One must be in a constant state of misery…

To be filled with so much hate.

I cannot imagine how it must feel to wake up every day and have my sole purpose in life to be to cause strife to someone else. I cannot imagine how mentally exhausting and time consuming it is to keep seeking out propaganda to fuel my hatred. Because that has to be what these people do–instead of educating ourselves about those we hate with face-to-face encounters, we instead search for resources and information that reinforce our beliefs. It is like many of the people I interface with on FaceBook, whose facts tend to come from right-leaning websites such as Breitbart. I too have perused Breitbart and when I came across articles that were flat-out trash, I pointed those out to the Breitbart subscribers, and their replies have been that every news source has a slant or bias. Number one, that is untrue, and number two, if you know for a fact that a news source that you frequent has a slant, why do you take everything on it as Gospel truth?

I guess it is baffling because I do not have the ability to hate within me. If I were going to hate anybody, I am sure it would be the dirtbag who raped me. But you know what I feel toward him? Pity. I pity him because mentally healthy people do not victimize other people. There is something terribly wrong with him. Yes, he temporarily ruined my life, and yes, it is still something that I occasionally struggle with–mainly the “what ifs”. But even right after it happened, I didn’t hate him. I hated myself first, but then I dealt with that.

What I cannot understand is pure unadulterated hatred toward an ENTIRE GROUP OF PEOPLE. Every race of people has its bad apples; each religion, even Christianity, has its extremists.But in each case, the vast majority of the people are decent folks. I unfortunately encounter a lot of individuals who, despite their claims to the contrary, are highly racist against Black people. The 2010 United States Census recorded almost 38 million Black people. If we want to expand that number to include Black people living in other countries, we’re into the billions. So can one honestly say that they know for a fact, 100% without a doubt, that BILLIONS of people are lazy, mooching criminals? In 2015, it was estimated that there were 3.3 million Muslims living in the USA. If they ALL were terrorists, don’t you think America would have been completely ablaze by now?

I obviously do not agree with Islam’s beliefs but I know that God has elected SOME, and those who are not elected were given a free will with which they are allowed to choose their own destiny. Of course I would hope for everyone to choose salvation through Jesus Christ, but my job is not to twist their arms, threaten them, or try to force the to do so under duress. Because if that is the case, is it truly received? No. The Bible commands the children of God to love thy neighbor. It doesn’t come with conditions.

With that being said, the attack in London bothered me, as do all the attacks. I am soooo sick of senseless violence. I do not understand how a person can do harm to someone they’ve never even met. How do you even work up that much anger?????????????

I say it to my kids in Sunday school ALL THE TIME. One cannot have the love of God within him and hatred at the same time. Those two extremes cannot coexist.

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I can get petty sometimes…

And I have to check myself.

I just did.

Aaaaaand that’s why I am here right now. Remember how I said (on several occasions, I believe) that writing is key to my sanity, and a technique I use to process my feelings and check my potential irrationality?

Now is one of those times.

Admittedly, some of my frustration spilled over from last night. My body has not been doing so well the past few days. I have been in some serious pain. You ever take a woodshop class? (I did in middle school; LOVED IT. Schools need to bring those types of courses back and add some–let these kids know it’s okay if they’re skilled with their hands. Everybody doesn’t want to go to college). It feels like someone has placed each one of my bones, from the big femur down to the little metacarpals, in a vise and tightened it.

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Yet, somehow the mess that was made after I cooked dinner, which everyone ate, apparently was invisible to everyone but me, and after I woke up feeling a bit better after a short nap, I was dismayed to find that no one had even bothered to clear the dinner table. Everybody was just as happy and carefree as they could be, getting bathed and not thinking of how much it hurt me to carry the laundry baskets back and forth to make sure everyone has towels and washcloths, and how whereas it would have only taken them two flipping seconds to throw their remaining food in the trash and at least put their plate in the sink, it took me well over fifteen minutes to clean the dinner table.

So yes, I got angry. And I will admit. I cursed like a sailor as I cleaned up and packed my son’s lunch. (I have asked for forgiveness. But I’m honest. I was ticked).

AFTER that, I looked down at my FitBit and found that I was lacking in the steps department, and that made me angry too–I didn’t get my steps in because I was dealing with my baby throughout the day and when she would lay down for a nap, then I would work with my five-year-old on some of her lessons. So I put on a scenic walking video and got to my step goal. The exercise and subsequent shower lifted my mood and I felt good getting in to bed and falling asleep to the Golden Girls.

This morning when my alarm went off, I wanted to throw the phone and watch it smash into a million pieces. I didn’t sleep good, and am paying the price for overexerting myself yesterday (the bone-in-vise-grip-pain). It doesn’t help that my alarm ringtone is super cheery–that only made me even more annoyed. I might change the alarm tone to something more brooding.

I got up and all of us took Jayden to school. We are going to hang out at Mom’s until it is time to pick him and my niece up, because Mom won’t be able to get them and she asked my husband to do so. Since her house is only five minutes from the school, we figured we’d stay there, Matt would get some sleep, and then he won’t have to worry about having to wake up at 2:30 and hurrying to make the twenty minute drive from our house.

On our way to Mom’s he asked if there was anything there to eat. I know he is not a huge fan of waffles, and that is typically what Mom keeps. She’s not a huge breakfast person. The waffles and link sausage are there for us. I knew that there were ingredients to make French toast, one of the few breakfast items HE likes, even though I’m not a huge fan, and offered to make it.

So we get to Mom’s house. I wobble and grimace around the kitchen as I beat the egg, add the cinnamon and vanilla, add in some milk, whisk it up, etc. Layla requested some as well, so I’m making French toast for two people, link sausage for her, sausage patties for him. Mind you, I haven’t eaten breakfast myself, but as usual, figure my needs will come LAST.

I get done fixing the food and ask Layla to tell Matt to come to the kitchen table, as I am probably not in the best shape to bring the food back to the guest bedroom, where Matt has gone with the baby.

Layla comes and tells me that Daddy has said for us to go ahead and eat, and this puzzles me. The French toast was NOT for me, so no, I won’t go ahead and eat. What are you doing back there??? I think to myself as I head back to the room.

He is in the bed patting the baby, who is falling asleep, and instantly my blood pressure went up because I knew it was only a matter of minutes before he fell asleep with her.

And that’s exactly what he did. After I have WASTED time and ENERGY in the kitchen fixing a breakfast I DON’T EVEN WANT, he is in there snoring away.

So now I’m angry. Petty? I guess. But I was angry. The French toast is now sitting there waiting on him to wake up. I ate the sausage patties with the eggs I fixed for myself. I thought about waking him up out of spite. Part of me wanted to dump the French toast on his HEAD. That is what led me to my beloved blog. I had to read what I wrote and see how silly it is.

It made me think of a discussion I heard on a radio show the other day about family dynamics. A question was posed about whether the kids should come first in a family. A lot of people were calling in and saying that this elevation of children to a pedestal has become problematic to where the parents are neglecting their relationship with each other and themselves. I agree. Undoubtedly my kids are important. My love for them is beyond measure. But the relationship between my husband and I comes first. Why? Because if we are not strong individually and TOGETHER, those kids will suffer. If we are looking at things from a Biblical perspective, we understand that when we get married we are no longer two people, we are one, and that the goal of raising children is that they might grow up and become Godly, productive individuals who then leave the house to cleave unto their OWN spouse.

(Sidebar–my son’s school held a talent show last week. He came home and told me all about it. I asked him, “Who won?” He almost looked puzzled and replied, “There weren’t any winners. It was just a talent show.” I’m sorry, but I am not with the whole “everyone’s a winner” philosophy that people are pushing these days in child-rearing. Umm, no, everyone is NOT always a winner. It hurts children’s development to never be exposed to the agony of defeat. Defeat and the ensuing feelings develop character and resolve. I think it’s very destructive to protect kids from losing or failing. But I digress).

I think of some of the stories I have read on the birth board I belong to. The stories women tell about husbands who are still dependent upon their mothers as though their moms were their wives are absolutely flipping disgusting. THAT is what happens when a parent focuses more on their kids than their spouse–when that child grows up Mommy (or Daddy) is still unable to BACK OFF. And the child either A) doesn’t realize the attachment is unhealthy or B) is guilted into keeping it going, even if they don’t want it to. So, no. In my home, my kids are praised and rewarded, but they are also held accountable, taught realistically (when my son did not make the basketball team, I allowed him to cry and tell me about how it felt, but then I informed him that gave him an opportunity to take the time and practice so he can try again, and even if he didn’t make the team, that did not mean that he couldn’t play at the local rec center or with myself and my husband for fun. I also informed him that even if basketball wasn’t his strong suit, there were always numerous other things he can try. He’s very good at baseball, for example), and as often as we can, my husband and I steal away for couple time.

Anyhoo, I’m still annoyed, no doubt. But I feel a lot better and have put things in perspective. He works overnight, and usually goes in with minimal sleep. And although I was irritated that he even sat on the bed, knowing he was tired and can fall asleep within seconds, I know he didn’t do so purposely. His dedication to his job has been fruitful in the fact that we have a great house, reliable transportation, we eat well, our children have their needs and most of their wants met regularly, we get to go on family trips, and best of all, he and I have gone to places I would have only imagined before I met him–Sybaris, the Poconos, etc… So the French toast can wait. And I’ll make the best of it–since he was able to get the baby to sleep and I am exhausted, I’ll take the opportunity to get some rest myself.

Love is sacrificial. Yes, it hurt to make that food with every step that I took and every movement of my aching arms and hands. But he makes sacrifices for me regularly. And who knows–maybe the French toast will taste better reheated. Because although my mood is better, I still expect him to eat it. 🙂

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I love watching how my baby is developing.

She is, as of today, nine months old, and it is amazing to see the growth and development that has taken place in that short amount of time. Physically, she’s quite portly, with these cute little thick thighs and chubby cheeks; just enough hair for a little Pebbles Flintstone-esque spray of a ponytail that sits right on top of her head; and two super sharp pearly whites. Just like my other two children, she looks more like my husband than me (hummph). In terms of personality, I am seeing a bit of a temper beginning to emerge (sometimes to my dismay, other times her little fits are actually kind of amusing). She is taking risks as she gets more mobile. I can no longer lay her on a bed and turn my back on her to rustle through my drawers to find a t-shirt and pants. She has mastered the art of the crawl and is pulling up on things. A few times she has pulled herself up on the couch and let go, managing to balance her little plump body for a couple of seconds before falling to the floor. I imagine it won’t be much longer before she is chasing her big brother and big sister through the house (which means it’ll be even messier than it already is, JOY).

Interestingly enough, as her mobility has increased, her self-preservation instincts have kicked in rather strongly. Jayla is typically a pretty friendly baby, but in the past month she has gotten to where she hollers if Matt or I leave her line of sight. It’s like she knows finding out boundaries on her own… she explores but always looks to us for safety, guidance and encouragement. It is amazing to me the timeliness that she has developed this sudden awareness and even uncertainty about others at the same time that she became able to crawl and soon walk away from her parents.

I have been feeling bad physically but mentally my gears are a-grindin’. I absolutely cannot WAIT to finish this book; I have such a good feeling about it. Am I expecting it to be a best-seller and made into a movie? (A girl can dream…) I’ll put it this way–I definitely have confidence that it will have broad appeal and will be received well if it is marketed properly, but at the end of the day, if even ONE person reads it and it helps them in some way, I have accomplished my very goal in putting it into public rotation in the first place. I write for myself, but then again…I don’t.  (I don’t make a lot of sense at almost two in the morning, I apologize). What I mean by that is that writing is something I HAVE to do. When the creative bug hits me, it does not let up until I let loose. Reading and writing are my two escapes, two of my three means of sanity (the first, of course, is prayer). I write because I love it. But what I write is not FOR me, and not in order for me to gain fame. It is to help somebody.

All of the books and even book ideas that have come to me have come from a place of Godly wisdom and love. I don’t write feel-good fiction, basically (not knocking it, because I LOVE IT). I take a fictional approach to a real-life issue. Usually they have been topics that have been glossed over in the Church, such as domestic violence which is the topic of the book I am covering up, and sexual assault, which will be next. Christians need to be talking about these things. Typically, churches have avoided these problems, and in Black families, they are rug-swept. It was, at one point in time, a joke in the Black family to have the “creepy uncle” who hugged you too long or gave you the too-wet kiss, or noticed when you first started growing breasts and hips. When a little girl or boy told his parents about sexual abuse, if they were brave enough to do so, criminal charges were rarely ever filed. Instead, the family attempted to deal with the matter quietly. And what the heck does that teach that little boy or girl? That the family’s perfect image is more important than acting swiftly and appropriately to remove a threat from that child’s life, and from society?

I hate to go off on a tangent, but there were so many implications that people did not even consider when they failed to even call the authorities when their child mentioned abuse. Number one, not only has that child’s trust in that particular adult figure been tarnished, how are they going to trust ANY adults after the ones closest to them basically told them that them being violated wasn’t that big a deal? Because not only were the violators not prosecuted, those children were NOT put in counseling. Black families wanted to keep it a secret and it was an awful thing to do.

Two, if the perpetrator is not punished, what do you think he will do? You think he will just stop?  No. I  think since he got off scot-free in the first place, he will go on to sexually abuse another child. His behavior will continue to escalate until he is forced to deal with it–usually when he is caught and punished. (Mind you, I am saying “he” in a general sense. I am just using that pronoun, but I am referring to perpetrators of both sexes. I have also become aware of disturbing accounts of little boys and girls being molested by adult females too).

I could go on, but I’ll save it for my next book.

I guess I should turn in. I only got up to cut the heat up a little–this is supposedly the first day of spring and here I am cutting the heat up a little. Gotta love Michigan. We didn’t have a winter, and now here comes spring and we’ve been getting snow. I’ve been short on the complaints because we really didn’t get much snow to begin with. I just hope the cold air doesn’t last into May because I really want to do something beautiful for Matt’s birthday but I am fully aware that God PRETTY much does what He wants. If he decides the earth needs a bit more water, I’m sure he’ll bring on the snow. And we’ll have no choice but to pout and bear it (not grin and bear it).

Besides the fact that I’ve lived in Michigan for the entirety of my 35 years of life and have become accustomed to the unpredictable weather, I know that there are far more pressing matters I should be talking to God about than me wanting sunshine. People are out there suffering and our government seems to have completely turned its back on us average Joes and Janes with each piece of legislation passed or posed. People are dying each and every day. So yes, I cannot wait to see sun, flowers and clear skies, what is happening to people is of greater significance. God help us.

 

 

 

 

Pride got Lucifer in trouble…

I have taken a class before about angels, and it never ceases to amaze me that Lucifer actually thought that he could rise up against the very individual who created him to become greater than that individual. It baffles me as to how he fails to consider that although 1/3 of the heavenly host fell with him, there are still two-thirds of the angels that are still loyal to God.

Lucifer fascinates me. Once the most beautiful of angels, he enjoyed a privileged position as a cherubim before pride caused him to fall and become who we now refer to as Satan or the devil. One of the things my instructor accurately pointed out is that Satan doesn’t have to enter into people to make them do wrong things. He can set the scene and people’s innate characteristics will take over if they are not rooted and grounded in the Lord. Satan can then sit back and watch the mess he has made unfold, to his delight.

I am seeing such a situation unfold. It is disturbing these days how people become so prideful that it blinds their ability to see their own wrongdoing. It is a rare occasion now that someone admits they have erred and seeks out forgiveness. People are always on the defense, and it comes at the extent of maintaining healthy relationships.

I see people who fail to consider the concerns and feelings of others, and the lack of empathy is disconcerting. I see this division among some of my family members, and it is disheartening. I think of being married. Yes, I am a blunt Sagittarius and in the past, at my most immature, I would say the first rude thing that came to my mind with no regard to the consequences or possible hurt feelings my words would cause. In my humble opinion, I was right, and I was entitled to my opinion even if I wasn’t completely right. Either way it went, right or wrong, no one had the right to argue with me. I invalidated a lot of people’s feelings, and it was an awful thing to do.

Mind you, I never did so to family, or even to close friends. Most of the time I was harsh to guys I was seeing. I wanted them to know they weren’t going to get away with hurting me. While I was trying to so hard to protect my feelings, I am sure I pushed guys away. Not that it matters now–it is just a lesson learned.

I’m almost five years into marriage, and have been with Matt over a decade. I have learned to pick my battles. Preserving the unity and harmony in our relationship and household is more important than my pride. While my marriage is my most important relationship obviously, this principle extends to everyone I care about. I can be the bigger person and put my pride on a shelf if I need to because now I can see the bigger picture. Even if someone is difficult, my peace might be what it takes to get them to see the error in their ways. You cannot combat strife with more strife.

But yet, here are family members who can never admit when they are wrong and seem to care nothing at all about having said things that have hurt people’s feelings. These same people claim to know Christ. I find that hard to believe. Or, I say, you might know OF Him, but obviously your relationship with Him is lacking, because you cannot know Christ and be content to sow seeds of discord, especially with your family.

SLEEP CHILD!!!!!! (Matt 18:10)

You may or may not remember, but when I first started this blog I said there were a few things I would and would not do. Now, I haven’t been as consistent in maintaining this blog, but one thing I have done is be completely honest. Honest about my shortcomings as a Christian; the difficulties of living in a world consumed with money, power, greed and status and not getting caught up in similar pursuits (I admit, I do want a bigger house with a huge backyard for my kids and my garden); and about the trials and tribulations of having a family. Anyone who claims it is a cakewalk to be a mom is either lying or more of a Rose Nylund than I can ever be.

I don’t think it benefits anyone for us as parents to pretend that every moment of parenthood is happiness, joy and rainbows. Everything our kids does is not necessarily cute or entertaining. Anyone who knows me knows that my kids are my WORLD. I love those three little monsters enough to willingly die for them. But for those who DON’T know me personally: I am a very good mother. I take care of my children and don’t expect anyone else to. They’re mine. I don’t like leaving them with other people very often. Over anything I have ever accomplished, raising three happy productive people is of the highest importance to me.

But sometimes they irk my frickin’ nerves.

Today started off BAD. As I mentioned the other day, my middle germbot, Layla, gave me a cold, and overnight it manifested into a cold on steroids. Mind you, my baby, Jayla,(yes, the girls’ names rhyme) is teething, and she has reverted in terms of her sleep pattern. Before this whole teething ordeal began, she was sleeping at least four hours at a time at night. She would only wake up to get changed, eat a little, and go right back to sleep with no problems. How I long for those days!

Her teething pain is compounded by the fact that she will only take four ounces of milk at a time. I have tried to feed her more than that, and she will spit it right back up. So four ounces it is. That means she has to be fed more often. Now that she is getting more solid food it is not as bad, but I am still figuring out the science behind her eating preferences and capabilities.

Now she is waking up every hour hollering, wanting a gum massage and something to bite on. When that happens, I rub some of her little gel on her gums until she is quiet, but then there is a problem… If I was asleep, I cannot fall back asleep as quick as I can wake up. Right when I finally start dozing back off, she wakes up again hollering. On several occasions, I had the audacity to put her down to use the bathroom. I had to keep the door open while she stared at me and yelled bloody murder the entire time. I rocked her to sleep for like an hour (I usually don’t have to do all of that), tried to lay her down so I could get a bite to eat, and as soon as I made the attempt to walk out of the room, she sat up and screamed at me. She looked betrayed that I was trying to sneak away from her. I’ve been trying to get 10,000 steps in a day with my FitBit (I can feel the results, by the way) and last night I had to hold her in my arms as I walked. She fell asleep, and when I put her down she slept for about ten minutes and woke up and hollered. EGADS!

In my household–I don’t know about yours, but this is how mine works–when everyone else gets sick, they get to shut down completely and focus on being sick. Not me. EVEN WHEN I AM SICK I STILL HAVE THINGS I HAVE TO DO, and I put that in all caps because it’s ANNOYING. Yeah, I said it. I don’t appreciate it. I’d like to just be able to focus on myself when I am sick. Does it make me selfish?  I don’t know. I’d like to be able to get the uninterrupted rest that I need. Like I do for my family, I’d like for someone to run me a soothing bath with candles and soft music so I can relax my aching body, fix my chicken noodle soup for me and bring it to me in my bed, make sure the DVD player has the movie I’d like to watch, or hey, here’s a novel idea–CLEAN UP THE HOUSE! If there are chores that need to be done when I am sick, they typically will remain until I am better. And that aggravates me.

Today, on limited sleep and not feeling well, I woke up early to have a hot breakfast ready for my husband when he got home only to find that he was working late; did some laundry; washed dishes; fixed breakfast for Layla; dealt with the needs, wants and whims of a fussy baby; fielded a thousand questions from my son; and worked on my Sunday school lesson.

As I was growing frustrated, I had to separate myself from my kids for a second and think. Would I be content to put my younger girls in daycare and go back to work? Nope. Eventually, I do want to work outside the home. The only way I will do so, however, is if I have reliable, trustworthy care for my baby, and since that probably won’t happen, I might not work until she is in school.

Here’s the thing, and get ready for some brutal honesty. Disagree with me if you wish–these are my personal feelings. I NEED challenges and mental stimulation in my life. I CRAVE it. I also like a decent amount of alone time. For those of you who think this whole stay-at-home mom bit is easy, please reconsider. I do not get breaks, I do not get weekends off, I have no pay or benefits. There is no set schedule, I never know what might happen from one day to the next, and some people are very dismissive of the work a stay-at-home mom does.

Admittedly, my family needs some more training on not being so careless in terms of picking up their simple messes and helping out some more, but for the time being, they really aren’t. My days revolve around laundry, packing lunches, fixing dinner, finding random items I couldn’t care less about that said family member hasn’t cared about for two years but now NEEDS, checking homework, scheduling appointments, Bible study, reminding my kids three thousand times a day to do things they should have made a habit by now, giving baths, washing dishes and putting them away…

Sounds like a total snoozefest, doesn’t it?

It is. Housework is the most boring thing ever and involves absolutely NO mental stimulation. Let’s add in the isolation of barely leaving the house and having little adult interaction. It’s not the most satisfying of routines.

Today all of that frustration culminated and I had to escape from my kids for a few minutes. I had to refocus. I reminded myself that my baby is typically a very sweet little pumpkin–if I am this frustrated with her teething, imagine how she feels? She is only eight months and has no idea what that pain is. All she knows is that it hurts and she trusts her mama to provide her some comfort, not get frustrated with her. Luckily, she apparently hasn’t sensed my frustration, because when she sees me she always, without fail, gets excited or tries to get me. I won’t take that type of love for granted.

My middle daughter is understandably trying to get more attention, and she needs and deserves it. She sees how much attention Jayla (the baby) gets and every now and then she has talked to me in “baby language”. I remind her that she is a big girl and she can use words, and the only reason Jayla speaks that way is because it’s all she knows, and when Jayla gets old enough I’ll expect her to use her words as well.

I have been working with Layla to try and get her prepared for kindergarten. I don’t want her to go and be overwhelmed because I was too tired to help her learn to read, write and count. My parents gave me a good start. My son had a good start. I can’t let her fall through the cracks because I am sleepy. And I have promised her that when the weather gets a bit better she and I will go do some girl things alone.

I promised my son the same alone time. During my self-imposed time-out I had to remind myself not to explode when he asks three thousand questions in two seconds because it is obvious that he retains a lot of information, and who knows what he will grow up to be. He says he wants to be a pulmonologist so he can help people who have lung problems–like himself and my Dad, his best friend. Then, in another breath, he talks about designing hotels, waterparks, running a restaurant, rollercoasters, and food. I literally have no idea what this guy is going to become, but I’m sure it will be great–as long as I don’t quench his appetite for learning by shutting him down when he asks questions.

I also had to remind myself that my parents had to diligently train me as well. What kid likes to clean their room? Although I was very obedient and a pretty easy child–I wasn’t a troublemaker at all–cleaning my room was one of those things I HAAAAAATED doing. I would try to cut corners all the time, but my Dad wasn’t the one. Every now and then I would get in trouble for not keeping my room tidy.

And, of course, I thought about God’s patience with me. Best you believe in these 35 years of life I have done PLENTY that angered Him, frustrated Him, and made Him facepalm. But I have NEVER felt like God was tired of me, and definitely that He didn’t love me. My kids deserve the same and they will continue to get it. But I will say this– moms don’t have to always act like Superwoman. It doesn’t make you weak to want to just be a woman for a few minutes. We were all somebody before we had kids. Underneath the boogers, slobber, crusty-dried up food and coffee on your t-shirt and yoga pants, the bags under your eyes from lack of sleep, the same messy half-bun you’ve had your hair in for two days straight and muffin top that is now where your babies used to live when they were cooking (or is that just an apt description of me?) that woman is still there, and she deserves to be acknowledged.

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 18:10)

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Oh, and have a great weekend…

I forgot to end my post with a big “HAPPY WEEKEND!”

I’ll be resting up because as luck would have it one of my walking Petri dishes has gotten me sick. What is it with kids and their super steroid toxicity??? I never got sick before I had kids!!

But…

She sure is beautiful though 😊 And very happy to now be five and beginning kindergarten in the fall. I am feeling the separation anxiety already.

 

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WHY are you…YOU?

I love America, but she can be plastic and shallow at times.

For the life of me I cannot understand why people would want everyone to look and act the same–variety is the spice of life.

As  I worked on my Sunday school lesson earlier today, I had to stop and think. The theme of these next lessons is “God loves us”. Before I knew it, I had forgotten about the lesson itself as my mind wandered as to what that REALLY means.

This same God who created the expanse of the heavens (first heaven is the atmosphere that we can see, the second is the universal heaven which includes the stars and planets and the third is the one that sits above all, where God resides) and this entire earth thought it needed YOU. That should make you proud to be who you are.

Think of the creative process. My creative magnificence comes alive when I write. I am excited during the process of writing–I cannot wait to see the finished product. I work and work and touch and retouch and edit until I am pleased with what I have done. After I have put all of that work in, I am  ALWAYS satisfied with what I have accomplished. I can only imagine how that satisfaction will be compounded once I finally have a book in print, but that is beside the point.

If you notice, all throughout the Bible, whenever God creates something, it is for His pleasure, and once He has finished one of His works, He is satisfied. Despite your flaws, God is satisfied with you as you were when He made you, and your creation brought Him pleasure. His pleasure becomes joy when you accept Him and establish a relationship with Him.

I’m sure I have said it before, but it bears repeating, because in this cold world we oftentimes feel ordinary, dull and unimportant. That is because we often attempt to chase the approval of people instead of God. The problem with that is that people are too fickle and their standards change. Prime example: It offends me that the features that used to get Black people clowned on in terms of standards of beauty–full lips, for one–are now considered “trendy”. Ummm, facial features are not “trends”. They are just that–facial features.

If you really think about it, it is amazing what God has done. Humans typically have two eyes, one nose, and a mouth. Isn’t it something that there is so much diversity in how people look, despite only having those limited choices of facial features??? And again, think of God’s satisfaction. Imagine, if you can,  God standing before a blank canvas (of course we know God is a spirit and not a bald guy in a robe, but go with me here, as He can, with His omnipotence, transform Himself into anything He so chooses) as he surveys the earth.

“I think the time is right for a (insert your name here).”

Have you ever gotten one of those creative bursts where you absolutely cannot stop working until you’ve finished? There have been times when I wrote for several hours straight, out of pure pleasure and excitement, not because I had to. I imagine this was God when He was designing you. I doubt He took any breaks. But I think He was careful to select the features and attributes that would guarantee this (insert your name here) was going to bring Him satisfaction. He also equipped you with gifts and tools to glorify His name here on earth. I imagine Him giving you a tender kiss before he packaged you lovingly and gently placed you in your mother’s womb.

Unlike man, God’s love for you doesn’t change over time, and it is not conditional. People will love you for a season, at least until they get tired of you, but guess what–God won’t get tired of you. He won’t turn His back on you, like people will. Even when you go astray and deny Him, He still loves you and waits hopefully for your return. The creator of this universe He is, yet He desires a relationship with little old YOU! Can you imagine that? It’s a gift to be able to talk to the creator of all things about your problems, your hopes, your desires. Who else can fix your life in those areas? And it’s so simple. You don’t need formalities or a middle man. Just talk to Him.

Only by fully understanding how special I am to God was I able to fully move past my physical imperfections. We all have them. Now, I don’t mean to say that if people are unhappy with something they shouldn’t change it, to a certain extent. I will say that if your desire to change yourself physically has been motivated by other people and their ridiculous beauty standards–which I would dare to believe is the case the majority of the time–I would encourage you to think twice about exactly what it is that makes you beautiful, and whose opinion of your beauty is more important.

You are who you are because God made you exactly what He wanted you to be. If people can’t appreciate who you are, they can go kick rocks and you can find people who will. They’re out there. God had a purpose in mind when He designed you, and that purposeful design includes your physical features.

“That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.” (1 John 1:3-4)

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