When goodness needs help

I am livid.

Anger, instead of my heart, is what pumped the blood through my body.

It’s because my heart broke as I read and watched (warning, there’s a lot of language) accounts of the events that have transpired in and because of Charlottesville these last few days.

Maybe you feel the same anger, too.

Regardless, I knew I needed to add my voice to the countless other I’ve read online in the last few hours.

Because that anger has become all too familiar these last few years. I don’t know about you, but to me it feels like the world is only getting worse.

Tonight I told Eric we shouldn’t have any more children, as I thought of the darkness that is sure to lie ahead. I found myself sighing heavily over and over. You know the kind of sigh, as if your body is trying to find some kind of physical way of purging the stress from inside of it. But the more I breathed, the more the stress and anger seemed to consume me rather than leave me.

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And that’s when it hit me.

Anger is what led men and women to march with tiki torches lit, burning like a beacon of hate. Anger is what led to protestors taking to the streets in opposition of white supremacy.

I don’t blame the protestors for being angry. I’m angry too. Furious, really, that so much hate exists in this world. Angry at our president. Angry that someone could hate another person for the color of their skin, their religion, their sexual orientation. Angry about so much.

Racism in any form is inexcusable and heartbreaking and I will not just sit by and say and do nothing. 

So yes, I’m angry. 

But somehow, I had to find a way to let that anger go.

As I was going to bed last night, the anger turned to sadness, grief.

I read my scriptures even though I didn’t want to. Because that’s what you do when something terrible like this happens.

You roll up your sleeves, even when you don’t feel like it, and go to work.

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I was in high school when I first read the quote by Ghandi “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

It was on the wall of a random classroom in Utah that I was competing in at a drama festival. It struck me to my core.

So much so that I wrote a play about it. (Here’s a confession session I wasn’t ever planning on making public, but this girl was once a winner of Utah’s Young Playwright Festival. I’ll add that to my Twitter bio.)

The play was about a woman’s realization of her role as a beacon of light in a dark world. I have often thought of that silly little play I wrote over 10 years ago. It was a bit progressive for me as a person. I’ve grown into that woman over the last decade, trying desperately to be a light in my small sphere.

I’ll admit, some days are better than others.

I’ve witnessed some awful things over the years. Each event has changed me ever so slightly. But I’d like to think that what matters more is how I, and every other human, reacts to the evil of the world. Rather than responding with more evil, more hate, more violence, we HAVE to choose good.

We can’t afford not to.

So today, and tomorrow and the next day, I’ll keep reading my scriptures, reaching toward God, praying that in return, he’ll reach toward me and keep molding me into a beacon of light.

I’ll try to share uplifting things online, smile at strangers, pick up litter, pay my tithing, strengthen the feeble knees and lift the hands that hang down.

I’ll teach my children to be kind and good. To stand for what is right, even if it’s unpopular. I’ll teach them to be loving and compassionate, to empathize with people that think, act or look differently from them.

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And hopefully, they’ll teach their children, who will teach their children, who will teach their children, and so on. And maybe one day, one of my great-great-grandchildren will stumble upon this blog, and know that I tried my best to lift where I stood. And just maybe, that great-great-grandchild will be inspired to do the same.

Because that’s what I have to do when something like Charlottesville happens.

Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I still believe that good will always triumph over evil.

Somedays, the good just needs a little extra help.

And that’s where we come in.

 

An accidental vacation

I recently wrote about my desires to live more intentionally. Well, sometimes life offers you a chance for spontaneity and you have to take it.

Such was the case for the Whitlock Family {Accidental} Summer Vacation 2017.

Last Wednesday I decided to take our kids to visit my mom. I had gotten off the phone with her early that morning and told Eric, “I need to go to Utah today.” He thought I was crazy agreed and rearranged a few things at work so he could come too while I packed up our car for a couple days in Utah.

On the way there, we heard the news that Eric’s sister’s water had just broken and she was having her sweet baby girl, Eden. We joked about going to Arizona after our time in Utah.

Eric and I looked at each other.

“Why don’t we?” I said.

Continue reading “An accidental vacation”

Arrows out: a birthday wish

Today is my 29th birthday. As I have reflected on my 20s these past couple days I’ve been filled with so much gratitude. The last 10 years of my life have been filled with many changes and life-altering decisions. Your 20s are often referred to as the “decade of decisions,” to which I shout a resounding AMEN.

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Eight years ago I was living in Orlando and heard Elder Jeffery R. Holland, an apostle of the Lord, Jesus Christ in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, give an inspired talk. I sat on the stage in the very back of a very crowded church building. I could barely see him standing at the podium. But his words pierced me to my heart. He spoke about service and compared it to a tithe on our lives. If we lived to the age of 100, he said, that meant 10 years were dedicated in service to the Lord.

Continue reading “Arrows out: a birthday wish”

Life, intentionally

Last time I blogged, I got pretty real about my struggle with postpartum depression.

I’d like to get real again and sing the praises of my doctor and modern medicine. I started medication for my PPD over a month ago. It has been quite literally life changing. I feel like I have walked out of a haze and fog into the brilliant sunlight. It has helped my mind return to equilibrium. 

Since starting the medication, I have found so much joy in motherhood. Part of that has been the SSRIs, and part, I’d like to think, has been my resolve to live more intentionally. What you may not know is that I suffered from debilitating depression my entire second pregnancy. One day I’ll write about it. But not yet.

Continue reading “Life, intentionally”

The untold truth of every Momcation

I am currently in Denver at a very geeky journalism conference. Go NICAR.

It’s the second trip I’ve taken away from my sweet babe, Bellamy. She’s almost 9 months old and she is the dearest darling you’ll ever meet.

Here’s proof.

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See?

Now, I love this girl more than most things.

But sometimes, you need a vacation from being a mom. Continue reading “The untold truth of every Momcation”

4 things I learned about revelation while desperately seeking it

It’s been one of those weeks where I’ve laughed until I’ve cried and cried until I’ve laughed. It’s been wrenchingly emotional and highly stressful.

But as my good husband has recently reminded me, that’s just how I operate. I always have a million irons that I’ve happily thrown into the fire, and some nights (normally Thursdays) it comes out in break-down form.

What I’ve learned all these years of being an over-involved-over-acheiver, is that well, I’m still learning. A LOT.

Luckily, I have the best network of people surrounding me and cheering me on, including God. This week, as my stress level hit critical mass, I decided to seek refuge in the temple. I had lots of questions, and I just knew God would answer all of them. Why? Because I desperately needed answer. I had tried everything on my own, and now was begging for help from on high.

But that’s not how it works. At least it wasn’t for me this week. Instead of having a steady stream of blue-print like instructions from the Lord outlining my path, I received something else entirely. Continue reading “4 things I learned about revelation while desperately seeking it”

I won’t love myself for my daugther

 

Before my daughter was born, I had an epiphany.

Or so I thought.

I had always struggled to speak kindly toward myself. As I prepared to give birth to my first child, I decided to make some changes. Continue reading “I won’t love myself for my daugther”