The Pebble

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Do you ever wonder if you really make a difference? Do you ever wonder if what you’re doing really matters? Do you ever feel that your contribution is meaningless?

I’ve been thinking about this subject over the past few weeks. My thoughts became increasingly poignant when I watched a video the other day about WWII and some university students that tried to protest the Nazi regime through their own propaganda. In the end, the investigation pointed to 3, but mainly 2 students that had masterminded the majority of the information and distribution of the propaganda. They were executed for their efforts. However their legacy lived on and their voice was heard and made a positive difference.

After wiping away the tears, I got to thinking….am I making a difference? Is what I’m doing really going to matter?

My first thoughts were rather discouraging. But as I started to analyze my influence a bit more deeply I began to picture a pebble being thrown into an enormous lake. True, for the most part it would go unnoticed. But, that tiny pebble would cause ripples, even a bit of a splash, and had the power to even rock a boat.

I am not perfect. But I am trying my best. I am a child of God, a woman, a wife, a mother. I may not matter to others but I do matter to some, and I do matter to God. He sees me. He cares. He knows of my efforts.

I also know that every day I am making a statement. Every day that I choose to put my God, my marriage and family first I am telling them and everyone that will take notice that I know what real success is. Every day that I choose to use kindness instead of anger, disdain, or negativity, I am testifying that goodness wins. Every day that I choose to protect and sanctify my body with healthy habits and modesty I am showing God that I am grateful for His gift to me and my family and anyone else that will take notice that our bodies are sacred. Every day that I walk out with my family I am showing that I know that we are ALL beloved children of God, that He sees us, not our skin. Every Sunday when I’m going to church and spending the day in a worshipful attitude, I am testifying of my belief in the teachings of the Bible. Every day that I choose virtue and integrity over convenience and image I am telling my children what really matters. What I say and what I do says to the world and especially to my family what and who I am.

I think as Moms we sometimes get mixed messages.

The world tells us to do all and be all. This is more in the sense of superficial success, a skin-deep perfection…..have the amazing career, the money, the “perfect” body, the “perfect” house and the “perfect” family. Not only is this a tainted view of happiness, it never really brings happiness.

On the other hand, the Lord tells us to be virtuous and true to Him, our husbands and our families. Our purpose and mission is to teach and guide and lead the children of God to be the leaders and kind of people He wants them to be. What amazing trust our God must have in us women!

While trying our best and looking to God to fill in gaps, will bring happiness and even joy as we strive to fulfill this incredible role, it can seem daunting at times and we can become discouraged. Part of this discouragement often comes from the fact that although we have basic scriptural outlines and the Spirit to guide our efforts, we will find that there is no “blueprint” for success. Every woman and family is different and there are many details that the Lord will guide us in but not mandate.

Then we have our own personal demons to root out of our being. We all have weaknesses and while a spouse and children can help bring out the best in us, if we are not careful we and they can also end up with the worst of us.

Thankfully, this is all part of the plan. Just like a precious metal or gem, we cannot reach our potential without some tempering, some heat, some pounding off of rough edges.

As I was pondering on what I needed to do to be the kind of person that God wants me to be, and make the difference that I need to make in my children’s lives especially, I then pictured the little “Refresh” icon on my computer. Every now and then I have to sit back, look around, ponder, pray, study and click “Refresh”. The beauty of the atonement is that it works for everyone. I am not perfect BUT I can try again.

The desire to change is often with me but the urgency to do so has been heightened over the past week or so. This urgency to change was especially present today as I read and heard of a young mother, not much older than myself, that died a yesterday due to birth complications. Gratefully, she was a beautiful, Proverbs 31 woman that was ready to meet her Maker. Sadly, she left behind a young husband and 6 children, one of which she would never meet in this life. As I stared at my computer through a curtain of tears I began to think, “Am I ready?” “If I died today would my husband and children really know how much I love them?” “Would they remember me in a positive light?” “Has my pebble made all the ripples and splashes it was meant to make?”

I still have much work to do. I know that I am not alone in my quest. I know that my contributions seem small, but they are needed and they matter. I will “Refresh” and be better each day. Even if my life is only a pebble, the ripples will make a difference. Now I’m going to go hug my family and tell them I love them. Good night!

P.S. Here is the link about the woman I mentioned. A beautiful young woman that has left a husband and 6 children behind, please keep them in your prayers! Our Dearest Katrina!www.youtube.comhttp://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=GqBCZckcPSQ&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DGqBCZckcPSQ

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Your Feet Stink

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Are we really who we say we are? Or do we even know?

Today I was thinking of when I was part of a dance company several years back. I remember when I began learning pointe (the funny ballet slippers that you dance on the tops of your toes) that I was pretty self-conscious of my feet. They smelled!

I was pretty serious about dance so I was dancing nearly every spare moment and after rehearsals I didn’t like to take my shoes off around other people cause my feet stunk. Then I remember going into the changing room one day, after everyone, and the smell that wafted from the room was not a pretty one! Then I started realizing, “Hey, everybody else has stinky feet too!”

It may seem like a silly story…ok, it is a silly story, but my point is that everyone has their weaknesses. They may not be the same as mine but we all learn differently…in different ways, at different rates, and for different reasons. We’re all here for a reason. We all have a unique purpose. We don’t all have the same talents, so why would we all have the same weaknesses?

The great part about it is that we can change. Christ died for our sins. Why would we make Him suffer, even now, because we won’t really exercise our faith in Him and let Him help us change!

I am that I am. That’s how God described himself to Moses. After researching the phrase a bit and pondering on the use of it, I feel it’s safe to say the God felt that His actions spoke for themselves. He could call himself “I am” because he had become perfect, whole, at one with Himself. There were no more internal battles with the natural man. No more desire to wrong Himself or another. “I am” was saying that he had reached beyond human nature….He is God.

I’ve been pondering on this many faceted subject for several months and over the past few weeks a different facet has been staring me in the face.

I first started thinking about it when I was posting something to Facebook and read a few of the posts of some friends and some “friends”. Why the quotations? Well, there are friends that you feel actually care for you and your well-being and thus you post and read posts because you care and you know they care.

Then there are “friends”, people that when you really think about it you want to know what they are up too because you kind of want to compare. There are also “friends” that you really don’t think too much about, but you know they want to see what you’re up to because they are comparing. It’s a sad but true aspect of the natural man.

Why was I thinking about this? Because I started realizing that Facebook was affecting my mood and self-esteem, and not in a good way.

Then I started thinking about it…Why do I care? Why am I comparing myself with other people? Why try to be like someone else when I have a much better example to follow? I’m supposed to be comparing myself to myself. Am I a bit better than I was before now? And to God, am I getting closer to becoming more like my Ultimate Example? That’s what really matters.

As I was pondering on this I started thinking, “Besides, we aren’t what we really are on Facebook anyway!” Do you post all your mistakes and horrible traits? Do you post all the really bad pictures of yourself? Well, if you do, good for you, as long as you’re learning from them. But I’ll be honest, I don’t! Facebook is just what is says it is….a FACE. It’s the outside, generally superficial part of our lives for the most part. Why would I compare my life to the 1% of what I see of someone’s life on Facebook.

Then this week I expanded on my pondering when I started falling back into old habits.

I have voice issues. Not the types you’re thinking of….I have a hard time controlling the tone and volume of my voice when I’m upset or frustrated. And if you’re a parent you know that the terms “upset” and “frustrated” are felt frequently in this adventure of parenthood.

Well, I’ve been working on this weakness for several years but especially since having children. I have good days and bad days but for a while there I felt like I had been making progress when a series of events (excuses) weakened my resolve and I started hearing that nasty habit come back into my life.

I remembering hearing somewhere ( I wish I could remember where!) that how you act under stress is really who you are…well, when I started acting monster-ish again I started thinking “Is this who I really am? How sad!”

At first I got a bit down….you know, when you start beating yourself up and then you invite a few more weaknesses and pretty soon you’ve got a real good pity party going…. but then I thought, “No way! This is not who I am! I might struggle with this but I can and I will change! “ So, I am still working on it…..again….still…..but you know what? Tomorrow is a new day. And even if my feet stink, I’m going to enjoy the dance!