Go on, admit it. Every mother’s been there. It’s what we do every single day of our lives. We are faced with this huge task of taking a totally dependent little bundle of joy from point A to point B (where they are a happy, productive adult member of society). Subconsciously, we just know we are failing. Subliminally, we recognize that we’re just making things more difficult for ourselves. Yet, we can’t seem to force ourselves to do things differently. We cling to the silliest things, and let go of some of the most practical. We secretly idolize our own mothers (whether we hate them or not) because they did manage to make it to point B, but we have no real idea how they did it. We openly fear exposure of our inadequacies and keep on going as if we know exactly where we are headed and what we are doing.

Mormon Family DinnerThere is so much information available to us as mothers. Information that tells us: just what to expect, when to expect it, where to take our children on vacation, why we shouldn’t feed them red dyes, reasons to co-sleep and reasons not to co-sleep. We are completely informed, and completely helpless. Surely, we can’t be considered good mothers if we aren’t reading to our children for at least 30 minutes every day, or let our 1-year-old watch television while we take a shower. Shall I continue?

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For my own part, I think I have figured out at least one thing. It’s all about love. I love my children so much that I’m almost desperate to make sure I don’t inadvertently mess up their entire lives. The key is that love. I need to remember that love, stuff, activities and bedtime stories are different. Maybe all I really need to get to point B is simply love. Love the way my child understands it, rather than the way I think they should understand it.

Perhaps the places we need to look are really simplistic in nature.

James E. Faust gives some beautiful advice for mothers. His advice?

“May I suggest that you take your challenges one day at a time. Do the best you can. Look at everything through the lens of eternity. If you will do this, life will take on a different perspective.”

James E. Faust, “Instruments in the Hands of God,” Ensign, Nov 2005, 114

Then, we can get a little more specific.

“It is my prayer that the Spirit will burn are filled with ways to teach us how to strengthen our families. There is no greater teacher than the Savior. As you study His teachings and follow His example, you can make your family life better. Let’s talk about three principles that will help you strengthen your home and family:

• Nurturing
• Sacrifice
• Prayer

To nurture means to support each other, to encourage each other, to nourish and love each other. Are we doing this in our families?

The Savior Himself taught us to nurture. Many times He said, “How oft have I gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and have nourished you” (3 Ne. 10:4).

The Savior is so proud of you. He knows what you’re going through. He understands how hard it is for you to make sacrifices. The Savior taught us to sacrifice. He sacrificed His life for all mankind.

As you help strengthen your family, prayer must be a consistent, daily part of your life. Prayer will protect you from the adversary, give you peace, and help your families love each other more.

How can you use prayer to strengthen your family? Because Heavenly Father loves you so, He wants you to talk to Him. Whatever struggles you may have, you can pray about anything. . .

Pray over problems that worry you! Don’t give up. Heavenly Father can and will answer your prayers. I have had many prayers that have been answered. I also have prayers that have not been answered yet. Our prayers will be answered in the Lord’s time when we are ready.”

Carol B. Thomas, “Strengthen Home and Family,” Ensign, May 2002, 94

A mother’s love is desperate and eternal. We face such a great challenge trying to raise our children up to their full potential. It’s often overwhelming and sometimes discouraging, but you are not left alone. Look to the simplest part of your love, the core at the very center of your heart that mirror’s God’s own love for you. Draw from the strength that can give and focus on the basics.

Take it one day at a time, with:
Faith
Nurturing
Sacrifice, and
Prayer

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About Alison P

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