Monthly Archives: May 2016

Spiritually Speaking

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While lying in bed perusing Facebook this morning, I came upon this gem of a post by Greg Trimble entitled “ You Can Make Fun of Me for Being a Mormon if You Want…” I immediately swyped out a response on my Kindle, but upon  reading it later at my desktop, I found it to be wholly inadequate (not to mention filled with typos and structural errors!) in expressing the deeper feelings of my heart on the subject of my faith. So, without further ado, here’s what I meant to say…Images-of-jesus-christ-097-2c

I was raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and had what I thought was a strong testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel, as taught by said church, as a teen. But somewhere around seventeen, I started going off track, and by nineteen I was pretty much there. Looking for the love I didn’t feel I had in my family took me to a place I never imagined I would be. Eventually, it became easier to push faith to the back of my mind than to live with the guilt of my actions.

At 21, I married a great Christian guy (actually, we met just as I was trying to come back to church). We tried to find a middle ground between my LDS faith and his Pentecostal one, but by the time I was 24, pushing 25, it was clear to my both heart and soul, I needed to be back in what I strongly believe to be Christ’s restored church, not biding time in a holding pen. The people I met in the other Christian denominations we tried were generally lovely, kind people (as long as they didn’t know I was a Mormon); I expected nothing less. During my years in their pews, I learned intimately about the beliefs of others and the likenesses (there are so many!) between my “LDS Christianity” and their “mainstream” kind. But despite nodding my head in agreement with many of their teachings, I could never get past the fact that something was missing, at least for me. AChristus2

So, for 16 years after I returned to the faith of my youth, my dear husband and I “split the difference,” alternating Sundays at each other’s church. Although, I am the one that has been more involved in the “other than Sunday” activities of my ward; and I’ve no doubt that was part of the reason both of my girls chose to be baptized in the LDS faith. Sadly, in all of our years together, hubby has chosen to be an only- on-Sunday worshiper (he’s not much of a socializer/ joiner). The fissure that occurred in the church community of his youth (and his family) when he married a heathen like me (“He was such a good boy, until…”), the cold shoulder we’ve received at times from mainstreamers when they learned I was LDS, and the fact that he is a federal law enforcement officer (naturally stand-offish and very distrustful), has made it difficult for hubby to insert himself meaningfully into any church. He prefers the anonymity of being last in and first out. To be sure, you don’t have to answer many personal questions that way, which suits him just fine.

Well, the every-other-Sunday agreement he and I made before the kids came along worked fine for a while, but after Blondie, our oldest daughter, turned twelve, it was once again clear a change need to be made; she was growing up without a firm anchor to either his faith or mine. She was getting nothing out of our compromise, and Brownie, our youngest, was getting even less. After all, it is hard to make connections on any level, especially as a kid, when you only see people every other week; and if you
actually don’t want to talk to anyone, it’s even worse! The change we agreed upon was that my two girls and I would attend our ward full time and he would come with us every other week (a day I jokingly refer to as  his “Outreach Sunday”). On the “off” weeks, he attends his church solo (but due to the lack of his exact flavor of a Pentecostal church locally, he actually attends the Methodist church, which was our middle ground denomination in the early years of our marriage).

Now that we are coming up on five years since we made that last change, it’s gratifying to contrast where we were to where we are. Our compromise isn’t ideal, but it has worked as I had prayed it would. I’ve watched my girls’ connections to both the faith, in general, and Christ, in specific, grow and develop beautifully, as has my own. Because of some rough family issues in my youth, church means “family” to me. It was breaking my heart that my kids weren’t developing that same sense of church members being an extended family, and even worse they had no deep, meaningful understanding of God’s love and Christ’s atoning sacrifice for us. But they are getting it now…especially my Blondie. Her faith, her testimony simply amaze me!large

I’m personally grateful for the testimony that I have of Christ as my Savior and His grace that attends me each and every day as I struggle and thrive in this earthly testing ground. Without my upbringing in the LDS faith, the examples of Christ-like love and direction that have attended me as a direct result of my “Mormonism,” I don’t know if I would be in any church today. My path has not been smooth nor easy, and during long periods, I’ve struggled mightily, due both to my own choices and those of others. I’ve had doubts and questions, some that have been answered well, some that I’ve chosen to “put a pin in” for now, but always I have had faith in Christ. My faith has seen me through the rough patches, created within me a gratitude and joy I could not know without Him, and it gives me a vision of who I really am: the daughter of a King.

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Interested in more reading? Here’s a few that have influenced me:

The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ

The Holy Bible (particularly the KJV version)

The God Who Weeps, Letter to a Doubter, and Crucible of Doubt, Givens

Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus, Spangler and TverbergBOM11

Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling, Bushman

Planted: Belief and Belonging in an Age of Doubt, Mason

Shaken Faith Syndrome and Of Faith and Reason, Ash

LDS- Gospel Topics Essays

A Reason For Faith, Hales

The Weight of Glory and Mere Christianity, Lewis

Letters to a Young Mormon, Miller

The Rage Against God, Hitchens

LDS Living

A Different Jesus?Claiming Christ, and The Mormon Faith, Millet

Comparing LDS and Evangelical Beliefs

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I
nterested in commenting? Feel free to do so, but know that I do not engage in arguments about my faith. There are plenty of bloggers and the like that do, but I prefer instead to state our 11th Article of Faith and leave it at that: We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may. 

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My Time is Coming Around Again

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This image pretty well sums up how I feel from late August until mid-May every year while my “homeschooled” kids are “in” school. I am decidedly not a super mom. In fact, far more often than I probably should, I feel like a super loser (insert head smack or hug, and the reminder ‘You are doing better than you think you are!’).

To my credit, I can multi-task, to a degree, and I probably do it at least as well as the average mom. I mean I can schedule dental, optical, and medical appointments for myself and three other people; worry incessantly about my children’s future, drive all over kingdom come for my kids and husband, volunteer for Meals on Wheels a few times a month, get the car serviced (sometimes), do or schedule needed house maintenance, go to a weekly scripture group, workout five times a week, make sure my kids are doing their class work (and help, when needed), do the grocery shopping, cook (ahem…), obsess over healthy eating and whether or not my kids have had an adequate number of fruits and vegetables each day, replace or repair worn clothes and shoes, consider writing a budget, clean enough cat hair off of my floors and furniture to make a horde of Tribbles every week, keep up with the news, be “outraged” at the current political climate, ponder life and spiritual things, do monthly service projects, and sleep.
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Additionally,  I even manage to do “enrichment” activities like read non-fiction, watch HGTV shows on Netflix, play Words with Friends, pop on and off of Facebook (as my sanity allows), date my husband, and get a massage once a month (to help deal with all the tension that the above happy list creates in my neck and shoulders).

What I have found I cannot do, however, is write and do family fun. It just doesn’t happen. I’m on the road way too much during the school year to write well…and I suck at using a laptop. It simply isn’t natural for me; a real keyboard is a must.

Oh, and I do kind of get an “F” in maintaining friendships. When my oldest came home for high school, for better or worse, my friendships got sent to the back of the bus.

Alas, we are not all wired to do it all anymore than it is actually possible for all of us to have it all- whatever “all “is. Alright?

Yes, I suppose it is. At least for me. And with that all said, I’m pleased to announce:

Schools-out-for-summer

Mostly.

It is already in the summer plans for me to be doing classes with my thirteen year old: French 1, Geography, a grammar refresher, and we’re starting pre-algebra over again, shoring up important skills before Algebra I comes around. In a change up from what has become our norm in recent years, I get to be the teacher again. Ah, such were the early days of our homeschooling adventure! And for the first time in three years, my seventeen year old will only be doing on-line college courses. All in all my, drive time will be dropping to nearly zero and our daily bouts of eating “elsewhere” will be greatly diminished. So, maybe  instead of “School’s Out!” what I really mean is:

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and

 

 

 

 

Yeah. That’s exactly what I mean. Almost all that my monkeys and I will have to do this summer can happen within a five mile radius of our house. Ahhhhh…..and I can do more than ponder life while careening down the fast lane; I can actually write about it, too. Which makes me feel a little bit like doing this:

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Yipee!!!!!