Thursday, August 29, 2013

So I retired my Facebook.

I read the boys the story of the good Samaritan tonight at bedtime. Well I read it to Ben, Ephraim decided that pointing out all the Thomas trains in another book was better.  I didn't make the connection at the time, but it seems God was telling me something even in the chaos of a bedtime Bible story.

I went on to read a post about young girls not being able to give consent to rape by an older man by Simcha Fisher found here at Patheos. I was struck by how she called us all out.  Because well, she's right.  It is so much easier to blame the girl who is dressed all sexy at 12 or 10 trying to look 25 than it is to love her, to see the hurt or the want of love behind her actions.  It made me think about how good intentioned people like myself, may not have the best reaction to a teenager who just wants to fit in and dresses like society tells her with her short shorts and her low cut shirt. I may want just be annoyed with  her and her fashion sense, but she's probably just trying to fit in and definitely not trying to be raped by an older man. I was once that teenager after all, the one just trying to fit in, even if it was a decade and a half ago. Even so, it is much easier to judge than love.

So last week, I gave up facebook.  I didn't like who I was becoming, someone full of negativity.  I read yet another post this time by Calah Alexander found here again at Patheos. In it she explained that she didn't know she could be so mean in real life.  I feel like this is who I am/was being.  I am constantly finding myself judging and being annoyed with people instead of loving them.  This paragraph stuck out particularly:

I can’t help but wonder if this virtual, gnostic reality is creating a generation of people who are deficient in the practical reality of love. We may be great at talking about love and mercy, we may be great at recognizing where it is or isn’t in these words on this page, but are we great at walking next door to watch our neighbor’s kid so she can run to the store unencumbered? Are we great at taking dinner to the elderly man down the street and staying to help him clean the toilet that he can’t bend down to scrub anymore? Are we even just great at closing Firefox so our son can climb in our lap?"

I can talk all I want, and maybe I do okay with my own kids (at least my husband tells me so), but I am  failing at loving when it comes to the people in my life that are difficult or just don't think just like me.  It is so easy to be annoyed to judge them instead of understand and love them.  I think that I have at least finally recognized this more.  It's not to say that I have figured out how to turn the off switch on the annoyance at someone not getting it.  I mean I screamed at someone very dear to me today because he couldn't understand why I wouldn't want to do something that the rest of the world would find completely normal to do.  That wasn't loving at all, he didn't mean any harm and I shouldn't have come at him like I did.

So among other reasons to give up Facebook, the time suck, the distraction from whats important, the vanity I feel like I get from posting things on it, I really gave it up because I want to love better or more, both really.  I want to be able to see someone who is hurting or isn't all together and just be able to be Jesus to them, not see them as a problem or even just be okay with different lifestyle choices that are not for me but work for them.  I feel like I am almost at ground zero for this in somethings though because I've created a cycle for myself to pick apart the wrong instead of seeing the searching and yearning and wanting for love...the good in people.  

So that good Samaritan, well I hope to be him someday.  I hope to really love my neighbor and not just see them for their faults. Pray for me in this and if there is anything I can pray for you too, I am more than willing to do so for you. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Who are you?

As I'm sitting here in bed, I'm the first to admit that today started out rough. I just wasn't hacking it the way I usually can. I don't know the culprit, selfishness, woken too early, or just hormones. But everything felt like the end of the world and I didn't want to try to fix it either. My husband, whom God spoile me with dearly, told me to simply do what I needed to do to feel better and go from there.

Well I loaded the kids into the bike trailer and biked to the local bakery for a chocolate muffin. Exercise and chocolate really do a lot for me and so it worked well. I was even able to entertain some neighbors for an hour when they stopped by, so the day definitely improved.

Lately conversations with a lot of moms have been school or with oriented. Two things that I don't really intend to partake in the normal way so I just listen. And the thing is, I think that is okay, its good and humbling for me to just listen. And honestly I've taken this role for a while, decades almost, I just don't think I've ever put it together that it could be something useful before. And granted I've had my own problems and decisions to discuss, I like being the listening ear.

And it's odd because a lot of times I wonder why I'm not the person itching to get back to work in my trained field. Why I don't feel the need to have a side income of my own. And granted I'm again very blessed to be able to not have to work, that is a different story, to have to do something versus choosing to do it. But I am immediately drawn to listening and helping others in the simple. Because sometimes, I think the simple gets overlooked in our society, its nothing to get excited over at least to most.  

I think, in all of this introspection, this is why things like the Elizabeth ministry appeal to me. I fulfill a basic need that is sometimes super hard to get done with life changes, but also I just get to sit and listen to how things are going in their lives if they should want it so. I feel like our neighborhood has a bit of unofficial ministry going on and for that I'm glad. Because I think no matter where you are at you need support maybe, just maybe God means for me to be a leg in his support chain. And that is perhaps a part of who I am and I'm okay with that.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Sometimes old memories resurface

I saw this post the other day on a group I am part of that was from the Birth Without Fear blog.  I guess it was just posted to the FB page, but it brought up what happened to me with Ben.  What I lived through.

The woman had been told to terminate her pregnancy or stop her master's program.  Let's just say this didn't surprise me one bit.  As a graduate student you are expected to put your research first and everything else is to become a far second or a third I guess.  When someone does something that changes this, it is frowned upon. Being pregnant is one of these things.

And while I can't actually publish what went on with my situation. It wasn't pretty.  And I won't accuse anyone of telling me to have an abortion, they didn't.  But I definitely didn't have it easy.  I hid the last month or so that I was researching because I couldn't take the abuse at 7-8 months pregnant. I was thankful that I was able to get outside of the situation, higher up help who did care. However, the memories still are there.  I still have a really hard time setting foot anywhere close to my graduate school's campus without being tense.

I think oddly however, this is why motherhood the first time around came so easy and was so welcomed.  It was something that was so pure and good compared to what I was coming from that I just felt capable.  I know that isn't the usual reaction to motherhood the first time around, but for me I needed this.  I needed this so much because so much wrong had happened before my son's birth. God was looking out for me, and I was extremely blessed with this welcomed transition.

Anyway, I'm not sure where I am really going with this, but I just had to get that out of my head.  It's been plaguing me a bit the past few days.