All posts by Kellie

About Kellie

(Blog Editor) lives way on the other side of the planet in her native Australia and gives thanks for the internet regularly. She loves books, her boys, panna cotta, collecting words, being a redhead and not putting things in order of importance when listing items. She credits writing at as a major contributing factor to surviving her life with sanity mostly intact, though her (in)sanity level is subject to change without warning.

Forgiveness Comes From Without

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In one aspect of his life, my ex-husband is incredibly generous: he gives me countless opportunities to practice forgiveness. Time and repetition have not made forgiveness easier. If anything, my anger and disappointment have leaked into other areas of life, instead of immediately charring to blackened curls on the most recent act of stupidity.

Leaked, because instead of having charity, there have been times when I have wanted to go and break my hand punching him, and the lack of his address was the only save/spoiler. Other times, I am so bitterly disappointed in myself at being surprised by his behaviour that eucalyptus and lemon scent the air around me, which then cooks into steam in my fury. Then, sodden with my emotions and burdens, I flash fry everything within arms reach in frustrated realisation – now I have to try and forgive myself as WELL as the idiot I once loved.

Forgiveness hurts. Like when it’s left me cramping in a corner, trying to straighten out my fingers, because countless things I’ve forgiven have had my claw marks on them by the time God gets them. At times, the knowledge of how hard I’d have to work to repent and forgive has been the only barrier stopping me from hating my ex-husband. (That doesn’t mean I haven’t straddled that fence, wondering if I could still deliver a good kick from where I’m fuming). Sometimes, the only reason I can forgive others is because sometimes I see them in my sons.

Forgiveness hurts. It hurts right in your heart, and in the middle of your throat, and at 4pm on a sweaty afternoon when you’re struck mute at the beauty, majesty, stench and brilliance of your first born son, who clears his throat exactly the same way as his father and grandfather, and who has a mole just like his Oma’s above his lip. Forgiveness hurts as it burrows into the dry, desiccated threads of your uncertain soul, only to pour out glorias and exultation as your youngest drums out a crazy solo on the soft belly his paternal family has gifted him with. Forgiveness hurts as the love I have for my boys swamps me like an endless ocean, flooding back up the genetic ladder, until I’m unable to hate the flawed, frozen, fragile people that have had starring roles in creating my cruelest memories and – above all, and ultimately – my sons’ bodies, which house such incredible souls.

Forgiveness hurts. It cracks me open, from my furious logic to my scared, scarred heart, and scatters pieces of me into new, aching alignment. It hurts. The cracks are wide, fathomless, gentle and ferocious. The cracks are where the light gets in, swirls, soaks, soothes and – hopefully, thankfully, eventually – sweeps away to shine on others, even those lost in the dark.

Have you ever found your self at forgiveness, from an unexpected angle? How do you stop yourself being furious, hurt or betrayed at someone?

Food, Rules, Ruses, Prizes, Surprises and Moods – Another Peculiar Treasure!

[Clive Birtles at the wheel of the car with the dog, Wowser]Hold on to your internets, because we have some fascinating gems for you to start off your week.

Start your week – and day – off right with breakfast all around the world. Then consider when breast isn’t best but impossible, and the serious science behind fecal transplants (delivered orally for vital health changes and outcomes).

Thanksgiving’s approaching – what does the bird have to do with Madagascar? The Turkey has a long and odd history – what rules do you have about accepting what you read about history? And with nine weeks until Christmas, how would you wrap a memory, or kid-orientated tools? For your own delight, would you like a book about the making of a classic movie? As you wish.

Maybe surprises are more your thing – like this twelve-year old girl’s blog about her upcoming marriage. Or the unexpected issues that come with being awarded a Nobel Prize. Or the strength, support and love of being the first endorsed, female Chaplain in the LDS Church. Speaking of decisions, what about when you want to be bossy on someone else’s behalf, as their friend or in giving service? Then again, it’s Monday, and some of us are already planning some creative procrastination (or hopefully finding ways to fight it).

Finally, our First Draft Poetry, written by Emily M., inspired by the Nobel Prize airport security piece:

The Fargo TSA Inspectors Discover Gold

His grandma lived in Fargo

and she wanted to see

what the Swedish king

gave her grandson.


So did the TSA:

a round disk,

pure gold,

absorbing all x-rays.


And even a Nobel-prize-winning

economist cannot answer

all the baffled questions

so much gold will bring.


I myself have flown with gold

(-en haired children)

to the bemusement of the TSA

in and out of diapers, carseats,

strollers, lines, arms.


Their precious weight

complicates my travels:

both the reason for my journey

and the reason I am so often


The October Segullah Journal is Ready and Waiting!

As Fall flashes her brilliance in the Northern Hemisphere, Spring is showing off in the Southern half – my Instagram feed is full of Autumn/Fall colours and early vegetable seedlings being coaxed into the warming earth. Segullah is also flowering and fruiting with this month’s Journal!

Sandra Jergensen shares her hopes and waning garden, and Kelsey Petersen relates the unexpected fruits of pride and humility. So open your windows to the warm/cool breezes, and open a browser to our October offerings. And remember – we are always looking for submissions!

Peculiar Treasures: Pizza, Pants and Near Death Experiences


Welcome! Before the week steams ahead, here’s our Peculiar Treasures column, where Segullah staffers share what has caught their attention over the past week.

Let’s start with some classic rock – though I’m guessing you may be just as surprised as I was to find out The Osmond’s met and were influenced by Led Zeppelin. If modern pop is more your style, check out this LDS-styled parody, featuring an adorable, lovestruck four year old.

Regardless of if your Monday involves being at home with/out kids or somewhere else working, consider the luxury of being at home, and the jewel-hued brilliance of being a God-loving woman, wherever and however you work.

When people come over to visit, or drop by unexpectedly, do you apologise for your appearance, your house, your whatever? Is it you, is it cultural, is it seeking perfection?

Another way to open your heart is with Humans of Amman. Similar to Humans of New York, these photographic tiny interviews are available on Facebook (search for Humans of Amman), Instagram or Tumblr.

Do you doodle designs on paper, napkins, in books or any available surface? Turns out you’re not the first, though probably not likely to have your distraction curated centuries later.

Were you first, back in the 80’s and 90’s, to take part in Pizza Hut’s BOOK IT! program? Well guess what? It’s back! (Even better, it’s for adults).

If you’re going to brace for that much pizza, or the week ahead, follow this illustrated guide on how to gird up your loins! (I’ll be definitely using this in this month’s Faith in God activity.)

If you’re frustrating in trying to comfortably gird your daughter’s loins, have you seen this Mom’s investigation of kids clothing – specifically shorts – at Target, and Target’s reply?

Sweeten your mind’s eye with twelve amazing sites with gorgeous free photography (maybe to prompt a piece to submit to us?) and with this museum’s mini art lessons in under 3 minutes. Or read what people have seen and felt as they have come close to death (and the trouble science is having in catching up and explaining it all).

That’s it! It’s a wrap! Anyone else reminded of Sophia Loren teaching how to eat pizza properly from Houseboat? So, to this week’s First Draft Poetry, called Classic Carbs.

Black and white movies

show the beauty of dresses

and folded pizza

Have a great week!

What are your thoughts on any of the above links? How do you eat your pizza?

Not Putting Off the Natural Woman

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I had day surgery recently, and while the procedure itself went well, the post-operative pain medications didn’t work. They didn’t even touch the sides of what I was feeling, except to make everyone sound as if they were talking to me from a sealed spacesuit. It got to the point that I was pacing, panting with the ripping nerves and rolling pain, when the nurse took out my IV line, rang my friend to come collect me, and let me go home “since we can’t do anything else for you here. Make sure they know next time those meds don’t work on you.”

I don’t remember much of the trip home, because the natural woman I share my body with was counting down the minutes until I’d be behind my front door. And I’ll tell you what, that natural woman is LOUD.

But that natural woman also knows what’s she’s on about. For the previous hour she’d been growling “We need to have a shower. A really really HOT shower. We need to go home. To have a shower” constantly. It made no sense to me, but I could feel the gravity of the need crushing my bones, twanging along my gut and legs, her sure confidence soothing my intense, nauseous unhappiness. And as soon as I got in the shower, the mirror already blank, the air fogged, she and I both groaned – deep, guttural and grateful.

This is what I needed. The thought flopped, exhausted, out my ear and floated away down the drain as my eyes closed in weary relief. Sure, the scriptures say to put away the natural woman, but right now I love her beyond words and coherence.

I prayed, curled in on myself, cheek against the shower floor, thankful for my body, albeit rather critical of the particular design flaws involved in my pain, for instant hot water, overwhelmingly and repeatedly muttering thank you for my natural woman.

My natural woman demanded raspberries last week, for self-medication and reward after an emotionally gutting day. She also squealed when I was cleared to start running again, and her eyes roll back in delight when I moisturise. My natural woman tells the holy spirit to stuff it when my answers to prayer are decidedly sideways to what I wanted, screams stress into pillows and sulks before sidling up to God, kicking the ground and muttering “Sorry. I’m sorry. But it still sucks.”

My natural woman loves life, loves me, loves God as a result. She’s like hope – loud, wearing big boots and laughs like a waterfall falling on your head.

Do you listen to your body, to your natural woman? What makes your physical self happy, and does it make YOU happy as a result? Has there been something in your life lately that has made you thankful for having a physical self to wrap your self in?