August 27, 2013

what makes me

I'm feeling really sentimental and emotional tonight as I'm browsing through my old blog posts and looking at all the faces that have been in my life over the years. I am so, so grateful. My brother, Stephen, took this picture at Christmas last year of all my siblings and their children (minus my nephew, Jacob, who was serving a mission at the time). This picture is remarkable. Not only because almost everyone was smiling and looking at the camera, but it also signifies that my parents are remarkable people to have raised eleven children. My parents had this scripture on our wall growing up: "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." (3 John 1:4) and I think that they can feel pretty happy looking at this picture.
It's not a coincidence that my parents have the family they have. My parents taught by example to have faith in God, be kind to others and cultivate our talents. We had love in our home and laughter and learning. It wasn't perfect but it was wonderful. My parents sacrificed so much for us. They both worked hard, professionally and personally. My mom didn't give us extravagantly themed and perfectly decorated birthday parties or sensory bins for every age group but she read to us, listened to us and taught us to be kind. My dad worked hard but when he came home from work, he was always available to talk and impart wonderful wisdom. He led our family with dedication and love. The way I was raised is something that was a blessing in my life through my parents' good choices, hard work and daily sacrifices. My upbringing shaped who I am and I am incredibly grateful to my parents and siblings for being vessels of love and exemplary dedicated servants of God. I know David grew up in a similarly happy and blessed home and we really try to make good choices so that we can provide our children the same type of happy childhoods that we were blessed with. I think that's what we all want and I am thinking tonight about how the role that I have as a mother is such a blessed and important one. I've been working harder lately on being online less and reading/playing with my kids more. It's been amazing to see how my boys' behavior has improved as well. Parenthood is a responsibility that is really draining at times but it's such a privilege to be able to work hard at such a gratifying job.


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