Tuesday, October 22, 2013

You Is...Kind, You Is Smart...You Is Important

I will warn you a very long blog post, but really wanted to get my feelings written down somewhere and why not where someone might be helped by reading my thoughts. On Saturday Sydni and I attended six hours of uplifting classes focused on bettering ourselves as women of the church and world. There were 5 classes that you could choose from; Digging for the Gold in Your Scripture Study, What Do I Need to Know( a legal class), Embrace Who You Are and the Season of Your Life Now, Every Time I Open My Mouth, and The Myth of Perfection. It was so hard to choose which ones to go to as they are such good topics for most women to hear over and over again. In the end I choose all of them except the Legal class though I did get a handout from that class that is interesting. 

To begin the retreat Sis. Skoy our Stake Relief Society spoke about the theme that they had chose for the day which comes from the movie "The Help," which is a movie based in the 1960 south during racial segregation, the quote is " You Is ... Kind, You Is ... Smart, You Is Important ..."  This is wonderful! We all need to remember that we are worth something regardless of how others treat us, because we have all and will once again find ourselves felling like we are not important or loved, but we are because we are Child of a Heavenly Father! 

Digging for the Gold in Your Scripture Study

The first class I went to was Digging for the Gold in Your Scripture Study taught by a sister that serves at the MTC in the Book of Mormon Literacy Program helping missionaries improve their Study skills, so perfect person to bring insight on our to learn ourselves from our scripture study. She gave us about 15 things that we can use to help us understand the scriptures the verses as we study, and by the end we took one scripture Alma 17:9 and used the various ways to dig deeper into the scripture to find ultimately that the scripture showed us a way to our Savior and his Atonement. Before this class I would have never seen the atonement in the scripture, I would have simply seen a missionary scripture and called it good.

Ways to enhance your scripture study
1.Say a prayer
2. Foots notes
3. Topical Guide
4. Bible Dictionary
5. Standard Dictionary
6. Index
7. Pronouncing Guide
8.True to the Faith
9. Gospel Art
10. Chapter Headings
11 Ask Someone
12. Preach my Gospel

She gave the analogy of a women in a boat trying to get to the bottom to find the hidden treasure as us on the surface of the scriptures trying to get to the treasures hidden in the scriptures.

Steps to gaining deeper understanding and reaching those treasures

1. Discover surface meaning
2. Make the scripture your own
3. Look at the whole (who, what, when, where, why, how questions)
4. Look for any symbolic meanings
5. Personal Application(with your life now)
6. Look for the Savior and the Atonement in the scripture. 

I know some of these might seem like second nature to you, but I know for me personally I needed a refresher on some of the tools one can use to study scriptures as well as seeing a verse take such a different meaning than I would have ever seen without some of the new tools I learned. What a great class to attend! I am going to be getting more out of my scriptures!

When I Open My Mouth

The next class I went to was a communication class taught by a professor from of Clinical Psychology who focuses on marital distress/divorce/and marital health. He said that most arguments don't happen because the toothpaste lid was left off(as an example) they usually happen because either couples keep their feelings deep inside them and also because usually the thing that happened really boils down to hidden reasons such as being accepted(can you see that in the toothpaste example?) I can for sure, if you get made at me for the toothpaste then you most not accept me as a person, however, wrong that thinking it is, makes sense. The other reason most arguments happen is because couples only talking about important things when they have to, it is right in their faces. 

Couple of things I took from this class for myself is that I need to realize that I can take a time out. That both partners don't have to be okay with the time out. I find myself saying things that I really don't mean and regret because I try to let everything out and try to resolve the issue right then. Times out are OK! 

Secondly make sure you are talking about important issues such as finances, kids, work, discipline and other big issues before you have to, figure out how you will work together if an issue does come up. 

And finally, make sure to let the other one be heard and do not assume you know how they feel or what they meant by something. Listen to what the other person feels and usually you don't have to fix the issue it is resolved by listening and speaking together without being angry.

If you are anything like me, this was the perfect class for me!

We then broke from class and had a wonderful lunch of beef sandwiches and salads and doughnuts for lunch while we were uplifted from our Stake President, President Park.

 He brought up the movement of LDS women who are trying to get the priesthood and feeling more equality in the church. He said sisters I wish I could tell you why you don't have the priesthood and why men were chosen to hold it, but I can't, but what I can tell you that you are ever so important to your Heavenly Father even though you do not personally hold the priesthood. He talked about ancient women who were important, he said how great of a women Mary the mother of Jesus had to have been before the world was to be chosen as the mother of the Savior, he also reminded us of how the resurrected Savior returned to earth and showed himself to a women first before even those men he had left in charge of his gospel on the earth. President Park told us to never forget the worth that women brings to building up of the kingdom of this earth and that we are kind, we are smart, we are important, and he added on, and you are "Beautiful!" Such a sweet message.

Embracing Who You Are and the Season of Your Life Now

When we broke off to classes again my next class that I attended  was Embracing Who You Are and the Season of Your Life Now. The teacher started out relaying a story that a young teacher assistant of hers told her recently. They had been out to lunch together and this 20 year old said I wish I could fast forward my life five years in the future. Our teacher then said that if she had done that she would have only seen what would not have been in her life, such as a husband, children, and much more, and not the things that were in her life such as a college degree, traveling the world, a house, and much more. She reminded us that we need to be in the moment we are in now, whether that be single, married, kids, no kids, ect, because otherwise we will miss the wonderful things in our lives if we are always wishing for another time. That struck me hard for two reasons first because since Sydni was born I have found myself wishing at times I was not in the young child stage because lets face it it is hard! Secondly, I remember counting down the days I had left with Carson when I was on maternity with him and I am sure I missed little moments with him because I was worried about going back to work, I can never get that time back. I realize that I need to enjoy every little moment that I have with my little kids, because one day that will be gone.  Though it will be hard when I feel like I am in the grind of things, I have really tried to be there for my kids this week. When Carson wants to play with me, put down that rag and play with him, the cleaning project can wait, they are only little and enjoy these simple things for so long, can't miss it. 

The Myth of Perfection

For a moment think to yourself if you have every known this person.

Patti gets up very early and says her personal prayers. She slips her slim, vigorous body into her warm-up suit and tiptoes outside to run her usual 5 miles(on Saturday she does 10.) Returning home all aglow, she showers and dresses for the day in a tailored skirt and freshly starched and ironed blouse. She settles down for quiet meditation and scripture reading, before preparing the family breakfast. the morning's menu calls for whole-wheat pancakes, home syrup, freshly squeezed orange juice, and powdered milk(the whole family loves.) 

With classical music wafting through the air, Pattie awakens her husband and 10 children. She spends a quiet  moment with each and helps them plan a happy day. The children quickly dress in clothes that were laid out the night before. They cheerfully make their beds, clean their rooms, and do the individual chores assigned to them on the Family Work Wheel Chart. They assemble for breakfast the minute mother calls. 

After family prayer and scripture study, the children all practice their different musical instruments. Father leaves for work on a happy note. All too soon it is time for the children to leave for school. Having brushed( and flossed) their teeth, the children pick up coats, books, bags, and lunches which were prepared the night before and arrive at school five minutes early.

With things more quiet Patti has story-time with her 5 pre-schoolers and teaches them a cognitive skill. She feeds, bathes, and rocks the baby before putting him down for his morning nap. With the baby sleeping peacefully and the 3 year-old twins absorbed in creative play, Patti tackles the laundry and housework. In less than an hour, everything is in order. Thanks to wise scheduling and children who are trained to work, her house never really gets dirty.

Proceeding to the kitchen, Patti sets out tonight’s dinner: frozen veal parmesan that she made in quantity from her home-grown tomatoes and peppers.  She then fixes and kneads 12 loaves of bread.  While the bread rises, Patti dips a batch of candles to supplement her food storage.  As the bread bakes, she writes in her personal journal and dashes off a few quick letters: one to her Congressman and a couple of genealogy inquiries to distant cousins.  Patti then prepares her mini-class lesson on organic gardening.  She also inserts 2 pictures and a certificate in little Paul’s scrapbook, noting with satisfaction that all family albums are attractive and up-to-date.  Checking the mail, Patti sees that their income tax refund has arrived—the result of having filed early in January.  It is earmarked for mission and college savings accounts.  Although Patti’s hardworking husband earns only a modest salary, her careful budgeting has kept the family debt-free.

             Home again, Patti settles the children down for their afternoon naps.  She spends some quiet time catching up on her reading and filing.  As she mists her luxuriant houseplants, the school children come through the door.  Patti listens attentively to each one as they tell her about their day.  The children start right in on their homework, with mother supervising and encouraging them.  When all of the schoolwork is done, Patti and the children enjoy working on one of their projects.  Today they work on the quilt stretched on frames in a corner of the family room.

            Dinnertime and father arrives, and it is a special hour for the whole family.  They enjoy Patti’s well-balanced, tasty meal, along with stimulating conversation.  After dinner, father and the children pitch in to clean up so that Mom can relax.  She enjoys listening to the sounds of laughter and affection that come from the kitchen.

I can only assume you have not known this women either, but why have we all thought that someday we will be this perfect?

Many LDS women(myself as well sometimes) unconsciously compete with an idealized image of the already perfect wife and mother who successfully incorporates all the demands of the family, church, and society in her life.  Although we have never met such a woman, we persist in believing she’s out there somewhere.  We can just imagine what she must accomplish in a day…

This ever challenging especially for women to be just who we are and not try to be better at something than someone else. There is always going be someone who can do a certain thing better, and that is okay, try to be your perfect and not the ideal perfect that the world tries to say you should be. 

Our Heavenly Father knew we could not be perfect and thus he gave us a Savior to help us come the rest of the way to him. He only asks of us that we try to become more like the Savior, he didn't say we had to be perfect he only said try! So I ask all of us, why do we try so hard to be perfect?

The world needs me just the way I am. And it needs you too. Don't ever think that who you are is not enough. Because you are YOU and that is all that matters. You Is Kind ...., You Is Smart.... You Is Important!

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