8.23.2016

Don't make me go there...


There.  Oh, we all have a "there".  Your there may look different than my there, but we all have a there.  You know what I mean...when those certain buttons get pushed in a certain order on a certain day, you are instantly transported to there.

Well, today I went there.  Someone messed with my kid.  Specifically, someone who I consider family instructed their kids to not befriend my daughter at her brand new school because she is gay.  I went awf.  That's not just a normal off, but it is awf.  I publicly said something, and I privately said even more.  

How dare someone...a PARENT no less, do that to a child!  Teenage girls have enough to deal with, add to that a brand new school, with people she has never met, and throw in a dose of "I'm going to shun you because you're different than us."  WTF people?  

As you all well know, if I feel defensive about one or more of my kids, run.  No seriously, please run.  Run because you probably deserve what I'm about to give you, but even if you don't, I'm serving it up anyways and you should probably get out of the way.  

I need to be clear that I'm not necessarily bragging.  I've worked really hard to grow and evolve as a person and I am doing pretty darn well, if I do say so myself.  Except for, that is, when I go crazy pants over my kids being wronged.  I have a feeling that will be the last thing to go in regards to getting healthy.  That primitive instinct to go all viking on someone will probably last many lifetimes to come.

But why?  Why can't I get that to change?  Why can't I be all zen and kumbaya when it comes to this area?  What kind of spiritual practice or different perspective do I need to have to put this into practice?  I don't know.  I have some guesses, but I will just have to keep trying at those and see if they eventually kick in.  If not, I just have to accept that it is what it is and that I will be a psycho when and if my children are wronged or in danger.  I just have to make friends with it. *shrugs shoulders*




xoxo v.

7.31.2016

What I have learned...



     This is a repost from my last blog of some of the spiritual stuff that we have learned in the past year.  I am putting here in a new blog to make it easier to find.  I hope it helps someone.

      My daughters have the ability to hear, feel, and see.  I have the ability to feel.  I always have had the gift of feeling energy.  I can feel the energy of the people I am near (anxiety, sadness, grief, joy).  Also, since I have started meditating, my energy has raised enough that I can now feel answers.  Meaning, if I ask a yes or no question, I can feel in my body the answer to those questions.

     I needed to find ways to help my daughters understand their gifts, refine their gifts, and to keep positive so that they are more out of reach for negative energies and only deal with positive , Godly energies.  Having those gifts as a child is a scary thing!  You see good stuff, but also some really scary stuff and my kids needed to learn what they can do to limit the exposure to the scary stuff.  

     They needed to know that there is nothing wrong with them and that they aren't evil.  They need to grow into well-adjusted adults who live productive lives full of service for others with the gifts they have been given.  I don't think this would have been possible living back home and going to the churches we attended here.

     What have we all learned from their journey?  Anyone who spend time with me knows that I can and will talk for hours about this stuff if you give me the chance, so I will keep it brief and in a nutshell.  If you want more information, just reach out to me and I will tell you more.

     First of all, we learned that Spirit Guides are real.  God gives everyone a purpose and a job both on earth and in Heaven.  Even Adam had a job!  He was a gardener.  One of the jobs that human spirits in Heaven can have is that of a spirit guide.  They are not to be worshiped as they are not God, they are only humans like you and me.  Every person on this earth is assigned at least one guide that stays with them throughout his or her lifetime.  Many other guides can come and go depending on the need.  

     For example, I learned that my main purpose in this lifetime is "love".  I am to learn about love, how to truly love, and be love.  I have a main guide that has always been with me, then I have several other guides that work with my on the subject of love (how to love, how to choose good people to love, etc).  I have a guide that helps prompt me to pray.  I also have guides for medical reasons and for creativity.  Their main goal is to put love and joy into your life (remind you just how loved you really are) and to help guide you through life in order to reach the goals that were preset for you before coming here. However, we each have free will, and so we can either work on those goals or choose not to. It's totally up to us.  But, if we set our mind or intention to something, our guides will help make it happen.

     Here is a quick snapshot of some of the first questions I asked my guide when speaking with him.  I will type the questions and put the answers in parenthesis.  

*Is Jesus real and did he die to save our sins?  Is what I have been taught and do believe about Jesus true?  (Absolutely.)

*What quick advice would you give to me and every other human that will help us?  (Pray more, meditate more, drink more water, sleep more, and be kind.)

*Is there anything that I was taught in church that is not correct?  (few things such as being critical of people who aren't living up to "Christian Standards".  But mostly that reincarnation is not real.  It IS real but was removed from the Bible by men who thought it shouldn't be there.)

*If reincarnation is real, how does that reconcile with the need for Jesus' salvation?  (The salvation is real and true, but you have more than one life to choose.  If during any of your lives you have come to a saving knowledge of Christ, then it applies to every life thereafter.  You are here life after life to reap what you have sewn and to have an opportunity to do better...not to earn your way to Heaven, but to balance out the debt to other souls that you have created.  That debt is not held over your head by God...you are forgiven all and are loved unconditionally.  But, the energy that is put into the world affects every other being in the world and the future to come.  By rectifying the negativity you have put into the world, it raises the energetic vibrations of the earth/atmosphere and will create a better world for other people).... that was hard to express in such short space.  I hope that made sense.  It is a huge topic to put "in a nutshell".

*Do we have to worry about the environment being destroyed?  (No, everything will be here exactly as long as God needs it to be here and He will provide what is needed)

*What is the most important things we need to know? (Love.  Be kind and love one another.  Find some joy!  Live with abandon, there is no reason to be so afraid.  Pray more.)

     I will copy and paste what I have typed above into a new blog post as well.  Seriously, if you have any questions (not criticisms), please feel free to reach out.
xoxo v.

Seven years in the desert...


Seven is the number of perfection.

Life changes tend to happen every seven years.

Articles say every cell in human body is replaced every seven years.

I lived in the desert for seven years.

      Powerful, huh?  At least they are to me.  These statements have had me thinking ever since I moved home.  

     Gut reaction would have me saying, "Why did I go there?  What a waste of time.  All that time I could have been here at home, near my family and be more established in a home and job than I am now."  But no.  When I dive deeper, I realize that, as usual, the universe is perfect.  

     The sad truth is that if I stayed here, not much about me would have changed.  When I am in familiar surroundings, I tend to settle in.  I needed to be uprooted from the familiar and placed somewhere that I had to figure things out from scratch.  Figure out what serves me and what doesn't.  Figure out who I really am and what I really want out of life.  Figure out what is truly important to me.  I needed to wander the desert until those issues were resolved so that I could come home and live the life I was supposed to live.

     Hindsight is a wonderful thing.  Don't you wish we could have use of hindsight as foresight?  Boy would we all make some different decisions!  Now though I can see that it took a certain kind of situation to get me to the desert.  That situation was not meant to be forever, it was merely the currency that worked for me that was strong enough to convince myself that up-ending my life and moving to Phoenix was a good idea.  Once I was there,  that situation disappeared like a puff of smoke and the real teacher appeared.

     I loved being with Paul.  Well, let me correct myself...I loved having Paul's kids in my life.  If it weren't for the kids, I would have bolted in the first few weeks, probably.  But those kids had a draw for me that was pretty strong.  I've learned since then that I've lived many lives with a few of them, which explains a lot.  

     Paul, however, was one of my soulmates.  Most people have this over-romanticized notion of what a soulmate is.  Most believe that you only have one of them, and that when they come, everything is perfect and they are the one you are meant to be with forever.  People listen, this is not what a soulmate is!  A soulmate (and you can have several) is someone that is intended to come along and teach you the biggest lessons.  They often shake up your life, and they always help you to grow and learn, taking you to the next level of your progression.  SOULMATES ARE TOUGH BUSINESS.

     I am grateful for Paul, and I love him.  But boy was it tough being with him. Anyone who spent a few days near us can tell you, that he was tough to be around, and he tended to bring out the worst in me.  I know who I really am, and how I normally behave.  And I know how I tended to behave around Paul.  It's like he (without even trying) could push every button I had to get every unwanted behavior I had bubbling to the surface.  

     By the end of the relationship, I think I had grown and learned as much as I could in that situation.  By the end, I could simply live my life and let his behavior roll right off of me without reacting (most of the time).  It had worked most of the behavior out of me that would not be conducive to a healthy relationship so that I could be a better partner. I also now knew more clearly what I wanted in a partner and what I would never again settle for.

     There were other things accomplished while I was so far away from home too.  For example, I was also far enough away that I could somewhat detach from the heavy, burdensome, legalistic, religious way that I was raised.  I learned some truths and my eyes were opened to many things  I would have never considered (or been too afraid to consider) while living at home.

     To be clear, I am a Christian.  I love Jesus and he is my savior.  However, much of the rest of the way I was raised, is off-base and taken too far.  I think because of fear and a desire to do the right thing, religious Christians have created an oppressive, judgmental, way of life that can do more harm than help.  

     I had to be willing to open my mind to many things.  I had to learn and have the open heart and the honest prayers to be shown and accept the truth.  Two of my daughters are clairvoyant.  See, in my mind, I can hear the gasps of the people I was raised around saying, "Nope, that's the devil!"

     I think that's another reason I had to get out of dodge.  Because if I wasn't in a place where I could take this all in and react from what God was placing on my heart versus the fear-based input of the community back home, I may have ruined my children.  They have God-given gifts.  The Bible says to try the spirits to see what kind of fruit they bear.  It doesn't say there are no spirits that should be dealt with.  

     My daughters have the ability to hear, feel, and see.  I have the ability to feel.  I always have had the gift of feeling energy.  I can feel the energy of the people I am near (anxiety, sadness, grief, joy).  Also, since I have started meditating, my energy has raised enough that I can now feel answers.  Meaning, if I ask a yes or no question, I can feel in my body the answer to those questions.  

     I needed to find ways to help my daughters understand their gifts, refine their gifts, and to keep positive so that they are more out of reach for negative energies and only deal with positive , Godly energies.  Having those gifts as a child is a scary thing!  You see good stuff, but also some really scary stuff and my kids needed to learn what they can do to limit the exposure to the scary stuff.  

     They needed to know that there is nothing wrong with them and that they aren't evil.  They need to grow into well-adjusted adults who live productive lives full of service for others with the gifts they have been given.  I don't think this would have been possible living back home and going to the churches we attended here.

     What have we all learned from their journey?  Anyone who spend time with me knows that I can and will talk for hours about this stuff if you give me the chance, so I will keep it brief and in a nutshell.  If you want more information, just reach out to me and I will tell you more.

     First of all, we learned that Spirit Guides are real.  God gives everyone a purpose and a job both on earth and in Heaven.  Even Adam had a job!  He was a gardener.  One of the jobs that human spirits in Heaven can have is that of a spirit guide.  They are not to be worshiped as they are not God, they are only humans like you and me.  Every person on this earth is assigned at least one guide that stays with them throughout his or her lifetime.  Many other guides can come and go depending on the need.  

     For example, I learned that my main purpose in this lifetime is "love".  I am to learn about love, how to truly love, and be love.  I have a main guide that has always been with me, then I have several other guides that work with my on the subject of love (how to love, how to choose good people to love, etc).  I have a guide that helps prompt me to pray.  I also have guides for medical reasons and for creativity.  Their main goal is to put love and joy into your life (remind you just how loved you really are) and to help guide you through life in order to reach the goals that were preset for you before coming here. However, we each have free will, and so we can either work on those goals or choose not to. It's totally up to us.  But, if we set our mind or intention to something, our guides will help make it happen.

     Here is a quick snapshot of some of the first questions I asked my guide when speaking with him.  I will type the questions and put the answers in parenthesis.  

*Is Jesus real and did he die to save our sins?  Is what I have been taught and do believe about Jesus true?  (Absolutely.)

*What quick advice would you give to me and every other human that will help us?  (Pray more, meditate more, drink more water, sleep more, and be kind.)

*Is there anything that I was taught in church that is not correct?  (few things such as being critical of people who aren't living up to "Christian Standards".  But mostly that reincarnation is not real.  It IS real but was removed from the Bible by men who thought it shouldn't be there.)

*If reincarnation is real, how does that reconcile with the need for Jesus' salvation?  (The salvation is real and true, but you have more than one life to choose.  If during any of your lives you have come to a saving knowledge of Christ, then it applies to every life thereafter.  You are here life after life to reap what you have sewn and to have an opportunity to do better...not to earn your way to Heaven, but to balance out the debt to other souls that you have created.  That debt is not held over your head by God...you are forgiven all and are loved unconditionally.  But, the energy that is put into the world affects every other being in the world and the future to come.  By rectifying the negativity you have put into the world, it raises the energetic vibrations of the earth/atmosphere and will create a better world for other people).... that was hard to express in such short space.  I hope that made sense.  It is a huge topic to put "in a nutshell".

*Do we have to worry about the environment being destroyed?  (No, everything will be here exactly as long as God needs it to be here and He will provide what is needed)

*What is the most important things we need to know? (Love.  Be kind and love one another.  Find some joy!  Live with abandon, there is no reason to be so afraid.  Pray more.)

     I will copy and paste what I have typed above into a new blog post as well.  Seriously, if you have any questions (not criticisms), please feel free to reach out.

     By moving away, I was able to purify down to my most basic elements.  I learned my worth and I learned how I truly want to live and what is most important.  Now, I am home and I am much more secure in myself and what I believe.  I am calmer, I am more peaceful, and I am confident about my future.  God is good and I am so blessed.  His grace rains down over every of my life.  As a friend of mine stated recently, "If you're happy, stay that way.  If you're searching for happiness, I wish you God-speed in getting there."

xoxo v.

7.24.2016

Just finished reading


Dying To Be Me on Amazon 

      What an interesting book.  I first learned about this book when I saw this author's TED talk about her near-death experience.  Near-death experiences always fascinate me and I love to learn as much about them as I can.  

     This author, though, had some pretty amazing insights.  With that being said, I do believe she was incorrect on some things.  I know, I know.  Like I'm anyone to correct someone who had the actual experience.  What I mean is that, for example, she states that she realized that there was no actual one God, because she felt all of the love and acceptance (and she didn't see God), so she felt that we are each actually God.  I don't believe that. I believe that 1) She probably hadn't even made it to Heaven yet.  She was still in this earthly atmosphere and was observing her family.  She was in the other realm, just not all the way.  Does that make sense?  2) I believe that she (and every one of us) was feeling our natural state, which is complete and endless love and compassion.  This comes from God. We are feeling our connectedness with him, but we are not him.  I hope that also makes sense.

     Those few things aside, I think she conveys some powerful messages to us!  Messages such as the most important thing in life is love.  L-O-V-E.  For ourselves, for others.  And when we have a lack of this, the natural consequence of this is illness, violence, etc.  

     Fear is the opposite of love, and unfortunately too many of us have too much fear in our lives.  She explained how a simple change of focus can make all of the difference.  For example, instead of holding your child away from the street because you are afraid they will get hurt, change the focus to love.  "Because I love you, I want to see you taken care of and safe.  So, I will hold your hand."  Same thing really, but the second is love-based, rather than fear-based.

     She explained how (and I have had this notion for years, I even blogged something about it a decade ago) she was shown a tapestry of her life.  And we all have one.  And every little thread is made up of experiences and people we have had contact with.  Every person we have ever had contact with was there on purpose and was supposed to be a thread in our tapestry.  She was shown that the universe God created is a living thing and that it is always perfect.  

   She was shown some of her past lives and it felt completely natural to see them and they felt as if they were happening right now.  Because time is only existent and linear on earth, not in Heaven.  She saw that the doctrine and dogma that she was raised with didn't really matter in Heaven.  We are all connected and we are all created of love...God's love.

     Anyways, I could go on all day!  This was a very interesting book.  If you have any interest at all in this type of subject, I would recommend you read it.  It's a quick and easy read, but very fulfilling.    

xoxo v.

7.04.2016

Cocoon



     This is my final day of a five day staycation...and I am exhausted.  My whole body is achy and tired.  I'm a bit depleted.  In hindsight, I know that I should have paced myself better.  So today, I plan to spend the day in my pajamas and soothe my soul with some Earl Grey from my favorite cup.  My kids gave me this Christmas coffee mug years and years ago.  It's sentimental to me and so whenever I want to cocoon and take care of myself, out comes the cup.

     I fully admit that I overdid it this weekend.  It has always been my personality to go full-tilt when I get a new idea or have a new project.  However, in this new season of my life, I know that one of the lessons I am supposed to be learning is that slow and steady wins the race.  

     One of the many things I have learned in the past year is how important it is to stay balanced and to love yourself.  Self-care is crucial to be happy and peaceful.  So, although I wish I had taken a few days for taking care of myself, I will try to make the most of this day.  I plan to meditate, blog, and chill.  Life is sweet and I am so grateful for times of rest and restoration.

xoxo, V.

7.03.2016

Staycation

     I had a wonderful weekend!  See, when planning to move back home, I set a life goal to actually experience my life and the people around me.  While living in Arizona, I had a nice life, but it was a small life.  After nearly seven years there, I really didn't accomplish anything.  I only took a few small trips and made almost no friends.  Admittedly this was because I tend to bend my life and my personality to fit the desires of the partner I have at the time.  And usually, I tend to end up with people who live small lives and frankly, are usually assholes who are threatened by women who have lives of their own.  But that's a whole other story.

     When I moved home, I decided that I was actually going to do all of the things that I had been wishing I could do.  And I spent years raving about all of the things to do in Ohio and how Arizona didn't compare.  So, I vowed to live a bigger life, full of love and experiences than I ever had.  And I've really tried to do that since coming home. 

     The other part of this is that with the spiritual journey that I've been on for the past year, I've learned that one of our main missions in this life is to live without fear.  To live with abandon.  Not reckless abandon, but abandon.  I've always lived exactly the opposite of that.  Very carefully, hyper-vigilant about danger, careful, etc...and it hasn't gotten me very far.  So, in the second act of my life, I want to do the things that I always said I couldn't do because I had small children and a lot of bills.  That I didn't do because I had a partner that was a butt.  I plan to live my life instead of letting my life live me.

     Normally, when I take time off of work, I plan to stay home and do absolutely nothing.  Because that sounds like Heaven, doesn't it?  But this time, I made plans.  And I had a blast!



     Thursday, I dropped Emma and her girlfriend off at Cedar Point.  I got a haircut (which didn't turn out so well, but them's the breaks).  Allison came up for a short visit.  We got to have dinner and catch up.  I soooo miss my friends and hate that they all live so far away!  



     Friday, Courtney, Emma and Madi (Emma's girlfriend) went with me to Stan Hywet, which is the beautiful old mansion built by the owner of Goodyear Tire.  I had been there several times when I was younger, but my kids had never been there.  Unfortunately, Courtney wasn't feeling well so we couldn't explore the gardens as much as we wanted to.  But, they have  a new tour that shows all of the behind the scenes stuff and the rooms they don't normally show, so it's a good reason to go back! Plus, I want to go at Christmas because it's supposed to be beautiful.



    After we left the mansion, we met up with Jon & Allison for dinner.  We had a nice time together and getting caught up.  I love having friends that have known me for so long, I can just be.  I don't have to be "on" or sell myself (I'm sure you know what I mean).  It's just sweet to be together and have a nice meal.  

(Their Dramamine just kicked in)


    Saturday was jam-packed.  I ran Emma and Madi to Cedar Point in the morning.  I then raced home to get ready to go to the theater with some work friends.

    Now, this is a great example of how when you put your intention out there, the universe will rise up to meet you.  I've already talked about my intentions to do and see more.  I've been thinking for a few years now that I need to get my passport.  This way, it's ready when I need it, and because that will help set my intentions for travel and put that energy out into the universe.

     Well, at work, some of us created a book club that we have once a week.  At this book club, I made a friend named Lauren.  She also happens to go to the weekly meditation that they have in the  chapel.  So, Lauren starts talking one day about how she has decided to do more with her life and so she is going to get her passport this month in order to set the intention into the universe about what she wants.  *cricket, cricket*

     I was like, "Are you serious?!" and I explained my story to her.  I said excitedly that I want to do more things like go to the theater and travel.  As I was explaining this, her eyes got huge and she said, "I am going to see The Phantom of the Opera on July 3rd!  I actually have an extra ticket because I knew someone would come along that wanted to go!  Do you want to go?" I told her of course I wanted to go and that she must have bought the ticket for me!

     So, see how God conspires for your happiness when you surrender to what your soul is craving and you put the intention out to fill it?  He synchronizes people and events to help you achieve it.  God never fails to amaze me with how good He is.



     I LOVE the theater!  I have seen many shows, but not nearly enough.  I fully intend to go back as often as I can.  After the show, we went to the Haufbrau House, which is a charming German restaurant near Playhouse Square.  The food was uh-mazing.


     We had some great conversation and a lot of laughs.  I met some new friends.  It was a great time.

     When I left there, I had to race back to Cedar Point to pick up the kids so we could get ready for the fireworks.  See, in Arizona, holidays are just NOT the same.  Nothing is celebrated the same.  The fireworks are okay, but you experience them sitting on the side of the road or in a gravel parking lot.  There is nothing festive there.  And they don't have picnics or barbecues for the holiday either.  It was all just blah.  





      Because of this, I couldn't wait to go to the fireworks at the lake like we always do.  It really felt wonderful to be home.  I want to travel, but I never want this to not be my home again.  You don't appreciate this place until you leave home for a while.  Coming home, you realize just how beautiful Ohio is and how much it truly has to offer. 

xoxo v.

6.02.2016

Original gangster...




     Today’s writing prompt is, “Are you distracted by technology.”  Ha.  Umm, yeah.  Aren’t we all in this day and age?
     Technology is a WONDERFUL thing!  I have such an appreciation for technology, particularly where it lends to long-distance communication.  I can remember not all that long ago when NONE of this was possible!
     Not being able to call a friend in the next town because it was “local long-distance”.  And if you did get to call, it had to be after 7pm because that’s when the rates were cheaper.  Because of this, my BFF Allison and I had the original blogs.  We each had a big spiral notebook that we would write letters in all day every day talking about our life and what was happening, and then we would exchange the notebooks at church.  We would go home and excitedly pour through what the other had to say and then we would start all over again.  Would that be blogging or texting?  I don’t know.  Maybe some of both.  Either way, we are totally the  OG’s of blogging.
     I remember one of us taking pictures with our 110 camera and then having to wait a week (or way more) for the drug store to develop the film.  And God-forbid if someone forgot to order doubles of the prints!  Nostalgia is the only good thing about looking back on that era.
Now, everything is instant and beautiful!  I can not only talk to, but SEE anyone I want to call!  No matter WHERE they are! 
     However, to whom much is given, much is required.  We have all of this glorious technology, but at what cost?  First of all, let’s talk about noise pollution.  Technology can be NOISY.    When there is a TV blaring in the background, phones are going off, someone has headphones in but you can still hear the music, someone else is talking on their phone…ugh.  It’s too much.  Sometimes I just turn everything off and sit in the quiet.  It is so nice.
     Secondly, we act like we are mandated to be available 24 hours a day. We have no privacy and there are no boundaries.  If someone texts, they expect an immediate (or almost) answer.  It’s ridiculous.
     Third, because our faces are always stuck in our phones, we are missing life.  Life is happening every second of every day, but most of us see it through a phone screen and a camera.  And have you ever noticed that no matter how good of a camera you are using, that nothing captures what is really happening like the human eye?  You can be watching the most glorious sunset and try to take a picture, but the picture will always pale in comparison.  Always.  There is nothing like our human eyes.  If you live your life and take it all in, you will have experiences and memories that far surpass any picture you could have taken of it.  Recorded music never sounds as good as live and the colors in a picture are never as vibrant as through the human eye.
     Because of all this, I decided a few weeks ago to take a weekly technology Sabbath.  One day a week, I choose Sunday, I put the technology down and try not to be on my phone.  I don’t totally turn it off and I may glance at Facebook once or twice in the day, but I in no way spend much time on there.  Not like I normally do.  It’s nice and I think it helps bring you into balance.  It sounds like a silly question, but seriously… What would you do or accomplish today if you were not allowed to be on technology?  Would you talk to your friend longer?  Read a book, go for a walk, take a nap, spend time with the kids… all the good stuff in life. 
     I’m excited to make this a tradition in our lives.  I have been saying for a long time now, that I bet there will be a shift in consciousness because of the over-availability of technology.  The same way that everyone used to have a home phone and now hardly anyone does, I bet the pendulum will swing the other way in the future.  Everyone is going to appreciate phones, but become sick of how intrusive the phone is into their lives and will use them less and less, going back to home phones.  I’m curious to see how that plays out.  I at least predict that people will seek a better balance than there is now.


xoxo v.

5.31.2016

Because I know you've been wondering...



     Today someone posted a homophobic rant on my daughter’s Facebook page.  I actually think it was a stupid teenage joke because the same kid that wrote it left a comment saying, “Can you imagine if this is really how I acted?”  But it wasn’t funny to me.
     When I read those words in the early morning light, I felt that old familiar adrenaline surge that means only one thing…danger.  It is a swell of energy that starts in my stomach and rises up through my chest tells me that I need to protect someone I love, and that is a feeling I detest.  I wanted to find that kid and throat-punch him into submissive apologies.
     However, I decided to be a grown up about it.  I let a comment for him to “Delete this shit immediately” and then I reported the post to Facebook.  Can you believe that Facebook saw nothing wrong with the post?  I am still speechless.
     Today this got me thinking about this whole situation.  On the one hand, I am proud of all of the people in my life that I know (that I know that I know) are homophobic, for not lashing out at my daughter since she came out.  They have either been supportive of her, or they have been very obviously quiet and absent in the matter.  The silence speaks volumes, trust me.  We all know why you are all silent, but I appreciate that you have a silent judgmental disapproval than a vocal one. 
     I have been asked, more than once, “How do YOU feel about this?” (my daughter coming out as a lesbian).  Emphasis on the YOU because most of the people asking me this are silently wondering if I am traumatized, or trying to beat the gay out of her, or if I am mortified, or if I’m just a big worldly sinner that thinks it’s all okay.
     So, to answer that question… I am fine with it.  I love and support my daughter. Please let me explain further. 
     I grew up in an extremely legalistic, judgmental, critical church (and family).  As in most churches, the worst part of the judgment is that everyone picked and chose what would be judged, and what would be acceptable.  For example, we had several pedophiles in the church that no one would outwardly condone, but would allow in the church if they pedophile was being quiet and good…but I couldn’t teach the preschoolers in Sunday School anymore because I had been divorced.  People could stand in the parking lot and smoke cigarettes.  Oh, it might have been frowned upon, but no one would say anything.  However, let a gay person try to attend church…they would be chased out of there and probably told they were going to hell and to never come back.
     I am a Christian.  I love Christ.  However, I greatly dislike most churches and most religion because of the way I was raised.  All I think of when I think of these kinds of churches is hate, judgment, and hypocrisy.  Please don’t get me wrong, there are some truly lovely people that are very dear to me that still attend, but overall I stand by my statement.  I think the Christians in all of these old-fashioned little churches have a sincere desire to please God, but I think they are going about it all wrong.  I think they are mostly based in fear rather than love.  They are afraid of displeasing God, and they are afraid of looking as if they condone something "worldly".  Because of this, they shun anything that the mainstream church would not deem acceptable.  
     I mean, hey, if they're caught hanging out with or being friendly to a gay person, they will be the next person judged and criticized.  Who wants that?  Better to be safe and critical than to be kind and love one another.  I feel like those statements are going to hurt a lot of feelings and that isn't my intention. I think if people take a step back and with an open mind see if there could any truth to this perception, they will see how I can feel this way.
     Here is where I stand… we no longer live under the law.  We live under grace.  Of course the law is still a holy guideline for us to follow, but not even Jesus cast dispersions upon those that sinned.  He loved them and he commanded us to do the same.  We each have free will.  It is up to God and the Holy Spirit to convict us if we are doing something that does not bring him honor.  IT IS UP TO GOD.  It is not my business to condemn anyone, as long as they are not harming another human being.  It is my job to love.
     Let me say it again…
IT IS MY JOB TO LOVE.
     I do not believe that any of that legalistic, critical, hatemongering garbage accomplishes anything.  When I was in college, my good friend Scott revealed to me that he was gay.  I didn’t bat an eyelash because I loved him.  He was my friend.  Months later, he revealed to me that when he came out to me, he expected me to shun him because he was gay.  Because that is what every other Christian he had ever known had done to him.  Hearing that broke my heart.  He also went on to tell me that because of my kindness and friendship, he had gotten up the nerve to go back to church.  The last time he went, he was chased out and told “God hates fags” and that he is going to hell.  This time, he tried again and found a peaceful place to seek the Lord.
     Isn’t that the most important thing?  Living in a way so that others see Jesus through you and want what you have?  How do you expect that to happen when you go mysteriously silent and absent from their lives, or even worse… you act out in hate?  That is not how Christ would act.  You know the old cliché, “What would Jesus do?”  Well, that’s a legit question.  What would Jesus do?  Jesus would love the person and encourage them to seek the Lord.  And he would tell all of the rest of us to only cast a stone if we are without sin.  And we are all full of sin…we just like to judge others who sin differently than we do.  My other kids have all started smoking in adulthood.  Should I shun them? What about all of you/us who are divorced?  Overweight?  Have had phone sex or fornicated?  Gotten drunk? You get the picture.  I mean, aren’t kids who sass their parents supposed to get stoned to death under the law?  If that was the case, there would be no teenagers left and then what would we do?
     Just to clarify, I do not think that being gay is wrong.  I believe that gay people are born that way and I believe that love is love, no matter who is doing the loving.  I do not mean to purposely lump gay people into a pile with other "sins".  I have only written this in this way and made the points I have made because I know that most of the people reading this will be hard-core Christians who do believe being gay is a sin.  Okay, moving on.
     My daughter is my heart.  She is beautiful, creative, funny, articulate, and kind.  She is also gay.  I love her and I am proud of her for being willing to be open about it rather than kill herself with shame and fear.  If this is just a phase and next year she is into boys, then okay.  And if it’s not a phase and she lives her life as a gay woman, then I pray that she finds a kind and gentle, intelligent, open-hearted woman to spend her life with.  I married two MEN from my church…one was an adulterer and the other was a woman-beater and a child molester.  My goal is to see my children in loving, happy, healthy relationships.  Period. 
     I will love my children because they are worthy of love and kindness, no matter what decisions they make about anything in life.  I will stand by them, and I will come for the throat of anyone who tries to harm them.  And, I will leave the rest to God.


 Emma and her girlfriend Madi.


xoxo v.
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