Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Motherhood - Chapter 16 - Applause

Friday night in Salt Lake City my father escorted me into a ballroom filled with people in fancy clothes. As we walked the center aisle to the front, I was introduced to the crowd. I sat at a table in the front facing the audience and beside the Young Mother of the Year from North Dakota on one side and from Kentucky on the other side.

After all the Young Mothers had entered and taken their place at the front, the speaker noted that we were the young mothers who represented all those young mothers in our states and around the country (and world for that matter) who were doing thankless jobs every day like changing diapers and cleaning up messes. But as she noted our role as young mothers if so much greater than just these daily tasks. She then asked this audience to rise and give a standing ovation to us as representing all the young mothers everywhere for all they do day in and day out without fanfare.

I sat there, wanting to stand myself and join in the applause, but staying still instead and soaking in the love and appreciation of that crowd on behalf of every young mother. I thought of all the times each of us has been up in the night with sick kids or been sick ourselves and still had to take care of the kids. I thought of all the times we have to disciple kids for their own good and how much we hate doing it. I thought of all the times our kids get mad at us for making them clean or take a bath or come home from a friends house.

So much of young motherhood is important but thankless work. And here was an audience of people saying thank you to all of us with their applause. And so I sat still and soaked it in for all of us and hoped I would be able to share a bit of that feeling with all of you. I wish every mother had the opportunity to get this standing ovation. I hope each mother who reads this will take just a minute or two to sit still and feel of the love and appreciation that was given to you during that standing ovation on Friday night. Turn on the beginning of the Oprah show and close your eyes and pretend it is for you. :)

I was so moved sitting there representing all Nevada young mothers that night. It was one of the most moving parts of the whole weekend. I really wished everyone could feel that love and appreciation, especially in those difficult times of motherhood. And then the thought came to me that every young mother does get a standing ovation every time she loves her children, or teaches them a correct principle, or corrects a bad behavior, or serves her unappreciative child in any good way.

I have no doubt that there is an audience of angels standing and applauding our valiant efforts to raise good and moral children everyday. I hope the next time any of us find ourselves feeling unappreciated or undervalued in our roles of mother, we will stop for a moment and turn our minds and hearts to the greater picture. I hope in that almost prayerful moment we will be able to feel the warmth of that heavenly applause and know we are doing the most important job on Earth. We are caring for and raising children of God.