This one is a sensitive thought for some. I do not mean to offend anyone by this post. Just something I have been thinking about over the last week and I admit now that my opinion is mine and may be considered by some wrong. 
It is said that the two biggest reasons for divorce are sex and money. Personally I think there is one factor that is common among the two reasons which is lack of communication
One of the talks at church today hit on this subject a bit. He talked about marriage and compared our marriages with that of the Lords(the Bridegroom). The Lord was very good at communicating. He often, even though he knew what was needed, would listen and wait until the disciples(his covenant people) asked him for those things. 
Communication is the single second most important aspect in a marriage. The first is what the other talk in church hit on; Christ should be number 1.  If we aren’t open and honest with our spouses/partners things will not change. There is a time and place to bring up issues that are bothering each individual and this should be done regularly. Nothing hurts anyone more than a small matter becoming larger because someone allowed it to fester inside for too long. 
Be open with your spouse/partner with all matters, especially sex and money. Money is a very large stressor in a lot of peoples lives, if not everyones life. Being open and communicating with your spouse/partner about money will help ease that stress. Imagine being on a tight budget, yet a parter makes a large purchase(eg. new laptop) without talking it over with the other partner first. There are a few feelings and thoughts running through the partners head. 
They feel: 
1. Left out. 
2. More stressed about money because the couple really couldn’t afford it. 
3. Insignificant because it appears the partner did not want to include the other in the decision. 
4. Angry because the previous three fester. 
Proper communication is not just great advice for salesmen who want to woo their clients. It is one of the most important characteristics of a successful marriage. 
This also works with good things as well. Like saying “I love you”, or “I’m sorry”. Saying encouraging things to our children and spouse/partner help to build trust and love in the relationship. Never assume the other person knows anything, even that you love them. Make it a point to communicate that to them. 
One last point. Communication is more than just words. According to psychology today, “…55% of communication is body language, 38% is tone of voice, and 7% is the actual words”( is not just about saying what’s on your mind, it’s showing it.
It’s not to difficult to know what someone is thinking if you just watch their body language. It is almost like reading their mind.

You may not agree with this post, and I would love to hear what you feel makes a marriage or relationship successful. Feel free to send me a FaceBook message or leave a comment. 

Your #1 Critic

Your #1 Critic

As a bit of a follow up to the post 1 month ago (almost to the day) titled “Your #1 Asset,” I wanted to touch on your #1 critic.

Of course the answer to this one is the same as your #1 asset: You. Weird if you think about it. Why is it that we are our own worst critic? Why is it that we constantly talk negative to ourselves? “You can’t do that, it’s too tough.” “You? Are you kidding? HAHAHA. You think you can just go and join a sports team? HAHA. Everyone will be better than you. You will just embarrass yourself. Don’t even try out.”
Odd I find it that we hold our selves down instead of lifting our selves up. Are we taught to do this somewhere? I don’t recall my parents teaching me to talk negative to my self. I also don’t recall my parents saying those negative things to me. Saying I can’t do it. 
I have read/heard a few sayings I want to add in here to help us get out of this constant bullying of our selves. 
1. Fear stands for False Evidence Appearing Real.
2. Fear knocked on the door, faith answered and no one was there. 
3. Action cures fear.
I feel it has everything to do with fear. We attempt to protect ourselves from harm because we fear getting hurt, when in reality we are harming ourselves from potential growth. We don’t ask that girl/guy out because we fear rejection. What goes through your head? “There is no way a girl/guy like them would like a person like me. I’m not good enough. They will just laugh at me in front of the whole class.” Little did we know that she/he was waiting on us to just ask. 
I tried an exercise I read in a book. It goes something like this (paraphrasing): Every time you get a thought of “I can’t do that…That is too hard…I wouldn’t be any good at that” ask your self what proof do you have that it would be to hard. Have you ever tried it before? Probably not. You are just fearing the False Evidence Appearing Real. 
I have come to realize that it rarely is ever as bad as you imagine it. You get all these scenarios of what is going to happen. You picture them laughing at you and think your so crazy for even thinking you were good enough to apply for this job. Then when you get some courage and do it they actually commend you for applying for the job that was above your abilities and give you a shot at it anyways. 
Next time you think a negative thought about your self, think 2 positive ones and just go do whatever it is your are wanting to do. 

How to use your analog watch to find true north.

For those of us who like to hike and rarely take a compass because we are going on an “easy” hike, or a “we do this all the time” hike, there is a way to find true north without a compass (acutally there are more than 10 ways to find north…but I’m only going to show you one). It is done using an analog watch. It’s not the best compass…technically it’s not a compass…but it is better then no compass. I think this is a fantastic tool to use. Especially when we’re on an easy hike that we do all the time and didn’t bring a compass and I swear the trail was right here.

I have included a picture for your viewing and educational pleasure.

How it’s done.
Three simple steps. 
1. Place the watch in the palm of your hand or on the ground face up.
2. Point the hour hand in the direction of the sun. (Or along a shadow, making sure the hour hand is   pointing towards the sun, not away from it)
3. The half way point between the hour hand and the 12 mark is your north-south line.

A few points to remember:
1. Yes I drew that picture
2. For us in the northern hemisphere, the sun will always be in the southern sky at its meridian
3. If it is before noon, measure clockwise from the hour hand to find south. If it is afternoon, measure counter clockwise from the hour hand to find south.

And there you have it. An easy way to use your analog watch as a compass to help find true north. Give it a shot the next time you’re outside. It is actually pretty cool. Or I am just a really big nerd. 

Harry Potter and skittles

Harry Potter and skittles

Odd thought this one…

I began reading Harry Potter for the first time ever. I know…Apparently I live under a rock.

I have never really had any desire to read fiction. I thought it to be a waste of time. Same reason for not knowing what I want to do for a living (needed to have a purpose…carry me to my end goal). I am rather enjoying Harry Potter though. It is a fun story. Makes me want to buy an owl and find platform 9 3/4. (Is 29 too old to go to Hogwarts?)

I am trying to find a good way to put down my thoughts… Why read a novel of something that is completely made up when I could be reading my scriptures or a book about a gospel/self improving topic? I have the same thoughts about movies and TV shows (although I do watch a lot of shows. Thank you Netflix). Why watch a show about someone who has made it big in life and not go make it big in your own life? Instead of watching rookie blue why not just become a cop? (I know I know, why not be a cop AND watch Rookie Blue). Instead of watching suits why not go study law? (maybe you already are 😉  )

I had a thought today that has changed my previous thought. My wife gave me some skittles in the van on the way home from church and I had the same thought (whats the point?). Why eat skittles? They have no nutritional value, they just taste good. Then I thought, why do we have taste buds at all? Most of our body parts work in a specific way to keep us alive; Heart pumps blood, lungs breathe air, spleen takes up space, skin keeps in all in. Then it occurred to me. We have taste buds so things taste good. (As well as to know when something is rotten and potentially kill us. That thought just came to me…guess there is a big purpose to taste buds that completely ruins the reason I am writing this post…. :p ) I was going to say “is that essential, food tasting good?” No, not necessarily. We could eat just the same if everything tasted like styrofoam…we wouldn’t know any different.

We have taste buds so that we can enjoy delicious things. So if God gave us taste buds so we can enjoy good food and drink, why can’t we also enjoy using our imagination while we read a good book?

I am enjoying reading through Harry Potter. I still have that thought of “you should be reading your scriptures and moving closer to saving your self.”

And then I had another thought. Why are we so willing to read Harry Potter every waking moment we have but roll our eyes when we think about how we still need to do our 15 min of scripture study? Why do we neglect the things that matter most? Same with the taste bud thing. Why eat skittles simply for the delicious taste and neglect something that will make us feel way better and actually help us be healthy?

My final thought was this: Part of the reason God created us and this world with everything in it was so we can ENJOY it. We are meant to have fun and enjoy our time here. We just can’t forget to have a moderation in all things. Let’s all work on not neglecting the things that matter most. Lets get as excited for the scriptures as we are about Harry Potter and skittles.