Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Wait for the Karma

I was reading in 2 Nephi and Lehi was talking to his sons. In particular he was talking to Laman and Lemuel. Lehi was telling them not to be mean to Nephi (I'm sure hundreds if not thousands of parents can relate to having to tell their oldest to be nice to their youngest) It was verse 25 in chapter 1 that really gave me cause to pause. Lehi says: "But I know that he hath not sought for power nor authority over you, but he hath sought the glory of God, and your own eternal welfare."

So let me get this straight, even though Laman and Lemuel are all sorts of mean to Nephi, including trying to kill him, all Nephi cares about is their eternal welfare? I can't tell you how many times I have NOT done this. When someone is mean all I want is for them to get what is coming to them. For them to get their 'just rewards'. Instead, you are telling me that I should think, "Oh I hope they are able to get into the celestial kingdom, what can I do to help them with that?" This is when I realized, man do I have a LOT of repenting to do.

This is not a new concept, in fact it's relatively old. In the Old Testament it discusses turning the other cheek and loving your neighbor. I just figured that mostly meant when they were treating others poorly, but me?! Oh no they didn't!!! And so I am now pondering how I treat solicitors both on the phone and at the door, the kids who call my kids dumb, the parents who scream at me for who knows what, and even that neighbor who lets their cat run wild and get in my yard ALL THE TIME! (Hello, there is a reason I do not have pets!) What's even worse is sometimes it's my own family members that I hope will get brought down a notch because boy are they asking for it. I'm suppose to be concerned about their eternal welfare. Wow!

So my question to you is think of that annoying person or the one you just can't stand and ask yourself, how are you treating them? Are you hoping Karma wins out? Or are you wondering if better behavior from you or just treating them nicely would further your relationship both with the person you are focusing on and with God?

Monday, February 08, 2016

For the Goal!!

I wish that read for the gold, but no, it is for the goal. This past fall I finished up quite a few things that had been some major goals I set for myself. It felt thrilling to accomplish some hard things. Number one, of course, was finally becoming an official alumni of BYU. Now I can have my photo in their magazine and be legit! Knowing I was going to complete a lot of things in the near future, this summer, I pondered what I should take on next. Never a dull moment in our house, we decided to achieve something together. Visiting all 50 states before my oldest leaves us all behind for the great unknown (sniff). We already had several under our belts and so we started making plans, rearranging schedules, coordinating flights, finding hotels, and most importantly decided where our stops will be in each state.

It has been such an education for our kids and for us. I start planning the trips, adding in adventures we might want to try and good places to eat. (it really is about the food) Then I take it to the family and we decide what more we want to add or take away. Once that is accomplished we start researching the places we are going to visit so the kids have some sort of background. We've watched several documentaries, including ones on Bonnie and Clyde and Buddy Holly. The United States history is fascinating. 

We are over halfway there and truly enjoying all there is to see. Plus we've had experiences that we would not have had otherwise. Everything from holding alligators, to meeting famous celebrities, to running with the buffalo, and seeing a moon rock. It really has been an inspired goal and we have so many stories that show how we have been in the right place at the right time. Plus we have been able to see family while checking off the states. 

So what are your goals? What do you want to accomplish in your lifetime? This is what I say: Go for the Goal!!

Enjoying Alabama at Horseshoe Bend National Park

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Roses are Red.....

My daughter has these outlandish ideas and then tries to pull them off. Really they aren't that outlandish, they are cute and fun, and for the most part they work out well. The latest was making cookie bags. She was asked to make cookies for BYD (also known as Bishops Youth Discussion), where the youth in her church group go to someone's house and discuss issues that are occurring in their everyday lives.

She made a double batch that turned into an overload--despite the rest of us chowing down on the dough. Her brilliant idea to get rid of the rest of them was to put cute little poems on the outside of sandwich bags with a cookie in them to hand to people who are sad. She started with the roses are red, violets are blue, and then we started coming up with the rest. It led to some gross, hysterical, and sweet poems. One of my favorites..Roses are red, Violets are blue, here is a cookie, just for you, or Roses are red, the sidewalk is gray, here's a cookie to brighten your day.

You can imagine, with boys in the house, the wonderful poems that didn't quite make the cut Roses are red, Violets are blue, Here's some cookie to eat while you poo. Roses are red, Violets are blue, this bag is empty no cookies for you.

Sister Marriott said, "Great joy comes when those boats--our children--grow into mighty seafaring vessels filled with gospel light and ready to "embark in the service of God.""

Are we teaching our children to think of others and serve them? Am I thinking of others in order to serve them? Sometimes I wonder if I lack the light, or time, or ambition to want to help shoulder someone else's burdens. I am grateful for this simple lesson from my children.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Stay Focused!

Last night we got a major snowstorm.

Tangent--why does the east coast get to name their snowstorms and we don't? It's not like ours are any less crazy and wild.

Anyway, we had our ward conference yesterday and our Stake President talked about staying focused. He used the analogy of riding his mountain bike and not being able to make a turn. Confused at his lack of control he asked his riding partner what he was doing wrong. His riding partner pointed out that instead of focusing on not going over the edge he should focus on where he wanted to end up.

As I drove my kids to school in blizzard like conditions this morning (hereafter it shall be known as Agnes), I recalled that story. Instead of focusing on not sliding off the side of the road I started picturing in my mind the school I wanted to end up at. I did everything I could to get my children safely to the end point. Agnes was a little bit difficult and made the roads icy slick. Not to mention my right tire was going flat (another story for another time), so it took a little more time then I had anticipated. But I made it, and safely.

So begs the question what are we focused on? Finishing laundry? The dishes piled high in the sink? The annoying cat who has decided to use your yard as its personal litter box? I hope some of my focus is on what matters most. In a talk given by Elder Pearson he says, "We can fill our lives with accomplishment and well-doing, but in the end, if we do not enter into sacred covenants to follow Christ and faithfully keep them, we will have utterly and completely missed the mark."

Today I will still do laundry and the dishes and the carpool and make dinner, but I will also focus on making my home a place where covenants are kept and not broken. And, thanks to Agnes, I will be here, in my home, all day, so I can focus on that!!

Monday, February 01, 2016

Freak out!

We watched our niece this weekend. She is quite the little sassy thing. She is only one, but with her vast vocabulary we really kept picturing her as a 3 year old. She understands just about everything we are saying and will repeat new words later, using them in context. Hence the title of this post. We heard a loud noise and I said it freaked me out. Later we were asking our niece if she wanted Dave to read to her and she said, "No, freak out!" She's not too fond of Dave.

As I thought about this, of course, the obvious thing to learn is watch what I say around my children. But the not so obvious is learning to think before I speak. I heard a noise and that was the first thing that popped out of my mouth because I was not even thinking about it. How many times do I reach for my go-to habit. For example my son leaves his stuff lying around all the time, when he returns home from school do I immediately reprimand him for his inability to remember to put things away. This would be my go-to habit. What if I decided to change that for one day and as soon as he walked in the door tell him how happy I was that he remembered to go to school that day, or remembered to wear shoes, or even remembered to put his bowl in the sink after he used it. Really what if I just started with asking him how his day was?! What is my go-to habit that I need to think about and change?

I am amazed at the power of our minds and if we just used them a bit more, I think, we would be amazed at what changes can be made! So don't 'freak out', just think about it.