I am writing from Claire’s President’s Day volleyball tournament where she’s reffing for a few games before hers begin.  And I figured now would be a good time to share some thoughts that have been rolling around in my brain.  Because there are lots of things to ponder about as many things in our church are shifting gears a little with our new prophet, President Nelson.  I think these things have been in the works for a long time, but we are in an exciting time with lots of changes.  And I want to remember how it felt “back in the old days” when we had three-hour church.  Ha!
There was an announcement made last conference that as of 2019 we would go to a 2-hour block rather than our regular three hours.  I wasn’t sure how I felt about this because I am one of those weird people who really like church…all three hours.  I love having that time to stop and re-focus each week, to be handed all kinds of new ideas to connect with Heaven.
But this new 2-hour deal is proving to be pretty nice.  Not because church is over and wrapped up with speedy-quick each Sunday.  But because it leaves more time for family connection…with each other and with Heaven.  There’s a new Come Follow Me program that I LOVE.  (Check it out HERE.)  I adore it because it is so filled with ideas and scriptures and studying Christ’s life to help each of us with our own “born again” experiences.  And that is essential in today’s day and age in my opinion.
The idea is to spend that “third hour” as a family at home studying, connecting, learning, doing.  I figured this would be a cinch because that’s what we already have built into our Sundays (we come home and have our own little Family Home Evening to plan and connect and have a little lesson…we’ve done this for years).  
And at first it was easy.  That first Sunday in January we walked through the neighborhood with some gardening tools, investigating different soils.

There are some that are so firm seeds cannot take root.  There are some that are too shady (especially in the summer) where they can’t get enough sun for grass to take root.  There were some perfect soil conditions that we found that had proven perfect for helping seeds take root.  We talked about how we need to make our hearts like the soft soil, give it enough sun and water in order to let the seeds of faith flourish there.
From there I thought, ok, this is going to be easy peasy.  Yet it’s proven to be more tricky than I thought.  Maybe because I want to step it all up a notch.  I want so much for my children to connect themselves with Heaven.  Dave and I can’t do it for them.  So we’ve been trying to assign them more of the lesson each week, as well as working to have them teach our little devotionals each morning.  And you know what?  They can do it!  They are great at it!  Sometimes we don’t give them enough credit.

(in case you didn’t guess, and even saw that little watermark at the bottom, these are supposed to be marked as 71toes…
that Chase Sevey watermark is from the wedding pics we just got back that I hope to post this week!) 

But it’s sure a work in progress.  This is one of the reasons we chose “connect” for our word/motto this year (back HERE).  One of the biggest ways we hope we can all improve connections this year is with our Savior.  With Heaven.  I personally feel that there are promptings and love and lessons to be learned being pouring down from God for us all the time.  So often we keep our “umbrellas” up, whether they be distraction, forgetting to “remember,” needing to repent and renew ourselves from the big and little things that go wrong, etc….and that umbrella guards our hearts from letting all those little whispers and promptings from Heaven sink into our hearts. 

(I really feel that angels are trying to help us too…more on that HERE)

Bottom line, I LOVE this new program.  It’s requiring a lot more work from my mother’s heart to transfer to my children, but I love the challenge.  More thoughts coming on that hopefully next Sunday.

And now I have to go, since I think Claire’s game is starting in a moment, but it deserves at least a little mention that missionaries can now talk to their families EVERY WEEK!  Craziness!  You know how we could only talk to Max on Mother’s Day and Christmas?  All that is changing.  (lots more about that HERE.)  I’m such an old-school kind of a girl, and those talks with my family when I was a missionary in Romania, and our talks with Max filled to overflowing with excitement were so precious to us.  It’s been interesting to discuss this on our little family text, as well as others, just letting that new idea roll around.  But I’m SO happy for families that get to talk to their kids more often starting today.  WOO HOO!  So much more to say about this but I gotta go so I’ll wrap up with this:

Change is good, and crazy and growth promoting and it’s a beautiful thing that so many exciting and interesting things are happening right now.

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  1. I am excited for the communication change for some. I think others who do not have familial support may feel more isolated. I hope companions will look out for each other with this change and they can be adopted into one another's families when the need arises.

    Lots of change…

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