Summertime always brings an abundance of time on our hands and a search for quality ways in which to spend that time.  I have quite a collection of charts and books from past summers.  This summer we are reading, memorizing, doing service, working on manners, chores, eating right… etc.  The usual.

My family scripture journal

One thing that we really wanted to change was our approach to our family scripture study.  Different methods in the past have been both effective and not effective – sometimes burning us out for months at a time.  Now, with just two children at home — two half-grown children — we thought it was time for our study to grow up a little as well.  Our new approach is intended to last for six months before we re-evaluate.  One day we sat down and made a list of topics to study.  Kimberly typed these up and put them into a jar.  Every couple of days we draw out a new topic and each find a couple of verses in regard to the chosen topic.  A few minutes of personal reflection is followed by each of us sharing what we learned and thought about the subject.  We each have a little journal in which we record whatever we want – maybe our own thoughts, maybe what everyone else shares… it doesn’t matter.
Quite frankly, I am learning so much!  Mark and I are both in awe over not only what we are personally taking away, but at what our children have to contribute!  This takes only a few minutes each day, but we are growing in many ways.  …and no one is bored.

GIFT – this was our first topic.  I wondered where we would go with it and was so pleased with the result.
My first page of writing is shown in the photo.  If I had ever dreamed I would put it out for the public to view I would have worked on my penmanship… Oh well.  These are thoughts in general and read:  When a gift is given, it isn’t always what the receiver wanted, or may be something they have never even thought of – but when given by someone who loves you it has been thought out and is something that will benefit you, perhaps far in the future.  Perfect gifts from our perfect Father may be unanticipated, misunderstood or even unwanted, but will always be for our good.

  •  We learned to be wary of some gifts which are given in the form of bribes and must be avoided.
  •  If we wish to present a gift to the Lord (at his altar) – this could be our time, talents or any sort of service, etc… we must do so without contention in our hearts.  Harboring ill feelings toward anyone else our gift will render our gift unacceptable.
  • Everyone is given at least one gift from God.  These gifts are intended to be used to benefit others, thus all of God’s children will be blessed through one another’s gifts.
  • Christ is the greatest gift and his gives his life for us.  This is much more than just dying for us – He LIVED for us, there was never any selfishness.  He took his time on Earth and dedicated it to us, our greatest gift.

Another journal entry:  Gifts are talents and strengths.  They are also opportunities that come to us.  They may be in the form of certain interactions.  I think some of our greatest gifts come in the form of trials – if we grow and improve through the lessons of a trial – we become who we need to be… then these are gifts indeed.

That was just two days of reading and discussing.  Just a few days later we were presented with a Gift, an unexpected and rather unwelcome gift which we were prepared to embrace because of these two days’ study.  I will have to write about it later… but I am so grateful that the scriptures prepared us to see our new situation as an opportunity to learn, grow and be blessed!

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