Last week, I was asked to share a short post for ScriptureLight on Instagram, and I thought I would share it here as well. The Topic I was asked to write about was a short lesson on parenting I had learned from the scriptures or what I wish I would have known when I first became a mother. What a great reminder writing this was for me.
I wish I would have realized sooner that the scriptures really are the ultimate parenting manual. One experience that taught me this was at a time when our children seemed to be constantly arguing, and nothing I had tried seemed to be working. One day as I was praying and wondering what to do, I was led to 4 Nephi 1:15: “And it came to pass that there was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people,” and to Alma 31: 5: ” And now, as the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just–yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword or anything else, which had happened unto them–therefore Alma thought it was expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God.” I had my answer. The most important thing I could do was to teach my children to love God. Their behavior would be changed more by learning the gospel and loving their Savior than anything else I could try or teach them. I’m so thankful for the scriptures, and for the peace and knowledge they bring to my life.
The very lovely and sweet Elizabeth Riley interviewed me about homeschool for her blog. I was honored to be featured with so many other great women that she has interviewed about homeschooling. You can read the other interviews by clicking here. I thought I would share a portion of our interview and then you can click over to her blog to read the rest. Thanks for reading!
What are your long-term education goals for your family? My long-term educational goals for my family are that everyone knows how to learn, that they love to learn, and that they continue to learn for the rest of their lives. I think that if you know how to learn and you love to learn there isn’t anything in the world, especially now with technology the way it is, that you can’t teach yourself. So many people have self-defeating ideas that learning can only take place in a classroom and that learning isn’t necessary after you graduate from school. But, to me learning is fun, it’s exciting, it helps me become better, it helps me grow and do new things. It helps me fulfill my dreams. Learning has meaning and purpose, and it benefits you and all those around you.
What do you love most about homeschooling? I love that I get to spend time with my children. I love that I get to help them discover the joy of learning. I also get to watch their passions and dreams materialize, and I get to help them work toward those dreams. I also love that I get to learn right along with my children.
Click over to Elizabeth’s blog to see why I homeschool, what our daily schedule looks like, how I teach different ages, and to read an interview I did with my 20 year old daughter about her homeschooling experience. You can read the full interview here.
Leave me a comment. I would love to hear your thoughts and/or questions!
Liard Hot Springs was a little bit of heaven in the middle of the Canadian wilderness. After a 10 minute walk from the camp ground, on a boardwalk over very swampy ground, we arrived at a tropical paradise. It was heavenly.
The beautiful wooden pavilion houses the dressing rooms, and the wooden deck under the awning leads to stairs down into two separate pools. The upper pool is fed by the hot spring, and the lower pool is filled by the overflow of the upper pool. The water is very hot at the mouth of the spring and is cooler the farther away from the spring head. This was wonderful because if you were cold you could move up closer to the spring, or if you got hot you could move farther away. The dirt walls around you are carved by the running stream , and underneath your feet are the tiny rocks of the stream bed. The water flowed through the second pool and wound its way around corners as the walls of the stream bed narrowed. I didn’t venture as far back as the stream bed went. It was too cold and too narrow.
When we arrived a good friend of ours from North Pole, AK was there swimming. He was driving to the lower 48 as well, and had stopped there for a bit of relaxation like us. It was sure fun to see a familiar face.
We enjoyed it so much we spent the whole evening there, and then the girls and I went back the next morning before we left. The best part about our time there was that I just got to enjoy my children. I got to just BE with them without any obligations, or appointments, or “you should be doing _________” , or “I should be doing______” “we have to hurry because”. I just got to enjoy our time together, and it was so refreshing. I don’t have enough of those moments with my children, but I’m hoping this trip provides a lot more.
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I’ve been lamenting, a bit, this spring that my running/walking partner (I run, he walks) a.k.a my wonderful husband, has kind of lost interest in running/walking, and has been too busy working on my vehicle getting it ready to go for the trip, to run/walk with me. As I was pondering and bemoaning this problem the other day, I realized that Hannah Banana has been dying to do the Color Run. She had wanted to do it last year, but for some reason we missed it, and it has been on her mind ever since. This spring she started insisting we sign up so we wouldn’t miss it again, and once I had committed to running it with her, she has been pushing me to go running with her so she can train. Hannah is very persistent when she wants something, and when I say very I mean very, Very, VERY, and I realized that I had the perfect new running partner right in front of me and I hadn’t even realized it.
Saturday was the Color Run, and it just so happened that it was also my birthday. What a way to celebrate another year of life. Hannah and I had so much fun together. It was the perfect mother/daughter date, and it was something that I think we will always remember. We didn’t do a lot of training, but we did some and we ran the race in 41 minutes. We weren’t the fastest, but we weren’t the slowest either.
Hannah is already insisting that we continue our running through the summer, and I’m so happy that I have such a fun, energetic, and persistent new running partner.
Dear 30 Something-ish Man in line behind me at the grocery store,
A while back, I was at the grocery store with all of my children, and although shopping with 7 children is not without mayhem or challenges, all of my children were behaving rather well that day, if I recall.
We had finally made it to the check out line. I had all of my groceries on the conveyor belt, and my children were inspecting the candy there in the check out aisle and repeatedly asking if I would buy them such and such. A few of them had their own money and were settling on their own purchases and asking my advice, and the clerk was scanning my groceries when you asked me, “Are all these your children?” Now, I know that the sight of 7 children with one woman is rare, and I may have even looked a bit worn out, and maybe even a little crazy, but when I said, “Yes, they are all mine,” I said it with a bit of satisfaction and pride. I’ve also been asked your question a hundred times before, so I wasn’t surprised by it, but what I was surprised by was your answer back when you said, “Oh, I feel so sorry for you.” My heart sank. What? I gave a very awkward, “Huh huh,” back to you as I tried to process in my brain if you had really just said what I thought you said. About that time, the clerk finished ringing me up, so I paid for my groceries, then my children made their purchases and we left.
After I got to the car, and I had loaded all the kids and groceries in, I had time to process what you had just said and it saddened and angered me. I wish I had said to you then what I am going to say to you now:
Don’t feel sorry for me. I love my life. This is the life I chose. This is the life I want. I love my children and I chose to have them. They didn’t just show up on my doorstep one day like lost kittens or puppies that I had to take in and care for. It might have seemed to you that you were sympathizing with me, but to me your comment was an insult, and especially insulting to my children. How dare you imply that my children are a burden and worth less than what you think my life should be. My children were present when you addressed me, and how dare you imply that because of them I should be pitied. They and their father are the best part of my life. They give love and bring joy and indescribable happiness to my life. Being their mother brings a sense of fulfillment that I have not felt doing anything else. I’m not a mother because I wasn’t good enough or smart enough to do something else. I can do and be anything I want to, and I choose to be a mother. I’m happy with my choice, and I have never regretted it. I don’t feel oppressed, held down or held back by being a mother, so why should you pity me for it? Maybe you see a life as a mother as meaningless. Maybe you see a life without monetary pay and no worldly acknowledgement for the things I am doing, and to you that’s a shame. Maybe you see a life without freedom to travel and play, and that, to you, is a life to be pitied. What you don’t see is that to at least 7 people, I am the most important person in the world. To them I am totally irreplaceable. And, what you don’t see are the tender little hearts that depend on me to fix every little heart ache and problem, and the indescribable joy that it brings to me to be able to do that. Maybe to you, it looks like I’m just doing the dishes and the laundry and that nothing that I do everyday matters much, but I know that as a mother, I am changing the world. I know that what I am doing now in my home is so important it is effecting generations to come. I know no other job is as important to the world as being a mother, and I know I would not have such an impact doing anything else.
I know that the most important things in life aren’t bought with money, and that the satisfaction I feel from being a mother can not be found any other way. I know the relationships I have with my children bring a joy that I won’t find anywhere else. I’m incredibly grateful that I have the opportunity to be a mother. I know families can be together forever, and I know that the only things we can take with us when we die are the relationships we have developed here on earth and the knowledge we have gained. I know that what I am doing as a mother will have more profound an influence on the world than anything else I could do. I love my beautiful family and I think I am the richest person in the world because of them.
I wish I had taken the time to share my feeling with you at the moment, especially, for my children’s sake. I let someone belittle my children and I didn’t stand up for them. Please, don’t feel sorry for me because I have children, feel sorry for me that we live in a world that doesn’t value children anymore, and that a life given in service as a mother is seen as no life at all. “Raising children is what changes the world the most.”–Rachel DeMille
A Mom Lucky Enough to Have 7 Children
“The shame and the downfall of a modern materialistic society is her inability to treasure, care for, admire, adore, cherish, value, revere, respect, uphold, uplift, protect, shield, defend, safeguard, treasure and love her children… If a nation or if a population of people fails to recognize the excellent value and distinction of the lives of her children and is defective enough to have lost the capability of expressing and acting upon these instincts then there is nothing that can save that nation or those people.” ― C. JoyBell C.
Other Posts About Being a Mom:
A few days ago, I was having one of those, “I’m a horrible mother, my children hate me, I can’t do anything right, I’m a failure,” sort of days. I was thinking about all the things I should be doing but I’m not, and all the things I’m doing that I shouldn’t be, and I was feeling pretty discouraged. I decided to give myself a time out and go to the store for some needed groceries. As I was driving, I said a quick little prayer asking God to help me not to be so discouraged about everything. I sat in the grocery store parking lot making out my grocery list and I thought I would also make a list of everything I needed to work on in my life. (If you know me very well, you know that everything I do in my life begin and ends with a list.) As I turned on my phone, to make my list, I felt inspired to, first, make a list of everything I was already doing well. At first, I thought it was going to be a very short list and I was really going to struggle with finding anything to write. As I got started however, I began to see that it wasn’t as hard as I had originally thought it would be. Ideas were coming to my mind. I started with the easy things like: my kids are safe, my kids are clean (mostly). Then I wrote things like: I’m good at making a homemade dinner every night, and I do the laundry. I continued to write, and I was surprised by how long my list was getting. I was doing a lot of good things for my family that I hadn’t even thought of before. Looking at my list cheered me up immensely and I could see how far I really have come over the years. Some of my strengths and things I am doing well now were things I had previously struggled with. I realized I’m not a complete failure like I thought I was, in fact I was doing pretty good.
Once the “Doing Well” list was complete I started in on the “Needs Improvement” list. And you know what? It was much shorter than I had expected it to be, and I was surprised to see that the good far outweighed the bad. This list took on a new meaning as well. Instead of it being a list of all my flaws, failures, and character defects like I thought it would be in the beginning, it became a to do list, a starting place, and an action plan of things I could work on. I could see that the things on my list like “go to bed earlier,” and “clean my family room” were things to do and not character flaws. All the things I needed to change didn’t seem so overwhelming now. Instead, I had a manageable list of things I could improve upon, instead of just having an overwhelming feeling of guilt and failure with no hope in sight.
I’m thankful for a loving God who answered my “I’m so discouraged and I need help” prayer by inspiring me to see the good I was already doing. God doesn’t want us to be discouraged. When we are discouraged we often feel helpless and unable to change. God knows we are wonderful and capable and he sees our good and so should we.
Next time you are feeling like a failure, pray and ask God to help you see the all the good you are doing and then make a list of everything that comes to mind. I guarantee it will lift your spirits and you will be surprised about how awesome you really are.