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Concrete

Today was the day for the hanger slab. Concrete was poured, a lot of concrete, and the finish work is still being done as I write this post. But it is the first step in what should be a building that will last for many years if it’s well taken care of.

As the concrete was being poured today, a message came on my phone about an opportunity I have to teach about the Seminary program to the adults in my Ward at Church this Sunday. I will be team teaching with a Seminary teacher from Wasilla, and the section of scripture that we will be presenting comes from Matthew 7:24-27 about the Wise Man and the Foolish Man. I thought getting that message today was very fitting and it got me to thinking about foundations.

Over the years I have had the opportunity to work on many foundations with my husband. I have learned a few important lessons about building a sure foundation. The first and most important thing that can be done to make sure the foundation of a house is sure, is to make sure what’s under the foundation is also sure. There can’t be mud, topsoil, or debris of any kind. There needs to be well drained, compacted sand and gravel so that when the ground freezes, the stuff underneath everything doesn’t have any moisture and won’t freeze and heave. Likewise in our lives we need to make sure that what is at the core of our belief system is sure, and the surest core belief is in God and His Son Jesus Christ. They are the same yesterday, today, and forever, and we can rely on the counsel that they give us, the commandments that they ask us to obey, and the blessing and consequences based upon our actions. They don’t vary. When our hearts are full of anger, hatred, revenge, etc. rather than love of God, love of neighbor, and obedience, our foundation becomes shaky, and it won’t take much for even a small hiccup in our lives to cause us to stubble and possibly fall.

Strengthening the foundation properly is a must. The use of rebar is critical to the concretes ability to maintain strength. When people scrimp on rebar, place it incorrectly, or totally leave it out, it doesn’t take a lot of shaking or weather to start breaking things apart. Likewise, we need to increase the strength of our solid foundation by putting forth the effort to maintain a relationship with God and become more like the Savior. Reading our scriptures, studying the scriptures, praying with sincere intent, and practicing what we learn so that we can become, are all steps that create a stronger foundation. Gratitude toward God, to His blessings, gratitude for His Son, these are critical in our ability to stay strong. It is through gratitude that we recognize God’s very prevalent hand in our lives on a daily basis. These things add strength to our foundations.

Science amazes me. They have learned how to add things to concrete to do all sorts of things with it. Today, the concrete layer asked my husband to have the concrete company add a chemical that makes the concrete runnier so that it flows better, but you don’t add any extra water. Adding too much water to concrete thins it down too much and makes the concrete weaker. Likewise, if we water things down, always looking for the easiest path, the one with the least resistance, the one that takes the least amount of effort on our part while we still think we are maintaining our beliefs, is making us weak. Our muscles don’t grow unless they are worked, likewise, our relationship with our Heavenly Father and our Savior doesn’t grow as well when things are lazy and easy. We need to learn to look for the stretch, look for the challenge, and be willing to hit it head on so that we don’t get watered down. Because being watered down makes us less resilient and weakens our foundation.

Those are some of the things I was thinking about today as I pondered on concrete and foundations. I love how the world around us can teach us so much! I hope you have the opportunity to strengthen your foundation, and that you take that opportunity and use it to do just that, create strength and resilience within you.

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