Saturday, May 22, 2010

One Line

One line from Sister Julie Beck's conference talk:

"There is much distraction and not enough peace and joy."

Every time I hear or read that again I think, "I KNOW!" This past week has especially felt like a very ADHD one for me. Going/thinking/getting pulled in all kinds of directions, no focus whatsoever. It is not a peaceful feeling.

A few days ago I was especially disturbed by it all. Driving somewhere I was trying to think of what I needed to do to center myself, and had the thought to stop thinking about myself and think about someone else. I didn't come up with anyone until I drove past the office my sister works at and realized that I hadn't stopped by to say hi for a few months. When I drove past it again on my way home, I pulled in and chatted with her for a bit. And it helped.

The next day I was making rolls and decided that I should drop some off to my other sister. That helped too.

I can thus deduce that service is one thing that helps me feel more peace and joy. I actually have a quote hanging on my cupboard door that was put there a long time ago to remind me of this:

"Never suppress a generous thought."

My biggest distraction lately is the greatness of others. I love to read about great things people are doing because it is inspiring! But I've noticed that rather than inspiring me to be more of my own kind of greatness, I become distracted from that, wondering if I should be doing what they are doing, or kicking myself because I'm not doing what they are doing.

I was going to post links to some of those things but I don't want to.

Instead, here's a reminder for myself, even if it's only myself. For every great thing that I see others doing that I currently am not doing, or try to do but really struggle with, I know people that I love and admire that also do not have those qualities. Some of them are the very opposite of those qualities (like me), yet they are incredible people that have wonderful children and they should probably have already been translated, but thank goodness they haven't because then I couldn't love and admire them nearly as closely and easily. TA DA!!!

The lesson in all that is that I need to stop being distracted by everything I'm not doing. I was sent here with my own package of talents and my own mission to fulfill. Theirs is not mine, mine is not theirs. I need to be "distinct and different--in happy ways," not the same and discouraged. My family will be blessed when I'm working on those things, because then I WILL be feeling the "peace and joy" Sister Beck talked about, and will then share that with them.

I read the rest of her talk again and found some more especially applicable quotes.

"A good woman knows that she does not have enough time, energy, or opportunity to take care of all of the people or do all of the worthy things her heart yearns to do. Life is not calm for most women, and each day seems to require the accomplishment of a million things, most of which are important. A good woman must constantly resist alluring and deceptive messages from many sources... But with personal revelation, she can prioritize correctly and navigate this life confidently."

"Good women always have a desire to know if they are succeeding. In a world where the measures of success are often distorted, it is important to seek appreciation and affirmation from proper sources. To paraphrase a list found in Preach My Gospel, we are doing well when we develop attributes of Christ and strive to obey His gospel with exactness. We are doing well when we seek to improve ourselves and do our best. We are doing well when we increase faith and personal righteousness, strengthen families and homes, and seek out and help others who are in need. We know we are successful if we live so that we qualify for, receive, and know how to follow the Spirit. When we have done our very best, we may still experience disappointments, but we will not be disappointed in ourselves. We can feel certain that the Lord is pleased when we feel the Spirit working through us. Peace, joy, and hope are available to those who measure success properly."

Thank you, Sister Beck!

Monday, May 17, 2010

A Challenge - General Conference

We had an INCREDIBLE general conference in April. I've told several people that I don't know why they even watched it, because I'm sure the prophet got a personal phone call and was told that every talk was to be written with me in mind. There was just so so much I needed to hear.

As soon as the audio was available online, I downloaded it all to my iPod and have spent many many middle of the night feedings listening to these great words of counsel. I even created a folder on it and tagged a bunch of them as "Better Mommy" talks so that when I need a boost in that area (truth be told, daily) I can go right there.

Unfortunately, I haven't seen a lot of talk online about things people learned from conference, myself included. I've started several posts on conference related topics but haven't finished them. So I want to send out a challenge to anyone interested. If there was a particular talk/theme/quote/anything/etc. from conference that has lifted you and made you better, I would love to hear about it. Feel free to do more than one even! I always get more out of the talks when I can discuss them with others.

If you'd like, post a link in the comments when you do so my other two readers can enjoy your thoughts as well.

Friday, May 14, 2010

We are the Staff

This is a song we've sang as a staff every year I've been to Wood Badge. I was going to share it with the staff I get to work with this year and went searching online to see if I had all the words right, but came up with nothing! I have no idea where the song came from, who wrote it, or where it started. But I thought I would get it online in case anyone else happened to go looking for it.


We are the staff of Gilwell Troop 1.
We do the work while you have the fun.
We answer questions by the score,
You stay up late to think up more.
We get up early, work hard all day.
You stay up late then come out to play.
What a gravy train you have,
At the expense of, at the expense of,
At the expense of staff!

I have no "this is to the tune of..." tips, so if you'd like to learn it as I learned it, get me your e-mail address and we'll work something out.

And for fun, a few Wood Badge staff pictures.

What can I say, they love me!

Launching water balloons

You can find me since I've got a blue cow blanket keeping the baby (then Erin) warm.

Always follow your Scoutmaster's example (staff jackets are inside out, hats on backwards).

I have no idea who this is...

...or this.

Maybe the flipped version of the "We are the Staff" song (sung towards the end of the week) is appropriate:

We are the staff of Gilwell Troop 1.
You do the work while we have the fun!
You answer questions by the score,
We stay up late to think up more.
You get up early, work hard all day.
We stay up late then come out to play.
What a gravy train we have
At the expense of, at the expense of,
At the expense of YOU!

I LOVE SCOUTING! With this being the 100 year anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America, I definitely need to write more about this. I believe it is an inspired program, designed to guide boys to becoming great men. Thankfully, I get to serve on another Wood Badge staff again this summer, where we train the scout leaders in leadership skills they can then take back to the boys.

Back to Gilwell!!!

Friday, May 7, 2010


Aimee Ray, author of "Doodle Stitching" (thanks again Cindi!) had a giveaway for a new book she's got a project in, and I won!

Check out my name in print (I feel so famous) and my "acceptance speech."

And by the way, she's coming out with another "Doodle Stitching" book in October. The instructions and designs in the first one are wonderful. Can't wait to see round 2.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Liken - David and Goliath

Blanche was climbing on her father's knee, begging for one of his Sunday stories.

The narration, in his low tones, roused [Ethel] from her mood of vexation. It was the story of David, which he told in language scriptural and poetical, so pretty and tender in its simplicity, that she could not choose but attend. Ever and anon there was a glance towards Harry, as if he were secretly likening his own "yellow haired laddied" to the "shepherd boy, ruddy, and of a fair countenance."

"So Tom and Blanche," he concluded, "can you tell me how we may be like the shepherd-boy, David?"

"There aren't giants now," said Tom.

"Wrong is a giant," said his little sister.

"Right, my white May-flower, and what then?"

"We are to fight," said Tom.

"Yes, and mind, the giant with all his armour may be some great thing we have to do: but what did David begin with when he was younger?"

"The lion and the bear."

"Aye, and minding his sheep. Perhaps little things, now you are little children, maybe be like the lion and the bear--so kill them them off--get rid of them--cure yourself of whining or dawdling, or whatever it be, and mind your sheep well," said he, smiling sweetly in answer to the children's earnest looks as they caught his meaning, "and if you do, you will not find it near so hard to deal with your great giant struggle when it comes."

Ah! thought Ethel, it suits me as well as the children. I have a great giant... and here I am, not allowed to attack him, because, perhaps, I am not minding my sheep, and letting my lion and my bear run loose about the house." (pp. 83-84)

[Ethel's] lion and bear . . . were the greatest hindrances to her doing anything good and great." (p. 87)

from "The Daisy Chain" by Mary Charlotte Yonge