My heart is tender tonight as I write to you. I just have one thing that I want to communicate to you and I want you to absolutely know it. There is no book you’ll read or blog or expert or philosophy of man that begins to approach the help available to you from the Lord. He is real and he loves your children.
It is possible to go about your life as a parent without ever turning to the Lord for help. You can rely on others—or on your own thoughts and ideas. But I want you to know that the Lord is fully engaged in the success of your family. He knows your children entirely—their strengths, their struggles and their mission in life. He loves them with a perfect love and can offer you clear insights that are tailored to each one. These insights come in many forms, but I have learned to recognize them and once I receive one, I move forward with a perfect knowledge that it will benefit my child.
For example, let’s say that I have a 3 year old that is physically aggressive. Maybe it’s a growing problem and I’ve tried a number of solutions to no avail. Lots of people offer suggestions and I begin to wonder if my child really has a serious problem. In a humbled state, I ask the Lord for help. Or as Nephi so often did, I “cry to the Lord” for help on their behalf.
For me, answers rarely come while I am on my knees. But as the day—or the next few days progress, I will receive help.
Most often, this help comes in the form of understanding—I will be able to see just how my child is viewing things—his perspective. Children rarely think the way we do as adults so this insight helps me get to the root of the problem.
With this broader perspective will come an idea or several ideas that will formulate into a plan. I’ll feel an excitement to carry out this plan—knowing that it came from the Lord.
I will almost always experience a softening of heart toward my child. His strengths will seem more apparent. I might even have feelings of awe toward him—and a new tenderness.
Along with these insights, I will find that I am expanded personally—my patience, my wisdom and my ability to meet the challenge. And this is good because some of these challenges are not going to be over soon or solved in a day. You might have a child with a disability or some other ongoing struggle. Only the Lord can offer you the long-term help and enabling power you will need.
Listen to this great promise: “…if it so be that the children of men (we, as mothers) keep the commandments of God (agree to have children and are trying to raise them in righteousness) he doth nourish them, and strengthen them and provide means whereby they can accomplish the thing which he has commanded them.” (1 Nephi 17:3) Knowing this, we don’t ever need to feel isolated. We can know without any doubt that we will be helped, inspired, and expanded in every situation.
Many women struggle with feelings that they don’t have time to grow spiritually with all the demands of motherhood. But this process of praying for help, expecting it and acting on it, will build a “living” faith that will become your anchor. When really hard times come—and I’ve had some, and so have you—you will not feel alone. Because you really aren’t.
Besides these specific petitions for help, I encourage you to begin each day with prayer. I know that sometimes your days start before you’re really ready for them. You wake up to a crying baby or a needy child. But as soon as you can-- and maybe it will just be for a minute or two, go into your room, close the door and say a prayer. I guarantee you’ll feel a wash of peace. I have long had a routine of saying my morning prayer when I make my bed. I hum a hymn or primary song while I’m making my bed (opening song) and then I pray.
I am just an ordinary person with extra weaknesses and pettiness and struggles. But I’ve learned over the years that mothers have power with the heavens. The Lord seems quick to honor a humble mother. I know and testify that “I can do all things through Christ, which strengthened me.” Philippians 4:13
With all my love,