There once was a girl. She was the fourth of five children. She had two older brothers, an older sister, and one younger brother. She spent her young life being compared to her older, prettier sister. This simple girl began to belief her worth was less that it really was. She only saw the bad in the mirror rather than the potential, the good, the amazing.
She pressed forward with her life. She spent most days feeling like an ugly duckling waiting to turn into a beautiful swan. But she felt the day would never come. She continued with the hope, but changed her dreams. She married a good guy and started a life with him.
They dreamed of having children, but it was a long road. Her dream was to be a suburban house wife with a minivan, her dream couldn’t happen without children. After years of sacrifice, pain, prayer, she was finally blessed with two children, a boy and a girl. But her dreams of being a stay-at-home mom were not fulfilled. Financial situations caused her to change her dream. She never got her minivan or to stay at home, but she was able to work jobs that allowed her to be home afterschool with her kids.
Mornings as she got ready for work her daughter would sit in the bathroom and watch her get ready. As she applied her make-up and wrestled with her hair, she would vent her complaints about herself, she wasn’t pretty, she wasn’t skinny, she wasn’t, she wasn’t, she wasn’t. The daughter listened to her complaints. Sometimes she would tell her daughter stories: stories of her childhood, her pet mouse, her brothers’ crazy antics, but often she told her daughter stories of how she wanted and dreamed of being a mother for as long as she could remember. She told the story of her children’s births, their names, and how much she loved them.
The woman continued her life as a working wife and mother. She felt insignificant in many ways, she worked to help others. She would fix and mend suits of missionaries. She would bake casseroles and take them to those in need. She took the time to visit those who were sad, lonely, or just needing to vent. She attended all of her children’s functions. She encouraged and supported her children with all that they did.
Despite all that she has done for others and her family, she still felt bad about herself. She felt like the ugly duckling, never to turn into the promised swan. With her children grown and having families of their own, all that she felt was left was herself. The immense joy she gained from her beautiful grandchildren was one of the few things that kept her going in the job that she disliked, the life that she disliked.
What this woman didn’t know and didn’t see were all the people that she helped. She didn’t see that she shaped her children to be loving, family centered people. Her daughter decided to forgo any career that she could have had to become a mother. Her son works hard to support his family and make it possible for his wife to stay home with their children. She doesn’t see that the children that lived across the street felt loved and encouraged by her. She doesn’t see that beyond her physical appearance she is an amazing daughter of God who exemplifies love, nurturing, and femininity in all its best and amazing ways.
This woman may only see her outward appearance, but Heavenly Father sees more. He sees her good works, her love, her selflessness. She and all other mothers who do nothing more that work so hard to be the best mothers they can be. Motherhood is hard, giving endlessly, selflessly, and never obtaining the personal dreams and needs is hard. He knows this, but He also knows that when we are mothers, when we are true women who love and serve others, we make the world more beautiful. We may not become swans on the outside, but on the inside, we become eagles.
To all the wonderful women out there who work hard to make the world better, to help others without anything in return, who teach children (their own or someone elses) the things that really matter in life is a woman that Heavenly Father deems beautiful. This is much more important than any physical “swan-ness”.
10 ¶Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
14 She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
19 She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothingis silk and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a womanthat feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
Happy Mother’s Day to all those eagles!