Monday, March 7, 2011

Understanding My Role as a Mother

I recently read, Loving the Role I Once Shunned, and enjoyed how the author, Marian Pond, related to me!  Basically she said that because of how she grew up, she didn't really value motherhood; however, she was willing to give it a try.  After doing as much as SHE could to change her attitudes of "I can't stand kids!", she realized SHE couldn't do it, so she turned to the Lord and He helped her change:
I have learned that when the Lord asks mothers to accept and grow in our divinely appointed role by devoting our full time, energy, and talent, it is not simply because it helps past or future generations. He asks us to fill the place He designed for us because He knows it is the best way to prepare for our eternal destiny.
If for any reason you're not sure what I mean when I say there are certain things out there that give us bad attitudes toward family, Julie Beck gives a good explanation:
Many of our youth are losing confidence in the institution of families. They’re placing more and more value on education and less and less importance on forming an eternal family.  Many don’t see forming families as a faith-based work. For them, it’s a selection process much like shopping. . . .  Parents are being portrayed as inept and out of touch. Antifamily media messages are everywhere. Youth are being desensitized about the need to form eternal families.

This was in Julie Beck's talk called, "Teaching the Doctrine of the Family".  I was happy to see a modified and condensed version of her original talk in the Ensign this month!  The longer talk is really great because she's able to explain principles in more detail.

I think sometimes we may be dissatisfied with our role because we don't understand it.   When we pray to understand it (i.e. pray for a mother heart), we will be so much happier!

I just finished Pat Holland's A Quiet Heart.  What an absolutely lovely book!  I've heard of it a few places, including on the Holland's Conversation on Mormon Radio, but hadn't gotten around to buying and reading it.

Sister Holland wrote about how when she has a problem, she goes to our Father in Heaven in prayer -- for hours.  She recognizes that to pray for hours is easily considered impossible.  However, she goes on to explain:
. . . if it is a high priority and a fundamental goal in your life, you will find ways, early or late, to be with God.  If the key to your car or your mortgage payment check or a child were lost, would you take time to find them?  Wouldn't finding them provide that peace you needed to then go about your day?  . . . .

If you believed that your earthly father could could comfort any heartache, heal any illness, solve any problem, or just be with you through the crucibles of life, wouldn't you call to him constantly?  I am just childish enough to believe that our Father in Heaven can bless us in all those ways.  The price to be paid for this kind of communion is time and your best powers of concentration, but by that investment you may offset untold hours, days, weeks, and months of struggle or sorrow or pain (pages 7-8 )."
I can say, that I am finding more peace and happiness as I learn to understand my role as a mother, and it really does make life easier!

Mothers Who Know

Although I try and not put everything on my fridge, I wanted to put up (for now) some/most of Julie Beck's suggestions from Mothers Who Know to help me remember where my focus should be.  If you don't want to re-invent the wheel, here's what I did.

This is what it says:

The responsibility mothers have today has never required more vigilance.  More than at any time in the history of the world, we need mothers who know.

·    “. . .In the eternal perspective, children—not possessions, not position, not prestige—are our greatest jewels.”
·    The value women place on motherhood in this life and the attributes of motherhood they attain here will rise with them in the Resurrection.
·    We honor sacred ordinances and covenants.
·    We know that if we are not pointing our children to the temple, we are not pointing them toward desired eternal goals.
·    We create a climate for spiritual and temporal growth in our homes.
·    We work beside children in homemaking tasks (cooking, washing clothes and dishes, and keeping an orderly home) to create opportunities to teach and model qualities children should emulate.
·    We are knowledgeable, but all the education we attain will avail us nothing if we do not have the skill to make a home that creates a climate for spiritual growth.
·    Nurturing requires organization, patience, love, and work.
·    We do not abandon our plan (missions, temple marriages, education, prayer, scripture study, and family home evening) by succumbing to social pressure and worldly models of parenting.
·    We are selective about our own activities and involvement to conserve our limited strength in order to maximize our influence where it matters most.
·    We consider our homes as a pre–missionary training center.
·    We allow less media in our homes, less distraction, less activity that draws our children away from our home.
·    We are willing to live on less and consume less of the world’s goods in order to spend more time with our children—more time eating together, more time working together, more time reading together, more time talking, laughing, singing, and exemplifying.
·    We choose carefully and do not try to choose it all.

Don't Revere the Pioneer

I just read Don't Revere the Pioneer by Eva over at LAF/Beautiful Womanhood.  I know I have the tendency to idolize those great women who came before us and all that they did; but, the point of the article is that we are here now for a reason, and we're pretty amazing, too!