Sad or Not? The Choice is Mine

So often times in the winter I get what I call “the winter blues.”  It’s cold, wet, dreary, rainy or snowy, and who in the world wants to go out in that mess?  I’d just as soon curl up in my old sweats and a blanket and binge watch something.  I just hate everything when it’s dreary and cold. I’m not the only one who suffers from this horrible winter blues…many of us deal with feeling this way.

Luckily, for me, my family and I moved to Oklahoma almost 4 years ago because I couldn’t take the cold winters of Bristol, IN any longer.  The last winter I was there I had pneumonia for almost 3 full months.  We didn’t know if I would ever feel better.  But then spring came and the decision to move was made.  While I live in a much sunnier and mild climate, I still find myself feeling low and bluey in the winter time.

Thankfully, my joy and happiness does not come from what I feel.  It comes from what I know.  I know that my strength is in the Lord and I trust in Him.  Because of this my heart leaps for joy even when I’m not overly joyful myself.  Did you know that being happy or being joyful is a choice?  Today, in the midst of my winter bluey feelings, I choose to be joyful.

To find your joy…why don’t you say a prayer and get reacquainted with the Lord today?

“The LORD is my strength† and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.”  Psalms 28:7

Summer Time Blues

As young children we are conditioned to anticipate summer with the highest of expectations.  We get out of school, it’s nice outside, the pools are open, sweet corn is grown, fruit is in season, vacation is around the corner, etc.  But there are times during the summer most of us face a melancholy.  Perhaps the going back to work and routine after the vacation or the missing of friends and family or the knowledge that there is a long time until the next anticipated thing…either way…the summer time blues sneak in.

For me, it’s been the coming back to reality from vacation that’s caused me to be a bit more “bluey” than normal.  In June, the much anticipated trip to Indiana to see family and friends and attend the favorite niece’s graduation party happened.  I spent time with my beloved sister and my family and friends who are closer than family.  Jason was only there for the long weekend, but Jayden & I stayed the rest of the week.  Jayden and his friend, Lainey, wanted to come home a day early.  As we started talking about leaving, I felt this horrrible sadness.  We left and I was sobbing hysterically.  So much so, Jayden actually asked if I was going to be ok.

Since then, it comes and goes in waves.  Some days it’s all I can do to not be overcome with homesickness.  Other days, I’m so glad I’m not there anymore.  That I just wish some of my beloved family was here.  It’s a pendulum swinging back and forth.  One thing is for certain, had I had this close of relationships while I lived there, I would have suffered through the weather and SAD.

So in retrospect, while I may have bouts of blues and homesickness, I’m thankful I have become so close to so many of my family members even though distance separates us.  For that alone, the blues is so worth it!!!

My Inability to People

For the last few months, I’ve been having a hard time being around people.  I seem to have an issue with people who display stupid behavior or choices.  Of course, one could say that I am a bit too harsh, but there comes a time in life when one has to make the conscience choice to get rid of people who are negative, who aren’t honest, and who aren’t loyal.  The time has passed for me to be able to tolerate such things that bring me down.

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So my inability to put up with such nonsense has caused me to become somewhat of an introvert.  It’s not always easy, but i rarely get ticked off at myself.  It’s not too bad…if I had my way, I could live in a house in the country, have some good Wifi, some pizza and call me good!!!

I love you the same…

I have zero opinion when it comes to gay marriage.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I do not care one way or the other.  Go ahead and begin judging me.  I don’t care.  If people want to be gay or lesbian and be married, what business of it is mine?  Why in the world would I speak out about it?  Do people speak out about my marriage?  No, probably not.

The issue is that I’m a Christian and everyone expects me to have an opinion.  Oh, believe me, I have opinions coming out of my ears.  Unfortunately, I do not have an opinion about gay marriage.  You want to debate abortion, I’m your girl.  I have a million opinions on the sanctity of life.  But not gay marriage.  It’s ok.  Judge me.

The only I can say about the gay or lesbian lifestyles is that God is against it.  He doesn’t condone it.  He states marriage is with a man and a woman.  If you choose to live differently than that, then that’s all on you.  I certainly don’t love you any less.  And the most important thing, God doesn’t either.  God and I love you the same.

Now, if everyone would be so forgiving and tolerant with my sins.  I have done some horrible things in my life.  Things that would embarrass most of you, but that I have kept hidden and between me and God.  Are my sins any better than someone being gay or lesbian?  I would think not.  Sin is sin, even if it’s legal.  God died for my sins.  My white lies, my deceit, my impure thoughts, etc.  In the same way, God died for your sin.  Yet even in the same way, God died for gays and lesbians.  He died for those who murder, those who steal, those who gossip, anyone who sins, God died for them.

Whether your sin is legal, not legal or whether your sin is public or private – we are all sinners saved by grace and I love you the same!

Generation Idiot

My whole life I’ve been identified as Generation X.  My generation is also known as the 13th Generation or Baby Busters as we are typically the children of the Baby Boomers.  My parents were of the Silent Generation or also known as the Lucky Few.  Most people who fought in the Vietnam or Korean War were from my parents generation.  I am raising my son in Generation Z, also known as the Internet Generation or as I call it, Generation Idiot.

If you are familiar with Generation Idiot you know that this generation has no concept of time management, believe they should be recognized for simply participating instead of their achievements and have a false sense of entitlement.  They seem to have the idea that they need to be entertained constantly.  They can take school in a class room, online or at home.  They spend more time on their phone than they do talking to someone face to face.  Even their friends who are sitting right next to them!!  As I have been trying to raise my son in this generation, I have been trying to instill in him the value of time, the value of keeping score and winning and losing correctly I am literally blown away by how frustrated I get with this general attitude of his generation.  I want to strangle him and make him realize how lucky and blessed he is to have so many opportunities.

While I’m doing everything I can to, as Barney Fife would say, “nip it in the bud”, I can only do so much.  Generation Idiot has no idea how to do math in their head, write a letter, address an envelope, or look at an atlas.  Who needs to memorize where to drive when they can just pull up Google Maps every dang time on their phone?  Who needs to learn how to tell time on a clock when they just need to unlock their phone?  Who needs to learn how to calculate a tip in your head when there’s an app for that?

This weekend we spent a day at my friend Lynn’s pool.  Lynn has a house on Keystone Lake and her view from her pool is pretty amazing.  I didn’t even know what an infinity pool was until I swam in one at Lynn’s house.  We made sure to invite the girlfriend to come along so the kiddo had someone his own age to talk too and hang out with.  They swam and looked to be having a pretty good time.   About an hour there, the kiddo decides to text me and say, ‘hey we are bored.  what can we do?’  This, of course, appalls me.  When I was 16…to be able to take Jason and go to a pool for the day was a GREAT day.  I didn’t waste time being bored or wondering what else there was to do.  We would have enjoyed ourselves.  A little later I told him that he was at a house with a pool and that he and the girlfriend in no way were bored.  In what world is spending time outside with a beautiful pool, a great view, free food and your girlfriend BORING?

*sigh*

God grant me the patience to raise this Generation Idiot child!

“Don’t Touch Me in the Mornings”

I learned a long time ago that no matter what kind of a parent I am, my son will always remember the part of me I don’t want him too.  I’ve accepted the fact that every parent scars their child and most of us should have had counseling when we turned adults.  I could be the perfect Christian mom and some how, some way my good intentions will end up out the window.  These are things I’ve accepted.  I deserve the Mother of the Year award – every year – with these types of recognition of my shortcomings.   Yet this last week of my son’s sophomore year I realize just how much like me my son is and wish I had someone else to blame…
Now before I am judged and stoned, let me explain.  I am not and never will be a morning person.  This is a trait my Mama passed on to my son.  I’m not going to draw you a family tree but suffice it to say my adopted son is JUST like me through traits that were passed down through the family line.  Weird things, like having to have your hands clean at all times or needing the last word of an argument, but I digress.  My son has inherited this trait as well.  He is not a morning person.  Oh he’s learned to get up on time and function like a normal person (we live with the world’s biggest morning person so we have had to adapt) but neither of us are chatty, lovey dovey or particularly pleasant in the morning.  So when this particular incident happened, it both scared me and made me laugh all at the same time!
He was, as is the normal now, critiquing my driving skills and made a goof ball joke that cracked me up.  He was also eating a muffin as we were on our way to school.  I reached up to pat his shoulder because it really was a funny joke (don’t tell him this, but he’s the funniest person I know) and you would have thought my hand was a hot branding iron.  “Don’t touch me in the mornings!” he all but screamed.  Luckily I was at a stop sign so I looked over at him…thinking what the heck just happened…I mean that’s how I feel before I am awake, but I’ve never said it quite like that before.  He quickly backtracked because he knew he had been rude.  “I’m sorry can you please not touch me when I’m eating?”  I quickly said, “no problemo kiddo” and he turned the whole thing into yet another joke by saying, “I’m like a dog, don’t mess with me when I’m eating” to which I laughed at but deep down I was freaking out because I know he’s more like me than he will ever want to admit.
Unless I seek you out (and it has to be a good 10:30-11 before my brain is fully functional), don’t be touching me!  Under any circumstances.  I don’t want to cuddle.  I don’t want a hug.  I don’t want to hold your hand.  I am angry that my sleep has been interrupted. I’m not mad at you, but at the world. My poor hubby…he’s learned over the years and now if he has to wake me up does so by touching my leg through the covers because I’ve been so grumpy to him about it.  When I have to go wake the son up, I try and do the same thing…leg, through the covers, and it tends to be better than trying to touch his shoulder.  I don’t know why we are like this…we just are…and I would love to ask my Mama, God rest her soul, if she was the same way.
What a legacy I get to leave my soon to be junior…Just. Don’t. Freaking. Touch. Me. In. The. Mornings!

about to be a junior!

Yep, sign me up for Mother of the Year!

The Josh Duggar Scandal

***   Please fasten your seat belts & hang on as this is going to be a bumpy ride.  ***

The Duggar family has been on my radar for 20+ years.  I’ve watched just about every Dateline or news story about them.  I was fascinated at their ability to keep having children while I went through all sorts of fertility treatments and couldn’t.  My sister, God rest her soul, could blink and be pregnant so Michelle Duggar reminded me alot of her.  Another thing I loved about the Duggar’s were their children all with “J” first names.  Since both my husband and I have “J” names we were planning on doing the same thing when we had children of our own.  I enjoyed watching how they teamed their children up so they would all form a relationship with their siblings.  As someone who was raised basically as an only child after the age of 7, I envied their closeness.  Additionally, as a Christian, I was particularly interested in their faith and how they raised their children.  I wouldn’t say I agreed with every thing they believed, but they were definitely, in my mind, Christians.  

Now 20+ years later we find that they were not perfect, that they had secrets and sins just like the rest of us.  So what?  

Society is begging for someone to be the perfect example for the world.  Billy Graham, Amy Grant, Michael English, Tim Tebow, Sandi Patti, the Duggars, your local pastor…we want them to be above reproach.  We want them to be the perfect example of Christ.  We want an example to try and pattern our lives after.  Unfortunately, there is one problem with Billy Graham, Amy Grant, Michael English, Tim Tebow, Sandi Patti, the Duggars, your local pastor – they are all human.  They will sin.  They will fall short of the example we expect them to set.  The only difference between their sin and YOUR sin is theirs is public.  How would you like everyone to know your secret addictions?  How would you like the mistakes in your past on national news?  How would you like your friends and family knowing all the bad things you have ever done?  Until you are willing to take that risk…that everyone in the world would know…then you have zero right to say one negative word about the Billy Grahams, the Amy Grants, the Michael Englishs, the Tim Tebows, the Sandi Pattis, the Duggars, the local pastors of the world!  So shut your mouth…literally.  I mean it.  SHUT UP with the bashing people in the spotlight.  You, in your glass house, yes you…the Sunday school teacher who is scandalized, the worship leader who can’t believe something like this would ever happen, the nursery worker who has judged others…YOU…you need to stop.  The only difference between Josh Duggars sin and yours – is his was public.  Stop acting like he’s the worst person in the world.

Let me remind you that Jesus died for YOUR sin…even the sin of gossiping or tearing down other Christians.  Let me remind you that Billy Graham, Amy Grant, Michael English, Tim Tebow, Sandi Patti, the Duggars and your local pastor are your brothers & sisters in Christ.  Jesus expects you to love them (A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. John 13:34), forgive them (Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13) and pray for them (Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16).  If you don’t, you’re no better than the very people you’re intent on tearing down.

Let us all be quick to love, quick to forgive and quick to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ.  If your biological brother were in the midst of a scandal would you rush to his aid?  Would you love him any way?  Would you forgive?  Would you be quick to pray for him?  90% of us would…so let’s do the same thing for Josh Duggar.