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Twenty-Five Days

Having folded the contents with precision, I sealed the package and affixed the customs declaration. “How long will this take to reach the US?” I queried the Chinese-Australian who ran my local post shop.   “Nowadays it takes about twenty-five days,” he said. “Sometimes less. Depends on US customs. It’s something important?”   The postie …

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Psalm of the Everyday Woman

By Elizabeth Pinborough

Let me come to Your good garden, Lord, open Ye her gates. Nurture me there, Lord, my soul is cast down. Till in my heart, Lord, rows of good earth, brim with seeds and watered with Thy grace. You are the Gardner, Lord, keep Thou my feet, planted in rows, rooted in grace. I am …

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My brain on Pinterest

By Dalene Rowley

As part of my recruiting efforts, I once described Pinterest to a friend of mine as a visual way to bookmark one’s favorite websites. Because I just like to look at the pictures. I’ve since heard it described as virtual hoarding. Whatever it is, it is popular, particularly among women. It was completely underestimated by predominantly male tech industry, quickly becoming the third most popular social media platform. And it makes me crazy.

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What’s in your summer reading pile?

By Melissa McQuarrie

One of my favorite summer activities as a teenager was spending long, lazy afternoons lying on a lawn chair in our backyard under the shade of our eucalyptus tree, reading Georgette Heyer novels, while boats droned along the river near our house and cicadas chirped in the bush. All through my teenage years, and well into my young adult years, I spent my summers working through a big stack of books while I lazed in the yard or by the pool, or sunbathed at the beach, toes burrowed in the sand and gulls soaring overhead. As long as I can remember, summer + reading = heaven.

Of course, as an adult, I’ve found that summers aren’t quite as carefree as they were when I was young (also, I no longer read romance novels). Having been a mother for nearly twenty-three years now, with two teenagers still at home, I’ve had my share of busy and stressful summers that have hardly allowed me time to read while I’m in the bathroom, let alone read while lazing by the pool. Last summer I think I hit my all-time summer-reading low: only TWO books completed between May and September. But I start out every summer with an optimistically tall pile of books that I am looking forward to working my way through during all that downtime I will have. A girl can dream, can’t she?

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That Thing That is of Most Worth

By Linda Hoffman Kimball

Popham Beach State Park, Maine

 

In a recent Worldwide Leadership Training Conference, attendees heard someone’s thoughts on “that thing that is of most worth to a woman in this life.” If someone asked you what that “thing of most worth” is, how would you answer?

Some years ago I went through a very tough time. Metaphorically speaking I felt like my ribs had been extracted. My pulses and rhythms still functioned, but my supports and protection were gone. My mother had just died. My kids were asserting themselves in creative and dumbfounding ways, following their natural call to become “agents unto themselves.” My husband was reorganizing his heart and soul, doing important internal work, but I had no idea where I’d end up when his “remodeling” was over. My soul felt like it was, to quote Yeats, “turning and turning in a widening gyre.”

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Purring and Praise

 

Today’s post comes to us from our poetry editor, Lisa G. Lisa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her cat and assorted familial humans. She loves green, God, and puddles of sun. And of course, lots of great poetry flowing into Segullah’s 2011 poetry contest: http://journal.segullah.org/contests/#poetrycontest. Write on!

 

My cat likes to bring me gifts. Baby rabbits, limp and warm. Headless moles. Birds, with broken necks and feathers strewn all over the doormat. Once, she caught a snake and deposited it—complete with tooth-holes and flapping scales—with great pride on the feline altar.

She is quite proud of her hunting prowess, my darling little cat. And she loves me. Thus the gifts. She wants to please me, bring me something hard-won and precious. She wants my approval, my acceptance of her very best work.

But I don’t like her gifts. Sometimes the baby bunnies are still alive and we always try, one more time, to save them by wrapping them in soft towels and laying them on a pillow. Until they die. Always. And we bury one more. The moles are just messy and with gloved hands, we toss them into the bushes. Both pieces. The fragmented birds are the most trouble to clean up, feathers flying, floating away from reach.

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Not Your Mother’s Salon

By Andrea Rediske

A “salon” is defined as a gathering of eminent people, held to increase the knowledge of the participants through conversation. The Mormon Women Project is holding their second annual salon event entitled, “Crafting a Deliberate Life: Making Choices That Are Purposeful, Personal, and Powerful” on Saturday November 5th, 2011 in the Joseph Smith Building in …

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Forget Not

By Melissa McQuarrie

Like many of you, I attended the Saturday night Relief Society broadcast at my stake center and came away feeling spiritually rejuvenated and replenished. I listened with interest to Sister Beck’s talk about the history, purpose, and vision of Relief Society (can’t wait to read the new book!), Sister Allred’s thoughts on charity (note to self: pray for this attribute more), and Sister Thompson’s discourse on cleaving to covenants (I love that word “cleave,” by the way—and yes, I want to be a remembered as a woman who cleaved to her covenants). I felt the bond of sisterhood as I stood and sang the rest hymn with the other sisters in my stake and the sisters in the Conference Center; we were a lyrical chorus of all-female voices, raised in song and worship together. I felt grateful and glad to be there.

And then Sis Beck announced that President Uchtdorf would be speaking and I felt like I’d just won a golden ticket. =) Yes, the rest of the meeting had been great but oh, how I love President Uchtdorf. Now, I love listening to Pres. Monson and I feel his prophetic mantle every time he speaks, and I think there are few people on this planet as articulate and gracious and well-spoken as Pres. Eyring. But Pres. Uchtdorf, well, he’s my secret favorite General Authority (and I suspect many women in the Church feel the same) and I always LOVE his talks. His messages are unfailingly astute and timely, and he delivers them in such a personable, kind, and loving way, with that dash of wit and those unforgettable analogies, that it’s impossible not to feel a zing of joy every time he delivers a sermon. And, as one of my Segullah friends so aptly put it on Sunday night, “Wow, does that man understand women, or what!?”

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A Woman, but Never a Young One

By Linda Hoffman Kimball

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?

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Dream On

By Melissa McQuarrie

Though it’s been decades since I graduated from college, every couple of months or so I have the same dream: It’s finals week, and I suddenly discover there’s a class I’m registered for (usually some kind of science class) that I forgot to attend all semester long. I have the textbook—a big one—but there’s no way I can read it, make up all my missed work, take all the tests, and hand everything in before the final, and of course, it’s too late to drop the class, so I’m going to fail. In a variation of this dream, I realize that the class I forgot to attend is the same class I forgot to attend the semester before (thus blowing my chance to replace my “F” with a better grade), and I can’t believe I forgot to attend it again! I always wake up from this dream in a cold sweat (although, now that I’m menopausal, I seem to be waking up in a cold sweat a lot nowadays).

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