* Pakistan plane hijackers hanged.
* Boko Haram hacks 10 to death.
* Malaysia exhumes mass migrant graves
* Investing in adultery: Is infidelity a billion dollar business?
Not a very uplifting start to the day, are they?
Motherhood changed everything about the news for me. Pre-kids and pre-Internet, I occasionally watched Tom Brokaw or read the newspaper's headline stories.
Getting overly engrossed in current world events unsettled me, but a bit here and there felt okay.
Then came those three babes of mine. On top of the transition to every corner of my existence, those daily headlines (the ones now so prominent in our virtual lives) took on a different meaning.
Those words of darkness and fear represented my kids' future world--their global inheritance. It was all too much for this fragile new mama to take in.
Yet wasn't it my duty as a citizen to stay well-informed? I wrestled with the question.
Parenting began to teach me so much about myself as well. Slowly, through the years nurturing infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, I began to understand myself as an introvert and a highly sensitive person.
And when I took the Strengthsfinder test two years ago, the lightbulb came completely on. My top strength? Empathy. My second? Connectedness.
Now my struggles with those overwhelming headlines made sense! As someone whose top strengths are empathy and connectedness, I literally feel in my body the bad news I see or read. It feels like "my story"--like it's happening to me.
This is a powerful gift if and when I'm actually called to do something about it--like our family's work against child trafficking, our choice to adopt, and my writing, but it's fruitless and dark when it comes to reading a host of bad news just to keep up with it.
And when tragedy came right to our streets...did I miss finding out? No, when it really mattered to my life and those of my neighbors...I didn't need the news to tell me. A neighbor called.
All of this begs the question: Who decides what's news, anyway?
Is the press honestly trying to convince us that only bad stuff fits the definition of the word? That our world, with all its challenges, isn't also overflowing with good things?
Letting go of all that has made me a better mom. I want my children to know that the challenges of this life, with God's help, are not too much for them. That they have been chosen for this moment in history to do good, to leave a legacy.
I want to convince them that this world is covered with the beauty of God's fingerprints.
I can only do that if I'm convinced myself.
Am I saying that you shouldn't read the news either? Not at all. But I am saying this:
Know yourself...and do what you need to do to make yourself the best mom you can be. Embrace what you need to embrace, release what you need to release--even if our culture or society as a whole is doing the complete opposite.
Let peace guard your heart as a mom, so it can spill over and stand strong in the hearts of your little people.
“If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed.
If you read the newspaper, you're mis-informed.”
~ Mark Twain