Here is a story about a family that beat the odds, a true miracle.
Here is a story about a family that beat the odds, a true miracle.
I am at a rather strange place in my life where I have decided I need all new friends. Or at least to reconnect with old friends again. As I look back at my week there were four people who did more to help me this week than any of my “friends” have this entire summer. Three were old friends who we don’t cross paths as often any more, and one is a person I had only met once before. I think friendship is something that I have taken for granted too often. A friend who goes out of their way to see how you are doing is a blessing that can too easily be dismissed. When we find a good friend who can support and help us, and we can return the favor, I think that qualifies as a miracle.
As my difficult son returned home, it created a lot a chaos in the home. He does not get physically destructive, mostly just spiritually and emotionally destructive. We knew things would be difficult for a while, but wanted to believe we could handle it. We could not handle him, and he is currently out of the home, but in a very safe place. There has been a lot of leftover emotion here and everyone tends to get a little too irritated a little too easily. Far too much bickering and petty arguing. Early on in the summer I wanted to do something to prepare for his arrival emotionally. I knew of a book that we had studied from early in our marriage, and I wanted some of the lessons from that book. It turns out that it has been rewritten, and is rather difficult to get a hold of. It is called Strengthening the Family, and is put out by LDS Social Services. It can’t even be ordered online, and everyone who knew about the book didn’t have a copy. We had tried some other programs, but they just weren’t what we needed. Finally last week we were able to get our hands on a copy through an unexpected source.
Yesterday we had our first lesson, and there was such a strong spirit. This was exactly what we needed to re-hear. I’d like to summarize what we talked about.
The chapter we focused on was called “Communicating with Love.” We discussed the effect that our words have on those around us. Even unintentionally it is harmful to use words that lecture, moralize, preach, interrogate, discount, placate, provide empty reassurances, judge, condemn, threaten, blame, criticize, ridicule, or ignore another’s feelings. We recognized some of those phrases that have popped up in our home. We recommitted to stopping those behaviors, and to pattern our communication after the Savior. The lesson points out how the Savior chose to communicate. He was slow to condemn, forgiving, compassionate, considerate of His family, willing to return good for evil, loving of children, appreciative, eager to serve, and willing to sacrifice. We finished the lesson up by practicing using statements that start with “I,” and communicate how another’s actions affect us. We practiced using these types of forgiving statements instead of starting out our sentences with “you” and using blame. Most of the family caught on very quickly. I am so happy we finally found this lesson. I think we need it over and over again!
It has been 24 hours and there has not been a single argument, fight, disagreement, or unkind word spoken here. It is amazing how a parent can know exactly what is needed and where to find it. I only wish we could have found it a little earlier. 🙂
It is pretty amazing how little we really know another person. Had a great discussion with one of my boys last night, and I am amazed at his depth of character, his purity of soul, his genuine charity for others, his pure motives, and his ability to forgive and love unconditionally. I have lived with him for 13 years, but I still had no clue how amazing he really is. He taught me to stay strong, and I suspect he will teach me as much as I will ever teach him. It was a great Mother’s Day gift to see that side of him. I only wish it had been under happier circumstances for him.
Had a lot of talk about hugs yesterday. Today’s blog is an ode to the calming, nurturing, and comforting nature of a simple hug. It can communicate and change people. Just a simple hug, but it can be so powerful. Was prompted to hug a child a while back and learned something I would not have known otherwise. Was reminded to hug another child as well, multiple times. Was reminded that even teenage boys need hugs. What is your favorite hug story?
Last night my 5 year old fell asleep on the couch. We had to wake him up a little to get him ready for bed, then we put him in bed. He was missing his blanket, and while I went to go find it, he curled up in a ball and was fast asleep again. I came back, looked at his cuteness, and then placed his blanket on top of him. Across his sleeping face emerged one of the biggest smiles I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Even fast asleep he could feel the love, comfort, and security of his favorite blanket. He was so far asleep I didn’t think he would even notice, but he did. If only we all knew how much we are loved.
Found myself praying for some much needed wisdom today. Felt blessed that my prayer was answered so quickly, so I thought I’d share the answer I needed to hear.
Use LOVE. LOVE is not a default position. LOVE is not simply something we do because we don’t know what else we can do. LOVE is our Father in Heaven’s greatest tool in dealing with us. Christ made no bones that LOVE is the substance of both the greatest and second greatest commandments. The word LOVE has multiple definitions and connotations, but the most powerful type of LOVE is not simply a feeling, it is an action verb that describes an intangible power. LOVE literally creates entire civilizations, and the absence of it destroys them. LOVE speaks to hearts, not to minds. No teaching, lecturing, or information has any value if there is not LOVE attached to it. Yet, even the smallest piece of knowledge, shared with LOVE, can change the future.
I was also reminded of a quote I heard somewhere that it is not so much that love is blind, but that love has the ability to see something in another person that others have missed.
Faith is the power by which miracles are received. Yet faith without works is dead. Today I thought I’d challenge myself to actively appreciate the people who mean the most to me. Truly they are the greatest miracles in my life. Why would the Lord ever want to give us more if we don’t acknowledge and appreciate what he has already given us?
Today I will share 3 things that I appreciate about my husband, then do something nice for him. I’ll do the same thing over the week for each of my children (probably won’t post all those.)
Now I’m off to the kitchen to make cookies.
What are 3 things you love about someone YOU care about?