24 May 2012


In parenting, if I have learned anything, it is that you learn as you go. I find myself at each new stage with growing children feeling challenged, frustrated, and looking for any help in any form.

One thing with which I struggle is in finding the balance between having high expectations for my children, but also showing mercy when they fall short of those expectations. Being mortal, they are not perfect, and will fall short. I cannot reasonably expect that they will even go through one day without making a mistake. None of us will. We all live life trying our very best, while making many, many mistakes along the way.

When I find myself in a specific parenting challenge that seems impossible, I try to stop and think about how I am parented from above. How does my Heavenly Father handle this situation with me, his child? God, being God, is bound to high expectations and standards. He cannot deviate from these, and expects his children to follow. But He is also endlessly merciful and patient, and wants in every situation to extend this mercy and patience to his children.

These quotes by Joseph Smith, found here, (pg. 428), give me great insight into this struggle:
"God does not look on sin with allowance, but when men have sinned, there must be allowance made for them."
"There should be no license for sin, but mercy should go hand-in-hand with reproof"

This taught me to see that I can and need to set high expectations for my children in our home and in their lives, but when they fall short (and they will), I need to be forgiving, merciful, & long-suffering, just as God is with me.

"I do not dwell upon your faults, and you shall not upon mine. Charity, which is love, covereth a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8)

18 May 2012

Garden 2012: Part 2

These pictures were taken one month apart. Check out the raspberries up against the house!! They are growing like crazy, and if every blossom we see right now yields a raspberry, we will have a banner year! This is good news for the husband who loves raspberries like no other fruit, and was disappointed in the 15 total we got last season. It is also great news in general for the garden, because there are bees galore on the plant, and this means they might stick around to pollinate the other plants that always desperately need it--squash & cucs-- later on.
The broccoli is, however, not doing well. I might just have to give up on broccoli after two bad years. It turned out spindly and tall, with one tiny little head on each that was only one bite. With that kind of yield, I would say it is not a good use of the garden space and, thus, it might just get kicked out of the rotation. Sad, because broccoli is one of my favorite veggies, and I really would love to grow it well. I need to do a bit more research about it.
We have had an unbelievably dry May, which is thrilling for the gardeners. The ground has actually been warm and dry enough to put in the warm weather plants. Tomatoes are in the ground (no picture yet), bush beans are planted, spinach, carrots, and peas are growing and I am on the lookout for some good variety of cucumbers that will actually grow, as that was another crop that was a dud for me last year.

03 May 2012

Firmness & Boldness

In Mormon chapter 2, we read about a group of Nephites who are in the midst of fighting many battles with their enemies.These particular Nephites were a wicked and unbelieving group, living in the city of Shem, being led by the young & righteous army leader/prophet, Mormon, when, in verse 22, it says, ". . .they (the Lamanites, their enemies) began to come upon us again."

This word again, really stood out to me as significant, because it made me realize that, just as these Nephites had faced the same types of battles with the Lamanites over and over again, so do I face the same kinds of battles in my own life over and over again. Some of my most recent battles include:

  1. discouragement (I recently wrote about waging a war against it, but I haven't won the war yet)
  2. confusion about how to raise & nurture my children in a challenging world
  3. being overwhelmed at the sheer amount of: food that needs to be planned, bought, put away, cooked, served & cleaned up daily, clothes that need to be washed, folded & put away daily, children that need, demand & deserve individual attention daily, and many, many other tasks that face me every single day.
I know that it is valid and perfectly normal to feel these things, but it is not okay to allow myself to be beat up, daily, by these challenges. So what can I do about it?

What did the Nephites do, even in their state of ignorance and willful disobedience?

They looked to their righteous leader, Mormon, who, in verse 23 says, "I did speak unto my people and did urge them with great energy that they would stand boldly before the Lamanites and fight for their wives, and their children, and their houses and their homes."

v.24 - 25: "and my words did arouse them somewhat to vigor. . .that they did not flee from before the Lamanites, but did stand with boldness against them. .  .and we did stand before them with such firmness that they did flee from before us.

My ability to stand before these particular challenges with firmness & boldness, and look to my leader, Jesus Christ, for encouragement and strength will be the determining factor in the way I face these battles and not allow them to beat me. I know that as I choose to do things each day that will bring peace to my heart, I will be:
  1. energized & happy in the face of discouragement
  2. given specific instructions through the spirit to know how to help & encourage each of my children in their specific needs and situations
  3. blessed with the ability to see mundane tasks as essential & necessary for an organized, Christ-centered home, and to see that completing them, daily, with happiness is a great way to serve those in my home.