Thursday, December 13, 2012

If Life Were Easy, It Wouldn't Be Hard by Sheri Dew

In If Life Were Easy, It Wouldn't Be Hard by Sheri Dew she reminds us that life wasn't meant to be easy.

"While life is meant to test and challenge and strengthen us, if we are attempting to negotiate the twists and turns and ups and downs of mortality alone, we're doing it wrong."

Here are a few of my favorite quotes:

"We don't really know what we believe in or care about until what we believe in or about is threatened, challenged or measured."

"It's not possible to come unto Christ with all of our hearts if our hearts are tied in knots with envy or anger or resentment or pride."

"But I feel at peace about one thing - that the Lord, at least, will judge me on the intent of my heart. Only he can see the whole of any picture, including what's in our hearts."

"Surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of a man he is." CS Lewis

"Keep every avenue of your heart clean and pure before Him." Brigham Young

"May we therefore devote all our days, all our energy to heeding the word of God and diligently seeking after Him and His son. For therein lies pure joy."

Monday, November 26, 2012

The 5 Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman & Ross Campbell

Early in the summer I read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman and loved it. He teaches that we all feel love in different ways or languages. So if we can learn to speak the language of those in our lives (siblings, spouses, friends) we can build stronger relationships.  I was excited to find out he also wrote one for children.  He says that most children don't have a specific language until about 5 so until then we need to focus on using all 5 languages to meet their needs.  My daughter is almost 2 and is changing her love language all the time, but I really wanted to read this now so I can learn the signs to watch for as she develops her love language.
"Young children are not subtle about asking for our love. They are noisy and often do things that seem inappropriate for an adult way of thinking. When we realize that they are pleading for us to spend time with them, to hold them, to give ourselves to them in a personal manner, we will remember that they are children and that we have the precious responsibility to fill their love tanks first, and then train them to move on in their journey."

Love Language #1: Physical Touch
Mark 10:  14. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. 16. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.

Love Language #2: Words of Affirmation
"The greatest enemy toward encouraging our children is anger."

Love Language #3: Quality Time
"Because your children will learn more from talking with you than you will probably ever realize, it is crucial that you spend time in healthy conversation with them, no matter what their age."

Love Language #4: Gifts
"The child's emotional love tank needs to be kept filled in order for the gift to express heartfelt love."

Love Language #5: Acts of Service
"Because service to a child is constant for so many years, and takes place in and around so many other obligations, parents can forget that the daily and mundane acts they perform are expressions of love with long-term effects."

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Book of Mormon

I am not a political person. It is a subject that frustrates me and annoys me.  So this post will be the only political thing you hear from me. And I am only posting this because of where I happen to be reading in the Book of Mormon right now.  I am honestly rather surprised with the number of people (especially Mormons) who are still posting to facebook and emailing nasty, name calling, end of the world, dooms day kind of things. The election is over. What's done is done. It is time to start acting like Christians! Show our faith in God like the Nephites and not murmur like the Lamanites! How many times do we read in the Book of Mormon when the Nephites are subject to the Lamanites? (don't read too far into that sentence!)

Mosiah 21:15 ...yet the Lord did not see fit to deliver them out of bondage

Mosiah 24:
14. And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.
 15. And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.
 16. And it came to pass that so great was their faith and their patience that the voice of the Lord came unto them again, saying: Be of good comfort, for on the morrow I will deliver you out of bondage.

Mosiah 2:22 And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments; and he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth vary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do keep his commandments he doth bless you and prosper you.

And last
D&C 6:36 Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.

Now let me hear an AMEN!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

No Doubt About It by Sheri Dew

No Doubt About It was a great reminder of my basic beliefs as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Where we came from, what we are doing here on earth and our ultimate goal to make it back to our Father in Heaven.  The chapter that hit me the most was about being on the Lord's side of the line. "Our physical and spiritual safety lies in never even getting close to the line that separates light from dark, good from evil." Growing up sometimes I thought my parents were living too "Mormon extreme".  For example, the church encourages us to stay away from any addictive substances so that includes caffinated drinks.  So in my house we were not allowed to drink Coke or Pepsi...even when they started selling caffeine free Coke/Pepsi my parents still wouldn't buy it.  It was just their way of staying away from the line. In this chapter Sheri Dew stresses the importance of  being honest. A quality that can so easily blur the line until it destroys businesses, families and cultures.  I love that one of the questions we answer to receive a temple recommend is are you honest in all your dealings.  It is the question that pops into my head when it would be easy to say a little white lie when I don't want to go somewhere or do something that inconveniences me. Are you honest in all your dealings? Think how much better the world would be if more people answered that question every night before going to bed.

A few of my favorite quotes from the book:
2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith
"Make no mistake about it: Lucifer will do anything to derail, disappoint, dishearten, discourage and deceive us."

"It is in the moments of disappointment, heartache, and loneliness that we often make the decision that forge our faith, mold our character and fortify our convictions about the only source of strength and solace that satisfies. And that is Jesus Christ."

"The Savior's light is greater than any heartache or loneliness, more powerful than any kind of pain, stronger than any weakness or temptation."

"Mothers are the emotional glue that holds the family together."

"I fear that some of us understand just enough about the gospel to feel guilty - guilty that we are not measuring up to some undefined standard - but not enough about the Atonement to feel the peace and strength, the power and mercy, it affords us."

"How many of us are spiritually just getting by rather than learning how to access the divine power available to those who seek after it?"

"Either we have a prophet, or we don't. If we don't, we have nothing. If we do, we have everything."

"It means placing Christ and Christ only at the center of our lives so that the vanities and philosophies of men lose their addictive appeal."

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Mother's Book of Secrets by Linda Eyre & Shawn Eyre Pothier

This week I needed to switch it up and read something a little lighter.  A Mother's Book of Secrets was a fun and positive book written by a mother and daughter. They give little secrets to making motherhood memorable and meaningful.  Like seeing the big picture, using your imagination, saying no sometimes, praying, creating traditions and having family laws.  It is cool to get the perspective of Linda Eyre who is an empty nester now looking back on how it was to raise 9 kids and then the perspective of her daughter Shawni Eyre Pothier who is right in the middle of raising her 5 kids. 
One of the chapters is about prayer.  They give a really great visual that I just love.  Imagine if Jesus showed up at our house.  We invite him to sit down and wait while we finish cleaning up, taking care of the kids, cooking dinner and doing the laundry. Then by the time we get back to Him we are so tired we lay down and whisper tomorrow would be better.  Instead act as if he is following us around while we go about our day.  Then we can pray throughout the day and feel like he has been there the whole time and already knows what we are praying about.  I have always been taught we can pray anytime and I do find myself saying little prayers throughout my day, but it was neat to visualize Jesus actually in my house helping me with my daughter.

Favorite quotes:
"Motherhood is like being pecked to death by a duck" anonymous

"If we remember to let some imagination in every once in a while, motherhood is just more fun."

"It makes me feel at peace knowing that after I've done the very best I can do, there's someone more powerful that can fill in the gaps"

"Each thing you want to change about a child or a relationship starts with you changing your response to what is happening."

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Anger by Thich Nhat Hahn

Anger was written by Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist monk.  I would say it was a..... good book. Gave good insight and ways to confront anger. (I will get into the good in a second) However, it was a hard book for me to read. Not one that I just had to read.  I am having a hard time putting words into why so try to follow me here. I am not a vegetarian or do a lot of yoga or meditation, so some parts of the book were a little extreme for me.  For example, I am not going to talk to my 5 year old self and invite her to go for a hike with me.  I don't really believe that if a chicken dies angry and then I eat it I will become angry.  So, when I came across a part in the book that was weird for me I called my sister (that sent the book to me) and she would dumb it down a little for me.  There was a lot of good in the book though.  He taught that anger isn't something that just goes away. Everybody feels anger...even monks.  It is what we do with the anger and how we express it that is important.  We shouldn't act on anything when angry, but wait until we calm down to avoid doing or saying something to cause more damage.  If we can view our family and friends as someone who is suffering when they are angry we can help them instead of add to the anger.  Instead of me trying to explain any more here are some of my favorite quotes from the book.
"Many people look for happiness outside of themselves, but true happiness must come from inside of us."

"At the moment you become angry, you tend to believe that your misery has been created by another person. But by looking deeply, you may realize that the seed of anger in you is the main cause of your suffering. Many other people, confronted with the same situation, would not get angry like you."

"When someone is angry, and doesn't know how to handle her anger, she is helpless, she suffers....You realize that what she needs is help not punishment."

"When you understand the suffering of the other person, you are able to transform your desire to punish, and then you want only to help him or her."

"If you cannot accept yourself, if you cannot treat yourself with kindness, you cannot do this for another person."

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

I know! I know! Yes, I just read this.  Probably the last one on earth. I had heard so many good things about the book, but when it came out I figured I would just watch the movie (like I did with Harry Potter, Twilight and Hunger Games).  But then after I started this blog my sister sent me the book and I was able to read it before I watched the movie. I never really understood it when people would say "the book was so much better than the movie."  And now I get it!  The movie was good, but you just get so much more from the book! More details, more character backgrounds and more storyline.  The Help was written in a way to give you different characters' perspectives of how it was to live in the south in the 1960's. It was a great reminder of how happy I am to have been born when I was.  The idea of living in a time where the color of your skin dictated who you could talk to, where you lived and what bathroom you used breaks my heart. The basic belief you are less of a person because of your skin color is so hard to wrap my brain around and am so thankful I wasn't raised in that generation. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Screamfree Parenting by Hal Edward Runkel

By the title of this book I am sure you are thinking I must be one of "those" parents.  My daughter is still young so we haven't quite hit that point, but I have been noticing how I let my emotions be dictated by what kind of day she is having.  I get frustrated, overwhelmed and lose patience and blame her for it.  So that is where this book comes in.  It is more about getting yourself under control no matter how others around you are acting.  Screamfree Parenting is not just for the screamers, but also for those that disconnect from the situation or those who overcompensate.  The author teachers how to calm yourself down while staying connected and not become a reactive parent. 

Growing up my family had a New Year's tradition of writing things we wanted for the next year: goals, school achievements, boys we liked, weight loss, whatever. Then we would seal it up and hide it until the next year.  Not too long ago my dad found one that had been lost so we got to open them and see what we wrote as kids.  I think I was about 10ish.  One of my goals was to quit swearing! Again I was 10 (I blame it on softball). I pretty much have been trying to quit swearing my entire life but have failed.  I always felt like when I got angry swearing helped me release my anger and then I could move on.  Now that my little girl is repeating everything I say I have set the goal again not to cuss.  I have a little "No Swearing Chart" on my fridge and every night I mark down how many times I cussed (out loud) that day.  I started counting in June with a shocking 72. July was much better with 25. I killed it in August with only 12.  And so far 2 for September.  Best part is I can't remember the last time my daughter heard me cuss.  Her new favorite line is "shoot shoot shoot" and I am so glad I didn't say what I really wanted to say or she would have picked right up on that!  Anyways...what I am noticing is that the more I control my cussing the more I control my temper.  I thought the cussing had to happen to get my frustration out but in reality the cussing just fueled the fire. I can see exactly what Hal Edward Runkel is talking about. Focusing and controlling myself makes a happier house.

This doesn't mean Hazel is happy 100% of the time, but I can deal with her bad days better. And this doesn't mean I have perfected controlling myself, but am learning and trying every single day.     

Favorite Quotes from Screamfree Parenting:
"Even if you could control your kids, should you?"
"What every kid wants are parents who can keep their cool, even when things get hot."
"Your goal is not to control. Your goal is to influence."
"With children, past performances is never a guarantee of future results."
"No one is ever ALWAYS something."
"You are your children's biggest influence, and what you think and say about them may shape them more than any other force in the universe."
"You cannot take care of your family unless you first tend to yourself."

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Ensign - September 2012


I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints aka Mormons.  Every month they publish a magazine called the Ensign with spiritual talks, messages, stories, etc. This month there was a nice message by one of the apostles Elder Quentin L. Cook called Restoring Morality and Religious Freedom.  There are 2 quotes I would like to share that caught my attention.

"You must not be in camouflage as to who you are and what you believe." This of course stuck out to me as a hunter's wife. Most of my closets are filled with camo! So it just makes sense.  Don't hide what I believe!

"There are some who feel that venting their personal anger or deeply held opinions is more important than conducting themselves as Jesus Christ taught. How we disagree is a real measure of who we are and whether we truly follow the Savior. It is appropriate to disagree, but not appropriate to be disagreeable. If we show love and respect even in adverse circumstances, we become more like Christ."  This couldn't have come at a more perfect time in my life.  This is something I sometimes have a hard time with. Mainly when it comes to my family.  I always mean well, but I do tend to give my opinion maybe more than it is needed.  For example, my sister called to update me on her life. It started out as a nice conversation and ended with me lecturing her on some choices.  By the time we hung up I was worried she was going to never talk to me again! So here is my question to you. How do you give your opinion without crossing the line? How do you bring the love of the Savior when sharing something you think is right? Should you give advice or just keep your mouth shut? How do you disagree without being disagreeable?  

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Heaven Is Here by Stephanie Nielson

To say this book was inspiring would be an understatement.  Stephanie Nielson tells her story of getting married, starting a family, living a happy life and then the terrible day that changed everything.  Her and her husband were in a plane crash in Arizona and she was burned over 80% of her body.  She tells of her darkest hours and how she was able to get through it all.  Here are just a few things I learned/was reminded of in this book.

1. Family is Everything. While Stephanie spent months in the hospital her family took care of her and her kids. That is the best part of families. We may not always get along, but I know my family is 100% there for me and I would be there for them. There is no other bond like family!
2. Hold on to your faith. Sometimes in the darkest times it is easy to lose faith and even blame God for the bad. But that is when we need Him the most.
3. We are strong. Do I think I could make it through what Stephanie did...Nope, but we are stronger than we think. This past year has been one of my hardest. There were moments I didn't think I could take much more. I spent a lot of time on me knees praying for strength and God has continued to carry me along.
4. Happily ever after.  The road to get there may be bumpy, painful, scary and hard but it will all be worth it when we make it there.    

Here goes nothing...

I have never been much of a reader or good with writing. So this could end up being the most boring blog ever, but what is the worst that could happen! Now that I am a stay-at-home mom I need something to do while my daughter is napping besides watching TV.  I know there is plenty that I should be doing but I have learned I need to recharge my battery and just have some quiet time too. I also come from a big family but don't live close to home right now, so by blogging what I am reading about it will keep them up to speed with what I am up to.
Not sure what kind of books I was even interested in, I turned to my facebook friends and got a lot of suggestions.  I started in July with a few murder mysteries by Harlan Coben. They were entertaining, but ended up giving me bad dreams...which is easy to do. I also just felt like I was wasting time.  I want to be learning, growing spiritually or working on ways to better myself during my down time. 
So if anybody decides to follow my blog I hope I can share some good books with you. However this blog is not really for reviewing books. It is more about sharing what I am learning.

PS. Did my blog title bring back memories for anybody? California Raisins rap - Books: Check Em Out