Wednesday, May 27, 2015


I am struggling under the burden of 5 classes.  I feel like I can’t keep up.  I don’t know what’s wrong with me but this is really, really hard and I keep having setbacks.  Maybe I'm trying to race through stuff to keep up.  I don’t read instructions correctly; I don’t understand the assignment – I am dealing with criticism of my efforts and it’s hard to bear.  I am guilty of some kind of sick perfectionism that I have to let go of or it will eat me up inside.  It is causing me to feel bitter, especially towards one of my instructors.  I know I am in the wrong when I feel this way.

I know the Lord knows I am trying.  I am making positive changes and good things are still happening to me as a result of my studies – I am growing in knowledge and changing in ways that are really good.  I am faltering right now a little in my resolve to keep going and giving it my all.  In my prayers this morning I begged for strength and grace to help me keep going, keep plugging along.  I went to and typed in “perserverance” and this talk from Elder Marvin J. Ashton came up called “Who will forfeit the Harvest?”  This talk is mainly about keeping our testimonies bright and strong, but I likened it to my own situation and felt like I could apply his closing paragraph to myself as a student.  My comments to his assertions are in red.

“Most of all, we forfeit the gift of eternal growth and progress. May we avoid the stony places of (1) unwillingness to accept human qualities, My instructor is human.  BYUI has entrusted him with the responsibility to teach.  I need to accept his ability of communication and not think unkindly of him because he isn’t meeting my expectations.

(2) unwillingness to accept change, Some classes are going to be harder than others for me.  That’s just the way it is and I can’t expect to be Patty Perfect in all of them.  That is not realistic.  Whether its difficulty in grasping concepts or difficulty communicating with an instructor, I have to learn to be flexible and make the best of every situation.

(3) unwillingness to follow instructions. There is no sin in misunderstanding something – it is only a sin when I rebel.  Pray for understanding.  Pray that I can follow the instructions and do my best.  If I have done my best, and have tried to remain humble and teachable, if I have reached out and made the best effort possible to understand, then I have still benefited from the exercise regardless of the outcome grade-wise.

, and (4) unwillingness to be totally committed. 'Don’t quit now!  I’ve come so far.  There will be setbacks; that is life.  Endure to the end.  That requires total commitment.  Even when I feel criticized.  Even when I feel discouraged.  Even when I’m tired.  Even when I don’t understand.  Even when I feel like this is busywork, even when my teacher is being nitpicky, even, even, even.  This is a good and worthy effort and I’m getting a BYUI education from the Lord’s University.  What a privilege!  What a blessing!  What a lucky girl I am!

By so doing we can establish deep, strong roots and thus reap the harvest our Father in Heaven wants for all his children.”  By doing these things, I am reaping the harvest of intelligence; I am growing in patience; I am learning how I can better serve others; I am learning to stretch myself;  I am learning small-L leadership; I am seeing what I am capable of.  I’m learning truths that I will take with me into eternity.  I am starting to catch a glimpse of myself the way my Father in Heaven sees me.  That is my most precious learning experience of all.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Mushrif Central Park

Hubby and I spent last Saturday evening exploring the recently opened Mushrif Central Park.  Parking was plentiful, and after the 5 dhs admission fee, you’re free to wander the many garden paths that wind through fountains, play areas, and a mini-zoo.  On Saturdays starting at 4pm, Ripe Market puts on an open market reminiscent of street markets in the US.  Vendors are selling locally handmade crafts, one-of-a-kind gift items and accessories from different parts of the world, organic fruits and veggies, interesting packaged food and health items, as well as many food and drink vendors.

It was a perfect night to be walking around the park.  A guy played acoustic guitar, and did awesome covers of Jason Mraz.  Hubby and I had some quesadillas from the “Barbacoa” stand, and for dessert he had some Dutch pancakes that were drowning in Nutella; I opted for frozen yogurt with blueberries.  The food is on the overpriced side, but it was nice to find a little table and chairs to eat out on the grass and listen to “Jason” while we ate.

After dinner we walked along the footpath that circles the park and guides through flower gardens, and several different play areas for children.  In one area is a climbing structure, another play area with swings and more climbing/active equipment to play on, and another area representative of a wadi, with rocks to climb on, a pond to play in and Emirati style tents to duck in and out of.  This area is right next to a small zoo which has a camel, sheep, goats, donkeys and a cow.  Children are running back and forth feeding greens to the animals who seemed eager to partake.  There are lots of opportunities for photo ops – be sure and take your picture “lifting the moon”.

There is a large green space in the center of the park, and while we were there, a large yoga class was taking place.  There’s also a sit-down cafĂ© at the park where you can grab a sandwich and a refreshing mocktail Mojito to cool off with after your walk.

This is the perfect place to bring families or friends, and is such a pretty place for a walk.  My only disappointment about Mushrif Park is that it doesn’t open until 10:00 in the morning.  It would be nice if opened early, say 7:00 am, especially in the summer months so people could get out and walk before the heat becomes unbearable.

This is definitely a place you can visit more than once and see and taste something new each time you return.  We will definitely be back!