Thursday, June 26, 2014

Feminist Free

With all the hooplala about the feminist movement in the recent weeks I've decided to weigh in. (I know, another essay about Feminism in the church. *eye roll*) I've read a few articles on the topic, and I must say I have been enlightened, as well as filled with sorrow. Ultimately, this is nothing new to the history of the church. Kate Kelly may seem revolutionary, yet, sadly this is nothing new, aka Mormons for ERA. The church has faced and will face situations like these in the future. However, it still saddens me deeply to think of another sister truly struggling with her testimony. I've been there. Haven't we all, square or round peg? So, here is an open letter to my feminist sisters.

Dear Sister,

Let me validate you, I get how you feel. I really do. I prided myself on my feminist ideas when I was younger. I mean, I did everything for myself. I had been buying my own school clothes and contacts since the sixth grade. I took pride in my independence, and I thought this meant I was a feminist. I was strong (and stubborn), and I knew how to take care of myself. I had intellectual approach to the world, thought for myself, and I would never let a man tell me how to act or feel.

I grew up asking the hard questions, like many of you. Why do only boys get to pass the sacrament? Why do only men get to Baptize? How come a girl can't be a Bishop? Some of my questions were satisfied, some left me feeling restless. (Polygamy, anyone?) Come on, Sisters of Zion, unite, because I know we can ALL relate!

I grew up watching Sex in the City (sorry, mom) and I idolized Carrie. I was all about equal rights/gay rights and a woman's right to choose. It felt so good to be so forward thinking, but only for a time.

It's interesting the older I get, the more I question everything I do and why. I mean, the world is an entire commercial. We are being sold products, people, ideologies and things, things, things every darn second of our life. Ask yourself this, what are you being sold? And perhaps, even more importantly; what are you buying? And yes, I am trying to sell you my ideas here, but ask yourself this: why?

I am telling my story to try and help you. You are my sister, and I make an effort to love all my sisters. This blog is outdated and I can assure you does not make any money. I have had some very influential people who helped turn my life around when I was on a very self destructive path. I think the most wonderful thing they did for me was to love me unconditionally (of course), and ask me the hard questions. I had a need to come to the conclusions myself, because I was not a follower of anyone or anything. (sarcasm)

How do feminist ideas actually help you? Have these ideas truly increased your relationship with God? Do feminist ideas strengthen your relationship with your husband? Does it strengthen your relationship with your son? Does it strengthen the relationship with your mom or sisters? How about your Dad? Does it impress your friends online? Are you seeking the truth? What do you have to gain by being a feminist? What are you willing to sacrifice for your ideologies? Do your soul searching further, if you need. Yet, I would also ask this; if you want to learn Chinese, you don't study French. Would you ask a French speaking man to teach you Chinese? No, you would want to learn from someone who speaks Chinese. Are you with my on my analogy? I have found many of these bloggers claim to be active LDS saints with testimonies, yet are spewing anti-Mormon literature. Calm down, I didn't call them apostates. I'm just saying be careful of what you read.

After I had finally exhausted myself from my feminist ideologies, I started to realize I was maybe wrong about my views. When I decided to get authentic with myself I realized this: that it is beautiful to be gentle and feminine. This is something that I have to work at, as it does not come naturally to my personality. I have had to change. Isn't this what Christ asks of all of us? A change of heart is a common theme in the scriptures. I have had to change mine, and I hope to continue to change, as I try to follow Christ.

As I succumb to those innate gifts that come with being a woman, it is then that I have never felt more beautiful or empowered. It is beautiful to feel and listen to the Spirit, and when I was being harden and stubborn, I didn't feel it as often. I was missing out, and I didn't even know it. Are you missing out?

I think it's easy to confuse a strong woman as a feminist. Yet, I can assure you some of the strongest women I know are not feminists in anyway. Or maybe, we could blame all of our womanly suppression on mother Eve? Are we not to blame her for not having the Priesthood and roles some of us so desire? What if it was Adam whom had taken the fruit? What if they had just done it together at the same time, completely equally? If any of this interests you, I think you will find this article fascinating and uplifting and mind blowing, really.

I admire Eve. She is my hero(ine). The sacrifices she made for this earthly life, the trials she endured for the benefit of each of us, the negative consequences she has had to face...Yet, to know the faith she most certainly had, I am so full of gratitude. The woman is a rock, the one who separated us from our Father, the one who sacrificed for all of us to understand. The one who-- I'm gonna say it, I'm going to say the S word-- submitted to her husband and God, because she had unshakable faith this was the plan, His plan, and there was no other way. This makes Mother Eve, to me, is the ultimate feminist.

When I knew I wanted to come back to church, but didn't feel there was a place for me, didn't feel wanted there, and to be honest, did not want to be the 'cookie cutter' Mormon girl created by all the strange cultural quirks, I expressed these concerns to a dear friend. His words have never left me, and I often tell myself this if I am being weighed down by those quirks, "Rise above it!" Sisters, we can be better, let's do it together.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Just Another Mother

About a month or so ago I was asked to speak on the topic of motherhood to the young women in my ward at church. It got me all excited, energized and emotional (obvi). Here are a few of my thoughts and experiences on the whole ordeal. And with Mother's day just being around the corner it seemed fitting to post..It's kind of a small time line of my life so it may sound really narcissistic and for that I apologize.

I recently heard a new young mom being interviewed on TV. The interviewer asked if motherhood was everything she thought it would be? She responded with, “The lows are a lot lower than I imagined and the highs are a lot higher than I could have ever imagined.” I completely related to her statement. Then later, thinking back on my teenage years I thought, gosh, that is a lot like being a teenager too! It's funny I still so often feel like a teenager inside.
Last year, I had just moved to Pasadena from a small town in Mississippi. My husband started dental school, and just 8 weeks later I delivered our 2nd daughter, Ivy. I didn’t have any family around. I didn’t have any real friends. I was tired and completely overwhelmed with all the unfamiliar, crazy transitions of my new life.
A few days home from the hospital, I was tending to Ivy when I walked into the living room to find Scarlet (2 years old at the time), not just coloring; but completely scribbling on our-new-to-us couch in black pen. Do I need to say this was the nicest couch we have ever had?
In that moment I reached an ultimate low. I grabbed her hastily by the shoulders and looked her straight in the eyes and angrily shouted, “Why, why did you do this to my couch?!” As her big, bright blue eyes filled with tears, I knew I had just damaged her precious, innocent spirit. We both cried together for a while. But, I wasn’t done being angry. I called my little, (smarter) sister bawling. I asked her if this is what Heavenly Father wants, then why does it have to be so hard? We cried together as she understood my pain. She wisely told me she didn’t know, but counseled me to go and pray. I took a few deep breaths and knew she was right. I did pray, and I asked Heavenly Father why does it have to be so hard sometimes? The answer came to me: it doesn’t have to be.

If you guys are anything like me, then you know what it is like to complicate things, put unnecessary pressure on ourselves, compare our weaknesses to others strengths, to have to learn the hard way, ext, ext. The answer the Lord gave me was simple, “It doesn’t have to be.” If we do things with faith and simple obedience we will not get caught up in making this life harder than it needs to be.
Awhile later, after I had asked for forgiveness from Heavenly Father for freaking out on Scarlet, I gathered some energy to go clean the scribbled pen off the couch. I grabbed a damp cloth and began to see what cleaning the damage would entail. You can imagine my surprise when the pen almost instantly and immediately wiped off. I didn’t need to scrub hard, no soap was even necessary. I sat there and cried giving thanks to my Heavenly Father for the tender mercy. I often think back to that afternoon, the lessons I learned are profound and the symbolism is so strong. All Heavenly Father really wants us to do is try. And He knew I was trying, and He blessed me for it.

Teenage years: The blast from the past

It seems to be an unfortunate theme for me that in my life I made things harder than they needed to be, especially as a teenager. However, I did make a few good, right decisions. I came from a family that didn’t have a lot of money, and I knew at a very young age my dreams of going to college were not realistic. I knew if I was going to make it in this life, I needed to learn a skill to be able to support myself. When I was 16, I applied to attend Beauty School during high school. I had always loved the beauty industry and it was an easy (second) choice for me. Children and families were not really on my radar, I was more interested in making a career for myself and earning money.

Now, I know many girls chose to go to beauty school and it may seem like “an easy way out of college” but I was determined to make more of it than that. I started working in the salon at 16; and I knew I had found a purpose and identity. I graduated from Beauty School a few weeks before I even graduated High School. I worked my butt off. I started out at the bottom, just like everybody else and after a few years I was working at a very high end salon, making great money, traveling to places that the salon paid for like New York, California and Canada. The opportunities provided to me from doing hair, seemed endless. I mean who doesn’t want to get all dressed up go with to work with your best friends and make people feel beautiful all day? I loved that time in my life and cherish the fond memories of my workin’ days. One things for sure about being a teenager, is the decisions you make now will affect the rest of your life good or bad.

Love and Marriage: Seal The Real Deal

You know how when you are a teenager and you daydream about things like, “I wonder what my husband is doing in this very moment?” Well my husband was sitting behind me in my 10th grade math class. If someone had told me at that moment that I was going to marry Wesley Wermuth, I would not have believed them. That geeky kid who always asks to barrow a piece of paper, but can’t even look me in the eye? Well ladies, he turned out to be the man of my dreams. We were set up on a date shortly after he returned home from his mission, and the sparks flew. We had a magical time falling in love. We chose to get married in the Mesa, AZ temple.
There were times as a teenager that I doubted I would get married in the temple, at times I made choices that led me in a different direction. I am here to tell you I would not be as happy as I am today if I had not changed my mind and ways. The blessings of a temple marriage are endless and tangible.

Motherhood: Becoming who I am supposed to be.

I always knew I wanted kids, yet at one point (even after I was married) I told a friend, "I know I want kids, but I don’t want them to like define my life." How embarrassing that in my immaturity I bought into what Satan was selling about Motherhood! I know Motherhood isn’t the most glamorous thing in the world. I mean I’ve been pooped on, peed on, and thrown up the same time! (Jk on that last one.)

I've already touched on some of the challenges motherhood can bring. However, it is also made up of these wonderful,celestial-like yet everyday moments. (Here’s where it might get a little cheesy, but hey, it’s truth.) Moments like when your brand new baby looks you in the eye, and you know you’ve already met. And you know she is meant to be part of your family for eternity. And then she winks at you, just to let you know she was thinking the same thing. Moments like the other day when Scarlet and I were driving somewhere together, just the two of us while Ivy was home with Wes. Suddenly, Scarlet sees the most adorable dog, it was a darling little Pomeranian. She pointed the dog out to me and then sighs and says, “I wish Ivy were here to see it.” And my heart warmed so much, because I knew so very clearly in that moment she loved her sister and not only that, but that they are friends. Moments while driving in the car where we roll down the windows and blast Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer (all year long guys) and I watch Ivy fake sing along with her big sister, both at the top of their lungs. Moments when I am cleaning up the same monotonous messes and it feels so mundane, Scarlet holds up her top roman noodle and says, “Look mom, it’s like my hair.” And then I realize I don’t mind cleaning up the dishes at all, in fact I kind of enjoy it, because these meals bring us all together at the table and we are talking and laughing and I realize this is where the joy in the journey is at. Moments when Wesley pulls me in for a hug, tells me I am a beautiful mother and he loves me now more than ever. That moment where you applaud your child for their latest accomplishment and they beam with pride. Or that moment when I can look at my child and she doesn’t have to tell me what is wrong, I already know what it is, as if I can read her mind. It’s as if we are telepathically connected; but I know it’s more than that, I am their mother.

Deep down, I always knew I wanted to be a mother, a stay at home mother, and raise a loving family, just like my mom. I guess I couldn't deny the wonderful example she set. I worry all the time that I am not good enough, yet I do know that innate sense to nurture is there deep down afterall. Heavenly Father has blessed all women with it, if they try, and it feels regal, celestial even.

I also always thought I’d be helping these children figure out who they were supposed to be in this world. I would be the one shaping and molding them into the best human beings I could. Then, I learn it is exactly the other way around. They are defining me as I grow and evolve into who I am supposed to become, and that I want it this way; them defining me. No amount of money, no tip from doing hair (and I've had some really good ones guys) has ever brought so much joy, fulfillment and satisfaction. These are moments where all is right in my world, and I know I have a little piece of Heaven on Earth in my home. I am full of gratitude, so very grateful to be a woman, a wife and a mother. I am so grateful that I chose this life and worked hard for it, yet also knowing in many ways I don't deserve all this and perhaps there are others who deserve it much more than me. I am just so grateful to have the clarity and knowledge the Gospel brings. I love having the privilege of being a wife and mother.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

I'm Having a Pity Party & You're Invited!!!

Debbie Downer ain't got nothin' on Tara the Terror...Let's see where do I begin? This is a true venting session, so I will begin with my husband...

1. Wesley. Oh Wesley. He's such a good man, but (you knew a conjunction was coming) he is completely obsessive. We've watched the first season of Storage Wars at least ten times. No exaggeration. I CANNOT WATCH ANOTHER STORAGE WARS EPISODE!!! I might throw myself off the balcony if I have to hear Dave say yuuuuup one more time. Wesley, it's high time you learned the difference between loyalty and obsessive compulsive disorder. (He does have both, for the record.)

2. I mopped the kitchen floor twice last week. And it needs to be mopped again. Now, you may think, oh gee, Tara, you only have 124 tiles to mop and most people have quadruple that amount. I have just not accepted the reality that I need to clean everyday and get over it, or just lower my standards of cleanliness.

3. Sometimes I really wonder if Heavenly Father is looking down on me laughing, thinking that haha the joke's on her! When I compare my life to others (which you know we're not supposed to do, but we know we all do it from time to time) I really have to look up to the big man in the sky and question, "Is there no justice in this life?" And don't assume that I think I deserve more than others, it's not that, I just wonder if some people ever have to struggle. Remember when Plato said, "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle"? Well, the world wide web has really made me question whether Plato really knew what he was talking about. All I can do is remind myself of the quote, "I hope your life is as perfect as it seems on Facebook." And let me add, "And on your blog." I mean come on people, get rrrrreal!

4. I pay my child to go to bed and stay in bed. We're high rollers around here. It's almost like money grows on trees. We pay Scarlet 3-5 cents a night if she stays in her bed all night. I am so sick of the nighttime routine. Anyone who has had to share a room with two little ones who wake each other up constantly can feel my pain. And no, I don't have the heart to lock them in their rooms and let them cry it out.....yet.

5. Here's a debate you can help me settle, one of Wesley and I's biggest disagreements right now is when the kids act up during Sacrament meeting at church. He thinks Ivy needs to be taken out every .5 seconds. He's like the Noise Gestapo. Even if the girls calmly whisper to each other, its dagger eyes from Dad. I mean one squeal out of Ivy and he's pacing the halls with her. I say, yes, she is at a difficult age for church, but if we take her out at the drop of a hat, then how will she ever learn to sit reverently? Also, we serve in Nursery so Sacrament is the only spiritual upliftment I get, so I wanna stay and try to listen. Wes gets to go to institute a couple times a week at school, so he already gets more upliftment than me. So, I say if he wants to take the Ivy boob out he can. You might be thinking that oh, well Wes probably wants to be out roaming the halls too. Maybe he can check his phone while he is out there, or chat with some friends. Well, no that would be incorrect. He is out there with Ivy resenting me the entire time, and the fact that I didn't jump up first to take Ivy into the halls. He then comes back into Sacrament meeting after five to ten minutes and practically throws Ivy at me causing a whole scene. So, what do I do? I take Ivy out and resent him! We're definitely stuck in the drama triangle with this one! And of course, everyone around us can see we're fighting! Did I mention we're at church? I can really see how it would be easier to just not go!

Please sisters, let's get back into this blog! I need something other than sugar and TV to look forward too!!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Yes, It's That Week!

What week?  Sister's week or brother's week if you're on facebook.  Or maybe it's breast cancer awareness week?!  You can make it whatever you want on that site.  It's crazy how fast stuff goes around on that thing.

No ladies, it's that time of the month.  Sorry to be so personal, but if I can't get personal here, where?  Okay, okay.  Now I feel like all I'm doing is complaining on this blog, but I know you can relate!  (Well. most of you!)  Sorry guys.  No, I'm not sorry!  Keith told me yesterday that I could take my whatever emotions and attitude and pack it up and send it to Zimbabwe!  Ha ha!  I said, "I would love a week vacation every month in Zimbabwe!"  Are you with me ladies?

Maybe I'm just really feeling it because it is only my second cycle since Jesse finished nursing and I'm feel. ing. it.  And I'm eating it too!  Can you say comfort food?!  Wendy's Frosty, chocolate shake, finishing off the ice cream straight from the container, breakfast burrito, and don't forget a good bean and cheese burrito!  Yeah, it's been that good.  And talk about emotional.  Good Morning America almost made me cry this morning with their over done story on a rescued sea turtle.  Crazy!

Ugh!  Don't even talk about my skin!  And all of the things that have been happening around here.  (Looks like we'll be moving, again, soon!)  I want to be excited and happy about it but, I just can't.  Tell me it's just this week and I will feel better in a few days!  Please!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Hello?!? Anybody Out There?

Hello! Is anyone out there?

I sure miss this blog, I was reading back on some of the old posts and it made me want to get this thing going again. What happened? Where did we go wrong? Was it just kids, life, moving, summer, pregnancy, work, depression, or lack of creative thoughts that made this blog get off track?

Does anyone even care?

I miss having an outlet or something to look forward to and connect with. Summer's over, school's back in session, we're all moved in (minus Aliece, again, maybe) so let's get it together and start writing again. Please!

Are you with me?

(Share the love even if you're not a sister so then maybe my sisters will feel like this is something they want to start doing again. :) Thanks! Of course maybe everyone is glad we stopped and in that case we'll take the hint and just let a sleeping dog lie (is it lay or lie? I may never know).

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wright Brother (Vaughn) Writes

Over here. Who cares if it was a year ago? It might make you think...

Friday, June 17, 2011

Mini Book Review (sort of)


By Emma Donoghue

I had this book on hold for about a million years at the library (I'm not much of a book buyer since I'm (a) cheap and (b) I generally don't ever read books a second time) so after waiting forever for this much hyped and anticipated book I was needless to say quite disappointed.  It's a hot book right now on book club lists, getting talked about by everyone and so perhaps I had built it up a little too much in my mind.

The basic premise is this:  A woman has been held captive in a single underground room since she was 19, is repeatedly raped by her captor and while there gives birth to a son who is now 5 years old and the narrator of the story.  I guess this was the main drawback of the story for me.  I found it dreadfully boring and slow to have it told through a child's perspective. 

I am the kind of person who finds stories like this extremely fascinating when they are in the real news and apparently this story was inspired by one of those cases, so I thought I would like this story a lot more than I did.  But, to be honest I didn't even read the whole book, hence the title of this post.  I was so bored in the beginning I sort of skipped to the middle and then skipped some more to the end just to find out what happened and get it over with. 

I don't know if it's because I just would have preferred to have the story told from a grown-up perspective or just that the kid kind of drove me crazy with the way he spoke.  I mean, I get it, it's the only world he's ever known and his mother did a wonderful job raising him considering the circumstances but it just didn't resonate with me at all.

I would love to know what you thought about this book if you've read it already, I'm beginning to wonder if I'm the only person who doesn't think this book is all that and a bag of chips.  I guess I'll just stick with the true life stories from the news to satisfy my morbid curiosities.