Thursday, September 23, 2010

I am woman. Hear me ROAR!

There are so many things that have me in roar mode lately. Some of that is good, some not so good. I haven't actually roared (as in I haven't yelled at anyone, which is good) but the extremes of feelings are wearing me out. And they are leaving me blogging IN CAPS which I typically try to avoid.

I warned you. HEAR ME ROAR.

- I'm a lioness at the gate of my home. Hear me roar! The energy -- spiritual, mental, emotional, physical -- that is required to be a good wife and mother, a powerful mother, is both exhilarating and exhausting at the same time. Honestly, motherhood when children were little was exhausting, but not so much in this all-around way. They didn't NEED me like they do now. I feel the urgency to use well the time we have left with our children (we're already halfway done with this stage of children being in our home (hear me roar). As they come and go, as they think and ask, as they search and seek, they need me, their mother. NO ONE ELSE in the world can do for them what I do. Not even their dad. NO ONE. And I feel heaven screaming to my soul to savor the sacredness of this. (That screaming, by the way, is the good kind of roar. Moving me to my core, motivating me through the Spirit.)

- On the flip side of this, I feel the battle that is going on out there and sometimes I feel nearly smothered by the responsibility to be that lioness. I also struggle not to feel sheer anger at the forces trying to pull women away from this critical, eternal role and those that twist and distort truth about womanhood in general. I am angry that the world objectifies women AND WOMEN PARTICIPATE IN THAT OBJECTIFICATION.

I watched a game show today (an archived broadcast online -- we don't have a TV connection, but my cousin was a contestant (he won!)). I was happy for him, but honestly DISGUSTED to see that these shows still use women in slinky outfits to slither around the stage showing off the stuff. (The stuff element of it all is also roar-worthy, but I'm already at risk of being hoarse.)

I want to shout out that WOMANHOOD MATTERS. Womanhood = power. Righteous woman living lives consistent with eternal principles and priorities are, individually and collectively, one of the most POWERFUL forces in the world. But the world keeps sending the message that sex=power, position=power, money=power. And women are buying into those lies. (LIES, I say!) Those are ILLUSIONS of power. Real power only comes from God.

How can we get women to get it? I feel to explode with the desire to shout those things to the world. But instead, I blog. (HEAR ME ROAR!)

- I am so stressed with so many things happening in our life right now that THAT is nearly consuming me, too. I want to scream: Stress, GO AWAY. To be that lioness, I have to watch for the enemies of anxiety, fear, insecurity, and distraction. Hear me roar as I fight off those things. I can't let MY stress become my family's stress.

- One of the things that is helping with this (although it may sound crazy) is to have family dinner every day, even if it's only for five minutes before everyone goes off to whatever. Hear me roar: Family dinner matters! Guard it like you would a treasure. MAKE IT HAPPEN! When we can sit together and chat and laugh and eat, everything else in the world is a little better. Connecting with family, nurturing those relationships is second only to nurturing faith in God. Of course, family prayer and scripture study are also glue that keeps us together and focused on what matters most. (I'm listening right now to a Mormon Channel broadcast with quotes about family life and the Proclamation, and right now Elder Bednar reminds us of how the little, daily things matter -- the consistency is a powerful force in family life.)

- In all of this, I have found lifetime friends along this journey, women who know and are doing all they can to know and learn more about being women who know. They are women who are working against the tides within and without to tap into that power that comes only from God. (Roar!) They understand statements like this one from Pres. Kimball:

Bear in mind, dear sisters, that the eternal blessings which are yours...are far, far greater than any other blessings you could possibly receive. No greater recognition can come to you in this world than to be known as a woman of God. No greater status can be conferred upon you than being a daughter of God who experiences true sisterhood, wifehood, and motherhood, or other tasks which influence lives for good....

Among the real heroines in the world who will come into the Church are women who are more concerned with being righteous than with being selfish. These real heroines have true humility, which places a higher value on integrity than on visibility.
These women, heroines to me, make me perhaps not want to roar, but to weep in gratitude. (No, then I want to just stand with them and roar. They are lionesses, too, women of POWER. Hear them roar.)

- I roared with laughter with some of these women yesterday. Oh, how I love my sisters. Oh, how I love the sisterhood of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

- I had to suppress a roar as I went visiting teaching and shared the message that ties into so much of this. All of these emotions were swirling and surfacing. I was grateful to be able to teach and testify (with more fervor than usual for a visiting teaching visit) about the principles in The Proclamation to the World on the Family (15 years old today, Sept 23). I'm grateful to my sisters who let me do a little pulpit pounding (or knee-pounding in this case). I'm grateful for prophets who give us anchors to ground us. Hear me roar. No, hear them roar (again, good kind of roar, full of the Spirit, connected with heaven).

- I'll just finish by saying I love to hear Sister Beck ROAR (good kind -- she's a fearless spiritual leader). I read all of her words directly today from the VT message (no paraphrasing today -- so powerful). I recently listened to her loving yet very direct teachings in a regional conference. (Priorities = Power. We are doing better than we think, but can be doing better, too.) I see her as a modern-day Esther (a post for another day). She is a woman who knows. Listen to the interview recently done with Sister Beck and her daughters. THEY are women who know, too. Sister Beck is the leader of the largest women's organization in the world. And I'm grateful she has the voice to shake the world. Hear her roar. (We'll get a chance to hear her this weekend. I can't wait.)

There is POWER in righteous womanhood. In motherhood. In sisterhood. Listen to the roar of the Spirit, live it, feel it.

Roar, ladies, ROAR! (The good kind, of course.)


  1. Wow. Well, I can relate to so much of this. Yesterday my daughter and I were waiting at the DMV which is an interesting place b/c it is no respector of persons. It was fascinating to my daughter to be in line behind a man who needed to renew his license after having a DUI and so on and so forth. I watched a young woman walk past us, a woman who clearly felt that all she had worthy of offering the world was the image of her body in too-tight, too-short, too-alluring clothing. Women have come so far and fought so hard to be seen as every bit as smart and talented as men yet these same women are wearing sex to work everyday. I was recently reading in Ether and was so struck by the line about how a man couldn't lay a weapon upon the shelf and expect it to be there the next day---these people had reverted to barbarians after having been such a civilized people. We tend to think that the civilization of mankind has gone in a straight line but it has been up and down and up and down--and we are on our way down. It is so hard to watch and harder to protect our children against.

  2. Okay, let me just summon my energy...


    PS. Really enjoyed this post, Michelle. And it made me want to try harder.

  3. amen and AMEN!!! I loved it. You said it so well. Makes me want to just direct everyone I know to your blog (because I am too lazy to roar myself right now). :-)

  4. Yes, I hear you and I'm roaring too. When I'm not too exhausted at the end of the day. Collectively I think we women of faith who roar are making a huge difference in the world. It is hard to tell, but think of how bad it would be without the good influences in the world.

  5. Love this post, Michelle.

  6. Wow, you're a bit less fiesty on your other blog! Great post. Nice to see someone who's so passionate about being a mom!! :) I had a question for you, now I can't remember what it was!! Funny to see us writing about and linking to the same things and not even knowing it before.

  7. Emily, you are right. This was a feisty post, to be sure.

    I love your blog. Keep it up.