Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Simple Woman's Daybook ~

   FOR TODAY -February 23, 2013

Outside my window...it has been snowing most of the day. Our yard is arrayed in beautiful white fluffy snow. I am thinking that a day like this requires us to enjoy this lovely sight as we sit by the fire sipping hot chocolate and reading a good book. I wonder if I can make that happen.
I am thinking...I hope that my husband will quit working soon. We had our wonderful temple shift this morning and then we came straight home so that he could get his reports for work sent out. He has been at the computer now for about 5 hours. I truthfully don't know how he keeps working. He has always been a faithful, loyal employee and gives his job the best that's in him. I feel deeply blessed that he can do this work at home. I can at least bring him little treats and quick kisses. He is such an awesome man.
I am thankful...for the tender mercies of this week. I sometimes become emotionally overwhelmed with daily blessings that come into my life. Sometimes, it is a friend calling me just when I have a need to talk with someone. Often a prayer will be answered while reading  the scriptures. I am so grateful for the blessing of prayer and the ability to pray whenever or wherever I am.  I have been trying to be more aware of my every day blessings. It truly touches my heart when recognition of a blessing comes.
In the kitchen...I have already made popcorn that I keep snacking on. I am about to prepare some delicious Hot Chocolate. It's dinner time and I think this night's
 meal will be something simple.
I am wearing...comfortable Flannel PJ bottoms and a black top to match. I have on black socks and slippers. This is just the kind of fashion wear for a cold snowy day.
I am creating...this post and that is probably all I will create today.
I am going...to take a few moments and practice my piano. I started trying to practice everyday and thus far I haven't missed very many days. For some reason I am enjoying doing this more than ever. Hopefully, I will keep it up. I would like to learn most of the Hymns. I am working on two other pieces; "How Great Thou Art" and "I Heard Him Come". These are two of my favorite pieces of music.
I am wondering...if my granddaughter is up and about yet. In December my Granddaughter moved in with us. She is 21 years old and keeps strange hours. We are enjoying having her here when we do see her.
I am reading...and studying The Book of Mormon on a daily basis. I am reading in the book of Helaman. I don't have much more to read in the Book of Mormon and then I will start it over again. I am amazed at what I learn each time I read this book of scripture. I am also reading the Doctrine and Covenants; which is the study book for the Sunday School lessons this year. I am enjoying the opportunity to read it again after 4 years. This time I am also studying the Doctrine and Covenants with the Institute manual.

 
Of course, I always have other books I am reading. I am loving the book "21 Days Closer to Christ" by Emily Freeman and Simon Dewey. I read it about a year ago; but didn't follow the daily suggestions for drawing closer to the Savior. I am not reading it on a daily basis; but I am learning much more by being active in following the suggestions at the end of each chapter. The pictures by Simon Dewey in the book are breath taking. 
 
One more book I am reading is "To The Rescue", the Autobiography of our present day Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson. I am so grateful for the testimony that I have that he is a modern day prophet for our world. If one would read this book they could know what I am saying is true. He is a disciple of our Savior Jesus Christ. The stories are so heartfelt and faith building. 
 
I am hoping...for some warm days soon. I really want to bask in the Sun. I need some of those warm rays of sunshine coming through my windows. I don't get seasonal depression; but sometimes I don't function as well on cloudy days.
I am looking forward to...the Sabbath Day. I love Sundays. There is nothing better than to mingle with the saints and hear faith promoting messages and enlightening lessons. I always come home with my cup filled with Living Water. This Living water quenches my thirst for increased faith for the coming week. We also get a chance to be with some of the families that we are assigned to assist on our Inner City Mission. Lately, we have been very busy with a couple of families and we feel happy that some are attending church regularly. I feel such inner happiness when they are there for the meetings.
We are also traveling up to Heber to my son's ward for our 14 year old grandson to receive the office of teacher in the Aaronic Priesthood. We are so pleased with this choice young man and his accomplishments.
I am learning...that it is going to take a lot of time to learn what I need to know for doing Family Research. When I prayed to find some names to do temple work on my husband's side as a gift for Christmas; I made a commitment in prayer to learn how to research more effectively. I can't even begin to tell you how sweet it was to be baptized and confirmed for one of his female great great great cousins and he was baptized for two male great great great cousins. The three cousins are brothers and a sister. We completed other work for them and soon we will have these three children sealed to their parents for eternity.
One of my guilty pleasures......I asked my husband what he thought one of my guilty pleasures would be and he said: "Chocolate" Yup, that's me. Here is my favorite guilty chocolate.
Around the house...I can hear my dog Sammy whining for my husband to play with him. It is so fun to see the two of them together. Every time that Sammy wants Roger to stop working he finds his toy and brings it to him and paws at his pants until he stops to play.

I am pondering....on how I might be able to help my granddaughter. I love her so much but I am struggling on how to help her have increased faith in her life. There are so many things I would like to tell her that have helped me through various hard moments of life; but I don't know if she is ready to listen.
A favorite quote for today..."Never suppress a generous thought - Bonnie D. Parkin
One of my favorite things...is to read and then read some more. If I could, I would read all day. However at my age I am not retaining much of what I read; so reading more won't help that problem. I just need to focus more in order to retain more of what I read.
Something new about me.....I have actually lost 21 pounds in the last 3 months; plus I am exercising as often as I can. I feel great and have about 12 more pounds to lose. I have been on countless diets through the years and I finally figured it all out. I eat what I want but just less of it and exercise more.
A pet peeve.....I hate to leave my house without the dishes done and my bed made. I am actually a little nervous if this is not done. I certainly hope that I am not developing OCD. 
A few plans for the rest of the week: Sabbath day activities - Family time- Mission visits -Temple moments and perhaps a date thrown into the mix.
A peek into my day...up at 3 a.m. to the temple by 3:45 a.m., Pre-prep meeting, Preparation meeting at 5:20 a.m., training with two sisters, home at 11:30 a.m., journaling, reading of posts, doing a post, a light dinner, early to bed, early to rise~

 
 Be sure to hop on over to the Simple Woman to check out the other day book entries! (Or better yet, do a simple day book entry yourself!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Have You Let The Stranger In?


The Stranger
A few years after I was born, my Dad met a stranger who was new to our small town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family.The stranger was quickly accepted and was around from then on. As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my family. In my young mind, he had a special niche. My parents were complementary instructors:Mom taught me good from evil, and Dad taught me to obey.But the stranger... he was our storyteller.He would keep us spellbound for hours on end with adventures,mysteries and comedies.
If I wanted to know anything about politics, history or science, he always knew the answers about the past, understood the present and even seemed able to predict the future!
 He took my family to the first major league ball game.He made me laugh, and he made me cry.
The stranger never stopped talking, but Dad didn't seem to mind. Sometimes, Mom would get up quietly while the rest of us were shushing each other to listen to what he had to say, and she would go to the kitchen for peace and quiet.(I wonder now if she ever prayed for the stranger to leave.)

Dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions, but the stranger never felt obligated to honor them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our home - not from us, our friends or any visitors. Our long time visitor, however, got away with four-letter words that burned my ears and it made my dad squirm and my mother blush. My Dad didn't permit the use of alcohol but the stranger encouraged us to try it on a regular basis. He made cigarettes look cool, cigars manly, and pipes distinguished. He talked freely (much to freely!) about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing.

 I now know that my early concepts about relationships were influenced strongly by the stranger. Time after time, he opposed the values of my parents, yet he was seldom rebuked ...And NEVER asked to leave.

More than sixty years have passed since the stranger moved in with our family. He has blended right in and is not nearly as fascinating as he was at first. Still, if you could walk into my parents' den today, you would still find him sitting over in his corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures.

His name?....We just call him 'TV. (Note: This should be required reading for every household!)He has a wife now....we call her 'Computer.' 

      Their first child is "Cell Phone."Second child "IPod.” And MOST RECENTLY BORN WAS a Grandchild: “IPAD.” Anonymous
OH MY----HOW TRUE THIS IS!!!
The scary part is how fertile they are and the gestation period for the next
intrusions are getting shorter and shorter!!!
I
Who will you ask into your home?
I desire to have a Christ-centered home; a home where the Savior would be welcomed in. " Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." Revelations 3:20
Who will you ask into your home?
I desire to have a Christ-centered home; a home where the Savior would be welcomed in. " Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." Revelations 3:20
"Choose you this day whom we will serve......as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15






 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love Is In The Air~



Can you feel it? Can you breath it in?
Yes, love is in the air today.
 I can feel it. I can breath it in.
Love comes in many shades of color. Love can be white; in it's purity. Love can be red, in it's passion. Love can be yellow; cheerful and fun.
Love can be warm as the sun. Love can be bright as the moon. Love can twinkle like a stars. Yes, love is all around us; can you feel it?
  Here Are My 15 Loves~ 
&
 There Are Plenty More!
I love my Heavenly Father and I know that I am His daughter.
 I know that My Heavenly Father loves me.
I love my Savior Jesus Christ and I know He loves me.

I love my husband with a profound tender and passionate affection.
I know he loves me. He is my Eternal Love~

I love my children and  grandchildren and great grandchildren
with the kind of love that only a parent and grandparent can feel~
I love our parents and miss them so~
My Parents~Leone and Millan

My husband's parents LaMar and Nyal

I Love Our Brothers and Sisters~
My Husband's family
My Brothers and Sister in laws
My Brother and Sister in law ~ Mac and Amparo
My Brother and Sister in law ~ Gloria and John
I Love my two Aunts~

My Aunts ~ Della, age 99 and Alene, age 93

I love my Sammy and he brings joy to me~
 I love my friends of whom I have a deep warm, personal love for each of them~
There are those from my past, and those that are near,
and those that I blog with that are so dear~
I love our beloved Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson~
I love the Temple and love to serve there with my eternal companion~
I love the scriptures and they feed my soul with comfort, peace and love~
I Love Music; it stirs my soul~
I love the United States of America and the freedoms we enjoy~

Most of all I love this man~


All of these Loves are loved in a unique and different way
Can you feel love in the air today?
I can!
To All~

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Celebrating 3 years of Living Waters ~



Three years ago today I started my Living Waters blog. My purpose was to share my testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, share precious family moments, and just musings from me. I have loved writing posts. I have learned a lot about writing but plan to continue to improve. I have enjoyed sharing many aspects of my religious beliefs. There have been some wonderful family events and other special moments that I have tried to capture. Sometimes, it has been fun to write about what interests me at the time; which included thoughts on politics, religious principles, love, marriage, and family. It has been such a joy to write what I am passionate about.
Most of all I have enjoyed the opportunity of making new friends on my blog. I have been enlightened, challenged, spiritually uplifted and amused as I have read your posts. I have laughed and cried over many of your entries. I have actually met and had lunch with two of you; one from California and one from northern Utah. Many of you have become my good friends through follwing each others posts. I would love meet each one of you in person someday. Thank you for blessing my life with a glimpse into your lives. Just know that I love you all and will always be near to pray for you when in need and rejoice with you in  moments of joy. Blessings and hugs to all who follow my blog.

When I started this blog I had just read a book entitled: "The woman At The Well by Emily Freeman" with painting by Simon Dewey. This book had a profound impact on me. As I read the scriptures that was the premise for this book, I became overwhelmed with the thought; "How Thirsty Am I". I determined that my soul was indeed very thirsty for the words of Christ. I wanted to develop a closer relationship with Him. I desire to keep my cup full of Living Water.
Emily Freeman in her book stated: "These latter days are a time of great spiritual thirst. Many in the world are searching, often intensely, for a source of refreshment that will quench their yearning for meaning and direction in their lives. They crave a cool, satisfying drink of insight and knowledge that will soothe their parched souls. Their spirits cry out for life-sustaining experiences of peace and calm to nourish and enliven their withering hearts."
The following words from Christ in John 4:14 are profound: "Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life."

As Bruce C. Haven, in an article entitled "Beauty for Ashes: The Atonement of Jesus Christ;" said the following: "Coming closer to Christ is not an event, but a process...We will find that he is not only aware of our limitations, but that he will in due course compensate for them, 'after all we can do.'....He can save us in our inadequacies as well as from them. A sense of falling short or falling down is not only natural, but essential to the mortal experience. But, after all we can do, the Atonement can fill that which is empty, straighten our bent parts, and make strong that which is weak." (Ensign, April 1990, pg. 8, 13)
Take a moment to read the sweet scriptures found In John 4: 5-29. Ponder on this interchange between the Savior and the woman from Samaria. He knew her; though she did not know him. Christ does know each of us. He knows us by name. He loves us enough that He gave His life for us that we might live now to learn of Him and then someday be with him eternally. Come draw the water from the well and partake of His eternal living water.

 
Reflections by Emily Freeman~
Have you ever yearned for happiness?
Are there places in your heart that are empty or filled with doubt?
Is there something that you long for that the world cannot satisby?
Have you ever felt inadequate?
Are there days when you wonder if you have anything to offer?
Have you ever wished there were someone who really knew you?
Have you let the Savior begin to help you recognize your weaknesses?
What are you willing to give up to know Christ
Have you placed your burdens at his feet?
When the healing comes, do you remember to rejoice?
What are you certain of about Christ?
What do you know of Christ?
Where is the well that you visit daily?
How thirsty are you?
 
Take a moment and ponder on these thoughts then fill your own waterpot with Living Water~

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Parenthood - The Joys and Stuggles~

Recently one of my son's asked if we could answer a few questions about being parents. As I read through the questions, I had to call him to see if we were to answer them as parents or grandparents. He wanted the answers as parents. However, I think that now we are grandparents we have a total new perception of parenthood. So I thought I would share our answers on parenting, along with our perspective as grandparents.
1. Given attacks from the world on marriage, families, gender, and the role of a father/mother, are there specific challenges for you in maintaining the role of a father/mother?
Our challenge is to continue to be aware of what the world is teaching and find appropriate ways to counter it from a gospel perspective. We need to be sure that children understand the principles taught in The Family: A Proclamation To The World, the scriptures, Conference reports and etc.
2. What are some of the most important contributions you believe you make to your family through your role as a father/mother?
Being a good example by living gospel principles is crucial. We need to reinforce these principles when we have teaching moments with our children.  Always show them and tell them how important they are to you and how much you love them.  
3. From your perspective, what are some of the most difficult challenges or demands associated with being a father/mother?
Allowing free agency is one important  thing to do and avoiding the tendency to take charge of their lives. We need to trust in the concept of teaching correct principles and then allowing them to govern themselves.
As we experience rapid changes in society we need to try to anticipate how to help our children be prepared to interpret the impact these changes may have on their lives.
The world is becoming more wicked and right and wrong is not as clear. Through the media, internet and other technology there is confusion as to what standards really mean. We need as parents to stay focused on teaching our children true righteous principles. In today's world this is a huge challenge because children are besieged by so many outside influences.
4. What specific counsel from leaders of the Church to fathers/mothers do you find especially meaningful? 
We need to familiarize ourselves with the family proclamation. We need to search the scriptures for answers to daily life problems. Temple attendance is important for keeping an eternal perspective of parenting. Also, it is the perfect place to go to receive revelation when we need answers to parenting questions. Taking time to be with our family is paramount.  Having consistent family prayer, family scripture study and family home evenings is highly important. Personal Priesthood interviews are an effective way of getting closer to our children. Having one on one dates with your children can also reap great blessings.  
5. Will you share a couple of things about your role as a father/mother you would want a young father or mother to understand? 
Each child is different and will need different ways of handling them. Establish boundaries, be consistent, and be realistic in your rules. Know when to be a friend and when to be a parent. Use your scriptures as your child rearing manual. Teach children to set goals. Teach them to love the scriptures. Most of all teach them how to know and feel the spirit in their lives. Provide learning moments to teach them how the Spirit of the Holy Ghost works. Bare  your testimony often of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Share your own personal life experiences when appropriate. Also, teach your children to work, this is highly important. Teach them to budget their money, and pay their own tithes and offerings. Encourage them to prepare for their future. Have a Christ-centered home in which you can open up dialogues on their future choices of a career, Temple Marriage, a full time mission and eventually parenthood. Always be an example to your children.
6. What are some meaningful ways you like to be supported by your spouse in your role as a father/mother?
First of all discuss and agree together on what your parenting practices should be. Act as one together when problems arise. Support one another in your child rearing struggles. Discuss your differences out of their presence. Show your children how to compromise in your relationship. Support each other in child rearing decisions.
 7. What is one thing husbands and wives can do to support one another in their roles as fathers and mothers. 
Praise the other person for their efforts in their role. Husband and wives should support each other as parents and also in their jobs and church assignments. 
Have date nights and take turns doing the kinds of activities that your spouse likes to do. Perhaps wives should learn how to watch sports and husbands should learn how to like ballet. Date nights are crucial in keeping your marriage alive and well.
You will always have little eyes watching how you relate with one another. Be a good example of a husband or wife that you would want your children to emulate.
Husband and wives should share work load and responsibilities. We should always show love, kindness and respect  to one another.   

8. Relative to the role of a father/mother, what are a few important lessons you have learned?....
Each child is different. It is important to balance your time and make sure you have time for family. This is a critical part of parenting. Learn to listen and sometimes have nothing to say; in other words you need to listen only. Be realistic in setting expectations. Use consequences for rules that are broken and plan ahead for what the discipline will be. Be consistent with your discipline and don’t make it so harsh that you end up not only punishing them but sometimes yourself. Remember don't ground them from driving if they do driving for you. 
Do not over involve your children in outside activities. Children need to have time to be children. Do not allow your children to watch TV, use the computer or play computer games all of the time. They need time to play where they can use their imagination and creativity. Limit the use of technology in the home. It has a place but should not replace sibling time, parent time, or family time.

My husband and I recently went to a movie entitled: "Parental Guidance". We laughed so  hard throughout the movie because it was about two grandparents who were asked to babysit their 3 grandchildren while the parents went out of town The parents did not want to ask this particular set of grandparents to be the babysitters but they were left with no other choice. The other grandparents had other plans. The parents didn't trust these grandparents to take care of the children because they did not discipline or watch over them as the parents wanted them too.  
Without sharing too much of the movie; I will give you one example. The oldest daughter was an extremely good Violin player and she was going to be in a audition for getting into a more advanced program. This meant that she had to practice for long hours. The teacher was very strict and required a great deal of discipline in learning the music. The grandmother took her to the lessons and was very disturbed because the teacher was harsh and demanding. A few days before the audition the grandmother told her granddaughter that she needed to take some time to play and relax. Just a day before the audition the grandparents asked if the children wanted to go out and play "Kick The Can", The older daughter would not go out to play because she felt she had to practice constantly. However, as she heard her siblings having so much fun; she finally decided to join them. The grandparents and the children had so much fun playing this game. It started to rain and they continued laughing and enjoying the rain and being with each other.  These children were not use to playing outside and had no idea how to play the game "Kick The Can". As children we played many fun outdoor games and then later taught our children to play these games. In today's world; children don't have time to go out and play due to the use of technology, music and or dance lessons, organized sports and etc. Children do need to play outside more and also inside with toys that challenge their creativity and imaginations. Our greatest advice is to not over schedule your children with activities. Give them time to be children; don't rush them into adulthood. I have worked with children that are stressed out at very young ages. Children need time to relax and breathe.
Always remember that you should enjoy the moments of raising children. It is a choice time of life. Do not rush it. You will be empty nesters before you know it. Don't have regrets that you didn't take the time to enjoy your children. Soon you will be in the process of parenting young adults and adult children which I maintain is the hardest  parenting of all.
Finally, be present in the lives of your children. I have noted at a few of our family events that our adult children are using  their newest cell phones, laptops or ipads. They are not engaged in the conversations because they are busy surfing the net or texting. Ban technology when you are with your family. There is no place for it at the dinner table, at family celebrations or when you are just together as a family.
 
 







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