Monday, August 5, 2013

Praying a Bit More Deliberately

Family Home Evening tonight was perhaps not my most organized or well thought out effort. In fact, we just watched a movie (Alpha and Omega -- kids' choice) and then I talked with the girls for a few minutes about a topic I've felt we needed to discuss. The topic? Using deliberate language in our prayers. 'Cause I'm that kind of mom ... (word nerd meets the need for divine communication, that's me.)

In an attempt at full disclosure, I should tell you that I felt slightly guilty for not putting more preparation into the evening. At the same time, I've found that when I've been thoughtful about what topics we need to learn about, sometimes waiting until the moment approaches works. Often, the thoughts and ideas that most need to be said come in the very moment that they're sought after. That, and the migraine that set in shortly before our Family Home Evening ... well, ya know.

As we talked about using deliberate language in our prayers, what that means, and why it's important, two little girls had the giggles. It might have had something to do with some of the real life examples I gave them. True, the examples were a bit exaggerated, but they were real enough and provided a stark enough contrast that I thought maybe the kids would be able to see how they tied into prayer.  We talked about asking that we "will" as opposed to "will be able to," etc. I tried to help them understand how the power of a word or group of words changes with how we use them. (Again, meet my inner word nerd.) We talked about how we still need to be humble and to be able to recognize the need for the Lord's will to be done. I explained that using deliberate language should not be telling Heavenly Father what we think He should do, but rather be used as a sign of faith and a request for action.

All told, it was a fairly short conversation. I did most of the talking. The kids did all the fidgeting. Honestly, I wasn't really certain they got anything from the "discussion." But, I tried.

I was surprised later to hear them applying what we'd talked about in their own prayers. I was more surprised when my oldest, before and between each prayer, kept saying "WILL!" in her muscle man voice. It was interesting to see what they chose to apply that language to. I was flabbergasted to hear my oldest explaining to her dad what it means to use deliberate language in our prayers when she was called him to say goodnight.

They might not remember it come tomorrow, but for now, we're going to call it a win ...

Friday, August 2, 2013

Deep Thoughts and a Dearth of Paper (aka Drawing on my Temple)

I'm thirty-seven. Over the years, I've learned a lot about myself. One of the things I've learned is that I have a compulsive need to take notes. As I've improved at note-taking, I've seen a side benefit. I've found that -- for me, at least -- as I take notes and seek truth under varying circumstances, those notes are often accompanied by promptings from the Holy Ghost. Still more that I've learned? When I write those promptings down (and better yet, actually review and act on them) then inspiration comes more frequently.

Unfortunately, there are some things that I just haven't learned yet. Like what, you ask? Well ... let's just say, carrying paper is a good thing. I don't always subscribe to good things. Tonight was an example ...

Palms are the most obvious use of space ...
Wrists are surprisingly flat and easy to write on in the dark.

Fingers are actually quite functional.

I am not left-handed. Apparently darkness aggravates that failing.

Now, before you point it out ... Let me assure you, I know that the body is a Temple and should be treated as such. As a general rule, I try to put my thoughts down on paper. Sometimes though, that simply isn't possible. And sometimes, those thoughts are important enough that my soul needs time to remember and digest those nuggets of inspiration. Tonight was one of those times ...

Some of you have read the post, "I Am Ready Now." This evening, a friend and I went to see the film that post referenced: "Ephraim's Rescue." Just like the devotional I attended last week, this film had a profound impact on me. For whatever reason, this story has made me view my life with a different lens. It has stirred my soul and made me evaluate my own priorities and life footprint.

As I watched the film, I was struck by certain lines. Often those lines were followed by snippets of my own life and how it echoed the themes being played out on the screen. I felt driven to record those thoughts so that I could take them out and dust them off and mull them over later at home during quiet times of reflection.

Quietly, I pulled a pen out of my purse. Sadly, I was not prepared enough to have a notebook on hand. (This is an oversight that I need to remedy sooner than later it seems ... ) Over time, I've learned to make do with what I have available to me. This time, it appears it was simply ink and hand space.

Those thoughts?

* (A near quote ... if not exact) "I believe we are each given certain gifts. I was coming to realize one of mine."

* Ask ... (This was enough to jog my memory as I wrote my words again here at home. It's a bit personal so I'll keep the follow-up thoughts to myself.)

* (Another near quote) "In a way, I believe my entire life had been a plan for what would become my greatest adventure."

* "I am ready now."

* "The Lord prepares each of us ... "

* Do I sufficiently recognize and testify of the miracles in my life?

* What would I give to see my children grow into their best spiritual selves?

* "I'll find them or I'll give my life trying."

* (Yet another near quote) "Another name for the Gospel of Jesus Christ is opportunity."

* Serving the Lord gives us the opportunity for the Lord to help us become more than we already were.

It was a profound film. I wrote my notes. I'm still mulling them over. My friend insisted that I preserve my writings in picture form. Now, if you'll excuse me ... I need to go ponder deep and abiding thoughts while I scrub my Temple clean. (As a side note, an ongoing theme carried visually throughout the film was hand-washing. Just sayin' ... )