Monday, February 21, 2011

Singing Your Own Song, Not Someone Else's

the original of this post is scheduled to appear on the Latter- day homeschooling blog on 2-21-11

Harriet&accordian (Harriet Nease, my great-great grandmother
circa midi-1860’s,  Original photo property of Ruth Lehman)

“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart
and sings it to you when you forget the words”
~~from a rubber stamp I own

I read once that among the Comanche Nation (when they still roamed the plains, at least), everyone had  a song in their heart, one that was distinctly their own, and they could be heard singing it as they went about their daily business, be it tanning hides, washing, grooming,  honoring the morning sun, or just walking along.  Naturally, someone could admire another’s song, and it just might be going around and around in their head, but it was not appropriate to be found singing someone else’s song.  I suppose a person’s song could have similarities to another, notes and rhythms, tempo, but their song was not to be the same as another’s. 

So .  here’s my question for you:

Have you ever come across someone who thought it was their responsibility to fix you or  gave you unsolicited advice about what you need to do about yourself or family? They made it clear that you should be more like them, that your worth and value to the world will be less until you changed according to their personal views or were more like them?

Or have you been certain that you had to change yourself to be, and do, like someone else (other than the Savior)?  I have experienced all of these and, over time,  these said experiences have left me with quite a lesson learned through the gentle tutoring of the Spirit.

Consider that their need to change you says more about them than you.  They are seeking validation for their own choices (good or bad), or think that your different choices are a rejection of theirs. They are insecure about themselves, or so self absorbed that they are certain that their way is the only right way.  Remember the whisperings of the Spirit, that the Lord is in charge and He will direct you through your life and your Homeschool journey, not someone else's.

Being aware of my weak areas in life and homeschooling, I asked the Lord to help me be more like so and so, make me like another because of what abilities she has and He said, “ No,”  that I am what my family needs me to be for them, then reminded me of Doctrine and Covenants 46, beginning at verse 11:

“11For all have not every agift given unto them; for there are many gifts, and to every man is given a gift by the Spirit of God.

12To some is given one, and to some is given another, that all may be profited thereby.

13To some it is given by the aHoly Ghost to know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that he was crucified for the sins of the world.

14To others it is given to abelieve on their words, that they also might have eternal life if they continue faithful.

15And again, to some it is given by the Holy Ghost to know the adifferences of administration, as it will be pleasing unto the same Lord, according as the Lord will, suiting his bmercies according to the conditions of the children of men.

16And again, it is given by the Holy Ghost to some to know the diversities of operations, whether they be of God, that the manifestations of the aSpirit may be given to every man to profit withal.

17And again, verily I say unto you, to some is given, by the Spirit of God, the word of awisdom.

18To another is given the word of aknowledge, that all may be taught to be wise and to have knowledge.

19And again, to some it is given to have afaith to be healed;

20And to others it is given to have faith to aheal.

21And again, to some is given the working of amiracles;

22And to others it is given to aprophesy;

23And to others the adiscerning of spirits.

24And again, it is given to some to speak with atongues;

25And to another is given the interpretation of tongues.

26And all these agifts come from God, for the benefit of the bchildren of God.” (italics added)

Oh, duh, right.  We can seek help from one another.

Heavenly Father stops me, these days,  when I begin to mourn to Him in prayer about my failings due to my weak areas. He has, again, made it clear that I have what I need for my responsibilities and the ability to fill the needs my family has.  The Lord will pick up the rest. I was reminded of Ether 12, beginning at verse 23:

23And I said unto him: Lord, the Gentiles will amock at these things, because of our bweakness in writing; for Lord thou hast made us cmighty in word by faith, but thou hast not made us mighty in writing; for thou hast made all this people that they could speak much, because of the Holy Ghost which thou hast given them;

24And thou hast made us that we could write but little, because of the aawkwardness of our hands. Behold, thou hast not made us mighty in bwriting like unto the brother of Jared, for thou madest him that the things which he cwrote were mighty even as thou art, unto the overpowering of man to read them.

25Thou hast also made our words powerful and great, even that we acannot write them; wherefore, when we write we behold our bweakness, and stumble because of the placing of our words; and I fear lest the Gentiles shall cmock at our words.

26And when I had said this, the Lord spake unto me, saying: aFools bmock, but they shall mourn; and my grace is sufficient for the meek, that they shall take no advantage of your weakness;

27And if men come unto me I will show unto them their aweakness. I bgive unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my cgrace is sufficient for all men that dhumble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make eweak things become strong unto them. (italics added)

I appreciated these verses, particularly about “grace,” which according to the Bible Dictionary, is the Lord’s “enabling power.”  His grace is sufficient for all men; His enabling power.

The expectations of “after all you can do” will be different from one person to the next because of the atonement.  The Lord has experienced all that we have experienced and knows how to succor His people in their weakness, be that simply the mortal factor, or where they are emotionally, mentally and physically in their journey of the second estate.  My dad taught, “Don’t worry yourself about mistakes you make along the way.  You’re just doing the best that you can in any given moment.”

Now,  I am aware that there is always room for self improvement, that we are always changing, but it was not my place to be like so-and-so.  Nor am I on anyone’s time schedule but the Lord’s for my self improvement.

May you always be confident in your homeschooling efforts, knowing the Lord is in charge, you are His hands, and His instrument in educating His children according to their needs and yours and not someone else’s.

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