Meet Big Ocean: Ali

img_7604“I had no idea how much a mom’s influence had on a child until my mom passed away,” Ali stated. For Ali, her conviction about the importance of the maternal influence was solidified as she looked back on having lived most of her childhood with her mom and all of her adolescent years without her. “Even though my dad was amazing and extremely dedicated to his children, really the perfect man to take on both roles of being a mom and a dad, nothing ever replaces a mom in your life.” It is early memories of how her mom mothered, and the character traits her mom worked to build in her, that shaped Ali’s perspective and that has solidified her strong position about the importance of family, motherhood, and service. “My mom was completely dedicated to her role as a mother and teaching us responsibility through chores, responsibility, and a lot of love.”

Growing up, her father was a criminal defense lawyer fighting injustice and later became a judge, working tirelessly for the right. Ali was taught from an early age the importance of standing up for what you believe in and fighting for it. “My family history is full of people who have stood up for their convictions; growing up we were taught to stand up for what we believed in and to use the correct paths to make that change happen.” sw6a7987

Ali grew up in Las Vegas, and, after graduating from high school, she attended Brigham Young University. As a freshman she was set up on a blind date with a young man that would eventually become her husband, but many life events would shape the young couple before their big day. At 22 she traveled to Chile and volunteered her time teaching the people about Jesus Christ and serving in the community. After returning from Chile she and her husband continued to date, were engaged, and married a short time later. As a family they have lived in five states and currently have four beautiful children with another on the way (due on Halloween).

untitled-6604If you were sit down and have a talk to Ali, her calm demeanor and gentle conversation style would endear you quickly to her. She is a lover of the arts, enjoying music, singing, dancing, and theater. Her loves also include photography, hanging out with friends, home decorating, and playing in the outdoors with her family. She loves being a mother and the relationship she is able to develop with each one of her children is precious to her.

Finding and being a part of Big Ocean Women has been life changing for Ali. “Big Ocean Women has changed my life in huge ways. I would never be having this last baby if it wasn’t for my involvement with Big Ocean Women.” Ali was introduced to Big Ocean Women by a friend, Jennifer Spooner, who also has a love for motherhood, family, and mothering her children. Ali has attended “The Commission on the Status of Women” at the UN twice and has found them life changing.untitled-8276 “Going to the UN and meeting people, hearing firsthand what is happening around the world, making connections with individuals from every walk of life, and being surrounded by pressing and important issues is the best education anyone could have.” It was at the UN that Ali found that working in the community may be a tiny drop in an ocean but that we can all have a great impact on the world around us.  

While Ali does not see herself as strongly political, she does know that her strong conviction of the family, and defending the well-being of it, is her catalyst for getting politically involved. Ali has embraced the political atmosphere of the day and with her Big Ocean Women’s cottage worked to bring understanding and change to the Arizona community she lives in. Ali’s conviction in the importance of mothers in the lives of children and knowledge that no one can replace the influence a mother has over a child has been a driving force in her work in the community. Leading her cottage, she has visited legislators, city councils, mayors, school boards, and worked in the community educating others about the impact of transgender bathrooms in the schools, community, and for the youth of today. Using her niece’s experience with transgender bathroom in her school, Ali was able to help other see the results of such a ruling. az-cottage11692626_10152838092900728_1289189155128390481_n

In line with Ali’s strong conviction about the importance of family, the issue of abortion and creation of life is of great importance to Ali. Ali commented that she aligns most closely with Big Ocean Women’s second tenet which is, “We are empowered by our feminine nature and biology, and we honor our procreative power. “ While discussing the topic she commented, “I always get emotional about abortion — the right of unborn children.” It was at the UN that her exposure to how large the issue is across the world made an even greater impact on Ali’s thoughts and views about the subject.

“I believe that women need to know how to help so they can make a difference in their home, community and world.” Ali feels that Big Ocean allows women the path to education, knowledge and awareness of community and world needs. It is with this education that women can then speak up more, do more, and bring awareness of hard issues to the right people. “Cottages help women gain this training and are a way to reach into the community. Big Ocean encourages women to start in their own home and then move into their community and beyond.” untitled-8190

Ali’s dedication to motherhood and family is evident in every aspect of her life. Her work in her home, community, and state encourages others to become aware of family issues and the importance of standing up for personal convictions.

 

Lisa Bjorn