May 19, 2016

6 Daily Inspirations on Motherhood

I was asked to write a short, spiritual, column about motherhood to be published in the Syracuse paper during the week of Mother's Day.  (Writing a thought in only 100 words is very difficult, especially for one as verbose as I am.)  Saturday is my favorite, so if you don't read all of them, just skip to Saturday.
If you click on the day of the week you can read it in the actual online paper.

Monday-- They Did All Eat and Were Filled.
Feeding the hungry is one of the holy acts of mothering. As we nourish others, we bond them to us. Perhaps this is why our bodies are designed to need food regularly. Sister Julie Beck said, "To nurture and feed our children physically is as much an honor as to nurture and feed them spiritually." In one New Testament miracle, five loaves and two fishes were shared by thousands: "And they did all eat, and were filled." (Matthew 14:20) We feel this miracle in our lives as we expand our tables to feed our families and our neighbors.

Tuesday--  I Wash Thee
Cleansing is a monotonous, unavoidable, and holy act of mothering. Mothers wipe faces, dry tears, blow noses, mop floors, wash laundry, and bandage scraped knees. Like the Good Samaritan, our first response when we see someone in need is to clean and bind their wounds. Jesus also washed his disciple's feet. He said to Peter, "If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. And Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. (John 13:8) Washing is a daily sacrament for as we wash physically we unite spiritually.

Wednesday-- Drop By Drop
The great acts of mothering are small, daily, repetitive tasks. Wise mothers know that character cannot be taught in a single sitting. Self-discipline is carved gently through days, weeks, and years of practicing at home. "Be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great." (Doctrine and Covenants 64:33) Mothering is not an event; it is a process of creation. As we serve daily, our children become our Grand Canyons. Lucretius taught, "The water hollows out the stone, not by force but drop by drop."

Thursday--  Tools of Creation
Our miraculous, mother bodies are tools of creation. Pregnant mothers partner with God and man to form lungs, ears, sweet baby toes, and a beating heart. No modern-day technology can compare with the magnificent and inherent ability of a woman's womb to grow human life. If your mother has done nothing more for you in life than create your body, she has still done a great work. "Greater love hath no [woman] than this, to lay down [her] life for her [child]." (John 15:13) Women create life, but they also create lives for those they love.

Friday--Continue In My Love
Mothers quickly learn to love messy, naughty, difficult, completely adorable children. We learn to love past the snotty noses and sticky fingers. We learn to SEE who our children really are and who they can become. We don't love our children less as we watch them learning the lessons of life. I hope that as we have learned to love our children, we have also learned that we are loved and cherished in our own imperfections. So, like Jesus we can say, "As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love." (John 15:9)

Saturday-- Motherhood is Worship
Motherhood is true worship. A home does not need a spire or steeple to be a holy place. When we serve with love, we transform the mundane to the sublime. A scripture from the Book of Mormon reminds us that "When you are in the service of your fellow beings you are only in the service of your God." (Mosiah 2:17) Glorifying God in our homes will help us nourish as we feed, cleanse as we clean, heal as we comfort, and find eternal joy in the ordinary. May our children be our cathedrals and their eyes our stained glass windows.

Behold, Thy Mother

This is something I was asked to write for a religious column in our local newspaper.  You can find the link to the published article here.

"Motherhood, eternally linked with womanhood, is a characteristic of our heart as well as our womb. Before Eve bore a child, she was named the mother of all living." (Pearl of Great Price; Moses 4:26) As we celebrate mothers on this beautiful day, let us celebrate the holiness and power of mothering. Thomas S. Monson, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says, "One cannot remember mother and forget God. Why? Because, these two sacred persons, God and mother, partners in creation, in love, in sacrifice, in service, are one." Our female bodies were designed to create life, to nourish life, to nurture life. When a nursing mother hears a baby cry, even a stranger's baby, her breasts swell with milk.
Our mother hearts also swell when we feel need and suffering in others. Our physical bodies and our souls are designed to nourish and nurture. Isn't that beautiful? On the cross, moments before his death, Christ saw his mother and a disciple whom he loved. He said to his mother, "Woman, behold thy son." And to his disciple, "Behold thy mother." (John 19:26-27) Perhaps we also hear these words whispered to our hearts when we see suffering around us. When we see a homeless man on the street or a hungry child on television, we might feel the whisper "woman, behold thy son." When we respond to this call with loving action we answer back, "behold thy mother." J. Edgar Hoover said the cure for crime is not the electric chair, it is the high chair. Oh women, we are mighty mothers, we can mother more! What power is greater than the unified love of mothers to heal our families, our communities, and our nations? Let us feel God in us as we expand our mothering hearts together to mother all life.
Jenifer Moss was named 2016 New York Mother of the Year by the American Mothers Association. Jenifer and Todd Moss are parents of eight and are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

May 09, 2016

What Comes Next?

My heart is full this morning, the day after Mother's Day, one week after I attended the National American Mothers convention in Washington, DC with my mothers, daughters, and sisters.  (I only have 11% battery on my phone as I type quickly, and more importantly, my toddlers are alone downstairs possibly wrecking havoc unsupervised when Wild Kratz looses it's appeal.)

I have spent the past few months, even the past 39 years, analyzing motherhood.  And, I'm overwhelmed.  

I feel the great power and influence of mothers.  I feel my own ability to do great things.  

Motherhood, womanhood, strength, grace, charity, power-- these concepts pulse through my soul!  

Oh, women!  What a great work we have to do.  And yet, I'm here, in my bed, with 9% battery unsure what comes next.

I have been so touched lately by Mary in the first and last moments of Christ's mortal life.

When the angel Gabriel appeared to the young virgin girl announcing to her that she was going to have a holy baby, he said to her, "With God, nothing shall be impossible."

Mary responded "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word." (Luke 1:38)

As Mary watched her son take his last suffering breaths in his mortal body, He spoke to her.  He cared for her.  She was His last act of mercy.

26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! 
27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! (John 19:26-27)

I feel this call to act deep in my soul.  With so many opportunities to serve I often pray to know where God wants me to serve today. w

What comes next for willing hands to do?

I received an email from my friend Delphine.  A beautiful, immigrant, New York mother who read my profile and came to DC because she "wanted to be on my team."  I love her.  I'm still not sure what our team is going to do.

Here I am this morning.  I am a mother.  Perhaps today, more than any other moment of my life, I feel my power and potential, while at the same time absolutely recognizing my limitations and weakness.  

God has tried and tested me over the past 39 years.  He knows me, and because of life's trials, I know me.  We both know that I am brave, optimistic, funny, and genuinely kind.  We know that my faith is stronger than my fear.  We know that I am completely devoted to following the voice that speaks to my heart.  I will do what I feel is right, even if it kills me.  My mind and body are strong and fragile.  I have choosen my priorities and carved those priorities on every surface of my body and my soul.  He knows my strengths and understands when I'm not strong. 
I believe mothering is noble and holy.  But, I also believe time is sacred.

I believe in mothers.  I am not afraid to do big things, and yet I find greatness in small things.  I know that this world is full of good, good people.  I know that only God knows how to move His army forward to build His kingdom.  

I trust Him.  I know Him.  

I know He can cure me in an instant, or take me.  He can fill my words with power.  He can clear my mind.  He can touch my children and bring peace to our home.  I also know that His Plan, the great plan of happiness promises that growth comes from hard work and joy comes from pain.  The one who loves us most, simply will not remove from our path the hurdles that He knows can bless and mold us.  

I know He loves me.  
I know He loves you.  
I know He is the conductor.  
I'm just not sure what comes next.

13 And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean? 
(Old Testament, 2 Kings, 2 Kings 5)

I would do some great thing.
And I will gratefully wash.

I choose to be here.
I choose to be quiet.
I choose to spend my days weeding, organizing, feeding, and mothering my own flock.

But, my ears are open, my eyes are watching, my hands are willing and I am waiting on Him.

I know His voice.  
I know His call.  
I trust His plan.

Behold, the handmaiden of the Lord.
Behold, thy mother.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...