Consecrated Mothering

A couple months ago, I felt weighed down by motherhood. The needs of a two-year-old and a one-year-old are constant. I’m also pregnant with our third, and during the first trimester, I was extremely tired. My one-year-old had started waking up at 6 a.m. and screaming each morning. I felt like I was constantly cleaning up after little kid messes. I felt tired and a little lost. I attribute some of these negative feelings to pregnancy hormones, as well as to being cooped up because of COVID-19. Regardless, of where the feelings came from, they felt heavy.

One Sunday afternoon I offered a silent prayer to God asking that I would find greater joy in motherhood. I’ve always wanted to be a mom, and I know my life is full of tremendous blessings. I wanted to focus more on joy and on my blessings than on the heaviness of motherhood/life.

After offering my prayer, the title of a talk that I had read while serving as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints came into my mind. Elder Lawrence Corbridge gave this talk to the missionaries he presided over while serving as a mission president. The lesson I learned from studying this talk altered the way I served my mission and the way I sought to be a follower of Jesus Christ. It changed my life. What I hadn’t realized is that it would change the way I mother.

Elder Corbridge spoke of four types of missionaries. The first two types are missionaries who choose not to abide by mission rules and standards. The latter two types appear to be devoted, faithful missionaries from the outside. However, there is a significant difference between the “Third Missionary” and the “Fourth Missionary.” While the difference may not be perceptible from the outside, the “Fourth Missionary” experiences joy while the “Third Missionary” experiences frustration.

Elder Corbridge says, “The hard way is the way of the Third Missionary. He lives the gospel, and serves in the Church, with what I call the “bite-the-bullet” approach, the “grin-and-bear-it” or “gut-it-out” approach. He is obedient and he does what he is supposed to do. He does his duty. He gets through it and then, at long last, he gets about doing what he wants to do. That is the Third Missionary…

The Fourth Missionary is the only one who can lose himself in the work, because he forgets his own concerns, he lets go of what he wants. When he lets go, he then is free to think of others. He is the only one who does not count the cost. He doesn’t itemize and total all that he has left behind to serve a mission. He does not count the cost. He forgets about it. He forgets himself. He loses himself… 

Unlike the Third Missionary, the Fourth Missionary is content, happy, and from time to time, experiences profound joy. He is at peace with who he is and what he is doing. As in Psalms 40:8 he says:
“I delight to do thy will. O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.” 

On that Sunday afternoon, after asking God to help me find greater joy in motherhood, I realized that I needed to become the “Fourth Mother.” Instead of focusing on the things I was sacrificing for my children – sacrificing sleep, sacrificing physical comfort (hello, pregnancy!), sacrificing “me time” – I needed to stop counting the cost and instead choose to be all in. In gospel terms, I needed to choose to be consecrated.

Elder Corbridge acknowledges that we may view consecration as the harder path, but it is not. It is the path to joy. I know this because I’ve felt it in my life. When I stopped counting the cost of what I was giving up to serve as a missionary or to serve Jesus Christ in any capacity, I found joy and peace. However, it wasn’t until that Sunday afternoon a couple months ago, that I realized this lesson applies to motherhood.

Now, I want to be clear that consecrated mothering doesn’t mean I don’t turn on a TV show for my kids so I can go take a nap. It doesn’t mean I never think, “You’re driving me crazy!” when my two-year-old spins in a circle while I’m trying to brush his teeth. It doesn’t mean I don’t wish my one-year-old would learn to sleep in until 8 a.m. like she used to. It doesn’t mean I love changing diapers. What it means is that I choose to not focus on what I’m giving up but to embrace my role as a mother with my whole heart. It means I can find joy.

I’ve felt increased joy over the last couple of months as I’ve sought to shift from being a mom who sacrifices for her kids to being a consecrated mother. The circumstances of my life haven’t dramatically changed – COVID-19 is still keeping us cooped up, my one-year-old wakes up early, I clean up a lot of messes every day, and pregnancy still makes me tired – but life doesn’t feel as heavy.

I wish I could more beautifully articulate how and why this is, but I know that for me the underlying reason for these feelings of greater joy is because of the heaven sent message I received a couple months ago that I needed to stop viewing myself as a mother who was sacrificing and rather as a mother who is consecrated. Merriam-Webster defines consecration as “dedicated to a sacred purpose.” I believe that true dedication means we don’t count the cost of what we’re giving up. We keep our whole focus on the sacred purpose. I don’t know of a more sacred purpose than motherhood.

Mother’s Day Weekend 2020

I’m grateful to be a mom. Today as I put Brooke down for her nap, I lingered in her room and traced her face over and over with my fingers. My heart felt so full as I looked into her eyes. She and David (and John) are my world!

Yesterday, we decided to give Brooke’s pacifiers the boot. She only uses them when she sleeps, and she loves them. Naptime was a bit rough for her yesterday without a pacifier, so I stayed with her for a little bit today as she calmed down. Side note: It’s amazing how much babies grow in a year. The picture below is from Mother’s Day last year. Brooke is so little!

On Saturday of Mother’s Day Weekend, I treated myself by driving to Target and picking up a dress I had found online. The dress wasn’t at our local Target, so I drove about 40 minutes away. I left the kids at home with John, picked up a Diet Coke and some french fries. Sometimes I find time alone rejuvenating, and this was one of those times. I turned up the music and enjoyed the beautiful scenery as I drove.

After we put the kids to bed on that Saturday, John picked up pizza from a local place that I like. He also secretly picked up coke zero and peanut butter ice cream – two of my favorite things – on his way back home from the pizza place. I love little surprises like that, so that really meant a lot.

On Sunday, John made me a delicious egg sandwich for breakfast. I opened up a couple presents from John and the kids. The gift from the kids was actually a replacement of a dress that I tore while carrying Brooke in a baby carrier. I really loved that dress and had only worn it two times before it ripped. I feel like it was a fitting Mother’s Day gift since I ripped it while carrying one of my babies haha. We FaceTimed with our families in the morning, and then my brother and sister came over in the afternoon. John grilled hot dogs and brats. The weather was beautiful. We had fun being outside while he grilled.

When I went to bed Sunday night, I felt so grateful. It was a great weekend. I’m thankful to be a mom. There are some days when I feel like I’m just moving from one task to the next. Then there are other days when I find time to be still and more fully enjoy motherhood. I wouldn’t trade any of these days – the hectic or the calm. 

I’m also so grateful for my mom. She is so encouraging and has always believed in me. I know she’s always “in my corner” and will be there for me whenever I need. She is also a magnificent grandma!

Motherhood Manna

Mother’s Day 2019 (David wouldn’t sit still long enough to be in the picture haha).

Happy Belated Mother’s Day! I am so grateful for my mom and for the opportunity I have to be a mom.

I wanted to record a life lesson that I’m in the process of learning…

Before Brooke was born, David and I had a simple, daily routine that was fairly predictable. Early on in David’s life, we had implemented sleep training techniques that helped him develop the ability to sleep through the night and nap daily. I could count on his sleeping time as time for me to get things done or time to relax with John. David was also becoming more and more self-sufficient during play time. He knew where the toys were he liked, and he was beginning to really understand what things around the house he could touch and play with and what things were off-limits. Although, he did like to push those limits sometimes haha!

I knew that once Brooke came along, that daily routine would shift and that life would once again become more unpredictable. Life would revolve around the constant feeding of a newborn and learning to understand what all her different newborn cries meant. Newborn babies are learning how to adapt to this new world just like we as parents are learning.

The hardest part for me of this new role as a mom of a two kiddos under two is when they both are crying at the same time and need me. I remember telling this to a more seasoned mom. She joked that when she had her second child, she felt like she was constantly asking herself, “Which one of you am I going to ignore?” As just one person, you can only help one child at a time. And it’s hard to think you’re ignoring the cries of another child. (Side note: When John is home, I don’t have this problem. He’s a terrific dad and helps out a lot. He’s actually the one who bathes David and gets him ready for bed each night.)

Some days are easier than others. Like today for example, both my kids went down for a nap about 1 p.m and now it’s 4 p.m., and they’re still sleeping (cue heavenly choirs singing!). Some days are much harder than other days. Even on the “easy” days, I sometimes stress that I’m not going to be able to handle the future. For example, I feel anxiety about what I’m going to do when David learns to climb out of his crib. While we implemented sleep training techniques to help him sleep, some afternoons he just doesn’t nap. Thankfully though, he plays happily in his crib alone during that time, so I’m still able to have some “me time.” But I worry that when the confines of the crib are gone, I will lose that much needed and rejuvenating “me time.” I feel like this “me time” enables me to be a better mother, wife, friend, daughter, etc. It’s an opportunity for me to re-charge and be productive around the house or in my consulting work. This is just one example of an anxious place my mind can sometimes go when I think about the future. Social media seems to be filled with moms talking about how hard it is to be a mom and that makes me feel nervous. While some days are challenging, for me, I wouldn’t classify my role as a mom as hard. This makes me fear that I’m in the “easy stage” and that hard times are ahead.

While trying to calm my anxieties about the future and how I’ll be able to handle the different stages of motherhood (and life in general), I thought about the children of Israel and their journey to the promise land. During this journey, God provided literal manna from heaven that allowed them to have the sustenance they needed to continue this journey. This manna came each day. This is a great video (below) that talks about this manna.

I realized after reflecting on the experience of the children of Israel that God will provide me each day with what I need to be the mom, wife, daughter, friend, etc. each day. He will give me what I need daily. I shouldn’t let myself wade in anxiety about the future. I’ve started praying each morning for “motherhood manna.” Before going to bed, I’ll say a prayer and express to Heavenly Father how I received my “motherhood manna” that day. I realized I need to take each day as it comes and realize that while I don’t know how God will provide for me tomorrow, He will provide.

In Phillippians 4:6 it says, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” To me, this means that God doesn’t want our hearts to become burdened by anxiety. He wants us to ask Him for what we need. My petitions to God shouldn’t be made out of fear but out of gratitude and faith that He will provide.

This lesson doesn’t just apply to motherhood but to all aspects of life. The future can make anyone feel anxious because it is unknown territory. God provided for the children of Israel, and I know He will provide for us today because we too are His children.

David on Mother’s Day 2019

He’s grown so much in one year! This is Mother’s Day last year.

Watching David Grow


I wanted to write a quick post tonight just to say how much I love the stage David is in right now. I know the time will pass by quickly, and I want to remember how much I enjoy this stage. He is becoming more aware of his surroundings and of his hands. The other morning when I opened his nursery door to check on him, he was laying on his back in his crib, holding up his hand, and staring at it. Multiple times a day he stares at his hands as he slowly and methodically moves them. Today was the first day I’ve seen him successfully pick something up and put it in his mouth to chew on it.

Whenever we’re in public, people comment on how small he is. While I know he is small, to me he is so big. It is amazing to see all the physical and mental growth that has occurred over the last few months. I love being his mom.



Baby David: Two Months


Our cute little boy hits his two-month mark today. He sure has grown over the last month and has developed some very fun characteristics. My favorite new trait is his ability to smile in response to things. His smiles are the biggest in the mornings when I wake him up. Side note: I wake him up in the mornings because he normally sleeps an 8-9 hour stretch each night and could likely sleep longer if I didn’t wake him. I don’t want him to go longer than that without eating, so I wake him up. During the day, he normally eats every three hours. I loooove that he sleeps a long stretch of 8-9 hours. It allows me to get a solid night of sleep, and I am so, so grateful for that.

At seven weeks, we moved him into his bedroom to sleep (somewhat unintentionally). He fell asleep in his room one night, and I didn’t want to wake him by moving him, so I left him there. His room is really close to ours, and since he’s such a good sleeper, we decided to have him sleep in his own room moving forward. We haven’t transitioned to the crib yet, however. He wears an owlet sock on his foot that tracks his oxygen level and heart rate. If they dip below a certain level, an alarm goes off. This has brought me a lot of peace since he’s not sleeping in our room. Sadly, I accidentally washed the sock with the monitor inside. Soooo, we had to buy a replacement monitor.

Here are some fun facts about our boy:

  • He is an awesome sleeper (as mentioned above, he does an 8-9 hour stretch at night without waking up).
  • He is a messy eater. I am trying to figure out how to remedy this. He eats from a bottle because we had some nursing challenges. Sometimes I have to change his clothes after he eats because the milk/drool is all over his shirt collar.
  • He is very happy (generally) and loves to smile.
  • When music is playing, he’ll make a lot of “ooo” noises like he’s singing along.
  • When the tv is on, he makes baby noises like he’s talking back to the characters in the tv show.
  • He loves ceiling fans. When he’s in a room with a ceiling fan, he’ll stare intently at it (even if it’s not moving). If it is moving, he’s even more fascinated by it.
  • I learned from my Grandma Morgan that he is the 100th descendant of my Grandpa and Grandma Morgan. David’s middle name is my Grandpa Morgan’s first name. My dad is also the 100th descendant of his great-grandparents, and he is named after his great-grandpa. I thought that was kind of cool when we learned about it.

Good morning!

He loves to sleep!


Happy two months!


Motherhood Begins: October 18, 2017

On October 18, 2017 my life changed forever. At 8:45 p.m. our sweet baby boy was born. My water broke at 1:20 p.m. that day, I started feeling contractions around 2:15 p.m., and by 7:00 p.m. it was time to deliver our sweet baby boy. After an hour and a half of pushing, he made his grand entrance.


I had to be on oxygen from about 3:30 p.m. until the time he was born due to a decrease in his heart rate. During that time, I felt a great sense of love for this little baby and offered many, many prayers on his behalf. All in all the labor and delivery went smoothly.

The last two weeks have been full of unconditional love, nursing challenges and triumphs, tears (both mine and his), lots of sleeping (more so him than me), gratitude, and more love.


Since bringing him home, it’s felt like a piece of heaven came home with us. That sounds kind of like a sappy thing to say, but I 100% mean it. I have felt a closeness with heaven over these last two weeks in a way I didn’t anticipate. It’s amazing to think about how this little baby’s spirit is so fresh from heaven.

We came home from the hospital on October 20. My mom came and stayed with us for a week. Having her here was amazing!!! Grandmas really are the best.

Cuddles with Grandma Kathy.

After my mom left, John’s parents came and visited for a long weekend. Surprisingly, I don’t have a picture of them with the baby but below is a picture I took of them and John.


I am so grateful for this new journey of motherhood that began just over two weeks ago. I always wanted to be a mom, and I am grateful this little boy is mine. The last two weeks have been harder in some ways than I expected as my body recovers from giving birth, experiences shifting hormones as it rebalances from pregnancy, and learns to provide sustenance for the baby. Despite these minor challenges, I am grateful for this opportunity and for this sweet baby. I am especially grateful to know that because John and I were sealed (married) in the Temple by the priesthood power of God, our family will be a family forever.

In the hospital getting ready to go home.

Snuggle time with dad.

A “Happy Due Date” (October 24) Selfie.

Watching the Iowa Hawkeyes beat Minnesota (October 28).

My little buddy who loves to eat his hand.

Family of three 🙂