Friday, March 27, 2015

The Living Christ

Earlier this year, I decided to memorize "The Living Christ" which is a document written back in 2000 to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ two millennia previously. Actually, I should say that I decided to attempt memorizing it! I was extremely intimidated by the length of it...10 paragraphs.

My mom also decided to memorize it, and it was a lot easier to work on it with her than it would've been to try to do it all on my own. (I honestly doubt that I would've stuck with it, OR been as successful all on my own.) We would go over it individually, but then once or twice a week we would go over it together and quiz each other to see how the other was progressing.

I finished memorizing the 10th paragraph last week. I'm absolutely shocked that I was able to memorize the entire thing, and so quickly (about 10 weeks). It was actually a lot easier to memorize than I thought it would be, too. When I first thought about doing it, I assumed it would take all year to get it committed to memory. It really wasn't that bad. I did spend a lot of time reciting it in my head over and over (especially at night as I tried to fall asleep) and it stuck in my head fairly easily. Some of the words and phrases are very similar, though, so it's easy to get certain parts mixed up if I'm not careful.

Now the real question is, how long can I keep it memorized?! Retaining something you've memorized is even harder than memorizing it, in my opinion. I will continue to recite The Living Christ to myself every day or so to continue cementing it in my brain. One thing's for sure as far as memorizing something goes…if you don't use it, you lose it, so I know I could easily lose my ability to recite it if I'm not careful! It is far easier to remember things you've memorized in your youth, than it is to remember something you've memorized as an adult! And my mom said that it gets even more difficult to memorize things over age 50. I guess the lesson in all of this is that if you want to memorize something, do it sooner than later!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Patient in All Things

In my church we do something called Visiting Teaching, and it's where the women make visits to the other ladies we go to church with. You actually go to their house, or maybe meet for lunch, and it just gives you the chance to visit together, socialize and share a short, uplifting message with the person you visit.

All of the messages this year focus on different attributes of Christ's life that we should strive to emulate. This month's topic is about being patient and long-suffering. I really liked this quote by Dieter F. Uchtdorf, one of the leaders in the LDS church:

"Patience is not passive resignation, nor is it failing to act because of our fears. Patience means active waiting and enduring. It means staying with something ... even when the desires of our hearts are delayed. Patience is not simply enduring; it is enduring well! ... Patience means accepting that which cannot be changed and facing it with courage, grace, and faith. It means being ‘willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon [us], even as a child doth submit to his father'. Ultimately, patience means being ‘firm and steadfast, and immovable in keeping the commandments of the Lord' every hour of every day, even when it is hard to do so.” 

This statement gives good advice to anyone who has a life that can be challenging, which I'm pretty sure will include everyone, at least at some point in their life. I know it isn't easy to "submit to all things" (especially cheerfully), but when you have no other choice, you just have to! You just have to take tough stuff one day at a time.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Back in Business

I use two different assistive technologies to work my computer. One of them is a voice dictation software called Dragon NaturallySpeaking, and the other is a device called a head mouse (which allows you to move the mouse by moving your head). These wonderful inventions are both vital to enabling me to use my computer hands-free. (I should clarify and say that there are lots of things I could still do with one or the other, but to be able to do everything I want/need to do in the fastest way possible, you really need both of these technologies!)

My head mouse attachment that I've been using for the past 10 years has been on the fritz for the past few months. I think there is probably a short in the cord, because it sometimes spontaneously turns off. I've been researching a replacement head mouse since I figured my current mouse's days were numbered. I was right. My head mouse bit the dust last Saturday evening when it wouldn't turn on at all anymore. I had actually ordered a replacement the previous day since I knew it was only a matter of time before I would be needing a new one, but I just hoped the one I was using would hang in there until the new one arrived. Nope!

I didn't get on my computer for the next 48 hours, which is actually a very long time for me, considering that I honestly spend about 10 hours a day on my laptop on average. I was so bored, and was just figuratively "twiddling my thumbs." I usually have the TV on, but I'm usually on my computer actually working on something, so just watching TV for hours on end really felt like a serious waste of time! On Monday night I couldn't take it anymore and I decided to get on my laptop, even though using it strictly by voice command is extremely time-consuming. I figured doing something slowly was better than doing nothing at all. I could still use Skype with no problem, so I was able to talk with my sisters Kristin and Annette, which was a great way to pass the time. :)

My new mouse came on Wednesday afternoon, four days after I ordered it. Four days might not sound like a long time, but it was to me, and I was so ready to get back to business! It was easy to install and it's working well. This new head mouse is an updated model from the one I've been using since 2005. I personally think there is a flaw in the design with the new one. My old one easily clipped to the top of my laptop screen, but the new model doesn't do that. It seems like it's designed to attach to a flatscreen desktop monitor, and not a laptop. I definitely think they need to work on the design, since just as many (if not more) people in my situation use a laptop. I'm still able to get my head mouse to work well by just setting on the base of my laptop, but I still think it would be better if it attached to the laptop screen.

When you are as physically limited as I am, you appreciate every little thing you can do on your own. Being able to use my computer on my own and be completely independent is a wonderful thing. I'm glad that I'm back in business!
This is the older model of the head mouse that easily attached to the laptop:
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