Embracing the Hood of Motherhood

My husband Shayne is a master falconer. When he wants to protect and settle the falcon, he covers the falcon’s head with a hood, which creates in the bird a feeling of safety from predators and threats.
We talk of Sisterhood and Brotherhood, of Fatherhood, Childhood and Motherhood. We live in a wonderful Neighborhoods. It means something to us to belong to these “hoods”—we feel a sense of belonging to something that is good and safe; and in return, we feel a sense of responsibility to uphold and contribute to it.

Sheri Dew said, “Motherhood is more than bearing children. … It is the essence of who we are as women.” All of creation requires the life-giving, nurturing, saving, protecting acts of MOTHERHOOD to reach its potential.

Rachel Janovic said, “Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling. It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in, it is what God gave you time for.” (blog post, Desiring God)
Mothers are not only women who have given birth, but also women who haven’t. I have numerous women in my life who understand what Motherhood means. Grandmothers, aunts, cousins, friends, and neighbors have mothered us.

Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling. It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in, it is what God gave you time for.

I’d like to share some personal stories:

· When I first learned to ride a bike, I thought I would ride it to school, which was just six blocks or so from home. On my way, my foot got caught in the spokes and I fell. Unable to untangle myself, this kind sister came from her home and rescued me. She cleaned and bandaged my foot and called my mom. She was not my mother, but she felt like it that day.

· In junior high, a teacher, who wasn’t married and didn’t have children, wore various colored wigs to class, which was quite a spectacle to me. Yet she instilled in me the power of poetry. She had us memorize poems and recite them in front of class. They had strong messages about character, motivation, and living well. She was not my mother, but her influence felt like it.

· A woman known as Grandma Hall would invite her primary class to her home for, what I would call, tea time. She would have pressed white linens, homemade lemonade, and fresh cookies. She was always old to me. She was not my mother, but her genuine smile and personal warmth made me feel there was more love to go around and the world was filled with good.

· Most of my vacations and summers were spent with extended family. So many hours, days, even weeks together have created a trail of loving memories for what I learned from my grandmothers, aunts, and cousins. I learned how to

* pick citrus and squeeze grapefruit juice,
* perform skits and music in front of others,
* plan reunions that bring us together,
* pitch in for family meals with cooking and washing dishes BY HAND, and
* have REAL conversations with REAL people, face-to-face.

These women smiled because of the goodness and truths they lived by. While they have faced challenges of every kind, they have held their ground and come through brighter and better. They were not my mother, but they increased my desire to be part of this Motherhood.

The Motherhood in my neighborhood has blessed our family for more than 25 years. They have saved our children from danger, fed them when they said they were hungry, invited them to join in your adventures, reminded them of their responsibilities, taught them how to serve others, shared your testimonies, and fasted and prayed for them. They live with mother hearts.

The world is shouting rather loudly now that Motherhood is of little importance, and even that there are more important things to spend our time on. It is quite distracting. While the noise has intensified, it isn’t new. It’s a battle that’s been going on since the beginning of time. Even then, Eve was called “The Mother of all Living” and approved by God before she birthed a child. (Moses 4:26)

The title of Mother belongs to every female–that’s every female who has or will ever live. It is our finest title, our finest work, and our finest blessing, and will ultimately bring us to our finest joy.

Motherhood is the basis of eternity—past, present, and future. Motherhood doesn’t put us on a pedestal, but it does put us in the presence of angels. Through it, we are partners with God. Through it, we have the right to be guided and helped, to feel love, peace, and safety, and to reach our potential. Through it, we have the responsibility to provide guidance and help, to create and share love, peace and safety, and to help others reach their unique potential.

· It means we are women who embrace all the good that Motherhood is—
* divinity,
* holiness,
* caregiving,
* suffering,
* forgiving,
* selflessness,
* teaching,
* leading,
* serving, and
* loving

No influence is of greater value and no title should be more acknowledged, adopted, and adored by women of every age.

Someone has said, “Life doesn’t come with a manual, it comes with a mother.” Giving life is a miraculous process— We learned this more deeply through our experience with our daughter Kristen and our granddaughter Sara Kate, whom we lost after 5 days of miraculous living.

This divine process of a woman giving life cannot, has not, and will not be usurped or changed by even the brightest scientists and doctors. It is worthy of every “Wow”, “Oooo” and “Awwww” we can say. There are no words to describe its wonder.

This is where we all begin—with a miracle. And then our days are spent in a home. My home was a true “hood” of faith, security, and peace. My mother embraced Motherhood. She fought for it during the 70’s. She withstood public pressure, even ridicule as the debate raged on. She went on to represent families and mothers in the national arena, where those pressures intensified. I know where she stands. I know she has a Mother Heart. I know she knows that Motherhood is divine.

Our very hearts teach us that Motherhood is the best in us, if we listen. Motherhood in all its forms is our most ennobling title, our holiest work, and our most cherished opportunity.

Now is the time to go back to the wells of truth and remember what we have always known. Then, we will have the power, the courage, and the resolve to live it and to stand up for it.

By JaLee Jackson Clarke

JaLee Jackson Clarke is a mother of 5, 17308710_10155051597362432_9133278721192595292_n grandmother of almost 11 and hopefully more,has her MBA and works as an HR Manager and Executive Administrator. Pursuing joy and knowledge, and opportunities to serve are her passions. She enjoys discussion, fabric, sunshine, fresh air, and long walks.

Glorious Burden

There are mothers at the UN working to influence proposed policy that diminishes families and motherhood. This is my statement to those UN policy makers – let them hear from the mothers they seek to replace.

17352203_10154491320242217_5709368134985003240_nA societal movement to diminish motherhood has been in the propaganda mills of elite central planners for generations. This is spelled out in new policy being considered at the UN, and calls for “measures to recognize, reduce and redistribute women’s [and girls’] disproportionate [burden] of unpaid care of care and domestic work…”

Apparently, the propaganda has culminated to this bold moment of honesty, or, the central planners have decided they can wait no longer to win you over with spin. Bottom line: the State wants your children. For over a century, the most forward thinking elitists have prepared for victory on this point: a well-ordered State can raise a child to serve the State better than its parents can.

The State is right. If the end of raising a child is to see it serve the collective well, then the incubator of cradle to career oversight is perfect. Devoid of any real nurturing, the State can raise serfs to its service much more efficiently when love, nurturing, and family loyalty are removed.

But, if the world still wants thinkers, innovators, and people with a sense of humanity, they still need homes with mothers and fathers. Children still need to see adult human beings – appropriately sacrificing for them – to know that this is the surest way to have a life of purpose and joy.

The elitists have made a fatal mistake: they say “burden” like it’s a bad thing. C.S. Lewis once said that homemaking was the ultimate career that made all other careers possible. Policy crafters and influencers forget something as they deride and dismiss motherhood and family life: once upon a time, someone took on the burden of raising…them.aa1a98c87515e5cac989917f20590f4c

Burden indeed. What a glorious burden to be given: the charge of shaping the heart and mind of another human being – one that exists because you loved another human being.

It’s a glorious burden to lose your figure, your sleep, your mind – so you can bring another human being into the world, sit up with her when she has croup, help him get his science fair project finished, and teach him to ride a bicycle. It’s a glorious burden to lose all dignity as you leave your house in sweats that have spit up on them because you’re out of milk, and wear last year’s dress to a piano recital – your stomach in complete knots as if you were the one performing. It’s a glorious burden to read a seventh bed-time story to your children, the words slurring into near-drunken incoherence, as you are the only one who gets sleepy in this night-time ritual nearly as sacred as the family prayer.

It’s a glorious burden to be given a necklace made of macaroni, a sloppy kiss that smears spaghetti sauce on your cheek, and a tiny wad of a love note that says, “I love you, Mom – you are the BIST!” It’s a glorious burden to wander, sleepless, through a darkened house, stopping at the beds of each of your sleeping children, pouring out wept prayers of gratitude and pleading that God will watch over them when you can’t.

Here is what the elitists don’t know, or have forgotten, so far removed from such realities as humanity can be: the very thing that makes motherhood glorious is the fact that it is a burden – a back-breaking, mind-wracking, heart-stretching, soul-forging burden. It’s a glorious burden because it turns us into better, higher human beings for having taken it on.

Every human on this planet started life with a mother and a father. Not everyone takes to parenthood, and tragically, there are still too many children who don’t have the love and sanctifying sacrifice of present parents. But through the millennia, there is no alternative way of raising children that can hold a candle to it. To buy the lie that this is a burden that should be “recognized, reduced, and redistributed” is absurd and dangerous. The glorious burden of motherhood is most definitely to be recognized – as the highest thing a woman can choose to do with her life. Motherhood should be recognized, but it should be reverenced – and protected – for the endangered species that the central planners are trying to make of it.

In spite of the spin, this is the cold hard reality: in spite of the imperfect execution, there are still more parents, around the globe, that freely choose to take on parenting, because it is a glorious burden worth shouldering. Civilization depends on it.6fde27d4da1fda2a55097874defd1e9b

by Laureen Simper

Learn how you can tell the United Nations that Love is Not a Burden at this link.

My Value As A Mother

It’s been a long day full of appointments, piano lessons, soccer practice and Church activities. Everyone is in bed and I am grateful for the quiet. I make my rounds checking in on each of my boys. But tonight it’s different. Tonight I wonder about my value as a mother.

I see my oldest. I smile as I watch him sleep. So easy going and carefree. My mind goes back to the times he has laid across my bed to talk about his adventures with his friends. I smile as I remember that those talks often led to him asking me for advice. How grateful I am for those talks! God knew I was the mother for my oldest during one of his hardest trials.

God knew I was the mother for my oldest during one of his hardest trials.

Next I go to the room shared by my younger two. I watch my youngest and remember his smile and laughter. He is so curious about everything! I laugh as I think back to a couple days ago when he asked if he could have one of my laundry pods to break in his hand. He was so excited when I handed him one that he ran yelling, “Dad! Dad! Mom said I can bust this!”. God knew I was the mother who could take that curious boy and turn his MANY messes into some sort of experiment.

God knew I was the mother who could take that curious boy and turn his MANY messes into some sort of experiment.

I look on the bottom bunk and there is my strong willed middle son. I remember when he and his brothers decided to hike around on the rocks with grandma. His two brothers ran ahead but he stayed with his grandmother walking patiently next to her, helping her along the rocks. God knew he needed a strong willed mother to help him navigate life. Oh how we have learned from each other!

God knew he needed a strong willed mother to help him navigate life. Oh how we have learned from each other!

Three boys with very different personalities and interests. They were sent to me by my Father in Heaven because I was the best mother for them. This realization brings a smile to my face.

I walk back to my room and see my sweet husband. He is snoring lightly and I laugh remembering how he claims that he never snores. He has given me a wonderful life! I can see that my value as a wife and mother is priceless. I do not need a day off to realize that, I only need my family.

by Michelle Boulter

  1. Michelle Boulter is very active in various efforts to protect parental rights and local education control. Im March of 2015, Michelle attended the United Nation’s Commission on the Status of Women where she became aware of atonal and international policies that are being created to undermine the natural rights of mothers and fathers She co-founded two pro-family organizations: Return to Parental Rights and Gathering Families in an effort to encourage local policy leaders to uphold the family as the fundamental unit of society.

    Michelle is opposed to Federal Education Standards and regards it as an unconstitutional usurpation of power and a denial of state and local control. She firmly believes that no government or program should put themselves between parent and child. She believes that strong families are the key to preserving local education control.

    Michelle is married to Blake Boulter and they are the proud parents of three boys. She is currently homeschooling her youngest two and was recently elected to the Utah State Board of Education.

A Day Without Dividends

After looking at my do-to list this morning, I seriously considered joining the national women’s strike, “A Day Without Women”. I could use the day off… and let’s face it, I’ve fantasized more than once how it would be if I truly stayed in bed all day. So, why not join with the other women in our country and let my family see what it would be like without THIS woman???

There’s only one problem…. I am a mom. I don’t work with corporate bosses, excel sheets, project reports and paid sick leave. I answer to a much higher authority…..the future of humankind!

Mothers who nurture children literally shape the future. This is not hyperbole. It’s absolutely true…. and we all know it! Why do you think there are so many special interest groups and investors who are willing to spend the big bucks to get a say in your child’s education? They KNOW the future is in your children and they want a say in how they are raised and taught.

Powerful moms also know how important it is to invest in the future by investing in their children. They know that each hug, story, lesson, curfew, assigned chore, conversation, object lesson, etc. will play a part in creating the kind of generation that will follow us. This investment isn’t to be taken lightly. Intentional mothers seriously seek guidance and direction from God to know what to give each, individual child. Unlike the greedy special interest groups that lobby congress for a piece of your child’s future, mothers are carefully attentive to every physical and emotional change in their children. Mothers gladly sacrifice to give each, individual child the care they need.

The investment that mothers make in their children does not always provide immediate dividends. Some days it seems like they have taken a huge loss…. not the kind of downturn that hurts the pocket book, but the kind of loss that hurts your heart and brings you to your knees. You know those days…. we ALL know those days. Mothers feel absolutely helpless as we watch our children that we are so invested in go through trials, sickness, or setbacks. It is times like these that a mom realizes that SHE is the one who is truly growing…… And all that she invests in her child is also an investment in herself.

And all that a mother invests in her child is also an investment in herself.

When we invest in these young ones, we find ourselves becoming better. We learn patience, love, kindness, math, science, budgeting, organizing, etc. Everything our child learns, we learn…only on a deeper level because we are learning through our child’s eyes. There is no college class or seminar that can teach this kind of wisdom. It has to be gained organically. This kind of learning never ends and can only be had through the intentional act of parenting! A mother will continue to learn through her child throughout her lifetime. Name one other career that gives that kind of dividend!

If you want true cradle-to-grave learning, become a mom. Just remember that the more intentional you are in your investment, the greater the dividends…. Then, years from now, your investments will have compounded and multiplied to include grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Each subsequent generation learns, as you have learned, the eternal importance of investing in the future by investing in their children.

However, if you find that you can miss out on a day without pay in order to let the world know how important your influence is on our current economy…go for it. As for me, I KNOW how truly influential my job is….. and I don’t want to miss a moment of it!

By Jenny Baker

A Child’s Faith: More Precious than Diamonds

child's faith
Last year, I looked down at my hands and made the sad realization that my wedding ring’s diamond was gone. I was devastated and racked my brain to think of all the places it could have fallen out in the last 18 hours since I’d seen it last; I had taken a shower, done dishes and laundry, taken out the trash, vacuumed the house, driven carpool, gone to the gas station and on and on and on… My sweet, wise husband suggested we say a little prayer asking for divine help. We knelt and I offered an earnest prayer, explaining not only the monetary value, but also the sentimental value of such a loss and requested help with its return. We then set off on an adventure in search of the lost diamond.

It was never recovered.

Fast forward a few weeks, my nine-year-old daughter lost a school book which was soon due to be returned. We had checked every room, shelf, backpack, and corner of our home and even made calls to the public and school libraries in hopes that perhaps it had already inadvertently been returned. I had finally conceded to the fact that we would just pay the meager $8.69 or so back to the school for the lost book. That is, until my daughter, with a defeated spirit, made a comment which tugged painfully at my mother’s heart. “I don’t get it, Mom. On Sunday, I read a scripture promising if I ever needed help, I could always say a prayer and that Heavenly Father would listen and help me. I did pray for help, Mom! Why haven’t we found it?”

And whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you.
-3 Nephi 18:20

I knew in that moment we had to find that old, worn out, used and tattered paperback book. I went to a quiet place and knelt, coincidentally in the exact spot my husband and I had knelt just a few weeks earlier, and pleaded yet another earnest prayer of seeking. The coincidence was not lost on me as I, again, explained the value of a lost item. This time, however, it wasn’t the monetary or sentimental value that had me concerned. This time, we had something of much more eternal value at stake. Something far more precious than diamonds: my daughter’s faith. I pleaded to find the book, not so that my daughter could finish her school assignment, not so my daughter could return the book, and not so I could avoid a replacement fee. I pleaded, as only a mother could, so that my daughter’s faith in prayer could be strengthened. I pleaded that my daughter could experience the blessed promises made to her in the scriptures. I pleaded that she would know she did have a Heavenly Father who hears and answers her prayers.

“There are few things more powerful than the faithful prayers of a righteous mother.”
—President Boyd K. Packer, “These Things I Know”

Not five minutes after my prayer, my daughter found her book. She hugged it tightly as she told me how glad she was to have a Heavenly Father who listens to her prayers and answers them. She expressed the same gratitude in her prayers that morning before running off for the day.

I followed up with my own prayer of gratitude, not only for a Heavenly Father who listened to and answered each of our prayers but, also, for the ability to recognize the eternal perspective of the two lost items. Within a matter of seconds, the missing diamond’s value had dimmed to less than that of an old, worn out, used and tattered paperback book because hidden behind that lost book was the faith and testimony of my faith-filled 9-year-old daughter who wanted so desperately to believe in the promises offered her in the scriptures. It was a beautiful reminder that my child’s faith is far more precious than even the most sentimental, rare or exquisite diamonds I could possibly own.

By Shelby Rodgers