Friday, November 30, 2012

Five Things for Friday, 51st Edition

-1-

I feel like Thanksgiving got hijacked this year.

I have never been a big fan of "Black Friday" and have actually never been out early enough to see what it is really like. Though, this year I was sorely tempted to go out and get a cheap printer. But Jon has taken a blood oath not to buy anything on Black Friday for the rest of our lives... and so I didn't go. Afterward I was thinking about it and was really frustrated that the time in which stores are starting their Black Friday sales is getting earlier and earlier.

Last year stores opened their sales at midnight, but this year they opened their doors as early as 8 or 9 on Thanksgiving day. That just doesn't seem right to me. Not only does it force people to work on a day they should be spending with their family but it turns the ONE day a year when America is gathered together to give thanks to God into a day of "more, more, more, more."

It is exact opposite of what Thanksgiving is all about.

I won't be surprised if next year the stores open their doors even earlier, until the whole day becomes a shopping fest and the attitude of the woman my dad met becomes the norm. She told him, " Oh, all of my family is out shopping all over town today and tomorrow. So we are celebrating Thanksgiving on Saturday."

I feel like Thanksgiving is loosing its meaning.

Does that make anyone else but me really sad?


-2-

I have turned into "that" woman at the library.

You know the one who checks out exorbitant amounts of children's books and loads them into her stroller.

The one who makes you think, "Wow, good thing the library has a limit of how many books you can check out, because that lady would take them all." 

That was me today.

I maxed out the check out limit (which is 35 books) on both mine and Asher's library card.

I think the smartly dressed man behind me, who was only checking out two audio books, nearly died when I pulled more books out from the basket under my stroller.

I started to feel really self conscious about it and started to apologize about having so many books, but the sweet librarian just smiled big and told me, "It makes me happy you all like to read so much."

Which made me feel better.

Until I had to lug all those books, two fighting kids, a bored baby, and a stroller with a flat tire all the way out to the car.

But you know, I think I might be able to embrace this newly acquired identity. Because being "that" lady at the library does have some perks. She gets to go home and snuggle cute kids until they get bored of this monstrous pile of books.


Which will be about Tuesday of next week, when we will repeat the trip.

Hopefully without the flat tire.


-3-

So, just a question for any of you that live in the Utah or Idaho area. If I were  to do a book signing for "The Gift of Giving Life" would any of you come? We may have the opportunity to do a few but I am terrified of the idea because, "what if no one came and I just sat there by myself looking pathetic?" So, just wondering... would you come?

And just  another reminder that until December 20th we will be offering a 33% discount on the book when you buy three or more. It is a great book to have on hand for a gift for baby showers and the new (or old) mothers in your life! Or you could team up with two other friends and get a great deal!

Also, our book is now in the following Deseret Book locations and they have some wonderful sales and discounts going on for Christmas time.

Downtown SLC, Utah
Sugarhouse, Utah
University Village
Orange, CA
American Fork, Utah
Pocatell, Idaho
Layton, Utah
Ft Union, Utah
Idaho Falls, Idaho
Bountiful, Utah
Boise, Idaho
Denver, CO
Orem Parkway, Utah
Rexburg, Idaho
Chandler, AZ
Meridian, Idaho
Idaho Falls Temple, Idaho
Twin Falls, Idaho

So tell your hubby to go down and get you one for your Christmas stocking!


-4-

I bet you didn't know November 19th is  World Toilet Day.

Then again you probably aren't married to an environmental engineer,

who has a passion for waste water,

whose name is Jon (another name for a toilet in the US).

and whose birthday is the same day as World Toilet Day.

Jon thinks that this is a cosmic coincidence and takes great joy in it.

For the last few years we have  incorporated World Toilet Day into his birthday celebration .

So how do you celebrate World Toilet Day?

You squat.

For a minute.

To bring awareness to the 2.5 million people with out proper sanitation (that means no form of toilet or latrine... at all... nada... it means on the ground... in the water... you get the idea) and the 1.8 million people, mostly children, who die from disease related to poor sanitation.

(Squatting is actually the legitimate way to acknowledge world toilet day, in case you ever want to)

This year we didn't actually squat, because Jon had all the people he works with do it instead. 

He said it was awkward, but educational.

In years past I have made him toilet themed cakes. The first year I made a toilet cake, 


the second year I did a toilet paper roll cake,
 

last year  I made a duckweed cake (which was the aquatic plant he did his thesis on),

and this year I made him a "constipated clarifier" cake.
 
 A clarifer is a piece of water treatment equipment and earlier this year Jon was on a job where he had to shovel mud (clean mud) out of one. When he told me what he was doing I laughed and told him he was working on a constipated clarifier, he  thought that was really funny. So this cake (actually just ice cream with chocolate pudding) was our nerdy joke. 

Tacky?  Yes.

But then, you have to be lighthearted about what you do in Jon's line of work. 

It saves lives, but it isn't always pretty. 
Abe liked it!
By the way, if you have any good ideas for more toilet themed cakes, I'd love to hear them. I will probably be doing this for many more years to come. It has become one of Jon's favorite birthday traditions.



-5-

When I was pregnant with Rose my sisters gave me a little red pea coat for her. They knew how much I loved my red coat and they thought it would be cute if we had matching ones. I was so happy that she could finally fit into this year.

See we match!
We also got a three-generations-of-red-coats-picture with my mom at Thanksgiving. I really do love this coat, but I examined by soul this week and realized that I really am at a point in my life where I could give it up freely... which feels good.


We also got some family pictures taken with my dad and siblings. It was a riot.

I love these people. 








Have a wonderful weekend!

If you want to link to your own "Five Things for Friday" post you can use the tool below to add your link. 1) Please link to the URL of your blog post and not your main blog and 2) Please include a link back here.




Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Nitty Gritty Women's Work

This was originally posted July 2009, but I have been feeling the same way again recently. I guess this is why it is good to write down your feelings-- they help strengthen you later. It is crazy to think I wrote this when Asher was only 19 months old... time goes by way too fast. It is also a fun tidbit to know that at the time I wrote this I was also 8 months pregnant with Rose and on crutches with a broken foot :)

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  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 the nitty gritty every day work 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.  If women don't get enough credit and recognition for their work that they do for men and children it is our failing as a society, and not God's. 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 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.  God knows what I've been up to and that is what counts

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Perfect Gift

I have a wonderful gift to give you this holiday season-- a discount to help you share "The Gift of Giving Life: Re-discovering the Divine Nature of Pregnancy and Birth" with the people you love.  

A coupon code for 33% off 

if you buy 3 or more copies!


This only will work if you buy it through our store and enter the coupon code  FSLUTHK9
 (expires December 20th)

The details: 
  • This is pretty much buy 2 get 1 free
  • Shipping will be $4.77 for regular shipping, which says it can take up to 2 weeks.  It usually comes much faster, but if you want the books to be under the tree you should order by December 12th for regular shipping.
  • If you just want one for yourself, you could team up with two friends and get the book for real cheap! But afterward you will probably wish you had another one to give away :) 
The Gift of Giving Life is  a perfect gift have on hand for baby showers, new mothers, old mothers, young women, and just about any woman in your life. This is a book that you will love to share. We have had dozens of women buy multiple copies of it-- I think the record right was set by a woman (a single woman at that) who bought 10 copies, and she wasn't even related to any of the authors!



You can read excerpts and reviews on our website.

Give The Gift of Giving Life for Christmas, it will be a gift that will touch the hearts of those you love.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My Life is a Tree, not a Path

"I sat this afternoon to read during the boys’ nap. I was going through the botanical theory book and while I was reading I remembered something Blue Horse said to me back before Gilbert was born. He said wisdom is not a path, it is a tree. At the time I was too busy to give it much thought, so I nodded politely but didn’t pay much attention. Now I see that he was surely right. I have been sad almost a whole year, thinking that taking that test was somehow the end of my learning and that not having that as a possibility in my future left a big empty spot in my life that the children and the ranch didn’t fill. But my life is not like that, it is a tree, and I can stay in one place and spread out in all directions, and I can do more learning shading this brood of mine that if I was all alone. I declare, it is like some other part of me made up some rules about happiness and I just went along with them without thinking. My heart in lightened so much that I am amazed at how sad I felt for so long.”

- Sarah Prine in "These is my Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1091” by Nancy E. Turner, pg. 318.





I feel grounded

choked down by laundry, children, dishes,  covenants 

choices already made



Time is racing past me 

the march of degrees, careers, travel, experience

steadily passing me by 

like hikers on a mountain trail.



They get closer to the top,

  I am so far behind

How will I ever catch up? 



So I start planning.

A master's degree

 or a PhD?

(ancient studies, perhaps)

A career?

(a midwife)

Sounds nice.



My heart starts out,

that narrow, aspiring climb.

I feel the rush of an adventure,

 the exhilaration of a calling,

and the allure of that high mountain peak.



 Then I hear a familiar whisper,

 the hurried steps of little feet 

and I see that there  is not enough room on that path 

for more

Someone will be left behind

delayed

--and then--

forgotten.



So instead,

 I stay.

 Sending my roots deeper and deeper,

nourished  

 by the lives of those who have gone before. 



  I stretch,

--painfully--

 my branches reaching higher 

and higher 

into the future.


Welcoming all who wish to rest,

giving life,  

learning,

(the librarian knows me by name)

growing,

(still typing long after everyone has gone to bed )

and expanding.



Let the  climbers pass me by.

 My life is not a path 

to be followed, planned or reached.



My life is a tree

rooted, 

firm,  

and

constant


My branches soar into the heavens

and reach wide as eternity.

That mountain peak is already

far below me,
and as I glance upwards

I see that my possibilities  for growth

are endless. 


 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Five Things for Friday, 50th Edition

Wow, this is my 50th Five Things For Friday. Actually, more than that because I don't number all of them. That is a whopping lot of words. 

Are you tired of me yet?
-1-

We started a new tradition this year. Well, actually I don't know if we can call it a "tradition" yet since this is the first time we have done it, but I intend to keep it up. So, we'll count it.
 Starting on the first day of November I bought a new package of Post-it Notes and told everyone that each time we sit down to a meal at the table everyone has to write down at least one thing that they are grateful for and then stick it on the sliding door.


Our door is slowly getting covered and I am sure by the end of the month we won't be able to see out of it. My kids have loved doing this and Asher never forgets to remind us "DO, THANK YOU NOTES!" So far we have notes from everything from " Autumn leaves", "two cars that work", " Friends", "Ramen Noodles" and "Movies from the Library" (which shows you what my kids think the library is for). It has been a fun reminder to express gratitude to the Lord for all things.




 

I have been really impressed by what my children have chosen to be grateful for. They have shown a spiritual depth that has humbled me. Like this one from Rose saying she was grateful for Joseph Smith.
  

And then there is this one


I mean, who isn't grateful for Baby Unicorns?


-2-

Remember my review on the wonderful scripture journals from Personal Ponderings

Well Michelle, the owner of the company has a wonderful gift for all of my readers. She is offering you all 30% off on any of the journals in her store. This will be a standing discount (meaning it won't expire) that you can use at any time and as many times and you would like. To get the discount you just type in  WITS  (it must be in caps) into the "coupon" box when you check out.

If you are looking to start your own scripture journal I would highly recommend this journal. Also, if  you are looking for gifts for friends and family she also has a personal journal and a literary journal in addition to the scripture journal.

I will have a button on my blog side bar with the code and a link to the website so that you can find it easier.


-3-

It isn't often that I read a book that touches me deeply.

But this short children's story  has changed my heart... in a profound way.



This book was incredible. I listened to in on tape and I think I used up a whole tank of gas driving around aimlessly in order to listen to the end of it. When I finished I made Jon listen to it and he finished in less than two days (there went another tank of gas) and said it was one of the best stories he'd ever heard. I agreed. It just bumped "Peter Pan"  down to #6 on my top 5 favorite books list.

I don't even know where to begin to explain how this book touched my heart. I checked it out from the library because it was on a list I found of books to teach children about humility. It is certainly a powerful story about humility and gratitude but it is also about faith, kindness, perseverance, following promptings, truth, miracles, and family. The story is fun and engaging but its message is powerful and soul changing.

If you want a wonderful book to read for Thanksgiving (or any time really) I can't recommend this one enough.

-4-

Abe has to be the just about the cutest crawler there ever was. A few months ago he started to waggle (is that a word?) his head back and forth whenever he crawls. For the longest time I couldn't figure out why he did it. Then one day I realized that he thinks that if he waggles his head it makes him go faster. He will crawl normal and then as soon as he really wants to get something he starts the head waggling. It is pretty cute.

It was really hard to catch it on video but I finally got a few clips of it. If you want to see what I am talking about he does it for the first 30 seconds or so... but then the rest is me talking in a funny mommy voice and spying on my kids.

video

Also, if you hold Abe and start to waggle your head and say "ooooh, oooh," he will start to waggle it back at you. It is a strange, but really fun game to play with him :)

-5-

Oh, and I loved the ideas that this website gave for teaching children to be grateful. I got the post-it note idea from her and I really like her  idea of giving some one a thank-you jar. I also plan on making these gratitude rolls for Thanksgiving this year. I figure they  will either be amazing or a real disaster. Hopefully it is the former.

 Happy Early Thanksgiving!

PS. There won't Five Things next week because we will traveling to be with family.

If you want to link to your own "Five Things for Friday" post you can use the tool below to add your link. 1) Please link to the URL of your blog post and not your main blog and 2) Please include a link back here.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Potiphar's Wife


Genesis 39

Background: abt. 1544 BC

After Joseph's brothers sold him to the Ishmeelities (Gen. 37) he was bought as a slave by an Egyptian named Potiphar who took him to Egypt. The Lord was with Joseph and when Potiphar saw that the Lord prospered everything that Joseph did he "found grace in his sight" (Gen. 39:4). Consequently Potiphar made Joseph the overseer (head servant) of his entire household and gave him complete control of his finances, so much that Potiphar, "Knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat" (Gen. 39:6).   Potiphar and all his household were blessed for Joseph's sake.

Facts About Her:

  • She was the wife of Potiphar who was the, "officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard" (Gen. 39:1);  
  • After Potiphar put Joseph in charge of his entire household she saw that Joseph was "a goodly person, and well favored", meaning that he was talented and good looking. She "cast her eyes upon Joseph" and asked him to lie with her (Gen 39: 7); 
  •  Joseph refused her explaining that her husband had trusted him with the care of his whole household and had given him access to anything he wanted, except for her because she was his Master's wife (Gen. 39: 8-9). Even so Joseph didn't refuse her on Potiphars' behalf but because he served a high master, he asked her, "...how then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God? (Gen. 39: 9)"
  • Even after this she continued to solicit advances from Joseph and "...she spake to Joseph day by day" yet, "...he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her " (Gen. 39:10).
  •  One day, when all of the other men of the house were out except for Joseph, she caught him by his garment and again begged him to lie with her her. To escape from her Joseph had to leave his garment in her hand and flee from the house (Gen. 39: 11-12). 
  •  When Potiphar's wife saw that he had fled, but that she still  had his garment in her hand, she called all the men of the house and tried to frame Joseph for attempted rape saying, "See.... he came in unto me to lie with me, and I cried with a loud voice. And it came to pass, when he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled, and got him out"  (Gen. 39:14-15). 
  •  She "laid up his garment by her" until Potiphar got home and told him the same story of how Joseph attempted to rape her while all the men of the house were out. When Potiphar heard her story "his wrath was kindled" and he took Joseph and put him into the prison where the King's prisoners were kept (Gen. 39: 19-20).

Speculations About Her:
  • Some have speculated that Potiphar may have been an eunuch (a castrated man) because the Hebrew word ("cariyc") which is translated as "officer" of Pharaoh can also be translated as   "eunuch".  Traditionally eunuchs were used (or made) in order to protect the sexual purity of a king's harem or family. Yet, scholars have agreed that the use of this word does not necessarily indicate that the man was castrated but that could be used in a general way to describe someone who was a high official in the King's court.  In the Bible the word "cariyc" is translated as "officer" or "chamberlain" 13 times and translated as "eunuch" 17 times (source). Seeing that Potiphar was married it is likely that  he was not a "real" eunuch, but that this word was used to describe his high rank. Though it is always possible that he was.
  •  It appears that Potiphar may not have fully  believed his wife's story because it appears that Joseph  received a very light punishment, considering the charge. In "Women's Rights in the Old Testament" James A. Baker writes,  
"Even with our limited understanding of Egyptian law, this seems like light punishment for attempted rape of the wife of a high-ranking official of the Egyptian government. An instructive Egyptian folk tale from the thirteenth century B.C., about two or three hundred years after Joseph’s period, concerns two brothers, Anubis and Bata. Anubis was married, and Bata came to work for him on his farm. One day as they were out planting in the field, Anubis sent Bata to the house to get more seed. Not wishing to make more than one trip, Bata took a huge load. Anubis’s wife admired his physical strength and suggested he spend an hour in bed with her. Appalled, Bata told her never to say such a thing again and he would not mention anything about it.

The unnamed angry wife ingested some fat and grease to make herself sick and to look as if she had been beaten. When her husband came home, she told him that Bata had propositioned her and that when she had refused he had beaten her so she would not tell. She asked him to kill Bata so that he would not try to rape her again. Anubis was enraged and waited in ambush at the shed for Bata. As Bata brought the cows into the shed, the animals warned him of Anubis’s intent, and Bata was able to escape.

After a long chase Bata and Anubis talked at a distance. Bata convinced Anubis of his innocence, and Anubis after returning home slew his wife and threw her body to the dogs. If this story embodies any accepted Egyptian legal principle, [p.122]death may have been the penalty for attempted rape. Perhaps Potiphar was less than convinced by his wife’s evidence. In the biblical story, Joseph eventually rises to become chief minister of Egypt, but the wife of Potiphar is not heard from again." Source

My Thoughts:

Until several months ago I hadn't given much attention to the story of Potiphar's wife. Honestly, most of what I knew about her story I had learned from Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical, "Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat". Remember...

She was beautiful but evil,
Saw a lot of men against his will
He could have to tell he that she still
Was his

Joseph's looks and handsome figure

Had attracted her attention
Every morning she would beckon 

Come and lie with me love 

Joseph wanted to resist her,
Till one day she proved too eager
Joseph cried in vain 

Please stop
I don't believe in free love
(listen to the song here)

Poor Joseph didn't stand a chance, right?

It had never really dawned on me that there might be something to learn from the story of a woman who was vilified as a sexually promiscuous "man-eater." Then one day for my scripture study I randomly opened up to Genesis 39 and as I read the story of Potiphar's wife I saw her story with new eyes.

Genesis 39 is almost always taught from Joseph's perspective and is used as an example of how to flee from sexual sin.  I think that this is a good aspect of the story and I agree that Joseph should be upheld as a worthy example. Yet, I think that understanding the story--tragedy really-- of Potiphar's wife is an equally important story and one that has powerful lessons for youth and adults.

As I have studied the story of Potiphar's wife the less I think that she was the promiscuous sexual predator that she is often made out to be. What I see is a  bored, lonely rich woman whose life was not everything she had dreamed it would be. Perhaps her marriage with Potiphar was unhappy, perhaps she lacked intellectual stimulation,  perhaps she was far from home and family, perhaps she felt unwanted or undervalued. Perhaps Potiphar really was an eunuch and she lacked intimacy and the possibility for children. There are hundreds of reasons why she began--  perhaps even unknowingly-- to  "cast her eyes" around in search of something else.  It just so happened that her eyes fell upon Joseph-- young, handsome, talented, honest, smart, loyal, and blessed by the Lord. One can only imagine that she must have compared him to Potiphar and saw in Joseph all the things she felt her marriage and life were lacking.

I think that when you closely study the story of Potiphar's wife and Joseph it becomes apparent that her desire and passion for Joseph was something that was built over time. I don't think she saw Joseph and a few days later was chasing him around trying to get him into bed with her. No, the story suggests that she and Joseph knew each other well and that she had allowed an emotional intimacy to build between them-- way before she ever asked Joseph to be with her.

Consider the manner in which Joseph rejects her initial invitation. The first time she offers her self to him Joseph does not run away or dismiss her  rudely, instead he speaks kindly to her and explains in great depth (by bible standards) why he can not be with her. He tells her,


"Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand; There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife.." 
These aren't the words of someone who is trying to escape the advances of a "man-eater" but rather his manner indicates that he cares about her feelings and wants to treat them with respect. He is speaking to her as a close friend, and his final phrase to her indicates that she knows him well enough to understand his heart and his moral beliefs. He says,
"... how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?"
It appears that she couldn't accept this answer. She  offered him all she had to give and he rejected her. She was convinced that Joseph cared for her and that if she tried hard enough she could make him choose her over his God. At this point Joseph realized that his relationship with her had gone beyond what it should have and so he tried to back away from her. Yet Genesis 39:10 tells us that she continued (indicating that she already had been) speaking to Joseph,  ".... day by day, [but] that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her."

Since they lived in the same household Joseph was unable to completely avoid her and one day, when all the other men servants were out of the house, she cornered Joseph and begged  him to lie with her. This time he fled and ended up leaving his "garment" in her hands.

After this rejection it appears that her pride and feelings were hurt so deeply that she tried to hurt Joseph like he hurt her. She kept his garment and called in the other men servants and (perhaps playing off of already existing jealousy among the servants) told them how her husband, " hath brought in an Hebrew unto us to mock us" and claimed that Joseph made sexual advances to her. Later she told the same story to Potiphar  and the relative meekness of Joseph's punishment indicates that  Potiphar may not have totally believed her story. Not because she was known for being unfaithful but perhaps because he knew the strength of Joseph's character and integrity. 

Really the story of Potiphar's wife is a tragedy. It is a sad example of what happens when a husband or wife allows themselves to "cast their eyes" around. It is rare that fornication or adultery happens quickly, it is often something that is built slowly and steadily over time. It usually begins with people becoming emotionally intimate first. In the 2009 Ensign article, "Fidelity in Marriage: It's More than You Think",  it explains, 

"Fidelity includes refraining from physical contact—but that is not all. Fidelity also means complete commitment, trust, and respect between husband and wife... Physical infidelity is only one of the many temptations Satan uses to break up families and marriages. Emotional infidelity, which occurs when emotions and thoughts are focused on someone other than a spouse, is an insidious threat that can weaken the trust between a couple and shatter peace of mind. Emotional infidelity doesn’t usually happen suddenly; rather, it occurs gradually—often imperceptibly at first. This is one reason why those involved often feel innocent of any wrongdoing."

Being unfaithful to your spouse starts with your thoughts. It begins when you start comparing your spouse to someone else, it escalates when you start rationalizing the time you are spending with someone else, and climaxes when you  start investing the energy that should go into fixing your marriage into creating a new relationship with someone other than your spouse. As Spencer W. Kimball said,
"There are those married people who permit their eyes to wander and their hearts to become vagrant, who think it is not improper to flirt a little, to share their hearts and have desire for someone other than the wife or the husband. The Lord says in no uncertain terms: “Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else” (D&C 42:22) And, when the Lord says all thy heart, it allows for no sharing nor dividing nor depriving. And, to the woman it is paraphrased: “Thou shalt love thy husband with all thy heart and shalt cleave unto him and none else.” The words none else eliminate everyone and everything. The spouse then becomes preeminent in the life of the husband or wife, and neither social life nor occupational life nor political life nor any other interest nor person nor thing shall ever take precedence over the companion spouse." ("Faith Precedes the Miracle" (1972), 142–43.)

The story of Potiphar's wife is just as applicable in our modern world as it was in ancient times. In fact, I think that the opportunity for married people to "cast their eyes" about is even greater now than it has ever been before.  Not only do we have multiple opportunities to interact closely with men and women in work, school and church settings but we also have the expanded world of the Internet. "Casting your eyes" about can start with seemingly small interactions, like re-connecting with an old friend or boyfriend on Facebook, confiding your ideas and dreams with an online friend rather than your spouse, or saving up your thoughts to tell to a co-worker who seems to understand you much better.  In her article, "Virtual Reality, Actual Risks" the author shares how her marriage and family were  destroyed because of her involvement with an online acquaintance. She says, 

"I don’t know any [one] who intends to turn a friendship into an extramarital affair. I know I never imagined such devastation. But emotional affairs are affairs, and they damage relationships, even when they don’t involve sexual infidelity... Emotional attachment to someone who is not our spouse makes it impossible to love our spouse as the Lord commanded. The resulting heartache and feelings of betrayal are difficult to imagine when such relationships begin, but they can be devastating." 

 In the end, I can't help but feel  sorry for Potiphar's wife. She had numerous occasions to stop and walk away from the mess she had created, but she couldn't. She let her appetites and desires rule her spirit and it resulted in tragedy-- for Joseph, for her, and for Potiphar.

Learn from her mistakes and be fiercely loyal to your spouse-- heart, mind and body.

Questions to Think About:
  • How do you think she felt when Joseph ended up in jail? Do you think she felt remorse? How do you imagine she felt when later Joseph became Pharaoh's advisor and one of the most powerful men in Egypt? 
  • How can you relate to Potiphar's wife? Are there people or things in your life that you "cast your eyes" upon that are leading your heart down the wrong path? 
  • How can helping young men and  women understand this story better help them create stronger relationships and be fiercely loyal in marriage? 
  • How do you think Potihpar's wife's actions affected her marriage and her relationship with Potiphar? What could she have done to avoid or escape the situation she put herself in? 

Here are articles for additional reading all of which have excellent questions you can ask yourself to evaluate whether or not you are being emotionally faithful to your spouse.



Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Would Democracy Cease to Exist?

I have a theory that I want to test.

This is it:

That if it wasn't for women-- especially women over 40-- democracy as we know it would fall apart because there would be no one to run the polls.

I am just curious, how many men did you see running the polls where you went to vote?

 Today was the first time I have ever seen male poll workers when I went to vote. Usually whenever I have voted before it has been all women. I realize that more men have to work during the day than women, but still it seems strange that it is always women.


Is this just a strange phenomenon of my own life?

What was the gender distribution of poll workers where you voted?

Also, for all you international readers I'd be curious to know how the polling places are in your country. Are they mainly run by men or women, or a good balance?

Just curious.

Personally, I think it is pretty awesome that so many women work the polls in our country and keep democracy alive and well.

These women would be proud. 



I sure love old pictures of suffragettes, especially ones pushing babies.
 Though, I'm glad strollers have gotten a bit more high-tech since then.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Five Things For Friday, Halloween Edition

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I know I gave you a peek at my kids Halloween costumes in my last post, but they looked so cute that I want to share them again.




Asher was a mummy. He has been telling me since last Halloween that he wanted to be a mummy this year. All year I fretted over how to make a mummy costume that he could actually go to the bathroom in. Because, you just know that as soon as I got him all wrapped up he would have to go. Finally I found this great video that has fairly simple instructions on how to turn a white pair of pants, a sheet, and a white turtle neck into a great mummy costume.





Rose told me she wanted to be a princess for Halloween (surprise, surprise) but when I asked her which princess she wanted to be she said "Cleopatra!". For the last few months I have been trying to find books for her at the library that are about REAL princess, not just the Disney ones.  She loved the book on Cleopatra, but we had returned it months ago and so I was really surprised that she remembered about her. I was sure she would want to be Cinderella but was thrilled she'd rather be a historical figure. Though, if the truth be told, Cinderella is probably a much better role model than Cleopatra... her story is quite risque, to say the least.

She loved getting the make-up on loved parading around in her costume. She was quick to correct anyone who called her "an Egyptian", a "Roman" or a "Princess".  "No", she'd say, "I am Cleo-Patra!" She made a lot of people chuckle.




And Abe was just about the cutest mouse ever. I saw the pattern for this costume months ago and knew that is what he needed to be. Maybe it is his one little tooth, or his skinny little body, but he just fits the mouse role so well. I was just happy he kept the hat on... most of the time.



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These are the pumpkins we carved. The one with the toothpicks in it is Rose's "puppy" pumpkin. She picked the strangest shaped pumpkin-- it wouldn't stand up straight-- and we were a bit challenged figuring out what to do with it. I think she was pretty creative! 


The one with the big eyes is Abe's (ie. mine) and the scary one is Asher's. He spent hours looking at pictures of pumpkins I downloaded on the iPad and decided that this design was the scariest. Jon helped him draw it and carve it.  We all agreed his was by far the most terrifying. 




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This week I shared a post on The Gift of Giving Life Blog on Ideas for Tasteful Halloween Pregnancy Costumes. When I was pregnant with Asher Jon painted my belly like a pumpkin and that was really fun.

But last year I was almost 9 months pregnant with Abe but I couldn't find any new costume ideas that weren't super tacky. So I compiled this list of cute and fun ideas that I found so that if I am ever again pregnant around Halloween I will have some good ideas. If you have any more ideas please share them, it would be great to have a great big list of ideas!

Also, even if you aren't pregnant this would be a fun post to pin on Pinterest,  just so that you have it around in case you (or someone else) ever need it!


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Just one more idea to go along with my last post about celebrating Halloween. In addition to going to the temple on Halloween I also read D&C 138, the vision of the spirit world, to the kids for family scripture study. It seemed like a good story to tell them on Halloween. I think it went over with them well, and I am sure as they get older it will make even more sense.


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This has nothing to do with Halloween but it is really helpful. This website has an archive of all the pre-1970 General Conference Reports. This is really great because the LDS.org website only has all the General Conference Ensigns after 1970. So if you ever want to check the validity of some obscure quote or just read some really amazing old talks this is the place to go.


I would LOVE to see pictures of your family dressed up for Halloween so PLEASE link your posts up-- even if they aren't a "Five Thing" post! 

Or if you just want to link to your own "Five Things for Friday" post you can use the tool below to add your link. 1) Please link to the URL of your blog post and not your main blog and 2) Please include a link back here.