01 May 2006

Home Can Be A Heaven On Earth

On Sunday our Stake Primary Presidency/Board was invited to another branch to speak. The topic was family. My assignment of course was to provide a musical number, so I pretty much got to go along for the ride and just enjoy a Sacrament meeting sans children. I really enjoyed the talks my counterparts had prepared... they shared a lot of useful information on how to fortify our homes and families against the evils of the world. They happen to be older and wiser than I, so I really soaked it up. :)

One of the points made was that our home can be one of the most sacred places on the earth. That really spoke to me. I want for my family to seek refuge in the walls of our home... I want them to feel safe and warm and protected here. I thought about how I can ensure that... by keeping our standards high (for instance with regard to the entertainment and music we allow to infiltrate our lives), by spending quality time together, by reenforcing beliefs, by having open communication with our children about troublesome things, by governing them while allowing them to make their own choices. And of course by loving them, unconditionally. My husband and I make an effort in each of these areas, but we could certainly do better. Our oldest is only 7, but she's close to the age where she will truly be accountable for her decisions and I think often about how well I have equipped her with the knowledge to do so mindfully. We have such a short amount of time with these sweet little souls! And so much responsibility to fulfill.

What are your thoughts? What ways have you succeeded in making your home a heaven on earth?


ABC Momma said...

My son will be 8 at the end of the month and I'm feeling the same way. I'm excited for him to be baptized, but it feels like I'm sending him away to college. He's going to be accountable for his own actions! I'm glad he's a pleaser and really wants to choose the right, but he's too hard on himself when he makes a mistake.

I think the best thing we can do for his little soul is to let him know we make mistakes too, but when we do, we repent and rely upon the mercy of Christ and try to do better in the future.

emlouisa said...

We had the same sacrament meeting talks yesterday about building a fortress and I LOVED it. I came home totally inspired.

I have been listening to Primary music with my kids. We have started doing family prayer together in the mornings and I'm planning to hang some more Christ-centered pictures in our home.

I need to work better at making it a place where my kids WANT to be though. A-boy is only 2 1/2 but I want him to grow up in a happy home. It starts now! (actually, it already started...)

Rachelle said...

I agree on the home as a heaven on earth. That is very important to me. I am selective with books, music, tv, and movies. We say prayers together and read scriptures. It's also a place of unconditional love. There is so much evil in the world. I want my home to be a place where my kids are safe from the darts of the world. So in our home we joke and tease, but are never mean. It's a place where everybody knows they are loved unconditionally and will never be hurt, put down, etc.

Kristen said...

Oh, wow. It's a tough balance to make sure that you are protecting them as you should, but at the same time molding them to be independent souls with their own minds who can make good choices.

I always, always make sure that I am giving them unconditional love. I teach them my beliefs and try to pass along my morals. When disciplining, I do so in a way that will let them know that what they have done is unacceptable, but that they are still and always will be loved regardless of what they do.

I focus on the positive things they do, and try not to dwell on the negative.

I continuously tell them I love them; probably more times in a day than they care to hear.

I give lots and lots and lots of hugs and kisses.

I play with them, I sing with them, I read to them.

I show interest in the things that are important to them.

I compliment them on the work they have done at school, or the art projects they make at home.

And I love them no matter what.

I try to do my best, anyway, and hope they turn out well. Even if they don't, I will never quit loving them. :-)

Gabriela said...

I am trying to have more fun with my kids. Sometimes I think I expect them to be like little adults rather than little kids. I want our home to be a place where they want to come to and bring their friends. I just think these early years are so important and I hope I am doing the best I can to create happy memories that will always stick with them.

Tigersue said...

I try to have pictures of the Saviour all over, and I also love the music in the home. I am very careful with the media in the house, enough that I think it drives some of my family crazy. We have set standards and try very hard to keep it. Not that we are perfect, but it is always something on my mind.

Maine Mom said...

I think not having tv has really made the biggest impact on the atmosphere in our home. There is more time and less distraction for talking, reading, playing, learning...
Having family prayer, family scripture study, and family home evening has brought the spirit in our home too, and has helped us to grow closer to one another.

Nettie said...

We have always been very consistent about family prayer followed by hugs and kisses before bed. This was a tradition in my family, too. There is nothing like hearing a parent pray for heavenly guidance and protection for you.

We are doing pretty well on having a weekly family night these days. We used to do much better at family scripture study, but that has slacked since the baby was born.

We have pictures of the Saviour and of the temple up. I also like to play BYU-Radio during the day.

Another thing I try to do, is keep our home clean and organized. I think this really helps with having the spirit in our home. After all, I imagine heaven as a clean, beautiful place full of love, flowers and laughing children.

momofalltrades said...

Along with the things mentioned about "being mindful" of the children, their needs, clean atmoshpere, etc, I try to pick up before anyone who's gone is expected home, including cleaning up those who are already here. Washed faces, combed hair, picked up space goes a long way toward saying "Welcome Home". I like my home to be a comfortable place, so very often our play and work gets messy, cleaning up shifts focus to those coming home and makes them feel special. I picked this up from our old Stake President's wife when she was assigned a similar topic. I don't know why, but that really stuck with me, and since my husband has had to be gone so much over the last couple of years, and the big boys are off at college or on missions, it's become a very important part of what I do to make homecomings feel special.