Maybe it's because I've struggled with those types of things that I'm even more grateful today to be sitting here feeling overwhelming gratitude and joy. My life is not in any means perfect or perfectly put together. I have struggles and trials and sadness and lots and lots of messes! But I get to be a mother to the most amazing children! Taylor, Parker, Jessica, Jacob, Emily, Elli, Graci, Xander, Lexi, Sophi, Cali, and Conner-- you will never know how much I love you! You are perfect for me. The joys and the trials you bring to my life are just exactly what I need to be perfectly happy.
I am forever grateful that our Heavenly Father chose me to mother these precious spirits, and I am so grateful that I chose to do it! Being a mom is such a sacred privilege. There was a time in my life where I would reply to the questions, "So what do you do?" with, "I'm just a mom." Now I answer, "I get to stay home with my kids and be a full time mommy!" I am so grateful for this blessing that many moms do not have.
Sometimes I struggle with comparing myself to other moms. It is very, very easy to see my own weaknesses in the strengths of my friends or sisters. But I am getting so much better at appreciating and applauding the talents and strengths of the mothers around me without bringing myself down. So to all of those mothers in my life-- neighbors, friends, and relatives-- thank you for your beautiful examples! I love being around you, because you make me want to be a better mom. Thank you for uplifting me and making me feel loved! I value you so much!
There are also women in my life who desire to be moms but for various reasons are not. I know that these women will someday have the desire of their hearts, even if it is not in this life. I love this quote from Sheri Dew:
When we understand the magnitude of motherhood, it becomes clear why prophets have been so protective of woman’s most sacred role. While we tend to equate motherhood solely with maternity, in the Lord’s language, the word mother has layers of meaning. Of all the words they could have chosen to define her role and her essence, both God the Father and Adam called Eve “the mother of all living”—and they did so before she ever bore a child. Like Eve, our motherhood began before we were born. Just as worthy men were foreordained to hold the priesthood in mortality, righteous women were endowed pre-mortally with the privilege of motherhood. Motherhood is more than bearing children, though it is certainly that. It is the essence of who we are as women. It defines our very identity, our divine stature and nature, and the unique traits our Father gave us.
To my own perfect mother-- Happy Mother's Day. To my wonderful mother-in-law-- Happy Mother's Day. To Grandma Larsen--Happy Mother's Day. To all of you amazing women in my life-- Happy Mother's Day!!!
To the birthmothers of my children-- Happy Mother's Day. I love you more than words can say.
And to my dad-- thank you for loving my mother! And to Jeremy-- thank you for loving me!