Saturday, December 21, 2013

Just a lot of stuff I want to say….

I know this Duck Dynasty thing has turned into an avalanche. It started rolling as soon as people had differing opinions, and I don’t see it ending anytime soon. It gives people something to fight about, and people love to fuss and argue.  It lets us all climb up on our high horses and proclaim that WE are the right ones. If we don’t watch out we will be knocked off that horse by the avalanche.

I am a Christian. I LOVE me some Jesus… in fact, I love Jesus more than anything or anyone. He is my EVERYTHING. He is the reason I get up and breathe everyday. I love Him. I have struggled in the past with gay marriage and how to minister to homosexuals without throwing that word “sin” in it. I struggle, because I love people so stinking much it hurts. I don’t want to hurt them… I want them to see the hope and love that can only come from Jesus. I want them to live in complete freedom. I have tried to skirt around the subject so that everyone is happy. Unfortunately we know life doesn’t work that way.

I love people. I believe we are all sinners as the Bible says. I love straight sinners, I love gay sinners, I love vain sinners, I love gluttonous sinners, I love sinners who spend too much money on clothes. I love thieving sinners, I love murdering sinners, I love sinners who aren’t honoring their parents, I love Christians who are sinners because they judge others. In short I love all people, and that love is not based on your sexuality, your addictions, your professional accomplishments, your issues, or your hang ups. I respect the fact that everyone has an opinion, and I try to be respectful of everyone’s opinions, whether I like them or not. I will admit that is a difficult task sometimes, but I try my best. Sometimes I fail.

I believe that the Bible is God’s own word breathed into existence. I believe that He ordained every Word in it. I don’t understand a lot of it, but I don’t have to. I accept all the other things on faith. Although I don’t understand His reasons who am I to question GOD? Who am I to say that something He said is a sin is not a sin? Who is anyone to say that something God said is sin is not a sin? Who decides that part of  THE HOLY BIBLE isn’t applicable anymore? I actually heard a man on CNN state that parts of the Bible don’t fly in the city square anymore. I almost caught my breath, because he certainly forgot to Whom it Is he goes Before. Shiver. He had decided that part of what God said didn’t apply to him, because he didn’t want it to.  That’s the catch. If you take part of It you have to take all of It. That’s where lines get blurry and crossed.  To believe every Word of The Bible doesn’t make me a bigot, a racist, or a hater. It makes me a child who trusts her Father.

Having said all that I have such a huge love and compassion for the gay community. I have a fierce love and need to protect the gay people I love and their families. I don’t participate in anything that isolates ANY group of people in the name of Jesus. He NEVER isolated anyone. If He wanted to talk about the choices they were making in their lives He sat down with them and talked. They had a conversation. He helped them work things out. He told the Truth, and He told it like it is. They’re all His Words, and I trust the way He used them. For reasons I don’t completely understand The Church as a whole has decided that homosexuality is THE SIN. It’s THE SIN we need to address constantly. It’s THE SIN that we need to fight against. It’s THE SIN that deserves all of our attention constantly. Do you ever wonder why that is like I do? I believe that part of it is the fact that it’s easy to call people out for sins we don’t struggle with. It’s much easier to stand firm on a subject we’ve never struggled with isn’t it? Why isn’t the church focusing on heterosexual marriages and the decline of the Christian family as God intended? (That’s another story all together.) BUT WE LOVE GAY PEOPLE. WE HATE THE SIN AND NOT THE SINNER. I hear that everyday at least once. One day I was praying and discussing this issue, and God gave me a thought. My sexuality is PART of who I am, but it doesn’t define me. My sexuality has NOTHING to do with my spirituality. My spirit is not sexual. My spirit is as pure and white as a virgin thanks to the blood of Jesus. I think about Jesus A LOT more than I think about having sex with my husband(sorry Andrew),because I think of Him all day long. If someone asked what my identity is I would reply “I am a follower of Jesus”. I wouldn’t say, “I’m a heterosexual woman who struggled with sexual sin a great part of my life who happens to be married to a man”. All that describes part of me but not the core of ME. When did we stop looking at people as a whole? When did we start breaking people up and putting them into all these sinning categories? Does that help us glorify The Kingdom? I know that I personally can fit into several sinning categories, and I refuse membership to all of them, because Jesus took care of that on the Cross.

The entire point of that novel I just finished was to give the foundation for what I’m about to say. I believe that Mr. Duck Dynasty Phil had the absolute right AND responsibility to Biblically answer the question he was asked. I do not condone the words that came out of Phil’s mouth, and I have specific reasons why. When we use The Bible as a shield we are standing up and representing The Church. We are representing Jesus. We are the model. I don’t believe for one second that Jesus would’ve used the vulgar descriptions Phil used. When Phil agreed to answer that question he chose to answer to a huge audience representing Jesus Christ, and honestly, I don’t think for one second that Jesus would have handled it that way. I think He would’ve quoted the Scripture that dealt with the question, but He would not have been mean about it. Jesus would have told the Truth without all the graphic ugly details. It’s not only WHAT we say. It’s HOW we say it.  The more I thought about it I tried to put myself in the place of a gay woman reading that. I hope that if I was a gay woman I would respect Phil’s opinion, but I would absolutely have the right to not like what he said. I don’t have a dog in the A&E fight. At first I was all roaring about his right to say whatever he wants. and then I posed a question to Andrew last night. What if my little family had a Christian television network that’s purpose was to spread the gospel and represent Jesus?  What if Phil would have used those words on our network? Would I have wanted to greet Phil with a slap on the back the next morning? Probably not. I doubt I would’ve fired him, but we would’ve had a discussion about how to respectfully say things. My network. My right.

Before I push publish there is one last thing I want to put out there. Liberals call for conservative Christians to tolerate EVERYTHING. They want us to tolerate and not say a word about anything that society does no matter how badly it offends or hurts us. We are to take it. We are supposed to tiptoe around abortion and hot button issues, because Heaven forbid, we may OFFEND somebody.  We are supposed to stand quietly when our government tries to erase all traces of  the God Whom this country was founded on, because some of what He said offends some. We are supposed to shut up. Sorry. It doesn’t work that way. If you ask for tolerance you are to GIVE tolerance. If someone says something you don’t like you aren’t allowed to go into a huge hissy fit, because they don’t agree with you…. You calling him a bigot and hater is no better than what he said. Sorry. That’s just the way it works. It’s not always easy to give tolerance and kindness to those who offend us, but being hateful and ugly gets us nowhere, and it gets you nowhere. Do we want to be right, or do we want to make a positive difference? I personally want to live my life in a way that pleases my Savior. Sometimes that may offend some of my friends and family. To that I say I’m sorry, but I am accountable to Jesus and no one else.

The end.

I love all of you. God bless you, and have a MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

I’ve been kidnapped by my own body.

I'm sure during many times in my life I've been "those people"... those people who walk around all day taking care of themselves, their kids, their home, their lives. When you're one of "those people' you don't even think about what you're doing, because it's normal. It's what we're supposed to do... We don't give it another thought. We may think about how tired we are.. how much we have to do.... where we have to go.... but do we ever stop to think about how lucky we are to just be able to DO those things? The things that make us exhausted and aggravated... the things that we wish we didn't have to do. We should be thankful for those things. Unfortunately no one is really ever thankful for those things until they can't do them anymore. That would be me.

First of all let me say that I am not trying to be all Debbie Downer, and I don't want pity. I'm hoping for some understanding... some understanding for myself as well as all the other people who have also been kidnapped by their own bodies. Kidnapped by my own body..... What does that mean? Well, to me it means that this human shell that possesses my soul and spirit have been hijacked and held prisoner by this body I have.. this body that has pesky old dysautonomia as well as a heart that doesn't get the memo either. This body that traps me... it traps my will. It traps my desires. Sometimes it even traps my hopes and dreams. Let me try to give you a glimpse of what this looks like.  When you're trapped in your bed for days on end you see the world existing without you. You see your beloved husband doing all the things you wish you could do for yourself. You're beyond thankful that he does it with such love and grace, but you still wish you were doing it instead of him.You hear your baby and sweet girls playing in the other room, and you also hear your baby calling "Mama", because he doesn't understand where you are. Said beloved husband brings him on many trips to visit the sick room, but he doesn't want to be in there. He gives a kiss or two, but he wants to live in the world with the living.. the doing... the moving. Who doesn't want to live in that living world?

On days one and two I'm generally ok emotionally. I don't LIKE being stuck in the bed, but my body is so exhausted that it overrides my feelings and gives into rest... For me it's not sleep... I can't sleep. I have to just lay there. Lay there and rest. Lay there and let my body try to replenish the lost energy and motion... Let it try to recover from normal everyday living, because somehow ordinary living has pushed me to this state of laying. This state of watching... the state of feeling like I don't exist. I KNOW people love me and care about me. I don't doubt that for a second that my existence matters to them. I know that my existence has a profound effect on their lives and is most of the time a positive addition to their existence.... but then I lay and lay some more.... By days 3 and 4 the depression starts to kick in. I fight it. Oh how I fight it. I talk to Jesus a lot... trying to keep myself on track... I watch good shows on Netfix... I eat too much junk that's not good for my body. I try to stay ME, even though I don't feel like me at all. I feel like a nuisance. I feel like dead weight... I know that Andrew will be so mad at me for saying that I feel like a nuisance to him, because that fabulous man goes out of his way to make sure I know I'm not that to him. I'm his beloved. For some reason he adores me and has no resentment for the time this body steals from our lives.... I pray I would be as good if the situation were reversed. I probably wouldn't. I'm not nearly as good as he is.

IF I hit days 5 and 6 like I did this time I go into the "I'm about to go over the cliff. I'm going over the edge" category... This is when I cry to Andrew about how TIRED I am of this... I complain about how I'm so tired of being sick and tired. I tell him how I don't know if I can take anymore... that I'm going to lose it. I FEEL certain that I'm going to lose it, but somehow I never have. I don't even really know what lose it means... I do get plenty pissed off at my situation, but I don't lose it. I guess I don't lose it, because Jesus has it. I don't stop and ask Him WHY I have this anymore. I don't scream at Him how if He loved me He would take this from me... He would take it away... He would heal me... I don't, because I know how He feels about it. It grieves Him that I am plagued by this. It HURTS Him to see me hurt... lonely... depressed...exhausted... losing hope. He hates that my body has paid part of the price of living in this fallen world, but He doesn't take it from me. Trust me. There are times when He does take it from me... He gives me that extra something to get back up... to function... to live in the land of the living, and I am so thankful for those times. Those times make me appreciate the things that aggravate most of the world (including myself sometimes). We all have our cross to bear.. We all have our "thorns". Our thorns come in all shapes and sizes, but we all have them. We all have something.

As I've gotten to this ending of this episode it becomes clear to me WHAT  I need to pray for...WHAT I want... what Jesus wants for me. I want to handle these times with grace and dignity. I want to make it through these episodes finding SOME WAY to be thankful for them, because I trust that He does and will use them for my good. I have to lean on Him and not my own understanding, because most of the time I can't think of one good thing that comes from it... As soon as I type these words He shows me one good thing. Because of this mess I live with I have been able to stay home with these last 3 babies. I have been able to provide what they need from me even in these circumstances. I pray in someway my hurdles can encourage someone to push ahead through theirs... We may not can jump a hurdle, but we can sometimes crawl around it. I want to stay ME. I don’t want to let anything steal my me from me.

Today I want you all to stop what you're doing and just be thankful. Be thankful for the long line at Target, because you're actually able to stand in the line. Be thankful that you can't figure out what to feed your family tonight, because it means that you can cook and prepare something. Be thankful for the loads of laundry, because you can bend over to pick them up and put them in the washer and dryer. Be thankful as you grumble about making up the bed, because the bed is made up, because you're not IN it. Right now I’m thankful that my sheets are IN the washer. :) I want you all to know this is as much for me as it is for you. I have to focus on the good in all moments. I have to take advantage of the moments that He heals me and gives me what I need to live life. I have to be thankful for the aggravations that are really blessings. I WANT to be thankful for irritations and aggravations of just living this life.... I had a bad chest pain the other day. (Don't worry. I'm fine) It was a bad one, and it scared me. It scared me, because I knew in that moment how important I am to all the people who live this life with me. I KNOW how important I am to Jesus, and I know I have work to do for Him. I prayed to Him that I didn't want to leave. I knew I wasn't dying, but I had been feeling nonexistent. I had been feeling like I didn't matter or contribute enough... but He was gracious and reminded me that I DO. I matter. I contribute. I live.


Friends, if you’ve read all this I thank you. You’re always so good and supportive when I go through anything including the dreaded episodes. I love you all more than you can imagine. Stranger, if you’ve stumbled upon this random post I pray it gave you something you needed or maybe something for someone you love. In this moment I am thankful. I am thankful that Anne Pearce is home sick with me today, because I am getting to listen to a crazy story about dinosaurs, cowboys, and the desert. I didn’t miss the story, because I was trapped in my bed. I’m thankful, because I’m sitting up on my couch typing this for you… and for me. I’m thankful to exist and live this life. Do something crazy today… Do something with your body that you can do and never think about. Jump. Run. Stand. Twirl around in your yard. Just do SOMETHING, and thank Him for it. I may not be able to jump and twirl, but I’m about to walk to the washer. And for that I am thankful.


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