For a long time I’ve been thinking about starting a series of Sabbath posts where I share my spiritual thoughts from the week and how I’ve been working on applying the gospel of Jesus Christ study to my life as a mother. So here goes.
This week Roscoe’s youth group hosted a fireside from Mormon musician Jenny Philips. She talked about the time when Peter stepped from the boat to walk across the water toward the Savior.
Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? (Matthew 14:28-31)
Her point was that following the Savior often requires that we step out of our safe and known place and onto turbulent waters. We sometimes doubt that we’ll be able to make it, that we’ll be supported, that the promises of the gospel will really work for us.
To me, marriage and motherhood are definitely like stepping out of the dry boat and onto the water. First to yoke your life through marriage to someone else’s no matter what twists and turns life may bring. Then to raise children with wills of their own and to commit yourself to meeting their almost limitless needs.
To me motherhood also means living faith in the promise that“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it” (Matthew 16:25). Of course as a feminist I'm opposed to women letting domesticity erase their identities. But as a postmodern feminist, I reject the whole idea that domesticity is incompatible with independence and that motherhood undermines self-actualization.
In one of those wonderful Christian paradoxes, I believe I am finding my self and my life in a more full sense by seeking to literally give my life--day by day and moment by moment--to my family. In a good day as a mother, so little of it is about me.
Of course I carve out and then vigorously defend certain bits of private time and activities that are just for me. Of course service can be taken to self-destructive extremes. You can't give from an empty soul. But oftentimes the leisure I think I need is really the boat I should leave behind. The rest I really need is the Savior's. I am happiest and strongest when I succeed in letting go so I can walk, step after step, with faith buoying my feet.