the school year is well underway over here in our home and last month we gathered around our dining room table for our annual back to school feast.
it’s a night full of food and fun, love and laughter, purpose and promise. the family all gets dressed up, we set the table with fancy decor and candles, and we (mom) cook a yummy meal of the kids choosing.
we always start with a special prayer giving thanks to our father in heaven for all of the gifts he gives us. we then ask for blessings of peace, love, and guidance for our upcoming school year. we sing songs, laugh, and talk about our goals and plans for the next 9 months.
this year we introduced our homeschool planners that contain daily and weekly goals and charts to track both our spiritual and secular learnings.
at the end of the evening, kevin gives everyone a fathers blessing. the spirit is felt so strongly as we listen to the blessings and promises the lord has for each child for the upcoming school year.
our back to school feast is one way we cultivate connection as a family and it helps create a foundation for a school year full of joy. as a family we choose a school theme from scripture to motivate and inspire a year of learning.
it’s a tradition we all look forward to as we dive into a new year of developing and discovering and this year it’s extra special with our transition to homeschooling and kevin and i still in school as well.
recently, like so many people around the world, our family has spent a lot of time at home. when COVID hit in march our world flipped inside out and the once fast-paced, running here and there, routine of day-to-day life stopped. the last 7 months, bound to the confines of our own 4 walls has truly taught us priceless lessons about family, time, intentions, focus, relationships, and joy. as we prepared to choose a theme for the 20/21 school year our hearts and minds kept being drawn to the powerful learning we’ve done at home during this pandemic.
one scripture caught our attention in our mindset of always being at home.
Doctrine & Covenants Section 109 verses 7-8 read:
and as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom, seek learning even by study and also by faith;
organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing, and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God;
the verses seemed to pierce my soul as i thought and prayed over our family and our desires to seek learning in our home.
this scripture counsel first teaches us to seek.
seek has become a favorite word of mine over the last few years as i’ve been on a journey to seek better relationships with my father in heaven, my self, my husband, my children, and my community. i’ve been seeking both a spiritual and secular education through BYUI to grow intelectually. i’ve been seeking ways to fulfill the calling God has given me to help others find joy in the commotion of their lives. i’ve been seeking better ways to be a true disciple of christ and bring others unto him.
to seek something means to search or inquire. our father in heaven wants us to seek after the very best of all things to stretch ourselves and grow in our journeys to become like Him.
the thirteenth article of faith teaches, “…if there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things”.
the second part of this scripture teaches us to establish a house. i’m a big advocate for making our homes a safe haven from the world and this verse teaches us to establish homes that allow the spirit to continually dwell within.
in my personal studying, the words house of learning seemed to jump from the page and my mind was filled with all of the learning our family had done over the past several months in our house. our whole family was now getting an education through online learning. we learned new ways to serve those around us. we learned new ways for studying the scriptures and different ways to attend church. we learned about being prepared both physically and spiritually for times of commotion and uncertinetly. it seemed as if we’d had oppurinties to learn things in new ways unlike ever before because we were at home.
establishing a house of learning is an invitation to every child of God. seeking after things that draw us closer to our father in heaven and to our savior allow for us to feel comfort and guidance especially in times of chaos and confusion.
i know that as you seek to establish a house of learning.. a house of God, your family and home will be blessed. you will be blessed with a clearer mind and an eternal perspective of current world affairs. you will be blessed with stronger and happier family relationships that will bring joy and peace to your home. you will discover how to love and serve your neighbors and community in a more chirstlike way.
in your house of learning be intentional about the individual needs of each member of your family. find ways to take advantage of learning and studying together. tie in gospel doctirnes and principles to every day routines and habits.
the lord needs stronger families and stronger homes more than ever. as you seek to establish your own homes of learning by study and by faith through prayer, order, and glory, you will be able to cultivate connections that will build stronger families and homes that our father in heaven knows are necessary to feel joy in this life.