Monday, October 31, 2011

True beauty...

“For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.

People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of each of your arms.

As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others. The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides. The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives the passion that she shows. The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years.” ― Audrey Hepburn

This is the message I wish was being sent to all girls/women! Instead many are being sent the complete opposite message.....

Yesterday I went into my kids elementary school for Halloween parties. I was shocked at some of the costumes the girls were wearing. Since when was Halloween a "sexy holiday?" A 3rd grader was wearing a "sexy" Hermione costume and a 4th grader was dressed up as "Snooki" from Jersey Shore. Admittedly I didn't really know who she was so I asked her and she gave me this look like I was SOOO dumb and said, "I am Snooki from Jersey Shore, my favorite show!" Wow....I had to come home and google Jersey Shore to find out more about it and I am most sad about her being allowed to watch that show! Last week I went to a performance at my oldest son's middle school where the kids wore costumes and half the girls looked like they should be working the "night shift" if you get my drift.... I remember in 4th-6th grade I went dressed as a "baby" for Halloween...dumbest costume ever but at least I wasn't wearing fishnet stockings and a miniskirt that barely covered my parts!

Who is buying them these costumes and telling them they look so "cute" in them. Do we really want our daughters to be looked at as sexual objects? Because as much as we want to deny it, that is what is happening. The girls don't understand what is happening, but the adults in their life should be protecting them from this! The media is having a hey day with girls ...the dolls and toys out there, the shows being marketed to them, the clothing...oh the clothing! My 4 year old daughter just grew out of the toddler clothes and we jumped up to the girls sizes...trying to find her something that still looks like a little girl and not a teenager is challenging to say the least!

We are giving girls the message that their body and being "hot" and "sexy" is what is most important instead of focusing on their kindness, their intellect and their inner beauty. I for one don't want my daughter thinking the only way to get attention is by flaunting her body. I want her to appreciate and respect her body for the amazing creation it is, but not to be so focused on her physical beauty that she neglects her beautiful soul and spirit. Now helping her feel beautiful and confident is wonderful, but teaching her that true beauty comes from inside and not from what you put on your body. I love the philosophy that you dress nicely, put on some makeup and work on looking as beautiful (without obsessing about it)as possible before you leave your house and then you forget about yourself as soon as you walk out that door and focus on others.

C.S. Lewis has a quote I love that says, "You don't have a soul, you are a soul. You have a body."

So how do we combat this??? What can be done?? I want your ideas and input because it is really disturbing me today!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hi, My name is Cheryl and I have...

(now this is contentment)

A contentment problem brought on by Pinterest (maybe I'll sue). Pinterest is a fun website that is basically a "virtual bulletin board" of ideas/websites. Very fun and addicting. But I found as I looked more and more at it that I became very discontent with my home/furniture/ kitchen cabinets /wardrobe/creativity/talents. It was not a good thing for me. I still go there occasionally for recipe ideas/kid activities/halloween costume ideas/Christmas neighbor gift ideas and have gotten some great stuff from it...but I have scaled back big time.

Instead today I am going to focus on what I DO have and what I am grateful for! So here goes:

1.I have a child who is extreme in everything he does. He is either extremely happy and delightful.....or not. And I am grateful that for the most part he has been very delightful lately! I think much of it is due to this decision for which I am not taking credit....the thought that I needed to have him repeat did not come from me, but from a Higher power who knows him better than grateful he is feeling successful and happy.

2. Norwex cleaning products...they are seriously awesome and for the most part I am cleaning/sanitizing my house without chemicals. I think I might love the dryer balls the most. No longer do I need fabric softener or dryer sheets to have static free laundry! But I also love the cloths that sanitize with just water and clean my windows and mirrors with absolutely NO STREAKS.

3. Grateful for 70 and 80 degrees.

4. My daughter has been a "mommy" from the moment she was born. She mothers everyone in the house (including me). Today she had her dolly whom she has named "Blue Baby" (nothing to do with a heart condition :) and she told me I have my "blue baby" (my 18 month old) and she has her "blue baby" and we are both Mommy's to our babies. Made me smile and my heart swell with love for her innate nurturing soul.

5. Life after death. I know it exists, I know those whom we love that have passed are close by, just in a different place. We lost a beloved aunt this week in a very unexpected way and it has driven home again the knowledge that we just move on to a different place and wait for a reunion on the other side.

6. Health and a husband who provides so well for us.

7. Parents...I am so blessed to have wonderful parents..both biological and in-laws. Such amazing people and wonderful examples for my children to look up to. They have given me such a rock solid foundation for life for which I am eternally grateful.

Now i feel better in spite of getting on Pinterest today :) Actually reading "mommy blogs" can do it to me too. Those who portray life as perfect...their appearance/home/children/meals etc. I hope to portray my life as "real" but still wonderful and that I am so grateful for it!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Let's give each other a break....

This post today inspired by this article:

Disclaimer: just because I wrote this post does not mean I don't struggle with being judgmental...I wrote this for myself as much as anyone!

Eight years ago I was at a playgroup with a bunch of women and the conversation inevitably turned to childbirth as it is prone to do in that circumstance. I was talking a bit about my two births and how my epidural doesn't work once the baby drops into the birth canal, so I basically do a natural delivery blah blah blah.

About 5 minutes later I noticed that a woman who I didn't know very well had come and sat close to me...and was getting closer and closer and eventually was WAY in my personal space. All of a sudden she leaned over to me and literally whispered in my ear, "You are such a great candidate for a home birth, I would love to talk with you about it sometime." I was SHOCKED I tell ya...I didn't know her at all. So I said, "Why do you think I am a candidate?" (never had ever remotely considered it). She stated her reasons and how the hospital is a terrible environment for a mother/baby and interferes with their bonding etc....Then I broke her the bad news...I had to have c-sections from now on due to some surgery. Oh boy, then she ranted and raved about how my doctor did unnecessary surgery (which it was absolutely necessary) and how doctors are just greedy and are all about the bottom line and profit....

I think perhaps my jaw dropped open because I know my doctor geniunely cares about me and my well being and is a good, honest person. I guess the thing that shocked me the most is her narrow mindedness, she was absolutely convinced her way was the ONLY way to do things and that doctors and hospitals were evil and greedy.

Her choice of how and where to birth her children is up to her, I wasn't trying to talk her out of birthing at home and stating all the risks (although I wanted to because she was driving me crazy), and I would have appreciated the same respect from her in not stating my choice and doctor was wrong and invalid. We must give each other a break and not be so up in arms about others choices:

Here are some other "hot topics" that come from my own experience and for which I have felt judged at some point or another:

Breastfeeding is the absolute best option for a baby..... until they can't latch on due to being tongue tied, or until they are a preemie and can't latch on and have a severe milk allergy, and then thank goodness for formula and bottles. (BF my oldest wasn't possible with my youngest 2 and it was VERY hard for me!)

Having children and big super sensitive especially if you can't have as many children as you would like to and then it is painful to hear the command to multiply and replenish the earth. Our family size is between husband/wife/Lord and nobody else. (and you may not think I ever struggled with fertility having 5 children, but we did struggle getting 2 of our children here)

Home school vs Sending your child to school.....thank goodness for the choices we have out there today. I nearly did an online home school option with my #3 this year if the school wasn't going to cooperate with him repeating kindergarten.

My point in this whole thing is....we need to back off on the value judgements/criticism etc of each other and give one another the benefit of the of my favorite quotes by one of my inspirations:

“Why can't we resist the urge to second-guess and evaluate each other?...Sometimes I wonder if the final judgment will be a breeze compared with what we've put each other through here on earth.” Sheri L. Dew

Monday, October 10, 2011

I believe in Christ....update

I can't stay silent any longer. All this talk about Mitt Romney and Mormonism and not being Christian and being a cult etc..... has had me thinking and pondering for days. Here are my thoughts.

I am a Mormon and I believe in Jesus Christ! I believe that it is only through Him that I can be saved. I know that he loves me and because of that pure love, he suffered for my sins in Gethsemane and died for me on the cross at Calvary. Through Him all will be resurrected and live again.

Are there theological differences in what we believe and other religions believe about Jesus Christ? Absolutely. But the fact of the matter is we believe in His ability to save us from our sins and from death and we should be able to unite with other Christians to show our Savior's love and make this world a better place

In Webster's dictionary the definition of a Christian is one who believes in Christ, I also believe it should include one who treats others like Christ, which many so called "Christians" are lacking.

I served a mission and one of my areas was in Maryland which had a very large Evangelical Christian population. I had many interactions with them and they are good people with good values. We have so much in common as far as family values and living good, moral lives. But they have been taught by their leaders how to proselytize Mormons to "save us". Most did not want to build on common beliefs but to debate and destroy my belief. We had a set of evangelical missionaries follow us for about 2 weeks trying to 1st...destroy our beliefs and find anyone we were teaching and destroy any teaching we may have done. They would often be at our apartment when we would retire for the night trying to engage us in a debate. It was actually a bit scary as they were a couple of "20 something" men and if felt as if they were "stalking" us. We eventually had to move apartments and cities to get away from them.

The only way we are going to change this country for the better is to be unified in our love of the Savior. Working together will get us much further than bickering about doctrinal differences. It is all about mutual respect and love for our fellow man that will change the world. I honestly don't know who is the best candidate for President yet, but I know I won't be discounting any of them based on their religious beliefs.

(P.S. I realize not all evangelical members behave in the way the 2 missionaries did I had the run ins with on my mission...most are good, moral people and I am not judging them as a whole based on that experience....just sharing my experience)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

This is so my life!

I have had "phantom health problems" for several years. I have symptoms, but I go to the doctor and they find nothing! Often they ask me how many children I have and when I tell them 5, they throw up their hands and say, "Well I would have these symptoms too if I had that many children!" Nice and professional dontcha think?

I guess you could say that my kids make me sick! :)

So when I saw this photo someone posted on FB I laughed very hard and almost felt validated :) Actually diet and exercise have helped my symptoms greatly!