Archives for January 2013

Draft my Daughter? Don’t Even Think About it


As we are all now aware, Leon Panetta –the Pentagon chief has removed the ban on women to engage in combat.

When this story broke, it certainly caught my interest.  Mainly because I can’t understand why any woman would want to voluntarily stand in front of bullets whizing past her nose and suicide bombers.

That being said, I applaud any female who wants to risk her life for home and country.  There are many women who currently serve in dangerous positions and I appreciate their sacrifice.  If a woman meets the strict physical requirements for combat than kudos to her.

I’ve heard some pretty stupid arguments on this:

  • Sex will be rampant
  • Rape and torture will ensue
  • PMS and sanitary requirements will be an obstacle

I don’t really think these objections even qualify as arguments.  Sex is already rampant in the military.  This is not a new issue.  Rape and torture are a strong possibility for female POW’s, but this happens to the guys too.  Most of these gals know exactly what they are signing up for.  And PMS and lady concerns can be alleviated by Midol and the birth control pill, making this a non-issue as well.

What concerns me most is that women are so bent on equality with men that we have lost our own unique identity as women

When did guarding the frontline at home become obsolete?  When did caring for our children and investing in our marriages become passe?  Why are so many women blind to the fact that we are trading in our beautiful God-given traits of femininity for a power-hungry quest in the name of Feminism?

Don’t get me wrong, I am deeply grateful to all the women who fought for suffrage and equality, but in this instance (women in combat) I think we have taken it too far.  Women are certainly equal but we are different, and it’s ok to acknowledge our strengths and weaknesses.

I am a woman.  I am a life-giver and a nurturer and I am proud of it.  I can do many things that a man can do, but there are certain things men can do better and vice versa.  My fourteen year old son can kick my ass if he wanted too.  This is a matter of nature not nurture.

Women are also more relational and peace minded than our male counterparts.  No one disputes that women are as intelligent as men, but why do we have to compete on a defensive level too?

Ladies, are we that desperate for the thousands of highly dangerous jobs men occupy?  Is this what feminism has come to?

Are we really winning this battle?

Can’t we let our guys (born with a natural protective instinct) be the hero’s for once? 

I know Catniss Everdeen kicked butt in the Hunger Games, but this is reality, not Hollywood.  Most young ladies I know are not highly skilled or even all that interested in weaponry.

If the draft of my daughters is the next nut to crack on the feminist political agenda than you have just lost my vote.  I don’t mind if a gun-toting gal wants to VOLUNTEER to take on a frontline job, but do not drag the rest of us ladies into this.

I don’t want my baby girls playing with a Barbie in camo sporting an automatic weapon slung over her shoulder. 

I dated a Navy Seal once.  When I would ask him what he did in training the night before, he would vaguely mention being dropped off the coast in a helicopter twenty miles offshore and swimming back in the dark.

Just what every woman dreams of…sharks, cold, pain.  Personally, I’d rather deal with a teething baby.  I get all the sleep deprivation and drama without Jaws nibbling on my toes.

I am at a loss to understand why women would even fight for this?  I don’t see it as equality.  I see it as insanity.  I am willing to admit that birthing three kids (one without drugs), honeymooning in the Middle East, serving the homeless in the inner city and doing house builds in impoverished nations is about as brave as I get.  Call me a wuss, call me a WOMAN, it’s ok…

And I do acknowledge some women enjoy more a stimulating career.  I just can’t relate at all.

What do you think about women in combat?

Source: Associated Press

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The Agony of Finals Week


It’s Finals week and all the crazed and neurotic mothers have come out of the woodwork.

I know I am not alone.  I can see it in their eyes and Facebook posts.  Mom’s are on the edge.  (It’s when kids secretly text that mom has turned into a big bad word starting with a B)

Somehow we mama’s must make our kids buckle down and STUDY, a challenge not unlike removing a wad of sticky gum plastered to the bottom of the dryer.

Help! How do I channel the vision of a first-class college degree and the impact of a strong GPA onto a fourteen-year-old who just wants to get buff so he can sack quarterbacks and score hot chicks. 

I see him graduating from Stanford.  He imagines himself running out of Autzen Stadium in Oregon.  I see Summa Cum Laude.  He sees Grabba Thigh Beta.

I suggest he is a student/athlete,  while Kyle see’s himself as an athlete/student. 

Don’t get me wrong, my son is a sweet and Godly kid but puberty has hit hard.  He weighs 182 lbs and is just shy of 6 ft.  He looks and smells like a burly man.  And yet he is still an impressionable child in many respects.

Can someone tell me how to get through the layers of muscle and hormones to reach the logical side of the brain?  I’ve heard teenagers are  brain-damaged (AKA immature) until they reach their early twenties.

How do I teach rational thought to Jello? Every nugget of wisdom bounces right off him. 

“Mom, barely any of my friends even study for finals.  Stop stressing.  I’m way ahead of the game,” he says with a laidback smile.

Inside I freak out some more.

Right now I’ve improvised with complete and utter bribery.  I ply him  with food, protein and what we call “party grades.”  This means Kyle has to get good grades to attend all social events.  There is no iPhone this week. FaceBook is off limits.  We force him to make flash cards and actually review them.

So far it’s sort of working although it’s a VERY painful process.

We’ll see how he (and mama) survives Finals week.  Two more days of torture!

How do you motivate your teen to study?



“Why” You Need to Read the Labels

Love 2“Mom, my eye is killing me.”

From a far off distance, I heard Kyle’s plea for help. With a groggy groan, I roused myself out of the first waves of sweet sleep and sat up to examine him. Indeed, his right peeper appeared bloodshot and his cheek below was red and irritated from scratching.

I hopped out of bed, ran to the bathroom cabinet and searched for the eye drops. I found the tiny bottle and ripped off the wrapping. Sitting Kyle down I dumped a few drops in his sore eye.

I waited to hear, “Ahhhhh, thanks mom,” but it never came.

Instead Kyle started howling, “It burns, mom, it burns.”

Confused, I turned on the light and looked at the bottle. It said “Otic” Solution not “Optic” Solution.

“Otic” means ear not eye.

“Abort, Abort!”

We rushed Kyle to the sink to flush his eye out with water. Tim searched online for medical treatment and I prepared to go to the hospital and then the slammer.

Tears choked my stutters of rambling, “sorry, sorry, sorry.”

I patted Kyle’s back and ached with his every moan.

I could see the headlines. “Mother accidentally blinds budding football star with Otic Solution. Abuse Charges filed.”

Suddenly Tim yelled from the bedroom, “It says it’s a common accident. The medicine “neomycin” actually the same, just in a higher concentration for sensitive eyes. He’ll live. Just wash it out good.”

My son playfully glared at me with his good eye. “Nice mom, thanks for the love!”

Kyle went to bed and I fell back to sleep exhausted. It had been a long week. Kolby had a high fever for almost five days in a row and I was running on fumes from nursing her. But my sleep was troubled.

Mommy guilt was setting in. The fog of inner torment settled on my shoulders like a backpack.

Kyle’s eye was better in the morning and I sent him off to school somewhat relieved but feeling like a big loser.

When I sat down with my Bible I needed grace more than ever. My prayers went something like this: Jesus, I suck as I mom. I failed my kid. In my weakness and exhaustion I slipped. I’m supposed to be his rescuer. I remembered the day when I accidentally nipped his tiny finger as a baby with the nail trimmer. Every drop of blood tortured me. This moment felt strangely familiar.

Please, please, please help me climb out of this hole of self-abuse.

And then my solace came. Slowly, quietly and with stillness. Psalms of praise, thanksgiving and love.

I felt my shepherds gentle pat and knew everything would be ok.

I am so thankful for God’s unending grace and mercy to a troubled mother’s heart. It was just enough to get me through the day, although a few tears of remorse continued to cloud my vision.

Do you ever struggle with “mommy guilt” when you blow it?

The Habit of Excellence

“Excellence is not an act….but a habit.”

Thoroughly engaged in munching on a sloppy burrito, the group leader’s question caught me off guard.  “What are your New Year’s resolutions?”

I gulped and coughed on a chunk of chicken. My mind screeched, “NOOOOOOOO…….”

Strangely enough, I struggle with being put on the spot for “group sharing,” specifically in ministry groups where I randomly tag along with my husband just to get free Baja Fresh. 

I hate the stilted quasi-spiritual answers that ensue. 

No one wants to admit their true resolution is to lose weight or ditch the potty mouth.  It’s always things like, “I’m working on my spiritual disciplines, or trying to get in an extra two hours of Scripture memorization a day.”

Yeah, right! 

But now I was in over my head.  The question moved around the large table (actually two tables awkwardly shoved together as one) until it was my turn to share.

I mumbled something about being more present with my kiddo’s, an area God has (legitimately) been working on my heart for the last year, but the truth was I didn’t have any resolutions.  I barely made it through the holidays and then it was Kolby’s birthday and I haven’t had a minute to stop and reflect and consider any real life change.

But later, curled up with my books and journal I chewed on the resolution’s a bit more.  After catching up on some reading and e-mails, I dug out a series of articles my ex-husband sent me to motivate my son for football.  The articles –by Western Branch Head football Coach Greg Gibson were on excellence and something in my heart perked up at Coach Gibson’s approach to life..

Gibson wants his players to strive towards being an “11” for life.   Why stop at “10”?  I love this!

 He stresses the pursuit of excellence in all his players.  With teenagers, it’s hard to communicate this enough and it creates high expectations, but this high expectation also creates great young men when they rise to the occasion.  

(In a world full of entitled slackers, I couldn’t agree more.)

Coach Gibson proclaims:”We want to increase our excellence and reach our potential in every area.  We have to discover our individual identities, find our purpose, decide what we want to accomplish, and create a plan to achieve.”

“Executing a plan to reach our full potential takes a lot of preparation,” the coach stresses.   “We want to uncover all of the things that can help or hinder putting that plan into action.  The willingness to do whatever it takes to execute that plan will yield excellence, but it doesn’t just happen.  Achieving excellence requires a great deal of hard work.”

Coach Gibson’s instruction on pursuing excellence doesn’t start with playing the game on the football field.   It starts with playing the game of life.   It starts with how you treat yourself and how you treat those closest to you.

Gibson’s advice:  “Excellence means understanding the needs of everyone in the family and sacrificing the time and effort it takes to meet those needs.”

“Listening is an important skill and discipline. When we listen, we learn, and move out of our comfort zones and into the other person’s world.   We have to make the necessary sacrifices and develop the commitment, focus, and discipline it takes to build tremendous relationships in our own families.   I recommend my players craft a plan for excellence.

My New Year’s resolution for 2013?  I want to shoot for an “Excellent Approach” in all areas of my life –as a wife, mother, daughter, sister, writer, blogger, speaker and friend.

The Bible puts it this way…

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men…”(Col. 3:23 NIV)

And I think I’ll start by using that new gym membership my sweetie got me, because I did an excellent job of polishing off a ton of sweets over the holiday season.

What are your New Year’s Resolutions?


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