Sunday, June 30, 2013

Have Confidence in Yourself and in the Spirit (part 2)

Here are some of the ideas that our family uses to help strengthen our family.  Perhaps one of them is an answer to your own prayer about how to address a specific problem in your own family or maybe as you look at our ideas you realize that it wouldn't help your family at all but instead it starts the wheels turning in your head that will lead you to your own answer.

1.  Gratitude Wall.  Since we have been married we have had a gratitude wall.  Right now we have a magnet board with a piece of paper that says, "We are Grateful" and we take turns writing things we are grateful for on our paper.  When the paper is filled I replace it with a new piece of paper and put the old one in a binder so we can look back and remember all the things we were grateful for and all the tender mercies that the Lord bestowed on us.

2.  Journals.  I buy a journal for each of my children when they are born.  I write day to day things in there like how they are growing or what they are interested in but it is also a good way for Me and Mike (who also takes a turn writing from time to time) to write our testimonies to our children or to tell them how much we love them.

3.  Improvement Parties.  We each choose something we want to improve on and then we spend a few months working on becoming better at that thing.  Then we have a party.  It is a fun way for us to make goals and then celebrate not how good we are at that particular thing, but just the effort into improving ourselves.  We all love this!

4.  Dates with Mom and Dad.  We try to make an effort to take the boys out on individual dates.  This gives us a chance to talk to them about things that are going on or that they have problems with in a casual manner.  Also, it helps us build a good relationship with them.

5.  Write blessings down.  Whenever someone receives a blessing I write those blessings down.  We periodically spend time reading those blessings to review either things Heavenly Father wants to bless us with, or instructions he wants to give us.  I think this allows each of us to recognize answers to prayers as well as see how He plays a part in our lives.

6.  Christ-Centered Christmas Dinner.  We choose a family each year that we feel displays Christ-like characteristics.  We invite them to dinner and then we honor them for being a Christ-like example to us by giving them a present.  We also buy a special ornament that we hang on a special tree in our house.

7.  Opening a special present on Christmas Eve.  We open a present on Christmas Eve that is beautifully wrapped sitting under our special tree.  It is always something of a spiritual nature.  This past year we each got a CTR ring.  It is meant to be something that we can open to remind us of Jesus Christ.

8.  Family Themes.  We don't do this every year but we try to as often as we can.  Mike and I sit and think about what our family needs and then we come up with a Family Theme that addresses those needs.  We focus our Family Home Evenings for that entire year on that Theme.

9.  Missionary Room.  The boys have a missionary themed room.  I tried to make it a room that they would enjoy but also a room with reminders of going on a mission.  Decorations here and here.

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