Wednesday, April 3, 2013

G'Day Mate Insights

I am proud to announce that my brother Micah has been called to serve in the Sydney, Australia mission and will be speaking Cantonese! When we were younger I would ask him where he wanted to go and he used to say Australia and I would tell him to bring me back a Koala Bear so it is really cool that he is going there! I know two years is a long time to forget about bringing home a live animal to an older sister, so I will just have to remind him often. If you are all interested, I can put in a good word for you. I am so proud of my brother and know that he is going to where the Lord needs him and will do a great job.
Super Mic doing his thing with his side kick Tanner the Tiger.
He's been been preparing to fight spiritual crime since he was a toddler.
Opening with anticipation...
The wait is over! We were very grateful for Skype to allow us to share this moment with each other.
Micah and I have a pretty close relationship so these last few months when the realization that he was going to be leaving on a mission soon hit me really hard. It is hard to imagine not having my brother close or a phone call away or to come home from Idaho and see. I have always been a bit protective of Micah and he has been a great friend to me so thinking of him going somewhere where I couldn't help him made me so sad. But as soon as he opened his call, I got this overwhelming peaceful feeling that that is the place where he is supposed to be and that Heavenly Father is going to be with him and help him out in more ways than I can. And that's okay. God always knows what he is doing so I guess it's nice to have that knowledge that my brother is in His hands. Insert tearing up here.
That is a face of love, not a face of pain from squashing.
Do not be mistaken, I have been very excited for my little Spud to get his call and to have this wonderful experience but I think part of my sadness was that I was linking Micah opening his call with the realization that my childhood is over. Ever since I was little I have hated change and the fact that I had to grow up. On my sixth birthday I can distinctly remember having a tantrum crying over the fact that I had to turn six. Why couldn't I just stay five for forever? This resistance to not being five anymore has stuck with me for about 17 years. Embarrassingly to say that I resist change and growing up so much that it has sometimes gotten in the way of my growth.

Over the last few years I have come to the realization that I am in fact a grown up now. (Shocker huh?) Well I have been trying my best to fight the "I just wanna be five forever" mentality and push through the scary feelings in my life and not get frozen when I encounter a scary thing. Once I finally pushed through and gave God my faith, different things have opened up to me. I feel more a peace, excited and confident about my life.

I now know that it's okay to be where I am. I mean could a five-year-old do all the things that I have been able to? (I guess they could, but they would need adult supervision.) I have found that it is okay to let go of being afraid to grow up and go forward with faith. Heavenly Father has never left me and will never leave me alone. If I lean on Him and trust that His timeline is much better than mine, I will be able to grow in ways that I never thought possible. Just like He is going to be there for Micah in Australia, He will be with me.

Dear five-year-old Me, It's okay to grow up. You don't have to be scared, just remember to be
 brave and you can do anything! You are a cool little girl and will be pretty cool when you're older as well.
PS: You're adorable.
I don't have to think of change being a negative thing, but just an opportunity to grow. I mean, Cancer was a huge change and scary thing, but look at all the good that has come from that!

Micah will be able to get awesome packages from his sister and my dream of owning a Koala Bear will finally come true! I am so proud of my little brother and know that he is going to do so many great things down in the land of the Aussies.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Three Years

So it has been three years since I received the news that would change my life forever. I don't think I still fully comprehend how incredible it is that I had and survived cancer. It is incredible how much my life has changed in these three years. At times it seems like an eternity ago, and other times it feels like it passed so quickly. Three years ago I was a naive 20-year-old just moseying her way along in life and not really knowing who she truly was. Since that blurred moment of diagnosis, I have slowly discovered who I am and what is important to me in my life.

Pre-Cancer days of Rachel Ann's existence.
Cancer was a huge event in my life and helped shape who I have become and is a continual influence on who I am becoming. I have had a few people talk to me and I can tell they feel as though they cannot talk to me about their trials because I had such a huge event happen to me. This is not so. I feel as though everyone's trials are big and important. Each trial we have shapes our lives in the way that God wants it to be. The way we handle trials is the key. If we choose to wallow and let the trial control us, then we are not allowing ourselves to learn from the opportunity that God has in front of us. On the other hand, if we choose to see or imagine the glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, we will have a completely different experience. This can take practice, but it is possible.

Trials are given to us to help us grow. Heavenly Father never gives us something we cannot handle. He is constantly there and cares about the microscopic details in our lives. He will never abandon us to fend for ourselves. He has given us so many tools to get through the tough times as well as the good times as well. He provides good things in the bad times as well and provides ways to see the good, but if we are not allowing ourselves to see the good, then we are not taking advantage of His blessings. We are not too small that we cannot talk to God. The things that matter to us, matter to him. He is constantly cheering for us and wants us to succeed.

I am grateful to have such an amazing support system and family.
I absolutely love and adore my parents and the example they set for me.
Finding joy in the journey. Who says that a baldie can't have fun?
"Making Memories!"
I know it sounds odd, but I am constantly giving thanks for my bald days. They were such a refining moment for me. I was taken to hell and back. But I was taken there for a reason. There were things that I learned during that experience that I would never have learned any other way. I am humbled that God would give me that trial and allow me to learn so much. It is just another way that proves to me that He loves me and wants to help me grow.

I know I would not have been able to get through that experience without the knowledge of a loving Heavenly Father and my Savior Jesus Christ. I knew the entire time that I was not alone and that there was one person who knew exactly how I was feeling. With that knowledge, cancer wasn't so scary. Yes, it was extremely difficult, and hard. I definitely would not choose to take a chemo lemonade again, but I know that I could handle it. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and the knowledge that I am loved by Heavenly beings, I can become unstoppable.

I'm taking Rexburg by storm. Watch out 'burgers, I'm continually learning your ways
and shall continue conquer and succeed in whatever you put in my way!
At times it is still hard to think of the experiences I had and feel as though no one truly understands, but I wouldn't give those times up for anything. They have made me who I am today and I am continually learning and growing from them. I am not perfect and I do not know everything, but I do know that God lives and that I am His daughter. I know that Christ was born, died and was resurrected for me. I know that I am never alone and that I can still live after a huge trying event in my life. I'm looking forward to the great years that are in store for me. Bring it on life! I'm ready for you!

Happy three year cancerversary to me!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Poquito Updato

Woah, woah, woah. These last few weeks have been absolutely crazy. I have been working on projects  like nobody's business. Imagine this... two all nighters in one week in addition to three projects and other regular homework added on top of it. I don't hide my emotions very well so it must have been quite a scene to see me rushing around the library frantic style like a mad woman. Might I add a proud bragging moment here. I only had a quarter of a melt down and continued on with all my projects. But all my frantic work and hiding out in my room to complete all said projects has paid off. I am proud to say that I am kicking royal behind at school. I know that I wouldn't have been able to get through any of it without the help of my Heavenly Father, family and friends. I am very blessed to be able to rely on them for anything.
Studying like the awesome smarty pants that I am.
Remember how I said that I only wear a dress to school once in a blue moon? Well once upon a time I decided that I should actually dress up for devotional. Everything went great through the day and I even felt like it wasn't too bad to dress up for Tuesday's occasionally. Until I was walking home and I fell in the snow. Let me tell ya, falling in snow is not fun at all and falling in a dress is even more cold and humiliating. So therefore I shall refrain from wearing dresses to school unless specifically required to. Which might happen more because of my major. But that's okay, but no more dressing up for pleasure. Or else I shall probably have death by snowflakes once more.
I looked great, but do not be deceived. That dress betrayed me.
Even though I had a few crazy weeks and fell in the snow a few times, I have had a huge overwhelming feeling of how much I am loved by my Heavenly Father and how aware He is of me at all times. I have been so blessed this semester and am very excited to continue on and to learn newer and greater things.

Saturday, February 9, 2013


Joy is...
A loving family.
Good friends that surround you.
Having a visit from one of your greatest friends.
The Gospel.
Knowing that I have a kind loving Heavenly Father.
Having a fellow dork to laugh with.
Going to the temple.
Having a desire for school and doing well in classes. 
Tender Mercies.
Confirmation and encouragement for my career aspirations.
Being Healthy.
Harry Potter. That J.K. is a genius.
Laughing so hard that your stomach hurts for minutes,hours days.
Giving service.
Downtown Abbey.
Not being counted as a member of the short hair clan.
Talking to a loved one.
People Watching.
Having so many blessings you can't even count or describe them all.
I have so much joy in my life. I really cannot begin to count all the reasons or to express my gratitude. I am more and more aware each day of how lucky I am. Lucky for my life. Lucky for my circumstances. Lucky to have joy.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Blue Moon, Trust and Faith

Wednesday was one of the most stressful, yet most rewarding and productive days I have had this semester. Apparently I was showing many signs of a mania to all around me as people were staring at me rushing around the library and campus all morning due to all the things not going quite right. In a dress mind you! I only wear dresses to school once in a blue moon so this was a rare and blessed occasion. I think I was probably a good candidate for the "One Crazy Lady" award to the People Watchers Association. I'll have to look into that.

Blue Moon Proof!
Pay no attention to the large hand shadow.
It is just deceiving as my hands are not that big.
But tricks on those people watchers! I had a secret weapon in my arsenal or else I would have been a lot worse. What is this secret weapon you may ask? Well I shall tell you.
Fervent prayer and blind faith.

This my dear friends is probably one of the greatest tools you can have in the crazy situations life can throw at you as well as the calm days. This is a lesson that I am learning more and more. When I do all that I can do and put effort into something I would like to happen, the thing I need to do is to give myself to the Lord and allow him to take over. When I give myself to the Lord everything turns out much better than when I would have done. He is an expert in every microscopic detail of my life and I need to not be so scared to have faith and take a step forward. No matter what that step may be, He will be there to provide a way to accomplish my goals and move forward.

Thank You Pinterest

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."
Proverbs 3:5-6

Like I said, the other day was very hectic but oh so productive. I felt such a wonderful peace all day when I could have felt stress and annoyance. Because I made an extra effort to have the Spirit with me, I was able to be blessed with multiple tender mercies, and opportunities. 

Yes, I know Heavenly Father loves meeee.

Heavenly Father loves me so much and wants me to be happy. As I rely on Him and stop being so scared of minor details and the "what ifs'" of life, I will be able to become the person I want to be and who God wants me to be as well. I am continually grateful for the lessons and opportunities that God places before me to become the best I can be.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Gandhify Your Life

As a college student, I am very busy so my schedule is pretty hectic. Class, homework, church, social life and little things in between, then do it all again the next day. Sleep often gets left out. I find myself getting super anxious and burned out from trying to do so much. I neglect to take care of myself in more ways than one. Why in the world did the idea come that being busy is best? I know it is good to be productive, but I need to get it out of my head that that is what is valuable in the long run. I need to find the balance and take time to slow down. But I don't need to tell you that, my dear friend Elder Uchtdorf tells it much better than I.

Isn't this Mormon Message incredible?! It is one of my favorites. 

More and more I am coming the realization that I need to take time to slow down. I need to take time to just sit and meditate. At first I thought of meditation as a "hummmmmm dilly dum hummmmmmm" stuff you see in the movies with Indians floating with their legs crossed and fingers out being all Gandhi like. But the more I have thought about it there are actually a lot of benefits to it as well. 

Rachel's List of Meditation Benefits:
My dear friend Gandhi-face

1. I can take time for myself and unwind.
2. Take away the pressures and overstimulation that comes throughout the day.
3. Be able to think clearly without the buzz and commotion of life.
4. I can come closer to God.
5. Become a problem solving genius.
6. Become more peaceful.
7. I get to say "hummmmmm dilly dum hummmmmmm" without feeling silly.
8. It is optimal nap opportunity if I feel so inclined.

*I'm pretty sure there are many more benefits but I haven't meditated about them fully yet.

"Meditation is the language of the soul. Meditation is a form of prayer... Meditation is one of the most secret, most sacred doors through which we pass into the presence of the Lord."
-President David O. McKay

So in order to become closer to God and to figure out my life I need to take a moment and just stop. It is okay to be still and to take time for me. I need to take care of myself spiritually, mentally and physically. Even if it sounds weird to meditate, I feel as though it is working. Taking time for me is okay and it will help me in my every day life. 

So a hummmmmm dilly dum hummmmmmm to all and to all a good night!

Half turbans help in the meditation process. They allow extra inspiration.
I was going to do a full turban, but it made me feel like I was back in my bald days so I decided against that. 
PS: Observe how long the locks of love are getting! Woot woot, ten points to Ravenclaw!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Kindness Begins With Me

One of my favorite things to do is to give service to others. I love helping other people. When I was in high school, I came up with a goal to help someone or compliment someone at least three times a day. Something that started out as a simple goal turned into a daily habit and I just do it to random people despite the odd looks I get sometimes. It just feels so good and satisfying to help someone else out or to make them smile.

Are you all ready for a confession from yours truly? Well here it is...
Even though I love giving service to others and being kind, I often fall into the trap of not being kind to myself. I am a huge perfectionist and can be very hard on myself at times. I find myself critiquing things I do wrong even if they are small until they become huge things. I literally freeze up because I am so critical of my mistakes or my short comings.

I Rachel Ann Fischer, am my biggest critic. But why is this? It's not as if I am a horrible person because I'm really not. I am actually pretty cool and am a good kind person. I often look over what I have done well and focus just on the things I don't do well. 

I have come to the realization that my perfectionistic attitude is a good thing in certain situations, but it can often turn into a hinderance and doesn't allow me to progress or move. I am literally robbing myself of happiness. Happiness that Heavenly Father wants me to have. 

Lately I have been challenging myself to find the good in me and to be kind to myself. It has been difficult to break the habit of being hard on myself, but as I've been making an effort to like and be kind to myself, I have been starting to see small differences in how I act and think. It really is quite marvelous. 

I need to remember and remind myself daily that God loves me and likes me too. He is infinitely kind to me. Why in the world would I ever be unkind to one of his children? I often get caught up in thinking that I am being kind to his children, but I need to remember that I am one of his children too. I need to be kind to myself.

I made it a habit to be kind to others, but I need to make it a habit to be kind to myself as well. It may be hard sometimes, but with God's help I will be able to turn it into a lifelong habit that will bless my life and others as well. I will be able to be happy with myself and be able to progress and like myself.

So here is a toast to a new beginning and trying my best to like myself and to be kind to myself as well.

*All photos have come to a blog near you via Pinterest.