Friday, September 25, 2009

The Girl in a Whirl by "Dr.Sue"


The Girl in a Whirl by "Dr. Sue," & Other Things that Women Do
By Victoria Gunther with foreword by Merrilee Boyack


BACK COVER COPY:

Do you ever feel overwhelmed with life? Is your to-do list long enough to reach to the moon and back? Do you think you REALLY have to be the perfect daughter-friend-sister-wife-mother in this life? If so, this book is just the break you need. It’s full of humorous insights about being an LDS woman, family stuff, and this & that about life. And it’s not just funny—it’s encouraging too, so you won’t feel like sitting in front of the TV and watching old re-runs of Gilligan’s Island until your eyes glaze over . . .

READER COMMENTS:
Reading The Girl in Whirl is like making your way through a gift box of dark chocolates. You’re having so much fun enjoying it that you forget that it’s also good for you. Delightful witty poems,
humorous artwork, and helpful advice make this a real treat for any LDS woman.
—Jack Weyland

LDS women everywhere need The Girl in a Whirl to help us remember that we do not have to be perfect right now. The main thing we DO need is the gospel of Jesus Christ to help keep us on track. Victoria has given us a humorous look at life and taught us how to laugh at the stress that inevitably keeps knocking at our door.
—Sheila Windley Staley

There are so many pearls of wisdom and simple yet important truths taught here with love and great humor. . . . Along with the joy of humor, this book will also touch your heart as it moves you from tears of laughter to tears of understanding. I give The Girl in a Whirl two thumbs up! Well, my hubby loved it too, so that’s FOUR thumbs up!! --Merrilee Boyack (from foreword)

I LOVED this amazing book! Victoria sounds like someone who I would love to have as my next door neighbor and friend. So down to earth, so funny, so on target with gospel principals, and such a testimony! This book made me weep, it made me laugh and it set me to pondering my life. Most of all, it made me want to do a better job at being a daughter of our Heavenly Father. --Judi

You've never read a book like this. It will make you laugh out loud, give you idea after idea to jot down, and will elevate your spirit and send you on your way singing. You'll want to share it with everyone you know, and keep it on your nightstand for a daily jolt of joy. I wish I lived next door to Victoria Gunther!
--Joni Hilton


This is a book that every woman can relate to, with a message that everyone needs to hear. Victoria's writings are humorous, sensitive, and insightful, intermingled with deep, spiritual conviction. The Savior’s love is deeply felt within the pages of this book.
--Heather Denhalter


A delightful book that leaves you wanting more. The writer uses her personal experiences and wit to take you on your own trip down memory lane. We each have had experiences with day to day tasks that leave us at times wondering if it is all worth it. Victoria Gunther teaches that it is worth it and why. There were tears and laughter as I read this book but as I came to the end I was left with the feeling that I can do it! The journey through this book is time invested in becoming a better you.
--Lori Gilbertson


Vickie has an uncanny ability to combine her delightful sense of humor with wisdom and truth. Readers will likely see themselves throughout this book. But Vickie not only takes an amusing look at our foibles, she helps us to “higher ground” by providing guidance from the scriptures and modern-day prophets.
--Carolyn J. Rasmus


Like an LDS Erma Bombeck in rhyme, Vickie cuts straight to the truth in a humorous and loving way. There are great lessons contained in her poetry! Also, "Kid Gloves" makes me laugh so hard I *snort* every time I read it.
--Whitney Larson


I really loved this book. I love the pictures. They go so well with the stories and poems, which are great too. I can see myself in them and they make me laugh. . . . I will suggest this book to all the women in my Stake. It is a great book. I really could feel the Spirit as I read it. I didn't want to put this book down once I started reading it. Thanks Victoria for a wonderful, terrific, great and awesome book. I really loved it.
--Sandra Stone


EXCERPT:
The Girl in a Whirl
by “Dr. Sue”

“Look at me, look at me, look at me now!
You could do what I do if you only knew how.

I study the scriptures one hour each day.
I bake and I garden. I scrub and I pray.

I always keep all the commandments completely.

I speak to my little ones gently and sweetly.
I help in their classrooms! I sew all they wear!
I drive them to practice! I cut all their hair!


I memorize talks by the General Authorities.

I focus on things to be done by priorities.
I keep our home organized, clean, and attractive.

I drop by with goodies and see the less active.

I play the piano! I bless with my talents!
My toilets all sparkle! My checkbooks all balance!

Each week every child gets a one-on-one date.

I attend all my meetings (on time! Never late!)

I’m taking a class on the teachings of Paul,
But that is not all! Oh, no. That is not all . . .


I track my bad habits ’til each is abolished.
I floss every day! And my toenails are polished!
Our family home evenings are always delightful.

The lessons I give are both fun and insightful.

I do genealogy faithfully, too.

It’s easy to do all the things that I do!

I rise each day early, refreshed, and awake.

I’ve learned all the names of the youth in my stake!

I read to my children! I help all my neighbors!

I bless the community, too, with my labors.
I write in my journal! I sing in the choir!
Each day, I write “thank you’s” to those I admire.


I exercise and I cook menus gourmet.

My visiting teaching is done the first day!

(I also go do it for someone who missed hers.
I love filling in for my cherished ward sisters.)

I chart resolutions and check off each goal.
I seek each “lost lamb” on my Primary roll.

I bottle our produce each summer and fall.
But that is not all! Oh, no. That is not all . . .


I went back to school to update my degree.

My studying earned me a new Ph.D.

I split with the sisters who cover our ward

To spread the glad truth that the gospel’s restored.


I go to the temple at least once a week.

I make my girls’ prom dresses—modest, yet chic.
My sons were all Eagles when they were fourteen!
My kids get straight A’s! And their bedrooms are clean!


I have my own business to help earn some money.

I always look beautifully groomed for my honey.

I grind my own wheat and I bake all our bread.

I plan our nutritious meals six months ahead.


I make sure I rotate our two-year’s supply.
My shopping for Christmas is done by July!
(It’s out of the way early on for a reason.

I then can prepare for the real Christmas season.)

These things are not hard. It is good if you do them.

You can if you try! Set goals and pursue them!
It’s easy to do all the things that I do!

If you plan and work smart, you can do them all too!


It’s easy!” she said.
And then . . .

. . . she dropped dead.


Yep. Sadly, she kicked the bucket. Well, she probably kicked the mop bucket. I guess we can’t say she bit the dust, because you know that wherever she’s been, there wouldn’t be one single speck
of dust left for her to bite, right? But whether she kicked or bit or what, she’s gone. And you know why? Because it’s impossible for anyone to do all those things at one time, and that includes the Girl in a Whirl!

We just think it probably should be possible. And even though we aren’t quite able to do all that yet, deep down, we seem to believe that somewhere out there, other women somehow are. Well, I have an important news flash for you: Any woman like the Girl in a Whirl ONLY exists on the unreality TV shows of the Pamela Perfect Utopia Channel. I know you’ve probably heard highly reliable rumors of a not-too-distant ward where she actually lives and breathes, working organizational miracles on a daily basis. But the woman is just a myth, despite your firsthand
knowledge that your visiting teacher’s sister-in-law’s manicurist knows her well, and can vouch for her ongoing perfectitude.

Okay, hopefully, that takes care of her, then. But here’s the real question. Oh, sisters, why do we feel like we need to be like that, anyway? Why do we feel guilty, or second-rate, or like we’re just
not good enough despite what we do, because of everything we don’t manage to do? It’s like we have this demented little alarm system in the back of our brains screaming, “In order to be good enough, I need to do and be everything that anyone might possibly expect of me, plus work on every single one of life’s vitally important issues and purposes—all TODAY!”

Well, I have another news flash for you, and it’s a real one this time. In fact, it’s the good news—the best news in all of eternity. Because of our Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness (isn’t it so sweet how Alma calls it that?), and what our Savior did for us, He can make sure we are definitely good enough. Perfect, in fact. Sounds hard to believe, doesn’t it? But that IS what it says right here in Moroni 10:32:

Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.

When we break this down, it’s an invitation for us to come to Christ and let His grace make us PERFECT in Him, which, by the way, is way different than the kind of “perfect” some of us
think of when we hear the word. This one is something we can actually do! When we really look at the things Moroni talks about there, we realize that they’re so completely doable—nothing like
all the crazy stuff that goes on in our heads about what all we think we supposedly have to be and do.

Okay, so here’s what Moroni counsels us to do:
1. Come to Christ: Not hard. Just learning about what He’s truly like is enough to make you want to do that anyway.

2. Deny yourself of all ungodliness: Well, that might take a little bit of trying, depending on
the circumstances. But who wants all that crud, anyway? Really, once you start to pull away from
things that are ungodly, unholy, unclean, and all, it feels soooooo much better. It’s sort of like you were having what you thought was a nice, little swim, but when someone helps you out and you look back, you see that you were actually swimming in the sewer. Eeew! Once you’ve climbed out and are far enough away to really see it, you recognize that it’s nothing worth going back to.

3. Love God: This one is easy. Heavenly Father is kind, good, merciful, just, powerful, loves you
more than anything, and is Someone you can trust completely, since He will make all things
work together for your good. (And no, that doesn’t mean nothing hard or “bad” ever happens. It just means He will use it to bless your life in one way or another.)

4. Number 4? What’s number 4? Is there SUPPOSED to be a number 4? Oh. I guess not.
Well, that’s it then. Just three little items on the list and that’s all!

Now, here’s the point I’d like to make about all this. It’s that you can stop worrying or being stressed or depressed or demotivated or fearful or whatever it is you get, over how much you can’t do. You can come to Christ. He is so loving and kind. He just wants you to start right where you are and come, as it says so simply in this part of one of my favorite scriptures: “Whosoever will come, may come” (Alma 42:27; emphasis added). You don’t need to worry about whether or not He’ll accept you. He will. The only question is if you will go to Him.

Once you do, He’ll even help you work on the next part, which is denying yourself of all ungodliness. That’s also something you can do. And you’ll be so glad once you do! That will open up all kinds of possibilities to you that you don’t have now, mainly through the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. And if that doesn’t sound very exciting, that’s okay, because just wait until you try out how it feels. Incredible. The best thing ever. Seriously. And one day pretty soon here, you’re going to think back on this and say, “Wow! That was really the truth! I had no idea this was so amazing.” So yes, you can deny yourself all ungodliness and you will want to.

If you need help understanding what any ungodliness in your life might be, you could check out some simple standards in For the Strength of Youth. Although it is written for the youth, in our stake, our leaders spent a year discussing it with the stake. They called it For the Strength of YOU, meaning all of us, since it contains basic standards for those who desire to be pure in heart and in action. If you need more help, or maybe even better help, ask your Heavenly Father. If you really want to know what you should do about your life right now and where you should start, He’s the best one to ask. He not only knows you perfectly, but He’s so wonderful to
work with. He won’t overwhelm you with 387 things you need to do right now. Typically, if you ask Him that question, you will most likely feel a gentle “pressing” within your heart or have a
thought that will make you consider something you should stop doing, that you already knew anyway, at which point, you will say, “So, how do I know this isn’t just me?” Well, it probably isn’t just you, because when you ask Heavenly Father sincerely, He is glad that you want to repent, and He is happy to answer you. However, sometimes when you already clearly know something, that is the answer, and you really do need to start working on that. You know
it and He knows it. So start there and stick with it. It will be so worth it! You can do this!

Lastly, loving God is also something we can do. One way we show Him that is by doing our best to live His commandments (see John 14:15). And by the way, when we say we are “keeping
His commandments,” that doesn’t mean we are perfectly and completely doing every single thing He has ever asked us to do. I believe, though, that it does mean we won’t weigh out whether or not we want to do something the Lord has asked of us, and deliberately decide to break that particular commandment just because we really want to.

Other ways we can show our love for God include being kind, loving, and helpful to others, and learning about Him through the things He’s given us to do that, like the scriptures and the
testimonies and counsel of living prophets. We also show Him by telling Him we love Him when we pray, and by spending time with Him as we pray. The thing is, when we do any of these things, He blesses us and usually makes us feel good to let us know we’re doing good. And it helps us want to do good even more.

So does all this sound hard? It really isn’t. Truthfully, though, sometimes some things about our lives will be hard, because that’s just part of the process. Something our Father in Heaven wants
us to learn is that regardless of how things look, we can still trust Him—trust that He knows what He’s doing with our lives, and that He knows how we need to grow to become who we’re meant to be. We need to come to the point where we have so much faith in Him, that we will always choose Him, so matter what. So if something really hard happens in our lives, will we still love God and choose Him, or not? Will we still love Him even if—well, even if anything? What He wants is for us to give Him our hearts. He’ll still want them even if they’re broken, you know. Actually, especially if they’re broken. But the good thing is, He’ll fix them for us, too—and not because we’ll be mad at Him if He doesn’t do it quick enough, or if it looks like He might not do it at all, but because we’ll love Him forever, whether He does it or not, and come what may. Oh, but don’t worry. He will eventually heal your heart. That’s one of His specialties!

But those three little steps back there to becoming perfect in Christ? They really aren’t that hard, especially not with everything we receive in exchange. The most marvelous thing of all is that
after you’ve done that for a while, heaven itself is going to tell you that you’re doing a great job, and that you are loved. And then you’re probably going to look around at everything you didn’t get done, or could have done, or at least maybe should have done and say, “Is this being addressed to me? How could it be? I’m trying, but in my opinion, I just barely get by. I’m nowhere near good enough!”

Yet, somehow, through the beautiful plan of happiness, if you’ve come to the Savior and repented and given Him your heart, if you love your Heavenly Father and love and bless His children, and if you are pure in heart because you have denied yourself all ungodliness, you really and truly are good enough for “his grace [to be] sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in
Christ” (Moroni 10:32).

Suddenly, you will actually feel good enough (in a humble sort of way, of course), because in a bigger way than anything that’s ever happened to you before, you will know and feel how loved
you are. That will make you want to treat everyone else the way this incredible love inside you makes you feel. That’s what charity is. It’s the love Heavenly Father gives to all those who are true followers of His Son (see Moroni 7:48). And once you feel that tremendous, incredible love from Him, then you have it inside you to give to others. Plus, you will know how, and you will want to.

Then you just stick with it. As you do, you’ll find that living the gospel and loving people is much easier than it used to be. You’ll have changed so much that you’ll be more like Christ, because
that’s just what being His faithful follower does to a person. Plus, you’ll have the companionship of the Holy Ghost—that incredible feeling of warmth and comfort—on an ongoing basis. That will be your reward for sticking with it. Of course, there will always be things to deal with of one kind or another. That’s life. But knowing how loved you are, and having the Holy Ghost with you makes life very sweet. It is worth it! And it is something we actually CAN do (unlike all that overwhelming, depressing, unrealistic stuff we sometimes think we have to do). So, let’s all do this! Let’s all come unto Christ, and have all this good stuff happen to us. What a great plan!

1 comment:

  1. I work with the young women now, and will pass the book's core message on to them so they might loosen whatever seed of "perfectitude" that may be sprouting within. Striving for perfection is not about knocking yourself out doing and doing and doing. It's not about endless comparisons with other women. Thanks for giving us this very necessary message.

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