Wednesday, September 16, 2009

No. 1 Major Way Blogging Has Changed Me

If you found my guest post here then you already know that I blogged about five major ways that blogging has changed my life. You may have also noticed that I put out a little challenge in the last paragraph when I referred you guys over to trublubyu's blog.

What was that about?

Well, Saskia was my first responder to guess correctly...
"Common theme - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints."

And why is this of importance to me?

Please allow me to explain. Before last year I didn't have a lot of knowledge about the Mormon faith. I knew that young men were sent on missions and a few of them have knocked on my door over the years asking to share their Book of Mormon with me. I had heard they tended to have large families. Then there was the stuff on the news... but that's not what my message is about today. Members of every faith have made the news from time to time, right?

Basically, Latter-Day Saint followers had been a mystery to me. But, last year that I began to learn about Mormon mommies through their blogs. And, I really admired what I was learning. I have come to have a very deep respect for some of these women, and I am grateful for the lessons they teach so naturally. Please note that I'm not referring to the "fundamentalists" (or FLDS) who've made the news, I'm referring to LDS women, women of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. And you will find links about their faith on each of their blogs.

The blogs that I referenced are all written by Mormon mommies. Each woman writes regularly about her child or children, her extended family, her faith and her husband. Each woman professes not only a deep love of family and Jesus, but of a passionate love for her husband. Of being enamored and totally in love with her husband. I enjoyed reading about that so much, and still want to read about it. I'm not a fan of the typical bash your husband kind of narrative. That mindset is too easy to fall into, as most negative paths can be. And, I'm not saying I don't feel inspiration and teaching from other Christian bloggers, I'm just telling you how my life began to change once I started blogging, and a lot of that change came from reading these blogs regularly.

You see, I come from a very cynical background. I've experienced divorce, my own first marraige and my parents marriage, and I became quite jaded about trust because of it. I'm currently immersed in my second marriage to a wonderful man whom I adore, however I used to habitually find myself thinking divisive thoughts when things wouldn't go the way I thought they should. I found myself shutting down emotionally and trying to get through life as an empowered woman, still married but with an "I can do this on my own" kind of mentality. By reading the thoughts and descriptions of these Mormon women I was reminded of my vows. To cherish my husband, to respect and love him until death do us part. And beyond. (After all, marriage is a 'together' thing, not a period of independence.) I began thinking that I didn't marry my husband with the intention of always being in agreement. I married him because of our intense connection to each other and the unwavering love we both felt for each other before we got married. I was reminded that we vowed to stick it out forever and that requires thoughts of unity. And, that's what I truly, truly want and am fully committed to making happen. I have acquired such a deeper understanding of marriage in the last year, and I'm so thankful for this.

I've also learned a deeper understanding of what it means to be a parent. Don't get me wrong, my son was brought to life through a totally planned out pregnancy. I stayed at home with him until he was a toddler, then I went back to work because I had to. But it wasn't long before I realized that I really liked being a working mom. So, that's what I've done ever since and now he's eleven years old. Sure, I've had 'the guilties' over and over again because I'm not always available to help in my son's classrooms or volunteer very often at his school, but I try to make up for it in other ways. My point here is that these ladies showed me how they cherish, respect and love their children every day. Granted, that's something I've always done, too, because I've always adored being The Little Guy's mommy, however I've tweaked my focus after reading about their interactions. I try to do more each and every week to interact with him on a deeper level, which helps us to connect more often despite the rush of the proverbial rat race we go through each week.

I've simplified some things and expanded on other things. I'm enjoying my faith and activities in the Episcopal Church again after keeping my distance for over ten years. Hubby, The Little Guy and me all make more things together and on our own. We play board games more together. We sit and have a homemade cherry limeade on the back porch and talk about whatever pops into our heads. We bake more. These ladies reminded me its ok to slow down and just let life happen. Just enjoy my son and husband in a seemingly inactive moment and revel in this gift of life from God. This is something that I've always felt like I do, but in the past year I've made sure to do it even more. To be even more aware. To be even more thankful.

Sure, I'm still in the rat race every day. Sure, I still get caught up in chores and duties and let too much time slip past me sometimes. But, I know how to come back into my true reality faster now. And, seriously... I attribute these things, this deeper understanding of faith, marriage and motherhood, to the leadership of these women. I see God working through them. And, I've been blessed more times than I can count. AND, it all happened by venturing outside of what I was familiar with. We can all learn so much from each other if we try.

Stay tuned to see what Saskia has won for accepting the challenge and being the winner!