Joy in the Journey

Sunday, November 17, 2013

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“When my kids become wild and unruly, I use a nice, safe playpen. 
When they're finished, I climb out.” 
 ― Erma Bombeck

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"If you are still in the process of raising children, be aware that the...

tiny fingerprints that show up on almost every newly cleaned surface...
the toys scattered about the house...
the piles and piles of laundry to be tackled...

...all of this will disappear all too soon and you will—
to your surprise—miss them profoundly.

Stresses in our lives come regardless of our circumstances.
We must deal with them the best we can.
But we should not let them get in the way of what is most important—
and what is most important almost always involves the people around us. 

This is our one and only chance at mortal life—here and now.
The longer we live, the greater is our realization that it is brief.  

Opportunities come, and then they are gone.
I believe that among the greatest lessons we are to learn in this short sojourn
upon the earth are lessons that help us distinguish between
what is important and what is not

Do not let those most important things pass you by as you plan for
that illusive and nonexistent future when you will have time to do all that you want to do.... 

Instead, find joy in the journey—now."

--Thomas S. Monson, "Finding Joy in the Journey", Oct. 2008

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I love this talk by Thomas Monson.  I keep a copy in my journal and ever so often pull it out when I'm needing to be reminded of why I chose to be a mother.  I'm grateful that I have inspired messages like this to refer to when I'm feeling a little overwhelmed during this season of my life as a stay at home mom. Messages like this always seem to put life in perspective... a tender reminder that a loving Heavenly Father has entrusted us with a sacred responsibility as mothers and fathers to raise his sons and daughters.  He knows we aren't perfect...he knew we would make mistakes.  But despite our imperfections, he trusts us enough to do the best we can and put our heart and souls into raising our children in the best way we can with an eye focused on returning and living with Him again someday.

I was reminded last month when I lost my dear grandmother how short life really is---we have our loved ones with us for only a brief time and we need to take advantage of every single moment we have with them. Her death was a clear reminder to me of how I should never take my time with my family for granted for each day is a gift.  But to also not allow the stresses and setbacks I face in my life define me or my relationship I share with my loved ones and my Heavenly Father.  To not allow the harder days as a mother deter my happiness in any way or my ability to enjoy this journey.

Psalm 46 is one of my favorite books in the Old Testament-- I love how we are reminded in this chapter how God is our refuge and strength—He dwells in His city, does marvelous things, and says, Be still and know that I am God.

I take great comfort in knowing that He is in charge...that no matter how confusing and hard this life may seem at times, He has a plan for each of us and our families.  He is watching over us and wants us to be happy.  But something even more personal I have come to understand in my sojourn as an adoptive mother--I have seen firsthand through watching our children be born and seeing the tremendous faith it took for their birthmothers to place their precious children in our care--the Lord has a deep and abiding love for His daughters...particularly mothers. I have felt through many a personal prayer and have had it confirmed in my heart how much love He has for these two amazing women who made it possible for me to be a mother.

Yes, there should never be any question how deeply our Heavenly Father loves all mothers---He understands the great challenges and hardships we face, and I have no doubt,  He is always there to help us...to send his angels to watch over and protect us as we work so hard to fulfill the sacred responsibility we have been given. What a blessing it has been in my life to come to a better understanding of this gospel principle and I hope it is for you, too.

many blessings,
jennifer

1 comment:

  1. Love the pictures. It is amazing how much Taylor looks like Jody in the last one!!!

    ReplyDelete

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