I have a love affair with words. I always have.
I love what they can inspire in you, the places they take you to in your mind, in your spirit (heart), the connections forged between the two.
I love the inspiration that comes from pondering and mulling them over. I love a good story. I love messages, physically and spiritually. I love that feeling of my heart (and spirit) soaring over something I've read that is stunning -- something that carries me far away, reaches deep inside of me, teaches truth. It's like a firecracker in your mind, bringing brilliant light to replace uncertainty, darkness, or fear.
I love the scripture in Alma (see highlighted verse here) where it talks about words having a more powerful effect on the people than anything else.
I believe that.
For me, this week, words have given a blessed reminder, new purpose and direction, an entirely fresh perspective.
I've been blessed with lovely days this week with my family.
Days that I would like to just hit the repeat button again and again.
Days that end with quiet, tucked in snuggly reading -- where it didn't feel rushed or frenzied, where I wasn't at my end by the dusk of day.
Morning hours spent learning -- and seeing the progress in lengthening strides (and squealing with delight and excitement inside for me!).
Loving my role.
Making food and nourishing (another one of my loves).
I've always felt passionate about motherhood, since I was a little girl.
I can honestly say there's never been a time I wished I was doing something else.
But it's taxing, too. More than I ever would have imagined before I had children (and multiple young children), and I feel quite confident that revelation is going to continue to dawn on me as they grow and new challenges present themselves with each new stage.
And then there are friends of mine who work, trying to balance motherhood and working, and I admire the challenges of that as well.
Sometimes it's exhausting. I've talked with lots of friends who have these days sometimes, who feel inadequate, who are frustrated with their own imperfections and falling short, who are their own worst critics.
It's not that on the difficult days I don't still love being a mother. But I do feel like, on those days, I often lose my sense of purpose, the WHY and WONDER behind it all, letting my frustration take me adrift.
But this week I've been pondering a few things. When Pres. Hinckley gave this proclamation to the world, introducing it first to the women of the church, he began with a profound statement that I've been mulling over. He said to the women,
"You are the guardians of the hearth. You are the bearers of the children. You are they who nurture them and establish within them the habits of their lives. No other work reaches so close to divinity as does the nurturing of the sons and daughters of God."
I can't read that without it striking a deep, resonant chord within me.
I know this truth.
I've always known it, and it has been manifest to me, again and again, in a myriad of ways -- before my own motherhood, and in so many ways since conception and birth were part of my own experience.
There is nothing quite like being given the opportunity to carry a child, to feel that baby alive in your womb. Nothing that really compares with spiritual promptings about your children, knowing who they are, being allowed the tender, quiet moments where heaven whispers truth to you that becomes indelibly printed there. Those moments where the worth of another soul becomes so much tied to your own. It's a marvelous, humbling, astounding experience.
Pres. Hinckley's words empower and remind me.
And these other words have been floating around. I've thought about them in the morning and evening every day this week, literally looking at these words on a page. They come from here.
"Strong families require effort....Be cheerful, helpful, and considerate of family members...Seek to be a peacemaker rather than to tease, fight, and quarrel. Show love for your family members each day. Share your testimony with your family...Honor your parents...Strengthen your relationships with your [siblings]...fulfill your divine roles as a husband or wife and as a parent."
...and what I ended up translating to this word...
A powerful effect? A brilliant light?
I feel it.