But first I should give a little background, if for no other reason than to remind myself how I was feeling about my mothering as we read the scriptures together that night. Things have been hard lately, really hard. My patience has been so very thin most days. I feel like I'm the referee all day long many days, running interference but without any real game plan that ever works. I wake up every day, praying in my heart that I won't yell today, that I'll keep my cool and just be calm and helpful and kind, but firm if necessary. And most days I fail at this. I yell sometimes. It makes me sad and I know it's not helping us have peace in our home. I'm currently about, oh, 40 weeks pregnant, and this hormonal+tired state obviously doesn't help things, because often after I get frustrated or upset I turn into a bucket of tears. This doesn't work wonders for disciplining children, in case you were wondering about my "methods." Don't get me wrong, there are perfect moments in every day, but no day is ever perfect, nor can it be, but I wish I had more perfect moments. (Don't we all?!) In any event, this is how things have been of late.
We read these verses from 3rd Nephi 17:
21 And when he had said these words, he awept, and the multitude bare record of it, and he took their little children, one by one, and bblessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them.24 And as they looked to behold they cast their eyes towards heaven, and they saw the heavens open, and they saw angels descending out of heaven as it were in the midst of fire;
and they came down and aencircled those little ones about, and they were encircled about with fire; and the angels did minister unto them.
What struck me was that the people took their children to the feet of Jesus Christ and then "the multitude gave way till they had all been brought unto him." After that is when He is able to allow parents and others who may have been in this group witness the miraculous blessing and prayer for the little ones that He gives. When I read these verses, something struck me: "Don't let yourself get in the way of your children going to the Savior." I realized as I thought about this more the next day that I have been very consumed with lots of things lately and that I've probably missed opportunities to guide my children to the Lord. I've been so busy worrying about how to help them be kind to each other that I haven't been as kind as I could be.
I thought of the words to the song "I Am A Child of God" that say "lead me, guide me, walk beside me, help me find the way. Teach me all that I must do to live with Him someday." Leading, guiding, walking beside and helping our children find the way to God and the Savior are vital things that I can do as a mother. I know my children are young, yes, but I also know that it never occurred to me before that I also need to be prepared to get out of the way (figuratively speaking, I suppose) as I lead them, guide them, or walk beside them. They are spiritual beings in little bodies who long to be near the Savior and follow Him - and I want to help them do that better.
And I was reminded as I read that it doesn't say "Behold (comma) your little ones." It says: Behold your little ones. This is something that requires action - the act of beholding encompasses so much more than just looking at them: it is, to me, a commandment of "Pay attention to your children!" But first I need to go to the Lord and then take a step back to make room for them at His feet, and I intend to keep working at it, with God's help.