"Guardians of the Hearth"

Do you ever have those moments where you wonder how your kids stay alive?  I mean with their curiosity and fearlessness . . . I feel like I’m always holding my breath! 
We went on a family camping trip over spring break.  We had a great time, and the weather was beautiful!  We even got to swim and fish!  Camping really is a prime opportunity for “things” to happen to your children.  I mean, there’s fire, and a lake, and fire starting and wood cutting supplies, etc.  Even the lanterns can burn if touched!  It’s a little bit of heaven on earth for kids though . . . dirt, water, sky, sticks, bugs, and all sorts of things to “tinker” with. 

Yes . . . they are in their underwear . . . didn't think it would be warm enough to swim.  :)

We took the boat out to this awesome sandy beach which we had ALL TO OURSELVES.  The kids fished for awhile, buried each other in the sand, and played with the minnows (that were our bait).  They made little “pools” in the sand for the minnows.  They swam and played in the sunshine all day . . . it was wonderful.  Upon returning back to our camp, Caleb decided to take his “bare feet” over to the woodpile to “tinker” around a bit.  He picked up the hatchet and was singing “Eye of the Tiger”, in his mind, while he was chopping away at the wood (not following the “rules”).  Well . . . needless to say, he “hatcheted” his bare foot to the bone.  My husband scooped him up and ran.  We were an hour from the hospital, but they made it, and he was all stitched up.  Super scary!
That weekend, we learned that our dog had gotten out, and that our 6 yr old (Luke) decided to chase him across a really busy road and had almost been hit by a car (that our friends were driving – that’s how we knew about it).  It was bad – they came within about 8 feet of hitting him.  SERIOUSLY??!!  What is wrong with my children?
Then a couple days later . . . on Monday, I was at Target and it was a REALLY windy day!  I told Claire, my 3 yr old, to stay close to me cause there were cars.  Well, Claire was pretending to get blown by the wind and was swinging her arms and walking backwards (saying, whoa, whoa, whoa!) . . . I was getting the baby out of the car and turned around just in time to see a car back into her!   I started screaming and waving my arms.  The whole thing was kind of surreal . . . where everything is in slow motion.  Amazingly, Claire didn’t even fall down.  The lady was going really slow (thankfully).  She felt TERRIBLE . . . she was shaking . . . I was shaking, but Claire was just totally fine, and really didn’t want to talk about it.  I think she was embarrassed.  (Didn’t I JUST say to stay close to me because there are cars!?!?!)
So, the next day was Tuesday, and it was time for Caleb to get his stitches taken out.  Yea!  He was so excited that he could get back to playing soccer!  Later that VERY day, Luke, our 6 yr old, fell from a tree he was climbing in our front yard.  He ran into the house – screaming that he had broken his arm.  His lips were turning white and he was shaking like crazy!!  He couldn’t move his left arm and his fingers looked purple.  I tried to feel the arm, gently, and could tell that the humerus bone wasn’t straight.  I wrapped him in a blanket and it was yet another trip to the emergency room.  Well . . . the humerus was in fact broken . . . IN HALF!  It would have been a compound break if it weren’t for the bicep muscle which kept the bone inside the skin.  He had to have surgery and have 3 pins placed.  The surgeon said that it was the worst break he’d seen . . . and he’s fixed about 700 of these!  He had to be admitted to the hospital, so I stayed the night with him and they let us go home the next evening.

Well, I’m really hoping that these “injuries” and close calls have slowed my sweeties down a bit . . . but that’s probably wishful thinking on my part!
We had a special family home evening on “safety”.  We talked about keeping the commandments (“in this there is SAFETY and peace”), specifically “thou shalt honor thy father and mother, that thy days may be long upon the land”.  We explained that to honor us as parents, they must “listen to us and follow our directions”, because it is our job to teach them, and protect them, and help them to be happy.  We explained that we have their best interest in mind – ALWAYS – but they have to trust us.  We hope that our kids decide that they’d like to stay alive a little longer, and start to listen to us a little more, and heed our warnings.
I’ll tell ya what – it’s been rough for me as I watch my children repeatedly be in harm’s way.  I’ve had lots of tears, and lots of prayers, and lots of “what am I doing wrong?”.
These were all physical dangers, but I began to think about the vast amounts of spiritual dangers that surround us and our children.  These dangers are even worse, because they are not readily detected, and can creep up on us.  I thought we were doing all that we needed to do to keep our kids safe from physical dangers, yet here we are, and my confidence has been shaken.  As scary and sad as these physical dangers have been for me as a mother, I know that spiritual wounds, accidents, damage, to my children would be soooooo much harder to face.  I am feeling a heightened awareness to the spiritual dangers that surround us.  
The lesson that I've come away with (cause there must be SOMETHING that I needed to learn) was that I need to be vigilant in my efforts to be a “guardian of the hearth” and a protecter of my family, from both physical AND spiritual dangers.  :)


  1. oh my goodness! i'm so sorry for all that you've been through lately. so scary!! brad (with his job) has seen many children get run over in parking lots and on streets and it's SO SO SAD and scares me to death. but it's made me a little more strict with my kids (not that they always listen to me either). and it makes me happy that my boys- though they're still BOYS- are pretty cautious (especially colse). i probably won't have as many emergency visits as you. ; )

    on a lighter note, i love that they wore their underwear in the lake. too cute.

  2. Poor Kjirstie! You are such a good Mother to your kids and I can see how much you love them all the time! That was so scary for us to hear about Caleb and then Luke too! I'm so happy they are okay. Thanks for the reminder that we as "guardians of the hearth" should always be aware of spiritual dangers and ready to teach our children how to avoid and overcome those! And like Carrie, I thought swimming in their undies was pretty cute too :)

  3. Kjirst!! I'm so sorry about all of the recent injuries!! Though, I know my kiddos benefited and loved getting to hang out with Caleb when he sustained his;) poor Lukie (and momma!) I hope he is recovering quickly! I loved the passage you shared from the daughters of my kingdom book! I echo what Tare said-you are an amazing mom! And thanks for helping us remember the responsibility we have as mothers to watch and protect our kiddos from spiritual dangers and accident! Love you!

  4. Oh my gosh Kjirst!!!!! So scary! I'm so sorry about all the injuries and close calls your kiddos have had lately! Yes, like you, I find myself holding my breath often! And I totally agree with you about spiritual danger being so scary also! Being a parent is just scary! It's always a good wake up call to stay on top of daily prayers and family home evenings and explaining to our kiddos why we do those things! Thanks for the reminder! So glad that Luke appears to be on the mend! Love you!