Monday, February 29, 2016

The Backpack

Today in church was so enlightening to me and I just have to share what I learned from the comments of a couple of amazing women who were clearly directed by the Spirit.

Amber was teaching about grace and her own struggles with some things in her life. She mentioned how after years of praying and fasting and struggling with a particular issue she decided it was time to take the backpack of all these struggles off and place it at the feet of the Savior and walk away.

Now, I have to admit, I have often heard of people taking their burdens and casting them at the feet of the Savior and I have struggled with my own inability to do that.

But now I think I understand a little bit more about why.

Noelle then said, "How often do we put that backpack there and then go back to it, maybe asking the Lord, ''Have you got it? I can take it back."
Or maybe I think, "You know, I think I left something in there I'm not really done with, let me take a peek."
How often have I done exactly that! I have left the back pack and then gone back to take little bits and pieces out, or thought maybe I shouldn't have handed it all over to the Lord.

Maybe it is time for me to hand over the back pack, all of it, and walk away.

And not look back.

And not ask for a glimpse.

And not think that I can carry it better than He can.

I already have to continue on with the consequences of my choices.

But I don't have to feel the pain anymore. I don't have to continue to carry the burden of regret, frustration, anger, resentment or fear. He has already paid the price for all of that.

I just need to go forward trusting in His grace, asking for His help, and seeing and feeling the many ways He shows me His love.

It may not look, or feel the way I want it to. I may have to hold on to things I can't see, or touch, but only hope for, until the day I am at His feet.

But maybe, just maybe, by putting down that backpack and letting Him take it, I will be better able to enjoy the journey, climb higher, reach out to help others on the path.

Somehow, I don't think that when we get to the other side we are going to want to be hauling the baggage we are trying to haul around here. Especially when we can leave it behind.

I can only hope to help someone else learn where to put their load, when I know where it goes myself.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

New Book for Parents

I want to share with you a new book that a member of a Christian writer's group I am part of has helped to write! I haven't read the whole thing, yet. What I have read is making me stop and contemplate and pray.
I am in no way a perfect mom, or even close to it! But like most moms, I have the best intentions. So when I mess up, I feel terrible! I love what I am reading in this book about focusing on the things that drive me crazy and evaluating how Heavenly Father would want me to deal with it. I love the images they use to make me think about how using scripture to raise my children needs to be not from a punishment mentality but from a guidance mentality.

"Do you use Scripture when you’re frustrated and angry? God’s Word was never intended to be a hammer in the hand of an angry mom, but a surgeon’s scalpel used in tandem with the Holy Spirit’s guidance."  from Triggers page 33 by Amber Lia and Wendy Speake .

I am excited to see how this book redirects my efforts in parenting more to the scriptures and the Spirit as I try to make the changes I feel I need to make.
I hope it will help you too!

If you decide to read it and want to share some thoughts or experiences on how it has helped or guided you, I would love for you to share!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Morning Chaos (The Dream)

After a very harried morning I was trying to entertain my boys that night with a bedtime story of this mom and how she envisions it to be.

Her eyes open at 5:30 am on the dot and she feels rested and energized for the day. After spending time on her knees, she reads her scriptures and jots down several passages that have enlightened her mind.

She looks at the clock, realizing it is time to make the muffins. The peanut butter, whole wheat muffins with chocolate chips and peanut butter frosting. While she is making these muffins she is singing in her amazingly awesome operatic voice, lovely good morning songs to her children who waken to the smell of the muffins, the sun shining, and their mother singing.

Then with loving hugs to all she warms their cold clothes in the dryer and helps the younger 2 get dressed.  While also smoothing hair, locating back packs, shoes, and permission slips. She calmly reminds each kid where they need to be and when, while she makes lunches.

She goes to the closet and finds her jeans, cute shirt and hoodie and decides that not only is makeup not necessary, but neither is brushing her hair.

As she gets the one child who is not wanting to go to school today, presumably because he doesn't want to leave his beautiful, charming, very entertaining, and encyclopedic mother because he would prefer to be at home under her tutelage, she opens the door to find that all the neighbors suspected his reluctance this morning and are out with balloons and best wishes signs for him as they cheer him into the car and confetti inexplicably falls from the sky.

On the drive to school she turns on the radio to uplifting music that has a great beat and as they are bopping to the music at a red light, other kids in other, not so fun vans, are looking jealously at the amazing moves their mom is making from the driver seat while also singing, on key, to the song. As they arrive at school, throngs of other kids come running and beg to be added to their carpool.

At lunch each child opens their healthy and tasty lunch, to the much drooling of their mates who beg them to ask their mom to call and share recipes.

After school, the same mother picks up carpool to and begins a joke telling fest in which she remembers every punchline. Everyone arrives home ready for a snack, which of course is homemade chocolate chip cookies served on doilies on glass plates with ice cold milk.

The smell of dinner is wafting from the crockpot and after homework is done, everyone plays happily while dinner finishes cooking.

Everyone cheerfully comes in to help set the table for dinner and after a prayer on the food, every child says, "Oh yum, I love everything you cook Mom." Mom of course smiles knowingly as she thinks about how nutrient packed this meal is and they don't even know it! Then there is deep discussion about world events, including solutions to said events.

As the family is putting the dinner dishes away, the floor is also getting swept and of course everyone is singing. After clean up is family game time. The t.v. is covered with dust because no one ever watches it anymore. No one even wants to watch it, because it is so boring.

Then at bedtime, everyone puts on their cozy jammies, comes in for scriptures and prayers with smiles and loving actions to all. They get immediately into bed and ask for a story before sleep.

This is the story they get, with much laughter from all as they realize that mom has indeed lost her mind and is sleep telling this story from the floor she will find herself on at about midnight when she wakes up, freezing cold.

This same mom kisses each sleeping kid, tucks them in and thinks back over the day, that didn't go anything like the story, but fully plans on trying again tomorrow.

Got any good jokes?