MMB was recently sent the book Famous Family Nights by Anne Bradshaw. Can I just tell you that I sat and read the book from cover to cover in one sitting? I did. It is such an easy read, and very uplifting. The thing that I loved the most was that these "Famous People" were just like me. They were people with families who were trying their hardest to be their best.
As I read through the short essays' on FHE , I was delighted to find one by a man I had known as a child—and had great respect for – Stan M. Gardner. I had grown up in the same ward he had chosen to raise his children in, and his wife is a true example of what a Mother in Zion should be like.
Anne's book is unique. She asked well known LDS personalities to write essays on Family Home Evening—a night set aside for the spiritual teaching of the members of your home, typically a Monday. (although my family has always had our family night on Sunday nights.) The essays range in ideas of what to do, why you do it, to how to do it. I particularly liked the essay by Emily Jensen about all the various online helps there are available for us. My other favorite essay was by Josi Kilpack—a well known mystery writer-- who tells of the time she used Family Home Evening to teach the importance of flushing the toilet.
FHE is something that my family has struggled with. We start and stop and start and stop—much like a commuter train. And, at times we barrel through like a freight train. We like to blame the dog as the culprit of our lack of spiritual family nights, but the reality is it is lack of planning.
I loved reading all the stories from the various persons on their family night successes. And frankly, this book gave me hope. I realized that the blessings come when you START the family home evening practice and my children will get something from it. Even though it seems as if they are holding a private contest to see who can be the naughtiest.
Reading this book renewed my desire to try a little harder to be a little better at this inspired practice of Family Night. And, it's OK if we all leave crying, or going to our rooms—because the blessings will come to us from simply trying.