Month: August 2020

essay, inspiration

Honesty: How to Fix Your Life

Honesty can solve a whole lot of problems.

tree peeling off sign honesty

I always thought I was a very honest person: I never told lies or cheated or tried to steal anything, so I was good.

But here’s the thing: I still very much care what other people think about me, and sometimes dishonesty creeps in as I fail to admit my shortcomings and mistakes, both to myself and to others. Admitting what I do wrong has been my biggest struggle with honesty. I want to be an awesome person that doesn’t make many mistakes. But I am not: I yell at my kids, I pick my nose, I get discouraged, I waste time, and I support political candidates without knowing much about them.

My lies are plentiful: I want to hide things from the building inspector. I pretend that I heard someone speaking when I wasn’t paying attention at all. I tell a friend I’m doing fine and everything is great when it really isn’t.  When I don’t know something, I fabricate information. And at the store, when my kid breaks the top off a bottle of soap, I stick it on a random shelf and walk away.

Some of these may be trivial. But when dishonesty starts to creep up in small ways, it becomes a lazy way to deal with hard things. Dishonesty just pretends that those hard things don’t exist.

But honesty is when I have to face life as it actually is, giving up my idealized version of reality.

So how can honesty solve life’s problems if it seemingly makes life harder? Because denying the truth doesn’t make the truth go away, and when I face the truth, then I free myself.

Honesty can help solve depression.

Almost all depressing thoughts are lies.

LIES: I am not worth anything. No one likes me. Life is too hard. I can’t do this anymore.

TRUTH: I am worthwhile. Lots of people like me. Life isn’t too hard (what does that even mean, anyway?). I can do it, and I will do it.

Honesty can solve anxiety.

Anxious thoughts are lies.

LIES: This will never go away. People are looking at me and judging me. Bad things are always happening everywhere. I’m stuck here forever.

TRUTH: Everything does go away. People are often too caught up in themselves to notice others very much. Good things happen just as much as bad things.

Honesty can solve parenting difficulties.

I lie so often to my children, and they respond a lot better if I just tell them the truth.

LIES: Clean your room or else. I will take that away in five seconds. If you do not do better, I will punish you. You are so difficult. Because I said so and that’s all that matters.

TRUTH: I love you. I’m proud of you. This is really hard for me right now. I don’t want to yell. I make a lot of mistakes. The house is messy. I don’t want to clean it alone.

Honesty can solve problems at school or at work. 

LIES: I don’t have any questions. I understand everything. Sure, I can do that. I haven’t done anything wrong.

TRUTH: I have so many questions. I don’t understand what is happening. I’m not sure I can do that, but I can try. I messed up and I will try to make it better.

And honesty can help solve everything else. 

Do you have a job interview? Just be completely honest and then there is no reason to be nervous.

Did you make a big mistake that’s keeping you up at night? Just admit what you did wrong and ask for help.

Do you have unpopular opinions? Don’t make excuses. Stand up for what you believe is right.

Are you angry with someone for some reason? Talk with them and see if you can calmly work it out.

Want to improve your relationships? Stop gossipping, tell the truth about others, and tell the truth about yourself. Be vulnerable.

Truths

There are a few truths that can get you through extremely difficult times:

  • First, that you are always worth something.
  • Second, that everyone, including you, makes mistakes.
  • Third, that so much of life, including mistakes, is temporary.

When you face truth, you can find peace by releasing the expectation of perfection and finding true meaning in life as it actually is.

Further reading:

home, inspiration

Answer to Prayers

In the last month, we finished building our block wall, took our roof off, and put the roof back on. We are still not done with the project yet, but we have done a lot.

We prayed a lot throughout this whole renovation, and I was able to see so many answers to those prayers.

  • It rained during our roofing, but nothing really got ruined and delays were only minor. One time, it was raining around us, but not on us. Another time, it just rained on us. But it was all okay, and I was able to find peace.
  • There have been so many times when I felt so tired and I prayed for added strength and I was able to do so much more than I was capable of on my own. There was one time when I was working so slowly and I knew I wouldn’t get done when I needed to, and I prayed and I immediately started working quickly and efficiently.
  • There have been times when I felt so grateful to have my kids working alongside of me.
  • We were going to do most of this on our own, even though it really was more work than we could do. But our church somehow discovered that we were doing this, and they sent people to help us. We couldn’t have done it without the help, and we felt so much love as we were able to work alongside neighbors and friends (and they even brought food too).
  • We had family help so many times as well. Liz spent two weekends with us and Clarissa came on her day off–which just happened to be the day when we needed to finish the roof.
  • The materials took a while to come, but the insulation came in the day before we needed it–and we realized a mistake and were able to cancel items we didn’t need.
  • Somehow our finances have worked out so that we had about $30,000 in our housing account, we’ve spent $40,000, and we still have $20,000.
  • The Lord comforted me and gave me inspiration when I was upset about my own mistakes. The roof line ended up uneven, and I realized how I could fix it after it was too late to do anything about it. But I prayed, and I felt peace and comfort–because mountains and hills aren’t even either, and the house is never going to be perfect: the house is a place of learning and doing the best we can. Grandpa built it with mistakes, and we are making mistakes, and that’s just part of the house.
  • So many times I have wanted a specific blessing (like I would like my husband to live with us–which will happen eventually), but instead I am given happiness in my circumstances and the ability to love what I have.
  • I have received confirmation and guidance on decisions like what to do about schooling and living and even little tiny things.
  • I was once cranky and upset, driving to get bolts from the store, and praying on my way there. And then I saw a moose. I love moose, and it let me know that God was watching over me.

I have felt so much comfort, and seen so many small miracles as I’ve been able to do so much more than I could have done on my own. I hope that this has been the answer to other people’s prayers as well. Sometimes I wonder if my Grandma prayed about this house, and we are finally answering those prayers, years later.

God answers prayers. I know that. Over the last month, I have seen that over and over again. When we were putting on the roofing on the last day, we did not have enough adhesive. We had not even done half of our roof yet, and the bucket was running low. So I prayed. \I thought about the widow’s oil.

And it didn’t run out. We were scraping the bottom of the bucket, but it did not run out.

We were able to finish.