More Than Cookies For Santa

The holidays are full of gift-wrapping, caroling, service, and of course—lots of food.  Food is a big part of the holidays: extended-family dinners, ward, work, and family Christmas parties, gingerbread houses, and plates full of cookies “for Santa.”  Let’s face it—food isn’t just for nourishment.  It’s a way for people to express love and gratitude and many of our social gatherings revolve around food—including many holiday celebrations.

And while food is important, the abundance of food can be stressful for some…and not just the cooks!  In fact, research suggests that up to 50% of the US population demonstrate problematic/ disordered relationships with food, body, and exercise (Gottlieb, 2014).  The good news is that simple shifts in managing food during the holidays can help a lot for those with eating concerns….or those of us who tend to eat copious amounts of food mindlessly when it’s within arms’ reach!  Here are some tips to keep in mind this holiday season when it comes to food, food, and more food.

Avoid “Food Talk” — At some point in your holiday festivities, you’ll probably overhear people bad-mouthing certain foods, complaining about their jean size, or bringing up “New Year’s resolutions” dealing with weight or food.  By choosing not to participate in conversations like this, you can help create a culture of positive relationships between food and body.

Eat Mindfully — This can be difficult with the extra holiday stress and abundance of food, but the jest is to focus on hunger and fullness cues rather than a strict “diet.”  Here are a couple ideas on eating mindfully during the holiday season:

  • Scan the buffet table before serving yourself and identify the foods you most want to try.  Focus on enjoying the foods you’ve selected without feeling deprived that you didn’t sample everything.  Eating a little bit of everything can make it harder to recognize hunger-fullness cues.
  • Give yourself permission to enjoy holiday foods.  Don’t feel guilty for having some homemade fudge.  I’ve found that when I focus on enjoying and experiencing food (like the flavor and texture), it takes less to for me to feel like I’ve “had enough.”

Shift Focus Away From Food — What do you want this Christmas season to mean to you? What does it mean to be together as a family?  What are your valued traditions?  Do you focus on spiritual messages?  Focusing on the reasons for celebrating can help direct the attention away from food.  In fact, even small things such as simplifying food preparation or retreating to the family room to visit rather than remaining around the dinner table can be helpful.

Studies show that there is a positive relationship between spirituality, mental and physical health, life satisfaction, and wellness (Choate, 2007).  During this special Christmas season, remembering the real reasons we celebrate Christmas can help alleviate some of the stress about food that the holidays tend to bring.

Rachel Lasley is WSR’s Nutrition and Wellness Specialist.  She is a senior majoring in Dietetics and will graduate this April.

Christmas Conference Talk Round-Up

It’s the most wonderful time of the year — Christmas is almost here! This year, with the Light the World initiative, we are especially focusing on keeping Christ at the center of Christmas.  Here at WSR, we thought we’d help out by linking to some of our favorite Christ-centered conference/devotional talks!

  • The Real Joy of Christmas by President Thomas S. Monson: “May we give as the Savior gave. To give of oneself is holy gift… May we all make the journey to Bethlehem in spirit,taking with us a tender, caring heart as our gift to the Savior.”
  • Christmas is Christlike Love by Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson: “When we see shepherds, may we remember to be humble. When we see wise men, may we remember to be generous. When we see the star, may we remember the Light of Christ, which gives life and light to all things. When we see a tiny baby, may we remember to love unconditionally, with tenderness and compassion.
  • Anonymous by President Thomas S. Monson:  “Oh, may we remember that—A bell is no bell till you ring it, A song is no song till you sing it, And love in your heart wasn’t put there to stay, Love isn’t love till you give it away.
  • The Fullness of the Story of Christmas by Elder Craig C. Christensen: “The light we love at Christmas emanates from the Light of the World, Jesus Christ. The story we cherish at Christmas tells of our Father’s plan of happiness, which Christ made possible. The gift that makes the Christmas season sacred is His very life, which He gave that we might have everlasting life.”
  • The Generous One by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf: “May we, this Christmas season, remember our generous Heavenly Father and give profound and heartfelt thanks to our Almighty God, who has given all of His children wings to fly.”
  • Gifts by President Thomas S. Monson:  “[In] the words of a revered prophet, even President Harold B. Lee: ‘Life is God’s gift to man. What we do with our life is our gift to God.’ May we give generously to Him, as He has so abundantly given to us, by living and loving as He and His Son have so patiently taught.”

Let us know if we missed one of your favorites — we definitely want to read it!

Have a Very Merry Christmas!

From, Women’s Services & Resources

Bridging the Gap This Christmas

Who is the Savior?  What does His life have in connection with mine?  How does the all-powerful Savior connect with the baby in the manger?  These questions always find their way to the forefront of my mind during the Christmas season.  I want to be able to “feel it” like everyone else seems to.  I want to feel that same love and gratitude for the baby Jesus, but sometimes it all seems so distant.  The miles and years all come between me and that silent night.  I know He is my Savior, I know that He has saved me, but sometimes it seems too far for me to grasp completely.

When I watched the Church’s new Christmas video (Light the World), the gap between the Savior and myself shrunk.  It allowed me to see myself in the Savior’s actions.  In a series of clips, I saw the Savior performing acts of service, followed by a sight I have seen many time, of my friends or family serving their peers.  The similarities between the two were striking.  At one point the Savior heals a blind man, and then a girl helps a blind person read braille.  And then it hit me — they’re doing the same thing!  That girl, who could be any one of us, was literally causing the blind to see.  As I thought about the similarity between what little I can do to serve and what the Lord did to serve us, I felt a spark of empathy—a stronger connection with him.

I am by no means the best example, but as I have tried to follow the Light the World 25 days of service initiative, I understand Him a little better each day.   For example, the eighth day’s themes was “The Savior Prayed for Others and so Can You.”  When we truly pray for our loved ones we feel an intense love for them.  We want with our whole hearts for them to be lifted or helped or protected.  The Lord did and does the same for us.  3 Nephi 17 contains a beautiful story of the Savior praying for his people.  3 Nephi 17:17 says that “no tongue can speak, neither can there be written by any man, neither can the hearts of men conceive so great and marvelous things as we both saw and heard Jesus speak; and no one can conceive of the joy which filled our souls at the time we heard him pray for us unto the Father.”  He’s just like us!  We pray for the people we love and so does He, so much so that the people who heard Him while He prayed on their behalf, were completely filled with joy at his words.  He loves us just like we love our family and friends.

Each day’s challenge is accompanied by similar realizations and steps toward knowing the Savior a little better.  If you want to understand Christ better this holiday season, #LIGHTtheWORLD and see for yourself how your service can bring Him closer to you.  If haven’t started the 25 day challenge yet, it’s not too late!  Each day you’ll find yourself closer to Him, walking with Him along the streets of Galilee, reaching down with Him to pick up your brothers and sisters, and pulling them back up on their feet.

Check out www.mormon.org to get started or follow us on Instagram for more ideas!

Madison Fullmer is WSR’s Campaign Coordinator.  She is from Detroit, Michigan and is a junior majoring in Recreation Management.

Finding Purpose in Post-Mission Life

Are you struggling finding purpose and meaning in day-to-day life after returning home from a mission?  Guess what!?  YOU AREN’T ALONE.  This past month during our Post-Mission Transition workshop, Wendy Ulrich, author of “Adjusting to Mission Life,” came and had a discussion with our attendees.  After having an open conversation about personal concerns the RM’s in attendance had, Wendy decided to focus the rest of the discussion on living a meaningful life full of purpose.  The advice she gave was so good and so applicable to anyone in any stage of life, we just had to share it!

How to have a meaningful life:

  1. Engage with other people and strive to build meaningful relationships
    1. Be vulnerable and allow yourself to connect with others.  Relationships, whether they are with friends, roommates, spouses, co-workers, etc. are what bring true happiness and meaning into our lives.
  2. Allow yourself opportunities to create
    1. Creating means taking risks and stepping out of your comfort zone.  Tame your anxiety enough to take those risks and allow them to help you stretch, grow, and develop.
  3. Connect to values that you care about
    1. Find things that matter to you.
    2. Recognize what you are passionate about and go for it!  You get to choose what you want to do.  Decide what you want and why you want it, then act!
    3. Find meaning/enjoyment in the monotony of daily life.

As you follow these steps, Wendy said that one of the most important things to remember is to just get moving!  You won’t progress or allow God to give you much guidance when you are at a stand-still.  If you start in one direction and it doesn’t work, have faith to re-evaluate and adjust your plans.

TRY. FAIL. CALM DOWN YOUR ANXIETIES. TRY AGAIN.

Life hardly ever goes exactly as planned, so get comfortable being uncomfortable and do your best to find joy in the journey!  Whether you are a returned missionary or not, we can all benefit from Wendy’s words of wisdom.

STAY TUNED on our social media pages for some exciting announcements about our new Post-Mission Transition series that will be starting in January 2017!

Amy Beck is the WSR Office Manager.  She served a mission in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and graduated from BYU with a degree in Public Health.

The Provo Dating Scene: How to Find Happiness Now!

The other day, I was playing a game called “Smurf” with some friends. In this game, one person leaves the room and the group chooses a verb, which they then replace with the word “Smurf.”  I was sent out of the room, and when I came back this is what they told me:

“Okay this is something that almost everyone in Provo struggles with.”

Instinctively, I said the first thing that came to my mind.

“DATING!!!” I yelled, probably a bit too loudly, and everyone started to laugh.

While that wasn’t the right answer, everyone in the room had to agree that the Provo dating scene isn’t exactly smooth sailing. This got me thinking… Why is dating something that causes EVERYONE in Provo to worry and struggle?  As BYU students, we tend to roll our eyes when dating comes up in stake conference or in Relief Society or Elders Quorum, but in reality all ears in the room perk up a little bit because everyone seems to think that dating can make or break how happy you are.

It’s easy to get caught up in the façade of “I just want to be dating someone so that I’m no longer lonely or so that I can finally be happy.”  I constantly hear both my close girlfriends and guy friends say, “I just want a boyfriend or girlfriend!”  Sometimes people don’t realize that it’s not just enough to have a boyfriend or girlfriend- you want to have the RIGHT boyfriend or girlfriend.  If it’s not the right person, the relationship will not bring any happiness.  If it’s not the right person, it’s better to be single.

While being a single person myself, this is not exactly my area of expertise.  I struggle just as much as the next person with dating and relationships.  However, I do get the comment “How in the world are you SO happy all the time?!” almost on a weekly basis.  While my life isn’t even close to butterflies and rainbows, I have a pretty good understanding about what makes me happy and comfortable where I am in my life, even though I am single.  That way, when Mr. Right DOES come along, you bet I’m gonna be ready for him!

First and foremost, it’s incredibly important to ALWAYS be improving yourself, but recognize that it will not all happen at once!  Take it step by step.  Pick up a new hobby and further your own success.  A recent talk with a family member brought up the point that we should constantly be striving to become the type of person that we ourselves would want to marry.  I suggest making a list of the qualities you want and then taking a look at your own life to decide which things you can personally improve upon.

Don’t sit around and wait for Mr. or Mrs. Right.  Get out and DO!  He or she will be impressed by your success!  If they are intimidated by it, then they aren’t the one for you.  Don’t revolve your life around if’s and when’s… Be content with where you are now, but continue to strive for greatness!

Second, surround yourself by people and love others.  I don’t buy the “I just don’t like people” excuse.  While introversion and extroversion are real, it is natural, human inclination to be with other people!  Put yourself in situations to meet someone new and discover their story.  In my life, I’ve found that it is extremely difficult not to love someone if you know why they are the way they are. Not everyone has to be your best friend, but developing meaningful friendships prepares you for a marital relationship.

Third, stay close to God and the Savior.  Elder Shumway, a previous area seventy, says, “The more you can love God and Jesus Christ, the more you will be able to love your future spouse and children.”  When you study the life of the Savior and become closer to him, you begin to encompass his qualities in your own life and begin to treat others as he treated them.  Christ and God have the most incredible capacity to love, and the more we can become like them, the greater our capacity will be to love others.

All of these things will not only help you to be happy now, but will also help you prepare to  meet that one special person whom you will marry.  It is totally possible to be happy when things aren’t going as planned — just continue to better yourself, develop meaningful relationships, and trust in the Lord.  It will all work out!

For more help with this subject, read these articles or check out the presentations given by our awesome speakers as part of our dating and marriage mini-conference last Monday!

Dating Advice from Prophets and Apostles

Taking the Fear Out Of Dating

Joy and Spiritual Survival

Preparing for a Heavenly Marriage

Preparing Yourself for Marriage

Overcoming the Fear of Being Alone

Overcoming the Fear of Marital Struggle

Taryn Royall is WSR’s Event Coordinator.  She is from Lehi, UT and is a sophomore majoring in Communications. 

10 Healthy Tips to Spice Up Your Thanksgiving

I love Thanksgiving because of the time to relax and appreciate the happiness and blessings which God continuously gives.  Plus, autumn is simply beautiful, and family time, yummy food, and a break from classes are definitely up there on the “things to be grateful for” list.   As you’re looking for recipes to use during your Thanksgiving feast, check out a few of these healthy, easy substitutions and tips!

  1. Add Flavor with Applesauce — Unsweetened applesauce can also be used in place of sugar cup-for-cup for delicious holiday desserts.
  2. Omit the Oil — Unsweetened applesauce or mashed ripe bananas can be used instead of butter or oil.  The fat-free puree can be used cup-for-cup in breads, muffins, and even boxed mixes for brownies and cakes!
  3. Better Than Bread Crumbs For your casseroles or breading, use rolled oats or crushed bran cereal instead of breadcrumbs.  The extra fiber is good for your tummy, and the crispy crunch is good for your taste buds!
  4. Skip the Salt — Use spices such as cinnamon, allspice, or nutmeg instead of salt to kick up the flavor of your favorite holiday treats — and it’s heart healthy, too!
  5. Choose Coconut Milk — Using coconut milk cup-for-cup for heavy cream will get you the same creamy taste and texture for half the calories.  You can also use fat-free evaporated milk (but don’t make this substitution if it needs to be whipped because it won’t double in size).
  6. Mix It Up with Meringue — Instead of frosting, combine two egg whites and four tablespoons of sugar in a high-speed mixer for some fluffy icing.  You should especially try this on pumpkin pie instead of the normal whipped cream topping it’s delicious!
  7. Swap Out the Sugar — Vanilla adds flavor for fewer calories.  For every cup of sugar, try just ½ cup white sugar + 1 tablespoon of vanilla instead.
  8. Cut the Cream Many stews and soups often call for cream; try fat free half-and-half OR evaporated skim milk cup-for-cup for the same creamy taste and fewer calories.
  9. DIY Buttermilk — Some Thanksgiving favorites call for buttermilk, which can easily be made at home with 1 cup skim milk and 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice.
  10. Yogurt is the New Sour Cream — Cup for cup, plain fat-free yogurt (or Greek yogurt) works great in dips or sauces as a replacement for sour cream.  It takes off a lot of extra calories and it tastes great, too!

To put this in practice, try this recipe from Skinnytaste® blog for “Delightfully Baked Apples” in place of apple crisp!  Thanksgiving is definitely a time for family, fun, and FOOD, so let’s all enjoy our treats while remembering that when we eat well and take care of our bodies, we’re able to enjoy the holidays so much more!

Rachel Lasley is the WSR Nutrition & Wellness Specialist.  She is a senior majoring in Dietetics and will be pursuing her master’s degree after she graduates from BYU this April.  Rachel offers free one-on-one wellness consultations for all members of the campus community.  To schedule an appointment, click here!

Grateful for the Failures

Earlier this year, I entered an essay contest.  I had never worked so hard on 750 words; for months I researched, rewrote, and revised.  When I finally clicked “Submit,” I knew I had written an essay I could be proud of.  I knew it could move anyone to tears.  I knew I would succeed.

And then… I didn’t win.

I didn’t get runner up, third place, or even “Honorable Mention.”  I just lost.  Period.  Now, I’ve experienced rejection in my life.  I’ve read many emails that start with “Thank you for your submission…” and ends with “…we hope you consider reapplying next year.”  But this particular failure with my essay hurt me where no other had before.  I had carefully put my heart in those words and that gift had been blatantly discarded.

If those words didn’t matter, those words so intrinsic to who I am, did I even matter?

Thanksgiving is almost here—the time of year where we stuff ourselves with pie and spout off some things we’re grateful for.  Off the top of my head, I can come up with dozens of things: food, indoor plumbing, my family, my faith, and YouTube just to name a few.  And believe me, I’ve heard just as many talks as you have urging us to be grateful for the hard times in our lives.  So yeah, I guess I’m grateful for the late nights finishing an assignment and the decade-long era of acne that I lived through.  But still, how can I be grateful for a profound and painful failure?  How can I be grateful for those moments when the voice in my head whispers “You will never be enough” and I am tempted to believe it?

I don’t have the answer completely figured out yet.  But, I have a little something to share with you: even after my failure, my heart is still beating.  Right now, your heart is still beating.  Yes, our hearts are bruised and tender, but they are still capable of producing so much love and beauty.  I’m coming to learn that the point of life is not to avoid failures or succeed in everything—the point of life is to accept our imperfect hearts and embrace the equally damaged hearts of others.  And through that connection, I am made whole.

It’s been a month or two since my essay disappointment.  I’ve been trying to ignore the failure, but I’m going to change my path; I’m going to use this failure to use it to connect with others, starting now:

Hello, my name is Kimberly.  I failed.  A lot.  It hurts.  If your failures hurt you, I understand how you feel (at least a little bit).  It’s nice to know we don’t have to fail alone.  We’re both enough.  Let’s keep trying together.

If I can grow closer to my fellow humans, I think the failure was worth it.

In fact, I actually think I’m grateful for the failures.

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Kimberly Sagers is the WSR Designer and Web Manager.  She is a senior studying Family Life and intends to pursue a master’s degree in Social Work after she graduates in April.

4 Things You Can Do NOW To Be A Voice of Courage

Our Voices of Courage campaign we held during October as part of Domestic Violence Awareness was such a success!  It was inspiring to see so many of you respond to our campaign focused on creating awareness around the abuse that is unfortunately so common in our society.

I think it’s pretty safe to say that most people were appalled to learn that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men are abused in their lifetime.  Personally, I was blown away by those numbers… 1 in 3!  That means my sister, my mom, or myself will be abused.  That means 2 out of my 6 roommates will be a victim.  So what’s next?  What will we choose to do now that we do know?  Well that’s where effort and real change come into play.

It’s good to be aware of the fact that abuse and domestic violence are a problem, but it’s only a very small part of the solution.  Stopping violence, whether physical or otherwise, doesn’t have to be done by some big heroic act.  Each of us can take small actions that can have a big impact in changing the culture and making a positive difference.  Here are four simple suggestions you can use to continue being a “Voice of Courage” against abuse and violence.

  1. Call People Out When They Make Sexist Comments or Jokes.  When someone makes an off-colored comment, don’t just sit and listen.  Say something!  Even if it seems embarrassing at the moment, you’re probably not the only one thinking it.  It’s never okay to be degrading or allow others to make sexist or inappropriate comments, even when joking.
  2. Nurture Your Personal Relationships—Practice What You Preach.  We’ve all heard that our actions speak louder than our words, and that is certainly the case in our relationships.  People will see the way that you treat your family or close friends.  When you treat those important people with love and respect, you can set an example that will reach further than you know!
  3. Be Aware of the Signs of Abuse.  Know what abuse looks like.  How can we stop something we cannot recognize?  The signs of abuse don’t have to come in the form of physical bruises, but often times they run much deeper than that.  Check out http://www.loveisrespect.org/is-this-abuse/  to familiarize yourself with the signs and be able to recognize and address them if you see them.
  4. Start by Believing.  When anyone comes to you about abuse they have experienced, start the conversation by believing them.  Confiding any type of abuse takes courage and the last thing the victim needs to feel is your skepticism or blame.  You can make a world of a difference by simply believing that they were abused and standing by them as they face their abuse.

While not all of us will have to face abuse firsthand in our lives, all of us CAN make a difference in helping those around us because chances are someone close to us is facing an abusive situation.  Your actions, both small and large, have the potential to make a ripple in the lives of those around you.  As Brene Brown says, “Every time we choose courage we make everyone around us a little better and the world a little braver.”  Let’s all continue the great work started with our recent campaign and be a “Voice of Courage” against abuse by making small, meaningful decisions in our every day lives to stop it.

Say something.  Do something.  Be a Voice of Courage!

Madison Fullmer is WSR’s Campaign Coordinator.  She is a junior from Detroit, Michigan majoring in Recreation Management.

Mel’s Kitchen Cafe: What a Treat!

This week our office hosted Mel Gunnell from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe for two events, and let’s just say they were absolutely AMAZING!  The first session had a college-vibe, where Mel shared information on eating healthy on a budget, along with quick and easy meals and grocery shopping tips.  The second session focused on cooking for families and getting dinner on the table at the end of a long day, as well as holiday tips and meal planning.  The house was packed for both sessions, and we loved having so many people there to hear from the one and only Mel!

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Mel was inspiring in so many ways, and her cooking demonstration where she made her Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps was such a great bonus!  She also brought some of her homemade vanilla bean salted caramels, and WOW were they delicious!  We absolutely loved having her on campus and it was such a treat for us…in every way!

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The first 100 guests at each event received a free cooking booklet with Mel’s tips and recipes.  For those who didn’t receive the booklets (or even if you did!) check out the electronic copies below!  We’ve also included links to the recipes Mel shared, along with some key tips from each presentation.  It was simply wonderful having her visit BYU and we appreciate all who came and participated in these awesome events!  Stay tuned for more great events to come from Women’s Services & Resources, and follow us on social media for the latest updates!

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HOW TO BE A KITCHEN ROCK STAR (Full Booklet)
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Recipes: Korean Beef and Rice, Super Simple Spicy Thai Noodles, Chicken Caesar Salad Wraps, Smoked Turkey Cobb Wraps, Creamy Garlic Alfredo Sauce, Crispy Southwest Chicken Wraps, Skillet Taco Pasta Shells, Creamy Black Bean Taco Soup, One Pot Creamy Tuna and Shells, Chicken Curry In A Hurry, Skillet Baked Spaghetti, French Bread Pizza, Delicious Ground Beef (Or Turkey) Stroganoff, Pasta Al Forno, Creamy Fettuccine with Ham and Peas, Oven Baked Chimichangas, Simple Orange Chicken with Broccoli, Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Chipotle Chicken Tacos, Skillet Creamy Macaroni & Cheese, Creamy White Chili, The Best Sloppy Joes, Healthier Chocolate No-Bake Cookies, No-Bake Granola Bites, Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars, Super Soft Chocolate Chip CookiesFudgy Coconut Oil Brownie Bites

Key Grocery Shopping Tips: Plan a budget, shop with a list, plan your meals, utilize grocery sales, don’t go to the grocery store hungry, and don’t buy fun-sized or individually-packaged items

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HOW TO GET DINNER ON THE TABLE WITH YOUR SANITY INTACT (Full Booklet)
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Recipes: Slow Cooker Lasagna, Slow Cooker Red Beans & Rice with Chicken Sausage, Chicken and Black Bean Chili, Italian Lasagna Roll-Ups, Crunchy-Topped Swiss Chicken Bake, Freezer Beef & Bean Burritos, Quinoa Enchilada Skillet Meal, Chipotle Chicken Tacos, Chicken Curry In A HurryCashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Tips to Reduce Stress in the Kitchen and Enjoy Cooking: Try a new recipe, keep it simple, utilize fresh herbs, cook with a friend, claim a signature dish, and embrace the freezer

Holiday Tips: Write out your menu, forget experimenting, prep in advance, print recipes, and go shopping early

Thanks again to all who came and especially to Mel for spending her time with us at BYU!  What an absolute TREAT!

The “Midterm Monster”

See that little gal on the boat?  That is a representation of me.  And the giant fish about to swallow me whole?  That’s the embodiment of midterm exams, projects, papers, work, and an unrelenting schedule.  Yikes, right?  Well if your BYU experience has been anything like mine, maybe you can relate to this cartoon…and perhaps appreciate my artistic skills at the same time. 😉  But let’s be real — school picks up in October and pretty much goes full throttle until Christmas.  There are a few sporadic holidays every now and then, but I’ve come to identify the term “holiday” as code for “days I don’t have class but spend the whole day studying anyway.”  And that isn’t fun!  In some respects, I almost feel like finals are better because then at least your tests aren’t scheduled on the same day and you even have a free day to study!

In any case, you may find yourself suffering from the “midterm blues” (which may or may not manifest itself by crying, complaining, tiredness, irritability, lack of motivation, or the sudden urge to smash your computer into bits) and you might just need a “pick-me-up.”   That is precisely what this post is about.  So put on your positive pants and get ready to throw that midterm monster overboard!

Central to our plan of course, is organization and hard work.  But, I’m sure you’ve mastered this at least somewhat because you made it to BYU!  And, due to your scholarly tenacity, you may have exhibited some of these side effects: lack of adequate sleep, little interest in other human beings, and a diet consisting of Dr. Pepper and Chick-Fil-A.  Jokes aside though, being a student is challenging.

When I feel like my brain is about to explode and I simply can’t handle anything more, that’s when I need to remind myself of one of the greatest gifts the Lord has given us— grace.

The Bible dictionary defines the word grace as “divine means of help or strength given through the bounteous mercy and love of Jesus Christ.”  I’m no expert, but what I understand this means is that Christ steps in and strengthens us so we can bear our burdens.  In the grand scheme of things, our “midterm monster” is like a tiny bug.  If things don’t go exactly the way we want, it’s actually okay.  Christ still loves us.  The Atonement still applies to us. We can still learn, grow, love, and progress.  Not only that, but I believe the Lord truly does want us to succeed and He will provide the way that we can overcome all things.

So cheer up!  Things will be all right.  Even if we get swallowed by that fish, God will pull us out just like He did with Jonah.  And, He’ll probably then equip us with just the right things we need to fulfill our life’s mission…all those things that will help you, you know, “GO FORTH TO SERVE!”

Rachel Lasley is the Women’s Services & Resources Wellness Specialist.  Rachel is a senior majoring in Dietetics and is in the midst of her second-to-last round of midterms as she’ll be graduating this April! 🙂