Shortly after LL was born, I found a new job. I was so happy to go back to work after a brief hiatus. The only downside was there was a three-hour gap between when I had to be at work and when Dustin got home. So, we hired a baby-sitter. It was a really good arrangement and was still cost effective for me to work despite having to pay a sitter.
A year later, I had the opportunity to change my hours and completely eliminate the need for a sitter. Basically, I would leave for work the minute Dustin got home. It also meant I would be gone during dinner time and not get home until after the girls were in bed. It was a lot to think about, but ultimately, Dustin and I decided to give the new schedule a go.
A few months ago, it was obvious the schedule wasn't working for our family anymore. The lack of quality time spent together was proving to be too much, and I knew something needed to change.
Months prior, I had read a quote by Elder L. Tom Perry. It read:
"Never let a day go by without holding family prayer and family scripture study. Put this, the Lord's program to the test; and see if it does not bless your home with greater peace, hope, love, and faith."
This simple piece of advice kept entering my mind, and I knew incorporating family prayer and scripture study into our daily routine would be the key to positive change within our home.
So, even though it meant less income, I rearranged my schedule so that our family could eat dinner together every single night. I also decided that dinnertime would be the perfect time to read the scriptures together. It was also the perfect time to have our family prayer.
Our dinner begins at 4:30. We all sit at the table, say our prayer, and while we eat, Dustin or I read the scriptures. After dinner, we clean the kitchen together, spend what available time is left talking together, and then exactly one hour from when Dustin got home, I'm heading out the door. The change was literally that basic.
Now, a few weeks later, I am in awe of the changes I have seen and felt in our home. It is undeniable. Truly, I have witnessed greater peace, hope, love, and faith - just as Elder Perry described.
Now, full disclosure, when I say "read the scriptures together" I really mean "read a scripture together." And, LL is usually only involved in the process long enough to look at her dinner, decide it looks revolting and immediately retreat to her room to play. Please don't mistake our hour of quality time as perfect. Because it's not, and it never will be.
But, the point is, we're trying.
How thankful I am for the small and simple things of life. They really do make all the difference.