I am a Texas Mom: What You Can Pry from My Cold Dead Fingers 1
Stuff I Wish You'd Quit Saying

I am a Texas Mom: What You Can Pry from My Cold Dead Fingers

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I am a Texas Mom: What You Can Pry from My Cold Dead Fingers

Perhaps I am weak.

Maybe I am a coward.

In the two-ish years since I became a blogger, I have been called a number of things.  From behind my computer, it is easy to say stuff and then cry on my bathroom floor when I feel the backlash… or the love.

When the Florida shootings happened at a nightclub in Orlando in June of 2016, an irate reader messaged me and said, “I guess you only talk about the #manbabies when it is your handsome sons, not my dead gay son.” 

I grieved my response.

What would I have said?

I lamented over the message, but I wasn’t ignoring the issue, it just wasn’t what I came here for… I didn’t come to be a political space.  Yeah, I have raged against the stomach bug… but somehow I believed I could be the middle ground.

That neighbor, you know her, she has coffee on or a diet soda, she can make you laugh, sit with you while you cry.  She will gladly pick up your kids, drop off a pie, and love you for who you are.  No, don’t call me lukewarm.  I am passionate, but do I have to take sides?  Can I honestly acknowledge my life is a hot mess… oh, and I genuinely like you too?

Maybe not.

When our oldest son became a Marine, I was “drafted” into a whole new world.  As a Marine mom surely I had an opinion.  So when I got a hateful email asking why I hadn’t said anything about the NFL and the players who would not stand during the National Anthem, I wanted to say, “Cause, I am still the middle ground.”

It isn’t that I am not patriotic.  I got a lot less so during the last election… and a lot more so at my son’s graduation from boot camp.

My boy, the little tow-headed cherub who played war hero in his underwear and cowboy boots, has an uncertain future, I don’t know where he will go, what he will see, or what could be lost.  What he signed up for, I won’t lie, horrified me.  I cried and begged him to reconsider, I daydreamed of his glory days, no, he was too gangly for the NFL, but certainly, the NBA would have been safer and higher paying than the USMC. And so I closed my eyes, I replayed him dunking that basketball, for the 100th time just two summers ago.  How did he go from Starting Post to Combat Engineer and who can I talk to about changing these titles so that I might get a good night’s sleep?

Mom, I think this is who I am.  I have listened to all the recruiters, I have prayed about this… I am supposed to be a Marine.”

Alas, this boy is who his father and I raised. We take no credit that he chose this course. We went to church, ate organic spinach, took in foster babies, and tried not to cuss.

Maybe I should have told him to look out for himself?

No, I have watched my children, all of them ooze compassion.  They stand in the gap for injustice when they see it.  I have seen every single one of them kneel beside a foster sibling and nurture… greater still, love fearlessly.

They did this in spite of me.

So, I don’t know if I can say that taking a knee for a belief is bad unless your boss has told you to stand in which case, he’s your boss.  Stand or face the consequences.  And I can’t fathom what it is like to face the kind of oppression that some who kneel have faced.  So much that they are willing to risk it all to protest.  But as a mom of a Marine I will say this, we live in a country where no matter what you stand or kneel for, my boy would lay down his life for your right to do so.

no matter what you stand or kneel for, my boy would lay down his life for your right to do so. #semperfi Click To Tweet

Many have gone before him, many will go after him in this the land of the free and the home of the bravest boy I know.

I am passionate about this, but I am able to keep my footing and listen and not lose it if you don’t agree?

Coward?  Or just a middle ground?

And now, my state, a state where guns are the norm, has faced the most gruesome of attacks, in church.  26 people dead at the hands of a madman with a high powered gun.

Will I not say anything?

And I have really prayed about this Y’all.  You, my tribe, women… moms and not moms, grandmas, foster moms, adoptive moms, aunties, sisters, friends, and a few men.  I can’t pretend we don’t own guns.  Heck, I own a rifle range.  But as I prayed and felt compelled to say something every breath was still… a middle ground.

Because the audience I speak to is weary, like me.  We are in search of something.  Sometimes it is so easy to pick a side, or a party, or one issue and die on that hill with the rest of the lobbyists – especially when there is a horrible injustice or bloodshed.

And yet, my neighbor’s son might be gay, my new friend may have had an abortion, suicide, a victim of sexual abuse, an alcoholic, an addict, a friend of a friend… gunned down at a concert. And if there is no middle ground?  No safe place to go and laugh, cry, or just be indifferent…  a place for nonsense and mischief that means – everyone must take a side.

And then, where on earth would we go to heal?

I won’t lie, I am horrified.  I am scared.  But while I won’t get into gun control here, I will not let the world and its wretchedness take my hope.

I believe there is still good.

I believe that more often than not hurt people pick radical sides in the hope, they will find an answer for their pain. That it is for a good reason.  And I do not condemn them for that hope, nor do I rally against a battle for that which they believe in or are adamant against.

But I won’t give this space up, this sacred space, what you cannot have is anything more than my belief that I love and serve a good and loving God. A God who loved this crappy world so much, He gave His only Son… that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

You can take my life….

You can take this platform, book sales, and all the promises of this world.  But you will never, ever take my belief in this God, whose ways are perfect.  As long as I have breath, that is my passion.  As long as I have a voice, this is my battle cry.

This place, this middle ground, you are welcome here, to seek Him with me.  You won’t find strong political opinions, on occasion I tell folks to shut up, and I stand by my war cry to stop the spread of stomach viruses.  However as bad as it gets, no one will ever take my Belief that Jesus is the answer.

Every argument, every struggle, and every battle we rage for or against cannot soothe or solve or heal like my Jesus.

Yes, every knee will bend… every tongue will confess the glory of my Jesus.

This I cling to… until my very last breath.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained.  Love, Jami

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33 Comments

  1. I love this. I’ve been struggling with how to put it, but I think you took the words right out of my mouth. I wish both sides could see – really SEE – we all want the same thing, less innocent bloodshed. We will probably never all agree on the “how” but the “what” is the same.
    Blessings.

    1. jami_amerine says:

      ❤️

  2. Jennifer N Dalenburg says:

    Thank you! Your words resonate with me everytime i read them.
    One of our sons was just contracted to the Air Force after graduation. His words are so similar to your son’s.
    I will be happy to hang out in the middle with you.
    With all the world’s crazinesss, i rest in the fact that God is still on the throne.

    1. jami_amerine says:

      Congratulations… and praying. ❤️

  3. Patricia Umbarger says:

    Thank you Jamie for finding words that make sense out of chaos.

  4. Julie Richmond says:

    I agree!!! Jesus is always the answer. Love God, love people – that’s our calling. His side is the only one that matters!
    You do a marvelous job my friend reminding us what matters. You make us laugh, chuckle, cry and smile. Not everyone will love us – look how they treated Him.
    Praying for this world.

    1. jami_amerine says:

      Thank you Julie. As always, it is a comfort and joy to see you here… ❤️

  5. Kathie says:

    I just wanted to say AMEN! I hate getting asked my opinion on things, as if I have any right or ability to choose a side on these complex issues. You’ve helped me clarify things for myself. #stuckinthemiddle #jesuslives

  6. Amen!!! Yes!!!! This may be my favorite post of yours yet!!! I’ve never met you, but I love you, your heart and I love this post!

    1. jami_amerine says:

      Well I love you too.

  7. Becky Carpenter says:

    Thank you! I have been so dismayed by the polarizing of our society, and the need to attack those who may have a different perspective than one’s own. It’s only through enough people trying to walk the “middle ground” that we will ever have a chance at seeing “E pluribus unum” in this nation. I definitely have a lot of strong opinions about things, but condemning those who have different opinions will solve absolutely nothing!
    On a side note – from one military mom to another: When my daughter was getting ready to be shipped to Afghanistan a few years ago, I was kind of a wreck for a while. During that time, my other daughter was working as an assistant teacher for a first grade class at a local school… and the news broke about the Newtown shooting – only about 30 miles away from where we live. It suddenly occurred to me that my little girl “safe and sound” here at home was just about as safe as my little girl fighting a war on the other side of the planet. It sounds a little odd to me now, but that realization actually gave me peace.
    We can’t guarantee the safety of any of our children . Realizing that helped me to put all of their protection in His hands, and knowing that those Hands know best and do best all the time, is the only way for any mother to truly get up and keep going every day.

    1. jami_amerine says:

      Amen.

  8. Marcy says:

    Jami, I appreciate your post. Things and people of this world are broken. Yet God continues to call the broken to Himself. Thank you for providing a space where God is most important.

    1. jami_amerine says:

      ❤️

  9. Thank you for sharing your heart. Whenever my adult children come to me about a struggle in their lives, I can only point them back to Jesus. They don’t always want to hear that, but it’s true; He is the answer. <3

    1. jami_amerine says:

      He is.

  10. Margi Schmidt says:

    Reading you is like a devotional. Thank you. Now-my rant (I try so hard to be middle in my outside words. It doesn’t always work. ). I get weary of people who tear others down because they didn’t “label”; referencing the criticism you received for not using a label that would include her gay son. When I see a gay person, I see a person that doesn’t need an indicator of sexual preference. When I see an individual, I don’t think in my mind “That person is a different color than me”, I think “That was kind of them” or “That was really rude, I wonder why they did that?” As for me, I am a 53-year old, blonde (pay a lot of money to remain oblivious to amount of gray there might be), 5’1″ church goer who is a criminal. Every time I cross the threshold into the sanctuary to worship with others I break the law. Because I carry a 9mm secret in my bag everywhere I go (except the bank). I also pray that Texas will never happen in my church and my secret remains a secret. My point, I guess, is those who feel they need to label and declare to others a person’s sexual orientation, religious beliefs, skin color, and on, and on, and on . . . You may be making huge mistakes by insisting a “label” be assigned for credibility.

  11. Vicki says:

    Amen and Thank You! Sweet Sister. I live in Texas, my son is a medic in the Navy. You have so eloquently said what is in my heart. Thanking God for You and praying for protection and and strength for your son. Praying for God to strengthen, heal and restore the families, friends and neighbors of this senseless and horrible act of violence.

  12. Sallie Ryan says:

    I am also “stuck in the middle”. Thank you for your very concise and heartfelt articulation . Your words are the perfect companion for my feelings. Thank you so much! God bless all of us as we struggle to show His love everyday!

  13. In my family, when we are faced with tragedy or just going through simething hard we call for a “normal day”. It is a day where go for something we want to do and forget the world exists. It is our sacred time. Our sacred place. One where the world does not exist and we can just be.

    Your middle ground has s our “normal” day. We all need those places. It is the way we remain sane.

    Thank you for middle ground. I need your middle ground.

    1. jami_amerine says:

      ❤️

  14. Dottie Wilson says:

    Ingram Cleaners in Abilene has an inspirational sign in front of the storefront: “Stand for the flag; kneel for the cross.” I smile each time I drive by.

  15. Thank you for this post. You took the words right out of my mouth. I’m happy to be stuck in the middle with you.

    When the church massacre happened, the first thing people asked me was “Where was God? Why did he let this happen?” I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer about two weeks ago and several of my friends asked the same question – “Where is God? Why is he allowing this to happen?” God is where he always has been. When the world gets crazy, he is the only one with answers.

  16. I was sitting in the hospital as a typed the abive comment. I am so sorry for all of the typos. My hands were shaking and I could have really used a normal day middle ground moment.

    1. jami_amerine says:

      God bless you.

  17. Thank you – taking a stand on the middle ground with you —

  18. ❤️

  19. Sheila says:

    With love, prayers and respect from California.

  20. From another Texan who likes her middle ground and has a Marine – thank you! I agree wholeheartedly! ❤️❤️

  21. Amen, Jami <3

  22. Kathleen Bates says:

    I don’t have a middle ground myself, but I have a heart full of love for our Gracious and Most Loving Father and ALL of his creatures. I have a beautiful and loving step son who is gay. I have a daughter who has broken my heart over and over again. I have had WONDERFUL friends of many ethnic and religious differences. Many loved ones are in direct opposition to my political views. They are all precious to me and know me for who I am. Very flawed, very passionate and full of ridiculous humor. I do not choose for others the ground they stand on, but I choose my ground and as said, passionate about it. I do not attack unless attacked. It is not my place to judge others for their choices, but definitely my place to defend and fight for the the tremendous gifts from Our Father. I pray for all and especially those precious men and women who have chosen to put life and limb in jeopardy to defend this great country and all it represents. I pray for all politicians who fight in country to preserve the greatness of our country. I do not carry a gun but I understand and respect those who do. I am ready to fight tooth and nail to defend my beliefs, but I do not advertise it. I have come from dark cruel depths into the beautiful light given to pitiful me and made not pitiful by JESUS Christ. He loves me. I love him. I am a fighter. Thank you Jamie for all you have done for me. May you always be covered in abundant Blessings

  23. Marty says:

    I love Jesus and you too Jami, and your Marine, middle ground and sticky floors. Thanks for writing honest and real stuff! May the Lord bless you!!

  24. Glenna McKelvie says:

    Life in Christ is growth while holding his hand!

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