Monday, December 30, 2013

Family Home Evening - Charity, the Pure love of Christ

We gave each family member the assignment to study about charity.  We actually gave the assignment about 30 minutes before our lesson because if we had given it any sooner (a week, a day, an hour before, for example), it would have been forgotten.

Here's what we did.

1. Everyone took a moment to share ONE principle they discovered about Charity.

2. We read aloud the following about Charity.  We read each paragraph one at a time, but we read it twice.  We were to write down anything we learned or felt from that paragraph.  Then, we briefly discussed what we learned before moving on to the next one.

3. We worked in pairs for the next activity.  We took a piece of paper and divided it in half.  One one side we examined the definition of Charity in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 and on the other side Moroni 7:45-46.  We shared in partners the things that were the same and different and why.

4. Finally, we discussed together why having Charity is so important and how we receive it.

Each of us discovered something important about Charity. 

One of my sons made a very insightful observation, "One cannot have charity towards the things of the world." 

Another son remarked that Charity is not service.  Rather, service is a vehicle by which charity can be felt.

For me, I am in the process of learning why Charity is a bestowed gift.  Perhaps the Savior's charge to "watch and pray" can pertain to Charity. For if I do not watch and pray, as another of my sons taught me, I could mistakenly begin to love and embrace the sin or hate and despise the sinner.  Both of which are contrary to the pure love God has for all His children.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Family Home Evening - Seeing God's Hand in our Life

"Those who keep a book of remembrance are more likely to keep the Lord in remembrance in their daily lives.  Journals are a way of counting our blessings and of leaving an inventory of these blessings for our posterity."  -Spencer W. Kimball

Here's what we did for Family Home Evening.  We took our lesson from HERE and from HERE.

We took 2-3 minutes to quietly and silently reflect on how we have seen the Lord's hand in our life and in our family during the past year.

Then we took 5-6 minutes sharing our experiences.

WOW!  God's hand IS in our lives! Collectively, we were able to recognize so many times. But without having written those things down, we only remembered just sliver.

Then we watched THIS VIDEO . . .

Finally, everyone in our family was given their very own Remember Journal.  (I found some cute mini notebooks. Because I am seriously challenged in the crafty-skills area, I just printed quotes on paper and spray glued them to the front. It works :)

Our challenge, individually and as a family, is to record when we see the hand of God in our lives.  Next Christmas Eve we will gather again and open our journals to be reminded how much God loves us and how much we have need of Him.

"Pray and ponder, asking the questions: Did God sen a message that was just for me?  Did I see His hand in my life or the lives of my children?  I will do that.  And then I will find a way to preserve that memory for they day that I, and those that I love, will need to remember how much God loves us and how much we need Him." -Henry B. Eyring

Friday, December 20, 2013

Power of the Aaronic Priesthood

My twins made the Frosh/Soph Basketball team for their high school.

They don't start.

They play, maybe, 6 minutes a game . . . on a good night!

But they practiced all summer long. They worked so hard to make the team and work so hard in practice. They are happy enough that they can sit on the bench and be called in when needed!

To top it off, they are good boys.  Sensitive to those things that offend the Holy Spirit.

Three or so weeks into the school year they commented to me how much swearing goes on in high school!!! Which means they are two of just a few boys on the entire basketball team (Varsity, JV and Frosh/Soph) who don't swear.

Well, today they are off on a bus to their game that's 6 hours away! (And 6 hours back.  Plus three games sandwiched in between!) And it snowed terribly all. day. yesterday. and it's supposed to start snowing later on this evening.

To say I was a little hesitant to let them go is an understatement.

Snow.  Swearing.  Six hours down.  Six hours back.

So after I saw them out the door for school, I knelt down to pray and ask Father in Heaven to protect them. Because I knew there would be no Melchizedek Priesthood holders on the bus. And what if something happened?  What if the storm hit them while on the way home?  What if they got stranded?  What if . . . .

And as I prayed this sweet, protecting feeling enveloped me, and in my mind I seemed to hear these words, "Darla, did you forget? Your boys have the priesthood.  Your boys have the priesthood."

Oh, wonderful Aaronic Priesthood, "which holds the keys of the ministering of angels." How could I have forgotten?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Caterer

So for Thanksgiving I hosted 25 hungry, thankful people on Thanksgiving.  ("I", meaning I did most of it, with some handy help from my husband and a little, teensy weensy help from my children).

Four guests informed me, the night before Thanksgiving, they were coming. 15 of our guests were children under 16 years old (okay, nine of them were mine, but during Thanksgiving they are "guests" because we try to use our best dinner manners with other people over :).

We served a 22# turkey and a 22# ham, smashed patooties (that's what we call them), sweet papas (that's what we call them, too), red Jell-o with whipped topping, stuffing, blue cabbage (a family tradition), cranberry sauce, rolls, pies, ice cream and soda.

We ate till we could eat no more. . . then we started on dessert.

The NEXT morning, we again hosted another set of 25 for a Family Brunch, complete with yogurt parfaits, bagels and schmear (that's what Einstein's calls it) and juice.

And after TWO DAYS days of feeding and cleaning up after a meager 50, I've decided, HANDS DOWN, that Jesus Christ is THE Ultimate Caterer!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Power of Prayer

Last week a brother in our ward had a terrible motocross accident.

The accident left him in induced coma for three days, two broken arms, a broken wrist, and head trauma.  While not in ICU anymore, he is still in the hospital dealing with the effects of head trauma.

His wife wrote on her blog this morning:
"We are so grateful for all those who want to visit, with broken bones and bruises, I would have you all. But with brain trauma it is a different story. We were told by the trauma team, just hearing a beeping noise from a machine and someone talking can be nauseating and can cause him to throw up. He said it was like a migraine times a million. I have only had one or two in my life, and I couldn't stand noise or light. So I am respecting the Doctors wishes by not inviting visitors. It is for the best interest of ******'s healing. He repeats the days of the week constantly, counts and trys (sic) hard to focus, I know his brain is working on overload and don't want to cause him more stress and trauma, that keeps him from healing. I will continue asking the Doctors when it is best to have visitors, but for now your prayers are what he needs."
I've thought a lot about what we want and can do in situations like this!

We can take meals.  We can visit.  We can mow lawns, shovel snow, rake leaves.  We can fix leaky toilets, fill vehicles with gasoline, send bouquets of flowers.  We can watch children, help with schedule changes, even pay the mortgage!!

But sometimes, when someone says, "I just need your prayers!"  I think, "What?  Please tell me that's not all I can do?  Because I am capable of so. much. more."

Which got me to thinking about prayer and it's power.

And my thoughts quietly took me to a Garden. Yes, that Garden, wherein the Savior of us all knelt to pray - to pray - for all God's children.

For after all His parables, all His sermons, after turning water into wine, feeding the 5000, walking on water healing the lame, the blind, the sick and raising people from the dead, what He did was what we needed the very most:  He prayed for us!!

And His prayer, that Prayer, coupled with Him humbly kneeling in the Garden for me and for you, petitioning the Father on our behalf, makes me realize that the intrinsic power of prayer means that I am truly capable of doing so much more than just taking in a meal.