Thursday, March 19, 2009

My little black book...

-Except it’s not really black. It’s just the title that came to mind. Isn’t there a movie of that name?

It was a very simple but very thoughtful gift... Ashley gave me this cutsie journaling book on my birthday at the start of Sophomore year. It was one of those gifts that take you by total surprise because really there was no need. I appreciated her remembering me...

Even more so than that, I grew to ADORE my journaling book. I would say that if I had to walk out of my apartment with only 10 things and never look back, it would for sure make the cut. Let me tell you why...

This book just so happened to be the same size ad my scriptures so I it fitted perfectly into my little scripture carrier. It quickly became my note-taking journal from Church and other motivational speakers. Just to name a few...I have notes from friend’s missionary farewells, multiple general conferences, education week classes, blessings, firesides, devotionals, family reunions, wise parents/grandparents, Pres. Hinckley’s many talks and ever his funeral, to so much more. This book has been with me for some tender meetings and distinct impressions.

I’m the type of person that has to write everything down. Every day I write a to-do list. I took notes in school as if I was hanging on the teacher’s last words. I even jot down a blog post title if one comes to mind. You should see my office, I have sticky notes everywhere. I have a terrible memory if I don’t write things down. I learned that at an early age and it served me well to know.

Sunday’s church motivated this post. I had my last entry that the pages of my little book could fill. For almost 4 years I’ve written in a very small print to make this book last me.

I thought my last entry of many was very appropriate, timely, and memorable. I’d like to share...

Elder Cook, one of the 12 Apostles for our church, was presiding over our stake conference this past weekend. It was a special treat to have him with us. During the Saturday session, we had an informal meeting where he allowed time for a Q&A. I walked away with a lot of comfort and peace—despite the crazy times. There is so much hope and purpose for our tomorrows, while there is so much stability and promise through the Gospel. I feel like my motives are realigned.

Elder Jones came to our conference as well. He tailored his words to us perfectly—advice for the upcoming generation who will soon be raising families of their own. In doing so, he listed off 25 different points of advice he had for us to work towards raising a successful family while strengthening our homes.

1. Assist your sons in receiving their Eagle Scout...your daughters in receiving their Young Women’s medallion.

2. Eat one meal together each day as a family.

3. Kneel together in family prayer—morning and night.

4. Teach children the importance of graduating from Seminary and Institute.

5. Help children appreciate missions and higher education.

6. Memorize, study, and review the Family Proclamation to the World often.

7. Arrive 15 minutes early and sit towards the front—become engaged.

8. Have a meaningful FHE (Family Home Evening) every week.

9. Teach the Plan of Salvation to your children and the essential nature of saving ordinances.

10. Have a picture of the temple up in the home that is in a prominent place to see often.

11. Have an hour of ‘companionship time’ together daily. In this time, ‘invest in scrip study together.’

12. Arrange schedules so a parent spends one on one time with a child each week.

13. Rather than giving a child allowance, let them work and do chores for money. The sense of entitlement is dangerous.

14. Fill the home with good literature and music.

15. Monitor the amount of time spent in front of the TV and internet.

16. Fathers, give timely priesthood blessings.

17. Obtain, study, and reflect on blessings daily.

18. Search the scriptures daily.

19. Teach children that individual worth comes from WHO they are… not WHAT they are.

20. Discipline in a timely manner, but don’t demean.

21. Establish the home as a place for peace and love…like the Temple.

22. Heed to all of the Prophet’s words.

23. Obtain and learn information in church booklets.

24. Teach children to enjoy hard work.

25. Bare testimony to children privately and on a frequent basis.

What a great way to end such a special book.

To sum it up, I cherish this journal full of notes and impressions. From the time I graduated from high school and left home, until I got married, it was a four year window. And although I learned a lot in the home, what I learned here at college--experiences and council given--really prepared me to be a wife and mother. Of course, Andrew and I will continue to learn together--we have a lot to learn. But my experience here at BYU taught me wonders. From the weekly devotionals, to firesides, and much more, I’ve been fed a lot. Although the measure of what was really learned is to be had in the heart, I’m glad I have something tangible to refer back to.

Thanks Ashley for my ‘little black book.’


Pierce and Stacy said...

Thank you for your post, I really enjoyed that. I always have tons of journals because I can't stop buying them and can't write fast enough to fill each one. Good job finishing your little book!

Steve and Dayna said...

I am copying that list. What great advice for a family.

ashley schmutz said...

You are amazing. I second Dayna on copying that list! I totally forgot about that book! I am glad you have been able to put it to great use!