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Nov 26, 2011

The Holidays and Family Visits: Your Spouse Comes First

In light of Thanksgiving, and other holidays coming up, I just want to remind everyone of some important things that we forget when dealing with extended family. I know it can be hard this time of year with the in-laws, or perhaps your own family that is demanding, there is one thing that I benefited from knowing

In giving this post, I want to remind all spouses that when it comes down to the brass tax, not all extended family thinks realistically when it comes to visits during the Holiday season. We need to moderate family and put our spouse's needs first.

When my husband and I first were married, I was the first child to leave the house. Ever since that day, my parents and siblings have been pining about my "premature death" from the family and other extremes. Any chance they get, I am heavily encouraged to go and see them when I have a second, and if my life gets busy for a couple of months, they have a very difficult time accepting that I really did have a busy life and yes I was prioritizing, and for a few months they were not top on the list. Instead, the well being of my "New Family" myself and my husband was at the top of the list.

I made the mistake the first year of our marriage during the Holidays and tried to visit both families for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. Nightmare. Nathan got gypped in the end, because I was worried about pleasing my family. Worry more about pleasing your "own" family unit, because he/she is the one you want to treat with respect and will spend the rest of your life with(or the rest of eternity for that matter).

This year we put our foot down. His and my needs were mediated with each other, and instead of trying to please my parents by spending a lot of time on both holidays, we spent Thanksgiving at his parents and will be spending Christmas with mine. Next year we will switch for good measure.

Please think of your spouse first when going out for the holidays. You may even have to be the spouse that speaks up for yourself and makes the family visiting not so lopsided. All in all, each situation is different, but consider your spouses feelings, and your future feelings toward each other first, when planning family visits this Holiday Season.

Nov 19, 2011

Mutual Problem Solving


Everyone can benefit from this topic!

Oh, how much easier and more fulfilling, problem solving and decision making would be if we approached it (again) the way that the Lord instructs us to do it. I could explain how it happens, but I would not do it justice. We must hear and read the council from the Apostles who have experience using it.

This concept of decision making is not new, and is not just represented in the LDS church. Our founding fathers developed the plan for this wonderful country in the same manner. Councils are God's divine plan for decision making, both in the home, for church matters, and in business.

In Russle M. Ballard's talk, he mentions that the most IMPORTANT council is the one of mother and father, or husband and wife. We have to model this method in our marriages and in our homes. I know many families that have a weekly council for Family Home Evening, or at other times of the week or month.

*A word on the roles of men and women in the marital relationship of counseling together. As a wife, I was unsure about how much assertion I should have in the relationship, since the role of the husband is to preside, provide, and protect. He is the patriarch of our home. I have pondered on this for a very long time. When I read these articles and realized that our marital relationship is a counsel, I realized that is it just fine to disagree with my husband, give my own opinions, and that it is essential as a wife to say what you think on the important matters, so the Lord can properly reveal his will. By sharing what you think, and caring about your own opinion you are completing the Lord's model of council and helping the most important form of council function properly. You both come to a conclusion on a decision that the Lord deems most correct, and he will bare that witness to both of you in your hearts when the right decision comes. It will not come right away. I hope this helps many women who might be a little confused on the exactness of their role. It opened my eyes.

Please enjoy these talks and ponder on the beautiful truths that the Lord gives us for our benefit and for the building of the kingdom, and strengthening of families!

Strength in Counsel- Elder Russle M. Ballard; Quorum of the 12 Apostles

Elder Henry Eyring and Elder Cleon Skousen - Inspired Unity

Nov 16, 2011

Dealing with Crisis: Danger and Turning Point

Every family goes through crises. Often, they can be turning points in our families that bring us closer or tear us apart. Because, they are necessary and can be so volatile, I would like to share what our authors of our text, and observations from our professor were on the subject. 

The Chinese character for crisis is a combination of 2 symbols: Danger and Turning Point(
Depending on how you handle the situation and how you view it, it can be a danger, but also a turning point for the family. Good and bad can come of it, depending on how it is handled. Here are some examples of crises: Death, illness, childbirth, winning the lottery, moving across the country, getting married, job loss and there are hundreds of others I could add to the list. Interestingly enough, not all crisis are necessarily categorized as bad. They are inevitable and can hurt or help your family structure.

Beleive it or not, there are effective coping mechanizms that will help your family be stable and deal well with these upheavals. I was fascinated to note the solutions.

Here were some basic familial suggestions that work universal, provided by our "Marriage and Family: The Quest for Intimacy" by Lauer and Lauer:

- Problem solving and conflict management skills(See next post for insight on this)
-Celebrations(birthdays, religious, special events)
-Communication of beliefs and emotions
-Good Financial Management
-Hardiness of the Family: a belief that they are in control of their lives, and can handle what life throws at them.
-Physical and Emotional health
-Shared leisure activities
-Acceptance of each person's personality and behavior.
-A network of family and friends
-Routine family meals and chores.
-Generational traditions

A trend that we observed in class when discussing the different coping mechanisms fascinated me! There was a principle that separated good and bad coping mechanisms. For each of the good coping mechanisms there was a principle of action and responsibility. Conversely, for each of the bad coping mechanisms, it was a lack of action and responsibility. Here were the differences:

Effective Coping- Taking Responsibility, affirming family worth as a unit, balanced self concern with others concern, the art of re-framing (approaching it with different attitudes and ideas), finding and using available resources.

Infective Coping- Denial, Avoidance, Scapegoating,

One of the most difficult things you will encounter in your family is crisis. It is so vital that it is dealt with well. Opposition is bound to come, but we can make it a benefit, or a hardship to your family. It is your choice.

"D&C 38:30-I tell you these things because of your prayers; wherefore, treasure up wisdom in your bosoms, lest the wickedness of men reveal these things unto you by their wickedness, in a manner which shall speak in your ears with a voice louder than that which shall shake the earth; but if ye are prepared ye shall not fear."

Nov 9, 2011

The Facts of Life

The fact of life for most youth right now is that: They are confused about the "facts of life". On a national scale, most teens are receiving messages from media and friends about the incorrect way of going about sexual intimacy and relationships. Studies have been done to show that teens who wait to have sex after they are married and out of High School are much happier, conversly, those who have sex before they are married and graduated have many more social, and phsycological problems such as poverty, low selfesteme and a host of other problems. They also do not marry in a stable manner.
                 Teen pregnancy is up and restraint and understanding about procreative power is down.

Even those who chose to cohabitate before marriage to "try it out", have less successful relationships by far.

The fact is, the media and other sources are teaching our children early about sex. It might not be sending the messages we want, and so we need to combat this. Just like if good men say nothing, the small majority of those who are mislead and speak out will bring our downfall.

Children are currently being exposed to sex at the ages of about 7-8 years old. Parents who do not want their children to be confused need to start combating these confusions early, even if it is a little uncomfortable. Back in colonial times children matured sexually around ages 16-18. Now children are able to procreate as early as 9 years old. The physiological change is due to media exposure and healthier diet, among other things.

My husband and I have analyzed intimately the negative sexual experiences of those we have know in our youth and what contributed to many of their problems. Every experience we have encountered would have been avoidable if the children had been properly taught about what to, and what not to do at an early enough age. Also, if they had understood the beautiful roles and how important healthy sex was to marriages after certain requirements had been met. My husband and I agree that our children will be taught early, exactly what it appropriate and what is not. As early as age 9 if necessary, depending on the environment we live.

Foster an open communication. If your child is having trouble, love them through it. I don't know all the answers in this area, but I know that being angry and treating them without love will drive them further into trouble.

Teach your children early, so that the school system, the media or the knocks of hard life don't have to.