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Look carefully...at the seemingly small moments...in the constant shaping of souls.- Neal A.Maxwell
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Choosing

“I want you, our children, to know this truth: You need not be either rich or hold high position to be completely successful and truly happy. In fact, if these things come to you, and they may, true success must be achieved in spite of them, not because of them.

“It is remarkably difficult to teach this truth. If one who is not well known, and not well compensated, claims that he has learned for himself that neither fame nor fortune are essential to success, we tend to reject his statement as self-serving. What else could he say and not count himself a failure? If someone who has possession of fame or fortune asserts that neither matters to success or happiness, we suspect that his expression is also self-serving, even patronizing.  Therefore, we will not accept as reliable authorities either those who have fame and fortune, or those who have not. We question that either can be an objective witness.

“That leaves only one course open to us: trial and error—to learn for oneself, by experience, about prominence and wealth or their opposites.

“We thereafter struggle through life, perhaps missing both fame and fortune, to finally learn one day that one can, indeed, succeed without possessing either. Or we may, one day, have both and learn that neither has made us happy; neither is basic to the recipe for true success and for complete happiness…

 

“Position and wealth are no more essential to true happiness in mortality than their absence can prevent you from achieving it…

 

“…the choice of life is not between fame and obscurity, nor is the choice between wealth and poverty. The choice is between good and evil, and that is a very different matter indeed.

“When we finally understand this lesson, thereafter our happiness will not be determined by material things. We may be happy without them or successful in spite of them.

“Wealth and prominence do not always come from having earned them. Our worth is not measured by renown or by what we own. . . .

“Our lives are made up of thousands of everyday choices. Over the years these little choices will be bundled together and show clearly what we value. “The crucial test of life, I repeat, does not center in the choice between fame and obscurity, nor between wealth and poverty. The greatest decision of life is between good and evil”  ( The Choice , Elder Boyd K. Packer, http://www.lds.org/ensign/1980/11/the-choice?lang=eng)

 

I ran across this article recently and have read it and re-read it. 

 

In my 14-year old’s (C’s) health class the teacher asked the students if they though Facebook made kids meaner.  According to C about 25 kids said that yes Facebook did make kids meaner while about 5 said that it did not.  The two groups debated back and forth and then my son said, “My parents have always taught me that my brothers can’t make me mad, they may do irritating things but I choose to be mad.  If kids are mean it is because they are choosing to be mean, not because Facebook is making them meaner.”  C said about 10 more kids joined his side after that statement.

 

Currently J, my soon-to-be 19 year-old, and I are having what I am told is the classic apron-string-cutting tug-of-war.  We both are working toward his complete independence – at times we just go about it differently.

 

My husband teaches and early morning seminary class to High School Juniors and Seniors.  The other day he told me one of his students was late because he had stayed up until midnight doing laundry because he did not have any clean clothes.  Of interest to me because I stopped doing laundry for J this summer, after he graduated from High School.  I called the mom and asked how long her son had been doing his own laundry.  She said that both her older boys started doing their laundry when they started high school.  I called another mom and asked if her high school aged son did his own laundry.  She said that she started having him do his own laundry the day he said, “Mom I need this shirt clean by tomorrow.”  I called a third mom and asked if her high school son and daughter did their own laundry.  She said that her kids did not do anything.  I laughed.  She said that she was serious – that they do not even get up in the morning until she goes in their room a number of times to get them going. Each of the moms I talk to love/value their children – it is in the description of what their “job” as mother is that defines their expectation from the children.

 

“Our lives are made up of thousands of everyday choices. Over the years these little choices will be bundled together and show clearly what we value.”  Remembering what I ultimately value will be a good guide in defining my next “tug”.

H-F-E

Happy:  Each time I go outside today I hear the drip-drip of snow melting and I can literally hear the ground soaking up the water.

Funny:  While out walking I stopped by my husband's office.  He asked if I would stop by the post-office and mail a letter.  Neither of us had any change for postage.  I checked his glove-box, nothing.  As I was leaving I noticed the penny gumball machine he keeps on his counter.  I asked if there was change in there.  Jack-pot :)

Exasperating:  Trying to make plans during cold and flu season! 

"Racers to their mark..." and be sure to make the most of the ride

pinewood derby.jpg

My boss, many years ago, was the Vice-President of Finances.  I was a Junior Executive over one small aspect of finances.  If the phone rang when I was in his office he would not answer it.  He said that who ever was calling could leave a message or call back.

The girl I sat next to in my Psych 101 class and I would chat each morning before class started.  One morning she asked about an event that I had attended over the weekend.  I was surprised and asked how she knew about the event.  She responded that I had told her about it a few weeks prior.  She could tell it was important to me and wanted to follow up.

I was a new mother in a new apartment in a new state.  A woman from church stopped by to visit.  I apologized for the apartment explaining that it was so much smaller than our old place and I had yet to find a place to store some things.  I enjoyed our visit but appreciated even more the call I recieved from that woman the next day.  She had space in her attic and was wondering if I wanted to store some things there.

I was a young girl (four maybe) when my parents woke me up to show me a mouse that had somehow gotten into an empty garbage can.  My parents thought I would enjoy seeing it.

My life is filled with examples of busy people making the moment matter. 

Yesterday morning I was hurrying about - I little grouchy I must confess.  My 14-year old asked what was wrong.  I told him I had so much to do and not a lot of time to get it done.  He said the family prayer that morning.  In the prayer he asked that I be able to accomplish everything I needed to and to withoug feeling stressed.  After the prayer he told me to not worry about attending the final performance of his school play that afternoon.  I told him that of all things I needed to do that was one thing I wanted to do.  He gave me a huge smile and said, "Thanks mom."  When I saw how important it was to him that I attend I was touched with his offer for me to miss the play.

Tomorrow night is my 10 year old's Blue and Gold banquet for Scouts.  I am assigned to chair a School Board appointed committee meeting at the same time.  My 10 year old's troop has spent HOURS painting murals and creating cut-outs to decorate for the dinner.  I asked the School Superintendant if we could push the meeting back a little.  He offered to take the committee on a tour of the construction-so--far of the new high school to buy me some time.  A very kind offer from a very busy man.  I told 10 year old the plan.  He asked if I wouldn't like to see the construction.  I told him of course I would but not as much as I wanted to be at his dinner.  The Superintendant should have seen the big hug and huge smile his assistance generated.

I'll give you a clue

“Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. … It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition has gone, pride has gone.” (C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

I was reading an article "Beware of Pride" (Pres. Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, April 1989) to the family that contained this quote.  My 10-year old said, "That doesn't apply to me - except where my brothers are concerned."  That humored the rest of us because it is so true.  J is 18, C is 14 and yet 10-year old B feels compelled to compete against them.  Today I was teaching a break-out math group for B's class.  I gave them a logic problem to work on.  After a few minutes I asked if they wanted a hint.  B's first question: "Did you give this to C when he was in 4th grade?"  Upon hearing that I did B's next question was, "Did C figure it out on his own or did he have a hint?" 

There was definitely a purpose behind reading the article to the family.

Uprising :)

My flat-bottomed, angled broom is standing upright, unassisted in the middle of my bathroom - and has been for about an hour now.  Apparently due to the solar storm, a metal handled broom can currently stand upright.

broom 079.JPG

Addendum: Since the boys' arrival home the broom has changed location many times.  This was one of the more impressive balancing acts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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