Okay!  So sorry for my last post.  It did end up being "one of those weeks" though.  But I can tell you, all experiences can become learning experiences.  While visiting with a friend this week, something she said led me on a journey  to study how to increase my faith.  She said, " Strengthen your faith, the kind of faith where you place everything on the Lord... and then you will be at peace."

I have been told that I am a woman of great faith.  But as I studied more on this topic I realized I had what Elder Dallin H. Oakes defines as "...faith in faith, which is something like relying on the power of positive thinking..." rather than pure faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ.

Being a planner, I think a lot about the future.  I worry that what I or my spouse or my children are doing today won't lead us to the goals we have for the future.  I guess I'm still learning the lessons I was supposed to have learned during my illness at the beginning of the summer . . .  Live by faith, not by fear when you come across unknowns.  :-)

I love what Elder Richard G. Scott has said, "It is nobility of character, that fabric of inner strength and conviction woven from countless righteous decisions, that gives life its direction."  President Hinckley has also taught to just "take the next step."   Life really is supposed to be just one step after another.  We can and should have a big picture vision in front of us, but only as a guide, not as its own stumbling block!

Proverbs 3:5:  "Trust in the Lord, and lean not unto thine own understanding."  Our  small-minded vision may be blinded by fear at times, but as we exercise more faith in the Lord, I do believe we can only have peace and fulfillment in this life. "Faith isn't believing that He can, faith is knowing that He will."

So, as I face a new calling and wonder how it's  going to work out with my other church responsibilities, I will exercise faith in the Lord.  As I face a new year of teaching my children in the home, I will exercise faith in the Lord.  As I feel discouraged over the fate of loved ones in my life, I will exercise faith in the Lord.  Elder Scott states, "...by doing those things the Lord counsels us to do, we are given every understanding and every capacity necessary to provide peace and rich fulfillment in this life." 


An Ever Day

I'm having one of those days.  You know the kind. 
The kind where you think:

Will my house ever be clean enough?

Will my children ever stop picking on each other?

Am I ever going to stop adding to my to do list?

Is my baby ever going to take a nap?

Wouldn't it be so nice to just run away & hide  for a day?

Am I ever going to feel rested?

Are my children ever really going to amount to  anything by being mine? 

You know....one of those day!!   And, as school is starting just around the corner, I can't help but be just a little bit tempted to send them all to school! 

Isn't it nice to know we all have those days sometimes?  Sometimes I wish I handled these days better by simply doing nothing but playing with the kids, watching movies and reading books.  But....I don't.  I'm sure tomorrow will be better (unless it's going to be one of those weeks!).  Yikes! 


Family Work

"From the very beginning, the Lord commanded Adam to till the earth and have dominion over the beasts of the field, to eat his bread by the sweat of his brow. I have always been interested in how often the scriptures have admonished us to cease to be idle and to be productive in all of our labors. … Teaching children the joy of honest labor is one of the greatest of all gifts you can bestow upon them.” - - L. Tom Perry

And while the rest of us were slaving away, our 4yo stole the camera to document his adventures:


Some Thoughts on Parenting

This post is way past due!  I read this good article on parenting just before the baby was born and there were a couple of points that have since resurfaced in my mind multiple times. 

First of all, the idea of teaching only once. 
This really hit home to me simply because I am a talker.  In many situations my mouth sometimes doesn't know when to stop moving.  :-)  Parenting not excluded!  The article clarified why talking too much at our children doesn't work.  Tibbets actually argues that all it really does is make our kids think they're stupid for not "getting it the first time."

This also changed my viewpoint on the term "natural consequences."  Yes, sometimes there are consequences that "fit the crime", i.e. steal a candy bar, go pay for it.  However, I think that the what the consequence is doesn't matter so much as the consistency in which it is used.

So, in my efforts to talk less and simply issue the consequences with consistency, I made a list of "Go-To Consequences" (not attached to any particular offence): 

1. Run # of laps around the park
2. Write # of sentences (i.e. "I will speak kindly to my sister")
3. Pull # of/section of weeds outside
4. Copy a page from the dictionary

With this list, I can more calmly choose a consequence in the moment rather than thinking, "What should I do now?  I don't know.  I can't think of anything that fits the crime!  Agh!  What should I do?" . . . and then start yelling instead.  :-) We'll see how it works. 

The second idea from the article that I thought was brilliant:  Expect them to fail.  Duh!  That sounds so simple.  But how many of us parents really do just that?  Yes, we are taught to have high expectations for our children and to look at their strengths, but this is different.  How many times are we asked to do something new or  challenging and get it right the first time?   By expecting our kids to fail, we are really preparing ourselves to be proactive rather than reactive when our kids "mess up." 

Here's an example.  Years ago I had a daughter who was quite obsessed with the Lord's name being said inappropriately.  She never said it herself, but I could see that when she said, "Oh my gosh!" she was really thinking the other word in her head.  I remember thinking to myself,  "One of these days she is going to slip."  Well, a week or two later she was running through the kitchen, stepped on a tack and yelled .... you know what  (we all know how bad it kills to step on a tack!).  Being prepared for it, I didn't overreact in the moment.  However, my husband, who was not prepared for this slip up, had an instant reaction and went a bit crazy! :-)  This just illustrates to me that if we are prepared for our kids to mess up sometimes, we aren't as shocked when they actually do and can calmly handle the situation. 

It's the same idea with a baby that wakes up in the middle of the night. When I go to bed hoping he will sleep until morning, I'm really grumpy when he doesn't.  When I go to bed ready to wake up in a couple of hours, I'm not surprised or reactionary when I hear his cries as expected.  So, it's not that we're setting our kids up for failure, it's just a mental preparation on our part to handle the situation with more care; thus teaching our children with love rather than anger, insult or overreactive disappointment.

These two ideas, expecting them to fail and teaching only once, have really helped me to be less reactionary with my kids.  Nagging, yelling, and criticizing have subsided.  Also reading this article by Lynn G. Robbins, my perspective on how I parent & teach my children has changed...and I think (hope) I'm improving.  :-)
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