My eight-year-old declaration of my life’s work was: I am going to be a mother. My second grade teacher didn’t like that; she kept insisting that I needed to pick a “profession.” I was adamant. I would be a mother, and that was final. Everything I have done from that day forward pointed to that eventual goal. Important decisions all centered around how to best prepare myself to be the kind of mother I knew I was meant to be.
My 13-year-old heart was drawn into the world, with the images of famine in Ethiopia and personal participation in a Church-wide fast for famine relief. I knew one day I’d go to that country to help. My mother heart (see Julie Beck, Ensign or Liahona, May 2004) reached out in compassion as it was being prepared to fulfill my life’s work. My unexpected life’s work.
Years have passed. I’ve obtained various academic degrees. I’ve worked many jobs. I’ve served in many capacities and I’ve seen some of the world and the children of the world. I’ve never married.