Monday, October 16, 2017

Becoming a "Whole Woman" Review of Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife

My review of Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife's podcast on becoming a "Whole Woman":

First of all, YAAAAS!!!!!!!
Second of all, BOOM.
Third of all, Please, please, for the sake of ALL LDS WOMEN, read, watch, listen, and LEARN!!!


This podcast was amazing. It just says it all and so plainly. It really opens your eyes to culturally fed sexual ideals and how Satan has been working in the world to both diminish the sexuality of women while at the same time exploiting them as sexual objects for men. It is so powerful to understand ourselves as women, who we are as intimate beings, and what we have to offer ourselves, our marriages, and our spouse's sexually.

We are such BEAUTIFUL creatures. And it is always important to remember GOD CREATED US!
If He didn't want us to be a certain way, He wouldn't have made us so...therefore, knowing how we work emotionally and sexually is part of understanding God's love for us and why we are the way we are.

I listened to this whole podcast and took some notes. Some of these are exact quotations and others are a little jumbled and combined because I was trying to write SOO fast.
For your own education, please listen to the podcast yourself!
And enjoy :)

Some people feel a perverse pleasure in feeling guilty. 
Some people grow up in families and learn to live in a "self-hate" position. It feels awkward to reach out and stretch and grow.
That is where you find self-respect.
(Insert extra BOOM BOOM!)

Push yourself to stretch and grow, for your sake and for your spouse's.

Giving and Receiving:
You can't be good at one without being good at the other.
Some people are TAKERS. It is not the same thing as receiving.
You have to be a good receiver and giver for healthy relationships.

Step out of entitlement and control.
If someone was to die, could you sustain yourself?
(Answer should be yes)
But you should also be letting the giving and receiving bless your life.

Let your man provide, protect, and support you. (These are man's natural instincts)
Some men do exploit sexuality and they are brutes. But others naturally want to GIVE and receive, and it can really bless. It can nurture. Sex and is part of intimacy for men. We shouldn't put down a woman because of this. It is also how God created THEM.

It should work together as forces of good how we are created. A woman should be able to receive in a healthy way. Her being able to receive, being worthy of it, being feminine, is also and act of "giving" because it is what the man needs.

We get married. It is not a PRISON CELL. We are not a slave. Some of us become slaves to our sex lives, and some of us actually ENSLAVE ourselves! Whether in healthy or unhealthy ways. It is not our "job" or our "duty". 

Being grateful is different than being entitled. Don't snub all the joy out of love and sex by acting entitled to someone's love. If you're thinking you're the "insecure" or "broken" or "weak" one, therefore you're entitled to your spouse's love, then you're not grateful at all. You're wrong.

Many of us "get and take", but fail to "give and receive". How do we increase gratitude?
Ask yourself, "What would I lose if this person wasn't here?"

Sexually, you have to see yourself as deserving. TO make your sex life "male centric" is CULTURAL! If you want a more satisfying sex life, you have to make it more "female centric". Women take longer to become aroused and to climax, but the process requires both parties to give and receive, which brings you closer together.

Sexuality is a threat to goodness in MORMON CULTURE.
Men are interested in women for sex, but women think its a bad thing and either become slaves, or enslave themselves, by diminishing their sexuality and exploiting themselves as a sex object for their husbands. THIS IS WRON.
You can do as much damage to a relationship by sexual exploitation as you can by sexual repression. Real strength begets strength.
Women think, "Well, men need to feel strong. Therefore I must be weak."
A real man needs to let his woman's sexuality be equal to or even ECLIPSE his own, and not be threatened.
Women are actually more sexual because their orgasms are deeper and can happen more than once.
Men have "ten minute sex" and are some how looked at as SEXUAL CHAMPIONS.
(WTF??)
The opposite is true. WOMEN are the sexual champions, their longevity and endurance and the end result all equate to their godly design. Biologically, women are more sexual with more sex organs and more sexual nerve endings.

Satan does BOTH exploit a woman's sexuality but represses her as the champion. If God didn't want you to have pleasure as a woman, He wouldn't have designed you that way. 
SATAN and CULTURE diminish the woman and her sexual capacity, while at the same time puffing up a man's "ten second sex" trophy and the woman as a sex OBJECT meant for man's pleasure.
(Sex slave)
SHE is more sexual. She is feminine and powerful.
You will RESENT and NEVER LOVE your husband if you think its your "JOB".

MORMON CULTURE FLUBS
There is NO integration before marriage about the woman and her sexuality.
There is this idea that "My sexuality exits to SERVE my husband."
This is not good sex.
This is not happiness.
Women feel ashamed, dirty, wrong, and repressed in their sex lives. The Mormon culture doesn't have proper sex education. No one is teaching these young women about their bodies and the powerful nature of their femininity. They aren't teaching the men how powerful and necessary a woman is, how wonderful her sexuality is, and what it can bring to their relationship. The intimacy can be so much stronger. It will grow and flourish. Both parties BENEFIT from the sexuality of a WOMAN!!!!!

This is "OUR" sex life. Not "HIS".
That is a culturally sanctioned FALSEHOOD!!!


And those are my notes!!
I hope you really like this podcast. I hope you learn something from it.


Now to go off on a few tangents:
Mormon Fed Repression
I personally understand how culture has fed the problem in society and especially for Mormons. I love how Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife hit the topics hard.
In the home I grew up in, sex was NOT talked about. IT was viewed as wrong and dirty. A "sin".
While sex before marriage is considered a sin, being a sexual being is NOT. For that is how GOD CREATED US. We are obviously cautioned to control our desires and save them for marriage, but having sexual desires is not wrong and when saved for marriage, it is very, very RIGHT.
Also, in my home, women were seen as sex objects. They were both exploited as a sexual object designed for man's pleasure, and repressed sexually. There was a lot of shame culture, both in my home, and in the Mormon religion.

Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife reminds us over and over that to become a whole woman, we have to be in tune with the sexual part of ourselves. It is not wrong or shameful.
(It's a man's sin if he can't control his urges, NOT the woman's)
We do not exist to "serve him" (our husband)
We both have desires and the WOMAN is clearly, biologically, the sexual champion.

I wish more young women in the Mormon religion were taught proper sex education. I wish women weren't repressed culturally. I wish men and society didn't EXPLOIT the woman as a sex object and sex slave, while then punishing her. Shaming her. Repressing her.

I wish Satan would get off his soap box and the "ten second sex" trophy would DIE a horrible death.
Remember that commercial where the plumber comes to the aid of a housewife? She says, "I only have fifteen minutes." While the plumber holds up the cleaning product and says, "I only need five."
It's supposed to make him look cool and very sexual.
(Sexual trophy award.)
Five minute sex???? Please.... that's pathetic is what it is.

50 Shades of He** Yeah!
I apologize in advance for the millions of people I'm about to offend, but...this is one of the reasons I genuinely liked the series 50 Shades of Grey. While most Mormons never read the books, and HATED them at the same time (go figure) a lot of other people, enough to make it a super best-seller and amass MILLIONS in book sales and went on to be made into movies, understand that part of the beauty of this very sexually explicit novel, was the JOY and INTIMACY that evolved between to open partners.
Honestly...do you think it was such a hit because it was an erotica?? Dude. There are a bazillion erotica novels.

Yes, Mormons point to 50 Shades as "domineering" and "supporting men beating women" and it's just "disgusting" to them. They also didn't read it, and are realistically probably deathly afraid of being sexual.
(They probably are sexually repressed. By their spouses and themselves)
In the novels, both partners are open sexually and NEVER do anything their uncomfortable with.
**SPOILER ALERT**
She never signs the contract. He never beats her. They communicate. They explore.
THEY DO NOT HAVE TEN SECOND SEX!
The man PLEASURES the woman. Wholly. And in this "giving" he finds it is immensely satisfying. (That's the receiving part for him)
They have a wonderful, consensual, sex life.
Now, they aren't married at the get-go, so for Mormons that is offensive. But it's sad to me that Mormons will also find the very nature of their sex life "offensive".
IT goes to prove how sexually repressed our culture is, and how "shame culture" acts in the Mormon world.
Thank you, Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife for confronting this.

RAPE CULTURE
(at the risk of offending LGBT I will continue with simply "man" and "woman"...you're all very loved and equal)

All of the confusion surrounding sexuality has increased our society's rape culture.
We teach our young children that sex and sexuality is disgusting.
At one minute, it's wrong and the next, it's .... right??
I don't get it.
Poor Mormons. These young men and women get married (usually as virgins) and then have no idea what to do with their bodies. Men resort to culturally fed brutality (not Christian Grey status) and women respond by acting in their cultural place: the sex slave.
Women are taught that they must "dress modestly" to help boys control their thoughts.
Are you kidding me?
That makes the woman the responsible party in sexual offense, you get that, right?
A woman may become the object in a man's fantasy, but she is NEVER the cause.
Mormon culture is teaching young women it is their fault if men act inappropriately. It increases shame. It increases repression. It's a nasty cycle.
Men are not taught to control their thoughts. They're given too much control and power of the situation, and high-fiving themselves for their ten second performances (even the fantastical ones)
When they're not held accountable, there is no responsibility or guilt in acting inappropriately. The woman is the problem. If she dresses in a way that will illicit a man's sexual desire, it's then her fault when inappropriate actions and thoughts take place.
Bull.
Modesty has changed throughout the millenniums of human existence. But righteousness never has. Both men and women are cautioned to control their thoughts. "Let virtue garnish thy thoughts always."
I hate HATE hate...did I mention HATE?? the blame placed on women. The blame. With also this expectation! To be a perfect sex object and slave! Be my fantasy, and if you're not: it's your fault if I seek pleasure elsewhere.
Men go into relationships with a false expectation of a woman and her purpose. They support rape culture without even knowing it. It ruins marriages left and right. Parents, mothers and fathers, there is nothing wrong with sex education. Teaching children about their bodies, and how God designed them, does not turn them into a sex freak or porn addict. Duh face.


ANYWAYS
Dear Women: SPEAK UP! For yourselves, and for your daughters. Femininity is beautiful. It is godly. It brings joy to a relationship. Intimacy is a GOOD thing. Both emotional and physical. I hope you teach your daughters (and sons) the truth about our sexuality and the wonderful blessing intimacy can bring our lives, our relationships, and our posterity.

By Brittany Shannon

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Atonement and Resurrection

Atonement and Resurrection


I read this article and found it to be fantastic.
I have made a regular habit of reading on Sundays—all things Christ and God-centered. I’ve decided to help me absorb and remember the thoughts and feelings I have when reading, I’m going to also take notes.
Feel free to read the above article on the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and maybe share your own thoughts and feelings.

Here is what I wrote based on the above article:

He knows us so well. We longed to be with Him like none else. He wept for us. The grace is already given. HE felt things so he would know how to empathize and properly help us heal on a very individual basis. It doesn’t have to be fair. As we grow closer to Him and work on our own healing and recovery we are blessed with Christlike love toward any who wrong us. Families will face opposition, we don’t just face hardships from evil people. In fact, when being righteous we avoid a lot of evil people and will therefore face little opposition on that journey. That’s a blessing just being in the Promised Land has provided. Our growth MUST come through opposition in ALL things. So then we must face it in our families and friends and loved ones. It is all part of the journey. It doesn’t mean we did something wrong. It doesn’t mean THEY did something worse. It is just part of the Lord’s plan and we need to trust it. We need to let Him consecrate our afflictions to our good and benefit. We will become like Him. We will through THIS the mortal trial you’re facing, it wasn’t placed before you to be an everlasting burden. It was placed to help you meet and become like Christ, like a God. Do not be afraid of it. You’re not alone.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Obedience is Required

Since I was little, I have often been prompted to obey the Holy Spirit. Sometimes, there is no other lesson to be learned other than being obedient.

Why does God ask us to be obedient?
What purpose does an "obedience only" lesson provide?

Have you ever heard how military personnel are trained? Do you know how rigorous their exercises are, and how repetition is key?
Why are the sergeants so strict and "mean"?
How come they're always shouted at to comply?
Why is there absolute order?

My dad was explaining to me in my youth that a fighter pilot, in the BLINK OF AN EYE, must be able to follow a command. It would mean life or death. If you're flying up in the air, and you hear your superior speak into your ear, "EJECT!" There cannot be even a moment's hesitation. You follow the order. You eject. 
Even if you don't know why.
Even if you don't sense danger.
Even when you don't see the bigger picture.

God can be our superior. HE can see the bigger picture. He knows the why. He sense the danger we don't always sense. When He says "EJECT", we must obey.

BASIC TRAINING
As a small girl, I was having a sleepover at a friend's home. In the middle of the night, I woke up and felt a strong desire to go home. It was strange. I'd had many playdates with this friend. My mother obviously felt comfortable enough to let me stay the night over there, even though we came from different backgrounds and beliefs. There was no visible danger. I have no idea why, to this day, I was prompted to wake up my friend, who then woke up her mother, and ask if I could call my mom to go home. My mom came and got me and that friend's mom then forbade us from ever having sleepovers again ;) I'm sure it was very inconvenient for the mother and my friend. Nonetheless, there was a reason the Spirit needed me to obey. It may have just been a lesson of obedience, for I don't know what could have possibly gone wrong...

D-DAY
In another situation, I was asked to obey God because OF IMMINENT DANGER. In my first marriage, there was a lot of addiction and abuse coming from my spouse. I did not believe in divorce. I would NOT. It didn't fit my idea of an "eternal marriage". Nor did I think any marriage was perfect. Isn't that what enduring to the end means? Long-suffering? Helping one another make it to the end despite struggles?

The marriage was so unhealthy and became a danger to my safety. I was prompted by the Spirit, time and time again, to leave.
I ignored it.
EJECT! the Lord said.
I questioned whether it was really the Lord or the adversary.
EJECT! he would calmly cry. EJECT! EJECT! Brittany, EJECT!

One day, a stranger gave me a priesthood blessing and confirmed my darkest fear.
"Guard your womb."
I finally obeyed.

Even thought I could see the danger and knew the threats, I wasn't willing to listen...It seems so odd and counterproductive for the Lord to advise one of His children to end an eternal marriage, yet, He did so for me and I've since learned He does so frequently for OTHERS.

Why? What lesson was I to learn?
I'm not a quitter.
I don't take my covenants lightly.
So, why?

Obedience.
God had a greater plan for me. "My eternal plan of happiness" required me to go through that experience, yes, but not to stay in it forever. It shaped me and refined me, and taught me principles I wouldn't have otherwise learned.
As I left, I was comforted knowing "Divorce is not the end."
I had quite a bit of hope that we could reconcile later, that the divorce was simply a consequence that had to be implemented due to the hazardous behaviors of my spouse. That didn't mean repentance wasn't possible and that we couldn't maybe later get back together.
That was NOT what God had planned for me.

It took me a long time to come to terms with this new "failure", and later see it as a HUGE accomplishment. The next few years I would weave through painful healing processes, that eventually led me to the man I was supposed to marry and start a family with at this stage in my life. If I hadn't gone through my first marriage, I wouldn't have become the patient, calm, peace-keeping woman I am today. I wouldn't have met the man I'm married to, either, for it was in a dark place of self-loathing and wayward "activities" that our paths crossed. We were both roaming...seeking solace. I knew IMMEDIATELY he was going to be the father of my children.

THE BATTLEFIELD
With this knowledge, I still face trials in my life. My marriage isn't always easy. We're still two opposite people trying to live side-by-side, congruently. We still wake up and face Satan and his servants who put contention and conflict in our path. There are times God asks me to serve my husband when I'm most angry. I don't want to. I don't think its what I deserve, just like I don't think I deserved to be the one who threw in the towel on my first marriage after giving it my absolute ALL and then some. Yet, I know God wants me to be obedient. It isn't always for my spouse's benefit that I'm asked to do these things. Sometimes it is, and sometimes it's just for me. Sometimes its for both of us. AND OUR KIDS!
We won't make it through this life without the same problems every other marriage faces, but they are made "easy" because we listen to God and obey. I'm so happy with my life now. I CAN'T imagine it any other way. Including being asked to "eject", and going through my first flight that "crashed and burned."

THE WAR
This generation is scourged with wickedness. It hurts me. Physically, emotionally, spiritually.
I see broken hearts more than I see whole ones.
(I'm not trying to be pessimistic)
We aren't pushing handcarts across a frozen country, but our hearts are being blackened by the frost of the Devil's bite. It's an ugly, bloody battle out there...
but if we listen, if we obey, we may just hear the commands of an all-powerful, all-knowing, loving God, saying, "EJECT!"
I promise you, dear child, I am in control. You are in my hands. Listen to me now. Eject. It is for your own good. You will fulfill your purpose by following my will. Let the Spirit guide you. It may save you from further agony, and help you bear up your current burdens. It will be a comfort during the hardships I ask you to face. Trust me.
EJECT.
Obedience is such an interesting thing, and it was easier for me to understand once I had kids.
"Don't go into the street!" I shout.
"Don't touch that, it's hot." I caution.
"Be nice to one another!" I admonish.

My kids might not yet understand all the why's, but someday they will. As they grow and learn and experience.

THE AFTERMATH
We already know who wins the war, it's just a matter of choosing whose side to be on.
Have we ever paused to consider WHY so many horrible acts of terrorism occur--and perhaps is there a correlation between them and the natural disasters AND the political divide in a chosen people?
I began to wonder if the Lord sees all the hatred among people. The racism the nationalism the sexism...after asking and pleading and COMMANDING us to be loving, accepting, compassionate, and we refuse, if He then visits us with a force of nature that compels us to reach out and serve. When disaster strikes, people put differences aside. They don't care about color or financial circumstances...they help one another. When tragedy strikes, people actually COME TOGETHER.
How ironic is it that the beautiful freedoms of our country that include political presidential elections can TEAR people and love to pieces, and yet mass shootings and hurricanes that TEAR homes and cities to pieces coincidentally draw people closer together?

I may not always know why, or see a clear picture, but I have total faith that when the Lord asks, He is asking because He knows what I need.
My promptings aren't always loud. They're rarely life-changing.
Most of the time they're something like, "Go down this aisle at the grocery store."
"Send _____ a hello text."
"Smile at that stranger."
"Read this article."
"Don't yell."
However great or small, my acts of obedience are carving virtue into my frame. The results soften the fabric of my soul. They strengthen me.
It is then that I am prompted to try and help another, to lift them up, to share my experiences, to mourn with those that mourn and comfort those in need of comfort.
I promise. As scary as it may seem, as far as the fall my appear, frightening as the unknown will be, and as painful as the choice could become, everything will be okay if you trust in your superior.
EJECT.





Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Postpartum 3 for the Win!

Wth??
Sometimes, your perfect Tuesday turns into an emergency apt with your Dr and a discussion with your daughter about why her pee pee won't grow long when she gets older 😳😳😳
(@erinfratts seriously where do I go with this?)
.
Can I air a personal note?? I've had three kids and with each postpartum experience I had a weird/tragic recovery of some kind.

After my second born, my husband and I had our worst year of marriage. It added to the battle I was already facing after herniating two discs. Long story short, I learned during that trial that the suffering I went through was more for him than for me (lucky me right?) He had to tend to me and serve me basically 24-7. I needed physical therapy, but then he had to massage me every single night with a special cream. He had to help me out so much with the house and the kids. With a priesthood blessing that I would recover quickly and be able to perform my duties as a mother, an injury that should've required either surgery or major meds and therapy healed in about two months (with almost zero residual problems)
We ended up having a great following year and felt closer.
.
I was thinking Recovery #3 was absolute bliss. Tomorrow my LO will be three weeks and the worst of it had been the night both my boys were up screaming all night. Until today. My husband and I had a Squabble when he got home from work and weren't pleased with one another. I have a feeling he was thinking some negative thoughts about me. 
I made the mistake of trying to move my couch to clean and BOOM. A terrible pain/tear went through my lower regions. It was equivalent of a labor contraction and I was so paralyzed with pain my husband had to pick me up and lay me on the couch while I cried. I asked for a blessing, which he begrudgingly gave (cause we hadn't made up from our fight)
Well, I have the STRONGEST faith in priesthood blessings. I think they're like Superman Burps or whatever...miracles. All of them.

As I've laid here, I've watched Glen run around the house like a chicken with his head cut off trying to manage the three kids...he wigs out when he's "in charge". (Can I add that all of this is happening in the middle of trying to potty train my son?? All people who have potty trained will get a KICK out of that) Like when I'm debilitated and he has to be fully the boss, he kinda loses it. It's a huge stress for him, even though I've been doing it ALL DAY. I've often wondered if he takes me for granted and thinks I have the easy life. When we have these little arguments (because Scouts Honor we only fight like once a year) I sincerely wonder if he knows what I do all day and how taxing it can be. I want to yell at him to be more patient and not yell so much, but I also understand that this is a necessary lesson for him to learn, and so do I. Isn't it amazing how much we need one another? How we need each other's unique strengths? How we are reminded when we aren't appreciating the other? The power of the priesthood is working in my life, even as I write. I feel the pain lessening and my worries being comforted.. It is so aggravating being immobilized and the pain is intolerable, and instead of wallowing I'm kind of smiling because I think I know where the Lord is going with this.
.
Anyway, I know I'll be taken care of and all will work out as it should, even if the Dr finds a horrid abscess in my bum bum tomorrow. Because priesthood blessings are real, they help. They have saved me in so many ways, so many times. I've seen miracles where other people have been blessed by the priesthood. Boys who were mid-seizure stop dieting, grown men who weren't able to stand being able to stand minutes later because of one. My testimony of the priesthood came long ago and before anything else, really. And any time I've had some questions about God and my religion it always comes back to this. I CANNOT deny what I've seen and experienced. Hopefully I don't have to have a fight with my husband every time I need a life lesson ;) And maybe I shouldn't try to move a couch three weeks after giving birth..whoops.
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I swear...if it seems too good to be true....then be super wary of what's to come!! Postpartum Struggles 3/3. 🥇🥇🥇
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#postpartum #postpartumbody #momlife #probs #momprobs #motherhood #AtLeastIGotASelfieBeforeTheDayTotallyFellApart

Monday, September 4, 2017

Lemmon Family Update

Keeping up with us...

Wow we've had a busy and eventful summer.
Here are some of the highlights:

First, I've cut way back on social media. My private FB and private Instagram aren't in use. My public figure pages get very little usage so I apologize if you don't hear from me often. I don't plan on picking them back up anytime soon. I would rather return to my blog and just post the most important things for now.

Funny things: Travin is almost two. He's a big wild and brave boy. He even watched his big sister jump off the trampoline into the grass and thought he could follow. Bless his sister's heart, Atley encouraged him by saying "I'll catch you!" Trav then jumped and landed right on his face in the grass 😃 No worries. All is well.

Atley is very excited to be "almost four and then I'll be five!" We opted out of preschool this year but she does "school" at home with me. She's sweet and always so helpful. 

Both kids are SUPER excited to have a baby brother that joined us four and a half weeks early!
We named him Tosh.

Tosh looks like a perfect mixture of the other two kids as infants. He's teeny and precious. The labor was a dream. It was twelve hours total, required a couple hours of pitocin, but was smooth sailing. I feel like a queen but ask me again in a few weeks haha...
Nothing brings me more satisfaction than being a mother. I'm so so happy right now.

We remodeled our kitchen this year and it is gorgeous!
Lots of home updates and new appliances.
We are gearing up for a busy fall with a half dozen birthdays, Thankagiving, then Christmas!
Oh and Atley has decided she wants to be a vampire for Halloween, but that could change.

I'm still working on editing my book 3 in my Conquest of Canaan series. I wanted it out by this November but I don't know if I'll make it! Crossing my fingers. I really love this trilogy and am so pleased with the response I get from my readers. Hope you love the last book as much as I do.

That's all for now!
Here are some pics and of our recent adventures

(Tosh)










(Cascade Springs)





 



(Tosh)


Thursday, August 24, 2017

Saying Goodbye

The time has come. I'm saying goodbye to my favored social media app, Instagram.

The reasons don't matter much, but in case you're curious or ever read this I'll break it down.
1. I have a loud mouth. It gets me in trouble. Sometimes people don't read my sarcasm and I offend them unintentionally. Case in Point my recent "story". If it offended you, I sincerely apologize. It wasn't meant to hurt. I am sorry to all the people and their fake breasts or lips or noses. I have lots of friends who have artificial enhancements and I in no way think less of them. My point was more to make humor of the hypocrisy people who love chemical free and animal cruelty free lives face when they then go get fake injections, but of course I am a hypocrite also and love plenty of fake things. Again, I'm sorry.
I would like to add that I have and always will be part of the crowd that believes humans are BEAUTIFUL the way they come and age and grow. I have sworn off artificial enhancements for myself for this reason. Because I would be a hypocrite to tell people they're beautiful the way they are, and then go get surgery to fix my knee fat that I hate. Some of us truly believe in the way we come and I'm a "naturalist" (99% of the time) I want all my friends to know that. It's a belief. I love small and big breasts, naturally large noses, scars, burns, etc. I love wrinkles and gray hairs. I've even tried growing my own hair out except that my talent agency requires my hair to look like my headshot. So that's me being a hypocrite, too.
The truth is I think society has attacked the beauty of life, in every sense. People pay the price but more so women than men. Women are torn apart and beaten down and told that they aren't beautiful if they don't look a certain way. There is an "image" of beauty. Who decided that? Who chose what is pretty or sexy or attractive, and WHY?! Why one look, one size, one color? Why a certain combination of the above? I have never understood it...and it pains me. When I think of my daughter being so insecure with herself because of society, I ache. Of course I want her AND EVERYONE to feel confident. We all deserve so. I want people to be confident the way they are, the way God made them. Whatever size shape color and age.
In the end, I stand firm behind my belief that humans don't need to change to be or feel beautiful, but I understand not everyone feels that way.

2. I've long felt like I need to set an example for my kids.
Would I want them spending the time I do on social media? Do I think it's a positive or uplifting activity? Do I want them posting the things I post?

3. On the other side of number 1, I see my own values take a beating on social media. I view it as a way for people to express themselves and try hard to let it roll off my back. My religion is always made fun of. (That's because your religion is so judgemental)
False.
People, like you and I, are judgmental. Not a religion.
Thinking that is just as judgmental as the comments I made.
Being a mother is looked down upon by a lot of children-less people. Even working moms (which I was and still am if you consider my self employment) make fun of "stay at home moms". You know, its life...and we are all insensitive on days that end in Y.

4. I am an extrovert and on particular weeks, considering my husband travels so much for work, I'll go days without speaking to another adult. I'm starving for adult conversation and interaction. I feel pathetically alone sometimes. These is when I get in trouble and run my mouth.
I'm sorry.

5. In support of my naturalist ways, I want to revert to the old days when we called and sent cards. Do I believe the increase in virtual activity decreases a humans natural social behaviors? Yes. Im sorry if that's offensive. I think virtual interactions can lead to diminished/appropriate in-person social conduct. I think social media leads to increased idealism, increased chances of infidelity, a lack of basic social skills, an increase in bullying, and bloats the uprise of the attack on peoples' bodies as mentioned in number 1. I apologize if that hurts your feelings. It doesn't mean there isn't good to be found online, I just think the bad makes it not worth it for me in my life. If I want to set an example for my kids, I best start now. (And try my hardest not to be a hypocrite for their sake)
 I'm asked frequently if I have a Facebook. I understand this is how people communicate now. Send wedding invites, birthday invitations, etc.. To answer your question in short? NO. To answer your question in length, Yea there is a profile "active" under my name.
No, I don't use Facebook,
No, I won't be accepting friend requests.
The profile is active for one reason: My talent agency has an exclusive page where they post audition and casting info, and all their talent is required to be on it. (Hypocrite? Yes...I'm sorry.)

So there you have it.
I don't know if this is permanent or temporary, because I honestly LOVE taking pictures and am obsessed with posting updates about my kids. But I know the time has come.
I love my friends and followers and hope to keep from offending you in the future.
You know, I recognize things can be taken out of context. I have children. I love them. I don't always have a babysitter. Do I understand it might come off insensitive to ask people not to bring children to their hair appointment? Yes. Do I expect them to understand the following:
I can't concentrate with lots of kids running around. I even find babysitters for my own (99% of the time)
It's in the kids' best interest. I have hot and sharp tools. My salon area is not kid friendly.
My tools are also expensive. If they get broken I'm pretty sure the parent won't be happy having to replace them.
I want to give my clients the best possible service. I want them to have the best haircut and color and relax. That is hard for both of us if kids are present.
Do I make exceptions? Yep.
But I will still always ask the client to please try to make arrangements, just as I do for my own kids.
That scenario can be offensive to many.
I'm sorry.

I'm sure this post even offended someone....gah! I can't ever win.
I really do withhold judgments the best I can. If I make a rude comment, I'll apologize for it, and try to be better.
My intention is to love and live a Christlike life.
For me it includes less social media.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Friday Introductions!

Friday Introductions!
I decided to fill out an online questionnaire. Sorry if it's generic...I copied and pasted it!! But thought it would be a fun change to my usual Friday Introductions on Instagram. So here we go!

Who were you with yesterday? My kids until 10:30, then the neighbors
What woke you up this morning? My son
Where are you? In the bathtub 😝
Is tomorrow going to be a good day? It will be the day I make it
Do you like anybody? Oh my gosh I'm not 12. I like a few people
Ever thrown up in public? Ha! Yes many times
Passed out because of alcohol? Yes
What’s on your mind RIGHT NOW? My aching belly and the fear that the rest of these questions are for teenage Myspacers
What kind of home would you like? A white stucco red Spanish roof tile rambler. 
What do you want to be when you grow up? My own hero
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? A mother of three fabulous children with a trip planned to Africa
What is your favorite color? GreenDo you listen to music every day? Yes
Do you still go trick or treating? With my kids
What was the last thing you ate? Chocolate decadence with salted caramel
Are you a fast typer? 118 WPM
Whats your favorite type of soda? Mt Dew
Have you ever moved? Bunch
Have you ever won an award? A few. Never bingo 
Are you listening to music right now? Nope 
How long ’till your birthday? Seven months 
When were you the saddest in your whole life? March 2009
What do you wish the world had more of? Jesus Christ
What is your favorite way to burn steam? Exercise like a BAMF


What is your occupation? Cosmetologist, author, performance artist
Have you ever heard a song written about you? Yes
What do you do when you’re mad? Work out or cook
Do you swear when you’re mad? Less than I used to
When was the last time you actually cried? 4:13pm today
What usually makes you cry? Besides being pregnant???
Are you usually a happy person? I'm mellow if that counts
What makes you the happiest? My kids
Do you believe in yourself? More than anyone else
What is your favorite hobby? Creating. Writing, music or novels 
Favorite song? Ever??? Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley. Christian: The Great I Am 
Do you have any bad habits? Anxiety
What is something unique about you? Uhh...I have bright green/yellow eyes??
What's one of your favorite things about yourself? My air of confidence
Least favorite thing about yourself? My anxiety
Do you believe in God? Yes
What do you hope to contribute to the world? Strength
Which celebrity are you most like? Rick from the Walking Dead?? Haha. If that counts..he's a character so if a real life celebrity than Emma Stone.
What's your favorite movie? Gaaaaaah how to pick?? All time: Pretty Woman. Lately? Rogue One
Do you miss people? Every day
What did you do today? Raised my kids. Ran errands. Went to the temple and out to eat with my husband. Bubble bath.
If you could give one piece of advice to people what would it be? Get up, dress up, show up. You got this.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Pipeline Book Awards 2017

Pipeline Book Awards 2016
review of Conquest of Canaan: Og by Brittany Shannon

With regards to your submission for the 2016 Book Pipeline Competition, below is the internal feedback from our judges, commenting primarily on the entry's film of TV potential. Although the notes are relatively brief, we trust this will help give you a bit of insight into our process.

CONQUEST OF CANAAN: OG

This is certainly a very unique approach to an epic biblical narrative as it follows the lives of three young friends as they experience the conquest of Canaan within the ranks of the rising Israelite nation. Historic fiction based in a biblical setting is very rarely done and the last of a notable work of this kind was perhaps Ben-Hur (1959). For that reason, this work holds a level of originality and freshness that could surprise even those very familiar with biblical narratives. Even the characters involved possess an unusual level of realism and uniqueness that is not often present along this vein of storytelling and the use of first person narration is incredibly engaging in the opening chapters. That being said, while this narrative certainly provides a very fresh approach to biblical storytelling, popular trends have already begun to shift away from epic biblical adventures. Since the making of Noah (2014) the success of other biblical adaptations has depreciated in both value and quality. Exodus: Gods and Kings later on in 2014, Risen in 2016, and Ben-Hur at the end of 2016 all failed to accumulate the enthusiasm the studios hoped for, which ultimately diverted all interest away from this kind of storytelling. Until interests and quality are once again raised to the level that an epic biblical narrative deserves, it is very unlikely that producers and studios would be willing to invest in a story like the one submitted here, at least for the time being.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Performer in Me

The Performer in Me

Brittany, here.
You know me. You've heard my voice. You've seen my posts.
Or you have absolutely no idea who I am.

I'll give you a little clue: I'm a stay-at-home mother, now. With a long list of credentials behind me, I accepted my divine calling and had two children back to back, with a third on the way!! I'm delighted to be able to continue two of my passions, writing and doing hair, which I can do from my home.

I've published two novels and do hair part-time. This brings me a great joy, but understand that most of my time is spent devoted to rearing up my children in truth and light. That's my number one priority.

Besides that, my passions include all spectrums of ART.
I've grown up in the performance arts.
I like to paint, take pictures, make vlogs.
I LOVE singing, dancing, and acting.
I've done all of the above since I could walk.
I began writing at eighteen, after graduating cosmetology school.
I spent a decade as a very successful cosmetologist, and then decided to stay home with my children and pursue my writing career.
With a bit of acting under my belt, I've also decided to rebirth my acting skills and take some acting classes. Hopefully, by the time my children are in school and I have a lot of free time, I can get some auditions! That would be a dream.

In the meantime, my third novel and the final installment in my Conquest of Canaan series will come out this winter. Yay!
I have another series you guys will DIE over, and it will soon be ready for publication when I finish up this winter. Super exciting stuff.

Yep I'm one of those nerds who likes "it all". Honestly, it probably means I'm not fantastic at any one thing, but I'm fairly at several, and I'm thankful every day for my talents and blessings.
(Just don't ask me to do math)

I'm so ecstatic to freshen up my performer's resume and see where this new journey takes me. I'm happy to get back to some of my passions, including giving birth to my third child this September. WAHOO! After publishing all of my books, and squeezing in some acting classes, I plan on finishing up all the novels as screenplays, submitting them to production companies, and then composing the film score for Conquest of Canaan. Yep, I also write music...needs some growth, but hey, I'm always up for learning.

Go me.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

It was Only a game: David A Bednar on social Media

I've not been quiet about my feelings on social media, namely Facebook. (Nothing personal to The founder)
It has been apparent to me that technology, while offering so much good, offers--also--so much evil. And the more people entertain themselves with it, the more desensitized they become. Example: movies seem more appropriate, music isn't as bothersome, it's now four hours a day on Facebook instead of twenty minutes. Etc.

I have read a LIFE CHANGING book by David A Bednar, titled Increase in Learning. I highly recommend it. Every word in this book was absent in my youth, and had I known of these things, I would have made very different choices. Not that I regret my life. That's for another blog post. Today I want to focus on Bendar's comments on the evil of technology, specifically the time dwelling on it instead of in real life, and how it is a misuse of our physical bodies as temples of God.

"A simulation or model can lead to spiritual impairment and danger if the fidelity is high and the purposes are bad--such as experimenting with actions contrary to God's commandments or enticing us to think or do things we would not otherwise think or do 'because it is only a game.'

I raise an apostolic voice of warning about the potentially stifling, suffocating...impact some kinds of cyberspace interactions and experiences have on our souls. I plead with you to be aware of the sense-dulling and spiritually destructive influence of cyberspace technologies that are used to produce high fidelity and that promote degrading and evil purposes. 

Please be careful of becoming so immersed in and engrossed in pixels, texting, earbuds, twittering, online social networking, and potentially addictive uses of media and the Internet that you fail to recognize the importance of your physical body and miss the richness of person to person communication.

Progressively, seemingly innocent entertainment can become a form of pernicious enslavement.

I am not suggesting all technology is inherently bad; it is not. But I am raising a warning voice that we should not squander and damage authentic relationships by obsessing over contrived ones. 'Nearly 40% of men and 53% of women who play online games said their virtual friends were equal to or better than their real life friends.' -a recent survey of 30,000 gamers.

I implore you to turn away immediately from such places and activities.

Ask yourself these questions:
1. Does the use of various technologies and media invite or impede the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost in your life?
2. Does the time you spend using various technologies and media enlarge or restrict your capacity to live, love, and to serve in meaningful ways?"

For me, when I read these questions, particularly number one, I was astonished. This is exactly why several years ago I deactivated my private Facebook account. For me, is was impeding the spirit in my life. I find it amazing, a miracle really, that I had received personal revelation for my life regarding social media, before reading this book. I know it's a powerful tool in today's market. Social Media Marketing is A Thing!! It's a job position! But it is not for me, not even recreationally. I have even immensely limited my time on my one social media platform, and keep it abnormally private. I am trying to safe guard it, and my life, and the spirit I want in my life.

I've also always been somewhat offended by people who only contact me on Facebook. They only message me or invite me places through Facebook. They throw bridal showers or birthday parties through Facebook. I am hurt that picking up a phone and calling, a step beyond texting, is so rare. It means so much to me. I loath the use of Facebook these days, and I know for me in my life it was imperative I get off--and stay off--that virtual world.

It is a huge turn off to me when I meet someone obsessed with their phone. Who really knows what they're doing on it!? I had a coworker once who I thought would make an ideal friend...until, several weeks after they were hired and our friendship began, I realized their severe addiction to their phone. I mean they were ALWAYS nose deep in their phone. This person said they were "working" or checking "Facebook" or on "Periscope" or "networking", always valid excuses for the virtual user, but to me it all said: I DONT CARE ABOUT INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS.
It was so sad to me and honestly I could NOT make a friendship go further. I cannot connect with or get to know, trust, love, and serve someone who is stuck in their virtual reality. I try. Call it a weakness of mine. I struggle a lot with being patient and understanding with these people. This person fit the bill of David A Bednar's words of losing touch and spending so much time in an unreal world.

I've gotten into arguments with people before who were very offended by ME because I deleted them from "friends" lists. It was as if I told them I hated them, because we couldn't be friends on Facebook or Instagram. It was such a confusion to me, because if you don't call, text, visit, send birthday cards. Or even know my favorite color, how can you call me a friend?? What then is the purpose of a social media connection? Nothing good, I can tell you that. It is nothing personal or malicious to delete a "friend", I simply protect my life and want people who really truly love me to be the ones involved. I never want to get wrapped up in the popularity contest. I want people to care about me OUTSIDE of virtual reality. 

Lastly, I knew when it got to a point where I would snap at my kids for interrupting me, when I was doing something on my phone, even answering an email, I knew it was time to refocus. I know compared to past generations I am still on my phone a lot, too much. I hope to continue getting better and despite trends focus on what matters. Real life.
I thank David A Bednar for this book, and ALL of the information I read that I have missed out on all these years. I hope you find time to read it!

Brittany Shannon


Saturday, February 18, 2017

Practice the Pause

I'm sure I'm the only human who suffers from knee-jerk reactions. Right?
(Ahem)

 What I mean by knee-jerk reactions is that characteristic or quality we inherited from our parents or other environmental surroundings, that have taught us how to respond in the world. I've discovered the simple solution that helps me face these knee-jerk reactions, such as impatience or anger or even anxiety, which I really suffer from.

For me, I "Practice the Pause".
When stresses, pause.
When in doubt, pause.
When scared, pause.
When angry, pause.
And when you pause, PRAY.

Prayer has been a difficult skill for me to acquire. I wasn't gifted with it, and I went years, I mean roughly twenty years, believing my prayers were either
A. Ignored
B. Not heard.

It was a hurtful twenty years. But I was the one ignorantly causing that hurt. Prayer was just a skill I needed to practice and refine. I was really desperate to learn to control my emotions, my negative ones, maybe even some positive ones. The best way I could do that was to PAUSE. In that pause, it was important for me to pray in the ways I'd studied and practice listening for an answer or watching for it. I studied a lot of psychology, too. Which helped on a mortal level understand the human body and mind. With that, I studied the spiritual side of humans. I learned how to combine them for the ultimate prayer experience.

As with any life change, something that is required is total surrender. It's hard. It's painful. I describe it as walking into a furnace, at your own will and discretion. You know there is fire. You know it will burn. Yet, you also know it is only going to hurt for a moment before you are melted and refined. Suddenly, you are your purest self. In this pure form, you can easily recognize the spirit of God and prayer comes more naturally.

I faced a honest surrender over the last few years. It was a weirdly wonderfully painful journey. In many ways, I "lost" myself. I lost my mortal self, and found my divine self. The self God intended me to be. I know I have many more years to go--AND GROW--but it brings me peace, this new realm of PAUSE.

I encourage you to face the furnace. Be prepared for the sting, but know it is temporary. And the sweet comfort that comes after, and the monumental growth, is beyond worth it.

Share with me your stories of PAUSE!
Brittany Shannon