Tag Archives: jesus

Why Being a Parent is Like Being a Superhero (It’s Not What You Think)

I was sitting outside with my kiddos before the weather got chilly and realized something profound: I’m still me.

Well, who else would you be, Laura?

Bear with me.

In spite of everything – kids, marriage, general-lame-adulthood, struggles, hurts, etc., etc. after all of it – there are some things that remain. This is especially surprising in light of becoming a parent, and why I have realized that being a parent is much like being a superhero.

superman-clark-kent

Art by Danny Haas at artofdanny.com

 

No, no, no. Not how you think. Not in the “Super Mom” or “Super Dad” kind of way. Sure, you and I know a “Super Mom” or whatever, but, at best we are inspired by Super Mom and, at worst, we hope she trips on her perfectly pressed, hand-sewn cape. Let’s just be real here. Point being, that’s not the kind of “Super” I’m talking about.

So, what am I talking about?

1. The Radioactive Spider

The origin story of all great Supers climaxes with that moment, the moment when they go from average to…different. More than they were. They aren’t quite super yet, but they are changed forever. Peter Parker is bitten by the radioactive spider. Kal-El is sent as a little baby to planet earth and saved by a kindly childless couple. Steve Rogers’ admittance into the Rebirth program. For parents, it’s the moment you look down at that little wiggling, wailing, kinda-sticky-yet-adorable person, and YOU HAVE TO KEEP IT ALIVE. Consider yourself bitten.

2. Super Powers

Leap tall buildings in a single bound? Have lots and lots and LOTS of money? (I mean, that is Batman’s real power, right?) I wish! Sure, I can’t fly an invisible jet, but I can do with insanely low amounts of sleep, be steadfast and, dare I say, compassionate at the sight, smell, touch (yep.) of any and all bodily fluids. I can heal wounds with kisses and right wrongs with tickles. All I need is super speed to get my house more than and -ish level of clean and I would be all set. …or that lots and lots of money thing. That would also work.

3. A Nemesis

No. It’s not the kids. Whereas the X-Men had Magneto, Super Man had Lex Luther, most parents have themselves as a nemesis. Chill. This isn’t turning into an after-school special. It’s just true. I give myself more grief than anyone else. Sure, I might imagine that Mrs. So-and-So thinks I’m a bad mom, but really, that’s usually just me thinking I’m a bad mom. There’s a version of us, the “dark” version if you will, that likes to tell us all the things we’re doing wrong. I’m too lame or too lazy to battle anyone else. I think that also makes us Super Villains. Nice.

4. Responsibility

As I mentioned before, we have to keep people alive here. As much as we might like to take the day off, Lois Lane keeps getting herself into some kind of trouble over and over and over. Let’s face it, the people who lived in Gotham should have just moved. I mean, really. But, just like our kiddos, they stay right where they are. Sometimes the work is thankless. Sometimes they even cry-out against us, but we still love ’em. Silly little people.

5. The Secret Identity

The thing that only a few people see and really know. Super Man, Spider Man, Batman, Even sometimes Super Mom – they amaze us, they inspire us and call us to something higher, but Clark Kent, Peter Parker and Bruce Wayne? We love them. We identify with them. We know that Clark Kent isn’t really Super Man, but Super Man is really Clark Kent. Deep right??

This is the source of my epiphany. In spite of the incredible event of having a child, we are still us. I am still me. My identity doesn’t come from being bit by a radioactive spider or baby? (I think my metaphors are getting confused).

My identity comes from being reborn as a child of God.

And obviously, my identity in Christ isn’t a secret in the classic sense, because… well… I’ve just told you about it. However, it doesn’t go down to the very core of my being.

So much of what I do revolves around my children these days. But who am I really? Who drives what I do? Who or what is shaping the choices I make? Being a Super Hero is what a secret identity does. The heart of the Super Hero is the Secret Identity.

When the job of Super Man is finished (even though it seems like it never will be), Clark Kent remains.

When my job raising my children is done (even though it seems like it never will be), my identity in Christ remains.

I hope who I am in Him shapes the things I do with my kids now. I hope and strive for it to shape everything I do now, because when the job of my life is finished, He will remain, and, more than anything, I want to have been true to Him all the way to the end.

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From the Primordial Goo of the Internet…

In the swirling, bubbling, burping grayness of interweb, little groups of thoughts and ideas start to cling to one another, gasping for a breath of life. Some thoughts foam up from the murky depths only to be choked by the stifling gas of ads and spam, crushed and curmudgeoned by neanderthalic trolls or they simply effervesce back into the miry nothingness of the internet. Then in the distance, it begins again. Little ideas coming together, churning, pushing and pulling and popping, coming to a rolling boil! Huzzah! Life! it’s happening!

Here it comes… It’s emerging…. It’s alive! It’s alive! It’s…

A platypus? …Hmmm..

This is unexpected.

Evolution of a Blog

The decision to develop and write a blog happened in 2011. I actually started two blogs at that time. One to journal about some of my family adventures, antics and amusements. The other blog was more foodie in nature. Riveting. I know. However, both of those blogs had all of….mmmmmm, one entry. But, let me tell you! It was epic. 

Not really. 

Yet, here I am. Ideas, thoughts and opinions swirling around in my brain and the desire for an outlet to express (and the vain aspiration to develop some sort of readership…Yes, you should feel pressured.). However, what to blog about? And thus, this blog begins as all great things do…. with an identity crisis. 

The Mommy-Foodie-Jesus-Philosophy-Extrospective-Poetry Blog

The reality is that any blog worth reading is about something. It’s about pictures of someone’s dinner. It’s about cats. It’s about politics (heaven, help us). I have not seen a successful Seinfeld-ian approach to blogging yet, and blogs that are about everything feel like blogs that are about nothing. Thus, the identify crisis. 

I could write a mommy blog! I mean, I am a mommy…Some mommy blogs are amazing. I think to myself, “Dang! Girlfriend has got it together.” You know what my kids did today? They ate. They went to the bathroom. They played cars. They ate. They fought. AND, my favorite, they played in the mud. And then they ate. I’m sorry, but that is a full day. We don’t have time for great-artists-of-the-world collages, or learning Japanese, or organic, made-from-scratch goldfish crackers.  It ain’t gonna happen, and neither is a mommy blog. 

I could write a foodie blog. How awesome would this be? Pictures of my incredible culinary creations, that are, obviously, from scratch, and, duh! organic. Oh! And don’t forget that they would be sustainably sourced, no sugar, dairy-free, elegantly presented (with the light just-so) little plates of heaven…. Good grief, I’m exhausted just writing that sentence. Let’s just leave my foodie aspirations to my pinterest page, shall we?

I could write about being a Christian. Me, Jesus and The Church, out to save the world! ….Something about that feels like a trap, though. I can just sense Pride, Status and Heresy whispering, “Yeah! A blog about Christianity…And Culture…And deep theological issues…You should do it…You’ll be like Matt Walsh!” >insert me running and screaming the opposite direction<  Honestly, I am already afraid that someone is going to read this paragraph and be deeply hurt, offended or enraged by what I’ve said. But… But… But…I really, really want to engage with people on a deep spiritual level. Ah, yes, there it is. People. Not the internet. So, for now, I will leave the grand-canyon spiritual discussions to in-person encounters. 

The Aha! Moment

As I considered all these things over the past several weeks, there were several things that happened in the world that brought a dark cloud over my outlook on life. The Ebola outbreak was happening. Isis was (and is, I think), brutally murdering Christians, their children and others. Robin Williams committed suicide. The list goes on. In my family’s personal life there were also struggles spiritually, financially, and relationally that just made me feel like darkness was all around, and in spite of my faith, pushing in, closer and closer. 

I was sitting in the office working on a project, when I started looking at Facebook – the great motivator. A friend posted a video of a Robin Williams performance, and it was hilarious. I watched it twice. It was exactly what I needed.

And that’s when it hit me: laughter. There is something deeply profound about laughter. The world is dark. It’s bleak. There are times when I look out at what is happening in the world-at-large and the world around me, and the evil seems so huge and all the good seems so tiny in comparison. But. “I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.” <—Jesus, yo.  

This verse really says it best:

“I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption. You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:8-11.

My heart is glad. I know my God will not abandon me. He shows me the way to go. 

In-spite of the darkness, my heart is glad. 

That’s what I want. I want to make my heart glad and maybe, yours too. This blog is here to, Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, bring delight. Make you smile. EVEN BETTER, make you laugh. 

That is what’s great about a platypus. How can you not laugh?

lifesciences-platypus

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