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Monday, November 17, 2014

A Tale of Two Preparations

Dear Readers,

I have recently been in touch with a Primary President and a Young Women's President.  The former planning a Primary Program and the latter planning a Young Women's in Excellence Night.  I'd like to talk about how they both prepared, because it was VERY different.

One thing that was the same was that they both did start planning well in advance of the date of the event.  That was good on both of their parts as these are major events that shouldn't be planned at the last minute.  However, that was about the only thing done the same.

Let's start with the Primary President.  She started with prayer.  As she had never been in charge of a Primary Program before, she reached out to those who had.  First, she asked heavenward for the Spirit (I repeat she relied on prayer.)  Then she asked for advice, tips, and tricks from former Primary leaders and asked them to pray for her as well.  She did a lot more things of course, writing the program parts, and scheduling practices, making seating charts, etc. etc. etc.  In summary, every time I spoke to her as she was preparing, PRAYERS for the Program, prayers for the success of the Program, prayers for help in the preparation for the program, prayers for the children, etc, was discussed.

Let's turn to the YW President.  She started by turning to Pinterest for a good idea, which she found!  A full program that someone else put together, no thinking required!  It had everything already thought out.  All one needed was a printer (for all of the cute graphics!)  In every instance where I touched base with the YW President, Pinterest was discussed and how great it was that no work was needed.  The Pinterest idea said to decorate with burlap, so burlap decorations it was!  The Pinterest idea even gave ideas for the refreshments, and so they were followed exactly!  The program, and posters for the walls, invitations for the girls, and even a skit script were all provided....and used exactly!  There was no talk of prayer of how to adapt it to the needs of her specific Young Women.  More time was spent on implementing the Pinterest idea than in helping the Young Women have Personal Progress projects to present that night.  But they did complemented on those cookies!

And so these last few months, it has been an interesting juxtaposition for myself to see these two events unfold (in different wards, bytheway).  I didn't get to see both in person, so I can't give an even steven comparison.  I can't say that the Spirit wasn't at the Young Women in Excellence Night just because Pinterest was used over prayer.  I can't say that the Primary Program was better.

I can make guesses though :)  I did receive a great report on the Primary Program and the Spirit that was felt by those present.  I know that the children were taught that they helped others to feel the Spirit through their sharing of spoken word and singing.  It sounds like the focus remained spiritual for all.  No one reported to me about the Spirit at Excellence Night.  Most of the chatter I heard was about the cookies...even the stake leaders were raving about how cute they were***.  That's what I heard about.  I heard that girls didn't have their parts memorized to say The Living Christ like had been planned.  Maybe if less time was spent on copying a Pinterest idea and spent on helping girls memorize The Living Christ, a more meaningful experience may have been had.  It sounds like the focus was on cute and Pin-worthy items.

I don't make memes, but if I did it'd say......"Use prayer, not Pinterest.

I believe in prayer.  I believe in revelation.  I believe the Savior will tell us how He wants HIS Church administered and I'm not sure it has anything to do with cookies.

Prayerfully,
Lindsay

***I just did an internet search for "Excellence Night cookies" because I wanted to make sure that I wasn't embarrassing the lady who originally put her ideas on the internet.  I found that apparently Excellence Night cookies are a big deal because I didn't even see the ones that had been copied.  Same with searching under burlap, so I'm safe.  My intent is not to embarrass or put down the original idea, because it may have been put together under prayer for that specific Young Women's group.  I don't know.

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Sweetness of Singing to Sleep

Dear Sister,

I just emerged from singing Son to sleep.  It is not the usual way he goes down for a nap.  Usually we plan our outings so that he falls asleep in the car on the way home from the morning errands.  And if there are no morning errands then sometimes it's just time to "go in the car" and we go on a delightful drive to the lake and back. Thankfully I live 1 mile from the lake and my son falls asleep really fast in the car.

Today I deemed it too cold to go in the car.  I didn't think the heater would kick in during our short drive, and I do happen to still be wearing pajamas.  So in we went to the rocking chair to try to make a success the ritual that Daughter and I loved when she was younger.  I sang her to sleep everyday for years.  Son has been resistant to the practice.

I snuggled him and I sang and I sang songs that were found in the Primary Children's Songbook.  Truthfully, I enjoy the free vocal practice time, and singing all of the verses to a song really helps to embed the words in my memory.  But most of all, I love that I am pouring the doctrine of Christ into his little brain to just sit and simmer until the Holy Ghost will call it back to his remembrance today.  Think of all of those seeds that will come to fruition.  I think it's so interesting that I'll be planning to sing a certain song next, but then a different one will just pop out instead.  I wonder if I'm being led to sing what he needs to hear.  There are so many good songs to rotate through.  I'd say I usually sing about 15 minutes.

These are the songs that I sang today:
I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus (pg. 78)
Love One Another (pg. 136)
Keep the Commandments (rusty second verse! note to self...please look it up) (pg. 146)
I Am A Child of God (pg. 2)
I Lived in Heaven (pg. 4)
I Know my Father Lives (pg. 5)
Search, Ponder, and Pray (also botched a line in the second verse...note to self) (pg. 109)
Seek the Lord Early (pg. 108)

I feel like I'm forgetting one, but oh well.  I've forgotten the sweetness of singing to sleep a child with the Primary songs.  Husband always does bedtime and I know he sings some, but I've been missing out!  I think now that it's colder that Son will be more receptive to snuggling before nap time, because he loved being wrapped up in the blanket today.  I think he was cold.

Do you sing Primary songs to your little one?  Hope all is well.  The 50% off sale is this week.  I re-looked it up.  And pinch some cheeks for me!

Love,
Lindsay

P.S. And you owe me money? :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A Sandy Story

Dear Readers,

Ack.  3 months......  I was counseled 3 months ago via priesthood blessing to write on this blog, but my how time has flown.  I shall do my best to start.  Material isn't the issue.  Time to write a blog post that meets the Lindsay standard is the issue.  Either time to make more time (anyone have a good recipe ;) ) or time to lower the Lindsay standard.

Today as I drove to the temple I passed a car accident.  The way the car was positioned, the emergency vehicles were positioned, the glass on the road was positioned, etc.  I remembered another car accident that I drove past last year.

It was summer.  It was hot.  It was night.  A lady that I visit taught at that time was alone.  Her husband was deployed overseas and she missed adult conversation.  She had 5 kids that she homeschooled so she was NEVER alone, alone (except when I babysat them so she could grocery shop in peace!)  So one night, we scheduled a talk date to fulfill this need of adult conversation.  I went over after she put her kids to bed and then stayed very late!  We talked, and talked, and talked, and I yawned and yawned and yawned, because I was staying much later than my bedtime.  I think I left at 10:30pm, ok you can start laughing, that's not late to some people I know, but it was to me at that time.  I was starting to drive home when a little voice told me to drive another way home, because it might be "faster".  I wasn't really sure it was faster, but I knew my husband was waiting up for me, and hey why not....I might learn something new.  Who wouldn't want to shorten a 25 minute drive that I was making regularly to help this sister?

I started to drive the alternate way home and decided I was sure it probably wasn't faster.  I got mad at myself for listening to this little voice because it had made me slower when I was trying to be faster!  I turned onto the beach highway noticing how sandy the intersection was.  It wasn't uncommon for sand to blow on the highway.  The beach bordered the highway and so when sea breezes pushed the sand inland the highway was the first place to go.  Still tonight this intersection seemed to have a lot more than usual and I carefully made the turn.  As I completed my left turn onto the highway I saw there was an accident.  A car had lost control and veered off the road.

It only took a few seconds to put it all together in my mind.  The Holy Ghost had warned me.  He had prompted me to drive the other way home.  Driving my original route would have put me on the beach highway sooner and I would have sped through that intersection at 50 mph not knowing that there was more sand on the road than I had seen before.  I could have veered off the road myself or been present when the other car had.  In my "haste" I might have made a perilous decision which definitely would NOT have been faster if I had an accident.  How grateful I am for the GIFT of the Holy Ghost (great video here).  I am blessed.

I had a lovely time at the temple today.  I am grateful for my blessings.  I am grateful for the remembrance of my blessings and pray that I can make time to write them here.

Hope all is well,
Lindsay

P.S. What rusty writing!