Writing has become a bigger part of my life than it was before

I know, it’s hard to believe, but writing has now become even more of my life than it was before.

When I think of my past history with writing, I think of NaNoWriMo and all of my little short stories and poems on the side. When I think of my future? Now I think of all of that with the addition of Odyssey.

I was given the opportunity 2 months ago to take part in this wonderful organization. It has given me the chance to get my voice further out there than I had before. I have grown from this experience and since becoming a Content Creator for Odyssey, I have learned what it means to say what you want to say. I had been a Content Creator for 4 weeks when my Managing Editor offered me the role of Editor in Chief. Since then I have taken on the responsibility of maintaining an Odyssey Team and helping them be the best they can be, all while working hard to get my voice out there as well. We are a team, we strive to work together, and I am astounded by this organization. Odyssey is more than just an online editorial, it is a life experience. If you haven’t experienced getting your voice out there like this, then you are definitely missing out. With all of these responsibilities, it’s no wonder writing has become more of my life, than just a hobby. I am prepping for my future as an editor, what are you doing to prep for your future?

This is my article this week, it is about Suicide Squad: 11 Reasons Why Suicide Squad Is The Best

Fare thee well,

Karen Alyse

A good day to spend in a good place

This past Thursday was absolutely wonderful. Before I mention the temple, let me just state how much I love tithing and how grateful I am that it is now online, not only do I no longer have to wait to pay my tithing but I also no longer have to keep the tithing slips because they are now all online. Tithing is a great blessing, I know it has helped me in my life. All the Lord asks for is 1/10th of what we earn. That is little to nothing in the grand scheme of things when he has given us so many beautiful things, such as the temple.

I had the opportunity to go to the Dallas Texas Temple to help watch some kids for a family while they spent time doing a session in the temple.

We walked around the part of the grounds that was available to walk around, talked about different things in our lives, watched a few LDS videos, and did some puzzles. In fact, I even drew a lion. But one main thing struck me and stuck with me all weekend.

As we were sitting there watching the video On the Way Home, I was asked many questions. One of which was probably the most important question out of all they asked, will their family be together forever?

Even though the family in On the Way Home is a fictional one, I responded that yes they would be together forever because they all chose to be baptized into the Lord’s church and be reunited with their lost family members in the future. I was so glad that they had asked that and that I could proudly and confidently state that they would be together again and would have forever together.

There are many people who don’t understand this blessing that we have been given, but when an effort is put into understanding, that is where the truth can shine.

Maybe they already knew the answer to their question, maybe they were testing me, but whatever their reason for asking I am so grateful. They helped me realize with a surety that no matter what befalls you, there is always the opportunity to be together again, no matter how long  or how much effort it takes. Families can be together forever.

As we were watching this is reminded me of my own family. Now, we are quite different from the family in the movie because we aren’t converts, have more boys than girls in our family, and have not lost a sibling early due to an accident that caused a death. But, we are similar in the fact that we have lost someone. Not to death, no. But to a fate that might even be worse than death right now.

We have lost one of my brothers, all his life he was faithful to the gospel, he did everything he was supposed to: got his eagle, went on a mission, loved the gospel. I know he truly believed or he wouldn’t have chosen to do any of these things. However, he met a girl and she influenced him for the worse. He has stopped coming to church, has moved away, and I have seen a great change in how he interacts with us. Every once in a while, his old self will shine through proving that he hasn’t changed entirely, but this new self is not the brother I know and love. He is different.

However, this doesn’t ruin my knowledge of the gospel and how I know that no matter what he will come back. I know my brother. He doesn’t want to be stuck like this. He does want to come to church and one day I am sure he will, but that day is not today. Just as the family was angry about their sister being taken, I was angry about my brother being taken. But I have learned that no matter what, God knows what He is doing. He knows that we have worries and He knows what will come. We just need to trust in Him and He will make everything better. All things are better through Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and I sincerely believe that. I can’t wait to be truly reunited with my brother, even if it isn’t in this life. I dearly hope it will be, but if it isn’t there is a reason. Nothing happens without a reason.

This day has by far been my favorite day of the week. It brought me so much peace to just be able to spend 3 hours at the temple and I am absolutely grateful for this gorgeous building. I love the temple and I love that the plan of salvation exists for all of us. We are all children of our Heavenly Father and he truly loves each and every one of us and doesn’t want to lose any of us.

He lives in us, so let’s live for Him.

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A good day 🙂

The smile that was on my face all day, nothing could remove it and I am so grateful for the ability I have to recognize the beauty in all things, even when the temple grounds are being torn up and repaired. Nothing could stop the temple from being gorgeous, look at this picture.

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Dallas Texas Temple

  1. I love to see the temple.
    I’m going there someday
    To feel the Holy Spirit,
    To listen and to pray.
    For the temple is a house of God,
    A place of love and beauty.
    I’ll prepare myself while I am young;
    This is my sacred duty.
  2. 2. I love to see the temple.
    I’ll go inside someday.
    I’ll cov’nant with my Father;
    I’ll promise to obey.
    For the temple is a holy place
    Where we are sealed together.
    As a child of God, I’ve learned this truth:
    A fam’ly is forever.

With that, fare thee well!!

Karen Alyse

those days when you can only smile

The status I posted on FaceBook two nights ago:

“Those days when you can just smile through everything and nothing goes wrong and everything just keeps getting better and better? Those are the best. Cherish those days.

I just had one of those days.”

Now, this day was actually two days ago, but essentially I am still on a high from it.

I woke up and while I was definitely tired, I was glad to be awake. It was beautiful outside, I was working in my favorite department that day at work, and I got to talk to someone important to me.

Prior to work, I had a conversation with a good friend, we just talked about what was going on that day and then I went to work. As I was working I ended up being the Theater/Presentation Checker and I got to only do that all day. I helped out with organizing the box offices for the majority of the day and finally for the last 2 hours of my 8-9 hour shift I got to actually check theaters.

When I started checking theaters I went and had another conversation with my friend because they were at the theater. I found out how long they would be there and planned to come back later. We talked for like half an hour at that time and then both figured we needed to get back to work so we did.

I got off of work and went home, took a shower, and my brother asked me to come see a movie with him and our little brother. Of course, I agreed. On the way to the theater, I convinced my brother to stop at Kroger so I could get a Mexican Coke for my friend at the theater. He agreed to let me do that so we stopped there, I bought the coke, and we were back on the road to the theater.

When we arrived there we got our tickets and headed to concessions. While my brothers were at concessions I told them I would see them in a bit and headed over to where my friend was so I could give him his Coke (which was for his birthday).

I walked up to him and he was very involved in what he was doing right then so I jjust stood there and waited for him to notice me and finally when he did I was like “Here. This is for you.” and I held the Coke out to him. He got really excited and was genuinely happy and then he threw me off when he asked “Can I give you a hug?”

Of course, I said yes, I wasn’t about to turn down a hug. Then we stood there and started talking and before we both knew it we had been talking for like an hour and a half. It didn’t feel like it had been that long, but it was. I really enjoy his company, he’s a great friend and I’m positive we’ll still be friends for a while.

After that, I went and finished watching Star Wars with my brothers and finally we left and hung out at home. The day was literal perfection. I am not sure how much better you can get.

Like I said, I am still on a high from all that occurred that day.

If you have the opportunity to have a day like this, take advantage of it. They don’t come along all the time and may surprise you when they do or even disrupt your plans when they do. But they are so worth it.

As always, fare thee well!!

Karen Alyse

#donotbeafakefriend

I recently posted a FaceBook status that reads:

“It’s interesting when you realize just how many people you talked to/were friends with when you were younger that decided you were just another face in the crowd they could forget and now they have to interact with you. It always makes for some nice awkward encounters. Word to the wise? Maybe be a genuine friend or just don’t invest time in people. This way it won’t be awkward in the future. ‪#‎donotbeafakefriend‬

This is a good lesson for anyone to learn, but I am about to focus mainly on my faith. If no one knew this, I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. With this comes a lot of close-knit community ties. We have a tighter community than most other religions. Especially with the fact that we don’t necessarily “choose” where we go to church, but rather go to a specific building based on where we live. Not only is it the building that an area is assigned to, but different sections of the area go to the church building at a specific time.

In Utah, this topic may not be a thing seeing as there truly is a church on almost every corner, but in Texas, this is absolutely a real occurrence. Especially when you reach cities that are even slightly more city than suburb. Even 45 minutes away from a major city deals with the tiny close-knit community that Mormons/LDS members are known for.

However, it’s not even home wards that we are dealing with here, it’s YSA’s (Young Single Adult wards and branches). If you thought the way we did Sunday services was strange, you’re gonna get a real kick out of this one. Outside of Utah and Idaho, we don’t really have multiple YSA’s for each stake. We, more than likely, have one.

And this brings me back to my main point. Do not be a fake friend.

When we are younger, we have the chance to meet people in our area and age group in the church at various activities and we 0ften become friends with many people this way. The only caveat here is that many young members of the church will simply tolerate people that they wouldn’t want to be friends with outside of these activities. Thus, when college hits everyone goes their separate ways, UNLESS they continue to live in the same city that they grew up in.

This is because they now begin going to the YSA branch/ward in their area and now have to encounter those people again on a regular occurrence–even more than they had before as children.

This is not an issue for everyone, but this can be one for many because they have chosen to ignore those they “befriended” as young children because they, at the time or later, thought they were “too churchy”, “too weird”, “not cool enough”, or even “merely tolerable”. (This list doesn’t end. People have endless reasons for dropping someone and ignoring them completely–This isn’t only in the LDS community. It happens with EVERYONE.)

What drove me to write about this is that I now have an assignment where I have to interact with one of these “friends” from my childhood each month who I suppose was never truly a friend. It wouldn’t be weird if the person in question hadn’t continually ignored me as an adult and pretended like I didn’t exist. However, because they did this it will make interacting with them that much more awkward. I had made the effort to reach out to them as I was at school and such and they, countless times, ignored me.

Y’all may be thinking “oh she’s just butthurt that this happened to her…”, “she shouldn’t have tried…”, “only she would be affected by this…”, “it’s all in her head…”, “this isn’t really happpening to her…” but all of those phrases are so far from the truth.

If the person in question hadn’t been friends with me when we were young children there would be no issue and this would be another instance where I get to meet a new person, but because I’ve known them for over 15 years, have known what they went through, and have seen how far they’ve come without them even thinking that I might be a friend, this is going to be awkward. And it probably won’t be awkward just for me.

I can guarantee you that the second they realize that I was one of the people they knew as a child whom they often spent time with they will feel the awkwardness.

This is not a post where I am asking you to pity me or help me wallow in my sorrow, but this is a post where I am asking you to please, PLEASE, please be genuine. I cannot express how much I hope everyone takes this and decides to be a genuine individual and friend. It is hard to realize how important it is when we are young, but as we grow older we need to recognize that nobody has time for fake friends. Nobody has time to be fake. No one has time to even think about being fake. Genuine is where it’s at. This is the only type of friend ANYONE should be. And the only type of friend that I intend to be. I will interact with this person just as I would with any of my close friends. I will continue to love them and reach out to them, no matter what because I truly care about them and I hope, more than anything, that I can make a difference in their life.

 

These are my thoughts on this topic, I hope y’all have thoughts to share with me as well because I love to hear stories and comments from people.

Fare thee well!!

Karen Alyse

Demons

There she is,

I hesitate.

She sits there – uncomfortable, self conscious,

and hating the world.

~

Does she realize how much she has?

Does she realize how she has everything I ever wanted?

How could she hate the world, then?

What did he do to her?

~

Oh, right – he gave her an amazing life:

Friends who love her no matter what,

A family that cares and wants the best for her,

And a guy that doesn’t take her for granted.

~

A life that any girl would be grateful for –

A life full of love, a life shared with others,

A life that anyone else would want –

But not her.

~

No – her true wishes are for it all to stop.

All of it – the despair, the depression, the delusion.

None of those things mean anything

If she can’t experience them fully.

~

The inhibitors in her life are brutal:

They beat her, curse her, push her down –

They repeat this day after day after day.

The pain, the hurt, the remorse, the guilt –

bearing down on her, threatening her, damaging her.

~

One day it may become too much,

One day she may not get back up.

And when that day comes, she will need us –

Each of us, no matter where we are.

~

We must be there for her,

We must show her we care.

We must battle her demons with her,

Prove to her that she can beat it.

~

For as we battle her demons, we will battle our own

And learn for ourselves exactly what must be known.

That love conquers all, even replaces it too;

And this is what we must learn how to do.

~

I stood there thinking all this through

And then walked across the room.

“May I sit here?” I asked

And she looked up at me and smiled, “Of course you may.”

~

Her smile lifted my spirits and my heart fluttered,

It was like seeing the sun after a year of storms.

The moment she smiled I thought to myself

“Perhaps she has defeated her demons yet.”

~~~~

Fare thee well!!

Karen Alyse

Hah. I have way too much fun writing things like this… I haven’t even experienced this before either… Hopefully will soon, though ;)

Yep. It’s me again. It’s sorta been a while… Well this is just something I wrote this morning cuz I was bored. Good stuff. I get all giddy when I do stuff like this cuz I don’t even know if I’m doing it correctly because I know nothing about these things… Well. Enjoy my non-understanding of topics like kisses and such. These types of posts may come up more often. :3

Walking hand in hand with Him just felt right. Like we were meant to be. I wouldn’t have been able to explain it to someone if they had asked, I just knew, in that moment, that we belonged together. Him and me. Me and Him. We. As we followed the sidewalk into an area furnished with many overhanging trees, I sighed and breathed in the lovely scent of the honeysuckle bushes that were littered along the trail. Then all too soon He stopped walking. I made a sound of slight outrage, but then I felt an arm slip around my waist, His arm. I felt Him pull me closer and closer and closer until there was barely any room between us, “you are my everything, sweetheart.” And then He pulled me the last little bit of space closer and kissed me softly, lovingly, adoringly. And my heart nearly stopped from the amount of love I felt at that precise moment in time. That was when I knew it. I knew that He was the one. I knew that He was my soulmate.

~~~~~

Welp. Fare thee well!!
Karen Alyse

Boys and Girls.

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Boys.

Isn’t it always about boys?

The world is so intricately designed

and yet all girls truly care about are boys.

What would the world be like if that wasn’t all there was?

What would girls do if they weren’t obsessed with boys?

Maybe be more independent? Maybe be brave.

Maybe they would be proud of who they are.

Maybe they wouldn’t think twice if a boy looked their way.

Maybe they’d be more than they are now.

 

Girls.

Alternately, boys tend to think only about girls.

Girls are something to get. Something they have.

Something to flaunt. Something that they “acquired”.

Does that sound like a person? To me it sounds like an artifact.

A toy that can be used at their pleasure and tossed away when it gets old.

A thing that has little value once it gets old.

A thing that a boy may toss away when he is bored.

What if boys respected girls more?

What if girls were actually a special addition to a boy’s life?

 

Boys & Girls.

Together they can do great things.

Together they have great power.

Together they can get married.

Together they can fix their problems.

Together they can build a home.

Together they can council their friends equally.

Together they can dance.

Together they can sing.

Together they can do great and noble things.

 

So why?

Why do boys think of girls as objects? And why do girls think of boys as an escape?

Why do boys parade girls? And why do girls chase after boys?

Why do boys cast away girls when they get bored? Why would a girl run back to a boy who was so cruel to her?

Why do boys ignore girls until having one suits them? Why do girls think it is okay to be ignored?

Why do boys and girls use each other so wrongly?

 

Just some thoughts that I had on my mind. I’ve noticed these instances a lot more lately. I just don’t think we should truly hang our whole life on one other person. Girls shouldn’t plan their lives around a guy and drop everything just because he wanted to do something and guys shouldn’t drop everything just because the girl wanted to do something. It should be relatively equal and they should agree on the terms of their relationship. If they go to a dance and meet up there and the girl wants to talk to her friends because she hasn’t seen them and rarely ever does, then the guy should let her. He shouldn’t attempt to box her up and tell her she can ONLY spend the night with him and then when she doesn’t listen to him he shouldn’t leave without telling her. That is not the way things should happen. And guys shouldn’t feel suffocated by the girl. He should be able to be as free as the girl is. They should be on the same grounds in these areas.

Just some of my ideas and opinions. Tell me what you think! I actually am really interested!!

Fare thee well!!

Karen Alyse