Sunday, November 30, 2008

Talk on Obedience given by Shae Clark

Hello all,

I was asked to speak in sacrament meeting a few weeks ago. Here is my talk. Enjoy. :)
First, as a mother with three boys, there is always in one form or another lessons on obedience. For example, when I ask my son's to clean up their room. A simple task expecting obedience, returns with great opposition and disobedience. I get complaints "Why do I have to?" or "It's not messy? or "I don't want to" the list can go on and on. I have been praying and thinking of how I can get my boys to obey, to do the right thing. To have them WANT to do the right thing without being compelled. Even in smaller tasks they stray, from obedience, such as when they are asked to put their shoes away, or to throw away the wrapper from the string cheese they were eating. The request rarely gets fulfilled. A messy clutter-filled house results and the spirit leaves with the arrival of the mess. I am reminded of the small things we are asked to do to follow the Lord. Such things as reading our scriptures, write in a journal, say our prayers, listen for promptings and acting upon them. be nice to each other, be grateful for what we've been given. Just to name a few. how often do I say, I'm too tired, or I just read my scriptures yesterday, I don't need to read them today.  I just don't have time to write in my journal, or I'll do it later when I have more time, or I don't need to call so and so... I'm sure their fine. But time never comes. I get sidetracked. I don't call the person that needed a call from me. I know I have good intentions at time I'll even remember. I'll even have my scriptures in hand, or sitting at the table/computer ready to follow thru and low and behold... the kids start fighting and I have to break them up, or the phone rings - it's important, or I just don't know what to write. So it doesn't get finished or even started. Sidetracked again. Just as easily my  children get sidetracked on the way to the trash with the wrapper from their string cheese, by a passing sibling, or a flashy cool commercial on the t.v., or just plain forgetting what they were doing in the first place. As we become distracted or as we re-prioritize our list of the rising demands on our time. How easy like our children, are we being disobedient to the commandments and covenants from the Lord without meaning to. And how many times do we create opposition for the spirit tot dwell within us? Thru our own disobedience to the things the Lord has asked us to do. In the October 2008 Ensign is a great little story of how those little distractions and detours can affect the whole outcome. "Lines, Levels and Living the Gospel" by: Sandi Matlock Fairbanks. (It can be found on, search articles). 
After my husband and I finished some remodeling on our house, we decided to paint our daughter’s bedroom. She requested that we paint the top half pink and the bottom half purple. I never imagined that such a simple task would teach me so much about the gospel.

On the day I wanted to start painting, I couldn’t find a tape measure to mark the dividing line. I used painters’ masking tape instead and decided to eyeball the line. After all, how hard is it to tape a straight line across a wall? After I had one wall taped, it looked so good that I thought I’d find a level and check my work. Initially, the line started out even, but to my surprise, it moved fractionally downward. By the time I got to the opposite corner, the difference was about half an inch (1 cm). Although the difference may seem insignificant, if I’d continued on all four walls, the ending line would have been at least two inches (5 cm) below the beginning line!

After discovering my mistake, I found a yardstick and measured from the ceiling to the desired height on the wall, marked the measurement in several places, and then connected the marks by drawing a straight line with the yardstick and a pencil. I repeated the process on all four walls.

As I worked, it occurred to me that living the gospel of Jesus Christ is similar to painting a room. Sometimes we use our “tools” to keep us on the strait and narrow, while at other times we go through our days “eyeballing” our spirituality. We have the tools we need to stay on a straight course—scriptures, church, daily prayer, family home evening, counsel from Church leaders—but we don’t always use them. We often think that we are faster and better off doing the task on our own.

Painting my daughter’s room, however, showed me that I wasted time by not using the proper tools in the first place. Instead of making an even line on my first attempt and finishing the job faster, I had to fix the mistake and then finish the other three walls correctly.

We can also be the tools to help others. As home and visiting teachers, we have the responsibility to help both those who are struggling and those who seem to be fine. As teachers, we can prepare our lessons prayerfully and in advance, allowing the Lord to work through us. We can serve our families and others by being an example of one who strives to live the gospel.

As a Latter-day Saint in these troubling times, I have learned that I can’t get by with just eyeballing my spirituality. I need to use all the resources and tools I’ve been given to constantly check my bearings and remain on, or return to, the straight path that leads back to Heavenly Father.

Just as "eyeballing: and not using the proper tools in her painting, she ended up off course, just as my little child with his string cheese, and we to with the little things of forgetfulness, can easily get off course and further from our goal of returning to live with our Heavenly Father.
What are some things we can do to help us remember to be obedient to the things the Lord would have us do? For instance, if your reading your scriptures and he phone rings, don't answer it. It can wait 5 min or so until you've finished reading. If your sitting down and going to write in your journal, start with a prayer and ask the Lord what you should write and the Lord will place in your mind the things to write, just by starting simply. If your writing in your journal and your kids are around, have them write in their journals with you. It helps teach them the importance of Journal writing as well as time well spent. Even in they can't write they can draw pictures. To help us remember to keep the spirit with us we can place signs in our house to help us remember the savior, or play calming music. I have tried recently to not yell at my kids when I'm trying to get them to obey. Which helps keep the spirit in our home and still helps them accomplish the task they were asked to do. Does the Lord yell at us when we are being disobedient? No. He still quietly and lovingly tries to reach us.
Recently, I had an experience with my mother that I'd like to share. She recently sprained her ankle. She calls and needs a ride home from the emergency room. She assures me she is okay. When I arrive I have her recovery plan already planned out for her. She will stay at my house where I can take care of her needs. Mind you this is without asking her first what she needs or wants. I try to be persuasive. I try to tell her it is what is in her best interest. Then it dawns on me... Duh?! Did she even ask me for this? Is this what she really needs or wants? How many times when we are given a situation from the Lord that would normally require us to receive counsel from the Lord on what he would have us do, do we try to take over? Think we know best? and not go to him for what the situation is in need of.? When we finally do... do we try to persuade the Lord into doing what we want to do, not obeying what he asked us to do? In the end, I obeyed the wishes of my mother and let her take care of herself. And I had to submit to the will of my mother, juts as we need to submit to the will of the Lord. He knows what needs done. If we would only listen and obey what he has to say. How much easier would our life be?
In the 3rd article of Faith it states: We believe that through the atonement of Christ, All mankind may be saved, by OBEDIENCE to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel. Those laws and ordinances of the gospel grow as your understanding of the gospel grows thru the first four basic principles of the gospel found in the 4th article of Faith: We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the gospel are first: Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; Second, Repentance, Third: Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; Fourth: Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. By following those things and the things we know we should be doing such as reading our scriptures, saying our prayers and waiting for the answer from the Lord,  acting upon those answers, following the counsel of our church leaders, writing in our journals, not getting sidetracked into the worldly things. We can draw closer to our Heavenly Father and be ready willing and able to obey. We will truly be blessed.
I know this church is true. I know that by being obedient to the teachings of the savior and by obeying the laws and ordinances of the Gospel we will truly be free and blessed. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ. AMEN.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Christmas - Getting to know you

Welcome to the Christmas edition of getting to know your friends. Okay, here's what you're supposed to do, and try not to be a SCROOGE!!! Just copy (not forward) this entire email and paste into a new e-mail that you can send. Change all the answers so that they apply to you. Then send this to a whole bunch of people you know, INCLUDING the person that sent it to you......Tis the Season to be NICE! 1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? wrapping and gift bags 2. Real tree or Artificial? we put up a fake one.
3. When do you put up the tree? the weekend of thanksgiving. usually friday.
4. When do you take the tree down? usually after the new year 5. Do you like eggnog? OH, Yea!!!
6. Favorite gift received as a child? a basketball 7. Hardest person to buy for? my husband, and giving my husband an idea of what I want. 8. Easiest person to buy for? the boys!
9. Do you have a nativity scene? yep several, i collect them. I just love them! my favorite one right now is the Willow tree nativity set. 10. Mail or email Christmas cards? I try to mail cristmas cards, but i usually get so busy i don't get them out.. I know i'm bad. maybe this year the boys can help me. :) I have several boxes from the other years. So luckily I don't have to buy any. :) 11.Worst Christmas gift you ever received? a franklin planner/purse from my hubby.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? White Christmas and the Nativity
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? last minute due to lack of fundage... but this year i'm already ahead. The boys are mostly done. Just afew odds and ends.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yea. Those are the best!!!
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Ham, mashed potatoes, Bill's grandmother's cookies, pecan pie, christmas cookies, orange rolls, the whole shibang!!! 16. Lights on the tree? oh yea... we have a fake tree with it's lights already on it. Pre-lit. I know lazy but, white and green! 17. Favorite Christmas song? It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas... every where you go! ..... 18.Travel at Christmas or stay home? Doesn't matter as long as I'm with family!
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? dasher, dancer, prancer and vixen, comet and cupid, donner and blitzen..... and of course Rudolf 20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Star... but some years it's an angel. both significant
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? We give the kids one gift on christmas eve, usually christmas pj's.... then the rest on Christmas
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? my husband's bah humbag attitude...
23. Favorite ornament theme or color? my favorite ornament.... hmmm... would have to be a heart. Bill got a glass heart right after his first heart surgery. to me it represents the love of christmas and the blessings that we have.
24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? all of my favorite foods.... mmmmm yummy
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? don't know. to see my side of the family, a little girl, a horse, a farm. things I can't have yet. oh well, it's good to dream!
26. Who is most likely to respond to this? don't know, those in the christmas spirit!
27. Who is least likely to respond to this? those who are bah humbags... scrooges!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Employee's first article

I moved internally at AOL this year. I was asked to answer the following questions about my time at AOL... It was what they call Employee's First Article. It is posted on the Internal AOL web page. I thought I'd share my experience. It also was posted with a picture of me. Here is the picture they used. Enjoy.

After working as a contractor at AOL for nine years in several positions, last year Shae Clark became a full-time employee in Human Resources. She then transitioned into a role as data analyst for the Global Workforce Analytics team responsible for ad-hoc reporting, data integrity auditing and project management. In the Q&A below, find out what brought Shae to AOL in the first place and how she turned a temporary position into a full-time career.

When did you begin working at AOL?
It's an interesting story. I had been a contract worker on and off for nine years in various groups such as Broadband, Marketing Operations, System Operations, Network Operations and others. The temporary nature of the role gave me flexibility -- I have three small children -- and working for several groups allowed me to learn a lot about the company. As time went by, I wanted a more stable situation. My last contract position in 2007 working for Michaela Oliver led to a permanent position as an administrative assistant in Human Resources.

What attracted you to AOL?
My husband has worked at AOL for 10 years and has always enjoyed it -- that influenced me. Also, it made sense for us to work at the same place since we only had one vehicle. Once I began temping I enjoyed those roles and the people I worked with, so even after we owned two cars, I wanted to continue to work here.

What were you looking for in your next role?
A challenge. I did administrative work for nearly 13 years and wanted to use my knowledge of the company to expand my horizons. Through networking with my colleagues in HR, I was intrigued with the newly forming Analytics team and was given an opportunity to cross train and devote some of my time to that team. It was a wonderful learning experience and ultimately I was offered the chance to work on the team full time. I still have a lot of learning to do, but I'm excited about the position.

Why did you decide to look internally versus looking for positions outside of AOL?
I just love AOL -- some might call me a "lifer." It's a great company to work for and I have so much history here, it would be hard for me to leave.

What did you perceive to be your biggest roadblock when considering a job change?
My own insecurities about breaking out of the admin role. I needed to find a group that recognized I could do more and that was willing to give me an opportunity.

What steps did you take to prepare yourself?
Networking was a huge part of it. Through discussions with my manager and other HR colleagues, I identified opportunities.

What steps worked best for you in your search for a new role?
Communication and action -- I tried to be proactive and speak with people about my interest in changing roles. I was willing to step out of my comfort zone and take on new projects that were exciting and challenging at the same time. Talking to my manager about my goals and what I wanted helped me to get those new projects and ultimately a new position.

Which skills were most transferrable from your previous job to your current position?Relationship building, knowledge of the company, understanding the environment at AOL, networking, organizational skills, communication skills, time management and the ability to multi-task. Having energy and excitement about the future also helped me transition and to continue to perform well.

How did your manager support your career development?
My previous manager was very supportive of my career development. She gave me opportunities and allowed me to take on more responsibility. She encouraged me to try new things, and I appreciate her efforts to help me succeed.

Any advice for those looking for other positions internally?
Don't be afraid to discuss what you want with your manager. Be open and honest about your current job, but share that you would be interested in a change if something came up. Be willing to take on new responsibilities and keep the lines of communication open with your manager on how those new responsibilities are working out. Be honest if it isn't a good fit -- the only way your manager will know is if you communicate that.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


As a mother, I try to be objective.  I got up this morning on time, a little tired but not too bad, got ready for work, went to work thinking today is going to be a good day. Optimisim.... I'm trying.... Well, I'm not at work (mind you I have a 1 hr and 15 min commute.) more than 30 min... and my kids school calls.... no they aren't sick.... my oldest (9 yrs old) is suspended from school for 10 days!!! he brought a pocket knife on the bus/school. He lied to the bus driver, and then proceeded to lie to the assistant principal. Deep breath.... okay, so I'm notified that an expulsion hearing will be held where we need to get an attorney. Also, the police were called and he could be removed from my home, if deemed a threat to others. Yea so much for my good day. I proceeded to finish the conversation with the assistant principle, told my boss I needed to leave work and go home to try to handle the situation, call my husband, breakdown in my bosses' office. Pull it together, head home and try to figure out what I should do next. 

So, I do a lot of thinking, praying, and trying to be calm on the drive home. My husband picked him up from school, as it was his day to work from home. We still don't know what he was thinking except he wanted to trade the knife for something else from another student. 

I continue to pray for guidance on how to reach him. I would like to get some advice from those few readers that read my blog. I'm struggling with the right course of action. We have grounded him, he now has to do all of the house work since he will be home for the next couple of weeks. There will be no thanksgiving celebration with extended family. We are just so furious. I have not spanked him... even though I've felt like it a few times, when he gets smug with me. I'm trying to be level headed. Tough love and discipline. It is not tolerated in our home. but this is his second offense at the school that he's been suspended for this year. AHHHHH Luckily we have his therapy appointment tomorrow. WE will be discussing his latest infraction and behavior issues with her. Please pray for us and feel free to comment.. I would love some outside perspective. Thanks, 

Monday, November 17, 2008


Yesturday was a great day. We went to church and felt the spirit, sang in choir practice, had a great lesson on Knowledge and how important it is to have Truth! We then went home and had dinner and then the missionaries came over to share with us a Preach my gospel activity. It was so good. The boys drew pictures of things like their interpretation of heaven, our family (all with smiling faces and no bodies, thanks Mikey) and Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. The boys did those things while Bill and I shared our testimoneys and prayed over some of our friends names with the missionaries on who would be open and ready to hear the gospel in their lives. I felt very blessed to have 5 names on my list come to my mind after the prayer. I am so grateful for the gospel and the love of my Savior. I know that the Lord in a healer and will bless the lives of those who allow him to enter their hearts. It has happened to me in my life. I am so grateful for my Savior and all that he does for me. For all of his blessings he showers upon me daily. He is my deliverer when I am down and out! I am grateful for the prophets who lead and guide the church and for their example. I am grateful for a wonderful Family immediate and extended. I am grateful for their example to me! I KNOW the Book of Mormon is true! I know that Jesus is my savior and died for me on the cross. I know that we have living prophets that lead and guide our church today. I am grateful for Joseph Smith and the Restoration of the Gospel in this Dispensation. I know that the Savior can heal all wounds and make us whole again. I know that Miracles still happen. I am grateful for the knowledge that I can talk to my Heavenly Father. And that he knows me by name, and loves me. I am truely grateful for the lessons i've learned.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Halloween Pictures

Here are our family Halloween Pictures, Bryen was Dr. KillJoy, Braeden was a Clone Trooper, Mikey was our little Iron Man. Bill was a Woopy Cushion and I was a sleepy kid. We went out and collected lots of candy and we went door to door with some friends from the neighborhood. Their little boy is in our family picture. I can't remember which one. It was fun.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Our Family Pictures

We had our family pictures taken on Saturday, Nov. 1. They are so amazing. Please click the link and enter the code to view. They are amazing. The big family picture is of my husbands side of the family. I would love to try to get one of the Dickson side of the family too. But for now here is the Clarks. The Photographer is from my In-law's ward in Charles Town, WV.

I would like to invite you to view your pictures at Postma Videography and Photography. Go to our website at

Click the Access Gallery link and enter in the access code below:

Access code: billandnancy

After you do that, you will be able to view these pictures.

Barack Obama Our new President

Well, here we are, the day after, the most historic election in US history. What an amazing night. I stayed up to watch the speaches from McCain and Barack. They both did a fabulous job. I think McCain would have been more the way he was lastnight then he might have won. His demeanor and his words never sounded so true. You could tell they were words from his heart and I was touched by them. Barack also made a fabulous speech about how it is our Duty to work hard to make the changes we need. I completely agree. We've all taken a huge step and we need to now follow thru. It's amazing to see how exciting it was for those in DC lastnight. They had to close down streets because of the spontaneous celebration from Barack's victory last night. There were celebrations on U St. and 14th street in downtown DC. and in front of the White House as well. When I went to bed at 1pm they were still going strong. I feel very blessed to be able to have seen and taken part in this historic event. Even my children are touched and affected by this event. What an amazing thing. Here's to a bright hopeful future!

Monday, November 3, 2008

This Historic Election on Tuesday

I have been debating in my mind about who is the right choice in this election. I have made it a matter of prayer and study. While doing so I've been wrestling with my own assumptions on what it means to be a good Latter-day Saint. I felt that if I vote for a Democrate then I can't be a good mormon because of some of the things such as abortion and gay marriages they support. Even though the rest of what I believe is in line with that party currently. My wonderful husband has helped me with debating both sides with me. Helping me see different perspectives on each candidate. I had felt that the only reason I would vote for McCain is due to the aforementioned reasons. And it bothered me. When I went in prayer those didn't feel as important as the rest of the reasons to choose a president. My husband recently mentioned that we in our church support the right to choose that we do in fact allow and accept free agency. whether or not we agree with their choices. That really hit home to me. It made me realize that thru the Gay marriage and Abortion we were allowing them to still make the choice whether or not I agreeded with that choice or not. Because I want the right to still be able to choose what I may. I then felt much better about my decision to vote. Then on Saturday my mother-in-law sent me this article It just put it in persepective even more. And how important it is to truely have diversity and choice in our life. I will be going to the voting booth on Tuesday to make my voice heard and make my choice. I will be voting for Barack Obama. I feel that he is the best choice for the position as we need in our current world and crisis that we have been going thru as a country. We need a fresh approach and a new set of eyes and ears on the pulse of society. I know when writing a paper. We go to someone who has never seen it before to make changes and fix what could be broken. Not because they are necessarily an expert but because they help you see what needs to be fixed and can help you move forward and continue to progress. I am not typically an outspoken advocate in these political arena's but I know for myself that I will be supporting Barack Obama for president. It is good to have new ideas, new choices, new perspective in any situation. I feel Barack Obama is the person to help us as a nation to accomplish what we need to. Thanks for letting me spill my soap box and share what is going on here. Here's to choice! what a wonderful thing. I am so glad that I have the freedom to choose and to know that that right is not just given by the United States of America but a God given right!