Sunday, May 13, 2012

Lessons My Mother Taught Me: Through Small And Simple Things...

Lesson #3: Through Small And Simple Things Great Things Are Accomplished

When you look at my mom's life from a worldly perspective it could seem small. She wasn't rich, didn't have her own reality TV show, never traveled to Europe, and never opened her own school for orphans in a third world country.

 That is one way to look at it, but I look at Mom's life as a tremendous success story...

In a world where divorce is rampant and the family unit is crumbling my mom was a devoted wife and mother  for almost 38 years (maybe I should say for 38 years in her mortal life).

For years she didn't wear her wedding ring. I don't think it fit. One night while we were attending the Utah Symphony at Sundance this man in the audience fell madly in love with her and came over to hit on her after the performance was over. We told him that she was married; he was heart broken, and by the end of the next week Mom had her ring fixed. There would never again be a question on whether she was married or not. It may have been just a small thing but wearing that ring everyday was something that she could do to exhibit her loyalty to the one she loved.

As our mother she was (and I am sure she continues to be) completely devoted to us. Mom was our biggest fan. She never missed a football game, choir performance, or a clogging recital. She took us everywhere with her and she took us on all kinds of little adventures. She never asked for a day off or a ladies' night. She dedicated all of her time and attention to us and we had so much fun with her. It may seem like a little thing, but the fact that she never went out with friends or said that she needed a break means so much to me. She loved us so much, we were her world and as she told us recently she loved every minute of raising us. I am truly grateful for all of the time that my mom spent with us.

My mom had a great love for the gospel. She didn't need to stand and bare her testimony every month for anyone to know it. It was obvious by the way she lived her life. She went to church nearly every Sunday, serving in some capacity.

When we were young somehow she got all of us to church all by herself. To this day I don't know how she did it. Mom wrote in her journal about missing two weeks of church in a row. She felt bad about it and said something to Dad. She reports that Dad told her not to be such a goodie-goodie and she resolved to go back the next week. She exhibited her faith in God and her testimony of the gospel simply by ensuring that she was at church every Sunday.

These two weeks must have been the only two weeks that she didn't have a calling because I never remember Mom not having a calling. Usually she had more than one. Mom always put everything she had into a calling no matter what it was. She always wanted to serve to the best of her capacity. If she were playing the organ on Sunday she would practice the hymns planned throughout the week sometimes spending hours at the piano until she got it right. As a teacher she would sit at our kitchen table and meticulously plan her lessons out. In the role of Relief Society president she would say a prayer and then go through the visiting teaching assignments, making sure that every sister in the ward was getting what they needed. She was never the one who planned the great ward parties, or the Christmas program that moved everyone to tears, but she served to the best of her abilities doing all that she could with the talents that she had and often asking for a little help from above.

Mom may have never done huge humanitarian aid projects or donated large sums of money to a great institution, but she made an impact in many lives with the small acts of service that she performed for them. I went visiting teaching with her many times throughout my life. As a small child I went with her to see Ruth Wilcox, a widow who lived down the street from us. She was always so happy to see us. I realize now that she must have been lonely and a visit from us brightened her day. There were other times when my mom would see someone that she knew at the store. While we always thought that she talked way too long to these people that she knew I now realize how much it meant to them that she would take the time to find out how they were doing and ask about their families. Really all Mom did was gave people her time and attention and I don't think any of us truly realized what an impact those simple things had on others until we received the many people who came to pay tribute to her. She made a difference in the world using only her magical smile, her listening ear, and her gentle kindness.

 Her example has taught me that through small and simple things great things are accomplished.

. This is one of the greatest lessons that Mom taught me.

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