Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Classes Day 3 & hopefully a better me:)

At this point I am very glad that I only attended part of this week. 
I figure that the improvements I need to make will take me until I am 112! 
I can remember when I was 14 and had looked ahead to the year 2000. 
I would be 30.
I naively thought that all of my character flaws and personality quirks would be sorted out by that point. 
I repeat...I was so very naive!

Day 3 of Classes at BYU-my notes

Creating Harmony at Work & Home

Today 90% of men and 70% of women are in the workforce.
Work has become more pervasive in our lives as we have moved to a global market place.
ANYTHING outside the home will affect the home.

More than half of all families report and work/family conflict.
This creates a "Spillover" effect of Emotions, Energy & Time.

*Emotions: The professor interviewed children who talked about knowing how they would be treated when their parents came home from work just by the way the door knob was turned. One boy would run and hide in the bathroom for about an hour waiting for his Mom to decompress. What emotions do we bring home?

*Energy: The positive or negative energy from a day at the work place often dictates the type of positive or negative energy that flows through a home in the evening. I personally remember a close friend's mom who just laid on the couch everyday after work till bedtime because she had no energy left for her family.

*Time: People who have some flexibility in their jobs have the least work/family conflict. Of course not many of us have such a luxury but companies are starting to realize that happy homes produce more productive employees. 

Fun Fact: IBM found that their best managers were mothers of teenage children! Who better to handle conflict:) Almost nothing scares me anymore...I survived 4 teenagers:)

Priorities and Time
do not equal each other!

If your priorities are out of order you loose the 
very power you seek. 
1. Our first priority of God. Your own spiritual well being is a catalyst for a happy life. Consistency is key (prayer, reading scriptures, etc.)
2. Our second priority if our companion (spouse)
We need to spend enough time with them and TREAT them as our second priority. Tell them how much you love them everyday. Date each other...if you can afford the gas-go as far away from the children as possible:) 
3. Our third priority is our children. We need to urge and advise with tenderness. Have monthly chats with each child, set goals for each of you... example:daughter will stop whining, daddy will read a story everyday. Go on individual "dates" with your children.
 It will change everything if you really get to know your children!
4. Church service is next but don't neglect your family in the process of serving.
5. Jobs are a priority-it is hard to be spiritual when you are out of work. Adam was commanded to work! The kids used to get so mad when I would give their friends chores at our house...hey I just treated everyone like my kids:)
6 Civic responsibility is a priority-be involved, make a positive difference. My children tease me about running for mayor someday in our little hometown. Luckily I live outside the city limits:)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Day much to do!

One of the challenges of attending inspirational and motivational classes is NOT getting overwhelmed with all the things you want to change in your life! I did remarkably well considering I have a list as long as I am tall just from the first day:)
 Here is Day 2 at BYU education week and these are my notes.
Day 2
Using Our Unique Spiritual Gifts

*We are children of God and as such do we have private spiritual experiences?
*Do we identify those experiences as a manifestation of his love for us?
*Answers from prayers are NOT just when things happen, they also come as feelings, inspiration, peace, or warnings.
*Do we trust Him?

*We are spiritually mature when we are more interested in his answers than ours. Scale of 1-10 how spiritually mature and I according to this definition?      Not telling:)

In the Old Testament Numbers 21 we learn about the whiny children of Israel. They were ungrateful for the manna and so the Lord sent fiery serpents among them. When they saw that they were dying from serpent bites they went Moses and requested that he ask the Lord to take them away. The Lord had Moses put a serpent on a pole and if they would look at the serpent after being bitten they would live. The people kept dying because they would NOT look!

Not willing to look at what the Lord does to help us because it is too simple or doesn't seem to make sense?
Trust in Him.

The Anatomy of High Trust Relationships:
Candid Communication

"To be trusted is a greater compliment than to be loved"
                                             David O. McKay
We all know people that we love but don't trust!

Life without trust is like a car without oil. We actually burned up a car engine because we had an oil leak and tried to drive it to the repair seized...not good!

To Build Trust there must be 1 to 1 interaction that is:
*Low Risk
The professor gave this example... "I play Candy Land with my little girl today so I can talk about boyfriends in years to come."

How to have high trust?
"The Core 4"
1. Compassion-having the best interest of the person in mind
2. Open-feeling safe to share information
3. Reliable-being predictable in our actions, someone to be counted on.
4. Expert- We wouldn't want a plumber stitching us up! I didn't really want my hubby/doc doing my tiling either! I said to him "Wouldn't it be easier to just work more shifts and pay someone to do this?" Translation-I don't trust you to tile my floor!

Candid Communication
We tend to think that when we have good intentions we can't be part of the problem. guilty:)

It is better to be like the apostles. When Jesus told them at the 
last supper that one of them would betray him they said
 "Lord is it I?" 
This should take quite a few years for most of us to master:)

We need to admit mistakes. This probably works better is we admit our own!

 An interesting study found that higher performing(successful) families reported more mistakes. 
The key word is REPORTED. Admitted, came clean, ate humble pie...get it?

The reward for eating such pie...Openness, honesty and TRUST!

My self improvement list just got a great deal longer...sigh.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


My grandmother Nellie always shared whatever she, vegetables, hand crochet, meals, inspiration, and love. 

This week I am being inspired...may I share with you what I am learning?

Once a year BYU opens it's doors to the public for education week.
I have always wanted to attend but alas our school has always 
started that week and I never wanted to miss the first day of school with the kids.

Empty nest perk number week here I come! 

This is the face I really came to see:)

My girls joined me in classes this week

It is so hard to choose classes! 
These are some that I did not choose for various reasons:)

*Entitlement and How It Snares our Kids 
  (We sent our kids to a college with this motto "Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve" :)

*Square Foot Gardening
(my strawberries & bell peppers already died)

*Developing Strength to overcome Life's Challenges
  (I simply eat chocolate)

*Legal Ethics in Business Transactions
(my dad taught us that taking so much as a pencil from work was stealing)

*Ending Carbohydrate cravings 
(I am on vacation and didn't want to hear this now)

*Making the Old testament come Alive
 (I woke up at 5:30 for a whole year to learn this in Seminary)

*How all Addictions "Hijack" the Brain
(I am happy with my chocolate hijacker!)

*Marriage-Building Love that Lasts 
(29 years and I still believe in the phrase for better or for worse)

From Family to Business, Retirement Finances to Christians in Egypt,
this is a wonderful week of learning.

The following are the notes from the classes I did attend.
These are my notes on the first class. 
I will continue to add to this post as the days go by--a series of sorts.

Day 1

Influencing a Change of Heart 
without the Use of Criticism(especially in marriage)

People don't change people! People change themselves or are changed by the Holy Spirit.

Criticism is more likely to kill the desire for change than to inspire it.

Ask yourself when thinking of faults in your spouse...
Did he get everything he wanted in me? (ouch!)

We are modeling marriage to our children and therefore our grandchildren. 

Before we make a comment, STOP and ask..
How will this make my spouse feel?

Humility trumps communication skills!

We need to have a triangle of love;
Love of Christ
Love from Christ
Love like Christ

God's love produces growth and change, and loving our
 spouse in that way produces growth and change in them:)

And that is the miracle we are all hoping for...
p.s. they are hoping the same thing in us:)

The Art of Under-Reacting!

I sent my hubby this picture with a text "Going to this class is like me giving you flowers!"
I love the movie "Father of the Bride" where the father (Steve Martin) is explaining to his daughter that she comes from a family of "over-reactors." I have a bit of that family history:)
 I took a great deal of comfort to see that this class was full! 
Here are my notes...

Who would you be without your problems?

Ask yourself WHEN and WHY do you FREAK OUT?
Usually it is a result of worry, panic, the need to blame.

Reasons we FREAK OUT...
We are already stressed out
It is a veiled form of showing concern
We want to demonstrate seriousness
We have an addiction to drama

The solution...the three A's

1. ASK
What can I really control?
Is stressing really helping?
What is the worse that can happen if I let go?
What message am I sending by reacting this way?
Am I acting out of fear?

Do I take active or passive action?
If passive then I am only to monitor the situation, if active then take APPROPRIATE action.

3. ACT
Remove yourself, untangle yourself
Expect the best
Change it-lead with love. 
You may not be able to fix the problem, 
but you may find a way to help something surrounding the problem.
Give it away-ask the Savior to be your partner.

Under-reacting gives you more peace, leads to more faith, and opens yourself to miracles to solve the problems.

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can......

Seeking harmony
Finding Peace in a Busy Life

Life is a symphony and you are the composer, orchestrator, director, and performer.

Creating personal energy is part of finding peace.
*Physically taking care of yourself
*Social activity
*Energy creating thoughts-positive
*Spiritual renewal-top priority

Don't get bitten by A.N.T.S.
Automatic Negative ThoughtS

Your thoughts with focus and prayer CAN BE KEPT UNDER CONTROL!

Things to increase our energy
*There is power in apologies-especially in marriage
*Novel experiences create energy and slow time down
I have been with my grandbaby all week and she has so much energy because life is so new and interesting to her!
*Spiritual experiences
*Using your gifts to bless others
*Organizing your life into Must, Should, Nice to do, Can be done anytime

Seek for quality time in the crossroads of the day--meal times, bedtime, going and coming from the home.

Bundling is a wonderful concept of doing 2 things in Harmony such as taking a walk with your spouse
(exercise AND bonding time.
(This should not be confused with my extreme multi tasking-doing 15 things at once and feeling fragmented and stressed!

Do less
*Voluntary simplicity
*Reduce activities okay...laundry, cooking, grocery shopping, pulling weeds...:)
*Let go of material things (I love making a goodwill run-it feels so good!)
*Outsource  I am always in the market for a pool and yard guy--hubby is not:(
*Focus on priorities
*Learn how to say no kindly

I have MUCH to do to organize, simplify, and focus on priorities to find peace in my busy life!... Isn't that ironic:)