Homeschool Conference!!!

Look at all those beautiful little feet two people can create!

Look at all those beautiful little feet two people can create!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

So grateful for amazing friends...

I have a friend (whom I will not give name to here) because I have not asked her permission prior to sharing this...

This very dear friend of mine was at the meeting I wrote about on my last post that I was preparing to attend.  She wrote me an email that I cannot quit thinking that I feel will change the way I view myself for the remainder of my life.  I am so, so, so grateful and thankful to have her in my world.  She is openly honest about everything and is willing to go out there and just say how she feels.  Someday I will become more like her!

As a short re-cap or as in intro into what this whole "thing" is all about, let me just say it all revolves around the inability of women to see the amazing gifts they have been given in this life and to go a little further, our incessant need of downplaying the greatness we possess within ourselves...  I could say so much more about this, but for the moment, that will need to suffice.

I am going to share clips of this life-changing email...It is so thought-provoking!!!

"We take such joy in watching our children discover the world and discover their own interests/passions/talents.  But why are we so reluctant to take joy in those things within ourselves?   Just because we are moms does NOT mean that our personal journeys and personal discoveries and personal development is over.  Far from it.  Motherhood adds unfathomable depth and breadth to our personal experience and it is OKAY to admit that we are STILL on a PERSONAL journey of discovery (that’s why kids don’t come with instruction manuals—I’m convinced of it—because figuring out how to nurture them while we are still imperfect beings  IS a refining, “discovering” experience.)  Our personal salvation isn’t about the kids.  It’s about ourselves. Ultimately, we can only account for ourselves and how we used our time and our abilities and our choices.  Of course, temple ordinances bind all of us together—but ultimately—when we’re talking with Jesus at judgment day, He’s going to ask us to account for what we did with the tools He gave us to grow and develop ourselves."

I feel the need to interject some thoughts here...
This was a beautiful thing for me to read. 
I re-read it several times and have pondered my personal journey, my personal discoveries and my personal is through all of these experiences that we are becoming "refined". 
As we go through this refining process,
we will endure the full measure of emotions...
I love this quote by Ezra Taft Benson: 
“some of the greatest battles will be fought within the silent chambers of your own soul.”  
Can't you relate to that? 
I have found that during those refining times in my life, it has felt like a battle being fought within myself...But I have a choice! 
I can choose to lose or I can choose to be the victor,
We must not allow ourselves to become defeated!
Each time I come out on top, I am a little closer to my refinement ~ one day I will sparkle and shine like the diamond I was created to be!
Furthermore, I whole-heartily agree that finding joy in our own interests/passions/talents is what keeps us vibrant...we cannot live through our children and I believe that the women who try to find themselves at a point in their lives where they need to "Find Themselves" is such a blessed thing to be on this journey with our kids...I think it strengthens them to see that their Momma also has dreams and passions and that she is happier when she is nurturing them.

Back to some more insight from "my friend"...
"I know lots of women (probably most women) are dealing with various insecurities and feelings of’s almost a cultural expectation to put yourself down and downplay your abilities, talents, and interests, so we don’t sound prideful. But there is a difference between being prideful and recognizing that you have something to contribute to the world at large—be it a voice to sing with or arms to snuggle a kid with. We confuse pride with recognizing and sharing what God has given us to work with. And just because we are not the best does not mean our contribution is worthless.

My mom used to tell me all the time “There will always be someone better at something than you. And you will always be better at something than someone else.” I never really understood why she would say something like that—it sounded kind of harsh and competitive. But it was really her way of sharing her philosophy of “Be who you are” and “God has a place for you.”

Satan’s best tool of destruction is to convince a woman that she isn’t “enough.” It’s also his most efficient tool, because once he plants that seed in a woman’s head and heart, she automatically takes over and begins to nurture it. And then the evil seedling thrives and chokes out the woman’s innate belief that she is a daughter of God and has something to contribute to His kingdom. Once that seedling has wrapped it’s twisted vines around a woman’s heart and mind, it feels nearly impossible to uproot.

In her email she continued saying how she wanted to "help women hack away at the weed of self worthlessness—but I see now how deep the roots can be and how tight the twining tendrils grasp. And it makes me want to hose everyone down with a bottle of spiritual Round Up."

I wrote back to her and told her to please let me stand first in line while she hosed us down!

"Imagine how freeing it would be, if we could accept that we are neither THE BEST nor THE WORST of anything in the world and just used whatever imperfect thing we had to uplift and bring joy to others and to ourselves! Imagine how much joy we could feel if we could get over the feelings of shame and inadequacy and could learn to truly accept and appreciate what OTHERS have to offer. Why do we feel so competitive (and feeling like you don’t measure up IS a competitive thought—because you feel defeated—and defeat is a result of losing a competition!)

"... I wish I could get it into every woman’s head that she’s WORTHY of being loved, she is WORTHY of sharing who she is and what she loves with others—even if she’s not the best, even if she’s not the showiest, even if she struggles. I have no patience with defeatism. I have no patience with misplaced guilt and misplaced inadequacy. How much do we really understand the Atonement if we are still hanging our heads, thinking we suck at everything?

The truth is, Jesus died for every one of us. He took upon Himself ALL OUR sins—that means MINE too. If He was willing to do that for me, that means He thinks I’m pretty darn important. Important enough to die for. Since that’s the case, it is my responsibility to show Him that I GET IT. Feelings of inadequacy about WHO I AM are not an option. It is my responsibility to search out and accept the abilities, passions, talents, and interests He gave me and make me the unique person I am---and USE them—even imperfectly.
Constantly apologizing for our perceived lack of talent is unattractive and offensive...
 ...I hate it when women constantly berate themselves. It’s as prideful to do that as it would be to be crowing about how wonderful they are—it’s just on the opposite end of the pride spectrum.

It’s okay to admit you’re not the best at something (most people will have already figured that out so I think it’s generally unnecessary to point it out) but if you have to say it--say it once and get on with things. And when you get a compliment—just accept the damn thing. Say THANK YOU, and leave it at that—or express appreciation for the compliment, and then MOVE ON.

... I think—no, I KNOW, every one of the ladies at the meeting last night is awesome and has much to offer not only her family, but her friends and the world at large—that their offerings are quiet, small, scratchy, or lumpy doesn’t mean they aren’t significant. I wish I could get that into everyone’s heads. Sigh."

ladies (and gentlemen) I think it's time we take a deep look at ourselves.
*Be who you are.
*God has a place for you. (I might add in that while you are there you might as well "Bloom Where You're Planted!")
*Your Personal Discoveries are beautiful...find joy in them out...allow yourself the freedom to explore and discover YOU and while you're at it, realize just how much YOU ROCK!
*YOU are worthy of being loved.
*YOU are worthy of sharing who you are, show the world the beautiful gifts you've been blessed were given them for a reason ~ TO SHARE and BLESS others!
*Never let anything stand in the way of remembering WHO YOU ARE ~ we each have a contribution to make and we should stand tall, confident in ourselves that we do make a difference!
*YOU are ENOUGH...Focus on bringing all that you have been given to uplift and bring joy to others and to yourself!
*I think we would all do better if we took the time to truly understand The Atonement...we need to "GET IT", just as my friend stated, when we do we will spend our lives living up to our potential and will forget all the silly doubting of ourselves that we become so wrapped up in.
*Let's stop apologizing for being us...
Good grief ~ we are nothing to be sorry for...
Have you looked in the mirror lately, do you love that person, do you see the miraculous creation YOU are?  Be happy to share who you are with the world because YOU make it a better place to be!
*Let's all be a little more willing to graciously accept compliments as they come...stick 'em in your back pocket for one of those self-doubting days and you'll pull yourself right back out and be BLOOMING for all to see!
I could add so very much more to this...but I think I will just say THANK YOU to a woman who has become a great blessing in my life.  Thank you for sharing your wisdom and your counsel...
thank you for opening my eyes a little wider.