled on the extremely steep 25 degree incline of my driveway. I slowly inched forward and somehow was veering off to the right. After stalling three times, frustrated, and tired from mopping and making sandwiches, I gunned it.
Straight into the side of my garage.
I pulled on the brake and swung open the door - car still running - to a large mass of smoke.
Before someone could say "Cue tears" I was running inside hysterical.
"Are you okay? Are you okay?"
My mom and Jason came running up to me.
I nodded and merely pointed outside to where the damage waited.
I sat on the stairs, my head in my hands as I stared at the tan carpet slowly grow dark from the tears running down my cheeks.
I heard the door open several times as Jason and my mom ran outside and in grabbing garbage cans, brooms and rags to clean up the glass and oil sprayed in my garage.
I couldn't think clearly. All I can remember is my tears. Perhaps it was the combination of hormones and teenage boys. I was absolutely hysterical, and I couldn't seem to fathom why.
My mom walked inside, put her arm around me and said, "Maybe you should go to bed."
I went upstairs, and immediately sat on my floor and informed my friends of my recent car crash.
The two minutes in-between their responses was too long and I simply laid my head down on the ground. I laid there for a half hour or so, as my chest bobbed up and down and my heart beat way too fast. I couldn't sleep.
My mom suggested I get a blessing.
I felt silly, and I walked down the stairs.
You get blessings for illnesses, for sickness.
I realized, as I sat in my parents dark bedroom, on the edge of their bed that that didn't matter.
All I needed was peace. All I needed was that sweet reassurance that "this too shall pass" and it would all be okay.
And my dad was able to give me just that, simply by being worthy and prepared when I woke him up late at night.
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Friday, December 16, 2011
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
"Hey Mom.... What voice is that?"
"My icky romantic one."
"Go get the synonym dictionary."
"Mom, you mean the thesaurus?"
"Yeah, whatever they call it these days."
"Don't worry Mom, you'll like him."
"Good. I hope I like all my son's in law."
"Yeah, he'll even laugh at your jokes."
"Well I hope he makes me laugh."
"Yeah, sense of humor was #3 on my list."
"Under worthy priesthood holder and desirous to go to the temple?"
"No, good kisser."
Hey, at least she's honest.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
This morning I walked into my kitchen in the search of something delicious for breakfast, that would require little preperation. This criteria, naturally, let me to the cereal cupboard. I scanned the boxes, past the Cherrios and Rasin Bran, when two boxes caught my eye. Captain Crunch, or Cocoa Puff's? It was rather maddening, standing there, hungry and yet feeling particularly indecisive having recently woken up.
I chose the natural alternative: both.
When I was little, combining cereals was rather normal for me. It started one day when I picked up a box and poured it in only to see that there was only half a bowl full of cereal. This is the second worst thing that can happen to a cereal connisoure. The first being when you desperately hope that there is more cereal for you, but instead you are greeted with cereal dust.
I hate cereal dust.
Combining cereals was a game for me so when Daddy walked into the kitchen, and inquire after my breakfast I would chirpily respond, "Lucky Trix!"
Cereal, however, was not the extent of my ridiculous eating. I also enjoyed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with pickles on them. And I regularly (even in my mature adulthood) eat cereal with yogurt.
I suppose what I'm saying is, I'm rather glad that since the age of three, I was expected to get my breakfast and make my lunch myself. It made life a whole lot more interesting.
What quirky things did YOU eat when you were a lil' nugget?