Another one from “back in the day”.
What I’m going to say here isn’t new. It’s all been said before. Many times before, actually. By many voices.
But so many people still don’t get it. So I’m going to say it again.
Ladies – until we learn to support one another even when the decisions we make differ, we cannot expect men to have our backs. Period. When they see us picking at each other, going after the weakest in the herd, belittling, bashing, taking cheap shots . . . why should men hold themselves to a higher standard?!
My oldest duckling gave birth to a beautiful baby girl in early May. It is such an amazing experience, watching her navigate the waters of motherhood. And little Henry – yes, my granddaughter’s name is Henry – is an absolute gem. Being a grandmother is a pretty sweet gig!
All throughout her pregnancy and these first few months of motherhood, my oldest has often lamented how vicious other mothers can be. No matter the choice, someone will tell you it’s wrong. This. Has. To. Stop.
If you breastfed, great. But you better have the back of every mom who uses a bottle. And you bottle mamas? You need to stand with our breastfeeding sisters who are STILL fighting for the right to nourish their precious little ones without having to hide in a bathroom.
If you gave birth naturally, I have MAD amounts of respect for you! But I’m asking you to cheer on others who used pain medication to get through the process. And PLEASE understand that for some of us – myself included – the only way to safely deliver our little ones was to undergo surgery. How the baby got here matters less than getting that little one here safely. So let’s just end the argument over what type of delivery is best and agree that any time a baby arrives healthy and loved, how he or she arrived really doesn’t matter much.
Home school, public school, or private school? Or maybe even “unschooling” (at least I think that’s what it’s called!)? I have to be honest, that decision wasn’t easy years ago when my kiddos were little and it doesn’t appear to have gotten any easier today. What matters most is parents who care and are willing to do their part to help their children get the most out of their education regardless of where they are getting the education.
The list could on for quite some time –
Do you supervise your children during their play or do you adopt a more “free-range” philosophy?
Organic food or boxed mix mac and cheese?
Homemade baby food or store bought?
Do you let children explore all sorts of activities – sports, dance, martial arts, etc. – or do you make them select just one thing and focus on that?
Have you chosen not to have children at all? Awesome. But could you please love on a kid or two as an aunt/friend/surrogate mom? The more positive influences kiddos encounter, the better the odds that they will be fantastic adults!
You get the idea.
And my request is simple – have each other’s backs! If another mom asks you for advice, let her know what worked for you and then cheer her on REGARDLESS of whether she does it exactly like you or not. Just as each of us is unique in our personalities and preferences, the ways we approach mothering will vary from one woman to the next.
I’m so very tired of watching women shred each other for the choices we make. We can do better. And I’m hoping we will choose to do just that.
This one is a day late – apparently, the schedule got away from me but I figured better late than never!
Hubby got a chance to preach at 2nd Baptist this past Sunday. It was a treat to get to hear him preach again! But I learned something new from a passage I’ve read numerous times. Hubby’s text was Matthew 17:24-27. In this particular passage, Jesus and all of the disciples are in Capernaum. Peter is approached by those who collect the temple tax. They want to know if Jesus pays his temple tax. His immediate answer is yes but Peter asks Jesus about it later. Jesus has a conversation with Peter in which he makes about being the son of God and should he really have to pay the tax to maintain God’s temple . . . but that wasn’t the “new thing”. Jesus gives Peter an instruction in verse 27 – “However, so that we do not offend them, go to the sea and throw in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for you and me.”
The temple tax was established in Leviticus. Those men 20 years of age and up were to pay a half shekel to the temple. Jesus and all 12 of his disciples were in Capernaum. Jesus tells Peter how he will get a shekel to pay the temple tax for Peter and Jesus. Only Peter and Jesus. The implication of this act is that the other 11 disciples are not yet 20. Somehow, in all my years growing up in the church and the Bible courses I took in college, I missed this. During Jesus’ 3 years of active ministry, he was surrounded by 12 young men. Possibly even teenagers.
Here’s the “take away”. If Jesus entrusted the establishing of the early church to men not yet – or barely – old enough to pay the temple tax, we can certainly trust teenagers to make good choices and impact their world in positive ways. I’ve always been a big advocate of seeing the best in young people and setting high expectations for them. And it would seem I have the best of all role models in doing so. Just didn’t realize it till now.
Today’s post won’t be long. I just want to share a fun, new, “just for me” project happening in my home. With all the kids moving on to the “adulting” phase of life, we have a couple of empty bedrooms. In the coming days, I will begin the process of taking over one of those rooms and turning it into my own space. My crafting supplies will move up there as will my desk and some other personal items. There will, of course, be a “reading corner” (everyone needs a cozy chair with a table for a coffee cup sitting nearby, right?!) and we’re hoping to have some extra sleeping space (a futon, most likely) for when out-of-state family comes to visit.
In short, I get to make this space in the house completely my own and I have to share it with NO ONE. That sounds pretty fantastic! The first step – once our current heat advisory ends and being in the upstairs bedrooms is less stifling! – is to tape off the window and door frames, prime the walls and then paint. Soon, I’ll post before pictures and pictures of the project in progress. The painting shouldn’t take long. Then the carpet comes up, furniture gets moved, items get hung on the walls . . . so much to do!
I was standing at the counter
I was waiting for the change
When I heard that old familiar music start
It was like a lighted match
Had been tossed into my soul
It was like a dam had broken in my heart
After taking every detour
Getting lost and losing track
So that even if I wanted
I could not find my way back
After driving out the memory
Of the way things might have been
After I’d forgotten all about us
The song remembers when.
Those lyrics are from a Trisha Yearwood song entitled, not surprisingly, “The Song Remembers When”. And it has everything to do with why music is such a personal, powerful experience for me.
From the time I was young, I remember watching the adults in my life have visceral reactions to songs. I remember seeing tears in my mother’s eyes when the song “Because He Lives” was playing on the record spinning at the time. (At the time, I didn’t understand. Now that song evokes the same response in me.) I sat in the sanctuary of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Farmington, New Mexico, on Easter morning and watched tears start falling down the faces of nearly every member of the choir. I was probably 6 years old or so at the time. Years later, my parents would explain that it had been a rough path getting to the performance and it seemed like everything that could go wrong, was going wrong. All the frustration led to shortened tempers and some tense conversations. At the perfect moment in the cantata they were performing, the sun hit the rose window in the balcony and bathed the choir in colored light. The purpose of the day, the reason we were celebrating became the only thing that mattered and the responses of the choir members could be seen on their wet cheeks.
In my own life, there have been songs that have caused my eyes to fill with tears almost from the first note. There are songs that leave me invigorated and feeling like I could conquer the world. There are songs that hit me between the eyes with a truth I hadn’t considered before. And more times than I can count, I’ve heard lyrics that made me think, “Yes! That’s it! I haven’t known how to say it but those are exactly the words I’ve been looking for!”
Sometimes the songs I’m talking about are connected to matters of faith. Sometimes they are not. But one thing holds true – songs stick in my brain because I have an emotional connection to them. Or maybe I have a connection to the first time I really heard the song. Whatever the original circumstance, those songs are always there. I can go without hearing a certain meaningful song for years and when I hear it again, I’ll be able to sing every word without a mistake. More importantly, I’m instantly transported back to that moment in time when the song first imprinted itself on my heart.
Trisha was right. The song DOES remember when.