Friday, April 22, 2011

Quotable Quotes - Bono

"Grace defies reason and logic.  Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed because I've done a lot of stupid stuff."
                                                                                                   Bono (lead singer of the band U2)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Invisible Child - Omniscient God

A link to a blog showed up on my Facebook news feed today.  The title sounded interesting, so I clicked on and read it.  It was actually interesting and thought provoking.  The gist of it was that of a mother (the blog writer) watching as her daughter is continually ignored by other girls in social situations.  I think many parents can relate to her feelings of frustration and disappointment for her daughter--lots of us have weird, quirky kids that aren't necessarily appreciated like we wish they would be.  You can read her post 'When Your Child is Invisible' here.

Toward the end of her post, the writer wrote this:

Frankly, though, I am not a religious person and I don’t believe there is a higher power who could intercede on this hard road my little girl is traveling. I believe that it is down to us human beings here on this earth to regulate ourselves. I believed that the only way my child would get chosen for Little Sally Walker would be because someone noticed her and realized that she may want to participate in the game.

And then, a little later:

I don’t believe there is a god who will help us with this. I believe it’s up to us – to you, to me, to your kids, to my kids, to teachers, to playground monitors, to camp counselors, to Girl Scout leaders and bus drivers and cheerleaders.

My initial thought was, "How could she not see that since her daughter was picked after she voiced a prayer to no one in particular, that maybe there actually was a God that answered?".  I then said a quick prayer for her--this mom who is raising a daughter in a cruel, dog eat dog world.  If a parent doesn't believe in a God that makes each and every person special, then how can they not despair if their children don't fit into the perfect mold?  How do you teach the importance of valuing yourself and others simply because they 'are', and not because of what they look like or how socially adept they are, without some perfect standard to provide a true measure of worth?

I can't imagine trying to raise my 3 children without the assurance that someone bigger than me has their back, and is much more interested in their social development than I am.  Not social development in the world's economy, but in God's economy.  I was reminded of the countless hours of Veggie Tales, and Adventures in Odyssey, and Little Bill, and Sesame Street invested in my boys.  And Sunday School, and Scouts, and mission trips.  All providing a foundation for worth and character that will never be taught by society at large.

I'm just reminded of the feelings of futility and frustration of navigating life and parenting apart from the shelter of Christ. We live in a time when some people think they have to do it all on their own, and that makes me sad.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

All By Myself...

I am by myself.  Everyone else in my house has gone fishing or something.  It doesn't matter where they are, because I am here.  Alone.  That is very rare for me and I have realized that the way I spend these alone times is very different from what it was just a few years ago.  Whenever all the boys would go to the grandparents for a few days (or hours), I would clean.  Or work on scrapbooks.  Or go out to eat and see a movie (I have never been one of those that was embarrassed to go out by myself).  Things are different now.  It makes no sense to do any cleaning other than the basics.  It would only last for about 2 minutes after they walked in the door anyway.  I would need about a month to even make a dent in those scrapbooks, and it is just easier to not even eat for a while.  Cheaper, with less clean up.

Now, silence is a luxury, so I stay holed up and listen to nothing I don't want to.  No questions, no fights to deal with, not a single "Mom!".  The noise of choice today is Pandora music.  I am very late getting on this boat, but it is amazing.  I just type in either Jimmy Buffett or Frank Sinatra, and those computer powers-that-be send me the best music.  If I don't like it, I just tap a button and it is gone.  How nice.

I am rambling now, but I've been thinking about cool stuff I've discovered in the few hours they've been gone, and wanted to share them here, because they are very intriguing and interesting.

1.  The latest video by the Skit Guys.  I have always loved the story they are talking about.  Go tell the disciples AND PETER (not Simon.  Still Peter).  Here it is:

2.  A blog by an old college friend.  We worked together one summer at a GA camp, and I lost touch with her after that, until Facebook (of course).  She has one of the most encouraging blogs I am aware of.  She is the mom of 4 amazing kids, including 2 sons who have Cerebral Palsy.  You really should check her out at

3.  I actually watched a movie on TV last night.  It came out in 2001, so I was busy with babies then, but I am glad I finally saw it.  It is called 'I am Sam', starring Sean Penn and a very young Dakota Fanning, and was about a 'retarded' man whose daughter is taken by social services because they say he isn't able to adequately take care of her.  It was interesting and thought provoking, with excellent acting.  I don't know, I just liked it, in a sad, disturbing kind of way.

Here's one last epiphany for the day:  Moms don't think in terms of whether or not the glass is half empty or half full.  They just know that they are going to be the ones that have to clean that glass eventually.  :)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Book Review - Dirty Girls Come Clean

Product Details

Dirty Girls Come Clean
Written by:  Crystal Renaud
Moody Publishers
156 pages, softcover

Dirty Girls Come Clean is part testimonial, part resource and part informational.  It is also 100% needed.  It is the story of Crystal Renaud's personal journey through addiction to pornography and her recovery process.  In fact, this book came about as a result of her search for resources to assist in the recovery journey, and not finding any that adequately addressed the specific issues and needs of women facing this particular addiction.

Part of the book adapts a technique used in many sexual addiction recovery programs called SCARS (Surrender, Confession, Accountability, Responsibility, Sharing).  A chapter is devoted to each category, with explanations and testimonials from women at various stages of recovery included, which are detailed but never graphic.  Practical action steps/questions are included at the end of each chapter, as well as additional available resources, making it useful for independent use as well as group settings.

This book was very well written and is so inspirational.  It approaches porn addiction and its potentially associated behaviors (such as masturbation, sexting, sexual activity) as symptoms of a "core unhealed woundedness".  The bottom line is that God never wastes an experience, even (maybe especially) the painful ones.  Instead of hiding behind her shame and guilt, Renaud is using her experiences for God's glory and wants this book, as well as Dirty Girls Ministries, to be a tool of liberation from bondage. Her style is very conversational and user-friendly, making a taboo subject less threatening.

Dirty Girls Come Clean is a book of inspiration and hope.  While I think it is destined to become 'the' go-to resources for women dealing with porn addiction, I also believe it is a must have resource for anyone who works with girls/women in any capacity.  You just never know what that person is or will be going through, particularly in this sex saturated culture.  It is unapologetically Christ centered, but would also be a useful resource for anyone struggling with this issue, regardless of religious affiliation (or lack thereof).

I can't recommend this book enough.

You can order a copy of Dirty Girls Come Clean here. Go do it now, before you forget.

You can also download the first chapter of the book here.

Disclaimer:  I received an advance copy of this book for review purposes from Moody Publishing.  No other compensation was received.