Wednesday, September 30, 2009

'Because She Is a Mother'

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A few weeks ago, I was sitting next to Aaron Jr. while he watched a show on TV called 'Franklin'. It is a cute cartoon about a turtle and his friends and family. Anyhow, on the show, Franklin at one point tells his mom 'Mom, you're the best mom I've ever had.' Well, a few minutes later, Aaron Jr. turned to me and said through a smile, 'You're the best mom I ever had.' It melted my heart and I had to smile and give him the biggest hug and tell him that I love him. Ever since then, he randomly tells me that and I tell him that he is the best son I have ever had. He seems to like that.

I have been reflecting a lot lately on motherhood and my role as Aaron Jr's mother. I have been reflecting on the overwhelming task at hand to do right by him, to make sure he is being taught and molded into what he needs to become. I have been reflecting lately on whether or not he is truly feeling the overflowing amount of love that I have for him. I tell him I love him, but does he FEEL it? It is through our actions that they would truly know and feel the love. That is where I am falling short I think.

I have been overwhelmed and stressed lately about life in general, and even more specifically about the worries of finances and worries about being a 'lone' parent to this little boy and giving him what he needs. I am IT for him. I am his one and only. Neither of us get to look forward to someone coming home at the end of the day. For me it would be someone to talk to and to share in the emotions of the day... good or bad, someone to just take over for a bit while I get a few things done that need to get done. For Aaron Jr it would be someone new to play with, someone new to pay attention to him, to wrestle with him, and to show all the news things he experienced that day with me. This is life for us... I know that... and I am accepting it more and more each day, but times come when it gets a little more overwhelming than other times to deal with life without Aaron here to deal with it along with me. That is when relying on the Lord becomes a must. Because He is always waiting for us to do so.

These are some of the matters that are weighing on me heavily. There are a few more that are a little more personal, but a little too personal to write here.

The calling of being a mother is such a divine calling. One that I am so grateful to have... I am just feeling so inadequate lately. Aaron Jr was sent to our family for a reason. He is the light of my life. He is such a special boy and is teaching me far more than I am teaching him. I keep being brought to tears the past couple of days when I think about my sweet boy and the areas I am not reaching my potential as a mother. The desire is there. I desire to be all that he needs me to be.

I was talking to my sister Lisa last night about some of this and she reminded me of a posting she had done on her blog one day during the summer and wanted me to read it again. So I did. (thanks Lisa) She had shared her own thoughts about being a mother and then these are some excerpts from the General Conference talk given by Elder Holland. It says:

"Yours is the grand tradition of Eve, the mother of all the human family, the one who understood that she and Adam had to fall in order that "men [and women] might be" and that there would be joy. Yours is the grand tradition of Sarah and Rebekah and Rachel, without whom there could not have been those magnificent patriarchal promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob which bless us all. Yours is the grand tradition of Lois and Eunice and the mothers of the 2,000 stripling warriors. Yours is the grand tradition of Mary, chosen and foreordained from before this world was, to conceive, carry, and bear the Son of God Himself. We thank all of you, including our own mothers, and tell you there is nothing more important in this world than participating so directly in the work and glory of God, in bringing to pass the mortality and earthly life of His daughters and sons, so that immortality and eternal life can come in those celestial realms on high.

When you have come to the Lord in meekness and lowliness of heart and, as one mother said, "pounded on the doors of heaven to ask for, to plead for, to demand guidance and wisdom and help for this wondrous task," that door is thrown open to provide you the influence and the help of all eternity. Claim the promises of the Savior of the world. Ask for the healing balm of the Atonement for whatever may be troubling you or your children. Know that in faith things will be made right in spite of you, or more correctly, because of you.

You can't possibly do this alone, but you do have help. The Master of Heaven and Earth is there to bless you--He who resolutely goes after the lost sheep, sweeps thoroughly to find the lost coin, waits everlastingly for the return of the prodigal son. Yours is the work of salvation, and therefore you will be magnified, compensated, made more than you are and better than you have ever been as you try to make honest effort, however feeble you may sometimes feel that to be.

Rely on Him. Rely on Him heavily. Rely on Him forever. And "press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope." You are doing God's work. You are doing it wonderfully well. He is blessing you and He will bless you, even--no, especially--when your days and your nights may be the most challenging. Like the woman who anonymously, meekly, perhaps even with hesitation and some embarrassment, fought her way through the crowd just to touch the hem of the Master's garment, so Christ will say to the women who worry and wonder and sometimes weep over their responsibility as mothers, "Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole." And it will make your children whole as well."

"Because She Is a Mother" Jeffrey R. Holland, General Conference April 1997

I pray that Heavenly Father will give me the patience, the strength, the wisdom, the love, and the knowledge to be the mother that Aaron Jr needs me to be. The mother that he will look to throughout his life and FEEL my love for him and truly KNOW that 'I was the best mom he ever had'.


Below are the rest of the photos of Aaron Jr and me from the photo shoot with Sara. Thanks again Sara. I wanted to have them in this 'journal' and they go along with this posting about motherhood.

Sara Boulter Photography

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Kristi said...

Cute pictures! HOw do you choose one to blow up and frame when there are so many good ones?
I love to read everyone's encouraging words about motherhood. Heaven knows we need all the encouragement we can get.

Vicki said...

All of those pictures are darling! I also love the song that starts playing when this blog opens ("The Call" by Regina Spektor) ... I also really like the movie it's in ("The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian"). :-)

Leslie said...

Just from looking at those pictures...I think he knows. I think Aaron Jr knows how much you love him! What a great mom you are!

Jen said...

Great pictures of the two of you. They are amazing.

Coach Cluff said...

so precious. i can tell you're an amazing mother simply by the cute smile on aaron's face. love you.

Lisa said...

those pictures are priceless treasures. he is such a happy boy in spite of everything he has been through. i hope for you to be that happy too. love you.

Tiffany said...

As I look at those fabulous photos,I can't help but think in your own way, how blessed you are. You have one child and because of that, you are able to have an incredible bond with him. You have been given a tremendous trial, but what a blessing to have such a little boy in your life. Though I don't know you, I know you are a wonderful mother simply from reading your blog. I don't think there is any doubt that Aaron Jr doesn't FEEL your love daily!

jensenfamily said...

loved that quote by Elder Holland- and I love the picture on the dock where you are looking at the camera and Aaron is looking down - so cute~ you look beautiful~ Erin

Anonymous said...

You can see the love just oozing out of your eyes Leslie. Hard to miss!

I love the shots of you and little Aaron with the cowboy hats on. But then all of them are gorgeous...



Kate, Alek, Hank, and Cash (RIP RED) said...

Mercy Leslie How I could talk with you for hours over this very subject of raising my Son without his father.......I question myself constantly..sending you hugs and wishing you and I lived a lot closer.

Scott and Andrea said...

Cute pictures. I love your hair. Thanks for the thoughts on motherhood. We all need a reminder of its importance.