a change

My heart has been unsettled these past weeks. I’ve caught myself feeling insecure, angry, bitter and jealous far too often. Those are ugly emotions and not very fun to admit to.

My discontent was a combination of many things– constant injuries, Erik and I are racing towards 40, Ben has just a few summers left at home and what about all the plans we made in our twenties? … the trips we thought we’d take? …the master’s degree? … the interesting jobs?…what about living abroad or even in another state?

I’m also at a turning point– with the store closed and my kids getting older I have choices to make— but instead of seeing the world as my oyster I felt trapped in my circumstances.

Gratitude was my first tonic of choice. I made lists of all that is good but found myself still wanting more.

It was the morning comics that turned me around. One of the most obnoxious comic characters said, “The world owes me complete unmitigated happiness. And if I don’t get it? Well, I’m just going to spit on you all!”

I laughed out loud! That was me.

I’ve just been too proud. More than anything else I need to practice humility. I complain that I haven’t had opportunities– and yet I have the opportunity every day to read, eat a full meal, sleep in a soft bed, play with my children, listen to music, write, take pictures. The world is full of people who struggle just for their daily bread and I have a dozen varieties to choose from! Yes, I can spend my life focused on unfinished work and my children’s endless messes but that would be my own foolish choice.

Andrew Murray wrote, “Humility is the only soil in which virtue takes root; a lack of humility is the explanation of every defect and failure.” That’s strong medicine. But when I think of people I admire the most, it is their humility that shines. I think of Marjorie Hinckley with her self-effacing humor and her ability to see the best in everyone. I think of my neighbor Kent Sorenson who took great interest in everyone he met. He didn’t see troubled young boys; he simply saw great men in embryo.

Over my desk hangs a quote from Neal Maxwell, “What we insistently desire over time, is what we will eventually become and what we will receive in all eternity.”

What do I want? I want to be a good mother, a loving wife, a loyal friend, to constantly see the best in other people. I want you to feel loved and secure knowing that I won’t gossip about you or judge you in your failures and that I will cheer for you in your successes. Your joy is my joy your hurt is my hurt.

I want humility. I know I can’t attain it myself, but Christ, the humblest of all, has promised to share his virtues with us all. Already, I feel lighter and happier.

June 30, 2008
July 3, 2008



  1. hans

    July 1, 2008

    That is so true. I wish I was as humble as you.

  2. Michelle

    July 1, 2008

    You are so cute Hansel(and what would I do without you?) but the whole point is that I am NOT very humble. But I am grateful that you always see the best in me. 🙂

  3. Shannon&Eli

    July 1, 2008

    i think i am in the same situation that you are in only you have had a million more opportunities than i have had, however that doesn’t make a difference, it’s not our opportunities it’s the daily moments…i too have a hard time not wanting what i have missed out on! or what it seems i have missed out on…however i know a hundred people that would do anything to be in our shoes, married with children and homes…we really are blessed, it’s just hard to see it sometimes!

  4. wannabeinalaska

    July 1, 2008

    Michelle, this post took my breath away. You put down in words what I can’t seem to say. Thank you for being you, girl.

  5. jess

    July 2, 2008

    amen… similar thoughts have been stirring in my mind as of late and i am so grateful for the wisdom you have shared! oh, i have so much to be thankful for and so much humility to learn… thanks for the reminder!

  6. Denise

    July 2, 2008

    The great thing about life is that we can always change and improve. The trick is being able to identify those areas that most need our focus and attention. I admire you for not only deciding you had an area in need of work, but admitting it and working on it. That’s a pretty humble thing to do!

  7. Mama

    July 2, 2008

    I admire your focus on humility, because frankly, I still think I should have unmitigated happiness and I am not ready to give up on it yet. 😉 Seriously, I know the change of which you speak, and the discontent, and I guess it’s something mothers go through? That is what I am beginning to think.

  8. Linkous

    July 3, 2008

    Michelle, you really are your own worst critic. To all of us, you already are all of those things you’re looking to be. So Elder Maxwell is right–you have become (and still are becoming) what you truly want to be. Thanks for your example.

  9. Life Trekking Mama

    July 9, 2008

    “Certain discontents are as just before the greatest of gifts is unwrapped!” ~Love, Cuz’n A.

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