Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Gift of Nurturing

Our RS Birthday dinner was tonight. The theme was "Christ's Gifts to Women", which was based on a new book at Deseret Book. The gifts listed are: mercy, experience, wholeness, nurturing, and seeing.
I was asked to give a 5 minute talk "about a woman or women in your life who exhibited a particular Christlike attribute, perhaps emphasizing how we can apply that to all women." Immediately when I was asked I thought about my mom. But I didn't think I could get up and talk about her and not cry through the whole thing. I tried to think of other women who I know that I could talk about (and there are many) but I knew I really wanted to talk about my mom. So to get through it, I wrote it down and read most of it (and still cried several times).

Gift of Nurturing

With all the gifts listed on the invitation I most identify with the gift of nurturing. I looked up on the church website and found these statements:

President Hinckley said “You are the guardians of the hearth,” he told the sisters.(at the General RS Meeting) “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.”6

Julie Beck said:

“The Family: A Proclamation to the World” states, “Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children.” 1 A good nurturer carries power and influence. The Latin word nutrire, from which the English wordnurture originates, means “to suckle or nourish,” or, in the full interpretation, “to feed, foster, care for, or rear.” True power is found in the hands of a worthy nurturer, especially at mealtimes.

Many significant events in the scriptures are centered around meals. To solidify important spiritual teachings, the Savior fed people physically. When teaching His higher law to 5,000 people, He filled them with loaves and fishes (see Matt. 14:15–21). Before His atoning sacrifice, He called His disciples not to a final meeting but to a last supper. There He taught them to “love one another; as I have loved you” (John 13:34). After His Resurrection, on the shores of Galilee, He bid His disciples to “come and dine. … Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise. … So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me … ?” (John 21:12–13, 15). It was also at a meal that Jesus gave the earthshaking charge to the Apostles to “go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).

The Lord knows that food and the circumstances in which we partake of it can help us remember some important things. We remember people we have shared a meal with, and we remember where we have eaten special meals. The children of Israel celebrated feasts to commemorate blessings of the Lord, such as the Passover. Each week we are nurtured by the Lord as we partake of the emblems of His atoning sacrifice, represented by bread and water—two essentials of life. The Savior taught, “For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him” (John 6:55–56). Through nurturing emblems we promise to “always remember Him” (D&C 20:77, 79).

As I think of this gift of nurturing, of course I think of my own mother. As my sister said there is no one better to talk about than our mom when it comes to being Christ like and being an example of the gifts from Christ. My mom did a wonderful job of raising five children and she worked hard doing it. I think back about what she did for us and the list is long:

  • she made us lunch every day to take to school – that’s five kids in school plus she made a lunch every day for my dad too. I can barely make a lunch for the twins to take once in awhile. At the time we probably didn’t appreciate it and sometimes wished we could have school lunch but now I realize how much effort that took.
  • I’m pretty sure she made us dinner every night and we ate together as a family every night of the week. My dad’s job was very consistent and he was home at the same time every night and we had dinner every night. I cannot even imagine making dinner every night – I feel like I’m doing pretty good if I make dinner 3-4 times a week.
  • my mom made sure we were all cared for – we had a nice home that she took care of and clothes – many that she made – to wear that were always clean. While growing up I never fully appreciated what all of that meant. Now that I am trying to manage my own home I understand all that she did and what she sacrificed personally for our family.
  • My mom and dad did a wonderful job of teaching us the gospel and holding regular FHE. They taught us to write in our journals and even had us share what we had written. When I didn’t want to read what I’d written (because I’d written about some cute boy or something) it was a bit scandalous since I was the oldest and first to start breaking away from the family. Now that my first one is gone and the next soon to leave I understand how hard it is to let them go.
  • Probably one of the greatest times my mother cared for me was when I had Taylor, our 3rd child. We were living in Tucson at the time and he was born in Sept (and we were living in a house with no A/C). She flew down to help out with Justin and Brooke and the new baby. It turned out that she needed to do so much more because a few days after having taylor, I couldn’t walk. The swelling from the birth had gone down and my pelvis had separated because he was such a big baby. I couldn’t walk or do anything due to incredible pain. I ended up living in a rented recliner chair in the front room. My mom took over the household and did everything. All I did was feed Taylor, whom my mom brought to me, and she did the rest. It was the greatest act of love and service.
  • My mom didn’t only serve her family but those around her – neighbors, friends, siblings, ward members, etc. She helped care for her neighbor who was dying from cancer. She has been a great friend to many and does so much, never complaining.

My greatest goal in life is to be like my mother.


Susan Byers said...

Very good! Agree 100% with the last sentence!

*****Love and Lady Bug***** said...

Love this. Made me cry :(

Paige said...

So Sweet! I'm sure your mom cried. What would we do without moms?

The Martin Family said...

Holy tear jerker. She is such a great example. What an awesome tribute Lisa. I am glad you posted it!!