The poet Mary Jean Irion said: “Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, savor you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may…”
This past year has been filled, for me, with ordinary days – school pickup and drop-off, instrument practice, cleaning, meal preparations, and laundry (lots of laundry!). And amidst these days, I have experienced moments that are meaningful in the most simply profound ways. Extraordinary moments, like the time when Louisa said, in her nightly prayers: “Dear Heavenly Father, I am so grateful that you sended me as a baby to come to this earth." Or the time when Ella said, “"The only bad thing about the word 'home' is that it is in 'homework'."
The opportunity to represent Utah as Young Mother of the Year has blessed my life with extraordinary opportunities including:
• Speaking engagements – including television and radio appearances, opportunities to attend AMI's national convention (held in my home town!), teach seminars in conjunction with the Power of Moms, to teach workshops on college campuses, and to speak on divine identity and mother-daughter relationships at youth gatherings. I have loved meeting women face-to-face and spirit-to-spirit – at locations that span from girls camp to the grocery store! Together we have discovered mutual predicaments that bring us closer and make the load lighter to bear.
• I sense a great yearning for instruction and have loved reaching young mothers in the online territories they frequent – through this blog and Facebook.
• I have studied your examples and have been tutored. I have loved learning from each of you, and especially from Sally Olsen (Utah's Mother of the Year). She is a woman of great strength and wisdom.
• I have had ample opportunities within this role to lean on the windows of heaven for strength and guidance. And I have been supported and surrounded.
Representing American Mothers has brought many opportunities for personal growth. This year:
• I have come to understand – even more – how important for my two daughters, my example and teachings are. Sometimes I learn this the hard way! One day last month Louisa was making terrible noises in the back of the car. I asked her, "Louisa, what are you doing? That sounds terrible!" She responded, "Trying to burp like you do, Mommy." Obviously, I still retain some remnants of my childhood training imposed by 5 brothers. Isn’t it amazing all that we inadvertently teach the next generation?
• I have learned and grown as I have watched my own children grow. The bond between my daughters and me and between my sweet husband and me has become more meaningful with this passing year. I marvel at the souls entrusted to our care.
• I often fall short and find myself inadequate, yet, this year I have had to search for answers to overcome my own weaknesses – made even more apparent by the title “Young Mother of the Year.” Despite my faults, thank you for placing your confidence in me.
The job of motherhood has challenged the far reaches of my soul, yet I am so grateful for these challenges and opportunities. Through our daily efforts as mothers, the ordinary can become extraordinary.
Truly, motherhood is the most extraordinary work I will ever do.
American Mothers Inc. has selected Utah's 2012 Young Mother of the Year!
Her blog - Making Motherhood Matter - is found here!