Friday, August 12, 2011

FIve Things for Friday, 12th Edition

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My husband and I went out on a rare date night and saw the movie
"17 Miracles" which is about the Martin and Willie handcart companies, a group of Mormon English immigrants who got caught in the snow during their trip to the Salt Lake Valley and suffered unbelievable hardships. I've been taught about this history my whole life but it was so powerful to see it re-enacted. The movie was very well done and to my surprise my husband cried more than I did! Which if you know my husband is just another testament to how good this movie is.



The last few days I've kept thinking about the movie and I've been filled with such gratitude for all I have. Gratitude at having enough food to eat, to have warmth, to have a car, to my health, to have a good man, and to have the gospel in my life. It makes me want to pull my family in close and not take anything for granted. If you haven't seen this movie it is so worth it. Especially when you compare it to what else is playing at the theater!

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I am happy to announce that Heidi and The Price Family are the winners of the copies of The Nashville Tribute Band's new CD! Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway. I LOVED LOVED LOVED reading your missionary stories! Thanks for sharing them with me. I wish that I had CDs to give everyone.

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I got lots of wonderful comments about my "Getting Adam to Partake" piece and I just wanted to say how much I appreciate all the insights my readers share. You are wonderful. Becca directed me to this really powerful article about an American woman whose young daughter chose to wear a hijab (headscarf) even though her mother doesn't. I especially thought this paragraph about the mother's first time wearing a bikini really reinforced what I was trying to say in my essay about how women can misuse their divine power and how that hurts them more than they realize. I think she also does a great job at illustrating how different Muslim ideas about modesty are compared to Western ideas. The author writes about buying and then changing into the bikini and then she writes:
"Goose bumps spread across my chubby white tummy and the downy white hairs on my thighs stood on end—I felt as raw and exposed as a turtle stripped of its shell. And when I left the bathroom, the stares of men seemed to pin me in one spot even as I walked by.

In spite of a strange and mounting sense of shame, I was riveted by their smirking faces; in their suggestive expressions I thought I glimpsed some vital clue to the mystery of myself. What did these men see in me—what was this strange power surging between us, this rapidly shifting current that one moment made me feel powerful and the next unspeakably vulnerable?
I imagined Aliya in a string bikini in a few years. Then I imagined her draped in Muslim attire. It was hard to say which image was more unsettling. I thought then of something a Sufi Muslim friend had told me: that Sufis believe our essence radiates beyond our physical bodies—that we have a sort of energetic second skin, which is extremely sensitive and permeable to everyone we encounter. Muslim men and women wear modest clothing, she said, to protect this charged space between them and the world.

Growing up in the '70s in Southern California, I had learned that freedom for women meant, among other things, fewer clothes, and that women could be anything—and still look good in a bikini. Exploring my physical freedom had been an important part of my process of self-discovery, but the exposure had come at a price.
Since that day in Venice Beach, I'd spent years learning to swim in the turbulent currents of attraction—wanting to be desired, resisting others' unwelcome advances, plumbing the mysterious depths of my own longing. I'd spent countless hours studying my reflection in the mirror—admiring it, hating it, wondering what others thought of it—and it sometimes seemed to me that if I had applied the same relentless scrutiny to another subject I could have become enlightened, written a novel, or at least figured out how to grow an organic vegetable garden."

You can read the whole article here.

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On Saturday we had a door-to-door salesman come to our door selling a cleaning spray. Salesmen from this particular cleaning supply company come every summer and every summer I politely turn them away. Well this year the young man selling the spray was good... really good. He somehow maneuvered himself into my kitchen and used his spray to clean the NASTY grout on my kitchen floor that I had given up all hope of ever getting clean. Needless to say my husband and I were impressed and we bought a bottle. We put the bottle on the counter and then spent the next ten minutes telling each other about all the great things we would do with our $40 bottle of cleaning spray and trying to reassure ourselves that we hadn't just gotten ripped off by a smooth talking 20-year-old. Well, we were starting to feel pretty good about our purchase and then I heard my husband yell, "Oh, children, oh, children! You did NOT just pour $20 worth of cleaner onto the carpet!" I ran into the dining room and found our two little ragamuffins hiding under the table with a half empty bottle of the expensive cleaner and Rose wiping her mouth. Apparently they had somehow they had opened the lid, popped the safety seal, both taken a drink of it, decided it was gross, and then dumped it out on the carpet! I spent the rest of the night talking on the phone with poison control (luckily the spray was very non-toxic), chasing two wild misbehaving children around the house, and frantically using all of the cleaner I could mop up out of the carpet to clean my couch and the spots on my floor. Needless to say it was not how I had planned to spend my Saturday night. Yet, I guess if there is a silver lining to the whole experience it is that it forced me to clean my house MUCH sooner than I would have otherwise! Crazy children.

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Did you know that the Mormon Channel (the LDS online radio) now has a Relief Society station? Well it does! Women from all over the world can send in questions and each month the General Relief Society Presidency answers them. Isn't that a great idea?

I know that I am a hopeless Julie Beck groupie but I LOVED this interview with her called "Our Spiritual Gifts and Our Connection to the Priesthood." Sister Beck has such a wonderful way of explaining things and I loved hearing about her experiences with the gift of tongues! You can tell that she has asked herself all the hard questions about women in the gospel and that she has received answers. Her testimony is so powerful to me because it encourages me to keep learning and keep searching. Now if only I could think up a really good question to send in to ask the General Relief Society Presidency. What sort of things would YOU want to ask them?


Have a beautiful weekend!

6 comments:

  1. Y'know I remember finding you a long time ago, but I'm not sure how I lost you (did you know you were lost LOL?). Anyway, I'm so glad I did -- thanks for the pointer to the RS messages on Mormon Channel -- I *love* the interviews they have on there! So many incredible people!

    That article is incredibly thought provoking, as was your previous post. It gives me much to think about about how to teach them (someday) to be grateful for the gift of sexuality to be held sacred within the bounds the Lord sets. I was not raised with an understanding of modesty, so it wasn't until I went through the temple before my mission -- or perhaps actually even later -- that I began to understand the joy of being modest. I want so much to teach them that wearing clothes that are immodest (or behaving in a sexualized manner) denigrates this sacred special gift they have been given. What worries me is that the push is earlier and earlier (look at the French Vogue spread using a 10 y/o girl). I'm so grateful though for the teachings I learned as an adult that I hope now to pass on.

    Thanks for this beautiful piece -- I can't wait to get to know you better!

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  2. I'm excited to read and listen to these things you mentioned here. I have also done a 5 for Friday post today.

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  3. I shared your article with YW leaders in our ward, family, and friends. They have all responded that they are grateful for the different way that you shared about modesty.

    I finished hosting a blog series this week about how women see themselves as pioneers today. Each of the posts were very different and enlightening.

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  4. Sister Beck really explains things so well! Thank you for posting this--her answers are very much how I have always felt things to be. (regarding women, men, and the Priesthood--"God's power to bless His children")

    And I had to laugh about your dear little ones--isn't that just how kiddoes are? I could just see it happening to me!

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  5. I can't wait to see the movie. I have heard such beautiful things about it.

    Thank you for the link to the article and your post. Thought provoking and inspiring.

    I just connected to Mormon Channel on our Rokus and did not know there was a RS station. Something to look forward to.

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  6. Thank you for the link to the new RS station on the Mormon Channel. I'm going to tune in right now to Sister Beck's talk!

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