A busy family life is natural, but how do you avoid spiritual fragmentation in the process? In this segment of our storytelling series, Caroline talks about how things started to change when she saw the need to prevent work distractions from becoming her family’s destruction. She began asking the big questions with Paragraph 8 of “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” in mind.

When life necessitated my working, I often had to remind myself not to lose focus on keeping home as the place my heart and interests were. It was so easy to throw myself into my job because that’s where the accolades and applause were. It’s where the raises were. No one was giving me a standing ovation for making dinner at home. The things that it takes to run a household are not the things you get thanked for. So, it’s easy when you go to work outside of your home to focus outside of your home. It’s easy to get distracted.

I started noticing that the distractions were leading to destructions in some homes of others and I knew I needed to purposely avoid those attractive distractions. It became vital to ask myself often:

How present are you with things at home?

How are you involving your family in your work?

Are you still involved in their things?

What things are you going to let go of?

These were big questions to ask. Keeping my heart in my home even when running my family from work became my main goal. I knew I had to keep myself accountable to my husband and family, the Lord, and myself. Daily family scripture study became absolutely paramount. It was something I was never going to give up. There were days I read the scriptures two or three different times, because that’s how everyone’s schedules worked. Whether 4am or 11pm or somewhere in between, every day I’d read with every family member. It grounded me. It centered my heart on home. It kept my priorities on family first.  It allowed me to prevent my distractions from becoming our destruction. 

There are many studies included throughout www.thefamilyproclamation.org which illustrate positive ways to prioritize the family despite the necessity of working outside the home. While no one is perfect, the Lord has put forth important patterns and guides to help everyone succeed, whatever their circumstance.

And, as Elder M. Russell Ballard has taught (link):

There is no perfect way to be a good mother. Each situation is unique. Each mother has different challenges, different skills and abilities, and certainly different children. The choice is different and unique for each mother and each family… What matters is that a mother loves her chidden deeply and, in keeping with the devotion she has for God and her husband, prioritizes them above all else. 

Elder M. Russell Ballard

Paragraph 7 of “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” is a great one to study with outstanding scriptures, doctrinal quotes and social science research that can help you to see yourself more clearly in the proclamation.

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