I believe we all have talents that we have been blessed with, to make the world a better place.  

Even in my twenties, I remember thinking “What talents? I don’t dance, play the violin, or piano very well anymore…” Now I laugh to think that it still hadn’t occurred to me that talents can be more than just a musical instrument. Talents are so many different things, not just the lessons we take when we are children. I think those lessons have a place in our lives, helping us to find confidence in ourselves and making good memories – but they are not the only way we can share a piece of who we are.

I spent many years focused on having a family. We went through some really hard things, just as all married people do, but these challenges defined who I am now. I learned to be grateful for blessings, and gained the talent of really understanding people around me that were struggling in different ways. This was a blessing.  

When I was ready, I started volunteering a little in my kids schools – but not very much. A few years later, I started volunteering a bit with Barbara, at United Way. I didn’t feel like I had much to share, because I was “just a mom” but that was very untrue. Mother’s are what drive the community, and the world. I will never again think I’m, “Just a mom.”  

There is no such thing.

After a little while longer, and feeling like I wasn’t doing too much to help at United Way, Barbara started Help Me Grow, in Utah – a non profit that connects families with resources in the community. Barbara felt like the parent’s voice was largely unheard in the circles of the “professionals” and invited me as a “parent champion” to the Help Me Grow National convention. I was shocked to see how right she was. I was representing the parents voice, to doctors, teachers, community leaders etc. – AND they were listening, like I was a pro. I remember apologizing to some of the physicians for my lack of education, as if I had done something wrong, being in their presence.

I came home from that trip, with a better understanding that a mother’s voice does matter. I continued serving where and when I could, and eventually was asked to be on the board of United Way. I remember the first time I walked into their board room on the top floor of the Nu Skin tower, wondering where all of the women were, and feeling like they probably wouldn’t listen to anything I had to say, if I dared say anything at all.  I was pleasantly surprised when some other women entered the room, that I admired. They even let me know that they wanted more women on the board to even it out. I respected this, because I felt respected and welcome.

About a year later, (a few months ago) I was asked to interview for a position on the National Parent’s Alliance of Children’s Trust Funds. I was so nervous because it sounded so professional. There were six people on the phone call, from all over the country, that I was to interview with. The call would be recorded, so they could all review it later and pick the right candidate. I had no idea what I was even interviewing for. After the call was over, I was sweating bad. They asked questions that I really wanted to answer well.  

I was chosen of one of two people to make up a team of 6 that lead this group of parents voices across the nation. I couldn’t believe it.

Because of this, and my involvement in the business community, I have recently been asked to be part owner of a company, yourfreetree.com that is letting me have access to one million dollars a year in service, cash, and marketing – to give to charities that I believe are a good fit. What a dream job! It all came because I spent time doing what I love, working with and building people in my life and on social media. I also get to help the people in our janitorial business, and represent fun businesses like Thanksgiving Point to get families ability to use their awesome place.

I am a firm believer that if we are engaged in things we love, the passion will drive us to places we can’t even imagine. Heavenly Father knows our talents and abilities – we just have to be strong enough to figure them out for ourselves, and trust ourselves. I hope that I can spread this message with others, so that they can pursue their dreams. I hope that by giving myself that allowance to dream, I give others that same ability – especially my children.

I love being a mother, and I also love developing my talents. I don’t believe it has to be either or, but I do think you have to work hard to do both. It is worth it. There were times when I couldn’t do anything but survive in my life, and that is okay. We all have a feeling inside when it is time to reach a little higher, and work a little more.  

I don’t feel guilty about working on my talents, because I am only making my life better and my children are an extension of me.