In case that last post sounded sanctimonious

I’m not sanctimonious or holier-than-thou even if my last post sounded that way. My children may have survived thus far, but that is more of a reflection of God’s grace than my parenting skills.

Maybe I’m sensitive to the harsh criticism dished out by M. McGraw because I’ve been the subject of other parent’s judgment before. During their teen years my daughters were always able to find a sympathetic ear and welcoming arms in the form of “replacement moms”. D#3 moved in with a family whose mother actually told my mother she (the replacement mom) would never treat her children the way I’ve treated mine. Nice, eh? And all of the judgment passed over me by those replacement moms without benefit of Twitter.
And with Twitter? It definitely gives me something to think about. One of my daughters follows me on Twitter (although I don’t think she actively follows me, she could). One of my co-workers is also a “follower”. But it’s more than that that makes me think before I Tweet. It’s about the understanding that once Tweeted, the whole world is privvy to the thought I captured in 140 characters or less.
Do my Tweets make the world a better place? Do they spread light? Or darkness? As Christians we’re tasked with trying to spread light so that filter should apply to everything we do or say.
I won’t claim that before every Tweet I consider that it could be my last but I do try to apply a reasonable filter and use good judgment. Maybe it’s something along the lines of “What Would Jesus Tweet” (although not that well thought through).
Even with that in mind, after I tweeted this “Co-piloting while 15 YO drives the most dangerous stretch of I35. Praying! Oh, Lord be with us!it occurred to me – if we were in an accident (traffic was really nutty with all of the holiday shoppers) someone might correctly assume I wasn’t paying enough attention to my child who was in a potentially dangerous situation. As the co-pilot I was supposed to be paying attention, responsible and accountable for the safety of others.
My sisters and I often communicate via Twitter and in a way I was reaching out to them. It seemed better to focus on framing my next Tweet than to stress out. Maybe not. Fortunately we weren’t in an accident and my decision to send a Tweet wasn’t hotly debated by those who might choose to judge me. Or if it was, none of that was shared with me.
My musing this week weren’t meant to imply that I’ve got it all figured out. Far from it. I’m still trying to figure it out. Although I could post stories about what a horrible parent I’ve been and what tragic mistakes I’ve made to the detriment of my children, I choose to focus on how I think things *should* work.
Our social networks should work for good, not evil. And when we Tweet, we should Tweet responsibly.
That’s all. Oh, and…. Merry Christmas!
{From today’s reading in The One Year Bible: “Judge fairly, and show mercy and kindness to one another.” (Zechariah 7:8)}

Monday Madness – perspective

Sometimes life is all about perspective. Glasses that are half full are also half empty. Joy is a choice we make. A gift of grace available to each of us, but a gift that must be accepted. Because joy is a matter of perspective.

A few weeks ago I signed up for the National Novel Writer’s Month (NaNoWriMo) experience. I can tell you a million reasons why I don’t have time for this. I can fill my heart with fear and self-recriminations. Or I can choose joy and hope, faithful that if it’s God’s will, then it will happen and confident that if it’s not – it doesn’t matter.

I will remind myself daily to “be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” (Romans 12:12)

By stepping out in faith and free-falling into the unknown I have to trust Him. I will embrace Paul’s prayer to the Romans “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”(Romans 15:13)

Meanwhile, this week feels like my last week of freedom.

It’s a Banner Day!

In the beginning there was a standard template bearing the title of this blog “A Mother’s Angst. Soon after that I jazzed it up with the emo weeping eye. I’ve wept so many times over my children it seemed appropriate.
I’ve been open about my angst, my sorrows, and sometimes my joy. The banner evolved to reflect my evolution from pervasive sorrow to the overriding joy given to us through God’s grace.
Today the banner takes another step forward. I may tweak it a bit but this is closer to what I’ve imagined for a while now. I’m reading the book of Jeremiah and I’m overwhelmed by the example God sets for us. I can relate to God’s frustration with His children, the people of Israel & Judah. Jeremiah 31 is all about restoration. I pray for the restoration of my relationships with my grown children. Meanwhile, I thank God for all that I’ve learned and am able to share with others.

The conversation went something like this….

We’ve been giving Daughter #2 rides to/from church Wednesdays and Sundays so that she can babysit (paid position). This generally requires us to take 2 vehicles (the SUV and the “little car” – not my mustang because no way is the car-seat working in the back seat).

Today on the way from church to her home, Precious G-son dropped his juice bottle. It landed on the floor (backseat) amidst the empty and half-empty water bottles.

D#2: “You and dad have are bad about collecting half-empty water bottles.”

Me: “Why do you say that?”

D#2: “Because the truck and car always have a bunch of half-empty water bottles.”

Me: “So why are you assuming I’m a contributor? Have you checked the mustang for half-empty water bottles?”

D#2: “Well, I notice there are always half-empty water bottles around the house, too.”

{Side note – last week she asked me about my relaxation practices because she claimed I never relax. She cited my doing e-mail while watching TV as an example. The computer and TV are in different rooms. I mention this because, while we DO have a lot of empty and half-empty water bottles in the car, we do NOT have “a bunch of half-empty bottles” around the house.}

Me: “So why are you assuming I’m a contributor? Your logic is flawed. I’m not saying whether or not I *am* a contributor, just that you’re leaping from an observation to a conclusion.”

D#2: “Oh, I see. I guess it would be like my accusing my husband of leaving his dirty dishes laying around, even though some of the dirty dishes are mine.”

Me: “Actually, it would be more like my coming over to your apartment and saying ‘You have a bad habit of leaving your dirty dishes laying around’ even though there are 3 of you living there. My comment might be based on the observation that you’re the only person I ever see there and therefore I’d incorrectly assume that you’re the person leaving the dirty dishes laying around. You are a very logical person so I’m trying to help you see the fallacy in your conclusion.”

D#2: “Oh, I see. Well, it was just an observation.”

Me: “Well, your observation sounded a lot like a criticism.”

D#2: “Are you okay?”

Me: “Yes, I’m just wondering if you realize how you come across sometimes.”

I’m not sure if I’m okay or not. I’m not sure if my feedback was loving or harsh. Maybe I was just being defensive. Personally, I don’t think the collection of 6-7 bottles in the back of the car is any of D#2’s business, especially since we’re going out of our way to ferry her to and from church twice a week.

A Mother’s Angst

All it is is my perspective.

Mother n – something or someone that gives rise to or exercises protecting care over something else; origin or source.

Angst n – a feeling of dread, anxiety, or anguish.

Vent v – to relieve by giving expression to something.

Usually I save my venting for my prayers. God hears me and I trust Him. My children and my grandchildren are His. Yesterday I was called to share some thoughts that someone, somewhere needed to hear. Maybe it was you. Maybe it was me.

We are blessed and adopted children of God. Sometimes our trust is tested – how else can we demonstrate obedience? In faith, we must do what we are called to do.