Amazing Grace!

I love the topic of grace! I have experienced the grace of our Savior carry me and take me through otherwise turbulent times.  It is a power we can turn to in all moments of our lives. He enhances our efforts, our perspectives and lives. (Some stories and eg in my life here and here) It is a healing, guiding, sanctifying power!  It transforms us. Ultimately, it is how we are saved!

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Here is the download, 4 on a page:

Download “Grace” grace.pdf – Downloaded 236 times – 413 KB

 I have noticed when that when I am stressed, worried, frantic and my life feels overwhelming I am probably in that state because I am trying to carry my load alone… Continue reading “Amazing Grace!”

Who am I, and who can I become?

I’m teaching a YW lesson titled, “Who am I and who can I become”. I LOVE this lesson. Once we come to realize our true identities as children of God, EVERYTHING changes. Our choices, thoughts, attitudes and behaviors begin to line up to reflect our most sacred identity.  I hope these lesson goodies will help out with understanding this.

We are the seed of God analogy:

Our souls, our character, or who we really are can be compared to seeds.

We are seeds of a Divine Being. We are divine by inheritance. Divinity already lives within us. We have everything inside of us to become like our Heavenly Father.

Even though we have it all inside of us, we must seek proper the nourishment for our seeds to grow into their full potential.

What kinds of things does a seed need to grow?

Light —> we need the Gospel light and its guidance. We must learn to follow the Light.

Soil —-> we need a good environment by surrounding ourselves with wholesome things

Water —> We need to seek the living water who is Jesus Christ by doing things to bring and feel His Spirit.

Weed out yuckies—> We need to weed out thoughts and behaviors that harm us. This includes abandoning our sins as well as learning to overcome destructive and mean thoughts about ourselves and other people.

Fake flower analogy (a side thought that might be helpful)

I think we all have ‘plastic’ flowers, or who we want to appear to be or want others to think we are. They are our outer image of ourselves or our egos. The motive our our ego (or natural man) is just to get attention or approval. We are constantly told by the world to buy or do things to get a better seeming ‘fake flower’.

The trouble with it is that it is NOT who we really are! And sometimes we can get so caught up with our fake plastic flower and other people’s  fake plastic flower and how they compare that we forget our true selves! We forget about our true seeds inside of us waiting to be nourished so it can grow and bloom in a unique and beautiful way.

“You are here to BECOME not just to seem”

Our potential:

Our true selves require real spiritual sustenance. With this we can grow to be a real source of beauty and nourishment to others. We can bear true eternal fruit! We can become great and glorious beings just like our Heavenly Father and receive all He has in mind for us.

What it takes

Growing our true seeds takes time, patience, diligence and constant nourishment. In fact, as the seed develops underneath the soil it can be difficult to see results or the end product. Trust that there is growth and development even when your efforts are not immediately noticeable.

“Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.”

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Here is the download if you want the to have something to use as a reminder (and color!)

 

Download “What does a seed need PDF” what-does-a-seed-need.pdf – Downloaded 651 times – 75 KB

 

Here is a fun worksheet for the girls to fill out to help them remember the qualities that make them divine beings:

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Download “My divine qualities worksheet” My-Divine-Qualities-Worksheet.pdf – Downloaded 718 times – 70 KB

Enjoy!.

ALL JANUARY CFM LESSONS

What I learned about putting God first in my life.

I’m preparing a Young Women lesson titled, “What does it mean to take upon myself the name of Jesus Christ”.  One of the focuses is putting God first in our lives. In this post, I share my personal testimony and experience of what I learned about putting God first in my life.

I used to think always putting God first in my life was out of obligation. So I tried to put all churchy things before most things. I prayed and read scriptures in the morning and performed calling assignments before I did anything else. It was a great start because those things held high priority in my life. But the way I executed these tasks and my attitude about them made all the difference in the resulting level of power and influence.

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The trouble was that there was something missing from my actions. In my hurry to just say prayers, just read scriptures, or just do this required service was that my heart was only focused on getting it over with so I could do everything else I wanted. When I read scriptures, my mind wasn’t as occupied thinking about the story or concepts found there as it was busily thinking about everything going on in my day(Such as what I would wear and other ‘important’ items).
Now, I believe turning our full heart to the Savior is a lifelong process of conversion. And immersing ourselves in acts of faith like prayer, reading scriptures, or going to church redirects our thoughts and intents to the Savior even if just for mere a minute. Practices like these build on each other to construct a solid foundation of faith in our life.

It wasn’t until later in my life that it finally became clear what it really meant to put God first. After I had half heartedly gone through the motions of worship , I realized what I was missing.
See, there was a disconnect from the daily tasks I was doing to the thoughts and intents of my heart. I just wanted to get it over with most of the time, almost just to say I did it or to feel like I was ‘good’ enough. But in the end it had little to do with my actual relationship to Deity.

The reason I went through those motions had nothing to do with motions at all. It was to reflect sincerely and deeply about the Savior and feel a connection with Him. The purpose is to feel and have a connection with the SPIRIT.

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It isn’t supposed to be just for that moment of prayer, church or study, but to take that Spirit with you throughout the day, intending to keep it by acting and thinking in a way that would preserve it. By doing  this we can invite a powerful influence into our lives. Having the spirit, or Holy Ghost, I invite Christ into my life. I no longer act alone with my own strength and understanding, but I perform with divine help and guidance. When I have a measure of the Spirit, I inherit a portion of His divine characteristics. I can become ‘Christ-like” not through my own personal human power, but because I have succumbed to a higher power.

My behavior changes not because I force myself to act ‘perfect’ or because I feel obligated to behave a certain way, but because His spirit invites and provides change of behavior. My heart is able to change from my natural selfish state to one that is willing and ready to love. I know when I have the Spirit in my life because it changes me. It’s similar to the effect it had on the people of King Benjamin when they said ” Yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually.” Mosiah 5:2

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I come to know and understand Christ and what real love means as I come to feel and understand myself when I have the His Spirit. The more I drink in of His Spirit, the more I know Him and the more purified I can become.

I receive, even if only in the tiniest portion, how He feels, acts and thinks about me, His children and the purposes of life. Life becomes clear and beautiful.

It is easy to forget, to tune out the spirit. The gravitational pull of our fallen human natures requires us to seek Him daily, moment to moment. To do everything to remind our stubborn human selves of Him. Much of our religion is based on bringing a remembrance, a repetitive educational course of why we are here and why Christ matters. (see this post) Weekly church and sacrament, constant prayer, daily scripture study, gratitude all remind us of the covenants we made with Him. Because we are weak, vulnerable humans prone to leave our one true God, we cannot afford to stop doing those things that remind us.

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Taking upon His name is not only putting Him first’ in the day and then forgetting about Him but I believe it means putting Him and seeking His Spirit first in our hearts, minds all day long. When our natural mans takes over, to taking time to realign to the spirit again (See daily repentance post)

God wants us to put Him first heart, mind and soul because when we do, we are blessed with His Spirit and with His Spirit we can experience the greatest love, self respect, self control, patience, understanding and happiness. We are made ALIVE in Christ by doing so!

As the sacrament prayer goes, “that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him and keep his commandments which he has given them; that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.”

Here is an object lesson to go with it.

Lds object lesson plug into the spirit

 

Here is a handout card I created that can be made into magnets to put on fridge or locker to serve as a reminder of who we are representing and striving to be like. Click on download link below for pdf with 4 on a page.

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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 441 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 91 times – 1 MB

 

 

 

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