It is so great to belong to the big family of God. One thing we have in common with everyone is suffering! Elder Neal A. Maxwell once said "A few individuals may appear to have no trials at all, which, if it were so, would be a trial in itself. Indeed, if, as do trees, our souls had rings to measure the years of greatest personal growth, the wide rings would likely reflect the years of greatest moisture-but from tears, not rainfall." He says this in an article titled "Thanks Be To God." He says that while the Lord has described His great plan of happiness, not one of us is likely to be a stranger to sorrow.
I am just sitting here thinking of all the people I know who endure hard things and do them so well. This past week we spent in Phoenix where my Uncle "Frankinator" died. Almost two years ago we were there for the funeral of his wife, my Aunt Kirsti. Although a sad occasion, it would so nice to be together with my cousins. All of the suffering they have experienced and witnessed in their young lives and into adulthood! My Aunt Kirsti was diagnosed with cancer 23ish years before she died from it and had been through as many surgeries. She was amazing at appearing cheerful even when you knew she was in pain. She was beautiful that way, like my Aunt Wendy who is going through the same thing now. My uncle and aunt in Phoenix did an inspiring job at carrying on despite the challenges with her health and continued to teach their children good things. I am so grateful for their lives and examples, and grateful for the lives and examples of their three children, whom I love so much. I really, really do. Their sufferings, their lives, their interests and their concerns are all important to me, and I always find myself wishing I was better at really showing others the way I care so much.
I am thankful for my Mom today on Mother's Day and always! I am thankful for how she is converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and her example of not running away or turning angry and bitter about her challenges with my Dad---and the other ones too! It is amazing to hear her say, she whose life has been thrown in a whirlwind of hard changes, that she knows these things are the things she needs to experience in order to become what she needs to become. In short, she is awesome to me!
And finally, to end I want to say that I LOVE being a mother. Oddly enough, nothing sounds more fun to me than being the "Mommy!" these little people cry for in the middle of the night---or the middle of the store. I really feel so blessed with the opportunity to hav my own children, and to raise them, to take care of them, and teach them. Being a wife and mother are the best two things that have happened to me. I am really thankful I get these experiences, and grateful to enjoy them so much. Love to all of you, wherever you are and a HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to women EVERYWHERE!