An Open Letter to Lori Alexander in Response to “Men Prefer Debt-Free Virgins Without Tattoos”

Dear Ms. Alexander,

I want to express to you first, that the entire premise of your article is off base.  It is a fallacy that as Christians we should be concerned about what “men prefer”.  We should instead be wholeheartedly focused on what Christ prefers.   Your article makes the mistaken assumption that all women are meant for marriage.  Nothing could be further from the truth.   In 1 Corinthians 7:8 Paul admonishes us that it is better to remain single for the work of the kingdom.  By not focusing on what men prefer, we can further accomplish our purpose in the Kingdom.

The bible does make it clear that debt is not a good idea, but you make the completely illogical jump that this speaks to a woman’s education.   You assert that it is worthless for a woman to obtain an education when she should be having babies.   The bible simply does not support this.  Ruth was not at home having babies when she found Boaz.  She was not in the care of her husband or her father.   She was an independent woman caring for a widow and working outside the home to do so.   Think of Lydia in Acts.  She was a seller of purple dyes.  Because of her economic independence she was able to serve the saints.   Paul did not admonish her to stop selling purple dyes and to go find a good husband, but instead praised her for her hospitality.  Furthermore, many women are intelligent enough to obtain their education through grants, scholarships or hard work, remaining debt-free.

I personally know of one of our sisters in Christ who has remained unmarried.  She went to medical school and then served in Afghanistan doing mission work.  You see, in Afghanistan women were not allowed to be doctors because they ascribe much closer to your view of the world than mine.  But, women were also not allowed to be examined by a male.  This left a great void in healthcare for these women.  If they had trouble in childbirth, they and their children would likely die.  If they had breast cancer, it was just left to fester.  God had a special place for this incredible woman’s skills, and had she ascribed to your advice, many would not have heard of the love of Christ.

Finally, can you hear the vitriol in your voice?  It shows a lack of love for the broken.   Jesus would likely have been spending more time with the sex-addicted, debtors who are covered in tattoos than the churched.   In Luke 5:31, our Lord said, “It is not the the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.”  Unfortunately, your statements are a lot closer to the Pharisee of Luke 18:11, saying “Thank God I am not like other people- robbers, evildoers, adulterers or even like this tax collector.”  That reads shockingly similar to your article.

In closing, I would rather pursue God’s plan for my life instead of man’s desires for my body.   I would not presume to know the path that God has chosen for another, nor would I feel free to judge them without knowing the machinations of their hearts.

Sincerely,

Familydoctormom

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Happy Father’s Day!

There once with a man, a man with a dream.  It was a dream of condiments, ample and abundant, condiments raining from the sky.  No bite of food would be consumed with out appropriate sauciness.  To pursue that great end, the man started asking for extra condiments at every fast food establishment.  Sometimes his wife thought he was crazy.  Sometimes she was embarrassed.

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Soon, there was a whole shelf in the pantry covered with plastic containers filled with other small containers filled with condiments.  The wife became enraged with the “useless clutter”.  The husband argued that this was not clutter, that it was his dream.   After much deliberation, the husband found a solution that he thought would make the wife happy.

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He ordered squeeze bottles and began to spend his time funneling condiments from tiny packages into them.  Much to his chagrin, his wife (who he was only trying to please) said unkind things about his squeeze bottles, calling them gross and unsanitary.   He argued the benefits of being able to offer guests the perfect zesty buffalo sauce.  She remained unconvinced, until tonight when the benefit of his brilliance was experienced by the wife.

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Happy Father’s Day, my love, keep reaching for your dreams.

Transitions

For the last 3 years,  I have carried my oldest child (who now weight nearly 50 pounds) up the stairs, changed her clothes, helped her brush her teeth, and fed her cereal by hand while we watch WordGirl before I pack her up in the car and drive her to school.

Why do I feed a 6 year old who is perfectly capable of feeding herself, you ask?  Well, I asked her the same question as to why I should still be feeding her when I KNOW she can feed herself.

“Because it brings me comfort, Mommy,” was her answer.  Who can argue with that?  And, so I feed her.

Except on Wednesdays, which is Daddy’s day to do that.  Wednesdays I stay home and our youngest calls it “Mommy and Baby Bird Day”.  She gets so excited when it is Mommy and BBD.   We sleep in and cuddle, followed by some light housework, and a breakfast of pancakes and a LOT of bacon.  Then I take her to her ballet class.

Ballet class has become such a special time for her.  All of the other friends she has ever are somehow linked to her sister.  They were Z’s friend’s first, and then Baby Bird’s, but not her dance friends.   Her dance friends belong completely to her.

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When we leave dance, we go to Chick Fil-a and play date with dolls and friends.   The moms have become a special support to me as well.  It is nice to have people who understand where you are in life.

Sadly, both of the bucolic scenes above are coming to an end.  My special time with my oldest will soon be replaced by hectic mornings involving both children.  My wonderful times with the dance moms (a phrase I never thought I would utter) is about to come to a close with recital looming over us.

I know that both transitions are good.  I know that both transitions are necessary.  It didn’t stop me from weeping on the bathroom floor after I put them to bed tonight.   No one tells you how hard it is when you are in the middle of the best days of your life and you know it.

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What I Do Best

I do lots of things well.  I am a doctor, and a mother and a friend.  I enjoy cooking, crafting, sewing and gardening.  I play with my children nearly continuously.  There are many things that I do well, however;  my daughter has pinpointed one on my Mother’s day card that I did not expect:20180514_211950.jpg

I really am surprised to find out how great I am at doing dishes, especially since I NEVER do them.  In fact,  I hate doing dishes so much that I had two dishwashers installed so I can just eat on clean plates from the clean one and put dirty ones in the dirty one.  This is how much I hate doing dishes.

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At least I am as pretty as a rainbow and know how to subtract, so you know, I have stuff to fall back on.

 

You Had One Job

Once every ten years, I have to recertify for my Family Medicine boards. They do not offer this testing where I live, so I had to travel to the nearest testing center. I decided to stay overnight to ensure that I would not miss my testing slot. I left my husband home alone with both girls for the first time.

I didn’t just leave him alone with the girls. I left the girls at gymnastics, and food was prepared at home and all items were laid out for the next day. Literally, all he had to do was ferry them from gymnastics to home, feed them, and put them to bed.

Did he complete these tasks? Well…. technically yes.

I should preface the next statement for those of you who don’t live in the south, it has been four months and it has rained almost every day at this point. So, he completed all his given tasks, after he decided that it would be fun to do donuts in our yard with the mini-van, getting my swagger waggon stuck in the yard.

So, while he should have been feeding babies and putting them to bed, they stomped through the house covered in mud while he had a friend help him use the tractor to pull the van out of the yard.

Dude, you had one job, and your like 40 years old. I am still shaking my head.

You Know You’ve Done it Too…

I was hanging out with friends the other night, you know, like you do.    We had enjoyed dinner and brownies, and we were all talking.  About this time, Baby Bird, my 3 year old approached to tell us something.  I scooped her up onto the table.  I couldn’t help but notice she had a giant hunk of brownie hanging from the tip of her precious curls.  I yanked it out of her hair, and did not have a napkin handy.  So, I did what every loving mother would do, I popped the brownie from my daughter’s hair into my mouth for ease of disposal.   One of my guests queried incredulously, “Did you just eat chocolate from your child’s hair?”

Oh Wow… how do I answer that one?   I am getting the vibe that I just did something in public that (although everyone has done in private) should be done in private.  What could I do but just own all that chocolaty deliciousness?

So I replied, “Yeah, I didn’t have a napkin (like that is going to excuse me eating food particles from my child’s hair).”  Come on people, for reals,  like you have never played, “Poop or Chocolate?”  We have all played that game.  It wasn’t something from the floor.  I knew  I had just given my child a brownie.  The odds were ever in my favor on this one, so I defend my actions and it was delicious AND I would do it again.

 

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Strep, Love and Vomit

I am experiencing the phase in life that many parents of young children know all too well.  My children are ALWAYS sick.   Two weeks ago the entire family enjoyed a good old fashioned case of strep throat courtesy my four year old.  This week it was pink eye.  In between was perhaps the worst of all.

I went downstairs to check on my babies and could smell the foul aroma wafting out of their room, through the hallway and into the playroom (it seriously filled like 2000 square feet of space).  Any physician worth their salt can instantly identify that smell.  It was rotavirus.

I carefully investigated to determine who the culprit might be.  It was Baby Bird, the two-year old.  After lifting her unconscious body, it became immediately apparent that she had soiled her entire backside and the bed.  I plucked her out of bed and placed her on a towel in the bathroom.  In an emergency, the best thing to do is to call for help, so I leaned out into the hallway to yell for my husband.

Big Mistake.  Huge.

By the time I lean back in, Baby Bird has woken up and is spewing forth like a tiny Linda Blair.  It just keeps coming. Did you know that a twenty-four pound baby can hold up to a gallon of vomit?   Me neither.   It was on the floor, walls, my clothes, her clothes, in our hair, everywhere.   We put her in the bath and I set about cleaning up the puke when suddenly my husband, who is a sympathetic puker by the way, starts yelling for me as she starts puking in the tub and there is just so much puke.  Did I mention puke?

After a bazillion towels, a gallon of bleach, some plastic bags, and several days of reflection, I have come to one very important conclusion: Thank the Good Lord for Puke.

I have so many reasons to thank God in this situation.

  1. I have a wonderful husband who was willing to help me with my sick child.  Many women are in this parenting thing all alone.
  2. I had an almost endless supply of towels to clean up after my child and a totally endless supply of clean, fresh water.   I just think about some poor woman living with her toddler in a grass hut somewhere.  I am sure they have rotavirus in grasshutistan.  This poor lady doesn’t have an endless supply of clean fresh linens and clean fresh water to take care of their child.  Heck, they do not have enough clean fresh water for their child to drink probably.  Look at me with all my clean fresh water and towels.
  3. Being a doctor,  I had a readily available supply of nausea medication to medicate my child with.   I didn’t have to make the choice to blow this month’s budget in order to take care of my sick child.
  4. I have wonderful people willing to help me with my sick child while I work that I can implicitly trust with her care.  Did you see where I said people?  As in several.  As in several people that I can trust with my sick child.   Some people have NO support like this in their life.

So, yeah, I think I am pretty lucky with this stomach virus thing.  It could be a lot worse and is for many.  Thank you Lord again for your goodness in showing me how great I have it. wp-1486785740138.jpg

 

Turnabout is Fair Play

It has finally come to the point that we have to watch what we say and do around Z because she will now loudly voice embarrassing personal information in public.   For example, a couple of weeks ago, we were on our way to her ballet class and I had pneumonia.   I started coughing, so I took a drink of my soda, and got to coughing so hard that I had to pull over and vomit.  When we got to dance, Z loudly announced to the class,  “Mommy was drinking and had to vomit out of the van on the way over her.”   Awesome kid, thanks for that.

Just yesterday I stopped to move a turtle to the other side of the road (because I am a great person, right?) and the turtle peed all over me.   When we arrived at our play date, Z proclaimed,  “A turtle just peed on mommy.  See that water?  It isn’t water.  It is PEEEEEE.”

So, turnabout is fair play.   Recently, Daddy had a birthday.  Z was given a donut at school for a treat.   She brought it home in a plastic bag and it looked a little weird.  When Daddy got home,  she brought it to him and said, “Happy Burfday, Daddy.  I save my donut for you, but I licked the sugar off so it won’t be too sweet.”    Very thoughtful kiddo.

And perhaps the worst ever happened two nights ago.  I was cleaning the back porch and I look out and both the girls are playing in mud.  It was adorable, except it hadn’t been raining in the last few days.   I said, “hey girls, where did you get that mud”.

“I made it with my pee,” Z proudly declared.

As I am staring at my children, horrified, Baby Bird squawks, “I play in PEE MUD!”  while holding her muddy hands up in the air.

Baths were had by all.  And by baths, I mean they were hosed off in the yard.

So, you see dear daughter, turnabout is fair play.  You have your pee story and I have mine!

The Storm

Storms have always been a fear of mine.  As a storm is fast approaching, I consider the other storms that have gone before.   I remember a tornado when I was in college that tore apart my hometown and wrecked landmarks left and right.   Friends lost everything they had as the storm ripped their dorms apart.   The thing I remember most is that I was doing a research project with rats.  Because the buildings were not declared “safe” yet, they wouldn’t let me in to feed them or check on them and they ate each other.  It was like something out of 1984.  Very traumatic.

Fast forward to Hurricane Elvis while I was in medical school at UT.   I remember walking over a breezeway going toward The Med watching the storm hit.  We didn’t have much damage, but we didn’t have power for two weeks.   I slept and showered at the children’s hospital where I was on rotation.   We ate like kings at our apartment complex because everyone had to grill the meat from their refrigerators.   Then, about a week in, my brother who had gone to stay at my mom’s in the air conditioning called to say he had left “a few things” in his refrigerator and could I go clean it out.   Oh Mother of Mercy.  A few things was basically a whole hog and possibly half a cow, rotted for a week in the Memphis heat.   Again, traumatic.

Then there was residency.   A tornado rolled right down our street taking the windows, siding and roof on one side of my house.   I remember laying on the floor and hoping and praying that the storm would pass us by.  It did, by about 20 feet.  It picked up the roof of our house and set it back down, cracking most of the rafters.  We walked through debris in stunned silence that night helping neighbors crawl out of their demolished homes.  I remember the fear after it passed of not knowing if it was really over, or if we were still in the “eye” and another round was coming.   Also, traumatic.

Last week we all slept as a family in our “storm room” as another storm was bearing down.  I was lying there awake with Baby Bird nestled onto my chest as I was trying to avoid hearing the roar that is my husband’s snore.  I noticed as he started snoring, that Z, my three-year old, was laying on his back.   She was sucking her thumb with one eye open.  About the time I would get really annoyed with Daddy’s snoring to the point I was about to kick him, sweet Z would reach over and yank his ear really hard.   He responded by grunting and a temporary cessation to his snoring.   I observed this three or four times to ensure it wasn’t a fluke.  I. Love. that. kid.

Tonight, we are in the storm room again, praying for safety for all, lucky to have a “storm room”.  Wonder what this storm holds?

A Letter to My Girls

Z and Baby Bird,

You are fighting, a lot.  I watch you fight over who gets to play with the toy broom.  Today, you guys have been fighting over your baby dolls.  Z, you were mad that your sister had the audacity to feed and change your baby doll.   You expressed this with much yelling.  Baby Bird, you tried to assault your sister because she was sitting in my lap and you didn’t want Z to have access to your mommy.   Sometimes you fight over who gets which baby doll.

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My angels, they are the same.

But, really, I am thinking forward twenty-five years in the future.   Baby Bird, when you have had your first baby and big sister Z shows up with broom in hand to clean your house for you, cook you a meal and tuck you into bed, I seriously doubt you will still be fighting over brooms.

Z, on a related note, when you are tired and have hands full with multiple toddlers and Baby Bird sends you out with your sweet hubby to the movies while she feeds and cares for your babies, I don’t think you will complain.

It is amazing how perspective changes some arguments.

I hope forty years from now, when I am old and gray that you will both still be fighting about who gets the privilege of spending time with Mommy.  I bet perspective changes this too, but I hope not.

 

How Do You NOT know how to Target?

As a working mother, there are a few small pleasures on my day off.  One of these is to don yoga pants and load the kiddos up for a midday trip to Target to commune with my stay at home sisters.  This is my new spa day, replacing what actually used to be a spa day.

I have a specific routine.   We stop by the snack bar for popcorn and a red slushy for the kiddos.  This keeps them placating while I luxuriate in my Target experience.   Then I stop by the dollar bins at the front of the store to see if I can find an awesome Hello Kitty themed bag, or a Frozen puzzle, or how bout some novelty socks.  Awesome, right?  Then I take the cart around the entire perimeter of the store starting in housewares.   Anyone who knows anything about Target is aware that clearance items are placed on the outside perimeter.  Convenient, right?  Then, I venture forth to the wild interior to look for deals on apparel and diapers.

I have a system.  But, the other day I ended up at Target with my husband.  I expressed a desire to look for socks, but he apparently took this way too literally.  He was surprised and astounded when I began my routine.  He kept saying things like, “aren’t we here for socks?” and, “I thought you were looking for socks.”

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Half a cart full later, it suddenly occurred to me that my dear husband has now idea how to Target.   I just found myself shaking my head in disbelief.   How can one reach the ripe age of thirty-seven and not understand how Target works?

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