Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Mother There?

A few weeks ago I got around to reading the essay, "A Mother There: A Survey of Historical Teachings about Mother in Heaven" by Paulsen and Pulido.  I can't say I learned anything groundbreaking about Her in it, but I did learn that the authors found more than 600 sources referencing Her.  Incredible!

Growing up, whenever the topic of Heavenly Mother came up, the standard answer I remember as to why we don't talk much about Her was that Heavenly Father wants to protect Her from the same blasphemies He receives.  I guess the reasoning was if we don't know much about Her, then we can't talk about Her and curse Her, too?

Apparently though, some people say there needs to be a "sacred silence" about Her.  Even one fictional  work took it to the extent "that the Heavenly Mother was so special that God had said we must never, ever talk about her---that He held her on a pedestal where she was never to be seen or spoken to, for fear that her purity would be sullied."  I suppose my experience was somewhat similar to that, just not as extreme.  I never felt I couldn't talk about Her, I just didn't know enough about Her to say anything constructive.

I appreciated these two quotes that may not provide hard doctrine, but some thoughtful speculation:
Elder John Longden. . . added, "It must be quite an occasion in heaven when our Heavenly Mother bids us a loving farewell for the time being!  Perhaps, like earthly mothers, she thinks, 'They are so young, and they might forget [the rules and regulations].'" Longden imagined that before we parted we promised them we would remember.  President George F. Richards . . . taught that our heavenly parents are "counting on [us] to honor them, to love them, and obey them. 'Thou shalt honor they father and they mother.'" This commandment applies to both earthly and heavenly parents.

And from Harold B. Lee:
Sometimes we think the whole job is up to us, forgetful that there are loved ones beyond our sight who are thinking about us and our children. We forget that we have a Heavenly Father and a Heavenly Mother who are even more concerned, probably, than our earthly father and mother, and that influences from beyond are constantly working to try to help us when we do all we can.
Basically the essay confirms that She's talked about, and there's nothing that says we can't talk about Her.  I'd assume, as I said before, that we just don't talk about Her because we don't know enough.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Family Wage

A few weeks ago, my husband went with some of the young men in our ward to visit a local company for a career night.  As the owner talked to the boys about the different salaries the boys could make, he told them, "This is job X, it pays around $X, that is not a family wage."  He went through a few positions like that until he started getting to the higher paying, family-supporting wage jobs.  I thought how true that is!  You really do need to be aware that doing piece-work assembly just won't support a family.

Today I got to know a friend better.  I learned that her husband is a teacher, and I was impressed that he would choose the field; I'm all for men in teaching, and wish more would do it.  Then she told us that he actually works FIVE jobs, or rather has five income-generating activities to make ends meet.  Lest you think my friend's husband pulls in all the income so she can sit around watching soaps and eating bon-bons, she also works about 20 hours a week, late at night and is the mom of five.  So between the two of them, they work six jobs.

At that, my blood began to boil.  Just because my husband does make a "family wage" does that mean he works any harder than my friend's husband?  No!  What makes some people so deserving of more income (and sometimes SO MUCH more income) than the other guy or gal who works just as hard, is just as dedicated, and has had just as much education, but is just in a different field???

Don't get me wrong.  I'm fine with people having different salaries, but how I wish we would treat teachers, specifically, like trained professionals, which they usually are.  If we did, we'd probably even get more men in the profession, which would be wonderful.

Another friend commented how her husband wanted to be a teacher, but he knew they couldn't make it on that salary, so went a different direction.  I realized probably both my brothers would enjoy some form of teaching, yet also avoided the field because it does not provide a family wage.  How many men out there would be in teaching if only they could support their families?  Since when did teaching become work for pittance?  When it was a man's profession, was the pay still terrible?  Has teaching always been so undervalued?

Personally, I chose teaching because I believed it would provide me with the flexibility I'd need to be home with my kids if I needed to be working, even if the pay was lousy.  I enjoy teaching, but I don't know if I'd enjoy being a teacher as you typically think of them---in a public school setting.  However, now I also recognize the benefits of training in what is considered more men's fields/more "professional": medical, law, etc. It is neat that those professions can provide the opportunity to work less, say than a teacher, yet generate more income, and allow a person to be flexible with his/her schedule.

However, once again, I'm terribly annoyed that I might more likely choose one of those higher-paying career paths merely for the money.  What if I really, really wanted to be a teacher, but decided to be a doctor just for the money?  It's like we're giving up our personal integrity for money, and I think it's really sad, yet it also seems necessary when you're trying to support a family.

End rant.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

"Make No Place Like Home" notes

A week ago Saturday we had a super stake RS activity entitled "Make No Place Like Home."  They had sisters sharing ways to display family keepsakes/heirlooms and ways to keep the family close, the winner of the Cupcake Wars shared her story, and the Food Nanny even came.

Now, this will tell how little I watch current t.v. I had heard of the Food Nanny (I think), but really didn't know anything about her.  However, once she started talking, I was so impressed!  Go hear her if you ever have the chance!  She encouraged us to "get back in the kitchen" and cook!  We need to teach our kids to cook!  We need to spend mealtimes together!  She outlined a weekly meal planner:

Monday: comfort food
Tuesday: Italian
Wednesday: Meatless/Breakfast
Thursday: Mexican
Friday: Pizza
Saturday: Grill
Sunday: Traditional

She said plan 5 meals for the week and take 2 days off (go out or eat leftovers).

Provide a little sweet for your kids; otherwise, they'll go out and find it anyway and hoard it.

Teach portion control because it is the only thing that works.  Stop eating when you are satisfied, not full, not stuffed.

Always have at least one raw vegetable at dinner -- carrots are good.  She suggested having raw, frozen, and canned at each meal.  I'd just as well provide three raw or raw/frozen.  I try and skip the canned stuff for the most part.

Do your major shopping every two weeks with little stops for necessary items like milk and tomatoes.

Kids should at least taste the food offered at dinner.

"If you can't cook for yourself, cook for those you love."

She shared a pizza crust recipe that I haven't yet tried as well as a French Baguette recipe that I've already made three times!
French Baguettes from the Food Nanny
Combine 1/2 C warm water with 1 1/2 T yeast and 1 t sugar.  Let sit.
Combine another 1 t sugar with 2 t kosher salt and 3 c flour.  (I cut the salt down a little.)
Pour the liquid mixture in the dry one and add up to another cup of warm water.  Add up to another quarter cup of flour to make a soft dough, if necessary,to keep dough from clinging to sides of bowl.  Knead.  Break into two balls and shape into baguettes.  Cut down each loaf 1/4 the way.  Bake at 450 (or even 500) for 10-15 minutes.
Now I'm going to have to buy her book.  I'm also inspired to do more in the kitchen and plan our meals better.  To me, the RS activity was quite a success.