That afternoon I went to a cub scout planning meeting and mentioned how upset I felt. My sweet beautiful friends looked at me as if I'd just spoken in Russian. They wanted to be there for me, but they couldn't. They didn't understand what I found so heartbreaking. They'd loved the talk. A lot.
So a year ago, the Monday after conference, I went searching online for women who understood. I found Kristine Haglund's very comforting post at By Common Consent. I found the Bloggernacle where smart and faithful LDS people discuss ideas that range from the petty to the profound.
Here is my first (extremely long) blog comment:
Thanks for a couple of laughs on the subject. I needed them. It sure beat the two cries I’d had on the subject. Although "Our Refined Heavenly Home" wins the most uninspiring depressing talk of the decade, this one came close.Bitter? Me? OK, maybe a little. I'm better now. This year has been one of the most difficult of my life, spiritually and intellectually. Exciting. Invigorating. But hard. A good portion of my angst has come from my exploration of LDS issues, profound and petty, from participating in the Bloggernacle.
This is a hard subject for me. Six kids, small house, homeschooling. We’re all here, all the time. And I’m trying. I really am. But if a clean house and neat children are required for exaltation, I’m out. Even trying my hardest, it’s a disaster around here.
IF I could fulfill the ideal she taught, my family and I would be happier. I like clean. I like organized. I like neat, reverent children. I like peace. I dream of these things. I despair of these things.
So Sunday, I’d stayed home, listening to conference, hoping to hear “the pleasing word of God, yea the word which healeth the wounded soul.”
Sabbath-breaker that I am, I needed to clean the “playroom.” So housework was exactly what I was doing when Sister Beck was talking. I stopped cleaning. I couldn't
decide if I wanted to send in my motherhood resignation, burn the house down, or ask to have my name removed from the records of the church. Love, civil duty and a testimony prevented me from following any of those knee-jerk reactions. Instead I just cried because one more fellow mom was judging her fellow moms one more time. I don’t know–maybe that’s the in the job description for GRS Presidents.
The points that stabbed most deeply:
(My memory of) Her definition of nurture. By “nurture” we mean housework, the physical upkeep of the family. (My dictionary says “Nurturing: 1. To nourish, feed. 2. To educate, train 3. To help grow or develop; cultivate.”)
And did she really say that it didn’t really matter how much education you have if you can’t keep your home properly? I must have misheard.
I’ve pondered “the wicked taketh the truth to be hard." Am I wicked? ‘Cause that seemed pretty hard.
Well, enough killing time. I need to go clean something, cook something and cancel some of my children’s outside activities.
I live to serve. Jami
In spite of these growing pains, I celebrate this anniversary and my freedom to think and to write about those things which interest and concern me. I celebrate my pain because it has led to increased knowledge, to increased faith and to healing. Thank you, Kristine, for the post that started it all. As it turns out, I mostly like Sister Beck's talk too. That, however, is a subject for a different post.