I know the Lord blessed J...h S...a today. Yesterday night J..h was sick. She is a horrible sick person and I was worried how I would take care of her needs today and get everything ready for the packers to come tomorrow. She woke up happy this morning- still a small temp- but happy. It was a miracle. Better yet S..a was happy to. As I look back on the day I realize that I didn't have to worry about them all day. They played together so well. They didn't watch or even ask for a single movie. I didn't hear a single argument and I think I had to track them down to find out if they were hungry. Needless to say I am all ready for tomorrow and I thank my Heavenly Father for giving me exactly what I needed.
Monday, May 31
Sunday, May 30
The Bishop asked me to sing on our last Sunday and as I said yes I thought..."great one more thing" However I am so glad I had the opportunity. We are taught that if we don't share our talents we can loose them and I have felt the truth of that. I don't get to sing as often as I used to. No more voice lessons, musicals, talent shows etc. I lend my voice to the ward choir and share a musical number now and then but it is not much. When I am asked to sing I get a little nervous, something that has never happened to me before. Can I do it? Will my voice be there? I only got a half hour to practice this week but on Sunday as I stood to sing I felt the calm assurance of the Holy Ghost that the Lord would bless me. Because I chose to share my talent he would make sure I still had it. I was so grateful for that feeling. I also know that the song I chose to sing was a blessing too. Consider the Lilies of the Field is one of the first songs I learned and preformed for church when I was a young girl. This song is very close to my heart and the message is one of assurance that the Lord will care for each of us and that if we have faith and trust in him he will heal us and make our hearts as gold. I have felt so taken care of lately. No matter how crazy this move gets, how tired I am or how worried I become there are daily evidences that the Lord is taking care of me; that he cares about all the little details. For example he knows that something that I think will just be "one more thing" will turn out to be a tender mercy.
Saturday, May 29
I fell asleep on the couch at 5:15 this afternoon. S....a was sweet enough not to wake me and covered me with a blanket instead. That was a tender mercy since I really needed the rest. I slept for 30 minutes -just long enough to burn the cake ( last home made dessert for a while) and for Liddy to tear the craft box to shreds. I don't know where Burke was......oh yeah cleaning out the basement. It was nice of him to let me sleep too. I may have gotten farther behind on my to do list but there is always tomorrow- another thing I am grateful for!
Friday, May 28
When I met Burke he was going to be a mechanical engineer but one college semester of math and chemistry changed his mind. Besides Burke knew he did not want to be stuck in a cubie on a computer all day. He was working as a truck driver and warehouse worker at the time so he switched majors to busiess wih the goal of working in Logistics. After graduation he found a good job as trucking fleet manager. We bought a home and settled in for what we thought would be the rest of our lives. The problem was that Burke hated his job and the whole field of Logistics for that matter. He had a right too. It was very stressful and he put in very long hours for mediocre compensation. There was little room for promotion and the job he could eventually grow into was a job that Burke knew he did not want. We felt lost. Now what do we do? He was graduated but still had no idea what he wanted to be and how he was going to support our dreams of a large family. He spent countless hours job hunting and we uttered many heartfelt prayers to no fruiful end. I began to think that Burke's employment was going to be a trial and test for us. Everyone has a thier crucible and I had accepted that this would be ours. But then the Lord provided a miracle.
I still have extremely strong feelings of gratitude and humility when I think back on the day we got the job offer here in Boston. At the time I did not understand what the Lord had truly blessed us with. A job is one thing but he gave Burke his life's work. When we had no idea what Burke as going to be when he grew up, what would make him happy, utilize his strengths and talents and provide financially for our family the Lord knew all along. He knew that Burke would be an amazing program manager. He knew that working for the Air Force would make Burke happy and provide the rapid promotion that our family depends on. Burke was very worried about this job. Could he do it? Could he be what I and the Lord thought he could be? I get tears in my eyes when I see me dear husband come home at the end of the day happy, fulfilled and brimming with confidence. He is loved and appreciated by his co-workers and every day the work he does helps ensure the security of his family and country.
I know that moving to Texas is going to continue to bless Burke in his career in ways that I can not yet see. I am still overwhelmed by the Lords divine role in giving Burke his career and thank him every day for this blessing.
P.S. There are lots of references to Burke's life in the pic how many do you understand?
Thursday, May 27
Wednesday, May 26
Today I woke up sick- the barely get out of bed kind of sick. Inevitably we were slow getting out the door and I watched the bus go by our stop. I sped up to catch it a the next stop and took the corner too sharp and my back tire hit the curb. We made the stop but as I drove back up the hill I knew I had blown my tire. We made it home but I was worried I would be too sick to walk to and from the stop that afternoon in the 90 degree heat. Then Biddy threw up her breakfast and was running a temp. That was the final straw. I was stranded without a car and too sick to take care of my poor baby. I called Burke and despite his hectic work schedule and having no car since he drove in with the carpool- managed to make it home to rescue me. He fixed the tire, ran my errands for me, took care of Biddy and then took the other girls to the church for activities so I could go to bed early. He is my hero and I don't know what I would do without him. He makes everything better and is very patient with me when I am sick. I am so grateful for him today.
Tuesday, May 25
I love dessert night with my friend Jesse. We started getting together once a month for dessert after the kids went to bed because we just couldn't seem to find enough time to chat while the kids played. They would finish playing and start tearing the walls down before Jesse and I had even gotten started. I am not writing this tonight as a farewell. Dessert night will continue it will just be long distance. I am not giving her up just because I am moving a thousand or so miles away. We will be friends for ever.
Jesse came into my life at a time when I was struggling with uncertainties in my parenting and was feeling very alone and lost. I know that the Lord has inspired and guided our friendship and I am so grateful to him for bringing Jesse into my life. I love her dearly and she has inspired me in so many ways to be a better mother, wife and friend. I can't begin to describe how many times we have shared conversations that have opened my mind to a new way of thinking about something. Her thoughts, insights and experiences have overflowed from our little converstations to bless my life and the lives of my children. She makes me a better person and I can't wait for next month. I am sure we will have more to talk about then time will allow but that is how it should be between forever friends.
Dear Elder Warr,
It has been over two years but I kept my promise and gave your Book of Mormon to someone who would read it, appreicate it and understand how much it means to me. I hope they recognize the truth of this book and come closer to the Savior by reading it. I know it will bless their life just as much as it blessed mine and yours. Thank you for the challenge.
Here are some gorgeous picture I took of the San Antonio Missions and the River Walk.
These archways lead to a working Franciscan monetary
Mission San Jose
San Jose's Chapel is considered to be
the finest example of Spanish
Colonial Sculpture in North America
The River Walk Down Town San Antonio
We ate dinner at Casa Rio.
It's brightly colored umbrellas are a landmark feature on the River Walk. It had great atmosphere amazing salsa and authentic Mexican for under $9 a plate. Yum!
Me sporting my short Texas hair cut.
Yep that is blond you see (covers the Grey too)
Excited to come visit us yet? We will have a guest room.
Monday, May 24
It was a pretty non-descript, lazy day today -S...a woke up at 5:30 am- but it was a blessing none the less to just hang out on the couch and watch Tinkerbell for the 100th time, play curious George on the computer, eat a corn dog for lunch and sit outside in the sun while the girls ran around. Burke grilled some chicken on the BBQ, mowed the lawn and we had family night. I didn't worry about unpacking, repacking, cleaning, and organizing our life so it will fit in my minivan. I realized today that I am going to miss just hanging at home. These lazy days are going to be gone for a while. Home is going to be a relative term. Something I am going to have to create out of a hotel room, KOA, minivan, airplane and Grandma's house. I just hope the saying is true -your home is where your heart is- because my heart lies with my family and they are going to be crammed in the minivan with me.
Mon May 17
I decided that I would tackle the home search on my own. I didn't like any of the agents that were referred to me and I wanted to talk to the listing agents myself- or so I thought. I spent hours on the phone talking to busy or pushy agents and at the end of the day I had bored and screaming children a messy house and only three appointments. I was so frustrated and then I found Phil. He was a listing agent who had a home that turned out not to be what I was looking for but he took at least a half an hour just asking about what I wanted, where I was looking etc. We talked neighborhoods, square footage and then at the end of the conversation he referred me to a rental finding service if I needed more help! He must have known what he was doing because I was like are you kidding me I want you to be my agent! He sent me a list of homes and it was the best list I had seen all day, with some homes I had not found on my own. I was so grateful that I found Phil. The Lord always knows when I need a little extra help.
Tuesday May 18th
J..h said the sweetest prayer tonight. It was an answer to prayer for me as I prepared to leave my sweet girls for five days. It is amazing how my friends have pitched in to help. The girls will be able to stay at home the whole time so J...h will be able to go to school. J...h prayed that she and S..a would be good for the babysitters and that she could be a good example to S..a. I know her prayer and mine will be answered.
Wednesday May 19
Our flight to San Antonio was a disaster. As I sat tonight to think of how the Lord had reached out to me today I was stumped. Biddy was a monster. She wouldn't sleep, she wouldn't eat and she literally screamed and screamed and screamed on the airplane. I felt so helpless. I tried everything and there was nothing I could do to make her stop. I was embarrassed and felt the critical eye of everyone on the airplane upon me. As I thought about my day in hell I realized that the Lord did not abandon me today. There was one lady in particular sitting in first class that was staring me down with the "she better be good look" as we boarded the plane. We were sitting right behind first class and I could just imagine that lady bristling at every scream. As I walked of the plane I saw her in the waiting area finishing a call. I had to wait for Burke so I couldn't avoid her. She came over to me and asked if it was Biddy's first flight. I explained that she had been up since 5:30 AM and that she had already endured a four hour flight that morning. Her eyes softened and I felt an outpouring of compassion as she told me exactly what I needed to hear ." You did fine honey. I heard her cries and could tell that she was just so unhappy- not that she wasn't being well cared for. There was nothing you could do to make it better. It is always worse for the parents then it is everyone else on the plane." I know this was a a tender mercy from my Heavenly Father. Sometimes he can't make the screaming stop, or the plane ride shorter but he always knows how to help me get through it so that somehow at the end of the day I am OK.
Thursday May 20th
The search for our home began and ended today. That in itself is a miracle! The home is a gift. I thought I would have to sacrifice something. We don't always get everything we want and so when we toured our home I left very excited but with a definite feeling that there was no way this was going to happen. Even after we were the first to fill out an application and were pre-approved base on Burke's work orders I felt sick to my stomach. I dragged Burke to look at another home that would have been fine- not prefect - just in case. After touring that house I felt like we needed to drive by the other one again. As I drove by the home and around the perfect neighborhood I still felt uneasy. Then I remembered that I hadn't asked the Lord. As soon as I asked I felt the spirit chide my just a bit. The Lord seemed to say- Corinne I saved this house just for you. It is prefect because I want to bless you. Don't be silly take the house. It will be a blessing to you and your family and you will be a blessing to the people I have waiting for you here. With tears of joy streaming down my cheeks I turned to Burke and said "Yes honey that is the one!"
It is a 2800 sq foot four bedroom 2.5 bath two story brick home. It has a formal living room, family room, eat in kitchen and bonus play room upstairs. It was the model home in a neighborhood built three years ago so it is upgraded with moldings, marble, slate, custom window treatments and beautiful two tone paint in the colors I love. Burke loves the two car garage, covered back porch and large yard. It is amazing and I can't wait to move in.
Friday May 21
We signed the lease on our house today. I can't believe it. No more worries it will be sparkling clean and waiting for us when we come from vacation in July. Even more amazing is that Phil was able to help me negotiate a three year lease with the first 18 months at a discounted rent. The rent on this home was already amazing so I can hardly believe that they took the deal. Phil was great- a true blessing. I spoke with the Bishop's Wife of our new ward and she was wonderful. The ward was just created two weeks ago so we will be new like everyone else. I asked her for the number of a Sister who had pre-school age children because I was very worried about being too late to put Susanna in pre-school that was relatively inexpensive. She told me to call Sara. It turns out that Sara and I graduated from rival high schools in UT the same year. She has three little ones and it is her daughter who is the same age as Susanna. They live within a mile of us and she was wanting to start a joy school. Her worry was that she only knew Mom's with boys her daughters age and she really wanted at least one other girl to do joy school with. I was an answer to her prayer just as much as she was to mine.
Sat May 22
My first real taste of San Antonio. I am so blessed to be able to live in another place that I am going to love. Yes it is going to very hot! But San Antonio has a lot of its own south west character. It reminds me of California- more trees then UT including palm trees. We visited a few of the Missions and strolled along the River Walk. I have fallen in love with stucco and terracotta- as long as it is older then 1920. I can't wait to settle down here and see more of my new home.
Sun May 23
Biddy was much better on the flight home. I broke down and gave her some benadryl and she fell asleep on the plane. It was so good to be home and all my amazing sitters kept my girls happy and my house clean. I didn't worry about the girls at all and didn't realize how much I really missed them until I walked in the door. They were both in bed. I got to give J..h lots of kisses without her brushing them away. S..a opened her eyes, gave me a kiss and an "I love you" before falling back to sleep. I love my girls! Thank you to Bryanna, Laura, Emily, Bridget, Jamie and Bethany for taking such good care of them.
Sunday, May 16
Our high coucil speaker talked about strengthening families today and our yw lesson was on establishing righteus family traditions. They were both great talks and left me feeling very inspired to do better with our family scripture study and family prayer. It gets done but it is pretty casual. I want to make sure my girls know how important those things are in our lives- more important then bedtime stories or brushing our teeth. So after talking to Burke we are going to step it up a level and have our family scripture study and prayer in the formal living room each night before we go up for our normal bedtime routine. This isn't going to be easy-especially considering how hectic things are right now- so I will keep you updated on how we do with our follow through. Being inspired is the easy part:)
Saturday, May 15
The Lord used me as his mouth piece tonight. I spoke words to a dear friend that were not my own. As I shared them I knew that the words I spoke were the things the Lord would have shared if he were there.....he was there. This is not the first or the last time I will be blessed with the opportunity to be an instrument in his hands. Every time it happens I am so humbled and so overcome with gratitude that I am worthy to have his spirit with me and That I am following his promptings to be where he needs me to be, doing the things he needs me to do. I don't always get it right so when I do it is a true blessing. I am so grateful for my experience tonight. I know it made a difference.
Friday, May 14
In my self focused and crazy life right now I am finding myself making mistakes that are effecting more people then just me. In general I think I do a very good job of letting others know that I care about them and I don't get upset or offended very easily. Yet I have rubbed several people the wrong way this week and I feel so bad. I am so glad that these people have come to me so that I can right my wrongs. So often we do not know that our actions are negatively effecting others and we don't get the chance to be more aware, more kind, and more loving. I am grateful for the chance to repent and do better at being my best self at all times even when things in my life are hard.
Thursday, May 13
I have to express my deep appreciation to the Lord for giving J..h the best bus driver on the planet! Miss Jackie always has a smile, a sticker and even prizes on Fridays. She is J..h's friend and takes time to talk with J..h about her day at school, her friends, her sisters and her favorite things. Miss Jackie often expresses to me how much she enjoys having J..h on her bus and shares special stories and experiences that give me an additional insight into the life of my kindergartner. It is a scary thing sending your little one out into the world and knowing there are Miss Jackies out there makes all the difference. She is part of J..h's life five days a week and I am so grateful that she has touched it in such a positive way.
Wednesday, May 12
There are many days where I know I am not going to have enough time to get everything done that I need to get done. Today was one of those days and amazingly I accomplished everything on my must do list and a few bonuses as well. The Lord stretched out a few minutes for me today and reminded me that I do need Him every hour.
Tuesday, May 11
I got to spend the afternoon with Maria V today and it was so much fun. We bought shoes for prom and I sewed her a shrug to wear with her dress so she could be modest at the dance. I love her so much. She is just like a little sister to me. She tries so hard to do what is right in an environment filled with more temptations then I can even begin to imagine. She stumbles now and again and often has one foot in while the other is out but her desires are righteous and her heart is in the right place. She made a very ambitious commitment to attend early morning seminary this year and she did it! She is learning that she can do hard things and that it is worth it. I know she can continue to choose the right and get married in the Temple.
I am so humbled that the Lord chose me to be an instrument in blessing Maria's life. But she has also touched my life in more ways then she will ever know. I feel like I am getting a crash course in parenting a teenager. Maria has taught me about unconditional love. I have learned how hard it is to follow the council to correct with sharpness then give an outpouring of love. I am beginning to understand how our Heavenly Father feels when we disappoint him by failing to understand and live up to our divine potential. My heart aches at the thought of leaving my dear Maria. I will miss her just as much as she will miss me but I have no doubt that we will be friends for eternity. When someone touches your life and your heart in such a powerful way they are never forgotten.
Monday, May 10
We had so much fun celebrating S..a's birthday. On her birthday she received a new dress from Grandma Johnson. She loved wearing her birthday dress all day and felt very special when we took her out for ice cream that night.
We had a Fairy themed birthday party for her on Saturday. I can't find my camera so these pictures are courtesy of Emily. It was a very small, laid back party which was perfect for S..a since she doesn't like being in the spotlight. I made her a Tinkerbell flower cupcake cake and I was very pleased with how easy it was and how well it turned out. Her fairy friends spoiled her with the cutest gifts and she got packages and cards from UT too. Enjoy all the cute pics from her party!
There has been a lot for me to be stressed about with the move coming up and one of them is leaving my young women. I love them so much and am very emotionally attached to them. It is hard to leave them in the care of another and I don't want to leave the ward feeling like I am abandoning them. Today the Lord lifted this burden. I can stop worrying about my young women and to be excited for them instead. I had the opportunity to meet with my "replacement" and I was touched by her strong testimony and saw the love she already has for these young women. I know they will be very blessed to have her as their leader. She has gifts and talents to share with them that will strengthen them in different ways then I could. I knew that the Lord would bless these girls lives and that I would be able to let go once I moved but to have this burden lifted today, weeks before I leave, is a huge blessing. Now as I move forward with the other plans I am not carrying this additional stress. I was reminded of a scripture in Matthew "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me for I am meek and lowly in hear and ye shall find rest unto your souls for my yoke is easy and my burden is light." I know this is true.
Sunday, May 9
As of today I own a little heart shaped locket. It is nothing fancy- it is not real gold, has no diamond accent, costs no more than five dollars at Walmart and has "Mom" cheesily inscribed on the front. It is a piece of jewelry I would never buy and would be embarrassed to wear. Yet today I wore this necklace with pride. It is a Mothers Day gift from my daughters. I know they spent much time and effort choosing just the right one to give to me. They were so excited to give it to me and they beamed with joy when I embraced their gift by clasping it around my neck and wearing it close to my heart. As I wore my necklace today the Lord impressed upon me the significance of their Mothers Day gift. My locket is a physical reminder of what it means to be a faithful Mother. My job is not glamorous, high paying, or intellectually stimulating. To the rest of the world my work is not "real" and even an embarrassment to my gender. Yet I am as priceless to the Lord as my locket is to me. He beams with joy as I embrace my divine role as a Mother and serve my family with all my heart. Each day as I wear my necklace I will be reminded not only of the love from my daughters and husband but the perfect love my Heavenly Father has for me- and that is the true Mothers Day Gift.
Saturday, May 8
I am so blessed to have wonderful friends. Today should have been a really stressful day. I had to clean my house, go shopping, make a cake, wrap presents, host a birthday party and go to a baby shower. But it wasn't. I got to do all these things for my friends- the most wonderful mothers and grandmothers that I know. I knew they wouldn't expect perfection and that let me relax and enjoy myself rather then worrying that I wasn't doing everything just right. We spent the afternoon chatting rather then keeping kids entertained. Sure they ran a little wild but that was OK. My dear friends laughed at all my jokes, listened to all my stories, empathized with all my stresses and shared their own bits of wisdom and knowledge with me. I love them dearly and recognize how much the Lord has blessed me to have had friendships with these women. They have touched my life in more ways then they will ever know. I will miss them all very much but know we will always be friends.
Friday, May 7
I have to write a list tonight- It is amazing how much I see when I am looking
-An inspired missionary experience at the dentists office
-A sewing project turned service project, of which I was on the receiving end
-A night at the Temple with the Youth
-A worthy priesthood holder for a husband
Thursday, May 6
I am so blessed to have such a sweet birthday girl. She has the most open and loving heart. When I am tired, busy, or stressed my little princess will run up wrap her arms around my legs, look up at me with her big blue eyes and tell me "I Love you Mommy". She won't let go until I tell her I love her and give her a kiss. In that e moment all the cares of the world simply melt away and I experience a moment of pure joy. Someday she will grow out of this.... but I know that she will always be a daughter who will remind me, when I need it most, that I am loved by her and my Heavenly Father. She is a gift and I will cherish every loving word, squishy hug and precious kiss.
Wednesday, May 5
I know the Lord inspired me to give this specific talk in Church Last Sunday. I hope that as you review one of my favorite conference talks with me by reading this you will feel my testimony and know that Elder Ballard is truly a prophet and apostle of God.
The Family A Proclamation to the World
Mothers Divine Role in nurturing her children
In 1995 the First Presidency of the Church issued a proclamation to the World regarding Families. “The Family a Proclamation to the World” is latter day scripture and for those of you who may not be familiar with this document I want to review the key points before I focus my remarks on one specific area. The proclamation states:
· “All Human beings male and female are created in the image of god. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents.”
• “Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God.”
· “By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families.”
· “Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners.”
· The last words of the proclamation express the simple truth that the family is “the fundamental unit of society.”
Today Burke and I wish to focus our remarks on the responsibility husbands and wives share in loving and caring for their children. As I listened to General conference a few weeks ago I was so inspired by the messages about family. It was clear our focus for the next six months should be on strengthening our families. I was particularly impressed by Elder Ballard’s talk that spoke directly to Mothers and Daughters. I have three beautiful daughters whom I care for daily but I also have many beautiful young women daughters who I am blessed to teach and serve at least twice a week. I love these young women and hope that they will heed the council of the prophets to strengthen their relationships with their mothers.
I am blessed with a righteous and devoted mother. I recognize that this is a special gift and one that I cannot ever take for granted. Not all of you young women have this blessing in your life. However that does not mean that you are alone or that you get to stop listening to my talk. You do have faithful grandmothers, aunts, sisters, and mentors who can be the example of a faithful mother in your life. Know that when I talk about mothers I am also referring to these women in your life.
Eder Ballard gives you some wonderful suggestions in General Conference on how to take full advantage of your relationship with your mother.
He urges you with “all his heart” not to “look to contemporary culture for your role models and mentors.” Instead “look to your faithful mothers for a pattern to follow.” Popular culture bombards us with wicked and destructive images and ideas about womanhood. Elder Ballard said “Popular culture today often makes women look silly, inconsequential, mindless, and powerless. It objectifies them and disrespects them and then suggests that they are able to leave their mark on mankind only by seduction—easily the most pervasively dangerous message the adversary sends to women about themselves.”
It is crucial that your follow his council to “Model yourselves after your faithful mothers not after celebrities.” He continues “Look to your mother. Learn from her strengths, her courage, and her faithfulness. Listen to her…. When it comes to matters of the heart and the things of the Lord, she has a wealth of knowledge. No other person on earth loves you in the same way or is willing to sacrifice as much to encourage you and help you find happiness—in this life and forever. Love your mother. Respect her. Listen to her. Trust her. She has your best interests at heart. She cares about your eternal safety and happiness.” I know this is true. Your mothers do love you and they want what is best for you!
As you can imagine Elder Ballard did not end his talk here. With our daughters looking to us Mothers as their example we have much to do. Elder Ballard shared the observation of a mother who often travels with members of her extended family “If the mothers are thrifty, so are their daughters. If the mothers are modest, so are the girls. If the mothers wear flip-flops and other casual clothing to sacrament meeting, so do their daughters.” I have to agree with this observation. I have three sisters and as we have all gotten married and had children we often remark on how similar our attitudes, habits and ideas are. In reality however the truth is that we not only share these things in common with each other but with our mother. It is her example that we followed and her righteous influence that helped us become who we are. Although I am far from home I hear her words of encouragement “I can do hard things”, “We can always be a little better”, and “It is better to be kind then to be popular” I share these mantras with my young women who also know that we want to be “carrots not lettuce.” You will have to ask them what that means. Her example and council will be passed on to my daughter as well.
Mothers, we have far more influence on our daughters then we may ever know. As Elder Ballard states “As mothers in Israel, you are your daughters’ first line of defense against the wiles of the world.” We know the evil in the world and marvel at the challenges our daughters face. I am terrified to think of what the world will be like when my daughters are young women. I often wonder how I can protect my daughters from the world. I question if I will ever be able to teach them enough to keep them safe from the adversary. I doubt that I will I have the strength, energy and spiritual gifts that I so desperately seek to help me be the mother that my daughters need? Dear Sisters I know that I am not alone in my weaknesses and doubts. It is normal for fear to cloud our minds and fill our hearts with despair. But we must not let it stay there. That is Satan’s weapon. As the proclamation declares the family is the “fundamental unit of society” and Satan is intent on destroying it. He knows if he can cripple mothers that the family will fall. Fear is the opposite of Faith and we need to have Faith in our divine role as mothers.
Elder Ballard stated “Sisters, we, your brethren, cannot do what you were divinely designated to do from before the foundation of the world. We may try, but we cannot ever hope to replicate your unique gifts. There is nothing in this world as personal, as nurturing, or as life changing as the influence of a righteous woman.”
I know this to be true. In my moments of doubt I have felt the calm reassurance of the spirit testify to me that I am doing the lords work. That he will help me become the mother I desire to be and that my children will be blessed through my influence. You too can have that same assurance if you go to the Lord in prayer and ask for his sanctifying spirit to be poured out upon on you. Then as we seek the guidance of the spirit and follow the council of the prophets we will be the example our daughters need.
In his talk Elder Ballard gave us some wonderful council that I know if we follow will help our daughters become prepared to overcome the temptations of the adversary follow the path that leads to exaltation.
· Teach them to find joy in Nurturing. “This is where their love and talents can have the greatest eternal significance.” “A mother-daughter relationship is where a daughter learns how to nurture by being nurtured. She is loved. She is taught and experiences first-hand what it feels like to have someone care about her enough to correct her while continuing to encourage and believe in her at the same time. Satan is always attempting to undermine the most precious element of a woman’s divine nature—the nature to nurture. Teach them that a faithful daughter of God avoids the temptation to gossip or judge one another.”
· Teach them Virtue.” Your daughters as well as your sons are coming of age in a world that openly embraces early, casual, and thoughtless promiscuity. Immodest, unchaste women are glamorized and all too often celebrated and emulated. While there are steps that we can take in our homes and families to minimize our exposure to these unsavory elements of contemporary living, your daughters cannot entirely avoid the blatant sexual messages and enticements that surround them. You need to have frequent, open discussions during which you teach your daughter’s the truth about these issues.”
“For example, they need to understand that when they wear clothing that is too tight, too short, or too low cut, they not only can send the wrong message to young men with whom they associate, but they also perpetuate in their own minds the fallacy that a woman’s value is dependent solely upon her sensual appeal. This never has been nor will it ever be within the righteous definition of a faithful daughter of God. They need to hear this—clearly and repeatedly—from your lips, and they need to see it modeled correctly and consistently in your own personal standards of dress, grooming, and modest living.”
· Teach your daughters about making Covenants. “All youth will be more likely to make and keep covenants if they learn how to recognize the presence and the voice of the Spirit. Make sure they know that keeping covenants is the safest road to eternal happiness.” This statement had a great impact on me when I heard it. Note that he does not say teach them he says “make sure they know”. My oldest daughter is going to be eight in a year and half and she will be able to enter the waters of waters of baptism. I will make sure she knows that this is the first covenant she will make with the Lord. I will make sure she knows that taking Sacrament every Sunday and renewing that covenant is the safest road. I will make sure she knows that entering the Temple and continuing to make covenants with the Lord will protect her. I will make sure she knows that being sealed in the Temple for Time and All Eternity is the only way to eternal happiness. We have to make sure our children know this.
I know that these words are true. With the Lord’s help we can be the faithful mothers our daughters need. That as we teach them to find joy in nurturing, teach them virtue and teach them to make covenants they will be able to stay on the safe road that leads to Eternal Happiness. In the name of Jesus Christ Amen
I gave a lesson in church on Sunday about journal writing and I used the talk from Elder Eyring on remembering. He councils us to ask and answer this question each day "Have I seen the hand of God reaching out to touch us or our children or our family today?" I loved this talk when he gave it and have thought of it often but this Sunday as I gave my lesson I realized that I have not heeded this council. It also became clear to me that I must begin doing this for myself and for my children.
Elder Eyring taught, "The challenge to remember has always been the hardest for those who are blessed abundantly. Those who are faithful to God are protected and prospered. That comes as the result of serving God and keeping His commandments. But with those blessings comes the temptation to forget their source. It is easy to begin to feel the blessings were granted not by a loving God on whom we depend but by our own powers." I was impressed by the clear connection between blessings and temptation. You can't have one without the other and taking the easy road will lead to sin and result in the loss of blessings.
I have been protected and prospered. My life is one of ease and comfort. I often think to myself "wow what a blessing" or " that was divine intervention" but then I forget.....I forget to write it down and most importantly I forget to tell my children. So with you as my witness -and my children as my motivation- I am going to actively fight the temptation to forget. I am starting what Pres. Eyring began so many years ago, "I wrote down a few lines every day for years. I never missed a day no matter how tired I was or how early I would have to start the next day. As I would cast my mind over the day, I would see evidence of what God had done for one of us that I had not recognized in the busy moments of the day. As that happened, and it happened often, I realized that trying to remember had allowed God to show me what He had done. More than gratitude began to grow in my heart. Testimony grew." I know that the same thing can happen for me and my efforts will bless my life and the lives of my children. I hope as I share how the Lord touches my life each day you will remember what he does for you.
P.S. Today I have been blessed with promptings from the Holy Ghost, Personal Revelation, and a few minutes of free time.
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