Several months ago while talking with my therapist she gave me a little homework assignment. That assignment was to figure out the core things that will always strengthen me and build me back up again. These four of five things are my sources of strength. They are things that no matter how hard life tries to knock me down, no one will ever be able to shack those four of five things, take them away, or make me let them go. I took that homework assignment to heart and thought long and hard about what those things would be. As I thought about them, the word passion comes to mind.
Put your whole heart and soul into what you love! That's the quote that resonates today. I got to thinking to myself, "Hmmmm. self, what do I love enough to put my whole heart and soul into?" I admit it, when I commit, I totally commit to something or someone. When I love, I love deeply and when I do, I do it with all my heart! (Another reason to be grateful that Kevin tolerates me and he even tames me and tones me down! He just has that effect on me.) So, when I find something that I love, oh brother, watch out because I don't know how to be excited about something "just a little".
Here is my list of a few things that came to my mind, front and center. These are the things that no one can or will EVER take away from me:
My husband! Even with all of my shortcomings, bad habits, skeletons in my closet, and at times my bad attitude, that man loves me. I know this without a doubt. Why? Sometimes I am blown away by just how much he really does loves me in spite of all my faults. I know he is and always will be my eternal companion. For this I feel like the luckiest woman alive!
My family. I can't get enough of them. I could spend every day with them. I love being together for fun, for serious moments, and for growing experiences. I could just do everything along with my family and be completely happy. After all, these are the people I want to spend eternity with. If I could, I would absolutely LOVE to be home just taking care of them, showing them every single day just how important they are to me, if I could figure out a way to be able to afford it. I don't work because I love working. I work because I have to, and ultimately it is all for my family because I love them more than anything. I work to provide for my family. Sure, working outside of the home is not the "ideal" LDS woman's preferred role in life, but I would be disappointed in myself if I did not do everything within my power to do what I could to help my family. No one will ever say that I was one of those women that refused to work. Is this exactly what I saw myself doing when I thought about my life as a wife and mother? Of course not. I wanted to be in the home where I felt I needed to be. BUT, like we are reminded in the book of Esther 4:14, "Who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" There are countless woman who have had to shift their ideals in order to do what they know they must do. Does it mean my life is easy. Of course not. There are days I down right hate it. BUT, I do know the example I am setting for my children, my grandchildren, and possibly even my great-grandchildren, and I do not want them looking back on my life and thinking I wouldn't step out of my comfort zone to do whatever it took for my family. My life isn't perfect. Most days I feel like such a failure and that the weight of the world is on my shoulders. My life isn't easy. But, I am also reminded that my Heavenly Father never said it would be easy. He did, however, promise that it would be so worth it, and that is what I continue to think about every single day.
My Talents. I think this is a good time to talk about my talents because I believe it is those things, those traits, that make it possible for me to do exactly what I have come to the "kingdom" to do. I am grateful for those talents that were instilled in me at a very young age in my parents home. I feel because of the way my parents raised me and nurtured me that has allowed me to explore and develop the talents I have and enjoy now, as well as those talents I hope to learn in the future.
The Gospel. My religion, my faith and my church. A faith that strongly encourages regular and frequent scripture study, personal prayer, and my Heavenly Father's Plan for me and each and every person that walks this earth. I love studying my scriptures, reading the writings of the leaders of our church, and finding answers to those things I need to know. The more I know, and the more I seek, the happier I am. I love that I'm comfortable with that knowledge and not intimidated by what I don't know. I love that I am constantly learning and growing in my faith every single day, as I strive to become the person my Heavenly Father wants me to be. I love being able to serve others in ways that are not anything extraordinary, but are the kinds of things I know my Heavenly Father would be doing, if He could be here with us today. I'm grateful for the peace my Heavenly Father's plan brings me. It is that knowledge that gives me strength, hope, and reminds me of exactly who I am, why I am here, and my role here today as a wife, mother, and most importantly, as a follower of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
My relationship with my Heavenly Father. Even though this is my last topic, it is, by far, the most important relationship I have! Hands down. I have come to know exactly how much my Heavenly Father loves me, knows me personally, and wants to be a part of every single detail of my life, my husbands life, and the lives of my children. It is this relationship that humbles me, grounds me, and strengthens me in every possible way imaginable. What a blessing it is to know that I have a Heavenly Father that is always there for me, does not make a promise He will not keep, and will NEVER let me down. This is an incredible blessing!
I realize for those around me, my life sometimes looks and seems overwhelming, and even frustrating. BUT, it is because of these core strengths that the burdens that I carry seem so very light on my shoulders. I do know that as I work hard, learn, grow, and strive to do the things I must do, I am being shaped and molded into the person my Heavenly Father wants me to be. I have felt Him take my weaknesses and change them into strengths in a very short time. I'll say it again.....I am not perfect!! In fact, far from it. I stumble all the time. I make mistakes. I fail all the time. BUT, it is these things I mentioned above that give me strength to go on and try, try, try again.