Tuesday, February 2, 2016

February: Establish a House

Establish a house. Why not just, build a house, or construct, or make?

What does establish actually mean? Of course, it means to bring into existence, but establish means more than founding something. Merriam-Webster defines it as "to institute permanantly by enactment or agreement." To establish means to "make firm or stable," "to put into a favorable position," and "to gain full recognition or acceptance." Another usage is to "introduce and cause to grow and multiply." It can also mean "to put beyond doubt, or prove."

Establish a house.  Establishing a house is more than just setting up a place to live. It is more than matching plates and throw pillows. It is more than the perfect color scheme, cozy furniture, lighting, and scented candle warmers. It is even more than being organized, (thankfully)! We create homes and families because we feel love!Establishing a house is about permanance and stability.  It is about creating an environment where the initial desires that led to the establishing, can grow and multiply into proof that those desires and principles were good. An established house is built on a sure foundation so that it can withstand adversity and accomodate growth. 

So all of this makes me think of the temple. The phrase "establish a house," comes from a verse of scripture talking about building a temple. I'm a Mormon, and while we go to church each Sunday to to learn and take the sacrament, the temple is a more sacred place of worship. Each temple is unique and so beautiful! Each is carefully planned, carefully built, and lovingly maintained. They are amazing places and they are established on eternal principles! We call each of our temples a "House of the Lord," and we go there to receive instruction, personal revelation, peace, and to learn more about Jesus Christ. In the temple we learn more about His infinite love for us.

True, not everyone worships the way that I do. But don't we all have a place that we consider more sacred than others? A place where we find inspiration and resolve to improve? 

I want my home to be established the way a temple is established. But, I can't control everything in my life, even my attitude at times, let alone the other 5 people in my house! So February isn't about faking goodness for the sake of appearance. It isn't about keeping things perfectly clean and quiet, either. That's not going to happen, so why stress? But, I can expand my understanding of what it means to establish a house, and focus on creating a home where my kids can grow, be at peace, and experience love. 

It sounds wonderful, lofty, and a bit like a Sunday School lesson, so here's what I'll actually be trying this month. Feel free to adjust your goals to fit your needs!
  • Get to the temple- find a place of inspiration and peace. 
  • Learn more about Jesus Christ and His atonement.
  • Seek inspiration.
  • Stop complaining.
  • Pray to feel God's love, and share that love with others.
  • Don't ignore a generous thought and give the compliment.
  • Listen to uplifting music.
  • Genuinely smile 10 times a day. 
  • Immerse yourself in good words.
  • Take a shower. Get dressed. Live on purpose.
  • Keep your house a little cleaner. Small things make you feel good. 
  • Still, organize yourself: time, talents, everything you've been blessed with.
There is a beautiful hymn called "My Shepherd Will Supply My Need." I feel the third verse is especially profound:

Your sure provisions gracious God
Attend me all my days;
Oh, may your house be my abode,
And all my work be praise.
Here would I find a settled rest,
While others go and come;
No more a stranger, nor a guest,
But like a child at home. 

I guess that is it. That is my prayer- that by establishing my house like His house, the more I'll feel at home with Him. I will truly be coming home. 

Bake the bread. Share the slices. 

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