Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Proof

Last night at Tithing Settlement {Declaration of tithing status. It is an eternal principle that we are accountable for what we have been given by God: our time, talents, and means. We know that we shall be “judged out of those things which [are] written in the books, according to [our] works” (Rev. 20:12; . At the end of the year, the bishop or branch president is asked to indicate on the records of the Church the tithing status of each member in his unit. It is our privilege to exercise our accountability by declaring for him our own tithing status.}
with the Bishop of our Church he talked to our family about doing math and having to show the proof of math equations.

He encouraged our family at the end of every year to write a proof list of the blessings we have received in our family from paying tithing, just like showing our proof in math class. I loved when he reminded us about the "windows of heaven opening up" when we pay our tithing. He reminded us that when the heavens open they sometimes bring sun, snow, rain, sleet or other elements which not may always be what we planned.

I started thinking about writing a "2009 Proof list" of the blessings that have been given to our family this year. This list would take me days to write. Then I started playing this game in my head thinking, "are my list of proofs really blessings or just luck"
My thought process goes as follows.
We were blessed with ....being able to see the world this year, Jeff did not have to go to Iraq, Jeff got a new job, the spot found on my MRI scan turned out to be nothing, our family is healthy...and so on.
Then I think about our friends who also paid their tithing but their husband went to Iraq, they are out of work, the spot on their MRI was something, family members were not healthy ...and so on.

So are my blessings because of paying my tithing? If I believe that then when something goes wrong in my life I get caught up in a "Well I did everything I was supposed to do" It can become a catch 22... if I let it.
So then I go back to what the Bishop said about the different elements coming from the opened sky.
I believe that I need to learn to count my blessings and acknowledge what I have been given, because if I don't practice it when life feels good how do I think I can do it when the proof is more difficult to prove.

When it comes down to it my proof is in the next 4 photos. I am blessed to have Caroline

I am blessed to have Annie Kate

I am blessed to have Sally Jane
(and that this year the monkey did not get any closer than this)and really.... so blessed to have this guy.

Count your blessings;
Name them one by one.
Count your blessings;
See what God hath done.
Count your blessings;
Name them one by one.
Count your many blessings;
See what God hath done

Happy New Year!


Natasha said...

I am Episcopalian but still . . .
This year our church did something new with the tithe-- all of the kids were asked to participate. They have to participate in the same 3 categories as the adults-- time, talent, and treasure. Luci pledged to give $1 a week and one canned food item per month (purchased with her own $)for her treasure, for her talent she pledged to help the ushers pick up church bulletins from the pews after the weekly service (she is very organized so we decided this counted as a "talent") and with her time she pledged to do certian things like learn the Creeds, etc.

Like you posted, this is a good way for all of us (kids included!) to reflect on our year (we pledge every November for the coming year) and look to the one approaching. It helps us define our "talents" that we choose to share with the church and others and makes us think about how wisely we use our "treasure." This way of doing the pledge this fall meant so much more to our family than simply committing X amount of our income to the plate each month.

Have you read the book "When Bad Things Happen To Good People?" It really helped me. My sister is one of those people who constantly says things like "God blessed us this year so we were able to buy a bigger house." That drives me nuts-- like when Kim got cancer last year that meant we were not favored in God's eyes for some reason? Anyway, I highly recommend the book!

LJ and DC said...

So cute kristi!! Love you guys. Thanks for the reminder to keep counting those blessings!

LJ and DC said...

So cute kristi!! Love you guys. Thanks for the reminder to keep counting those blessings!

Jill said...

I like the idea of creating a proof list of blessings, but am so glad you pointed out that challenges still happen despite all the good things we do.

Price Cream Parlor said...

This is a great overview - something to really consider and ponder at the end of the year. I like the 'proof sheet'. And, it is so true, bad things still happen to good people that are living and loving the right way. However, we have to remember that this life is a test. We are Spiritual beings having a mortal experience and not mortal beings having a spiritual experience. That makes all the difference.
I also believe that when you are up - are are down. When you are down - you are up. Meaning that sometimes when life is going our way and things are really working out for us - we are not down on bended knee thanking Heavenly Father for our many blessings and asking where we can help others. However, many times when we are down - we are up - meaning that we spend most of our time on bended knee asking and pleading for help in our lives. I think that it is so important to always remember what is the most important in our life and not get caught up with 'our easy life' at the moment. There are many trials and heartaches in this world - sometimes it isn't fair - especially when it is us or those that we love. The bottom line is - we are to learn, stretch and grow and help other's along our way.

I love the idea of making a list - think that I need to do that (and teach my littles to do that as well) at the end of each year. What a great 'book' to have for our life!

...That photo with the monkey looks photo shopped because it is so funny!!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR to one that inspires me! Much luck and love in 2010!~

Jenni C. said...

I love the pictures of you and your kiddos. I also LOVE your red scarf!! What a wonderful blessing that you have been able to travel many, many beautiful places and make so many priceless memories with your family.

P.S. I'm so sorry that you are feeling a little blue. :( I hope that tomorrow is better...enjoy your Chipotle!! What do you order there...I've only been there a couple of times and haven't loved it which is strange because I love fresh mex. :)

wende said...

you look gorgeous in all the photos by the way, absolutely radiant! :)

i loved this post, our bishop asked us to do the same thing but it kind of got lost in the busy days of christmas. thanks for inspiring a soon to be post of mine on this subject.

i just love you! and your beautiful family.

michelle said...

This is beautiful, Kristi! Usually our bishop just chats for a couple of minutes about the family, but it sounds like your bishop is taking the opportunity to provide some counsel. I love his idea.

I also love your thoughts on the windows of heaven opening and sometimes not showering down just easy, happy things. Maybe we just need to learn to find the blessings in the adversity that comes our way as well.

Cara said...

Come join my 52 blessing project! It's so fun and at the end of the year you get to look back at your 52 weekly blessings. It will change your life - I promise♥

Go to my blog and all the info is on my sidebar -if you want of course.