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  • Sitting around, eating bon bons

    “To me it appears that our splendid sisters sometimes undervalue their abilities—they focus on what is lacking or imperfect rather than what has been accomplished and who they really are.”   -Pres. Dieter F. Uchtdorf

    Last week I was present at an activity with the Young Women wherein we had them write down things they were good at.  (It started out as a way to have them brainstorm for activity ideas, and then shifted gears when we saw what was happening.) The girls struggled and whined a little bit, some had a list of 4 or 5 things, the most anyone had was about 10.  When we suggested things at which we knew they excelled, they said that just because they could do something didn’t mean they were good at it.

    Then we had the girls turn over their papers and write a list of things they wanted to be better at. Pencils flew.  One girl asked for more paper.

    My heart broke.

    It’s good, great even, to want to improve. To see our weakness and want to progress, to be better. But being honest about ourselves means seeing the strong with the weak, the accomplishments with the imperfections.

    Forgetting planning activities, we took a paper for each girl and had the other girls write down things they knew that girl was good at.  Again, pencils flew, sheets were filled; this time with confidence building, truth revealing observations.

    “She always participates and makes me want to participate too.”

    “She always smiles at me and makes me feel better.”

    “She works really hard at school.”

    “She is an amazing singer/swimmer/dancer/writer/friend.”

    How would other people describe us? What would they see as they watched us going about our days?

    In that spirit, I offer this list of things I have accomplished today, as seen by the fly on the wall:

    Woke up at 5:30. Did not yell at Heavenly Father in prayer form.

    Successfully moved Z into my room so that she could stay asleep and A could go back to sleep, without A seeing me or Z waking up enough that she couldn’t go back to sleep.

    Said morning prayers while laying on the couch. Did not fall asleep while saying prayers.

    Took 20 minute nap on the couch.

    Had a smile on my face when I got a screaming A out of bed.

    Fed A and got her happily playing.

    Read scriptures and checked e-mail. Noticed something new while reading scriptures, which means I was actually paying attention to what I read.

    Noticed the beauty of the morning outside. Took  pictures of Z’s tomatoes.

    Welcomed Bruce and Z to the morning when they woke up.

    Fed Z.

    Got everyone dressed. (Bruce dressed himself.)

    Refilled my well by talking to my sister on the phone.

    Went for a walk with my visiting teacher and enjoyed the beauty of a cloudy day.

    Talked with Z about visiting teaching and why it’s important.

    Picked up lunch and watched two little girls enjoy it.

    Successfully gauged when to put A down for her nap so that she actually fell asleep rather than screaming for an hour.

    Called a dear friend to wish him Happy Birthday.

    Figured out meals for the week.

    Ordered groceries.

    Got Z down for a quiet time.

    Tidied up the house.

    Thought of something to post about.

    Did not throw a fit when Z pooped in her pants even though she was in a room with a bathroom in it.

    That’s more than 20 things I’ve done today. I’m sure there are plenty of things I haven’t done, but I’m focusing on those 20+. That’s a lot of things to have accomplished by 1 pm.

    I’m amazing.

    And so are you. Please, share. What have you accomplished today? And like I told my girls, “don’t be modest. I mean, do be Modest- don’t run around half naked- but boast, people! C’mon!”

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    10 Responses to “Sitting around, eating bon bons”

    1. Bruce says:

      If it’s any consolation, the house was extremely peaceful to wake up in this morning.

      And I’m willing to bet I can guess who had a list of 10 things they were good at.

    2. Maryanne says:

      Haha, she actually wasn’t there.
      And I’m very glad it was a peaceful awakening. Goal accomplished. :)

    3. Brandy says:

      Man, that modesty joke is quality :)

      I’ve accomplished buckets today, as it is payday. I picked up my check, fed my cats (and cleaned their boxes…), talked to my Mama, paid my bills, went grocery shopping, gassed up and washed the car, checked email, planned dinner, and prayed twice. What a great idea Maryanne!

    4. Brandy says:

      This scripture from today’s Midday Office reminded me of your post:

      “Someone who thinks himself important, when he is not, only deceives himself; but everyone is to examine his own achievements, then he will confine his boasting to his own achievements, not comparing them with anybody else’s. Each one has his own load to carry.”
      –Galations 6:3-5

    5. Julie says:

      Hi! I’m Brandy’s friend and I’ve been casually flirting with this blog – commitment apparently being an issue right now. But this post, today, about had me bawling. I am struggling to type right now around the sleeping baby I’m holding, so I’ll have to wait to post any lists of my accomplishments…but doing that might indeed be therapeutic. I have 5 young children and feel completely ineffectual in my life. I worked all day yesterday and only managed to unload the dishwasher and fold one load of clothes. Not even a dent in what needed to be done. But I did do lost of other needful things – I had to have cuz homework got done and small people fed and dressed and picked up and dropped off and cleaned…. Anyway, short story long, thanx for this post today.

    6. Hilary says:

      You know, I have people say I’m so good at SO many things, but much like the girls I look around and can only find a couple:
      I think I’m an amazing nurse. I think there are patients who were meant to have me bring their baby into this world. That’s a nice feeling.
      I think I educate kids well, namely my own. Well, only my own. I enjoy teaching their little minds.
      Honestly, I think my personal buck ends there. There’s lots of things I do, but those are the two that I think I do really well.
      Oh,and bargain grocery shopping. I rock at that.

    7. Maryanne says:

      Julie, you are amazing. Please, if only for yourself, get out that piece of paper (or keyboard, whatever) and write that list. With 5 kids, you are accomplishing tons (TONS!)every single day. You’re in my prayers.

    8. Brandy says:

      Bargin grocery shopping is nothing to sneeze at :)

    9. Brandy says:

      I think you are fantastic Julie, and I’m so glad to know you. Having five children is an accomplishment in and of itself :) And I’ve seen your blogs…those kids get to go camping and have special birthday cakes, etc. I know you love them, and they know you love them, and that’s the biggest accomplishment of all.

    10. A brilliant idea and timely