Friday, February 26, 2010

do christian-bashers have a point?

i watched a couple of tv shows recently in which there was some christian-bashing going on. i admit. it was hard to hear what they were saying. on one hand, i'm a conservative christian. i'm the stereotype they were making jokes about. but i'm also disillusioned with the institution of church so in some respects i can understand their perspective. i've even secretly thought the same things.

my heart ached a little because i see where they're coming from. christians have begun to be known for what and who we're against. every time you turn around, we're boycotting this, or we're outraged about that. we're supposed to be known by our love. we're supposed to possess the fruit of the spirit which, in addition to love, is joy and peace, patience, gentleness, kindness and goodness, faithfulness and self-control. we're told in philippians to not only look out for our own interests but also the interests of others and not to be selfish and proud, but give more honor to others than ourselves.

yet this is not how we christians are perceived today. the people spoke about our negativity, our dogmatism, our rigidity, our condescension, our hypocrisy. i asked myself, "do they have a point?", "am i guilty?"

they may indeed have a point. i admit that when i act out of woundedness, i can slide into that stereotype. i can be guilty of one or more because i become self-focused, i push people away, and i hide emotionally or put up a front to protect myself. insecurity manifests itself in condescension and arrogance. i know i'm guilty of this at times. so once again, i am in one of my introspective, self-assessing modes.

i can point to many examples of christians being a poor representation of GOD. i've been turned off as well. i heard someone say that their problem was not with GOD but with his children. i get that. and i don't want to be that.

since then, i've apologized profusely to GOD, and i am truly sorry for being a poor representation myself. i want to be known for pointing people TO GOD not away from him. GOD is FOR people. i want to be known for being FOR people, too. i want to be known for my love and openness and caring attitudes and actions. i want to blow that stereotype out of the water that christians are angry, arrogant hypocrites. i'm not perfect. i will disappoint. but i'm trying to change and be that person that represents a good and loving GOD. that's who he is, even when i'm not.

Monday, February 22, 2010

peace after the storm

i must have really gotten GOD's attention the other day when my emotional volcano erupted. i admit it. i was screaming at him as loudly as my hoarse voice would allow me. it wasn't a very pretty ordeal, but i believe GOD hears our cries of desperation. i think it finally took that last straw to make me feel like my back was against the wall. i hurt deeply. i can't begin to describe the hurt, anger and despair i experienced. i demanded that GOD show himself... and he did.

i had a restless night that night. GOD must have visited me through my dreams. his thoughts, his heart, his perspective were my first thoughts upon awakening. i had begged him to let the dawn take away my hurt and anger. when i opened my eyes to face the new day, those emotions were gone. maybe he knew i previously wasn't ready to let go. he waited until i was honest with myself and him about it. pure, raw honesty.

among the things he showed me was that i needed to pray for the ones who hurt me. for the first time in my life, i think, i didn't follow that with an objection. i'm still surprised by that response. yet pray i have.

i cannot say that it will be easier next time. i don't know. i hope so. i asked for peace. peace has not eluded me these last couple of days. i didn't expect to face some of the issues i have faced since the eruption. but it has made me a better person. GOD answered me when i cried out in desperation. he showed himself to me and helped me understand, at least a little better. i have a lot more closure and acceptance today than i have had in a long time. i guess sometimes it takes an explosion to get a little peace.

i am grateful for all the encouragement and prayers. i don't think i could have gotten through this weekend without them. thanks, all!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

the emotional turn-around

feeling better today. yesterday was just really rough. i thought i had prepared. not enough, i guess. i just keep telling myself that what others mean for harm, GOD means for good. and people who do that kind of stuff to others are not at peace in their own lives. instead of being angry, i should pity them. i should pray for them. perhaps if they found what they were lacking, they wouldn't hurt people like they do. i'm not sure they realize they hurt people, which is a huge problem in itself. i may not have money or influence or fancy possessions, but i do have some really good intangibles in my life that obviously they are lacking. i don't have to belittle or manipulate others in order to make myself look and feel better. i don't have to push others down in order to advance myself or my family members.

GOD and i had some conversations thru-out the night. i think i understand better. in studying about the apostle paul, i learned there were places he tried to go, but something always stood in the way of him getting to his desired destination. maybe that's happening a little here. i've been praying a lot for GOD's favor on my family, particularly on my children. perhaps this is part of that favor...helping us get pointed in the direction where his favor can just overwhelm us. i'm trying to change my perspective. i feel like i'm always gonna face this unless i figure out a better way of dealing with it. i'm tired of being a victim. i don't want to be the aggressor. i am trying to find that peace that passes all understanding. i'm trying to learn to be content in any situation. i have not mastered that art. but one day...

it's a beautiful day today, and i'm going to spend it with my family and enjoy it. and that's something others can't take away from me. i let them steal my yesterday, but today is mine. how's that for a turn-around?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

the emotional volcano finally erupted

how do i let go? why can't i let go? why does it make me so angry? why do i care what any of them do, say or think? they shouldn't even be on my radar. anyone who goes around doing what was done...they can't possibly be at peace in their lives. why do i let them wreck my own peace?

been trying to work through a situation for a while. i thought i was going to be ok, but i'm not. i can't let go of the hurt that was caused. i can't forgive the offenders. i don't like who i become when i am confronted with those people. they just don't get it. i know i hurt myself by not letting it go, but i want to scream from the top of lungs! no one seems to get that it was wrong. or either they just don't care. it's not right. it's not fair. it's a grave injustice. and no one seems to get that! it's not ok. and no one stood up and did the right thing. and i was silenced. and i hate that as much as i hate what happened. and it just keeps going. and it won't stop. what was is still not enough. the whispers continue, the snide remarks, the entitled get their way, and no one stops to think. no one stops to consider. they did what they thought they had to do. and it hurt. and it left a wake. and no one gets it. or no one cares. it just is.

GOD, i'm angry at you 2. why didn't you stop it? why didn't you scream until someone with a conscience listened? or did you, but they shut their ears? why do bad things happen to good people? and good things happen to bad people? why can't you make my pain go away? i tried saying the words...i forgive...and nothing happened. i tried it again. and again. and again. nothing. or so it seems. does it have to get this bad for me to finally let go? do you get it? please. help. me. make this darkness go away. let the morning bring a new start. let the dawn chase away my pain and anger. peace. that's what i want. yet it seems to elude me. they don't have the right to keep my peace away from me. why did i let them have it? how do i get it back?

Monday, February 8, 2010

gchs girls varsity basketball team

i had a great time tonight at the girls' varsity game. we have all of 6 girls on the team this year, and though they haven't won much, it's been a good year.

tonight they made school history. we joined gisa 4 years ago, and this is the first time that we have won a basketball play-off game as a gisa school. i'm glad that honor went to them. they have played their hearts out this season.

and we believe this is the beginning of something great this year. tomorrow, they are scheduled to play arlington, which is by far the best team we've seen. chances are tomorrow will be their last game...unless something extraordinary happens. no matter what happens, they have gotten the winning tradition started in this year's regional tournament. we believe our school will go far and that the boys will continue this winning tradition.

these girls have my admiration. they have held their heads high in defeat, and they have won with grace and sportsmanship. you'd be hard-pressed to find a team with more heart. so, sarah, kellie, caroline, j.t., brittany, leyah and coach melanie...we are proud of you! you have represented our school well! and like we said tonight, "...and david slew the giant!" crazier things have happened! lol! good luck against arlington! i can't wait to cheer you on!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

my kids earned it, and i'm proud of that

my kids have had so many transitions in their short life spans. starting over isn't easy. we would know. we've done it a lot. doing government work and ministry will get you transferred more than you might like. we plan to be where we are for a while. it's hard for kids to have to keep starting over once they've gotten older and have established roots in a school.

i've given this a lot of thought over the years, and today i decided to share this. my kids have always played sports, and they've always been the outsiders. it's not easy breaking into sports in a new town, especially a small one. yet my kids have always managed to do it. though it wasn't fair, i knew my kids would benefit in the long run. they have never made teams or gotten playing time based on who their parents were or how much money we had. they earned it, plain and simple. they did it by working twice as hard as anyone else and by maximizing their GOD-given abilities. and they shake it off any time someone says otherwise. they know the truth, and that's good enough for them.

and now we see it paying off. my kids are good at what they do, and i make no apologies for that. i know the hours they put into their activities, i see how focused and determined they are, and i know GOD has truly blessed them. i also know GOD will continue to honor their good stewardship of the gifts he has given them and their hard work. i am proud of my kids, and i thank GOD that he gave me the privilege of having a role in their lives.

momma's proud of you, matthew, jonathan, lily and katy! you deserve the success you have. you've worked hard, and you've earned it! way to go! i love you!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

hunger/anxiety

i've done ok these last few days on my weight loss though it has been a challenge. i realized i tend to want to eat more when i'm tired. i've been tired more this week. i'm just not getting enough sleep.

so right at this moment, i am inwardly screaming for something sweet or just another glass of dr pepper cherry. i'm not hungry, but the anxiety in my heart...it's really bad.

oh, GOD, please help me realize that this is not true hunger. and please do something about this anxiety in my heart. help me eat only when i'm truly hungry. and bring peace and wholeness to my heart.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

what if churches worked together???

what if churches worked together rather than saw each other as competition? what if they came together to accomplish a common goal rather than live in a constant state of "reinventing the wheel"? what would be the results of this union in our communities?

i'm not saying that we all need to close our doors and become one large church. each church has its unique personality, each appeals to a various group of people, and each has strengths and weaknesses.

i'm just wondering what we could accomplish if we joined forces, brought our strengths and ideas to the table, and put our insecurities and egos aside? what if we became partners in something bigger than ourselves?

Monday, February 1, 2010

personal: diet

i've chosen to follow the "weigh down" principles of weight loss. it's like this: you get to eat what you want as long as you eat only when you're hungry and stop when you get full. it also has a spiritual aspect. many of us have holes in our souls. i am no different. i try to fill my holes with food. the problem is food doesn't fill those holes. the food just makes me fat. i'm an emotional eater, so this is a problem. i need to turn to GOD to fill those holes for me, not food.



i've been doing this for 2 days now. it hasn't been too hard yet, although it's had its moments. there are times when i'm not hungry, but i want to eat anyway. i'm feeling that right now, as a matter of fact.



i'm just bored. normally, i'd find something to snack on, and before i realized it, that snack would have turned into a bigger snack. that adds up to a lot of calories that i didn't need to have.



i know this approach works. my lowest weight as a mom came when i did weigh down. i was in a size 6. then i got pregnant, and i went back to my bad habits. bye-bye size 6!



i don't know if i'll get back down to that, but i must get control over my emotional eating. one day at a time! and if that's too much...one hour at a time!

february's 4 resolutions

january's 4 resolutions:

the good news: i am on track on bible reading, and i got a lot done on ministry stuff. i still have work to do, but it's really an on-going thing.

the bad news: i didn't finish the organizing and decluttering, but i got some done. and the weight? that's the worst. i didn't come close to my goal. but more t come on that later.

my 4 new goals:

  • really get to work on my weight loss. i'm planning to follow the "weigh down" principles. main emphasis this month.
  • deep clean kitchen, dining room, and take away items for christian women's center
  • stay current on bible reading
  • continue working on emerge ministry and start getting dates and plan worship sets for home church and emerge

these new ones are pretty much the same as last month's, but my emphasis is changing a bit. i'll be blogging a lot about my weight loss process and progress. this should be interesting.