Monday, March 8, 2010

What Am I Missing?

I wanted to write about moms working outside of the home. It's a dynamic topic, and one that I openly admit I don't understand the other side of. So, here is what I do understand, from my perspective.

First, Biblically

Should women work Biblically? YES, YES, YES! The Bible spells out clearly that women are to be productive members of their household. The Proverbs 31 woman was entrepreneurial, selling her goods while running her household well. The modern woman might have an Etsy shop in the same spirit, or simply do the work around the house that it is customary to pay others to do for us, like making all our food from scratch or changing the oil in our car. It is not wrong for women to make money for their families; it is right. But it seemed that the Proverb 31 woman's work did not take her away from her family much.

Second, The Time-Money Debate

This isn't about how much money our time is worth. This is about what we think is more important to our family, our time or our money. My needs list is simple: food, shelter, clothes, and love. We are willing to make the trade for me to be able to stay home with the kids by living in a small apartment with no yard, having a twelve-year-old car, and having me do a lot of household labor that others take as though they are granted.

You may be thinking, "but I don't want to live like you." Unless your husband works at Walmart while going to school, you probably don't have to live exactly like me.

I have a hard time understanding why someone would choose money over time. I don't know any kids who would rather have more toys or a bigger yard (parks are free around here) than a mom who is home with them. The only reason I can think of is if there is debt that cannot be handled with one income.

Third, Pleasure and Satisfaction

I admit ignorance on this one. I worked as a grocery store cashier for five years until I got pregnant and I loved that job. I loved that job more than most people love their jobs. I got to meet people all day and chat. I had my favorite customers. I understand that work can give a sense of accomplishment: I was the fastest cashier on the front end.

My three-year-old, Daniel, and I have been working on our writing goal. Instead of wanting to write "Daniel", he wants to write "Thomas" (the train, not the brother). We started with "T" because it's pretty simple, and he mastered it quickly and started identifying T's wherever we went. Then we went to "A", which is also pretty simple to write. Then, I wanted to do "S", since it's his favorite letter. It is hard for him to draw, and it sometimes came out looking like a backwards "Z", but every once in a while, his "S" is perfect, as good as the "S" I put on the page for him to copy. I have never felt so deep a satisfaction.

What am I missing? What is work offering moms that I don't understand?

Monday, March 1, 2010


That felt good and it was a long time coming.

For a few months now I've felt like I had this stress that could not be relieved. I knew what it was, but I wasn't ready.

This past week it became too much.

Day after day of readers I liked saying nasty things to me; numerous people were telling me they were leaving and not coming back.

When someone tells you they are leaving and not coming back, it is always a predecessor of growth. It would start all over again, and just get bigger and bigger.

I was exhausted. I didn't want more growth.

I had gotten used to the haters. They were pretty stupid; I wrote them off as willfully ignorant. In the same comment they would tell me I was stubborn, arrogant, unwilling to change or admit I was wrong, while declaring that I contradict myself SO MUCH, citing examples of how I did things one way here, then changed my mind, denouncing that way of doing things and deciding to do it a different way some where else. What the frig?! Maybe they were pulling my leg, because it is hard to believe that people are that stupid.

It wasn't the people that I thought were idiots that drove me to shut down the blog, it was the people that I liked.

I had been asking Dan all week if we could shut it down yet. He said I had good things to say, things that people needed to hear, that I should give it more time.

Finally, on Sunday, I hit my limit. I begged Dan to let me shut it down. He saw how exhausted I was and conceded.

Then I reconsidered... and thought maybe I could keep it.

I went to church uncertain.

Our pastor is doing a series on fear and each week I've been moved to trust God more deeply, fearlessly.

This week it was about money. I had made a combined income of close to $1500 in February. I knew God was our safety net, but I wanted an extra safety net as well. God was telling me to trust him and only him, so I did.

I'll still write here maybe once a week, and I want to continue to be the Wednesday contributor at Frugal Hacks, so I'm not going into hiding. I'm still here, sharing my ideas.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Dumb Things That Parents Buy For Babies

There are a number of dumb things that parents buy for babies. Some are obviously dumb, as there is a plethora of technology that has been tailored to baby rearing. In my mind, baby essentials are: clothes, crib (or similar enclosed sleeping arrangement so baby does not hurt himself), blanket, car seat, possibly a Johnny Jump-Up and diapers. Everything else is questionable, including baby toys that your baby is entertained by, momentarily.

Here are the top three items that most parents see as essential that are really quite useless.

#3 Bibs- Seriously, my babies have never made a mess on the bib only. It is all over their shirt. And now they have bibs with pockets. Those pockets don't keep banana off the babies' sleeves. Feed them in just a diaper, or nothing if you EC, or understand that feeding is messy business and you'll have to wash the whole outfit.

#2 Diaper Wipes - Have you ever heard of a wash cloth? Babies hate the chemicals, and so do you. Wet wash cloths clean better that wipes, too, try it.

#1 Baby Towels - Just because babies are small, doesn't mean they don't feel. Baby towels are too small to effectively swaddle after the baby is a few months old. And if you do get the towel to cover the baby, it is instantly soaked through because it is too thin. That's just not nice for the baby. Give them a real towel.

Motherhood is sold as a hard job. If you read any of the baby and parenting magazines, you read of exhausted mothers who can't think straight. But, is it really that hard? Maybe I have abnormally easy babies, but it seems obvious that they are portraying motherhood as so hard so that they can sell you stuff to make it easier.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Don't Tell Me What You Don't Know

I've been reading a lot of blogs from unmarried young women about how to treat a husband. What? Unmarried women telling me how to do something they've never done?! Why would they think that they can pass on that wisdom. They can quote Scripture, but they cannot intelligently expound on it.

I agree with Scripture about how a woman should treat her husband. I strive and desire to fulfill my end of a Godly marriage. But these women, who have never been married, cannot explain to me how to treat my husband.

A marriage is an intimate union of two perpetual sinners. The closer you draw together, the more painful that sin becomes, for both of you. Unmarried women have never experienced this pain and can only imagine it. For them to write their aspirations and goals of being a godly wife is great and noble. For them to tell me how to do things in my marriage when that have no idea of the depths of joy and pain that go with marriage is unreasonable and illogical.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Good Riddance, Miss California

"We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage. And you know what, I think in my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that's how I was raised."

Because of this statement, the Christian community rallied around Miss California. No one noticed that the answer was not well thought out or articulated. It was a "this is how was raised..." answer. No one cares how you were raised. We care if you know how to think and articulate yourself, which you proved that you don't.

Not to mention, she is Miss California. In order to be Miss California, you have to parade your body around as meat and eye candy for men, instead of respecting it and honoring it as God's creation and a gift to your husband.

She claims that she is a Christian and a model. Now, I think Christians can be models, dressed modestly and to show off clothes, not the body that is wearing them. She is not a Christian model. I can say that with confidence. She has been doing provocative modeling for years, and is still not repenting. The Holy Spirit does not allow this. He does force his people to repent, and if you haven't been forced to repentance by the Holy Spirit, you might want to ask yourself if you know him.

Good riddance? But her crown remains. Yes, but hopefully she will shut up about her poorly thought out views.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Homosexual Christians

There has been a lot of talk in recent years about a gay gene. The premise is that homosexuals were born that way, demonstrating homosexual behaviours or tendencies from an early age. Homosexuals will tell you that they didn't chose to be this way, it is just who they are.

The Christian community has back lashed against this idea in a monumental way. The gays say, "We were born this way, thus God made us this way, so he doesn't want us to change." Christians, agreeing with that logic, attack the root of it. They attack the idea that homosexuals were born that way. Homosexuals, they say, could not have been born that way because that would be God going against his word when he says that homosexuality is amoral.

But would that be God going against his word? Why, no, not at all. The Bible tells us all about sin, graphically demonstrating it in people's lives, then recording in the Scriptures. We know that all mankind, and all of creation is cursed from sin. We know that all of humanity is born with a sin nature. We know that homosexuality is a symptom of this sin nature. So why do we fight so hard at this point in the homosexual's argument against change? Of course they were born with a sin nature!

What should we attack in their reasoning? If someone is born with a sin nature, regardless of which sins they practice most heavily, they are still called to repent. When anyone says that God made them to enjoy any type of sin, so God doesn't want them to change, that is the error in their reasoning. God has called all sinners to repentance. He has also given us power to overcome in the Holy Spirit. If we don't rely heavily on the Holy Spirit, we will fail. I know what my stumbling blocks are. I know that over the course of my lifetime, God will guide me into surrendering my sin further and further. My real hope, however, is in heaven. I know my sins cannot haunt me there.

Why do we not expect the same thing to happen with homosexual Christians? Why would we say that there are no such things as homosexual Christians? Of course, they will continue to struggle, as do we all. Why do we judge their sin as being more severe than our own? It is only because we think we are good enough to be Christians, and that they are not.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Things I've Learned About Cooking

These are recent tips I've learned about cooking and food.

1) Refrigerate an onion for at east a half hour before cutting. This way, you won't cry. For a crybaby like me, this is awesome. I've tried lots of things to not cry from onions and this works well. I didn't have a tear!

2) Salt eggplant before cooking. After you slice your eggplant, salt one side and let it sit for 15 mintes. You will see the liquid droplets on the surface of the egglant. Then turn the eggplant over and salt the other side. Let it sit for 15 minuttes and proceed to cook. This makes it much more flavorful.

3) If you want the medical benefits of garlic, use it within 15 minutes of chopping. After that, it loses 90% of it's potency. Bad news for me, who just bought one of those massive jars of prechopped garlic!