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

I

KID

YOU

NOT

…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

If You Give a Mom A Facebook

If you give a mom a Facebook, she will probably want a glass of wine as she clicks through her newsfeed.

You'll give her a glass of her favorite Pinot Grigio.

As she is drinking her glass of wine, she will see beautiful pictures of all her skinny highschool. classmates. It will remind her that she is wearing pajamas and that her hair hasn't been washed in two days and is in a ponytail.

She will probably decide to dye her hair.

You'll have to go to the store to get the perfect shade of blonde.

When you return, you will probably find her digging through a box of old pictures, searching for a photograph of what she really looked like at 17.

Seeing herself at 17 will remind her of dying her hair.

She will ask you to do it.

While you are dying her hair, she will practice her poses for a new profile picture to put on her Facebook.

She will probably notice all the wrinkles in her forehead and ask you for some botox moisturizer.

When you give her some botox moisturizer she will probably ask you to fix her hair.

Her new hairstyle will remind her that her clothes are ridiculously out of date. So she will want to rummage through her daughter's closet to find something cool to wear.

She just might find the perfect blouse.

When she tries it on she is insanely aware of the sag and size of her boobs.

This will probably remind her that she needs to get a mammogram soon. So she will ask you to go get her phone.

As she is setting a reminder, she might accidently hit her camera app.

This might remind her that she needs to upload a new and imporoved Facebook profile picture.

She will probably ask you to take her photo.

When she poses for her new pic she might accidently knock over her glass of wine. So she will ask you for another.

And chances are, if she is drinking another glass of wine, she's probably going to get on Facebook.

{Inspired by If you give a Pig a Pancake by author Laura Numeroff and Illustrator Felicia Bond}

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At The Risk of Being Shunned: Why I HATE TWITTER

I have this love-hate relationship with Twitter. I really, really want to love it but I just mostly hate it. I try, I really do. I opened an account to be trendy, and cool and hip. But I am learning, maybe I'm just not any of those things. My initial motivation was that Twitter was a great way to network. I mostly follow other pastors, children's ministry and student ministry leaders, authors, and gurus on Christian leadership. But I see these tweets and find myself just resenting all of them.

Everyone has such inspiring things to say in 140 characters or less. Like here are a few:

Where God guides, HE provides”

“Leadership development isn't a program, it's a lifestyle. Learning to serve others doesn't happen in the classroom, but in ministry.”

“Busyness is not from the devil, it IS the devil.”

“I realized today that I am emotionally exhausted today over something I can not change. It's time to change me.”

“Make sure your worst enemy doesn't live between your own two ears.”

It's like walking into a store with nothing but motivational posters around you. Everywhere. Or maybe even rummaging through a very special line of Hallmark cards. And in between these little nuggets of wisdom is advertising and shameless, self-promotion (cough cough) “read here: how to be a better pastor” and “read this blog: How I lead on Saturday's between 8am and 12:35pm”

Tweets are much more profound than status updates, but I find that most people just link their Twitter and Facebook accounts. How lazy! Who wants to read what you think or who you are shopping with twice?! And I don't know how I can possibly keep up with all of the tweets of my following. There are so many, it's so rapidly changing. I don't do well with change. And I'm not sure I have that kind of time.

So I've decided that Twitter is just too much pressure. On Facebook I can be myself, and people respond, and sometimes they even care. On Twitter I feel like I'm at a job interview, carefully chosing my word usage and placement so that someone out there, who will probably never ever read my 140 characters anyway, might be momentarily inspired.

I have a decent following, not phenomenal but some people say they care what I Tweet, so I won't get rid of my account. Most likely I will follow even more wise, insightful 30 year old hipster pastors. But I'm not sayin' I'm gonna like it.

What are your thoughts on Twitter? I would love to know!

Take Cover–The F Bomb is Flying

I am a student leader, so a majority of my friends on Facebook are teenagers. My Newsfeed is constantly blown up with love notes to the members of One Direction, updates on football practice, and pictures taken in the bathroom with captions about SWAG.

I am learning so much more about this lost generation with every Facebook login. I am not always pleased with their updates, and often offended by their language. So I have something to say to a few of them.

Dear Very-Vocal-Potty-Mouthed-Angry-Teenager,

I hear you. I can see that you are looking for someone to pay attention to your needs, and recognize your voice. Again I say, I hear you. Every post and status update is a reflection of you so be careful what you say. Your anger and hurt are obvious. Daily you are showing me how lost you are. You are proclaiming your lost-ness but refuse to be found. Your nastiness toward others and the way you pick fights and tear people down don’t make you seem any better, stronger or wiser.

You are so much more than how you are creating yourself. As you type those words, in a way you are speaking into existence your destiny. What I see is not what you are. If people only had to judge you by what you post on facebook, who would they say you are?

Jesus has a better life for you. He wants to break your chains, and free you from your hurt. If you don’t think he cares about you, just ask Him to show you his love and He will. He’s cool like that. I am praying for you, and am always here with open arms and listening ears.

With so much love,

Momma T

P.S. Please stop dropping the F-Bomb.

A Stranger. A Dad. A Friend.

Every other time or so I refresh my Facebook Homepage I get suggestions of who I should be friends with. In the last few months, this face keeps popping up, and everytime I try to ignore it, this eluding friend request brings me deeper into emotional turmoil.

I question: Should I be friends with my dad on facebook?!

My dad has never been a part of my life. I have met him a few times when I was very young, but I don’t recall much, except everyone told me that this stranger was my dad–whatever THAT meant.

A few days before my eighth birthday, my dad’s legal parental rights were terminated. My new step-dad wasn’t interested in adopting me, so at seven, I offically became fatherless. Years later, my older brother needed to know his heritage, his dna, and the answers to years of questions that were a result of all night conversations between the two of us. For a few years, there was a semi-thriving relationships between my brother and my dad (I called him a sperm donor for years, at the aggrevation of my mother, who was concerned everyone would think she was artifically inseminated or maybe even a lesbian.)

For whatever reason, the two of them had a falling out that I still don’t think has ever been really resolved. My dad just, once again, just sorta disappeared. Years later, my brother and I tried to confront him, invite him, beg him, plead him to be a part of our lives, he was never really interested.

My aunt–my dad’s sister–desired to be a part of our lives regardless of our dad’s poor choices, and so we kept in touch. She came to a birthday party for the kids once when she was town, we’ve gone to dinner. We’ve connected on Facebook.

Facebook has allowed me to connect with cousins I’ve never known, and even a step-sister that my dad raised. But now, him….

My brother, still in his heart wanting to be close to my dad, has friended him. My aunts and cousins, of course, are connected to him. So because of our common Facebook friends, I am asked every other day or so if I want my dad to be my friend?

Well of course, I do…but he hasn’t requested that friendship. So now, here is my question to you:

Should I friend my dad on facebook?

I sincerely want your thoughts and opinions. I’ve wrestled with this for months, talked with my husband and my kids, asked God what it all means….

I would love your insights…your wisdom from personal experience…your ideas. Please share them with me.

 

UPDATE:  Ironically, I just found out that today is my dad’s birthday.  ha! ( and this is one of the 2 photos I have with me and my dad together)