The Star of David, with one triangle pointing up towards God and one triangle pointing down towards man, has long been a visual symbol of covenants.
One of my most favorite pieces of architecture is the San Diego Temple. There is an architectural motif repeated throughout the building of two overlapping squares—one rotated 45 °. I believe it is another symbolic interpretation of the covenants we make with God. The square holds more significance for me than the triangle does, and it is one of the reasons I love this temple so much. This motif is found in the pattern of the stain glass windows, the shape of the indoor atrium, carved on stair railings, and even serves as the basic shape of the footprint for the entire building.
The shape of these two squares interlaced as they are, and interspersed throughout the building, are symbolic to me of what honoring sacred ordinances and covenants means. [to honor: to treat with reverence mingled with love and devotion] The covenants I make and keep influence all my choices, my thoughts, and my desires. They are evident in everything about me and they make me who I am.
So what happened at sacrament meeting this morning while the words of this paragraph were running through my mind? Micah took two cups of water. Lucas dumped his slobbery back-wash into one of the filled cups, threw his toy at the man sitting next to us and the man sitting in front of us, and continuously kicked the pew in front of us. Emma reminded me that she had to give a talk in Primary that I had forgotten about, Mr. Coleman searched for the diaper bag we left at home. I went through my mental list of things I had failed at and mistakes I had made during the week.
I battled feelings of exhaustion and inadequacy. Total inadequacy. And defeat. But now, later, sitting here, I am tenderly reminded that my side of the promise was to be willing to obey. I am so far from perfect and sometimes my progress is so slow I don't feel right even calling it progress.
I am willing. And I know, with no doubts, that the Lord keeps his promises.
For some reason, with each of my pregnancies, I have felt like I had the bad case of the stomach flu for about 36 weeks. Imagine throwing up if you bent over, or brushed your teeth, made any sudden movements, kissed your dear ones, or went more than 15 minutes without eating.
Other than that, I can't complain about my pregnancies—unless you want to reminisce about heartburn, stretch marks, bruised ribs, swelling [oh my! the swelling], acne, weight gain, nightmares, hormonal outbursts and other such things. I for one don't. All those things were minor discomforts.
It was the nausea that really sucked away my sparkle and will to live.
So, if it was really as bad as I remember [You'll have to trust me on this one, it was. Or ask Mr. Coleman about the time I threw a baked potato at him.], why would I make a repeat performance? Not once more, but three more times?
Because I think, at least on this one subject, I am a mother who really knows. I know that "children are a heritage of the Lord and happy is the man who has his quiver full of them." I know that the richness and fulness I feel in my life is due in large part to the choices I made to bear children. It was worth every second of discomfort and despair. I made a choice like our mother Eve—to pass through this sorrow so I could know greater joy.
And let me tell you, the joy has been abundant and I am assured that it will continue to grow more so for eternity.
Last month she challenged me to join a group of women who were committing to learn by heart the talk "Mothers Who Know" by Julie B. Beck. Each week we will focus on a different paragraph and spend time memorizing, pondering, and **gulp** applying.
I have decided to create a series of prints to go along with each paragraph. Anyone can join along in whatever way they would like. Create in whatever way you can. Consider this an invitation to all of you readers to join with me.
This week I am focusing on the paragraph "Mothers who know bear children." My favorites:
“...in the eternal perspective, children—not possessions, not position, not prestige—are our greatest jewels.
Women who desire and work toward that blessing in this life are promised they will receive it for all eternity, and eternity is much, much longer than mortality. There is eternal influence and power in motherhood.”