January 29, 2014

Rich beyond measure.

Last night at the dinner table, I read an article to my children written by a feminist that said 
"You will never have the time, energy, freedom or mobility to be exceptional if you have a husband and kids."

Jakob responded (quite animatedly) that he thinks I have a greater probability of being exceptional- I can be exceptional myself, plus when my eight children are exceptional it will be a reflection of me. 

Then, he asked with a sigh, "What if everyone thought this way?"
Anna said it would be the end of the world, literally.

When I read this paragraph--

"I hear women talk about how 'hard' it is to raise kids and manage a household all the time. I never hear men talk about this. It’s because women secretly like to talk about how hard managing a household is so they don’t have to explain their lack of real accomplishments. Men don’t care to 'manage a household.' They aren’t conditioned to think stupid things like that are 'important.'"

Drew said, "Well, she obviously doesn't have any kids.  I've hiked a mountain- that's not hard.  Being a good parent IS an accomplishment."  

Jakob quoted the Incredibles where one super hero asks his wife if she knows where his super suit is.  

She says "Oh no, we've got a date."

He replies, "It's for the greater good."

The wife quips back, "I am the greatest good you are ever gonna have."

As my bumbling family headed out the door this morning, I spotted one of Anna's essays sitting on the counter.

This essay is SO Anna.  She describes her room in detailed perfection.  "The nightstand is a type of blue that isn't light blue and not dark blue, it is more of a middle blue."  Cute kid.  Her belongings are described perfectly- because she is always exact.  Her things really are always positioned just as she described.

I described her years ago in a Christmas letter as one whose ponytails are always tight and whose socks do not have wrinkles.  I love her and wish I was more like her.

This is how her essay ended...

"I am rich beyond measure."

We visited some friends on Sunday night.  In the car on the way home, Anna asked if they were RICH.  I wondered why she thought that.  

She responded, "Well, they just have so many unnecessary things.  Like 20 different kinds of shampoo and a banana holder."  Haha.  I want to buy her a banana holder for her wedding so she can be rich also.

Three of my kids received black money boxes with keys for Christmas.  I smiled to see this...

And, can you enjoy this heart filled kindergarten worksheet with me?
(Even if it is upside down.)

Yes, my life is full.  I may never travel the world, have a bulging bank account, or become what some define as "exceptional".  
But, I really am RICH beyond measure.

Life is good.

You can read that silly feminist's article here- 


Dia Madden said...

In my life I have had the privilege of knowing some exceptional women. All are their own special combination of exceptional. Some shine in certain areas (mothers, wives, friends, nurses), and I look up to them to strive to be better (reminding myself I'm my own special combination of exceptional). It makes me think of one of your recent blogs - where we can not be defined by a title. We are all unique and exceptional at being ourselves. And we all can do better. You, Jeni, are one of the very most exceptional women I have ever known. Your children, and their words in this blog, are a direct representation of that.

cheryl cardall said...

what a sad commentary on our society. Most of the exceptional women I know are mothers and wives. The process of mothering shapes us into who we are supposed to be.

Marie said...

Dia took the words right out of my mouth...
Just by sharing yourself with us, you teach and encourage us to be better people, better moms, better wives, better friends... ❤️
Priceless essay, Anna... "Rich beyond measure!" Yes we are!

Camille said...

I love your post. I couldn't even read that woman's article as her title made my blood boil and made me sick to my stomach. But it made me think....and it made me sad for her, and people like her. When people like her feel that way, they are being selfish. And what the issue really is is that they don't have a testimony, or that their testimony is not where it should be. I just read an article on CNN about a woman who said she is "more than a Mom" (here is the link http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/29/living/more-than-a-mom-irpt/index.html?hpt=hp_bn11). If either of these women, or people like them, were in the kind of relationship with God that they should be, then they would rather feel this: I love my child so much and they make me so happy, that they make me want to make this world better. That they make me want to do good!!!
I feel so sorry for people like that. They must really be unhappy. Life is not easy, but it can be happy. When we let the Lord guide us.

Anonymous said...

That woman whose blog you quoted Jen is an extremist, not representative of more than 99% of the women I know who would call themselves 'feminists' - a term I don't like. Just because a woman works, it doesn't mean that she doesn't love her kids or agree with Camille's sentence, "I love my child so much and they make me so happy, that they make me want to make this world better...they make me want to do good." I don't think that CNN article quoted contradicts that at all. But my kids are not my only reason for wanting to do good in this world, and there are people out there who also deserve more good in this world and a slice of the peace we all crave. So yes, I leave my kids with a loving and lovely dad sometimes (maybe even too often for my liking) when I go to work to try to solve some of the world's other problems beyond my front door. But I would never say someone is not exceptional because she has decided to spend all her time with her kids. As long as it is her choice. And keep in mind, the skills and experiences you have had with your church and various responsibilities are not unlike the time and effort many women put into their jobs. Anyway, just my two cents, before I jump into my work while the kids are at school. Love you! And respect you. You know that. Aunt Sandra

jenifer said...

I think there are unhappy working women and unhappy stay at home mothers. What makes me uncomfortable is the idea that you must do MORE to be exceptional. I find that exceptional comes as we do something well not just as we do more.

There are many exceptional, and not particularly inspiring women on both ends of a paycheck.

jenifer said...

Love this! "My own special combination of exceptional"...

jenifer said...

Motherhood definitely does have the potential to beautifully smooth off our rough edges. I love to surround myself with inspiring women (with or without children)!

jenifer said...

I know it was an extreme article and doubted that it was even real. However, there are many who do look down on women who "don't work" (ha!) and label us as oppressed or unequal. (I don't think you feel that way- but it is more common than extreme, I think.)

Sometimes, even often, mainstream feminism goes too far in promoting equality that it belittles a woman's choice not to work. As if, by staying home I am choosing not to make a difference in the world. I don't agree with that assumption, nor do I feel I need to be a breadwinner in my home to be equal with my husband.

Anonymous said...

Beautifully said :)

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