This last Sunday, I had the opportunity to teach the Sunday lesson to my 14-15 year old YW girls about being a wife and mother. There are few subjects that are nearer and dearer to my heart than that one. I love being a wife and mother and I learn so much about myself on a constant basis--not all pleasant. :)
As I prepared the lesson, of course I had to have some absolutely stretching mothering days. As I was loading the Mormon Message "Motherhood: An Eternal Partnership with God" to show to my girls, I just started bawling. I was so grateful for the message there. Sometimes I find it so easy to forget how blessed I am, even when I try to recognize it regularly. I know without a doubt that being a mother is what I am supposed to be doing. I truly do love being a mom. But there are some days that I feel completely worn out, exhausted, totally impatient and snippy, and just downright not the mom that I am trying to be. In Jeffrey R. Holland's talk "Because She is a Mother," he informs, ,"If you try to be the best parent you can be, you will have done all that a human being can do and all that God expects you to do." I loved that assurance. But then sometimes I feel like my best one day is certainly not the best I can do on another day. Why is there such a wide range of my best? Some days I feel like my best is acceptable, and other days I am not so sure. Some days I can be so hard on myself to feel like I just went through that day and received an "F" on my mothering report card. And it breaks my heart.
But I am so grateful for Elder Holland's counsel and words, "You can’t possibly do this alone, but you do have help. The Master of Heaven and Earth is there to bless you—He who resolutely goes after the lost sheep, sweeps thoroughly to find the lost coin, waits everlastingly for the return of the prodigal son. Yours is the work of salvation, and therefore you will be magnified, compensated, made more than you are and better than you have ever been as you try to make honest effort, however feeble you may sometimes feel that to be."
I'm just so grateful that even when I feel like I'm a hopeless case, that there is always hope. I'm so grateful for a Savior who knows how I feel. And who has made it possible for me to be better, to move on, and just do my best to improve--however slow my progress may be. I'm so grateful for a forgiving family that forgives me when I slip up. Sometimes I need to follow their examples and be a little more forgiving of myself and just press forward.
I certainly needed to hear these words from Elder Holland, they help me feel recharged. They remind me that what I am doing right now is the most important thing I will ever do. And I do love it. I wouldn't want to miss all that comes with motherhood for anything else in the world. It constantly stretches me, and I am hoping that it is refining me in the process.
Here are some of my other favorite words of counsel from Elder Holland's talk. And because they are so encouraging to me, maybe they will encourage others as well: "Rely on Him. Rely on Him heavily. Rely on Him forever. And 'press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope.' You are doing God’s work. You are doing it wonderfully well. He is blessing you and He will bless you, even—no, especially—when your days and your nights may be the most challenging."
1 year ago