So I'm really not sure how my lesson went on Sunday. I did offer a caveat that the only classes I'd ever taught in my almost-nine years in the church was the Sunbeams...still. I'm not sure.
The fact that I didn't remember it until Thursday and realized Saturday I'd lost the paper I'd written the assigned General Conference talks didn't help either.
I need more time to organize myself. I really don't have a problem giving talks in church - I revel in the opportunity to give a talk like I enjoy hearing. It's different. I've never ever tried to be weird or anything, but I base my talks off my own life. I never recycle old, tired stories and rarely use stories from the Scriptures unless it's to support or set up a real life story I have.
I've only given a handful of talks, and all but one have been well-received. I still wince when I think of the talk I gave on tithing that one time...My soapbox was rather high that Sunday. I try to never get on soapboxes for talks.
I might've gotten on a bit of a soapbox for my lesson on Sunday. Most of it was just my being unprepared for the day. I tried to think of it like a talk, but even then I was screwed. I wasn't prepared enough.
It worked, though. I had some sincere girls come tell me they enjoyed the lesson.
You should've heard the crickets when I told them they needed to consider themselves every now and again, though. That they need to think about themselves, because if they saturate their schedules with service, service, service, they risk wearing themselves thin. My basic point was that if we don't simplify and prioritize, we'll end up sacrificing the most important things with the added stress. We can't think we don't matter, because we do.
Why don't we think we matter? It's ridiculous. I understand that we're supposed to serve God, others, and then ourselves, but come on!
We scrapbook, make cards, cookies, etc. I'd be interested to know how many of us actually enjoy these activities. There's a woman who I used to consider my "church mom" who told me the Church goes through little cultural phases of what is considered a "must" activity. It used to be crocheting, and other things that're evading me now.
Today it's scrapbooking. We feel we must do this. WHY? I thought for years I should scrapbook. It made sense, after all. All those pictures sitting in a box; may as well do something pretty with them, right?
It took me about five years to realize three things:
1) I didn't want to scrapbook.
2) I wouldn't like scrapbooking.
3) I didn't have to scrapbook.
It was a true revelation. I'd been freed (and so had my wallet. that stuff ain't cheap!)
Same goes for the card making. I'll go buy one. I often look for the funniest cards, anyway. I don't really care about aesthetics.
Anyway, back to the point. We *kill* ourselves in competitions to see who's the most churchy, and a lot of the time this means we have an immaculate house, immaculate kids, trendy hobbies, and happy husbands.
Then we put on a fake smile, go to church, and pretend it's all good.
I like to play sports. I write. I do a lot of things on the computer. While I can bake damn good chocolate chip cookies, I don't necessarily enjoy cooking. I read books - books that aren't Church based or written by Church members. Scriptures don't often solve my problems. I love my husband more than life itself. I love my kids, but they drive me absolutely insane most days. They've also done so much for me.
You'd be surpr--well, maybe some of you would be surprised to see the looks on my fellow mom's faces when I tell them just how often I need time alone. I may be a special case - it wouldn't surprise me, but I do need a break. For the entire duration of our marriage, Eric has worked and gone to school full time, leaving me a sometimes-single mom. I'm not wired to do this with grace, and I hate that so many other women think they have to be June Cleaver. We're not all June Cleaver.
I will not have any more kids. Three is, most days, more than enough. I love my kids, but I'm glad I came to my senses enough to realize our original plan of five would have been the equivalent to suicide.
You should see the looks on people's faces when I tell them we're done with kids.
"Oh you never know. You're young. You could change your mind."
My health absolutely plummeted after my youngest. We will be having no more. My bishop couldn't understand that (it escapes me why I even told him), other mom's can't understand it.
People outside the church understand it.
The problem is that it took me about a year or two to finally get past the guilt I felt when I thought "I'm done." Three kids. How is that "replenishing the Earth"? I know a family with twelve kids. Eric comes from a family of six. Am I selfish?
Why do we feel we must do so much, even at the expense of our health and sanity?
I'd love to know how many women scrapbook, bake, have children, etc., due to mormon cultural pressures. Because they think it's what they're "supposed" to do.
There's too much of an "understanding" that we are to serve others and serve others only.
What about me? What about you?
Why the silence and deadpanned faces when I say we need to consider ourselves, too? I don't necessarily just speak of women, here, but let's face it: guys find it easier to take time for themselves. They don't worry nearly as much.
Why do I worry that I said the wrong thing or stepped out of bounds?
We're not martyrs, after all. God wants his daughters to be happy as well.
Frances Beverly Johnson Monson
22 hours ago