Saturday, March 28, 2015

Thoughts from the Women's Broadcast

I loved being able to go to the Women's Broadcast tonight with two of my daughters.

Even better was when we got home and started comparing notes.

Ginny (age 11) - I like how when we go to the women's conference its different than the regular conference in that we know exactly who they are talking to. We don't have to wonder who the talks are directed to, we know for sure that its for us. Some quotes that stood out: Hope will conquer despair; good will conquer evil; joy always comes after sorrow. And, "There's a great need to rally the women of the church to stand with the brethren to stem the tide of evil."  This really shows that the women of the church are totally equal to the men.

Maggie (age 16) - It really stood out to me how much they talked about how the Lord has His own timetable. It's not in our time, it's in His time.  And Sister Oscarson said, "Life rarely works out as planned."

Me (the mom) - There seemed to be a lot about standing up for what we believe in. Sister Stephens said, "If you strengthen a child you strengthen a family."  She also talked about how part of the plan is to be tested. But that it's not just to learn from our own challenges but we can learn as we support others in theirs.  And President Eyring really helped me realize that I cannot fix or even understand other people's sorrows or problems. Only God can really say, "I know how you feel." But, I can try and bring the Spirit with me and love others as I try to comfort them.

It's interesting that we all heard the same talks but different things stood out to each of us.

I think this is what is meant by "differences of administration"(D&C 46:15) in the scriptures.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

My Part in His Plan

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf posted this on Facebook recently:
"April general conference is a time when seasons change. In the southern hemisphere, the leaves turn colors as autumn begins, and spring flowers bloom in the north. Conference provides an opportunity to gather together as friends and families to become more united in our faith in Jesus Christ and in our efforts to serve Him.
 As I have prepared for this conference, I have felt impressed that each one should ponder again about God's plan for our lives and consider our individual place in this divine plan as His children.
Please, always remember that each one of us matters to Him, wherever we may be. "
I've been thinking a lot about this question:
What is my role in Heavenly Father's plan?
The answer that I came up with:
I am my Heavenly Father's daughter.
My part in His plan is to learn and to return to live with Him again some day.

I don't need to do any BIG thing for Him.

I just need to learn who I am again (and again, and again).

He will tell me through the scriptures and prayer.

He will tell me through my obedience.
We are all on the same journey.

So, while I am walking this path back to my Heavenly Father I will help others on their path, too.  

It really is as simple as that.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Generation Gap

"Another face of pride is contention. Arguments, fights, unrighteous dominion, generation gaps, divorces, spouse abuse, riots, and disturbances all fall into this category of pride."

I've been thinking about this quote from Ezra Taft Benson's talk on Pride.

What is contention in the form of generation gaps?

When I first heard this, the thought came to my mind of older people looking down "on the young kids today!"

And then I thought about the "younger kids" looking at older people thinking that they don't have a clue what's going on anymore.

I guess I'm right in the middle these days because to be honest, I've entertained both of these thoughts.

I live in an area where I'm surrounded by young and old and everywhere in between. 

And sometimes it feels like I don't have very many close friends.

Or at least it doesn't seem like I have any friends that are the same age as me or going through the same stage of life.

(And by friends, I'm talking about people I have actual contact with throughout my day, not just through social media.)

So, I tried to think about who I would consider my friends right now.

They are mostly either the same age as my parents or young moms who are probably closer to my kids age than to mine.

(I'm sure this has a lot to do with the teenage-parenting stage and the time constraints we all have in this situation.)

These friends teach me a lot.

And when I'm with them I don't think about our age differences.

It is just pure friendship. 

I love my generation gap friends!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Power vs. Control

I think I write a lot about how my life feels out of control.

And I'm always looking for the next "gimmick" that will help me get control of things.

It could be new chore charts for the kids, a new diet, a new cleaning schedule, etc.

It's my way of trying to insert some control into my life.

These gimmicks usually don't last a long time.

The desire for control can cause frustration because there are actually very few things that I have control over.

I can't control the weather, the bad stuff in the world, or even the choices my children make.

This can then lead me to look for an escape that gives me a kind of counterfeit control.

Computer games, watching movies all day, social media.

I can control what I watch or I can control my time as I choose.

But, what I really need is not control - it is power.

The purpose of life is not to control all things.

It is to learn to be obedient.
"And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them."  Abraham 3:25
When I am obedient, God blesses and prospers meMosiah 2:22

He gives me power to accomplish what He wants me to do. 1 Nephi 3:7

Power comes when I choose the right.

 It is a gift from God.
 "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." 2 Tim. 1:5
He wants to give me power.

His power.

And through that power I can accomplish amazing things.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Without Sin

The visiting teaching message this month was on Christ's attribute: without sin.

I loved Elder Christofferson's quote that Christ not only knows and feels everything that we're going through - but that He overcame them.
"We can turn to Him...because He understands. He understands the struggle, and He also understands how to win the struggle."
 I also loved the question at the end - What is the difference between perfect and pure?

When I thought of that question I immediately pictured a glass of water.

That water may look perfect and clean, but most likely there are some impurities in it.

But I can add things to that water to purify it.

By using the Atonement in my life each day I can purify my life until I become perfect like the Savior sees me.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Good Part

My life is crazy.

It has been for a long time.

Recently, it got more crazy when I started working outside of my home.

I am a focused person and I do great when I have one thing that I can focus on completely.

For the last 18 years or so, my main focus has been on my family.

But, throw a new job in there and all of a sudden I have to focus on that, too.

So, I did what I always do when I'm feeling overwhelmed.

I made a list.

I listed all of the things that I need, or want, or have to do.

Things like: make dinner, family prayer, visit neighbors, read scriptures, church calling, work, volunteer, read books, clean the house, work in the yard, etc.

I filled an entire page with tasks.

Then, I numbered them according to importance in my life.

I came up with about 7 different levels of priorities.

It has been life changing in helping me focus on what is important.

I found that my natural instinct, when I'm overwhelmed, is to start focusing on things that are lower on my priority list - like decorating my house, or landscaping my yard.

And that even though my job is a high time commitment, it's not in my top levels of priorities.

Then there are those times when I'm having a good day and feel like I have a handle on things. I can go to my list to know what I need to focus on next.

My number one priority category has only  3 tasks in it:

Listen to the Spirit
Read/Study my scriptures
Personal prayers

That's it.

When I start to feel overwhelmed with all that I need to be doing, I stop and focus on that top priority. 

Have I prayed today? Have I studied my scriptures? Am I trying to feel the Spirit?

If I can answer yes to those three questions, then I'm good.

This scripture (Luke 10:42) has always stood out to me:
 41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
 42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
Those three things are the good part that I choose. 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Scripture Study

Since the first of the year, I have been following along a reading program for the Book of Mormon.

It gives reading assignments each day, a question to ponder, and a talk to go with the reading.

I have really enjoyed studying my scriptures this way.

I even bought a special notebook to write down my thoughts and keep notes in.

If a particular thought stands out to me then I've been hanging it on the wall next to my bed.

It's fun to watch my kids notice when I've put up something new.

And sometimes they'll even ask me what it means and we can have a good discussion about it.

A quote I've read recently from Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Our motives and thoughts ultimately influence our actions." Oct 2006

I have noticed that as I focus on my daily study, I am beginning to spend a lot less time on my phone scrolling through various social media sites.

It really is true that if you fill your life with the important stuff first then the unimportant stuff begins to fall away.