Every time I wash all the dirty dishes. Every time I cook dinner. Every time I wear an apron. If someone notices some chore like that I do, they shout "mom points."
At first I found it amusing that there was such a scale of points just for doing things around the house. I'd giggle and blush. But then my "mom" tendencies became just a little too dependable. The dishes piled higher and someone would eat the last bit of rice (not just the last bit in the rice cooker but even the frozen clump I had kept for contingencies in the freezer) and leave the empty rice cooker wide open so I could see the little pieces of burnt rice. Now, if I don't cook a meal, we eat cereal. I performed a test just this week; if left to their own devices, the sisters won't eat rice for three days if I don't make it. But if I make four cups worth, it's gone in a day.
I couldn't help but laugh maniacally when I found myself cleaning up after the ELDERS. In Japan, the garbage system is so complex it's enough to make me swear off living in Japan ever again. Garbage is sorted and that sorted garbage is taken out certain days of the week. If you put out the wrong garbage, you can guarantee it will stay there until its designated day of the week. Cardboard is especially insane. You gotta do whatever you can to flatten this cardboard. In the cases of milk cartons you have to cut them open. From there you bundle every flat piece and tie it all together. Then and only then will the cardboard man take your bundle out every other Saturday. I actually carried a Krispy Kreme box-left at the church after an apparently exciting district meeting-all the way home and flattened it up and tied it to the rest of our cardboard. "SLAVE POINTS!" I jeered.
When I look back at the things I've done that earned me my mom points, I don't think they make a mom. My mom didn't do half of the ridiculous clean up that I've done. She taught my brothers and I to do it ourselves, and THAT made her a mom. Really, cleaning and cooking don't make a mom, they make a maid. To think that I found this mad point system amusing makes me sick and weepy.
So that got me to thinking what makes a mom. The fact is most of us have no idea how much our moms have done for us. Moms make daily secret sacrifices for our us. They give up everything and expect no reward. I haven't gotten anywhere close to a mom-sized sacrifice, but sometimes skipping the make-up routine in order to have sufficient time in the morning to clean the rice cooker and make more rice feels like a pretty big sacrifice. This week I built a curtain rod. Before, believe it or not, we had no curtain in our bedroom! So I set up a rod so that we could hang curtains. But the problem with not having a curtain rod is that we didn't even have curtains. So I sacrificed one of my two blankets to make a decently thick, still not perfect curtain. Add the fact that my companion does not enjoy having our heater on at night and minus my blanket and you'll find me awake in the middle of the night. Last night when I woke up I just whispered to no one in particular: "Mom points."
Moms pour their heart and souls into us. I don't want to count all the sacrifices my mom has made for me because I'm afraid it will discourage me from becoming a mother myself. Moms on earth are the nearest people to becoming like Christ. Christ sacrificed His life for the very people who killed Him. He was homeless so that He could walk around and help out everyone within His reach.
I'm a missionary. I don't have much to give besides time and a bite of my lunch. But I know that things like missions, motherhood, and service are things that help us become more like Christ and there become truly, wholly happy. My mom has told me once or twice that she wishes that she would have served a mission. Imagine! As if my mom could be a better mom to me than she already is. AS IF. She is MY mom, perfectly prepared for me. There's nothing she could have done different. She earned her real mom points early in life and I'm so grateful for that.
Early in my time with Sister K., she shared this talk with me called "The Eternal Blessings of Marriage" by Elder Scott. She shared with me this quote: "Marriage provides an ideal setting for overcoming any tendency to be selfish or self-centered. I think one of the reasons that we are counseled to get married early in life is to avoid developing inappropriate character traits that are hard to change."
My mom is a pro at overcoming tendencies to be selfish. I say that with 100% confidence. I've been out here in Japan for over a year and I can't say that about every mom I've met out here. I know every mom is on their own journey of becoming Christlike but my mom is leading the pack. As for me, I'm glad I'm on a mission, learning all this at a painfully slow pace. I KNOW I wouldn't have gotten married and learned all these lessons in the time I've been out here. I'm glad I served a mission and I started to avoid developing traits that are hard to change once you have children. I'm proud of the real mom points I've earned.
Start collecting mom points today! The options are limitless!
-Serve a mission -Marry, become a parent -Build water wells in Africa -Give! There is something all can give!
I love you all! No I don't want to become a mom anytime soon! My mission is earning me sufficient mom points for now.
See you soon,
Sister Goldsberry iPadから送信
Picture with a random stranger that thought her dog looked me.
I won the funny face contest, obviously.