Saturday, May 28, 2011

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The immodesty epidemic

When I was in high school, the dress code clearly stated that you could not wear any tops with spaghetti straps, or that showed any part of your midriff. This also applied to prom dresses. If you were caught wearing something inappropriate you would either be sent home with a parent to change or have to put something over the offending item. Once, I was forced to use a friend's shoelace to create a backstrap for my sandals, having been deemed a dress code violator. I would never have thought of leaving the house as a minor dressed in anything someone would consider "sexy." Prom dresses were meant to make you look beautiful, not desirable. With that being said, can you BELIEVE these dresses? Not a modest one in sight. Every one of these girls is just that, a girl. A child. I can not believe that their parents allowed them to go to a high school dance in dresses like these. Some of those same parents will be saying to themselves "I didn't know she was having sex" when their daughter comes to them with a STI, or pregnant. Some of those same parents will proclaim disbelief when their daughter is caught skinny dipping with the football team. I found a great article about this very thing recently, you can read it here "Parents, don't let your daughters dress like tramps." What makes me sad is that I know one of these babies, so I got to see the picture unedited. I blacked out their faces and let me tell you, each of these girls is gorgeous, beautiful daughters of a Heavenly King. They could have all been wearing jeans with t-shirts and still been knockouts. There is no reason they need to dress immodestly to garner attention. Parents, don't just protect your daughter's virtue, be a tyrant about it. She might claim to hate you when you won't buy her that string bikini that all her friends have...but I promise you she doesn't. Some day, she might even thank you.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Where is your focus?

Imagine you are sitting in the stands and suddenly the tigers are in the center ring. You hear the ringmaster announce “Ladies and gentlemen, please direct your eyes to the center ring. While you watch with wonder, I will tell you all that you need to know!” You are captivated as the tigers begin jumping through fiery hoops and balancing on teeter totters. Right in the middle of the performance, you look to the ring on the right and see the trapeze artists being to swing and perform aerial feats with out a net. It’s amazing, it’s death defying! You can’t tear your eyes away as they swing through the air (with the greatest of ease!) But the tigers are now making a pyramid! It’s beautiful and incredible...wait now the tightrope walker is carrying a baby across! With no net! You don’t know where to look. The ringmaster is announcing something, but you are too amazed by the performances to listen. Out of the corner of your eye you see clowns in the left ring. They are funny, they are silly, and they are pulling pranks on the audience, better give them your full attention! The ringmaster keeps saying something....what is it? Oh, who cares? The lady sitting next you gasps and you whip back around to the center ring to see a beautiful lady with her head fully inside one of the tigers mouths. The tightrope walker is juggling chainsaws! The clowns are requesting volunteers from the audience! Look at the tigers dancing on two paws! The clowns are riding elephants! Oh why can’t that ring master stop jabbering? The trapeze artists are swinging by their ears! Suddenly it goes completely dark. A hush falls across the crowd. No one knows what to do, when a spotlight shines directly down on you. The ringmaster speaks just two words. “Tell Them.” You are panicked. Tell them? Tell who? Tell what? The ringmaster says again “Tell them.” You clear your throat and yell out “Tell them what?” The ringmaster says “tell them what they are supposed to do. Tell them what is important. Tell them what I said during the show.” You look around anxiously, did anyone hear him? Still, the tent remains silent. You announce “I couldn’t hear you, I was too busy watching the shows.” The ringmaster hangs his head sadly and asks “Was anyone listening?” The tent lights up again and this time the ringmaster seems to be gone. The performers pick up right where they left off. The show is amazing, there is so much going on, the audience is so excited. But you can’t stop thinking about the ringmaster. “Tell them.” Have you missed something important? Have you missed something vital? Amidst the amazing stunts, incredible performances, and awe inspiring feats... Did you loose focus on the point? What did the ringmaster tell you? You look down to your hands in despair, and find your fingers wrapped around a pamphlet. You have it there! You have all of the ringmaster’s information written down for you! You start to shout, “I know! I can tell you what the ringmaster said! Look here, listen!” Ignore the clowns! Forget the tigers! I can tell you what was most important!” I’m sure some would listen, some would look down and realize they too had the pamphlet. Some would scan over it. Some would tuck it into their pockets for after the performances. Some would just drop it to the floor, figuring there is always time to read after the show. Bu, t some would take it immediately outside the tent where they could sit down and study it. Most would finish reading, shrug, and go back in to see the elephants. Some would stay outside, keep reading, but complain about what they were missing inside. But a few, just a few, would start looking for the ringmaster, thanking him for the information, marveling in the goodness of his information, begging him for more, thanking him and giving him praise. Where are you? Are you inside enjoying the show but ignoring that which is most important? Are you studying the information but wishing you were back in the middle of the excitement? Or are you kneeling at the ringmaster’s feet listening intently to the message he is delivering, choosing to ignore the distractions all around?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Don't judge a bully by it's cover

I have to come to realize that bullies come in all shapes and sizes. It is not just teenagers calling each other fat, or threatening to beat up the gay kid. Bullying does not stop when you graduate high school, or even college. Some bullies hide who they are by using backhanded compliments, withholding real intimacy, or just making you feel bad about yourself. I have come to realize there are three people in my adult life who have bullied me at one time or another. I don't think they intend to bully. But really who wakes up one morning and decides to be a jerk? There is no excuse for bullying, especially as adults. No adult should ever realize that they have the power to make someone cry because of their words and exploit that. No adult should ever use "friendship" as a reason to make someone feel badly about themselves. No adult should ever go out of their way to make sure someone else feels inferior to them. But, I offer you examples of the bullies who have been present in my life.
Bully A is a middle aged man, charismatic and outgoing, but wheedling and conniving. He swindles people by convincing them they are very important to him, and getting them to do things for him, or give him things. He pats you on the shoulder with one hand, while stabbing you in the back with the other, and somehow manages to convince you it was just a little prick, nothing to concern yourself with. Suddenly, you find yourself lying on the ground bleeding out, he's no where to be found, and no one remembers exactly when you fell over. He manages to either completely deceive people into thinking his is an upstanding citizen, someone you are lucky to know, or he completely makes their stomachs turn, and they are not exactly sure why. He is like a serpent, he might be beautiful and serene lying there on that rock, might even let you handle him, make him a pet, feed and care for him, but watch out because he WILL bite you. If charm and persuasion don't work, he gets nasty. He sees the line, and will tiptoe across it ever so slowly. By the time you realize just how far over the line he's gone, he has moved into your home, set up camp, painted the walls, and put his name on the lease.
Bully B is a blonde haired blue eyed co-ed. Maybe a buck ten dripping wet. She is immature and moody. She collects people, decides which ones are worthy of her friendship, and put the rest in a neat little pile, only to be taken out of storage in case of emergency. You think that maybe you can be a good influence on her, help her to grow up, teach her to be less selfish. You go out of your way to be friendly, and find yourself thinking you are friends. Suddenly you realize that she has been keeping a mental list of your insecurities, of the things she has learned about you that you might not be all that fond of, and she starts to exploit them. First it's just an off-handed comment. You obsess over it, finally managing to convince yourself she didn't mean it the way it sounded. She knows this is happening, she waits for the scab to form, and then she starts picking at it. She will use what you've told her against you. She says things to you to make you feel little. She verbally kicks you till you fall and then stomps all over you in her spike heels. She says horrible things, and when you call her on it, she apologizes for making you feel badly, however he never apologizes for what she actually said. This makes you think that maybe you are the one who is making too big a deal of it, maybe you should apologize. She waits until you are feeling badly about yourself, and then swoops in for the kill. She is dangerous because she looks benign.
Bully C is a hag. She has hated you since the moment she saw you, and she won't say why. She flat out abuses you, and doesn't care who sees it. She will tell you she doesn't hate you, but while she says this her eyes are burning neat holes into your forehead. She doesn't understand why people like you should be allowed to coexist with people like her. She does not try to hide her animosity and laughs when others ask her why she is acting like this. She hates you on principle, and she is bound and determined to make you as miserable as she is. Somehow, she manages to succeed at this, and doesn't let up when you are feeling beat up. She doesn't begin to comprehend the idea of overkill. If she had her way, you would have to wear a dunce cap so everyone would understand the complete idiocy of every single thought you have ever had. You try to be nice at first, but that gets old really quickly. You try to ignore her, but she will not be ignored. Finally you result to snarky comments, and then she can look at every one else with doe eyes and claim to not understand why you are being so mean. Everyone else of course had witnessed her wrath, but is quick to side with her lest she turn it on them.

So ok, be honest, do any of these describe you? Even a little bit? I don't understand what makes people think they can treat others so badly. I admit, I have had my moments of meanness, selfishness, and ingratitude, but I can't remember ever in my life going out of my way to hurt another person. I literally have been reduced to tears by all three of these people, on more than one occasion each, and it leaves me wondering why do we stand for it? If you are being bullied, I'd love to hear about your bully and what you think can be done to overcome such people. And, if you are the one doing the bullying, I say to you that you need to grow up, and start making amends. Don't be "that person" that people are afraid of. Don't be the one causing another person anguish intentionally. Don't be the one person some other adult can't stand to be around. Remember, "Kindness begins with me."

Friday, November 19, 2010

Everything I ever needed to know I learned from my 3 year old

Everyone is a friend you just don't know yet * When you do something naughty, wear a sincere face when you say you are sorry * If you make a cute enough face, you will be allowed to have two lollipops BEFORE dinner * Birthdays aren't really about what's IN the packages, it's about getting to OPEN the packages * If you declare something to be "dipsgusting" in a very loud voice, you will only have to eat one bite of it * Jumping on the bed is NECESSARY * It's not ok to use a bucket to dump your bath water out onto the bathroom floor * Your baby sister will think it is hilarious if you pretend to fall down. A LOT. * When using the restroom in a public place, it is fun to sing loudly * It's ok to celebrate a little when you do something good * Daddies think farting is funny. Girls don't. * All fish should be named "Smiley" or "Spot" * Wocky Woad is the best flavor of ice cream * When saying prayers you should always say thank you for your favorite Superman shirt * Dancing is not optional * Mom is going to take a lot of pictures. Just grin and bear it. * Daddy is green, Mommy is pink. It doesn't matter why, that's just the way it is * Sometimes you just need to sit in time out * When you are the leader, you probably shouldn't have everyone follow you into the potty * Mommy is a princess * There is always time for one more book before bed * Start every day by saying "Good Morning." * Manners are important, but being truthful is more so * You have to wash your hands after going potty, even if you "didn't hold your wiener." * Matching socks are not always necessary * You should play a little every day * Love is not unconditional, it is inclusive * Pb&J is clearly superior to most other meals * Coloring in the lines is fine, but if you go outside the lines it's just because you see the picture a little differently than everyone else *

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The elusive "O"

So I've noticed that there are 2 kinds of women. Those who will do anything for the "O" and those (like me) who couldn't care less. Don't get me wrong, I don't actively avoid the "O." If it is convenient, easily attainable, and not too expensive (more on that later,) then sure, I'll go for the "O." But most of the time, it is too much of a bother. However, for those who swear by the "O," there is nothing more important than to make sure that it is all "O" all the time. I love my friends, but for those "O" Mommas, sometimes I get a little overwhelmed with all the "O" talk. I get lectures on the health benefits of the "O." I understand that the "O" is completely natural, there have been studies showing the more "O" you get, the more healthy your family can be. I sometimes feel like I am disappointing my crunchy granola, long haired, sandal wearing nature Momma friends when I admit that I might have gone all week with no "O" at all. I also don't understand going all over the place to find the elusive "O," I have a few tried and true locations I like to hit, I don't have time to be journeying over every hill and valley. Also, have you noticed that if you insist on only the "O," you might find yourself having to deal with more bugs than are really necessary. I know it's gross to talk about, but it's true. The more "O" you have, the more bugs you have to pick out. Finally, for something that is so wonderful, natural, and (if you believe the hype) beneficial to all involved, why does it tend to be so ridiculously expensive? You'd think that if my doctor wanted me to have multiple "O's" throughout the day, I should be able to get a prescription and only pay my co-pay. $4 generic anyone? So, while I don't object to "O" on principle, I will continue just having "O" when it happens and not try to force it into every meal. So, what do you think? Are you an all "O"rganic kind of Mom?