Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Teaching Tykes: I Can Be A Good Example PLUS A Tip on Gospel Teaching in the Home

Well, I will be gone for two weeks and therefore will not be teaching, but I will still post the helps, etc.! :)  I've also been asked by a reader to talk about some ways to make teaching the gospel a main focus in our homes and so I will be including one tip each week that will hopefully help you in your homes as well as a teacher.

We'll start with the tip (it goes along with this week's lesson, too)--ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING.  Scripture reference to go along with this teaching tip is from the Doctrine & Covenants.  In section 58 verse 27 we learn that, " should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness..."  When you look up the foot not for anxiously, the word that is at the end of the list to look up is zeal.  When we are truly living the gospel, we have a zeal for it!  We are excited to live the gospel!  When our children see that gospel living makes us happy and that we want to do it, they will follow our examples.  On the other hand, if you are constantly overwhelmed and upset about the work that you have been given/chosen to do, this is how your children will act.  Now, if you need to talk to someone about the load you bear, your spouse is there.  But never complain in front of the children.  And YOU need to do what is right for your family.  If you are truly overwhelmed, tell your Father in Heaven and follow His guidance as to what to do about it.  Choices effect your attitude and ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING!  This is the first step to making gospel teaching the center of your home.

Let Your Light Shine!
Isn't this darling?!  Find it here or use the coloring page in the helps!

Now, onto the lesson!  It's Primary 2: Lesson 29: I Can Be a Good Example.  I'll just get straight to how I'd teach the lesson as I've already talked about what our example should be for those we teach above. ;)  Find the helps HERE.

*I would bring a real candle and a battery operated candle to show the children that even when the battery powered candle is on, you can't see it under the basket.

*Instead of paper candles, I would use birthday candles with the names on tags and a blank one for each child in my class.  I would put them into a pot with foam in it and have each child take out the two in front (with the names on them) first and tell the stories.  These candles would have a different colored tag than the blank tagged candles.  Then after the stories, I'd hand each one out of the pot--the one with their name on it--and keep the one with my name on it and have them read the names one by one.  I would have each child say one thing they could do to be a good example.

*The coloring page would be the candle image in my helps.

*I would do Enrichment Activities 2 & 4 if there was left over time.

I hope this post helps you!  Good luck, please email me if you have any questions and THANK YOU for all your kind comments and amazing feedback--you make my blogging so worthwhile and I LOVE it! :)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Mynnette's Musings: Building God's Kingom on Earth

The Parable of the Hedgerow

Living in Kansas, you get to see and feel the effects of the wind on a regular basis.  It is interesting to note that the effects of the wind aren’t just felt, but seen.   There are single trees in the middle of a field that are bent over because the wind has blown them constantly.  There are rows of trees, called hedgerows, which are all bent in the same direction due to the same cause.  But there are also groups of trees that are not bent because they have stood together and have been able to withstand the wind.  The more the trees, the more the strength.
The wind is the adversary.  One tree is you!  Which tree do you want to be?  The one standing alone in the field because you feel that you can do it all by yourself?  The tree that stands with a few friends in a row trying to resist the wind and failing to do so?  Or would you prefer to be the tree safely standing in the cluster that your family, ward, and stake can become to you?  I pray that we all try to be the last type of tree so that we are able to withstand together the temptations and misfortunes that will befall us in our lives.  Our families, wards and stakes create a protection far beyond that of just ourselves or a few friends.  Cling to your family, ward and stake.  Choose a Zion attitude and help build the Lord’s Kingdom!

Related Scriptures:     Exodus 15:10, Alma 26:6, Alma 37:15, Helaman 5:12, Mormon 5:16&18, D&C 90:5, Psalm 106:47, Matthew 18:19-20, Ephesians 1:10-12, 2 Nephi 29:14, D&C 101:22.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Family, Friends, & Fellowship: Service in Marriage

Hello! Welcome to another segment in my Family, Friends, & Fellowship series!  This week, I will be talking about the incredibly important need for service in our marriages.

A lot of what I will be sharing is personal and I want you to know that I am not sharing these things so that you think that I have a "perfect" marriage and that my husband and I are "perfect" spouses!  My DH and I have issues that pop up every now and then, we're human!  BUT, I am sharing these things to show you that it is POSSIBLE and it is IMPORTANT.  I feel that I have an amazing marriage, but I know that I could also consider it an awful marriage if my attitude and actions were differently.  So, let's get down to it, shall we?

Isn't this a darling picture?! ;D

I'd like to start out by asking you some questions about your marriage.  This is personal.  Just think of the answers in your head.  Be HONEST with yourself.

1. Do you ever feel that your spouse doesn't appreciate your efforts?
2. Do you ever feel that your spouse doesn't help you in the demands in your life?
3. Do you ever feel that you are not good enough for your spouse?
4. Do you ever feel that you do ALL the work in your marriage?
5. Do you ever fell that you can't do anything right?

I said yes to a few of those.  I tried to ask questions on a broad spectrum to include everyone in answering YES to at least one.  I'm sure you did--don't lie to yourself!  Okay, do you want to know a way to help with YOUR attitude (you can only change you...)?  The answer is simple--service!

You cannot change anyone in your marriage except for YOU.  If you'd like to know exactly what type of a spouse you should be, listen to the words of President James E. Faust, "I urge husbands and fathers of this Church to be the kind of men your wives would not want to be without. I urge the sisters of this Church to be patient, loving, and understanding with their husbands. Those who enter into marriage should be fully prepared to establish their marriage as the first priority in their lives."

 Marriage is the FIRST priority in our lives.  Not second after our calling or the kids, not third after ourselves and the kids or our calling and the kids.  FIRST.  Men and women are different.  You have to understand that in order to have a good marriage, and service is a way to help you realize how important your spouse is to you and your Father in Heaven.

There are so many ways that you can serve daily in your marriage, it just takes a little effort!  It gets easier as you understand your spouse better and what is important to him/her.  Let me give you an example from my wonderful husband.

I work for the local school district with children who have special needs.  It is incredibly stressful and I am exhausted when I get home and feel like there is no time to get things done most of the time.  I also like to be prepared for the morning so that I can just be ready to go after showering and dressing.  There are nights when I am in the middle of a project and forget that I need to make my lunch for the next day.  Most of the time when this happens, I'll make my way to the kitchen feeling incredibly frustrated.  On almost all of these occasions, my DH has made my lunch for me.  He knows that it is something that is important to me.  I could get up in the morning and make my lunch, but because  he knows that I like to have it made the night before, he supports my desire and makes up for my inability to get to it when I'd like to.  He's awesome!

Now, I want you to know something--your spouse might not do this for you, but don't get upset!  If this is something that you'd like them to do, all you need to do is ask nicely!  BUT, I will tell you that they will be more willing to help you out if you've already been helping them.

I help my husband with his lunches by packaging up left overs from dinner--this way he can grab what he wants and put it in his lunch box the next morning.  He doesn't like me to "pack" his lunch, but he appreciates my packaging up leftovers so he can choose his lunch each morning.  I also try to leave kind notes in his lunchbox.  After about 5 years of marriage and me doing this, imagine my surprise when I opened my lunch at work and saw a note from him to me!!!  Did I complain that I did something for him that he didn't do for me?  Nope.

Marriage is not about you do this for me and then I'll do this for you.  It's about service and helping each other.  And now, some marriage math!  Each marriage partner needs to give 100%, not just 50%, to their marriage.  Now, it's never going to be "equal" in the sense that service is the same.  Also, there are times when we need to give 115% because our spouse can only give 85% because work is stressful or there are other pressures on them at the time.  But try as hard as you can to always give 100% because you never know when you'll need your spouse to make up for your lacking!  It takes work...

Elder Bruce C. Hafen has said, "Temple marriage covenants do not magically bring equality to a partnership. Those covenants commit us to a developmental process of learning and growing together—by practice....equal partnerships are not made in heaven—they are made on earth, one choice at a time, one conversation at a time, one threshold crossing at a time. And getting there is hard work."

Equal does not mean the same.  We know that 2+2 is equal to 4.  But both sides of the equation are not the same.  It's the same in our marriages--when each person strives to serve to the best of their ability, the equation will be the same on both sides even if they look different.  You equation may look something like this:

1 hour at home + 2 jobs + 1 calling = 1 day at home + 2 children to look after + 1 calling


1 husband who is a bishop + 1 meal eaten at home + 1 job = 1 wife + 1 great day of cooking + 1  job


1 spouse struggling with depression = 1 spouse doing all the work needed to live

Do you see how the numbers work out, even if the service is different? It takes a personal choice to see the equality in our marriages even if we don't feel it always.  But when each person is doing their best to serve at 100%, marriages will be strengthened and become happier and more functional.

I hope that the things I've talked about today have helped you.  I know that even when dealing with someone that you feel is "difficult" that the best way to come to love them is to serve them.  This is how to show Christ-like love and how we can keep the Savior's commandment to " one another, as I have loved you." (John 15:12)  There is no other institution that is more important to keep this commandment in than in our marriages is my testimony.

Please take some time today to ponder how service can help uplift your marriages and turn your home into a haven from the world.  Have a wonderful day! :)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Things on Thursday: NEVER Give Up!

So, the past few weeks at Word Art Wednesday, they haven't had scriptures--instead, it's been inspiring quotes!  And this week is one of my absolute favorite quotes!

Here's my printable~

Isn't that an amazing quote?!  It so simple and succinct.  And so needful!  We live in a world where people give up too quickly.  To many children are ending their life because of things that they think are too hard to endure.  Adults are tuning out from family responsibilities because it wasn't the "happily ever after" they were wanting and looking for.  The lonely are tired and weary from having no support and decide not to try anymore.  I think that we forget to have hope at times.  Life will NEVER be prefect, but there is ALWAYS hope.  I truly believe that there is nothing we can do that will make God stop loving us.  And that love can give us hope for a better future.  And hope makes it easier to endure to the end and never give up.  Christ is always there.  Never forget that, and NEVER give up.

"Let Israel hope in the Lord from henceforth and for ever."
Psalm 131:3

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Welcoming Womanhood: Self Worth vs. Self Esteem

Hello, girls! This is the first post in a series that I will be doing that focuses on issues that effect women.  Sometimes it will be as simple as an easy meal--we ALL need those!  Other times, I'll write my opinion about topics that effect each of us.  Oh, and I'll back it up with gospel teachings, too! ;)

This week, I have chosen to write about the difference between self worth and self esteem.  I'm sure some of you are probably thinking that I am splitting hairs, but I promise that I am not and that I have a point, so bear with me! :)

The world teaches women to have what they call "self esteem."  This means that women should put themselves above others and take care of themselves.  They should be skinny, well coiffed, and always speak their mind--it's their right!  That each woman is more important than those around her and should treat others this way--they should KNOW that, too!  In essence, it's modern feminism in action.  I won't be going into the reasons I believe modern feminism to be wrong.  Indeed, I believe that much of the early feminist movement was necessary for the progression of God's daughters.  But I won't go into negative thoughts.  Instead, I'd like to focus on the important opposite of self esteem--self worth.

"Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God."
Doctrine & Covenants 18:10

Self worth is based on the knowledge and understanding that we are daughters of a loving Father in Heaven.  It is rooted in the comfort that comes from the perfect love of God.  It allows for imperfection--as long as we are striving to do our absolute best.  It doesn't care what brand of makeup you wear, who made your jeans, or what make and model your car is.  Self worth is based on charity, which is the pure love of Christ.

It is interesting to me that the first lines in both the Young Women theme and the Relief Society declaration are based on the knowledge that we are literally children of God.  The Young Women theme starts, "We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him."  The Relief Society declaration declares, "We are beloved spirit daughters of God, and our lives have meaning, purpose, and direction." 

What do these two sentences teach us?  There is the obvious--that we are daughters of God.  That He loves us.  But look at the small differences.  The Young Women are taught that they should love God as well as know that He loves them.  I feel that this was essential to put in the Young Women theme--our knowledge that God loves us can only be felt as truth when we love Him in return.  Youth is a time to realize this, but it doesn't mean that each of us has a firm foundation of this truth as we enter Relief Society at the age of 18.

We will each have to come and know that our feelings of love FROM God come when we show Him that we love Him.  This comes as we serve in our callings to the best of the ability.  It eradicates feelings of inadequacy as we come to realize that our service may not be perfect, but that it is pleasing to the Lord.

President Thomas S. Monson has spoken on this subject and said, "We have the hands to lift others from complacency and inactivity. We have the hearts to serve faithfully in our...callings and thereby inspire others to walk on higher ground and to avoid the swamps of sin which threaten to engulf so many. The worth of souls is indeed great in the sight of God. Ours is the precious privilege, armed with this knowledge, to make a difference in the lives of others."

Notice that President Monson never once mentions the word PERFECT.  He mentions the words faithfully, inspire, higher ground.  Never perfect--because that only comes after years of working on all the other principles he mentioned.  Do your best--the Lord will make up the rest!

After we have felt of God's love by showing our love for Him, we will be able to come to a greater understanding of the end of the first sentence of the Relief Society declaration, that is to know that "our lives have meaning, purpose, and direction." 

We learn in the scriptures that "...this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors." (Alma 34:32)  So what does this mean to YOU.  I'm not going to tell you what this "means", because this is a very personal thing.  It is our job, as individuals, to come to understand exactly what direction our life needs to take.  Luckily, we have people that can help us, but ultimately, the decision is ours to make.  

Now, I do have a little bit of a caution for you.  If you choose to just "go with the flow" and allow things to happen to you instead of taking responsibility and action as to what you need to do, you are in danger of perishing spiritually.  In Proverbs 29:18 we read, "Where there is no law, the people perish..."  There are two ways that this verse could be taken (or maybe more, but I'll talk about two).  The first is that without a living prophet who speaks with God, the people do not have a constant source of "living water" and therefore they spiritually perish.  The other way is how we can cause ourselves to personally perish spiritually.  When you lose the vision of what your goal is--hopefully, it's eternal life--then you lose hope and start to fall into a state of personal apostasy.  This means taking time for yourself each day to replenish your personal spiritual reserve.

Elder M. Russell Ballard has given some wonderful counsel to us, as women, in how to cultivate meaning, purpose, and direction in our lives as well as in how to replenish your personal spiritual reserve.  He said, "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."

What a wonderful blessing we have in the living prophet and apostle of our Lord!  It is my prayer that each of us will come to a greater understanding of our worth as daughters of God, that we will choose to participate in activities that will lift ourselves and others, and that we will awake each day to a greater resolve to stand for what is right.  I hope that you know that Heavenly Father loves you and needs you--how do you do this?  You'll have to find out for yourself!  Please take a little time each day to find out how you can do this.  Have a wonderful day!

Linking to: Titus 2sdays, Women Living Well

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Teaching Tykes: Kindness Matters

Welcome to the first official week of Teaching Tykes! ;)  I hope that these posts will help you as you teach Primary each week--it's a really hard calling!

This week's lesson is Primary 2: Lesson 28: I Can Be Kind.  The purpose of this lesson is to teach the children in your class that they can be kind to others.

Here's an aside--have you noticed how many times Church publications say that people CAN do things?  I think that sometimes we think that somethings are too hard.  But guess what?!  YOU CAN!  Heavenly Father sent us here because He knows that we CAN return to Him!  Just a little motivational pep talk... :)

So, how do we, as teachers, show the importance of being kind to others?  Obviously you've all just said aloud or in your smart brains that it is by example!  I have a few tips that may help you in your quest to become more kind.

Ignore sad choices.  This is really hard.  Sometimes I think that we feel that we have to continually correct the children we teach.  May I offer an alternative?  Praise the GOOD/HAPPY choices!  If you find that your class is so out of control that you cannot even think straight, find the ONE thing that ONE of the children is doing correctly and be completely over the top with your praise.  Children are people pleasers.  They want to be praised.  Let me give you a personal example.

One week, our class was out of control (not completely, just fidgeting , not listening, etc.)  One child was sitting quietly.  Although I knew she wasn't technically listening to the lesson, she was sitting nicely (which is one of our class rules).  I stopped the lesson (nobody was listening, anyway) and immediately praised this little girl for her happy choice.  Here's how my praise went (name changed), "Oh, Lisa!!!  I am SOOOOOO happy that you are sitting quietly in our chair!  You are following the class rule so perfectly!  I am SOOOOOO grateful that you are trying to be a reverent example for your classmates!  Thank you SOOOOOO much, Lisa!  I just LOVE having you in my class--it's SOOOOO nice to have such a good example for all my friends to follow!" 

Over the top?  You betcha!  Did it make a difference?  Completely.  As I praised this little girl, each child realized what they were doing wrong and stopped.  As they did, I would say things such as, "Oh, and now Jack is sitting nicely, too!  Thank you Jack!  Oh, and look, Mary is following the rules now, too!  I am so glad the my friends all know how to make happy choices!  Now we'll be able to finish our wonderful lesson!"

I was kind.  I didn't FEEL kind inside--I was a bit upset and impatient in my brain.  What I WANTED to do was go on a rant about how we'd been repeating the class rules at the beginning of class for the past 4 months and that these children should know what was expected by now.  But, I chose to show kindness.  And it made all the difference in the world.

Be aware of your tone and volume of voice and the words you say.  Now, you can't always ignore sad choices.  When a child starts to hurt themself or others around them, correcting must be made--and quickly.  BUT, you will be much more successful with children if you use an even but firm tone of voice.  Shrieking at them or using an angry tone to tell them "NO!" will not help as much as taking the child aside (this is why I am such a HUGE advocate of team teaching) and calmly telling them what they SHOULD be doing before offering correction.  Here's an example that I've made up (although it's probably happened sometime during my work with children) that could help you.

Jason is angry.  He doesn't want to be at Primary and he is mad that you've "made him" come to class.  He has been acting out throughout the lesson and you've been doing your best to ignore him and praise the good you see in the other children.  Because he is not getting the attention he wants, Jason kicks Emily in the shin as hard as he can.  PAUSE.  Take a mental deep breath.  Take Jason out into the hall and explain that feet are for walking.  They can help us swim.  They can help us run quickly.  Feet are NOT for hurting our friends.  It is okay to be angry about things that we cannot change.  BUT, it is NOT okay for us to use that anger to hurt our friends or to make it hard for our friends to learn.  Give Jason a warning that the next time he kicks, he will have to go and spend time with a member of the Primary Presidency and that you might have to talk to his mom and dad about it if he makes another sad choice that hurts his friends.  Jason returns to class.  He is sullen for the rest of the lesson, but there are no more incidents of violence.

You may think this was a failure.  Jason was still mad and probably didn't get anything out of the lesson.  You may have weeks of this behavior.  But do you know something?  When you are consistent, the children realize it, know what to expect, and will rise to your expectations.  I promise that if you are consistent with your discipline in your classroom and that if you do so in a kind manner that you will see a change.  Eventually, Jason will become your greatest classroom helper and will LOVE you more than any other teacher he's had.  All because you showed kindness during disciplinary action.

And a tidbit on volume--if the kids get loud, you need to get soft.  YOU are the example of what is expected in your class.  If the children are so loud that you cannot teach and nobody is learning, take a break from teaching and play "If you can hear me."  This game goes a little like this (in a whisper tone), "If you can hear me, touch your nose.  Thank you, Kathy, for touching your nose!  If you can hear me, touch your ear.  Thank you, Julie!  You are listening!  If you can hear me, touch your toes.  Oh, Jason and Robert, thank you for joining us!" Continue this until all the children are showing that they are listening and then end by saying, "If you can hear me, fold your arms.  Thank you all for listening!  We are ready to finish our wonderful lesson!"  This especially works with younger children, but some of the older children may need something similar to help them be more reverent.

Be a team player.  This is hard for me.  I tend to want to just do things MY way because I know that they work and that I will maintain a reverent atmosphere if I just do things myself.  I'm working on it.  And it is HARD FOR ME.  You might be the exact opposite.  You might allow other adults to take care of all the issues that you have with the children in your class.  You and I need to find middle ground, friend!

Teamwork is important in the work of God.  We cannot do all things by ourselves. We need others.  We learn from them, gain different perspectives about things, and learn to get along with others.  All of these attitudes are important in the building of Zion.  When we show the children in our class that we want to be a team player and help those around us, they realize that kindness can persevere even in the wake of upheaval.  Because, let's face it.  There ARE those weeks.  And you know who needs more help working with children because they are unsure of themselves.  Always be willing to help.  And help WILLINGLY and KINDLY.  It's a work in process.  We don't get along with everyone.  BUT, we should always treat others kindly--especially when children are watching us.  And, believe me.  They ARE watching us.

So, that's my two cents for the week!  Hopefully these things help.  I did have a question--would videos on how to implement some of these things help?  Because I am a visual learner and need to see how things are done before I can really utilize them.  Let me know--I can look into trying to make some.

Let's get to the lesson helps!  Find the printable helps HERE.  And now I'll share how I'll be teaching this lesson:

*We didn't have time to color our picture this last week, and so I challenged the children to bring back a picture of them sharing in some way.  If any of the children do this, I will have them share it with us at the beginning of the lesson.

*Since I don't have cut-outs, I will use the ones that the church has--they're in my printable file. :)

*Since we have a large class and a small room, we won't be able to do the role play.  SO, we'll share a church video on the story and have a "pop quiz" about it by doing an activity on the board where we have the picture of the person on one side and what they did on the other.  I will have the children tell me where to draw the lines to.  These are in the printable helps.

*We will sing "Kindness Begins With Me" as our closing song.  This will help reinforce the point of the lesson.

*As a "just in case there is time" effort, I'll have pictures of different people (in the printable helps) and the children can choose one and tell how they can be kind to that person.

That's all for me this week!!! I hope that these things are helping you be more successful as a Primary teacher!  Have a restful Sabbath! :)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Mynnette's Musings: Where am I going?!

The Dual Parable of Augusta, KS


                One afternoon I received a call from the sister missionaries serving our ward to ask a favor.  They were in need of a ride from their residence in Haysville, KS to Arkansas City, KS to complete splits with the sisters in that area.  The distance between the two cities is 30 miles. 
Sister Nelson, Sister Reynolds, and I started out from Haysville and, guided by Sister Reynolds as to how to get to her residence, arrived there safely about 45 minutes after leaving Haysville.  Hugs were exchanged and goodbyes were said as Sister Clark replaced Sister Reynolds in our car for the journey back to Haysville. 
We left Ark City confident that we were on the right track and knew our way home.  About 5 minutes into our journey, we received a call from Sister Reynolds asking if we knew our way back.  We assured her that we were confident in our knowledge of how to get back home.  We continued on, talking about the gospel and having a wonderful time. 
We came to the end of the road we were on and I realized that because we had missed a turn, we had ended up in Augusta, KS, some 40 miles north and east of our intended destination.  I reassured the sisters that I knew how to get back, as I have friends who live in Augusta.  I also told them I was confident that I knew the quickest way back. 
Instead of heeding a feeling that I had to continue to a major road, I took the first left turn that I knew to be a quicker way back southwest.  Upon coming to the crossroads where I needed to turn, we found a sign that told us that construction work was being done on the road and we had to turn back. 
I made an executive decision to take a dirt road leading us west so that we would not have to go all the way back to the highway we had left.  It was a bumpy, dirty and sometimes scary journey to travel that dirt road in a minivan.  I had to be very careful not to go too fast, not to hit potholes and not to hit other cars traveling the opposite direction.
We finally arrived at our intended destination, Haysville, 1 ½ hours later than planned.  The sisters had just enough time to go inside and discard their items before we again hit the road and went to their dinner appointment.
When I got home, feeling a bit foolish, I decided to ponder on what I could have done differently in the situation.  I realized that Sister Reynolds had had a prompting from the Spirit to call us and we should have heeded that prompting as she did in making sure we knew where we were going.  I also realized that had I listened to her then, we would not have ended up in Augusta. 
The other lesson I learned was that I do not always know the correct way back and should listen to the Spirit, who does.  If I would have heeded the prompting I had to go to a major road instead of taking my shortcut, we would have arrived still late, but not as late as we did.
This is how our lives sometimes turn out.  We are on a course that we feel is the right path for us.  While on this course, we may receive counsel from parents or leaders asking us if we need help or giving us suggestions.  We have the agency to choose whether or not to accept this counsel—and we should!  If we don’t, we end up very far away from where we should be. 
If we then realize that we should have listened, we have the opportunity to repent.  The Spirit will guide us to the fastest way to repent, and we should heed it.  If we do not, we end up with another road block in our way, having to turn around once more.  We will end up treading a much more difficult road in order to not have to back track to the beginning of where we realized we went wrong. 
Oh, may we always listen to those righteous friends who have our best interests at heart!  May we be open to the Spirit’s guiding influence to help us back when we stray so that we may one day live again with our Father in Heaven and our Savior in perfect happiness.

Related scriptures: Jacob 4:7, Ether 12:27, Mark 13:33, 1 Corinthians 10:12, 1 Nephi 15:25, Alma 12:9, D&C 21:4, D&C 84:43, D&C 93:48, Deuteronomy 7:12, Proverbs 12:15, Proverbs 23:22, 2 Nephi 8:1, 2 Nephi 9:29, Alma 5:38, 3 Nephi 28:34, Exodus 19:5, Exodus 20:12, Leviticus 26:3&21, Deuteronomy 20:30, Joshua 24:24, 1 Samuel 15:22, Ecclesiastes 12:13, Zechariah 6:15, Luke 11:28, John 7:17, John 15:10, Acts 5:29, Psalms 38:18, Proverbs 28:13, Isaiah 55:17, Ezekiel 16:61, Matthew 3:2-11, Luke 13:3, 2 Corinthians 7:10, 2 Peter 3:9, 2 Nephi 2:21, Jacob 3:3, Alma 5:31, 3 Nephi 9:22, D&C 18:13, D&C 58:43, Moses 6:57.

Linking to: Tell Me a Story

Friday, July 20, 2012

Family, Friends, & Fellowship: The Importance of Visiting Teaching

I have come across a lot of sisters in my life who tell me that they are "too busy" to do their visiting teaching.  I'm not judging.  I'm concerned.  Ever since I was 18 and assigned my first visiting teaching route, I realized the importance of visiting teaching.  I have not always been the best at it and I've never been perfect at it.  Yes, I've contacted the sisters I am assigned to visit each month, but this isn't the 100% I'm talking about.

President Henry B. Eyring has said, "The only system which could provide succor and comfort across a church so large in a world so varied would be through individual servants near the people in need. The Lord had seen that coming from the beginning of Relief Society. He set a pattern in place. Two Relief Society sisters accept their assignment to visit another as a call from the Lord."

Succor and comfort.  This is not accomplished by just going to someones house once a month for the token visit or making a phone call once and reporting that we couldn't get a hold of the sister.  While each situation is different, we should make EVERY EFFORT to become friends with those we visit.

"We will know we are successful in our ministry as visiting teachers when the sisters we visit can say:
  • My visiting teacher helps me grow spiritually.
  • I know that my visiting teacher cares deeply about me and my family.
  • If I have problems, I know my visiting teacher will take action without waiting to be invited."
Now, I have one thing to say about the last one before we go on--you cannot take action without being invited if you do not have the proper relationship in place.  This comes as we find ways to serve the sisters we visit in other ways besides the "traditional" ways.  Here are some things to consider when you pray about the sisters you visit:

*Visits in the home are essential, yes, but what about the sister that doesn't like people seeing the inside of her home?   Consider taking this sister out to lunch if you can afford it or invite her to your home so that you can talk.  Meet somewhere that the sister feels comfortable with.  I speak from personal experience.  I have gone through a seriously stressful time and I have a very hard time allowing people into my home because during this time, my home was not the haven it should have been.  There were people constantly going in and out of my home judging me and not appreciating things that were going on in my life.  So, I have serious trust issues with who I allow into my home.  Is that right?  I don't know.  Is it wrong?  I don't think so.  Do what the sister you visit is comfortable with.  And don't be discouraged if you are unable to meet in their home each month!

*Phones are an important part of life.  I don't know one person who would dislike getting a phone call randomly just to see how he/she is doing.  This applies to text messages, too.  Now, I believe that talking is incredibly important, but there have been times that texting a sister has been invaluable.  There are times when sisters cannot talk about something, but feel comfortable writing it down.  Utilize your phone--you never know when a text message or phone call could be just the thing that changes a bad day into a great day.

*Give of yourself!  You have been given talents that are to be used to uplift those around you.  My talent is crafting/card making.  I like to make cards for my sisters just because.  I send them out throughout the month when I feel they're most needed.  Which could be anytime!  The best thing about giving something tangible to the sisters you visit is that they will have a physical reminder that they are loved by you.  They can look at whatever you've given them and see the time you spent making something for THEM.  It doesn't have to be a craft.  It could be flowers.  It could be food.  It could be a favorite recipe.  It could be helping them become self reliant by teaching cleaning and organizational skills.  What are your talents?  Use them!

*Facebook and the internet are good, but they are not for everyone.  I personally feel that if you want to get a hold of someone, the best way is to talk to them.  The internet is NEVER a good medium to get a hold of someone.  Emails get rerouted or never sent.  Some people don't want to friend a ton of other people on Facebook.  Some people aren't on the internet much.  So, while it is a good idea to use Facebook and the internet as an occasional tool, NEVER USE IT AS YOUR ONLY TOOL.

So, those are my two cents.  Please know that these are my personal opinions and that you must do what is right for the sisters YOU visit.  Each sister is a unique and beloved daughter of our Father in Heaven and deserves to be treated with love and respect.  Don't do what is best for you--do what is best for her!  I hope these ideas help you as your strive to become the best visiting teacher you can be!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Thursday Things: His Eye is On the Sparrow

Well hello there!  Welcome to my first ever Thursday Things post!  In case that phrase is a little lost on you, please check out THIS POST for more information!  So, what to do for the first ever Thursday Things?  I dunno, how about another entry into this week's Word Art Wednesday?!  I used some of my winnings from the challenge--beautiful artwork prints from Eclectic Anthology!  They are such a blessing in my crafting! :)

Here's my printable~

There are many times in each of our lives that we will feel insignificant.  I have these times.  Quite a bit, actually.  You know what?  There is always one person who knows exactly what we are going through.  Because He suffered for me personally and has experienced all my sin, pains, sickness, and sadness.  That is our Savior.

Because of His Atonement, each of us has the ability to feel of God's love and know that He is aware of us always.  Although my church does not sing this song, it is incredibly inspirational and I love the words, especially the refrain.

I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

I love music.  I grew up in a very musical family and have been blessed with the talent of musicality.  I find that when I seriously consider the words that are being sung in each hymn and song that speaks of Christ that I can find peace and comfort.  I am so grateful for the gift of music!

I hope that each of you can find peace in the words of Christ and in the words of inspirational music.  God bless and I hope to see you again soon!  

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A few things are changing..

A few things are going to change here at My Uni-verse!  I'm trying to utilize this blog more and so I will be having a weekly schedule that you can look forward to.  PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF THERE IS ANYTHING SPECIFIC YOU'D LIKE ME TO WRITE ABOUT FOR YOU!!!  Here's how the week will look here:

Sunday: Simply Sunday Most of you have noticed that I've started a Sunday series called "Simply Sunday."  Each week I will share an uplifting scripture or quote along with a photo of our God's beautiful creations.

Monday: Mynnette's Musings Each Monday, I will share a personal story that will be related somehow to the gospel of Jesus Christ.  If you'd like to challenge me to relate something to the gospel, please contact me and I will see if I can! :)

Tuesday: Teaching Tykes This is the day most of you will come for!  Each Tuesday, I will post my ideas and lesson helps for the next week's Primary lesson.  If you'd like help with other lessons such as Young Women or Relief Society, please contact me and I will help you out as best I can!

Wednesday: Welcoming Womanhood In this series, I will address some issues that effect women trying to live a Christian life.  This is where I'd like some input.  It will help me in my studies on the subject and will also help me relate more to you as readers!!!

Thursday: Thursday Things  This is the day that I will take care of the "things" I want to--including any stories, digital art prints, etc.

Friday: Family, Friends, & Fellowship Each Friday, I will post some ideas on things to do for family home evening, date nights, Visiting Teaching or anything to do with helping to build unity with those around us.

Saturday: Sleep in Saturday  I may or may not blog this day!  You'll just have to see! ;)

So, there you have it!  I'm hoping to be able to keep up with this schedule, but please don't judge me if id doesn't happen all the time!  Join me tomorrow to see what I've got up my sleeve!  {{{HUGS}}}

Food For Thought: CAS Printable

So, I've discovered a fabulous new challenge blog called CASology, and as I'm a card maker first and foremost, I've already created some cards for this week's challenge.  But as I was visiting some of the other players' blogs, one of them had an amazing quote in her post.  Her name is Carole and you can find her blog HERE and her darling card HERE.

The quote that inspired me was very simple.  It goes like this, "If you want to be happy, be."  Leo Tolstoy said that.  It is a great reminder that happiness is a choice!  If you're unhappy, do your best to make yourself happy.  Be kinder to those around your, be grateful for what you have, leave the relationship that is not good for you behind even if it's hard, forgive your enemies, love your family, serve God, declutter your life!

Here's the printable that I've made~

I hope you like it!  If you'd like it for your very own to display wherever you'd wish, please click on it, save it, and print it!  For more guidelines and disclaimers, please see the tab up top.  This printable measures 4" x 6". :)  If you click on the picture, you'll be able to see the size a bit better.  Lots of white space going on here!!!

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you are inspired by what you find here and that you resolve to be little better each day!  Happy printing! ;)

Linking this post to: CASology Happy, Word Art Wednesday, Titus 2sdays, Women Living Well.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Sharing: A Happy Choice!

LOL...we talked about sharing last week in class.  It was so funny!  One little girl was CONVINCED that her brother playing with her toys was stealing!!!  Little kids crack me's a good thing that a lesson on sharing is up this week so we can talk more about it!


This week's lesson is Primary 2: Lesson 27: I Can Help Others Be Happy By Sharing.  Just the title of this lesson is dear to my heart.  I'm not trying to toot my own horn, but I have always tried to share my talents with others in order to help them be happy.  That's the first thing that came to my mind!  If I taught teenagers, this lesson would be very different and I would focus on using our talents to serve others and to serve God, but we're talking to 4/5/6 year old children, so we'll stick with the main point!  Luckily, we do talk about sharing talents, etc., in  part of the lesson!

How can we as teachers be examples of sharing with those around us so that the children we teach will understand the importance of it?  I think one thing that we should do is point out HOW people share.  We talked about how the Primary chorister, the pianist, and the librarians help us the other week when we talked about gratitude.  It really made the kids think!

Because children are not always the most observant people (although couldn't that be said about ALL of us?) we need to point out things that people do for them.  Mention things that you know their parents do for them, things that others serving in Primary do for them, and don't forget to point out that you are sharing with them by helping them learn the lesson.  It's not pride--it's helping children recognize the good things they have in their lives!  YOU ARE SHARING your time with them each week.  You're sharing your testimony.  You are sharing your love!  People share with us ALL THE TIME and we fail to notice it!  Wow.  That really just made ME think!

So, what things do people share with YOU that you are unaware of?  Try to be more aware of these things as you prepare your lesson this week. :)

Now, onto how I'll teach the lesson--you can find the lesson helps for this week's lesson HERE!

*I won't be "real" items for my sharing bag.  I'll use the pictures that I have in the helps and put them in the gift bag that I always have in my bag for these occasions!

*We will be singing all the verses of "Give, Said the Little Stream" as it's my DH's favorite and we'll use pictures to illustrate the verses.

*I will make sure to contact all the parents in my class this week to see if it's okay if the children are given a treat and to make sure there are no food allergies in our class.  I've also decided that I'll record this information and keep it in my binder for future use.  And if I'm ever called as Primary President or a member of the presidency, we will do this for all the teachers.  That's mainly a note for me for future reference. ;)

*After giving the treats to the two children and having them share, I will make a point to tell the children that we are supposed to share with EVERYONE and that excluding someone--whether we like them or not--is not something that Jesus would have us do.  I will also be contacting the other teacher in our ward who will be teaching this lesson and see if she wants to "share" treats with us, too!  We can have both classes get together at the end of class and they can all eat and color their pictures together then!

*We already have a sharing rule in our class about the crayons we bring for the children to use.  Our rule is that they get one crayon at a time, but may come and exchange it for another color when they are done.  I will reiterate that we do this so that there is always enough for each person and that we do not NEED more than someone else--we can be happy with less than what we want!

*As a "just in case we have time" thing, I will make pictures of different people (missionaries, the Aaronic priesthood blessing the sacrament, etc.) and ask the children how each person is sharing.

Thanks for stopping by--I hope that these lesson helps are a blessing to you and that you have a restful Sabbath! :)

PS: I've UPDATED last week's lesson with an idea that we had to do impromptu but may help you if you ever find yourself having WAY too much time left during class!!!  Check it out HERE!!!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Class Rules Template


A sweet reader asked me if I had a template of my class rules for CTR 4 & 5.  Nope, I didn't!  BUT, I've made one that you are able to use, if you'd like it!  I hope it helps you!  Find the rules template HERE! AND, just in case you missed it, HERE are my Classroom Management tips complied using Church handbooks and materials.  Have a restful Sabbath! :)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

HAPPY Choices!!!

For those of you who know me at all, you know that I dislike teaching children "good" and "bad" choices.  Why?  Good question!  We'll start this week's Primary lesson helps out with the answer to that question, because it will help you to understand better how you can get the purpose of the lesson across better to the children you teach. :)

Good and bad are relative terms.  They have too many meanings.  Bad to kids might mean something totally different than the message we're trying to convey.  And it has a really negative connotation.  I steer away from negativity when teaching children.  Okay, let me tell you a story that will illustrate exactly WHY I don't do "good" and "bad" choices anymore.

We did foster care for a year a while back.  Our last placement was 3 children ages 3 and under.  It was insane!  They had not been taught correctly as they had never had a permanent home in their lives.  So, I hunkered down and started to let the oldest one, aged 3, what choices were "good" and which ones were "bad."

Needless to say, he was making more "bad" choices than good at the beginning.  His fault?  NO.  But not acceptable.  He started to kind of catch on and I praised him each time he made a "good" choice.  But then came a set back day.  It was horrendous.  In the middle of all the craziness, he asked me with his innocent little eyes, "Mommy, why am I a bad boy?"

WOW.  Was he a "bad" boy?!  Heavens NO!  Was he making "bad" choices?  Yes.  But it wasn't registering the way I wanted it to.  And then I remembered something that I had learned at a stake conference a few years before.  Teaching our children the CONSEQUENCES of their choices instead of focusing on the choices themselves.  This is where happy and sad choices was born.

Each time my little 3 year old started to make a choice, I asked him how he would feel after he made it.  I'd say something like, "Will you be happy if you take that toy from your brother?" or "How do you think you'll feel if you don't eat your food?"  The change was unreal.  I praised him for all the HAPPY choices he made.  I made a happy/sad face for him to put on the fridge.  If he made a sad choice, he had to switch the face around.  It didn't happen that often!

I continue to use this method to this day.  It is SO SUPER EFFECTIVE!  And I've noticed this time around teaching Primary how this method has been taught throughout all the Primary lessons.  Have YOU noticed it?  They continually have us as teachers ask the kids how they'd FEEL.  Feelings are something kids can relate to!  We can ALL relate to it.  I even find myself contemplating how I'll feel before making a decision.

So, there you go!  I hope this helps you somehow.  You don't have to believe in it's effect, but if you try it, I promise you'll see a change in behavior for the positive! :)

Not, onto the lesson.  This week's lesson is Primary 2: Lesson 26: Choosing the Right Gives Me a Happy Feeling (SEE!).  With a disclaimer, "Note: Remember that children younger than eight years old are not yet accountable and do not need to repent of sin. Encourage the children to do what is right, but do not make them feel guilty for things they have done."

Here's how I'll be teaching the lesson~

*I will be using those gems that you put in vases for decorating purposes for the attention activity.

*I will be bringing some toy food to help illustrate the story of Angela.  We will use the happy/sad faces I made earlier (found in THESE lesson helps) instead of the papers from the previous lesson when talking about feelings in regards to this story and for any other times needed.

* The word strips this week will be repentance and prodigal.  2 in one week, whew!

* I will use the clip art pictures to help illustrate the story of the Prodigal Son.

*Instead of making pictures of the happy/sad face, we'll use the happy/sad sticks for this part of the lesson and I will give them a situation and have them show me what kind of a choice the child made.  The coloring page later will be a blank circle that they can make into a happy face. :)

*We most definitely will be singing the versions of "If You're Happy" for Enrichment Activity #2.

*If there is time, I will ask each child to come to the front of the room and tell about a time that they made a happy choice.  They only need to come up if they want to.  Since we've been doing a "sharing" time at the beginning of class, each child is okay with being in front of the class and speaking in front of us now! :)

 *This lesson was way too short...we ended up taking an impromptu "field trip" around the church.  I told the children that Jesus is our example about making choices.  We went around the building, looking at pictures of Jesus.  At each picture, I asked one of the children to tell me what Jesus was doing and what kind of a choice He was making.  When we got back to the room, we played the "happy/sad" game about the pictures.  I was so happy that 2 of my little guys said, "They were ALL happy choices!" as soon as we got into the room!!! :)

So, there you have it!  I hope this helps you!  For my file of helps, just click HERE!  Have a restful Sabbath, friends! :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Teaching Children About God

Well, they've done it again!  Each week, the girls over at Word Art Wednesday somehow manage to KNOW what verse of scripture I need to read and ponder.  This week it's Isaiah 54:13.  Before I tell you WHY I needed this, I'll share my digi print and free word art for this verse!

Here's the print~


Okay, so now I will tell you why I needed this verse.  I teach the 4, 5, and 6 year old kids at church with my DH.  This past week was really rough.  I won't go into details, but honestly, I was about to quit.   And if you know me, it really takes a lot for me to quit--I work with children who have special needs as my job!

So, anyway, I was about to quit.  My DH and I discussed things and he gave some good ideas on what could help us in our calling.  I felt a bit better, but I was still just done with things.  And then, this verse.  Yes.  This is my calling.  I do not have kids of my own, but I do have  kids!  And I have been called to teach them about God.  The most important things they will ever learn.  How can I quit?!  I have the responsibility and will be given the ability to teach these children where to find PEACE in a world that is in serious need of it!  And if I really love God, I will do what He asks me to do.

Which leads me to the fact that I didn't post my digi print from last week!  So, I will share it here, too, as it goes along with my story.

Here it is~

Thanks, girls!  Because of the verses that you chose this week and last, I am not going to quit!  I hope that this post helps you to realize that you, too, can do hard things and that they are worth it!  I hope you find comfort and peace as you continue in your search for happiness.

I appreciate all the work that goes on behind the scenes for the WAW team, Hazel, Darlene, andCourtney and all of your willingness to share with the rest of us!  I hope you have a fabulous rest of your week and a restful Sabbath later on! :)

Linking this post to: Word Art Wednesday, Tell Me a Story, Titus 2sdays, Women Living Well.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Rembering to Say "Thank You"

The above file is a freebie for ya--I made it and you can use it how you see fit!  For those of you who don't know what it is, it's a digital stamp sentiment and you can use it with photo editing software on digital artwork or print it out and use it on a paper crafting project as well!  It's a little thank you for coming to my blog today! :)

Well, I am afraid I should've looked ahead as some of my comments from last week's Primary helps are covered in this lesson as well! Oops!  Well, let's just start off with how I'll teach the lesson and maybe something new will pop into my head! :)

Primary 2: Lesson 25: Remember to Say Thank You

*Instead of playing the "telephone" game as an attention activity, we will play hangman on the board.  This will help me to see which children know their letters in a non-threatening way and will also help me know which children can read well.  I do know my good readers, etc., but this is another way to see if they can put letters into context to create words! :)  Yes.  I work in the public school system.  How'd you know?!

*I'll use my 10 figures from last week's helps to see who remembers the story of the 10 lepers by asking each child to come forward and hand me the right amount of figures that remembered to say thank you to Christ for His service.  We did this last week, so we'll see what they remember!

*I will use the simple drawings in my helps instead of drawing on the board...I've found that the children like pictures they can see up close better and this way I can use each picture at different times.  I won't have to erase them and hope they remember, either.  If we have time at the end of the lesson, I can see if they can retell the story, too!  Always be prepared for short lessons that don't take all the time!

*We will be making thank you cards for members of the ward that help our class.  Each child will make one, and we will use them to give out to those members.  Each child will sign each card and we will take them to some of the members if we have time!

*I will send home about 3-5 small slips of paper that say "Thank You!"  with each child and encourage them to use them during the week when someone does something nice for them.

*I will be using my helps for Enrichment Activity 5 as a just in case thing.

*I will be sending thank you cards to each of my kids this week...and missing you cards to those who aren't there.  I make my own cards, but I have also included THIS DIGITAL CARD FRONT that you can use and print out!

Find the lesson helps for this week HERE--I hope they can help you out!!!

Okay, so I decided to just expand on something that I wrote last week.  The topic of this week's "words of wisdom" will be "Giving Thanks for ALL Things."  It's basically a very personal experience that has taught me to be grateful for all I have.  So, if all you came for was the helps, feel free to stop reading! ;)

My husband and I married pretty young.  He had been off of his mission for less than a year and I was barely 20.  We had all sorts of fabulous hopes, plans, and dreams for the future.  One of these was to have a large family of 6 children or maybe more.  We decided to wait a year to start our family as we were both in school and he was almost done with his associates degree.  After a year was over, I stopped taking my birth control and we started to try to get pregnant.  I wasn't too concerned when it didn't happen.  I actually wasn't concerned that we weren't pregnant until my younger sister got pregnant with their first child.  This was three years into the trying.  I had always just felt that if it was right, it would happen!  I didn't questions why we weren't getting pregnant, but when my YOUNGER sister got pregnant, I was devastated.

I guess that I had been in the denial state of grief.  I had always had issues through my teenage years and was told that having children might be a problem for me.  But I had faith that Heavenly Father would grant my desires--they were righteous after all!  So, I was in denial for the first four years of our marriage.  And then, like I said my YOUNGER sister got pregnant.  Right on schedule for them.  How very nice...NOT.

I was incredibly angry with God.  It was off and on, but I was so angry.  For two years.  I continued to go to church and do the things that I was asked to do.  I served in my callings (during this time I had my FAVORITE all time calling--nursery leader!) and did my visiting teaching.  I did NOT, however, support other women through their pregnancies, go to baby showers, talk to people who were pregnant, associate with young families (except my nursery children), or go to lessons that I knew were about children in any way.  So much anger.  And so much ingratitude!

Wow.  This is very hard for me to write!  I didn't realize that I would be crying and so emotional!  Anyway, I was angry.  And as I said above, I was angry off and on for two years.  During those two years, we decided to do foster care.  NOT for us.  We prayed about adopting.  The answer was no.  I was SO MAD.  WHY was I childless when there were women who neglected, abused, and even discarded their own children?!  It was NOT fair.

During this time, I was continually looking for solace wherever I could find it.  I sought out friends who also didn't have children/didn't want children.  I focused on my relationship with my husband (this was the BEST thing that came out of this...but I'll tell you about that in a bit).  I read many articles on the Church's website about other couples who struggled with infertility.  The worst part, though, was that most of these couples either adopted or were able to have their own children.  Both options that my husband and I were being told would not be happening in the near future.  It wasn't until I read an article by Sis. Ardeth Kapp for the second time that I finally felt I had found the person who could understand me.  For those of you struggling with infertility, this article is something you HAVE to read.

Okay, so I read and re-read the article.  And read the scriptures.  And I prayed.  A lot.  And now you're wondering why I am telling you this and what it has to do with gratitude.  Well, this is what it has to do with gratitude--EVERYTHING.

While I had been sitting in my own little pity party, I had neglected (not all the time) to be grateful for what I HAD!  I had an eternal companion sealed to me forever.  He is faithful to me!  He LOVES me!  He would do ANYTHING for me!  I had the gospel--I knew who I was, why I was here, and where I was going to go if I endured to the end!  I had health (for the most part), a will and desire to work, talents that the Lord had given me, a house, food, clothing, a family who loved me, the scriptures, prayer, the promises of staying faithful to the covenants I had made, the Atonement.  The love of God and of my Savior.  I could go on!  It was during an especially dark time when I realized all this.

I had been crying and praying, asking Father in Heaven WHY.  WHY weren't we allowed to have children?  WHY did I have to go through this?!  I had been promised that I would have not only what I needed, but what I wanted so many times!!!

You know what my answer was?  It was a simple, strong feeling.  A calming voice in my head that said, "You will have everything that you WANT when your will is aligned with My will."  Oh.  Peace came to me immediately.  I knew that I needed to change--my attitude, my prayers, my life!  I realized that there is a reason for ALL trials--and, YES, this is true of all of them--the reason is to draw us near unto God.  ALWAYS.  Each trial is designed to draw us nearer to God IF we choose it.

And so, I have!  I know focus my prayers on the things that I am grateful for.  My husband and I still work and prepare for the family that we will have one day.  We work together as Primary teachers and strive to build a loving relationship that will not tarnish as time goes by.  I have started to associate more with the children in our ward.  I've befriended many young mothers and tried to help them in their struggles.  I have an amazing Primary class full of children that I love and that love me.  I work in the public school system with children who have special needs and special spirits.  I babysit for those who need me to.  I have sweet nieces and nephews that I get to mother.  I have friends and colleagues who need mothering, and I try to fill that role. Oh, and I re-read that article each time I feel like I need a sympathetic ear.

I  am NOT childless.  They are all around me!  I am so thankful to a Father in Heaven who knows what is best for ME.  Who gives me EVERYTHING--needs and wants.  Since this decision, things have really turned around for my husband and I.  I know that it is probably a matter of perspective, but today as I write, there are so many NEW things from this past week that I am thankful for!  We ALL have so much to be thankful for!  I hope that you take the time today to pray and give thanks to God--He gives us everything!  Have a restful Sabbath, friends! :)

Linking this post to: Tell Me A Story, Titus 2sdays, Women Living Well.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Thoughts on an expected end...

Hello, friends!  I've got my digital print for this week's Word Art Wednesday for you tonight!  Let's just show that first, shall we?

Here it is~

Please feel free to save it and use it for yourself!  I hope it brings some joy to you! :)  Bible Verse Thursday has used this scripture before and so you can read my thoughts on this scripture here from that post...but I had some other thoughts to share as well!

I love the idea that the Lord will always wish us well if we are striving to live the gospel!  We can always have hope that eternal life will be our reward if we are doing our best to become perfect as our Father in Heaven and our Savior are.  That is our expected end!  Perfect, eternal life!  I for one use this bit of hope to get me through some very tough times! 

It seems that my tough times are actually growing lighter--I know this has only been  made possible by hope--hope in the knowledge of the Atonement of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  I am nothing without Him.  I am nothing without hope!  I am nothing with an expected end.  Glory to God and His wisdom in providing us a way to have all of these things possible!  How much we have to be grateful for! :)

If you like the word art, I made it myself and would like to share it with you!  Please feel free to take it and use it for PERSONAL USE! :)

Here it is~

If you'd like to see another use of it--an actual handmade card--then take a peek at my paper crafting blog HERE!  God bless and have a fabulous rest of your week, friends! :)