Monday, July 20, 2009

The Honesty Under Pressure Award:

I just recieved this in an email and thought it would be good to share. Here is the link for a few more tips also, http://powerofmoms.com/articles/228/1/Monthly-Value-July-The-Value-of-Honesty/Page1.html

This is a motivational way to get children to evaluate their personal honesty every week. On Sundays (or whatever day you most often get your whole family together for a meal) ask, "Who had a situation this past week where it was a challenge to be honest?" Have an "award" on hand to give to the person who remembers the best incident of being honest. A piece of construction paper or colored card with a neatly printed H.U.P. (Honesty Under Pressure) will do nicely as the award. Let the child (or adult) who wins put it on his bedroom door during the week until it is awarded again the next week. After a couple of weeks of "getting used to," you will find that children are thinking hard about their behavior of the past week in hopes of winning the award. And it is this kind of thinking and recognition that strongly reinforces honesty.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Most of us have felt that our world is caving in on us at one point or another in our lives. I am feeling that way right now in fact. It seems that nothing is going right or well, nothing makes since and everything leads to a dead end. So, that being said, I found this quote to be applicable.

"Jesus Christ is not our last chance, He is our only chance. He will show us the way because He is the way."
-Sherie Dew, Saying It Like It Is

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Helpful Websites


Over the years I have really enjoyed reading Richard and Linda Eyre's parenting books. They also have a website that I find helpful...

Their daughter has also started a great website for moms...

Linda and Shawni (Linda's daughter) have also written a very cute and helpful book on mothering called, A Mother's Book of Secrets.
Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Blessings and Miracles

Well, it's been over a month since my last post. The past month has been a difficult but great one. There has been so much that has gone on, but the biggest most life changing thing happened to our family on April 24, 2009. I will start by saying that my son is alive and doing great! This is the first time I have written the experience down because until now it has been too difficult for me to write.

We were in Boise, Idaho judging the Mrs. Idaho America pageant. I was in a judges meeting and my husband had taken the kids to the hotel pool. My meeting was right down the hall. We heard someone yell "call 911" and I knew immediately that it had to be my kids at the pool. I ran down to the pool so fast to find my oldest son, 5 years old, lying lifeless and blue on the side of the pool with my husband trying everything he knew to revive him in a panic.

Amazingly one of the other judges was a dentist and knew CPR. At the same time she came to give the CPR my husband gave him a blessing and to our amazement he started to breath again. The relief was like nothing I can describe yet I was still in a panic because I didn't know if he would ever make a full recovery. Just as he started breathing the paramedics arrived and gave him oxygen. This must have upset my son because he yelled, "No" and then whacked one of the paramedics. I have never been grateful to see my son hit anyone until that moment. I knew with the 'hit' that he was a least somewhat back to normal.

He was then taken to the hospital in the ambulance. He spent the night there on oxygen and around 10:30 at night he woke up and we knew for sure that there was no brain damage because he could answer all of our questions. What a relief that was. He remembered everything! That made me feel very sad.

I don't think I realized the full severity of the incident until the next day when the judge that gave him CPR told me, "he was gone." Then, the next morning, my son woke up and told me that when he 'fell asleep' he went to Heaven. He said there were a lot of colors and he saw Heavenly Father and that Heavenly Father had given him the choice to come back or not. He can't remember why he chose to come back but I'm sure glad he did.

This whole experience has been such a difficult thing for me to deal with, while at the same time it has taught me so much and been an absolute miracle! It is actually feeling really good to write it down.

I have so much to write about the lessons learned from the experience but I have written enough for today. (My pregnant brain can only process so much info and then it's done! :)) If I feel I can write more about it I will later.

Before I go though I just have to say that the people in Boise are some of the most wonderful people in the world! I can't believe how much people helped us!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Spirit of Our Religion

"The man or woman who enjoys the spirit of our religion has no trials; but the man or woman who tries to live according to the gospel of the Son of God, and at the same time clings to the spirit of the world, has trials and sorrows acute and keen, and that too, continually. This is the deciding point, the dividing line. They who love and serve God with all their hearts rejoice evermore, pray without ceasing, and in everything give thanks; but they who try to serve God and still cling to the spirit of the world have got on two yokes - the yoke of Jesus and the yoke of the devil, and they will have plenty to do. They will have a warfare inside and outside, and the labor will be very galling, for they are directly in opposition one to the other."

-Brigham Young

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

President Uchtdorf


President Dieter F. Uchtdorf—"The gospel is the way of discipleship. As we walk in that way, we can experience confidence and joy, even during times of peril, sorrow and uncertainty. We live in a time when many worry about their livelihood. They are concerned about the future and doubt their ability to resolve the challenges that confront them. Many have experienced personal misfortune and sadness, they hunger for meaning and purpose in life. Because there is such a great interest in these issues the world is not bashful in offering numerous new answers to every problem we face. People run from one new idea to the next hoping to find something that will answer the burning questions of their souls. They attend seminars and buy books, CDs, and other products. They get caught up in the excitement of looking for something new, but, inevitably, the flame of each new theory fades only to be replaced by another new and improved solution that promises to do what the others before could not. It’s not that these worldly options don’t contain elements of truth, many of them do. Nevertheless, they all fall short of the lasting change we seek in our lives. After the excitement wears off the hollowness remains as we look for the next new idea to unlock the secrets of happiness. In contrast, the gospel of Jesus Christ has the answers to our problems—to all of our problems. The gospel is not a secret, it is not complicated or hidden. It can unlock the door to true happiness. It is not someone's theory or proposition. It does not come from man at all. It springs from the pure and everlasting waters of the Creator of the universe who knows truths we cannot even begin to comprehend, and with that knowledge He has given us the gospel—a divine gift—the ultimate formula for happiness and success,” (April 2009, Sunday Morning Session, General Conference).

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Thank You Week


I've been wanting to get my kids involved in some service type activities but never know what to do. I found a book at Deseret Book called, 52 Weeks of Fun Family Service, and it has some good ideas. Some of the ideas are a bit out of my comfort zone, like the "Sing to Seniors" week because my husband and I sound like hungry, dying alley cats when we sing and I don't think that would be of service to ANYONE. However, this week is "Thank You" week. This we CAN do (or at least I thought we could do it). You just make a list of people that you and your children would like to thank (church leaders, teachers, friends, neighbors) and then have them draw pictures (if they are really young) and then write a little note. Then you can make a thank you tree. You cut out leaves and write things you are grateful for on each leaf and then glue or tape them to the tree. I think it sounds like a cute idea but when I suggested it to my 2 oldest kids I was met with 2 temper tantrums about how there is no one they want to thank and they will not draw a picture or write anything to anyone. I love this idea and hope it works for someone! :)

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Power of Women

So, I wasn't out of my first trimester until last week. I thought it ended at week 12 (you would think I'd remember by pregnancy #4) but I kept feeling bad so I asked a friend and she said her doctor said it actually ends at week 14... that was last week for me. I am starting to feel more energy and motivation. I just hope I can keep it going throughout the pregnancy.

I just found a great quote from Sheri Dew in her book, "Saying It Like It Is"

“We are here to influence the world rather than to be influenced by the world. If we could unleash the full influence of covenant-keeping women, the kingdom of God would change overnight.”

Thursday, March 19, 2009

How do I upload a video

I have tried to upload 2 videos today but it's not working for me...any ideas?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

D&C 42:61


"If thou shalt ask, thou shalt receive revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge, that thou mayest know the mysteries and peaceable things--that which bringeth joy, that which bringeth life eternal."


I love this scripture. My husband and I just got done reading a lecture from Hugh Nibley about laying treasure up in heaven rather than on earth and it was fabulous. It is really important that we have the desire to learn the mysteries of God because this will bring us peace and joy here on this earth.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Ulitmate Career

Well, my brain is still having a little trouble thinking and focusing but C.S. Lewis' seems to be working fine...
"The homemaker has the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only-- and that is to support this ultimate career."

-C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Be Inspired to Keep Things Clean

If you're anything like me you might lose enthusiasm in cleaning your house or certain rooms of your house. One thing I have found that is helpful is to have a "pretty" room. Have you noticed that if a room looks really pretty when it's clean you will be more likely to clean it and keep it clean? This is true for me (not all of the time of course).
Sometimes, even if the room looks good it can get boring. If this is the case try rearranging furniture, pictures, and nick-nacks.

I like to keep neutral base colors in the house so that I can change the accent colors when I feel like it. This will give the room a new feeling for very little cost, time and effort. I am always on a very tight budget but there is still a lot you can do with very little. Paint and spray paint are two of my best friends. I paint everything when it starts looking old and tired or even if I just need a change. Another thing I hope to do eventually that doesn't cost a lot, is buy a couple of sets of curtains. You can get curtains for pretty cheap at places like Wal-Mart, Target and Ikea, or you can make you own. You can then change your curtains with the seasons or whenever you get the urge.
And of course there is painting the walls! I love painted walls. This is such a cheap and relatively easy way to change the whole look and feel of a room.

I really find that when things look good I am more inspired to keep them clean.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

My Thoughts

I just can't seem to get my thoughts together now that I'm pregnant...does anyone else get this way during pregnancy? I am very disorganized, can't think, can't spell (I'm not the greatest at spelling as is so you can imagine how bad it gets). When I first started the blog I had so many things to write and say, now I can't remember ANYTHING!!! I hope it gets a little better in the 1st and 2nd trimesters. So, I'm sorry that I have been so inconsistent.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Parenting

Set standards years in advance. Begin early in your children's lives to prepare them to

* Dress and act modestly
* Abide by the Word of Wisdom
* Avoid entertainment that is degrading in andy way, regardless of how it is rated.
* Avoid substance abuse
* Avoid pornography
* Use proper language
* Be morally clean

Daryl Hoole, "The Ultimate Career"

Friday, February 27, 2009

Good Book


This was left in my comment box by a mother...
"I love the book, I am a Mother by Jane Clayson Johnson. It's not so much a "how to" parenting book or tips on how to raise your family. It is more a quick read that arouses the divinity of Motherhood. It really connects to the spirit of the job. I just wanted to pass the goodness along. enjoy."

Thank you for sharing Team Hancock!
Here is the last quote from Elder Scott's talk, Obtaining Help from the Lord.

"If you are despondent, racked by transgression, are ill, alone, or desperately in need of comfort and support, I solemnly testify that the Lord will help you when you carefully obey the spiritual law upon which that help is predicated. He is your Father. You are His child. He loves you. He will never let you down. I know He will bless you. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen."

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Flood Your Life with Light

"To gain unshakable faith in Jesus Christ is to flood your life with brilliant light. You are no longer alone to struggle with challenges you know you cannot resolve or control your yourself, for He said, "If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me." (Moro. 7:33)

-Elder Richard G. Scott, "Obtaining Help from the Lord," Ensign, Nov 1991, 84

Monday, February 23, 2009

Obtaining Blessings from the Lord


**My mom printed this talk out for me a few weeks ago and guess who the talk was given by... yep, Elder Scott. For the next 3 days I am going to write quotes from that talk. I don't want to write them all at the same time because they are very powerful.

"We see such a limited part of the eternal plan He has fashioned for each one of us. Trust Him, even when in eternal perspective it temporarily hurts very much. Have patience when you are asked to wait when you want immediate action. He may ask you to do things which are powerfully against your will. Exercise faith and say, Let Thy will be done. Such experiences, honorably met, prepare you and condition you for yet greater blessings. As your Father, His purpose is your eternal happiness, your continuing development, your increasing capacity. His desire is to share with you all that He has. The path you are to walk through life may be very different from others. You may not always know why He does what He does, but you can know that He is perfectly just and perfectly merciful. He would have you suffer no consequence, no challenge, endure no burden that is superfluous to your good."

-Elder Richard G. Scott, "Obtaining Help from the Lord" Ensign Nov. 1991

Thursday, February 19, 2009

We MUST Apply What We Learn


I am in my first trimester of pregnancy right now and all I can find the motivation to do is sleep and eat! So, needless to say I haven't been as consistent in posting as I would like to but I will be trying.

Back to learning more about listening to the spirit and having prayers answered and back to Elder Scott's great wisdom on the subject. Elder Scott says, "To obtain spiritual direction or to acquire spiritual knowledge are not sufficient--you must find the courage and strength to consistently use them."

"For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward. Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will,, and bring to pass much righteousness; for the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward."

D&C 58:26-28; see also verses 29-33

From Elder Scott's book, Finding Peace, Happiness, and Joy

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Home Organization Tips

Conquering Kid Clutter

I just LOVE organization, but I'm not great at it. So my organization tips always come from someone else. I was reading on the blog that I shared with you yesterday and found a post about conquering kid clutter. Here's that link.
http://www.simplify101.com/conquer-kid-clutter.php

Monday, February 16, 2009

Home Organization


I just found a blog that I thought was good for home organization. You can also sign up to receive "quick tips" on organizing.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Acquiring Spiritual Guidance

Elder Scott says, "To acquire spiritual guidance and to obey it with wisdom, one must:

-Seek divine light, in humility
-Exercise faith, especially in Jesus Christ
-Repent
-Strive diligently to keep His commandments
-Pray continually
-Hearken to spiritual guidance
-Express gratitude

Friday, February 13, 2009

Parenting Tip

Keep the Friend or some other good reading material in the car and when you are parked waiting to pick up a child from school or dance, read a quick story to the other children.

Humility and Personal Revelation

Humility is such an important part of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is especially important when one desires to gain more knowledge and receive spiritual gifts.
Going back to Elder Scott's book, Finding, Peace, Happiness and Joy, he states:

"Why is humility essential to the acquiring of spiritual knowledge? To be humble is to be teachable. Humility permits you to be tutored by the Holy Spirit and to be taught from sources inspired by the Lord, such as the scriptures, the voice of His servants, or inspired parents. The seeds of personal understanding and growth germinate and flourish in the fertile soil of humility. When cultivated through the exercise of faith, pruned by repentance, and fortified by obedience and good works, such seed produce the cherished fruit of spirituality. Divine guidance and power then result -- guidance to know the will of the Lord, and power to provide the capability to accomplish that inspired will. Such power comes from God after we have done "all we can do."

A proud individual cannot know the things of the spirit. Paul taught this truth, saying:

"For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God... But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness not him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."
Therefore, spiritual guidance must be cultivated in the environment of humility. Pride, overconfidence, selfishness, seeking for position or the honors of men, stifle spiritual direction."

(Elder Richard G. Scott, Finding Peace, Happiness, and Joy, pg 65-66)

**We can all be humble on our own to a certain degree, but ultimately we must ask Heavenly Father to teach us to be humble and show us where we aren't humble. Unless we ask we will not really understand what true humility is.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Great Idea on Listening to the Spirit


My sister-in-law, Sarah, left this great comment. She also told me that her mother kept a separate journal called her prayer journal, to record all of the prayers and answers in.

"I really believe principle, it's one my mum always taught me. She would sometimes write out her prayers, word for word, and wait for the answer and then write them out word for word. Seems kind of daunting doesn't it, but I've tried it and it helps me to focus and makes 'hearing' the Spirit easier, plus I also think its shows Heavenly Father that he can trust you if you put so much effort into trying to listen."
-Sarah


Like Elder Scott's quote from the last post said, it is very important to write these things down, act on any instruction that has been given and then be grateful for the inspiration.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Parenting Tip

Something I do with my kids is pick a value each month: Respect, Honesty, Loyalty, etc... We then talk about it, read about it, learn poems about it, whatever we can think of to teach the value of the month. I like the book, The Book of Virtues, by Willam J. Bennett because it has 10 different virtues and each virtue has classic poems and stories to go along with each one. My kids really love the stories and ask me to tell them to again to them when we are in the car.

The Spirit Speaks to Your Heart and Mind


"Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart.
Now, behold, this is the spirit of revelation."
-D&C 8:2-3

Did you know that the spirit can speak to you almost word for word in your mind? Like dictation.

Elder Scott says: "Sometimes the impressions are just general feelings. Sometimes the direction comes so clearly and so unmistakably that it can be written down word for word, like spiritual dictation."

He then goes on to describe an experience he had with this dictation. He was in a Sunday church meeting when the impressions came flooding in, "I received such an outpouring of impressions that were so personal that I felt it inappropriate to try to record them in the midst of a Sunday School class. I sought a more private location. There I continued to write the feeling that flooded into my mind and heart as accurately and as faithfully as possible. After each powerful impression was recorded, I pondered the feeling I had received to determine if I had accurately expressed them in writing. As a result, I made a few minor changes to what had been written. Then I studied their meaning and application in my own personal life.

Subsequently I prayed, reviewing with the Lord what I thought I had been thaught by the Spirit. When a feeling of peace and serenity confirmed what I had sought, I thanked Him for the guidance given. I was then impressed to ask if there was yet more that I could be given to understand. I received further impressions, and the process of writing down the impression and pondering and praying to know if I had done it properly was repeated. Again I was prompted to ask, "is there more I should know?" There was. When that last, most sacred experience was concluded, I had received some of the most precious, specific, personal direction one could ever hope to obtain in this life. I am convinced that had I not responded to the first impressions, valued, and recorded them, I would not have received the last, most precious guidance. What I have described in not an isolated experience."

-Elder Richard G. Scott, "Finding Peace, Happiness, and Joy" pgs. 42,45,46

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

New Blog

I have made a new blog to help people overcome depression. I made this blog because it is something I delt with. I hope it will help you or someone you know. As always, I would love comments.

http://mylady-depressionhelp.blogspot.com/

Parenting Tips


I don't know any of my own tips in child raising so I will use what I have learned from others. Daryl Hoole gives this advice in her book, "The Ultimate Calling, The Art of Homemaking for Today."

Love Them. "The measure of love is to love without measure" (Anonymous).
Like Them. Appreciate whatever is noble in your children.
Listen to Them. Listen to and understand your children.
"Communication is really important in our house. I think one of the reasons why each of our 7 children feels so free to talk to their father and me is that we really listen to them. We give them our full attention as they talk, and we listen to understand, rather than to judge or preach. Therefore they are receptive to our counsel when we offer it." -Daryl Hoole

Personal Revelation

I love Elder Scott's book, "Finding Peace, Happiness, and Joy." He has a chapter called, To Understand Spiritual Guidance. I will be writing a few of the key points from that chapter in the next few posts.

"Another example underscores the clarity of spiritual communication. You may have opened your eyes under water while swimming. Everything looks blurred and difficult to identify, yet with the aid of a diver's mask, every detail can be seen with absolute clarity. Satan tries to blur reality and confuse you by tempting you to incorporate false principles into your life. Father in Heaven can clarify your life by sharing correct principles through the Holy Ghost. How you exercise your moral agency will determine which of these two influences will be predominant in your life. Your happiness now and for the eternities will unquestionably be determined whether or not you follow the spiritual guidance of the Lord communicated through the Holy Ghost."

President Kimball taught: "Revelations will probably never come unless they are desired. I think few people receive revelations while lounging on a couch... I believe most revelations would come when a man (or women, I would add) is on his tip toes, reaching as high as he can for something which he know he needs, and then there bursts upon him the answer to his problems."
-Elder Richard G. Scott, "Finding Peace, Happiness, and Joy"

Monday, February 9, 2009

I Need Help!!!

Those of you who know me know that my oldest son is extremely difficult to raise. Those who don't I'll just put it this way, his primary teacher said there was only one of him in ALL of Heaven. Anyway, I am having a very difficult time getting him to obey. My husband and I have tried everything we know. If there is anyone reading this that has any suggestions at all I would love to hear them. Thank you. Just email me at drennanbakerblog@yahoo.com

Importance of Personal Revelation


"Personal communication with God through the Holy Spirit is a reality. To me it is as literally real as life itself and far more precious than all of the treasure of the earth. As you understand and use the eternal principles governing such communication, you can learn that the counsel of others and the programs of the Church are useful aids but not the best source of fundamental direction in you life. That guidance come from the Lord through the Holy Ghost."


-Richard G. Scott, "Finding Peace, Happiness, and Joy"

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A Great Place to Start with Listening to the Spirit


"A test whereby we can know whether or not revelation is from God: 1. Is it contrary to instruction from a living Prophet? 2. Is there anything secret? 3. Does it bring harmony and peace of mind? 4. Does it square with the scriptures? 5. What have you done yourself to ask of the Lord? 6. Are you keeping the commandments? By answering this series of questions, you can know by the Spirit whether or not the information come from God."
-Thomas S. Monson,
Favorite Quotations From
The Collection Of
Thomas S. Monson, 104

I think this is a great place to start when wanting to know more about listening to the spirit and whether or not you heard right. :)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Next Week--Listening to the Spirit

Starting tomorrow I thought we would discuss "listening to the spirit". If you are like me, you could use a bit of work in that area. I will try to do better a posting earlier in the day, although, with 3 kids things can get a little crazy.

Parenting


I am sorry I didn't make a post earlier in the day. However, someone wrote a comment on the post from yesterday and she has a parenting blog!! It is wonderful! Please check it out.

This is a really great parenting advice blog!
She has a great section on helping build your child's self confidence.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Parenting Advice

Last Sunday my husband and I went over to a good friends house for dinner. They have 5 kids ranging in age from 17 yrs. down to 6 yrs. Each child was so kind, helpful, mannerly and even complimentary of their parents. I asked what advice would they give to parents and the husband said, "learn to be patient and control your moods. If you are angry do your best not to let it show in your face or tone of voice." These were not his exact words but this was basically it. Such simple yet profound advice. This is a way to "keep you children's hearts."
-From Bryan

"There is no way
to be a perfect
parent, but there
are a million
ways to be a
good one."
-Daryl Hoole's book

D&C 35:24

I was reading this last night and just loved it.

"Keep all the commandments and covenants by which ye are bound: and I will cause the heavens to shake for your good, and Satan shall tremble and Zion shall rejoice upon the hills and flourish;"

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Humility is a Strength

Yesterday I was going to write more from Elder Maxwell's talk. As I was reading through it I realized I would have to copy and paste most of it so I just decided not to add more. It is a great talk to read though.

Often times in our world today, we think of humility and meekness as being a wimpy door mat. Quite the contrary, we become "steadfast and immovable," not easily riled up or tossed by the hardships, disappointments, let downs and frustrations of life. I would say this is one of the first ways we acquire true JOY. As we are humble so many other things open up to us.

I really like what author John Pontius says about humility being a strength in response to Heleman 3:35.

"Does it strike you as a contradiction in terms to say "stronger and stronger in humility?" How can humility be strength? This is true because yielding to the promptings of the Holy Spirit is an act of humility which brings spiritual strength. "

-John Pontius, "Following the Light of Christ into His Presence"

Home Organization Tip - Thursday


Have a Place for Everything and Keep Everything in it's Place
Assign a "home" to everything.

Get a labeler at an office supply store and label things. Label shelves in the pantry. This will also help when others in the house are putting things away.

You can, of course, store things in plastic boxes in the basement or garage and then make an inventory list for quick and easy finding.
-Daryl Hoole and Daughters, "The Ultimate Career, The Art of Homemaking for Today"


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Home Organization Tip- Tuesday


Allow Good Habits to Simplify Your Lives

Make it a habit to pick up as you go along. Try to teach other members of the family this. Daryl Hoole says, "Even without thinking my husband, Roger, straightens couch cushions, arranges throws, and picks up small scraps off the floor as he walks through a room."
If anyone has a tip on how to get family members to do this, I could use it!

Do Not Put it Down; Put it Away

It is not considerate of others to litter. It usually requires no more effort and no more thought (once a habit is formed) to put something away properly than to leave it our. Get in the habit of picking up and putting away items as you walk through your house and yard.
-Daryl Hoole and Daughters, "The Ulitmate Career, The Art of Homemaking for Today"

Meekness

Neal A. Maxwell and Moroni state why I chose to focus on humility and meekness for the next little bit.

"The Greek rendition of the word meek in the New Testament, by the way, is “gentle and humble.

Actually, meekness is not an attribute which is essential only in itself, said Moroni. It is also vital because one cannot develop those other crucial virtues—faith, hope, and charity—without meekness.

In the ecology of the eternal attributes, these cardinal characteristics are inextricably bound up together. Among them, meekness is often the initiator, facilitator, and consolidator.

In fact, if one needs any further persuasion as to how vital this virtue is, Moroni warned, “none is acceptable before God, save the meek and lowly in heart.” (Moro. 7:43–44.) If we could but believe, really believe, in the reality of that bold but accurate declaration, you and I would find ourselves focusing on the crucial rather than the marginal tasks in life! We would then cease pursuing lifestyles which, inevitably and irrevocably, are going out of style!

Even so, why the stress on meekness? Merely because it is nice to be nice? The reasons are far more deeply embedded in the “plan of happiness” than that!

Perhaps, brothers and sisters, what we brought with us as intelligence into our creation as spirit children constitutes a “given” within which even God must work. Add to that possibility the clear reality of God’s deep commitment to our free agency—and we begin to see how essential meekness is! We need to learn so much, and yet we are free to choose! (See 2 Ne. 2:27.) How crucial it is to be teachable! There “is no other way” in which God could do what He has declared it is His intent to do. No wonder He and His prophets emphasize meekness time and time again!"

-Neal A. Maxwell, "Meekness—A Dimension of True Discipleship"

These are just a few quotes from the wonderful talk. I highly recommend reading the whole thing. I will be posting more from it tomorrow.

Link to Elder Maxwells Talk




Monday, February 2, 2009

Home Organization Tip

Sometimes you get discouraged
Because I am so small
And always leave my fingerprints
On the wall,
But every day I'm growing up
And soon I'll be so tall
That all those little handprints
Will be hard to recall.
So here's a special handprint
Just so you can say
That's how my fingers looked
When I placed them here today.

-Author unknown


Messes multiply; clutter attracts clutter. Do you have a desk or table that collects everyones junk? Clean it off. Have you noticed that when an area is junky other people seem to think it is okay to leave their junk there as well? Try to keep desks and table clear of papers and other items and in return others (with the exception of kids) will think twice before they set something down and leave it.

-Daryl Hoole and Daughters, "The Ultimate Career, The Art of Homemaking For Today."

I hope this one works, I will give it a try on my kitchen desk...

Humility

I really need to work on this one! Humility is one of the main characteristics we must have in order to enter the Kingdom of God. The next few days I will spend time learning more and posting more about humility.

"King Benjamin seems to teach that becoming like a child is a gradual process of spiritual development in which we are aided by the Holy Ghost and our reliance on Christ’s Atonement. Through this process, we will eventually acquire the childlike attributes of meekness, humility, patience, love, and spiritual submissiveness. True humility will inevitably lead us to say to God, “Thy will be done.” And because what we are does affect what we do, our submissiveness will be reflected in our reverence, gratitude, and willingness to accept callings, counsel, and correction. "

-Elder Marlin K. Jensen of the Presidency of the Seventy, "To Walk Humbly with Thy God”

"Many of us live or work in an environment where humility is often misunderstood and considered a weakness. Not many corporations or institutions include humility as a value statement or a desired characteristic of their management. Yet as we learn about the workings of God, the power of a humble and submissive spirit becomes apparent. In the kingdom of God, greatness begins with humility and submissiveness. These companion virtues are the first critical steps to opening the doors to the blessings of God and the power of the priesthood. It matters not who we are or how lofty our credentials appear. Humility and submissiveness to the Lord, coupled with a grateful heart, are our strength and our hope."

"Humbly submitting our will to the Father brings us the empowerment of God—the power of humility. It is the power to meet life’s adversities, the power of peace, the power of hope, the power of a heart throbbing with a love for and testimony of the Savior Jesus Christ, even the power of redemption. To this end, the Savior is our supreme example of the power of humility and submissiveness. After all, His submitting His will to the Father brought about the greatest, and even the most powerful, event in all of history. Perhaps some of the most sacred words in all the scriptures are simply, “Not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42). "

-Bishop Richard C. Edgley,"The Empowerment of Humility"

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Organization Tip of the Day


Give It Away

When you have too much, give some of it away. A common rule of thumb is, if you haven't used something in a year get rid of it Set aside an ongoing bag or box for charity. Each time it gets full, make a run to the local drop-off bin, or call a charitable organization that picks up items at your doorstep.

On garbage pickup mornings, all the trash should be in the container on the curb none in your house.

-Daryl Hoole and Daughters, "The Ultimate Career, The Art of Homemaking for Today"

Parenting Advice from King Benjamin


Mosiah 4: 14-15

14 And ye will not suffer your a children that they go hungry, or naked; neither will ye suffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and quarrel one with another, and serve the devil, who is the master of sin, or who is the evil spirit which hath been spoken of by our fathers, he being an enemy to all righteousness.

15 But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Todays Home Organization Tip


De-Junk

To de-junk, sort things into 3 piles: one to discard, a second to give away, and a third to put away.

If you have trouble letting go of things ask a friend to come help you and be your "clutter coach."
Focus on one room or area at a time and if you want to set a time limit such as forty-five minutes a day (or some such block of time).

For me, the best way to reorganize a closet is to completely empty it and clean it . Then I return what I want to keep and throw away or give away the rest. In this way I don't just rearrange stuff, I actually make a difference.
-Daryle Hoole and Daughters, "The Ultimate Career, The Art of Homemaking for Today"

Strengths Can Become Our Downfall


Humility is a huge part of being able to receive the gift of charity. Here is just one small thing that can stand in our way.
This is a section of a wonderful talk by Elder Dallin H. Oaks. This talk is about staying humble and how easy it can be to let our strengths become our weaknesses. I highly recommend reading this entire talk.

A Desire to Be Led in All Things
"Closely related to this example is the person who has a strong desire to be led by the Spirit of the Lord but who unwisely extends that desire to the point of wanting to be led in all things. A desire to be led by the Lord is a strength, but it needs to be accompanied by an understanding that our Heavenly Father leaves many decisions for our personal choices. Personal decision making is one of the sources of the growth we are meant to experience in mortality. Persons who try to shift all decision making to the Lord and plead for revelation in every choice will soon find circumstances in which they pray for guidance and don’t receive it. For example, this is likely to occur in those numerous circumstances in which the choices are trivial or either choice is acceptable.
We should study things out in our minds, using the reasoning powers our Creator has placed within us. Then we should pray for guidance and act upon it if we receive it. If we do not receive guidance, we should act upon our best judgment. Persons who persist in seeking revelatory guidance on subjects on which the Lord has not chosen to direct us may concoct an answer out of their own fantasy or bias, or they may even receive an answer through the medium of false revelation. Revelation from God is a sacred reality, but like other sacred things, it must be cherished and used properly so that a great strength does not become a disabling weakness."

Friday, January 30, 2009

Home Organization Tips


I don't know a lot about home organization yet but I am trying to learn. I bought a book not long ago called "The Ultimate Career, The Art of Homemaking for Today". I will write down a few things that it recommends and I would love to hear what other women do in their homes to keep things organized. Maybe you are just organized in 1 area, if so, please let me know. drennanbakerblog@yahoo.com

I will write a tip a day.

CURTAIL ACCUMULATION AND CONSUMPTION: Avoid putting twenty-five pounds of stuff in a twenty-five pound house. And remember: you do not need to keep everything that comes into your house or buy everything you see.

"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful."

-Daryl Hoole and Daughters,"The Ultimate Career, The Art of Homemaking for Today"

Thursday, January 29, 2009

What You Can Do to Receive the Gift of Charity


Charity is a gift that you can receive as you pray to be filled with love, as you give service, and as you look for the good in others.

Pray to be filled with love. The prophet Mormon admonished: “Charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him. Wherefore, … pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love” (Moroni 7:47–48). You may not feel the pure love of Christ immediately or all at once in answer to your prayers. But as you live righteously and continue to pray sincerely and humbly for this blessing, you will receive it.

Give service. We grow to love people as we serve them. When we set aside our own interests for the good of another in the pattern set by the Savior, we become more receptive to the Spirit. As you pray for those you teach, ponder their needs, and prepare lessons, your love for them will increase.

Look for the good in others. As you discover the good qualities in others, you will grow in your understanding of them as children of God. The Spirit will confirm the truth of your discoveries about them, and you will appreciate and love them more.
Seeking the Gift of Charity,” Teaching, No Greater Call: A Resource Guide for Gospel Teaching, 12
I would also like to add Listening to the Spirit and Instant Obedience.
***Remember that I would love to post anything that anyone wants to send in. If you would like to share something that you have learned about charity or any of the other posts please let me know. I also love to have comments. :) drennanbakerblog@yahoo.com

Functional Family???


There is an article in the Feb. 2009 Ensign about being a functional family. I will just put a few key points down.



"Calling a family functional doesn't mean it's perfect. However, in a family that functions well, family members recognize that they have weaknesses, and they work to improve their relationships despite their weaknesses."

Focus on Strengthening Family: Intentionally focusing on your family means you think about the impact of what you say or do not say to your children. As parents, you begin sending messages about how you feel about your children from the minute they are born. These messages include your words, actions, and attitudes, whether you meant to or not. All of these messages shape how children come to view themselves.
Examples of unintentional though often harmful messages include ignoring or being impatient with a child. If you are too busy to spend time with your son or daughter, you might be sending the message "You are not very important to me." Now, remember, sometimes you can't help being busy, so don't get too paranoid about this. Just remember it is important to intentionally send positive messages to edify your children and to evaluate now and again what messages you are sending so you can adjust as necessary.
Be Active Teachers: Adam and Eve were excellent examples of parents being good teachers. For example, "Adam and Eve...made all things known unto their sons and their daughters" (Moses 5:12) If we leave the spiritual education of our children to chance or to someone else,l we take a big risk that they won't learn the things that will bring them true happiness.

Lead by Example: Ask Yourself These Questions,
-What messages would you like to intentionally send your child?
-Do I want my children t be patient? Yes, so try to be as patient as you can with them.
-Do I want my children to relax, have fun, and learn to enjoy life? Yes, because these qualities are vital to developing healthy, happy relationships.
-Do I want my children to read the scriptures and wholesome books? Yes, make sure they see you reading them.
-Do I want my children to care about family relationships? Yes, so I kiss and hug them, smile at them, listen to them, play with them, and share personal experiences with them.

Teach Your Children Faith in Heavenly Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Perhaps the most important thing you will do in your life will be to teach and to keep the commandments. This is a commandment from the Lord (Mosiah 4:15).
Remember to be patient with yourself and your family members. Relationships improve in stages, not overnight. Strengthening them requires time and effort.
-James D. MacArthur, PhD, Ensign Feb. 2009)

Pray for the Gift of Charity with ALL energy of Heart

A few more lessons on charity from Sheri Dew...

"I repeat: The healing power of charity, bestowed by our Father, made possible by the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and delivered to us by the Holy Ghost, can make it virutually impossible even to feel emotions common to the natural man. In fact, charity can drop-kick the natural man (and woman) right out of play."

"Now, becoming like the Savior--meaning, having our natures become like His--is not a quick or easy process. But we are admonished to "covet earnestly the bets gifts" (1 Cor. 12:31). The pure love of Christ is the best gift. It is to be coveted, sought after, and even craved. As we pray with all the energy we can muster to be filled with His love, our nature will gradually change, we will slowly become more and more like Him, and our actions and feeling will increasingly be manifestations of pure charity."

"So on those days when we're not ready to stop being offended about something, not ready to forgive someone, still determined to give someone the silent treatment , and so on, what we're actually saying is, "Wait! I don't want to become more like the Savior today. Maybe tomorrow when I' m able to let go of some irritation or injustice." Perhaps those are the times when we need to pray the hardest, the times that make it clear that a change in behavior is not enough--that we must have a change in nature. As the Father applies the balms of charity to our hearts and souls, everything from emotional wounds to personality flaws can be healed and even transformed."

President Ezra Taft Benson described the process this way: "The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of the people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature" (in Conference Report, October 1985, 5).
-Sheri Dew, "If Life Where Easy Then It Wouldn't Be Hard"

I have been concentrating on charity so much because I know it can change any miserable situation in our lives. If we are struggling in our marriages--pray for the gift of charity, if we are having trouble being the mom we want to be--pray for the gift of charity, if we are having trouble making our home what we want it to be--pray for charity, if we are having inner turmoil--pray for the gift of charity. Remember, like Sheri Dew said, it is not a quick, easy process but over time we will each slowly change and become like the Savior. I have heard some say that it was a slow process until all of a sudden one day they noticed a huge difference in themselves. It is a process that can lead to an event.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Charity: The Great Healer


A few years ago I had anoriexa. Those of you who have experienced any type of eating disorder can understand what they do to you. I completely lost sight of who I was, I lost confidence in myself, others and sadly even the Lord at times. As a result I became very depressed and confused. After a couple of years of eating agian, I was finally able to see a bit straighter and I remembered what my mother had taught me about Charity..."it literally changes your nature." I knew that in order to fully overcome the ramifications of the eating disorder I needed a complete change. (I couldn't even remember who I was before the E.D. so I couldn't just say, "Oh, that's who I was before, I'll just remember that and become that again." I really COULDN'T remember!)

So, for the past few years I have been focused largely on weeding out my false beliefs that the eating disorder created and trying to focus on doing what it takes to receive the gift of Charity. Although, I have not yet received the "gift" in the way Paul, Nephi, Elder McConkie and many others have defined it, I know that the focus on it has helped me in ways I could never have imagined. I know that as I hold as tight as possible to the Iron Rod, I eventually will be led to the Gift of Charity (the "Tree", 1 Ne. 11:22). I believe this is what our Relief Society motto, "Charity Never Failith" really means... you can be healed from ANYTHING when you strive to receive the gift of Charity.

Sheri Dew puts it this way, "Very simply, put without Charity we cannot enter the celestial kingdom, because if our natures have not become defined by charity, then we won't be like our Father and His Son. It's as simple, and profound as that.

For charity changes us. It transforms us. It is as a healing balm. When we plead with all the energy of our hearts to be filled with the pure love of Christ, the increasing, continual bestowal of charity not only changes our natures, it heals us from the emotion and other wounds created by the buffetings we experience in this lone and dreary world--wounds such as insecurity and jealousy, resentment and fear, a propensity for anger and an unforgiving heart. The healing power of charity, bestowed by the Father and made possible by the Atonement of Jesus Christ, can make it virtually impossible for us even to feel emotions common to the natural man."
-Sheri Dew, "If Life Were Easy, It Wouldn't Be Hard"

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Charity is a GIFT


For years my mother has taught me about charity. "It is not actions we do or things we say, it is actually a gift we receive. You must pray for it and desire it will your whole heart." I have thought about what she taught me...for years.

I think this week each post will be about charity because it is so important and essential! Paul says: "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my good to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing."(1Cor:13:1-3)

Sheri Dew has a wonderful chapter about Charity in her book, "If Life Were Easy, It Wouldn't Be Hard" so I am just going to tell you what she says because she states it so straight forward and beautifully.

"Charity is a bestowal, a gift from our Father. The gift of Charity is bestowed only upon those who follow the Son. It is the greatest of all the gifts of the Spirit. But it may be the most underestimated and even the least understood. We tend to define charity as something we do or feel, but in our Father's vernacular, charity means much more. It is the word He uses to describe the character, the nature, the very essence of His Son.
Charity is not an emotion or an action. It is not something we feel or do. Charity is who the Savior is. It is His most defining and dominant attribute. It is what enabled Him to endure the Garden and the cross for you and me. It is one of the things that makes Him God. Thus, when we plead for the gift of charity, we aren't asking for lovely feelings toward someone who bugs us or someone who has injured or wounded us. We are actually pleading for our very natures to be changed, for our character and disposition to become more and more like the Savior's, so that we literally feel as He would feel and thus do what he would do. That explains why Mormon says that when the Savior appears, those who have been gifted with charity "shall be like him," for they shall "see him as he is" (Moroni 7:48)."
-Sheri Dew, "If Life were Easy, It Wouldn't Be Hard"

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Charity literally changes us from the Natural Man to a Spiritual Man
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More to come tomorrow on Charity.

Monday, January 26, 2009

"Charity Never Faileth"


I think Charity is a great place to start with marriage. There is so much to write about Charity! I am not sure where to begin. So I will start here...

Elder Bruce R. McConkie's definition of Charity:
Above all the attributes of godliness and perfection, charity is the one most devoutly to be desired. Charity is more than love, perfect love, the pure love of Christ which endureth forever. It is love so centered in righteousness that the possessor has no aim or desire except for the eternal welfare of his own soul and for the souls of those around him. (McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 2:378)

Charity is much more than doing service...MUCH MORE!

Charity is the "Tree" in Nephi's vision: ...Yea, it is the love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; wherefore, it is the most desirable above all things. (1Ne. 11:22)

Moroni says this: And now I know that this love which thou hast had for the children of men is charity; wherefore, except men shall have charity they cannot in inherit that place which thou hast prepared in the mansions of thy Father. (Ether 12:34)

Charity is the love of God for us, not the other way around.(John Pontius, Following the Light of Christ into His Presence.)

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen. (Moro. 7:48)

And above all things, clothe yourselves with the bond of charity, as with a mantle, which is the bond of perfectness and peace. (D&C: 88:125)

Wherefore, there must needs be faith; and if there must be faith there must also be hope; and if there must be hope there must also be charity. And except ye have charity ye can in nowise be saved in the kingdom of God; neither can ye be saved in the kingdom of God if you have not faith; neither can ye if ye have no hope. (Moro. 10:20-21)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Life is a Gift


I just stole this off of my friend Ashley's blog. I hope she doesn't mind but I thought it was great!


Life Is a Gift

Today before you say an unkind word - Think of someone who can't speak.

Before you complain about your husband or wife - Think of someone who's crying out to GOD for a companion.

Before you complain about the taste of your food - Think of someone who has nothing to eat.

Today before you complain about life - Think of someone who went too early to heaven.

Before whining about the distance you drive Think of someone who walks the same distance with their feet.

And when you are tired and complain about your job - Think of the unemployed, the disabled, and those who wish they had your job.

Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning,
Satan shudders & says..."Oh no! She's awake."

Marriage


I feel that I need to add some inspirational things on MARRIAGE. A few weeks ago in my ward, a high councilman stood up in priesthood and said that the marriages in our ward were really struggling. He said that there were many ladies who felt that they would go up to Heaven and tell Christ that they didn't want to be with their husbands for eternity. This is very sad and I'm sure it's not unique to my ward. I know there are many out there struggling with their marriages to different degrees. Whatever degree of problems you are experiencing, I hope that somehow something on this blog may help.

I ask that anyone who would like to share things that have helped them in their marriage please do so by emailing me at drennanbakerblog@yahoo.com. I will then post it on the blog. We can all help each other. Each one of us has been through different struggles and maybe the advice you have will be just the thing someone needs. I would also be interested in books or articles you have read that might help. Thank you.

"Humility is a major ingredient of a happy life and a happy marriage." -C. Richard Chidester

My sister-in-law, Sarah, just sent this in. She said it is a wonderful Ensign article on marriage from about 4 years ago. It is called, "Falling Out of Love...And Climbing Back In"
Please read it by going to the sidebar under the section titled "Marriage" and click on "Falling Out of Love...And Climbing Back In"


(I have posted some links to articles on the sidebar title "Marriage")

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Daughters of God

Part of Elder M. Russell Ballard's conference talk in April 2008. There is a little something for everyone, moms, dads and kids.

"There is no role in life more essential and more eternal than that of motherhood."

As a Church, we have enormous respect and gratitude to you mothers of young children. We want you to be happy and successful in your families and to have the validation and support you need and deserve. So today, let me ask and briefly answer four questions. While my answers may seem extremely simple, if the simple things are being tended to, a mother’s life can be most rewarding.
The first question: What can you do, as a young mother, to reduce the pressure and enjoy your family more?
First, recognize that the joy of motherhood comes in moments. There will be hard times and frustrating times. But amid the challenges, there are shining moments of joy and satisfaction.
Author Anna Quindlen reminds us not to rush past the fleeting moments. She said: “The biggest mistake I made [as a parent] is the one that most of us make. … I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of [my three children] sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages six, four, and one. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less” (Loud and Clear [2004], 10–11).
Second, don’t overschedule yourselves or your children. We live in a world that is filled with options. If we are not careful, we will find every minute jammed with social events, classes, exercise time, book clubs, scrapbooking, Church callings, music, sports, the Internet, and our favorite TV shows. One mother told me of a time that her children had 29 scheduled commitments every week: music lessons, Scouts, dance, Little League, day camps, soccer, art, and so forth. She felt like a taxi driver. Finally, she called a family meeting and announced, “Something has to go; we have no time to ourselves and no time for each other.” Families need unstructured time when relationships can deepen and real parenting can take place. Take time to listen, to laugh, and to play together.
Third, even as you try to cut out the extra commitments, sisters, find some time for yourself to cultivate your gifts and interests. Pick one or two things that you would like to learn or do that will enrich your life, and make time for them. Water cannot be drawn from an empty well, and if you are not setting aside a little time for what replenishes you, you will have less and less to give to others, even to your children. Avoid any kind of substance abuse, mistakenly thinking that it will help you accomplish more. And don’t allow yourself to be caught up in the time-wasting, mind-numbing things like television soap operas or surfing the Internet. Turn to the Lord in faith, and you will know what to do and how to do it.
Fourth, pray, study, and teach the gospel. Pray deeply about your children and about your role as a mother. Parents can offer a unique and wonderful kind of prayer because they are praying to the Eternal Parent of us all. There is great power in a prayer that essentially says, “We are steward-parents over Thy children, Father; please help us to raise them as Thou wouldst want them raised.”
The second question: What more can a husband do to support his wife, the mother of their children?
First, show extra appreciation and give more validation for what your wife does every day. Notice things and say thank you—often. Schedule some evenings together, just the two of you.
Second, have a regular time to talk with your wife about each child’s needs and what you can do to help.
Third, give your wife a “day away” now and then. Just take over the household and give your wife a break from her daily responsibilities. Taking over for a while will greatly enhance your appreciation of what your wife does. You may do a lot of lifting, twisting, and bending!
Fourth, come home from work and take an active role with your family. Don’t put work, friends, or sports ahead of listening to, playing with, and teaching your children.
The third question: What can children, even young children, do? Now, you children, please listen to me because there are some simple things you can do to help your mother.
You can pick up your toys when you are finished playing with them, and when you get a little older, you can make your bed, help with the dishes, and do other chores—without being asked.
You can say thank you more often when you finish a nice meal, when a story is read to you at bedtime, or when clean clothes are put in your drawers.
Most of all, you can put your arms around your mother often and tell her you love her.

M. Russell Ballard, “Daughters of God,” Ensign, May 2008

Friday, January 23, 2009

A Great Thought for Today


This is from the Visiting Teaching Message for this month, "Stand Strong and Immovable in Faith."

Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “You cannot today remotely imagine what that decision to be unwaveringly obedient to the Lord will allow you to accomplish in life. Your quiet, uncompromising determination to live a righteous life will couple you to inspiration and power beyond your capacity now to understand” (“Making the Right Decisions,” Ensign, May 1991, 34).

My sister-in-law, Sarah, has a wonderful quote from Elder Eyring about the importance of visiting teaching called "Now and Then Isn't Enough"
http://spirituallythinking.blogspot.com/2009/01/now-and-then-isnt-enough.html

Fasting...

As moms we are often pregnant or nursing in the first part of our married life and motherhood which prevents us from doing a full fast. Here is a thought on how to still fast even if you are pregnant, nursing, ill or have any other condition that would prevent you from fasting.

Isaiah 58:6
Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
vs 7-11 are great also

This scripture could be saying that a fast doesn't just have to be going without food, it could also mean fasting from burdens or sins that we are carrying such as: a fast from yelling at our kids, a fast from berating ourselves, a fast from berating others, a fast from nonessential things, a fast from fights with husbands, a fast from anger, a fast from negativity, a fast from a scowling...the list could go on and on. Of course, as with most things, the best way for each of us to determine the proper fast for ourselves at any given time is through prayer and inspiration. (These types of fasts may also last longer than the traditional 24 hours)

**Check out the comments on this section for more fasting tips

Thursday, January 22, 2009

True Happiness

I would guess we all feel down at times some of us more than others. I don't know all the reasons we women feel down but I did come across something in the scriptures this morning that may help.

Mosiah 2:41
And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.

Many of us don't commit what we would call "major" sins but we often commit sins we may or may not be aware of that WILL affect our happiness. Here are some things that we can use to evaluate ourselves: Do I have pride, envy, judging, small lies, anger, resentment, bitterness, not supporting and sustaining church leaders (often times would go along with pride), being down on yourself, etc...

So, if we are ever feeling down we can do a small evaluation to see if there is something in our lives that needs to be repented of and changed. Sometimes we may not see it. If this is the case we can go to the Lord and ask if He will show us where we need to improve so that we can live a happier life (see Ether 12:27). He is always more than happy to show us where improvement can be made.

Poem: By Catherine Doherty

REPENT
There is the deep stuff inside, where
you have to go and cleanse you soul
and your heart of all that accumulated
junk through the years. Go into your
heart and you'll see... thousands of
things: envy, jealousy-a lot of things.
Think of your soul as a room, a room
that you are making ready for God, and
if you knew that God was coming, you
certainly would wash and clean and
scrub. Do it now...
And as you come out of it, a great joy
will previal in you.

Charity Bears

My great friend Nathalie made what she calls "Charity Bears." They are so adorable and the are a great way to brighten someones day, unify wards or just let someone know you are thinking of them. You just drop them off at someones home and leave it there anonymously. There is a poem attached that reads...

Hello My Friend!I am here to bring you joy
Don't mistake me for a funny little toy,
I've been thinking of you
With a smile that rings true.
I love you with a beautiful love
That comes from the Lord up above.
Enjoy me, love me and hug me for a few days
Then let another sister feel my loving ways.
Pass me along to a friend in our ward
Someone who needs love from you and the Lord
(This is from Nathalie's website)
Now, Picture this:
You have just received "joybear" on your doorstep. She is adorable and so soft. You don't know who brought her to you, but you are happy someone is thinking of you. How sweet! You enjoy the cuddly teddy bear for several days, then start to think about who else would benefit from having "joybear". It's so much fun to think about, you wish you had more than one teddy bear to give away. But in the end you decide (with inspiration, perhaps) on THE person who needs her most, then you go deliver Joybear and feel the smiles.
*She gave me 3 of them and let me say, they are very cute!
She just made them and will be getting pictures of them up very soon but for now you can read her blog at http://www.charitybears.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Blessing For Children

Elder Jeffery R. Holland writes, Nephi-like, might we ask our selves, what do our children know? From us? Personally? Do our children know that we love the scriptures? Do they see us reading them and marking them and clinging to them in daily life? Have our children ever unexpectedly opened a closed door and found us on our knees in prayer? Have they heard us not only pray with them but also pray for them out of nothing more then sheer parental love? Do our children know we believe in fasting as something more that an obligatory first-Sunday-of-the-month hardship? Do they know that we have fasted for them and for their future on days about which they knew nothing? Do they know we love being in the temple, not least because it provides a bond to them that neither death nor the legions of hell can break? Do they know we love and sustain local and general leaders, imperfect as they are, for their willingness to accept callings they did not seek in order to preserve a standard of righteousness they did not create? Do those children know that we love God with all our heart and that we long to see the face - and fall at the feet - of His Only Begotten Son? I pray that they know this.

-Elder Jeffery R. Holland, Broken Things to Mend

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Self Esteem

"We receive mixed messages today that self- love and a sense of self- worth are forms of selfishness and conceit. However, I know from my own experience that when I don't fully accept myself and all of my warts, blemishes, and imperfections, I am crippled in my charity toward God and my neighbors. Let me encourage you not to feel guilty as you aspire to appropriate self-love, which comes in part by honest self-knowledge and acceptance."—Jeffrey R. Holland, On Earth As It Is in Heaven

-From Sarah- thank you

Preparing Stripling Warriors

"The true preparation of a stripling warrior begins when a child is nestled in the arm of his or her mother, being nurtured physically and spiritually. Mothers of stripling warriors sense... the eternal significance of every physical and spiritual experience that molds, shapes, refines, and prepares the body and the spirit of a child." (Ardeth Greene Kapp, What Latter-day Stripling Warriors Learn from Their Mothers)

I got this from my sister-in-laws blog http://www.spirituallythinking.blogspot.com/. This is from a book you can buy at Deseret Book.