Everything for God and Family
What matters most in my life? What motivates my actions? When I think about a life motto, this is what I believe: I will give everything to serve my God and my family. I don’t know if this motto was ingrained in me by the teachings of my parents, but I do know that over time it has grown to be everything to me. I was a spirited little redhead that loved to laugh and play with my friends; however, what I loved the most was being in the refuge of my home. It was there that I learned, at the knees of my parents, who God is and how much He loves me. I saw how my parents served God and their fellow-men, and loved those whom they served. I am thankful for the relationships with my siblings, who have become my best friends. The example of my family has been worth more than anything else in the world.
One particularly low day, when I was a teenager, I came home from school crying that I didn’t feel I had any friends. My mother hugged me and let me know she loved me, and then she taught me a lesson that changed my life. She said, “Maryann, everyone at school is waiting for someone to smile at them and say hello. They need a friend just as much you.” The Savior is always reaching out to us, and I knew this was what I needed to do. So I made it my goal to smile and be kind to everyone around me, even if I didn’t feel I had a close friend. By the end of my high school experience, I no longer felt friendless. When I forgot myself and shared the light within me, I could add light to the lives of my peers. When I loved and served them, the love and light grew within me.
Soon I came upon a new phase of life, adulthood with parenthood. I have been tested, but as I live by my motto of giving everything to serve God and my family, I feel I have purpose and direction in my life. As a young mother I gave my all as I changed diapers, washed clothes, made meals, and cleaned the ever-dirty home. I can’t say how many nights of sleep have been disrupted by children, or how many spills and accidents I have cleaned up, but I have gave and give continually to my family and God. I sacrifice my own personal desires for them. Yet with all the sacrifice and work, I love more than I have ever loved. I trust God more than I ever did as a youth. I find myself expanding in abilities. There have been nights when I have rocked a baby or sang a lullaby and my heart expanded with love and gratitude for the precious gift of motherhood.
Motherhood has taken me farther in living my service to God and family. The funny thing is that the line between serving God and serving my family seems to be fading. As I serve and love my family, I know I am also serving God. I believe that loving and serving God and our families with all our hearts will bring us pure happiness; we will better understand the potential we have in life. I will continue serving God with all my might, and loving and serving my family with all my heart. When I growing up, my Grandmother always said, “Family is everything,” and I know “when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God” (Mosiah 2:17). This I is my belief and the motto that I live by.