Daily Priorities

One of the reasons I’m taking a break from social media is to figure out how to fit the things that are of a high priority to me into my daily routines and then try to implement them into becoming healthy habits.

Like scripture reading. I did the Prophets challenge to read the Book of Mormon from cover to cover from October to the end of December. It was difficult even though I’ve read it that quickly before. But then as soon as I had completed the challenge, I wasn’t reading my scriptures as often again.

I just remembered that I bought a prayer journal for myself at Christmas time. It was only about $6 on amazon. I started using it this week and it has been incredibly helpful!

53160455_364295447502225_6114573050429046784_n

There’s a spot to write a daily scripture verse on each days entry. So what I’ve been doing is reading my scriptures each morning for any length of time I have. Then I go back through what I read and pick out a verse that I feel stands out. I write that one down. Then it has spots to wrtite what you’re thankful for, what you want to work on, and what prayer requests you have. I use the prayer request portion to think about what I would like to pray about that morning; to focus my thoughts. I feel like this process is creating a more “active participation” in my mind. I’m not just saying the same prayers every day. I’m taking the time to think about what is really going on, what I am truly thankful for each day, and what I honestly need to work on or need help with.

Like I said, I just started using it this week but I already love it!

The kids are slowly recovering from the flu that went through the house. Just 2 kids left feeling sick. I’m hoping it will be gone by the weekend and that it won’t make any other rounds through anyone else!

I did have a funny conversation with Vaiden last night. I went in to check on the boys and Vaiden had just gotten into bed when he asked – “How do you do so much all the time?”

The question surprised me and so I responded with – “What do you mean?”

Vaiden – “Well, you take care of 9 kids every day and then when I was doing homework on your laptop, you have like 10 tabs open but they’re all for work.”

Me – “Oh, well I just try to get things done whenever I have the time.”

Vaiden – “huh…”

I was surprised he noticed. I have tabs open on my computer for ceu requirements for my midwifery certification, my email, some research for something I’m writing, and a tab for a few supplies to have on hand I want to order for the birth of our baby in the next few months. So not all of it work related… but most of it!

By the way, it’s completely blowing my mind that there’s only about 11ish weeks until I could meet my baby. Even sooner if he decides to be born early like Tahlia. Thankfully I don’t think I’d go too far past my due date but now that I’ve written it, it will probably happen. Because luck.

 

Advertisements

How to Keep the Sabbath Day Holy

How do you keep the Sabbath day holy? This is different for everyone and each individual and family will have to choose what will be best for them. For me personally, I’ve struggled with this one. Especially with having 10 kids. I’ve limited the types of movies and tv shows that they can watch on Sundays, cut out activities that they can do any other day of the week but probably shouldn’t do on Sundays… like homework. But I’ve felt like this isn’t enough.

I really love what this article said about the Sabbath day.

“The word Sabbath comes from a Hebrew word that means rest, and the word holy means something that is sacred or dedicated to God. The Sabbath is a holy day, a day that’s supposed to be different from the other days of the week. On this sacred day, you should rest from your normal daily routine and dedicate your thoughts and time to God.”

So how do I do this with 9 kids ages 14-4?!

Well…. here’s some ideas. I read through them all and like a few of them. What I’ve basically decided is that it all is going to come down to being more organized. Which is actually pretty difficult for me. It’s just something I have to really try and focus on.

With this pregnancy, my “nesting” has been to really minimize what comes into the house and to declutter what is here. I’ve gotten rid of big items and lots of little items already and it feels like I’ve barely made a dent. I’ve decided that the only way to feel like I’m not living in clutter is to figure out a way to make this home of 11 (12 when this baby is born and 13 when Jordan gets back) is to organize it and make it a home of minimalism. Which again, is going to take some organizational skills… and maybe not sick kids to actually be able to get stuff done!

I feel like the next thing that needs to be done is to go through all of the clothes in the house which is daunting just by itself!

Anyways, back to the Sabbath day… some things that are going to take organization is going to be getting items that will be only Sunday items, like puzzles that we can work on together and maybe a few small puzzles for the younger kids. But then they get put away until the following Sunday. Printing pages to color and activities to do that are Sunday only. Basically, being on top of things to make Sunday feel more special that doesn’t involve just sitting on the couch vegging out on movies that “aren’t bad”.

I mentioned the minimalism thing because this is something I’ve been thinking about but it involves bringing in a few more items to the house. This feels… icky to me while there’s so much stuff already crammed into drawers and on shelves. The clutter drives me nuts. So I need to get this house under control before I feel like I can implement these other things successfully.

I really loved this article too.

The last thing it says is –

“Be consistent.

It won’t do you or your family much good if you do something one Sunday, then don’t do it the next. Children are quick to sense hypocrisy. If you want your Sabbath day activities to succeed, you must do them every week, or else they will become meaningless.”

THIS. This is what I don’t want. I want to create a home where everyone can work together. Where things don’t feel so crazy. Where the kids can expect certain things to happen… and they do. Where good things become routine.

This seems too hard but I know it isn’t. I know it can be done.

This is my goal before this baby is born. To organize this house and family in order to make our Sabbath days truly holy. Not just lazy, or boring, or alright. But holy and family centered. Without the clutter.

53229612_420152738755289_6630940827940028416_n

When Music isn’t Enough

My go-to when I’m feeling overwhelmed or stressed is to listen to uplifting music. I have a Lauren Daigle station on Pandora that I’ve spent a year tailoring and it has some really great music! All of it is uplifting and helps to point my heart and mind to Christ when I’m feeling overwhelmed.

But lately, music is not enough. In fact, sometimes lately it’s downright distracting. My mind can’t focus on it. It just becomes noise. More noise than I already have in a house with 9 kids! (Yes, we have 10 but Jordan is on his mission).

The fix? Audio books. Or conference talks. I know that probably doesn’t make a lot of sense. It’s still noise. Still information that my mind has to process. But it gives me something to focus on. Something to learn. Something that’s not background noise. I feel like my mind and heart – while still pointed to Christ because of my audiobook choices – are able to progress instead of stay stagnant.

I think that’s what it comes down to. I’ve felt stuck. Spiritually stuck.

As soon as we got back from vacation, all of the kids got strep. Then a week or two later, we now have the flu going through the house. I have thievsed and even clorox’d the house several times. I’m now limiting sugar intake for the whole family now that Valentines Day is over. I don’t know what the deal is, but this winter has been rough! Thankfully I skipped the strep and haven’t gotten the flu…. yet.

52491637_1686275791473071_780546070517121024_n
She NEVER naps anymore. You can always tell when she’s either growing or sick by if she naps.

So far 4 of the kids have gotten the flu and now the tiniest one is down for the count. I am thankful that they all seem to be taking turns rather than all being sick at the same time. But I’m also exhausted! Getting about 5-6 hours of sleep at night, broken up, because of sick kids is not very easy at nearly 28 weeks pregnant!

But like I said – it could be worse.

Because of all the sickness, we haven’t had family prayer as often as we should, haven’t read scriptures as a family as often as we should, haven’t done as much of the Come Follow Me as we should.

I feel like I’m failing at this motherhood thing lately. I feel spiritually stuck. And I feel guilty for not teaching my children the gospel as much as I should.

So music doesn’t work. I was feeling down about it all and decided to do some cleaning and decluttering and spent nearly a whole day doing that while I finished the Christ in Every Hour book by Anthony Sweat.

Christ_in_Every_Hour

It was amazing! I highly recommend it. It helped me to shift my perspective and to remember that this is something I have to work through. And that the kids will not be sick forever. That routines can be re-established and it’s okay to just do our best for now, even if our best just means keeping kids alive and getting 5 hours of sleep.

I’m now starting Angels: Agents of Light, Love, and Power by Donald W. Parry.

91PbuW+aReL

I just started it so I can’t say anything yet but I feel like it’s one I should listen to, so it’s up next!

Things might not get easier, per se. But I’ll get better at handling them… and kids can’t be sick forever.

A Reprioritization

Every once in a while, I can feel myself falling into old habits. Watching shows that aren’t bad… but aren’t good. Reading books that aren’t bad… but aren’t good.

Have you ever heard the phrase “We are what we repeatedly do” or Philippians 4:8 –

8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things arepure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Basically, what we put into our minds become.. who we become!

So every once in a while, when I feel like that might be happening, I take a break from all those things. Social media, books that aren’t my scriptures or other uplifting materials. I go back to my deseret book audio books, conference talks, etc.

This might seem silly to some people, maybe even extreme. But it helps to refocus me. To make sure that my mind is where I want it to be. This isn’t someone else telling me what I should or shouldn’t be doing or that I should be taking social media breaks, etc. (except maybe some nudges from the Spirit) but it’s my choice. It’s something I need. Something I think we all probably need from time to time.

So in the last few days, I’ve listened to a talk by Jack R. Christianson called, “Every Day Power from the Book of Mormon – Fortifying Your Foudation of Faith”. It’s on the deseret book audio app.

1081923 every day power from the book of mormon_399x400

It’s 1 hour long and is phenomenal! You can hear his passion for his faith in his voice. He talks about the challenge to read the Book of Mormon within 90 days that the Prophet extended to the women, which is over now but that’s okay! He talks about many other things too and everyone should listen to it!

The next one I started listening to is “Christ in Every Hour” by Anthony Sweat.

Christ_in_Every_Hour

I’m about half way through it and it is also really moving. It talks about Christs healing power, the power of forgiveness and repentance. And that’s just the half I’ve listened to so far!

I’ve also been able to organize the house more and I completed 6 ceu credits to go towards getting my midwifery certification back as well. The distraction of the world is real! Even in my patriarchal blessing, it states that I will have to be diligent in screening out the things in media, be careful about places I go, etc. That Satan will have no power over me that I do not allow him to have.

Man! I wish I could remember this always! This is why they tell you to read these blessings often! There’s things in there that not only help you with your life, but keep your priorities straight as well.

So here we are. I’m cocooning myself in spiritual things plus goals that I need to accomplish until I feel like I can balance things more effectively.

Thankfully, this journal is one of those things that I feel needs to be more of a priority. Not because I think anyone actually reads it… but because it’s helpful for me to process and get my priorities out of my head somewhere. And this is that place.

2e2b49ce08666b3b3a57a1fd9e812c4a

On the Morrow Come I Into the World.

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything here. One of my daughters dropped my laptop and you can no longer see the screen very well. So that was replaced. But then life got busy and writing got set aside.

I’m 26 weeks pregnant tomorrow. Time is flying by and I’m enjoying feeling this new life move around. We found out it’s a boy. Which still blows my mind. God blessed me with 5 boys and now another. I never thought I’d be a mother to boys.

I’ve been meaning to come back to writing here for a while. I’ve procrastinated about it for some reason. But there’s been a topic on my mind, and I wasn’t sure what would be the best avenue to discuss it/get it off my chest, so to speak.

I’ve been wondering, in a purely spiritual point of view – not political. I’ve been wondering – at what point does a spirit enter the body of a fetus/baby? Is it conception? The first heart beat? Birth?

I used to think it was conception. But now I’m not too sure.

3rd Nephi 1:13 says –

“Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfill all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets”

Christ was doing whatever work he needed to accomplish before being born into his physical body while Mary was pregnant… with him.

Is this closeness I feel to my son because his spirit is in his little body already – like I used to think? Or is it because he is one of my guardian angels and he is sticking close by during this time because he’s just as excited to be here with us as I am to meet him as my infant son?

Again – this has nothing to do with politics. I didn’t want to post this on Facebook because I felt like it would devolve into something I didn’t mean it to be. I am simply curious. I’ve always just assumed that our spirits are “tied” to our bodies once a heart beat is there and we can move in our mothers womb. But after reading the scriptures and thinking about what that implies… I’m not sure.

That doesn’t mean that I don’t love my baby wiggling in my belly any less. I’m just wondering what he’s doing and experiencing. Or maybe he’s free to come and go as he likes and experience both?

Thoughts?

51480993_571092206698568_7702634506590617600_n

Summer Fun

Yesterday was a buuuusy day from the time I got up until the time I fell asleep (almost on the couch!) So tired.

It started with the fact that I completely forgot that most of the kids had a dentist check up at 8am, which John reminded me of at about 1:30am. So I got up at 6:30, got ready, made the kids breakfast, made them all wake up, eat, get dressed, and got them out the door… 15 minutes after their appointment was supposed to begin. Thankfully, it’s really close by!

We did the dentist appointment for 5 of the kids from 8:25ish-10am. Then I went across the street to the store, grabbed some food for a picnic, and rushed back home.

Next, dropped off most of the kids at home and told them to get their swimsuits on as fast as they could. Caitlin and Ethan stayed there and helped with Vaiden, Taevia, Phalin, Tahlia and Paxton. While they did that, I took Jordan to work real quick.

Got back, packed the last few things for the lake and got them all back into the car. Drove over to the Grandparent Pendergrass’s house and we headed out to the lake!

The lake wasn’t busy at all which was really nice! All of the kids had a ton of fun swimming, building sand castles, and rowing in their cousins canoe. That was my favorite part too. At one point I had Theia, Tazden, Paxton, Tahlia, and Phalin in the canoe at one time. I rowed them out to the buoy so they could touch it and rowed them back to shore… at least 10-15 times. Caitlin read a book most of the time, but she came with us which is the most important part!

I’m so glad their grandparents, aunt and uncle and cousins could all go. It’s so nice to get to know their (our) family better and to be able to spend time with them doing something that all of the kids enjoy.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

After the lake, we went home to change then I brought most of the kids over to their grandparent’s house to play with their cousins for a little longer. We finally got home for the night about 10pm. All of the kids went to bed and then so did !!

Long day but a good day. I’m looking forward to many more! The only thing that would have made it better is if John were here with us.

Tears of Joy

Going back and forth between houses is never easy for kids. I’m so glad Taevia, Tahlia, and Theia enjoy the time that they spend at their dads house. I know they miss him and like being over there. This time, when Taevia got back – before bed – she said that she wished she was back at her dads house. I asked her why and she said “because dads house is fun.” She was very upset and crying. I sat there for a second just thinking. She doesn’t always do well with bedtime and her being tired stresses her out even more. We had already been talking about why she was originally upset. 15 minutes before she said it was because the boys are mean to her. (They had been in the past a little bit but we’ve talked to her and them about it and all of them are getting way better with each other. They hadn’t been mean at all that day. I think she’s just holding onto the previous stuff)

I was starting to get frustrated because it was feeling like she was just cycling through things to be upset about to get her to stay out of bed.

So I sat and just thought about it all for a minute.

This is what I told her –

“Sometimes… people are mean in this life. Sometimes, it is our job to be the good example and show them love. You are going to meet people in life who will not be nice to you. You need to be strong. You are strong. It is not my job as your mother to make life fun. We will have lots of fun times together. But my job, as your mom, is to make sure you grow into a woman who is kind, who loves God, and loves her family. Not only are you my daughter, you are a daughter of God. That makes you a goddess. That makes you royalty. You have to stand tall and stand firm and show others the way to kindness. I promise we will have fun together but my job as your mom is to make sure you grow into this strong woman who loves God and loves her family.”

The next thing she said was “I’ve never cried tears of joy before!”

Oh my daughter. You teach me so much. Our kids need to hear these things. They need to hear that sometimes life is hard but we can stand tall and stand firm and our faith will pull us through. I’m so thankful that I paused instead of allowing myself to just get frustrated and make her go to bed.

After that, she went right to bed and slept through the night.

Parenthood isn’t easy but it is oh so worth it. I’m so glad she chose me to be her mother. I can’t wait to find out what else she has to teach me.

24899690_10103097662576358_7794845712296679143_n
my beautiful Taevia

Happy Fathers Day

I’m lucky to have some really great fathers in my life. First, my dad. Who taught me to be strong and fearless by his example. Who never gave up on me. Who always hoped and prayed and believed that I would come around to the gospel again someday. Who is an example of leadership, entrepreneurship, and being bold in the face of adversity. Who taught me and continues to teach me that making mistakes is human but coming to Christ heals all. My dad who has loved me since day one. Honestly, I firmly believe we loved each other before we came to this earth. I’ve always loved and admired this man with all my heart and know of a surety that we were meant to walk this life together. I couldn’t do it without him and wouldn’t want to.

Thank you dad, for all that you are.

27788777_10103202601877158_1961566826625229740_o
my dad

My step dad. Who taught me that forgiveness is Christlike. That we all make mistakes but that family is forever. This man taught me that people change, even me. That even if we don’t understand our parents that someday, we just might. This man who loves my mother, who took on 3 kids in his early 20’s with no parent manual on how to be a step-parent but tried his best regardless. His example has taught me perseverance. sacrifice, and humility.

Thank you and Happy Fathers Day.

IMG_1949
My step dad with my mom

I have to give a little shoutout to my father in law as well. I actually met him a few weeks before I met my husband in person. He came over to my house to meet me and loan me a book John and I had talked about over the phone. When I met him, I automatically liked him. He is kind, smart and easy to talk to. Since getting to know him better, he constantly impresses me. He loves God, Christ and his family intensely. He pushes me to be a better person. I’m thankful for his example, strength, and love that he adds into our family and into my life already and our journey together has only begun.

Happy Fathers Day!

35657208_10103392031009658_2340651893786673152_n
my father in law

I also want to say Happy Fathers Day to my husband. The man who already had 7 kids yet opened his heart to 3 more. Who tries so hard to connect with them and love them when he’s home from work. He is an amazing father. A father who loves and listens to his kids. Who stays hours after he should have left for work to make sure they’re all okay. This man who is a powerful priesthood holder. Who has given me blessings whenever I ask for them, who prays for and with our family every day that he’s home, who teaches and talks about the gospel with excitement and love. This man loves God and our Savior Jesus Christ with all of his soul. He is the strength and center of our home and family, even though he has to work away from home for weeks at a time. Who makes me laugh. Who I can talk to endlessly about anything at all. Who already knows me so well and can crack my stubbornness with his persistent love. I couldn’t have asked and prayed for a better father for all of our kids. I’m lucky to walk this journey with him by my side, leading our children through this life.

Happy Fathers Day my love, my soul mate, my husband.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

Christ Heals All Things

You hear the phrase ‘Christ heals’ all the time, right? Do we really know what that means? Usually, when we think about healing we think of big miracles. Healing the sick, making the blind see, etc. Am I right? I could be wrong. But that used to be how I viewed this idea. The only way I saw this.

I was wrong. I think I’m a little closer into understanding now though, Christ heals all things.

I don’t really know why I’m writing about this – other than I feel like I should. Maybe it will help someone else understand too.

If you’re not LDS, bare with me. I think there’s still some good stuff here.

Anyways – I was inactive from the church for nearly 16 years. During that time I started drinking coffee. I liked coffee. I liked the taste, the ritual of drinking it every morning. It became a comfortable habit to have. But I was addicted. No question about it.

When I decided to come back to church, I gave up coffee. It was my choice and it was one I wanted to make. I believe the Word of Wisdom is there to help us, make us healthy, make us strong, and develop other healthy habits. It was not an easy habit to break.

I would drive by a coffee shop and a thought would enter my mind such as “one coffee wouldn’t hurt anything”. But you know what, it would. Because if I wanted to be able to go to the temple, then even one would hurt.

You see – those thoughts – those are thoughts of addict. The adversary will and does use anything he can against us. Even little things. Especially “little” things. Because those little things are small concessions. Each small concession gets you one step further and further away from where you really want to be. Those little things end up being a really big thing later.

Now let me tell you something simply miraculous. As soon as I had that temple recommend in my hand. Those thoughts vanished. The idea of wanting coffee – gone. The thought of drinking coffee actually kinda grosses me out now. I don’t want it.

CHRIST HEALS ALL THINGS

Ether 12:27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

I never thought that I would live out a scripture passage. But weak things definitely can be made strong. I fully believe that I will never again have the adversary use coffee against me. That addiction is gone.

I never would have ever called myself an addict either. I mean, it’s not like drugs or alcohol…. right? Wrong. There are so many possible addictions in this life. Thankfully, Christ can heal them all. Even the little things.

35194210_10103385075104348_4896602977634091008_n