Goodbye 2010

This is cross posted at my personal blog, HotPepper.ca.

What a year!

This year, I did the following:

This year was filled with ups and downs. Here’s hoping 2011 is a bit more even.

What is your calling?

I’ve always been interested in knowing what callings everyone had in the Bloggernacle, so I’m conducting a survey.

What is your calling?

Google Forms doesn’t allow storing of cookies, so the only way I can mitigate duplicate responses is by asking for names and email addresses. Names and email addresses will not be published.

I’m trying to collect several hundred, so I can have a good sample size. Once I reach that point, I hope to publicize them here.

Please pass the word.

Reverse Sexism or The Fruit of Patriarchy?

I like to go to the Marriage and Family Relations class for Sunday School when it’s available.  (Smaller class, more discussion, interesting topics.)  A few weeks ago in the class we were discussing the divine role of the mother, and I thought I knew what to expect.  Still, I was a little surprised when the conversation headed toward group-sanctioned husband-bashing.  You know, the typical complaints: My husband is incapable of putting the kids to bed on time.  My husband would let the kids starve if I left it up to him.  (“What is it with husbands not feeding kids?!”)  Men just aren’t hardwired to pay attention to household needs like women are; they just don’t care as much.  Men aren’t naturally able to nurture as well as women can.  “I love my husband, but I’m glad he’s not the mom.”

Read the full post and comments at  Feminist Mormon Housewives

The Blessings of an Assignment

In church we often hear the questions, “Are there any volunteers for the canning on Friday?”  “Can I get a volunteer for the prayer?”  “Who would like to do this service on Tuesday night?”  “We need five people to go help with this move Saturday morning at 7:00.  By raise of hands, who would like to do that?”  While this way of asking for service may have its merits, I believe there is a far better way that yields much greater blessings to more members and others.  It is found in the assignment.

Read the full post and comment at The Millennial Star

Day of Rest

Seven months after I was laid off as a nine-year employee of the University of Lethbridge, I finally found a job.

It was a relief.

I had sent out dozens of resumes and had several interviews, but nothing seemed to come to fruition. Finally, after nearly running out of severance pay, I found a job with a solid, growing company. That’s an entirely different post.

Having been there for three weeks now, I’ve noticed a few things. It’s a stressful, hectic work environment seasoned well with colourful language. It’s much different compared to my last work environment.

The downside to this job is my shift runs Wednesday to Sunday. It’s the first time in my adult life I have had to work Sundays. The last time I was job hunting, I had three job offers, and ignoring a job that required me to work Sundays was an option. This time, I had no choices; this was my only job offer.

I was heartbroken when I found out I had to work Sundays.

Sundays have for many years been a special day for me. It has been a day unlike others: the only work I do is church related; I don’t participate in general entertainments; and I try to do gospel-related, enriching activities.

Having to work on Sundays is going to make this very difficult to maintain.

After I accepted the job (partly because I needed money to support my family and partly because of opportunities promised in the future), I thought about this some more and realized there were some things I could do to keep some semblance of spirituality in my life.

Luckily, my calling as ward executive secretary doesn’t require much my being at church on Sunday. A lot of what I have to do on Sundays can be done electronically or dropped off at the church before church starts.

I was able to arrange my dinner break to coincide with one of the wards in our building. At least, I can sing two of the hymns and partake in the sacrament.

We are going to continue being faithful in participating in our monthly ward temple night.

I am singing in the stake Christmas cantata.

I dress in my Sunday best even though everyone else is dressed in jeans and t-shirts.

Today was my first Sunday shift (the last two weeks were training Monday to Friday), and I have to say that I have never appreciated a Sacrament Meeting as much as I did today. As I mentioned above, my stressful, hectic, colourful work environment makes it difficult to feel the Spirit.

Going to church and being among my fellow saints today was a real blessing. For 40 minutes, all the swearing was gone. All the phone ringing was gone. All the worrying and stress was gone. For 40 minutes, I could relax, pray, and meditate. Even with screaming babies, today’s Sacrament Meeting was a harbour of strength during a spiritually turbulent day.

Today’s experience gave me an entirely different perspective on what it means when we refer to Sunday as a day of rest. Rest indeed.