Tag Archives: family

Bid for Connection

Bishop Rasmussen spoke in sacrament meeting of the Los Alamos ward conference this past Sunday regarding bids for connection. He says there are three things we can do: turn away, turn against or turn towards.

He used the example of a married couple, but it would apply to anyone and could be related to how we respond or offer ourselves to the Savior. He related that if his wife was to come in and ask him if he would like to go for a walk with her, he has three options for responding to her. He could take offense at her request (bid for connection) and accuse her of calling him fat and lazy. I believe this was his turning against example. Alternatively, we could say I’m too busy right now, or turn away. Of course, he could turn towards his wife and say, yes, I would love to go for a walk with you. Or, he could respond and say, I’m in the middle of something important here, but how about after you get back from your walk we spend some time together.

I know that I am guilty of not turning towards people always. Sometimes we get set into doing what we are doing and don’t make the time we should for those around us. Let us all strive to be better at making and accepting bids for connection.

How to Improve Family Relationships

In one of my meetings at church today Sister Rider presented some findings from an informal survey she conducted. I don’t remember the exact question she asked the young women, but I believe it was along the lines of if there was one thing your family could do to improve your relationship, what would it be? Out of the 27 young women she surveyed, twelve said something to the effect of holding family scripture study would improve their family. This was the most common item we saw. I believe the second most popular item was prayer in some form or another. What I was most shocked by though was an item that I heard about four times: less fighting, if my parents would stop fighting, …

I don’t know why because I see this all the time, but I was just shocked/appalled at how many of these young women reported their parents fighting as something that was inhibiting their family from coming together. I understand that there are lots of things that we can fight about as parents, but take a look at what it is doing to our children!

One thought that crossed my mind was how many young women wanted to say that, but were too afraid to and went with something more encompassing like holding family scripture study or family prayer. I have been so blessed with my wife to rarely fight. I certainly hope that we are able to keep our children from wishing that we fought less. (They will probably just wish like my wife that I left her alone more!) It just utterly scares me that 15% of young women in this sample reported issues with their parents fighting.

As for the main item of holding family scripture study, I think that is an honorable thing to ask. I’m sure the parents need more involvement from their children in making this happen. In fact, in another meeting with the youth today we asked them the same question and since we had a smaller group we were able to get more detail on it. Two of the youth in attendance said that while their families hold family scripture study and prayer daily, they didn’t feel that the family was really coming together and unified during this time. They felt that the task was being checked off a list instead of being an enjoyable activity to bring the family together. Clearly we need to work on improvement in this category as well.

I know that Megan and I need to continue to work on establishing habits now that we will instill in our children. For any other newlyweds out there, now is the time to figure out how you are going to establish your house of learning and house of faith.

What do you feel would bring your family together? Are there any tips you can offer to parents that may be spending too much of their precious time fighting?

President Mattson is being Released

President Smith talked today about how we don’t need to be perfect, we just need to have our life in order. I have the exact quote downstairs, I’m just not going down to get it now. Zach had earlier pointed out that the church isn’t a retirement community for saints, it is instead a hospital for sinners. How true both of these statements are and yet how often do we not think of it that way.

Today went pretty well. There was some disappointing news I would almost have rather not received. I know that Heavenly Father has a plan though and we just can’t see it from here. President Mattson is going to be released next week. I almost felt this was coming recently and when he said something about changes in the office during branch council this morning I almost knew it for sure. For some reason I didn’t think about that when I saw President Smith on the stand, I think I just had too much on my mind at that point.

The rest of the day went well. My family came over for dinner tonight. Well, they brought the pizza and just wanted a place to eat it. I really enjoyed walking to branch prayer tonight. I almost felt as if I was in rexburg walking down the street to prayer. That was great! I had a good time talking with Brother Lee before anyone else got there as well.

Let’s backtrack a bit here. I don’t remember much of Friday other than the girls wanted to come over for a quiet night at home. It was just Larilyn, Maegan and I to start it off. Melissa joined us and then so did Megan. They kept me up way too late and then I did not sleep well all night. Lauren says it is cause I was thinking about her, which is probably true.

Lauren came up after building cleanup on Saturday and we hung out together for most of the day. She was supposed to be coming up to go to the activity, but when we got to that point of the day, she decided she didn’t want to go. There were lots of people at the activity, although I don’t think most of them were actually doing anything on the inflatables.

College Road Trip

I’m kind of enjoying doing Tara’s job at work lately. It’s fun to have little projects that I have to research out constantly to find out where this order is or what is holding this up and so forth. I don’t think I’ve done any of my work though lately, so I definitely see the need for her to return at once.

I had a nice quiet evening at home tonight. Nobody came over and I just sat and watched a movie. I chose College Road Trip since it seemed like the one that no one else was interested in watching. I enjoyed it and enjoyed pondering the days of raising children and how hard it is going to be to let them go probably. It is going to be interesting raising kids and trying to incorporate all these LDS activities and so forth that I know nothing whatsoever about. I’ve never held an FHE for my family. We came close at BYUI, but it won’t be the same. I’ve never gone to seminary, so I don’t know what it will be like. What the heck is mutual and all these other random things? What if my kids don’t want to go to BYUI where I’m presumably going to want to send them? That will be far away, but I know they will be safe and be nurtured there. After being raised in an LDS family, are they going to want to rebel and go to some party school? Am I going to be disappointed when they don’t want to go to school or don’t do anything with their schooling?

Man, I’d better stop pondering this before it gets really crazy. And, since this morning went so great with being up a few minutes earlier than normal, I’m hoping to get to sleep and be able to do the same tomorrow.

P.S. It is beautiful outside. I got downstairs down to 73 before closing the windows. It might even be a tad bit chilly in the morning which will be great!

To Rent or Not to Rent

There are definitely arguments on both side of the renting fence. The major one for renting is that it could give me the money to do the projects that I would like to do to the house. The biggest downside would be some loss of privacy and having to find the patience to deal with others on a day in and day out basis. I think someone who is a hermit would be a great renter. I would love someone who essentially stayed to him or herself in his or her room. I don’t want to deal with entertaining people each and every night and I don’t want to have people over here who I’m not entertaining hanging out and getting in my way. I’m probably too protective of my stuff and wouldn’t want anybody and everybody loading my dishes in the dishwasher or putting something in there that isn’t dishwasher safe. It seems like the money from renting would be great, but does it outweigh the costs of renting?

If I rent one room for $500 or $600/month, what is that person going to cost me in lost sleep, stress, food, extra heating and air, water, etc? What is the liability I am going to have to assume for having someone in the house with access to everything I own? Some help with chores would be great, but am I going to become to go to person when their car breaks down and they need a ride? It almost sounds more attractive to be renting more rooms so that those people could essentially deal with themselves. The problem I see though is that the more people I get in the house, the more I am outnumbered and the less often I am going to be able to use my own living/family room, etc.

I really want to help Geoff out, I just don’t know what to do! I guess I could set rules for what kind of entertaining and such they can do, but I don’t want to be a rule crazy landlord either. This should be fun and simple for everyone involved. I probably need to find people that are mature and understand my desires. Maybe I can sit down with Geoff and figure out what he is hoping to find in a place to live.

Today went quite well. I was actually able to catch Grandma Chester on my first attempt phoning her for her birthday! That essentially made my day and we were able to talk for a while. We had good meetings today all throughout the day. I started working on family history for Sunday School today. Now that I see what needs to be done, or at least I have started on it, it seems like I can do most of the work myself from home and maybe just go to Sister Dowden when I need help with something. It really didn’t help that I didn’t have much information to start with, but I got a good orientation to the program from Larilyn.

Break the fast went well and there was tons of cornbread. I kind of felt bad for cutting mine into such small pieces when there was so much and none of it was really all that good. I’m sure it was because it was all made days or hours before and had been sitting in trucks for hours or such. That, or maybe mine just wasn’t that good since I don’t have the hang of the oven here yet. Nonetheless, I wasn’t impressed with any of the other ones as well. Now, the fact that I’m talking about cornbread for such an extended period of time simply indicates that I need to get to sleep!

We had a baptism tonight and we are going to have another one Saturday! Alysa is finally getting baptized Saturday, and Shelly (who I don’t know) entered the waters this evening. We had way more people than would fit in the relief society room tonight so I was really impressed. We talked a lot about the marriage initiative, proposition 8, today. It sounds like this is going to be an ugly battle, and we have already been asked to do whatever we can to support the initiative. I guess I need to start reading up on exactly what is at stake, but the basis is that we are not against gay’s here, we are just trying to protect the definition of marriage as being between a husband and wife – a man and a woman. President Mattson even shared that one of the designers working on his house is gay and has had a partner for 18 years and was in favor of protecting marriage. We aren’t against the rights that gays have for tax and domestic partnership advantages; we are just worried what our children will be taught in k12 schools if teachers can’t talk about mommy and daddy.

Sister Dowden and I are going to try and make it to the temple Tuesday night if anyone wants to join. I haven’t been for probably at least two months, which is way too long. I think the last time I went was when we went to Denny’s and I was asked to seal my mouth by Maegan. That seems like it was even longer ago, so maybe it was closer to three months. In any event, we need to go – and we need to go ASAP. We’re probably going to shoot for the 7 o’clock session and are open for suggestions beyond that.

Speaking of marriage, I was getting the pressure last night. Grandma & Grandpa were talking about needing to get me married, I think Ron and Kathy mentioned it, my grandma asked about it this morning – or at least the girls in my life, Sister Lee asked if I had gotten any proposals yet with the house (I think she thinks people will marry me for my Kitchen Aid mixer) and it seems like there was even more. I guess I need to start working a bit harder on that front.

I called all my home teachers today and all the people I am home teaching now. None of the teachers called me back to tell me that they had been successful in fulfilling their callings. I’m worried that none of them are actually doing the job and am hoping that some monitoring from me will help motivate them. I guess I just need to start calling each and every week just to see if they have gotten anywhere. Otherwise I’m going to have a lot of home teaching to do myself! I’m anxious to start working with some of these less actives I have now and am hoping that I will have the chance to be instrumental in their lives. I pray that God will be able to use me to do his will and I will be a blessing to them. I know that home teaching can do wonders, we just need to find a way to make it really work in this incredibly dynamic branch. It seems that once you get to know someone, they leave or your assignment changes. We’ve been working hard on it, so hopefully we can instill some positive change.

I probably need to actually get in bed and enjoy some of this air conditioning to sleep…