Sunday, May 29, 2011

Probably my most favorite quote on parenting....

Any one who knows me, knows I love Sister Beck. I think she is not only brave, but almost fierce in her stance for what is not just right, but what is most important. She has taught me that the only things that are truly essential in our lives are things of eternity. In her talk "Nourishing and Protecting the Family",17884,662-1-5131-1,00.html

She quotes President Joseph F. Smith. "He lost his mother at a young age, and he said this: "No love in all the world can equal the love of a true mother. . . . It was life to me; it was strength; it was encouragement; it was love that begat love or liking in myself. I knew she loved me with all her heart. She loved her children with all her soul. . . . Whenever . . . temptations became most alluring and most tempting to me, the first thought that arose in my soul was this: Remember the love of your mother. Remember how she strove for your welfare. Remember how willing she was to sacrifice her life for your good. . . . This feeling toward my mother became a defense, a barrier between me and temptation."

But that isn't my FAVORITE quote, this is (from the same talk, still quoting Pres. Smith)

He also said: "If you wish your children to be taught in the principles of the gospel, if you wish them to love the truth and understand it, if you wish them to be obedient to and united with you, love them! . . . You can’t do it any other way. You can’t do it by unkindness; you cannot do it by driving. . . . You can coax them; you can lead them, by holding out inducements to them, and by speaking kindly to them, but you can’t drive them; they won’t be driven. . . . You can’t force your boys, nor your girls into heaven. You may force them to hell, by using harsh words in the efforts to make good, when you yourselves are not as good as you should be. . . . You can only correct your children by love, in kindness, by love unfeigned, by persuasion, and reason."

"Our homes," Sister Beck sums-up, "because we know we are building for eternity, should be homes based on love."

D&C 121 has for long time for me, not just been about Priesthood, but about it's counterpart: Motherhood. It, and this quote have the same message. Parenting is not just about making our kids behave, or even make good choices, it is about them becoming something (yup the DOObee-doobee talk again!) And they will NEVER BECOME what we want them to become if we don't first(or probably more accurately, along with them. We can preach til we're blue in the face. They won't love the gospel unless we do! Parenting is a journey of becoming all it's own. Maybe that's why it's the "hardest thing I've ever done" because it's made me rethink what I am. I thought of myself as relatively patient, generally nice...but mommying has put it to the test. I didn't know it would only take a two year old approximately 40 seconds to turn me into a completely unreasonable screaming lunatic ( uh oh, it's out, I yell at my kids). I thought I was pretty compassionate, fairly empathetic, even considered it a strength...well, let me tell you compassion runs dry around 3 in the morning (sleeplessness is the rule not the exception at our house).

I'm drifting. What I love about the quote, is that it's that truth--the truth that moms have a hard time with-- I can ONLY change ME. Trying to control our kids into being something (usually our own expectations VS their unique divine selves) we will only be frustrated. If we on the other hand try and change ourselves, try and become more loving (not through will power alone...that'll only yield more frustration) but by coming to our Savior and through the atonement becoming a Saint (don't picture a halo around a mother in a white dress reading to her cherubic children...picture a mom in yoga pants, she considers an "outfit" cuz they match the bags under her eyes, making it through a day that without the Spirit might have killed her).

I'm trying to be like Jesus. Trying to BECOME like HE is. Cuz that's who I want my kids to be like. All the Jesus stories in the world aren't going to drown out what they SEE everyday...ME!

And what do I want them to see in me? LOVE. That's all. Love of God and love for them. Just love.


Just Rhonda said...Best Blogger Tips

ah love it. All of it. Sister Beck is my favorite too. Love her talks!!! So glad you are gonna share your wisdom ONLINE now :)

cc said...Best Blogger Tips

I love your blog...its uplifting, and amazing, and I know that I will love reading it. I also love sister Beck, she is definitely one of my faves. Can't wait to read more!