Friday, March 16, 2012

Five Things For Friday, 35th Edition

-1-

This week has gone by in a blur. I can't even believe that it is already Friday again. I have been so busy this week with selling our house that I haven't had time for much of anything else. We got two offers on it this week! It has been pretty exciting, but since we are selling it by owner it has been a lot of work. Luckily my aunt is a real estate agent and has been walking me through all the paperwork. We are just praying now that at least one of the offers actually comes through. I've heard so many horror stories from people and keep getting told that you can't start celebrating until you have the money in your hand. I am just trusting that whatever is suppose to work out works out. But it would be so nice if things work out soon-- because keeping my house clean is TORTURE!

-2-

I have a confession to make.

I am mildly addicted to the Christian Rock station.

I've gone from being totally weirded out by it to having it be the only thing (besides NPR) that I listen to in the car. It is just SO positive and encouraging-- as KLOVE always likes to say-- and the music is just so good. I have to admit that some of the songs are a bit "evangelical" for me but most of the time I find myself singing at the tops of my lungs-- with Rose singing along in the back seat. Really, I love it. So much better than anything else on the radio.

One of my all time favorite Christian Rock songs is by a band called "Sanctus Real" ( I get such a kick out of the clever rock and roll religious names that bands come up with). It is called "Whatever You're Doing" and the first time I heard it I had to pull over to the side of the road because I was crying so hard. It captures SO perfectly the feelings I had two and half years ago when I wrestled with God. The chorus is:

Whatever You're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos, but somehow there's peace
And it's hard to surrender, to what I can't see
But I'm giving in to something heavenly



I was so worried that after Abe was born that all the fear and the anxiety that I had during my wrestle with God would come back. It is has been incredible to me that, except for a few little episodes of doubt, I still feel rock solid about my leap of faith. I feel like the bands on my heart have burst open and the amount of love I feel for God's children, especially those waiting for their mortal experience, is overwhelming. I now understand what Enoch felt when after seeing all of God's creations the scriptures say:

"Enoch knew, and looked... and stretched forth his arms, and his heart swelled wide as eternity; and his bowels yearned; and all eternity shook." (Moses 7:41)

I feel like my heart is swelling as wide as eternity and the amount of love I feel is incredible. I know, and it has changed everything. Perfect love does indeed cast out all fear. I can bear testimony of that.

-3-

My Father-in-law sent me this article "Saint Patrick: Worthy to be Called a Saint" by Michael Wilcox, and I thought it was an appropriate thing to share this time of year. I know it might sound really shallow, but until I read this article the idea never crossed my mind that St. Patrick's day was about a Saint named Patrick. I only associated the holiday with leprechauns, wearing green, and pinching people. I had no conception that there might be a spiritual dimension to the day. It was really interesting to read a little more about St. Patrick's life. Here is a snippet from the article:
"Patrick was born on the west coast of England in the early years of the fifth century. He was a Roman Christian, “a simple countryman . . . a beardless boy,” as he described himself. This was a dangerous time to be alive. Rome was falling and the legions that once protected the civilized life in Britain were leaving, exposing the island to a never ending series of raids. One such attack took the teenaged Patrick from family and friends across the Irish Sea where he pastured flocks on Ireland’s hills in the cold rains and wind of the northern winters. Now the boy, who by his own admission, “did not know the true God . . . did not keep his precepts” found his only solace in prayer.

After escaping from slavery and returning home, Patrick later felt called by God to return to Ireland.

"...Patrick came to Ireland as a boy, a slave, he returned with a forgiving heart, with the love of Christ—and God worked his miracle with this youth, for when he died many years later the voices of the children had been answered. They and their own children for generations, into the last edges of time, would know the gentle God who walked the shores of Galilee, would know that they too held a place in his heart. He sent them Patrick—God’s gift to the Irish and to all of us. In time Irish monks, inspired by the example of their patron saint would spread throughout Western Europe teaching the barbaric tribes who had invaded the old boundaries of the Roman Empire. They, like Patrick, would bring goodness and light, the civilizing force of their knowledge, into a world on the brink of darkness.

“I was like a stone lying in deep mire,” Patrick wrote, “and he that is mighty came, and in his mercy raised me up and, indeed, lifted me high and placed me on the top of the wall. And from there I ought to shout out in gratitude to the Lord for his great favors in this world and forever that the mind of man cannot measure.”

Incredible huh? I had no idea about this aspect of St. Patrick's day. My husband's family is all from Ireland and so his family always has big festivities on March 17th. I am excited to incorporate St. Patrick into our St. Patrick's day celebration from now on. Just another amazing dimension of my children's family history!

-4-

I was really looking forward to attending the BYU Women's Conference this year. I have never been before and have been planning on it all year. Yesterday though I found out that they don't allow nursing babies to attend the conference! I was so disappointed. I understand that they don't want to have 50 women with crying babies distracting the speakers and the audience but really you think that at a WOMEN'S conference (especially an LDS women's conference) they would try to find a way to accommodate women with little babies. I just find it hard to believe that in a big group of women you wouldn't find compassion and understanding for women who also want to be spiritually enriched and uplifted, but who happen to have a baby. Couldn't they work something out, so that young mothers don't feel "punished" for having a little nursling who sometimes cries, fusses, or drinks loudly? I don't mean to vent, but this just really bothers me.. a lot. I guess maybe if I went with a group of women we might be able to work out some sort of baby watching/nursing rotation... but ugg. I REALLY wanted to go this year!

Okay, vent over.

-5-

Speaking of nurslings.

Here is my little one.


He just turned 4 months old. I can't believe how fast he is growing up. He has started to laugh and I don't think there is anything better in the world. He just brings so much joy in to our home. Don't those cheeks just have "Kiss Me" written all over them?!

Have a wonderful weekend!

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12 comments:

  1. Thanks for the heads up about St. Patrick. Nice to know that this holiday has more to it than the fluff we see around us! So passing this on to my children.

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  2. BYU-Idaho Education Week has a "Mom's Track" for nursing mothers. This year it's July 26-28 in Rexburg, Idaho. Info and registration is at www. byui.edu/educationweek

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  3. That info about St. Patrick makes me think we've gone in the wrong direction, if we pinch people for not wearing green... ;)

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  4. I noticed the MOMs track too in Rexburg which I am glad they have been doing. My only complaint is I want a larger variety of classes to go to. Last year I happened to not be nursing so I got to attend some great classes on the Atonement and the Temple. I love classes about motherhood but I love the doctrine stuff too.

    Ok, so I am going to vent a bit about that too. In order to encourage motherhood there needs to be more acceptance of a nursling at conferences like these. I get that bringing my brood of children is not feasible (and I don't want to do that either). But, at a time in my life when I need enough spiritual sustenance to pass on to my children, I am not welcomed because I have a nursing baby. I feel this can apply to just regular church meetings too. I think it may even make some moms think that they need to wean sooner or pump and feed making the process more complicated when a latched on baby is almost always a happy, quiet baby.

    I am grateful that there are so many online opportunities to hear some of the talks or classes offered but it is fantastic to actually go.

    I'll go to the Women's Conf with you and trade taking your cute baby!

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  5. I'm hoping to go to the one in BYU Idaho. If you go, I want to meet you and you're baby!

    I loved the song you shared. I'm at that point too- exactly what the words are saying.

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  6. Robyn and Becky,

    Those offers are very tempting! Life is sort of up int he air right now, but I will let you know!

    And Robyn, AMEN to everything you said. Policies like these do make it harder for women to breastfeed-- and it just makes a culture that is already sort of hostile to breastfeeding (the God designed way to feed babies, mind you) even more hostile. This is something that I hope changes.

    This is my solution-- and maybe someday if I get a chance to propose it to someone important I will. Have a rule that children under 18 months (most nursing children over that age could go a day without nursing for nourishment) and then have a child care area for children over the age of 1 year (the mobile ones) where mothers could drop their children off for 45 minute segments while they went to classes. There are enough college students up there during the summer it would be great if they could do something like that. A women's conference really shouldn't exclude a good portion of the women who need it the most-- YOUNG MOTHERS!!!!!!!!!! Okay, now I am venting again. Ugg.

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  7. @Robyn - I totally support breastfeeding in church meetings! (and anywhere else!) I think people who want to tell a breastfeeding woman where she can and cannot feed her child needs to get a clue. I can get pretty up in arms about the breastfeeding in public issue. It just about makes me want to explode.

    I understand the frustration at not being able to take babies to women's conference, however I don't think the policy has anything to do with women breastfeeding. It has to do with having babies in the classes (whether breastfeeding, bottle feeding, etc - the policy does not discriminate). If people are paying for the conference and they want to listen in peace, they should be able to.

    That said, I am planning on going to Women's Conference and would love taking a "shift" to watch your little one so you could catch a class or two :)

    And on a sort of related, but sort of not, I had my little boy when I was getting my undergraduate degree at BYU, and my professors were surprisingly tolerant of me bringing my baby to office hours, meeting with them, and a few of them didn't mind me bringing him to class occasionally (as long my classmates didn't mind). But that is not really relevant.

    The child care sounds great - it's probably a liability issue for the university. :( I always wished that BYU had a daycare for students so I could drop my little guy off during a class. Fortunately, I had plenty of friends who didn't mind babysitting for me during classes :)

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  8. Becca, I agree with you especially about breastfeeding at church. I wrote a post about that: http://thegiftofgivinglife.com/breastfeeding-and-modesty/
    I can get pretty up in arms about it too.

    I love that your professors were so supportive of you having your baby with you. I'm not sure every university would be like that. I guess that is my thinking, obviously I would take my baby out if they were being distracting in a class or conference. I went to a babywearing conference in Rigby where you could bring your entire family if you wanted. I opted to leave them home because I could. I didn't find any of the babies distracting but I am a mom. Some of the children needed to be elsewhere because a class room environment can be hard. Every kid is different though. A friend of mine went to a family camp near BYU called Cedar ... I can't remember the full name but they had great variety of classes and activities for all ages of the family (baby care too if desired). I'm sure the cost is much higher though. And I don't hand my babies off to anyone.

    Maybe there needs to be a women's conference for moms of little ones that gives a little more variety than just classes on motherhood. A girl can dream right? In the meantime I will be looking for the online recordings.

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  9. Hooray for getting offers for your house! :) That is great news.
    I totally agree with your views on Women's Conference. It is really frustrating. I do understand why the policy is in place, but it's still so difficult to be in a position where you're basically marginalized and "banned" from attending. I do appreciate having the addresses online, but it's not quite the same. :) By the way, little Abe is absolutely adorable!!!!!!!!
    We love St. Patrick's Day at our house. I taught our little ones the legend about St. Patrick teaching the people of Ireland with the shamrock the nature of the Godhead. They loved it.
    And I'm with you on the Christian Contemporary station. I'm particularly fond of Jadon Lavik & Bethany Dillon. :)

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  10. I love that song. Your trust and faith is so inspiring. Meanwhile, I'm stuck in fear. Sigh.

    I saw that same article about St. Patrick and loved it too. Then we watched a really great movie about him on YouTube with our kids. What an amazing man he was!

    It boggles my mind that no nursing babies are allowed at Women's Conference. Ridiculous. It stirs up the frustration I felt when our R.S. has planned activities where no babies were allowed. Argh.

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  11. I had already bought tickets and made arrangements to travel to Utah to attend BYU Women's Conference in 2009 before I learned I couldn't take my nursing baby. I decided to go anyway. My husband took time off work to watch the baby and our two older children on BYU campus those days. There was plenty for them to do there--museums, places to eat, ducks to feed at the botany pond, grassy places to play, the indoor track to run around or push a stroller on. We planned times to meet between classes to nurse the baby. The grassy hills outside the Wilk worked well for some feedings. (We were lucky the weather was nice.) There is also a kids room in the Bean museum that has toys in the drawers and a rocking chair. That gave me a nice place to nurse and the older kids had fun building with the lincoln logs there. Good luck.

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  12. I find that I would rather just watch the excerpts from women's conference during my nursing years than attend. I have attended before, and while it is nice, I find that what I really like listening to is the opening and/or closing in which Julie Beck and an apostle speak. That's the best part, and they broadcast it.

    I also think their solution is to broadcast it for nursing mothers' benefit, as well. I can see from their point of view that they are trying to record the sessions, and it really is distracting when you hear baby noises (even if they are nice...I LOVE them!) when you are trying to, say, philosophize with Truman G. Madsen, or hear a song by Michael Ballam. When sound is the medium, any other sounds can be distracting.

    I have been nursing for over a decade, and will be for some time in the future, so it is not likely I will have a chance to attend. That's okay. I, too, used to be exasperated at the lack of nursing friendliness at a CHURCH women's conference--especially when we are doing what they've asked us to do, and now we are getting disinvited because we are doing the right thing? UGH. But then I just realized that the Lord could give me a boost and a spiritually charged weekend if I asked Him to, and He has. Also, I do like watching the broadcast at home.

    If you really want a cause--why not lobby for "pregnant parking" at church like they have at Babies R Us? That would be nice. :)

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