Sunday, March 15, 2009

It's Been a Spiritual Week for me...

and I needed it. My 4 year old has been asking me, "Mom, tell me about Jesus." all week long. I've even walked in on him re-telling the adventures to his younger brother. Does it get any better than that?

Church life has been tough here. The first 9 months took a lot of effort just to get to our building and back. I'm very thankful for Gene who faithfully picked us up in his "bus" every Sunday. He never let us pay gas or help in any way. All we had to do was be ready by 7:45 am. I'm sad to say that we weren't always ready on time.

Even when we were, it still took about 8 minutes for all of us to get car seats buckled, food and supplies aboard and all the kids in. I'm sure we were there to help Gene with patience. He never complained to us and I will never forget the sacrifice, a then stranger, made for our family.
{above picture is our previous home with over 2 feet of river water hanging out}
We have moved from that {LIFE} part of the country and are in an easier environment. Now we are just an 8 minute taxi drive away from church. Sundays are so much easier. It doesn't take the entire second half of my Saturday to get ready for Sunday. There are 3 women, Ticas, that can speak some English so I can get the gist of activities that my little ones need to be at. It's been nice.

I'm going to be honest here...{if you don't want to know, come back tomorrow}
This past year I haven't been at the TOP of my spiritual game. I've come to know for myself that when you are struggling with "survival" it's difficult to take your eye off that goal and concentrate on other things that used to take up time. Like in my case, personal scripture study. I've been good with family prayers and family scripture study but my personal study time has "fallen by the wayside" let's say.

I started out by the shore in my little row boat, keeping my eye on the shore {my testimony} as I paddled and drained the water from my vessle making sure I kept it afloat...little did I know how far I had floated away.

Now that the struggle to live here in Costa Rica is all but gone, I have realized the route I need to take to get back to shore. It has been a wonderful journey for me. I LOVE the scriptures again. I'm thankful for the heroes that have figured out how to "survive" and stay just as close to the Lord even in trial. What examples. The last thing we need to do is put Christ and our testimony on the shore as we jump in a boat and try to handle our "storm" alone.

I don't want anyone to think that my testimony has been lost this last year {with my dramatic story}, I just haven't spent the time I should've in strengthening it. I'm coming to realize that the last year could have been more full of peace and comfort if I had been better to bring my scriptures along.

We know how healthy it is for our kids to see us enjoying reading. It will make them more apt to LOVE reading themselves. I've done well with this. My kids love to read. How much better it will be for my children to see me LOVE reading the words of the prophets and our Lord Jesus Christ.

So with the above said I want to share with you some of my favorite new found blogs, favorite DVD's and talks.

Scriptoriumblogorium{} is what we are using for FHE scripture study. She has great posts about scripture references and if you click on the button on the right she's got a book posted there about Isaiah for teenagers. It's FREE {as far as I can tell} and right there on the blog. We are using the Isaiah book for seminary type study in our home school program {starting in the AM}.

Also, I heart John Byetheway's way of presenting gospel subjects. He has a talk about Sunday worship, The Best 3 Hours of the Week. This is great. You can find by searching onBYU TV.
But my favorite Byetheway talk is "Heroes; Lessons from the Book of Mormon. This is AWESOME! It's almost 100 minutes long. We are implementing it into our family home evening, 30 minutes at a time. He gives such great insight to the Heroes we sometimes glide over in our study. This is a GREAT way to get your family excited about scripture study.

Troy Dunn has a tape out there {hopefully it's in CD form now} called "Life is a Football Game". This is bust your gut funny! I heard it when I was about 16 and it changed my attitude about life. I've just found it and I'm ordering it for my oldest. How much better for him to hear it 4 years earlier than I did. {Actually how much better for me that he hears it earlier!!!} Maybe this is why I named my son Troy....hummm.
{Deseret Books has it and 4 other talks of Troy's for $19.99}

Did you know that the LDS church has a You Tube channel? Also another way set the mood for Family Night.

For us since, we don't get our church magazines in English, we go to > then "Gospel Library" > then "magazines. You can search through The Friend, New Era and The Ensign, plus there are "extra" buttons to check out. In the "Friend" you can "listen" to gospel stories, play games and print coloring pages. SWEET!!!

So please enjoy! Let me know what resources you love for gospel study.


Lara said...

Shawna, I have been going through something similar with my scripture study. I was always good at it until recently it has fallen by the wayside. I was just thinking today how that needs to change. What a big difference I feel in my life when I am reading my scriptures on a daily basis. Now after reading your blog, I am REALLY inspired! Thanks~!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the kind words about "Life's A Game Of Football"! Regardless of why you named your son Troy, what a COOL NAME! :-)
I am proud of your honesty, integrity and continued effort to fight the good fight. Proud to be on your "team". If we don't meet each other before the end of mortality, I'll see you at "the home coming party"!
My best to your beautiful little family! Enjoy Costa Rica!!
Troy Dunn

Christine said...


We just had a women's conference and we were challenged to have a question in our mind's about something that is most pertinant to us that day to search the scriptures about. On the day's I've taken that challenge I have been pleased with the answers that come to me. I've been studying the scriptures topically and I've been learning a lot. Good for you for getting back on track. It's easy to get busy and distracted in life, we've all been there!