Saturday, December 21, 2013

On Gay Marriage

Today I was walking through Kohl's doing some shopping happily humming along to the Christmas music piped in from the speakers overhead when I decided to check Twitter just to see what was going on.  Twitter had metaphorically blown up with the news that a US District Court Judge had ruled on a portion of the Utah State Constitution which declared that marriage was only between a man and a woman; the judge had decided that this is unconstitutional. As I read on I found that all but four counties had started issuing marriage licenses to gay couples and Salt Lake Mayor Becker had married one or two couples.  There were cries that those four counties were backwards, hateful, too Mormon-y, etc.

Here are my two thoughts that occurred in rapid succession:  1. Complete and utter sadness and 2. it's not a law nor legal yet and only one judge had ruled on it so those counties who HAD issued marriage licenses were soon going to be faced with some very angry gay couples.

I am going to address the first thought in this blog post.  I will be turning off the comments.  I will delete comments on Facebook.  I will not address comments on Twitter.  I won't respond to text messages.  I don't care what you think of me or my blog post.  Stop following me, unfriend me, slam your door in my face--I don't give a shit. Because as part of the silent majority I will be heard on MY terms.

About 6 or 7 months ago I was pondering gay marriage.  I was listening to all sides of the coin--it should be legalized, it should be banned; it's constitutional, it's unconstitutional; it's against the commandments, God loves all of His children and wants them to be happy (which I really, truly believe); etcetera.  I was hearing what those in the gay community had to say.  I was listening to our Church leaders.  I was listening to the Pope.  I was listening to the government, friends, relatives, etc.

The reason I was pondering this position at that time was a because of an old friend of ours who lives in Illinois.  My husband went to grad school with him in Marriage and Family Therapy.  After we had left the area he and his wife stayed there and made their home.  After awhile he was made the Bishop of the ward--for those who are not LDS a bishop is the non-paid ecclesiastical  leader of geographical area in which LDS people live.  I'm not quite sure of the entire story but over his lifetime he must have had some experiences with gay couples whether as a bishop or as a therapist that made him become active in the fight to make gay marriage legal in the State of Illinois.  In the LDS Church we believe in eternal marriage and only a man and a woman can take part in eternal marriage, which is called a sealing and takes place in our temples, and was ordained from the beginning and modeled to us by our Heavenly Father.  I asked him how he separated eternal marriage from this and if he believed if a gay couple can take part in eternal marriage and he told me no and that for a gay couple to be married it wouldn't be eternal only something they could have here in this lifetime.  Seemed like a good answer to me.  Plausible.  I was pretty much sold.

I have gay family members whom I love.  I have gay friends and acquaintances whom I love.
There was an elder I became friends with on my mission (clearly gay and dramatic but it didn't even occur to me then :-)) who came home and came out and found a nice partner.  A year ago they adopted a darling little boy whom they love and parent so cutely.  They seem like great parents.  That is the cutest kid. I have another friend whom I grew up with who served a mission, came home and came out.  He is with a nice man and has raised to adulthood a child that is now off to college.  They have another child (whom I'm not clear about whether he has been adopted yet or is a foster child) that they are now raising.  My friend puts the cutest conversations he has with this child has on Facebook.  I am so glad that these children who could be in precarious positions have these wonderful men to raise them in a loving family environment.

I had these examples placed before me.  Why shouldn't they have what the rest of us have? Why can't they have every equality afforded them?  I don't have these answers.

But I do have this experience:

Some of you know I work for the LDS Church.  I clean the Mt Timpanogos Temple at night after the patrons and the temple workers go home.  There are 19 of us on the crew wherein 10 of us are there to clean the 10 different "areas" divided up for us on any given night.  We are alone for the most part in our areas for 3 hours or so while we madly rush to make it all look perfect again and ready for the work that will be done the next day.  I love this job.  I think it was heaven sent at just the right time (I started working a week after we buried my mother) for me.  It is hard work.  We don't walk around with feather dusters, the temple doesn't magically clean itself.  It gets dusted, vacuumed thoroughly, and each restroom cleaned from top to bottom every single night. It is hard work and I finish every night in a sweat.

Back to 6 or 7 months ago......I was pondering, really pondering and praying one night about what to settle on when it came to gay marriage.  I was vacuuming (which is a really great time to ponder as vacuuming is very monotonous) and thinking and praying when the answer, very simple, came:  Follow the Brethren.

In the LDS Church to Follow the Brethren means to follow the Prophet and the Apostles. The Brethren have asked us to love those in gay relationships, that they should be afforded all the legal commonalities as those in straight relationships--meaning receiving insurance, being entitled to their dead partners belongings, sharing custody of children,etc.  But not marriage.

I mean, it all seems logical to me, it really does. But the Lord has told me that it is not to be and I am to "Look to the Brethren."  I learned a long time ago that when the Lord tells me these things, and I simply just obey, say okay, then I will be at peace.  And, really, that's all I need.  I don't need to make you feel good.  I don't need to make my gay family members feel good.  I don't need to make my gay friends and acquaintances feel good.  I need to feel good and at peace with me and with God.

And that is all I have to say about that.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Carron's "Killer" Cookies

This is a recipe I tore out of a Good Housekeeping Magazine April 2009.  I liked the sound of it because it had Rice Krispie cereal included.  I like texture in my food.

Makes 4 1/2 dozen
Prep 15 minutes
Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable shortening (I've been using coconut oil and it's de-licious!)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups old-fashioned oats
2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
1 cup sweetened flake coconut
1 bag (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips (I just threw in a little over a cup)

1. Heat the oven to 350.  Place parchment paper on some baking sheets.

2. In a small bowl, blend the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt with a whisk; set aside.

3. In a large bowl, beat shortening and both sugars on medium-high speed about 3 minutes or until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in vanilla.

4. On low speed, gradually add flour mixture and beat until just combined.  Stir in oats, cereal, coconut and chocolate chips.

5. Form balls with 2 tablespoons of dough (I used my medium sized scoop) and place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet.  Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.  Cool for a few minutes on the pan before transferring them to cooling rack.

The recipe says to bake them for 10 minutes but I thought they were a little underdone at that time so I cooked them for and extra minute or two just in case.  It always depends on your scoop, oven, etc.
They are crispy and chewy at the same time--perfect cookie.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

To Mom, Love Matthew

After church today, my youngest, almost 12 year old Matthew, got to me first and handed me a folded up piece of paper.  I said, "What's this?" and he replied that it was "a 20 questions thing about my mom."  I love those things.  They really let you know what your kid thinks about you and possibly tells his friends about you.

1. What is something your mom always says to you?
   "You're a pain."

2. What makes mom happy?
   "When things get done."

3. What makes mom sad?
   "When she has to work late."

4. How does mom make you laugh?
   "She tickles me."

5. What was mom like as a child?
   "An energetic child."

6. What is her favorite thing to do?
   "Spend time with the family."

7. What does mom do when you're not around.
   "Clean, cook, nap."

8. If mom becomes famous, what will it be for?

9.  What is mom really good at?
   "Cooking and cleaning."

10. What is mom not very good at?
   "Video games."  And in my defense here, they make me nauseous to watch on the screen soooo....

11. What does mom do for a job?
   "She cleans the temple."

12. What is mom's favorite food?

13. What makes you proud of mom?
   "Nice, cooking and funny."

14.  If mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?
   "Daffy Duck"

15.  What do you and mom do together?
   "Go to dinner."

16. How are you and mom the same?
   "We are both energetic."

17. How are you and mom different?
   "I'm a guy."

18.  How do you know mom loves you?
   "She sais (sic) so."

19. What does mom like most about dad?
   "He makes the money/and listens to her."

20. Where is mom's favorite place to go?
   "Her room."

So apparently, I like to cook...........And even when he's not home I'm still cooking....for no one in particular.  I wonder what the other kids would answer.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Mother's Day 2013

Every year Mother's Day comes around and I can already hear the groans from the women: I hate Mother's Day, I'm not a good mother, Everyone else is better than me, I suck, etc. But really?  How awesome is it that each family gets to celebrate what they like best about you?

We are all different.  We all came to earth with different personalities and abilities or maybe disabilities.  No two people are alike.  Not one of us is even NEAR to being perfect.  So why do we constantly compare ourselves to one another? 

Here is a list of things I'm good at:  Mowing the lawn, cooking, yelling, dressing myself, procrastinating, studying the scriptures, cleaning bathrooms, shaving my legs, not killing my kids, getting everyone to where they are supposed to be on time, trying, driving fast, working outside the home.....

Here is a list of things I'm NOT good at:  drawing, sewing, finishing projects, keeping my mouth shut, keeping up on my blog, keeping the laundry room clean, keeping up on paperwork, making sure my kids get their school work finished and turned in, denying myself food, getting up in the morning, wanting to call people back, being consistent....

And the lists will go on.

I bet you didn't know some of those things about me.  I bet if you wrote down lists about yourself they would be totally different than mine. I'm betting that you are sitting there comparing yourself to me.  Stop that.  Seriously.

A wise man said, God is fully aware that you and I are not perfect.  Let me add, God is also fully aware that the people you think are perfect are not.  And yet we spend so much time and energy comparing ourselves to others--usually comparing our weaknesses to their strengths.  As a result we never celebrate our good efforts because they seem to be less than what someone else does.--Dieter F Uchtdorf

What is one thing you do well?  Just one thing.  Is it the laundry?  Is it a perfect driving record? Is it playing with children?  Is it patience?  Is it musical?  Is it dusting the ceiling fans?  Is it appreciating your accomplishments?  What is it? 

There is that one thing.  Let's your family appreciate that one thing at least one day out of the year.  And quit whining.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


I've been on a "diet".  It's the non-diet diet of death and doom and OMG I think I want to kill myself at times.  I'm being over dramatic there.  I've always been thin.  I was that person that could eat, and eat, and eat, and eat and never work out and never gain a pound.  I lived on treats, and cheeseburgers, and cookies (my personal favorite dessert), Dr Pepper--full octane mind you, Wendy's, In n Out, JCW's (a Utah place), etc. 

I was that person that women would say, "I bet you can eat anything and not gain weight." Or, "Do you have to work out?" Or "How do you look so good?" And I would pridefully say, "Yep, I can eat anything and not gain weight.  No, I don't have to work out. And I don't know." I say pridefully because I had grown tired of women trying to make me feel bad for something I really at that point couldn't control. Screw you, girls. I'm the bomb dot com.

As a little kid I think I may have weighed 50 pounds in 5th grade and 80 pounds while I was in 8th grade.  When I got married I weighed 105 pounds.  Even after my fourth baby at 33 despite gaining 55 pounds I returned to my pre-pregnancy weight of 118.  Easy Peasy.  And I had the nerve to look in the mirror and say to my husband, "I'm fat!"  What a joke. 

Then I turned 38.  Several things happened that year of which a few I have only guesses about: 

1. I started taking anti-depressants.  Which is a great thing.  I was happy.  Jonathan was happy.  The kids were happy.  I put on weight.

2. We went on our yearly across country trip that year to Tennessee where my sister-in-law fed me and I ate and ate and ate like usual.  I gulped down Dr Pepper across country both ways and ate sunflower seeds to keep myself awake while driving.  And I ate Pop Tarts while driving which are my Kryptonite. I gained 10 pounds on that trip.  I thought, "Oh, it's just water.  It'll go away."  It didn't.

3. My metabolism changed.  I slowed down. 

4. My periods started getting funny and I went on the pill for a couple years.  Fixed my periods.  I gained weight though.  And I thought I would lose it once I went off the pill.  Didn't.

5. I took a sedentary desk job.  'Nuff said there.

6. I continued to eat like I always had.  Not enough lean meats, fruits and vegetables but lots of treats, Dr Pepper, and late night Jr. Bacon Cheeseburgers from Wendy's.

I run.  I do yoga and Pilates.  I do Zumba.  I do all sorts of other fitness-y things.  I garden heavily.  But I don't eat well! And I kept wondering why I don't lose weight. And actually I haven't gained any extra weight in over 2 years but I have this belly......that I hate!  And I KNOW I don't look bad but I FEEL bad.  And there's nobody asking me those questions anymore....*sob*

So my awesome friend Teri Shelley started mentioning on Facebook about some program she had been doing in which she had lost a bunch of weight.  She mentioned that she was going to start again on the program and wondered if anyone wanted to join her "diet group".  I asked her what it entailed and it is rather simple:

Eat three servings of vegetables a day.
Eat three servings of fruit a day.
No white flour.
No sugar.
A LOT of water.
Exercise 45 minutes 5 days a week.
No fried food.
No soda.  At all.  Even diet.
Keep a food journal.
And no eating after 8pm.

Also you get one free day a week.  Thank goodness.

We keep track of everything and each thing gets a point and the person with the most points at the end of 12 weeks wins money.  You have to put something in or why else would you do it?

It's really just natural eating.  This is really how one should eat always, right?  Eat less/move more? And you tell yourself you CAN have a treat you just have to wait until your free day.  Which is sometimes hard because I really, really love Dr Pepper and cookies.  But I do it.

I've basically lost a pound a week which I really like because I know it is good weight I'm losing and not just muscle or water that I will gain back again.  I now weigh 140.3 pounds as of today but started at 145.5 just so you know.

The first week I didn't lose any weight but because I wasn't eating white flour and drinking Dr Pepper I lost that bloaty feeling in my belly.  It weighs you down like crazy.  Now when I eat a meal I feel full because my stomach is full not because I have added more gas inducing white flour going on in there.  And don't get me wrong so many yuuuuummy things are made out of white flour.....cookies, brownies,  bread, tortillas, pasta, and don't tell me that I can use wheat flour for those because Holy GAG!  I just put those things aside and partake on my day off. 

I'm pretty pleased with my success so far.  And you know what?  I've actually become comfortable with my bigger self.  I look better in clothing.  I don't look like an emaciated, underweight 20-30 year old mom with 4 kids trying to recapture her glory days. However, I'd like to lose another 10 pounds in the weeks left which means I'll need to work a little harder but I think it's worth it.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Whole Wheat Waffles

Guys?  I just made up a whole wheat waffle recipe that was the bomb dot com and I'm going to share it with you.

Whole Wheat Waffles

2 cups whole wheat flour (scoop the flour into the cup for lighter batter)
1 cup oats whirled around a food processor until flour-y
1/2 cup white flour OR another 1/2 cup of oats whirled around the food processor
2 Tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 egg yolks (save the whites!!)
3 1/2 cups milk
1 cup cooking oil
4 egg whites

Place the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk them together to mix.  In another bowl place the egg yolks, milk and cooking oil.  Mix them well with a whisk then pour into the dry ingredients.  Stir until combined but still lumpy.

In another bowl beat the egg whites till stiff peaks form.  Gently fold the egg whites into the flour and egg mixture.  Leave some egg white fluffs.  Do not overmix.

Depending on your type of waffle maker pour 1 to 1 1/4 cups of batter onto the greased maker and get ready for goodness!  The egg whites make the waffles extra crispy and light so you don't have heavy whole wheat waffles of doom.  Makes 10-12 waffles depending on the waffle maker size.

Best served with lots of maple syrup and bacon, bacon, bacon......

BTW they are about 170ish calories without the syrup.  And bacon is only 45 calories per slice if its cooked really well.  I love bacon.

Tell me if you like them.  Okay?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Out of all the lectures I received from my mother as I grew up the only thing I really remember her saying to me was, "You will never know how hard it is to be a parent until you are one."  I hated that.  I really did.  I used to inwardly roll my eyes (because if I outwardly did it she'd have knocked them out of my head) and think to myself, "You just don't know or remember how hard it is to be a kid."  How self-centered.  But that's kids. 

Without going into theories of human development and whatnot, kids are self-centered.  There are no two ways about it.  It's true some of them grow out of it faster than others and some never at all.  And there are varying degrees of self-centeredness within each child.  But it's there in all of them.  Sometimes they do are say the dumbest things that make us parents stand with our mouths open, heads shaking, thinking, "Don't you get it?!"  No they don't.

We've always taught our children that they may get to do or say or be whatever they want but they don't get to choose the consequences.  And the bigger the stupid, the bigger the consequence.  Some of our kids get it pretty early and some don't.  Our oldest said today that he only broke our trust once and he was so  disappointed in himself, as we were in him, that he never did it again.  Or at least got caught.  Because really isn't that part of being a kid?  Doing stuff you are not supposed to and not getting caught.  I still relish those moments myself. 

I have to say that my teenagers are the funnest people.  I enjoy this stage of life with them way better than the infant stage.  Babies are soooo cute and cuddly but they poop and throw up on you and get you up at all hours of the night and you can't sleep in and the laundry--don't get me started on the laundry. My teenagers don't poop on me anymore and they do their own laundry and sometimes they are out too late and I need them to come home so I can go to sleep but they have these great personalities and they have fun friends and interesting adventures.  But they can do some of the dumbest things.

Really dumb things.

Things that make me say something to the effect of, "You will never know how hard it is to be a parent until  you are one."  And I hope, somewhere, deep deep deep down inside their little self-centered hearts they get that.  But I afraid they don't.  I'm afraid it's a pipe dream. 

And so my next thought is this, "I hope you get one just like you."  I know my mother thought it at least once.  Because I did.  I got one just like me.  Possibly two.


Friday, February 15, 2013

Crap Happens (I really want it to read the other way but thought better of it.)

Yesterday was our anniversary and after spending a lovely day and evening with my husband we were driving home from our wonderful french dinner talking about some people we know.  I recalled a conversation I'd had with somebody recently about how they felt their life hadn't turned out the way they thought it would.  It had been wrought with hardship, divorce, parental estrangement and childlessness.  The comment they made on their life that really got me thinking was "God has a purpose for why he has given me these challenges and I have to figure out what that purpose is." Or something to that effect.

I don't believe that.  I don't believe that God "gives" us challenges.  I believe He gives us agency. 

A woman I follow on Twitter who is going through some trials right now tweeted yesterday, "For each moment that I allow myself to feel joy, I receive a double dose of my messed up reality."  I tweeted back, "Feel joy anyway."

Why shouldn't we feel joy even though we are going through trials? Men are that they might have joy! Who is it that wants to take our joy away from us?  The Adversary.  Satan wants us to be miserable like unto himselfThe way Satan takes away our agency is to bring us down to his level of misery that we can see no way out.  

Let me define agency:  The free gift (although agency is NOT free.  Never say free agency in front of me because you will quickly be corrected) God gives us to act, think, feel, react, speak, etc. anyway we like.  Any way at all.  We get to CHOOSE how we do these things.  There isn't one person on earth or Satan for that matter that can MAKE us do what we don't want to do. We can be charmed, we can be cajoled, we can have it suggested, we can be harangued for that matter to give into our baser selves and act against what we know is best.  However, and this is a big however, we are NOT FREE to choose the consequences of our actions or inactions.  This is why agency is not free.  There is always a price to pay.

This goes for what people have done to us in the past.  They have their agency also.  And unfortunately the consequences made from their poor use of agency ripple down to us. 

Yes, there are horrible things that happen in this world.  My heart hurts from the abuses made against women and children.  Jesus said in Matthew 18:6 (also in Mark and Luke)
But those who offend cannot hide from God even in the depths of the sea.  

And yes, the pain people who offend leave in their wake can be devastating.  But we have the opportunity to use our agency to move past this pain.  We don't have to continue being victims to the pain someone has inflicted on us.

And this is why I do not believe that God "gives" us challenges.  He gives us agency.  He allows bad things to happen to people (good and bad alike) because that is His gift to us.  To take the hand that was dealt to us and make our lives better. 

Do you think He wants us to be miserable?  NO!  Remember, that is Satan's tactic.  To use our agency to become miserable. God is our Heavenly Father.  A true and loving person who wants us to be happy.  Who wants us to have joy.  He knows we will fall down over and over and over again in this lifetime and he hopes we will continue to get up, dust ourselves off and keep on going.  

We choose our unhappiness.  We choose how we react to situations.  We choose our joy. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Rules For Engagement

How to communicate efficiently with me: (this shouldn't be a list exclusive to me, people.)


1.  Call me directly if you have any comments, questions, or criticisms.
2.  Email me directly if you have any comments, questions, or criticisms.
3.  Text me directly if you have any comments, questions, or criticisms.
4.  Talk to me directly if you have any comments, questions, or criticisms.
5.  Expect me to listen to you and plan on me sympathizing, empathizing, agreeing, OR disagreeing with you.
6.  Expect me to be polite whether I agree with you or not.
7.  Speak to me with a normal tone of voice.
8.  Make sure you have your facts straight before you talk to me.
9.  Once you start something with me make sure you are ready to finish it.
10. Expect me to disagree with you.
11. Expect me to agree with you.


1.  Don't talk to everyone but me about any comments, questions, or criticisms you have.  That's called gossip.
2.  Don't talk down to me.
3.  Don't use your snarkiest voice with me.
4.  Don't accuse me of things before you get your facts straight.
5.  Don't start something with me and then walk away because I don't agree with you.
6.  Don't call me names.
7.  Don't assume I'm going to disagree with you.
8.  Don't assume I'm going to be unsympathetic.
9.  Don't assume I'm going to agree with you.

And the lists could go on.......

I'm actually a very easy person to get along with.  Now that I'm medicated.  I rarely, if ever, get really angry and most likely will sympathize with you and even if it's not my problem will help in any way I can to make the situation easy for you.  However, if you come at me claws bared and in attack stance before I even know what the hell is going on.....expect a fight.  I won't take your crap.

One more thing?  I can not be bullied.  It's that simple.  I was raised by a bully.  She was 6 feet tall and 200 pounds of mean.  She would push her way through every situation making sure she got her way, always.  I learned two things from this:  1.  That's not nice.  2.  I can't be bullied so don't even try.  I know how to fight back and I am mean when I have to be.  I stand up for myself and take control of my life. Nobody else will do it for me.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Second Class Citizen

When I was about 5 years old my mom staged one of her protests with a church leader.  It was Mother's Day and the bishop of our ward (that's Mormon speak for the lay leader of our congregation) a real misogynist, got up in the adult Sunday School class and told those in attendance that women were second class citizens in the church.  That men, because they hold the priesthood, were better than women and that he'd been able to get a general church leader to admit to this.  On Mother's Day!! This was back in the day when we'd go to church three times on Sunday.  My mother had time to ruminate on this all afternoon so when it was time to get ready to go back to church that evening for Sacrament Meeting (which used to be 2 hours long) my mother put on her loudest pair of polyester pants and got into the car to go.  I. Was. Mortified.  One did not wear pants to church!  My dad was in the bishopric at the time and was already on the stand.  My mother waited until the service was just about ready to start then marched my sister and I up the aisle to the front row and plunked herself down in front of the bishop.  He was pissed!  And my poor passive father just sat there....what could he do?  And I lay across my mother's lap trying to hide her shame.

Funny story but it goes to prove a point to a jerk:  Don't mess with a strong woman.  You will not win.

It's because of examples like this and others my mother (and others) have made over her lifetime that I have NEVER felt like a second class in the Church or life in general.  I just don't.

A month or so ago some unmarried "feminist Mormon" woman in Salt Lake decided to post a protest against the Church getting women to wear pants to church on a specific Sunday.  Because that'll learn 'em for sure!  Stupidest.  Protest.  Ever.  I think Utah is the only place women wearing pants to church would be an issue.  On my mission in Minnesota and Wisconsin women wore pants to church because it was cold.  And in my husband's ward in Michigan his Grandmommy wore nice pants suits quite often as did other women in that ward.

The day after this protest I was at work (I do housekeeping at the Mt Timpanogos LDS Temple) and one of my volunteers, a young man, said he didn't understand this protest and why women would feel like this.  My answer to him was, "Not all girls have had the same upbringing.  Not all women have had the same experiences in life.  Some were brought up to feel like they were less because they were born a girl.  Everyone's experience in life is different and those experiences are what shape our minds and our ideas.  This is why some women would feel this way."

I, however, like to wear skirts and dresses.  I feel more reverent when I'm wearing a dress or skirt to church.  Plus, I have great legs so......

A few minutes ago someone on Twitter said something about an article she had read and that it hadn't changed her mind.  You can read it here.  It's entitled "I Am a Mormon Because I'm a Feminist".  Go ahead and read it.  It's scholarly and some of it is a little iffy to me but the message is a good one that men and women have joint responsibilities in the whole scheme of God and creation and one is not better than the other.  I have always believed this.

I have never had a problem with plural marriage (polygamy).  I have never had a problem with women not having the priesthood.  I have never had a problem with women not being bishops.  I have never had a problem with not having a penis.  As Elaine Bennes once said, "I don't know how you walk around with those things."

I enjoy being a woman.  I enjoy nurturing my children.  I enjoy being the one to be pregnant and lactate for them.  I enjoy being the one who wears the dress on Sunday.

I do have a problem with men trying to make women look and feel like second class citizens.  I have a problem with companies not paying women the same as they pay men for the same job.  I have a problem with men leaving women to take care of their children that they both created and not paying for it.  There is a lot of inequality out there on the part of women.  It's true.  I'm not denying this. But I DO NOT FEEL LIKE A SECOND CLASS CITIZEN.

 Maybe because it's the way I was raised.  Maybe it's the personality I was born with.  (dangling participle there.)  Maybe it's because I choose not to feel this way.  But I'll tell you one thing: I'm glad of it.  It sure does bring me peace and it's one less thing to fight myself and others over.

The end.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Just Don't Do It!

In November I was talking to a woman  and asked her if she could do something for me and she said, "No...I'm sorry.  I feel bad saying 'no'."  I wanted to hit her. 

Why do women do that?  Feel bad for setting boundaries for themselves and saying no? Who made up the rule that to say no is a sin?

I am in my church congregation's women's presidency--in Mormon speak I'm in the Relief Society Presidency.  I went to the President right then and said, "I'm giving the lesson in January. We're having a tutorial on the word 'No'."  Here it is:

"This summer my mother died and I was feeling down and then the summer ended and school started and I kept feeling worse.  I realized that my medication wasn't working very well and that after 7 years on the same medication I probably needed a change.  I tend to hide from people, situations, duties, etc. when I'm depressed and I was really hiding.  It took me until the end of November to get in to see my psychiatrist to assess my medication.  I have a lot of duties, civic and church, that I'm involved with and I wasn't doing them.  I said to my husband, I really feel like I am running faster than I have strength. (Mosiah 4:27 in the Book of Mormon)  I didn't have the mental capacity to do all the things I needed to do.  My mental health was suffering.

I was talking to the girl that waxes me the other day about her 5 jobs she'd mentioned she has.  Her husband goes to school and she is the bread winner in her family.  At one point she had several jobs that she did and that she hated.  Her husband told her that she did it to herself, which made her mad because here she is supporting the family and he's criticizing her--which he really wasn't.  She realized he was right.  Just because she works doesn't mean she has to do something she hates.  So she switched her focus and found things she likes to do and she and her husband are much happier.

Third story:  The other councellor who is over our monthly midweek Relief Society meetings had done a craft evening wherein a lot of the crafts had not been picked up or paid for.  She decided that she was going to take the rest home and finish them to give to the widowed and/or alone ladies in our ward (congregation).  This is a wonderful thing to do if you aren't getting ready to move, have 2 small children, teach 3 craft classes already, etc, etc, etc.  She came to church and said, "I don't think I'm going to be able to do this.  I'm really sorry."  I hadn't heard she was going to do it and after finding out the information said, "Do they KNOW you are doing this for them?" She said they didn't and then I said, "Then we're not doing it!"  Then she thanked me for allowing her to say no. 

Ladies, you don't have to have permission to say, NO!  It's not a bad word.  It's actually an awesome word.  It's a word that allows you to put boundaries on yourself, to keep yourselves mentally and physically well.

Think of all the things you do as a woman, wife, and mother:  laundress, chauffeur, we work outside the home, cook, clean, take care of our neighbors, eat, sleep, exercise, attend civic meetings, church activities, church assignments, take care of our parents, brothers and sisters, etc. Out of all the activities you do which ones are essential?  Eating and sleeping.  The laundry will wait.  The kids have feet to walk.  The dishes can wait until tomorrow.  Kids can eat ramen.

Why do we take on so much in our lives?  Why don't we say no?  Because we feel guilty.  Because we feel like we "should" be doing these things. 

My husband--the marriage and family therapist--often tells his female clients

                          Don't Should All Over Yourself!!

From here on out you are only to feel guilty if you do something:

1.  Mean
2.  Wrong
3.  Unfair

Otherwise, you are not allowed to waste good guilt energy.

God gives us guilt so good people will feel bad when they do something bad.  Then we will fix the problem so we can feel good again.  Satan wants us to feel bad about ourselves so we will be miserable like unto himself.  He wants us to feel bad and to think that we are inherently evil.  But we aren't.  He want us to run faster than we have strength.

In the Book of Mormon, Mosiah 4:26-27 tells us:

 26 And now, for the sake of these things which I have spoken unto you—that is, for the sake of retaining a remission of your sins from day to day, that ye may awalk guiltless before God—I would that ye should bimpart of your substance to the cpoor, every man according to that which he hath, such as dfeeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief, both spiritually and temporally, according to their wants.
 27 And see that all these things are done in wisdom and aorder; for it is not requisite that a man should run bfaster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.

The Lord tells us that although we are already saved by his grace and merits that we are to continue to do good to our fellow man however, it is not REQUIRED that a man should run faster than he has strength.  That we should work hard but all things should be done in order and wisdom.  

In other words:  If you don't have time, money, or energy or even if you don't want to make dinner for a sick ward member then say NO! and leave it at that.   If you don't want to share your Mother's Day chocolates with your children then don't--in fact you shouldn't!  If you don't want to be on the PTA then don't say yes.  

Create boundaries, ladies.  Say NO!  And remember, Don't should all over yourselves.


You know what I like about winter?  Nothing.

Well, alright.  Hot chocolate and  tea are good.  And flannel sheets.  My Uggs are pretty awesome.  Christmas lights and Christmas trees and Christmas.  As long as it's cold there may as well be snow.  Soup is wonderful, too.  All the comfort foods......and that's about it.

I don't ski, or snowshoe, or even snowmobile.  So you see, all but the few above mentioned things winter is pretty useless for me.