The answers that hurt

God’s timing. It’s always right isn’t it? But it hurts sometimes.

In my short twenty years of living I’ve come to learn this a few times.

I grew up a competitive power tumbler. It was my everything. I carried a little notebook to school with me and wrote my tumbling goals in it. When I was at the gym I was happy. And when my head would hit the pillow at the end of the day I’d dream of leotards and back flips.

Maybe you’ve heard this story if you know me very well. But as I was finishing my junior year I competed at the Power Tumbling Utah State Championships. I did the best I’d ever done and found myself with a silver medal and a score that qualified me for what would have been my fourth national championships.

I had it made. Or so I thought. But at the time I truly believed I was on my way to achieving the one thing that would make me happy.

Fortunately for me God knows what would really make me happy. And He knew that tumbling wasn’t it. Long story short I received one of the most distinct promptings that I needed to quit tumbling. Many questioned this decision because it didn’t really make much sense. And while I couldn’t see what would come from this decision I decided to act anyways. I did the hardest thing I had ever done. I quit tumbling.

Over three years later I look back on my life and see how much God has directed me to where I need to be. I see the blessings I received from following that one little prompting. But at the time I knew I just had to act in faith that everything would work out for my good. Even if it hurt.

But while I see the blessings from that experience, I still sometimes have a hard time believing that the trials I face now really will work out.

When I came home from my mission a couple months ago I met a boy. A cute boy I might add. I liked this boy a lot and we started dating. I felt like the protagonist in a Disney Channel Original movie. Again, I felt like I had it made. I felt like I was on my way to achieving the one thing that would make me happy.

But I guess I still had something to learn about God’s timing, and His plan because this cute boy recently told me he had been praying about our relationship and received an answer to his prayers. As he told me about the answer he had received my throat felt like it was choking as I fought the tears that were flooding to my eyes.

This answer hurt.

And doesn’t it often feel like this? Haven’t we all looked towards the heavens and questioned why things aren’t working out the way we want them to?

I went for a drive tonight as the sun was setting just to think.

I watched the sun set with beautiful pink colors as I talked to my Heavenly Father. I asked Him about His plan. I asked Him why things have worked out the way they have. I asked Him what I needed to learn from this.

A familiar song from my phone played through my speakers.
While I can’t say I know how things will turn out for me and the trials I face in my life, I can say that I have faith in God’s timing. I know that His plan is to make our lives beautiful. Sometimes God’s creative process includes a little heartbreak here and there. But I know it’s those strokes of heartbreak on the canvas of our lives that creates the contrast that allows us to see the beautiful and bright parts of our lives. Our lives just wouldn’t look quite as beautiful without them.

“Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend.”
-Mosiah 4:9

So now I’ll trust in that. I’ll trust that He knows what He’s doing with my life even if I can’t see the outcome yet. Because just as it says in Romans…


“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God.” 
-Romans 8:28

So to all my friends out there in similar situations… have faith. Trust that things will work together for your good as you trust Him. Because I know without a doubt that His plan is always and forever will be the best plan.

-Whit

I #KnowHeLives

My school’s seminary has started a social media challenge to help spread our testimony about Jesus Christ and we’re inviting you to participate!
This year our seminary theme scripture is Doctrine and Covenants 68:6 which says;
We decided this month to focus on the part of the scripture that says “That I am.”
During Christ’s life on this earth He taught of love. He showed the single greatest act of love that anybody has every shown. Christ brought to pass the Atonement. An act in which enabled all of mankind to be able to return to live with our Father. Without this Atonement we would be left to our own carnal state and be condemned to destruction by justice. 
However, since Christ was perfect He was able to pay the debt He did not owe, because we had a debt we could not pay.
This is mercy.
It is prophesied by prophets through the Bible, and Book of Mormon, as well as by modern day prophets, that Christ will come again to redeem his people.
But what about right now?
I haven’t seen the nail prints in his hands or feet, nor have I talked with him face to face during this life, but I do know that he plays a part in my everyday life.
I know He lives. I know He lives today.
I can see the evidence in my life. In the way the sun comes up in the morning. I can hear it in a baby’s cry. I can see it in the kindness shown by strangers, and the love shown by families. I can see it in the way the flowers grow, how the snow falls, and in the way He lights up the sky with diamonds. 
I first gained this knowledge when I prayed to ask if He was aware of me. I got an answer more powerful than I can explain. No, I wasn’t visited by angels, I didn’t hear a voice, or have a vision, yet the answer I got to that prayer was nevertheless powerful. It was just a simple peaceful feeling. A warmth in my heart that let me know that He was indeed there and that He was aware of me.
This is one of my very favorite songs about the Savior. For more about the artists in this song please visit http://www.notesofglory.com.
I know that He lives. I know that he loves me more than I can even comprehend. I know that he is all-knowing and almighty. Because I have this knowledge I trust Him to direct me in my life and I know that if I follow Him I will always remain on the right path. I also know that if I ever slip up and make a mistake that His hand will always be stretched out towards me ready to pull me back up. 
I believe in Christ. I believe in all that He has done. I believe that there are many great things that he is yet to do. I also believe that He remains a part of my everyday life and that He lives today.
As part of our social media challenge we ask you to share your testimony about Jesus Christ with the world through social media. 
To do this we challenge you to post quotes, scriptures, pictures, and personal testimonies to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and any other of your favorite social media sites and don’t forget to use the hashtag #KnowHeLives.

Help us spread the good news of Christ with the world.

I love you all and want you to never forget that Christ loves you and is aware of you.

feel my sunlight


Also, shout out to Noelle Bybee for crushing it in the blind auditions on The Voice the other night. Noelle and I used to tumble together back in the days of velvet leotards. We’re rooting for you Noelle!

Look how cute we are in our velvet leotards.

Buy her audition song HERE!

6 things that make life more beautiful

Hello my darling people!

Could somebody please tell me when October happened? This has seriously been one of the quickest months I have ever experienced. It’s like I blinked and now it is almost over. What happened?

Life is joyous right now. No, I’m not saying that there aren’t rotten things in the fridge, or that difficult things aren’t happening, I am saying that there is joy in the world right now and that you can reach it. Here are six things that have made my life more beautiful lately. I’m not promising they will do the same for you, but I hey, give it a try and let me know!

#1 Scripture Study

I know, I know. You’ve heard this before. But when was the last time you sat down and studied instead of simply read? I promise it will make life taste sweater no matter how bitter life tastes right now.

#2 Mindy Gledhill music

Seriously. I have been obsessing over her stuff all week. It’s all 100% clean and 100% beautiful. I mean, how can you not love this?

Also, I tweeted about my current obsession with her music the other day and she favorited it. I was a happy camper.

#3 Other Happy People

In the words of Kate Bratskeir, who was quoted by Hank Smith at BYU education week: 

“Happy people surround themselves with other happy people. Joy is contagious. People are four times more likely to be happy in the future with happy people around them.”

My “happy people” right now would have to be the seminary council that I serve on. I have hundreds of other people who would be included in this category, but the other students on seminary council are the very best at this. When I’m with the council there is an abundance of laughter and smiles even though we are doing work. I can honestly say that I never hear complaining when I’m with this group, which is something I don’t think I can say about any other group of people I’ve ever associated with. As humans we like to complain. And these people make me see the joy in the world.

#4 Gifts from Children

Two of my cute tumbling students gave me this elastic bracelet today. There is nothing like a handmade gift from a child to make you feel loved. I have the best job ever. 

 

#5 Old Journal Entries

I was going through the notes on my phone the other day and I found this gem that I wrote back in 2012:

“Television characters have everything. A perfect life, minimal problems, a good romance, and sometimes even fantastic events that are unlikely to happen. 

I’ve always watched TV in awe at how perfect the lives of the characters are, and in turn sat in awe at how perfect my life is not. 

But what I’ve never seen on a TV show is a character laugh so hard they end up on all fours so they don’t wet themselves. And I’ve done that twice today. So I’ll take my imperfect laughter over any perfect tv show life any day.”

I am a journal junkie. I love writing and my very favorite thing is to go back and read old journals, notes, and blog posts. It’s my favorite thing.

 #6 Family Time!

I went with my family last week to go see the witches at Gardner Village. Hanging out with my family is my very favorite thing. I don’t know how I’m going to be able to leave them to serve a mission in a year. They are truly the greatest. 

I carried around my fancy pants camera like the good photographer I dream of being. The results were the epitome of a blogger’s paradise. I love fall!

What makes your life beautiful?

 feel my sunlight

I’m gonna run right up this hill.

I just thought I’d bust out a quick post while I wait for the washer to finish so I can switch my laundry. No I did not procrastinate my laundry until the last minute, I simply planned not to do it until it was absolutely necessary. So here I am at the end of a near perfect Sunday night waiting for the suds machine to finish so that I don’t have to wear dirty socks tomorrow. BUT ENOUGH ABOUT LAUNDRY! Let’s talk about Church. (my favorite topic!)

Tonight was our ward’s Young Women in Excellence. This is a night held once a year in which the girls are recognized for their accomplishments in Personal Progress. I need to make a HUGE shout out to Rylee, Raegan, and Meagan for getting their young women medallions today! Wear them with joy ladies! Seriously, I’m typing congrats so hard!

For those of you don’t know, earning a young women’s medallion is a big deal. You start this project when you are twelve, and it often takes until the end of your young women years (around age 16-18) to finish. That’s 4-6 years of incredibly hard work. It takes over 80 hours to finish the 8 projects alone, and that doesn’t include the 60 other smaller projects you have to complete. And when you are done with that big feat, you have the chance to earn an Honor Bee, which requires you to re-read the Book of Mormon, as well as complete 40 hours of service.

So as you can imagine, this is a big night for these three awesome girls. But what about for me?

I didn’t receive any awards tonight. I didn’t get any special recognition because I’ve already been awarded these great awards. I received my medallion back in February of 2013, and I received my Honor Bee not long after that. But what I didn’t realize until tonight is that I’ve already begun my next big project. And when I receive this next award it won’t be a charm to hang around my neck, but a badge I will wear on my chest. My next big project will look something like this…

So the project begins now. I am in the race to prepare to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints. I have roughly 160 days (ABOUT 5 MONTHS!) until I can begin my papers, 220 days until I can submit them, and 340 days until I can leave, and everyday in between will hopefully be filled with striving to become the kind of person that the Lord would want to have wear his name over their heart 24/7. It will take a lot of hard work, but I am so excited for this next big project. I’m gonna run right up this hill.

feel my sunlight

p.s. This song by Mindy Gledhill is my theme song right now. It was in the movie Meet the Mormons which I went to go see last night. It was serously so incredible! Go see it!
p.s.s. My laundry is done! Peace out world.

glorious

 Oh my! Life is beautiful; busy, but beautiful. Life is glorious.

Remember when my mom was a rather popular DIY blogger before she dropped off the face of blog land? (Seriously… Check out this post from back in 2008 when I wore super cute scrunchies and my mom taught me how to install door frames. This is quality stuff.) Anyways, since my mom doesn’t post her fancy projects anymore I thought I would. Her latest included a re-painted kitchen table, as well as several re-painted kitchen chairs in various colors. I’m kinda obsessed with the whole miss-matched color thing so I dragged them all outside and stacked them on top of each other. The pictures above are the result.

Life as been a serious balancing act reticently (see what I did there?!), and by “balancing act” I mean there are SO MANY awesome things happening that they are hard to handle. But somehow I’ve managed to keep them all stacked in such a way that they have created quite the entertaining spectacle.

This past week has been so crazy. When you can say you went to a homecoming football game, went zip lining, watched conference (which deserves it’s very own blog post, so stay tuned), went to school, coached 9 tumbling classes, had three meetings, learned about velocity-time graphs, the primary colors of physics, and jig lines, began filming a campaign video for mock elections in Government, started applications for college, and created a video game all in the same week you know you have a busy life. And oh how I’m glad it’s the weekend and that my only tasks for the rest of the day is to finish this blog post and buy myself a new journal.

Me, my cute friends, and our awesome guides after zip lining on Saturday!

So life is busy. But it is so so beautiful.

One of the most beautiful moments of the week was yesterday when my 9 year old sister asked me what the word “apostasy” meant. So I taught her the first discussion from Preach My Gospel. #BOOMBOOMPOW

This was seriously so cool for me. I have practiced teaching this discussion so many times in my mission prep class, but I have never actually taught it to someone that wasn’t just pretending not to know the answers. It was such a real missionary discussion, yet it was extra special because she is my baby sister. I am defiantly going to love the missionary life when it calls.

My second beautiful moment came when I asked one of my tumbling classes what they thought I should be for haloween when one of my 3 year old students shouted “PINK PRINCESS UNICORN KITTY!” I think I might just have to do that.

So I’d say it was a successful week! Long and brutal yes, but also glorious.

feel my sunlight

p.s. Isn’t David Archuleta just the coolest? That song is from the movie Meet the Mormons that premiered in theaters TODAY! I can’t wait to go see it!
p.s.s. For those of you who don’t know. I am a Mormon. Nice to meet you!

Here’s to the #LastWeekOfSummer

School starts on Monday.

Please enjoy this lovely picture of me, taken by my friend Hannah, that accurately displays my feelings about the above statement.

School approached me way too fast. It was like I was so caught up in very exciting things of summer and was then startled with the harsh reality that those very exciting things get scared away when the mean and ugly back to school sneaks up behind you. I guess I’m coping. 
But on a happier note, this summer has been nothing but non-stop fun! And this week has been A-MAZ-ING.
My week started off in St. George, Utah with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge on Monday. Please enjoy this video of the lovely Amanda dumping a pot of ice water on my head.

And to follow that my week brought two different trips to the movie theater. Once to see The Giver, which was incredible and I highly recommend it, and If I Stay, which was good, but consisted of too many swear words and sketchy scenes for my liking. If you are choosing between the two then I’d say go with The Giver. It will save you the effort of having to cover your little sisters eyes.

Thursday brought the opportunity to go see the ever fantastic Thompson Square with my best friend Hannah thanks to my awesome grandparents who got us free tickets. Thanks again grandma and grandpa for the tickets!!! Thompson Square was so good and so much fun!

Yesterday I got to see one of my favorite team mates for the first time since he’s been home from his mission in Rome. Teriyaki, Sterfry and I (WhiteRice) went to the Ogden temple open house and then to IHOP and then finished off our day with a trip to get Teri’s car window chip fixed. Because that’s what normal people do when they hang out right?!?! It was so much fun to see Sterling and we are so happy to have him back in the country!

Today brought an exciting tumbling camp complete with potato sack races and cookies the size of my face. And this afternoon I had a wonderful time riding horses with Raegan and Rachel, as well as taking photographs of Rachel and her beautiful horses for her horse riding lessons. To see more about Rachel’s riding lessons check out her Facebook page HERE! Thanks so much for inviting us to come play Rachel!!

Aaaaand…. the funniest part of the day was when I ripped my pants getting off the horse. Life is awesome!

So I’d say it was a pretty successful summer. Bring on Sr. Year.

feel my sunlight

p.s. My inner cowgirl is in bliss right now. Also, I finished the first 7 seasons of Heartland (Yes, I do realize you can only get 1-5 in the U.S. Don’t ask me how I’ve seen 6 & 7. It’s a secret) and I can’t wait for season 8 to come out this fall!!! I’m so excited I can’t even stand it!

I’ll keep writing

Hi I’m Whitney.

I didn’t pass my AP test.

I know that this seems like something I wouldn’t want to tell the world about. And something I defiantly wouldn’t want to post on the internet.

So why am I doing it?

Because I know there is somebody else out there who also didn’t pass their AP test. Somebody who isn’t very good at the instrument they play. Somebody out there who didn’t qualify for State Championships in their sport. Somebody who has disappointed their parents. Somebody who wants to be a cheerleader, but can’t do the necessary back handsprings. Somebody who doesn’t feel they are good enough. Somebody out there who doesn’t have as many friends as they would like. Somebody who has been fired from their job. Somebody who loves music, but is tone deaf. Somebody who dreams of a college degree, but didn’t get a scholarship. Somebody who has worked years to compete at national championships, and when they finally get there they find themselves in last place. Somebody who wants to open a restaurant, but can’t get the financing. Somebody who dreams of playing at the symphony, but has to wait tables. Somebody who dreams of dancing with the school dance team, but doesn’t see their name on the list of those who made it. Somebody who doesn’t get the job the want. Somebody who feels they failed.

So sometimes in life we fail.

It’s life.

Now, I’d like to share with you a list of people who failed.

Al {Fox} Carraway, My all time favorite speaker/blogger said in one of her talks that the only class she ever failed in college was public speaking. Did I mention she is my favorite speaker?

Henry Ford failed several times at his automobile inventions and his failures left him broke several times. Henry Ford later introduced the assembly line to automobile production and founded the very successful Ford Motor Company.

Walt Disney was fired from his newspaper job because “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” Today when I coach we often pretend to swim to stretch our arms when we are stretching. When I ask them where they want to swim to they all respond with an enthusiastic “DISNEYLAND!”

Fred Astaire received the response from an executive in one of his first screen tests saying: “Can’t sing. Can’t act. Slightly balding. Can dance a little.” According to Wikipedia, “
“His stage and subsequent film and television careers spanned a total of 76 years, during which he made 31 musical films, several award winning television specials, and issued numerous recordings. He was named the fifth Greatest Male Star of All Time by the American Film Institute. Gene Kelly, another major innovator in filmed dance, said that “the history of dance on film begins with Astaire”.

U2 received this rejection letter.

 U2 Rejection Letter 

J.K. Rowling was a single mom living off welfare when she began writing the first “Harry Potter” novel, and then Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone was rejected 12 times and she was told “not to quit her day job.” She later went on to become the richest woman in the world because of her persistence.

If I were to remove the captions that go with each name you might think this was a section from the list of most successful people.

I’d like to add my name to the list.

Whitney Reid didn’t pass her AP English test. Although she isn’t seen as a good writer by those who grade the AP test, she is seen by a good writer by many others. She has been told countless times by people who read her blog that “they needed that at that very moment” and that “they love her blog.” She was recently asked to guest post on a blog called This Little Light of Mine and was introduced by the author as “Whitney from the amazing blog, Feel my Sunlight! She is such an amazing blogger and her blog is so inspiring! She has an awesome style of writing and design. Just see for yourself! Go check out her blog- you won’t be disappointed!!”

I don’t add my name to the list because I want to show you that I am successful, but because I want to show you that you can be successful. Your name is waiting to be added to this list. We all accept failure and defeat, but those who get up and keep moving after are those who find success.

So here’s to the people who fail at first attempt. There is no learning without failure. Success doesn’t come overnight and it defiantly doesn’t come easily. “It ain’t about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”

I failed my AP test, but I’m going to keep writing.

And because I am a power tumbler (gymnast) I spend much of my time scrolling through motivational gymnastics videos. This is one of my favorites. And if you’re failure doesn’t apply to gymnastics I want you to watch the video and simply listen to the words because they apply to you.

“Limits, like fears, are often just an illusion”
                                                    -Michael Jordan

What are you going to do?

feel my sunlight

p.s. Have you checked out Shelby’s blog This Little Light of Mine yet? You should! She is amazing and I was a guest post for her a few days ago. Check it out!!!

p.s.s. Have you ever experienced a failure which later led to success? Comment and let me know!!