Super Mom…

Super mom mother-429156Motherhood is such a tough job. Yet, though the rewarding moments may come infrequently, I believe that motherhood is one of the most important jobs in this world. Few others can shape a child and the world in which we live like a mother. I have seen the effect that I have had on my first four children. (Which I think/hope is mostly positive?!)  I have also seen the effect of their birth mother on my adopted children. Although my adopted son was four and my adopted daughter was nine when we adopted them, the emotional damage received as a result of a mother who frequently abandoned her children still continues to plague my children and our family. Their ability to love, trust and allow themselves to be vulnerable has been significantly compromised. Just like innocent victims in a car accident, they are left not really understanding why it had to happen to them and though the damage and neglect was not their fault, they each must be the one who does the work of recovery. I hope that every mother who feels the burden of her frequently thankless job will know that heaven thanks you for all of the sleepless nights, sacrifices made, moral instruction, positive example setting and nurturing that you do and so do I. Though I know that few days FEEL that way, as mothers, we truly are in a partnership with God. With God’s help, we are the ones who are most able to effect positive changes in this world. When the world needs change, God sends a babies into the hands and hearts of women who will raise, nurture, and instill values and principles within those children that will enable them to rise above adversity and become a part of the positive solutions needed to address the various problems of this world. God knows that the super heroes of this world are not leaders of government – they are the mothers (and fathers) who are daily in the trenches of family life; loving the sometimes unlovable, teaching children who often seem unreachable, and giving their families all of their energy even though that energy vanished with the morning chores. Tonight, as you prepare for bed, give yourself a pat on the back; for today you were a part of the super hero work of raising responsible children!

 

No widget added yet.

Having a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day? …Happy Mother’s Day!

No Good Very Bad Day portrayal-89189I love the book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst! Recently while surfing the internet, I came across a quote from the book. When I saw it, I just knew I had to use it for my Mother’s Day Meme!  It may seem odd to you but the book about Alexander reminds me of motherhood. On this day when we celebrate our mothers, I am reminded of many who have mothered children but could not have their own. I also think about children from dysfunctional mothers. I think of children who, through no fault of their own, have had to grow up without mothers. Last, but not least, I think of those days as a mother when I thought that early retirement might be a good idea! I am grateful that God created families with both a mother and a father. Both are important and essential. Children do not come with a manual – I know because I have searched high and low for the manuals to my children and nobody, including me, has ever laid eyes on them. So, either they don’t exist or the security surrounding them makes Fort Knox look like a toothpick sculpture. Not all mothers are wonderful and all children come with their challenges. However, in spite of all of that, there is one truth about moms and motherhood that supersedes all others. God has entrusted the mothers of this world with the welfare of His children. No one else can do the job they do. No other person or force has greater influence on a child and the life they will live. Fathers are amazing and their job is no less important. However, a mother’s influence begins at conception and a child innately looks to the mother to determine if they are loved and it is the interactions (or lack of) with the mother that will mostly determine the child’s self-concept and emotional health. Have you ever noticed that the first parent an adopted child seeks to find is the mother? There is no coincidence in that. It is from our mothers that we each, innately, look to to determine our worth and our value. A mother who abandons a child physically or emotionally creates a child who will eventually have to address his abandonment in order to achieve a healthy sense of self. I remember a conversation with a therapist I once had regarding one of my adopted children and the emotional issues that they dealt with because their birth mother had not properly cared for them. She said, “Who knew that when we were changing the diapers of our babies and they were screaming at us for doing so, that we were communicating to them that we loved them and helping them to know that we would keep them safe.” As the mother to both birth children and adopted children, I understand the worth of mothers. Those days and moments when we want to retire early from motherhood are not for us – they are for our children. I know that it can often seem like the payback moments of motherhood have ditched us for someone else. However, every time you celebrate a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day along with Alexander, know that what you are doing is priceless and that, in your own special way, you are making our world a better, happier, healthier and more loving place to be!  I want to give a heartfelt thanks to every woman who has mothered a child and helped them to feel loved and cherished. To all women who have nurtured and loved children, Happy Mother’s Day!

 

No widget added yet.

What Shaving My Legs has to do with Living a Great Life! A Glimpse of Heaven

It is summer time and its shorts season and that means I have to shave my legs more frequently (unless I want to gross out a lot of people). I have this habit of looking for the symbolism in the ordinary events of life. Believe it or not – I believe that there is some profound symbolism to be learned from shaving my legs!

The other day, I was sitting at the lake with my family and I looked down to see a tiny little forest of hair on one of my legs right behind my ankle bone. I was so grateful that only family was around and horrified by what I was seeing! My little forest was not just a few nubs of hair – every hair in the grouping was at least ¼ inch long (long by leg shaving standards!). It was obvious that although I shaved my legs almost every day that I was consistently missing that certain area of my leg.

Now the reason for this story is not to horrify you with what you might be picturing in your mind (of my leg) but to explain the symbolism I see in this event. In analyzing how my forest of hair came to be – it is obvious that way too often I shave my legs on autopilot. In other words, I shave the same places in the same order without really looking at the “Big Picture” or taking the time to really see what I am doing.

I think life is too often lived on autopilot too. But life is too precious to be lived on autopilot. If we don’t make the effort to really see what is going on around us and to recognize our blessings we miss out on sooo much!

Let me share an example with you. Not long ago I was at a water complex with all of my grandchildren and their mothers. It was a fun for me just sitting on the side of a pool and talking to my daughters and daughter-in-laws. Then it occurred to me that I was missing some great photo opportunities and I took my camera and went searching for my grandchildren.

It was not long before I came across one of my four year old granddaughters. She was in a part of the complex called the river all by herself. She had a life jacket on so she was not in any danger but she was surrounded on all sides by large numbers of people who were much bigger than she was and I could see in her face that she was feeling really overwhelmed.

I called out to her and she reached out to me. She quickly asked me if I would stay with her. I did stay with her and what a learning experience that was for me. Her little four year old self wanted to be both independent and to have safety and security. She would hold onto me for several minutes and then she would let go when she started feeling secure. That process repeated itself many times over and it was such a teaching experience for me. I already knew her well enough to know that she had a strong desire to exert her independence but I learned how important it is to her for me to be a support to her – even when she is trying to “do it myself”. My time with her in the river became a really special bonding time. She may be only 4 but eventually she will be 14 and when she is, I believe my influence with her will be much greater because of the time that I am spending with her now.

Had I continued on “autopilot” at the water complex, I would have still had a great time with my family members but I would have missed out on a really precious moment in my life.
Who would have thought shaving my legs could teach me so much! …What a reminder for me to be on the lookout for more precious opportunities and to be more aware of what is going on around me!

No widget added yet.

God Has Confidence in You…You Need to Too! A Glimpse of Heaven

I’m not that special. I’m not like her (him). I wasn’t in the right line when they handed out that talent…the list goes on and I know I’m not the only one who has heard these types of remarks. Maybe it’s you that has been saying them…to your friends, your family, and worst of all…to yourself.

Life is full of oops and falling short but that doesn’t mean that we don’t measure up or that we shouldn’t believe in ourselves.

Do we want our children (grandchildren) to believe in their selves the same way we believe in ourselves? Do we want them to use the same “measuring stick” that we use? Whose measuring stick are we using anyway?

When I think of all the things that I learned from my visit to heaven – I think the most important thing I learned may have been how different we are “measured” in heaven compared to earth. In heaven there is such a nurturing and honoring of individuality – and I’m not just talking personality here. Each individual is truly PRIZED for their unique strengths and qualities – would you expect anything different from Heavenly Father or a place in which His perfect love presides?

Yet, here on earth, we so easily buy into the falsehood that we should be like someone else or the most perfect person we know – which, of course, is a major falsehood all of its own.

We should listen to our hearts – our hearts know so well who and what we truly are and who we are meant to be. That doesn’t mean that being our self is always easy or without its challenges… but then isn’t that what we came to earth for? We are absolutely meant to grow and to be challenged and to make mistakes and repent and to keep trying and to do our best to become the best that we are capable of becoming. We are to believe in ourselves and work at developing the talents that we have been blessed with. If I am meant to develop my talent of holding a baby…that in no way diminishes another’s duty to develop their talent of sharing their amazing smile. You don’t think those are talents? I guarantee you they are!!! It is those talents that the “world” overlooks that are generally the most important of all!

Now granted…I don’t remember professional athletes or super models in heaven…but I can assure you that the most prized talents were not athleticism or physical beauty. The most prized talents were the ability to love and spiritual strength. Interestingly enough – those talents are talents which both here and there (in heaven) have to be sought after and developed – they do not just happen.

I can also assure you that Heavenly Father believes in Himself and He believes in us – not in our already present perfection but in our ability to get there. If we are meant to become like Heavenly Father (perfect) and He loves and believes in His self – wouldn’t it stand to reason that we should love and believe in our self? Can you even imagine a perfect, loving Heavenly Father sending you to earth so that He could enjoy the sadistic pleasure of watching you fail? (Pleeease tell me you can’t imagine that.) I can tell you that no one has more confidence in our individual ability to succeed. Heavenly Father has done all that He can do to set us up for success, the rest is up to us (but He still there to help). It may seem trite but developing our relationship with Heavenly Father through personal prayer, scripture study, obedience to the commandments and living the Golden Rule is huge to our ultimate success – and we will be successful if we have faith in God, live right and have faith in ourselves.

I’m not talking about the kind of success that says we will own a yacht, or travel the world, or be world famous. I am talking about the kind of success that truly matters – the kind of success that guarantees that the world will have been a better place for our having been here – the eternal kind of success.

So if you are struggling to believe in yourself…get down on your knees tonight and ask God if you have reason to believe in yourself – to believe in your potential and in your ability to live a life of purpose. Ask if you matter to Him. If you stay on your knees long enough to actually give Heavenly Father the opportunity to answer – I believe the answer will bring tears of joy to your eyes. Heavenly Father believes in your potential – when you come to believe in and accept that same potential – you will have your own Glimpse of Heaven! So…even if no one else is around to give you a hug – give yourself a hug and know that you are special and that you have potential you have never even dreamed of!

No widget added yet.