My United Methodist Confirmation Class. I'm on the right in the front row.
I know this may be tempting the fates, but I have never yet served in the Young Women’s program. When I joined the church in college in Massachusetts, I joined a university ward that only had adult programs. I had all manner of wonderful role models – male and especially female. I had mentors of great wisdom, devotion, intelligence and commitment. Rather than saying I stand on the shoulders of giants, I like to think I was nurtured in the laps of sages.
There’s a gap for me, though. What is it like to grow up in the Young Women’s program? Would I view things differently if I had? What did I miss? Continue reading
Last fall I talked briefly about how, in 1999, we discovered that my husband’s trusted business partner had been embezzling large sums of money and engaging in some other dishonest business practices that put my husband’s company in jeopardy and almost drove us to bankruptcy. This man had stood in the priesthood circle just months before when my husband blessed our baby daughter; we were good friends with his family; he held a position of some prominence in his ward. As the extent of his crimes came to light and we grappled with our feelings of shock, betrayal, and anger, I boiled with hatred for this man and wanted to see him punished. Excommunication, jail time, drawing and quartering, and a public hanging would not have been enough: I wanted to see him burn in hell. Continue reading
We kept our First Estate. Presumably we’re keeping our Second Estate. But have you ever tried to offload Real Estate? For me selling our house in Massachusetts was an opportunity for friendship, interfaith bridging, and an exploration of the tokens and tchotchkes of our religions. Continue reading
Today’s post comes from Judy Kay Frome. She is the third of eight children and was raised on a small dairy farm in Wyoming. She has five children and four grandchildren and currently lives in Las Vegas, NV, where she teaches fourth grade. Her writing has been published in the New Era and the Ensign and at http://earthsignmamawrites.blogspot.com/
Most people who know me probably wouldn’t use the word “patient” in a description of my characteristics. I have numerous scars on my hands and fingers that are the result of impatient actions—vigorously washing dishes and breaking them; quickly grabbing for some sharp implement and hurting myself; cramming something into place that actually needed gentle coaxing and causing a cut or a slash on my hands. It’s a gene-pool thing according to my husband: he worked with my grandfather and great-uncles. They were usually set on “high,” “fast,” and “zoom”. I know, we aren’t lackadaisical. I used to think my gung-ho style was an asset. (And sometimes it is—don’t get me wrong.) But, in a spiritual, philosophical, metaphysical way, it is a handicap. Let me explain. Continue reading
Twenty-one years ago I wrote the following in my daughter’s baby journal: “It’s a lovely morning—sunny, yet hazy in the hills with wisps of fog. The baby and I have had a pleasant morning playing downstairs. She squealed and rocked on her hands and knees as I played her Raffi tape. Then I fed her a little cereal and read her her Spot books. Now, as I sit with her on my lap, feeding her with her little spoon and listening to her smack her lips and say, ‘Hmmm,’ her Baby Beluga tape playing in the background, with just the two of us sharing this happy day, I wonder, did I ever know pure happiness until this moment?”
This past weekend I read an article in the Deseret News entitled, “Why Children?” in which the author, Michael de Groote, discussed happiness and parenting. According to the studies cited in the article, the two don’t go together. “Scientific studies have found that having children does not increase happiness. In fact, experts say it has the opposite effect,” says De Groote, and he claims that these findings “are confirmed across decades of research.” He refers to a 1989 study that concluded that “parents with children at home worry more, feel less efficacious and are less happy with their marriages than nonparents,” then goes on to quote a Harvard psychology professor who asserts that most couples’ happiness begins to decline when children come along; this decline is especially acute when children are small and when they become adolescents, with couples returning to their pre-parenting happiness levels only after their children leave the nest. In another study cited in the article, researchers assert that “the best evidence now available indicates that the present young adults should not decide to have children on the basis of expectations that parenthood will lead to psychological rewards in the later stages of life. The prospects for such rewards seem rather dim, at best.” Continue reading