I loved the time I spent serving in the Young Women’s organization. During the YW opening exercises, we would recite the Young Women’s Theme before breaking off into our individual classes. There is power in those words, and to recite it as a unified group of Young Women and leaders, would often times bring me to tears. It always reminded me of my present purpose in life and my future potential that the Lord not only hopes for me, but expects of me, and all of his daughters worldwide.
I have since been called to serve in the Relief Society organization. It’s been a few years since I have been present in these adult women meetings, and I have to admit, it’s been an equally inspiring experience. I’ve been wanting to hand-letter the Relief Society Declaration for several months. After all, it’s the basically the Relief Society Theme. I feel so many expectations of me in the world today. In talking to women of the church, we often times share in our feelings that we must have a a glamorous career AND be a full time mom with perfectly dressed children that take music lessons and play at least 3 sports, in addition to accepting and magnifying a couple church callings. And then there is the pressure I feel to make a perfect meal everynight that includes something to the effect of sautéed kale with herbed quinoa and marinated grilled chicken breast on an ivory platter with a flax linen napkin draped on the side as the sun is setting in the kitchen window? Who knows why that has become a standard in my head, I don’t do it. Like ever. We eat very simple around here. And my husband generally is the cook. But there is still the hope that I may someday get the dinner routine thing down where I rotate my food storage and have meals planned for the month, using the same produce for multiple meals so nothing rots in the fridge. I try to run every morning, and I use the term “run” very loosely. It’s more like an out of breath jog. Um, well, a light jog. Okay so my daughter says it’s more like a brisk walk. Let’s just say I don’t tag Lululemon in my IG photos. But often times there is guilt in that department as well. We can’t be everything to everyone. We can’t do everything all the time. But we can do small things with great love, to quote Mother Teresa. We can go to the temple, read our scriptures, pray often, and then whatever time is left, just do good and be good. Use the Relief Society Declaration as your framework for your days. We understand that we all have different talents to share as we serve. We all have something we do well, and we serve even better when we use those talents. But don’t let someone else’s little perfect square pictures on your smart phone (AKA someone else’s strongest talent and strength) be your standard of measurement for you. Keep in mind for the rest of this post, events and hand-lettering are my greatest strengths. I wish I was a fast runner, a healthy cook, more organized and prioritized more of my time for noble volunteer work. But I’m going to focus on my strengths, so you do that too!
Tiered birthday cake by Annie Larrabee of @annie_bee_cakery
For our RS Birthday Celebration this year, we focused on the RS Motto and Declaration. It was a “going back to the roots of Relief Society” kind of evening. We entitled it “Glorious Women and Their Stories.” The Relief Society Declaration was the framework for the entire evening. We chose women who represented the 9 different points of the Declaration, and had them share their personal stories. During my remarks, I shared the talk by Sister Patricia Holland entitled One Thing is Needful: Becoming Women of Greater Faith in Christ . One of the best reads of all time, for all women, everywhere, of all faiths. It reminds us to have a strong faith in our Savior and then beyond that, just be the best we can be using the talents we have been given. We must work on letting go of the impossible expectations. Love you Sister Holland, and the honesty you share in your messages.
On the tables to represent the “Glorious Women and their Stories” we had clusters of the old Reader’s Digest books, potted flowers to create a little garden and Willow Tree figurines of women.
You can find the Relief Society Declaration on the official church’s website HERE or a hand-painted signed print as pictured above available in my Etsy shop HERE or the 8.5 X 11 digital file is available HERE. Also available in the shop are downloads in 11X14 sizes, 4 up per 8.5 X 11 page, and a 16X20″ poster size.
As Sisters in Zion group hugs,
This guest post was submitted by Aimee Ferre. She grew up in the desert of East Mesa in Arizona, but married a mountain loving Utah boy. She currently lives in Sandy, Utah and is a mom to 3 daughters. She owns a small crafting business where she creates holiday decor and specializes in hand-lettering. You can always find her creating new projects or planning gatherings for friends and family. Follow her on Instagram to see what is currently on her desk or find her blog at www.aimeeferre.com