Friday, April 26, 2019

Elbow Grease

Feeling frustrated and honestly like I was drowning,  I quickly grabbed my dry erase maker and with big bold letters wrote "It Always Seems Impossible Until It's Done" a quote by Nelson Mandela. Did I really believe that I was capable of doing what needed to be done? I was feeling entirely inadequate, all those regular human feelings. It was one of those fake outs, right? You know. If you tell yourself you can do it then surprise you can! My mom alway says, "If you work hard enough, you can solve almost any problem."

Determined not to drown, I worked. Regardless of others unwillingness to change, regardless of the outside forces that I could not control, regardless of the insecurities, regardless... regardless... regardless. I showed up everyday!

 My husband recently asked what were the six greatest moments in my life.

Well, since I have four children....
1.  Baby #1
2.  Baby #2
3.  Baby #3
4.  Baby #4
Becoming a Mom changed me! Every time they put my sweet new baby in my arms I learned to love more than I ever imagined. My heart grew!

Without fail the day I married my amazing husband
5. Marriage

Marriage changed me, I had to learn to be unselfish. I learned to trust and love in ways I never thought possible.

Then I came back to the last six months
6. Work

It changed me. I had done something really hard, I had overcome so much self doubt, I had fought hard! If you work hard enough you can solve almost any problem!

Six months and four hundred pounds of elbow grease later,  I will change the quote on my office wall. Not necessarily because it's done, but because my head is above the water, and I can see a new dream!

Saturday, April 22, 2017


We have to let our children fail!

Yes! That’s right I said it, we have to let our children fail!

It’s heartbreaking to watch, and definitely frustrating sometimes but I believe it really is what some children in the world are missing.

This past weekend we packed up the Suburban and headed out for hours upon hours of basketball. Don’t get me wrong, since the purchase of a bleacher seat, watching my children play ball is one of my favorite things to do.  My daughter had played a good season, she had really gotten in and practiced hard, she improved her endurance, she improved her ball handling, and her post moves. She had put in the hours, the coaches had taught these girls so much, and the team was looking great!

Since my post started with the importance of failing, you can imagine the tournament didn’t go how these girls or coaches wanted it to go.  During a very tired (they played at 9:45pm), and frustrating game I started yelling very un-basketball messages to my daughter.

“Be Resilient!” Yes! Sometimes I use my big words!  We must teach our children to rise above disappointment, and failure.

“You’re not a victim!” It’s so easy to blame others when we are not doing our best! Life is NOT fair, there will ALWAYS be bad calls!

“Show up!” Sometimes in life it’s so easy to put our heads down and go with the flow. It takes so much more to show up and make a difference.

I’m sure others in the crowd thought I had lost it! If I had to sit and watch my child struggle, I was sure gonna try and teach a life lesson along the way.  See basketball isn’t just about basketball its about learning to work together, to do our part, to learn to follow the rules, to deal with unfair circumstances, and to deal with difficult people. Isn’t that really what basketball is all about?

I know this will not be the only time when she will face failure, or disappointment. I know there will be days ahead when things will not go her way, and I want her to know the sun will come up tomorrow!  I know my own failings have shaped me into who I am, and they also taught me how to win humbly.  When we allow our children to face disappointments, then we lift them and help teach them after, we are setting our children up to be strong resilient adults! 

Friday, December 9, 2016

Week 13: The Dreaded Mother-In-Law (Keep Reading)

I never really got the jokes about the dreaded Mother-In-Law, maybe because I have a wonderful Mother-In-Law. In fact, I think she should write a book about how to be a Mother-In-Law. If I were to write the book for her, it might include some of the following:

Cleave unto your spouse.
She gracefully took a very healthy distance from her son and allowed us to work on cleaving to each other. Elder Marvin J. Ashton taught, “Certainly a now-married man should cleave unto his wife in faithfulness, protection, comfort, and total support, but in leaving father, mother, and other family members, it was never intended that they now be ignored, abandoned, shunned, or deserted. They are still family, a great source of strength….wise parents whose children have left to start their own families, realize their family role still continues, not in a realm or domination, control, regulation, supervision, or imposition, but in love, concern, and encouragement.”

My parents have also done a great job of teaching how important it is to cleave unto our spouse. I remember shortly after I was married, I had run into some car trouble. After calling first my husband, and finding him in a place where he really couldn’t stop to help, I called my Dad. The first question he asked was “Where’s your husband?” I explained the problem and also that Sean was my first call. Seeing the problem, and knowing my husband was stuck where he was my Dad sent help. I have never forgotten what my father communicated. Frist turn to your husband, and then I can also always turn to him.

Another Chapter in my Mother-In-Laws book would be titled: Accepting Difference.
My Mother-In-Law has an incredible ability to find the talents that separate and make each of her in law children different and really displaying them. She loves and enjoys each of the differences and talents we bring. We have quite the mix of in laws in our family. Instead of allowing those differences to be issues, she has magically made them what holds our family together. In the Ensign an article posted about Extending Family Relationships it teaches "Keeping the generations close brings not only emotional rewards but also added perspective."

The most important chapter in her book would be: Prayer.
My Mother-In-Law is an exceptional example of the fruits of prayer. Often in our marriage when things seem to fall in place perfectly, or when we are struggling and then there is a break through we say she must be praying for us. The power of prayer in family relationships I believe gets brushed under the rug sometimes. The power of prayer has caused miracles to take place in our lives, and in the lives of our family members. I believe she is a wonderful Mother-In-Law because she is prayerful!
Boyd K. Packer teaches, "There are few things more powerful than the prayers of a righteous mother."

"Extending Family Relationships." Ensign Oct. 1986 - Ensign. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Dec. 2016. 

Packer, President Boyd K. "These Things I Know." N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Dec. 2016.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Week 12 Women and the church

The role of women in the church has been a topic of heated debate in the few past years. I live in a small town in Texas, so the heated debate wasn't so present in my life, in fact, I didn't even know if was happening until someone in the community approached me and asked me about how I felt about my role in my church. After researching the topic I was prompted to respond on Facebook, "Let me be clean, I have never felt unequal to the men in my church. An article posted in the The New York Times suggested that I should. Again, let me be clear, .01% of women in the church do not speak for me! The article suggested women in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints do not hold leadership positions, speak or preach, to sit in councils. All of these "facts: listed in the article are untrue. But let me tell you the truth, we do hold leadership positions, talk and preach, and sit on councils, not to be recognized, or make ourselves feel equal or better than others, we do these things to serve our Savior and Heavenly Father to the best of our ability and with all of our hears. This unequal  argument is far from what we do in our church, 'We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ...' no matter what gender we are! If we have forgotten who's church it is or why we serve we have lost all! But for now let us get bake to talking, rejoicing and preaching of Christ!" In all my years in the church I have never been met with anything but a need for the power and gifts that I could contribute. The women of the church are incredibly strong, a virtuous power to be reckoned with, they are a driving force for good! We have such a strong heritage of strong pioneer women before us, and such a strong future ahead of us.

Elder Cook teaches, "Much of what we accomplish in the Church is due to the selfless service of women. Whether in the Church or in the home, it is a beautiful thing to see the priesthood and the Relief Society work in perfect harmony. Such a relationship is like a well-tuned orchestra, and the resulting symphony inspires all of us."

Gordan B. Hinckley taught, "What a resource are the women of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. You love this Church, you accept it's doctrine, you honor your place in its organization, you bring luster and strengh and beauty to it's congregations....You bring a measured wholeness to us."

Just as women hold a powerful and important role within the church women hold a powerful and important role within the family.  The Family: A Proclamation To The World says, "By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners." That means when we are faced with a big decision my husband and I work together equally to come up with a solution, that means when there is a problem with the children we work together equally to help that child, that means when its time for the family to gather together and learn we work together equally to be teachers.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Week 11 Protecting Homes From Pornography

      You my have seen the new campaign against pornography, calling pornography the new drug. But in all seriousness it is a drug. Look what an addiction to heroin, and a addiction to pornography do to your brain.

        The State Of The Union Report- Fractured Families teaches, "The evidence certainly points to pornography being addictive for some people. Pornography stimulates the pleasure center in the brain. But after a while more pornography is needed to produce the same effect. The addictive cycle is started. Then there is an increase in intensity in the addiction so that the individual needs harder material to get the same affect, moving on to the accepting of repulsive behavior and the ultimate acting out of images seen in pornography. Pornography uses the strong visual senses of men to promote lust, but promises the unreal, promoting false expectations of relationship. It is attractive to many. This should not surprise us: pornography is taking something inherently good - the sexual relationship between men and women, and twisting it."

      In the same report it states, "56 percent of the divorce cases involved one party having an obsessive interest in pornographic web-sites. And 47 percent of the divorce cases involved one party spending excessive time on the computer

      Elder Dallin H. Oaks teaches, "Pornography impairs one’s ability to enjoy a normal emotional, romantic, and spiritual relationship with a person of the opposite sex. It erodes the moral barriers that stand against inappropriate, abnormal, or illegal behavior. As conscience is desensitized, patrons of pornography are led to act out what they have witnessed, regardless of its effects on their life and the lives of others. Pornography is also addictive. It impairs decision-making capacities and it “hooks” its users, drawing them back obsessively for more and more."

       So how do we protect or homes, marriages from the damaging effects of pornography
The churches website overcoming pornography gives us ways to help protect your home from pornography.
1. Study the doctrine of the family
2. Learn to teach effectively
3. Develop Family Traditions: family pra yer, family scripture study, family home evening
4. Counsel regularly with family members
5 . Learn how to discuss sensitive topics
6. Recognize changes in behavior
7. Teach the truth about intimacy
8. Safe guard the home - learn about internet filters
9. Teach repentance
       It is no longer acceptable to think that our families will not come across pornography in their lives. We have to teach our families to turn away from pornography. If you believe pornography will not effect your family, or home you are wrong.

      Dallin H. Oaks teaches, "Let us all improve our personal behavior and redouble our efforts to protect our loved ones and our environment from the onslaught of pornography." We must be vigilant in the fight against pornography.

Dallin H. Oaks, Pornography, Ensign, May 2005, 87
"The State of the Nation Report: Fractured Families." December 2006; Appendix 5: Pornography, sexual infidelity and family breakdown.

Week 10 The Magic Six Hours

            Can six hours in a week really be the difference in a marriage that is happy and fulfilling or a marriage that dwindles and dies? Starting this week my husband and I have committed to improve our marriage by implementing “The Six Magic Hours” into our week.  

            Following up with couples who attended Gottman's Seattle workshops those who's marriages were continuing to improve were only spending an extra six hours a week on their marriages. There were something’s each of these couples seems to have in common. Gottman has coined them the Magic Six Hours. (Gottman, 278)

            1- Partings: 10 minutes a week. Learn one thing about your spouse’s day at your parting in the morning. Some mornings we don’t even see each other, so we’ve made a plan to wake and see each other off so we can have this time together.

            2- Reunions: 1 hour, 40 minutes. A kiss lasing at least 6 seconds, and a 20 minute stress-reducing conversation. According to Gottman a stress reducing conversation should be about issues outside of marriage. Gottman gives 8 things we should do in stress reducing conversations: take turns, show genuine interest, don't give unsolicited advice, communicate your understanding, take your partner's side, express a "we against others" attitude, show affection, and validate emotions.

            3- Affection: 35 minutes.  Show affection for each other when you are together throughout the day.

            4- Weekly date: 2 hours. While you're together ask each other open-ended questions. In the January 2012 Ensign Douglas Brinley share the importance of a weekly date night with your spouse. "You and your spouse need time together to renew your relationship. New perspectives come with time away from the mundane. That means dating is essential. If you have children but few resources, look for creative ways to go on dates. For example, you might ask in-laws or neighbors to watch your children while you two get away for a mini vacation. You might exchange childcare with other couples for different date nights. Above all, recognize that a babysitter is cheaper than a divorce" (Brinley, 1). 
            5- State of the union meeting: 1 hour. Talk about your relationship this week. Not last week, or six years ago. Start with stating at least five positives, and be specific. Next, discuss any issues. As we have reflected on how to use “The Magic Six Hours” to improve our marriage, we both feel having a State of the union meeting would help. We have carved out an hour on Sunday evening to have our meeting.

Brinley, Douglas. "What Happily Married Couples Do." Ensing, Jan. 2012. Web. 28 Nov. 2016.

Gottman, J. M., & Silver, N. (1999). The seven principles for making marriage work. New York:

Monday, November 14, 2016

Week 09: Conflict in Marriage

Do our marriages have to be conflict free to be happy, and thrive?

Would you believe 69% of marital conflicts are perpetual, meaning they will be part of your marriage always? (Gottman, 137)

According to John M. Gottman the leading expert in relationships marital conflict falls into two categories, “Either they can be resolved, or they are perpetual, which means they will be a part of your lives forever in some form or another.” (Gottman, 137)

We all have those subjects in our marriage, those subject have been a source of conflict from the beginning.  Socks on the floor, balancing the budget, locking the doors at night, or laundry any of those sound familiar?

I am an independent person; my sweet husband is also very independent. Some injecting humor might say too many chiefs and not enough Indians.  

 I seem to make judgments quickly and move forward, my husband like to analyze run through each scenario and after much analysis make a decision.  These differences in personality, and decision-making have caused conflict in our marriage. Even with this personality difference our marriage is still happy and thriving.

“Despite what many therapists will tell you, you don’t have to resolve your major marital conflicts for you marriage to thrive.” (Gottman, 139)

How do we manage our perpetual conflicts? Gottman in The Seven Principals for Making Marriage Work gives us 4 steps:

1. Negative emotions are important.

“Negative emotions hold important information about how to love each other better.” (Gottman, 157) We must learn to listen to each other without feeling attacked, so we can facilitate healing instead of hurt.

2. No one is right.


3. Acceptance is crucial.

“When people feel criticized, disliked, or unappreciated, they are unable to change.” (Gottman, 157)

4. Focus on fondness and admiration.

“I have found that a robust fondness and admiration system is central to remaining happily married.” (Gottman, 158)
We many not be able to solve the perpetual conflicts in our marriages, but they don’t have to divide our marriage. In fact, they can bring us closer to each other through understanding, resect, love, and admiration. 

 Gottman, J. M., & Silver, N. (1999). The seven principles for making marriage work. New York: Crown.