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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Motherhood ~ The Secret to Self Improvement

{I apologize in advance for all the videos in this post, 
but I just couldn't bring myself to leave any out!!!}

So I tried {unsuccessfully in the end} to leave a comment the other day on A Cup of Jo's Blog, who asked people's opinions about having more seems people had a lot to say {372 comments}...and I was almost one of them!  Today I went to look for the link to this exact post, and it seems the post has been removed, which is a real bummer, but it got me thinking.  Why do people have kids?  And why would anyone ever not have kids, which got me reading another of her posts {Would you ever decide to NOT have kids}.  Some of these reasons boggled my mind.  Now, I want to approach this with sensitivity, because I realize that this topic could potentially be a hot button for people, it could be a subject of pain or sorrow for some, or could trigger some annoyance and other strong opinions or feelings in others.  For me the topic of motherhood brings so much JOY, even if it is mixed with feelings of exhaustion, frustration, anger, annoyance, disappointment or utter exasperation at times.  Motherhood pushes me to become better, which I know is the reason I am on this earth in the first be tested and tried and improve myself.

My churches' stand on the role of women is that "As a disciple of Jesus Christ, every woman in the Church is given the responsibility to know and defend the divine roles of women, which include that of wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, and friend. They stand strong and immovable in faith, in family, and in relief."  My Father in Heaven designed a perfect plan and role for me and for all women so that we could maximize our potential, and for the women who are able to, I strongly believe that role to be motherhood.

Having said that, I want to make it quite clear that I hold women who {for whatever reason} cannot have children in an even higher regard at times, when they, by their own motivation, find ways to maximize their potential here on earth by finding service and contributing to building up the Kingdom of God on the earth without becoming a mother.  These women are amazing!  I know myself, and unfortunately I don't think I would have been self-motivated enough to improve myself drastically enough without having the "obligation" of having children, as bad as that may sound.  I am ever fascinated with women who are just NATURALLY full of all of these qualities that I have to painstakingly work towards every day, and because of this fascination, one of my all-time heroes is LOUIE B. FELT.  I love her for her heart, for her service, and for her complete selflessness.  Even though she never had children of her own, she is a regular Mother Theresa {another of my heroes} for all she has accomplished.

Sarah Louisa (Louie) B. Felt
I know that it was like pulling teeth for me to develop into a less selfish, more giving, compassionate, caring person...and by no means am I saying that I'm there, but the small strides I have taken towards developing these attributes in myself are almost entirely because of my role as a wife and mother.  Motherhood is meant to help us grow, which is why I cringe just a little when somebody's reason for not having children is that they're too...selfish...or paranoid...or anxious...or O.C.D. {ahem...all these things were me!!!} or any number of things.  How else will you overcome these things if you don't push through experiences that help you grow and get over them?!  Now I understand that there are some people who have very legitimate reasons for not having children.

The three things Jordan and I always thoroughly asses before having "yet another child" are our physical, emotional and financial states, which I think is super important.  Only you know where you're at, and only you can decide what is best for you.  I do feel VERY strongly about that.  I know that everyone's plan while on this earth is different, I know that because of all my experiences as a wife and mother, I am extremely biased, but I also know that I'm not alone in my testimony of motherhood.  It's not a hobby that's fun to have, until it starts to wear you out too much, and then it's time to quit or sluff off on someone else...for me it's a calling, it's a challenge, and those times when I feel a little too worn out are my reminders that it's time for me to step up my game, work on my weaknesses, power through, and be better tomorrow...and wow does it ever feel good when I can be!

Yes, being a mother is a "sacrifice" {for lack of a better word}...I have to turn off the T.V., read good books, make healthy lunches, have special one-on-one dates with my kids, teach them lessons, help with homework, change messy bums, play Duck Duck Goose a little more than I would like, and after all that there isn't always a whole lot of time left for me...but if I truly stop and think about it...all that time spent with and for them, really benefitted me more than anything else I could have spent my time doing anyway.  Sure, I don't get to travel the world to exotic places on a regular basis, or wear expensive designer clothes {like...ever}, but those are things I can't take with me past this life anyway, whereas the time I spend being a mother and learning from my children are moments that literally transform me, and that I can take with me after I leave this life.

We call this having an "eternal perspective" which is my saving grace as a mother...being able to step back {a thousand time a day if need be}, take a deep breath, and visualize that big picture.  I can live with failure in so many areas...I can live with not meeting a pattern deadline {ahem...that one is current...sorry}, I can live with accidentally burning my hamburger soup, or failing to mop my kitchen floor {or clean the bathrooms, or dust the windowsills...need I go on}...but I could never live with being a failure as a mother.  

Here's a couple of videos that are a "MUST VIEW" if you are a mother and are wondering if it's all worth pick me ups EVER!!!

EVERY SINGLE DAY I wonder at our decision of having so many children, and yet every single day I am reminded at how blessed I am and have been because of this decision.  We almost stopped after two...then we didn't {good story eh?}...I could have easily been done after 3, as I was so traumatized by the labour and delivery experience of almost perishing {...yes, literally}...and yet, here we are with 4 {and I didn't say we were done...}, by choice I might add, and I wouldn't change it for anything.  I can't even imagine what life without these last two little munchkins would be like!  I would miss out on this beautiful little Polly face every day...

This little girl fills our home with spunk, humour, variety and spice on a daily basis.  She is such an absolute riot, and she always has a twinkle in her eye and a trick up her sleeve...oh how I love her!

And oh my Reggie...I felt it best to express my feelings for him through little home videos of his cuteness too {please excuse my background talking in a few of them.  I'm seldom aware when Jordan is recording these priceless little moments}... 

I can't imagine my life without either of these precious little people {as well as the other two of course}.  I remember reading once on Stephanie Nielson's Blog Nie Nie Dialogues about how her role as a mother saved her when she woke up in the hospital after her accident, how it was this knowledge that pulled her out of her deep depression, which was compromising her will to live.  I remember reading her words and feeling like they were coming right from my own heart.  I remember feeling like when Reggie was born, he was my little guardian angel...a perfect little child of God entrusted to me at exactly the right moment in my life.  Children are a blessing, every single one.  “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3).  I am so blessed to have the privilege of being a mother.

Here's one more video, just because I have to!!!  Probably the best one yet...

In the spirit of American Thanksgiving as well as my feelings on motherhood, here's a quote from Jennifer Moss' Blog Moss Moments:

"Thank thee Father, for thy bounty.
Today, I feel filled.

I may very well spend my whole life trying to be more scheduled with my time.
I may never be perfectly kind.
I may always say things that I cringe at after the fact.  
I may always have days where I cry and wish I had one child and a housekeeper.
And-- I'm OK with that.

I'm thankful for His bounty.
So thankful and FILLED.
Life is good."

Isn't it though!  

Feel free to share with me your thoughts about womanhood / motherhood...I'd love to hear them!

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