So today is Mother's Day! Lets start with saying HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all you AMAZING MAMMAS out there! Especially MY MOM! I mean seriously...she had to put up with me and my brother and sister for all these years! Look we are adults and we are STILL giving the poor woman gray hairs! I'll claim a few of those gray hairs BUT not all of them... Dan and Kim have add some of those too...Just like our kids have added plenty of gray hairs to our heads! But I wouldn't trade a single gray hair...isn't that why we have hair dye (just kidding,sorta)!
NOW FOR THE SERIOUS STUFF!
A couple of weeks ago I was asked to teach the lesson in Relief Society for Church and it just so happened to be on Mothers...Behold thy Mother by Jeffery R. Holland. Of course any teacher will tell you that you get more out of a lesson than those that you teach. But I wanted to share with everyone a few things that I shared in my lesson because with it being Mother's Day I thought it was a great message to pass on! On two of the stories, I'm just going to warn you...get your tissues out!!!
Then Elder Holland says Something that sets the tone for the whole lesson. This statement to me, as a mother, was so powerful. At the time I was preparing the lesson, I had just gotten, home from Caylas...like just 3 days before, helping her from having a baby (grandbaby number 3...so exciting) and this was just so neat...especially with all that's going on in my family right now that it just struck a chord.
"Today I declare from this pulpit what has been said here before:that no love in mortality comes closer to approximating the pure love of Jesus Christ than the selfless love a devoted mother has for her child."
As I've raised my children it's always amazed me that the Lord would entrust such spirits in my care. I've never claimed to be the best mother out there...I've told my children that when they were born they didn't come with an instruction manual for me to follow so I'm sure I did things wrong, but that was ok because I did things my way and well they lived so it was all good but I can tell you that I hurt when my children hurt, I was angry when my children were angry. I was happy when my children were happy. I know all of you can relate. And as my children get older...that's not going to change. I will always feel that way for my children, just as I know my mother still feels that way for me!
Sister Carol B. Thomas (former 1st councilor in the general YW's Presidency) said: "Nothing we do in life is more important than mothering our children. And as we strive to deepen our family talent for spirituality, our most effective teaching will come by our examples. Not everything we do will be successful, but remember my mantra: If you're a good mother 60 percent of the time, you are a good mother."
60 percent of the time...ok I think I can manage that...so maybe I haven't done too bad of a job with y kids. And as a friend pointed out during the lesson we are sleeping half that time so its even lesson...so I'm doing really good! LOL
OK so I don't want to give me whole lesson so I'm just going to jump ahead here...But I wanted to give a few key factors before I jumped into two random stories about motherhood. But here they are! I know each of you will relate to these in one way or another.
Elder Christiansen stated: So far, no worthy substitute has been found for good mothers. Without them, civilization is doomed to decay.”
According to a Jewish proverb: “god could not be everywhere; therefore, he made mothers.”
Abraham Lincoln articulated the sentiments of virtually all mankind when he said, “All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”
Just like the Savior, as mothers we make sacrifice for our children. We feel their pains and sorrows. We also want them to succeed and we will do all that we can to help them towards that path to success, we will give them the tools they need to get them there, just like the Savior gave us the tools to return home to him and to succeed here in this life!
Lucile Tournear shares the following story: My mother was so quiet and unassuming that many of her closest neighbors never really learned to know her; yet she was truly a friend to the friendless and a comfort to the lonely-hearted.
My early childhood would have been desolated indeed without her love and devotion. How clearly I remember a conversation that went something like this: Mamma, will you read to me now? Just a few pages, Mamma.” I would carry a book into the kitchen where my other was ironing or to the dining room where she sat at her sewing machine. Sometimes I followed her to the back porch were she scribbled clothes on a washboard. Her explanations that she must first finish her work were always gentle and patient. Never did she raise her voice in anger or impatience. More often than not, she would leave her work only to finish it later in the evening when I was tucked safely into bed. Due to her kindness and tact, I was eight years old, before I realized that I was blind.
When a teacher was found to teach me Braille, Mother learned Braille with me. Since we could see the teacher only once a week, Mother felt that my progress would be too slow with so little help, so my education became another of her many tasks. When I did enter a day school for the blind, I was able to go into the fifth grade with the children in my own age group. Had she merely been the traditional busy housewife, this would have been noteworthy enough, but since she was the sole provider for four children, it was remarkable. By taking in washing and sewing, working in the homes of neighbors, and remaking second-hand clothing that friends and relatives contributed, we were able to manage.
My mother was often asked why she did not send me away to school. In those days, practically all blind children attended special state institutions. To such questions Mother would say, “I want Lucile to have the same love and care that my other children have….”…
I could never have finished high school and college without Mother’s help. In the late twenties and early thirties, there were very few textbooks to be had in Braille. Mother did most of my reading. She also spent long hours dictating French to me, and I transcribed page after page of it into Braille….
Because of her, I have never known a world of darkness. Because of her, I have been able to live a busy and happy life. With her as my inspiration, I shall continue to do so. As she always has been, she always will be my guiding light.
As mothers we make countless sacrifices for our children...sometimes we don't even realize that we are even doing it! It takes a special angle to be a mother!
So lastly I want to share with you a parable that reminds us of the great sacrifices made by mothers, and of the crown you'll receive for faithful motherhood.
The Crown from Heaven~
At the door of the Angel of Life there sounded a knocking, a knocking, at first very faint, then growing louder and more insistent. Opening the door, the angel saw on the threshold a woman pale with pain, but with a look of expectant joy in her eyes.
“I am here,” she said triumphantly. “I have come for my child. Give it to me quickly for it is a long journey and a hard one, and my strength may be exhausted before I return.”
“Wait,” said the angel slowly. “Your child is here – a beautiful boy. But first you must pay for him.”
“Pay you?” faltered the woman. “But I have very little money and we shall need that for him.”
“I have no use for money,” answered the angel. “But I must have a little of your health, a great deal of your time, some of your peace of mind, and at least half of our heart.”
Without hesitating the woman handed him the things for which he asked, and the angel turned away and returned with the child. The woman clasped him eagerly in her weak arms, then bravely set out for the land from which she came. As she turned to go, the angel placed on her head a crown. She turned in surprise.
“This is my gift to you.” Said the Angel of Life. “It is the crown of motherhood, which will recompense you for the things you have given up.”
Sorry its so serious, but I wanted to share with you these stories today! HAPPY MOTHERS DAY! THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HAS HAD A HAND IN TOUCHING THE LIVES OF ME AND MY FAMILY IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER! Each of you will always hold a special place in our hearts!