My favorite part of general conference was my 8 year old Detmer, not only watching every single session, but taking notes. Sometimes I wanted to say, "go play, this talk is over your head!" But even in some of those talks, he would be able to pick out a part that meant something to him.
I had so many impressions, I should have done like Detmer, and taken notes. But I always enjoy going back and listening to conference again and seeing which new parts stick out to me.
I remember listening to the talk by Larry Lawrence, What Lack I Yet?, and while I enjoyed it, at the time it wasn't one that stood out in particular to me. One that did make a big impact on me was Sister Marriott's talk Yielding Our Hearts to God. So I decided to go back yesterday and listen to it on my phone. Instead, Elder Lawrence's talk started to play. I planned to re-listen to every talk, so I just went ahead and let it play.
I was cleaning while I listened and as he brought up the question "What Lack I Yet?" and encouraged listeners to ask Heavenly Father that question in their prayers, so that the Holy Ghost can answer it, I chuckled to myself. I thought, wouldn't it just be quicker to say, "what don't I lack?" Or, can't I just work on the things I KNOW I need to work on? Why do I need to ask?
But tonight I realized I had followed Elder Lawrence's counsel, exactly, without the use of the exact words.
For years I've wondered how I can better help Kendall in her schooling. She learns so differently than the other three, and she has a lot less patience with me. That has made it hard for me to supplement her education, but it's been so, so necessary. One night while Dave and I were praying, Dave prayed that Kendall would do better working on her homework. The next day she did drastically better than usual. I told Dave about it and that it was important for us to keep that specifically in our prayers, because it made a big difference.
Throughout our marriage, we've always done a fairly good job of reading our scriptures as a family, but not so great at studying and "ponderizing". The other day I had a strong impression that I need to wait to start scripture time until each child has their scriptures. The problem is, it is so much easier for Dave or me to pop on our phone and quickly read ten versus before we say prayer and tuck the children into bed. I knew it would take some extra patience, but I felt strongly enough about it that I was willing to try.
Every night hasn't been easy, especially when "someone" loses their place mid verse, or their book falls shut and they try and find their place again, "Mom, where is it again? Is this it mom? Which verse? Was it chapter 13?"
But for the most part it has been a very positive experience and I am in awe how much it has helped Kendall's reading. Not only is she reading better, but her confidence is through the roof right now. Tonight she picked out some simple chapter books, and has set a goal to be reading them within the next four weeks. This from a child who, when asked to read her five page baggie book, has been known to throw the world's biggest tantrum.
It's not going to be an easy road. She still has some catching up to do, but we are both feeling so confident that she can do it, and that is the first step! Before I felt so defeated. I know the prompting to have the kids each start taking a turn at scripture was a direct answer to prayer and a direct prompting from the Holy Ghost. I am always tempted to say, "but at least we are doing it, isn't that enough?" No, that was not enough. For us, something was lacking. I know we can't always see our blessings so quickly, but when we can I need to take the time to record it.
My friend recently wrote a post about having a mission statement for your life. My "mission statement" quickly popped into my mind, but I was glad to read her post to remind me to review my mission statement and why it's important to me.
"Happy All My Life". Inspired by President Monson's conference talk from 2008, and still one of my favorites.
It's a tribute to my mom. She didn't have an easy life. The older I get, the more I realize that. But she was always happy. One of our favorite voice was her sing-song voice. She always sounded cheery. Unfortunately that caused a problem when she got mad. We would often laugh when she tried to sound stern.
Last night Detmer was out with a friend. It was near midnight and I was sitting on the couch waiting for him, tortured. My eyes were so heavy and I had wanted to be in bed an hour ago. It made me think of how my mom ALWAYS waited up for us, and not only that, but when we got home, we shared every single detail, often talking for over an hour. I imagine in her head she was like "SHUT-UP AND GO TO BED!!!" But instead she fostered that important relationship and was a best friend we could all rely on.
I've often shared with Dave this is my goal as a mother. I always want my home to be a place that is happy for my family. I want to greet them with a smile when they walk in the door. I want to talk in a sing-song voice-okay so that doesn't come as natural for me-but I don't yell very much so that is an accomplishment. (I wonder if my kids would agree that I don't yell very much?)
I want them to have long conversations with me, even if that means that NOW, in this time, I have to listen to every.single.freaking.detail.of.every.freaking.single.StudioC.sketch. I've never seen a single sketch, but have heard of all of the in detail. Tonight Allie made a comment and said, "Mom, guess what show that is from?" I said, "Kickin' It." "HOW DID YOU KNOW?" Because despite not having seen one single second, I know everything about the show! It's an attempt to "listen to them while they're young, so they'll want to talk to you when they're old". I saw a quote like that and it stuck with me. Their favorite topics are their dreams and TV show tidbits. I adore when they tell me something that actually happened in real life!
I am so lucky and blessed to have them. Sometimes I stop in my tracks to realize what a gift my family is. When I pray at night I hardly know how to thank Heavenly Father for giving me this amazing family! I'm so grateful to be able to have His help in raising them. President Monson's talk "Hallmarks of a Happy Home" is exactly what I want to abide by in my home: A pattern of prayer, A library of learning, A legacy of love, and A treasury of testimony!