I had a pretty great weekend so I feel pretty down about being frustrated about this. A friend from our former LDS ward and I hung out today. It was so awesome to spend time with her and see her brand new baby. But of course things turned towards church - and Relief Society and I have to say I was practically drooling while she outlined what the ward and stake is doing. Free piano lessons and leading music for any sisters willing to learn, playgroups, and other craft classes. I remember these types of things - learning to quilt, to scrapbook - not to mention how to be a good wife and mother and so forth.
I've been reading through various mega church sites and I haven't seen any of them that are proactive like this. I miss being Mormon right now.
The church equipped it's members to be effective mothers, wives, and godly women - they taught us skills perhaps we didn't learn and gave us chances to teach others skills we know but perhaps other didn't learn. I got to teach a jam and canning class one day and was amazed at all the various skills these women possessed. I learned a little piano earlier in life and could probably play one handed simple tunes - but man I'd love to learn how to play with both hands and/or lead music. The sentence from our Bishop, "you're always welcome to our activities" in my resignation letter is so incredibly tempting. I mean, if it doesn't cut into my time serving GP or anything, really is there any harm in picking up new skills with old friends? It's not like they have a doctrine related lesson or anything - the most they do is pray before and after.
I just want to learn again - not to be spiritually fed, but to be with others who share my ideals and goals and understanding of some important things. Like modesty - which took my awhile to learn, didn't even fully kick in until I went to the temple and was forced really to be modest or show my garments (and I'm not saying anything against those who are not modest - it took me almost THREE YEARS to be a modest dresser, I just enjoy being around others like this - I'm weird); or basic homemaking skills like sewing, knitting (which yes I only recently learned); or practical service which may not include going to the local homeless shelter (which is awesome - actually my particular passion) but rather just next door. At times, I feel out of sorts - in GP I feel like the focus is on Jesus but that perhaps I am too liberal (weird huh?) whereas at my old ward I felt like it was okay to be so liberal but that the focus wasn't always on Christ - but rather on church doctrine.
A friend of mine recently was able to return to her Catholic roots - a church that has intrigued me (probably the legalism) but not something I've been too interested in persueing further than a few doctrinal conversations with Mark - our former neighbor or quick flips through the cachetism. I have to admit as I read more of her blogs about various doctrines and practices I am so jealous.
I remind myself that I really do love GP and have a heart for it and I love that I can bring others there AND it's an awesome church, I really miss my roots. I miss having a church that not only served the community (differently but did serve) around it, but also poured working and applicable knowledge and skills into it's members.
As a Christian I believe that mothers are called to be mothers (wives first, mothers second). And that if able, one should stay home with their kids. What I loved about being LDS was that the church assumed that one would be a homemaker (and it was okay if one wasn't) and then proceeded to teach women the skills they needed to be a good homemaker. My mother never taught me to cook - I burnt water when I was in college. One night I wanted to make my at the time boyfriend (and now dear husband) his favorite side dish of mashed potatoes - I did everything I recalled my parents doing - except forgot to boil them. They were NASTY. But I enjoy learning how to be a helpmeet to my husband - I'm not all knowing, there are just some things that I need help in learning.
DH says he is totally fine if I want to attend a few activities. I'll keep you all updated. :)