Assistance if you please

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by M.M.Wood, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. M.M.Wood

    M.M.Wood Registered User

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    Brothers,

    I have something that I need some advice on. I will try to keep it short but don't know if I will. I was in Iraq for over 5 years as a contractor. I happened to meet and fall in love with my wife there. She is from Eastern Europe, Romania and was working there as a contractor as well. Right around the same time as we met I became interested in Masonry and after talking with a MM there became even more interested and decided wanted to pursue things. I talked to my wife about this and after we got married after a year or so knowing each other and told her that I would contact the lodge when I got home as my word had been vouched for by a friend. She knew very little about Masonry but did a little research and trusted my judgment. She was great with my improving myself. I have since been raised earlier this year. I really have not been to the Lodge like I would have like to. I have a 2 year old and now a baby on the way. I guess my problem is we have been home for almost 3 years now and I have only been to Lodge a few times. My wife is not against it by any means she just feels like my obligations are at the house and that when I do go I feel guilty like I am taking time away from her. I guess I am seeking advice as to how to weave Masonry more into my daily life and get her more involved so that I can be more involved.
     
  2. Beathard

    Beathard Premium Member

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    Sometimes you can't. I joined when my wife was pregnant with our first. I was very active until my second was about 2. Then I needed to stay home. It was not fair to my wife for me to be gone that much. I remained on my journey by reading and researching from home. About the time my youngest hit 15 my activity increased. I now attend several lodges on a regular basis. I'm well read. I understand what is going on and have the knowledge to teach. The key is find a place where you and your family feel comfortable. Reevaluate that position periodically. It will work out.
     
  3. MikeMay

    MikeMay Premium Member

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    One of the things you can do is to include her and the kids in what you do...(as in the dinners on the nights of the stated meetings or bring your oldest to the lodge at times when there are other masons there but not while the lodge is at labor)...it helps the child feel included and helps your wife understand you're still focused on the family.

    (Hint brother...find a night where you can date your wife once a week or every other week. When she thinks (understands) you're focused on her like you were when you courted her, you'll be able to spend time in the lodge too...)
     
  4. Brother Jason Eddy

    Brother Jason Eddy Registered User

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    First of all, kudos to you for caring. I am often surprised/disappointed by Brother Masons that do not put their families first. I read a great story once about a man who spent his final days in regret because he had spent the majority of his life away from his family “becoming a better man”….we have to do more than talk about it….so good for you.

    To your question, I think what has been said above is right. If the opportunity is there to involve your family in Masonry, then jump on it. If not, it is important to remember that Masonry is not going anywhere. The amount of Masonic education and literature available outside of the Lodge is amazing. In fact, I think that I can safely say that I have learned a lot more about Masonry and making myself a better man outside of the Lodge that I have in Lodge. Either way, in 10 years, 15 years, even 20 years the Lodge will still be there….so don’t feel like you have to rush to do it. Growing as a Master Mason takes time and focus. Be sure to allow yourself the ability to apply both.

    I wish you well, Brother.

    Jason
     
  5. Marc_Chastain

    Marc_Chastain Premium Member

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    One thing to remember also, is that you are the only family she has here. When I moved my family across the state, I had to be conscious of the fact that while I had ties to our new home, she did not. The lodge has been very important in bringing my wife into the community. She is now active in the local Eastern Star chapter. Our Masonic family has become that extended family that we need in a new place.

    Best of luck
     
  6. M.M.Wood

    M.M.Wood Registered User

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    I was curious brothers if you could point me the in the right direction as to a good source for Masonic education outside the Lodge.
     
  7. M.M.Wood

    M.M.Wood Registered User

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    Also thank you so much brothers for your advice on the subject. I just don’t want to feel as I am letting down the fraternity by not taking an active part. I pay my dues and I go out of my way to be an upstanding member of society and represent Masons the way we should be.
     
  8. Brother Jason Eddy

    Brother Jason Eddy Registered User

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    http://www.thesanctumsanctorum.com/
    http://www.researchmasonry.com/network/index.php?action=login

    These are both great sites. TSS is great for discussion and perspective. Research Masonry is great for Masonic literature and so on. I have found it to be helpful to go back and forth. Read some and then go over to TSS to discuss it in the Forum....quite a bit of Masonic and Esoteric knowledge on TSS. Best of luck to you, Brother. If I can help in anyway, just shoot me an email/pm.

    Your Brother,

    Jason
     
  9. DanielFerszt

    DanielFerszt Registered User

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    This is a beautiful thread. I agree with the comments re: including your wife.

    Also, get with other Brethren-family men to plan family programs at the Lodge.
     
  10. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

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    interfere with your duty to you maker, your country, your neighbor, or yourself.

    I believe you are covered brother. Yes, look for light in the world of readings. Let your brothers know how you feel. It is not uncommon for a brother to be estranged for some years when family duties are most pressing. Stay in contact and don't feel guilty. Your duties are clear. No brother worth his salt would expect any different of you.

    Enjoy those early years of family: they are fleeing and lost forever if not fully participated in.

    God bless you and yours. Get involved when you can.
     
  11. M.M.Wood

    M.M.Wood Registered User

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    Thanks to all of you. I knew my situation was not uncommon but was kind of torn as to what way to go. I guess another issue would be more specific to my Lodge. I have showed up a few times when time permitted and did not really get a warm welcome. I think it was in part because I was an unfamiliar face but that is not really how I pictured being welcomed. I think that we as Masons should welcome anyone into the Lodge as if they had been coming there for 20 years. I don't know about anyone else but I make it a point to speak to brothers that I know and brothers that I don't. I mean honestly if I see a car or truck on the road with a Masonic sticker or decal, I make it a point to honk my horn and wave at them. If I am next to them at the stoplight I will roll my window down and say hello. Maybe to some that is strange but it is what I do. I have received less than warm welcomes from brothers in more than one occasion. The one instance would be in my own Lodge and even a little closer to home. There is a brother belonging to the prince hall that lives literally 4 doors down from me. I have since being raised displayed Masonic taillight decals on my vehicles and there are times when this brother won’t even wave to me when he passes. I stopped him the other day and wanted to strike up a conversation so I asked him if he knew about the Masons of Texas plates being available. He was unaware and said thank you for letting him know and then he acted like he didn't have anything else to say and said talk to you later. I really thought more of Masonry, I thought that brothers not only went out of their way to help each other but to talk and be friendly as well. I wouldn't say I am disappointed in any way and I will not judge based on some brothers actions but it is at times frustrating to me.

    Any thoughts...
     
  12. Brother Jason Eddy

    Brother Jason Eddy Registered User

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    Brother Wood,

    I completely understand your feelings here. I have experienced similar situations where I felt somewhat out of place in Lodge. This should be seen, in my opinion, as a reflection upon human nature and not necessarily just Masonry. Your expectation of being welcomed as an old friend is a fair expectation. After all, that is what Brotherly Love is all about, right? In those instances when you are made to feel like an outsider, real Masonry is not being practiced. This is simply human nature. We have our fair share of hypocrites within Masonry and I would say that it is analogous to the people who shake your hand in church and then cut you off in traffic. Knowledge of something does not necessarily make you a part of that something. Just like knowledge of the Bible does not make you a Christian, knowledge of Masonry does not make you a Mason. Perhaps hypocrite is a strong word, but there certainly is an issue there.

    I experienced true Masonry recently when I visited a Lodge in North Carolina where I did not know a single person. I connected through another Masonic forum and asked if I could join their meeting while I was in town and when I arrived I truly felt like I was joining a group of old friends. In fact, it was arguably my best Lodge experience ever…even above my own Lodge. That is true Masonry. What I have found works for me when encountering what you have mentioned is that the old “kill them with kindness” approach works wonders. I am a pretty energetic Mason  Many times I walk into a Lodge and get the feeling of being the outsider but simply jump right in and show as much Brotherly Love as possible. I shake hands. I smile. I make small talk. For the most part, this puts the room at ease and I have a great time. On occasion I find that I am just not the same type of Mason as these guys and that is ok. Most times I find that people are afraid to be that way. They are afraid of putting themselves out there to a stranger (even a Brother). But by essentially doing it for them, you neutralize the situation and put them at ease…it normally results in a nice evening and a few new friends.

    I am long winded, I know. I apologize. The short response is keep doing what you are doing. Be the Mason that you believe you should be. A great quote that I try to live by, and that applies to this very well I think is: “Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.” -William Faulkner

    Your Brother,

    Jason
     
  13. M.M.Wood

    M.M.Wood Registered User

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    Thank you brother Jason for your words of wisdom.
     
  14. Brother Jason Eddy

    Brother Jason Eddy Registered User

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    You are most welcome Brother. I hope they helped.
     
  15. trowlison

    trowlison Registered User

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    Remember the working tools, specifically the 24 inch guage. We are to devote time to our families, our vocations and for sleep and refreshment. The charge of an EA talks about this. Although our attendance is requested it is not required. Our families come first, as well they should. It would be tough to help a widow if she thought we monopolized all of her husband's time while he was alive. Just my opinion of course :)
     
  16. Nate C.

    Nate C. Registered User

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    For twenty dollars a year, any Mason in good standing can subscribe to the Southern California Research Lodge (SCRL) newsletter. They send out a monthly newsletter that is mostly a compilation of Masonic publications/articles from around the world. They also offer book sales at reasonable prices. I have been receiving the newsletters for years. The $20 is money well spent in my opinion.

     
  17. JBD

    JBD Premium Member

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    Grand Lodge of Texas has many posts on their website that are educational. You need to do what you need to do and not feel guilty about it. You are our brother if you come to lodge 7 days a week 7 times a year or every 7 years. The difference is in how much you grow in Masonic knowledge. Remember your obligations both in and out of the Lodgeroom and you will be fine. Get her involved, OES or other organizations. Visit any lodge that has an open function such as Breakfasts, BBQ's and other such outings. Read the old books, get a Lightfoot Monitor or order the commentaries from the Grand Lodge. The GLoT sources can be trusted and once you are through all of that you will have an excellent basis by which to judge other material
     
  18. M.M.Wood

    M.M.Wood Registered User

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    Re: charity

    Lastone,

    I wanted to let you know that I take offense to you challenging my manhood if you will and I was reaching out for assistance, not complaining but thank you for your reply and brotherly words of wisdom.

    Tim ∴
     

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