Today I have a real gem to share- My checklist for my future husband:
Did you ever make one of these? Some of my favorites: "not bossy," "republican", and "not a vegetarian," haha! Thank you fourteen year old brain.
As Winston approaches his first birthday, I have been thinking about a different list, a list of qualities I want him to have when he grows up. The lifelong project of teaching and disciplining him is already a daily confusion for me and I want to make sure there is a purpose behind my actions as we start this parenting journey. While I was making this list in my head of what I hope my children will be, I remembered the lesson in young womens where this treasure pictured above came from. We had to write a checklist for our future husband. Obviously any lesson with the word "wedding" attatched to it had our full attention. Our teacher asked us to make a list of what we were looking for in a future spouse so we sat there making all kinds of ridiculous demands from our giddy teenage perspectives. We had a great time writing them, but then our teacher turned it around on us. She said if this is what we expected of our future husband, then it's what he would expect of us too. Whatever we had listed on our papers was actually a checklist for ourselves in order to be prepared for marriage. Pretty good little twist, eh? I actually forgot to consult this sheet when Evan proposed but I'd say I lucked out. Anyway, as I complied the list in my head of the qualities I want for Winston, I remembered it's really a checklist for me. I have to be his example, his teacher. Here's what I've got to work on now:
To my children, I hope you learn to be:
1. Grateful: Not just in November, but as a daily way of life. I want you to be appreciative and genuinely content with the things you've been given. It makes for an incredibly happy life when you are looking at what you have instead of looking at what you don't.
2. Generous: My parents have been my favorite example of this. I think its so important that you are giving. I want to make sure you know this has nothing to do with having excess money. You may not ever have lots of money to give away, but be so generous with your time, your talents, your love, your home, and anything else you do have to share.
3. Dedicated: I want you to know you can and will do hard things. Things that are important take lots of work and you must be willing to pay that price. I'm continually surprised at the hard things I can get through when I just decide I can. Like a twelve hour night shift with the stomach flu this week. Survived somehow. You will too.
4. Passionate: I want you to be excited about life. I hope you recognize your world is full of incredible things! You don't have to be thrilled about the same things I love, or the same things your dad loves (Evan will try to say wrestling is the exception here...) but I hope you find things you care about deeply and devote your time to them.
5. Righteous: I want you to have a personal relationship with your Father in Heaven and with the Savior. I want you to feel loved. I want you to follow God's commandments not because we told you to, but because you find out for yourself about God's truths.
6. Confident: By this I don't mean proud of yourself. I mean deliberate and purposeful in your decisions. I want you to recognize your ability to make choices, both about actions and feelings, and understand the blessings and responsibility that comes with it. Make good decisions on purpose and be confident in them regardless of what other people are doing.
7. Kind: I want you to always consider the feelings of those around you. I want you to trade shoes with your family, with your neighbors, with strangers, and keep a kind and forgiving heart in all situations.
8. Silly: Life is for laughing. Your dad taught me that. Smile, have fun, laugh in good times and hard times. Don't take life too seriously, there's no time for that.