That’s a tricky thing sometimes. We all have unique lives – different families, different work situations, different homes, different adversities, different likes and dislikes, different personalities, different everything. Because of the need to adapt strategies to fit our individual circumstances, learning how to manage our lives can be challenging.
A Little Background Info
I don’t think it is a secret that I have a deep belief in God and I am very active in my church. All leadership in the LDS Church is volunteer (this doesn’t include staff such as secretaries, media personnel, etc. who are employed by the Church and work a 9-5 job). That means that we, as members of each congregation, we are also the leaders and teachers to one another and are asked to serve in different areas to help the church run. For a couple of years I was in charge of teaching the 8-year-old children, another period I was asked to lead and teach young women ages 12-18, the most daunting task was probably when I was asked to be the music leader/teacher for children 3-11. That one definitely didn’t come naturally for me but I did it and learned a lot. I have had many responsibilities over the years in our church, starting at the age of 12.
We believe that part of our growth and development as people centers on these volunteer experiences in our church. They help us learn how to work with different people in a variety of situations, planning things or administering programs or teaching. These experiences help us become who we are, learn leadership and planning skills, teach us about the scriptures and church doctrine, as well as give us many opportunities to serve one another.
For the last year and a half I have been serving in the leadership of what is called the Relief Society. The Relief Society is a women’s organization in the LDS Church, founded over 150 years ago to administer to the poor and needy. It still serves that purpose, but has expanded to encompass the teaching and enriching of women as well as serving others. Although it is true that all women of our church as also part of the Relief Society, you don’t have to be a member of our church to be a part of what the Relief Society does.
One of the things that Relief Society works to do is to provide women with activities, learning opportunities and service experiences. That is what I am in charge of right now in our neighborhood and area of our church. I have a group of lovely, hard-working volunteer women who, as a group, help me plan ways to give women a chance to socialize together, learn uplifting things and serve others.
I know that many of you have similar involvement in your congregations and places of worship as well and can find many similarities to how these kinds of things work in the LDS Church. I tell you all of this simply to give you a frame of reference for what I am going to share with you this week.
I want to invite you all to participate in my experience with our neighborhood Relief Society this year. You don’t have to be a member of our church to do so – I invite you as my friend. I think that what we are focusing on is beneficial to any woman’s life – no matter your religious beliefs, economic background, place of residence or cultural heritage. Yes, some of the things that I will share will be religious in nature because that is why we’re developing the “Every Needful Thing” program in the first place. But I firmly believe that there will be much information that is applicable to anyone – which is why I still would like to share it with you…religious or not.
Our Focus for 2010
“I’m so stressed out!” “I can’t do it all!” “I don’t know how to organize my life!” Do these phrases sound familiar? I think that every one of us has felt those emotions and said those statements at some point in our lives – very possibly right now! I believe that we can choose joy and happiness despite our circumstances but let’s face it, real life can be crazy and busy and overwhelming, too. We have found that so many women in our neighborhood feel this way that we wanted to try and address this issue during 2010.
Our goal is to provide opportunities to help women learn how to manage their lives a little better – to have more confidence in their ability to sort through what is truly important; to be a little more efficient, a little more simplified, a little more at peace.
In the Doctrine and Covenants we find the following words:
This year we are going to work on establishing homes that are more focused on the things that matter most. No matter the family situation or religious views, we all can apply this principle to our lives. We are using the phrase “Every Needful Thing” as the center of our efforts as we work to figure out what is truly needful in each of our lives.
Now the interesting thing about this idea is that although we will be providing classes and workshops, tips and handouts to help teach strategies and principles of life management, each person will have the opportunity to decide for themselves “what is needful” in their own lives. Because we all have unique lives, we all have different things that are important – so it is up to each of us to gather the information, sift through it, and choose what we want to incorporate into our families or individual lives.
As I share this journey with you this year you will receive many things. First, if we are trying to teach how to manage our lives then we need some sort of place to manage the information, right? So, tomorrow I will give you instructions and downloads for completing the “Every Needful Thing” notebook that each woman in our neighborhood has the opportunity to create this month. It will have a place for all of the things that we will be using and learning about this year and will be a continual resource for each of us to refer back to.
Each day this week I will share a little more, both in information as well as downloads, regarding the foundation of the “Every Needful Thing” program. I invite you to participate in any way that you see is “needful” in your life. Perhaps you don’t want to create a notebook but you want to use some of the tips that we will share as the year goes on. Maybe you don’t want to print out the downloadable quote from today but you still want to concentrate on determining what is truly needful in your life. Whatever way you want to participate – you are welcome to do so.
Think of this as a FREE online workshop – it will have many of the kinds of things that I usually offer in my Big Picture Scrapbooking classes but we will do it together here on my blog. We’ll share our journey of determining “Every Needful Thing” together – something that I think all of us are striving to do better at.
Thanks for experiencing this with me. Please feel free to comment and ask questions as often as you can so that we can share our thoughts and experiences together.
I’ll see you tomorrow!
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