Wednesday, August 29, 2012


I need to focus on my strengths. I've been bombarded with my weaknesses a lot lately, and I've been giving them too much attention. The only attention they deserve is when I'm humbling myself and asking God to make them into strengths. I'm not even going to tell you what they are, dear reader. Usually I would (heaven knows I love lists! And you probably already know my weaknesses, what with my big mouth and whining and all), but today, I've decided to forget it. Do you really want to know how I stink at gardening and running? Let's talk about my talents and my awesomeness. I need to remind myself that I'm not so bad!

Here we go!

I can play the piano well. I can sight read and accompany on short notice. I can play the organ and fake those foot pedals!

I can sing. I can sing harmony and usually in tune. I can hear when my children make mistakes during their piano practice or when they sing because although I don't have perfect pitch, I know music well enough to know when something is off.

I can conduct. I can read an orchestral score. I can direct and guide a choir (SATB, SSA, TTBB, youth, whatever you've got!).

I have a great sense of rhythm. I can count and keep a beat. I can follow a tempo.

I can play three chords on the guitar. (If I go over them again!) With those three chords, I can sing "Amazing Grace" while strumming. Sweeeeet! And I can play two songs on the recorder. Oh! And I can play a mean marimba, xylophone, or suspended cymbal on cue (and almost any percussion section instrument! You need more cowbell?? :) ).


I read quickly; I read well. My comprehension level is high. I usually can deduct the conclusion of books and TV shows/movies before they end. I understand character development and I am good at recognizing good writing and bad writing by the second chapter.

I can write poetry. I can create imagery that flows. I can understand Shakespeare and Jane Austen, Dickens and Wharton. I adore Brontë and Dickinson, Frost and Stegner.

I know how to write and I understand grammar. I use proper capitalization and punctuation even while texting, sending messages on Facebook, or emailing. I am long winded, but this is because I have learned that explanation trumps speed and convenience, especially online.

I am good at expressing myself through the written word, through speech, and through music.

I can speak in front of a large crowd without fear. I can lead an organized event and take charge if needed.


I am reliable in Church service. I have always fulfilled my callings to the best of my ability, even when it was hard. In each calling, I have found myself learning more about communication and collaboration. Gratefully, I have been in many different callings, from den leader to Primary President to Relief Society counselor to choir director.

If people need me, I am usually very good at responding, whether it be something physical (needing help cleaning, feeding, moving, watching kids, etc.) or emotional (listening, talking things out).

I pick good friends. I am able to sense "kindred spirits" and seek out like-minded people. I can usually read intentions with a glance.

I am honest. Deeply honest. I do not avoid or hide things that are uncomfortable.


I love to learn new things and travel to new places. I approach each new culture with respect and admiration. I truly believe all human beings are children of the same God and that we are all brothers and sisters.

I have an apt memory for the mundane. I cannot remember how to resolve a Napolean 6th (music theory) or how to do basic geometry or algebra, but I can recall my 4th birthday, my husband's conversations while we were dating, and random high school moments.


I am physically talented at giving birth. I have large, healthy babies. I am able to fully nurse each infant and heal quickly from each childbirth. I do this unmedicated and with resolve.

I have the disposition that easily makes me a pretty successful SAHM (stay at home mom). Part of it is simply not wanting to work outside the home, but I don't mind the diapers and dishes. I like to stay home, too. I am here when my children occasionally call from school and I am here when they come home.

I am good at teaching my children how to work, even though I want to be kinder and better at it.


I have a wickedly good sense of humor, but I know the time and place for it.

I have good taste in movies, music, television, literature, photography, architecture, and vegetation.

I pick the right people to admire --to emulate. I do not waste my time reading about women who do not make a positive contribution to the world (or to their own families). This means I rarely know what's going on in Hollywood, but I do know what's going on with my fellow sisters in the Gospel.


See? I can talk positive about myself (even though it's really hard for me). Which you can thank me for, dear reader. Why? Because I was going to start this post out with some whiny "Why have I been stripped of all things I desire and want to become?" But that was when this thought hit me:

"Maybe it's because what you want to become is not what I need you to become."

I love Heavenly Father, dear reader. He's so much smarter than me.

What are your strengths? Forget the humility --let's hear about your amazing self!


Stephanie said...

"what you want to become is not what I need you to become."
Brilliant. If He could put that on a business card and hand it to us at random, maybe we'd be better at remembering. Or we could listen to the Spirit, but that's hard when we're too busy complaining.

Becca said...

I love you.

That is all.

And all I ever do is talk about how amazing I am, so I'll spare you :)

But I love this post. And the thing I love the most about you is basically embodied in this post. The reason I am so glad we are friends. I don't think I have ever had a friend like you and it makes me really freaking happy to know you. :)

Let's be friends forever, mmmk?

Courtney N said...

You are an strong, amazing woman! If I end up being half the woman you are I would count that as a success! Love you cousin!

sariqd said...

My smile just got bigger and bigger as I read through your post.

I always knew you were awesome, now there are more specific points as to WHY you're awesome. Thanks for sharing!

swedemom said...

Wonderful! Thanks for you sharing your strengths. While I have never met you in person, I've come to admire the person you are on FB and on your blog. I appreciate your brutal honesty and wish I had the courage to be as candid about my life as you are yours.

Cheryl said...

Okay, wait a minute! You people were supposed to be talking about your awesome selves --not telling me I'm great! Sheesh!


Amanda D said...

Great post, Cheryl. I need to follow your lead and think of some things that I am great at too. I think it would help just as thinking of things that I am thankful for help when I am in a funk. Thanks for the inspiration!