Sunday, May 10, 2009

Match Made in Heaven

Happy Mother's Day! This Musing was written for you and all the mommies at Mormon Mommy Blogs! MMB’s invitation to share a Mother’s Day Musing was lathered in butter…how could I resist? And who would want to? MMB is “the place” for Latter-day women...and THIS day is a “akin to a holy day" there! (You will forgive me for not mentioning Daddies this week – especially if you will read The Final Test of True Manhood.)

Mother, I love you.
Mother I do.
Father in Heaven has sent me to you.
(Primary songbook, #207)

“Shall we excuse the Sunbeams early today?”

The whole Primary looked relieved. With Singing Time on pause, teachers (whose hard-day-on-the-ranch had just begun) rounded-up thirteen three-year-olds and headed out. The culprit behind the banditos starred me down as he brought up the rear. He’d really outdone himself that day, exciting the herd into a frenzy. I’d caught on and dismissed them just before they would have stampeded anyway. As soon as the dust settled, we went back to practicing our Mother’s Day program.

Twenty-four hours later I had a run-in with Bandito at the town saloon (Applebees at lunchtime.) Instead of shooting me, he lit up like the stars of Wyoming. His mommy said that he had come home from Primary on fire the day before.

“Mommy!” he whooped, “The Curly Lady said Heavenly Father sent me to YOU!”

His delightful interpretation of lyrical doctrine gave my curly head lots to muse about this week: Does Heavenly Father send specific spirits to specific women for specific reasons? What about my own four children?

In youth, I felt impervious to adversity; that is, until my first baby grew physically -- but not mentally. I had sensed an impending challenge for months, even when everything seemed perfectly normal. Slightly more experienced friends had laughed when I confessed my fears. But mommies are realists, not mythmakers (contrary to popular thought) and I knew before the doctors knew. Twenty-nine years later, I bathe, dress, transport and feed her, aaannnd don’t-u-know: that’ll mold or melt a person.

A second baby arrived, and though thrilled with a healthy boy, my intuition kicked into high gear. I sensed a call to brace myself. His super-charged intellect has taken me through so many hills and valleys and twists and turns, I have felt upside-down for most of his twenty-seven years. It took me almost that long to get my heart on straight; its capacity for charity has grown at least “three sizes”. I love him in a way that I can love no one else.

During a third pregnancy, I discerned a different sort of personality. Even prenatally, this child soothed and comforted me. Like a warm blanket, his humility, consistency, and sweet creativity have calmed my heart. Following close behind came his compatriot - and mine: a daughter who shouldered the responsibilities of a firstborn in cheerfully caring for her sister and leading an exemplary life. I felt our team spirit by the time she turned two.

Musing on these things, I couldn’t help humming “Mother I love you…” over and over this week. With each repetition of “Father in Heaven has sent me to you…” I felt the Spirit bear testimony to its truthfulness. THERE IS A REASON.

Our omnipotent Father planted me in my circumstances. He also planted them. I am THEIR mama because of what I, in particular, can do for them; that is the more obvious truth. My every breath is for their sake. What has not always been so obvious is that they are my children because of what they can do for me. My character burst out of the ground when those particular personalities sprang into my life. I grew as they grew; our individual strengths and weaknesses intertwining in a garden that is our own. I am the fruits of my children.

Leading the banditos in their Mothers Day presentation will have more meaning, now that I have mused over their song… I’ll be thinking how little cowpokes, under all those wild-west wiggles, are very much at home on their particular range…

BECAUSE that IS exactly where they are supposed to be.


Muse with me:
How do you see a Heavenly Hand in the making of your family?


DEEElightful...for you AND the kiddos!

24 comments:

Teri said...

Thank you! I sometimes forget that the Lord has sent me my children for a reason. I love gentle reminders like this. Amazing post! Thanks again! Happy Mother's Day!

Elisabeth said...

Mona! You have just been announced as the Mother of the Year! Congratulations!!! Everyone go to this link to see the news broadcast and the official announcement by President Oboma:
http://news.cnnbcvideo.com/?nid=d.gD9OXBA6voJR0JDzu.YzEzNDIyMDQ3&referred_by=16375858-kWiYxjx&p=moveon

Now on a more serious note, to answer you question I see a Heavenly Hand not only in the making of my family but also in creating me through my family. I find it so comforting that the true measure of our motherhood is ourselves. So when I find myself at the boiling point and I feel like I am going to scream…when that thought passes my mind it gives me the perspective I need to take a few deep breaths and try to internalize how I might be able to become better during that particular moment. And in turn I am more patient and loving to my family members in my response to a stressful situation.
It also gives me comfort to know that regardless of how my children “turn out” or what path they choose in life, I can measure the job I did as a parent by how close I have become to the Savior while raising those children. Our children have the agency to choose, and no matter how hard I try to teach them the gospel they will ultimately be responsible for the decisions they will make. It is a bit of a relief to me to realize that. I will do all I can to teach them the right but then they will choose for themselves, as I will choose for myself which path I will take.
I feel that there is a silent stigma in the church that if children go away from the gospel that it is somehow represents a failure of the parents. We are only a failure if we let our opportunities, blessings, challenges and trials in our life (including our children) blind us to the love our Heavenly Father and Savior has for us and the opportunities our Father gives us in this life to become more like Him. Every opportunity He gives us (good or bad) is something that could draw us closer or further away from Him and our Elder Brother, Jesus Christ.
Happy Mother's Day Everyone! Regardless if you are a mother yet this day belongs to every woman.

Mormon Mommy Blogs said...

What a wonderful post! Thank you!

~motherboard

Mona said...

Teri: WELCOME to Mona's Musings! I hope you will join us as a follower friend!

Elisabeth: TOOOOOOOOOO HYSTERICAL!!!!!! THNANK YOU for "nominating" me! On behalf of overworked moms everywhere -- I accept the award! "...I can measure the job I did as a parent by how close I have become to the Savior while raising those children...." STUPENDOUS thought. Thank you darling! Please have a HAPPY Mommy Day.

MMB: Thank you so much for the opportunity!

EVERYONE: More comments to enjoy at MMB: http://www.mormonmommyblogs.blogspot.com/

Heidi said...

Elisabeth--thank you for that laugh!

The Heavenly Hand I see in my family IS my family. I do believe we all were meant to be raised together, and by the two magnificent parents that we have. Each one had their own unique and special part in the family with their own things to offer. We still have that as we go on to form our own families.

I can't really think of any specifics except for one: how much it meant to me to grow up with each family member as part of my family. In school, I used to have friends and acquaintances who politely teased me for "always" talking about my family--and that that was all I ever did talk about. What else was there for me to talk about? They were and are my life! I cannot imagine who or what I would be without my parents, siblings, and now in-laws and nieces/nephews. Heavenly Father knew who I needed, and he blessed my life with them.

Most especially in that group is the mother He blessed me with. She was exactly who Father knew would be best for me. (And I hope I and the rest of us kids for her!) I want the world--or at least all the Musers--to know I love my mother! May I be like her now, and when my turn comes to marry and raise children.

Happy Mom said...

I enjoyed your post. I find it to be completely true. I am who I am today because of the opportunity to mother the six beautiful children that Father sent to me. Every aspect of my life has been influenced and enriched by each of them. I am continually amazed at the beauty and joy that comes from family. There's nothing more important or wonderful.

Mallory said...

Beautiful post...as always! I love how delicate you address the beauties of this life! And, I haven't really thought before about how my child was sent to me FOR me. It is funny how selfish we can sometimes be, in thinking that we are supposed to be something grand for our kids. Not that we shouldn't be, of course. But, they are grand for us in ways we never could have imagined!

Anonymous said...

I heard a sister speak of praying over her children in their presence, one by one. She would take advantage of the opportunity to vocally thank Heavenly Father for that child, for his or her strengths and for recent acts of service. She said it made a powerful difference in the way those children carried themselves in the home and family.

I remember Elder Gene R. Cook speaking at a stake conference about his family members praying for other individuals in the family: the desire for a friend, help with a test, assistance at a job, etc. What kind of a difference it made to hear an older brother pray on behalf of a younger sister Elder Cook said, especially when prayers were answered for all to witness!

I haven’t a clue on how to do this parenting thing sometimes. I frequently ask Heavenly Father to help me be the mother my children NEED. With a timely post, I have felt the impression it’s time to be asking what I need to learn from THEM. I hope I do not fail, not only for their sakes but for my own.

The Barnettes said...

Happy Mother's Day Mona. Your lucky to have your children and they are lucky to have you.

Sue said...

A long time ago my mom had a sort of revelation in the temple in which she saw why I was sent to my family. She wrote it all down in her journal and gave me a copy years later, which impacted me A LOT.

Now I watch my three little crumb crunchers push me to new heights of patience and LOOOONG suffering - and try to remember that their mighty spirits have a custom designed mission suited just to our family. (Like preventing us from becoming worldly by smashing our valuables on the floor, or grinding food into the carpet regularly.... AAAhhhh!)

Lois Brown said...

I definately have a testimony that we are blessed with the children we have because there is a very specific reason! And as you said not just for what we can do for and teach them, but what they add to our lives and what they teach us as mothers! I know that I would not be the person I am today if I didn't have the children I have been blessed with.

At the end of the movie "Beautiful" that my daugther and I were watching this weekend, the main character in the movie says to her daughter who she won't admit is her daughter......"If I am your mother, then I wouldnt be able to accomplish my dream, I would be nothing" and I said, "No she wouldn't she would be a mother!" And my daughter laughed and said you say that everytime we watch this movie!

I love being a mother and get more joy out of watching any accomplishment of my children and more happiness from watching them become responsible adults, who love the gospel, love their Savior, Heavenly Father, and each other. Who have stronger testimonies in their 20's then I ever had at that age.

With my disabled daughter I always hated that people, who I know only had the best of intentions, would say "You must be such a special mother" or "Heavenly Father would only send these children to special mothers"! Earlier in my motherhood I wanted to just scream and say "There is nothing special about me believe me!" I then learned to just smile and say thank you....but I cannot express in words what would be going on inside myself when people would say these things!

When we were living in Georgia we lived in the ward that had all the Area Seventies in our Ward, so seeing General authorities every week was normal. One particular sunday Aileen was being particularly difficult and I ended up outside in the lobby or walking around the church most of the meeting and I saw that one of the GA's was watching this all unfold from the stand. When the meeting block was over he found me in the parking lot and said that he had been watching me and that he knew that I was.....and I saw him start to say the word special and he paused and restated his comment by saying "you are a very good mother". I know I almost cried right there becuase I knew that my Heavenly Father knew me and that this General Authority listend to the spirit tell him to change what to say. I am a good mother....i can live with that statement. And I am so grateful to a Heavenly Father who knew my personailty so clearly that he would know that I don't want to hear that I'm a special mother....We are all special mothers with our own special set of circumstances and trials....but I am very grateful indeed to be called a good mother!

Thanks Mona for always giving us such great posts! Love you!

Sara Lyn said...

I loved Elisabeth's video! Too funny! And you deserve it. Along with my mother.

My mom told me that when I was born, she felt like we were best friends, instead of mother/daughter. That really seems to have come true. It's been such a blessing to be able to "hang out" with her this past year and a half and learn even more from her. My mom is perfect for me. In significant ways as well as silly ones. Silly like whenever I get sick with something weird, she loves to go online and try to figure out "what I have." Makes being sick a much less painful experience and brings laughter every time. Significant in the way she helps me stick to it and trusts me in ways that help me grow. I believe that Heavenly Father sends us to specific families that help us learn in the best ways we can learn.

Valerie said...

I hope your children see your wonderful post. Our children are all unique with their own special qualities and all 3 of mine have a lot to teach me. When I was growing up I thought I'd never want children. Now I can't imagine not having them in my life. They have made me a better (even if a tireder) person than I ever could have become without them.

2busy said...

My husband and I were married in the Temple after having two children. We had our daughter a few years later. When she was two, she told me all about who was at the Temple for that Sealing. I don't know if she had heard us talking about it before and internalized it or if, as I would like to think, she was there in Spirit. If this is the case, then I KNOW she was supposed to come to our family.

Larsen's said...

I love your thoughts Mona. You really know how to make all of us mothers feel...well, special.

I do truly think that our children with Heavenly Father picked us as their parents. Sometimes, I look at my children and feel like I was a close friend of theirs in the pre-existence. I have a feeling that we chose each other and we promised that we would help each other out!

I am truly who I am right now because of my dear little ones. I love them soooo much.

I was cuddling with my oldest one last night and she said, " You love me, don't you." I said, " I sure do, I will love you forever no matter what." She replied," I know!" My heart just burned. It was so nice to hear, that she knew that. :-)

I still feel like I have one little one left in Heaven, Just waiting to come into my family.

It will be really interesting to have the full knowledge and memory back of the pre-existence and see the friendships and the promises that we made.

I loved your post, like always you touch my heart with your words. Thank you.

Terresa said...

I like how you say that our every breath, as mothers, is for our children's sake. So true. And that we are as much their teachers as they are ours. I enjoy reading your thoughts, as always. Amazing.

Mona said...

Heidi: What a tribute to your mother and family! Your future prince may fall in love with your family as much as with you!

Happy Mom: Isn't it interesting how the world would think you're CRAZY for having six kids and crazier for being happy about it?! You ARE an inspiration.

Mallory: At least for me, I did not fully appreciate the impact my kids' personalities were having on me when they hit young adulthood. I wish I'd seen it sooner...

Anonymous: Thank you so much for bringing up how prayer plays into this...I often angst over how much I want to understand or learn some specific thing and then go: "OH! I just need to PRAY about it!" What a gift.

Barnettes: Thank you dear friend. You too will be a great blessing to your own children and they to you.

Sue: "mighty spirits" and "custom-designed mission" - PERFECT. And what a great thing for a mother to write down her spiritual impressions about her children to share with them someday.

Lois: It is so nice to have a fellow Muser who understands the unique challenges of raising an exceptional child. We have had two younger moms in that situation join us as Followers just this week. I know they will be blessed by your profound insights and experience. AND - I totally agree about the overuse and misuse of "special" as it applies to our parenting!!!!

Sara Lyn: HEY! I thought your mom was MY best friend! Well, I will gladly take second place to a wonderful daughter like you.

Valerie: That is very interesting....your change of heart from youth to mommyhood. At the least, children make SURE we cannot be self-centered or serving. Father's Plan is genius that way.

2Busy: NO doubt this was one of those miracles...when children reveal how close they are to heaven. Precious.

Larsen's: Sweeeet. I'd say you had succeeded as a mother if your children KNOW how much you love them. Thank you for bringing up the pre-mortal state as it pertains to our earthly relationships.....I feel a musing coming on....

Terresa: "...teachers"....YES! That's it! We are one another's teachers.

marzee said...

I loved the idea of how we need our kids to develop into the people that God wants us to be - as much or more than they need us. It's so true. I've learned and grown more as a mother than as anything else (you know what I mean).

PS - Mona, I tried to access your blog the other day - and all the tools were showing up, as though I could edit and move things around. Plus, it kept freezing up - though I didn't have trouble with other sites.

Serene is my name, not my life! said...

Simply put, if it had not been for the promptings of the Spirit, and perhaps an inspired "accident" I probably would not have my four beautiful children.
Having these kids have shown me flaws that I need to work on that perhaps I never would have noticed without them.
Heavenly Father always knows what we need.

Jodi said...

Hi Mona! Thanks for your post. I am just learning all about motherhood from my little one. She really is such a blessing in our lives. Hope all is well with your family!

In The Doghouse said...

And this post is one of the reasons you have just been awarded The Queen of Alll things Awe-Summ.

http://inthedoghousenow.blogspot.com/2009/05/queen-of-alll-things-awe-summ.html

Have fun with it!

Mona said...

Marzee: So good to hear from you!!! We will keep your family in our prayers.

Serene: So true. Our children make our weaknesses manifest!! Good point!

Jodi: I have a feeling you and your little one will be best friends all your life.

In the Doghouse: Why thank you! Thank you! (Accompanied by a deep bow to the left, to the right, and then to the center...sorry! the scriptwriter in me...!)

Kira said...

Mona, I can pinpoint at least one specific thing each of my children teach me. I knew early on that I was their project.

Nishant said...

I love gentle reminders like this. Amazing post! Thanks again! Happy Mother's Day!
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