I started this blog because after Asher was born I felt really strongly that the Lord needed and wanted me to stay home with him. Being a stay-at-home mom wasn't ever in my life plan but I couldn't deny the message I had gotten from the Lord about what His plan was. The choice to not go back to work (or school) was a hard one for me and I made that no secret to the Lord. Yet every time I'd cry to Him about it He assured me that He had heard the desires of my heart and would provide a way for me to use my talents.
Then about six months after Asher was born I kept getting promptings to start this blog. I kept brushing them aside because I felt inadequate for the task, but they persisted and persisted. Until one day I sat down created this blog and wrote my first post about the Widow of Zarephath.
I didn't know it at the time but that post, and this blog, were the answer to my prayers. It was God's way of letting me know that knew the deepest desires of my heart and He would find a way for my voice to be heard. It has been such a testament to me that when we do what the Lord wants us to be doing, know matter how illogical or inconvenient it may seem, He blesses us beyond our wildest dreams... in ways we never imagined.
This blog has been such a blessing for me and I just want to thank each and everyone of you for your love and support.
It really means the world to me... besides it would be pretty boring to write a blog without you!
As a way to say thank you I am going to have some giveaways on my blog this week! I wish that I could give you each something but please know that even if you don't win, I still love you.
And so without further ado--- here is my first "blog-iversary" giveaway!
Several weeks ago my co-author Felice told me how she was excited that her fiance (now husband) was bringing some great art to their marriage. She said that one of her favorites was a picture he had that showed cameos of famous Mormon Women throughout history. They didn't have faces but you could still tell who they were. I hadn't seen the picture but then, a few days later, when Ashley posted a link on my blog I clicked over and discovered that she was the artist of the painting that Felice was talking about. I can see why she liked it so much!
I especially loved hearing Ashley's thoughts about the painting:
I was inspired to take up this project after I had painted a similar series of the Twelve Apostles and the First Presidency of the church. I didn’t feel right about offering a painting of fifteen men for people to put in their homes without a companion of equally influential and important women to put up alongside it. I felt like the men in the first painting would agree with me. As the idea for the Mormon women artwork formed I realized that there really wasn’t any resource or visual gathering of these women. It made me sad to think that in many Mormon households there are prominent photos and paintings of Mormon men, but rarely are we exposed to Mormon women. I thought a lot about myself as a youth, and even now, as a young mother in a new city, I wondered which women I could invite into my own life and hopefully the lives of others to bless, uplift and inspire.
I’ve found a new resolution to love myself while still expecting much of myself while reading the words of Chieko Okazaki; proof that our writing does make of difference through the example of Emmeline B. Wells; courage to make art about my religious convictions through Minerva Teichert; more reason to stick up for what I believe in through Esther Peterson; peace in working hard and moving forward the best way I know how through Laurel Thatcher Ulrich. I want the stories, the words, the faces of Mormon women to be in our lives.
I realize that the images on this work are by no means comprehensive. I want our Young Women to learn about these women at Wednesday night activities and camp, I want Remy to respect and love them and then in turn, I want us to love ourselves more because we know about them. I want these women to continue to teach me daily so I can better know how to teach others around me. I don’t want this artwork to simply be a tribute to these women, although it is partially that.
I want this artwork to celebrate that within the gospel there is a place for women who do grand and public things, but there is also a place for women who do equally important work that is quiet and may never be known publicly. I want the artwork to inspire Mormon women to be better, but also to realize that they are already probably better than they think they are. I want us to be able to celebrate collective accomplishments, both large and small. Perhaps the most important part of the painting is the space left to insert your own photograph.
Today Ashely is giving away, to one of my readers, a package of 25 6x8 postcards with the painting on front and quotes from some of the women on back. These are wonderful for relief society, young women's, or just to give out to friends and family.
If you'd like to enter the giveaway you can do one or all of the following (the more you do the more chances you have to win):
1. Visit Ashley's blog and download her FREE children's ebook (link is on the right sidebar).
2. Visit her etsy store and "like" it (button is one the bottom of the left sidebar)
3. Visit her Latterday Saint Temple etsy store and leave me a comment telling me which painting you like best.
and for additional entry:
4. Share your favorite post from MY blog on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or on your own blog.
Please leave me a comment letting me know which ones you do.
The Giveaway will end on Sept 28th at 12:00 PM. Best wishes!