Thursday, October 25, 2012

Consider the Blessings - President Monson

This week we started our General Conference Review.  We began with President Monson's talk entitled "Consider the Blessings"  This talk was a perfect reminder for me to remember not just the big things, but to look around and notice all the small blessings that come into my life every day.
I reviewed the talk last week, and looked for a couple of key points that I could relay to the kids.  Two things stood out to me.
1. We should take an inventory of our life and remember not only the big blessings, but the small ones as well.
2. President Monson keeps a journal.

President Monson shared five examples of blessings from his life, he said,
For the next few minutes allotted to me, I would like to share with you just a tiny sampling of the experiences I have had wherein prayers were heard and answered and which, in retrospect, brought blessings into my life as well as the lives of others. My daily journal, kept over all these years, has helped provide some specifics which I most likely would not otherwise be able to recount.

I know that this might not have been the point of the message, but I was quickly reminded of the importance of keeping a journal, so that you can look back and remember all of the blessings that your life holds.  These were the two points that I wanted the boys to remember. So this is what I came up with.
I started out by having the boys watch this short clip.
I asked the boys to tell me what President Monson asked us all to do.  We had to watch the clip three times, but the boys were able to come up with the right answer- take an inventory and look for the blessings large and small that you have received.
Then I told the boys that President Monson shared five examples from his life.
1. Providing counsel to a district president in Australia
2.Visiting a friend that was in the hospital
3. President and Sister Monson visiting a elderly widow
4. The young man that stopped to help them when their car broke down
5. The cultural celebration of the Kansas City Temple

I told the boys that President Monson was able to remember all these blessing because he kept a journal.  And so I thought that they should write down our blessings in a new notebook.

The boys already have a journal, but these notebooks are for them to write or draw about a blessing each day. Inside the notebook I wrote two quotes from President Monson's talk:
I have found that, rather than dwelling on the negative, if we will take a step back and consider the blessings in our lives, including seemingly small, sometimes overlooked blessings, we can find greater happiness.

And also this quote: (which I think is my favorite from his talk)
The Lord is in the details of our lives.

The boys loved the idea and started working on their notebooks right away.  And even tonight when I reminded them to write a new blessing down, they told me that they had already worked on it, earlier in the day.

I have one as well that I'm writing in each night.

If you are interested I got the idea for the notebooks at Under the Sycamore.
I basically followed the tutorial, but I only put four crayons instead of five.  The notebooks I brought were 3x5.
The longer piece of elastic was 7 inches long.
The shorter one was 4 inches long.
On the longer one the first mark was two inches in and then another mark every 1/2 inch.
On the shorter one the first mark was 1/4 inch in and then another mark every 3/4 inch.

I sewed the elastics together at the marked spots with the shorter one on top.
Then I overlapped the edges of the longer piece 1 inch

I thought the notebooks turned out great, simple but effective.  Wouldn't these also be great to take to church to keep the kids busy.
Then we added our review card to President Monson's picture.  On the card is a drawing of a small notebook- just like the one I gave the boys, but green.  And then we listed four blessings that we have in our family.

Here is the whole talk.

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