Friday, November 22, 2013

Keeping A Record

A wonderful devotional by Amy Petersen Jensen was rebroadcast this week, titled "A Some Hopeful Words on Media and Agency". This quote from her speech sums up why I used to love to scrapbook and why I now blog:

When I was about to be married, my BYU stake president gave me some very good advice: He told me to take pictures and document my life and my marriage and my family. He explained that this would benefit my children, because they would see that my husband and I existed before they were born, that we loved each other, and that important things happened that they didn’t necessarily remember. He said that a record of our life through pictures would give our children a sense of eternity, because they would have evidence of good, happy, and worthy things beyond their own experiences.

How are you keeping records of the good, happy, and worthy things in your life?

Watch her talk below, wonderful words...

I also loved her thoughts about how we divide our souls by dividing our attention (see 9:13). Perhaps that is one of the reasons that Christ's name is I AM - he is always fully present in the current moment. If we strive to be fully present like Him, that will help us follow his example and become more like Him.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Homemaking with an Eye Single to God

We enjoyed a wonderful day at church again (as always!) The lesson in Relief Society particularly fed my soul and gave me determination to do better. The lesson was from Chapter 22 of the Lorenzo Snow manual, titled "Doing Good to Others". One of the topics of discussion that went along with my thoughts was that we just have to do it. ("Do it" was President Spencer W. Kimball's motto long before Nike came up with their "Just do it" slogan.) Yes, it's hard managing this family and running full speed all day with all the things there are to do and I feel like I'm falling short most days, but service is never easy or convenient, but it is important and it's worth it. I just need to keep doing it, and I need to do it for the Lord.
Which reminded me of an article I read by Jeffery A. Thompson called "What's your Calling in Life?" (read/print it  here, watch it here) ~ Under "Heresy #5 (24:00 at the video) is the part that I think I loved the most from this talk, which was the insight shared by his mission President's wife. Brother Thompson states:

  When I was a missionary, and as I was nearing my release date, I anticipated a sense of loss when I could no longer give all my time to serving God. At a zone conference, I raised my hand and asked the mission president, “After our missions are over and we are no longer full-time servants of God, how can we keep a sense of purpose?” Before the mission president could answer, his wife leapt to her feet and said, “I’ll take this one.” I will never forget her response. “When I do the laundry,” she said, “I am building the kingdom of God. When I scrub the floors, I am serving the Lord. When I tidy the clutter, I’m an instrument in His hands. I do a lot of mundane jobs, but if my eye is single to God and I’m trying to serve my family, then I feel as much purpose in my work as a missionary can.” 
  Those words remind me of what King Benjamin said about laboring in the fields to support himself—a decidedly unkingly occupation. He said, “I do not desire to boast, for I have only been in the service of God” (Mosiah 2:16). So perhaps the state of our hearts is as important as the tasks we do in determining whether our work is truly—and eternally—meaningful. 

I was reminded of another quote along these lines that comes from the book "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp, page 194-195:

  When the laundry is for the dozen arms of children or the dozen legs, it's true, I think I'm due some appreciation. So comes a storm of trouble and lightning strikes joy. But when Christ is at the center, when dishes, laundry, work, is my song of thanks to Him, joy rains. Passionately serving Christ alone makes us the loving servant to all. When the eyes of the heart focus on God, and the hands on always washing the feet of Jesus alonethe bones, they sing joy, and the work returns to it's purest state: eucharisteo. The work becomes worship, a liturgy of thankfulness.
  "The work we do is only our love for Jesus in action," writes Mother Teresa. "If we pray the work... if we do it to Jesus, if we do it for Jesus, if we do it with Jesus... that's what makes us content. 
  That is what makes us contentthe contented, deep joy is always in the touching of Christin whatever skin he comes to us in.

and page 155:

All gratitude is ultimately gratitude for Christ, all remembering a remembrance of Him. For in Him all things were created, are sustained, have their being. 

And one last thought/article along these lines, from the Feb 2013 Ensign - Under "Discipleship in All Places":

  Stacey White, a mother of four in Indiana, USA, was longing for an opportunity to help a neighbor, friend, or even a stranger during the week she studied Matthew 25:35–40, where the Savior teaches that serving “the least of these” is, in fact, serving Him (verse 40). 
  “Because I am a busy stay-at-home mom of four young children, I sometimes feel frustrated that I’m not able to be of service as often as I would like,” Sister White explained. “I am so busy taking care of my own family’s needs that I have little time for anything extra.” 
  Sister White noted that as she continued to study, cross-reference, and ponder these scriptures, praying for opportunities to serve, “the week seemed to take on a higher level of stress than what normally comes with motherhood”—certainly not what she had hoped for. 
  "There were school projects to help with, more than the usual messes to clean up, sibling fights to referee, and a mountain of laundry that seemed to regenerate itself. The to-do list seemed to never come close to being completed. My prayer seemed to go unanswered as I longed for the free time and energy to serve someone other than my husband and children.” 
  But then, partway through the week, Sister White came to a realization: just because she didn’t have the opportunity to serve outside her home did not mean that the Lord had let her prayer go unanswered, and it didn’t mean that she hadn’t been serving in meaningful ways. 
  “The Lord was answering my prayer by giving me those opportunities within my own family,” she says. “At times I feel that the service within my own family somehow doesn’t count, that in order to be classified as service, it must be outside the home, rendered to someone other than a family member. But with my new understanding, while I was making beds, doing laundry, chauffeuring kids, and doing all my daily duties as a mother, I did them more joyfully. My tasks didn’t seem quite so mundane, and I realized I was making a difference for my family.”

I loved how the Lord answered her prayer by keeping her busy serving her own family, and that article was an answer to my prayer as I read it. I think it's something I always need to be reminded of, that all the mundane tasks I do as a mother are important and meaningful, not just to my husband and children but to the Lord. And as I work in remembrance of Him, I won't feel put out by little toddlers turning up their noses at the dinner I slaved over or for no one saying thank your for their clean underwear - I won't be frustrated waiting for words of appreciation, cause I didn't do it for appreciation, I did it for the Lord.  I am serving Christ and it is important to Him, and he tells me thank you and shows me that he loves me in thousands of ways everyday.

“No task will be so sordid and base . . . 
that it will not shine and be reckoned 
very precious in God’s sight” 
- John Calvin

Friday, November 15, 2013

When Life Gets Cold...

What a powerful message was shared today, I hadn't heard this one before. "What Happens When Life Gets One Degree Colder" by Dallan Moody. When my life seems to hard, I'll listen to this talk again and remember the take aways from this talk that hit home:
- a perfect plan was already presented, and rejected.
- We need opposition to develop faith.
- Hope and courage have always characterized the righteous
- "You are being exalted"

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


I've been listening to Elder Scotts April Conference talk over and over again, titled "For Peace at Home"~ I want my home and my life to be full of peace, and I got a long way to go. One quote from his talk: “Remember: little things lead to big things. Seemingly insignificant indiscretions or neglect can lead to big problems. More importantly, simple, consistent, good habits lead to a life full of bountiful blessings.”

Habits - simple, consistent, good habits, lead to a life full of blessings. Habits can bless our lives. Habits can fill our life with the spirit.
Aristotle: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

I will strive to make a plan of my routine, what I would like to accomplish and be, repeat it each day and make a habit of it. What I personally do, my personal habits, will determine where I end up. Dear Lord, help me establish good habits. Give me strength, cause I really feel like I'm in over my head (housekeeping wise and "my life is a whirlwind of activity" -wise. I don't feel like I'm on top of things very well and want to just fly away to Costa Rica to escape it all... help!)
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