Ok maybe this is a tad bit of a stretch to connect this story with “energy transformation” but I keep thinking of that concept I wrote about back HERE, and this picture my mom sent us all a little while back reminded me of that same idea:

You see, there’s a famous story in our family. One my mother told us over and over growing up, and one I have told my own children 246 times.

It’s the story of my mother as a junior high schooler, miserable as could be. She was painfully shy and would go home each day and complain to her mother that she had no friends. So that plucky mother of hers, my grandma, gave her the best piece of advice that has now gone down in history: “Linda, you go to school tomorrow and find someone who looks more miserable than you are, and reach out to them. That will cure your loneliness.”

Well, of course my mother balked at that idea…in her teenager eyes there surely couldn’t be anyone more lonely than she was.

But her mother convinced her to at least keep her eye out. And sure enough, at lunch the next day she saw a girl sitting all alone who looked like she might be at least equally as lonely as she was. So she pulled up her bootstraps and got the courage to go talk to her. Which, as you might guess (since this story has become a favorite, it has a happy ending), those two became wonderful friends, and my mother was so grateful for her mother’s encouragement to “transform her energy.” She could have remained sad and lonely, sitting by herself, or she could choose to change that energy to active searching, active befriending.

And when she chose to transform, that is what made all the difference.

So a month or so ago my mom sent that picture up there with this note: “I’m going through a lot of old pics last week, I found this fun picture of maybe 5th grade. I was amazed at how many names immediately popped into my head. And I had to smile while I saw my future friend, (second from the right on the front row) who was the one my mom challenged me to find and befriend at the 7th grade dance. I dearly wish I’d have thought of being her friend sooner!” (Can you spot my mom? She’s the one third in from the left side.)

So I used that picture for our devotional the next morning, and told that story for the 247th time, through teary eyes.

Thank you for your example of reaching outside of yourself always, Mom, and always being willing to transform your energy into goodness. Love you forever.

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  1. Love it! And how strange is this – I looked over all those cute faces in the picture before reading your post and two girls stood out to me – your mom and her friend! 🙂

  2. Wow, before reading the post (and knowing what or who it was about) I looked at those faces and immediately recognized your mom. My second thought was, that she looks so much like Ana – your niece from Hawaii. Incredible!

  3. I had the same reaction looking at that picture before I read your post, her face looked just like Ana to me! And what a great story to share!

  4. I picked out your Mom immediately. She looks and smiles the same. It looks like she’s holding hands with the cute girl to her right as well (the fourth girl in the row). I’m sure your Mom was more of a friend to others than she realized. I teach fifth grade in Bountiful, Utah, and I’d like to use this story to teach a “SEL” (social emotional learning) lesson to my students. Everyone needs friends…and lots of them. Getting out of our comfort zone to extend a hand of friendship to someone, can be a small, yet life changing event. The tiny act of friendship from your Mom changed her life, and the life of her new friend…definitely a win-win situation. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Yes Sherry feel free to use that story. I think it’s so interesting that the stories of kindness that my parents have told me from their childhood are still making ripple effects to my own children. It’s amazing what kindness can do.

  5. I always learn something from you blog…usually something passed on from your parents to your family..and this may be my favorite…especially with the isolation everyone is facing now. Thanks for sharing such a powerful story.

    1. Thank you so much taking the time to write this sweet comment. I’m so glad you can take goodness from here, hoping these seeds will help plant other seeds in the world. And yes, especially with all this isolation. Sending lots of love right on back over!

  6. I want you to know I have missed you! I hope all is well with you and your family. I want to send my love to you even though we do not know each other personally. I have always looked forward to reading your (nearly daily) posts. You have a calm way of helping others see different perspectives. You’ve caused me to think outside of the well known box and to look for new ways to learn and grow. I have loved having a peek into your kids and family life. You are a champion of mothers and especially the gospel. Just want you to know you are loved and missed here in this little spot of the world. ❤️

    1. Agreed!!I came to say the same. Shawni has been a bright light among a lot of crazy in the world and in my own home. I’m grateful for her posts and insight. And she’s missed when she doesn’t post.
      Shawni – I hope you and your family are well! Love and prayers your way!

    2. Aw thank you sweet friends. I’m still here, just trying to juggle time with my missionary and a new calling that has been kicking my bootie a little bit! Ha! Trying to find the balance but I’ll be back soon. Thank you for checking on me! Sending lots of love out from here to wherever you may be!

  7. I am sure missing your “little things” post even though your months aren’t as crazy living in a pandemic I would still love to see them if you are going to keep writing them! I am interested in Claire’s high school experience this year! Are they having any dances or football games? I would love to see a dance post about her too! Hope all is well with Grace as a missionary:) Love from utah!

    1. I’m so anxious to keep journaling, so much seems to happen even in the middle of a pandemic, so many thoughts to sort out! I’m working on my March little things post…yes, I’m a little behind! Grace is doing awesome. She got her date pushed back to November so it’s the waiting game right now! More coming soon!

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