Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Julie Beck's Address from BYU Women's Conference

I wanted to jot down my thoughts after reading Julie Beck's talk from BYU Women's Conference.

First of all, I love Sister Beck.  I think she's great.  She says it like it is.

Secondly, I was quite amazed at how the things she said in her talk very much paralleled some of the ideas in Passionate Housewives Desperate for God.

Thirdly, things that stood out:
Let us talk now about how we choose to walk with the Lord. First of all, we have to know what our responsibilities are and how to fulfill them. We know that, as women of God, this is a time when we need an increase of faith and personal righteousness. Never at any time in the world have we needed more faith from the women of God. . . .  The kind of faith that creates miracles and calls down the powers of angels and heavenly help. That kind of increase of faith and personal righteousness will strengthen us. Never at any time in the history of the world have we needed stronger families and stronger homes.
To be an effective lioness we need to prioritize or we lose power (the power to carry out our missions in life).  Sister Beck suggested categorizing into essential things, necessary things, and nice-to-do things.  This reminded me of Dallin Oaks talk, Good, Better, Best -- something I'm always struggling with!  Along those lines, I've had a couple friends say lately how they need to focus more on their kids, their husbands, their scriptures, their prayers, the temple, but it's so easy to get caught up in school and other worthwhile, non-essential activities.

Essential Things (for our salvation)
  • Personal revelation
  • Scriptures
  • Prayer (with a paper and pencil)
  • Pondering
  • Fasting
  • Sharing the gospel and your testimony
Necessary Things
  • Homemaking (necessary to keep a house of order)
  • Meals
  • Being happy
  • Family Home Evening
  • Family recreation time
  • Comforting and supporting your husband "with consoling words and a spirit of meekness" and kindness (big one in Passionate Housewives) and don't ask your husband to provide you with unnecessary things you can't afford
  • Self-reliance
  • Love
Nice-to-do Things
  • Crafts
  • Hobbies
  • Recreational reading
  • Movies
  • Travel
  • Lunch with friends
Interestingly, Passionate Housewives even goes so far as to say that this "Me Time" is a myth.  They suggest just getting over yourself and serving others (essentially your family).  I do know the ladies who wrote the book do get that "me time" for "nice-to-do's" and they appreciate it when it comes, but they don't sulk over it when they don't get it.

Sister Beck suggested that our day is broken up into three shifts, and usually we can be at our best 2 - 2.5 of the 3 shifts. She encourages us to save up our energy for our most difficult shift so that it can run smoothly.  Perhaps it's when the kids get home from school and we're trying to prepare dinner.   She hopes we will have saved up some of our energy to be able to manage that difficult time of the day.

The Lioness at the Gate

I asked some friends to help me come up with a new title for Stay at Home Feminism because the word feminism is generally so disliked, and I didn't want to scare anyone away because of the word.  While up with her children one night, my friend Bridget came up with some suggestions.  One included Julie Beck's idea of a lioness at the gate guarding her family.  I loved it!  It's catchy, it's powerful, it's feminine.

The intent of the title is not to conjure up thoughts of "I am woman, hear me roar," but to remind us all that ". . .women are like lionesses at the gate of the home. Whatever happens in that home and family happens because she cares about it and it matters to her. She guards that gate. . . ."  If there are influences coming into our homes, though, that threaten us and our families, I certainly hope we'll roar back and do our best to get them out.

Read more about being a lioness from Julie B. Beck here.