Can #BanBossy Make a Difference

One of the things I was called often as a little girl was “BOSSY”. Whenever I played teacher or soccer I was the little girl who told everyone what to do. When I played Barbie, I told everyone what Barbie and her friends said to each other.

You pretend to ring the doorbell, and then I will say “Hey, come on in.” and then you will say, “It's so good to see you, I brought you a present.” And you have to bring me a present, like that little kitty over there.

Or something like that.

Even now as an adult, I'm pretty Bossy. And the surprising thing is, I'm not offended by it…not then, not now. Because it's true. I'm bossy.

The real problem begins when we tell our kids that they should be offended by something because of our own insecurities and our own failures or our own fears. That's what Beyonce and other famous women are doing with the #BanBossy campaign. I never gave a second thought to the word bossy because no grown up ever told me it was a bad thing.

But now….Now we have an entire, well-funded campaign to help girls to unnecessaritly form negative opnions. The #BanBossy campaign tells little girls that the word Bossy is bad but the word Boss is good. It tells adults to not use the word Bossy about little girls anymore so that girls can 'take charge'. The campaign barks that we should use the word “leader” instead. The website claims the word bossy lowers the self-esteem of little girls (without any data to back it up, I'd like to mention). But like one tweet I read said: No one over the age of 10 says that word.

It's going to take more than changing a word to change the future for little girls.

A word is not the problem.

A label is not the problem.

The problem is that little girls don't know their worth…and not their worth according to the world.

Tonight I got the perfect example of what the world thinks of girls, and the lies these girls believe. I attended the yearly mandatory high school cheer meeting. All the other moms and I grabbed our “packets” when we walked in the door, and were asked to hand a $300 down payment on the way out.

I support my daughter in cheer because 1. I love her 2. I love her and 3. I love her. She's a gifted encourager, loves to dance and looks cute with her hair in a bow.


Besides that, I hate everything American Cheer represents…the excessive, unnecessary spending/buying, the jealousy, gossip, backstabbing and hatefulness of “the team”, and demanding coaches who try to convince me that three new uniforms are necessary for five district games.

I witnessed all of these things at this 45 minute introductory meeting and said to myself, “Tiff–this is what is wrong with girls.”

The cost of the camp-week uniforms cost more than camp itself. We were told, “All camp wear is necessity.”

All 5 bows…Every pair of $20 shorts. What these girls are really being told is that how you look is more valuable than what you learn.

When the coach announced that every single cheerleader is eligible to be cheer captain without any prerequisite, the squeals erupted–and not squeals of excitement. Hands went up with questions, “why coach?” “you can't do that coach.” When the coach stood her ground and stood by her decision, the insecure-filled gossip flew through the room.

These girls are believing that every other girl around them is a threat.

These girls are believing that they can disrespect authority behind their back after falsely respecting authority to their face.

These girls are believing that it's not fair to be “bossed” around by someone you don't like or agree with.

These girls don't like the word Boss as much as #BanBossy claims they don't like the word Bossy.

The lies don't just saturate the cheerleaders. The volleyball players believe their own set of lies. The artists have theirs. The thespians believe theirs and the uninvolved have theirs.

And these lies are not going to disappear because we stop using the word bossy.

The only way to replace a lie is with the truth.

The truth:

Every little girl is so worthy because there is a man who not only was willing to die for them, but he actually did. And he did this because He wants to know and love them unconditionally. So what this really means is that :

It doesn't matter what you wear to cheer camp.

It doesn't matter who is the cheer captain.

It doesn't matter how you look in your volleyball spandex.

it doesn't matter that you could care less about school activities.

It doesn't matter if you are the boss

It doesn't matter if someone calls you bossy.

#BanBossy is simply a band-aid. It's a seeming solution but the problem is rooted so deeply, no celebrity, no removal of a word can solve the future problems our girls face. You can take away every word in the dictionary, it won't matter.

All that matters is that every girl is worthy and valuable simply because we are all created and are unique in looks, personality, gifts. Our girls need stop being fed that a simple observation of them, that a word can determine their future. #BanBossy is another way for girls to learn to depend on themselves…and human nature always disappoints. Instead, let's teach our girls that a word has no power over the realities of what was done on the cross. Now THAT is a message that can make a difference.

 

Fear Of Wasting Time

Lots of you are wondering, okay some of you, okay two of you are wondering, what is going on in my life. A few post ago, I mentioned that God was doing something to rock my world and no doubt He has.

Last Sunday was my last week serving on a church plant. The 3 1/2 year journey has never ceased to surprise me and even shock me. God has humbled me by using me, and taught me about building His church. After all this time, I've grown but not sure I know much more.

But I'm stepping out trying to use my slightly increased knowledge and a tremendous amount of faith growing a ministry out of my house. A year ago I began ministering to the misfit teenagers in my neighborhood and community. And now, well, they just keep coming. I just keep feeding them (both spaghetti and spiritual). For some reason God wants me to keep doing it, and on top of that, all these other things.

So now, I'm without a paying job, without a church, and without a clue as what to do next. But I'm certain, pretty certain, that I'm exactly where I need to be. I just have to figure out exactly how to do it.

I have to find some rhythm in my days, and accomplish something, anything, before the sun goes down bringing in the night, which brings another day. My greatest fear in all of this is wasting time accomplishing nothing. I'm pretty good at nothing. I can do days and days of nothing. I'm hoping that this will make the somethings, the anythings, mean so much more.

So for the two of you that asked, thank you. Pray for me. And since I have so much time on my hands, how can I pray for you? Comment and let me know.

When You HAVE NOT

Have you ever had a case of the Have Nots? You know what I’m talking about, don’t you?  I HAVE NOT this, I HAVE NOT that…I HAVE NOT ENOUGH?

My family and I are being stretched by God and challenged to consider what it means to serve Him and follow Him no matter what the circumstances.  We are learning that We DO HAVE food in our house, even if it’s not what we want to eat.  WE DO HAVE clothes to wear, even if it’s not something new.  WE DO HAVE a few people out there who genuinely love us and will do whatever it takes to help us.  WE DO HAVE immeasurably more than America tells we don’t.

The pressure of being American is overwhelming.  To have more, do more, be more.  We live in a society that teaches our kids that whatever they have is not sufficient.  The pressure is passed on to us, and the quiet, sneaky little voice constantly whispers  You HAVE NOT, you HAVE NOT, you HAVE NOT.

Sometimes this whisper drowns out the truth of what we do have that nothing can ever take away from us, our solid and firm relationship with the God of the Universe who is in control and knows all my needs.  Put that in your pipe and smoke it.  No amount of HAVE NOTs on this earth could ever outweigh the truth of who I am and what God has me here for.

So if you are struggling to pay your rent, or squeeze one more glass of juice out of your oranges…or if you don’t know how your are going to keep your lights on…much less keep diapers on your baby…or if you don’t know when you are going to hear from your husband in Afghan again…or you can’t find your daughter….or you just have lost all hope because this world keeps telling you that you HAVE NOT…  I encourage you.  Don’t give up.  Don’t throw in the towel.   There is a guy I know, his name is Jesus, and he adores you.  He knows your suffering, he has a hope for you, a life for you, a love for you.  Just ask Him for it, he is the one thing that you will always HAVE.

Bringing the Mountains to the Shore

This is the first time I’ve spent time in the mountains. The beach now has some serious competition. Now mind you, it’s not snowing or -20 out. The weather is cool enough yet warm enough. The mountains are ridiculous-beautiful and I’m surrounded by….

Trees.

Oh, the trees! The abundant 360 degrees of constant reminders of God’s glory. It’s tempting to not pack my bags, while praying for a new calling and just move here until I receive it. I am in constant awe of God’s beauty. I am redefining what it means to be on the mountain and in the valley. I see it, I understand it. There is a peace here like no other.

I wonder how to take these mountains with me back to the beach. It’s easy to find peace and contentment when you are away from the daily rumblings of life uncertain. But when the thunder rolls, and the bills pile up…or the kids needs are beyond your capacity to provide…or you need to find time for our marriage when work sits and stares at you…then your friends are in crisis, and your dog needs to go for a walk…and you need to find the time to take a shower.

I want to bring this peace I have found in the Carolina mountains and infuse it into my reality. I believe it is possible. How do you find your peace?

Thoughts?

Seeking Solid Ground

When Alyssa came home from the Dominican, her leaders warned de-briefed her about living in America after being exposed to the Third World. Ever since then, she has struggled with balancing between the realities of poverty and the acceptance of being privileged. By American standards, we are lower middle class–struggling, lower middle class, but compared to the batay’s filled with refugees and the street kids, we might as well be bazillion-aires.

I, too struggle with this balance but mine is living in this world while being a citizen of the Kingdom of God. From moment to moment, I waver between accepting that my trials are to be rejoiced over, and pursuing one of my brilliantly thought out solutions to my problems on my own.

I want to move to a permanent address in my faith but find myself so consumed with things, worrying about our future, and making sure my kids don’t really know how bad things are. The obstacle grows more difficult when I’m surrounded by people who consume things without a flinch, have no fear of the future, and have no concerns to hide from their kids. It seems so unfair.

Now I know the truth. I know that everyone has their struggles, that the future is unsure and that kids can’t be completely oblivious, it will only harm them. But still I find myself moving up and down the see-saw of lies and truth, wondering why I can’t just jump off the ride and land in the stillness of Christ.

I know that I’m not the only one. Certainly each of you struggle with finding the balance in some part of your life. Maybe it’s between work and home. Maybe it’s trying to give your husband and your kids enough attention. Perhaps you can’t even find the time to take a shower.

We are not alone. As moms, wives–as women, we struggle between what is expected of us by our families and our society, and what we were created to be–faith-filled, children of a powerful and loving God. Whatever the imbalance, I’m desperately seeking solid ground.

Thoughts?