Sunday, March 01, 2009

Sunday thoughts

Today marked the one year anniversary of the creation of our new ward. It hardly seems like a whole year to me, and looking back, I can definitely see how much good has come from this change. I've met many wonderful people I probably wouldn't have had the chance to know. I've really enjoyed working with the young women -- these Laurels are just amazing to me. And people have really come together in unity, which is a great thing to see and be a part of.

In Young Women's today, our lesson was about the divine roles of women, which nicely echoed the Visiting Teaching message for February. My favorite part:

"That plan [of happiness] has a part for His daughters. We have the female half to take care of, and if we don't do our part, no one else is going to do it for us. The half of our Father's plan that creates life, that nurtures souls, that promotes growth, that influences everything else was given to us. We can't delegate it. We can't pass it off to anyone else. It's ours. We can refuse it, we can deny it, but it's still our part, and we're accountable for it... How do we meet this responsibility? We daily put our energies into the work that is uniquely ours to do." (Julie B. Beck)

There was a period in my life when I was not too interested in marriage and motherhood. I was not interested in domestic pursuits. I wanted to pursue other things, and I wanted my independence. Then my life took a turn in another direction. I now see that I have learned things by being a mother that I don't think I could have learned any other way. I have been greatly humbled by this responsibility, by these children who have been entrusted to my care. I have learned patience. I have learned sacrifice. And I have found that by embracing this divine role, I have found great happiness and joy (amidst the chaos and trials). It's overwhelming at times to think about the influence I have on those around me. Am I using it for good?

I am both surprised and grateful to discover that I find so much satisfaction from creating, nurturing, promoting growth and exerting my influence. I wouldn't have it any other way.

14 comments:

Jill said...

I love that quote from Sister Beck. Though it makes me think how crazy it is that so many of us jump into marriage and motherhood having no clue what it really entails. I think it's for the best, but being entrenched in it now makes me shake me head at my clueless, young self.

Susan said...

I agree with Jill. And, I love that quote too! I was just lucky that I knew as a young bride to trust in the Spirit and call on him, and that I had a wonderful role model in my own Mother. I have always known that there are many, actually, most earthly lessons that cannot be learned in any other way than that of being a mother. I have always admired you as a wonderful mother and wished that I could be more like you. You are the perfect example to follow. I want to try harder to be like you.As your mother, I love hearing your remarks about your role in life as a mother and nurturer. It makes me happy. Thank you.

Becky said...

Everything about this post makes me happy! :)

I was listening to a leadership seminar recently (with Jeff--for his job) and felt inspired by the Spirit when the man giving the seminar told leaders that they needed to have personal growth to be good leaders and that they should focus on being experts in just a few areas (no more than 5).

I was struck...what would happen if I put effort into becoming an expert at motherhood/wifehood/feminity? Can you imagine the impact if more women learned as much as they could from the experts (prophets and secular ones) about these roles? It would be a wonderful world!

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

I love that quote, too. And have enjoyed your thoughts and the thoughts in the comments, too. It is downright humbling to be a woman today and have these opportunities.

Amy said...

I taught that lesson a few weeks back, and it truly moved me. And then last week I taught something similar in RS and it hit me there (and strongly) that we as women have so much sway on what happens in our homes. It's truly humbling.

On a sidenote...it seems like you just wrote the post about your ward being split. I did a doubletake when you said it has been a year. Time flies!

charlotte said...

What a great post. I too love that quote, and I look forward to the day when I'm a mother and be stretched in that way. Regardless of where I am in life, though, I love knowing that my Father will help me use my influence for good in the world.

patsy said...

Such a good quote! I copied it & made book marks with it for my visiting Teachees because I loved it so much!!

It's amazing the changes that happen from a ward reorganization. So hard at first-

I am finding a lot of inspiration from this post especially after two days- home sick with trent-
thanks :)

Amanda L. said...

That was my favorite quote from the message this month too.

Sometimes I feel like I was tricked into this whole motherhood thing. I just wanted a baby! And now I have children to rear and teach and help nurture into meaningful human beings. I agree with you though that now I'm in the thick of it, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Melinda said...

I love this quote from Sis Beck. It really motivates me to do better.

We moved into this ward when it had just split. It was a hard adjustment for everyone. It combined two wards and split apart two wards that had been together for 15 plus years. All we heard for the first couple of months is that everyone should get along and so forth. It is good now.

Hannah said...

I wasn't really interested in the whole motherhood thing. I am often surprised and delighted and grateful that I love this role so much and that through mothering and wifing I have found a creative and nurturing center that I never would have guessed was there. (It's like when you bite into a chocolate and are delighted that it is filled with caramel instead of a maple center- or is that just me?)

Amanda :-) said...

You are bang on, Michelle. I still have that feeling from other women (career women, I suppose) that my choice to stay at home and be a housekeeper and a wife & mother is a dumb choice. But I look at it like those visionaries who planted tree-lined avenues at all the majestic stately homes that people now throng to. At the time they planted those saplings, it looked like nothing, it looked pointless. Those visionaries never lived to see the mature avenue of huge strong oaks, but we all see now that what they did was genius. I have to lay down a strong framework for my family and my children for them to develop on it and build and thrive. Career women today might think I'm concentrating on piff-paff, but wait til it all matures. Their bits of paper and charts are the piff-paff.

Barb said...

I also enjoyed the doubling up of YW lesson and RS message this month. It was something I needed to hear and recommit to.

Jen said...

i love that quote. sister beck was just up here to speak and it was great to hear her.

i bet you are a fantastic in young women's. you remind me of my yw president when i was a youngster. she was amazing, full of faith, and such a huge influence on my life. those girls are blessed to have you!

Claudissima said...

oh my goodness Michelle. What beautiful sentiments you have written here. I will have to expand on a correspondence on this one. So profound.

A fun thing, last time my mum visited I told her, why is it that only my aunt remembers Fred and Sally? and she finally said what she remembered of Fred--her cousin....it was sweet, because my mum is very selective in what she remembers or wants to say. I will share it in correspondence too!

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