May 10, 2012
From the desk of Carol Soelberg:
Happy Mother’s Day!
United Families International sends warm wishes to women around the world who are honored this week as “Mothers”. The single most influential role in the world is that of a mother. Civilizations are created and conquered through the teaching and training of mothers. As a mother myself, I am aware of (and sometimes share) the discouragement that comes to women who feel inadequate in this critical role. Even the most famous and influential mothers are not perfect. Social Science research clearly links the success and security of children to the involvement and influence of mothers–even imperfect mothers!
We honor mothers and those who recognize the importance of the role they play in our lives. We hope you will enjoy this article by Tom Christensen as he identifies the significance of mothers and honors the mother of his children.
Mother: A Woman’s Most Influential Role
By Tom Christensen
Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu of Albania, affectionately known as “Mother Teresa” though she never had children of her own, was the most effective advocate for mothers, children, and the family the world has known. She ran orphanages, homes and schools for the abandoned, sick, and poorest of the poor; met with Presidents to urge them to protect the unborn; and touched millions with her message of love, family and faith. Ranked as the “Most Admired Person of the Twentieth Century, she was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2003 following her death. At the Fourth UN Conference on Women, she explained:
“Motherhood is the gift of God to women. How grateful we must be to God for this wonderful gift that brings such joy to the whole world, women and men alike! Yet we can destroy this gift of motherhood, especially by the evil of abortion, but also by thinking that other things like jobs or positions are more important than loving and giving oneself to others. No job, no plans, no possessions, no idea of “freedom” can take the place of love. So anything that destroys God’s gift of motherhood destroys His most precious gift to women–the ability to love as a woman.”
When Mother Teresa received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, she was asked, “What can we do to promote world peace?” She answered in six words, “Go home and love your family.”
This Sunday, May 13, most of the nations of the world celebrate Mother’s day. Established by President Wilson in 1914, Mother’s Day is a day to honor the mothers in one’s life and the contributions of mothers generally. Lincoln, referring to his own mother, remarked: “God bless my mother. All that I am and ever hope to be, I owe to my mother.”
Mother’s Day did not originate in the US. Alarmed by low birth rates at the turn of the twentieth century, Germany and France first established a national holiday to honor mothers of large families. Germany’s highest award, the “Gold Cross,” was reserved for mothers of eight children or more.
My Nomination for the Gold Cross Award
If anyone deserves the Gold Cross, it is my beautiful, accomplished wife, Dixy. A few years ago, my teenage son at a Mother’s Day program described his mother as a perfect “10.” (He also said she married a “3,” but we won’t get into that.)
With Dixy’s looks, brains and talent, she seemed destined to become a successful career woman. In high school, Dixy was head cheerleader, valedictorian and homecoming queen. In college, Dixy continued to excel at everything she attempted, graduating Magna Cum Laude in English. Virtuous and vivacious, she was chased by half the male population on campus. Dixy taught school for a few years and then married me.
Despite a small frame, morning sickness, severe back pain, and three miscarriages; Dixy ultimately gave birth to fifteen children including two sets of identical twins. As social and parental pressure to limit the number of children mounted, Dixy felt inspired early on to welcome all of God’s children as His greatest gifts. She considered it her highest privilege and responsibility to spend her life loving children and preparing them for responsible adulthood.
Contrary to popular opinion, being a full-time mother of a large, active family is hard work. Each child brings financial, physical, and emotional strains. It doesn’t help when people condemn or make light of a woman attempting this difficult and risky task. Dixy never complained or joked about the children. Motherhood was sacred to her; she could not then, and cannot now, imagine life without any one of her precious children.
Today, in light of her personal attributes and children’s accomplishments, no one is critical of Dixy. As the children have excelled, married safely, and created outstanding families of their own; people now praise Dixy and marvel at her courage and early insight.
Dixy does not flaunt her family nor is she judgmental of others. Obviously, a large family is not for everyone. However, Dixy is frequently sought by serious individuals seeking guidance. Once in a nursing room, Dixy counseled a disconsolate stranger overwhelmed with the demands of a young family. The mother later confided to an acquaintance that she was contemplating suicide, and Dixy saved her life.
The Pro-family Edge
At a UN conference, one man asked me why the “pro-family” women are so appealing. I said, partly in jest, our women are “prettier.” Like Mother Teresa, the women who speak for the family are confident, liberated women who show great compassion for others. Their countenances are warm and intelligent. I remember one UN observer describing our lovely UFI President, Mary Barton, as a person who could “schmooze the paint off the wall.”
“The Most Beautiful Woman in the World”
We have a Christmas tradition in the Christensen family of drawing a family name and making a homemade gift for that person. Fifteen years ago, I drew the name of my wife, and wrote the following tribute. Although I wrote it for my wife, I think it reflects the feelings of husbands everywhere for their beautiful wives and mothers of their children.
My woman’s beauty is not seen by all
Gracing starlet magazines
In tanned skin or tight jeans.
Bleached teeth or dyed hair,
That’s not her flair.
Her beauty is even more rare.
Her beauty shines from within
As an infant she rocks,
Cleans house, feeds the flocks.
Worn shoes but clean socks,
Stained shoulder, polyester,
In her heart God has blessed her.
Her beauty shines in darkness and cold
In warm expressions,
Talks, healing sessions,
She treats my depressions.
When pride and strife curse life,
I find peace in my wife.
Let the heavens resound that here is found
A woman fair and true.
As life we share,
None can compare
The most beautiful of all.
Tom Christensen, former CEO of United Families, is a successful father, attorney, and politician. He has written extensively on the natural family and has addressed UN delegations in behalf of UFI in Istanbul, New York, Nairobi, the Hague, Lisbon and Geneva.
Please Forward This On To Others Concerned About The Family