War on Conventional Methods?

As a quick side note, due to a hectic schedule, this post has sat in drafts for so long that it now feels irrelevant, but I worked hard on it, and I still feel passionately about it. I will post it, but I also respect that the nation is on fire right now, and that is the hot topic. I usually stay away from them, but this time, I am ready to share what has proven to be a very unpopular opinion. So read on, hit follow, and stay tuned for my thoughts on George Floyd.

I rarely engage in facebook comment wars. It is legitimately like arguing with banging your head against a brick wall. There are no winners, just headaches. However, as humans, sometimes we just cannot help ourselves.

The Photo That Started It All

I am very well aware that some people see this photo and choke back vomit. I used to be one of them. It is never fun, as a woman, to see a man above you, in front if you, and even beside you at times. The knee jerk reaction here is that hes superior. Then you factor in Christ and the whole thing goes down like a spoonful of peanut butter. 

As you can imagine the comment section was raging

Did we travel to the 1950s?

Uh no, never ever in my home.

Husband and Wife are equal!

God is a mythical being!

All the vomiters.

Guys, I get it. 100%. The point I tried to urge was simply to view it from a separate perspective. I’ve provided that perspective below and I really invite you guys to give me your thoughts.

I will forewarn you, I get a little preachy, with some stolen material from my pastor, at Pathway Church (check their website out here if you like the material, there are recorded messages and all kinds of fun stuff to look at). This explanation is what converted me from a vomiting protester of the image, to someone who sees it as something to aspire to, when life hands me a deck of cards that I can apply the above method of marriage to.

To spare you a sermon, I am not including specific bible verses. I also try not to do that because God Himself knows I am not a subject matter expert in that area. Even if I read the Bible cover to cover, I usually need someone to explain it to me in terms that I can understand, a couple times.. no shame here.. God already knows he made me somewhat slow to comprehend.

God the Father

We are all taught in the south that God is the one and only, he made everything, he so loved the world that he gave his one and only begotten son, etc. What my Baptist upbringing failed to really emphasize, though, is that God is first and foremost a Father. When you put the caps on it, it seems really formal. But seriously, He’s a dad. And if you didn’t have a great one to compare, just know He’s everything that guy was not. He is the hallmark channel Father. The dad from Taken? And His skills are not to be toyed with either.

Keeping that perspective, think about the Bible and the rules and guidelines laid out within it. While it can seem overwhelming and overbearing, is that not how we all felt about our parents at some point (again, if your parents sucked, dont compare, also message me and let’s talk about it because man that’s a hard hand of cards to get dealt)? While we 100% rebelled and pushed the envelope, as adults we can admit that our parents enforced their rules and standards because they loved us. They knew what was out in the world and what kind of hurt we were inevitably going to face, and they did their best to minimize the risk.

When God gives us directives in the Bible, He is being a dad. He wants us to be safe and loved and happy, and at our best so that we can fulfill our purpose and lead more people to him. Have you ever tried to help someone while everything inside you was breaking in two? I have. While it can be accomplished, it’s not my best work, and it thoroughly exhausts me, and I start to resent the person in need.

That is not the way God wants us to live. So he created a box. A box of safety. As fallen and sinful humans we dont want to be in a box.

And let me tell you a secret… God knows we are going to rebel. He knows we are going to fight it. He loves us anyway, in fact I really think He watches us with annoyed pride, thinking, “it’s so cute how they resist.”

But I also believe that chuckle and grin gives way to unresounding despair when we hurt. If you’re a parent, even though you told the kiddo not to touch the stove.. are you angry when they do? Or are you scared, hurt, and hating to see them hurt? It’s the exact same.

So. Let’s go back to this picture.

This is more or less directly taken from the Bible as the safety box God designed for our marriages. Key word: marriage. Don’t think American Fighter Adam is going to do right by you after dating a week and submit to him in this way. What many people fail to take into account are all all the other marriage directives given about choosing a partner.

The model above works beautifully when the positions are held by choice, except where kids are concerned.. because.. well, life ain’t fair, bud. I’ve witnessed this model in action, and I’ve never seen a stronger marriage. I’ve never seen a stronger or more confident woman/wife. Guys, i promise she is not cowered, making sammiches, and giving unrequited back rubs. She is a force of nature, a woman in full fulfilling the purpose she wants to fulfill, and being a damn rockstar while doing it.

The reason this setup fails is not design flaw. Its humanities flaw. Like I said, AF Adam? Not the same Adam from the Beginning, though I stay unsure of that guy. He was awful quick to throw Eve under the bus, deserved or otherwise. He was messy, and triflin’ (God my daughter is going to read this one day and send me a separate message each time I say things like that to ensure I realize how lame I was/am/will be.

Let’s Discuss via Other Viewpoints

Yall thought that Baptist took over huh? Thought I forgot about the nonbelievers because I cannot fathom such a person exists? Think again. My entire post is because I still dont understand why even a mon believer cannot acknowledge that peope can live in this structured relationship dynamic and be happy. This was my pointless argument. I would include screenshots, but i really try to keep the four letter words to a minimum here, especially in a post that I’ve capitalized He more than I’ve left it lowercase.

It would seem that feminism today means that you cannot under any circumstances understand or tolerate anything conventional. This does not just apply to modern feminism, but really to the entire culture America is shifting to, and guys, it is ruining the whole country. I am a feminist, but I am also traditional in the way I want to live my life and choose to follow tradition when life allows. I’m a woman with two kids, two different dads, that has never been married. That annoyed chuckle and head shake? Pretty much God’s default “Jess” expression. I’ve tried to get as far away from the model as possible, and I’ve tried to follow it to a T. Neither worked because in was kidding the critical element.

A significant other who was worthy of me in general, and worthy of my submission to him.

God saw fit to bless me with my beautiful children anyway, and I know they are going to make amazing humans, that contribute something big to the world.

But, if we remove the preachy preaching and remove the word Christ from the photo, the bottom line is that no one can know another person’s life, their choices, and what makes them happy, until they’re told. What scares me is that our society is developing a knee jerk reaction to reject conventional ideas. I love pushing the envelope, don’t get me wrong, but I also really like my old school way of living in my day to day life. That doe snot make me an unhappy oppressed woman. That just makes me partial to that type of dynamic. Live your best life guys, because this is getting crazy in 2020 and it’s too short to do anything else. However, please stop demonizing people living a conventional life without even speaking to them about it and then have the nerve to call yourself a humanitarian, or feminist.

Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk and I am so sorry it was so delayed! Life always happens.

[Not] Grateful

Discover Prompts threw me into a rage simply by suggesting the word “grateful” yesterday.

I wasn’t grateful yesterday. And that simple fact drove my entire being into a self loathing state. I could hear that voice in my head telling me to look at my family, and chastising me for being a brat. The mom guilt that followed threatened to swallow me whole. I had a rough feedback meeting with my supervisor yesterday. My production lately hasn’t been up to par, and I’m facing corrective action if it doesn’t essentially double this week. Since COVID 19 flipped upside down my anxiety has run rampant and wiggled into the one place I have never allowed: my work. I can’t contain it, I can’t control it, and I can actively see it destroying my life. I hung up feeling like a piece of garbage employee, and when I clocked out for the day and tried to settle the baby down, he just wanted his daddy, so now I was a piece of garbage mother because I spent too much time being a piece of garbage employee.

The inner angiush was torture that led to the neglect of my kids as I barricaded myself in the bedroom with Amazon Prime Video’s finest collection of soothing baby music, a bottle of formula, and an angry baby, because the person involved with the night night routine is irrelevant for my son. He is mad at whoever is making him lay down. He cried, I cried. He flailed his arms and hit me, and I cried some more (seriously, how can a five month old hit this hard!?). He finally snuggled against me and drifted to sleep, and I just continued to cry.

I woke up to my girls cleaning up the kitchen counter as a surprise and not a word from my SO about last night. This is why I love them. This is why I know the family I created and then chose to blend with my SO was the one I needed. They understood who I was and how my mind sometimes attacked me. They deserve all the props and all the love.

But, I want to revisit something. This entire episode was launched by my not feeling grateful. On top of everything that led 5o me being ungrateful, I was then slammed with guilt for feeling that way. Self inflicted guilt that has been engrained into me through my southern raising where “you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit,” and the word ungrateful was equal in comparison to any four letter word you could call someone. I do the same to my children. I stress go them how lucky we are and how they should not take it for granted, because that is an important life lesson they should learn. I grew up in a family where alcoholism and addiction didn’t run anywhere. It unpacked and moved into the spare room until the next kid was old enough to indulge. By the time I was in high school I was very familiar with the Big Book and the core values taught to me were mantras repeated at meetings: Let go and let God, it works if you work it, The Serenity Prayer, etc. I am thankful for all of these things because it did not stop me from going down that road, but the path to recovery is easier when it’s familiar, when it feels like coming home.

One of the things I learned as an adult in recovery is to allow myself to feel how I feel. I have a terrible habit formed out of anxiety to push my feelings, thoughts, and needs to the side in order to maintain peace or avoid conflict. I still do it when my anxiety takes over, I did it last night. I went to bed because I did not want to continue the conflict within myself. This type of behavior for someone with a drug problem is dangerous because it inevitably leads to using a substance to continue to avoid the things we don’t want to face.

Preventing the cycle continuance of unhealthy coping mechanisms largely hinges on my ability to identify and fight them myself. Starting with this grateful word, I am choosing to allow what I call “idle complaints.” Which have been banned until now. Normally, in my home, you are not allowed to present a complaint without also presenting an example of something you’re grateful for. As of now, that is scrapped. Instead, you will be allowed idle complaints, under the expectation that a solution to said complaint would also be presented within a week, because wallowing in self pity is just as damaging as swimming in anxiety.

There you have it, my thoughts scattered and closed on how all that mess ended up being used to evaluate and improve my parenting style. Which is what I want you to take away from this, especially if you’re an anxious mom. We cannot change the condition we are stuck with, we can’t control when it will decide to sideline us, but we can look back on the episode, analyze it from a different angle and choose to bring some light out of that dark moment.