I Might as Well be Gay

I feel the need to preface this post by reminding you that I’m no theologian.  I have no degree or formal training.  I am, however, a believer with the Holy Spirit as my counsel.  I have been given a brain and a heart and I believe God intended for me to use them.  I have thoughts and questions and concerns just like all humans.  All that to say that I’m both unqualified and qualified, at the same time, to discuss the subject matter at hand.  You should also know that I’ve taken my nighttime meds and I’m drinking my sleepy time tea so if I ramble or seem drowsy it’s because I am.  And I figure as smart as the internet world is I better just state that up front because they’ll know if I’m drowsy while typing this.  I mean, after all, the internet world knows everything.  And gosh, can you imagine the fury of internetland if they find out I’m typing while tired.

So, I’m sure you’re probably wondering where this is going.  Is SarahFae gay?  Well, no, I’m not.  But I might as well be.  And you might as well be too.  Unless of course, you don’t sin.  Then you won’t be.  People get all up in arms about people who are gay, or I’ll just use the acronym LGBT, which you should google if you don’t know what that means.

Well, there’s something that you should know about me.  I’m a yeller.  I’m angry and controlling.  I like to get my way and I’m pretty prideful.  And to my knowledge, I’ve always been this way.  Or at least since I was of sound mind and could think and reason for myself.  I mean, shoot, Hannah got a bus write-up last week and I couldn’t let it go.  Could.not.let.it.go.  It wasn’t enough for me to just talk to Hannah about it and sort through it with her.  Nope.  Not good enough.  I had to push the issue with the principal that they didn’t handle the procedures right when she got in trouble.  I mean, there simply should not be kids getting sent to the principal over bus write-ups when the bus driver didn’t first issue a verbal warning and try to handle it himself first.  He didn’t follow proper protocol.  That’s the problem here.  Let’s focus on that.  Oh, and also on the fact that when we approved the handbook pages at the beginning of the year they made us sign the pages that had the rules and guidelines on it so now I don’t have the information I need to tell Hannah what will happen if/when she gets in trouble on the bus again.  So, I also felt it necessary to ask the principal if they could change the handbook procedures so that next year we get to keep the pages with the rules and guidelines instead of turning them in.  All I had to do was remind Hannah that we don’t hit other kids on the bus.  And teach her the lesson that, even if you weren’t standing while doing it and the other person was, you’re now guilty by association.  You guys, I’m ridiculous.  I literally couldn’t let it go that their procedures were wrong and clearly inefficient and obviously other people weren’t doing their job properly.  #mykidstartedit #howdaretheydotheirjobwrong  #iwillwin  As you can clearly see, I’m a prideful sinner who doesn’t like her kids to get in trouble because it might make me look bad.  But I digress.

My point is that I think we all have sin tendencies.  We tend to sin more in some areas than in others…note, mine is control, anger, and yelling.  #alwayshasbeen #notanewdevelopment  And yet, I have prayed and begged and read Scripture and asked for help and had accountability and tried working through it with people around me…to no avail.  I still struggle with control, anger, yelling, and pride.  I love Jesus.  I don’t like my sin…well, some days I don’t.  Some days I like it just fine and enjoy going off on people.  I don’t always work on it.  I sin.  I have deep paths in my brain that go straight to anger, control, and yelling as my go to response.  I have carved out those sin paths over years and years.  And as of yet, I can’t figure out how to be different.  I think I was made this way.  I certainly came into this world a sinner.  Maybe you didn’t and that’s why you don’t understand the struggle.  It’s hard to be an angry yelling person for your whole life and not really have hope for change.  And, gasp, even worse, to sometimes like it.  But you’re probably different than me…better than me even.

So what makes my sin different than someone that is gay?  What makes the heterosexual couple engaging in premarital sex different?  What makes the heterosexual couple where one of them is addicted to porn different?  What makes a remarriage different (hello, adultery)?  What about the marriage that starts with an alcoholic…continuing to be drunk daily?  What about the marriage where…wait a minute, I see what’s happening…doesn’t every single marriage begin in sin?  I mean, I have yet to meet any marriage that doesn’t start with sin…because you can’t take two sinners and have them get married and expect no sin.  And then, wait for it…that same marriage continues in sin.  I guess the church just likes alcoholics, yellers, demeaners, porn addicts, sex addicts, sex-before-marriage people…and on and on…people better than it does LGBT people.

When was the last time your church told some of those other types of sinners they weren’t welcome?  That they couldn’t serve, be greeters, teach Sunday School, lead a community group?  Do we truly welcome LGBT people, wherever they are on their faith journey into our communities?  Because try as you may to say that we do…I’m gonna say, “Hell no, we don’t”.  It’s time to call a spade a spade.  And you know what church, when does the church get mad?  Uh, maybe when it gets accused of something that it doesn’t want to acknowledge.  Now, people have twisted this ridiculous Jen Hatmaker thing (here’s the original interview) into something absurd.  I get it, I’m a truth fighter…on the truth and grace scale…I’m like 90% truth, so don’t think I don’t know how you feel.  But the reality is that church is getting called out on the way we treat LGBT communities and instead it wants to fight its own on what Jen said.  I mean, I hear ya…my response was to fight the bus driver and principal and procedures instead of focusing on my own kid.  I’ll be the pot and you be the kettle. #iamoneofyou

But, how about maybe looking ourselves in the faces and asking where the kindness of Jesus is?  Where are we showing up for the LGBT people we say we love and would welcome in?  How about instead of being assholes about what Jen said, we actually act like the Jesus we say we love?  How many of us have sang the words, “It’s your kindness Lord that draws us to repentance” (song by Chris Tomlin, Kindness) or “Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in” (song by Big Daddy Weave, My Story)?  And yet, now, how kind are we towards Jen or the next one that doesn’t share our exact theological beliefs?  Are we really just going to keep throwing our own to the damn wolves?  And, shhhh, here’s a little secret…some of our own are the wolves.  They look like sheep, but they’re leading us astray and we’re just letting them.  #whatarewedoing???

Gosh, guys, I can’t imagine why the lost don’t want to be part of us.  Shocking, really.  Sad that they don’t know how amazing Jesus is because all they can see and hear is us fighting and being jerks.

I guess I say all this to say…there’s a lot of gray in the world and in the Word.  And maybe we can learn to live in the gray and be ok.  Better yet, be kind and loving and generous and gracious and, oh yeah, like Jesus.

#whatifyouarewrong  #whatifsheisright #whatifwewerentassholesanymore #howmanyhashtagscaniuse #internetlandbenice #ireallydolovejesus

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Christmas is NOT Cancelled, It’s ON!

So, I read this article/blog post about cancelling Christmas.

And then I got sad.  And then I panicked because what if I’m-a-lesser-Christian-because-I-haven’t-cancelled-Christmas-for-my-own-sinful-children.  They take after their mama.  But I’m sure not gonna cancel Christmas for myself.  Nope, I like presents.  I guess I’m entitled.

Now we did try the 3 symbolic gifts last year for gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  And it felt very religious of us, but it didn’t feel right, for us.  We’ve certainly debated Santa (and the verdict is…he’s coming!).  In fact he’ll be arriving early.  He’s coming on the 22nd because he knows we have very special family that we like to spend the holidays with.  So he comes special for us so we can have our Christmas at our house and have Christmas with all our family.  He sure does like family.

And I’ve certainly debated how many presents are enough and how many are too many.  Should we do a set number or a set dollar amount?  Should we?  Shouldn’t we?  Should we?

And I think I’ve landed on the other side of the fence.  We’re doing Christmas!  The more the merrier, right?  You see, one of my love languages is gifts.  I love to give ’em and get ’em.  I plan all year for this, literally.  I put money aside out of our budget every month to save for Christmas.  I buy gifts all year long as I think of things and see things that I think the people that I love would love.  I have lists and lists for this.

But back to my children and the child psychologist that I am NOT.  They get two days a year, Christmas and their birthday.  Or, one, if you’re my Hannah.  I really just have a hard time believing that it’s going to completely ruin them and turn them into entitled sinners if they get too many presents for Christmas.  I mean, they’re already entitled little sinners before all this Christmas stuff even came into discussion, right?  So, maybe it’s not so bad for us to give them presents on Christmas (and their birthday and any other day we want).  Maybe it’s okay for them to know that they’re special and that people who love them spent time and money buying/making them presents.  Maybe they’ll be ungrateful.  Maybe they’ll be thankful.  Maybe they’ll cry.  Maybe they’ll laugh.  And maybe, in the end, it’ll all be ok.

And, honestly, I like to buy presents for my kids.  My kids, my entitled, selfish, spoiled, hateful, mean, and sinful children.  Why?  Because I love them no matter what.  Their getting of gifts doesn’t depend on their attitude or behavior.  You see where this is going, right?  I happen to think that I reflect the Father a little when I give good gifts to my children.  He certainly does this for me.  And the reality is that he outgives me every time.  (Matthew 7:11 “ If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”)  Now, I’m no Bible scholar or child psychologist and I’ve not done any studies or surveys, so surely don’t just take my word for it.  But, I think I turned out ok.  And we had a nativity and Santa growing up.  I love Jesus and Santa.  I mean, not in the same way or anything, but still, they both give me good gifts without me asking or deserving it.

P.S. – And please don’t cancel Christmas just because some chick and some dude in blogland did and it got posted on the Today show website.

A Trigger of Hope

Heartbroken tonight over loss.  A very recent loss of a childhood friend.

I am reminded of the loss that many felt on 9/11.  And the loss that many have felt in the years following.  Loss of soldiers, firefighters, police, medical personnel, and many other first responders on that day…and those that have carried on the fight in the years afterward.

This is a day that triggers a lot in our house.  It triggers memories, pain, helplessness, sleeplessness, and things we don’t even understand.  It impacts us still…years later.  It affects us in deep ways.  It has caused us to become numb to the pain that we should feel and to keep our guard up to protect ourselves against further pain.

It is so hard to look in the face of loss and not be affected.  I often feel helpless and hopeless against the evil, pain, sorrow, despair, tragedy, and even the toil of daily life that this world brings.  This world sucks in so many ways.  It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by what this world is and forget who Jesus is and what He did.  It’s easy to desensitize myself against those around me so that if (and when) the time comes that I lose them that it won’t hurt so bad.  A lie at it’s best.

Today, the loss brought a new trigger.  If I don’t allow the Gospel to enter into this place then what good is the Gospel that I say I cling to.  Today, it was the only hope I had.  Hope that things won’t always be this way.  Hope that evil won’t always have free reign.  Hope that I can feel and love those around me without fearing the someday pain of losing them.  Hope that when Jesus said we are new, that we really are new and that we are continually being made new.  Hope that His story is one of redemption, love, grace, truth, and that one day…things.will.NOT.be.this.way.

Hope that He feels our sorrow, our pain, our disappointment, our hurt, our fear, and all that we feel.  Hope that His truth and grace and love can bring peace and comfort and HOPE to this world.  Hope that He is who He says He is and that He will do what He said He will do.  I have hope in Him.

It was a long day filled with tears, desperate prayers, memories, many stairs (9/11 Memorial Climb), anxiety, and yet, HOPE.  It took many moments of refocusing my thoughts and redirecting them back to Jesus and the hope that He offers.  Many times of reminding myself of the Gospel, that this world is full of sin (mine at the top of the list), His plan of redemption, the cross that Jesus endured, and the hope that He offers that this world is not our home.  It takes His truth to combat the lies that I’m so easily tempted to believe.  It takes His love and comfort to combat the fears and pain that I usually allow to reign.

His Gospel is a new trigger of hope.  And today, it’s a hope that He is here even on the painful days.

Born to Quit

Yep, I’m a quitter.  Pretty sure I came out of the womb that way too.  When it comes to fight or flight, I’m flight all the way.  When I was little, my mom, trying to do the right “mom” thing, made me eat peas for dinner.  I tried to tell her that I didn’t like them, but she didn’t believe me.  So you know what I did?  Yep, puked right at the table (or at least that’s how I remember the story).  I was going to quit eating those blasted peas one way or another apparently.  And to her credit, she never made me eat another pea.  I still don’t eat peas.  Parents, let that be a lesson to you.  Sometimes, kids just really don’t like whatever that good-for-you-food is, no matter how healthy or how much you like it.  Well, that was a rabbit trail.

Moving right along.  I’ll pass right out at the doctor, dentist, hospital, or even just talking about medical related things.  The first time that happened was at the dentist when I was in 4th grade and it was a tad bit shocking.  Yep, I want out.

You can ask my little brother what he thinks about me being a quitter.  When we were little he used to refuse to play board games with me.  I would beg and beg and he would tell me no because I always quit.  I would beg and promise not to quit.  He would eventually give in and I would eventually quit.  I don’t know how that happened.

I don’t like tense books, movies, situations, conversations.  I just want out.

I recently realized that this is impacting in ways that I didn’t anticipate.  I often verbally threaten to quit things, from relationships to the current quilt project or food choices or running or keeping my long hair.  I’m an equal opportunity quitter from big things to small things.  Things get hard, tricky, awkward, stupid, etc., and, let’s be honest (I will forever hear that as lesbi-honest, thanks, fat Amy), I’m probably just gonna quit.  What I’ve discovered is that I usually don’t end up actually quitting, I just need to threaten it.

If I step back and look at things, I think it has more to do with needing to be heard or needing someone to acknowledge the struggle.  I am usually looking for affirmation that I’m right (imagine that) or affirmation that the situation or topic or relationship or item is legitimately difficult.

Well, now that I recognize this (thanks to my redemption group style processing), it should help me in conversations and situations, especially with my poor husband who usually gets caught in my verbal fire storm.  If I can go into a conversation or situation knowing that I’m looking for affirmation and not necessarily to quit (or to fight) then I have the potential to change the whole dynamic (internally and externally).  Knowing that I’m looking to be heard and acknowledged is an important distinction.  I mean, I’d really like to have both…being heard and being right, but whatever.

And to my credit, I have had the same car for 8 1/2 years.  I’ve been married for 9 1/2 years.  I’ve had many of the same best friends since college.  I’m still raising my girls, despite wanting to quit many times.  Sleep and peace are awfully enticing, folks.

I don’t always quit.  I am not a quitter.  I am new.  I am being made new.

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What makes you want to quit?

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Forever Really Isn’t That Long

So, prepare yourself.  You’re either going to be jealous or tad bit smug.  Jealous because both my girls are in school or smug because one of them is only in half-day preschool.

At any rate, I ran by myself this morning while the girls were in school with no thought to having to get someone to watch them while I left the house.  And then I came home and cleaned.  Dusted, vacuumed, mopped, tub, toilet, etc.  And you know what…it actually stayed that way for a bit!  And I got to clean with no interruptions.  This is a seriously good thing.  2 hours and 35 minutes every day child free.  Errands by myself are a breeze.  Volunteering.  Meeting with people.  I do what I want, yo.  Although my little Banana might have caught on because she’s started giving me errands to run while they’re at school.  You know, she needs her medicine and the dogs need their food and I should probably do those things while they’re gone to school.  Yeah, sure, I’ll get right on that, 5 1/2 year old.

But you know what I thought at one point this morning?  “Oh, you know, that really wasn’t forever.”  You see, I actually used to think that I would be in “that” season forever.  “That” season where I was constantly doing everything for 2 other humans.  Where I ran on exhaustion more often than not.  Where I didn’t get consistent full nights sleep for like 6 years.  Yes, I said 6 years even though my little Banana isn’t 6 yet because lets be honest you don’t exactly get a full nights sleep when you’re pregnant.  Where I couldn’t do anything without making sure that my children where in someone’s care.  Where I couldn’t eat a hot meal.  You get the drift.

So, weary moms, be encouraged, I have arrived to a season with a break.  It really does exist.  Who knew???  And it won’t take you forever to arrive.  Oh, be sure, it will feel like forever.  It feels like an impossibility.  A dream world.  A mirage.  But it’s not.  And someday you will join me.  And then we will join those with children in full-time school and then in jr high and then driving (which I’m personally looking forward to so that I have my own personal shoppers) and then college.  It may take years to get to the next season, but for most of us, the next season does exist.  In my world, it took 6 years.  And that felt.like.FOREVER.  But now I’m here and it’s kind of nice.

And looking back, I’m glad I did it.  I was stretched and pulled (sometimes quite literally) and tested far more than any other 6 years of my life.  And I think, I think, that I came out more refined and less selfish than when I went into “that” season.  I have to believe that God used all those trials for my good.  I can certainly assure you that I look more like Jesus now than I did 6 years ago.  And for that, I’m grateful.  Although I kinda wish there had been an easier way to get here.

To be sure this season will have its challenges.  My little banana has apparently already cried at school several times because mean little girls told her that her drawing was ugly or they didn’t want her to be best friends with anybody else or they scared her on the playground.  And so it begins.  But, it begins with a mom who’s a little less exhausted, a little less man-handled during the day, a little more rested, a little more margin, and a little more hormonally balanced (thank goodness for my Yasmin).

You know what, it really didn’t take forever.  It really was worth it.  And I’m really glad I’m slowly but surely moving on from it.

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What is the hardest season you’ve been through?

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And Now I’m 32

Yep, that’s right, 32.  I guess I’m older and wiser.  Probably mostly just older after the year I’ve had.  The wiser part is definitely in question.  All in all I would say that I would never ever ever ever want to do the year of 31 again.  Some years are good and some are not.  And 31 was not.

I even refused to buy a Thirty-One bag because it was my own way of rebelling against 31.  It was the year of the crazy.  I went off the pill, we tried to get pregnant, diagnosed with PCOS, back on like 4 different pills, and I was full on crazy.  Although my doctor has given me permission to tell anyone I want that my hormones are quite literally all jacked up.    That’s bad news for me and for you, I’m afraid.  I’m certainly functioning and moving forward, but man, I would never ever wish PCOS on anyone because it has done a number on me.  That and the sleep disorder (which may or may not be linked).  Even if it’s not linked, the PCOS sure doesn’t help any.  I’ll spare you the crazy story behind that because if I told you, you might actually lock me up somewhere.

I feel like 31 was a year of change.  Not necessarily big change, but change none-the-less and change seems to take a toll on me.  Now granted it might not take the same toll if I’d release my grip on my plan a bit, but I’ve got plenty more years to work on that.

And, by the way, now that I’m 32, not only am I going to buy a Thirty-One bag, but I’m going to have a party!  Take that year of 31.

I guess I’m a hot freaking mess doing the best I can.  Some days are good.  Some days are not.  And strangely I’m finding grace in between.  And sometimes I don’t even like that.

Let me tell you a story about my little Banana.  And I’m going to remind you up front that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree in this house.

My little Banana was doing something she wasn’t supposed to be doing.  I can’t remember exactly what, but I think it involved her little sister.  I told her a couple times to stop and we talked about things and I handled them like a good mom would.  Well, she kept getting more and more frustrated and therefore more and more disobedient.  I told her that she deserved a spanking, but I was going to give her grace and not spank her.  Instead I had planned to just try to talk things over with her.  Well, she spun around on her heels and yelled across the room, “I DON’T WANT YOUR GRACE!”.

I think that’s where I am.  I want my good days to be my own doing and my own earning.  And I want to punish myself for my bad days.  That way, when I have a good day I feel even better about it and when I have a bad day I feel even worse for it.  I’m basically giving the Cross the middle finger while screaming (only the inside, because I wouldn’t anyone to think that I was actually crazy), “I DON’T WANT YOUR GRACE!”

Maybe now that I’m 32 I won’t do that anymore…at least not as much.  You see it’s absolutely crazy to me that every morning is new.  How can I get out of bed each morning and not get to claim the goodness of yesterday or not deserve to punish myself again for yesterday?!?  What would it look like to live in the grace that is there waiting?  For me to give Jesus all the credit when I have a “good day”?  You know when I don’t yell at anyone, and I actually read books with my children, and I engage with people, and I serve my husband, and I cook dinner AND do the dishes…Jesus gets the credit (just nevermind the fact that there might have been some sin in there somewhere).  And for me to crawl in Jesus lap when I have a “bad day”?  That He already had a way worse day than any of mine and He literally held the punishment for every sin ever committed and ever to-be-committed by me and everyone else??  What the what?  Now that’s freaking crazy.  Sure I don’t really want that kind of punishment on myself for my bad day yesterday.  Maybe that grace wouldn’t be such a bad idea.

We Fight Hard

Fight Club.  It’s this crazy little thing that we do at Trailhead.  Men do it.  And we wanted in on the action.

I absolutely love my fight club.  I think that fight clubs can seriously help change lives.  Only Jesus changes hearts, lets be clear about that.  It takes a little community, a kick in the pants occasionally, a freaking ton of encouragement, a beer or two, some ice cream and sugar, a lot of life, and a lot of talk to help the heart changed by Jesus make its way to the outside and stick.

It seems like this crazy secret non-equation kind of thing.  A little on the ethereal side.  And in a way it kind of is.  It’s mostly just Jesus changing hearts.  The Holy Spirit counseling us.  And God orchestrating people into a fight club that has the right connection.

I’m gonna let you in on how we roll.  This is how me and my girls work.  This is how we fight.

There are three of us.  (Three is ideal, four could work.)

Our husbands are also in a fight club together.  This works well so that husbands and wives can’t leave things out.  We integrate life and fight club (meals together, events together, and general life together).

Nothing is off limits.  Seriously, nothing.  We can ask any question of each other and discuss any topic.

Sometime we just hang out.  We once took a road trip (and by road trip, I mean 30 minutes) to Victoria’s Secret and bought lingerie.  We take fighting for our marriages very seriously.

We like to meet every other week.  Weekly, every other week, or monthly could work…depending on your group.  Some seasons are easier than others to be consistent, but we do make fight club a priority.  Logistics vary depending on the week.

We serve each other.  Keep each others kids.  Work on each others cars.  Sew for each other.  Etc, etc. etc.

Everybody talks at every meeting.  We dive right in.  Don’t start with the lightweight stuff.  Go straight to your biggest sin or biggest hurt.

No giving advice.  The goal is to ask heart questions that go to the root sin.  Ask questions about God’s character, about what is true, about what God’s word says, about the lies that we’re believing, or any question that Holy Spirit leads you to.

No pushing Scripture.  Yep, you read that right.  The goal is not behavior modification and if you start pushing Scripture as a way to force me to change I’m going to want to throw the Bible at your face.  Please do not use the Word of God as a method for changing my behavior or proving me wrong.

(Getting out box.  Climbing on box.  Soap box declaration, loud and clear:   There is a surefire way to instantly anger me and that is using Bible verses as a means to an end.  A lot of legalistic old school churches use this methodology and I have a serious sore spot for it.  Please for the love of God (literally) DO NOT give me a Bible verse and send me on my way to shame me into “memorizing this verse and change my behavior”.  If I could change my own heart and behavior by memorizing something I WOULD HAVE ALREADY DONE IT, folks!  Only Jesus changes hearts.  ONLY JESUS CHANGES HEARTS!  He can and absolutely will use his Holy word to do it.  But you preaching and forcing memorization and unrelated verses on people will not change hearts.  Possible soap box end.)

Use Scripture.  There is a fine balance in using Scripture that the Holy Spirit leads you to and pushing Bible verses on someone.  (Soap box again: Please remember that just because God uses a certain verse for you in a given situation does NOT mean that he will use the same verse for someone else in an apparent similar situation.)  I do believe that His truth will set us free and if he is leading you to a passage of Scripture for someone then by all means share it and pray that God will open their heart to his true words.  We absolutely point each other to Scripture and to truth.

Once a quarter or every 6 months (if your group is husbands/wives) we meet altogether.  This gives me an opportunity to say, hey guys, is Husband bringing “_________” issue to you?  It’s sort of a check-and-balance among the group.

Jesus changed heart.  That’s what we love.  That’s why we fight.

It’s hard freaking work.  We are broken.  We cry.  A LOT.  Every time in fact.  We are new.  We are being made new.  Fight clubs help us to sort through things in the loving caring supporting trusting fighting truth-giving grace-showing bounds of a tight community.

Seriously, Jesus changes hearts.  Hearts that I wasn’t sure could be changed…like my own heart.  Fight clubs are seriously painful and amazing and healing.  You should get one.

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What 2 people come to your mind?  Are you scared to death to ask them?  Sweating, nervous, cringing?  Probably means you should ask them to fight with you.  (You might want to send this this link so they don’t accidentally take you to a dark basement and punch you in the face though.)

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On the Edge of Crazy

You know I had a counselor once that said a very wise thing.  It’s something that I have gone back to on multiple occasions.  It doesn’t change my circumstances, it doesn’t fix anything, but it does make me feel a little less crazy.  Are you ready for it?

Paraphrased: You guys are in the hardest season on your lives.  You’re parents of young children, at the bottom of your pay scale (hopefully), running your own business, and away from your family.  You are doing more work now than any other season and more work than most people.  (Her words not mine.)

I mean seriously, anybody else get super tired of waking up thinking, well, once I get out of this bed there will be no stopping.  I will literally have something that needs to be done (and then some) every waking moment that I have.  I will never get caught up.  I will go to bed with the same stuff on my list as the night before and then some.

As I type I look at my disaster of a kitchen and 2 loads of laundry on the bed (unfolded of course), the dryer just dinged, and the washing machine is still running.  Does it ever end?  I’m afraid not.  I’m pretty sure it’s the curse of the earth.  Everything fights against us, including those “sweet” little beings that we birth.  It’s a good thing kids are cute.

I’m a task-oriented extroverted person so maybe this is harder for me than it is for some of you.  Maybe this is me being forced to continue learning the never-ending lesson that people and experiences are more important than perfect, clean, and completion.  In fact, maybe I’ll start retraining my mind (insert sarcasm), “Self, look at it this way, with all the added things to do you get to create more check-lists, you get to check more off, there is more opportunity for organization” (end sarcasm).

I know.  I know.  “Treasure these years.”  “They grow up so fast.”  “They’ll be gone before you know it.”  Blah blah blah.  One painstaking day at a time and it sure doesn’t feel fast.  It feels slower than molasses.

Yes yes I know.  This could be the depression or the hormones talking.  Tomorrow I could quite possibly wake up and regret writing this.  But, truth be told, this represents more than just today.  Now, I don’t always feel so miserable or resent it as much.  And mostly I’m happy to be where I am.  I’m not jumping off a cliff or anything (so family, don’t lose any sleep over this).  But I do get tired.  And I’m guessing this is normal??

Another opportunity to preach the gospel to my own heart.  What in the world does that look like?  Heck if I know.  In my head it sounds like these questions.  Am I putting others’ interests before my own?  Is this bricks with no straw (more on that in a later post or read Redemption).  Has God given me the tools that I need?  Am I alone?  Is God’s story for my life better than the story that I would write for my life?  Also, I spend a lot of time praying what I’m actually feeling and thinking instead of pretending to God that I’m enjoying everything that I have to do or pretending that this is easy.

Practically speaking, I really am trying to retrain my mind.  Which usually sounds like this, “Self, are you going to want to do this later?  Um, no, idiot, I’m not.  Well then, do it now and get it over with.  (little kid mimicking voice) You do it now and get it over with.”  Or it sounds like this, “C’mon, just do it.  Just finish folding this basket.  Just finish one more thing.  Just look at this 12 inches.  Now, just look at this 12 inches.”  Or “OTIO.  Only.Touch.It.Once.  C’mon don’t move it, put it away.  OTIO.”  Also you should know that in my head it sounds like Oh-Teeeee-Oh.

End rant.  Sorry everyone.  That’s what today felt like.  Thank goodness my momma is coming in the morning!

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Any other moms of young kids feel crazy like me?

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Husbands, You’re Welcome.

Wives, you might just thank me too.

Warning: If you’re related to me, not married, or for whatever other reason you’re not supposed to be thinking about sex you might want to skip this post.  Proceed at your own risk.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Really, I warned you.

Moving on.  In a recent post I talked about making a new rule that Valentine’s gifts to your husband (or wife for the guys out there) relate to the bedroom.  I’m going to expand on that a little.  There are lots of things at any price range and I want to give you a few good ideas.  Some field tested and some not.

Lingerie.  This is a given, right?  But it can be a little pricey, especially if you’re a brand loyal girl like I am.  Trust me on this one.  Victoria’s Secret makes a lot of money for good reason.  If you’ve never bought from them and have the cash…splurge on buying something from VS.  It’ll be worth it.  It will fit well and hold up, pun intended, and it’s made to last a long time.

Silk boxers for him.

Your favorite chocolates.

Astroglide.  If you only take one thing away from this post, please let it be this one.  Throw that nasty KY crap away and go buy Astroglide.  This has been field tested by many army men.  They have a lot of sex, folks and they know what they’re talking about on this one.  Trust me, this comes highly recommended.  If you’re too embarrassed to buy it from the store, Amazon has it.  If not, get yourself on over to “the Wal-mart”.  Less than $7 I think.  There’s even a natural version now.  You have no excuse not to get this before Valentine’s Day.  Go.To.The.Store.Now.

Mentos mints.

Fine wine.  A little dust…  Gets sweeter with time.  Name that song.  Anybody??

Whipped cream.

Good stash of gum, mints, breath strips, and mouthwash.

New condoms if you go that route.  New towels if you don’t.

Satin sheets.

Young children at home…sound machine.  We have this one and this one.

A new candle.  Or ten.

If you don’t like my list you’re on your own.  And maybe you should talk to someone.  Seriously, those are some good ideas.  If you can’t even find one, email me, talk to a friend, you may have something going on.  Process through it so that Valentine’s Day won’t be so awkward.  I heard once that Christians ought to be having the best and most sex out of everybody.  Lets enjoy God’s gift and piss Satan off in the process.  He’s declared war on marriage and I say it’s high time we fight back, by getting naked.

Disclaimer: No store or company paid me to write these statements and opinions.  But I wish they had.  Then I’d have more money than I do now.

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I’m almost afraid to ask, but here goes, what would you add to this list?

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We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Broadcast

It is Valentine’s week after all.  I have a love hate relationship with Valentine’s Day.  On one hand it’s a great way to set aside time with your significant other.  On the other hand it can be a total letdown, totally crappy for the singles and unhappily married, and generally speaking totally overrated.  Oh yeah, and awkward, did I mention awkward.  It can be awkward.

Here are a couple of my thoughts to make it less sucky for somebody in your life.

If you’re married/attached to someone, spend a few extra dollars and buy a single friend a valentine.  They might not get one otherwise.

If you’re single, offer to baby-sit for the ol’ married folk with small children.  They will forever be grateful.

If you’re married, make a plan ahead of time so the disappointment is minimized.

If you’re single, get a bunch of other singles together and go out.  Spend some money and enjoy your night.

(Mom, Dad, Grandma, Siblings, Family, this is your warning…you may want to skip over this next one.)

If you’re married, make a new rule…Valentine’s Day gifts for each other must relate to the bedroom.  Get creative.  This works for any budget!

If you’re a parent, take your kiddos out on short dates one child at a time.  They’ll each get to feel special.  There’s always Rural King…free fun, free popcorn.   Or maybe that’s just my girls’ favorite place.

And remember, it’s only one day to endure and maybe it’ll be better than you think.  I challenge you to take a few moments during the day and be genuinely grateful for the people you like that God put in your life.  Chances are that he gave you at least one, c’mon…at least one, probably more, person/people/animals that you truly love and are grateful for.  Oh, and there’s that whole Jesus dying on the cross thing where God loved you beyond comprehension.  You could be grateful for that.  God gave you His everything.  Maybe Valentine’s Day isn’t so bad.

Good luck, team.  I wish you the best.

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What is your best Valentine’s gift or ritual?

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