Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day Thoughts

Well, like I said, today is Mother’s Day. I know a lot of moms have a hard time with Mother’s Day for various reasons, but I happen to love it. It’s the day I get to celebrate being a mother. It’s also a day that I like to think about and thank my own mother for everything she is and does. I consider being a mother the greatest blessing in the world. I’m so proud of each of  my kids and all that they do. Nothing brings me more joy than seeing each of them mature into selfless, kind, compassionate people.  Being a mom is the best job in the whole world. I dare anyone to find a job that is better than mothering. I recently read a book called The Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. It was fascinating. It talked about what makes people successful. I loved how the author pointed out that we don’t make ourselves successful. So much of our success is due to lucky (or-in my opinion-divine) circumstances and opportunities and attitudes and life-philosophies and expectations and genetics and culture and heritage that have been passed down to us…these are all things that were given us. It made me think about everything that has been “given” to me. I really can’t take credit for much, if any, of my success in life. I owe so much to my parents and my Savior. The fact that I have a knowledge of my Savior and that I try to live follow Him is an amazing gift in and of itself. That faith defines my life. It’s who I am. But it’s not something I can take any credit for. I thank my sweet great, great grandparents and their sacrifices and faith as they left their native countries in order to come to America to worship their new found faith. That legacy has blessed me more than I can even comprehend. I thank my parents for being faithful and making Christ the center of our home growing up. I thank church teachers and leaders for strengthening my testimony along the way. I especially thank my sweet mother for her strong and unfailing testimony of the Savior, for setting the example of always putting Him first in her life. I’ll never forget passing by her bedroom and seeing her on her knees praying for guidance or watching her make bread for someone who was sick or listening to her read scriptures to us as we hurriedly ate breakfast before rushing out the door for seminary. We always knew by the way she lived her life that she KNEW her Savior and that He was real. She has such a special gift…a gift of spirituality. I am the lucky (or blessed) recipient of that gift. So, I guess, my thought for today is that we really need to step back and take a good look at our lives. None of us are “self-made”, we all owe so much to those who have gone on before, to the loved ones who surround us, and, most importantly, to our loving Heavenly Father. He and his Son, Jesus Christ, are the source of all our blessings. It is Christ that brings us purpose, peace, joy, redemption, understanding, truth, hope and pure love. Everything that makes life worth living, we owe to our Savior. And all He asks in return is that we let go of pride (stop taking all the credit for our successes) and selfishness (just stop being so self-centered) and remember Him. We remember Him as we humble ourselves and acknowledge that we are nothing without Him. There is nothing weak about this kind of humility. This kind of humility brings out the greatest character traits that we can possibly develop, namely Christ-like attributes. So, as you go about this week, remember to put your Savior first. Look around you and be grateful for the many people and circumstances that the Lord has put in your life to bless you and guide you and help you along your way and acknowledge that precious gift. 

Today, I've been feeling grateful for my mother and her mother and her mother and her mother and on and on... and for the amazing lineage of motherhood that they have forged for me and for my daughters and their (future) daughters.... I have been thinking about the power and influence that our maternal lines have on how each generation is raised. I owe SO much of who I am to these amazing women. I am so grateful for their love, their devotion, their work ethic, their traditions, their talents, their strength, their patience and especially their strong faith. Happy Mother's Day to generations of mothers--because of you, we are who we are!!