Sunday, June 30, 2013

Be Confident in Yourself and in the Spirit (part 1)

One of my favorite sites is Pinterest.  I always tell Mike that it makes me such a better mother and wife and person.  There are so many creative people in the world!  I love that I can go to Pinterest looking for a great idea for my family or for my home or personal life and someone has come up with it!  (and then I get to copy it and make others think I'm awesome!)

I obviously think that there is value in using other people's ideas.  But this brings me to my fifth point which is:

Have Confidence in yourself and the Spirit!

We live in a day where there is so much information at our fingertips.  You can find an answer to almost anything you ever wondered about on the internet.  But I believe this very thing also hinders our ability to receive revelation for our families.  The problem with sites like Pinterest is that I might pin something only to find that the entire world also loves that very same idea and before I know it, everyone is doing the exact same thing, which isn't really a problem if it is a decoration idea or whatnot.  But it can create a problem when it come to things of a spiritual nature.

Each family is unique, made up of unique individuals with different needs.  What my family needs is not necessarily what my neighbor needs and if I use the same ideas that my neighbor uses then I am failing to meet the needs of my particular family.

So my advice is to have confidence in yourself but even more than that, have confidence that the Spirit can inspire you!  This is an area that has taken a lot of practice for me to become good at.  When Will was first born he was such an unhappy baby and I had such a hard time figuring out what he needed to make him happy.  I'm pretty sure that my failed attempts to make his life a happy one led me to have a really low self confidence when it came to making decisions about how to care for him.  It got to the point where I literally asked Mike's advice on every single little thing, "Should I give him a bath now or later?"  "Do you think I should wrap him this time or not?"  etc.  Like Mike knew any better than me...he didn't grow up taking care of munchkins the way I did.  But Mike is a confident person so I assumed that he would know better than me.

It took Mike leaving to Officer Training School and then us moving to Oklahoma away from family to rely on, to really make me gain confidence in myself again.  I found that help had to come from prayer and trial and error.  I had to practice to understand when impressions were coming from the spirit and how to receive those impressions after prayer, thought, and my own effort.

Now, while I still feel uncertain at times, I feel as though this is an area that I am pretty good at.  I feel much more in tune to the needs of my family and generally feel pretty confident that I can receive an answer on how to address those needs.  (I am still no good at figuring out babies though...)

There have been times when I had thought about a problem in our family for quite some time, gone to the temple, prayed about it, talked it over with Mike, and then when I am going about my day to day tasks or sitting on the couch after the boys have gone to sleep, a thought comes.  And I have come to recognize that as an impression from the spirit on how to make my family stronger.

I have never considered myself a creative person but I've come to discover that the Spirit IS the most creative being there is and if I listen to His promptings, I can be creative too.  So when implementing ideas for strengthening your family, remember that YOU are the best person to receive inspiration about what your family needs.  Put in the effort required to receive that inspiration and then have confidence that the Spirit will inspire you.

I'd like to reiterate that there are some really great sources available to help us--Pinterest, Family Home Evening Blogs, Sugardoodle.net, etc.  You can also find helps from the church magazines (like the Friend) or from the Family Home Evening Manual they have provided.  These are all great tools to teach and increase the spirituality in our home.  Definitely use these as helpful tools.  But I would just caution that you use them as a supplement to the Spirit, not the other way around.

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In my next post I will post ideas that our family does that helps to strengthen our family.  Some of them came directly from a prompting from the Spirit and others have come from things we have seen other families use that we have adjusted to meet the own needs of our family.

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