Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Nitty Gritty "Women's Work"

I apologize for being a bit negligent in posting my weekly "Wednesday Woman" but this summer has been a little bit crazy. Those of you that don't know me in real life, or who don't follow my other blog, probably don't know that I am expecting my second baby around the first of September. I've been feeling pretty good but I broke my foot a few weeks ago and just barely got out of the walking cast (yippee!). I also have a 19 month old little boy who is a curious ball of energy and who keeps life interesting-- to say the least :). In addition BOTH of my parents are getting re-married this summer! So I offer all that up as an excuse as to why I haven't had time to do much research or studying-- I hope you'll forgive me and promise I'll try to keep up as much as I can.

I really appreciated the story by Carolynn R. Spencer entitled "Was I Living The Gospel Fully?" in the July edition of the Ensign magazine. Spencer talks about how, after a day of taking care of a house full of sick children, she felt guilty when she read the scripture in Jacob 2: 19 which talks about how to live the gospel fully we need to "... to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted." She felt overwhelmed thinking "How can I feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick, and help people spiritually when I can scarcely take care of my own family?" Then she had an overwhelming insight that what she was doing as a mother WAS living the gospel fully-- she had spent ALL DAY feeding her hungry, naked and sick children and she knew that God had accepted her offering.

Because my own life has been a crazy whirlwind and because I sometimes it is all I can manage to get dressed in the morning and chase around a little 19 month old, I really appreciated this insight. I think one of the things that women forget is that what we do as women, wives and as mothers is IMPORTANT work and that God recognizes and accepts the sacrifices we make. I've written before about how the women at the empty tomb were the first to get to see and touch the Resurrected Christ because they were there doing the nitty gritty women's work of taking care of Christ's body. What women are called to do in the home is just as important and necessary as the preaching and administering that men are called to do outside the home. If women don't get enough credit and recognition for their work that is our failing as a society and not because God doesn't appreciate or value their work. I know that God notices women and that He blesses them for what they do for His children.

This knowledge gives me a lot of peace right now, because in all honesty it has been hard for me to do much more than just take care of myself and my family. While I still think it is good ( and important) to find time to serve others and to respond to the prompting that God sends me, I find peace in knowing that I am

clothing the naked

feeding the hungry

liberating the captive

and administering relief to the sick

and the afflicted

and that in a BIG and IMPORTANT way I am helping to build and strengthen the Kingdom of God. I just need to give myself more credit and realize that there I am doing EXACTLY what God wants and NEEDS me to be doing right now-- even if sometimes it isn't that glamorous and probably won't get written down as scripture -- which in my opinion (which isn't much next to God's) is what should have have been written on them ;) So just remember to give yourself a little bit more credit at the end of the day, because God knows what you've been up to.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Questions to ask yourself when you come across a woman in the scriptures

On Sunday I taught a lesson on Women in the Scriptures at our church. My goal with the lesson was to help the women learn how to recognize and relate to the women that are mentioned in the scriptures. Often times all we get is a name or a brief mention of a wife or daughter and nothing else about her, but by stopping and taking time to think and reflect often times I've found that I can learn much about a what she must have experienced, what her life might have been like, and what type of woman she was. I've also found that I've been able to relate or "liken" the scriptures to my own life as a woman better when I remember that almost EVERY story has a woman in it somewhere-- whether we hear about her or not. For my lesson on Sunday I made a list of the questions that I ask myself every time I come across a new woman in the scriptures and I thought they might be helpful for others in their own personal scripture study.  

1- What is unique about this woman and her story?
2- How does she fit into the time period in which she lived?
3- What Christlike qualities does she exemplify?
4- What would I ask her if I could meet her?
5- How can I relate to her?
6- What can I (or someone else I know) learn from her experiences? 

Each woman's story will mean something different to everyone and there is such power in being able to find your own answers and discoveries in the scriptures. I hope that these can help you, and other people you know, pay more attention to the women in the scriptures and not pass over a remarkable woman just because she is only mentioned as the a daughter, a widow, a wife or a child. Happy Scripture Studying!