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 597 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]

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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.

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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.

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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.

How to manage emotions in a healthy way.

Key Point of video and some additional insight

One the of the greatest life skills

One the of the greatest life skill we and our kids can learn in this life is how to deal with our emotions.  Dealing with our feelings in a healthy way is key to achieving a sense of wellbeing and vital in creating healthy relationship with others and ourselves.

How to manage emotions in a healthy way

The Sun

In the video above I illustrated a sun and it represents all our good and happy feelings. Feelings that communicate that we are happy, lovable, competent and important. Basically any feeling that is warm and yummy to us and that help us feel our real worth. It is always available to us.

The Cloud

A build of up negative feelings creates a cloud between us and good feelings we could have.  It essentially ‘blocks’ out the sun. Many times we even believe that the ‘sun’ (or good feelings) don’t exist because of the cloud that is not letting  happy feelings in.

The Inner Battle

It doesn’t matter what is going on around us, what is going on inside us speaks our reality.  (See this post about how I discovered inner peace was my biggest priority of the day) What we think and feel IS our world. If we feel choatic inside, we will see chaos everywhere around us. If we feel unloved, everything around us will only justify that emotion. Take care of what is going on inside first, let the sun in and you will be able to see things clearer! Then you will be are ready to better take on the world around you.

How to deal with the yuck inside. Releasing the rain, letting the clouds part, go.

Learn ways to help you channel out the yucky feelings. I have found journaling what I’m feeling and resolving to feel peace again in writing helps does wonders! Going for a run to clear out my head is a great way too. Speaking an argument outloud in another room just to get it out of me (instead of on a person) has the same effect without hurting me or another person. If there is a lot of tension, CRYING helps me release much of that build up. Whatever you do, your job is to:

1.validate your own feelings: I feel this way and it is ok to feel anything. Feelings, though strong, potent, vivid and real are NOT facts. Negative feelings can lie and distort reality.

2.Release the emotion, get the yuckies out. (cry, run, punch pillow, scream in closet, journal it out.) Take POSITIVE action with negative Feelings.  Your negative feelings will strongly tell you otherwise but you are can be incharge of what you do.

3.Then let it go by not blaming anyone: not yourself, situations or others. FORGIVENESS of others AND YOURSELF is the most freeing thing you can possibly do. It heals and helps you move forward.

4. You will feel more calm and ready to better conquer the outer battles

Remember, own your feelings but don’t let them own you.

own your feelings, but don't let them own you

Many Great methods: Recovery International

My fabulous friend Erin (in the video) teaches the Recovery International (RI) method to mothers and helps us learn how to turn around our negative and insecure thoughts around whenever we feel ourselves getting worked up (raise your hand if you get worked up over stuff!!!).  It has worked wonders in her own life! I have personally have learn SO much from her and Dr. Lows (RI creater) methods and readings. I highly recommend it to anyone. For more info, go to her fb group, here is the official RI website explaining more and here are some ‘spots’ (truths that help turn our thoughts around).

The Rain can help you Grow

Anytime we release that negative emotion in a positive way and turn our feelings around, we GROW!  We receive greater strength and wisdom to deal with negative emotions for the next time we encounter them. Our self control rewards us with self-respect and confidence. Our relationship flourish. We enjoy greater happiness! We can feel the sun again!  we need the rain

Are you feeling inspired to make a change in your life? Here are my 7 tips for success!  I’m all about learning how to be a happier healthier mama! It helps me and everyone around me. Enjoy happiness my friend!.

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’.

visionboard-example-motherhoodtrade

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!

 

health-vision-board

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

Download “Vision Board” visionboard.pdf – Downloaded 990 times – 1 MB

 

Other “Come Follow Me” lessons in NOVEMBER.

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Feeling good enough.

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In a world where Facebook and Pintrest reign, a place where we have constant access to only everyone’s best pictures, successes and where only the icing on the cake is talked about and displayed but the burnt bits are hardly ever mentioned, it is so easy to feel like we never measure up as mothers, as wife and friends.
Um yes. Not the first place you’ve heard this, right? Social media has made us feel more inferior than EVER.  But let me tell you something. I’m pretty sure I felt pretty inferior to most peeps in High School and guess what? I never once logged into facebook or pintrest because it didn’t exist (young’ns, yes I’m that ancient).
Mothers and wives still managed to feel bad about themselves one way or another during that dark and dismal pre-social media era too.  HOW?  Well, it was not without it’s glossy depictions of beautiful lives in parenting magazines, television sitcoms and, well, the hardest competition, that pesky but ever-so-perfect neighbor next door.
So here is the thing, it doesn’t matter what way the world tries to fool us into things we are inferior, it will always be a different thing, but the problem will always be consistent. And you know what the problem is?? It’s you and I! Oh no, not another thing to feel bad about, right?? Can we seriously never be good enough???

Ok, enough with the cynicism. I want to get to good news of this all! The freeing and awesome and sweet truth of it all is that you are ALREADY good enough. No. You are beyond good, you are more spectacular and phenomenally awesome than you could possibly conceive. Whaaaa?? Yes. Mark this as truth.

You may not see it,  know it, or  feel it but I can tell you for certain that there is someone that does see it, knows it and does feel it. Your worth, your potential and your utter phenomenal awesomeness. Every moment, of every day.  If you haven’t guess by now, it is the Being who created your very existence. Your Heavenly Father. Whatever you may wish to refer Him as I can only say this…He is real and has real love for you!
This magnificent love He has for you He has been trying to communicate with you from day 1. He wants so badly for you to feel the love He has for you so you can get even the tiniest glimpse of what He sees in you and how He feels about you. He knows that once you open up your heart to drink in those feelings He’s trying to fill you up with you will get an enormous sense of worth. Enough that you will not have to turn to anything else to get a feeling of worth.  Enough that you don’t have to live a life of doing things just to ‘feel good enough’ but recognizing that you are already more than enough and your actions are merely acts to magnify that love you feel.  This love is not just in your mind as a logical but removed statement but a real feeling of satisfaction and true feeling of being totally enough and more. 

But how can we feel this if as we disheartantly look and see what ever other females are doing only to try to gauge where we stand in comparison? Do you realize that doing so we allow ourselves to believe one of two insecure things: we feel worse about ourselves because they are obviously doing ‘so much better’. Or just as unstable we actually feel better about ourselves because what we’ve done/or doing is obviously so much superior. Both equally rickety ways to judge the way we feel about ourselves, don’t you think? Even if we feel better because someone is seemingly worse of than us, that feeling is immediately robbed from us anytime we witness any successes from that person! Ugh. This prevents us from fully letting ourselves feel good about ourselves or anyone else!

So as we frantically scramble looking here and there, cleaning here and there, shopping here and there, working here and there, posting this and that, wearing this and that to find some kind of worth and value for ourselves we blindly forget that it’s been there the whole time. That the real source to discover our already infinite worth was just waiting for us to slow down, listen and turn to Him.

He is the ultimate source of all love, real undying true love. For yourself, for others, for LIFE! So take TIME to seek it, to feel it, to understand it, be changed by it.  It is why you are here.

His LOVE, the Spirit of God, is so powerful that it has the ability to transforms us, help us become and be and do more than we ever thought possible. He is waiting quietly and patiently for us to turn our to Him. But how is that done??
It is has everything to do with the condition of our HEARTS. Not with the condition of our house, condition of how well we manage our to-do list, condition of how ‘good’ we or our family looks. How often do we let those things define us and how we feel about ourselves?? Those things are good but are constantly changing, fluctuating, throwing our self-esteem in a flurry of hopelessness. We need a constant and it is God.  It is a continual re-aligning ourselves, our focus, our desires to something greater. Taking time to invite the Spirit of God in every aspect of our lives. If we are feeling overwhelmed, frazzled, hopeless, confused, scared, stressed and depressed taking time to reconnect. “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear” (1 John 4:18).  Pray for His Spirit.  Anytime we take time to sincerely LOVE, ourselves, our God and those around us, we are inviting HIS LOVE. We are reconnecting to Him and our purpose and it gives us the motivation to continue with love and happiness!

So next time we view a screen and our eyes start turning green, remember, we have a choice. Let those feelings consume us and define us OR we can reconnect with our true worth, the Father of our spirit.  The more you do it, the more natural it will become. Those beautiful images on screens need not be threats to our self-esteem but inspiration of the great human potential. One of which we are of course welcome to participate in if so inspired!

Remember: God loves you. You are worth it. You are MORE than enough.  You’ve always been. But you don’t have to take my word for it, you can find for yourself! It is the only way you’ll really know.

“Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God;” (D&C 18:10–12.)

“Responding to true love is part of our very being. We innately desire to reconnect here with the love we felt there. Only as we feel God’s love and fill our hearts with His love can we be truly happy.

God’s love fills the immensity of space; therefore, there is no shortage of love in the universe, only in our willingness to do what is needed to feel it. To do this, Jesus explained we must “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, … soul, … strength, and … mind; and thy neighbour as thyself” (Luke 10:27).

~JOHN H. GROBERG, quote from The Power of God’s Love

I love how sister Hinckely knew exactly what is going on with us ladies:

“We women have a lot to learn about simplifying our lives. We have to decide what is important and then move along at a pace that is comfortable for us. We have to develop the maturity to stop trying to prove something. We have to learn to be content with what we are.”

And of course, who doesn’t love this quote by Marianne Williamson??

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” —Marianne Williamson

For more information about my beliefs, please visit: mormon.org

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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