Funny, God

7 02 2011

My mother is amazing.  Really.

She is incredibly smart, humble, gorgeous and totally naive about the world.  That makes her adorable.

The scene in my head that plays when I think of describing Mom is from Leverage Season 1 where Parker meets Nate’s ex-wife.  Parker says she’s adorable, pats her on the head, then sniffs her and somehow it’s not overly creepy.   And yes, Mom and I did discuss me writing this post so it’s not like I’m blabbing family secrets or anything.  We collaborated on this and decided you should be a part of our phone call.

I don’t know how Mom made it to me being 30 years old and not realizing that apocalyptic stories and prophecies scare me.  I shit my pants at severe thunderstorms and the apocalypse.  I’ve ALWAYS been this way.

It’s no surprise (to me, anyways) that I subscribe heavily to the Joss Whedon and Terry Goodkind school of thought when it comes to prophecy vs. free will.  I figure we’re all going to die anyways so I should CHOOSE to act in a humane and intelligent way because it helps me and those around me RIGHT NOW.  I don’t act right because of the fear of demons from hell shooting through volcano cracks to eat my brains.

My brain can’t comprehend or accept mass destruction so I live in a way I can wrap my thoughts around.  I also believe that so much emphasis is put on how the world ends that we’re busy bringing the very thing we fear to actuality.  If we hadn’t been working so hard trying to outwit it, it may not need to be outwitted.  And if it is true and inescapable then my part is to live my right here and now life decently.  If it all ends in chaos and despair, then the only reasonable thing to do is to live for joy right now.

Mom really leans towards the end of the world stuff and obviously the 2nd seal has broken and we’re all going to die in a blaze of glory or something here soon.  She also really likes to call and tell me about why and how this is coming about.  I want to know how prophets picked out accurate words when they described their vision because they don’t have a lot of room to write down details.  It’s like making life and death decisions based on a Twitter feed.  If a picture is worth 1,000 words and the prophet is so flooded with imagery that they clutch their heads and fall over, then it’s going to take a hell of a lot of paper and ink to write it out.

My eventual response, after fighting down the panic attack, is “Mom, the world’s been ending for a long damn time.”

I told her I’d write this thesis she’s assigned me when she reads The Sword of Truth novels.  If we both did our part, we’d come away knowing quite a bit about how the other one’s brain works.  At that point of the conversation, we just agreed to think about it and talk to God and see how it went.

We also talked about current events, the state of my brain and all the drama that makes up life.  IRL hasn’t been so steady lately and I’ve spent a lot of time thinking and agonizing about how this good ship Dollins Family should make enough money to stay afloat for another year.  The whole his job/my job/my health/health insurance/education requirements dilemma.  When a day to day routine exists, there is comfort and safety.  When there’s no routine, there’s anxiety and insecurity.  I’m not so secure or carefree at the moment so a lot of our conversation was tinged with my IRL worries.

This is where God gets funny.

I laid down in bed that night and thought really hard “God, I just need a single direction.  Just a feeling that one way or the other is right.  I feel like I need a compass.”

Then I couldn’t sleep and decided to start on the next book in my reading list.

The Psychology of Joss Whedon: An Unauthorized Exploration of Buffy, Angel, and Firefly

Huh, this entire book is about the characters in the Whedonverse who are contemplating this very issue.

First, I laughed at myself for finding theological truths in science fiction and fantasy novels (but then again – have you ever actually READ the Bible as a work of literature?  It’s as good a sci-fi primer as anything.)  Then I laughed some more because just this year I’ve found and become a total Firefly geek.  Before, I didn’t want anything to do with it – I’d never seen the TV show or the movie, I didn’t have any conversations about it.  I really just thought it was a weird Star Trek vs Battlestar Galactica ripoff.  I had no idea.  Now it’s strangely relevant to life.

I read more today and I learned that I’m more like Mal than Buffy.  I tend towards antisocial behavior but its only after I’ve used up the more mainstream ideas.  If things had gone in a more mainstream manner in my life, I’d be a more mainstream type of person.  I’m not only shaped by events, but I live with a more individualized moral code because of those events.  If mainstream included me and people like me, then I wouldn’t have to be something other than normal and a more generalized world view would be relevant.

(Does anyone else think that the creators of “there’s only one way to God” people are just the theologians with a really good marketing campaign?  I mean, it would be a shitty campaign to say “our product rocks but so does everyone else’s product.” I mean, what would you advertise?  The fact that your god was cross-platform and multi-app compatible?  That’s just a quick way to become irrelevant.  It’s all about branding, people!)

Why don’t I just adapt?  Lots of people who go through weird shit adapt.  Why don’t you?  I ask myself that a lot and the only answer I can come up with is “it’s my personality type.”

I’m not that abnormal in reality.  Most of the people I know and willingly socialize with are unconventional.  They live in unconventional manners and with unconventional world views inside of cultural boundaries.  I speak for myself (which is why there’s a heavy I emphasis in this blog – I don’t like speaking for other people) when I say that I have a well formed, rationalized, and stable morality.  I would make a good space cowboy.  I would not make a good elementary school teacher.  I accept these things about myself and move on.

I think my message was pretty clear: learn about and accept yourself, then move forward.  The only wrong thing to do is nothing.

Besides, if the world ends tomorrow, I won’t have to worry about any of this.

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things I know

23 03 2010

Things I Know as of March 23, 2010 at around 10 am.

1.  Looking through my portfolio of work, I am an incredibly talented person.

2.  Somehow, my portfolio of work that I so painstakingly put together does not include my resume.

3.  I have a more current resume than the one from 2005 that was on an old hard drive.

4.  I can’t find that more current resume in any of the “normal” places.

5.  God always puts us where he wants us to be.

6.  God has a sense of humor.

7.  Sally Hansen and Bare Escentuals need to have a smack-down fight over who has the better lip plumping gloss.  (Sally doesn’t burn if you put on too much, Bare Escentuals has more colors…)

8.  Escentuals is logically-spelled-challenged.

9.  It’s a good thing Bare Escentuals makes a good product, otherwise more people would be pissed off about their stupid spelling.  (Which is probably to avoid copyright infringement on the line of spa and bath products with a similar name.)

10.  There needs to be a line of “less energy” drinks for people who want to relax or go to sleep.  Instead of ginseng, it can have xanax as an active ingredient.

11.  If you ever need lessons in “how to be a poser” you just need to visit Discover Mills outlet mall.  Take a notebook because there’s no way you can remember every example you’ll see.

12.  Don’t mess with short people or small dogs.  They bite and have terrible tempers.

13.  Wisdom comes from all kinds of strange places.

14.  If you treat someone like a little kid, they’re going to act like a little kid.

15.  Everyone has an interesting history but it sure is awkward to ask about it.





concentric circles

25 01 2010

With everything that’s been going on, lately I’ve been feeling like my world is getting smaller.  I know January is a tough month on a lot of people – it’s too cold, no one has their tax return yet, it’s post-holiday stress, etc…

Basically, it sucks balls.

For a while, I’ve felt like these 4 walls in my bedroom were not only my comfort but my prison.  I really only leave the house to drop off or pick up the kids and sometimes on Saturdays I go to the store.  Emerging into the chaos that is outside this room and outside this house is terrifying.

But lately, there’s been chaos in here too.

I’ve never been one to be able to sit in the house all day even if I did have stuff to do in the house.  It’s only been the past year that I’ve even considered myself a homebody.  It used to be that staying in one place too long made me crazy – that even sitting in a restaurant after dinner was finished made me antsy.

Now I go for days with coming out of the bedroom for a few minutes at a time.  This is so unlike me and I don’t like this new “sits down all day” person at all.

I know how it happened – within 6 months, we adopted our children then I had surgery then the pain still wasn’t gone and this winter has been crazy with sickness, weather changes, terrible migraines and body pain, and basically trying to relearn how to be a family under the “new rules.”

What happened is that my tree got too top heavy and fell over in the storm.  Now, I’ve had to prune it quite a bit so that it’s basically sticks and replant it and give it time to form new roots.

I probably won’t bloom this year and that’s ok.  No loving gardener would expect me to.  I’ll grow some leaves but I probably won’t flower or fruit.  I’ve got to get myself stable so that I can stand up.

Here’s my plan to stability:

1.  Stop expecting myself to make fruit right away.  Sure, I’ve born fruit in the past but this has been a hell of a storm.  If I pop right out like TA-DA! and try and be the person I was before everything happened, I’m just going to fall over again.

2.  Keep reminding myself that weakness is not a sin.  Sure, it’s inconvenient and maybe shit won’t get done but that’s ok.  Nothing serious is going to happen because I’ve got to be propped up for a while.

3.  Start with my inner circle – the room I spend most of my time in.  It’s not a prison, it’s my sanctuary.  Besides, it’s little so even if I can’t conquer the world right now, I can conquer my own little room.

4.  Next, the family home.  Once my sanctuary is right, I can start rebuilding the way the home functions.  I’m an organizer – it’s what I do naturally.  Not just material things, but personal things too.  This will be fixing my relationships with my family and relearning how to make it work.  This is going to be the hardest step.

5.  Start reforming the sphere of influence – basically, re-bond with the people who influence the lives of my family.  Friends, teachers, therapists, doctors, the internet, etc…

6.  ?????

7.  PROFIT!

I’m not going to do anything drastic like leave the internet or stop with my hobbies because that would just make the steps harder.  I’ve got to do this gradually – the little bits that add up to a whole lot.  I’ve got to make sure version 2.9 is stable before 3.0 is released with much fanfare.  Right?

Anyways, this will probably take just around a year.  I turned 29 13 days ago so my goal is to have green roots at least extended into the ground by the time I’m 30.

What do you think?





Internet superstar

27 09 2009

It’s been an odd couple of weeks since my last post.  It hurts my brain just to think about it!

1.  Shaun and I went to my high school reunion.  In school, we used to say that no one would show up to our reunion because our class lacked school spirit.  Seriously, the student council didn’t give a rat’s ass and neither did anyone else.  It was 1999 and we were all facing going into college or into the work force with little to no money.

There were maybe 50 people at the reunion and I did see a friend who I’ve known since kindergarten.  We didn’t talk much in high school and I think I found out why.  She made a passing comment while we were catching up that stuck with me.  “Of course you’re doing well, you’ve always been perfect.”

I wonder how many people actually know that’s not true.  I screw up as much as anyone, I just don’t tend to dwell on it or get caught in the downward spiral of screwing up.  I’m not even an eternal optimist – I’m definitely not one of those smiley, cheerful people.  It’s food for thought.

2.  Sick kiddos.  Actually, only one was sick.  The other was faking it.  A had a fever and just laid down and stared at the TV.  Her school has had about 50 different viruses going through it, so we thought it was strep at first.  It wasn’t so it may have been a UTI (just a very small amount of bacteria was in her urine) or it could have just been one of those flu bugs.  She’s all better and back to her goofy, normal self.

3.  Ramping up for the “anniversary effect” of the PTSD.  A goes through the anniversary effect during October.  It seems like every time she had to move foster homes, it was right around Halloween.  That stuck with her.  Last year was TERRIBLE so hopefully this year we’ll be prepared for whatever comes.  I’m already stocking up on aromatherapy stuff and reinforcing the fact that she never has to go anywhere again.  She’s home.  She’s already started to panic a bit so we adjusted her morning medications and that seems to have helped.  We’ve also briefed the school and we’re keeping on them about her mental state – it took a while to get them to take us seriously but now it seems like everyone is on board.

With LJ, we’ve just seen more sexual acting out.  He retreats to this fantasy world inside his head and doesn’t seem to realize what he’s doing.  It’s not regression – it’s more like he’s living in a fairy tale.

He’s been talking a lot about “grandmas.”  His favorite kind of pie is the type grandmas make.  Grandmas make sweaters.  Grandmas take care of you and give you cookies.  Grandmas have white hair, wrinkles, and glasses.  Yesterday, I finally got fed up with it (in Goodwill of all places) and told him that he got his grandmas and they weren’t going to change.  Neither grandma has white hair, neither one knows how to make a scrap of clothing, and one of them couldn’t bake a pie if her life depended on it. In reality, there’s no such thing as a “perfect grandma.”

I grew up without grandparents being an active part of my life.  Neither set approved of my parents’ marriage and we most often just made it on our own.  He did spend a lot of time with his bio-grandparents before he came into state care, so I don’t want to ruin those memories but he’s taking them a little too far.  I don’t want him to get older and see them and realize how bad it was for  him.  They loved him – they just don’t have the skills to take care of themselves, much less a child!

We went through this a month or so after he moved in with regards to his bio father.  It got to the point that I had to sit down with him and ask if he wanted to know the truth of the matter or just continue to believe what he did of his dad.  He said he wanted the truth, so I told him.   I may have to enlist my dad to explain it to him.  My dad’s childhood is very similar to LJ’s and they have this great bond.  I think he’d take the truth better from Dad than from one of us.

4.  Sick mommies.  It’s been odd – very odd.  My grandma was sick for a bit, then my great-grandma passed away almost a week ago.  Then grandma went down to FL to bury g-gma next to g-gpa and she got back yesterday.  My sister has been sick and my mom was for a little bit but recovered very quickly.  Then a couple of days ago I started having a fever and today my throat feels like I swallowed some hot sauce.  I must have gotten that strep that was going around.  *sigh*  So, tomorrow I’ll go to the doctor and get more antibiotics.  I’ve only been off the antibiotics from the surgery for a week!

5.  Flooding.  Lots of it.  We live northeast of Atlanta and thankfully in the foothills of the Appalachians so our land is soggy and puddly, but we didn’t get any water inside the house.  Thank God!  Even 5 miles away houses were destroyed and the traffic accidents have been terrible.  We went to an antique store yesterday – it’s about 7 miles from our house – and on the way home saw two accidents happen. My heart goes out to everyone that lost their homes, cars, and in some cases, families.

6.  Big internet sales!  Since we’ve been home bound from the sick babies and the flood, I’ve been on the internet a TON.  We’ve sold a couple of pipes, sent some lace to Japan, mailed  out 6 books on bookmooch, and I’ve started uploading a ton of stuff to flickr.  I’m working on a pipe resource, so hopefully I’ll have that available soon.  I also want to get some pipe related merchandise up in the Etsy shop, but I’m missing my computer parts.  I’m spending time with a hard drive clock today.

7.  Got LOTS of fabric.  I love Goodwill.  Seriously.  I got a ton of fabric for an average of 30 cents a yard and I also got some bed sheets and pillowcases that I can use.  I found some gorgeous blue eyelet cotton that I was SUPER excited about.  Got some corduroy, some raincoat material, a ton of cotton, and some linen.  It’s going to be fun!

This has been a long, long post lacking in cohesiveness, so I’m going to end it here.  Hopefully I can pick this blogging habit back up so I don’t end up with 300 things going on at once.  Good times!





10 years

24 07 2009

Shaun and I have been married for 10 years today!  It’s pretty damn amazing… unless you’re one of the ones who has been there since we met.  It’s always been kinda supernatural for us – not what I’d call soul mates – but instant friends.  It’s like we had a gravity towards each other and worked better as partners than as “one soul in two bodies.”

I dreamed last night of a high school reunion planning meeting.  I’m not one of the organizers, but I see the updates on facebook all the time so it must have been rolling around in my subconscious.  It was me and three girls watching a team of football players finish up their game.  We were talking about how none of us turned out the way we had expected in school.  That our lives were different than we had planned.  Then this one girl, who used to dance in school, came flashing by, holding her hands in a certain way to show off her manicure.  I thought to myself that some people did not evolve with the rest of us…

People make caricatures of the people they are around in their brain.  They are more 2 dimensional than reality and are often false indicators.  It’s easier to attribute certain broad traits to someone in our own brain, which is why at times we are surprised when the person – who is not 2D – acts out of character.

I’m not saying that Shaun and I have complete 3D maps.  We don’t at all.  We just don’t mind being surprised.  It doesn’t happen often anymore but it does happen.  We have assumptions about what the other is thinking and sometimes we have to hash it out to get to the same place.

We have different personalities and different ideas.  At times we frustrate the hell out of each other.  We also compliment each other’s personality.  I’m quick to anger and then after the emotion dies down, I can be very analytical about something.  Shaun is very slow to anger and will put up with almost anything until you push him over the edge, then he’s mad and it takes him time to calm down.  Shaun is a casual social person.  I’m a formal social person.  He’d rather beer and a couch in someone’s home and I’d rather a cocktail on neutral territory (where I didn’t have to clean up.)   Shaun likes an overhead view of problems and issues, and I like details that seem meaningless and unrelated.

We’re a nice fit.  We love each other.  But best of all, we’re partners.

family pic

I need to find a better picture but we’ve got the kids’ psychiatrist appt this morning.  Busy, busy!





The Issue of Church, part 2

30 06 2009

Following up from part 1, where I probably scared most people into hitting the back button on the first point, here are 5 more points dedicated to unraveling my mental logjam.  I kinda feel sorry for the other 4 points that are forced to share a virtual canvas with point #1.  They don’t get nearly as much attention because their older sister is louder and more controversial.

I promise to be more tame than point #1.  If you couldn’t tell, that’s my most loaded reason and I had to get it out there.  So, hey, if you’re still with me then you’re a pretty cool dude and I think I love you.  Srsly.

6.  I don’t like unconsciously rebel against the idea of “spiritual authority”

I have a spiritual authority.  Really, I do.  I picked him out all by myself at the Spiritual Authority store right next to Sports Authority at the Mall.  His name is Jesus and his last name is Christ and if you’re not Jesus Christ then you are not my spiritual authority.

I have no idea where churches got this stupid idea from that there are people who are “authorities” and we have to submit to them.  Can we say abuse of position and abuse of power?  Hey,  you want to get together on Saturday?  No, I can’t, my spiritual authority said I had to wash her car. Or even worse… “It’s ok if I touch you there, God put me in charge of you.”

It’s like some super-natural parent where not only do you not get to pick who your “authority” is, you must blindly follow in their “classes” regardless of their education or ability to actually maintain some respect.

People who are not my spiritual authority:

1.  My husband (he’s my spiritual PARTNER)

2.  The pastor

3.  The youth group leader

4.  The small group leader

5.  You

People who have legitimate claims to be my spiritual authority:

1.  Jesus & his cohorts in the trinity

2.  My mom

3.  My dad

7.  Churches should be better at therapy than potlucks

“I’ll pray for you” and potato salad have never been enough to get me through an issue.  C’mon people, aren’t you kinda trained to help people?  No… oh, my mistake.

But seriously – why aren’t you?  Why aren’t churches hosting training classes for people to be effective human beings in the world?  By that, I don’t mean “how to save the masses” or any of that evangelical stuff – I mean “recognizing domestic abuse,” “becoming a court appointed advocate for children in the court systems,”  “parenting special needs children.”  You know, stuff that actually has a practical difference in the lives of the people around us.  If our life is made up of our sphere of influence, then why aren’t we making the sphere a better one?

Hey people up there in the pews!  Us people down here in the trenches need help with ministry not evangelizing!  You know – ministering to people.  Church should be in the streets, not inside a building.

8.  There is a thought in the church that people with chronic illnesses must not be good enough Christians

No one is going to plain out say it, but if you have a chronic illness and you don’t get miraculously healed at the prayer meeting – then shut up about the illness.  This is not the case, apparently, for the older church members who have eaten themselves into a triple bypass.

If you have a chronic illness, you are a whiner, complainer, negative, bringing folks down, and basically ruining the illusion that church is a happy place where people eat and get healthy and rich and happy.

That leads right into #9:

9.  Prosperity Theology

How to be good stewards of God’s money and still own that Cadillac.  (really?)  I can’t even get myself to type out why I think this is ridiculous.  This will sum it up.

10.  There’s a point when even the flies are tired of your honeypot

I’m tired of water sweetened with honey and vinegar slipped to you while you’re not paying attention.  Let’s be like Paul and ask for some meat on those ole Christian bones.

The world we live in is one of information overload – the slogans of the 80s aren’t going to get through.  Give us some information!  Original content!  Something thoughtful and heartfelt!  Something that hasn’t been through the corporate spinner and market testing.  Can’t we just get a little truth?





The Issue of Church

30 06 2009

I talked to my mom today, just catching up.  We chatted about how in less than a month, I’ll be married for 10 YEARS.  We talked about the husbands and kids and how they were doing and all our recent doctors appts.  We made plans for LJ to spend the night on Sunday.  We talked about E and how he hates to have his hair washed, fixing toilets, and general household stuff.  You know, normal mom & daughter things like we’ve been doing for all the years we haven’t lived in the same house.

Which has been since I married Shaun at 18 because my mother and I can be best friends as long as we don’t live in the same house.  We’re both alpha females and neither of us backs down, so it was prudent for my wish to continue breathing to move out.

Then she did something that hardly ever happens.  She asked if I would mind bringing the kids to their (my mom and my grandma’s) church on Wednesdays for Children’s Church.  Apparently, grandmommy and great-grandmommy are very eager to show off their new additions.  This is fine – it’s absolutely wonderful!  This is what I wanted for the kids – family who was excited and proud to be related to them.

But…  I’ve been avoiding the whole church thing for like 3 years now.  It’s got its own “thing” compartment in my brain for “topics I actively pretend don’t exist.”  It’s not so much the theology, or the ideas, or any of that “stuff” that gets to me.  It’s the leadership (visible and otherwise) whose job it is to “put on church” for the members.

What happens when I think about this is that all my thoughts collide like a train-wreck and my rational decision making skills just give up and let the straight-up emotional part of me go “nope, not thinking about that.  Everyone stop – it’s time to think about… chocolate.  Yes, chocolate.  Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate.”

That’s about how long it takes for me to find something else to think about and the active willful repression continues.  Like just now, I changed the birds’ water, pet a couple of cats, checked on the kids, then went pee.  Only this blog post is keeping me on topic.

Let’s see if we can untangle this train with a list.  That’s nice and rational, right?  Here it goes:

The Top 10 Issues I Have With The Idea of Church

1.  I am firmly pro-choice

This isn’t really so bad as I believe I can respect their ideas while still holding my own beliefs.   Hey, other people have to believe other things otherwise I wouldn’t have anyone to debate with and that wouldn’t be any fun.  The problem comes in when I am (or the beliefs I have are) cordoned off into an “toxic waste section” because they aren’t going to try and CHANGE my mind, they’ll just IGNORE my mind while disassociating themselves from the heresy.

This comes from being about 14 years old and I went to Sunday School with a friend in a church that was a different domination from the one I had been raised with.  Which denominations they were are largely irrelevant.  I learned something very important that day:  Sunday School teachers of small groups have no fear in saying things that even the pastor would not say under his breath in an empty bathroom.

(This line of thought collides into the line of thought where “spiritual authorities” in the church are a bad idea.  Back on topic, though.)

I can tell you right now, that if a SS teacher said to one of my children that “women who have abortions and doctors who perform them are going to burn in hell” in the same lesson as “once saved by Jesus, you are always saved and forgiven” (neither of which I believe is an accurate statement based on the Bible) I would immediately sprout another head and a few more arms…  I don’t have it planned past that, but I’m sure it wouldn’t be pleasant.

I was told that stuff above (seriously, that’s about word for word what was burned into my memory) as a 14 year old because I questioned the teacher on where exactly it said that bullshit in the Bible.  The only thing worse than SS teachers is 14 year old girls that have been indoctrinated by this SS teacher for the past 10 years while being sheltered from the real world by over-indulgent middle class suburban parents.  I understood persecution that day.

It still didn’t change my mind, because even with all the nonsense they flung at me, no one could come up with a reasoned, scriptural answer or anything resembling compassion for women who are in the situation where they have to make a choice.

Also, really, how many of those girls in there went on to adopt the children that were born and then went on to be ignored/abused/neglected.  How many of them are foster parents?  How many of them work with the poor and homeless children whose parents are substance abusers?  How many of them work with the children who have a home, but come to the shelter because it beats going home to a relative’s boyfriend who is likely to abuse them?

Come on, now.  If you’re going to preach a philosophy that says children are sacred and should be protected then actually HAVE A FUCKING PLAN OF WHAT TO DO WITH THIS EXTRA POPULATION AFTER THEY’RE FUCKING BORN!  Because, boy, living in the United States with all these churches and all these kids who have never been helped by a the church who is working so hard on foreign missions work that they forgot all about those kids they insisted not be murdered.  Can’t we just focus on the children that are already here and already in pain?

(I suspect it may take vodka and/or a cigarette to make it through this post without smashing my keyboard.)

2.  I am unable to be a professional pew-warmer

I’ve tried – I really have tried – to just not have feedback for the speaker.  I’ve also tried to have feedback but just keep it to myself.  I really would like to be one of those people who goes to church to enjoy the ambiance and the hugs where your torso doesn’t touch theirs and to shake the pastor’s hand and have a fake conversation with his wife, then the family goes to El Sombrero and talks about local sports teams.

I was almost there once.  Almost!  I had friends that we sat with.  We went to lunch.  We had little faux dinner parties.  Then two things happened:  they had babies, and I didn’t AND I didn’t keep my mouth shut about what I thought about “keep on praying and it will happen.”

After that, I just backed off the whole relationship with people and churches thing and hid in my house and stopped answering the phone.  When I’m really honest with myself, I also realize that one of the friends’ husbands had a problem with my past and that made me very uncomfortable and upset. That leads to #3.

3.  When I get uncomfortable or too close to the “inner circle,” I freak out and back off

This always comes with finding faults, making excuses, and forgetting to charge my phone.  It also comes with not believing other people can help me get through grief or a hard spot or that anyone would even want to.  This is what I refer to as my “spiritual reactive attachment disorder.”

4.  I don’t blend in and I really have no wish to

a.k.a.  “people with tattoos can’t go to heaven” and “Leviticus says tattoos and gays are bad, and I forgot the rest.”

Which leads directly into number 5.

5.  I’m very well educated on the philosophy and belief system I subscribe to

Seriously, if you’ve read the Gospels and the letters of Paul, you’re ahead of probably 50% of the “Christians” sitting in the pews.  My mom is a bible scholar and living in her house, you could not turn around without seeing the scripture taped to the bathroom mirror, the pantry door, the place where you set the car keys near the front door.  She also asks for birthday gifts like “I’d like for you to read the Old Testament for me and write a “sermon” based on something you learned.”  You live with my momma, you learn the Bible.

With my natural curiousity, I’ve read the Bible in at least 7 different translations (The Word on The Street being my favorite) and own approximately 500 books on world faiths and spirituality.  Yes, I’ve read them.  If you do this, you start to see a lot of commonality and realize how people can talk about “one world, one faith.”  Also, combining that thought with the idea that memories and instincts are passed down through mitochondrial DNA, you can see how the world religions share a common mythology.

Anyways, most pastors I’ve met either don’t believe that I’m capable of that amount of thought or are somehow threatened by a young woman having comparable knowledge to what it took them years in seminary to learn.  (Granted, they know more about church history and apologetics than I do.  I haven’t explored that side of theology as much.)

I’ll have to put the next 5 into a part 2.  The kids are hungry and so am I.  I also need to regain my internal center of balance before writing more.