I promise I was a pretty good blogger in 2009. And maybe a couple of other years, too, but lately, I’ve just been lame at it. The kids are bigger with bigger needs, and just getting through the homework-chores-dinner hours taxes most of the remaining intelligent cells in my brain. I’m teaching one class at BYU this semester, and I love it, but the preparation and grading takes up a good deal of my “free” time… at least enough of it that I feel like I have a good excuse for mediocre housekeeping. I haven’t been writing nearly as much as I’d like to, and I’m trying to figure out what I need to drop out of my life to make it happen. I do have a book coming out soon, but it’s not all mine. I wrote one chapter in it and the rest of the chapters are written by ladies I’m honored to share some pages with. It looks like this, and I’ll be sure to share the news when I know it has hit bookshelves:
If I had been a better blogger, here are a few things I might have written about.
- Matt and I started watching Sherlock and I liked it, but then like every other show, they end up sticking stuff in there that ticks off my prude filter, so I kind of decided not to watch it anymore, which basically means I’ve re-watched every version of Jane Austen’s novels, Elizabeth Gaskill’s novels, and Jane Eyre over and over whenever I need some kind of a TV fix. (Another reason this would not have been a good blog post is because it’s basically just a whiny, run-on sentence.)
- Matt and I also went on a date last weekend and had real conversations about life and stuff. It was lovely. We discussed how some friends and acquaintances are going through some really hard things in life right now. This next thing I’m going to say is not meant with any disrespect whatsoever to people who find themselves in difficult circumstances, but sometimes it feels like people’s lives are crumbling all around me and I feel almost delusional about my own life…. like either I live in a Twilight Zone of a semi-charmed life, or maybe I’m supposed to be having a major crisis or come-apart right now and I’m just not seeing it. Does anyone else ever feel like that? Then I think that maybe I need to brace myself because there’s probably a huge, gut-wrenching tragedy right around the corner. Because it’s my turn, right? And I have nothing else profound to say about that except that it’s really a weird conversation to have with yourself, so again, not a good blog post.
- Lest you misinterpret the previous statement to mean I have a perfect life, I’d like to point out that I have had a bad case of manic parenting lately. I go through these long stretches where every.single.thing. my children do is irritating and disappointing to me. I get frustrated and handle things the wrong way. Then I (gratefully) snap out of it for a little while and am able to see them as they really are: GOOD children. Children, not little people who should act really smart and mature and logical like me. (Oh, the irony. Please do not mention in the comments that I am not qualified to write a book about motherhood. I already know that. Trust me. Yet I did anyway. Life is weird sometimes.) There have been moments where I have felt God gently reach down into my heart and put an idea there about how to do things better. I try it, and *ta dah,* it works soooo much better than the way I was acting before. I mostly think that this stretching stage in mothering has two reasons: #1) End of winter. Spring fever. And a horrible case of wanderlust. (Oh, how I want to abandon all responsibilities and read books on beaches around the world!) And #2) I am speaking at BYU Women’s Conference in May. (Yes, I still see the irony. Stop it. Pay attention.) My assigned topic is “Come unto Christ and be perfected in Him,” so I just realized this week that maybe I’m having some of these experiences to teach me how much I need to rely on the Savior to compensate for my weaknesses and to enable me with ideas, and stamina, and even power. Maybe he’s teaching me that so I can teach it right at Women’s conference. Now, this probably could have been a decent blog post except for the fact that it’s awfully self-revealing and a little humiliating.
- When certain topics get all heated in the news, I feel defensive of the testimony I have and the gospel I love. Part of me wants to abandon my efforts to be loving and civil and start yelling things like, “That is so stupid!” The other part of me knows that emotional, knee-jerk reactions are counterproductive. Who am I to judge what’s stupid or not unless I’ve really walked in someone’s shoes? Maybe I strongly and fundamentally disagree, but I need to account for the blessedness of my own experience, my own testimony, and frankly, some of my spiritual “gifts” (as in faith or understanding I might have, not because I earned them or deserved them in any way, but because maybe I’m lucky—super lucky—that God saw fit to provide me. I don’t know how to explain it without sounding snooty, but the scriptures teach that every person has gifts from God, and different gifts go to different people so we can learn from one another). People with different experiences, different kinds of faith, and different sets of gifts are not my enemy, and they do not come to conclusions the same way I do; It’s my job to develop empathy for them, treat them kindly in my words and reactions, and yet still not abandon what I know for myself to be true. For example, I loved the Church’s recent response to the OW activists’ request for access to the General Priesthood meeting because their answer was polite, direct, and clearly explained the doctrinal precedence for their response. I’m paying attention because I want to be able to respond to things the same way. I forgot to mention that there is a third part of me (What can I say? I’m multi…parted.) that wants to unplug from Internet, my phone and news altogether and run away to a beach and read boo–… wait, I’ve already explained that before. Moving on.
- General Conference is coming! General Conference is coming!
Here’s a link to my Pinterest board that is full of ideas for preparing for and getting the most out of General Conference. I’ve collected a lot of great stuff there. Don’t even try to do more than a couple of them at a time or you will want to run away to a beach and … you get it. Just pick a few that might work for you and your family, but most importantly, spend some time getting yourself spiritually ready to hear the will of the Lord. Here’s something I wrote about that a while back: Preparing Yourself for General Conference.
- I’m mostly done now. Here are just some things that I liked a lot lately, so I’m passing them along like an Internet favor from someone who actually blogs or something.
- I stumbled upon this old conference talk that I had never heard before and it is so beautiful. It talks about the women in Christ’s life, and I don’t know how I’d never come across in my previous studies. It’s called “Even As I Am” by Mark E. Petersen.
- Have you seen this video: WWII Widow’s Journey for Reconciliation? It made my eyeballs sweat a little. How sweet and good is she?
- Elder Tony Perkins gave a devotional at BYU last month called “Nevertheless I Went Forth.” It ranks up there in my Top 3 of talks that have ever been given about getting answers to prayer and making big decisions. Good stuff I tell you.
- I started playing QuizUp on my phone. Heaven help me. I have never played phone games or Facebook games or anything before, but I have no TV shows to watch, remember? (I can totally kick your pants on the Grammar quizzes.)
- Some friends of mine started up a new Facebook page called Mormon Women Stand. If you feel strongly about supporting living prophets and defending the principles of the Family Proclamation, and you want a safe place to gather with other women who do too, you might want to check it out. It has garnered almost 4,000 likes in less than a week since launching. Not bad.
So there you have it, folks. All the stuff I would have blogged about if I weren’t so busy just living it.