Monday, August 01, 2016

powerful nurturing

In Sacrament meeting yesterday, one of the speakers quoted from Julie B. Beck's 2005 article, Powerful Nurturing. I loved the quote so much that I went home from church and looked up the whole thing. Because school starts soon, and because I need a little reminder about why family dinners are so important, I'd like to share the article here for my weekly conference report.

Basically, the gist of the article is that women and mothers are "primarily responsible for the nurture of their children." (From the Proclamation on the Family) And to nurture means to "feed, foster, care for, or rear." So, as the woman and mother in my home, it is my job to feed my family. But it turns out that feeding my family can be about so much more than the food!

Sister Beck says, "As a young mother I did not fully understand my power as a nurturer. Though we were a busy family, I considered everyone's presence at dinnertime nonnegotiable. It was our most consistent gathering time, and everyone planned to eat together before going on to other activities. I learned of the influence of my nurturing when our youngest daughter wrote in a college paper: 'Dinner in our home was not just an eating ritual, but a special time for the family to communicate and to share our thoughts and stories of the day. ... We often sat together for over an hour as we savored the conversation as much as the food.'

"I thought I was just cooking casseroles and soup. But I had created the venue, the reason to gather. Because I prepared a meal to share with my family, something special happened. ... Mothers who are 'primarily responsible for the nurture of their children,' can be a powerful force for strengthening families when they use mealtimes to gather loved ones. They follow the example of the Savior to calm, teach, and help their families remember important things as they feed, cultivate, educate, and rear at the consecrated tables in their homes."

I'm not sure what our dinner routine will look like this new school year. Last year, we ate at 4:30 every afternoon. But I do know that sitting down together and eating as a family every night is one of the best things I can do for my children, and is worth whatever sacrifice we have to make for it to happen. As my children have grown, our dinner time experience has changed. I feel like it just keeps getting better and better, and hopefully more of the teaching that Sister Beck mentions will begin to take place.

Read the entire (really short!) article here.

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