Monday, August 23, 2010

Education Week: Friday

I took a day off to fulfill various obligations and to prove, by my behavior, that I still need more Ed Week before I become a perfect parent. That could be the most disappointing part of the whole week - my spiritual well is overflowing, and yet I still find myself getting short-tempered with my kids and irritated when things don't go the way I want. I feel like I shouldn't be bothered when Darcey smears a brand-new chapstick all over her face, or when the boys spend their free time sniping at each other.  I've spent a week learning about how wonderful and important families are, but you'd never be able to tell. Hmph.

Here's my list of the day's classes:

Increasing Personal Effectiveness: Living a Balanced Life - My favorite of the day

The Art of Communication: Resolving Conflict - Also excellent.  I'll take any class by this teacher.

Making Marriages Better the Lord's Way - What do happily married people actually do? - Not bad at all, and less list-y than I thought.

How to Be A Better Wife:  Be a Fun Living Wife - It was okay.

Isaiah: Prophet, Seer, and Poet - Snoozefest.  Could have been due to my headache, but this is the one I'd skip if I went back.

The Anatomy of High-Trust Relationships: Listening With Love - Still very good.

Here goes, my third and last day of Ed Week.

Increasing Personal Effectiveness: Living a Balanced Life - Kevin Miller

The future does not belong to the learned and the wise - it belongs to those who can learn, unlearn, and relearn.
Learning keeps you young.
Bumper sticker: "life is hard.  it's harder when you're stupid."

The Whole Soul/Person
Everyone is physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual beings.
The body needs to live.  We need to have food, money, safety.
The mind needs to learn.
The heart needs to love.
The spirit needs to leave a legacy.  My life is doing something meaningful.  (The 8th Habit - Steven Covey)
When you do those things in balance, we're happy. Stress, sin, and contention disintegrates us - splits up the four things.
D&C 38:27 - I say unto you, be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine. - Be one in your self.

If you spend hours a day exercising, or if you are all about family history, you are one note, not a chord.  The spirit can tell you what your chord is supposed to sound like.  We are not all the same.  Members should not judge each other based on behavior.  "Why judge me when I've chosen a different type of sin than you've chosen."

The lord called his people zion, because they are of one heart and one mind.  "Create Zion" as a family mission statement.

Mark 12:30-31Christ talks about the importance of balance.

When we are physically ill, our spirits hurt.  When we are suffering mentally, it effects the rest of us.  When one part of us is stuck, the rest of us is stuck too.  It's all connected.

The Lord's promise is peace, not stress, pain, misery.  Why do we have long-faced saints, when we have the joy of the gospel? - Maxwell.  John 14:27 - Peace I leave with you...

"Urgent to Marilyn" - by Carol Lynn Pearson (Poem about running faster than we have strength.)

If the Lord were here at Ed Week, he'd tell us Peace, be still.  Don't try to do it all, everything we've learned.  Pick one or two things, and change them.

If we start with Christ as our foundation, he promises us abundance
John 10:10
2 N 9:51 - let your soul delight in fatness
Helaman 5:12

The eagle that chases two rabbits catches neither - Arab proverb.  What rabbit should you be working on right now?

Jesus The Perfect Leader - talk by Pres. Kimball
"Jesus saw sin as wrong but also was able to see all sin as springing from deep and unmet needs on the part of the sinner...We need to be able to look deeply enough into the lives of others to see the basic reasons for their failures and shortcomings."

A Victory Plan: Filling my unmet needs
Physical - my body needs
-good nutrition
-water 8cups/day
- stress management
-exercise - 30 min3x
-Arise well on time

- Uplifting reading
-stimulating learning
-ondering time daily
-manage plan time and organize my day

-Friendship and belongs
-someone to listen to me

(this was a handout he showed but I didn't have time to write it all down. I emailed him to get a copy, so hopefully I can get that if anyone else wants it.)

Many times we give the wrong counsel because we assume all the problems are spiritual.  We can't solve our problems with more service if our body is ravaged.

SMART goals;

Think of the three biggest obstacles you face in achieving a peaceful, balanced life.
Almost always start with physical - our body is the bag that holds our emotions, spirit, and mentality.  The church tends to start with spiritual answers, which is nice, but it could just make your life more out of balanced, more stressful and make us more guilt-ridden.  Start with physical, then move to spiritual answers.  From there, emotional stuff might take care of itself.

Three pronged attack:
Reality check our expectations
Obtain more energy
Transfer energy within us.  Sometimes we can have more mental energy and we can distribute it to our physical

Reality check:  most putts don't drop.  LIfe is like an old time rail journey..
There must needs be opposition in all things.  ALL things - even in sunday school.  that is what life is, and if we expect that it's not, that leads to unhappiness.  A conflict in our marriage doesn't mean we have a marriage just means we have opposition in all things.
Life is not a straight line, we set ourselves wrong if we say "if you join the church, or get married in the temple, or keep the commandments, life will be wonderful."
At best, life is ups and downs.  It's okay to have a bad hair day, just try not to have a bad hair life.

Try not to make major decisions and commitments at the high or low points.  Keep a long view at your overall goals.

We have self-inflicted wounds.  In the church we have culturally-inflicted wounds.  Are you comparing yourself to a composite person that doesn't even exist?  (Picture of a cow jumping through the ocean - "I know I'm not a very good swimmer, but maybe if I just keep trying...")
Don't make yourself feel bad if you're not Julia Child.

Justification and Sanctification - Our long term goal is to become sanctified, but our for right now all we can hope for is to be justified.  In your life right now, you are okay and the Lord is happy with you.  He is happier wih you than you are with yourself.  HE knows what you're dealing with, what struggles you have, the way you were raised.  You don't have to be perfect, you just have to be justified.

If we are trying, if we can ask for his help, then we are on the straight and narrow path.
Grant - gospel standards 184-185
Mosiah 4:27 - be diligent but do not run faster than you have strength

Ed Week can be a whole boatload of guilt on you.  Stay peaceful.

Second prong:  Increase our energy any way we can

Exercise gives you more energy than it requires, unless you go overboard.
Diet and Water - Book - "your body's many cries for water"  Eat well, drink water, exercise
Emotional - Associate with uplifting people and not depressing people.  Don't spend your time with eeyores, and don't be an eyesore - be a tigger.  Humor helps emotional energy.
Mental - ed week
Spiritual: go out in nature, read the scriptures etc

Acitivity in the gospel - it's possible to be active in the church without being active in the gospel - the gospel is a relationship with the savior, a deep love and peace.
When we are drained its because we are too busy with our church activity and not our gospel activity.

Thes. 4:1

The church is supposed to bring people to Christ - not everything in the church is of equal value. Much of what we do is fluff.  Simplify it, and your'll feel the spirit more.  The temple is not fluff.  Scouting is fluff.

Plug the holes that are draining our energy
Book - Clutter's Last STand - Don Aslett
The more junk you have, the less energy you have for relationships, the less energy we have for the meaningful things.

You are not required to abuse yourself with things that drain you, even in the name of service.

Third Prong
We are a house with four rooms: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual - spend time in each room every day. Men especially are emotionally constipated - they need to learn to talk about their emotions
Watch your feelings  -you don't want to be "high" or "low" you want to be centered.
When his son was out of whack emotionally, it was because he wasn't sleeping enough.  If our kids are behaving badly, maybe he needs more sleep - it does no good to harp on his behavior if he is lacking physically.

Oaks Ensign, 94 - My social conscience should no cause me to coerce others to use thier time or eans to fulfill my objectives.  We are commanded to love our neighbors, not manipulate them, even for righteous purposes.
- an EQ pres who spends the whole lesson guilt-tripping about home teaching

D&C 124:120 - "more or less" scripture - it is possible to exceed orthodoxy, Oaks Oct 94 Ensign p. 11

We sometimes feel like we have this thing that we love so much that we preach it, making other people feel like they have to do that too.  Instead, ask yourself if you should be doing this, or doing it right now.

Nothing about Jesus allows us to imagine Jesus as a sad, gloomy, fatigued, depressed, and overburdened.  Or robes flying as he rushes helper-skelter, trying to accomplish 20 things at once.  He walked where he went, stopping to pick figs and to talk to the people he saw.  - "The Perfect Leader"

Mosiah 4:10 - If ye believe these things, see that ye do them.

The Art of Effective Communication: Resolving Conflict

When we have conflict with someone, it's because they have a need to be met and they choose to meet it in a way that maybe we disagree with.

Ghandi - You must be the change you wish to see in the world.  Instead of fixing everyone with all the things we learned at education week, change yourself.

What is your style of conflict?

A hammer - my way or the highway.  i'm the mom, that's why.  If the only tool you have is a hammer, you look at everything as a nail.

Doormat - let people walk all over her, never expressed herself.  if you ask what they want, they say, It doesn't matter what I want.  They stuff their feelings, it gets unhealthy (and the hammer person gets away with treating the doormat badly.)

The avoider - would rather avoid conflict.  "I see nothing, I know nothing."  He knows it exists, j

The denier - I don't even want to know about it.  Denies there is any problem at all, isnt' willing to see it.

The Pollyanna - Everything is so wonderful in our family - we get along so beautifully!  Our ward is so perfect!

The compromiser - "Let's make a deal" - I'll give up some, you'll give up some and we'll make a deal out of it.

The boxer - they like arguing.  If things get too peaceful, they rile things up a little.

A lot of where we get our style is from our parents, some is cultural.  New York is filled with hammers, Utah is filled with doormats.    Utah Valley is the passive-aggressive capital.

Your style is situational.  As a boss, you might be a hammer, but at home I'm a doormat.  There are times when each style is appropriate.  Make sure you make a choice because you feel it is the right style for the situation.  Don't react just because you lose it - make a conscious choice.  Each style has consequences.

When someone treats you with a hammer, you feel powerless and take it out on someone else.  If you kick your employee, your employee will kick your customers just as hard.

Being a doormat can disturb your physical body.  "Feelings Buried Alive Never Die" - has a list of different ailments and what kind of feeling has created the hurt.

When you think of conflict - you think of fight, anger, disagreement etc
Conflict is not the same as contention.  Conflict carries negative connotations.  We need to see conflict as a positive things.  This land was founded in conflict, the gospel was born in conflict.

If there is no conflict, I cannot gain a victory; if there is no victory, I cannot gain a crown of reward. - Joseph Smith

New definition of conflict:
The consequences of difference that exist and need to be managed.

What good can come of this conflict.  In each conflict, there is an opportunity to turn the situation for good.
The Lord never warns us against conflict, just contention.  Contention has a negative effect on relationships.  3 Nephi 11:29
Mosiah 4:14-15 - teach children to love and serve one another, teach them to deal with conflict in a positive way.  When kids have a problem, reply "Good!  You see it differently"  I'm glad you're thinking on your own.

Second Key - act on conflict in a positive way, not react negatively.
Leaders see conflict as an opportunity.  Once everyone sees it that way, they won't feel threatened.  When they don't feel threatened, they see it as a challenge.
Isaiah 50:8

Conflict resolution model:
1. Recognize person's feelings - right brain, emotional - don't try to problem solve during emotional, men tend to use meat cleaver to cut through emotions and get right to facts but it's not time.  Book: "I don't have to make everything all better" - Lundberg
2. Define problem
3. Clarify expectations
4. Explore alternatives
5. Assist with action plans

At the same time, build constructive relationships, Focus on the problem, and maintain self-esteem for all.  As soon as someone doesn't feel of worth, you need to stop and rebuild that relationship/self-esteem/self-worth.

Passive people either avoid or deny - out of concern for themselves.  Accommodators are passive but are more concerned for others than himself.  Compromisers are in the middle.  The better option is to be a collaborator.
A compromise is a low form of win-win - both people leave something behind to get there.  Neither person will be completely happy.
Collaboration gets a perfect answer for both people. Listening is the key to collaboration, hearing each others feelings.

The Spirit defines the style.  The spirit can tell you to use a hammer, or to let something go.

Have the spirit with you and wear the lenses of charity.
Seek first to understand, and then to be understood. - being a great listener is the most important key to building relationships.  If you don't listen long enough, you'll keep working on the wrong problem.  You need to find the deeper issues so you can work on solving the right problem.
Men uni-task - when their wife comes up to him with a problem, he needs to stop what he's doing - Stop, Look, Listen
Women also need to stop, look, and listen to their husbands - it's too easy to try to keep multi-tasking when you should be listening.

Book:  "You Just Don't Understand"

How to be an empathic listener.
-A wound heals quicker when it's exposed to air.

James 1:19 - let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath

Frequently we listen for what's important to you - instead listen for what's important to the other person and validate that.

Why do we find it easier to be a better listener with total strangers than with those closest to us?  Because you aren't part of the problem. You aren't emotionally involved.  You are my child/spouse and I know exactly what you're going to say.  Learn to listen even though we know what they are going to say.

When you have a discussion, are you a:

You need the spirit because people will test your sincerity.
You can listen intently for a few minutes, while you are listening for the gist of it.  Then your attention drops to zero because you are preparing your response.  Then your attention goes back up because you are listening for a place to interrupt - a period, comma, semicolon, breath.

Because they sense we weren't listening they aren't receptive to what you have to say.  Plus you might be on the wrong issue because you weren't listening.

I hate school!
Oh, you hate school?
No, I like school, I just hate math.
Oh you hate math?
No, I hate having three hours of homework on the weekend.
It's frustrating to have so much homework.  Why don't you get started now?
- validates feelings.  If you jumped on "i hate school" and attacked - school is important,etc - you would have missed the whole thing.

The thought -speech differential
I can think 10x faster than you can speak.  You have to stop that and slow down your thinking.

Validation is being able to listen to a person without having to change their point of view.

I'll bet that's hard
That must be frustrating
I think I might have felt the same way  (You have NEVER felt the exact same way)
What a difficult position to be in.
What a good way to handle that situation.
Oh, no! I know how much that meant to you.
That's got to be a real challenge.
I'll bet you miss her.
What an awkward situation to be in.
I'm so sorry that happened to you.

Making Marriages Better the Lord's Way - What do happily married people actually do? - Brinley

I went to Brinley's other class on Tuesday, but skipped it in favor of Miller's personal effectiveness classes.  Which, btw, is a totally good choice.  I'm expecting this class to be another very long list, which isn't my favorite kind of class, but whatever.  I'm at least hoping it's not "happily married people go on dates, pray together, etc. - stuff I already know."

(I should mention that he's quite amusing, so whatever happens it won't be a waste.  He says his wife has as many pillows on his bed as all the tribes of israel)

wearing the temple garment is symbolic, similar to jewish phylacteries - it would be nice if we remember as we put them on that we are grateful for and will remember to keep the covenants we made in the temple.

Bro. Brinley's schedule is to wake up

A barometer for your marriage.  Are you:
1.  Kneeling to pray as a couple 2x per day?
2.  Reading scriptures/Ensign/good books?
3.  Temple attendance?
4.  Intimacy? Frequency? Enjoyment?
5.  FHE - with dad taking responsibility to teach the kids the doctrines of the church?

If a person you baptized on your mission ends up inactive, you know they probably stopped reading their scriptures, praying etc

The first element of a great marriage is to have an eternal perspective - understand our origins/purpose of mortality.
1. we came to earth to marry and experience family life - not possible in premortal life; to experience parenthood.  Moses 1:39 We don't want to disappoint Them.
2. Your spouse was your choice to help you gain exaltation; you learn how to be a spouse from him/her.  What kind of teacher/student are you?
3.  Your spouse has never been a spouse before.  Be gentle, patient, kind, charity.
4.  Your husband or wife is not just your spouse for this life; not just the parent of a few children in mortality.
5. This life - apprentice in marriage and family stewardships.  We find out what kind of husband/father/wife/mother we are.

1st solution - almost without exception, the divorced couples haven't been living the gospel.  FHE, family prayer, attending sacrament meetings and Sunday School - Pres. Benson 1974
Get the saints to live the gospel - get troubled couples to live the gospel.  First thing troubled couples do is stop praying together, also stop reading together, going to temple etc.  Marriage counselors are trained in the doctrine of the world, not the doctrine of the gospel.
2nd - opposite of love is not hate, it's apathy.  for them to feel that we are not interesting in their lives, expressing our love and showing our affection in countless ways.  We need to be loved and to give love - Teachings of Harold B. Lee 241.

Shaping - comment when spouse does something good/they like.  all women have a list of something their husbands should be doing, so they don't compliment/thank husbands - they don't want their husbands to think they are off the hook, that there's no list for them to live up to.  You can invite the behavior you want by appreciating the good things they do.

Apathy - you can't shape this.  This makes roommates out of what should be loving spouses.

3rd - A happy marriage is not so much a matter of romance as it is an anxious concern for comfort and well-being of your spouse.

Sarcasm - so destructive of a person's worth and value.  Avoid it.

Eliminate selfishness, Pride, Apathy

Proclamation on the family - 9 suggestions
1. Faith.  Marriage requires faith - faith in oneself, faith in one's marriage partner, and faith in the Lord. - Faust, leadership training Jan 2004.
2. Prayer - 3 kinds - personal, couple, family
3. Repentance - "I'm sorry. I can/will do better.  I'm learning."  A genuine apology can encourage the other person to recognize their fault as well - a couple that can both apologize to each other improves marriage.  Selfish, proud people won't apologize or take responsibility (selfishness and pride lead to divorce.)
what is something I'm doing that is causing frustration in the marriage? do I apologize?  what is an example of something I'm not perfect in in our marriage?  What is one thing I could do to improve this marriage?
4.  Forgiveness - I forgive you.  I could have been more helpful. I could/should have done better myself.
5. Respect - Males and females are different - hallelujah!  Respect each other's opinions/feelings/thoughts/ideas.  Most decisions in the family will be joint decisions you make together - a priesthood holder should not dominate.
6. Love - affection and intimacy.  Intimacy drops off when upset - who wants to go to bed when someone's been rude, ornery, angry, upset?  Men don't mind, but women do.  Intimacy improves marriage.
7. Compassion - understand spouse's response; "I make mistakes too." he/she tried their best.  Hate to see their spouse cry - do your best
8.  Work - income, money management, finances.
9. Wholesome recreational activities - play/recreate together to build healthy relationships

Notice that communication isn't on the list.  This isn't an omission-communication without changing your heart or understanding the doctrine,you just make clever fighters.  It's a heart issue, not a skill issue.  When we're in love, it's easy to communicate.  When we don't like each other, we don't want to talk.

1.  Enjoy talking/being together - personal and validating levels of communication.  both are comfortable risking personal feelings and ideas.

2. Touch, embrace, physical contact, hugs, kisses, non-sexual

3.  Mutual therapists - each one of us marries his therapist.  its the person who helps you resolve issues. therapy comes through exchange of personal ideas and sharing emotions.  What does a good therapist do?
provide new eyes
encourage different couches
complimens on success (shaping)
is patient, kind, non-judgmental (encourages talking)
helps you ink things through

4.  Date frequently - a babysitter is cheaper than a divorce.  the kids need a break, too!  Both of you need renewal to maintain love.  New perspectives come from time off.

5.  Frequent intimacy - Sexual relations were designed by the lord.
- therapy - not to be used or abused by offering amere pittance, nor on demand.  this is your spouse, companion, confidant, lover, and therapist.  Pornography makes men want to do what they see, be demanding.
- sex is not to punish or reward
Elder Holland - intimacy is a sacrament
Self-control required
Kindness - an anxious concern
Intimacy - therapeutic dimensions of marriage:  men - love=sex

6.  Time with children/grandchildren.  Work together.  Be gentle and kind.  You were young once too.
*Hard for wife to love husband when he mistreats "her"/their children.  Husband must be a good father for wife to love him.*

Husband claims they are "not compatible" - asks if he should divorce now while they have time to find someone else, or is this something that will be fixed in the millennium?  Bro. Brinley gives man list of 12 suggestions, but says "I don't know if you are humble enough to do them."

TEachings of Harold b. Lee - 249 - if a couple os tiring of each other, it is an evidence that either one or both are not true to their temple covenants.

7.  Women want husband who love children; husbands want wives who enjoy motherhood.
1st principle of good parenting -

8.  Seek feedback and help each other - being right is not as improtant as bing united.  Seek and take counsel from each other.  too many of use get defensive too easily.

9.  Eliminate temper/anger - great destroyer of families.  Penaty of anger is that they won't risk feelings and personal thoughts with you. superficial relationships.

10.  sensitive to each otters stress level
dads, get involved in the family enterprise - be the family ceo.  Don't be a grouch.  Make homecoming a fun experience for kids.

11.  Husbands - willingly and cheerfully help with housework, help with children, don't come home grumpy
Wives - greet husband, stop what you are doing, embrace, be more excited to see him than the dog

12. Money management system
- one in charge of paying bills
- both need money to manage
- know where the records are

Kimball - marriage partners must be quick to forgive, cleanse souls of sin bitterness, forgive all real and fancied offenses before asking for forgiveness for our own sins.

How to Be A Better Wife:  Be a Fun Living Wife - Merrilee Boyack

Book: "Stand for the Family" - Sharon Slater
We are here to defend the family.  Do not be weak and quiet - we need to be fearless.  Our children need to see strong women, train your children to be that way.  They need to be so strong that they can lead the forces for good.

Quiz: Top Ten Clues That You're A Boring Wife
10.  The last treat you bought for your husband is a big roll of garbage bags.
9. You don't have any girlfriends, really, unless you count your visiting teacher.
8. Your bathing suit is at least a decade old and the elastic is shot.
7. You tell your husband you love him once a year on New Year's Eve
6.  Your idea of a good time is to clip coupons.
5. Your idea of a fun date with your husband is to cruise the aisles at Wal-Mart.
4. You quit flirting cuz you already got your man.
3.  The last time you went on a date with your husband was in the millennium.
2. The last time you went on an overnight with your husband was to attend a funeral.
1. The only reason you're sitting in the class is because you're too tired to move from the last one.

A fun-loving wife sits on the beach, watching the family play while she hides under her towel.  A fun-living wife is splashing in the waves with her kids.

A fun-loving woman sits in the house while the family goes on a bike ride
A fun-living woman is on the bike too.

1.  Date night - the key to having fun - the #1 thing to do to improve your marriage

Lame excuses -
-No time -your #1 eternal relationship is not important to you - I choose not to devote my time to this.  You are training your children to see that this is not important.
-He won't go
-No money - the best dates are when you are broke.  With money, you do dinner and a movie.  With no money, you take walks, you get Frosty and go to the park. Check some of the creative dates books meant for youth.  Babysitting costs are cheaper than marriage therapy. has great deals for things you can do on a date.

It's preventative medicine, the way to fall in love every week.
How can you expect your marriage to run on no gas?
No more than half the conversation about the children.  You don't want to stay in mommy mode.
-go dancing - chaperone youth dances
-take a random road-trip
-do local community event
-visit your local tourist stuff
-ski, snorkel, swim, skate, hike, bike
-take computer to the park and watch dvd
-go to high school musical or concert
-serve at a soup kitchen
-go on a picnic, play board games
-go to the mall & play hide and seek
-go to a public place and say "what's their story?"
-watch sunset and kiss
-shop at the dollar store
-put ideas in a bowl and pull out random date ideas

It is not enough to do an adequate job of being a father and mother.  Don't just celebrate children's birthdays, don't just give children Christmas presents.  Neither spouse should feel (or act) like one of the children.  We need to take care of each other.

2.  The couple that Plays together, Stays together
-write down three things you do together
-what did you do when you were courting?
-have you established connections that have nothing to do with your children? what have you established in your marriage that is unique to the two of you?
-what's wrong with football? i.e. what's wrong with doing something that your spouse likes?  A parallel marriage can develop if you fail to develop connections to each other.
-do you do something together that is physical? you don't want to be the fun-loving wife that stays home while he does physical activities.
-what interests do you share? history, travel, tom clancy novels - if you don't have any, it's okay to start now.
-when the kids are gone, what will you talk about? What will you do together?
The couple that doesn't not play together, does not often stay together.

3.  Take responsibility for your own fun - it's not his job to entertain you.
-Do you expect your husband to meet all your emotional needs?
We have put our family's needs so far in front of our own that we think it's fun to go to Target by ourselves.  We need to know what we find fun, what interests do we want to develop.

4.  Keep being alluring.
Practice the Elizabeth Taylor method - be mysterious, be unpredictable, be spontaneous.
Occasionally say, "I want to go to the football game with you" or "
Stop-drop-and-roll - stop what you're doing, drop (um, something I can't remember), and roll with whatever your husband suggests.  Be spontaneous even if you have to plan it out.  Flirt shamelessly.

5. Go on a Honeymoon - again!  Who says you only get one?
At least once a year, go away for at least 24 hours.  Don't be one of those people that never goes on a vacation without the kids.

6.  Be a fun-living wife every day.
Have the awareness - are we having fun in our marriage?  Is it stale? Add spice.
Be silly.  Wear a silly hat/outfit, make funny body part noises.  Kids want a silly mother, stop taking yourself so seriously.  Wear a funky costume, feather boa, tiara for no reason.
Treats.  We buy them for our kids but not our husbands.  Try a new pen, a gadget, card, etc.
Do something sweet.  Make breakfast in bed, brownies and ice cream,
Surprises.  Meet him for lunch.  Have all the kids gone when he comes home.  Surprise party.

7. Shared "codes" - what connections have you developed?
What's your code for "i love you?"  What are the rituals around arrivals and departures, how do you say it's time to go, I'm bored, you're embarrassing me.
Parable of the see-saw - intensity goes up an down - just stay on the seesaw and enjoy the ride.  Sometimes you'll be up, sometimes down, and that's okay.  If your butt is on the ground for too long, stand up and give it a push.  Put in some effort.

Isaiah: Prophet, Seer, and Poet - Victor Ludlow

Ch. 19:5-10 After 1970, Aswan Dam changed life below the dam changed in drastic ways
16-17 - Fear of Judah in the land of Egypt.  Egypt was never afraid of the Jewish people - Jews were always more afraid of Egypt - until June 1967, 6 Day War, Oct 1973, Yom Kippur War.  Israel and Egypt are very close to each other.  From Jerusalem to Cairo is about the same distance as Salt Lake to St. George.  Israel is so small that it is very vulnerable to today's warfare.  A given jet could complete a mission and be ready for the next in 3 hours (turnabout time) - can fly 8 missions a day.  In the 6 Day War, Israel had so many more jets than Egypt that Egypt complained to the U.N. that the U.s. and France must really be the ones attacking Egypt.  In fact, Israel had taken their U.s. and French planes they had bought and altered them to change the turnabout time to only 57 minutes and made 25 missions a day instead of 8.

19 - "In that day" = the last days.  An altar to the Lord in the midst of the Land of Egypt.  Jewish temples in Egypt - in ancient times there were two Jewish temples in Elephantine and Alexandria.  When the Book of Mormon came out in 1830, Jewish and Christian scholars said that Joe Smith must not have known his Jewish history.  There was supposed to be only one place for a temple to be built - only in Jerusalem.  They said Jews wouldn't build temples anywhere other than Jerusalem, and here are the people of Lehi building a jewish temple in the Americas.
During the Babylonian conquest, some Jews ended up in southern Egypt (elephantine - now called Aswan, by the Dam.)  One of the communities built a temple there.  Other temples were found in other locations in the Holy Land, built with the same pattern as the temple in Jerusalem.  "Canaanite temples built in a period of Jewish occupation" was how some people described it, but now some scholars will say any group of Jews far from their home who wanted obey the law of moses, they would build a temple.
Egypt is today where Mexico was 50 years ago - they are looking for something, not liking the radical Islam, alliance with Moscow and communism didn't work - they want something to help their families and know not where to find them.  Egypt is not nearly as fanatical as other areas.  The Lord is preparing those people and softening their hearts to receive the gospel.

Ch. 18 - What is the strange land?  bulrushes = hollow tubes
April 1844 - last conference were Joseph and Hyrum spoke, theme was missionary work.  Hyrum was patriarch and in 1st presidency, said North and South america are the lands in the shadow of the wings.  The Lebanese/Phonecians had people as early as 800 BC in the Americas, also the Vikings had people in the Americas.  Isaiah didn't need to have contact with the Phoenicians that had contacted the lands beyond the waters of Africa, because of the Lord's revelations.

Style of Isaiah - oral, repeated, poetry

Most delivered orally originally.  The written copies were not something the regular Israelites would have been able to own.  Scriptures were transmitted orally, memorized through repetition. We could sing many hymns without the book because of repetition.  The structure is poetry.  Average poem takes up less space than an average essay.  Format is parallelism - a pattern of ideas instead of a pattern of sounds, rhyme schemes, stressed and unstressed syllables.

Chapter 1 verse 2 - hear, heavens - ear, earth synonymous parallelism
antithetic parallelism verse 3- (dumb, stubborn) domestic animals know who takes care of them, but Israel doesn't not know the Lord.
Synthetic parallelism - where the first line and the second line are not the same, brought together with a connection.  A question and an answer, an idea and a conclusion.  2nd half of verse 2 - nourished and brought up children - what about it? - and they have rebelled against me.
verse 8 - emblematic parallelism - "like" or "as" - this is compared to that
verse 18 - how do we reason with the Lord? faith and the companionship of the Holy Ghost.  sins are red as scarlet - symbolic poetry.  color red is more gospel symbolic than black (the normal opposite of white) - represents blood, is the color we need to purge from ourself by turning to the SAvior and his accompanying sacrifice.

The Anatomy of High-Trust Relationships: Listening With Love

To be trusted is a greater compliment than to be loved. - David O. McKay

The amount of contention is an indicator of low trust, being willing to be vulnerable is an indicator of high-trust.

Television teaches our children that most problems can be solved in 30 minutes.
If you see something going negative (in FHE for example) the goal should not be to teach that particular lesson or to have the perfect FHE with no fighting - the goal is to build trust, so switch what you're doing to something positive.
Our goal should not be to have perfect children (or as close to perfect as they can get).

High-risk activities:
Critical feedback
Lasting change/reform
Eternal Love

One family had a special time when a child could say anything they want without the parent getting mad.  They might have still had consequences for what they did, but it was a safe time to talk with trust.

Being positive is not an attitude, it's a fruit of patience.  Of saying what's my real goal, what am I really after

Being consistent in living the gospel.  Never ask your kid to tell someone on the phone that you're not home. You're teaching them to lie.  How would they trust you?

The way you treat the worst child is the trust level of the whole group.  If you talk about someone when they're not there, every child knows that you will talk about them when they aren't there.

Be a Listener
Unconditional trust emerges when people move beyond a simple willingness to deal with each other (provided each behaves appropriately) and comes to identify with each other.  There is empathy with the other people's desires and intentions to such an extent that you can effectively act in each other's place.

How do you understand someone's desires and intentions to such an extent that you can act in their place?

To Lead - to show by going in front, to direct
To Guide - To model and supervise
To Walk Beside -

Story about a man trying to teach a colt to be led with a rope.  He pulls, the colt resisted, he pulls, the colt resisted, until he pulled the colt over.  They did this again until he trained the colt to fall over every time they put the rope on.  (M. Russell Ballard - One More)

The best way to lead a teenager isn't to pull, but to walk beside him through frequent, positive, personal interaction.

Levels of Listening
5. Does not register.  You might notice they are talking to you, but you didn't hear any of it.
4. Ignoring.  You have to hear someone, but you're ignoring them.  You have to hear so you know when to stop ignoring.
3. Casual listening.  Lots of "uh-huh" , you could repeat back what they said.
2. Active listening.  Giving feedback, asking questions - this is great listening.  Paying close attention, nodding, positive body language.
1. Compassionate listening.  John 11:32-36  Lazarus died, Mary was come weeping, fell down at his feet, Jesus saw her weeping and wept himself.  Why would he cry if he knew lazarus was coming back to life shortly?  Jesus was crying because Mary was crying.  The Savior was able to put away what he knew and understood and was able to become what she knew and understood.  He felt what she felt.  Imagine how that would go between a dad and her teenage son.  What if Jesus had said, "You just wait right here, I'm going to fix it!  You don't even have to cry or talk about it, I'm going to fix it!"  What if you could put yourself if the body of your 4 year old who got pushed by his older sister?  That's when you could communicate.

Ask yourself, If that was me, how would I feel?

What air is to the lungs, listening is to the soul.

No other success can compensate for failure in the home. McKay April 1935 -
Did he mean it to be thrown at church members in guilt?  No.
Failure - not all of my children went on missions or married in the temple, so I'm a failure
That is the wrong definition of failure.  The right definition of failure is - to fail to listen, to not care enough to listen.

No other success can compensate for a failure to care enough to listen to those in your home.

Dismiss the destructive, and keep dismissing it until the beauty of the Atonement has revealed to your bright future and the bright future of your family.
- BYU jan 13, 2009 - "remember lot's wife"  (I've heard this is an excellent talk)

Joshua 1:8 - make thy way prosperous and and then thou shalt have good success.  All success is good.  Is there such a thing as bad success?  When success comes at the expense of trust or the feelings of your child is bad success.  The Lord wants us to have good success.

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