Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sunday Inspirations Sept. 21, 2008

I received today's inspiration last night during the General Women's Conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I don't know how many of you noticed one of the theme's that seemed to run throughout most of the talks. Perhaps I noticed it simply because it's something that's not only been on my mind a lot lately, but in my heart as well.

For me this particular theme was best illustrated in President Dieter F. Uchtdorf's talk, wherein he told of the difference between men and women through the example of making dinner.

His wife, he tells us, puts together a grand meal. The food is delicious to the taste, and she will often cook something from one of the many countries they've visited. Even the presentation of the dinner is remarkable to behold. Regardless of how wonderful the meal turns out to be, no matter how much those who had the pleasure of partaking say how much they enjoyed the meal, this sweet woman could always find a little something she should have done better.

"I really think this dish could have used a bit more curry," she might say. Or perhaps, "I might try putting in some cinnamon next time."

Then President Uchtdorf went on to describe how he prepares a meal. According to his wife his best dish is, "fried eggs...sunny side up." He also told us how he prepares his favorite dish. He slices a few pieces of french bread, then browns them on both sides.

"It doesn't matter that the eggs are a bit greasy, or if the toast is a bit burnt," he claims. He laughingly proclaims he feels himself a hero for having cooked anything at all!

Did anything click for those of you who saw the conference? All throughout the talks I heard snippets of, "Nothing we do seems to be good enough." This quickly translated to, "I don't seem to be good enough."

I'm thinking in particular of the women of this Church. Often it has seemed to me we place so much more pressure on ourselves to be more than perfect, because we have the restored gospel in place. We take too much upon ourselves until we're suffocating. We do something beautiful and then tell everyone what's wrong with it. We undermine ourselves when our Heavenly Father is ready and willing to tell us how wonderful we are.

We find too many things wrong with everything we do right.

Yet this is not God's view of us. We are creators by birth. We are God's children, the same God who created us in the first place. He have unto us two of His greatest traits: the desire to create, and extraordinary compassion.

This desire and ability to create comes so easily to some. I am one of those, because of the gifts my Heavenly Father has blessed me with. I take to things easily, I can pick up a new hobby as easily as I pick up my babies. I tinker at the piano, I've crocheted many an afgan, I can bake a mean cookie, I can draw a little, and take a few pictures.

Others don't necessarily understand that to create something goes far beyond what we can see and hear. It involves more than a beautiful voice or how well someone handles a paintbrush.

I know a woman who can create the sense of safety. I know another who can create a loving home, no matter who resides there. I know a woman who can create motivation in others. I know one who can create a smile in every person she meets. I know so many women who have the power to create magical things, though they rarely understand what they've accomplished.

Yesterday as I prayed before beginning my fast, a few words popped out I didn't expect. "Father," I said, kneeling next to by bed, "I- I-...I want to understand." That was it. I didn't know what it was I wanted to understand, I just knew I did.

A sister in the ward (local congregation) later dropped off a book, saying she felt greatly inspired that I needed to read it. Last night I went through the first four chapters and couldn't stop the tears from flowing. It was all about understanding. I hope to be able to share more about it soon.

Remember, the more you trust and rely on the Holy Spirit, the more your capacity to create will increase. It's when we trust too much in our weak, mortal selves that we loose sight of the extraordinary beings God has created.

Today my hope for all of you is to find the little things you create. Whether it be happy, healthy, well-loved children, a quilt you've been working hard on, answering a need you feel greatly inspired to follow, it doesn't matter. Just rejoice in the opportunity to create, to be like our Heavenly Father.

Rejoice in being a woman.

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