Becoming an Eight-Cow Woman

Our last Relief Society Activity on October 19th turned out being a lot of fun!   We had a hawiian luau theme and titled it "Becoming and Eight-Cow Woman", based on the video "Johnny Lingo".  
We hope you sisters all know how amazing you truly are.  Each of you has the potential to be an "Eight-Cow woman".  You do so much good every day.  We love you and are so grateful for the opportunity to interact with you.  
Here are some pictures from the activity:

Christine Larsen, Chris Bartlett, Angie Johnson

Shaylee Capener, Angela Fowles
Vanessa Price

What beautiful sisters we have here- inside and out!    I am not sure that Eight Cows would be enough!
Rhonda Cottle, Mandy Cammack

Anjie Towne, MaryKay Kirkland

Cele Ramsdell

Libby Christensen, visitor, and Heather 

Natalie Pierce, Lori Bevan

Sharla Nelson, Carissa Harrow

Melissa and Emma Morrison

Charlotte Reeder

Christine Larsen and Chris Bartlett

Bekah Thompson, Carissa Harrow, Charlotte Reeder, Amber Parkinson

Susan Jensen

Tonya McKee, Lisa Harrow

Bekah Thompson

Emma Harrow

Kylie Nelson, Jaycee Jensen- our faithful nursery helpers.  

Mmmm...   looks good, huh?

"Don't mind me, I just have no clue what I'm doing."

Nadine Goertzen, Pauline Brown

LaRee Lee, Gwendolyn Burnett

Mary Christensen, Ilene Morley

Kelley Sandall, Angelie Winward

Michelle Petersen, Anneliese Pixton

Shanna Sexton

Jennifer Peterson

Laura Bischoff, Sharon John

We had some great speakers.  Sister Cherie Lee, the Stake Relief Society President spoke about developing our unique spiritual gifts.  (Holy Cow), Lisa spoke about "Mad Cow"- how to endure life's challenges without going crazy, and bishop Cottle added his remarks about our importance as women and how we can influence our families.  
I am so grateful for the lessons that they shared with us.   At my request, Lisa Harrow was willing to email me her talk so I could post it here for anyone who was not able to attend.  
Here it is:

We hear it all the time, “I just have too much on my plate.”  Well you know what, if you try to shove all that in at the same time,you WILL choke!  It’s the same with our daily lives, if we try to do it all, all at once we will be stressed and CRAZY!  It’s the inevitable.    We need to be very careful that our quest for worldly achievement and success doesn’t overshadow the things that matter most in our lives.
In Mosiah 4:27– the Lord warns us not to run faster than we have the strength to run.  When we spread ourselves too thin for too long, everyone loses – especially our families.  
Ask yourself, “What would I do if I only had today?”, or if it were that I had 3 months from today, what would I change about my daily schedule or routine?
All too often we make our lives more difficult than they need to be. 
Are we trying to be all things to all people?   The world tells us to run a little faster, do a little more, be a little better, while the Spirit is telling us to slow down.  Something or someone will always suffer from our attempts to do everything.  
Satan wants us to feel overwhelmed and stressed because our weakened state will only make it easier for him to penetrate and destroy our families.
It’s when our business turns into craziness from over scheduling and disorganization that we all have to stop and reevaluate our choices.  We can avoid stress and tension by getting and staying organized.    Maintaining some sense of order helps to eliminate confusion and creates peace.   Along with order, our homes should also be a home where people can relax and feel comfortable, especially our families.
In D&C 88:119, the Lord admonished the early Saints to establish a “house of order”.  When we liken this scripture unto ourselves there’s no confusion or uncertainty in His words, “Organize yourself; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God.”
When self-absorbing pursuits become so all-encompassing that we can’t even find the time to pray together for days on end, then we’re too busy!  We need to be careful that our quest for worldly achievement and success doesn’t overshadow the things that matter most in our lives.  If we simply don’t have time for the basics, we’re not seeking “first the kingdom of God”   Instead we’re putting his kingdom farther down our list.              When too much of our focus, our energy, our time, and our means are going to the many branches of life instead of our spiritual roots, our efforts could actually cause the antithesis of our eternal goals – and overabundance and preoccupation with things and activities can rob us of the very spiritual vitality, peace and joy we are seeking to achieve in our lives and families.  When we keep our goals and visions eternal, it becomes much easier not to get overly distracted by earthly things.
There are times in our hectic lifestyles that if we knew just one simple word, it would lesson our stress.  Two letters that so many of us are afraid to use, that could help alleviate our stressful, crazy agendas.  In reality, saying NO to nonessential things is one of the most sensible and liberating things we can do for ourselves and for our families.  Say NO to unimportant things so that we can say YES to the important things.  Saying NO lets you take control of your precious family time.   If you don’t take control of your time, then someone else will.
Life is a series of small choices.  As a people, we’re anxious to develop our talents and improve ourselves, but if we’re not careful, we can overload our lives so full that it becomes virtually impossible for us to get through each day – with our sanity still intact.
(ward calendar) quote from President Monson, from “how to make good decisions” , “All of our choices have consequences, some of which have little or nothing to do with our eternal salvation and others of which have everything to do with it.”
You know the old adage, “Attitude is everything”?  Well, it is!  Unfortunately, all too many families today have adopted the “We’re so busy we can barely see straight” attitude – constantly complaining about their hectic, overburden schedules as if they have absolutely no control over the pace at which they live their lives.   These families are choosing a life of basic survival instead of simply taking charge of their own destinies and deciding to thrive.    “Surviving vs. Thriving”.  It is a choice.  It’s all in how you look at it.  Your attitude - Your choice!
We are too often wishing for something other than what we currently have – living in survival mode and just getting by, instead of seizing the present moment and deciding to thrive.
Instead of merely “surviving” – decide to thrive!  The dictionary defines thriving as: prospering or having success.  Isn’t that what we all desire for our lives and the lives of our families?
At some time, we all feel like a fragile woman, one frozen entrée away from a nervous breakdown, and the last thing most of us want to do is plan, purchase, prepare and clean up a dinnertime meal at the end of each tiring day.  But, remember attitude.  It is everything!  There are times when we feel discouraged or question our roles, our parental duties, or the countless hours of selfless service we offer lovingly, to at times a less-than-appreciative family.  But, we need only to look to the Savior.
Did the Savior ever mention that unappreciative service was beneath Him?  Did He ever put Himself above a humble task or endeavor for someone who was in need?  Did Jesus ever insist upon equal treatment or public approval for His acts of genuine kindness?  He could have demanded, and won, worldly praise, honors, power, and prestige – but He didn’t.  He just quietly served. He faithfully loved.  He led by example.  He showed us the kind of person – and parent – we must each strive to become. 
Any woman who has walked in overloaded shoes can relate to the utterly helpless and overwhelming moments we all feel from time to time.  Elder Jeffrey R. Holland beautifully expressed in words what every woman longs to hear at times like these:  “May I say to mothers collectively, in the name of the Lord you are magnificent.  You are doing terrifically well.  The very fact that you have been given such a responsibility is ever lasting evidence of the trust your Father in Heaven has in you.  He knows that your giving birth to a child does not immediately propel you into the circle of the omniscient.  If you and your husband will strive to love God and live the gospel yourselves; if you will plead for that guidance and comfort of the Holy Spirit promised to the faithful; if you will go to the temple to make and claim the promises of the most sacred covenants a woman or man can make in this world; if you will show others, including your children, the same caring, compassionate, forgiving heart you want heaven to show you; if you try your best to be the best parent you can be, you will have done all that a human being can do and all that God expects you to do.
No matter what stage of life we’re in, we all experience challenges and less-than-perfect conditions.  But sometimes our tendency to focus on what we can’t change instead of what we can change holds us back. 
Watch what you’re thinking.  Your outlook, attitude, and thoughts influence the way you see things.  A healthy dose of optimism can make the best of a stressful circumstance.  Everyone can learn to think more optimistically and reap the benefits.
It’s that one, simple distinction that can make all the difference for us.  In reality, thriving is far less about circumstances and situations and more about attitude and outlook.
It’s up to us to make the decision to slow down and focus on what matters most.  We would all do well to put our daily personal and family lives into a brighter, clearer perspective.  We’re the masters of our own destiny.  It can be overwhelming to think of all the things that we need to tackle all at once, so for starters consider these small and easy things… Instead of complaining that life is too busy and you’re going crazy, do something about it! -   Find the time for family scripture study.  If it seems impossible because no one is home at the same time, then hold a family council and collectively find the time.  If we’re to busy for prayer and scripture study, then we’re far busier than the Lord ever intended us to be.  Instead of grumbling about things like children, husbands, jobs, cleaning, and things that take your time and energy, gratefully acknowledge the blessing it them.  Instead of merely surviving – decide to thrive.  It’s all in your attitude. 
Each day the decisions that we make ought to be made with our eternal goal in mind.  If we’re wise, we’ll all make the conscious choices to sacrifice some of the things we want now for the things we ultimately want.  It’s called prioritizing.  Decide what is best for you and your family in the quiet places of your heart and home, with the help from our Heavenly Father.
All too often WE set the tone of contention in our homes because we’re overscheduled and under rested.  Are we forgetting why we’re here on earth in the first place?
Alma 34:32 “For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God.”
We need to wisely use the 24 hours that we’ve been given each day to prove ourselves.
Prayerfully analyze your goals, and then analyze your current schedule.  Are they in harmony with each other?
Be patient with yourself!  Be realistic! Don’t try to be perfect – no one is.  Please, don’t make the mistake of comparing yourself to someone else because they appear to have it all together.  Comparisons are just exhausting and it will drive you MAD! Remember this life is not about perfection, it’s about progression, striving to be better tomorrow than you were today.  Even in the most simple of ways.
In Ether 12:27, the Lord promises that if we are humble before Him, He will “make weak things become strong” unto us.  We need as much strength as we can get, so we simply must ask for the Lord’s help in prayer.  We can pray that He will take the stress and frustration from our hearts and replace it with peace. We can pray that there will be love and harmony in our homes, and pray for positive ways to channel our crazy, chaotic feelings.
There are times when we all feel like we’ve been given more than we can handle – when we feel or say “I can’t take it anymore”- times when we feel like we are seriously going crazy.  I love this that Sister Sheri Dew has said, “The Lord does give us more than we can handle – by ourselves, that is.  He does this so that we will have every opportunity and motivation to seek Him early, to put Him first.  He atoned precisely so that we would not have to shoulder our burdens or the disappointments of mortality alone.”
I love that.  I love knowing that I don’t have to be crazy and stressed.  If I’ll pray, prioritize and plan, the Lord will help me deal with my daily chaos, and I won’t have to be a mad cow woman.
If we are too involved and distracted by the world, we’ll miss the whole point of this earth life and fail to “raise up a righteous generation to the Lord”. 
Don’t waste – or wish away – this precious time.
My prayer for us all, sisters, is this, In the remaining family moments we all have left on earth together, is that we won’t merely survive – but we’ll THRIVE – It is a choice!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Did you also watch the movie Jhonny Lingo during the activity?

I like this so much, I would like to do it in my ward. I'm a new Relief Society President.