Thursday, September 27, 2012

Is that REALLY what moms are talking about!?

Last February, I joined the social networking site, CaféMom, to talk with other moms about life’s struggles as a first-time mom and stepmom.  I thought it would be a good place to get wisdom from those that have gone before me.  Within CaféMom are different “groups” you can join to chat with moms that are similar to you, i.e. 30-something moms, first-time moms, step-moms, etc.  There is an option to get a daily email called “CafeMom Daily,” that has three main sections.  First, “Community: What Moms are talking about today.”  This features different group’s hot discussions within CafeMom.  Next, “Video: What Moms are Watching Today.”  Lastly, “Today’s Stories, What Moms are Reading Today.”  This section features about five blogs on what moms are reading.

At first, I looked forward to this email that came around 6 every evening.  After mine and Ella’s nighttime routine, I would have CaféMom time.  I first read the community section, skipped over the video section, then finished with the reading section.  As time went on I thought to myself, “Is this REALLY what moms are talking about?”

Often, the community is section is filled with moms bashing each other for not breastfeeding, or  for breastfeeding, co-sleeping, or not co-sleeping, vaccinating or not vaccinating.  Or, the headline would read, “Can you believe she said THAT!?”   I must admit that a few times, and most recently with the election, there were some interesting, non-gossipy conversations such as, “What would you change first if elected president?” 

So, the community section isn’t what got me thinking.  It was the reading section.  Everyday there is something about 50 Shades of Grey, Teen Mom, or Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson.  After a few weeks, I began to think,”Is this really what moms are concerned about?  This is what interests them?” They want to gossip about teenage mothers, not because they care and want to help, but because they want to know who they are dating now?  Or if they are in rehab?  Or if they have a new boyfriend?  Really?  EVERYDAY…Kristen Stewart is sad.  Robert Pattinson is mad.  K-Rob make up.  Kristen moves in with Rob.  Rob moves out of Kristen’s home.  REALLY?  “The Christian Grey of your fantasy can finally be yours!”  Really?  IS THIS REALLY WHAT WE CARE ABOUT MOMS?

I had to admit to myself that yes, I was concerned about many unimportant things.  I filled my mind every night with women bickering over breastfeeding while kids are being kidnapped and put on the sex slave market.  I read women’s opinions on whether this lady should go to this other lady’s baby shower because, after all, it was the THIRD shower for their THIRD GIRL.  I mean, really!  At the end of the day I had to ask myself, does any of this matter?

Where were the discussions on a nuclear Iran?  Where were the discussions on becoming an honest professional that fights against the moral decay in the corporate workplace?  Where were the discussions on the sex slave industry?  Where were the discussions on being healthy, mind, body and soul?  Don’t get me wrong.  If you dug deep within the groups, you could find a worthwhile conversation, but they were not featured on the daily emails.  They were not recognized as what “moms are reading.”  And…I don’t want to be one of those moms.

I also receive another blog email daily called “SteadyMom.”  This is written by a woman named Jamie who is “on a journey toward intentional, professional motherhood.”  Her blogs are consistently filled with content that matters.  Her husband is involved in stopping the exploitation of children in the sex industry.  They have three children, one biological, one adopted from India, and one adopted from Africa.  She homeschools.  She plays in the woods with her children and makes tents in the backyard.  She writes books.  She loves God.  She is present…and she doesn’t care if Kristen cheats on Rob.

I was delighted to read one of her blogposts from 2009 titled, Thoughts on Blogging.  Here is an excerpt that is the cry of my heart:
And since my goal is to live with intention, I can't focus my blog on the unimportant. 
- I can't do it, because I know too much.
- I can't do it, because I've stood in the sweltering heat of an African orphanage holding a sick-with-malaria, starving child in my arms. My son, Elijah. He survived, but over 3,000 African children each day die from the same disease.
- I can't do it, because last night I cried alongside my little girl as she talked about four years in an orphanage waiting for a family. "Nobody came to get me; it took too long." 
I know the number of children still waiting at her "India House," and that millions of orphans with broken stories, empty bellies, and aching hearts are suffering tonight.
- I can't do it, because I know that even as I type this post, thousands of children are being raped and abused at the hands of predators around the world, and that two children are sold into sexual slavery every minute.”
 I, too, know too much.  I’ve seen too much.  And I’ve tasted too much of God.  Although, I enjoy fashion, follow Big Ang Raiola on twitter, and even have felt, “Can you believe she said that!?” it’s not fully who I am.  It’s not what consumes my every thought.  It’s not what this mom is talking about.  It’s not what I want my darling daughter to be consumed with. 
 My top five list of “Today’s Stories: What Moms are Reading Today,” would look like this:
1) Sisterhood Dinner to raise awareness of the human trafficking industry:  Can this mom get six people to commit to sitting at her host table?
2) Premier Design’s Jewelry: How one mom is working a second part-time job that actually creates more revenue and time to raise her daughter.
3) Israel 101 Tour: How one husband and wife team are partnering with an international ministry to stop persecution of Jews and the State of Israel.
4) Distractions: One mom reevaluates her life’s goals to add more intentional spots of her day versus internet filled mind numbness.
5) Debt:  Fighting your way out of it can be as annoying as escaping a wet paper bag.
I’m no better than any of these other women.  I just want more.  I want to rescue people from hurting situations.  I want my money to go to changing the world.  I want to discuss deep issues.  I want to read the bible.  I want to worship.  Thrive.  Live.
So, I have chosen to leave CaféMom because I am not becoming a better mom from being on it, and trust me, I have a long way to go.  I am staying on Steady Mom because at the end of the day, Jamie is trying to become what I am trying to become.  She has arrived at a lot of places that I haven’t yet.  Now, in Jamie’s blog, her annoyance was at mom’s love for fashion, while there are so many hurting people to rescue.  For this mom, that’s taking it too far.  I will be rescuing people and challenging the status quo, but I’ll be wearing fashionable boots and earrings while doing it.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Mourning-A Simple Truth God is Teaching Me

“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” Romans 12:15

For the most part, it’s easy for me to rejoice when others rejoice.  If I find myself being jealous, I ask God to remove it and replace it with genuine happiness or I find something I can genuinely compliment the person on to extinguish the jealous feeling I have.  However, mourning with those that are mourning does not come naturally to me and I would venture to say that it does not come naturally for others either.

Yes, many of us can feel sad for someone who is going through a hard time, but that is different than mourning.  When a person is experiencing tragedy, often, we want to fix it.  We don’t want to enter into their pain with them.  It’s too uncomfortable.  We want to wipe away their tears, offer a quick solution, pat them on the bum, and send them on the way.  This is not bible love.  Bible love is to mourn with those that mourn.  Reflect on that.

The word, “mourn,” is typically used to describe grieving over death; to lament.  This is mourning over all types of death; death of a pet, spouse, child, miscarriage and even abortion.  We are called to come along side the mourner and grieve with them; not offer pat answers, not offer bible verses, but to grieve.  It is not up to us to determine how long the grieving process should take.  We are just to mourn as long as they mourn; to enter in, to feel the pain.  Through this we become closer with our Lord who was “a man acquainted with grief,” Isaiah 53:3. 

Get uncomfortable.  Embrace the silence.  Become painfully beautiful and mourn.

Sunday, September 16, 2012


Life and death are a divine dance, complimenting one another, both crippling our hearts and causing our tongues to cling to the roof of our mouths.

In the same way, Love brings out crazy, as does death.  The mourner is filled with a gut-turning sickness, as is the love sick soul.

Jealousy ferociously encompasses both love and death.  They bring emotions to the forefront that neither giver nor recipient knew could exist.

A whirlwind of emotions swirl in elated joy for the lover, while the darkened whirlwind stirs up the deep wells of sadness for the griever.

Love and hate; birth and death; fear and faith; are two sides of the same coin.

They are dangerously safe, when you cling to the Lion of Judah.

In the midst of this saga, the Lord, stands with His countenance of calming confidence, bringing peace and soundness to both situations.

A baby from the birthing unit passes the dying great grandmother on her way to the ICU and the circle of life continues, as we look forward to eternity.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Simple Bible Love

Picking up the bible for the first time, second time or thousandth time can be overwhelming.  It is a beautifully ancient book comprised of 66 books of powerful inspiration.  All the books were written by Jewish people except one, and that author's heritage could be debated.  The original was written in two languages, Greek and Hebrew.  Most of it is over two thousand years old.  There are many theologies to learn, many camps to pitch your spiritual tent in, but the overarching theme is love.

When Yeshuah came on the scene, only the Older Testament existed.  When He was asked what the greatest command was, His response was, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself.”  Yeshuah was a rabbi who knew the Torah like the back of His hand.  When all was said and done He said, “It’s all about loving God first, then loving people.”  I think that the Lord knew that we humans would have a hard time comprehending that simplicity.  That’s why I believe Paul was led to write 1 Corinthians chapter 13.  The definition of biblical love is spelled out for us. 
“Love is patient,

Love is kind,

It does not envy,

It does not boast,

It is not proud,

It is not rude,

It is not self-seeking,

It is not easily angered,

It keeps no record of wrongs.

Love does not delight in evil,

But rejoices with the truth.

It always protects,

Always trusts,

Always hopes,

Always perseveres.

Love never fails…”

If we have any doubt what love is, it is spelled out for us.  It is not enough to memorize this verse, we must DO this verse.  When you are responding to someone’s hatred of you, ask yourself, “Am I being kind?”  When your child spills his cheerios on the floor for the first (not the hundredth) time, ask yourself, “Am I easily angered?”  When your waiter brings you water instead of Sprite, chicken instead of steak, blue cheese instead of ranch, in your reaction, ask yourself, “Am I being rude?”  When you have fasted and prayed for someone for a week, but nothing is changing and you want to give up, ask yourself, “Am I being patient?”  Always ask yourself before you speak, before you post on facebook, before you write that email or letter, before you write someone off, before you judge someone for not being holy enough, “Am I being loving?”  After all, that’s what being a Christian is all about.