To Lila Shoemaker, the performing and sharing of talents is vitally important. Sister Shoemaker, who was chosen as Mother of the Year for Arizona, encouraged her children from a young age to be involved with sports, music and art.
Sister Shoemaker, who herself plays the piano, violin, guitar, ukulele and viola, feels that performing teaches self-confidence. “My kids learned to perform,” she said. “And by performing, they learned self-confidence.”
With such a deep love for music, Sister Shoemaker has found ways to use it to teach her children.
“Music is the best way to teach principles,” she said. “If you want to learn something and keep it for the long term, put it to music.”
Her children, six in total, play a wide variety of instruments such as the trumpet, saxophone, guitar, French horn, piano and violin.
Time spent as a family was also very important to her when she was raising her children. As directed by the prophets, Sister Shoemaker would round up her four boys and two girls for weekly family night, where they would play games and sing songs together.
Sister Shoemaker helped her children see the beauty in everything and recognize the source from where that beauty came. “Every time we would do something with our children,” she said, “[whether that was] camping or music, [I would say to my kids] ‘this is because Heavenly Father loves us.’ ”
While she has always wanted to be a mom, Sister Shoemaker admits that motherhood wasn’t always the easiest thing. “I never realized it would be so hard,” she said.
But with the difficulty in raising her six children, she has found great satisfaction in where they are now. “Having my children looking good, behaving well, achieving and [being] happy and accomplished was very personally rewarding,” she said. “Seeing my grandchildren and seeing that my children wanted to have children made me think that I did something right.”
Sister Shoemaker and her husband, Daniel, are members of the Mezona 1st Ward of the Mesa Arizona Maricopa Stake; they are local service missionaries with the BYU-Idaho Pathway program in Mesa, Arizona.