Saturday, January 28, 2012
I have this invisible sign in blinking neon over my head that reads something like this: "Please feel free to share the completely inappropriate details of your personal life with me." Now, the joke part comes in because I am She Who is of Little or No Mercy.
You get the punchline.
You people are telling the person least able to identify with and help you all about your personal business. It's mind boggling. And it happens all of the time. Daily. My dad once told me that all of that "theater nonsense" wasn't ever going to be helpful in the Real World. Boy, was he wrong. As teacher, pastor's wife, friend, mother, etc., that's probably the skill set I value and use most in my life. (This is known as 'irony', Students.) The ability to act like nothing is wrong and continue to move forward normally is seriously undervalued.
It seems that my entire life is running from one crisis directly into the next--and almost none of these crises are actually mine; they are usually someone else's ball of crazy. I get out of one situation that I'm required to fix and plow right into the next one without coming up for air. It's really quite remarkable. In fact, I'm pretty sure that the ability to cope under extreme pressure is my superpower.
I'd like to have an entire week without anything to report. No emergencies. No phone calls at 2:00 a.m. No police involvement. No personal crises. No new people with cancer. No people who need money. No nothing. My wants in life are simple. Here's a short list in case anyone is listening:
I want to sleep for more than six hours in a row sometime instead of napping and sleeping in five hour increments. I hear it's great.
I want to go ten solid minutes without anyone asking me a question. Okay, maybe that's unreasonable. I'd settle for seven.
I want to stay in my jammies one Saturday until noon without the doorbell ringing.
I'd like to watch a completely-inappropriate-for-children zombie movie from start to finish without having to pause five thousand times (to make juice, find a hairbow, cut the crust off, answer the phone, answer the door, find shorts, open the big freezer, move the laundry...).
I want someone else to fold the clothing or at least put it away if I've folded it.
I want someone else to figure out what's for dinner and then just let me know.
I want all 58 high school students to finish their homework one time. Just once.
I want complete and total boring for 24-hours straight.
Saturday, January 21, 2012
We are so weak and frail as humans. We are tempted and tried and no one really knows what we go through on a daily basis. This line of thought continued late into the evening as I watched advertisements for the morally bankrupt new show "Revenge". Really? Revenge? No wonder we have no forgiveness in our hearts. It's all about the revenge.
Successful relationships of all kinds including friendships, love interests, those with our parents/children aren't always about loving enough, but maybe they are more about our ability to forgive each other. If I never forgave my father every time he was a jackwagon or if my children never forgive me every time I am irrational, we'd have no relationships at all. It's not the quantity of love, it's the quality of our forgiveness that allows us to continue in love.
I have always been the kind of person who sort of lets things roll right off. No really, I know I can be forceful and cranky and opinionated, but most of the time, if you are a friend or someone in my close circle and you do something particularly snarky to me or the kids, I get over it. Usually, I get over it without a single word being uttered to the person in the conflict. Sure, sometimes I vent to people like The Husband, but I don't I don't need some big confrontation or a "moment" in order to get closure on the deal.
I just sort of keep walking in a straight line toward the goal line without wavering and eventually, the person I have conflict with is either left behind, catches up with me and walks along without another word, or I keep my blinders on long enough that it doesn't matter where you are walking so long as you don't impede my forward progress. It's a quiet sort of forgiveness.
It's been quite a successful deal so far.
But lately in my spiritual walk, it feels like that mandate in Scripture of forgiving seventy times seven is impossible. I'd rather be crusty and pout and be a child about it, which is human and completely justified, but that's the immature reaction to have, because forgiveness might be the best practical indicator of your spiritual maturity.
Really get this. I'm saying that I think your ability to forgive someone who has legitimately wronged you is a direct measure of your spiritual maturity.
Anyone can tithe, but do you CONTINUE to tithe even when it's financially hard or is it has been based in the past on your excess rather than out of your need where it's supposed to be coming from?
Anyone can say, "I love you", but can you forgive a wrong and CONTINUE in love in a relationship (as friends, spouses, child/parent) with the offending party?
I told you it was complicated.
Why? Well, God said so. There's that. But it's also because it's the one thing that will eat you alive if you don't extend it to others. There just isn't any power behind your "I love you" if there isn't an accompanying "I forgive you". They can't exist one without the other. You don't really love someone if you can't forgive them.
So, with all of that said, I forgive you, because I love you.
Sunday, January 1, 2012
The first group is made up of beautiful, cruel, mean, snobs who are deliberately tearing down the people around them in order to crawl to the top of the dead bodies and be queen. They are almost always sexually active, dressed provocatively, act out without any supervision or repercussions to their behavior, and are manipulative, evil people to their core. It's a case of the outside not matching the inside.
This type of thing just goes directly against what we are desperately teaching our girls. You don't have to be beautiful and mean or plain with a heart of gold. They aren't mutually exclusive states. Also, beauty is absolutely in the eye of the beholder. What one boy finds attractive might actually be repulsive to the Right Boy. It's why God made us in so many different shapes and sizes--so that everyone can find his/her flavor.
Here is what I want to discuss with my children after reading these novels:
You do not call the shots in this house. I am the parent. I am not your best friend. This means that I will take action if you confide in me, and sometimes you won't like me. I don't care. My job is to raise you in the fear of the Lord, not to win a popularity contest. Don't worry; I'm tough enough to take it. Parents? You need to be where your kids are and have an active, responsible role in the lives of your children.