Spiritual Sundays: We Raise Our Children While the Lord Raises Us

 

 

Editor’s Note: The Power of Moms is a website for mothers of all religions (and for mothers who are not necessarily religious). Each Sunday, we post a spiritual essay, and we would love to gather a wide variety of perspectives and ideas.  Our goal is to be respectful of all beliefs while simultaneously offering opportunities to share meaningful, spiritual thoughts with one another.

One afternoon, my two little girls colored at our kitchen table and happily chattered about how excited they were to be mothers someday.  I listened with a wry smile as I tackled two bulging trash bags full of potent diapers and food remnants.  Alia, then 4, looked over at me and asked, “Mommy, what’s the best part about being a mommy?”

Ignoring the trash, I thought for a moment and then replied, “It’s when you see your children making good choices.”  She considered my answer and then asked, “Do you know what I think is the best part about being a mommy?”  Without waiting, she answered for me: “It’s when your children want to be with you forever.”

After hearing that sweet reply, my wrestle with the trash bags suddenly seemed as noble as governing a country.  I felt the Spirit whisper that my Heavenly Father is most pleased when I show Him that I want to be with Him forever.  He wants us to be as happy as He is, and we are blessed to be given this hands-on training to learn what He knows.

The world teaches us that motherhood numbs your mind and perpetuates a cycle of nothingness for women.  More and more children need a mother to care for them, but fewer and fewer women want to be one.  If we take the daily responsibilities of mothers at face value, we might (and sometimes probably do) agree they feel mind-numbing and unimportant.  However, one pattern the Lord has shown us through the scriptures is that there is always a deeper meaning behind the things we do in His name.

Our Savior wants mothers’ lives to be enriched, and one way He has prepared for that to happen is by giving us experiences with our children that will teach us who He is.  Parenthood doesn’t mean we raise our children.  It means we help the Lord raise His children while He raises each of us.  When we feel rattled by the constant needs of our little ones, we must understand that this refiner’s fire we call motherhood is bringing us experiences the Lord has designed as private tutoring sessions.  The challenges we overcome will build our spirits if we will focus on the principles the Lord is trying to teach us.

I have learned (and continue to learn) many principles through my mothering.  The experiences I have are not unlike those of other parents, and the lessons I have been taught are simple, but they have strengthened me and helped me see how the Lord is teaching me as I raise my children up to Him.

QUESTION:  What is your source of strength in raising your children?

CHALLENGE: Take some quiet time to reflect on your stewardship of raising your children.

 

Image by Nandu Sunu/Flickr.com

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Comments

  1. Melanie Vilburn says

    Submitted on 6-13-2010 at 07:29pm
    April,

    You have this gift to paint smiles on the weary. It is so lovely!

  2. C. Olsen says

    Submitted on 6-13-2010 at 02:19pm
    April,

    This is absuloutely fabulous and so very insightful. I love it!

    You really ought to send it in to the Ensign magazine if you haven’t already.

    Our motherhood learning circle is big fans of all your writing. We really love it. Please keep it coming!

  3. Claire says

    I’ve never understood why people consider motherhood to be mind-numbing. Sure, there are some mindless tasks involved (clean-up, etc). But I think it takes a lot of intelligence and creativity to run a household and to effectively raise children. Tending to their emotional and developmental needs, and doing it well, is no easy task.

  4. Melanie says

    Beautiful! This website and essays like this have forever changed me. I am so grateful for your insights – they are so uplifting and inspiring!

  5. Priscilla says

    April, this was so moving for me on a couple of points. 1. When your little 4 year old girl said, “It’s when your children want to be with you forever.” I literally cried. How true! I loved how you related that to God being our Father and how He wants us to want to be with Him forever. 2. He gives us experiences with our children that will teach us who He is. YES! He does this all the time the more I look for Him, the more He reveals… and the more he reveals, the more my life is enriched. I love hopping on this cycle. Finally 3. We help the Lord raise His children as the Lord raises us. Wow- what a paradigm shift. I need to remember this. Thank you!

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