Be Kind

I am sure that most people have seen Disney’s live action version of Cinderella.  I have been thinking about Cinderella’s mantra from that movie, “Have courage and be kind.” It doesn’t seem like much but have you ever really thought about that?

The past couple of weeks I have been struggling.  It is hard to describe, but my whole life I have struggled with low self esteem and non-existent self confidence.  Well, it came back in full force, but this mantra kept coming back.  I have been working at my home yoga practice to get through the funk and taking slow days for meditation to pinpoint how to overcome and conquer this once and for all.  And the mantra came back…it isn’t what I expected.  Many times when I have thought about being kind and having courage it is always an outward expression and action to “be a helper” to those around me. I needed to have courage and be kind to myself.  For real…do you know how hard it is to be kind to yourself, to stop the negative self talk that has rambled in your head for most of your life and to actually BELIEVE that it is NOT true? It is a process for sure.

Something that helped me over the bridge of self doubt was Christ.  It was when I was typing a text to my cute husband after he asked how the day was going (our lunch time check in :)) and I could finally put it into words.  I have a belief in Christ and His power to heal, uplift, and strengthen each person but I realized that although I believed in Christ, I didn’t BELIEVE Christ could do that for me.  I was too broken, to unworthy, to bad of a person, to unlovable, to receive that gift from Christ.  As I was typing it I thought of the little lesson I was able to teach on Sunday.  In my church I get to teach children aged from age 3-11 and my topic was the Atonement of Christ.  Studying the material and searching my scriptures was a needed blessing.  The lesson material talked about a gift and how we can accept or reject a gift when it is given, but it was still a gift for you.  No matter if you take the gift of the Atonement of Christ or not, it is always on the table, and Christ has atoned for each individual regardless of the individuals acceptance.

What a blessing for each of us to have that gift on the table and to not be forced to accept it but come and take it.  I had that gift, but I was understanding that I needed to physically take it, open it, and make it part of me.  As all these things were rolling around in my head, along with the tender love and compassion from my husband, I knew the next step for me was to ponder and pray.  One of the best places I know to do this and to be away from the distractions of every day life is in the temple.  I went on a Tuesday night and it was just what a needed.  In a place of peace and a place where I can tangibly feel my Saviors love, my soul was filled.

My answers to my prayers are not the easy answers that I thought they should be.  They are answers that require work, that require time, and that require me to act on my faith to truly understand.  Truly “kindness begins with me” and it takes courage to be kind.  I am trying to treat myself as I would treat others, which sounds backward but many times we are the meanest to our self and our family members.  I am also moving forward with a great reminder from a man I look up to a lot;

“I believe in His perfection, and I know we are His spiritual sons and daughters with divine potential to become as He is. I also know that, as children of God, we should not demean or vilify ourselves, as if beating up on ourselves is somehow going to make us the person God wants us to become. No! With a willingness to repent and a desire for increased righteousness always in our hearts, I would hope we could pursue personal improvement in a way that doesn’t include getting ulcers or anorexia, feeling depressed or demolishing our self-esteem. That is not what the Lord wants for Primary children or anyone else who honestly sings, “I’m trying to be like Jesus.”… “Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him … ,” Moroni pleads. “Love God with all your might, mind and strength, then … by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ.” Our only hope for true perfection is in receiving it as a gift from heaven—we can’t “earn” it. Thus, the grace of Christ offers us not only salvation from sorrow and sin and death but also salvation from our own persistent self-criticism. ” Jeffrey R. Holland

And words from a woman I am trying to be more like,

“Let me point out the need to differentiate between two critical words: worth and worthiness. They are not the same. Spiritual worth means to value ourselves the way Heavenly Father values us, not as the world values us. Our worth was determined before we ever came to this earth. “God’s love is infinite and it will endure forever.” On the other hand, worthiness is achieved through obedience. If we sin, we are less worthy, but we are never worth less! We continue to repent and strive to be like Jesus with our worth intact. As President Brigham Young taught: “The least, the most inferior spirit now upon the earth … is worth worlds.”No matter what, we always have worth in the eyes of our Heavenly Father. Despite this marvelous truth, how many of us struggle, from time to time, with negative thoughts or feelings about ourselves? I do. It’s an easy trap. Satan is the father of all lies, especially when it comes to misrepresentations about our own divine nature and purpose. Thinking small about ourselves does not serve us well. Instead it holds us back. As we’ve often been taught, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”We can stop comparing our worst to someone else’s best. “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Joy D. Jones

We are all a work in progress and although I don’t know why this has always been my struggle, it has made me into me and I am learning more and more about what God sees in me and what I can truly be with Him.

One more thing on kindness.  I know that I need to be kind to myself but I also need to turn that kindness outward, especially with all that is happening in our world right now.  What is that song, “What the world needs now, is love, sweet love.” Love and kindness.  Kindness is love that is tangible!  I end with a quote by Mr. Rogers one of my very favorite people in the world,

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster’, I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers- so many caring people in this world.” Mr. Rogers

I want to be courageous! I want to be kind! I want to be a helper!

I am courageous! I am kind! I am a helper!

Henry hole-in-the-wall and kindness

I want you to meet Henry.  This is Henry.20160909_210243

He used to be a hole-in-the-wall.


The reason we have Henry is because we found a leak on the outside of our house and the warranty we bought when we bought our home, doesn’t cover anything on the OUTSIDE.  I will spare you the rant and the details about the warranty, believe me I could go on for lots of words.  Well, I called my brother.  Yep, my brother Eric who lives less than 4 miles from me, because he seems to always know what to do.  Eric cut a huge hole in the wall and found the leak and fixed it for less than $50.  It was amazing to me, to say the least.

Well, every time I see Henry, I think of my brother.  Every time my 2-year-old sees Henry she says, “Uncle Eric fixed for us!”  It makes my heart happy.  Not because Eric is filled with knowledge of how to fix things, but because of what it means to me.

Eric and I have always been close.  We have always had a bond.  It is hard to describe really.  We were two siblings that happen to be willing to listen to each other and spent a lot of time together, despite the almost 10 year age difference.  Growing up I always looked up to him and wanted to see what he was doing.  He spent a lot of time outside fixing things, but I have never really been good at fixing anything.  I am good at helping Eric though. I can get a tool, I can hold something and I can start the car when he is making sure he fixed a car right.  He has also always had an uncanny ability to help others.  Whether it is fixing or helping or listening or being able to have all the family history stories in his head.  He really is amazing.  He won’t tell you that he is amazing though, so I will!


Eric works for an airline and while I was growing up and he had “left”home he would work 4 days on and 3 days off.  He would come home a lot for those days off and we would be buddies.  I would always try to tag along, but realized that I couldn’t always.  But I figured I could learn something from him.  I learned how to reload bullets, wrote out all of his checks for him, ironed his clothes, learned how to drive a stick shift when I was 14, went on TONS of adventures in the desert with him, shot a lot of bullets with him, and spent lots of late nights talking together.  One thing we seemed to always do was load up and head out for a drive.  Sometimes we would go to our regular target shooting spot and then drive for hours through the desert with no where particular to go.  We spent a lot of time talking as we bumped through the hills and listened to a lot of classic Billy Joel songs.  The time is a treasure to me.  I am sure that he got sick of me sometimes, but I loved it.  Sometimes I didn’t know if we would make it home in one piece, but we always seemed to.

As we both got older, we would still make time to see each other.  We always had late night talks and I loved getting his insight on things.  He truly was a good friend and still is.  He was always the one I would go to to talk about things in life.  He was always so giving to others as well.  He was close to both sets of our grandparents in ways that I am sure I will never know.  He used to spend summers with my Grandma and Grandpa DeMille and it is amazing now to hear the stories from those summers and to hear about all the information he learned from that time.  When my Grandma and Grandpa Nelson moved closer to his home, he always made time to go and help out or just to be with them.  He was and is always a force for good where ever he goes.

When I flew home from a mission for my church, he had an outpatient surgery in the morning and then drove 4 hours to be there when I arrived.  I moved in with him after my mission when I found a job and it was fun to see his kindness in action again.  His kindness didn’t just stop with family. He lives in a neighborhood where there are a lot of “grandmas and grandpas”.  In the winter he wouldn’t just snow blow his drive way, but like 5 other people’s driveways because he wanted to make sure that they were able to get out.  He was good friends with one set of neighbors and they invited him over to Sunday dinner, like every week.  He went to all of their family get togethers and loved to help them out as well. He is always out serving to help someone else out.

When I moved to a neighboring state, Eric loaded up his truck and drove me there and then helped move me to another state after less than 2 years.  He is just that kind of person, through and through.  And you better believe that when I started dating Scott seriously, it was Eric who was asking all of the important questions!  The crazy thing was that Eric started dating Denise (his wife now!) shortly after I started dating Scott.  It was Eric that Scott was more nervous about meeting the first time!  It was fun to be at the same point in our lives as we continued to move forward, we had MANY late night talks around this time.  I remember staying up late with him the night before I got married and talking about how even though things were changing, we always needed to help out each other and to be able to give to those around us.  100_0012

When he married is wonderful wife, Denise, the ability to help people out multiplied.  Now they work together and serve so many people, it makes my head spin.  We also have kids around the same age and that has been fun too. Then when we were going to buy our house, I called Eric again and again and again…and I am sure that I will call him again because he told me I should.

I am so, so grateful for Eric.  Not just because of all the things that he has done to help me out, but for being a great example of kindness in action in his whole life.  I love that my home has little things to remind me of certain people and certain times of life.  But I love most of all, Henry and that my kids can see their Uncle Eric is a “helper” not just to us but to so many.  I am not ready to paint over Henry, I still have a lot to learn about kindness and helping others.