I would like to share two different experiences when I was at JCPenney. Both of them were challenging in themself but I grew from them. Both were rather embarrassing yet, they both taught me about good values and the type of person I want to be.
When Dom, Ronen, and I lived in Tucson, Arizona we were not familiar with the area. It had been a long time since my hair was done, so I decided to schedule an appointment with the JCPenney Salon. I had never been there to get my hair done before but it was convenient and affordable.
Dom and Ronen came in with me and waited for me to be seated. When I was seated they both left to go look through shops in the mall. My hairdresser noticed them dropping me off and told me how sweet it was that they waited till I was called back to leave. I agreed with her and it was a great way to start our conversations. She started asking me about what I do, about my husband, and Ronen or, if I had any more children.
I went on talking about my life saying we are in the military, I stay at home, and then I said what I completely regret saying….I am a mother to two kids. Two kids? I only had Ronen at the time.
A little back story. After finding out I was going to be a mother I thought of how I still wanted to pursue working, whatever it was going to be. In my mind at that time I didn’t think being at home was “right” for me. I felt like I needed to make my mark in the world, be a mother, a wife, serve in church callings and my community. I wanted that “do it all” mentality. Staying at home with one child was not “enough.” My mentality is not like this now but it was when that sweet stylist was working on my hair. I told her I had two because that seemed like I was doing more and I had more of a reason to be at home.
I felt so horrible. I was crushed by my lie and my thoughts on self worth of being at home and simply not doing “enough.” I knew I was and I am still doing enough! I was so grateful to be at home and still am grateful to be at home, now!
The rest of the conversation, I was giving short answers and kept most of the questions towards her. I didn’t want to continue on after the shame I felt. I wanted to apologize and say that I was a proud mom of one and was able to stay at home to raise him. I didn’t, but so wish I did.
After I left I told Dom what happened. I told him about my thoughts on staying at home and not feeling like I was doing enough. I apologized to him and how I wasn’t being honest with her and not how I see myself. In his most loving way he hugged me and comforted me. He told me how glad he is that I stay at home to raise Ronen and that he wants me to be fulfilled being at home as well. He knew I wanted to aspire to have all of my dreams and knew how I wanted it all at home as well.
When we got home I said a prayer and poured my soul out to Heavenly Father. I asked for forgiveness and how I wanted to become better. I wanted to feel gratitude for who I was, being at home, and the progress I can make while staying at home with my children.
That experience had me do a lot of searching of how I wanted to think of myself. Not only think of myself but how I wanted to show up in the world. Would I express to others that I loved staying at home or how I am sitting waiting for my life to be “enough?”
I love that the experience taught me to stretch my mind and focus on the type of wife, mom, daughter of God I wanted to become. I moved forward with trying to have stronger values and acknowledging my self worth.
My next experience was recently having my family photos taken at the JCPenney Portraits center. My mom asked us to update our current family photo. I thought it was a great idea but I didn’t want to prepare to take the photos myself and I also didn’t want to pay my wonderful photographer friends a lot of money this year for family portraits. (honesty people haha)
I scheduled a quick session and a few days later we went to take them. It was an experience to say the least, haha! Ronen and I were both very sick, Ryen refused to take off her puffer jacket and she also had no desire to be there. As we were waiting for the family session before us to finish up, which took about 30 minutes, Ryen was frustrated and crying. She did NOT want to be there. She kept running down the hallway to leave, screaming, throwing herself on the ground, and took a poop in her britches.
All of us were not shocked by her reactions but were frazzled because we wanted to get this done as much as she did. I noticed the photographer and the other families there seeing our chaos. I felt like leaving and crying because I didn’t feel well and didn’t know how much more I could take trying to convince Ryen that this was a good idea. I didn’t want to be there as much as she did. Haha. I had the thought to say a prayer. After my prayer I had the feeling to try and comfort Ryen the best I could and go along with her not wanting to take off her jacket. I also thought of how I wanted this to be a very genuine and authentic session. We were all just being as real as we could get. Both Ronen and I would look sickly and Ryen would be true to her nature.
It’s funny to look back but the photos turned out better than I thought they would. Ryen smiled and the rest of us looked happy.
It was a comical event but it also taught me to just roll with it. Roll with the experiences and handle them the best possible way I can.
Both experiences at JCPenney taught me to love me and my life that I currently have. They are both not perfect but are great in their own authentic and genuine way. They both were not ideal but they both taught me that I want to live with the spirit prompting and guiding me.
I am proud I can raise my kids and do my best to teach them with love and good values. Little by little I am becoming who I want to be because I want to be better. I have learned some great life lessons while in JCPenney! Haha!
My whole goal is to follow Jesus Christ and become more like him. I want to follow his gospel, standards, and the love he has for me.
Gerrit W. Gong in October 2019, “Covenant Belonging” he said, “However often we stumble or fall, if we keep moving toward Him, He will help us, a step at a time.” https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2019/10/41gong?lang=eng
I look on my hair experience and feel so silly and grateful for repentance and growth. I was living the way I wanted at the time and I’m still living the way I want with a taking step at a time of better thoughts and growing my values.
Currently, I want to live with good values the way I think inside and outside. I want to live with gratitude, stronger values, be faithfull, full of happiness, and acknowledge the blessings I have now.
2 Corinthians 5:17 https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/nt/2-cor/5?lang=eng
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
This means relying on Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ to help us change our hearts, our views, our actions, and our very natures.
I’m grateful for stronger values that help me to live in good nature. I feel silly for both experiences but they have definitely given me growth into value my actions, thoughts, and self worth. I want to become newer and better with Jesus Christ as my helping hand. I hope to remember this each moment and the next time I step into a JCPenney’s.
I am so happy with where I am. Enjoy where you are at physically and mentally, it will bring out your best authentic and genuine self.