Thursday, March 26, 2009

African violets and motherhood

These are beautiful pieces of talks by Elder Robert D. Hales and just what I needed to hear today! I hope you enjoy them, too!

"Look at family as an eternal perspective. Be patient in growing your family. Your family is not unlike a leaf off another plant, now transplanted, plucked off and placed into a glass. I’ve learned something by watching my wife grow African violets. It’s an interesting process. Let me describe it to you. It is very much like raising children. First, she clips off a leaf. A crisp, healthy leaf off the mother plant and puts it in a stem of water. Then she waits. It will be a number of weeks before white roots sprout from the stem. Then she carefully plants the stem in a pot of fertile soil, places it in a place where it will receive the proper light, and carefully waters and nourishes the tender plant. And then she waits. Over time, it sprouts many leaves. It becomes very interesting when you’re planting three or four sprouts at the same time. It takes every plant a different time to bloom. Despite coming from the same mother plant and living in the same environment. We had almost given up on the fourth plant a few weeks ago. But someone said, “Have patience.” Someone who had grown African violets. And had grown children. We can almost miss the joy of the three blooming plants by our focusing concern about the fourth that hasn’t bloomed yet. Similarly, we need to have a great deal of patience and faith knowing that if we will continue to nourish and care for a child or a plant, it will eventually bloom, of that I give my testimony. This reminds me of when I hear educators talk about ‘late bloomers’- of which I am one. The lesson learned is in knowing that those leaves that come from the mother plant, when given the proper care and patience, will eventually bloom. Regarding our little children, do we get a little impatient with their progress? Do we sometimes wonder why we are having family home evening, family prayer and scripture study? Wonder not, the spiritual root structure of our children is being developed by our righteous efforts. And although at times it may be hard to discern, those roots are growing."

"May I spend a moment or two talking about a unique lifelong learning experience for a woman. I feel it deeply. It is called motherhood. Motherhood is the ideal opportunity for lifelong learning. The mother’s learning grows as she nurtures the child, in his or her development years. They are both learning and maturing together at a remarkable pace. It’s exponential, not linear. Just think of the learning process of a mother throughout the lifetime of her children. Each child brings an added dimension to her learning, because their needs are so varied and far reaching. For example, in the process of rearing her children, a mother studies such topics as child development, nutrition, health care, physiology, psychology, nursing with medical research and care, educational tutoring in many diverse fields, such as math, science, geography, literature, English and foreign languages. Development of gifts such as music, athletics, dance, public speaking, and the learning examples could continue endlessly. Just think of the spiritual learning that is required as a mother teaches about gospel principles and prepares for teaching family home evening, and auxiliary lessons in Primary, Relief Society, Young Women and Sunday School. My point is, my dear sisters, and for the brethren, who I hope are listening carefully. My point is that a mother’s opportunity for lifelong learning and teaching is universal in nature. My dear sisters, don’t ever sell yourself short as a woman. Or as a mother. It never ceases to amaze me that the world would state that a woman is in a form of servitude, which does not allow her to develop her gifts and talents. Nothing, absolutely nothing, could be further from the truth. Do not let the world define, denegrade, or limit your feelings of lifelong learning and the values of motherhood in the home both here mortally and the eternal learning and benefits you give to your children and to your companion."

1 comment:

Lindsay said...

I love this thanks for sharing! My mother-in-law has grown african violets for years so I likes that analogy. She has so many plants that she has one that's a "great-grandmother" it's funny.