Thought of The Day
It’s becoming extremely clear that in today’s culture being a Christian is perceived as being a bad person. Christians are looked at as unloving and judgmental. We are thought to be ignorant and naive. I’m torn on why this is. In part, I think it’s because many of the most outspoken “Christians” are such things. They forget that Jesus hung out with the people that the religious folks looked down on. He chilled with real, normal people and was a friend to them and treated them with respect. Some Christians seem to think that God and science are not compatible either. They think that any kind of evolution cannot exist and they argue against evolution because of their faith in God. I see all science and development of life as a work of God, though. I see the progress of lifeforms through generations as his art. I dont think the two concepts- science and God are mutually exclusive events but that the complexity of the world is just more evidence in a God who is the greatest chemist and physicist that has ever existed. They take the scripture on creation to mean a literal 7 days and argue the world is only 2,000 years old, instead of remembering that to God “a thousand years is like a day and a day is like a thousand years”. Each one of those 7 “days” could have been a billion years each in our way of marking time.
But then I also remember that Jesus was hated as well. He wasn’t persecuted and nailed to a cross for no reason. He was not always the most popular fellow either. So maybe times aren’t so different. Being a follower and believer in Christ means being hated. Depending on the day- that can mean being hated by the super religious or it could mean being hated by the world.
Thought of the Day
I used to argue in defense of circumcision. I admit, part of my reasoning was simply that circumcision was normal to me. I didnt know what an uncircumcised penis looked like and I was carrying around a lot of false myths about cleanliness. My biggest reason for arguing in defense of circumcising boys was that it was Biblical. When I heard activists call circumcision mutilation, It made me really angry and threw me even more into defense. God would never command people to mutilate their babies! As time went on and I learned more and more about the actual purpose and functions of the foreskin, I started leaning further and further away from my support of it. Putting newborn babies under a knife for a cosmetic purpose definitely didn’t sit well with me. My only hang up still was the history of the Old Testament. That when I discovered that circumcision has changed over years. It is not the same procedure as it was 2,000 years ago. Circumcision did not mean removal of the entire foreskin during biblical times but actually meant to nip the tip of it, which would make a blood sacrifice and cause a scar to form but the foreskin remained intact! From that moment on I knew I never again would be in support of circumcision in baby boys.
for more info on what the Bible says about circumcision and the history and development of what circumcision entails Click Here.
Thought of the Day
I’m an overweight woman and this is something Ive struggled with my entire adulthood. Not just physically, with my weight going up and down, but emotionally. I regularly have to tell myself that my weight does not determine my self worth, that whether I am super model thin or the next seasons contestant on The Biggest Loser- I am the same person and my value does not change. It’s very difficult to think this way in a time where beauty is so highly valued and fat is not considered beautiful. I still hope to make my body healthier and be in better physical shape for my long term physical well being but I really hope that when my daughters grow up, they are confident and love themselves and feel worthy of love no matter how they look that day because they can remember their mom loving herself no matter her size.
Thought of the Day
I dont usually like being a Christian. Sometimes I wish I could just shake that part of myself off and walk away from it. It just does not work that way, though. I know Jesus is Lord of my life like I know my left leg is part of my body and that without him I risk eternal death. That isn’t a risk worth taking for me.
I know it can be an odd request but just take a moment to read and consider why I am so sick of my daughter being called “pretty”.
No, it’s not bad to be pretty, be called pretty, or call someone pretty but the word does make an impression and leaves behind a lesson in it’s tracks.
The lesson is, “Your looks matter most”.
You see, my daughter is called pretty constantly. Everywhere we go people stop her to tell her they like her looks. They mention her large blue eyes, her cute as a button little self, and her uniquely red hair. I’m sure many moms of girls experience this and it isn’t just mine but she just seems to attract attention everywhere we go. All these people have good intentions. Their hearts are in the right place. They think they are boosting her up, complimenting us, giving her a nice solid foundation of a self esteem. What they don’t always think about is that they are giving her a self esteem based purely off looks. Based purely on outward image. And being told 12 times per outing by strangers that you are visually appealing lets one know one thing- we judge others and ourselves on looks.
I know some people think I am being dramatic or extreme but imagine being a 4yr old. You have a mom and dad who tell you a handful of times per day that your health matters and that it’s good to be strong and that exercising your brain is crucial. But then you are told a dozen times per day… sometimes 2 dozen times in a day- by strangers, family, and friends that your looks are what they notice. Your looks is what they talk about. Your looks is what makes them want to praise you. Your looks is what stops them in grocery aisles. Your looks is what makes them want to talk to your mom. Your looks is what they are saying they wish they had too.
What do you think a 4yr old is going to take in? While health, intelligence, strength..ect.. is important- Pretty is what really counts and matters to others.
Not long ago we were at a park and my daughter paired up with an 8yr old girl and they quickly became playground buddies. At one point the girl told Eve that she looks just like the character Merida from the movie Brave. Eve’s response was this, “I really dont. My hair isnt the right red. and it’s not curly enough. and it’s not long enough.”
and the thing about this that really stood out to me was that Eve said this as if she fell short. She wasn’t “Merida enough” to really be told she was like Merida. And well.. she’s right… only the cartoon character Merida can be Merida and be exactly who Merida is. Eve is Eve… not Merida. But what happens when I translate that to her being called pretty? At what point does the same rational kick in that she already has when compared to a character?
But do I really compare to the standard of “pretty”?
While we may think we are building up her self esteem, I fear we are just building her up to feel meeting this standard is what matters and in the end- due to a culture with unrealistic expectations, anorexic models, photoshopped magazines, plastic surgery and professionally applied makeup that she will start seeing herself as falling short, like so so many of the females in the US who never feel good enough to really be pretty.
Instead of spending so much time calling her pretty, I wish people would stop her to compliment her taste in the books she picks out in the store. Or her energy. Or her wits. Compliment how smart she is after talking with her about science experiments or bugs. I know it comes more naturally to tell little girls they are pretty then it is to actually have to have a discussion with them and find their strengths but they are worth the time spent. If you talked to my daughter, you would know that she loves going hiking and that she goes running with her dad and that she (at only 4 1/2 yrs old and 28 lbs) has run a 5K in The Color Run. She is more than just red hair. She is a torch lighting the way for girls everywhere to be bold and strong and I never want her to think she is any less based on a scale of pretty.
While talking with my family doctor we got into discussing medications, effectiveness vs negative side effects. He looked at me and said, when using any kind of medication, whether pharmaceutical or “natural”, the more effective and well working of a product it is, the more one has to worry about what other consequences it will have because the more effective the drug, the more effective the negative consequences too.
I really appreciated this perspective and it wrapped up my feelings so well on vaccines. Yes, vaccines may work. They really do keep the “oh so dangerous” chicken pox rates down to a minimal but what does it cost us? What will the penalty be for injecting a foreign object into our bodies? That’s why, again, we need to weigh it. Is the vaccine worth the risks it comes with? Is the illness it protects from worse than the consequences the vaccine could cause?
When it takes a minimal of 20 years of a vaccine on the market just to get a slight insight of it’s true effectiveness and side effects, there are a lot of unknowns out there right now. With 4x more vaccines given to children now than in the 1980’s, we just have to sit and wonder. We may not have many cases of mumps, measles or rubella but what will we end up with? Maybe it will be nothing… maybe it will be huge spikes in autism, or adhd, or seizure disorders, or autoimmune disorders.
Dear Women’s Ministry/conference/Church,
Almost a year ago I signed up for a local church women’s conference. It is a fairly popular one day conference that many of the ladies go to from all different churches in my region. My mom and Aunt were attending and I was so looking forward to getting out and being blessed with them. There was only one problem. I was nursing a baby. My youngest daughter was about 6 months old at the time and exclusively breastfed. This means, she did/would not take a bottle (we tried a few times. She wasn’t having any of that) and as a young baby, she still needed to nurse frequently enough that I could not leave her for more than about 2 hours at a time. Maybe 3… but that could be pushing it. After all, nursing infants can be unpredictable. When I called to register I asked the nice girl on the phone if there was a cry room or some place I’d be able to move to if my nursing infant were to become fussy. She replied that she was sure there were places i could go but she needed to double check and would call me back. Now, I know these conferences are like vacations for us moms. We don’t bring kids. There often is no childcare. I knew my older children were not to attend and I had to find childcare arrangements for them and that was fine. but surely I could bring my nursing baby, I thought. I wouldn’t be rude or make people hear her crying. I’d slip out respectfully if she got fussy but how could a baby who still depends on their mother for their food and drink be unwelcome? Hours later I received a call from the same girl, now embarrassed letting me know that a nursing baby was not able to come. No babies. period. I knew this girl was not the decision maker on this issue and was purely the messenger of bad news. I took the news and swallowed it and she asked for my address so she could send my a free copy of the audio of the conference as an apology. I accepted this offer and hung up in disappointment. As it sunk in what had happened and the day went on I became more upset. Hurt even.
While I understand that children are not always able to be accommodated for or welcome to all events, how could my nursing infant caused me to be shut out of a women’s conference?
So this is what I want to tell you all. Anyone involved in church leadership or coordinating events with your religious organization-
A lot of your women are moms. I’m sure you see it all the time. You look around your congregation and think, “Surely, this is the most fertile church in the world?!” There are babies everywhere at church! Us moms are rocking them and bouncing them and shushing them and pacing your welcome areas and filling your cry rooms and checking on them in your nursery and feeding them in your nursing mothers room. We are a fertile people! Blessed. and tired. Very tired and lacking proper adult socialization. We need breaks! We need renewal. We need some time out of our homes being reminded that we are more than just dirty diaper changers and PPD battlers.
So we need your women’s conference! We need it like we need clean water to drink. We are begging for your fellowship and love and motivating message of renewal and strength.
With how many mothers there are, Many of us are breastfeeding moms. Actually about 76.9% of us U.S. moms are breastfeeding our newborns and 25% of us are still breastfeeding when our babies reach 12 months old. That’s a big chunk of your moms. And while some of us have great eaters who will switch from breast to bottle, many babies who breastfeed refuse eat from a bottle so leaving them for hours to attend any kind of lengthy event is not an option for us.
When I turn to scripture on breastfeeding it is also evident that God is not ashamed of breastfeeding. He encourages breastfeeding and he also invited mothers and their nursing babies out to large public events-
“Joel 2:16 – Gather the people, consecrate the assembly; bring together the elders, gather the children, those nursing at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his room and the bride her chamber.”
Our nursing babies seem more than welcome to this wedding.
And while I am not anti moms leaving their babies for some time to themselves, it just is not my style. I am emotionally and hormonally bonded to my infant. When I am not with my infant, I miss them and my breast become uncomfortably full, and I even leak milk. This is all part of how we are designed to be. We are designed to be with our infants and not separated for long periods down to our core molecular makeup.
I’m not the mother who forgets my baby and can run off for awhile. “Isaiah 49:15 – Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne?..“
So lets face it, When nursing babes are excluded from an event, it is not babies being told not to come- it is mothers. The mothers are the ones being shut out. The mothers battling hormone changes and explosive diapers and cluster feedings from growth spurts. Sleep deprived, under-socialized, just coming out of their postpartum fog- moms. Because lets face it, God created us to make our babies our priority. Unless I’m running to the food store down the block to pick up a quick item and running straight home again- my baby is not being left home. My baby is part of me. When she is hungry, my breasts are full. When she is tired, my arms cradle her. When I go to a women’s conference, she comes with me.
So do your church a favor, show love to your nursing mothers. Show them that they matter, that they are cared about, thought about, remembered, included, and wanted with you at your church. Because we do matter.
For more Scripture on Breastfeeding: Click Here
Guest post by Jenny
Because my son was poked and prodded in the hospital so many times, I was reluctant to get his tongue and lip tie repaired. I had low milk supply, he had reflux, it was awful.
I decided to pay the $500 and have it fixed with a cold laser. I regret it to this day. He had already been put through so much pain in the hospital, but I was reassured that the laser correction would solve all our problems. It didn’t 😦 He still had a bad latch, my supply didn’t improve, and he still had reflux.
I regret putting him through that pain for nothing. Next time, I will wait.
Jenny is a first time mom who tried for 6 years to get pregnant. Her son was hospitalized at 2 weeks old for salmonella meningitis. Tongue and lip tie was not diagnosed until he was 4 months of age.
Guest Post by Laura Langham
My son and I struggled with breastfeeding from the get-go. I heard about lip and tongue ties and I suspected he had one from the very beginning, but a fellow mom assured me he didn’t.
We became dependent on a nipple shield, though I never wanted to use it in the first place. I was so desperate to make our nursing relationship last that I kept with it. After about 6-7 months, my son stopped practically gaining weight and even lost a few oz. I had a nagging feeling inside me that it was the tie I had suspected all along.
I took him to his pediatrician and he told me that my son had normal frenulum and insisted so much that I was doing something wrong and starving my child that he reported us to the local child protective services. Their investigation concluded that his claims were unfounded and that we were taking good care of our son, but it led me to some amazing IBCLCs that referred me to an ENT. The ENT’s visit finally came and the doctor confirmed what I had insisted was the problem all along—a tongue and upper lip tie.
Within 2 weeks, we had them both cut through electrocautery, and within 2 weeks, my son had started gaining more than adequate weight. The months of breastfeeding through the ties (and with the nipple shield) did a number to my milk supply because proper suction was never established, but his nursing got so much stronger and more frequent after having his ties taken care of.
About The Author:
Laura Langham is a mother to two amazing children, with one on the way, wife to her awesome husband and a friend to anyone in need.