Friday, May 21, 2010

The Mormon Women Project

Have you heard of it?

This project is amazing. It's an effort to create a digital library that showcases the diversity and strength of the seven million women who are currently members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Editor, Neylan McBaine, is a well-published creative nonfiction writer. She designed the project to celebrate women who have made deliberate choices - with the help of God's Spirit - to overcome personal trials, magnify motherhood, contribute to communities outside their homes, or be converted to the Gospel. Most of the women interviewed are not just living, but thriving in unique and challenging circumstances.

I was surprised a couple months ago to receive an email invitation to participate. I was nominated by a friend, Saren Loosli - one of the founders of Power of Moms, and I can't thank her enough. It was so revealing to think about my current spirituality and the physical demands of our life as I searched for words that would explain the journey we've been on.

After reading other interviews on the site, I was a bit intimidated. These women had such wisdom to impart, such lifted perspectives. Their lives were unusual. Many were engaged in very successful careers, had lofty degrees, and were accomplishing (what seemed to me) the impossible.

What did I have to offer? The number of diapers I change in a day?

Then I stopped myself. And quickly realized - this wasn't about me - at all. It was about God and what He can do with our lives (no matter what our life-path), if we let Him.

When Melissa Hardy phoned, the conversation moved along easily - like two friends talking. (You were delightful Melissa.) And to my relief, she took all my mumbo-jumbo rambling and turned it into something readable.

You can read the interview here. It is called Five under Five. Post a comment if you'd like. And more importantly, spend some time reading the interviews of other women. Their words left me in awe of the human spirit - that inner courage women find to reach out, do good, and be brave in the hardest of times. I am astounded at what we (women) can do, and how we can adapt - especially with God's help.

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This is one of the pictures Katrina Anderson took for the project (she was also delightful). I had to laugh when I looked through them. I haven't had a "photo shoot" since my bridal pictures. In most of the pics, my hands looked gawky - like I didn't know what to do with them. (I'm used to holding someone on my lap!) I felt conspicuous and oddly alone.

But in complete contrast, the entire experience made me feel connected and surrounded - part of something divine. Womanhood.

I've been changed by the Mormon Women project and blessed by the women I've read about. Take a look. You'll be glad you did.

And if you'd like to nominate someone, visit the nomination page.

You can also, grab a button and spread the word.

7 comments:

  1. Hi Catherine, I clicked over from the site.... I just have to say that I didn't think you seemed awkward at all in the photos. You were a natural!

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  2. Katrina - you were so wonderful to work with. You're a gifted photographer. And I loved meeting you. Thanks for your comment. And your encouragement!

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  3. I loved your interview. I really enjoyed reading it. I especially appreciated the reminder to slow down-I rush onto the next things so often and it feels so good to sit with my kids for a moment & take it in. All your pictures were beautiful, too. Thank you for the wonderful thoughts-I needed to hear so much of it!

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  4. Cath, I loved the article and could see myself in many of your situations with the infertility. It's amazing how Heavenly Father works and guides our lives into what he knows we need. I am so grateful for my motherhood experience and feel so lucky to be able to have a friend like you, who is such a wise and wonderful person.

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  5. Hi Catherine - So I read the article and it was great! I was glad to be reminded of all that you have gone through. Keep hanging in there.....time keeps moving along....and children grow older, even when you don't want them too. Love ya!

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  6. Meagen - How are your babies??? Would love an update. Send me an email sometime. Thanks for reading and staying in touch!

    Anne - All those years of waiting. I know you remember them well. Makes us so grateful, doesn't it? I am the lucky one - to live so close to such a dear and "old" friend. Love you Anne.

    Candice - the only constant is change, right? They keep growing, getting older - even when we're not ready. Thanks so much for reading. I hope we get to see you soon!

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