When I took Chelsea on a date to see Cinderella when it first opened I couldn't help, but to turn away from the movie and take a glance at her, especially when the scene of her mother dying came on. Her eyes were glued to the screen and watching her reaction made me tear up a bit.
"Have courage and be kind" was something that Cinderella was taught by her mother, and it made me think of my girls. Hoping I did my very best in raising them to fend for themselves, to have compassion, and most of all kindness. I know that I have taught them well, and even though they may not be perfect I have seen them express acts of bravery, and extreme kindness.
Through all the hard work, and sacrifices when it comes to our kids being a full time mom is worth it. We learn from our own experiences, and in turn teach our children to do better in hopes that they will never be faced with adversity, but it's inevitable, and regardless they will have their own trials.
I feel my Heavenly Father's love every time I pray for my children, and let me tell you, prayer becomes constant when you have a child living 2100 miles away. Regardless if their surroundings are safe, and their influences are good it doesn't matter. There will always be opposition in all things. Luckily we have the tools that can guard us from any opposition. Prayer, and reading the scriptures. Adversity will always be there, but applying the scriptures, and praying for guidance in making wise choices can help us handle any "real-life" bad situations when they happen.
I wasn't raised in the church so I know how it feels to not have had those tools in my life. And as much as I had a mother who did her very best in raising me, having that firm foundation built upon a rock was not in our home. One thing my mom did teach me though is manners. In spite of the trials I had throughout my childhood I was taught to always be kind to others. I also had to be brave in the things that I was faced with on a daily basis. Although the rock in my home wasn't as solid I still managed to survive, and have courage. In the end I had developed thick skin as well as a defensive attitude because of the things I endured as a child, but the act of being kind never left my demeanor.
Fortunately I've changed that environment in my life today by building a firm foundation of Christlike love in our home in hopes to never have that foundation broken.
I love the scriptures, and as a mother I know firsthand that when I make the time to read them it helps me through any rocky situations, and prevents me from being an "evil person." As much as we read the scriptures as a family, I hope that I have enlivened my kids to never take them for granted.
All children are innocent to a point just as Cinderella was, and once they are faced with adversity it can go either way. You can choose to become weak, and bitter. Or it can strengthen you, and make you into the best person you can possibly become. I am grateful to have children whom so far have faced adversity with courage, and beat it with a tremendous amount of faith.
For some life can be like a spiritual roller coaster. Up, and down, all around. Regardless of what life throws at them I pray that they will grow from their struggles, always have the courage to face adversity with bravery, and no matter what to always be kind to others.