Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Fathers Are So Special

We are just a few weeks away from celebrating Father's Day! Are you looking for some ideas of what to give your husband or father? Here are four free printables that you can use as cards, prints, or tags to go along with your other awesome ideas.

I would like to give a quick thank you to my father-in-law. We just got back from visiting my in-laws for the weekend, and I admire my father-in-law so much. He has been a spiritual rock for his children and has been a righteous priesthood holder in his home. He has raised 6 boys who are all returned missionaries, currently serving, or putting their papers in, as well as a righteous and virtuous daughter. He reads scriptures and prays with his family every day, and teaches them to honor their priesthood, be honest, and pay their tithing. Their home is a holy place filled with love and laughter, and he gives them praise, love, and confidence. He is a great man and I am so lucky to be married to his son!

What things have the father figures in your life taught you?

This first printable is a celebration of the best father ever! I have three "best fathers" ever: my husband, my daddy, and my father-in-law. (So, if you're like me, you can cheat and give this one to all of them! Shh! I won't tell!)

Download "Best Father Ever" here.

This next printable is a quote is by Elder L. Tom Perry, from his talk entitled "Fatherhood, an Eternal Calling." This talk is very direct and reminds fathers that their role is divine, and that Satan is striving to destroy fathers and families. He reminds fathers that they must be leaders of righteousness in their homes. I loved this quote from his talk: "Fatherhood is leadership, the most important kind of leadership. It has always been so; it always will be so."

Download "Fatherhood is Leadership" here.

The next printable is from a Primary song called "Fathers." The chorus reflects how I feel about the fathers in my life. They really are so special, and so is the love they offer to their children. I am grateful for loving, righteous fathers who sacrifice so much to guide and protect their families.

Download "Fathers Are So Special" here.

And finally, this last printable is also from a Primary song. "My Dad" is how I want my kids to feel about my husband. I want them to learn honesty and unconditional love through their daddy's example. I also want them to have so much fun with him and be the greatest of pals. :)

Download "Favorite Pal" here.

You can also click here to see 9 Father's Day printables that I posted last year. Happy Father's Day planning!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

I Will Never Be One of Them

Why does contention happen so often in our relationships?
3 Nephi 11:29 says, "For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another."

Scripture mastery in Seminary taught me to remember this scripture as "Contention is of the devil."

My husband and I have a wonderful marriage full of love, joy, and forgiveness. However, there are times when the spirit of contention creeps into our home. It happens when we get stressed or prideful, when we bicker, argue, fight, or criticize. Even though our goal is to have peace and love in all of our conversations, we are weak. We think we are right and the other person is wrong, or we take out our stress on our spouses or family members.

Lately I have found that I tend to be the initiator of the negative conversations that lead to contention in my home, and the Spirit of the Lord gently reminded me today of the talk given in this past General Conference by Elder Enrique R. Falabella.

The quote I remembered most from his amazing talk was the motto his wife lives by: "In order to contend, you need two people, and I will never be one of them.”

This motto seems so simple and so powerful. As I have been pondering about it, I realize that it is a motto we all should live by. If we each choose to not be a contributor to contention, then contention would never be a part of our relationships. Satan uses contention as a tool to break down families, hearts, and friendships, and he will do everything he can to stir up our hearts in anger. We must stand against his vicious attempts to destroy our peace.

I am committing today to live by this motto and be a peacemaker in my home and in my family.

Will you commit with me to avoid contention and make this your motto? How will this bless your life?

 Download here.

Check out more of Sunday's General Conference quotes here!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Spring is Finally Here! (And Summer is Coming!)

I think God set up the seasons of the year so well. He created the winter so that we could appreciate hot chocolate, sitting by the fire, playing in the snow, and snuggling up with our loved ones. Then He purposefully made winter feel wayyyy too long so that we would be ready for spring. He must have known that we would better appreciate the flowers blooming, the sun shining, and the "April showers." :)

Then, He made spring so warm and cheery that we look forward to the summer. We get anxious for the beach, for swimming pools, and for late evening BBQs. This is where I have found myself the last few days--I finally feel like spring has truly arrived, and I am already getting excited for the increasing warmth as we prepare for summer.

My husband and I recently moved out-of-state for an internship, and we are spending the majority of our spring and summer seasons away from our family and friends. I have reflected lately on how important it is that we have seasons in our lives. This "season" of life is already proving to be a blessing for us, even though it is different than what we have experienced before. This is our time to be our own family unit, our time to start living our dreams, our time to grow in the gospel.

I enjoy these verses in Ecclesiastes 3 that remind us that it is God's plan to have seasons that we experience, not only in weather changes during the year, but in life experiences:

 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

I love the spring, I love the summer, and I love the scriptures. I love my "season" of life, and look forward to the others that God has in store for me. These printables are just fun reminders that it is finally warm outside! I hope you enjoy displaying them in your homes, or using them to brighten someone's day.

What is going on in your season of life?

Download "I Love Spring" here.

Download "I Love Summer" here.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Dear Mother

I love the Primary hymn "I Often Go Walking" and I have sung it to my daughter many times. As I have been getting ready for Mother's Day, I have heard quite a few people say that they don't know what to do for their mom yet. Seeing how Mother's Day is only 3 days away, I thought I would put up a few more printable options for those of you (us...cough cough) who are still working on the perfect gift to celebrate those special women in your life.

Over the last few days, I have been reflecting on the things my mother has taught me, and how grateful I am for those things. In the song it says, "For if I love blossoms and meadows and walking,
I learn how to love them, dear mother, from you." I really feel like my mother has taught me to love all things good and beautiful, and I couldn't be more grateful. My mom is my best friend and I am so blessed to have been raised by her. I also lucked out and got an amazing mother-in-law too! Dear Mother(s), thank you for raising your children in a gospel-centered home.

These printables would go great along with a bouquet of flowers from a florist, or freshly picked flowers from a garden. They're also wonderful as a framed gift for your mom to display. There are four different styles, with 4x5 versions available for download if you want to use them as a card, or 8x10 versions to use as framed printables. Happy Mother's Day!

What things has your mother taught you that you are grateful for?

Download purple 4x5 here.
Download purple 8x10 here.

Download pink 5x4 here.
Download pink 8x10 here.

Download blue 4x5 here.
Download blue 8x10 here.

Download white 5x4 here.
Download white 8x10 here.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Power of the Priesthood in the Boy

Tonight I watched Elder Tad R. Callister's talk from the priesthood session of General Conference. (Watch it here.) I was inspired as I listened for counsel that I could share with my husband and son.

Even though my son is only 7 weeks old, he will someday hold the priesthood of God. Elder Callister said something I felt was profound to teach my boys as they grow older: "...the priesthood in the boy is just as powerful as the priesthood in the man when exercised in righteousness." If my sons learn to be righteous and honorable, they can use their priesthood power to do great good, just as much good as a grown man with the priesthood.

If the young men of the Church can realize the miraculous power that they hold, perhaps it would be easier for them to avoid temptation, to stand for truth and righteousness, and to righteously exercise their power for the good of others and for the glory of God. I hope that I can help to share this truth that the priesthood is real, that it blesses our world, and that it is God's manifestation of power within His Church.

How do you teach your sons about the importance of the priesthood?

Download here.