Moms Night Out Christian Moms

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Women need fellowship that will grow them as wives, mothers, friends and mentors

Last year, I hopped in the car with my family and some friends to be in a scene of Mom’s Night Out. It wasn’t a long drive and it was fun. Ok, it was ‘fun’ sitting in a church on a Saturday for 4 hours waiting to tape the scene about 10 times (yes, you can see me smirk). The scene was fun and laughing was easy (at the appropriate time) the first few times. After that. Not.So.Much.

What I learned during that time, if I ever wanted to be a ‘star’ on camera (as if I would/could be), I couldn’t do it. Too many ‘takes’ would just run me into the ground.

The irony is, we did get to see some of the personalities of the people in the film. It’s always interesting to remember that the people in the film – are people. They are not their character, they’re just getting paid to play a part and they’re good at it. But, what was funny, ironic and kind of made me wonder if I wanted to be in the scene or support the movie was when someone asked where a Baptist Preachers’ wife would be. One of the actors (and you don’t need to know who) replied – “Out back smoking.”

So, I wondered, what would the movie REALLY be about. I mean, then, we only knew the title and that Steven Kendrick and a few other people from other movies would be in it.

Being curious, and a little vain to see myself in a movie, I trekked off to watch it with my family and some friends this weekend. I will admit, on the surface, it is a very funny movie and depicts much of what a mother goes through.

On the flip side, it depicts much of what a mother goes through and how so many Christians have a humanistic worldview on life.

The movie begins with the lead actress oversleeping because she stayed up too late (or got up too early and fell asleep) writing a blog post.  So, she wakes up late for church on Mother’s Day, her children have completely wrecked the house and  it goes down hill from there. When her husband arrives home from his business trip (late Sunday night) he finds her in their bedroom closet (having just devoured an entire bag of chocolate) watching an eagle sitting on her nest. That scene is quickly followed with the house being cleaned and the two lead actors are sitting in their living room. She’s folding clothes and talking – he’s listening. She shares how she has everything she ever wanted…..

and she.isn’t.happy. (when did we ever get the idea that things, people and money would make us happy? Happiness is an emotion based on something that has happened in our lives. Joy is a fruit given by the spirit who is our helper)

Now, I have to say, her husband handled that scene very well. He listened and from there – A Mom’s Night out was born.

I’m not going to share a lot about the movie. Again it is funny. I laughed a lot. But, I also cried. The movie identified so much of what’s going on in the heart of Moms who have made the decision to stay at home with their children and while you may think I’m talking about how ‘hard (important) it is’ – I’m not.

Again, it identified how very humanistic Christians are.

The main character, who is very sweet and every single mom can relate to – has a few problems.

  • She has a completely humanistic view on life. She thinks she should be happy and she should have every thing her little heart desires: perfect family, perfect house, perfect car – and none of those things are perfect.
  • At no point do you see her praying or seeking scripture
  • The non-stop whining and inability to be a grown up (shown throughout the movie) keeps her from enjoying being a Mom. (i.e. throwing a temper tantrum in a restaurant because she set up her reservation wrong and I could add more, but I won’t)
  • The movie begins and ends with her need to write a blog post. Not a need to read the Bible, no need to pray, no need to spend time preparing for the day she is in or the next day…
  • She is a little girl, in a woman’s body, with no guidance on how to be a wife who loves her husband and her children (now, she does reach out to the preachers’ wife and that relationship could bloom – but really, she has no guidance, no accountability and no one mentoring her)
  • The best advice she receives is from a biker who no longer attends church. Ironic, I find so many people who truly know the Bible, know about God’s grace, mercy (ahem and wrath), leave the church.

And this lead me to a few things I have been thinking about.

Over the past few years, I have gone through periods of change with my blog. When I started writing, I was much like this Mom. I wanted to encourage and grow and make connections. Being at home – you don’t have a lot of adults to talk to and there are days you’d give anything for an adult conversation. So, instead of picking up the phone, I’d pick up my computer and fly away to never never land…. and honestly, that didn’t work out too well.

Don't miss the moments in front of you.

Then, my blog became a business. I traveled and I met some amazing people I am blessed to call friends. I enjoyed my time away, but I missed out on a few things. For me, I found it wasn’t worth missing those special times right now. For the money side, I learned from that is YES, you can make a lot of money on a blog. Some people can do that and it works well for their families. Others can not. My family right now, needs me. So, my hat is off to my friends who can do it and are able to maintain love and integrity in their home.

Don’t forget, I’m the one who quit blogging, but not writing (when time and circumstances permit)

As I watched the children in the movie and thought about the many comments I see on facebook and blog posts about how children are behaving in homes and how I began seeing it in my own home, the more convinced I am that truly, this Mommy blogging thing can be another distraction to keep us from what is truly most important. My children are not perfect and neither am I – but there are some behaviors that are a direct result of parents who have checked out and abdicated their roles as parents.

Parents in our society spend so much time being distracted and running around that no one really knows how to parent anymore. I’ve written about that here and I’ve shared how to stop saying being a mom is hard and why being a mom is hard.

YES – Parenting CHANGES us. It should.

We are born sinful, selfish, narcissistic creatures who think the world should revolve around us. Then, we have parents who buy us everything we want and take us to everything we want to go to…and we grow up thinking the world is going to do the same.

And while it doesn’t, a person really doesn’t have any idea about how truly selfish they are until they have children. But, then, we still don’t grow up. We yell, blame, and ignore our children, rather than growing up, putting our big girl panties on and realizing – our dreams may have to wait, while we love, grow, nurture and disciple our children. Our need to be noticed And that blog post, facebook update, tweet, G+ mention….may need to wait for another day.

We’re growing the next generation and if some of us don’t grow up, wake up and smell the coffee, the next generation is going to be even worse prepared than we are. We need Servant Leaders… but we must show our children how to do that.

We have grown into a nation of idols. We idolize anything and everything from pastors to movie stars. From colleges to pro ball players. And money….  well, I’ve chased that dollar bill a few times and I’ve made over 6 figures in less than three months and i have to tell you…

Nothing, NOTHING is sweeter than the kiss or smile of a child.

Moms need

  • fellowship
  • friendship
  • real community
  • opportunities to serve
  • opportunities to grow
  • to give and receive grace/mercy
  • to be mentored and mentor others
  • various friends to help us with the different facets of life
  • to know that we can’t control everything
  • time in prayer
  • time in the Bible
  • a proper perspective of God and who we are to Him.
  • to stop judging and comparing others/ourselves and be content with who we/they are
  • most of all living to serve Jesus.

Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else Gal 6:4

One day, my children will leave my home. I pray when they do, I look back with fewer regrets than smiles and good memories.

But, I can’t grow them, train them, teach them, talk with them and be their Mom and my husband’s wife if I’m not growing in God’s word, spending time in prayer and meditation and teaching them to do the same.

This computer, it sees little of me these days… I love encouraging you, sweet Mom – I do and that’s kept me here on days where I should have been playing or teaching my children.

But, I have to make a choice.

and my family comes first.

As God places things on my heart (that tend to go against the grain) I’ll pray for the courage to write. Other times, I just walk away and let all of the drama go on without me while I bask in the glory of being a Mom.

I didn’t walk away from a great paying job to miss it…and I know you didn’t either.

I walked away to follow the still small voice of God calling me to be a wife and a mom focused on my family. And that’s what we should all be doing – growing together, helping one another and not reflecting the world’s view on what being a wife and a mother should be. But reflecting the servant heart of Jesus Christ.

 

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Comments

  1. I agree with you sweet friend. And I’d add that Christians should not look to Hollywood and movies as our examples. But I identified with some of the struggles in that movie. I would not go in and throw a fit over a reservation, but I can relate to the frustrations of life. What we saw on the screen is what we moms would “like” to do if we weren’t grown up.

    I, for one, DO search the scriptures. I DO have my prayer time, and attempt to pray unceasingly throughout the day. I DO put the computer away to spend more time with my husband and children. And what I am finding, is right now, I am going through a miserable season of life. I recognize the blessings, but as you stated, we are not guaranteed happiness. And right now I am persevering through an unhappy time. So going to watch a movie, even with its flaws, allowed me to have fellowship and community with a few other moms and allow some stresses to diminish through laughter.

    I do have those who mentor me and those I try to mentor. But time is precious, and when we glide through the days, and when even at church everyone is too busy serving to talk, it’s nice to see a movie that pokes fun at some churchy realities that perhaps need to change. I, too, found it sad that the only person who mentioned Jesus’ name was the biker guy.

    I found a reality for my sweet friends who are pastor’s wives when the one in the movie was constantly bombarded by those who were seeking advice. She’d stop, take a breath, put on the fake smile, and try to lovingly answer the question. That is reality for a few of my friends. Do they complain? No, but they are human. And they aren’t “allowed” to be by a congregation of people, which I find quite sad.

    Yes, the movie has its issues. But it had its joys as well. I have to keep in mind at times that story of Jesus and the disciples when they came running up to him to tell him that there were people preaching in His name who weren’t following Him. He answered back saying, basically, “If they are on our side, leave them alone.”

    Now that I have spent my morning computer time writing and reading here, I’d better close up and go feed my kids. My shower will wait. :)

    • Yes, I agree and agree. Nothing is perfect – there isn’t a perfect Christian movie or person. Jesus was perfect. The rest of us, many, are striving to follow him.

      I did enjoy my time with my friends and family. We still laugh over many of the scenes.

      This post wasn’t meant to say the movie is bad and that’s why I state, it is a very funny movie and I laughed. The part that made me sad is the reality that this is where many Christians leave their faith – in a movie, in so many other things than basking in Jesus.

      So many are going through hard times right now and truly, laughter is medicine for the soul.

      Am I saying people shouldn’t go? No. We’ll probably buy the movie. It’s one of the few good, clean movies we can watch as a family. But, I don’t want my children thinking that’s the way life should be. So, it’s a good tool, as well to point out the many ways we can follow paths, but should always seek to get back on the narrow one.

      Me, I’m a sinful person – rotten to the core and my only righteousness is from Christ. And I’ve had my own pity parties…but that is not where we should stay. As we grow in the redemption of Christ, these moments should be farther and farther between.

      And for the poor Pastor’s wife – and those all around the world – they should be allowed to be human. They should share their stories and how God/Jesus have reclaimed their lives. Perfection on the outside is too easily misunderstood by others who feel they can never measure up. The same can be true of a wife of an elder (if you’re not in an elder lead church) or a deacon. And in society, any Christian wife must ‘measure up’ to some sort of perfect…

      All in all, it was a good movie – funny and with some good lines.

      Love you sweet friend and sending up prayers for all Moms…we all need grace and mercy.

      • “The part that made me sad is the reality that this is where many Christians leave their faith – in a movie, in so many other things than basking in Jesus.”

        Absolutely!!

  2. Rebecca, This was outstanding. And my admiration and respect just flew up even further for you…not that you were seeking it from anyone. That’s why it’s so great.

    I love everything you’ve said here. The point you made of the idols we worship is spot on. Entertainment is one of the leading idols and the very fact that you posted an honest, discerning view of this film, identifying the issues therein, will probably get some people’s dander up. It’s amazing that Christians can agree on so many things….but when you start talking about which movies to see–watch out! Lol That said, I’m looking forward to seeing
    the show but having my own social media “issues,” the fact that it begins and ends with a blog post and not truth from the scripture, may prove disappointing overall.

    • Bambi, it is a funny movie. I think it’s a great way to reach out to friends whether they are Christian or not. So, for those things, I think you will definitely enjoy it. With your level of discernment, you will see the beauty and fun, as well as the many ways society shrinks from the gospel. But, it is grace-filled, so it does capture that – with proper discernment.

      For me, please don’t use this to increase any respect you have for me. I’m a sinful person. This Mom – she’s me about 8 years ago… Three babies, I had no one to help, no real discernment, no understanding of where to seek the grace of God…just kind of figuring it out like this young Mom.

      I read your post – about a young girl and how she dressed and the way you were so honest with your children… like that young girl dressing in a way that well, leaves little to the imagination and this young Christian Mom – they’re both me. I’m just a little farther down the path with a lot of scrapes along the way.

      I’m waiting for the backlash -we shall see if it comes. (that’s why I have a comment policy ;-) )

  3. I loved reading this post. I haven’t been terribly excited about seeing this movie, I can’t really relate to the previews I’ve seen. My husband is fantastic about staying home with our children, and I know he is very capable of watching them. Not the typical dad you see in movies who can’t handle watching children. He had all five of the children in costco the other day, and two ladies stopped him to tell him how brave he was to be out with them. :)

    You make some excellent points about being distracted. Every time I read your posts lately I go “ouch!” Please keep sharing when you can what the Lord is laying on your heart, it’s very encouraging and convicting.

    • The irony is, while the trailers give you some insight about the movie, it really doesn’t tell you who is responsible for the way things go wrong while the Moms are out. It definitely shows the heart of a Mom who is still working on emotions, rather than the spirit. It is a funny movie – and one I hope will help many realize it’s time to make some changes.

      Oh, those ouches, they hit me, too… I’m always writing to me first.

  4. You hit the nail on the head, Rebecca! Right square on the head!

    Much love,
    Melanie

  5. I haven’t seen the movie yet, thought I’d like to just for fun and to see if I can find you :) Here’s what really gets me:

    “The best advice she receives is from a biker who no longer attends church. Ironic, I find so many people who truly know the Bible, know about God’s grace, mercy (ahem and wrath), leave the church.”

    This is where my family has been in the past few year. Frustrated and disillusioned with the church and the lack of community. Even my kids see it. My oldest especially hates the “production” of Sunday school / kids’ church. Lights, loud music, etc. He doesn’t even want to go in. He learns more about God and the Bible with me on weekday mornings before school and in other ways throughout the week than he does in church. On one hand, that is appropriate because it is my responsibility to disciple my kids. On the other hand, that’s a sad commentary on the church today.

    • I agree, Amanda. You know my thoughts about church today. Unfortunately, the church has become a place to evangelize.. not that everyone there should be saved, but truth should be shared and people should be equipped.
      In many ways, I’m happy for the wake up calls we have had because we had abdicated the religious education and discipling of our children to the church.

      Praying for you sweet friend. YOU are such a blessing and have helped me on my journey.

  6. So, the movie is written from the lens of how things ARE, rather than how they SHOULD be. And believe me when I say I am more about moving forward then relishing in my mess. But before we can move forward, we need to recognize and admit we ARE a mess. And we will always have some kind of mess trailing us, unfortunately.

    The movie was meant to be an exaggeration and I think it’s also meant to wake up some of us. I was shocked at how well I identified with the lead character, Ally. All I ever wanted to be was a mom, and yet I feel like joy is something I struggle at. Why? Ally asked that question because she herself didn’t understand what was going on.

    I think it’s important to remember this was just a movie. It’s purpose was to be funny and exaggerate reality. And I don’t know any other moms who don’t think mothering is hard. It is hard. Because every single day we have to make decisions that go against our very fleshy nature. It’s not easy to deny the flesh. It’s not easy to sacrifice yourself — if it was, it wouldn’t be a sacrifice. Maybe some moms struggle less in their roles than others. There are no cookie cutter moms. I never imagined myself struggling as hard as I do as a mom. I thought it would be easier. I had no idea. It goes beyond denying oneself time or other pursuits. It’s wondering whether as Christians, we’re making the best decisions for our children. It is hard.

    I want you to know, I agree that we need to step it up and stop with the pity parties. 100%. They’re a waste of time and energy. I walked into the movie deciding I wouldn’t take it too seriously, because I am one of those who takes life way [too] seriously. ;)

    • Christin, yes, I agree on some points. That is how things are and that is what my post states. For motherhood being hard – that is the mindset that needs to change. Why do we even expect it to be easy? That’s a fallacy and the more we feed into it’s hard, the more negative the world sees it and it’s one reason I wrote my post on (3 Ways) To Stop Saying Being a Mom is hard.

      And joy – is a struggle if we are trying to have it! Joy is a fruit of the Spirit…not from works, not from us and not something we should expect from other people or situations. Otherwise, we completely feed into the humanistic thought process.

      Thanks for the comment and stopping by today, Christin. Love having you here.

      • So true about joy. It can only come from the Spirit. It’s not something that can be taught or learned.

        I didn’t expect motherhood to be easy…but I also didn’t expect it to be this hard. It’s not a lie that it’s hard…but maybe what you’re saying is we shouldn’t focus so heavily on that aspect? I did read your post back when you wrote it, but it seemed like you spent a lot of time defending what you weren’t trying to say, so it had me a little confused (sorry!). I’ll go read it again.

      • OK, I missed the 3 Ways post. I read the other one…Why Being a Mom Isn’t Hard. The 3 Ways post defines it better for me, and I agree. Thank you. You have certainly challenged me in my thinking and taking every thought captive in this area. xo

        • That post was written just after I left my Mother In Law as she began some very harsh chemotherapy treatments in the hospital… she never complained, never talked about how hard it was being in the hospital where two of her husbands had died from chemotherapy, never complained about raising four children alone… it was life. She found her strength in God…and she never left that hospital. We said goodbye to her on March 2. She left a legacy of love and children who know she loved them… And for that and my own mother who died almost six years ago, I pray I never take one single second for granted or expect more from my children than they are capable of doing – but keeping my eyes on God and remembering I am not promised anything easy, but He is faithful and will carry me through -

  7. I’ll also admit, my least favorite line in the movie is, “I’m a mess. But I’m a beautiful mess.” I don’t find my mess beautiful at all. When we get complacent in our mess, we start to doubt our need for God – and it starts with allowing our Bible and prayer time to slip through the cracks and then one day we wake up and wonder why God feels so far away. So, yea. That part I cringed at.

  8. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I want to. It is neat that you could be in it and see that what goes into it isn’t necessarily reality. We live near a small town where movies are frequently filmed, and it is fun to listen and see my husband share with us about houses being built just to be blown up or movie stars running into his shop to change while kids crowding down the road are hoping for a glimpse of them. Movies are not reality. But they can help open our eyes to it, both the good and the bad. I hope the actor you mentioned got a chance to experience more than their stereotypical expectation of the preacher’s wife. Your list for moms…I’d love to have all of that.

  9. Great post. I haven’t seen the movie, yet, but you share an important story. My kids are out of the house & I still have to watch how much time I spend on this computer. People (face-to-face) & relationships are more important. I don’t want to be so busy on the computer that I don’t have time to reach out & serve the body of Christ, especially my own family.

    When I started blogging, I worried that my kids’ memory of me would be seeing the back of my head staring at a computer. I had to be purposeful with my family. They grow up quickly & leave our homes. You can’t get those days back.

    Thanks for the reminder!

  10. Steph Johnson says:

    Hi Rebecca,

    Kudos on this great post. I went and saw the movie over the weekend and you are right on so many levels. We do look in the wrong places for security and satisfaction. I laughed and cried, and I laughed through my tears while watching this movie. I am in the same season of life as the main character, and I also find myself avoiding scripture inadvertently. Thank you for highlighting this to so many of your readers. You are a great daughter of THE KING, sister IN CHRIST, and great mom to your seeds. Keep encouraging, be encouraged, and keep looking UP.