A True Story of a Ridiculous Mother

This past weekend I took Zac to Fiesta Texas so he could swim his energy away. I took up residence in a lounge chair and did what I do best…watch people. And in the summertime, my people-watching reaches a new level because I am wearing sunglasses. I can watch people and they don't know they are being watched. Sounds creepy, but I'm a writer. I simply stand firm on the fact that I'm doing research, developing characters, whatever.

So this mom and her friend and their two girls were sitting next to me. I took a pic of them in front of the wave pool for their Instagram or Facebook. Then Blonde mom and her 8 year old or so daughter stood in front of the pool, and brunette mom snapped a photo. Blonde mom came back and checked the photo and it wasn't what she wanted so she wanted another one. She stood next to her daughter, and leaned down and whispered something to her.

Mom stood up and the daughter, I KID YOU NOT, this EIGHT YEAR OLD LITTLE GIRL





…sucked in her stomach.

I wanted to do what Jesus would've done and smack that mom in the face…okay maybe not the face, but perhaps just a simple sucker punch to the stomach. Perhaps. (after a conversation with my sweet friend from Florida [wink, wink, you know who you are] I want to make it clear that Jesus would never actually punch someone. He didn’t even beat the crap out of the guy who sold him to send him to the cross. It is ME that wanted to punch the mom….I’m working on being more grace-filled…I am a work in progress.)

I planned on writing an open letter to the Blonde Mom, but feel it more fitting to write to every parent. There is no pressure or formula to raise our kids flawlessly. As parents we are just imperfect people raising imperfect people. But there are certain things you just cannot do. And this is one of them.

So I say this to you with the same anger Jesus had in the temple when he freaked out and flipped tables:

Your child is not a canvas in which to paint your insecurities.

I'm not judging, I'm stating observations. Blonde mom–now known as 'Ridiculous Mother'–doesn't like herself. She is more concerned with what her Facebook friends think about her. To this mom, that sweet little girl is a direct reflection of her. I mean, we can't have our middle school friends thinking that our 8 year old growing super cute kid is anything but perfectly thin.

Every time we push our kids to be thin like we want to be, or be the best athlete like we wish we were in school, or even be protected more than we were, we are leaving a permanent mark on complete purity.

So stop.

Stop hovering, and feeling guilty. Stop caring about what other people think of you…as a person and a parent. Stop telling your kids to suck it in or suck it up. As a counselor I have worked with too many young girls who refuse to eat. As a youth leader I have seen too many boys who will never measure up to their dad's ridiculous expectations. Stop hurting your children because you haven't dealt with your own heartbreak.

I'm speaking to myself as much as I'm speaking to you. I live so afraid that my children will look back and hate their childhood, or feel in some way that I have failed them. My daughter told me last night that I care about these things more than they do. We all do…we care about things our kids don't even consider–like whether or not they look fat in a swimsuit.

What insecurities have you unknowingly pressed upon your child's heart–making it theirs?? How did your parents do that to you? Comment and Share

LG|LP <3 Tiff

Jesus Would Love Five Guys, Hate Starbucks

I LOVE, I mean LOOVVVEE ME some Five Guys Burgers and Fries! No matter what state of pudginess I’m in I can justify devouring an overflowing cup of fries and shoving a burger down my throat. Yummmm. My husband–not so much. He isn’t a huge fan of the burger, he prefers chicken. Waiters forever confuse our orders.

Five Guys has two options. Burgers or Hotdogs. Regular Fries or Cajun Fries. That’s it. Pick one. No kids meals, no vegen option. No chicken and no salad besides anything you pile on your greasy burger! I think that’s one of the other reasons I love it. It’s simple. Two choices, one or the other.

Starbucks, on the other hand, gives you 1.7 million options when ordering a cup of coffee. Frankly, it gets overwhelming for me. Besides the fact that I don’t drink coffee, I avoid Starbucks for the very reason it’s too much pressure. As is choosing toothpaste. I stand in the aisle at Wal-mart staring. Yes, an ENTIRE aisle dedicated to toothpaste. And an ENTIRE aisle dedicated to chips…sodas…toilet paper! We have been fooled into thinking more choices gives us power, but in reality, it just overwhelms and confuses.

The same goes with our spiritual lives, or religion, or beliefs, or way of life–again, whatever you want to call it. People, likely even you, pick and choose what to believe and what to purge because you’ve been told your entire life that it’s okay to do that. People, likely even you, pick and choose what you want to embrace in the Bible and what doesn’t fit your lifestyle.

God was very clear when he spoke of two choices.

Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! Deut 30:19

That’s it–life and death, blessings and curses. Not the way you want it, or what you want it to be. If you choose life, you choose everything that goes along with it. If you choose death, same thing….there is lots of everything that goes along with it.

I’m convinced that Jesus would have loved the simplicity of Five Guys. Pick a team, make a choice. That’s what Jesus wants us to do. What team are you on?