Mother Martyr Myth

I am the mother of two wonderful, spirited, precious, little girls. They are 1 and 3. According to most mothers - this will be an interesting time in my life.

Apparently, it will be close to Dante's seventh circle of hell.

What I find more shocking is that no matter WHAT my children's age, I generally do not get many varying views on the stage of life that my children (or I) am about to enter. It is always the same. Fits, rage, sleepless nights, plague, winged horses...I mean, the way most people describe motherhood one would think it is the never-ending apocalypse.

Why are all stages of childhood (and therefore motherhood) treated with such disdain and loathing and dread and well, as martyrdom?

I was at the post office with my girls the other day (speaking of Dante's seventh circle...). I was expecting the worst. Let's face it, no one expects the BEST when they go to the post office, let alone walking in with two small children. And you know what, it was GREAT. My oldest skipped around quietly singing her ABCs and we played a counting game while her little sister looked on. That entertained us for our entire 45 minute venture. Were we still. No. Were we silent. No. We were content and not a screaming, crying mess. I count this as a win.

The mere presence of my children opened other mothers waiting in line to volunteering that they also had children, their children's current ages, and most often the comment, "'current age' is the worst." The same thing happened to me today. I was minding my own business, enjoying my kiddos' behavior - they have lately been rockstars - and was subjected to unsolicited griping about how kids are X and Y and Z and motherhood is just BLA BLA BLA.

I chose to be a mother. I prayed to be a mother. God has made me a mother.

Is it the easiest thing I have ever done? No.
Is is the hardest? Yes.
Does that give me the right (or everyone else on the planet who has been a parent) to grumble and complain? No.

Moms, stop talking bad about kids and parenting and motherhood.

Hint: Kids have ears and pick up on what you are saying.

When I whisper praises about my oldest to others, you bet your corndog that she picks up on those compliments, feels loved, and acts like the little cherished piece of awesome that she is. When I speak words of anger and meanness and regret over her or near her...well, Dante's seventh circle commences.

So many women today talk about motherhood as though they are martyrs. Oh, the sacrifices. If motherhood is such a huge sacrifice, your priorities might be a bit skewed. These martyr moms generally complain about their life and then crap all over other moms' good days. They think it's some kind of awesome power trip to dash the hopes and dreams and joy of new mothers who look into the grand adventure with glass half full.


Putting down motherhood, your children, and being "realistic," does not make you better - it just makes you bitter.

Today, I will try very hard to look into the face of motherhood and laugh and giggle and dance and sing and maybe cry and be a mess (if that is what the situation calls for). But I will not grumble. I will not try and put myself up on a cross and project that my life as a first world mother of two is SO HARD.

It's not.

I encourage all you other mothers to flee the temptation to grumble or be bitter or make your "hard" life a bigger deal than it is by incessantly talking about it.

Just grow up and be a mom - not a martyr.

* I say these things as much to myself as to my readers. No one is completely guiltless when it comes to griping. However, this is an overall trend I see and experience in our culture (even among Christians) and it is unhealthy and needs to stop. 


Follow Me

I use a lot of paper. I always have.

My Dad (one of the original computer geeks) was thrilled when the original "paint" program came on the market because (as he told me) it might save the planet a few trees and our family budget several dollars.

I feel like I have always had a lot to say...or express. I've always been full of _________.







(And at times what most of you were naturally inclined to finish that sentence with)

I'm not special. I don't claim any privileged knowledge or wisdom. I don't try to preach or even teach. Most of the time the reason I write is to process out loud (thanks, James Miller for putting it into those terms).

I figure that most moms spend a lot of their time living in the beautiful chaos of family and have a few moments each day when we can really process What is happening in our lives and the lives of our families and HEAR God.

This is where I hear God.

A lot of people have written and told me that they have really been touched by the past few posts that I have written (Dear Daughter & Bad Jesus).

Thank you. I am so glad that they spoke to you. They speak to me too.

If you like what you have read, I invite you to follow my blog. I invite you to share in the things that God is speaking to my heart. I invite you to make this a place where you can comment and talk and write back and respond.

I'm embarking on some new seasons and cannot wait. Maybe you are in the same place? 


Bad Jesus

Tonight I put my oldest to bed rather quickly. We sung our songs and prayed our prayers and kissed our kisses, but I just wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible.

See, I've been on single-momma duty for the past few days (hubs is traveling for work) and this afternoon my throat began this strange tickle that morphed into what feels like full-blown strep. I say these things to set the stage and provide the context that I'm not 100% on my "mom" game. By this evening, I was admittedly phoning it in.

So, when after about 10 minutes of solitude, I began to hear the ominous and repeated opening and shutting of a particular door, I was in no mood to be met with the sweet smile of a girl who lied straight to my face informed me that she needed to go potty.

So. I breathed heavy and even did a bit of grumbling while getting her onto the potty. I might have been unkind in my response when she picked poo out of her undies and held it up to my face to demonstrate that she had had an accident. I most definitely shushed her when she started singing at the top of her lungs (as she often does) while sitting on the potty....serenading her bowels to move. So, in response...my sensitive, but highly intelligent daughter resorted to story-telling.

"Once upon a time, I was sitting on the potty nice and still and mommy was yelling at me. The End."

Yep. And there you have it folks. I am a bad Jesus.

See, God calls us to be His hands and feet. We should also be Jesus to those around us. Ministering. Loving. Teaching. Healing.  Jesus ministered to the dirty, the faithless, the wicked, the impure...I mean, he ministered to the demon-possessed. And while I'm sure his truth felt like a piercing sword to the soul...I'm pretty sure those He healed didn't run off singing, "I was pretty messed up and gross and Jesus yelled at me. The End." Not at all. They praised and told of His miraculous works.

At this point in my life motherhood (my children) is my ministry. They are who I am supposed to be Jesus too the MOST...logistically, I'm just with them more than anyone else. And this should be so EASY.

I birthed them. I know them. They are part of me. They are innocent. They are most of the time clean and have this delicious smell...

So, why do I fail so often?

I get impatient with their failures or lack of comprehension. I really don't like being near their messiness...sticky hands, poo bottoms, snot noses. I take it personally when they lie or disobey. I want to be alone. I don't want to be sought or touched or held or talked to. Sometimes the fact that my oldest thinks life is a musical can grate on the nerves. I want to runaway in the hard moments. Oh, thank God that I am not their Jesus.

See, I will show my daughters glimpses of Jesus, but the fact of the matter is that all I can offer them is my unconditional love. I can hold them in my own broken arms. I can look into their faces and lives and see me - my struggles, my sins. But mostly, I stand next to my daughters and tell them...Yes, Momma really needs Jesus too. We all need a Savior.

Thank God that I am not Him.   

Because Jesus looks through the failures, He comes close to the mess. Our disobedience and sin  break His heart, but he still let's us seek Him and find Him and talk to Him and praise Him. He never runs away in the hard moments.

Oh, Thank you God for my Jesus and help me to be more like Him.


Dear Daughter, You are not a princess...

 Dear Sweet Girl,

You will hear a lot of lies in this life. You will hear lies from the society and culture around you and because it is made up of humans, you will hear lies from the church. I pray that you are wise and familiar enough with the the Word to be able to recognize false teaching when you encounter it...until then, however, it is my job to do that.

It has become a common thread in Christian culture today to think of women, young ladies, and girls as princesses. And while I love to see you twirl and feel beautiful having a high regard for your value and worth - relishing in the person that God created you to be, and while it is difficult for me to tell you this...

You are not a princess.

Princesses are beautiful. They emphasize their dress and countenance. They find tradition, good breeding, and etiquette to be paramount. A Princess cultivates talents and strengths as a way to display her worth. A Princess lives in a castle away from the lesser peoples. A Princess waits on her Prince...and most of the time in her story, once all of this has happened, a princess lives "happily ever after."  
You are a daughter of the King and while in earthly title it may make you a "princess," in spiritual reality it makes you a warrior.

 A Warrior has her own beauty. She has calloused skin on her fingers from holding a bow. Her nails are short and practical. Her hair is pulled away from her face so she can see impending attack. She covers herself in dirt for camouflage. A Warrior puts on armor everyday. She clothes herself in dignity and protects the dignity of those around her.

A Warrior finds justice and truth to be paramount and seeks after those things with every waking breath. She cultivates the fruit of the spirit and uses her skills to display the majesty of the King and His Kingdom. A Warrior knows her strengths, she knows her weakness, she is aware of her worth and it is no more or no less than any other person in service of the King.

A Warrior lives in the camp. She sees the hardships of the village. She stands beside the orphan and the widow and she fights for them. A Warrior stands and speaks for those who have no standing, for those who have no voice.

A Warrior needs no prince to fulfill her mission. A Warrior has her King. She waits on His move. On His voice. On His will.

A Warrior knows that her life here will not be easy - even if she obeys and is loyal to the King, she knows her life is a fight. She knows that her "happily" is in the ever after.

My Girl. You are so much more than a princess. You are God's warrior. You are His hands and Feet. Take heart...and fight.

I love you.


What Makes a Marriage

Last night my husband and I were sitting next to each other on the couch watching what most would consider to be pretty terrible SciFi. The girls had gone to bed and we were just soaking in the peace and quiet and "superheroes." Somehow or another we got to talking about love. I asked my husband if he believed in the soul-mate hypothesis - there being ONE perfect person out there for everyone. I am personally a believer that he is my perfect match. He replied, "No," with a chuckle. He was probably laughing at the look on my face because it was a mix of semi-shock and sadness. How sad that he does not think I am his perfect person. He quickly noted my reaction and went onto explain..."None of us is perfect. And none of us is perfect for another." I went onto caveat that I thought he was who God had planned me for and vice-versa. He conceded to this argument.

Today, we celebrate our eighth year of marriage...and all the good and bad that have come with it. And it does remind me as I reflect upon our life together that we are indeed NOT at all perfect for one another. He is absolutely not what I had in mind for my husband when I met him...and I have it on good authority that as he got to know me and we began dating and even during our engagement, he thought I was absolutely nuts. I believe he phrased it, "I either had to marry you or go into hiding." And that's about how it was.

As we have grown up together these past several years though, I have realized over and over again that my hubs is not what I wanted, he's not even what I would consider as "perfect," but he was and is and will continue to be everything that God needs him to be in my life - what I need him to be in my life. I am the same for him.

The entire concept of covenant marriage and the sacredness of it...the very sacrament would be lost if we had married into perfection. But we willingly stepped into imperfection and said, "I will love this and protect this and cherish this and honor this with my whole heart." And that's what we have tried to do. That's what Christ did. And that is why marriage is such a wonderful depiction of His love for us...the Church.

So, if you are celebrating or mourning or struggling or fighting through...take heart and know that you are living out the love of Christ.

Thank you, sweet husband. You have and always will be such a wonderful depiction of Christ's love for me. 


Well...in a handbasket

I'm not a recluse.

I like music. I like clothing. I like fashion. I read PEOPLE from time and time and generally am a wealth of pop-culture knowledge. And for my husband's sake, I'm fairly well-versed on the Geek front...also, another post.

I say this because even as a Christian (living in the world, but not being of it) - not much shocks me. You know, truly shocks me and shakes me to the core and bothers me. In fact, I would probably have to confess that the majority of things that get under other people's skin seem to run past me (or saunter by) unnoticed.

But this afternoon, I was watching some television. Someone referenced this song "Blurred Lines." Not being a top 40 aficionado, I googled it and watched the video on Youtube.

HOLY. CRAP. okay...not so much "holy," but definitely crap. For real. Naked. Ladies. IN A MUSIC VIDEO. That KIDS see. I ended up looking into Robin Thicke (the artist who recorded this song and video) and watching a few interviews that he has done on the subject. He said that they (the dudes behind the video) thought it would be "funny" and that his wife even came up with a lot of the ideas for what the girls should be doing. Which include running (topless), holding farm animals (topless), sitting on a goat (wearing plastic), riding a bike (topless), getting their hair pulled (by men while topless)...

So my question is...."Funny" to WHO?

Maybe it's funny for the prepubescent or pubescent boy that now thinks that women as objects is okay and better than okay completely acceptable and normal.

Maybe it's funny for the prepubescent or pubescent girl that now thinks - "Oh, that's how I am supposed to act." Oh, and if a guy treats me that way it is completely acceptable and NORMAL?!

Maybe it's funny for...


At least it shouldn't be. We should all be appalled and deeply concerned for a culture that thinks the devaluation of the majority of it's population is "funny." We should think it horrifying that in a Westernized country (where the reality for women is not at all as bad as in places like the Middle east, Asia, India, and Africa) the mocking of such inequality & abuse of women is seen as "trendy," "hip," and (oh, my) "funny."

It is a tragedy. It is so very heart-breaking.

So, today - I will be opening my eyes to these cultural norms of ours - and instead of letting them saunter by me unnoticed...I'm going look them in the eye and tell them exactly where they can go.