Wow. Today is the last day until 2008 is over. Crazy. Time flies. I've accomplished a lot this year and improved immensely. I've found many aspects of myself, aspects I quite don't like, to the tell the truth.

I've never been successful with New Years Resolutions...probably because I don't set them. Shocker? Not really. It's just an excuse for an attempt to improve yourself and feel hopeful for the future just to feel disappointment when it doesn't turn out perfectly like you hoped. Not to mention people's resolutions...jeez, they are always so cliché. Ugh. And they have motivation for like the first month and stop completely because they get distracted by life. Instead of doing 'resolutions' once a year, why can't we take it day by day? At the end of each day say 'Hey I need to thank so and so for doing this and that...' or 'Wow I've been blessed today...' or 'Hm. I could have reacted better to this situation...I'll work to react better and apologize tomorrow' and when I say tomorrow I really mean the very next day. Don't procrastinate until the end of the year to fix your faults - do it day by day, hour by hour, etc. If you make it a daily routine, it becomes more of a habit and less of a burden.

I am going to make a resolution for myself.

So...I'm sarcastic. Shocker? Not really. It's so much fun. hehe. But I'm not sardonic. I have more of a hey-teasing-is-fun-don't-take-it-seriously type humor. If I know you don't like my sarcasm, I quit it. I tend to know when it is too much. Tend to. But I was thinking to myself last night 'You know what? I quit it when someone says to stop. I wonder how many people DON'T say anything when it really does hurt.' I know I don't always speak up. And people say that they need to lighten up, to chill, to breathe. But why should they? What if they were really struggling that day? I don't share my personal problems usually, I try to involve hardly anyone. How would you feel if you're drowning and when you almost can touch the surface someone shoves you back under? What if you want to "lighten up"? But if you've only felt darkness, how are you going to know where to find that light?
Who am I to judge who can take my sarcasm when I don't know every detail of their life that has shaped who they are?
Who am I to know and understand what they can handle?
Should I really suppose someone will be able to take my jokes? Will I say my remark anyway and risk pain and hurt for momentary pleasure?

I love the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew 5 (cross-reference to 3 Nephi 12) is so fascinating. There are specifics I'm about to write, may even expound upon.

Matthew 5:4 "Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted."
Hm. I need to be more of a Comforter and less of a jerk, to put it quite frankly. I'm a great listener. My ears work quite well:) but my mouth...yeah I can work on what I say...How many times am I the reason why someone is mourning or sad etc?

Matthew 5:5 "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth."
Well I'm going to focus on the 'meek' part. Some synonyms: gentle, forgiving, benevolent. I think of meekness as genuine kindness.
Forgiving? I'm fairly good at that, I don't like when people are mad at me, so I shy away from being angry at others. I am not easily offended. I've been asked for forgiveness and I'm like 'Huh? wait, what happened? Is everything alright?' so I'm either really tolerable of people or I'm so unobservant to the point of not understanding the situation. I'm undecided which one it is, so take your pick. I won't care either way hehe:)

Gentle? Oh crap. I'm usually quite sensitive to others' feelings but since my very recent epiphany I'm wondering how many people I accidentally hurt. It's hard to be gentle and kind to them next time and each time after that when you don't know who they are. So starting NOW, I'm going to be more gentle and caring.
=>Psalm 18:35 "Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation and thy
right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great."
His gentleness has made David great. What better example to follow to lift others up
than the Savior? "His gentleness hath made me great."

Matthew 5:43-44,46-47 "Ye have heard that it hath been said, Though shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy.
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you:
For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others do not even the publicans so?"
So if I'm going to work to improve myself with gentleness and kindness, to be a better friend...well shouldn't I expand better friend to better person? "For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye?
John 13:34-35 "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye love one another."
Love one another. Sounds easy. Too bad it's harder than it looks. I mean I can love one another; how hard could it be? Oh wait...love...EVERYONE? (Matthew 5:43-44,46-47) Alright, I can do this...how am I going to do this??
John 13:35 - Woah. Wait - people will see that I'm a follower of Christ, by loving one another. Well I consider myself a disciple, I believe in Christ. I'm a believer. But it's so much more than believing - I want to be a follower.
=>James 1:22 "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves."
It's so much more than saying you believe. If you say that you believe, why wouldn't you follow through? If you believe what Christ taught, why wouldn't you live your life that way? What's stopping you? You know and believe it, so do it:) And if you're following Christ's example, then you will be able to love all and show that you love all. You can say you are a believer, but it's being a believer in example that shows others who you are.
=>1 Timothy 4:12 "Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of
the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in
=>James 2:17-18 "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith and I have works: shew me thy faith
without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works."
One is a disciple of Christ by one's actions and works.
=>Romans 2:11 "For there is no respect of persons with God."
God does not play favorites - neither should I. I need to love all men, all of God's children.

Philippians 4:11 "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content."
Elder Wirthlin's quote, "Come what may, and love it."
That scripture and quote are in my Top 10 favorite quotes...actually probably number 1 or 2. I'm a lot better than I used to be, but I'm more vocal about my complaints than my blessings. I'm learning to show and talk about the good things in life and not just vent when I'm sorrowful or upset. And it's not that I've never been grateful - I've always realized how many blessings I truely have - but it's a real slap in the face when friends get sick of your negative attitude that you display because you don't talk enough about the good.
=>Proverbs 15:13 "A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by
sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken."
=>Proverbs 17:22 "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken
spirit drieth the bones."
=>A poem I really like (goes something similar to this lol):
"They may not need me, but they might.
I'll let my head be just in sight.
A smile as small as mine might be
Precisely their necessity."
It's so much more fun when one is cheerful; no one wants to be around someone who is just going to pull them down. Whenever I'm feeling down, I go to my Savior and Friend. But I also go to my friends who are cheerful and always willing and wanting to lift me up - even if it is as simple as a smile.

My Resolution:
  • more gentle
  • more kind
  • more charity and love
  • more happy

It's more than just saying "I'm going to stop doing this or that." You have to replace the bad with good, or the weakness will come back. It's more than giving something up and expecting it to stay away. It requires a change of heart and a desire to do good and become better. And that's what I'm going to try to do, become a better person.

"But Sarah. There's no way you can accomplish all this perfectly in a year!"

If it was possible to become perfect and whole in a year, then wow. Cool. I'd take it lol. But I'm not doing it in a year, I'm taking it day by day. Meaning I have much longer than 365 days to work on this. But I'm going to try my hardest every single day to be more loving and be more like my Savior and Redeemer.



Mama wanted an update...

I'm on Christmas Break thank goodness!
I want to listen to the David Archuleta CD. right now. but this computer doesn't have sound dang it.
I went on a triple date last night. Me and Nathan/Charity and Trevor/Stephanie and Spencer. It was incredibly fun. Mormon dates are always so creative:)
I'm attempting to wait patiently until Christmas tomorrow.
I finished 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, and Jude today meaning I'm on Revelations. I'm still deciding what I'll read next. I'm thinking Book of Mormon.
I still have to read Passage to India sometime over break... :(
I really, really despise rain right now.