Thursday, September 30, 2010

My Week

Yes, Jesus

I've been talking to a few people about God's love and God's love for me. I'm just going to throw this all out there so...that's the best introduction I can muster. :)

Growing up, my father had a strict religious upbringing, my mother's told me. To the point where, if my father came home and he was the only person there, he feared the Rapture had happened and that he had missed it. That he was, somehow, left behind. I think that fear has followed me my whole life.

It started, really, with going to my grandmother's church. She refused to come to ours because she said our faith was 'dead' and that she couldn't stand it. I remember a member of my extended family, someone I recognized, flailing on the ground and yelling. It scared me. Look, us Lutherans don't really put on a show. When we get hand-clapping, I always laugh because we appear awkward in our movement during service. You just don't DO that.

My friend in 4th grade would let me come to her house and we would watch videos on the Rapture. I remember these two girls who had missed it and I watched as they arrested one of them for believing in Christ and I remember her head being chopped off by a guillotine. The other girl received the Mark of the Beast. I would wake up in cold sweats after that. I would cry to my mother that I was afraid of the concept of 'forever' and what if God decided that He didn't love me? That I wasn't good enough for him?

When I was in middle school, I LOVED horror books. Loved to read Stephen King, even though my parents insisted on blacking out the curse words (this is how big of a dork I was, if I ran across any they missed, I blacked them out myself). I remember a friend of mine looking me straight in the eye and telling me I was going to hell for reading those books. We would go to her church lock-ins and I remember specifically being told that teenagers couldn't accept God and that we were all going to hell if we died at that very moment. Another friend of mine who came was so scared that she cried and re-committed herself to God that night. But she was terrified. What if God hated her?

I hear people say things and I stiffen. I know that they are about God and the love of God, but I can hear the voices of the people who influenced me when I'm younger and I rebel against them. Then I get guilty. Those words are about God, what if He thinks I don't love Him? Then what? I have never been able to look at myself at say that I will go to heaven. I can't say those things about myself. I feel that God will change His mind. I know that I am saved by grace. Just don't ask me where I'm going once I die.

I know that people will ask if I have forgiven these people. I assume that I have. I don't hold that bitterness anymore. Is that forgiveness? I can tell you that I didn't talk to my grandmother for two years, but I put it aside.

But I still feel like what Father Boyle describes in Tattoos On The Heart in the section 'God, I Guess': You concede "God loves us," and yet there is this lurking sense that perhaps you aren't fully part of the "us." The arms of God reach to embrace, and somehow you feel yourself just outside God's fingertips."

I'm trying to rip the clods of dirt off my heart. Trying to rip away all the things that I go back to (*cough* *cough* FEAR). I'm trying to look in the mirror and love myself. Because I feel like if I could love myself, that would help too. I could go into all the stories in high school...the 8th grade baseball team who called me a beached whale, but this is already getting long.

I'm hopeful that, if I could see what God sees, that I could love myself and accept that God would love me with all my cellulite, with my obsessions, with my want to help EVERYONE, whether or not I actually can. That I don't have to please EVERYONE and that God loves me even if I hate my haircut or think my arm fat flap in the wind. And that He doesn't want me to have the fear I have...the fear I have is not the good is the kind that will eventually kill me.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I Want To Make You Pancakes

I just had the sudden urge to make breakfast for everyone and anyone I know or don't know.

My friend sent me a recipe for red velvet pancakes and I just want to make everyone I can baked goods!

Nursing homes! The street! Hospitals! Office buildings! Baked goods for all!

me: I know
I have the sudden urge to make people pancakes
Steven: That's a strange urge
me: Well, not pancakes out of people or pancakes shaped like people
Sent at 2:44 PM on Wednesday
Steven: I know
Sent at 2:45 PM on Wednesday
me: Just thought I'd specify
Sent at 2:52 PM on Wednesday
Steven: I appreciate it
I didn't see you as the type to hunt people down and turn them into pancakes

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

If You Could...

This is random. I was just thinking it...if you could model your life after a biblical character/person (and not Jesus, because, you know, that's the goal, but I know I am FAR from that) or a person who has ever lived, who would it be?

I would tell you the one biblical person I'm trying to live like this October, but I'm still trying to be a left-hand, right-hand person.

So, if it were a different person, it would be Father Gregory Boyle from Homeboy Industries. He has God in his heart and God certainly gave him both mercy and humor. I'm not very funny, but my husband would agree that I think I am. :)

It doesn't have to be all the characters of that person, but maybe an action or something that their known for. Who would yours be?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

"Naturally the common people don't want war neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to
drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."
- Herman Goering (1893-1946) Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe, President of the Reichstag, Prime Minister of Prussia and, as Hitler's designated successor, the second man in the Third Reich. [Göring]

On Poverty

What is poverty?

I looked it up on Wikipedia and this is what it said:

"Poverty is the lack of basic human needs, such as clean water, nutrition, health care, education, clothing and shelter, because of the inability to afford them."

I was feeling on Friday that I am the poor person.

Sure, I can eat and sit on the computer and have clothes, but do I value the flowers when I'm walking to work? Sometimes. But most times, I'm just thinking about ME getting to work. And if someone cuts me off, I'm indignant. How could they do that to ME?

Yeah, I have a job, but do I care about other people? Sometimes. I was not feeling very Christ-like at certain times this weekend. I could blame it on New York. I could blame it on the fact that I was exhausted and we were busy.

Or I could blame it on ME.

Ethiopian women with nothing gave me their only cooking pot because I came to visit them. Another woman called my husband and I family. People in South Africa invited us in their homes. Thai people were excited to see us. The Chinese want to talk to us because we've come to see their country (and sure, they've probably never seen a white person before). So willing to give and sure, we all have our bad days and I'm sure they're not entirely Christ-like either. But I feel like, maybe, they're on a more direct course then I am.

So maybe I'm the poor one, even with my money and my apartment.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Leave It Up To You

I've shown forgiving myself is something I can’t do
So I'll leave it up, leave it up to you
I'll leave it up to you...
The God of a million second chances
'Cause the chances are
That I'll return and take the wheel
A million times or more
-'Leave It Up To You' by Jill Phillips

Around - New York/New Jersey/Ohio

My in-laws...and me with more hair.

So helpful

Pillow cookies

Our church

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My Pictures!

Some pictures from my trip to Africa were posted on Baby Be Blessed's website for Too Cute...Tuesday!

Take a look:

Monday, September 20, 2010

Do not commit the error, common among the young, of assuming that if you cannot save the whole of mankind you have failed.

~ Jan de Hartog

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What A Weird Few Weeks

I know I haven't been posting much. Sorry. The Video Music Awards were this weekend and it'll probably take me a few weeks to readjust. But I've had some CRAZY stuff happen and I think I'll finally write all of it down. (And some not so crazy stuff, so bear with me!)

- A few weeks ago, we found a baggie of pot in our office hallway. A friend of mine said that, if that had happened at her office, they would have called the police. My husband said that we probably had a drum circle.

- A bird crapped squarely on the crown of my head this morning while I was partially covered by an overhang. I'm going to say that it was good luck because it chose me when there were quite a few people out walking around.

- My dad was in town! Hooray! He bought me some utensils for pie making and I left them in his hotel room. I felt like a spy, asking for the mail at the front desk, in my name so I could get my baking tools back.

- All of my coworkers came to our VMA rehearsal hungover. Really hungover.

- Our cat has taken to sleeping on my back certain mornings when we don't give her enough attention. She sprawls out to the point where her front paws are on my face.

- I met my niece! She's absolutely adorable. Both of them are. :)

Well, those have been the last few weeks. Between Lady Gaga's meat dress and my pie baking, it's been a bit busy. I'll close you out with a few pictures of my mini-pies!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

You Are Light

Jesus says, "You are the light of the world." I like even more what Jesus doesn't say. He does not say, "One day, if you are more perfect and try really hard, you'll be light." He doesn't say, "If you play by the rules, cross your T's and dot your I's, then maybe you'll become light." No. He says, straight out, "You are light." It is the truth of who you are, waiting only for you to discover it. So, for God's sake, don't move. No need to contort yourself to be anything other than who you are.

- Father Gregory Boyle, Tattoos On The Heart

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

When Did We Become So Divided?

I'm watching news segments about burning Qurans. When I was in Ohio, a man had signs in his yard, essentially telling people they were stupid for voting for Obama. Yet again, that's not the first time this has happened - liberals were so angry over Bush...

I don't know. When did we stop communicating with each other? When did we just start yelling at each other?

Sara Groves wrote a song and it was a song for her sons, telling them the advice she hoped that they would want to live by and it was inspired by something Jesus says in the book of Matthew. '...the love of most will grow cold.'

The love of most will grow cold. Is that what's happening to us?

I know. I haven't been around lately and now I'm here talking politics?! I know. Sorry. I have pictures to put up. I just needed to set this down. Hopefully I'll be back soon, but I haven't seen my father in over 6 months and he'll be in maybe after that :)