Note from Kat: This is a post from my friend and monthly contributor, Liz Griffin.
A few weeks ago I packed up my bags, took my husband Jady and boarded a plane to Washington DC. This sounds so posh to say, but I had some meetings with Congressional offices to talk about human trafficking and ways to combat it here in the United States. Perhaps at this point you are totally bewildered about who I am and why in the world I would be doing this? You can get filled in here where I talk about being a Naptime Abolitionist.
The first thing that struck me when we entered into the various congressional buildings was how shiny the floors were. Seriously, they were gleaming. I’d pay money to know what they use on those suckers because I need to buy it. Only a mom would notice things like that.
Once I got over the sparkling tiles, I allowed myself to soak in the power of where I was. This place is arguably one of the most influential few square miles on the planet. And here I was, a stay-at-home mom, sharing my ideas with them. I’m guessing this is where the whole “foolish things to shame the wise” verse comes into play.
We met with various organizations, legislative directors, and chiefs of staff. I was really nervous at first. These people had degrees and credentials plastered on their office walls. I hold a bachelor’s degree in political science, which basically qualifies me to drive a bus in DC.
The more we dialogued about the problem with jurisdiction of agencies, financial implications, or bipartisan challenges, the more comfortable I felt. Not because I have degrees in economics and experience drafting legislation, but because I talk about these things in my living room with my kids almost every day.
The nature of the conversation was political, but it could be boiled down to sharing, having compassion and how to prefer others over ourselves. These are the principles I was talking about with politicians and it is what I talk about with my kids.
Walking through the streets in DC it was very tempting to pass buildings like the Dept. of Education, Dept. of Justice or the Center for Disease Control and feel like “those” people are the movers and shakers. The ones who are responding to the big issues and needs of our day.
My meetings in Washington taught me something though.
Social reform starts in our living rooms as we teach our kids how to engage the world around them. —> click to tweet
I don’t have to work in those fancy buildings to address issues of international importance…
Teaching my kids to read. Education reform.
Helping them learn how to save their money. Fiscal responsibility.
Training them to stand up for a bullied classmate. National defense.
Feeding them healthy food & teaching them the value of exercise. Healthcare reform.
Learning to work through & resolve conflict. Bipartisanship.
The list goes on…
I am thankful for all those in public service for their work to address very real and significant issues. However, I am acutely aware of how directly I can influence those things as I raise my kids and teach them how to live their lives.
So mammas, maybe you deal with feeling like other people are doing the big & important work. I just met with those “other” people and they are, in many ways, trying to make up for what didn’t happen in living rooms.
As you break up another fight today, make another meal, and annoy your kids at the grocery store by taking forever to compare prices — know this. You are doing something of national importance. Transforming the world from our minivans is what we moms do best. Go get ‘em ladies.
Do you ever feel like “other” people do the important work? Join the discussion and share your thoughts! Click here to join the discussion!
Elizabeth is a church planter, speaker, writer and naptime abolitionist. She lives in Texas with her husband and two little kids. Her other hobbies include wasting time on social media, trying to remember where she parked her car & browsing Pinterest for DIY projects she will never actually make. You can visit her over at Lark & Bloom or on twitter @larkandbloom.