Perspective Shift

Suzanne Burnett
2 min readJun 2, 2023

How grateful I am for opportunities to grow up with my children.

One morning I had a run-in with our visiting college-age daughter that left me grumbling as I stepped into the garage to fetch an item.

After a taste of managing her own time at college, of course she would like the freedom to continue to do so during months of home time. However, the part that was driving me bananas was how easily the expectations of a dependent child were reclaimed — -I’m going to eat your food, use your car, and burn your gas because I’m still your child, and you take care of my needs.

Being an obedient person, she does whatever household chore I request of her, but there is not much looking around to see what room needs cleaned or what flower bed needs weeding. In guest mode, those things are understandably not on the forefront of anyone’s thought process.

Then, in one clear impression, personal perspective shifted, stopping me mid-agitated stride:

You know, in God’s eyes, you’re not all that different from your daughter.

Gasp.

Abruptly, my spiritual eyes were opened. I looked all around the garage (just the garage!) at stacks of blessings. I looked down at my feet, my legs, my arms, my hands, my ability to breathe, to choose, to direct my thoughts and actions. And yet, like a child, I frequently and thoughtlessly ask for more? Like a child in guest mode, it’s so much more enjoyable to do my own thing rather than glance around and think, “Hmm, what can I do to help in the Lord’s work today?”

In fact, when was the last time I did anything good of my “own free will, and [brought] about much righteousness” without being asked? (Doctrine and Covenants 58:27)

“..it is God’s patient long-suffering which provides us with our chances to improve, affording us urgently needed developmental space or time.” (Neal A. Maxwell, “Endure It Well”, April 1990 General Conference)

How grateful I am for a patient Heavenly Father who taught his daughter (ME!) by example to extend mercy, compassion, and unconditional love to a developing child.

Now I want to be a better daughter AND a better mother.

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Suzanne Burnett

Mother of twelve children and member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints shares spiritual insights learned through parenting and marriage.