Sunday, August 17, 2014

Next Year in Jerusalem

During a Jewish Seder during the Passover celebration they say "next year in Jerusalem." During the diaspora the Jewish people were spread across the globe and want to go to the holy city Jerusalem. They say this year after year even when 

I find myself in a place where this phrase has come to mind.  Literally I would love to go back to Jerusalem.  There will always be a place in my heart that is fond of Jerusalem and its people--all people.  This post is not about the violence that has happened recently though I will say that I am propeace.  I am pro Palestinian, and pro Israeli.  I am not for violence.  There are people on both sides that have made poor choices that have endangered the lives of many and will continue to hurt and kill others because of their selfishness.  The land is valuable--both sides want it--find a way to live in peace respecting each other.  I think that the people who are causing the most hurt are only looking at what their side can gain and not about people and humanity. Enough said...

Figuratively this phrase of "next year in Jerusalem" is bringing me comfort.  Jerusalem is the Holy City the "Oz at the end of the Yellow Brick Road."  It represents to me what I so desperately want.  I want to be a wife and a mother.  I think I would be a good one--though I don't think I am a great dater. "Next year in Jerusalem" is a phrase that elicits hope even though things are not what we want right now.  Our situation may be hard, but we always can say "next year in Jerusalem."  That dream can show us God's love for us.  We can have faith in His plan for us individually and collectively. 

In Relief Society today we had the dreaded "Eternal Marriage" lesson.  You know, the lesson where you want to avoid it and just miss Relief Society that day?  It actually was the best lesson I have been in in years.  The sister giving the lesson is single.  That was a huge factor in why it was an excellent lesson. Often people giving the lesson don't know how to address the single sisters in the ward.  It doesn't matter if they have never been married, widowed or divorced they don't know what to say.  She knew what to day.  She addressed my needs as well as those who are married.  We talked about how God's plan will provide for us.  God will not leave us and say "sorry you don't get a Celestial Life but these people over here do."  God is not like that. She expressed that in the premortal life we knew what struggles we were going to face, but we chose to come to earth anyway.  We knew we were going to be single a lot longer than what we would like, but we chose this anyway because we had faith in God's plan.  We can still have faith in God's plan.  One of the sisters in the ward expressed that she was unable to have children without adoption.  She knows it isn't the same, but similar in many ways--and it is.  She said just because you have faith, doesn't mean it is going to be painless.  It is supposed to something that you want.  The pain shows us that this really is the right thing for us to want and desire.  The sister giving the lesson then went on to those who are married.  She talked about how we all need to work on celestial marriages.  None of us have them now and we all have to work on them.  She gave us a list of things to do that can help us all return to our Father in Heaven and have a celestial marriage. 

Though it is hard and painful in many ways--I do have faith in God's plan.  I struggle often with having a perfect brightness of hope and faith the size of a mustard seed, but I am trying.  So next year in Jerusalem.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Unintended Consequences

I have thought a lot about my place in the church lately.  Ultimately I have decided that it is ok for me to be who I am and still a believer.  It is ok to look at things critically and still believe.  Not everything has to be literal and I don't know the whole truth yet.  The church has made mistakes in the past but am I a better person because of the church---YES!  I listened to part of Radio West today on NPR. I only caught the tail end but the guest talked about the recent essay from the church regarding the book of Abraham.  The part that I heard that I really liked is an example from the Jewish Faith.  We can look at things critically and still be believers.  We can have many interpretations and still believe.  We can still be one church but have different views.  It was exactly what I needed to hear.  I have been quite open with my beliefs about Kate Kelly and her excommunication on facebook.  Many people disagree with me including many of my friends.  I don't think they really understand where I am coming from.  I do not necessarily believe that everything Kate Kelly did was wrong, but not everything she did was right.  There is inequality in the church.  It is ok to ask questions and have open discussions about things.  I don't want to be a cookie cutter Mormon.  I don't want to be a blind follower.  It is also not ok to put other people down.  I feel like there has been way too much of that going on on facebook against everyone.  People are either coming across as apostate or self righteous to the people on the opposing view point.  What I have repeated in my posts is that this is something that we can use to help us become more loving and a stronger people together yet people have been mean. 

What are the unintended consequences?  I don't know but just because you didn't mean to do something doesn't mean there aren't consequences or that you are not responsible for them.  At school sometimes kids trip each other on accident.  Some of these kids refuse to apologize because it was an accident.  Just because it wasn't on purpose doesn't mean that it didn't hurt.  These events do hurt.  We do have inequality in the church that does need to be fixed.  I don't even mean that women should receive the priesthood because that is irrelevant to me.  I mean things like how women and men are treated and budgeting and callings etc. 

Now since most of my posts tie back to my dating or pseudo dating life here is the connection.  I recently posted about my blind date where I really appreciated my conversation with him.  I had a friend ask me about the date today.  I shrugged it off because I knew he wouldn't call me and that is ok.  I told her briefly that we had a great conversation and that I was very open about things and she jumped to were you scared by his political beliefs?  The answer is no--because most people don't.  I think far right or far left on the political spectrum would be the only places that would scare me.  I do believe that Moderate is the best place to be.  In the world that is where I lie. In Mormon culture in the United States and especially in Utah that makes me a liberal.  I did say that I do think he maybe was scared by what I did say.  If he truly was--that is a shame.  Ultimately all the points I was trying to make were for equality and love of each other.  Honestly that question stung.  As I age I honestly have become more and more concerned about getting married(I know that is blatantly obvious on my blog).  This is not only because of my age and lacking opportunities to meet men, it is also because i fear I am too liberal for a Mormon boy.  I don't want a cookie cutter Mormon and he wouldn't want me.  I am a believer but I ask questions.  I am not going to be a door mat for a  man.  I will not be less than him--but I don't want to be above him either.  Is there a man out there that shares similar beliefs?  I know many men I met in college were very much the guy that wanted their wife to be less than him because he held the priesthood.  I refuse to be that way. What are the unintended consequences in my own life?  How will this affect me?

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Dodged a Bullet

I have returned to the family branch.  I will admit it isn't my favorite, but the Branch President is nice and so are many in the branch who knew me from before.  It is amazing...people talk to me.  That was not so much the case going to the GINORMOUS ward.  Ok so I know it isn't really a ward, but really a branch as well, just an 800+ people branch.  As I was leaving today I walked by the chapel.  I looked inside because I am glutton for punishment.  My former fiance attends that ward.  Seriously did he not realize that I could still live where I do and we would be in the same stake and attend church in the same building?  I guess not!  That was one of the reasons I went to the Mid-singles ward in the first place.  I honestly didn't want to run into him week after week.  So as I glanced inside the chapel he was there.  He was holding a small baby.  At this point I have a few thoughts running through my head:

1.  Why do I even care?  Why am I doing this to myself?
2.  I am proud of myself for not really freaking out.  I am stronger than I give myself credit for sometimes.
3.  I am happy for him.
4.  I am a little jealous because I want to be married and have children.
5.  I am so glad he didn't see me.
6.  What was that comment from the branch president about?  Would he really not call to primary?  Hmm who knows?  Do I really want to be called to primary? (Ok this one is simple--I just want a calling that helps me feel needed and helps me want to come to church)

Later on today I facebook stalked him--yes I am that person.  He posted something in June about wanting a job and asked fb for suggestions of how to find one.  He said he wanted to have a job in film or in guitar.  He has a bachelors in film form UVU and said he has played the guitar for years.  First of all I don't really know about the guitar.  He never played it for me and when I asked he would always try to push it off and say later.  Does he really know how to play?  And film is great and wonderful, my brother and sister-in-law do it, but they have master's degrees and live in L.A. and have a hard enough time making ends meet and finding jobs that are really sustainable.


I then looked up his wife.  There were no pics of the baby or should I say babies on facebook.  She had twins.  Great wonderful...but that made me a little upset because I have always wanted twins.  As I have posted before on this blog I have had dreams of multiple births.  It almost felt like they are living the life I was supposed to have...before I snapped back into reality.  I don't want him.  I don't want a guy who is just a dreamer and will have a hard time for years and most of his life finding a decent job.  Yes I want someone to have aspirations--but I also want a steady pay check.  I value consistency.  Sad to say it but I felt smarter than him. I never really liked it. I was willing to deal with it at the time, but that isn't what is best for me or what I want now.  I think he just wanted some little wife that was subservient to him as the man and head of the household.  I am not that woman.  If anything has come out of this Kate Kelly excommunication in my life it is that I will not play second fiddle to a man.  Some women seem to be ok with that in the church letting all decisions go to their husband.  (Let it be said here--for me Ordain Women isn't just about women getting the priesthood. It is about showing women they have a place in the gospel and it is equal to men.  I could also go either way on the priesthood for women. I don't feel less because I don't have it--but there are certainly inequalities in the organization of the church and in Mormon culture that I am not ok with.)  I don't want to be more than a man, or less than a man.  I want to be equal to him.  I don't want to have to rely on him to get into heaven or not to get into heaven.  I am still an individual even if I were married.  His choices are his own and my choices are mine.  We can make some together and help each other.  I want us to be help meets to each other.  I want us to use our strengths to make a great marriage--not just a so so one.  I want us to help each other with our weaknesses and want to make decisions together, but I will still be Rachel.  I am not willing to give up my identity for man.

While engaged, I said that I was kinda sad about loosing my last name. He acted defensive to that like I didn't want his name.  It wasn't that.  Even though I am independent and probably a true feminist, I do plan on taking my husband's last name.  I just felt like I was loosing part of me.  Part of my rich heritage.  I have early American colonial history from New Amsterdam--1623--that is pretty dang good.  I have Mormon pioneer stalk.  This is just from my last name.  There are also so many amazing things from my mom's side of my family.  My ancestors were cheated from money as pioneers in Sanpete county by LDS neighbors.  They lied to them and wouldn't ever repay the money.  What they did was admirable.  They chose to forgive and not let them determine if they should remain in the church or not.  I have grandparents who taught me to love others and show them that they are important.  I am still learning that one.  The list goes on and on...I don't want to loose that.  I will not give up who I am for someone else.

So I dodged a bullet by not marrying him.  I don't think I would be happy if I was.  I would feel stifled.  I won't say I am happy all the time being single or in any other relationship status in my life.  I cried this week about my lack of feeling part of the church, a romantic relationship, a family etc. this week. I have insecurities and I am working on them day by day but I am blessed because I didn't marry him.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Longing...

I had a true blind date last night.  It was a slow start, but that is fine.  It isn't like I haven't been there before or maybe will be there again.  After eating and playing games we just talked and it was probably the best conversation I have had with a man who isn't related with in years and probably in l
ast a decade.  This includes the ex fiancĂ©. We shared personal things not just surface stuff like what kinds of things do you do...though that was there too.  I don't know how to describe it exactly.  I felt like I could be open and I feel like he felt the same thing.  I was more myself with him than I usually am--even sometimes with friends.  I often try to hide or partially hide my true self.  Yes sometimes people get part of it and can infer much but I actually said the words with him. I was open with everything. Regardless of any future dates(which I have my doubts) I have a sense of longing.  I feel like there is something missing that I never knew was lost.  I never knew how much I needed a conversation like that.  Though we had different opinions about recent events and what will or may happen we listened and tried to understand each other's perspective.  I want that with people.  I want that with a husband.  I long for a relationship that provides for conversations like that.  It was freeing and game me urgency to work harder to be better for myself.  So thank you my bearded date.  We may or may not see each other again, but I have learned much from you about myself.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Quantified Good

On Saturday I spoke to my oldest friend.  You know the one we all have--the one you don't ever remember meeting because they are as old as your memory.  Yes we haven't spoken in years, but does that matter?  No! True We have grown and changed and have less in common than we once had.  I do know I can always count her as a friend.  She could read right through me. She asked how I was and like we all say I said "I am good."  She said that sounded like a quantified good.  Well it is.  Honestly, this has been the hardest year of my life. It hasn't been the hardest event of my life, but the hardest year.  I don't want to get into it on blog--but just know this has been a horrible year! 

For whatever it is worth--I appreciate people who can really tell when I am struggling. I understand that I wear my emotions on my sleeve but often people ignore it.  Don't we all just assume people want their space?  I appreciate their support despite all the tears and puffy eyes I have had this year and especially these last few weeks. 

Yes my good right now is quantified.  It isn't a pure good--but there is hope for the future.  There is always a new day ahead of us. There are always ways to improve and have a fresh start.


Monday, February 17, 2014

Focus

I can't focus!!! I am having a hard time thinking and focusing on what I need to get done.  I wish I was better at this.  I am going to rely on what I have on the past.  Turn on the soundtrack to Life is Beautiful and think about everything I need to do and just get it done.  The soundtrack is comforting and helps me focus if it is in the background.  I hope it works.
:)

Feeling down...

I am feeling down.  I wish I knew the reason, but just life and feeling stuck I guess.  I feel stuck in my job and in church and then I feel guilty for feeling this way and then I feel worse.  I shouldn't feel this way about church, but I do.  I want to feel good about it and I want to see light at the end of the tunnel but all I feel is dark and dismal right now.

Goals for helping myself feel better:
Make sure I take my vitamins and eat right.
Go to the gym more often.
Spend time with those I love--friend and family.
Make new friends.
Read more.
clean up my life---dejunk!

THE END...for now