Friday, December 14, 2012

SAD

          S.A.D. stands for seasonal affect disorder. I tend to struggle with SAD quite a bit during the winter if I don't make efforts, and strides to combat the disorder. If your not familiar with SAD, it is also referred to as the winter blues. Basically winter time depression. So I am use to feeling sad at this time of year, but there have been a couple of things the last couple of days that have made me really sad, and wondering why it feels like the world is spiraling down fast.
          The first thing was the announcement of "wear pants to church" for feminist-Mormon women. Am I sad that they are going to wear pants to church on Sunday? No. I could really care less about what they wear to church. There is no guidelines set out by the church about what to wear except that it be your best. If that is their best, then by all means wear it. What was sad to me is that they are protesting the fact that they feel like they are inferior to men, and that the church culture is to blame for it. I am sad that that they don't have a testimony of womanhood.
           I have to admit that I was one of they women. I grew up with four older brothers whom I looked up to fiercely. I loved them and wanted to be just like them. I remember one day, as I was on a walk with my mom, asking my mother if she ever wished that she had been born a boy. She quickly said that she was glad that she was a woman, and never wanted to be a boy. I was surprised  I thought that every girl had gotten the short end of the stick. I went on a mission still wondering why I had to be a girl. It was on my mission that I gained a strong testimony of womanhood. I had been praying to understand why God had made a "lesser sex," and why I had to be one of them.
         The answer came when I was teaching a woman named Leah. She asked why women weren't allowed to hold the priesthood. Without thinking, the words were given to me, and I asked her, "who comforted you when you were sick?" She answered that her mother did. I explained that the priesthood allowed men to also have power to comfort their children in time of need by giving them a priesthood blessing. The idea had never occurred to me that the priesthood made men equal to women!
           Shortly after that discussion I attended the yearly General Relief Society broadcast. James E. Faust spoke of what womanhood means. In his talk he stated, "As daughters of God, you cannot imagine the divine potential within each of you. Surely the secret citadel of women’s inner strength is spirituality. In this you equal and even surpass men, as you do in faith, morality, and commitment when truly converted to the gospel. You have “more trust in the Lord [and] more hope in his word.” 15 This inner spiritual sense seems to give you a certain resilience to cope with sorrow, trouble, and uncertainty."  And he also said, " In His infinite wisdom, the Lord requires worthy brethren to wear the mantle of the priesthood in order to enter the temple, but He permits the sisters to enter solely by virtue of their personal worthiness."
          To quote a famous lady, "“Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition.” 
                                               ― Marilyn Monroe
          I don't look up to Marilyn Monroe but I do like this quote. We shouldn't try to be equal to men, for that is setting our sights too low! There isn't a "place for us" in Gods church--it would cease to exist without us! I am not bashing on men. I feel that God loves us both in our separate callings in this world. We all have a part to play, and it isn't the same part! I believe that femininity is beautiful to God. I believe that he rejoices in women that love who they are, and glory in womanhood.  I just hope that some of these ladies who are hurt can find that testimony. 
          Of course the second thing that mad me sad was the shootings in Connecticut today. I don't have a lot to say on it. It is just plain sad. Yet I found a lot of comfort in this image by David Bowman. 
 
            I also found solace in the beloved Christmas hymn: "    
‎"And in despair I bowed my head: 
'There is no peace on earth,' I said. 
'For hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth good will to men.'
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: 
'God is not dead, nor doth He sleep; 
the wrong shall fail, the right prevail, with peace on earth, goodwill to men."   
         I find a lot of peace in knowing that there will be peace on earth again. I love my Savior. I am thankful that He is there with open arms, welcoming those children into His rest. I am grateful for the reminder that to hug my children tight and kiss them a little longer. My heart is aching for all of those parents. 
         So even though I may be sad, I rejoice in the Lord! I am grateful that He can offer peace even through trial. I am so thankful that I have this knowledge.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

What my mission means to me

           My great-grandmother served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a young sister missionary when young sister missionaries were rare. My grandmother served a mission as a young sister when young sister missionaries were uncommon. I served a mission for my church when it was a lot more common, but still the exception. I saw a video of a gathering of young sister missionaries today that have been called to serve all over the world! I read missionary updates from Elders serving from our ward that reported that the number of sister missionaries in their mission will be close to the number of Elders! We have entered into a new era—one where serving a mission for a young single sister will be common place. COMMON PLACE!!!
The sisters from my zone at Glacier National Park! Loving a little P-day!
          It has caused me to reflect a little today on what my mission has meant to me. I have spent some time looking at my mission album and thinking of my experiences. It is hard to think of ones experiences from ones mission and not reflect on how it has changed them. I am so thankful for my mission.
How many sisters can you put in a shower--that is randomly standing in the middle of the basement?
  

          I love the people in Wyoming and Montana that taught me how to love, serve, and care about those around you. I learned how really little a person needs to be happy. I learned that there are angels around us all the time helping us. I learned that the atonement is real. I learned that the adversary is real. I learned how precious the gospel of Jesus Christ is.
Martian's Cove

          I learned that I am happiest when I am serving others. I learned that I love to be with other people. I learned that I am a child of God and so is EVERYONE! I learned that there are good people in all different walks of life. I grew closer to the Savior and my Father in Heaven. I learned that the hardest trials in life are the ones you watch other people go through. I learned that life is hard, and it brings you to your knees—a lot. I learned how to place my burdens at the feet of my Savior. I learned how to feel deep gratitude, even in the depths of sorrow.
Pretty much sums up Montana

          I KNOW that I am a better wife and mother than I would have been without my mission. I am not saying that I am a better wife and mother than those that didn’t serve, but I am better than I would have been without it. There was a quote that I had on my fridge during my mission, it said: “Today many sisters are being called to serve. Many more are preparing to serve. Not because they aren't married or don't have anything else to do, but they have the desire to serve. One reason that the Lord wants more sisters to serve is because within the next generation He will send His priesthood army to the earth. He wants to send choice spirit children to mothers who have been prepared, properly trained, and taught in the gospel. What better schooling can a mother have than the experience and growth she gains through serving a mission.”--President Gordon B. Hinckley
One of the girls I taught--a year later she was sealed to her husband and new baby!

          Although I can’t find the source for this quote, and often have wondered if it was real, I see this more today than I did 6 months ago. If there are any sisters reading this that are wondering if they should go, I say GO! You will never regret it! It was an easy decision for me. I wanted to go since I was a little girl. I didn’t struggle with this decision at all. I had a week or so that I took the time to really pray, fast and ponder—just to make sure that it was really the right thing to do. Yet, my answer came clear and I have never doubted it. It was the biggest growth experience (next to becoming a mom) I have ever had—and I met some of the coolest people on this PLANET—that are still dear friends today!
Some of the greatest girls you will ever meet!

I learned a lot of valuable skills on my mission--like how to butcher a deer!

Wyoming is the place to be!!


Riverton district


Right in the midst of pioneer contry!



Nothing like a branding day in Montana!!
>Here is the video! I started crying when the sister mentioned she was going to Montana Billings Mission!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

If I had one wish . . .



               We are currently reading Farmer Boy with my kids right now. It is a darling book written by Laura Ingalls Wilder. It is about her husband growing up. I absolutely love books about homesteading and farming families. I love to read about the chores, food, and entertainment of these families. I love that they are often told from the children’s point of view. The enjoyment that these children get out of simpleness is moving. The amount of hard physical labor the people preform is inspiring. And the knowledge that these homemakers have to make something out of nothing is motivating. I want to crawl into these books and live there. 
           There aren't fancy vacations, days of leisure, or convenience foods. There aren't play rooms or movies or washers and dryers! There isn't pinterest, FB, or gmail. I am sure these mothers went all week without “talking to another grown-up all day.” Although the father was usually home and came in for lunch. It is just so amazing to me that they could be so happy. I think that a simple, yet hardworking, lifestyle made it easier to be happy. My grandma once told me that depression was unheard of while she was growing up. They didn't get electricity until she was 12.
               Is it wrong for me to feel like I am living in the wrong era? Yes, most days I feel like I would rather live when you had to churn your own butter! I long to live in the days when children were raised to respect their parents, and parents knew the importance of turning out a good child. Where the family sat together and told stories and played instruments after supper instead of flipping on a TV. I often think that a world where a man’s handshake meant something would have been a nice world to live in.
              
              I am not totally na├»ve. I realize that there were very hard things about living so long ago—a lot more death, illness, and dependence on weather just to name a few. If you did happen to marry a man that lived a state away from your family, you wouldn't get to see them every year. You defiantly wouldn't get to call a couple of times a month, and pictures of your far away nieces and nephews would be non-existent. So I can rejoice that I was born in these days, days were I have to power to choose my life.
               Recently I have really wanted to find a plot of land, some water and a little cottage, and make a life there. I long for a simpler way of life. I have noticed how people have been thirsting for knowledge lately on the old homesteading ways of life. I got “The Encyclopedia of Country Living” a few years ago for mother’s day. I have wanted chickens for a couple of years, I have made strides to grow a better garden every year. Yet recently something snapped and I have felt an urgency that I have never felt before. I know I am not alone.  All I have to do is go on pinterst and see all of the emergency preparedness and natural remedy pins that have been popping up lately. It seems to be even greater lately. Sometimes I think that if I had that plot of land and knew how to work it, I wouldn't be worried about an impending financial crisis for my family would at least have food.
               Yet, more than the physical threat that a lot of us feel is coming, there is a spiritual threat that is present every day. I long for a day when “black” didn't seem so far different from “white.” A good friend of mine mentioned to me yesterday, “when we were growing up, we could go along with the crowd because the crowd, for the most part, was making good choices. It isn't like that anymore.” I agree. I feel like there is a huge divide in our country right now.
               If the divide had geographical boundaries, I am afraid there would be another civil war. Some people may just dismiss the differences as political variances, yet to me it is moral. Freedoms are being taken away, and they seem to be based on moral ideals. For example, businesses have to provide the morning after and week after pill for their employees—women all over and championing this as a win for women. They say that it is good for a woman to have the right to choose.  What about a company’s right to choose to not pay for something that they feel is morally wrong? Women had the right to choose before. Their first choice was to have sex, second choice to not use protection, and third choice was still to use the pill, they just had to pay for it themselves before. You know a day when people had to pay for their own mistakes, not expect others to do it for them.
               On that subject, we now have to now have health insurance or we will get fined. Health insurance is great, who doesn't want it? Yet WHY is it okay for the government to FORCE me to have it? Public schools all over the country are adding over 300 hours to the school year, which means less time for those children to be with their families. Just to name a couple of things that I really don’t think is right.
               Okay, this seems like a random post with a lot of crazy tangents. I am sure I would fail if I turned this in for a writing assignment but since it is my blog—I can publish what I want—some benefits of the 1st amendments that are still intact! I guess what I am trying to say is that while we feel this urgency to prepare physically—let us not neglect the need to prepare spiritually. There isn't any waiting to see which side you are going to be on. There is such urgency in the Lord’s work. I believe that God will win—it just might take a long haul, deep in the trenches before we see the tide of the battle turn.