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Tag Archives: Positive Attitude
The theme for this week’s Family Home Evening is as close as I could get with just a couple of words. Do you ever have those epiphanies that are so subtle they are hard to describe?
Opening Song: If the Savior Stood Beside Me
Scripture: Matthew 7:1 JST
Lesson: Positive Attitude
Doctrine and Covenants 88:33. I used to teach rubber stamping classes and I participated in monthly card exchanges. My manager taught me that I can learn something from every card, even if it was what doesn’t work. Her statement applies to more than card making. We can learn from everyone and every experience. I know I’ve been guilty of focusing on the parts of the book I didn’t like, or someone’s annoying habits. When I focus on negative thoughts, I become a more negative person and bring those around me down.
One time we did an activity where I had everyone look around the room for all the blue things in the room. Then I had them close their eyes and recall as many yellow things in the room. What we focus on is a big part of what we remember.
This doesn’t mean that we should never complain, vent or sacrifice the truth in the name of being positive. At the same time, we’re more likely to listen to feedback when we know that it’s coming from someone who cares about us.
For the Strength of Youth says to “Use language to build and uplift those around you.” In my Boy Scout training, I learned that feedback is a gift and the wrapping matters. One of my kiddos called the wrapping a compliment sandwich; sandwich the feedback between two compliments.
Positive attitude isn’t just about us, but it’s about lifting others too.
Activity: Don’t Eat Pete (FYI – Frozen M&M’s are messy!)
Closing Song: Give, Said the Little Stream
Treat: Browned Butter Cookies
How do you go beyond having a positive attitude and use it to lift others to a higher place?
Early in my marriage, we listened to talks from LDS speakers on cassette tapes. (Anyone else remember those?) One of our favorite speakers was George Durrant. I especially loved the one called “Look to the Sky” where he shared an experience he had in an art class. He had to present his painting to the class for critique.
The first person who spoke up was a young woman, “I like how George painted the sky.” A wave of relief washed over George and he looked at the sky and agreed with his classmate, it was good.
Then a second person said, “Yeah, but the foreground is all messed up.”
With his typical humor, George thought, “Why can’t you just look at the sky.”
There are so many lessons in this short little story!
- We all have our skies – the things we are good at.
- We all have our foregrounds – things where we have room for improvement.
- There will be people who notice what we do right.
- There will be people who point out what, when and where we messed up. These voices always seem the loudest to me.
- We need to surround ourselves with good friends, those who encourage us.
- George was in a class, striving to improve. We need to be constantly learning and improving.
- Listen to the voices and access if there is any merit in their statements. Our critics can have lessons to teach, and our cheerleaders sometimes have their own motives.
- The trick is to balance our focus on the areas we excel, while continuing to work on the areas that need improvement.
It’s interesting how some of the most powerful lessons come from seemingly small experiences. So where are you looking today?
As we sang the song “Sunshine in your Heart” in Sacrament meeting, I realized my heart was a little overcast. Life can be so discouraging seeing all the problems in the news and in our neighborhoods. President Monson has so much responsibility, yet he still remains ever cheerful and optimistic even while leading a rebellious world. In Elder Andersen’s talk, What Thinks Christ of Me? he shares a story of President Monson encouraging a young girl suffering from cancer. So how does President Monson stay so positive?
I found a story in the Family Home Evening Manual, called A Prisoner’s Choice (scroll down the page a little bit). Vicktor’s story reminds me of another story in The Hiding Place. Two sisters were prisoners of war for helping Jewish people escape from the Nazis. One was telling the other, Corrie, that she needed to thank Heavenly Father for everything. Corrie didn’t think there was much to be thankful for in that horrible prison camp, but she expressed gratitude for everything her sister instructed in her prayers – even the fleas that infested their sleeping area. She later learned that it was those horrible fleas that kept the prison guards away from their beds. Their absence gave Corrie, her sister and many others a place to read from a tiny smuggled bible that gave them life giving hope.
What are the elements of keeping sunshine in your heart? Here’s a list of what we came up with.
- Attitude / Choose to see the good – even in fleas
- Be grateful – even for fleas
- Have compassion
- Work hard at making the effort
- Serve others
- Love others
What did your family come up with?
Activity – Fictionary
Choose someone to be it. ‘It’ selects an obscure word from the dictionary and shares the word with the rest of the players. They make up a definition for the word and write it on a piece of paper while ‘It’ writes down the correct definition.
When everyone is finished, ‘It’ reads all the definitions out loud including the real one. (It might want to make sure he can read the made up definitions before reading them to the group. Nothing gives it away faster than his not being able to read the words.)
The rest of the players vote on which definition is the real one. Players get one point for every vote their definition gets plus a point if they guess the real one. ‘It’ gets three points in no one guesses the correct definition. ‘It rotates to the next person for the next round.
We enjoyed ice cream and brownies for our treat.