squash. Because I’m the only one in the household who does, I
get to eat them all myself, or hide them in other foods. Sometimes I
get caught. Other times — woohoo, no one notices that I mashed
squash along with potatoes.
picked a couple of those veggies last summer, knowing we were just
about to the end of the harvest, the notion of squashing things —
thoughts, negativity, difficult times — began running through
my head. As we’re building ourselves, protecting
ourselves and families from as much ugliness and harm as possible —
progressing in positive ways — there are some things to be
things that may need to be squashed are:
assumptions. I won’t repeat the old adage about making them,
but we all know that no good comes of it. I tend to squash things
together. It’s never a smart idea, if we want to keep things
simple and be of good cheer.
Feeling like I should have done more. I’m talking the
negative self-talk that goes on and on about what I should have added
to a lesson, what more I should have accomplished in my day, how many
more folks I should have helped / been of service to, and so on. And
so on. And so on.
probably get my drift. It is associated with guilt. That makes
it a foolish waste of time, for we know that guilt should only be
utilized when we have committed sin. It leads us to repentance and
forward progression. Therefore, these feelings of performance
inadequacy don’t come from the correct source. End of sermon.
But hopefully, if you do this once in a while, you can think on it
and get rid of this nasty negative choice.
Expectation of receiving praise from people. This is one of
those concepts that needs a true paradigm shift. In theory, everyone
knows this is the opposite of ego and of glorifying God. Yet, in
practice, some quietly expect something in return for their efforts:
Fulfilling assignments, performing in some creative ways, doing the
work we’re supposed to do as a woman, man, or child. In the
myriad ways of living and interacting, pride can lead us to expect
the praise of man. When “they love the praise of man more than
the praise of God” (John 12:43), folks will spend a great deal
of time feeling dissatisfied. If this one can be squashed, a more
peaceful life is guaranteed.
Just because I’m thinking something, it need not come out of my
mouth. Self-explanatory, right? A whole new discipline for someone like me, with Italian
blood, having grown up in a family (and built one of my own) where
everyone share almost everything about almost everything.
translated, on sad occasion, to a horrific case of foot-in-mouth
disease in other arenas besides the family.
go on about this one. But I have to remind myself to think, then
think again, then think again before blurting out what I’m
thinking. And sometimes, the words escape before I can shut my mouth.
Sigh … something else to keep working on, right?
Keep pushing when a time-out is needed. Literally, there are
times when I must do the Time Out thing. My physical body, or
my emotional/mental one needs the time to stop, to breathe, to focus
and gain perspective.
been an average student at this particular one, for a great deal of
my life. “Keep going!” “You can do more!”
“You can rest later!”
the wisdom has finally settled in enough to whisper differently. Or
maybe I have begun to listen to the Holy Spirit’s promptings
more than my own, “Get out of the way so I can do this!”
mentality that for whatever reason had a hold on me.
sick. Really sick. And this last time, I didn’t bounce right
back. I still haven’t, for that matter. Things are
different now. It changed my life. It has been almost two years since
my personal shift. I wish I could express, adequately, the
blessing this has been in my mortal journey.
scriptures are clear that “it is not
requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength.”
(Mosiah 4:27) Just before these words, we learn that all things
should be done in order. I’ve
learned there is wisdom in pondering over certain words in the
scriptures and applying them to myself in new ways.
order” is worth praying and studying about. Doing what we can,
but not over-doing it, is important.
are sweet lessons to learn as we shift gears, and in the process
shift our mind and heart closer to our God. He may then fill us with
more goodness. And, my dear friends, brothers, and sisters, goodness
Vickey Pahnke Taylor is a wife, mom, grandmother, teacher, author, and songwriter. Her
undergraduate study at BYU was musical theater. She has a Masters degree in interpersonal
A Billboard award-winning songwriter with hundreds of songs to her credit, she uses music as a
teaching tool. But her favorite way to use music has been to sing to her children. You should
hear the family's rousing versions of "Happy Birthday"!
In addition to three solo albums in the LDS market, she co-wrote "Women at the Well" with
Kenneth Cope and "My Beloved Christ: with Randy Kartchner. She is co-writer of the theme
song for Utah's Make-A-Wish foundation, the song for the Special Olympics program, and
EFY's theme song.
She writes for several online magazines and columns, and has authored several books. Her
website, www.goodnessmatters.com, is her way of continuing to grow goodness in the world,
pointing people gently toward Christ and eternal principles of truth.
She has spoken for the Church's various Youth and Family programs for 25 years. She and her
husband Dean have eight children and four grandchildren. She adores being a wife, mom and
grandmother. She loves flowers, brownies, cooking Italian and Southern foods, the ocean, and
laughing every chance she gets.
Vickey was baptized a member of the Church as a teenager in Virginia. She serves as gospel
doctrine teacher in her ward, and Dean serves on their stake high council.