Lately...I have read some great books that have helped me do do both:
Odds Are, You're Going to Be Exalted: Evidence That the Plan of Salvation Works by Alonzo L. Gaskill
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
My Goodreads review:
This is a phenomenal book that has changed my perspective. I would recommend it to any Latter-day Saint and anyone who believes that they are too flawed to lay hold on the Atonement of Jesus Christ for hope for salvation. Excellent!
More on why I loved this book:
Ok, aside from the goofy title (and don't let that make you think this isn't for you), this book made a huge impact on me. It's so easy to look at all of my imperfections and think that there is just no way I will ever qualify for exaltation. But this book made me change my thinking. It helped me to see that the fact that I am hoping, trying and praying to make it back to Father in Heaven is great. I may be imperfect and there are good reasons to keep working on the things that I don't like about myself, but the fact that I am imperfect doesn't disqualify me to apply to the Atonement of Jesus Christ. We studied this book with my parents and brothers and sisters via video conference. This is on my list of books that can change your life.
Wake Up to a Happier Life: Finding Joy in the Work You Do Every Day by Amanda Dickson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I didn't review this book on Goodreads, because I didn't really think it was a phenomenal book. I enjoyed Amanda Dickson's real voice and and thought she made a lot of very, very good points, but thought she probably could have made her points with less words. Having said that...I must say that this book came to me at the right time for what I was feeling and struggling with. Sometimes I wonder if I am the worst mother ever or if my kids would be better off with a different mom. That sounds horrible, but it is true. I have seriously said to Dr. D that it might be better for him and the kids if I died in a horrific accident so that he could have a better wife and that our kids could have a better mother. But one of Amanda Dickson's major points was that you are the best person for your job (whatever it is) because you ARE the person doing that job. I am the best person to take care of my kids, because I AM their mother. She made me realize that I can choose to be thrilled and happy and positive about my life and that it's something I can do now. I don't have to wait for some event before I can really start enjoying my life. As I said it was what I needed to hear when I needed to hear it.
I wanted to write all of this down to put in into words and to, hopefully, remind myself of some of the things I learned. Both books taught me lessons that I hope will effect my decisions and will allow me to stop being so hard on myself and start focusing on what is good and right about me and what I am doing. Boy am I grateful for good books!