The Power of CHOICE.

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Why do the choices I make matter?

I’m prepare a Young Women’s Lesson for my church titled, “Why do the Choice I make matter?” I LOVE this topic, the very real power of CHOICE and how it literally governs the outcomes of our lives! Here are some of my thoughts:

Tell me, what ultimately determines our destiny in this life?

-What you look like
-Your personality traits
-The circumstances you were born into
– Your genetic predispositions
-Your IQ
-The social influences that surround you.
-Fortunes or mishaps that occur in your life
-The way you were raised

Those are all huge factors in life, right? So which one is it? What will best tell what our lives will look like? Is it nature or nurture? The great debate! Is it all the weakness and strengths we are born with or the weakness and strengths of our surroundings that will decide the happiness of our life??

Ready for my epiphany moment?

See, even though those factors can have a big influence in the life of person, the ultimate determining factor is actually one’s choices. Ultimately, what we choose to do with what we’ve been given is what determines everything.

That is one BIG FAT POWERFUL TRUTH.

That means that no matter who you are, where you were born, what you look like, how you were raised, how ‘smart’ you are, what choices others make, what happens to you in life, YOU ALWAYS continue to have CHOICE, AGENCY, one of the greatest powers available to you. To choose God, to choose love, to choose the Spirit, to choose peace, to choose JOY, to choose to contribute to humanity! Everytime. With the guiding power of Christ, his enabling Atonement and the Holy Ghost that communicate this to us (or spirit of Christ that is given to every man) WE ARE ALL given the tools to make powerful choices in our lives to bring us great happiness! It is what sets us FREE from all the factors we cannot control in our lives from controlling what and who we become! To ‘act for ourselves and not be acted upon.’

Nephi 2:25 say’s 

Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.

Mean trick of the adversary.

One greatest games that Satan pulls on us ALL the TIME (and enforced by our ‘natural man’) is to make us believe that we simply DON’T have choice! He tries to blinds us to the choices we have and responsibility we have towards our own progression and happiness. He wants us to believe we are victims and forever captive to our situation. As long as we believe it, we will be held captive! That mentality stunts the progress we can make. It comes in beliefs that it is somebody else’s fault that we can’t do something, or that our behavior is excused by this person or situation. Or that our circumstances make it so we can’t be happy, successful or at peace. That people MAKE us angry, MAKE us depressed, MAKE us do things we aren’t proud of. Even though it is our very human nature to believe this when things don’t go smoothly, we are given a greater power through the Atonement of Christ and His Spirit to eventually overcome default reactions and impulses. It gives the strength that help us reclaim our right to peace and happiness, even in difficult situations.

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What it will takes from us.

It mostly likely will require us to have humility, to forgive, to repentance and engage in a gradual process of letting go (again and again and again) but it is available to us! It empowers us to rise above our circumstances and our fallen selves! Yay!

Commitment of choice.

There are solid choices that can be made beforehand that can help keep us undeviated on our journey. Choices that take us to where we want to be and become. If we have written these commitments on paper and in our hearts, when confusion sets in, when we feel lost and weary, when temptation is roaring, when everyone else around us sucumbs to what you know isn’t right, you still know what is right and can continue to choose it. And you will remain unscathed, clean and strong. That is the power of choice.

Sister Elaine S. Dalton ‘choice’ advice:

“When I was a young woman, I learned that some decisions need to be made only once. I wrote my list of things I would always do and things I would never do in a small tablet. It included things like obeying the Word of Wisdom, praying daily, paying my tithing, and committing to never miss church. I made those decisions once, and then in the moment of decision, I knew exactly what to do because I had decided beforehand. When my high school friends said, “Just one drink won’t hurt,” I laughed and said, “I decided when I was 12 not to do that.” Making decisions in advance will help you be guardians of virtue. I hope each of you will write a list of things you will always do and things you will never do. Then live your list.”  ~From her talk “Guardians of Virtue

Here is a printable to taken on the challenge!

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See all February “Come Follow me Lessons” on this site

For other helpful/related posts see:

“What is Jesus Christ Important in my Life”

“How to manage Negative Feelings in a Positve Way”

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YW Lesson: Why is Jesus Christ important in my life? Object lesson and Free printable

I taught a lesson for the Young Women in my church titled, “Why is Jesus Christ important in my life?  As I was thinking about how to best explain why Jesus Christ matters and what He can do in our lives, I put together this object lesson. It uses:
1 balloon
Several beans

It describes how the balloon is us, our spirit or soul. The purpose of the ballon is to be filled and to rise up and come closer to Heaven and ultimately live with Him again.

When come down to earth we forget our purpose and often just noticed that we are deflated and need to do something about it. Most of us are motivated by not having enough.
We don’t have enough money so we work hard to earn more. (add a few beans after each statement)
We don’t have enough things, so we do what we can to get more toys and material things.
We need more people to like us and think we are the coolest, so we revolve our efforts around impressing others.
We need to just DO more with our lives, so we cram our lives full of activities, tasks, to do’s to the point we are just crazy BUSY.

In the end all those things are semi-satisfying, but not really, right?  We are still deflated. In fact all those ‘beans’ have become quite a burden in our lives. We start resenting our efforts because even though we worked so hard, someone else still has more! More money, more things we want, accomplishes more than we do!
All we know is that we are exhausted and not really satisfied with our lives.
Christ says: Verily, verily, I say unto you, I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy;
He’s saying, ‘I am what you NEED and what you’ve been looking for the whole time!’
When we start letting go of some of the worldly things and desires (start dumping some beans out) and we start making room for Christ and His spirit, He can fill our SOULS up! (Blow up balloon)
Something of totally different substance, not material things. Something that actually fills us up!! He helps us feel satisfied at whatever level of progression we are in. We can feel like we are enough, have enough so we are more willing to serve, give, share and love others (see “Feeling Enough” post). We are filled with the desire to better serve God and seek His truths. It’s not that we stop entirely what we were doing before but rather we become wiser about what we choose to do and begin doing things with perspective, purpose, love and with the Spirit. We are happy and fulfilled but as the balloon continues to be filled up, our souls and capacity to receive more love, joy, light, understanding, wisdom EXPANDS.
In the meantime, He also lightens our burdens, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matt 11:28)” He helps us get rid of all those attachments to worldly things, let go of ideas that weight us down, doubts, fears, guilts. He purifies us to the degree we are willing let Him in our lives. (Hold on to open end of ballon and start to carefully get rid of more beans)
As this is happening, we also begin to rise. Christ helps us rise to our potential, and to God.
Without Christ, we could not have a relationship with God. He is the piece, the bridge, our advocate with the Father. God actually needs us to ‘be perfect’ but we simply can’t be perfect by ourselves, so that is WHY we COMPLETELY need a savior in our lives. Christ is that savior, that lived a perfect life, that atoned for us, died for us, resurrected for us, and is WILLING and WAITING to impart His endless perfection with us, to COMPLETE us, to make us whole, PERFECT us so we can have and enjoy a connection with GOD, here IN THIS LIFE and be able to live again with Him in the next!!  Mutual theme comes to life! “Come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness” (Moroni 10:32).

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)

Also read post, “Why Christ Matters. A mother’s saving grace” 

I created this printable for the girls to write (and share) their testimonies of Jesus Christ. Have them date it and put it in their journals or scriptures to refer to. Click on download link below for PDF.testimony of christ-01

Download “Testimony of Christ” testimony-of-christ1.pdf – Downloaded 402 times – 155 KB

ALL JANUARY CFM LESSONS .

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 67 times – 1 MB

 

 

 

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Health Vision Board

Why Does the Lord Want me to be Healthy?

I am teaching my Church Young Women’s group about why it is important to keep our body’s healthy. I am really excited to teach this because I am a huge believer of keeping a healthy and balanced life to achieve a sense of happiness and wellbeing (See post about healthy body here). Practicing good health is vital to Keeping the ‘delicate, sensitive, spiritual of our nature on proper alert’ as Body K. Packer states.  It helps us feel the Spirit more clearly and fully in our lives. I have found that striving to maintain the spirit in my life by practicing good health, care and respect for my body has truly brought a flood of wisdom, inspiration, calmness, peace, happiness more than I could ever imagine. Being sensitive to the Spirit also provides the balance we need so we don’t go overboard on any aspect of our lives.  I have learned, it really is the ‘Word of Wisdom’.

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I wanted something the girls could really ‘take home’ and practice.  I gathered some images from the internet of things that could represent areas of health: Physical, emotional, mental, spiritual even financial well being so they could create a Health Vision Board. I’m a believe of vision boards because they tie in the verbal and visual parts of our brains. The idea is to put the board on the wall next to their beds where they can see it as soon as they roll out of bed. Their job is to look at every part of the board every morning (and often as they like) and really take in. The idea is the more they internalize what is on the board, the sooner and easier their minds will make sure it gets done!  I’m about forming habits and disciple (see my 7 tips of success here), so this way, if they missed doing something for a couple days to NOT GIVE UP! You are DEVELOPING habits, so it is ok if you don’t do it all right away, but the board provides the VISION of what it is you really want to keep working on.

Here is the vision board handout they can cut and glue on a regular 8.5×11 piece of paper or cardstock. Hope it helps!

 

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you can copy and paste image above or download version here:

Download “Vision Board” visionboard.pdf – Downloaded 174 times – 1 MB

 

Other “Come Follow Me” lessons in NOVEMBER.

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How can I prepare to become a righteous wife and mother printable

I teach a group of teenaged girls at my church. Here is printable I created for them to take notes of things they felt particularly impressed about ‘preparing now to become a righteous wife and mother.” I wanted something they would want to put on their mirrors or hang somewhere in their rooms so they could remember.

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DOWNLOAD ‘How can I prepare to become a righteous wife and mother’ printable notecard PDF

Here is an object lesson and handout for this same lesson

Other Come follow me lessons for August