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Friday, November 25, 2011

Guest Post: Enough Said

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Carrie Stroud is the wife to one cool husband and two overly-enthusiastic kiddos. She started her college career in theater, but when motherhood struck her uterus she began to consider another artistic outlet and decided to become one of the thousands of part-time photographer Mormon Mothers. As a loving wife she has assumed the role of putting her husband through grad school (ending in December! Yippee!) and works entirely too much which therefore leaves her children starving for dinners other than cheerios. As a bonus to her versatility, she writes way too often on her blog All That Is Sweet In Life.

I got married really young. Like, 19 really young. It basically rocked me to the core that I was capable of doing something like that. My whole life (all awesome 19 years of them) I had wanted to serve a Mission. I knew it was going to happen and I wrote religiously in my journal about the day when it would. South America? France perhaps? Gosh I hope it's not Salt Lake City! So when I met my husband and he swept me off my feet, I felt a pang of guilt that I wasn't fulfilling my potential. That I wasn't giving myself the opportunity that I knew a Mission would afford both my testimony and my ability to strengthen and convert others to the truth. The chance to serve the Lord for two years (er ... 18 months for girls) -- giving nothing but all that I had -- was a complete honor and I wanted it desperately. It drove me nuts that so many "boys" did not understand the awesome calling that it was, and well, my feminist self was going to show them who was boss.

Cue new boyfriend turned fiance. We were separated during our engagement since I was from Pennsylvania and he was from Georgia. We met at the sudo-LDS school Southern Virginia University (not church sponsored -- but definitely supported with an honor code and Institute program) and both headed back to our hometowns to work and get ready for our eternal commitment. It was during this time that I felt some serious confusion. I loved him like crazy, but was getting married simply because I loved him and received a confirmation though prayer that I should get married enough to set aside my life-long dream of a Mission?

And so one Sunday I sat on the 70's burnt-orange sofa at church mulling over my dilemma during Sacrament Meeting and listening to the talks being given over the speaker. I was feeling some serious anxiety. Suddenly, my ears perked up as I heard a young dad of SIX begin to speak. He started to say how his wife was always so envious that he went on a mission and she didn't. She often told him, "You had the chance to study the scriptures more thoroughly than I ever did. You were able to serve the Lord in ways that I will never be able to." Then he said something I will never forget. He told her, "You are an incredible Wife and an incredible Mother and a better example of Christ-like love than I will ever be. You teach our children the Gospel every day in not only words but in actions. You are LIVING your Mission."

Eleven years and two kids later I still think ... enough said.

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