Sunday, February 14, 2010

An Attempt to Explain . . .

why I made a strange, and mind you, quite embarrassing hiccupping/hyperventilating sound during the leaders’ song at New Beginnings this week. Yes, me, up front and center, crying and unable to breathe, much less sing. Sigh. It vaguely reminds of that time in 7th grade when I cried and hyperventilated while giving a speech in the Optimist’s speech competition or the time I was called up to speak extemporaneously at Stake conference, I had on my lovely ‘cry face’ and could barely get the words out . . . but those are stories for another time. Or not.

The Young Men and Young Women’s theme for 2010 is based on Joshua 1:9—Be Strong and of a Good Courage. Our young women did a lovely job singing songs of faith and courage, quoting scriptures and modern-day prophets. It was inspiring and I pretty much cried throughout the entire program. I’ve thought lots and lots about this and have tried to understand the depth of my emotion. I don’t know that I have a complete explanation but I do know that I love the young women in our ward. To hear their beautiful voices sing about their knowledge that they are daughters of God, how important the Savior is to them, and their determination to follow Him was very touching and definitely brought the spirit to the meeting. How blessed they are to have this knowledge.

As I looked around the room I thought about each of the girls individually and felt such a love and admiration for each of them—for their sweet personalities, spirits, talents, and for the good choices that they make daily. As I listened to them sing about being courageous and strong in a perilous world I hoped with all my soul that they would make these good choices all their lives—because I know that this is how they will find true and lasting happiness. I also know it is difficult sometimes, that they all—that we all—have struggles and this life is often not easy. As a leader I felt this desperate plea in my heart—please girls, hear these words, let them sink into your souls, understand your potential, understand how important you are, generations are depending on you—please, please be strong.

I thought about my own feelings of fear and insecurity—much of the time I feel anything but strong and courageous. Am I doing all I can to ensure that I will be able to “return to the Savior’s arms unashamed”? Am I living the gospel fully—rather than just “halfway”? How can I improve? How do I teach the young women and my children to be brave when I, myself, am fearful?

I thought of my children and how much I love them and want them to gain strong testimonies of Jesus Christ, to live the gospel, to be happy. Raising children is serious business and sometimes downright terrifying. I feel the weight of the calling. Am I doing enough? As a mother I worry so much about whether I am doing enough to teach them and help my children. Will our influence be enough to overpower the ways of the world? Will they be strong and courageous in defending our Savior, even as the world becomes more and more perilous? Will my daughters grow up with the knowledge that they are daughters of our Heavenly Father and that He loves them? Will they believe it in their hearts? As I listened to the young women sing about not compromising I prayed that they wouldn’t.

Basically—I guess I cried the entire time because I think too much . . . or because of this . . .


Not sure which . . . maybe a little of both?


Jenny Phillips--Valient Faith . . . one of the songs the young women sang at New Beginnings.


Thelma said...

I love this post Janet...and I love you. I want to hear more about you crying at the Optimist's speech contest. Is it the perfect irony to cry when you're supposed to be optimistic, or what?

You are doing a great job as a mother. The proof is in the pudding...or in the children...somewhere, there is proof!

And those wonderful young women are fortunate to have wonderful YOU.

mom said...

As I started to read I knew that the words 'just like in 7th grade'......would be coming. I then immediately thought, well it's because you are expecting and your emotions are running high. Of course the biggest of all is because you have such a loving caring heart for the Lord & others. You are leaving a legacy of how to live for Christ in every life you touch. Those young ladies will never forget you & the example you have set for them. I'm so proud to be your mom. Bless you my dear sweet daughter. ps. your looking pretty cute! Love, mom

Susie said...

Very sweet and touching words. You are one awesome person, friend, mother and wife. We are so very lucky and blessed to have the gospel in our lives to guide us and help us become like our Savior. The YW are so lucky to have you as a wonderful example to look up and admire. Your kids are so darn lucky to have you as there mom!!