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"You have nothing in this world more precious than your children. When you grow old, when your hair turns white and your body grows weary, when you are prone to sit in a rocker and meditate on the things of your life, nothing will be so important as the question of how your children have turned out ... Do not trade your birthright as a mother for some bauble of passing value ... The baby you hold in your arms will grow as quickly as the sunrise and the sunset of the rushing days."
I'm doing a giveaway to celebrate lots of things - 11,000 + followers on the Facebook page in the last 6 months (is that just nuts or what?), and now 400 followers here too - A-Maz-Ing!
I'll be giving away one 8x10 print from my Sprinkled Joy Prints shop of your choice, and a runner up will win a digital print of their choice too.
**As a special bonus gift to you all here is a coupon good for 40% OFF your ENTIREORDER. There are only a limited number of these, so use it before it's gone, and it will definitely expire by 04/26/2012. Just enter: TomIsAwesome when you check out to receive the 40% off (Tom is my husband and it's his birthday on the 27th, so it was fitting, and true:).
The giveaway runs from NOW till 04/26/12, 12:01am EST, to ENTER:
Leave a comment on here with what print you want to win on Sprinkled Joy
For extra entries:
(**leave a comment for each of the things you do to get the extra entry:)
Do you remember having a favorite nursery rhyme or bedtime story? What was it? Or what were some books you enjoyed when you were younger.
Most nights my mum or my brother Mark would make up stories to tell us each night. One regular one was about a man called Peg Leg Sam - I still remember it after all these years. As far as books go, when I was younger I used to loved Rupert the Bear - I'm not sure if you have him in America or not (I grew up in England) and I would read that most nights. As I got a little older I would read the Famous Five by books by Enid Blyton (another English one I think) about a group of 5 kids and a dog named Timmy who would solve mysteries and have the kinds of adventures kids could only dream of. I also loved the choose your own adventure books - I wonder if they still do them or not...
"Don't be discouraged at seemingly overwhelming odds in your desire to live and to help others live God's commandments. At times it may seem like David trying to fight Goliath. But remember, David did win."
A big shout out to my brother-in-law Lee, he's an author and film producer. He wrote a book recently that has been getting great reviews, called 'Speed of Light'. Here's a snippet of the reviews: “If you enjoyed The Hunger Games, The DaVinci Code or Twilight, you will love Speed of Light by Lee Baker,” declared Judith Piazza of the American Perspective. Larry King calls Speed of Light, “A fast-paced, thrilling experience…a book you won’t want to put down,” then added, “Lee Baker makes a strong impact with his first novel and reveals himself as a master storyteller.”
He has created a book that is clean, that young and old enjoy and that parents can recommend to their children. For more details see his press release, and if you live in Utah he is doing some booking signings in some of the Costco's this and next week.
“Only you know your circumstances, your energy level, the needs of your children, and the emotional demands of your other obligations. Be wise during intensive seasons of your life. Cherish your agency, and don’t give it away casually. Don’t compare yourself to others — nearly always this will make you despondent. Don’t accept somebody else’s interpretation of how you should be spending your time. Make the best decision you can and then evaluate it to see how it works.”
The news this morning was jam-packed with the comments made by Hilary Rosen, where she said, in speaking of Ann Romney, "His wife has never actually worked a day in her life." Ann Romney responded by saying: “I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys. Believe me, it was hard work.” Hilary Rosen has since issued an apology.
To be honest, I'm glad that the comments by Hilary Rosen were made because it has brought to light something that many stay-at-home moms feel, and that is undervalued.
I am a mother to 3 young children, aged 3 and under, and count myself fortunate to be one lucky ones to be able to stay home and spend as much time with my children as I can. The time when they are little before they head off on their adventures in school is so fleeting, and impressions made on these young minds and hearts can form a character and bond that yields fruit throughout eternity. The decision we made is not without sacrifice, temporally and emotionally. Vacations are out of the question, wearing the latest fashions is not even on my list of needs, to me the latest fashion is wearing any item of clothing that does not have baby goop or grubby fingerprints on - we just don't have a lot of the 'luxuries' that the world calls 'necessities'.
Being a stay at home mom can be a mentally exhausting job also (not to mention physically exhausting!), full of highs and lows. Highs when your children are playing so lovely together, when you see them learn knew things, when they hug you so tight that you think they are going to cut off all of your oxygen supply – but not so much when they are sick, trantruming or emptying out all the drawers for the ten billioneth time that HOUR. And this continues 24 hours a day.
I have caught myself a couple of times when asked the question, 'what do you do?' replying, “Oh, I'm just a stay at home mom.” It has annoyed me - I have annoyed myself - that I would downgrade my role in this world to a just. Why have I felt the need to be almost apologetic that my contribution to this world is largely taking place within the walls of my home? In this area I was definitely influenced by the world. On television you see mothers everywhere who are 'doing it all'. We strive for accomplishments, to feel worthwhile, to better ourselves and may mistakenly think that these things are only attainable outside of the family unit, when the home is the very breeding ground for these things. Sometimes 'doing it all' is at the expense of 'having it all'.
This quote by Elder Neal A. Maxwell but things into perspective a little:
“You rock a sobbing child without wondering if today’s world is passing you by, because you know you hold tomorrow tightly in your arms.”
The First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) has said: “Motherhood is near to divinity. It is the highest, holiest service to be assumed by mankind. It places her who honors its holy calling and service next to the angels.” (In Conference Report, Oct. 1942, pp. 7, 11–12.)
Did you notice the words that were used? Highest, holiest, next to the angels – we should all feel like that, and we can, when we stop comparing ourselves to others and seeking the praise or approval of man. Who you are is enough, you are doing the best you can. If you doubt that pray and ask Heavenly Father He will tell you how loved you are, He will let you feel of your true worth.
I have quite a few friends who HAVE TO work. Their financial circumstances are such that to provide a roof over their children's head they work. I have seen how torn they are having to do that. I have seen their tears at having to leave their children in the care of someone else whilst their heart yearns to be their full-time caretakers and protectors and joy-makers. Some have similar anxieties that some stay-at-home moms have, feelings of guilt and feelings of inadequacies. They sacrifice for their children in a different way than stay-at-home moms do, but those sacrifices made will be consecrated for the good of their children.
Elder M. Russell Ballard said:
“There is no one perfect way to be a good mother. Each situation is unique. Each mother has different challenges, different skills and abilities, and certainly different children. The choice is different and unique for each mother and each family. Many are able to be “full-time moms,” at least during the most formative years of their children’s lives, and many others would like to be. Some may have to work part-or full-time; some may work at home; some may divide their lives into periods of home and family and work. What matters is that a mother loves her children deeply and, in keeping with the devotion she has for God and her husband, prioritizes them above all else.” (“Daughters of God,” Ensign, May 2008, 108–10.)
Because of the importance of the role of motherhood our Heavenly Father will guide our decisions, if there is any way possible to stay home with your children, do it, make the financial sacrifices so you can do this. I promise there is nothing more rewarding as this, and nothing as important. If this is not a possibility, know that Heavenly Father will make up the difference. So let's seek His will in this important matter, and let's be kind to each other.
So am I just a stay at home mom? No, because there is no 'just' when it comes to being a mother.
Listen earnestly to anything your children want to tell you, no matter what. If you don't listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won't tell you the big stuff when they are big, because to them all of it has always been big stuff.
"Each of us will have our own Fridays—those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. We all will experience those broken times when it seems we can never be put together again. We will all have our Fridays.
But I testify to you in the name of the One who conquered death—Sunday will come. In the darkness of our sorrow, Sunday will come.
No matter our desperation, no matter our grief, in this life or the next, Sunday will come."
-Joseph B. Wirthlin