Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother's Day

Mother's Day hasn't always been my favorite holiday.  It's still not.  

Halloween...that's my favorite holiday.  Because there is NO PRESSURE.  You don't have to acknowledge anyone or buy cards or presents.  You don't have to show public displays of affection on any social networking sites.  You don't have to buy a new dress or take a family picture.  You just get to pass out candy and I can do that all day long.  

But...on a scale of Mother's Days, I would have to put this one near the very top for sure!  

I currently have no church callings and we are on the late church schedule, so I slept in until 7:00am!  Bliss...

After wandering around aimlessly for awhile and getting a few things ready for the dinner Craig was making later, I had just enough time to throw on something presentable and fix my hair while Craig hauled my computer downstairs into the dining room.  And then right on schedule at 9:00am, I heard the sweetest, most familiar voice EVER.  And after that, I didn't really care if I had make-up on or if my hair was curled or not.  I just ran into the dining room and sat right in front of that giant screen so I could see every detail of that face I've missed so much.  

We talked to her for TWO WHOLE HOURS!  Bliss...

I cannot get over the amazing changes in Savannah after just 6 months in the mission field! What a huge difference between our Skype call yesterday and the one we had at Christmas.  Not even a single tear this time.  Just a confident and happy missionary going forward everyday focused on her work!  So unbelievably proud of this girl!

And then, Megan spoke in Sacrament...  
When I am a mother, I hope to be understanding toward my children.  Above all, I hope to have their trust and to be someone they can confide in and come to for help.  As I pondered this talk and this goal of mine, I thought of the mother figures in my life, the ones I know I can go to when I need to talk, and I thought about the motherly attributes they have that I would someday like to emulate.  Sister Fisher, Sister Christiansen, and my mother are beautiful, intelligent, talented, loving, and hard working women, each with spiritual strength to rival that of the mothers of the stripling warriors.  It is through their examples that I have grown my own love for and testimony of the gospel. "We do not doubt our mothers knew it," says Alma 56:48.  I do not doubt that these mothers know the truth, nor do I doubt the firmness of their testimonies.  
They have, as described by Julie B Beck, "mother hearts."  She says that "a woman with a mother heart has a testimony of the restored gospel. (check) She teaches the principles of the gospel without equivocation. (check)  She is keeping sacred covenants made in holy temples.  She shares her talents and skills unselfishly.  She gains as much education as she can, and she has the desire to teach what she learns." (check check check and check)
So I know that I just took three people and went through this checklist relative to their qualities, but really there is no checklist.  A mother heart is not a trophy that waits at the end of the tally, after you've evaluated yourself in comparison to Sister Beck's definition.  It's less tangible than that.  Sister Beck assures that all women have the potential for a mother heart regardless of education, circumstance, and marital status (and I guess men have that potential, too, but you probably don't want to call it that...) The one thing that a mother heart really boils down to is desire.  Desire to do good, to obey God's commandments, to share His gospel.  Heavenly Father wants the desire in our hearts before He will make us mother hearts.  In order to sufficiently foster such desire we must know our identity and worth to Heavenly Father's eternal plan.  Sister Beck tells about meeting a young mother with and impressive educational background who had transferred all her skills into motherhood.  She told Sister Beck, "I know who I am and I know what I am supposed to do.  The rest just follows."
My mother is a fierce advocate for this idea of giving yourself as a tool for the Spirit, of having faith in the Lord to guide you.  Her love of the gospel leads her to surround herself with it daily.  She wears the Spirit like amor which is why when I have a problem, she is the first person I go to for advice.  No only can I count on her to listen, but I know that her daily prayer and scripture study prepare her to give me advice prompted by the Holy Ghost.  I am grateful for her example of faithfulness because if she had not taught me to rely on the Spirit as she has, I likely would still be staring at a blank page, trying to find the words for my talk. Lucky for me, my mom has helped me learn how to recognize the promptings of the Holy Ghost in my life, a skill that I use almost daily as I navigate high school life.  
Knowing who we are and what we are supposed to do means knowing that we are children of God and that He has divine roles prepared for us.  This knowledge of our individual worth and divine nature is a primary focus in the young women's program as outlined in the personal progress book and reinforced in lessons and mutual activities each week.  Sister Christiansen often reminds us in YW that we are royalty, daughters of the one true God who loves us eternally.  The conviction of her testimony helps me know that this is true.  Because we love Him, and because He has a plan for all of us, we are expected to keep His commandments.  Sister Beck says of her mother, "As a covenant keeping daughter of God, she had prepared all her life for motherhood."  My mom likes to say that in everything we do, we are either moving closer to God or further away from Him.  This applies to His callings for us as well.  By obeying His commandments now, we are gaining the skills, knowledge, and heavenly help we will need in future callings.  
The desire to do God's will, trusting completely in the Lord and the Holy Ghost, and obeying Heavenly Father's commandments make for a significantly less daunting outline for a mother heart.  "Every girl and woman who makes and keeps sacred covenants can have a mother heart," Sister Beck concludes.  That includes 8 year olds to 85 year olds with any range of motherhood experience.
I am so grateful for the examples of the mother hearts in my life.  My mom, Sunday school teachers, and YW leaders past and present.  It is in great part that because of them I can say that I love this gospel and I know that this is the true church.  I know of the blessings of following the commandments and listening to the promptings of the Spirit, and I know of the power of the leaders of the church, globally and locally.  I am so grateful for the gospel and the understanding I have of it so far and I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Um...I wrote that here because I was completely blown away!  Megan agonized over that talk all weekend, and this morning when we were talking to Savannah, she still had not written a thing.  Believe me, it was almost as agonizing for me to watch her struggle with the preparation of it...and to just be still and let her struggle and hope that she would have something to say at 1:00 when we all showed up at church.  I was a little nervous...

And I also wrote it here because...of all the things you secretly hope for on Mother's Day, it's that your children will say nice things about you in their sacrament talks.  I feel more confident about my parenting skills today than I did when my children were younger.  And I know they can feel how much I genuinely enjoy being their mom.  They really are exceptional teenagers, and I'm so proud of each one of them.  But for all of my gushing, the people I've chosen to surround myself with typically aren't outwardly gushy like I am.  So, I don't often hear things like the things Megan said over the pulpit today in church.  I honestly had no idea she was watching me that closely.  And that is also Bliss... to realize that your kids have not only been paying attention, but also appreciating what they've seen and heard.

After Sacrament, we had a Relief Society brunch!  Like actual delicious girly food and table cloths and we just got to eat and visit and there were the best sugar cookies I've ever had in my whole life...and sugar cookies happen to be my favorite!  Bliss...

And then we came home and Craig made dinner, which I wasn't the slightest bit hungry for after eating all that delicious RS brunch food, but I ate a little of it anyway because Craig made it and it was flank steak and funeral potatoes and asparagus...and asparagus also happens to be my favorite.  And guess what...I didn't even clean up the kitchen either.  Everyone else did that.  Bliss...

So today was an exceptionally and blissfully great Mother's Day.  Even better than Halloween.  :)


  1. You must be one proud Mamma!!!!
    So happy for you, my beautiful friend.
    And yay HALLOWEEN!!!!!

    1. I'm sure your sweet kids gush over you every day. You are the role model for ALL moms. Someday I hope to have cupcakes delivered to my door and have a place setting for every occasion, even Groundhog Day!...maybe my grandchildren will get to experience that. :)

  2. I loved Megan's talks. She is fantastic! I'm happy you had such a blissful mother's day.