“Men Are That They Might Have Joy.”

Image                                                Yes, we’re here to learn. We’re here to learn to find JOY! (2 Nephi 2:25)

Since we talked about Affliction, the what’s and why’s, last week in Family Night, we decided to cover the topic of Joy and Gratitude this week.

Here is the puzzle I made for the kids, Thank you Heavenly Father Puzzle The puzzle pieces have scriptures that talk about Joy, both how we can obtain it and how we can have it even amidst trials. Then on the other side is a picture of a little girl praying, on which I wrote “Thank you Heavenly Father” on ours. We cut out the puzzle first, then found the scriptures and talked about joy. After that we put the puzzle together with the little girl showing and talked about one of the greatest ways to find joy is to look for and thank our Heavenly Father for all of our blessings.

It was really a simple lesson, but the kids liked the puzzle and I feel like they understood the point…which is always a good thing;)

What are ways you have used to teach about Affliction and Joy?

Five (Top) Reasons to be Thankful

Image                                           In case you’re wondering, yes, she is wearing goggles on her head as she finishes eating 🙂 !

I love Thanksgiving! Remembering what we have to be grateful for is such a wonderful way to get ready for celebrating the Birth of our Savior. So, I would be incredibly ungrateful if I didn’t recognize my many blessings on this blessed day! As I was reflecting I just had so many things to be thankful for that I thought I would keep it to my Top Five for this post 🙂

#1 My God and My Religion:

I would not be here if it weren’t for my Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for this Plan of Happiness that they have created for us and to know that I am a Child of God. I am also incredibly grateful for my membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. To have the guidance, direction, and extended family that I gain from this incredible church is an immense gift.

#2 My Family

I am so grateful for the love, support and example of my extended family. My parents have taught me moral courage and that I can learn from each person I meet, for that I will be forever indebted to them. My husband continues to teach me to reach for my goals, no matter how impossible it seems. His love and patience amaze me and sustain me daily. My children have shaped me more in the past 9 years than I had been in my entire lifetime beforehand. Their unconditional love and zeal for learning and life is inspiring. It is truly amazing the great joy that comes from being a mother.

#3 My Experiences

The good, the bad, the ugly(hmm, looks like I need an “ugly” post 🙂 ….I have learned to appreciate each experience in my life. Thus far I can look back and see in each one that the Lord has led me and guided me to learn and grow in the areas I needed in order to fulfill the next step of responsibility in my life. Through the good I have learned to feel the gratitude that comes from being loved. Through the good I have learned the compassion it takes to help others learn and heal.

#4 My Friends

It is amazing how the Lord puts the right people in the right place at the right time. I can honestly say that I can count my close friends on one hand, and one of them would be my husband and my mother:) But I also have many good friends, many of whom may not even know how dearly I hold them in my heart, that have shown me love and taught me priceless lessons that have humbled me and helped me to grow.

#5 Technology

This may seem silly to some, but I really am astounded at how technology has touched me life! I would never have met my husband if we had not lived in the age where travel is so much easier. I would not have the same level of openness were it not for again, the ease of travel, and the ease and amount of information available at the click of a mouse. Were it not for the incredible technology we posess today….My children would not know there grandparents. I would never have met my in-laws. I would not have the same confidence in teaching and raising my children. I would not be able to learn and connect with so many of you! It is truly a thrill and blessing.

May this day give you time to reflect on your blessings. May you begin the Christmas Season with joy in your hearts. May you start the New Year with a humble and rejoicing heart. We have so much to be thankful for….Happy Thanksgiving!

Simple Family Gratitude Activity

Simple Family Gratitude Activity

If you have “visual/hands-on” learners at your home you might enjoy this gratitude exercise. We have done this the past few years, starting on our first family night in November, it’s a great way to start off the holiday season.
1.) Gather the family and have a Gratitude discussion (we ask questions like, “What is gratitude?” “How do you show gratitude to others and God?” and accompany the discussion with Scripture)
2.) Cut 1-2 in. wide by 6-10 in. long strips of different colored paper and have everyone write the things they are thankful for on the strips.
3.) Staple the strips of paper around each other to create a “Gratitude Chain” and hang it up as a reminder of blessings. We keep ours up til after Christmas!
The kids always look forward to this activity and we’ve kept our chain from the last two years to add on to. It’s been so fun to see how some things stay the same (I’m thankful for food, family, home,etc.) and some things change (our favorites this year have been “I’m thankful for my belly button, my hair and poop! I guess the “better out, than in” saying holds true :))