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  1. Thank you for this. I needed it today. I've just finished doing back to back longterm sub positions. I hadn't taught in 14 years. I'm home again and grieving working full-time. I loved it. I'm grateful that I don't need to work… and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Staying home is tough. It's lonely with four kids in school. Friends are at different stages. There is a constant need to feel like the house is perfect and I am too. I didn't feel that pressure when I was in the classroom. Anyway…thanks for these words!

  2. I've been thinking a lot about this lately. Thank you so much for articulating this "perfectly" for me. It's just what I needed to hear. And thanks for the idea of the finger marking. I will do that with my kids even though they are 10, 15, and 17.

  3. Dear Shauni,
    I do not comment on blogs but rarely, and I enjoy an occassional blog-hop to some I find inspirational and grounding, so I thank you for writing what you do. I cannot help to add a comment that I think is in concert with your desire to keep us from comparing to each other. A great talk from a recent LDS general conference ( ) reminded me that comparison kills joy and sacred minutes on our knees with our spirits looking up instead of sideways at those around us can heal us of the need to compare and compete, soothe our spirits when we ARE enough in the light of and eyes of heaven, and even prod us gently in a direction that can more assuredly bring additional peace and confidence in our lives and homes. So in summary, may I just add that to be enough means we LOOK UP for heaven's assurance of our efforts. And learn the satisfaction of Heaven's approval.

  4. shawni, thank you so much for having such an amazing blog! this has been one of my favorite posts. this is something that i have been struggling with lately (and it sounds like i'm not the only one…) so i'm especially grateful for the reminder!

  5. That is SO perfectly said Shawni!!! It gives me shivers…every word. Perfect. Sometimes we can get so caught up in comparisons that we lose what makes us special and unique.

  6. Very great article Shawni! Quick question – any chance you have the floor plans for your house? I'd love to see the layout and am wondering how many bedrooms and bathrooms you have. Thanks!

  7. Beautiful and well said post. I'm a "grammer" and I still have moment of feeling that I fall short….I will remember this post for a long time…
    Thank you
    And what a darling thing your Dad did marking your fingers with your talents…I may have to copy this for my grand children.
    Happy Day

  8. Such a great post Shawni! I think about this topic a lot. Sometimes we create unrealistic expectations for ourselves when we are always looking at those around us. I can always tell if I need to do more or less in a certain area by the way I feel inside. I know when I am improving and putting in a full effort into something or when I am over doing it or not doing enough. Our own personal compasses are the best gauge! Thanks for your thoughts today!

  9. I just love that talents/fingers/awesome idea. Being a newlywed, I find that it is so easy to feel like I'm not enough. It's hard to realize that I'm not the wife I envisioned i would be. I have a long way to go!! The important thing, I think, is to focus on the good I can bring to the marriage and try and improve a little bit every day. I think a little finger marking might be good for the husband too – it never hurts to build each other up! Thanks for all of your wonderful posts and ideas!

  10. thank you for this post, it was an answer to my prayer from today!
    Christa Johnson
    p.s. I used to tell my husband that when I went to your blog, I always got so down on myself because you guys are always doing such great and important things. One day he came up behind me and said, "What are you looking at?" I told him through tears, "I just can't be as good as them. There are pictures of all of her girls today outside selling things to earn money for somebody. I think today they are sewing scarves for homeless people who have no necks. I just can't keep up honey!!!"
    So, after taking a short sobaticol from your website, I came to exactly the same conclusion that you said today, but you said it so much better, he he he!
    My hard thing is, because I have stage four cancer, I always wonder what my kids are going to remember if I am not here anymore and that puts even more stress upon my weak shoulders.
    Enough rambling, all my love and admiration,
    Christa Johnson

  11. Have you read Cheiko Okazaki's book "Being Enough"? If not, it is a must read. It has helped me so much! Recently, my son was diagnosed with NLD,a neurological disorder that prevents him from being able to process about 65% of our world. It has been really hard, and many days, I doubt I can be the mom he needs, but this book and blogs like yours have truly helped me to remember that I am enough!! Thanks!

  12. Wonderful Post! I love the idea about writing talents on fingers, I'm already scheming on doing this with my kids- thanks!

    Blogs can be both inspiring and depressing. When I am feeling good about myself and where I am at, then I can look at others successes and see the beauty or the inspiring in them. When I am not feeling good about myself beautiful blogs can be totally depressing (comparing their highlight real to my behind the scenes).

    As a blog writer I try to remember that when I post I don't do it to show off or say "look i am great", I do it because I want to express something that touched me and I hope that it will in turn touch others.

    Anyway, I ramble a bit :). Thanks for the idea about kids and talents!!

  13. I love this idea. In a culture where everyone seems pretty much the same, we tend to compare ourselves to others and that can leave us feeling depressed and discouraged. Thank you for your thoughts!

  14. I love love love this post, thank you! Lately, I've been mentally reminding myself that "each family does what is right for them," helping me to remember to do what is best for US rather then get caught up comparing ourselves to others or expecting our girls to behave a certain way just because other children of similar ages are doing so. We do what works for our family! Thank you, as always, for your lovely insight and inspiration. I hope I can teach our children to be their best self xoxo

  15. Good post. Thank you. I also run and think of the analogies to life. I constantly remind myself that we must be long-distance runners, not the sprinters who go out to fast and burn out. Yesterday I made myself stay off the internet all day. I felt more peaceful than I have in a long time. The virtual world has some wonderful things (this blog!) but we must be careful that it doesn't become our reality.

  16. Thank you for sharing this. I had just been talking to my husband about not really knowing who I am supposed to be for everyone and for me right now. This was a great reminder. Thank you!!

  17. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. Yesterday was a tough day…my son had been having a hard week. Remembering this post (and the great shot of those fingers with the smile behind), I pulled him over and wrote an R on his thumb for being a good reader. He caught on immediately and suggested other things. By the third finger, his little brother was coming over asking if he could have letters on his fingers too. (I told him "of course, but one boy at a time" and he was smiling and thinking about what letters he wanted and helped make suggestions for his big brother.) When all five fingers had letters on them, I was rewarded with a huge smile and one of those big collapsing-in-to-mom hugs. It was priceless and really helped turn our evening around. The little guy loved his too. This was such an amazing technique. Thank you so, so, so, so much. My heart just aches with them when my kids go through rough times, and it was awesome to have something to offer them that was tangible but free and that they can "take with them" as a reminder of how great I think they are! Seriously–you changed the mood of our house with this. I can't thank you enough.

  18. Thank you for this post!!!

    I wanted to add that my problem isn't comparing myself to others, it's comparing myself to my "old" self. Does that make sense? I find myself thinking, "What is wrong with me? I used to be able to run five miles a day, make time for meaningful scripture study, etc etc etc…where did the old me go?" It's hard for me to remember that I have a different life now. I am a different me than I was in college.

    So much of the pressure that I put on myself comes from within. I don't know how to change that, but I wish I did. People say, "Just do your best," but I think that's a troublesome statement because sometimes I know that I am NOT doing my best–how can you possibly do your best on EVERY area of your life?

    Some of the sanest people I know are the people who just do a good job on things and move on…they don't obsess about "doing their best" and being the most perfect version of themselves. I wish I could be more like that! I often say, "I did the best that I could under the circumstances, and that has to be enough."

    Anyway–lots of random thoughts there, but your post got me thinking, so I thought I'd share. Thanks for sharing your life with us!!

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