"The past is to be learned from and not lived in! When we learn what we need to learn, and brought with us the best that we've experienced, then we look ahead! We remember that faith is always pointed towards the future. Faith always has to do with blessings, truths, and events that have yet to be important in our life!"
I am guilty of living in the past, and especially regretting things I was unable to change or succeed in. Living in the past can be suffocating and ultimately ruin the new road that is ahead. There were definitely moments where I've found myself, almost depressed, because I dwell on things that are now long gone. If something is buried in the past, I need to leave it there and not look back!
I'm not going to mention anything about "This is MY NEW YEAR RESOLUTION," because we all know how long those last. What I will plan on doing this coming year is rising above the past, and having more faith! Faith builds on the past, I trust that God has great things in store for me, and there are good things to come!
I'm going to keep my eyes on my dreams, however distant or far away, they may be! Wishing you all the same optimism this coming year and looking ahead, rather than looking back!!
Seeing this new 'hot topic' arise recently, I just wanted to share my own personal struggle growing up with being a victim of bullying.
I have to warn you, what you are about to read isn't a falsehood.
Everything mentioned below, is true, and became a major scar in my life growing up.
For starters, I've always been considered the 'midget' in school. From elementary even continuing into high school. But towards the latter end of my education, the fact that I was shorter than 95% of my peers, didnt effect me as much, as it did, while in elementary. But that was only the tip of the iceberg. Not only was I short, but I had a high pitched voice.
For reasons unexplained, (I dont know why), I've always had a high pitched tone in my voice growing up. So you can imagine how I felt as time came to enter middle school, right when puberty was becoming evident for most guys, just not for me. I still had the same high voice as I did in elementary. As a result, I would be walking to class and all of a sudden, hear some individuals say my name, "Shaaaaaaaaaaay" in a girls tone of voice. Obviously they did it to put me down and make fun of me. I dont know why, but clearly it was the "cool thing to do," and no doubt made them feel like the 'big boys' on campus.
I'm not going to lie, it bothered me immensely. Everytime I would hear my name being said, in that same high pitched tone, I would freeze up and want to hide in a dark corner, just to escape them. There was even a time that I wanted to change the spelling of my name, so that it didn't resemble a girl's name. It just made matters worse! I was ashamed of my own name! I would look forward to the days that I didn't have to go to school, I was safe! But I couldn't escape the teasing. Even when I thought I was in an area that no one would know me, I would stumble upon someone involved in that "crowd" and they wouldn't hesitate to call me out in public.
In some ways, I honestly feel this became a major impact on my self esteem and the overall confidence I had for myself. It damaged me as a person. Even today, as I reflect, I can still hear their voices taunting me, and the laughter that would ensue afterwards. I was too ashamed to even attempt to share this with any of my family members, or my friends. Just for the sake of them not noticing, clearly, what those kids had noticed. I just kept it all inside. The sound of my name, eating me from within. It even got to the point where I couldn't see myself asking girls out, or seriously dating anyone. Who would want to date the guy who talked like a girl? There was no hope for me. It was true torture!
But dont get me wrong, to this day I have definitely grown passed all that! I'd like to think I've become a much stronger individual, just for the fact that I know what its like to be a victim of bullying, and being teased throughout the critical years of my teenage to young adult life. In some ways I feel empowered that I became the man I am today! Even though it may have effected me emotionally and mentally back then, I didnt let it get to the point where I wanted to take my own life. Who knows, it could've ended up that way, had I not had a loving father in heaven who never abandoned me as I would pour my heart out to him to, "please let those kids leave me alone, and stop teasing me."
I can only speak for myself, but I think that everyone goes through some sort of "bullying" in their life, some big and some small, but I believe it happens for a reason. Took me 17 years to realize it though, and I'm grateful that I didn't end up in a bad position because of it all. Yeah I may receive sarcastic remarks regarding, " Why did my parents name you Shay?" "Don't they know thats a girl's name?" (Thank you grandma.) But I love my name! If anything, its unique and definitely stands out in a crowd, just like me! Lol.
Hopefully you were able to receive some sort of strength as you read my words. I just hope that you're able to take something away from all of this, not to feel pity or sad for me, but to be aware of those "bullies" in your own personal life. Don't let them succeed in bringing you down. It took me a long time to realize this, but the only opinion that matters is God's. His and his alone is one of love and charity. I've found my strength in his love, and hope that you can too!
Thank you for reading.
Just wanted to share with you some of the thoughts and feelings, and inspirations I had received over the past weekend while listening and participating in General Conference. First off, I am no where near the religious scholar I would like to be, so whenever conference comes around I always tend to shy away, and find myself busy doing other things, rather than listening to conference. I dont know if its laziness, ignorance, or the rebel in me-I just feel like I am not equipped with the knowledge to grasp the teachings that are sometimes brought across. So in other words, I feel guilty and inadequate, that I still have not come anywhere close to being well-educated in church doctrine.
Its my own fault, of course! Which is why I made more of an effort to participate more in this particular conference weekend.
Actually got off on the wrong foot, missing the first 2 sessions on Saturday (I was babysitting my neice), and I knew it wasn't a good enough excuse, so I told myself, because I had missed the morning sessions, I would go to the general priesthood meeting that evening. However, my brothers were attending the meeting with my father, who isnt a major part in my life, I talk to him probably once in awhile, but I wouldn't say our relationship was a strong one. I just prefer not to associate with him at all. So right there, was the PERFECT opportunity to skip the priesthood meeting altogether! I told myself I wasn't going to go at all. Then later that day, I had been invited to attend with my good friend and his dad, totally unexpected, but found this to be a blessing in disguise, because I really did want to try and start conference weekend off, on the right foot. Before heading out, I knelt down in prayer and asked the Lord to help me be inspired by the words that were going to be presented, and that their message would help me, in my own personal struggles I have been experiencing.
Sure enough they were!
I should've taken a notepad to take notes, but I came away feeling SO full of the spirit and wanting to change my life for the BETTER! I want to be fully recommitted to the teachings of the Lord and his gospel! Each of the speakers that evening, touched my heart, like I had fervently prayed to the Lord for them to do. Their messages were for ME! I never found myself so invested in the words they had to say, since I was on my mission! This was a completely new journey for me and I actually came away feeling renewed and invigorated with the spirit! I thanked the lord for the opportunity to be touched and filled with his spirit, and that I was able to hear the words I needed to hear, in order to improve my own life.
I am going to try harder not to take the church's teachings for granted. I am going to recognize the choices that I are presented before me, and choose the ones with the least consequences, that won't deter me from the path towards eternal salvation!
That is WHERE I WANT TO BE!!
I am only referencing the General Priesthood Meeting specifically, but overall the entire Sunday I got the chance to continue to be edified and uplifted to strengthen my own life and strive to become a better child of God, and walk the path he would want me to walk! Hopefully I will be able to hold to the rod and stay on that straight and narrow path and not stray...but I will be more invested now, than I ever have been before!
First off, I'm not really sure if anyone really is following my blog much anymore, so at this point it may just be the narcissism in me, that feels the need to continue posting. But if you are reading this, let me just say thank you for caring enough to see what crazy, zany things I have to say once again.
Where to start? First off, I had to postpone going back to school due to financial reasons, the BIG one being I am still unemployed...funny how I seemed to last this long without ending up in a psych ward. I dunno how I do it, I guess I just continue to dream of bigger things ahead, and pull myself out of the day-to-day slump, from being at home most of the time. I am looking forward to enrolling in spring semester and hopefully graduate a year later (keeping my fingers crossed.)
In the meantime, I'm continuing to pursue inspiration wherever I go. Mostly its sitting in front of the tv, watching Food Network lol, it could be worse right? I also look forward to the time I get to spend babysitting Kadence, and playing with her, and seeing her facial expressions throughout the day, brings determination and hope to my heart! I cannot imagine not loving her as much as I do! Lily too! I just dont see her that often. But when I do, I soak it in as much as I can!! They're both beautiful gifts from god, and I thank him each and everyday for the both of them! So much so, that the slightest thought of them brings a smile to my face, and warms my heart! I cant express my love for them enough! I only hope that perhaps one day, I will be blessed to be a father and a role model for a little 'shay' of my own. That would BE AWESOME! lol
Who knows, maybe this is suppose to be my training for that blessed day?
You may recall a recent post in regards to my recent activity in volunteering at Make-a-Wish foundation of Utah, in order to join their cause in granting wishes for children who are burdened with life threatening illness, medication, and hospitals.
Here I am again, asking for your help to raise money to grant a small childs wish who is battling leukemia, and wants to go to Hawaii with her family. Her name is Rogan.
Rogan is 3 years old and loves the outdoors, and spending time with her family and friends. Even though she is going through treatments right now for leukemia, she still is very active and outgoing, and would love to go to Hawaii, while being around people she loves!
As family and friends, I invite you to participate in sponsoring a duck, for just $5 to race in this years, "Rubber Ducky Derby!" For 22 years this event has been a staple for the organization. Each rubber ducky that is purchased, will join all of the 15,000-20,000 sponsored duckies which will all be raced in heats down the Lazy River at the Lindon Aquatics Center. The top duckies from each heat will race against each other in one final heat for a chance to win a $15,000 credit toward the purchase of a car from Mark Miller Auto Group.
This fun event is a great way to make a difference in the lives of Utah children with life-threatening medical conditions! For each $5 sponsorship, you receive:
* A chance to win a $15,000 credit towards a car from Mark Miller Auto Group, and other fun prizes
* Buy one, get one free admission pass to Lindon Aquatics Center, along with other great coupons
* Your name assigned to a rubber ducky to race in the derby
To celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Utah, we are offering a special Silver Anniversary Duck for $100. Only 100 will be sold for a chance to win a great vacation getaway. As a Silver Anniversary Duck sponsor, you also receive a ducky in the regular Derby race.
If you're interested in being apart of this great event, and ultimately help grant Rogan's wish, please visit: www.duckyderby.kintera.org, then click on "support an enthusiast" on the left hand side of the page, and enter my name, Shay Ludwig, to pull up my ducky fundraising profile. Upon completion, you will then receive an email immediately following, and the local office will send you out a certificate with the number assigned to the duck(s) as well as your coupons to the water park.
I would love it if you could help me in raising money to help grant Rogan's wish. If you would like more information, please visit the website above to read more about the Rubber Ducky Derby, or feel free contact me and I will be MORE than happy to answer any questions you may have. Thank you so much for your support, and taking the time out of your day to read this message from me. Thanks!
Where I will attempt to WOW you with wonders within my own imaginiation, in regards to food! Hope you'll enjoy it as much as I will!
(But dont get me wrong, I will continue to use this blog as well for everything else, so dont go anywhere!)
It would DEFINITELY be between my first summer at OUTBACK as an Orientation leader at the U, or my first MAJOR concert experience at the Justified/Stripped TOUR in Vegas with really awesome friends! Ahh I wish I could relive those moments all over again!!
She sported a ladybug "pillow" dress designed by Bev's Creations, and we barely entered the zoo, and she was so excited, that she ended up having a small accident all over Gammy, aka my mother. So as a result she was already set for her FIRST outfit change of the day. Thanks to Tyson and Amy for feeling the need to bring her birthday presents into the zoo, she was able to rejoin the group with ANOTHER cute dress. This girl has ALREADY gotten the hang of it!
Here are a few pics of cousin Kadence also enjoying the different aspects of the zoo..
Thanks to Tyson and Amy for buying Lily and Kadence little elephants to join them at the zoo! Above, Kadence is giving hers "loves." I LOVED it!!
Lily and Kadence experiencing the zoo's new carousel! They had so much fun! I admit Aaron and Mom did too! Wish I could've ridden with them, but someone had to take pictures.
Already looking forward to her 2nd birthday!!
Ok, may sound strange, but I just wanted to dedicate this post a wonderful, amazing, unselfish woman I have had the pleasure to call MOM..(my mom!)
I always try to go out of my way to make it a special day for her, especially for all that she does for me and my other brothers and sister. We shouldn't need a holiday to recognize all the sacrifice, hard work and love that mother's do, it should be recognized each and everyday! But I know that for myself, I sometimes get wrapped up in my daily life that I forget to show how much I love and appreciate her!
Yesterday we had the LUDWIG family first annual BRUNCH-OFF! Consider it the Top Chef of BRAVO, or CHOPPED on Food Network (except without the elimination.) It was my mom's decision to have the guys team up in 2 teams and cook for her, my sister, and my sister-in-law and Kadence and Lily. What a great idea to do something special for 5 beautiful ladies in our lives, right? I thought so too! So I of course, was determined to blow the competition out of the water!
My dish was angel food french toast, complete with streusal topped blueberry muffins and an orange, strawberry, banana smoothie. Thats FINE dining right there!
Unfortunately due to the intense heat and competition in the kitchen, I didnt get a chance to take a picture of the awesome spread that was put out by myself and the other cooks. Lets just sum it up by saying, it was devoured by the mother's and some even craving seconds!
Next came the unveiling of the gift we had all planned out for my mom. We were able to get a wonderful photographer to take pictures of my beautiful neices at Gardner Village. It was so much fun! My mom started crying immediately when presented with the end results, framed and ready to display. I took the emotion as a job well done! What can I say? I have a knack for these things! Below are the pictures that are my absolute favorite in the bunch! It was difficult to only pic a few to frame, but I think we did it justice! Thanks Amy Nichole photography for taking such amazing photos, (not to mention, chasing Kadence and capturing shots while in motion.)
Just wanted to let you all know that I recently became a volunteer at the Make-A-Wish foundation of Utah! In case you don't know, they are a wonderful charity organization, dedicated to granting wishes for children with life threatening illnesses. One of their fundraising events, the Ducky Derby, will be held in August!
This is a SHOUT OUT to everyone reading this, I would love it if you could purchase a $5 rubber ducky through me, or buy 6 ducks for $25, and you can enter it for a chance to win a car!! Not a toy car, a REAL car from Mark Miller Toyota!
The event will be held at the Lindon Aquatic Center, and we will race the ducks down their lazy river, and it will be tons of fun! I will post more information as it becomes available, as well as a link to a website where you can purchase your rubber ducks, through me! For every 25 ducks sold, I get one donated in my name, to enter the race! That is a STEAL OF A DEAL!
I would love to have everyone take the opportunity to donate to this wonderful cause, and granting a child's dream to come true!
(Mine too, if my duck wins the car! LOL)
The post is dedicated to the 8 things that I am LOVING right now! Hence, what I call, MY MAGIC 8!