Rumination

worried-girl-413690_1920I sit here and sometimes I can’t believe how bad things have gotten. I haven’t wanted to write because it seems if you share an opinion that does not follow lockstep with the loud verbose “I’m following the science and you are selfish” side you are berated sometimes to the point of not caring to talk to anyone.

It is heartbreaking how much more mean we have become since we put on masks. Oh things were bad before because of who is president, but the minute that we were forced to put on masks the more perfidious we have come to be.

Yes, I said forced to wear masks. We have been forced by science and a media that can’t seem to decide what is the best way to combat this virus, but would very much like us to stay in a fearful state and believe that they are the only ones that are going to save us. Ronald Reagan once said, “The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” He was right. People that I never thought would bow to tyranny are willing to put their convictions, morals and even spiritual beliefs on pause or suspend them all together and it scares me!

I have been called selfish, uncaring, small minded, vicious, told that if I had friends before this I shouldn’t after, told that I should not call myself a Christian, that I care for no one but myself and the list goes on. Some of those were from people I thought were friends. I have to be very careful who I talk to and what I say to them, not because I am telling secrets or that I am bad mouthing anyone….it’s because I have a differing opinion. It hurts my heart and drains my soul. I can’t disagree with anyone I know, because I get called those things or the relationship is damaged, so I become a keyboard warrior with people I don’t know and don’t have any relationship with and even then find myself just walking away because it’s too damaging.

I decided to come here and write out some of my thoughts and the heck with the consequences.

1). Why is it that if lockdowns were so successful that the curve did not flatten much faster? Even with partial compliance it should have effected the virus at a much faster rate than it did.

2.) If masks worked why has there been an uptick in cases? Even with 60% compliance that shouldn’t have happened, or at least to the degree that they would like us to believe that there were.

3). My time is determined here on earth. It is not going to change because a virus has decided to change the way we all live life.

4). We all have a 50/50% chance of getting it; either we will or we won’t.

5). We are teaching our children to be afraid of their own shadows, that fear fuels life.

6). We are teaching our children that being mean and calling each other names is the way to behave.

7). We are teaching our children that violent protests are good. That rioting is ok to get your point across.

8). We are teaching our children that the government should run our lives and that they aren’t there to govern, but to tell us what to do, when to do it and how to do it (wow that was so incredibly frightening to type).

9). I do care about you even if I don’t want to wear a mask. In fact I care more about you than you do about me. I don’t want to force my beliefs on you, but you sure want me to comply with yours. You are scared and I get that and I have no problem if you think the mask makes you safer, go right ahead and wear it. I promise not to sneeze, cough, or spit on you at all. But please be aware that I do pick up things in the store to look at them and I may not have hand sanitized while walking in.

10). I care that you do not want to go where people are, stay home that is the best place for you. There are thousands of podcasts, video teachings, live stream events if you wish to “go to church” or even concerts. I care so much that if I don’t go my mouth may once again run away with me and I will not be kind nor will I be nice next time you impugn my character.

11). Why are we so afraid to use medicines that have shown efficacy in doctor’s practices simply because the president said it worked. (please do not use the argument that it has side effects. So does Tylenol for goodness sakes)?

12) Why is it that my moral character is constantly called into question because I am not willing to put my reliance on people like Dr. Fauci who was found to not be wearing his mask, along with his wife who is a nurse and bioethicist who serves as the head of the Department of Bioethics at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, at a baseball game? Or when he told us masks don’t work, or that he has a stake in one of the pharmaceutical companies that makes a medicine that is far more expensive and may help.

There are so many more things I could ask or say, but they all circle back to the some of the others. I don’t go out much anymore because it’s not worth ridicule, viciousness, and fear surrounding me all the time.  I’m tired of trying to speak out, I am tired of trying to fight an uphill battle. However, one thing those that are perpetuating the kind of malevolent behavior or wallowing in fear need to be aware of…..I think there are many more of “me” than there are of “you” and I don’t think you are going to like the outcome come November or when God takes His people home .

 

(any nasty, rude or verbally abusive comments will be removed without warning)

Moral High Ground

gavel-3577254_1920

This is not the first time that I have bumped up against both of the issues that I am about to explore, but they are wearing thin for me as of late.

Both issues that I am going to talk about make us, as Christians, look very hypocritical. They both deal with controversial topics. They both arise from the verses in Deuteronomy 18:10-14 “10 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. 12 For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you. 13 You shall be blameless before the Lord your God. 14 For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the Lord your God has not appointed such for you.”

In a Bible study we were talking about the above verses, someone mentioned about a “medium” who happened to be blessed by her local priest for what she was doing. I hear across the room, “It was Catholic? Figures.” Yes, according to my beliefs and the scripture I stand on the Catholic religion gets a lot wrong, but there are things that they get right too. What really bothered me is if the person has been told it was a Lutheran minister that blessed what this medium was doing would they have said the same thing? “Figures?” Maybe it bothers me more because my religion of origin is Catholic, or maybe that is where we becomes the “judgmental Christians”. We figure that everything that is bad comes from any religion or denomination that is not Protestant. What we should be doing is learning to stand on scripture so that we can combat bad ideas no matter where they come from and not automatically assume that it comes from a place like Catholicism.

The other situation that I am going to wade into is a bit like wading into shark infested waters. Of course Harry Potter was brought up when this particular passage came to be discussed. Yes, I know what Harry Potter is about. No, I do not believe in those things. Do I condemn those who like to read it or enjoy it for what it is? Not in the slightest. What burns me is those that will make a HUGE stink over Harry Potter, but will let their children/teens watch Frozen or The Avengers or Superman, Spiderman and the like. It’s the same thing! It’s hypocritical! Now does that mean that there aren’t people who shouldn’t watch these types of shows or movies or read these types of books? No it doesn’t. However, if you will notice in the above scripture it says, “one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. ” It’s about being wrapped up in the practices of these types of things, believing that they actually exist and can do what they purport to do. It doesn’t mean sitting in a Harry Potter themed coffee shop sipping a latte and admiring the replica of Harry’s wand or movie posters from the Goblet of Fire. Nor does it mean reading books about a little witch who does good things in her community or superheroes who save the world from a diabolical evil scientist. If you cannot separate the two them you probably need to stay away from it. Just like the alcoholic who should probably not go to a wine tasting or the gambler not go to casino night at the PTA.

We, as Christians, need to climb down off of our high horses and thinking we have the moral high ground all the time. It’s not a good look for us.

Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That

quotes-933816_1920I haven’t had any time to sit down and write at all really, as evidenced by this blog. Life seems to be swirling at an unimaginable pace and I am having a hard time keeping up.

My mother is disappearing at a rapid pace. The dementia is evident most days. She is always looking for confirmation from my father when telling a story or relating information. She also asks the same questions many times even in one conversation. It’s hard to watch and difficult to not lose my patience.

My father went in for his third cardio version. I DO NOT like his cardiologist, but he does and refuses to listen to any of our concerns about the treatment he is receiving.  This particular doctor does not like women much, so when my husband asked a question, she began speaking solely to him forgetting that my mother and I were in the room. She also discussed my father’s condition in a waiting room with others present (a clear violation of HIPPA) and then proceeded to tell us she missed the window to see my father’s heart back in sinus rhythm after his last cardio version. Really lady? It was 6 months ago, how big of a window do you need?

My sons are facing challenges in the adult world that I as a mother would like to make go away, but they are grown and I can’t. We always thought that the hardest challenges came while they were in school with their learning difference, but I think this season is much more difficult.

Then there is my mission trip to China on the horizon. I feel totally ill equipped to do what I am being called to do. Wrapping my head and my focus around what is needed to reflect Jesus in my words and deeds and still be able to help teach spoken English at camp is a daunting task to me. Praise God for friends and family that are helping, but I really need the help of the Holy Spirit and divine intervention to get me through.

Isaiah 41:10 
“‘Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’”

Past Hurts

sorry graphicMy uncle died two days ago. He was my father’s brother and only 4 month older than my mom. That really isn’t what has me so sad, I know it should and my heart breaks for my dad because now he is the only one left.

I guess I am really lying when I say he is the only one left. There is extended family and my cousins are still living, but we don’t have contact with them. Part of it stems from me letting my mouth run away with me. I said something that I shouldn’t have to my cousins. It’s not a moment I am proud of and I did sincerely apologize, but the damage was done and apparently grudges are a part of life for this side of the family. That should be quite clear since my mouth got me in trouble mainly because my father’s family essentially cut him off once he decided not to return to Texas and then really cut him off once he married my mom. My grandmother’s side of the family were a bit mean and would like to pretend that we don’t exist. I made it known that fact was noticed and got called a few choice names and was kicked off the family Facebook page.

There were things that my grandmother and my uncle did to my parents and I that were uncalled for, rude and even tried to cheat us, but I point out bias and I am the bad person (insert shrug of the shoulders here). I have forgiven them, but it makes me wonder how hardened their hearts are/were to have behaved that way. When my second oldest cousin called to tell my dad that his brother had passed away she couldn’t even remember my mom’s name when my mom answered the phone. Does that tell you anything?

My dad and I just by being his daughter were always the bad seeds and I had the additional black mark of being raised Catholic and a Yankee. It hurt and I know that it hurt my dad more than he ever admitted. Yet there have been shot gun weddings, divorces and children who have been MIA for one reason or another and in our family no matter the trial we manage to hold it together, and we are the ones who are shunned.

The lesson in all of this has been even if you have forgiven those who hurt you it doesn’t always mean they are repentant for their misdeeds and even if you apologize for your own stupidity it doesn’t stop the other party from holding a grudge to the grave.

“You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him. 18 You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.”Leviticus 19:17-18

“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”Ephesians 4:32

Raising A Generation

kid-2603859_1920

I haven’t been able to write lately. I am not sure why it happened, nor have I found a solution to help the next time it happens. It could very well be because I have so much going on in my head that to try and “put pen to paper” it daunting to say the least, or it could be that I am just lazy…..pick one I won’t be offended.

What spurred me on to write today is something that I lament about since my children were originally raised Catholic till they were at least 11 and then accepted Jesus at a Skillet concert when they had an alter call. That’s not the part I lament about, I regret that while I raised my children to know Jesus they did not accept Him as their Lord and Savior until they were almost in their teens. I see other mothers at church who pride-fully tell you that their children accepted Jesus at 3. The mothers and fathers read article upon article about raising children so that they flourish in their faith as adults, or are so worried that they are being indoctrinated in the ways of the world if they go to public school (and in some instances in private and parochial schools). Then I think all I wanted was for my kids to love Jesus and for me to be an example of someone who took the sacrifice that He made seriously.

I wonder if too much pressure is put on children and then later on we find that we have a generation of prodigals or backsliders. There is nothing wrong with having them learn verses and be able to recite them, or if you home school teaching lessons about stories in the Bible, however I think the panic that is sometimes expressed that one lesson or practice in school or club or group will undo everything that you have taught them so far.

My boys were not necessarily evangelists in the sense that they could preach the gospel chapter and verse to their unsaved friends, but they most assuredly could reach out in a way that worked for them. My one son was a disciple by simply sharing Christian music with his friends. The kids that were listening to Nicki Minaj, Adele and Ed Sheeran were exposed to Skillet, Thousand Foot Krutch, and Need to Breathe. They realized that the music was good even if “that Jesus dude is mentioned” My other son would sit at lunch and read his Bible. He didn’t speak much and never forced anyone to listen to scripture, but by his example he was discipling in the manner that worked for him. The kicker is that my boys attended public school from the time they were 5 till they graduated from High School and very little of what we tried to instill in them was undone in any lesson. I won’t say that clarification wasn’t needed or enforcement of what we believed versus the world, but their faith was not shaken and their resolve was not lessened.

That does not mean that my kids have not made epic mistakes……then again we all have even the saved at an early age (your epicness might not reach the heights of mine or vice versa), but the ability to return “to the fold” was what they knew and what they did. So maybe the key is to lighten up a little, work with their strengths, teach them how to turn a secular teaching into a way to praise God and pray instead of worrying, because worry is a poor excuse for prayer.

Ladies We Need To Talk

people-2567915_1920This has been on my heart for awhile now, but I wasn’t sure how to put it into words. Ladies stop putting your husbands down. Stop saying things among your women friends like, “He has no idea what to do with the kids!” and “I was about to go all ninja on him for not doing x,y or z!” It’s disrespectful and it is demeaning. You wouldn’t want him to talk about how badly you keep house or how awful your cooking is in front of his buddies, would you?

Let’s be real, no men do not take care of children the same way women do, but the point is it’s not really wrong, it’s just different. No he may not know where the baby wipes are, or all the little tricks to get cranky kids to go to sleep, but he is dad and he will figure it out. Yes, he can be annoying and not do the things that we ask of him, but guess what we can be just as much a pain in the behind. Sitting around gabbing and putting our men down in front of our friends does not gain him respect among his peers and it makes us look petty and small and very in-Christian like. Emerson Eggerich put it best when he said to give love (which women need in a relationship), men need to be respected, if they aren’t then they have a very difficult time giving love. He also said that women need love. Hmmm a bit of a quandary isn’t it when we make smart aleck comments and paint detrimental word pictures about how incompetent our spouses are isn’t it?

There is nothing wrong with poking fun at a husband who procrastinates, or likes to watch an exciting sports game on TV rather than put a cranky baby to bed. It’s ok to joke about his love of corned beef hash which looks and smells like dog food, or that he has trouble matching shirts and ties, but when it comes to taking care of his children and keeping you happy, keep the derogatory comments to a minimum around your lady friends, it’s unattractive and it’s unnecessary conversation.

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made Part 2

The boysHere I was a new mommy with two baby boys and I had no clue how I was going to do this. I am an only child so I never got to practice on siblings. I did babysit from the time I was 12 years old till I was in my 20’s so I wasn’t unaware of how to take care of a baby, but not a baby that was related to and depended on me for everything and that I couldn’t give back at the end of the night.

There were distinct differences between my guys. DM had a lighter complexion and lighter, curly hair with blue eyes and DT had dark stick straight hair with a much darker complexion and brown eyes. DM was more prone to laugh, ate quickly and was hungry all the time, yet took forever to burp. DT was turtle slow eating, not as happy and would burp like a champ as soon as you sat him up.

We knew something was really different with DT as the days and weeks moved on. He did not want to be cuddled, he got really angry, would stiffen up and lay out like a board, screamed a lot and did not like to go anywhere. The word Autism had entered my mind, but it wasn’t something I really wanted to entertain. I had such a rough pregnancy and then the growth difference I thought maybe I had done something to cause this.

As the boys grew the difference became truly evident. DT reached his milestones except for talking, but he just didn’t like people. DT did not talk till he was 2 years old because he had been tongue-tied and the previous pediatrician had not listened to me thinking I was a panicky mom. I then had both boys tested at that age and we found out that DT had Asperger’s (a form of autism that is no longer considered on the spectrum). My husband worked long hours and I was at home with the two boys, trying to be a good mom and failing miserably and was just told that DT was not “normal”. What had I done wrong? I shoved that question aside even though sometimes today it lingers in the back of my mind and researched how best to aid DT in his life journey.

We got DT help so that he could eventually enter kindergarten alongside of his brother. He was slow to learn things, but praise God he fell into the category of mid-high functioning Asperger’s. He could learn, but at a much slower pace, however his social interactions were awkward and difficult. Then when the boys entered first grade, DM was also diagnosed as having high functioning Asperger’s. I sat across from the teachers and specialists at the school that day as they told us the testing results, not saying a word as the tears streamed down my face. Now I know I had done something wrong while I was pregnant. Maybe I hadn’t completely complied with the rules and regulations that they had imposed on me. Maybe because we had originally thought that we didn’t want children my boys were going to suffer the consequences. I didn’t know how we were going to function as a family and most importantly how I was going to function as a mother. I shoved it aside and plowed into finding a way to aid both boys in their life journey, hoping to help them learn the lessons they needed.

An Asperger’s diagnosis is not the end of the world, it seemed that way, but I was the one who learned the lessons. As time progressed I was taught that it was nothing I did during my pregnancy that made the boys have Asperger’s, I was given the gift of these two boys because I was able to eventually see that it isn’t a disease to be cured, it isn’t a handicap to be pitied, it’s a difference and we all have differences, just some are more evident than others.

I learned that I got to be the mom of two of the most intelligent young men in the areas of music, airplanes, race cars, history and gaming. I learned that social interactions are scary and hard and some people actually need to be taught how to “work a room” or how to say hello to a pretty girl. I learned that my sarcasm is lost on people who only understand concrete concepts. I learned what frustration is really like when an assignment is given and your child not only doesn’t want to do their homework, but refuses to do it. I learned that noodles could kill a fellow because of their texture. But the most important lesson I learned is what love and loyalty look like on the faces of your children.