Tag Archive | Religion and Spirituality

Protecting the Family

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. 🙂

 

 

 

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Christmas Music

One of my kids is learning Christmas music in March.  He’s either 3 months behind schedule, or 9 months ahead of schedule, but maybe Christmas is such a magical time that we want little pieces of it throughout the year.  Take a moment and reflect on the miracle of the Christmas season, for the birth of our Savior was a genuine miracle.  If you want some Christmas music in March with us, enjoy this arrangement.  Some people are just very talented!

More Technology! Part 3

Telecommunication-Antenna__36092

 

3.  My husband trumps all of us.  His evening job involves conferencing with people all over the world on multiple continents and teaching them English.  I’d say he “travels” further for work, but really he just hangs out at home.  He definitely meets a wider variety of individuals than the rest of us combined!

 

 

 

My mind has recently been resting on a scripture in Handel‘s Messiah, – I mean from Isaiah.  It is the part where it talks about how “all flesh shall see him together.”  When I was a child that phrase was relegated to the – we don’t understand it, but God probably knows what he is doing – realm.  Today it is absolutely conceivable that all the ends of the earth will be able to see and hear him come in real time, with no mystic divine intervention needed at all.  Miracles anyone?

 

 

 

Coincidences

Banana bread loaf.

 

Yesterday I experienced a series of stories about coincidences that were not really coincidences at all.  It was interesting to see what they had in common.

 

  • A missionary randomly visiting a pizza place for lunch ran into a complete stranger who was looking for someone to help her find the gospel again so her son could be baptized.  Well, that missionary had made a commitment to pray more to find people who needed him, and had prayed for that very thing immediately before leaving for lunch that day.
  • A lady recovering from a surgery needed a little help, and was about to call an adult child and ask for a loaf of bread to be picked up from the store.  Her visiting teacher, who had never been welcome in the home, stopped by right then with a loaf of freshly baked bread.  A door of friendship was opened that remained open the remainder of the lady’s life.  The visiting teacher had a desire to visit, but had decided to drop off the bread despite the fact she did not expect to ever be welcomed.
  • A friend of mine was even looking for someone who knew something about how to do blogs about our beliefs, and mentioned it to me today.  She had no clue I did this.

 

My conclusion, when we are actually trying to do God’s will, we probably shouldn’t be surprised if he helps line things up occasionally.  Things are probably more intentional on his part than we realize, but we also need to be doing our part.

 

Remember my definition of miracles, “An evidence of God’s power to guide the affairs of mortal life for His Children’s benefit and growth.”

 

 

“Blessed” Birthday

 

My youngest has his birthday in a few days.  Being a January birthday I never quite know what to get him.  I had put off getting presents until I could decide what to get.  This year it was easier than that.  Yesterday a neighbor handed us a brand new bike they couldn’t use, and this morning the preschool gave goodie bags to all the parents with some really cool learning toys.  Wrap things up and call it good.

 

I was going to call this his lucky birthday, but my husband always corrects it when I use the word “lucky.”  He prefers the word “blessed.”  Either way, I love it when things work out.

Happy Birthday

Time

Lots of tender mercies this weekend, lots of family.

One of the daily miracles I don’t often thank God for, is time.  There never seems to be enough.  Just made arrangements to add 3 extra days to my year!  Okay, there aren’t really 3 more days in my year than yours, but 3 days of no work for me, limited work for my husband, and no children to take care of (my full time 24/7 job) for 3 entire days is the best gift I could possibly get for my birthday.  Thanks Mom!

What will I do with 3 entire days — absolutely no outside commitments?  Finish a 20 year project, put it online, thousands of dollars of home improvement (without 5 kids slowing me down)  — re-paint the entire house, finish rebuilding the fence, and even put in some new carpet.  Already lining up help to come work on the kitchen for stuff I can’t do.  If the tax return comes by then I have a few more projects I’ll hire out also.  Finish the honey-do’s?  Maybe if I’m good we’ll sneak a date night in as well. 🙂  Then a 4th day goofing off in Vegas.  (Did I mention I have a problem with extreme optimism?)

What would you do with 3 extra days?

Information Age

It is so easy to see all the negatives associated with the information age.  I need to remember that there is just as much good out there as well.

My mind has recently been troubled by some poor choices and offensive actions of one of my teens.  I was very angry, and unclear how to fix the problem, as I couldn’t force someone else to change – or more specifically to grow up and find a brain!

Yesterday morning I was doing some research online to prepare my Sunday lesson.  Our church has a huge library of information available (www.lds.org), and I was overwhelmed with the amount of excellent content and advice so readily available.  I finally decided maybe I should look for some advice for my own problems.  Immediately I found the article I needed.

As I read the article, my hurt, my anger, my disappointment, and my confusion all melted away.  I found the peace I needed and the words I needed to hear.  The scriptures tell us to seek and we will find.  I suspect that is more true now than possibly ever before.

Link to parenting article can be found  HERE.