Last Sunday the RS Presidency had to speak in church. I was hoping that it wouldn't include me since I'm just the secretary but it was including me. The topic I chose to speak on was Finding Nobility in Motherhood and Joy in Womanhood from the Relief Society Declaration. My BIL Shawn and my SIL Lindsey came to our sacrament meeting and I was glad because I need help with the kids (Tyler hasn't made it back to sacrament meeting yet, but he will since he gets to speak on the 14th). Before Sacrament meeting started I saw Spencer hanging out with one of his friends in the foyer. I told him he needed to come and sit down with the rest of the kids. For one thing I could have used his help since I was sitting on the stand. For another thing I told him he couldn't sit by this friend anymore during sacrament meeting because he isn't reverent when they sit together.
As the meeting started I looked all around the chapel for my oldest son and I couldn't see him anywhere. Finally as the sacrament hymn began I spotted him at the very back of the gym sitting on a bench with his friend. I felt quite annoyed that he hadn't listened to me and I didn't want to watch him through the whole meeting messing around with his friend so I considered my options in my mind. I decided that when I got up to speak I was going to first ask him to please come and sit where I specified before the meeting started. Well the youth speaker finished and as I got up I saw Spencer leave the gym. I didn't know where he went but I was frustrated that I couldn't correct his behavior. I started my talk and a couple of minutes in Spencer came back into the gym and I said pardon me for a moment but I need to tell my son Spencer who is in the gym to come and sit where I specified. Then I ended with saying Part of being a parent is having to correct your children sometimes and then I went on and finished my talk. Spencer went and sat on the bench and cried. I felt bad that I embarrassed him but I really wanted him to do what I asked, and I know that next time he won't try and get away with things.
Here is my talk:
In November of 1999 The Relief Society General Presidency issued the Relief Society Declaration. It was to remind us of the blessings of womanhood, and also to let others know about the Relief Society and what they believe. The declarations is as follows:
are beloved spirit daughters of God,
and our lives have meaning, purpose, and direction.
As a worldwide sisterhood, we are united in our devotion
to Jesus Christ, our Savior and Exemplar.
We are women of faith, virtue, vision, and charity who:
Increase our testimonies of Jesus Christ
through prayer and scripture study.
Seek spiritual strength by following the
promptings of the Holy Ghost.
Dedicate ourselves to strengthening
marriages, families, and homes.
Find nobility in motherhood
and joy in womanhood.
Delight in service and good works.
Love life and learning.
Stand for truth and righteousness.
Sustain the priesthood
as the authority of God on earth.
Rejoice in the blessings of the temple,
understand our divine destiny,
and strive for exaltation.
The part of the declaration that I am going to speak to you on today is Finding nobility in motherhood and joy in womanhood.
Sister Margaret Newbold in an address called the Joy of Womanhood states - Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity.
I am so grateful to be a woman! I know that we are all daughters of God and I am so thankful for all of the examples that are around me of women who find joy in being a woman. Mary Ellen Smoot, former Relief Society General President States "Each of us has a vital role, even a sacred mission to perform as a daughter in Zion. We each have a purpose and a reason for being. Every sister has a thread to weave in the tapestry of time. Discover your thread and begin to weave."
In Alma chapter 56 verses 47 and 48 we read about Helaman and the two thousand stripling sons. 47 Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them. 48 And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it.
I can recognize a woman who finds joy in womanhood by their deep respect for motherhood. I know that there are women who even though they may not be a mother, are still a righteous influence and blessing in my Children's lives. I have a sister who has not yet had the privilege of being married but has helped me so many times in the mothering of my children. When I had to drive to the hospital in Utah after Tyler was life flighted she met me at the hospital around midnight and watched my three little ones so that I could go in and see Tyler. I am so thankful for the example she is to my children and I.
One thing that helps me in nurturing my children is prayer. After Brigham had his tonsils out he didn't talk very much. I felt concerned about him and prayed to know what to do. I felt inspired that I needed to read to him. As I have read to him his vocabulary has increased. I know that Heavenly Father answers our prayers.
Another thing that helps me find joy in motherhood is keeping a journal of our life. Here is a story that happened a few months ago.
At the beginning of the week Brig got into one of the drawers in the master bathroom and flushed most of a box of q-tips. I thought for sure we were going to have to take the toilet off. Just a couple of weeks ago Brig flushed an alligator toy and a small care bear figurine in Hailey's bathroom and we had to take the toilet off. Of course it was Saturday night and I had to go to Walmart and 10PM for a bowl wax. I think we were finished by 11:30 though :)
On Wednesday Ethan thought it would be a good idea to get into the food coloring. I don't know why...but he got into the blue food coloring. Fortunately it was contained to the kitchen. His face and legs were blue stained for a few baths and his legs still have a bit of blue left. Hailey had dance pictures that night and for some reason she ended up with a couple of blue finger prints on her arm...lol.
While we were at the pharmacy the other day Ethan sat next to a little old lady and said loudly "hi, I'm sick." The little old lady moved to a new spot. The embarrassing part was that Ethan wasn't sick. We weren't even at the pharmacy for him.
Someone mentioned to me the other day that something exciting is always happening at our house....lol. By exciting I think they mean some kind of catastrophe so I guess they would be correct.
Keeping a journal about our children and the things that happen in our lives are a way that I find joy. I am able to laugh about things later that I wouldn't be laughing about at the time.
As the poet Karen Kingsbury stated
Long ago you came to me,
a miracle of firsts,
First smiles and teeth and baby steps,
a sunbeam on the burst.
But one day you will move away
and leave to me your past
And I will be left thinking of
a lifetime of your lasts…
One last hug, one last good-bye,
one quick and hurried kiss.
One last time to understand
just how much you’ll be missed.
I’ll watch you leave and think how fast
our time together passed.
Let me hold on longer, God,
to every precious last.
I am so thankful that I was chosen to be the mother of my children. I have a testimony that Heavenly Father sends you the children that are meant to be a part of your family. Being a mother to my sweet children has brought me more joy than I ever could have imagined to my life.