OK… so it has been just over a month since I started the Becoming a More Holy Woman challenge and I have a thought or two to share.
First, how has it been going for all of you? I have received tons of emails from many of you who have taken on the challenge yourself! One of my favorites was from a wonderful woman who downloaded the e-book by Wend Watson Nelson and loved it. So she decided to invite her daughter and daughter-in-laws to read it too. So she had a little luncheon for them and challenged them to read it. She included the printouts and made a goodie bag with money for the ebook, some scripture marking tools and some chocolate! Isn’t that a great idea? I love the idea of taking on this challenge with others so you can discuss your experiences with them.
I don’t know about you, but for me, this has been a very enlightening experience – and overwhelming. When you take on a challenge like this you start to notice the oh so many things you can improve upon. And it becomes really hard not to let the whole thing overwhelm you. But the thing is, you don’t want to give up because you don’t want to choose NOT to be a holy woman. So I have had to figure out how to make this achievable for me.
The other day I was reading President Uchtdorf’s talk, Of Regrets and Resolutions. I found that talk had a LOT of gems that really applied to this particular challenge, so I really recommend reading that talk. One of the quotes I highlighted was this one: “Let us resolve to follow the Savior and work with diligence to become the person we were designed to become. Let us listen to and obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit. As we do so, Heavenly Father will reveal to us things we never knew about ourselves. He will illuminate the path ahead and open our eyes to see our unknown and perhaps unimagined talents. The more we devote ourselves to the pursuit of holiness and happiness, the less likely we will be on a path to regrets.”
I really, really love that quote.
I feel like a natural reaction to a challenge like “becoming more holy” is to focus on all of the things we are doing wrong rather than the amazing talents and skills we could be developing to become really powerful. So we get overwhelmed because we were short-tempered with our children or we set unrealistic expectations on how clean a holy woman’s house should be, or how early she wakes up to do her 2 hours of exercise, or how intensive her 45 minute scripture study was and then we fail and get down on ourselves. But what about recognizing the divinity within us and focusing on our great strengths and finding talents we never knew about ourselves (like President Uchtdorf suggests)? What would happen if we stopped wasting our energy focusing on our weaknesses and instead focused on our capabilities? What, then, would happen in our homes, neighborhoods, wards, etc.?
However, it is necessary to recognize and then repent and correct areas in our lives that aren’t quite Christ-like. I really believe that the Celestial Kingdom will be full of men and women who were absolute realists. They understood that they came to earth in a fallen nature and set about to overcome that. Dwelling on our fallen natures can be a great stumbling block, which I think is pretty easy to do. Instead, lets recognize it, be real about it, and learn how to access the daily power of the Atonement and overcome these natures.
The other day I had Studio 5 on (a daily program here in Utah) and it was kind of just background noise since I was involved in a project. The host, Brooke Walker, was interviewing Matt Townsend who is a relationship and communications expert. I am not certain of the topic they were discussing, but I caught a phrase that hit me like a load of bricks – it was something to the effect of: “focus on the momentum and not perfection.” Brilliant! I immediately thought about the “becoming a more holy woman” challenge and how many times I had been frustrated with myself because this or that wasn’t Christlike. But then I realized that, looking back, because of this challenge many things may have not been totally Christlike – but they had been more Christlike than before, and I had definitely red-flagged many things that may have gone unnoticed prior to the challenge. All of a sudden I became very grateful for my momentum rather than focusing on my lack of perfection – which I think is something a holy woman would do, so that is an exciting discovery for me.
Plus that is something I would really like to model to my daughter.
So, I have made some more printables for you with this motivating thought. And I also included small wallet-sizes because I have received so many messages about Relief Society groups doing this challenge – so you could give this as a little handout.
I put a little bird gaining momentum as he is learning how to fly as a symbol of effort and upcoming rewards from those efforts.
The pictures are JPEGS that you could right click on and save to your computer. Below those are a PDF with four different printables.
Oh, and if you don’t already follow me on Facebook – jump over and like my page because throughout this month I am going to be posting some amazing and inspiring thoughts and quotes that can help us become more holy women. 🙂
Here is the PDF: