Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My Thoughts Spew Forth...

I've been having one of those weeks --the kind where my mind won't stop thinking and my body won't stop moving and my schedule keeps on growing...
...but it's a good thing.
Makes it hard to find time to blog, though. Really hard. I've only been able to throw out comments here and there and even then I feel I'm neglecting people.
Luckily, people forgive.
Anyway, here's what's been on my mind lately (in no particular order):

HBO's Big Love to air parts of the Temple ceremony and/or Temple clothing. I find it ironic that a show which has explicitly told everyone it's not about Mormons would do this. I also find it ironic that I just don't care. You can find ex-Mormons (or not?) everywhere selling/sharing this stuff on the internet [heck --I once was looking for an image through Google on something with the word "Mormon" in it, and I saw (on the very first page) a couple proudly displaying their garments. I mean, what the?! Who would pose for that? They are so unattractive, you know.]. Seriously, you can find it everywhere --and almost anywhere if you really want to find it.
But what gets me happy is the way my Church responded to it. Here is the press release. [Amanda first told me about it, and then Brandon told me he'd already posted it on Facebook. Which goes to show you I haven't even had time for Facebook lately!]

Every time I feel the walls of fear closing in on me, whether it be personal demons (depression, financial stress, failing my children, dealing with change, etc.) or public ones (attacks on the family, redefining genders, this whole HBO thing, other religions calling us bigoted, insane, and cult-ish-like), something wonderful like this happens: I'm reminded that I don't need to fear. The Gospel isn't about living in Fear and Hatred and Grief. It truly is the Plan of Happiness. And it has brought me more joy than I could ever have imagined.
That ain't no lip service, people. It truly has brought me joy --and my husband, and my degree, and my children, and my home, etc.
Don't believe me?
Every decision I have made in my life was made because of my belief system. Every one (okay, maybe not the choice between Cocoa Krispies and Cheerios, but you know what I mean!). I wouldn't have gone to college where I did if it wasn't for my desire to be at a school where the Gospel is taught (or at least discussed as normal) in the classroom. I wouldn't have met my husband had I not gone there. I would not have married him in the Temple if I didn't believe what I believed. And I most certainly wouldn't have had my four (almost five!) children if it wasn't for the belief in eternal families.
I wouldn't be hopeful if it wasn't for my testimony in Christ.
I wouldn't be grateful if I didn't believe God hears my prayers.
I wouldn't be charitable if I didn't believe it is the Love of Christ and can change the world.

All of the above brings me my greatest joy. And I truly believe it's because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It has made my life beautiful.

In the same vein, I want to show you this video of Rachel Esplin. She's from Blackfoot, ID (my hometown!!) and I know of her family. She is studying at Harvard and is 20 years old, and was asked to participate in a Religious Panel discussing different Faiths (she is the president of the Harvard LDS student association right now). For over 20 minutes she answered questions about the Mormon religion and did so in a very personal and kind manner. I was so impressed with her maturity, her testimony, and her accuracy (please note, however, that her remarks are not necessarily Church sanctioned and what-not. You know what I mean, right?). If you have the time, I'd say watch it. It was worth it for me!

Day of Faith: Personal Quests for a Purpose - 3. Rachel Esplin from Harvard Hillel on Vimeo.

It's real, you know. I'm going to have a husband that will be gone a lot, lot, lot over the next 2 years.
He'll have school, of course.
And studying.
Then there's work.
And traveling for work.
Not to mention his callings at Church.
And having to spend time with his children.
Oh, and me.

I have had quite a lot of time to prepare for this. I've known the Wharton schedule for a few months now (it's hanging up in our kitchen). So even though I know it's going to be crazy, I'm pretty positive about the whole thing. I tell my piano students the following (all the time):
Anything worth having always takes hard work.
It's true! I know that when we're on the other side of these two years, we will be grateful and happy we did it. It's just remembering this DURING the two years that will be key!

Ooh, which reminds me. I was talking with a friend this morning, and I was explaining how Brandon's school schedule really is miraculous: He will be here for every birthday and anniversary over the next two years (except for my 32nd birthday, but that's no big whoop) AND he has a 3 week break right when the baby is due! When I compared this schedule to the schedule for last year's students (each new batch of students gets a new schedule), I realized that if had he gotten in last year he would have missed every birthday and anniversary. And probably the birth of this kid!
This was another testimony builder for me --God knows us. He knew what we needed and where we needed to be and when Brandon should go back to school (this is practically 4 years finally coming to fruition, you know --the school thing).
Cool, eh?

Another miracle has happened --but not because of God's hand, I'm sure. :) I won another prize at Annette's give-a-way week!
13 entries really pays off, you know.
Go see what I won...

My car had to be started TWICE yesterday. The freezing temperatures are not good for my battery. Luckily, I know how to jump-start a car really well. And I have neighbors. And a husband who charged the battery all night.
Add this to another reason I hate winter.
Blah, blah, blah. Blah.
(At least we have sunshine today!)

If you got to the bottom of this post and actually read everything, you rock. And you deserve some kind of medal. Instead, just share with me your thoughts on any of the following:
  • HBO and Big Love
  • The LDS Church's press release
  • Rachel Esplin
  • The idea of your husband going back to school after 10 years of marriage and 4.5 children
  • Winning multiple blog prizes
  • Dead car batteries
  • Long posts
Love you, dear reader!



I love the statement the church released in response to HBO's Big Love, especially this part: "If the Church allowed critics and opponents to choose the ground on which its battles are fought, it would risk being distracted from the focus and mission it has pursued successfully for nearly 180 years. Instead, the Church itself will determine its own course as it continues to preach the restored gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world."
Also, Rachel Esplin's answers to Sally Quinn's 'grilling' were so thought provoking and eloquent. As a bonus, the 3 of us are from the same hometown. Yay for Blackfoot!

Ryan and Missy- said...

Cocoa Krispies over Cheerios, any day. That's actually what I had for breakfast. :)

Cheryl said...

Don't the best things come out of Blackfoot? I heard that somewhere... :)

And yes, that was one of my favorite parts of the press release. It's so simple, and yet so profound, you know?

Cheryl said...

So did I! :)

Annette Lyon said...

I agree on all points.

And yes, isn't it nice to have sun again? (See, I DID read the whole thing. :D) Congrats on winning a second time. I swear I didn't rig it--blame!

Mother of the Wild Boys said...

HBO and Big Love: Meh, they aren't the first and they won't be the last.

Press Release: Awesome, and helpful in keeping my focus.

Rachel Esplin: You go girl.

Back to School: Sounds like you're gonna need a devoted friend to come visit and share your burdens...who could that be?

Prizes: I always knew you were a winner.

Batteries/Winter: Why can't we all just get along?

Long posts: Deserve long there you go. :)

Rebekah said...

1--Isn't the Church amazing!! And I just admire the wisdom in the church's Public Relations. Yay for good PR!!! Things like that stupid show will always try and thwart the work, but with no avail!
2--I am so thrilled that you found the video of Rachel!! I searched for it for a while and couldn't find it. Sister Esplin brought it to my professor and we had a discussion on it. She was wonderful! Those were some tough questions. I'm excited to show Jared.
3--Your a brave woman.
4--Yay for winning something to brighten your day.
5--Yuck. It's time for winter to die!!
6--I really enjoyed your long post!

Grandma Rozla said...

Hey you! Just a little comment on #3 - the school thing. Granted my situation was a little different than yours - I didn't have small children when Lynn went back to school but he was bishop for all his undergrad work. And when he started back we were looking at 6 years instead of only 2 but this is what I discovered. If you look at the big picture (2 years) that is way to over the top some days. But if you break it down into semesters and then break that down into weeks and then into days it is do-able and even exciting sometimes. So on the days that it gets hard think "JUST FOR TODAY". Because after all that is all you have to do - just do today because tomorrow is a new day and a new chance to fix what you didn't do so good the day before. Life is so much more fun for me when I remember "Just for today"! Good luck it will be a grand grand adventure :)

Susan M said...

My husband went back to school a few years back. It was really hard on us all but worth it. I had to go to work fulltime for about 5 years while he did it. He was going to school and home with the kids. He's a better Mom than I am.

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

Okay, I'll tackle the back to school thing. We're just a tad off on the details, 10 years married this year, started law school in 2006, 3 kids. And it's hard, but it works. We do the best we can at sharing family responsibilities and try to support each other. Biggest challenge will be selfishness and self-pity when you focus too much on the burden you carry and try to pretend like your half is harder. We have accomplished some great things during this time. We're still building up unfathomable student loans, but in the meantime we've been able to pay off all our credit card debt and any consumer loans and actually build up some savings. You'll do great! oh, and p.s. Try really hard to not communicate any kind of resentment toward husband (really just misplaced jealousy/self-pity) to your children. It will not bless your family if you use the kids to help you make your husband feel guilty about so much absence. They should be taught to be grateful for the sacrifices he makes for the family, and to love on him like crazy when he's around. Sorry, this all sounds super preachy, but it's a list of things I've learned (sometimes the hard way) along our journey.

Moddy said...

On the back to school thing, we've done this twice now. In 2001-2003 hubby did his BS through Univ. of Pheonix. During most of that time he was also working 2 jobs about 30hrs each job each week. We only had one little one. The first was hard enough, but last year we decided that it was time for him to back again. He's now 6-7 months away from having his MBA. This time I think has been harder, his job is much more demanding and we now have 2 kids who also need so much more of his time than before. But it is worth it, and I know there is an end in sight. Good luck, get help when you need it, make time for yourself too.

JustRandi said...

Hey Thanks for sharing that link to the church's press release. It's so good to see the church conduct itself with dignity and class.
Just makes me happy inside.

I keep reminding myself that we've always said that the temple ceremony is not secret, it's sacred. Just because they think they're exploiting some big secret doesnt take any of the sacred.

Mostly it just makes them jerks.

Oops. I really should try to be dignified and classy, shouldn't I?

Cheryl said...

The sun is awesome! And I know you wouldn't have rigged your drawing --I mean, me winning twice? That's proof enough it wasn't rigged! :)

I will absolutely need a good friend to visit and get me through it all...wink, wink... :)

Oh, that's right! I forgot her mother teaches at BYU-I...

Awesome advice! It's true that it's the day to day stuff that will be manageable and thinking too long term will get discouraging. Thank you for your experience!

I've always wondered if Brandon would make a better SAHM than me --and in ways I think he totally would. I'm glad your hubby going back was worth it, though. It usually is, isn't it?

Not preachy at all! I appreciate your insight because you've been through it and I'm on the brink of it. Your advice is awesome!

I also appreciate your experience an advice; I think it's easy to feel like I won't have time for myself, so what you said at the end will be crucial, I think. Lots of GNO's! I'm okay with taking some time for me --although starting in August, we'll have a newborn. Ah, well. It will work out!

Yes! I love what you said about exploiting the "secret" and how it doesn't take away any of the sacred. It does make them jerks. I will never understand why people think it's such a great idea to exploit anyone or anything just for a quick buck. ~sigh~

Amanda D said...

I'm glad to hear that you aren't bugged by HBO. I think people are worried too much over nothing. Although I do think it's weird that a show that isn't about Mormons is having a Mormon temple ceremony.

Congrats on the prizes. Share the love, and let me win the next one, okay?!

Good luck with Brandon being back in school. It sounds stressful. I'm sorry that your car had to be restarted twice.

Cheryl said...

I am sending my prize-winning-vibes over to Annette's site in your behalf right now! May you win the next prize. :)
(And if it actually comes true, I will be officially freaked out!)

Anonymous said...

Big Love - Total indifference.

Husband going back to school after 10 years and 4.5 children - Better you than me. I mean--You are one brave woman!

Dead car batteries - No good.

Winning multiple blog prizes - Obviously, you lead a charmed life!

Long posts - They're what I live for. Obviously.

flip flop mama said...

That's awesome about the school thing. It's great when you find out the reason things didn't--or did--happen.

Loved the Church's press release.

Yay for prizes!

Boo on bad car batteries.

Anonymous said...



Didn't watch it. (Sorry, I'm sure she's awesome.)

Not totally appealing.



Depends on the poster. :)

Alison Wonderland said...

Oh Cheryl I love you so. No really, I think you're super awesome. I just thought you should know.

Lizzie said...

Wayne told me that the Church was not going to do a big boycott thing over the Big Love controversy, and the idea that anyone would even think to boycott was hilarious to me. No member should be watching the show in the first place! It's like if Budweiser put out a commercial that was degrading to Mormons, and all the members got together and said "That's IT! We are NO longer buying your beer! Take that!"

Chino Blanco said...

Tom Hanks puts this brouhaha into perspective (and waxes prophetic) at the 3rd season premiere of Big Love:

"There's gonna be lies, and secrets, and discoveries, and problems. Television!"