Saturday, November 16, 2013

Time Out For Women 2013

Such a fun weekend.  Everyone who gets the chance should attend at least ONE Time Out For Women during their lives.  It's always a fantastic experience and a great time to take a break and get spiritually rejuvenated.  


We were so blessed to hear from so many inspirational speakers and talented musicians.  I told my mom I'd take notes for her since she wasn't able to go, and I thought, "Hey, I might as well share them with everybody!"


My disclaimer is that I know I worded some of these quotes wrong.  Hopefully I'm not putting words in peoples' mouths.  Hopefully what I wrote down and what the speakers actually said share a similar message.  No promises.  These may just be things that comforted my spirit and translated into something I personally needed to hear.

It was Justin Cash who said, "I believe everyone in this room has something they're meant to do."  What is your dream?  Go do it!  God put that dream in you for a reason.

This really hit me.  Just recently I asked Mitch for a priesthood blessing.  In the blessing I remember being told by the Lord something similar.  Even though I desire more than anything to be a mother, the Lord has a different plan for me and a different role in mind for me right now.  I feel like he's pushing me to finding my passions and my strengths.  I feel like I'm supposed to make a difference in another way besides motherhood.  I'm still in the process of finding that desire and that dream I'm supposed to be pushing towards, but this quote gave me a new confidence that I will figure it out and discover what it is exactly that I am "meant to do" right now and how I can contribute to changing the world in a better way.

It was also amazing to hear Chris Williams speak.  Wow!  I can't even begin to describe how much I appreciated his words and how he helped me realize my countless blessings.  I have so much to be thankful for.  It makes me frustrated with myself knowing I get upset about the trials I have to go through.  I have it so easy compared to what others have to experience in this life.


Brett, from Jericho Road, gave a great thought when he said that the new star at Jesus' birth would have had to start shining 30 years earlier before its light could reach the Earth.  Keep shining and someday your light will be appreciated.

Side Note: Jericho Road.

First time I met them… I was 12 years old.  And I was wearing a bright blue snow hat.
 And I was so special.


Second time… They were staying at my aunt's house when they were in town because she owned the church bookstore there.  So, we got to go eat dinner at IHOP together after one of their performances.
I felt extremely special.  


And today…. we were special, special gems.  And I don't regret it. 

video


Talking about reading General Conference talks in the Ensign daily… 
"A talk a day keeps Satan away"
-Jennifer Brinkerhoff Platt

Aaaaaaaaaand my absolute favorite wisdom of the day was from Emily Freeman.  
She told a story about a mother who was telling her children to try and remember during their trials the things that helped them and brought them peace during their challenges.  She said that if you can bring comfort to one other person going through the same trial as you experienced, then that trial was worth it.

The last thing I wanted to share was music by Calee Reed.  So talented.  So adorable.  She had such a bright, bubbly personality.  And this song she wrote for her mother is so precious and makes me cry every time I watch it.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Why Is It Important To Gain An Education? Why Does The Lord Want Me To Be Healthy?

I have been a major slacker this month.  So, to make up for it, I'm morphing this week into a DOUBLE LESSON!  BAM BAM KA-CHAOW!!!!!

Get the links to the actual lessons here:

WARNING:  I'm straying from the Come Follow Me manual this week and going my own direction with the subjects.  I think these areas are important and should be focused on individually, but I also feel like there's a bigger picture here that can encompass them as a whole.  And it compliments the month's theme of being self-reliant too.

When Christ was on the earth, He set the perfect example for us to follow.  We can study the scriptures and learn from the choices He made how we should act and live our lives.  But here's the thing… When Christ was in His youth, we hardly have any information about who He was.  We know the story of him in the temple when He was 12, but then there's a huge gap between then and His ministry when He was a lot older.  
How can the young women relate to him during their teens?

This ONE scripture pretty much sums up his ENTIRE youth:

Luke 2:52
 And Jesus aincreased in bwisdom and stature, and in cfavourwith God and man.

The footnotes for "favour" in this verse translates to "relationship."  We are told four things about the Savior during his teens:

 He increased in wisdom,
He increased in Stature,
He increased his relationship with God,
and He increased his relationship with man

Isn't that awesome?!?!  I LOVE THIS SCRIPTURE!  I love it because, to me, it shows that Christ was WELL BALANCED.  Yes, He was spiritual and spent his youth studying the scriptures and increasing his testimony, BUT he also was able to enjoy other activities.  He was physically active, he had a social life, and he gained knowledge and learned other things outside of the gospel!

When Doctrine and Covenants 58:26-28 talks about being anxiously engaged in a good cause and doing things of our own free will, it makes me happy knowing our Heavenly Father wants us to enjoy our lives and make our own choices to participate in uplifting activities that don't necessarily have to be completely church related.  He's happy when we're playing sports or when we join the school choir or when we dance or when we go bowling with our friends.  As long as it brings to pass righteousness, we are following our Savior's example and we are pleasing our Heavenly Father. 

BALANCE

"You remember lesson about balance?  Lesson not just karate only.  Lesson for whole life.  Whole life have a balance.  Everything be better."
-Mr. Miyagi

Bob Mathias was the Olympic Decathlon gold medalist back in 1948 and 1952.  At age 17, he was the youngest gold medalist to win a track and field event.  My dad used to tell me about him.  You know why he was awesome?  He never came in first in any of his events.  "But Jesse, how can you win the decathlon without placing first in an event?" you may ask.  I'll tell you….
He was well-rounded.  Mathias would always place towards the top of each event.  Most people were ridiculously awesome in a single area, but lacked skill in others.  Bob was balanced and could keep up with the top athletes for each event without necessarily being "the star" of a single area.

Random side note: Ashton Eaton, who just won the Olympic Decathlon last year, went to my rival high school. So we totally competed at the same track meets.  No big deal…


Since we dissected that Luke verse earlier, we can split the lesson up into four categories
MENTAL-

Education is an important part of our Heavenly Father's plan to help us become more like Him.  Obtaining an education provides understanding and skills that can help us develop self-reliance.  Education will also prepare us for greater service in our families, the Church, and the world.

Assign the young women to read individually one of the five paragraphs from the "Education" section of For the Strength of Youth.  Ask them to explain to the class what they read, and discuss why it is important to work diligently now to gain a good education.  Invite the young women to think about and share their goals to gain an education.

PHYSICAL-

Good health is an important part of being self-reliant.  Safeguarding our health will allow us to fulfill our divine potential and serve others more effectively.  The way we treat our bodies affects our spiritual health and our ability to receive guidance from the Holy Ghost.  In order to preserve our health, we should obey the Word of Wisdom, eat nutritious food, exercise regularly, and get adequate sleep.


Christ learned from his earthly father, Joseph, how to be a carpenter.  Do you know how strong carpenters are?  Handling all that heavy wood and equipment every day?  My dad worked in a lumber yard before he left on his mission and because of it, he gained some major arm muscle.  Out of all the missionaries in the Barcelona mission field, he was undefeated at arm wrestling.  He even beat some kid who was a New York high school state wrestling champion.  And he wasn't this huge football player or anything.  He was all skin and bones.  I mean… Look at this guy!!

P.S.  Finding pictures of your parents and grandparents from before you were born is just fantastic.

I like the PHYSICAL HEALTH video this lesson includes.  It's a little long, but I love it when they show different perspectives of youth all around the world.  It's easy to get trapped in your own personal bubble and forget that there are others around you experiencing the same kinds of things.


SPIRITUAL- 

We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us and wants us to draw near to Him.  He has given us the opportunity to pray to Him and has promised to hear and answer our prayers.  We can also come to know Him as we study the scriptures and the words of latter-day prophets and as we strive to become more like Him by following His will.

SOCIAL-  How can the girls work on their relationship with others?  Have the girls read the "Friendssection of For the Strength of Youth.

*****

My desire this week is for the girls to recognize the importance of balancing their lives.  If they find an area they're struggling with or trying to avoid, they should focus on improving it.  All these areas are important and things that Christ worked on developing as well.

You know the FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES quiz you can take to find your love language strengths?  I made a quiz kind of like that to help the girls find out the areas in life they need to work on.  I'm not a scientist or psychiatrist or whatever I need to be to make this a legit "studies show" type of test.  So, it might not actually mean anything logical.  But I thought it might be fun for the girls to help them determine what areas they need improvement in…


FOR EACH PAIR OF THE FOLLOWING STATEMENTS, CIRCLE THE ONE THAT DESCRIBES YOU BEST. 

1.  I’m happy when I’m playing sports.  B
      I love reading.  I could curl up in bed and read for hours.  A

2.   I love weekends when I can go out and hang with my friends.  D
      I try to make it to all my church activities, even if I have to miss out on other activities.  C

3.  Getting good grades at school is very important to me.  A
      After school, I like to go to my friend’s house.  D

4.  I enjoy attend seminary and getting a spiritual boost in the morning.  C
     I love that feeling after working out when you’re sweaty and sore, but know you just did something great for your body.  B

5.   I love it when I log on to Facebook and have lots of new notifications.  D
      I always enjoy P.E. at school because of the activities we get to participate in. B

6.  When I watch TV, I don't mind watching educational channels or documentaries.  A
      I try my best at reading scriptures and praying everyday so I can have the Holy Ghost as my constant companion.  C

7.  When I’m hungry for an afternoon snack, I always try and grab something   healthy, like fresh fruits or veggies from the fridge.  B
     When I pick my class schedule, I get excited about choosing extracurricular activities and taking classes that I actually have an interest in.  A

8.  I enjoy reading General Conference talks and The New Era magazine in my spare time.  C
      I don’t like being home by myself.  I’d rather call a friend and go out.  D

9.  I’m pretty outgoing when it comes to making new friends.  D
     I love the feeling when something “clicks” and all the sudden I understand my homework.  A

10.  I try and workout and exercise on a regular basis.  B
        I like having gospel discussions, even outside of church.  C

11.  I enjoy learning and my classes and teachers at school.  A
        I love going to church and feeling the spirit during all my lessons… {especially Sister Blackburn’s awesome YW lessons}.  C

12.  I like going to school sporting events.  Not so much for the games… Mostly just so I can meet my friends.  D
       I enjoy competing in sport activities and working on improving my athletics.  B

13.  I look forward to graduating and getting my college degree.  A
       When I go out to eat, I try to be aware of what’s healthy on the menu while making my decision.  B

14.  I love Sundays.  I love the spirit I feel when I get home from church and spend the rest of the day relaxing and keeping the Sabbath day holy.  C
       I get excited when I see I got a text message from a friend.  D

15.  I feel guilty if I eat too much junk food.  B
        I like going to girls camp because of the spiritual experience. C

16.  I always look forward to lunchtime at school when I can sit and talk with my friends.  D
       If I finish my homework super early, I don’t mind getting ahead and working on things for class I don’t need to worry about until next week.  A




NOW GO THROUGH YOUR QUIZ AGAIN AND COUNT HOW MANY “A, B, C, AND Ds” YOU CIRCLED AND PLACE THE NUMBER IN BELOW.

A: __________  B: __________  C: __________  D: __________


Which letter had your lowest score?

                    A = MENTAL {KNOWLEDGE}
                    B = PHYSICAL {HEALTH}
                    C = SPIRITUAL {SPIRITUAL}
                    D = SOCIAL {RELATIONSHIPS WITH PEOPLE}


Young Women In Excellence: WhOoOo Is Ready To Stand In Holy Places?

I just wanted to show a couple pictures from last night's Young Women in Excellence activity.  Our Personal Progress leader did such a fantastic job!  A week ago the girls made little rice owls for our "WhOoOo is Ready to Stand in Holy Places?" theme and had the chance to show them off along with some of their projects from throughout the year.  Their owls turned out so cute.




The ideas for the theme and decorations came from Hang a Ribbon on the Moon.

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