how much is enough?

I almost didn't write this post...mostly because I know that I will get flack for it...for being old fashioned and too conservative.  But you know what...I feel like I am supposed to...and I tried to ignore that feeling...believe me...I ignored for as long as I could muster and then finally...just seconds ago I had to turn off my sewing machine and pull over the lap top.  I feel the need to share.

I'm a big chunk into the Beth Moore book that is on my reading list...So Long Insecurity.  And I am really loving it...way more than I thought I would...and it is kicking my butt.  As I assumed that it would.  But has been invigorating and wonderful...and clicking with SO MANY THINGS that have been on my heart and mind right's almost like I was supposed to be reading it right now? (wink, wink).
So really...this all started with Lebron James.  You have him to thank for this...well maybe not him, but the media reaction to him and ridiculousness that followed his choice of where to take his career path.  

If you know anything about me you know that sports could stop this very moment and it would take me a while to least until my husband got home from work.  He is on the complete opposite side of the spectrum LOVES sports...the stats and numbers...the history and all that jazz. 

But anyway...I am shocked that I still have eyeballs in my head...what with all the eye rolling that occurred as the media poured over Lebron's "betrayal".  I don't even want to go completely in depth with it...but it was CRAZY.  People were crying...and burning his jersey's and calling him a coward...people were threatening his friends and was CRAZY.  All because A MAN choose a path that he thought would be the most successful for his career.  I mean has no one else from Cleveland ever moved to a different city to better his career?  ...OH but Lebron is a CELEBRITY...I get it...that makes him better and more least that is what the media tells us.  
Forget the fact that time and time again, celebrities let us down.  We let our little boys and girls look up to them as false "hero's"...only ending up having to explain why their hero decided to carry a gun...or use drugs...or beat a girlfriend...or deny being a parent. 

But the media and society tell us repeatedly that they are better...more special...more like who we should be.  And I feel that a society that lets celebrity dictate their feelings is one in desperate need of a Savior.  THE real one.  One that will never let us down.   

And what does media do to women? 

Oh geez...I can't even begin to explain all the frustration I have with it thing is is partly because of this area that I am thankful to have two boys...not that that gets me off the hook in this area...more on that in a minute.  But we, as women, are CONSTANTLY bombarded with images that we end up comparing ourselves to.  The media tells us that we must be thin (this means size 2 or less)...and have such and such kind of hair...and such of such kind of clothes...and that ever leaving the house without make-up is a no-no.  Basically...if you aren't prepared to be photographed and have your near naked photo hanging in the Victoria's secret window...then something is wrong with you.  Just the thought makes me want to inhale a bag of peanut butter m&m's.  

PUH-LEASE.  I am so sick of the everyday woman not being praised and celebrated.  
Celebrity is not real life.  And, even though I cringe as I write this for the flack I will surely receive, if you can't leave the house in jeans and a tank top and NO make-up and STILL feel beautiful...there is a disconnect somewhere.  God didn't design us to need anything BUT Him to feel good.     

I am NOT saying that make-up and dressing up is bad...not at all.  I am just saying you should also feel 100% without all that society says we need...and believe me, I am convinced that society indeed tells us we need all that extra to be beautiful and live up to some imaginary standard.   It's a lie my friends.  A lie.  You indeed are beautiful, as you are. As God see's you.  

But we tend to not believe that either right? Not even when those we love most tell us that we are beautiful when we feel least pretty. 

I know that I am guilty of this.  Sometimes I can't believe that my husband can look at me...having carried two babies and nursed them for 18m total...being a little weathered and weary...and still believe that I am beautiful...usually I tell him that we need to get his eye glass prescription checked. 

But the reality is that I need to go back to our family rule that says "If someone pays you a compliment, you say thank you" don't dismiss it.  

And what does the media do to our wonderful men?  Oh, nothing but barrage them with stick thin models at every turn.  Our society makes it SO hard on men to turn away from pornography...because with every day that passes...more and more is deemed socially acceptable.  

What do you think would have happened to those Victoria Secret photos and ads back when TV began in the 50's?  

How about NOT. Would never have happened...nearly naked women on a poster?  They would never had heard of it because back then it was deemed indecent.  And you know still IS.

I hate when I have to walk by one of those stores with my two precious boys and my ever faithful and loving husband.  How is it we live in a society that makes that OK?  You know how...because we live in a society that is constantly pushing the envelope on what is "OK".  The media convinces us that men looking at pornography is no big deal...and even at times I have heard it deemed a "completely natural and normal need and action" for men to do so.  Therefore we, as women, should just accept this proverbial third woman into our marriage...because after all..they can't help it right?

That doesn't fly in my marriage...and my husband 100% agrees.  
Pornography sets men up to fail and women to not feel like they are good enough.

Oh...but don't you DARE think of nursing your baby in public...that is just indecent
(read sarcastically in reaction to a societal double standard).

Our minds, men and women, are a temple for the Lord.  We are to fill our minds and thoughts with all that is good and right and uplifting.  To focus on Him and anything that takes away from that clear and beautiful focus is hogwash...and needs to be deeply examined.    
I am talking to myself here too.  This is true for ALL areas of life.  ANYTHING not lined up with Christ is detrimental.  Period. 

So I guess my ultimate question for us all much control in how we think, feel, share, give is enough to give to society/media?

I for one, refuse to stand by and let society and media dictate my life.  Unless you count the Bible as a media source...then I will confess to leaning heavily on that one.  

I want to live in a society where the everyday is celebrated.  Isn't that how it should be?

In my the end of every day, good or bad...the second my husband and I walk out of the doors of our boys rooms, who we just tucked into bed...and usually high five for another successful (or at times having survived another)day of parenting.  A celebration of the everyday.

Don't we praise our kids for the little everyday accomplishments? 
Using the potty...sharing a toy...being kind.

Shouldn't we decide to do the same for each other and not let the media tell us what to celebrate?
Maybe not using the potty...but how about finishing the laundry...or cleaning out the attic...or making dinner for a friend...or throwing surprise birthday party...letting someone with cranky kids go ahead of you in line...
I don't know about you...but those things rank higher in my day than 99% of what is in the media. 
I mean, finishing the laundry?  Come on...that is AWESOME.
How about you?

Ok...I'm done with my rant.  As usual I would LOVE to hear your feedback...your kind feedback that is.  Negative, cowardly anonymous comments will not be read or published.

Back to your regularly scheduled program. :)


Jessi said...

You ROCK. Could not have said it better myself and honestly believe that I could have written this!

Porn is a HUGE no to me. I have friends who think it's okay to let their husband watch it and I am completely baffled.!!!!!! How is it okay that your husband is watching naked women thinking about THEM sexually when he's supposed to love you and only think of you that way? Porn makes me sick to my stomach!!!

Alisa said...

I couldn't have said it any better! especially the whole Victoria secret thing.

Mollie said...

go girl. amen!

Jennifer said...

Great post. I agree, with all of it!!

Vintage Dutch Girl said...

AMEN Sista! Agree on all points. ALL.

And maybe I need to start picturing a mini-celebration every time I finish putting (clean AND folded) laundry away! Yup, will do that. I'll have to brush the confetti off my shoulders and shake it out of my hair :)

Cyndi Browning said...

HUGE High-Five to YOU! THANK YOU for being so open and honest about your feelings. I could tell that was from your GUT! I follow your blog and read your posts most every day but don't "comment" much (meaning, you don't know me, hehe) but it is so awesome to really see conviction in people on a first-hand basis....

And this is a prime example of what "living for the Lord" is all about - getting out there and not being afraid of what anyone will say - knowing your feelings are totally against the "norm" of what society thinks. But you are 100% right.


Anonymous said...

I completely share your sentiments, Biblical stance, and heart. We've even read some of the same books! It's hard to live in this world that is not our own. As a pastor's wife, I find it even harder, dealing not only with what the world bombards me with everyday, but dealing with it all in the public eye.

I've been following your blog for a couple months and just by reading what you post and not knowing you at all I can see that you are growing, shedding your restrictive skin of doubt, and taking on a stronger stance in the LORD. I look forward to continue reading your blog and seeing the fun things you make.

Thanks for the opportunity to respond and share.

Heather @ Life Made Lovely said...

you took the words right out of my mouth!! i used to enjoy looking at people and us magazines and then i realized that i was feeling bad and disconnected from reality. so i gave it up. don't read, don't care. (btw- it makes watching movies a whole lot more fun when you don't know so much about the actors personal life and can see them as the character they are playing) i started surrounding myself with Christian woman's blogs that are full of real life that i can relate to and now i feel like the world is much better place.

i love that you wrote about this and they way you wrote it. the tone of this whole post is great.

hugs to you!

Ry and Ally said...

Good for you! I agree with everything you said, especially on the bit about pornography. It is a poison!! Degrading our minds, destroying individuals as well as tearing apart families. And the worst part. IT IS EVERYWHERE YOU TURN!! Don't get me wrong there is so much good in this world, but there is also a lot of filth, and the media plays a large role in that. Thanks for posting. Its good to know that others out there have the same morals and values as I do.

Courtney said...

Finishing laundry as we speak. :) I think this post was right on and couldn't agree more. So glad to find other women/moms with similar points of view.

Annie said...

Amen sister - people wonder why divorce is so high in our country - the expectations and morality are just not there anymore for too many!

Hannah Nicole said...

I agree with really, REALLY rock! This was such a God-send for me to read right now, and so true. Thanks for writing, sweet lady! :-)

Rosalynn said...

AMEN!!! I completely and totally agree!

Keeping Up With Kaegan said...

Well you have done it again.....another wonderful, inspirational post. Great job.

Beth said...

only one word for what you've written...amen!

Margaret said...

I am reading her book right now and feel it was wrote just for me.

I completely agree. I have a boy and 2 girls so I have to deal with this from both angles as a mom as well as being a woman and wife. Porn is a big no in our house. I think it is sad that nearly naked women are acceptable on ads. Tv is just as bad. It is hard to find shows that aren't filled with nudity and sex scenes.

Great post.

By the way I go out in jeans and no make up all the time :)

Leah said...

Pass the peanut butter M&Ms!!!!

...and guard your heart. Because we live in the last days and it is only going to get worse. We are salt and light - we can slow the decay but not stop it. The challenge is to make sure your love does not grow cold.

Great post Crystal!!

Tracy said...

Wow! I just found your blog today and it was certainly from the Lord! This is just the encouragement that I needed today and am so thankful for people like you that aren't afraid to stand up and speak out. Blessings to you and your family!

Anonymous said...

Oh man, funny, my husband and I are contemplating getting rid of cable and minimizing TV even more than we already do. Is this post God's way of trying to tell me I need to just do it?! While I don't have a blog, I read quite a few and so many have really validated so many of my beliefs in parenting and living simply, taking joy in the smallest of things. From Nienie to Clover Lane to Meg at Whatever to you. Thanks for that.

Anonymous said...

Okay, just signed but am doing it again. I am torn about computer, TV with my children as I am preparing to teach a college course for teachers on the visual literacy and the importance of it in education. I do want to add that for our family movie night we rented "Facing the Giants." Heard of it? It is christian and carries with it an amazing message. The kids loved it and I was in tears through all of it. While it was a little low budget and the acting wasn't superb, it was perfect in so many ways!

Trish said...

Thank you! Someone needed to say it!

Heatherly said...

Well said!! Amen!!! What else can I say :)

feather said...

well, all i can say is bravo to you. it takes guts and courage to really vent away at the ridiculousness of much of our society and media. you hit the nail on the head, as usual, and made me think more about what goes into my kids minds and thoughts.
brave, brave girl. good job.

janimal said...

I have a little different viewpoint.

First, about Lebron. The whole thing is a ridiculous circus. But it wasn't about a man just choosing a successful path for his career, it was a process of betrayal for those who were loyal. The community of Cleveland embraced Lebron, and it wasn't his celebrity that made people admire him - it's that he is truly an amazing skilled player. I think it's ok to admire that. Admiring an athlete or other public figure doesn't mean they are viewed as a savior. The people of Cleveland are passionate about a man who they perceive to have let them down, and did so in a dishonorable way. While some of their expression (threats!) are not ok, I empathize with those who shed tears. They are passionate about sports. To those fans losing Lebron in such a demoralizing manner is something to grieve. They cared and they have lost, and it's ok for them to feel that.

As for the media and women, I agree in many ways that the ideals set forth are unhealthy. But I am chagrined at the blame placed on the media for the body issues of our young women. I don't feel bombarded by messages I should be a size two by the media. Where I do hear it is from other real life women. Our real life messages are the ones with power. How many moms have complained about their weight in front of their daughters? That's where the influence is strongest, in my opinion. Let's stop blaming the media and focus on ourselves and our messages to each other.

And...moving on....I am not able to wax nostalgic about the conservative days of the 50s. The role of women in the 50s was generally a "good" wife following her husband's orders and having dinner on the table when he got home, wearing her pearls as she vacuumed. I believe that homemaking is a revered profession but that women are also capable of other roles. I for one am grateful to live in a time where I can enjoy a successful career and that my daughter will be empowered with so many options for her life. Whether she is a SAHM or a doctor, a teacher or an astronaut, that she has those as real options is amazing to me. It was harder for women in the 50s. A controversial topic. You said that "society makes it SO hard for men to turn away from pornography". What? Society doesn't take away a man's responsibility to do what is right for his family. If for a man's family, porn isn't ok, he doesn't get to blame society for making it hard on him. And porn is not new, it might not have been on TV in the 50s but it was still available!

Different women have different feelings about porn in their lives. If you are hearing that porn is no big deal from some places, that's because to some people, porn actually is no big deal! To others looking at porn is tantamount for infidelity. I believe we all have to decide what is right in our own hearts and try not to judge the ideals of others. What is important is agreed ideals in a marriage, like you said you and your husband 100% agree. THAT is what is important.

I appreciate your passion and your faith. In my opinion you are giving the media too much credit for their influence. I believe that the strongest influence over our youth are the people they are in contact with, day to day. Parents. Relatives. Friends. If those messages are right, they can overcome whatever the media puts out there.

Shelly said...

I'm totally in your corner, girl! Well said!

That post is a large part of why we decided to "bring our kids home", so to speak, and educate them here, where the little things you spoke of aren't so little!

Where we can keep our focus on the fact that we are raising someone else's spouses, and godly men and women.
Where WE are the ones discipling our children's hearts and minds, NOT the media.

Thanks for posting this; hope it gives lots of folks lots to think about.

becca jordan said...

love. that is my response to this post. i love everything about it. sometimes we need to be told that we are not alone where we stand. and can i tell you?

you aren't.

us women need to FIGHT the lies instead of letting them have victory. we need to be fighting for ourselves and each other. we need to speak truth over lies. call them for what they are and CHOOSE to believe in the Lord who loves us. who does see us as beautiful. who doesn't see the 5 pounds we think we need to lose. or the 328270 changes to our personality we think we need to make.

he sees what he created. and he said it was good. good enough to never need something better. we are good. and we are enough.

Tanna said...

You can't control how you feel, only how you act. I agree with you and we all need to look into our lives for the little things to celebrate.

Anonymous said...

I 100% agree with everything you have said and I'm happy you said it:]

and btw I love beth moore.

sassypackrat said...

I will not give you any flack because I completely agree with you. Although I never give anyone flack anyway for their opinions as everyone has a right to their own.

Nicole said...

I love this post. I am so glad you posted it. I have been watching the whole Lebron thing as well and have had to pick my jaw up off the floor. I think the way society tries to deem so many things as "OK" now is completely ludicrous. You are definitely not alone girl.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm so GLAD you asked!

I agree 100% with your post. it is spot on in the way I think and believe. What I have been struggling with a lot lately is that the media pays way more attention to celebrities and what they are/are not doing, etc. I think the media has become extremely judgemental of people in general. I had to stop watching NBC because they are all about the latest celebrity gossip. If you really watch their body language, in particular their facial expressions, and listen to the words they choose, you can clearly see and hear their personal judgement of the situation. I now watch ABC. It is a little more toned down in that the newest gossip is the 5th or 6th topic of the hour, not the first. I could go on and on....the Lebron James incident, spot on. I thought to myself "why can a man not make a change and feel supported for it". If we want society to rear up "good" men, then we need to do just that. We should not be ridiculing and chastising them. How are they to feel strong and secure in themselves? That kind of negative pressure and stress leads these men to make un-wise decisions (such as drug abuse infidelity) and then the media/society berates and punishes them for's a vicious cycle. Wouldn't it be nice to see a media outlet supporting his right to move on and wish him well in his endeavors and then move on to a real news story instead of basically putting him thru a public lashing or stoning?

If we want to change it, we have to stop supporting these outlets. Last week during a dinner party the subject of pornography came up. When I was asked for my view on it, I was blunt. I don't support and I don't like it. I said a man that needs porn is not a good man to me. A man in love with his wife has no need for such things and would not partake. I'm not saying a man isn't going to see a beautiful woman and comment on her. A comment is just that, but when it envokes a lustful thought, then the vow to me is betrayed. No one agreed with me, even the wives. I thought it was really sad that the wives were ok with their men fantisizing or looking at porn. I am not aware of ONE successful marriage that allows this practice. Of the marriages in my circle (including my own) that have failed, they have all fallen due to lust. Think about it? It is usually the number one thing. Enough said.

Crystal, thanks for putting it out there. I couldn't agree more. Plus, I've taken up way too much space here...

Krulls in Haiti said...

Oh gosh... I agree more than 100%. It makes me want to cry when even some of my Christian friends have been lead so astray on the subject of pornography (as in "if we participate in watching it together, then its okay") It makes me mourn for the loss in the world of beauty and sex within the loving security of marriage. Yikes. I agree, and sometimes the "right" thing is the least popular or most "controversial" opinion, but it's still right.

Unknown said...

I agree wholeheartedly with you! I try very hard to raise my kids to love each other and themselves for who they are. Unembellished. Without the fancy, name brand shoes or clothes. The way Jesus made us. That kindness and decency far outrank the popular kids, the models in the ads or stores they see. And that those appearances are no guarantee for happiness or being on the Right path in our lives. Thank you for this post!

Brianne said...

I'm back and forth on the fence with this post... I do agree the whole Lebron debacle needs to end. Yes, fans are grieving and that’s ok, threats are not. I also believe a lot of the angry fans are the ones that are upset because this trade, along with the other 2 trades to Miami, has been in the works for a few years. They are not going about building the team in an ethical way. Then again, our society is all about money and greed. The fans really shouldn’t be all that surprised.

As for the media and women, YES, it plays way too much into our daily lives and on self esteem. Seeing models 2 weeks after having their babies, back to their stick thin frame is a little hard. But that’s when I step back and remind myself those women are airbrushed and most likely had a tummy tuck. Plus they’re probably wearing spanex, anyways. ;) We as women need to embrace our bodies and stop putting ourselves down. We are our worst critic!

Then there is pornography. I truly feel, like all opinions, to each their own. My husband AND I enjoy porn. Does this make us bad people? No. Does this make our marriage a shame? Nope. Does this mean we don’t love each other with all of our heart and soul? NO NO and NO. You and your husband do not agree with porn, and that's what works for you and your marriage. I totally support that! An anonymous commenter wrote: “I thought it was really sad that the wives were ok with their men fantisizing or looking at porn. I am not aware of ONE successful marriage that allows this practice.” I would like to let that person know there are many marriages that are successful with porn in them, I am one of them.

Tara@JustDevineStyle said...

I am glad you were able to express your feelings so well. I agree with what you say and feel. I am currently reading Beth Moore's book too. I really feel she has a gift and I hope to help my daughter with me being more secure.
We don't have tv and I feel it helps a lot in keeping my children safe from things they need not see. Unfortunately media junk is everywhere and that is where what they learn at home comes in.

Great Post!

Anonymous said...

Wow...that post was right on. As a wife who is currently learning of the effects of sexual sin/porn in my husband's life...and how it is affecting me and our marriage...I stand up and give you a big cheer. Men don't have to even try to look for's looking for them...from a VERY early all sorts of media..not just tv. For anyone out there who is trudging through a valley of sexual issues in their marriages...I would really recommend a book by Meg Wilson called: Hope after Betrayal. It has really helped me..and I hope it could help you! Thank you for blogging truth...I am encouraged by it!

Tasha said...

Oh, and I love your mini celebration thing. I am going to start doing that. You make me happy. Truly.

Tasha said...

Thank you. Thank you for every last word. I couldn't agree more. I want to print this out and save it for sometime. I know I will need it for some lesson at church or something. You are truly an inspiration. I love that you ranted about this. Love it. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Danielle said...

Amen, girl!!! I agree whole-heartedly with you and am so happy that you had the guts to write this! :) Thank you so much for standing up for what you believe!!!

Kori said...

Amen! I love the part about the breastfeeding! I'd never thought about like that before!

Oh Mandie said...

I'm one of those blog lurkers of yours, that comes here pretty much daily but doesn't comment all that often, but I feel so compeled to leave a small note of thanks to you this time.

I am a plus sized woman. My hips are wide because I gave birth to two amazing little miracles, and even though I'm not a size 2 I'm ok with that and I'm happy and my faith and husbnd and children make me feel beautiful.

What you wrote is so true and is a huge epidemic in a sex charged world, a world that desperatly needs to have God at it's core and not all of the garbage out there in the media today.

You're so brave to have put your feelings out there like this!! You most definatly rock sista ;)

Mary Elizabeth said...

You nailed and rocked it again Crystal! Here again is another reason why I love you!!! You inspire me all the way around - be a better mom, crafty and to think long and hard about things! Thanks again!!! :)

Mary Elizabeth said...

You nailed and rocked it again Crystal! Here again is another reason why I love you!!! You inspire me all the way around - be a better mom, crafty and to think long and hard about things! Thanks again!!! :)

Molly said...

L.O.V.E ~ T.H.I.S!!! We don't have cable just for that reason! Have not missed it in 2 years! We talk at night, read, listen to KLove, read th Bible, just live our FABULOUS life without all that crazy, stupid hype on people that are so alone that they need drugs, sex and cosmetic changes to make them feel good! I have often thought that there needs to be a pastor or missionary out there in celebrityville to witness to them so they can know Jesus too! I love this post Cyrstal but most of all I love that we will get to know each other in heaven one day, isn't that fabulous!!! Maybe we can do crafts together, ha ha! I know God just laughed at that comment :)
Hope you and your family are having a happy week!!
~Molly P
P.S if you lived near to me you could come to VBS at my church this week, funny thing is I am over the crafts room, ha haha ha!!

Stephanie @ said...

I just wanted to say that I agree with everything you said 100%! Good for you for speaking your mind!

Christie said...

I like the word "Bull Honkey" I say it all the time and have never heard/ read any other person say it ever. It made me smile.

And for the record I enjoyed reading your post. Mostly agree with it although it really doesn't matter. What matters is that you believe it, needed to say it, and did.

Those who are here are here by choice. If they don't like it they don't have to read it. :)


Mainly a midwife said...

I'm reading that Beth Moore book too (love her!!). I agree with your entire post. Have birthed 4 children..youngest is 4 and I'm definitely having a hard time "bouncing" back. It's a lot of work. I don't read any of those magazines because I don't need any more added pressure. And porn..don't get me started. Mark Driscoll from Mars Hill Church has a great pamphlet called Porn Again Christian that is free on their site. It's geared toward men. It's very good.

Karen said...

ABSOLUTELY!!!! I could not agree more. Life is already too complicated and challenging to live up to 'unreal' standards (or be expected to). Pornography is a disgrace and I find it appalling that it is found acceptable. I wish we could go out for coffee sometime!!! If you visit Alaska just let me know :)

Ky said...

Oh my goodness!!! You nailed it! Now all we need to do is make the rest of society see how rotten it's become.

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