Sunday, February 14, 2010

It is not the critic who counts

"The Widow's Mite," James Christensen


Today, I’m struggling again. My best intentions have turned to disasters. I feel misunderstood and fallen and hated. What’s that quote? "Man will suffer no greater disappointment than that he is to himself."

Yes. Oh yes.

When I kneel to pray my thoughts are crowded with, "I’m such a fool!" "When will I ever learn?" "I make a mess of everything." God is there, but I’m covering my ears and shouting my failings.

But now, I’m going to lean back, like a child against a cool pillow, and feel God’s love. And I can already hear the murmuring words of comfort— "I understand… I know life is hard…I know you’ve made mistakes… but I’ve paid the price for you. Let me in." - Michelle L.


Yeah, it's been one of those weekends. I've been trying to handle my challenges the best that I can, only to be criticized and mocked and betrayed. My wounded soul cried out, "I'm doing the best that I can, why isn't that enough?" But not loud enough for anyone to hear.

Thank goodness for a Heavenly Father who hears my prayers that go unspoken.

Thank goodness for a merciful God who reminds me that my little pipe cleaners are enough.

Thank goodness for a Savior who gently whispers, "You don't need an earthly friend; you have me right here."

Theodore Roosevelt wrote,

It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly.

I have come to terms with the fact that I cannot please everyone, but the most important person to please is my Heavenly Father. Why should I waste my time trying to satisfy those whose opinions do not really matter?

My favorite teacher, Mr. Marcus of the Standley Middle School Band, wrote,

Tasha's gifts are many, but her greatest gift is that she is, and always has been, her own person in everything she does. She is never arrogant or mean-spirited, exhibiting an easy grace that is exceedingly rare in these times....I think John Ruskin, the 19th century art critic, summed it up best in the following quote which just happens to be my favorite: "When love and skill work together - expect a masterpiece." And that's just what Tasha truly is.

So I am leaving the critics behind. I am going to remember all the people who think I am doing things just fine. I am not going to let these negative voices stop me from being myself. I am going to be the woman God wants me to be.

Do not be afraid of ridicule. The strength and peace that come from knowing God and having the comforting companionship of His Spirit will make your efforts eternally worthwhile. - Elder Robert D. Hales

And by the way, this is my 100th post. Yay!


  1. If my vote counts then I vote you are the most amazing person I've ever met!! :D

  2. Amen, feeling Jesus in your heart is amazing.I enjoyed reading your blog.


  3. I love that quote, "The critic who counts" I have it on my bathroom wall! If you ever need a hug, I am just up the street. LOVE YA!!!

  4. The 100th post, and that's when I found you! :) Henry Eyring (father of Henry B. Eyring, and a great, great, great Physical Chemist, I might add) said in response to his not winning the Nobel prize (which he really should have): "I gave it to myself long ago."

  5. Oh! I am so glad I found your blog, wow, thank you soooo much for what you shared. I did need to read this today!

  6. Oh! Also, sorry - my blog is here:

    I share it here because I think it does not show up on my blogger profile.

    Anyway, THANK YOU!

  7. Yeah. Why is it that we let the criticism weigh so much more heavily? And why do we dish out so much more of it than the praise? Interesting post.

  8. It's interesting how the Lord's timing works. I needed to read something uplifting today and it just so happened that you found mine and that led me to yours! I'm excited to follow your insights and get to know you better!

  9. Hi Tasha! I just want to say "amen" to this post--and in particular, to the part where you say you aren't going to let criticisms hold you back from being you. Part of standing for things you believe in (the big important causes but also the "little," everyday things - like an attitude of optimism, or hope, or friendliness) is standing in opposition to the people who disagree, or who are cynical about things that you are hopeful about.

    I don't know if this is the sort of thing you're dealing with right now or not, but I would like to say that cynicism, while it sometimes seems to make a lot of sense, rarely does any good, whereas kick-butt optimism and a firm belief that love can accomplish things does SO MUCH even by just existing... thanks for being someone who reminds me of that...