Surprises and Unfinished Materials

"God left us the world unfinished for man to work his skill upon. He left the electricity in the cloud, the oil in the earth. He left the rivers unbridged and the forests unfelled and the cities unbuilt. God gives to man the challenge of raw materials, not the ease of finished things. He leaves the pictures unpainted and the music unsung and the problems unsolved, that man might know the joys and glories of creation."

--Thomas S. Monson

 Looking out on Golden, Colorado at dusk.  

Looking out on Golden, Colorado at dusk.  

Surprises REALLY aren't my thing.  I order the same thing from nearly every restaurant I visit.  I only shop at Target, and I LOVE a good routine and a well placed SYSTEM.  

Knowing this, it may come as a shock for those of you who know me, that  I secretly flew from Oregon to Colorado to surprise one of my BYU roommates, Melissa, for her birthday. 

Melissa (the one in the middle), Kim (laughing on the right), and I were thrown together and became instant friends our freshman year in the dorms at what was once Deseret Towers. After living together through school and graduation; near each other during early marriage and first babies; we ultimately moved to different parts of the country. The Pretense of Perfection (AKA Facebook and Instagram) would be our only form of connection in the years to come. 

Shelved as a wonderful part of my life history, I was delighted when we were again thrown together over 20 years (yep, I just said 20 YEARS....GAH!) later.  

With the ups and downs of adulthood, (which are decidedly more painful than the ups and downs of our college years) we have re-connected and grown as close as ever. 

It has opened my eyes to the mindfulness of God.  I am so grateful he places people in my life that come along just when I need them the most.

I am a still a very raw, unfinished material.  I have so much to learn and undoubtedly many more heartaches and ups and downs still to face in the future.  But what a joy and comfort to know that I don't have to do this alone.  

Speaking of raw and unfinished...here is an outline of how "Operation Stealth Mode" went down in surprising Melissa. 

 

 The surprise and anticipation building.  Also, the sunset over the Rocky Mountains is pretty much the most beautiful thing EVER!  

The surprise and anticipation building.  Also, the sunset over the Rocky Mountains is pretty much the most beautiful thing EVER!  

 Yes, that is me hiding in the trunk.  Kim knew I was coming and asked Melissa to help her grab her bags.  To say we shocked her, might be the understatement of the year.  Watch the videos below to see the excitement in real time. ;)

Yes, that is me hiding in the trunk.  Kim knew I was coming and asked Melissa to help her grab her bags.  To say we shocked her, might be the understatement of the year.  Watch the videos below to see the excitement in real time. ;)

I folded myself into the trunk about a block away from Melissa's house to avoid being seen ahead of time, b/c I am awesome and super stealthy like that.

I am waiting for Kim to hurry up and get back to the car.  I think she was secretly enjoying taking her sweet time!

So, we may have startled her a bit.  She was in tears, shaking and experiencing symptoms of legit shock for hours after this.  #worthit