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Words that you or I would commonly use for one meaning, have a completely different meaning to parents in a family…

AMNESIA: condition that enables a woman who has gone through labor to have sex again.
BOTTLE FEEDING: an opportunity for Daddy to get up at 2 AM too.
DEFENSE: what you’d better have around the yard if you’re going to let the children play outside.
DROOLING: how teething babies wash their chins.
DUMB WAITER: one who asks if the kids would care to order dessert.
FAMILY PLANNING: the art of spacing your children the proper distance apart to keep you from falling into financial disaster.
FEEDBACK: the inevitable result when a baby doesn’t appreciate the strained carrots.
FULL NAME: what you call your child when you’re mad at him.
GRANDPARENTS: the people who think your children are wonderful even though they’re sure you’re not raising them right.
HEARSAY: what toddlers do when anyone mutters a dirty word.
IMPREGNABLE: a woman whose memory of labor is still vivid.
INDEPENDENT: how we want our children to be as long as they do everything we say.
LOOK OUT!: what it’s too late for your child to do by the time you scream it.
OWWW: the first word spoken by children with older siblings.
PRENATAL: when your life was still somewhat your own.
PREPARED CHILDBIRTH: a contradiction in terms.
PUDDLE: a small body of water that draws other small bodies wearing dry shoes.
SHOW OFF: a child who is more talented than yours.
STERILIZE: what you do to your first baby’s pacifier by boiling it and to your last baby’s pacifier by blowing on it.
STOREROOM: the distance required between the supermarket aisles so that children in shopping carts can’t quite reach anything.
TEMPER TANTRUMS: what you should keep to a minimum so as to not upset the children.
THUNDERSTORM: a chance to see how many family members can fit into one bed.
TOP BUNK: where you should never put a child wearing Superman jammies.
TWO-MINUTE WARNING: when the baby’s face turns red and she begins to make those familiar grunting noises.
VERBAL: able to whine in words.
WEAKER SEX: the kind you have after the kids have worn you out.
WHODUNIT: none of the kids that live in your house.
WHOOPS: an exclamation that translates roughly into “get a sponge”.

Don’t.
Don’t tell me I’m
not enough.
Don’t tell me
I’m too tough.
Just stop.
Don’t.

Don’t look at me like
I’m just meat.
Don’t tell me I should
be on the streets.
Just don’t.

Stop
telling me I’m too angry.
I have a right.
You haven’t been there
in the middle
of the night.
Alone.
Scared.
Don’t.

Don’t tell me I shouldn’t hate.
Don’t tell me I should date.
You think I don’t know?
Don’t.
Just go.

Don’t tell me
not to run.
Don’t try and make me
have fun.
What if I can’t?
What if I’ve forgotten?
What if…..?

Don’t.
Don’t tell me
how I should be.
You haven’t seen
this misery.
This pain.
This shame.
I’m damaged goods.
So don’t.

Let me fight.
Let me struggle.
Let me cry.
Let me yell.
I don’t have to be
perfect.
Can’t you tell?
I’m not.
I never will be.
So don’t.

Man: “Haven’t we met before?”
Woman: “Perhaps. I’m the receptionist at the VD Clinic.”

Man: “Haven’t I seen you someplace before?
Woman: “Yeah, that’s why I don’t go there anymore.”

Man: “Is this seat empty?”
Woman: “Yes, and this one will be too if you sit down.”

Man: “So, wanna go back to my place ?”
Woman: “Well, I don’t know. Will two people fit under a rock?”

Man: “Your place or mine?”
Woman: “Both. You go to yours and I’ll go to mine.”

Man: “I’d like to call you. What’s your number?”
Woman: “It’s in the phone book.”

Man: “But I don’t know your name.”
Woman: “That’s in the phone book too.”

Man: “So what do you do for a living?”
Woman: “I’m a female impersonator.”

Man: “Hey, baby, what’s your sign?”
Woman: “Do not Enter”

Man: “How do you like your eggs in the morning?”
Woman: “Unfertilized !”

Man: “Hey, come on, we’re both here at this bar for the same reason”
Woman: “Yeah! Let’s pick up some chicks!”

Man: “I know how to please a woman.”
Woman: “Then please leave me alone.”

Man: “I want to give myself to you.”
Woman: “Sorry, I don’t accept cheap gifts.”

Man: “If I could see you naked, I’d die happy:
Woman: “Yeah, but if I saw you naked, I’d probably die laughing”.

Man: “Your body is like a temple.”
Woman: “Sorry, there are no services today.”

Man: “I’d go through anything for you.”
Woman: “Good! Let’s start with your bank account.”

Man: “I would go to the end of the world for you.
Woman: “Yes, but would you stay there?

10. Everyone around you has an attitude problem.

9. You’re adding chocolate chips to your cheese omelet

8. The dryer has shrunk every last pair of your jeans.

7. Your husband is suddenly agreeing to everything you say.

6. You’re using your cell phone to dial up bumper stickers that says, “How’s my driving? Call 1-800-EAT-SHIT.”

5. Everyone’s head looks like an invitation to batting practice.

4. You’re convinced there’s a God and he’s male.

3. You’re counting down the days until menopause.

2. You’re sure that everyone is scheming to drive you crazy.

1. The ibuprofen bottle is empty and you bought it yesterday.

Ain’t it the truth though?!

Ok, bear with me here. I know I’m gonna get laughed at for using a Looney Tunes cartoon as my example but I don’t really care. That’s how I roll. 🙂

On Thanksgiving, Mikayla was watching Looney Tunes in the living room. I hadn’t seen those cartoons in years, so I watched with her for a bit. One in particular caught my attention. It started out with Daffy Duck and Speedy Gonzales who are stranded on an island. They’ve been there a couple months and are sick to death of coconuts. Off in the distance, they spot two ships. So they start hopping around and yelling, trying to get the ships to come rescue them.

Cut to the ships. We see Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam yelling at each other from the opposing ships and trying to blow each other up with their cannons. Meanwhile, Daffy and Speedy are still trying to get their attention but have realized that the two captains are busy fighting. So their attempts to get their attention slowly dwindle.

Of course, since this is how I’m wired and this is how my crazy mind works, this made me think about the Church. Not *a* church. *The* Church. The Body of Christ. The ones who are called to be a light to the world. The ones who are called to be Jesus to everyone around them. The ones who are called to love and forgive and repent and strive to be holy. Yeah, us.

We spend an awful lot of time arguing amongst ourselves. Anyone notice that? We’re so busy fighting over whether it should be hymns or contempory music. Whether or not we should have drums or dancing or women leaders or gay people. Whether or not the pastor’s sermons were stirring enough or the elders made the right decision about the new children’s wing or how the sunday school classes should be taught.

As if our fighting and complaining weren’t bad enough, sometimes it gets to the point where we split. And, if we’re honest, there isn’t usually a good reason for the split. Obviously if the head pastor gets up and says, “Today we’ll be reading from the book of Satan….” you may need to take a look at some things. But the type of music that’s played and how and by whom? Come on! Do you really think that’s what Jesus meant by “be a light”? If He rebuked the disciples for quarreling amongst themselves, don’t you think He would do the same to us? Probably is, in fact, and we’re just too busy yelling at each other to hear Him.

Do you think that He is pleased by what He sees when He looks into our church buildings? When He sees people fighting and backstabbing and gossiping and being greedy and using each other, do you think that fills Him with joy? Or does it make Him sad? He told Peter that if he loved Him, he would feed Jesus’ sheep. Who do you think He meant?

How are we supposed to minister to those around us when our hearts are hardened against our own brother? We fight and tear apart the very people who are supposed to be our support system and encouragement. We’re breaking down our own team!

Something has to change. I don’t know how and I don’t know where. But I know it’s going to have to start small. This isn’t some overnight miracle that’s going to occur. It’s going to start with you and me. We have to be willing to see past our differences and see the unity that comes from being in the family of God. We are fellow heirs and we’re gonna have to be spending a lot of time together in eternity. Don’t you think we’d better get off on the right foot while we’re here?

So instead of looking to see if our brothers and sisters agree with every bullet point and every word of every sentence in our doctrine statement, why don’t we look toward the island where the lost are crying out to be rescued? These people were created in God’s image too. We aren’t some special, elite group. Jesus came to save *all* of us. He came so that we could have life. Now can’t we please, please, please go share it with those who need it most?

* Accept that some days you’re the pigeon, and some days you’re the statue.

* Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.


* Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.
(And if you read ‘War and Peace’, you probably will die in the middle of it. :-D)

* Drive carefully. It’s not only cars that can be recalled by their maker.


* If you can’t be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.


* If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it!


* It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

* Never buy a car you can’t push.

* Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won’t have a leg to stand on.


* Since it’s the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.


* The second mouse gets the cheese.


* When everything’s coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.


* You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.

* Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once
.

*A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour. (That would be me. 😉 )

I was stressed about the funeral. Not because I wanted everything to go smoothly or because I was afraid I would cry. I was worried that old family quarrels would be brought up and that everyone would get into a huge fight.

Thank the Lord, it didn’t and we didn’t.

The viewing went fine, as did the funeral. The get together at my aunt and uncle’s afterwards was really fun. Everyone was drinking and talking and laughing. Telling old stories and quoting movies and doing Bill Murry impressions. I thought everything was going great and that maybe, just maybe, forgiveness had been given. I was wrong.

The short end of this is my uncle (my dad and aunt’s older brother) has screwed the other family memebers over in the past. He and my aunt really had no use for us. They had their country club and their winter house in Arizona and their Carmelite friends and my family and my aunt’s family were the poor, no-good-to-them side of the family.

After dinner on Thanksgiving, my aunt, mom and I were doing the dishes and cleaning the turkey carcass and the other two began talking about Tuesday. All of us had sensed a change in my other aunt. We’re hoping it is genuine. In a way (for those of you who have seen ‘Crash’), she reminds me of the DA’s wife who has everything she could want except for real friendship. And maybe she’s realized that the place she can find it is in the place she least expected. With us. I think that it’s wonderful, if it sticks. But then my aunt and mom talked about how she seemed to want to “let bygones by bygones” and just forget the past and move on. Without her and my uncle having to do any apologizing or making amends. Neither my mom or aunt seemed very willing to do that.

Now I realized that it is *very* easy for me to almost stand in judgment of them here. While I have felt the effects of the wrongs done to my parents (Lord knows I’ve *heard* about them all 21 years of my life!), I don’t particularly hold any resentment toward my aunt and uncle. Yes, they did some sleezy things. Yes, my family is stuck in the financial situation that they are partially because of my uncle’s actions. On a “moral level”, they should have known better. And I think that my aunt at least, is feeling some guilt over it.

But didn’t Jesus call us to forgive one another? Even when the other person doesn’t deserve it? Even when they don’t ask for it or apologize? If I’m wrong, please correct me. But I haven’t found the list of amendments in the Bible that says “You may withhold forgiveness in the following situations…” Because in the end, forgiveness isn’t really about the other person. It’s about us and the need to be freed from the bitterness, anger and hurt that that person caused. That doesn’t make the other person any less wrong or their actions any less painful. But if you choose to forgive them, something inside of you can begin to heal. And I *know* that my parents and aunt are bitter over what was done to them. I can hear it in their words and see it in their faces. Everything has been eating at them over all these years because they have not forgiven my aunt and uncle. They keep waiting for an apology that, truthfully, I don’t think will ever come. Unless my aunt and uncle have a big turn around and come to Christ or something, I don’t see them ever bending their pride that much. Maybe I’m wrong. I hope so. Because I also can’t see my parents and aunt bending *their* pride and forgiving them without an apology. And that makes me sad.

It makes me sad because I know that this bitterness has shaped them. I know that it’s rubbed off on me. I’m sure that it’s rubbed off on Joshua, my brother, and David, my cousin. And unless a miracle occurs, the process will continue on to Mikayla. Our choices effect others. My aunt and uncle’s choices effected the entire family. My parent’s and my aunt’s choices to hold onto their bitterness and not forgive are effecting us kids. If I chose not to forgive, it would effect the people around me and any children I may or may not have.

Forgiveness is an art. Not just anyone can forgive, especially when there is no apology. It takes a person of strong character and humility and honor. It takes someone who is willing to live as if the world is as it should be, to show it what it can be. Many of our heros are just that because of their willingness to forgive those who did wrong. Corrie ten Boom. Anne Frank. The Apostle Paul. Jesus. The Nazis, the Pharisees, the Romans, none of them asked for forgiveness. But each of our “heros” forgave anyway.

Forgiveness is an art. It takes strength to be the artist.

I’m too young to be this bitter and cynical. I am 21 freaking years old! How did I get to this place? I’m supposed to be in my senior year of college, maybe dating, happy, well adjusted (whatever that means!), plans of getting out of my parents house, finding a job that I like. I am not supposed to be stumbling through life. I’m not supposed to have no idea what I want or how to get there.

I truly don’t know what I want. I want a degree but I hate school. And I don’t know what I would major in if I did return. Psychology, as much as I love it, is not practical. I don’t even know if I want to be married some day or not. I think. Maybe. Do I even want kids? All that requires trust and love and openness and vulnerability and a willingness to be touched and give affection. That. Scares. Me. There is one thing I know. I don’t want to be stuck as a nanny or working at CFA the rest of my life. No way! So, I need to get a degree. But what do I major in?! I may just have to do business, which scares me too. I don’t have the head for that stuff.

I think I want to be married without actually being married. I want the safety and security that comes with a husband minus…..the husband. Except for the rare occasion that I need to be held. Then I’ll give him a call. 🙂 But that’s just me being selfish. And scared.

I assume that A: people will tire of me, so let’s just speed up the process or B: they don’t really love me, they’re just using me and eventually they’ll show their true colors and I’ll figure out what they really want.

Yes, I realize I’m probably crazy. But keep in mind this is how I’ve been treated so it’s what I expect. Somewhere down deep, deep, deep inside, I know this isn’t true of you guys. And there are occasions that I can actually remind myself of this and not be a jerk. I have to learn how to trust people. Even when they hurt or disappoint me. Because we’re all fallen, stupid humans. We all have this disease called sin and we all screw up.

But I keep swinging back and forth. One day I’m secure in your love, the next I’m distant and distrustful. One day I think I know what I want, the next I’m as lost as a sheep. So yes, further proof that I’m screwed up. I don’t know what I want in any area of my life. Friends, work, school, dating, family. My only half-way secure point is Christ. And lately even that hasn’t felt so secure. I feel like I’m flailing about in this massive ocean and I don’t know which way is up. Or if I even want to come up. Some days it seems easier just to let myself drown. But I don’t. Even when I’m not sure why, there’s something that keeps me from just completely giving up. Is it the Holy Spirit? Maybe.

I feel like such a hypocrite. My faith is based on hope and yet I don’t want to hope. Hopes are dashed and shattered. It’s based on love but some days I think I don’t believe in love. Lust, yes. Lust for power, for money, for fame, for flesh. I’ve seen the evil that comes from those and I hate it. But believing in the alternative scares me. Because I’m afraid that it too will be taken away.

I believe, Lord Jesus. Help Thou my unbelief.

Thank You

For all You have done I will thank You
For all You are going to do
For all that You’ve promised and all that You are
Is all that has carried me through

Jesus I thank You
And I thank You, thank You Lord
Thank You, thank You Lord

Thank You for loving and setting me free
Thank You for giving Your life just for me
How I thank You
Jesus I thank You
Gratefully thank You
Thank You

We Will Dance

Sing a song of celebration Lift up a shout of praise
For the Bridegroom will come, The glorious One
And Oh, we will look on his face
We’ll go to a much better place.

Dance with all your might Lift up your hands and clap for joy
The time’s drawing near, When He will appear
And Oh, we will stand by his side
A strong, pure, spotless bride

Chorus:

We will dance on the streets that are golden
The glorious bride and the great Son of Man
From every tongue and tribe and nation
We’ll join in the song of the Lamb

Sing aloud for the time of rejoicing is near
The risen King, our groom, is soon to appear
The wedding feast to come Is now near at hand
Lift up your voice, Proclaim the coming Lamb.

Be to Our God

Salvation belongs to our God
Who sits upon the throne
and unto the Lamb
be praise and glory, wisdom and thanks
honor, and power, and strength

Be to our God forever and ever
Be to our God forever and ever
Be to our God forever and ever

We the redeemed shall be strong
in purpose and unity
declaring aloud
be praise and glory, wisdom and thanks
honor, and power, and strength!

Be to our God forever and ever
Be to our God forever and ever
Be to our God forever and ever
AMEN

…..and killed your people” day! 😉

All kidding aside, remember the price that was paid for what we celebrate. And not just on “our” side. Today is not just about turkey.

And on that note…..

Happy Thanksgiving! 😀