I was a little nervous at my first meeting. I didn't know anyone else there; I was late, and I realized upon arriving that everyone else seemed to have some kind of chique-y planner. Black. With nice, organized side tabs. While I brought my full-on 12-month wall calendar with a different beach featured every month and scribbled all over the place with multi-colored crayons. (Because pens in my house are a legend.)
So we all went around and introduced ourselves, most everyone cracking some joke or making a witty comment. Somehow my Clever Quota seemed to have been met that day, and I was coming up dry. Then the lady before me introduced herself.
"Hey, everyone, I'm _____ ______. I'm soooo not your typical PTO Mom. I don't bake or scrapbook or do any kinds of crafts. But hey, I'm here!"
Everyone laughed appreciatively and there were several shouts of "me, neither!" and "I must be in the right place!" and "if that were a requirement, I don't think anyone would be here!"
This plunged me into at least several minutes of deep thought, since I'm sitting here in front of the computer typing about it.
Cuz here's the thing. I scrapbook. I craft. I even bake bread.
So ... what does THAT mean?
Deep Thought Scenario #2: I was visit taught last week. I really like the two ladies who share the prophet's message with me every month. This month the message is on Raising the Divine Generation (or something to that effect.) But one sister, after giving her heartfelt testimony, made some derogatory remarks about "those perfect ladies who somehow manage to read scriptures every day and actually do Family Home Evening."
I read my scriptures every day. And we have FHE every week.
So ... what?
A "Molly Mormon" is an uncomplimentary term given to Latter-day Saint women who seemingly "do it all." A Molly bakes. Scrapbooks. Studies her scriptures. Never forgets FHE or family scripture study. Writes in her journal. Does her visiting teaching on time. Has ten children. Never gossips or swears. Cleans her house regularly. Attends all church meetings. Rotates mattresses. Memorizes General Conference talks. Fixes toilets. Etc., etc. Essentially, she's perfect. Shoo-in celestial material.
(Really, she's what we all WANT TO BE. It's true.)
Most importantly, a Molly Mormon
embodies the cheery, chipper and domesticated female in Latter-day Saint culture.(That's from wikipedia.com, the fountain of all truth. They even have definitions for Mormon slang now. Dang.)
I don't really consider myself a Molly (mostly because of the cheerful requirement), but I've been called a Molly plenty of times. And usually in a disparaging tone: "Oh, whatever, Becky, we know you're a total Molly and can't identify with us."
[clears throat .... gears for soapbox ....]
Here's the thing. The point. Where I'm Going With All This.
I'm trying to be as Christ-like as possible. That has nothing to do, however, with quilting. (Pretty sure the Lord doesn't quilt.) I quilt because I like to. I scrapbook because I enjoy it. Not because I'm trying to fit a stereotype or feel obligated to be crafty by my church leaders. (Pretty sure none of them do, either.)
I'm trying to model my life after His, and yet there are times I get made fun of for remembering to pray first thing in the morning.
But listen. While I have a very firm testimony of the truthfulness of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - of its plan of happiness - and that that plan of happiness WORKS - I also have a very firm testimony that YOU CAN BE DOING ALL THE RIGHT THINGS AND STILL BE IN A TOTAL FUNK.
(When I speak in all capitols, I must be serious.)
If life were perfect every time we remembered to do all the "right things" (scripture study, prayer, church attendance, service with a smile, etc.) then EVERYONE would do the right things. Instead, we can be doing everything right and still have everything go wrong.
That's what faith is all about.
Everyone - the Molliest of Mollies or the Jackest of Jack Mormons - feels the full range of emotions and must be subject to opposition. Without sad times and trials, there is no growth.
So what if I am a Molly. It's not a bad thing. It doesn't mean I don't have shortcomings and weaknesses and (gasp!) sins. I do. A lot of them. It also doesn't mean I don't have bad days. And I do. A lot of them.
I kind of want to make a new bumper sticker.
"I'm a Molly Mormon - WHAT'S IT TO YOU?!"
But maybe that would be counterproductive.