Brynlie was hungry and tired yesterday afternoon. But instead accepting comfort and eating to feel better, she just kicked and screamed at Trav and me. She's 4, ya know? But even though she's 4, Trav and I don't deserve to be treated that way especially when we are there just to help. Somehow, someday she has to learn that it's okay to be hungry and tired but it's not okay to yell at us and be mean to us because she's hungry. So we, basically, gave in knowing that we'd do something about it tomorrow when we'd have time and energy to not lose it. So today when she was calm, happy and content, having practiced saying this once before telling Brynlie, I said in a happy and relaxed voice, "hey, bryn, you know how you were kicking and screaming yesterday? It drained my energy but I thought of something you can do to put energy back in me! Want to here was it is?" And she excitedly said, "yes!" I said excitedly (to make it sound fun and because she was handling well so far!), "okay, it's a fridge project. Take everything out of the fridge to be organized." Then she ran off saying, "okay!" I didn't follow right behind trying to give her some room to not feel too controlled and also to help the other two tiny kiddos asking for my attention. She proceeded to organize and clean each shelf and now our fridge looks awesome! Double check off my list of things to do! Then she was exhausted after working for a hour and me saying "you are doing a good job putting energy back in me" "you're a hard worker" and "it looks like you like putting energy in me." We sat and she rested and we talked for a little bit. I said, "you know how yesterday you were hungry and tired? It probably would have been a good idea to eat and rest, huh? Instead you kicked and screamed like this...." Then we laughed and my imitation. "Why did you kick and scream?" She just shrugged and so I said, "it's okay to feel hungry and it's okay to feel tired. Mommy was trying to help you get some food and rest but when I said, 'bryn, can I help you?' You went like this..." And I imitated her kicking and screaming. This time she embarrassingly smiled and for a split second I saw a pure, innocent remorse on her face. She realized she had been rude. Thinking I'd have to help her understand that feeling and then what to do about it (tell me sorry), she looked away and kindly said, "I'm sorry for doing that yesterday." And my heart melted!! I said "thank you for saying sorry! That's was exactly what you needed to do! You such a good girl, even when you're kicking and screaming, but saying sorry was acting like a good girl! Thank you sooo much!" Tender mercy. Trying to remember to not talk to her about it in the moment but later when she's calm and can understand it without being defensive.
I don’t understand myself sometimes. I have extremely high expectations of myself and extremely high hopes for my childern. But I also don’t lay down the law when I’m tired or worn out or even when I’m rested. I wait for their “cues” which sometimes is helpful, extremely helpful, and other times I think, “Ooops… there was no cue. I was suppose to jump in and lovingly lay down the law. They would just continue on and on, it’s up to me.” As I write this, it sounds like that is the perfect balance. But it doesn’t really feel that way right now. Right now, I feel mad at myself for not LOVINGLY laying down the law in areas that I CAN control and letting things slide where I can’t control. I let things slide sometimes out of fear that my “lovingly laying down the law” will bring a tantrum. If it’s just MY idea or MY law then I easily, and sometimes not as easily, let the idea or law float away in order to stir clear of a tantrum.
I feel like I don’t take very good care of myself. I just bare and grin it most of the time and, actually, I’m really good at it. In fact, I think one of my gifts and talents is being easy going (another way to say being flexible, watching for cues, not laying down the law.) As far as taking care of myself, sometimes being easy going isn’t always appropriate. And after listening to a quick tip from Love and Logic, taking care of myself so that I can be an emotionally HEALTHY role model for my kids is really the ONLY thing I am responsible for and the ONLY thing I can really do. This makes sense. I can only control myself (sometimes THAT’S even arguable) and so I’ll I really can do is be a good example. Saying things like, “right now, I am tired. I feel like I need to take a nap. What are you going to do while I take a nap? It’s not my job to play with you. My job is to be happy and to feel good so you can learn how to be happy and feel good. In order to feel good, I need to take a nap.” “Right now, I need to work out. My body is important to me, it needs me to exercise. What are you going to do while I exercise? I really like to listen to music while I run and I really like watch the road, not kids, while I run. So I will run a lap, and then we can run a lap together. You decide what you want to do while I run my lap. Do you want some ideas? Stretch out, play with toys, play on the swing set, etc.”
There is so much pressure on me from myself to sit and play with my kids all day long. I totally and completely love my kids and even WANT to be around them. But when I guilt myself into playing with them a few too many times each day, I start to completely not want to play with them. Deep deep down (a place where I only let the guilt of truth come through and haunt me) I know that I’m not responsible and it’s not even needed that I sit down and play pretend with my kids. But every single day I do and I hate it and I pretend like I don’t. This is teaching my kids how to fake listening and how to fake actions. Happy day. This is teaching my kids the steps without teaching them the music. Music is found by finding the VALUE in the action. The value is more easily found when I feel like I’ve taken care of my physical, emotional and spiritual self. That’s why sometimes I resent playing with them - it’s because I haven’t first taken care of myself and deep down I know that, as crazy as it might sound in all this parenting pop culture, taking care of myself is actually more important and essential to taking good care of them! Slightly unbelievable how kind Heavenly Father is. He loves me and wants me to be healthy and happy just as much as He wants my kids to be. Sometimes it’s hard to believe life could be that grand.
I need to start using my gift and talent of being flexible by watching out for my own mental cues. And then honoring them and explaining out loud (to teach and be an example) why I MUST take care of myself. I can’t wait for time to pass to take care of myself because a healthy happier me is needed (very much so) NOW. I can't assume that others around me are going to take care of all my needs. I need to first do my best and then their loving actions and help won’t fall on a resentful heart but rather on a grateful and unexpecting heart. Elder Holland says that the Lord loves to bless those that don’t expect it. (laborers of the vineyard).
Phew! I’m off to try and kindly, patiently, and lovingly apply this. And to pray and ask for Christ to take away my short comings, guilt, and to bare my burdens once more!
I follow and worship Jesus Christ. His living prophet whom he speaks to (as in times of old), guides the church I belong to. Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father watch over us, want to be intimately involved in our lives, and want to make our lives as meaningful and joyful as possible. They can do this if we keep our hearts open and teachble to the spirit of Christ we all have within us.
This is what Christ teaches about immorality, including same sex attraction:
Exodus 20:14: "Thou shalt not commit adultery." Adultery is having sexual relations with anyone you are not married to. This would include with a man or woman.
1 Corinthians 6:18-20: "Flee fornication." "But he that committeth fornication sin etch against his own body..." "Know he not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you...?" Fornication is having any unmarked person having sexual relations with another person.
1 Thessalonians 4:3: "This is the will of God...that ye should abstain from fornication." Another witness that not committing sexual sin is the will of God.
Matthew 5:27-28: "thou shalt not commit adultery...but I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on [anyone] to lust after [them] hath committed adultery with [them] already in [their] heart. And if the right eye offend thee, pluck it out..." Christ is very clear and strict. Don't commit adultery or even think about it!
What the living prophet and apostles teach:
Where the Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter Day Saints stands: "The experience of same-sex attraction is a complex reality for many people. The attraction itself is not a sin, but acting on it is. Even though individuals do not choose to have such attractions, they do choose how to respond to them. With love and understanding, the Church reaches out to all God’s children, including our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters."
Having same sex attraction is not a sin, acting on it is. Just like any and all temptations/tendencies and acting on them.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks: "Have we forgotten to follow the Savior who taught that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments? (see John 14:15). If so, our priorities have been turned upside down by the spiritual apathy and undisciplined appetites so common in our day."
"We look on marriage and the bearing and nurturing of children as part of God’s plan and a sacred duty of those given the opportunity to do so. We believe that the ultimate treasures on earth and in heaven are our children and our posterity. ...Outside the bonds of marriage between a man and a woman, all uses of our procreative powers are to one degree or another sinful and contrary to God’s plan for the exaltation of His children."
"We know that through the God-given power of choice, many will hold beliefs contrary to ours, but we are hopeful that others will be equally respectful of our religious beliefs and understand that our beliefs compel us to some different choices and behaviors than theirs. For example, we believe that, as an essential part of His plan of salvation, God has established an eternal standard that sexual relations should occur only between a man and a woman who are married." (2013 October General Conference, No Other Gods, Sun. Morning Session - By Dallin H. Oaks)
Elder Jeffery R. Holland: "Sadly enough, my young friends, it is a characteristic of our age that if people want any gods at all, they want them to be gods who do not demand much, comfortable gods, smooth gods who not only don’t rock the boat but don’t even row it, gods who pat us on the head, make us giggle, then tell us to run along and pick marigolds.
Talk about man creating God in his own image! Sometimes—and this seems the greatest irony of all—these folks invoke the name of Jesus as one who was this kind of “comfortable” God. Really? He who said not only should we not break commandments, but we should not even think about breaking them. And if we do think about breaking them, we have already broken them in our heart. Does that sound like “comfortable” doctrine, easy on the ear and popular down at the village love-in? ...It is obvious that the bumper sticker question “What would Jesus do?” will not always bring a popular response."
"Christlike love is the greatest need we have on this planet in part because righteousness was always supposed to accompany it. So if love is to be our watchword, as it must be, then by the word of Him who is love personified, we must forsake transgression and any hint of advocacy for it in others. Jesus clearly understood what many in our modern culture seem to forget: that there is a crucial difference between the commandment to forgive sin (which He had an infinite capacity to do) and the warning against condoning it (which He never ever did even once)."
"...Pure Christlike love flowing from true righteousness can change the world. I testify that the true and living gospel of Jesus Christ is on the earth and you are members of His true and living Church, trying to share it." (2014 April General Conference, The Cost—and Blessings—of Discipleship, Sat. Morning Session - By Jeffrey R. Holland)
I believe that Jesus Christ is the savior and Redeemer of the World. I believe He loves me and wants the very best I life for me. I believe He won't lead me wrong.
I believe He gave us all commandments and expects those that love and know Him to keep them. I believe I can't just ignore the commandments and disregard them and say I follow Christ. I believe that one commandment is to not commit adultery and another commandment is it love one another. I believe it doesn't matter how many of humandkind choose to not obey the commandments, God's commandments can't be changed by humans/His children.
I believe we need to love, encourage, and strengthen each other. We all commit sin, we all need love, and we all need the Savoir. I believe we can't accept sin as the way to live life even though it's easier. I believe we all need to be Christlike as we can and follow His commandments and then use the atonement as we slip up daily.
I believe we must change and humble our hearts daily to His will. I believe part of life is learning to overcome all ungodly/natural man trait. (Like laziness, overeating, being prideful and mean.) I believe Christ wants us to be happy, hopeful, and full of purpose and that is what His commandments and atonement help us to accomplish.
"[In the grove of trees, Joseph Smith] learned that God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, are two separate, distinct beings."
"The Bible confirms Joseph Smith’s discovery. It tells us that the Son submitted His will to the Father (see Matthew 26:42). We are moved by the Savior’s submission and find strength in His example to do likewise, but what would have been the depth and passion of Christ’s submission or the motivational power of that example if the Father and the Son were the same being and in reality the Son was merely following His own will under a different name?"
"The scriptures give further evidence of this great truth: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son” (John 3:16). A father offering up his only son is the supreme demonstration of love that the human mind and heart can conceive and feel. It is symbolized by the touching story of Abraham and Isaac (see Genesis 22). But if the Father is the same being as the Son, then this sacrifice of all sacrifices is lost, and Abraham is no longer offering up Isaac—Abraham is now offering up Abraham." (2009 October General Conference, Joseph Smith—Prophet of the Restoration, Sat. Afternoon Session - Tad R. Callister)
Scriptures to know and understand:
Christ submits His will to the Father, not himself. (Matthew 26:42)
The Father sacrifices his Son, not himself. (John 3:16)
"[Another] great truth Joseph Smith discovered was that the Father and the Son have glorified bodies of flesh and bones."
"Following the Savior’s Resurrection, He appeared to His disciples and said, “Handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have” (Luke 24:39). Some have suggested this was a temporary physical manifestation and that when He ascended to heaven He shed His body and returned to His spirit form. But the scriptures tell us this was not possible. Paul taught, “Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him” (Romans 6:9). In other words, once Christ was resurrected, His body could never again be separated from His spirit; otherwise He would suffer death, the very consequence Paul said was no longer possible after His Resurrection." (2009 October General Conference, Joseph Smith—Prophet of the Restoration, Sat. Afternoon Session - Tad R. Callister)
Scriptures to know and understand:
The ressurected Christ told disciples that He was of flesh and bone, which would never be separated (death) again. (Luke 24:39 and Romans 6:9)
"[Still another] truth that Joseph Smith learned was that God still speaks to man today—that the heavens are not closed."
"One need but ask three questions, once proposed by President Hugh B. Brown, to arrive at that conclusion (see “The Profile of a Prophet,” Liahona, June 2006, 13; Ensign, June 2006, 37). First, does God love us as much today as He loved the people to whom He spoke in New Testament times? Second, does God have the same power today as He did then? And third, do we need Him as much today as they needed Him anciently? If the answers to those questions are yes and if God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, as the scriptures so declare (see Mormon 9:9), then there is little doubt: God does speak to man today exactly as Joseph Smith testified." (2009 October General Conference, Joseph Smith—Prophet of the Restoration, Sat. Afternoon Session - Tad R. Callister)
Scripture to know and understand:
God loves us just as much as the people of biblical times, God is still powerful, and we have need of direction just like in times of old. (Mormon 9:9)
"[At lastly], Joseph Smith learned was that the full and complete Church of Jesus Christ was not then upon the earth."
"Of course there were good people and some components of the truth, but the Apostle Paul had anciently prophesied that the Second Coming of Christ would not come “except there come a falling away first” (2 Thessalonians 2:3)." (2009 October General Conference, Joseph Smith—Prophet of the Restoration, Sat. Afternoon Session - Tad R. Callister)
Scripture to know and understand:
Christ apostles who had the proper authority of the preisthhood given to them by Christ himself were all killed. Therefore all the preisthhood possessed by humans was no longer on the earth. In order for the proper preisthhood authority to be on the earth again, it would have given to a human from one of these ressurected apostles. Which began on May 15, 1829 recorded in Joseph Smith-History 1:68-72.
"Yet sorrowfully, on occasion, some are willing to set aside the precious gospel truths restored by Joseph Smith because they get diverted on some historical issue or some scientific hypothesis not central to their exaltation, and in so doing they trade their spiritual birthright for a mess of pottage. They exchange the absolute certainty of the Restoration for a doubt, and in that process they fall into the trap of losing faith in the many things they do know because of a few things they do not know. There will always be some seemingly intellectual crisis looming on the horizon as long as faith is required and our minds are finite, but likewise there will always be the sure and solid doctrines of the Restoration to cling to, which will provide the rock foundation upon which our testimonies may be built.
When many of Christ’s followers turned from Him, He asked His Apostles, “Will ye also go away?”
Peter then responded with an answer that should be engraved on every heart: “To whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life” (John 6:66–68). (2009 October General Conference, Joseph Smith—Prophet of the Restoration, Sat. Afternoon Session - Tad R. Callister)
(It's too late to proof-read again :), but enjoy the fabulous tips from amazing women nonetheless. PS watch the links and you'll be in love!)
People who are easy to be around... (by writter and actress Natalie Hill, http://studio5.ksl.com/index.php?nid=54&sid=29859327)
Are good conversationalists (ask more questions than they answer, and they answer with more than one word. Perhaps even ending with a "have you ever felt like that/done that/said that?")
Be sincere (that also means be brave and take down some of your "guard.")
Say "yes" to opportunities (that don't compromise your integrity, of course).
Even if you want to say "no," say "yes" and become more well rounded with more experiences to share.
Serve others first.
Don't be worried who is going to do something for you. Sincerely serve!
Seven rituals to happiness (author Connie Sokol, http://studio5.ksl.com/?nid=54&sid=29797299 )
1. Get set
Before the throngs of multitudes (children) came, Christ went to the mountains alone to get set (relax, prepare, and/or ready). Wake up 20 minutes earlier to get dressed, deeper (because kids aren't crawling on you) morning personal prayer, start a load of laundry. Or take deep breaths. Or cuddle with spouse for 2 minutes to connect before you jump out of bed. Etc :)
2. Love in Moments
It doesn't have to be this huge program of love, just eye contact, a touch to the shoulder, a "good job!", etc.
3. De-clutter Something
As you're on the phone (for example) just throw out/put away 5 things from the junk drawer, fold a few pairs of socks, etc because you'll feel refreshed.
4. Bloom and Grow
Notice your talents and grow! Don't compare and get down, enjoy others talents and work on your own. Develope and expland into new ones, but share who YOU are.
5. Do One Difficult
Self disciple starts a feeling of self respect. Do just one significant part of the thing you don't want to do.
6. Positive Pause
Do something lovely or joyful for 10 minutes. Have fun!
7. Give Away Freely
Do something without any hope or thought of reward. Just do it out of the goodness of your heart. :)
Emotional Eating!! (Yikes! I'm thinking of the beginning of nap time... "Where's a cookie?") by counselor Michelle Lewis, http://studio5.ksl.com/?nid=56&sid=29826410
Determine: "am I actually hungry on a scale from 1-10?" 5 or lower you're body doesn't need food.
Delay: just for 10 minutes and the urge will subside a little.
Distract: Go do something else (for 10 minutes...) :)
Distance: Don't go straight to the kitchen after the kids are down, for example. Get distracted...in a room other than the kitchen.
Decide: After 10 minutes, decide if you're truly hungry and if so make it a mindful process (sit down, portion out).
Saturday night I was wallowing in self pity and was dreading being celebrated for feeling obligated in my role as mother. Fun times. But all melted away with this stirring reminder: motherhood is important and that's why you're being honored tomorrow and that's why you stick with it each and everyday.
Being celebrated for the amount of work I do is what makes me hate Mother's Day. It makes me think, "holy cow, motherhood is truly a lot of work and that's what the rest of my existence will be like." Can I get a "wahoo"? This lovely thought fills me with overwhelming despair and self pity.
When my focus is on the crying and ornery kids I wake up to everyday, or my kitchen floor that will not stay clean, or the fact that some things I do everyday, even all day, aren't what I would particularly choose to be doing, I begin to feel obligated, sorry for myself, and start wallowing in self pity.
Are you ready for the encouraging and hopeful truth yet?
For obvious reasons, the above description of motherhood is not why I stick with it. I don't create another battle plan for handling ornery starving kids in the morning because I enjoy this challenge. I don't discipline because it makes me feel refreshed and calm. I do these things because being a mother is the most important thing I can be doing here and in the eternities.
This one thought teaches us how important each individual is to Heavenly Father. Brynlie and Trevin are so important to Heavenly Father that he needs a nurturing yet strong mother to teach them to be Christlike and to rely on Christ's grace so they can return to live with Him. How humble, tearfully humble, I feel to answer the call to give my best effort. How complaining about washing a kicking and screaming one year old's hands sounds trivial when I remember how important it is to Heavenly Father that Trevin is cared for, loved, and taught Christ's gospel.
Christ didn't enjoy suffering for our sins. He specifically asked, "Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me." But he stuck with it because Heavenly Father's will is incredibly important, "nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done."
Christ knows what it's like to not be utterly thrilled to do the important work Heavenly Father has for each of his children. In fact, Christ said, "[this is] not my will..." But Christ is the master at doing what Heavenly Father asks whether or not it's what we want to to. He is the master at trusting Heavenly Father's plan and the role Heavenly Father has asked us all to play. As mothers we have the privilege and the challenge of teaching and caring for his precious children because that is what Heavenly Father has asked us to do. We can have fun and have a good time, but when we aren't having fun and when we are sick of it, it's okay. We've just been asked to stick with it, remembering Heavenly Father's will and his love for his children. Motherhood. It's the most important thing we, as mothers and women, can do. It's a privilege and a challenge we humbly accept.
Last week and today we had very successful sacrament meetings. It had to do with a few things: I had a specific schedule for the hour, I had treat bags, and angels helped the kids feel content.
I came to the conclusion that facing sacrament meeting basically as an hour of free time for my kids was overwhelming and showed me exactly why I am exhausted after that "free time"/sacrament meeting.
So I made a "schedule" or a general plan for the hour. AlthoughI I felt like I had just taken another step towards an over-organized-crazy-person, the second the meeting started I felt positive and in control because I had a plan! This immediately made me feel more organized mentally. This is how it looked:
This is how it went down:
11:50-12:00 (before the Sacrament):
Trevin on the bench, playing with the
bench in front, or waving to dad. Sometimes it feel busy (keeping him from pulling the girls hair in front of us), but it still wasnt a big deal because it was part of my plan and I also knew there would be an end shortly.
Brynlie during this time totally participated in the meeting. Singing songs and praying and generally laughing at Trevin. (Precious!)
12:00-12:15 (During the Sacrament): Trevin had his treats and books. During this time I answered Brynlie's concerned question about her treats with "when the boys passing the sacrament sit down."
12:15-1:00 (the talks):
Treat bag! This was Brynlie's main area of success. (But other weeks without this "schedule" she is not the exhausting "problem" of sacrament) I handed her a whole baggie full of snacks (mostly healthy things like raisins) and she loved the free reign to choose which treats she wanted and when. This kept her occupied for almost 20 minutes!!
Trevin, too, loved it and played with his books during this time.
With only 20 minutes left I pulled out Brynlie's purse of toys mostly because she saw it. (If she hadn't seen it she would have been content without it)
I debated whether to even bring out trevins eggs (quiet time activity with easter eggs and an egg carton) because he was pretty content. Then he had a small out burst with 5 minutes left so I whipped them out and we flowed easily through until the end of the closing prayer!!
Today it went like this:
11:50-12:00 (before the Sacrament):
Trevin played on the bench and Brynlie participate like last week.
12:00-12:15 (during the Sacrament):
Trevin had a few treats and played with a few books. This wasn't perfectly ideal because of all the resources I had to use, but we made it. Brynlie during this time was very eager but equally patient to wait for her treat bag.
12:15-1:00 (the talks):
For the next 20 minutes Brynlie enjoyed her treat bag (another successful activty for her). This was also the climax of Trevin's neediness. I'm not incredibly sure but I believe Trevin and I survived by trying (again) all the books and I treats I had.
He finally became content when I pulled out the tin box of crayons. He spent 20 minutes tipping over the box and putting all the crayons back in. Brynlie wanted to color during this time and was very kind to not demand all the crayons be in her possession. Instead she'd lean over and grab the crayon she wanted and let him have the rest! So sweet. Angels helped these too be patient with each other and relax and be content.
Another thing I've done is have one diaper only for Sunday that has everything (diapers, wipes, toys and books) already packed except the treats. It makes packing up and getting ready for church the night before so much more doable. (It's not really an exciting joy to pack up the diaper bag full each week at 10pm, so just worrying about the treats helps). Plus this keeps the novality of the toys to "Sunday only" toys which should help for a little. I already have switched toys out to help as well. :)
Having a smoother Sacrament meeting effects the rest of the day somehow. I've been a lot less exhausted/overwhelmed and have a lot more positive energy at the end of the meeting which is priceless!