Wednesday, January 07, 2009


Cory and I got that "dreaded call" Monday night from a member of our bishopric asking us to fill in for the family who was supposed to speak in Sacrament meeting on Sunday. We haven't spoken in church since we moved here 4 1/2 years ago - so I couldn't come up with a good excuse to get us out of it. I guess it's basically our turn....

So he told us our theme that we'd be speaking on and said, "It should be a really easy topic and you'll only need to speak 12-15 minutes". HA!

I think for sure that this talk is one that we are supposed to be learning from (or feeling chastized by) more than anything the congregation will learn from it. It is making me feel like I am a little inept....

Our theme is - "What are you doing to promote spirituality in your home?"

I feel completly overwhelmed by the subject and thinking that our talks might be more the 12-15 SECOND variety than the 12-15 MINUTES they are asking us to do.

So I thought I'd throw the topic out to anyone who reads my blog. I am asking (no - REQUIRING) everyone to leave a comment. Just tell me something that you do in your home and life to promote spirituality. I won't claim your thoughts as my own - but I know that they will help lead and guide me.

THANKS so much - I really appreciate any and all help I can get.


Anonymous said...

It is in the simple small ways that we promote spirtual habits.It is in the blessing of our food. Don't forget it when we are in a hurry.
Family home evening is teaching spirituality . Everything has been created in spirit.planting a garden togeher for family home evening-looking after a senior person and helping. Reading the scriptures. Singing songs.Everything we do is spritual.
Love Grandma Marilyn

1 Love Grandma Marilyn

The Thomas Trio said...

well, i'm totally in your shoes, just a year behind! its virtually impossible to get eli to sit still for longer than 2 seconds unless Cars in on the TV, so; for FHE we got the nursery manual and we try and go over one lesson every week- they are really short. it is usually not a pretty sight, but we try nobly. we also read scriptures every day at some point in time, sometimes its at dinner, sometimes while eli is in the tub, or even when he is just playing with his toys, we like to think that just getting him used to us reading and getting him used to hearing the scriptures will help in the future. We also have been putting eli on a "movie diet" since the only thing he ever wants to do is watch Cars, so we have nipped that one in the bud, and instead we try and have calming music playing throughout the day, eli isn't a huge fan, but i love it, i think it helps keep a relaxed feeling in our home. Nothing ground breaking, but we try! hope that helps!

Rhien Family said...

I'm sure you are a good example of making a spiritual home for your kids- don't be too hard on yourself. The age of your kids sure makes it feel sometimes like they are just too young for really understanding spiritual stuff. I remember when Alli was Gabe's age, and I was not sure she really got much of what we tried to teach her. Only now, a year later, do we really see that she was deeply engraining habits into her sweet little brain, and making small spiritual steps from a very very young age. You are already doing the things you should be teaching about, it's just that with little ones in the home, they may not be communicating to you that it's getting through to them.

Everyday life can be spiritual, and often is. Especially when you are surrounded by sweet little children who are pure and innocent and teachable.

You'll do great!

ChrissyW said...

oh that's exciting!! and nervewracking :P for us - we try to do family devotions after dinner - doesn't always happen but when it does it's a good time and is always followed by a good talk/discussion after!

ChrissyW said...

oh and things like having the Christian radio station on, praying before meals and bed and whenever we can relating something in the day to God such as "oh wow look at the sky - it's gorgeous - God really is an amazing artist - that sorta thing!

Katie said...

It's hard with young kids to feel like the spirit is in your home all the time, and that's one thing that baffles me because out of everyone in our home they surely have the strongest spirit with them. Sometimes when we have had a particularly hard day Troy and I try to focus more on those sweet spirits, and ask them to "teach us something you know" We have had some really precious moments where we have learned about thier love for each other, us, and our savior. Out of the mouths of babes right? We also read scriptures every night. That was hard at first, but we came up with a great program that works for us. We start with prayer, each person gets their own copy of the scriptures to "follow along" Troy and I help the kids read a verse here and there. Then when we are done they each get a sticker to add to our count down chart, and then we talk about what we just read. It works, they love it, and we hardly ever miss a night. We also do FHE which isn't always easy, but really does make a difference. We also talk a lot about Heavenly Father and Jesus, and what they would want us to act like. We also started a thing at Christmas time where we add a straw to a "manger" for each kind deed we do for another person, and in the end it makes a soft bed for Jesus. That made such a HUGE difference in the way we treated each other that we have continued it even after Christmas. I am trying to come up with a way to work it into a year round thing, haven't quite figured it out yet. I think the best thing you can do is to let those in your home know that it is an important thing, and why, and all of you work together to bring the spirit into your home. I think just trying and setting the example yourself is the best place to start. I hope that makes sence. I'm definatly not the authority on it, but those are the things that work for us. I would love to read the final draft of your talk, and learn some more ideas.

Rhien Family said...

you'll do great.

Stefanie said...

you'll do worries!

I'll just add ONE I'm only working on one thing at a time. (too many things to do and I can only focus on one thing)Mine has to do with Fast Sunday and helping them to realize that if we fast with a PURPOSE...we are doing it right instead of just starving :)

We try to come up with a purpose ahead of time, remind them to pray about it. WHen it's time to break the fast, we usually say the prayer and then spend a few extra minutes around the table in personal prayer to break our personal fast.

kind of a simple thing--but it's helped us have more meaningful fast Sundays and not as much complaining.

Liz said...

Wow! I am so amazed you haven't spoken in church for so long! Lucky Utah wards!! :) We have a really small ward, so we all have to speak twice a year. And we don't have any youth to speak, so every talk has to be 20 minutes. I hate it!
Good luck on your talk. I was thinking of what I do to promote spirituality in the home, and I think the scriptures are huge- always having family scripture study even if the kids are too young to understand. They still get an idea of the importance of the scriptures and feel the spirit. I also like to read my scriptures while they are awake so that they see that and know how important the scriptures are to me. I love all the comments you've gotten- great ideas! Good luck with your talk- I'm sure it will be fantastic!

Brian & Charlotte Carper said...

I was thinking of last month when you and Gabe were arguing and he said to not tell him what to do, he has already talked to Heavenly Father about it and worked out a plan.

that ability to turn to prayer for help as a 3 year old doesn't fall out of blue sky - you have laid the ground work by praying with him and taking your fears and needs to Heavenly Father in front of the children.

we almost always pray before we pull out of the driveway - in the car - and have done that since Blake was little.

and one of the best ways we bring the spirit into our home is playing the piano. I always tell the sisters that hymns on the piano calm the savage beast when it appears in our home. There is just no way to be arguing or ignoring each other or whatever when the hymns are playing on the piano. The Tab Choir doesn't do it for our family, it has to actually be a person in the house playing. good luck. Love, Aunt Charlotte

Paul and Nicole Rhien said...

I'm with Grandma, it's the small things that make the difference with children.

We realized a few weeks ago that the Bishopric must not realize that we haven't spoke in sacrament meeting. Several couples that moved in considerably later than we did have been speaking... knock on wood

Rachel Clare said...

Take it or leave it: I'm trying HARD to yell less.... or, not at all.
And, I take any opportunity I can find to teach a gospel principle to my kids.

Kim and Tammy said...

Joanna, you know you are creating spirituality in your home since the boys were born---take the songs that Gabe has always wanted sung each night and the last one being I am a Child of God! Think of the night he asked you about your favorite Christmas and you told him about the angel Gabriel. I know you could go back on journal and the spirit would confirm to you how the spirit has been in your home. Sometimes we forget the special little thoughts or comments our kids come up with. I take those as being taught by the spirit. I'd love to surprise you Sunday, but that wouldn't be very spiritual would it! Ha!