Sunday, September 9, 2012

Have the Courage to Claim Your Gifts

This post started out as a recap of our Mt. Timp hike on Saturday. I guess I can still do that. It was hard. It was pretty. Enoch was sick as a dog but still beat us off the mountain. I like hiking. Here are a few pictures:


And now turning to the topic on my mind. I've been doing a lot of reading lately about women in history, women in religion, and women and parenting. I was lent some focus for this post when my sister-in-law blogged slightly apologetically about having a job--presumably because she also has a child. In my culture (the people I know, associate with, read,) there seems to be a hierarchy of jobs for mom, with voluntary full-time working mom of small children being the most looked down upon and mom with part-time job from home (preferably something interesting or crafty) being the most desirable--in this day and age trumping mom with no job other than raising human beings. (For some diabolical reason referred to as "I don't work. I stay at home with our kids.")

To me the ideal as a mother seems to be having a part-time job or hobby that takes you outside your home and away from your adorable offspring for at least a little while each week. Trying to work at home with kids underfoot or in your precious evening relaxation time sounds very frustrating. (Yet more economically viable, I know.) I still can't figure out the what and when of this myself, so take my opinion for what it's worth. I'm still trying to "have the courage to claim [my] gifts," especially the gift of writing. Blogging has been a small result of that. As a mom my day is full of accomplishments that are immediately destroyed and thus hard to take a lot of pride in. Whatever your hobby or job, I would say do something you see a lasting end product of. It will bring you joy.

And now for the quote section, (most of which I thought applied to my husband as well as myself) and some finishing thoughts:

"Woman can best re-find herself by losing herself in some kind of creative activity of her own" -Ann Morrow Lindbergh

"Sisters, find some time for yourself to cultivate your gifts and interests. Pick one or two things that you would like to learn or do that will enrich your life, and make time for them. Water cannot be drawn from an empty well, and if you are not setting aside a little time for what replenishes you, you will have less and less to give to others, even to your children..." -M. Russell Ballard

"We believe that women are useful, not only to sweep houses, wash dishes, make beds, and raise babies, but that they should stay behind the counter, study law or physic, or become good bookkeepers and be able to do the business in any counting house, and all this to enlarge their sphere of usefulness for the benefit of society at large." -Brigham Young

"I like the idea of having both a vocation and an avocation—a trade and a love. For women, homemaking must be at least our vocation (for some, it might be an avocation as well). We might also prepare for another vocation, but in addition, we should cultivate as many avocations as we would like. Women who have an avocation of music seem to be particularly blessed, and their families are blessed, too. I have seen women enrich their families with their abilities in art, science, mathematics, gardening, sewing, cooking, interior decorating, carpentry, sports, shopping, nursing—there are as many possibilities as there are women." -Petrea Kelly

Finishing thoughts: I have tried to write this paragraph over and over. How do I communicate the fact that I have become less judgmental of our work/hobby choices as women yet more cognizant of the duty placed upon us when we become mothers? How do I convey that the minutia of motherhood and especially being caretakers of young children involves time and effort to find grace in and that as I wonder that so many moms go back to work full-time when their babies are just a few months old I don't wonder that they want to? I really like this topic. So much potential for offending people! So much effort not to that we never think about what we think about it! I think these real life issues really wake up our brains and force us to stretch.


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