26 January 2017

Another Lesson from Parenting

Children want privileges. As much or more than they want food sometimes. They will whine and beg, plead and cajole, make promises they won’t keep, anything, to get what they want. Our response while raising our children was, “Responsibilities before privileges. If you want something you have to show us that you are responsible and worthy of it.” They rarely liked being told that. We attempted to be as consistent as we could (being mere mortals) in applying that. All five of our children are now adults and we think they understand it. At least they show signs of understanding it most of the time (they have joined the ranks of us “mere mortal” adults).

I thought about how we raised our children as I read a few reports of the March of the Vulgar Females in Washington DC. They appeared to me to be quite childish in their understanding of how the world works. They want “rights” without talking about and taking on responsibilities. Privileges without first working for them. Marching and screaming don’t qualify as working for them. That’s more like having a temper tantrum.

I wanted to say to those females, as I often did to our children, show me! Show me that you have done everything you could to prove that you are mature, and able to handle the privilege you are requesting. What was truly weird to me is that I wasn’t really sure what they wanted. I mean, in the United States of America, what rights do adult males have that adult females don’t? Can someone please enlighten me? And if they were simply protesting the election of a new president, why the vulgarity? Why lower themselves to such a level and expect to be taken serious?

Those women certainly don’t represent me. I’m quite content to be a wife, mother, and homemaker; contributing to the greater good by raising civilized, productive citizens. I like being a woman, married to a man, joined together in making life easier and happier for each other. I like being a mother, at home where it matters in the lives of children; being there for them at the crossroads of life. They ALL call me to check in (I call it plugging in) with Mom, ask for advice, share what they are doing, and thank me for all I did and do for them. I love them more than I can express. I have learned so very much from them!

Which brings me to my last point. As I was contemplating all this I felt the Spirit whisper to me that responsibilities before privileges is an eternal principle. We are expected to show faith through our actions before blessings arrive. We can't just pray a laundry list of requests and expect God to wave a magic wand granting us all we wish for. We have to work and prove ourselves trustworthy and faithful.

I love learning. Especially eternal principles through parenting. God, Our Heavenly Father is our parent, we are the children, learning to become like Him. It’s a good feeling to know I’m on the right path.

24 January 2017

Long suffering

Last night as I read a conference talk one of the footnotes hit me with great force.

Brian K. Ashton, Second Counselor in the Sunday School General Presidency talked of The Doctrine of Christ. Near the end of his talk he says "we must endure to the end, in following the example of the Son of the living God." The footnote for that passage says: Enduring to the end is aptly named, as it requires both time and endurance (see James 1:2-4) The fact is that we cannot develop some Christlike attributes without facing opposition and difficulties. For example, how can we become long suffering if we are never required to suffer for a long time? (emphasis mine)

09 December 2016

Christmas at Our House

Stringing garland and hanging ornaments originated as a way to keep tiny, curious people, (aka children) away from my glass antique replica ornaments. I continue to enjoy the way it dresses up the living room.

This nativity is felt hand puppets, made at a Relief Society Super Saturday activity in Virginia in 2001.

I was delighted to find a holy family ornament one year at an after Christmas clearance sale.

A beautiful ceramic nativity set that I bought when I was single. TopDad brought me a gorgeous Poinsettia from the Agriculture class at his school.

A holy family on a throw pillow (please don't throw the pillow!) makes this little library corner special.

L-R: Glass bas relief nativity with votive candle; (back) framed print, (front) mini nativity; glass nativity set of holy family and three wise men; (back) Angel Moroni; (front) stuffed fabric manger and Baby Jesus. (Someday I'll get the rest of the figures done.) 
Wreath was a gift made by my older sister; manger and Baby Jesus (my favorite!) You can read about it here.

Even the side of my fridge is decorated with a nativity!
My greatest feeling at Christmas time is gratitude--for the great gift of a Savior and Redeemer. I know he is real! I am overwhelmed by God's love for me.

P.S. We do have a tree, I just neglected to take a picture of it!

05 December 2016

Insight from a Christmas Book

Yesterday in Relief Society, the President shared a favorite Christmas story called A Christmas Dress for Ellen. After she read it to us she shared her testimony and then opened the time up to the sisters in the room. As we sat there for a few moments in contemplative silence a thought flashed through my mind.

The mother in the story wrote a letter and asked her family so humbly for a few things to work with to make the lives of her children better. She didn’t ask for great riches, but old items she could use to work with to accomplish the needed tasks. Her loving family responded with ten crates of riches, new and beautiful. The thought I had was that Heavenly Father is like that. When we pray and humbly ask for something he responds with riches we didn’t imagine. His plan is always better than ours; his goodness exceeds our expectations. He loves us more than we can understand. 

22 October 2016

Vitamin N

From Money Secrets of the Amish by Lorilee Craker:
Many times it boils down to just saying the magic word: no. Our kids truly are indulged, because for whatever emotional and psychological reasons (that would fill up another book), Gen X parents don't want to cause their children a moment's discomfort. And saying no to what they want is uncomfortable.
[Amish] Bishop Jacob, a sage grampop of fifty-six grandchildren, some whose names he's not even sure about ("Sometimes you have to think once or twice," he admitted) gave me the bottom line: "Say no to your children, because it's chust not good for them if you never say no," he told me. "They'll never learn, later in life, that they can't always get what they want."