So… I saw Bad Moms, and I laughed.

In case you don’t have any clue what movie I am talking about, here is a promo shot:

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First, I’d like to admit right out of the gate I didn’t walk into this movie with naive expectations.  The trailers gave a pretty good indication that there would be some inappropriate humor.  Second, I am not planning on giving away any spoilers.  There were definitely some parts I thought the movie could have lived without, not only for the story line but even in the presentation.  Sometimes it could go too far.  Third, there were some parts of this that were REALLY unrealistic when you are talking about any group of moms.  Lastly, there were also a LOT of truths.

Overall, I laughed and I laughed hard.  At one point I laughed so hard (as I was taking a sip from my straw) that I pushed air through the straw, which caused a small tidal wave in my cup, and that resulted in my drink landing in my eyes.  Which just caused a whole other fit of laughter for myself and those sitting around me.  I laughed until I cried and my stomach hurt.  Yet, there were some moments that I nodded in solidarity.  There were moments that were uncomfortable.  And, yes… as I said before totally unnecessary.

What I want to write about (and I’m up for conversation too) is WHY a movie like this not only resonated with moms but was drawing us in like moths to a flame.

My first thought is probably the most obvious, there is an enormous amount of pressure on moms to be it all, do it all, and do so perfectly.  Whether it is the perfect birthday party, bento box lunches, or simply making it to every school and sport activity… we feel the pressure.  We notice so much of what is around us, like the mom who has the perfect hair and make up in the parent pick up line… when we were struggling to get out of the house with a bra under our pajama shirt.  We see the kids with the perfectly styled hair, accessories, and sparkling white sneakers…. and we just spent the last 40 minutes looking for eyeglasses or a belt.  Other moms dropping their kids off early, and we are 10 minutes late because we had to go back home and pick up the flute that was left behind… or because our darling child took 15 minutes to brush her teeth.

How do these moms do it?  We cast shade in their direction, but really we are asking ourselves… why can’t I do it?

I think there are a number of moms who have run the scenario through their head of just saying no.  No to the requests by the husband, kids, school, coaches, etc.  An opportunity to just walk away from the pressure and enjoy life again.  To make the choice of not being the perfect mom anymore, and instead be the bad mom.

This brings me to my second thought, as you watch the trailers you see a group of women having fun. We are not talking bunko party fundraiser fun, but the kind of fun we had as teenagers  and young single adults.  The fun we had when we didn’t care what others thought, where it was ok to be silly, and there was an expected freedom in the general knowledge we were going to make mistakes and bad choices.  It takes us back to a time when we didn’t have to be an adult, and could just let loose and be free.

With motherhood came some sort of unwritten code of conduct, that we couldn’t be silly anymore.  We began to take everything too seriously, including ourselves.  Let’s face it, books and the advice of television “experts” reinforced this.  Reminding us over and over again that it was time to grow up, put away childish things, and get our heads out of the clouds.  As we did this, many of us sent fun sailing away for good.  We stopped smiling, we stopped laughing, and we stopped being silly.

The movie Bad Moms called out to that free spirit inside of us, that desperately wanted to laugh… and laugh hard.  So, it pulls out all the stops.  The women let loose in a way we couldn’t, and we live vicariously through them.  They say the things that roll through our minds & do the things we secretly wished we could.  (Ok, maybe not all of the things they say and do, but you get the point).

I also believe this appeals to Christian women so deeply because of the bar that is set for our expected behavior.  If other moms are feeling the pressure to be perfect in their every day life, Christian moms understand the additional expectations put on the Christian mom.  To have perfect children that love Jesus, quote the bible, volunteer with the elderly, and gladly donate all their birthday money to the missions fund.  To be women who are serious about the study of the Lord, leading small groups, inviting women over to mentor and pray together, to dress in simple clothes, and be ever diligent in our choices of entertainment.  There is a pressure that all of our time should be so seriously focused on Christ, that we can’t let loose and laugh until our sides hurt.

Confession… I saw the movie on opening night.  It’s taken me almost a month to admit I saw it, because frankly… I expected to be judged for it.  I was worried about what my church friends, my readers that look to me for wisdom, the women or leaders who are reading through my blog trying to decide if I would be the right speaker for their next women’s event… what would these people think of me?

I learned something from the movie though… my eyes were opened to how long it had been since I had laughed so much and so hard.  I realized how seriously I take myself and made the decision not to.  I embraced that silliness is okay and even healthy for my kids to see.  I made the decision that I wanted to laugh more, but with those whom I am the closest to… not a theater full of strangers.  I want that girl posse who has my back, in the most biblical way possible… and who will be silly with me.  Women who know how to laugh, smile, and stop trying to be something that is impossible to attain… perfect.

All of those parts of the movie that I thought were unnecessary, they don’t have to be part of my life.  But the good stuff… I welcome it.  We are all GOOD MOMS despite our imperfections and the times we muck things up… because we are LOVING MOMS.  In the end that is what matters.  The Lord didn’t call us to a life of misery, but of fulfillment and joy as mothers… and laughter.  So much laughter.

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Who Me? God has to be kidding…

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The Lord has a very weird sense of humor, when it comes to the ways He chooses to work through my life.  I also find that when I am at church and our Pastor issues some sort of a challenge…

… inevitably I am about to be moved out of my comfort zone.

The interesting thing to me, is that the more I look at what He is doing the more I realize that it is not something He was suddenly doing in my life.  Instead, the Lord was preparing for me it long before I even knew what IT was going to be.

But, I’m jumping ahead of myself.  Let’s start here….

My Pastor began a series called “If I Wasn’t Afraid” (you can watch each of the messages on vimeo from the link above).

In the course of the series, we were challenged to “Be Brave, Don’t Cave”and:

  1. Accomplish a personal adventure.
  2. Have a God honoring and needed conversation.
  3. Take a step (or leap) toward a God honoring commitment.
  4. Make a God honoring contribution.

Those who know me would hardly consider me as someone who is afraid.  For the most part, I’m not.  As you get to know me though you’ll realize there are many things I can do… there are many situations I’m bold in… there really isn’t a conversation that I won’t have.  I’m not afraid to share my opinions, to try new things, and to even have difficult conversations.

I am, however, terrified when it comes to talking about my personal life.  I can share about how I struggle in my walk as a Christian.  I can share my parenting difficulties and whatnot.  Yet, there is a line.  When we get too close to talking about it… I get uncomfortable.  I’ll change the subject.  I’ll make a joke.  I’ll find an excuse to duck out of the room.

This would be the exact subject that God would call me to conquer in the challenge our Pastor issued.  You see, this will be a personal adventure for me.  I’m about to enter a world that I am terrified of… that one area that has been off limits.  It is going to require me to have a God honoring conversation with myself, my husband, and with women just like me.  It is going to take a commitment to see this through to the end, no matter how many times I want to run and hide.  And, it is going to be a contribution that will hopefully help other women.

By now, I am sure you are all waiting with bated breath for the big reveal….

Ya’ll the Lord has called ME of all people to talk about S… E… X…

Sweet cheese and crackers.

So this week, I’m going to be reading the Song of Songs (aka Song of Solomon).  I can’t lie… this is the only book of the Bible I have avoided.  However if I am going to stand before anyone and claim the authority of the Word of God… that all parts of it are God breathed for instruction and correction… it must include Song of Songs.

All of it… every word… is important.  Whether I ever wanted to admit it or not, God cares about our sex life.  It is no wonder we live in a world of sexual brokenness… when we are afraid to talk about it’s holiness.

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At the beginning of this post I shared that I realized the Lord had been preparing me for this long before my Pastor issued the challenge.  Did you know that the Lord does this quite often.  In the book of Nehemiah, there was a lot of preparation going on between the time the Lord burdened Nehemiah’s heart and when the Lord actually said “GO”…

For me, this process started two years ago when a book called “Pulling Back the Shades” came across my lap.  It was a simple book review, that would have profound impact on me.  A book that would cast off some scales and force me to take a hard strong look at my own past and beliefs about sexuality.  That review would lead to me becoming a part of a launch team to promote the book as the 50 Shades movie was about to release.  Thus, establishing a relationship with @AuthenticIntimacy that would lead me to volunteering for a women’s conference, launch teams for two more books (25 Questions You’re Afraid to Ask About Sex, Surprised by the Healer), another live event, and then a leaders training.  It would put me in touch with a network of women who have become amazing friends, and sisters in the battle to take back this ground.

I would find myself sharing with women things I never imaged I would share with another human being.  Then, the Lord pushing me out of my comfort zone, to the point that I would be leading a study on sex in marriage… IN MY CHURCH.  Having candid conversations with women in my church about how important this is (and how broken I am) and quite possibly the most awkward email I have ever sent to a Pastor… IN MY LIFE.  Why?   Because, my Pastor recognizes how important this subject is.  For our church.  For our community.

I am afraid, terrified of this subject.  I know that in short order this last hidden part of myself is about to become absolutely transparent to the women who attend the study.  The Lord has a lot to say about being afraid too.

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Isaiah 41:10

It is ok that I am afraid, that I am scared, that I am even terrified.  This means that I am going to be leaning and relying on the Lord more than ever.  Please pray for me, and the women who are going to be walking this journey with me.  Lord, bring healing. Redeem the broken.  Heal marriages.  Amen.

EVERYONE LOVES A GIVEAWAY! Read on…

Today, we are going to begin a very special social media give away!  And it is simple, and easy to play.  You will have 3 chances to win!

Step 1:  Follow Me on Social Media:  Facebook Group, Instagram and Twitter.

Facebook Group:  Gena McCown – Valued More than Rubies and Pearls

Instagram:  gmc3mompsl

Twitter:  GMC3Mama

Step 2:  Try to Guess Which Item I Spy!  — Now pay attention, this is important… I have selected a different item for each mode of social media.   You can choose to select 1 item and enter it as your submission on all 3 social media sites – OR- select a different answer for each of the 3 sites.  Your choice.  Leave your choice in the “comment” section on Facebook/Istagram, and REPLY/RETWEET on twitter.

For example:  If we were doing a Halloween Ispy game… I would pick the Pumpkin for Twitter, the Black Cat for Instagram and the Candy Corn for my Facebook group as the winning token.  If you were on twitter and said “candy corn” – you wouldn’t win.  But if you were on facebook and said “candy corn” you would.

ISPYGAME

Step 3:  Wait!     The game starts on Monday and will close on Wednesday at Midnight.  Winners will be announced Thursday afternoon.

SO, WHAT IS THE PRIZE?????

To win… you must be the FIRST PERSON to correctly guess the pre-selected item, and you may only win ONCE.

One winner from Istagram, Twitter and Facebook will receive a free E-Book of “Pulling Back the Shades”.  Winners will be announced then contacted with their redemption code & instructions.

book_headerEBOOK… Courtesy of Moody Publishers, Inc….

@AuthenticIntimacy #AuthenticIntimacy #PullingBackTheShades #DanaGresh #DrJuliSlattery

 

WHO DOESN’T LOVE A DEAL! (40% off -or- FREE)

While I haven’t read 50 Shades of Grey, I have read romance novels and books that fall under the heading of erotica before. Let’s be honest, no matter how I justified my choice to read them… I always felt like I was doing something wrong.  Even before I was a Christian, I felt it was wrong.

Women have a longing that isn’t being met, and the Church… well, it’s not talking about it either.

God designed marriage to have a sexual component.  Not just a static, let’s procreate, component… but one that embraces intimacy, oneness, and a deep connection.  When our marriages don’t fulfill that need… we can look to other places.  When we feel less than adequate, we can look to other places.

We fall into a book, like 50 Shades, for a LOT of different reasons.  In the end, it causes more harm than good.

The point of the book “Pulling Back the Shades” is not to shame those of us who read, or have read erotica or “harmless” romance novels.  But instead to start a conversation about sex, intimacy and those real longings of a woman’s heart.

There have been several survey’s on the topic of the 5o Shades book series.

Do you know the youngest reader to admit to reading the series to NY Times was FOURTEEN YEARS OLD.  The authors of the book, found another reader who was only TWELVE YEARS OLD.   The youngest reader of EROTICA… was NINE.

Your initial response might be to blame the parents, for letting them read it in the first place.  However, many parents are not even aware.  Did you know that there book stores that had placed the series in the “Teen /Young Readers” section of their store?  Or, that there is no legal age restriction on books, like you find with movies or magazines.  Since there are no PICTURES, they are not subject to any restrictions on ages (regardless of how graphic content might be).

And then, they are passing them on to their friends to read.  The first book I was ever given, that qualified as erotica, I was a junior in high school.  The book was being passed around our group of friends.  This isn’t anything new.  But instead of it being a little “housewives secret” like it would have been many years ago…. it’s more accepted & growing in acceptance.

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So… what about that deal?

If you would like to read Pulling Back the Shades yourself, as apart of your small group, or gift it to a friend(s)

Moody Publishers has given our Book Team a special coupon code that will give you 40% off the purchase price!  And there is free shipping when you spend over $25.    Just go to http://www.moodypublishers.com/ and enter the coupon code SHADES40

You can read it for FREE… by simply mailing in your copies of 50 Shades for a special TRADE IN program.  Upon receipt, they will mail you back a copy of PULLING BACK THE SHADES for FREE.   Simply go to http://pullingbacktheshades.com/ and at the top left, you’ll see “TRADE YOUR SHADES”.  Click there, and follow the steps.

Uncertain about how you feel?  Read the book, and ask yourself again when you are done.

Pulling Back the Shades – What You Should Know

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Do you know that some of the strongest opponents against the 50 Shades of Grey books and movie are those who are part of the BDSM community?

That means, those who actually participate in this type of sex IN REAL LIFE… call the scenes from the book inaccurate, misinformed & dangerous – on a mental, emotional and physical level.

Why is this important?
Because many a Christian wife has justified reading the series or seeing the movie as a way to HELP her marriage.
Those within the community express valid concerns that this will NOT help your marriage, but in fact do a lot of harm.
Let’s remember that we are called to keep our marriage bed pure.  That doesn’t mean that we cannot have fun with our spouses, and enjoy a spiced up sex life.  However, our marriage bed is also be to a place of respect, safety & love.

Pulling Back the Shades Book Team

I am very honored to have been selected to participate in a special team of bloggers and writers who will be talking about the upcoming movie 50 Shades of Grey, it’s impact on women and marriages and Dana Gresh and Dr Juli Slaterly’s book “Pulling Back the Shades”.

Come back daily to read, participate in discussion and learn more about protecting your marriage bed.

Throughout this process, I will also be consulting with a secular contact who actively participates in the types of sexual fetishes that the books are based around.  Shocking to most, is that those who are in this “community” have strong opinions against what is depicted in the series.

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