Thursday, April 19, 2012

H is for HOME

H is for Home

When I was thinking about what the word home reminded me of it made me think of warm.  It's just a warm word.  It's the type of warm that is synonymous with safe.  Home should be a place that is a refuge to everyone who comes there.  It takes special effort to make a house into a home and to keep it safe.  Sometimes, we can't completely control our surroundings, but there are other things we can do to create a home environment.  With a home, individuals have the ability to try new things, build confidence, excel and succeed because home is a stable, safe, and dependable place.  I'm beginning to see the connection when I hear apostles teach that home is the most sacred place after the temple.

In my first home, I learned how to grow, how to learn, how to love, and how to be loved.  I had a lot of experiences growing up that gave me confidence.  It was safe to learn confidence and it was safe to be disappointed because I knew that home was a safe place to try again.  My parents made special efforts to make our house a home.  They gave us traditions to look forward to, time together to learn and play, and opportunities to work and serve others.  They worked hard to make sure negative influences were not welcome in our home.  My parents built an environment that gave their children a refuge from the things we might have faced outside the home.  I can't explain the feeling in words but I will appreciate, forever, that my parents taught me how to make a house into a home.

Because of the home I was blessed with as a child, I was excited for adventure and to try new things.  I had the confidence and the support of my parents to make my own decision about what I would do after high school.  I decided I wanted to move to the east coast and become a nanny.  The summer after I graduated, my parents dropped me off at the airport and away I went to New Jersey to live with strangers and to care for their four children.  There were so many lessons I learned while living there.  I was living in a house and I needed to feel like I had a home.  So my mom sent me a few framed pictures that I had asked for.  I hung up three of my favorite paintings of the Savior in my bedroom.  In that room, I prayed every morning and every night.  And, because apparently God was listening, my little room in the basement of a big strange house, became my home.  I found out that I could create a home no matter where I lived.

After New Jersey, I lived in Salt Lake with my sister, in Logan with strangers turned friends, in my first townhouse I bought in Layton with roommates, and then in Roy with the same roommates and now with my husband and two children.  My sister and I shared an apartment that was a good, safe home for us.  In Logan, I didn't realize, but I had gotten comfortable there, and put up a few decorations when one of my roommates thanked me for turning our apartment into a home.  It was a safe place because these strangers turned into such good friends who I could talk to about anything and not worry that they would judge me or not be my friend anymore.  In Layton, I had roommates who read the Book of Mormon with me.  We would pray after we read.  I was so nervous to tell them that I had that idea to read together (we all wanted to do better at reading our scriptures) because I was afraid they would think I was a nerd.  Instead, that routine because a special blessing on a day I needed to know what God meant by the Plan of Happiness when I had seen such horrible events take place recently.  My tiny townhouse became my home.

And now, I have a home with a family in it again.  But I'm not the kid, or baby sister, or roommate.  I'm the wife!  And, I'm the mom!  As much as I hoped for this, I really didn't see it coming.  Now it's my job to create a refuge for my children.  I wish I could control what they have to know and deal with in their young lives but I can't.  I wish I could protect them from confusion, doubt, or emotional harm, but I can't.  What I can do are the simple things that we hope will give the kids the ability to find home here.  It's in the scriptures, in prayer, in fun, in work, at Church, during meals, at bedtime, etc.  I found the perfect formula.  It's unconditional love.  It's teaching them the truth so they know what Heavenly Father wants them to know.  It's teaching them obedience to God's principles.  It's teaching them to work and to serve.  It's giving them a place where it is safe to try and try again.  So that's what home is ... love + truth + work.  I'm not a perfect anything, especially wife and mom, but if I can do anything, it's work hard to create our home.


Katherine said...

I sure think you're great, and I love everything you put on your blog, but I love it the most when you write things like this. You're wonderful! ;)