Saturday, July 20, 2013

Obsession with Possessions image library

I am talking today about owning things, having things, buying things, and as a result not appreciating what we do have and not fully giving everything we can to the Lord.

Do you feel like your world revolves around buying and having?

I feel like mine does sometimes. 

When our hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, owning and having so much, somewhere and somehow God gets put to the side because our focus is definitely not on Him, but on ourselves. 

Have  you ever come home from a shopping trip and layed everything out that you just purchased, and suddenly you feel it is not enough.  You mind soon begins thinking of having more. A different color, a more popular brand, more quantity, more, more, more.

 Somehow we can have it all yet feel like what we have is never enough.

This desire and even craving to keep possessing things can become a spiritual stumbling block in our lives.
"Spiritual submissiveness is not accomplished in an instant, but by the incremental improvements and by the successive use of stepping-stones. Stepping-stones are meant to be taken one at a time anyway. Eventually our wills can be “swallowed up in the will of the Father” as we are “willing to submit … even as a child doth submit to his father” (see Mosiah 15:7; Mosiah 3:19)""Elder Neil A. Maxwell, Consecrate Thy Performance
Consecration is a sacred act, a service, of giving up what we have for the Lord.  This is usually thought of as material possessions, but the ultimate consecration is giving up oneself: heart, mind, and soul to the Lord's will.  Hard to do?  Yes, I think so!  Mainly because we become so confused so easily and think everything we have and are is about us, when it actually it is the Lords.  He created us. He keeps us going each day. He gave us the skills, talents, and abilities we have. Any financial well-being that we enjoy is because of His blessings upon us. Our family? He blessed us with ALL that we have. ALL!   Yet, how soon and how often we forget that. 2 Nephi 32:9
"Such consecration involves the submissive converging of feelings, thoughts, words, and deeds, the very opposite of estrangement: “For how knoweth a man the master whom he has not served, and who is a stranger unto him, and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart?” (Mosiah 5:13)."Elder Neil A. Maxwell, Consecrate Thy Performance"

In a far extreme, yet becoming more and more common example, husbands and wives are cheating or leaving each other for these desires and cravings to have it all.  Those who have all or feel like they do feel a sense of entitlement and are the most dissatisfied sometimes. What they have is never enough, including their spouses.  We have epidemic times of spouses wanting something better.  Let's remember our covenants!

Can we love, appreciate, and value what we already own.  Can we live within our means?  Can we give and consecrate our lives to the Lord? 

More from Elder Maxwell (I love the way he speaks!):

"In striving for ultimate submission, our wills constitute all we really have to give God anyway. The usual gifts and their derivatives we give to Him could be stamped justifiably “Return to Sender,” with a capital S. Even when God receives this one gift in return, the fully faithful will receive “all that [He] hath” (D&C 84:38). What an exchange rate!
Meanwhile, certain realities remain: God has given us our lives, our agency, our talents, and our opportunities; He has given us our possessions; He has given us our appointed mortal spans complete with the needed breaths (see D&C 64:32).

"Frankly, it is our prospective selves we betray by holding back whatever the “part.” No need therefore to ask, “Lord, is it I?” (Matt. 26:22). Rather, let us inquire about our individual stumbling blocks, “Lord, is it this?” We may have known the answer for a long time and may need resolve more than His response." Elder Neil A. Maxwell, Consecrate Thy Performance"

Some thoughts to think on. Have a great day!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Family Blessings

Wrote a super long post yesterday about writing missionaries and waiting for missionaries. Something I have experienced! Hope you get a chance to read it. Sorry it is so long, but I didn't know how to condense it or leave something out. I love how the subject of missionaries has completely transformed my world lately!

My family is growing up and changing!  Today two of my daughters headed to girls camp!  I remember the days when we had 4 and even 5 daughters there at one time!  With our four oldest graduated, our family is shrinking rapidly!! 

This will also be my first time in the past three years I am not going to girls camp.  I haven't had to plan anything, no rushing around, just staying home!  I loved it then, but I am excited to have the week off!  I will be heading up Thursday with my Bishop husband to take part in the Bishopric meal and the testimony meeting.  I love all the traditions we have in the church that help our young women (and young men, and US) grow so much and be touched by the Spirit!

Planning to get some weeding done outside and the storage room cleaned out.  Ugh! But I will be a happy woman to have it done! With my kids help of coarse!

Ashley, by sweet little 9 year old is still recovering from her tonsillectomy she had last Monday. It has been a rough week for her trying to get her to eat and drink!!  Not a fun surgery, but we are looking forward to not having such a sick girl all school year.  Hoping for the best!

I am kind of struggling with something fairly new to me. Maybe some of you more experienced mothers  could help me out.  This is kind of crazy.  I am having a hard time with my daughters who are of single-dating age (graduated) with their romances.  We have a super close relationship and they want to tell me and share everything  with me.  I am grateful for that, but  I find myself naturally wanting certain results and caring about their guy friends a lot. When break-ups or slight adjustments in their relationships also breaks my heart a little.  How do we as the moms be there for our daughters as they need us and come to us for advice...but not get our hearts wrapped up in it as well.  This is really hard for me, and I know I have to take more of a back-seat to this...offering advice when asked, and being their friends, but not getting so attached.  Really hard, because I love their friends so much. They are such good people.

Lots of tender mercies from the Lord this week. So grateful for the knowledge that He is there. Couple of my older daughters struggling with what the Lord's plan is for their lives. The young adult age is a hard time to live through!  So grateful for the power of priesthood blessings. My husband was able to give our almost missionary daughter a needed blessing, and then our twins also felt they should have one as well.  POWERFUL powerful.  Love the power of faith and priesthood in the home blessing our family.

Have a good day!

Monday, July 1, 2013

How to Strengthen our Family with Lehi's Dream media images

For those who know me, know that when it comes to driving, I can be very bad at directions. I am easily turned around.  It is a curse I got from my mother. We both have it and it is super inconvenient!  We have to really focus, pay attention to key landmarks, and plan extra "getting lost" time sometimes if we are going somewhere unfamiliar.

Oh! I could tell you some fun stories from my teenager years with my mom and me driving, getting lost, running out of gas, and the whole nine yards....  Another day!

My point is, I have been lost and know what it feels like to not KNOW where I am going or WHERE
the path is.

Lehi's Dream teaches us how important the path is to stay on, and how vital the rod of iron is to hold fast onto so we don't ever get lost.

We know well the story and know the path refers to is the gospel of Jesus Christ. When we were baptized we commenced on "the path".

We also grew up singing, "the iron rod is the...word of God"  Elder Neil Anderson gave a great talk that I referred to in my last post where he taught that the WORD OF GOD is more than just the scriptures. But it is actually three intertwining parts: personal revelation, the scriptures (words of ancient prophets), words of living prophets today. All three of these things make up what we know as THE WORD of GOD. Don't you love how personal revelation is a part of that.  That's true isn't it!  That is the word of God directly and personally for us and we are all entitled to that.

How do we implement these three into our home and teaching our children and us, to rely on the word of God, in all of it's forms, to stay on the path.

Rely on Personal Revelation:

This is big.  We can all, and do all, receive personal revelation. Our children need to know and understand this. Personal Revelation is basically scripture for our lives.  This is important for us to hold fast to as the scriptures themselves. It is our personal Liahona for our lives. The Lord will personally lead each one of us. I love that!

Have family scripture study

  • You as the mom, need to be committed to this.  I know it is the Dad's responsibility, but they may need some support and gentle nudging in this department.  Wake up your family or do it before bed time, but gather your children around and open up the Book of Mormon and read from it.  Teach them principles and talk about how what you are reading applies to them or the times we live in. You will feel the Spirit permeate your home.  Kneel down together and pray.  This will bind your family together and strengthen all of you.

Listen to and Follow the Prophets today

It is exciting to know that we live in a time with true and living prophets.  Holding fast to their words will strengthen us for when the (notice I said when) storms come into our lives, we will be grounded with a firm and strong foundation with our eyes always on the prophet. 

This is not new information. It is the basic of the basic. But if we have let go a little from the rod of iron or even stepped off the path, this is how we get back.  We start with daily scripture study, prayer, and reading or listening to the words of our prophets. media images