Sunday, May 21, 2017

5 Things You Can do Each Day to Make Your Child a Successful Adult



A 75 year long Harvard study followed 268 Harvard men over 75 years to determine what exactly made them happy and successful later in life.


This study, called the Grant study, found something very interesting and it had to do with mothers.

It concluded:

"The warmth of childhood relationship with mothers matters long into adulthood:
  • Men who had “warm” childhood relationships with their mothers earned an average of $87,000 more a year than men whose mothers were uncaring.
  • Men who had poor childhood relationships with their mothers were much more likely to develop dementia when old.
  • Late in their professional lives, the men’s boyhood relationships with their mothers—but not with their fathers—were associated with effectiveness at work."

As mothers we think we have to be perfect. We think that everything we do will affect our children.

We think we have to have a perfect house, a perfect temper, perfect clothes, perfect domestic abilities, a perfect education and perfectly folded clothes. 

Well put down the unfolded laundry ladies...because the truth is that we don't have to be perfect at really...anything.

(***Huge sigh of relief)

In fact, sometimes our lack of perfection, but continuation of imperfection while still functioning, proves more to our children than perfection does. 

While we could argue the validity of the Grant study and its application to all families the one thing we cannot dispute is the true power behind the "warmth of a mothers love" and its impact on children. This is because this truth is deeply interwoven within us. The Harvard Grant study isn't the only reliable source that declares the power of a Mother's love! My heart declares this and I believe yours does too. 

Our mom hearts deep inside us know that we were made to nurture and to love our children. It is a biological, emotional, spiritual need that we have. Not only does it make a difference to their "now" but it will continue to influence them way into adulthood.

So forget about the constant stress of being perfect but do heed this terrible warning. The one thing that we can do to interfere with this glorious task of "loving our children" that we have is to disconnect from them. Psychologically, emotionally or even spiritually. Unfortunately, as moms we are facing this temptation to disconnect more than ever before. I only speak not as someone who is condemning others but as someone who has fallen victim to this flaw. I myself have looked up from my device and realized what I have done and felt the sorrow at the time that I have lost. 

This tool of Satan is very real. It is the most subtle yet effective weapon he has against us mothers. It will leave us with bitter regret and can leave our children disconnected from us in their time of greatest need.




How can we work to over come this? We watch for the important crossroads of connection and make those crossroads into habits to connect with them, without distraction without strings attached. We connect with them each day. "Connect at the crossroads"

This may seem mechanical but for us who have spanned the nontechnical and technical age of motherhood --meaning we have raised kids both in and out of social media WE NEED THIS!!! 

I HAVE SEEN THE DIFFERENCE. With my oldest children there was not social media. No temptation to disconnect. There was just them. I didn't wake up and check my phone. I rushed in and held my babies.

I didn't look at my phone at breakfast or when they were at the playground. There was no temptation it was just me and them. Now there is always a silent intruder. It is here to stay. A silent crowd knocking at my door, pleading for my attention. Distracting, calling, bidding. 

I could get off of social media altogether but the world has turned and I have turned with it. I am evolving. So now I need to show this silent intruder that he/she has a place. I am still in charge. They have to wait while I connect with my children. My children have priority.

So again there are precious cross roads each day where we can connect with our children and enhance "this warmth" that is refereed to in the study above. We can arrange special moments each day if we desire, because more is better but the most important thing is to connect consistently on a regular basis and make it habitual. Our children need to feel secure and loved. It is so important that our phones and electronics are put away at specific times and that we are in tune.

Connect at the Crossroads

Connect when they wake up-
Tenderly love your children as they meet the day. Do they wake up grumpy? Teach them that you are there with a smile. Even if you have to crack the whip a few minutes later to get them going at least initially connect and show them love those first few moments that they see you. Keep your device away. Touch their arm, squeeze their shoulder, rub their back, give them a kiss on their for head, make them breakfast. Whatever you do as a family. Put the device away. Ask them about what their day will entail. Make it all about them.

Connect when they come home from school-
Kids and even teenagers are often chatty right when they get home from school. The ride home from school is the best time to talk to them but right when they walk in the door is a good time as well. Put the computer away. I know that many people work and are not there but if you have the opportunity to be there to greet them. Ask them about their day. Retrieve their back pack, give them a snack. See what they have been up to. Let them have a moment to go to the bathroom. Be a safe place for them to land.

Connect at Dinner (or other meals)
There are many studies that talk about the power of family meals. From the protective power against drug use to good grades family meals together can grant it all. Make family meals a priority. If your kids are old enough to have devices of their own have them put their phones away and connect with you as well. Make the meal as yummy as you can so that it is something that they look forward to. Keep it positive try to reserve it for good conversation. Work out problems another time. Again try to take a chance to squeeze each child on the arm lovingly. Touch is a powerful parental reassurance. Hug your children often and look them in the eye. Make them remember who they are and who they are meant to become.  

Connect bedtime
As a mom for me this is always the hardest time to connect. I am always extremely tired. What started out as reading books to each child, then bed time stories, then songs to each child is now only time with each child in the form of a hug and a kiss and a tap on the nose with a tuck in and an "I love you". I try to take time to talk to the older ones a little longer because this is the time when they are the most chatty (see the point below). But our bedtime routines seem to fluctuate a little depending on the needs of the children and my needs. I know they look forward very much to this time with me so I try not to miss it no matter how tired and grumpy I feel. 

Connect in times of need (Or when our children are chatty)
There are times when I notice my children look sad or just need to talk. I try to listen to them at these times. There is a quote that says listen to your children when they tell you about the little things so that when they grow older they will tell you about the big things because to them the little things were always the big things. I have a son who wants to tell me every little thing that happens in class. He is always so excited about it too. I find I am tempted to tune out and multitask in my brain as he does this but I remember this quote and try to find the excitement in his stories that he finds. I also try to tune into the feelings of my kids when they seem to carry around a burden. Some are better at hiding it than others so I have to really watch for it. I have even felt the spirit prompt me a few times to ask my kids about what is going on and so I have to also connect in that way.



I dislike sharing links since you lose control over where they lead and the ads shared on the future page but I watched this clip from this woman who is a child psychologist and it was very impactful to me. Almost life changing.

 If you have about three minutes watch it please. I shared another link below to her book. The title is deceitful. It really is not about working mom's but about distracted moms. You won't regret it. 

http://insider.foxnews.com/2017/04/12/new-moms-should-stay-home-work-children-3-years-being-there-book-says







Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Tithing- "Prove me herewith"

I was reviewing our budget. I do really well, usually with our finances. I say usually because I made a huge blunder recently. A couple of months ago, I noticed an excess of funds. I believed that they were a result of an extra class my husband had taught, so I used them to pay directly into our house debt. I do this any time we have excess. I should have double checked first.

I realized when reviewing our budget and documents later that the funds were not from an extra class, but a missed tithing payment.

I remember getting online to pay tithing but I failed to complete the translation by not pressing submit. At least I think that is what happened.

The month was tight with funds. We had a few large bills come through and I wasn't sure what to do. I had not encountered a temptation not to pay tithing in a long time. The Lord had really taken care of us. I knew to pay it but my mind tried to devise a way that it would impact us the least possible. As I devised and schemed the scripture- "prove me now herewith" entered my mind. Malacah 3:10 "bring ye all tithes...and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven, and pour out a blessing, that there shall not be room to receive it."

Now I don't know about you, but it sounds a lot to me that the Lord is saying- come and try this principle out. We are told not to ask for "signs" but is this the one exception? Is this the one place where the Lord will provide for us miraculously and "open the windows of heaven" and pour out upon us blessings? I have definitely seen it with my own eyes not even just in the story I am about to share but many times before.

I hope however to be faithful enough as the widow who "casteth in her mite", far away from the praising voice of the Savior. Who did not hear his words, who did not realize her story would inspire millions, but she did it anyway. With out knowing that she would receive anything, she gave all she had not knowing where her or her family's next meal would come from. But since God is an Honest God and One who keeps his word. Our rewards will come. In this life or the next. Even so much that we may not have room to receive them! Wow!

So I paid my tithing double that month.

I know we are always blessed for paying tithing but I am not always looking for the blessings. so in my perspective I really shouldn't have been technically blessed right? Not "more than normal". Since I was just doing what I owed in the first place. After all I was paying a month that I had missed.  But I couldn't help but keep my eyes open for blessings. It was a sacrifice. I didn't know how the numbers were going to work out.

I did know, however, that the Lord would bless us. That somehow we would make it.

I waited upon the Lord. I tried to find a few ways that we would make money with full confidence that something would happen. My pride didn't allow me to tell my husband just yet about my tithing blunder, I hoped that the tithing blessing would come through. I watched for it and tied to figure out how to make things work and a few days after paying the tithing the blessing came...

My husband came in from work one afternoon and I was at the computer.

He walked in the door and said "You will never guess what happened today."

I replied "Someone gave you a bunch of money."

He stopped mid-stride and eyed me with surprise. "How did you know?" He asked.

I was right. The blessing had come. Before he could even tell me what the blessing was guilt got the better part of me and I told him my financial blunder and how we had to pay two months of tithing that month because of my mistake.

My husband, who is the most honest person I know and the most honest with the Lord, sat and listened.  He still hadn't told me his news yet and asked how much we owed on tithing and had paid this month. I told him. He sat down and did some numbers in his head.

"Yes" he replied."Someone did give us a bunch of money or an extra job that will provide a bunch of money and it comes out to be almost 8 times what we paid in tithing."

It turns out a large company got my husbands name and asked him that morning to teach a class. The thing is, it won't just be one class but it will be a continuous class. Each time he will make a generous amount for a minimal amount of time.

I know things don't always turn out this exact way with tithing. And sometimes it is stories like these that make people frustrated, but who am I to not report miracles when they come and bear testimony of such things. The windows of heaven do open and this isn't even the greatest of tithing miracles. I know the true miracles take place in our hearts when we use our agency to follow out of obedience and love for our Father in Heaven and his plan. This change is worth more in the eternities than we can fathom.



Thursday, April 13, 2017

Early morning scripture study in a stinky gym

I get up every morning and go to the gym REALLY early.

It is not easy. It is difficult some days. But I am always grateful.

The first thing I do when I arrive is walk on the treadmill for 10 minutes and read my scriptures.

This sounds insignificant but I have noticed this "preworkout scripture study" time is one of the most revelation flowing sessions I have of the day.

I am not sure why that is. Now if you remember I am at a gym. I am surrounded by people in workout clothes, pop-fitness music is playing and Televisions are broadcasting overhead. It isn't an environment that a person would usually feel the spirit.

So why is it that I feel that great "mysteries of God" are revealed to me in those short sessions right before my workout?

I have thought about this alot.

Shouldn't it be only that only quiet moments in the temple are when I get that inspiration?

Shouldn't it be when I am completely away from the worlds influence in all it's forms and I have fasted and prayed or when I am at church?

Why in a stinky gym with music playing, with TV's broadcasting would I have very tender revelations?

The other day it occurred to me.

Sacrificing a tiny slice of my early morning workout time (I get up at 4:45 again it is not easy) to read my scriptures is my own form of a personal tithe or my own "widows mite." I don't always have a lot to offer to the Lord but my workout time is something that its truly something of worth to me.

Reading 10 minutes may seem insignificant but I feel the Lord blesses me for it.

 I try to also read at other times during the day but this is what I do to make sure I get it in before anything else and to make a special offering before the Lord each day.

One of my sessions this week I read Mosiah Chapter 1. King Benjamin is talking to his sons about the Plates of Brass so essentially the "scriptures" hes says:

"My sons, I would that ye should remember that were it not for these plates, which contain these records and these commandments, we must have suffered in ignorance, even at this present time, not knowing the mysteries of God."

I had never considered not reading the scriptures as "suffering in ignorance". But as I contemplated all the glorious truths of the gospel and the great things that we have learned from the scriptures, not even to mention the guidance of revelation or "mysteries of God" in my personal life then yes the word suffering would fit that state of absence without these things very much.

I can't imagine life without what the gospel brings me and not only the gospel but the additional "mysteries of God" or these little slices of personal revelation that I get when I feel connected and doing what I know is right and reading the scriptures.

So yes even in a stinky gym, with pop fitness music playing and television broadcasting while reading scriptures we can feel the spirit!







Sunday, April 2, 2017

Preparing for conference- Having our tent doors open towards the prophet


Friday night for scripture study we had one of those nights.

Jared was sick and went to bed early and it was just me and the boys. Instead of pulling out the scriptures I decided to do a "scripture story" which means I talk about either a scripture I read in my own studies that stuck out to me our we talk about an actual story.

We do this once or twice a week. This may sound like a slacker way of doing things but these discussions actually turn out to be rich in discussion and longer than many of our actual reading sessions. I have found these to be very useful and spirit driven.

Tent door open towards the prophet
On Friday night in preparation for Saturday conference the story of the people of King Benjamin came to mind. The scripture is: Mosiah 2:6

"And they pitched their tents round about the temple, every man having his tent with the door thereof towards the temple, that thereby they might remain in their tents and hear the words which king Benjamin should speak unto them;"

Every family had their door towards the temple which means it was towards the prophet.

I told them to liken it to us in our day. I tried to make it a little silly and asked them to listen carefully.

"Tell me if I am saying this right." I asked "If we had a tent and the prophet was speaking to us we would pitch our tent with the door facing away from him."

They all being the smart boys that they are jumped up and immediately caught my flaw and said "No mom you need to face it towards the prophet"

"We don't have tents that we pitch today" I told them "but we do have hearts that we get ready for conference so how do we get our hearts ready so they are facing open towards the prophet just like our tents should be."

I thought that I would have them stumped but not a chance they immediately answered "Scripture study and prayer."

One child even thoughtfully replied "Mom I always see you writing in a journal during conference. Is that something you do to keep your heart open?" Wow. I hadn't thought of it that way but yes. That is exactly why I do it.

During conference I continually get little thoughts about what I should be doing in my life so  not only do I take notes of the talks but I write down impressions that I have.

***I make three little stars like this by impressions that come to me. When I review my notes I review those impressions and try to act upon them.

Last April conference I had a distinct impression to serve a sister in my ward in a special way. Little did I or anyone else know that she would die within a week of conference. My heart breaks thinking about her loss.

Conference Question Challenge
I ended our "scripture story" session with a challenge for them. I asked them to think of a question that they had for Heavenly Father it could be anything that they felt right about asking him. I challenged them to pray about it and then listen for the answer in conference.

Asking a question at conference is one of the best ways to open our hearts towards the prophet and might I add the apostles.

They are taking that challenge this conference. We will see how it turns out!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

A Slow Conversion like A Pearl... How I came to believe


(This was a talk/testimony I gave in stake conference this past weekend and wasn't meant to be in written-blog-form but here it is. Please pardon all the grammar errors until I can find time to edit. :)

While on a mission, in Spain, 20 years ago, my trainer companion Sister Sancho would share her testimony. She was the only member in her family and in a land that only had the gospel available for a mere 20 years she had been converted through an extraordinary angel-like experience. When she would share her conversion and I was expected to follow up with mine I would feel intimidated but I was taught through the spirit that I was not to feel like this. That my conversion to the gospel, although different from hers, was just as important and valuable.


My experience though not angel-like was pearl-like.


I use the parable of a pearl when explaining to my children how I came to know the truths of the gospel that I hold dear and that anchor me to the principles in which I live my life.


An oyster for example has a problem. The oyster has a grain of sand stuck in its shell which acts as an irritant. This oyster works on this grain of sand slowly, day after day, layer after layer until he covers over this grain of sand and turns it smooth. Making this problem a pearl.


This is how I feel with my experience with the gospel. I have had various problems which I have brought before the Lord. And the Lord Line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little and taught me. Some grains of sand have been hard trials, some have been questions and the Lord has worked with me through scriptures, through revelations, through promptings and unique experiences. He has had time to work with me and sediment a slow, layered process of conversion which defines who I have become. I may not have had missionary knock on my door but the spirit has knocked on my heart. My missionary was the Holy Ghost and the Book of Mormon.


I grew up in the church. With goodly parents. We were expected to go to church and live strict principles of honesty, respect and hard work. I had a Sunday school teacher in my youth who challenged us, as young girls, to read the Book of Mormon every day for thirty minutes. This soft spoken women told us it would become a habit if we did this. I took this challenge and I read the Book of Mormon every day and it did become a habit. I remember being surprised when I read that Nephi died. I had thought that he wrote the entire book of Mormon. I knew so little about what really laid in its pages when I first read it. As I read, answers to daily struggles often seemed to come at the right time. Like when one of my friends read my journal. I was young and this was a big deal to me. That night I read the words of Christ when he was talking to the Nephites and he said “Forgive men of their trespasses and our Father which art in heaven will forgive you for your trespasses.” I didn’t know what a trespass was but I figured it was like a sin and I knew it was a message from Heavenly Father that I was supposed to forgive this friend and so I did.


I continued to read in the scriptures every day through my teenage years. And it was incredible. The Lord guided my life. I once was put in a bad situation and the scripture “Stand ye in Holy Places.” kept running through my mind. I got out of that situation. Over and over again this things occurred. I can’t even begin to share all the beautiful experiences I had with the scriptures as a youth.


One experience I did not want to share but praying about it I felt compelled to share was my testimony of Joseph Smith.


To be honest I didn’t always have a strong conviction of him as a prophet. I had grown very fond of the Book of Mormon and its power in my life and knew it was of God but I realized that everytime I read about Joseph Smith or discussed him in seminary I had feelings of disbelief. I knew these feelings did not correspond together. So one night I took the matter to the Lord. I asked him in humble prayer to help me know more fully the truth about Joseph Smith. If he was a true prophet of God I didn’t want to doubt anymore.


I left my prayer feeling like I could leave it in the hands of the Lord.


That week I had a hard teenage experience that left me feeling very sad. Feeling overwhelmed and without comfort I turned to the scriptures and ended up flipping to Joseph Smith history. Joseph recounted how he felt like Paul telling his story before King Agrippa. As I read the words they reflected, in my soul exactly how I felt at that time with the trial I was going through and I felt the conviction that was behind them. I knew that Joseph's words about his own trial were sincere and I felt a spiritual confirmation of their truth. I now knew that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God.


I realized that this was the answer to the prayer that I had said a week before.


Many more experiences have been layered to create my pearls, the same pearls that made me feel like I wanted to do a heel click when president Buck first asked me to share my testimony. Pearls of great price. Pearls whose value does not rest in their density but in their layering process over time.


To sum up why I believe, I believe because I choose to believe. A process that has never been forced upon me at any time. But as I have chosen carefully to believe, day after day, line upon line, precept upon precept, obedience upon obedience a power which is not my own has been with me. Something that is not my own has come upon me and I can strongly testify that I know that God lives that, Jesus Christ lives, that even if an angel had appeared unto me and declared it I would not have a stronger conviction than what I have with the process of obedience that I have been through. I have learned there is no timeline on Moroni’s promise about the Book of Mormon. Personal revelation paired with experience is more fortifying than almost any immediate spiritual manifestation. We came here for a mortal experience.


I am not perfect. This life is not perfect. We were not meant to live a life of ease, without trial, without temptation, without awkward situations. That was satan's plan. God’s plan was to have bumps in the road, to, again, walk the refiners fire, to have a mortal experience. For in this process we walk the path towards perfection leading us closer to the goal of  having a prize in which we obtain a more fullness of Joy.


I know God lives. I know my Heavenly Father loves me and is mindful of me. I know Christ has atoned for my sins and has offered me redemption. I am grateful for this opportunity to share my pearls of great price and why I believe.

Friday, March 10, 2017

3 Blessings of Infertility

This is not a post about why someone should be grateful for infertility. Despite the title. I do not want to deceive anyone into thinking that infertility is not a deep and lonely trial that should be desired or that someone who is walking with this trial should be happy with their circumstance. Instead this is a post about 3 things that I learned when dealing with infertility that I feel have gloriously blessed my life and future for the better.

11 years ago I had just undergone yet another grueling medical procedure hoping that I might somehow, possibly have a child. We were thousands of dollars invested in our effort, I had undergone years of needles, diagnostics, hormonal treatments and surgeries with the end goal of having a child.

On this morning we were on our way to the doctor for a blood test to see if I was possibly pregnant. Like a hundred times before I knelt in prayer asking that if it was the Lords will that I could have a baby. Unlike thousands of times before, however, I felt a silencing presence with a quiet prompting that I was indeed going to have a baby and that my test would be positive but this prompting came with a warning "That I needed to not forget all of the things I had learned from this trial of infertility."

The next few hours were filled with anxiety followed by tears of joy as I found out that I was indeed pregnant. A few months later I gave birth to beautiful twin boys. Now years later I am responding to that prompting and warning by putting my thoughts into words to try to explain what I learned from that trial and the blessings that came from it.

Empathy
Not only did I learn empathy for others trials that I may not understand but I learned to have empathy for those who may unknowingly offend others in an effort to help them. While going through infertility it is easy to get angry at other people who say things that can be perceived as offensive. I can't recount how many times I heard someone say "If you would just relax you could become pregnant." or "Maybe if you didn't exercise you might become pregnant." These people did not understand that I had already contemplated all the possible reasons time and time again, pursuing every solution hundreds of times over. Saying that a person should just relax or do something differently suggests that it is "their fault" and is more a statement of blame then help. 

I came to realize that people were just trying to help but were perhaps misguided in the best way to help not because they weren't good people but because they did not understand my unique trial. I became more aware of what I said to others in the middle of trials that I did not understand. I began to recognize that I also was guilty of saying dumb things while trying to help. 

I realized that we all take our turn in being the offenders and the offended. We either suffer from a trial that others don't understand or we don't understand a trial that others suffer. It is inevitable to be one or the other but if we are patient with others comments during our own trials perhaps they will be patient with our comments in their trials. 

Not passing judgement.
We had tried and tried to have a little family but of course could not. I felt inspired to pursue a higher education and a promising career as we continued to find the best route for a family. Because of this I often felt an underlying judgement from some people. I felt that they supposed that my life priorities were mixed up as a woman and often tried to set me straight.

One acquaintance, an older woman approached me and told me that I was not supposed to put a career before my family and it was against church counsel. It was one of the few times that I did not hide my feelings or my hurt reaction and the tears flowed freely in response to her words. I explained that we were indeed trying and had been for sometime. In that moment she realized her folly she began to stumble through an apology. She was sincerely trying to help me in directing me towards one of the most beautiful experiences that she herself had experienced. .

I began to understand that I had unconsciously passed judgments about others circumstances that I did not experience. 

I understood, that I didn't understand others trials. By having judgment passed upon me I actually was able to see where I was judging others. I began to look around at members in my church congregation in a new light. Single members, divorced members, members in different circumstances. My heart hurt that I had ever wondered about their circumstances at all. I became protective of their pain and compassionate for their trials.

My trial had not mirrored theirs but empathy teaches us something special and honorable as a human being that corresponds with all manner of hardship.

Patience
Lastly, I learned that the Lords time is not my time. I think this is one of the greatest mistakes we have as human beings is that we kneel and receive immediate answers to our prayers when the Lords most profound way to work with us is over an extended period of time.

If my babies would have come right away I would have loved them. I would have adored them. But my experience would have been very different. I would not have pursued a Master's Degree which has created experiences that were unique to me and tailored for who I was meant to be. I would have not fallen in love with education, world health, and the subjects that have captivated my time and talents in a way that I know my Heavenly Father intended.

Even Moroni's promise about the Book of Mormon doesn't have a timeline. People think that if they pray an angel will appear but the truth is that the answer will come in the Lords time and in his own way. Patience is a Godly virtue waiting on those babies, if they were to come at all, month after painful month was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do but it was one of the most rewarding waits I have ever had.

____________
This isn't the most beautiful post I have written. Forgive me. As I reread it it has a hint of negativity and for that I am sorry.

I have 5 children now and you would think that the scars of infertility are gone with emergence of the beautiful c-section scars that accompanied my motherhood.

The truth is I still cry on mothers day. I still cry when I see mothers without children who I know want them. I still know how it feels. I don't feel sorry for them. I feel sorrow with them. They are beautiful women with divine purpose and amazing talent who are changing the world but I remember how it felt for me when I see their pain and although I am grateful for my beautiful children I still cry because it felt like yesterday.

It is a sorrow that many women have and it is a refiners fire. We all walk hand in hand with certain sorrows and trials.

Women who walk with infertility are strong. I am glad I took the time to listen to what that trial was teaching me and I am glad that I can still see others through the lens that it gave me.

For those lessons I will forever be grateful. The empathy, ability to not judge others and patience are true jewels in my crown of virtues that I hope to polish and remember and keep forever.





Thursday, February 16, 2017

Christ's Example of Reflection instead of Reaction

In today's social media world we are constantly engaged in struggles.

Whether it is a lion killed in Africa, or injustice on the door steps of an inner city hospital, just wait five minutes and a new story will surface with unending outcries from an online mob.

There is never rest for the seeker of online storms.

Even if we don't seek out storms they are often brought to our feet just as they were in Christ's time.

An example of this is when a angry mob brought the woman caught in adultery; even caught in the very act to Christ. Her punishment was death and her condemners sought Christ in order to trick him into confessing the law, that would lead her to her condemnation. (John 8)

We are often confronted with crowds online. Mobs who we feel, at times, are waiting for our response. We get half baked stories and truths that falsely seem to need our "immediate" attention. It is so easy to react before we have all the information.

I love Christ's example in that he simply stooped down and wrote in the sand.

Instead of reacting to the situation, he reflected. We don't know what he was doing and what he was writing. The scripture is unclear of what he was doing and I think it was left that way for a reason. I personally believe he was diffusing the situation, buying some time and giving those around him time to reflect as well. The longer you look at an individual in the eyes the harder it is to cast a stone at them to kill them.

Reaction is easy, reflection takes self control, it takes practice but it is almost always a better way in the long run, when dealing with information.

I have recently thought a lot about Christ and his example and how he delt with this angry mob, who was ready to kill a woman on his command and how I can apply it to dealing with the angry online mobs that I see forming daily on my newsfeeds and how I choose my personal inner response to them. I may not have the power to help them reflect or leave and go their houses without casting stones but I do have the power to stop my self, stoop down and write in the sand and reflect for a while before I react to situations myself.
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