Routine helps give strength

Kari Beers Richardson and her family are living in the home of an older couple in Keene, N.H., even though their home is across town. Each morning, she drives her children past their school and to the bus stop they would go to were they living in their home. Every day they wake, dine, pray and sleep at the same time as normal, even though their present situation is anything but. Why? Sister Richardson says routine can be a rock when other life situations are uncertain.

The Richardsons, of the Keene Ward, Nashua New Hampshire Stake, are not the victim of a poor economy or disaster. Their house is fine; however, the historic 1930s landmark was recently chosen as a tour home for a fundraiser by the Education Outreach Program, an organization which strives to allow each child in the area at least one theater experience per year. The home was redecorated in its original-style decor, complete with period fixtures and furniture. In a few months, that all will be taken down and life will go on as usual for the Richardsons. But, the times for bed, meals and prayer will stay the same.

Sister Richardson and her husband, David, met while attending BYU, and she said she is grateful every day for him. "He's just like a rock," she said. "Whenever I'm struggling, he's just there for me." The couple has six children: Adam, who is a freshman at BYU; Hannah, a senior in high school; Mary Ann, a sophomore in high school; John, in the 8th grade; Abigail, in the 3rd grade; and Matthew, who just began 1st grade. Sister Richardson said she and her husband have strived to give their children their own testimony and a love for the scriptures. She said she loves to see the light go on in their faces when they begin to really grasp the gospel. Sister Richardson teaches early-morning seminary four mornings a week and said seeing the understanding in the faces of the youth is one of the most rewarding things to see.

By giving their children their own rock and a solid foundation in the gospel, she said they will be able to make good decisions after they leave home. As parents, she said patience and perspective are key.

"We have a long way to go but we keep trying," she said.

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