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Plank Pullin–Día de las madres

It’s Plank Pullin’ time!  The one day a week that we strongly resolve to ignore the multitude of specks and sawdust around us and pull one bona fide plank from our own eye. Matthew 7:3-5, style.

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My plank of choice this week fell squarely on Mother’s Day.  I pretty much woke up in a bad mood.  I was bitter, I was cynical, I was expecting to be disappointed. It makes me mad at myself for caring.  It’s just a day!   But it never fails, on Mother’s Day, I inevitably feel bitter towards my responsibilities as a mother.


As I was getting the Wild Things dressed for church, I found myself angry that the Husband didn’t offer to dress them on this special day.  When I saw all the laundry that needed to be folded, I was angry that the Husband didn’t even consider folding it for me. Etc.  Etc.


I spend Mother’s day – every year – being bitter.


But this year, after a fairly bitter morning, I was crossing the breezeway of our church to go from Sunday School to the service – and I saw Linda’s house across the street. Many of you weren’t reading this here blog the last time I talked about Linda.  She’s a sweet, vibrant Guatemalan lady who lives beside my church. With a killer smile.


She left her children in Guatemala to come to America to find work – and now she sends her Guatemalan Wild Things money every week for school and food and … life.


And in that split second of spying her home – I knew.  I needed to take Linda to a Mother’s Day lunch.


So after church I crossed the street and knocked on the door.  She was there, of course.  Sitting in her sweats, watching Sex in the City.  She gave me a big hug and I wished her Happy Mother’s Day I told her that after I took my family home I would come back and treat her to lunch.  “I be ready”, she said.


When I did come back, she had transformed into a beautiful Guatemalan mother.  She had put on a dress, slipped on some heels, applied some lip liner, and drawn on some eyebrows. :)  She looked radiant.


I took her to Ruby Tuesdays and we avoided the long wait by sitting at the bar.  We ate chips and guacamole and talked about her kids.  We talked about her job, and her sister, and her brother, and her mama and papa.


We talked about when she first came to this country with no English and the ladies at the convenience store didn’t understand that she was pointing at her pants because she needed maxi pads, and just kept trying to show her the bathroom and how embarrassing it was.


We talked about how her son keeps having a cough that won’t go away and how they say her daughter is anemic so her sister sends vitamins from California and she mails them to Guatemala.


But mostly we just laughed.  We laughed at the language barrier, we laughed about our families, we laughed at the silent infomercial playing on the tv behind the bar.  We laughed because the salmon was good, the weather was gorgeous, and the company was to die for.


And after I dropped her off back home – after more hugs, and Mother’s Day wishes, and her showing me the boxes of kitchen appliances she bought at yard sales to mail to her kids – I didn’t feel so bitter anymore.


I felt thankful.  And appreciative.  And … happy. Thankful for my children, my home, my country – even my responsibilities.


And I went home, and happily folded the laundry.


So, take that Mother’s Day – and bitterness plank.  You suck.


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Plank Pullin’–Green Eyed Edition

It’s Plank Pullin’ time!  The one day a week that we strongly resolve to ignore the multitude of specks and sawdust around us and pull one bona fide plank from our own eye. Matthew 7:3-5, style


This week my plank is in the form of some pretty serious envy.  My awesome online christian unschooling friend Jennifer’s site exploded when she wrote a post about why she doesn’t cry (or yell) over spilled milk.  And I do mean exploded.  The post went viral on facebook, being viewed thousands of times, and her followers tripled on all fronts. It was crazy!

And I was so. jealous.

I think every blogger would like to write something so encouraging and inspiring that it affects people on a grand scale.  And she did it.  She didn’t even mean to do it.  It wasn’t even a very long post, or unlike a lot of her other posts.  But darn that little facebook “like” button can get. around. town.

Here’s the part where some of you say that you don’t care if anyone reads your blog, and you write it for your own satisfaction, and you actually wouldn’t like a massive jump in followers. 

Well, that’s not me.  I’m pursuing this blogging / writing thing as a hopeful profession, if such a thing is possible.  And a viral hit is a bloggers dream.

So I have spent the better part of the week being a little bitter about her success.  Partly, because we are so similar.  Seriously.  If there were a pod half way between Georgia and Phoenix, her and I would be the two peas in it.  Our faith, educational philosophy, writing styles, and senses of humor pretty much mirror each other.

But I had to have a talk with myself (and God) (and her) and ask forgiveness for my plankyness.  Because, honestly – she deserves the recognition.  Her spilled milk post is inspiring, and though we do have many similarities – I could not have written it.

Because, you know what?  I cry (and yell) over spilled milk all. the. time.

I don’t want to.  And I could write posts about how I realize I shouldn’t, how I’m striving and praying not to.  But, at this point, I still do.  I still live in a state of reactive parenting often.

And to make my envy even more unwarranted, my Easter Fail post has actually given me my own addition of new followers and has been viewed and shared a record number of times – for my site.  Nothing like spilled milk, but a respectable following none the less.  And although I have been happy and appreciative about that, I’ve also let comparing myself to someone else’s even larger success, taint my own genuine “achievement”.

So, sorry Jennifer and blog world for being so green – eyed!  I am officially pulling my jealous plank from my naturally green eye. And as penance, I’m drawing even more attention to her well deserved success!  Open-mouthed smile

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