Saturday, May 28, 2011


I have a two-sided mirror in my bathroom. One side shows a reflection of things as they are, the other magnifies.

I can get lost in the magnified side. My pores look HUGE as do the little fine hairs on my face. I will find myself, plucking, trimming, squeezing and pulling until my face looks acceptable to me.

Today after washing my face, I looked in the mirror and all looked fine. Then I flipped it to the magnified side. I was horrified! Out came the hair trimmer, the tweezers and coverup.

What changed from when I looked at my face in the mirror to when I flipped it to the magnified side? Just my perspective.

I have found the same thing to be true in my life.

To me, I live life on the magnified side. Everything looks huge and messy and hairy. I can get lost in the 'huge pores' that are my problems. I get weighed down by the 'fine hairs' that others would never even notice.

I have few friends that I can confide in and can trust in their advice and perspective. They don't see me or my life in the same magnified way that I do. From their perspective, they can show me that things aren't really as ghastly or as nasty as I think they are.

During a morning walk, I shared an issue in our family that is weighing on my heart. My friend listened quietly. Then she pointed out something that I had never thought of before- or even realized that I was doing. Because I was so caught up in this issue, (too close to it perhaps) I was unable to see that I was contributing to the problem instead of helping to make it better.

I am so thankful for my friends. They are wise and sincere, honest and inspired. They help me to take a step back from the mirror and see things the way they are- which is usually much different than what I have convinced myself that they are.

Magnified mirrors definitely serve a purpose- to show you that missed black, wiry hair that has grown out of your chin overnight. But don't forget to take a step back and realize that when you examine anything too close, imperfections are sure to be found and those imperfections can make you want to crawl back in bed and never get out.

Thankfully we don't live under magnification. And whatever problems you have- there is always another way to look at them.

You just have to take a step back.

Monday, May 9, 2011


My Mother's Day gift from my mom (it's a picture of her when she was 2 1/2 years old- the little heart is from the necklace she is wearing in the picture)

Sitting down to write my annual Mother's Day card to my mom is always a daunting task.

How do you adequately put into words and express how you feel about your mom? It's something I struggle with every year.

But this year, I just let go. I sat down with the card and my pen and just wrote. It felt good not to worry if I was sounding too mushy or if my spelling was correct (which it probably wasn't). In the end, I felt that the card came close to saying what my heart was feeling at that moment.

After reading it, with tears in her eyes, my mom looked at me and said, "You give me too much credit."

"What are you talking about?" I asked. "You were and are a wonderful mother. I owe you so much for all that you have taught me. Everything I learned about being a mother I learned from you."

The next day, Mother's Day, I was sitting in church listening to the youth of our ward speaking about their mothers. I started sobbing uncontrollably. The emotion of it all caught me quite off guard. I wasn't prepared for the feelings I felt as I listened to these children praising their mothers.

I felt inadequate. I felt like I was not as good as the other mother's I was hearing about. I felt like a failure. It was ugly. (The feelings I had inside as well as the snot and tears running down my face.)

I felt beaten down instead of feeling inspired to do better. I felt like there was no hope. During those few minutes, I had convinced myself that I did not deserve to be the mother of these beautiful children that God had entrusted to my care. I felt that I was not living up to His expectations. It was awful. It was all I could do to make it through the final two hours of church.

After church, Nicole gave me her Mother's Day letter.

Each line seemed to mend and soothe the self inflicted rips and tears that my tortured heart had endured during the meeting earlier that day.

"I feel the only way to truly thank you and to thank Heavenly Father is to be a mom just like you." she said.

It was the same thing that I had tried to say to my mom the day before (only she did a much better job of putting it into words). But as I read her letter, I had to stop myself when I noticed the same words my mom had said to me earlier starting to form in my mind, "You give me too much credit."

Being a mom is a hard job. But it is also the most amazing, wonderful, joyful, and fun job that one could ever have. And since there is no handbook that comes along with each child- it's one of those learn-as-you-go type of positions, we all just do the best we can. The problem comes when we start comparing ourselves to others. It is never a fair comparison either. It is always a comparison of their strengths to your weakness.

After reading Nicole's letter, I spent some time thinking about motherhood.

I am so blessed to be a mother. But I am not perfect. I am trying, but there are definitely days when I fall short. I truly believe that Motherhood is a partnership with God. And that is where I find my comfort. Where I fall short, He is there to pick up the pieces.

I am so grateful to be a mother. I am grateful for the lessons I have learned because of being a mom. I am grateful for the hard times and ever so thankful for the seasons of joy. Motherhood is a divine calling- and there is nothing I would rather be doing than raising my children.

Yesterday I learned that there is one who would have us feel as though we will never measure up, that we are not qualified, or good enough. But that is a lie. We are exactly the mothers our children need and deserve. God is counting on us to raise His children- He trusts us. And that is all we need to know. That is what keeps me motivated to try harder. To do better.

I am a mother. And it is oh so good.