Thursday, April 19, 2012

KONY 2012---why the hatred?

We have been following Invisible Children's work now for awhile and the recent media uproar both gets me excited and disgruntled. I find it very alarming that anytime anything gets put in the lime light through popular interest people attack it viciously. This is not a new thing. It seems that we have been doing this for as long as I can remember now.

I think about politics. Wow. Everyone supports the presidential candidate and then as soon as he is elected, he is scrutinized and hated (as well as before he is elected). I am not always in the favor of the president's views, opinions and policies either, but what happened to a certain amount of respect for one of our own?

I think about celebs. Everyone loved Justin Bieber and sent him on a unprecedented rise to the top and now he is loathed by many and has even become an embarrassment, my hairstylist commenting on how she tries not to give the "Bieber" cut to her guy clients. (Though I agree Michelle!) There are so many anti-Bieber websites and movements.

What is with this hateful backlash? It makes me feel like I should join in on the bashing or be mocked and ridiculed myself. It is a "grown-up" form of bullying.

I think about the recent popularity of the KONY 2012 film campaign. Whose view count this morning was over 87 million.  This thing has totally blown up world wide. Before it got this huge my husband had signed a contract with them to bring their film to a local brewery (The Livery) here in town. The people we have dealt with are all about our age (20's) and volunteer to make this happen at venues and schools and churches and organizations all over the country and have been for several years.

Most likely one or two of them will be sleeping on our couch while here. This is why I love their mission. It is literally so close to home. They are bringing advocacy to this issue of justice to the inside of our four walls and our hearts. I am glad they got really "popular".

I'm not going to pretend like they aren't cool anymore. Or that their mission and strategy is flawed to a serious fault. Or even that I have a better idea of how we could resolve saving these innocent children from the world's top international criminal. Because even if I do have a better idea (and trust me I have opinions), am I doing any of them right now? Nope.

They are taking this from "the land of talk, to the land of do". I stand by them in this.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

:::Reporting Back:::

My Lent sacrifice experiment spending
only $14 for a weeks' worth of groceries.

First chapter of my book...?

Here's a little sneak preview of a book I've been working on...with the Lord's help I will finish it. One of these days. Only the names are changed to protect the innocent. Haha!

:::::::::: LESSON ONE:::::::::::
Congratulations. You are a mother now.

I will never forget how I became a mother. Ok, not so much that part. Although that was nice I suppose. But when I actually gave birth. The whole thing began as a disappointment. I guess I mean... it was different than what I expected. You know that book, What to expect when you are expecting? yeah...about that.

Expectations = a love affair with an unrealistic idea that slowly attaches itself to my heart like a malignancy.

When Gavin was born, everything was different than how I imagined it. My ideas and visions of victoriously giving birth %100 drug free to the most perfect little boy the world had ever laid eyes on were dashed in a matter of moments. The first surprise came at 3AM lying in bed next to my husband amidst a sea of boxes, all packed up and freshly scribbled in sharpie, ‘bedroom’ and ‘frag-ee-lay’.

At first I thought I was peeing myself. Warm liquid was trickling out of me and then as I woke up I screamed, “Ahh, I’m peeing! I can’t stop!” I managed to roll out of bed when I realized that it was probably my water breaking. I had never seen so much fluid come out of me before.

“Is this what it was supposed to be like? Why had I never thought to put rubber sheets on our memory foam mattress? And why is this happening right now? My due date is not for another 4 weeks! How are we going to move out tomorrow if I’m giving birth!”

We were scheduled in less than 5 hours to have a whole crew of people come over and move us into our new house (our first home we bought). I hadn’t even set up the nursery, or the kitchen. We didn’t have appliances. This was not the vision I had seen so vividly in my mind.

It’s almost humorous isn’t it? It’s like the God of the universe knows just what a control freak I am. So much so, that I pushed and fought to buy our perfect home before the baby came, so that we would have our perfect white picket life all laid out like a pressed church outfit on the bed. I was just waiting on the little bundle to be handed into my perfectly folded arms, fresh fuchsia mom fingernails glistening in the morning sun that filtered through the hospital window.

So here I was, sitting in a puddle of juice, walled in by towers of chiquita banana boxes and a wide-eyed, freaked out husband frantically throwing shampoo bottles and toothbrushes into a  Wal-mart bag. I’d say a pretty good little Saturday so far.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Who is the best Mom?

Recently I have become acutely aware of the competitive nature of Moms. Not only do we want others to believe that we have it together, we want people to get the impression that we are even better mothers than they are.

Has anyone else felt compelled to parade your motherhood in a rather perfect light? Or felt it was your duty to air your opinion without permission or recourse? What is it about us Moms that makes us feel so justified?

Here are my thoughts:

1. We feel like conquerors: We have recently endured (or presently enduring) one of the hardest things we have ever done. Raising young babies and children is not for the faint of heart.

2. We feel like failures: Just the slightest negative comment from the stranger at the grocery store can devastate us. Let alone our mothers or grandmothers.

3. We are plagued with guilt: We replay that time we goofed and spanked when we shouldn't have or let our kids watch one too many episodes of "Wonder Pets" over and over in our minds.

4. We want others to commiserate with us: There is nothing that can bond people more than shared hardships.

These are just some of the negative aspects that I believe the enemy uses as a foothold to get into the door of our hearts and bring discord among mothers. He knows our weaknesses and uses them against others and ourselves.

If we are being honest. And I am. The reality is that raising children is a very hard job. It requires all of you, at all times. If there is any shred of selfishness left in you it will rear its ugly head quite often. It is near impossible to be a mother ( or at least a good mother) and be a selfish person.

I think that is one of the ways that the spirit sanctifies us. Are we becoming more holy? The more we are pushed to our limits and broken daily are we learning to become better servants?

"For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." Mark 10:45

I admit that I really had no clue what it meant to serve until I had children. And for that I am so grateful.

So let us be gentle with one another. Our tender raw hearts are lying just beneath the surface of our mom armor.

I hope that I can cultivate relationships with women that are encouraging and full of grace. That I would accept them with open arms when they convey that they are weary. That I would give them words of advice only when asked and even then that my lips would be dripped with honey. That I would be truthful when I feel that a mother needs accountability and that my words would be spirit led.

That I would be kind to myself. That I would understand that the measure of my worth is not wrapped up in how much organic baby food I use, how long I breastfed, if I use cloth diapers, if I stay home with my kids, if I document every activity with dozens of photographs and video, if I spank or not spank, or if I let my kid eat food off the floor.

God does not want us to be the same. In that we can rejoice! So praise God that there are all kinds of mothers out there and that God is using their experiences to make them stronger and more like his character. He is not confined to one line of thinking in this. He only asks us to have hearts that want to open up and to learn to say yes to him, even when it is really really hard.