me, surrounded by greatness

This past mother's day I wrote a letter to thirteen terrific ladies who have shaped me and what kind of mother and woman I am. Here is an excerpt.

I have been thinking about writing this note to you for some time.  As Mother’s Day was drawing closer this year and because of some things I read recently in my own patriarchal blessing, I have been thinking about you and what a blessing you have been to me.
I don’t know whether it was because Heavenly Father knew I would need good female role models with me throughout my life or perhaps I expressed concern to him before I came to earth that I would have the cards stacked against me, but I think you were a compensating factor in my life.  You are a gift from an all knowing God.
From the time I joined the church as a youth, I have been blessed  with extraordinary women who have “shown me the way”:  the way to be a righteous woman of God, a devoted wife, and a loving parent.
I am certainly not the perfect mom.  My kids are just as “damaged” as any.  I don’t presume that you are perfect moms or women either.  But I feel like I am a much better mother and woman because of your influence and what I have learned from your example over the years.
When I think of the short list of women that I have felt prompted to write this to, I am reminded of a young woman’s president who was a much needed adult example to me at an important stage of adolescence.  It was from being in her home as a sixteen year old girl and spending a great deal of time with her that I started forming ideas about what kind of mother I wanted to be, what kind of home I wanted to have.  I think of friends who showed me what it means to have compassion and to be mindful of others when they have needs.  I think of women who devote time regularly to scripture study, temple worship, daily prayer and who share that knowledge and testimony with their families.  I think of women who serve diligently in the church to bless the lives of others.  Who sacrifice greatly for their loved ones.  Who are strong voices of influence in their communities and homes.  Women who honor the priesthood, love the Lord with all their hearts, and honor the covenants that they make with great fortitude.  I think of women who bear affliction with faith.

I wanted to take the time to think you for helping me be a better woman and mother this mother’s day because of the woman that I have watched you each be.
I hope you realize what an influence for good you each are, not only to me, but to countless others that you probably aren’t aware of.  For me, you have made all the difference.
(To Sherry T, Sheri L, Cheri P, Vali, Diane P., Diane S, Catherine, Stacey, Betsy, Christi, Steph, Marianna, and Nancy, I love you and Happy Mother's Day.)


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