GCBC Week 26: “The Sanctifying Work of Welfare” by Bishop H. David Burton

LAST week of General Conference Book Club.  Last.  Can you believe it?  This means two things:

  1. We did it.
  2. Only 6 more days until we get to hear the word of the Lord again from prophets and apostles.

This coming week will be a General Conference Extravaganza here on Diapers and Divinity as we get ready for another session to begin.  Starting tomorrow, watch for preparation ideas, a meme that you can participate in on your own blog, some highlights, packets for children, etc.  So, you know, stay tuned.

Do you want me to keep doing General Conference book club here on the blog?  There’s always a huge turnout for week one, and then it kind of dwindles off little by little.  I don’t mind continuing it for even a few people if they find it meaningful and helpful.

So whether you’re a regular or thinking of joining in, I’d like to know what you’re thinking. 

Okay, for this week, our last talk is “The Sanctifying Work of Welfare” by Bishop H. David Burton.

“The purpose, promises, and principles that reinforce our work of caring for the poor and needy extend far beyond the bounds of mortality. This sacred work is not only to benefit and bless those who suffer or are in need. As sons and daughters of God, we cannot inherit the full measure of eternal life without being fully invested in caring for each other while we are here on earth. It is in the benevolent practice of sacrifice and giving of ourselves to others that we learn the celestial principles of sacrifice and consecration.”

I feel like this message makes a lovely companion to Sister Allred’s talk from the Relief Society Broadcast last night.

What does this talk make you think or feel?  Share your thoughts in the comments below.

If you’re visiting for the first time and you want to know more about what we do here for General Conference Book Club, click here.

GCBC Week 25: “Establishing a Christ-Centered Home” and “What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye to Be?”

Okay, we are doubling up this week since we’re running out of time (ONE more week of GCBC before a new conference!), and I love, LOVE, love both of these talks. It will be worth your time to study them both this week, I promise.

Establishing a Christ-Centered Home

by Elder Richard J. Maynes of the Seventy

“Because Satan understands that true happiness in this life and in the eternities is found in the form of family, he does everything in his power to destroy it.”

and

What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye to Be?

by Elder Lynn G. Robbins of the Seventy

“A sweet and obedient child will enroll a father or mother only in Parenting 101. If you are blessed with a child who tests your patience to the nth degree, you will be enrolled in Parenting 505. Rather than wonder what you might have done wrong in the premortal life to be so deserving, you might consider the more challenging child a blessing and opportunity to become more godlike yourself.”

I could put hundreds of quotes here that I loved from both talks.  How about you?  What were your favorite principles from these talks?  Share your thoughts in the comments below.  If you’re new to General Conference Book Club, get more info here.

My four-year-old hates me, and other parenting tidbits.

She does.  She just told me in a very elevated voice.  She also told me that I’m the worst mom she’s ever had (she has a point) and that she’s not talking to me for the rest of the day (thankyouverymuch).  So that’s that.

About 2 weeks ago I was kind of dreading the end of summer because I think I’ll miss the lazy schedule.  However, in an unexpected case of divine intervention, God turned my children in to little demons this week to restore my hope in and love for the back-to-school season.  He always watches out for me like that. No, really, he does.

Speaking of back to school, this year I will have 3 children in three different schools, none of which will have a bus.  Shoot me now.  Either that, or send me a personal assistant.  Natalie’s just in preschool, but it’s still another pick-up and drop-off to juggle.  Jocelyn wrote a great post asking her readers for advice on sending her oldest to kindergarten.  I thought to myself, Hey, I should do that.  I have smart readers.  And I need back-to-school advice.

So help me out.  Besides from the obvious step of trying to work out some kind of life-saving carpool schedule, what other advice do you have for me as I enter the new world of juggling 3 children, 3 schools, 3 schedules, 3 calendars, 3 sets of homework, 3 lunches, etc. (not to mention extracurriculars which I still have not registered for out of deep fear)?  Even just typing that all out made me feel like I need chocolate.

Oh, and as long as I’m throwing out my troubles for you to fix, does anyone have any suggestions (other than the obvious ones like solitary confinement and waterboarding*) for sass and backtalking?  I swear we’ve had at least a dozen family home evening lessons on this topic, but from where I’m standing (refer back to paragraph #1), I don’t see much progress.  Besides not getting the kind of respect I deserve/demand, it worries me that the quick contrary responses I’ve been getting might trickle over into other relationships with teachers or other adults.  The idea of raising children that are not the epitome of proper respect makes me feel quite unsettled.

So come on you geniuses, make it all better.  :)

p.s.  If you are ever looking for a fun show for your elementary-aged boys (probably girls, too), mine have been LOVING watching this on Netflix.  I have to admit it’s laugh-out-loud funny.  One disclaimer: in episode #8, the sheep got a glimpse of the farmer’s claymation rear end and were scarred for life.  Even though I probably would not have let them watch that episode if I knew what was coming, boy did my boys laugh hard, and they lay awake in their beds last night laughing about it long after bedtime.

(*For the newer subscribers who are not yet familiar with my blog voice, I am kidding.  I would not under any circumstances use waterboarding, unless it were a matter of family security or I didn’t get enough sleep the night before.  Happy to clarify.)

Negotiating with a terrorist, and other parenting dilemmas.

See this little angel?

She is going to be the death of me.   She was my easiest baby by far.  (Except for nursing.  I’m hoping someday I can forgive her for the multiple cases of mastitis, plus the lack of weight loss that I had so joyfully experienced while nursing my boys.)  She is bright and sassy and social and fun, and has a vocabulary far beyond her four years.  And yet, most days I want to put her on Craig’s List by 10 a.m.   Although “undiagnosed,” I’m pretty sure she has some sensory issues.  Her clothes always “feel funny.”  Her socks and especially her shoes always “bother” her.  Meltdowns ensue.  They involve crying, wailing, shrieking, flopping around on the floor, throwing shoes, and on lucky days like yesterday, a little bit of kicking and pinching.   Not to mention screaming out completely irrational things like, ” I … HATE … MY … NOSE!”  Seriously.  ?!??!

Last summer, I complained about this a little bit and DeNae suggested that I get rid of all her clothes and just buy her some loose summer dresses.  It actually worked pretty well, at least for the summer, and we’ve managed to garner a collection of a few clothing items that she considers to be comfortable and suitable.  This works until they’re all dirty, and then she spends her morning screaming down the stairs at me that “all the clothes in my closet bother me!”.  The shoes and socks situation, however, seems unsolvable.  The meltdown usually “ends” when I just drag her kicking and screaming to the car barefoot with her shoes and socks in tow, ready to begin the battle again at the place of arrival.  At that point, usually the threat of her not being able to go inside (or the threat of being left in the car … a slightly empty threat, I admit) finally convince her to put them on.  This process is a painful 10-minute exercise in on-and-off, on-and-off, open and close the straps, do it again  . . . . whimper, whimper . . . you get the idea.

Shopping for shoes is a nightmare.  Shoes, sandals, flip flops alike are all met with complete disdain and a quick eject button. (I think I’m going to try crocs this summer, but I’m not hopeful.)  Sometimes I just buy the pair that seems the most comfortable to the touch, and then we battle it out for a few months.  The solution is elusive to me.  She has been up to 90 minutes late to preschool before because of it.  I have tried to set up award systems (“If you can be all the way ready and on time to school, then we will go get the stuff to make that necklace you saw in a magazine”),  punishment (“Fine. No gymnastics today because you can’t get ready to go.”), and embarrassment (“Okay, instead of preschool today,  you have to come with me to Clark’s school and sit in the corner of the room barefoot while I do my volunteer work.”).  I have followed through with all of those by the way, except the necklace which she did not earn.  Nothing so far seems to make a difference or even move her toward more success.  By the way, she likes preschool and gymnastics, so I don’t think this is some kind of avoidance feat.

So, wise blog readers, give me your ideas, solutions, sympathy.  I’ll take any of it.

And in addition to all that, I would love to hear your ideas on a related matter:  the balance between “loving instruction” and just forcing them to do what they’re supposed to do.  I give my kids choices all the time: “Do this and get this, or do that and get that.”  I think that’s not forcing them, but helping them understand the relationship between choices and consequences.  However, sometimes I just resort to “You can’t do anything else until this gets done.  Do it!,” and obviously, in Natalie’s case, I sometimes end up literally dragging her to where she needs to be and shoving her shoes on her feet myself.  I’m starting to have concerns about how to fix this now so that I don’t have to deal with the embarrassing mess it would be when my children are big strong teenagers and I’m trying to drag them somewhere or lock them in their rooms until they’re clean … know what I mean?  Real question:  How do you not resort to “forcing” them to do things, and get to the point where they choose it on their own?  I think I mostly get it, but I feel like something’s missing.

My apologies to those of you who come to this blog thinking I’m some kind of parenting expert.  Let’s face it.  I’ve still got a lot to learn.