Sunday, February 27, 2011

Our Greatest Fault

One of the first books my therapist gave me to read was "Sealed Orders" by Agnes Sanford.  I want to share one of my favorite parts:

"Before we were born each of us talked over with God our special purpose in this world.  Our sealed orders are something we agreed to in the context of a loving dialogue with the God who created us.  They are not a task we are to complete, but rather our special way of being. . . .  Our Greatest Fault and Sealed Orders are two faces of the same coin.  Because our faults are simply ways our greatest gifts have become distorted through hurts, one clue to our Sealed Orders will often be what we like least about ourselves.  So, if your faults seem more obvious than your Sealed Orders, you can ask yourself two questions:  'What do I like least about myself?' and 'If I felt loved with this fault, how might I imagine myself using the same energy to give and receive love with others?  As we receive love into our faults and the hurts underlying them, we are freed to use the same energies driving our faults to carry out our Sealed Orders."

It's been over three years since I first read this, at the time I didn't realize I was co-dependent, but I knew that things weren't right in my life and I didn't know why.  I've always been one who wanted to understand what my purpose in life was.  I wanted to fulfill my mission with all my heart, but I didn't know what it was.  In the beginning if I had answered the above questions I would have said that I didn't like anything about myself.  But if I were to pinpoint something it would have been that I gave to those around me everything I had and came away feeling empty, so I gave more hoping to get filled up somehow.  I always just felt empty.  If I were to answer the second question, it would have been that I just wanted love, I would wait and wait, give and give, hoping to receive love. It is not something I ever asked for or gave to myself.

But now after a few years I understand so much more.  My sealed orders are helping people.  My greatest fault is helping people.  They are "two faces of the same coin."  The difference is that through childhood hurts, my sealed orders became my greatest fault, trying to help others and ignoring my hurts.  I think now how much more I could have helped others if I had first learned how to heal my hurts by showing love to myself.  By ignoring my hurts and hoping they would go away, I only made my greatest fault worse. 

After a lot of healing, if I were to answer those two questions today, the answers would be very different, they would be:  What do I like least about myself?  That I have a hard time loving and giving to myself.  If I felt loved with this fault, how might I imagine myself using the same energy to give and receive love with others?  I will quit waiting for someone else to love me and show me kindness.  I will quit doing things hoping to receive love in return because of what I did.  I will be kind to myself and show love to myself and let my heart fill up with love.  Then that love will automatically flow to others because my cup will run over, it will flow out of me.  As I love myself I know that I will love others without waiting for them to love me back or waiting for them to fill my cup.  I will have done it myself.  I realize now that my greatest fault, was not loving myself, hoping others would do it for me based on what I did for them.  My greatest fault was not realizing that we must "love our neighbors as ourselves"  not "love our neighbors not ourselves."

 As I give love into my greatest fault, I heal my own hurts and I am now free to help others from a fullness of love that is inside me, a place that is no longer empty.  I can now carry out my Sealed Orders to help others, from love, not hurt.  I am learning how to turn over the face of the coin from my Greatest Fault to my Sealed Orders.  To love with all my heart, not just others, but myself too.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Breathe Strategy - R is for Release

This strategy has probably been the hardest one for me to do, which is to let go!  Releasing past hurts and feelings were especially hard for me because I had them all closed up inside of me.  I didn't allow myself to feel things, especially hurtful things.  I kept shoving down my feelings and they were building up inside me.  The first time that I really "felt" things was after a few months of therapy.  My therapist was trying to get me to feel and breathe through my emotions.  I really didn't know how to do it, so one day I sat down at my computer and tried to "feel" and I was stumped, I didn't know what to do.  I picked up the book Co-Dependent No More and looked through it thinking there had to be something in here telling me how to feel my feelings.  Finally I just started typing about things from my childhood that logically I should feel upset about.  I started with "I guess I feel . . ." about a few of my experiences and just kept going.  Then with one particular experience suddenly I found myself crying as I typed.  The more I typed the harder I cried.  With tears falling onto my keyboard I continued to type how I was feeling.  This was the first time I had ever cried about this most particular and painful time in my life.  After over 30 years I finally felt the pain and saddness of this moment.  I cried so hard even the dog came to see what was wrong.  I cried, typed and released that pain for a long time.  I was exhausted when I was done and so surprised at what I had been holding inside for so long.  To be honest, I didn't even know all that emotion was inside.  I have tried many times to open up that document that I typed that day with all these long-time held in feelings, but it will not open.  I suppose that is for the best, it really isn't necessary that I re-read all that came out that day.  What is important is that I released all of those emotions from inside my body.  So for this week, I'm going to refocus on letting go and releasing anything that I am holding inside, it is so much easier to breathe when I do.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Revelation through the Holy Ghost

I found this in my journal, it is a Relief Socity lesson that I gave sometime in 2003, I did edit out lesson questions and other items used in the lesson but not necessary to the message:

A few months ago I was reading Elder Robert D. Hales' May 2003 General Conference talk entitled "Faith Through Tribulation Brings Peace and Joy."  In this talk he makes reference to the story of the Brother of Jared in the Book of Mormon and how he did not want his family to make their journey across the ocean in their boats in complete darkness.  The brother of Jared took his concern to the Lord.  The answer to his question required diligent effort on his part.  In the scriptures it says that the Brother of Jared climbed Mount Shelem and did molten out of a rock sixteen small stones.  He then asked the Lord to touch those stones so that they would bring forth light.  Elder Hales goes on to say this, ". . . we must remember that it is not meet that the Lord should command in all things.  Like the brother of Jared, we must carefully consider the needs of our family members, make a plan to meet those needs, and then take our plan to the Lord in prayer.  This will require faith and effort on our part, but he will help us as we seek his assistance and do his will." 

As I thought about this for a few weeks, I kept thinking about a problem that we had and how we could solve this problem.  I took Elder Hales' advice and started formulating a plan.  One morning I began writing down this plan and making changes and praying about it until I felt it was right.  When my husband got home from work I showed it to him.  He thought it was a good plan as well.  So we formally presented the plan to the Lord through prayer.  I thought about how the Brother of Jared must have felt with his plan in regards to the stones.  There was no earthly way his plan should have worked, only through the power of God could those stones have been illuminated.  I felt that my plan was similar as there is no earthly way for it to really succeed, it is only through the power of God that it can be illuminatted so to speak.  After a few days, I thought "how do I know if my plan was accepted by the Lord?"  This brings us to our lesson revelation.  How do we know when our prayers our being answered?

President John Taylor said:  "I well remember a remark that Joseph Smith made to me. . . .  Said he, 'Elder Taylor, you have been baptized, you have had hands laid upon your head for the reception of the Holy Ghost, and you have been ordained to the holy priesthood.  Now, if you will continue to follow the leadings of that spirit, it will always leaad you right.  Sometimes it might be contrary to your judgment; never mind that, follow its dictates; and if you be true to its whisperings it will in time become in you a principle of revelation so that you will know all things.' "

I have a friend who is always so in tune with the spirit.  She receives prompt and strong answers to her prayers.  It amazed me because my personal revelation seemed to be nonexistent.  One day I asked her how she could get such amazing answers to her prayers.  I received her reply to this question a few days later in the mail.  She wrote a beautiful letter to me giving me the directions that she took to receive her answers.  I would like to share some of her thoughts with you later in the lesson.

We need personal revelation in our lives.  I have found it so interesting this past month that so much of what I read I thought "this is so perfect for my lesson."  Why even our Visiting Teaching lesson this month is on this same subject.  The very first line of the lesson is a statement from President Boyd K. Packer saying, "The flow of revelation depends on your faith."  Depends on your faith, that's a biggie in my book.  In the June 2003 Ensign there is an article entitled "Our Struggle to be Fruitful."  There was a statement the author of that article made that had a huge impact on me.  He and his wife had tried desperately to have children and just kept having miscarriages until one child was finally brought to term, but the baby died shortly after the birth.  The author became very bitter and struggled with his spirituality after that.  He finally worked through his feelings.  In answer to his searching and prayers, he learned that his lack of faith had added to his distress and that the day his daughter was buried they had not been alone, the angels had been there weeping with them, but they could not comfort him because he had blocked them out.  That going through this alone had been due to his use of agency, not his Father in Heaven's will.

How many of you have prayed, and prayed for answers, for help, and felt -- nothing?  I have so many times.  That is why I asked my friend how she waas able to receive her answers.  Because of the personal nature of her beautiful letter, I cannot share it in full with you, but here are her main points:  1.  When you pray, pray for at least 15 minutes; 2.  Talk to the Lord as if he were really there; 3. Take the time to listen after your prayer; 4.  React to the Spirit, don't question what you are hearing, just immediately react to it; 5.  Take time daily to exercise and meditate; 6.  Pay attention to your dreams as this is one of the Lord's tools that he uses to communicate with us as he has with others all throughout the scriptures; 7.  Be wary of Satan.  I would like to add one more item to this list that was suggested by Elder Henry B. Eyring and that is to write down even the simplest things that may come from the Spirit, that doing so would invite the Spirit back again.

Is receiving personal revelation just following a to-do list?  Prayed for 15 minutes, check.  Took time to listen, check.  No, of course not.  Elder Eyring has this to say regarding our search for answer to prayers:

You may now be reading the Book of Mormon diligently, daily.  You may be praying often and with real intent.  That may have led to such faith in Jesus Christ that you remember him with love.  And that surely will have both led you to a broken heart and to seeking forgiveness for past sins and determination to keep every commandment.  But you may still say, "With all that, I don't seem to get the promptings of what is true as easily as I think I should if I really have his Spirit, the Holy Ghost, to be with me."  You and I need to be patient, and for a reason.  A quick reading of the Book of Mormon, a few prayers, a shallow attempt at repentance, a casual regard for the covenants we've made - of course, that is not enough.  The scriptures use over and over again the word "steadiness" to describe faithful disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.  When faith and repentance and diligent efforts to live the commandments have gone on long enough that virtue garnishes our thoughts unceasingly, then the doctrine of the priesthood, the truthful answers to the questions that really matter, will distill upon us as the dew from heaven.  That's been my experience with seeking the confirmation of truth by the Spirit of God.  I have at times sought it by singular effort, in times of great need, and it has come.  Investigators have that experience when they reach the point where they must know if the Book of Mormon is true.  But far more often for me, I notice the Spirit's presence in quiet confirmations at times when all I seem to have done is plod on in diligence, doing the simple things - searching the scriptures with a prayer in my heart and with more concern for others, and therefore less time for pursuits that let Satan, the father of lies, entice me.  It's in periods of that steadiness that I notice the Holy Ghost, almost in the way you're surprised to discover that your shoes are wet from the dew formed on the grass overnight, and I look up and realize that my mind has been enlightened and my heart has been enlarged."

I want to take you back to my plan I told you about in the beginning of the lesson.  The question on my mind was, how do I know if this plan is accepted of the Lord.  I asked several people their thoughts.  Most said that if the plan started to work, then I would know.  My mom suggested that if it wasn't accepted I would know that.  Then I read the following from a talk "Shall He Find Faith on the Earth?" by Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin from the May 2003 General Conference edition of the Ensign.  Elder Wirthlin said, "How do we know when our fatih conforms to the will of our Heavenly Father and He approves of that which we seek?  We must know the word of God.  One of the reasons we immerse ourselves in the scriptures is to know of Heavenly Father's dealings with man from the beginning.  If the desires of our heart are contrary to scripture, then we should not pursue them further.  Next, we must heed the counsel of latter-day prophets as they give inspired instruction.  Additionally, we must ponder and pray and seek the guidance of the Spirit.  If we do so, the Lord has promised, "I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart."  Only when our faith is aligned with the will of our Heavenly Father will we be empowered to receive the blessings we seek."

When I read this, I felt like I had received my answwer.  This didn't say "yes, your plan is accepted," and I didn't suddenly see stones illuminated before me, but I felt in my heart that the Lord was guiding me all through this lesson and the reading I had been doing to le me know that yes,my plan was a good plan, that it was in line with the will of the Lord.  I had used the scriptures and words of the apostles to guide me and through the words I had read, I received my personal revelation that the Lord was pleased with my efforts.  I know that I have a long way to go to having a closer relationship with my Savior, but I have noticed that I feel less and less like I am getting "nothing" as I pray.  That in due time, I find my answers and that as I keep progressing I too hope to have a close a relationship as my friend does and to hear the Spirit in all that I do and I pray that each of you will feel the same.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Breathe Strategy - B is for Be Still

I was diagnosed with Depression almost a year ago and put on medication which has helped.  Although most of the time I feel better, there are some days where the Depression can still set in.  I call it being in a "funk" and this last week I had quite a few days in that "funk."  Saturday I was going though my past notes from therapy and books I've read dealing with co-dependency, anxiety and depression and found just what I needed.  I don't know why I can't seem to remember this lesson, but it is quite simply this, when I am in a "funk" I need to pay attention to how I have been treating myself.  I realized I hadn't been following any of my B.R.E.A.T.H.E. Strategies (see column to the left for more details).  I had been exceptionally tired so I was sleeping a lot and thinking that is getting rest, that fits into the "B" or "Be still" part of my Breathe Strategies, but really it doesn't.  Sleeping, reading, watching tv and similar activities may have you not moving, but you are not being "still" inside.  You are mostly just dumbing down or numbing your brain.  What I needed to do was things that rest my emotions, my soul, such as meditation, journaling, etc.   I believe I was inspired with the Breathe Strategies and yet I keep forgetting to put them into action in my life.  So, I've decided to post a blog weekly as to what Breathe Strategy I am focusing on each week.  I know it will help me, and hopefully others to.

So, this week my B.R.E.A.T.H.E. Strategy to focus on is the "B" which is for "Be Still".  I love writing in my journal, somehow it just clears my head and I had been putting it aside for a few days, so I have gotten back into that.  I have several meditations on my ipod, so I listened to one this morning.  Yesterday I took a long bubble bath which is always very relaxing.  This time it took me 4 days to get out of the funk, I can usually get out of it within 24 hours, this time I just forgot to do what I know works.  Once I was reminded what I needed to do, it worked great.  Other things I like to do and will continue to do this week are:  listen to gentle music, dance with fun music, create something (which is usually some sort of paper or needle craft item), sit outside, writing (not just journaling) and use my Chi machine (check out HTE's chi machine).  You don't need hours to "Be still"  sometimes as little as 10-15 minutes can restore your balance, and yes, sometimes you need more.  The important thing is to take some time each day to nourish your soul.

I know that I need to listen to myself more often, especially when I find myself saying, "breathe, Renae, breathe" that is when I know that I'm way off on my Breathe strategies which help keep me balanced.  To restore that, currently delicate balance, this week I know I just need to take a moment each day to "Be still."

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Home, A Place for Mom

I was going through my journal looking for something and found several talks I had given in the past so I thought I would post them, here is the one I gave in church in August, 1999:

Before I begin my talk, I would like to point out that there are many facets of the gospel, some are easy for some people to live and some are very difficult for others.  As an example, tithing may be a principle that  is easy for some members and yet for others it may be a challenge.  This applies to what I am going to talk about today as well.  This may be something very simple for some and has never created question or difficulty and yet to others it could be the greatest challenge of their life.  I am grateful for the opportunity to talk on this subject as it is something that is very important to me and has greatly affected my life.

A call has been sent out, the call for mothers to come home.  In 1977 President Kimball pleaded with mothers to "come home from the typewriter, the laundry, the nursing.  Come home from the factory, the cafe.  No career approaches in importance that of wife, homemaker, [and] mother."  On another occasion he again urged mothers to "come home to your children, born and unborn.  Wrap the motherly cloak about you and, unembarrassed, help in a major role to create the bodies for the immortal souls who anxiously wait."

President Benson counseled mothers to "be at the crossroads when your children are either coming or going."  In addition President Benson stated that the Lord's way to rear our children is "different from the world's way . . . .  In the beginning, Adam - not Eve - was instructed to earn the bread by the sweat of his brow.  Contrary to conventional wisdom, a mother's calling is in the home, not in the marketplace."

Mothers work out of the home for numerous reasons.  Regarding one of these reasons, President Kimball stated:  "I know of no scriptures where an authorization is given to young wives to withhold their families and to go to work to put their husbands through school."

In an April, 1998 Ensign article entitled "Putting Our Marriage Back Together" the author makes this statement:  "I knew there were sometimes circumstances in which a wife has to work, such as when a husband cannot obtain employment, but I realized that my case did not fall into that category.  According to President Ezra Taft Benson, "we know that sometimes the mother works outside of the home at the encouragement, or even insistence, of her husband. . . .  Not only will the family suffer in such instances, brethren, but your own spiritual growth and progression will be hampered."

Along with the call to come home, promises and blessings are given.  President David O. McKay promised, "She who rears successfully a family of healthy, beautiful sons and daughters, whose influence will be felt through generations to come, . . . deserves the highest honor that man can give, and the choicest blessings of God."

And President Kimball stated "When you have fully complemented your husband in home life and borne the children, growing up full of faith, integrity, responsibility, goodness, then you have achieved your accomplishment supreme, without peer, and you will be the envy of all through time and eternity."

Why have so many prophets for so many years issued this call for mothers to come home?  Why is it so important for mothers to be home with their children?  In Alma 56:47-48 regarding the Stripling Warriors, it says:  "Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.  And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying:  We do not doubt our mothers knew it."

In talking about mothers, President Hinkley said:  "It is you who bear and nuture your children.  It is you who comfort them and sustain them, who listen to them and counsel them wisely.  You are the ones who teach them to pray and trust in the Lord.  It is you who guide them in the schooling they receive which will prepare them to take their places in society.  It is you who keep them close to the Church and who nourish their faith."

So we see how important it is for mothers to be at home to teach and nurture their children.  In an October 1989 Ensign article regarding the transition from career woman to stay-at-home mother, one of the contributors had this to say:  "I used to long to be out in the world working with adults, using my brains and my education, but one day I realized the flip side of that argument - does that mean that only someone without any brains or education is suited to rearing a family?  That wasn't the kind of person I wanted to raise my children.  I wanted them to have the smartest, most educated, most spiritual person I could find.  That realization became an incentive for me.  I stopped feeling that my skills were being wasted at home and started to make myself worthy of this important calling."

Another contributor to this same article talks about one day that her baby was sick and how she had spent the whole day rocking the sick child.  When her husband returned home from work he found a frustrated wife and mother because of so much left undone.  Her husband was able to put things in perspective for her as he pointed out to her that she had decided to stay at home to nurture their children and how would she feel if her child had cried all day because she had instead cleaned the house all day.  I think of how valuable that day really was for that child, to have her mother's loving arms around her all day.

As we look around us, we see the decay in our society.  I found it interesting in a study done on all the shootings taken place in our schools that among the many common factors of the children who did the shootings, one was that the parents worked outside of the home.  When I was working I would drive by churches and note how many of them provided day care.  I remember thinking, why doesn't our church do something like that, what a good idea and then the realization hit me, our Church does not do this because it is more important that mothers be at home.

Lillie Freeze reported having heard Joseph Smith make the following prophecy: "He said the time would come when none but the women of the Latter-day Saints would be willing to bear children."  Continuing in this same area of thought, President Hinkley stated that "There will be a growing trend in the future to leave to others the tasks of rearing children. . . ."

Often we think that mothers need to be out of the home working, especially just to get by in this society.  I too thought I needed to be out of the home working.  I thought that I was helping my family.  I would like to repeat a quote I have already made by President Benson regarding mothers working out of the home, he stated:  "Not only will the family suffer in such instances,brethren, but your own spiritual growth and progression will be hampered."

In working outside of the home I had been doing, I thought, everything in my power to help my family.  When I read this statement, I realized I was helping them temporally, but hindering them spiritually.

Well, the call has been made, the purpose understood.  Now how are mothers to come home?  Another contributor to the October 1989 Ensign article said:  "Before, I would cry every time I'd hear a Church leader say I should be home with my children. . . .  He doesn't understand, I thought.  Things were different when he raised his children."

When I used to listen to the Prophets and their call for mothers to come home, I would get so angry, thinking "don't tell me to stay at home and then not provide a way for it to happen."  Unfortunately we found ourselves in the situation where I brought home the larger paycheck and every cent of it was used for a bill or debt.  As far as we could see, there was not a way I could ever get home.  Finding a way home became an obsession for me, it filled my every waking thought.  I found myself constantly running numbers, searching scriptures, talks, articles, anything I could get my hands on, thinking I could find a way home.  It wasn't until one day I was driving home from work that this thought entered my mind, "If I do what the Prophet says and stay home first, then will it work?"  I clung to this thought and started studying the aspect of doing what our Prophets tell us and having the faith to follow through with their counsel.  I realized all this time I had had it backwards.  I was waiting for something to happen to provide the way for me to be at home, instead of following the prophets' counsel and staying home, having faith first as faith precedes the miracle.  I always think of a movie I saw many years ago where a man is on a quest.  He finds himself at the edge of a cliff with a huge chasm to cross to get to the other side where he needed to be.  At first glance there is no way across this chasm. With faith he steps out into the chasm.  He doesn't fall, he looks down and he is standing on a rock and he can see a rock path leading all the way to the other side, a path that was not visible from that first step, but completely visible once that first step has been taken.  Just as in this story, I needed to have the faith to take that first step.

Through much thought, prayer, blessings and counsel with my husband and Bishops, a year and a half ago I made the jump and quit my job.  I know there are many mothers who think "but we need that extra $500 that I make, we need that extra $1,000, etc."  When I left my job, my salary was over $2,800 a month.  That is not an easy sum to live without.  About a year ago, I remember talking to our Relief Society President one day and telling her that what a testimony to the Lord and to following the counsel of our Prophets this experience of ours would be if it worked in the end, at that time we were still in the middle of the trial of our faith.  This past year and a half hasn't been easy, and it has required much more faith from me than I thought it would and more that I thought I had.  There were times when we thought that we would not make it.  During this time we found this scripture that was of great comfort, Matthew 6:31-33:  "Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? . . . [F]or your Heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you."

Our Father in Heaven knows our needs, and he provides for us, all that is required of us is to be obedient.  In the April, 1998 Ensign article, the author makes a statement that really touched my heart and I want to share it with you.  He says:  "I have never felt a stronger sense of personal honor or integrity than the day I rolled up my sleeves and determined my wife would never have to work outside the home again due to my lack of effort.  And Jolene has never been so beautiful as the day she committed to manage our household on the income I earned and to devote her life, time, talents, and energy to giving our children guidance, training, counseling, and love."

In the October, 1989 Ensign article it states:  "Although giving up a second income may seem impossible, those with an eye on the eternal perspective find that the extra paycheck sometimes can cost more than it's worth.  It is a decision that must be faced uniquely and prayerfully by each family."

As I said, this experience of ours has not been easy, but we committed to it and we have been blessed because of it.  I can safely say now that it has worked, Jim has been blessed with a new job and is able to provide for our needs.  I am so blessed to be able to be at home.  I love those teaching moments I have with my children, moments I would not have been able to have had I been working.  I hope all of you mothers appreciate every difficult, frustrating, happy moment you have at home, for they are precious moments, all of them.  The most important thing for us to remember is that our family must come first, no matter the temporal difficulties, as the eternal blessings in the end will far out way the difficulties.  I testify to you that what I have told you this day is true.  That our Prophets speak for the Lord and both know our needs, wants and desires.  That if we will put our faith and trust in God, He will provide for us.  I want to thank my family and friends who have been with me through this.  I want to thank my Bishops and home teachers for their counsel and blessings.  I want to thank my husband, who thought I was nuts in wanting to quit my job and stay at home and terrified at what might happen to us, but let me do it anyway.  I'm grateful for Prophets, who do know what they are talking about and who give us the counsel we need.  And last, but not least, I want to thank my Heavenly Father for guiding me home.
*****
It has been 12 years since I gave this talk and I believe in it more than ever.  The blessings we have received from making this huge decision have been immense.  After a few more years my husband was earning more than both of our incomes combined before I quit my job.  We had probably around seven years of financial challenges as we caught up for the first few tough years, but it was well worth it and if I knew then what I know now, I would have done it years earlier.  One of the ladies in my ward taught her children to never rely on the wife's income, even in the beginning of a marriage before children, to take that income and save it until children arrive and she is ready to stay home.  I thought this was amazing advice and have since taught it to my children.  I know we have been blessed greatly for my decision to stay home and be there for our children.  I know it can be done no matter what the wife's income is, I am living proof.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

What If . . .

My daughter loves this phrase, "what if . . ." and she comes up with amazing "what if's."  What if . . . everyone walked around with their arms in the air.  What if . . . the sky was really green, but we just call it blue.  I don't think a day goes by without her coming up with some sort of what if.  I have realized that when I use the phrase "what if . . ." it is more like a curse.  Her imagination is fun and light, mine seems to be dark and dreary.

I was trying to figure out my morning routine schedule one day last week and that is when it hit me that my "what if's" were not good, they were a co-dependent crutch.  I was thinking that I wanted to take my showers every morning at 7:00 am, but then I thought, "what if . . . my husband doesn't have to go to work until later and needs the shower at 7:00 am instead, so . . . I can't shower at that time, what time will work?"  I really hate it when I realize I am doing something co-dependent and as soon as I finished my thought, I realized how co-dependent that was.  Just because I'm home all day doesn't mean that I have to wait until everyone else has used the shower before I can take mine.  I resolved to change that thought, but then I started thinking about the phrase "what if . . ." and suddenly realized how often I was using it.

I can't use my ipod because, "what if . . ." someone needs me and I can't hear them.  I can't be down in my scrapbook room because, "what if . . ." someone comes to the door and I can't hear the doorbell.  I can't exercise first thing in the morning because, "what if . . ." I'm too noisy and bother someone.  And so on, I was shocked to think about how often I was putting off things I enjoy and wanted to do because I might bother someone or be in their way.  So no more co-dependent "what if's" time for some of my daughter's type of "what if's."

What if . . . I listened to my ipod and danced around, enjoyed myself and felt happy.  What if . . . I just showered every day at 7:00 am, my husband can plan around me if he has a late day.  What if . . . everyone walked backwards instead of forwards, wouldn't that be funny!