Thursday, August 28, 2014

I AM beautiful!!

Since I've been on my mission, I've learned the power of "I AM" statements. Even in joking, it's amazing how two simple words followed by an explanation of how you see yourself truly defines who you are. They also define who you want to be. For example the words, "I am not pretty" or "I am dumb" tear you down compared to, "I am beautiful" or "I am smart!".

"I AM" is a name that Jesus Christ gave himself. Exodus 3:14 says, " I AM THAT I AM". In Doctrine and Covenants 29:1 it says, "Listen to the voice of Jesus Christ, your Redeemer, the great I AM, whose mercy hath atoned for your sins." Christ performed the atonement for us, which includes his suffering in the garden of Gethsemane, his death on the cross and his resurrection! His atonement has the power to heal and also to change us. When we choose to use negative I AM statements, we are not letting the power of Christ change us.

Whether we realize it or not, we use one of Christ's many names every single day! We all use it! And sadly, I fall into the trap of using it negatively. Too often do I compare myself to others and tell myself that I AM not good enough, pretty enough, funny enough, ect. That's not fair to me and it's not fair to the Savior!

I've been thinking about this for the past couple of months. There are plenty of women around me, and even some men, who are floating along in the same boat. I've prayed a lot about what to do to help myself so that I can overcome this weakness and then turn around to help others.

And then it hit me! I need to do a natural beauty week!!!

I know that BYU does some sort of beauty week, but I never participated while I was there before I left on my mission. I fully intend to once I get back! But anyways. I don't know what sort of activities are involved in the BYU beauty week, so I made up my own.

There are only three rules.
  1. No make up. None. (Sorry to the guys out there! You can adapt as necessary by sacrificing something that will help you center your focus on others rather than yourself.)
  2. Take a picture a day, caption it with a positive I AM statement and write a brief explanation.
  3. Invite others to join!
Join the event on Facebook here. Let's make this event BIG starting on September 7th!

The reason I decided to not wear any make up is because it's easy to get caught up in appearances. Whenever I "actually" do my make up in the morning, meaning that I put effort into it, I have to continually look at myself throughout the day to make sure that it's not smeared and that I still look acceptable. And then I notice other women and their makeup more rather than focusing on them. And then I assume that they're doing the same and judging me. And then I get insecure and start talking myself down with negative I AM statements. And then!'s a downward spiral. No good. Welcome to the mind of Sister Anderson.

Here's how my week went! :)

Day 1- I AM a life long learner!
I went with Sister Smith to do service at a monastery! On our way out, they offered to give us a private tour. I met a real live nun! Her name is Sister Andrea. She's amazing. Since she has lived in the monastery since she was 15 and is now 85, she was able to tell us so much about the monastery's history. She gave us a tour of the little chapel that she worships in and it was beautiful. I'm grateful we had a few minutes to learn more about how these Catholic nuns worship Jesus Christ. :) I love learning about other religions!

Day 2- I AM charitable!
Sister Lamborn and I could have taken the few minutes we have before bed to write in our journals and unwind for the day, but instead we chose to heart attack our neighboring sister missionaries when they were stressed out! "But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him." Moroni 7:47 

Day 3- I AM a disciple of Christ!
I am a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints! "Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life." 3 Nephi 5:13 I can't believe I've been doing this for about a year now! Nothing brings me greater joy than being able to serve the Lord Jesus Christ and all my brothers and sisters. :) This is who I am and I am proud of it!

Day 4- I AM not ashamed of eating!
It may not look very convincing because I'm only eating yogurt, but I love love love food! And I'm not ashamed of it! I'm not one of those girls who'd ever pick a salad over a piece of stake... I think it's especially easy for women to get down on themselves when it comes to eating because we all want to be thin. Yes, too much food isn't a good thing. All things in moderation with a bit of exercise thrown in there goes a long way. So long as I'm feeling healthy, I'm doing great! 

Day 5- I AM frugal!
We only get to go shopping once a week on Mondays. I am learning how to be frugal with my money by only spending it on things that I need during the week. Previously I wasn't very good at budgeting my money but I'm getting better at it! This I AM statement is something that I want to become. 

Day 6- I AM myself! :)
I love to have fun! I have a boisterous personality and it's easy for me to feel a bit obnoxious or overbearing at times. I love the quote, "The people who mind don't matter and the people who matter don't mind!" I don't know who said it, but it's something I try to live by. Don't get me wrong, I DO believe that everyone matters, but if they're just going to think I'm insane, they can go ahead and think that! I am insane! And I love it! :)

Day 7- I AM brave!
This may seem silly to all you dog lovers out there, but on my mission I have developed a slight fear of dogs. It seems like everyone has one, so it's not a rational fear in the slightest. However, since my hand was almost bitten off about six months ago, I've never been able to pet a dog that was taller than my knees. This dog was HUGE. And I pet it. Therefore, I am brave!

I AM beautiful!

This week I sacrificed a few things and stepped out of my comfort zone to help me look outward to serve, love and understand others better. I also learned how to appreciate ME for who I AM. :) I learned a lot about myself that will help me be a better servant, friend, sister, daughter, and neighbor in the future. God knows who we are. He also knows perfectly who we are going to become. I'm so grateful for the knowledge that I have that I am His daughter and He loves me more than I will ever understand. That love is there for all of us as His children. Because we are His children, it's important to realize that we have infinite worth!! If we trust in His plan for us, He will help us on our path to become.

Okay, now it's your turn! I invite all of you to join with me in doing your very own natural beauty week! Give up something that blocks you from focusing on what is really important or keeping you from seeing your individual worth. Take a picture every day and post it with an I AM statement of talents or qualities God has blessed you with. Hashtag it with #iambeautiful. As you do this for a week, don't forget to pray for God to help you feel of His love. The purpose of this is to let your inner beauty shine and to help you realize what God has given you so that you can love and serve others more effectively!

It worked for me! Now it's your turn! Give it a try! :)

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