Even though mothers are revered as angelic, many moms find themselves feeling more heavy-hearted than heavenly. Never-ending ‘To Do’ lists busy, bury, and burden; and multi-tasking mothers can easily lose sight of their significance and Savior . . . but there is hope. In fact, we can discover inspiration and Him in the divine details of those very ‘To-do’ list tasks!
Whether we notice the divine details or not, they’re there. Heavenly lessons and love notes can be found in the details of our day-to-day mommy moments (MOMents). Yes, even in the constant errands, laundry and meal preps; even in the diaper changing, the carpooling, the cleaning and the consequence-giving. These are not just things to do, but things to learn from.
So, how do we actually do it—how do we discover His lessons and love in our day-to-day doings?
1. Open our spiritual eyes with faith.
We know that Heavenly Father sees things from an elevated and eternal perspective – one that doesn’t come naturally to a natural man (or mother).
The scriptures say, “For the Lord seeth not as a man seeth” (1 Samuel 16:7) and, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither my ways your ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9).
We also know that God created all things with our spiritual progression in mind – all things (yes, that means housework and all the running around that comes with family life!). We may not see the spiritual symbols and lessons at first, but all things on our ‘To Do’ list – and in our life – point to Him.
“Wherefore, verily I say unto you that all things unto me are spiritual” (D&C 77:2; emphasis added).
“All things denote there is a God” (Alma 30:44; emphasis added).
Once we consciously acknowledge that spiritual lessons and love notes are present in our present responsibilities and everyday MOMents, we can open our spiritual eyes to see them.
It takes prayer and practice to open our spiritual eyes. It takes faith to find Him in the details. But through our concentration and effort we will awaken, rub our sleep-deprived eyes and say, “Surely, the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not” (Genesis 28:16).
2. Find time to be still and pay attention to details.
When I found my toddler on the carpet with prescription pills spilled out around her, I panicked. I raced to her side and peered into her mouth (I couldn’t see anything but hippo teeth and slobber). Desperate to know if she had popped the pills into her little body, I immediately blurted out a prayer asking for help. With my audible ‘Amen,’ my older daughter, who stood at my side, quickly asked, “Well, what is your Holy Spirit telling you?”
She’s so wise. She reminded me to stop and listen for an answer. So, I paused and tuned out my mind’s worries in order to tune in to Him and His message. I tried to pay attention to how I felt and I began to look for more details. I noticed that the prescription pill’s coating had rubbed off on my tot’s fingertips, but not around her mouth. I focused inward, feeling blanketed with calmness. And just like that, I knew. I knew everything was going to be ok. I also knew my older daughter was inspired when she chose her words, “What is your Holy Spirit telling you?” The phrase rang through my head and pierced my soul.
The Spirit speaks personally. He is your Holy Spirit and heaven-sent true friend. He speaks Spirit to spirit and at our exact level of intelligence; warning, guiding, testifying and loving us every day. We know the Spirit speaks with a “still, small voice,” and so we must be still and silent enough to hear the words and details he’s giving us.
Now, finding stillness can be tricky – especially in today’s high-speed, high-tech and hyper world. Have you noticed how difficult it is for children to sit still? As surprising as it may seem, the simple task of stillness takes discipline and training. The same goes for receiving the Still, Small Voice. Yet as we daily discipline and train ourselves, externally and internally, we make receiving His message a possibility – as well as a priority.
The Spirit is key to seeing the divinity in our day! Without the Spirit, I could never decode the lessons and love notes around me (none of us could!); but with the Spirit, I find meaning to my everyday mothering moments (just as all of us can!).
3. Act upon lessons learned during everyday moments
As we recognize Christ in the details of our day-to-day, and listen to the personalized promptings we receive, we must act. Like James said, “But be ye doers of the word and not hearers only,” (James 1:22).
Through our obedience, we show our love and appreciation for the lessons and love notes received — and a gratitude attitude gives God the glory. It is also through our obedience that we learn how to act like Him, how to parent our children like Him, and ultimately, how to become like Him.
Plus, Heavenly Father will add to our knowledge and learning as we show that we have received His knowledge and learning … line upon line, precept upon precept (Isaiah 28:10). This makes perfect sense, because He only wants to give us what we’re ready for — what we’re ready to accept, internalize and apply.
As we apply these principles and obey with a happy heart, we will be able to recognize the patterns, symbols, lessons and love notes in our everyday moments more frequently. Suddenly, folding the millionth load of laundry becomes a lesson about the Savior’s love; withstanding the heat from blow drying our hair symbolizes the Master Stylist’s refiner’s fire; and cheering on our toddler’s attempts to feed himself alters the way we see our own struggles.
Discovering divine details within the chores and checkboxes that sprawl across our ‘To Do’ list will deepen the meaning of our mothering, and deepen the impact of our mothering. Oh, and did I mention it also brings about great joy!?! Seeing His lessons and love notes right in the midst of our day is fun and filling — as in, we can be filled with the Spirit and God’s love. It really is amazing! The whole process is perfect and perfecting.
I know there is much more to our day-to-day than doing; there is a higher goal and it is found in becoming — becoming like Christ. He will help us every small step of the way — because He is in each small step of the day. Yes, He is in every everyday mommy moment.