Friday, May 15, 2015

"Hot Lava" and "Chemicals"

This was written, but never posted, July 8, 2013 (Jarom age 2)

  Do you remember playing "Hot Lava?" The game where the floor or ground is hot lava and you can't touch it so you have to figure out how to get around without touching the ground. I loved that game!   So about a week or so ago my father-in-law put chemicals all over the back yard and we couldn't go out in it without shoes until it was all watered in. We had to explain it to Jarom and remind him several times why he couldn't go in some areas of the grass and such. Chemicals, chemicals, chemicals. Well today we were outside, barefoot. We were sitting down by this little portable slide just talking when all of a sudden he jumps onto the step of the slides and yells, "Chemicals!" I didn't get what he was saying at first so I had him repeat it. He frantically (in play) tells me chemicals and makes me get on the blanket. I quickly realized that he was playing "hot lava" but chemical style! It was so funny I quickly brought it to David and my mother-in-law's attention. So for the next 3o minutes we moved around the yard with the blanket and slide playing "don't touch the chemicals."   I am amazed at Jarom's level of play and communication.

Jarom is getting older, and bigger, and smarter. It seems like every day is a new challenge to learn how to help him and teach him. It's a hard job but one that I love and take very seriously. Something that I learned from an influential woman in my life is that I must take an active and assertive role in my child's learning, especially spiritual development. Sometimes though I just don't know how. I don't know what the best way to do something is. Or one day I think I know and the next I feel clueless. What I do know though is that the children that are coming to earth in this generation are ready and eager to learn and are here for great purposes and we as parents can receive guidance from God on how to help them be prepared. To receive that guidance though we have to be that active and assertive parent. We have to pray earnestly and then do something with our answers. We have to be involved and informed and be willing to step in and speak up.

I say these things not because this is who I am but who I want to be. I want to look back and be able to say I did my best, not I did the best. Well it would be really nice to be able to say that but this is real life and how can I become Kina if I don't have challenges.

For anyone out there that reads this I want to give a challenge to you. When you see a parent taking their child to a doctor for something that seems petty, or asking a teacher questions about a primary lesson or school assignment don't give judgement that they are a paranoid parent give them the credit of being an involved parent wanting to learn and give their child the best. I understand that there are situations where parents are giving blame to teachers and such for work they should have done but that's not what I'm talking about. It's the ones that take their kids out of school to home school them and you look at them and start coming up with parenting flaws or paranoia. We give ourselves enough criticism and recognize plenty of our own daily flaws.

As each of us look at each other as each trying to become the best we can; the true people we were designed to become, we can focus on our own families growth rather than feeling embarrassed and inadequate.

In the morning I was playing "chemicals" with my two year old. In the evening that two year old was telling me, "mom when I older and older and older I get married in temple with girl."

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Parenting and Discipline- "Well a few months back in extreme emotion I quit."

     I am a mother. I am Mom. Is this a mommy blog? Maybe, but I hope it is different than the others. I'm actually kind of tired of all the mommy blogs, but I think it is because for too long I have let guilt run my parenting and my life. What is the "and", parenting is my life. I love that though. I signed up for it and I believe it is my divine role and it will help me truly become the person I want to be.

    With that said, let's talk parenting. How many parenting posts did you see today? So I am kinda weird and as a teenager it was a hobby of mine to read "parenting books." I loved Love and Logic. As I got older I continued to dig into all the methods of discipline and child rearing but things started to change when I had my first precious little baby. I remember reading a book that someone suggested to me to help infants get on to a good pattern or schedule. The first half of the book told me everything I was doing wrong. The more I read the more horrible I felt. I thought I was a great mom but now I thought I was destroying my child. Of course the second half of the book told you how to do everything right and makes you feel a little better. Well It seems that just about every book after that did the same thing. Worse yet most books didn't agree on which things were ruining your child and which ones were creating great human beings. Man it has been confusing trying to figure out which one is right and which one is right for each kid. So many conflicting ideas and even studies!

    Well a few months back, in extreme emotion I quit. I decided I was never reading another parenting book. I was on my own and I was starting from scratch, erasing it all from my mind. I knew I wasn't completely alone. I have David and I have the greatest source of knowledge and the only perfect parent at my side, our Father in Heaven.

    It was just a few days later that I had a sacred experience. In that experience I received revelation on the Lord's way of parenting. Simple and clear. In that very moment all my guilt was gone. I didn't have to question everything I did. I didn't have to wonder if the Doctor or this Psychologist was right or "oh no what if the other guy was right an now Jarom is going to have post traumatic stress from this." I'm being totally serious here. It was so hard to be consistent in my discipline because so many people had so many different opinions. But now I felt free and confident.

     Now I feel free and confident. I don't know everything and by golly man do I not have all the skills I want but what I do have is the tools. I don't have to piece through books and anguish through trying to figure out what is right for me and for each of my children. I don't have to guess or work really hard studying big long-term professional studies only to find out that after all that effort those professionals were wrong. I have resources from thousands of years ago to present and yet to come parenting truths. I have parenting doctrine.

     Don't worry I'm not keeping this all to myself. It is available to everyone. The best part about all of this is that the creator of these truths, these parenting doctrines is also willing to give us FREE 24 hour CONSTANT consultation.  Also it applies to every child. He will help us know our individual children and teach us about who they were and who they are to be. He knows them and loves them. This discipline expert not only knows but He has experienced.

    We can put aside all the worldy experts and put our time and energy into studying and receiving revelation through truths that have been given through the Lord's servants.

It is one of the best feelings in tho world to feel good about my parenting. I definitely still make mistakes and am figuring it out but so this doesn't bring immediate fixes or perfection but it brings confidence. It seems like every couple days or every day even that I have to reevaluate or find the next step but I know how to know. I feel good and there is NO GUILT.

So here are some resources:
Home and Family Site
The Family: A Proclamation to the World
Strengthening the Family    (Manual)
A Parents Guide     (Currently studying this one. LOVE IT)
Courageous Parenting (specifically for parenting teenagers)
 Search Results--
Alma 42

And guess what! Next weekend there will be brand new fresh parenting truths! General Conference. GC 2015 Look for it. Prayer for it. Make time for it. He will reveal to us what we need. Do we trust him? He has trusted us with the parenting of His most precious souls.
I love being a mom. It is so hard. So all consuming. But, it just got a little easier and with the hope and confidence of letting go of the world and putting my efforts to the Lord, it is truly helping me become Kina.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Love and Conversion

   I was reading scriptures with J #2 this morning and we were reading Alma chapter 20. I have always loved the People of Ammon and have received much from their story. Today though, I got something more that struck my soul. I knew instantly I wanted to share, interestingly the people I wanted to share it with was my Relief Society sisters. I'm not sure why but anyways here are my thoughts and I hope my sisters read.

   King Lamoni, a Lamanite king who governs over a portion of the Lamanite land is converted quickly. This was always fascinating to me considering his history. Each time going into this whole story I make a point to think about who these people are, what do we know about them? They have been taught for generations how they were cheated out of their inheritance, land, everything from the Nephites. They were taught to hate them. They were taught to fight, to still to murder. The Lord calls them a blood thirsty people. I'm sure they were filled with anger, and pain and had very little trust or confidence in anything or anyone.
     With that being said it was amazing to me that King Lamoni had the experience he had and the dramatic change his people and him had. It gives me so much strength and hope. But the experience I had today was with his encounter with his father...

     Starting in verse eight they meet, and his father, the King of all the Lamanite Land, asks why he did not attend the feast he had prepared for his sons and people. You could imagine he was probably pretty offended. Then he asks him where he is going with this Nephite, one of the children of a liar.  Then Lamoni told him everything. He just told him his conversion story. Surely the Spirit was there. I believe Ammon and Lamoni felt it strongly and thought surely it could not be missed by Lamoni's father. Verse 13 says though, that Lamoni was astonished that his father was angry. So angry that he rehearsed Nephite history and there present conspiracy to rob them of their lands. He then commanded Lamoni to slay Ammon and not continue their mission to free Ammon's brethren. Of course Lamoni refused but he refused with his testimony, which must have been so powerful.  Again his father felt nothing of the Spirit but was so furious that he drew his sword to kill his own son. Then Ammon stepped in.

     Ammon opened his mouth to defend King Lamoni. He testified of Lamoni's innocence and righteousness. King Lamoni's father heard this and agreed with Ammon but it just turned his anger to Ammon. After raising his sword to kill Ammon he received his own wound as his blow was defended. This put fear in him and he pleaded for his life. He offered up to half of his kingdom for his life. That there gives a little insight into the Lamanites, all they have is their life. Anyways, Ammon responds with his request to free his brethren and for Lamoni to keep his kingdom, receive no repercussions from this incident and to do as he pleases in his kingdom, otherwise Ammon would smite the Lamonite King to the earth.  What happened next is the miracle.

    After all the testimonies which had been born, the act of love is what broke the hardened heart, the bloodthirsty soul. King Lamoni's father, saw the great love Ammon had for his son and INSTANTLY all barriers were broken and he even was able to reflect upon the words that were spoken earlier. He could not feel the Spirit before but some how still having heard it the Spirit brought back those words to his remembrance and the Spirit that was there then made its way into his heart now. How again did this dramatic instantaneous thing happen? One moment he was raising his sword to kill these men and his heart was full of hate for the Nephites, and now he was asking them to return to him and teach him? Love, love did it.

   We recently heard a few things in conference of how when we have loved ones that have strayed from the gospel we need to just keep loving them. Sometimes it is all we can do. After this experience it didn't become, "just all I can do," it became, what I can do. How can I bring them back? I can love them! These beloved sisters that I visit teach, that I want so badly to feel the joy of conversion, how can I help them? I can love them. They must see it and feel it though.   Do we understand that LOVE can truly change a heart, can truly change a culture, a tradition, a whole people, it can break down prison walls? LOVE can do this. Our acts of true love.

Today I became a little more of the Kina my Heavenly Father wants me to be.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

"First Observe, Then Serve" --a thank you

Here we are again. I had an experience yesterday that I want to remember and share.

      Eliot is almost 4 months old now and I think I can count on one hand the times I got brave and confident enough to go grocery shopping on my own with my now THREE boys. Yesterday was one of them. I had my two big boys (3 and 2) in the double ride along seat part of the cart and Eliot in my Moby wrap in front.
(This is basically my life, Eliot turned around though)
The shopping was great got everything I needed, except later I realized I forgot sour cream, which the husband is happy about I'm sure. Anyways... boys were great and they even got to pick out a sucker to buy with their quarter they earned. By the time we got to the check out stand we are tired. No matter what or how much I go in for it always ends up being a very long trip. I love WinCo. I think it is a great company but part of that great company is bagging your own groceries and well though the kids think it is fun it is the most stressful part of the trip.
This time though heaven sent an angel my way. You see I;m still trying to figure out the Moby wrap and well a lady checking out behind me came up and asked if I realized my baby was coming out the side. Well of course I hadn't and it gave me a "what if" panic. I told her I was still trying to figure it out and she gave me a quick few pointers, and told me she was proud of me for wearing it. She then asked if she could help me bag. Well since I was trying to help the boys with their suckers, fix Eliot, and bag I said YES. =) She then gave me a big smile and said good. When most were bagged and kids were under control she turned back to her groceries, in which I did not know, were still sitting on the belt behind us. She then came back and put away my last two items. At some point she told me she had 5 kids out in the car with her oldest. I expressed my gratitude and we departed.
As I pulled up to my van with the cart and opened the doors, a large SUV pulled up and out came this woman and her 15 year old son. She told me her son was here to load my groceries and she would show me how to work the Moby. I was a little shocked with her kindness. I felt so blessed.
Before she walked away in short conversation she told me she had 5 boys the youngest being 2 months old. She then shared with me a little about being a mom of five. They got back in their vehicle and drove off.
Not the end....The big boys were not buckled in yet and were asking for snacks so it took five or so minutes to talk to them and get them buckled in the rest of the way. When I finally sat down in the drivers seat, I saw that SUV drive off. I can't be sure but I think she waited until she knew I was leaving because you know all is not well until you are actually on your way =)
So many thoughts but the biggest one is THANK YOU. She was heaven sent. Not that it was a critical moment or even that I was having a hard time but she gave me so much more than help with my groceries or even with my Moby, which will help in the future. But she gave me sight into who I want to be and what I want to teach my children through example. I would be surprised if there wasn't at lest one complaint when she drove over to help me or after the kids thought they were finished then waited for five minutes for me to leave. But I also wouldn't be surprised if that women wasn't telling those boys what life was like for her and just teaching them of helping someone in need. I can hear her taking that opportunity to teach them about love and service and families even.
I am not usually in a position to help like she did but I hope that when I am I will take it head on. I hope that I will take as many opportunities that arise to teach my boys to keep their eyes, ears, and spirit open to the needs of others. To see a need and fulfill it. A motto I want to live by and how I view this meeting, "First observe, then Serve." - General Relief Society President, Linda Burton
I actually never even asked this woman her name but wherever you are, THANKYOU. Thank you for not only teaching and loving me but also for teaching and loving the next generation. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Motherly Instinct

            There are about a million mommy/ motherhood blog posts out there so I said hey why not. Actually though, the other week I was visiting with another mom and I had a mind altering, emotional epiphany. I really don't know if those are the right words and I hope I can share this  right because the whole thing was mostly just about me admitting something to myself and saying it out loud. When I said it to this other mom I was astonished but yet not really, that she had the same experience but of course played along like I did and everyone else.  I know, I know get on with it and just tell us what it is.

            How many times have you heard some one tell you, or seen in a movie, "you'll just know, the mommy instinct will kick in?" Or, "you'll learn to read their cries." I'm pretty sure that even in my birthing class and the videos I watched in the hospital at delivery said things like that. Yeah sure it gave me comfort and hope, well until the first thing came up that I had absolutely no idea what to do.

There are so many decisions out there to make for a growing developing human being. I felt like Every decision I made was life altering. I know that is a little extreme but well that's just how I am. I've been working on that with the help of my husband and I think I'm doing a lot better. Anyways, a decision like giving your baby a pacifier. There area lot of opinions out there, personal and medical. It's ok though I can just go with my motherly instinct and well I can even choose to just give it to them for certain cries....

I'M OPENING MY MOUTH and saying for myself and all other mothers out there that have just gone with the flow of agreement and not wanting to sound like something was wrong with them... "All my babies' cries sound the same! Of course there is the blood curdling pain scream but other than that, tired, hungry, sad, mad, just want to make noise, or hey get me out of this diaper all sounded the same! 

Also sometimes, most times, when I really needed to make a decision I just had to make a choice and hope for the best, without any gut feeling. I do believe in prayer and I do believe that we have a loving Heavenly Father that cares about even our smallest worries and will help us out with these decisions. I understand though that for our own growth sometimes we just have to make a choice see how it goes and make changes where needed or just keep going when it works. We were created with minds and hearts, to direct ourselves with both.

So there it is. It's ok to not know what to do and to not know what your baby needs. The thing my husband tells me which has truly been a turning point in my stress and over thinking is "he (child) will still grow up, go on a mission, get married in the temple and have eternal life." You may or may not understand the significance of that statement but simply put, those things are the most important essential things that I would have for my children. Whether or not he misses a nap, takes a binky, breastfeeds or all those other things that weigh on us, they will not change the outcome of the most important things in life.

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Lorax

So I just watched The Lorax with my two year old for the first time... It has caused me to vow to never let him watch a movie again! 

I'll give more details in a moment. Movies have always been a difficult thing for me. I love movies and it was kinda of a family thing we did together growing up. I loved it. As I got older and started understanding the Latter-day Saint Standards on movies I wanted to follow them but it was hard. It wanted to be the one the would walk out of a movie or turn it off if it was inappropriate or contrary the spirit, but I was usually too afraid. I was too afraid to offend someone. Or I dismissed it as just that one time, or I won't watch it again. Recognizing my weakness about two years ago I decided that I needed to draw a clearer line for myself so I will be less likely to be put into a situation that I know I will have a hard time getting out of. It's like the age old scenario of if you know there's gonna be drinking at a party you just don't go, simple as that. So my decision was that I only watch PG and G movies. Lots of people have said things like, "well these days even those movies aren't clean sometimes." Yes that is true but it helps me avoid a lot of "traps." I know my weakness and I've chosen my strategy, to flee!! 

My husband is pretty critical of movies so since about the time I made that decision I have thought back and taken a critical look into movies and it is pretty astonishing at all the messages that are usually hidden under daises and chocolates. (I just came up with that myself)  But tonight I just had an awakening as I watched immediate results. So here's my story:

We were watching the Lorax for the first time like I mentioned, and well I'm not gonna go into what I think Dr. Suess would say or do if he saw what was done to his story... Any ways It came to the part where the last truffala tree was cut down. The lighting was dark, the music was dramatic and sad and the emotions of the all the characters were clear. They were overwhelmingly depressed (that's not quite the right words). Jarom who is two, he's very smart, but I'm sure only understood a portion of what was going on started to cry. I don't recall all his words except for in a quivering voice as he clings to me, "mom I'm not happy." 

I felt sick. I quickly explained to him what had happened and why everyone was sad. It was the consequence of not keepnig promises and other such things and then quickly told him that Heavenly father and Jesus Christ can fix it if we repent and told him to watch. He started to cheer up as I talked him through what was happening as he "repented" by providing another seed and saying sorry and fixing what he did wrong. He go so excited and happy.

 Media has so much power! It can control our emotions without us even understanding what is going on. Yes I have heard the idea of things like that being good teaching moments and learning opportunities but I think there are much better ways. What about examples of making good positive happy choices and seeing the outcome minus all the other stuff. Satan wants us to feel unhappy, not Christ. Christ brings light. 

I don't need the messages of the world, especially the ones that have to be hidden under daisies and chocolates.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

"Be an Example"

The other day I read a blog about how telling young people to be an example can be very damaging. That it can put expectations on the youth that they may never feel like they are living up to. Also it said that they will live for people under a mask and not for Christ. I believe the author had good intentions but I really feel she missed so much.  
   Following is the response I made:

So much insight and so much to think about and consider. I am one of those girls. I am one that grew up desiring to be an example to my friends and to uphold everything I knew to be right and true. I wanted to be everything my Savior wanted me to be and died for me to be able to be. Because of that understanding I wanted everyone else to have the happiness and peace that came from that kind of living. I was outgoing, happy, and involved. My friendships though were rough. I was often called a "goody-two-shoe," and told I was judging people. I felt alone a lot of the times. I never felt like I was hiding behind a mask though. I lived what I really believed and that meant I made mistakes sometimes but I fixed them because that is what Christ taught us to do. It was always so frustrating when my friends would leave my side and treat me badly but the moment they were hurting and needed someone to comfort them and buoy them up they turned to me. It was hard for me but they knew who they could turn to. I loved them so I continued to be there. They had someone that was predictable. They knew where I stood, and they knew I stood with Christ and would always stand with Him. They didn't have to wonder if I had changed my ways. They knew they could come to me for an example of how to get back on to the Lord's path. 
My youth was hard and lonely. I had the comfort of knowing I was a daughter of God and that He was always with me but there was still the desire to have someone tangible, always and not intermittently at my side. But I do not regret being an example.
The peace and blessings it has brought are immeasurable. I have a close relationship with My Lord and my God. I am confident in who I was and who I am and who I am becoming. I have friends from my youth that have expressed gratitude to me for the example I was. Also, I have seen the blessings they have received as they have turned their lives to Christ, the joy that has brought knowing that I was a little piece of their path. I have a husband that I feel has worked just as hard as living a life for Christ and we will be eternally happy with our children. 
As I stood as an example as I was taught I should, sometimes I only stood with God but standing with God has brought experience, growth, and happiness that I would wish upon everyone. I will continue to challenge the youth I work with and my own children to be an example. With that though, I will teach them how, as I teach them of Christ. I will share the price they may pay. Most of all I will express the blessing that will come.