"Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to let you in."

-- Robert Frost

Monday, February 11, 2013

standing room only

Last night, as Newel boarded a plane to some where, I slipped away leaving kids in charge, to a meeting held by our stake presidency.

The gist ...

A very familiar phrase to me, but going hungering after food for some of my thoughts, I came away feeling full.

At the beginning there were statistics. The stuff of parental nightmares. The bombardments our children face out in that sometimes scary teenage world. It was painful.

Then came solutions. Building relationships, righteous traditions, strength and self reliance ... all ideas built around the principles listed in that proclamation up there.

Quoted was the yearly theme for our youth, taken from a scripture that seriously ... you do not have to be a member of our faith to be inspired by the words.

"Stand ye in holy places, and be not moved, 
until the day that the Lord come;"
D&C 87:8

The emphasis of this theme is so often placed on the "holy places". It was last night, being compared to the home and what our children come away with ingrained in their character by what we as parents, teach there.

This morning, as I drove kids to schools and buses, my thoughts dwelt on the word "Stand".

I stand in the kitchen three quarters of my day.
I've stood on the sidelines of kid's sporting and cultural events.
I some times stand to quiet fussy babies who think I should get a move on.
A hunting stand is a watch tower of sorts ... a random thought but no less poignant.

And as I drove up once again, to my yard, I thought of the stand of Ponderosa pine trees in which I live.

The National Forest Service says:

"A stand of trees is a contiguous area that 
contains a number of trees that are relatively homogeneous or have a common set of characteristics."

On the hill above our house, the prairie blows. Sometimes icy wind. Sometimes harshly. Sometimes just an annoyance as clothes whip and hair lashes faces. But almost always blows.

Down the hill, my home sits protected in a stand of trees. I can hear the wind. There are times it sounds like a distant train. For the most part, however, the winds are broken and the pines merely rustle. Those trees are tall and straight and deeply rooted in some pretty hard earth.

I thought on my efforts to help my home ... and my family within that home ... be a stand like that one. One where every member of my "stand" is strong and firmly rooted, creating a protection for the entire grouping, stable, upright, intact, and having a common set of righteous characteristics.

A stand is most effective with every member actively working together when and where possible.

The house still after the morning rush, I replayed the cute video clipping shown at the meeting's conclusion last night.

Last night, I sorta got the tie-in made. That as parents, it is our privilege to make this journey along with our children.

This morning, a little more clearly in the quiet, I felt the sacred privilege.

There are days I'd like to high five myself for doing good things. For .. completing a certain checklist, if you will.

  • Prayers .... check
  • Spiritual upliftment ... check
  • Gratitude ... check
  • Engaging conversations .... check
  • Affection ... check
  • Peace ... bonus
  • Unity ... double bonus

I can't help with seven kids, to close out most days merely wiping my brow and patting my own back for not messing 'em up and completing all that I know is right and good.

I read this from here this morning:

"Happiness within our family will most likely be achieved when it’s founded on the teachings of Jesus. That means being unselfish, honest, loyal, loving and a whole host of other virtues, not to mention a lot of effort. A loving and happy family doesn’t happen by accident.

Thinking back on our own family. There were times that were happy and times that weren’t. What were the happiest moments? Most likely they were when we felt loved. When our Dad cried because we were sick. When we saw our parents laugh and smile, and could see how much they loved each other. When my sister gave me a high five for scoring a goal, or vice versa. When I broke a window and my parents forgave me instead of yelling at me. When the car slid off the road during a blizzard and our family had to walk several miles for help. We held hands and sang to make the time go by faster. Our family pitched in to dig someone else out of the snow. My family suffered through my high school musical even though I was just a stagehand. Maybe our family prayed, sang songs, or attended church together. We can recreate those happy times today within our own family and marriage. If our family didn’t have many of those happy moments when we were young, then we want to make things different now."

I want more of that.

Let's face it. I'm pretty sure Newel won't cry if anyone around here is sick ... unless it's life threatening ... and then only maybe. And I'm nearly certain we are not the "holding hands and singing" type of family.

But today, I feel like that guy standing there frozen with the can of beans in his hand. Sometimes looking out at what I hope for this family.  Not quite emerging as far as I'd like for whatever reasons. Only just recognizing the endless potential to this sacred calling of motherhood.

There is so much more to all of this than doing good in survival mode. I know this. I have known this. But I have to act on it. Increase it. I want every moment of every day to be significant. I want to be the roots of this "stand". Deeper. Unshakable. Stable. Upright. Intact against the winds that threaten.

I want to be their holy place that does not move.

I want to grow standing in the privilege of being their mother.

1 comment:

  1. You and me both, sister. It is a privilege. Sometimes, I heard the yelling and the mean tones around here and think there is no hope for us. Then we find something to do together and we giggle and cheer and I see that maybe we haven't screwed this up....permanently. I hope and pray that what we are giving to the kids is the loving foundation of a firm place to stand in Christ and in love for each other!