Feeling guilty – Moms and Money

Question from Wendy:

Leslie,

I have a question that I hope you can help me with. In reading lesson 13 or 14 [of Mindset Mastery] I found part of the answer in your “temporary imbalance”. This is a good analogy and seems to answer the question about juggling the needs of your children while trying to run a successful business.

[But] I am struggling with some baggage that I can’t seem to figure out what to do with.

The baggage is this– sometimes I let my children be my excuse why I can’t succeed – it seems to be like the “money is evil” thing for me. But it is “mom’s who make money aren’t as righteous as mom’s who stay home full time and take care of their children.” Logically, I have several problems with this. One being that I have an Aunt who has all her children grown and she is now trying to get into her married son’s business and insist they have a grand baby for her?? Ok, so that is too weird, certainly, but I can see that it is because she dedicated her whole life to her children, and had nothing once that they all left. Surely our ultimate goal as parents is to put our selves out of a job, but it seems that there is a very fine balance between being to involved outside the home, and not having a life outside of your children…

I am currently working full time as an RN while my husband is in school full time. This has been really hard on our family and although I love the work I do, it always pulls me away from my children. I went from being a full time stay home homeschooling mom, to full time work almost over night after my husband came home from work complaining of stroke-like symptoms. This, after multiple “smaller warnings” from his body that he was not doing well. Anyway, in the car with 5 of my children wondering what I will do if my husband dies (not a happy drive home), I decided that I would have to get my RN license back and start working again. We have chosen to only have one person working at a time, always trying to have a stay home parent. This has been good for my husband’s health issues and given him the needed time to go back to school and go into a field that I hope will bring him fulfillment and joy, as well as provide well for our family.

So I guess I am hoping you have some ways that (as an LDS woman who is striving to make money) you have overcome this conflict. I guess I assume you have had to deal with it as I have in relief society and in homeschool groups. Not that what they think is really important to me, except it is what my “programming” is already saying.

Any help you have and ideas that will help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Wendy

Here’s my Answer:

Hi Wendy,

I wish I had time to spill all my guts about this one… it’s been a wrenching journey of my own to come to a conclusion I feel good about, and I am pretty sure it’s going to be part of what comes out in the Jackrabbit Factor sequel [update: which it did – read it free at PortaltoGenius.com], but let me just say this:

I’m convinced that Beverly Cleaver did our society a disservice. Since when in ALL of history, since God created the world, has woman EVER been able to sit at home and dust the shelves and read to her kids all day? She has always worked the fields, and done all kinds of manual labor just to keep the home running. What have all of our conveniences done for us? Should they have justified our right to watch tv with the kids and fold laundry while we’re entertained? Or should it have freed us up to make a more meaningful contribution, not just to our families, but to humanity at large? For what other purpose was the Relief Society organized? To make crafts for our home so that it can be the beautiful place where we teach our children that it’s wrong for mother to work?

Don’t get me wrong – I think it’s always better if the mother can be the one who is home. But as the prophets have said, sometimes there has to be individual adaptations, and you can be grateful that you have a marketable skill that can help in your situation with an ailing husband. Either way, kids need a nurturing parent, and they need to SEE how we make our contributions to the family and to others. It sets an example of industry.

And (as you’ll see more completely in your Mindset Mastery lessons), what matters more that what you do is how you feel about what you’re doing, and how you talk about it with the kids. Things really changed when I stopped apologizing to them for being so busy, and instead rallied their help for the cause, because “this is what our family does.”

I also strongly believe that when women’s traditional labors were turned over to automatic machinery, that should have freed us up to follow and act upon the sparks in our hearts that God gave us to make a difference in society… to bring RELIEF to our SOCIETY, in whatever form or fashion we feel driven.

Yes, it’s easier to work outside the home sometimes. There are less distractions, and a great feeling of being appreciated. I’ve been there. It can lure a person into a permanent set up, which has in some cases lead to the disintegration of the family. You have to follow the Spirit and do the right thing for your family, no matter what anyone else may say or think. If you’re doing what the Spirit directs, you don’t have to worry about the outcome.

It’s not the easy thing to combine motherhood with the work we do. But it’s possible, and during those temporary seasons of imbalance, the children’s dormant abilities will begin to sprout.

For example, my kids have learned that sometimes if they want dinner, they have to step up to the plate and make it happen. When they are motivated by a need, it’s no longer an assigned chore, it’s a contribution to the family, and they feel the psychic reward that comes from stepping into leadership of their own choice. If they choose to go hungry instead, then they get what they choose. I know this sounds harsh, but it’s life… and where better to learn it than in the home? Even my 5 year old has learned that she can be responsible for feeding herself a sandwich or cereal if something hasn’t been made FOR her.

What about the family meals around the table? We do those as often as we reasonably can, because we feel those are important. Like I said, I’m talking about temporary seasons of imbalance – not permanent ones.

Well, this is already more than I planned to say, but hopefully it’s helpful. Believe me when I say I’ve felt guilty for working as much as I do, but I have to wonder, why on earth would God give me the ideas I get if he didn’t want me to do something with them? Every time I deny them, I feel the Spirit leave. Every time I honor them, and develop them, even at the expense of getting the laundry done or whatever, I feel the Spirit supporting and guiding me. I’ve had to come to the conclusion that it’s the adversary who wants me to shrink and NOT do all I know I can do.

Even my patriarchal blessing says: “Have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and in your work as well, and you shall accomplish the purposes you have in mind.” When I got the blessing, that part really bothered me, because I didn’t want to have any work to do. I just wanted to be Mom. I had no idea that I had a work to do, but now I know it’s true, and I cannot let anyone else’s opinion of how I spend my time get in the way of it.

The scripture that has given me the most peace about it is this one from Proverbs 31:

10 ¶ Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
14 She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
15 She ariseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
19 She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

To me, this means that the picture-perfect wife at home doing light domestic chores and coddling the kids cannot compare to a woman who is THIS busy. Thank heavens… because I wouldn’t want anyone to come take a picture of ME while I do what I do all day long! When you’re as busy as I am with seven children and an international business that we run out of our home, there isn’t time to keep my hair in highlights, or my fingernails in acrylic. I’m lucky if I get a shower sometimes. And I LOVE my life – wouldn’t have it any other way. There is so much joy in being industrious.

I’m not one who runs a perfect better-homes-and-garden household and struggles with the feeling of: “I don’t know who I am anymore”! Furthermore, when the kids are gone, I will not be left wondering, “So, now what do I do??”

Again, I love my life and I know I’m doing the right thing. I haven’t always been so sure, but I’ve scrutinized each step along the way, hoping I was making the right choice, and have been glad I did. I don’t question it so much anymore. I’m sure there is a “right” path for you, too. It may be different than what you think, so just stay open minded and ask for direction and peace of mind about it as you go.

Sincerely,

Leslie

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Going Debt-Free with Rare Faith

This stuff is real, folks.

Read feedback like this (below), and you can get some extra courage to test the Rare Faith principles in even more areas of your life than you might have previously considered. Check out this case study. Crystal writes:

I’ve struggled with the idea of money in this way, that if you choose a profession that makes a lot of money, you get it. If your passion is in a field that doesn’t make money, then you make do. That’s life, that’s how society works.

We live in a very affluent part of town… and so my neighbors, church friends, etc. are all medical or legal professionals. When we built our small home in the most expensive neighborhood (thanks to purchasing family land) I struggled with the idea that because my husband prefers not to work in the medical or legal profession, we were stuck.

So my inner battle began with why the Lord would make it so. Why do we have precious metals, diamonds, and luxury if all we were meant to do was survive and endure. My family growing up did ok, but not great. I felt a huge void and frustration, feeling the ‘piety mentality’ of our religious culture. I didn’t feel like anyone that did well was terrible, in fact, I believed all those I knew that had wealth were great and wonderful people. But somehow there was a disconnect with me, that I wouldn’t be a good person anymore if I had wealth. And then there was the guilt of feeling ungrateful that what my husband brought home wasn’t good enough. I am always grateful. We make double now than when we were in school, but we’d still be considered below poverty level on the national level.

In comes the game changer. We built our home in 2014, and it was a miracle of miracles on how that happened. In so doing, we had deferred loans from friends/family that would come due in 2015 that would be beyond our budget. In August 2015, my Stake President gave a challenge to get out of debt. He said to be out of consumer debt in 2 years and then completely out of debt in 5 years, because we can’t help others when we are in bondage.

We came home and immediately realized my husband’s income would need to double if we were going to make it. So logically, it would be impossible. And then I got REALLY excited! Because if this is a challenge from the Lord, HE would create the miracle and the means to accomplish it.

That same month, my mom called and handed over the family business. It immediately brought a little in that would pay the extra we needed for the family loans. Because of the family business, we were able to pay off $65,000 in 2 years. Completely unfathomable to our circumstances.

Then in April 2017, I found the missing piece to my puzzle. Both my husband and I are ‘number nerds’. Finance has always been easy for me to understand, and I found a platform and company that followed the same core values and interest in helping people. I had flexible hours, and could even work with my kids with me, and it has been an amazing journey. That was my first introduction to mentor-ship and leadership that cared. I felt like I was seeing in color for the first time, and everything in my life improved. My family relationships improved, my desire to be closer to God improved, and I was making money doing what I LOVED. The only hang up was that I was still struggling internally with the ‘piety mentality’.

I felt the abundance mindset take over [some] and that helped a lot … [but] I didn’t know what to do. I felt like I just needed to deal with it; however, I [also] knew [the piety mindset]… would be a major setback. …

Then a new entrepreneur friend talked to me, and she had been using a vision board for years and had success with her different businesses … We talked one day and she mentioned she just learned about a book called the Jackrabbit Factor. She had just started reading it with her daughter and thought it was pretty good. So I looked it up and lo and behold, I can access it immediately through a free download! WOW!

…I read it in two days and sent a huge thank you to my friend. She laughed and said ‘Wow, I’m still only halfway through, now I really want to get through it!’

Soon after I learned about the other books and read them. They filled in the void! They answered all my questions and silenced my fears / doubts / concerns. When 3 different sources explained the idea of the camel going through the eye of the needle and rich man scripture, I knew that the Lord answered my unspoken prayers through your work. I will be forever grateful that you followed through with the process and writing and sacrificing to share what you learned. And it’s a miracle to see how the Lord works through your efforts to bless SO many! Now with 2 years left, we know that we’ll be able to become debt free!!!

My mom came home from her mission to Brazil at the end of June and spent the rest of the summer with me. She is an incredible woman, but has dealt with a lot of hardship. She is my best friend, and when I read your works, I shared them with her. She is trying to reinvent herself (as most do in retirement) and I’ve seen a strength come through that hasn’t been there before. It’s beautiful to behold. The way you explain concepts, it resonates with her and gives her confidence to not give up and to continue to develop and create an impact in her new stage of life.

After learning the principles and laws, it was fun to reflect on past blessings / miracles / experiences and recognize that they followed the principles. For example, I have 4 brothers, no sisters, and I’m in the middle. I always dreamed of having a sister, but always wanted an older one named Catherine. That’s a tall order to give your mom! In 2012, my younger brother married a beautiful woman named Catherine, and she happens to be 5 years old than him, making her 3 years older than me! WOW!

Then we always wanted a play house growing up, but never got one. Then we have a house of our own, 4 young kids that would love one, but because we have goals to get out of debt, it’s not even close to the top of our list. It almost became one of those things that we didn’t think we would ever buy because there would always be something else that we’d spend our money on. Then our sweet old neighbors call me up one day and says ‘I saw the cutest playhouse, so I got one for your kids, it’s coming in a couple weeks’. I since learned her friend actually ordered it online because she doesn’t use a computer and didn’t know what our house looked like. I’m thinking its a plastic one. It shows up as a couple boxes of lumber, we get it put together, and it completely matches our house color, down to the same red door and color of our mailbox. My kids LOVE it and it’s better than anything I would have imagined.

Now I truly believe that we have miracles and blessings, I talk a lot about the Lord knowing the desires of my heart, even the unspoken ones, and fulfilling them. I really appreciate what I’ve learned from your books, podcast, and overall content. We are looking forward to doing your e-course and someday I plan to attend a 3-day course with my husband. I feel so empowered, and I see that in my mother.

I know I’ve written you a novel, but I wanted to thank you for working SO hard those years long ago, as you went through your own struggles and breakthroughs. I love to see how we can still bless others through our trials, it’s incredible. We also enjoyed the event your son hosted, it was wonderful. I feel a sense of urgency to figure out everything the Lord needs me to do, so that I can create the springboard for the intense positive influence our children will have in the world. Leslie, thank you for being you! All the best! – Crystal C.

Thanks so much for your amazing story, Crystal!

___________

Learn the Laws FREE at www.HiddenTreasuresBook.com

Do YOU have something to say? Comment below, or contact me here.

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The Unexpected Cure for Doubt

I remember when my husband and I were trying to live on about $1200/month.  We were both working full time and fighting a losing battle to stay afloat.

We listened to motivational audios that urged us to believe in our dreams, and we knew that we could have any kind of life we really wanted, but when it came right down to it, it was always impossible to see where any extra money would ever come from.

I can see now that at the time, having faith in the face of scarcity was an impossible expectation.  Here’s why:

The thing that made it so difficult is that we knew exactly how much money we were getting, and we also knew just how much our expenses exceeded that income.

If true financial success cannot be achieved without at least some degree of FAITH (believing in something without tangible evidence), how in the world is a person supposed to have that kind of faith when all evidence proves that it’s utterly impossible?

I learned that there are three things that, over the years, helped me build that necessary faith.

  1. Continuing Education – learning new marketable skills and studying the laws of success
  2. Work – investing time, money, and energy in other income streams outside of our regular jobs.  (Even when they didn’t produce a profit – and they didn’t – for nearly 10 years!)
  3. Choosing to Believe in God, and believing that He was interested in our success – and trusting that it was being orchestrated, if we’d just kept moving our feet.

For nearly a decade, we worked and studied, and worked some more.  We believed the abundance would have to find us sometime, if we just kept trying.

It makes me think about the early settlers of my desert region:

There were a lot of ditches to dig and canals to build before they were prepared to utilize a flow of water.  I’m sure it took many, many years to put those systems in place.

As you explore your talents and look for new ways to monetize them, just picture yourself digging ditches and building canals.  It’s so easy to think that a massive, sudden flow of money would solve all of your problems, but in reality, that gush could be just as devastating as a flash flood in a valley where the settlers are trying to create a system for a steady, constant supply of water.

You don’t want the gush until your systems are in place!

It dawned on me that after my husband took the leap toward full-time self-employment (when we really couldn’t predict exactly where the money would come from like we could when we had a regular paycheck), the more trenches we dug, the easier it was to have faith in God.

Isn’t that interesting?

Having put forth so much unrewarded effort for so long, in the face of scarcity, instead of saying, “I can’t think of a single place the money could come from,”  we could more easily say, “The water could come from any one of the hundreds of trenches we dug all those years!”

Compared to our first few years together, how much easier it now was to finally believe!  How much easier it was to have faith!  And faith is the critical element.  All the work in the world without faith can be just as useless as all the faith you can muster without work.

As they say, “Faith without works is dead.”  Truly without some personal effort, faith is meaningless.  Why? Because you demonstrate your faith BY working! You’re proving your belief in the abundant life by putting forth the effort to get those money-making systems in place.

And, when faith is low, work can help it grow, too.  This is why the unexpected cure for doubt in my opinion is: Education, and WORK.

If you can’t think of where to get the money you need, shift your focus to increasing your knowledge, and get to work finding some kind of meaningful services you can perform for others.

God did not bring you this far to fail now… stay in forward motion.  Your reward is waiting for you!

For a first-class education in the principles of prosperity, join me in the Mindset Mastery Program!

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For those who desire to maintain traditional roles

I stumbled onto an old message while looking for something else, and it’s prompted me to bring together in one place a few different conversations I’ve had on this topic. It’s not organized in any particular way, and my newsletter is already long overdue, so I’m going to just share it “as is” for now, and (maybe) clean it up later. It’s my blog, so I can do what I want, right?

If maintaining traditional roles in a marriage is not important to you, then check out some of my other articles listed at the right.

Otherwise, here we go…

Dear Leslie,

I am in need of some ideas in regards to the Law of Attraction and am hoping you will address this in a blog so it will be easy to find. I have read the forums and haven’t come across anything like this from the wife’s point of view. Two years ago, my husband and I started learning about the law of attraction. It was exciting and empowering and life changing. We have read and listened to much and changed much about our thinking and feeling. Yet, we continue to be stuck in the abundance of poverty including making things much worse than ever. Now, I know this is not an unusual comment for you to hear so bear with me for a couple of paragraphs.

My husband has been in sales and marketing for 23 years. He is good at it but has lost a fair number of jobs along the way. Since we started learning all this, it seemed that things would change but they haven’t. Just last week I had an ‘ah-hah’ moment during a discussion. For many years he would say in the midst of a good job, “I don’t like working for someone else.” Oh, my goodness, there it was. No matter how much we were changing, his overriding feeling was that he didn’t want to work for someone else and guess what? He now wasn’t! So the law was still in effect in spite of our learnings and changings.

So my big question, shared by several of my friends in similar situations, is, can one person’s thoughts or goals override another?  If one person is truly getting it, and yet the other doesn’t believe strong enough, how can things shift? I see many women start to get this and shift things majorly, yet they end up being the breadwinner of the family. This is not our intention or our goal, especially with children at home. So what I would like you to address if you can is what kinds of affirmations should the wife be making, what kinds of thoughts and feeling should we be generating? If a husband’s pattern is self-defeating or self-sabotaging, what’s a wife to be, do or think to make this work? Help!

I appreciate all you are doing and especially your take on it since we share the same religious values.

Sincerely,

Danielle T.

So I found that letter (which had been sent via snail-mail) as I was cleaning out some files, and I’m embarrassed to say that I’m not sure if I ever responded. But I no longer have this person’s contact information, so in case she reads my blog, I’m going to respond to it now.

The short answer is yes, one person’s faith, intention, or goal can override another person’s thinking (or lack thereof). Here’s how:

Your faith can be enough to cause something to happen, even if your spouse is full of doubt, depending on if YOU think it is enough. If YOU believe his or her doubt will have no effect, then YES your faith can be sufficient. See how it always comes back to how YOU think?

Chew on that for a minute.

But, before you take that to the bank, I need to add a disclaimer:

Especially in a marriage, it’s important that we do not bulldoze our way to our dreams in spite of our partner. We need to be really careful about how we apply the principles, because it does not serve us to keep one law “well”, if doing so violates another. All of the laws can be kept in harmony, if we apply them in wisdom and order.

Your relationships matter. Your partner’s feelings matter. Your commitment to each other matters. Be patient and choose a pace that works for the both of you, even if it means sacrificing some of your wants. This is my advice to married couples who want to stay married.

As Thomas S. Monson advised:

“Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved.” 

__________

Stay at Home Moms

Here’s another question I received, in a similar vein:

Hi Leslie! I am really struggling with what seems to be two conflicting ideas. I come to you as one who knows about both.

Here is my struggle that often brings me to tears. As a Latter Day Saint woman I am struggling with the conflict of following the council of our prophets and apostles to be a stay at home Mom while wanting to follow my dreams and become a motivational speaker for teens and women. I feel I cannot have both according to the council, why? Because speaking would pull me out of the home. I have studied our leaders words and they are very explicit on mothers staying home to raise their children unless circumstances arise where the mother has to work. I too am passionate about mothers staying home with their children. I believe it is of the utmost importance. The reason this is a conflict for me is because as much as I love being a mother and staying at home with my children, I don’t get much fulfillment – which breaks my heart. I wish just being a mom was fulfillment enough for me! I wish I could love staying at home all the time. Day in and day out I often feel depleted, forgotten, and alone. I feel like I am becoming more and more numb. I have forgotten how to laugh, how to have fun, how to smile because I feel I am not “allowed” to follow my dreams because if I did, it would take me out of the home.

What I really want is to make a meaningful contribution in the world. I want something I’m passionate about, something that drives me forward, something I love to read, study, and learn about. Something that brings me excitement, makes me want to get out of bed, gives me a reason to get cloths on, do my hair, exercise, etc.

So the conflict in me often eats me alive. I cry because I want to follow a dream and a passion but feel I can’t and I cry because I feel I am bad or wrong because being a mother doesn’t feel like enough. I feel I am drowning in the monotony of every day life. And the conflict is, I want BOTH! I want to be a stay at home Mom AND I want to follow my dreams and start becoming a motivational speaker. But how can I do both? I know the brethren talk about seasons. Yes, I could wait till my kids are all grown but to me that feels like it would take another 10-20 years of drowning before I could actually surface. And who knows if I would ever surface after that much repression. Do I do both? Do I set boundaries where I am not out of the home very often? What is your insight on being a Latter Day Saint stay at home Mom and following your dreams and goals??

Thanks so much!!

Heather

Hi Heather – I have so much to say on this topic! I’ve kept your message flagged for a time when I could give it the attention it deserves but things are crazy right now with my 5th grader needing help with her speech for student council elections, my 15 and 18 y/o sons’ double eagle court of honor, helping my college son find a car to replace the one that just gave up the ghost, and helping my daughter get ready for her mission in a few more weeks. Case in point, I guess… I’ve needed to make a conscious decision to set business aside for a while and just handle what’s right in front of me. I’ll be back in full swing again soon 😉

In the meantime, look at it like shifting your weight from one leg to the other. Back and forth. You can’t walk without the swing. There is no such thing as balance, as Sharon Lechter describes it. If you’re perfectly balanced over your two feet, you can’t move at all!

Anyway, if and when you come to any conclusions of your own I would love to hear what you’ve deduced. This may be a great topic for another blog post… 🙂

Thanks for your understanding!

Leslie

Related: How to Establish a Shared Vision That Will Lift Your Family (Ensign magazine, March 2018)

Hey Leslie! I totally understand! And I am sure you have much wisdom on this topic. I am excited to hear what you have to say.

I love the analogy of balance. That is so simple and profound. That helps a lot. Thank you!

I talked to a friend about this subject as well and she is an lds mom who owns her own business and is a top youth speaker and even singer. She won the lds Pearl Awards several years back. You may know her from her music – her name is Jessie Clark Funk. Anyway, as I was talking to her she said something that helped me a lot. She said, we often think we have to do all these things, follow all these steps, listen to all the experts right now to “make it” in whatever it is our dream is. But we often forget that there is no set timeline. The timeline is what is perfect for you and your family and savoring the seasons you are in while preparing for the next. We can do all we can now, but we don’t have to bust our butt thinking we have to do everything right now. I don’t know what it looks like to follow my dream while still enjoying the season I am in, especially with a new 4 week old, but I am determined to have “joy in any circumstance” and to me that is loving being a mother as well as following my dreams.

Thanks for your willingness to answer my questions and help me in this. I appreciate your perspective very much!

Thanks again! Heather

Heather, did you ever read my super long post about when I felt conflicted with goal achievement and marriage? The details aren’t exactly like yours, but the principle and feeling is very similar I think… I’m realizing I probably won’t ever get around to writing my whole collection of thoughts on this, but much of it has already been written so maybe the following can help. I realize it might not give you the answers you need, but it might spur some new thoughts that can bring you there, if this conflict is still a concern:
https://rarefaith.org/the-hardest-thing-ive-ever-tried-to-write

Hope this message finds you well! Leslie

Oh my word Leslie! Thank you for sharing that blog post with me. I finally read it and you put words to the huge ah ha’s I have had this year! It makes me want to giggle and gasp because it is now a second witness to what I have been experiencing and what I am coming to understand is true!A few years ago I got deeply into the self help realm reading books, going to a bazillion Kirk Duncan events, attending all sorts of classes and in the process wanted to start a business with a friend all in the name of, “dreaming big” “living my purpose” “serving others” “following my dreams” etc. I was deceived into believing that I am powerful enough to make anything work and to create my life however I want it. While that might be true, just as in your post – it doesn’t mean I should. Well, during that time of lots of self help stuff, I became more and more confused, my vision and clarity got darker and darker. I couldn’t understand why. Especially when I would even wake up at 5am (I am so not a morning person) and study my scriptures and exercise and go to the temple weekly. I realized it was all to gain the things I wanted in my life rather than a desire to come closer to God. So needless to say, my spiritual practices were anything but spiritual. I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t feel light, peace, or even a fraction of the Spirit from my spiritual practices. After about a year of going through all of this I paused. I looked at my life and realized it was not better off with me going after my goals and dreams. I was more miserable, more depressed, I felt I had lost the spirit for quite some time, I couldn’t feel gods light or peace. I was lost and in the dark. I felt that I was literally a reflection of the scripture “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” 

I had lost myself in the pursuit of finding myself through growing my skills and talents and going after my dreams. I had never felt so lost. Ever! I couldn’t understand why. I was doing all the things the prosperity experts told me, why was my life so dark? Why were my relationships with my loved ones more distant? Why wasn’t things happening for me? Well, I realized that I quite honestly didn’t care what God wanted me to do because I was too excited about the life I was going to create. So, he let me alone and let me trod down a tough path until I was desperate enough to truly let go of what I wanted and then turn my heart to him. 

I, like you, stopped listening and attending anything that had to do with prosperity training. I let go of everything and didn’t even want to look at it or touch it. I had to find out the truth and I needed so badly the Lords light and peace back into my life. So I left everything alone for almost another year. It wasn’t until early this year that I started to pick things back up with a totally different mindset. One with more caution and much more aware for gods plan for me. In fact, your stuff is the only stuff I trust enough to pick back up. So I did. And I see prosperity principles in an entirely new light in a way I could never see them before. 

Anyway, I too felt that I had to be a martyr and give up on me and that my dreams just weren’t important. I cried about that a lot. But as I said before, I also cried a lot because I wanted to want to be ok with just being home and being a stay at home mom. But I just couldn’t, so that’s why I reached out to you for help. 

In the weeks of pondering and searching for answers I realized that as members of the church who have made temple covenants, I think we are a bit different from the rest of the world in that we covenant to serve and follow God. Thus it hit me, “my life is not mine, it is the Lord’s. I have made that covenant” so in a way I am not free to just say what I want my life to be like. I have an obligation to be a tool in his hands so therefore what I want ISN’T as important as I wanted it to be. But that is the beauty of it all, giving up what we want to serve God is really one of the highest form of joy. I never experienced that until I completely let go of what I wanted and let him direct me. He directed me to do something I was terrified of and literally fought him a year on, and that was having another baby. As you know, I gave in again to what he wanted (you saw my giant belly). The minute, no! the second I gave in I felt immediate peace!! And now, here my baby is, 2 1/2 months and I am so full of joy I can’t even express. God knew what I needed and wanted more than I did! In fact that statement has gone through my head any time I started to want to achieve a goal, “God knows what you want more than you know what you want.” It’s so true!

So, in regards to wanting so much to fulfill my dreams AND be a stay at home mom I realized I can do both. How? By changing my mindset. You see, with all the trainings I went to I was taught to think big, constantly think about it, envision it, make a vision board, etc. Basically, put all your focus into this thing till you have created it. So it caused me to believe that I can’t achieve something unless I am constantly working on it and thinking about it. Not true! A good friend who is also a successful business owner said to me, now may not be your season to totally jump into your dream but in the meantime, hold on to it and start digging in. Read about the topic, study it, but most of all have fun with it. Enjoy it! 

The next profound thing she said is, YOU HAVE TIME! You don’t have to accomplish it by any certain time, if it brings you fulfillment just by thinking about it, that is enough because eventually you will be called to do something and when the time is right it will be shown to you and then you can take off! 

That advice has literally changed my life! The realization that I have time!!! That just because it’s not up on my vision board or I’m not networking or whatever, doesn’t mean I’m not working on my dream. In fact two things you guys said at the bootcamp that has made a huge impact on this very thing is “Dreaming big doesn’t have to be big to the worlds standards, it can be big because even a small change is a big deal!” That has impacted me so much! That I don’t have to dream about 1 million dollars, I can take the small baby steps toward my dream and that could be as small as just smiling a real smile when you see strangers. And then the other thing that was said at bootcamp was, “you don’t have to know your dream or life purpose to start working on it.” That was so profound to me. 

So as I let go, and I move forward. I am a happy camper. I trust in God’s plan and timing and I also know that God will grant my dream if it is wisdom in him and if I am obedient.  But if not, then I know God will create something even better than I could imagine. 

So, what I am saying is yes! I have received my answer to that dilemma. And I am continuing to receive answers.. But seriously, that blog post is almost identical to the journey I went on! So crazy! And perfect for the answers and clarity I have been seeking. Thank you so much for sharing!!

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