RSS Feed

A letter to my children’s teachers….

Dearest Teachers of my precious angels,

I have spent some time in the classroom, and it didn’t take me long to discover that teaching wasn’t my gig. I enjoyed being around the kids, and there was some pleasure in seeing them learn new concepts, but the main feedback I got from my supervising instructor was “you seem much more interested in the parents and dynamics of the home”. Guilty as charged. I spent a year with an elementary school music teacher. At the end of the year, I had gotten her officially diagnosed with adult ADHD, created a system for her to stay organized, intervened with an immigrant child who was consistently hungry, and helped to resolve four different conflicts between different teachers, yet nary one music lesson fell from my lips. My supervisor was kind, but let me know that she didn’t see me as a long-term teacher. I couldn’t have agreed more.

But one important insight that time did give me is that a huge percentage of the success of a child depends on parents and the home environment, so I decided that instead of making you guess what happens in the Butler home, I would just write you a letter to give you the inside scoop. I promise to be completely and totally honest in this letter about my skills as a mother, and I am using this letter to also hereby declare that you have my permission to use this letter against me if needed. So like, if I say something ridiculous like “I don’t know how I forgot that, I am usually so on top of things!”, you can cackle in my face and say “Au contraire, mon frere! Your letter proves otherwise!” and then I will mumble something about you needing glasses maybe because I get snarky when I am proven wrong.  So here’s what you need to know about me-

– I am 13. I mean, not REALLY, because I have a 10-year-old, so that would mean I had a child at age three and I would be weirdly famous. I mean I like Vampire Diaries and I am totes Team Damon. Whatevs to Team Stephan. I like bands made out of boys. I know who Taylor Swift has dated. And Taylor and me are basically besties. I use the word “besties.” I accidentally taught my six-year-old to say “hella dope.”  I will try to be mature, but just know that inside, there is a fangirl freaking out because Justin Timberlake exists.

– I lose things. In fact, you might just go ahead and email me a copy of stuff you send home. I have great intentions, but somehow papers just seem to fly away into a land where they hang out with lost socks. I have devised a system for this year and I have high hopes for it, but if I don’t respond to a request for cookies or help with a trip, don’t feel bad about asking me again.

– I’m not fancy. There is a very good chance that you may never see me in anything other than yoga pants. I’ll wear a shirt too, I’m not THAT unorganized. If I were a teacher, I would strike with my only demand as being allowed to wear yoga pants. I would become a P.E. teacher, even though I have ZERO knowledge of sports, just to wear the pants of the yoga. I have a deep abiding love with my yoga pants. This year, I may even go to a yoga class.

– This is probably the most important thing you need to know about me. If I made a list of the top ten things in the world that contribute to the world being awful, homework might be the top one, right under dental appointments and electronic books. I know, you probably hate it too. But I am THE WORST at helping with homework. (no really- ) I miss my kids and I don’t like that I have to give up another hour or two when they have already been gone, not to mention that I am about as good at math as I am about making dental appointments and wearing high heels. So, there you go. Full disclosure.

Now, I don’t want to give you the wrong impression that I am just made of flaws. The truth is, Wes and I chose to send our kids to public school intentionally, and we chose our particular school intentionally. So here are some other things that you should know-

– I am fiercely protective of my kids, but I am not a helicopter mom. If they mess up, they clean it up. if they choose not to work hard, I will not rescue them. I expect them to say yes ma’am and please and thank you. If they are disrespectful to you, they will apologize and ask for your forgiveness. I am much more interested in their character development than their math and reading ability. I am a sappy mess about my kids, but I am under no delusion that they are perfect cherubs who would never cause any trouble or be mean to another child.

– I know that you are human and will make mistakes, and you need grace just like I do. I promise that I will not gossip about you to another person or talk badly about you to my kids. I promise that I will come to you directly with any issue. I will remember that you have a life completely outside of your job and that sometimes, teachers have bad days too.

– I long to be involved! Ask me to do stuff, and I will do it. I may have to do it in between live tweeting the MTV Music Video Awards, but it will get done.

– I am navigating the waters of race and attachment with my kids, and I need you to be there with me. Part of being protective of my kids is understanding when a subject or issue might trigger any grief or questions from them. Most of the time, my kids are proud of their adoption stories, and then there are times when they don’t want to be the family that looks different. There are times that Malachi does not want to be black instead of white. There are times that Selah is sensitive to questions about her birth parents. There are moments when stress in our family gets tangled up in attachment, and we have to slow down, reevaluate and engage in more intentional bonding. This might mean that I tell my kids to forgo their homework so we can snuggle. I promise not to abuse this. It might mean that we leave early from an event because it’s too crowded. It might mean that you and I will have conversations about any family history lessons, and it definitely means that I have become much more sensitive to racial tension and micro aggressions.

– My kids have an amazing daddy. I know this is not the case for many of your students. I can identify personally with those students, so my heart is a little broken for them. My husband is a great resource for you when you need a man’s perspective or presence in the classroom. I promise that he will not only help out, but sincerely love all your kids. He’s also incredibly funny and crazy, so anytime you need a silly character (ask our neighborhood kids about Jefferee the Referee), he’s your guy!

– I know that the actual teaching is only a small percentage of your job, and that you are also dealing with a larger system, interpersonal relationships with other coworkers, parents, and a personal life. I promise that you are being prayed for! We are here to support you and help you, because we know that people can rarely do their job well when they do not feel loved and appreciated. I would love nothing more than to know how to serve you best this year, and to be able to be a source of support and friendship for you. If you have a bad week, I’m up for a movie and margarita! If you need a book series to get lost in to distract you, I’m gonna lend you my Harry Potter series. If I catch you crying, you’re getting a hug and a drink from Sonic.


So that’s us. Looking forward to the first day- I’ll be the one in the yoga pants and tears.





“Let it go, let it go, can’t hold it back anymore…”

Back in May, our family sat around our dinner table and made a list of individual goals. We divided them up into reading goals, learning goals, activity goals, and just fun goals. Some examples were- reading 10,000 pages, learning to make pizza, learning about civil rights, learning to fish, learning to run, going to a water park, having two days a week with no technology, etc.

I’m happy to report that we met all our goals and we are entering the new school year as well rested, well-rounded people who are quite frankly, much smarter and cooler than the rest of you slackers.

Eh…something like that. Here’s the truth- only Josiah met his reading goal. He surpassed 10,000 pages actually, which is impressive until I tell you that we probably haven’t spoken to him in a few weeks. There’s been no fishing, no deck building, I have learned 0 new songs on the guitar, no water park, and my children have developed a deep abiding relationship with the television this summer, followed closely by becoming besties with the Xbox. I did not learn how to make artisan bread or homemade sushi, but I DID learn that if you offer no alternative, your children will eat peanut butter and jelly for more than one day in a row.

This week has been difficult, for many reasons, but one of the reasons is that I have been struggling with guilt over how our summer has progressed, and the lack of meaningful interactions between me and my kids. Actually, that’s just fancy blog talk for saying I feel like a failure. A big old not running, frozen waffle making, swimming counts as a bath failure. School starts in a week and my house isn’t more organized. I have no meal plans ready. There are no homework stations and at this point, I am not quite sure where Josiah’s toothbrush is.

It’s amazing to me that we do this- we look at summer vacation and forget that it’s only a vacation for the kids. My life and responsibilities haven’t stopped! In fact, they have at least doubled, because now I have three kids home. Home. All the time. All the days and hours. They are home. With me. All the days. They are home with me and that means I have 88% less time to do laundry, cook, clean, organize the house, take care of the dog, do ministry, write, spend time with friends, spend time with the Lord, and be a wife. Not sure if 88% is right, but who has time to do correct math when all the children are here?? So we have less time and less energy, yet we make goals for ourselves as though we have all the free time in the world. It’s crazy and unrealistic. And for me, it has set me up for grouchiness and crying and guilt.

And I’ve decided I’ve had enough. I can’t find any scripture about spanish lessons or running a marathon or reading Shakespeare or learning cursive. But I’ve read plenty about rest and loving others and laughter and being patient and kind. And I think my ancestors would roll their eyes at my fretting, so I am taking my cues from them. I want to encourage you with the following questions-

1. Has your child been eaten by a wooly mammoth or scarred by an attack while gathering water at the watering hole?

2. Has your child lost any fingers or limbs in a combine this summer?

3. Did you child contract Bubonic Plague while gathering wild mushrooms to feed the family?

If you answered “no” to each of these, then congratulations, your summer was a success!

And more questions-

1. Did your child eat this summer?

2. Did water come into contact with your child’s body this summer?

3. Is your child currently breathing?

If you answered “yes”, then you are a rock star summer parent.


The truth is, while many parents wrestle with wanting to have a perfect Pinterest summer, I struggled more with wanting some high level spiritual experience for my kids. I wanted us to be sweet and generous and loving and prayerful and creative and singing and Spinterest. Spiritual Pinterest. But I bet I don’t have to tell you that the world of Spinterest does contain an extraordinary amount of “spin”. Our family is just full of human sinners, and three months of constant togetherness has brought out that sin in some unique and loud ways. Some days were louder than others.

Sweet friends, take a deep breath. Channel your inner Elsa and let. it. go. Don’t let your Spinterest hopes distract you from what is right in front of you- a beautiful, restful, joy filled sink of dirty dishes. They’ll be there tomorrow. Maybe even the next day. And no one will die or abandon their faith because of it.

Your babies are watching to see how you feel about those dirty faces and dishes.




Email me at

Follow me on Twitter @brandyb77


“Father, break my heart for what breaks Yours, give me open hands and open doors, Put Your light in my eyes and let me see that my own little world is not about me…”

I grew up going to See you at the Pole rallies. Does anyone else remember these? It was a day when the kids who attended churches would meet at the flagpole before school and pray together for the other heathens that were probably sleeping off their hangovers.

At least that’s what I assumed.

The scripture that I remember defining this experience was 2 Chronicles 7:14- “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.”  I’d listen to the leader talk about how we need to take back our nation and rescue it from the influence of “the world”, how if we weren’t firm and didn’t stand up for Jesus, we were all just gonna go to hell in a hand basket. The leader didn’t actually say “hell in a hand basket”, but we all knew he was thinking it. I never really understood why a hand basket made the idea of hell more threatening. It’s a handbasket- the thing little Red Riding hood carried to bring a picnic lunch to her grandma. Was it lined with spikes? Filled with tracker jackers?  And really, are we shrinking down to tiny people, because hand baskets generally don’t fit typical size people. If they wanted to scare us, they should’ve said we would go to hell in a smart car.

But that’s not the point.

The point is, I don’t know if it was intentional, but the emphasis was always on the “turning from their wicked ways” part. I learned that we needed to help the world turn from their wicked ways and then God would step in and turn this proverbial car around and all would be right and clean and probably Republican. Even after my pole praying days were over, I heard this scripture used to encourage me to vote, to attend prayer rallies, to picket clinics, to even pray for certain weather. And when the world just got worse, sometimes I thought maybe the wicked ways of the world were just too strong and my prayers against it were just too weak.

I want to cover my ears and close my eyes against #Ferguson and the hatred that is bubbling up from long-held beliefs. I’m weary. Not just weary of hearing about another unarmed black teenager killed, but weary of the debate with people I love about if white privilege is a real thing. No one will debate if this is wickedness- surely death and pain and hatred is evil, and we want to be delivered from it. But we have to begin with the actual beginning- the humbling part. We aren’t asked to humble others, we are asked to humble ourselves.

Humble ourselves…and shut up.

Humble ourselves…and listen.

Humble ourselves…and decide that no matter what, we who are white do not understand what it is like to be black in this country.

Humble ourselves…and consider if perhaps the wicked ways belong to us.

Jesus is telling us to humble ourselves, admit that we might be wrong. I’m asking my brothers and sisters to just consider if everything you think you know about race relations might be wrong. Just consider it.

Jesus is telling us to pray. Not just for “them”, but for our own hearts. I love that He knows that our prayers are sweeter and more intimate when we are humble.

Jesus is telling us to seek His face. His face- the One that lovingly crafted every nuance of Michael Brown’s face AND the police officer. The face that I believe cries with me as I try not to see my precious Malachi in that crowd. The face that is recording every tear of a mother who has lost her baby.

Jesus is telling us to turn from OUR wicked ways. Mine. My wickedness- the side of me that still views other people as less important than me, the side of me that is unkind and selfish and lazy and quarrelsome and rude. The side of me that defends the underdog while cursing the oppressor.

Father, forgive me. Forgive me for my complacency and fear of man. Forgive me for avoiding conflict, when I should be standing up for those who could use a defender. Forgive me for my arrogance in thinking that I “get it”. I do not get it. I am so grateful that You do. Help me to shut up and listen. Help me to see the thoughts that I have that are not loving towards Your kids. Help me be a peacemaker. Remind me that healing an infection often requires painful surgery and help me be willing to be cut open. I couldn’t possibly bleed more than You did. 




Email me at

Follow me on Twitter @brandyb77 

“I got caught up by the chase and you got high on every little game, I wish you were the one that got away, Oh if I could go back in time when you only held me in my mind, just a longing gone without a trace…”

A few days ago, the band The Civil Wars announced that they were no longer Ross and Rachel on a break, they were officially totes for real this time over. They are never ever ever getting back to together. Like, ever.

I had several friends check on me that day, because this is/was my favorite band. If you haven’t heard them, spend some quality time with YouTube and check them out. And although the composing has been on the wall for a while, fans hoped for over a year that they would fix the problem, resolve their differences and keep making beautiful music together. So seeing that they are my favorite band, what I am about to say will sound crazy.

I’m glad they broke up.

The first time I heard them perform was online, and I watched this video-

My first thought was “what an adorable, in love couple”

Pretty soon I realized from comments that they were not married to each other, they were both married to other people. John-Paul also has four children, and Joy had her first child last year. It was an odd love for me, because you’d have to be crazy to say they aren’t musically outstanding…but I always feel a bit uncomfortable listening, like I was participating in something that I wasn’t quite sure was right. It almost felt voyeuristic, and I wondered sometimes if it felt that way to their spouses too. I wondered what it might be like to be John-Paul’s wife, at home with four children while my husband was touring the country, being adored by fans and spending so much time with a gorgeous talented woman in the same business.

I’m not stupid. I know sex sells, and all you have to do is read the YouTube comments for five minutes to understand that John-Paul and Joy’s chemistry onstage and off had contributed to this sense that they were a couple- acknowledged or not. Sexual tension, a sort of will they or won’t they, crept up to not only become an unfortunate byproduct of a woman and man singing together, it became almost part of marketing. Perhaps I am cynical, but I just can’t believe that wasn’t intentional. Watching the above video after finding out that they were married to other people made me feel like I was contributing to something seedy and wrong. Oversensitive? Maybe. But then the break-up happened.

When they announced that they were taking a break, Joy continued to speak publicly while John-Paul disappeared from social media. Of course everyone wanted the story, and the most information I have read came from Joy, where she told the Associated Press- “If you want to know what happened to the band, listen to the new album.” This made me angry, honestly. It made me angry because it is almost impossible to listen to the entire album and not walk away wondering if they had an affair that went sour.

Maybe they didn’t. Maybe it has nothing to do with their relationship. Maybe they just hate each other and can’t work together. Maybe they have legal obligations that keep them from really talking about what happened. Maybe they wanted to not talk about anything and keep the suspense to boost sales. But the point is, they have been polished and marketed as two people with amazing chemistry, both musically and personally, and everything about them screams that they are secretly in love.

And there are five innocent children who are in homes that did not choose this life. 

So I know it’s strange for me to say that I am glad they are no longer a band. I sincerely hope that if they ever choose to create music together again, they will completely reject this notion of blurring the lines to create drama and intrigue into their relationship. The sad thing is, they are almost musically perfect. They didn’t need that junk. I hope that if a second chance ever happens, they will let the music speak for itself, and leave the saliciousness to reality television.

Marriage and parenting are big deals. The choices we make in our marriages and with our children affect the future far longer than the music plays. And it is tempting for all of us, me included, to take a good thing and make it THE good thing. But if John-Paul walked away from this level of success to fully invest in his wife and children, he’s got nothing but respect from me.

I still pray for them both. They ARE my favorite band, after all.


Email me at

Follow me on Twitter @brandyb77

“Half time goes by suddenly you’re wise, Another blink of an eye, 67 is gone, The sun is getting high, we’re moving on…”

When I was really little, I had this next door neighbor. I don’t really remember her name, but I remember that she smelled like old tea bags, grass clippings, and butterscotch candies. She would send me to the local gas station to buy her cigarettes. I don’t know if that was actually allowed, or if the employee was just afraid to say no to her. I was definitely afraid of her. She had a grown son who was a firefighter, so she had the fire station radio turned on all the time, and she was also responsible for any addiction I might have had to Days Of Our Lives. My days in her home were spent hearing about four alarm fires and her quaky voice yelling about how Hope and Bo were the best couple EVER.

She was a grouch. And at the time, I didn’t understand…but I do now. Because today I am…37. What.the.what?

You can read about my feelings over my 35th and 36th birthdays, but now at 37, I realize that it is the honey badger of birthdays. Of course there are advantages to youth- energy, passion, lack of urge to yell at kids on your lawn, but I also realize that there are great things about aging too. One of the most significant for me is- I just don’t care.

I mean it. I do not care. The ain’t nobody got time for that lady and I are besties. You probably think a 37-year-old lady shouldn’t even be using the word “besties” but that’s the thing- I don’t care!  As you age, you just stop caring about the things you held so dear in your twenties. At 25, I was consumed with finding the right haircut that screamed “professional therapist that you can trust” balanced with “girl who could probably be in a rap video if she wasn’t so professional”.  Now it’s more the combo of “will I look like the love child of a poodle and Simba if this dries naturally” and “will this fall perfectly to hide the precious new wrinkle that has taken up residence on my forehead”. So, here you go- 37 things that I no longer care that you know about.


1. Making lists to be productive. It’ll get done when it gets done, OKAY? Get off my back.

2. I like “teen” shows. I’ve seen all the episodes of Dawson’s Creek, One Tree Hill, Gilmore Girls, and many others. They are interesting and funny and as much as you’d like to deny it, you and I both know you are Team Pacey all the way.

3. While we are on the subject of television, I know this might get me kicked out Texas, but I don’t like Friday Night Lights. I have TRIED. I just can’t. Closed Eyes, Bored Heart, Must Snooze.

4. Lord of the Rings. Poor man’s Harry Potter. Yeah, I said it. Yeah I know one of them was written before the other, but again- I don’t care. LOTR doesn’t have Dobby or Hermione and that is enough for me. I’ll go see the Hobbit movies in the theater, but I’ll dress up like Dumbledore. COME AT ME, NERDS.

5. Grammar and spelling nazis. Y’all just move along. Git ova urself. Seriously, kick back and watch a little One Tree Hill. It’ll make you forget the compulsion to obnoxiously correct strangers on the internet.

6. I don’t like about 95% of christian music. Yep. I have a few favorites that I love, both in the past and current, but most of it…sorry, I just fell asleep thinking about it.

7. Camping. Nope. I don’t hate it, but if you give me a choice between peeing on the ground with the risk of a scorpion taking offense, and peeing in a hotel room, I choose Hilton.

8. Being nice to those survey takers at the mall. Over it. Quite frankly, seeing a guy walking around with a severed head is less disturbing than a guy with a clipboard. Next time, I am just going to pretend I am a high-powered defense attorney and shout “NO COMMENT!” as I cruise through the mall.

9. Speaking of being nice, I no longer care about measuring up to some sort of pastor wife mold. I spent many years trying to be soft-spoken while secretly supporting Kevin Bacon’s right to dance, but the truth is- that isn’t how He made me. I want to be slow to speak and gentle, but not despair when I’d rather wear chucks than demure heels.

10. I don’t really like lobster or wine. It’s like eating a ball of rubber bands washed down with the bitter tears of disappointed grapes. I’m not fancy. I don’t know what to do with my hands in a fancy restaurant. Can I touch the bread- is that allowed? Is the bread just for show? Am I supposed to spit the wine out like that one guy does? I kind of want to spit the wine out. Can I just get a cherry coke? That’s fancy! Why is the waiter being so nice to me- WHAT IS YOUR ANGLE, GOOD SIR?!

11.  This list isn’t going to be 37 things long. Are you kidding me? My bestie says aint nobody got time for that, and she’s right. It probably bothers some of you organized people that I am stopping at eleven. I’m sorry. No I’m not.


Go buy my cigarettes, kid.


This is me. Caring about bowl cuts and glasses that take over my face.

This is me. Caring about bowl cuts and glasses that take over my face.


This is me. Not caring bout NOTHIN'

This is me. Not caring bout NOTHIN’


Email me at

Follow me on Twitter @brandyb77







“No time for dreams or goals, pressure is so strong, her body she has sold so her child can eat, What is happening to this world we live in, in our home and other lands…”

Google “Mommy wars”, go ahead. I’ll wait. See you in about 57 days.

Writing about the so-called mommy war is almost a requirement for mommy bloggers. The angles are endless- are mommy wars real, are they important, where do they happen, what weapons are used, is it really wrong to throw your Starbucks at another mom (yes. unless you let it cool first), etc etc. You’ve probably experienced it- the judgmental stare of a mother as you soothe your precious cherub with a bag of processed dye laden cheez nodules after they tripped over the laces of their made in china sneakers. Or maybe you’re the mom with the organic homemade fruit leather who is being unfairly evaluated as you do naked yoga in the park with your child, little Artisan Flannel.

I’ve read quite a few blogs in the last few weeks, many of them shared on twitter and Facebook by friends, so it’s clear to me that the subject of this war hits home for a lot of moms. I say moms, because I honestly don’t think dads get into this stuff like moms do. But by all means, dads, if you are getting judged unfairly because of your naked yoga skills, chime in! Just words please. No pictures.

The sentence I see repeated over and over again in all these blogs is “We’ve all been there.” As a writer, I know that sentence can be very healing, and create a sense of comfort and solidarity with your reader. Get a group of moms together, and at some point the subject of parenting choices and the judgment that can follow will probably come up. Breast or formula, co-sleeping or sleep training, cloth or disposable, cry it out or soothe, vaccine or no vaccine, homemade or jarred baby food, stay at home or work outside of the home, public or home school, santa or no santa. It doesn’t end when the kids get older. Help with homework or let them do it alone, modest clothing or fashionable clothing, PG13 movies or G, sleepovers or no sleepovers, competitive sports or just for fun sports, dating or courtship or chastity belt, driving or no driving, paying for college or getting a job and on and on and on and on.  Sometimes I wonder if parents breathe a sigh of relief when their kids go to college, just for the sheer fact that they probably won’t ever meet anyone else’s parents and compare if little Artisan is smoking pot or binge drinking.

We all hear the encouragement- “Don’t worry about others! Just concentrate on you! Think about you and your family, and that’s all that matters! Be confident in yourself!”

I want to flip it. Worry about others. Don’t concentrate on you. Think about other families. You aren’t all that matters.

See, the thing is- we have the luxury of caring. The fact that we have to choose between Goldfish and Cheddar Bunnies means that we have a choice. It means that we can afford to buy snacks. It means we have a way to get to a store. It means we can pay for them. It means we can read.

It means we have food in our country.

There is a mama out there tonight in a country where they don’t look out for summer storms to ruin picnics, they look out for bombs to blow up their homes. It is not even on her radar to think about what kind of snacks other moms are making. She can’t imagine caring if the mom down the road uses cloth or disposable diapers…because there is only one option.  Her eyes will close tonight and she will pray that the morning will come.

There is a mama today that will stand in line to be humiliated at an office for food stamps. She will have escaped from domestic violence and instead of calling her brave, we will call her a leech. She doesn’t have time to mentally critique the other mom in line for letting her 3-year-old wear a Katy Perry shirt, because she knows that shirt probably came from a charity clothes closet.

There is a mama today who will incorrectly strap her baby into a car seat to drive to a park, because she read that babies need stimulation. She will feel the weight of stares because she didn’t put sunscreen on the baby! and while she knows it might be easier to claim to be the baby’s older sister, she proudly carries him like a mother. It took her weeks to work up the courage to walk away from the clinic where they promised her that it would be over soon and she would never think of it again. She knows that she has no idea what she is doing. She knows that you know that too. She is hoping that someday, some woman might be kind enough to help her learn the ropes.

There is a mama tonight that will die. She is one of the lucky ones who hasn’t caught the disease of her country, but even in health, there is hunger. She dies because she chooses to give her food to her child.  She will sacrifice herself and pray with her last breath that the food will be provided. And it won’t be. Her child will die days later too.

THESE are the mommy wars we should be fighting. Do we pretend our wars are real because it makes us feel better to think we are fighting for something?

Someone will accuse me of using the “eat your vegetables, because there are starving children in China” argument. That’s ok. It’s mostly true, but more like “there are starving children in your city, so please stop stressing if your neighbor’s vegetables are organic” Let’s take our energy and passion and fight real wars. I’ll bring the snacks.



Email me at

Follow me on Twitter @brandyb77


“Oh be careful little eyes what you see…”

Sweet sister, let’s talk.

Usually, I wouldn’t say that a post is for a certain group of people, but for this one- I am talking to my married girlfriends who call themselves followers of Christ. If you don’t believe or aren’t sure about this Jesus, feel free to read too, but just know that my thoughts right now are for my girls who know the One who loves them, especially those who have grown up in church, and may have labeled themselves or by others as a “good girl”.

I went to Target today, as required in the stay at home mom contract. The kids wanted to look at video games, so we wandered over to that area. My eye caught the subtle product placement of the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy on the end cap. My daughter, of course narrowing her focus on the ONE item I didn’t want to talk about, asked me “is that book about policemen?”

Because handcuffs. Thanks, Target.

With the trailer for the movie debuting this week, social media exploded with any and every opinion you can imagine about these books. There are so many blog posts being written about this, and honestly, I didn’t want to add to the noise. What could I say that hasn’t already been said? One very popular male blogger spoke about how, as a christian woman, I am “too good” for this movie.

I am not too good for this movie. I watched Sharknado.

Let’s be honest, in matters such as these, we don’t choose to not read a book or watch a movie out of philosophical convictions. We don’t eschew topics because we don’t want to set back the cause of women. As Christ followers, we choose what goes into our brains and hearts based on if it will bring us closer or farther away from our Father.

But I don’t really want to talk about that. Let’s be real, while there may be 50 shades of it, this book is not a grey area. And like I said, there are many blogs that have already told you why you shouldn’t partake.

Who I want to talk to is that sister out there who bought the books secretly. The one who has been trying to decide how to see the movie without anyone finding out. The one who has been thinking maybe, maybe it’s not a big deal and maybe it’s a good thing. I mean, it can make a person more receptive to physical intimacy, and that’s a good thing, right? It’s not like it’s a porn video or anything. There’s an actual story, and it’s a story of love and redemption…eventually.

There’s no shaming in my tone, sister. Shaming you might make you put the book down and save your money, but it won’t change your heart. I’m not here to convince you that 50 shades will hurt you. I suspect you already know that. What I want to talk about is examining why this story is appealing.

If you are reading this and thinking it’s nonsense and crazy that a christian woman would be drawn to this story and have to fight the temptation to indulge in it, then count yourself blessed that this isn’t a struggle for you. I’d also gently suggest you examine your heart and ask others if you are a safe person to talk to about these struggles. Men in the church have long be able to express their struggle with lust, there’s practically entire conferences just on that subject alone, but it is a very brave woman who can admit her own struggle. Don’t be fooled- it’s just as intense, just as pervasive, and maybe even more damaging, because it is so often what I call Voldemort sins. It is the Struggle-We-Shall-Not-Name.

There are tons of theories on why porn appeals to men. I personally don’t want to speculate on that, because I tend to get annoyed when men tell women why they do something, so I won’t do the same. Nor do I want to speak for *all* women. But in thinking through this story, here is what I’d ask you if we were on my couch, drinking coffee…

Do you feel protected?  I don’t mean in the “my husband will take care of me if someone breaks in” kind of protected. I mean can you trust your husband to follow through on whatever you both have decided are his responsibilities? Can you trust his financial choices? Are you confident that he speaks well of you with his friends? Does he advocate for you with his family of origin? Does he structure his time and energy so that you come before anyone else, including any children? Do you feel important?

Do you feel known? Does your husband know your favorite restaurant, flower, candy, book? Your favorite way to relax? Can he imagine what would be your dream vacation? Does he know which public situations make you anxious and which ones energize you? Could he tell you what your worst insecurity is and how you typically deal with it? Do you feel important?

Are you sexually satisfied? Do you avoid sex? Is sex painful or uncomfortable? Are you bored? Do you and your husband talk about your sexual relationship and how to improve it? Is your husband completely aware of your needs and desires? Do you feel important?

Look at your answers. Now, it is not a surprise to me that a story about a hot, powerful, wealthy man who falls in love with a average woman and fulfills her needs emotionally, mentally, and physically is compelling. Ana is important to Christian, so important, that he changes everything he’s ever been about and done, and transforms into a man who retains all his good qualities and gets rid of his bad ones. 

You aren’t stupid. You know this isn’t realistic. You know it’s not healthy. But I wonder sometimes if we run to what is fake unhealthy to avoid dealing with what is real unhealthy. And somewhere along the way, maybe we start to believe that this is all there is. And once you believe that, trying to escape that is almost a certainty.

Maybe that isn’t your story. Remember, I don’t want to speak for you. But if it is, let me encourage you that you are protected, known, and loved. You are important. You were worth dying for.

Talk to someone. Don’t run from the problems in marriage and in life. There is abundant joy in a marriage that is full of intimacy, real intimacy. Ask for help and be brave. Don’t settle for an imitation.



Email me at

Follow me on Twitter @brandyb77

%d bloggers like this: