Archive | August 2010

What Is Wrong With Parenting Magazine. (It’s not a question; I’m going to tell you.)

I know. Not a very nice title. So I will start with something positive, a shout-out. To my mother-in-law. One of my favorite things about Carole, my mother-in-law, is that her love language is gifts and letters. This means I very frequently open my mailbox to find an “envelope (or box) o’ stuff.” Unfortunately, I am horrible at cards and letters these days. I hope she doesn’t feel terribly unloved. But anyways, Carole knows two things about me: 1. I love to read. 2. I am poor. Because of her, I enjoy a wide range of reading material that I would not otherwise. My favorite, of course, is Real Simple, which literally makes my day when I get it. Obviously. She’s also sent a wonderful women’s devotional, and a really cool “HomeMade” magazine, with all kinds of amazing ideas I will never be creative enough to implement, but totally respect.
And I also enjoy Parenting Magazine. And I do mean “enjoy.” I love reading about the new baby toys, and trendy snacks for kids and parents (mostly kids…is that wrong?). There are a lot of interesting articles about safety, diet, people who go on really fun trips or do creative things with their jobs, etc. etc. And, to put it bluntly, on a very lonely and begrudging day, I am downright ecstatic to get my hands on the happy pages of Parenting during a bathroom reprieve.
But I have a gripe. I’ll call it, to be productive, a “missed opportunity,” or a “room for improvement.” Because it has the readership, concept, and design to be a really terrific, helpful magazine, but I believe it falls short. Here are the things that bother me. I’m sure Carole agrees. 🙂
1. Emphasis on “me time.” Listen people. I am all for “me time.” There is a good and rightful place in this world for pedicures, solitary vacations to Palm Springs, mom’s night out, and escaping to the bathroom from a whining kid, etc, etc. But would it be too much to ask that for every eight articles about the former, there might be – I don’t know – ONE article encouraging moms to do something boring, unsatisfying and unselfish, for the sake of your kids? You almost get the idea reading it that being a good mom means indulging yourself.
2. And on that note, (and I know I sound like a fifty-year-old) but what is up with the sex columns? Was I the only fifth grader who read mom’s magazines when I was really bored? I bet I wasn’t. If you are reading Parenting, then you have a kid. A kid who doesn’t really NEED to know about sex technique, problems, or toys (yes!).
3. A little too much politics. Lesbian moms (“dads”?), diagnosing prejudice, and eliminating gender roles to name a few things. I’m fine with that if it’s Time, but seriously. Can’t we just consumer review diapers?
There. I feel better now. That’s what you get for reading the blog of a pregnant woman. I’ll try to be more positive next time.

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Success and talents

I don’t have it yet, and it’s starting to bother me. You know, the thing that I do, that puts me on the map, makes me important, gives me the glory I’ve been waiting for all these years. I mean, sure, I won the science fair in sixth grade for that revolutionary work on magnets. I think I got the Literature award when I graduated high school. Once my letter to the editor was published in the Charlotte Observer. Yup. But as wonderful as those successes were, I dream big, people. It has to be big… A seminar that millions of people (yes, millions) tune in for, order on itunes, comment on facebook about, or order copies of for their needy friends. (Don’t ask me on what.) If not a seminar, a book. But not one published on a solid-color, home-bound, with 1970-ish font. No, no, no. A REAL book. With my picture, or an artsy looking one, with a catchy title below and separate shiny jacket to match. It’d be a big seller, somewhere. I’d settle for an honorable mention in World Magazine, or on some reputable underground Christian blogs or something. But big. You get the idea. Or maybe a project that I start. Again, don’t ask me what for. Just a project, that solves some big problem, with me leading everyone while I’m holding a clipboard talking into a microphone wearing some new classy yet unassuming outfit I’ve bought with royalties from something.
I go back and forth. Some days I give me a lot of credit for my ambition and dreams and high hopes, but others, I think my self-image is a little skewed. Maybe there’s a little less Laura Bush, Beth Moore, and Pioneer Woman in me and more, um, normal people I see pumping their gas or buying toilet paper or loading their three kids in the car while the dog tries to escape and someone drops a popsicle on the ground and tries to eat it still. Maybe I’m…normal.
I don’t mean to insult the Popsicle lady or buying toilet paper, but I do think I’d feel a crushing disappointment if my life is never more than that. Is my thinking wrong? I think so.
The other day I was reading a book that made me list out five people I respect. Wouldn’t you know it, Beth Moore didn’t make the list (there are other reasons, if you want to know them later.) But not even the wonderful Laura Bush. Nope. It’s normal people. The ones who’ve changed my diapers and made me macaroni and cheese too many times to count, and who don’t always wear new clothes and won’t ever have their name on a book or in a brochure or give an interview with Larry King. Not that I really understand what it means to be a hero like these people are, because I’m still very bad at it, but I do know this: the little guy who ate the noodles and corn I made for dinner has no idea of my failed dreams and how I’m not famous to anyone or that that book is not even conceived, nonetheless started. I don’t think he cares. He likes the way I read Me And My Mom in the morning and how I point out bulldozers and that I let him make the toaster go “pop.” And it’s enough to him. I want it to be enough for me, too.

Praying the Promises of God

This post is totally copied from some guy I heard on the radio. And I only heard about three and a half minutes, so that makes it worse. But anyways, to paraphrase someone unknown for 1/15 of his lecture, here goes:
The best way to pray is to pray God’s promises. We can of course always ask for specifics in our life, but we’re not always promised that outcome. The best prayers come when we open up God’s word and ask Him to do what He has said he would. Here are a few promises I could think of:
– That he would give us wisdom for a situation (James 1:5)
– That he would be with us (matt 28)
– That he would give us peace. (Phillippians 4:7)
– That he would work all things in our life for good (Rom 8:28)
– That he would comfort us in our suffering (2 Cor. 1:1)
– That he would give us power, love, and self-discipline instead of fear (2 tim 1:7)
– That if we seek Him, he will give us what we need (matt 6:33)
– That no one can snatch us out of God’s hand (John 10:29)
– That we can be content, with his strength. (Phil. 4:13)
– That he will complete the work he started in us (phil. 1:6)

There are many more! But that’s a good start!