It’s Happy Mother’s Day, So you Have to Be Happy

Psalms 127:3-5 “Children are an heritage of the Lord… Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them.”

I was the youngest of four children so there was never a baby sibling for me to tend. My family moved to Asia for a few years and because of our sheltered expatriate experience, I only had the opportunity to baby sit once until we returned to the States.

Unfortunately, by the time we settled in to our new home, I had lost interest and can count on one hand all the times I was employed to watch someone else’s children.

Nevertheless, I still looked forward to motherhood. I knew that, according to all my church lessons growing up, I would find my greatest joys in raising a family.

I married when I was twenty and had my first baby when I was twenty-one. We weren’t fortunate enough to have immediate family close by, so we navigated the jungles of our new parenthood pretty much on our own. I never realized it could be so tough.

Naturally, I had a hard time adjusting to the demands of caring for a new baby; after all, I had scarcely ever cared for a toddler. I’m convinced that there was never a person more UNprepared for motherhood as I. Never had I been required to think more of someone else’s needs than my own for such an extended (um…eternal) period of time. I was overwhelmed and felt as though I was losing my identity.

Ironically, I got pretty good at handling one child just in time for a second one to arrive. It seemed that as our family grew, I learned to manage the number of children I had, just as our numbers increased again by one. With the arrival of a new baby, life was back to mayhem all over again for approximately two years until I learned to handle the new responsibility of yet another child.

For any woman who has reared at least one child, or who has ever babysat a handful of active youngsters, she knows that getting six children ready for church in the morning could be a real challenge; especially when all but the baby are still in Primary.

One morning was particularly frustrating because it was Mother’s Day and I wasn’t feeling very good about how the day was going. I tried not to expect too much special treatment, just in case it didn’t happen. After all, I knew that the children were too young to understand that I honestly didn’t want a picture for the fridge or a weed-flower from the yard; all I wanted was for them to do the things they were supposed to do, without my nagging. For Mother’s Day, couldn’t the house be orderly and the dishes done and breakfast made without me, for one measley day out of the year?

I’m sure my husband made breakfast and did his best to make the morning special. But in spite of it all, I found myself having a pity party that things weren’t absolutely perfect, nor would they ever be. To think that this was just the way it was going to be, probably FOREVER, was terribly discouraging and I moped around, banging cupboard doors and griping at anyone in my path.

Somehow we managed to get everyone out the door and in the car for church, probably ten minutes behind our preferred departure time. I breathed deeply, trying to shake the negativity and prepare myself for sacrament meeting.

Then there came a little four year-old voice from behind. Everyone had been pretty silent, trying not to set me off further, so this tender voice was clearly heard by everyone in the car.

“It’s Happy Mother’s day, Mom… so… you have to be happy.”

I smiled, looked at my husband, and we both started to chuckle. Then my tears flowed.

So it was. It was Happy Mother’s day, and here I was a mother. By mere virtue of
the calling, I should be happy. Hearing my son’s hopeful reminder instantly softened my heart and I finally began once again to feel the joy which was always meant to accompany my role. Happiness was not meant to come through having a perfectly orderly home, at least during the early years. I was reminded of a wooden sign in a friend’s home which said, “Cleaning the house while the kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk while it’s still snowing” (Author unknown).

Another reminder comes from this wonderful poem:

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.
Oh, I’ve grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,Lullaby, rockabye, lullaby loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peek-a-boo
The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren’t his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullaby, rockaby lullaby loo.
The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.
– Ruth Hulbert Hamilton

Joy does not come from an orderly home so much as it should come through the sweet and tender relationships with my family members. Through my little boy’s words, I was reminded that motherhood is truly synonymous with happiness, when I am able to just relax and take time to smell their precious gifts of Mother’s Day flowers and enjoy their homemade pictures on the fridge.


How to KNOW if You’ll Reach the Goal

Setting and achieving a goal is as simple as placing an online order. If you perform each step in the order process, you can be certain that everything you need to accomplish the goal will come to you as long as you keep moving in the right direction.

For Example:

Suppose you’ve set a goal to sell 20 widgets during the month of February. I’ll compare the online bookstore (where I recently purchased an antique copy of “As a Man Thinketh”) to Life’s Distribution System.

1. Decide what you want.
Just as I can’t expect the bookstore to send me a book before submitting my request, neither should you expect clients who will support a vague sales goal. Pick the dollar figure you want to reach so that life can deliver the right clients.

2. Put it in Writing.
Before I could place the order for the book, I had to find the right order page for that book. However, before I could find the right order page, I had to type the right key terms into the search bar. Wouldn’t it have been absurd if I had entered “not Catcher in the Rye, not anything written by Poe…” in my search for “As a Man Thinketh?” Even if the search feature was smart enough to exclude all of that, how long would it take me to get to the book I want? Precision saves time. Write what you want, and be as precise as you can.

Don’t talk about “getting out of debt” when you really mean that you want “financial freedom.” We must choose our search terms carefully so that we can be taken to the right order page of life. You’re not looking for the “debt” order page, so quit using that term!

Vague orders bring vague results and so we never see the connection between our requests and what shows up. Too often we’re placing careless orders unknowingly, and then wonder why life doesn’t go the way we want it to go.

Now, commit to the thing you want by putting it in writing. It’s like entering it into an imaginary search box. It’s the fastest way to get to the right order page. Write it in present tense as though it has already happened. For a deeper explanation on this, read The Jackrabbit Factor.

So, maybe your written statement will say, “February 28, [year]: I have now sold 20 widgets.” Getting it in writing takes you to Life’s “order page” . . . but you’re not done yet. Neither the book, nor the clients are on their way until you’ve completed the entire order process.

3. Add to Cart.
In my book buying experience, after entering “As a Man Thinketh” in the search tool, it took me to a long list of different books. Some were brand new reprints; some were from the 1980’s. I spent some time narrowing them down, until I found the one that I wanted which was more than 100 years old. Then, after identifying my specific choice, I clicked “Add to Cart.” This is a logical step; after all, I can’t expect the store to ship the book until I have told them precisely which one I want.

This step is comparable to adding detail to your goal statement. You need to spend time creating a more detailed description of the thing you desire. Instead of “February 28th, [year]: I have now sold 20 widgets,” you write, “February 28th, [year]: I am so happy and grateful now that I have sold 20 widgets. I am astounded at how easily the clients came into my life. I am grateful that I was able to provide them something of great value that will help them accomplish their objectives for a price that was fair. We are establishing a positive relationship and expect to do more business together in the future.”

Do this step, and you have just added your desired thing to the big Cart in the Sky.

4. Enter your shipping address.
After the book was in my shopping cart, I had to tell the store where to send it. This step assigns the book I want to the location where I am. It brings together two key pieces of information into one virtual place. Without this step, the bookstore cannot send me the book because they have no address for the package.

Goal setting is no different. Just as the book and my address had to merge into one database, the thing you want needs to be merged with your personal information, too. Notice that during this step, it isn’t the actual book that came together with my actual house; it is simply a representation of the book that came together with a representation of my house.

The same needs to happen with a representation of the victory you want, and a representation of you. How? Picture it done in your mind. See yourself signing those final contracts. With the power of disciplined thoughts, you merge the thing you want, with the person you are. Your mind is the virtual database where it all must come together before the order is filled.

5. Receive Confirmation.
After I filled in my shipping address, it asked for my credit card info. This is where I “pay the price” for the thing I want.

In setting a sales goal, to “pay the price” traditionally refers to “pounding the pavement,” “making the phone calls,” “pulling late nights,” “skipping lunches,” etc.

But that’s wrong. At least, it’s wrong if you really want to prosper.

The last thing required before you receive the order confirmation is to allow yourself to experience the feelings you expect to feel when the goal is reached. It isn’t easy to do, but you need to take your visualization exercise just one step further. Here’s an example:

You’re signing those final contracts, and shaking the customer’s hands, and having the warm exchange of good will. Then you feel the elation well up inside your chest, and you escort them out of the room and close the door after they leave, and feel the cool, metal doorknob in your hand, and hear the heavy wooden door click shut, and you walk to your desk and sit down with a big, huge grin on your face, and tip back for a moment, then reach for the phone to call your spouse, and you hear the dial tones, and then you hear he/she answering, “Hello?” and with tears in your eyes, you tell him/her, “I did it! It was a miracle, but I did it! Let’s go out for dinner tonight!” And your spouse screams on the other line and can hardly speak, and the kids are chattering in the background, “What? What’s going on??”

That’s your price. That’s it. (Don’t watch yourself doing it, BE yourself doing it. Don’t be an outsider looking in, be in it where all you see of yourself is your arms on your armrests and your lap in front of you, and your feet way down there.)

If you spend some time generating those kinds of images in your mind, and feel the exhilaration of success, you’ve done it. You’ve paid the price. And, as those feelings swell inside of you and as tears really well up in your eyes, that is your confirmation. Printing that receipt is optional by describing your assurance in this moment on paper, so you can look at it later as a hedge against doubt.

Trust Life to keep its promise, and go about your business in peace. No need for frantic rushing around, pushing, forcing; you’ve already paid the price. Go about your business with a calm assurance that it is already a done deal.

The right clients are on their way and will connect with you naturally as you go about your day to day activities. Spend time with your family. Enjoy a little recreation. Be at peace.

In the right time, you’ll have a thought to call so-n-so or follow up with someone else. Simply follow the thought. Do what it says.

This is the final step:

6. Expect it to Come, and Open the Door.
After I made the payment, and I received my confirmation, the book was on its way. I needed only to expect it, watch for it, refrain from canceling it, and answer the door when it arrived.

As for your goal to sell 20 widgets, if you’ve gone through the entire order process, and received confirmation, expect it, watch for it, refrain from canceling it with unbelief, and when opportunity knocks (because it will), answer the door.

By faith it comes to you; by action you receive it.

Keep in mind that you will still likely be required to perform many tasks and overcome many obstacles that get in the way. You’ll probably have ample evidence that it “isn’t going to work,” but your job is to remain at peace with a quiet confidence in your pending success. You may not know how it will work, but you must refuse to give up until there truly is nothing more that can be done.

Related: How to Know if You’ll Reach the Goal (podcast)

If you want help with this process, join me in the powerful Mindset Fundamentals Ecourse

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