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Personal Goal

I mentioned a few days ago my Blogging Goals, and wow, it’s amazing that if you actually set a goal, that early determination is like wildfire!

I feel like I’m constantly working on my mothering skills, to talk sweet to my children, to apologize when I’ve gotten upset, to practice patience when they don’t come when asked (twice), to engage with them, to look into their eyes when they are telling a story, to hug them often, to tell them I love them frequently, to build them up, have one on one time. Not that I am PERFECT, but these are personal goals I’ve had at the forefront of my mind for years. I feel I do them well for the most part. This year in my mothering, I’d like to be better at offering up better advice when they have frustrations, to be in tune enough to THEM to know how I best guide my conversations.

I’m their mom, I fix their frustrations–or at least I want to–but that’s not what I should be doing. I should be teaching them how to deal with them, and they best thing I can do is listen.  To NOT offer advice or solutions unless they ask. But that’s not natural for me. My boys are 10 and 12 and very smart and aware of their surroundings. We encourage them to find solutions to their frustrations by consulting our Father in Heaven in prayer as well as turning to the scriptures for peace. Both concepts take practice, of which I myself have ebbed and flowed in the same realm throughout my life. I want them to recognize the promptings of the Holy Spirit that guides them, and to discern right from wrong. We teach them that the best way that Spirit can stay strong and guide them is to seek the scriptures and pray.  I fear I may not be the best example to them, and I want to be better.

This year, a personal goal of mine is to seek the scriptures daily. I took a class in college where I exercised a 30 minute daily study, and it was AMAZING! I wrote in a journal the thoughts I had while reading, I was encouraged to pray before and after my reading to be more filled with light, and I was! I noticed a big difference in my demeanor, my patience with others, the peace within me. Ever since then, I’ve lived with this frustration that I just can’t do a 30 minute daily study, so it often ends up being a big fat ZERO minutes. I’ve fooled myself into believing that if I can’t “do it all” I’ll do nothing because it’s one or the other with nothing in the middle. I remind myself, “That’s not ok, Kristen, (to read nothing in the good Book) you can do just a little.” I get out of the habit and then it’ll go days…weeks…before I’ve immersed myself. It disappoints me, and I try again.

I’ve told myself that not only do I owe it to myself to have that extra light from a daily study of the scriptures, but I owe it to my children to have a mother filled with that extra light. I know and feel a difference in my patience, kindness, overall tolerance of life’s annoyances when I’ve had a daily study.

My goal this year is very simple: To read just ONE verse a day. Hopefully, it will lead into more verses on some days, and some it won’t. I’m going to be ok with that. Even though the little devil on my shoulder is telling me that just one verse is ridiculous, not hardly beneficial at all, I know he’s wrong. I know that just one little verse will give me a fraction of light above what ZERO verses would be.

My friends Kelli & Kristi at Lolly Jane,  Mandy at Sugar Bee Crafts and Mariel and Or So She Says are also sharing their personal goals today. We plan to share our thoughts on the same theme the first Sunday of each month.


Kristen Duke

Kristen Duke

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Kristen Duke
Kristen Duke
Kristen Duke
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  1. Ugh… LOVE that pic of you and the kids.

  2. Great goals, and what a beautiful photo of your and your children.

  3. Great goal! It all starts with one. I know you and your family will be blessed this year by this!

  4. I remember that in college as well. I took a Book of Mormon class (BYU-provo) and I had to do a scripture Journal……. probably the most I’ve ever gotten out of the scriptures. Amazing that I know that was effective liked the results but haven’t repeated…… great goal.

    • Kristen Duke says:

      Meghan, SO true! I’ve tried the last 10 years to get in the same habit with results all over the place! Frustrating, but we gotta do what we can. (I went to BYU-I first, but the class was in Provo).

  5. Kristen – I have been feeling the same thing lately! You put my thoughts/feelings into words perfectly. We DO owe it to our children…you are so right! My personal goal is to attend the temple once a month by myself – in addition to going with Brad. THank you for sharing your goal! xoxo

    • Kristen Duke says:

      Lucky to have a temple so close…I’m happy to hear that my rambling thoughts makes sense;)

      • I am surprised to find out you do not have ‘temples’ close by. Where do you attend services on Sunday? How is this different from a temple?
        Excuse my ignorance :)

  6. Great post, Kristen! (And I love the photo of you and your children–so sweet.)

  7. I needed to read this today!! Thank you for sharing your goal… I really need to do the same thing. I am kind of like you in that I want to have this picture-perfect scripture study scenario, but it just never seems to happen. One verse is a great goal. I can DO that! I may just have to join you in this :) Another goal I have this year is to go to the temple more often. Trying to get my YW to get up and go early in the mornings before school, so we’ll see how that goes :) Have a wonderful week!

    • Kristen Duke says:

      before school–wow! Not much of an option here (1 hr. 45 min. away to SA temple) that’s awesome! I think it was Julie Beck who said one verse a day is all she gets sometimes, and I thought if it’s ok for her, it’s ok for me!

  8. Hi Kristen!
    Gorgeous pic! Thanks for your support in my previous comment.
    I use the Daily Bible app and read a verse everyday. I must admit I sometimes only read it while I eat breakfast with sleepy eyes, but it feels ‘goodish..’
    I have a New Testament and a Bible laying on our living room table. We check it every know and then not frequently enough and sometimes with high frustration, but they are there, to be remembered and checked.
    It’s the small things that add up :)

  9. My goal this year is to mediate one minute a day and to let that minute grow for each month of the year. So in January one minute, February two minutes, etc. I keep reminding myself that gradual starts are better than biting off more than I can chew. Sounds like you are in the same place. Be well.

  10. Awesome goal!! I need to do that as well. I like the point you make about how you owe it to your children to have that light. It’s so true! Thanks for being such a great example.

  11. Great goals! I am trying to read the scriptures daily too!

  12. That picture of you and your kiddos is stunning. Seriously gorgeous little family!


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