06 Feb 2013

What mama’s doing about it…

So that was a thing, eh? Lots of us with big feelings about how to respond to the media, sports, entertainment and our kids. Thank you for taking me and my hot head and processing together. I’m still processing. Probably will be for a while.

Yesterday afternoon when Zoe woke up from her nap she was super crabby and disoriented so I sat with her on my lap for a long time  just thinking about you all. Thinking about the hard work of raising children. The conversations in the comments. The many opinions about how we can do best by these tiny humans that we love so crazy. These matter to me because I ache from a choice I wish I could go back and undo; help the boys unsee.

The radio was playing and Zoe was still pretty out of it so I just sat with my arms full of nearly two-year-old and stroked her back and had no room in my hands for a computer or a phone but plenty of space just to think. Her soft, sweaty head was tucked under my chin and one of her hands was stroking my arm and we sat like that for a long time as the words of the song in the background washed over me:

I am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, now I’m not who I used to be
I am redeemed, I’m redeemed.

And I received it. That no matter how much we might beat ourselves up about what we should have done better by our kids, the grace of redemption cannot be used up. Christ’s mercies are new every morning. Thank God. And then I felt a warmth spread out from my heart and down my chest and across my body and while I believe there was grace pouring into my life, there was also pee seeping out of my daughter’s diaper and soaking through every single thing I was wearing. The need for a good sense of humor and perspective were not lost on me.

So, all that said, here are five practical things I’m choosing to do as we move forward as a family. Take ’em or leave ’em, these are what are working for us at the moment:

1. I canceled my GoDaddy account and transferred over to NameDotCom

They made it super easy. No glitches in the move. And their Twitter commentary alone had me chuckling as they helped me work through the transfer. Also? Here’s a video tutorial on how to do a fast transfer from GoDaddy. I’m not an affiliate so I get nothing if you use them and nothing if you don’t. There are plenty of domain name companies in the sea.

2. I’m Praying Warrior Prayers for my Kids

There’s no magic eraser for our kids’ minds. There’s no promise that they will make it unscathed through this world. Instead, there’s a good chance they will acquire plenty scars of their own. But dang if I’m not gonna suit up and fight tooth and nail for them. And on Monday when I was feeling overwhelmed with helplessness I remembered my friend Brooke’s eBook – Warrior Prayers: Praying the Word for Boys in the Areas They Need it Most. And I walked all over our house praying out loud for my boys like some crazy, shameless loon. And in the evenings we’ve now taken to praying those prayers for them before bedtime and they dig it, yes they do.

3. We’re Still Reading The Action Bible

We’re all entranced by this illustrated version of Scripture. My boys can’t get enough of the stories. And this week we went back to Daniel to remind ourselves of what it looks like to live a life “set apart” from culture without being afraid, without losing faith. Even when I’m tired and want to call it quits and just banish them all to bed, taking the extra ten minutes to spend time in these stories? More than worth it – for all of us. {And yup, this one is an affiliate link}

4. We’re Starting an Acts of Courage Journal for each of Our Sons

Because we want them to grow up gloriously courageous for this faith we hold dear and equally passionate about this world we’re called to love. I wanted some way to inspire them. To help them stop and notice the moments of courage in our every day lives. You may call it an integrity journal, or a brave journal, or whatever works for you. This is the place where we write down the time they stood up for a friend at recess, the time they loved on their buddy instead of making fun of him when he got kicked out of the first round of soccer. This is where we write their stories of being brave enough to be different.

5. Watching a Commercial that Inspires

OK this probably doesn’t qualify as a commercial, but this story of the 2012 Sports Kid of the year? These two brothers so close in age to my own sons? This is what I want them to aspire to, what I want them to think of when they think of sports. This is greatness, this is beauty, this is compassion and courage all rolled into one. This can help wash out what I wish they hadn’t seen Sunday night.

It’s not perfect. But it’s our plan for now. It’s our getting up and ready for school and out the door and then back in the afternoons and doing homework and wrestling on the bed and resisting bath time and begging for one more glass of water, one more hug, one more story, story. This is life right now. Never quite worked out. Always in process.

And you can’t begin to imagine how much I am praying for each of you – each working out this crazy thing called parenting the best way you know how. You’re a wonder. And this morning, I raise my cup of tea across this computer and salute you, amazing, brave, ordinarily extraordinary you.


{ Leave a Comment }
  1. 1

    Way to go Mama! Gives me hope. We don’t watch TV at our house, but they do at their Dad’s house (50%). Now I have started using good social media streamed such as the commercial you showed and Nick Vujicic to talk about choices in our lives. These girls can’t sit still through a Disney movie but were wide eyes for 45 minutes. These girls that got the same red “D” when we divorced now when they are feeling sad say, “I got handed a bad hand of cards, but with God I can chose how I use that hand.” So I am thankful for amazing social media and sad I can’t shield my children from everything bad in the world.
    Let’s build up warriors in both the boys and girls to face all the world has for them. Thank you for the ideas and encouragement.
    You Rock!

    • 2

      Kristen, What you are doing is so wonderful. It’s such a hard thing not to drag our kids down with bitterness after a divorce (I went through several with my parents so I know). What a blessing you are to your daughters. Sara

      • 3

        Thank you Sara. I’m so thankful that we work together, but it is still so hard for the little people. I can’t understand all they are dealing with as my parents never divorced or did I ever know anyone whose parents did. I’m thankful for God’s grace and prayer.

  2. 4

    I am teary again!!! BEAUTIFUL response, Lisa-Jo! Thank you for sharing your journey with us. It is beautiful and what a blessing to speak truth into our boy’s lives! So much love to you!!!

  3. 5

    I love this and I love you! Isn’t it amazing how God joins our mama hearts and how He can give you love for people you’ve never even met. Thank you for being Spirit led Lisa-Jo. Your post got me to thinking about my girls and how I want all MOB’s to join you in your crusade to teach their boys. Because one day these sons could be my son-in-law’s, and I already have a prayer on my lips for the man God will lead my girls to marry.

  4. 6

    It’s the getting back up. The dusting ourselves off. The choosing the next right thing instead of dwelling on the last thing. Raising warriors is such a great and wonderful responsibility, isn’t it. After your post I asked my oldest warrior, “so did you see anything last night at the Superbowl party that didn’t quite make sense?” He said, “there was a guy in a wedding dress. Why was he wearing a wedding dress?”…so thank you for encouraging me to ask these questions and have these conversations and be able to answer with bold confidence (instead of fear), “I’m so glad you asked.” (thanks Mary Flo Ridley for that phrase). (pst…love that video. showed it to my boys the other week to encourage them to spur one another on to good works).

  5. 7

    my parents raised my brothers and i through our teenage years in a very overtly sexualized culture in europe. they were often asked when we came back to the States for visits how they could do it? weren’t they scared of all the things we were being exposed too? my mom always answered that she felt that god’s grace was always bigger than the things around us. that if we truly believed that god loves our children and will care for them then we cannot be afraid. yes, we can do our best to filter and protect but the truth is that we cannot protect our kids from everything. the most important thing we can do is pray and fill our kids with the gospel. and then trust that gods grace will cover the rest and he will take care of our kids.

  6. 8

    That awful commercial sealed the deal for godaddy for me. I’m switching to something else. Thank you for the tutorial!

    Seriously though, there were some really disturbing commercials over the superbowl. For that reason alone, I think it will be the last superbowl I watch.

  7. 9

    I have been wondering all week how to STOP supporting godaddy with my money! Thank you so much for showing me how. Also, I’m thinking we should come up with a new way to “party” on Superbowl Sunday that includes NOT watching the big game! The Superbowl is only super because of the commercialization and hype it receives, even in our own homes. Next year, let’s be prepared to have an alternate party plan to invite friends and family over to celebrate something completely different – Jesus! =)

  8. 10

    Love that you did something. That you cancelled your GoDaddy account. That instead of throwing your hands up in frustration, you did so in prayer.

  9. 12

    Thank you thank you for writing about this and caring so much. These are all excellent ideas. I wanted to change from my GoDaddy account after the on-air grossness but I didn’t know how. Thank you for the tip. I have a toddler boy but I love these ideas for little boys – will enjoy them when he gets a wee but older. Thanks again for taking charge on this. You’re a good mom!

  10. 13

    lisa-jo – this was a wonderful follow up to the monday post – yes sense of humor is muchly needed in this life we live – THANK YOU!! for your honesty, integrity and just plain tooth and nail for your boys
    the Lord continue to bless you and all your house – in Jesus’ Name – Amen and Amen!!

  11. 14
    Adrienne Steinocher says:

    Smile!! A mom that cares what goes into her young warriors minds! The beauty of innocence, your young men do not see it like you do…. and they have parents who will wash them with the Word of God! Keep speaking the truth over them and you will see the Goodness of our Great God. I love that you left GoDaddy… if I had a domain name I would leave them too. Good move!
    I love your rant and your stand for the minds of your young men and up and coming young woman! I love too that you will see them grow into wonderful men and a wonderful woman of faith! Enjoy the journey…it is a great one!

  12. 15

    This is a great treasure to stash securely in my heart and mind: “… the grace of redemption cannot be used up.” Love the Warrior Prayers (must always be in warrior mode). The Action Bible, never knew about it, will definitely share with other young parents with sons. The Courage Journal … Yes! and at such a young age … needful (will also share). Parenting is ALWAYS, IN PROCESS … so we must not beat ourselves up, but keep getting up, dusting off, and conquering the next thing. It never stops. My children are 28, 30, and 33 … we’re still parenting them and loving it, because that’s what parents do. Thanks for your inspiration and courage!

  13. 16

    Bless you for standing up as you did, Lisa-Jo, and for having a tender heart for your kids, wanting God’s best for them! My kids are 39 and 41, but we went for several years without a TV, until grandparents bought one because they felt sorry for their grandchildren. Love the picture of your “warrior sons” and it made me think of two books and life lessons we produced several years ago–to help parents who wanted their little princesses to stay pure, and their sons to have integrity. I included our Web site so you could check them out if you’re interested: “The Princess and the Kiss” and “The Squire and the Scroll.” Both of these have great illustrations, teach Godly lessons and the workbook even has a ceremony for girls and one for boys that you do with them. Very moving. Please check it out and let me know what you think. I’m really interested. Love your blog. You are a good mother who is not a prude, but bringing your children up to love and live for the Lord. That is priceless! God bless you!

  14. 17

    That video is amazing, as are your words of encouragement and grace. Thank you.

  15. 18

    My boy is only 15 months old, so I haven’t had to cross this bridge just yet. BUT, I’m thankful for moms like you who go before me and show me how to pray for him and to make a big deal out of the GOOD things they can accomplish.

    His first and middle names mean “warrior uplifted by God” and that has been my constant prayer for him since before his birth.

    Thank you, Lisa Jo, for being an example to us just a few steps behind.

  16. 19

    Praying for you and your sweet family, Lisa-Jo! Proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder (as much as is possible via the internet) with you. We do the best we can, and we ask for God’s grace to help us every step of the way!

  17. 20

    As a Mom of 3 little girls I appreciate your desire to raise up your boys as warriors. We are praying already for the spouses of our girls that they will be warrior men of God. Thank you.

  18. 21

    You give me hope…Praying God uses your boys in a mighty way for His purposes…and that video…needed Kleenex…Thanks for sharing, Lisa-Jo :)

  19. 22

    Finally sitting down to purchase The Action Bible (through your affiliate link, of course). Thanks for the reminder! :)

  20. 23

    I love getting your blog posts in my emails. They always come right on time. We actually have the Action Bible. My oldest son’s god mother got it for him for Christmas. Do you know he enjoys his regular kids study bible?! I found that funny. But I’m praying my 3 year old will enjoy it for him. :) Thank you again for your awesome words. They always hit right where I need them.

  21. 24

    First of all, I had to chuckle about the pee – been there, done that!

    Second, I have a Go Daddy account. My hosting through them is free for the rest of the year, but I did pay for my domain name. I have been trying to decide whether I should just switch the domain name and keep the hosting until it runs out, or if I should switch both… I don’t feel like my hosting supports them, as I didn’t pay for it. However, I still don’t like that it’s through them.

    Lastly, we are going back into full-time ministry this year, and it seems like one thing our church always does is a Super Bowl party. I was really torn about it beforehand, and really feel convicted that we need to sponsor something different next year. I’m glad to have a whole year to come up with a new, exciting idea that our church family will hopefully love!

    • 25

      For what it’s worth…
      On Super Bowl Sunday in my town, teens from several of the area congregations get together at one of the local churches for a Super Bowl Party. Admission is an item for the food pantry. Commercials are muted with an image of Jesus displayed on the screen…this is when everyone visits with each other and plays games. (Some kids opt to play games in another room for most of the evening.) The TV is turned off during the half-time show for a time of praise. I am so grateful for people who encourage my sons to evaluate our culture through God’s words…and then to alter their actions accordingly! May God bless you with courage, wisdom and insight as you jump into full-time ministry!

  22. 26
    Tara Henery says:

    Watch this commercial with the boys. We did that last night and its a good one. If the link doesn’t work go to youtube and search dodge farmer commercial. Enjoy!


  23. 27

    Yes, mama, YES! we watched the Super Bowl as a family (as much for the gridiron AS for the commercials), and because our children are older, we were able to talk about the objectifcation, overt sexualization, sickening images AND their primary, secondary, and tertiary messages. We also made liberal use of the remote when it was just too much. Well done.
    Peace and good, warrior mom!

  24. 28

    I think you are taking fabulous steps…

  25. 29

    I have not been around for a while and came back to the Monday post and this one. How you put your words together to say what you say is utterly amazing. I have never read anyone so well-written. You did an spectacular job of describing what I felt and I think most people (as that *was* the intention, right?) when watching that horrid commercial (the kissing one). I did not see any other commercials of godaddy but have a sickness in my stomach as my 7-year-old boy watched most of the superbowl in the living room. I’m feeling very irresponsible for having done that right now. I absolutely love your suggestion about the Acts of Courage Journal and I am going to do that with him. It is so difficult and yet important to get little boys to voice their emotions and this will help. Thank you for your words, Lisa-Jo. I’m going to go bury my head now and have a heart-to-heart with my little boy after school……

    wounded mama

    • 30

      Oh Christy, right there with you. All I can say is that grace abounds and never runs out. Plenty for all of us. Love, LJ

  26. 31

    LOVE, LOVE that SI clip! WOW! Thankful for the technology that allowed you to share it!

  27. 32

    Thank you for this wonderful list of ideas and for talking about the terribleness that was super bowl ad time. As a marketing major, I have always enjoyed watching the super bowl for the ads, but this year, (as we watched at a church community group party, no less) I just couldn’t shake the sick feeling in my stomach the entire time I watched and made sure my kids kept playing in the other room. From the disgusting ads, the prevalent & unseen human trafficking, and the half-time show dancing, my momma heart ached for girls (& boys!) everywhere. I’m thinking we won’t be watching next year, either.

  28. 33

    You are a good, good mama. And I love you.

  29. 34

    There is no greater gift to you children, than a prayer warrior mama! I could tell you story after story on that subject. Crazy about you, Lisa-Jo!

  30. 35

    Lisa-Jo, I missed your piece on the Superbowl ads on Monday but just read it and am right there with you. My husband and I don’t have children yet, but I was embarrassed and upset by the commercials even as a 30-something adult woman. The Go Daddy ad was particularly disgusting, and I’ve boycotted them at home and at work for years. I also thought Beyonce’s outfit was way too much. I kept asking myself if I was being sensitive, but I don’t think so. I spent much of my 20s working in the music industry as a publicist to popular urban artists and left when I saw firsthand how my work was promoting a culture of sex, violence, and partying to young men while I was going home and praying for His Kingdom on earth… it didn’t line up! (I know it sounds silly in retrospect, but I’m grateful our Savior called me out and covered me in grace.) I enjoyed working in media, but the industry is becoming increasingly dark and dirty. Oh how I’m grateful for mothers raising their boys to be good men.

  31. 36

    As always…LOVE your words… God speaks through you with each stroke of the keyboard… Blessings my dear, and THANK YOU for ‘doing something about it’ and sharing it with us…

  32. 37

    And that’s the difference…God spoke to you and you acted… Being not only hearers of the word but doers!!!! I love your plan with the courage journals! We just started with the adventure Bible. It’s a bit much for my almost 4 year old. We are working on it. Thank you for being such a blessing

  33. 38

    And we’re raising our cups of tea back at cha!

  34. 39
    maryartemis says:

    didn’t realize about “the game”. well, i don’t watch it and married someone (by design) who is not into sports. will have to google this though! i’m praying for all of you. i home school my fourth child. you may be a good candidate too. we don’t have to worry about what she’s learning on the playground or even hearing from her teacher. what’s more, we pick the teachings.
    mary, from stamford, ct

  35. 40

    I’ve been on the soap box, and fell head-long into negativity. I came down through redemption and figured something really basic out. No matter what the input – positive or negative, breast-fed or bottle fed, slept on their back or on their fronts or with the little wedge-thingy… Each one of my girls has a choice and a voice and they’ll strike out on their own – hopefully I’ve prepared them as God wanted.

    When they go along perfectly as babies, then kids, etc… then walk out with a slam of the door and leave you reeling and praying harder for the other 2 still left behind…. Remember, it’s their choice to follow God or themselves – and I was left praying God’s will, not mine.

    Satan’s pull is strong and it’s alluring and he has his tendrils woven into everything… But God made them and gave them the choice because it’s better that way.

    Be encouraged, God is listening. Be patient, God is working ; )

  36. 41

    I see you have SOOO many replies and I wonder if you will read this, or have the chance to respond to me, but here it goes anyway. My children attend catholic school… they have a choice of public or catholic in our small town and since I am a Christian mama I feel it important that they attend a Christ based school. That said, I am in shock over the things my children do and say and have picked up from kids in the school yard, and even sometimes in the classroom. It has always been my hearts desire to homeschool them, however we live with my parents and they “need the break” from the kids so off to school they go. (my parents arent religious in the least) so now I wonder, all that they see, all that they hear, all that they know, how do I as a Christ loving mom instill those morals and values that Jesus has taught us while they still attend a school that tends to put God second because of provincial curriculum standards and how do I encourage them to be obedient, polite, giving, stewards of the Lord when they spend their days gossiping, dealing with bullies, and well doing things I never imagined they could or would learn at such young ages until my own life circumstances changed. How does mama bear step in and say no to the ways of these other children in a way that shows my children that the way of the Lord is correct regardless of what their friends say? My children were well behaved, well mannered little bundles of joy before they entered the school system and now i feel like throwing my hands in the air and giving up on teaching them the Word when I can’t even get them to clean up their rooms! Yes, this is all a question! I would love for all you moms to reply to me and give me your tips, tricks and ideas. I am at a loss and my children are already 10 and 8 which doesnt give me much time to help them transform into the God loving people they once were.. Thank you everyone who reads this and who prays for me and my kids and anyone who can reply. It means the world.

  37. 42

    Lisa-Jo, your actions are speaking even louder than your words. And that is mighty impressive, because your words speak volumes! Encouraging and supportive and God-honoring volumes. So just imagine what affect your actions, and your speaking genuinely about them, will have on those “watching”. You are a treasure.

  38. 43

    Way to go on canceling the GoDaddy account. That was the sleaziest commercial I’ve seen in awhile – and I couldn’t watch the entire thing….

  39. 44

    I pray that you have just started a revolution of Christ following bloggers to stop using Go Daddy.

    I am so proud of you for being brave. God is with us which means no one can stand against us. Keep rockin’ it LJB!

  40. 45

    As a response I am asking myself, “If this is not okay for my children to see, is it really okay for me?” I don’t know what the Lord has for anyone else, but this is a question that I think we need to ask ourselves, being open to God changing our minds and hearts to be more fully his. Who knows where that will lead, but “Where he leads me I will follow.”


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