Friday, January 30, 2009

What Being a Woman Means to Me

This past Sunday, I was asked to speak to the Mia Maids & Laurels in my ward. The topic they gave me was "The Joys of Being a Woman/What Being a Woman Means to Me". Hum...the "joys" of being a woman...would that include the spreading hips that come with pregnancy, or maybe the sleepless nights that come after the baby is born, or changing a million diapers a day, or breaking up at least 33 fights an hour, or my new favorite...cleaning gum off the carpet!?!

Anyway, I decided to sit down & make a list of little joys that I've had throughout my life because I am a woman. I posted it on my personal blog & had a lot of women say it was exactly what they needed to read that day, so I decided I would post it on here as well. So, here you go (it starts at birth & works its way up to motherhood)...

Being a woman means that, as a baby, I can be blessed in a beautiful white dress
Being a woman means my mom gets to glue cute bows on top of my bald head so that no one thinks I’m a boy
Being a woman means I get to wear cute frilly dresses
Being a woman means that I can hold tea parties with my friends & teddy bears
Being a woman means I get to play dress up & wear my mom’s high heels and my grandma’s wigs
Being a woman means that I get to watch all the Disney princess movies & dream about MY Prince Charming that will come someday
Being a woman means that I can dress in pink from head to toe & TOTALLY pull it off
Being a woman means playing with Barbie dolls & listening to my Whitney Houston records (What? It was the early 80s, give me break!)
Being a woman means I get to look up to my mom & dream about the day when I, too, will be a mom
Being a woman means that I can be a friend and example to my sisters
Being a woman means that I can be baptized...& then make everyone wait afterwards while my mom blow dries my hair for 10 minutes
Being a woman means that I get to join Young Womens when I turn 12 and get away from the “annoying boys”
Being a woman means that I can attend Young Womens camp every year…which is WAY more fun than scout camp
Being a woman means that I have the ability to be outgoing & make friends with anyone I meet
Being a woman means that I can wear my hair a variety of ways…long, short, curly, straight…whatever I want
Being a woman means doing my best in school to gain as much knowledge as I can
Being a woman means not having to shower together after PE like the boys do
Being a woman means actually using stalls in public bathrooms…YAY FOR PRIVACY!!!
Being a woman means I don’t have to collect fast offerings in the freezing cold!
Being a woman means that I can be a good friend
Being a woman means that I can be a good example to those friends
Being a woman means having sleepovers with my friends & staying up half the night talking about boys
Being a woman means that I can figure out what my talents are & then work on developing them
Being a woman means that I can learn more about my Heavenly Father & Jesus Christ through studying the scriptures daily
Being a woman means that I can smile at others as I walk down the halls in school
Being a woman means that I can sing into my hairbrush when I’m alone in my room
Being a woman means getting 100% on a test that I studied really hard for
Being a woman means that I can develop my own personal relationship with God & Jesus Christ through prayer
Being a woman means that I can babysit to earn money…which is a lot better than mowing lawns in the heat of summer
Being a woman means that I can serve in my Young Womens class presidency & help the other girls
Being a woman means that I can use yummy smelling shampoos & lotions
Being a woman means that I can have faith in my Heavenly Father & that I can help others increase their faith as well
Being a woman means that I can talk to my friends on the phone for hours…as long as my homework is already done
Being a woman means that I can go to chick flicks with my friends & then laugh when we’re all crying at the end
Being a woman means having integrity & the courage to stand up for what I believe in
Being a woman means that I can use makeup to cover up all my zits & use one of God’s greatest creations…mascara!
Being a woman means that I can develop my own testimony of the gospel, instead of relying on others’
Being a woman means I want to serve others, so that I know what Christ like love feels like
Being a woman means that I can learn all that I can about the gospel by attending church & seminary
Being a woman means that I can wear modest clothing & still looking smokin’ hot
Being a woman means that I can be asked out on dates
Being a woman means my date opens doors for me & pulls out my chair for me to sit down because I deserve it
Being a woman means that I can come home from that date & talk to my mom for an hour about it
Being a woman means I get to shop for a prom dress
Being a woman means that I can break up with a boyfriend for not treating me the way I deserve to be treated
Being a woman means that I am allowed to eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream because of the aforementioned breakup
Being a woman means figuring out for myself what my divine potential can be
Being a woman means that I can exercise and take care of my body
Being a woman means I can accessorize, accessorize, accessorize!
Being a woman means that I can choose who I think would be best to lead our country & vote for that person
Being a woman means I don’t have to register for the draft like the boys, but can join the armed services if I choose
Being a woman means joining Relief Society & being part of the largest women’s organization on earth
Being a woman means having faith
Being a woman means having hope
Being a woman means having charity
Being a woman means serving God wherever I am needed
Being a woman means going to college & gaining as much knowledge as I can
Being a woman means realizing I can be anything I want to be as long as I’m willing to work hard to get there
Being a woman means that I can set a goal & really accomplish it
Being a woman means deciding whether or not I want to serve a mission
Being a woman means realizing that, even if I don’t serve a mission, I am a missionary everyday of my life
Being a woman means I can wear red, patent leather pumps
Being a woman means I can choose any career I want and probably do it as good as or better than any man would!
Being a woman means finding that Prince Charming that I’ve been dreaming about my whole life!
Being a woman means marrying my Prince Charming at the right time, in the right place & by the right authority
Being a woman means that I get to plan my wedding & feel like a princess for the day
Being a woman means that I can be a good visiting teacher
Being a woman means that I can be a good listener when someone needs to talk
Being a woman means I can support my husband & be his soft place to fall
Being a woman means I am the first one to see the result on the pregnancy test
Being a woman means being able to buy myself a whole new wardrobe…even if it IS maternity clothes
Being a woman means feeling my baby practice his soccer kick on my insides
Being a woman means sending my husband to Taco Bell at 3 am because “the baby” wants a chalupa
Being a woman means knowing my life will never be the same the second I see that new baby
Being a woman means I am the CEO of my family
Being a woman means that I am the one my boys come to when they are hurt or sad
Being a woman means that I am the first teacher & main influence in my children’s lives
Being a woman means realizing that through influencing my children, I influence the next generation of leaders
Being a woman means I can make sure my family is holding Family Home Evening, family prayer & family scripture study
Being a woman means making sure homework is done, carpool is driven & that there is a lunch in everyone’s backpack
Being a woman means being there when my children go to school & when they get home too
Being a woman means being my children’s biggest cheerleader
Being a woman means constantly putting the toilet seat down!!! Seriously...is it really that hard boys?
Being a woman means cleaning pee off the wall! Why do little boys (and sometimes big boys) have such bad aim?
Being a woman means that I can teach my boys how to work
Being a woman means that I can teach my boys to respect women…and to put the toilet seat down
Being a woman means everyone has to eat what I want to eat, because I’m the one that does the grocery shopping
Being a woman means that I can use PMS as an excuse for being grumpy
Being a woman means I can make a “honey do list” & then just sit back and “supervise”
Being a woman means that I can have a night out with my friends when I need a break
Being a woman means realizing that I need to put myself first sometimes, and not feel guilty about it
Being a woman means being able to wear pink from head to toe and STILL pull it off…even at 30!
Being a woman means being a leader in Heavenly Father’s church & realizing that I really can have an influence on others
Being a woman means realizing that I can be an “angel” in someone else’s life
Being a woman means that I can pull my family through any trial it may encounter & we can be stronger because of it
Being a woman means having lots of other women to look up to as role models
Being a woman means realizing that I am a role model for others
Being a woman means I can choose to be happy
Being a woman means that I can continue to gain wisdom everyday of my life
Being a woman means that I am one of God’s greatest creations (remember, a woman was God's final creation...after He had worked out all the kinks on the man)
Being a woman means REALLY realizing what it means to be a daughter of God & ACTING LIKE IT!

Afterwards, I blathered on for the rest of the time about something...but I, honestly, can't remember what I said exactly. Then, I closed with this quote from Elder Holland:

"I want you to be proud you are a woman. I want you to feel the reality of what that means, to know who you truly are. You are literally a spirit daughter of heavenly parents with a divine nature and an eternal destiny. That surpassing truth should be fixed deep in your soul and be fundamental to every decision you make as you grow into mature womanhood. There could never be a greater authentication of you dignity, your worth, your privileges, and your promise. Your Father in Heaven knows your name and knows you circumstance. He hears your prayers. He knows your hopes and dreams, including your fears and frustrations. And He knows what you can become through faith in Him. Because of this divine heritage you, along with all your spiritual sisters and brothers, have full equality in His sight and are empowered through obedience to become a rightful heir in His eternal kingdom, an heir of God, and joint-heir with Christ."

How can you not read that without feeling like you are the coolest thing on the planet? While there are many things I don't like about being a woman, I've decided that there are MORE things that I do like about being one! I don't know if what I said helped the girls. But, I hope they left knowing how awesome it is to be a woman & that they have the potential, with Heavenly Father's help, to become all the wonderful things they are meant to be! So, here's to some girl power my sistas!!! We rock!

6 comments:

Melissa said...

That is a good list. I have never thought of those things. Thanks for sharing and reminding us that as women we can do about anything.

Krysta said...

I loved your list! We do rock...we need to remember that more often.

Thanks for sharing.

Andrea said...

Wow that was a great post. Thank you so much for sharing that here. Is there anything we can't do as women? Women ROCK!!

Tara said...

We're doing this lesson with our YW this week -- thanks for the jump start! Thanks for all the reminders -- there is so much good that we can do.

Vanderbeeks Images said...

Thank you for this list. I was asked to speak to the Young Women in my ward today and I was struggling with what to say. This really helped me. Thankfully two older and wiser sisters spoke before me.

Alaina said...

Hi! I'm in Tara's ward, Ashlee's ward, and what used to be Andrea's ward (before they abandoned us and went to Arkansas!) Anyway, I just adore this blog. I read it all the time! I'm getting married in August and I can already see lessons I'll remember learning from the advice I've found on this site in a few years when I have kiddos and will be going through the same challenges and experiencing the same joys that all of you are right now!

Anyway, I was asked to speak in my ward on Mother's Day about the Joys of Womanhood, and I was wondering if I could use the elements of this list that apply to all women and the Gospel. It is such a great reminder about why womanhood is so important! I've personally had a lot of challenges being (and dealing with being) a woman, so I was a little discouraged about being a woman. I would love your permission to use parts of your list and Elder Holland's wonderful quote at the end, but I'll honor your wishes, whatever they are! Please let me know: thanks so much!

My email address is (don't laugh: I made it up when I was 13) mormon_boys_rock@yahoo.com

Thanks so much!
Alaina Larson
PS--the three women I mentioned above can vouch that I am in their ward and know them :o) Thanks again!!