An excerpt from I Am Enough.
When my girls were young, their grandfather gave them a Mr. Potato Head as a gift for Christmas.
The many pieces were contained within a large see-through plastic container in the shape of a potato and the numerous pieces inside included two plastic bodies, two smaller bodies, and interchangeable eyes, hands, lips, noses, glasses, purses, hats, etc.
My girls loved this gift.
And with all of those purse and hat pieces, the Mr. was glad to have the companionship of a Mrs.
Over the years, my girls played with this toy on many occasions and enjoyed creating new looks, filling up the amazing back compartment, and even wearing the glasses which had to stretch wide across their faces to perch on their little noses.
As they entered their tween years and transitioned to new likes and interests, this toy, along with others they had outgrown, was stored on a shelf in the darkness of the guest room closet.
One Sunday morning as I sat preparing a lesson to teach. I pondered how to best present a lesson titled “I am Enough” based on a General Conference talk given by J. Devn Cornish in the October 2016 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints titled, Am I Good Enough? Will I Make It? I was inspired to think of my girls’ childhood toy—the one shaped like a potato.
The idea for my book “I Am Enough” was born
This moment of inspiration spurred my thoughts to recognize that you and I live in a world full of people accomplishing great things and rocking some very visible talents: playing a musical instrument, singing, woodworking, speaking in front of people, creating beautiful art, designing scrapbooks, building homes, cooking, working on computers, or swimming, to name a few.
We often compare ourselves to others using those visible talents and accomplishments as a measuring stick for our worth. Our self-talk quickly brings us to, “I’m not as good as…” or “I can’t do…”, which then leads to “I’m not…enough.” Our thoughts spiral downward much the same as whirlybirds twirl to the ground from a tree.
Sometimes we think we do not have many talents or we haven’t accomplished much or that other people have been blessed with more abilities than we will ever possess.
Theodore Roosevelt was spot on when he coined the phrase, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”Theodore Roosevelt
And sometimes in church culture, we become so disheartened by even the sincerest invitations to improve ourselves. “We think silently, ‘I can’t do all these things’ or ‘I will never be as good as all these people.’” (J. Devn Cornish, “Am I Good Enough? Will I Make It?”, Oct. 2016).
Take a moment to consider my girls’ childhood toy. From first glance, neither the Mr. nor the Mrs. appear to be very talented or accomplished. Sure, they have this great compartment in their back for holding lots of stuff, but can either of them sing or dance?
They are the perfect demonstration of why you and I are talented, worthwhile, and more than enough, especially when those talents aren’t clearly visible to the world. We all should affirm, “I am enough.”
Look at all of these interchangeable body parts and accessories and consider the talents that can be related to each–talents that you are blessed with and talents with which you in turn bless the lives of others.
My dear friends, we all have worth. We all have talents, gifts, strengths, and inner resources. Some are visible and wonderful and good and are used to bless the lives of others. Some are not so visible but are equally wonderful and good and are still used to bless the lives of others.
“…we must stop comparing ourselves to others. We torture ourselves needlessly by competing and comparing. We falsely judge our self-worth by the things we do or don’t have and by the opinions of others. If we must compare, let us compare how we were in the past to how we are today—and even to how we want to be in the future. The only opinion of us that matters is what our Heavenly Father thinks of us. Please sincerely ask Him what He thinks of you. He will love and correct but never discourage us; that is Satan’s trick.J. Devn Cornish
“We live in a world that feeds on comparisons, labeling, and criticism. Instead of seeing through the lens of social media, we need to look inward for the godly attributes to which we each lay claim.” (W. Craig Zwick, “Lord, Wilt Thou Cause That My Eyes May Be Opened”, Oct. 2017)
Sometimes we may feel as though our talents come incognito or are even non-existent. Russell M. Nelson, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, declared, “You have special spiritual gifts and propensities…I urge you with all the hope of my heart, to pray to understand your spiritual gifts—to cultivate, use, and expand them, even more than you ever have. You will change the world as you do.” (Russell M. Nelson, “Sisters’ Participation in the Gathering of Israel“, Oct. 2018).
The wonderful thing about our talents and gifts is that we are not limited in the number that come naturally to us or in the number we wish to add to or expand upon our areas of competency.
Throughout the book, I Am Enough, I illustrate a handful of talents, spiritual gifts, and accomplishments with the adventures, mishaps, experiences of my family. Lessons learned while I recorded my daughters’ lives as they grew from babies to little girls to young women and then on to adulthood. In hindsight, I realize that we were learning together.
My experiences in life follow a mostly traditional path. I recognize that my path is not your path, yet I hope that the takeaway as we all struggle and celebrate, experience trials and triumphs, is that we seek after joy where we are and look in the mirror to confidently say, “I am me, and I am enough.”
If your heart could use a little more uplift, you might enjoy reading additional inspirational blog posts:
Want to add even more inspiration to your life? Check out My Favorite Inspirational Things on this website. Please note that clicking on the image below will take you directly to DeseretBook.com.