Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Family Home Evening

Even though my children are small and our lessons are often simple, I have come to love Family Home Evening (FHE). For those unfamiliar with FHE, this is an evening (usually Monday) set aside to spend time together as a family. As the kids get older, they help with the evening, which usually involves a prayer, song, spiritual lesson, activity, and treat. I always loved being in charge of the song or the treat as a kid - I'm sure we sang "I am a Child of God" every time it was my turn!

With small kids, FHE is generally short and sweet, but it's a great opportunity to spend time together without any distractions. Ella is learning to pray and loves singing time. We do small lessons on simple topics, such as "family" or "Jesus" or tell a story from the scriptures. Lately, we've been talking about how Aunt Kelli is on a mission to the Phillipines. Whenever we sing, "I Hope they Call me on a Mission," Ella says, "Aunt Kelli is on a mission. She is in the Phillipines." Tim taught her that - he's the proudest brother ever.

Last night, we had strawberry shortcake with fresh strawberries and shortcakes I made that evening. Ella and I often make the dessert together, which is (usually) a fun time as well. We sang some songs and then Tim suggested that we watch Elder Holland's talk "None were with Him" from our church's most recent General Conference. A clip of this talk was on Youtube recently and many people shared it on facebook.

I am so grateful Tim thought to have us watch this beautiful, reverent Easter message together. I cried a bit as I listened to Elder Holland recall the final day of the Savior's life. As I considered the emotional and physical pain He must have experienced, I was overwhelmed by gratitude and love. I know that He suffered and died so that I might return to live with my Heavenly Father again. I also know that it is up to me to take advantage of the atonement. I am profoundly grateful for my Savior's example and the knowledge I have that He lives!

As I looked over at my husband at the close of Elder Holland's incredible message, I saw that his eyes were a bit wet too. It is such a gift to have a shared faith with my husband and to share our testimony of Jesus Christ with each other. Over the past 5 years or so, I've truly come to understand that living gospel principles and following the Savior brings such joy, fulfillment, and opportunities for growth.

I look forward to many more Family Home Evenings with my family throughout the years. It has truly helped my family strengthen our bond, share our faith, and enjoy quality time together. It's such an incredible way to start the week!

Ella searches for eggs during our FHE Easter Egg Hunt a couple of weeks ago.


Mike and Tiffany said...

Sounds like a great FHE. Ours are usually short, sweet, to the point as well. It's very hard to hold Maddie's attention for longer than even a few minutes! Last year I purchased the Nursery manual and we started doing our FHE lessons out of that. We do the same lesson that she had in church the day before. It's fun because we find it really helps her remember the lessons & concepts, and she can even help out with the stories/questions since she already learned them.

Juli said...

Adorable kids! I saw that Easter message on YouTube, and also loved it. Thanks for sharing your testimony!

Alicia said...

I love FHE as well. We just barely bought the nursery manuel for our FHE lessons and it is so great. I, too, love how FHE brings us together as a family. I think that's awesome you do treats as well. I grew up with that but so far we haven't added that to our's. Note to self to work on that.