my mom would make brownies for us everyday to enjoy when we got home from school. and i am grateful for that. not just for the brownies, but the efforts my mother made to make sure that our home was a haven from the world. my mom didn't have tons of time to be baking for a bunch of obnoxious kids. she made time for it. she made her kids her priority. she is my hero.
my grandmother was born in a log cabin in meadow, utah in 1927. her family were sheep farmers and they lost everything in the great depression. she has worked all her life. she and my grandfather raised 7 children. all of those children were well educated and learned about the gospel of Jesus Christ. she gave me my first sewing lessons and she made my baptism dress. she let me pick all the best flowers out of her garden. she doesn't have to tell me for me to know that i am her favorite grandchild. my grandmother is also my hero.
a couple of weeks ago a friend of ours from our tuscaloosa days was killed in afghanistan while serving in the USAF as a combat controller. i would venture to say that a combat controller is the air force equivalent to a navy seal or a green beret. the news of mark forester's death hit me like a ton of bricks. there have been few days since we received the news that i haven't shed tears for his loss of life. however, i have felt peace and i have felt a renewed sense of determination to live my life the way God wants me to because of mark's example. mark was a really fantastic guy who was dedicated to doing what God wanted him to do. in reading the account of mark's death, the words that impacted me the most were that mark died while fighting. it seems like an obvious phrase, considering that afghanistan is a war zone and mark was a soldier. but to me it says so much more. it's how i want to be and it's how i want to go. i want to live a life engaged in a cause that means something. i want to promote happy families. i want my children armed with the knowledge that they are special and loved and that our Heavenly Father is mindful of them. i want them to take those lessons to those around them who don't know those important and vital truths. i want the scriptures to be pried from my cold fingers. i want people to know that i promote modesty. i want to have each day filled with honest work. and honest play. yesterday i was thinking about my role as a woman and a mother and i had an epiphany. i am the adversary's greatest enemy. as a woman and a mother i have such power to influence others. my job is not to be taken lightly for those children are depending on me to teach them correctly.
while mark's death is a true tragedy, he is an incredible example of giving our all for others. i can teach my children about true heroism and that it has nothing to do with professional sports or musicians or politicians or wealth. and it has everything to do with service and selflessness and love.
my strength may not be in soldiering or combat in a far off place. i know it's not those things. but i do know that what i am doing is important. that each pan of brownies i make means something. that i can make a difference.