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Friday, November 30, 2012

Exciting Times

#1 has been planning on a mission for awhile now. She's talked about it and planned on it. We had a few years to think and plan, so it was all good. THAT was before October.

On the first Saturday in October at the General Conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, this announcement was made:

For as long as I can remember, young men have had to be 19 and young women, 21 to serve missions. This was a very thrilling and unexpected announcement.

To be honest, I was at a child's soccer game on that bright, sunny October morning. I was texted by #3 who was home watching Conference. She shared the announcement. When I read it, I thought it was a joke, but then I thought, "Why would this be a joke? It could be true."

This had some HUGE implications for us as a family. #1 would turn 19 in a month. #1 had been planning on a mission already. Woah! As I started to put the pieces together, I had a joyful feeling in my heart. This opened up a whole new option. Suddenly, life was different.

I texted #1, who was in Salt Lake City with a friend at the friend's grandmother's house watching Conference. I wrote: "Are you planning on turning in some mission papers?" Her response: "Hmm....I was thinking about it. :)"

I remember that day I walked around with this ecstatic feeling but at the same time, there was this rock in my stomach. How were we ever going to afford such a thing? I finally decided that that wasn't mine to worry about. If the Lord wanted her, He'd get us there on His time. It would be okay.

I pondered and pondered on how we'd get the money and where it would come from. I guess I had to do that. I had to be secure in our weakness so that when the time came that the money appeared, I'd really know where it came from and would see the miracle that it was.

I got home and spoke with the Warden. We were very much on the same page.

One thing this would do for us is it would space out our missionaries. #2 will go after #1 gets back. If it had stayed at 19 and 21, they would have been gone at the same time.

One thing I needed to know was how much a mission cost. I searched online and found that a missionary pays $400 a month to go out and serve the world. Hmm. That didn't seem so bad. I started to crunch numbers and found that for a young woman to serve her 18-month term, it would be $7200. Okay, again, not going to kill us.

It was then that I went to our bank accounts to assess where we are in savings both our family accounts and our children's accounts. It was then that I saw the miracle. There it was....sitting there....the exact amount she needed. The amazing thing was it wasn't even in our savings. It was money we'd set aside for other things. It was saved for other things, but it was there. Was it ours to sacrifice?

Of course, #1 was away at school, and this was all hers to plan. It was ours to support. It was just nice to know that we could do that without reservation. When she was ready to go, we'd be ready too.

The next few weeks were full of excitement. She decided that she wanted to go another term and finish out the school year. That would eliminate half of that money, and she'd have to re-earn it. She was okay with that. She went to see her bishop and got the process started. She started filling out her mission papers. They're all online now, which is fabulous.

I know. I know...the bangs!
To make sure her heart was in the right place, I gave her the same test I gave myself at that point in my life: "If you were called to the Oregon Portland Mission, would you still go?" Her response: "I'll go wherever the Lord sends me." Good girl!

The other morning I received a text stating that she'd been talking to one of her roommates and her roommate asked what she had against just staying home next semester. She said, "I couldn't think of a reason."

Woah! This was something I didn't expect. This meant there were a whole new set of options. She could get her medical and dental stuff done a bit more casually--not have to cram it all into the few weeks she would have been home for Christmas break. This meant she could interview with OUR bishop and stake president. This meant she could come home and earn money, which has been a huge thing sitting there in the back of my mind since this whole thing began--I want her to feel that she has invested a big portion of herself into this experience. I just feel it will mean more to her. This also means she can put her papers in earlier than originally expected.

image: imperialsenate.wordpress.com
We sat and crunched numbers last night. Minimum wage in Oregon is $8.95. I told her that if she started working the moment she arrived home, she'd only have to work for ten weeks in order to be ready financially. "Heck. If you had to, you could flip burgers at McDonald's for ten weeks and still make it. That wouldn't even be three months."

So, the fun begins. We have two weeks to prepare for her return. Now the big question, who's going to share their room?

Sleep Test Results

image: simply-american.net
I slept like a ROCK last night. First time in FOREVER, and it felt so good!

Finally got the results from my sleep test. It feels like it was eons ago, but they called the other day and told me what I was TOTALLY not expecting. I thought they'd say it was that I didn't have sleep apnea. I put of making the appointment just because I KNEW I didn't have it. I thought it was a complete waste of time.

Well, it ends up that I have MILD sleep apnea. That makes me happy. I mean, I knew it wasn't severe. I also now get how I'm ALWAYS tired.

image: knowabouthealth.com
The woman on the phone told me that I stopped breathing six times. I'm thinking, yah, okay, not a biggie. Six times isn't a big deal. I can handle that, but yesterday the results arrived in the mail, and I got to peruse it a bit closer. It ends up that it's six times AN HOUR. What?!

So, yah. Still mild, but that WAY explains the tiredness, wouldn't you say?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Putting Up My Own Retaining Walls

After yesterday's experience with my son, I got to thinking about how that relates to upward spiraling (a recurring topic for this past year). Just like all of us, my children are experiencing erosion. The world drags them down. Their own inaction on some things is really not inaction at all, nothing in this world stands still.

I've been thinking about these words, "The natural man is an enemy to God," and I've thought about how what we should be doing here, what will cause an upward spiral in life, will be to fight against our own nature--to try to become more like God--to fight our own selfish desires and strive to help others.

I realized that my purpose as a mother is to help my children and direct them in what will decrease and even reverse the erosion in their lives. I need to help them learn to defy gravity and fly. I need to make sure that I provide EVERY opportunity that will put them in good places to learn and grow.

The example I set for them is one way to do this but another way is to help them set their own boundaries.

image: dmterrill.com
We have need of a retaining wall in our backyard. We've needed it for years, to be honest. With other priorities, this one need has been pushed to the wayside over and over again. So, as you can imagine, the hill of dirt, continues to succumb to gravity. There must be a wall that is well-braced, there to hold the dirt up to keep that hill from hurting our house.

So, the big question....When will I decide that that wall should be a higher priority? When will it reach the top of my list? When will enough be enough? Will I let it get to the point of damaging our home? In other words, when will I hit rock bottom? When I be ready to improve the current situation? Clearly, not yet.

image: kimberlyriggins.com
Since yesterday, I've been thinking about rules, boundaries, and priorities. I wonder, do I have limitations in my life that keep me safe? Are my children aware of my "code of conduct?" Do they see that I do the things I do because I want my life to be better today than it was yesterday, and do they see that I understand that I, in almost every way possible, control that outcome?

It seems that so many in our day don't have these rules. They kind of let nature or karma or fate or whatever you want to call it, control and direct their lives.

image: flickr.com
There was a woman who once owned a cat. That cat was all over the neighborhood. The first time we came in contact with the cat, it was up, nearly a mile's walk away, at the elementary school. Since the street the school is located on is fairly busy, I thought it might not be a great place for an animal to just roam free, so I lured it to follow us. As we went, I asked the people who passed if they knew where the cat lived. We were directed to the street right across from our own. I was surprised at how far she'd wandered.

When we walked the kitten to the door, the woman answered. She explained that whatever happened to the cat would be God's will and opened her door to let the cat in. She thanked us and expressed that because we'd brought the cat home, it must have been God's will. Hmm....Interesting. I had never looked at things that way before.

I believe that there are circumstances in our lives that happen and that there are things that are brought about because they are God's will for us, but if I were to approach life in that same manner, my personality being what it is, I think I would just sit back and wait for life to happen around me. How would I be motivated to do anything if all that happened to me was just God's will?

image: news.bbc.co.uk
Erosion is caused by sitting back and letting it happen. When I first brought the idea of an upward spiral to my husband, he told me about a classroom lesson he'd sat in on just the week prior to that and how they'd discussed the very topic--interesting timing, no? He said that they'd concluded that in order to reverse erosion, something had to be added to it. There had to be something new done to the land or added in to make it stop and improve the circumstances.

In other words, some kind of retaining wall or similar device needed to be added to hold back the erosion, but it was concluded that there was nothing in this world that could really halt erosion altogether.

image: drses.blogspot.com
So, as this year comes to a conclusion, that's what I've finally figured out....There is no way to stop erosion on our own. The downward spiral is inevitable, but each of us, at some point, need to decide where our rock bottom is. We need to, then, reach for something beyond this world. Once we do, the upward spiral can begin and will be as strong as our reach.

As a mother, my job is to help my children decide what their retaining walls will be until they can decide for themselves to reach upward, beyond this world--heavenward. My job is to teach them how, but I need to be doing it myself first.

So, have I decided that enough is enough? Have I hit rock bottom? As soon as I have, I can begin to build my limits so I don't end up at that same point of erosion again. Once my limits are built, it's time to reach heavenward. The upward spiral in my life will be just as strong as my reach toward heaven. That's what I've finally concluded.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Some Things are Just Worth It

image: ldswhy.com
One of our children can never find what he needs the most when he needs it the most. This morning it was a shirt for church. I'm finding with my boys that if they don't have one part of what they need, they get hung up on that one thing and it holds back the progress in all other areas as well. For example, because he didn't have a shirt, even though he had the pants, socks, shoes, etc., nothing got changed into. I think, for me, if I had the same problem, I'd put my pants, socks and shoes on until I could find the shirt, but not my boys. Because I'm not that same way, it's a bit frustrating for me.

image: templates.advancedesol.com
The rule I have for my kids is that the problem is theirs. They need to find what they're looking for. If they ask for my help, and I can help, I will, but only if they are actively trying to help themselves while I'm helping them. I'm not about to steal the learning opportunity from them.

There have been a number of times when I've jumped in to help, when asked, and the child has just walked out of the room leaving me to do what needs to be done. Oh no...that's not how it's going to happen. If they quit, so do I.

So, this morning, a similar thing happened, and I just said, "Sorry, you're on your own."

image: wnydealsandtodos.com
The child sat in the upstairs hallway in his jammies. I was determined that this was how it was going to be. Plans started being made for leaving this child at home while the rest of us headed to church. I was all set to do that.

image: ezrachurch.com
As the time approached to leave, we were about two minutes from time of departure, and I had this sudden tugging at my heart. I could suddenly see the bigger picture. What was I teaching my son? Was this a lesson I wanted him to learn--that if he couldn't find his stuff, he could just quit, even when it's something as important as going to church? Something that could bring him closer to Christ?

This was definitely something that was worth battling for. What I really wanted to teach him was that church needs to be a high priority. It's something that we do no matter what--even if you have to go in your pajamas, you go where you can become a better person, where your own life can be enriched like no place else.

I went upstairs and told him he was going to church and that I was going to help him get there because I knew how important it is to do so. He could go in his pajamas, or we could look until we found his shirt. He gave me a shocked look, but I told him that some things were worth battling for. This was one of those things. He got up and no argument was given, but I could see that he had also given up and was planning on staying home. He had to change his plans suddenly. We went in search of the shirt.

I hollered down to the Warden that he should take the other kids and go and that we would come in the other car later when we got things figured out. The rest of the family got into the car and left.

image: howdoesshe.com
I went into the laundry room and started sorting laundry. I had him help me. Sure enough, in the last little bit of laundry, there they were--two shirts worthy of church--the only two he owned. Funny thing is, you only wear one a week, so I'm pretty sure this was just his way of cleaning his room this past week--anything on the floor goes to the laundry. Ugh!

image: mycardclub.com
I learned something very valuable from this little experience. First of all, it's important that I have my priorities and that I have a solid basis for those priorities--enough so that I can clearly teach my children why those things are important to me. Second, I felt that the reason why I was able to exert my will in this case and have him accept it so well is because I don't exert my will very often. In some ways, it's kind of like a bank account. He is allowed choices in nearly everything he does. I allow him to decide and exercise his agency daily, moment by moment. Because I've built up so many deposits into his account, sometimes it's okay for me to make a withdrawal. The great thing was, I felt I could do so without causing a deficit.

image: objectsblog.com
I was grateful today for the opportunity to teach my son what is really important to me. I hope that he will gain that understanding as well. I hope that he will gain it to the point that someday finding his stuff beforehand will become a sign that this is important to him too.

Sometimes I guess the underlying message is much more important than the immediate consequence. It's all a matter of priorities.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Trade Offs

I have to admit, when I started the first list on the Gratitude Challenge, I wrote "the ability to have children," and immediately thought of who might read this list and how it might make them sad, so I took it off. As I continued my list, I wondered as I wrote my list how many people's feelings I would hurt. Isn't that sad? I hesitate to count my blessings because of worry of how others will perceive them? I'm thinking this comparison thing is human nature, but that doesn't mean it's right.

image: akirathedon.com
I am grateful for these things, but I also find that these are MY things to be grateful for. These are the things that make MY life rich. We should NEVER compare our blessings with those of others. We each have our own package. If we didn't, we'd all be the same person--BORING!

image: lamistymoon.blogspot.com
This pondering this morning has just made me very aware that we're all sent here with our own package of gifts, blessings, challenges and trials. These things form us each into who we are. When we look at another's package and are jealous or resentful, we're denying what makes us us--individuals. 

Others' lives may look so perfect, but they're not. That's just not how life is.

image: http://mste.illinois.edu
It was interesting. I have a friend who is truly gifted in a very interesting way. I love watching her in action. She can put things together flawlessly. She doesn't miss a single thing. Every "i" is dotted and every "t" is crossed. She's truly amazing! Another friend brought to my attention that those who have strong gifts in one area, which honestly, I believe we all do, lack in other areas equally. I got to thinking about this and realized that this same amazing friend has real struggles when it comes to personal interactions. There's a trade off.

image: inmagine.com
We all have these trade offs in our lives. We all have reasons to be admired and reasons to be pitied. We just need to cheer for each others' successes and be ready to help and lift with each others' weaknesses. That's why we have what we do--to share and to bless the lives of others. That's the point of life. If we sit around comparing and feeling sorry for ourselves (in comparing, you always come up the loser), we're missing the point.

Take the Challenge

Are you ready for this?....

image: facebook.com/ldsseminary

Physical traits

  1. My eyes that attracted my husband to me
  2. My dimples that add a bit of variety to my face
  3. That my legs and arms work
  4. That I can see
  5. That I can hear 
  6. The ability to process food
  7. The ability to bear children
  8. That my lungs work
  9. That my heart works
  10. That my bones and muscles work without too much complaint

Material possessions

  1. Our big ol' van
  2. The two other cars so that we can get around without the big ol' van
  3. Our home
  4. Cell phones that keep us connected when we're not together
  5. Computer for the same reason
  6. Washer and dryer - can't even imagine what it would have been like to be a pioneer
  7. Dishwasher
  8. My big, comfy bed
  9. Toys that entertain my kids
  10. Our yard

Living people

  1. My husband
  2. Shall I just number them? #1
  3. #2
  4. #3
  5. #4
  6. #5
  7. #6
  8. #7
  9. My dad
  10. Wow! How do you choose one last person on this list?! Can I just say my brothers and my sister? No? That's cheating? Can I just list my children all on one number? No? Okay....Hmm....Okay, I'm going to choose....Jesus Christ. I started to put Him on my deceased list, but then I realized that that wasn't quite right. I am grateful that He lives.

Deceased people - In making this list, I'm realizing that I really don't know that many deceased people personally, so other than my mom, I guess I have to choose people I've never met or can't remember meeting.

  1. My mom
  2. My grandmother who I'm named for
  3. My grandmother who I'm intrigued by
  4. Captain Moroni
  5. Benjamin Franklin
  6. Ronald Reagan
  7. Gordon B. Hinckley
  8. Joseph Smith
  9. Brigham Young
  10. Ezra Taft Benson

Things about nature

  1. Blossoms on trees in the springtime
  2. Snow
  3. Rain
  4. Blue skies
  5. Hummingbirds
  6. Green grass
  7. Pine trees
  8. The color of autumn leaves
  9. That all things can reproduce themselves
  10. Butterflies

Things about today

  1. Having my family home
  2. Working together to prepare for Thanksgiving
  3. A warm house to live in
  4. Feeling good - no one is ill
  5. That #1 is getting to spend the day with some of the best people on this earth
  6. Having a store where I can go purchase things for my family
  7. Going to the temple
  8. Getting to read to my kids
  9. Today is a new day, and I can do better than yesterday
  10. Spending some quality time with my family

Places on earth

  1. My home
  2. The temple
  3. Disneyland
  4. The Columbia River Gorge
  5. The Oregon coast
  6. Japan - specifically those cities where I lived on my mission--Aomori, Yamagata, and Sendai
  7. Paraguay - where my husband served and became the man he is today
  8. Libraries
  9. Hospitals
  10. Churches

Modern inventions

  1. Computers
  2. Cars
  3. Telephones
  4. Washers and dryers
  5. Musical instruments
  6. Grocery carts
  7. Stoves
  8. Ovens
  9. Dishwashers
  10. Refrigerators


  1. Sh'yah, as if you didn't know....NUTELLA
  2. Chocolate
  3. Watermelon
  4. Ice cream
  5. Tacos
  6. Pizza
  7. Cheese
  8. Corn on the cob
  9. Berries - all kinds
  10. Barbecued chicken

Things about the gospel

  1. The Atonement - that I can start over and try again
  2. Understanding the I am God's daughter
  3. That God knows me personally
  4. That Jesus Christ and his Atonement are my ties to heaven
  5. That there is a purpose in all things
  6. That I'm not really in control
  7. The Book of Mormon
  8. That I can and do receive messages just for me through the Holy Spirit
  9. The temple - that I can be with my family FOREVER
  10. That there is hope

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Week Ahead: Getting Back Up to Speed--Day 5 and Follow Up on Day 4

Day 5 Assignment

::Get dressed in something that makes you feel great.
::Set the timer for 10 minutes and remove your couch cushions and clean out any crumbs, toys, or other miscellaneous items you find.Use an attachment on your vacuum to vacuum the cushions, underneath the cushions, and all crevices of your furniture. Spot clean the fabric, if needed.
::Set the timer for at least 15 minutes and do something you really enjoy and that relaxes and rejuvenates you. If you need ideas, here are a few: read, write, call a friend, pray, exercise, bake, play with your children, laugh with your husband, stop by the bookstore and browse the book selection, work in the garden, or take a nap! Take some time to just stop and enjoy life today!
Quick follow up on day 4:  I have to confess, I have delegated some of the things I've wanted to accomplish. Is that cheating? My bathrooms got cleaned on day 4, but by #3. She's really a great cleaner, and I just didn't have the time to retreat to the bathrooms that day. Under the furniture is cleaned out. All, that is, but under the bed in my bedroom. It's not terrible, like I shared on the "day 4" post, but it could use some help. I think when I have kids home tomorrow, that's what I'm going to do.

Now, on to day 5.....

Here's a little recap of this week's goals:
Family/Marriage/Mothering Goals
image: amazon.com
1. Read seven more chapters of Harry Potter with #5. 
•We are progressing well on Harry Potter. I set this goal to get through the entire series months ago. We have had our days and weeks when we've gotten too busy or forgotten about it, but we're back in the mode and are progressing well through book 6. Last night, the Warden had a meeting until 8:30, so he wasn't home until late. Once the little ones were down, and I opened the book to read to #5, I ended up with three kids on my bed. I LOVED it!

2. Sit down and set goals with kids.
•The kids set goals, but I haven't followed up well at all with them. I think in the future, I'll set this as part of our daily routine. Maybe when they come home and empty their backpacks I could use this as a time to inquire about their goals and what they're going to do that day to accomplish them.

3. Plan a temple date.
•We had full intention of going to the temple on Saturday night. I even had my temple bag with me, and we were in the car. We went to a baptism first, but because of some activities earlier in the day, the Warden had hurt his back. It was very clear, by how he moved, that he needed to be home laying down. We have scheduled it for Wednesday--kids'll be home. No running around. It'll be perfect!

Personal Goals
4. Night routine every night before bed.
•My night routine's just not happening. At the end of the day, I'm wiped out. I am just a morning person. I somehow need to train myself to do that night routine at an earlier time--right after dinner or something, but on evenings when I have places to go, it makes it tough.

image: healingfeet.com
5. Walk for exercise each day. 
•Exercise? HaHa! Oh yah, that. Umm...with not walking kids to or from school this year, this has fallen to the bottom of my list. BAD! I need a walking buddy. No, I need a less hectic life. No, I just need to schedule it in and make it part of what I do. That, my friends, is the challenge of my life.

Homemaking Goals
6. Follow 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home and blog about it.
•Hanging in there.

image: kitchendaily.com
7. Get kids on board with making dinner.
•Tried it. Didn't love it. It took me out of the picture too much for just starting out with this new menu plan. I've put myself back into this and will get things well established before throwing it at my kids.

8. Order Christmas cards. 
•Picked up the Christmas cards yesterday. We're good to go. YAY! 
I think when I set these kinds of goals in the future, this is the kind they will be, at least most of them....The kind that you just get on it and get done. None of this messing around with everyday stuff.

Business Goals
image: historiann.com
9. Go through the final four boxes in the garage.
•Nope. And I hate to admit it, but it's probably not going to happen any time soon.

10. Finish up to p. 150 in the preparedness handbook.
•I'm working on it. Not even close yet, but I'm working on it.

For today, I'm supposed to set 5-7 things I'm going to do to see these goals through, clean under the couch cushions, and do something rejuvenating. Today's going to be a busy one even without these things, but it'll happen. 

Here are my plans for the day:
• HaHa! Okay, here's how it's going to happen....Go through one box in the garage.
• Go through one box in the garage.
• Go through one box in the garage.
• Go through one box in the garage. I've got to get it all done, or it won't happen at all. That's just the kind of person I am, but I have to cut them down into smaller jobs, or they will overwhelm me. I'm just thinking it'll be so nice not to have them sitting there in the middle of the room as we're working on our Thanksgiving preparations and getting things out of the freezer.
• Unrelated....Get the laundry folded that I've let accumulate.
• Unrelated....Set up a Thanksgiving cooking plan--list what we're making and have the kids choose which thing they want to be in charge of.
• Check on kids' goals when they empty their backpacks.

image: labelle-et-lebadboy.blogspot.com
As far as rejuvenating goes, I figure I'd better get that figured out, or I just won't do it. Hmm....I think I just want to take a nap. HaHa! Yah right. When's that going to happen? That's okay, a 15-20 minute power nap'll do, right?

Monday, November 19, 2012


Every so often, one of our children will holler, "Mom! [???]'s being inappropriate!" "Inappropriate" covers such a broad range of behaviors that really, anything could be happening.

image: blogs.extension.iastate.edu
Typically, the inappropriate child is called in and reprimanded. A time out may be given or some other logical consequence is administered for the behavior. Because the same complaint keeps coming down the pike, I'm pretty sure that none of that's been working.

image: loveandlogic.com
Since I'm working on my Love & Logic responses, here's what went down yesterday.....

As is frequently the case, down the hallway, I hear, "Mom! [???]'s being inappropriate!" And yes, [???] is almost always the same offender. No, I won't even say "almost," always. It is ALWAYS the same offender.

image: hammiesworld.webs.com
As I called [???] in, the wheels in my brain were turning ferociously--I mean, I had that hamster working overtime. What was I going to do that would be a learning opportunity that would make that child not want to have that consequence happen again? What could I require that would make [???]'s hamster work instead of mine?

As I stood there, it clicked. Here's how it went down.....

Me: Hey! I understand you're having some issues with your brother and being inappropriate.
??? (sheepishly): Yeah.
M: I'm noticing that I'm hearing a lot about you being inappropriate lately.
?: Yeah.
M: What are you going to do about that? To be honest, I'm kind of tired of hearing about it.
?: I don't know.... (I let his wheels spin for a few seconds until I realized that was the only answer I was going to get).
M: Well, I have an idea. Do you want to hear it?
? (a little nervously): Okay.
image: dashrecipes.com
M: I'm thinking you must have a lot of that built up inside you, that it keeps bubbling over like that, huh?
?: Maybe.
M: Okay, here's the idea. The bathroom is the perfect place for inappropriate things. I'm thinking you should have some time to just get all of the inappropriateness out at one time. You can go in there, close the door, and just do and say everything inappropriate that you want to. Hopefully, that will fill your need and it won't bubble over so much in front of others here. What do you think?
?: I don't really want to.
M: No, but I think you need to unless you can come up with something else.... (again, long pause).
?: (silence)
M: Would you like me to get the light for you? Oh, by the way, there's a mirror in there, so any inappropriate actions you want to do, you can show yourself, okay? Perfect! How much time do you think this is going to take? We'll be happy to set a timer for you?

image: philips-shop.co.u
A two minute timer is set, [???] goes in, the light is turned on, the door is shut. I hear the shower door open and close, but that's about it.

We had no more inappropriate complaints for the rest of the day.

Later in the evening, I asked [???] what happened in the bathroom. [???] replied, "Nothing." That may be the case, but I'm thinking the message was received. At least, I hope it was. If not, we'll always have a bathroom.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Making the Most of Moments

I watched this for the first time the other night. Wow! Yet another rung on my ladder.

I am astonished at the messages that have come my way lately. I guess it's the way they've been introduced to me that have been so interesting and made them stand out as vitally important.

image: nicolehumphrey.net
There's a company that I work for that I absolutely love. I mean, I love the work. It's right up my alley, and I look forward to hearing from them. Since I freelance, things aren't consistent, they just come when they're needed, and that's perfect for my life right now.

It's been about a month or so since I've heard from them, but I received a phone call earlier this week saying there was work to be done and could it be done quickly. Perfect! I was on it.

I went to the computer and pulled up the video I was to transcribe. The gentleman being interviewed was no one I knew, and to be honest, when I was done with the video, I still had no idea how he fit into the work I needed to do and the article I needed to write. I knew it was business related, but this interview was so personal and biographical.

I transcribed, hoping that eventually there would be something to work with, but as it neared a close, I figured out that this video wasn't for business, it was for me. I needed to hear and learn from everything this man said.

image: patheos.com
He talked about "moments" and how important they are. He shared how he's always prepared to help people even to the point of having his car full of items that strangers might need when a car is broken down on the side of the road. He particularly shared how the difficult times in his life were things he cherished because they made him the man he is--compassionate, caring, willing to share all that he has.

It was ironic to me that two days later I was introduced to the video above.

Sometimes it seems that I try to view the bigger picture without remembering that it's the things I choose today, no matter how small, that will accumulate into that picture of what I want life to be. There are so many to share my moments with that I often get overwhelmed about who to spend this moment or that moment with.

I guess what I'm learning is that no matter who I'm spending my moments with, the focus should be on doing for others--giving my time and effort, that's what matters. As long as I do so, the blessings will come.

image: yoginiology.com
One thing I learned from this interview was from the interviewer. She said, "It's such a blessing to be able to roll out a red carpet for someone else and not expect anything back."I must admit, my red carpets have been rolled up in a closet or two here, collecting dust. It's time to get them out. It's time for a change.

This gentleman in the video mentioned opportunities to serve. One thing I was struck by was in one story he shared, he went to the woman, after he'd helped her, and said, "Thanks for allowing me to serve you." Wow! Because really, service of others, unselfish service--those times when you expect nothing in return--are the times that bring the greatest blessings in your life. It's just true.

image: moreno10sblog.blogspot.com
The other night, we had a ward dinner. There's a new family in our ward. They have a little girl that has just become my buddy. She's five. As I was sitting there, here she came, right behind me. She tapped me on the shoulder and shared little bits of her life with me. We talked about school and the new baby in her home. She walked away and returned a few seconds later. She was eating something chocolate and explained to me that it was a big Tootsie Roll and that she got three of them. I told her how great that was. She then shared that she'd given her Halloween candy away. I said, "Yup. That's how it works. That's Heavenly Father's way of doing things. You give them away, and He gives you back even more."

I didn't realize what had just come out of my mouth. It wasn't for that little girl. It was for me.

image: gettalkedabout.com
Yup. It's the moments that matter. They are the "molecules" of life that "make up eternity." Who are you getting your red carpet out for today? Just don't forget to thank them for allowing you blessings in your life.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Cures for What Ills

I'm up this morning ready to start the day. As I got up and got showered, I realized why I get up at this hour. I get up early to get my life in alignment before I tackle what lies before me. If I don't do this, the day just starts off lousy, and I end up feeling behind and never really catch up.

This morning, I was thinking about two topics that have been on my mind a lot lately--contention and nurturing. These just happen to be two words that have caught in my mind as I've been reading lately. They are those kinds of things that catch there and sit there until I search further for more answers. They're things I need to figure out so that I can use them in my life and with my family.

Let me explain a little bit about where these words came from.

image: 123rf.com
First, yesterday morning I read Helman 3 in the Book of Mormon. I hope I have never been unclear in the fact that I absolutely LOVE the Book of Mormon. I have heard that people who haven't read it somehow fear it saying that it brainwashes people. HaHaHaHaHa!!! Those who believe that have been brainwashed--caused to believe something when they haven't even become familiar with what they're talking about. That's all I have to say about that. The Book of Mormon changes people's lives--in a very positive way. It pulls you up and out of the murk and yuck of what surrounds you.

If you go to this link, it will lead you to the introduction to the Book of Mormon. In the sixth paragraph down, is what I feel is the bottom line reason to have and read this book, and isn't that what we all need? This is what I feel it's done for me.

If you don't have a copy of it, I think you should get one. Seriously. Here, here's where you can get one.

image: illustrationsource.com
Anyway, I was struck yesterday by the first three verses in Helaman 3. They're simple verses, but because I didn't get a really good chance to figure out what I was really looking at, they stuck there all day yesterday. I've been excited to sit down again this morning and really figure out what's so significant. Does this happen to anyone else in life? You go around and see or hear something and the idea that "Wow! That was really important. Wait...why was that so important?" sticks in your head and heart? This is EXACTLY what happened yesterday.

I was pulled in by the word "contention." If you didn't go to the link above, you can go there now (Here's the link again). How many times does it show up? Four times?

Contention: a struggling together in opposition; strife. A striving in rivalry; competition; contest. Strife in debate; dispute; controversy. A point contended  for or affirmed in controversy. 

And "dissension" shows up twice.

Dissension: strong disagreement; a contention or quarrel; discord. Difference in sentiment or opinion; disagreement.

As I've read these past couple weeks and have worked my way through the end of Alma and this first part of Helaman, I've been totally shocked at how much it has paralleled what's going on in our society. I have read the Book of Mormon numerous times and have never had it be so spot on to what's going on around me. To be truthful, it has been of very little comfort during the election. It has made me sit up and take a more serious look at just what is going on.

image: colossians2.com
I have found that, although it has brought me a new reality about society, it has also brought things closer to home--how can I implement what I've learned here to my life personally? I've seen that "contention" is mentioned four times in three verses because I need to be aware of it in my own home. Helaman, the author of the book of "Helaman" uses the topic of contention to judge entire years of existence and their success or failure. That's how important a lack of contention is.

Okay, so tell me I'm brainwashed, but then tell me that that's not a message our society needs--especially right now.

image: spokanefavs.com
Do you see why those young men with the black name tags can be found throughout the world?

Now, onto the other word--"nurturing."
image: lancescurv.com
The nurturing idea got stuck in my mind from reading this....

"Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children."

This is from this document. This is the bottom line. This doesn't say that all I should do is nurture my children. It does, however, say that of EVERYTHING I do in life, this is my most important responsibility. Does our society need this message? Umm.....YES!

So, just why have these topics stuck in my mind? Why am I up so early? Because there are things I need to learn. Things that will make my life better.

I believe they are the most important messages a mother in this world can have. I believe they are the cures to what ails us.....

Watch out for and avoid contention--repair what can be repaired. Nurture those around you--not just your children, but especially your children. In all that you do, build....repair, fix, uplift, bless.

Be the cure.

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