Sunday, August 25, 2013

Covenant Motherhood by Stephanie Dibb Sorensen

While on vacation I finished a book. I couldn't believe it.  I think I need to go on more vacations so I can finish more books.  The book was Covenant Motherhood by Stephanie Dibb Sorensen. Even cooler than finishing the book, I got to go to her Friday Education Week class, meet her, AND have dinner with her and a few others afterward. 

In her book, Stephanie identifies so many parallels between the roles of mothers and the roles of Christ. It's so easy to think that what we are doing as mothers is mundane and unimportant, but Stephanie makes you feel so good and useful! The titles of her chapters will give you an idea of where she goes with this: 

* Chapter 1: Motherhood Testifies of Christ 
* Chapters 2-9: Jesus Christ Creates, Teaches, Succors, Provides, Cleanses, Defends and Protects, Loves and Sacrifices, Forgives and Shares Burdens, and Saves 
* Chapters 10: Grace and the Covenant 
* Chapter 11: (My favorite) The Eternal Influence of Covenant Motherhood 

On page 4, Stephanie shares a quote by Neal A. Maxwell about God's work being one eternal round, including his "continuous redemption for His children." Yes, we're always messing up and God is always having to work with us and forgive us. I can imagine that could be tedious. I also thought of temple work, and how it can be so repetitive, yet, we don't give up on it, nor does God because it is so important. 

Speaking of the temple, on page 9, I loved this: "We know Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ created a world where God's children could grow. As part of this divine and creative partnership, mothers also create a world where their children live and grow. This mother-made world consists of home and family. . . . A mother is the temple matron in her own home, doing all she can to make it a place filled with the Spirit of God. . . ." Doesn't that feel good? 

Throughout the book, I enjoyed how I related to Stephanie in regards to wondering if she's cut out for motherhood. On page 55, she states: "I also thought people chose to be moms because they loved all of that kid-related stuff, like playdates at the park and making your own baby food ann baking cookies for the PTA. Now that I'm all grown up, I realize that probably only about 1.7 percent of the population is well equipped to automatically be a great mother. The rest of us just kind of muddle through it somehow. . . ." What a great discovery. I often look at other moms thinking they wanted this chasing kids, and changing diapers, what's wrong with me? If I could only want this it would be so much easer. But, Stephanie's probably onto something --- more of us are muddling through this than we think! 

In the last chapter, which I mentioned was my favorite, Stephanie poses several questions. I'll tell you the questions, but I won't tell you the answers. 

 Q: Many women are educated, talented, and extremely capable. Isn't it a waste of their skills to spend time with children when they could make a bigger difference in the public sphere? When so many options are available, doesn't it make sense to outsource the more menial tasks of childcare so that women can do bigger things? 

 Q: No one seems to notice the work I do, which makes it feel like it doesn't matter. I wonder if there would be more rewards or recognition in other pursuits. 

 Q: Sometimes, even within the gospel, it feels like mothers with young children aren't able to accomplish all that they are supposed to do. When my children are so young and needy, how can I possibly do family history work, be a missionary, attend the temple regularly, and be an active contributor to the missions of the Church? 

 Q: I try so hard to do what's right and be a good mom, but it's so difficult to measure any success. My children don't seem to make much progress with all of the things I'm trying to teach them, and I often feel weary. Am I really making an important difference in their lives? 

Q: Some people seem to leave their mark on history in big ways, and my contribution is so small and unrecognizable. Does Heavenly Father really value what I'm doing, and does it add value to our society? 

If you are struggling with feeling value in motherhood, Covenant Motherhood will help you realize how important, beautiful, and fulfilling it actually is.