Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Discipline and Laughter (Month Nine)

My beautiful 9-month-old


Some time in this last month you were being naughty. Nearly impossible to believe, I know. But I made the grouchiest face I could summon and I scolded you. It didn't work very well. Much to my surprise, you laughed at me. And, a few days later, much to your delight, I scolded you again.

Your squeals of joy at having been rebuked gave me pause for thought: Perhaps more difficult things in life are better approached with an attitude of optimism and joy, rather than one of pessimism and criticism. I made the mental note, right then and there, that in the future I should resort to disciplining with love and patience, rather than anger and frustration. Clearly you find the latter entertaining — and where will that get us?!

It's no wonder the scriptures are full of this very council. Like D&C 121:41-42 that encourages influencing others is better done by "persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile." And Proverbs 25:15 paints an interesting picture with, "By long forebearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone."

You are still just a babe, my beautiful girl. But sometimes caring for you leaves me feeling run down and empty. Sometimes I feel as if I have no more patience, kindness or love to give you. There have been many times I have begged the Lord for the capacity to righteously mother you. And mercifully, just moments later, been filled with peace. I can't help but pour my heart out in prayer in thanksgiving in these moments. It is not lost on me the privilege it is being able to feel love so pure.

With my first Mother's Day recently passed, I want you to always know how grateful I am to be your mother. Mothering you is divine because it compels me towards divinity. Mothering you has helped me understand my own divine nature more purely. Mothering you has helped me to know the Savior more completely, as I have gained a better understanding of what exactly charity, the pure love of Christ, means. Mothering you has been awe-inspiring, soul-stretching, humility-inducing, heart-bursting and all-encompassing. 

I love you, my joyful Mercy girl.


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