Tuesday, September 20, 2011

How Hard It Is

I was going to write a post on my book that was just released a few days ago.

But something has been stuck in my mind and I guess I'm going to share that instead. It involves a few things actually. 'The Confident Women' by Joyce Meyer and Madonna. Please read the following:

"Our world has created a false, unrealistic image of what women are supposed to look like and act like. But the truth is that every woman was not created by God to be skinny, with a flawless complexion and long flowing hair. Not every woman was intended to juggle a career as well as all of the other duties of being a wife, mother, citizen, and daughter." (paraphrased, Joyce Meyer)

"Silky smooth, lips as sweet as candy.
Tight blue jeans, skin that shows in patches.
Strong inside but you don't know it
Good little girls, they never show it.
When you open up your mouth to speak
Could you be a little weak?
Do you know, what it feels like for a girl?
Do you know, what it feels like in this world,
for a girl?
Hair that twirls on fingertips so gently,
Hands that rest on jutting hips repenting.
Hurt that's not supposed to show
And tears that fall when no one knows
When you're trying hard to be your best
Could you be a little less?" (Madonna - What it feels like for a girl)

Question one y'all. How do these relate? Now before you switch pages because you think is a feminist brewhahaha (I know I didn't spell that right), it isn't. Because this just doesn't apply to girls. It really really applies to girls, but I know some men out there who are wishing they were more than what they are.

So, the first time I heard that Madonna song was actually last week. I normally love Madge as I admire her brevity and craziness and her ... persuasion to get where she is now. Yes she has made mistakes, but who am I to throw a log her way? I heard the song and I just about cried. 'That's me! That's me!' I was yelling at myself. The girl who won't complain, the girl who lets people say what they want, who lets people try to mold her into what they want, and instead of saying no, I slither away quietly. And then of course, it made me think of men and how they treat women. And while my heart breaks over this, and oh how my heart breaks for the women who have no freedom and have to deal with this (remind me next time to tell you the story about an old friend of mine who's mother moved away from India so that her girls wouldn't be circumcized...) it actually bothered me more about the way women treat each other. How women can be mean and unkind with their words and actions. Put on their big fake smiles and pretend what you're doing/thinking/saying is fabulous and then throw in a slammer of an insult that doesn't even register until later. Oh, if I had a nickel! Shouldn't we be encouraging each other? Listening to each other? How many 'friends' do you have that you open your heart to and they turn around and tell you how they are so much worse? Heaven forbid I ever complain about my son and then have to hear how because they have more than one child, they have it so much worse and what right do I have to look for sympathy? Or the women who brag about all the work they constantly do (am thinking of preview for "I Don't Know How She Does It" movie) and make you feel awful about yourself because you got nothing done. Ladies. Gentlemen. Stop trying to prove yourself. Because you'll fail.

Are you being kind to you? No, really? I know stuff has to get done, but are you being nice about it? A friend of mine just had a baby and of course she's going through rough times. She mentionned how she felt so guilty because she was mad at her newborn. I told her that she was going to feel guilty every single day of her life from now on. Did I do enough? Did he eat well? Should I have bought him clothes that match? Etc. Another friend of mine is having physical issues and can't figure out why she's gained weight and she can't lose it because she is in physical pain all the time. When she approached her husband about whether she was still pretty, he sadly gave the wrong answer. I told her it was about time she had some hips and that curves were awesome. But I couldn't make the sadness go away in her eyes. Another friend is exhausted because she works so hard at her job and pushes for the next big promotion but all she wants is to stay home with her kids and do house designing. I myself am having issues because I can't burn out all my energy into exercise because my knee blew up and I'm in constant pain and physio is not working fast enough for me. So I cut myself some slack. I asked God to bless me. Are you asking God to bless you? To give you release from your own guilt and expectations? Do you really know what God expects of you? Do you? I can tell you what God expects of me. (If you're wondering, it's true devotion. And out of devotion comes obedience. And baby, I'm obedient! ... most of the time... )

My husband figured out a few years ago that he wasn't going to get a clean house. He was instead going to get a completely loving family who spend all their time with him as soon as he walks in the door. Snuggles for an hour at least every night. Arm tickles and foot rubs. Amazing meals with kind conversation. And a crazy creative wife who remembers where everything is provided no one else touches it.

But I am aware that I am too quiet about all this. I think I can be brave enough to say I'm looking forward to reading 'the Confident Woman'. I think it's definitely time to be nicer to me and to choose to make nicer friends. And to listen to the truth that I am a star in the sky that God has called by name.

So, thoughts out of this post? I am sorry it's a mish-mosh. My mind has been a mish-mosh with thoughts and being sore from physio and 'why am I not better already darnit!'
My thoughts are:
-encourage, don't compare/discourage/demean/be fake
-pray for the people who are standing right in front of you. all the time.
-be nice to you. because some days, no one else will be.

Oh dear. Now I sound like a Hallmark card....

This would be the spot where a picture of me would be uploaded and I'm heating a hot dog in Central Park because it's yummy. And then there would be a blurb about my new book that came out last week called, "Jackson Jones: the Tale of a Boy, a Troll and a Rather Large Chicken". And then I'd mention that I'm halfway through writing a teen dystopian, but my mind is beginning to drift back to the Amish thing. But of course my new laptop is too smart for me and not letting me upload photos. My picture is on the side somewhere....


  1. Jenn, I could have written a post much like that when I was thirty-something (if we'd had internet then.) I'm twice that age now, and nothing has changed very much.

    Except, I've learned to be a little less judgmental of both others and myself.

    What a great reminder of how we should become what God wants us to become, not what others would impose upon us.

  2. Hi Jenn,
    I found that very touching and too and really needed the reminder. Thanks so much for that post.

  3. Thank you, Jenn. Sometime I will tell you how and why this was something I really needed to hear.

  4. Jenn, good reminders! But I still want to see the picture of you cooking a hot dog in Central Park--maybe next time?

  5. Jenn, great post! It can be easy to get sucked into a worldly way of thinking, and in the process lose sight of the big picture. I appreciate your honesty and I value my friends who speak the truth with love :)