Stand, Alone if You Must, But Stand

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.


a peony amidst the weeds with the words, 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.


Courageous Parenting

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.


a peony amidst the weeds with the words, stand, alone if you must, but stand

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.


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Carrian Cheney

Lover of all things beautiful, good and delicious. Wife, mother, friend, foodie.

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25 comments on “Stand, Alone if You Must, But Stand”

  1. So Beautiful. Reading your story placed a smile on my face. I will be forwarding your story to my lovely daughter in hopes that she will start a family home meeting as well. I have 4 wonderful grandchildren who each have something very special about them with another one on the way there will be five. You are so right I wish my parent could have taught what your mother started and taught you. The world in we live is so different now. We do indeed have to “Stand Alone if you must”But stand”. Always remember Love and kindness along with faith and hope for ourselves and our children we can achieve so much in this world. Keep doing what you are doing. Most of all Thank you for sharing.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words Lisa! These kids have a hard road ahead of them growing up these days, but I truly believe we can help them develop the tools to handle whatever comes their way! How fun to have 4 (almost 5) little grandbabies to spoil!

  2. I agree with you COMPLETELY! I think you would really appreciate the parenting program by Nicholeen Peck called “Teaching Self-Government” — it complements and strengthens all you said here. Thank you for STANDING!!!

  3. This is a great reminder. I teach the 16 to 18 year old’s in my ward. What a powerful message to share with each of them. I know that so many times in my life I have had to stand alone. Even when it cost me a well deserved promotion. Sometimes in life we must just plain and simple…. stand alone.

  4. I was away and didn’t have access to social media so missed the free printable Stand Alone. Sad!! Thank you for a great article!

  5. Thank you for this reminder and for the free download. We are on our last child at home and it’s an influential world out there! Thank you!

  6. I read all of it and it is absolutely true. I did stand alone and so did my folks. You see, we were kind of odd. We spoke funny and we had traditions that weren’t quite what others had. We were considered DP’s Displaced Persons. We came to the United States through Ellis Island – legally! Our sponsors changed at the last minute and we went to live in a community where no-one spoke Italian. My parents instilled in me the values of family, friendship, loyalty, and being true to your faith. So! I brought our children up in the same tradition. It’s not always easy standing alone — but at least you can look in the mirror and be pleased with what you see. Thank you — a lovely post to start the weekend. 

  7. As a retired high school teacher, I can recall many instances in which I tried to convey that same message to my students. Teens are pulled in so many directions that it’s often necessary to remind them of their personal strength.

    Thanks for offering the printable!

  8. I was already away at college when you had that family council with mom and dad. I don’t know if you know this or not Carrian, but mom sent me my own copy of that girl standing in the snow. I have her still, in a folder now although she hung on my wall until I got married. It is a motto I often think of also. I believe I’ll pull her out and hang her in our office now that we have one! Thank you!

  9. Thank you for your wise words!  Even though I’m at the end of my parenting years (my youngest just started his junior year in college), I am an elementary teacher.  I see more and more parents,  unfortunately, that are disconnected and not actively parenting their children.  

    I am not a religious person, but I appreciate your wise words that are applicable to any parent, regardless of religious beliefs, in raising a well-adjusted, functional, healthy, and moral young person. 

    Thank you for taking the time to parent your young children–both for their academic and social skills.  Love your blog/website/cookbook.  Love to you & your family!

  10. I was recommended to your website by your aunt. I had a different family motto, but this one really speaks to me. We really need a world of parents that aren’t afraid of parenting. It is more important than being a buddy. It is difficult to be the “mean parent” but as the kids grow older (I have one in college now) they realize the sacrifice we’ve made. I loved the day that my daughter thanked me for being so “tough on her”. She had realized that it had made her a better person. Keep up the good work!

    • That is the best thing I’ve heard all week! It is hard to be “mean” but it really is so needed! Thank you for taking time to leave a comment and share a piece of your story for us!

  11. “COUNCIL” or “COUNSEL” ??

    • Oh man!! I changed that beginning paragraph and forget to correct my use of counsel. And I happen to have a secret pet peeve when people mix up two, to, too, etc. Thanks for catching it. I’ve changed it!

  12. I love this! 😊 The lesson your mom taught you and your siblings sounds so much like my mom. She always taught us kids similar lessons and I intend to teach my boys those same lessons. Thank you for the download. I will most definitely hang it in our home as a reminder. 😘

  13. Your words are amazing and powerful! Thank you for this beautiful message!