Saturday, September 5, 2009

Christianity and the Small Town Girl

So I grew up in a small town. The same town John Cougar Mellencamp sang about in the 80's in fact. You knew everyone, and everyone knew you and who's kid you were. You couldn't drive 2 miles without seeing, and waving to, at least 3 people. We had a few churches, but the one I went to, was the big Church of Christ, right in the middle of town. It wasn't a huge church, but it felt gigantic inside.
Growing up, we didn't attend church. I can't even remember being told about God, I am sure I was, because I knew ABOUT Him, but not all the "details" I started to go to the Church of Christ in 6th grade, with a friend of mine. I HATED going. I did, I'm not proud of saying that, but it's true. I basically went because I stayed the night at her house and her mom "made" her go. This was the kind of church that had organ music and hymnals. Sunday school classes before "real" church and a basement where all the potlucks were held.

What I did love, was Youth Group. It was supposed to be a time for all of us kids, to come together and talk about God. To talk about how He died for us, and how we are saved. We did that, but it just wasn't cool to be into it all. It wasn't cool if you acted interested. When you're 12,13,14 yrs old, being cool was your bread and butter! So I kept it hidden to everyone else in my life, when I left church, I didn't bring church with me. I didn't talk about going to church, I didn't talk about faith or quote the Bible, I just didn't let on that I went to church. Only the people AT church, knew it.

In 7th grade, I was saved. I talk about it here I can honestly tell you, back then, as strong as I felt about it, even though I didn't know all I know now (and let me tell you, I don't know THAT much now) I felt called to give my life to Jesus. I just didn't really know what that meant. Not the full extent anyway. I just knew that it seemed like the right thing to do. It seemed I SHOULD go to church, because going to church meant I was a good person. It meant people would see me as a Christian. Which was a moot point, since no one else knew I went to church, except the other people AT church. How very naive I was.

As an adult, I see things through much clearer eyes. I understand more now at 36, than I did at 12. What I still don't understand is, why I feel, sometimes,almost embarrassed to stand out and stand up and say how I feel about God. Why? Why do I care if someone will think "Oh GREAT! A "Bible thumper" because in reality, that's their thorn, not mine. Why do I care what people think of me, being a woman of faith? I am not ashamed to say I go to church. I am not ashamed to talk to my kids or my husband about my faith. It's everyone else "out there" who might think it's "not cool" to be a Christian. Or to believe. Everyone seems to have a stigma about praising God, or reciting Bible verses. In my heart, I can honestly say, I have a very strong faith, it waivers at times. Some times I don't make the BEST choices, I don't always follow the bumper sticker mentality.. WWJD. However, I can say, in my heart, I TRY very hard to live my life, in a way I can walk with my head up high. Sometimes I falter. That's ok. I give myself a break when I do. No one is perfect, no one.

What I believe is important to me. Having my kids raised in the truth and in the Word, are very important to me. If it's not popular, or if I get looked down on for it, that's ok. I want my kids to hold their heads up high, and walk into a room and KNOW, they are a child of God. I want them to be so full of faith, they are more concerned about following the ways of God, than following the ways of their peers. I want my kids to feel so confident in themselves, that if they lose friends, or don't get into the so called popular crowd, that they don't care. I want them to have the kind of character that will sustain them, even when it's tough.

I'm going to make a conscious effort now, to be proud of my faith. To be proud of my belief, and not worry about what others might think. I'm not proud of how I have felt in the past about sharing that side of me, I'm not proud to say, I've been embarrassed to be seen as a Christian, because now, it's time for me to forgive myself, and ask God to forgive me for that and move forward. Because what matters to me, is being the kind of person who lives the kind of life, that others will look at and see, being a Christian, is something to be proud of. Because I am proud of it. I'm proud to say, when I am so moved, I raise my hands in worship. Sometimes, I am so moved, I cry during worship, sometimes, I cry during the sermon, because it moves me so much. Sometimes I do feel, my pastor wrote his sermon for ME. Why should there be shame in that? Does it make me weak? Does it make me a loser? I don't believe it does. I'm not really concerned anymore, if someone else might think it makes me either of those things. If you're not going to be my friend, or talk to me, or acknowledge me BECAUSE of my faith and belief, then I suppose I am better off.

I am facing forward and remembering who I am, and WHO's I am. I belong to this world just like everyone else. I'm proud to be known as a Christian. I WILL quote the Bible once in awhile, I WILL sing worship songs out loud in Target if I am so moved, and I will fall to my knees in praise.

I am going to live my life with a purpose. I'm going to set myself free and reach down inside myself and pull on my faith to see me through the hard places in my journey.

Our pastor spoke tonight about character, and what convicts us. HE spoke of people who are SO outspoken about something. People that point their finger at someone else in disgust and shame them for doing or saying, or being something they think that person shouldn't be. If you peel back the layers of that nay-sayer's character, you see deep inside, they are so passionate about it, because it is the exact thing THEY themselves are struggling with. I know I'm guilty of that. Pointing my finger and loudly convicting someone else of something, I myself am guilty of doing. I'm ashamed to admit it, but it is the truth. What you get the most fired up about, is most likely something you yourself struggle with. That speaks volumes to me. I was so afraid of what other people would say about me if I stood up for my faith, that I would get so fired up at people who didn't do it, wondering where THEIR faith was if they were a so called Christian. In reality, I should have been asking myself that same question. Where is MY faith. I guess it's all about the journey right? This is my cross to bear. One I AM going to overcome. I want to be like Daniel, in the Bible, and stand up to peer pressure. I want to be and do, and behave in a way that maybe others would cringe over, or would make fun of me. I want to look past all of that and do it anyway. That's what Daniel did, right?.

What we believe, will determine how we live.

What you take in, will eventually come out, right? If you let in the bad garbage, you will let bad garbage out. If you surround yourself with good and take in only good, you will let out only good. That's how I want to live, I want to surround myself with good people, and people who aren't perfect, but are holding their heads up high, making their own journey to a strong, unbreakable, unshakable faith. I want to be around people who are proud to be a Christian. I want to hear the Good Word, and hear people's testimonies. I just want to surround myself in light, so that light exudes from me. It won't be easy, I know. I will hit rough patches, I will hit the proverbial, bumps in the road, but if I keep my eyes focused on the big picture, I'm going to be fine.. I will overcome!

So this small town girl is going to shake that feeling of shame, and kick it to the curb. I'm proud of who I am. I'm proud to be a child of God. He's proud of me, even when I mess up, He loves me. He loves me unconditionally, and that makes me VERY blessed.

Truth is knowing your character is shaped by your every day actions.
watch your beliefs, they become thoughts
Watch your thoughts, they become words
Watch your words, they become actions
Watch your actions, they become habits
Watch your habits they become character

Your character, is your legacy.

Vince Lombardi

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I am inspired by...


I wanted to share... I NEEDED to share this because I know you will enjoy it, be moved by it, be empowered by it and be strengthened by it like I have. Like a lot of my friends have. There is a back story, I will give you the Readers Digest version.

I've written about them before here

Stephanie(Affectionately known as Nie Nie) and her husband Christian (Affectionately known as Mr. Nielson) were in a plane crash in August of 2008. Both were in a fight for their lives, Nie Nie's sister Courtney(also a beautiful writer with a beautiful faith) kept all of us up to date on their progress, and of her time taking care of Nie nie and Mr. Nielson's beautiful children. A constant note was always present.. their faith in God, and their faith in God the great Physician.

A year has gone by, and Nie Nie is back to blogging, and sharing in her many trials and tribulations and sharing even more, her blessings and faith. She inspires me. I am betting she will inspire you as well.

Please go check out her blog, look at her beautiful pictures and feel, through her, the kind of love and faith I know I wish I had more of at times. There are so many to read, but they're all filled with hope and life and beauty. She is a beautiful soul.

Don't let this stop with you, pass it along, share it with people in your life, who will also be inspired and moved. Keep going back to read, because you will never be sorry! I promise.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Trust and the church and restoration

As it happens sometimes, we lose our direction. I posted something a few days ago that you may or may not have read.. Read it here I was very upset, feeling betrayed by people that I thought were on the same path of Christianity as I am. It was a profound feeling of pain and confusion. I did a lot of praying, because when all else fails.. pray! I did a lot of inner self reflection and where I can say I was a bit more at peace with things.. as much as one can get to a feeling of peace in this type of situation, I just wasn't feeling like I should, or like I did before this whole mini crisis.

So yesterday, I received a phone call from the man who headed up the Walker Beautification project. At first I wasn't sure what to think or feel. I expected a "Hey I'm really sorry about your clippers, better luck next year" which I would have appreciated, don't get me wrong. I would have seen that as someone reaching out and saying they heard me and it was all going to be okay. However, that wasn't what happened at all. He explained the situation, that it wasn't just the church and various football players and wrestlers from the high school, as I had first stated, it was also a lot of people from the community, specifically, the community we were helping out. People who are in need, and hungry and desperate. He said it's more likely it was one of them that took the clippers. After hearing that it did seem more likely that was the case. Frankly, if it was someone who was in need, I don't feel as bad about losing the tool. I hope it is something they needed and will use to make something beautiful in their yard. Or maybe they will sell it for money to buy food, or milk for their baby. I pray whatever the reason, it is pure.

I feel better about this whole ordeal because, although my walk with God hadn't faltered, my faith in my fellow Christians had. It was a lonely, sad feeling I must admit. I have said it before, and I will say it again and again, our church really is a phenomenal place. Our pastor, is amazing, and I really had a difficult time swallowing the idea, that there were people there that I wasn't going to be able to trust, or look in the eye. It was something i struggled with because in a world where I feel uncomfortable in my own skin, inside those doors, within the walls of that church, I felt like I belonged and wasn't judged. The thought of leaving that behind was a scary one for me. It took me way too long to get back into church... we spent 5 years not going, not serving. When we moved to West Salem last March, and found West Salem Foursquare Church, we felt like we had found home. The instant feeling of acceptance and love and peace and comfort, were all there the second we walked through the doors. We haven't turned back since. I didn't want to.. I don't want to.

I feared I would though, I feared that whole incident was going to drive me away from there. Even though I knew in my heart of hearts, that was what the enemy wanted, it wouldn't have stopped me, because my heart would have been turned against it.

The good news is, it's all fixed.. my heart is healed, my spirit renewed, and this whole process makes me want to get more involved with the Dream Center, more involved with those in need. It doesn't make me feel ill towards them, it makes me more determined to help out. Maybe I will be able to answer phones or something at the new medical center or maybe I will pass out clothes and food.. whatever it is Lord.. bring it to me, I'm ready!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Trust and the church..

So yesterday, our church headed up a beautification day at a local middle school. We have sort of adopted the school. Our youth pastors go and minister to the kids, have lunch with them, that sort of thing and yesterday was part of our duties as a church. There were over 200 of us, lots of people from the church, but also football players and wrestlers from the high school. It was really a beautiful event, helping out the community, side by side with people who share a faith in God and all that is right and loving.

Granted, the kids complained, I expected that. It was hot and as Josh put it.. borrrrrrrrrringggg. However, they all really did help for the most part. Briana, who is 6, really did her part by keeping all the roly poly bugs or as we call them, potato bugs, out of the way for me as I dug out weeds. She really played the part of insect conservationist.

We were told to bring our own gardening tools, which makes total sense. We were told to mark them with our names so they didn't get lost. So we did. I threw in a pair of old hand clippers, with long wooden handles.. really my favorite tool, aside from my super cool chain saw, but I didn't bring that. No, I brought the long handled clippers because I knew there would be a lot of bush-whacking and trimming going on.

We weren't there long when finally found a place to throw down our tools and get to weeding. As Warren and I were working, apparently someone came by and grabbed the clippers and said, I'm borrowing these, and took off. Our oldest, Austin didn't say anything at first, he wasn't sure what to say to the guy, which I didn't expect him to. When Austin finally told us, the guy was long gone. Warren and Austin went looking for the guy right after that and Warren thinks he saw the guy, but wasn't exactly sure, and so didn't go up to him. However, he figured the guy would bring them back, after all.

Fast forward a few hours. During which we scouted the entire grounds for the clippers and to no avail. We told several people what happened and they all told us to wait until the end, because everyone puts all the tools in a pile, if they have someone elses tools, they just put them into a big pile and you can go check it out and find them. Ok Cool, I was no longer worried. At the end we were sitting down and I was keeping watch over said, tool pile, and never saw them placed there. We all kept walking by the pile and checking and rechecking. They just never turned up. So Warren again found the guy from our church who was the lead guy on the beautification project, and he told Warren, he was going to do another run through the property and take anything he finds, to the church and leave it in the lobby. Well we left, figuring he'd find them, or someone who took them would bring them to the church, once they discovered they had someone elses tool.

Neither of those situations happened. Our tool wasn't found, or brought to the church. Whoever walked off with them, didn't borrow them, they took them. I can only hope, the guy brings them to church today, because really, not everyone goes to church on Saturday nights, so maybe he'll come today with the clippers.. I still have hope.

These are people I sit side by side and pray with. People who look me in the eye every week and smile and say hello. Maybe I'm crazy, but I thought a church was a place you can go and feel safe. Maybe I'm naive in thinking everyone there, within those walls and under the roof, should be like family. A safe place to go. A place you can go and join hands with and pray with, worship with, grow with. how then is it possible, if that is what it means to be a church family, that someone can willingly take something, not ASK to borrow, but TELL, and then not bring back. Our name is written in red sharpie on the handles. It isn't like they don't know. I want to be able to trust that when I walk through those double doors, everyone in there is someone I CAN look in the eyes and everyone there is someone, who I can count on in a time of need. Seriously, it isn't about the actual tool, I mean, yeah I loved those things.. they were my go to tool, I used them ALL the time, no, it isn't about the tool, that is a material thing. What I feel was stolen from me, really, was my trust and my faith that, at least in church.. at least those people in church, are people I can turn to, no matter what and ask anything of. I feel very burned, I feel let down. I feel sad. This is a church where I really felt a part of, like we were a community within the church. Now, it will be hard to go back and look them in the eyes. Because really, I have no idea who has them. Don't get me wrong, there are a handful of people I KNOW their heart, I KNOW I can look in the eye, people I DO trust. But I want to be able to look everyone in the eye. The world is a dark place. I get that everyone sins, everyone has a side of them that they aren't proud of, but I thought.. I hoped.. at church, THOSE were the only people I knew I could count on. Those were the people, hands to God during worship, who's voices called out with mine every week, Amen. Trust builds, faith builds.. but now.. it has been taken away.

Maybe this is a good lesson for me, a lesson I don't want to be true.. That you just can't trust anyone, anywhere. I don't want to feel this way.

My faith in God is unshaken, maybe I just need to hold to that.

I still have hope..


An update
Warren was at church this morning, running slides for the services and said the clippers did not turn up. I really don't know what to make of this. Trust is a huge deal to me, I have had people lose my trust, and in turn, I walked away and never looked back. I don't want to do this with our church, but how can I go there every week, volunteer my time and raise my children under their morals and values, when I feel so betrayed. I cannot say I feel betrayed by the entire church, that is ridiculous, but I do feel betrayed. We took time out on a Saturday to join our church in helping the community and we were burned in the process. What makes me want to continue to help? My heart as a Christian tells me to forgive and move forward. I should, I know. I am finding it difficult at this point because I cannot go to church now and look at people and see them look me in the eye, or stand next to them during the service, hold their hand, hug them, shake their hand, as our pastor sometimes has us do(we are a community, we are a family right? Why wouldn't we hug each other and reach out a hand to say hello?)I can't just do this with an open heart because what if I am looking into the eyes of the person who stole from us? I know what some of you are thinking, that's part of being a Christian, you forgive, it's what Jesus would do. I just find it very difficult right now and I suppose it is something I need to pray about. I just have a bad taste in my mouth about it. I don't feel like we are supported or that anyone is going to be held accountable. Maybe it isn't up to the church to hold that person accountable. Maybe he will be convicted for being dishonest. Maybe he will ask God for forgiveness. I hope he does. I pray he is forgiven.

I just wish I could feel better about this, I am sure I will get there eventually. I mean, as I said.. this isn't about the tool, it's about the trust that was broken, the betrayal I feel as a member of this church. I don't know that this will just go away. I hope it does, I hope I can pray it away or reason it away, but it doesn't seem likely. The church is a place where I want to go and be able to leave my troubles and mistrusts of the world behind, and be surrounded by people I know and trust. If you can't get that at church...

I want to say again, this feeling about the church doesn't extend to everyone within our church, I know there ARE a few people there I can turn to and know who they are, and that I can trust them, but the ones I don't feel that way about, far outweigh those that I do.

I will keep praying..

Monday, April 27, 2009

Safe at home and some Music Monday

It is said, that when you are married, the chase it over. The fun stops. You have him and he has you.. there is no more need to try to impress each other. To a point, I believe this. I think you can stop pretending you love that sports team, or that rock band. But you should never stop trying to make the other person smile, or laugh or feel wanted and needed.

I was watching one of "my shows" this morning and it really made me think. In this particular episode, the wife was having issues with her husband and going to the park with their baby to sit and talk to a single dad who brings his child to the same park. She told her sister he makes her feel beautiful and funny and wanted. He made her feel listened to. A part of her understood how this was wrong and went against her vows and against the sanctity of their marriage, but her innate need to feel needed and to feel like she mattered, over powered that part of her that screamed "No! Don't do it!"

As women(YES I'm going to go out on a limb and speak for all women, even those who's Tarzan is actually Jane, women are women.. ) we have a need, I suppose, to feel like we are not only beautiful and sexy, but that we are also heard. That when we have an issue or something neat to tell you, that you aren't just fake listening. We want to know that even though, we see each other day in and day out, that the sight of us just makes you smile. We want to know that we matter in your day to day, we need to know that when we're home all day with the kids, knee deep in laundry and baby poop and up to our eyeballs in and we cannot stand to hear it one more time.. the word "MOM!" Or when we've been face to face with angry bosses and back stabbing co-workers,we want to know when you come through that door, the first thing you want to see is our face.

We also want to know, you would fight for us. That even if we screw up, you are still going to come to our rescue and you are going to stare down whomever or whatever is standing in your way and say " I will fight with all my power to save my marriage" We want to know you will fight for us, that you won't roll over and say "whatever" we want to know that no matter what, you will come after us when we try to run away and take us in your arms and tell us everything is going to be okay, even when you don't honestly know how long it's going to take before it is truly okay. We want to know you aren't going to throw in the towel, give up the fight.

As human beings, we all have this same need. We seek comfort and when we stop feeling it, we keep looking. Maybe in a best friend, maybe in an online forum or chat room, or maybe with that single parent at the park who looks you in the eyes when you are speaking to them and who tells you, everything is going to be ok. We just need to know that. Maybe it's isn't fair to say it's a woman thing. Truth be told, women want to be rescued. We want a knight, we want a soldier, a man in control of the issues, in control of what is happening. We want someone to be our rock. When times are tough we want to be able to crumble and be scared and have our significant other, come in swinging in on his rope like Tarzan to scoop us up and take care of us, and tell us, nothing is going to hurt you, nothing is going to make me stop loving you. Nothing is going to tear us apart. We want to hear the Might Mouse theme song playing in the background as our man comes to our rescue, either mentally or physically. It doesn't mean we're weak, or that we lack something in us to be in control and take care of business. Because, anyone who has a mom in their life, sees how tough we women can be. It's just that we don't always want to be the strong one. We want someone who will come in and take control and take care of us, instead of us always having to be the one to take care of everyone else.

My favorite line from the show today was from a clip for next week's show.. he said " I will do everything in my power to save my marriage... and I have a LOT of power" RAWR!

'nuff said


Because it's also Music Monday, I'm going to post this song, because it is one of my favorites

Smashing Pumpkins- Luna

Monday, March 30, 2009

B is for Birthday,,,

It's happening. I'm turning another year older, in less than 24 hours. What does this mean for me? Really, not much. It's not a milestone of any sort. It isn't the BIG 4-0 or anything. However, this year I'm going to make it about change. No, I'm not Obama, I'm just wanting something to change in my life, and from what I hear, change starts, with me. So here are some things that I want to change, or things that I will learn in this next year of life.

I will start off with my weight, because it's the most obvious and biggest obstacle. I'm sick of being the fat one. I'm sick of being the fat mom, the fat sister, the fat wife.. you get the picture. I'm ashamed of how I look, I feel sick to my stomach every time I look in a mirror. I understand God loves me no matter what, what matters is what's inside, blah blah. Warren loves me, no matter what size I am. He sees who I am, regardless of what the scale says. I am truly blessed in that capacity. My kids love me, this I know. They do not judge me. Though, I am embarrassed for them, when their friends see me, I'm afraid sooner or later, if it hasn't happened already, their friends will make fun of THEM for having a fat mom. I do not want that for my kids. The reason I want to lose weight has a lot to do with HOW I became this way in the first place. Confused? Let me explain.

I can remember a time in my life, between the ages of 13-15 when I would look at myself, and see an obese girl. I felt fat. I struggled with food, I struggled with how I looked. When I was 15, I weighed a whopping 111lbs. I have pictures of myself where you can see my collar bone. I still saw fat. I wore baggy clothes, and felt and looked frumpy. Looking back at myself in high school, I was the definition of frump. I didn't feel thin, although I know I was. I didn't feel good about what I looked like. I related how I felt inside, with how I felt outside. I was uncomfortable in my own skin. I suppose that is normal for a teenage girl, it's not easy to feel good about what you look like, when you only see negatives. I only saw a fat, frumpy girl.

At 15, I was introduced to a 19 year old guy who would become my boyfriend. He was in fact, very cruel, and physically abusive.. at 15, I was raped. It isn't something I speak about a lot, mostly because I know it makes my family uncomfortable. It makes most people uncomfortable. The reason I'm bringing it up now, is simply to state my case.

At 15, being in that relationship destroyed what I had left of my already lacking, self esteem. I was never the same after that relationship ended. It is something I carried for many years, something I hid, something I was ashamed of, and in turn, it introduced me to the fine art of "emotional eating." This little treasure served me well. It was certainly easier to eat and feel better, than it was to speak up about what happened. For a long time I was scared to mention it to anyone, because I was afraid of people's reactions.

After four pregnancies, depression and more weight gain, I just lost who I was. Inside, I am a skinny girl with a bubbly, outgoing personality. It's the outside me, that keeps the inside me at bay. I've become afraid of being in large crowds, I hate meeting new people. I've become somewhat of a shut in. That isn't to say I never go anywhere, because I do, but mostly just to places no one knows me(grocery store,that sort of thing) unless it's family. I'm terrified of running into someone from my past. I walk with my head down, and praying that no one recognizes me. I'm always positive everyone around me, people I know, and people I don't know, are looking at me in disgust.. I would!


This year.. as I turn 36, I've decided I'm taking ME back. I'm going to shed this disguise of weight and anguish. I'm going to stop believing the worst of myself. I'm going to reach outside my comfort zone as often as I can. I am finally going to conquer this.. I will.. I will! I will express how I feel, even when I feel like no one is listening.

As for the rest of the list of things I'm going to change this year;

I'm going to be more patient.

I'm going to practice listening more.

I'm going to think before I speak.

I'm going to take my dog for long walks.

I'm going to walk my children to and from school, weather permitting.

I'm going to be a better wife, a better mom, a better Christian.

I'm going to keep smiling at strangers, even when they don't return it.

I'm going to ask for help when I need it, and not feel like a failure BECAUSE I ask.

I'm going to teach my kids how to cook and enjoy it!

I'm going to try at least one new recipe a month AND blog about it

I'm going to take more pictures

I'm going to learn at least one new thing this year.

I'm going to have more fun with my family.

I'm going to make and achieve goals

I'm going to take baby steps and look before I leap

I'm going to start writing more

This is the year of change for me. This time next year, I will be half the woman physically, but twice the woman mentally and emotionally.

This is going to happen, and I'm excited for it.

And just for fun, I'm going to cram in my Music Monday choice.. My reason behind it.. I just love the song and I used to listen to it ALL the time as a child! So I hope you do too. The quality isn't great, but that's because it's OLD :)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Just Another Music Monday..

I'm copying Stef.. because she likes it when people copy cat her :)

So.. my music choice for today, is something I actually heard and saw at church this past Saturday night. Our pastor played her video during his sermon on Unfailing Love. He taught us Two key characteristics of the Love of God.

An Unfailing Love that DEFIES the norm
An Unfailing Love that DEFINES us

What I learned was, we as human beings have the ability to love each other as God loves us. Maybe it won't be easy for us.. it definitely won't be easy, but it IS possible. Why? Because we are made in His own image.. Genesis 1:26-27

So then why can we not love like God?

I was speaking with someone today about how mankind has turned it's backs on the elderly. I was brought back to a story I heard this winter, about a WW2 Veteran who froze to death in his home, because he didn't pay his electric bill and the electric company shut off his electricity. He froze to death. This man fought for us, for our freedom.. he put himself in harms way, risked his life and only God knows what he saw, but he did it because he believed in his country, he loved.. his country. How do we repay him? Letting him die alone and cold in his home. Where is the love of our people?

If someone upsets you, makes you angry, hurts your feelings, betrays you.. do you just shut them out and never speak to them again? If the answer is yes, I am going to pray for you. If your answer is no, I am going to pray for you anyway, because it takes a strong faith and a strong character to forgive and to "love anyway" I understand it is difficult to look someone in the eyes, who has hurt you, and say, I choose to forgive you AND I choose to love you anyway.

Loving someone in spite of what they have done, is a huge thing. It isn't easy, it isn't meant to be. We aren't God. I watched The Passion For Christ, and wept when Jesus looked up and said, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do" He forgave them, he loved them anyway. He was beaten and bloodied and weak and in a kind of pain I pray no one ever has to feel. Yet, He forgave. He loved.

So why can you not forgive and love the person who made you angry?

Why can you not forgive and love the person who betrayed you?

Why can you not forgive the person you have known your entire life.. saw each other through so many of life's ups and downs.. and that maybe didn't do exactly what you wanted, or needed of them at any particular time.. why can you not forgive?

I know it isn't easy, I know that it is going to take a lot of "do-overs" but God forgives us when we fail.. when we forsake him.. when we sin. We are forgiven.

He loves us.. Oh how he loves us..
We are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.
So Heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss,
And the heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don’t have time to maintain this regrets,
When I think about, the way

I challenge each of you to look inside yourself and find the kind of love God gives us.. is it there? Do you think you can find it? I challenge you today, even if it's just inside yourself, maybe it's YOU who needs to love YOU.. whomever, whatever, love anyway

Here is my song..

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Cut.. it....out!

It is a monumental day. Ok maybe for some it's not. For some this is something that isn't out of the norm, isn't something they would celebrate with photo's. However, for the Wilson's, it is. Today.. all three of my boys got haircuts.. ok yes, haircuts are normal. See, let me 'splain. Around here, I am normally the barber/beautician of sorts. I do an ok job, it's never HIGH quality, let me assure you, but even Au
stin was impressed with the last haircut I gave him. For HIM that's a gigantic compliment. Warren is always asking for haircuts, but I know with him, it's just that he wants to pinch a penny, so to speak. Josh, my 8 year old, NEVER wants his hair cut. I don't just mean never, I mean NEVER ever never...ever. Ryan is pretty good about getting his hair cut, although, he hasn't wanted one for a long time, so even for him, today was monumental. With Josh, Josh refused to get his hair cut, by me or anyone for over a year. His hair is very thick, and he does have beautiful curls that come out when it gets longer, and he loves it in his face etc. But it was a MESS.

See, Ryan and Josh are rock stars.. I know some of you don't know that, but yeah, they are. They are from the band '
The Flamin' Hot Cheetos', and in case you ALSO didn't know, rock stars HAVE TO have hair that flips and moves around when you shake your head or "head bang" if you will. So, a haircut was a no-no in their profession. However, as of late, I have convinced them that they could still have long(ish) hair and be head banging rock stars, but maybe tidy up their image a bit.

Grandma made appointments for the boys at a salon that Austin went to in December and got "the best haircut EVER." Ryan and Austin were stoked to go, but Josh was leary at times about it, because he liked his long hair. Soon after the appointment was made, Josh and I had a discussion about a haircut. I simply told him, either he can get one done by super rad Stephanie at the super-cool-does-the-best-haircuts-ever salon or I would do it and he'd look like a fuzzy caterpillar. I also told him he can have any haircut he chooses. Yes, I do let my kids get any hairstyle they want, as long as they are well kept and take care of their hair. So, after much deliberation, (about 30 seconds) he decided on liberty spikes. at first I was gasping, much like you are doing right now while reading that. Then, I decided it was ok, because it just fits Josh's style. He is the one kid I know, who could pull off liberty spikes. So I agreed, and he was happy!

Then yesterday.. he and I were discussing his haircut of choice and I explained to him, liberty spikes were work, and lots of hair product, and TIME consuming to "do." I then explained,that his head just won't be liberty spiked 24/7. No more brush and go after the shower in the morning before school. So, he decided he didn't want them anymore. He decided on a whole other haircut all together. He wanted Ryan Sheckler hair, much to my joy. If you don't know who Ryan Sheckler is, you either don't have a boy, or you don't know about skateboarding. Ryan Sheckler( I wonder how many more times I can write his name in this blog) is my favorite professional skater. That is, until Austin becomes a professional skater. Anyway! I digress. Josh decided on Ryan Sheckler(HA! got it in one more time) hair and Ryan, my Ryan, who was just going to get a trim, also decided, at the last minute, to go all Ryan Sheckler(Oh she did it again!) too.

So, thanks to grandma, my 3 boys are looking sharp and handsome and cute. They are all happy, even though Josh was acting like he WASN'T happy at first. I catch him checking out his new do in the mirror every once in awhile tonight. I am very happy with the outcome and I know you will be too. The most important thing is, they are happy!

So.. without further a-do (what does that mean anyway?) here are some before and afters.