You know how Miss America always has a “platform”? Something she feels strongly about and will spend her time fighting for if she wins the pageant? Lately I’ve been struck by how strongly I feel about certain things. A few of them have been on my mind alot lately. Here they are…
1. My Grandma Marilyn: Continuing and passing on her legacy. She probably had no idea she left a legacy, but I believe that she strove (at least early in life) to:
*keep a clean and pretty house
*cook delicious meals that didn’t stray from tradition (i.e. you always have specific side dishes with each entree and never substitute something else!)
*keep up her appearance (she was rarely without bright red lipstick and she religiously used weird blue shampoo to keep her white hair from yellowing)
*visit her friends (specifically Mrs. Cone and Mr. and Mrs. Hoke)
*sacrificially love her family
*spend time with her grandchildren like there was no greater pleasure in life
*listen to good music (CKWW 580 am…when it was an awesome Big Band station)
*buy quality produce (she loved Nino’s!)
*love people for who they were (I never ever felt any pressure from her to be something I was not)
*be dedicated to reading (she especially loved biographies)
*decorate for the holidays (I think fondly of her oversized Christmas lights and huge crocheted Santa Claus hanging on her door as well as the decorative hollowed-out eggs hanging from branches in a vase at Easter)
*not feel guilty about her ravenous sweet tooth
*remain dedicated to the well being of her sister even when the rest of us thought she (Aunt Jean) was too crazy to care about things like a wig or a prosthetic for her bra
*read her Bible and spend time praying every morning
*allow herself to become more laid back as she got older (maybe to a fault…the “clean” dishes in her cupboard often showed evidence of spots she missed while washing!)
*i could go on and on and on, so i’ll stop and move onto number 2
2. Starbucks Coffee: It’s just the best. It’s rich and bold and strong! YUM! I haven’t been to any other coffee shop that seems to measure up.
3. Reading: I could write about this forever too! Nearly everything of any value that I’ve ever learned was found in a book I read. The other things of value that I’ve learned came from a speaker who was sharing what he or she read in a book. We can gain 20, 30, 40 or even 50 years of life experience, knowledge and wisdom by spending a few hours reading a book written by someone who has lived those years. Think about that…we can literally borrow hundreds- maybe thousands- of years of wisdom in our lives if we read. It exponentially increases the rate at which we can grow and change during the span of our lives. I believe it’s a mandatory practice for anyone who wants to become the person they were created to be. Period.
4. Stay at Home Mothers: This one is controversial, but I feel strongly about it nevertheless. The accomplishment of my mother’s that I respect most has been the years she poured her life into taking care of her husband, her children and her home. I am the person I am today because of what she invested in me. She wasn’t deterred by larger homes, newer cars, luxurious vacations, eating out or fancier clothes. She realized that spending the time she could have used in the workforce, to raise her children instead, would produce God-fearing, intelligent, respectful and caring citizens of this world. I commend women who juggle work and family, but I’m planning to follow in my mother’s footsteps.
5. Breastfeeding: Another controversial one. I’ll start by saying that I read something very good in a book once (go figure!) the book was called The Fruit of Her Hands and it was distinguishing principals from practices and stressing that we need to focus on the principals of Godly living and relax a little about the practices. For example: Principal= feeding your baby Practice= breastfeeding or bottle feeding. The author encourages women to ease up on the issue of breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding and only confront a mother if she is failing to feed her baby at all. Leave her alone if she’s feeding her child via a method other than your preferred. I’ve been doing lots of reading and listening (to podcasts on my groovy ipod) about breastfeeding and I’m amazed at how God made us with the ability to sustain our babies with our own bodies, giving them the best food imaginable for their needs, that decreases the odds of sickness and the later need for orthodontics (really!). There’s a million other benefits, but I’ll spare you. I know I’ll end up with National Geographic boobs after feeding all my kids, but it’s a risk I’m willing to take!
This post is long enough. I’ll continue the list in future posts.