Saturday, May 10, 2008

A Mother Heart, essays on Motherhood. Day 1.

{giveaway information:}

Dear Mel, you won. E-mail me with contact information.

A October Autumn day found me apron on, hair clipped up, bare feet in my blue chair; baby Nicholas in my arms nursing me, eyes shut snoring soundly and Oliver playing with his blocks near my feet. My two beautiful daughters lay snug on the floor whispering and laughing to each other. My companion sat on the carpet near the girls. He never looked more handsome. I noticed his hands, and strong arms that care and caress my every need. His every breath is devoted in caring for his family and serving God.
I was more aware of the scene that lay around me because I was listening to the
most beautiful sermon ever given to Mothers by Julie B. Beck at the same time.
Her words sank into my heart and awoken my spirit. Tears filled my eyes and dripped down onto my gorgeous peaceful sleeping son.
I had given birth and had prepared a home for these precious spirits that surround me and consume my every thought and action.
Proudly I can proclaim that I am a Mother!
Half of me wanted to crawl up in a corner and sob like a baby. I needed to take it all in and crying felt like a good start. The Holy Ghost was speaking truth so soundly to my core and my emotions were no match for the commanding words that pulverized my heart and I could not hold them back. I was fired up ready to take on the world; I was ready to start fresh. Bring on the evil, I can take it! I have every tool needed including an unwavering husband who can stand up with the Mother of his children and side by side take on
“rulers of the darkness (in) this world”
I love, respect, defend and sustain every Mother everywhere for their service, sleepless nights, homemade meals, infinite tasks, laundry loads, tears wiped, beds made, diapers changed, clean homes, and red lipstick efforts!
For the next days my blog will feature and highlight parts of the talk that
changed my life for good, because I want to be
Mother who Knows.

vig·i·lance n: the condition of being
watchful and alert, especially to danger

Eternal influence and power in Motherhood.
"The responsibility mothers have today has never required more vigilance.
When mothers know who they are and who God is and have made covenants with Him, they will have great power and influence for good on their children".

(Claire's interpretation of the second coming)
mul·ti·ply1 v 3. vi to increase in number by breeding
"Mothers Who Know Bear Children God's commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force Faithful daughters of God desire children"

There is eternal influence and power in motherhood. As a young woman in high school I remember being taught a lesson on marriage in church. I went home that day and thought about my future family. I remember having thoughts about my husband-to-be and I found it fascinating to think that he was somewhere in the world and I just didn't know him yet. (cue the American Tale theme song) I decided that night I would pray for my future husband. I didn't know him but I knew God did. I mostly prayed the same thing every night. "Please bless him to have a good day tomorrow." A couple weeks before we were engaged, David and I were sitting at a park enjoying great conversation. Toward the end of the evening I asked him "Have you had a lot of good days?" He asked me why. I told him that I had been praying a prayer for him to have good days since I was about 17. Nearly 5 years. As I went in to check on my sleeping children tonight I looked at their sweet little faces and was overwhelmed with emotion. Have you ever just sat and watched a child sleep? It has to be one of the most peaceful things in the world. As I watched them, I thought of the countless times I prayed for them too. And here they are. The little ones I dreamed about. I have always dreamed of being a wife and a mother and sometimes I forget that I am living that childhood dream. I pause as I am putting lotion on a freshly bathed baby and pause as I am rolling in the grass with my toddler and realize that this is indeed what I dreamed of. I wonder if I am living up to the aspirations of that little girl inside of me. Am I the mother that I hoped I would become? Because the children are here now and motherhood is not in the future. It is in the now. I recommit myself, as I am finding myself do a lot lately, to becoming the wife and mother that I hoped I would be.-Tiffany Rueckert, MD

teach·er n 1. somebody who teaches, especially as a profession
2. anything from which something may be learned

"Mothers Who Know Are Teachers Mothers who know are always teachers. Since they are not babysitters, they are never off duty. Think of the power of our future missionary force if mothers considered their homes as a pre–missionary training center. Then the doctrines of the gospel taught in the MTC would be a review and not a revelation. That is influence; that is power."

With motherhood comes the fear of raising children in a world with rapidly diminishing values. I’ve had a quote hanging in my house since before I had kids that says, “Motherhood is a sacred responsibility” and this frequently influences my thoughts. I often think about how I need to do more to keep my children close to Heavenly Father and to the teachings of the gospel. I need to do more than my parents did and more than their parents did for them. A lot more. And it’s crucial that I start now, when they are young. For example, I decided that instead of listening to my choice of music in the car we should be listening to the articles of faith songs so they can memorize them. It’s so cute how excited they get when they do get one all learned! They love it!

Since our children were young we’ve always read books to them before bedtime, but a couple of years ago we added another dimension to that and sometimes we tell stories. I started by telling Goldilocks and the Three Bears and all the classics, but then I added a story from the scriptures every night. Yes, we read to our children from the Book of Mormon daily, but they need more, they need it twice and three times daily.

I know kids are little sponges and soak up everything, but when our oldest was assigned to give a talk in primary as a three year old and he was able to tell the story of David and Goliath, all by himself, with lots of detail, I realized just how much they really do learn and remember!

I just started using the Gospel Art Kit to teach more gospel stories and facts. I just pick 2 or 3 pictures at a time and read the back to them and then review it a couple of times, and then they can teach it back to me. (Even our almost two year olds listen for a minute and try to repeat back the names of people or places I am teaching about.) A few weeks ago we learned about the Kirtland, Nauvoo, and Salt Lake Temples. We also learned about three most current prophets. They love to learn and there is nothing more rewarding for me as a mother than to teach them the joy of the gospel and then to hear them repeat back what they’ve learned. I hope it makes their testimonies “strong and immoveable”. -Amber Kindred, UT

strong adj 3. sturdy, well made, and not easily damaged or broken 4. having emotional strength that gives the ability to cope with stress, grief, loss, risk, and other difficulties
"Mothers Who Know Stand Strong and Immovable Who will prepare this righteous generation of sons and daughters? —women who know and love the Lord and bear testimony of Him, women who are strong and immovable and who do not give up during difficult and discouraging times I have every confidence that our women will do this and will come to be known as mothers who "knew."

As I think of my difficult 2nd pregnancy; the lose of my twin baby boy, the very unexpected news that I would be caring for and raising a son with special needs, and the scare that he wouldn’t even make it to birth. The only thing that got me through was prayer. My son is a miracle and a complete blessing to my family. My children are worth everything I am put through. From the frequent hospital stays from my very sick prone son, to the party Ela decided to have in the kitchen with the baby cereal, to the frustration that comes from wanting my son to as independent as possible and reach his fullest potential, and the fear of it being my fault if he doesn’t. I know they were sent to me for a reason. There smiling faces, funny things that they say or do. That makes me strong and ready to face another day, another challenge.
Motherhood it is my calling!-AnnaMarie Nielson, UT