I have never been one for having a slogan or mantra. I actually never thought of having one for myself or for our family until after having Jack. It felt like all of a sudden I was hearing/reading stories of people's family motto or how they chose a new theme for the new year and how it impacted their day to day life for the better. I did not even realize this was a thing! Then take a look at people's decor nowadays or browse Pinterest for a bit, and you are bound to come across a "Keep Calm..." sign or family rules or some sort of saying that family's have displayed. Huh. It got me thinking- what would I choose? Should we have one? To be completely honest, the "Keep Calm" thing... I do not get it. Saying (or seeing) "calm" to me is like telling me to get more worked up and stressed. Does not really do the trick. But the idea of some sort of motto to look toward was in my head and somehow over the last few months, I have found a few mantras that have really resonated with me.
"Choose happiness". I absolutely love this. I'm not sure why, but I struggle being happy sometimes. Dare I say, we all do... at some point? We mistake a hiccup in life or a challenging day as nothing is going our way nor will it ever. Sheesh, I hate feeling that way. It feels so selfish when we have so many blessings surrounding us. Whatever is happening in life, though, we ALWAYS have a choice. Our agency will never be taken away from us. Yes, Heavenly Father puts trials in our path. Or we do it ourselves. But no matter what, a choice is laid in front of us. Are we going to choose to wallow and let the trial engulf us or are we going to choose happiness and see our blessings regardless? Whenever I think these words now, my outlook is completely changed. I feel renewed. I feel energized. I put a smile on my face. I hug my boys. I stop trying to be so "together" and enjoy life and relax. I find my happiness and I thank my Heavenly Father for my blessed life. It's a happy one, even if I do not see it all the time.Ok, if you are LDS, you know this is a popular hymn we sing. The words to this hymn just bring... peace to my soul. They are beautiful. Full of love. Exactly what any home wants to feel like. One of the reasons I chose this as another "words to live by" is partly due to this image I came across-
It is cute, but nothing terribly special. BUT when I saw this, I knew I had to have this saying up in our home. We need to see this every day, we need to live by this every day.
"Govern your house in meekness". The other night (after a rather stressful day and late night putting little boys to bed) for my scriptures, I read Doctrine and Covenants 31. I did not think I would glean too much from this section, seeing as it was a shorter one and just calling Thomas B. Marsh on a mission. Then I read D&C 31:9 and this sentence- "Govern your house in meekness, and be steadfast.". Meekness. Govern in meekness. You see the form of "meek" all over the scriptures, but what does it really mean? Gentle. Kind. Humbly patient. I reread it, letting the sentence resonate with me more. This was it. After the day and frustration I had had, this was the most perfect thing for me to read. Above all else be gentle. Be kind. Be understanding to your household. Live by this. I am struggling right now (but aren't we always?). James is hitting a new stage that I am not understanding and Jack is, to say the least, a tough two-year old. I feel like all I do is scold and lose my patience. I always know the kids are transitioning to a new stage when this happens- we are in new territory :) "Govern in meekness"- accept the changes, learn what works best to understand your child, and be gentle.
There are many more, but these three have struck me the most. They really encompass everything I want for our family- happiness, love, and kindness. I think we are doing a good job of it so far and hope to do even better with these being more part of our family as the boys grow up.