Sunday, November 2, 2008

Spiritual Sunday

Since I'm TERRIBLE at keeping a journal and just writing down my thoughts, I thought it would be easiest for me to start a "Spiritual Sunday" where I just write down some of my spiritual moments/thoughts to look back on when I'm in need of a spiritual uplifting! So, here goes:)

I recently finished reading this AMAZING book! I really recommend it to any woman out there. It is an easy and uplifting read. It really made me think, and it was really what I needed to hear.

Recently I have been struggling with "who I am". I have always wanted a big family- like 6-9 kids- and I would still LOVE to have a big family like that. It seemed as though I was headed in that direction when I couldn't stop popping out babies. After my third one in 3 1/2 years, I was ready for a break-- but now that my baby is 4 1/2, I'm ready for the break to be over. In the mean time, since I don't feel like I have anymore "babies" to tend- I feel like I'm kind of worthless. Like I should be doing more- then being just a mother. I have Ethan home 3 days a week- but next year he will be in kindergarten and I wonder, what will I do if I don't have another baby? Will that mean- I should go back to work? Should I be something more? I almost feel guilty for being "just a mom" when I have some free time on my hands. What should I do in the mean time, before having another baby? I know I need to be home with my kids, but I also feel like I should be doing something more. However, I know that there is a time and season for everything. I don't have to do it all at once. I don't have to do what the world expects of me- I can do what the Lord expects of me and what my children NEED from me. This book, opened up, a whole new level of... YEAH!! I AM A MOTHER!! and that is all I need to be right now! And PROUD that I am a mom. Yes- being a mom is certainly hard- and has me feel like pulling my hair out in chunks will be less painful then going through a day of raising children who are "having a day" so to speak. But, I can't see myself as anything but a mother, right now!

Some of my favorite quotes or thoughts from the book are:

"Much of the major growth that is coming to the Church in the last days... will happen to the degree that the women of the Church reflect righteousness and articulateness in their lives and to the degree that they are seen as distinct and different- in happy ways- from the women of the world." - President Kimball

I love that quote- I only think of myself as an example to my family, I don't think that I'm an example to other mother's as being different or being happy because I love being a mom and I choose the right. The other day I got quite a compliment- and it made me think of this quote. I was at the gym and I was picking Ethan up from the gym kids center and the lady checking him out said that I was very blessed- that I embodied everything a mother should be- I'm happy and I make it look fun! I make it seem like it is the cool thing to do:) She then repeated that it was a gift I had... and I just thought WOW! That is because I have the gospel and I follow the commandments and I'm truly happy- yes I have my moments, but deep down, I'm truly full of joy and happiness and peace, because I know who I am and I know my purpose in life!

"So many times, the mundane tasks- or the "Surprise! You must now mop up an entire carton of milk off your newly washed floor" or the "I'm sorry, Mom, I had no idea it was 1:00 AM already" moments- provide extraordinary teaching opportunities. If you can control your behavior when everything around you is out of control, you can model for your children a valuable lesson in patience and understanding...and snatch an opportunity to shape character.
This is what the Lord would want us to do, to look beyond today to eternity, to truly look at our children and do our best to teach them well- even if we can't always control what they do."

This is definitely something I need to work on! It is hard for me to think that when something happens that it is a "teaching moment by example" instead I think of it as a "teaching moment" to teach them not to do that EVER again... or else! So, this is my new goal-- and I think it is something I will be working on for a really long time- but I know with practice- makes perfect. I need to make a sign and keep it on every wall in my house to remember not to lose my cool, when a mistake is made. I mean- I've DEFINITELY made my share.

"God is more concerned with the "big picture" in our lives, more concerned that we love our children and less concerned that we provide them with two or three music lessons; more concerned that we spend time with them and less concerned about how many hours we volunteer with the PTA; more concerned that we talk with our teenagers and less concerned that we finish the laundry.
Don't waste your time trying to do it all! If you do, you may miss the best parts. Motherhood is the ideal time to "live in the moment" because it is the perfect time to see life in action, to witness your child taking his first step, picking her first flower, walking out the door for his first day of school, or leaving with a fine young man on her first date. These things will never happen again."

I love that she says this- because then I don't feel guilty for not getting something done! So many times- I feel like I tell my kids- ok, just one minute and then one minute turns into an hour, and even in that hour- is ALL the work really done? Is the work EVER really done? No. But, I can give my kids the attention and the love that they need NOW, and then pick up the pieces where I need to.

"A mother has far greater influence on her children than anyone else has, and she must realize that every word she speaks, every act, every response, her attitude, even her appearance and manner of dress, affect the lives of her children and the whole family. It is while the child is in the home that he gains from his mother the attitudes, hopes and beliefs that will determine the kind of life he will live, and the contribution he will make to society." - President N. Eldon Tanner

WOW! How powerful of a statement is that? On the one hand- it is pretty terrifying to think that I, as a mother, and my influence will determine what kind of life my child will lead- just from the small things! But, on the other hand- it is amazing- because, I can give my children my best, and I can raise them in the gospel and let them know my love for the Lord and his gospel. I can give them the best chance to live the best life they can- I get to help prepare them to go out into the world and face anything that may come their way.

The stitches that build testimony and teach truth are also tiny, but they are often the very things that hold a soul together; family prayer, scripture study, family home evening, a shared testimony, a sympathetic hug, a smile. And it's the consistency of providing those things, day in and day out, that makes a difference and leaves a lasting impression.

So often I think that the small mundane things we do don't really make a difference- that it is the BIG things that we do- and that we have to keep doing the big things to make a difference-- but that isn't true. Consistency and the little things is what really counts and they really do add up! Makes the small things not so hard to do- knowing that, that is what truly makes the difference!

There are so many insightful quotes and words in this book. I could go on and on with all the quotes I have jotted down, but I am running out of time, as my little ones are nearing bed time- and I need to go read to them before they go down for the night. I highly recommend this book!

Motherhood is challenging, but I have never been more proud of any accomplishment in my life! I'm proud to say "I Am A Mother" even if all I have to show for it now, is a messy house, greasy hair, chocolate on my shirt (ok- maybe that is from my own doing) .. I know that it will be the most rewarding thing I have ever done in the end... and even on most days- I can find something rewarding about motherhood-- and why I love it! Even if it is "my kids are angels when they are sleeping, aren't they so cute!"

I'm so grateful that I have the knowledge of the gospel in my life, and to raise my children in the truth. I'm grateful that I'm not alone- that I have my amazing husband Chet as a priesthood holder in my home to help raise our children, and we have our Heavenly Father who I can go to ANYTIME and ask for help, or peace, and I know I will be comforted in one way or another.

So, for now, world,- I AM A MOTHER- not "just" a mother-- i AM a mother!! And for now- I'm going to live in the moment and just love it with all I've got- because my kids will be grown soon enough and then I'll be wishing they were back!

Who is with me!?


Cheryl said...

Honestly the world needs more mothers. Society headed south when mothers left the home.

Alisha said...

Thank you for this post. I was given this book by a friend but haven't read it... I think I'll start!

Shauna said...

I have read this book and love it! Mothers are beautiful :)