And Other Thoughts

A Cause to Blog

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Inspiration Means Nothing

I am always feeling so inspired about this or that and then shortly afterwards end up feeling incredibly defeated. After a year of ladies only Passion Parties, I wanted to break away from that and focus on couples parties instead. That, too, just didn't seem to end up working out as I had hoped.
After my last party I felt entirely…uninspired. I felt empty. I began to ask myself what’s right for me, because nothing seems to fit anymore. I had this incredible nagging sensation that I just wasn’t doing my part around here to make ends meet. I felt this need to be doing something other than being Tavin’s mommy.


Yep. That’s when the bulb appeared over my head and the light blinked on.

For as long as I can remember I wanted to emulate my grandmother. She stayed at home, took care of me nearly everyday, cooked and cleaned, and taught me valuable lessons without even having to “teach” me. I just watched her. Watched her singing or humming as she baked a pie, did an impromptu chorus line dance in the kitchen, or delighted in the goofy things I did. Something about her life—her way of living—made me want to be just like her: funny, simple, joyful, loyal, thoughtful, grateful, generous.

She was a stay-at-home wife and mother. Her main “job” was taking care of the home and raising the children.

I’ve been struggling with this without even realizing why. I have always dreamed of being a stay-at-home mommy and now I am, but lately I’ve been feeling guilty. I’ve been feeling like I should be doing something else with my life. I feel the need to be participating in the finances; to pick up some of the slack. In my pursuit to “fix” things, I forgot what God has given me and just how much He has blessed me with this awesome opportunity and responsibility. But…

This world is killing the idea of mothers and the values, morals and ethics—basically the real responsibilities—of women. God created us to be life givers. Just as He is the creator of life, we too were given that amazing ability. But society wants us to believe that being “just a mom” isn’t good enough. That as women, we need to do it all and have it all. Unfortunately, in the process of doing it all in the pursuit to have it all, we have nothing of real value. Sure, we may have a bigger house, a shiny new car, or even a corner office with a great view, but at what cost do we have those things?

I began to feel the weight of the world on my shoulders with this concept of needing something more fulfilling: the world’s idea of what women should be. Us stay-at-home moms are usually referred to lazy, stupid, uneducated, worthless and socially unacceptable. I began to buy into this idea and felt heavy hearted about it because I was feeling useless.

A week prior to all of this, I wrote down specifically what we needed in order to financially make ends meet without having to struggle anymore. I prayed wholeheartedly over it and God said He would provide. But I thought by asking God for this provision that I was the one who needed to make it happen. I felt the need to fix it. I felt the need to do something about it to make it true. I thought the couples parties was the answer, so I stepped out and tried to make things happen and nothing did. So I was incredibly upset when I knew I was on the wrong path. I sat before God and asked Him what I was supposed to be doing. He simply said, “You’re doing it.”

God sat me down one morning and said, “I have given you the desires of your heart, just as I promised I would, and now that you have it you are dissatisfied. You have the greatest gift of all—the ability to be home with your child and raise him as you see fit. You are raising him to be intelligent, Godly, and polite. You are doing everything I wish the world would do right. Why is that not enough?”

When I came to this conclusion that being Tavin’s mommy is my career—and more rewarding than anything else I could possibly do in life—it was a few days later that Jared finally received his captain’s license in the mail. That’s a huge promotion for Jared, and now I don't feel the need to worry about how I will provide for my family. God has already done it.

There are some days I may not even get out of my pajamas.

But I am the one who is teaching my son about the world.

And on some days...I even get to see the world through his eyes.

Inspiration means nothing if it’s not coming from God. And sometimes inspiration is given to us through tiny feet, tiny voices, and tiny joys that all eventually add up to enormously successful and well-rounded people.

I am inspired by God to be a great mommy to my children. What more do I need?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Passionately Yours

So I’m really excited about a few things that are happening right now.

For those of you who have been following my original devotional blog, or personally know me, you know that I was a Passion Parties Consultant. I eventually stopped doing parties because I didn’t feel they were in alignment with God. I still believe whole heartedly that I made the right decision.

One thing that I loved about Passion Parties was the idea that I was helping people rediscover passion in their lives. I read a book last year on Mary Todd Lincoln that gave me a whole new perspective on what passion means.

Back in the mid-to-late 1800’s, women who showed signs of “passion” were considered insane and certifiable. Most husbands and/or sons used this as a means of institutionalizing their wives or mothers. Mary was institutionalized by her son, Robert, because he accused and testified that her compulsion for shopping was improper and shameful. When Lincoln was shot, Mary was ordered out of the bedroom where he was dying, because she was crying too loudly. Shameful!

Women today have no idea how lucky they are. But I often wonder if we’ve taken it a bit too far. Women are so desperate to be “equal” to men that they’ve forgotten what it means to be a lady. Quite honestly, I don’t feel the need to be a man’s equal. I should be treated better! If I reduce myself to their level, why would any man feel the need to respect me and treat me like a lady should be treated? Don’t women want to be treated well anymore? There's a HUGE difference between being a feminist and being feminine. Let's see: are you a violent fist-in-the-air kind of girl, or a gentle butterfly?

Anyway…I digress.

Not all of my Passion Parties were awful. I met quite a few wonderful women and had parties that were just fabulous. But the majority of the parties I went to were filled with darkness; filled with women who were so incredibly lost and confused about men and relationships. They talked badly about men, ridiculed men, and then wondered why they couldn’t find a good guy. Some of the women were no better than obscene and appalling men--possibly worse! This is not who we were meant to be. The freedom women were given was not intended for us to become like a man, but to have the same “rights” as a man did.

We are confusing men (again, I digress, but for some reason this is taking on a life of its own). We send mixed signals all over the place. Treat me like a lady, but treat me like a man. Be polite to me, but don’t open the door for me. Take me out to dinner for a romantic meal, but I’ll pay for my half. Be gentle to me, but be rough in bed. Really!? Is it any wonder that men have NO CLUE what to do with women these days?

When I quit Passion Parties, my sponsor asked me if it was because of my newfound “religion.” The sad part about that statement was that it wasn’t newfound…I had just pushed it deep down inside so that no one, including myself, would see it. Quite honestly, the last party I did made me see the errors of my ways when it came to the parties and my own faith. I was, in some way, encouraging that disgusting behavior in women. The things I saw at my last ladies only party made me, quite literally, sick to my stomach. I had never in my life felt so physically ill by something I witnessed. I couldn’t get out of that place fast enough!

What was I supposed to do with that? I enjoyed the business aspect—running my own business and meeting some nice people along the way, and of course when the sales were high the income was great—but I couldn’t watch women degrade themselves anymore. I just couldn’t do it. And again, I also knew this was not the path God intended for me to take.

With careful consideration, I began to think about ways I could do Passion Parties, enjoy it the way I had hoped to do from the beginning, and still be in alignment with God.

I had done a couples party before and thoroughly enjoyed the idea of teaching couples the art of being romantic and passionate with one another. I start each couples party with a little quiz on how well a man knows a woman’s body, and how well a woman knows a man’s body. You’d be surprised at how little they know in terms of understanding the sexual intricacies about each other. No wonder men and women are so confused in that aspect, too! They don’t get it, and no one has told them! Sex Ed is one thing, but learning passion is something entirely different.

(Now I understand that this blog has turned into a hodge podgey mess, but I hope you’re keeping up with me and getting something out of it.)

So anyway…I’m excited about what’s happening now with my business. I’m only doing couples parties now, focusing solely on the passion portion of it. I do delve into some basic toys, because I don’t think toys are sinful by any means. In fact, I know they can truly enhance any couple’s romance when they find themselves in an intimate slump.

What I really want to do, more than anything, though, is to do Christian-based Passion Parties. I’m already doing the Relationship Revival Action Plans through my daily devotional, but I want to incorporate that into my business, too. I want Christian couples to realize that sex is not dirty or sinful. Sex was designed by God. In fact, God loves women so much that He created them with the ONLY organ designed specifically for pleasure. It’s the clitoris, in case you didn’t know—don’t be grossed out, this is information you need to know. And if God created it, how can it be gross?.

Too many Christians are confused about sex. They don’t know what’s right and what’s crossing the line. I’m currently reading a book called, Sexy Christians, and would like to incorporate the “biblical” methods and practices into my parties. Married Christian couples need an outlet and a safe haven where they can talk openly about their concerns, and freely ask questions and get honest (to God) answers! So that’s one thing I’m interested in pursuing…

But mostly, I want to help so many of those confused single women out there who are desperately trying to find the right guy. I want them to know that there is hope, but they have to realize who they are in Christ first, otherwise nothing makes any sense at all! And I never say anything I don’t fully believe and/or haven't experienced firsthand. I had wanted to do dating classes for women, but that didn’t seem to pan out…yet. We’ll see where God leads me. But that is truly my heart, and it has been for quite some time. I want to see women in healthy, loving, God-filled relationships!!

Whether in a “couple,” or single, I think it’s critical that women understand what passion is and isn’t. We need to grasp what kind of passion crosses the line and not only confuses men, but confuses us, as well!

I think it’s important that if women want to be treated like a lady—with respect, admiration, honesty, and gentleness—then they need to start behaving like one (believing they are worthy of those things!), instead of trying to think and feel like a man. It doesn’t work, and why would you want to, anyway? They would also know it doesn’t work if they watched the very first episode of Sex and the City.

Long and painful, but drowning with information. My other thoughts…LOL!!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Don't Bother Me, I'm Busy!

“It’s about time you answered the phone. I’ve been calling you for days…”

It’s the typical response I get from my father when I answer the phone dutifully, if he’s lucky, every other week. He used to call several times a day—daily. And then he would just call once a day. And now he’s finally realized that even when he attempts to contact me every three or four days, I still won’t answer.

I don’t hate my dad. I just don’t have time for unimportant chit chat…with anyone. My husband doesn’t even afford that luxury on most, if not many, many, many days!

You see, I’m a stay-at-home mommy.

(So now you’ve got this image in your head of me lounging in our extravagant vacation-like backyard, taking long naps next to the pool while our nanny raises our two-year old son, Tavin. Think again!)

Some days I don’t even get to take a shower. Yeah, I know, gross. But hey, some things aren’t as high on the priority list for mommies with high-demand, on-the-go, hands-on-everything, don’t-turn-your-back-for-two-seconds-or-your-TV-will-be-on-fire toddler. (In fact, see this picture. This is what he does when he should be sleeping! Does anyone need their wallpaper removed? Tavin is for hire! Now, two weeks later, the wall is nearly paperless.)

Let me give you some background on our son. Because you may think you know what being a mom to a baby, or even a toddler is like, but you've never met our special Tavin.

From day one he has hated—correction: loathed, despised, abhorred—the car seat, or any other contraption that required him to be strapped to it or around it. Strollers: out! Store carts: out. Baby swings: forget it! Car seat: OMG! We’re riding on death row!!

Whenever we wanted to go anywhere, we spent the entire car ride listening to Tavin cry bloody murder, while trying to drown it out with soft lullabies blared as loud as the volume knob allowed. Most babies find comfort riding in the car and happily drifting off to la-la-land. Tavin was happiest…well, nowhere really. 

And when he did nap—which was rare—we literally had to tiptoe and whisper for fear he’d wake up and start that high-pitched crying all over again, because not only did he have colic, but he was--and still is--an incredibly light sleeper. All we hoped for was a nice break a couple hours a day, which we rarely received. At most, we were honored with a half hour here and a half hour there, twice a day. Instead we spent most of our days trying to comfort a colicky-crying infant. Our hope was for that six-month mark when colicky babies stopped crying non-stop. But we were blessed with another fun-filled three months. And by that time, at nine-months old, he began cutting teeth. Need I explain how that went?

By the time he turned one, the three of us hadn’t really gone anywhere or done anything together, because we just couldn’t tolerate listening to the screaming in the car or the cart or the stroller. We became absolute homebound. Prisoners in our own home to a baby who owned get the drift!

We knew our life would change by having a baby, but we never expected that. Never! It was heartbreaking in so many ways. Our nerves were shot by the end of the day. I didn’t talk to anyone, including Jared. I just didn’t have the energy for it. My whole lift was centered around a demanding child whom I loved dearly and eagerly wanted to enjoy.

As Tavin got older, we thought he’d outgrow those crying spasms, but no such luck. He’s found a new way to scream and holler: it’s called the terrible temper tantrums. I thought I’d have more time to do my work from home as a freelance scriptwriter. I thought I’d have time again to cook fabulous meals and experiment with new recipes like I did when I was pregnant. I thought I’d have time during naps to catch up on my DVR programs like Joyce Meyer, T.D. Jakes and Joel Osteen. Instead, I end up deleting most of them because the DVR is always at 100% and I need more room to tape the newer episodes that I never get to watch anyway. I end up cooking frozen meals when Jared’s at work because it requires very little time away from Tavin who is usually pulling on me and pushing his way in between me and the stove. I don’t read food magazines anymore, because it requires too much down time that I don’t own. And the only time I get to sit down at my computer to do my work or writing is after Tavin is finally sleeping for the night around 7 PM. By 9 PM, though, I’m so beat I can’t even see straight and end up neglecting most of my writing, reading, or scripture studies because my work took up most of my so-called, "free time."

My first son, Josh, is 25 years old now. When I was raising him, I was a single mom and worked a full time job, even went to college part time. How did I do it? How does ANYONE do it?! Now I even have one of the most amazing husbands in the world. Because he knew how much Tavin consumed my every waking moment, he began doing laundry and cleaning the house. Jared basically became the housewife so I could be the nanny.

Josh was a different breed. He was so mellow and so “who cares” (as he still is) about everything, that I could do just about anything I needed or wanted to do, but back then, I had NOTHING important that I needed or wanted to do. How did this mix-up happen?

So dad, so Pennie, so anyone else who tries to call and I just don’t pick up for days on end, please try to understand, it’s not that I don’t want to talk to you, I just can’t be bothered because I have a two-year old child whose life depends on making sure I don’t have one of my own.

So, you may wonder then, what’s the plus in all of this? In being a stay-at-home mom?

Tavin has a vocabulary of a three+ year old. He was doing things before he turned one that most three year olds could do. I read today of a proud daddy whose three-year old called an airplane a “flying boat.” Tavin sees a moving stream in the sky and screams in excitement, “ahpane” (for airplane). Other parents are proud when their four-year old knows their right from left. Tavin’s already grasping that. Tavin also knows that the sun rises in the East and sets in the West. He speaks English, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. He has a brilliant mind, and this isn’t just mommy-brag. This is our doctor’s warning. Warning, you ask? Yes, because he’s so highly intelligent, she claims my biggest challenge with Tavin will be…challenging him. No kidding?

He's always ready to go. And quite honestly...I wouldn't want my little Bubby any other way. When I said earlier that he's special...I meant it!

My world may be crazy and chaotic somedays, but I have the best life ever!


I tend to have a lot to say about a lot of stuff. (I guess that makes me opinionated.) Lately, though, I've been keeping my mouth shut about things that are going on in the world today. My conservative friends are probably wondering if I've lost my loud voice that once bellowed across cyberspace smacking people right in their face through their computer monitor. But the truth is, I just don't care anymore. No one's listening anyway.

So instead, I'd like to just let loose now and then. I'm really focused on my devotional blog, Note to Self: Daily Reminders from God, and would like a space for journaling and possibly expanding on some things I wrote about...or not.

It's here that you may find a recipe I love, or an excerpt from a book I read, or a suggestion on a great place to eat, or even snippets from my gratitude journal. I may even blog about the crazy, hair pulling days I have with my two-year old SWC (Strong Willed Child).

I'm also a Passion Parties Consultant (I focus solely on couples parties), so I may also share some great passion secrets to help you spice up your love life with your honey. (I do NOT engage in erotic or vulgar terminology! It's about romance and passion between two loving, committed people.)

Quite honestly...who knows what you'll find here. On any given day it could be a hodge podge of nothingness. Just an excuse to write. I hope...