Tuesday, May 28, 2013

What Holiday?

Working people have holidays. Kids have holidays. But us at-home moms? Nope- not even close!

What do people do on the holidays? Do they relax? Sometimes. But most times people try to squeeze in as much activity as possible before they have to go back to work or school. And who is usually the one to organize, plan, prepare, and clean up after these so called 'fun events'? You guessed it.

Us moms.

'Hey mom, can I invite twenty-six friends over to play? And oh, I already told them you were okay with it- and that you'd make cookies'.


'Hey hon, let's have a few friends over for a cookout. I think almost everyone is has plans, but just in case they fall through I invited them anyway so no one gets left out. Do we have enough food for a hundred people?'


'Hey Mom! Remember when you said we could dog sit? Well so-and-so is going away this weekend and she has one hundred seventeen Great Danes she wants us to care for- she'll be over with a truck in ten minutes, because she's also having her house renovated while she's away. Isn't that great'?

 Or even better...

'Let's go camping! All we have to do is pack the entire house in the compact car, and eat half burned, half raw food over a fire and sleep with the mud and bugs for three days! Oh and don't forget we have to take the axe so we can chop the firewood!'

Vacation, my Aunt Fanny! All this on top of the regular house cleaning/cooking can drive a mom stark-raving bonkers. Vacations for moms are non-existent; we just appreciate the after holiday break when everything goes back to normal!

Listen up, family members! This is what a Mom's fantasy vacation is:

To go somewhere quiet where there's room service and a pool. Does it matter where? Nope- it can be at the summer display at Wal-Mart for all we care!

To go shopping at all those little interesting tourist shops without someone whining 'Can I have this?' every thirty seconds.

To read a book- uninterrupted.

To play games with the kids that doesn't involve us going into cardiac arrest. You tossed the ball five miles past me? You go get it!

And last but not least, let us moms wake up as God intended- not at three in the morning so we can go bungee jumping! (or to make you breakfast!)

That, dear husbands and children, is what most moms consider a vacation!

Okay, so I won't get a 'mom' vacation anytime soon- especially when the kids are out for the summer- but I can enjoy the quiet that comes after the chaos!

I hope you had an awesome Memorial Day! As for me? I have a house (and yard) to clean (after my nap!)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Wet Pants Courage

The first thing I do when confronted with a challenge is to see if there's a way out of it. Most times I can overcome my fears and face the scary stuff- most of the time. But this time the challenge was self imposed, and if I don't do it, I might regret it for the rest of my life.

I will be attending my first ever writer's conference at the end of July, and at present I'm somewhere between bed-wetting and a near-death experience! (yes, this is a direct quote from the Muppets Rizzo the Rat!) Did you hear me? At the end of July, I'll be facing people who will be reading my stories and determining whether I become a published author or not!

For me, this is like fighting a lion, a bear, and rabid wolverine in my undies with a toothpick. Yet I still have hope that I'll win!

I'm sure there are others who share this fear, because there will also be a lot of competition from already published authors, and other newbies like me. And the fact that this will be a Christian writer's conference is even more scary, because I just know these people are more favored by God. I just know.

At least until I talked to a published writer, and found out that she was more scared than I was! I kept thinking  'But she's published! She's done this before! Why is she so scared?' And her answer was the same as mine- she was afraid that her stories wouldn't get published, and her last book would be her 'last' book!

Of course I thought she needed some encouragement- after all, the way should be easier for her since she does have something to put on her resume other than 'I have two kids and have been reading children's books forever- twice.' We both agreed that this was definitely a 'wet pants' issue for the both of us. I made her laugh and feel much better about her work.

And in helping her, I helped myself!

When you have wet pants, it makes it easy to spot others with the same condition- and that's when you get courage! The 'wet pants' courage that allows you to comfort others in the same situation, and in giving that comfort, helps to boost your own courage to face those fears. 

And that's when you both look down, laugh, and scurry to the ladies room to make it look like you spilled water all over yourselves.

Fear is always going to be there. But don't listen to the whispers that you're all alone in whatever your challenges are. Someone has gone through (or is currently going through) the same situation, so take heart! 

After all, without fear, how can we be courageous?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Get Inspirated!

No, that's not a typo. Inspirated is a word that I made up, so I know it's spelled correctly. It comes from the word inspire which means 'breathed by God'.  Inspirated means 'breathed by God- when He's laughing'!

Speaking as a creative, semi-near famous artist/writer/homemaker, the word inspire is just too dang lofty of a word for me. My art isn't highfaluting, snobbish blobs of random color, or makes you consider the meaning of life- it's not that kind of art. No, my art is definitely more bouncy, fun, and makes you want to play with toys!

That, my friends, is why we need a word like inspirated- even the word itself sounds bouncy and fun!

Like Mary Poppins teaching the kids do clean the nursery- you find the fun, and turn it into a game! This is the core of what inspirated is- find the fun in everyday things, and make life more funner!

Work in a cubicle? Hide a pair of bunny slippers under there and slip off your shoes when you're at your desk. Get one of those dancing flower doohickeys that moves when you make noise, decorate your pens with fuzzy toppers or have a goofy little stuffed critter peeking over your computer screen- it doesn't matter- just find the fun!

Are you a homemaker? Get an old pair of fuzzy slippers and do what Laverne and Shirley did- put on some rocking music and splash some cleaner on the floor and shuffle dance! Sweep to the beat of a great song, or do lunging thrusts with the vacuum to the song 'Kung-Fu Fighting'- you'll feel a lot happier and Bonus!- the house gets clean too! Find that fun!

Are you a writer in a slump? Take one of your characters and put them in a ridiculous situation- have someone (or something) come crashing through the door and see how your characters react! Who knows, you might have just found a way to finish that story- even if you don't make that particular scene a part or your story! Find that fun and run with it!

Pinterest has great ideas for the creative mind- just look at some of the ideas on there and play with them in your mind, combining or reworking those ideas to create something new! Find the fun, and get Inspirated!

So what are you waiting for? Go find that fun!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Double Standards

Too many times I see double standards in our society. Not that I am against the groups, races, etc. that I am about to mention- I'm definitely not! But it's something that needs to be addressed if only to point out the irony of it all.

For instance:
I don't get why we need to have sub-divisions of the Miss America pageants. Why do we have different races running their own pageants? And why would these other races throw a fit if there was a White Miss America pageant? (I'm not saying we should, I'm just making a point). Why is it okay for other races to have their race exclusive pageants, but if white people (or Caucasians, for the political term, but my skin is so white it's near reflective, so I am a'callin' myself white) have our own race-exclusive pageant, we are considered racists?

I am not putting down other races- not in the least (In fact I go to a church that is predominantly Black and Hispanic), but the irony of one-race anything just rubs me the wrong way. Not just White, not just Black, not just Hispanic or Asian- it's ridiculous to claim you can have your own race-specific agendas, yet protest others rights to do the same.

And yes, many races were demeaned and treated like lesser beings in the past by white folks-I don't deny or ignore that (In fact, I hate that part of my history!), and I also see the reasons behind race-specific events and literature because we once were a segregated country. But it's been taken to an extreme that has flavored this melting pot we call America with a bitterness that can't be easily gotten rid of.

All I'm saying is that people can't have it both ways- You don't squash the rights of another now because your rights were squashed in the past. I don't care what color you are.

The same goes for beliefs.

Gay rights have been on the up-rise for years, but if someone says they believe differently, there are Gay-ins and protests at the top of gay supporters' lungs. Why? If gay people wish the right of free speech and the choice to do what they want, why do they protest when Christians want the same rights and respect?

This also applies to certain aspects of feminism. Not the equal rights kind, but the kind that claims women are better than men, and suppress the men for the betterment of women. In their opinion, all women should be out and working, and when a woman wants to be at-home mom, these feminists tell them they are conforming to a form of legal slavery, working for a man all day for no wage, having his babies, etc. There are even claims that these women should be berated for their choice, because the choice is so foolish. 
Women who had no choices in the past are now given choices, and these radical feminists feel we should not be able to choose being an at home mom because we don't know any better or are being foolish? Aren't they doing the same kind of suppression as men were- just in reverse?

That doesn't make sense to me either. 

What's good for the goose is good for the gander- don't shout out that you want rights, yet suppress others from doing the same. Stop using double standards for getting what you want by stepping on the backs of others. And yes, we can all get along even if we don't have the same beliefs, skin tone, or lifestyles. We don't have to like what our fellow man does, but we can surely love them as human beings! After all, isn't that what God intended in the first place?