Ever since the lesson, I have been pondering how the service of motherhood, probably the greatest service most women give, was not very represented on the list we made.
Maybe we don't see all the work we do for our families as 'service' because it is so menial and so every-day. It doesn't get us much attention from others, and most of it has to be done all over again the next day.
It's like not being able to see the forest through the trees.
Motherhood begins as women are willing to literally 'lose themselves' to provide physical bodies for Heavenly Father's spirit children. What greater physical service could someone give? Then, whether you give birth to the children or adopt them, the work of taking care of them is some of the most demanding physical work around. In fact, there aren't many other professions that require someone to do all his regular work during the day after being on the night shift, and being woken up regularly, all night.
Sister Julie B. Beck said at Women's Conference last year, "...I learned something from my father-in-law years ago. He was steel worker and spent his time working three different shifts. He either worked the day shift, the night shift, or the swing shift. As a young mother I realized that I was working all three shifts, and that's why I was so tired."
And while all acts of service are worthwhile and appreciated by our Father in Heaven, I believe that the most effective and long-lasting service we can give is the service we give to our families.
We serve as we do the physical work, such as cooking, cleaning, laundry, and carpooling. We also get the fun physical service, like giving lots and lots of hugs and kisses, and playing together.
We serve as we persevere through Family Home Evening and scripture study and Sunday church and trying to go to an event as a family, only to spend most of it watching toddlers in the hall.
We serve as we come up with creative ways to make breakfasts and lunches for everyone, and then get up early to make sure they eat and get out the door with lunch in hand on time.
We serve as we give over our bodies to little growing babies for 9 months, and then to big growing babies for possibly another year or more. We give up our sleep and we give up our fashion style and we give up our cute little compact car.
When they grow up and have some more freedom, we give up our sleep again, this time driving them to and from Stake dances and never really falling asleep until they are safely home once they can drive themselves.
If I had to sit in that lesson again, I would try to make my comments focus more on motherhood, just to give all those great mothers some more appreciation for all of the service they do every day without even thinking about it.