Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Email this to someonePrint this page

His hand is stretched out still

During our family scripture study, we have been reading the words of Isaiah recently and this phrase seemed to come up several times.

For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.

It stuck out at me this time in a way that it never had before.  It seems as if the Lord is expressing his anger at the evil that exists in men and the poor way that we sometimes treat each other.  He is angry at the witnessing of dishonest and wicked things that we humans can do.

BUT HIS HAND IS STRETCHED OUT STILL.

No matter how bad we mess up, He still has his hand outstretched to take us back, as soon as we are willing to go up and take that hand.

I would certainly hope that the things that I and my family have to repent of, or change, in our lives are not on the level of the “abominations” that are talked about in these Isaiah chapters, but even small habits that we want to change, or that we can feel the Lord guiding us to change, can feel big when we are in the middle of working on them.

Changing a habit can be really hard, and sometimes it can take a long time.

In the book “Changing for Good” by James O. Prochaska, It is pointed out the just a short time ago, 50% of people were smokers, and now only 25% of people smoke.  What was amazing about this study is that a large majority of these people (about 20:1) quit smoking using their own methods or helps, as opposed to using some type of program.  (Doing it on their own, does not mean that they didn’t have friends or family members helping. We all do better with the support of those who care about us.)

I personally know several people who have quit smoking.  The interesting thing about each of them is that they all tried to quit smoking several times, (sometimes quitting for a period of time and then going back to it) before they were able to quit for good.  I don’t think these few people are isolated in this pattern of quitting.

The most important part of their stories is that they were eventually successful at attaining their goal of being a non-smoker.

Why do I bring up smoking statistics in a post about making change?  I think that quitting smoking is probably the hardest habit to break (maybe outside of other drug addictions.)

Each person that I know finally quit because of a different reason in each of their lives.  There was no quick fix or automatic tool that works for everyone.  They each simply kept at it until they found a way to be rid of an undesirable habit.

Getting rid of a bad habit, or trying to develop a good habit, takes time.  That’s because habits are associated with time.  We developed them over time, and we continue them in specific times.  We often do the thing that is a habit at the same time each day, or week, as the individual case may be.  Perhaps, understanding this will help in the changing of habits.

The most important thing that we can each keep in mind, as we are working to make any change in our lives, is to know that it is okay if we fail the first several times. If we are doing something really important, a few falls (or relapses) can be expected. If it were easy, you would have already made the change.  After all, the only real failure is giving up and not trying again.

Satan wants all of us to fail for good, he wants us to give up.

When you are trying to change and do something that is truly important, that is when Satan is going to come down hard on you.  He really wants you to give up, feel bad about yourself, and be as miserable as he is.

That is when we need to remember what Isaiah taught us,

But His hand is stretched out still.

It’s okay if what you want to change takes time. It’s okay if you fall and have to get back up.  It’s okay if the thing that you need to change takes all of the strength that you have, and you need to rely on added strength that comes from turning to God, because His hand is stretched out still.  He will be there for you… always!!

Change can be good, especially change for the right reasons. But change that takes all of your effort to be successful can be the most rewarding change of all.

We only have a small amount of time of this earth, and we should be working to improve a little each day.  As long as we care enough to keep trying and remember to turn to the Lord for help and forgiveness when we need it, we can each become the joy-filled, wonderful person that God wants each of us to be.

 

Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Email this to someonePrint this page

IMG_3294

 

What should have been 12 hours slowly turned into 13 then 14. Eventually 16 hours on the road with my crew driving to places I have never been. For the most part the drive was relatively quiet. The kids played on their devices while I listened to talks and sang loudly to songs of my choosing.

As I looked at my GPS for the 20th time just to make sure I was on the right road and hadn’t missed my turn, I wondered how people made these crazy trips through small towns without these little GPS systems reassuring them at every turn. And if I did miss a turn I was quickly told how to get right back on course. Even when I intentionally made a detour, I was given directions on how to get to my final destination.

This little system gave me peace of mind and I had no reason to stress or worry about which way to go. As long as I did exactly what I was told to do, I drove on in confidence.

I began to see the parallels of this drive and my journey here on earth. My earthly destination is to one day return to my Father above, having learned all that I could while here. I want to grow and become stronger. I desire to become better than my natural self would settle for. It’s a long road. And sometimes a hard one. But the destination is clear.

How do I “check in”, so to speak?  Where do I look to find that constant peace of mind and confidence?

The answer hit me like a ton of bricks. Daily read our scriptures and say our prayers. As we “check in” with God multiple times a day we can rest assured that He will guide us to our final destination. Peace will be found knowing that He won’t let us get too far off track, if we remember to look to Him. Confidence is found in the reassurance that we are doing what God wants us to do.

Over the last year I have finally gained a real understanding of the importance of these things. I used to read my scriptures, most of the time. I said my prayers (often while falling asleep). Slowly (I can be so slow to learn at times), I have come to understand how to study the scriptures and not just read. How to talk to God and not just say the same words

Your needs are great and varied. Each of you is a unique child of God. God knows you individually. He sends messages of encouragement, correction, and direction fitted to you and to your needs.” Henry B Eyring

I did not foresee by constantly striving to really check in that I would have gained greater trust in the Holy Ghost.

That sounds like such an odd thing to say.

Of course I could trust him, right?  But when I would not listen to the promptings and quiet whispering, I showed that I knew better. When I didn’t even try to understand what he was impressing me to understand I was in essence saying I didn’t believe in his ability to help me.

Being too busy to study and too busy to pray, I showed I didn’t really care what he had to say. I was trusting myself. Trusting what I could see.

Just like following my GPS showed my trust in the system, following my God and the impressions He would give me through the Holy Ghost shows my trust for them.  Never have they lead me astray. Sometimes I don’t understand why I’m being guided in a certain direction. But if I remember to consistently come to them, I am given reassurance and peace that they are walking with me on my journey.

And ultimately I pray that they can now trust me just a little bit more. Trust that I will do what I’m impressed to do. Trust that when I get off track I will follow their voice and come back to them.

Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Email this to someonePrint this page

women & menThis weekend, I found myself explaining some of the teachings for Viktor Frankl from “Man’s search of meaning” to my children.  He discusses his experience, and that of others who survived the atrocities of World War 2.

I also had a discussion with my husband about the teachings of a special agent in Las Vegas who taught a special type of self-defense class, unlike any I had ever even considered before.  This special agent teaches classes on “how to survive” to police officers in high risk jobs (such as SWAT team members).

Is there a correlation to surviving a concentration camp and having bad guys shoot at you daily?  Well…. maybe there is.

Viktor Frankl discusses the importance of having something outside of yourself to live for.  He witnessed that those men who gave up their crust of bread to another who seemed to need it more were more likely to survive than the men who just looked out for themselves.

This special officer who taught us, said that the men who kept a picture of their wives and kids in their wallet, and had a clear recognition of WHY they needed to go home that night, had a much higher survival rate than those who didn’t.

It is interesting to me to think of these two scenarios together.  Very different circumstances, but similar concepts. Those who have a life perspective bigger than just themselves, knew they had more to live for, and survived in larger numbers.

Viktor Frankl and this special officer spoke of people who needed to be able to survive life threatening physical danger.  In our world we have threats to our emotional and mental well-being that we want to survive.

I read an interesting article by Michael Ringwood that talked about a “search for relevance.”  I thought that was a good description.  A search for relevance seems to be important to most people.  We want to think that our own life matters. That our existence has relevance.

With the surge of popularity in social media, you can see the seeking of relevance, as people reach out to everyone they have ever known, sharing anything they want, from articles they think might interest others, to every frustration they feel in life, to every happy celebration, in hopes that people they know will recognize and leave a comment, thus confirming that what happens in their life does indeed have relevance.

I had someone once warn me about checking my Facebook, instagram and pinterest too frequently, because of the addiction that comes from that hit of dopamine that you get noticing that someone “liked” your post. The danger comes from feeling “good” in a way that relies solely on the response of other people.

Michael Ringwood said

Today there are some who would have us believe our search for relevance can be satisfied only by obtaining position and power.  Yet, thankfully there are many who are uninfluenced by this perspective. They find relevance in seeking to be truly good and without guile.

It can be really easy to be sucked into the belief that because someone is famous, or holds a position of power or notoriety, that their life is more important than someone who is unknown.  But… is it really?  Does our quest for meaning and relevance in this life have to be directly related to how we are seen by the public eye?  Do you even have to be seen in public in order to have meaning and relevance in our lives?

Is it okay to be like this second group of people who find relevance, simply by doing good, without the hope for recognition?

Spencer W Kimball said

Great women and men are always more anxious to serve that to have dominion.

Whether we are seeking for meaning or relevance or happiness or even peace in our lives, I think it is most important to really like who we are, when no one else is around.

When it is just you, looking at yourself in the mirror, or kneeling at your bed pleading with God the Father, this is the time to decide.  What can I do with my life that will bring lasting happiness? How can I live so that in the eyes of my family and my God my life will have meant something?  If we can figure this out, we will have a higher chance of survival as well, with a life that has real meaning.  — Laura

 

If you haven’t read Viktor Frankl’s book, I would highly recommend it. You can get it here. Man’s Search for Meaning

Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Email this to someonePrint this page

guiltAt church last week, I was in a room full of 3-8 year olds that were having a lesson on repentance.  The teacher asked “what is something that you might do that is wrong or a mistake.” A few hands went up, but they needed a little help thinking of some things to say.  “Not sharing”, “Not doing what mom said.”

The next hour the same question was asked to a group of older kids, aged 8-11 years.  A whole bunch of hands went up.  “Copying someone else’s work at school.” “Telling my brother he’s not allowed to play with me.”  “Promising I would help with something and not doing it” and “Scratching your sister with your fingernails.” If we had let them, they could have kept coming up with more mistakes the whole class time.

It was interesting to see that the older kids were able to come up with so many more ways that they could make mistakes.  Maybe they had more years of experience of getting into trouble?  Maybe…

As adult’s and especially as a mom, there are a million things that we can come up with to feel guilty about. But are they all really mistakes? Does everything we feel bad about require repentance?

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a big believer in the grace of God and the wonderful power of repentance, but sometimes guilt just comes from unrealistic expectations.  The list of things we feel we need to get done in a day seems endless, and truly it can be. There will always be something more that can be done.

In a world where there are no time restraints, and endless energy, I would get so much done!!  But here on earth that just isn’t the case.

Are there so many activities planned that there is no way to get it all done in a day? Am I stretched so thin, that it is really hard to stay patient with my kids?  Is my schedule so tight, that my the kids are upset that I’m making them late?  Is there room in the day to just sit and talk to a child whose having a hard day and really needs me?

Then what happens at the end of a crazy day full of too many “good things” that I couldn’t get it all done?  Guilt!

I just spent the day doing lots of good things, then end up feeling guilty?  How messed up is that?  Do you feel that way too sometimes?

Life is full, but what are we filling it with?

In an attempt to simplify and gain more peace this is what I discovered.

The secret is to prioritize wisely.  Of all the millions of things we can choose to do with our time, determine what “things” are most crucial and write that down so you’ll remember.

If there is a fairly small list of essential things that get done each day, then the remainder of the activities can be what I choose.  The trick is to figure out what that small list of essentials includes, and to be really thoughtful in prioritizing. We each may have different priorities, but it is really important to narrow in on them, being true to yourself and your family.

Once the priorities are set, and followed, daily activities should flow quicker and easier. Doing things on the list perfectly is not as important as being consistent in making wise choices.

How we spend our time will affect how our lives turn out, but then the most important things, that we set as priorities, should bring peace and joy to life.

As you try to eliminate guilt that comes from competing demands in your life, just remember to choose to be happy, choose what is important, and somewhere in your top priorities, choose to show love to those who are most important to you.  — Laura

 

Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Email this to someonePrint this page

Marriage & familyAfter participating in the colloquium on marriage and family at the Vatican in Rome, Italy, for three days, and hearing many religious leaders from around the world, it was apparent to L. Tom Perry that good marriages and strong families are still important in our society, and highly desirable to most people.

When it comes to love of spouse and hopes, worries and dreams for children, we are all the same.

As many of you know I was married in July of last year.

cake cutting

 

I was single for 4 years, and there were a lot of things that I needed to learn in that time.  The first I needed to learn was that I didn’t need a man to be okay with myself.  I needed to recognize that I am strong and independent on my own. I didn’t need a man in order to care for my children, or to financially support me.  Physically, I needed to know that I could do whatever needed to be done, by myself, so that I would not have to rely on a bad relationship, thinking I needed someone, anyone, in order to survive.

When I married Scott, it was because of something else that I learned. Men and women don’t need each other to survive emotionally or physically, but they are happier and better off in a committed relationship that is formed by marriage. It is like completing the building of a house. Four walls and a roof may make the house, but the beauty inside takes just a little bit more. A strong marriage and happy family create a more complete life.

Marriage is still the ideal and the hope among the majority of every age group.”  L. Tom Perry

Greater happiness is found, when working together for a greater cause. When you wake up each morning, and go to bed each night with the concerns of the happiness of someone special, beyond yourself, life becomes more meaningful.

New York Times columnist David Brooks said

People are not better off when they are given maximum personal freedom to do what they want. They’re better off when they are enshrouded in commitments that transcend personal choice – commitments to family, God, craft and country.”

I have always believed that the skills gained from compromise and cooperation that are required in marriage are skills that create greater growth in the individual, and set greater examples for children as they learn to deal with the world at large.  Of course, this requires a marriage between two people who care enough and are willing to work hard enough through their differences and to set good examples especially in front of the kids.  It really can be a lot of work to create this type of relationship, but this work is creating the best part of life.  To grow old with someone who loves you more than anyone, and will stay by your side, after the children have gone, after careers are put to bed, even after our physical bodies can’t keep up with the life they were used to, is the greatest gift I believe anyone could ask for in this life.  — Laura

Read more about the colloquium in this talk, by L. Tom Perry

My friends at “The Dating Divas” have some fun ideas to keep your marriage strong. Go check them out.

Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Email this to someonePrint this page

Stay Strong

I love a good movie.  Especially one that makes me cry.

Maybe it’s the female in me that loves a reason to get in touch with my sensitive side, especially when there is a redeeming message interwoven through out the film.

A few weeks ago, I talked about the movie “Courageous.”     This weekend, we pulled out another DVD to watch that I have seen many times, but I also love.  It is called “Forever Strong.”              

Forever Strong is based on a compilation of true life experiences within the Highland High School Rugby Team in Salt Lake City. Here is a little background on the success of this team.

Highland Rugby has gone on to a famous record, having the Utah State Championship every year between 1976 and 2011 and winning 20 of 27 USA Rugby National Championships contested between 1985 and 2011, with six runner-up national champions and one third-place finish. In 1998, it competed in the first World School Boys Championship in Harare, Zimbabwe. It was the only team from the Western Hemisphere to qualify for the tournament and finished third. Highland Rugby has competed all across the United States and in many countries throughout the world, including Australia, New Zealand, Tonga and Zimbabwe.  — A brief history of Highland Rugby found on HighlandRugby.net

Although this film is based off of experience with the team, it is not really a sports movie. It about honesty, integrity, values and respect for the team and family.  It’s about growth and redemption, and the ultimate value of real hard work, in knowing that you are working for something bigger than yourself.

It is based on the experience of a young man from Flagstaff, Arizona, who was sent to a group home in Salt Lake City.

In the movie he is portrayed as Rick Penning, a young man sent to a detention center in Salt Lake City, after his second DUI. Thanks to the compassion of the center’s manager, Marcus, he is encouraged to play rugby for Highland, mostly because of the positive influence that Marcus knows that Coach Gelwix could be for him.

Based on the winning record shown above, this coach obviously knows what he is doing in the sport, but what is more important, his real goal was to build boys to be good men of character.

Some of his teachings were in the sayings that he repeated to them.

Kia Kaha”  which is Maori for “Stay Strong.”

The longer version is

Be forever strong on the field, so that you will be forever strong off the field”

Another saying from this movie that I have seen posted in places to help serve as a reminder to people that are trying to do better with their lives is this

I will do nothing to embarrass myself, my family or my team

I think it is wonderful that there is a level of personal responsibility taught in this film, but also that loyalty to team and family are also a part of success.  The camaraderie that is developed because of that, is what keeps them strong and successful.  It’s not just a lesson about teamwork, but also for building strong families.

If you are looking for a way to influence and inspire your family, this in another film that I would recommend having on DVD in your home. You can purchase it now by clicking the link below.   — Laura

I also recommend the movie Courageous.  This is a steal of a price right now, and I would recommend getting both movies together, with free shipping if you have Amazon Prime.

Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Email this to someonePrint this page

After watching the above video I was kind of taken back. Do I really speak so harshly to myself?  If someone ever spoke to me that way I would be so offended and hurt. Can you imagine if you heard someone speak that way to your daughter?

Words spoken to us can have such a powerful effect. This last Sunday one of my sweet young woman, whom I teach in church, texted me and thanked me for the lesson. It made my day. I even got a little teary. I felt like I was doing something right, and I felt grateful for the gift of teaching the youth. When we express kindness to others we bring joy and happiness into the world. We bring a little light into someone’s day.

The same is also true when we speak to ourselves. I had a friend text me the other day telling me how grateful she was that she had been blessed with the gift of service. It was refreshing to hear her find gratitude for something Heavenly Father had given her. To often I think we forget to find gratitude in all that Heavenly Father has given to us.

While I was at my daughter’s volleyball game last night, I watched an interaction between a mom and daughter. A mom walked into the gym with a two Starbucks drinks and a small bag, also from Starbucks. The daughter ran up to get her drink. She looked really excited about it. She grabbed the drink and then tried to take the bag. But it didn’t come easily because the mom was holding her own drink with the same hand. She then yelled at her mom rather loudly to “give me the bag” in the rudest tone I had ever heard. She proceeded to storm off. The mom, I’m sure, was embarrassed and just went and sat down.

I thought how I might feel if my child talked to me in such a way after going out of my way to bring them a special treat. No appreciation given. No, wow mom, thanks so much. I really think my feelings would have been hurt and I would have been very disappointed in my child.

Do we ever act that way to ourselves?  Do we fail to see the good we do even if it’s a small thing? Do we instead focus on the tiny little snags that make life not as easy or good?


I feel this video is a great reminder to be gentler, kinder to ourselves.  I know it’s something I need to work on. I may not always be as organized as I want, but I usually don’t yell. Right now I can’t run 3 miles, but I can run my kids everywhere they need to go. I might not always be as present as I wish to be, but I do take time everyday to hug my kids.

What are you doing right today?  Take a moment to celebrate you. Think of 5 things you like about you. Don’t worry about the flaws. Let that go for now. Just recognize that God made you and He made you with special talents and gifts. Thank Him for what He has given you. You already know how it feels to beat yourself up. Take the time to see how it feels to build yourself up instead. –SUSAN

Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Email this to someonePrint this page

wonderful is coming

Look what I woke up to this morning?

winter-storm

Just a few days ago, I was looking at my box of sun dresses and shorts, getting ready to fill my closet with bright colors that have been locked away all winter.

Today I’m glad I didn’t put away my sweaters and scarves.

It truly is beautiful, even if it does seem a little out of place. I am truly grateful for this late winter storm because it is a good reminder of a truth about life that we don’t always recognize or give credit to.  This truth is like one of the laws of physics. It is absolute.  We can’t make it just go away because we don’t like it. It is here to stay, and the more we accept it and learn to work WITH this truth, rather than against it, the easier our lives will be.

This truth is the rule of cycles.  And I don’t mean a cycle like day and night, or the hands of a clock, predictably changing in a way that you can count on.  This cycle is more like a wave length cycle. This is the part of life that is predictably unpredictable.

The snow storm that hits in the middle of spring (or summer), or the crazy heat wave in January. Just like the unpredictable nature of the weather, our lives work the same way.

You have probably heard the saying

the only constant is change”

Change is actually a good thing, or we would all be really bored (and boring) and we wouldn’t grow and learn without it.  The real secret to dealing with the change that cycles throughout our lives, is recognizing it, accepting it and ultimately deciding to be grateful for it.

In recognizing it, let’s look at what the cycle looks like.

Top of cycleAt the top of the wavelength, if you stand there, you can see the whole big picture.  You get that there are lows and highs.  You can see the spaces that show you how much time there was in between your highs and lows. It is a good place to be. It is a good perspective to have. It is also a time in life when you are feeling pretty good, and things are going your way. Noticing how the wave is formed you can see that you are probably at the top because you have come out of a portion of life that was low (difficult, challenging, scary, sad). Having recovered from the bad times, and now feeling high at the top of the cycle, you feel even better, because you appreciate it much more.

Now remember what it was like, during a time in your life when you were standing at the low point.  From down at the bottom of cycle, it is pretty hard to see much of anything, except the place where you currently are, and usually that place is sad, hard and depressing. You may be able to see the incline leading to the top in front of you, but it probably looks pretty daunting. That is a big hill to climb, especially when you are down at the bottom.

bottom of cycle (1)

When we are at a low point in our lives, it can often seem like that low spot is all-encompassing, and quite hopeless. But this is the most important time to realize that the law that governs our universe says that the change is coming. The good times at the top of the cycle are coming our way, even if we can’t see it from the bottom.

The best thing we can do for ourselves when we are feeling down or depressed or disheartened is to remember that there will be light at the end of each dark night. When things are worse than we could possibly imagine, try to imagine just how much greater things will be once you weather this storm.

Quite often life becomes the very hardest, right before something truly amazing and wonderful comes into our lives.  I think this is intentional to strengthen us in the hard times, so we are ready to accept and truly enjoy and work with the good stuff that is coming.

As this beautiful winter storm blows through, I’m going to choose to remember to treasure all of the parts of life, looking forward to the good stuff, and trying to learn from the hard things.  Have a  beautiful day!  Laura

Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Email this to someonePrint this page

Joanna-gainesIt’s Friday!! I love Fridays because we get to share with you someone elses information that we love and tell you why we love it.  Today I’m sharing with you a story from one of my favorite TV personalities.

I’ve been fascinated with Joanna Gaines ever since I first saw her on “Fixer Upper” with her husband Chip.  They run this great real estate/renovate/design homes business together, and now have a TV show that documents what they do.  She is also a blogger, a mom of 4 beautiful little ones, she lives on a farm and has to care for the animals and garden with her family and she runs a cute store in her town, and it has become an on-line store for her country farmhouse style of decorating.  She amazes me.  Here is her story

.

I think that each of us has something we really believe in, or are passionate about.  We each have special talents. We each have something to say and to give to the world.

The real trick is fine tuning our gifts and our message,and then learning how to share it with the world in the most meaningful way.

Over the next several months, we will show you other people who have found ways to live their dreams, and how they did it.

I know that each of us has the ability within us to do great things. We just need to discover what they are, and then get to work.

In the mean time, enjoy the inspiration of someone who has already done it.  — Laura

 

Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Email this to someonePrint this page

Male-&-femaileWe live in a funny world where the divide between men and women can be paper-thin, or a bitter sharp edge.

It is socially acceptable for men or women to switch traditional roles.  Lots of women do jobs that were traditionally men’s, and to be a stay home dad, while mom works, is not considered unusual.

But with all of the equality we have attained, why do we feel so divided?

So many of the sitcoms we watch show men as being foolish, silly or selfish.

When did it become socially acceptable to paint men as the fool, when the same writers wouldn’t dream of doing the same thing to women? In fact it is so prevalent, it seems like that is just part of the formula for creating a good comedy. Many contain men who are not assertive, don’t have enough drive to defend themselves against insults, and don’t have an equal loving relationship with their wives.  It may not be in all shows, but enough comedies follow this formula to make it seem to really down grade the role of the father in the home.

As women, why do we think that is funny?  Why do we put up with this type of man bashing?  Or worse, do we participate in man bashing with our friends?

As the mother of 5 sons, 3 of them adult men, I have come to an acute realization of this problem.  How can I teach my sons to be good men, if I accept or participate in the insulting of men in general? How do I not see that these are my children that are being put down? How can I build their self-esteem and allow the tearing down of their entire gender?men

I recognize that this has come about as a backlash of the days when the dumb blonde was the funny joke of the story.  As women fought back to be taken seriously, we have allowed a shift that puts us in the position that the men were in, in the days of the dumb blonde.

If we want to have value in our lives, our marriages and our families, we need to recognize a few things.

  1. Men and women are different.  We are meant to compliment each other.  We help each other by exercising our own strengths in our marriages, in work, and in all interactions with each other, and respect the opposing strengths of our opposite sex counterparts.
  2. We need each other in order to be complete.
  3. When we spend anytime laughing at, or degrading the other sex, we are hurting ourselves, just as much as someone else.

I think that the biggest reasons we demean each other is usually because there is something we are lacking in our selves, often in our self-esteem.  It would be a lot easier to accept that someone else has different talents and abilities than us, if we felt that our own limited talents and abilities are good and also important. Accepting the difference in others as having value, does not make our own offering any less valuable.

We had a discussion around the dining table in our home the other day about how men have a “nothing box” in their brains that women do not believe exist.   We all laughed and considered the concept.  Each man in my family had to think about it and agree that “yes we do have a nothing box.” This conversation was educational, and enjoyable, because we had an understanding with each other, that men and women are just different and we are all okay with that.  It’s how it is supposed to be.  There are divine purposes for the individual nature and difference in men’s brains and women’s brains. Because we all understood that, and had respect and love for each other, we were able to have a good conversation (and a good laugh) without hurting anyone’s feelings, or allowing our own feelings to be hurt.

I’d like to challenge each of you, over the next few days, to look at things you may be saying or doing that might be damaging to the nature of loved ones or friends of the opposite sex. Look at how those differences are beneficial, whether in work or family life. Why are those differences important to our society as a whole? Remember in this exercise that you have value for your strengths, and each different strength that someone else has can add to your own, creating a greater whole.   — Laura

 

PS:  Leave me a comment and let me know how the experiment went.