When I became a mother two weeks before I turned 28, I thought I had the best of both worlds. I had the opportunity to go on a mission, get an education, and have a career for several years. I thought that those experiences would have been enough so that I wouldn’t be left wanting or feeling like motherhood “was ALL I was doing” because I had “lived” first. I was wrong. I struggled to feel enough. I soon learned that all of my education, years of baby-sitting, and working with children and families didn’t prepare me at all—I wasn’t the perfect mom I thought I would be. I felt alone, inadequate and like I was wasting my time.
I am ashamed to admit it but, I have struggled over the years, feeling like I am only helping these 4.5 kids when I could be spending my time helping so many more! I have dreamed of building orphanages and spending my days teaching crowds of kids. For people who are able to do those things, know that you are doing so much good and are being a mother to nations. Yet it isn’t in the cards for me at this time. Recently I have had a couple of experiences that have helped me know that my Father in Heaven thinks that what I am doing is enough (at this time at least.)
A couple of weeks ago was my grandmother’s birthday and when I wrote a little tribute to her, the words came to me, “If anyone questions the importance of motherhood--they need to gather with (my grandma’s) offspring. She truly has helped to shape the lives of hundreds in a very positive way.” The words the Lord means to speak to my heart so often come when I am speaking, or writing to others. This got me thinking of my grandmas, my own mother, and my mother-in-law. Although they all served, taught, and were influential in their community, they shaped the world through their posterity.
Motherhood is enough. Even if I only influence these 4.5 lives then my life will be well lived. I have been blessed to have an amazing mom. My mom is beautiful, kind, service oriented, wise, thoughtful, and has a contagious laugh. She strives to be perfect like no one else I have ever met in my life—and she comes pretty darn close. She has courageously taught her children right from wrong and how to be good people. She is a remarkable mother-in-law (my husband would agree) and an amazing “Grammy.” She is more Christ-like than anyone I know. I have a little bottle of her perfume that I wear when I need to feel strong—more like her.
All my mom ever wants from her kids is their testimony. I want to share my testimony with her and with the world, because she has taught me to boldly declare, and stand by what I believe.
I want to testify to the world that I know that my Father in Heaven lives and loves me. I know he is not only aware of me but deeply cares for me. He has answered more prayers, of mine, than I can even recall. I know that His son, Jesus Christ lives and loves me. I know that Christ has felt my pain, my sorrow, and my struggles. I know that Christ took upon Him my sins so that I can be forgiven and improve myself. I know that He is my brother. I know that God speaks to His children. One way he speaks to us is through living prophets. He hasn’t forgotten the children of today—he still speaks to us. His voice may be harder to hear than the voice of the world, but it is there. One way we can listen to His voice is through the scriptures. We have the Bible and we have another testament of Jesus Christ, The Book of Mormon. Those books are true. They will teach us the way to be happy. I am thankful for the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. I am thankful for the peace and guidance that I feel when I stop and listen. I know that God hears me, and directs my life. For all this knowledge, I am thankful to my amazing mother who taught me well, and taught me how to find answers for myself.