Time is an interesting thing to me. Four years ago this month, I became a blogger. My readers from back then might not believe that I resisted at first; I didn't think I had anything much to say. But I ended up proving myself wrong when I finally started my first blog, Based on a True Story. Little did I know at that time where this "blogging" thing was actually going to take me.
It was an exciting journey, which served its purpose very well: I now have an extensively detailed record--thousands of pages' worth--preserving my senior year of high school and the succeeding fifteen months of my life; I met several wonderful new friends and strengthened many old friendships through blog networking; and I discovered a lot about myself--who I was, why I did what I did, how I fit into the world around me. I'm grateful for all of those results, and I intend to integrate the concepts behind them here on this blog.
But a few changes have been made. Those of you who knew the old blog will eventually recognize the differences in my posting habits, but first you might notice the layout. It's still quite familiar; I'm using the same template, just with a new color scheme. The sidebar's been cleaned up a bit. Heck, even my profile picture shows me in a tie. I suppose, at the risk of sounding a little sacrilegious, this could be looked at as a resurrection of sorts. My active blogging was dead, but now it's come back better, all clean and organized. I won't go so far as to call it glorious, but it feels good.
So, what do I hope to do with this resurrected thing? A better blog means a better focus--a greater purpose. That's what you'll find here. Let's take a moment to talk about this blog's purpose.
After two years of blogging I left everything behind to serve as a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was the greatest growing experience I've ever had, and I learned as much in two years as a missionary as I did in two decades of life. One of those lessons was that there truly is something to be happy about in any situation. Every dark cloud has a silver lining; and even if everything goes wrong all around us, when we're grateful for the blessings we do have, we'll grow. On my mission I met many miserable people, who had been swallowed up in despair because they couldn't see the good around them. But of these people, there were still many whose lives I saw change when they learned that the glass really was "half full." In some cases, nothing about their environments changed; but their attitude was such that they could choose to be happy, and when they acted upon it, that was powerful.
I know that's true because it's worked for me personally. When we recognize the Lord's mercy in our lives, islands of happiness become continents. As the scriptures say, "... men are, that they might have joy" (2 Nephi 2:25). God hasn't put us here to be miserable! This life is all about preparing to meet Him (Alma 34:32)--that is, gaining experience, learning from it, and acting positively on what we've learned by keeping our Father's commandments. So of course we'll experience some opposition! If we didn't know the bitter, we would never understand the sweet. What we gain from it depends on how we react; and that's why this blog won't be the ramblings of some "happy robot," but you may sometimes still see posts here about difficult moments--and how I approach them. "... All things work together for good to them that love God" (Romans 8:28; emphasis mine).
And so, that's the direction I'm taking this blog. When you check back here for updates, I want you to leave feeling better about life. And if you've got something to say, I want you to jump on in and share it, so we can all benefit from each other. After all, we're all together in this grand experience called life. We might as well learn together.