Well I wrote a whole talk for my mom so I think I'll just post it here as her Mother's Day gift ha. Even though she's already read it and everyone that reads my blog has too. My mom is awesome in case you didn't know. She's kinda like super woman. And she's someone I want to be when I grow up. I love you Mom.
So when I was younger…ok up until I moved out my mom and I didn’t get along well. And up until recently I’ve been against having kids so I had to laugh a little to myself when I was assigned to give a talk on Mother’s Day about Mother’s. But through writing this talk I’ve remembered times I took for granted and gained a better appreciation of my mom.
In Sister Beck’s talk, “Mother’s who Know” she talks about how mother’s who know honor sacred ordinances and covenants. She discusses mothers in third world countries who wear their Sunday best for church even though they had to walk miles to get there. My mom is an example of this. Even though we didn’t live in a third world country or have to walk to church, she made sure we looked our best. Sunday was a day of bows, frilly socks, shoes, with less than a one inch heel until we turned 12 and dresses that twirled like a ballerina’s. She made sure we looked our best and never let us disrupt church. If we were being bad she would take us into the bathroom and made us stand in there until we agreed to be good again. Until I was eleven my dad traveled a lot for work and my mom was the parent at home to discipline and teach us. When I was assigned this talk my dad’s first reaction was “So are you going to sing for them.” Because in my home ward my bishop and I had an understanding that I did not give talks but I’d do musical numbers. I laughed and said “no I’m giving a talk.” But as I was trying to go to sleep I had a song going through my head and I won’t sing it for you but I’ll read you the lyrics. You might recognize it. “I see my mother kneeling with our family each day. I hear the worlds she whispers as she bows her head to pray. Her plea to the father quiets all my fears, and I am thankful love is spoken here.” I hope you recognize that song, if not enjoy a calling in primary one day. Growing up we had family scripture and prayer every night. As we turned into teenagers we had it most nights. My mom wasn’t just teaching the gospel; she was living the gospel. After we had family prayer she and my dad would have couple’s scripture and prayer and after that she had her own scripture study and said her personal prayers. Mom’s prayers are so special. Well at least my mom’s are. They are always detail filled she doesn’t forget a single thing. When we had family prayer if we were tired my dad knew not to call on my mom because we’d be there for an extra five minutes while she prayed for every child and every grandparent by name, everything we were doing the next day- and I mean everything-, our safety, our guidance and our wellbeing. I’m grateful for those prayers now. The extra five minutes probably helped me the next day and kept me from doing something stupid. Along with our evening prayers we had morning prayers which were always a struggle. We had early morning seminary so when I was still too young to go I hated being woken up two hours early for prayer so we could all say family prayer before my older siblings went. When I had seminary I woke up at the last possible minute got ready quickly and then waited while we said prayer. These prayers probably would have been a bit more effective if I hadn’t dragged my feet and opened my heart to them.
My mom tried to be there every step of the way while I was growing up even in my rebellious years when I tried so hard to push her away. When I was in Primary, my mom was in the Presidency. When I was in Beehives, my mom was the teacher. When I was in MiaMaids my mom was in the Presidency. When I was in Laurel’s my mom was assigned to work with Beehives…because my little sister was in there. She was involved in my life more than just in church. Even though she had a full time job she made time to come to my choir concerts…and I had a lot because I was in 4 different choirs. She came on my choir trips…again there were a lot of those too. On the trips where I couldn’t stand rooming with other girls my age, she shared a room with me. My favorite trip was my sophomore year when we went to Disney land on a choir trip. We had about 6 LDS kids in the choir and my mom invited all of them to have scripture and prayer with us as a “family” every night. She is always trying to be a righteous example to me and showing me how I should live my life when I’m a mother. She was there for the happy parts when I went on my first date and the hard parts when my group of friends turned on me. Moms have a sense of nurturing and mind reading. They can tell things even when you don’t tell them first. When I lived at home, my mom knew things as soon as I came in the door just by looking at me…..kind of creepy to me but at the same time it was very nice to not have to tell her everything.
For some of us, our mother was our go-to person when we needed advice or help with something. They are a great resource for help because they went through many of the things we’re going through. My mom went to an all girl’s Catholic school so she didn’t have the exact high school drama I had but she still went through many of the things I did. When I lived at home, I tried avoiding my mom most of the time and we clashed a lot and had the typical mother/daughter drama but now that I’ve been out of the house for two years we are much closer and she is the person I call when I’m leaving work and want to talk to someone while I walk to my car.
Sister Beck says “Mothers who know do less. They permit less of what will not bear good fruit eternally. They allow less media in their homes, less distraction, less activity that draws their children away from their home.” When I was younger, each of us children were always involved in some activity. My mom wasn’t a soccer mom but she was a ballet, tap, gymnastics, swimming, art, basketball, piano mom. She was always running us around to our next thing and we were busy every day of the week with something. Even though these are good things to do they weren’t all necessary. We spent little time home and when we were home we were watching TV and not being a family and doing things together. We did things on weekends and made many fun trips to Seattle but weekdays were a little too cramped full of things. Even though we were going every direction we had a family dinner almost every night and that was our family time. When we were old enough to we would even help my mom cook and set the table. When we moved to Oregon we didn’t do as many activities and we spent more time home doing family things because my dad was around more to do things with.
“Mother’s who know are Leaders. In equal partnership with their husbands, they lead a great and eternal organization. These mothers plan for the future of their organization. They plan for missions, temple marriages, and education. They plan for prayer, scripture study, and family home evening. Mothers who know build children into future leaders and are the primary examples of what leaders look like. They do not abandon their plan by succumbing to social pressure and worldly models of parenting. These wise mothers who know are selective about their own activities and involvement to conserve their limited strength in order to maximize their influence where it matters most.” My mom taught us to save our money. My parents got us piggy banks that had three slots- “Savings/Mission” “Spending” and “Tithing” slots for us to put our money. Often times the spending section was empty and the savings/mission slot magically lost money. My mom was never the “hip hot mom” she loves her some “mom jeans” and although that can be slightly embarrassing it’s nice that she isn’t worldly. She keeps her priorities straight and doesn’t change because it’s the cool thing to do. Now that my mom is working full time she has a very very rapidly dwindling amount of energy to use she has learned to pick her battles with my crazy 15 almost 16 year old sister. Although she’s not at full force anymore Carmen, my younger sister, is still being taught the most important lessons for life. It’s not a coincidence we are the way we are. We have been molded by our parents to be who we are. As we have gotten older we have added our own twist to who we are but our mother’s and father’s molded us.
Sister Beck also says “Mother’s who know are teachers” I laughed to myself at this one because my first thought was in 6th grade when I went up to my homeroom teacher and said “Mo… uh Mrs. Oester” I’m sure I did it more to other teachers but I remember calling Mrs. Oester mom many many times. But Sister Beck elaborates on this thought and says “A well-taught friend told me that he did not learn anything at church that he had not already learned at home. His parents used family scripture study, prayer, family home evening, mealtimes, and other gatherings to teach. Think of the power of our future missionary force if mothers considered their homes as a pre–missionary training center. Then the doctrines of the gospel taught in the MTC would be a review and not a revelation.” Like I said earlier my family tried to be diligent in our family scripture study and prayer. Since I’ve never been in the MTC, I can only imagine how much you study and pray there. The closest thing I could think of was when I went to EFY. Everyone commented on how awesome it was to feel the spirit so strong and how it was an amazing uplifting experience. It’s true the spirit is very strong at EFY because you are constantly learning about the gospel and you’re in a righteous environment. My last year I attended EFY, my counselor was talking to us about how we can make our life a constant EFY we can make it so we can feel the spirit that strongly everyday if we start our day with prayer and scripture study and live in a righteous way.
My favorite quote that I found while looking things up for this talk was one that President Monson said. He was quoting something someone had written into the Ensign it says “God could not be everywhere, and so He gave us mothers.” I told my sister I loved this and she immediately said “Yeah but God can be everywhere” But God can’t physically be there for us when we need a hug or when we need a shoulder to cry on. Mothers are there whenever we need someone to talk to about anything. I went through a rebellious stage in life as many people do and even when I was trying to do everything I could against my parents rules when something happened that shattered my teenage world my mom was still there to talk to. She stayed up with me many nights in high school when things weren’t going the way I planned. She sat in bed with me while I cried and tried to tell her what was wrong. I haven’t been the best daughter at all but when I suck up my pride and listen to what my parents say I’ve found they give the best advice.
I have many examples of righteous mothers in my life. I have an older sister that’s 6 months pregnant and has been preparing herself for motherhood since she was 12. I have a sister-in-law that I get to hang out with and watch her with my 16 month old nephew and see the love she has for him even though he’s already a trouble maker. My boss right now is like a mother to me. I’ve been able to see her with her autistic son and watch her as she helps him. I have my own mother that I can go on and on about. She is such a wonderful spiritual person. She has inspired me in so many ways and I love her and hope one day I can be as good a mother as she is.
Mom at the zoo...she has no makeup on and she's still incredibly beautiful glad I inherited her natural beauty