Lovely ladies

dscf1750Lately I’ve been feeling grateful for wonderful women in my life. Sometimes we let ourselves drown a little bit in the dreary details of motherhood, but a conversation with another mother I admire can lift my spirits, refocus my purpose, and remind me that I am not alone in what sometimes seems difficult.

When I was 16 years old, I was the only girl from my church group that was not invited to a particular formal date dance. When the next day at church, I was the only one who showed up in a regular dress, and the rest of the girls were all wearing their formal gowns from the night before (for the record, I’m not fond of that “trend”), I felt like an idiot. And in typical teenage fashion, I felt dramatically sorry for myself. I went home and moped for most of the afternoon, until the doorbell rang. There on my doorstep was Julia, the president of my young women’s class. Julia was a senior at my high school, and she had recently undergone a bone marrow transplant in an attempt to escape the cancer that had come and gone more than once. She was bald, but had a lovely smile, face, and grace about her. Anyway, she showed up at my house that afternoon with a small flower pot and a card. It said “Bloom where you are planted.” Apparently, she sensed my hurt feelings at church and went out of her way to reach out to me and encourage me. The irony was not lost on me. My problems were small and insignificant in comparison to hers, yet she was noble enough to acknowledge them and encourage me.

This trend has repeated itself many times in my life, especially recently. In the last month alone I can pinpoint conversations I’ve had with women who have significant struggles that make mine look ridiculous at best. But like Julia, they have served me. They have showed me kindness and made me feel their love and God’s love through them. One has a handicapped daughter and struggles daily with decisions related to her care and balancing her needs with those of her other children. Another recently overcame cancer while caring for her three small children. One has five, yes FIVE, children with special needs and amazes me frequently with her spiritual insight and willingness to listen to me. Another, pregnant with her fourth child, was just diagnosed with cancer. These women are AMAZING. They think they are ordinary, but they are great examples to me, and I thank God I know them.

President Ezra Taft Benson said, and I whole-heartedly agree:

The fellowship of true friends who can hear you out, share your joys, help carry your burdens, and correctly counsel you is priceless. For one who has been in the prison of depression, the words of the Prophet Joseph Smith have special meaning: “How sweet the voice of a friend is; one token of friendship from any source whatever awakens and calls into action every sympathetic feeling.” . . . What a boon to be in the company of those who edify us!

I’m also constantly amazed by those of you who drop by this blog and whom I read about as I surf the blog world.  You are good women with good hearts doing good things.  We should all tell each other that more often.  We need to say it, and we need to hear it.

A few shout-outs, just because I feel like it:

Jana at The Meanest Mom always makes me laugh.  Her post today cracked me up.  I love her integrity in parenting; sticking to her guns despite the pushes and pulls of children and critics.  (She’s also hosting a great giveaway, but you don’t need to pay much attention to that.  I believe 47,000 people have already signed up for it, so your chances are probably better with Powerball or the NFL draft.)

Heather at the Extraordinary Ordinary wrote a great post this week about the lessons that motherhood forces us to learn.  It made me think so much that I had to email her instead of leaving a comment because I was so verbose I would have been a comment pirate and taken over her post.  I love her authenticity and substance.  Incidentally, I spent some time with her in person recently and she’s just as lovely in real life.

And all of you that have commented on the General Conference Book Club posts have impressed me so much.  Thank you for being as cool and insightful as you are.  Really.  I’ve spent the last two nights falling asleep while reading Elder Christofferson’s talk, but I’m going to jump in tomorrow with my own feedback.  Hope to hear from many more of you, too.

And I have to mention this lovely lady:  dscf2015

She’s one spunky, delightful little girl who keeps me smiling.  Her daddy’s out of town this week and it’s endearing to see how much she misses him.  Today, she bumped her nose and said, “When daddy gets home, I will show him my nose and he’ll kiss it better.”  When I  grow up, I bet she’ll be my favorite woman on the planet.

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19 thoughts on “Lovely ladies

  1. This is exactly why I blog! To me, it’s not a waste of time. It keeps me sane and lifts my spirits by helping me to realize what other women are going through. You don’t get very many chances in your everyday lives to ask your friends what they’re REALLY going through. But blogs have made it possible for us to share those feelings that we probably wouldn’t share in person. I think it’s wonderful!

  2. Thanks for the links!

    For some reason I’ve been intimidated to join the Gen. Conf. book club so far — maybe since I haven’t had much predictable internet time lately. I should do it and count it as my scripture study. (But I just remembered that I’ve heard that when people say they “should” do something it means they don’t really intend to. Maybe I’ll drop the “should” and really sign up if I ever get caught up in Reader. Or in life. Whichever comes first.)

    Do people say your daughter looks like you? Based on admittedly scant evidence, I think she does.

    I have a hard time finding a balance of how much time online is too much (you’d understand if you saw my floors right now) (which you wouldn’t be able to see because they’re buried,) but I do love it that my time online lately is spent in the company of such great women.

  3. I almost called you from the car so you could hear Asher screaming while I tried to buckle him. The beautiful sounds you would have hears would have been sprinkled with Miles saying “I don’t want to leeeeaaaave,” in his whiny voice.

    We had fun!

    Anyway, I HEAR you, the women in my life (on-line and off) are among my greatest blessings in life.

    But you can’t call me lovely because I was having a bad hair day, zits, and was mostly mute due to brain mush. Maybe next time I’ll speak in full sentences that make sense 🙂

  4. I just want to go on record as one who likes to see the girls in their prom dresses. I understand the hurt feelings, though, too.

    I need to make some friends or at least get out of my house so I can meet some wonderful women.

  5. I hate to think what my life would be like without the great women the Lord has put in my life. I called two yesterday to help with a crisis and was grateful to have someone who loves me even when they know all the garbage going on in my life. I’m also glad to have found you again. Your posts have made me laugh, made me think and made me want to dig deeper spiritually. Keep up the great work!

  6. I also did not get asked to prom my senior year, but I don’t recall anyone really noticing. But there have been other times in my life when good friends have served and helped me. Thanks for a great reminder.

  7. Hey I haven’t been here for a while and I have been missing out. I will definitely check out that General Conference Book Club. Sounds right up my alley.

    Hope you’ve been doing well!

    Janelle

  8. Prom attire to church has to be one of the oddest rituals that Mormon culture has produced. My date to prom sophomore year was crushed that he showed up to church on Sunday in a tux and I was wearing a denim jumper (hey, it was 1993!). By nature, I tend to stick to a small, tight circle of people I am emotionally open with. Okay, basically just my sisters and a friend or two. But none of them live anywhere near me, so this blog has been a real blessing to me. I think what I love about it is that it feels safe and real. (I don’t mean safe in the clean sense. I mean how many poop stories have we been through! Just kidding, Stephanie. They’re some of my very favorite and always good for a laugh! I mean safe in the sense that you know you’re in good company, with people who will treat your soul, your testimony, your weakness, and your needs with care. That’s rare.) And oh so very, very real. I refer again to the poop stories! 🙂 Thanks for being one of the lovely ladies in my life.

  9. This is why i have a testimony of visiting teaching. Because we need the company of other good women. I love the feeling of sisterhood.

    And for the record, my date/boyfriend dumped me right before senior prom. I went to the prom by myself, had a fantastic time, and yes, wore my dress to church the next day. I am woman…

  10. I went to my Jr. prom but not my Senior. I don’t even remember going to church the next day. I’m sure I did though.

    I love this community for it helps remind me each day that there are those out there that are struggling just as I am and those who are struggling more. But we are all struggling together. Or sharing joys. Or just sharing. I love it.

  11. I purposely chose not to go to my prom. Everyone told me I would later regret my decision. Now that it has been 15 years I still have no regrets 🙂 !!

    I, too, am so grateful for the kindness of my friends! I love the quote from President Benson you shared. I have never heard that one before.

  12. I really appreciated this: “My problems were small and insignificant in comparison to hers, yet she was noble enough to acknowledge them and encourage me.” Thanks for this post. 🙂

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