Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A House of God

Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing,
and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting,
a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory,
a house of order, a house of God;
D&C 109:8

This is the scripture I'm using as a guide in managing my home during my 2015 rebuilding year and beyond.  It was revelation given to commence building the Kirtland Temple in late 1832/early 1833.  And since home is the only place on earth that can be considered as sacred as the Temple, I think it's good pretty darned good advice for making home into sacred ground.

The Kirtland Temple, Kirtland Ohio USA
Photo courtesy of Russ' Photo Journal.  View more pictures here:

I've been thinking a lot about what the phrase "home as sacred ground" means.  Some days I will just read through this verse and see which words catch my attention and other times I'll follow those thoughts and see if they lead me to personal inspiration about how to apply the advice.  One thing that got my attention early on in that thought process was that all of keywords are verbs; they direct the reader to take an action.

Organize, Prepare, Establish, Pray,
Fast, Faith, Learn, Glory, Order

But how do you do this?

From the footnotes in my scriptures, study notes jotted in the margins from past religion classes and Sunday School, more study now, prayer, and lots of thought I've come up with the following list of specific actions I can take in my own home.
  • Manage finances to meet current needs and plan for the future.  Work to free myself from being a slave to debt.
  • Magnify my Church callings within the home.  Show respect for those called to authority positions, do my Visiting Teaching, welcome my Visiting and Home Teachers into my home as treasured guests, hold Family Home Evening, hold family prayer and scripture study.  (Those last 3 need some tweaking since it's just me... but you get the idea.)
  • Keep a clean and orderly house.
  • Come and go in the name of the Lord.  Pray for peace and safety for guests and family.
  • Have uplifted hands always.  Go about doing good and looking for ways to help my fellow man.
  • Cease lustful desires.  Learn to be happy with what I've got, because it's really quite a lot!
  • Stock my home with good books and other media.  Refuse to let the bad stuff in.
  • Have food storage on hand as we've been asked to do for decades now.
  • Get to know my neighbors better and seek ways to serve them.  Let my actions teach them the gospel.
  • Read from the scriptures daily.
  • Display pictures of the Savior, Temples and scripture quotes in each room of my home as visual reminders of what I hold most important.
  • Play uplifting music.
  • Pay tithes and offerings.
  • Pray over everything.
  • Be a good citizen.  Be involved in the community.  Make my values known.  Make them count.
  • Attend Church and Temple services.

In some ways that seems like a daunting "To Do" list doesn't it?  And, yet, in others it's just plain common sense for any Christian who is truly living what they believe... things we should all be doing already.

Maybe that's the problem.  These are all things that sound good and right and worthwhile.  But it is just so hard to fit everything in with jobs and family and everyone having a different schedule and there's never enough money to satisfy what everyone thinks they need.  And pretty soon all that stuff that sounded so good on Sunday isn't getting done in the hubbub of daily life.

Guilty, here.  2013 and 2014 saw my finances spiral out of control.  Yes, I had "help" digging that pit but it's still a deep hole that I allowed myself into by placing trust in the wrong person.  And I haven't done a real good job with those other things in any recent time frame, either.  It's way past time for me to get myself together and get it done.  And trust me... if I can do it, so can you!!

And I'm going to do it!  No more excuses here.

Join me in the challenge?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Welcome To My Home

I wrote a short poem today.  Well, actually bits and pieces of it have been floating around in my head for a couple of weeks, but today is the day I got all the parts down on paper and decided it said what I wanted it to say.  And actually I'm kind of proud of it!  One of my great grandfathers was a superb poet and I always wanted to have inherited a latent poetry gene...  Maybe I got lucky and that wish came true?

Welcome To My Home

Welcome to my humble little home!

It’s not fancy, just some sticks and stone.

It’s known poverty and a bit of wealth,

And sheltered me through sickness and in health.

I've filled it with thoughts and people and things I love

As I begged for God’s blessings from above.

I’ve tried to learn from the bad to simply enjoy the good

And found it’s not about could, or should, or would…

But taking whatsoever I do have and sharing,

That is the best way to show my caring.

So come on in - you're fine just as you are

Friends always welcome from both near and far!!

My plan is to print it in a pretty font and put it in a $1 store frame that I've decorated with flowers and ribbons and such to make a rectangular wreath for my front door.  I think it's the perfect accompaniment to my 2015 goals, don't you?

2015: The Year of ME

Does it seem a little early for the New Year's Resolution/goal setting blog posts to begin?  Yeah, probably.  Guess, I'm just a little out of sync...

I posted this a day or so ago on Facebook, both to my own page and the blog page, as my personal theme for 2015.  Then I started thinking about how it might be taken as a threat and added a little extra explanation.

Photo credit to  https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheMotivatedType

In the coming year, I am going to continue to tell my story.  There are people who may not like how they are portrayed.  I'm still going to tell my story... MY story.  And if anyone is worried about their part in it then maybe they should have treated me better when they had the chance.  I'm not going to lie just so they can feel good about themselves or skip over events that are very formative to who I want to become.  A lot of horrible things happened in 2013 and 2014 and I learned so much.  While some of it is completely unexpected, I feel like God is going to use it somehow.  Really curious about how... But if telling it can help even one other person, then my story needs to be told.

Photo credit to the blog at FreePeople.com
The explanation I added talked a little about the New Beginnings program held each year for the Young Women in my Church where girls turning 12 are introduced to the program and the goals and achievements of the teens already participating are showcased. Impressive goals achieved in addition to school, extracurricular activities and often a part-time job. (You can satisfy your curiosity and learn more HERE.)  And that's what I want to do. Use the idea of New Beginnings to set some big goals and focus on fixing what's broken in me... trusting that every ending is followed by a new beginning.

Epic endings deserve equally epic beginnings.  And with that said 2015 is going to be the year I rebuild me!

In order of importance, but not likely achievement, here's what I want next year to look like:

  • I have a date set to get me back to the Temple.
  • I have my own home that is clean, safe and comfortable.
  • Food in the cupboard has replaced worry about the next meal.
  • I have a way to support myself.
  • I have a reliable vehicle.
  • My debts are being appropriately addressed.
  • I have access to quality medical and dental care.
  • My dogs are healthy and happy and have food and adequate veterinary care.
  • I'm able to pay back, pay forward and offer meaningful service as was offered me in my need.
  • I'm gardening and crafting and collecting antique silver again.
  • I'm drawing and writing and making cooking an adventure again.
  • I'm entertaining in my home and going places to meet new people again.
  • I'm involved in my community.

Photo credit: Rose Hill Design Studio on Etsy
It goes back to my deep need for stability and security.  I'm not a person that thrives on the edge... Adventures are wonderful as long as there is a safe haven to come home to afterward.  I've come to realize just how much I need that to feel like I can relax and be happy.  It's doing the simple things in life that I know to be right.  Right for me.

And who better to do that for me than ME?