Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Thank You to Bless Us

My husband and I have tried to model how to pray for each of our sons since before they could speak. Some things have stuck; others have not. Even though the boys are now 9, 6, & 5, we still step in every now and then with reminders to actually bless our food before a meal, or that we do not need to bless dinner in our family prayer before bedtime. Their prayers are often simple and far from perfect. However, in the last few weeks I’ve listened to one of my son’s prayers and have realized there are some things I’d rather not correct. 

There is often a pattern in this son’s prayers: 

Thank you to bless us.
Thank you to bless our food.
Thank you for us to be safe.
Thank you that we will sleep well.
Thank you for us to be safe.
Thank you that we will have a good day at school.
Thank you that we make good choices.
Thank you for us to be safe.
Thank you that we will be healthy.
Thank you that we are a family.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Thanks to Cancer

It’s the season of Thanksgiving, but there is one thing for which I am not grateful:


I know what some of you might be thinking:
How dare she not be thankful in all things? 
Have we not been commanded to always be thankful? 

The scriptures say so:

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”  (1 Thessalonians 5:18, emphasis added.)
 “….do all in the name of Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” (Colossians 3:17, emphasis added.)
  “…Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;” (Ephesians 5:20, emphasis added.)
  “…but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made know unto God.”  (Philippians 4:6, emphasis added.)

Monday, November 7, 2016

What If God Seems Silent?

Several close friends have confided in me in recent months, all saying something like this, "I am in the deepest pit of my life and God is completely silent."

These friends have widely differing roadblocks causing various sorts of havoc in their lives. They've told me they believe that God is there, but it's as though there is a wall between them and him. They are suffering, deeply, and they feel alone.

I grieve with my friends. If there is anything worse than life kicking your trash, it's the feeling of being alone in the state of being beaten to a pulp. Where's the mercy, the help? Where is God when you need him the most?

I empathize, as these conversations have brought back distinct memories of a period in my life when I felt exactly the same way.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Five Books To Read Before You Serve A Mission

During an LDS missionary's 18 - 24 months of service, he or she is encouraged to read only from the Missionary Reference Library, which includes: Jesus the Christ, Our Heritage: A Brief History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Our Search for Happiness, and True to the Faith. That small library plus the standard works, Preach My Gospel, and other official Church publications are all a missionary should read while serving.

I remember wishing I had read a few "outside," uplifting, LDS resources before serving my mission. Reading these books before heading out will teach you valuable lessons and give you important principles to reflect on. Check out these five LDS mission prep books...

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

8 Ways to Embarrass Your Kids (In a Good Way!)

I read somewhere on the internet that parents embarrass their children 14 times a week. I don’t know about the statistical accuracy of the statement, but I believe that we can all remember a time in our adolescence when we felt our cheeks burn red after some comment, outfit, or dance move. Parents embarrass their kids; that’s just a law of nature. It is widely accepted and expected. In most instances, it is viewed as a bad thing. But here, I hope to explain a few ways to embarrass your kids in a good way, and I will even try to prove that it is important to do so. Keep in mind that this is coming from the perspective of a young adult not too far removed from those embarrassing grade school days.
1.      Be “Mushy”
This is the one of the most important purposes of parenthood and is one of the easiest ways to be a good parent. Show your kids that you love them! Believe me, affection conveys parental love much better than buying the newest video game or ordering their favorite pizza for dinner. Lick your thumb and wipe something off of their face. Hug and kiss them a lot. Tell them how much you love them and do it in front of people. Publicly display affection at the grocery store, at church, and especially in front of their friends. Kids, teenagers especially, may push you off or get irritated and call you “embarrassing,” but that’s a fleeting feeling. Their worries about what their friends may think don’t matter because you are showing them what you think of them. Knowing without a doubt that your parents love you enough to publicly display it makes a huge impact, especially during the teenage years. It’s an added bonus if friends or anyone else gets to feel that kind of love.