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As we began planning for our Youth Standard's Night, I was so excited when I found Judy Cooley to come and speak to us. I had seen her gorgeous paintings of the youth dressed in the armor of God and knew that she would be perfect for the evening. My thoughts were confirmed as I spoke with her on the phone, of what she might speak about!
The morning of Standard's night Judy asked me if I would take part in a little experiment and then share my experience that night during Standards Night, of course I agreed. The day though was filled with crazy busyness and I soon started to worry about when I would be able to do what she had asked me to do. There was a moment, between the children getting home from school, having to fix dinner and get my son to his game, that I was able to sneak away to accomplish my task.
The Experiment I was given....
My Experience with the Experiment....
I finally, found a moment where I was able to complete the experiment. Slyly I hid away downstairs. Now I can not say that it was as gorgeous and peaceful as the Sacred Grove. But, it was a place where I knew that NOBODY would come and disturb me. I was in the unfinished, dungeon like room, that I get to call my craft room. When I knew I was alone and would not be disturb, I choose which question I was going to ask my Heavenly Father. The question was, "How can I be a better mom?" It is something that I continually strive for, to be a better mom to my three boys. There's always room to be better. I followed the instructions of the experiment and I must say, from the moment I began my prayer to my Heavenly Father, I felt of the Spirit. In the cold, concrete walled room, I felt warmth and the love from my Heavenly Father.
To begin my scripture study, I randomly choose a scripture to read. I began to read and was in awe of the scriptures I was reading and the answers I was already receiving. The scripture I read was, Abraham 5:18. It speaks of Adam leaving his mother and father and cleaving unto his wife and becoming one flesh. The answer the Spirit spoke to me was, that I need to rely on my husband more, to help me become a better mom. We are one in this parenting thing! We are partners in marriage as well as partners in parenting. I felt impressed that we need to counsel more with each other about each of our children and how we can help each one progress.
I decided to keep reading, this time I read, 1 Nephi 19:7-9. This scripture for some reason kept popping up everywhere I looked, so I knew that there was something there that I needed to read. What stood out to me was that our Heavenly Father is our GREATEST example of a parent. He shows us how He would like us to parent our children. As I thought of the scripture I thought of how the scripture speaks of some of God's children forgetting Him and not listening to His counsel. Comparing this into my own life, sometimes I feel like my kids do not listen to me. You know how it is when you say something several times and they either don't do the thing you ask them to do, or they keep doing the thing you've asked them to stop doing. It is incredibly frustrating. Well, how does Heavenly Father handle it???? The scriptures say with love, kindness and long suffering. So how can I apply this into being a better mom to my kiddos? PATIENCE!!! That is the word that screamed to my mind. Kindness, love, endurance (aka long suffering) and lots of PATIENCE.
I am so grateful for the experience I had and the opportunity I had in sharing it with our youth and their parents. My testimony of prayer, scripture study and the Holy Ghost has been strengthened. I have no doubt in my mind that our Father's love for us runs so deep. He is their willing to give us answers to anything we need greater knowledge or understanding of. The Holy Ghost and our Father work together in perfect harmony to give us those answers.
The Rest of Standards Night!!
The whole night was just a beautiful evening were the Spirit filled the room. Judy did a beautiful job. She actually gave the youth four different "Experiments" to try and had examples of each. Mine was the fourth, and some of our young women participated in the other three. These "Experiments" can bless each of our lives. Youth as well as, leaders, parents and ward members.
To end the evening we had some milk and cookies! I really should have taken a picture, the table display was super cute with a pink chalk board that said "Milk and Cookies".
I love Judy's beautiful paintings of the youth draped in the Armor of God! You can find the prints by clicking the image below.