Mother–reminding children of God

This has been a really crazy week.  We have been sick—which includes a horrible headache, runny nose, sore throat, nausea, cough, wheezing (for the asthmatics), congestion, and just plain tiredness for about a week.  We have had a lot going on, both in our family and in our ward, even at my sweetheart’s work.  (I haven’t even planned my primary music for the month, not even for this next week….)

I have been coming down with symptoms of the illness, but I kind of refuse to get sick and just do my own thingy, so I have been able to keep it at bay, mostly.  Tonight, I started feeling nauseous.  I went walking with my sweetheart anyway (in high school, I learned that if I exercised even when I felt sick I usually felt better afterward and didn’t stay sick very long…..).  When I got home, the kiddos still hadn’t had dinner, but Spanky almost had it finished.

In an effort to just relax and recoup, I sat in the living room and found a photocopy of a lesson one of my sons is suppose to present this next month in his priesthood quorum.  I decided to read it.  It was this one:  How do the roles of men and women complement each other in families.   

One of the supplemental talks for the lesson was this article by Elder Ballard:  The Sacred Responsibilities of Parenthood. 

He expresses participating in preparing The Family:  A Proclamation to the World. 

Then he discusses the Adversary’s attacks on the family.  I was particularly struck by these paragraphs:

When you stop and think about it from a diabolically tactical point of view, fighting the family makes sense. When Satan wants to disrupt the work of the Lord, he doesn’t poison the world’s peanut butter supply, thus bringing the Church’s missionary system to its collective knees. He doesn’t send a plague of laryngitis to afflict the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. He doesn’t legislate against green Jell-O or casseroles. When Satan truly wants to disrupt the work of the Lord, he attempts to confuse gender and he attacks God’s plan for His children. He works to drive a wedge of disharmony between a father and a mother. He entices children to be disobedient to their parents. He makes family home evening and family prayer inconvenient. He suggests family scripture study is impractical. That’s all it takes, because Satan knows that the surest and most effective way to disrupt the Lord’s work is to diminish the effectiveness of the family and the sanctity of the home.

Look at what he accomplishes when he does that. Couples unhappy in their marriages tend not to give appropriate gospel instruction in the home. They are less likely to be committed to gospel principles in their own lives. Some drift from the Church. Apathy can overcome even active members, keeping them away from the temple and weakening their capacity to be effective leaders and teachers—thus leaving countless lives untouched and slowing the Lord’s work. And the Internet when not properly used is a vicious influence in the home. So we know, without question, Lucifer is the enemy of the family!  (Elder Ballard, The Sacred Responsibilities of Parenthood, Ensign, March 2006)

Yes, so true.  Why would he put so much effort into some huge plan, when he just needs to create distance and apathy in the families of the world, but specifically those even in the church.  I have seen it in my ward, my extended family, and feel like I fight it all the time in my own family.  Don’t get me wrong, we are not constantly at each others’ throats.  For the most part we get along and really enjoy each other.  But I can tell when we are stretched too thin, too sick, too tired, too far apart and we need to reconnect and stop the world.  It takes time and diligence and effort and recognition.  
When I recognize what is happening, I make us stop the world.  I do not care if we are going to be late for school, church, miss a game or practice or whatever.  What is most important at that place and at that time is how we feel about each other.  I call us all together and talk about what each person is feeling and bring the Adversary’s efforts to their attention.  Sometimes we talk about why he might be targeting us at that moment (we usually have something important coming up…).  We talk about how we should be acting and then what we can do to make that happen.  We usually end with a prayer to ask for the Holy Ghost to help each of us.  For us, it works.
Elder Ballard then shares five concepts from The Family: A Proclamation to the World that if followed will help us to ensure happy and secure families.  One of his concepts is this:

3.  Mothers. The proclamation teaches that “mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children.” Nurturing refers to parenting behaviors such as warmth, support, bonding, attachment, recognizing each child’s unique abilities, and attending to children’s needs. Nurturing in and of itself is more important in the development of a child than is any particular method or technique of child rearing. It hardly needs saying that nurturing is best carried out in a stable, safe, family context.

A mother’s nurturing love arouses in children, from their earliest days on earth, an awakening of the memories of love and goodness they experienced in their premortal existence. Because our mothers love us, we learn, or more accurately remember, that God also loves us.

Today there is significant pressure in our materialistic world to have and spend more money. Unfortunately, this draws married mothers to work outside the home in order to provide a second income. As husbands, wives, and children recognize the difference between basic necessities and material wants, they lessen family financial burdens and contribute to helping mothers be at home. Decisions about working outside the home are difficult ones and need to be made prayerfully, keeping ever in mind the counsel of the living prophets on this complex issue. (IBID)

I almost cried, OK, I did cry.  I thought about what had just happened at my house today with my little Spike, Spike.  He is one of my asthmatics.  He has been horribly wheezing with this illness.  His eczema is inflamed.  I took him to the doctor on Friday.   He needed breathing treatments every four hours.  Tuesday I took him for a recheck.  Still wheezing.  The doctor gave us an oral medication to help out.  My little Spike, Spike is super sensitive.  The oral medication made him puke, and I only gave him 1/4 of the dose.  I gave him a breathing treatment hoping it would help and then gave him another 1/4.  He puked again, this time all over both of us.  I took his clothes off.  We bathed him, put the special cream on his eczema, lotioned up his little body, put him in jammies, and gave him more rice milk.  He threw his arms around me and said, “Huggie!”

Then I thought about what I did today for my people:

Spike, Spike:  see above, and a trip to the doctor.
Smilely:  gave him ibuprofen for his headache.
Shorty:  let him eat all the extra meat and make a special lunch
Sun:  checked her ears, made her a doctor appointment for tomorrow, picked up her school books, braided her hair.
Speedy:  Spent an hour and a half registering for school, paperwork, and photos
Sport:  also spent an hour and a half registering for school, paperwork, and photos, plus extra running around.
Spanky:  he did more for me today than I did for him—he actually fixed my washing machine—a huge blessing and gift, and we watched a movie together, took him to the dentist for the first time in two years.
Slim:  dropped off at work and dropped his suits to the dry cleaners, so they are clean when he leaves for school.

Not that any of those things are outside of my motherly duties, but if I was otherwise occupied, with work, or friends, or social engagements or volunteer stuff or whatever…………..who would have helped my people.  The answer???  No one.  I am a nurturer.  I am their nurturer.  Elder Ballard’s words are amazing: 

A mother’s nurturing love arouses in children, from their earliest days on earth, an awakening of the memories of love and goodness they experienced in their premortal existence. Because our mothers love us, we learn, or more accurately remember, that God also loves us.

My nurturing does that for MY children.  Because I love them and nurture them, they remember that God loves them.  Could anything be more important than helping my children remember, on a daily basis, that the most amazing being in the universe loves and cares about them?!

I am not just a mother, for my children, I am THE Mother, and for yours, you are (unless you are their father! 🙂


One Comment on “Mother–reminding children of God

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