Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Drawing on the Powers of Heaven

This little gem was written by Grant Von Harrison and for a time, was included in missionary literature, which is where my perfect BIL came upon it. I'm quite convinced this book is a big part of the reason this particular BIL is perfect. This book clearly lays a foundation for a deeper and more perfect understanding of faith and sets forth a clear and organized way of moving yourself ahead spiritually, benefitting in every possible way, both spiritually and temporally, as you go.

So, I'm going to open up a discussion here. If you have the book, or can get your hands on it, read along and feel free to participate. It will be a worthwhile endeavor. Even if you don't have it, feel free to add your thoughts.

The first chapter talks about faith. The opening statement is:
"Generally, members of the Church do not have difficulty understanding the most basic aspects of faith, such as faith that God lives, that Jesus is the Christ, that there is life after death, or with a general faith in the overall plan of salvation. However, many people do have trouble understanding the specific kind of faith required to draw on the powers of heaven to help them be more successful in every facet in their lives." (1)

Basically, we believe in the things we are supposed to, but have a hard time remembering that every action is moved forward by Heavenly Father. When we incorporate this concept into our prayers, and recognize that we have the power to do all things by faith (2 Nephi 1:10), we can gain confidence that Heavenly Father wants to give us all the powers He possesses as long as we put forth the effort and faith to make it possible for Him to bless us.

The book uses the example of someone wanting to lose ten pounds. The faith required to lose ten pounds is different than the faith required to gain special assistance from the Lord. If a person wants to lose ten pounds, they must motivate themselves to action by having faith in the laws that determine weight loss (eat less, move more), resolve to follow those laws, and maintain a constant effort, motivated by faith in the laws that govern weight loss. But many times in our lives, we encounter circumstances that require help from the Lord in addition to resolve and determination on our part. Basically, what I got out of reading this part, is that we should not be afraid to ask for miracles and we should get used to seeing them used to answer our prayers. Which makes sense. Every prayer answered really is a miracle, isn't it? Miracles are the Lords way of letting us know He exists, how much He loves us and how His power is limitless.

The end of the Chapter asks us to explain what is meant by the powers of heaven. I take it to mean that the powers of heaven is the power of God, which can and should be summoned to help us during our mortal lives.

Friday, December 15, 2006

It's Official

My blogging break paid off and I got a 4.0.

Go me, go me, go me.....

*happy dance*


Never cared about doing that before. Well, not since before I had any control over it. It's just mean to give over achieving first graders big, black checkmarks that stand for "Needs Improvement" quarter after quarter even when they TRY to control their talking and stay on task. It goes to show you how very fragile the ego is. Knowing that simple truth would probably have saved my parents a small fortune in private school tuition costs.

See? Learn something every day, don't we!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Doing the Hokey Pokey

I have been stuck in finals mode so, I seriously slacked off in the blog posting.

I do think I managed to pull off a 4.0. The one class I was borderline posted grades yesterday and I must have rocked it out on that last test. Anyhow, here is the video of the year at my house:

We will be including it with her application to Juliiard.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Feeling Joy

Something strange happens to me the moment I become pregnant. I didn't know it would happen with my first child, was in serious denial when it happened with my second child, but there was no doubt I knew what was coming by the time I became pregnant with J.

When I become pregnant, I become unhappy.

I wanted children so badly I could hardly stand to hold our close friends' babies during church. I obsessed over getting pregnant, being pregnant and how I was going to get un-pregnant. I really, really, really, wanted to have kids. What I didn't count on, was the case of the orneries I got each time I got the chance to add to our family.

With B, I was sick. So.so.so.so. sick. I was the only person allowed to use the upstairs bathroom. My softball team kept a large trash can in the dugout, which I visited several times each game. I modified my diet to consume only foods that came up as easily as they went down. Watching my body swell up like a cartoon character did not delight me as it seems to some other members of the female race. The baby moving around was cool for about a month. After that, it just felt like a prolonged case of a wierd stomach virus.

After the baby came, I was thrilled to be a mom, and with barely any chance to breath, I became pregnant with K. I was tired. Overwhelmingly, bone-achingly, w.e.a.r.y. Once she got here, I was sad and emotional. My body wouldn't respond to excersize, I felt dumpy and raving and emotionally crippled. When K turned two, I recognized a shift in my outlook. I became less over-reactive, more patient, and happier with life overall.

When I became pregnant with J, I cried for three days. Along with the discomfort of being pregnant, I also figured out that my life would be seriously tampered with and upset for the next three years. I was right. Along with all the temporal trials we underwent during that time, my own during and after baby slump was added to the mix.

I am happy to report that the slump is coming to a close. I caught myself on SEVERAL occasions this week, slowing down to relish time spent with my children. I stopped working in the yard to watch the girls push each other on the swing. I sat next to B and watched him read and helped him with his homework. I caught myself playing their games with them, watching their shows with them and doing things for them without sighing and feeling pressured to add one more thing to my already full plate. I wish I could take away every harsh word, every impatient remark and every time I raised my voice or brushed them off. I wish I could have those moments back now, when I can fully appreciate the aching lovliness of their skin, the sweet smell of their heads and the charming twinkle in their eyes. I wish I would have written down every cute word, new discovery and recorded every silly dance they ever danced. But I know I can't. I can only move forward and drink in every precious moment from here on out. Unencumbered by my funk, I can try to be the mommy they deserve and be the person they can count on.

I think I'll take extra care with J. She'll probably be the one that picks out my retirement home. (But then again, B has already promised he will build me a house next to his so I can live there and make him spaghetti. K is going to live there with me. She's getting married when she's 35 and needs a place to stay until then. Good to have a plan, isn't it?)