9.28.2008

Fill up those lamps, ladies!

If you have heard the Parable of the 10 Virgins (Matt. 25:1-13), then you know that we must all be constantly making sure we have oil in our lamps. And those were some pretty small lamps the virgins were carrying around. It's not as if they could drain a quart of oil into the lamp, and be all set. It must me carefully monitored, making sure there is enough to sustain. Semiannually in my Church, there is a world-wide Women's Conference. I admit I have missed it the past few times due to motherish duties (the irony, right?). But this time Wes lovingly watched Finn while I poured some more oil into my little lamp. I would like to share some of the things that stood out for me during one of the talks. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf gave an amazing talk (one of my favorites EVER) on our individual worth as women, and how we all posses wonderful and immeasurable talent (whether we recognize it, or not). His words apply to every woman. And every woman seems to have the unfortunate habit of comparing herself or her talents to others. (myself included). It seems we all naturally do it. "Her house is cleaner than mine." "Her children are way better behaved at church." "All my friends are married and I'm not." "Her (insert appropriate body part) is much better proportioned than mine." "She has the talent for (the arts, cooking, writing, mothering, managing, flirting, doing her hair, decorating, gardening, staying in shape, scrapbooking, blah blah blah), and I totally don't have that talent and never will."

I have good friend (who I hope doesn't mind that I am sharing this story publicly), had an experience that really struck me. She said she was having feelings of inadequacy because she was comparing herself to another mother who had a perfectly spotless home and seemingly perfect children. (I would like to note that my friend is a wonderful mother to three darling and energetic boys. Her house is always welcoming and much cleaner than she thinks it is! Really, not just for the sake of the blog.) So she decided that because she was feeling diminished that she would do what is actually not the easiest thing to do when you are feeling down on your self. Pray. She asked why Heavenly Father couldn't have just made her like the other mother—perfectly organized and totally put together. Wouldn't it have just been easier to make two of HER? And as she was praying about it, she got the most amazing personal witness that everyone has unique and individual things that they offer. And these things are exactly what make her ADORABLE to her Heavenly Father. What a wonderful realization, that we are all adorable not in spite of our unique and sometimes quirky traits, but because of them. (And man have I got some quirky traits.) How boring would it be if we all had spotless homes and robotically prefect children (hello, Stepford Wives)?!

In President Uchtdorf's talk, he states that we are all—every woman—daughters of our Heavenly Father with INFINITE WORTH. All of us experience feelings of unworthiness, even when we seem to be trying our hardest. None of our trials are insignificant, and there are ways to to find hope and peace and joy in times of distress. God's greatest happiness is our happiness. He actually says that every woman is critically important to God. Critically important!

We all have an inherent wish to create. When we create something from nothing, there is a deep sense of satisfaction and fulfillment. That doesn't mean we all are artists in the typical sense, or amazing chefs, or have other typically obvious, tangible "creative" talents. Some of us do have those abilities. But others have valuable and vital talents in some other capacity, and often we don't recognize them or cultivate them. We may excel at our career, or are very organized, great speakers, or peace-makers. Making a smile appear on some one's face is a creative talent. President Uchtdorf says, "Don't let fear of failure discourage you from creating." He says not to listen to the critics—whether that voice comes from the outside or in.

I know that women have great worth—that we are cherished and prized by our Heavenly Father. I will try better to admire, not covet, the talents of other women, and also recognize and work on more of my own. To hear President Uchtdorf's talk (much more powerful to hear it spoken than if you just read it), visit HERE for the broadcast.

I don't often post lengthy spiritual thoughts, but it's Sunday, after all! To read more about just how important a role a woman played following the Resurrection of the Savior, check out this link from the New Testament: John 20

As Wes would say, "Happy Sabbath!"

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Gina Lee said...

Thank you for sharing that. I wasn't able to make it but needed to read that.

Lybi Winzenz said...

*Sniff sniff* That's so true! I loved that talk too. I felt like it was just for me, but I'll share it with you if you like. ;)

HoopChicks said...

Beautifully expressed. I loved womens' conference and this post filled my lamp a bit as well. I hope you are feeling great these days. When I get home, we need to have a pregger ladys' lunch...Dessert is in order!

Emily said...

The above comment was me. I keep forgetting I'm at my sisters house and her girls are always signed in as Hoopchicks...

Jill said...

I loved conference too. I actually really loved the RS Pres's talk about the purpose of RS. I think we often think of the other women in RS as our competition instead of our sisters. We think we are being judged or felt sorry for when a sister is trying to serve us. We waste so much time comparing ourselves to each other when we ought to just recognize our collective strength and goodness. We can learn from, support, and empower each other while also relating to each others trials. RS really is the greatest women's organization in the world!