Mothers and Christmas
December 20, 2015The phone has rung more than usual this week in the office. Many times it is a mother calling from out west asking about an address, our mail delivery times, most efficient shipping routes, etc. Many have started their conversations with an apology. "I am sorry. I am running late this year."....."I am sorry. I lost his or her new address."....Mothers, do you get my drift? Do not fear, though. For every frazzled call I answer, there is another mother on the line asking for the name of their missionary's new companion. Asking how many sisters live in the house so she can send enough for all. Asking me to let our mail secretary know that she sent two extra packages for any missionary who won't be getting much.
This most wonderful time of the year can wreak havoc on a mother's emotions. Have I done enough? Do my children feel a spirit of joy in our home this season? What neighbor have I forgotten? What child have I forgotten??!
The prophet Isaiah spoke of the Savior and compared his love for us like that of a mother, "Can a woman forget her sucking child?" Isn't that the truth, Mothers? And I am not talking about Christmas gifts now. That is such a small part of how we show our love to our children, yet the world portrays it differently. Your child does not need the best phone, the best clothes. Your child needs you. And you are doing it. You are giving it and you don't need to apologize. Your gave your child the two best gifts they will ever get. A family and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Your heart may get broken along the way for a time due to your child's poor choices but Hallelujah! A Savior was born! Because of Him, your child can repent and start over. Because of Him, you can repent on those grumpy days that can creep into this joyous occasion. I speak from experience. I first became a mother 40 years ago this very week when our first daughter, Mauriah, was born. By the way, how can she be 40? She is too young and beautiful. It hasn't even phased her.
So mothers....chin up. You have a sacred trust placed in you. You can do it! Pray for courage and strength. You are doing so much better than you think you are. Now, if you are a mom, be sure and check out the picture of the mail in our office last Monday. Study it. Guess where it came from and is still coming from? Over 200 mothers across the country and even, the world. Chances are slim to none that a dad postmarked a one of them. Moms, you've got this.
Sister Seaman.....aka MOTHER to Jessica, Caitlin, Mauriah, Kirsten, Lindsay, and Addie
Fathers, Front and CenterThe gifts coming from Home to missionaries, at least here in this mission, are considerable. And I acknowledge all the mothers and their tender feelings for their missionaries. However, as a father of the same daughters as Sister Seaman, I also know that the fathers care. They care enough and in most cases far more than enough. I also know that cards and gifts may not be their thing. The fathers just wait longer than the wives and it gets taken care of before they can act. Either way, Mothers and Fathers love their missionaries. This sounds a little lame doesn't it. OK Moms, you win, but this father loves his daughters more than he can express.
Have you ever secretly wished that you could be an anonymous giver of gifts that would really help someone who really needs the help. I am talking about really helping. I am not sure I am qualified to make a distinction between who really has a need and who just has their hand out. And I am not wealthy enough to do anything in the way of really helping someone, but I have always thought it would be the greatest thing. I really enjoy doing the "pay-it-forward" thing at McDonalds; but, I am talking about a college tuition for a kid who would never be able to get it otherwise; or a house for a disabled vet. You may have had these same thoughts.
Well, here we are in Independence Missouri serving a mission and it has struck me that I have the opportunity to give the greatest gift to ever be given. The gift of eternal life. The greatest of all gifts. The reality of it though is that I am actually weird about giving this gift. I am afraid. Even though it costs me nothing. And even though it can be given without making any distinction. I hesitate. There is the fear that it will be rejected. I don't like rejection.
During the course of this mission, Sister Seaman and I are slowly becoming better at giving the gift. Wow, you would think that by now, after 14 months, we would be fearless. We are not, but we are getting better. We have been giving out the little #ASaviorisBorn cards to a few people this year. It seems to be such a small effort on our part.
Anyway, we do have the greatest of all the gifts ever given and we should share it whenever and wherever we can. Start today by getting some pass-along cards from the missionaries near you and commit to yourselves to give them out. Be friendly. Be the example. Be kind. You will be a great missionary. We love you.