When Founded upon Christ, by Becca Riding

Cover me, I’m going in…

I am a mother of 4.

In Jim Gaffigan’s most recent stand-up routine he says “Want to know what it’s like having 4 kids? Just imagine you’re drowning…and someone hands you a baby.” Mother of Four is a new title for me, having only recently acquired that Fourth, and I’m still getting used to the water, as it were.

It is a Thursday. I get up bleary eyed and stumble to my kitchen to dig out some stale cereal for the hungry masses to eat for breakfast. There, on my kitchen counter, is a box of peaches waiting to be canned. Half a bushel. Staring me down. “Yes,” I think, “I will get to those today.”

Cue the shrill cry of a distressed newborn. I throw a handful of cereal in my mouth, take a gulp of milk, and go scoop her up. And what’s this? Crying baby…who….won’t open her eyes?? This is new. Four kids, and the surprises keep coming. Quick call to my pediatrician to take advantage of the fact that I’ve now paid enough co-pays to buy him a car. Baby who won’t open her eyes? He has no idea. So, you know, we’re figuring that out. As I’m talking on the phone, holding Baby Four in one arm, I’m using the other arm to wash peaches in the sink.

Until Three starts puking on the carpet, raising the question: What in the world did she eat so early in the morning that is THAT color purple??? Awesome. But at least it didn’t seem to bother her; she never even took her eyes off “Yo Gabba Gabba.” Plunk Baby Four in her bouncer to fend for herself for a bit. I am on my knees, humming as I scrub the carpet.  The peaches on the counter roll their eyes at me.

I am going to get those darn peaches canned.

Two trips to the doctor and several hours later, I have pawned One and Two off on a Christlike Protestant neighbor, but Three and Four are both screaming at the top of their lungs. They are miserable. They want to be held, by me and only me. They cannot be comforted, but I alternate between one and the other, back and forth, as they continue to shriek. My eardrums are, quite honestly, over it.  I am trying, very hard, not to lose it utterly.

Which is when I lay them oh so lovingly and gently on the carpet, wrap an apron around my courtesy-of-your-children waist, and bottle those peaches. Happy little slices, sprinkled with Fruit Fresh, and packed neatly into their gleaming jars.  Perfect. Just like the good little Mormon I am, I am canning to the sound of misery and outrage, the soundtrack of this moment in my life. And as I stand here, white knuckle gripping my sanity and pouring sugar syrup into each jar, I think “Oh, please. Just let the Savior cover this day. Let Him cover my inability to do and be everything I need to be and can’t be today. Please let the atonement cover it.”

And the greatest thing is? It does.

Becca Riding was born and raised in Utah but calls North Carolina home. She served a mission in Switzerland, married her very best friend, and has four kids. She recently completed her first-half mile jog, which she’s pretty excited about, and she seriously needs a nap.

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Look at what you could win if you participate in today’s blog hop! You have until Sunday to add a link to your own Family Proclamation Photo Essay post at at We Talk of Christ, at Chocolate on My Cranium, or at Middle-Aged Mormon Man…  All you need to do is put up some of your own photos with phrases from the Proclamation. Better get busy!

Would you like a beautiful photo proclamation book? It uses the entire text from The Family: A Proclamation to the World to accompany your photos! Designed by Jill Means it looks great with color or black and white photos. You can see sample pages above.

Viovio is giving away a $50 gift certificate for one lucky participant in today’s blog hop to use in ordering their own personalized photo book! The Family Proclamation template is created for a square book, so the winner will be able to create a book from any of the square sizes – 3.5 x 3.5, 5×5, 8.5×8.5, 10×10, or 12×12. Viovio produces gorgeous, high-quality photo books and photo cards. With a variety of templates to choose from you’ll be sure to find the perfect fit to showcase your family photos.

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Click here to read a complete version of The Family: A Proclamation to the World. The celebration will continue through Sept. 30.

Every time you leave a comment on any of the Proclamation posts or participate in any of the Blog Hops, you are entered in a drawing to win a giveaway prize.

← The giveaway this week is a gift certificate from Family Tree and Me redeemable for any of their Photo Family Proclamations, including the shipping cost. Readers of the Family Proclamation Celebration can receive a 25% discount off the price of the print if you use this code: Family Proclamation Celebration.25 The discount is good until September 30th. All those comment on posts will be eligible for the giveaway. Family Tree and Me delights in creating customized keepsake family photo art and would love the opportunity to make a meaningful art piece for you to display in your home. You provide the pictures and we create the art! We have four categories of art with a variety of options available within each one: Photo Family Trees, Photo Family Proclamations, Missionary Photo Art, and Photo Family Mission Statements.

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GCBC Week 20: All Things Work Together for Good

General Conference Book Club, Week 20:

“All Things Work Together for Good” by Elder James B. Martino of the Seventy

When we are in the midst of challenges, it is difficult to see the purpose in our struggles.  We sometimes fear that the trial is bigger than our ability to bear it.  Even Joseph Smith, in a dark time during his imprisonment, cried out to the Lord, “O God, where art thou?” (D&C 121:1), to which he received this reassurance:  “… Know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.”

In this conference talk, Elder Martino testifies:

“Our trials come in many forms, but each will allow us to become more like the Savior as we learn to recognize the good that comes from each experience. As we understand this doctrine, we gain greater assurance of our Father’s love. We may never know in this life why we face what we do, but we can feel confident that we can grow from the experience.”

What insights do you gain about facing trials as you study this talk?

Go here to find the media versions of the talk (audio, video, mp3, etc.).  If this is your first visit to the General Conference Book Club,  click here to learn more about it.

General Conference Book Club Week 16: President Eyring

01_07_eyrinWell, it finally happened.  My General Conference Book “Club” has now dwindled down to me writing a Sunday post and, ahem, then writing the only comment on it.  (This is the part where you say stuff like, “Oh, I’m so sorry, Stephanie.  Your GCBC was the best idea that anyone ever had!  The only reason I’m not participating right now is because my DVR is so full of good stuff, I prefer reading romance novels while I lay by the pool, Let’s face it, General Conference is so 16 weeks ago I have swine flu in my eyes and reading is really difficult right now.”)  So, I think your best bet back into full health and a fullness of joy is to join the GCBC fun again.

>>This week’s talk is “Adversity” by the amazing President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency.  Click here to read the talk.<<

This is one of my favorite lines from his talk:

“My purpose today is to assure you that our Heavenly Father and the Savior live and that They love all humanity. The very opportunity for us to face adversity and affliction is part of the evidence of Their infinite love. . . . It is clear that for us to have that gift [eternal life] and to be given that trust [endless posterity], we must be transformed through making righteous choices where that is hard to do.”

Anyway, even if you don’t decide to comment on the talk here (clearing throat and raising eyebrows), you should really read it.  It’s a great message.  I would love to hear your thoughts though.  Have a great week.

(First time to GCBC?  Click here to get the scoop.)

General Conference Book Club Week 5: President Monson

04_06_monsoHappy Mother’s Day!  This week we will study President Thomas S. Monson’s talk from the Sunday morning session of General Conference.  Did you get your Conference edition of the Ensign in the mail this week?!  Now we can carry it around with us and catch up on reading in the car, at the gym, etc.  Anyway, I’ve been accused by someone I love who shall remain nameless (cough, cough, Matt, cough), of being a little bit grumpy lately, so I figured maybe I should revisit President Monson’s message:  “Be of Good Cheer.”  I remember listening to it and feeling like I should be more grateful for the abundant blessings and relative ease of my life.  I’m looking forward to reading it again.  “Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith.”

If this is your first visit to the General Conference Book Club, click here to learn more about it. You’re welcome to join us at any point along the way.  Just like a New Year’s Resolution, I’ve noticed our comments have been waning on the GCBC posts from week to week, so let’s rally this week and share our insights as we read the words of our living prophet, seer, and revelator.

>>Click here to read “Be of Good Cheer” by President Thomas S. Monson<<

In the spirit of Mother’s Day, I also wanted to share part of a talk called “Choose the Good Part,” which was given exactly 25 years ago in the Spring General Conference by Elder Marvin J. Ashton.

“My personal definition of a good woman is any woman who is moving in the right direction. I humbly thank God constantly for their courage, strength, and commitment. Through you noble sisters, each in different circumstances in life, by your example, encouragement, conduct, and personal integrity, God’s work goes forward with greater purpose and accomplishment.  . . . Oh, how powerful are good women who choose the good part.”

“Sisters, do not allow yourselves to be made to feel inadequate or frustrated because you cannot do everything others seem to be accomplishing. Rather, each should assess her own situation, her own energy, and her own talents, and then choose the best way to mold her family into a team, a unit that works together and supports each other. Only you and your Father in Heaven know your needs, strengths, and desires. Around this knowledge your personal course must be charted and your choices made.” . . .

“Commune daily with your Heavenly Father who knows you best of all. He knows your talents, your strengths, and your weaknesses. You are here on the earth at this time to develop and refine these characteristics. I promise you He will help you. He is aware of your needs. He is aware of your unanswered prayers.” . . .

“God bless our valiant women . . . . You are choice in His […] eyes. We pray that with His help and our personal efforts happiness will be achieved. Certainly when we choose the good part, regardless of our current circumstances or situations, life will be lived to the fullest.”

Have a great Mother’s Day!  Don’t you dare get “mother guilt” when you listen to all those Mother’s Day talks and stuff.  🙂  You’re doing good work.