-This post is sponsored by mormon.org and the #PrinceOfPeace Easter Campaign. All ideas and opinions are my own-
I don't often share a lot of religious stuff on my blog but around Christmas and Easter every year my church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, does a campaign focusing on Jesus Christ. I love the campaigns that they do and I love to participate in any way I can. Last Year's Christmas campaign, #LightTheWorld, was awesome. I only wrote one post about one activity that my family did but it was really neat to spend the Christmas season teaching our kids to focus on what they can do for others rather than on themselves and the presents they want. It is something that we, as a family, plan to repeat every year. This year's Easter campaign is called #PrinceOfPeace. It is similar to the Christmas campaign in that it focuses on a different principle each day that we can focus on to become more Christlike in our lives. Each day of the week leading up to Easter has a principle with a scripture, a short video to go along with the theme as well as some ideas of things that you can do to live those principles. The principles are faith, compassion, forgiveness, repentance, gratitude, scripture, prayer, and hope. You can find out more on mormon.org.
For this post I chose to focus on compassion. I feel like I have so many people in my life who are great examples of this principle. I thought of my grandma who was always willing to do anything for anyone, my mom who has a baby gift ready for every one who has a baby even if she doesn't know them well because every baby is special and deserves to be celebrated, and my sister who goes out of her way to do things for others and be there for our family.
Over the past week or so I was trying to choose who I wanted to write about and during that time my sister April took two of my girls, on two separate occasions, on outings just to make them feel special. She took my oldest daughter to see Beauty and the Beast, and my middle daughter got to go to Build a Bear Workshop. I thought about all of the times that April and her husband Kelly have gone out of their way to do things for me and my husband and kids as well as the rest of my family. They are great examples to me of people who are always going out of their way to serve and help others.
April is just a couple of years younger than me and we were always really close growing up. We shared a room for a lot of our childhood and most of the crazy things we did we did together. April and Kelly got engaged right before I came home from my mission, like the day before. They were friends with Jake and it was April who set us up on our first date. They got married just a few months before Jake and I. They haven't been able to have children of their own and I feel like that is something that could make them bitter and angry, but instead they are always doing things for other people, whether it is serving in church callings and helping people in their neighborhood, or taking time to make each of their nieces and nephews feel special. They took one of my nieces on a trip to Boston after her 12th birthday for a special temple trip, she could pick anywhere in the United States that had a temple. Her brother is now planning his trip for next year and they plan to do that with each of their nieces and nephews. At Christmas time they always have a special kids party where they have all of their nieces and nephews come for a few hours so that parents can go Christmas shopping or even just on a date. For Valentine's Day they sent the kids a box with treats and a coupon for a special excursion of their choice. Eliza cashed in her coupon for Beauty and the Beast and Lucy used hers for her Build a Bear trip. They make each of the nieces and nephews feel like they are the most special.
April has served as both the Young Women and Relief Society president in her ward one right after the other. She has done so much for the women and girls in her area to provide service to them. They also have a care center just a few blocks from there house and they provide service to the people there. One time they arranged for the whole family, Jake and I and our kids as well as a couple of my other siblings with their families, to come and put on a little program for the people in the care center. It was a really cool opportunity for the kids to do something that was a little outside their comfort zone.
I think everyone has things in their lives that don't work out the way that they plan or want and when that happens I think we have a choice to either wallow in our misery or to use our experiences as a way to bless the lives of others. I feel like my sister is a great example of the latter. I think so often people may be going through difficult struggles that most people know nothing about and you never know how your acts of kindness and compassion may affect that person's life. I love this quote by President Uchtdorf, "Let our hearts and hands be stretched out in compassion toward others, for everyone is walking his or her own difficult path."
You can download the free printable of the quote by clicking on the links below, it is available in 2 sizes:
8" x 10" Compassion Quote
5" x 7" Compassion Quote
I will be sharing some more printables with quotes to go along with the other 7 principles over the next couple of days so be sure to watch out for that.