Jeneric Jeneralities ~ by JenIG

Happy Mothers Day, friends!  I pray that God would bless and strengthen every one of us throughout this beautiful foot-path called ‘motherhood’


I’ll Take The Life Behind Curtain #3

It doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, it ruins my day. It generally takes place when I am in line at the grocery store, or scrunched between my five kids in the sales aisle searching for the best price on boys’ underwear. The scene goes something like this…

I look down and realize that my oldest son has two different shoes on— a rubber yellow boot and a brown sandal. My youngest daughter is pulling long, stretchy strands of gum out of her hair and sticking them to the back of her sister’s shirt, who, at the realization, begins protesting (wide-eyed and grossed out) way too loudly. In the meantime, the wet two-year-old on my hip begins sneezing uncontrollably on account of his weird habit of winding locks of my un-brushed hair around his finger and shoving the ends up his nose. And when I look up at my oldest daughter with my much used "could you help me, please?!!" stare, I realize that she’s standing there, frozen-dead asleep-eyes open, but snoring.

And that’s when "SHE" walks by. The woman with the perfect hair, with the stunning, unwrinkled (Taco-Bell-sauce-free) suit. She strolls by with an easy step without tripping over children or dragging along stragglers by the collar. She has perfect nails, matching shoes, diamond earrings, and lightly holds the keys to her two-seater BMW in her clutter-free hand. She does not have baby wipes or subtraction flash cards poking out of the top of her bag. She is not in a hurry, she is not frantically searching to get what she came for and then get out before the "screamer" goes off. She seems so "free." And on my worst days, I abandon all that I know to be true, and follow her in my mind, by jumping onto the "What If" bus.

I know where the "What If" bus goes. It travels from "I Could Have Been" to "If Only," stopping just long enough to tour the supposed highlights of glamorous possibilities that were forsaken when I signed up for Christ, and then said "I Do" to the man that my Heavenly Father brought me. The "What If" bus takes me to prestigious colleges, to journalism school, to quiet libraries, to an exciting job in a plush office at a top selling magazine or major newspaper in a busy high rise, or to hot, sandy beaches where my tummy isn’t squishy, or "oogelly-googelly" (as my five-year-old coined it). The "What If" bus promises to be a tantalizing tour, but when I get back from my little trip, I am irritated, impatient, discontent, and sour. It always brings emptiness.

The prince of this world encourages us to covet, to become discontent, and to believe the grass is greener on the other side by using subtle strokes of "If Only…" He gives glimpses of a leisurely "good life" that we deserve. How is it that I can so quickly lose sight of what my blessings are, and see them instead as a hindrance, or as a small six-by-ten cell? It is a good thing that my husband yanked out the TV antennae, because I am too easily deceived by empty perceptions. The days that I struggle maintaining my focus are without a doubt, the very worst.

What I fail to remember, when I climb those steps onto the "What If" bus, is that I don’t know the "ins and outs" of the lives of those women who I envision as "free." Are they happy? Do they lie in bed every night giggling with glee to be where they are at in life? Is their life even what I imagine it to be? Probably not. But even if they do have perfectly wonderful lives, what would it have to do with the precious life my Father has blessed me with?

One day, a while back, when I was rummaging through a dusty, little novelty shop, I came across a great poster of a beautiful and unique, full, vibrant flower, which was planted in a plain, brown, cracked pot; the saying written beneath it has become one of my favorites. It said, "Bloom Where You’re Planted."

God has put me where I am at for a reason. I know that He has a purpose for my life, and I know (despite my occasional "trips") that I’m blessed. I know that I would not trade my crazy, hectic life for anything. The thought of not having my children around me, the thought of not seeing my girls spin in circles with their "princess dresses," or the thought of not being woken up by my son with his little hand on my cheek, whispering, "You’re the fairest one of all," is overwhelming. I could not imagine my life without the joy and pride I feel when I see my two oldest daughters serving our family out of their love for God. And my littlest son, even when he is sticking my hair up his nose, is the most precious and darling gift that I could wish for. What if I did not have them? Who would they become if I were dashing off to carry out a life of self-fulfillment? Could any type of glamorous life replace what I have? Is there any dream that pursues "self" that can give the satisfaction and joy that my family brings? I am where God has placed me; I can "Bloom where I have been planted" and make my life beautiful in this little garden as I grow in the love and knowledge of my Lord, stretching upward to honor Him with what I’ve been given.

The World would have you believe that you have sold yourself short if you have given your life to God, to your husband, and to your family. The World would have you believe that the role of "homemaker" is archaic or even barbaric and that women should be out realizing their full potential. But truly, when I am old and gray, I could care less if I never hear, "Mrs. Igarashi, you’ve just made CEO of XYZ Company," or "Mrs. Igarashi, you’ve just won the ‘Best Dressed and Nicest Nails’ award" or even, "Congratulations, Jen, you’ve just won the Pulitzer Prize." No. What I really want to hear someday is, "You were always there, Mom, even when it was hard or boring or messy and exhausting. You must have loved us so much." And when my time here is up, and I leave my little Garden, I want to hear from my Lord, "Well done, my good and faithful servant."

God bless you as you remember why you follow Him, and be strengthened with the knowledge of His love and perfect purpose for your life. May I remember as well.

She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.(Proverbs 31:27 – 29)

Printed Originally in The Old Scholhouse Magazine

May 12th, 2007 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 0 Comments

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    on May 12th, 2007 at 10:00 am

    Untitled Comment

    Happy Mother Day Jen!

    This sure is hard work but how blessed we are to serve Him!!



  2. cryskey said,

    on May 12th, 2007 at 11:17 am

    Happy Moms Day! : )

    You know the Ms. Perfect Hair and Nails ladies probably look at moms like us and think, "Wow, those are cute kids, I wish I had that life". And I'm being completely serious here, I know some perfect hair and nail ladies, they can't have any. My aunt is one of those ladies, always dressed nicely, hair done, nails done. She delivered four still born in her first marriage and her husband left her over it. She did re-marry later to a man that had children from his first marriage and I remember her crying with excitement that she wouldn't have to go her entire life without having the honor of being a mother.

    So for all the women who see my little comment here, Happy Mothers Day to all who are blessed with getting to be a mom!

  3. nsremom said,

    on May 12th, 2007 at 11:28 am

    Untitled Comment

    Good word Jen.

  4. ShayC said,

    on May 12th, 2007 at 12:00 pm

    Untitled Comment

    You are WONDERFUL!!!!! Everytime I read "your work" I am encouraged and validated in my feelings towards my Christianity, Wifehood and Motherhood.

    Thank you so much for being you and for sharing yourself with us!!

    With love,

    Your Friend In Christ,


  5. anyachristine said,

    on May 12th, 2007 at 1:54 pm

    Untitled Comment

    Beautiful, Jen. Thanks for sharing this. You are truly a blessing!

  6. weesma said,

    on May 12th, 2007 at 8:41 pm

    Hi, Jen

    Great article! And isn't it even more true now as you see the rewards of godly children reaching maturity?

    I figure we'll have our perfect nail days when all our kids are grown and personally I'm not really looking forward to that. Which is probably why I keep borrowing other people's children through daycare and foster care! 🙂 What's a shirt without a little spit-up on it?

    Happy Mother's Day!


  7. dawilli said,

    on May 12th, 2007 at 11:01 pm

    Lovely post!

    I just wanted to take a moment to wish you a blessed and wonderful Mother's Day!

    Enjoy them,


  8. Aligirl said,

    on May 13th, 2007 at 12:14 am


    That was awesome Jen! I have the same thoughts come into my mind, and then I think..I wouldn't want anything else in the world besides my husband, kids, and the life that God has so graciously given me. I am blessed beyond measure! We are ALL blessed beyond measure, and it is a shame that the world can't see it.

    oh, and here's a little something for ya!


  9. 2peter318 said,

    on May 13th, 2007 at 10:42 am

    Untitled Comment

    Absolutely beautiful. That was very encouraging. I know I go down those roads of "what if". Thank you for the encouragement.

    Happy Mother's Day.


  10. CommunicationFUNdamentals said,

    on May 13th, 2007 at 3:12 pm

    Untitled Comment

    That was beautiful!


  11. Douglas said,

    on May 13th, 2007 at 6:52 pm

    Untitled Comment

    Thanks Jen, I was all set to get that new "BEEMER" and a nose job. Oh well. Seriously though, nice post. Take care, Doug

  12. Kellyque777 said,

    on May 13th, 2007 at 9:12 pm

    The Applause of Heaven

    I am literally standing at my desk right now, in a virtual standing ovation at what you just wrote. Jen you may not have won a Pulitzer prize, but dear one you have been given an incredible amount of Godly wisdom that far surpasses any worldly knowledge or award. The praises of men pale in comparison to the angels rejoicing in heaven at this beautifully eloquent rendition of what "true life" is all about. Thank you so much for being YOU and for being "real" – boogery hair and all 🙂

    <>< Kelly

  13. Anonymous said,

    on May 13th, 2007 at 10:02 pm

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    thank you for your very timely words….


  14. Ruth said,

    on May 14th, 2007 at 9:39 am

    Untitled Comment


    Thank you for this wonderful and encouraging post. I hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day.


  15. Jocelyndixon said,

    on May 14th, 2007 at 9:06 pm

    Hello, deary

    Thank you for your bday wishes! You're are most welcome, dear Mrs. Ig, for the card! I hope you had a good mother's day and hope Coie won't be mad at me for too long! jk! lol



  16. ShayC said,

    on May 15th, 2007 at 7:16 am

    Untitled Comment

    That's GREAT that Geoff will be a the retreat! Richard was wondering if he was going to be coming to the father/son. I told Maria how crazy it was that by Father's Day My husband will have been to Tennessee THREE weekends in a row!!!! (Four weekends total)

    The goat clearing (posted on Coie's) is FABULOUS…man they worked HARD!!!

    Have GREAT day in the Lord my friend!!!!!


  17. QueenoftheHill said,

    on May 15th, 2007 at 11:13 pm


    I have had the worst day. Baby never stopped crying (seriously), the big boys shirked their work all day, the King was cross, I couldn't find anything I needed in this ridiculous mess I call a house/purse/diaperbag…

    I REALLY needed to stumble onto your post. Thank you so very much.

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