Month: March 2013

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

The staff of Stance for the Family would like to wish everyone a happy Easter. Today is a day to be with family, have ham, and have Easter egg hunts. Most importantly, though, today is a day to remember Jesus Christ. Our Savior truly suffered […]

The LDS View on Gay Marriage

The LDS View on Gay Marriage

Stance for the Family stands with the LDS Church in its defense of marriage: “As a church, our doctrinal position is clear: any sexual activity outside of marriage is wrong, and we define marriage as between a man and a woman. However, that should never, […]

Becoming More Resilient

Becoming More Resilient

by Rachel Nielsen

Raising Resilient Children” was written by Lyle J. Burrup and published in the March 2013 issue of the Ensign.

Photo Credit: Al_HikesAZ via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Al_HikesAZ via Compfight cc

A few years ago I had the chance to hike in the mountains for three days with fifteen teenage girls. I learned a lot on this trip: how to wash my hair in a stream not more than six inches deep, how to cover up the taste of iodine-purified water with Crystal Light, and how to enjoy the true miracle of dried fruit.

The point of this trip wasn’t to turn a bunch of high school–aged girls into survivor women, the point was to help them do something hard. And halfway through the first day of hiking, it was apparent which girls were more resilient to this hard task and which girls were less resilient.

In “Raising Resilient Children,” written by Lyle J. Burrup of LDS Family Services, Burrup explains the term resilience: “The original definition of the word resilience had to do with a material’s ability to resume its shape or position after being bent, stretched, or compressed. Today we commonly use the word to describe our ability to bounce back from adversity.” Or in this case, the ability to bounce back from the blisters, bruises, aches, and dirt that come from tromping through the forest.

The girls on the hike that I would call “more resilient” were not necessarily the leaders of the pack—the ones who arrived at each night’s campsite an hour or two before the other girls. In fact, sometimes the more resilient girls were the ones trailing in a few hours after the first girl had arrived.

The resilient girls were the ones who had mostly smiles on their faces, who hardly complained, and who were not trying to outperform everyone else. The resilient girls were cheerful, persistent, and confident, and they knew that there was life beyond the hike.

Photo Credit: Al_HikesAZ via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Al_HikesAZ via Compfight cc

A few weeks ago, I was faced with another three-day hike through the woods—but my backpack was full of schoolbooks, my shoes were ballet flats, and I wasn’t hiking at all. I was faced with a hard thing, well, a pile of hard things.

I was reminded of the hike, the metaphorical representation of life and all the trials that come with it. I needed resilience. I needed to be cheerful, persistent, and confident, and to recognize that there was life beyond this pile of hard things.

Just before this “hike” of mine, I came across “Raising Resilient Children,” which teaches parents how to raise children who can face life with courage and optimism, even when hard things happen. And after my “hike,” I was reminded of the article and revisited it to prepare for the next pile of hard things bound to come my way. As I reread it, I made a list, shifting the article’s tips from having a raising-children focus to having a self-improvement focus. After all, we all need a little more resilience.

  1. Accept that life is challenging and unpredictable.
  2. Have confidence that you can manage anything life throws you.
  3. Remember that mistakes are opportunities to learn.
  4. Focus on what you can control, not on what you can’t control.
  5. Remember that your worth comes from your divine heritage, not you successes and failures.
  6. Avoid perfectionism.

When it all boils down, I think that resilience comes from knowing who we are. When we recognize that we are creatures of unlimited potential with minds that can think and create and uplift, and when we surrender to the fact that challenges are designed to help us reach that potential, things become easier. So here’s to all the hikes and blisters and bruises—because those are the things that are going to make us stronger.

Sweet Twindipity: Thoughts on Being a Twin

Sweet Twindipity: Thoughts on Being a Twin

by Aimee Hancock “It’s double the giggles and double the grins, and double the trouble if you’re blessed [to be a] twin.”   —Author Unknown “Wait, there are two of you?” I’ve heard this so often, it should be included on my headstone. My sister and […]

Walking Apples

Walking Apples

by Jenna Hoffman   Walking apples are quick, easy, and healthy(ish)! And they are perfect for enjoying on the go. What more can you ask for? I’ve been eating them since I was a child, and no matter who I share them with, they never fail […]

Finding Balance in a Busy World

Finding Balance in a Busy World

by Brittany Bruner

Photo Credit: leoplus via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: leoplus via Compfight cc

As a young, female student near graduation, I have taken great interest in reading some of the news pieces circulating by women in positions of power about balancing family life with work. This started with my exposure to “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” by Anne-Marie Slaughter. In this article, Slaughter discusses the problem with feminists telling young women that they can have it all, that they can have a high profile job that they move up in as fast as men, and that they can still balance a family life. When Slaughter left her high-profile government job to be closer to her family (while still working full-time as a professor at Princeton, no small feat itself), she found herself being pitied by other women who seemed to look down on her for sacrificing opportunities for her family. She acknowledges that her lifestyle works now because she has control over her schedule, rather than having busyness decide how she spends all her time.

Photo Credit: kaitlyn rose via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: kaitlyn rose via Compfight cc

In connection with this issue of busyness, I recently read the article “Is There Life After Work?” by Erin Callan in the New York Times. She noted that her life before her unemployment in 2008 was dictated by her work schedule. She was constantly on her phone, and soon her work life saw more and more extended hours. Work became her life. After she quit her job, she started working more on her relationship with her husband. She regrets the things she gave up for her career.

This article is interesting to me in my current situation because I am getting ready to graduate and enter into the “real” world. While I don’t have a husband to make time for or to make decisions with, I do have relationships with other people. When I think back on my experiences from years past, I don’t remember a lot of the things that I did at work, but I do remember my relationships because they are lasting things, and they are also the things that make me the happiest. By no means am I suggesting that we quit working and spend endless time creating relationships. I value being busy. I highly value the work that I have put into school, my job, and my singing group, Noteworthy. But if my life consisted only of these things, I fear that I would reach the end of my life filled with regret and longing for relationships that were never developed.

I think sometimes we wait for a time when we won’t be as busy as we are now. But busyness is never going to go away. So I recommend that we evaluate if the things we are doing right now will get us the things that we want out of life, and reschedule our lives to get those things. I don’t want to end up down the road fifty years from now lamenting my decisions, especially decisions regarding family relationships because they are the most lasting things we can invest in.

My Big Reveal: Same Sex Attraction as a Latter-day Saint

My Big Reveal: Same Sex Attraction as a Latter-day Saint

Spencer is a BYU student and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Visit his blog, “For a Wise Purpose.” Copy . . . Paste . . . Post . . . Thus began the scariest day of my life. I […]

Breadsticks

Breadsticks

by Lauren Atkinson Recipe by Sterling Gray in the Mecham Family Recipe Book. If the thought of using real live yeast makes you cringe, overwhelms your meager baking abilities, or fills you with apathy, you’re not alone. And you’re not out of luck! I recently […]

Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake

Photo Credit: 427 via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: 427 via Compfight cc

Fife’s Fabulous Fantasy Chocolate Cake

by Alissa Holm

Today, I am opening up the vault of my favorite recipes and sharing my absolute favorite dessert recipe. When I had this chocolate cake for the first time, I didn’t know it was possible to make a cake that was so heavenly, rich, and delicious. When I found out how easy it was to make, still couldn’t believe it. Basically all you need is a chocolate cake mix, chocolate pudding, sour cream (for moistness) and chocolate chips, and you already have the cake of your dreams. Try making this cake for your friend’s birthday, and you’ll be the talk of the party!

Cake:

1 box milk-chocolate cake mix

1 lg box instant chocolate pudding

1/2 c. oil

1/2 c. warm water

1 c. sour cream

2 c. choc chips

Mix all ingredients (it will be thick). Bake at 350 degrees for 50 min. (bundt pan) or 35 min. (cake pan).

Frosting:

3/4 c. choc chips

3 T. butter

1 T. corn syrup

1/4 tsp. vanilla

Powdered sugar

Melt frosting ingredients together, drizzle on cake while warm. When frosting cools, sprinkle powdered sugar on top.

Why Reading Matters

Why Reading Matters

by Brittany Bruner Reading has always been an important activity in my home. My family and I read together every Sunday, and before I could read, my parents read me a bedtime story every night. My grandparents gave each grandchild a new book every Christmas, […]