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working on weaknessesI had an epiphany at the beginning of this summer.  But before I tell you about it, we have to step back a little.

There have been a lot of changes in my life over the past 5 years.  Some good, some challenging, and some that are just a part of real life.  I became a single mom, went back to work, made new friends, eventually re-married and I’ve helped my kids transition into adulthood with college, missions and jobs.  Now there are only two of my five still in the house, and that jumping off platform is in sight for the next one to leave the nest.  Now that things are settling down, and slowing down, I have been looking at my life and all of the things that I wish I had done differently. Please tell me I’m not the only one who does this.

So back to the epiphany.  There are things I have wanted in my life and for my children that somehow got put on hold while I was in the middle of all the other transitions I was going through in my wild adventure of a life.  Then one day (or maybe over a short period of time) I realized that it is not too late to have the home life that I want and do the things that I feel are important for me and my children.

The changes I wanted to make required hard work… they required changing habits… they required buckling down in ways that the kids were not used to, and certainly didn’t want to change.

Well, I tried to make all of the changes at once, often failing at this or that, and resulting in me feeling terrible, instead of recognizing the successes that were being made.

Yesterday I ran across this quote

Let’s help teens become aware of their strengths and build from there.  This doesn’t mean that we should ignore their weaknesses, but just that we are not majoring in them at the expense of their strengths.  They can and should be working on them as well. The rule of thumb here is, I will never require myself or one of my children to work on more than one weakness at a time. “ 1

I have a tendency to go make long lists of things that need to be done before we can relax and enjoy life.  However, the lists of things that we can be working on to be better people can really be endless.  There will never be enough time in a day to do all the good things in the world that can be done.

So when I’m listing all the things I expect from the kids all at the same time, it can be daunting and totally overwhelming.

It reminds me of the time when my son was very young and I stood him in his bedroom and told him “put your toys in the box, put your clothes in the hamper, pick up the garbage and throw it away, make your bed, pull everything out from under the bed and put it away…” and he cried “I can’t do all of that all at the same time.”

Now that he is almost an adult, I find myself in the same desperate mode, trying to get him to do everything, all at the same time, to get ready to be out on his own.

It’s kind of like when you find out that someone is coming to visit in 5 minutes, and you quickly throw everything into a closet, push the dishes into the sink (or in a pile into the oven), and yell at everyone to quick put away your shoes and backpacks and whatever else you don’t want people to see.  It might make a visit go more comfortably, but that isn’t how you clean house when you have time to do it right.

The same concept applies to learning life lessons or developing good habits. If I try to do it all quickly and at once, it doesn’t really get done right.

I think it might be more important to do a few things the right way in parenting, instead of the throwing band-aids on all of the problems, and not really getting to the heart of the issues.

By working on one problem at a time, I think we will be able to really conquer the root of a lot of the problems.  Or at least develop the skills for how to make a positive change when it is needed.  I suppose the best lesson I could really teach my kids at the teen level is the process of change, rather than forcing the change that I want to see.

I am going to try to be more gentle with myself and my children, by working on one important thing at a time. I’d like to put more emphasis on the changing process rather than the results, so that they will have a chance to develop the skills to help them when they leave me and are out on their own.

 

1 – The quote comes from this book.  A good friend recommended it to me, and I am getting so much out of it, I wish I had read it sooner.  



 

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I lay next to my youngest, reading to him before bed. I am amazed that he will listen to this book with words I am sure he does not entirely understand and yet he loves the story nonetheless. When my oldest, who is now 17, was young we both fell in love with the Narnia series, and I in turn found a dear friend in CS Lewis’s writing.

Last night the other children and my husband were all gone at church activities and so I had extra time to read with this little man.

I noticed his eyes start to get heavy and yet I continued to read on.

 I came to a part in the story that struck so deep a chord in my heart. Knowing of the author’s intent for great Christian symbolism, I could FEEL such love through the great Lion Aslan, who is meant to be a likeness to our Savior. The boy Digory’s mother is sick and he believes the Lion has power to heal her.

“Can’t you give me something that will cure mother?” Up till then he had been looking at the lion’s great feet and the huge claws on them: now in his despair, he looked up at his face. What he saw surprised him as much as anything in his whole life. For the tawny face was bent down near his own and (wonder of wonders) great shining tears stood in the Lion’s eyes. They were such big bright tears compared with Digory’s own that for a moment he felt as if the Lion must really be sorrier about his mother than he was himself. “My son, my son,” said Aslan. “I know grief is great.”

Because of this imagery, it was as though I could see my Savior standing in front of me in my moments of deepest pain. With tears that surpassed my own. With love that I have difficulty understanding, saying

My daughter my daughter. I know grief is great.”

Not just my grief alone, but now his grief because of his love for me.

At that moment I wanted to wake up my boy and tell him how much his Savior loves him and cares about his every concern. But instead I watched him sleep a little longer. I cherished this moment a little deeper.

My Savior has suffered for me and because of that suffering He has felt all the loneliness and sadness I will ever know. He wants to be there for me to tell me “I know, I know.”  Because He truly does.

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There are certainly days when I feel empowered, and other days when I feel a little hopeless to be able to do anything at all.  If I had to pick, I’d say I like the empowering days much better.  The real question I guess then, is how can I pick?  Do I really get to choose to have a good day and be empowered to do what needs to be done? Or is it just a matter of how the hormones are flowing that day, or how other people are treating me?

I don’t know if there is just one real answer to this question.  Some days are just harder than others.  Some days are delightfully smooth sailing. And some times I do notice that the choices I make can help me to feel better about my day (or my life).

In Luke 24, just after Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection, two of Christ’s disciples were walking along the road to Emmaus, discussing the events of the past few days and feeling sad. They knew that Jesus was crucified, and that it was the 3rd day since.  They had heard from the women that the tomb was empty and that angels had told the women that he is alive.  But they were still sad. Then Christ walked with them and talked with them, but they didn’t recognize him as Jesus.  They discussed their worries and concerns, and Christ opened up the scriptures to them and went in the house to eat with them.  Then suddenly they realized that it was Jesus Christ that had been with them the whole time.

and they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way and while he opened to us the scriptures? (Luke 24:32)

Joy then replaced fear and worry and sadness. Joy in knowing for themselves that He is real and will still be with them, even though He has completed His earthly mission.

I think this story and this scripture can be put to work in our lives as well.  There are plenty of times when I can feel alone, but there is no reason why I need to ever be totally alone.  The spirit of Christ can be with us at any time, but especially when we really need it and will go to God in prayer and ask for the help.

This scripture also helps me to realize often He is with us, willing to guide us and open up scripture to us, as long as we are willing to let him in.  But often we don’t recognize that His hand was guiding us, until the (metaphorical) journey is through.

By seeking His guidance through regular prayer and scripture study, we can begin to feel His gentle guidance in our lives.

Richard C Edgley said

Humbly submitting our will to the Father brings us the empowerment of God – the power of humility.  It is the power to meet life’s adversities, the power of peace, the power of hope, the power of a heart throbbing with a love for and testimony of the Savior Jesus Chris, even the power of redemption.”

If the only blessing I ever got from submitting humbly to the Father’s will was the power to meet my life’s adversities, I would consider that to be good enough.  However, the ability to live a life filled with peace and hope and a love of the Savior, with the ultimate reward of redemption, is truly the greatest of all we could hope for in life.

I would like to suggest that the most effective way to feel empowered in this life is to first submit to the will of the Father, through humble prayer, in asking Him to guide you in the way that He would want to you lead your life.  It truly does take faith in God, to know that He will guide you in the direction that will bring you the most happiness.  Who better to trust in and lead your life by.

Maybe it seems like a small and simple thing, but it is always good to remember that “And out of small things, proceedeth that which is great”

Empowerment of God

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In a world that constantly tells me I am not enough it can sometimes become difficult to remember who I am and what I am capable of doing. The messages from the media can be confusing and contradictory in regards to what kind of wife and mother I should be. So how does one find herself when everywhere you turn someone has a different answer for her?

Personal identity is something I have thought a lot about in my life. It’s so easy to see the good in others. To see what makes them unique and divine. But often it can be rather difficult to see in ourself.

This weekend I sat with a friend as we discussed our personal identities. It was enlightening to say the least. I walked away with a greater desire to love and accept me for who I am and not what others tell me I am or am not. And the wheels in my mind began to spin. What have I learned over the years that has helped me to understand who I am and how do I help other women to love who they are as well?

My biggest cheerleader is the one I never see. Only one person knows me, the real true me. That’s my God. He knows my potential in spite of my failings. He knows the deepest desires of my heart that I never speak out loud. A necessary first step to understanding your individual worth is to go to Him and ask Him for that knowledge.

When I have prayed for an understanding of who I am in the past, I was surprisingly overwhelmed with the love and the confidence I felt from God to me. He wants you to succeed at whatever it is He is asking of you. I truly believe that. Over time He can show you who you are and what you can become just as He has done for me when I have asked.

Trust Him. Believe He can make you into more than you could ever imagine. He needs you on His side to uplift, to teach, to guide and to love others. He will walk with you if you let Him.

I have also seen and felt satan want just as badly for us to fail. Those are the low moments in my life, when I believed the lies satan threw at me. Anytime you feel not good enough, like you don’t measure up, that life is too hard, that’s satan lying to your face. He is doing all in his power to stop you from knowing your worth.  If he can get you to doubt and fear he knows he can also stop you from becoming the powerful person you are meant to become. He can stop you from influencing those around you, and he is doing all he can to stop you from finding true joy.

I found one exercise to be extremely helpful.

Grab a piece of paper and pen. (Or use your phone to notes.  I love Evernote)  Find a quiet moment and kneel in prayer. Ask Heavenly Father to guide you to be able to see the good that is in you.  Ask Him to show you what makes you special and unique. Ask Him to open your eyes that you may see who you really are. And then thank Him in advance for the answers you will receive.

Once you finish let your pen begin to write I am….

These are meant to be traits not roles. For example some traits you could write are:  I am strong. I am a good listener. I am always there when my children need me. Where as roles you fulfill are things like I am a wife. I am a mother.

You want to really discover what makes you who you are. So although you might be an amazing mother what traits back that up?

One caution, write everything you can think of. Even if you do not feel perfect at it. I am not a Pinterest worthy crafty person. And yet I love to create and make things for my home or for my kids parties. I enjoy those things. Yes, there are woman who are better than me. But I can still be good at it. My point is don’t judge if you are good at something based on the fact that someone is better.

Don’t worry about proper sentences or grammar. Free flow writing can allow your mind to let go of worry and stress and let the truth flow from God to you. No one ever has to see this list. It’s just for you.

Once you are done take a deep breath and read through what you have written. Keep this list near you over the next couple of days and add to it as often as a good trait comes to your mind.

As strange as it may feel to do, ask those around you what they see good in you. It can be very heart warming and funny to hear what your kids have to say about you. Things you might not have thought of as a good trait can come from the mouths of babes. Your parents and spouse will usually have more to say that can add to your list.

What if for the next 30 days every time you woke up someone told you what you were good at? Can you imagine how that might make you feel?  What if that person was you?  I hate hearing my own voice but I have felt a quiet prompting to record my “I am statements” and listen to them every single day.  I believe the power from hearing yourself give positive feedback can be more powerful than hearing it from anyone else.

Are you ready to start on your journey of finding out who you really are?

PS. If you do this challenge I would love to hear how it went. Even if you just did part of it, share with us your thoughts.

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The Lords hand is at work in our lives

 

Parenting is hard… really hard.

I worry about missed opportunities to teach.  I worry that I was too harsh or too soft.  Was I there when I needed to be?  Should I get involved or let them figure it out on their own?

As the kids got older, I felt like I’ve had less of an influence over their lives, but now, I’m not really sure that is true.

It is true that friends, teachers and church leaders have a bigger influence on them than ever, but at the end of the day, everyone wants to know that their mom loves them and is there for them.

As I struggled this week to find a balance between teaching, disciplining and loving my teenagers, I re-discovered the most important element to this whole parenting thing. I asked for help from the real source.

I have been discussing my concerns with my husband and with my sister, but not until I had reached a point where I truly didn’t know what to do next, did I take my problem to the Lord in prayer.  He gave me a sense of peace and calm.  He gave me a reassurance that my kids are going to be okay, but that it is also very important that I follow through with the important things that I know I should do, but that are hard.  (Hard to me is dealing with conflict. I have a tendency to not discipline when I know I need to.)

He put in my path a friend that helped me, by just listening, then giving me the advice to read Parenting Teens With Love And Logic: Preparing Adolescents for Responsible Adulthood

I started reading it right away.  I immediately felt a sense of peace, knowing that I have a new tool to help me with the important task of helping my kids transition into being adults.

I recognize that in asking for help from the Lord, He will step in and help.  I just needed to ask.  Of course, I also needed to do my part and act on the things He is guiding me to do.  When prompted to go to lunch with this friend who helped, I had to make that effort.  When told to read this book, I had to have faith enough to get the book and take the time to read.

I have come to recognize that my children are even more valued by God than they are to me.  If I am worried and concerned about them, I know that He is also. By working together, and allowing God to work in my life and that of my children’s, we will all have an advantage in overcoming the difficulties and trials that come into the lives of teenagers in our world.  I am so grateful for His love and comfort to me personally, and for the help He is giving me in raising the wonderful people who He has entrusted me with.

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Standing at the kitchen preparing my dinner, while music is loudly playing and I’m singing along, the tears came out of the blue and my heart swelled up feeling as though it was going to burst right out of my chest. The feeling came on strongly and I was rather surprised by its intensity.

I have shed many a tears over my children. Both happy and sad. But this day the sacredness of my calling as their mother overcame me, and I could not have felt more grateful. Motherhood is the hardest most rewarding job I have ever experienced. These little people need so much time and love and support, and often I feel I am falling short.

Every so often though I feel God giving me a heavenly hug with a glimpse into how He must feel as the perfect parent. It was as if the world stopped for one moment and froze in time so that I could see my life for what it really is.

Kids who want to be good and do good. They want to be taught how to figure out their world; they just need guidance and love. They each came to this world with unique and abundantly giant personalities that are bound for greatness and in that frozen moment I could feel of their goodness. I could sense who they truly are as people not just as my children. How blessed we are as mothers to get to see another with such love, even if only in fleeting passing moments.

I do not always know how to handle parenting situations. I try my best and sometimes succeed and sometimes learn new ways to fail. But I have learned how much I need the Lord in my parenting. I need Him to walk with me so that I can direct these little people into the paths God has for them. Dalin H Oaks put it this way,

We must pray for the Lord’s help and directions so we can be instruments in His hands.”

I want the Lord to feel confident that He can use me as His tool. That I will do whatever he asks and in so doing I will help guide my children back to Him.

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Cherished of God

I don’t mean to beat a dead horse… except maybe I am the dead horse, and I need this to keep me motivated.  As I have written a few posts about making comparisons and how much damage that can cause, I continue to find more and more information and articles written by others who have noticed the same issue and want to talk about it, to try to combat this problem.

Last night I talked to my kids about this problem and the two sides that it creates.

When you’re comparing two different candy bars, you are usually picking one that is better than another.  If you compare two different sports teams, you think one is better than the other.

But when you compare yourself to another person, such that one is better than the other, you end up with either pride or envy.  Both of which God has labeled as a type of sin.

After our family discussion we watched this video.

I liked in the story when the brothers finally behaved like brothers again, wrestling with each other and joking around together.  Being the mother of 5 boys, I recognize that type of goofing off as “bonding.”  Knocking a brother around often shows more love than just leaving him alone.

But my most favorite part of this video is that fact that Elder Holland gave advice for overcoming the jealousy and envy that come from comparing.

He also shared an old Danish proverb.

If envy were a fever, all the world would be ill

Pride and envy that come from comparing are wide spread.  Almost all of us have a tendency toward comparing.

Maybe it starts out innocently, as a means to make sure we are dressed appropriately for an occasion, or performing some new task correctly.  But when it slips into a point of thinking poorly about ourselves, or someone else, then it has gone too far.

It is so widespread and so damaging to us as individuals and to our relationships with others that we often don’t even recognize it, and if we do, I don’t think we really know how to just “stop it.”

This is why I was so grateful for the advice that was given on this matter.  First of all I think it is important to recognize where these ill feelings are coming from.  Elder Holland states

Who is it that whispers so subtly in our ear that a gift given to another somehow diminishes the blessings we have received? Who makes us feel that if God is smiling on another, then He surely must somehow be frowning on us? You and I both know who does this—it is the father of all lies. It is Lucifer, our common enemy, whose cry down through the corridors of time is always and to everyone, “Give me thine honor.” 

Realizing that the misery that we cause ourselves in comparisons is started by someone who wants us to ultimately be miserable can help us recognize the lies that are embedded in what we tell ourselves.

The good news is that we don’t have to accept the lies that come into our thoughts.  We can choose to stand up and recognize what is happening when we feel ourselves going into a dark place of misery, pride and envy.  We can then choose to avoid the darkness by returning to the Father and by following the advice that Elder Holland shares at the end of this video.

  1. We can count our many blessings.
  2. We can applaud the accomplishments of others
  3. We can serve others, the finest exercise for the heart ever prescribed.

When all else fails, and we are feeling down in the dark places of life, these are three things that we can do to help recover.

I am so grateful that I found this story, as I relate to the older brother, and find myself often feeling lost.

We all need a little help sometimes, and I’m so grateful for good people who can help us to see the grace of God in our lives.  I hope I can remember these three steps, as I try to love others, and learn to live the life God wants me to live, without comparing myself to the life someone else has been blessed with.

 

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“Strong eternal families and Spirit-filled homes do not just happen. They take great effort, they take time, and they take each member of the family”

I knelt in my room wanting to pray but not knowing what to say. I knew I needed the Lord’s guidance in my life but I didn’t even know what to ask for. I pondered and finally uttered the words “help me to know where I need to be spending my time and efforts.”

With an amen I grabbed my scriptures and began to read. Experience has taught me that prayer is my time to give my thoughts and feelings to the Lord while scripture study is His time to talk to me. I just have to remember to listen. With only a few verses read, one of my kids knocks on the door and just wants to chat.

I put down my scriptures. We talked about little things and weightier matters. Because I had just been praying I was in a good place to listen and hear what he needed to say, and I was able to give council with the Lord by my side.

 Once he walked away and I picked up my scriptures again, I realized I had received the answer I was looking for. My efforts need to be focused on my children. As they have gotten older, it has become difficult to figure out what my role is. They don’t need to be sung to sleep or burped after a feeding. They don’t sit in a stroller or need to be carried as we walk.

But they do need my listening ear more than ever. They need my guidance. But really they just need to know that no matter how they turn out or what mistakes they make, that I love them and that God loves them. If I can give them that then all other things will fall into play.

Today I will be pondering how I can show that love a little more. That kindness a little deeper. I want them to never doubt the love I feel for them.

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daily blessings

 

Last week I went to Las Vegas to visit some old friends.  Since the year that we have been apart, there were many changes in all of our lives.  New marriages, new children, new blessings and new challenges.

The best part about getting back together is that we all still care about one another and stand by each other, through all of our joyful times and difficulties.

I listened to a pod cast last night, from Jonathan Doyle about “the risks of comparison.”  I truly loved a conclusion that he drew about our attitudes when we compare ourselves to others, and beat ourselves up about our perceived shortcomings.  The truth is that each of us is unique, and just the way we are meant to be as be were created by God.  When we beat ourselves up by comparing and wishing we were more like someone else, it’s like telling God that He didn’t get it right.  Of course there are things we can do to improve ourselves, and we should always be striving to be just a little better, but that improvement can only come from a genuine respect for the gifts God has given to each of us.

The other danger of comparing is the danger of judging another.  Each of us are different and have different gifts and different struggles.  When I judge another person because they have a weakness that I have overcome, I’m not being very Christlike, and I’m not leaving any room for weaknesses that I am still working on.  I think when people judge another person harshly, they are really feeling their own inadequacies and are trying to make themselves feel better in pointing out that someone else is not perfect either.

One of my friends asked me if I thought that she was a bad mother for letting her child stay up late.  This could have been a problem of comparisons.  You see my kids have a 9 pm bedtime, even in the summer, even on the weekend.  If you asked me (or if they ask me) I’d say it is because I believe that it is better for a person to have the same bedtime every night, for their growth and development and it will be easier to get up early when school starts.  But there is a much bigger (and more personal) reason why I send them to bed at 9 pm every night.  I need that time alone to unwind before I go to sleep.  I’m not a night person, and I’m an introvert, so quiet time all by myself in the evening before I go to bed is like heaven.  It’s my reward for any hard work I did that day.  Does that mean that I think all parents should do what I do?  Absolutely NOT.  Seeing this mom spend time with her little girl late at night, while the baby was sleeping was priceless.  It works for her. It was beautiful to see her embrace who she is and do what feels is right for her.  If I chose to compare myself to her, I could either feel bad because I don’t have the energy to spend time with my kids late at night, so there must be something wrong with me. Or I could judge her, thinking that my way of doing things is the “right” way, and she isn’t taking good care of her child.  Neither of these ways of thinking is true, as most comparisons and judgments of people and ourselves are laced with false concepts.

In my life, I’ve had to remind myself to get over comparing and judging.  No one on this earth is perfect.  As for me and my family, what is important is that we keep trying. As for other people, my job is to be loving and understanding, and possibly help them out when they have a need.

When I read this scripture this morning.

Live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which (God) doth bestow upon you”  Alma 34.38

I was reminded of how important it is to recognize the blessings and gifts that we are each given.  I can and should be truly grateful for mercies that are freely given by God, each time I make a mistake.

If I look at someone and see how wonderful they are, I can choose to admire them, and be grateful for their presence in my life, instead of comparing myself to them, and looking for all the ways that I don’t measure up. I’m not supposed to measure up to other people. I’m supposed to make the most out of the life that I have been given.

I’m still working on these concepts, and I hope I’m getting better at living a grateful life. I’m learning to stop and ask myself “What does God want for my life, and what do I want for my life?” as I try to ignore the impulse to try to be like other people.  Today I’m choosing to be the person that God intends for me to be.

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To the wife I have yet to meet,

I need you to know a couple of things. First, I love my boy, this almost man, to the very core, I always will. And yet I have understood for years that I only get to keep him for a time. Someday soon he will leave me, and he will find you. You will become his everything, and I look to that day with joy and excitement, for it will be a blessing neither of you can began to understand. But then I began to wonder, did I do enough raising and teaching for him to be the best husband for you?

Right now he is entering his final year of living in my home as a child, his final year as mine. And he is becoming more than I could have hoped for in a man. In someone else’s man. I want you to know what an amazing person he is and the ways I have tried to help him be his best for you when the time is right.

I have tried to always make God and my family my top priority. I believe firmly in this statement by Gordon B Hinckley,

It is the home which produces the nursery stock of new generations. I hope that you mothers will realize that when all is said and done, you have no more compelling responsibility, nor any laden with greater rewards, than the nurture you give your children in an environment of security, peace, companionship, love and motivation to grow and do well.”

As I have strived to show my son how much I love and value my family I believe he has also come to cherish these things as well.

When he was young the nightmares came and I prayed with him so he would learn to come to the Lord with his concerns.  Both little and big.  As he has aged and matured, so have our prayers. I hope I have taught Him nothing is out of reach with the Lord.

His little self would sit in my lap and we would read books of every kind as he would snuggle into me. We read stories of Narnia and the Land of Oz. His favorites were stories of an ancient prophet who stood up for the rights of his family and his freedoms. Triumphantly he went about the house declaring he was Captain Moroni. I hoped he saw the dignity and pride one can feel when defending those we love.

In those early morning scripture moments, he began to teach us, I’m not sure when he became to truly understand the teachings we had been reading about for years. But his testimony is strong and I’m grateful for his example.

Through the years I tried to really show him I cared about what he cared about. If it was important to him, I wanted it to be important to me. Some day you will have interests that he may not find all that fascinating. I hope he has learned that he can listen and care about them because it’s important to you.

Mistakes were a regular thing in our house and in saying I’m sorry I hoped to show him how to ask forgiveness when he fumbles in life. Even when he seems to make the same mistakes over and over again. Usually the one who needs forgiveness most is ourselves. I pray my example was enough so that he knows how to forgive and seek forgiveness.

We did fight occasionally, there are times you have to discuss your disagreements to work things out. I hoped I taught him the ones you love are worth fighting for.

“I love you” comes freely from my lips. In this world and especially in your home, there is never too much love and kindness. The way he lovingly treats me shows those things matter to him. Let him love you with his words and deeds. Giving love is just as important as receiving it.

Somewhere along the way he learned to be compassionate and show concern when people struggle. He is a really great listening ear to his friends, and one day he will be your safe place.

Most importantly, I want you to know I love you even though we have never met. I love you because he will love you.  I pray for you even now. I pray you will know God loves you and that you are of extreme worth. I pray you will have opportunities to really get to know your Savior and what the atonement means to you in your life. I pray you will love God more than you love my son. As I also pray he will do the same.

Once he is yours I will no longer be by his side to pray with him, but you will. He will hug and kiss you after those special conversations with God. May you learn to pray for each other as Henry B. Eyring recommends,

Pray for the love which allows you to see the good in your companion. Pray for the love that makes weaknesses and mistakes seem small. Pray for the love to make your companion’s joy your own. Pray for the love to want to lessen the load and soften the sorrows of your companion.”

May God guide your future journey together as you walk hand in hand towards eternity.

With my dearest love,

Your future mother-in-law