Friday, June 18, 2010

Ever Trying To Improve

On Mother's Day about 6 years ago, we were visiting my family in Idaho. The Elder's Quorum men were asked to fill out 10 things they loved about their wife (or mother or whatever) and give it to said wife (or mother or whatever). The list Brandon wrote for me is still taped up inside the mirror in the bathroom and I read it often. Mostly to remind myself that I am pretty awesome. I mean, if Brandon thinks those wonderful things about me, I must be, right? Right. Lately I've been thinking about a couple of them:

#3: Totally committed to our family's life-long learning, both spiritually and temporally
#8: Ever trying to improve
#9: Never satisfied with mediocrity

They are very similar to each other, eh?

I realized the other day that I really am not satisfied with mediocrity, and I usually am trying to improve. Then my awesome SIL sent me this article (seriously, if you have the time, go read it!). In light of how my husband views me, the article fit. But not just in health ways --I think I'm always trying to improve in everything.

Don't get me wrong --I fail a lot. A LOT. Scripture reading? Fail. Clean house? Fail. Written novel? Fail. But I usually don't give up. I keep pushing because I know it's what I need to do. I want to have an ever-increasing testimony of the Gospel. I want to have a healthy family. I want to be emotionally healthy. I want to be a better mom, a better wife, and a better friend.

Everything I'm trying to do, or not do, or add, or take away in my life is simply focused upon the desire to be better. Not better than you. Not better than so-and-so down the street. Not better than anyone. Just better than I am right now. I want to be the best I can be in order to bless the lives of those around me --and myself. Boy-howdy, do I want to be blessed by it!

Is that wrong? Is it wrong to want to be better? Is it wrong to keep trying? I think not. I think that's the whole point.

2 Ne. 28: 30
For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have.

President Gordon B. Hinckley, quoted by Sister Julie B. Beck:
We have a greater challenge than we realize. . . . ‘Do the best you can.’ But I want to emphasize that it be the very best. . . . We are capable of doing so much better. . . We must get on our knees and plead with the Lord for help and strength and direction. We must then stand on our feet and move forward.
I'm sure there are those out there who think I'm strange --that I don't just throw my hands up in the air and scream "I can't do this! It's not worth it! I'm done!" I know I've been judged based on my busy-ness, my number of children, my obedience to Prophet's counsel, my change in diet, etc. But I don't think I could ever stop trying. I can't give up. At the very center of my core, I know the reason for my existence. It will be slow-going, it will take time, and I will keep failing, but --but! --at least I'm trying. You know? I'm trying.

P.S. I love you, Brandon! I can't wait to see you tonight!


brenna said...

"Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better." Pretty sure this is an inspirational quote used by 12-step programs. I love it. Although I would tend to modify it to something like "Every day, in some sort of way, I am getting better and better!" Glad you liked the article!

Cardalls said...

all those things you listed and then put FAIL after them? You have not failed because you keep going and trying to get better! Give yourself credit!

Sara said...

i want my husband to write a list like that -- haha.

seriously though - great post.
and i like the new look of your blog!

brenna said...

Another article for you: