Having a journalist in the family is great for me, because she keeps me thinking. Of course I think every day, but Tam poses great questions about the things that she is thinking about and it stirs me to think about topics that I wouldn't necessarily be musing over at the time. Last week, she asked me and the other moms in her family and life what it means to us to be a mother of faith. I figure if I'm going to respond, I might as well do it here, so that you can start thinking about what it means to you to be a mother of faith (and share with us)!
Now, how does that affect me as a woman and a mother? My faith in God truly affects every part of my life. Surely my faith had an impact on my decision to have children, particularly on the decision to start our family while Jared was still in graduate school and there were plenty of financial reasons to wait. Even now, I catch myself for a moment dreaming of how different our financial situation would be if I had stayed in the work force for five more years until Jared's practice was up and running-- but I wouldn't trade those five years for all the money in the world. We knew that it was the right time and that the Lord didn't want us to postpone our family for selfish reasons or to rely on our own strength. Surely I have been able to see the Lord's hand more clearly in my life because we needed Him more to provide for our needs at times.
Motherhood has required leaps of faith on my part-- times when I had to trust and let go of fears that might hold me back. Making major moves, buying a home, accepting callings (or assignments) in the Church that were overwhelming, buying a practice, having another baby . . . and then another, pulling my kids out of public school -- all these and more have tested me and allowed me to prove God. He has blessed me in so many ways that I can't even express. I have never had cause to regret a single decision that I made based on faith-- and the sense that I knew what God wanted me to do, even if I couldn't see the why or how.
Tam asked us: what is the most important thing about your faith that you want your kids to know? For me, it is that we can each have a personal relationship with Father in Heaven; that we each have access to His guidance and to feel of His love in our lives. I want my children to feel His power and have experiences that bring them to trust Him as I do. Then it will be their faith on which they rely and not mine.
I am so grateful for the way that my faith shapes my life and my values and for the way that it strengthens me and leads me to good things. I am grateful that because of faith, I am able to be brave in the face of hard things, to feel joy in the midst of trials, and to have hope in the future. Could I be a mother without faith? Sure. But faith makes me a much better mother than I could ever be on my own.
What role does faith play in your mothering? How does it change the way you mother? The way you think about yourself? Please share!