Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Should I?

Of all the questions life presents on a daily or even minute-by-minute basis, I find myself asking more and more often...Do you want to?
This question is often asked both of me and by me. Have we become a society so self indulgent that what we want is the most important or even singular motivating factor driving our choices?
My teenagers would answer; absolutely, yes. social groups, support systems and media would answer the same way. One young woman assured me. "God loves me and wants me to be happy. If I do what makes me happy, then it makes him happy too and all the world is right." This was closely followed by an explanation of how her therapist and life coach had explained the principal to her and now she was always happy and never felt guilty. One of the complaints of many individuals about the practice of religion is they're tired of being made to feel guilt for their choices. Forgetting that each of us choose our feelings without any controlling factor involved.God is not your butler, Santa Clause or your therapist.  No president, dictator, leader or divine being 'makes' us feel anything. So, why then do we easily claim pride for our successes but blame others for our defeats?
I asked my husband the other day; "Do you want to go to the store? I need to get milk, bread and cereal for the kids." He rolled his eyes and answered "No."
"No, were not buying food for the kids?"
He pulled his keys from his pocket and took my hand. "No, I don't want to go."
On our way to the grocery store, I realized I'd been asking him the wrong question for years. He did what should be done not what he wanted to do. The measure of a true humanitarian, a real man or woman and a truly Christ-like individual isn't in doing what they want to do. Even The Savior said "Father if thou wilt, remove this cup from me. Not my will but thine be done." (Luke 22:42)
His perfection was in his willingness to do what needed to be done. The wanting wasn't a problem. Is it for us? Does anyone ever ask what we should do instead of what we want? Do we require it of ourselves? Much of my life has been spent doing what needed to be done, not because I possess the will to do it, but because God has given me circumstances that require me to either do what needs to be done or die. Hopefully, you are not as stubborn as I am. Hopefully you listen to the gentle promptings of your God and ask Should I?

Sunday, May 8, 2016

The chambers of Her Heart

Because today is Mother's Day, I've been thinking about the many women in the world who are mothers. Not as much about the hard working, self sacrificing, give their all moms that I know, love, associate with and admire, but the women who've done all of that in my life and don't share my name or DNA.
If we could measure the love a woman has for her children it would be the closest thing we could come to as a measurement for infinity. No beginning and no end. We can't even put a numerical or verbal description on it that would be more than empty. Imagine the heart of a mother who has buried a child. That child isn't gone. they don't stop loving them., They couldn't even if it would make the pain easier to handle. It is a deeply spiritual place inside of a woman that doesn't have physical, time or space boundaries. It is the best description of God I can imagine. Eternal, overwhelming, constant. Bottomless, not containable, larger than the body who possesses it and more extensive than the parts and pieces could ever add up to on their own. For a woman such as this to give me a part of that love devastates me. A chamber of her immeasurable heart opened to me. Whether I am her daughter, her neighbor, her friend, her niece, her granddaughter, her co-worker,, her patient, a reminder of what she's lost or a promise of what will be some day. That faith, acceptance, love and warmth can only be equaled by my Savior, Jesus Christ. We are imperfect both as humans and as parents, but we are good enough for God to give us the privilege of taking care of his children. There is no greater compliment.
My mother, my grandmothers, my aunts, and the women who have changed me, led me, loved me and believed in me give me everything I need to find my way home to God while making it so I love being here on earth. My body doesn't like me very much, but thanks to these women, my body is a mere part of the woman, the mother, the friend and the sister I am. I thank all of you for your immeasurable gifts. Happy Mother's Day can not express the grains of eternity you have planted in my soul. It'll have to be enough for now.
I love you, Grandma, Nana, Mom, Terese, Caroline, Marjean, Beverly, Mary Margaret  Delpha, Teresa, Allicia and All of the rest of you. Happy Mother's Day!