For the next few Wednesdays in Lent, I’ll be talking about Jennifer Dukes Lee’s book “Love Idol,” which releases on April 1, 2014.
If you already know Jennifer Dukes Lee, you’ll know that she’s inviting you to participate in a slightly different Lenten observance this season. Instead of asking you to give up something like dark chocolate, she’s requesting that her readers give up a “HEART indulgence,” a place where we look for approval anywhere other than God.
I read Jennifer’s post announcing this whole Love Idol Movement thing right before I went to yoga. For the next hour, I focused on my practice, but as the time wound down, I found myself thinking about the argument I’d had in the car with my daughter that morning.
“My love idol is parenting,” I thought. Followed shortly by the thought, “Couldn’t it be something else?”
Jennifer wants us to identify any areas where we’re finding our identity other than God alone. I especially don’t like admitting that I want to find my identity in parenting because I’ve never considered myself a great parent. I can’t tell you how many of my monthly columns are based around the premise of look-how-I-failed-as-a-mom-this-time.
Only, I can’t talk about the big failures. Not anymore. Not now that my kids are teenagers.
Hello, all you mommy bloggers out there. The day will come when you can no longer write about your kids. You won’t even be able to write about the good stuff, like when they win second place at a robotics tournament, and you sure won’t be able to write about the bad stuff, like when they screw up.
When our teenagers screw up in 2014, it’s all over social media.
I was talking with a friend about my age (I’m 43), and she said that when she was in high school, she partied a lot.
“My parents still don’t know,” she said.
“They would now,” I told her. “The pictures would be all over Instagram.”
My friend’s kids are little. I’m not sure she’d thought about how things have changed since she was a rowdy teen.
While I was winding down that yoga class, thinking through that morning’s argument with my daughter, I realized that she’ll be leaving home very soon. As in August. That same month, my son will be moving from a dorm at one school to a dorm at another. My role as a parent is shifting. Those days of arguing in the car on the way to school are numbered.
I think Jennifer’s challenge came at just the right time. And I get to keep my dark chocolate.