Confessions, Revelations, and The Love In Between
- I haven't written anything specifically for this blog in months.
- I am apparently regressing to my 10-year-oldish self that was obsessed with Lisa Frank. Erego the Giraffe. Sorry, not sorry.
- I've done a great deal of deconstruction of my faith and while I am still (and likely will always be) rebuilding Im happy and confused to realize Jesus is still an integral part of me. Some of his followers though, ya'll. Glass houses and stones and whatnot but man I think more of us brothers and sisters need to do some soul searching instead of holding onto lies. Ugh.
- It was much easier to exist as a human in this world before I started searching for truth and compassion. It is so much worse caring about people I would much rather "other" and move on from. It is also super gross to recognize that some of my past actions, thoughts, and postures towards others were at best unhelpful and at worst hateful and unfair. The number of times I have full-body cringed thinking about it is dizzying. If electricity could be generated from shame and embarrassment I'd be able to keep the power grid going for a long time.
- Things I have said in the past (and will likely, in new, creative ways in the future) were not the helpful, comforting, and generous words I thought they were.
- It is summer break week 2 and I am already kinda over it. Part of it is the weather has been gross and my head feels like it might pop a few days a week lately. Stupid migraines.
- I am loved by a God that is more than able to clean up my mess and help people to heal despite my misguided best intentions. This is an indescribably comforting thought for me. I know that progress can't happen if people aren't willing to make mistakes. So, making mistakes and apologizing is part of being human and if God made me this way then he knows. He knows I'm a mess and weirdly, he loves me anyway. And he loves everyone else. Bizarre. But true and good. No caveats no conditions, God loves us. And because of the love poured into us it's our job to pour into others.
I'm in no way saying that nothing else matters. I'm simply saying, God loves us is a pretty great s starting point to expand on.
- There is a lot, and I mean a lot that is considered "good Christian doctrine" that is garbage. Just flat-out stinky, smelly, fight-for-control and domination garbage. Want some proof? Check out the Duggar documentary on Amazon. Listen to "The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill" podcast on Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. Read "She Deserves Better" by Sheila Wray Gregoire or listen to her Bare Marriage Podcast. Seek outside the insular echo chamber of conservative fundamentalism and seek God's heart. Or like, don't. I'm not the boss of you. Just don't come at me with "you're a woman so God thinks you're less than" nonsense.
- It is no longer adequate or acceptable to say "I don't see color" or "I like black people but I don't like [Fill in your subtle racial slur of choice]" BIPOC need us to use our privilege to be allies for them. Privilege doesn't mean wealth. It means being given the benefit of the doubt because you're the "default" skin color. If you really don't understand what I'm talking about check out this funny lady: https://www.instagram.com/clarabelletoks/ I think all of her videos are fantastic at illustrating the point she is making but my fav is probably this one: https://www.instagram.com/reel/CrBezCmNslD/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link&igshid=MzRlODBiNWFlZA==
- To add to the above, we need to aim for anti-racism, not just not being racist. What's the difference? I am not the person to ask this question really, but the good news is Google exists. Here is a great explanation from the Smithsonian Institute National Museum of African American History and Culture: https://nmaahc.si.edu/learn/talking-about-race/topics/being-antiracist It is a lot of reading but the Tl;dr is this: Being Antiracist is taking an active stand against systemic, individual, cultural, and institutional racism. There is no question that white Americans are generally afforded certain unspoken civil liberties and while we cannot go back in time and fix the root causes of the problems of today we can actively work towards using our power to help instead of hinder.
- If you find yourself witnessing a police officer using his position of power to harm someone start recording it on your phone. It is a rare thing for a person who is committing an atrocity to want that atrocity to be recorded. Make yourself known.
- Read books written by black authors. I follow a few on Instagram and they are delightful. I'll let you do the footwork on this one though. There are so many incredible authors that I didn't even know existed. Seek out black creators on Instagram, facebook, youtube and TikTok. Listen to their words and absorb them without getting on the defensive and actually listen to people whose experiences are different but still as valuable as your own.
- Maybe think about how insulting it would be if someone came into your neighborhood, snapped a selfie with your kid, planted a flower then went to the beach, and posted "Outreach with the least of these" on your public Instagram or facebook. I've been guilty in the past and it never even occurred to me how insensitive and yes, racist, that could be. Mea Culpa.
- For examples of systemic and institutional racism :
- There is a joke people sometimes make about "being pulled over for the crime of being black." It's not a joke, really though. It is a very real situation where police officers are primed to believe people of color will be up to no good. There have been untold tragedies because a police officer pulled a gun because someone was "acting threatening" and body cams reveal that acting threatening was code for "big black guy with his hands in the air pleading for his life." It's gross, and sad, and makes me weep for our world that has let this kind of thing fester.
- The "school-to-prison pipeline". It sounds like a conspiracy theory except it is a very real phenomenon that shows people of color (anyone not "white") are more than double basis subject to reprimand and detention for infractions that their fellow students are not subject to. According to LearningForJustice.org "Black children constitute 18 percent of students, but they account for 46 percent of those suspended more than once." Another demographic that is overrepresented in this bias are children in special education. If you ever want to ruin your whole day (week/month/year/life) spend some time researching this. It is a tragedy that is only getting worse with zero-tolerance policies in effect.
- I'm a better mom when I take care of myself. Who'd have thought it? Only my doctor, therapist, and friends. You know, everyone. But somehow I still find myself holding on by a thread trying to accommodate everyone else. It's not a great look and I'm working on it. Or, at least I'm really trying.
- People will make observations and hold ideas about me that are 100% false and that is none of my business. I'm not a young enough millennial to be a member of the Church of Taylor Swift but I gotta say "Shake it off" is a bop and I routinely sing that little ditty to myself when I catch myself worrying about something someone else might think of me.
The Love In Between
- I've been doing a lot of personal enrichment/education on a number of topics. Because I'm both bored and curious. I know it is a privilege to live in this time, in this place, and be afforded the access I have to discover new and interesting things. That's pretty cool. Also I can learn things I would have never thought to take a class on for either very cheap or free online. So neat.
- My kids are all told, pretty neat little people. The big ones are going places I couldn't have imagined 9 years ago.
- Tim and I will be married 22 years this week. Wow. Those kids had no idea. But if we're weighing good against bad I think the scale tips heavier towards good most of the time.
- My oldest graduated from High School and we got to watch and hug him afterward. It was weird but it felt like a natural transition this time. He's headed to Texas State in the fall and it is incredible to think about how far he has come.
- I'm working on 2 new children's books to self-publish hopefully sometime this summer. I'm also writing a novel and am actively trying to pursue traditional publishing for a book I've finished.
Thanks for reading. What's new with ya'll? Anything exciting?