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All of us live lives where each person we are surrounded by believes something different. We all have an idea of what is best for us and what works for how we choose to live. 

With us moving to a new area, I think our family has had our eyes opened a bit more on how different all of us Children of God really are. 

We all have different viewpoints on what faith to believe, how to raise our children, how to drive, how to live in general. I mean all of these are things we all know that we are different with, right?

What Do I Think Of Me?

My husband said something to me that he hasn’t said to me, ever. 

While we were laying on the couch and I was telling him an experience I had, he said, “I don’t think I have seen you care so much about what people think of you.” He said it in such a comforting and concerning way.

Before this conversation, Ryen and I just arrived home from gymnastics. 

At Ryen’s class we had a discussion with the coach after the session. 

I signed Ryen up for gymnastics to see if it would be something she likes. I thought it would be fun to have her move her body in ways she likes to do at home when she does gymnastics on YouTube. I thought she might like doing it in a physical setting. 

I only signed up if it would be fun and a learning experience for her. It was just for fun. If she didn’t like it, then we would move on.

Ryen has come to love it so much. She practices at home and can’t wait till the next class each week. 

In the class she has so much fun that she will get side tracked or tend to not listen to what the coach says because she wants to go from one routine to the next. She does it so innocently. She isn’t purposefully trying to disobey. Her excitement is just full. 

The coach has been trying to explain to her that she needs to listen better so that she doesn’t get hurt. I completely agree. I want her to listen so she can make sure she knows the certain techniques. She could get injured without proper understanding. 

I would share with Ryen each time that we need to listen to the coach so she doesn’t get hurt and that way she can learn what is being taught.

This class in particular today had me concerned. Ryen was having a great class and occasionally would want to be silly and get some wiggly’s out. It was about a few minutes till class was over and I could tell Ryen was getting antsy. 

She wanted to be doing more routines but the coach had her sit a lot during the class. I could tell she just wanted to have fun. When she wouldn’t sit in the square on the floor, the coach would have to remind her to continually sit in it. I could tell the coach was irritated from the eye rolling, from pulling things away from her, from the way she would grab Ryen, or talk to her.

The coach has mentioned to me before to not “coach” her from the sidelines but allow her (the coach) to do it. I wouldn’t say anything but when Ryen would look at me I would mouth or point to her coach for her to listen. 

Ryen was laughing and rolling on her square. 

Because she wasn’t sitting still, the coach said she wouldn’t get a stamp for the day since she didn’t listen. 

She then looked at me and told me that she wouldn’t get the stamp because she has a hard time listening during class. Not just today but most of the time. 

I said ok that’s fine and said we would work on trying to get her to listen better to instruction. 

After the class the coach explained more on why she needs to listen. She told me that if she doesn’t listen now then going forward in gymnastics will be hard for her. She then told me that other coaches wouldn’t be as nice as she is to her. Then went on with other ideas that concerned me.

The more she talked, I nodded and was feeling uneasy about continuing having Ryen attend at this class.

I signed Ryen up for this class because I wanted her to have a fun hobby and to learn something new. I wasn’t signing her up to be the next champion gymnast. If that’s something she would like to do, then I will support her. If that time came. 

I just didn’t feel comfortable with how strict the coaching was in the first place. I wanted her to learn technique and see if it’s something she would like to pursue. 

After leaving the class and driving home, I was very sad. I started to feel sorry for myself. I started to think things like, “am I doing a good enough job raising my kids? Was her coach right? The coach is doing the best she can and I want to be more understanding of what she said. Why does it feel like everywhere I have been since moving here is all about enforcing discipline? Like we need more restrictions and people feeling uptight when we could enjoy our lives and find fun in it.”

I came home and described all of this to my husband. I was feeling powerless and I know it was the heavy thoughts I was having.

That’s when he said to me, “I have not ever seen you care so much about what other people think of you.”

I pondered his words most of the day.

Defeated Thinking

It was getting close to bed and I had this experience in the back of my head all day. I kept repeating what she said and the thoughts I had from what she said. I noticed myself feeling defeated. 

I sat on my bed starting to cry because I was worried that I have been doing something wrong. Because my daughter wants to play at three years old in a class and has a hard time following instruction, it comes down to the way I parent her. 

This is all a story I made up in my head but I am repeating what moms have said to me in this area about similar instances where we should be teaching respect, discipline, and self-control. All things I believe to be very good but not by force, but by loving guidance. 

While sitting, sobbing on my bed my husband walks over to check on me. 

He so lovingly communicated with me on this experience. 

He said how much he loves me and then said something to me that helped remember things a little better.

Involving Christ In My Thinking

He said, “of course we are meeting people that do things different or don’t agree with us. That’s ok and they can think that. You need to remember that you are doing what you feel is best. You are prayerfully trying to involve Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in all your teachings. You have such a kind heart and I know you want to do what is right.”

His comforting words healed my thoughts. I am so grateful for him. He helped me remember that the way I do things is not to accommodate others. As much as we want to do that, we can love everyone as a child of God but to do the will of our Father in Heaven. 

I truly want to love everyone despite our differences. 

“In this turbulent environment, we rejoice in being disciples of Jesus Christ. We see the Lord’s hand all around us. Our destination is beautifully set before us. “This is life eternal,” Jesus prayed, “that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” Being a disciple in these days of destiny will be a badge of honor throughout the eternities.”

What Thinks Christ of Me? -April 2012 Neil L. Anderson

Living With Our Best Intentions

I hope to raise my children in love and righteousness. 

Sometimes we want to accommodate so many people around us that we forget how to really take care of ourselves and the ones that matter most to us. 

We can be surrounded by many things and people that are different but we can still choose to live the way we choose. 

I forgot about that for a minute. 🙂

The way I would like to choose to live is with the example of Jesus Christ on the forefront of my mind. 

I want to live in a way where I allow others to choose how they want to live and I love them for it anyway, including my daughter and the coach, even if we don’t see eye to eye. That’s ok. 

We are all doing the best we can to live the best we can. 

I hope to see everyone as a wonderful being that is trying to do their best. 

We are all son’s and daughter’s of God trying to be a human in the world that we often do things differently but we can all agree it’s all with our best intentions. 

Matthew 22: 37-39

37. Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all they heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

38. This is the first and great commandment.

39. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

About Author

My name is Brianna Marshall. I was born in Dayton, Ohio into a Air Force family. We moved to Colorado Springs, CO when I was 5 years old and lived there till I moved off to College to Orem, Utah in 2007. I was raised into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I'm still actively practicing the same faith today. I graduated from Utah Valley University with a Bachelors in Communications. I was married to my husband Dom in 2010 in the San Diego Temple. Dom and I have two children, one a boy, named Ronen, and a girl, named Ryen. I have been in and out of teaching physical fitness for over 10 years. I love to run and weight lift most days of the week. I also love to do yoga at night to calm me down before bed. I have always had a love for baked goods. My mom made a great dessert every Sunday and made them upon request growing up. I have always been really well at expressing my thoughts and feelings. I love to express a lot of my spiritual feelings with friends and family. As a young girl, I worked really hard to have a great relationship with my Father in Heaven. I have felt His presence from the time I was 8 and currently still feel his love and desire for me to become closer to Him. I desire to be a missionary as well as help others understand His love for all of His children. I find that being friendly, understanding and being compassionate to everyone is the best example of His son, Jesus Christ. I strive to follow His teachings. I also stumble with all of it. I'm so grateful for the atonement and repentance when I'm in need of change of heart and a compassionate spirit. I find life to be so beautiful and I'm grateful everyday for the experiences I have. I am a wife, mother, daughter of God, writer, runner, baker, and an imperfect being striving to be the best me.

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