Why I'm not participating in A Day Without a Woman
I come from a long line of strong women. Women who run businesses, travel, volunteer, march and donate. Women who advocate and educate. When I think about their impact on my life though, smaller things stand out.
My Grandma Lorenia poured out love in crystal goblets filled with root beer and hours of card games. She believed that every person was valuable. She served through cancer and poverty and unending demands. Her laughter was contagious. Her legacy was joy.
My Grandma Viola sewed love into packages and prayers. She saved, she served, she perservered. She loved tight hugs, warm cookies and weddings. Her legacy was faithfulness.
My mother-in-law Carleen ran courage into everyone she met. She was fully supportive and passionate about art and flowers and children. She made everyone she met feel welcome. Her legacy is kindness.
My mother Sue is a bright and fierce force of a person. She's got a twinkle in her eye and she has the ability to make me laugh better than any one. This photo is an excerpt of a letter she wrote me when I turned two years old.
I have letters from aunties and cousins. Sisters and friends. Beautiful women who wrote on my soul and call me to be present. To be faithful.
Walking out to prove a point seems dishonest to their steadfast love.
Earlier today I had to make a tough decision. I've been working long hours lobbying for a bill in the upcoming legislaive session. Couple of trips to the state capitol to meet with various governmental types. I received news today that I'd been invited to a dinner with a senator. Great opportunity for professional development. Problem is the dinner is on the same night as my daughter's choir concert. I'd already promised her I'd go.
As I sat and mulled my options I thought about the Day without a Woman. I am quite certain I'm not necessary at the dinner meeting. My colleagues can handle it without me. But my daughter? I don't want her to figure out what it looks like when mom bails. I want her memories to be full of a steadfast mom who showed up when the call was hard. A mom who delivered on promises even when she wasn't being appreciated. A mom who thanked God because He allowed me to be her mother. So I declined the invitation with the Senator and circled my plans for a night with the elementary school choir.
So today I'll wake up my babies. I'll help pick out their clothes and play my part in the daily taxi. I'll go to work. Not because I'm special or different or better than the hundreds of thousands of women who do the same thing every day. But because this investment in our future has more potential to affect change than any strike, any meeting, any lobbying effort. The legacy is love. And the power of love has nothing to do with protests or demands but everything to do with gratitude, service, peace and patience. Should we ignore injustice? Of course not. But love is the only weapon strong enough to win.
Today I'd like to invite you to write on someone else's heart. Those words have eternal weight. Rather than making someone notice you are gone, how about making someone else feel seen? Those are not small actions.
ENTER TO WIN
I've got a new set of note cards, envelopes and gel pens to get you started on your legacy notes. Write your kids, your friends, your parents, your spouse. Tell them you love them. I'll be giving this set to a winner randomly drawn from anyone who comments on this post or shares the post. Winner will be drawn Friday March 10, 2017. No purchase necessary. Prize mailed in the contenintal US only.
Oh Goodness. I'm a proud, happy blog mom. Have you read Jill's Wall of Faith post? If you haven't read it yet, you really should. Here. The comments on various facebook pages made me smile. This one got me.
"Gratitude is the best medicine on Earth, and the pit of despair is terribly deep. We must stay away from its edge."
Anyway. I'm a proud, happy, tired, crazy blog mom. Quirky Faith is officially three months old today.
I remember when my eldest turned three months old. If you have kids you probably remember that stage as well. By three months old you have survived the sleepless nights, the frustration of inexplicable crying, the worry that your baby isn't eating. You've been puked on. Pooped on. You are exhausted and emotional. By now you've figured out that while you thought you knew everything about parenting, you know absolutely nothing. You are praying deep gutteral one word prayers. Help. Please.
And then three months arrives and your baby smiles. Or holds your hand. Or does any manner of precious, talented, amazing things that most every baby on the planet does and you go from crazy messed up mom to deeply madly in love. You take a deep breath.
This is my eldest at three months. See that little grin? I love her confident kicked back attitude. This was the photo which told me we were going to be okay. I recognize that to everyone else this is probably just a photo of a baby. Nothing special. But to a mom these little milestones matter. They show growth and progress. It's a way to count the list of gratitudes one more time. What milestones did you celebrate with your kids?
The last three months with Quirky Faith have been much like that newborn stage. Exhausting. Humbling. Fun. Painful. The three month milestone is causing me to pause. To look up from the keyboard and smile. Thank you to the Wall of Faith writers. I'm grateful for your stories. Thank you to everyone for reading and sharing and commenting. You encourage me. Here is a little Saturday morning encouragement back to you. If you have a dream rolling around in the back of your head go for it. Give birth. You'll survive the newborn stage. You can do it. We will cheer you on.
Quirky Faith is three months old. She's getting some traction. Kicking back with a confident grin. Come along.
Well. We are one week and two days into summer vacation. My family has survived the insanity of Vacation Bible School at our local church last week. Its a 300 kid, 200 worker fest of crazy fun for five nights in a row the week after school gets out. This means that we take the end of school year push and double down.
As a direct result, my car looks a lot like a goodwill donation bin. Clothing changes and wadded up end of year school projects and fast food bags and inexplicably one Minnie Mouse pink sandle have taken up permanent residence. And that’s just the front seat. My if “I had a million dollars drop from the sky” dream is a self cleaning car. Or a budget to hire a butler to stand in my garage awaiting my return home to remind me to TAKE THE CRUD IN THE HOUSE! Probably I could program alarms on my phone and I could have Siri tell me to clean up. But let’s be honest. I’d ignore her. Or be out of phone battery.
I like to create new things. Its fun. I like to paint and write and think of new projects. Cleaning out my car is…..wait for it…..summer kid word…..boring. Its boring right up until its a massive crisis and then its sorta fun. Like a treasure hunt. I also get great satisfaction in taking it from complete mess to clean. But the daily taking my junk into the house and putting it away does not hit my radar. No adventure in that.
My ten-year-old has been taking piano since she was two. Seriously. We were those parents. My theory was that early piano led to good brain development and impressive reading and math skills. I did not factor in the misery of piano practice. While the big sister does in fact read like a speed train we have decided to let little sister wait until she’s five to start piano. It may also be the second child factor. Really its that I can’t hack dealing with two sessions of piano practice a day.
Another piano parent friend of ours told me that he makes his kids take piano just to learn how to tunnel through the drudgery of practice. It builds character. I love the word drudgery. Piano is fun AFTER you pracitice. When you know the songs and you can play to relax and think and entertain and worship. Drilling through scales not so much. But I think my friend may be right. It builds character. And those drills are what lead to the beauty. Or the adventure.
Clearly I need more practice.
I’ve had a day. Or two. The kind of hang your head, kick the tires, sigh and eat chocolate chip cookie kind of days. The “I know I’m a better mom, better wife, better boss than this” kind of days. The “I promise to floss, I promise to ask, the I promise to wait” kind of days.
At one point yesterday I was actually telling my children to stuff the garbage sitting around in our car under the seat so that the people we were picking up wouldn’t see it.
That’s not who I want to be. And its really not who I want them to be. I want to be the kind of people that put their garbage in garbage cans. But that’s clearly not happening. (HA!)
Can I just say I have garbage and you can see it and hiding it doesn’t make it go away and that my dear children its just fine if people see our flaws. But right now I’m tired of the pointless could have, should have self talk.
So I’m going to do what generally works. I’m putting on some music and I’m making a list. Even though I don’t feel like it. Here are the things I know to be true. I stand on them.
I am loved by my Creator. Greatly.
I am not perfect. It’s okay. My story is not the list of my failures and shortcomings and sin. It’s frankly also not the list of things I think I did right. My story is Grace.
Feelings are not facts. Feelings are real. They are important. They are toxic when they are bottled up. But they are NOT facts.
I don’t know what the future holds but God does. He promises it’s secure.
This photo is cute.
My daughter was in the office yesterday morning with me before my day headed south. I found this artwork this afternoon in a stack of paperwork. It reminds me that I often miss the joy in my life in the midst of the junk. And this blue haired wonder made me smile and remember that my husband is courageous and kind and that my ten year old is determined and fun and that my three year old is passionate and clearly a budding artist. It made me remember to count my blessings.
Gratitude trumps grumpy. That is what I know.
I love Jesus. I think my two daughters can change the world. I think you can too.
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