spiritual

Look up and see your path

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🏞 We hiked this beautiful trail with our kids. They wanted to turn back and complained often. Anyone else have that issue? 🤪. Seriously, I kinda dream of my kids really wanting to hike with me, usually its a bargain! 
BUT I am sure that there will be a time where they are pushing me, right? 🤔

So this made me think about the paths that we walk in our life. Like the one we are on right now. It made me think about my thoughts about wanting to see what is around the next corner. And asking myself if I am I anticipating or if I am a little too distracted and exhausted to look up and enjoy the view. 
We were all on the same hike but some of us enjoyed it more than others. Thoughts like this make me sing 🎶 and remind me to look up and find the beauty! 🤸🏼‍♀️Keep on keeping my friends! We have to have 5 positive thoughts to balance out 1 negative. Find the beauty, find the positive! Keep your balance!

Video: ❤️ Love Extravagantly❤️

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Talking about loving the people in our life! And loving them extravagantly! Even though it’s hard sometimes! 

People, we can do this! We can be givers and we can find a place to stand that is with love! ♥️

Don't give up on giving. It's the giver who always wins!!

Video: Lost My Little Girl & My Dad - Perspective on Death

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It’s my Dad’s birthday today! Super fitting to be able to share this video today. He is the one who taught me a new perspective on death. Today I’m sharing that perspective with you.  

♥️ Wishing all your hearts well! ♥️

Video: Why I Started My Friend Mesha

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A few months ago I went on a hike with a friend and she said, “Mesh, I really like seeing the stuff you post but what is it all about? Like what are you doing?” I answered her question in a video I posted on YouTube. 

This is it. Its my why. Why I started down this road of sharing and creating uplifting content. The reason I started My Friend Mesha

♥️ LOVE- It's a Choice ♥️

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♥️LOVE♥️


It’s a mindful choice. It’s something to put in place of other thoughts or feelings. Like fear, worry and stress. It’s a mindful choice that starts when you are alone with yourself and roars to life, if you let it, in the face of another emotion. It roars when you choose to let it exist when it’s hard to allow. But here’s the deal... if we practice love when it isn’t hard to love, then when it is hard to love, it is easier to get there.


Love this quote from my cute nephew. “Love is the only thing you get more of the more you give away.” Think about that for as long as it takes to for you to freely give it away.

Baptism & Helping Our Kids Choose

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When I was 7 years old my Dad did some really cool things in preparation for my baptism into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I have done them with my kids and have loved watching how it helps them grow.

I remember being alone with my Dad when he asked me who I wanted to baptize me. Naturally I wanted him, but he assumed nothing and he made sure that I could choose anyone I wanted. He even helped me brainstorm my possible options. He wanted to make sure it was my choice.

This is the same way he approached the idea of me even getting baptized. He never assumed I wanted it. He asked me to pray about it and let me know that it was my choice if it was something I wanted to do. He spoke of this very seriously with me. I knew it was my own choice and that it was a sacred choice. 

After deciding who would baptize me he proceeded to ask me who I wanted to be in my confirmation circle. He counseled me to choose men that would help guide me through life. Ones that were already there for me now and that I would be able to talk to or turn to for help in my life. I choose carefully. We made a list. He then asked me to call each of them and personally invite them to participate!  This was incredible for me then and made such an impression on me. My Dad taught me so much in that encounter. He taught me how to make decisions for my own life and he taught me how to reach out and ask for something I needed or wanted. He was also teaching me to have a hand in planning my own baptism, instead of just showing up. 

After my baptism I was with my Mom in the dressing room. She gave me a small gift. As she did she told me of her and my Dads love for me. I opened the gift. It was a small necklace that said, "I am a child of God." She shared her tender feelings with me about her love for her Heavenly Father and Savior and she told me she was proud of me. She put the necklace on me. 

These small actions that my parents did have stayed with me all these years and I have repeated them for each of my kids. It has been amazing to see how these little actions help them grow, take responsibility and then treasure the choice.

Just barely when my son Tyce was baptized, after getting into dry clothing, he went up to the front of the room to be confirmed. I watched as he sat down in the middle of the circle of men forming around him. He looked to make sure all those that were invited to participate were coming to the front. It was incredible to watch as I knew what was going through his mind. it made my momma heart swell. So grateful for good examples of my parents.

AND can I just share my favorite treat leading up to baptism? We aim to do a few family nights in preparation for the big event. We do this in advance so that the child turning eight would have time to process the choice they are making and pray about the choice and to really see how he or she feels about it. After one of these family nights I love to get the little elf cookies (you know the ones filled like an Oreo but shaped like an elf?) then we dip them, ALL THE WAY, into the milk. It's just a fun one! 

Family Night: Real Friends & Popularity

(Parents: Much of this lesson is discussion style. Look over the lesson beforehand and choose what is most effective to be sure and talk about for your family.)

Opening Song:

Give Said the Little Stream

Scripture:

Mosiah 23:7 - Ye shall not esteem one flesh above another, or one man shall not think himself above another.

One of my friends once stated that, "if you believe in a "popular" crowd you believe that some people are more important than others." Like if you; 

  • Caring about what the "popular" kids think 
  • Having a desire to be "popular"
  • Think that you are "popular"

The actual definition of being popular is being liked or enjoyed by many people. BUT contrary to what you might think "popular" people are not always happy. Sometimes they are trying so hard to get other people to like them that they forget to be themselves. 

Video:

(tip this video is good, it's 13 minutes long and you can get a lot from it just by watching the first half. Previewing it would be a good idea to see how much of it applies to your family)

I love that JP states, "To make real friends, be real. To make fake friends, be fake." AND that by being fake in relationships we can still feel incredibly lonely because it isn't the real me being a friend. The real me still wants a true friend.

By being ourselves we give other people permission to also be themselves. 

Optical Object Lesson:

Take a look at these photos. This is what it looks like when cattle farmers brand their cows. They do this so they can identify the cows they own. 

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Question & Personal Experiences:

Can owning happen in friendship? If so, what does that look like? Has that ever happened for any of you?

  • (Parents this is especially a good time for you to share personal experiences that your children can learn from. Even if friends never really owned you, maybe they belittled you, or made little jabs BUT you didn't even see it for what it was until later in life. This is important for your kids to learn from.)

A few good rules of thumb for discussion: 

  • A good friend doesn't make fun of you
  • Friends don’t boss each other around
  • You should feel good around a person you call a friend
  • Good friends bring our the best in each other

What everyone really needs is their friend relationships to be fulfilled. To be kind, love others and share positive energy with those whom you associate. You need not worry about a popular crowd, or any crowd for that matter.

Quote:

Elaine S Dalton - Sometimes our preoccupation is on having friends. Perhaps we should focus on being a friend. 

Imagine:

Putting your arm around someone and letting them know that they are ok with you. That there is nothing they need to live up to or do to to fit in with you. You might not really put your arm around someone but imagine what that looks like.

If you do this you will be surrounded by real friends and you will be changing lives.

To make friends here are a few tips:

  • Show interest in them
  • Give them genuine compliments and appreciation
  • Say their name 
  • Find common interests you can talk about (every single person has at least one thing in common.)

Quote:

Dale Carnegie said, "You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you."

Here is the 1st family night in this series of friends.

Hard Things

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Photo cred

my friend malea

Breath in yoga is purposeful. This morning in our class we talked about how the inhale is the preparation and the gathering of strength to go into the pose and the exhalation is the release of the pose.

It’s this way in life too. A deep breath in can help us as we prepare to go into tough situations; presenting something to a crowd, a conversation with a loved one, a big day on little sleep. All sorts of things that are just a part of life. 

It makes me think of my friend Megan and a time she had to deal with something really hard, like really hard. She had prayed mightily about the situation and felt inspired to have a tough conversation with someone in her life. She pulled up to the house and before she got out of the car she took a deep breath in and said, “Ok Heavenly Father; 1,2,3, here we go.” Her approach to going into a tough situation has stayed with me for a long time. 

Life is tough. I love the reminder to breathe as I go into it and to call upon God, power that is bigger than myself to get through it. 

Family Night: Friends

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Surround yourself with good people! You become a piece of them.

For this lesson you will need: Baby powder, a plate and to ask family members to wear dark colored t-shirts. You also need to pre-think a few experiences where people in your life have influenced you for good or ill.

Opening Song:

Each Life That Touches Ours For Good

For the Strength  of Youth: 

"Choose your friends carefully. They will greatly influence how you think and act, and even help determine the person you will become."

Animal Adaptation:

Your surroundings greatly influence who you become. Take a look at the photo's below. Ask your family if they think the fox's or the owls are the same breed. 

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Both the fox's and the owls are the same breed. In different seasons their coats change color to help them blend in with their surroundings. Did you know that studies have been done on us humans that as we associate with our friends we begin to adopt some of the same mannerisms, attitudes and speech patterns?

Talk about examples in your life where you adapt to the people you are around. 

Eg. My friend Malea makes a certain hand gesture, sort of the teeter-totter motion of a hang loose sign when referring to her and the person she is talking to; I notice myself doing the same thing. My friend Jen describes things in interesting ways, calling non-food items yummy or describing a personality as salty: I do that too. Anything in your life, or your kids lives, mannerisms, hair and clothing styles, even talking like actors have in a popular movie after watching it.

Object lesson:

Pour some baby powder on a plate. Ask family members to press their hands into the baby powder and to place their hands around each other touching the shoulders and backs  of the person they are associating with. As you do this talk about how as we associate with people around us we begin to be a piece of who that person is, or how that person "rubbed off" on us. Talk about the importance of associating with others that we want to be a piece of. Talk about examples from your life, how others around you have influenced you to be a certain way.

Eg: My friend Megan is extremely compassionate and my friend Penny is extremely patient. Those traits rub off on me when I am around them and it deepens our relationship because as I recognize it I am grateful to them for lifting me to higher ground through their example. Have everyone pick someone they are close to and talk about a way they have "rubbed off" on them. 

Also talk about the negative things that can "rub off" on you by hanging out with those that are not a good influence.

Scripture:

Proverbs 22:24-25--  Make no friendship with an angry man: and with a furious man that shalt not go: Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul. 

Video Clip:

Watch this short experiment by Candid Camera:

Again talk about how we are influenced by those around us. Encourage each other to be leaders even when those around us are all doing it. 

Ask:

What will rub off on your friends by hanging out with you? What kind of a person are you being? Do you believe that you can be a leader and lift those around you?

Personal Experience:

Share something from your life when you have been influenced by a friend.

Quote:

"As you walk on the road of life be careful of your friends. They can make you or break you. Be generous in helping the unfortunate and those in distress. But bind to you friends of your own kind, friends who will encourage you, stand with you, live as you desire to live; who will enjoy the same kind of entertainment: and who will resist the evil that you determine to resist."                       - Gordon B. Hinckley

 

*PS Many of the ideas from this lesson come from a book called: Why?: Powerful Answers and Practical Reasons for Living Lds Standards. It is a fantastic book to reference! 

Continue the discussion next week about making real friends here.

Family Night: Compassion

This is Tyce and Giles. As this picture was taken, Giles was saying to Tyce, "Tyce I wish your legs worked. If they did we would..." Giles proceeded to talk to Tyce about all the things they would be doing instead of sharing that chair watching the soccer game. They could have been nearby at the skate park with their scooters, at the playground or kicking on the soccer nets, stuff boys do when their legs work. Instead Tyce sat in this chair and Giles sat right next to him.

Tyce's legs normally work, he just had a really strange incident. He had just recovered from being sick and was depleted of all the things his body needs. The next day he started a soccer tournament and played three games in two days. It did something to him. His muscles in both legs cramped up and he literally could not walk for almost two days. 

Tyce is my son. Tyce knows Giles because their Dads, Jake and Joel. Jake and Joel became friends as toddlers. So here is an interesting twist. When Jake and Joel were around the same age as Tyce and Giles, a similar situation happened. Joel's hips had a complication, legg-calfe-perthes, and he couldn't walk. Jake's Dad is a chiropractor and at age seven, Jake knew his Dad could help his friend. He also knew that Joel's family didn't have the means to pay so he asked his Dad if he would fix his friend. Jake's parents still recall the incident, describing Jake with so much tenderness and feeling. Jake had so much concern and love for his friend and when he asked this of his Dad he agreed right away. For almost a year Jake stuck right by Joel. They did the things that Joel could do until Joel was better.  

It was an interesting few days as we stayed at Joel's house for the tournament. We witnessed the role reversal of Jake's sons legs now not working and Giles sticking right by Tyce to do the things Tyce could do, like play magformers on a blanket or cards on the trampoline. Activities that Tyce could be carried to. 

It didn't require a lot of coaching on Giles part, he just did it because he wanted to be with his friend. The same goes for Jake. He cared so much about his friend. He wanted to help him get better and stuck by him playing hot wheels in the dirt instead of running and playing at recess.

That experience has stayed with Joel to this day. It is fun to be Jake's wife and to hear this endearing story about my husband from a great friend. It makes my heart go all mushy and Joel? He gets a little teary when he shares the story. It is great to be loved and to carry that with you for all of your life. Jake had no idea at that age that this story might make his wife love him even more. He just knew what he felt in his heart. When we truly love others we feel what they feel and want to help them.  

Compassion Family Night

Song: Give Said The Little Stream

Song: Peter 3:8

Object Lesson: Ask family members to trade shoes and act or impersonate the person who's shoes are on your feet, walk like them, talk like them, do anything that shows you are trying to be them. Laugh about it and come back to it later in the lesson.

Video: Watch this fun Brain Games Experiment

Talk about how compassion changed the experiment. 

Story about compassion: Choose a story from your own history or use the story about Tyce & Giles and Jake & Joel.

Wrap up the lesson by talking about how when we love others or think about putting ourselves "in their shoes" it helps us have compassion for them. When we imagine ourselves in their shoes we can more easily see what their needs might be. 

Talk about how showing compassion starts a chain reaction. Encourage each other to start the chain and make a difference in the lives of people your do not even interact with by showing love to those that you do. 

Closing song: I'm Trying To Be Like Jesus