Sunday, May 11, 2014
Mother's Day as we know it is 100 years old this year. But the celebration of the goodness mothers is eternal. Whether you are a mother or love someone that is, this is a special day to contemplate the blessings of the human family and all of our mothers since Eve that brought us to this place.
The painting by Pino is one I love. It is called Sacred Steps. It evokes such ethereal, elevated, and eternal feeling and thoughts of the sacred calling of motherhood. The painting depicts the memories of raising children to me, perhaps more than the actual day to day sacred steps to the empty nest.
As I watch our daughters, which of course includes Chris' wife, Missy, go through this process now through the eyes of my own experiences, I am enthralled all the more by the sacred steps taken to redesign and refine who a woman becomes day by day on the journey. Being a mother is a sanctifying endeavor. The joys lift you so high while the total sacrifice of your complete self in the process, seals you to it. To love a child in that way is to fill the measure of our creation as women like nothing else I know. Of course these relationships are eternal.
There are no perfect mothers but there are legions of mothers with hearts full of perfect intentions. Those mothers who want the very best for their children and who sacrifice and give and serve constantly, day after day and year after year in an eternal way. There are no releases in this calling of motherhood. They are just as important to our lives, out of the nest, as in it. We still worry and fret and yearn for their burdens to be lightened or their shoulders strengthened to carry their load. And also for a way to help them, as their mothers, in those daily struggles.
We still drop everything to run to them in times of need, all of us in our own unique ways. Although our bodies may get weary, we still desire to lift and pull and pray and give to edify and love and support them. Because that is what Mothers do, without even thinking about it. The polishing comes from the day in and day out, thick and thin of it, until it becomes who we truly are. I will always remember my sweet mother sitting in her wheelchair in her 80s, offering to help lift my burdens as I scurried around doing things. Her body was weakened but her heart and love untamed and as strong as ever. Motherhood is a miracle.
No joy is as profound to a mother as the happiness and successes of her child. No mother wants anything negative to befall her children. No matter what they do or who they become we love them completely. We love them all equally which is to say unconditionally.
This holiday means more to me each year as I learn of the sacrifices of my own individual foremothers. They had been women that have been valiant in their stewardship of motherhood through the centuries. Motherhood was not easy then, as it is not easy today. We've had different trials but equally challenging in many ways. This world will never be trouble free but their sacrifices have benefited us through the ages. A child is the only one who hears its mothers heartbeat from the inside and that heartbeat echoes within us all of our lives...passing on something of substance from each generation to the next. No matter where our mother is, she is never far from us.
In our family they have been women who packed up and shipped out of England and Sweden and Wales and Italy to keep their children from starving to death, in some cases, and from little possibility of improving their lots in life while remaining in their homelands. They are women who crossed the plains in fear and deprivation but with great faith in a brighter future because of it. Every generation tells of their abundant faith in God to see them through. This is a sacred heritage that I have seen back to the 1500s. Not a non-believer in the bunch so far. The study of these, our people, through the centuries has strengthened and fortified my faith in countless ways.
They have experienced hardships and poverty and dangers and dying children in almost every generation, sometimes more than one or two at a time. They have been uprooted and they have survived childbirth on the prairies and in sailing ships crossing the ocean with no privacy and no cleanliness and and often under insufferable, horrific conditions. There was starvation and illnesses and sorrows of every kind while they pressed forward with a perfect brightness of hope in the future, for their children and ultimately for us their posterity.
To learn of them is humbling and enlightening to say the very least. Being a mom has never been easy, not ever. But what a tremendous blessing to have a mother and to be one or to love one or many. There is no more sacred or important thing we can do in this life than to help our Heavenly Father's children through the joys and sorrow of this life. What a trust He must have in us, His daughters.
And in our husbands and the fathers of our children, who have an equal but different responsibility in this great work. What a perfect plan of happiness and joy we are given. All of us are blessed with having or being a mother. Some of us are both. But not all. To all women everywhere that help by being teachers and nurturers and who love children~God bless you. And to all men everywhere the same blessings to you for doing likewise. And that includes all Grandparents and even some Great-Grandparents who have had the glorious privilege of seeing His Plan of Happiness play out into the third and fourth generations as well. Our loving Heavenly Father has thought of everything! Find and cling to the Joy in it!