Mother’s Day

These are my jewels.

Yesterday at church I did enjoy the story about Cornelia Gracchuser – a famous mother from Rome. (Yes, I just erased the 3 paragraphs I wrote about what I don’t enjoy at church on Mother’s Day – you’ve been spared.)

I researched Cornelia a bit today and found that she gave birth to 12 children (uncommon of Roman times.) Only three of her children survived until adulthood. She was widowed at an early age and devoted herself to her children, refusing all offers of marriage. Her daughter married well, and her two sons (Tiberius and Gaius) ended up as very influential tribunes (like a US Senator) in Rome. They were known as “the Gracchi” – they both ended up dying for their unpopular political views which included the ideas that land monopolies should be limited, the price of corn controlled, and citizenship improved for Italians and Spaniards. Essentially they were pro-underdog and the rich people didn’t like it and had them killed for stirring up the people in popular support.

Cornelia is well remembered as a virtuous Roman woman. The city erected a marble statue in her honor after her death. She stood by her sons throughout their lives and remained poised after their deaths. Perhaps though she is most spoken of because of a very small incident that occurred. She was well-off being the daughter of a war hero and the widow of politician, but  it seems that Cornelius didn’t let the wealth  rob her of perspective as a mother.

When a wealthy lady visitor came and showed off her jewelry, instead of Cornelius showing off hers in return she brought forth her two sons and said, “These are my jewels.”

How much I want to remember that my children are my greatest jewels. Modern society (like ancient Rome) makes it easy to forget that our children are so much greater than any material wealth we can obtain. I, like so many others, get caught up in other women showing off their treasures and want to have my own to shove right back in their face.

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Yesterday as I looked out the window and saw my girls lovingly chatting with each other on the old dilapidated trampoline and then later caught Abigail in the second-hand hammock rocking Caroline,

I wonder if you all heard me around the world as I shouted:

“These are my jewels.”

Hopefully God will help me remember them in all their glory the next time I look in my outdated closet, go on another free date night, and especially when I have to force myself to cook yet one more frugal meal.

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Embracing the weakness(es)

caroline preschool

Caroline brought this home from preschool today.
It does a really good job of outlining my weakness(es).
Unfortunately, they are plural.
She doesn’t even give away my best ones here.
(I am sure I will be visiting them all in future posts so keep coming back you moms who want to feel better about yourselves.)
Thank you pre-school teacher for the Mother’s Day gift.

caroline mothers day

1. I like to sleep too much. I’m especially awful in the wee hours of the morning. “Just give me a minute!” I am sure Caroline has heard that one too many times. One time is probably too many.

2. Instead of confessing my love enough I demand things of my children such as “clean your room.” The worst part is this is coming from Caroline who I think I do the best job of telling I love her. How must my other kids be feeling?

3. I don’t like Caroline to clean up with me. In fact I am awful about just wanting my kids to get out of my way when it comes to cleaning. I do let them help, but I need to let them always.

4. I like ALL kinds of food. Yes, I do.

(I am kind of impressed that my 3 year old really knows my favorite color)

The only bit of hope I take from this wonderful Mother’s Day gift is that Caroline still loves me. She loves me because she loves me. Thank goodness!

I take a little comfort from Ether 12:27

And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient  for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humbles themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will make weak things become strong unto them.

It makes me feel better knowing that God gave me the weaknesses. They only real fault I have is not turning to him to help me overcome them. For some reason I can handle the fact that I haven’t relied on  him like I should better than the fact that I am inherently flawed. Today I give myself kuddos for admitting my weakness. That’s always the first step.

In my daily study I just found a gem. Here, you too, can read the address James E. Faust was preparing for the LDS General Conference when he passed away.

He said this:

Each one of us has been given the power to change his or her life. As part of the Lord’s great plan of happiness, we have individual agency to make decisions. We can decide to do better and to be better. In some ways all of us need to change; that is, some of us need to be more kind at home, less selfish, better listeners, and more considerate in the way we treat others. Some of us have habits that need to be changed, habits that harm us and others around us. Sometimes we may need a jolt to propel us into changing.

Let us remember that the power to change is very real, and it is a great spiritual gift from God.

I guess Caroline’s Mother’s Day gift was one of my jolts. Why do they have to happen so often?