All posts by Mary Siever

wife, homeschooling mother, cbe and nfp teacher, nutritional consultant. LDS. Enjoy reading, yoga, running, weight lifting, singing, learning, health and especially alternative health, pregnancy and birth, attachment parenting.


People talk about obedience as an all inclusive commandment, but they need to clarify what is important in being obedient. It doesn’t mean being obedient across the board to everyone, but being obedient to God. As a child that means being obedient to parents, but only in things that align with the will of God (for example a child does not have to be obedient to abusive behaviour from an adult, even a parent), because we can be obedient to Satan as well as God (not at the same time though).

So when people talk about obedience without really delving into specifics, that can be confusing and can be detrimental, especially if a child is in a family or living situation where they are being led to do things harmful to them or others.

Sometimes people have had the idea that family is ‘all’ and I agree with that as long as the family is a nurturing and positive influence. Reading about the Mexican drug cartels and how more women are getting arrested in connection with it and that they have been involved because of family; fathers, uncles and brothers,  I started thinking about how they got drawn into it.

Anyone can get drawn into evil, women or men.

It made me think that they got involved because of family, because of desiring to stick with family members and believing that whatever happens is right because this is their father or uncle or brother who insist on it. It helps shape their thinking.

Families can be destructive as well as constructive and friends can be either too.

The desire that people have to belong to someone, a group, whether it is a family group, a friend group or whatever, can lead them to make choices that are destructive, because of the need to be obedient to that unit, whether an individual or a group morality.

Being obedient to God gives us safety, because He won’t lead us wrong. Sometimes people think that obedience just makes us mindless sheep, but not when we direct that obedience in the right direction. If we are obedient to Heavenly Father, we are making a conscious choice to live a productive and beneficial life. Because His commandments are carefully thought out to bring us progression and happiness.

?¢‚Ǩ?ìThe Mother In Me?¢‚Ǩ¬ù – Book Review

edited by Kathryn Lyndard Soper

Reviewed by Mary Siever

Motherhood is complex, yet simple. It is exhausting, yet rewarding. It is heartbreaking, yet joyful. It is life changing and fulfilling.

This collection of poems and essays will leave you full of the joys of mothering but understanding there are days of sorrow. Cry, laugh, nod in agreement, and be grateful you aren?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t alone. These stories will bring that to the forefront.

Anyone who has been a mother, who has yet to become one, who is in the throes of day to day parenting, or who has yearned for motherhood through the pain of infertility will find something with which to identify.

Each story is individual, yet global; we can all see ourselves in some, if not most of the essays and poems. Kathryn Lyndard Soper brings them all together in a flowing fashion. The various authors are women in various stages of their lives who share with startling candour what motherhood is really like.

Prepare to enjoy it from start to end.

Gratitude and Patience

A day late, I know. Yesterday was Thanksgiving. But today I am reflecting on what I am thankful for, and trying to remember this (actually currently on a minute by minute basis). Recently my prayers have included asking for help in being patient with my children. Oh it is SO easy to be patient with babies, and toddlers. Not quite as much with growing children with strong personalities and minds of their own (can we say a 7 year old boy with an abundance of energy and 2 sisters he delights in teasing??).

I remember though, that I am so grateful for these beautiful wonderful children and one day, yes, one day, this overly energetic son and my budding pre-teen daughter (cringe), independent 3 year old and baby coming and any more who will come to us, will be all grown up and I won’t have my babies to cuddle and children to protect and nurture. That will be their job with their children. So learning to enjoy and revel in this time is vitally important. So yes, I am learning patience. At least I hope so.

Here it is

Kim is getting tired of being the only one who posts regularly, so I am writing something, although I don’t feel much up to it. I am pretty annoyed today, at one person in particular (actually angry at this person) and no, this isn’t my husband or children. I am not going to address that person because I am afraid I would blow my top and I am not good at angry debate.

However, that is not the point of this post. I am not really sure what the point of it is except that I am feeling very exhausted right now and I have so much to do before August is out and I don’t know that I will have the energy to do it. But somehow I have to. What I do really want is constant tranquility. Why is that not possible? Why is it not possible for even 24 hours? I would even settle for 12 hours of tranquility.

I know some might find this post humourous (because some people find all of my posts humourous) but I am not in the mood, so don’t laugh or try to make me laugh. Don’t even comment if you don’t want to, because frankly I don’t care. I am just putting a post up so Kim’s isn’t the only name on the page.

Now I have to get back to the never ending tasks of my day. I am not complaining. It is life and that’s fine, I just wish I didn’t feel so tired right now.

Any other posters feel free to post at any time.

The Other Side of the Coin

Disenfranchised members of the church, ex-members, non members who have family in the church often relate feelings of anger or rejection?Ǭ† from family members who can’t seem to accept their choice. Often what happens is those family who reacted so strongly, come around, and attempt to repair relationships, and often after much time ( years, commonly) things are back to a kind of truce, as love can overcome so much.

What often isn’t addressed is when family members who leave the church reject those family and friends who stay; cutting off contact and having such a hatred for the church that it transfers to family members who are unwilling to deny their testimonies, and who have to endure the ridicule and condemnation of family who they love who can’t seem to separate their parent, sibling or other extended family from the church. It is all lumped into one big pool of hatred and anger.

There is nothing you can do to fix it except to leave the church and denounce your testimony. That would bring back your loved one. But you can’t do that, because to do so would be to deny who you are, and so you would lose yourself.

I know this doesn’t always happen, but it does sometimes and it is possibly the most painful experience someone can have. It really hurts and you can’t do a thing about it except the most offensive thing to the family member, and that is pray.

Priesthood Blessings and God’s Time

Last week I had an experience that was not new to me. Nevertheless, it didn’t make it much easier. During this time, I had a blessing, assuring me that all was well and the outcome would be what I expected. Alright, I know this sounds cryptic, but this isn’t the real purpose of the post, it leads up to it.

The blessing seemed to not hold true. What I was told, didn’t happen. Or at least, from my perspective (and pretty much every other human being who heard it would conclude the same).

I spent a week being mournful and cranky. Not losing my faith, no, but still wondering what the heck was going on. Were my ears deceiving me? Do I no longer interpret spiritual answers? Am I not worthy to receive answers? (This last one suited the pity party I like to have when things don’t go my way).

I came to a realisation. First, the same promise and answer had been given in 2 previous blessings for the same situation that ended up with the same outcome. The same answer also (or similar) came for a similar situation with a different outcome.

And then my other realisation. The Lord does not work on my time, or your time or any human being’s time. He works on His own, which encompasses all time, past, present and future. So what I perceive as should be happening now, on my own schedule, does not necessarily mesh with His schedule, or perception of scheduling. What has yet to happen for me, is a given, or rather will be and to Him, it is part of the current time.

Isn’t a 1000 years as a day to Him? Then this makes sense to me. At least it gives me more understanding and comfort.

Love One Another, As I Have Loved You

My personal quest has been, recently, to study and understand the principle of charity better. Even more so, to understand the true nature of love, as the Saviour would have us love. So, I have been studying the scriptures, thinking about it, thinking about the nature of Jesus Christ, reading other publications, such as The Peacegiver: How Christ heals our hearts and homes and The Anatomy of Peace (which I am currently in the middle of reading).

Just yesterday I had an epiphany.

I asked myself the following question, or rather, the following question came to my mind; Why do I love Jesus Christ? (or anyone I love, for that matter). Why do I feel humble when thinking of Him, why do I get an overwhelming sense of gratitude and love when I think about Him? Is it because of anything I have done? Is it because I feel I deserve or should be loved by Him? No.

And why do I have a desire to be better and to do what He wants me to do? Why do I strive (with limited success) to be like Him? Why do I want to be like Him?

It is because He loves me. And I don’t just think this, it is something I know and feel and am aware of on a basic level. His love for me is apparent when I feel the spirit, when I think of His life, how He lived and behaved towards people He came in contact with. This is independent of His teachings to obey the commandments. His love for me is unconditional. Remember, this is independent of His teachings to be obedient and follow the commandments. Loving me does not mean He expects less of me or will let me off the hook.

So all these things I feel and want to be are inspired by His love for me. Not for anything in myself or that I have created. This is the love that He wants us to have for others. For our husbands and wives, our parents, our children, our friends, our other family members, our acquaintances, those we have conflict with, those who are not like us, those who offend us, those who hurt us, those we have no reason to like, those who do things that annoy us. Everyone. He wants us to actually have this love so that they feel this love and are saved by it.

I understand what this love is. It isn’t the doing, it is the state of heart and mind, of truly loving, so that in our demeanor, attitude and behaviour towards others, we radiate this love. This is why people flocked to Him, why children surrounded Him. They knew His love was genuine and constant, they basked in it and wanted it. When He came to the Americas, this is why the multitude didn’t want Him to leave. This is the Spirit which cannot help but be present in the face of such love. It is a love that grows and needs no effort, because it is. It is something that is possible to attain through a lifetime of learning and growth. He has this love for all. We can at least, have this love for those around us.

This is a love I can develop over time, independent of my expectations of others, that I can come to with His help. But this is the true concept of the love of Jesus Christ.

Choices and Consequences

My mind has been somewhat taken up with the news of the deaths of these poor baby girls in Saskatchewan, left to freeze and die in the cold snow, in -50 degree weather, this week. My heart breaks for them, for their loved ones, including the young father who left them (and again we don’t know all the details) because in spite of the mistakes he made, in taking them out without proper clothes, and leaving them, because he wasn’t aware of all he was doing, he is suffering for the choices he made. It looks as though something precipitated this, which caused a string of ill advised choices, fueled by alcohol and stress. I am not judging either, but just feeling pain for this family and these poor babies.The comfort is that I know Heavenly Father sent his angels to hold these innocents, to bring them home and maybe maybe to take away the suffering from the cold. Maybe the cold didn’t cause them too much physical anguish? I don’t know much of what freezing to death is like, and I don’t want to find out that they suffered excruciating pain, so young as they are. Children, especially the smallest ones need and are to be protected. So many children for many different reasons are not, and I know this hurts the Lord, I don’t question why He doesn’t always interfere, because He is wiser than I am.

What I feel, as a mother (and even just as a human being) is this urgency, to protect and save the suffering babies. Right now, this is the current one in my mind, these little girls who had little protection from the elements.

I am not thinking (as I know some are) that it is just more evidence of problems on the reserves. No, it is a human problem. The choices made by the father he will regret for the rest of his life. I cannot even begin to imagine the pain and sorrow he is experiencing, and their mother as well, that because of a fight, she was not there to watch over and keep her girls safe. The tragedy just transcends all blame at that end.

I do think there is some responsibility for a government that does not regulate the sale of alcohol better. Yes, this father (and so many other alcoholics) made his own choice to purchase and consume alcohol, but evidence shows that First Nations people are genetically more prevalent to substance addiction. The government makes too much money, though to not control the purchase of alcohol or the accessibility of it, better. Do they think of the victims of alcoholism? The innocents, who because of this freedom to drink yourself into a stupor, suffer, and sometimes pay, as in this case, with their lives.

See, children have a right to be protected, to be cared for. They cannot care for themselves. If a puppy or a kitten had been left out there, that animal may have had a better chance of survival. But if an adult is at risk, then how much more are a 3 year old and a baby barely over the age of a year unable to look after themselves? Especially in the debilitating cold.

But the government does not want to lose the revenue they gain through the suffering of others. Our governments (provincial and federal) who are supposed to do their best for the citizens make poor decisions that affect the lives and well being of those who do not choose to even participate in that. These little girls were not a part of the decision their father made to drink, nor a part of the decision to sell the alcohol, to create easy access to it’s sale, to make it in the first place. Adults, people who are supposed to have the intelligence to make responsible choices designed to promote the well being and safety of those they have stewardship over, were the ones who made the decision that resulted in the suffering and death of two little girls.

All I know is that a loving Saviour held them in His arms, this I know, brought them home and ended their suffering and kept them safe and I am sure, wept tears because of His great love, not only for them, but for all involved.

8 things about me

Melissa over at Melissa’s Place has tagged me to write a post on ?¢‚Ǩ?ì8 things about me?¢‚Ǩ¬ù.

The Rules:

?¢‚Ǩ?ìEach person posts the rules before their list, then they list 8 things about themselves. At the end of the post, that person tags and links to 8 other people and then visits those peoples?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢ sites and comments letting them know that they have been tagged, and to come read the post, so they know what they have to do.?¢‚Ǩ¬ù

8 Things About Me

  1. I am a singer. A trained one as well. However, the most singing I do lately is in church and to my children. When I feel like really letting out I sing to Loreena McKennitt, Sin?ɬ©ad O’Connor and U2. Sometimes my own music as well, written long ago.
  2. I was married to the greatest man in the world 12 years ago (plus some, since it’s July).
  3. I have a deep, strong, abiding testimony of Jesus Christ and His Gospel. I don’t share it often enough, but it is there.
  4. I am a Nutritional Consultant, trained and certified and registered
  5. I have PCOS
  6. I want many children. No number really. But I am not holding my breath. I am happy with the ones I have already.
  7. I lived in Ireland (Dublin to be exact) in 1990.
  8. I love to run. I hated it as a child, but found a great desire and love for it, as an adult.

I will tag:

  1. Mum at Charity Never Faileth
  2. Nikki at Isn’t this kind of personal?
  3. Jen at My Serendiptious Life
  4. Jessica at The Gibbon Family
  5. Carmen at La Dolce Vita
  6. Rob (my brother) at LibTech Life

Ok yeah I know I am supposed to do two more, but I can’t find the urls and I have to get off this computer before it fries. The fan is out and we are awaiting a new arrival hopefully tomorrow.