“I love these little people, and it is not a slight thing when they who are so fresh from God love us”.
Our callings as mothers, and grandmothers, are not simply tasks before us. Motherhood is not a “job”. There is no higher calling in this life than to be a wife and mother. We do not accomplish much that is worthwhile when we try to do this on our own. Those young, fresh faces who smile when they see us are so often the reflection of us when we are at our best. And who hasn’t had the experience of seeing themselves at their worst in their child’s behavior. Our families deserve the best we can give. None of us is smart enough to figure this out without help!
The greatest successes I have had in my home have been a direct result of following the counsel given by the Lord. Those words we hold as scripture are the greatest parenting manual ever written. We learn best how to love, teach, support, and correct when we place ourselves in God’s hands. Finding other women who had amazing families, and spending time with them asking questions, and watching them with their children helped me find ways to put into practice what the Lord has asked us to do.
One of the greatest pieces of counsel I tried hard to follow-one that had the most direct impact on all of us- came from Ezra Taft Benson. He spoke with mothers and advised us to “be at the crossroads” of our children’s lives. Those times when they are coming home from school, activities, or time with friends-when they are preparing to leave for time away from home. Attend church, activities, concerts, games, etc. with them. Be there. Be ready to listen, ask questions, and watch for opportunities to help. Some of the best times for us happened in the car when I picked my teenagers up from class at the local high school. They were ready to talk about the happenings of the day, and I tried to make sure I was ready to listen. When their friends needed a ride, I listened even more. It was some of the best time I spent with them at that age! Sharing the highs and lows, and conundrums of teenage life was a great experience.
I am discovering the truth of the statement: mothering never ends. It changes with the seasons of life, and then carries on into the eternities. Our grandchildren offer us a chance to practice what we learned, and to reflect on the time when our children were young. As I look back on the years of raising my own children, I find myself wishing we had prayed more, and lectured less. I wish I had found more joy in the moment with those whom the Lord entrusted to my care! I am grateful we worshiped as a family, worked together, and found ways to laugh at life. Truly, if I could change anything we would pray together more, and follow the Spirit more exactly. And I would look for even more ways to ensure that I was joyfully “at the crossroads” for each of my children.