So I quit breastfeeding.
Which is a personal and private decision and no one's business really. But I'm sharing this because when I told a couple of friends they all at different times said "Oh I hope you don't post that........because you will get beat up for it". And I realized that I was a little worried to say it out loud for fear that people would tell me I was a bad mom.
And that's CRAZY.
I'm a HUGE breastfeeding advocate. I'm one who really thinks breast is best. I nursed both girls for almost a year. But I just had a lot of various issues with Will Holden and it was NOT going well. And finally after about 5 weeks, late one night I gave up and drove to the store and bought some formula and he was like a new baby after that. He was much happier and honestly, I was much happier. And the girls LOVE giving him bottles and Scott gets up with him at night on the weekends. It's just worked for us. And nursing just did not.
And I hate that we as moms tend to judge other moms. I've done it. You have done it. Not Biblical issues or moral or ethical issues. We judge each other on decisions that our different than our own. Sometimes it's just because we don't understand the other side.
I've been on both sides of the coin on a few issues and it's really opened my eyes. Two years ago I would tell you that being a stay at home mom was the hardest thing you could do. And then last year I worked most of the year. And now I will tell you that being a working mom (and I was only part time) is really tough. I still think it's hard to stay home with little kids sometimes but I'm so grateful to do it. Actually, they are both hard but in different ways and we shouldn't look at the other and determine it's wrong.
I've been thinking a lot about what happened in Charleston this past week. It's so hard for me to understand how racism exists and how someone would kill people because of the color of their skin. I know it exists. And I know people will say that it doesn't but I think unless you have had people dislike you or reject you just because of what you look like you can't understand how hurtful racism is. I can't pretend to understand.
And I'm not comparing motherhood and judging each other to this but I can't help but recognize a similarity. The part where we don't know what we don't understand.
And as much as I hate what happened and as much as I grieve for the families of those who died, I can't help but be inspired by those faithful people who were in that church that night. They were there on a Wednesday night. (And let's face it, even some of the most faithful Southern Baptists don't go to church on Wednesday nights anymore). And someone came in who did not look like he belonged but they welcomed him in (and if we are honest - what does this say about most of us? Would we do the same?) They spent their last hour praying to the God they would soon meet face to face. And when that man took their lives, their friends and family have offered him forgiveness.
The people of Charleston are demonstrating how we as Christians should all live our lives. Christ died for ALL of us. If He could love me enough to die for me, I guess I can love others since He ASKED me to. No matter the color of their skin or how many children they have or if they homeschool or do public school.
I hate when people throw out the "The Bible says not to judge" card. I don't think we should judge others. At least not on things that don't matter eternally. But I do think when it comes to things that are ethically or morally or Biblically wrong, we should stand for truth. But in love.
Love always wins.
I challenge each of us (and myself most of all) - when we are tempted to judge another mom or dislike a friend because of something that is different than how we would do it or because they look different than us - how about we pray for them instead? My pastor once said if there was a person in our lives we had conflict with, we should pray for them daily. And after a while of truly praying for someone, it is nearly impossible to dislike them. If your heart is in the right place, praying can make all the difference.
Let's worry less about what our neighbors and friends are doing and more about what God is doing in our own hearts.
Let's make that difference in our circles. Can we? I'm starting with me!