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In this life we can not always do great things. But we can do small things with great love.." :) Mother Teresa

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“I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God- it changes me.”
― C. S. Lewis


I believe in the sun even when it's not shining. I believe in love even when I don't feel it. And I believe in God even when He is silent. (quote found on the wall of a concentration camp)

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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Negative Messages / Positive Messages

I took the girls shopping today and we had a wonderful time.  They like listening to the radio, so we had it tuned to a favorite station.  It is a "Christian" station, that plays some excellent music.  But over the months I have found the ads they use for commercials rather disturbing!

One thing that I found obnoxious was saying "You deserve to be happy, and if there is something wrong with your nose, or your hips are too big, or you need a tummy tuck, or you need your eyes lazered.... this will bring you "the happiness you deserve!" 

Wait just a minute here!  Since when does happiness have to do with beauty?  This commercial covered every single part of the body including breast size and wrinkles caused from age.  Anna jokingly looked at me and said, "Wow mom, they just described you!"  Gee thanks! 

It was a joke, but at the same time, what if somebody is insecure and thinks that surgery will bring them happiness! How shallow!  And coming from a supposedly "Christian Radio Station".... I found it disturbing.
Just when I thought it couldn't get much worse, today's advertisement was about being a "Rock Star, Actress or Famous Person" for God.  Really?
Seeking fame is now a "godly character?"
And all you need to do is call this number for an audition!
Then, there was the  one for singles to get together just to have fun.... "It isn't about finding a mate for marriage" it is just about enjoying life... and the fellow goes on to describe a Jr. High boy's dream of bounce houses, skating, basket ball etc..... but it is for single adults?

And the grand finale'..... An advertisement for Mother's Day Out, because everybody knows that mothers need to be away from their kids!  It is a necessity especially when they are between 2 and 4, and you can sign them up so you can go and have time for yourself!  Then, the radio host chimed in and continued about how she needs to get out of the house and do things for herself like all moms do!

The thing that got me was the emphasis on how important it is for "me" time.  All of these commercials focused on the physical, the selfishness, me, the FLESH!

AHHHHHH!!!! I had to turn it off. I couldn't take it any more.  My girls were laughing at my response, but seriously, I don't want them to get these messages ESPECIALLY from what is supposed to be "Christian", for heaven's sakes!

And those messages, get through.  After one hearing of the "mothers need to be away from their kids" advertisement, I had an errand to run, and Anna said, "Mama, maybe you should go alone."  I asked her why and she said, "Maybe you need time alone!"
Of course, she was kidding once again.... but she remembered.  What about the children who think this and don't say anything?

There is nothing wrong with being alone sometimes, or going on a date, but  the emphasis should not be to just  get away.
There is a difference between being refreshed with a nice visit from a friend over lunch, and "getting away".    It may sound subtle, but it isn't, and our kids know that.

There are moms out there who do not feel the need to run away, get lazered, or enhanced, or seek to become famous.  You will find some of them on my side bar.... blogging away about the blessings they have in their lives. :)

If you are a mom out there, and you sometimes feel lonely, or wonder how changing another diaper is going to make a difference in the world, trust me:  With every loving touch, with every kiss goodnight, with every sweet babble back and forth while changing baby, with every pbj cut into stars, with every ice cream cone, park day, swim day, Sunday School class, with every time you stay up late and rock a sick child, with every meal you fix, with every diaper you fold, underwear you change, toilet you clean, floor you vacuum up and broken dish you throw away, you are changing the world, one warm smile at a time... one loving touch at a time.... one sweet kiss at a time.
YES YOU ARE! And what you do is IMPORTANT!


Fatcat said...

This is why I have 3 Christian radio stations and switch back and forth.

Sometimes there are also songs that I don't agree are biblically sound and I switch the station then too.

My daughter says 'but it's so catchy!" to one of them. :-)

Christie M said...

We have 4 stations. My favorite is the classical station! :)

MamaV said...

I am a classical station kind of girl...
But I am totally with you on the ads! I feel like the church has really bought into the comfort/glamour/selfishness that characterizes our culture, and it makes seeking true godliness confusing! I don't go places without my family (husband and son) very often, and that's okay! They are part of me! I don't like leaving parts of me behind ;-)
Ladies at my church will talk about needing some me time, and while I am sure they have good intentions, the general message makes me very uncomfortable. I am looking forward to loving my family in my imperfect post-baby body for a long time.
Thanks for a great post :-)

:)De said...

I often feel odd when people talk about "getting away" from the kids because truth is... I really like my kids and enjoy their company. But I understand the need for quiet time or time to be refreshed with other like-minded adults.

:)De said...

I often feel odd when people talk about "getting away" from the kids because truth is... I really like my kids and enjoy their company. But I understand the need for quiet time or time to be refreshed with other like-minded adults.

Annie said...

Years ago a friend took me to a mega church in our town, and while I really enjoyed the praise music, there was such an emphasis on women being attractive! We went for a few Sundays until I really began to feel conspicuous for my "unattractiveness". One night the pastor started laughing about "these women with their hair up in a bun and hems down to here" and since he was practically describing the way I was dressed that night I wanted to drop through the floor. That totally turned me off to what I always think of as "Evangelical Christians" even though I really doubt that is the theme everywhere. (One night he actually suggested women meet their husbands at the door with nothing on...I was so stunned because there were young people present!

I have the BBC and NPR so there aren't any commercials, but occasionally there are topics being covered in a way I don't want shared with the family and off we go to the other channel.

Jesus took time to "get away", but the idea that you are not going apart to spend time with God, but just to "get away" from people you're sick of...that's the problem. I LOVE being with my kids! I shudder every year when moms talk about how they can't wait for school to start. I dread it!

Christie M said...

Annie, you reply about that sermon made me cringe and LOL....

Some of what churches teach as "important" or the "overemphasis" on flesh is just embarrassing. They forget that we are supposed to be focused on the Gospel.
Mike and I attended a couple's seminar one time thinking it would be all about teaching godliness in marriage. Instead, we walked away with "JUNGLE NIGHT!" Seriously???
We have laughed about that for years, and NEVER went to another retreat. They can be rather scary!

Christie M said...

De and Annie I totally agree.
It is one thing to have a quiet time, or a refreshing visit with somebody, but that is very different from wanting to "get away" from your kids.
I have always loved being with my kids.

Karen said...

I went to a MOPS group for 4 years and mostly enjoyed it. Having received 3 little boys via foster care in 30 months (including 1 very high maintenance child), having those 2 hours to talk to other moms, get some spiritual input, and eat breakfast helped me through those difficult weeks/months.

I had been invited earlier in my mothering, but I didn't feel the need at that point (my bio kids are 2 - 2-1/2 years apart and of much different personalities). But MOPS was good at that point in our life. I also looked at it as a form of mentoring...I can give to younger moms, older moms could give to me (the only reason I returned last year because I really wasn't into more discussions about potty training and such....but I felt that God wanted me there as an older "different perspective" mom).

Anonymous said...

We have a "young moms" group in our parish. Due to some life surprises, I have not only grown children and teen children, but also a 9 month old baby. Weirdly, I realize I've forgotten a LOT about babies! I feel like a first-time mom in many ways - yet, have a wealth of experience dealing with older kids... I'm always tempted to show up at that group. Maybe I will!

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