Some of you may know that a few months ago, Dave and I had the chance to work with Drew and Jonathan from HGTV’s Property Brothers on our home renovation! Umm…I’m not going to lie, it was a total out of body experience being on the show (Dave might describe it differently ;). Working with experts on our own renovation and seeing the behind-the-scenes of TV production was amazing. After we went through the process of buying and renovating, it was time for the big “reveal.” As we walked into our living room, and then on to our kitchen and dining room I was completely stunned and got a bit emotional (spoiler alert!). As I gazed over the different rooms with Dave and the girls, it was as if I could see us there, making cookies in the kitchen with the kids, studying and writing in my office, and talking about life and the gospel in the living room as a family. As we walked through each room, several childhood memories at home with my own family came racing back to my mind that have made me who I am today. To me, home then and now is everything (which helps explain me getting misty-eyed on the show ;).
It was in my home that I learned who I really am, and what this life is all about.
A few years ago my husband Dave and I went to dinner with some close friends. As we were all new parents, we joked around about how nice it was to be showered and dressed, eating dinner while the food was still warm, and that no one was tugging on our arm asking for a diaper change! The conversation turned to memories and experiences in our own homes. After lots of laughs and funny stories, one of the dads shared that he was troubled by the peer pressure his young kids were already facing, and wondered aloud how to combat it. As I thought back on my own upbringing, I realized that for the most part the intense peer pressure that so many youth struggle with today was something that I had missed out on (gratefully!). Somewhat sheepishly, I mentioned this to the group. Immediately the same dad said, “What?! How did your parents do that?”
I sat there for a minute. Stumped.
Then from my mouth came words that my heart knew even if my head hadn’t, “I think that my identity as a Henderson (my maiden name) meant more to me than my identity with my friends and peers. Knowing who I was changed everything.” There was something my parents did to instill such a strong family culture—of love, of family first, of a relationship with God—that when I was asked to do things outside that identity it was easy for me to say no.
I’ve thought of this experience countless times since. What is it about knowing who we are that is so powerful?
I remember one time in my home growing up when my dad taught me this so beautifully. I must have been 9 or 10, and I remember there was something the girls at school all wanted to do to look and act older, and I really wanted to do it too but my parents had put their foot down. I was frustrated, and didn’t really get why it even mattered.
That day when my dad came home from work he told me he wanted to have a little chat, and told me to follow him to the front yard. When we got outside he walked me over to our rose bushes. While we talked, he plucked a small pink rose bud and held it in his hands. He then turned to me and said, “Isn’t this beautiful?” I quickly agreed. My dad then said, “It’s such a pretty rose, I think I want to open it up right now to enjoy the whole thing.” He then started prying open the delicate rose bud, pulling back the petals to try to make it look like a blossomed rose. I remember gasping a little and telling him not to do it, that it would ruin the rose! He then looked at me and said, “You know Elizabeth, you’re a lot like this beautiful rose bud. God has a plan for you, and you just need to trust Him to let you bloom in your time.” I remember in that instant feeling so much love for my dad, but also having one of the first glimpses of who I was in God’s eyes.
Source: Lovely Clusters
This and many other experiences in our home helped solidify my vision of who I really am – a daughter of God with a divine purpose. The scriptures can help us understand our divine nature and relationship with our Savior. “God created man in His own image, male and female created He them,” (Genesis 1:27). James E. Faust said, “To be a daughter of God means that you are the offspring of Deity, literal descendants of a Divine Father, inheriting godly attributes and potential.” The Savior showed us of our worth when he laid down his own life for us, giving us the gift of forgiveness and change, “Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.” (Isaiah 43: 1-2). Knowing who we are to God and the Savior changes everything. Knowing our true nature sets us free from the pressures of the world by helping us realize the world’s approval really doesn’t matter. We can know that we are enough just as we are; capable of learning, serving, and feeling joy.
Being taught in my home growing up who I really was helped me throughout my young life and continues to help me stay centered today. Now a mom of four, passing this knowledge on and helping my kids know their own worth in God’s eyes means everything. Being on the Property Brothers show with Dave and our girls was so fun. (SO fun!!) But at the end of the day I know that it doesn’t really matter what our homes look like—big or small, renovated or old, full of children and parents or just us. Each one of us can find our infinite worth and real happiness right where we are.
This month at The Small Seed we’re going to be exploring a lot more about what it means to know our infinite worth, and how knowing our worth frees us to “Come Unto Christ.” We can’t wait to share and learn with you!