Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Motherhood: G.I.F.T.S (introduction)

Several months ago I  was in one of my "ruts' with my many roles and feeling overwhelmed. Do I still "feel" it, yes, is it controlling me right now no. I am a very glad of that! It really stinks when you get into one of those funks where everything feels like so much work, and the evil guy on your shoulder makes you question everything you do and if you are doing enough, or if you are doing it the right way. So anyway, while I was in the "rut" I was searching for a way out and found a book entitled The Ministry of Motherhood written by Sally Clarkson. It caught my eye because I already have another book of hers that she co-wrote with her hubby called Educating the Wholehearted Child (thanks to Tristan at Our Busy Homeschool where I first heard of it). I enjoyed the inspiration given about home education in that book, so I knew I would enjoy this new one. I purchased and downloaded it onto my Nook and read through the introduction and some of the first chapter. I could tell it was a really great book.....but it wasn't what I needed at that point in time, so I saved it for another day. 

That day has come today when I picked it up again. The book is basically a devotional for mothers, on how to better nurture our children and be good examples to them. She leads you in a six week study of the ministry of Motherhood. The study follows an acronym that her and her husband came up with to guide their parenting procedures: GIFTS. G = grace, I = inspiration, F = faith, T = training, and S = service. 

I am in a "feel good" moment right now, and those are the best to improve upon! Plus, my day is coming up (and yours too), Mother's Day, so I thought it would be a good time to study up on Motherhood. I am not going to go through each detail of this program....for that you will have to get a copy of the book yourself! But I do want to share my notes as I travel this course, as way for me to reflect and as a method to provide encouragement to others to always strive to be a better Mom. 

My first assignment from Sally was to read the introduction, study the 5 questions that follow and answer them. Whew! What a workout! Already I have gained some perspective I did not have before, and boy did I have to think about my answers to some of those questions! 

(I am going to outline some of  the questions below....I hope Sally doesn't mind.....I encourage you to ponder your answers too, AND get the book for yourself!)

Q. What purpose do you think God had in mind when he designed the role of mother?

A. I think our role is to nurture His children throughout their time (and our time) on earth (not just until adulthood) and to prepare them to return to Him.

Q. What does Psalm 127: 3 imply about the ministry of motherhood?
A. This is a LOADED verse. You should read it! Here are some of my thoughts on it: We are creators as our Father in heaven is a creator. It is our heritage, one of the godly things we are allowed to do as mortals.

Q. Write out a plan for ministering to your own children using the acronym GIFTS. List at least one goal for each letter.

A. Alright, this one took me some time to fill out. Here are my goals for this program and beyond:

G- (grace) I am going to provide positive encouragement for my children's physical and spiritual growth. I need to work on using soft words and guidance.

I- (inspiration) I will seek out Heavenly Father's guidance in all things, especially pertaining to my role as a mother and how I should lead my children through prayer and scripture study. I would like them to know for certain that my love and God's love for them is never ending.

F- (faith) I want to lead by example. Having them seek out on their own a personal relationship with Heavenly Father, the Savior, and the Holy Ghost.

T- (training) I want to continue to provide a heavenly-led education for them and to train them to be independent learners, responsible persons, and to follow the Saviors example in word and deed.

S- (service) I need to give them each some of my time (one on one) to help them, develop their talents, play with them, and get to know them better as individuals. I want to build my relationship with each that will endure the upcoming trials in life they will surely have, that they might know that I am always here to help in anyway I can.

Can I do it?

I think I can I think I can I think I can....toot toot! All Aboard!

I am going to try my BEST and that is all that is expected of me. I know that just by my desire to understand motherhood more and what role I play and how I can do better at it, I am halfway there. 

There was a really great verse and question that I did not list about...because it was something that takes ALOT of pondering! The scriptures were guidance on how to be a virtuous woman located in Proverbs 31: 10-31. I am sure some of you have read this before and perhaps already studied it. I have to admit, that I do not recall ever pondering these verses! One of the challenges given by Sally was to convert it to modern-day text, and how it would apply. Wow! That took some time...and I learned ALOT! For the most part I think I am doing pretty good...there were a lot of things that I had already desired on my own to become better at like beginning my day early with my husband and preparing breakfast for him, and then taking some time for me to prepare before the rest of the house wakes up (like read my scriptures and take a shower!).

 Read Proverbs 31: 10-31, you might be surprised at how Virtuous you already are! 

And that concludes my study of Motherhood today! Tune in next week for my thoughts on the lesson of Grace.

Happy Day! and Happy Mothers Day!

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