The Matter of Men

20 Oct 2014 Posted by Jillian in Blog, Marriage, Motherhood, Quest for Contentment

I have overheard a few comments this past week that have got me thinking:   “Men are just as insecure as women, maybe more so.” ~My mom   “Most men are insecure; reducing women helps them feel more powerful.” ~Kris Vallotton   “I told my daughter that she can keep the gender of the baby secret if it’s a boy, but if it’s a girl, I’m going to need to know as soon as possible.” ~Random woman at a craft show   This last quote got me thinking the most because I think it captures an undertone I see too often.  If it’s a girl, I am going to want to prepare more by buying cute clothes and decorating her room nicely.  Even from such a young age, the outward appearance of a girl seems to be highlighted and celebrated.  We get excited about little bows, ruffle butts, and huge flowers on their heads.  Because, let’s be honest, all of those things are ridiculously cute.   I understand I am generalizing a lot here, I know I am not speaking for everyone.  I am merely reflecting on a common sentiment I see floating around.  I have bought into it myself, at times, and I am just now wondering how I feel about it.   As I have sat and thought about how I would share the news that we are having a boy, I have worried about people’s reactions.  I have worried that people wouldn’t be as excited for us as they would if we said we would having a girl.  It’s all nice to say I shouldn’t care what people think.  And for the most part, God has freed me from caring what others think, but I still have to fight sometimes.   One of the ways I am fighting is by unpacking why it is that I would perceive less excitement about a boy than I would about a girl.  Does the issue lie solely in my own heart, or is there a an unhealthy mindset that has woven its way into our society at large?  Probably both.   I may not be able to change the mindset of an entire generation, but I can make sure that my heart is in the…

Does God Poop?

30 Mar 2014 Posted by Jillian in Becoming More Like Jesus, Blog, friendship, Marriage, Motherhood

  It’s an honest question.  Does God poop?  I have wondered many things about God, but I can’t say I have wondered about that.  I understand that putting God’s name in the same sentence as the word poop can be offensive to some people.  If that is you, I am sorry.  I mean no offense.  This is a valid question from the heart of a 4 year old who genuinely wants to know his Maker better.  As him mom, I will let him ask his questions, and I will encourage his genuine, childlike wonder.   We learn in school that there are no stupid questions.  Maybe that is true and maybe it isn’t, but one thing is true:  asking questions is what opens the door for greater understanding, if it is understanding we seek.  “Stupid” questions are usually not seeking greater understanding.   We know that God is more than capable and strong enough to handle any question we throw his way.  He is not shocked by our blatant honesty nor our sometimes flagrant disrespect.  He receives each question, knowing the longing in our hearts that fuels our questions (Luke 16:15).  He looks beyond what is said to the heart that the words come from.  He understands.   Asking questions can help us know God better as well as help us know others better.  We do not grow in relationship with someone by waiting around for them to offer information and insight.  We have to ask.  We ask because we want to know.  We ask because we want to show that we care about them.  We ask because that is the only way to grow closer to a person.   When we ask questions, we have the opportunity to grow in understanding, but merely asking questions does not guarantee we will gain understanding.  We have to WANT to gain understanding.  In doing so, we will ask good questions.   I don’t know about you, but I have been a part of many conversations where questions are asked, but the person ends up backing you into a corner rather than drawing you out.  Their questions are really yes or no questions and aimed at getting you to agree with them, rather than trying to understand your…

God as Dad?

12 Nov 2013 Posted by Jillian in Blog, friendship, Marriage, Motherhood

I have been doing some contemplating lately about what it means to have God as a Father.  My earthly father lived a 2.5-4.5 hour airplane ride away for 31 of the 33 years of my life, so trying to imagine what it is like to have a father around and involved on a day-to-day basis is challenging.  Having never experienced the everyday relationship with a father makes it tough to wrap my mind around what a father even is.  As a result, imagining God as a Father is much tougher.   When I was pregnant with my daughter, Alliyah, my husband and I went to see a movie.  When we were leaving that movie, I had an overwhelming impression in my heart and mind (some people, myself included, would call this God speaking to them).  What God said was, “I am going to show you what a father/daughter relationship looks like through Todd and Alliyah.”  I was dissolved to tears when God spoke these words to me 8 years ago.  It was a promise that God gave me.  He promised to fill in the holes where my understanding was lacking.  He gave me this promise, but the promise lay dormant for many years because I forgot to take notice.  I forgot to watch and take note of Todd being a dad.   I have done some talking to God lately about my struggle to understand him as Father.  God responded by using a conversation with a friend to remind me of the words that He spoke 8 years ago.  God encouraged me to start watching Todd as a dad.   I thought I would share some of my observations:  (Consequently, these are observations about God as our Father in Heaven)   He teaches us and helps us to become like Him. (From watching Todd pretend shave Joshua’s face)   “This is what the Lord says – your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: ‘I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go’” (Isaiah 48:17).   He sits and comforts us, allowing us to snuggle as close as we want when we are scared.  (From watching my kids cuddle up close during…

“The” Talk

09 Sep 2013 Posted by Jillian in Becoming More Like Jesus, Blog, Marriage, Motherhood

“Mommy…I really want Suzy (our new horse) to have a baby.”   Me:  “Maybe next year.”   Alliyah:  “Next year?”  (says with a hopeful tone)   Me:  “Well, she won’t have a baby next year, but maybe we will breed her next year.”   Alliyah:  “What’s breed?”   Me:  “To make her get pregnant.”   Alliyah:  “How do we make her get pregnant?”   Me:  (Stifling a smile)  “Well, we have to find her a boy horse.”   Alliyah:  “Huh?”  (completely puzzled look on her face)   I am not joking.  That was the exact conversation I had with Alliyah a little over a week ago.  I was no longer successful at hiding my smile once she got that puzzled look on her face and said, “huh?”  I tried to change the subject and walk out of the room claiming it was bedtime.  I sat down at the computer to quickly type out our little interaction because I knew it would serve as a great illustration some day.  I had the first word typed and she came up to me.   “Mommy?  Why do we need a boy horse to have a baby?”   Me:  (smiling pretty big with a huge belly laugh waiting to escape)  “How about I tell you later.”   …then feeling like I did not want her to think there was some great secret, I threw in, “That’s just the way God made it.  You need a boy and a girl to make a baby.”   As she’s walking out of the room, she says, “That just does not make sense.”  (holding one finger in the air on her right hand and one on her left, then brings them together.)  “A boy (right finger) and a girl (left finger) don’t make a baby.”   Obviously, she is missing a middle piece there.  The “S” word.  If she knew about sex, the dots would have connected a little easier.   As a parent, I do not think you are ever really ready to have “the” talk with your kid.  It usually comes up completely out of the blue as it that tonight.  I am honestly not afraid to talk to Allliyah about sex, but I have a little trepidation about knowing just…

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