Spiritual Sunday: Mom-Love

Sometimes being a mom is really, really hard. Not for the reason you automatically think though. Its not because my kids are hard – I’m actually very fortunate to have two good, very well mannered boys. I’m lucky. Its hard because I make it hard. Its taken me a while to admit that I’m the reason I feel the way I do sometimes. Its not always hard, but lately its hard a lot of the time. I know without a doubt that its because I AM SO DANG HARD ON MYSELF. I expect myself to be strong and tough and perfect and flexible and able to function while spreading myself thin. I have this vision of a ‘perfect’ mother and for some reason I get caught up in expecting myself to be that mom. That mom that 100% does not exist.

Am I the only one like this? I sure hope not. I tell myself I’m not. Thats why I’m doing this post. In case there are other moms who get stuck in this rut of mom guilt and being really, really, really hard on yourself and you need a boost. Maybe I can be a small little boost for you.

When I’m needing my own boost I typically turn to words. In writing and venting it out, yes, but also reading other peoples words. I’m all about inspirational, uplifting quotes and scriptures that instill hope. Over the last couple weeks of battling my mom-demons I’ve compiled my own list of moral boosting quotes and I’ll be sharing them here today with you guys. I hope at least one can make you feel a little lighter and more confident in yourself. Because ladies, we as moms are freaking awesome. There is no reason for us to be so hard on ourselves. As long as we love our children, ourselves and are doing the best we can – then we are being good mamas. Promise. Easier said than done, I get it. But for real. We are good and we are strong and amazing and everything our children need.

“God will be as close to us as we will have him.”

-Marvin J. Ashton-

“Now when our hearts were depressed and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren the Laminates and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success.”

-Alma 26:27-

“We learn and grow and become stronger as we face and survive the trials through which we must pass.”

-President Thomas S. Monson-

“And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”

-Jeremiah 29:13-

“She woke up every morning with the option of being anyone she wished. How beautiful it was that she always chose herself.”

-Tyler Kent White-

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”

-Isaiah 4:10-

“Your prayers for those in need are heard and answered by a loving God. He neither slumbers nor does he sleep.”

-Henry B. Eyring-

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

One of My Favorites…

Great news. General Conference is right around the corner. September 30-October 1st, to be exact.

As I’ve been preparing for the upcoming Conference I was trying to decide what my current favorite talk has been. Obviously they’re all amazing and inspired, but some just hit you in a stronger, more powerful way. Quite a few have done this for me but I can’t help but think of one in particular.

It was a talk by Elder Holland in October of 2015. It was titled, “Behold Thy Mother.” When this talk was given I was 8 months pregnant with my first child so I remember listening so intently because I wanted all the council I could get in hopes of becoming a good mom to my son. The talk not only inspired me and made me cry my eyes out, but it has planted itself in my brain so much that I have found myself going back and reading it at least once a month, if not more, to check in on myself and see if I’m being the mom I want to be.

Today I’m just going to share a few of my favorite snips of this talk. Really, I should just share the whole thing because its all incredible. But I’m going to shorten it a little to my favorite, most inspiring quotes. But if you want to read the whole talk (you do, i promise) then you can find it here.

“No love in mortality comes closer to approximating the pure love of Jesus Christ than the selfless love a devoted mother has for her child.”

“It is not only that they bear us, but they continue bearing with us.”

“Maternal love has to be divine. There is no other explanation for it. What mothers do is an essential element in Christ’s work.”

“To all mothers everywhere, past, present or future, I say, “Thank you. Thank you for giving birth, for shaping souls, for forming character, and for demonstrating the pure love of Christ.””

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

Perspective

I get really, really caught up in things that I know better than to get wrapped up in. I start thinking the way I dress, the make up I buy and wear, the way I do my hair, the way I present myself and the state of my house is super important. I allow myself to believe that some of the most vital things are if the laundry is done, the floors are swept and mopped and if my home somehow doesn’t look like I have a hyper one year-old living in it when I actually do. Oh and don’t forget how important it is to be emotionally stable at all times and ensure that everything in your life is happy, bright and shiny. Of course its completely impossible to attain this kind of lifestyle, but somehow I still find myself in ruts when I strive to be that ‘perfect’ person with a ‘perfect’ life and so on.

Thank goodness Heavenly Father has His ways of reminding you very quickly that there are things SO MUCH MORE IMPORTANT. Sometimes He reminds you in gentle, soft ways and other times He reminds you in loud, scary, earth shaking ways. But He always gets His point across and the reminder is blatantly there.

Not very long ago I got my reminder. It wasn’t the first and it won’t be the last, but it was a reminder unlike one I have every had in my life. It brought with it a lot of fear, worry and uncertainty, but it also brought an insane amount of miracles, blessings and life lessons like you wouldn’t believe. Its always weird to say you’re thankful for a trial (especially when you’re in the midst of it) but when you finally are able to even start getting the smallest glimpses of the bigger picture its amazing what you’re able to see and realize how much you have grown and how much growing you still have ahead of you. I think thats the stage I am in right now. There is a long road of understanding and comprehending ahead, but I have seen glimpses and I have already seen blessings and lessons surface and even though its easy to get swept up in ‘why me?’ and ‘this is terrible’ its kind of awesome to see what the Lord has in store for me and my family and our friends because of the trials He gives.

In short, if your house is messy and your dishes aren’t done and theres a pile of dirty laundry in your room – there is a lot more things of much greater importance that are in your life. If you didn’t do your hair or make up and you’re wearing dirty clothes, its not the end of the world. There are much more important things. If your home was left messy because you were spending time with your family or offering service to someone in need – in my opinion you’ve chosen the right task. Family, service, love and being there for one another is so much greater than vacuuming and making your bed every morning. I’m not saying your home can now turn into a disaster though. I just can’t stop thinking about how much more people are than what your house looks like. Priorities get mixed up I think. And also, its ok to cry! Its ok to be miserable and be confused. Its ok to tell people you aren’t happy and your heart is heavy. Its ok to show people that your life isn’t perfect. Its ok to fall apart sometimes and be raw and real and ask people for help and prayers. You don’t have to be perfect! Ever! Because no one is or every will be. I think its better if we embrace how messy and weird life is.

…can you tell I have a lot on my mind and have no idea how to properly voice it?

This is probably so jumbled and may not make any sense at all. But I have been feeling a lot of things lately and I just really felt like I wanted to share this and remind you guys we aren’t given challenges we can’t handle and we are given trials to learn from and grow from. I also want to remind you to be kind and respect people. Keep in mind you never know what they’re going through and what their strengths and weaknesses are. Say I love you, give support, lend a helping hand and don’t shy away from service. Let people vent to you, be a shoulder to cry on and never let people forget you are there for them. We are here to help each other, to love each other and to travel together on this journey. I’m grateful for those people in my life, for you reading this and especially for my wonderful family.

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

Spiritual Sunday: Love at Home

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Being a mother and a wife is such a special, sacred calling. I feel like I have this incredible responsibility to make sure my husband and children are happy, loved and nurtured. A reoccurring job wives and mothers often hear they need to implement in their home is assuring that it is a place where love is felt and the spirit is strong, making it a sanctuary and a place of refuge. This thought is quite daunting, but I also feel so honored to have this task placed upon me. I want my husband to come home from work and my children to come home from school or play and feel the spirit in our home and I want them to know how loved and cherished they are. As I have been thinking about this lately I have been setting some goals for myself on ways to make sure our home is full of love and full of the spirit.

  • Say morning prayers, evening prayers and lots of prayers in between – blessing the food, prayer for others, family prayer, etc
  • Make sure the scriptures are read daily by everyone in the home
  • Keep the house clean, organized, bright and happy
  • I love the quote, “there should be no yelling in the home unless there is a fire” – I want to be a wife and mother who doesn’t yell and who is still able to keep order without raising my voice
  • We will hold weekly Family Home Evening
  • We will treat all our family members as equals
  • I can pray as a mother and ask that our home be blessed with the spirit and with love

These are just a few simple things, but I truly believe that as we really make sure to hold ourselves to these goals that our home will be a place of love, happiness and most importantly, a place where the spirit dwells.

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

Spiritual Sunday: My Favorite Primary Song

Its been too long since I have done a Spiritual Sunday post. Sometimes I feel like these posts are kind of annoying, but recently I’ve reminded myself that I can be a force for good and I can spread a little joy on my tiny corner of the internet that maybe, even for a second can make someone feel happiness – and I feel like a good way I can do this is through my Sunday posts.

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Because I am a Pinterest-addict and also pin a lot of LDS stuff, I come across a lot of neat LDS quotes. The other night I found this one and I literally felt my heart burst with warmth. It was a quote from my favorite primary song – my all time favorite church song. The song is called, A Childs Prayer and the lyrics are:

“Heavenly Father, are you really there? And do you hear and answer every childs prayer? Some say that heaven is far away, but I feel it close around me as I pray. Heavenly Father, I remember now, something that Jesus told disciples long ago – ‘suffer the children to come to me’, Father, in prayer I’m coming now to thee.

Pray, he is there. Speak, he is listening. You are His child, His love now surrounds you. He hears your prayers. He loves the children. Of such is the kingdom, the kingdom of Heaven.”

I know that Heavenly Father hears and answers my prayers. But for whatever reason as I read this quote I was reminded of just how incredible that is. I have a Father in heaven who loves me, cares for me, wants the best for me, has an incredible plan of happiness for me and who genuinely listens to my prayers – no matter how repetitive, obnoxious, anxiety-filled, depressing or worldly they are — and He answers them (in his own time and way of course)! I am so blessed. The Gospel is so good and I am so, so very thankful for my Heavenly Father who does hear everyones prayers, who is close to me especially as I pray and who loves me.

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

Spiritual Sunday: Direction is Better Than Speed

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I don’t know if its this way for everyone, but for me at least, its easy to get discouraged when it comes to progressing spiritually. There are times where I am rocking it. I’m not just reading my scriptures, I’m studying them, I’m not saying simple prayers, I’m putting my heart, soul and lots of faith into them, I read General Conference talks, daily, I enforce Family Home Evening in my home once a week, I encourage family prayer and scripture study and just feel like I’m doing everything right. But then there are times where I’m so spiritually lazy. It isn’t because my testimony has faltered at all, I have ill feelings towards the church or don’t agree with something the church has said or asked me to do… Its just that I can truly be lazy. I go days without reading my scriptures, my prayers are short and routine. I know I can do better — so much better, in these instances.

Lately whenever I feel as if I’m not doing the 10,000 things I need to do in order to be a good member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Later-Day Saints, I have found the quote from Larry R. Lawrence to be incredibly helpful and assist in putting things back into perspective for me and giving me hope and a boost I need. The quote says, “To Him, our direction is more important than our speed.” I am so thankful Elder Lawrence was inspired to say this phrase in General Conference because it has lifted me up on so many occasions since then. Maybe I am not progressing at lightning speed or as fast as whoever I am currently comparing myself to or even half as fast as them, but as long as I am not standing still or doing nothing at all, I’m still headed the right direction! And that is enough for Heavenly Father.

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

Spiritual Sunday: Hymn #224

“I have work enough to do, ere the sun goes down. For myself and kindred too, ere the sun goes down. Ev’ry idle whisper stilling with a purpose firm and willing, all my daily tasks fulfilling, ere the sun goes down.

I must speak the loving word, ere the sun goes down. I must let my voice be heard, ere the sun goes down. Ev’ry cry of pity heeding for the injured interceding, to the light and lost ones leading, ere the sun goes down.

As I journey on my way, ere the sun goes down. God’s commands I must obey, ere the sun goes down. There are sins that need confessing, there are wrongs that need redressing. If I would obtain the blessing, ere the sun goes. down.”

-I Have Work Enough to Do (Hymn #224 in the LDS Hymnal)

Several weeks ago in Relief Society this song was our closing hymn. I don’t feel like this is a widely well-known church hymn, yet I know I’ve sang it so many times before. But this day as I sang it, it really struck something in me. I’ve never paid attention to the words before like I did this time, and guys? This is a really good song.

Particular lines that really stood out to me:

“I have work enough to do…for myself and kindred too…”

“I must speak the loving word”

“As I journey on my way…God’s commands I must obey…”

“There are sins that need confessing, there are wrongs that need redressing”

I love when you’re singing a hymn and the words really mean something to you. I felt like as I listened to these words I was able to set a few new goals for myself. I need to spend my days working for me and my family and spend a lot less time in front of the tv or mindlessly doing things that really don’t matter. I need to make sure I am speaking kindly and lovingly to everyone – not just those who are easy to speak that way to. I need to obey the council we are given and always be mindful of heeding to the Commandments. Every night I want to use the atonement in my life and repent of the sins I’ve committed no matter how big or small and strive to be a better person.

This is a short post here, but I strongly encourage you to read through some hymns or really pay attention next time hymns are sung – those words are powerful and pack some powerful messages.

Have a  happy Sunday!

xoxo

ceeceesparkles