And Then a Riot Broke Out in Target!

I was dropping Sophie (our 13-year-old) at piano lessons, and one of the toddlers said, “bye-bye Bobbie! I wub you. Dank du!” Another toddler responded, “No! Bebe, you using da wrong WORBS! It’s bye-bye GOGIE! And you don’t say dank you to her. She didn’t gib you nuffin’…”

The wrong words.

I had 126 messages this morning when I woke up. An Open Letter to My Children has gone out into the cyber world and had itself a heck of a run. This morning it had been viewed 500,000 times on Word Press.  It was republished on For Every Mom and has been shared over 7,000 times on that site.  And while some of you may think that is a crying shame let me use my words to say a few things.

I can’t sing (See blog post Don’t sing) but I can write.  And I may not be a Pulitzer author or Jen Hatmaker, but I love words.   I love Jesus.  I love my husband and my children.  I love my parents (Hi! Mom and Daddy!).  I have a lot of love.  My life can be viewed as a tragedy or a comedy.  I choose the comedy.  I choose joy.  I choose laughter.  And I choose my words.

So this morning as I was buzzing about delivering kids to school  I found myself in the turning lane on a very busy street. I was about to “gun it” through the last of the green light when my car stalled.  In my rearview mirror, I see the Chevy behind me jolt to a stop as he was, evidently, planning on following me through the remnant permissible traffic light.  Heart racing, I desperately try to re-start the car – nothing.  Another driver, unaware that I am not able to move, swerves to miss me.  My life and the lives of the babies flashes before my eyes. Today I die.  Braless, in my fuzzy slippers, outside my alma mater. The near miss is so close I can see the spinach omelet still wedged into my would-be killer’s teeth.  BTW – dude have you ever heard of a nose hair trimmer?  Again, I try frantically to start my car.  Nothing.  I am right next to the University track, and two students are jogging past.  I step out, attempting to shield my uncontained, pajama-clad, boobs from onlookers and yell “Can you please help get me out of the street?  I have babies in the car!”  Thank God for these two;  I was in real trouble.  Also,  while we are on the subject, honking and cussing does no good people.  I am fully aware that my car is in your way.

The girls save our lives, nearly being killed themselves, and I get back into the car and cry.  Maybe it was the near-death experience.  Maybe it is that this week has been a roller coaster. Or maybe it’s that I realize why my car stalled, and now – I will be killing one of my children.  No matter the justification, I am going to jail.  So, I cry.  Heave sobs. The babies sit, confused by the scenario.  I fire off a text to the culprit.  “COME GET ME NOW!?!?!  I AM OUT OF GAS….”  

I sit and cry and process. I want to use the appropriate words when the guilty party arrives to convey the gravity of the situation. I used very precise words the night before when I lent out my car, with gas money, because it was on empty. But then I realize she had pulled up already and saw me crying.  There’s no need for words.  There’s a subtle mom glare, and a flippant, “Where’s the gas money I gave you?” But otherwise, she’s my daughter, and my friend and we all make mistakes.  Heck, I ran out of gas twice this summer, all on my own.

All this to be said, I have a choice of how to use my words.  Sometimes I might mess up, sometimes I might hit the nail on the head.  I fully relinquish my platform to Jesus.  And while many have found offense with my choice of words in “An open letter to my children,” many were blessed, and a few just thought it was funny.  But I want my words to matter.  I want them to do glory work.  I want to start a riot.  And you know what?  I have gotten 160 emails from women asking why the foster baby was only in our home for the weekend?  And I got to say, “It is called respite foster care, and here is how it works…”All of them said, “I AM GOING TO DO THAT!!!  And now a possible 160 foster families will have new resources for a much-needed break.

And so I feel those words weren’t the wrong words.

I may not have single-handedly stopped the seat-savers at recitals, and I may have been snarky, but if only one person stopped and thought “Hmmm.” then my words were sufficient.  This slays me.  So, call me arrogant.  Call me self-righteous.  Fight amongst yourselves. What is the point of words?  To inspire? Infuriate? Motivate? Communicate?  I guess I am most struck by the ugliness. I never thought the piece about home births was anything but comic relief?  I had no idea that the natural childbirth community would rally against me?  But there was one, just one, that emailed and said, “I read your piece on home births, I hated it, but I kept reading.  Could you tell me what adoption agency you used in Texas? My husband and I want to do that.”

And so I feel those words weren’t the wrong words.

Start a riot.  Start a movement.  Follow your calling.  We can’t all survive Ebola. But if Kent and Amber Brantly hadn’t stepped out in the calling, what a real tragedy that would be? And if their decision to be missionaries helps others in that calling –SUCCESS! If we all sit back and do nothing, say nothing, how will we ever get the word out about the Lord – my Jesus?  By all means talk about it!  Say what you mean and mean what you say.  I have struggled with the words that have been said about me, and certainly about my family.  I will say I cannot monitor other sites, but I can monitor mine.  You are wasting precious time sending me an 8,000-word manifesto on why I am going to hell.  I am raising babies for the Kingdom, if I am going to take the time to read 8k words, it will be something uplifting.  And profanity will not see the light of day on my blog.  If you insist on spouting the F-bomb, I recommend you: 1.  Look into a good psychiatrist and a prescription mood stabilizer.  2.  Start your own blog. Apparently you have something to say. (Invest in a good thesaurus first.)  3.  Stop saving seats with duct tape.  It’s against the rules.  

I guess if you see that someone is a Christian you expect them to be sugary sweet all the time.  Remember Jesus in the boat?  The disciples were all crying “WE ARE GOING TO DIE!”  I always picture Him rolling His eyes “Are you so dull?  I am in the boat?”  A snarky and relaxed banter.  He calms the sea, gives them a good long stare, rolls over to dose off, and they hear Him whisper, “Idiots.”

Follow me as I embark on my next writing challenge during October: 31 Days Of Stuff I Wish You’d Stop Saying: DAY 1 “When is your baby due?”  Or like me on Facebook for a daily link and chances to win t-shirts, coffee mugs, and a $100 gift certificate to the spa of your choice.  May your floors be sticky and your calling be ordained.  Jami

Stuff I am Reading…


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About jamiamerine

I am a wife, mom, & seeker of joy! I love to share funny and inspirational tales with my fellow moms. I fully believe that God intended laughter to be a form of rest and worship. I have a few kids. I have a few years on me. I have a great husband. And I love to laugh. I studied home economics in college, I can cook just about anything, but do not ask me to sew. In my graduate work I studied education and human development, I consider my life continuing education, my children are my ongoing thesis. If they survive that, I will let you know! I write non-fiction for laughter, respite, and inspiration. I also am in the process of submitting my first fiction mystery and have two more in the works! Mom life is hard work. My prayer for my readers is that, even if it you just have five minutes, you can be inspired and encouraged today. Keep it short and sweet... rest in Jesus girlfriend.
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112 Responses to And Then a Riot Broke Out in Target!

  1. Yes, yes and yes. I’ve also printed out your original open letter… am seriously considering having each of my kids read it.

    Like

  2. BJ says:

    I am not Christian , Catholic , Muslium, or Jewish. I claim no religion, but I applaud your letter and your attitude toward your children. We need more mothers like you. Our future depends on it.

    Like

  3. ManicMom says:

    This was lovely. I’m sorry your open letter drew criticism. I loved it. It is hard, as bloggers, to receive negative feedback that’s so personal. Your writing is a blessing.

    Like

  4. The Garners says:

    Loved Open Letter! (This post too) I’m on my fifteenth year of piano recitals, and have endured countless talent-less shows, and thought I’d seen everything. 🙂 But your real point, about being less than and not greater than, is so counter cultural right now, and so important, and so true and someone needs to be saying it – so thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Denita Bennett says:

    Just a simple THANK YOU, for taking the words out of my head and putting them in a blog! You keep on furthering the Kingdom one word at a time sweet mom! Job well done!😊😊😊😊🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼

    Like

  6. AMKGVA says:

    Laughed my head off. Love it and you sell christian sprituality as well as anyone I’ve ever read!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. vanalee says:

    Thank you! I am glad so glad that i found your blog. Someone needs to be saying this and I am not as eloquent as you are. Plus, no one listens to old ladies anyway!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: 31 Days of Stuff I Wish You’d Stop Saying: Day 11 “Stop Telling Me to Stop Drinking Coffee” | sacredgroundstickyfloors

  9. Carrie says:

    I don’t know how many times I’ve told my children I enjoyed your singing but just remember you will never ever be on American Idol and say but everybody tells me I’m wonderful singer. Being brutally honest with your own family is very important I don’t want my children leaving my nest thinking that they are God’s answer. If anything in most societies rubs we are God’s question. People look at us in question as Christians, why did they do that? Or how do they do that? Hopefully we have answers for them if we are good mindful Christians. You are thoughtfully provoking I appreciate your writing, I appreciate God’s gift in you!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Ren says:

    First, thank you for the encouragement about saying what you feel needs to be said. I have been known to say it like it is with a little snark and unyielding directness. I’ve lost followers and friends alike. . . and gained followers and friends too. And, people who say, “Huh, I never thought of it that way before” to which I think, “YIPPY, best compliment you could give!”
    AND, because I know how that feels, I will say bravo to you about how you handle comments. I do the same thing. If someone wants to rail against me they can go do it on their own blog. . . that’s what I do 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • jamiamerine says:

      God bless you. Getting ready to attend writers conference. 1. I hate to fly. 2. Leaving my family to go pursue… 3. What if?

      You just nudged me forward. Literally. Just this second.

      But if I die in a fiery crash – just delete this. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Kellie M says:

    Your child who forgot to gas up the car will one day remember his/her actions… and help someone else who had broken down or run out of gas. There is great humor in this post and hopefully, because you responded in love to your daughter, a lesson she will apply later in her own life. I remember when a stranger (a man) stopped and helped me when I ran out of gas as a college student many years ago. I know I will be able to pass on his kindness in my own life and I pray your daughter will be able to pass on kindness to someone stranded in the furture because she knows it’s a big deal to be in that situation. In the meantime, I pray she keeps the needle UP on the gas-o-meter in the car and everyone has safe travels. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • jamiamerine says:

      Thank you. And thank you for your input on the last thread. I try not to read many of them… But you understood my point. When I wrote that piece I had a whooping 200 followers. For whatever reason it’s gone mad… I appreciate your mind. God bless.

      Like

  12. Cold Case Lover says:

    Quite an echo chamber you’ve got here. Must be nice to only ever hear pretty words agreeing with you instead of any sort of disagreement or opposition. Very nice. Very dishonest.

    Like

    • jamiamerine says:

      Dear Cold Case, this is a minimally read post. If you’d like to chill with the haters they are over in the “an open letter to my children” feed. In that feed of comments I am very honest about what I allowed. Anything – as long as there was no vulgarity. I actually love dialogue. And all things cold case… So… Thanks for stopping by.

      Like

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