Why Christ Matters. A Mother’s saving Grace.

I gave a lesson to the Young Women in my church about preparing to establish a Christ-centered home* this last Sunday. It caused me to put my thoughts together and further reflect about why I feel that Christ matters so much. With Christmas just about here, I felt strongly to announce to the world my own feelings about Christ and why it IS such a big deal that little baby in Bethlehem was born.

Why is it that so much of the world is celebrating the arrival of this person? Why does it matter that Jesus came? How did it affect the world and how does it affect us personally, every day?? I don’t have all the answers, but I have come to know through my experiences a few, simple things that have helped me get closer to answers, to more hope, to more understanding, to greater happiness and to closer to my Savior, Jesus Christ.

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Why does it matter that I base myself, family, home and life around Christ? Let me share a personal story about how I came to better terms to why it matters to me.

I was having one of those moments as a mother that I realized how blatantly short my efforts fell from being the mother I wanted to be. I found that because of my very human limitations, insecurities, fears, and personal weaknesses, I simply could not show love to my kids as beautifully as I wanted.  I got frustrated with them, snapped at them, was easily distracted when I could better be attending their needs and so on. I came to the thought, “Wow, what in the world did my innocent little children do to be raised by a mom like me? Nothing, they did nothing to deserve it. They were just born to me.  I realized that no matter the effort I put in, I would still be lacking somewhere. Simply because I am human, weak, temperamental (can you say hormones?), unwilling, selfish – and- even my very personality and all its flaws that are more or less incompatible with that of my child’s would affect  him and his life. I realized my very shortcomings as a human could one way or another mess up my kid. GULP. What a predicament.

Hope for my kids.

Then like a glimmer of hope in the midst of mental implosion, this scripture came to my mind, “And we atalk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our cchildren may know to what source they may look for a dremission of their sins.” 2 Nephi 25:26

It hit me that the reason I make the effort to teach, talk, celebrate, write and testify of Christ is because it is HE who will do the saving, NOT ME.  If I can just do my best to teach my littles to turn to the Light that is Jesus Christ, they can be redeemed from their weaknesses (sins, insecurities, fears, sorrows), and EVEN the weakness that became theirs because of my influence (my sincere efforts as a mother that simply were not enough). Jesus Christ matters because my children have as much of a chance to enjoy satisfying and true happiness in this life (and the next to come) as I do. Oh what a relief!

Hope for me.

Even though I am human, weak, and SO blunder prone, there is still hope for me as a mother. Christ not only compensates for what I could not do, but enables me to do and be more than I otherwise could on my own as I mother. I have personally experienced the real enabling power of Christ in my life. I have seen it in those moments when I am humble and willing enough to know that I cannot do it alone, when I start relying on His spirit more, those moments of quiet listening to the real voice within that stills me, helps me harness life and myself to do those things that really matter. It comes to me in those miraculous little moments that I didn’t have to get upset, that I stopped and listened, that I sought an opportunity to teach instead instead of punish. Those are the moments that I can more clearly see the light in my child’s eyes, see him for who he is. Love him more sincerely and deeply than ever before and experience a joy more exquisite than I thought possible.

He sets me FREE.

I’ve experienced and still do experience all sorts of heavy and crazy types of slavery. What? Yes. We all do. We are all slaves to nasty slave masters that come in mean voices in our heads, that pushes us around, that say we are not good enough, that suck the life out of us in negativity, guilt, worry, frantic fear of the ridiculous. That voice that keeps us a slave to anything less than joy and keeps us away from really enjoying life and  seeing yourself as the glorious beings we really are. I have learned that those voices can be ignored, can be quieted, and can be overcome. It is a gift and power I have found Christ lends to me. To focus more on His spirit, less on the things that drag me down, more on the inspiring, less on the depressing, more on the things to rejoice about, less on the things to whine about. It is liberating, it is true freedom. (Read an eg of this in this post-My obsession with getting things done and how it block real happiness )

He came so we could receive, know and show LOVE.

If for some reason the idea of Jesus Christ still  seems quite removed for you, perhaps the idea of LOVE can complete it for you. Christ’s whole missions was for love and out of love for us. Christ =LOVE. When we feel true Love we are feeling part of Him. For me it is a feeling that things will be ok, that there is much to be hoped for, much to be happy about, it is a feeling of security within myself, confidence to take on life, the gift of ability to love others and give of myself without fear. He is what makes life beautiful. LOVE is why Christ matters. There is little I want more than Christ and His love in my home.

See helpful object lesson on this topic here.

*For lesson helps: In my lesson we talked about ways to create a Christ-centered home. With the help of resources found in the lesson (specifically “For peace at home by Elder G Scott, Family Proclamation, Becoming Goodly Parents, and scripture references) we listed things that help create a Christ-centered home (Here is a handout to use if you are going to be teaching).

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Download “Christ Centered Home” christ-centered-home.pdf – Downloaded 63 times – 1 MB

 

 

 

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Create a Family Tree (Free printable)

Family Tree

 

Create a charming little family tree that can help you remember and visually see your family past and present. Makes a great wall hanging and a meaningful gift (what could moms, mom-in-laws and grandmas be more excited about??)

This began as a  church Young Women’s project. We were working on finding names of our ancestors, (check out familysearch.org or www.ancestry.com) and wanted the girls to display them in nice way.

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I absolutely fell in love with this tree and had always wanted one for my home so I decided to mimic the basic concept and this is what came out of that. I made a template (which you can download for free  for personal use)

[Download not found]

create-a-family-tree-with-patterned-paper

 

The template is just an outline of the tree and a couple leaves, this way you can trace it onto whatever color/patterned pattern your heart desires.

Instructions For Creating A family tree 

Start by printing the download on a regular 8.5×11 piece of computer paper. You could also print the tree template right onto the patterned paper if is not too dark or busy.  If you don’t print right on to the paper you will use, follow the next few steps to transfer template outline onto paper.

create-family-tree-chalk

Use a piece of chalk in a color contrasting the color of tree you will use (black tree, white chalk) and cover entire backside of the paper (blankside).  You can also use carbon paper to achieve similar results.

trace

Lay the template on the opposite side of colored/patterned paper that will appear (if it is a solid color of paper, it won’t matter, if it has a patterned on one side and blank on the other, lay it on the BLANK side). Trace the tree template with a pen, pushing firmly.

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After you have traced around the whole tree you can lift up the paper and you should be able to see the outline of the tree. Cut out the tree. Paste tree on a 11×14 piece of heavier paper (we used Bistol paper)

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To cutout many leaves at a time: trace one of the leaves near the edge of a pattern/colored paper (there are two different sizes of leaves on the template you can choose whatever you prefer or just draw your own) and cutout a long strip from it. Fold the strip around the leaf accordion style. Hold the accordion together and cut out the leaves, you should get 2-4 leaves depending on the amount of times you folded it.

The way you place the leaves around the tree is totally up to you. The placement will be more or less abstract, the tree branches don’t necessarily follow a pattern. Have fun, make it look awesome. Please link back if you want to post on your website or comment with link so we can all admire your work!

***UPDATE!**** JUNE 2014

If you like this little tree, you will LOVE this.  YOu can print this directly onto a 11×14 (go to a printing lab, pretty cheap since it is black and white) and fill in names of your family members PAST (roots) and continue to add growing PRESENT family members (grandchildren, etc) with patterned paper!! SO genius, right?? It is available as instant download in my ETSY shop for only $5! 

familiy tree printable

family tree made with cutout paper leaves.