31 January 2011
I think that the life of a caterpillar/butterfly is a wonderful reminder to us of our potential. Some days we may feel like a slimy worm or that we're stuck and unable to move in our cocoon, but through all the uncomfortable feelings and the stress and the strain of life, we are transforming and growing and becoming the beautiful butterflies we were intended to be.
27 January 2011
24 January 2011
It's not too surprising why: although Fatima was at a health facility, the personnel were not equipped for surgical procedures, and as the labor stretched on and on past three days, Fatima's options had run out. In her fourth day of labor, she finally arrived at a medical facility where they could perform a cesarean and her stillborn child could be removed. Yet the brutal effects of the prolonged labor had left their mark: a fistula (hole) had developed between Fatima's vagina and bladder, rendering her completely incontinent for the next two years until she was able to save enough money for the long journey to the capital city's hospital for a surgical repair.
Obstetric fistula should not happen to any woman, period. But what broke my heart in Fatima’s case is that she had taken all the steps in her power to prevent it. She was literate and had seven years of education, she had done her pre-natal visits and sought out medical care at the onset of her labor. Sometimes prolonged and obstructed labors simply happen. It can happen to any woman at anytime in any country. I am certain you know someone yourself who has undergone such a grueling labor and delivery! But in Fatima’s case, without emergency services readily available, this natural event caused her such needless pain and hardship.
beijos to you all,
17 January 2011
“Most women don’t do well in this class.” He said it as a matter of fact. Not condescendingly but just as the way he saw it.
It was enough to wake me up. It was a challenge. A call to arms. And I would do it for all women everywhere.
At least, that is what I told myself. In reality, it was more to prove to myself and anyone else who was paying attention that I was smart too.
Silly. I knew that I was intelligent. I didn’t need this class to prove anything, to validate myself in the eyes of others. But I did it anyway.
It would be years later when I realized that my worth as a woman was in no need of validation. I possessed qualities that made me unique and helped me play an important role in the lives of those around me. Eventually I would begin to learn not to hide from who I was but to embrace those feminine qualities that I had so easily mistaken as weaknesses.
And slowly, steadily, I began to see and understand what it meant for me to be a woman. That understanding would not come from any single source, but a slew of people and experiences that would more fully help me define myself as a woman.
There are the women who have changed the way society has accepted and viewed women. These women, both the well-known and the obscure, sacrificed their time, and abilities, and dedicated their lives to bettering the lives of women then and now. Because of them, we enjoy the rights (and ultimately the responsibilities) of voting, receiving an education, using that education to influence for good, stopping domestic abuse, and receiving the needed help for female specific health issues. Obviously the list continues. The lives and words of those women are inspiring and point to the divinity and power that women have, both individually and collectively.
My understanding has also deepened through the men in my life who openly show love and respect for the women who have influenced them. I have learned it from my father and my brother, who encourage and support their wives; from my mission presidents and church leaders who, through their words and actions, declare the important role of the women in their lives and throughout the world. Ultimately, I have felt the power and divinity of womanhood through my husband. Through my husband’s eyes—his love, devotion, patience, his words of encouragement, and his belief in me—I have discovered and felt the power of my own potential: My potential for influence, charity, intelligence, and so much more. Through him I see what I can become and with his help, I feel the purpose of the feminine attributes that I possess.
And finally I have felt the power and deepened my understanding of what a woman can be through the many women who surround me. I see that power in my mother’s kindness to her neighbors, in my grandmothers unending charity to her family, in my sisters’ and aunts creativity and innovation, and in my friends excitement for education. Through them I see talent, compassion, love, understanding, and unwavering devotion to the things that are right. I am continually influenced by their dedication to one another, their families, their communities, and to fulfilling their purpose in life.
Ultimately my understanding expands with every decision I make. It grows with the child that grows within me. It deepens as my relationships deepen. It changes and evolves as my life continues to change and evolve.
Thanks for reading! I am Alicia and I am so excited to be guest posting here for a while!
14 January 2011
We're a couple weeks into January already, but if you still haven't gotten a 2011 calendar, or if you want another one, I just came across my favorite calendar yet (see above!) -- and it's only $4! It was created by BeeAndNie, and 50% of all sales go to the Maricopa Burn Foundation. A gorgeous calendar and a good cause? Yes, please. I ordered it, and you should to (if you want to, that is).
The calendar includes 27, 8.5 x 11" printable pages. A link to download it will be emailed to you when you purchase it. Then you can head over to Kinkos to get it printed and bound however you'd like it to be.
13 January 2011
*Has anyone seen any commercials about domestic violence against men? I couldn't find anything, and that's a shame. It's definitely a problem that should be addressed more often.
10 January 2011
03 January 2011
Elizabeth is confident, smart, independent, and she has incredible self-worth. She doesn't follow the silly examples of her mother or her sisters. By turning down two engagements, she shows that she'd rather be alone for the rest of her life than married to someone she doesn't love—a pretty innovative idea for her time.
Skeeter (The Help)
01 January 2011
to protecting the most vulnerable and to govern for all."
a health-nut, yoga-doing, painting, farmers-market-going, sewing, church-attending, family-missing, dancing, music-loving, tree-hugging, sticky-note-posting, color-categorized girl. Her major is family science, and she loves being a woman, as is evident in her personal blog. Check it out!