1. I am a daughter of God. Just as I love my son, my Heavenly Father loves me (even more than I can comprehend as a mother). Just as I would do anything for my son's welfare and happiness, so would my Heavenly Father...and He has. He has provided a way back to him and has given us all the tools and resources we need.
2. Because my Heavenly Father loves me so much he sacrificed His Son for me. The 2nd day after we had gotten home from the hospital, I was reading my scriptures in Genesis where Abraham is asked to sacrifice his son. Finally, it clicked. The atonement means so much more to me now that I am a mother with a son of my own. I cannot fathom the anguish that our Heavenly Father experienced as He watched His Son suffer for the sins of mankind, but because He loves us all so dearly, He did.
3. Life is a gift. I used to be able to watch movies with violence and not really think much of it. Now...I can't stand it. The instant it appears, I start to cry. To be so callous and casual about such a precious gift literally makes me sick and hurts my heart. The sanctity of life has been ever present in my mind ever since Jake was born. I saw him take his first breath. I saw his heart beat. I felt him grow. After experiencing that, I realized that life is not something to take for granted. Every breath we take is a miracle and Jake is a constant reminder of that.
4. I am the best person to be the mother of my child. My self respect has grown so much these last few months. I have never felt more capable, confident, or beautiful in my life. I am constantly given inspiration by the Holy Ghost in regards to my son. I know what he needs when he needs it. I know if he is tired, or hungry, or has a stomach ache. I know what will make him feel better. I know how he wants to be held or what he wants to do. I just know. I still haven't lost all my weight and there are days when I feel less than beautiful, that's for sure, but overall, I know I am beautiful. My body is amazing. Sure, I may not be in shape and I may have stretch marks all over my body, but I look at those stretch marks and they are a reminder of who I am. I am a mom and everything that comes with that. My body was able to give life to another human being. My body continues to sustain life to that same little person. I have strong arms that can pick my son up and comfort him when he is sad. I have legs that can give my son an "airplane" ride and can go for walks. I have a mouth that smiles and eyes that receive the best smiles in the world. I am beautiful.
5. As a woman, my divine calling in life is to be a mother. The natural differences between men and women have never been more apparent to me. Jason is the best father. He cares so much for our son and his love is evident in everything that he does. But...he is not a mother. My inherent instinct to nurture and to care for this little person is so much more prevalent than J's instinct to nurture. I am so grateful for the different roles that men and women play. Through this experience it has made me so grateful for J's ability to make money for our family and his ambitious actions when it comes to the financial security of our family. He is the provider, I am the nurturer, and I could not be more happy about that. I love my life as a stay at home mom. I love taking care of Jake and running my household. I feel happiest and most capable when I am in that role.
My heart has been overflowing with gratitude for my life and the bounteous blessings it contains. Words really can't express how I feel. A brother in my ward gave a talk on gratitude around Thanksgiving and said something along the lines of, "Gratitude, like faith, isn't just a feeling...it's an action word. Just like faith without works is dead, so is gratitude." He then listed the things he was grateful for and commented on how he could show his gratitude to our Father in Heaven. I've been thinking a lot about that and trying really hard to apply it to my life. I have felt the blessings of gratitude ten-fold since I've been doing that. I hope that during this Christmas season we can continue to remember that "attitude of gratitude" we experienced at Thanksgiving and continue to apply it to our lives. I know that my Redeemer lives. I know that He was born of Mary in Bethlehem so many years ago, but His birth is still relevant to every human being who is living and has ever lived on this earth. I know He paid the price for our sins and I know because of that we have a way to return to our Father in Heaven who loves us beyond our human comprehension. I know that because of Him, I can have my family forever. May you all have a merry Christmas.