Monday, June 27, 2016

The Lord Needs Me Because I can…

by Lisa Rector

Write this statement on a piece of paper.

“The Lord needs me because I can…”

An intuitive Relief Society teacher had her class write these words on a simple scrap of paper and then listen to President Russell M. Nelson’s recent General Conference talk to finish the statement.

I wasn’t sure what my answer would be. But as I listened to his inspiring words, personal revelation flowed through me. Some of the answers I wrote came from President Russell’s words. Some came from the Spirit.

On a whim, I taped the piece of paper to the lamp on the desk where I write. I look at it every day. And without a doubt, I know that I am someone the Lord needs.

Try the exercise and see what the Spirit whispers to you.

Either read or listen to President Russell M. Nelson’s talk, A Plea to My Sisters. The quote from the talk is below, but I recommend listening to his words. The Spirit will have greater influence.

“My dear sisters, you who are our vital associates during this winding-up scene, the day that President Kimball foresaw is today. You are the women he foresaw! Your virtue, light, love, knowledge, courage, character, faith, and righteous lives will draw good women of the world, along with their families, to the Church in unprecedented numbers!
“We, your brethren, need your strength, your conversion, your conviction, your ability to lead, your wisdom, and your voices. The kingdom of God is not and cannot be complete without women who make sacred covenants and then keep them, women who can speak with the power and authority of God!
 President Packer declared:
“We need women who are organized and women who can organize. We need women with executive ability who can plan and direct and administer; women who can teach, women who can speak out. …
“We need women with the gift of discernment who can view the trends in the world and detect those that, however popular, are shallow or dangerous.”
“Today, let me add that we need women who know how to make important things happen by their faith and who are courageous defenders of morality and families in a sin-sick world. We need women who are devoted to shepherding God’s children along the covenant path toward exaltation; women who know how to receive personal revelation, who understand the power and peace of the temple endowment; women who know how to call upon the powers of heaven to protect and strengthen children and families; women who teach fearlessly.”

So what did I write?

Once we understand the power within us, because of our divine nature, we can accomplish unimaginable things.

We must be “women who know.”

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Family Vacations

Ops! Sorry I’m late this month. The day slipped past me. It’s vacation time. Taking vacations as a family is very important whether you go to an expensive family resort, or put up a tent a day’s drive from home.

When my children were little, we would throw the children in the back of the station wagon or van depending on which vehicle we had at the time. Today it would be much harder for the every-other-year 5-6 week road trip we used to take, seatbelts and all. However you do have electronic devices for long driving days.

I would put those away on the rest of the days. You couldn’t completely take them from teenagers, but you could limit them to… say 1 hour in the morning and 1 in the evening after the little ones are down.

Such trips bring the family together. When we went, the older boys helped set up the tent while I opened the trunk I called my kitchen and started dinner. All children not involved in setting up the tent helped. I planned a simple meal on travel days so dinner was ready not long after the tent was up with suitcases and sleeping bags in place.

It seems to me if a parent had questions about the use of untoward substances, it would most likely be found out. No, they couldn’t stay home or with a friend. Be a parent, not a pal.

Not all learning is in books. There are wonders to see, and new foods to be tasted. I highly recommend taking vacations. Although visiting grandma can be important, exploring other places is too. 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

School is Out for Summer

School is out for summer...
Or it will be tomorrow for my kids. 
Others have been out for weeks and still more kids will finally close the school doors next week. 
Then of course, there are the kids with year round school. 
And the kids who are homeschooled. 
Do they get a "summer break?" All you homeschool moms out there chime in. Do you take more time off during the hot months?

What is it about summer that gets us to the point where we want to throw in the towel about all responsibility and just kick back? 

(I couldn't resist adding this fun 50's/60's throw back picture!)

Then, there's me who is plotting all those fun indoor organizational projects I can tackle, what I can paint, etc. 

Oh, and my kids don't get "off" because school ended. In order to earn "screen" time over summer my kids have to do worksheets, math, writing, this summer I'm adding typing, and chores. Then, they can ask for screen time.

Then of course, there are camps, vacations, swim team, etc. to fill up our days. At moments it seems like we're running an overwhelming marathon. And I even cut out doing the musical this summer after our kookoo crazy summer last year.

At which point, the chill out seems to have vanished and it's time for school to start again.

What are you doing to keep your kids high minded while still having fun?

What ways to you keep the chill in summer?

Enjoy and don't get sunburned!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Today, I ran without technology

Today, I ran without technology. No music. No running app. No earbuds. It wasn't a conscious decision; it was because my phone was nearly dead.

Just booked it out the door and beat a tattoo on our hard-packed road to the tune of nature. Birds singing, crickets chirping, a peacock loudly calling. A tractor smoothed a nearby road and traffic rumbled down Main Street. I didn't stop a single time - no phone camera to take a pic of a house against the breath-taking backdrop of... our version of snow-covered Alps or a lilac bush heavy with perfume.

I thought for sure my energy would flag as I ran two miles down Race street to Main, west to Bowery past the library, down Clark and back the way I came. Without music, I had the familiar sensation of wanting to stop partway, but I still had energy. I ran after breakfast - a double-edged sword - with energy to burn but also not wanting to push myself as hard as I could on a full stomach.

I will admit, I didn't even want to run today. Didn't even want to get up and do Crossfit at 6. But like the other days, once I have my "uniform" on, my body just automatically clicks into willing mode. I put my shirt and pants on, put my hair back into a band and pony tail, wear my shoes and grab my keys. I go to crossfit, push past my anxiety about the list on the chalkboard and launch myself into the workout.

Then I run. Lately, it's been two miles. I start with one foot, the other follows, and the next, halfway, then past, until I am done. Today I ran strong, conscious of my arms pumping, my legs striding. I didn't time myself, but my effort felt significant, something to feel proud of.