Tag Archives: authenticity

Super mom is dead.

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Super mom is dead.

I sat in my daughters horseback riding lesson, up in the upper viewing area. I sat there with another homeschool mom. We chatted for a while, it’s nice to have someone to talk to. I was reading a book on my iPad and she was going through her grocery list, recipes and printed ingredients list. I glanced over and sighed. I wish I could be like that, but really it’s just not going to happen. Not in this lifetime, nope. I started letting my mind go down the rabbit hole, you know the one. perfect homeschool mom, perfect organized house, perfect super intelligent kids. I looked at my daughter through the window she sat taller, smiled at me, I smiled back her grin was really infectious. I looked over at my friend asking her husband if he liked a certain recipe. My husband was driving my other daughter to soccer and well I don’t even think we ate. Sigh. I also forgot my daughters homework, well I didn’t, she did. The truth is she has a slight dyslexia and well her working memory is well not working for her. I chatted a little more and found out that this other homeschooling mom has 2 daughters with Dyslexia, and well she struggled with the same things I did. she just was a little more organized than me. We chatted and laughed about our circumstances and funny thing, I really didn’t care if she had all her recipes and lists. I know what my family likes. I can cook well and most days what’s a recipe?Mom

The next day I was on Facebook or fakebook, however you choose to view it. I was being informed by people I actually know and respect that if I didn’t take a particular health drink, wellness product, diet supplement ,(whatever) I was categorized as a supplement snob.I also have heard that I’m apparently supposed to be a super mom. naps are not okay and we need this wonderful , amazing , product for energy.( Where in the world did we ever get the idea that we were not supposed to be tired?? )Seriously.( disclaimer; I know people are trying to be healthy and um  make money, I’m all for it. But I am not for highschool pressure and bandwagon advertising. I’m for sustainable health that can be grown, not bought.If this particular health choice is for you, have at it. But please stay off my news feed with your sales pitches. Thanks) I mean is this highschool where we pressure moms ( who in my opinion are already under so much pressure) to purchase products?  It brought me back to one day at my high school, Nonnewaug in Woodbury Ct. I was not the kind of person to follow fashions, fads or people. I was very much just me. Save your brand names for someone who actually cares, I don’t. I’ve seen people in designer jeans punch the lights out of a sweet overweight boy and I’ve seen dept. store clothing on a skinny nerd protect that same boy from the popular bully. Clearly clothes don’t make the person. Anyway I’m in the bathroom and this popular, designer girl says to me,” Oh hey I love your shirt. Did you get this at”( totally forget where) I actually had bought this shirt after work, at the mall, but there was something in me that just could not tell her that. So I looked her right in the eye and said” Actually I got this at Kmart, On Sale.” She got really red and said, “oh um”, and walked out. I washed my hands with a special smirk on my face. So here I am on Facebook and I have absolutely NO desire to follow diet fads or homeschool fads or any such thing. I’m me. That’s it. If I like something on Facebook and my whole world didn’t like it, I like it. I don’t wait for someone I know to like it. God made me an individual. That means I’m gonna like, do and be things others completely disagree with. I will not follow the herd. I actually do not care if people talk about my blog , my choice in music or how I raise my children. I just can only do the thing God called me to do, and that means being me. (Which surprisingly is really difficult to do).

So I ignore the sales pitches on Facebook, I disregard how to organize your home in 10 easy steps. I drink my delicious coffee and smile. When I’m tired, I allow myself time to unwind, read, sleep, whatever I have to do to rejuvenate. There was a once upon a time where I felt guilty for it. I mean I’m a Christian and a homeschooling mom. I’m supposed to work harder than everyone. I’m supposed to farm, teach, clean , drive, love, be the perfect mom, wife and believer. I nearly killed myself.( and i am serious, depression, nerve pain which i still have forever, along with my mind which betrays me. bad stuff) So now that I have 4 back surgeries under my ,um belt? I decided that I definitely did not fit the qualifications for supermom. I fit the qualifications for Barb, who gets tired during the day, who absolutely loves super heroes( like cute ones LOL) who loves Ron Paul, Joel Salatin and thinks very Libertarian. Who loves Tom Woods but wishes my mind could think like him. I love my kids, but honestly this homeschooling is hard and there are days I’d ship them off to Narnia. They can drive me right to the brink of crazy and back.( I think my husband wonders if I came back) I love my husband and we have a great relationship. I don’t post mushy , I love my husband posts. Honestly we are not like that. We laugh, zing each other, yell at each other and we both accept the days of exhaustion that consume us and fall in our beds mumbling about how tired we are LOL. I don’t need people to think we are perfect or my kids are perfect. They aren’t. We are all undone right? I’m also someone who cannot tolerate heat, like the overwhelming kind. It makes me freak out and think about things I usually don’t even think about. I hate to hear about suffering of any kind, it gives me a terror or sense of dread I could never explain. I will always speak out about anyone who abuses children and I don’t care if they were your favorite Christian celebrity,rock star or President. That doesn’t make me bitter, unforgiving and helpless,  that makes me passionate and mad as heck that people abuse power and trust. Please don’t tell me how to heal or forgive with idioms or preaching videos. I honestly don’t need them. I function( most days) just fine The past is the past until it steps on the heels of the present. Then I have to refocus and regroup. Yes that is hard, yes it messes with my mind and yes i have to fight for everything I’m worth.There is no magic wand to erase the feeling of dread, of complete utter terror. It’s not going to go away. (where are the MIB when you need them?) So here’s me. A bit of a mess, A bit crazy and a whole lot sarcastic. I am not a super mom. I don’t need a super pill. I have A Super God. He’s always been sufficient, even when I’m not. Be you. Living for everyone else is just exhausting!super god

The girl with the black hair.

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I’m writing to the girl with the black hair. I know you felt so out-of-place today. I mean I know you listen to us say things like we ought to love our neighbor and reach the lost. You heard it in church. We told you we want you to come as you are, today you did, and it wasn’t good enough. You asked me before why your mom didn’t want you ” I mean I wasn’t a bad baby Mrs. Barker, why didn’t my birth mom want me? What you don’t know is I held back my tears and my hatred for your real mom. I know I’m supposed to love her, but she is so selfish and I just can’t imagine a mom keeping some children and abusing others.I wasn’t abandoned by my mother and I can only imagine what that feels like. So girl with the black hair, I wish I could say she was having a hard life or she didn’t have money, but honestly she was selfish and cruel, no child deserves to be abused. No child. I don’t care if you cried all night, spit in her coffee or said I hate you( which you didn’t) No child, None.
So now you have come to us, the people of God, and you want to be loved, accepted ,you want to know we want you. I’m sorry girl with the black hair that you have come to us and we want you to be like us. I’m sorry that we say come as you are, but we mean come as WE are. I m sorry that even though I take the time to love you and have you over, that I too fail you. I know you are so desperate for that feeling of acceptance and sometimes it’s all I can to tolerate my four kids. I don’t know why we can’t love the unlovely. I don’t know why we say we want to reach people and then we nit pick the very people we are trying to reach. I know what you feel like, girl with the black hair. I used to be you.
I came to Christ at the age of 14. I didn’t know the Christian lingo, the terms, the proper dress or the proper etiquette in church. I was just so happy to finally be loved by God. My soul was so empty and I was finally in a place where I was loved. Then one day I was out with my sister. We were shopping and I was wearing black jeans and a t-shirt. I walked into a store and saw a church member. Man I was so excited. I never saw church members outside of church. I smiled real big and held the door for her. Then my heart sunk. This woman whom I absolutely looked up to, looked me up, then down, then put her nose up in the air and walked right away as if she did not know me. I was devastated. If that women only knew. If she only knew how broken and fragile I really was. How I craved acceptance. What she knew though was she was taught certain things. The number one was to shun what she did not understand. Yeah it’s just ignorance and I too can be so guilty of it. God brought me back to him after that day. I Left for quite a while but He showed me what He was really like and that He in fact did love the unlovely. He .Loved. Me.
So here I am in all my honesty. People suck. They do.
Jesus holding girl
But our God is in the dark places. He is in the cry of a child forsaken by her mother. He is in the heart of a child so desperate for love, even in a church that only cares about not soiling their little blessings with the likes of you. What they don’t know is it will be someone like You who will reach the world. It was someone like you that JESUS died for. The ground at the foot of the cross is equal. We are all sinners before a Holy God. There is NONE righteous, no, not one!!! God is not a respector of persons girl with the black hair, but people suck, and we are.
You see He was broken for us, isn’t that what The Lord Supper is about? Remembering his bruised broken body, His beatings .He was bruised for our iniquities. His body was broken. Yet girl with the black hair, He tried to reach the world. He did not stay in His perfect Sunday best, in His perfect Sunday church. He did not stay away from the likes of you. He went to the publican and sinner. I think some of us want to keep them off our pews. Wouldn’t want the unchurched to spoil our perfect little blessings. He was broken for YOU though, so I think , no I know he wants you there. Bring your stuffed animal, even if they tell you otherwise(in fact sit next to the homeschooler who brought her doll and look them right in the eye and dare them to say something). I will fight for you, He fought for me. He pulled me out of the miry clay, He continues to pull me out of the darkness. So girl with the black hair, He knows your name. Even if they didn’t.(Psht.) He knows your name and HE wants you there. Come as you are but don’t ever leave the way you came. Let HIM change you on the inside, and when you look at them smile knowing He sought you out and loves you. Let them have their judgement. When you stand before that loving Savior, naked and complete, none of it will matter.
You. Are. Loved.

Hannah Forgotten

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Can you imagine it? Dropping off your young child at the Prophets house. I mean this is the child you cuddled, held at night when his cries pierced the silence. This is the child you nursed at your bosom, and  the child that made you feel whole again. For this child you prayed. All the hope wrapped up in this boy. So much potential. Watching him grow, listening to his giggles full of life. The running, happy son, so full of life.

Woman-Praying

I think it’s probably the hardest scenario for me to read. How did she do it? She must have been some woman. I think I’d never stop the ache, the longing for sticky kisses and soul melting hugs. How do you ever get over it?

Friends we have forgotten about Hannah.

I remember when My first son was born. I told the Lord that He had all of me and I promised I’d give my son to Him. Somewhere along the way I forgot about the job God gave to me. My kids do not belong to me. God gave me a job to do for a little while. I should be working myself out of a job. 

But God I have to protect my kids, I have to micromanage their lives, and at all costs I need to make sure the family unit is together, no one breaks the family, it is first.

I don’t really think like this, but that’s what has happened. I mean I teach my kids about this Living Savior and I trust Him with my salvation, but then I become fearful. If I really believed what I say I do, wouldn’t Christ be sufficient? Why do I, you,we grab on for dear life and don’t let go?

Recently in a Home school group the discussion of the infamous Duggar scandal created like 43 different posts with a zillion comments and opinions back and forth. OBVIOUSLY if you read my blog at all, I am not in favor of the perpetrator . How can I? Anyway I was kind of appalled at the Christians saying what Josh Duggar did was “just a mistake“, “teenage Curiosity”, and “no big deal”.  I thought Lord don’t you say,

But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

James 1:14temptation-apple-and-snake

I just shook my head. Then I just thought, “but that can’t be it. Is there more?”

I think there is.

I think we have made our children our idols. (I know inflammatory words in the home school community)  What if we have forgotten Hannah? I mean I think what those moms were getting so defensive about was the fact that he could have been their son. They could be suffering public humiliation. They could have been the ones to decide if they should call the police and put their Dear son in prison, thus ruining his life and the image of their family. I totally get it. I have four children and I cried almost every night after my daughter told me she did not feel safe while having seizures. I mean what an awful feeling for a 6-year-old to say. How could I help her?

The only problem is we don’t get to decide what constitutes justice. If someone breaks the law in a way that harms another human being, then for the sake of others in society we should definitely go to drastic measures. That might mean you feel like a traitor and turn in that boy who once gave you sticky kisses and soul melting hugs. The boy whose first smile lit up your world. I don’t think that is easy. I think it is the most devastating choice a Mom or Dad could make. How do you turn in your own flesh and blood?

I don’t know.

I do know what it feels like to have the same reoccurring nightmare of a two-legged panther, who steals you away. I scream and scream. The back light collects moths and night insects. My brother has his tackle box on the picnic table, he can’t hear me. My neighbor is in his yard and my voice is gone unheard. I’m so scared because he’s heading for the basement. I know what that means and I claw at him I scream and scream and wake up thanking God that this time it’s not for real. I know what it’s like to have to shower after a family campfire because the smell makes my heart race reminding me of a 16 year old I’d rather forget.. I know what it feels like to not trust people, to know when that “spidey sense” goes off and you stay away from certain individuals. I have extra special warning system for abusers. I know what it’s like to have my husband morph into a monster after spending the best day in the world with him. I know what it’s like to be on the other end.

So what of Hannah? Do we trust that what we taught our kids will keep them? Do we give our kids to God and say no matter what I will do right, or do we decide based on appearances  embarrassment to the family, and the fear of losing our children?

How can we  say we are called to a” higher standard”  then forget the suffering and hurting. How can we make excuses for sinful behavior?

Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.

Proverbs 20:11

How can we sit in sermons and hear how our children belong to God and,  “AMEN!” when Hannah prays to give the child to God, then when God asks us to do the same, we( bow at our man-made idols) keep our children to ourselves out of fear?( I realize at this point you may be saying” There is nothing wrong with protecting my kids from the world”,. or There is nothing wrong with defending my kids). No there is not, but we have long since left the protecting from the world and created a very introverted lifestyle. It is no longer about reaching this world, it is about keeping our little world.It is about how many children we have and the image we want to keep. It is all about us.We think love is holding on, but really that is not love. It is fear.

The two are not compatible. Perfect love casts out fear. We live as if what God says He does not mean. We are so afraid one day with Grandparents ,who have different standards, will poison our kids. (Forgetting that our parents once raised us, deserve to be respected and a part of our children’s lives), We think that going to church instead of sticking to a schedule, a nap routine, will hinder our kids for life( Forgetting the Bible says not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together). We think that going to the church fellowship ONCE a month and eating with the church family will forever shatter our kids healthy eating.( Forgetting that their are hurting souls who just might need us there).We are so fearful for our children that we won’t even allow the other children in church or neighborhood to play with them, thinking they will be corrupted(Forgetting that we are to be light to the world and maybe they need to see and know your family to see a real Christian home) When did it become about us and ours. Whatever happened to them and theirs? 

I can think of no better thing then for my son to hear the voice of God.This is what Hannah paved the way for when she gave up Samuel.

I mean I definitely have failed my kids. Who REALLY does their best? We ALL could do more. I know that when my kids talk to their friends about Christ, invite friends to church, when they come to me with their failings and we get it right, when my kids are mad about what makes God mad, it makes me think of the day I gave them to God. I think of the hard moment of opening my hands and saying” here God, they are yours”. It’s kind of the defining moment when you realize you can do everything right and they STILL could choose to go a different way, maybe even a way that goes against God.

Let’s give our children an authentic life, built on love and not fear. Teaching them to do what’s best for those who are suffering, for the lost and dying world, for the child who does not know unconditional love, who never had a dad, who wants more than anything to have a real home. This world needs us so bad. Please remember, “you are not your own, you are bought with a price. Therefore glorify God..”.. Glorify God in your home, but don’t make your home your idol.

For this child I prayed and well for this child, I. Let. Go. 

hand butterfly

Don’t forget Hannah.

Authenticity

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I allowed myself to be hurt today. My son told me something someone said about me. It really dug down deep. I love this person. I’ve had them at my house. I’ve fed them, taken them places,  I’ve laughed, teased, and treated them as my own. I’ve prayed for them. They told another teen they don’t like me. My son said ” mom I know sometimes I don’t act like I should, sometimes I act different in front of people. Mom this person, the change in front of others is unbelievable. “ My hurt went from hurt, to broken. Friends what are we teaching our children? 

I have watched children shovel sidewalks, open doors, pass plates, take out the church garbage and all because a parent glared at them and gave that” we are important in this church, you’d better perform, people expect it look.” All in the name of having an ordered home and being a ” godly “leader.

Don’t even tell me I’m wrong. I’m dead on. 

These children are learning how to become a chameleon. They change colors, or fronts depending on who they are around. The teen years are already so hard. People rage against Christians. I know I’m 39 and I have people on facebook who say the cruelest things about Christians. We are not allowed to believe. We are parasites.

My children are not perfect. I know their struggles. I am very open and honest with them. They know mine. They also know the thing I hate the most in this world is a fake. I want Authenticity.

Don’t tell me you are godly because you are a Pastor, Deacon, or Sunday school teacher. I know some of you, and I know your kids. Please be authentic. Your children watch how you treat them at home ,and then how you act at church or in front of the Pastor. They see right through you.

They will not serve a God who is Authentic. They will be great actors. Trust me, we don’t need more actors. That’s why the church is in this mess. 

I am starting this journey on Authenticity. If my children forsake God it won’t be because my Christianity isn’t real, it will be because they chose the world and now are the enemy of God. 

Stop being a liar. Be authentic. Our world needs you.