As a mother of young children, that illusive "alone time" is so hard to come by (I rarely even find myself alone in the bathroom) that the idea of being alone is quite pleasant. The last time I was actually alone was yesterday in the car when I drove to pick the kids up from school. It lasted about ten minutes. Heavenly.
On Monday evenings, after Family Home Evening and bedtime, Utah Dad and I have reserved the rest of the evening just for the two of us. No internet. No Facebook. No Twitter. No blogs. We spend the evening watching a movie together, or playing games or talking. We also read a chapter of a book that is quickly becoming one of our favorites--Covenant Hearts : Marriage and the Joy of Human Love by Bruce C. Hafen. It is definitely the best book on marriage that I have ever read and I would suggest it to anyone who wants to improve their own marriage or simply understand why marriage is so important.
One of the chapters that we recently read together was titled "Abiding Alone, Abiding Together, and Bringing Forth Fruit". Elder Hafen reminded me of the importance of being together. Even though I was mostly joking about being alone--I love Utah Dad and am grateful for our eternal marriage and our family--I was humbled and repentant after reading Hafen's words.
"The great trees grow not in each other's shadow. To grow--that is the point, the eternally inborn human need to become whatever we are capable of becoming. And it is exactly to enable our personal growth that our Father gave us the plan and the doctrine that bring us together, to each other, and eventually to Him. It is only when we lose our lives in that sense that we find our highest personal meaning--received, paradoxically, in our most generous giving. 'For whomsoever will save his life [the urge of a hireling for unfettered freedom] shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake [the shepherd is willing to give his life for the sheep], the same shall save it' (Luke 9:24). We lose our lives and then find them through following the Lord's commandments, which include marriage--a pattern designed precisely to promote, not prevent, our personal growth and spiritual freedom." (pg. 142)Elder Hafen goes on to talk about how as we have a greater understanding of the gospel and we commit ourselves to our marriage, we find ourselves.
So, I need to be more grateful that I'm not alone. I'll continue to attempt to teach my children that when I'm in the bathroom, "privacy" is not something we enjoy together. I'm also looking forward to learning more from Elder Hafen. Get a copy of this book. I promise, you will love it.