Admiration vs. Adoration: A Lesson for the Culture of Fame


Two nights ago, Miley Cyrus put on the performance heard ’round the world when she gyrated and…um…twerked (I just…I don’t even know what that means. Because I am old) on national television in her skivvies.

I had no idea all this was going down, of course. See above comment about being old. I was too busy folding my laundry and watching HGTV. I didn’t even know the VMA’s were on at the time…lucky me.

I heard about it the next morning, though, as the internet blew up with images of the former teen star that left me feeling like I needed to bleach my eyes. I left the computer so very, very sad. I won’t say much more about Miley here because enough has been said about the unfortunate “coming of age” performance already. Personally, I’m a fan of Annie Down’s take on the matter and I would love for you to take a minute to read her thoughts.

They’re the same as mine, only more eloquent.

As I’ve digested and, quite frankly tried to forget, the images I saw of her performance, I’ve found myself increasingly disheartened and saddened by this culture we’ve created that builds gigantic platforms for our youngest and most vulnerable, placing them high for the world to see, then watching and cheering as they touch the sky…and more often than not come crashing back down.

Fame is an ugly beast, and a pedestal is not place for a child, or an adult for that matter. Emily Freeman said it best in her post, “One thing that will make your soul explode.” Our souls weren’t created for fame. God did not intend His most prized creation to be lauded and loved, worshipped and adored, held on high as an example and role model.

Such sentiments were to be reserved for Him. Man (woman, child) can’t handle that pressure, because we simply weren’t created to handle it.

A few weeks ago, news broke of Cory Monteith’s accidental heroine overdose. I’ve long since stopped watching GLEE, but still my heart dropped with the knowledge that this young life was cut short and for what? Why?

Britney, Miley, Amanda, Lindsey, River, Cory, Heath, and the list could go on and on. Last night, I Googled “stars who died of a drug overdose” and came up with a list of 245 names.

And that’s just the ones who died.

Kids like Miley are thrown into a system that produces stars, and in front of the world these kids have to figure out who they are, what they believe, who they want to be and how to do it all while people scream their names. Who’s looking out for these kids? Who is standing on the side, brows furrowed, shaking their heads furiously at the foolishness of it all.

It’s not the people who are close to them, and this is something I struggle to understand. And yet, I cannot assume that I would be any less blinded by the allure of fame if it were presented to me or my child. I get it – I really do. If you have a talented child with a love for performance, as a parent you want to see that grow. But there has to be a stopping point – there has to be protection, and at some point we have to realize that too much exposure is simply not a good thing.

There’s a fine, but sure, line that stands in between admiration and adoration. I admire the talent of many people. I enjoy watching good movies and exciting television shows because I admire the creative talent of the entertainers. I get chills when I hear a stirring song and sometimes, when I close a book, I hold it for a very long time, wishing it didn’t have to end.

I admire many people. But what happens when admiration changes to adoration? What happens both to me, and to the person who is now being adored?

Miley Cyrus has been adored and her pedestal was thrust very high before she had the balance to stay on it. Shame on the system that put her there. Shame on the fans who adored her more than admired her.

I think it’s time that those of us who aren’t blinded by fame to start doing our part to protect these kids. It seems impossible to think that we could have any impact on the Hollywood culture that makes stars out of preteens, but we can do little things like teach our own children the difference between adoration and admiration. We can show our young ones that the arts are to be celebrated and admired, not worshipped. 

Perhaps it’s time we stopped giving in to this culture of fame, holding it up as if it’s something to be worshipped. Fame is a smoke screen, and our children need to know that. It’s not funny when a young star falls from grace. It’s time we stopped laughing it off, shrugging our shoulders and assuming it to be just one more misguided youth. We’re better than this. Our culture, our kids, our young stars – we’re all better than this.

We need to be better.

Home Base


There is an episode of the show LOST that has been running through my head on a constant loop this past week, kind of like the constant loop that Rousseau’s message ran on for sixteen years.

Have I mentioned my obsession with the show LOST in the past?

I have?

I apologize.

So this episode was the fifth episode of Season Four ran some time during Season Four and was called The Constant and I can’t remember what it was titled…


If you aren’t LOST fans, bear with me for a second. I swear I have a point. If you ARE LOST fans, doesn’t the mere mention of the show make you want to go watch the entire series all over again?!

Image from


In this particular episode, a character named Desmond starts experiencing unexpected side effects from his prolonged exposure to the time traveling mysterious island.

Of course he does.

Desmond repeatedly loses consciousness and when he does, he flashes to an alternate reality in the past. The time flashes become severe and, naturally, his brain cannot withstand the strain of these two realities.

On one of his “trips” to the past, he runs into Daniel, who works as a scientist at Oxford and who also happens to be one of the characters who have mysteriously shown up on the island a few episodes earlier. Thus he is both in Desmond’s past and his present.

Confused yet? This is why you should watch the show!

Daniel of the past tells Desmond of the past that the time travels will continue to occur and will eventually, likely, kill him if he doesn’t find some sort of constant to keep him grounded in one place. “If you don’t have a constant to attach yourself to, you won’t be able to tell the difference between the past, the present and the future,” Daniel of the past  tells him.

Naturally, Desmond’s first thought goes to his love, Penny, and he takes steps to connect with her in the past and make her promise to listen for a phone call from him in the future. In the nick of time, future Desmond manages to call future Penny, just as his brain is beginning to hemorrage. Reaching out to his constant was like touching home base. It stabilized him and allowed him to remain stable in the present, move forward in the future, and hold dear to the past.

Do you see where I’m going with this?


This isn’t perfectly clear?!

Sweet friends surprising Sloan for his birthday.


Our week last week in St. Louis was like touching home base. It was reaching out and grabbing hold of our constant. Before heading back I worried if I could emotionally handle the visit. What if it made me long to go back? What if I left feeling overwhelmed and scared of the future without so many of the people I love so dearly?

It was exactly the opposite. We were loved fiercely for a week. We were poured into, prayed over, fed and hugged by the people that know us deeply. And as we pulled out Saturday I felt peace. I felt like life stabilized a bit in the present and it gave me the courage to keep looking forward.

It was a reconciliation of our past, our present and our future. The friends we have in St. Louis are a part of our past, but this week showed me they are also a part of our present and our future as well. They are our constant and after that week I feel so much more confident in my ability to continue to walk boldly into our future.

I am constantly amazed at the God-given capacity we have to love. God has woven into our beings the inate ability to love many people and many places. A piece of our hearts will always be in St. Louis and it will always be home to us, probably moreso than Texas, which is where we started our marriage.

Our first house is there. Our children were born there. Our family originates in St. Louis. That won’t go away, even if we no longer live there.

But our life is now in Florida and there is a place for us to build new memories and there are friendships that are blossoming and growing and we have a future there that is new and exciting and promises to hold blessing. Our past and our future blend together in our present and as we prepare to head home, I have no other thought than this one:

We are desperately loved and more than adequatly blessed.

How is your summer going?

LOST Image credit

No Bimbo’s for me, thank you

We don’t watch a lot of television these days.  There isn’t time for it and, honestly, there is very little reason to.  When we get into our house we won’t even hook cable up and I don’t think anyone will miss it.

In the mornings, the kids enjoy Animal Planet. Steve the Crocodile Hunter makes us all laugh…and cringe a little.  In the evenings, every once in awhile, we turn on re-runs of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. It makes us all cry.  Tonight, as the show ended, the network began airing a preview of the next show to air.

Sweet Home Alabama.

Not the adorable Resse Witherspoon movie.  No, no.  This was yet another ridiculous time suck of a reality show about a group of over bleached, over tanned, under dressed girls from (I can only assume) Alabama.  I immediately changed the channel.  Little House on the Prairie – the only insanely pure show still played on television, although sadly the commercials are so horrible that I had to keep changing the channel to the Catholic Reading Hour every time the show took a break.


“Mom, why can’t we watch that?” Sloan asked as I muttered under my breath.

“Because there’s no reason to watch a show about a  bunch of bimbo’s,” I replied.  “I’m not raising a bimbo.  I’m raising a strong, confident girl who doesn’t think that life revolves around boys and spray tans.”

And I mean it.

This is not meant to offend, but here’s the thing.  I loathe reality TV.  Loathe it*hear me snarl* Outside of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (which even the excess of that show gets on my nerves after awhile…because I am, apparently, a robot), I can’t stand a single reality show.  They make me bonkers.  Nicole said it a couple of weeks ago and I will reiterate the same point – everything that’s wrong with our society is showcased in reality TV. Everything.  And we put it on display for the whole world to see.

Is it any wonder America has lost so much respect in the world?

Jersey Shore. Real Housewives of Such and Such (AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH – NOT REAL NOT REAL NOT REAL).  Sweet Home Alabama.  Russian Dolls (are you kidding me?).  Big Brother.  The Bachelor and it’s spawn The Bachelorette.  I know, I may have just broken some hearts.  Unfortunately, this list of absurdity could go on and on.  And onAnd ooooooooonnnnnnn.

Selfishness, greed, hatred, lust, gluttony, deceit, anger, malice, jealousy, guilt and plain old stupidity – all of these highlighted for entertainment’s sake.  And when I see a clip of a bleach blonde girl Valley Girl chatting into the camera I want to throw a shoe through the TV then take my daughter out and teach her how to be a real REAL woman.  I want to teach her to play sports and love people and respect herself and care for the hurting.  I want to tell her that life is more than boys and clothes and fame and notoriety.

I want my boys to know that what makes a woman beautiful is not the length of her skirt but the love she has and shows for others.  I want my boys to respect women more than the men on those shows respect them.  I want my daughter to respect herself more than those women respect themselves.

I have to check myself when I begin to rant on these shows.  Because the fact of the matter is this: I can disconnect cable and make sure my children are never subjected to the horror that is reality TV, but unless I’m modeling what it means to be a woman of grace, peace, love and maturity to my daughter, she will never know it.

If Lee doesn’t model to the boys what it means to look like, act like and behave like a real man then they won’t know.  If he isn’t showing them how to respect women and how to love a wife, they won’t know.  It doesn’t matter what’s on TV – our kids have to see it modeled from us first and foremost.  That’s the real challenge.

That and making sure that none of that smut gets into our home.

*steps meekly off soap box and slides it back under the bed*


My Montreal Post

What if you and your kids could all enjoy movie night together?

Robin Lively

It’s a scene that is familiar to all moms. You sit down on the couch with your young ones, excited to enjoy a little downtime together. You flip on the TV and begin channel surfing, looking for the perfect program to all enjoy together. Given the night, you can flip through all 562 channels and not find a single appropriate program.

Because, let’s face it, we can only watch America’s Funniest Home Videos so much before our brains start to melt. Am I right?

If, on the off chance, you happen to catch an evening where there are one or two reasonable shows on for your young children, you will likely find yourself scrambling for the remote at some point during the commercial while screeching at your bewildered children to close their eyes. Whether it be an advertisement for a scary movie or a Hardees commercial, little is safe on TV these days.

That’s why I’m happy thrilled to announce a new movie coming out August 6 as part of Walmart and P&G’s series of family friendly movies.

Want to read more and see my interview with Christine Baransky? Head over to 5 Minutes for Mom and check it out!

You won’t judge me, right?


Alternately titled: I’m a big dork and now you know.

I have wonderful friends.  Really, really great friends who love me and look out for me.  Last Saturday when Sloan was so sick, I talked with my friend Elizabeth.  She immediately identified with my fatigue and pain and did what only a sweet friend would do.

She brought me Peppermint Mocha Coffeemate, because she knows I’m addicted to it, and she dropped off and stack of movies for the kids to watch. 

She saved me.

We piled up on the floor with blankets (and coffee) and had a movie marathon.  We watched High School Musical 2 and 3.  This is the part where I reveal how big of a dork I am.  I am ashamed and yet…I’m not.


I don’t hate the High School Musical trilogy.  In fact *looks around, leans in close and whispers* I actually like the movies in all their cheesy flare.  Had I seen these as a preteen I would have definately had posters and CD’s (okay, Cassette Tapes – I know, I know…) and maybe even a pin or two for my jean jacket.

Part of my enjoyment could be my soccer mom crush on Zac Efron.  Part of it stems from my life long love of obsession with musicals.  I have loved them since I was a kid.  I remember as a young girl wishing I could live in a musical.  How fun would it be to burst into song and have everyone join you both in song and in dance?  Think how sunny and fun life would be if we sang out our problems and dreams! 

Lee thinks I’m the only person who would find this fun.

So there you have it.  I like High School Musical.  All three of them.  I like them, okay?  Yes, they’re silly and overly dramatic and over the top, but they make me smile and I may or may not bob my head to the beat when the campy songs start up. 

So this morning, after Sloan got on the bus (yes, he’s finally going back to school), when Tia and Landon asked if they could watch it…well, I said yes.  Because I wanted to see Zac listen to the songs. 

Now you know.  I wanted to share this with you because you’re my friends and I know you won’t judge me.  Right?  I mean, we can still be friends, can’t we?  Please?

Try not to be jealous, everyone.  I’m not always this cool. 

Tell me about it boys


Last night, Lee and I assumed our positions on the couch the jar of Nutella between us for a little relaxation in front of the television.  Since LOST went off the air, we just haven’t been able to get into another show.  We liked Glee for a little while, until it became an over-sexed after school special and we gave up on it.  I was into Grey’s Anatomy until it turned into a political commentary on all the hot button topics so I gave up on that one too.

It’s hard to find good TV…

So most of our television watching these days consists of channel surfing.  We do this for 20 minutes, get frustrated, flip off the TV then pile up in bed with our copies of FRIENDS, which we got for Christmas.  Now that was good TV!

Last night, however, we missed out on watching FRIENDS because Lee ended on the Syfy channel where Star Trek XXVVVII was playing.  I have to confess, I don’t get Star Trek.  I have never understood the fascination with it.  It’s campy and corny and the acting is bad and… Apparently I don’t have enough testosterone to get it.

So can someone explain it to me?  Because when I asked Lee to explain the fascination, his eyes widened and he looked at me as though I was a Cling On (seriously, I don’t even know if I spelled that right…) Klingon.

“It’s just awesome,” he exclaimed, flinging his hands up for emphasis.  “It’s so cool.”


Why again?

I watched for a few minutes as Captain Kirk (James Tiberius – I learned that much from the two minutes I watched) and the doctor (don’t remember his name) were placed on trial by the Cling On’s Klingons for the assassination of the Great High Chancellor, which, of course, Kirk and WhatsHisFace did not commit.  They were, in fact, trying to save the man’s purple blooded life.

And then I learned that Kirk’s son was killed by a Cling On Klingon.  Just typing all that info, I felt my estrogen levels drop a bit…

But alas, I grew bored pretty quickly.  I did find it fascinating that Kim Catrall of Sex in the City notoriety was on the good guy’s ship (The Enterprise?  Is that Star Trek or Star Wars?).  That was all I found really, really interesting though.  So tell me about it boys.  What’s the fascination?

I don’t want to leave out the women who enjoy Star Trek, either, so if there are any of you who are heavier on the estrogen that still enjoy watching the show, fill me in.  Help me understand.

Because I just don’t get it.

Lee didn’t come to bed until after the movie ended last night.  I wanted to ask him how it all turned out in the end.  Were Kirk and WhatsHisFace put to death or were they ultimately proven innocent?  But I just didn’t really care all that much and I was really tired so I smiled and mumbled May the Force be with you.

And may it also be with you.

On LOST and Dostoevsky

I’ve read The Brothers’ Karamatzov three times. 

I’ve made it to the end once.

I got to The Grand Inquisitor twice and my mind almost exploded and both times I put it down for several months before trying again.  The third time I read it, I quit trying to figure it out and just enjoyed the story.  There was a nagging feeling in the back of my mind that I was missing some pretty important elements and symbols, but I knew if I tried to figure them out, I’d get stuck again, so I ignored the feeling and got lost in the plot.

For much of the last two seasons, I’ve felt the same feeling while watching LOST.  It is the Dostoevsky of television.  There was so much symbolism, so much to get out of the show from a spiritual and worldview standpoint, but if I thought about it too long, I felt like my head would explode, so I got “lost” in the story instead.

And it was a great story.  Probably the greatest TV plotline in history.  It was original and weird and dramatic and funny.  It made you think and laugh and cry and shout.  It was a really, really great show.

I’m not a TV person.  I don’t love to sit and watch TV.  The constant movement and noise makes me crazy.  Aside from FRIENDS, I’ve never before been so addicted to a show that I would put aside life for a short bit of time each week to watch.

But LOST was different.  For six years, LOST has been a date night for Lee and I.  Every week for 18 weeks, we’ve put the kids to bed early, piled up on the couch and enjoyed unravelling the mysteries of the island.  We’ve talked through theories and the significance of what the characters were experiencing.  We’ve grumbled when the plotlines didn’t make sense and clapped our hands with glee when they were so good we felt like we could jump out of our skins.

It’s kind of embarrassing to admit that I’m going to miss a TV show, but I am going to miss LOST.  It’s amazing how attached you can become to characters.  I know they aren’t real, but for six years I’ve invested in the stories of these finctional people.  It was like a long novel that I never wanted to end.  I’m going to miss watching the show with my husband each week.  I can’t imagine another show ever taking it’s place.  I actually told Lee that we should maybe just go ahead and cancel cable.

He thought that might be a little rash.

Warning – Spoiler Alerts Ahead!

Last night’s series finale left me feeling a little confused.  When it ended I almost felt let down a bit.  The nature of LOST is to leave you with questions, so I fully expected to be a little baffled.  But, like Dostoevsky, I felt like the last few minutes were so deep and metaphorical that I missed the whole meaning.  And there was a fear that maybe the writer’s had pulled the wool over my eyes for so long.

They were all dead?! What!

For about fifteen minutes, I felt confused and frustrated.  But it didn’t make sense.  Surely they hadn’t been dead the whole time.  The writer’s wouldn’t do that.  So Lee and I rewatched the ending and it seemed to answer the most pressing question.

The survivors were not dead on the island.  All that was real.  But somewhere along the way, they all eventually died.  Some, like Jin and Sun, Sayiid and Shannon and Boone, died on the island.  Others, like Claire, Kate and Sawyer got off the island and lived life.  We don’t know what happened to them, but they lived and died.  Jack, of course, died on the island, in the same place where he began six years ago.  Laying in the bamboo field. 


The sideways reality was a sort of purgatory.  It was a waiting ground – a place for all of them to be connected again.  I still don’t really understand all of that, honestly.  There are a lot of unanswered questions and this is the part of the story that I could either go crazy trying to unravel or I could simply enjoy the story and leave it at that.  Again, it’s the nature of LOST to leave you feeling completely confused and exhilerated all at once.

Dumb smart people…

But the island happened.  And that’s the story that I invested six years of my life into, so I was relieved to know that it was “real.” 

I loved the way that they brought all the characters back together in the sideays reality, even if I’m not crazy about how it ended.  It felt like there was closure.  Kate and Jack were together.  Sawyer and Juliet found one another again.  Sayiid and Shannon were reunited.  It was so good to see all of these storylines intersect once again.  It ended with everyone where they should be.

So all in all, I enjoyed the series finale of LOST.  I still feel like there is so much I missed.  There was deep symbolism leading up to last night’s finale.  I got some of it, I probably overanalyzed a little, and I’m sure I missed a lot.  But strip all that away and I still fell in love with a great story.

If you didn’t watch the show, well, you missed out.  But there’s hope!  Never fear.  Lee and I, being the deep nerds that we are, have every single season on DVD.  You can borrow them anytime you want.

And I am now finished bleeding nerdiness all over my keyboard.

The End.

Grey’s Anatomy and FRIENDS and Glee, Oh MY!

After talking with several people and thinking through the question I asked yesterday, I thought it would be fun to expand a bit on the topic of protecting our kids from the images thrown at them from popular culture.  (That’s right, I said FUN.)

This train of thought started with Tuesday night’s episode of Glee, which was a little over the top.  It was Madonna night so I should have been prepared, but I was still taken aback as I watched “high schoolers” dance and sing about losing their virginity. 

Now again, I will say that I do appreciate the ultimate message portrayed (even if it was watered down) that girls should take control of their bodies and not succomb to pressure, but the way the message was sent made me terribly uncomfortable and had me questioning whether or not I would want my kids watching such a show were they old enough to do so.

I tend to be a little conservative when it comes to what my kids watch and listen to.  Sloan and I have already had conversations about this as there are several  movies that he wants to watch that I simply won’t let him watch.  The main reason is because I want him to learn what it means to guard his heart and his mind.

Remember the Twister fiasco?  That was one instance in which I let my guard down and for several nights we dealt with the consequences.  So he and I have talked about the fact that God doesn’t want us to be scared or worried or anxious and if we watch movies that make us feel that way, then we are not doing a good job of guarding our minds.

And I plan to continue to vigilantly guard the hearts and minds of my children as they grow older.  Just as my parents did for me.  When everyone I knew was watching Beverly Hills 90210, I was left in the dark.  I didn’t know who the Walsh’s were or why Kelly and Donna were fighting.  Because my parents were protecting my heart and mind from the bombardment of messages that did not line up with the way they were raising me.  And you know what?  I was no worse for the wear for missing that show.

(I did ultimately see many of the re-runs when I was in college and studying in Ukraine.  Everyday when I got home from school, my brain was fried from speaking russian all day, and 90210 came on just as I got home.  The translation was on enough of a delay that I could hear the English and for an hour didn’t have to try and translate in my head.  So I got well acquainted with the show then and truly realized that I hadn’t miss much.)

It is a similar story with the show FRIENDS.  While I don’t ever remember a specific time that my parents told me I could not watch that show (I believe it started airing my junior year of high school), I also don’t remember ever once seeing it until my later college years.  There just wasn’t an emphasis on television in my home and while I watched it a little, there were certain shows that I simply knew they wouldn’t approve of, so I avoided them. 

FRIENDS ultimately became one of my favorite TV shows, but I began watching it when I was older and better able to filter the messages through a more developed worldview and stronger sense of who I was and what I believed.

So, back to Glee.  I don’t know that, after Tuesday’s episode alone, I would forever forbid my kids from watching the show.  For the most part, while the show clearly holds rather loose values, I think it’s a fun, campy hour of television that does not take itself too seriously and, yeah – I think it would open the doors for a lot of conversations.

Now a show like Grey’s Anatomy, on the other hand, is hands down, no way, dont-even-think-about-asking if you can watch this show.  I’ve even forbidden myself from watching that show anymore, it got so ridiculous.  It went from once upon a time being about the characters and witty, quippy dialogue to some kind of political message wrapped up in preachy dialogue and completely inappropriate scenes that do not deserve to be on public television.

I realize that I may be more sensitive to this subject than others are.  While I doubt we will ever swear off TV altogether (although I have no problem with that if the content of shows continue to spiral down the path they’re on now), but I take my job as mom very seriously.  And, in the long run, I don’t think my kids will suffer irreperable damage if they aren’t able to watch the one show that all of their friends are watching.  It won’t send them into counseling.

Oh no…there are plenty of other crazy mom neuroses that I can pull into play to make sure they end up laying on a counselor’s couch someday.  Like, for instance, this insane notion I have that they should play outside instead of watch TV or play computer games all day long.  Sloan literally moments ago stomped out of my room grumbling that I never let him do anything fun. “You always make me play outside and read books and stuff.  That’s boring.”

I’m so mean…

I recorded Oprah for the first time ever

I’m going to step out on a limb here and potentially make a few people mad…I don’t like Oprah.


I think she’s a little annoying.  I watch her show maybe once a year (I must say I do like the favorite things episodes because I like all the gadgets) but in general, I don’t waste my time watching her fawn over every guest with her ever changing spirituality.


Last week, however, I did something I’ve never done before.  I recorded an episode of Oprah!  In fact, we rarely even use our DVR.  We always forget to set it up.  (Unless, of course, LOST is coming on, in which case we check, recheck and check again to make sure it’s prepared to catch that glorious hour of television).  But I made a very distinct point last week to set up the DVR to record an hour of Oprah and then I sat down and watched said hour of Oprah.

So what, pray tell, could have been so very exciting that I absolutely had to see it?

One word: GLEE.

The cast of Glee was on Oprah and they were singing, dancing and taking us all backstage.  Oh it was gleefully delicious to watch.  *groan*

Yes, I am addicted to Glee.  It’s a good thing too, because LOST only has six weeks left so I will need a new show to look forward to each week.  Yes, I said NEED

As I watched the adorable cast of Glee do their thing, I couldn’t help but smile…and bop my head…and tap my toes.  I may have even clapped a couple of times.  May.  You’ll never know for sure.  After it was over, I got online to check out the open auditions they were having for Glee because how fun would that be?

You have to be between the ages of 16 and 26.  Shoot.  Just missed the cut off…

Incidentally, the two guys that play Finn and Puck are actually 28 and 29 years old in real life.  Which means that the crush I have on them is totally realistic and not at all inappropriate.  Not like my crush on Zac Efron which boarders on Puma-ish…

Anyway, back to Glee.  It starts again tonight!  And there’s another new episode of LOST on tonight.  Sweet mercy, could life get any better.  Finn, Puck, Sawyer and Jack all in one night.  Smile with me, will you?

Yes, sometimes my life actually is this shallow…

Love and Respect

Okay, I’m coming out with it.  I watch Jon and Kate + 8.  I always feel like I need to apologize for myself when I admit to getting sucked into the mindless world of reality TV.  And while I’m confessing I might as well let you know that the other reality show I watch (not regularly because Lee won’t let me ) is America’s Next Top Model.  There – now you know.  My dirty little secrets…

Anywhoo, moving on (blush)  Considering that nearly 10 million people tuned into Jon and Kate last week, I figure I’m not alone in my obsession with the show.  I’ve watched them for a couple of years now and have really enjoyed the show…until the last two weeks.

Now I’m just sad.  It makes me sad to watch them.  I’ve always been slightly uncomfortable with the way that they speak with one another on the show, but before last season it seemed kind of cute and real – it was more banter.  But beginning last season, the banter became excessive and I became uncomfortable.

Here are a few thoughts I have regarding marriage that Jon and Kate have solidified for me:

Two years ago, Lee and I went through a study with our small group called Love and Respect.  If you’ve never heard of this study or the couple who wrote it, I highly recommend you check it out. 

The whole premise behind their concept is that in order for a marriage to be healthy and stable, two things need to happen: A woman needs to respect her husband and a man needs to love his wife.  It seems simple doesn’t it? 

Then why is it so hard?

This has always, in my opinion, been what’s wrong with Jon and Kate’s marriage.  Kate shows little to no respect for her husband.  She orders him around and he, like a well trained puppy, complies with eyes rolled and shoulders slouched.  I almost cried in one episode a couple of years ago when Kate told one of her sons not to listen to daddy because “he’s mean.”

I’m a firm believer in women esteeming her husband in front of others, especially her children.  Kate does not do this, and it is a problem.  A big one.

Now Jon, on the other hand, has rarely shown Kate love, at least not while the cameras were rolling.  This can be a tricky thing, because everyone needs love communicated to them differently.  But, if you’ve watched the show for any amount of time, it’s pretty clear to see that Kate’s love language is acts of service.  If Jon were to get up and do anything without being asked first – and done to the caliber that his wife desires (which I agree may be unattainable in some cases), he would communicate love to her in volumes.  The rare times when he seemed to please her were when he did just this.  Oh, and Jon?  The attitude with which you volunteer your service makes a big difference.  Just sayin’….

Without respect from his wife, a man won’t love her well and without love from her husband, a woman won’t respect him well, and thus goes the vicious cycle.

Now, whether or not a man has been well respected does not at all give him grounds to cheat on his wife.  I do think Kate is getting slammed by the media a bit unfairly.  And I’m not saying that I believe Jon had an affair – at least not physically.  But c’mon – getting caught alone in the middle of the night with a 23 year old?  Doesn’t look good, dude. 

But it all started with this lack of love and respect.  And I find that so sad.  It’s sad for their kids, it’s sad for Jon and Kate, and it’s sad for the institution of marriage.

Jon and Kate need to reprioritize.  They need to grow up, get it together and repair their family.  And I’m with 90% of America in thinking that the best way to do that would be to turn the cameras off.  I was struck by how often they both said that everything they do is “for the kids.”  Um, that’s another topic for another day, but clearly the kid’s-focused life they’re trying to build is not working out for them.  There’s no stability as a couple when everything you do revolves around the children.  None. 

Also, they’ve both said there’s nothing more important in life than family.  Well, Jon, your wife is your family – and Kate, your husband is your family.  You were each other’s family long before the kids came around.  How did that get lost? 

Anyway, those were some thoughts I’ve had.  It’s nothing new – nothing that no one else has said, but it felt important to document.  Jon and Kate claim to be Christians, and I don’t doubt the sincerity of that claim, but if it’s true, then they need to seek godly counsel to help remind them that first and foremost needs to be their relationships with God; second are their relationships with one another; and finally, their kids.  That is a healthy marriage.  It’s not easy – especially with eight kids and a camera crew.  But it is attainable.

If you are struggling in your marriage or are just looking for something to help strengthen your relationship, I highly recommend Love and Respect.  They hold conferences nationwide, they have a DVD series that’s excellent, plus numerous books and resources that you can find on their website.  Check it out and join me in praying for this reality family that is facing a very harsh reality.