Why do you Christians always throw the Bible in my face?

elizabethclements:

This is a fun read. Sadly, so many who chose to comment missed the sarcasm. By attempting to “trash” Christianity, Matt highlights how awesome it really is.

Originally posted on The Matt Walsh Blog:

Seriously, it hurts. Stop it, will ya? Yesterday I walked by a church and the pastor barreled out of the door, ran into the street, screamed “BIBLE!” and chucked it right at my head.

Well, that didn’t LITERALLY happen. But he did say, “good afternoon, God bless,” which is basically the same thing.

In any case, Christians are always shoving their religion in people’s faces. Everything they say, every position they hold, every thought they express — it’s all RELIGION. Even if they don’t explicitly say, “I think this because of my religion,” we all know the score. If it comes from RELIGION, as a secularist, I must hate it. If it’s been heavily influenced or transformed by RELIGION or RELIGIOUS people, I must hate it. That’s why I’m not a big fan of art, architecture, democracy, science, medicine, philosophy, astronomy, the university system, the abolition of slavery, America, Natural…

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Can I Postpone the Holidays?

I stare at the calendar.  I wipe sleep from my eyes.  I can’t believe it.  The holiday season is fast approaching.  No, it’s here.

I am already getting the calls. 

“What do the kids want for Christmas?”

“What do you and Jon want for Christmas?
“Do you think you can come out for the holidays?”

Where are we eating?  What are we bringing?  What will everyone wear?

I hope I can make it through November and December without making someone mad.  I know it will happen and I will carry the guilt with me for the rest of my life.  Someone will not understand that the nursing program takes every bit of my spare time.  And they will say something.  And I will cry.

I want to get on my soapbox and tell everyone how awful it is to make Christmas about gifts and food.  (Look!  I just did!)  Whatever.  Deflection and rationalization will only go so far with family. 

Just know that I really want to go out and pick out a heartfelt gift for each and every person I love.  Please believe I would wish on 67 stars if it would make me the superwoman I should be.  I don’t have it in me.  I have plenty of love and prayers to offer, but the material is the last thing on my mind. 

 

Can I just hide under a rock until January? 

Pray for Kaden

I don’t have a lot of followers.  It’s never bothered me.  My blog is my place to vent.

Today, it bothers me.  I wish I had millions of followers and mounds of influence.  I wish my KLOUT score was a billion!

All so I could shout from the mountain tops about little Kaden and his need for our prayers and support.  Kaden is the little fighter who was born to Diana Stone of the Hormonal Imbalances blog.  I have followed her on Twitter and my life has benefited in so many ways from her honest, beautiful writing.  She and her husband Sam have been through the ringer.  Emotionally.  Spiritually.

After losing a set of twin boys who were fearfully and wonderfully made, just born too soon, the family was eagerly awaiting the arrival of another baby boy.  Kaden arrived perfectly formed and right on time, but somewhere, somehow was exposed to a virus.  This virus, which is harmless in most, attacked his little heart.

What can you do?  Read the story of Diana and Sam.  Feel connected to them.  Hold them in your heart.  Lift them up in prayer.  Pray.  Pray.  Pray.  Pray again.  Give.  Give to this little family.  Like any mother and father they want to be close to their son.  A move must be made.  Needs must be met.  Do it.

And most especially pray for Kaden’s big sister, Bella.

A website had been set up to donate to the Stone family.  Search your heart.  Give.

Donate here to Pray For Kaden

Pray where ever your knees may fall.

 

 

First Grade First Impressions

Back to school!  Yesterday.  One day down.  Just dropped off the first grader for day two.

What I think:

I think “go faster” is the motto of first grade.

Gideon is a meticulous color-er.  He fawns over each color choice.  He presses down hard to achieve full saturation.  He takes pride in his work.

He isn’t fast enough.

When I picked him up yesterday, this seemed to be a theme.  He didn’t get his work done fast enough so he had to bring it home.  He didn’t get his papers and backpack together fast enough so he became separated from his teacher as she took students to the bus.  Scared, in tears, he found another teacher who kindly took him to the lunch room to wait with the parents.  I found him there.  Lost.  Heartbroken.  Embarrassed.  His teacher came in.  I expected her to get down on his level and comfort him.  I expected her to chalk the experience up to first day of school confusion.  I did not get what I expected.  I left with a very sour taste in my mouth.

Today is a new day.  His mercies are new…mine should be too.  I will try.  Very hard.

Also, the teenage children drive like maniacs.  If you are the owner/operator of a driving teenager, please have a sit down with them.  My family shares the road with them and you and if you are a bunch of speedsters all I have to say is:  How dare you drive like that when I am on the road with my family?  There is NO WHERE you have to be that is worth your life or the lives of my loved ones.   IF YOU ARE A BELIEVER YOU HAVE NO BUSINESS DRIVING LIKE A DEMON FROM HELL.  Obey the law.

And if I ever catch one of my boys driving like jerks after all of the lectures I plan on giving them…they will rue the day!!!

(Disclaimer:  If you have received a speeding ticket for going ten miles over the speed limit, I am not directing this to you.  It happens.  You KNOW what kind of drivers I am talking about.)

Again-His mercies are new.  Every day.  He is especially merciful toward frustrated mothers.

We Went On Vacation & Now I Need A Tranquilizer

There are two ways I can write this post.

Post A:  My husband took us on a mini vacation.  We went to Gulf Shores and Pensacola Beach.  It was sunny, beautiful and the kids had a blast.  We ate pizza at Mellow Mushroom.  I was able to wander around Target and spend a 50 dollar gift card that was just for me.  Sea shells were collected, memories were made.  I am so happy we were able to get away for a few days.  I will treasure the memories in my heart forever.

If you like this version, please log off and never return to my blog.  This version is totally true.  Now, go on and live life and think well of me.  BYE!

Post B:  Noticing that I have been stressed for weeks, my husband planned a six day vacation for us in Mobile, AL.  It was a trip that would let us enjoy a little history, see some sites and take a couple of trips to the beach if we so desired.  Being the dear he is, he did not tell us about the vacation and was working hard to surprise us.  Then one day I went out to the mail and we had a letter from the preschool program Levi has been accepted to.  There was a mandatory meeting on Thursday the 8th of August.  Mandatory.  If we did not go he would lose his spot.  I relayed this to Jon.  He became dark and frowney and said “We’re not going”  I told him we had to be there, he said he wouldn’t be here.  I asked him why, my stress building, wondering where he was going to take off to and leave me with the kids.  (I have been left with the kids for 23454832934859342345 days and my only time away has been grocery shopping trips.)  He then became understandably upset and explained how his plans now had a four foot long wrench right in the middle of them.  Many times over the next few weeks we growled about the school planning meetings for parents during the last week of summer vacation.  We decided we would just make the most of the days we had and leave really early Friday morning.

I was excited and anxious about the trip.  We are pretty strapped for money, but we really needed to get away.  Not having money adds a tremendous amount of stress during a vacation.  We growled about food.  I bought food ahead of time.  Food that would save us money.  I had to whine to get anyone to eat it.   After driving seven hours to Gulf Shores we quickly realized that coming down on a Friday was a huge mistake.  The room rates doubled.  Each place we called was a minimum of 150 dollars a night.  Way out of our budget.  We chose a location about 15 minutes from the beach to save some, but not much.  We had to cut the trip a night short to be able to eat a couple of meals at a restaurant.  Finding a room stressed out my husband, which stressed out me.

After getting the room we went to Target to get a few beach necessities.  Again, we were complete idiots for not doing all of this at home.  I had my gift card and was thrilled to be able to finally get some new make-up and throw my bacteria laden stuff away.  We gathered up beach towels, buckets for the sand and other miscellaneous items.  I joked with Jon that my 50 gift card was not going to be spent on kids stuff, it was all-for-me.  Joke was on me.  And him.  When we got to the register the gift card wouldn’t work.  I spoke with two people and they both said they had never seen a Facebook card before.  Great.  Instead of parking my butt right there and asking for a manager to figure out what was wrong, we paid cash (cash for souvenirs or other fun stuff) and left feeling defeated.   We went to our hotel to change for the beach.  Any excitement we felt on the way down was completely gone.  The kids were totally oblivious to any of our problems and for that I am thankful.

While Jon brought in the luggage I called the number on the Facebook card and checked my balance.  Everything was good to go.  What was the problem?  Well, I will never know because I could not speak to a human and find out anything.  When I tried pressing a bunch of zeroes or the star key, the automated system gave me a polite good-bye and hung up.  I called Target and spoke to the store manager.  He was very helpful.  We were to just bring in the receipt and he would fix it for us.  Sweet relief.  We headed to the beach and enjoyed Gideon and Levi’s first ocean experience.   While unpacking the towels Jon noticed the Target receipt in the bottom of the bag, he shoved it roughly into my purse and expressed how we did NOT need to lose it.

The next morning we ate breakfast and got ready to put the whole Target situation behind us.  I checked my purse to make sure we had the receipt.  Gone.  Of course!  We tore the room apart.  We checked trash cans.  Nothing.   We talked about how the Devil is out to get us all the time over every. little. thing.   I told Jon we would find it when we got home, because that’s just how things go for us.  We decided to go to Target to find out what the problem was, but we knew we would look like huge scammers with no receipt and our sob story.  The store manager told us to try and make another purchase and he would go from there.  After the first trip to the beach we realized how necessary flip-flops were going to be.  So we headed back to the shoe section and found out the flip-flops were all sold out.  At least the cheap, wear them to the beach for a few days and then forget about them ones were.  They were chock full of designer sandals at sixteen bucks a piece.  What a drag.  The decision was made to go ahead and spend the gift card on a couple of back to school items.  The card worked fine.  Sailed right on through, no problem.

I really wanted to spend the day seeing a few beaches.  Since we had been to Gulf Shores I thought we could try Pensacola Beach and then hit Orange Beach on our way back.  I really wanted to stop at the state park beaches.  They looked so beautiful, but each one had a fee so Jon wouldn’t even stop.  We went to PB and laid our towels out.  Now if you have kids you know setting up all the beach stuff is a pain.  As soon as we set up, the lifeguards blew the whistle and told all of us we had to move because there was a rip current.  He told us to move down to a nice spot with a sand bar.  We moved.  The kids had a blast.  Gideon got pounded several times.  I had tell him 23423534543 times that he was not in an episode of Wild Kratts, he could not just shout out a creature power suit and head out into water higher than his head.  The day was going much like the last evening, I was stuck with the kids while Jon had a good old time out in the water.  The kids screamed.  People looked at my screaming kids.  A teenage couple decided to play frisbee right where I was sitting.  Levi had to pee.  Gideon shouted about having aardvark creature powers and slung sand everywhere.  I finally marched down to Jon and told him he was going to have to entertain the kids for a minute so I could get some time in the water.  (I’m the only one who even likes the beach and I spent about 15 minutes total in the water!!!!)  He told the kids to come with him.  I enjoyed the water for a minute and saw Gideon trying to come out where I was, Levi not far behind.  Jon was on the towel looking around.  I tried to wave the kids off a few times and once or twice they went back by their dad, but eventually I gave up.  My time in the ocean was spent with one child clinging to me and exposing my boobs to everyone, the other trying to drown himself while I yelled at him.  After an hour, I was exhausted.  At least I wasn’t burned.

I think I have written before about how my kids don’t listen.  They don’t.  Not until someone barks orders at them.  This makes for interesting trips to any restaurants.  Jon and I never get to talk, we just constantly micromanage the kids.   If we don’t they get louder, and louder and louder until we have a crowd staring at us.  Some people look at us with a “please go spank that child”  look while others have an “if they spank that child I am calling 911″ look.  We can’t win.  Constantly hissing or barking at your child is exhausting and stressful.

All I feel is bad.  Bad for the kids.  They were just having fun and being kids.  They don’t know that Mommy and Daddy are trying to relax.   What is “relax” to children?  I feel bad because every step of the way, evil forces were brow beating us and stealing the fun out of everything.  I feel bad because more often than not our family trips are labelled as trips from hell.    I feel bad because we cannot seem to get it together as a family and have fun.  There is sniping, and yelling, and stress.  I don’t want to be the parent that gets loud when a child doesn’t understand.  I don’t want to be impatient.  I don’t want my kids to feel like they are just another stressor.  I don’t want my kids to stress me out.

After this vacation I realized more than ever that I need alone time.  Just a few hours every week.  I need to recharge.  When I read blog posts or Facebook posts about moms who are so stressed out I have to wonder, what is their definition of stress?  Because it is REALLY hard to see a mom cry about stress when she has her nails done, her hair highlighted, nice clothes and a pedicure.  I just want to chuckle with insanity.  I am not coveting those things.  I could care less about my nails, I care a little about my clothes.  What I covet is the time involved in those things.   A mother who has time for those things has help.  Either a grandmother, sister, or husband who comes in and recognizes when Mom is about to blow.  I don’t have that.  It makes me really sad, because my children deserve a better, more patient me.

I also realized I need alone time with my husband.  We aren’t talking about anything anymore.  We just discuss, discuss, discuss.  Realizing these two things is one thing, doing them is impossible.   We just don’t have a consistent support network, we can’t afford anything.   One of the saddest parts of the trip was when my husband said “Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can help you not worry about things on vacation.”

I guess we should not have even attempted the trip.  Two mandatory meetings came up.  We skipped one.  The back hatch on the Jeep stopped working because a van rolled into it days before we left.   Jon’s mom and stepdad finally took vacation and wanted to see us the weekend we were leaving.  When we go home we found out Jon’s dad has cancer, and an old family friend died.  Jacob, the 19 y/o was left in charge and didn’t complete anything we told him to do.  I had to come home and clean the house.  Jon had to mow the lawn for two hours.  I took what little energy I had last night and unpacked.

And there, at the bottom of the bag with the blow dryer, make-up, and medicine-neatly folded-was the Target receipt.

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Product Review: L’Oreal EverCreme Cleansing Conditioner

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I am always on the look out for a really wonderful hair product.  One that leaves my hair feeling wonderful before I have a chance to style it.  Something that won’t need fifty five other products to go with it to make my hair glossy and smooth.  I have yet to find this magic hair elixir, but I have come so, so close with this product.

The other night I was glancing at my June issue of Better Homes and Gardens and found an article on page 98 called “Curl Power”  Now, my hair isn’t curly. My hair doesn’t know what it is.  Grab up a handful of my strands and one can find brown, copper, white, gold, kinky, straight, wavy, thick and thin.  The only time my hair every behaved gorgeously was when it was spiral permed.  Not gonna do that any time soon.  So, alas, I search and spend.

Suggestion number one in the article was Lose The Lather.  I wish.  I would love to buy Wen hair products, or use coconut oil and baking soda on my hair and swish my hair with confidence everywhere I go.  The only thing I have found to give me glossy tame hair is no washing whatsoever.  Human sebum is best.  I know, ewwww gross.  But it’s what is made for human hair.  Instead we strip it out and lump in products with lanolin. (Sheep sebum)  Not washing freaks people out, so I try to strip those hard earned oils out every three days.  I do want my husband to come near me without staring at my hair.

The article recommended I try L’Oreal EverCurl Hydracharge Cleansing Conditioner or DevaCurl No-Poo Cleanser.  One is six dollars the other eighteen.  One is in drugstores, the other online.  Guess which one I searched for!

I could not find the EverCurl at the Big Blue Box store but I manage to find the EverCreme version by L’Oreal.  The price was under six dollars.  Perfect for this cash strapped beauty.

I used it on my hair this morning.  Since the product is for all DRY hair types I was a little nervous.  My scalp doesn’t need much conditioning, the length needs a LOT.  The product seemed to cling to my scalp, but I kept working it down and waited the full two minutes.  When I rinsed it all out I was pleased to find my hair felt clean and not like I had dipped into a really slippery algae pond.  (Some conditioners feel that way!)  My hair was not squeaky clean either.  When I gently towel dried I noticed there was not a layer of frizz starting to pop up.

The true test was blow drying.  When I was done my hair looked evenly conditioned and smelled really nice.  Though I would love to say I only needed the one product and a simple blow dry, I can’t.  My hair still felt like it needed to be flat ironed or some shine drops.  But!!!  I think after a few more uses the conditioning effect will get better.  Using it for the first time I must admit I was very impressed.

This review was in no way sponsored by L’Oreal and is only from the goodness of my heart.  If you try any of their Cleansing Conditioners let me know what you think!

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Show Me The Meaning of the Word

Welcome to the human race, with its wars, disease and brutality.You, with your innocence and grace, restore some pride and dignity to a world in decline.

-”Show Me” The Pretenders

I miss my fast.

I really didn’t know how clean the windows were, how bright the sunlight, the beauty of people, the twirling, everlasting enormity of love-until I dipped my toe back into the murky black.

It’s time to break away.  Time to tear down the machine.  Is this a call to war?  Is this a call for upheaval?  A call to tear down?  No.  It’s a plea.  Please join with me and stop feeding the propaganda machine.  Stop being defined by Fox, CNN, MSNBC.  Burn agenda filled books, unfollow frothy mouthed haters, race baiters, conservative and liberal pundits, unmake political celebrity, defund .orgs, turn down the noise.

Free yourself to love your neighbor.  Free yourself from arrogance, pride.

We have replaced compassion with condescension.  Race?  We are so hung up on race, remarking about race, defining race.  Looking for racism under every bush and rock.  Never once do we examine other words.  Each said with a  sneer.  Liberal.  Conservative.  Idiot.  Moron.  Brood Mare.  North Carolina Trash.  Southern Imbecile.  Bad Parent.  Neo-Con.  Labels.  We point the finger and scream, “Don’t label me!!!” but we whisper labels under pressed lips and type hate from hidden hearts.

I am drawing a line in the sand.  I will not watch the news or become the mouthpiece for a certain side.  I will not spew talking points in conversations with my friends and loved ones.  I will enjoy people.  I can only do this with God’s help.  I have my beliefs.  I am the only one who knows what it took to get me to this point.  I cannot force others to take the same path or hold the same beliefs.  When others believe differently than I do, I will not eject them from my life, I will remember they are not in the same place as I am.

With God’s help, I will no longer live my life clinging to the idea that I must cling to a certain party or philosophy to “save my country”.  I am not going to fret over everything going to hell in a handbasket.  It’s not up to me.  How am I trusting God’s will when I behave that way?

I have been so full of pride.  I have shunned people because I believed my way was the right way.  I have torn others down.  I have considered unfriending or unfollowing people because I was tired of seeing their “moronic” posts.  How shameful and unworthy I am to represent the God of love.

Please, will you just think about it?  Join me?

If you can’t, just start small.  When I see a news story and I want to react, I am going to ask myself where the reaction is coming from.  Do I have all of the facts?  Is the news agency guiding me toward a certain side? Maybe, after a time we will see how we are being conditioned.  Maybe we will turn off the machine and hang out again.

There isn’t an agenda that will save our nation and planet.

Only Love can.

Social/Media Fast-Day Thir-tay!!!!

So, today is the last day of this adventure.  I have climbed Mt. Everest.  I have canoed the Pacific.  I have ripped a telephone book in half with my bare hands!!! Mentally, of course.

The ramifications of this fast will go on forever, like ripples on a proverbial pond.  No one knows how big this is.  No one.

I can offer up one observation today and then no more.  I will have to let this simmer and one day the observations in hindsight will flow like poetry.

I have learned this:  When one goes on a fast eliminating an activity that takes up several hours of one’s day, one will replace the activity with other trivial activities.  These other activities will  inspire no personal growth and will often lead to another self imposed fast.

Going forward, I will try to limit my time on the computer even further.  I will read a news article or two and move on.  I will not stare at the 24 hour BreakingNewsBreaking channels that only serve to program people to hate each other.

On a lighter note I had a great time watching scary food documentaries, Battlestar Galactica, and The Office.

Social/Media Fast-Day…Oh Who Cares? (25)

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Every home has one.   A sad crochet or knit “heirloom” sitting in a hutch, or in a guest room.  These unfortunate creations often take the shape of a clown head on a frilly crochet body, an orange, brown and cream colored zig-zag afghan, a bear with sad yet scary eyes.  I have always wondered how these creations were acquired and why they were kept.  I have wondered what was going on in the mind of the creator.  Was there some sort of depression, or madness leading them to do harm with a hook or needle?  Maybe they hated the leftover yarn staring at them from a basket and took matters into their own hands.  Sadly, I have found my answer.  Boredom, mixed with a moment of creative mania produces these artifacts.

The above flag was concocted yesterday in a fit of Betsy Ross inflamed patriotism.   No pattern.  Just pure unbridled love for my country!  Look what that love has wrought!!!!!   Now, I will pack it away and spring it on a child someday.  Pure guilt will force them to display it forever.  My work here is done.

Social/Media Fast-Day 21 !!!!

I am so close to the end of this experiment in frustration!!!  I kid.  The pros of cutting out hours of time on the computer have far outweighed the cons.  I am interested to see how it feels to once again have permission to check my Facebook and Twitter. Will the effects of the fast be lasting?  Did I break the desire to sit and stare at the computer for hours?  Probably not, but I hope I so.

  I have found a few tiny ways to cheat.  I will admit it.  I have looked at Pinterest a few times for craft ideas and Battlestar Galactica related pins.  I started watching BSG on Netflix.  I hadn’t watched the series in forever.  Yesterday may have been an epic marathon of Battlestar Galactica.  I may have stayed in my pajamas far too long.  I may have wasted a whole Sunday needing to see the story of the Final Five unfold.  I may be a huge nerd.

Maybe next month I will work on screen time as a whole.  Staring at a screen is staring at a screen.  I have tried to keep my t.v. watching limited to interesting documentaries, educational programming.  I watched Hungry For Change, Vegucated, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.  You know, uplifting stuff.  I realized most documentaries about our food related health problems are heavily swayed toward being vegan.  After the third documentary claiming animal products kill people I quit watching.  I am trying to avoid agenda driven programming.  It stresses me out and causes division between normal, everyday folks who are doing the best they can with what they have.

Taking a break from watching or reading the news has been the most helpful part of the fast.  Not getting my daily dose of programming has opened my eyes to many issues.  The biggest issue is the absolutely disgusting way we behave toward each other on this planet.  Gone are the days when we barbecued with our neighbors or met at the swimming hole and just enjoyed the company.  The relationships.  Now we surround ourselves with people who think like we do.  It’s crying shame.  I was a child of the 70′s and 80′s.  My parents had friends over, neighbors.  They knew who their neighbors were.  There was dialogue.  When they had a get together there was laughter.  Never, ever did I see a fight break out over liberalism vs. conservatism.  I never saw people ready to come to blows or turn parents in to Child Protective Services because of disagreements over parenting and politics.  I don’t remember seeing passive aggressive behavior modification bumper stickers on cars.  Except maybe the old “Dog is my co-pilot” sticker which inspired chuckles, not rage. 

Navigating society reminds me of checking ones self into a mental institution.  You get in, realize you were just a little burnt out.  After resting comfortably, you decide to check yourself out and face the world with a new attitude.  But, the more you tell the psychiatrist and the nurses everything is fine, the more psychoses they label you with.  The more you protest, the more they accuse you of being delusional.  The world becomes topsy turvy and  the opinions of others determines your wellness or worthiness.

We need to stop policing each other. 

I don’t know when this started, and I am pretty sure it will only get worse.  Maybe turning off talk radio, Fox News, CNN, MSNBC would help slow down this snowball headed for hell.  Maybe not. 

I do not want my legacy to be one of finger pointing.  I do not want my headstone to read “She made other people feel stupid, ignorant, and incapable of making their own decisions.”

“She loved people” has a nice ring to it.