Saturday, May 21, 2016

In light of recent hot topics: What about our boys?

We have two boys. They're little still. They have a wonderful man as their role model and father. There has been a lot of discussion about women and young girls being unsafe in public restrooms because of the transgender bathroom topic. I am NOT here to discuss that topic. What has been on my mind is the idea that we are treating all men as if they're uncontrolled, wild animals waiting to attack a female. That bothers me. Hear me out.

A little background: I was a victim of sexual abuse in my early childhood. I grew up being somewhat overly concerned about my safety around men. Ones that I knew and ones that I didn't. Because I learned that even someone who is suppose to love you can hurt you. Rightfully so, I was apprehensive walking to my car in the dark, being alone with someone who could easily overpower me, or having an attacker waiting in my backseat. But, even if I had not experienced it for myself, I would still have been told to BEWARE OF STRANGE MEN. I keep my keys handy, I look around and make sure I am aware of my surroundings. I think about what I have in my hands that could be a weapon, or look for an easy escape route if I feel unsafe. I've been taught to not get too comfortable in the world when I am all alone. 

I've attended meetings about self defense for women. I've heard police officers speak about safety and how to avoid being a target for an attacker. Heck, my own husband tells me to watch out and be aware of my surroundings every time I head out the door to Kroger.  

All the (albeit ridiculous) discussion of men pretending to be women to take advantage of the new bathroom laws and rape women in the bathrooms has got me thinking. I know a TON of great men who would never ever hurt anyone like that. In fact, it's safe to say there are exponentially more men on the planet who would never attack/rape/kidnap/roofie a woman than those who would. So, I asked my husband:

"Does it offend you in any way that all men are looked at like potential threats to women?" I clarified with an anecdote. "Does it bother you that if you were walking behind a woman in the Kroger parking lot that she has probably been told to consider you a threat to her safety and be suspicious of you?" And, he said no. He said he would, in fact, go out of his way to be non-threatening. Make noise, jingle his keys, so that she knows he is there and isn't trying to be sneaky. And I just kind of looked at him. It had not occurred to me before that a kind, normal dude like him would have to worry about scaring a woman in a parking lot. Simply because he is a man. 

As a mom of boys, it saddens me to think that they will grow up being treated as a potential threat to the safety of women around them, simply because they're male. It's our job to make sure to raise men who would always be kind and loving and never hurt anyone. Male or female. 

I am not trying to start a gender discussion so much as take a hard look at the impact a fallen world has on our day to day actions and reactions to something as simple as my husband walking in a a parking lot or my son taking a girl on a date (in like 25 years when I allow that). It hurts my heart that as women we have to constantly be on our guard for attackers, and that the men we love have to constantly be on their guard to not look like an attacker. 

Trust me, sexual assault is more real than anyone would like to imagine. states that every 107 seconds another American is assaulted. And that's ONE country in our world. That works out to be about 293,000 victims of sexual assault every year. Those are just the ones that are reported!!!! Also, that's not just women. Men are victims of sexual assault and even LESS likely to report it. In fact, 68% of assaults go unreported to the police. 

It's not a gender issue. It's a heart issue. There are horrible, evil people in the world. We all have to be on guard. I hate that innocence is stolen, women walk around scared, and good, normal,  men walk around hoping no one thinks they're a rapist while they're getting milk at the grocery store or pumping gas late at night. So, yes, I am concerned for my gender's safety. Also, what about our boys? 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Peace, Pizza & Prosecco

I should totally be taking a shower and going to bed on time tonight. But, I feel like a new post was needed.

I have been doing a Bible reading plan about the fruits of the spirit. Today's reading was about Peace. I needed that. It's strange to me, though it's been a consistent occurrence for most of my's strange to me every time I have an obvious word from God about something that I needed. I don't believe in coincidence or luck. I love seeing how perfectly timed God's timing is. I needed some reminding about peace and it was the Bible reading that was next for me today. 

You might know I had another blog about my attempt at Whole30. I did not successfully complete a full 30 days. I have some goals I keep putting off. I tell myself I will start after we move. And let me tell you, we will be lucky if we move with all of our things because I have packed like 4.3 boxes so far and we move in 27 days. Packing an entire house is a lot of work. I'll attempt to get some more done this weekend. I think I will pack the pots and pans first so I am off the hook for cooking the rest of the month. We can eat anything that can be baked for the remainder of our time here. :)

Since my healthy eating/working out all by myself stuff isn't starting til June, I had pizza and a glass of wine last night. Oh gosh. I rarely drink. Really. Alcohol is a depressant, and I don't like the way it makes me feel. But, I had been wanting a glass of Prosecco (read: I pretend it's champagne and I am fancy) so I bought a bottle and had one small glass and fell asleep on the couch at 10pm. Because I am such a rock star partier, you can see.

My friend Stephanie introduced me to Prosecco after Cade was born, and I have not looked back. It makes me feel fancy like I am drinking champagne. I think in order to be called champagne, it has to be from a certain place and/or made with specific grapes. Here's my official answer for pizza and wine pairing: I don't know much about wine and I will literally eat any pizza you offer me. I CAN give you actual nutrition and an exercise program that will help you though. 

That being said, I will be hosting a challenge group starting in a few weeks, so keep your eyes peeled for that info and think about joining me! 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Peace, Acceptance & A Birthday

     The past two weeks or so I have been struggling with accepting where I felt God leading me. I have said NO to a lot of things; cut way back on commitments outside the home. In fact, I even caught myself starting to send an email in response to a studio that I saw hiring and I literally had to stop myself and say "WHAT are you doing, Jodie?!". I have this fear of missing out on something. Like, I want to do ALL the things and teach ALL the classes. 

CHASE ALL THE RABBITS...and catch none.

     I had a moment on Tuesday... 18 months of teaching a Tuesday night cycle class that has been "mine" since the cycle studio opened at The Fed...I gave up that class once I found out we were moving farther north, father away from downtown. This past Tuesday was the first day my friend took over teaching it. And, as I was sitting at home with Curtis, waiting to head to pick up the boys from their two different schools, I realized I didn't have to come home, change and leave within 45 minutes of picking up Gage. And, I sighed a little. It's not that I don't miss those people. Because I do. We became friends and we shared little parts of our lives and updated each other on big events every time we got together to ride. But, I realized that my kids and Curtis have needed me a lot more than I have allowed myself to think about. 

     Y'all know what denial is. I have been in denial about how much more I could have been doing for my family, had I not been so tied up with teaching. Because we don't just show up and wing it. We practice, plan, compile playlists, test the work. I won't waste energy feeling sad over any potential time I lost with my kids. Because we all have to work outside the home sometimes. Maybe I could have worked less, but it took time for me to slowly peel back the layers. If Curtis had been insistent that I drop everything, I'm sure I would have been more resistant to change. 

     The real moment I had on Tuesday was realizing Curtis had worked really hard to provide for us, to allow me to stay home and help him by answering phones and handling the office-y work, and that I could allow MYSELF a chance to relax a bit. I breathed a big sigh of relief and that "moment" was me settling back into the mom/wife role and focusing on my family first again. That acceptance of taking the weight off my shoulders, giving it to God and letting my soul find peace in my newly defined purpose. 


He probably won't even read this blog post. :)

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Surrender, A Sabbatical & Saying No

I want to be able to say I'm a blogger on my Instagram profile. Like, it's probably ridiculous to write, but I do. I love the blog world and thinking maybe something I say would connect with another woman as she read it.

I thrive on connecting with people. I am a true extrovert who gets fulfillment from meeting people and talking and having "a moment" with them. Curtis and I were discussing how he loathes sharing his business with the world and I get that he doesn't have the same drive to "be an open book" like I do. Because being an open book allows me to connect with others. He's a true introvert and being around people drains him completely. And, he requires a chance to recharge before he can offer more connection. This is just one of the innumerable ways we are polar opposites. It's really nice to not have someone who is trying to hog my spotlight though. I kid.

I also want to be able to teach a billion classes a week, have a beautiful, well cleaned home (ya know, by paid help) and delicious Whole30/Paleo/Organic/Made with Love meals for my family every day. Oh, and of course run the garage door business business with Curtis. It's grown so much that I need to give a whole lot more of my energy to it.

Reality: I have been called to Surrender the things that only feed my ego, take a sabbatical from teaching/working except for less than a handful of classes a week, and say no to everything other than my family and my personal workouts.

It's been a couple of weeks of struggle, but God has certainly shown me that I need to focus on energies into just a few things and stop chasing so many rabbits. There's a Russian Proverb that says:

"If you chase two rabbits, you won't catch either of them".

Well, I think I'll keep writing when I can; after I do the things I know are my God-given, purposed priorities.