Category Archives: Intentional Mothering

The Halftime Controversy & What it Means to Empower Our Young Girls

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Perhaps you saw it … perhaps you didn’t. Maybe you have your own opinions. Maybe you don’t. Regardless, I bet you’ve seen the comments flooding social media. They range from praise to disgust.

Before I go further, let me say that there is no judgment here. I let my four girls ages 2-9 watch the show. If I’m honest, it was less about making a conscious choice and more a matter of passivity. I was in the kitchen preparing dinner. I knew who was on stage. I grew up listening to their music. I felt OK with the performance being on our screen because I too had viewed it on my screen when I was younger.

I should have been wiser.

It wasn’t until later that evening that I started to really think about what my daughters had seen and how those images might influence their young feminine brains.  

And that’s when my heart began to break.

What message did my daughters infer about their own bodies and their sexuality while watching the halftime show? What about young American girls all across the country? What message lodged itself into their brains and etched itself onto their hearts? Couple that with the fact that this took place during the #SuperBowl, which is annually the largest human trafficking event in the US, and it’s only fair to ask …

Can’t we do better? 

Amidst the varied comments regarding the show, those that have struck me as most interesting have been those that have said the show was empowering for women. 

Empowering? I guess that depends on your definition of the word. 

If your definition of empowering means the freedom for a woman to flagrantly display her body and sexuality in a public arena … then yes, I guess it was empowering. And I’ll admit … seeing both artists perform with such stamina at their age was impressive. But that’s not what my daughters saw when they watched the show. They weren’t viewing the performance through the eyes of a grown adult. They simply aren’t capable of that yet. What my daughters saw when they watched that show was the success and praise of a woman who displays her body and her sexuality for all to see.

All faith and moral arguments aside, in this age of insatiable sexual consumerism, is that the message we want to convey to our daughters, our sisters, our mothers? In light of the #MeToo movement and the #ChurchToo movement and the #EndIt movement—movements that bring to light the heinous taking of sex by force—is it wise to convey from a national stage the message that sex sells? 

According to Geoff Rogers, co-founder of the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking,  “The United States is the number one consumer of sex worldwide … we are driving the demand as a society.”

I would say the halftime show affirmed that. 

Performances like the halftime show are successful and lauded not so much for their artistry, but for their expression of sexuality to a society that has an insatiable appetite for sex. What was once beautiful and sacred and protected has become the largest currency of our modern marketplace. 

Need some convincing? Consider this: 

Porn sites receive more regular traffic than Netflix, Amazon, and Twitter combined each month. Economically, porn is a global, estimated $97 billion industry, with about $12 billion of that coming from the U.S. Recorded child sexual exploitation (known as “child porn”) is one of the fastest-growing online businesses. (fightthenewdrug.org/). Furthermore, human trafficking earns global profits of roughly $150 billion a year for traffickers, $99 billion of which comes from commercial sexual exploitation. (dosomething.org)

Our obsession with sexuality and sex is clearly rampant. And performances like last night feed that frenzy and bolster the beasts of pornography and human trafficking, while minimizing and objectifying women.

This does not empower our young girls. It enslaves them.

If we want to empower our young girls, if we want to end human trafficking, if we want to ensure that our daughters don’t have their own #MeToo and #ChurchToo stories, then we need to communicate a different message. 

We need to redefine the message of female empowerment. 

It is my hope that one day the Super Bowl halftime show can seek to truly honor and empower women, rather than objectify them. It is my hope that eventually we can show our daughters that female empowerment is not defined by a brazen expression of our bodies and sexuality, but by a beautiful, powerful expression of our multifaceted talents, abilities, and intellect.

It is my hope that one day #wecandobetter. 

The greatest form of self-love is trusting your self to the One who loved you enough to give his life as a ransom for yours..PNG


Like what you see here? Then you’ll love my first-ever children’s book, Bruce the Brave. Available on Amazon! For more like this, connect with me on Facebook or Instagram! To receive more encouraging posts AND get a free printable, enter your e mail in the box to the sidebar at the right. Then just click “I want to Follow F&C!” Be sure to check your inbox for the confirmation and the link to your free printable. You can also follow F&C on BlogLovin’.

All content is ©Faith&Composition by Shalene Roberts, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved. If you like F&C content, I’d be tickled pink if you would share!!! Just please include a link to the original post. Thank you!

A Restart for the New Year

 

Copy of POSITION OVER PERFORMANCE

They cuddled up next to me last night, one girl on each side, the weight of my arms around them like heavy assurance, their breathing steady and deep. And in this new year, in this season of doing and dreaming, Pinteresting and perfecting, resolving and restarting, it was good for us to just be still and be near. 

It’s easy to rush through the start of a new year, to make the goals and check the boxes and strive to make this the year that we’ll get it right. But in this pursuit of the good things, we risk missing the BEST things.

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I didn’t make resolutions this year. I didn’t choose a word. I haven’t listed out my goals. I’ll get around to it eventually … maybe. But I’m not in a hurry. This year feels different. I feel less inclined to rush. Maybe it’s the fact that I just turned 40 or that my oldest is turning 12 in a few months … just 6 more years until he’s 18. That slays me a little. I’m realizing how short the time is, and I don’t want to rush into January with its bustling busyness, its tasks and its to-dos. I’d rather savor this season. 

When we look back on our lives, the things that matter most won’t be the productivity of our days, it will be the presence of our heart.

And I want to cultivate a heart that’s fully present … present with Jesus, present with my family, present with my community.

If I’m going to be fully present in those areas, I’m going to have to diminish my presence in other areas. Jesus understood this, and he set the example. When the crowds were pressing in on him, wanting more teaching, more wisdom, more healing, he often withdrew from the busyness of those demands to spend time in seclusion and prayer.

Jesus repeatedly diminished his presence with the crowds so he could increase his presence with His Father.

He knew that the best way to serve those around him was not to give into their every demand, but to posture his heart in alignment with the will of His father who would equip Him to serve. And the key to that posturing of heart was solitude with the Father.

If Jesus, being both fully God and fully man, had to step away from the busyness and the demands and the expectations, then how much more do we need to do the same?

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I don’t know exactly what that looks like just yet. I don’t know how that plays out amidst the needs of my family, my business, my relationships, but I know that I’m not rushing into goals or to-do’s this year. I’m taking it a bit slower, and I’m trying to posture my heart so that I’m fully present with the ones who matter, rather than being fully present with the tasks of productivity. It’s a restart to the new year that feels counter-cultural, yet so desperately needed.

Maybe you’re feeling this tension too … this need to slow down, to find rest, to eschew the expectations of the new year, to place position above performance, and presence of heart above productivity. If so, let us look to Jesus and the example He set. Let us seek moments in our days when we can withdraw from the demands pressed upon us to seek solitude with the Father, and then let the Father direct our ways.

Because although in this withdrawing we may miss some of the good things, in the end, we’ll secure the best things.


Like what you see here? Then you’ll love my first-ever children’s book, Bruce the Brave. Available on Amazon! For more like this, connect with me on Facebook or Instagram! To receive more encouraging posts AND get a free printable, enter your e mail in the box to the sidebar at the right. Then just click “I want to Follow F&C!” Be sure to check your inbox for the confirmation and the link to your free printable. You can also follow F&C on BlogLovin’.

All content is ©Faith&Composition by Shalene Roberts, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved. If you like F&C content, I’d be tickled pink if you would share!!! Just please include a link to the original post. Thank you!

Just a Blink

Just A Blink | Faith and Composition
He celebrated his last day of school yesterday. Second grade is written down in the history books, and the summer looms with all its anticipation and promise. Then it’s onto third grade. Another year. Another milestone. As I tucked him into bed and kissed him good night on that last day of second grade, he told me he was an all-star at growing up. And my heart lurched.

Because they tell you it goes so fast. Don’t blink, they say. White-haired grandmothers with tears in their nostalgic eyes tell you to enjoy the little years while you can because they will be gone in a flash. And you nod politely and clench your teeth because you’re so deep in the grit of the moment that you can’t see through it to the glory.

When you’re sweeping floors and tending chores, wiping tears and calming fears, it’s a test of endurance to simply make it to nap time.

Just A Blink | Faith and Composition
Yes, you knew it would be hard, but you couldn’t have ever imagined this: this sacrificial serving of another’s needs that empties you out beyond exhaustion and yet fills your heart to a depth you cannot measure. You couldn’t have imagined this. And when you’re in the thick of it, it can seem relentless, unending. You could blink a million times, you think, and you wouldn’t miss it. You’d still be there with a toddler at your side.

But then one day it happens … your not-so-little boy is no longer a toddler. He’s catching frogs and catching baseballs, playing guitar and studying caterpillars. And then he lies in bed on his last day of second grade, and he tells you that he’ll soon be in third grade before going onto fourth. You do the math with startling clarity as your breath catches in your throat, and you realize that the next 8 years will pass just as quickly as the first, and soon he’ll be 16. A young man with the world before him and rapidly unfurling wings.

And all you want to do is cling to the tethers. Wrap that little boy to your chest and bind him to you because he is your heart and how will you ever survive his growing into independence?

Just A Blink | Faith and Composition

Your heart beats fast, because surely it can’t be true. And yet it is. All those women who said it passes so quickly … those women who seemed to have forgotten the elbow-deep, knees-to-the-floor, wake-in-the-night years … they were right. Blink, and the toddler grows into a boy who stretches long into a young man.

It’s just a blink.

He woke this morning, the first day of his summer vacation and came downstairs with that mop top of his and his cowlick standing on end. He asked for breakfast and stretched on the couch, long, and yet still small, and I want to bottle this moment. This eyes-wide-open morning when God graciously grants me the gift of perspective and I see not the grit of these early years, but the glory.

And I pray, Lord don’t let me miss it. Don’t let me blink.

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Like what you see here? Then you’ll love my first-ever children’s book, Bruce the Brave. Now available on AmazonFor more content like this, connect with me on FacebookInstagramand Twitter! To receive more encouraging posts AND get a free printable, enter your e mail in the box to the sidebar at the right. Then just click “I want to Follow F&C!” Be sure to check your inbox for the confirmation and the link to your free printable. You can also follow F&C on BlogLovin’

All content is ©Faith&Composition by Shalene Roberts, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved. If you like F&C content, I’d be tickled pink if you would share. Just please include a link to the original post. Thank you!

A Letter to my Children on Valentine’s Day

A Letter to my Children on Valentine’s Day | Faith and Composition

You’re looking forward to Valentine’s Day. You’ve told me already. You’re looking forward to chocolate and cards and candy. But this year, I want to tell you a little something about love.

Although Valentine’s is a day to celebrate love, love isn’t confined to a date on the calendar. Nor is it a sentiment written on a card, a feeling, or an embrace. Love is a choice. It is a choice to choose you every day: the hard days, the easy days, the monumental days, the monotonous days. Love says I choose you, and I always will. 

I choose to serve you, to hold you, to hear you, to support you, to encourage you. I choose to give you shelter, rest, a safe place. I choose to double your laughter and share your tears. I choose to walk with you when the road is easy and to shoulder your burden when the journey is rough.

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Life will bring you both joy and heartache. People will befriend you and shun you. You will have great successes and desperate disappointments. You will laugh much, and you will cry much. But no matter the circumstances, no matter the feelings that storm inside, I will love you always.

You can never do anything to earn my love, and likewise you can never do anything to lose it. It just is … steady as the sun rising in the morning. It is and it will be.

Time and time again, with every sunrise and every sunset, I choose to love you. You can write that upon your heart, my dear. I love you because God has placed a fierceness inside a mother’s heart that cannot be shaken. He has given you to me as my child, and from the very first moment that He knit you together inside my womb, I have loved you with a force that defies description.

And today, I want you to know that as much as I love you, the God who formed your inmost parts, who knows the very number of hairs atop your head, He loves you more. Though we can scarcely fathom a love like that, it is true. He loves you with a width and a depth that spanned the cross and conquered the grave.

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Can you understand that, dear one? Do you hear how much HE LOVES YOU?  He went to the cross for you; he bore your sins upon himself and he took your punishment so that you could experience eternal fellowship with the Father. This is the ultimate expression of love. God bending low to give his son so that the son in turn might give his very life away for you.

“This is real lovenot that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.– 1 John 4:10 (NLT)

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God has given you to me as my child, and I will always love you. But better still is the love the Father has for you. For He has given Himself to you, and you are His.

“But now, this is what the LORD sayshe who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” – Isaiah 43:1 (NIV)

Note: I have written this so that I can give it to each of my children on Valentine’s day, but it is my hope that should you like it, you may choose to give it to your children as well. Print it out as is, or change some of the language to suit adoption or as your needs may warrant, but please feel free to pass this onto your own children. All that I ask is that you do not reprint this online in its entirety. If you would like to share online, please link back to this original post. Thank you!

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Like what you see here? Then you’ll love my first-ever children’s book, Bruce the Brave. Now available on Amazon!

For more content like this, connect with me on FacebookInstagramand Twitter! To receive more encouraging posts AND get a free printable, enter your e mail in the box to the sidebar at the right. Then just click “I want to Follow F&C!” Be sure to check your inbox for the confirmation and the link to your free printable. You can also follow F&C on BlogLovin’

All content is ©Faith&Composition by Shalene Roberts, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved. If you like F&C content, I’d be tickled pink if you would share. Just please include a link to the original post. Thank you!

FREE Beautifully Brave Mother’s Day Printable!

Beautifully Brave, FREE Tribute to Moms Printable | Faith and Composition

Today I am so excited to share that I have teamed up with my lovely friend, Teresa of Hugs & Punches to bring you a darling FREE printable inspired by Wednesday’s post:

Beautifully Brave – A Tribute to Moms (be sure to hop over and read it; it will encourage your heart!). 

(The links to download are at the bottom of the post.)

Beautifully Brave, FREE Mother's Day card printable | Faith and Composition

When I originally wrote the post, I wanted it to be larger than just this blog. I wanted the words to reach as many readers as possible. So I reached out to my precious friend, Teresa, and we were excited to collaborate. She designed this beautiful printable to feature some of the words, and I am so glad she brought her talent to this work! Because as you can see from the printable and the styling of the images, Teresa sees abundant beauty in the midst of the everyday.

Beautifully Brave, FREE Mother's Day card printable | Faith and Composition

In addition to bringing you this art print and card, I also wanted to highlight a few women who are living examples of #BeautifullyBrave motherhood. And in honor of Mother’s Day, won’t you do the same? Recognize a few Beautifully Brave moms in your own life (your sister, mom, best friend, neighbor) and encourage them by sharing to the #BeautifullyBrave hashtag. Because we all long for a little recognition in this incredible motherhood journey!

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First up, Megan Burns over at She Does Justice has the most remarkable heart for empowering women to make a difference.

Her sewing business has transformed into a way to fight for change in the 5 areas that Christ is leading their hearts: adoption, empowering young women, healthcare in Africa, orphan prevention, and anti-sex trafficking.

Megan of She Does Justice, a #BeautifullyBrave mom | Faith and Composition

Check out her shop (t-shirts, boho turbans, wraps for your oils, etc) where 10% of their gross sales go to support these organizations and further their amazing work … and YOU get to choose where it goes!

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As I mentioned above, Teresa is my dear blog friend, who I had the pleasure of meeting at Hope Spoken this year. She instantly became a kindred spirit, and I know you’ll love her too! Teresa has a beautiful blog, and a stunning family!

Teresa of Hugs and Punches, a #BeautifullyBrave mom | Faith and Composition

The mother of six, she and her husband have two biological children and four they have adopted from Ethiopia. Her stories of her children will break your heart in all the right ways and inspire you to see the bigger picture of family. She is a brilliant advocate for adoption and for stepping out in faith when the Lord leads. She’s also currently working on a book, titled Beautifully Interrupted. Go follow her. Trust me!

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And next, the lovely Kristin Schmucker is a Beautifully Brave mama to three girls: one is in heaven and two are in her arms. She blogs over at her namesake blog, where she’s currently in the midst of a May Scripture Challenge.

Kristin Schmucker, a #BeautifullyBrave mom | Faith and Composition

Kristin’s passion is leading women toward a life of intentional simplicity and growing them in the Word.

Her shop if full of mugs, prints, devotionals, candles and more…all with encouragement tied in. You really must check here out (blog + shop).

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I hope you and the moms in your life love these printables!

Stick ‘em somewhere with washi tape, as Teresa did…or slide it on into a frame and give one as a gift! May they lift your spirits, encourage your heart, and remind that you indeed are anything but normal. You are Beautifully Brave!

Beautifully Brave, FREE Tribute to Moms Printable | Faith and Composition

Click here for the 8×10 print.

Beautifully Brave, FREE Printable, Tribute to Moms | Faith and Composition

Click here for the foldable 5×7 Mother’s Day card.

FREE Mother's Day Printable card | Faith and Composition

Happy Mother’s Day, sweet friends!

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Like what you see here? Then you’ll love my first-ever children’s book, Bruce the Brave. Now available on Amazon

For more content like this, connect with me on FacebookInstagramand Twitter! To receive more encouraging posts AND get a free printable, enter your e mail in the box to the sidebar at the right. Then just click “I want to Follow F&C!” Be sure to check your inbox for the confirmation and the link to your free printable. You can also follow F&C on BlogLovin’

All content is ©Faith&Composition by Shalene Roberts, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved. If you like F&C content, I’d be tickled pink if you would share. Just please include a link to the original post. Thank you!