For those who took my last post on Christianity and Homosexuality wrong…

Honestly, I know I shouldn’t be surprised that I’m sitting here having to write to you, but I am. Mostly because you obviously only read the parts of that post that you wanted to and didn’t finish it because if you did, you would not have gotten upset in the first place. So, without further ado, I will explain my reasoning behind my choices in religion, and my opinion on homosexuality, and it will hopefully be in terms that you can understand.

I do not call myself a christian. Why? Well I’ll tell you. I grew up in a christian church, and although it taught me some good things and was a good experience, I was taught a lot of different things about being a “good” christian, and a lot of them were conflicting with each other. This led me to doing my own research on said subjects because obviously I wasn’t getting a clear answer from the leaders of the church. I won’t go into detail on which subjects simply because it doesn’t matter right now. Through all of my research and PERSONAL bible studies and late nights awake talking to God, I realized that the only way I could get a clear answer is by asking the man himself! So, why was I going to bible studies and services? Well, friends to be honest, and THAT’S OK! That’s what church is for!! A place to talk and fellowship with other believers. Not a place for someone to tell me that prayers are stronger when said out loud, or a place where people tell me that God will speak louder to me when my cleavage is hidden. I don’t call myself a christian, because a lot of people who are not believers run when you tell them that. Why do they run? Because they are being told that they have to act and talk and walk and live JUST right, or they’re not “good” Christians. I tell people that I believe in God and have a GREAT relationship with him, and I’m more than happy to talk to them about it, but I’m not going to push or prod or guilt them into coming and sitting for 2 hours listening to stories they’ve heard a million times. Church is great, don’t get me wrong, but the indoctrination of a belief that we all have to be “good little boys and girls” is NOT my cup of tea.

Another reason I choose not to call myself a christian is because I want my kids to learn how to have a personal relationship with God. A relationship where they follow their conscience and follow the holy spirit and talk to God themselves. Not one where they have to go through all of the “cleansing” processes in order to get an appointment once a week to talk to the “boss” upstairs. Personally, that’s bogus and I prefer to be able to ask God a quick question, and know exactly when he’s talking to me and know that I’m getting good information. I don’t want my kids thinking that in order to have a relationship with God, they have to be a part of a religion. Because if they for some reason are pushed out of that church or are turned off by that particular religion, I don’t want them thinking that their relationship with God ends there because it most certainly does NOT! I’ve had too many friends say they “don’t follow God” or “don’t believe in God” anymore because someone in a church talked down to them, made them feel guilty for living a certain lifestyle, and they decided that they’d rather be able to live the way they were living instead of “believing in God”. Well, I don’t want people to think that you have to change your lifestyle in order to get into heaven! Jesus did NOT say that if we wanted to get into heaven, we had to change everything we were doing and start living a boring life, he said “believe that I am the son of God” and that he came and changed the whole game for us and made us free. So, I do believe he is the son of God and died so I didn’t have to. I firmly believe that I’m not going to hell for not going to church or not calling myself a christian. I also believe that Homosexuals are not being sent to hell for living the way they live, and I know that Jesus loves them unconditionally and I should to. I’m not going to shun them or talk behind their backs or tell them that they are wrong because I DON’T KNOW and neither should you! God is the ultimate judge, and we are here ONLY to love!!!!

So, is homosexuality a sin? I can’t say yes or no because when Jesus died on that cross, he changed the WHOLE game, so sure, to one person it might be, but to another, it might not be! In the end, it’s not my call, not my problem, not my business, so I’m just going to love them as if they were better than me. End. Of. Story.

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Peace

Here I am, Pajama pants, a hot cup of coffee, kids arguing in the background, I can’t help but think so many things at once. How it’s been ages since I’ve just sat around in my pajamas (even if it is for a mom group party later), how delicious my coffee came out this morning, how exhausted I am from last night, and how I am just going to let my kids work that one out by themselves (it worked). Even with all of these thoughts and emotions, I seem to still have a sense of peace about the morning. Whether it’s from complete exhaustion from wrestling my 3 year old at midnight to get back to bed, or whether I just simply have found a way to relax through all of this, whatever it is, I’m grateful for it.

It’s been an extremely long week (mostly at night), and I’ve been pushed to my very limits. I try my hardest to be a good mom and hold it all together. My mother was a prime example of the best mom ever. She hardly ever lost it in front of us (I know her closet was her vent space lol), she somehow was able to feed, bathe, and get all 9 of us in bed or settled, and had the entire house cleaned up by 8 o’ clock every night. So that has been my goal as a mom. Even if it’s not perfect, I try to be a good mom, wife, and homemaker, but sometimes, life simply gets to you. Lately we’ve been dealing with a child who is so full of emotions that she’s not quite sure how to express them properly. One second she will be laughing and running around, and the next she will be screaming her eyes out for only God knows why. I know that she’s a very expressive girl and I try to keep that in mind when dealing with her…. bi-polar tendencies, but last night I had my last straw.

It started out as a slow morning, girls up and dressed, headed to my nanny job, spent the morning doing nothing, then back home for naps. Stopped at the store on the way home for some much needed dinner groceries, but nothing special to report. Naps went smoothly, a little fuss from the oldest, but not near what it has been some days, and even after they were up, they were still my sweet children. After dinner is always a busy time for us because we have clean up, dishes, then baths for the girls. So, during this time, I always find myself in a debate with my strong willed child over whether she should put on her panties after bath or not, or whether she needs a 12th snack before bed, but this night, we didn’t have any of that non-sense. She complied with my directions, the baby was in bed by 7, and the night was looking promising! I even got the crazy one to bed and asleep before 8! Then it all went down hill from there….

10 o’ clock rolled around, and our stupid cat decided she needed to go and terrorize my sleeping bear. So just as we’re getting ready for bed, we hear rustling from the back, cries from the sleeping…*ahem* angel… then strangely enough, sounds of the baby gate being put up. Thinking it was the dang cat messing with it, we go to grab the cat, and find our 3 year old trying to put up the gate to keep the cat out. Even after daddy assured her that wasn’t necessary and that we would put the cat away, we were met with denial and the start of a fit from the child. The small whining due to not being able to finish the quest she had set out to conquer turned into a full blown crying session. This was met with several spankings, 1000 more cries, and she was eventually put back to bed. Now, you should know that we’ve been struggling with getting her to sleep in her own bed at night, and she usually ends up coming into our room at night and sleeping with us. We would simply put her back to bed, but this has gone on so much, that we now just sleep through it. So now, we are working at her sleeping in her own room, in her own bed, ALL night.

All was calm, all was bright, and we thought we had her back to sleep. Daddy came back from the lions den to join me in closing down the house, and just as we start celebrating our victory, we see a small shadow bolt across the hallway into our bedroom. “Not again” we both say in unison, and the night had just begun, even if we thought it was almost over. For the next hour an a half, we went through countless screaming sessions from a disgruntled party who was very upset that we weren’t letting her sleep with a pile of books in the office, numerous spankings, an equal number of hugs and kisses, and several trips BACK to bed. Finally, she realized that we weren’t in fact going to let her sleep in our bed, and she decided to give up and go to sleep. That’s when I lost my cool.

My poor husband had to sit and watch/listen to me pour my heart and soul out, this crying, sobbing, blubbering, ugly mess in front of him. I cried about how I felt that I was failing as a mother and how MY kid was turning into the “bad” kid at the parties (even though that’s not really true). I cried about how I was mad that she was so stubborn and hard headed. I bawled about how I was so sick and tired of having to put her back to bed 1000 times a night. I cried in wonder of where I went wrong…. and once I had cried it all out, my face puffy and my nose completely blocked from all of the ugly crying, I was done. I had gotten it all out, and my poor soul couldn’t take anymore, and I balled up, turned over, and went to sleep.

I woke up this morning completely drained, my child STILL ended up in my bed, child gate placed gently in the living room where she had stealthily set it aside, and I felt calm. I felt like the worst was done and it could only get better from her…. I sure hope to God that I’m right.

I am not writing this to complain or have people feel sorry for me. I want my fellow mothers to know that you are not alone. Whatever you’re going through, you are not alone. Also, don’t be afraid to get ugly sometimes. We all have to be ugly once in a while, and the best person to do that with is the person closest to you. So, get ugly, cry, complain, get snotty, then, grow a pair and do what you have to do as a mom the next day.

Oh, and you should know that during this writing, I was interrupted several times by that same crying child who couldn’t zip her jacket (WWI people…), my nice hot coffee was dumped on the floor by my curious baby, the baby I nanny was woken up by said cranky child, I had to open 4 cheese sticks (WWII until they were opened), I doled out 3 spankings for tantrums that are not going to be tolerated, and now they are peaceful… for the moment. Good day everyone… Good day

Christian: To be or not to be?

I have juggled with the idea of writing on this topic for months, and I’ve always had a different reason for not writing it. It will offend someone, I don’t want the debate, I don’t have an exact opinion, etc. But today, I had my last straw. A friend of mine has recently changed their life status and made the comment that they were no longer considering themselves a Christian, but they did NOT say that they were denying the existence of God or even that they didn’t have a relationship with God. However, left and right, people were apologizing for that person and saying that God still loved them. Since when does God not love us as much if we don’t follow a specific religion? Well, that’s what I am going to talk about.

For years, people in the “church” have branched off into many different religions all revolving around the same God, just with a different set of rules and “beliefs”. Christianity is, and has always been, one of the major “branches” if you will, and being a former (yes I said FORMER) christian, I know how judgemental and strict the religious group can be. I also know that, even though the word “cult” is usually shunned upon in the church, they are not far from it. There are rules, regulations, set meeting times and days, group events, and on and on it goes. There is also an unspoken initiation process even though there will be much denial. You can come into the church, go along with the scene, but until you have openly raised your hand and publicly accepted God as your lord and savior, you aren’t “really” a christian. Now, I do not it any sense want you to think that I am trying to talk badly about the christian group because I was in that group and its because of them that I am where I am today. I do, however, want everyone, including those of the christian religion, to be aware that these traits are in fact present and offensive to certain people.

Here is the moral of the story. Do we have to be a Christian to have a relationship with God? My answer is….. NO!!!! You don’t!!! Sure, it is great to be part of a community or church. The support is amazing, common interests and beliefs, etc. But, the guilt when you have broken one of the simple rules is unnecessary. Why do we have to be held to these silly standards? WE DON’T! Jesus never told people that in order to get into heaven, they had to be part of a religious group. He simply said to live as he did, and if we look back at the traits of Jesus, he was friends with everyone, never turned anyone away for ANY reason, and LOVED unconditionally. Love love love love love. That is ALL he wanted from us was to believe that he had come to take away the punishment for sin (death), and to LOVE! So, if that’s all we need to do, why are we requiring for “unbelievers” to walk and talk a certain way? If they’re showing kindness, love, and acceptance, then where are they going wrong? So I don’t believe that we have to have a “title”. I have a wonderful, amazing, faith filled relationship with my God, but I haven’t been a part of a church in years. I do NOT call myself a christian because I don’t follow the same “rule” system that they do. I drink, I have a tattoo (and am getting another next week), I wasn’t a virgin when I got married, I have been drunk (not too drunk because I don’t like the feeling lol), I curse more than I know I should, and I blow up at my loved ones way more than I would like. But, I know for a 100% fact that my God loves me for exactly who I am. I also know that I can be and do whatever, and God would never forsake me.

How, you ask, can I live so lax and free? Well, freedom! That’s how! When Jesus came to earth, then died on the cross, he took away the rules and regulations! He took away the consequences for OUR sins. That doesn’t mean we can go around acting a fool and doing whatever we like. He still wants us to live in love and try to always do the most loving thing, and that applies to everything. Drinking alcohol for example. This is a classic argument. Drinking alcohol, the act of, in my opinion is not a sin. However, if you’re drinking a lot, and you know you have to drive your friends, kids, whoever, home, and still get plastered, then in my opinion, that would be a sin. You’re not thinking about the other people, and you care more about drinking and having fun than taking care of the well being of the other members of your party. So you can take that equation, love>all, and apply it to any situation at all, and you will be able to find the answer every time! and if the answer isn’t coming clearly to you, put yourself in the other persons shoes, and if you wouldn’t like being on the other end of that, then don’t do it.

Homosexuality. I will briefly bring this up simply because it’s another topic that I have avoided talking about. Not because I disagree with it, but because until today, I have not been able to explain my feelings/opinions about the subject. I have several friends who have long since, and recently, come out, and although I have fully loved each of them just the same, I haven’t been able to say whether I agreed with them or not. Well, today, I realized that I don’t have to agree with them or not agree with them, I can just love them! I don’t have to have a specific opinion, because it doesn’t matter! The only person who can tell for sure the outcome of those who choose to be homosexual is God, and therefore, he is the only one with the right to judge them. I don’t mean judge them negatively, but judge their motive and lives. Growing up, I was told (by Christians) that if someone was homosexual, they were going to Hell, and that they had to “come back around” and get their life on track if they wanted a good relationship with God. Therefore, I grew up believing that, and it wasn’t until just recently that I had a complete 180 turn around in my belief system. Gay marriage started being legalized, and opinions started popping up everywhere, and I felt at war with myself because I knew that God wanted me to love, but then my mind was telling me that it was the all terrible worst sin ever. Luckily, I was reminded of one thing, and that was that, no sin is worse than another. All sins are equal in Gods eyes. So, if I punch someone because I was mad at them and wanted them to be hurt, in my eyes, that would be a sin. God told us not to have relations with the same sex, so in my eyes again, homosexuality could be a sin. You might say that punching someone is forgivable and is a “little” sin, but just because you wouldn’t be willing to forgive a homosexual doesn’t mean that God isn’t. Also, I’m not even sure that I believe homosexuality is a sin. I’m still looking into it and defining my belief on that, but Jesus took away the consequence for ALL sin, therefore making sin definable. So, just like alcohol, there is the possibility that homosexuality could be a sin for one person because they feel that it is, yet it could be completely fine for another person who don’t see it as a sin. I’m not proclaiming that as a truthful opinion, but I’m definitely saying it’s a possibility.

Before you judge someone so quickly because they have different opinions than you, just remember that the other person is in the exact same shoes as you, but is choosing to accept you for who you are, not for being different than them.

God vs Religion

Before I begin, I want to point out that this is not a persuasion article or a piece based on truth. This is simply a topic to get you thinking outside the box.

Some may argue that these two, God and religion, go together; that you can’t have one without the other. But have we ever stopped to wonder why? Religion, in my own personal opinion, is a group of people with not only the same beliefs, but the same set of limitations and rules. I’m not saying that rules and limitations are bad per say, but I don’t believe that rules and “guidelines” must be the same for each person. So that being said, why must we all belong to a certain religion? There are many different religions that all believe in God, yet, they’re different. Why is that? It’s because they each have their own different set of rules and stipulations within their religion.

Because not all religions are the same, yet they all revolve around the same main idea (God), why then must we be part of a specific religion? Some claim to be “Non-Denominational”, yet, that group of people gather together separately from other “religions” and have gathered they’re own list of rules, thus becoming an entirely new religion! So the “Non-Denominational” group has become a denomination.

So, I suppose the real question is, why do we feel like we have to be a part of a set of rules? I know that rules aren’t a bad thing, but do we have to follow the exact same rules as our church? Why can’t we have our own personal conscience? Why can’t we simply be a group of people who come together and talk and have fun as people? No rules, no judgement, no worrying about making sure we all “follow the rules”, just a simple get together as people who all believe in God. Now, before you go thinking that I’m saying we get rid of church, back up. All I’m bringing to the table is the thought that possibly we as a people can have church without religion. Religion has brought a lot of division between believers, which, if you think about it, defeats everything that we “believers” actually believe! For example, love and forgiveness. If your religion, or even just your church, tells you that you shouldn’t associate with “sinners”, is that love? If your religion says that you have to act a certain way, and if you don’t, you’re “going to hell”, is that love? If said religion requires you to follow their rules and their guidelines, yet if you choose not to follow them they won’t let you be a part of the church, is that love? You decide, I can’t tell you the right or wrong answer, but what I can say is that I personally am not a part of any religion.

I choose God. I choose to love everyone no matter their convictions, no matter their beliefs, no matter their choices. I believe that we all have our own set of convictions, and that we should accept each other simply because we are all made and loved by the same God. I don’t go to a church simply because it’s hard for me to sit and listen to someone tell me how I have to live based on their own convictions. I have found a church whose pastor speaks on love and acceptance and family, and I enjoy listening to him because he doesn’t try to convict or instill a specific set of “God set rules”. But, just because I have a church doesn’t mean I go every Sunday. I choose to believe in God and let him tell me how to live. If a pastor can hear from God and tell us how he thinks we’re supposed to live, why can’t we, as individuals, hear from God ourselves and live the way he’s telling us to one on one?

I’m not saying you have to leave your church or stop going, I’m just getting the idea out there that maybe we can go to church simply to enjoy the friendships and not have to worry about offending our congregation or our friends. If you’re so worried that the things you feel you’re free to do are going to offend your friends, don’t find different friends, just stop caring about others opinions of yourself and if they don’t want to be your friend, I’m sorry. But you can’t decide what others do or say or even think, you can only do you.

So, which do you choose, religion, a group of people who choose to let someone else set the lifestyle and rules that govern your life? Or God, which is a one on one relationship with God wherein you talk to God and let him tell you how you should live your life, which includes you NOT judging others for living their lives apart from how you live yours.

 

Letting go

It’s never an easy thing, the finance aspect of life, but it’s always there. Whether we like it or not, finances will always be one of the major focuses in life simply because we cannot get by without money of some sort. It doesn’t always have to be a lot, but the more your family grows, and the more our country changes, the more money we seem to need. It’s just the way it is. But, that does not mean it’s easy. Finances are difficult! You have to make sure your bills are paid on time, make sure you have food in your house, make sure you have a back up plan in case money is short, and it just goes on and on! So what happens when you get behind? What happens when you’re living paycheck to paycheck, and something gets behind? It’s not an easy thing getting back on track when you don’t have the resources to save up the resources in order to have a back up plan. So then what? You start selling things to get caught up? You work an extra shift?…. What if that’s not good enough? What then?

God has always been dealing with me on letting go of my problems and letting him be in charge. I don’t like not knowing if we’re going to have the money to pay bills one week. I like being in charge of my finances and knowing exactly how much is where. But being a paycheck to paycheck liver, I don’t get to do that! I don’t get to put extra away for emergency funds. I don’t get to have a cushion. So I have to put every ounce of faith I have in God, and trust him with everything we have. Let me tell you, that may seem easy and great and wonderful, but because I’m human, it’s most definitely not! It’s not easy at ALL to trust that, even though your bank says you’re not going to have enough to pay the bills, you’re going to be okay. It’s not wonderful seeing the negative amount in your bank more often than not. Even though you KNOW God has never let you down, and that there are people off worse than you, that fear of not having enough is always there taunting you and laughing at you. Satan loves to see fear and anger set in, and God wants to help you out of that hole! But that doesn’t mean it’s easy! Not one little bit.

So, here I am, stressing, fearful, angry once again. But where does that get me? No where except crying alone in a dark bedroom at night because I can’t see the future. All the while, God is there softly reminding me to just simply let it all go, and trust that he sees my future and that he knows exactly where I’m supposed to be. There he is, constantly reassuring me that he hasn’t let me fall yet, and that he doesn’t plan to any time soon. So why am I still afraid? Why do I still cry over numbers? Because I’m human. Because I can’t be perfect. Because the harder I try to let go and trust that God is always there for me, Satan is there also trying harder to push every little button I have that will trigger fear, anger, distrust, depression, self hate, and anything else he can find that will make me doubt my God. Letting go of something that has such a hold on your life is never going to be easy. Trust me, I’ve been struggling with it for years. I can’t tell you to “just let go” because I struggle with it myself still. But I can say to not ever stop trying. Don’t ever give up, and give it to God every time. I say that because it will continue to creep up on you and drive you insane. You will never be able to just hand it over once and have it all go away, but you can ALWAYS give it to God when it comes creeping back into your life…

The quickly passing time

Here I am once again, from what seems like a million years, bringing stories of my ever changing, yet stagnant life. Still working towards pulling our lives out of this rut, yet at the same moment, hiding any such struggle from our joyful, innocent minded children. The burden of it all continues to cloud my mind and weigh on me heavily, but my only hope is the faith that God has it all in his hands.

The summer has brought such joy and happiness to my girls. Splash pad, pools, bowling, and trips to the grandparents house have kept us busy, but the summer has only just begun. There is so much more ahead of us, but it seems as if its approaching far too quickly. The youngest of my girls, Kimberly, is turning one in a month, and I can only say to myself “but where has the time gone?”. It seems as if just yesterday, I was reminded once again just how painful, yet exhilarating, the experience of childbirth is. The time ticking away as each contraction caused me to grit my teeth and hope for the end. The reminder ever so often that I STILL was not finished. Then, the shortest moment of all, the final push, and there she was. My such surprising baby girl. She was the most perfect 9lb 5oz bundle of joy I had ever seen. Her chunky red cheeks and that firey red hair. I never knew I could love two people the exact same. But I quickly realized I could.

     Now, she’s the same wonderful, chunky, and red cheeked little hunk of joy I fell in love with almost a whole year ago. She’s army crawling around the house getting into whatever she can reach, devours more than I can eat in one sitting, and is working her hardest to catch up to her big sissy. 

     Where did the time go? Where is my baby? You never realize how quickly those late nights and still snuggles pass you by. I find myself wishing I could have that again. Thinking that maybe another would feed that hunger. But then I remember that I only have a short time with my babies, and I want to remember it and be as much as a mommy that I can be before I am again taken away by another bundle of joy. Also, they’re expensive as hell!

     As I plan her birthday, I just can’t believe that were here already, and that my oldest will be turning 3 in just a few more months…. 

Take pictures of that sweet little crawler. They’re the only thing that will keep you sane when that same “sweet” child is literally pulling the hair out of your head for you. 

Something new. Continued. GREAT RESULTS!

Ok so, I missed my blog a few days lol BUT! I have kept up with my calorie log and will update you all now! 

     So, I am VERY happy with my recent results, and I want you to know that this lifestyle change has been SO much easier than I had thought it would be, and my results are so great! I’m on day 11 of my challenge, and here are the results as of this morning!

I started out at 186. I know, shocker! I don’t like putting my weight out for everyone to know, but after starting with ItWorks, I’ve really changed my mindset on a lot, and not being ashamed of myself is part of it 🙂 Well, I weighed myself this morning, and I am now down to 176! 10 lbs in 10 days!!! Amazing! I’m really excited because I didn’t see these type of results coming out of this! And I’m not killing myself!

     So my average calories each day have been between 950-1300. Some days I go over, but it’s usually when I’ve had a cheat. So that’s not too bad! I have been choosing the better choices for meals, but I don’t eat like a rabbit. I have real people food lol so here are the highlights from this past week

Day 7

2 cheese pancakes – 319, 1/2 c yogurt – 100 =419

1 med bowl Chicken noodle soup about 230

1 bun – 100, 2 1/2 weenies – 375, total =475

Total = 1124

Day 8

1 cup yogurt 200, 2 graham crackers 130, 1 med banana 105 = 435

I slice pizza -340
1 1/2 scoops chili Mac – 445, 1 bowl cereal 110
Total= 1330
Day 9 I had about 1460 calories for the day, but the meals weren’t anything special

Day 10
Coco wheaties- 170, Coffee – 50 =220
Oven chicken on flatbread- 350, 1/2 cookie – 35 =385
1 med bowl spaghetti – 445
Total = 1050

So you notice I stayed between about 900 and 1300. I have yet to hit my 1600 calorie mark. 

It’s really amazing what a little (and I mean little) exercise and self control can do! I’ve been getting about an hour of light exercise, walking, minimal toning, every other day or so, and that paired with my calorie counting is really paying off!