CK over at Made By Bedtime Tales has really gone the extra mile recently ...both as a mother and a friend!
She has created worksheets to accompany the Family Proclamation ABCs that I have been doing with my kids this year! Her creations are a perfect way to teach your children the truths found in the Family Proclamation!
And, better yet, Carrie has made them available for YOU to download for free!!
"Building a Relationship With our Heavenly Father"
January 28 I had a stroke of inspiration - to write out my “Game Plan” for 2011. So what, if my new year’s resolutions were almost a month late? At the top of my game plan I wrote as my number one priority: “Build my relationship with Heavenly Father”. Now, a couple of months into this game plan, I realize that the wording for my first priority was truly inspired. To build a relationship with God is so much more meaningful than to simply accomplish “daily scripture study and prayer.” Here are a few things I've considered this month that we do to build our relationships with friends and family that we can also apply to our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Special Dates: Isn’t it nice when a friend remembers your birthday, anniversary, or another important date in your life? God wants us to remember the Sabbath. The Sabbath is a very important day to Him and it commemorates the day He finished building our earth. We demonstrate our love and commitment to our relationship with Him, when we remember to keep this day holy, as He asks. Quality Time: Just like we try to makequalitytime a priority with our children and significant others, we also need to make some room for quality time with God. Turn off the TV (or computer) and spend some quality time pondering the scriptures or listening to the Spirit. Just as my relationship with a friend grows as I learn more about her life (how she grew up and what her ambitions are) we can learn about God and His character in the scriptures. Journals: I have a special journal that is exclusively dedicated to recording special experiences I share with my husband (memories from our first date, engagement, random adventures). We can build our relationship with Heavenly Father by writing down special experiences, miracles or divine impressions we see in our lives. These special and sacred memories can carry us through future trials so that we move closer to God (rather than further away from Him) when our faith is tested. Talking: Doesn’t it feel good to get off the phone with an old friend after you have just reconnected and reminisced about good times? Doesn’t it feel good when a friend is willing to truly listen, understand and support you during a difficult time? Praying to God can also provide us a two-way conversation with the One who is willing to be our best friend and confidant. God will always listen to us and, if we are quiet and open up to Him, He will give us impressions of love and guidance for our own lives. Letter Writing: I had a wise teacher once tell me that if I ever needed to vent some hard feelings, I could always write a letter to God. Our Heavenly Father is a very safe friend to trust, even with our most difficult feelings. We can also recount our blessings and write thank you notes (Thank you Jocelyn for all our lessons in letter writing!) addressed to our Heavenly Father. Service: All day long I serve my kids! I change their diapers, I listen to them when they’re sad, I read them stories, etc., etc., etc.! I serve them because I love them and my love grows when I serve them; it’s a beautiful cycle. Service is the key to deep love for another person. The Lord tells us that when we are in the service of a fellow person (a friend or enemy), we are in he service of Him (Mosiah 2:17). Also, serving others will help us get to know what Christ was like in life and subsequently bring us closer to God. Apologies: I have learned that just as I should pay attention to ways in which I buildmy relationship with God, I should also be aware of ways that I might damage that relationship as well. There have been plenty of times in my life where I have noticed strain or tension enter into my relationship with my husband. One of the best ways to remedy that tension is to re-examine my own actions and see if there is anything I’ve done to offend him. We should do the same in our relationship with God. If we ever feel distant from God, it’s always a good idea to humble ourselves and re-examine our actions to see if we have offended a spirit brother or sister (or ourselves) with our actions/words. Thank goodness for the Atonement of Christ which allows us all to receive mercy and forgiveness for our offenses! One more thing, Respect: Treating God with respect is certainly one of the most important ways you can build your relationship with Him. Think about this: Which approach is most effective for your son getting what he wants? Option 1) Your son comes up to you and asks, “Mom, will you help me get my bike out of the garage?” Option 2) Whine, whine, whine “Mommmmmmmmm, I’m Borrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrred!!!!” whine, whine, whine. Can you guess the answer? God has given us specific language in which to address Him and talk about Him. Showing respect will help you build a relationship with Him. Oh! And another thing! Expressions of Gratitude and Love: Just as we like to hear “thank you” for our efforts to help others and “I love you” from those we care about, God wants to hear these words, too. Count your many blessings, sing a hymn and let the Lord know you love Him. Humility and gratitude will bring you closer to Him as a child of a loving Heavenly Father. These things make sense to me and I am super glad I wrote “Build a relationship with God” at the top of my 2011 game plan. Building a relationship with God will ultimately help us develop positive relationships with our families and bring us closer to Christ, our most loving spirit brother.
In what ways do you employ relationship-building tactics to come closer to your family and our Heavenly Father?
"I testify to you this day that the time will come when every man, woman, and child will look into the Savior's loving eyes. On that day, we will know with a surety the worth of our decision to straightway follow Him."
--Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Follow Me", Ensign, May 2002