Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Letter to a Father Who Wrote to Victoria's Secret, from a Mother

I will go ahead and throw out there right away that I am not a proponent for 13-year old girls to wear lace thongs that say, "Call Me" on them.

However, I had mixed feelings when I read the "Letter to Victoria's Secret from a Father" that has been getting a lot of publicity lately. Don't get me wrong, I agree with so much of what he is saying.

YES, it is sad that our society continues to sexualize younger and younger girls.
YES, our daughters should be focused on more important issues and thinking about careers and philanthropy and whatnot.
YES, I hope girls like Blakely don't find their self-worth in their underwear choices.

But as a parent, albeit a new one, I refuse to place the blame for how this next generation turns out on Victoria's Secret. It is NOT Victoria's Secret's job to raise my child. It is NOT their job to influence her clothing choices, her morals, or certainly not her life choices.

I've noticed more and more that this generation of parents have become "facilitators" of their children's upbringings. They've become "supervisors," who dictate how everyone else needs to make sure their kid turns out right.

We want to tell teachers how to teach, what to teach, what NOT to teach...
We want schools to teach sex ed... to not teach sex ed... to teach abstinence only sex ed...
We want sports leagues to give our kids participation trophies, so we don't have to tell them that they PROBABLY won't grow up to be an NBA superstar...
And we want stores, like Victoria's Secret, to base their offering around shaping our kid's morals, behavior, and taste in clothing, so we don't have to.

Does it suck that now as parents we're going to have to navigate another struggle in raising good, moral, Godly kids? Yup. Will I do my best to tackle this issue with honesty and openness, with or without Victoria's Secret's help? Yup.

Because I worked for Bath & Body Works (owned by the same company as Victoria's Secret), I KNOW that they have done huge amounts of research, and if they are making this line, they absolutely have reason to believe that it will sell, resulting in big profits. I'm not going to hold a for-profit company  at fault for making business decisions that will result in profit.

So what will I do if Blakely asks me to go to Victoria's Secret this side of high school? *Gulp*... I will talk to her. I will be open and honest with her about my thoughts, and I hope that I've raised her to do the same. If she can give me a compelling reason that she wants Victoria's Secret underwear, and she wants to use her own money to buy them... I will consider it. I will talk through it with her. I will choose my battles, and I will instill morals through my behavior and a relationship with God, not by trying to rip every possible bad choice out of her grasp.

If we're not going to give Victoria's Secret credit for our kids turning out well, we can't give them credit for them turning out poorly either.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

When the Dryer is Broken in the Promised Land

So many of you know that this past weekend was a HUGE milestone for the Morrisons in their church planting journey - we FINALLY moved to Normal!

We had about 10 people (more including kids!) come out and help us move, which was a HUGE blessing. A lot of those people truly made personal sacrifices to be there... we have such, such cool family and friends. :-) The first night in the house, Nate and I sat at the kitchen table and he prayed, thanking God for the blessing of our house and the calling on our lives. It was honestly one of the best little moments of my whole life. We were HERE!

But then... the promised land began to fall apart. Sunday morning, we noticed some water on the floor downstairs. Sunday evening I realized that the load of laundry I had washed (causing water to get on the floor), wouldn't dry no matter how long/how many times I ran it in the dryer. By Monday night, we realized that every time the water was run, the drains downstairs were backing up. EVERY TIME. Luckily, as part of our purchase agreement, we negotiated that the seller would pay for a home warranty, so we called our home warranty company to get a plumber to come out. They agreed to make it an "emergency" status, but lo and behold, 24 hours later we still didn't have a plumber for the service call. They gave us the option to call plumbers on our own, but we'd have to pay the full amount up front and be reimbursed in a few weeks. Oh, and then Sears lost my dishwasher. LOST my dishwasher. Which I guess didn't REALLY matter because I couldn't run the water for it anyway.

Wednesday I texted my husband and said, "If Gary Busey and Lindsay Lohan had a baby... that is me today mentally and emotionally." (Luckily for both us, our sense of humor is the last faculty to leave us)

And ya, those things stink... and Normal didn't feel like "home" yet... but why the violent/emotional reaction on my part? I think it's because Normal was our promised land.
  • The days when my alarm would go off at 4:50
  • The days when I would see Blakely for 15 minutes the whole day
  • The days when I worked all day and then came home and worked all day on church stuff
  • The days when I couldn't find my work shoes because my dear mother cleans obsessively and had "put them away"
  • The days of house showings trying to find renters - packing our crap up in our car so our 720 square foot house looked more "open" if that's even possible...

It was a beast and there were many, "We were better of in Egypt" land between moments... but that's what they were - moments in the land between. In transition. In flux. In between. Those days I would say, "It won't be forever! Some day we will be right where God has for us." That thought woke me up, put me to bed, and kept the grain of sanity that I had.

So while the issues we were having probably didn't warrant the full Busey-Lohan meltdown that I had... It was in the promised land! THINGS WERE SUPPOSED TO BE BETTER IN THE PROMISED LAND. MY DRYER WAS SUPPOSED TO WORK IN IN THE PROMISED LAND! This is what I waited for... this is what I worked for...

But the more I grow in faith... the more I realize that everything we experience until Heaven is the land between. It's dangerous to look at any place, any calling, even if it's from God as "the promised land"... God's called us to be movers and shakers for his will, and I think the Busey-Lohan Promised Land meltdown of 2013 was just God's way of reminding me that my personal comfort never was and never is His will. His hope and His call isn't in a house or a city or even a church, and He won't let me sit back and say, "I made it"... Ever!

So the flooded water is cleaned up, the plumbing is fixed, the dryer is fixed, and Sears knows exactly where they can put the dishwasher when they find it (hint: it's not in my house...), so it's quiet again in the Promised Land... or should I say... the land between.