Jamie Wood is the mother of five children and is currently stranded in wintry Iowa while her husband completes his PhD in Accounting. She spends her days homeschooling her two oldest, enduring floor wrestles from her three youngest, and sending them all to the basement in the afternoon so she can write. Her first novel, “Bearskin,” has recently been accepted for publication, a fact which still keeps her up at night in utter disbelief. Jamie posts thoughts about motherhood and her writing journey at jamiewoodpoint2point.blogspot.
“And Heavenly Mother.” he declares.
My son interrupts our family scripture discussion. He’s a regular distraction to the nightly course, but instead of rushing to the bathroom, feet pitter-pattering in long-put-off emergency mode, instead of pointing at his siblings, intent they show a reverence he forgets to practice himself, my son reminds our family to think of Her as well as Him.
It is always he who reminds us to include Her in our discussions of what Heavenly Father wants for our family. His little voice speaks as an echo of the many desires felt by the women in my church. When my sister-in-law questions why her Heavenly Mother is relatively absent in revealed scripture, or how she, as a daughter, is to fashion herself after a Goddess so many are hesitant to discuss, I think of my son. His certainty of his Mother is a gift from Heaven, a knowledge he grasps tightly in his pudgy, marker-stained hands.
One evening, after teaching ballet for three hours, I return home to a house with seven starving occupants, and no prepared food. After driving the babysitter home – and charging my children to pajama-up while I am gone! – I set myself to scrambling eggs for a high-class meal to be shoveled in before bed. As I cook, I utter commands to clean up the living room, gather library books, and clear the table. In the midst of this, my hungry husband stands motionless in the middle of the kitchen, baby in arms.
Part of me growls in frustration. Why hadn’t he set the children to these tasks before, while I drove the babysitter home? Why doesn’t he realize the baby needs his pajamas and dinner? Doesn’t he know I have also just arrived home, that I am also hungry, and ready to be surrounded by sleeping children? But then I realize: it is not that my husband purposely ignores these tasks, it is that he has absolutely NO IDEA. The scrolling list of tasks, which flutters across my consciousness without any prompting, is completely absent from his mind. If I would stop for a moment and share my needs, he would be happy to join me in my work.
According to our records, Eve saw in her mind’s eye a great hope for her family when she partook of the fruit. The children that could join her only when she left Eden. The good she could appreciate only once she experienced the evil of a fallen world. She perceived what could be and, grasping the wonder of it, she ate of the fruit. The awesome vision scrolling across her consciousness convinced her of the rightfulness of her act, and she set the plan in motion. But if I am to put myself in Eve’s place, as I am charged to do, I must consider not only her eternal perception and faith, but also her “transgression” in heeding the great deceiver.
It is in my efforts to liken and learn from all parts of Eve’s experience, that I see where Eve might have neglected two facets of her choice. First, Eve did not go to Adam and invite him to make this decision with her. She chose instead to make the decision, and then to find and convince him afterward. Second, Eve partook of the fruit at the insistence of a deceiver, rather than waiting for her Heavenly Parents or their divine messengers to guide her in her choice and its timing.
Like Eve and her instinctual vision of possibility, like my son and his innate knowledge of his Mother, I also see glimpses of greatness when it comes to my progression as a woman in the gospel. I also grasp for real and tangible change here on Earth. As women of faith, I believe we all yearn to achieve the full breadth and height of our creation. We yearn – in essence – to join and comprehend our Heavenly Mother.
But as I ponder what it is I am meant to become, and how I am to learn and practice more of it now, I am impelled to grab hold of Eve’s lessons to keep me from falling unaware into a pit built of my own half-realized demands. Eve and her story of faith encourages me to see beyond, to press for more, to lead my family in a search for progression. But it also teaches me that I must pursue these visions in partnership with my husband and his Priesthood. It is true I may feel and desire things he does not conceive of yet, but if I will open my mouth and speak, he will be willing to listen, consider, discuss, and then to act in concert with the holy partnership sealed between us. Meanwhile, I must remember that it is only with the guidance of my Heavenly Parents’ divine messengers that I can be sure to act appropriately. I must be guided by the Prophets whom my Heavenly Father, and – my dear son interrupts me to say – my Heavenly Mother has sent to show the way.