Word of the Week: Fealty

fealty  /n./  faithfulness or devotion to a person, a cause, obligations, or duties.  allegiance.  loyalty.  fidelity.  constancy. 

fealty  /n./  1.  I loved thinking about this word this week, and after a rough couple of disconcerting weeks, this word reaffirmed my fealty to spotlighting a word-of-the-week.  For the record, fidelity is one of my favorite words of all time, and so perhaps it was natural that this week I developed a little crush on his velvety cousin.

fealty  /n./  2.  In our family scripture study, we are steadily making our way through the Book of Mormon, with big plans to finish before the end of the year.  This week as we were reading in Mormon, deep in the winding up scenes of the Nephite nation, Olivia suddenly caught on to what was going to happen.  Though we have read this book many times before, this is apparently the first time the story has really made sense for her.  Questioning my fealty to her security and happiness, on Wednesday morning she interruped our reading, outraged, "Wait a minute!  This book is not going to have a happy ending, is it?  Why would you have us read a book that doesn't have a happy ending?"  I smiled despite myself.  I confess I had never really thought about it that way.

fealty  /n./  3.  David had a rough week at the hospital, and because I am his loyal wife, this made a for a few rough moments of my own.  This is the price of fealty.  Occassionally there are moments, especially smack dab in the middle of budget season, where sincere fealty is the only thing helping him get up and head back to the hospital, particularly on days when he only just left his office five short hours before.  I kind of like the idea that fealty has a price, but the actual paying it is much less romantic.

fealty  /n./  4.  At the General Relief Society Meeting, a week or so ago, Sister Allred spoke about the temple.  As I sat in that meeting, I realized how long it had been since I had been to the temple, and I firmly recommitted to go more regularly.  (And in a stunning realization I also figured out that, for the first time in my life, I could go while my kids were at school and not even worry about a babysitter!  What in the world?)  So on Wednesday morning I went.  The overpowering feeling I had as I entered the House of the Lord was welcome.  Not rebuke.  Not disappointment.  Just love and welcome and joy.  And as I sat in His holy house, I was astounded by His fealty.  Despite my inconsistency and my wandering, his love and devotion are constant.

fealty  /n./  5.  Caleb swims with fealty for over an hour, four days a week, no matter the season or temperature.  Last year he swam these practices all year without going to one swim meet.  I promised him this year we would try to make it to a few swim meets.  He had his first one on Saturday between conference sessions and swam the 50 Butterfly and the 50 Free and a couple of relays.  He improved his freestyle time by over 9 seconds.  And it was such nice weather (cloudy and not even 90 degrees) and such a joy to watch him swimming, I wondered why I had been so hesistant to do more of these.

fealty  /n./  6.  We thoroughly enjoyed General Conference this past weekend.  It was, in every way, exactly what I needed.  I am so grateful for a living prophet and apostles who serve the Lord with absolute fealty and do all they can to lead and guide me and my family.   I would like to have their words and faith every single week, but instead I have decided to really hearken (listen and obey) to this conference.  At the end of conference we went around and told one thing we were going to try to do better.  Olivia said, "I thought I just had to listen.  I didn't know I had to think too."  She finally said that she was going to try to say her prayers every night.  To this, Caleb replied, "I pray every night.  I can't sleep unless I pray."  I didn't know whether to be happy or heartbroken about this revelation.  The truth is my family and I are deep in the wilderness, really and truly, and I am so glad for the light of the prophets that show us the way in the dark.  The word is so sweet to me.