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Seeing Signs

By Melissa Young

In January of 2015, I decided to collect all of the coins I found on the street during my runs. It was a random whim, something I did to remind myself of how we measure value, and of all the goodness that is both lost and found in the world. I found an inordinate amount …

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MY DECEASED SON’S ANSWER TO WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT

By Kellie Purcill

Melissa Dalton-Bradford has written an incredible piece of heartfullness recently on her blog, which we want to share with you all. Her most recent book, On Loss and Living Onward, is exquisitely wrenching, poetic and magnificent – if you haven’t read it, I cannot recommend it highly enough. Breathe deep, dear ones, and read on …

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Favorite Words!

By Linda Hoffman Kimball

kumquatsAt a recent writer’s conference, the presenter asked us to write down five of our favorite words. This is a challenge best done quickly without a lot of overthinking. So quick, right now – what are five of YOUR favorite words? You’ve got one minute.

…Tick, tick, tick, tick… Time’s up!

Here are the five I came up with – and why.

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Rhetorical Questions

By Linda Hoffman Kimball

Questions to ruminate over

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.

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What’s in a name?

By Melissa Young

I remember the first time I found out what my name means. I’m guessing the only reason I have this memory is because I was old enough to wonder and to have unknowingly formed an expectation. Without realizing it, I assumed that the meaning of my name would provide some great insight, reveal some hidden meaning about my inner self and my purpose in life.

So you can imagine my reaction when I found out that “Melissa” means “honeybee.”

Ew.

I’m a bug?

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Wasn’t there supposed to be more to it than this?

By Rosalyn Eves

Our UP CLOSE topic this month is on motherhood.  We are pleased to bring you this piece from guest author Rosalyn Eves.  She is a (mostly) stay-at-home mom to two young children, currently living in Southern Utah with her chemistry professor husband. She has a BA in English from BYU and an MA and PhD in English from Penn State, which she puts to  use by teaching the occasional composition class at a local university. In the little spare time that she has she reads, writes, occasionally runs, and generally avoids housework.

Before my first child was born, a good friend took me aside and warned me, “One of the hardest parts about being a mother is the boredom.” I looked around me at her comfortable home; at her two blond-haired blue-eyed children looking at a picture book near our feet; at the quilting project slung half-finished over the sewing machine; at the partially constructed puzzle on the floor–and I didn’t believe her.

Then I had my son. Once the initial shock and exhaustion wore off, I started to wonder if maybe my friend was right. Sure, there were those exalted moments when I snuggled my cheek against his, when I watched the tiny play of movement across his face while he slept, when we read books together and he laughed–but in between those moments were other, less exalting events: countless iterations of diaper changes, settling–again–in the chair where I seemed to nurse endlessly, and even, sometimes, trying to play with my son. Although he was fascinated by the colored blocks I offered him, there was only so much interest I could sustain in them.

This wasn’t exactly what I’d pictured when I signed up for motherhood. Wasn’t there supposed to be more to it than this? Wasn’t this supposed to be the most fulfilling thing I would do with my life?

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No Respecter of Ornaments

By Leslie Graff

“Do we have to put them all up this year?,” my husband grumbles as he shuffles down a few trees and a dozen freezing cold boxes from the attic. “Yes, all of them!,” I assert, with some insistence. “In the Graff house we are no respecter of ornaments. It’s a matter of principle.” Everyone is welcome …

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