Friday, October 14, 2011

Some Pretty Awesome Women!

This last weekend our area was privileged to play host to Sister Julie Beck, General Relief Society President.  I am so glad I took the opportunity to go listen to her speak.  I've always loved her wisdom and insight and testimony.  She is the epitome of womanhood and as solid as a rock.  This is what I've always known by seeing and listening to her in General Conference.  What I suspected, but didn't know until Sunday night was how warm and genial and genuine she is.  I would have been satisfied with the whole evening just watching her greet people at the end.  She looked into their eyes, she hugged them, she smiled, I could tell she was really listening to what they had to say.  It brings a lump to my throat just picturing the scene.  I am striving to be more like that.

I think her main point in speaking to us was, as she said, "to increase our faith and personal righteousness".
She took questions from audience members.  They ranged in everything from abuse to genealogy. I was interested to hear her answers to these concerns but as it turns out she treated the meeting just like real life.   It's very infrequent that we have a question or concern and immediately get an answer.  It usually takes effort, prayer, personal righteousness, trial and error and patience.

Just as a side note, I read a letter this morning from my cousin who is on a mission in the Philippines.  In talking about our recent general conference he summed up what I'm thinking very well.

He said:
  • "I kept thinking that there would be one talk that would answer my questions and concerns and be exactly what I needed to hear, but that wasn't the way it worked. I took one good piece of wisdom from one talk and then another that by the time all of conference was over I had exactly what I needed. There was no talk that said it all, but the sum of all of them that filled me up."
Sister Beck wasn't there to solve all of our problems but if you were paying attention she taught us how to get our own answers and taught us that those concerns we need help with should be addressed through Relief Society.  She even recommended that on a 1st Sunday Meeting, that we have a question and answer period similar to what she was currently doing.

She talked a lot about the new book "Daughters in My Kingdom" book that all Relief Society Sisters should have or should soon get.  I suspect this talk was also prepping us to use this beautiful book to help us with getting answers to questions.  She pointed out the "fabric" motif on each page and said, "Fabric can sift out impurities and strengthen what's left." I think this was symbolism of the Relief Society and our sisterhood as a beautiful fabric.

At the end of her talk she stated
Love someone who you think is unlovable.
Learn how to serve those who don't seem to want to be served.
Learn how to manage your life through the spirit of personal revelation.

A worthy endeavor indeed.

And speaking of fabulous women.
This is my mom.
Yesterday was her birthday
She is 68 years young.
She is so cute don't you think?

This picture was taken when she was showing me her new hat she bought in anticipation of her trip with dad (and Uncle Armond and Aunt Ann) back east.  She even made matching hat bands to change out depending on what she was wearing that day. Notice this one is made from the extra strand that had been on her necklace.  Ah, I love it.  That is one thing that mom totally is... resourceful!  She knows how to salvage anything and make it into something cute, or something yummy or something useful.  She has been working with the Linus Project where people sew or create quilts for children in hospitals or that have been through trauma.  I am forever impressed at what she can create out of scraps and stuff people have given her.  I love calling her up and she and dad are just walking out the door to go to Big Lots or some other fun place.  I love that they do little things like this together.  It makes my day.

Mom is also all about the service. She is dedicated to serving others -- even those who seem to be unservable.  She is concerned there are people she is trying to help that can't or won't be helped. This is the sign of someone truly service oriented.  I'm pretty sure she and my dad are going straight to the Celestial Kingdom simply for the service they've rendered in the behalf of others.

I also enjoy mom's unique quality to be nonjudgmental.  She can listen to 1 side of a story and not have ill feelings toward the other person.  She always remembers that there are people and feelings involved on both sides and she can keep that in perspective.  Going along with this she is also not opposed to speaking her mind.  She does it gently and with great love.  But she is truthful and to the point and very matter of fact.   Again, not passing judgement, but then again not mincing words either. I love this quality and I want to be like that. However, I'm afraid I probably speak my mind with a little more "passion" and way too much judgement.  I enjoy frankness though... mom, is probably the reason why.

So on Wednesday I drove up early to Mom and Dad's house and took them out to breakfast.  We went to a place called Stacks in downtown Campbell.  Mom introduced me to Banana, Macadamia, coconut pancakes!! Holy Cow!! Were they EVER good!  I can see why they are her favorite! Yummo! I am so glad, that even though it takes some planning, they are close enough that I get to see them from time to time.  What a great influence in my life and in the lives of my family. I love you mom Happy Birthday!!


Jennifer Miller said...

Your Mom is Pretty Awesome! I wish I could just have a little bit of all these women in me. Loved the post thank you!

Annette said...

I love your mom too. She is so positive and wise and yes, cute! Happy Birthday Mama Lindsey! Thanks for writing about Sis. Beck too. She is such a strength to us all as well. Really great post to read this morning. Thanks Stef!

Lindseys said...

Great post, Stef! Lately I have been thinking of the conversation we had a few years ago taling about how mom and dad are very straight arrow and inflexible on doing what is right, but at the same time they are non-judgemental of everyone. I think that is a fine line to walk and they do it effortlessly.

I couldn't agree more with your post.

karensumpter said...

Don't we have a great Mom! Great post:)

Stimpsons said...

Awesome post! I love these ladies too! Mom, you're awesome!

Joe and Julie said...

I love your mom, too.