This blog is not an official website of
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, nor is Lindsay their official spokesperson.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Woman Who Has It All

Dear Readers,

This message was originally intended for Friend M back in February.  However, due to my slowness, Friend M, might not even find it relevant anymore.  Sorry!  I have adapted it to a broad audience as I got "that feeling" that I should post about this due to things that I have been reading around the blog-o-sphere recently.

As this is a supercharged topic with much to say, I will stop trying to cover it in one post.  Call it "feeling adequate/ inadequate", or "finding balance in one's life", or "how to do it all", but join me as I write the next few days about being a woman who has demands that come from others, but also dreams to be nourished from within.

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Early in my marriage (and up until earlier this year), I was always confused and frustrated.  I knew that there were many things that I wanted to do (i.e. take dance classes), but there were also so many things that I should do (i.e. laundry).  I didn’t always want to do the things I should do, making it impossible to do everything between both of those categories.  A woman has to pick and choose what type of woman she wants to be.  I was searching and searching being overwhelmed by the “decisions” that I was going to have to make that would seem to control my destiny.  It seemed that there were many decisions that would have long term consequences, and it only added to my stress to choose wisely, NOW.  I knew I wasn’t trying to do “everything under the sun”, but it was still too much for my current situation, and I was borderline heartbroken about some of the things that I felt I was going to have to give up.

Back in February I was really struggling with specific things that had been put on hold due to being a young mother with a young daughter.  I didn’t like how that was the only definition of me that I felt like I was allowed to have.  I felt that it was choking the rest of me, because I was Lindsay before I was a wife and then mother.  There was more to me than just being Daughter’s mom.  Waiting 20 years to fulfill certain dreams and passions was just unbearable.  Call me selfish if you want, but it was really crushing me at the time.

Then I came across a quote from President Faust that gave me new perspective.  This is from a talk entitled "How Near to the Angels".  He says:

Women today are encouraged by some to have it all: money, travel, marriage, motherhood, and separate careers in the world. For women, the important ingredients for happiness are to forge an identity, serve the Lord, get an education, develop your talents, serve your family, and if possible to have a family of your own. 
However, you cannot do all these things well at the same time. You cannot eat all of the pastries in the baking shop at once. You will get a tummyache. You cannot be a 100-percent wife, a 100-percent mother, a 100-percent Church worker, a 100-percent career person, and a 100-percent public-service person at the same time. How can all of these roles be coordinated? I suggest that you can have it sequentially.

Aha!  He wasn’t telling me that I had to choose.  He wasn’t saying that I had to give anything up.  “I suggest that you can have it sequentially.”  That totally changed my view.  He then even explains that “Sequentially is a big word meaning to do things one at a time at different times.”   The book of Ecclesiastes says (3:1): “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under … heaven.”  Now when most people think of seasons in life, they think of living each one once.  Springtime is representative of when you are young, and winter is during your final time before you die.  I am sure you’ve heard this analogy before.

I decided after reading President Faust's quote that I would live my life like the seasons, meaning, ever changing.  Who said that you only got to have each experience once?  I decided that meant I would live Spring many times.  I would experience the thrill of learning something new and being infantile in many situations.  I would experience a glorious Autumn that was rich with experience and the joy of having become an expert at something over and over again.  It also meant that I would experience the coldness of winter, and the hardships that come from that, but I decided that it was worth it to me.  I decided if that I took his advice to only do one thing at a time then all would be well.  Nowhere did he say that you had to live the stereotypes that others place on upon your age or other statuses. I didn't have to be confined.  A lot of anxiousness went away when I realized that everything wasn't pinned on one chance at everything.

This then set in motion for me, a few principles that I came to embrace and live.  These will be my next few posts to hopefully help someone else.

Helpfully,
Lindsay

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Goals = Personal Progress

Dear Readers,
I hate it when I spend time away from this blog.  When I come back, I feel as if I must reacquaint myself with it and examine my purpose and think about the overall direction that I was heading before and if I want to pick it up again in the same direction or if it should change.

It is harder to write more consistently since my new responsibilities in Young Women.  Lots of things have become harder to find time for, since I have been spending time working with the Young Women.  Thankfully it's only been a few weeks since I have written here, but to be honest, it has felt like months.  Every day Husband and I wake up and labor hard.  There is much to do to support the Branch.  Every step of progress that they make is exciting, especially as we see souls being changed for the better as they choose commit themself to gospel of Jesus Christ and make and keep sacred covenants.  Some are being baptized.  Some are attending the temple for the first time.  Some are somewhere in between.  Everyone is progressing, and it is exciting!  It is also my explanation for why I have spent zero time here.

Moving on...........................................................................
I have a lot of goals for myself.

A lot.

These include some of the following:

Run my second marathon in April 2012
Further my knowledge of long-term food storage
Overcome my fear of the cannery and buy wheat and other long-term storage items
Grind my own grains and make homemade bread
Hand out a Book of Mormon by the end of the year (extended by missionaries)
Find someone for the missionaries to teach by the end of the year (extended by stake)
Regularly post on this blog
Learn Spanish at a faster rate than 2 words per week
Read El Libro de Mormon by the time I move
Finish reading The Doctrine and Covenants by the end of the year
Prepare my piano students to be able to share their talents with others
Complete current Personal Progress program by the time I move
Improve my sewing skills
Be a better mother to my daughter (I know specifically what that means to me, but don't need to share)
Be a better spouse to my husband (see above)

 No lose 5 pounds or achieve world peace here.  I have enough on my plate.
Time consuming, yes.  Lofty, I know.  I thought I had a lot of time on my hands.  Then I was called to be the Young Women's President and all of my free time has evaporated away like water on a hot day.  I was becoming discouraged as I had less and less time to work on these my goals when I had an "AHA!" moment.

Working towards these goals could be a part of my Personal Progress!!!!!!!!!!!!

How exciting is that!

Young Women of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have the opportunity to complete the Personal Progress program.  Young women are girls who are 12-18 years in age.  Mothers are also allowed to work on the program with their daughters, and leaders as well.  Since the girls need a little motivation to get going, I thought the best way was to get working on it myself.

Coming from the Church website about Personal Progress:

"Personal Progress will help you strengthen your faith in and testimony of Jesus Christ as you learn His teachings and regularly apply them in your life. It will help you strengthen both your present family and your future family. It will help you prepare to make and keep sacred covenants and receive the ordinances of the temple. And it will prepare you to be a faithful, contributing member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The Personal Progress program uses the eight Young Women values to help you understand more fully who you are, why you are here on the earth, and what you should be doing as a daughter of God to prepare for the day you go to the temple to make sacred covenants. It will help you prepare for your future roles as a faithful woman, wife, mother, and leader in God’s kingdom. Participating in Personal Progress teaches you to make commitments, carry them out, and report your progress to a parent or leader. The patterns you establish as you work on Personal Progress—such as prayer, scripture study, service, and journal keeping—will become personal daily habits. These habits will strengthen your testimony and help you learn and improve throughout your life."

Rather than feeling overwhelmed, I began to feel empowered a few weeks ago!!!  I made a plan of how my goals fit the different values and how I should complete them, and I'm off and on my way.

Here's a small sampling:

The marathon will be my value project for Individual Worth.  I use all sorts of positive self-talk when I run and to get through a second marathon and all of the training that I need to do, I'll have to really pump myself up.

A Young Woman in the Branch will tutor me to help me learn Spanish as one of HER value projects.  A value project is a significant project that takes at least 10 hours.

My Young Women in Excellence Project will showcase sewing that I have done for the missionaries.  They asked me to do some clothing alterations for them.  I tried to tell them I didn't know how, but I somehow still ended up with them.  So I researched how to do what it was I needed, and also went to the fabric store and asked questions to the workers, and then I took pictures of every step to make a poster to display!

I am also working on the value experiences.  These include scripture reading, journal writing, and specific activities to help learn about the values.  Some are already planned out, but there are also opportunities to customize experiences to your interests as well.  I am thinking this is where some of my food storage goals could come in.

No matter what I accomplish, I will definitely be progressing and learning tons of new skills and having testimony building experiences.

Relieved I finished this by midnight,
Lindsay

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Mormons are Christians

Dear Readers,

My new (for real, long) post will be posted by midnight tomorrow.  Absolute promise.

Meanwhile, check out my new button in my sidebar!!!

<-------that side

Did you know that Mormons are Christians?  You'd think that would be obvious.  We are:

The Church of 
JESUS CHRIST
of Latter-Day Saints

It's become a hot topic in the media recently, so let me weigh in...

Mormons are Christians.

Period.

Any questions?

I didn't think so.

Visit mormon.org to learn more about my beliefs.  Better yet visit jesuschrist.lds.org.

You all are awesome for continuing to check this blog.  I have lots to say, and thankfully tomorrow starts the marathon of time to type.  I can't wait!

Faithfully yours,

Lindsay