Saturday, January 24, 2015

Ethicst Statement

I am an L.D.S. Woman.

In all things, I will strive to build upon my understanding and my relationship with the Lord, Jesus Christ.  Each choice and action, even the most mundane, will be willingly and conscientiously directed toward him.  This attitude will allow me to grow and develop characteristics which reflect my commitment to covenants I have made.  Some of these characteristics include faithfulness, loyalty dependability, industriousness, peacefulness, preparedness and being service minded.

I have heard someone mention that whatever we do, do it as if doing it unto the Lord.  This attitude has been something I have worked to develop within myself for many years.  It has helped me become a better mother in ways I never would have seen before.  Often the chores of motherhood are mundane to say the least and I fail to find joy in my tasks.  When I remember this simple attitude even the smallest chores like folding socks becomes a joyful action celebrating my place and those I love the most.

I believe this same attitude carries over to other areas of my life, from callings, to paying my bills, and to my relationships with my family and those I come into contact with in the community.  I also believe it will carry with me as I re-enter the workforce.  If all I do is directed to the Lord, then there is no need to cheat, anger or make life difficult for another. With every choice I am forced to ponder the question of if I would perform the same way if I was actually doing it for, or to, the Lord. 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Bucket List

          One of the assignments for this week was to write a “Bucket List”; 50 things we want to accomplish before we die.  I found this rather difficult, not because I have no aspirations, but because I have accomplished so much already and I thought it would be cheating to include those things on my list.  Some may think this is absurd, a stay-at-home mom in her mid 40’s, who feels accomplished, but I really feel this way.  Trust me. I have had my fair share and then some of run-ins with people who think my choosing to stay home is evidence of my lack of ability in the world.  Some think my intelligence to be inversely proportionate to the number of children I am raising. (I will include one little story about that at the bottom because it has nothing to do with this assignment.) I even see this attitude in reading assignments for my classes and from some classmates, although, I am sure my fellow students have not done this purposely. This attitude doesn’t usually bother me much, because the people who feel this way are the ones who don’t know me. I know I am intelligent and capable and I became Mom on purpose. I understand the honor and responsibility of the position. I am confident in the eternal perspective given me by testimony in the gospel.  Lately, it has bothered me, a lot.
          The problem is that this attitude is coming from me. I am feeling intimidated by reading of the start-up of Yahoo! and other giants of business.  I think, “Who am I to go out there thinking I can do these things?”  But, in the reading for this week I ran across one simple sentence I really appreciate.  In the book “The Start-up of You,” by Reid Hoffman, cofounder and chairman of LinkedIn and Ben Cosnocha, was this little gem.
“You can carve out a … niche in the job market by making choices that make you different from the smart people around you.”
          These authors assume I am smart and automatically put me in that group. I should too. They think my life experience is worth something. I should too.  I may not be interested in starting a company and making it into something like Yahoo! or LinkedIn or any of those other companies out there, but my ideas and dreams do have value and not just at home. 

A little anecdote about being rude.
I volunteer with my local emergency management office where I participate in community response to emergencies.  During one particular exercise I met several FBI officers who were assigned to my area of the command post.  As the day opened we introduced ourselves and because they all knew each other already, they began to ask me questions.  How long had I been working in Emergency Management?  What other events had I been part of?  Many people who are part of response, are really from other agencies like fire or public health.  Because of this, they asked what my usual day job was.  You could have heard a pin drop when I answered, “I am a mom expecting baby number 4 in two weeks.”  They literally turned their backs making conversation between themselves, never saying anything more to me.  I went to work fulfilling my responsibility.
During a break in activity their boss, the Regional FBI director who happened to be a  former member of my stake presidency, walked into the room and searched the faces looking for someone.  His gaze landed on me and his face lit up.  He walked right to me and shook my hand.  “Jennifer!  It’s great to see you.  How are the kids?”  We continued to have a conversation for a while catching up on life, then he asked if I had seen the person he was looking for.  After giving him direction on where he could find him he left without saying a single word to any of the officers there.  I turned back to the room to find all of them staring at me with their mouths agape and they fell all over themselves trying to figure out who I really was and how I knew their boss.  I think I took too much pleasure at their discomfort, because it was obvious they felt badly for the way they had treated me.  I still laugh about it.  Perhaps I should repent for that!


Most of the time I love a new beginning.  The excitement of what lies ahead propels me on my way.  This time is different. I am struggling with the start, because I can't see the path.  It is difficult to start a journey if you don't know where you going. Currently, faith is what is pushing me forward. It is pushing me to the next class, the next assignment, the next thing to learn that I didn't know I needed to learn.  This not seeing the next step until I am there is new and uncomfortable for me.

How I got in this position.
I have always been a learner, a doer, and adventurer.  If there was something I wanted to do, I set myself to learning and practiced new skills until I could do it.  Being an LDS woman allowed me the freedom to explore what ever caught my fancy, but I have always felt the desire to finish my college education.  When the Pathway program opened in my stake, I knew the time was right so I jumped in.  I thought I would finish school in the same direction I started.  I love people and places, language and literature so I thought I would be able to continue on the humanities path I started as a teenager.  I was wrong.  I tried and tried to work out a program that would keep me in the humanities field of study but I could never get it to work.  I never wanted to consider anything in business.  The more I tried to work out a plan, the more the idea of looking at the business school would come to mind.  I continually pushed it away.   Finally in frustration and desperation I looked into studying business.  It fell perfectly into place.  I was humbled.  I should have been listening to the guidance the spirit was trying to give me, but, I am stubborn.  So, I put my faith in the Lord and the way he was leading me and started my business studies.  
It isn't easy for me.  It has been hard so far.  In classes that say I should spend 12-15 hours a week in study, I spend at least 20.  I am not afraid of work, it has value and I understand it, but usually I can envision the end result of my work.  At the moment, I cant see the end other than finishing something I started a long time ago.  I don't know why the Lord has me here, I only know this is where He wants me.

What I am doing about it.
I keep doing my assignments, I keep signing up for more classes.  I keep going. I keep trusting.
I am trusting that as I develop a knew mind set and new skill sets that the path will open up and I will be able to see.  Until then, I cannot sit still and I wont.  I am proud of the things I have already learned and I am looking forward to learning more.