Sunday, August 7, 2011

Our Legacy...They Won't Be Children Forever

  This week,  greater opportunities have been presented to our little family that I could ever imagine and I'm almost speechless.  Part of that opportunity included leaving home this week for some work.
In the middle of packing my suitcase  I found a note from my son.  He had hidden it the pocket of the suitcase and by chance I read his words.  The note gave me courage to walk onto an airplane and take on a new challenge I was facing.  The challenge was that of becoming a full time working mom.  I have enjoyed, for 12 years being home with the kids and despite all the challenges that it entailed, I realized that the season would not always be.  I knew they would grow up and not be babies forever.  After much prayer and thought and with much needed insight from the Holy Ghost in this matter we decided that it was okay.  It was time.  Ace could be home a lot more with the kids and his parents...and I could do more work outside the home.  Every family has to decide for themselves what they need to do to make things work for their family.  

I've been in Utah this week with my parents and extended family and friends teaching how to bake bread and use grain among many other magnificent adventures at the Honeyville Farms Preparedness Fair.  In the middle of all of my running and working I flipped open one of my manuals I use to instruct classes.  Inside was that same note from my son Face.  It said...

I thought of his face and why I had nicknamed him "Face".   His expressions and manerisms are so perfectly a combination of my husband and me.

I thought about my oldest son Little Man and the joy we'd had cooking together. I thought of all the funny things he has ever said and how much I just melt into a ball of jello when he holds my hand at the grocery store...even now, at age 12.  I can't imagine what lies ahead in my new job or this new phase of life.  What I can imagine however, is the fact that my love for them will never change. I can imagine us continuing to build on the foundations of love that we have laid.  I can imagine that the day will come that they will look at me as my mother did this week and say, "You have become more than I could have ever hoped. I'm so proud to be your mom."    I instantly thought of how hard it must have been for my own mother to go back to work full time and how I had seen her cry when women, unknowing our family situation, had said hurtful words about her ability to be a good mom and still work.  I'm thankful she did what needed to be done.  Now, as an adult I see through a different pair of eyes...and I understand what she had to do.  It's made me appreciate her powerful spirit even more. 

I now know that there really is no way to be the perfect mother. I'm not trying to be perfect. I'm trying to be what I know God wants me to be. I'm far short of perfect. I always will be.  I can't compare myself to anyone else.  I can't live in fear that someone else might think I'm being a bad mom for working.   I don't want to be better than anyone else...I just want to be better than I am today and move forward. I want to be my best self and help my children be what they should be. Everyone must choose for themselves how to best make that happen.

I will never regret the years I was home. Setting aside my career for those golden years when the babies were small seemed too much. The work I put into being a full time mom was harder than anything I had ever done.  Now it's time.  I'm ready.  I'm still going to be the mom but I won't consider working as a job. It will be a labor of love. It will enable my family to do things together and grow in whole new areas. I know I am building a legacy for my children that started when they were born. 
 I am ever thankful for the strong pioneer man and women who I am able to call  my father and mother.  They came from strong stock. All those who came before me have given me a legacy of Love.  I think of  my grandparents, my aunts, and my friends.  Those who, despite the challenges placed before them, looked forward with faith and worked hard to instill a strong Legacy in their children. 

Gordon B. Hinkley once saide, “To you I say with all of the energy of which I am capable, do not become a weak link in the chain of your generations. You come to the world with a marvelous inheritance. You come of great men and women. … Never let them down. Never do anything which would weaken the chain of which you are a fundamental part”.  I thank the Lord every day that I know He Lives.  I know He loves me.  I know He's standing by my side as I step into this new phase of life...and it gives me courage that is stronger than fear. I'm also ever so grateful that when they were small...that I did beg God to leave it like it is...and somehow they grew up. Thank you Cherie Call for putting into music the thoughts of my heart this week.... 


tko said...

Thank you for teaching yesterday! As I drove home to Idaho Falls, I told my husband everything I had learned, how excited I was to try new things and how grateful I was to be able to attend your classes. It was truly the best 2 hours I've spent in a long time! If your time away from your family only helped one person...that was me! You totally inspired me! Terry

Chef Tess said...

You made me smile...and then cry. Thank you for your kind words and even more for you smile through the class! Idaho is a far way to drive and I'm glad you were here. Please keep in touch. I'd love to see how the bread is coming along. Big hugs!!

MyBulletinBoard said...

. . . .but they are still children now. Entering teen years soon? And there is NO substitute for mom, not even a great dad. Are you certain a great opportunity for your family takes you away and leaves them at home? Think about it. You do a wonderful job on your blog and TV, but you're the only mom your kids have.

Chef Tess said... that's where it comes to a personal decision between me, my husband and the LORD. Period. They are children now I know. I know that there is NO substitute for mom...but I also know that this is what I need to do based on my family's needs. My husband will be here as much as I am. I can't say what anyone else is supposed to do (neither can anyone). I can say that I know what my family finances are, what my situation is and what my husband is willing to do so that he can provide the care his aged parents need and what my kids need. I'll be home most of the time and my kids will not suffer for want of love or affection from either of us. It's such a personal thing. I can't judge your life based on a blog post. I can't make a blanket statement...I know what I need to do based on what I've prayed about. That's where I have to trust that all will be well. God has let me know it will be okay...and thankfully it's His hand that has brought us this option.

Frosted Thinking Too...... said...

You are an amazing MOM !!! You inspire many to cherish family home meals. My children are all in school now (5), and I work and have worked since I've been married (16yrs.). Off and on I adjusted according to family needs. I teach them correct principles, tend to the home, taxi where they need to go, encourage them with there goals, FHE, and I work Full Time!! Of course it's a personal decision. How else can we spread the plan? I mean we go our seperate ways and meet up for dinner (always) and share our stories, we have inspired our friends and we try our best to be good examples. On another note DAD is just as important as MOM! :) I love you Steph! You will see your children grow the independence they need in their future, but you will always be there. So excited for you!!!!

Anonymous said...

LizBeth is a Pastors wife and should know better than to judge another. :)

Anonymous said...


You are awesome! I am so happy for you. You are a awesome mom! Don't listen to anyone who has any judgement on your decision. They have not walked in your shoes and do not know of your personal circumstances. Don't feel like you have to explain or justify your decision either. You know what is best for you and your family. You are such a talented woman. You are going to be such an awesome example to your children of living out your dreams! What a great example you are to them on never giving up. Out of small things... great things become! I know you are great and only greater things are coming your way! lots of love and support coming your way! your friend!
P.S. I a working mother too.

Shellee said...

Oh, Steph, I know how much you have thought and prayed about you! I'm proud of you for following those promtings and for being such a fabulous mom. You are lucky, because your boys are older than my kids when I went to work. I remember the crack in my heart the day that I went to work and my children were 3 and 1. That was when Curt decided that we needed to have him go back to school for a better education and we would be blessed for our opportunity to make our lives better. It worked out well, because we listened to The Spirit and when our 1st Surprise Hayden was born, Curt having an education paid off and I was able to stay home. Now that Olivia's here, we know that there was a plan.
It's a struggle sometimes, but I know that you have always put your children first and I see nothing wrong with working while the kids are in school. Your boys will actually be blessed that they see that they have to work hard to support their needs.
Steph, you have a great support system (aka: The Girls) and you know I'll always be here when you need me!
LOVES!!!! ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Shellee said...

This is Curtis...Shellee's husband. - My take on the whole thing...Times are really tough right now. When I was in high school I had all these idealistic dreams of how life would go...not even close! Since we've been married we've been through two severe recessions and this one sure seems worse than the last one by far. People have to do what they have to do to survive and it's just getting harder. Managers are not forgiving at all and will replace you in a heart beat and hire someone else for less money. And then getting another job is rough - then you have to settle for less money. If there's a good opportunity, take it. Shellee had to go back to work for a while to get us through.
I think we're getting a slight perspective of what people went through during the great depression and the sacrifices they had to make. Both my grandfathers had to work hard for not much pay. When my dad was little in the 1940's they had to wear underwear made out of potato sacks because they lived in Idaho farm towns. Grandma Mellor always had to make homemade tomato soup. You always hear stories like that. But Grandma Mellor was a fantastic cook and grew gardens (best summer squash I've ever tasted). She learned how to make the most amazing food out of the simplest things - since she died I'll never again taste the kinds of flavors she came up with no matter how great the cook. (no offense Chef Tess - she was really good).
We don't want to move but lately we've seriously considered moving to Tucson and Dateland, AZ (between Yuma and Gila Bend). Nobody should have to move to that tumbleweed town. But that where the jobs offers have come up lately for us. Solar farms seems to be where industry is heading recently. Reminds me of the Depressions times when the government put people to work on dams, highways, freeways, public projects etc. So do what you have to do and do the best you can while your at it when the opportunities come up. You never know when you or your husband will get better opportunities again. I don't know if that's inspired counsil or not, but that's my two cents. And who knows how long or if ever that times will be better and more "normal" again. Things might be tough from now on and we'll just have to adjust.

Mrs. Stevens said...

Oh, Stephanie, what a beautiful post. Your time spent on thinking of this and your prayers spent on this and your carefully choosing (with your husband) what's right for your family shows that your children are indeed blessed to be in your care during this life. I know years ago I chose to listen to others making blanket statements of what was "right" about staying home for moms. Looking back I realize that I was being inspired to take a few steps from home (although I do not believe it would have ever been full time work). From this end of my life, I realize that if I would've listened where I should have, my family would have been blessed in ways that I (and they) will never know now. I did stay home for so many years and it was wonderful. And we had MANY blessings from that. I often wonder though what greater things the Lord would have brought to me and my family if I'd have listened to Him. It's NEVER wrong when we let the Lord guide our lives - even when it doesn't make sense to our limited human minds and understandings. How blessed we all are to be His spirit children and that He knows EACH of us, perfectly, and knows what EACH of us needs to receive all that He would have us have, and that if we will listen and follow, He will guide us to it!

Renee said...

This post was just what I needed and as I can see, so many others feel just the same way. The Lord will never lead you astray and I am so excited for you and all that you are doing. I felt a connection with you after meeting you just once. May the Lord bless you and your family!

Chef Tess said...

I read once that the greatest battles of in human history will be fought in the private chambers of the human heart. Thank you all for the love and support through this new transition. I am so thankful that we all share faith in the Lord...we all want what's right...and that has to be personal. Thankful most of all for the love I have from people who do know what my private situation is and some things we're dealing with that I don't share on the blog...and are standing 100% behind me. Thank you my friends. I'll love you forever!

mlebagley said...

Courage that is stronger than fear. Period. God grant me the courage to LIVE life and overcome my fears. That is my daily prayer. Thank you, dear one, for letting me share your courage when mine wavered. AND for your courage to put the feelings of your heart out there for everyone to read - whether they agree with them or not! Can you feel my heart right now, burning with love for my BFF? That sounds a little frightening when I type it out like that, but trust me when I say that there is no funny business going on there :) You...are....amazing!

Chef Tess said... are my hero girl! Xo! Thank you for being the wind beneath my wings for so many years!

Angela Grice said...

Stephanie, I have only met you once on the 4th of July and you inspired me before that. I know the struggle of being a working mother. We all know what is best for our families and pray that God will give our children the understanding that we work not because we don't love them but because we do and we need to ensure our children our provided for. I haven't ever been a stay at home mom but I can tell you I do love my job and it does provide the stability my children and I need. My husband has been laid off several times but I have been blessed with being at my job for 12 years. I know that that working is what God wants and needs me to do to take care of them. There are many days it breaks my heart to have to take them to my moms house in the mornings. As you said the decision is between God, you and your husband. It doesnt matter what anyone says.

Lots of love to you!


Chef Tess said... are an angel! Thank you for your sweet words. I love you sweet lady!!