And Other Thoughts

A Cause to Blog

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The God Hater Within

This is the crisis we’re in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God. Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusions, hates God-light and won’t come near it, fearing a painful exposure.

I’d love to claim those words, but they are not my own. These were the words of Jesus in John 3:19-20 (The Message). The reason I wrote this scripture is because at one point in my life, I was that person…a hater of God-light. Basically, though, I was just a God hater, period!

What makes a person hate God the way so many do today? For one thing, it is an absolute lack of knowledge combined with the denial of a loving God filled with illusions of the worldly ways. I’m telling you straight-up, this scripture, translated in The Message bible, speaks reality like nobody’s business!

I feared for quite some time to tell my story publically. I don’t exactly know why, because years ago I spoke about in public schools. It was a part of who I had become because of the amazing things God did to change my mind about who He is.

Let me start at the beginning. I’ll take you back to an innocent little girl thrown into a world of religion but with a piercing desire to know Jesus. Being raised Catholic can nearly drown any hope of that ever happening. With nuns busting my butt constantly telling me how “evil” I was, I can’t tell you the number of times I was pushed aside in an empty hallway and told I was going to hell. As a seemingly ageless child, how could I know what I’d done so terribly wrong that I would already go to hell!?

You begin to ask yourself, “What’s the point then if I’m just going to hell anyway?” And so the destruction begins. The classic phrase fits like a glove: sex, drugs and rock n roll. Sure, on the outside it looks like so much fun, and no one can deny I had good times, but quite honestly, I knew for so long that something was missing and the emptiness always punched me in the face. But you want to believe another classic phrase, “I’m a good person, surely God will take that into account.” I mean, really, I wasn’t hurting anyone…until I was.

My past defines me. That doesn’t mean it’s who I am today, it just means it has molded my beliefs into a nicely wrapped package with meaning and motivation. What does that mean? Follow along…it’s going to get bad.

In 1987, when my first son, Josh, was only three years old I tried to commit suicide. The guy I was madly in love with dumped me for another woman. He was my first love, or so I thought. I was devastated and ached for him. My life seemed useless without him—or any other man for that matter. So I was tired of chasing a dream that seemed so surreal to me. I believed that love would never find me, because I wasn’t worthy of love. Oh, did I mention I was sexually molested when I was eleven? Yeah, that explains a lot.

So I downed a bottle of pills and as the world began to faze in and out, I called my ex-boyfriend and told him what I’d done hoping he’d care. He cared enough to come get me and take me to the ER. It was there that I discovered I was pregnant again. I felt my heart sink as I knew full well that the man standing next to me not only didn’t want me, but he surely didn’t want a baby with me. But he put on a brave face and said we’d “discuss” it.

After three days in a psych ward, my ex-boyfriend picked me up and we began a new life together. Only our new life wouldn’t include a baby, he made that perfectly clear. If I wanted him, I had to terminate the pregnancy.

We drove up to the abortion clinic early one rainy morning and he reluctantly walked me in. He dumped me off and told me he’d come back to get me when the procedure was over. We asked the nurse how long it would take, and he determined he’d be back by 11 AM.

While my baby was being sucked out of me and chopped to pieces—sorry, but that’s reality, like it or not!—my boyfriend was out partying and having a good time. While I laid all alone in a huge hall-like room filled with empty cots, crying and aching, and more than ever, feeling entirely empty, he was laughing and hooting and hollering.

When the time came for my release, I was brought out into the empty waiting room. No one was there waiting for me. So I sat in one of the sterile chairs, wishing I could be anywhere else, and waited. And waited. I watched the clock go from 11:00 to 12:00 to 1:00 to 2:00, until 2:15 he finally pounced in the door like Tigger from Winnie the Pooh, so happy and bouncy, bouncy, bouncy. The embarrassment and shame I felt was overwhelming, and when I asked where he was, I was yelled and screamed at and told not to badger him because he was going through a rough time with this. I could tell…

If ever I believed I was going to hell, I have to tell you, those hallway incidents with the nuns never convinced me; but this…well, this was different. I knew how God felt about abortion. That was not a secret; my fate was sealed. And my life spiraled out of control.

Within weeks from that experience, I was snorting as much cocaine as feasibly possible. I even had a moment when I felt I was overdosing. I didn’t care. I took the line in stride and tempted the devil to just take me and get it over with. But something supernatural took place that night. As I sat utterly paralyzed and stoned, unable to move but hating the place I was in—a drug house, mind you, I mean a real, nutty, drug dealer’s house—I felt lifeless and hopeless, when suddenly something pulled me up off that dingy brown sofa and took me home. I didn’t say goodbye, I didn’t even move my feet. I was just home.

You would think that experience would have had me on my knees, but it didn’t. It was, though, the beginning of God’s nudging, trying to tell me I was alright with Him. But I didn’t listen. I feared a “painful exposure.” The God I knew was angry and vengeful, and I knew if I went to Him I’d be doomed, so my best bet was to keep practicing evil.

The second abortion was the worse.

This was a man I believed I’d spend the rest of my life with. He was a good, decent guy who adored me and never mistreated me. I, on the other hand, treated him like dirt because I didn’t feel I deserved that kind of love.

It was a snowy morning, a blizzard to be exact. But we weren’t going to miss that appointment. The memories of the first abortion just numbed me, and after they called me back and had me wait in this beautiful old renovated warehouse loft, I found myself gazing out the window overlooking the Milwaukee River. Again, I was alone. This big room swallowed me whole, and I liked it.

I wish I hadn’t heard the suction sound of the machine ripping my baby out of me, but I did. And that’s a sound I’ll never forget, and the blankness in the eyes of the doctor and nurses. This time, I was welcomed out of my haze with a room full of crying women. Seven of them to be exact. The crying, moaning and groaning—the sounds of broken hearts!—sent me into a deep hole I knew I’d never be able to climb out of. But something happened in that moment of time. Every single one of us—all those sorry, remorseful women—grabbed our neighbor’s hand and cried together. Never in my life will I forget that moment. Never… I couldn’t tell you what was said, because the weeping and aching groans were too loud. We just…mourned the murder of our children together.

The world thinks a pregnancy is a choice—one that can be chose to keep or not. Yes, pregnancy is a choice. You choose to have sex or you choose not to. If you choose to have sex, you choose to get pregnant whether you like it or not. That’s the reality of sex, and that’s your only reality of it being a “choice.”

You can take all the precautions you want, but nothing—NOTHING—is 100% guaranteed. So by choosing sex, you choose to get pregnant. By choosing to get pregnant I believe you NO LONGER have a choice after that. You. Are. Pregnant. You are carrying a child. From the second of conception, that baby, that life, begins to form inside of you. It is a life, not a tissue—stop being addicted to denial and illusions—but a life.

When did murdering an innocent child ever become normal and considered a choice? I’d like to know how this epidemic of lies has been able to manipulate so many women to kill innocent children, like I had. Abortion is a lie. And if you believe it’s just a choice and just a tissue to get rid of like the flu, you are so incredibly delusional and insanely brainwashed. I bet if you have gone through it, the truth has smacked you around day and night and never lets you go. Some choice, right?

I began to hate God. I mean, full out HATE God. I considered myself an atheist—which is why I can relate to most atheists today. I’ve said it a million times: they believe in God, they just hate Him. Most atheists have a story to tell you. If you listen closely they will tell you about a hateful, vengeful, terrifying God. Well, that was the God I knew and hated, too.

Want to know something funny? While I was hating God with every fiber in my being…He was working in my life and loving me. He was carrying me through one destructive relationship after another. Sexual abuse. Mental abuse. Physical abuse. Promiscuity. Drugs. Alcohol. Self-inflicting hate! When you hate God, you almost always hate you, because YOU have a story to tell, don’t you?

My story is the story of two innocent lives I took as part of my womanly “right” to choice. They would haunt me forever and a day. I saw their face. I even had a dream once where the first one was a little girl in a pink dress with black curls, asking me quite matter of factly, “Why didn’t you want me, mommy?”

I slept with so many men it made my head spin. I was searching and aching. The other funny part of this story: I HATED SEX! I hated every single part of it. Why wouldn’t I? My first step-dad molested me, I had countless men use me for it, and three times I got pregnant, two of which I had to abort!

I hated intimacy. I hated being touched. I hated being treated kindly. I hated…God. I hated everything and everyone. My love for others was fake and superficial. I had no love in me to give! All I had was a body full of regrets, a memory full of murder, an earful of women crying, a nightmare of children badgering me, and a handful of nothingness.

An abortion is like ripping your mind out. You might as well while you’re at it, because you’ll never in your life get over it. Never. Unless, of course, you’re heartless. Because even the most hateful of us still had a heart. Barely beating, mind you, but nonetheless, it was there, and I hated that too!

I hated God because I felt He was to blame for everything. The choices my mother made, the choices I made, the abortions, the revolving door of sex mates, and the lack of love in my life. Through it all, every night when I closed my eyes I heard a still small voice say, “I love you, Tristine.” I would always say, “I love you, too,” never knowing who I was telling it to. I just assumed it was my hopeful desires of the man of my dreams rescuing me. Little did I know…it was.

It was the abortions that kept me from wanting anything to do with God. I was ashamed. I was terrified of hell, but knew I would end up there. According to the Catholic religion, my fate was sealed by the first one, the second one merely provided me a special place in hell.

Let me tell you something: God is good. So good. So incredibly…good.

When I had people witness to me, I never confessed my sins of the abortions. I just resisted believing there was a place in heaven for a murderer like me. I was doomed for eternity, so the God-talk was useless on me.

And then one day, this amazing young woman came into work and told me about her mother who was a $100 day junky and cohort with Jimi Hendrix. She then proceeded to tell me what Jesus did to save her from that life. Well, I’m not going to lie…it was the Jimi Hendrix story that lured me in.

I didn’t tell her about my abortions. I was too ashamed. One night she invited me to her house to meet her family and I was overwhelmed with a sense of love—something I had never felt in my entire life. After dinner we went for a drive and when we pulled back into the driveway she asked me what was holding me back from asking Jesus into my life.

The night was so beautiful, with a clear dark sky, full of countless stars twinkling over us. I remember thinking it was a gorgeous night and I was going to ruin it with my guilt and shame. I just stared out the passenger window and let out a small moan. “God will never forgive me because I did the unthinkable. Something that can’t be forgiven.” She was intrigued, and rightfully so, considering there’s NOTHING too big for Jesus, but I didn’t know that then. I had no clue!

I felt my heart racing as the words fell out of my mouth as if someone had bust my lip. It was oozing with pain and blood. And the reaction I got was surprising. She laughed at me. Not in a mocking way, but in a pure, innocence, acknowledging way. “Is that it?” she asked. “What do you mean, ‘Is that it!?’” She then told me her mother had an abortion, two to be exact, and if God healed her mother, He would surely heal me, too.

Anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending His Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again.

Again, I’d love to claim those words, but they are once again the words of Jesus. John 3:17. The verse before that is one you’re probably familiar with: For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son. So no one need be destroyed.

No one. Not even the God haters. Especially the God haters. Because we are the ones who know a version of Him, a version that condemns us constantly. It is a lie that the world is telling them. A lie that is easy to grab onto. A lie that is far too easy to believe.

The God haters need Jesus the most. Not because they are so far gone, but because they desperately desire to know the Real Deal. You know why I know that? Because as a previous God hater, I screamed at God constantly and asked the same questions atheists ask day after day. Why, God, why…

The answer to that question is simple. Go back to the top and reread that scripture.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Dare to Declare!

Joel Osteen recently said, “A blessing isn’t a blessing until it’s spoken.” I then posted this statement on Facebook and challenged my friends: “How many blessings are we withholding by not speaking it?”

I spent almost my entire life listening to how I made stupid choices, wasn’t good enough to be a mother, or wasn’t smart enough to aspire to anything worthwhile. This didn’t come merely from my parents, it was all around me.

Nearly everyday we encounter “words of death” in our lives. People yelling at us for one thing or another, flipping us off as they drive by, or calling us rude names when they don’t even know anything about us. People make automatic judgments on us based solely on our political or religious belief. And even our President has come out in full force against middle-America, calling them “ignorant” and demanding them to shut-up. The world is so full of words of death it’s hard sometimes to believe anything good can happen in our lives.

But what if we just started a Blessing Revolution and spoke declarations of victory and blessings into other people’s lives? What if we used our prayer time to declare healing, comfort, peace, safety and salvation, instead of begging God for miracles? It's already done. Declare it! 

declare [dih-klare]: to announce officially, proclaim; or to manifest, reveal.

I officially announce. I proclaim. I declare…

Dare to declare blessings on others. Speak life all around you. Bring hope back into the world. Stop withholding blessings.

Today, I’m declaring victory, success and blessings in your declarations!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Little Girl

I didn't mean to write this. It just happened. And it was painful!


I’m five. Pigtails. Dress shoes. Being girly. I’m sitting near the East window, the sun behind me. I think it’s Saturday. It feels like a Saturday. But nothing feels ordinary. Everything is out of sorts. And there is he is. Suitcase in hand. He’s leaving me.

I’m five. She’s four. The woman is blonde. It’s a small apartment. The little girl is in flowered underwear and nothing else. She has tiny glasses and cross eyes. I refuse to go in and stand firm in the hallway. He forces me inside. He tells me, “Don’t pout or I’ll cut that bottom lip right off.” I suck it back in quickly. I’m quiet. I hate this place. I hate the little girl, and I hate the blonde woman, too. I hate this apartment. It’s not my home and my mom isn’t here. I’m a complete stranger here. I cry when the lights go out and I’m forced to sleep on the hard floor next to the little girl’s bed. She wears a patch over her eye at bedtime. What’s her problem? I hate it here. I miss my mom. I miss my bed. I miss my dad, but I don’t want him here. I want him back home…where he belongs.

He told me the little girl was my sister. I didn’t have a sister. My mom didn’t have another baby, and if she was my sister, why wasn’t my mom here with her? Why this blonde? If she’s my sister, God can take her back. She’s cute and all, but I just want to go home. I don’t want a sister. I don’t want a new home. I just want to go home.

Those are my earliest memories of my childhood. Those are my very first memories of my father and my step-mother and my half-sister.

I’m back home. Alone. I’m still five. It’s midnight. I wake up scared and run to my mother’s bedroom. The bed is empty. The kitchen is empty. No one is in the living room. I run upstairs to the neighbor’s and see if my mother is up there visiting. She’s not there, either. The neighbor comes down and calls my grandfather. He comes and stays with me until my mother comes home.

It’s midnight. I wake up scared and run to my mother’s bedroom. The bed is empty. The kitchen is empty. No one is in the living room. This time I call my dad’s answering service and talk to the operator. She keeps me company until my mother comes home again.

It’s midnight. I wake up scared and run to my mother’s bedroom. The bed is empty. The kitchen is empty. No one is in the living room. I scream through the front screen door to my great-aunts who live across the street. “Help me, I’m alone!” They come over and keep me company until my mother comes home. The bribe of ice cream didn’t stop me from being scared like my mother said it would.

It’s midnight. I wake up to loud music and people talking and laughing. I walk out in my lacy, little girl pajamas and there’s lots of smoke and people drinking from bottles. My mother scoots me back to bed.

It’s another Saturday morning. This time I wake up to find a bulky man with curly dishwater hair sitting in a chair, playing with our two puppies. I hate him.

She marries dishwater hair guy. She flaunts it in my dad and his new wife’s face. She pretends to be happy and okay with my dad’s new life because she has a new life, too. But he beats her. He drinks all the time and I spend most of my time after my mother picks me up from my grandparent’s sitting in a bar playing shuffle board bowling or pinball. I learn how to wash glasses behind the bar, and I tend to do that a lot to kill the time while they get drunk. Once we leave, they usually always get into a fight when we get home.

It’s midnight. I wake up scared because I hear glass crashing everywhere. I hear my mother screaming, “STOP! PLEASE STOP!” I run out to try and help, but I’m scared. He’s big and mean and throwing things, and slapping her, and pushing her around. I grab our two dogs and run to the neighbor’s house, trembling. I bang on their door. It’s the middle of the night and it takes them time, so I yell, “HELP! PLEASE HELP ME!!” Someone answers the door and they call the police. When the police arrive, he’s gone already. My mother is bruised and bleeding. She’s sitting at the dining room table, crying into a tissue. She’s mad at me for running to the neighbor’s, and the next day she scolds me for having the police come. But when it happens again—and again—I keep doing all I know to do. Grab the dogs. Run next door. Scream for help. Call the cops. I’m scared!

I tell my dad and he does nothing. He calls my mom a whore. The blonde hates my mom, too. I tell her to shut-up because my dad is going to leave her soon and get back with my mother. They begin to tell me that my mother gets her car fixed by having sex with mechanics. I’m seven. I hate them.

I’m eleven.

He still beats her. He’s broken some of my things in his anger. Raged into my room and took my ceramic paintings I made at my dad’s and threw them against the wall. We’ve moved now into a new, beautiful home. I’m growing up. I’m no longer a little girl and he notices that. I hate the way he looks at me.

I’m sleeping. I hear them fighting again. I hate that! This time he barges into my room and locks the door behind him. I stay quiet and still. I don’t move. He crawls into bed next to me, under the covers. I’m laying on my stomach and he lifts my shirt up and begins to rub my back. Slowly his hand slides over my butt. I freeze. I’m scared. I’m really scared. My heart is racing. My mother is banging on the door, “LET ME IN. OPEN THIS DOOR!! OPEN THIS DOOR!!” And then she stops banging. And it’s quiet. And his hand slides beneath my underwear.

It’s Saturday again. The next day. I sit blankly on the carpeted floor in front of the TV. I know it’s cartoons, but I have no idea what I’m watching. I’m paralyzed. And I can still feel his grubby, stubby, smoke stained fingers on me. I just sit there. No one says anything to me. They made up and they are happy again…for today. No one notices I’ve gone far, far away. I won’t return for another eighteen years. When God reaches out and saves me from that little girl.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Everyone

I had already been divorced for over a year before I got saved. Getting married again to someone who was Godly and good—the right person God had for me—was something I was eager for. But I had concerns considering what Jesus said anyone who married me would be committing adultery. I was washed of that sin and was made a new creature, I was told. So that was a huge relief.

After getting saved, my “men” patterns hadn’t changed. I was still looking for a very specific guy, and he was usually incredibly wrong for me, even if he was a Christian. Although I had received Christ and was made new, my past still lingered around in there somewhere, and that typically drove me to continue making bad mistakes when it came to relationships.

I so desperately wanted to do it right this time. I wanted to “hear” from God on who he had in store for me. Unfortunately, when you want to “hear from God” about who you’re supposed to marry, you could hear what you want to hear. I couldn’t tell you how many guys I thought God told me was “the one.” And when other people get involved in hearing from God for you…that’s when all hell, quite literally, breaks loose!

I had one person tell me that a guy I was merely acquainted with through a friend was the one for me. I staked a claim on it because he was in a band and very attractive. I went in gung-ho, believing the word I was given. When I confessed to him what I thought God told me about us, his response was, “If God told you that I’m the one for you, I’ll stay single for the rest of my life.” Nice! So I immediately began to doubt myself on this “hearing from God” thing when it came to men.

At the March for Jesus in 1998, I struck up a conversation with William and we realized we had gone through some similar temptations the night before. We immediately became good friends.

A few weeks later at one of our church services, we had a funny conversation with one another, and his friends who was standing with us, made a comment to him afterwards how interesting it would be if I were the one for him. Well, he mistook this comment as, “God told me she’s the one for you,” and he RAN with it. I mean full throttle, petal to the metal, baby! And the pursuit was on.

Because he was such a sweet guy and all the girls thought he was handsome, kind and thoughtful, when he would tell them about what God told him about me, everyone instantly thought it was a brilliant idea, and they too, RAN with it! Full throttle. Petal to the metal.

I, on the other hand, RAN from it! I knew without a shadow of a doubt that he was NOT the one for me. I felt it in my bones. I felt it in my spirit. I knew that I knew that I knew…this was NOT God. So I kept telling him that, but he’d pursue harder, insisting I wasn’t listening to God, because: “Everyone else knows it, so the devil must be trying to trick you because God has such great things in store for us.”

When he said “everyone,” he wasn’t kidding. Even my best friends started in on me about it. Out of the blue, people at church would come up to me and give me a “word” about William. “Stop fighting it,” they’d say to me. I even had people who were married to people they despised because they believed God “told them” to marry then, come up to me and tell me, “Look at me. I married to someone I didn’t like. If God says it, you have to be obedient.”

But God didn’t say it to me. And that was my plight all along. God did not tell me that. In fact, as the pressure increased from “everyone,” eventually God told me plain and simply, “No.” That was it. “No.” Nothing more to it. No explanation. No in-depth, lengthy prophetic word. Just…no. Matter of fact.

I finally told William and “everyone” else what God told me, and I was immediately told that I was being lied to. God would have given me more. God would have told you why. God would’ve… And here I was, a newly born again Christian who was clueless as to what God would or wouldn’t do, so I began to doubt myself and God all over again until William finally wore me down.

The wedding was beautiful, and “everyone” was so happy for us; especially for me, considering how the devil really tried to prevent it from happening. 

We had two good days, and from there it went downhill. That’s when the control began to happen, and the religious mentality beat me down on a daily basis. It was because of this brutal bible thumping that I began to then question not only our marriage, but everything God had done in my life up to that point. I began to ponder why God would have wanted this type of man in my life, and “everyone” told me it was because I was a very strong, independent woman and this was God’s way of breaking me and making me humble. No matter how miserable I was in this marriage, all hope was lost according to “everyone” else. I literally had people say, “Tough. You’re stuck now.” But I couldn’t believe that after all the abuse I had gone through in my life with men, that God would then put me in another mentally abusive relationship.

I eventually ended up seeking counseling from our lead pastor. If I was stuck, I had to make it work somehow. William was against it, but he soon found it was an awesome tool for his agenda to look good in front of the leaders of our church.

When William and I would go to counseling, every time we sat before them, his demeanor went from complete arrogance and hate towards me at home or on the car ride there, to humble and weeping, desperate to save his marriage. He would confess to our pastor and his wife how he would do anything to make me happy, but he wasn’t willing to discuss anything as a couple. He’d save up his list of my sins (yes, he had an actual list) and try to humiliate me in front of our pastor to make me look wicked, and portray himself as a victim of my wickedness. I remember one time in particular I got home from work and he outright refused to speak to me. I kept trying to get him to talk to me, to tell me what I did wrong now, and his response was, “I’ll discuss it at counseling,” clutching my list of sins in his fist and thrusting it in the air in contempt.

I couldn’t live like that anymore. I had to take a break and I kicked him out after another horrific fight and days without talking to each other. Believe it or not, he moved in with my best friend and began filling her head with such garbage that she rebuked me relentlessly. (Praise God that she has since apologized and realized how she had hurt me all those years ago.)

In my decision to leave William, I lost everything I had known over that first year of being saved. I lost all my friends because they sided with him. The church was against me and rebuking me non-stop with calls, visits, emails. All the peace I had was gone. All the hope I had vanished. I had to leave my church that I loved because he was there pushing his agenda to “win me back,” and no one cared to listen to my side. All I ever got was, “Tough. He’s your husband.”

He was so convincing that he even got my dad to side with him. My dad had a long talk with him one night and came back to me asking what was so wrong that I couldn’t give him another chance. He had turned “everyone” against me, and I was so tired of being badgered and tired of feeling so spiritually defeated that I gave in again. And that’s when things got really out of control.

All the while I felt God was telling me to go back home to Wisconsin. I had felt it shortly after I got saved but “everyone” told me that wasn’t God. I tried to talk to William about it, but he wouldn’t even consider listening to me.

When I finally decided I truly had to get out of this destructive marriage, the whole church turned against me again. I had had enough and finally decided to listen to what God was telling me, instead of what “everyone” else was telling me.

I prayed about it and felt God told me to put my house up for sale. So I did, and it sold the very next day! The first person who looked at it put in an offer that day. I told William I was moving back home and he told me how “deceived” I was, and how I wasn’t hearing from God at all, because God would never tell me to leave him. But I knew what God was telling me.

Even though I had bought the house before I married William, he still needed to sign the papers since we were married, and he outright refused. God then asked me to ask William to come with me, but he adamantly said that he would “never in his life” move to Wisconsin with me. That’s when I knew why God had me ask him, and that his answer was my answer I had been diligently seeking about our marriage. It was over.

During that marriage, I had never experienced so much turmoil and anger in my walk with God. It scarred me for a very long time, and pushed me to fear church, to fear people, and to eventually just walk away from it all. It only took a short year being back home for me to stop going to church completely, start drinking again, and start rehashing and reliving abusive relationships. I was so angry with God and the church, and so angry at myself, and wracked with so much guilt for marrying William in the first place, I thought after the divorce was finalized that my sin had finalized my relationship with Jesus, too. And so my hate for myself grew worse, until I finally met a man who could truly abuse me the way I felt I deserved. Marriage number 3. Divorce number 3.

I know there are a lot of religious zealots out there who will try and convict me for this, or tell me I’m a sinner for what I did by leaving him, and any marriage after William is null and void. Well, I’m hear to tell you that sometimes God releases us from unhealthy, burdensome yolks. God took Israel out of Egypt and slavery, and he will do it when we, too, find ourselves in destructive, abusive slavery.

I have since made my peace with God over William, and even tried to make peace with William about it a few months ago. Instead, I received more religious restrictions from William—eleven years later, mind you—despite his plea that for years he has wanted to tell me “he forgave me.”

He forgave me?! I asked for his forgiveness because I knew I was wrong to have married him in the first place, and I was deeply sorry for ever misleading him into thinking I loved him as anything more than a dear friend. I was sorry for that. But this man has yet to apologize to me for what he did to me, and how he misled an entire church to feed on his own desires and lies. His only attempts to ever “win me back,” so to speak, were provoked and guided by leaders of the church to “do the right thing before God” so he could have a clear conscious.

I got saved. I got married. I got divorced. God forgave me.

I fell from God. I got married. I got divorced. God forgave me.

God never left me. I knew that in the deepest part of my core. Sometimes I even felt it and cried out to Him, but I could never fully commit again because I was so scared of what would happen if I did. I never got too close to anyone at church. I never let anyone in. I hid in God instead, and that’s just about as bad as walking away from Him.

After all that happened to me after moving back to Wisconsin, you have to wonder why God would have had me move here again. You could see the situation and the abuse I went through and insist that “everyone” must have known better and I was, indeed, deceived. But again…God never left me, and even though it looked bleak and hopeless, He had great plans for me.

Many may now ask how I knew Jared was God’s choice for me. I didn’t “hear” from God about Jared. I had to do a lot of hard work with God to heal my life and my patterns. After getting out of the nightmare I was living in, it took me three years with God to heal. I simply told God that although I didn’t want to be alone for the rest of my life, I was perfectly content with it as long as I had Him to comfort me and fill that void. And without knowing it, He began to test me on that by bringing more bad seeds in my life, and I passed every time by standing firm in my faith, being wise about what kind of people they were, and leaving when I figured it out.

I went through several tests like that and then Jared came along. This was the ultimate test, because he was not my type at all. In fact, he was one of the nice guys that I typically dumped all over. I was reluctant and truly had no expectations on our first date. I liked him well enough, even thought he was one of the greatest guys I’d met, but I wasn’t convinced or anxious to jump into it like I had always done in the past.

It was God who pushed us instead.

He came to us. Unannounced. Uninvited. Unexpected. We were both taken by surprise, and our heart raced in anticipation, but we were both scared out of our minds to ask each other if what we felt was mutual. And then Jared said, “Do you feel that?” And I knew right then and there God anointed us, and that was His way of saying, “It is good.” I didn’t have to rely on feelings or thoughts or “everyone” else. God showed up and did all the work for us. He took all the questions out and gave us immediate complete answers.

Today I’m in the best relationship of my life. In fact, one morning not too long ago, God actually told me that Jared loves me the way He loves me. And I knew immediately how awesome and wonderful God’s love was for me, because I had something amazing to compare it to.

I may act like I’m in control, and I may even be a bit bossy with Jared, but deep down inside, he knows I respect him and will submit to him. But the kind of submission I have for Jared is the same that he has for me. It’s based on respect, love, and kindness, and consists of a wealth of knowledge and a great desire for God.

I made God first in my life, and by doing so, my love for Jared flows naturally and my desire to be a good wife to him takes no effort at all.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Imposing Imposters

There is one thing, and one thing only, that has been consistent and reliable over the past 2000 years. It was consistent and reliable even before the beginning of time.

I won’t bash science, because I do believe it has a lot to offer, but I’m sorry, when you have to keep changing “rules” and applications, and “the way you look at things,” then something’s not right. It says to me that science—the one thing the world is supposed to rely on—isn’t very reliable.

It’s funny to me that Christians who believe in Divinity and Creation are called the nut jobs. Have you heard some of the things that scientists want us to believe? And you will believe. Why? Because for some reason you believe their “theories” are facts. You’ve forgotten that when man wants to create the rules, they take God out of everything. When they do that, somehow you think it all makes sense.

I’ve been asking for years that if we come from apes, then why aren’t apes still evolving into people? If we came from fish, why aren’t fish still surfacing on land with legs and walking around? If we came from a molecule, riding on the back of a crystal, why aren’t we still forming from the backs of crystals? Yet…the world believes these crazy things. And now scientists are even saying, “Well, we’ve changed our mind about the fish thing.” They are always, always, ALWAYS “changing their minds.” Did you get that? They are always changing their minds. Why? Because they don’t know. Because they have no real answers. Just when they think they have it all figured out and the schools start preaching it as the truth, they change the rules all over again. When will we start telling these people that theories are not facts?

Let me also consider a few other issues on this topic.

Why is it that Creationism has been removed from the schools? They claim it’s religious, right? Well, I’m sorry, just because it mentions God, doesn’t make it fiction, any more than coming from apes makes it fact. (Why doesn’t that sound silly or ridiculous to the world?) While science books change rules and ideas on a weekly, monthly or yearly basis, God’s Word has never once changed. It has always been the same, and it will always, always, ALWAYS be the same. Did you get that? Always!

The bible isn’t just about religion or faith, it tells in-depth historical accounts of the universe, dinosaurs (yes, dinosaurs), the human race, wars, and one of the most well-known historical figures in the world: Jesus Christ. But our kids will be taught about the Trojan War and mythical Greek gods? Why would they be able to teach those types of things—things that aren’t true and taught as fact? Greek gods were part of the Greek faith, so why are we so willing to teach about that faith and not Christianity? A faith of false gods and myths is more acceptable in our world than a real and living God.

So let me ask you this question before we move on: Was the Trojan War fact or fiction? Ask your kids, too. “The war is among the most important events in Greek mythology… Whether there is any historical reality behind the Trojan War is an open question.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trojan_War) But your kids are being taught that it happened. That it’s fact. And you probably did too. I once posted this question on facebook and many claimed it as true! So why then, if the Trojan War is “questionable,” can’t Creation be taught also? If these topics are unproved and questionable, and they feel the same way about Creation, God or Jesus, why can’t they teach it the way they do these other topics? You know why…there’s power in it, and it goes against everything the world wants you and your children to find and believe. There’s hope in it, and that means if they find hope in Christ, they won’t need hope in them anymore. If they depend on God, what would be your purpose to depend on them for your needs? The Trojan War has no authority, no crippling fear to them that would entice your children to worship Zeus, a dead god.

You see, the school systems, atheists, the government…they all want to control what your children learn, what you will believe, and what to tolerate and not tolerate. You should tolerate immoral lifestyles and Muslims, but you shouldn’t tolerate Christianity. You should believe in the voodoo of science with all its mistakes and inconsistencies, but you shouldn’t believe in God who is always reliable.  

In Christian schools, they get the benefit of making up their own mind. They learn about life from every aspect. They will learn about Creationism and will compare it to Evolution, whereas the public schools won’t allow that. They don’t want to teach our children how to make up their own minds, because they know if they do, the children would probably turn to the One thing that is reliable and consistent. And we can’t have that, can we? Because if we taught love and kindness from a Godly viewpoint, that would mean man couldn’t stake a claim on it that it’s their idea anymore. See, the world wants all the credit. They want all the glory. They want to say, “See what we did! See how we changed the world and made it a better place!” But they are doing the exact opposite. They are making the world a terrible place to live in, and none of their rules come from love or peace. It comes from power and greed, and lust for glory.

I also have wondered why Jesus isn’t taught in our schools. Many, if not most people, including atheists, believe Jesus existed, they just don’t believe his divinity. So what’s the difference? Jesus still made a HUGE impact on our world today! Jesus, whether you believe He’s the Son of God or not, taught us about how to love, how to behave, and how to live moral lives. He taught us to forgive and be kind, thoughtful and generous. And he died on the cross believing everything He said to be true, whether or not the school system does. He’s still worthy to be mentioned in school as a historical figure. But because He’s associated with “Christianity,” He’ll never be brought up. Ghandi. Buddha. Islam. Greek gods. Schools can teach on those religions…just not Christianity! Tolerance? I think not.

If you don't believe in evolution, you're considered stupid, or ignorant. You're intolerant. You're uneducated. Don't believe me? Google images, "creationism." You will see 99% of the images are of illiterate, dufuses. It's the science of "stupidity." Now look up in the images, "evolution," and it's all projected as pie in the sky reality...glory, glory! We are the dumb ones, they are the higher intelligence. They have all the knowledge, we're just stupid bible thumpers who use a book that's "ancient" (because it never changes, thank you!) to back up our evidence.

So when the world says, “Don’t impose your beliefs on me,” why aren’t we asking the same of the world? Why aren’t we insisting the world stop imposing their fairytale, science fiction stories on us and our children? You know why? Because you don’t even know it’s happening. Because you don’t even know the facts yourself. You can’t fight the fight without the fight in you. You can’t defend something you don’t know anything about. You’re not paying attention! 

So what do we do when we teach our children one thing and the schools teach them “theories” and ever-changing ideas? Well, I can’t say it enough, but you need to be involved more. I know we all have busy lives, but isn’t your children’s future worth just a few minutes every day to debunk the junk that’s coming from our schools?

You have to teach them about the real world; about the atheists who have demanded the truth be taken out of the schools so silly stories could be sold instead. They need to know how the world works in an honest manner. They need to be prepared spiritually for the battles they will face at every turn. They need to know what it means to be a Christian from the world’s point of view. They need to know the consequences, and they need to know how to stand strong.

They will not be popular by any means, but trust me, when your child can take the ideas of the fish, the ape, or the crystal and say, “And you think my opinion is wacky?” they will soon look like the hero. Your kids will be little evangelists, opening the minds of other young children.

Many think our children are gullible, which is why the world is making the rules the way they are. So they can manipulate them, confuse then, and eventually get them to “see it their way.” But we know that children are smarter than that; that given substantial evidence, they can figure it out. That’s why science is heralded as the last word. They provide basic forms of evidence, but their evidence is always falling short, always failing, always changing, and is quite honestly, man-made evidence. There’s nothing to back up their theories as “fact,” only their say so. Did you hear that? If they say the world is a billion years old, they have nothing to prove it. Trust me! Nothing! They formed “opinions” and made speculations, but nothing backs up the evidence, because no one was there to verify it as true.

I highly recommend that you educate yourself first, then pass that knowledge onto your children. A great place to start is the bible, of course. When you have questions, ask God to reveal the answers. He’s good on His Word. If you’re still feeling confused, try this website: http://www.answersingenesis.org/, Answers in Genesis. Explore the site. There’s tons of information on there to help you find real answers when the world starts to attack you with their science fiction mumbo jumbo.

The imposters are imposing their beliefs on our children. The world is indoctrinating them to be who they want them to be…not who you want them to be. They don’t like what you want them to be. They can’t stand it. You can't be trusted. You're too stupid. You're blinded by your ancient faith. So they will tear down everything you’ve instilled in them. They will try to make them a product of their agenda. They will turn your children against you and against God. They will make you look like fools to your children. They will make them believe the lies and reject the Truth.

Granted, if your children reject God, there's a good chance they may come back to Him eventually. Once anyone truly knows God, it’s hard to walk away entirely. But what if they don’t, folks? What if they don’t? What if the world has a greater influence on your children then you do? Isn’t that shameful? And how will you answer to God when you stand before Him and He asks you why you let that happen? Don’t believe me?

“But whoever causes the downfall of one of these little ones who believe in Me—it would be better for him if a heavy millstone were hung around his neck and he were drowned in the depths of the sea! Woe to the world because of offenses. For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes.” Matthew 18:6-7

You. You will be responsible.



This blog was inspired by an amazing guest speaker that I saw last night at Kenosha First Assembly of God, Carl Kerby. I had been feeling this way for quite some time, but Carl’s visit solidified what I was feeling in my heart and the calling that we, as parents, are obligated to heed. If you or your church is looking for ways to expand on this topic, contact Carl at Reasons for Hope: http://www.rforh.com/

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

God Haters and Haters for God

I’ve been watching a lot things going on in the world that are so incredibly ridiculous, particularly concerning the atheist groups. They are fighting such enormous, costly fights to tear down Christianity…and no other religious group.



Here’s just a sample of things they are fighting in our court systems, wasting YOUR tax dollars:
  • elimination of white crosses on the side of roads or highways where someone was killed in an accident
  • demanding that the metal “cross” that was left standing from the World Trade Center not be a part of the 9/11 Memorial Museum
  • making it so children can be suspended from school for praying anywhere on school grounds
  • forcing rural neighborhoods to remove pro-life billboards, and in place display pro-choice, anti-Christian billboards
  • trying to prevent city funding for a pre-school being built at an old church

When you see these types of things, it makes you wonder why anyone who doesn’t “believe” in God would go to such lengths to stop Him, doesn’t it?

Let’s break it down in simple truths: an atheist is defined as someone who doesn’t believe there is a God at all; while an agnostic is someone who feels there just isn’t enough evidence to support or not support God.

Now if it were me, as an atheist, why would I feel so offended by crosses, prayer, or billboards? I mean, truly, if I believe God isn’t real, then why am I so obsessed with Him and what His believers are doing? I don’t believe in atheism, but I don’t run around and demand every single thing in the world that DOESN’T pertain to God be taken off the air, taken out of the schools, or taken anywhere out of the site of the rest of the world.

See, the world already abides to an atheist world. Everything on TV, on the radio, in the news, in our schools, along the road…they have nothing to do with God or Jesus. In fact, watch a Joyce Meyer or Joel Osteen broadcast on a local television station. The first thing you will see is an announcement that the channel will not be held responsible for the content of the show, nor do they “agree” with the content. Every time I see it, I can’t help but laugh. These shows encourage people, give people hope, and provide practical life applications to be a better person. They share joy, love and peace. Isn’t that what the “secular” world claims they want? Isn’t that what they scream and yell for all the time? Yet when they see it, or hear it, they want NOTHING to do with it! They run from it. They fight it. They denounce it.

On the other hand, when these TV stations broadcast shows with brutality, sex, homosexual relationships, murder, blood and gore, no one is giving you a warning before hand that the station disagrees with its content. You’ll receive no notice whatsoever that they won’t be held responsible if your children are watching and could pick up on these destructive behaviors. But we should be “warned” about God’s love. Ohhh, scary!

With that being said, I firmly believe that atheists are believers in God, they just hate Him. Their behaviors indicate nothing less than that. They are not anti-Muslim. In fact, the atheists are the first ones outside with  picket signs in FAVOR of a mosque being built near the site of 9/11, yelling, “Freedom of religion! Freedom of religion!” Come on, you gotta laugh at these jokesters.

They will fight for any other religious right but the rights of Christians. Those are the ones they will fight against. Why? Because there is POWER in Christ! They fear the absolute power of Jesus. They don’t need to fear dead gods, they have no power. And they surely don’t fear the extremists, because in their eyes if they kill thousands of people, that’s okay, because at least they’re not spreading the gospel and giving people hope of eternal salvation and happiness.

These are the people who are taking your religious freedoms away. God haters. Lovers of false gods, and haters of anything that offers hope. Anything good, they hate. Anything hopeful, they see as destructive. Anything pure, they see as tainted. And as you can see from my list above, they are not going to back down. And they don’t need to, because the world listens to that. The media buys it. The media coddles it. The media abides by it, too.

Now I’m not saying that there aren’t many Christian nut jobs out there that make atheists look like Candy Stripers, because there are plenty of those, too. They are the ones who denounce Mormons as Christians, or say Baptists are going to hell, or Catholics worship Satan. The bad part about these people is that they are fighting their own brothers and sisters. They are coming against their own people.

When I lived down South, I started a lunchtime Christian bible group at my job. I asked anyone who believed in Jesus to join us. We had Baptists, Evangelicals, Presbyterians, and a Lutheran. One day, after our group met, a woman from my church said, “It’s just too bad most of them are so misguided. We really need to get them to come to our church.”

When I first got saved, I thought anyone of any particular “religious” label, specifically Catholic, was going straight to hell and they needed to be warned and saved. My grandfather was a practicing Catholic his whole life. After I got saved, I came to see my grandfather and told Him about Jesus—as if he didn’t already know. I was utterly convinced he was going to hell. And then one night as I was out in the living room, sitting in the chair praying, I was able to see into my grandfather’s bedroom. What I saw changed my life.

My very old, stroke-stricken grandfather was on his (bad, aching, nearly paralyzed) knees praying. He did it first thing in the morning, after lunch, and before bed. I realized that my grandfather was more faithful in prayer than I was—the born again Christian.

He used to tell me all the time how much he prayed for me and my son. I thought with him being a Catholic, those prayers were being sent to deaf ears. That faith, that style of believing and worshipping isn’t my cup of tea. But that surely doesn’t make it Satanic or sinful. They practice things differently. Maybe not even entirely scripturally, but if their foundation is set on Christ, then I have no right to say they are wrong and I’m right. Mormons, too, believe in Christ. Everyone thinks they worship Joseph Smith, but they believe he was a prophet, not Christ Himself. Do they practice rituals and sermons I don’t agree with? Absolutely! But I don’t think they are any less believers in Christ because of it. Some religions are misguided in their practice, or rules and regulations. But ask them who their Savior is, and they will proudly tell you, “Jesus!”

We, as Christians, need to get over ourselves, too. We need to let God deal with people, otherwise, we end up looking just as ignorant as atheists. Instead of being a God Hater, we end up being a Hater for God. You are not right. They are not right. But God is! And my relationship with God is not the same as yours. God calls me to worship with my hands high in the air, but God may ask you to be reverent and solemn. God asks me to speak out loud to Him as if He’s in the room, but He may ask you to quietly tell Him your needs from your heart. God may ask me to give $20 to an organization, but He may ask you to give $100. He knows our individual needs. But He also demands that we love others, even those who don’t do what you do. If you don’t believe the same way as someone, respect them and move on. I don’t believe in Muhammad, but I’m not going to scream and yell at Muslims at how misguided they are. I will pray for them instead.

We shouldn’t rebuke someone based on their faith, but rather their sin, if obviously unscriptural (adultery, abuse, drinking excessively, etc.). The religion or religious rituals they practice aren’t sinful. The way I worship may seem to others as cultish. I know many of my family members thought I got brainwashed into a cult when I got saved, because the world doesn’t understand it. Non-believers will never understand our passion for Jesus and the pure joy we receive from His grace and mercy. They will think we are ridiculous, until the day comes when they, too, receive His forgiveness and salvation. Then it will all make sense. Then they, too, will shout from the rooftops and endlessly rejoice in Him.

We need to find a middle ground where we can all live together. Where I can openly express my faith, and the atheists can openly express theirs. We don’t need to fight each other…unless we do.

When we find ourselves victims of censorship based on Christ, we need to stand up and stand against it. We need to tell the world that we are not going to be silenced just because it doesn’t fit into their agenda of sin and hate. Jesus stood up to the Pharisees. He called them out, and so should we.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

GPS for My Blessing, Please

I need to sit down and calm down. Period.

I was so proud of myself last week when our water heater decided to take a dive. I didn’t do my usual production of “Woe is Me,” or “God Must Hate Me.” Nope. I just calmly said, “Well, we’ll ask my mom to use her credit card and get a new one.”

The reason I suggested that as our solution is because it’s been our only solution for nearly three years. When we moved into her house and took over her mortgage, a lot of work and renovation needed to be done, so we charged about $500 to get the supplies we needed. When we finally got that paid off last summer, I wanted to carry inventory for Passion Parties and bought about $800 worth of product. Then Jared wanted to get his captain’s license, and she offered for us to use her card again for the $1000 course and materials. We were $600 closer to paying her off when the water heater broke, and I knew the only way we could fix it was to charge it again. So we tacked on another $315, bringing us back up to over $900 with a 17% interest rate. But I wasn’t going to fret over it, because there was nothing we could do.

Then when I tried to register my car, I realized it had to pass emissions, which means we need to purchase a new muffler. And then today, getting ready to go to church for the monthly prayer meeting, I sent Tavin in the living room to watch some Nick Jr. in hopes of occupying him while I got his dinner ready. Our three year old, $800 flat screen TV decided it no longer cares to show us what’s on, but instead will merely give us sound. As if that will occupy Tavin. So as I’m trying to figure out what’s going on, Tavin is literally tossing himself too and fro, landing haphazardly on my back, or into my ribs. I say, “Tavin, stop please. The TV is broke.” So he runs up to the TV and continually spouts, “The TT is broke. The TT is broke. The TT is broke…” Well, you get the picture; I don’t, because my TT doesn’t.

Just as I’m texting Jared on my Motorola Blur smartphone, it decides it’s going to freeze so I can’t do anything. I nearly threw it against the wall. All the while, Tavin is banging his head against the glass window on our French door. I wasn’t sure what I was more concerned with: his head crashing through the glass or the thought of having to replace the door at $300.

I should have gone to the prayer meeting, but I’m not sure how to stop being upset and go to church and put on a Praise God face. I never have. So instead I got mad at God and angry with Tavin and texted Jared about how livid I was. I stormed upstairs and put Tavin to bed after another throw down tantrum, and nearly told God, “I quit!!” I wanted to, because that’s what I’m good at: quitting.

But instead I focused on something besides God and besides the TT and besides the increasing debt we are quickly falling into again. I found myself drooling over recipes. My comfort is food, even if it’s reading about it. I find great pleasure in looking at photos of food, analyzing recipes and imagining myself preparing them (because these are three things I very rarely get to do anymore).

As I began to calm down with visions of cherry cakes and cherry pies, I eventually found my center with God again. Sometimes I can’t find my peace in God alone, because He is sometimes the One with whom I’m incredibly angry with. It’s like trying to find peace in Tavin when he’s slamming his head into a glass window and continually telling me the TT is broke. I will not find it there. (Doesn't that look GOOD? http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/)

Tavin is now relaxed and calm and sleeping for the night. I stepped away from it all and indulged in a bit of food porn, if you will, and in the process regained some self-control. I’m still angry, but not nearly as I was an hour ago. I’m still frustrated and confused and incredibly tired.

I’m desperately trying to make sense of it all. We’ve been tithing and giving to Joyce Meyer Ministry, just as God asked us to do. I was even faithful this Sunday when He asked me to put that last $5 I had until payday into the offering bag. But this morning I found Tavin trapped in his crib. He had broken off more springs and the mattress fell in between the frame. His poor knee was stuck in the bars of the crib and his foot was smooshed between the frame and spring. I had to run out and spend my last $10 in our account for bungee cords in hopes of fixing this endless problem we seem to have with this deathtrap of a crib.

I hear it over and over again that when things start to get really bad, the blessing is right around the corner. But things have been really bad financially for me, personally, ten years, and for us as a couple for three years. How many corners does my blessing have to turn before it finds me? Has it been rerouted? Is it on a detour? Is it taking the scenic route, stopping at every landmark, or pulling off the interstate to gawk at a big ball of yarn like my dad used to do (and still does)? Does the road to my blessing have some construction being done on it? Because one blessing has only led us to the newest disaster. Jared gets a raise and everything begins to fall apart so that the raise doesn’t even make a dent in the everyday problems.

Joyce Meyer once said that when King David wrote the psalm, “This is the day the Lord had made, I will be glad and rejoice in it,” that she’s almost positive he probably didn’t have a very good day after that. That’s how I feel sometimes. As if everything I believe in causes more setbacks. For a long time I even quit praying because quite honestly, everything I prayed for, the complete opposite would happen! I began to wonder if my prayers were cursed or if God just hated me.

King David probably really wanted to write something like this: “This has been a day. I am ticked and I’m ready to call it quits.” I know that this is exactly how I feel today. Tomorrow will be another story. Although tomorrow my problems will still be the same, hopefully God will give me some shelter. Hopefully that blessing will find me on Its GPS and get here soon!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Inspiration Means Nothing

I am always feeling so inspired about this or that and then shortly afterwards end up feeling incredibly defeated. After a year of ladies only Passion Parties, I wanted to break away from that and focus on couples parties instead. That, too, just didn't seem to end up working out as I had hoped.
After my last party I felt entirely…uninspired. I felt empty. I began to ask myself what’s right for me, because nothing seems to fit anymore. I had this incredible nagging sensation that I just wasn’t doing my part around here to make ends meet. I felt this need to be doing something other than being Tavin’s mommy.

*DING*

Yep. That’s when the bulb appeared over my head and the light blinked on.

For as long as I can remember I wanted to emulate my grandmother. She stayed at home, took care of me nearly everyday, cooked and cleaned, and taught me valuable lessons without even having to “teach” me. I just watched her. Watched her singing or humming as she baked a pie, did an impromptu chorus line dance in the kitchen, or delighted in the goofy things I did. Something about her life—her way of living—made me want to be just like her: funny, simple, joyful, loyal, thoughtful, grateful, generous.

She was a stay-at-home wife and mother. Her main “job” was taking care of the home and raising the children.

I’ve been struggling with this without even realizing why. I have always dreamed of being a stay-at-home mommy and now I am, but lately I’ve been feeling guilty. I’ve been feeling like I should be doing something else with my life. I feel the need to be participating in the finances; to pick up some of the slack. In my pursuit to “fix” things, I forgot what God has given me and just how much He has blessed me with this awesome opportunity and responsibility. But…

This world is killing the idea of mothers and the values, morals and ethics—basically the real responsibilities—of women. God created us to be life givers. Just as He is the creator of life, we too were given that amazing ability. But society wants us to believe that being “just a mom” isn’t good enough. That as women, we need to do it all and have it all. Unfortunately, in the process of doing it all in the pursuit to have it all, we have nothing of real value. Sure, we may have a bigger house, a shiny new car, or even a corner office with a great view, but at what cost do we have those things?

I began to feel the weight of the world on my shoulders with this concept of needing something more fulfilling: the world’s idea of what women should be. Us stay-at-home moms are usually referred to lazy, stupid, uneducated, worthless and socially unacceptable. I began to buy into this idea and felt heavy hearted about it because I was feeling useless.

A week prior to all of this, I wrote down specifically what we needed in order to financially make ends meet without having to struggle anymore. I prayed wholeheartedly over it and God said He would provide. But I thought by asking God for this provision that I was the one who needed to make it happen. I felt the need to fix it. I felt the need to do something about it to make it true. I thought the couples parties was the answer, so I stepped out and tried to make things happen and nothing did. So I was incredibly upset when I knew I was on the wrong path. I sat before God and asked Him what I was supposed to be doing. He simply said, “You’re doing it.”

God sat me down one morning and said, “I have given you the desires of your heart, just as I promised I would, and now that you have it you are dissatisfied. You have the greatest gift of all—the ability to be home with your child and raise him as you see fit. You are raising him to be intelligent, Godly, and polite. You are doing everything I wish the world would do right. Why is that not enough?”

When I came to this conclusion that being Tavin’s mommy is my career—and more rewarding than anything else I could possibly do in life—it was a few days later that Jared finally received his captain’s license in the mail. That’s a huge promotion for Jared, and now I don't feel the need to worry about how I will provide for my family. God has already done it.

There are some days I may not even get out of my pajamas.


But I am the one who is teaching my son about the world.

And on some days...I even get to see the world through his eyes.

Inspiration means nothing if it’s not coming from God. And sometimes inspiration is given to us through tiny feet, tiny voices, and tiny joys that all eventually add up to enormously successful and well-rounded people.

I am inspired by God to be a great mommy to my children. What more do I need?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Passionately Yours

So I’m really excited about a few things that are happening right now.

For those of you who have been following my original devotional blog, or personally know me, you know that I was a Passion Parties Consultant. I eventually stopped doing parties because I didn’t feel they were in alignment with God. I still believe whole heartedly that I made the right decision.

One thing that I loved about Passion Parties was the idea that I was helping people rediscover passion in their lives. I read a book last year on Mary Todd Lincoln that gave me a whole new perspective on what passion means.

Back in the mid-to-late 1800’s, women who showed signs of “passion” were considered insane and certifiable. Most husbands and/or sons used this as a means of institutionalizing their wives or mothers. Mary was institutionalized by her son, Robert, because he accused and testified that her compulsion for shopping was improper and shameful. When Lincoln was shot, Mary was ordered out of the bedroom where he was dying, because she was crying too loudly. Shameful!

Women today have no idea how lucky they are. But I often wonder if we’ve taken it a bit too far. Women are so desperate to be “equal” to men that they’ve forgotten what it means to be a lady. Quite honestly, I don’t feel the need to be a man’s equal. I should be treated better! If I reduce myself to their level, why would any man feel the need to respect me and treat me like a lady should be treated? Don’t women want to be treated well anymore? There's a HUGE difference between being a feminist and being feminine. Let's see: are you a violent fist-in-the-air kind of girl, or a gentle butterfly?

Anyway…I digress.

Not all of my Passion Parties were awful. I met quite a few wonderful women and had parties that were just fabulous. But the majority of the parties I went to were filled with darkness; filled with women who were so incredibly lost and confused about men and relationships. They talked badly about men, ridiculed men, and then wondered why they couldn’t find a good guy. Some of the women were no better than obscene and appalling men--possibly worse! This is not who we were meant to be. The freedom women were given was not intended for us to become like a man, but to have the same “rights” as a man did.

We are confusing men (again, I digress, but for some reason this is taking on a life of its own). We send mixed signals all over the place. Treat me like a lady, but treat me like a man. Be polite to me, but don’t open the door for me. Take me out to dinner for a romantic meal, but I’ll pay for my half. Be gentle to me, but be rough in bed. Really!? Is it any wonder that men have NO CLUE what to do with women these days?

When I quit Passion Parties, my sponsor asked me if it was because of my newfound “religion.” The sad part about that statement was that it wasn’t newfound…I had just pushed it deep down inside so that no one, including myself, would see it. Quite honestly, the last party I did made me see the errors of my ways when it came to the parties and my own faith. I was, in some way, encouraging that disgusting behavior in women. The things I saw at my last ladies only party made me, quite literally, sick to my stomach. I had never in my life felt so physically ill by something I witnessed. I couldn’t get out of that place fast enough!

What was I supposed to do with that? I enjoyed the business aspect—running my own business and meeting some nice people along the way, and of course when the sales were high the income was great—but I couldn’t watch women degrade themselves anymore. I just couldn’t do it. And again, I also knew this was not the path God intended for me to take.

With careful consideration, I began to think about ways I could do Passion Parties, enjoy it the way I had hoped to do from the beginning, and still be in alignment with God.

I had done a couples party before and thoroughly enjoyed the idea of teaching couples the art of being romantic and passionate with one another. I start each couples party with a little quiz on how well a man knows a woman’s body, and how well a woman knows a man’s body. You’d be surprised at how little they know in terms of understanding the sexual intricacies about each other. No wonder men and women are so confused in that aspect, too! They don’t get it, and no one has told them! Sex Ed is one thing, but learning passion is something entirely different.

(Now I understand that this blog has turned into a hodge podgey mess, but I hope you’re keeping up with me and getting something out of it.)

So anyway…I’m excited about what’s happening now with my business. I’m only doing couples parties now, focusing solely on the passion portion of it. I do delve into some basic toys, because I don’t think toys are sinful by any means. In fact, I know they can truly enhance any couple’s romance when they find themselves in an intimate slump.

What I really want to do, more than anything, though, is to do Christian-based Passion Parties. I’m already doing the Relationship Revival Action Plans through my daily devotional, but I want to incorporate that into my business, too. I want Christian couples to realize that sex is not dirty or sinful. Sex was designed by God. In fact, God loves women so much that He created them with the ONLY organ designed specifically for pleasure. It’s the clitoris, in case you didn’t know—don’t be grossed out, this is information you need to know. And if God created it, how can it be gross?.

Too many Christians are confused about sex. They don’t know what’s right and what’s crossing the line. I’m currently reading a book called, Sexy Christians, and would like to incorporate the “biblical” methods and practices into my parties. Married Christian couples need an outlet and a safe haven where they can talk openly about their concerns, and freely ask questions and get honest (to God) answers! So that’s one thing I’m interested in pursuing…

But mostly, I want to help so many of those confused single women out there who are desperately trying to find the right guy. I want them to know that there is hope, but they have to realize who they are in Christ first, otherwise nothing makes any sense at all! And I never say anything I don’t fully believe and/or haven't experienced firsthand. I had wanted to do dating classes for women, but that didn’t seem to pan out…yet. We’ll see where God leads me. But that is truly my heart, and it has been for quite some time. I want to see women in healthy, loving, God-filled relationships!!

Whether in a “couple,” or single, I think it’s critical that women understand what passion is and isn’t. We need to grasp what kind of passion crosses the line and not only confuses men, but confuses us, as well!

I think it’s important that if women want to be treated like a lady—with respect, admiration, honesty, and gentleness—then they need to start behaving like one (believing they are worthy of those things!), instead of trying to think and feel like a man. It doesn’t work, and why would you want to, anyway? They would also know it doesn’t work if they watched the very first episode of Sex and the City.

Long and painful, but drowning with information. My other thoughts…LOL!!!