Tonight, this girl said "girl" clear as a bell for the first time in her life! After so many years of speech issues, THIS IS HUGE!! This made me cry. This is a victory.

She didn't even realize she had done it, and when Jake stopped her, she said, "Now don't make me practice saying girl over and over." But that's when we saw the little light where we knew she knew she had it. 

She is quite resistant to change, and right after the "light," she asked, with a little quiver in her voice, "Does this mean I have to start talking right?" The way she speaks is important to her sense of self. For as triumphant as it feels as her parent, it's nice to be reminded that it's still a transition for her. While still acknowledging that sensitivity for her, I can't deny that I am one proud mama.

Credo Statement

Almost three weeks ago was the last meeting in a 6 week course I participated in called Building Your Own Theology. The course was designed as a space for those with a wide variety of beliefs to come together to discuss several common readings and exercises. Throughout the course, we examined our religious and spiritual traditions and where we all were on our journeys. There were Atheists, Agnostics, Christians, Scientologists, New Agers, Humanists, and a few others. It ended up being a lovely community to be part of. At the final meeting, each participant shared a credo statement they'd prepared.

I wrote mine really quickly. I've always had a difficult time trying to put my beliefs in written form. During my last semester of college at Oklahoma City University, I took a course called Literature and Spirituality. One of our assignments was to compose a poem that described our spirituality. What a task then! And what a task now. I went into the BYOT course quite comfortable with what I believe, and I left with those same beliefs, but found a new sense of comfort with how to express them. In all honesty, my beliefs aren't very different from my full-time in-the-thick-of-Mormonism beliefs, but how I describe those beliefs has changed. How I feel and live and acknowledge those beliefs sounds different from the Mormon vocabulary I grew up with, and that evolution of understanding through new descriptions feels better. The words mean more to me. They move me closer to that which I am seeking.

While my personal beliefs run far deeper than the series of words I jotted down, I feel like this is a good summation of where I'm at right now. And I love knowing that there is a fluidity to how I describe my beliefs now versus how I might look at them in the future. There's always a level of difficulty in change, but I'll take the difficulty as it comes because it's a quiet reminder that I am still learning and growing, that I am always becoming.

I grew up in a world where truth was held in the highest esteem - in a church that proclaimed it was the only true church on the earth. I believed it. I defended it. And then one day, after years of trying to fit myself into a box, that claim broke my heart. 

I came to a place where I found peace in knowing less and asking more. I believe in questions more than answers. I live my life in the questions; they drive me forward.

I believe in a universal force. I call that force God. I imagine that force in human form. It is both father and mother to me. 

I believe in gender equity. That stereotypes have negative effects on both men and women, but that women have been getting the short end of the stick for all of history. I’m tired of it. Enough is enough.

I believe in the power of prayer. In focusing intention. 

I believe in a savior. That savior is love. Examples of love are my guiding force. I still obsessively study the life of Jesus. I continue to learn and apply his teachings in my life. 

My path of discipleship is important to me.

I believe in simplicity. In kindness towards all living things. In reciprocity between humanity and the earth. 

I have hope that life continues on in some form after we leave this body behind. I have no idea what that looks like or how it works, but I hope for it just the same. 

I believe in the connectedness of humanity, in working to unite all people regardless of time and space. I believe in the power of relationships, in family, in friends, in traditions and meaningful conversations.

I can only be a force of peace in the world if I have peace within myself. “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.” 
And with you. 
And you. 
And you.


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