A Complete Change

I don’t want to get too personal in this blog post but it is something I do want to share with you all. We have four family new year’s resolutions:

  1. Go to the temple regularly (We decided every other week.)
  2. Read the scriptures together every day
  3. Hold Family Home Evening weekly
  4. Kneel in prayer together at night

We have had these four goals since we’ve been married but, honestly, haven’t been great at all of them at the same time. It’s not that we purposely were trying not to do them, but life gets busy and it’s hard to get in those habits. What’s made it really difficult is the scheduling. Almost everyday T.J. comes home just for dinner and then heads back to campus to do homework. By the time he gets back, I’m either asleep or we are both dreadfully tired.

At the end of 2012 we knew we needed to do something different. Those four resolutions aren’t just goals. They are all CRITICAL components to a happy and loving marriage. I’m sure you’ve heard it a hundred times. But still. Step back for one minute and take the time to analyze your marriage. When you aren’t doing those four goals, do you feel like you’re happy with your marriage? Happy with your spouse? Do you two get along well? Do you feel like the Spirit is in your home?

If you’re not working on those four goals continually, then the answer to all those questions can’t be a solid yes. And for us, a lot of times the answers were no.

So, we decided we had to try something new. In the past, we had been trying to pray and read together right before bed. What that turned out to be was us rushing through a couple verses because we were eager to get to sleep. Our prayers weren’t very thoughtful. They were the same ones every night. Our plan? We found a new time. Right after dinner. As soon as dinner is over, we read from the scriptures then we kneel together in prayer. The best part is that Eva finally sees us reading and praying together every single day. One day this week she even hopped on my lap and pointed to the scriptures while we were reading, pretending to follow along. Also, if it’s Monday, we do FHE right after dinner.

I am not kidding when I tell you that this has literally changed our life and changed our marriage. In fact, it brings me to (happy) tears to think about the night and day difference. It’s only been three weeks, but I am literally in awe at the change it has created in our home. Not only has it brought a strong spirit of peace, we also are growing spiritually together. Who would have thought that just moving the time back a couple of hours when we are still awake would make such a huge difference. Since we aren’t half asleep, we take the time to really dive into the scriptures and pray with real intent. We also have noticed a huge difference in how we get along. We rarely fight or get offended anymore. We are more considerate of each other and see in each other so much spiritual potential.

Going to the temple is the last key to this change. We hadn’t been to the temple together for a while because it’s hard to make time when you have kids. But I will tell you what… It is crucial. Go. Make a goal and stick to it. Find a babysitter. I know it may seem inconvenient when you have kids, but it makes such a huge difference. So, just go!

I hope that this post doesn’t come out all braggy. I don’t want you to think that I’m saying, “Hey, my marriage is awesome and we are a perfect Mormon family!” We always will have hardships and every day isn’t a dream. But the point is…

When you are working on those four goals, you and your spouse have the power and strength to get through anything together.

It’s true. I know it is. And I really hope that, if you find yourself in the same rut that we were in, you try this!

Alright. I’m going to step off the pulpit now. Just call me Sister Derrick from now on.  🙂



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