The Morning of the Resurrection

For Family Home Evening a few weeks I decided to do an Easter scavenger hunt so my kids could start thinking about the upcoming holiday. After looking at the dark things we collected (dirt, a piece of black plastic, a dead beetle), we read in the scriptures about the storms and darkness that covered the Earth when the Savior died. “Mom, in the movies it always rains during funerals, but that’s not always how it is, right?” one of my kids asked. “No,” I responded, “funerals happen any time, even when it’s sunny.” I thought about the time in my life when every year, and particularly every summer, seemed to bring a new funeral for someone I loved. Continue reading

Unselfish creativity?

About a month ago, while reading Elder Eyring’s First Presidency message in the February Ensign, I was struck—and stricken—by his admonition to be less selfish: “The Lord taught us that when we are truly converted to His gospel, our hearts will be turned from selfish concerns and turned toward service to lift others as they move upward to eternal life.”

Parenthood has cured some—but not nearly all—of my selfish propensities, but I struggle with ways to be more selfless, particularly as a writer. In the intervening month, I’ve wrestled with the question: how can I be both increasingly selfless *and* creative? As a writer, I have to carve time for myself—time away from my husband, my children, from other people I could be serving. Much of my creative energy gets spent in pursuits that appear, on the surface, to be selfish.

“True creativity does not depend

We’re told repeatedly to develop our talents. My own talent for writing is one I feel prompted to pursue. And yet I still struggle with guilt, with the feeling that my creative needs are not only an indulgence, but a selfish one at that.

I’m (slowly) coming to believe that my problem is two-fold: part of my problem stems from a cultural conditioning, particularly of women. And part of it stems from a too-narrow understanding of creativity. Continue reading

Scarcity and Prayer

119HThe answer came as a little rectangle of paper, a few lines printed across it, nothing else. As answers to prayers went, I was decidedly underwhelmed.

I sighed, and scrunched my eyes a little tighter to squeeze whatever other clue out I could get.

A little piece of paper, some empty lines… and a smoothed lead pencil. Ah… recognition. In response, a blink type effect, then two names are there, carefully pressed into the paper. My ex-husband’s name, and his wife’s.

I am not a god of scarcity.

Huh. I ended my prayer and rolled into bed mulling the answer over like it was a loose tooth.

I’ve been wrecking myself against some significant decisions lately. I’ve had the stresses of starting a new job, beginning the second year of my degree, my youngest has started high school, and my oldest is in his final year. I’ve come home some nights late in the evening, to the assorted messes and heavy slumbering heat two teenagers can make, and wondered just what on earth I was trying to do with my life. Continue reading

Peculiar Treasures: The View From Here, There and Up Everywhere

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Welcome to another week, and another delicious array of internet delicacies and substantial mindfulls to get you going.

Did you know yesterday was World Water Day? Do you like long showers? Check out how the two sentiments don’t cancel each other out.

What about the birth of a baby girl causing her Mum/Mom to realise “There is nothing fragile about feminine power” (and that those little baby hair clips are awesome)? In a similar fashion, Shannon Hale discusses the sexist double standard of children’s literature (big hint: children’s books are for children, not “just” boys or “just” girls).

Then this article discusses how to raise “joyful readers”, which ties beautifully into this gorgeous collection of beautiful libraries around the world.  If libraries aren’t your cup of architectural delight, what about these churches, shot to show their vertical splendour? (Warning, you may get a bit dizzy scrolling through, but it’s amazing).

I have to admit, some of those library and church ceilings and intricate corners made me wonder “Who cleans that? What name would the person responsible for the dusting and teams of workers?” Because recognising work is actually work is important, as this defender of the term “stay-at-home-Mom” passionately argues.

Motherhood is different for everyone, and this photographic essay captures work and motherhood in a graceful way, with many different ages and outfits.  There’s also success hidden in wrinkles and higher age brackets in this piece, as many phenomenal people show that success happens at all ages.

Discussion and contemplation don’t have a time limit either, with this writer sharing how she spoke of priesthood power while teaching a Primary class, and this piece in response to the first, disagreeing on several points while recognising the need “to be a part of the conversation” about revelation about the priesthood.

If Monday has brought some mortal coil dissatisfaction, why not consider your body to be not your masterpiece, but the paintbrush you use? And if you want a spirit animal to help you through the post-weekend clean up and carry on, what about this dog running the Iditarod blind?

Last of all, do you think happiness is being considered a virtue? And, by association, struggle as something of a failure or faith related deficit? This post has some definite food for thought, and also provides this week’s First Draft poetry, in providing a Found Poem (I think the first paragraph could be one too).

Walking in faith

through hard things,

while acknowledging they’re hard,

is beautiful.

There is a vulnerability in

taking off

the mask of positivity and

allowing yourself

to feel what you

feel.

The irony is, God knows anyway.

We’re only fooling

ourselves

and each

other.