Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ash Wednesday

Today is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. I have decided that I will participate in Lent this year with a friend of mine. But I wanted to better understand the meaning of why there is something given up and I wanted a good idea of what I should give up. So, I went here and found out a lot of info that helped me better understand what I will be doing in the next 40 days.

After reading about Lent I discovered that Lent was all about baptism and renewing the commitments with God that I made when I was baptised. "Lent is about conversion, turning our lives more completely over to Christ and his way of life." I want to do this. So, instead of picking something to give up. I am going to spend Lent finding out what obstacles are keeping me from fully enjoying the companionship of the Holy Ghost. And then, when I see what is in my way I can rid it from my life, and dedicate the time to renewing my relationship with God.

I will let you know how it goes for me.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Running Safely

I love to run and it almost kills me to see someone (especially a woman) out running violate some very simple safety guidelines for running. Then I thought, 'maybe they just don't know.' So, I thought that I would share some safety tips I learned from a great book I have been reading, The Complete Book of Running for Women.

#1- Leave Word of your whereabouts. Just let a friend or family member know when you leave, your route, and when to expect you home.

#2- Carry Identification. Info to help any emergency response people know allergies and who to call if you are unconscious.

#3- Avoid "lonely" Roads. It is fun to explore while running. However, taking isolated roads on your run can be very dangerous if you are alone. Take a friend.

#4- Rearrange your Route. Never run the same route multiple days in a row. Don't be trackable by a stalker.

#5- Be Aware. Pay attention to what is going on around you. Do not avoid eye contact with strangers. A person who is going to attack will when they can catch you the most unaware of your surroundings.

#6- Do Not Wear a Headset. I know that many people like to run while listening to music; however, when running out on the street the earplugs you have blasting in your ears are limiting one of your most valuable senses while running. You can't hear cars or people. You are extremely vulnerable. Run on a treadmill with headsets, not outside.

#7- Run in daylight hours. Never run alone between 6pm and 6am.

#8- Don't talk to strangers. I know we all teach our children this principle, but we need to be reminded as well. If someone stops to ask for directions keep your distance and yell the answer to them or just tell them you don't know.

#9- Carry a safety device. Examples) pepper spray, Persuader.

These are great guidelines for running safety and I hope that you remember them the next time you go out for your exercise.

Friday, February 6, 2009

National Wear Red Day

This day is a part of the Go Red for Women campaign. It is the day dedicated to the education of women about heart disease and stroke. Heart Disease is the #1 killer of women and we need to fight it in any way we can.

Learn about the signs and your own risk at The American Heart Association. Educate yourself and someone close you. Wear Red today to show your support and get someone to ask you about what you have learned. You just might save a life.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Husbands. . . what to do?

I have recently had a wearisome conversation with a dear friend of mine. She was, in all appearances, stressed, pained, unsupported and seemingly alone. She spent a little over an hour (although not enough time) telling me all about her concerns and frustrations. I would like to share them with you now.

I share these things not to fail her trust, but to help anyone else who is in a similar situation talk about it and find a way to improve it.

We spoke of, as all women do, the need to lose those extra pounds that we have accumulated since our matrimonial blissful moment, the kids driving mother completely mad, financial struggles, and the lack of husbands help and support. The main problem that stoked my internal fire (ya’ll know it’s a forest fire sometimes) was the things she expressed about her relationship or lack thereof with her husband.

“He never helps when he gets home from work.”

“He never shows me affection unless it’s sex”

“He doesn’t want to do anything except sit at the computer.” Might I add the TV.

“He won’t help with the kids. I get them dressed; I get them cleaned; I get them into bed”

“He defends his mom and siblings before he defends me”

“He won’t take me out anymore. I told him I needed a date night and he replied ‘You mean like once a month?’ I told him ‘No, like once a week; at the very least twice a month.”

These were only a few of the things that I was flabbergasted over. To all of these statements I responded with some form of, “Did you tell him that?” And with the answer being “yes” I followed with “and he said?” But this question came with an answer that I was not entirely ready for. “He just walks away or tells me that I shouldn’t feel like that or just makes some sort of noise in response and then walks away.” Usually I have plenty to say, but at that moment I had nothing.

My feminine instincts tell me to hate the man; however, I don’t feel that he is doing these things on purpose. I feel more than anything that he just doesn’t know how to react to a wife and kids. He doesn’t know that he is supposed to do certain things and not others. So, I have spent days pondering the things that a man is supposed to do. Keep in mind that these things are not restricted to just men. We have the same obligations they do.

They are (in order):

1. Love
2. Listen
3. Understand
4. Help
5. Work
6. Play

LOVE is a deep, tender, ineffable feeling of affection and solicitude towards a person. A husband is to “love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else.”(D&C 42:22) Women are also under the same direction. President Howard W. Hunter said,”The words none else eliminate everyone and everything. The spouse then becomes pre-eminent in the life of the husband or wife and neither social life nor occupational life nor political life nor any other interest nor person nor thing shall ever take precedence over the companion spouse.” No exceptions.

I feel that love has many expressions and I hope that we all remember how Paul describes it in 1 Corinthians. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. Love never ends.

LISTEN is to hear something with thoughtful attention. I know that we all have our difficult days when it comes to listening, but it is the most important aspect of communication. Listening is more than just hearing. It is the opening to a solution. Unless the problem is truly heard, it cannot be broken apart effectively.

UNDERSTAND is to show a sympathetic or tolerant attitude toward something. This was the best definition to follow listen because without listening there is no hope for the reaction to be a sympathetic one. When it comes to understanding another persons side of a situation I do believe that we, as a people, have difficulty doing this. I was told once that when teaching I had to listen to my students and not just be thinking about what I was going to say next. Because when they were finished talking and I had been busy thinking about my thoughts then I would have no idea of where they were in the lesson or where to take it. I would not know the needs of those I was teaching. It is the same with our spouses. We must be sympathetic and tolerant toward their expressions towards us. We do not always need to fix their problem, but we do need to understand it.

HELP is to give assistance or support and to make more pleasant or bearable. We are, in our families, supposed to give aid to our spouses in all aspects of life. President Hunter said that the men were supposed to “share, as a loving partner, the care of the children. Help her to manage and keep up your home.” As a wife, I expect this help. Help with the dishes, diaper changes, feedings, playground runs, grocery shopping, babysitting for “Me” time, cleaning, cooking, and anything else that I need help with. I also expect to be able to help with the car maintenance, finances, fixing things in the house, working and any other manly thing you do.
Men and women do have things that they excel at, but this doesn’t limit the other from doing those same things. We are here to help each other become better people.

WORK is to sustain physical or mental effort to overcome obstacles and achieve an objective or result. In our culture this usually means bringing home the green. However, just because a woman may spend her time as a homemaker does not make it less work than the husband spending his time at the office. We all work throughout our days. Sometimes the work at the office is harder than the work at home and vice versa. The woman is not under house arrest. The decision of whether they both need or want to work outside of the home rests solely on their shoulders.

PLAY is many things. Whether it is outdoor recreation, card games, board games, athletics, reading, watching movies, dancing, or a night on the town makes no difference. We all need playtime in our day. Although we think we are adults we are actually children in really big bodies when it comes to playing. It is needed to release stress and uplift the soul. Play results in happiness, laughter, affection, and love. Play is the little bits of joy that we fill the cracks in with.

Now we have all heard some form of marriage fix-its like this and we all know that these things work in large or small ways. So, when our husbands don’t know or have forgotten the essentials in life how do we teach them? When we are doing these things ourselves or doing our best to do them, how do we effectively and sensitively tell our husbands they need to do better?


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