Spiritual Whirlwinds

I taught Relief Society Teachings for our Time today. My brain still feels muddled and unable to form powerful or coherent sentences. I only taught false doctrine once (hopefully only once!) when I fudged and said, “The church’s standards are different than the Lord’s Standard.” STRIKE THAT! Let’s try again, “The WORLD’S standards are different than the Lord’s standard!” Much better.

Anyhoo… as always I loved the prep time and personal thoughts that came from the Spirit. I especially want to research more about PATTERNS of righteousness which was just briefly mentioned in Elder Andersen’s talk. I loved the comments the sisters made that taught and edified me. As we were discussing the whirlwinds that we have in our life, so many were mentioned that expanded my view of things … distractions, balancing the good, sin/temptation, choices of others, trials of mortality (health, finances, relationships). Good conversation!

I especially felt compelled to focus on how the Atonement of Jesus Christ changes my heart! Yes, I am a changed mortal person because of my knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but do I recognize this and express testimony of this daily… to myself, my family, and others? Do I really “EMBRACE more deeply His love, His mercy and grace, and the powerful gifts of His Atonement”? Good questions to ponder!

Here is the handout that I enjoy keeping to remind myself of the things I learned.
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Have you seen this David Archuleta Meet the Mormons GLORIOUS video? Such an uplifting piece.

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D&C 78: 17-19

17 Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye are little children, and ye have not as yet understood how great blessings the Father hath in his own hands and prepared for you;

18 And ye cannot bear all things now; nevertheless, be of good cheer, for I will lead you along. The kingdom is yours and the blessings thereof are yours, and the riches of eternity are yours.

19 And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more.

GRACE: Part 1 – God will Provide

I woke up today with a bit of anxiety … grouchiness of some sort. It was not a restful night’s sleep.

There are many temporal matters my mind is stewing about:
– which 8+ passenger vehicle to get
– Feeling anxious to move to a new home & start organization afresh with more storage
– Jobs for Jimmy? Where does God want us? We felt so good about Maryland. Sigh…
– Flu Season? Enterovirus? I don’t have energy for anyone to get sick, especially the worry with a newborn this season.
– Last days stuff… I read too much in the news. Wars, Ebola Outbreak, boogie men, etc. KEEP MY FAMILY SAFE!
– Parenting each unique child with their strengths & weaknesses. Balancing all 6 kiddos temperaments.
– Money. Bleh. Winter Clothing for kids. Vehicles. Medical bills from baby. Braces. The BUDGET! Always $.
– Pride. I’m having vanity issues with vehicles. And wishing I felt cute in my clothes. Sigh…

But then I tell myself that FAITH is stronger than fear.
The thought: “GOD WILL PROVIDE” keeps coming to my mind.
These temporal matters will work themselves out in time.
All I need know is that if we do our part to listen to the Spirit,
we will be guided to make righteous choices for our family.

1 Nephi 17: 1-3
1 And it came to pass that we did again take our journey in the wilderness; … And we did travel and wade through much affliction in the wilderness; and our women did bear children in the wilderness.
so great were the blessings
2 And so great were the blessings of the Lord upon us, that while we did live upon raw meat in the wilderness, our women did give plenty of suck for their children, and were strong, yea, even like unto the men; and they began to bear their journeyings without murmurings.

3 And thus we see that the commandments of God must be fulfilled. And if it so be that the children of men keep the commandments of God he doth nourish them, and strengthen them, and provide means whereby they can accomplish the thing which he has commanded them; wherefore, HE DID PROVIDE means for us while we did sojourn in the wilderness.
grace nephi

During the 3 a.m. feeding for Scotland, I read part of Sheri Dew’s BYU Women’s Conference Message on Grace. It’s a powerful talk.
grace is divine powerThis message teaches me that Grace/The Savior’s Atonement
is for the every-day stuff (not just for the deepest and darkest moments in life.

The temporal matters I stew over,
the eternal matters of raising children.
The emotions I’m trying to control.
The tiredness I feel from giving to so many littles.
The priorities I’m sorting through in all moments of the day.

The Atonement of Jesus Christ is there to provide peace in all these matters.

There are mountains ahead.
But our Savior will help us climb them.
grace is divine power

Captain’s Log – Stardate: 92349.06

Family Home Evening:
Stardate: 92349.06
Location: Planet Earth
Principle: Record Keeping
Topic: Why keep a journal?
2 nephi 25 23 & 26
We talked about journals, diaries, captains’ logs, weBLOGS, book of remembrance, scrapbooks… forms of record keeping.

Jimmy has an awesome collection of personal journals from age 16. He still keeps a journal and is such a good example to me. He has been able to refer to his journals to remember blessings given or life lessons learned.

As a little girl, my parents/siblings helped me “write” in my journal before I could actually write. I wrote a few times a year … on Sundays … in my journal as an elementary school girl. I wrote a lot about boys in jr. high. I used to write in my journal almost every night as a teen & college student. It was a good way to sort out feelings… remember blessings, express gratitude (mostly… ok, occasional gripe moments included as well), bounce back from hard days… cry it out on paper, share exciting dates or activities. I don’t do as well now on a very personal ‘feelings’ journal, but I’m hoping our blog will count as a bit of a family journal that expresses my testimony to my family. “For we labor diligently to write … to persuade our children … to believe in Christ.”
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{Examples shared by http://www.ldsfamilyfun.com/ journal fhe}

The Savior emphasized the importance of keeping records:
‘And it came to pass that Jesus commanded that it should be written; therefore it was written according as he commanded’ (3 Ne. 23:6–13). One of the most valuable records is the one you keep of your own life…We urge our young people to begin today to write and keep records of all the important things in their own lives and also the lives of their descendants in the event that their parents should fail to record all the important incidents in their own lives. Your own private journal should record the way you face up to challenges that beset you.” President Spencer W. Kimball, New Era, Oct. 1975

The courageous experiences of the pioneers would be lost if not recorded in journals. Someday you may have the opportunity to go on a pioneer trek and experience for yourself some of the hardships the pioneers faced. By reading their journal stories we can learn of both the emotional struggles and physical hardships that can help us face our own trials.

“I will not try to describe how we traveled through storms of snow wind and rain, how roads had to be made, bridges built, and rafts constructed; how our poor animals had to drag on day after day with scanty food; how our camps suffered from poverty, sickness and death,” wrote Bathsheba of the Iowa trek. “… The Lord was with us, and his power was made manifest daily in our journey.” Bathsheba W. Smith, Autobiography

“What could you do better for your children and your children’s children than to record the story of your life, your triumphs over adversity, your recovery after a fall, your progress when all seemed black, your rejoicing when you had finally achieved? Some of what you write may be humdrum dates and places, but there will also be rich passages that will be quoted by your posterity.” Spencer W. Kimball, Ensign, Dec. 1980

Turn the hearts of the children to the fathers and the fathers to children.
“I am sure you will never turn your own children’s hearts more to you than you will by keeping a journal and writing your personal history. They will ultimately love to find out about your successes and your failures and your peculiarities. It will tell them a lot about themselves, too. They will get a great desire to raise a family of their own when they see what a great blessing they were to you.” Hartman Rector Jr., Ensign, May 1981

“I smell like spit-up … and I am happy”

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After a middle of the night feeding with Scotland,
I curled up in bed to get a few more hours of zzzzzzzz.
This thought came to mind,
“I smell like spit-up … and I am happy.”

I was grateful that during the pause in that thought
that I sincerely felt happy and blessed.
Despite feeling bone tired, achy from c-section recovery,
overwhelmed with housework, concerned about meeting the challenge of raising 6 kids,
God blesses me with moments of stillness … & JOY!

Arise & Seize the Day

a little newsies fun…

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The FAMILY is of God

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The principles taught in ‘The Family Is of God’ song are true. I love the message and reminder of a mother’s role. Are the things I’m teaching the children furthering the work of God in our home? I really hope our children love being a part of our family… sometimes I wonder after rough days like today. But overall, we love each other, have fun together, work together to keep things running (note… I didn’t say running smoothly!), and learn so much from our family relationships. A FAMILY IS OF GOD!
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On Friday I drove Truman to preschool & Miss Liza sang along with gusto to ‘The Family Is Of God’ Primary Song in the van. Her voice kept getting higher and higher like the Cinderella Mice. I absolutely loved it! I love that she learned the verses so well just from listening in the car. I love that she sings (a singing child is a happy child!). I love when she sings to Scotty. Anyhoo… here is part of the chorus on video:

God’s Love: warmth of heaven’s embrace

IMG_3808 copyAt first glance this may appear to look just like yesterday’s rainbow. Ah-ha… but did you see the double rainbow? I missed it in the sky… I missed it at first view on the computer … it wasn’t until I was cropping it that I noticed MORE LIGHT! Perhaps we have to glance again. . . See with spiritual eyes to recognize tender mercies and blessings from God, especially when we’re coming out of a downpour.

Rainbows remind me of God’s Love for us, as His children. He sends reminders of his tender mercies inspite of tribulation. Recently my friend Sara spoke on President Uchtdorf’s “Grateful in Any Circumstances” April 2014 Conference Address. I loved this reminder… that our ability to choose gratitude helps us feel of God’s love even more.
gratitude in any circumstance rainbowp.s. unrelated but since I figured it would rain, I left the van outside to get a free ‘wash’. I was hoping at least to get the bird poop off the doors! We love Rain. No joke though… I was driving our babysitter home today and KA-BOOM CRASH LIGHTNING THUNDER! It sounded like it hit right on the road. Who knows how close it was, but when I got home the kiddos were sure scared out of their wits. So loud. Nature is miraculous!

Temple Blessings

Last week I headed to the Mt. Timp temple for some peace… and quiet… and more peace. “Please help me know how to parent this 4-year-old” sort of prayer. “Please help me keep my head above water.”

This was a scripture that kept coming to mind… something I had shared in Relief Society the previous Sunday. As I feel the Love of God, I can share that Love with my family. Christ brings us rest and strengthens a weary heart!
ephesians 3 14 through 19

I happened to see the newest temple instruction film. I loved the music at the beginning… so jubilant and full of joy. JOY in CREATION! It mellowed a bit and the cellos came through with a message of peace and stillness. I walked out of the temple to see glorious light bursting through the trees. There is ALWAYS HOPE!
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Tonight… I escaped to the temple. I ran away. Yes, it’s true. Running away to the temple can’t be a bad thing, can it? Seeking peace and answers to prayers and love. I went to Jordan River for a change. I was tired beyond tired and feeling really super gynormous pregnant… with a sciatic acting up. An older temple worker Sister was full of smiles as I came down the escalator as she exclaimed “You look adorable!” Bless her soul forever for lifting my spirits!
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The scripture I read while waiting was this…
alma 58 10 through 13I loved the POWER of the words… the testimony of prayer and deliverance from trials … the tender mercies & miracles in this chapter… the FAITH He will bless us with … the COURAGE and MIGHT that God will give us as we rely on Him. There is ALWAYS Hope!

This sunset greeted me as I drove past the ponds in the neighborhood. Sweet is the PEACE the Gospel of Jesus Christ brings!
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FHE Lessons : Gospel Principles & Preach my Gospel

IMG_3054 copyWe just finished using the Gospel Principles manual for Family Home Evening Lessons. We started on it a few years ago. We didn’t really have any system… we’d use it when we didn’t have another topic/lesson in mind or prepared. There were some times when Jimmy would prepare a lesson from Gospel Principles and I was thinking… “We don’t need a lesson on ‘such & such deep doctrine’, we need a lesson on kindness… or service… or how to sit still for 5 seconds.” BUT … I truly know that this principle taught by Boyd K. Packer is true:
true doctrine understood
I’m really glad Jimmy persevered and finished the lessons in the book. Hannah and Abe especially liked learning new things taught, especially about the second coming of Christ and the millenium. (sidenote: Max keeps telling us that when he prays he faces East because that is where Christ will come again… also the way Moroni faces on the temple. We don’t know where he learned all these things… but he somehow connected them in his mind. Face Mecca? Aaaaaak.)

I have been wanting to do fhe lessons from Preach my Gospel. So, our new curriculum is going to be missionary related. It may take us a few years but I want to go through the teachings in Chapter 3… and the Christlike Attributes in Chapter 6. There are some great doctrines taught!
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Preparing lessons has helped me feel empowered as a parent. Our desire is to have Christ be the center of our home. So often, I feel we are far from that {with all the fighting and tantrums and wiggling and such}. But we can keep trying to bring the Spirit into our home by focusing on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I believe this!
think of the power missionaries

{p.s. pretend it’s in small print… I can hardly believe I could write this post. I just dealt with the most horrific tantrum from Truman over computer time. I determined I was going to give up and start just letting him do whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted… though I know this isn’t quality parenting. I doubt my abilities as a parent. I wonder what Heavenly Father was thinking to place me as a mother of so many strong souls. I know I can’t get discouraged… so I decided to write our FHE Experience with these lessons. I can go on. I will not give up (uhhhh, hopefully). I hope that the teachings we testify of in our home will sink deep into the hearts of each child… that they may be like Enos and remember the words of their parents. I think I’ll go to the temple and seek for that peace the Gospel brings.}