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In Other Words...

A Research Service Of Facts & Humor For Christian Leaders

May 2018 ~ Issue 1

COMPARISONS: As if motherhood didn't have enough challenges, USA Today reported, "nearly half of moms admit that they're jealous seeing other moms' lives on social media."  The comparison trap can be catastrophic. USA Today, 6/12/17, p.1B

MOMS: Past writings reveal these responses to this incomplete sentence: "Mothers are..."  Angela Liddon, "...selfless in every way."  Harriet Beecher Stowe, "...instinctive philosophers."  J.D. Salinger, "all slightly insane." Reader's Digest, May 2013, p.188

MOTHERHOOD: A cartoon captured a child's imagination of what she'd no doubt overheard before.  Holding her doll while talking with a friend, she said, "Between the time spent going to school and doing my homework it's hard to spend quality time with my doll." Chicken Soup for the Mother's Soul, Canfield & Hansen, 1997, p.213

MOTHERHOOD: Welch's juice company researched the workloads and schedules of 2,000 American moms (with children ages 5 to 12) and discovered the role is equivalent to 2.5 full-time jobs.  The average mom starts at 6:23 a.m. and doesn't stop until 8:31 p.m.  The average downtime is just 67 minutes, which is little more than a normal job's lunch break.  These 14-hour workdays add up to 98 hours throughout the non-stop-seven-days-a-week regimen.  Never ask a mother, "So, do you work?", 3/17/18

MOTHERHOOD: "I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me.  They have clung to me all my life." Abraham Lincoln HomeLife, May 2015, p.34

MOTHERHOOD: "Motherhood" and "difficult" should be synonyms, and there's a Polish woman who'd vouch for it.  Police responded to a teenager who called to report his mother's "psychological torture."  Upon investigation they found she was simply instructing her son to take a bath and clean his room. Reader's Digest, June 2010, p.149

MOTHERHOOD: Cindy Ladage wrote about a day of reckoning when she altered her "too busy" schedule.  It was a day like so many others when she didn't have time to see the hawk her daughter pointed out, or the other things she hoped "Mommy" would notice.  Phone calls and tasks consumed the evening so they rushed through the bedtime routine, just like most other nights.  Her daughter had something to give her, but there wasn't time so Cindy promised to look at it tomorrow.  The little 7-year-old was disappointed and let it be known that her Mommy wouldn't have time for her tomorrow either.  The door shut abruptly and her husband quickly noted the face of a woman who felt she was drowning in discouragement.  He later suggested Cindy go back in their daughter's bedroom so she quietly reentered after a few minutes only to find a torn and crumpled piece of paper.  As she opened it and put the pieces back together, she found a poem titled, "Why I Love My Mother!"  Her daughter had written, "Although you're busy, and you work so hard, you always take time to play.  I love you Mommy because I am the biggest part of your busy day!"  Tears of regret ran down her cheeks as she headed to the kitchen where she made two cups of hot chocolate along with a pair of peanut butter & jelly sandwiches.  She gently woke her confused daughter, extended the tray of goodies and said, "This is for you, because you are the most important part of my busy day!"  The sleepy, happy little girl sipped her hot chocolate and soon drifted back to sleep with her busy mom, stilled by the moment, stroking her hair and giving full attention to the most important part of her busy day. Chicken Soup for the Mother's Soul, Canfield & Hansen, 1997, p.210

PRIORITIES: During the 1988 presidential campaign, NBC's Jane Pauley interviewed Barbara Bush.  In a push against Bush's homemaker role, Pauley said, "Mrs. Bush, people say your husband is a man of the '80s and you're a woman of the '40s.  What do you say to that?"  The future First Lady was miffed, but embraced the obvious condescension.  In 1990, she was announced as the commencement speaker for the upcoming graduation at the all-female Wellesley College and 150 students signed a petition protesting that she was not a suitable role model for modern women.  She took the engagement anyway and told the graduates, "At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal.  You will regret time not spent with a husband, a child, a friend or a parent."  Although her words were spoken nearly thirty years ago, they're relevant for every generation. USA Today, 4/20/18, p.5A



MOTHERHOOD: In the Zits comic strip, teenage son Jeremy told his mom that he was about to clean his room but gave up because he knew his work wouldn't measure up to her expectations.  She asked, "So it's MY fault that your room is a landfill?"  He replied, "Hey, don't blame me for your high standards!" Houston Chronicle, 10/18/16, p.D6

MOTHERHOOD: One boy complained, "Some kids have a helicopter mom, but I have a drone."  He may have been looking for an empathetic laugh from his complaint, but the Skydio R1 is a new video drone with artificial intelligence that literally tracks your every move.  The ad states, "It hovers persistently behind your back, moving when you move, stopping when you stop, resisting every effort to shake it."  This drone can only fly for 16 minutes at a time and costs $2,499 so moms are still needed. The Week, 3/23/18, p.30

MOTHERHOOD: Family Circus revealed our confidence in moms when it pictured the kids in the yard with their mother quickly gathering toys while an impending thunder-storm was rolling in.  Dolly consoled her little brother Jeffy by shouting, "Don't worry.  Lightening can't hit you if you stand close to Mommy." Houston Chronicle, 7/6/13, p.E8

PARENTING: In a featured article about incidents in the classroom, teachers wrote of occurrences that made them later smile.  Roy Hartley mentioned a note from a student's mother that read, "Please excuse Chris from reading, because he doesn't like it."  Heather Lauby remembered the time when her mom had to deal with a furious parent because the child's towel was stolen during a school swimming trip.  The parent raged, "What kind of juvenile delinquents are in class with my child?"  The teacher assured the angry parent that they would try to find the missing towel and asked what it looked like.  He replied, "It's white, and says Holiday Inn on it." Reader's Digest, March 2015, p.91


IN OTHER WORDS... began in 1991 and is produced by Dr. Raymond McHenry, Senior Pastor of the Westgate Memorial Baptist Church in Beaumont, Texas.  Subscribers receive full access to our Web site of over 5,000 illustrations PLUS two email issues per month filled with fascinating facts, quotes, humor, and spiritual illustrations from headline news.  All content is copyrighted.  Visit to start a new subscription or send inquiries to:

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