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07.07.2016

When did women not taking care of themselves become a badge of honor? When did it become admirable for a woman to bemoan having no time to herself, no time to enjoy her husband, no time to do anything she wants?I don't like a world where self-destruction is revered.Confession time: I sacrifice time with my family to work out. I let my kids watch TV so I can read a book without pictures. I leave my children with my husband and go to dinner with my girlfriends. I leave my children with their grandparents so I can go to dinner with my husband. I lock them outside to play with all the toys we spent all the money on so I can eat a brownie in peace and quiet!!! (Mine are 9 and 10, so they are perfectly fine - don't question my parenting. I didn't do it when they were 2 and 3. Much.)In other words, I make a habit of taking care of myself. Call me selfish, but it's what I need to stay sane. You ultra-moms out there who are convinced 5 minutes to yourself is a luxury you can't afford? You WILL burn out. Trust me...

06.07.2016

I'm so afraid that the church - the broad, nationwide collection of believers who amass to worship and grow - has contributed to a society where wrong is ignored and people are marginalized and hate is fanned into flame. Not in sermons preached from the pulpit, necessarily, and not in words from hate-mongering pastors, but in the quietly obvious lack of love and acceptance and true ministering to souls whose default is sin. We are all messed up people, sinners in need of redemption, and we all have an equally deep need for the mercy of the Savior who passionately loves us and completely forgives us. But in looking at the church, it's often hard to see that we messed up people are equal and that the church loves us all as equally as the One we worship does. The church, I'm afraid, doesn't reflect Christ. The church, I'm afraid, reflects the racism and classicism and sexism of its society.I have spent years worshiping in churches where every member looked just like me. White, middle class, steady job and active 401k. I have worshiped in churches where people whisper if a black man walks in and are offended more by a...

05.07.2016

Every morning, my daughter wakes up and immediately asks, "What are we going to do today?" (She's the curious one in the family, the one who must be in the know. My son never asks - we can be driving down the interstate, halfway to our destination, before he wonders where we're going and what we're doing. Their personalities could not be more different.)Listen, I don't fault her for wanting to know. When you're the shortest one in the house, at the mercy of the licensed drivers and decision makers, it's only natural to be curious about what's coming next. But this summer, the question "what are we going to do today" has come to mean something entirely different.And I despise it.It means, "Mom, what fun, exciting, thrill-seeking, never-done-before activity have you spent weeks planning (and a small fortune on) for us to do?" Here's the thing. I don't subscribe to the theory that my job as a mother is to make my children's every waking moment magical. Yeah, I want them to have fun and enjoy the relaxation that summer brings, BUT. I refuse to spend every moment of my life in a carefully choreographed dance of "entertain the children"...

27.06.2016

The other night, I had myself a little hissy fit.The house was empty except for me, so I had a good cry - the kind where it's hard to breathe and you make strange, unintelligible noises.Why?Motherhood.All I could see in those moments were my failures and shortcomings, the problems I face and the circumstances that overwhelm.My mothering life is likely different from yours. I am divorced and remarried, so custody arrangements and visitation schedules, especially during the summer, are inescapable truths. Our schedule is a finely tuned instrument requiring coordination and calendars, planning and production. And though it looks nice and neat on the calendar, it is its own special hell for me.It means that I, a mommy, am sometimes without my children. Those blue cells on the calendar represent nights, and during the summer, weeks, without those who grew within me. I cannot explain the agony.My tears were set off by a sweet night with my sisters. We - and their children - met for ice cream. But my own children weren't there, and it hurt. I just wanted to be "normal," yelling at my kids not to get too close to the road and cleaning up their ice...