Thursday, July 5, 2018

Mormon Math

I feel like a person’s faith has its highs and lows like a flowing line chart.  Trickling up and down by small degrees throughout the day and by dramatic leaps throughout our lives based on our surrounding influences or seasons.  I’ve noticed an easy, predictable pattern where the chart goes high when I’m doing the consistent spiritually nourishing ingredients expected of me (reading my scriptures, saying my prayers, going to church, attending the temple, etc) and my faith drops lower when I’m distracted and maybe a bit spiritually lazy.  

It’s been convenient having a reliable church algebra equation that’s always been true for me. When I start to feel my faith dwindling, I can pop in a spiritual vitamin using the tools I’ve always known to perk me back up to where I need to be.  

But recently things have seemed much different.  There was a numbness that shadowed my testimony.  As much as I wanted to feel the spirit, I would leave my ward each Sunday more spiritually hungered than fed.  I longed for that constant companionship of the Holy Ghost that came so naturally in the past, but struggled to find it.

My testimony was still there and strong.  I still KNEW everything in my faith that made me who I was.  I knew the gospel was true, the scriptures were true, my Savior lived, Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, the works.  It was all cemented inside me, but I lacked the warmth that usually accompanied it. 

I compare it to a new moon.  When the midnight sky is completely dark I don’t logically feel the moon has disappeared.  I simply miss the light.  And this had been my spirit's similar struggle.

I had been thinking lately of a girl I knew who hit a dramatic low point on her testimony flow chart.  I didn't know her well, she was more of a friend of a friend, but I kept remembering the words she said when she looked back at the decisions she made and the loneliness she felt during that dark time in her life.  She said how she wanted God to fight for her.  

It's an interesting thought.  On one hand we think of how Christ will leave the 99 sheep to find the one that has gone missing.  I can understand a soul feeling lost, alone, and faithless and wishing, hoping, waiting for a miracle to swoop in and rescue them from all the confusion.  Yet we all know and have been taught that the Lord is always right there with His arms wide open waiting for us to fall into his embrace.

D&C 88:63
 Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

 This scripture has brought comfort to me time and time again, yet during my "new moon" chapter I felt like my knocking was going unanswered.  Over and over again this girl entered my thoughts and I pondered her words.  "I want God to fight for me."

It finally hit me recently.  My influences around me and that "entitlement" attitude that so many people today struggle with was bleeding into my mind set.  I felt like this was some right I deserved that I was the one who could just sit and wait for heavenly miracles to fall into my lap.

I had lost sight of how fortunate I was and the spiritual blessings that I had access to to help my testimony to grow.  I lived in a setting where I have freedom of religion that I at times had taken for granted.  I grew up in a family and loving atmosphere where I was taught that my Heavenly Father loved me.  I had my beautiful religion, scriptures, temples, prophets and apostles to look to for guidance.  I was given the GIFT of the Holy Ghost and had forgotten how lucky I was to receive such a special gift.

It is absolutely the opposite.  I can't wait for God to fight for me.  I am the one who needs to fight for my testimony.  Not just read but FEAST on the scriptures.  Not just pray but CONNECT with my Heavenly Father.  Not just learn of Christ but FOLLOW His example and serve others.  Repent.  Fast.  Study the words of the prophets.  Go above and beyond the mark.  I had to claw out of the darkness and desperately reach for my Savior knowing I was the one responsible for my faith.

It's been amazing.  I've noticed a dramatic change.  Whenever my faith begins to shake and I'm missing that warmth and that light that I love, I tell myself that I need to give it my all and fight for that light.


Fight for your testimony.


Thursday, June 7, 2018

Happy Father's Day

Father's Day is coming up SUPER soon!  And the primary was put in charge of handouts to pass out after sacrament meeting for all the fathers/father-figures.

We are keeping it simple.  Hershey's kisses attached to this Father's Day print-out.  So grateful for the Supermen in my life: My dad, husband, father-in-law, grandparents, uncles, bishops, teachers, friends... The list is endless!
Find the free printable HERE.  

To go along with the "kisses" theme, the primary kids are singing DADDY'S HOMECOMING for our special music number.  We're asking all the kids to wear their dads' ties to church to show off when they go up to sing.  Luckily, Mitch has a million dress ties so we'll be sure and have back ups for kids without access to any.

At the end of the song when everyone sings "A GREAT BIG KISS" the kids will have a little laminated lips picture hiding in their palms.  They can blow kisses out to show the congregation.
I've uploaded a bunch of different colors to Dropbox for easy printing.  Enjoy your kisses.  And spoil your fathers this upcoming special day!


Friday, May 4, 2018

Hiking Trail Singing Time

I don't know if it's the primary songs we've been focusing on or the PERFECT spring weather we've started having this week, but I have fallen in love with the outdoors lately and have just been basking in its breathtaking beauty.  It seemed only right to incorporate this amazing feeling into my next singing time lesson.  

I found a huge roll of brown paper in our garage today and used it to draw out a hiking trail map.  It definitely brought me back to my son's Dora the Explorer television days.  On the trail I marked different unique locations that match up with one of our primary songs we're working on.  

Blossom Meadow - I Often Go Walking
Singing Bird Forest - My Heavenly Father Loves Me (first verse)
Creature Summit - All Creatures of our God and King
Butterfly Wings Pass - My Heavenly Father Loves Me (second verse)
End of the Rainbow - When I am Baptized

I plan to stick it to the chalkboard and throw a magnet on the back of our little Hiker Lego.  That way he can move across the map board as we practice each song.

The great thing about this activity is that you can totally customize your map to the songs YOUR PRIMARY is currently working on.  I just lucked out that all our songs right now have to do with nature.  Fist bumps for matching themes!

Also, I have just the thing if you're looking for an awesome, unique arrangement of My Heavenly Father Loves Me.  This is the reason we're also learning All Creatures of our God and King this month.  Hop over to my mom's blog for the free sheet music HERE.  It has a cello solo option and everything.  I can't wait to teach it to the kids!


Saturday, February 17, 2018

Paint A Bright Spot On Your Soul

For my Mother-in-law's Relief Society lesson this month she asked if I could help design the handouts.  I wish I could do this all day.  I had so much fun making these.  Here was the quote she chose to use.

During President Monson's memorial service his daughter spoke of the love he showed to everyone around him:

We do not need to be the President of the Church to notice another’s need and “paint a bright spot on our souls.” My dad acted upon his frequent feeling, “That would be a kind thing to do,” only to find it was the answer to another’s prayer. By following the promptings of the Spirit, our simple acts of service can also be answers to prayers, and we can carry on this legacy by serving others.

Feel free to steal this handout HERE.

My Scripture Coach

For anyone working on forming good habits or goal resolutions, I have made an incredible discovery.  Reward your CHILDREN for your actions!!  They turn into amazing motivational coaches!  Little T gets iPad time whenever I do my scriptures and he promptly wakes me up each morning to read now.  This is the best scripture system I've ever had!!! 

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