(this is a repost of a blog post I wrote in August 2014)

I love being in the Relief Society Presidency of our ward.

The best part?  Not being the President!!  😉

I am responsible for the Sunday meetings.

I make sure the teachers have the help and support they need.  On rare occasions it means I get to do a sudden impromptu lesson when a teacher is not being able to make it at the last minute.

Sunday after Sacrament Meeting I got a text from the teacher.  She had the flu!!

So I had 30 minutes to prepare a lesson.

I do love to teach.  I also love to prepare, in some ways that is my favorite part of teaching. I learn so much when I am preparing and I feel the spirit.

The lesson was on baptism.  I started reading it and got excited.  The very first section referred to the symbolism between our birth in this life and our rebirth in baptism.  Well, I love birth.  I co-authored a book about the spirituality of birth – The Gift of Giving Life.  I looked up some blog posts on The Gift of Giving Life blog, and got the ideas and inspiration I needed to feel good going into the lesson.

However I still felt some hesitation.  Again, I usually practice my lessons at least 2 times before teaching.  No time for that!  So I prayed for help and got the impression that this was the chance to see the power of The Lord’s hand, that He would give me what I need to speak, when I need to speak it.

My Notes

1 – PreparationDo you think we prepared in the pre-mortal existence for our earthly birth?  Robyn said, “birth is the crowning event of pre-motal life”Do we do things to prepare for our baptism?  Yes, we prepare or help our kids prepare.
2 – BlessingsBody, Light of Christ, New Life, FamilyBody is cleansed, Holy Ghost, New Life and New Church family
3 – Water, Blood, SpiritAmniotic Fluid, Blood, Our Spirit joining with our body.  Moses 6:59 Allowing them to bust forth from pre-motal state, bathed in pure water, life giving blood and the Spirit.Water – BaptismBlood – Atoning Blood of ChristFire – Gift of the Holy Ghost
4 – Who with?Mother(typically) Father
5 – ChoiceWe chose to come to earth.  Imagine we made covenants before we came to earth in this “ordinance” of birthWe choose to get baptized.  Make a covenant in the ordinance.
6 – SacrificeRequires Sacrifice of Mother to birth her baby.Requires Sacrifice of Savior

Baptism and Birth can be Spiritual

I then talked about how when we set our intentions, we can see the spirituality in everything.  I shared the experience I had at T3’s baptism.

My “baby” was baptized in January by his 16 year old big brother.

brothers baptism

The day before his baptism, I remembered about a post my friend wrote for the blog about the baptism of her daughter and how it was as special as the day she was born.  I had not experienced that with my oldest sons baptisms, but I wanted to for this one.

I prayed and asked God to help me have a meaningful experience of my own.  I made sure I got up early Saturday to meditate and pray and study scriptures.  I stayed calm and relaxed before and during the services and really focused on staying present.  (At my other boys baptisms I remember feeling a bit frazzled and overwhelmed.)

I waited and watched with my spiritual eyes.

The talk about baptism was lovely.

My middle son and 8 year old sang When I Was Baptized.  It was lovely.

The talk on the Holy Ghost was great!

Our family went last for the baptism.  We went into the font area.

Then I saw.

I wish I was an artist and could draw the image I had.  I can still see it so clearly in my mind.

It was when B. came up out of the water and was all wet and then he took his first breath.

Suddenly I was back at his birth, when he emerged and his head was all wet and he took his first breath and gave a bellowing cry.

It was so similar, I almost expected to hear crying.

But suddenly he was my 8 year old boy again smiling and laughing as his big brother tried to get the plug undone from the bottom of the font.

The rest of the day was lovely.

Another song by the boys.  (They sang this in the room we did the confirmation.)

Lunch with family and friends.

Park with family.  It was so great having all the grandparents, aunts, uncle and cousins.

Being together!!

Then I saw more

I was exhausted by the time I made it to bed.  It was almost midnight but I knew I had to write down what I had seen.  It was a gift I was given and I needed to honor it by writing it.

As I wrote about seeing B’s first breath, I saw more.

It was so neat to see him baptized by his older brother.  I remembered that moment of him coming out of the water all wet and breathing that first breath and I saw D. there too.  That D was looking down at B love.  It hit me in my heart.  His older brother baptized him!  There was cool symbolism in that.

It was the sacrifice of his Elder Brother Jesus Christ that we are all able to be baptized and cleansed of our sins.

Seek after these things

When we seek for things we will find them.  Once women realize that births can be spiritual, they start seeking to see those spiritual things and then they are able to see them.  I don’t know if I would have had that moment if I hadn’t asked to see it.  I want to continuously seek to see the spiritual things going around me always.  I pray you do to!

mom and baptism boy

In the Finding Joy in the Journey podcast episode 37 “the most powerful thought you can use to stay calm while parenting” I shared the thought “it’s age appropriate”

I also shared a story about how Devon got stabbed by Santa before Christmas. I sort of mentioned it by accident, because I quickly realized while recording, that “age appropriate” thought didn’t help with that situation at all.

I talked about it with my advanced coaching clients class and we realized that some of our kids fall outside of the “age appropriate” thought.

You must know this interesting alternative thought to “it’s age appropriate”

For me it is “It is Devon appropriate”

Because somehow it sort of makes sense that Devon accidently stabbed himself after forgetting he put a knife in his Santa statue.

So for you it may be, “It is _____ appropriate.”

I hope this alternative thought can help those of you with kids who push the age appropriate limits. 😉

Next week I am going to dive into how we need to be careful and still pay attention to warning signs of something outside of their normal.

I have had my share of challenges while raising my boys.

I spent the first 14 years or so of parenting losing my temper, yelling, being frustrated and disappointed in my kids and in myself.

Do you struggle with staying calm while parenting?

I have done a lot of work with coaching and emotional clearing to help get me to a place where I MOSTLY stay calm while parenting.  Even when crazy things come up.

Like when Devon told me he was stabbed in the foot by Santa a few days before Christmas, so he wasn’t able to come up to visit us for the Holidays.

Devon… he is 23 and keeps us on our toes.  I am not sure how come he seems to be the one that gets himself into these crazy situations, but he does.  It gives me lots of practice to stay calm and grounded when crazy things happen.

So, what is my favorite thought I use in these situations? (Though it may not actually apply to the Santa stabbing situation)

“It is age appropriate to…..”

When my boys get on each other’s nerves… it is reassuring to remind myself – “It is age appropriate for them to not always get along.”

When my 15-year-old rolls his eyes when I remind him to empty the garbage, instead of getting annoyed, I remember, “It is age appropriate to not want to do chores.”

It works for almost every situation…. Because typically what your kids are doing is age appropriate.  Even if they are lying to you or sneaking around or talking back or having temper tantrums…. Depending on the age, it is highly likely appropriate.

It does not mean I don’t teach them or correct their behavior.

It does mean that I am able to do that from a calm and grounded space, because I recognize it is age appropriate, it helps me to see it as neutral, instead as an afront to me, or feel bad that I have raised them wrong, etc…. it takes the emotions out.  It helps me not spin about it!

That is SOOO powerful, because when I respond from a place of calm and acceptance, it allows them to respond to me more calmly as well. 

I also use “appropriate” in some other phrases as well. Often to help me feel more kind to myself…

  • “It is emotionally appropriate for me to feel disappointed that Devon won’t be here for Christmas.”
  • “It is emotionally appropriated for me to be frustrated when my son doesn’t do his chore even when reminded many times.”
  • “It is physically appropriate that I would need a nap today, when I was up late last night and am getting over a sinus infection.” 

Somehow saying these things help me have grace for myself and take care of myself, just as I take care of my children and spouse.

Try it this week!

– the next time a child does something that normally upsets you… say to yourself, “It is age appropriate for ______.” 

See if it helps you to be more neutral about what they did and respond more calmly.

If you want some coaching about specific things you are struggling with your family about, then Essentials to Enjoy Life is a perfect class to join!  It is starting this week, so if there is a spot still open, you may have a chance to join.   

Visit https://enjoy-life1.teachable.com/p/essentials-to-enjoy-life-feb-2021to see if it is a good fit for you!

We went back to church in the last few weeks my 15 year old mentioned, “Wow, I am out of practice.  Church feels so long.” 

And it is even shorter than it used to be, by well over an hour! 

I agreed.  

My attention definitely has suffered over the last year. 

How about yours?

I share an example of how I am going to work on increasing my attention this week. 

I would love to hear what you are doing!

Listen to Podcast Here