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I'm twenty and in college studying Accounting and, minoring in Family Studies.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Nails in the Fence

This is just a story to demonstrate how sometimes instead of lectures and long talks we can teach our children life-long lessons through example. Sometimes we need to let our children learn the principles of discipline on their own.

Make sure you read all the way down to the last sentence. (Most importantly the last sentence)There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His Father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.. Finally the day came when the boy didn't lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, 'You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. But It won't matter how many times you say I'm sorry, the wound will still be there. A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one.

Unkempt Promises

You looked into my eyes
And said you'd always be there
When you held me in your arms
You said you'd never let go
Even though promises are
Never meant to be broken,
I guess some are just
Meant to make us feel better
Because one morning I woke
And you were not there

You led me into believing
That nothing would ever go wrong
Even though you told you loved me
I had to watch you make all those
Mistakes and never say sorry

It was the very first time I saw
The other side to you, the side
I never fell in love with
You cared so much and yet
You went on and broke my heart
You tore my life apart and destroyed
The one thing that ever made sense
To me, you destroyed our family.

When you tried to make amends
You promised you'd make everything okay
But deep inside my heart, I knew
It was way too late.
The damage had been done
The scars left were permanent

Yet through the emotional scars,
The pain, the broken promises
The shattered dreams, I forgave
You, and I forgave myself for
Having blamed you for everything.

I just didn't know if I could live with
Myself or trust anyone ever again
Even though I knew I was the wronged
One, I loved you stii\ll

You were right there
Yet I did not have you
each night I hoped things
Especially you, would change
And try to make up for the time
That was lost, but that turned out
To be just another shattered dream.

All the things I'd have wanted
te get from you, all the hugs,
All the kisses, the I love you's
All those times I needed to hear
You to tell me things would be alright;
That you'd be there, that you'd hold my
Hand, that you'd never let anything
Happen to me, that you'd look out
And for me.....

Through al this, I learned that
All the "I love you's" and all
The promises in the world can
Not and could not keep me from
Getting hurt.

Sometimes parents decide to get divorced for their own selfish reasons and for reasons that they could easily resolve if they chooses to repent and work toward saving their marriage. What they fail to realize is what their divorce often does to their children.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Managing Family Crisis Together

One of the most wonderful truths that I have come to learn and that I appreciate so much is that no pain that we suffer, no trial that we endure is wasted. As a family is faced with a crisis, it does not matter what kind, it may be a child gone astray (wayward); addicted to alcohol or drugs of some sort; bad behavior or homosexuality; it is important that the family understand the limitations of their family members, that is as much as they want to help their other family member, they cannot force him or her into the right way, they can be there and help them, pray for them and hope that someday they will return to the light.

So often when one we one is in trouble we tend to want to give solutions but we cannot give solutions to all life's problems, but we can listen and together with them we can search for answers; which are always to be found in Christ. There is power and strength in scriptures, especially when dealing with a crisis in the family. It is important to remember that when Heavenly Father forgives, He forgives; and true repentance will bring true forgiveness. In facing and dealing with family crisis, we need to face each new day with bravity, knowing that we can do hard things, we will do hard things and we must do hard things but WE DO NOT HAVE TO DO THEM ALONE!!

It is also important to know and understand of the Saviors' love. When a family member is having a hard time or going through a hard time, it is important that we do not judge them but assure them of our love and appreciation for them. It is also important to let them know that we are sorry they are having to go through that difficulty; and to cry with them.

There are some three ways of dealing with crisis that have proven to be helpful, but again families are different and ways of dealing with such issues tend to be different. It is important that a family aviates from the issues. It is important to move on, to continue on. Stay calm and maintain order on chaos, and fear will be replaced with faith....remember fear and faith cannot co-exist. Second it is important to navigate. Make sure you're going in the right way. Know that you'll need revelation from a loving Heavenly Father. And thirdly, it is important that a family communicates. One will not be able to receive or accept help unless they are willing to share what their problem is. in the end, everyone is going to have to share with each other their stories. REFRAIN FROM PASSING JUDGEMENT!!!
    (I attribute most of this to Jana, who actually dealt with a lot of crisis in her family)

Now consider the words from this poem....

If I Could......

If I could give solutions to all
Life's problems, doubts or fears
I would, but I can listen to you,
And together we'll search for answers.

If I could change your past, with all it's
Heartache and pain; or the future with
It's untold stories, I would but I can
Be there for you now when you need me to care

If I could keep your feet from
Stumbling.....I would, but I can
Only offer my hand, that you
May grasp it and not fall.

If i could help make decisions in your life
Or even judge you...I would
But I can only support you, encourage you
And help you when you ask.

If I could prevent you from falling
From family, from truth, from values
From me, I would but I can  pray for
You, talk to you and wait for you.

If I could give you boundaries which I
Have determined for you, I would
But I can give you room to change,
Room to grow, room to be the very
Best you were created to be.

If I could keep your heart from
Breaking or hurting I would,
But I can only cry with you, and
Help you pick up the pieces
And put them back in place.

Disability in the Family

I have known of couples who when pregnant, go and have ultrasounds just to find out if the baby is okay. Now there is nothing wrong with that but it is what some of those people decide to do with the information that is made available to them. Some go on to terminate the pregnancy as soon as they hear that there is a good chance their baby is going to be disabled. Some people however, embrace such challenges as gifts from God and they later testify that, that one child brought them so much happiness than they ever thought possible; even though it was hard dealing with the disability.

Usually we end ourselves the wrong questions when faced with a trying situation. Hardly do people ask God "why" when they receive a blessing; but when it's a trial or difficulty, we tend to ask, "why?"or "why me?" I think we need to learn to ask questions that will actually get us somewhere, questions like, "What am I to learn from this?", "How am I to get through this?" and "What am taking from this?' Truth is there seldom are, if any hopeless situations yet many people lose hope in that face of some situations.

When dealing with a disability in family life it's important that no impartiality is shown. It has been my experience that those that are disabled appreciate help but do not necessarily expect favors or special treatment. They need to be shown love, first by their own parents, then family members. When those in the family are very accepting, encouraging and loving, it will be way easier for those outside of the family to accept and incorporate them in.  Below is a story my mom shared with me and I just want to share it with you......

At a fundraiser dinner for a school that serves children with learning disabilities one of the parents of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question: 
'When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does, is done with perfection. Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do. Where is the natural order of things in my son?' The audience was stilled by the query. The father continued. 'I believe that when a child like Shay, who was mentally and physically disabled comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child.’ Then he told the following story: Shay and I had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, 'Do you think they'll let me play?' I knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but as a father I also understood that if my son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps. I approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance and said, 'we're losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning.’ Shay struggled over to the team's bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt. I watched with a small tear in my eye and warmth in my heart. The boys saw my joy at my son being accepted. 

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three. In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as I waved to him from the stands. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored again. 

Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat. 
At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game? 

Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn't even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball. However, as Shay stepped up to the

Plate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team was putting winning aside for this moment in Shay's life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least make contact. The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed. The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay. As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher. The game would now be over. The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game. Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the first baseman's head, out of reach of all teammates. Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, 'Shay, run to first! Run to first!' Never in his life had Shay ever run that far, but he made it to first base. He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled. Everyone yelled, 'Run to second, run to second!’ Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the base. By the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball. The smallest guy on their team who now had his first chance to be the hero for his team, he could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher's intentions so he, too, intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman's head. Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home. All were screaming, 'Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay' Shay reached third base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by turning him in the direction of third base, and shouted, 'Run to third! Shay, run to third!' As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams, and the spectators, were on their feet screaming, 'Shay, run home! Run home!' Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won the game for his team. 'That day', said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, 'the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world'. Shay didn't make it to another summer. He died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making me so happy, and coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day! 

Happiness In Family Life

The Family: A Proclamation to the World, states clearly that "Happiness in family is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ." in another paragraph, we are taught that "Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, to teach them to love and serve one another, to observe the commandments of God and to be law abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives- mothers and fathers- will be held accountable for the discharge of these obligations."

Whenever I read those parts of the Proclamation, I am reminded of the counsels that have been given by our prophets in the past, that "no other success can compensate for failure in the home" (President David O. McKay); and that mothering (and I would like to think that parenting in general) means rearing and nurturing in a very real and personal way; a way that is demanding both in time and in energy." (President Hinckley)

I believe there are different things fathers and mother can be involved to ensure that all their childrens' needs are attended to or met. I was privileged to have had and have a mother who cares enough to notice a need in her kids and attend to that need in the best way possible. I know that when parents pay attention to their children and pray about them, they will come to now their children so well such that they will be able to tell when something is wrong with any of their children. I am so amazed at some of the things my two moms (Rose and Kathy) do, they understand so much about me that they have always been and are always able to help me with anything. I have come to understand that one of the reasons they are so good with me is because they take time to talk with me, find out what;s going on with me and listen to the things that I have to say.

Parents and spouses should not get in the habit of put other things in the way of relationships. Time once lost will never be recovered; that's the same with events, big or small. One can never witness, live their child take his or her first step, that's a one off thing and so is the first word; among other things. Sometimes, because we are human, we get carried with things that seem important and we let them take priority over those small little moments that could have made for wonderful treasured memories.

Here's a poem I wrote about the effects of procrastination.

Till Some Other Time- Procrastination

"i'm really sorry sir, we did
All we could but I'm afraid
Your wife did not make it."
Thoughts of what had happened
In their home earlier in the day
Flooded his mind........

He had snapped at his wife when all
She was trying to find out was
What time he was going to be home
So that she could have dinner warm
And ready for him.
Now he was wondering if all
That was worth losing her for
But she was gone,& all he could
Do was nothing.

"Maybe later, son, right now I'm busy,"
Was the response he had given his
Son when he had asked his daddy
To come watch him play ball with
Some of his friends.

"Your son may never be able to
Use his legs ever again,"
And now he would never be able
To see or watch his son, his only
Son, participate in sport ever again.

'Not now, oka," is what she had said
When her daughter tried to show her
A picture she had drawn of her...
Later that afternoon, she was involved
In a terrible accident that left her blind
Never again would she be able to
See any of her daughters' drawings
Let alone the beautiful young lady
she would someday grow to be.

Maybe if they had taken a moment
They would have realized that most
Of life is in those small moments that
Usually seem like a waste of time.

Maybe if they had taken a moment
To notice how much life was passing
Them in those small and yet beautiful
Things they had brushed aside

Procrastination is not just a thief of time
It robs us of our self-respect; of our joy;
Of our happiness and of all the could
Have beens' that never became!!

Equality in Marriage.

So many have moved so far away from that which is true and have established a comfort zone in the most uncomfortable of places. What used to be so sacred and revered is not anymore. It used to be that man and woman, husband and wife used to work together, side-by-side as equals. The husband would preside over the home and the wife would be submissive and yet they were not independent of each other, rather they were interdependent of each other.
It was as if without the other, one would and could not go on. The roles and husband and wife have been redefined to fit what the world thinks these roles should be instead of what Heavenly Father intended for them to be. It is important that we remember that when God created the heavens and earth, He spoke them into existence but when He created man; He formed him and breathed life into his nostrils. The woman, He fashioned her, breathing the breath of life from man. In the second chapter of Genesis, we read and learn that Eve or woman was taken from Adam or man’s rib.
God chose the bone that protects man’s life. He chose the rib, which protects the heart and lungs; the rib, which also happens to support the body, and thus in like manner, a wife is to protect her husband’s heart and support him. Around this rib did God shape woman, and did he model her. He created her perfectly and beautifully; her characteristics were made as of the rib, strong yet delicate and fragile.
She was not taken from man’s feet and thus she should not be under him, nor was she taken from his head to be over him. Woman was taken from man’s side, to stand beside him and to be held close to his side. Adam did walk with God in the cool of day and yet he was lonely. He could not see Him or touch Him, so everything God wanted Adam to share and experience with Him, he fashioned in woman; His holiness, strength, purity, love, protection and support. She was made as an extension of man, as God’s co-creator. Where man represents God’s image, woman represents His emotions and together they represent the totality of God.
Husbands then should treat their wives well; they should love and respect them, for they are fragile. Wives are to support their husbands. In humility, they are to show him the power of emotion given to them by their creator; in gentle quietness, they are to show unto their husbands strength and in love they are to be to their husbands, the ribcage that protects their husbands’ inner self.
In a proclamation delivered to the world, “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” by then president and prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, counsel was given concerning husbands and wives and their responsibilities. Part of the counsel given states, “By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help each other as equal partners.” They are obligated, which means they have an obligation to equality in their marriage. An obligation is a bind, which means that though in some instances their roles and duties are going to be different, they still have to work together in making decisions about their family. They ought to be a unit.
This then means that husbands should not exercise authority over their wives and neither should the wives exercise authority over their husbands; none is the boss of or over the other. They are to be as one, working side-by-side in their marriage and family for they are both seeking to accomplish the same goals. Eve was meant to be an help meet for Adam (Genesis 2:18) and though some choose to interpret that phrase to mean that the husband is to be in charge and the wife is to assist, President Howard W. Hunter explained the word “meet means equal” (Howard W. Hunter (1994, November) Being a Righteous Husband and Father, Ensign)
Inequality in marriage comes about as a result of many underlying factors. I grew up in Africa, in a society that believed strongly that man, as head of the house was responsible for any and all decisions that were and had to be made in the home. His word was final and was to be law. Some societies in Africa have households that still operate in this manner. This belief in this case has been carried from generation to generation. Another influencing factor toward inequality is the way in which one was raised. If someone grew up in a family in which one parent exercised dominion over the other, he or she is likely to grow up with the idea that the husband or the wife is the ultimate leader in the family.
Another reason some married couples fail to realize equality in marriage is be cause they fail to or have difficulty communicating with each other. It is not uncommon that usually we assume that the other person knows what we are feeling or thinking and therefore we do not have to say it. Sometimes we assume that they will see our need and figure out what’s wrong. Couples need to say what they want to say and mean it. It is important that before decisions are made, couples counsel with each other and reach a decision, one that is unanimous. Decisions need to be made together, because in all truth, they affect the whole family as a whole and what would be a bad situation would be when a spouse makes a decision independent of the other and then things go wrong. That is when fingers start being pointed and blame is laid.
You then start hearing statements like, “I had nothing to do with that, it was all you,” or, “If only you’d asked for my opinion, we wouldn’t be in this mess.” It is only natural that the other spouse would want to defend him or herself, and that usually results in hatred, ill feelings, contention arises and instead of growing and progressing together, the couple starts drifting apart.
There are and will be situations in the home where one spouse is going to be better or more efficient at doing one task than the other, well now isn’t that one of the reasons why people get married; to pull together resources and fill a missing part in the life of another. In marriage, talents are brought together and wife and husband are to work together, complementing each other because ultimately, one cannot be without the other.
I remember watching a video clip in my Family Foundations Class one time, (That’s Not My Job) in which married couples were having difficulties with parental roles and as a result they were growing farther apart. The wife was feeling overwhelmed with having to work outside of the home and then having to work in the home as well. She felt as if her husband was not doing enough to help and the husband felt as if she never allowed him to help. If he ever did anything to help, she would check up on him, criticize him or at least have some negative concern. It seemed as if she was an assistant parent, who at some point regressed to being a child too, he was after all being monitored. His wife couldn’t trust him to make a single decision. They did later change their approach to the whole situation and the wife became more trusting of his husbands decisions where their children were concerned and other households decisions. A lot of things changes. They were more appreciative of each other and each others' efforts. They started working together and realized they needed each other.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


As the world continues to change and new things are introduced to us, some things that matter the most are now being put off. Here's a poem to think about:

Days and Times Of.

The paradox of our time on history
Is that we have taller buildings but
Shorter tempers; wider freeways
But narrower viewpoints;
We spend more but have less.
We buy more...but enjoy it less
We have bigger houses and smaller
Families; more conveniences but less time.

We have more degrees but less sense
More knowledge but less judgement
More experts but less solutions
More medicines but less wellness

We have mulyiplied our possessions
But reduced our values; we talk much
Love seldom and hate too often
We're quick to point the mistakes of others
But slow in forgiving, let alone forgetting
we've learned how to make a living
But however, not a life; we've added
Years to life but not life to years.

We've been all the way to the moon and back
And yet have trouble crossing the street
To meet the new neighbor
We've conquered outer space but
Not inner space; we've cleaned up
The air, but polluted the soul
We've the split the atom, but not our prejudice

We've higher incomes but lower morals
We've become long on quantity, but
And short on quality.
We've become too concerned with the
Things of the world, without realizing
Just how much our souls are endangered.

These are times of tall man, but short character
Steep profits and shallow relationships
These are the times of world peace,
But domestic warfare
More leisure but less fun
More kinds of foods but less nutrition

These are the days of two incomes
And more divorce
Days of fancier lifestyles and
Sacrificial of inner beauty
For outer appearance

These are the days of man seeking
Anothers' approval and acceptance
These are the times in which
pleasing man has become more
Common than pleasing God.

This is how much society has changed the truth about what’s important and what should be of priority. There are things that used to matter long back that have been kind if thrown in the back seat in this day. Most of us fail to realize that it is about families first for that’s one thing we get to have forever if we work hard at making it success. Other things seem to take the place of family nowadays.