Tuesday, November 20, 2012

25 Days of Christmas AT Studio D

Grab My Badge 
Hey y'all, 
 I'm a little late in letting you know about it, but if you like crafting, especially card making, go check out At Studio D's 25 days of Christmas. Damaris is one ultra talented lady at what she does. Seriously. Go check. Today is day 7 and I absolutely fell in love with her vintage inspired card. She's giving away lots of nice little goodies too, so if you're interested, follow her simple directions and maybe you'll be a winner. I was one of her winners last year, and I'm having fun playing with the stamps and others goodies she sent me. Even if you don't want to enter the contest,but just need some inspiration for your Christmas cards, go take a look around here At Studio D. 

Gratituesday: Thankful for My Crazy Life

In just a few short days, many of us will be gathering around a table laden with lots of delicious food, laughing and chatting, reminiscing with family and friends. We'll say grace, eat too much, watch football, nap, relax and enjoy a day of Thanksgiving.
  Minus the football, mine will be much the same. I'll see an aunt I've not seen in a few years. My mother is overjoyed to have her sister with her for at least one holiday. She'll be sad that some family members can't make it this year, and I'll try to drag her back to realizing the blessing of what she has now--all the while finishing up the cooking, making plates for the Hubby and his two co workers, and send him out the door to his job after eating a bit. 
  Many times I wish for the huge family gatherings and I grow misty eyed when I watch old Walton's reruns, especially the Christmas and Thanksgiving episodes.But reality sets in and these days I'm more thankful when the get togethers are small around us. J is not at his best in crowds. He gets quite anxious, truthfully, and it takes him awhile to warm up to people he doesn't see often. Too much noise and activity can send him into a nasty meltdown because he doesn't have the words to say"Enough. I need quiet. I need space."
  Looking at my life, I don't live a typical one, if there is any such thing. I am a homemaker, albeit a struggling one. My husband works at a job where his hours are 4pm to 12 am and his weekend is Tuesday and Wednesday. Our son has autism and a few other diagnoses that tag along for the ride. He's nonverbal but in most cases manages to communicate what he wants or needs. There are nights that no one gets to bed before three in the morning because J is wide awake and thrilled to be so. 
  My house is almost never spotless. In fact, on most days if you come in you're likely to find things scattered on the floor, a child scurrying to find clothes to put on because he has gone through just about everything in his closet (in one day, mind you, never mind the reason why) and two cats rushing out of his way. The dishes and the laundry are multiplying. Someone online or on the phone needs my attention at the same time the Hubs asks where his work shirt is and all the while my mind is racing with projects, budgets, and schedules. Oh my! 
  But you know what? No matter how much I want to tear my hair out or how much I complain, and sometimes need a break from it all, I love it. This is my crazy, wild, chaotic life and I love it. I'm so thankful for all of it, to be honest. Maybe not all the time, but I do enjoy it about 95% of the time. Give or take. I am grateful for chaos J brings to my life because he fills my heart with love. I am thankful he's no longer on behavior medicine because even though he's more wound up during the day, more of him shines through. He's more apt to give hugs, more apt to interact with me. 
  I'm thankful for a roof over my head, my husband's job, a car that runs, all of that. But I'm especially thankful to God for the family he has given me, and this includes those adopted and grafted into my life from all different directions. Some I wish I could see and hug again, others I wish I could meet just once but family they are indeed. And last but certainly not least, I'm thankful to you who reads this blog and encourages me with your messages. 
  Happy Thanksgiving to you all. What are you grateful for today? I'd love to hear from you.
  This post is linked to Heavenly Homemakers.         Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Judgement Calls

In the whole bible, besides John 3:16, what verse comes to mind that everyone quotes (and misquotes)? Do not judge. I've heard many, many people use that as a get out of jail free card. "The Bible says don't judge". "Jesus said don't judge". If you ask most of them where that verse is found, they couldn't say. They don't know (nor do some of them care) what the verses surrounding that one says or means. They just know it's in there and that is supposed to end the conversation.  In case you're wondering, here it is: Matthew 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
      Luk_6:37  Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
     Joh_7:24  Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
      In most conversations, the reason that particular phrase is brought up is sin. Someone is committing adultery, having (or had) an abortion, got caught lying, stealing, etc. It doesn't matter. Sin is sin. And while Jesus did say, "Judge not" he was not one to excuse sin or sweep it under the rug. He called out the sinner, pointed it out, and to some he said "Go and sin no more".  He didn't do any of this hatefully or spitefully, but in love. 
  When it comes to sin, God does not tolerate it, whether its a "little" sin or a "big" sin. Truthfully, from God's perspective there is no sin hierarchy. To him it's all the same and we are all guilty of it. We humans were the ones to decide that lying to spare one's feelings is okay and murder is worse than adultery or fornication. 
  So, when we see someone going down the wrong path, should we just look the other way? Pretend it's okay? Not say anything because we don't want to be accused of judging? If I saw a huge 18 wheeler barreling down the highway and you were in it's path unaware, would you want me to tell you? I'm willing to guess that you'd want to know, and you'd want me to help you get out of the way as quickly as possible.  Sin in that 18 wheeler. The end result in both cases is death. 
  When we encounter a situation (sin) that needs addressing, we need to be prayerful and introspective about it. Is my life in order? Am I doing the same thing or something that needs to be taken care of first? Go to the person alone. Do not discuss Susie's adultery with Heather and Jane "out of concern." Talk to Susie about your concerns. Let her know you're worried about her. 
  If Susie repents, great! Continue loving her, continue being there for her. If she doesn't? Continue loving her, continue praying for her, continue being there for her (except in helping her to sin). Go to the church elders or the minister to voice your concern. We should judge the sin, and try to vanquish it from our lives.
  But what if it's not a sin, but a "character flaw"?  Max is overweight, he must not eat healthy or he eats too much. Sally is the world's worst housekeeper. Her place is always a mess; how can she live like that?  Yes folks, that is judging and it is mean, and in this author's opinion it's one of the worst forms of judging. Have a heart, folks! This applies to me as well. I too, have been guilty of criticizing others. 
  Look deeper at the person you are attacking. Is Max really eating only junkfood and lots of it? Is he doing it because he's lonely or depressed? Reach out to him. Be his friend.  And Sally. Why is her house a mess? Is it because she doesn't care and prefers to live in a messy environment, or is there an underlying problem? Perhaps she's overwhelmed and doesn't know where to start. Perhaps she's just too tired to pick up after chasing the kids all day. Maybe she just doesn't have the organization gene that you do. Instead of picking at her or throwing advice or throwing a social worker at her, GO HELP. Offer to take the kids for an hour or two so Sally can get some work done. Shoo her out of the kitchen and wash the dishes for her. Offer her an hour of your time and help her figure out how to organizeAnd again, continue loving Max and Sally. Don't go running off to Heather and Jane to discuss it.
  We all have our sins. We all have our character flaws. Help one another. Be someone's life line. But do it in love.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

What is Sexism to you?

I had a heated debate conversation with a friend today. She and I are polar opposites in our political leanings. The things she had to say didn't surprise me, and most of (on both sides) was simply a rehash of what we both believe to be true. One thing in particular, however, really stuck in my craw. She accused conservatives in general, of being sexist. I asked her why and she replied, Because they would rather tell a raped woman she can't have an abortion.
  Okay, first of all, very few women get pregnant after a rape. If you read here  only 1 in 15 rapes end in pregnancy. And though this is controversial, at the hospital after you've reported the rape you can get the morning after pill, if you so desire. (For the record, I don't think I would.) In my mind, it should be a non issue. But if the pregnancy does occur, why would the baby be the one punished? He or she was only conceived. I can understand if a mother absolutely cannot face the thought of raising a child conceived in rape. I cannot understand destroying an innocent child's life because of it. Adoption is a far better answer.
   However, this post isn't necessarily about rape. Let's give another scenario. The Democratic campaign had commercials such as "lose your voting virginity". They worded arguments aimed at women to focus only on their "right" to abortions and free birth control. Do we only think with our uterus, ladies? Can we not handle the other issues that are important? What sounds more sexist to you?
  The election is over and what's done is done. I dont want to rehash any of it, what's done is done. I just wanted to speak my peace on this one matter.