Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Today I am very grateful for the ability I have to endure and persist in doing things until they are finished, even when I'm tired and don't feel like making an effort.  I have so many things on my plate in the next few weeks: my piano literature binder, my Prokofiev paper, my piano major listening and book report, my 490 report and presentation, and my paper for Dr. Jaccard's class, among other things.  And yet, even with all these things to do, I feel a quiet optimism and know that I will be able to accomplish everything on my list. I know this is a gift that not everyone possesses, and I'm very thankful that it has been given to me.  So, even though I will be very busy over the next few weeks, I won't be overwhelmed.

English title: Fasting: spiritual strength

Thursday, March 24, 2011


My recital is over!  I feel like a part of me has died, or maybe been preserved in petrified wood, to be glanced at later when I pull my recital CD off my shelf.

Today I am grateful for the blessings of self-confidence and humility.  For various reasons, I've never considered myself a very good piano performance major.  Despite how well I do in my classes and my abilities as a performer and accompanist, I have always doubted myself.  Over the past few months, however, these feelings have come to me much less frequently.  After my sophomore and junior recitals, I felt that I hadn't met up to my own expectations and wasn't on par with other piano majors.  However, although I know I made plenty of mistakes tonight, I am satisfied with my performance and know that it was solid, musical, and even excellent.  I'm grateful for the gift of being able to evaluate my abilities objectively.  This, oddly enough, shows humility and self-confidence at the same time, both gifts from God that I did not possess naturally.

I am also grateful again for a wonderful family and network of friends.  My uncle Paul estimated that my family had traveled about 40,000 miles in total to attend my recital.  I have the best family in the world!

English title: Performance

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I haven't written an entry for a good seven months now, but better late than never, right?

My roommate Jaren has been keeping a gratitude journal in the form of a blog since December; I read a few of the posts previously, but just now I went through and read each one, contemplating what changes might occur in my life if I do likewise.  I felt such a sense of peace as I read, and that, along with many other promptings over the past few weeks, have led me back to my blog.  This will continue to serve as an ordinary journal, but more importantly it will be my gratitude journal, a tangible reminder of the Spirit working in my life as I recognize the Lord's hand in small things.

To start, I've had a few things to write about over the past little while, so let me get those out.  In no particular order, the first happened last Thursday, Saint Patrick's Day.  I was running late, and as I rushed out the door, I knew there was no way I would make it to my Piano Literature class on time.  This disappointed me, as there are only eight students in the class and I invest more of myself into it than other classes I have taken.  However, as I hurried up 700 East, a car pulled over on the right and the guy inside beckoned me over.  I don't know if it was because I was wearing all green in honor of the holiday, or if he just felt particularly charitable.  We talked for about two minutes; I discovered that his name is Steven and he's from Colorado.  He dropped me off at the Sinclair gas station, and the four or so minutes saved allowed me to be on time for class.  I was very grateful for his kindness; just today I discovered a similar entry in Jaren's blog, so obviously Steven has performed this service more than once.  What a wonderful way to start off someone else's day!

My senior recital is tomorrow afternoon.  As it approaches, I am reminded of the many incredible gifts I have been given.  Above all, I have an amazingly supportive family and group of friends.  I have several relatives flying in, and they show me by their love the Christlike way to act towards others.  My bishop turned my recital into a ward activity(!), so he and others will be helping my sister Hannah out with the refreshments afterward.  He is so eager for the ward to come together and serve each other, and I'm grateful for his support.  I'm thankful for my talents.  I still don't know if I'll ever use my musical talents in a professional capacity, but I know I have been given them to bless the lives of others, whether through playing the piano in church or performing beautiful music inspired by the Spirit in other venues.

There are so many other things I could mention, but these are what I am grateful for today.  I'm thankful to have started my blog anew, and I hope it will have a meaningful impact on my life.

English title: Thankfulness: A blessing from heaven