Go Ahead and Boast

We can all lack a bit of humility sometimes.  I’ve never considered myself as pompous or cocky ever much, but lately I can see where a bit of boasting has come into play in my life.  In fact, I used to beat myself up for being or feeling confident in anything I did as part of my former spiritual brow beating I performed regularly on myself and also permitted other similarly convoluted people to do to me.  Being proud of myself openly or the things I achieved felt in conflict with my path with God somehow.  How dare I?  I would write in my journal and talk to God begging Him to forgive me for how absolutely sinful I had been for committing my pride to action.

Yes, Him, not him, because He is not the HE I used to know before but the real He now for me.

Yes, for me.

Maybe it was just me or I was being fueled in some way.  It was both, but I believe mostly the latter than the former.  How does a young child withdraw from a path she was forced to tread, nose down, dragging at first and slowly walking straight into her own spiritual death willingly.  I can’t help it any more, some of this boasting.  I spent so many years putting myself down that now I feel like I have something to cheer and scream hey look at me about in my life, my self.  I could make a list, but I’ll spare you. 

I’ve since been free to be inspired by people, music, life, love and a whole different world of ideas and life and love and pain and pulling and twisting and hammering it all out now and again and then again.  I’ve been knocked down but I get up again. And I gotta’ say that I’m up again.  Up.  I’m up not because life isn’t hard sometimes because it still is and for many reasons.  My life is up right now because my point of view is located in a different direction, a new perspective on the same beautiful landscape that never failed me, a back drop ever present.  Life has knocked the wind right out of my sails again and again and again.  People have tried to strip me down and lock me up and shut me up and knock me down and then on the other end I’ve found people who have stuck by me no matter what and they are few and far between and they and God, and my kids and husband...they are all I need.

But if you take all of that away.  My view of self, what I think of myself and the proper thought of God in the mix of my life, if I had no one and nothing this would take me off the luxurious understanding of how He and me and things really are in the heart of hearts and soul of souls of me.  

But I see me.  It took many years for me to see myself.  I was in a cult of religion and personality that only the men, the appointed leaders were the achievers and succeeders and rise-abovers out in the open, giving and receiving proper credence.  Women were subservient and to be quiet and lowly.  It’s over and done with, that life to many degrees.  Those bad voices, whispers, nudges, judgments with each year inside my head become ever dimmer.  I can see people fresh, and more fresh as I have pulled myself farther away each year from that old long much programmed life, old self, old beat self down ways. 

Humility?  Yes, to humility, but what version or who’s version do we follow?  I go by a new credo.  Love self, love God and love your neighbor.  Be proud of yourself, your God and your love and zest for life.  Dream of things you will and can be and how and when you will succeed and boast within yourself and cheer your fellows on around you to do the same.  There is so much freedom and way more than you think!  Soak it up and soak it in and spread the wealth.  Ah, it’s so damn good.  This life.  It’s hard to leave damn out.  It’s just none other than damn good.

Cut and Run

There’s a million and one things I could and should be doing right now and I always feel guilty about the things I put first sometimes in my life, my writing, myself, something completely frivolous like watching my favorite show a bit too much.  I feel bad doing anything out of order and I guess I should to some extent.  I have been reckless.  I go through these seasons of feeling completely useless no matter what I do in real life, so sometimes I just throw all the rules up in the air for a time and live pretty badly, throwing caution to the wind, living by the absolute seat of my pants.  Am I terrible?  It might seem that way at first glance, but if you get to know me, you might see the bigger picture.  And those who want to see the bigger picture about others always will with no extra outside help to prod them to do so.  They find out.  They just do.  I am learning a few things today.  I have been pondering friendship for some time now, what it is, what it means to be a real friend.  What it means to be a Christian, a real Christian and a real friend at the same time.  I mean, what does it mean?  

And quantity sucks sometimes, too.  Being so desperate for friends that you just get caught in a trap with some crazy people is a real kicker.  And I know, we are all a little crazy, but I mean really crazy, bad crazy not good crazy.  Been there, might be there again, but I’m in a place now where I don’t know a lot of people just yet.  I don’t have to go down that path again although everything is still a risk.  This game of life, it’s all just one big, honking risk.  This whole dealing with people stuff, dealing with ourselves, getting to know people, feeling them out, trying to make friends, or, oh, wait, not so fast there, I’m not sure I want to be friends with you, this might go really bad.  But really, what does it mean to be a friend in the Christian world?  It’s all quite confusing to me.  I mean.  I’ve seen Christians rave about not being friends with the world, the people “in the world” as if they don’t live in this world, too.  Is that what I am supposed to do, not be anyone’s friend in this world who does not think or act or believe or say or do just like me?  Is that what being a friend really is?  

I get the fact that we have some things more in common with others and that we gravitate toward those people and that’s a part of life and fine, but marginalizing other people based on differences, holding them far away or worse, cutting them completely off based on those differences.  This is the way God wants us to behave towards others?  Well, I don’t think so.  And I can hear some people.  Where’s your verse, your bible verse, your proof, your, your...And for the record, I’ve been burnt out by people using the bible, I was fully immersed in the bible from birth and I’ve had to take a step back from it, from reading it so much, hearing it so much so I can gain a proper perspective.  

I need to clarify further as well, something I am very bad at doing in my writing apparently.  Close friends in some ways do need to respect and hold reverent the serious things we believe....they may not believe the same but they need to respect them, if they don’t then I see where it would be hard to be close friends.  But we decide what the deal breakers are. Maybe we are being flat out petty when dealing with people.   And maybe it’s not that easy, sometimes we have husbands, families and children to consider as well in all this.  I get that.  There needs to be a consideration for things that matter within the family, in the home.  But really if we were respecting one another, we are respecting one another’s choice of friendship as well, that goes with considering the family and those that matter.  All that in mind, we should decide what are real deal breakers when it comes to friendship or not and make those things really count.  I think we’d find ourselves x’ing out people way, way less and being more open to the wide world and it is extremely wide and seeing that openness pay off and it does, oh, does it.  

For the world of people at large I think “Christians” should love and speak with them all and have no reserve to care or help any kind or sort of people across the board or to befriend them.  I think, what is our purpose if we are not loving and caring and being available to people of all races, beliefs, creeds and the like?  It shouldn’t matter, but day to day close friendship, our go to people should indeed respect what we believe whether or not we agree and if not there may not be room for close friendship.  I do believe that Christians can be close friends with anyone if that is the understanding and practice of respecting issues and beliefs that matter.  

I come from a world of people in my past who cannot be in the same room with people that they differ from or disagree with.  I grew up shutting people out and cutting them off completely at some point or another based on what they did or did not believe or what they did or said.  I am still dealing with this small minded behavior today from other people, new people, old, destructive thinking.  It’s one small corner of life and should be, but it bugs the devil out of me.  I was quietly deleted by someone on facebook...no big deal, right?  It really isn’t a big deal, but it is at the same time.  It’s not huge that I was deleted, but what is huge is that when this person was asked why I was deleted she couldn’t give a good answer and refused really to give a good answer or reason why she deleted me and I am pretty sure it was religiously based.  This sort of thing is prevalent from the world that I came from.  I used to do the same thing myself.  I admit shamefully that I used to play the game of x’ ing people out of my life for one reason or another.  I had the supposed line by line, everything’s covered in my mind kind of truth that I thought so many other people did not have, especially the ones that dared to disagree with me.   I was living a one sided, narrow minded, half-hearted life. Maybe she was just cleaning up her friends list...and no big deal.  Maybe I was just a little number in her crowd of numbers and that’s typical of facebook.  It’s normal and stupid and shouldn’t even be considered even a blip on the map of my day.  Although that could be true and just say it is.  Her action just reminds me how so many “Christians” behave.  The supposed “world” knows how to treat each other better I think in so many cases.  I have had more luck making friends with the “world” sometimes.  It makes me wonder who the real Christians really are.  I think we all might be a bit confused.  Maybe I need to stop being confused about what true friendship is.  

My daughter first started watching tv at two and her first favorite movie for some reason was lilo and stitch.  The girl was literally addicted to it for days.  Lilo, lilo, lilo she screamed and I let her have her way.  I know...I’m a bad mother.  She’s the baby and I blow it a lot over that baby.  Preach to me.  Go ahead.  One of the things they say in that movie I won’t ever forget.  Ohana means family and that means nobody gets left behind.  Friends are family and they don’t walk away unless there is a damn good, upfront and honest reason.  That’s as about as good as I can describe it.  Friends are family and they don’t leave you behind. 

It's Not All Covered Under the Blood

I know how to hear a bible sermon.  I don’t know if there is any other way to hear a sermon sometimes than the way I still hear them in my head.  I have heard a lot of sermons in my life.  Not as many in the last seven years, but quite a few thousand, maybe tens of thousands of sermons heard in my lifetime and that may not count all the sermons heard on the radio, on tape or CD.  Sermon, sermon, sermon.  I didn’t think I could get by without being a sermon glutton.  I pity the person who tries to speak to me up on a platform from behind a pulpit for any reason these days.  It’s hard for me to give them the attention they deserve without feeling the need to pick apart everything they say, a survival technique for me, a needful one for everyone.  I always like those who came down off the platform and on the main floor without the podium to come talk to me.  That always made a small impression on me.  

But the sermons, they were endless and mostly about how to change or how to do better or how bad we all were or what a bunch of cowards we were for not doing this or that or what we didn’t do or should do or could be doing but didn’t or better yet, what we could achieve, the shiny golden image of what we could be achieving and how wonderful it would be if we would just...  And everything in the sermons seemed to be based on behaviors that could only be seen with the visible eye at church.  They were not usually about what people really were doing or achieving or feeling or thinking or living or whatever at home, day to day life.  They were realities and worlds away from each other in one way or another for good or for bad, the sermons and real life that we all lived every day aside from church.    

The spitting, the yelling or raising the voice or inflection with a certain tone, the persuasion, it could be five sense palatable sometimes, enough to drive you under and keep you there for many years or for some people, a lifetime, a lifelong time.  The inescapable connections to people, the way they hang on to you when you listen to them and let go of you when you don’t, the whole wheel of manipulation and planned persuasion on all points of life being hurled at you week after week, month after month, year after year, as if you couldn’t make the slightest decision for good on your own with big, powerful God without their help.  

One such point being pushed at me since I was a little baby is that those claiming to put faith in Christ Jesus for forgiveness of sins are now and always will be under God’s grace and covered under the blood of Christ no matter what.  I can fully say now after much thought and prayer and consideration and life lessons and, and... what a bunch of boat loaded down, lying sack of dung from its heap!  Saying that people, no matter what they do despite their confession of faith in Christ Jesus for forgiveness of sins are covered under the blood of Christ is nothing but a lie.  And I believe in Christ’s death, burial and resurrection and I also believe that it should not be mocked by the light touch or spin or easy nature with which it is treated by this point.  

This morning there was a mouse swimming in the dog’s water bowl.  It could have easily been a rat or a pile of vermin.  Not a welcome thing.  Mice are cute but nobody wants a colony taking up residence in their homes, no one does or at least no one should and there are reasons for this on which I do not need to expound I don’t think.  There are mice, maybe even rats in the water bowl, folks!  

Jesus said by your fruits you will know them, meaning people.  And no, it’s not just all covered under the blood no matter what.  All meaning sin, the bad things we say and do, how we treat people, whether or not we live to manipulate and maneuver or to help and bless.  What’s our track record for deceiving or manipulating people or willfully living opposite of clearly stated ways we are supposed to live?  You don’t rob, cheat and steal from people or abuse them, passive aggressively or full on aggressively.  You don’t withdraw love or help from others when they don’t do exactly what you say.  There is no covering or forgiveness for actions in this life that don’t eventually stop and are never asked for forgiveness for.

And this is across the board, whether or not you are a believer in “Christ’s blood” or not.  People talk incessantly about having grace for one another or forgiving one another.  Oh, you just need to forgive him or her no matter what, that forgiveness is for you, not them.  This can be dangerous thinking if it is not clarified further.  Many times this general idea of forgiveness and grace can keep people from getting to the root of the problem in their lives, from really finding or sustaining change or even conjuring up the simple desire to even want to change in the first place, in fact, it may help them to think they are okay when they are not, that because they are forgiven or that they have grace then because of Christ they really don’t have to think too hard on how they are living or what they are doing.  And the casualties across the board are vast if we cannot verify where people stand, who they really are by their actual fruits of living day to day life, who they are in their families at home by glossing over with the false sweetness of general grace and forgiveness.  

And to free the people who have been systematically hurt or abused especially in church, by leaders or the church goers themselves, I will say boldly  that their behavior is not forgiven or “under the blood”.  If it continues to this day unbridled, God is not forgiving them and will not forgive them no matter how na├»ve or ignorant they may be.  The power hungry, manipulating, suave crowd  of church leaders and church goers will be doubly judged.  Jesus blood is way more precious and pure than to turn a blind eye to the willful deceit and abuse that others commit spiritual or otherwise without end in His name.  There will come a day of reckoning.  I will not make a mockery out of it and say they are given grace by Holy God.  I will not.  This committing and covering over of manipulation and or abuse, sexual, emotional, physical, spiritual in church, God looks down in disgust and lack of forgiveness.  There is no easy, peasy  paint brush of forgiveness that is needed on our part and never will be.  What I was told for so many years was simply not true.  I was lied to.  Lied to and lied to and lied to and I’ve had to spend my entire life sorting out all of the lies.  

And what is needed?  A calling out of what things and people really are.  There’s a rat in the water bowl!  There’s a rat in the water bowl!  Don’t drink the water, don’t drink it!  I had a friend post on facebook recently in so many words that if someone comes and says that they have a word from the Lord for you out the clear blue sky, hold your pocketbook tight and your private parts.  Let there be a five year, getting to know you verification process of dealing with that person before you trust them.  I’m sorry but there is a lot of truth to what he says!   Let’s not become victims or parties to those claiming to be covered under the blood no matter what!  And for those of us who already have become or used to be these victims, there is peace with the true Christ, He is on your side and is for you and has nothing to do with these rats in the water bowl!

It's Still a Struggle

How could I ever know the meaning of love?  Love, the ever obscure romantic idea that everyone seems to die, strive, lie and fight and struggle with and for and about and to and of.  Of.  What.  I was told as a child by hundreds of people that God is love, the very embodiment of love.  More than hundreds of people actually.  Thousands of sermons.  More than.  Love was a fleeting kind word met by a firestorm of hatred, words unfurled, disrobed of love.  A broken glass, eye glasses lost, a laugh too loud, psychotic tendencies would turn a normal day into a rage of crazed volleying of words, flailing hands and arms, I want to hit you, but I didn’t, but I could hit you pitted feeling inside of you all afternoon sometimes all night sometimes all day sometimes in the car on the way to church in the car on the way home in the car was the worst.  This was one of my pictures of life and was it love?  It was my life.  My mom tried to love me.  My dad tried to love me.  His attempts at love were covered over in a muddy mess of radical religious thoughts, control and mental illness, undetected abuse, but we should have been protected from this mental illness.  If the community really was a community at all they would detect, defend, help diagnose, help deter and confront, help my mom.  Support my mom and be there for her.  She was a wage earner.  We could have made it, but she needed support.

 My dad would beat me for being funny, for being a kid, for breaking stuff, one of the worst beatings I ever got from him was for whisking past a glass jar of coffee grounds and it smashed and broke to pieces, mingled glass, coffee grounds, mingled glass, coffee grounds, kid messes.  He grabbed me by the arm, dragged me dangling by the arm and I peed the whole way there...I couldn’t help it, I was terrified...it made him even more angry.  The mess.  The inconvenience.  He beat me so hard and so long that his belt buckle flew through the air and hit the wall.  I remember that red face and labored breath...every single time he was done beating me.  For being a child.  For having an unbreakable will.  And unbreakable spirit.  He hated me because I was tough.  I hardly cried.  I didn’t let him shake my joy as a small child.  I think that made him very angry and drove him to beat me more than my sister.  Don’t ask me how.  I don’t know how.  God, I guess.  Or maybe I was just so tough myself.  He fought, crazed.  He beat crazed.  He lived crazed.  None of it made sense to my small heart.  I would pray to a God that I thought was there despite being beaten in his very name.  Yes, I was beat in His name.  Jesus’ name.  God’s name.  I was beaten for being a beautiful child with dreams and gifts.  I was told to shut up when I sang.  Stop singing he shouted to me whenever I sang.  That was my main gift...I could sing.  And that voice has been with me ever since in my head...shut up.  Don’t sing.  Don’t live.  Nobody wants to hear you.  Are you crazy?  Nobody wants to see you fly and I will make you pay for trying to find your wings.  It wasn’t intentional.  My dad was insane.  He was mentally and clinically ill and in the religious, independent fundamental baptist community Jesus was enough.  Secular psychiatrists were frowned upon.  He didn’t mean it but he did...I don’t think he could control how he was or maybe, could he?  This is something I battle.  He was angry.  Angry isn’t a good enough word...Is there a better one?  I don’t know. 


He was angrier about the child like messes and mistakes we all made than our worst offenses.  I remember bold faced lying, lies I told to my dad that I was caught in and he would tell me...do it again and you will be in trouble.  He said that often for really bad stuff.  He didn’t beat me as much for bad stuff, but for being an inconvenience.  For being a child.  For being a kid.  For being the creature I was created to be. For trying to find my wings while making silly little mistakes.  I was a joy to others.  I was a joy I think to my mom.  But not to him.  To my siblings?  We all wanted to like each other, but we were so damaged we didn’t know how.  We just didn’t know how to get along with each other and the majority of us still don’t know.  There is a small desire somewhere in our souls to be a unified family but there is a huge risk for coming together for staying together for being there for each other it almost feels impossible and almost dangerous.  

What of it all?  What is the meaning of this? 

People say get over it.  Move on.  Let go.  Forgive and forget. 
I dabble between two worlds...forgiving and not forgiving. 

Giving up the American dream on purpose: Coming up for air in a delusional nation of Christians

Just throwing my thoughts out there for a book I'd like to write.

Giving up the American dream on purpose: Coming up for air in a delusional nation of Christians
It took quite a moment, quite a long moment, a definitive moment of understanding when I realized that I’ve been fed a sack of bologna a good portion of my short life.  Awareness of the person I was and the person I desire to become emerged and clashed drastically in a battle of critical thinking.  This ability to think for myself exploded just a few years ago and it’s the biggest battle I have had to face.  The contrast of so many doctrines, beliefs and notions steeped within me by others caused so many critical errors in my dealing with life, in dealing with people.  There were casualties everywhere, including myself.  Not all my thinking was done for me growing up, but on the issues in life that mattered most I was very much spoon fed, force fed and in some cases left to starve as questions within me arose and went ignored.  Those honest questions were also a threat to many along my journey.  And why would honest questions ever be a threat to anyone?  Maybe I asked dumb questions at times, but really, when did a child or anyone, for that matter, ever have a dumb question about God, about religion, about our world, when those very questions came from within their own souls and more importantly they came from an honest heart?  And with the ignoring of my questions came my acceptance of the inevitable life planned out before me in a never ending line of exact and precise steps.  These steps, unbeknownst to me at the time, would totally shape how I lived, how I loved or didn’t love, how I treated others, all others, how I thought of myself in an endless world of ways to offend God, what I thought of God, and where I put myself on a pedestal between God and man.  If only every parent pondered what they did, how they taught, lived and thought before and while they were having kids.  If only I started seeing how much I shape my children before and while I first began raising my own kids.  I would have done many things much differently.  And what things would that be?  I’ll get to that quite a bit later.  For now let’s take a tactical pause, a dramatic, life-giving methodical pause and think.  
Where have you been and where are you going and where do you want to go with your thoughts, with your life?  How has your life been defined by the people in your life?  Go back to your own childhood and ask how much of your decision making, your thought life and your treatment of yourself and others has been tainted by someone else’s spiritual design for you or destruction of you?  This book is for you if you are left today feeling like you have been a religious zombie, living life on auto pilot, following the path of your predecessors.  Did someone decide to make you into some sort of spiritual Frankenstein, being forced to freakishly dole out the system that was stored in you by others?  I say again this book is for you.  This is a place for you to be received.  Pull up a chair, have a seat and may the words of these finite pages holding words of infinite desire to help, may they touch the part of your heart that needs to be healed.  And ultimately may you be set free in time.  Take all the time you need. 
All in all, processing starts here, at the beginning.   

In the beginning there was a child
Growing up God’s way according to some, mom’s life in her home
Dad’s path to religious fundamentalism
Christianity, mental illness, fear and ignorance
Spiritual molestation of children and its five results(five children’s responses to spiritual abuse)
Groomed for control, to be controlled and to control others
Masquerading ignorantly until the cycle ends

Never Miss the Point: Part One

I saw a post from a friend that led to Ted Dekker's facebook page.  I really liked his mind.  I like the way he seems to be, full of something that was truly good.  I was intrigued.  He is a Christian author who I had regrettably never heard of before.  His page led to my reading his mention of a scholarship program to attend the Re:Write Christian writers conference.  I had my oldest, first born son in mind when I applied for scholarships to attend because he desperately wants to be a fiction author but longs for direction.  I thought this might be just the thing for him.  I had personally never been to a writers workshop or conference and up until the last few years never really attempted writing and certainly never considered myself any sort of writer in any way.  I, I, I, I.  Time for some new words.

Then Mark said.  Mark said...circumstances that surrounded him writing The Circle Maker were small steps that led to a greater picture.  This coincidental thing just happened that led to this and to that until...


A new email showed up in my inbox about a week later.  It was the folks over at Re:Write telling me that we had gotten the scholarships to go.  Stoked, I ran over to the site to register us for this event totally unsure of what to expect, but I felt like something great was going to happen to us, that we would learn something outer bounds of amazing.  I booked a cheap hotel, you know, the one where the police knock on your door and demand to know who's inside for know apparent reason and then tell you, oops, sorry wrong room.

The feeling continued to run deep down inside my bones, that change was coming, something is coming, don't know what it is, but it is coming to me.  The air is humming and something great is coming.  Come on.  Deliver.  To me.  Thanks, West Side Story.

Now how all the details surrounding getting to Austin, Texas, figuring out who would watch my other five kids while me and my son attended and the like had yet to be figured out, but I knew it would work out somehow for some reason.  In actuality, my husband truly made it all happen.  He started a new job and had his own details to figure out, but he squeezed his appointments and obligations together just so we could go without much trouble.  Looking back, I should have made it easier for him by packing the children's bags and preparing them for the little journey they were going on, but my mom got sick and I flew out to see her child free for five days.  We thought we were close to the end with her so I wanted to make a small trip to see her just in case it was our last days together.  This conference came directly after my visit with her and all these events surrounded my husband starting his new job.  He was trying to make me happy.  He was encouraging me in every way until...

I flew back from my mom's to Dallas and he came to pick me.  He drove up to the arrival doors at the airport, I opened the car door and trash, tooth paste, clothes, coats and stuff fell out of the door.  Not seeing all that my husband had done for me in full retrospect the last week, I looked at all the things falling out of the door and before I could stop myself it was too late.  My first words to him after all he did for me and for the kids and yes, for his boss, my very first words were a complaint about the stuff falling out of the car.  He was immediately disheartened and so were the kids who just longed to hear I miss you and love you from their mom.  I was so completely concerned that someone saw all the mess, junk and stuff and all the judgments that surround having a larger family ensued my mind.  I back pedaled.  I tried to say sorry.  I tried to be upbeat but all I could think about was how dirty and messy that car was and why in the world was it?  It drove me nuts.  I immediately started cleaning the whole car out.  You'd think I'd learn my lesson just by saying those initial words, but no, I had to get it all clean before I could have ten decent words with my family. 

It was a long three hours on to Austin. 

I should've.  I should've.  I should've.

Shoulda' coulda' woulda'


My coulda's clouded the entire weekend.  I don't think I made anymore complaints.  But my life is one big complaint too much of the time.  I don't even see it anymore.  I don't know how to catch myself.  I don't know how to stop myself.  I don't know if there is any way to stop committing so much complaint or critical jabbing at myself.  At my family.  At others.  I grew up this way.  I feel it's horribly and irreversibly inbred and unbreakable.  It's pathetic.  It feels hopeless in many ways.  I keep telling myself to get over myself.  To admit, to improve.       

Then Ted said.  Ted said...Judgments are personal fears reflected onto others.

I judge.  I criticize.  I complain.

Then he said, "Who are you pretending to be today?  We live in story.  Rewrite what you believe about yourself today."

I believe I can't be helped, that there is no possible way that I can change, but yet, people have to put up with me on a daily basis.  I can be very loveable, but then not appealing in the smallest way because my words will injure and cause fall out.  I have created fall out in my marriage that creates another kind of fall out that creates another kind, that creates another kind...

Then Sandy said.  Sandy said...create your culture, ignore your critics and opposers!

I am my own worst critic.  These cliche and well often spoken thoughts are still true.  Always have been true for me.  I am a mom to six.  I am a homeschooler.  I am a wife of almost 16 years.  I want to follow the real Jesus, the real God.  I want to follow my love of music and the love of writing with reckless abandon.  I am reeling inside every single day about what I did or didn't do and I've passed those decrepit feelings I carry on to others, worst of all, my own beloved family.  Yes, they are my most beloved and my greatest wish on planet earth is to make them feel love and encouragement daily....but that is SO hard to do if I do not love myself and don't feel loved and encouraged.

But what does it take to feel that...for me?  DO I even know?

Sandy also said...release courage over someone.  Maybe that someone is myself?  Myself.  It's selfish.  Myself is extremely and embarrassingly selfish.  But courage.  Me.  I need courage to see myself for who I truly am and face it.  Face the ugly truth head on.  I have been given SO much but my gratefulness hasn't shined as much or as high as what I've been given.  My reality has been washed over by how I have been raised and by not listening to others and by myself and most importantly not listening to God.  He so understands me, but He does want me to hear from Him.  He is so patient, but He does want me to shut up and listen sometimes, too.

C.S. Lewis received 800 rejection letters for his books before he was finally published.

Rejection of self, self-inflicted rejection...all can be overcome.  Persevere.  

Write.  Engage.  Explore.  Track.  Miss Diaz graced us with her words.  Applicable to life.  Applicable to mine. Me.  Mine.

She said, she said...turn around errors by being transparent.  Being real.  Being honest.  I need to get honest with myself  and face fear and irresponsibility for my actions head on.  For real.

Susan May Warren said.  She said if your writing journey hasn't changed you, you missed the point.

This blog post has changed me.  Time to face the music and embrace forgiveness and love of self.

I Really Am Done Now

Does anyone know the life I lead here?

At my house, in church, in the places I should feel most comfortable and call home there is all out war in my mind, my heart, my soul.  It’s not physical.  It’s mental, it’s emotional and above all, it’s spiritual.  

I’m supposed to know without a doubt where I am going to end up when I die, that there is an afterlife, that there is a hell where most people (I’m told) will burn forever.  I’ve heard that kids go there, I’ve heard that kids don’t go there.  I’ve heard that mentally handicapped children go there, well, if there predestined to go there.  I’ve heard that maybe there is not a hell.  I’ve heard that if I don’t go to church every time there is church that I am being unfaithful and therefore, sinful.  I’ve experienced missing church only to discover no one wonders where I am and the reality is no one has a life with me or knows me outside of the church.  I’ve heard that speaking certain words during prayer is forbidden and sinful.  I’ve heard that children should be spanked and often, and should be totally under control by force if necessary.  I’ve been told if you can’t or won’t or don’t speak in a so-called tongue that you do not know Jesus Christ in a personal way.  I’ve been told that I will know when I’ve received the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  Something is going to happen.  Something amazing always needs to be happening or there is a lack of faith, a lack of God, a lack of Spirit or a dryness or a shallowness, or, or, or...  I’m told to keep seeking the Lord, His Spirit until I see miracles, see visions and dream dreams.  Some say the “faithful” ones are inherently blessed and will not get sick, not suffer disease and that their finances are supple and unending.  I could be on this one paragraph all day.  All night.  All year.  All millennia. 

I was born into this.  I was programmed for this.  I didn’t have choices.  My choices were made for me.  There was nothing else.  There was no one else.  There was no other experience.  I have left many thoughts, many of these above, but far below the mark thoughts behind, only to discover that there are new people with new thoughts and plans, great and supposed wonderful plans, but it’s all the same old song and dance. 

It’s dizzying.  It’s exhausting.  It’s confusing.  It’s madness.   

Bullying.  Passive aggression.  Manipulation.  Fear driven belief.  Sick control of all of the surrounding environments.  Smiles, politeness, kindness, manners.  It’s like being raped while the rapist says please and thank you and your welcome and handles you with the most delicate care all while you scream in horror. 
I am supposed to be sure about what I believe.  I am surrounded by people who seem so very sure that they are right on so many  levels, layering ever taller and then those that are so sure they are right disagree with each other whether or not they among themselves are right.  There is a sectioning off, then a divide, then a vehement seething waste of comparing.  If we all just do x,y and z, we will be fine, in fact, we will be great and what those letters stand for is different for each spiritual group that seals themselves off.  

Well, I am not great and I am not fine and I have been doing this whole x,y and z thing in one religious group or another for decades.  I don’t know any more about all of these spiritual carrots people set before me and a huge host of others constantly.  Visions, dreams, speaking in tongues, the back packing it for Jesus stuff, the just feel the Spirit stuff, the neatly and tightly controlled environment we put and keep our children in, the scriptural trumpeting, the cherry picking of thought, language, semantics, ideas, feelings, emotions, the manipulation, the downright manipulation of others, the talking over you, above you conversations, the unrelenting covering up of the dirty, dingy details of life, ourselves, where we really are and what we really think, the sing songy positivity that never allows for one moment of anxiety, sadness or fear, the forcing on of prayer, of words, the pre-empting of human permission.  We must give up our humanness.  We must stop being human beings.  I don’t know how to do that.    

The past takes us to the present which leads ultimately to the future.  Here we are.  It’s the present.  It’s the good old here and now or the bad old here and now.  It’s both.  It’s all good and all bad.    
My life is very full, but yet it is very empty.  I long to possess empathy and real life answers, I want to live caring.  I don’t want to live an uncaring life, but I find myself surrounded by people who are uncaring, ignoring and elite, not toward themselves, of course, but towards those who just don’t make the cut economically, socially, physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally.  If we were really listening to God would we find only the people that resembled ourselves closely and then hold them tightly, rarely allowing those from diverse, socio-economic worlds into our care and friendship?

What is this?

It happens day in and day out.
The confusion goes on and on while I believe the real God is simply ignored.  Just blasphemously ignored, shunned.  Christ?  He has nothing to do with any of this stuff.  Seek and you will find.  Yes.  I agree but not in this mess.  I’m in a mess and I don’t how to get out.