Courage to Like Yourself — My Answers

Just like Courage to Like Yourself, Physically, I am doing this exercise to emphasize the importance of this step!

  1. I am happy–and I do like to smile and uplift others. I am genuinely happy. I choose to be happy. I could find plenty to be sad about all the time, especially in our world today. However, I choose to be happy. I put my trust in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. That lifts a large burden off of my shoulders. I know that the best way for me to make a difference in the world around me is to be a good person in my little part of the great big picture. Therefore, I choose to be happy in that little part of the great big picture.
  2. I can play the piano enough to help out at church, if really, really, needed. Granted, they do know that if the piano stops playing, keep singing, I’ll eventually catch up. This is an accomplishment I achieved when my husband purchased a keyboard while we were in Okinawa. Then, when we returned to the continental United States, I had my piano again. This is the same piano that I learned to play when I was in the 2nd grade. It is massively out of tune, and I mean massively. But, it works for me.
  3. I love to teach people how to feel better about themselves, whether its through wardrobing outfits or emotionally through developing positive habits. I can put together an outfit, I love working with separates and having fun mixing what maybe wasn’t real obvious! I love to pass that skill on to others.
  4. I am good at networking. I love to introduce people to each other to fulfill their needs. Once, after seeing the editors of Essence magazine present at an event as I spoke to them, they lamented that they just knew they weren’t going to be able to get to Graceland. I asked them how much time they had, and their response showed they had enough time to go through the mansion and surrounding areas, they just didn’t have the time to go through the line and wait for the busses. One quick phone call to the marketing person at Graceland (whom I had worked with through fashion shows), and the editors of Essence received a personal tour of property. They were so excited and grateful. That made me feel happy all the way to the core of my being!
  5. I can read to kids! I love to read to kids! I love to show the emotion, to change my voice for each character. I love to get them involved and ask them “What do you think is next?!” It’s so fun to draw children into the story, and, if possible, make them a part of the story! It’s so rewarding!

Courage to Like Yourself–Your Talents

Do we recognize our own talents? We think of talents as playing an instrument, singing, or athletes, or art, or writing, or acting. These are not the only talents people have.

Our talents are gifts from our Heavenly Father. We each have different interests which lead us to different talents. Our Father in Heaven has a work for each of us to do to assist Him in building His kingdom here on Earth. Sharing talents with others helps the person sharing and helps the person receiving.

I have friends that have amazing talents–some garden, some enjoy cleaning house, some can sew without a pattern. Those are obvious talents. But what about not so obvious talents? There are those that can consistently pray or read the scriptures, or those that know just when to give a hug or a phone call, there are those that have patience with those that try the patience of others, There are those who have skills to work happily with others and others who can work solo.

It does take many talents to just get through your day. Think about that for a minute. It is a talent to be organized in the morning when everyone is going in different directions. It is a talent to put together an outfit. It is a talent to be able to wake without an alarm, or to wake up happy with an alarm. It is a talent to put together a healthy meal. It is a talent to have a restful drive to work no matter what other drivers may do. It is a talent to be the one that smiles to uplift others throughout the day. Look at all those talents and the day has barely started!

So, list your obvious talents, those that other can see–






Now, dig deeper–what are your other talents that isn’t obviously visible?






Now–just because I only listed five, that was just to get you started. Keep going! List them in your journal–if you don’t have a journal, start one! What a perfect way to start a journal but to list your wonderful qualities! Don’t forget to write a couple of sentences on each talent.

Courage to Change What You Don’t Like About Yourself

OK, so, this is NOT to turn into a ‘so here are 100 things I hate about myself’ post. That’s easy for us.

Instead we are going to look at just ONE thing that you really want to change. And, NO PHYSICAL changes, this is just spiritual or personality. You cannot list things like – I want to be a concert violinist–or I want to be an Oscar winning actor–or I want to achieve world peace. NO. That’s not where we are going here.

This is for small, baby steps–like, I want to not procrastinate–I want to fix more meals at home–I want to set aside scripture reading time for me. Those are all achievable goals. We are not setting long term goals right now–we are also not setting subjective goals right now.

So, think hard about your day, and where improvement is needed. And now–write ONE THING DOWN. Yes, just one thing.


And, you don’t have to tell anyone. Now, what is it that needs to happen to make that ONE thing happen? Let’s say you want time to read the scriptures.

  1. Set aside the time. Is evening the best? Or, morning before everyone is up? Do you need to give up watching one tv show a day? Find that time.
  2. Make yourself a chart to track your progress. We, as humans, like to see progress written down. It also doesn’t mean that when you miss a day, you start over. You simply skip that day (that is so that you can see how often you do skip, and maybe re-evaluate the time frame you set for yourself).
  3. Get an accountability partner, if that will help you. If you can chart your progress on your own, then you won’t need this step.
  4. Choose a reward, it can be simple as your favorite candy bar, or scoop of ice cream from a restaurant, or a full blown night out with your significant other! It’s up to you.
  5. Once you have accomplished this goal, and feel good about it…usually about three months is a good time frame. Yes, I know it only takes 21 days for something to become a habit, but we don’t want you to become discouraged because you set too much for yourself, too soon. So, at the end of the three months is when you can set a new goal.

Courage to Like Yourself Physically – My Answers

  1. My eyes.
  2. My long waist.
  3. My long fingers.
  4. My long arms.
  5. My shoe size.

My eyes are blue – for some reason that is supposed to be a beauty standard. I like the deep blue that they are, regardless of what ‘fashion dictates’. I even like that they are sensitive to the sun because I get to get cool sunglasses; and since I don’t like hot, sunny days, they give me an excuse to stay inside!

My long waist set me apart from the ‘normal’ fashion patterns, but not really. High fashion uses the longer waist line model, but off the rack uses the medium waist line length…it’s another no-win situation in the world of fashion. Long ago I realized I couldn’t do dresses because the waist line never fit. It was always up in my ribs! Then I realized my wardrobe could be so interesting because I had to do skirts and tops! I could mix and match and have lots of different outfits!

My long fingers reach an octave and two keys on the piano. I play the piano–not the best in the world, but I can play. And, my finger span on the keyboard was pretty cool! Octave chords were easy for me. When I began typing, it, too, was easier.

My long arms I used to really be irritated over because long sleeves never were long enough. Then I found out that higher end brands make longer sleeves. I discovered the brands that make perfect sleeves for those of us that are outside of the ‘normal’ fashion dictates. (But, again, the high fashion model has long arms and off the rack are medium arms, again, a no-win!!) Once I figured which brands to buy for perfect long sleeves, I became completely fine with my long arms!!

My shoe size is the only thing on me that is the ‘perfect’ fashion size! At least it used to be until shoes began to be made with not standard AT ALL! At least, that is what I have decided, because I wear anything from a 6 to a 7!! But, the ‘perfect’ size foot is the 6B. That is the size that designers decided that the shoe style looks just wonderful. So, my foot, at one time, was perfect!

So, what are your 5 things you like about yourself, physically?

Courage to Like Yourself

In this insane world of social media where we have instant information and unfortunately instant opportunities to tear people down. One’s opinion is instantly agreed with or chagrined or even massacred. Everything is up to scrutiny for people who already have a low opinion of themselves its devastating.

When we compare ourselves to others who post perfect plates of food while you are eating tuna casserole made with Kraft macaroni and cheese — there’s one little dent in your world.

When we see families smiling and having fun we look around at the loneliness of solitude living or a family scattered not wanting to interact with each other. Another dent in your world.

It goes on and on–any number of instances can little by little eat away at our world. So, how do we learn to like ourselves, and our little part of the world? We begin–just like anything else we do–with evaluation. First, what do you like about yourself, physically.






Now take each of those things and write a few sentences about it. Stop right now, and do that. In fact, I’m not going any further today. But–report back and let us know what you discovered about yourself!

Break the Fashion Rules

Forever and ever we’ve been told that older women should not wear shimmer eye shadow. Why?

Shoes from Amazon, socks and fishnets by who knows where, skirt by Bryn Walker.

Because the ‘shimmer’ adds light, which then draws attention to the eyes…where the wrinkles live. I’ve just now discovered it in an eye shadow stick by Ulta, and I love it!

Pearlized fingernail polish was supposed to ‘bad for your nails’, that was what they used to say to say it’s not in fashion. It’s my favorite polish in most cases! (Wearing it right now!)

Older women should wear shorter hair styles. Why? Because longer hair takes the eye ‘down’, and that happens to be the neck, where wrinkles live. I have friends who wear longer hair, and they look great! I don’t usually go much past my shoulders because my hair is too thin and starts looking stringy, but, hey, if you have the right hair…go for it…no matter your age!

Women should always wear heels to give shape to the legs. Whoever came up with that thought process must have been a man that doesn’t have to wear heels! And, today’s heels have absolutely lost their ever loving minds! What sane person thinks that 4 inch stilettos can be worn longer than 15 minutes standing still. I’ve been wearing flats for several years now. Mind you, if I put on heels, then my ankles are a little narrower, and my feet are a little sorer. So…my feet being sore outweighs my ankles looking slimmer and my calves being shapely.

Older women can’t wear powder foundation. Why? Supposedly it settles in the (yes, that word again) wrinkles. I’ve been using Purminerals powder foundation for several years now, I may NEVER go back to liquid foundation. Why? It’s easier to use. It covers more evenly first time around. And, powder foundation today is so light, it doesn’t settle in the (here it goes) wrinkles.

Older women can’t wear pastels. Why? It washes them out. Only if it’s the wrong color for your skin tone! Wear those pastels in your color palette and you will be JUST FINE!

Older women can’t wear jeans. Why? I have no clue. Don’t even think you can take away a staple in my closet since High School! That is just not going to happen. The jeans should be a good fit, but that is true for anyone wearing jeans! Simple lines look better with the heavy denim fabric, on any age, any body type, and any personality!

We are bombarded with what we can or can not wear if we are over 50. The internet and social media needs to have lots and lots of content to fill all that space. Sometimes I wonder who in the world writes some of these articles. Basically, it’s the 21st Century, fashion magazines and fashion blogs are going out of style. Women want to feel comfortable. Women want to feel like they look their best, and frankly we all know that MOST of the styles that show up today just do not flatter women, at all. So, break the ‘rules’ that someone somewhere at some past time decided were the rules. Basically, learn what your body line, personality, and color are and how they apply to your wardrobe and you will never go wrong. You can go terribly wrong following the fashion magazines!

Do You Wear Your Faith?

I have a bracelet that has a cross, a crown, a representation of a diamond, and a heart; I love it. I have a leather bracelet that says ‘Faith’ on it. I want one that says “Courage”. I recently came across a company that does clothing and accessories depicting faith. And, what caught my eye was “Beautifully Flawed” emblazoned across a tee shirt. I am NOT a tee shirt person, so for me to purchase a tee shirt, it must be something special!

I thoroughly get behind positive companies. There are so many companies today that promote less than glamourous selections for women and girls. I see horrible sayings on clothing, suggestive words across pants and tops, and just generally clothes that I truly wonder what the fashion or style is that is trying to be depicted.

I really do wish the tee that I purchased had a jewel neckline instead of the true tee shirt ribbed neckline, that way I could wear it with to work; but, I’m still not sure that it would be work appropriate with wording across it! However, I can wear the necklaces without any problem. They have faith necklaces, with tiny beads representing the mustard seed; a gold triangle representing the Trinity and knowing that they will always be with you; a ‘Chosen’ necklace, and two key chains. One of the key chains I do love, “Be Still”, as soon as they make that as a necklace or bracelet I will get it!!

They are pretty awesome, and you really should check them out. Also, each month they choose a charity that helps women and a portion of the orders go toward that charity. So, would you wear you faith for all to see? Use the coupon code CAROLYNBENDALL and receive 15% off!

Courage to Study the Scriptures: Matthew 15

Tradition. Or, outward signs of one’s faith. Jesus was trying to teach that the ancient traditions that had developed over the years that were extensions of religious rites instituted to teach of the coming of the Savior needed to be put away.

One such was the washing of hands before certain daily tasks. In our world we think of washing hands as a simple hygiene issue. However, washing one’s hands before partaking of certain foods or other tasks was a ritual developed over many years of tradition.

Washing hands was a ritual associated with repentance, spiritual cleansing, and other similar situations. However, Sadducees and Pharisees, over the years created traditions associated with rituals. Meaning, they expanded the original rite in an attempt to prove that they were able to more faithful or offer more sacrifice. Who knows at what point things got out of hand, but it is obvious that it did. Jesus ushered in a ‘higher law’ that didn’t require the rigorous sacrifices and daily law. The people were now tasked with a higher law of simply knowing what they should be doing as opposed to offering a rite to show that were abiding by the Holy law.

When Jesus said, “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” They specifically used as the example of Christ and his disciples would eat before they washed their hands. This was a ritual washing, one of the ones that had been developed over the years. Therefore, the doctrines of men, rather than His doctrine. Why would this be something that we need to know to improve our lives today?

Our goal for this week is to look through our lives and evaluate where we have allowed the thoughts of society to interfere with the doctrine of Heavenly Father. A simple one is ‘the Sabbath Day’. Society has changed it to just another day of the week. We can make small changes to achieve major change in our lives.

Do You Dress for You, or For Haute Couture?

Are the “hottest” fashions really relevant anymore? The haute couture fashion shows are the epitome

Bryn Walker tunic, LulaRoe skirt, nude fishnets from Amazon, and Antonio Melani shoes from Dillards…complete with gaudy, silly, romantic bow!

of excess. There are those that feel they are relevant. But, the every day person lives their life completely unaware and unaffected by their presence.

I pretty much buy from three different lines, and all three have basic styles that will change color or pattern each season. And, guess what, I always feel great! I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything. Fads come and go, and the ‘pioneer’ fad is rampant right now. Many are making fun of the tiered skirts and poofy sleeves. Well, you Dramatic personalities need to back off and let us Romantics and Classics, and some Naturals, revel in our poofy sleeves and tiered skirts. I just bought not one, but two sweaters specifically because they had poofy sleeves.

I’ve lost some weight so I’ve wanted to go look in my box in the attic and see if my two tiered skirts will fit! Oh, and by the way–the ONLY reason I’m not wearing them is because they didn’t fit, not because they weren’t ‘in style’. In my world they are always in style!

I did have a tiered dress I purchased on Wish. And I loved wearing it–until it fell apart. It made me sad, but truly what did I expect for $10?!?!? So…do you think haute couture affects your fashion choices?

Courage to Apply the Scriptures: Matthew 14

“… But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes. He said, Bring them hither to me. And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full…” Matthew 14: 16 – 20 is a miracle, that many witnessed. There were thousands of people, and Jesus fed them all with just two fishes and five loaves of bread. I’ve seen this miracle. We had a Daddy/Daughter dinner and dance. We were running out of green beans. We were tasked with filling the plates while others were taking the plates out those in attendance. My job was a spoonful of green beans on each plate. We could tell the beans were waning, but there were still several tables that had not received plates. I prayed in a whisper, “fishes and loaves, Heavenly Father, fishes and loaves.” My partner that was passing the plates down the line said, “We are going to run out of green beans.” I said, “Fishes and loaves.” She then said, “Fishes and loaves.” Each time I dipped into the green tinted water I pulled up a spoonful of beans, many of them were pieces now, but it was still a spoonful. We asked, how many more, and we’d get the reply. As I was handed a plate, one of the Young Women leaders stepped inside the kitchen, “All done! Everyone has a plate!” I pulled up the spoon, it was empty. I looked at my partner, we both smiled, “fishes and loaves.” I will never forget that experience, it is so etched in my mind that I can see the spoon coming up out of the pot liquor as if it were yesterday.

Let’s delve more into the chapter, “But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, sand said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” Matthew 14: 27 – 31 provides us with another miracle that involved just one person, however, others saw it. One person desires to walk on water to meet Jesus as he was walking to the ship, and then the wind blew and he remembered where he was…his faith then gave way to fear as the Natural Man jumped in to remind Peter that water is not a solid substance, therefore, it cannot be walked on. That fear led Peter to begin to sink into the sea, a vast darkness at that time of day. Can you imagine stepping off of a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean, at night when you can’t see the horizon? Without the knowledge of a life boat being under me, that I can see, I’m not so sure I could take that first step!

Why do we doubt what the Lord can do for us? Why do we not put our full faith in those things that we need? We reach out to Him daily, many times. We feels His presence, daily. Yet, we let the winds of the world blow and remind us that we are just an everyday person, and miracles no longer happen. Until, we dip our spoon in the empty pan and lift up another spoonful of green beans.

“…And when the men of that place had knowledge of him, they sent out into all that country round about, and brought unto him all that were diseased; And besought him that they might only touch the hem of his garment; and as many as touched were made perfectly whole.” Matthew 14: 35-36, shows yet another level of faith. Many had heard of Him by now, and word reached the neighboring areas that Jesus was no in their midst. They didn’t even feel they needed to be formally healed by the Savior, if they could only touch his garment they knew he would be healed. So, they did so; and were healed.

We see three different examples of faith, and all three have action before the miracle happens. We must have faith that the miracle will happen. Faith of the disciples as they gathered the loaves and fishes, and then distributed the loaves and fishes…the pot luck tables were not full before they fed the thousands, they started with the five loaves and two fish. Peter’s faith started before he stepped off of the ship and onto the water, he didn’t wait for a bridge to appear…and his long as he focused on the Savior all was well, it wasn’t until he allowed outside forces blowing against him that his faith waned; and, yet, Jesus still put his hand out to lift Peter. Those who were in need of healing came as soon as they heard that Jesus was near, their faith started the moment they heard he was close and they went to see him. Their faith was so strong that all they wanted was to touch the hem of his garment. Now let’s take this into the spiritual, Jesus is the source of our spiritual food and no matter how much knowledge we have when we begin the journey with him, he is going to increase it beyond our own comprehension. As long we keep our focus on the Savior and not allow outside elements pull our attention away, we will stay firm. And, if by chance we fall, he will be there for us and reach out and lift us up. No matter what our temporal shortcomings, Jesus is there to heal our wounds, all of our wounds. All we need is to ask, or just reach out to touch the hem of his garment, he is there for us.

This week’s goal is to develop faith. Take that first step, and reach up; He will take your hand.