Momsie is a G rated blog. And she’s recommending an (almost) X rated Netflix show.

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WAIT. Just stay with me, here, Ok?

This was me about five minutes prior to posting this:

Me: NO DON’T DO IT. CRAZY SAUCE. WRITE ABOUT PUPPIES.

Y’all. I’m not gonna write about puppies.

With the help of Netflix, I’m going to get serious with you.

I meant to post about some great Netflix shows for kids and teens and other heartening options, because yes, there are many there. I have gobs and gobs of things on Netflix that I watch that warm my soul and make me smile and make my children chortle with laughter…

Today is not such a day.

Today, I am recommending this:maxresdefault.jpg

Guys. This show broke. My. Heart.

Two years ago I spoke at the Whole Women’s Conference – a gathering for women who felt broken, lost, addicted, and all of the above. There, I met Annie Lobert, an ex porn star who had found Jesus, and whose mission is to offer assistance and ministry to women stuck in this industry.

And, yes, “stuck” is the right term.

I think… I think this post is going to upset some of y’all. I am so sorry. I’m going to post it anyway.

In this era of social media, amateur porn is blowing up. Did you know, Twitter still has NO sorts of filters, so basically anyone who has a Twitter account can access porn, free and easy, whenever they like?

The minimum age for a Twitter account is 13. The average age for a person to be exposed to porn? 11.

That’s in three years, for my oldest.

Amateur porn is here, and here’s one of its spokespersons:

“Amateurs come across better on screen. Our customers feel that. Especially by women you can see it. They still feel strong pain.”

So, here’s the deal. This show does not take an easy look at this. It’s not clearly anti-porn or pro. It is fairly unbiased. And for that, I am kind of grateful. Because… the girls’ faces. They don’t need to ask the leaning questions or mess with the dialogue or twist the events or MESS WITH IT AT ALL. THE GIRLS’ FACES.

Nobody really wants this life. And yet, it’s happening.

 

The website Fight the New Drug tells us: The main job for these girls? To look young. “Teen” is one of the top keywords in porn searches.      (http://fightthenewdrug.org/10-porn-stats-that-will-blow-your-mind/)

Guys. The IWF tells us: “Child porn is one of the fastest growing online businesses.”

It. Is. Everywhere.

I’m not a fan.

Maybe… you disagree. Maybe you see it as a choice, as a part of healthy human sexuality, as a part of expression and just being plain honest with ourselves. Maybe it’s empowering.

Maybe. But. Just look at their faces, ok? And, there’s so many of them. These girls. They don’t look like victims. They’re smiling. There’s hundreds of them. Or more. So… how can they be victims if SO many of them are signing up to be a click away for someone?

Just watch Hot Girls Wanted. And, there? Just look at their faces.

I do warn you – there is nudity and all the rest of it here. The film does not show the porn in action, but yes, nudity happens.  It’s not an easy film to watch. But, I did. And I cried. And, then I asked God three things:
I have two boys, and I cannot help but wonder – what will this industry be like when they are 11?
And also,  is there any way I can help those girls? Is there any way I could just hug on them, and tell them, somehow, what they’re worth? What they are really, really worth?
And, God, there are so many. Why? Why did we let this go for so long? Why weren’t we paying attention?
Ok, finally.
I read up on the definition of “exposed.” You know, to reveal, to uncover. To leave cold.
The antonym for exposed is “protect.”
And the final definition? Waaaaaay down the page, at the bottom, where you would miss it unless you’re an English teacher like me and kept reading?
Exposed: to leave a child to die.

40 Days of More

Hey, did you hear?

I gave up alcohol for Lent.

Yep. Also, I gave it up for December. And rainy days. And birthdays.

So, also, you know, the rest of the year. And forever. That sort of thing.

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So. Moving on.

It’s just a teensy bit possible that I have not really given up anything else for Lent in a long while. Unless, of course, you count last minute trips to Paris, or goat farming or walking gracefully. I totally gave those up ages ago.

You see, I am just so horribly bad at Lent. I do not get A’s in Lent. This bothers me. I would plan something for it, and journal about it, and chirp about it to my so-good-at-doing Lent friends, and then, BAMMO, in about four days I would have totally forgotten.

Maybe I could give up memory for Lent?

I have made my peace with it. Jesus forgave me a long time ago for my inability to half-heartedly give up chocolate for four days. But, Jesus wasn’t done with me on this subject yet. That’s just His way. You have obstacles in life? He is there. But He also says things like, “Here, let me work with you on this… for a really long while…”

Sometimes I just wish He would say, “Here. Let me COMPLETELY FIX THIS THING FOR YOU. ALL DONE! PRESTO WHAMMO!”

It would be so cool, if that were His way. And, I have heard that sometimes it is. For some reason, I never get to have the “presto whammo” version of fixing things with Jesus. I wonder why? Just once, I’d like to get the PRESTO WHAMMO. It would be so cool.

Anyhow, this year Jesus and I had a little talk about Lent. It went like this:

Jesus: No, I am not talking to you in an audible voice. I know some of your readers are gonna think I showed up in your living room, all glowy and talking.

Me: THAT WOULD BE SO COOL WHY DON’T YOU DO THAT?

Jesus: We’ve discussed this before. I think you might get distracted by the glow. I’ll stick with still small voice today, okay?

Me: Sigh.

Jesus: It doesn’t work, the grumpy thing. I’m too holy. Just bounces right off. Let’s talk.

Me: Ok, Lent? I don’t like it? It kinda feels like 40 days of gritting my teeth over not drinking Pepsi, when You fasted for 40 days in a desert with Satan bugging you, and then, AFTER that You went and died for us. I dunno. Pepsie? It seems a bit… underwhelming.

Jesus: Ok, for the readers here who did give up Pepsi, I totally think that’s awesome. She’ll get on track here. Stay with us.

Me: Oh. Yes. Sorry. Sorry, Pepsi people.

Jesus: Look, if you don’t think your fast is legit enough, then why not totally fast for 40 days?

Me: Uh… totally? Like no food? Did you have water? No water? Again, you’re sure? No food???  That’s impossible. I mean, true, YOU’RE JESUS, so YOU could handle it, but…

Jesus: Yes. I am Jesus. But it wasn’t all fun and games for me either. Ok, well let’s dial it down then. I could provide some locusts and honey?

Me: Ew.

Jesus: So… the Lent thing. It has to be under your control, huh?

Me: *crickets*

Jesus: How about this? How about you add to your life? For 40 days, you study what Lent is about.

Me: Hey. Yea. I like that! I could ADD to my life, for 40 days. You are so SMART, Jesus.

Jesus: I get that a lot. So, you’re not officially fasting, but I’ll take it. Maybe we can think of it as “fasting from distraction and adding focus.” And then, maybe, one day you can really give up chocolate for 40 days and not overthink it so much.

Me: Still doesn’t seem very comparable…

Jesus: LOCUSTS AND HONEY. I WILL SEND THEM. DON’T TEST ME.

Me: OK. Bible Study. Every day, for 40 days. I’m in. Call off the locusts!

So, this year, I found myself mired in some bad habits that had me stuck. And I realized, as one who just SPOKE AT A CONFERENCE ABOUT OVERCOMING BAD HABITS that irony was going to come up and smack me upside the head if I didn’t get my mind right.

So here is my 40 Days of More Lenten Package for you:

  1. Up at 5:30 am.
  2. Study the bible
  3. Run
  4. Eat an egg for breakfast*

* I know. The egg seems totally random, but it matters. I need something to help with my blood sugar. Like, lately, I have found myself eating Frosted Flakes and cheese. If there was a restaurant called Cereal and Cheese, I would be there. Every day. This does not make Momsie’s brain or body happy. And each time I try to make sure I make a protein shake with more than two ingredients, I want to curl up on the floor with coffee and a Ring Ding, and cry. Ingredients are HARD at seven in the morning.

I am allowing myself to run a minimum of one measly mile. If I want to go longer, so be it. I usually do because after one mile I’m all warmed up and singing along with Toby Mac and ready to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Or not.

That’s the plan. I’ll keep you posted. If you walk past my house and see a FedEx box labelled LOCUSTS AND HONEY you’ll know.

I’m still hoping that some day Jesus asks me to give up tightrope walking for Lent. I’d be so in.

Presto whammo.

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Breathing Lessons

Linking up with my favorite people today over at Five Minute Fridays.

Today’s theme?

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There are some basic truths about me that you should know.

  1. I am never aware of who is playing in the Super Bowl. I am in it for the chips and queso.
  2. It bugs me when I wake up and the theme from Caillou is in my head. It also bugs me that this happens regularly.
  3. I like long walks on the beach.
  4. I live in Kansas. The beach thing is tough.
  5. I do not snore.

I am a delicate flower, people. I don’t belch and I don’t tell crude jokes, and I don’t snore.

I DON’T.

This post is a bit of an argument with the husband because he has informed me that I DO snore, and THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE.

I have had a cold for the past few days, and yes, I am a bit… phlegmy.

I bet you are wondering why you even STARTED reading this today?

Ok. Stay with me. I admit it. I might snore. Let’s face it, about three days ago my nose decided to go on strike, along with my lungs, so snoring is the new sleeping.

But it’s a temporary thing.

Breathing is not to be taken for granted, y’all. We only get so many breaths on this side of the shore. Being sick, lacking in sleep, arguing grumpily with my husband over snoring and the sharing (or lack thereof) of the covers… that is just the most in life we can be. We are IN it, with it’s dreary sore throats and spats and tiresome acts.

Perhaps it’s just the Sudafed talking, but I think that’s why we get colds – to make us stop and remember just exactly what not having a cold is like.

So, I’m grateful for this cold. And the snoring. And for breathing for another day.

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Fight the Good Fight

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Sometimes being afraid just takes up too much time in the day.

And sometimes, we can fear the strangest things.

Y’all, I am fighting off some gunk lately. It is real, biological gunk as I think I might be getting the horrible plague-flu that is going around the boys’ school. I substitute there, and just yesterday a little sweetheart came up and coughed in my general direction and I swear I could SEE the horrible plague-germs attack me.

Also, sadness and confusion. I am fighting that. And a complete lack of confidence. I am a lump of all of that.

Here’s the deal. I am working on book 2. This is wonderful and exciting and such a straight up gift from God. So, you know Satan has to get in on it, don’t you? Satan’s all:

“This is the worst drivel you have ever written. You just googled The Spice Girls, to put IN your book, are you kidding? Who is going to read this crud? Maybe Scary Spice but that’s IT. And, you know? It’s really, really important right now for you to go on the facebooks and waste about 30 min. scrolling, scrolling, so you can mush-ify your brain a little more, BECAUSE YOU CANNOT WRITE.”

Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Satan has a very good way of instilling fear, distracting, and then lumpifying me. Allow me to show you in a cool graphic display:

Step One:

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Step Two:

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Also, this morning I received an email rejecting my writing. It happens. It happens a lot, actually. If you want to be a writer, oftentimes you have to hold your writing out for others to see, and that merits some rejection.

Still hurts, though. Still makes Satan just rub his hands together in glee, so he can now sprinkle “SEE? I TOLD YOU SO. YOU CAN’T WRITE. GET A CLUE AND START FILLING OUT APPLICATIONS AT JC PENNY” onto my already mushy brain.

Not that working at JC Penny would be terrible. It’s just… retail does not really speak to me on a creative level, you know? And I decided, some years ago, when I laid down the wine and said, “Enough,” that my new addiction would be creativity. So, I have to have it.

I just have to. Or I wither.

Here’s the deal. Satan tries to wither us at any corner, any small space, any bit of emptiness he can wiggle into. He slides in, sneaks by, infiltrates oh so slowly, and next thing you know? You’ve start to feel fear. And then, you react.

I react by throwing a blanket over it, so I can pretend it’s not there. I try to numb it out. I poke my fingers in my ears and sing “La la la la la!!!” like I’m six.

I try all of these things and scroll on the facebooks too. It does the trick, for a while. But all the time, the fear is still there, shrouded, and waiting. So very, very patient.

Instead? Well, I want to breathe in God and breathe Him out and just sit with Him and talk about all this stuff. I forget to DO that. Such a simple thing.

Kelly Balarie’s book, Fear Fighting, gives us reminders and wisdom about all of this. It is a book that speaks to those of us who long for Control. Who Worry. Who hate Waiting. Who have felt the sting of Rejection. (These are all her chapter titles, and I re-read “Rejection and Opposition: They Have Issues just this morning.)

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I also want “rhythm with God.” I want to sit with Him in all of this, and then, get up and walk with Him and work it out. I don’t want to evade or cover up or sink into mushy, distracted, tired brain.

I am grateful for this book and for Kelly’s compassion. She’s been there. Oh, has she been there (Read her book; she’ll tell you all about it. )

Go do something un-mushifying today. I will too, with the help of too much coffee, Jesus, some good music (Sara Groves, of course) and this book.

Join the good fight. #FearFightingbook #DolifewithGod

And all God’s women said,  Amen?

Amen!

 

Willy Nilly Parenting. Yes It’s a Thing.

You guys. Parenting should never just hope for the best and lean on fate. It should never overplay its hand. Or wait for the luck of the draw. Basically? Anything related to the word “gambling” should not be in the same suit as parenting

(You saw that, right? Are we not in total awe of me?)

Parenting is a science, y’all. And for those people out there who say gambling is all just science and math and numbers, well, you go, Stephen Hawking*. I’m not gonna argue. I  don’t even have the time to elaborate on my metaphor and plus, science is much too thinkie for me right now.

Oh, you know it. I just said it. I am anti-thinkie today. And you wanna know WHY?

CHILDREN. CHILDREN, THAT’S WHY.

If you please, I would like to present to you my plan to stop thinking about my parenting because I only have a few years left on this planet and if I don’t want to end up a mumbling heap of wrinkles in ten years, I am going to start NOW.

MOMSIE’S PLAN TO STOP THINKING ABOUT PARENTING:

AKA

LET’S JUST DO THIS ALL WILLY NILLY.

I know some of you read some parenting books, just like me. I read most of them right before cherub #1 was born and I took notes and journaled and planned and was READY to get ON it with the parenting. I was a thinkie beacon of parenting light, I tell you.

And then that little dude came out of my nether regions and all of it just went south. Nether regions too.

Here. Let me provide a visual to explain:

(NO not of the nether regions! Good heavens. )

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I no longer have a plan. I fly by the seat of my pants, people. My kids are a bit twitchy, but they’ve survived. In fact, in some ways, the Willy Nilly model has served them well. Just the other day I heard Blonde kid (#1, he started this whole mess) clock Red over the head with his light saber and then they were all mad and hated each other forever and then within FOUR minutes giggling commenced because one kid called it a fart saber. I don’t even know which one did it, but it certainly provided some comic relief. And so, logically…

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*I am pretty sure Stephen Hawking is all about physics? Not so much gambling? But he’s super smart, right? Anyhow, I wanted you to at least know that I knew that.

Connection

 

Linking up with my favorite people today! Five Minute Friday.

The theme?

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Ok, there are two ways of looking at the world:

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and…

 

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Ok.  I do realize this MIGHT just be a bit over-simplified. I haven’t done any actual research on it. But I am super smart so you know? Trust me. Two ways.

So, I wrote a book. And started writing more articles. And, along with that, I started speaking. Not just randomly speaking, like in the car, or to the grocer guy, but

PUBLIC SPEAKING. Like, IN FRONT OF GROUPS. 

(Say it with an echo after; helps the effect.)

Anyhow. It makes me a bit… twitchy. I am a shy person (this is when some of you who know me burst into peals of laughter). I AM. Shy people just know how to accessorize with nutball behavior and a penchant for snort-laughing in public. This shy thing has been around for a while. I covered it up once with lots of wine. Now, I speak about how I covered it up with lots of wine. This is very ironic, eh? Irony happens to me ALL THE TIME.

My last gig was wonderful and amazing and here is why:

1. The first speaker (sharing about a home for recovery for women in the area) used this phrase: “You have to learn to care for yourself before you can care for others.” This is the exact same thing my sponsor told me at the beginning. At this point I feel a tiny nudge.

2. The musician, Emily, apologized for her first song choice. “Not the best for a snowy day,” she smiled. And then she sang the song that I have always thought of as my “theme song” for getting sober. I Can See Clearly Now, by Johnny Nash.

            Hmmmmm.

3.   And then, the sweet lady next to me, right before I spoke, said,
“You’re up next, and just so you know I’ll be praying for you the whole time.”

God’s leaning in.

4. And finally, the closing song:

I Need Thee Every Hour.

The song I used to listen to and whisper/sing/cry to as I rocked upstairs while by boys slept. My version was on a Fernando Ortega cd. I would sing it, pray it, as tears dripped down my face, sometimes with a sleeping boy cuddled up, all heavy and warm and snotted on, in my lap. That song told me it was ok to be sober, an hour at at time. Not even a day at a time. Just an hour. I just needed to keep saying, “I need you.”

I connect with others through my speaking and writing. It’s part of my job now, to reach out, to speak, to connect even when a little shy or tired or tongue-tied. And, I love to do so because I am learning that the reaching out, the connecting? It helps me. It keeps me sober. It keeps me pointed true north.

But yesterday? God wanted to make sure I knew that He was connecting with me.

I know. He is available all the time, but on some days? Like yesterday? My sweet Lord sent me a Hallmark card, a letter, a telegram, an airplane banner in the sky:

“Hey! Dana!” says the banner. “I LOVE YOU TO THE MOON AND BACK, DID YOU KNOW THAT? PROBABLY MORE. I SHOULD KNOW, I MADE THE MOON.”

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And also, this. I am thinking a similar outfit for my next speaking gig. No? Too much? Ok. Probably too much.

Here is Why My Children Are Weird.

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This is stunt cinnamon toast. Mine doesn’t look this good.

Hi everyone!

Welcome to another fascinating installment of:

My Children Are Weird. The Food Edition

Season 4 Episode 786

So, this morning I make cinnamon toast for the babies. Why? Because I am simply the best mom ever, and I have it on good authority (past roommate) that I happen to make the best cinnamon toast in the nation. Maybe all the nations. My cinnamon toast is the kind that divides and conquers, y’all. It’s the Cinnamon Manifesto of toast.

Anyhow. This conversation follows:

Red: Mom. I don’t want the toast.

Me: Ok. Uh. You do realize my toast is going to conquer the world, right? Like, if you take one bite it actually makes it possible for you to leap tall buildings AND always aim correctly, ok?

Red: Right. Anyhow, I don’t want the toast. I want cinnamon bread. The toast is too hard.

Momsie: Since when did we decide toast was “hard”? Yesterday I caught you gnawing on peanut brittle like a crazed squirrel.

Red: Yes. But that was after lunch. After lunch I can do the hard things.

Blonde: Also, I don’t want the cinnamon toast.

Momsie: Bread? Cinnamon bread, I suppose?

Blonde: No. Not at all. It makes my stomach feel funny. You see, it’s too sweet.

Momsie: Is this when I get to throw up my hands in despair and stalk out of the room, or is that later?

Blonde: I know that yesterday I had two cookies, some fudge, and about fifty Hershey’s kisses. Also that fruit tape stuff that tells you it’s all natural which is just a gateway food into understanding how everybody lies to us. But as for right NOW, especially since you have already PREPARED the cinnamon toast with a lot of care and not enough coffee,  I am saying no. No, I don’t want the cinnamon toast.

Momsie: So…  If I had not actually made the toast?

Blonde: I so woulda eaten that.

Momsie: So. The toast is a symbol.

Blonde: The toast is a symbol. Yes. I told you, everybody lies. It’s a hard lesson but I am here to teach it to you. In a cute way.

Momsie: I am so depressed right now. But here, Red, here is your… cinnamon… bread.

Red: Brace yourself. I am now going to push the plate away like you just brought me a steaming bowl of bird poop. And then I’ma gonna lay my head down on the table because you have betrayed me.

Momsie: Thank you for that poop visual, son. It takes a lot of birds to get a bowl going on in that one.

Red: I know, right? But back to me. This bread. It’s too buttery. And you know I don’t like buttery.

Momsie: Surely there is some sort of reprogramming center you can go to for that. Not liking buttery? This is shunning material here. Also, you don’t like to dip your carrots in ranch dressing. You like carrots, just NO dressing. This proves you are an imposter.

Blonde: I like buttery! Just without the bread. And the cinnamon. So, just some butter with sugar, please.

Momsie: I think it’s time.

Blonde: Yes. Yes! That’s your cue. Now is when you can throw your hands up and walk out of the room. But don’t leave too long, for as much as we are irritated with you right now, we still want you to always be in the SAME room with us as all time.

Red: I agree. It’s in our nature. We are heat-seeking missiles and you’re the underpaid target, lady.  Oh, and? When you come back I am going to repeatedly ask you to scrape the butter off of my bread but still, somehow, leave the sugar and cinnamon intact. So, defy the laws of physics. Before 8 am. Just a head’s up.

The end.

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