28 February 2009

Opportunities and Attitude

I've thought a lot lately about how your attitude is all important. If I choose to be upset, things are upsetting, but if I choose to make the best of it, it is just a momentary setback. Disasters and tragedies become trials that only serve to make us stronger, and more aware of our strengths and weaknesses if we only have the right attitude.

I didn't realize how pervasive this was in the LDS culture - I was only just discovering (or rediscovering) it for myself. I love how Mariah Proctors says it in her "I'm grateful for the opportunity"

For Latter-day Saints, life isn't a stream of miserable events, a river of burdens or entitlements, it is instead a series of “opportunities' and that changes everything. "

Attitude really does change everything, and often we just need to slow down, and figure out what Heavenly Father is trying to teach us so that we can adjust our attitude to be one of humility and learning.

I've been trying to teach this to my kids lately. We are memorizing a scripture that Isaac chose,
and I have been trying to teach them that serving others is much more beneficial than fighting. One of the most common complaints at our house is that "so and so" didn't clear their place at the table. Of course, it would take about 5 seconds to "serve on another" and clear their place for them while clearing the rest of the table . . . but the kids seem to think that "failure to clear your place" is a felony offense and must be reported to the Kitchen Police (MOM) and tried before a judge (MOM) and punishment rendered immediately ("so and so") must clear their place right now. Can they not see that this takes about 3 minutes and causes hard feelings, drives the spirit from the room, and distracts Mom.

Maybe I should institute a Kitchen Police and time how long infringements take out of our day. The punishment could be reduced time on the computer. YEA - this might really work. It may be fun and games for awhile, but I know that it is important to teach my children to serve one another, and to love on another. That is what will serve them best in their life. Clearing the table is only a nicety.

11 February 2009

Youtube AAAHHH!

I had an aaahhh moment about youtube today.

I've kind of avoided a lot of websites like myspace, youtube, facebook, and blogging (until recently) for a variety of reasons. Some of those reasons are, is it really going to stick around, is there anything good there, or just a bunch of time wasting drivel, am I going to have to worry about bad stuff all the time. Ok, so some of the other reasons are I'm an extremely busy homeschooling mother of 5 kids under the age of 12, who is involved in my church, my extended family, and would like to have a reasonably clean house most of the time and live on one income(my husbands), and I really enjoy digital scrapbooking in my free time. I just don't have time to spend exploring every website community out there, so I just don't try to do it all.

A couple of weeks ago I was almost convinced to join facebook. I don't quite remember the reason why, but I did sign up, except I never have clicked on the link to verify that I signed up, I've just been to busy to get back to that particular email. I do love blogging now that I have rediscovered how much I enjoy learning, and thinking, and writing to improve that learning process. Like most people, I want to be remembered and to pass on my knowledge to future generations as well. As I have gotten into blogging I have learned (again) that there are many amazing and talented people out there who are constantly contributing wonderful things to the internet community. Some of my favorite blogs to I read - when I get the chance - are

Everyday Food Storage

Diapers and Divinity

The Happy Housewife

Milestones Academy

The Lazy Organizer

of course, this isn't all the blogs that I read, and I'm always finding more, but I'll save for another day.

I had an aaahhh moment about youtube today.

I didn't forget -- this post was inspired by article I read on Meridian Magazine "Church Videos for Blogs and Websites" By Larry Richman. It contains a list of website with uplifting, inspirational videos that depict the LDS church in a postive light. Of course, I haven't had a chance to watch hardly any of them, but I'll set a goal to watch 1 video a day, and this is why:

Please share this list with others. Feel free to embed these videos in your blogs and Web sites. When you watch these videos, be sure to rate them and leave a comment. That will help positive videos about the Church to show up higher than negative ones!

AAAAHHHHH! One thing that I can do to help fulfill the mission on the church is to increase the popularity of good, so that good can outshine the bad. I'm off to sign up for a youtube account so that I can rate video's and help to my part in spreading joy!

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." incorrectly attributed to (Edmund Burke)

10 minutes later

WOW, that was easy, and I can sign in using my google account so that makes it even simpler! Here is the first video that I watched on, rated, and commented on.

Gordon B. Hinckley - Lessons I Learned as a Boy

10 February 2009

Bible Pop Quiz

Can you name this character from the Bible?"

"This man preached tirelessly to a people who largely rejected him. He was just and perfect in his ­gen­eration. But he was mocked by the people. Grieved by their sins, he did all that the Lord commanded him. The people sought to kill him. He constructed the means of saving all mankind. Those who followed him were saved from death. Only those who were his family were saved. His salvation also saved the animals from death."

So - do you have an answer ?

Are you sure?

Is that your final answer?

If your answer is NOAH - you are right!

But wait, was that your first answer?

If your first thought was Jesus Christ you are also right.

Trick question you say, well maybe, but so fascinating. How many other Bible characters have lives that parallel the life of Christ? Curious now? OK, here is another one.

"There was a long wait for this person's birth. His name and birth were foretold by an angel. His mother conceived miraculously and brought forth a son. He was called `the only begotten son.' He traveled to Jerusalem on a donkey. Those with him were asked to wait while he went yonder to worship and pray. He was to be sacrificed on a hill in the area of Moriah. He carried the wood to be instrumental in his death. He was one with, and in similitude of, his father. He voluntarily submitted to the will of his father. Those who accept the gospel become his seed--his sons and his daughters."

So - I bet you figured out it could be Christ, but who else?

No, I didn't figure these out by myself, but I am highly intrigued to go and study my scriptures more know and to learn more about he lives of the prophets and the Savior. I'm reading this great book called, The Holy Secret by James L. Ferrell and the best part is you can read it online for free from DeseretBook.com. The pop quiz questions posted above are only a small part of chapter 7, but don't start there, read the book from the beginning. It will open your eyes and really get you thinking about how you study the scriptures.

The Holy Secret
by James L. Ferrell
online by Deseretbook.com
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
. . .

09 February 2009

Contemporaries in History

I learned so little about history in school. Ok, so I know a few main characters, and a little bit about how the government in supposed to work, and that the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are our founding documents, but beyond that I really didn't learn to understand the fabric of history.

I didn't even know how much I didn't know and understand until recently. The first inkling of my lack of knowledge was towards the end of my college career. I was taking an art class (art 101: History of art or something like that). We covered a lot of types of art throughout history. I remember being amazed when I realized that 6000 years is a really long time, and that their is a art history that goes back that far. Here I was, a young married mother of two, and finally grown up enough to enjoy an art class(where we did indeed experiment with many types of art) and finally learn that a people had been creating art for thousands and thousands of years.

A few years later, when I was a mother of 4, I was finally privileged to learn again how little I really knew about history. We were studying ancient history, and the Old Testament side by side, what an amazing bit of serendipity. I didn't know enough to plan it that way, but it was indeed a blessing from above that we were able to see how the Old Testament is the spiritual account of history, and that other historical records exist to verify the existence of people like ABRAHAM and DAVID. I had never, until that time, really connected the scriptures, with actual history. I didn't doubt the scriptures, I guess I just assumed they were the only records that we had . . . ?

I am still often pleasantly happy to discover many more fascinating stories from history, and feel so very blessed that I am able to learn right along with my kids as we learn together in our homeschool. I know that they are learning so much more than I learned at their age, and I am finally getting the education that I continually desire.

On that note, I'd like to share my amazing discovery for today. Joseph Smith and Abraham Lincoln were contemporaries, and their lives are amazingly similar. Think about it, they were both born and raised poor, were basically self educated, ran for President of the United States, served fellowman immensely and were both martyrs. I learned even more about Abraham Lincold and Joseph Smith by reading this article: Did Abraham Lincoln ever meet Joseph Smith by David and Nancy Leroy. While it is impossible to say if they ever met in this life, I'm sure that they've met on the other side. I know you'll agree with me.