While sitting at the cemetery a few days ago, I saw a scene that touched me deeply. A young couple sat alone, next to an open grave by a tiny casket which was covered with a delicate spray of flowers. From their reaction, it was evident the couple was grieving. The young father sweetly comforted his wife as her body shook with tears. They sat that way for a long while, then stood and shared an embrace. The man lifted his hand to the woman’s face and wiped away her tears. They clasped hands, then turned and walked to a car parked nearby. He opened her car door and she turned around, taking one last glance over her shoulder at the small casket.
As an outsider looking in, I don’t know their story—if they were husband and wife, if the casket held their newborn baby, or if it was something entirely different. But my heartstrings were pulled. I pictured myself in that situation and imagined how I would feel. Thoughts of the young couple stayed with me through the next couple days. I even drove back by the cemetery and saw the spray of flowers on top of the freshly cut earth, and I felt a deep sense of gratitude for the gospel and the understanding it gives us of life and death. It also caused me to reflect on the privilege it is to be a mother.
Nothing in my life has caused more intense feelings than motherhood. I’ve felt more joy, more sorrow, more laughter, and more tears during my time as a mother than in any other endeavor throughout my life. I laugh when my children laugh, and cry when they cry. I think sometimes I feel their emotions even more intensely than they do. I learn from them each day, and although it is easy to get overwhelmed, it is so important to find joy in the journey.
Motherhood is not easy; it’s an immense responsibility. I remember the awe-inspiring feeling of love I felt when my first baby was born and lay in my arms. As I looked down into her sweet face, I felt an overwhelming sense of responsibility wash over me. It was hard to fathom that this baby had just come from Heaven. She left a Heavenly Father who had high expectations for her, and unbelievably, even more love for her than I felt at that moment. Her presence in my life that day and every day since has made me realize my own potential. It is a privilege to be entrusted with this child. Heavenly Father knew I could love her, teach her, and help her learn and grow so she could return to live with him someday.
Keep in mind there is no perfect way to be a mother. I think we all look around us and see amazing traits in others and wish we were more like them. We usually do this in areas where we're personally lacking. Anytime you compare one of your own weaknesses with someone else’s strength, you are sure to come up short. Don’t do it! Don’t try to mother the perfect way, just do it your way. As mothers, we have to be task-oriented or nothing ever gets done, but it’s okay to lighten up occasionally and take the time to listen, laugh, and play. Never forget that life is meant to be enjoyed. One of my favorite quotes is by the author, Anna Quindlen. She says, “Treasure the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less.”
While motherhood is overwhelming, remember that a caring Father in Heaven loves your children too. He entrusted them to your care because he knew you could do it. He will not leave you alone. If you ask, you will receive inspiration, your burdens will be lighter and you will be able to find joy. So, on this overwhelming journey we call motherhood, don’t forget to include Him in your travels.
The Dating Experiment & a Guest Post from Elodia Strain - You guys, I'm so excited about Elodia Strain's new novel! I absolutely loved her previous books & this one promises to be just as fun to dive into. And ser...