When I was heading into Jr. High my mom sat us all down and told us this would be the most important counsel given that year, stand, alone if you must, but stand.
My mom held a family council and presented a new family motto to everyone, my dad, all of my siblings and I. It was a motto that she felt in her heart was going to be one of the most important things she could teach teenagers and parents. Well, none of us were parents yet, but she felt we would need it for when we became parents. Stand, alone if you must, but stand.
And we have a special surprise for you so make sure to head to the end of the post!
When Their Standards Aren’t Your Standards
School was easy for me growing up. Well, not math, oh how I still hate math. But the rest of it was easy for me and I loved to be with friends just like any normal teen.
Except for one thing.
Kids were starting to dabble in things that I had been taught weren’t good and that I should avoid. And by dabble I mean really get into. I didn’t really talk to my parents about it, but they knew what it meant to grow up. I was feeling more and more like I was alone in my standards and beliefs.
However, one family council taught me a motto that changed my perspective on things. And today we wanted to share it with all of you, and give you an opportunity to have the same family council in your home and hang up your own motto.
Stand, Alone if You Must, But Stand
Mom and Dad held a special Family Home Evening.
Have you heard of FHE or Family Home Evening before? Anyone can have one in their own home, but our’s started because of counsel given to us as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to set aside one night a week to be a family, to share in a lesson devoted to teaching children about respect, love, forgiveness, etc or just to bond and have fun as a family.
We were all really used to it, and plopped down without another thought.
But then my mom started to tell us that she and Dad had been teenagers once and that they knew that we would be facing even harder decisions and situations, but that they knew with all of their hearts that we could stand strong. That in fact, they believed we were well prepared to stand up for what’s right.
That’s when my mom pulled out a picture of a little girl standing at the top of a snowy hill with footprints leading up to her and snow swirling around her. Across the top was written, Stand, Alone if you Must, but Stand.
She hung the picture by our computer in our office as a reminder that even if you have to stand all alone, that you should and could do it. That no matter what the rest of the world thought or was doing that we could stand for truths we knew in our hearts.
This isn’t the Life I imagined I’d Raise Kids in
It’s now years later and I hold on to that motto, Stand, Alone if you Must, but Stand with all of my heart. I never thought life would be like this, a struggle to survive, fighting wars and rumors of wars, holding on to our kids as tight as we can all while trying to teach them to completely be self governing agents of good and righteous choices.
But here we are. And the motto, Stand, Alone if you Must, but Stand now hangs in our office just as it did for me growing up.
Stand, Alone if you Must, but Stand
In my teenage years I sometimes was the only one not cheating on a test. Often I was the one staying home instead of going to certain parties or events. And I bet you would think that I felt strength, support from my family (which I did) and peace from those choices, but the truth is, it made me feel alone.
So why did I do it?
Because I’d been taught by darn good parents that there were certain things that could be destructive, addictive and painful if I chose to participate. I could feel their love and the truth of their words as they taught me that even if you have to be the one standing alone, that it’s better to be alone and true than to crumble to peer pressure.
Now I’m a parent, and I find myself again leaning upon those words. And it’s not just to teach them, though I do, it’s also because I’ve found that what the world needs right now is courageous parents. Ones who are willing to seek answers, be mindful of their children and the world around them and parent based on faith and courage and not fear and laziness.
Stand, Alone if You Must, but Stand Print
We asked Lana from Lana’s Shopto create an image for us that would represent standing, even if we have to do it alone and we came up with this image of a peony, standing amidst the dry, brittle weeds.
It hangs in our office, just like my mom’s picture. Maybe one day I’ll have Lana make me one with a child on a snowy hill and gift them all to my siblings as a reminder.
For now, Lana and I have decided to give each of you a chance to hang up your own. Head straight to this page in her shop, Lana’s Shop and order your own printable. I’m ordering a few right away to give to a few people.
“In these last days, what the world really needs is courageous parenting from mothers and fathers who are not afraid to speak up and take a stand.” Larry R Lawrence from the talk, Courageous Parenting
As we start another school year it’s time to gather our family together again, to talk about the things we stand for, even when we stand alone. Then Cade and I gather in the evening to discuss things we feel we need to be mindful and observant about this year as well as remind each other that our job isn’t to cave in, but to live in a way that we aren’t overly tired or bendable, but instead courageous enough to stand, even when our standing means that our kids aren’t happy with every choice.
Kids need boundaries. Parents need courage. And both need to stand when needed.