the bridge.

14 11 2010

Think about some of the things adults told you as a kid to keep you from following the crowd.

It seems that adults are intent on keeping youth from caving in to peer pressure.

I remember teachers, youth leaders, parents saying, “If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?

That was the cliched saying that was meant to keep kids from following their friends into temptation…

“and they were in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers towards those who had come at and were partaking of the fruit.” (1 Nephi 8:27)

Most of our childhood is spent with adults telling us to avoid peer pressure and not to worry about the people pointing fingers at you because you’re different.

Then one day, everything changes….

Suddenly everyone wants you to conform.

Go to college.
Do an internship.
Get married.
Have kids.
Buy a house.

Now if you don’t follow the crowd you’re the one looked down on.
Now you’re supposed to worry about the pointing fingers.

What changes between childhood and adulthood?


Yeah, that’s gotta be it…

Well, I don’t believe anything has to change.

And neither does this Chris Guillebeau, author of “The Art of Non-Conformity” blog.

When I lived with the crew in the Slate house we always talked about how we we didn’t want a traditional life.

None of us wanted to be part of just another suburban family driving a mini-van around with our 4 kids and dog.

*Not that there is anything wrong with that. We just didn’t feel like it was for us.

But that is very frowned upon in our culture – you are expected to do all of those things.

But just because it’s expected doesn’t mean you have to…

? Have you ever wanted something more than a normal life?

one year ago.

9 11 2010

In case you’re new to my blog, here’s some important background information about the past year of my life:

Exactly one year ago today I was:
spiritually sunk.
living in a basement.

Today I am:
satisfied (well, for the most part)
temple attending.
still broke. (but not as much – haha)
happily employed.
still living in a basement.

One year ago today I took a step that changed my life…
I moved home.

I left everything behind.
I started fresh and got myself back on track spiritually.

One year later I am laying in bed next to my beautiful wife while writing this post.

I owe anything and everything I have right now to Heavenly Father.

He doesn’t give you everything you WANT – but if you place yourself in the right situation doing the right things He will guide your life the way it NEEDS to go.

“if ye should transgress and go contrary to that which has been spoken, that ye do withdraw yourselves from the Spirit of the Lord, that it may have no place in you to guide you in wisdom’s paths…” (Mosiah 2:36)

? What is one way Heavenly Father has guided your life?

decade of decision.

24 10 2010

At Stake Priesthood meeting tonight we were reminded of a talk given by Elder Hales entitled: “Preparing for the Decade of Decision“.

Elder Hales describes a series of incredibly important decisions that will be made.
All of these life-altering decisions will be made in a very busy, relatively short period during your 20s—during what I call the “Decade of Decision,” Hales said.

I started thinking about all of the decisions I’ve made during the past 10 years of my life.

Church. (It’s true- I just need to figure out the whole obedience thing)
College. (BYU – also decided 5 years would be more fun than 4)
Mission. (England, Birmingham 2003-2005)
Major. (Public Relations)
Career. (Blickenstaff’s Toy & Candy)
Marriage. (Leah my beautiful wife)

Yep, there they are – 6 HUGE decisions.
But now that they’re made what do I do?

I sat there in the meeting tonight wondering what comes after the “decade of decision”?

I feel like you are taught, groomed, trained and advised on how to make wise choices during your “decade of decision”
“O, remember, my son, and learn wisdom in thy youth…” (Alma 37:35)

BUT – everyone failed to mention what comes next.

“Decade of decision” sounds so exciting and life changing.

I’ve been brainstorming names for my current point in life:
“decade of revision” (a chance to fix any mistakes I made)
“decade of submission” (a time to submit to the consequences of the past decade)
“decade of “provision” (a time to become a provider)

Hhmm… yeah nothing stands out.

? What comes after the “decade of decision”?


16 09 2010

My life revolves around boxes at the moment.

Have you ever had a certain “thing” that just seemed to permeate all facets of your life?
Well, at this very moment I cannot seem to escape boxes.

And I’m not just talking about a box or two. I’m talking overwhelming, in your face, unescapable boxes.

At Blickenstaff’s our holiday order has begun to come in…
We’ve only gotten in several lines, but Frank (our loveable UPS guy) had to warn us about our shipment so that we could make room for it. We had about 150 boxes show up. The back room looks like this:

That picture captures only half of our Lego order. It’s ridiculous. I have a boxcutter permanently attached to my hand at the moment.

The boxes continue when I open my front door and see boxes, boxes and more boxes. Crockpots, waffle irons, popcorn makers etc. etc. It never ends.

Part of me is annoyed with all of the boxes – but the other more dominant part feels excited.

The boxes represent big changes.

At work they represent an incredible holiday shipment that will literally provide people a one-stop shopping outlet for the holidays.
At home they represent a new life. A fresh start with the love of my life.

It is crazy to think that less than a year ago the boxes I packed into my car as I moved home were practically a symbol of failure. I was broken and broke.

A little time can change anything.
“…for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.” (Ecclesiastes 3:17)

? What “thing” has changed in meaning over the course of time to you?

A small change.

13 06 2010

There has been a lot of talk about the media/technology and it’s influence lately. I’ve been thinking about my own habits and how I can l begin to make small changes in order to use the media/technology as a tool for growth and not my spiritual demise.

I was sitting in sacrament and thought about my compulsive desire to download new movies or TV shows to watch along with music to listen to.

I decided that I should use the technology to pick up something worthwhile to listen to.

The Church has a lot of great materials out there – and there are some members who have compiled some incredible resources to pull from.

I picked up a lot of talks from different prophets and apostles and put them on my iPhone. Every week I will listen to one talk as I am driving around. I will start on Monday and listen until the talk is complete.

I LOVE music – and singing along in the car is one of my favorite things to do. I love hearing the new songs that come out – creating playlists to listen to and then just losing myself in the music. But I think it will be good for me to use part of my driving time to listen to something uplifting. I’m not going to stop listening to music, don’t be ridiculous. But it can’t hurt to split the time, right?

For years my dad has listened to church materials on his drive to and from work. He has listened to the scriptures countless times. I always thought he was missing out on all of the new songs on the radio. (I still think that)

BUT – for some reason, I feel like I need to at least test it out for myself. Maybe I will find that I can’t live without my music (then there is a problem – because I am addicted), or maybe I will find that I don’t miss constant bass thumping and will open myself up for inspiration and personal revelation.

Who knows!

It’s a still and small voice that can reveal things and maybe I have been covering that voice up with Justin Timberlake’s voice all these years!

“And it came to pass that while they were thus conversing one with another, they heard a voice as if it came out of heaven; and they cast their eyes round about, for they understood not the voice which they heard; and it was not a harsh voice, neither was it a loud voice; nevertheless, and notwithstanding it being a small voice it did pierce them that did hear to the center, insomuch that there was no part of their frame that it did not cause to quake; yea, it did pierce them to the very soul, and did cause their hearts to burn.” (3 Nephi 11:3)

? What small change can you make to help open yourself up to greater personal revelation?

I’m back.

10 05 2010

I drove into Utah early early early this morning.

I’m unpacked and back in my old room. (at grandmas)

It was a surreal feeling unpacking – I can remember clearly packing everything up.

I was different.
Life was different.

When I left I was:

And now I’m:
In a relationship – with my best friend and love of my life <

Nice! Hopefully with the new job I’ll be able to quickly change the broke part.

The biggest difference between November and now?

The fire is back. I’m studying and obviously writing and I’m looking for any and every opportunity to improve.

We all have high’s and low’s – the key is to ride the high for as long as you possibly can and keep the low’s to a minimum.

Easier said than done.

“Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.” (2 Nephi 31:20)

? How do you keep the spiritual fire alive?

for good.

1 05 2010

The time has come.

I moved here 6 months ago and now I’m moving away.

It was hard to move here. It is harder moving away.

I took this picture last night. Korinne was out at the Apple Blossom Festival this wknd otherwise she would have been in it.

I’m sad.

My mom and I have always been close — but we have become great friends during my time here.

I will miss her.

I will miss everyone here. What a blessing it has been to be here these past 6 months.

There have been some crazy times here in Winchester — especially with my sister. But I love them.

I love them and am grateful for everything they have done for me. I feel like I could never repay them for everything they have done for me.

The great thing about my family is that they are more than that. They are my friends. I don’t hang out with them just because we are family and I have to — I hang out with them because I want to.

They have helped me change — in a way I could never have done alone.

“…there was a mighty change wrought in his heart…” (Alma 5:12)

I love this song from Wicked….

My life is constantly changing for the better because of my family….


?  Who has changed your life for good?

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