Sunday, November 12, 2017

A Profound Lesson Learned in Preparing My Daughter's Primary Talk

My 4 year old gave her first talk in primary! Seeing as I've never been in a sharing time since I was 11 years old, I wasn't sure how to go about writing her talk.

The subject: Blessings of the priesthood are available to all.

I asked my sister and she said to make it short and use pictures as their little attention spans make it a bit difficult for them. Aren't older sister's wonderful?! I'm sure glad she gave me that tip, because it worked awesome!

My brain was a fair bit foggy to say the least with a newborn and all, so trying to come up with the words was difficult at first. Then something I heard once popped up in my head - "If you can't explain something in simple terms then you don't know it well enough." As I pondered how to explain the priesthood simply for my little daugher, the words tumbled out easily:

The blessings of the priesthood are available to all. Whether you are young like a baby or old as a grandma. Priesthood is God's power given to worthy men to bless others. Blessings can be given by Dads, home teachers, bishops, or even a family friend. Because of the pristhood we can all be baptized and have eternal families. 

She had it memorized about the third time we went over it!

Sometimes I overcomplicate things which only leads to further anxiety and stress for myself. However, whenever I am able to focus on the essential and bring it into simplicity, I always find peace and ease. The gospel doctrines at it's core are simple and basic, it is us that tend to overcomplicate things with if's why's and how's.

I love teaching my littles, it makes me focus on explaining things in simple terms. Which means I get to know them better myself too.



Heaven's slice is simplicity.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Number 1 Thing I Wish I Did More of Before I Had Children


Of course, there are many things we forgo for a time once pregnant and having infant children to tend to. Things like traveling, eating at fancy restaurants, concerts, overnight hikes, going to a non-cartoon movie in theatres, etc. The list is seemingly quite long when you stop to dwell on things you’re ‘missing out on’ because you have littles in tow.

But when you focus on all that which you have gained in becoming a parent your list becomes far more significant. Your personal gains and outreach to the future holds more esteem than the other list could possibly come close to. As I ponder on all the benefits I have received through becoming a parent there is one huge one that stands out: I’ve gotten to know myself better than I ever have. My strengths and weaknesses have come to a forefront. I have recognized my talents and passions more so now than I ever did before. I’ve found me in motherhood. And I have a strong theory in how this came to be…

It’s been through sacrifice. Giving of myself all day every day to my kids. Caring for their every need and creating the space for them to find out who they uniquely are by instilling sacred family values. It’s been through in fact losing myself in caring for them that has in turn made me find myself. The true me. The wonderful me that I’ve actually become quite fond of.

So what I wish I did more of before I had my children was simply to have served more. To have given more of myself to the needs of others. To have been more informed of the projects and programs that help people at home and abroad and to have put myself in the work. To have made a difference in more people’s lives other than my own. To have put myself last more often. I wasn’t completely selfish before marriage and children, but I was definitely self-involved. I was a lot more consumed with finding out who I was, what I found fun, and what made me happy that I actually lost the ability to truly find that out. If I had just given more of myself I am certain I would have found me so much quicker.

If I could go back and speak to you, my younger childless husbandless self, I would urge you to make more sacrifices in caring for others. I would plead that you be more attentive to others’ needs. Spend more time not just developing talents, but sharing them with others. Let go of self-doubt and throw yourself into the work. Share whatever little means you have, be it time or monetary funds, to truly care for another. It will prove to bring you more to the person you were meant to be, and it will refine you in ways nothing else can.

In simpler terms, I would probably just tell her to strive to be more motherly. After all, isn’t service and sacrifice in loving another what being motherly is all about?




Heaven's slice is sacrificing your life for another's.



Thursday, September 7, 2017

THIS Is Important

I LOVE decluttering. I LOVE simplicity. I LOVE Minimalism.

Bringing our home to be just that, OUR home, has brought such joy in my life. I want a house that keeps our own personal loves and things we actually use. A house that gives us calm, and eases us of outside burdens. Not a high maintenance house that demands attention all the time with cleaning and picking up, but one that we can actually find rest and refuge in.

It excites me as I sort through rooms and closets to find and be rid of unloved and unnecessarry stuff from our home. Through doing these decluttering exercises and fun target goals in getting rid of stuff I am not just discarding what's not important, but I'm revealing to myself and our family what IS important.

"This item. This is important. This should be kept. It should be viewed. It should be used."

My thoughts are rewired to a higher thinking standard in doing these little decluttering sessions. I can more easily think about more important things which ultimately spills over to me spending my time on more important things.

Now. I by no means have it perfectly figured out. I still waste time. Lots. But. I am WAY better than I used to be, and I think a big reason for this improvement has to do with training my brain to frequently make decisions on what things are important to me.

Why does life seem to distract me from what's most important to me? Why does it seem at times too busy and complicated? Well, I think in a large part, at least for me, it's because of all the unnecessary/unloved 'stuff' in our homes. The meaningless clutter that grows and grows... until we start and are continually proactive about being rid of it. It's important that our homes can reflect what matters most. What's actually important for our spiritual and physical well-being and growth.

There is such an awesome talk by Deiter F. Uchtdorft titled 'Of Things That Matter Most' and it sums up what truly is important and the reasons we should be slowing down in our 'busy' so that we can better focus on these things. I love how he closes it:

"Brothers and sisters, indeed we have great reason to rejoice. If life and its rushed pace and many stresses have made it difficult for you to feel like rejoicing, then perhaps now is a good time to refocus on what matters most.
Strength comes not from frantic activity but from being settled on a firm foundation of truth and light. It comes from placing our attention and efforts on the basics of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. It comes from paying attention to the divine things that matter most.
Let us simplify our lives a little. Let us make the changes necessary to refocus our lives on the sublime beauty of the simple, humble path of Christian discipleship—the path that leads always toward a life of meaning, gladness, and peace. For this I pray, as I leave you my blessing, in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen." - Dieter F. Uchtdorf


Heaven's slice is deciding what's important and what is not.



Sunday, July 9, 2017

I've Become My Own Pet Peeve


As I may have mentioned before, I've been a lover of blogs and stalked oh so many people's blogs throughout my adulthood.

I love finding new blogs of people I know, or kind of know through mutual friends' blog sidelinks. I used to keep up with them and scroll through their posts so often. In fact, it was so often that I started to feel entitled to a new 'weekly' blog post by these half strangers.

And when they all of a sudden just stopped publishing posts? I was irritated. I mean, how dare they be on such a regular schedule and then just fall off the map for those random strange people that were throwing them so many page views?

It was my pet peeve.

And I feel like I've become my own pet peeve with Heaven's Slice.

No, I don't owe anyone anything. But, Heaven's Slice used to be posted on regularly and now has kind of been put on my back burner.

Why?

Because I've been focusing on other writing ventures. So really, I'm justifying it, because I still am very much exploring and sharing my writing talent with others... It's just been through other platforms.

So I'm forgiving myself with Heaven's Slice for being MIA. And. You should forgive me too, randomn fellow blog stalker strangers who keep checking back to see if I have any new posts on here.

Don't give up on me. But do, if you wish, check out my freelance work HERE and my other blog venture HERE if you are missing me.

Much love.



Heaven's Slice is checking in with an old friend who judges not that you've been away.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Deciding on Best

Well I did it - I burnt myself out.

Not completely. But close. I've been so good at keeping an 'un-busy' life that I took it for granted and let my guard down. I'm not the kind of person that over schedules or signs up for unnecessary things. I kind of thought that sort of thing just came naturally to me, no maintenance needed.

I was wrong.

I let my guard down, and let too many things in. Granted, my pregnancy with baby #3 kind of squoze out the space energy I thought I had to take the time for other pursuits. There were also a lot of pesky time sucking nuisances such as slow freezing daily house wifi to deal with...

I've become pretty ambitious with quite a few things it seems like this year, not the least of which was a new site (blog). Which I LOVE mind you. BUT, it most certainly isn't my everything. Nor should it ever be. My mind kind of got consumed and due to some other things I embarked on as well, I got stressed.

But isn't everybody stressed and busy? What is this post even about? Am I supposed to feel sorry for you or something?

(Just thought I'd throw this in there in case you were thinking it)

In reply to your remark, no. My usual is unstressed and unbusy (you'd think I had better wording for that...). I take my mental health far more seriously than my physical health, and I keep anxiety, stress, and depression far at bay because of this pro activeness. Of course those sort of things can't always be helped, but it has worked for me for the most part.

The trick? Deciding on best.

I forgot my New Years Resolution word, and as I flipped through my journal for a blank page I stumbled upon it.

BEST

The year of best. Best use of my time and energies. I so needed this swift reminder. There are so many good things, then some are better, but only few are best. Only few are necessary. It caused me to re shift my priorities and work-through eliminating any guilt from letting others down. It's important to not let others down. I know. But sometimes you have to carefully decide who to let down.

For me, if it's a choice between letting my family down or another, I MUST choose the 'another.' Family is the best choice. These 4 are the best choice. And by #4 I don't mean me, I mean the baby in my belly. I couldn't be more excited to have a third baby in arms! Babies just put everything into perspective, because they are the best.


So anyways that's my little story, and why perhaps heaven's slice has slipped off the radar for a time. I was deciding on best. Not to say I didn' or don't have many many heaven's slice posts in my head, but my time is limited and I must choose more wisely where I spend it.

It's not to say I won't mess up, but I'm hoping to keep up with choosing best. My deciding factor when it comes to time consumption is this:

If I don't love or enjoy doing it and/or it doesn't benefit another for good, then it's a waste of my time. 


Also, in case you didn't know - My thoughts come a great deal from this most amazing and important talk that you must read, watch, or listen to. 

GOOD, BETTER, BEST - Dallin H. Oaks 



Heaven's slice is trying to embrace time instead of wasting it.



Sunday, March 26, 2017

Feeling Awkward and Uncomfortable at Church and Church Activities



This has been something I've been pondering lately and I feel the tug to share of my own thoughts and experiences on it. I've read a few blog posts out there about those who feel uncomfortable at church. Like they don't fit into the "cookie cutter mormon woman" mold. Of course it's always an uplifting read because at the end they start to relay their own personal journey and testimony of the church and what keeps them there. I love it when people share their stories.

This is my post following this theme of feeling like a misfit at church and church functions.

Fact is, with many of these blog posts with their cookie-cutter description of the Mormon woman - happily married wife of multiple children - looks a lot like me. I don't really have any physical appearances that stand out from the "Mormon norm."

But,

I often feel and have felt like a misfit at church. I also share feelings of awkwardness, like I don't fit in. There have been times in my life that I've gone months sitting alone on a church bench every Sunday. There have been many church activities I've attended where I feel awkward, even uncomfortable socially. Like my personality and likes vary to a great degree to others around me. That I don't quite "fit in" with others at church.

So why do I go?

I go simply because I know that is where I belong. I feel so strongly that it is where I need to be and should be that it outweighs any sort of uncomfortable "mis-fit" feelings I encounter 10 fold. I know that the gospel of my church is true. This is precisely why I go. Always have. Always will.

And, I'm not naive enough to think I'm the only one who feels this way. If I appear to be part of of the "cookie-cutter" connotation yet feel like a misfit often, I am certain there are many others who may appear to me that they fit in, yet also have struggles of feeling like the odd ball at church too.

We are all so different. Our personalities. Our talents. Our passions. It's going to cause us to feel different a lot of the time. But just because we may feel different, uncomfortable or awkward at church by no way means that you don't belong. It's our differences that cause us all to need each other, to appreciate each other.

All of us struggle with different vices. All of us have our own specific struggles and short-comings. We all share this regardless of what our outward appearances look like.

Dare I say, we are all misfits at church. So feel free to join because the only thing that matters is that we are children of the most high. Everyone of us on this earth.



Heaven's slice is knowing why you belong at church.



Sunday, March 5, 2017

Being Financially Responsible With Tithing Money



Once upon a time I was in a church calling as a 1st Councillor in Young Womens. We were trying to decide what to get each young woman as a special birthday gift. Each calling has a set budget, money wich comes from tithing. (10% of income members of the church voluntarily contribute to the church - read more here). As we were excitedly shuffling through these fancy and frilly ideas the Young Women President who had not yet contributed to the conversation very humbly and wisely started to speak about how we needed to consider the widows mite. That the money we were using someone may have financially forgone many wants perhaps needs in order to give that money to the church. Giving in faith that not only they would be blessed, but the church would benefit. There was a humbling hush that came over the rest of us. It rested greatly on my shoulders. This money was to contribute to the Young Womens program, a program which enables young women to gain their own testimony in order for them to access future temple blessings. To help them see themselves as who they truly are - as daughters of God. It's nice to have beautiful decorations and fun adventurous memories. But from a financial and spiritual standpoint, to what cost were they of worth? Did they fill the NEED? After that experience I've since had a strong grasp as to how and what I spend money on for church callings. Because I think about that person or family who saved and scrimped so that they could pay a proper tithing in building up the church. 

There is a most wonderful talk that explains it perfectly and incredible called The Widow's Mite by Gordon B. Hinckley in a talk he gave to BYU students (BYU being partially funded a great deal by tithing). 

He talks about a cheque he recieved from a widow for a large sum of money that she sacrificed greatly to give to the church and how the students needed to put that money to good use in this their education at BYU. 

You need to either read or listen to the whole thing, because it is absolutely wonderful! A must read for all church members, but especially those within callings that use tithing funds.

I remember a friend asked me about why members took turns cleaning the church. It was a casual conversation and I embarassingly gave out a sarcasticly funny remark about getting gold stars that get you into heaven. I can be a little imature sometimes, but I think I said after it's a good act of service or something. I wish I had relayed a portion of this quote though that was in the talk The Widow's Mite:

"The widow who brought to me her offering, which has become a portion of the funding of this university, would expect you to save, protect, and do all you can to preserve these remarkable facilities that have cost so much."

We need to clean and take care of our buildings and respect our church buildings as members precisely because of the tithing it took and sacrifices made for us to enjoy the building. It's a matter of gratitude and respect. 

Tithing is incredible and it has blessed our family so much in being able to give that 10%. It is a commandment with so many blessings (including financial) that come from the giver. But I would dare to say another part of paying tithing is to use that money responsibly and spiritually wise when we are alotted areas in which to spend money for the church's benefit. 



Heavenslice is using tithing money the way God intends it to be used.