Natasha is a Kiwi, born of English parents, married to a South African, living in Australia, and reckons that her take on life is probably about as screwed up as her accent. She considers cake and chocolate to be two essential parts of a well balanced life, and is often called a cow by her best friend in between mouthfuls and much laughter.
Am I a cow?
It’s a fair question if you’re me.
I’ve never been the type of friend who tells you your dress is gorgeous when it’s obviously highlighting every bit of flab on your body.
I’ll never tell you the man you’re dating is wonderful if you’ve clearly lowered your standards to date him solely because you’re lonely.
And I’ll never just sit back and watch you make decisions in your life that will take you on a path away from Heavenly Father without telling you in no uncertain terms that you are being an idiot.
So does that me a cow? Before you decide, hear me out. Continue reading
Disclaimer: Admittedly, I am on a soapbox today. I find myself completely unapologetic about that.
I’m not in the habit of rewriting scripture, but there is a particular verse in James to which I would like to take my red pen:
Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. (James 1:27)
I still remember the time a divorcée who had just moved into my ward called my house and asked for my husband. I don’t remember what exactly she needed, except that she needed a priesthood bearer, she had already met my husband, he gave her our number, and she thought to call him. I didn’t give it a second thought until later, after I met her myself, when she explained to me that some people do give it a second thought and aren’t entirely comfortable associating (or particularly allowing their husbands to associate) with divorcées.
I had no idea. Continue reading
Over the last year, our ward leadership has made several calls for increased reverence. I admit that I am a repeat offender. I am not one to stay in a row where planted. I do understand the value of quiet devotion. One of my favorite psalms admonishes me to “Be still and know that I am God.” When I actually unplug from the world around me and train my attention towards that which transcends my household chores, I do feel an otherworldly peace.
Sometimes this happens by design during the passing of the sacrament or during a talk from the pulpit. But I also believe that small, unscripted moments at church have power to transform lives. While at the church building, I delight in observing my brothers and sisters connect meaningfully with each other in the halls and stalls.
“Remember who you are.”
My siblings and I did not leave the house for a date or social activity without hearing those words from my father. I believe it was a tradition handed down from his parents and was just as much a reminder to honor the family name as to be mindful of the name we take upon ourselves every Sunday. Being teenagers, we were likely oblivious to the full significance of both meanings. But there was still a power in those words and in the love we felt behind them.
Now, some thirty years later, I often find myself surrounded by even louder voices trying to make me forget who I am. Continue reading
The other day while I was at work I received a text message from a friend of mine asking me what my day was like. I asked her what was up and this was her reply:
“The kids and I are sick and have been all weekend. I want some comfort food. I can’t bear the thought of opening another can of Campbell’s. I’m wondering if you’re not busy if you could make us a simple soup. And you know how I HATE to ask.” Continue reading