Strengthening Family: Hilary Weeks

How can I strengthen my family?  Amazing article by popular LDS singer Hilary Weeks!  I love the family tradition she shares - what a fun and inspiring mom!

As part of the August Come Follow Me topic of “Marriage and Family,” I reached out to some of my friends and gave them all of the same questions.  I love doing articles like this where everyone answers the same questions, it is like we are all together part of the same conversation.

Most people know Hilary Weeks – but just in case you don’t, she is an amazing and popular long-time LDS/Christian singer-songwriter.  A lot of women have also had the pleasure of hearing her speak at Time Out For Women.  Hilary and I were friends before I ever heard her speak, and when I finally did I was SO impressed.  What a talented and inspiring woman.  And entertaining!

If you aren’t already – make sure you are following her on Facebook .  She is one of the best people to follow!  I laugh so hard at some of her posts!  Also, be sure to check out her positive thoughts clickers.

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Can you tell us about your family?

I never thought I’d be the mother of all girls…but here I am – the mother of four beautiful, fun, talented, hilarious daughters.  I’ve been married to Tim Weeks (of SLC) for 23 years – which means we have now been married longer than we were single – sort of mind blowing!  Being married to someone as amazing as Tim make the thought of spending an eternity with him seem too short.  He is kind, wise, organized, detailed, and he likes a clean house – like me!  I never have to tell him to pick up his socks!  J

What are some specific things you did before you were married, that helped prepare you to be a righteous husband/wife and father/mother?

THE best thing I did to prepare to find a future husband was to pray for him.  I lived clear up in the cold north – Anchorage Alaska – and I didn’t have a lot of opportunities to date.  I imagined that my future husband lived somewhere in the Lower 48 (what Alaskans call the rest of the US) and I hoped he was making good decisions that would allow him to hold the Priesthood and take me to the temple.

Each night I would pray for my future husband.  I would ask the Lord to help him make good decisions, help him choose good friends and help him to be preparing for our temple marriage.  (And occasionally I would ask for him to be cute…JK.)

It worked!  I met and married the most dedicated, righteous, wonderful return missionary and we were married in the temple.  Guess where he served his mission…ANCHORAGE!!  How funny is that!!

What are some lessons you have learned about how to have and maintain a righteous home?

It’s all about the basics.  I like that about God’s rules – they are basic and unchanging.  He doesn’t change the rules on us – nope, the rules for success stay the same because they work.  Plain and simple.

We say family prayers, we have FHE (but we miss sometimes), we have family scripture study (but we miss sometimes), we have family dinner, we spend time together, we keep a clean home, we go to church every week, we attend the temple.  We are nowhere near perfect at these things, but God just expects us to try and that we can do!

What advice would you give to a couple about to be married that could help strengthen their marriage and family?

Be fiercely devoted to each other.  Serve one another.  And spend four minutes together.  Yep, four minutes.  A marriage and family therapist told me that once.  When I feel disconnected from my husband and I feel like life is crazy and we haven’t spent much time together, we sit on the couch and spend four minutes talking, holding hands, etc.  NO KIDS ALLOWED.  It has made a huge difference for us.  And it’s easy to do because everyone, no matter how busy they are, has four minutes to spare.

How would you answer this question that a parent might as you: “How can I teach my children about eternal families?

I have discovered that very often the Spirit speaks to me in the midst of everyday activities like doing the dishes, making beds and folding laundry.

I opened the linen closet to put away towels, and received inspiration.  If you could see my linen closet, you might assume I was inspired to clean it.  However, the inspiration was a bit more profound.  The Spirit brought to my mind the thought that Heavenly Father spends a great deal of time and effort trying to convince His children that He loves them.  Some of them feel His love openly and easily.  Some are harder to convince.  He whispers His love through answered prayers, calming thoughts, peace, and tender mercies.  Endless are His evidences of love.

Then the Spirit expounded:  As a mother, I can help.  I can play an important part in helping Him achieve this vital soul-saving objective.  If my children feel and know of my love for them, it will make it easier for them to accept, feel and know of Heavenly Father’s love for them.

Every kiss,

hug,

kind word,

prayer,

sacrifice,

example,

high-five…

will make a difference.

A mother’s love is a gateway through which children can feel Heavenly Father’s love.

What are some specific traditions (yearly, monthly, weekly, or daily) that help strengthen your home and family?

Our family loves making memories together – whether it is working together or playing together.  Here is one memory I really love:

Several years ago, on Labor Day Eve, Tim and I realized we had no plans for the following day. A day off from school and work and we had no plans?  That just didn’t seem right.  So we brainstormed all the usual options…a movie, perhaps a movie, we could go see a movie, maybe a movie would be good.  Uninspired, we dug a little deeper; got a little more creative.

The next morning we pulled four miniature Christmas trees from storage and decorated them.  Then we listened to Christmas music as we drove to a Mexican restaurant for lunch (we always eat Mexican food on Christmas Eve.)  Next, we divided into “teams” and shopped – each person would receive two gifts purchased at the dollar store.  We wrapped the gifts, put them under the trees and gathered later that night to open them.  (I would be too embarrassed to tell you that one daughter received a very large pair of pink polyester underwear.)

Never mind that it wasn’t really Christmas.  That day became a gift.  I can’t remember the specifics of a single other Labor Day – my family probably can’t either.  But ask any of them and they could tell you the details of this one.

That day was…

Unique

Fun

Memorable

What is a specific quote by a prophet that has influenced you and strengthened your family? 

Elder Oaks – “What your children really want for dinner is you.”

How can I strengthen my family?  Fantastic article here!

 

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How can I strengthen my family?  Fantastic 10 month family challenge to help strengthen and implement the 10 principles in The Family: A Proclamation to the World!!!

 

Check out our printable package with a 10 month family challenge to help implement better the ten principles that successful families and marriages have.  You can find it HERE.

This goes with the August Come Follow Me lesson:  How can I strengthen my family?

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