Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Nitty Gritty Women's Work

This was originally posted July 2009, but I have been feeling the same way again recently. I guess this is why it is good to write down your feelings-- they help strengthen you later. It is crazy to think I wrote this when Asher was only 19 months old... time goes by way too fast. It is also a fun tidbit to know that at the time I wrote this I was also 8 months pregnant with Rose and on crutches with a broken foot :)

I really appreciated the story by Carolynn R. Spencer entitled "Was I Living The Gospel Fully?" in the July edition of the Ensign magazine. Spencer talks about how, after a day of taking care of a house full of sick children, she felt guilty when she read the scripture in Jacob 2: 19 which talks about how to live the gospel fully we need to:

"... to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted." 

She felt overwhelmed thinking, "How can I feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick, and help people spiritually when I can scarcely take care of my own family?" Then she had an overwhelming insight that what she was doing as a mother was living the gospel fully.  She had spent all day feeding her hungry, naked and sick children and she knew that God had accepted her offering.

Because my own life has been a crazy whirlwind and  sometimes it is all I can manage to get dressed in the morning and chase around a little 19-month-old, I really appreciated this insight. I think one of the things that women forget is that the nitty gritty every day work we do as women, wives and as mothers is IMPORTANT work and that God recognizes and accepts the sacrifices we make. I've written before about how the women at the empty tomb were the first to get to see and touch the resurrected Christ because they were there doing the nitty gritty women's work of taking care of Christ's body.  If women don't get enough credit and recognition for their work that they do for men and children it is our failing as a society, and not God's. I know that God notices women and that He blesses them for what they do for His children.

This knowledge gives me a lot of peace right now because in all honesty it has been hard for me to do much more than just take care of myself and my family. While I still think it is important to find time to serve others and to respond to the prompting that God sends me I find peace in knowing that I am

clothing the naked,

feeding the hungry,

liberating the captive,

and administering relief to the sick,

and the afflicted,

and that in a BIG and IMPORTANT way I am helping to build and strengthen the Kingdom of God.

I just need to give myself more credit and realize that there I am doing exactly what God wants and needs me to be doing right now. Even if sometimes it isn't that glamorous and probably won't get written down as scripture.  God knows what I've been up to and that is what counts


  1. I wonder how many mothers have felt this way before, because I definitely have. Thank you for sharing!

  2. I LOVE this post! It helps assuage the guilt for those days when I "can't seem to get anything done".

    The past few days, I've felt less productive as I'm recuperating from a flurry of Thanksgiving Dinners, a birthday party with 11 eight year old female guests, saying goodbye as Nana returned to Florida.

    Monday, I felt HUGE accomplishment in getting the basics done and just holding my feverish 2 y/o daughter while she napped. (I accidently took a nap too, and was dumbfounded at how hard I slept in the middle of the day!)

    And now I'm preparing for my mom to fly in tonight, and my daughter's baptism this weekend. Oh, yeah I need to prepare that talk....

    I think that scripture needs to go on my list of ones to memorize. :)

    BTW, as I was scrolling down the page, I couldn't help but think at every single picture that Abe is an absolute CUTIE! I can't believe that he's 19 months old! (Or that I've been reading your blog that long).

  3. You should read this post.
    I just read it yesterday and it really resonated with me, just like this post of yours has.


    Thanks for your example of Christ-like mothering! :)

  4. In my mother's institute class yesterday, we talked about this very thing! I love the scripture you quoted and the sweet pictures to go along with it. We talked about how can our homes be like temples when there are dirty dishes in the sink, crying, whining children and piles of laundry to be folded? It was comforting to realize that Christ worked really hard for the people he loved (making clothes for Adam and Eve, feeding crowds of people, helping his mother at a party) and housework shouldn't be mundane work. I loving the many many opportunities I have every day to serve those I love the most. Thank you for posting this!

  5. Thank you for this. I feel like I'm drowning in my life right now as I can barely get those basics covered. I need to remember this!