The other thing is that I feel like I'm evolving (albeit slowly) into a better mother of a teenager. Most of it has to do with changing my perception, my expectations, and my attitude. And realizing that my worth as a parent isn't dependent on how my kids turn out; I used to think that if I loved my children enough (with everything that entails) I could innoculate them against poor choices. My hard work was an insurance policy, if you will. Have family prayer, and there won't be fighting. Model clean language, and they will never say a bad word. Bear your testimony every day, and they will never doubt the truth.
But they are free to choose for themselves how to live, what to say, and what to believe.
“You can’t force your boys, nor your girls into heaven. You may force them to hell, by using harsh means in the efforts to make them good… Our children are like we are; we couldn’t be driven; we can’t be driven now… We won’t be driven. Men are not in the habit of being driven; they are not made that way.” --Joseph F. Smith
I love this. I have been pondering it lately. I know *I* can't be forced to do anything, so why do I think anyone else can? But I can drive them away trying.
"If pain and sorrow and total punishment immediately followed the doing of evil, no soul would repeat a misdeed. If joy and peace and rewards were instantaneously given the doer of good, there could be no evil—all would do good and not because of the rightness of doing good. There would be no test of strength, no development of character, no growth of powers, no free agency. . . . There would also be an absence of joy, success, resurrection, eternal life, and godhood." --Spencer W. Kimball
I love this one too. But oh, the temptation to wish that the lightning bolt would strike and the precise moment of a misdeed!
I'm not saying that anything super bad is happening around here, just so you know. Growing pains, mostly.
I certainly made mistakes growing up, and continue to make mistakes today. I'm not perfect and I know that NO ONE is perfect. That doesn't mean that I don't expect a lot from my children but I acknowledge that there are bumps in the road and obstacles to overcome, some of their own making and some not. It doesn't mean that if people stray that they won't come back.
So while this probably sounds like the opposite of sunshine, these epiphanies have all been enlightening.
The third ray of sunshine was our Relief Society birthday party last night. Stephanie Smith did a beautiful job, as she always does, with planning and executing the program. Her sister Christie was the guest speaker on finding joy in the little things. Man, her talk was inspiring. I wished I'd gotten a Kleenex ready because my tears made rivulets on my freshly-powdered cheeks. I am renewed in my desire to express gratitude, and to find joy in the little things.
After that we had a lovely dinner and lovely conversations with the sweet ladies of our ward. It was so nice to socialize and get to know people better.
And finally, it is with gratitude that I say a big THANK YOU to Denalee for awarding me my very first blogging award, the Sunshine award!
Now you see where I was going with this theme? Sunny!
Thank you. And I would like to share the love. It was hard to choose but I've picked three to pass this award on to:
And I hope you all have a wonderful, sun-shiney weekend.