Babies Bring Out Our Best

 

20150929_164617 (1)I’ve spent the past few days with my son, his wife, and their new little son. It’s amazing how tender emotions resurface so quickly, when you snuggle a newborn grandchild.

The Savior said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13) Great is the love of a mother, who lays down her life, her time, her pleasures, her sleep—her all for her children.

I watch this new mother, bleary-eyed from lack of sleep, gently caring for the needs of her babe, only a few days old. Little ones, so new from their Father in Heaven, try to become acclimated to this new world of noise and light, struggling to control a body and learn to communicate.

It is no wonder that babies cry, for what, to us, seems no reason. How do you they share their needs, their feelings of sadness, loneliness, cold, or loss without the ability to communicate? Parents should be congratulated when they manage an outing with a new little one, more so if there are older siblings!

Long before the birth of my first child many years ago, I wondered about Eve. How did she and Adam manage the birth of their first child? Were they alone? Did angels help? How did they know what to do? These questions stimulated my thinking, my wondering. At last, I decided the only way to know, in this world, was to explore it in writing.

I wrote a book, Eve, First Matriarch, to answer those and other questions for myself. The first draft was highly instructive for me. In that effort of discovery, I see Eve as a young mother, much like my daughter and daughters-in-law, doing their best, loving and growing with their babies, seeking to find the best way to help them grow.

Eve and Adam were successful parents, allowing many of their children to choose, even when those choices brought them sorrow. Our lives continue, much as theirs, as we bring children to this world, teach them, and watch them have children of their own. Love is perpetuated, love is taught, love is learned. How can you not feel great love with a tiny child in your arms?

When do you feel great love? Share it, please.

Women Have a Right to Feel Safe

20150810_210057The news isn’t full of the stories any more, they are much too commonplace. A girl or woman is attacked, sometimes raped, by a man who believes he has something to offer her, whether she is interested or not. If the woman or girl is lucky, someone steps up and prevents the action from becoming more. If not, she struggles with loss of security and self worth. Sometimes, even, her community of family and friends believe she had something to do with it, enticing the man in some way.

None of this is fair or right. Men have no right to force themselves on a woman for any reason, especially just because she is weaker, or beautiful, or dresses nice. No woman should have to fear the actions of a man, nor should she be held responsible in some way for his lack of control. Men are men, and they should behave as men, with respect for others, gentleness, and self control.

They are men, not boys; and boys, should behave like men in training, not as members of a mini-mob just because of their gender. Girls should be able to feel and be safe in school and school functions, church, and in homes of their friends. They should not have to be constantly aware of their actions in relationship to boys in their lives.

Yes, girls sometimes encourage bad behavior, and that behavior should be corrected, as well. But, a woman’s behavior or dress is no excuse for brutish, disrespectful, out of control behavior.

I have been working on book two of my series, Ancient Matriarchs. This book will tell the story of Seth’s wife. So far, it has gone well, I have written over half the rough draft. Until now. I am having trouble deciding how she will act under conditions I have not faced. I’ve visited with my wise husband and received good information, but I am still at a loss. I am hoping to hear from you, my readers, to give me some help.

She has had an incident involving a man who wants to push himself on her farther than she wants while her husband is gone. She is not raped, but she feels violated and her reputation is damaged.

Have you experienced this? How did you feel around men after this kind of incident? How did you act?

I really would appreciate your help! I welcome your comments on this.

What Do We Do About the Syrian Refugees?

Pictures of a drowned Syrian child have brought the plight of Syrian refugees who are fleeing the violence and battles in Syria. It has become a flood of men, women, and children, struggling to find their way to Germany, or any other country that may accept them.

Families are spending everything they have to buy a spot in a smuggler’s flimsy boat. So many people fill these boats, people seem to be hanging off the edges. Is it any wonder many of these boats sink and the passengers drown? I have not seen it yet, but I would bet the smugglers wear life jackets, while the passengers find none available.

The trickle of Syrians running from war usually land in Greece, who is already struggling financially. It is no wonder they prefer the refugees move on to other countries. Other countries see the flood of these people and wonder how they will manage to support the thousands of refugees. There is no way one country can absorb that many people without economically drowning.

I have heard the suggestion that some of these refugees be brought to the United States. I struggle with this idea. My heart grieves when I see mothers and children in holding areas. I cried with the rest of the world when I saw the little 3-year-old who drowned. I fear the families who seek protection will also include hidden terrorists, who hate America and our values.

How sad the other Muslim countries surrounding Syria refuse to accept any of these refugees. Is it not part of their culture, their religion, that they should help the poor and the needy? It is part of our country and the Christian religion.

All things were held in common during the time of Eve and Adam. No women or children who were willing to live and work in their communities were prevented from become full members, were fed, clothed, and housed. Some of their children chose not to live as expected. They left and wars eventually occurred. If those refugees wanted to become part of the community in which Adam and Eve lived, they would have been required to follow the laws of the community. Certainly, Eve would have hoped the women and children would find a safe home away from the wars.

America has been much like the home of Eve and Adam. Refugees have been welcomed with the expectation that they live by the laws of our land. Unfortunately, some of those refugees have come to us, not planning to obey the laws and help continue to keep America great, but rather to find a way to undermine our laws and our ways of life.

If they hate us, they should stay away. If they choose to obey laws; support our culture, willing to accept the standards of that culture; and work hard to take responsibility to support themselves and their families, let them come. Otherwise, let them return to Syria, or go to one of the other Muslim countries.

What do you think about the refugee problem? Shall we invite the refugees to live in your community? Please comment.

Men: NOT Our Lords and Masters

I went with my sister last week to “Taming of the Shrew” at Utah’s Shakespeare Festival. We were especially happy to be there, for it was thelast week of plays to be shown in the old theater built under the direction of Fred Adams. He isn’t important to many people, but to us he is, for our mom took classes from him in the year he was planning the first production. She sat in the grass at his feet, sewing jewels on costumes while he shared Shakespeare stories, for credit in that class.

20150831_185919

Now, many years later, the campus of what used to be College of Southern Utah, now Southern Utah University, is building a new and larger theater to house the festival. We enjoyed the play, though the actors were no longer strictly students from the theater program.

In the last scene, Kate tells the other new wives that they owe obedience to their husbands, who were their lords and masters. To that, I must disagree. In the medieval period, women were chattels who were taught they must give obedience to the men who held power in their lives, fathers, brothers, husbands, even sons. They had no rights to property. No rights of choice of husband. No rights at all, beyond producing an appropriate male heir—and if none were produced, it was all her fault.

Beyond the genetics of it all, I argue with the faulty logic of the men and priests who read of Adam and Eve in the book of Genesis, then blamed all the troubles of mankind on Eve. They claimed women were sinful, sexual temptresses, easily tempted of the devil, and therefore needing to be controlled.

I totally disagree!

Eve was beguiled by Satan, told the only way to move forward in her progression was to eat the forbidden fruit. She did eat; Adam freely chose to eat it after she did. The consequence of this action was exactly as God told them it would be when he placed them in the Garden of Eden—they died. Not an immediate physical death, that death happened many years later, but they died.

Their immediate consequence was a death of being in the presence of their God. He no longer walked and talked with them face to face. By being cast out of the garden, they lost the opportunity to learn and grow at His feet. Now they were required to live “alone”—away from Him. But now, they could reproduce and have children.

Eve was commanded to listen to her husband. Together they were to face the unknown and build a life in a new world. Adam had the lead, it was his responsibility to direct their actions as he prayed to the Father for direction. Nowhere in Genesis is there anything suggested that Eve was evil, a sinful temptress, overly sexual, or needing to be controlled like a senseless, ignorant child.

Give Eve the credit she deserves. She joined with Adam in making this earth a pleasant place for all her posterity, including you, including all those men who denigrate her. She made a tough choice—and she has paid for it. Women today need not continue to pay for her choice as overbearing men abuse them. Because of Eve’s choice, you exist.

What do you think? Do women require control? Did they ever? Please respond in the comments.

For more about Eve’s life after Eden, watch for Eve, First Matriarch, coming soon.

Some Have Dogs, Others Have Cats, I Have Turtles

Last week was National Dog Day. We haven’t had a dog for many years, in fact we liv20150819_232158e in an apartment that does not allow dogs, which is fine with us. We like dogs, in other people’s houses. We have turtles and I love them.

One turtle is a male Red Eared Slider we got as a tiny, two inch little thing. The other is a female Mississippi Map we inherited when a friend needed a new home for her. We’ve had them for more than five years. They have been swimming together happily for more than five years in their hundred gallon fish tank. The male swims to the end of the tank to wat20150819_232230ch television with us, as he has since he was tiny.

Each day, when I feed them, I offer him a few sticks of turtle food to eat from my fingers. He almost always takes them from me. Sometimes the female does, as well. Once in a while, he misses the food and catches my finger! Then, he is lifted out of the water a ways until he lets go and falls back into the water. He never really hurts me, just a little pinch. I think we are both surprised.

Last week I got another surprise, the female laid an egg! Sadly, it was damaged, there was a broken spot on it. No baby turtle for us. Even damaged, the male s20150826_111945wam guard, ensuring it was not bothered by any human hand until after it broke completely. He wanted to be a good daddy.

Early in my book, Eve, First Matriarch, I included a short scene with
turtles. You may see my turtles in it.

I hope you enjoy your pets. Tell me what kind of pet you have.

Coming soon: Ancient Matriarchs: Eve, First Matriarch.