Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Real conversation

Acquaintance: "sorry if you can hear me chewing really loud" she says as she awkwardly chews slowly and covers her mouth.

Me: "oh your fine I can't even hear it."

Acquaintance: "REALLY!? Cuz in my head its really loud!"

Me: .... Shes for real..."Yep that's because your mouth is right next to your ears"

Acquaintance: "I guess that's true"

Yep. It's true.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Self Confidence

This is a very broad subject. There are thousands of psychologists studying this, millions of books and articles written, and it's because there are people struggling with it everywhere.

How do we get self confidence? How do we keep it? Do you struggle with it? Why do so many women struggle with it? Why is it so fragile?

I don't know how to answer all those questions. I'm just a wife and a mother who ponders everything. 

I do have some leads though. Or some ideas.
I'm just gonna jump right in.

Life experience. So much can happen inside those two words. So much good and so much bad.

Sometimes I hear of experiences and I think why was he or she allowed to do that to someone? Why does there have to be victims in life? Why do children have to endure things that shred any last bit of self confidence that one could have had? There are so many questions to ask.

I don't want to delve deeply into life experience I just want to lead your mind where mine went. Not to terrible, horrible, mind/heart scarring ventures, but to things that still shouldn't have happened.

I look at some people and I think, had they not endured that trial they could be more confident maybe. I never think it in those exact words, but that's pretty much what it sums up to. I think, maybe he/she would understand this or that aspect of life better, had they not experienced that.

And often as humans, we look at the bad stuff that happens to us as just that---bad stuff. My own mother is very much a worry wart and she is constantly (and I mean constantly) bringing up the worst-case-scenarios in any situation. I told her I had a nightmare last week and she suggested I get a supplement for anxiety. One nightmare. I love you mother, forever and for always, but I not takin dem pills!

I don't say this to bad mouth her. In fact, her worst-case-scenario thinking has made her prepared for literally every worst case scenario ever, and it has prevented many bad scenarios from unfolding. I'm just trying to illustrate a point---we always think of the trials in life as trials! Horrible happenings that just happen and we cannot prevent even though we continuously try to!

And lately I've been thinking about changing people's thinking. Why does Heavenly Father put people through unimaginable trials? Because of who he wants us to become. Now I know you've heard of this before, but really ponder this with me.

If I had grown up in any sort of a different family situation, sure, it may have seemed better to some. I've even thought maybe it would have been easier. Not having the "big kids" with us for a whole Christmas Day was pretty bad, I won't lie. But it did something to me, somewhere inside, to make me stronger. It made me appreciate my siblings, and it made me yearn for closeness with them. Had they always been there, maybe we would have fought more. Maybe I wouldn't have looked to them as examples. Maybe I would just be a little different. But Heavenly Father needs me to be who I am. And so he put me in a beautifully imperfect family in which I've never regretted belonging.

Think if we had the ability to see every "trial" for what it truly is. A current of water smoothing our rough patches slowly day by day. Or maybe some trials are sticks of dynamite blasting us onto the path of humility. Couldn't this ability to see trials differently change us clear down deep inside? Could it give us truckloads more of self confidence because we see how important we are to our Heavenly Father because he has given us more responsibility to become? I think it can!

There are some people who I wish I could sit them down, look them in the eye, and say, "You ARE worth it." Correction= I wish I could do that to all people. That's why I have a blog I guess. But really if you are reading this, do you believe that? Because I believe it. Heavenly Father wants YOU to understand something important so He gave you burdens. The "natural man" sees those burdens as hard, but again can we change the definition of burdens and trials and tribulations? In order to survive---we have to. Alllllll the hard "stuff" has to get their names changed. They should be called things like, strength-builders, family uniters, path re-directors, rough edge smoothers, and helped-me-to-become-like-God-ers.

Heavenly Father does want us to understand a lot of things---to become like Him we have to become All-knowing. (that will take much longer than this lifetime I believe). But most importantly---He wants us to understand we are not asked to endure life experience alone. He would have never sent us here alone. He sent us here, and then sent His Son to make all of the necessary connections. His Son built a bridge back home so-to-speak. His Son also offers strength, and the know-how for re-building hearts and homes. His Son offers to walk alongside us to help carry every "helped-me-to-become-like-God-er", or what is more commonly known as every, "trial."

And knowing what I know about the Savior Jesus Christ, I feel much more confident that He can be on my side. My search for self-confidence has also been a search to know my Savior better. And I don't know a lot, but I know that when I try to live as He would, I see trials for how they really are just a bit better, and I believe in myself a lot better. I find peace and happiness in just being good ole Sammy Grace! And I don't seek for the world's approval, I just try to enjoy being me and everyone that comes along with that.

So here's my hope. Please know, You Are Worth It. Whoever you are. Life experience is meant to make you even greater. We are sons and daughters of a Heavenly Father who has created worlds without number. We are part of an ever growing family of love that just keeps multiplying--never dividing. So believe in yourself. Make decisions, Make amazing things happen, and Make your little corner of the world better because you're happy being you! Find your Confidence in Christ.

*thanks for reading. my husband has a rough time even listening to my long blog posts. ;) gotta love it. gotta write it down somewhere.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Because Nothing Bad Happened.

**Can I just say, this blog is a special place for me. Sometimes I ignore it, and I feel and think things that I need to write--like I am supposed to write them---and I still ignore them...But then I sit down, and I re-read something I wrote, and I know that it isn't necessarily just me writing. For some reason, I notice things, I analyze everything, and I put it into language which transforms into a vision for others to grasp or to ignore. And it feels good. It's me, connected to a spirit that I don't even realize I am in tune with. But as I said, I look back and think, how did I know to write that? How did I know it then it would help me today? The answer is: I didn't. I just do it, because I'm supposed to, and then my Heavenly Father blesses my life with it. I hope it blesses others. Refer to the quote at the top right of the page, "To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded."

This is a post that's been pressing on my mind and I've been ignoring it. Unfortunately that means I may not word it as wonderfully as possible, but I will try my best.

        Growing up, I remember when my mom would teach me about the 'right things' to do. These 'right things' are as follows: Be kind. Share. Don't steal. Be nice to your sister. ...hehe... Forgive your friend. Pray. Read your scriptures. Etc. As a child, when we didn't follow those behaviors, usually there came a punishment afterward. One of my favorites included writing 500 times phrases such as "I will stop complaining." (I still struggle with that one).

These punishments helped me to learn a significant life lesson. Because my mother was consistent with discipline, I learned that choices ALWAYS have consequences. Every choice is connected to a consequence. Some consequences are of lesser importance, while others have substantial and eternal significance.

As the teenage years came, like most teenagers I was given a bit more responsibility. Parents and children eventually make the transition of babysitters and diaper bags to peers and cellphones. (I still struggle with the cellphone part, but that's the world we live in folks!) With this transition there comes less parental supervision, more interaction with humans of the opposite sex, and opportunities to make decisions that seemingly "no one will know about." We always hope that all teenagers will stay in well-lit areas, participate in wholesome activities, and choose good decisions whether parents are there or not.

Thankfully, many youth choose the straight and narrow path. Some do not. In the world as a whole, many do not.

Those who choose the crooked path are not free from ownership of the choices they've made. However, I wonder if a few people could have been and still could be helped by learning one simple truth: Choices come with Consequences. They ALWAYS come with consequences.

The older we get, and the more responsibility that becomes ours, the more chances we have to choose the wrong things. For example, if at 16 you are fortunate enough to get a car, you may tell your parents--"I'm going to a friend's ward on Sunday" and then you peace out and go do what you want. Or, you decide to not pay your tithing because your check just was too small to give any away.  Maybe you decide to go to an inappropriate movie because your friends want to and because "no one will know."

These small choices are made every day. By all of us. As young adults, and as adults, these choices often go unnoticed by others. They are choices only we know about. And many times, right after the choice is made, "nothing bad happens."

Usually, no lightning strike comes from heaven. Mom and Dad don't make you stick your nose against the wall. No one spanks you.

But these choices when no one else is looking, these are the moments where we find out who we really are. These are the very moments in which we become more like our Father in Heaven, or less like Him. And if we haven't made the connection of choices leading to consequences then we are more likely to make choices that seemingly have no consequences. And here's the thing, something bad does happen when we make bad choices. It often just happens in our hearts. It separates us that much more from our Father in Heaven.

I know this because this is me. This week I chose to spend time watching stupid shows that may have been funny, but they didn't uplift or edify. In fact, they filled my mind with gunk that I now have to remove. They supported things that I say I don't support. And yet, by watching the shows, unfortunately, I was supporting them. And I thought, nothing bad happened. I just watched a show or two. The shows definitely fit in the PG-13 category, and they made me laugh. But then I realized some things. While watching the shows, I paid less attention to my precious little girl. I left work undone that I could have easily accomplished. I was lazy, and I wasted time that on this earth--is truly so fragile. These 'bad' things didn't speak up as loud and clear as my mother did when she lectured me after a bad decision. They were much quieter in their sneakily making my life less wonderful.

And I realized that the rationalization of "nothing bad will happen" is the stupidest rationalization of all time. Because everything we do creates a happening of either good or bad. We're either on the path or were off it. Choosing to sit on the fence is still choosing not to walk on the straight and narrow path.

I've watched as a childhood friend made choices believing that nothing bad would happen in his life. Then he showed up on my doorstep with a verbal list of happenings that I pray I never have to endure. The adversary wants us to believe that some choices do not bring about consequences. We can never believe that. We have to believe in doing good---all the time. We can trust wholeheartedly that when we do good, good things happen. We have to make good choices because our Heavenly parents have never left us alone, and they will always know the choices we are making. And we must choose the right because of who we can become. I chose to be weak this week. I chose to give in to the natural man rather than following the me who is a daughter of Heavenly Father who seeks to do His will. I was lazy, cranky, and I ignored my child. Without consciously realizing it, I put effort into becoming useless and selfish. I hate it when I do that. Because even when I don't immediately see it, bad things happen.

So, start making good choices. Because good things will happen. Short and sweet ending, because it's the short and sweet truth.