Monday, April 22, 2013

creio, com todo esparanca que possuo

I am tired.
I am more productive at night.
I sleeeeeeep in when I can, do nothing on the interweb till 3 or 4 in the afternoon. THEN I start doing whatever's on the to-do list.
Sometimes I work.
Sometimes I attend births.
Sometimes I sit/hike/laugh with friends.
Most of the times I should be studying.
I am forever needing breaks.
I rarely get them.
I always need to be outside.
I'm wearing glasses right now because that's what I do when my eyes hurt.
I skype with people who I love. A lot.
I love to be at home.
I love to make things/food with my mom.
I love to be honest.
I love to love those who love to love me back.
And I love my new bookcase because it means that my books are not in boxes and I can look at them and read them. To have them in my very presence brings me a lot of joy.

Sometimes people underestimate me. They think I am like other people. Other women. Other humans. I've come to discover that (as much as I would LIKE to be like other people) I am not. I've developed an (un)healthy amount of apathy towards many things. My rational mind perhaps has a bit more of a pull than my emotional mind. I can't expect many things out of many people. I don't like to look stupid, and will always try to exude confidence in myself, as well as other people.
AT the same time: I understand the need for vulnerability, expectations, etc... among other things in life/relationships and the balance of these two sides of myself is the most delicate of things. I depend on my heart a lot to know what direction to go, what to say, when to say it, who to talk to, who to love, who to befriend, who to reach out to.
BUT, at the risk of sounding like I have a hard, calloused, tough heart, I will say this: I HOPE. And I believe that HOPE is much different from expectation. I carry a lot of hope around with me. I see things in people and I HOPE they can be or say or do or feel the way that makes them feel good about themselves and the people around them. I HOPE that people can make changes. Follow through. Be happy. Love themselves. I HOPE so much sometimes. I HOPE all the time.
And somehow that hope helps me to not lose hope in humanity and the people I stay connected to.
Watching the whole Boston Marathon bombing debacle unfold before my eyes, live, on the television, through phone notifications from CNN, on the radio, from the people around me, makes me question hope. Why do people do sad things. (I can't even put a question mark there, because to question it would make me lose hope in humanity, and I need to believe that the majority of people are good. Are kind. That they love. That they want the best. That they see the need for generosity and tolerance.)
You've probably seen this video posted a gazillion times already, and you've probably already watched it a couple as well. But it encourages me to keep on hoping.
Some of my favorite verses found in the Book of Mormon, Moroni 7:41-48, inspire me to no end. They are the heart and soul of what I want to be. I want to radiate hope and love.
41 And what is it that ye shall ahope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have bhope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life ceternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise.
 42 Wherefore, if a man have afaith he bmust needs have hope; for without faith there cannot be any hope.
 43 And again, behold I say unto you that he cannot have faith and hope, save he shall be ameek, and lowly of heart.
 44 If so, his afaith and hope is vain, for none is bacceptable before God, save the cmeek and lowly in heart; and if a man be meek and lowly in heart, and dconfesses by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ, he must needs have charity; for if he have not charity he is nothing; wherefore he must needs have charity.
 45 And acharity suffereth long, and is bkind, and cenvieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily dprovoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
 46 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—
 47 But acharity is the pure blove of Christ, and it endurethcforever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.
 48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, apray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true bfollowers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall cbe like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be dpurified even as he is pure. Amen.

Friday, April 12, 2013

O que ela 'tava falando?

This past General Conference weekend I participated in the launch party for Ordain Women. I have always been interested in all things women's-rights/equality related, especially as they pertain to my church. I was deeply impressed by the website and this brought me out to the gathering held at the same time as the Priesthood session on Saturday. The meeting met my expectations to learn more about the ordination of women, feeling more connected with the other women and men involved with this movement and feeling the necessity of creating a safe space to have these discussions. After several presentations given by the panel of women, they up opened the floor for the audience to express why they were there, their personal experiences and why they support the ordination of women. I hadn't planned on contributing at this point, but as the mic was being passed around, I couldn't help but stand. This picture caught me mid-expression:
Here is the answer to the question SV asked, "What was she saying?"
In more or less words that were certainly better said at that moment I felt I had to rise and after expressing that I felt prompted to stand because of the pounding heart and other familiar pre-testimony-giving feelings, I talked about why I support the ordination of women. Here are some of the experiences I shared along with some other thoughts:
I was an LDS missionary once. I loved my work and dedicated myself to it. My favorite part of being a missionary was the express duty to love God's children. I fiercely loved the people I served in my mission. During an interview with my mission president, my sweet president congratulated me for my hard work. He then told me that if I was an elder he would have called me to serve as a Zone Leader (a sort of leader over a group of missionary companionships in a geographical area). At the time this was a wonderful complement, but as time went on and I thought about this, I realized this is something we should never have to say--to anyone. "If you were more or less this, then you could be something better or more important..." We should never make people feel like they are less than a person or less qualified to be something because of who they are innately.
I am now a student midwife. I have the great opportunity to help women through the process of birth in their homes. I can't tell you how many times in the past year I have found myself wishing for the authority to lay my hands on a woman's head or belly as she labors and to leave a blessing on her, to bless her body as it passes through the sacrament of birth. I have always expressed sympathy to the women who have desired to hold the priesthood, but I have never particularly felt moved to seek for this gift. I can thank my journey of becoming a midwife for changing that.
On the road to seeking equality, I believe that returning to the ordination of women will bring greater strength to families in the church. I believe that the correct parallel for motherhood is fatherhood, not priesthood. I believe that asking questions faithfully brings us closer to our Heavenly Parents. I believe in continuing revelation and am grateful my church does as well.
I love my church. I love my leaders. I have a small, but stalwart testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When I struggle, I hold on to the things I know and the things I believe.
I want dialogue about this. If you have questions, please ask. Leave a comment here, email me, visit the above link for Ordain Women. This isn't about proving points or telling people they are wrong, but about understanding and seeking answers.