Sunday, May 29, 2016

Never Forget

Since 1868, our country has honored those killed in military service.

I am blessed to be from and to have married into a family of warriors. Men and women who stood up and fought for this country, many of them when it wasn't easy or popular.

Each year, I struggle with how to honor these men and women-concerned that I will inadvertently leave out a name of a friend or family member who has served our country.

We live in controversial times. We are entangled in political debates, moral issues, and ethical questions.

But Memorial Day is a day to push the pause button. To remember the men and women who have paid the ultimate price to allow us to continue to live in a free country-even if it is controversial.

There is nothing wrong with celebrating this holiday with cook-outs and beach trips. There is nothing wrong with buying a new car or new furniture because it is on sale for the holiday. But that is not what this holiday is about.

It's about the father who will never meet his baby girl.

It's about the girl will not have her father to walk her down the aisle.

It's about the father that will raise his children alone.

It's about the mother who clings to the carefully folded flag that covered her child's coffin.

It's about all of the veterans that came home and wonder why their fellow soldiers did not.

Enjoy your 3-day weekend. Grill, swim, and sleep in on a Monday. But know that somewhere, there is someone for whom Memorial Day is not just a day off from school or work, but a day of mourning, grief and remembrance.

To all of our friends and family who have served. Thank you.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

What Kind of Mom Are You?

I am not a perfect mom.

(I will give you a moment to let that sink in.....)

But at 37 years old (gasp!), I have finally become comfortable with the mom I am.

Society likes to categorize mothers:
  • The "Crunchy Mom" who makes their own baby food, wears a baby body-wrap, and only shops at farmer's markets and Trader Joe's.
  • The "Corporate Mom" who works full-time immediately after their 6-week maternity leave is up, often spending weekends trying to "make up for lost time".
  • The "Homeschool Mom" whose children are terribly under-socialized and will likely all become sociopaths someday (I can say this because I am this mom right now).
  • The "Health Nut Mom" who watches every.single.calorie that crosses their precious babies lips and has never ever fed them nuggets from a fast food chain (or would at least never admit it).
  • The "Sports Mom" whose children each play at least 1 sport every season of the year, she is the team mom for almost every one of their teams, and her minivan always smells like a locker room.
  • The "Southern Baptist Mom" whose daughters wear matching, smocked, monogrammed dresses with bows bigger than their heads in their curly blond locks every Sunday. They go to a good SBC church, eat Sunday supper with family (during which time their daughters change into matching, monogrammed "play clothes"). They only listen to K-Love Radio in the car and are on at least 2 ministry teams at church, one of which is ALWAYS child-related.
I could go on and on. And if you were offended by any of the above generalizations 1) good-you should be and 2) suck it up, buttercup!

I fall into several of these categories and a few more. I have tried desperately to be several of these "moms" and failed miserably. And I have finally learned that we are all individuals and there is more to us than what the world sees from the outside looking in.

I have tattoos. Several. And I plan to get more. I like them.

I listen to a wide variety of music and some of it not at all appropriate for children (I do try to skip anything that is not the 'radio edit' on my playlist). The fact that my 8 year old knows all the words to Macklemore's "Thrift Shop" and the fact that my 13 year old knows and loves Metallica and Danzig and can identify Smashing Pumpkins "Bullet With Butterfly Wings" within the first bar is a personal point of pride for me.

I have let my children watch movies that I probably shouldn't have.

I have been known to drop the occasional f-bomb in earshot of my children.

I pretty much lack any type of filter (which I recently found out is not news to most people that know me).

I love God. And none of the above prevents me from teaching my children to love God.

My imperfections and mistakes, even some of my poor choices, can serve a greater purpose-they can point my children away from the world's teachings that you must be every kind of mom to be the perfect mom, toward a Perfect God who teaches us there is no perfection except in Him.

God can even use this hot Southern mess of a mama for His good!