My mother is an amazing woman. Since tomorrow is her birthday (October 10), I wanted to highlight some of my favorite memories with her while growing up. She has always been quiet about her good deeds and selfless ways, and I wanted to share what a loving, hard working mama she has always been. (I'd also like to note that I am in no way meaning to down play anyone else's mother. I just wanted to walk down memory lane and recall those moments we shared that were so precious to me and remember the important lessons she has taught me. We all have and know amazing mothers!)
I remember having a hard night one evening in elementary school, and I was feeling afraid of life, and the dark, and the unknown. My mother came in to check on me and listened to my fears. She silently pulled out her scriptures and read the following verse out loud to me: "For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7. She told me that I was the daughter of King (to which I at first thought I was having my Princess Diaries moment :) ) and continued to remind me of my loving Heavenly Father who didn't want me to go through life being fearful and full of doubt. When she left I felt comforted, full of faith and new found confidence in the fact that I had power from God to help me navigate through the world. The next day she had written that scripture down and left it on my desk. I kept it on my mirror where I could see it every day.
I remember coming home from school one day in the 5th grade and feeling completely devastated. I had been holding back tears for the last few hours because we had learned who won the election to be class president, and I had wanted the job so badly. I was not chosen, and my little girl heart was completely broken. I remember sobbing on my bed, and thinking about how miserable life felt in that moment and how upset I was that so-and-so got picked over me. My mom came in to tell me to get ready for piano lessons and found me crying. I instantly wailed that I did not want to go to piano lessons at a time like this! She listened to me and my woes, let me choose a candy bar from the box she hid in her room for special "just this once" moments, and called to cancel my lessons for the day. She then spent the next little while playing with my hair and telling me about what an amazing young woman I was, and that Heavenly Father had a different plan for me. She did not belittle the classmate who was chosen over me. She did not tell me that I should have been chosen and that I was way more qualified. She simply stated truth- that I was an important daughter of God, and that there was something else I needed to do in life other than being 5th grade class president. She left me feeling hopeful for my future, happy with my life, and genuinely excited for my classmate who had won.
I remember being terrified to try out for a singing group in high school. In earlier years I had been a confident singer and performer, but junior high had knocked my confidence down a bit. This group required dancing as well as singing, and I was convinced that I had no coordination when it came to dancing. Well, my amazing mother wouldn't let that be my down fall, so the retired high school Drill Team member and past Miss FFA decided to teach me some of her best dance moves. I remember when she started dancing I, being the typical, immature teen, felt mortified and ran away embarrassed. I have since teased her about said dance lesson every chance I get, but in reality I will always look up to her for her confidence and desire to do all she could to help her daughter along.
Holidays and birthdays were always a magical and special affair in our home. She had so many fun decorations and ideas that always made things so exciting and fun! She made big deals about our exciting daily news and always pushed us to do our best.
I remember the night that Kyer first kissed me, I came home from our date and went to go talk to her. (she was always up and ready to girl talk with me after a date) As soon as I walked in the door with that huge, just-been-kissed smile on my face she looked at me and said "Well someone was kissed tonight!" I love that she just knew, and that she listened to every detail of our date and was just as excited as I was about my budding romance with Kyler.
My mother was lucky enough to get to be a stay at home mom clear until my younger brother left for his mission at age 18. She built her life around her children and always made us feel loved, important, and safe. She scrimped and saved so that we could have nice things, and she worried and prayed about us constantly. She taught me what modesty meant and how to prepare for the temple and marriage and motherhood. When my dad was extremely busy with his job and church calling, mom was sometimes a single mom. She went through probably 15 or 16 years (maybe more) of sitting alone at church (because of my dads callings) and wrangling all four of us kids on her own. She met this challenge head on and was a fantastic example to me about putting the Lord first. I learned from her example that by doing so is what brings us true happiness in life.
Once my brother left on his mission she realized she was in a new phase of life and went about looking for a job, even though it terrified her because she had been out of the typical working community for around 30 years. However, she was completely dedicated to taking this new point of her life head on and she was able to find a job as a dental assistant with our favorite dentist, Dr. Dave. She has since switched to being their receptionist there, and I am proud of her for working so hard and learning these new, hard things with a beautiful smile on her face!
My mother has taught me to be fiercely obedient to the Gospel. She has taught me to love God and treat others with kindness, and she has helped me to see my full potential as a daughter of a loving Heavenly Father. My mom was always there when I had a bad day, or when I needed someone to talk to or laugh with. She always understood and welcomed me with open arms when I had a problem I was facing. I knew I was important to her.
I am forever grateful for the dedication she has to the Gospel, and I hope she knows that my testimony first stemmed from hers. I frequently walked in on her praying or reading her scriptures, and I remember her frequent trips to the temple. She made sure that we had family home evening and family scripture study and I will forever cherish the sound of her angel voice singing hymns and primary songs to us. I never doubted her love of the Gospel because she lived it and taught it to us everyday with her example and words. I have been exceedingly blessed to have the mama that I do.
Sometimes I don't think I thank her enough for her sacrifice and love. It breaks my heart to think of the times I have been ungrateful, rude, and spoiled despite her selfless efforts. To even be half of the woman my mother is would be a great honor.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland spoke about mothers this past General Conference (October 2015) and the following quote from his talk fits in well with the woman my mother is. "No love in mortality comes closer to approximating the pure love of Jesus Christ than the selfless love a devoted mother has for her child." I felt and continue to feel this type of love from my mother every day.
I know that many of us have very fond memories of our amazing mothers. Some of us didn't have mothers in our lives for one reason or another, but we had examples of wonderful mothers around us and women who touched our lives for the better. When was the last time you thanked these women for all that they did for you? If you are anything like me, it's probably been far too long. I suggest giving them a call or writing a letter. Mothers in every form of the word need to hear about the impact they have made on our lives. After all, we could not be the people we are today without them.
I love you so much mama. I hope today is the greatest of birthdays! Love, Muffin