Throughout my sometimes tumultuous life I have been fortunate enough to have been put in the path of some wonderful people. Through each of their unique personalities and gifts I have been blessed in immeasurable ways. One person in particular came in to my life when I needed her more than I have ever needed anyone. I lovingly call her Mrs. E. She is the mother of fourteen children. Thats right, I said fourteen. Her husband worked for the Boy Scouts of America and she was a full time mom when I met her for the first time at the tender age of nine. She was the mother of one of my new little friends. I never imagined at the time the impact this woman would have on me for the rest of my life and how I would come to rely on her one day for her grace, compassion, and motherly love.
|Holding One of Her Gandbabies|
When I think of her now over twenty years later I think of the word compassion. I have never seen anyone who has emulated this attribute more perfectly than my Mrs. E. I have witnessed this mother of fourteen children time and time again make room and find time to always lend someone compassion and service when they are in need. Through the years I’ve seen on many occasions where she and her family gave compassion and service when they themselves seemed to be in need yet they always found a way to help others. When I was just fourteen I watched as she and her family took their own few Christmas gifts from under the tree and gave them to another less fortunate family. Later on I watched as Mrs. E hired a woman to let her clean her house because the woman needed to earn extra money for her family. The woman wanted the dignity of working for the money and not a hand out and although Mrs. E’s family barely got by at times surely they could spare a little more to employ this woman for one day. I watched through the years as she gathered countless troubled souls into her heart and home. There always seemed to be some person she came across that she was now befriending, counseling with, or consoling. Eventually one of those people she gathered in was my own mother. Not only was she a huge light and example in my life but she became one in my mothers as well. I will always be grateful for her friendship and counsel to my mom. Mrs. E is a steady strong voice that was able to reach my mothers ears and calm some troubled waters in our home. I think they would have been life long friends if my mother hadn’t passed away a few years into their friendship in a horrible car accident that I was also involved in.
Mrs. E has helped countless souls with her unique ability to show compassion to just about anyone in any circumstance no matter their appearance, religion, politics, or ability. The most remarkable act of compassion that I witnessed was not that of a stranger but of the compassion she showed me. She was the one who came to my house the day after I lost my mother, when I was just sixteen, and made sure I took a shower and ate something when I didn’t even have the strength to get out of bed. She was the one I came to live with my senior year of high school and guided me through the last years of my adolescence. She was there through the meltdowns and breakdowns of my senior year and dealing with the loss of my mother. She never once made me feel unwanted or unworthy. She lent me a safe place to grieve and grow. Despite this rough time in my life I made the best grades of my life while in her home being a part of her big family. Her compassion and love for a child that was not her own created an environment for me to flourish in. This mother of fourteen children still had enough love for me. How remarkable is that!
Mrs. E has gone on to be the woman who shows up for me. I don’t know why she shows up, but she does, and I am so humbled by it. She showed up for me when I got married, had my first child, got sealed in the temple for time and eternity, had baby blessings and even some baptisms to, despite living a state away. She even magically showed up earlier this year when I was halfway through my last pregnancy and desperately needed her. She didn’t know I needed her but I think my heavenly father did. I had just gotten out of a difficult doctors appointment where I received news that I was anemic, gestational diabetic, and was low on vitamin B. Everything felt so overwhelming and miserable and I thought to myself how much I wish I could just go to Mrs. E’s house. But she lived in another state. Then I had the thought to go to her daughters house who lived nearby and as I walked in to her daughters house there was Mrs. E just sitting there on the couch. I couldn’t believe it! Even though I am a full grown adult in my 30’s I crumpled down beside her and just cried and cried like a little girl needing her mother. In between my sobs I told her I was okay and I just needed to cry on her for a moment. And she let me for as long as I needed, which was for a while. Then afterwards she let me complain about how no one does the laundry at my house and how it’s not fair that I’m the only one who cooks. Instead of giving me advice or tips she told me those were valid complaints and she could see why I was so upset. By the time I left we were laughing and telling funny stories and talking about how amazing my family was. How does she always know the right thing to say or not to say to me?
Unfortunately this past year Mrs. E lost her husband of 43 years. The loss of this great man hit her and the rest of us very hard but even through her tremendous grief and sadness she reached out and gave me comfort and compassion as I felt the loss of him to.
Compassion isn’t just feeling sorry for someone, it comes in the form of many things; a shoulder to cry on, a job, laughing with someone, noticing someone, understanding someone, giving an honest uplifting compliment, or giving a gift someone can never repay. Through Mrs. E’s example I have learned that you are never truly unfortunate if you have something to give, even if the only “something” you have to give is compassion. No matter our circumstance in life or how troubled the waters seem we all have something to contribute and give to others. We are enough just as we are. We are enough just as we are to receive the love and compassion of others. We are enough just as we are to receive the love and compassion of our heavenly father. We are enough just as we are to have something to give to others as well. I know that when we show compassion to others and lose ourselves in the service of others we naturally bring a sense of peace and purpose into our own lives that cannot be achieved in any other way.
As we draw nearer to Easter join me and many other bloggers in sharing stories about the people in our lives who have exemplified one of the eight attributes of peace and who inspire us to draw closer to our Heavenly Father and our savior Jesus Christ. I am honored to be apart of the #PrinceOfPeace campaign that focuses on the eight core principles that bring us Peace which are Faith, Compassion, Forgiveness, Repentance, Gratitude, Scripture, Prayer, and Hope. Our goal is to bring a little more peace into the hearts and homes of others this Easter by sharing inspiring stories and messages of real people who have touched our lives in meaningful uplifting ways.Visit mormon.org to learn more about the principles of peace and how they can help bring you closer to the Savior
Please enjoy this Free Prince Of Peace word art printable to add to your Easter decor. There are three designs to choose from or you can print them all. I was first inspired to incorporate the olive branch somewhere in this easter printable design because the olive branch means peace. The wreath also has strong symbolism and has been used since before roman times to represent a crown and in more modern times we attribute the symbol of the wreath to represent Jesus Christ and Eternity. So I thought it would be very fitting to combine the two design elements in this beautiful easter printable.
May it be a source of peace and a reminder of our saviors example, sacrifice, and love for us this season.