Finding Relief from Heavy Burdens

A Special Message of Faith

In December of 2012 I was asked to speak during my congregation’s sacrament meeting. This is one thing that is common throughout my church worldwide: that members are given opportunities to teach each other about the gospel, and how they are learning to apply it in their lives.

Here’s the message I shared:

When we realized back in 2006 that we had purchased too much real estate at the wrong time, sometimes all we could do to calm the raging storm was to turn off the lights, close our eyes, and let “Peace Like a River” CD soothe our troubled and fearful hearts.

We tried to focus on the Savior, and let Him assure us that in the eternal scheme of things, everything was going to turn out okay if we fixed our faith upon Him.

He showed us that no matter how heavy the burden, he had the power to do for us what He had done for Alma’s people as described in Mosiah chapter 24 when he told them:

“I will … ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that … you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.”

The Bible tells us to have faith in Jesus Christ, and to love one another. But until recently, I never really recognized an important connection between these two directives, and how it relates to the lift of our burdens.

At the time, I considered the peace I ultimately discovered to be a tremendous personal victory. We were still in a mess, but He taught us peace in spite of it. That all of that could be happening and that we could find peace anyway was a miracle to me.

As our difficulty stretched on, I felt that I could relate in a small way to the man who had been a part of the fateful Martin Handcart company who said, “‘I… pulled my handcart when I was so weak and weary … that I could hardly put one foot ahead of the other. I have looked ahead and … said, I can go only that far and there I must give up…’ ” He continued: ” ‘I have gone on to that sand and when I reached it, the cart began pushing me. I have looked back many times to see who was pushing my cart, but my eyes saw no one. I knew then that the angels of God were there… The price we paid to become acquainted with God was a privilege to pay, and I am thankful that I was privileged to come in the Martin Handcart Company.'”

As hard as it was for us over those last few years, I wouldn’t give up the testimony we gained through it – that God lives and is mindful of us and gives us strength.

However, while it’s true, that when things appear to be falling apart, a return to the Savior (pondering his life’s example, repenting of our mistakes, finding gratitude, and imagining his steady and unconditional friendship) always brings peace, sometimes it can be really hard to set aside personal challenges enough to be able to think about helping someone else.

But what I’ve been learning is that our needs are cared for when we focus on others.

This is probably a more complete and true exercise of faith in Christ. Not just believing that He is real and finding peace in our challenges, but taking it one step further… do we really believe that our needs will be met if we forget ourselves? Do we really trust that the Lord will carry us through our problems if we lose ourselves in the service of others?

I remember back several years when my husband and I were trying to be anxiously engaged in a good cause, but our investment problems were screaming so loudly that it seemed nearly impossible to carry on.

We had come to the end of all of our visible resources – our savings were entirely depleted, our credit was completely exhausted, and with only $200 in the bank and no paycheck in sight (with another $15,000 in bills due in the coming 2 weeks), the moment we had tried so hard to avoid was finally upon us.

It was our anniversary weekend, and so with no other solution in sight, we decided to at least enjoy a dinner together and try to rekindle our hope in the future, and our faith in Christ. During our conversation, it dawned on us that even though we were at rock bottom, we were still alive, still breathing, and still able to help others.

We asked ourselves, if we were homeless, could we still teach? Could we still help others? Would we? Of course we could, and would. So that’s when our conversation shifted. Instead of focusing on our immediate needs, we projected our minds forward and imagined where we saw ourselves in 10 years. Did we think we’d be back on our feet by then? Would we have figured things out and put our lives back together by then? That seemed easy enough to believe. So then our focus shifted, and we brainstormed on the things we could do right away to serve others better, and made those plans.

By the end of dinner, we felt hope again. We felt the Spirit confirm to us that although we were in a pretty ugly mess of our own, we were on the right track.

So we paid the bill and just as my husband was opening my car door, the waiter came running out to the parking lot after us with a voided receipt yelling,

“Since it’s your anniversary, the meal’s on us!”

In that moment, we experienced a little bit of what the Lord had taught his apostles. He had tried to assure them that as long as they would feed his sheep, their true needs would be met. We’ve heard it so many times: “Consider the lilies of the field…” “…trust the Lord with all thine heart” “…fear not…” but how it is possible?

To explain, let me share it the way Elder Jeffrey R. Holland described it:

After Christ was no longer with his apostles, in effect, Peter said: “Brethren, it has been a glorious three years. …But [it] is over. He has finished His work, and He has risen from the tomb. He has worked out His salvation and ours. So … ‘What do we do now?’ I don’t know more to tell you than to return to your former life, rejoicing. I intend to ‘go a fishing.’”

But, … the fishing wasn’t very good. Their first night back on the lake, they caught nothing—not a single fish. With the first rays of dawn, they disappointedly turned toward the shore, where they saw in the distance a figure who called out to them,

“Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find,” —and with those simple words, recognition begins to flood over them. Just three years earlier these very men had been fishing on this very sea. On that occasion too they had “toiled all the night, and [had] taken nothing,”…. But a fellow Galilean on the shore had called out to them to let down their nets, and they drew “a great multitude of fishes,” enough that their nets broke, the catch filling two boats so heavily they had begun to sink.

Now it was happening again. [They] eagerly lowered their net, and “they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.”

After a joyful reunion… Looking at their battered little boats, … and a stunning pile of 153 fish, Jesus said … three times, “Peter, do you love me more than you love all this?” Peter said, “Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee.”

To which Jesus responded …perhaps saying something like: “Then Peter, why are you here? Why are we back on this same shore, by these same nets, having this same conversation? Wasn’t it obvious then and isn’t it obvious now that if I want fish, I can get fish?

“What I need, Peter, are disciples—and I need them forever. I need someone to feed my sheep and save my lambs. I need someone to preach my gospel and defend my faith. I need someone who loves me, truly, truly loves me, and loves what our Father in Heaven has commissioned me to do.

“Ours is not a feeble message. … It is the work of Almighty God, and it is to change the world. So, Peter, for the second and presumably the last time, I am asking you to leave all this and to go teach and testify, labor and serve loyally…”

“If ye love me, keep my commandments,” Jesus said. So we have neighbors to bless, children to protect, the poor to lift up, and the truth to defend. We have wrongs to make right, truths to share, and good to do. In short, we have a life of devoted discipleship to give in demonstrating our love of the Lord. We can’t quit and we can’t go back…

To those who have not yet joined with us in this great final cause of Christ, we say, “Please come.” To those who were once with us but have retreated, preferring to pick and choose a few cultural hors d’oeuvres from the smorgasbord of the Restoration [of the gospel of Jesus Christ] and leave the rest of the feast, I say that I fear you face a lot of long nights and empty nets. The call is to come back, to stay true, to love God, and to lend a hand.” – Elder Jeffrey Holland

Now, on Christmas we were blessed to spend some time on the phone with our missionary son Jacob, and I asked him: What can we do for you? What can we do to help you?

He replied, emotionally, “I just want you guys to love each other. I want you to do your best to get along with each other. It’s so true that you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. I just want you guys to also stay in touch with me, keep writing letters, keep emailing me, keep me posted with what’s going on in your lives, the good and the bad…”

Our Father in Heaven – during our separation from Him – wants us to love each other, and stay in touch with Him through prayer. He wants us to go to him with the good and the bad, and let Him be a central part of our life.

And when we have burdens too heavy and worries too consuming to think outside of ourselves, I testify that we can put our trust in the Lord, hand him our burdens, …and as we focus on helping someone else, everything will work out just as it should.

I have a special journal dedicated to this – for when I have a concern or a need that seems to be more than I can handle, I’ll write “What I needed” on the left side, and then on the right side I write “How He helped”. After all, He has asked us to acknowledge his hand in all things – and this is one way I’m trying to do it.

(The following section is an excerpt from a letter I wrote to a friend, giving more details on this new journal tool.)

I felt the Lord inspired me to do something I hadn’t done before, when things were terribly overwhelming to me. The Spirit nagged me for 2 days until I did it… and that is this:

I got a notebook or journal that was specifically to be for one purpose. On the left side of the page, I wrote: “What I needed”, and I listed the things I needed to turn over to the Lord. I imagined angels being given permission to get to work on those items for me, because I was physically, mentally, emotionally unable to handle them myself at that time.  On the right side of the page I wrote: “How He helped” because I thoroughly expected Him to handle some of those things for me, and I wanted to document His hand in the process.

Within 20 minutes, I got a phone call that answered one of the pleas listed on the left.  Over time, it seems that all of them have been either checked off or making good progress. To me, it’s working better than a vision board ever did, because it’s more of a system for the purpose of fulfilling my life’s mission, and for handling the distractions that slow me down as well.

Once I put something on the “what I needed” side, I let it go and I get busy on something that I CAN make progress with, knowing that the other items are being handled.

And now, verily I say unto you, and what I say unto one I say unto all, be of good cheer, little children; for I am in your midst, and I have not forsaken you; (D&C 61:36)

Related: Do the Problems Go Away?

(Back now, to my talk at church…)

I know that God lives, that Jesus Christ is with us, He’s mindful of our heartaches, and ready to help. He is merciful. He loves us. He loves you. He knows what you’re going through; it’s not pointless.

May we exercise our faith in Christ not just by believing He is real, but also by trusting him – literally – to handle our burdens that feel too big, while we look instead for opportunities to feed his sheep.

This is my prayer for all of us.

Originally published on December 18, 2013

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Daniel Adam’s Graduation Spotlight

I’m pleased to present Daniel Adams as a new Mindset Mastery Honors Graduate!  

Daniel has been on quite a journey. In his words:

For 10 years of marriage I’ve pursued some different jobs here and there, and I’ve basically floated wondering what the secret to prosperity is. I’ve mimicked all sorts of people and strategies, and when I read that line [in Jackrabbit Factor] about Harold Ashway barking like a dog, I cried pretty hard, because 10 years is a long time to do that.

It is amazing to experience different thinking, and original ideas, and actually plant them. I love how sequential and thorough this [Mindset Mastery] course is, I love how it builds on everything I’ve done up this point…

I love how this course fits so closely with the instincts and principles I’ve learned in church and in life. It resonates. And it’s working.

Daniel currently works as a relationship coach strengthening families, awakening creativity, and inspiring people to step into the fullness of their Creator-ship. Experience his work firsthand at www.YouCanCreate.org.

From struggling to achieve his goals, to doubling his income:

November 27, 2018

I made a goal statement to double our families income starting in October so we could build the kingdom of God, liberated from the scarcity we were vibrating.

[What happened?] A tour guide company approached me and asked me to take guests on hikes at some pretty cool places at an awesome rate. You guys, I ❤️ this game!! The RESULTS from this course have been AMAZING!

And yes, the income doubled. What a fun way to do it! 💖💖💖

But BEFORE Daniel was ready to double his income, he needed to first practice the principles in Phase 1 on a smaller goal, an important step for gaining the confidence needed for bigger goals. 

Here was his smaller goal, in his words:

July 1, 2018

I made a grocery list with the ingredients for fajitas on it, and lettuce, and Greek yogurt, and chips, and mango salsa 💃🏻. We had chosen to budget funds elsewhere, so we hadn’t really been buying real food, for like, some months. So I was pretty excited about testing [my Phase 1 goal on] this grocery list.

I pulled my wife into the living room and we looked at our kitchen, and holding hands we envisioned our cupboards full and the fridge full with all the yumminess on our list. We tasted it, felt the coolness and sweetness of it, heard the crunch of bell peppers and felt the juice in our mouths. She had fun ideas that I hadn’t thought of.

And then I submitted the list over our counter to The Master Chef I was envisioning—I heard we have to put in our own orders.

Two days later I was building a shed on a mountain property and I opened the cooler someone had brought, and there sat the Black Pepper Turkey I asked for. Later that night my sister-in-law cooked corn on the cob and cut a juicy watermelon, also on our list.

I was pumped! And it gets better.

The week after that, my wife was in charge of running a summer camp for teen girls, and our church’s budget paid for the camp food, which sat in our fridge. It was, of course, a bunch of the stuff on our list, so we thought, “Okay, we’ll be more specific next time about it being ours.” Ha. Bummer it’s in our fridge and headed elsewhere else, but we’re happy to serve.

After the camp, the participants donated ALL of the leftover food, which had pretty much everything else on that grocery list.

That was three weeks ago, and we’re still eating fajitas and yogurt.

The night before it came, I took matters into my own hands and bought some of what was on the list. Those items showed up triple of what I bought. We had a good laugh about relying on our own strength.

With his newfound confidence from successfully achieving his Phase 1 goal, he was ready to apply Rare Faith to accomplishing something bigger.

But it didn’t go the way he hoped.

First attempt at the Phase 2 goal – failed:

He writes:

August 9, 2018

[After] …the Mindset Mastery course showed up miraculously in May, …miracle after miracle kept lining up… money from places we had never expected, rich relationships, and transformational healing events and scholarships to them. SO MUCH to be grateful for!!

So in module 13 I was so pumped to make something really impactful. I’ve always wanted to run seminars and retreats, and now I had all the tools to do it. I went all in. I posted the goal statement all around my house about running a seminar. And I felt it, and I knew it was happening:

I meditated and visualized and sensitized on the specifics: where it was, who was there, programming for guests, how they would feel, how I would feel, the grateful hugs we’d share, content for the workshops, how much to charge, and asked everyday, “What do I do next”?

I went WAY out of my comfort zone making requests and inquiries and building relationships all over the community and the internet.

[What happened?] The spa gave me a discount on space rental without me asking. …Two powerful marketers showed up and offered free, detailed advise about how to fill the event. Various contacts invited me to come to their yoga studios and promo the event. And then people started showing interest!!

His battle with the terror barrier:

[But] then the terror barrier showed up as we used our savings month after month… and many of my music therapy clients moved on… and all of a sudden we needed this retreat to sell (can you feel the lack creeping in), and I fought inside myself: can I really live this life? Who am I to make a difference and live my dreams?

One by one, guests backed out or postponed for one reason or another. Monday was the day the resort asked for a final count and I got to report “ZERO…” 

I cried 😢 and… [felt] disappointed…

Ironically, the goal statement did get fulfilled—every word… The goal was that I would “create & facilitate a powerful retreat for 12 women at such and such resort on Aug 8-11”. [But]…facilitate in Spanish and Portuguese means “to make easy”.

There I was at the resort [on the day I set the goal for…] creating and facilitating [making easy] a retreat for women. 

The [fact that the] resort was willing to partner on the event, discount both my cost and guest cost even further, take on the marketing, and offer it multiple times a year was pretty miraculous. And it all happened on the day I set the goal—Aug 8. … the agreements with the resort WERE easy… Win-win-win-win-win for anyone involved.

Rad. 😆 and frustrating 😠because I put a lot of energy into getting that goal statement just right, but the appearance is that [it won’t be until] December [that] I’ll be paid for it…

[But] all our learning always counts. Nothing is wasted. And now I get to set some different goals, with complete confidence that this process really works.

…Perhaps the largest shift is the one in myself. I’ve been so worried (I know what that attracts) about how to make money, that I forgot the part about how when you provide more value than you consume, money is a natural flow.

A slice of humble pie:

…to be applying for part time jobs at $12 this week is a pretty awesome slice of humble pie 🥧 [but] because gratitude is needed in every leg of the journey… I really can make impact on the path or off it.

And when you catch multiple rabbits, does it really matter how long it takes? 

Nope.

Randy Mollup’s line about being grateful for sandwiches and watching them get bigger and better brought tears to me, and I realized where I’ve been in conceited mis-alignment.  …we’re still safe… a little bruised… and pride wounded. [But] I choose to be on the “plus side” of the stickman.

So Daniel regrouped, doubled his income, and then re-set the dream goal to put on a successful retreat. In his words:

January 27, 2019

I made a goal to create retreats for women around Identity. It’s been in the hopper since June 2018. My mind told me so many times:

“You need an email list first.” “You need an instagram following first.” “You need a big name speaker.” “You need different/better credentials behind your name.” “You need blog content.” “Women should be leading women, you have no place here.” “Who will come to the first retreat you offer, what do you even have to offer?”

I made an offering in August that ZERO people signed up for, and that hurt. I felt failure and I disconnected from the goal. 

Until Leslie challenged me to keep going.

So I kept going. And I told my mind to be kind…a lot.
And I said my goal statement…a lot.
And was open to a lot of pivots along the way.

And I FELT my vibration change.

There were lots of time I felt like quitting, and lots of times it felt bleak, lots of time things got a little wild between Tina and I, and each time I got to pivot, and re-align, re-commit and state my goal statement and really feel it. The event itself underwent quite the transition and finally ended up as:

“Women’s Weekend: You Don’t Have to Be Perfect to Be Powerful”

…which featured music experientials, guided meditations, visual art experientials, Tina lecturing on perfectionism, individual coaching sessions, and vision board creation:

And I’m really proud of what I made!
And proud of all the resources that came together for my ‘Why’
And proud of the impact this event had on the participants lives, and in their homes, and in their communities, and in the Kingdom (and Queendom 👸 of God)

But check out what Daniel concluded:

…I thought I would somehow like myself more if I met my goal. Nope. Seems like that comes first 💖💕🙏

Daniel’s end-of-course Comments:

I left my job in November 2017 convinced I was ready to create the dream life I wanted: balanced between work and family, with extensive travel, and giving beautiful high vibration service to passionate souls. When this course came to my wife and I … in May 2018 I knew it was impactful, and looking back today the impact runs SOOOOOO much deeper than I realized.

I’m experiencing tears. The joy and hope I felt as I engaged in the material for this course … has been super needed and super valuable. It has impacted my marriage in a huge way…

This course has changed my relationship with God. I don’t see Him as punitive; I see the laws as providing consequence and Him rooting for me to become a master creator!

The applications of law hurt sometimes, and were joyous sometimes, and everywhere in between.

…I had so much anger and sadness and fear come up around ‘not doing it right’, and around failing, around offering something that zero people paid for. …I had never failed so big or so hard. Going to my parents and in-laws for groceries and rent money was the scariest thing I’ve ever done—a far more intense terror barrier than selling the retreat.

I felt lower than I ever had, and listless, and shaken. But every time I read a lesson I felt hope, and during lesson 19 I picked a new goal, to take our monthly income from $1,500 to at least $4,000.

People [began] approaching me asking for services in my zone of genius, a super successful mentor offered me a free and powerful sales training, and I’ve been practicing it with a guitar coaching idea I had, with 100% conversion so far. I’ve created new contracts all over my area and It’s blowing me away how quickly this new goal is manifesting. I [was able] to come back to the retreat idea, and I’m gaining more and more confidence creating goal statements that get me exactly what I want…

The structure of this course has been so good for me. Hearing Leslie’s stories of success, failure, and pivoting have been so meaningful to me. Sometimes the time just isn’t right, so reload and come back to it!

This [Mindset Mastery] course has provided SO much VALUE. It’s the first time I’ve felt my dreams were really feasible and possible. The course is so concrete. I’m a completely different person than I was in May, excited to serve and provide value to others!! Thank you Mindset Mastery!!

Daniel, you really stuck with it and followed through!

Congratulations, Daniel! You’ve done an amazing job! 

___________________

What’s YOUR story going to be?

I want to see YOU graduate, too!

Learn more about the Mindset Mastery program HERE.

Our next GUIDED session begins March 27th – Click to learn more about the GUIDED version.

___________________

The Mindset Mastery Program is not to be confused with the Mindset Fundamentals Ecourse.

The Fundamentals Ecourse is a powerful exploration of the principles that govern success, and takes an introductory approach for effective goal setting. It also fills the gaps to give you a basic but complete understanding of the principles, so that you have a solid foundation on which to develop true mastery. 

By contrast, the Mastery Program is focused on the *implementation* of the principles and the *achievement* of your goals. It is full of interesting assignments that take you step-by-step through two experimental goals, challenging your thought processes, helping you experience success, and setting up a pattern in your thinking that you will be able to utilize over and over for effectiveness with all of your future goals. I hope you’ll join me in one of these programs, to help you take your understanding and success to the next level in ALL the different areas of your life. Learn more about the difference HERE.

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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!

___________

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