Have you cut your hay where you had no right to or turned your animals into another person’s grain or field, without his knowledge or consent?
Have you branded an animal that you did not know to be your own?
Do you wash your body and have your family do so as often as health and cleanliness require and circumstances will permit?
During the Mormon Reformation era of 1856-57, church leaders devised a catechism of questions asked of apostles, bishops, missionaries and regular church members to discover areas of personal attitudes and behavior that could use improvement. These were among the questions asked. These soul-searching questions and others designed to measure spiritual and behavioral commitment to the church had an influence on our contemporary temple recommend interviews.
I renewed my temple recommend this past week, and the experience caused me some useful introspection. Read more
Last September, after sixteen years of having a child at home, I watched my youngest trudge up the stairs of a big yellow school bus, his backpack filled with the accoutrements of all-day Kindergarten. I’d never cried when my other three children had gone to Kindergarten — they were ready, I was ready — but this time was different. Not only was my youngest son my baby (could he really be ready?) but his leaving represented a significant shift in my life as well. My kids were all in school. I’d entered the next phase. Read more
Please note: the opinions and experiences expressed in this blog post are my own and any statements I make about my personal experience with motherhood are not intended to invalidate or demean anyone else’s. We each have our own journey through life, and as women, we all have our own perspective on motherhood. This is mine.
To begin, I’m going to make two shocking statements: First, I don’t really like little kids. Second, I really hate crafts. There I said it. It’s not that I don’t appreciate little kids – they’re cute and all, and I really love mine, but…I’m not the person who asks to hold other people’s babies or who has a gift for engaging little ones. I certainly respect people who work with little kids. Preschool and Kindergarten teachers should be the highest paid professionals in the country. As for crafts? Hate really isn’t a strong enough word. I loathe all crafting activities. I have no skill for sewing, knitting, crocheting, painting, stenciling, or decoupage and I genuinely dislike doing it. I would rather teach the Krebs cycle than scrapbook. I’m just wired differently.
When I was in high school, one of my only options for making money was babysitting, but I quickly realized that childcare was not my arena of expertise. Playing with Barbies, trucks, Legos, playdough, singing songs, and making up games? Gouge-my-eyes-out-boring. I felt a desperate panic when I realized that I had to entertain the kids I was watching between dinner and bedtime. Taking care of infants was terrifying – they were tiny bundles of need and chaos. I could never discern what need hadn’t been met in order to quell the crying. But I needed the cash, so I did it. When I got a little older and had an opportunity to work in a lab as a high school intern, I fled the world of babysitting with relief. I loved the laboratory – it was clean, quiet, organized, and predictable. I was never required to be creative or engaging to diminutive humans. I was in my niche. Read more
Growing up I watched most adults in my life pursue and stick with one generally linear career track (my dad still works for the same company he started with 32 years ago and my mother has always stayed a home). From the time I got ideas about what I wanted to study and do with my life I naturally started putting my life plans together in a similar fashion. Lo, and behold, life didn’t go according to the ideal plan. I realized what my strengths were and were not and changed my major, and altered my plans. Then I got married and factored in my husband and factored our plans together. I always planned on graduate school and careers that required in, but I didn’t do it as the time I had planned on. Kids, several moves, and general growing up caused me to reshuffle again and again. Suddenly my life plans and career track looked more like a meandering maze than the direct path I had intended. Surprise, surprise. Read more
We come together in the early morning dark, on street corners or in front of our houses, whispering our greetings to each other. We have sleep in our voices, and mascara under our eyes, with hair pulled back in hasty ponytails. No one cares that I wear the same thing almost every single morning.
Under the cover of darkness, we know each other intimately. When we’re running side by side, it’s somehow easier to talk about the mean girl in my daughter’s class, or her struggles with her calling. Nothing is off limits– we talk about doubt and faith, the joys and sorrows of our husbands and children, politics (even when we disagree), sex, how we all want more sleep and less time on the sidelines at soccer games, vacation plans, periods, grocery shopping, shaving our legs, recipes, why we don’t want to have another baby, why we’re dying to go back to work, who gives the best pedicures, and all our fears. Read more