Cherishing Children Like Our Heavenly Father

For those of you who have followed my blog for a while,

you may know that all of the pictures of children you see on this site are of my nieces and nephew. Up to this point, my husband and I haven’t had children of our own… and that statement comes with a long history of heartfelt, pleading prayers and disappointing moments when we thought that we were pregnant, only to find out we weren’t. And how painful those moments have been.

When it comes to having children,

you learn that you aren’t as in charge as you would like to be. It is not like other times where you make choices and follow the expected progression of that stage of life. Like when I graduated, I went to college. And when my husband turned twelve, he received the Priesthood and then later it was time for a mission. Having children isn’t always that easy. And when it isn’t, you learn how much you long for it.

There is a steep learning curve that you are suddenly enrolled in.

Everywhere you go, it seems like everyone around you is expecting. Or when you hear of a news story where a child has been abandoned or mistreated, you scream, “you were able to have a child, and this is what you do????” And you may understand why so many women in the Bible found so much joy in their ability to have many children, and others so much sorrow when they couldn’t. You find Hannah, Elisabeth, and Rachel as friends that you now have something painfully in common with.

You learn lessons. And those lessons change you.

So, I thought it an appropriate time,

since we are celebrating the family, to let you know that I am now thrilled to be almost four months pregnant. It is hard for me to wrap my mind around that. Four months pregnant! As expected as it should have been for us, it came as a complete surprise. You become used to being told “no”, so when “yes” came – you think it must have been a dream. But it isn’t, and I now understand, so much better, how Adam and Eve felt when they felt so much joy in their fallen state because they had children.

And I also understand the promise to Eve

that “in thy sorrow thou shalt bring forth children” (Moses 4:22). I know it is different for every woman, but I now get that the sacrifice of motherhood begins about 8 months before you ever hold your child. I thought I was sick… but I found out I was pregnant. This child has made me so very tired and SO VERY nauseous. They have controlled my life and every choice I am making. And I would never, ever trade it. This sickness means I’m pregnant, and that means our family is starting to come. I only hope we have prepared ourselves enough to be worthy parents for this spirit.

As my students are learning

that I will be retiring from teaching seminary in about 3 ½ months, most of them are surprised that I won’t be back. “There are so many people that can take my place here,” I will tell them, “but no one can take my place there.”

A thirteen year career gone?

Nope, I have a feeling that thirteen years of teaching seminary was preparation for what is yet to come.

Because I cannot yet hold him or her, here is a letter I recently wrote them:

Dear Child of Mine,

I wonder if you will ever know how many times I have thought about you.  I have imagined you in my life so many times.  I want you to know and understand that you are so very wanted.  I have been making choices for such a long time, preparing myself to be your mother.  And now that you are coming, I feel so unprepared.  I don’t know everything you are going to need from me, but I hope to have it.

Your father is such a good man.  I chose so wisely.  He is so kind and he honors his Priesthood.  You will see how hard he works to provide and preside over this family and you will be proud to call him father.  I know that he will move heaven and earth for you and that he will love you more than he will be able to stand.  And you need to know that he loves your mother.  You are coming into a home full of love.

I don’t know if you are a boy or girl yet.  I will find out really soon.  But I will take you, whichever you are.

I wonder what skills and talents you are going to come to earth with.  I wonder what Heavenly Father has in store for you, specifically.  As your parents, we will try to do everything we can to help you develop and become the person you planned on being here.

I know I won’t be perfect.  But I know my mistakes will be out of loving you too much.  And  you need to know that you have already made me so happy.

We cannot wait to meet you.  Our home is waiting.

Much love,

Your mother

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45 thoughts on “Cherishing Children Like Our Heavenly Father

  1. I have followed your blog for a while and am sooo impressed with YOU!
    I knew nothing of your troubles to have children. Eventually we had 4
    but 3 were a horrible struggle to get here and one (yes a girl) was a
    suprise.
    I personally will miss you seminary posts…you were the FIRST person
    who knew I had been called to seminary and I didn’t even know you,
    but I knew if anyone knew, you would, where to start.
    Congrats on the pregnancy!

  2. So thrilled for you! I figured you were having trouble getting pregnant because I could tell by your posts how badly you wanted children and figured you wanted them after getting married later in life. You’ll be a wonderful mom. Congratulations!

  3. Oh Shannon, this is simply beautiful! And I am thrilled for you!

    you learn that you aren’t as in charge as you would like to be. Isn’t that the truth for every aspect of our lives? Especially when we are willing to give it over to the Lord. It reminds me of this line from Elder Paul V. Johnson’s General Conference talk in April “We must be careful that we don’t resent the very things that help us put on the divine nature. Not one of the trials and tribulations we face is beyond our limits, because we have access to help from the Lord. We can do all things through Christ, who strengthens us.” Whatever it is that helps us put on the “divine nature” is for our benefit – and it will be different for everyone.

    Thank you for sharing a bit of your story with us.

  4. Congrats on your pregnancy! It’s always so good for me to hear stories like yours! I was the opposite–I swear the moment we thought it was time for a baby we were pregnant. Your story is a good reminder to me that I shouldn’t take that for granted, and to love my boys like the precious gems they are! 🙂 You will be an awesome mama!

  5. I am beyond thrilled for you and your husband!
    I have followed your blog for a while now and wondered if you had been struggling with this (my husband and I have fertility issues… and one amazing son!!) and it somehow makes this all the more sweeter! I was crazy-sick too for the first 4 months of my pregnancy – I can’t believe how excited I was to be so nauseous! ha ha!

    I’m so excited for you and for this new adventure you are starting! I just know that you will be wonderful parents!

    Huge Congratulations!!! 🙂

    Love,

    A fellow Red-head (Jo)
    xxx

  6. Congratulations. I can relate to your struggle to have children. It was seven years into our marriage before the first one came. I remember that dreamlike state of finally being pregnant. And the shock that came when that baby (a boy) was 5 months old to be pregnant again and finally in total, less than six years after the birth of our first to have four kids! Talk about “the flood gates being opened!” I hope this birth is peaceful and you will be reminded just how much you appreciate having this child because you will remember as plainly as I do, how hard it was and you will appreciate having them more so because of it.

  7. Beautifully written. Having experienced a six year battle with infertility – my heart knows what your heart is saying. Congratulations on your upcoming little one! What an amazing experience is awaiting your family. Just last week we welcomed our twins into the world – I am so excited for you!

    Thank you for your blog – I have followed it for quite some time now. I appreciate your insights and testimony.

    Congratulations!

  8. Thank you for sharing your heartfelt news. So many of us have been in that very same position, feeling the heartache and then the joy.

    Congratulations!!! I am so very happy for you. Just know that you will be a wonderful mother!

  9. so happy for you! I understand what its like to wait. Having children for us has been a great lesson in having faith in the Lord’s timing. And I don’t want to make the mom’s who get pregnant easily feel bad, but I think its almost sweeter for those who have to try harder. We appreciate the nausea 🙂 Congratulations! What a lucky little spirit to be coming to your sweet family!

  10. Congratulations! I agree with Megan. You appreciate every little thing just a little bit more. (I am so grateful for the ones we have been given and yet would love more.) Congrats again!

  11. I am so happy for you!!! Congratulations! (I’m sitting here crying). I’m sure retirement never looked sweeter; and you’re right, no one can replace you as a mother. (((hugs))) You are beautiful inside and out!

  12. When I saw your post about your new favorite drink (the oj and sprite), I wondered! So excited for you! Love, love, love your blog – have used so many ideas in Young Women. We’ll be using your Scripture Hero book for our Evening of Excellence. So excited for our YW to do this! Thank you for your wonderful ideas!

  13. I was just recently turned on to your blog and have been loving it for the past few days that I have been exploring it. As a fellow woman who has struggled with this same issue and has yet to fall pregnant but has the most sweetest little man who came to us from Heaven via a most selfless birth mother I am so happy to hear that your dreams are coming true in this life. Your child is one lucky spirit!

  14. my heart actually leapt when I read that! seriously! and I’ve only been reading your blog for a few months but remember that you had alluded to several times about waiting to fall pregnant. SUch exciting news and I know you will be one very prepared and awesome mum.

  15. So excitted for you. I can relate to everything you were saying. i have yet to fall pregnant myself but am blessed to be a Foster parent to love and touch the lives of the little ones who otherwise would not know LOVE.

    I love hearing inspiring stories like this. Gives me hope that one day I will be able to join the ranks of a mother in Zion.

  16. I am so happy for you!! I have read your blog for several months now, and have often thought how amazing a mother you would be when you did become one. May Heavenly Father bless you with an uneventful pregnancy and continued strength! I am excited to follow you on this amazing journey.

  17. This post brought tears to my eyes! Oh How I love and cherish my children I have been blessed with seven and hastily had something permanent done…which made me cry for weeks. I have difficult pregnancies so I thought I could not do it again. I prayed that if it be his will that I have another that he would bless me. I am so thankful that I am now pregnant with number 8 I read your blog often and wish I was so versed in the things of the gospel. You will be an amazing mother! BEST of Luck to you and your beautiful family!

  18. I found your blog this spring and have shared it with everyone I could. I LOVE all that you share and have taught me. You will never know the impact you have had on my life. I am soooo happy for you and your husband. Congrats on the pregnancy. I have 2 step daughters and 4 of my own and I LOVE all 6 of them with all of my heart. I am so happy you are chosing to enjoy the wonderful blessing of being a stay at home mother. It is the BEST job in the world!!! Congrats again!!!

  19. I just stumbled across this while looking for seminary things. As someone who is currently in the position of wanting children but not having that blessing, at least not yet, it’s nice to hear of others who have experienced the same and how they have dealt with it. Thanks! And congratulations on baby Hannah! 🙂

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