Our family has a family quote, motto, fight song, vision statement, and mission statement...
Our family motto is: You must stand for something or you will fall for anything. We need to know and decide what we stand for.
When I share today's experience with you it is not a judgment. It is not the only way to do things. It just just our way. And we decided it a long time ago. But before that I will go back farther. When I was a child my parents were very open with us. They didn't want us to drink and they talked about it with us at a young age. We were taught that the time to decide was before it was ever offered to us. I prepared not to drink when I was 4, 5, 6... you get the idea. Now I am not saying anything about a person who makes a different decision than I did...I am simply saying, in order to keep the conviction of my choice I made that choice many years before I would have to stand up for it. In high school the boy of my dreams used to invite me to parties quite often...we were friends. But I knew I did not want to put myself in a place that had the very thing I had chosen not to choose. Once I did go to a party and one of my sister, (whom I love, respect and appreciate for this) showed up with a bottle (1 gallon bottle) of water, and a big mason jar cup which she walked over and poured for me on the couch. Now I don't think I would have broken that committment, but it sure was easier with her help.
**I love the quote:
“When the time for decision arrives, the time for preparation is past.” --Thomas S. Monson
Over a decade ago before we had children my husband and I had a heart to heart. I told him that day that I did not want extracurricular activities to detour sabbath worship. He was raised that it was ok to play sports on Sunday as long as he attended church first. We did not agree on where to stand and it was months of discussion before he bent toward my will (I promise I have bent toward his many times)... That day we made a decision. Since that day we have not looked back. And it has not been an issue so far because it is just what we expect and our children are young still (all under 11). I am sure it will be challenged at some point. But we have stood united and firm and will continue to.
This past year two of our boys signed up for community center Karate. They have loved it and both recently advanced in a belt promotion. Of course, they were thrilled. We have them attending 3 days a week and it seems to be just what the doctor ordered. This past month we received a registration form. It was for a tournament...(Drum roll please)... On Sunday! And the form even said in fine print, ALL STUDENTS MANDATORY ATTENDANCE. Oh no... Their Sensei is a wonderful woman. She is stern and means business, but she is great with these children. I do admit I am a little intimidated. But what must be done, must be done... So I approached her and explained. Though she was disappointed, she was very kind and supportive. Interestingly she said, "I like your family. I can see that your boys work hard. I would give some people a hard time about this, but not you. I understand." She added, no worries, I am not "That" mean. I know that she is not. And now we are the exception to the rule. But with the exception she knows the sacrifices I make. The boys go to the earlier class to work with white belts and put in service hours two days a week. I run them around even though I have five children and it isn't always convenient. I am grateful she understood. However, more importantly than that, I am grateful for my children, who never questioned it. The youngest was a little disappointed until we told him we could have our own tournament. He was then very excited.
What do you stand for? It is different for each of us as we draw our lines and list our priorities. But it is important for us to stand for something. I was recently at a class that asked us to list our priorities. For me it is God, Family, Employment, Education, Fun...I carefully chose a man that had similar values...and though we do think differently at times...I am so grateful that we stand together.
Changing the world...ONE letter at a time!