Tag Archives: encouragement

Living With Thanksgiving Daily

I’m not sure how I’ve been a member of my church for 8 years and only asked to speak once, but a few weeks ago I had the chance to speak again. My talk was on living with thanksgiving daily and since the Thanksgiving holiday is right around the corner, I decided to share my talk with you…

LIVING WITH THANKSGIVING DAILY

 Living With Thanksgiving Daily

I like to think that I am a thankful person and that I live with gratitude, but I know that I don’t always say it or show it in a way that others would understand. If I were to make a list of things I am grateful for, I know it would vary from your lists. I realize my list has changed through the seasons of our lives. At one time I prayed often for the nurses and doctors keeping my children alive. Now, I find my prayers focusing on their therapists and those who are helping them grow. It doesn’t mean that I am no longer thankful for those that helped in the past, my point is, our lists change with time.

We often take things for granted, especially here in the States where it seems we have all these opportunities without having to do much ourselves. It’s easy to say “Thank God school is starting soon” when we have little ones at home during the Summer driving us up a wall, but how grateful are we truly for that blessing that is education?

Thomas S. Monson in a conference talk in 2010 said “A grateful heart comes through expressing gratitude to our Heavenly Father for His blessings and to those around us for all that they bring into our lives.” Have we prayed and thanked Heavenly Father for the everyday things in our life often taken for granted? Have we shown appreciation for those around us who give so much to serve us?

Pathway of Gratitude

We can begin showing gratitude today. God gave us just a few basic needs, but in today’s world we are overcome with so many wants and desires. Are we even showing thanksgiving daily for all of those things we already have?

Imagine your life now as a path through the woods. You know right where this path is, right where it leads, and you always take it. It’s well worn, familiar, and easily traveled. Now, imagine that this is a path of living with very little gratitude.

How can we change that? It’s simple. We start by taking a new path – one that we must create. At first, you may try to go down that old pathway. Somedays you may make it through to the very end of it without realizing you traveled the old path, but then you begin making that new path your main course of travel. As you travel down it, it starts to resemble the old pathway; It becomes well worn and easy to navigate, but this time you are traveling with gratitude in your heart. Overtime it becomes natural to use this path.

Humbling Ourselves

Just recently I sat in on Aloshua’s physical therapy session. He works multiple times a week with a physical therapist who helps him with gross motor functions like transferring from his wheelchair, working on upper body strength and even walking. I was able to capture a picture of him standing without supporting himself with his hands. I teared up thinking of the progress he has made. Because Aloshua lives with me, I am sometimes blind to the progress he is making. When I got home that day, I realized that I have been slacking on thanking his therapists for those everyday blessings.

In that moment, I was able to humble myself. I am not to credit for Aloshua’s progress. There is an entire team of people who deserve that credit, but at the top is Heavenly Father. I know that without Him, Aloshua wouldn’t be where he is now.

Being Sincere

In Mosiah 26:39 It says “… being commanded of God to pray without ceasing, and to give thanks in all things.” – God commanded them to give thanks in all things.

What happens when we follow God’s commandments? Simple. We are blessed. Also in a 2010 conference talk President Monson says “My brothers and sisters, do we remember to give thanks for the blessings we receive? Sincerely giving thanks not only helps us recognize our blessings, but it also unlocks the doors of heaven and helps us feel God’s love.”

Alma 34:18-26 says “Yea, cry unto him for mercy for he is mighty to save. Yea, humble yourselves and continue in prayer unto him. Cry unto him when ye are in your fields, yea, over all your flocks. Cry unto him in your houses yea, over all your household, both morning, mid-day, and evening. Yea, cry unto him against the power of your enemies. Yea, cry unto him against the devil who is an enemy to all righteousness. Cry unto him over the crops of your fields, that ye may prosper in them. Cry over the flocks of your fields that they may increase. But this is not all, ye must pour out your souls in your closets, and your secret places, and in your wilderness.”

If we replace “cry” with “give thanks” we can see that Heavenly Father wants us to humble ourselves and thank him for those blessings sincerely.

Words And Deeds

It’s important that we recognize those we are thankful for by telling them “Thank you”. It’s equally important that we recognize that thanksgiving isn’t always spoken words. We can show appreciation by our actions – small actions even. Give a hug to show appreciation. Send flowers. After a meal, clean off the table.

How you act will lead people to being thankful for you.

I know that as you live with thanksgiving daily that you will be blessed. You will see an uplifting in your mood and blessings from Heavenly Father will appear that you didn’t see before. It is my hope that all of you can live with thanksgiving daily.

January’s Reflections (Quotes on Images)

January’s Reflections (Quotes on Images)

In my daily planner I have a section for “Reflections”. This is where I write things that come to mind throughout the day. These reflections often include thoughts, scripture versus to remember, things that moved me, or quotes. It’s nice to look over these at the end of the month and see where my mood and mind is in life. I decided that for 2016 I am going to share some of my favorite reflections at the end of every month. I have also decided to add these quotes on images. Feel free to download them and use them as you desire.

FREE High resolution quotes on images by Life as a Convert

Click on images for high quality resolution.

Religion is the same - The details are the difference - quotes on imagesReligion is the same. The details are the difference.

Confidence in an action or choice will never lead to guilt - quotes on imagesConfidence in an action or choice will never lead to guilt.

I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly John 10 10 - quotes on imagesJohn 10:10 “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

Celebrate Progress - quotes on imagesIt’s ok to celebrate progress, but a completed task is even sweeter. Small celebrations create big/lasting memories.

Not knowing your purpose is sometimes a good thing - quotes on imagesNot knowing your purpose is sometimes a good thing… (I read a book written from the perspective of a pig.. He went on a trip to the south pole. He was intended to be used for food.)

Things aren't always as they seem - quotes on imagesThings aren’t always as they seem.

Surrender to service - quotes on imagesSurrender to service.

Once you are ready to let go of yourself life happens - quotes on imagesOnce you are ready to let go of yourself, life happens.

Circumstances can change even the purest of intentsCircumstances can change even the purest of intents.

Don't let yourself get too comfortable in anything - quotes on imagesDon’t let yourself get too comfortable in anything.

Cross-On-Hill-Stock Freedom isn't free - Love is abounding - quotes on imagesFreedom is never free. – Love is abounding. – Love is ALIVE

Use everything in your power to help people in bad situations - quotes on imagesUse everything in your power to help people in bad situations.

Always anticipate a change of plans - Never be afraid to admit mistakes - quotes on imagesAlways anticipate a change of plans. Never be afraid to admit mistakes.

God doesn't give up on you when he gets tired - quotes on imagesGod doesn’t give up on you when He gets tired.

*Images contained in this post are a mixture of my own and stock images. I have full permission to use all of these photos.

Scripture Writing Challenge (Feb 2016)

Scripture Writing Challenge (Feb 2016)

One thing I like to do with my children is have them copy scriptures.  You would be amazed how many scriptures they have learned simply by copying them into their journals. Not only are they learning (and memorizing!) God’s word, they are also practicing penmanship.

In a world where everything is done on computers, I find it nice to put some ink to paper. I also have a Bible Journal of my own and write in it along with them. For February I wanted to create a unique Scripture Writing Challenge for myself, my children, and any others who may want to join in. On top of the scriptures we do for school, I wanted to add another scripture each day – focused on one theme:

 Love. 

Here is February’s Scripture Writing Challenge: LoveFebruary 2016 - Scripture Writing Challenge - Love - By Life as a Convert

(Click to download

Don’t forget to pin this image and print it out!

The idea is simple: Write the scripture. One scripture per day. Every day for the month of February.

Scriptures Used: 
1. Mark 12:30
2. Mark 12:33
3. Matthew 5:43
4. 2 Corinthians 8:3
5. 2 Corinthians 8:7
6. Jude 1:21
7. Proverbs 7:18
8. Proverbs 8:17
9. Ephesians 2:4
10. Ephesians 5:2
11. 1 Thessalonians 4:9
12. Romans 13:10
13. Romans 12:9
14. Luke 7:47
15. Deuteronomy 6:5
16. 1 Peter 3:8
17. 1 Peter 3:10
18. Psalms 145:20
19. Hebrews 13:1
20. 1 John 4:18
21. 1 John 4:7
22. 1 John 2:15
23. 1 John 4:19-20
24. 1 John 3:18
25. John 15:9
26. John 13:34
27. 1 John 4:10
28. John 14:23
29. John 15:9-10

Do you have a favorite scripture (or quote) on love? If so, share in the comments.

If you aren’t religious, then I challenge you to write one quote about love everyday in your journal. 

 

Finding Faith in Labels

Finding Faith in Labels

This is Part 2 of Sunday’s post: Stories from my Childhood

As promised, I am back to tell you what the Stories from my Childhood post has to do with this blog. In college I learned about the labeling theory.

Finding Faith in Labels by Life as a Convert

Our dear friends at Wikipedia have a great definition for this:

“Labeling theory is the theory of how the self-identity and behavior of individuals may be determined or influenced by the terms used to describe or classify them. It is associated with the concepts of self-fulfilling prophecy and stereotyping.”

Like a medical record, school records are kept. Notes are kept in students’ files. These things that happened to me in the Stories from my Childhood post were in my files. Every grade I went up, the teachers saw my records and how troublesome and untrustworthy I was. I have no doubt that these ideas lead my teachers to believe these things about me, so instead of seeing the truth, they saw the label. Whenever situations arose, they immediately jumped to conclusions based on what was fed to them by other people. They believed the labels instead of believing me.

Did I do bad things? Of course I did! I set off fireworks at school one day with a few friends. (Got suspended for that.) I skipped class. I missed assignments. But, I always owned up to those things. I was never a leader. I was always a follower. I can’t recall any big troublesome things I did where I was the mastermind. I was always suckered into peer pressure and trying to fit in.

I was never thought to succeed at much. After all, I didn’t do what I was told and I couldn’t be trusted. I was a trouble maker.

Labeling my Children

I know that my kids won’t always make the best decisions and they will get into trouble too. I don’t want them to think they are defined by any labels people might put on them. (I am constantly telling Losh he is NOT disabled) I was struck a few weeks ago when my children were all getting into trouble for something they had not all done. My oldest screamed “You never believe me!”. I knew exactly how he felt and had a nice little chat with him.

As a parent, I have tried so hard to “believe” my kids and not jump to conclusions. I give them the opportunity to talk about what they have done. I also avoid labeling them. I don’t tell them they are bad when they do something wrong. Sometimes they do bad things, but that doesn’t mean they are bad.

I wish somebody had told me the same thing when I was growing up.

I ended up going through life being shy and hardly sticking up for myself. To this day, I have a hard time with confession of any sort because I always feel like I will be shamed/embarrassed or doubted.

Finding Faith in Labels

I was recently reading a book not knowing that it would go perfectly with this post. The book is called The Empty Mirror. It’s a Tween Read about a boy who lost his reflection because some sort of being stole it. The following is a quote from him:

I hated the idea of anyone knowing I was strange. I had some hope that I could keep people from finding out…

But I knew.

Who wants to go around knowing there’s something strange about them?

Weird. It feels weird. It’s making me crazy. I’m beginning to lose track of who I am myself. Maybe it’s my punishment for being troublesome. I wish I hadn’t been troublesome. I wish I was more good. I wish I’d studied more instead of reading. I wish I’d gotten on the good side of (my teacher) like (they) did. They aren’t so hot. They don’t get caught is all. (Others) only think (they) are good.

Those last 3 sentences really struck me. I’ve known this my entire life. Everybody has their secrets. Everybody has their sins. Everybody has their troubling behaviors. BUT! Not everybody gets caught – or in my case falsely accused! For whatever reason, it never really sank in until I read it in that book. It isn’t that other people don’t do these things, it’s just that they have received other labels.

What a freeing thought! 

I am not strange. I am not different. The labels given to me have simply been different.

That leads me to the whole point of sharing this.. Why do we label people when we should be encouraging them instead? Nobody is perfect. The only perfect person in this life died on the cross for us. He knows the truth of all things. He knows what we are truly like inside. Instead of stereotyping and labeling people, how about we get to know the real person and not rumors that are spread. How about we encourage people with positive words and not labels, because let’s face it, even positive labels can become difficult to maintain. (Think of the star athlete or straight A student who feels the need to workout or study excessively in order to maintain that label).

Find something that your children aren’t very good at and compliment them on something related to it. Perhaps they aren’t very talented at drawing, but they keep trying. Compliment their persistency or hard work. These things matter, especially during the younger years. Build your children up instead of tearing them down. Open them up to communication and let them know they are trusted. Let them know their opinion matters. Mostly importantly, let them know they are good people.

Were you labeled growing up? What was your label?