January 20, 2011

Being Real

Me - In all my Glory

There is nothing quite like waiting till the very last possible moment...or even a few hours after that moment, to get something done. The need for this article was sooner than I had anticipated. Usually my day lies on the 4th Thurs. However, I have known for a week that my post was to go up today. I like to wait until I feel "inspired" to write about something. This week, that just didn't happen. I had lots of ideas, they ranged from Charity, to not hardening our hearts as Laman and Lemuel did. Last night I was to the point of just being real...yesterday was a crappy day. I woke up mad, I stayed mad all day, and I went to bed mad. I thought I'd just write about that :-)

I've started to find that whenever I feel like I "have to" do something I resent it. When I view it as a "choice", it's a completely different story. There were lots of "have to's" yesterday, and it was a horrible day because of this, or rather my attitude toward all the "have to's" was what made it horrible.

When I'm feeling negative and unhappy, Satan and his followers must be so thrilled to send little sneaking thoughts of doubt my way.

"You have a 5 1/2 year old that can't count to 20 yet, or even recognize all her alphabet letters. Are you spending enough time with her?

You have a very unhappy 6 year old who dislikes the fact that you only let him play with Bionicles on the weekends. He begs everyday to be able to play with them. Are you sure you're not just making him into an angry resentful little boy?

You don't let your boys play-fight because someone always gets hurt. Are you damaging them by not "letting boys be boys?"

You've been trying so hard to teach the children to be responsible in anticipation of the arrival of baby #6. Why try? It's all going to fall apart after the baby is born anyway. The reality is you're going to be a screaming couch dictator while nursing a new baby.

You just tried out for a play? You have a major role and you've got a zillion lines to memorize? You might as well kiss an orderly, peaceful life goodbye, you're going to be a basket-case for the next several months!

Sometimes life just gets overwhelming; I want to crawl into a hole and never come out. Don't we all feel like that sometimes? My motto is: Be REAL. Pretending that everything is perfect and loving doesn't help anybody.

I was pretty down a month or two ago, and I wrote to a friend about how I was really seeing myself, really seeing all my faults, how proud, judgmental, unforgiving, and vindictive of a person I am. She wrote back as all good friends do, and told me to stop dwelling on the negative stuff. Thanks, Amanda =D

But, then I understood. This time was different. I wasn't looking at my faults to beat myself up, as was usual. Instead I was looking at myself clearly and realizing these were weaknesses God had given me on purpose. I could choose to ignore them and pretend that they weren't there, or I could follow the recipe in Ether 12:27 and get rid of them.

27And if men come unto me I will show unto them theiraweakness. I bgive unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my cgrace is sufficient for all men that dhumble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make eweak things become strong unto them.

I haven't looked yet to make sure, but I don't think I remember willpower being mentioned in the scriptures. Willpower is what I have typically viewed as strength; have you as well? I used to read my scriptures everyday with willpower, and I resented it. It was a "have to". I discovered that if I was honest with God, admitted that I didn't want to read, and asked for Him to bless me with the DESIRE to read, it was like magic! I feel the desire growing within me to search His holy words.

As I go to the Lord to admit I have a lot of pride (I have a tendency to think I'm better than other people, I judge them harshly to make myself feel better), and I pray for His love -Charity- to fill me, then I find I no longer feel the need to boost myself above them. I just want others to feel loved and in turn, I feel God's love for me as I try to become more like Him. The pride simply dissipates and I feel peace in my life instead of anxiety. I've used this recipe time and again over the last few months. As I have faced anger and resentment, times of feeling like I could not forgive, as well as many other situations, I find this recipe is tried and true. I admit my weakness, asking for help with faith in Christ, and the Lord has never failed me.

This scripture from 1 Nephi 15:3 struck me the other day, I likened it to myself:

3For he truly spake many great things unto them, which were hard to be aunderstood, save a man should inquire of the Lord; and they being hard in their hearts, therefore they did not look unto the Lord as they ought.

This scripture was my life! I was always hardening my heart - not inquiring of the Lord - not because I wanted to be rebellious like Laman and Lemuel, but because I thought that the Lord wanted me to just DO IT. He does want me to DO IT, but He wants me to get my strength from HIM, not from my own willpower, as I had previously believed.

The peace that permeates my life now, always seemed so elusive. As I have really started to implement asking the Lord for help (it used to make me feel so weak) my episodes of depression and self-abuse that lasted weeks, months, or yes, even years, have shortened in duration to a day or two, at most. I had a really horrible, very angry day yesterday. I accept full responsibility for it. It could have been better, but yesterday I was too proud to ask the Lord for help; I hardened my heart and pulled a Laman and Lemuel. Guess what? Today, I'm learning from my mistakes, I'm applying the Atonement in asking for repentance for my stiff-neckedness yesterday, and today is already shaping up to be a much better day!

Jenny is the nutty mother of 5 kids, with one more on the way, and is married to a child psychologist (it's great to have psych help on site). Her varied ramblings are found at We don't call people poopyheads. Her interests are basically anything that makes her abnormal, such as homebirthing, homeschooling, herbalism and natural healing, holistic iridology, and a survivalist wanna-be, to name a few.

15 comments - Add a comment below -:

shauna said...

Love this post. Thank you for sharing it...I see so much of me in your words. I have a lot to ponder about today.

Naomi said...

So happy for the post and the scripture references! I had the same day yesterday and I only have two kids and am not pregnant!! I always have felt that the Lord shows me what to do and expects me to do it. I rarely turn to Him for help because I KNOW what I should be doing. Thanks for the little pick me up!!

Libby said...

I also had one of those days yesterday! Sounds like your post probably came at just the right time for many of us. Thank you!!

Amy said...

Thank you for this post and keeping it real. Some days are hard, they are even horrible, but if we remember to turn to the Lord things will get better.

Meg said...

Thanks for the post, I can totally relate!

Mariel said...

Love this post, it really made me think. Thank you!!

Brooke said...

I just wanted to say that my 5 1/2 year old also can't read yet and she USUALLY recognizes letters and their sounds but not always. Sometimes I worry and then I remember that just because a child is potty-trained at 2 and another child at 4, it doesn't make one a better potty-goer than the other. I'm pretty sure that goes for reading as well.

Love this post!

Dana ♥ said...

Great reminder! I try to often to do it on my own and get frustrated when it doesn't go the way I want. I need reminded often to trust in Him and let him help me accomplish my goals.

deilataylor said...

wow--just my sentiments. thanks for sharing, you really made me laugh and feel much better. Yes, the "have to's" do me in.

Deila said...

wow--just my sentiments. thanks for sharing, you really made me laugh and feel much better. Yes, the "have to's" do me in.

Eric said...

Thank you for reminding me that I can ask for help to feel differently about things I "have to" do. So often I just do them anyway and end up feeling resentful.

Liz said...

You have no idea just how inspiring this "uninspired" post was! Thank you so much for sharing the real you with the rest of us. It makes me feel much more accepting of the real me. :D

Erica said...

Thank you for sharing this post! I found it very inspiring, especially the part about DO IT, and it being based on strength from the Lord rather then just personal willpower.

photomom82 said...

Thank you! You brought me to tears. That was the kick in the pants I needed. Thank you! My family will surely thank you if/when I implement what I have learned from your experience.

Kimberly said...

Great post, thanks!