1/12/18 Morning Musing: We Damage His Name…

After reading another story about another woman being sexually assaulted by a man and it not coming to public knowledge for decades and hearing her disparaged and minimized because she “waited too long” or because it was “decades ago”…I just can’t be quiet any longer. (This time, it was Andy Savage of Highpoint Church in Tennessee.) It’s late and my heart hurts so be patient with me as I try to make coherent points.

I can not understand how “waiting so long” is supposed to negate the victim’s reliability or the truth. People in power have gotten away with abuse of the ones without that power forever…and unfortunately, it is also true in churches. But unlike outside of the church, we Christians should be held to a different standard…not because we are better than anyone else…not by a long shot. We should be held to a higher standard because we have intimate understanding of Jesus’ example of giving a voice to the voiceless…of bringing justice to the marginalized…and giving dignity to the broken or hurting. This intimate knowledge of our God and his heart means that we can not continue to ignore injustice and abuse of power while representing our Lord accurately because each time we do, we aren’t just lying…we aren’t just hurting the individuals being denied justice…we are also damaging the name of our God.

We damage his name when we continue to turn a blind eye to abuse.

We damage his name when we refuse to see other people…other image-bearers…as valuable.

We damage his name when we give racism or sexism (or any other ism) a pass by remaining quiet when we know we should be speaking up.

We damage his name when we refuse to enter into honest and respectful dialogue about topics that matter. (This contributes to the trend of people seeing the church as obsolete.)

We damage his name when we defend abusers and judge victims based on whether or not we align with them politically, denominationally, etc. (Yes, I just went there.)

We damage his name when we push for male leaders in church to receive funds for their ministry, appropriate pay and title, and continuing education while denying it for their female counter-parts.

We damage his name when we beat people up with our religion instead of listening to them and loving them.

We damage his name when we applaud what is wicked and criticize what is good.

We damage his name when we deny others the freedom that we simultaneously demand for ourselves.

We damage his name when we judge others instead of remembering how we have been forgiven.

We damage his name when we mistreat each other in the name of “witnessing.”

We damage his name when we abandon the needy, weak, marginalized, aged, or hurting.

We damage his name when we refuse to own our sins and, instead, justify our ugly behaviors or minimize them by using more palatable wording so that we can feel better about ourselves.

I could go on and on forever with this. At some point, we must quit tolerating the abuse of power. If we are the ones with power, God’s blessings are not limited…there is no need to try to hoard it. If we are the abusers, yes there is forgiveness…the gospel is not too small for any sin…but that doesn’t mean that accountability is void. If we are the survivors…and hear me on this…please hear me…our pain is not to be wasted! It can become a beautiful place that will allow us to minister to others and understand the hurts of others if we allow it. If we are the ones without power, our God is the God Who Sees us (El Roi) so he clearly sees the power-mongers and they will be held accountable.

How are you doing with this? Did any of these points make you wince a little or bring a specific incident to mind? Is there some way that you can pursue a more truthful and authentic way of living this out? Is there someone that you feel you should apologize to? Is there forgiveness that you can extend to someone regardless of whether or not they have asked for it?

My prayer for us tonight is that we would simply love each other better. I am praying that instead of constantly grappling for power or position or status or whatever, that we would see the truth of what is important and life-giving and pursue it with abandon. I am praying that we would try to squeeze every bit of living out of this life while we have it instead of pursuing the things that lead to our physical, emotional, and spiritual death. I am praying that we would also learn how to receive love when offered by others.

Much love friends,

Beks

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10/4/17 Morning Musing: Become the Expert You Pretend to Be

“I think it’s all in your head. If you just quit thinking about it, you’ll realize that you are fine.” My body shook with rage as I listened to these words and felt this person slip away from my inner circle. My face was hot and my breathing got faster and I was very aware of my heart beating fast and hard…so hard that I was sure that it must be moving my shirt on my chest. The only thought I could pull together was “You are not a safe person for me anymore. You simply are not safe.” 

This interaction happened in the year following the poisoning when I was going through hell. At the time, I was trying to regain my health through very extreme measures…I was dealing with bitterness and anger toward the man who had stolen my life from me…I was mourning the loss of the life that I had before…I was spiraling in a spiritual crisis…I was facing the isolation that accompanied my decimated health because people simply didn’t know what to do with me and consequently quietly pulled away…I was feeling guilt and shame for not being able to contribute to the family in any way…and I was already battling thoughts of suicide. And then I had this person tell me that all of my health issues were make-believe. What he really wanted was for me to get over it so that he didn’t have to feel any awkwardness. But if I could have just made it disappear with positive thoughts, don’t you think I would have? If I could have taken any shortcut out of this…anything that would make it end…I absolutely, without a doubt would have taken it…but there was no shortcut…there was only through.

Why am I writing about this? Good question. I think that we have an epidemic today. I think that we are so busy being busy that we don’t take care with our words…we are careless and we injure people. I think that we are so stuck looking at things from only our own point of view (and surrounding ourselves only with people who will validate our own point of view) that we think we are qualified to pass judgement on things that we honestly don’t know anything about. I know that my story is extreme…I haven’t ever come across anyone else who has experienced it…but I’m using my story to make the point…nobody could even get a glimpse of what I was experiencing unless they took the time to hear me…and in my brokenness, I found that people didn’t want to hear me…what they wanted was for my experience to be simple and neat and tied with a bow so that they could consume the cliff notes version, file it under some already existing category in their minds, and move on. And I frustrated people because their pre-made categories didn’t work with my story.  

The thing is, I don’t think my experience is unique (the poisoning…yes, that is unique…but being helpless to have people understand before passing judgement…well, I think that happens to people every single day.) I think that this happens when a new mother is dealing with depression and people tell her that she has no reason to be blue. I think this happens when someone makes a political statement and we dismiss them as a crazy/stupid/illogical/heartless person from across the political aisle from us. I think this happens when a person of color simply makes a truthful statement that black lives matter and people scream back that all lives matter. I think this happens when a person struggles with mental illness and people ignore it because they look ok on the outside.
I guess the point that I am trying to make is this: In a courtroom, not just anybody can be brought in to speak about certain matters…people who are qualified to speak on a subject…experts…are brought in (and their credentials are heavily scrutinized)…so why do we think we are qualified to pass judgement about things that we don’t know about? Why do we try to negate the experiences of others when learning from people that are different from us can only broaden our knowledge and deepen our compassion?

This one was hard for me to write. Not only did I struggle with reliving that memory and the feelings that go along with it…but I also struggled with facing my own guilt in this area. How about you? How are you doing with this? Do you spend time with people who are different from you? When you hear a perspective that is different than yours, do you take it in and crunch on it a while or do you begin to mentally rip apart their experience so that you can negate it? What do you have knee-jerk reactions about? Do you actively seek out people who stand counter to you on those subjects so that you can have a deeper understanding or do you surround yourself with people who will agree with your current stance (making it unnecessary to allow your self to become uncomfortable and brave enough to lean in to the discomfort?) Are you still learning something new every day or have you embraced becoming stagnant?
My prayer today is that we would be authentic people who are confident enough to allow others to be authentic also…that we would love people enough to listen and really hear them…that we would step away from our battle stances and step closer to someone who is different from us. Friends, I am praying that we would each draw closer to God and allow him to move us closer to each other. I am praying once again that we would love well.

Much love friends,

Beks

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” Galatians‬ ‭5:22-23

1/25/16 Morning Musing: Scandalized

This morning, I woke up 30 minutes before my alarm went off so I decided to throw on some clothes and go for a good walk before waking up the kiddos. When I left the house, it was still very dark outside…which made it an excellent time to get lost in my thoughts. I was walking through an area that was thick with trees, thinking about what self-defense strategies to employ if someone were to jump out from this direction or how to watch their shadows if they tried to come up from behind me all stealthy-like (and yes…I’m sure that gives some sort of psychological insight into my personal damage…but I digress…) when I saw some headlights shining through the trees. I kept walking along my path (still looking around everywhere so as to not be like a spot-lighted deer) when I saw the headlights were unmoving and at a park. As I got a little closer, I saw someone sitting in a minivan with the engine running…and then I smelled it…a lit cigar. That, of course, made me start mentally engineering patterns like I tend to do:

So, what I know is that there is a person parked in a minivan, in the dark, at a park, in a neighborhood at 5:45 am on a Monday morning. Their headlights are on so they aren’t worried about being seen here. They are smoking a cigar…which takes a while…so they aren’t in a hurry. I continued to think about it as I walked down to the middle school, around the baseball field, and then began circling back. The smoker in the minivan was still there when I was back to the same part of the path and, as I often do, I began to feel what they were feeling: Escape. Maybe a hidden little guilty pleasure? Possibly some defiance…but within carefully-crafted limits. So, here is my conclusion: I think that this person is a parent who feels a lot of expectations are placed on them by someone that they live with. They love the person and don’t want to disappoint them but, at the same time, they want to feel independent and strong. So, they do something that their spouse (I’m guessing) wouldn’t approve of but it’s not something that they feel is necessarily a bad thing (which is why they were away from their home but not necessarily hiding from people in general.) My guess is that they told their spouse that they had to be somewhere (probably work) early this morning and came here to unwind on their own and get a little space. This person is probably feeling a little bit of a thrill from the secret escape and will return to do this regularly until the thrill doesn’t show up anymore…then, this thrill will have to be replaced with something bigger in order to feel that same sense of…getting away with something.

Ok, so you have probably figured out by now that I am some kind of lunatic…I see a person in a van and concoct an entire back-story to what is going on in this person’s life. (It’s what I do…I love studying people and their behavior…I find myself asking why someone would do what they are doing and then I determine how I would feel if I was in their shoes (assuming that I determine the correct shoes to try on)…it’s like a puzzle that I can’t put down. But whether or not I am right about this person isn’t really my point. (It was just a little mental exercise to start my day.) My main reason for writing this is to get to the cause of why a person…any person…would feel the need to hide things from those that they love most. (Didn’t see that coming did you?) And the conclusion that I come to is something that I think we all need to work on: Scandal. (Now, give me a second before you roll your eyes and move on to something else.) The only reason that I can think of for hiding something from someone you love is for the purpose of avoiding disappointing them…”protecting them” you might say…but when we protect someone from the truth, I think we are back to avoiding disappointing them…which means that there is some element of shame involved. So, that makes me think about hiding and shame in general and why we do it. We hide and feel shame because we don’t want someone to know what is true about us because the way that they see us…the way that they look at us…could forever change: “If he/she really knew what I think/do/feel/am/believe, he/she would be scandalized.” 

Now, I am going to flip things around on you. Instead of approaching this from the point of view of why we should not feel shame and how God would be saddened for those he loves to be weighed down unnecessarily by shame, I want to approach this from the perspective of the person who loves the shamed individual…the one who would be scandalized. (See the last sentence of the paragraph above.) I think that we need to do a better job of not being scandalized. That probably sounds weird to you but hear me out: I have talked to a lot of hurting people over the years and, the best I can tell, being scandalized only causes harm. What do I mean by that? Well, being shocked or aghast at what you discover someone has done only distances you from that person. It does not close the gap…it only emphasizes the distance between you…which isolates the person experiencing the shame. (We are really bad about this in Christian circles. Think along the lines of specific areas of sin/struggle that are made out to be worse than other areas. If you still don’t know what I mean, fill in the blank and you will know what scandalzes you: “I sin…I mess up…but at least I am not _________________. I may have my faults but I don’t do ________________.” If you can easily fill in those blanks, then you have an area in life that shocks or scandalizes you…and that means that there are hurting people who need Jesus and they certainly won’t come to see him through you. Now hear me when I say that I am NOT excusing sin…I think sin deeply saddens God…but I think our responses to it tend to run in the wrong direction…we respond with feelings of shock, anger, and judgement when we what we should feel is empathy (because we know what it feels like to be broken and hurting and lonely.) We distance ourselves from them and their guilt so that we can feel ok about ourselves and feel clean…but distance is not what Jesus came here to do (The Good Shepherd brings his sheep together…he doesn’t let them exist at a comfortable distance from each other…because that distance leads to the death of his sheep that he loves.) 

Why the heck am I talking about headlights, cigars, scandal, and sheep? Because I think we can do this better. I think we are all hurting in some way…which means that the ones we love most are also hurting in some way…and we can love them better by not being scandalized by their stuff. Regardless of the circumstances we find ourselves in, we all need to feel loved and accepted…we need to know we can be forgiven and that not all is lost…that we can be redeemed…and thank goodness Jesus is in the business of redeeming and restoring.  
So how are you doing with this? Is shame causing you to hide from the ones that love you? Do you know that hiding leads to more hiding which leads to being unknown? What have you kept hidden that needs to be brought to light? Do you have someone you love who is struggling with some hidden damage? (I’ll help you out on that one…the answer is YES!) How can you become a safe person for them? How can you become someone who will lovingly point them to the one who would redeem and restore them? How can you be less scandalized by your people’s stuff and, instead, close the distance?

My prayer today is that we would not hide from those that we love and that we would become people who others don’t feel the need to hide from. I am praying that we would erect fewer walls in our relationships, focus on our similarities, and employ empathy in order to close some of the distance between us. And I am praying that we would love people into the presence of God…because if we already know God…really know him…then someone loved us into his presence. Much love friends,
Beks

9/3/14 Morning Musing: Release

Warning: This one is raw…proceed with caution.

It’s that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach…you know the one…where it feels like you have water boiling down inside you or something. It gets hot and the steam moves upward toward your face and you can feel your skin flush but there is nothing you can do about it because you know…you know for sure…that you were in the wrong. Not just wrong…dead wrong. You know that you caused this person pain…this person who is looking you in the eye and with the confusion showing on their face, trying to wrap their brain around how you could do this to them…and you are trying to wrap your brain around it too. How the hell did it get this far? How did you get so far off your path? When did you become this person who would betray and hurt someone you love so very deeply? And you realize that you were playing on a slippery slope…and you thought you were the only one that could get hurt by it…and it’s not true…that is the lie that you bought in to. Because it is excruciating for you now…but you’ve also brought someone else in to it…you volunteered them for this pain without their consent…and you feel it…guilt and despair.

Or maybe you don’t know this feeling. Maybe you’ve been the injured instead of the injurer. I’ve talked to people who have never been the injurer…it’s an interesting conversation every time. The most recent one was so angry at her husband…so hurt…and quickly becoming bitter. She simply could not or would not release the pain and the sin that had been committed against her. Every time she looked at him, she broke again and the anger would reappear. When I told her that I have been on both sides of these feelings she was shocked. No, my circumstances aren’t the same as hers…but I have been on both sides of these feelings. And I can tell you…right now…being the injurer is worse, in my opinion. When you are the injured, you have the right to be angry. There is someone/something that you can mentally point your finger at and say “That is wrong.” You can choose to forgive…it may take a long time and you will likely have to forgive repeatedly…but you can choose it. When you are the injurer, you can only imagine what the other person is feeling. You have the knowledge that YOU…You are the one who caused this turmoil. You are the reason for this sadness, brokenness, and gnashing of teeth. And you can’t take it away…because no apology…no good deed…no kindness will unbreak the brokenness. And to make matters worse, every time you think of this person, the guilt and the feelings in the pit of your stomach return…so you begin to avoid them…it’s not their fault by any stretch of the imagination…but you can’t bear to feel this way. You convince yourself that it is better for them…that they can move on and heal if you would just leave them alone…but really, it’s for you. It’s so you can function and release the guilt for just a minute…get away from yourself for just a damn minute! Maybe you could even be the injured instead of the injurer for a little bit…because being angry feels more powerful than this never-ending ache any way you slice it. You might even pick a fight with someone so that you can hold them in the wrong and get a reprieve from being the guilty one.

Some of you may not identify with any of this…there was a time that I didn’t. Sometimes, I wish I didn’t know this intimately and first-hand…but…I do. Every word of it is from my personal experiences. And I have struggled because most Bible Studies that you find for women address the side of the injured: how to forgive others, how to move past the pain, how to heal from abuse, how to redeem the pain, etc. But what about when you are one who wrought misery on others? How do you begin to move past it when you never thought you could go this far off track? Never thought you could offend the Holy Spirit so deeply? Never thought you really NEEDED Jesus? I know that I thought I was “good enough” on my own until I became the injurer (not that I would have ever admitted it.) I had a relationship with Jesus. I had excellent head-knowledge of him. But I didn’t need his grace…not really. I was good enough…by almost anyone’s standards. I was in control of my life…my choices…bad things had happened to me…but not by me…not truly terrible things anyway. And I was able to look at others from my superiority and judge…I didn’t tell them that I did…but I did…and they knew.

And then, it all changed. And I knew what it meant to be guilty and impotent to correct it. And it sucked…it consumed me for a while…if I’m honest, it still does on occasion…and I have to re-release it all over again. I get frustrated because I shouldn’t have to re-forgive myself should I? But I do…and the wound is opened again…and once again, I am having to handle the treatment for healing. And once again I find myself on my knees before a sinless Jesus apologizing for my behavior in the past and my lack of faith in him in the present…otherwise, I wouldn’t be snatching my sins and failures out of his hands so that I can “control” them once again. It’s cyclical for me…although I am pleased that the cycle seems to have more time in it now…it’s longer between bouts with my conscience…my oh-so-loud conscience that never shuts up.

Why am I sharing this with you? Well, I guess it’s because I figure some of you are dealing with this too. I want you to know that you aren’t the only one if you have felt this way. Also, if you have only been the injured, you should know that the injurer is enduring their own hell too. They are learning hard lessons as well. And it all sucks…it sucks for everyone because sin always moves outward. There is no such thing as a privately committed sin that only affects the sinner…the purpose of sin is to rupture relationship between us and God, us and each other, and within ourselves. That is what every single sin does and it hurts everyone.

So how are you doing with this? Besides the fact that I probably just depressed you to no end, how are you doing with this? Is there someone you have refused to release from their prison of being the injurer? How can you begin the process of healing and forgiving today? Are you the injurer? Are you still holding onto the sin? Are you refusing to release it into the hands of a savior who wants to remove it from you as far as the East is from the West? Is it time to re-visit forgiveness of self?

This one was hard and painful for me…it made me feel very raw to write it. I feel like it is painful for someone else too. I am praying for you today that you would embrace forgiveness of yourself and others. That you would accept Jesus’ work on the cross as complete and give it all to him instead of holding onto the anger and bitterness and shock and disappointment. Regardless of being the injured or injurer, you need the cross to heal and you need to embrace the grace that is offered to you. Much love friends,

Beks

4/14/14 Morning Musing: “Rebekah Leigh, You Make Me So Tired.”

“Rebekah Leigh, you make me so tired.” I remember my mom saying this to me frequently as a child. Like Michaela, I was an ADHD kiddo with endless energy and even more words…but I grew up undiagnosed and unmedicated. (If I had grown up in today’s world, there probably would have been a ritalin salt-lick in my room…I was definitely a handful…good-natured…but a handful.) Now, before you get all judgy-faced (Thank you Eileen for this phrase…I say it all the time now) my mom did a great job…but, let’s be honest…sometimes, parenting (even amazing children) can be exhausting. Last night was one of those nights for me. I know my kids are amazing but…They…Wore…Me…Out!!! (Especially my sweet little Caleb.) We are still battling some potty issues with the boy…now, it seems that he gets so engrossed in what he is doing that he will just forget to go to the bathroom. Last night, that happened again but the problem wasn’t the potty stuff (although…If I’m honest, it pisses me off that he can’t spend two minutes going to bathroom so I have to spend two hours doing laundry.) The problem was that he lied about it…repeatedly. I know that this is a normal part of child-development and that he is testing boundaries…but I just wanted to nip that behavior in the bud!

So, after dealing with Caleb and putting him to bed, I texted my girlfriend, Susan. Our children are the same ages and we tend to be a similar type of mom: straight-forward, very logical, not overly-nurturing, and honest about how exhausting motherhood is for us. (I’ve mentioned before that I didn’t get the nurturing-gene that moms get when their babies are born…instead, I got the sarcasm-gene.) Now, I know that many of you live for the weekend. While I enjoy Stan being home on the weekend, I really enjoy week days more…because the kids go to school…and working and volunteering are my “break.” Getting to do something more cerebral and working with my hands takes less out of me than spending emotional energy does (and my children simply require a lot of emotional energy from me.) The picture I’ve included is the text that went on between Susan and I. (I know some of you are going to get all shocked and offended by the blasphemy…but hold off…this is really how my thoughts went…I am simply pulling back the curtain and being straight with you…please don’t make me regret it by screaming how anti-Christian it is…If I am anything, I am a lover and follower of Jesus…so, simmer down.)

Now, I know that some of you never tire of your little ones…or at least you give that impression…there are constant creative crafts and endless sweet snuggles and meaningful moments that fill your days with your little people…for me, I simply can not wait until bed time when I’m “off the clock.” I try to make my time with the little people meaningful and beautiful but it is WORK. Hard work! And it wears me out. I love them with every part of my being but…it requires an immense amount of energy from me to not be a terrible mother. So, when I read Susan’s text about not having school Thursday and Friday this week…well, my reaction was the same as if you received news that you were going to have to work Saturday and Sunday in addition to your normal work week. I wanted to know whose fault it was…and then I remembered…Jesus…Good Friday…and felt like a terrible person for not being more grateful…and that is why I am writing this musing.

Guilt. I felt terrible because Good Friday and what was accomplished on the cross got swept away in my exhaustion and frustration. I wasn’t being the pious Christian who was meditating deeply every moment about Easter and Jesus and his resurrection. I was caught up in the hectic business of the everyday. But the more I think about it, the more I think Jesus understands this in us. He created us and knows us deeply. Now, I do think he would like me to capture my thoughts more…discipline my mind…and be more eternally-focused when I am moving toward frustration. But, I don’t think that he wants me to feel guilty when I fail. In fact, I don’t believe that guilt comes from Jesus at all…conscience yes…guilt no.

For me, one of my greatest blessings (my children) is the stressor that tends to make me become more self-focused and less Christ-focused. I become tired, cranky, short-tempered, and selfish. So, I think I am supposed to recognize the stressors and their symptoms and cut them off before I head down a bad path. Do you do this too? What is your trigger or stressor? Do you have one or am I the only confessed ingrate? Please tell me I am not alone here.

4/12/14 Morning Musing: The Double X Cage Match

I took Michaela to her soccer practice this morning and enjoyed getting to watch her play. During the 4th quarter, it was Michaela’s turn to sit out and she sat in my lap in my chair while we watched her team finish out the game. Sitting near me was a mom who was overwhelmed and frustrated with one of her daughters. Granted, I haven’t spent every waking moment with her daughter (about 12-14 years old?) but she really didn’t seem to be doing anything wrong. I definitely got the impression that the mom was mostly concerned with not being disrespected by the daughter in front of others…and while I don’t think the daughter was disrespecting the mom…the mom was definitely loudly and publicly disrespecting the daughter for, what felt like, an eternity. I could feel Michaela trembling in my lap and it wasn’t cold outside. I wrapped my arms around Michaela and told her “I’m really glad that we don’t talk to each other that way. I love you very much and think you are one of my favorite people in the whole world.” She turned and buried her face in my chest and said, “I’m so glad we don’t do that too. It scares me.”

So, my first instinct was to think “How can you expect someone to show respect when you don’t model it yourself? You have taken her voice from her and publicly humiliated her.” Then, thank goodness, my second instinct kicked in before I opened my big, stupid mouth. It is easy to judge this mom while not knowing what she is going through, not knowing her relationship with her daughter, and not knowing what kind of support she gets in child-rearing. It is easy for me to point my finger and say “that is wrong.” But doing that will not help this mom or her daughter. My experience has been that people who behave disrespectfully, have experienced it and had it modeled for them. What this woman needs is not judgement and subsequent disrespect from me…she needs help…practical help…and understanding from another mom who has been frustrated and absurd at times too. (My mother-in-law rightfully laughed out loud at me when I angrily yelled a stubborn 3-year-old-Michaela that we were “about to throw down.” Yep…that really happened.)

There is a tendency with moms/women to judge each other (and ourselves) harshly and measure ourselves by how we compare to others. Of course, these comparisons are never apples to apples…it’s usually my best moments compared to your worst or vice versa. We make our own decisions ok (or completely horrible) by picking apart (or idealizing) the decisions of others: kids, no kids, working mom, stay-at-home mom, married, divorced, remarried, single, pop-tart mom, organic free-range mom, breast-feeding mom, formula-feeding mom, career woman, home-maker, co-sleeping mom, cry-it-out mom…if someone else’s choices are ok, then somehow my choices or circumstances are wrong or invalid. Let’s stop buying into this lie. If your favorite color is blue and mine is day-glow orange, neither of us has to be wrong…we can have different opinions and still be ok with each other and still be telling our own unique and beautiful stories.

How does choosing differently as a woman relate to this mom speaking disrespectfully to her daughter? Glad you asked…someone has to keep me on topic afterall. It was obvious to me that the mom was, for one reason or another, trying to save face in front of the other parents. She was feeling embarrassed and inadequate and was probably trying to save face in the way that was modeled to her (the same way that she was modeling to her own daughter.) Maybe if she didn’t feel that unspoken but strongly-felt competition that unfortunately is prevalent among women, she could have different experience to pull from…she could offer her daughter something different…she could have different interactions in her life to model herself after.

So, did I do the right thing and build this woman up? Nope! Just a big loser here who just hugged my own daughter and stayed quiet. I don’t process things that that fast…I needed to come home and dissect the event and evaluate it for a few hours. But guess what?! Our team has another game at 2:30 (less than an hour from now.) I’m going to have another opportunity to do this right…find some way to build up this woman and her daughter…model something different for my daughter…and end (at least for the moment) the nasty cage match that occurs every day between the members of our society with the double X chromosomes. I’m betting this happens in your life too…what could you be doing to reduce the competition, build up others, and love people well? Thoughts? I clearly suck at this and could use ideas from my friends out there.