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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Solved the Mystery

Too much Huckle at my house…hence the title of today’s post.  Busytown Mysteries, anyone??  I may reference too many TV shows on here.  I may be giving you the idea that we watch a lot of TV.  And that’s because we do.  And I probably should have some guilt, but I don’t.  And it’s like I’m giving you a glimpse into our world every time I share a reference to a show.  And maybe you feel better about yourself because you don’t watch as much TV as we do.   And you’re welcome.  End rabbit trail.

I get asked fairly frequently who my little Bear looks like.  And to be fair, it’s pretty obvious that it’s not me or Husband.  Nor does she look like her big sister, so I certainly understand the question.  In fact, I kind of laugh because we get asked so often.

So, I’ve decided to post a picture to solve the mystery.

Here she is, the family member that Leah most resembles…drumroll please…my little sister.  She’s awesome and we love her.  We even love her more than Huckle and even more than all the TV shows combined.  She’s a pretty amazing aunt.

Also, my mom, the comedian, likes to tell people that she has grandchildren that look like both of her daughters…except I birthed them both.

My sister is so fabulous.  So fabulous, in fact, that I’m hoping she might not kill me for posting her picture without asking.  She is so cool.  And so fun.  And so smart (except she’s actually super smart…way smarter than me).  And super kind.  And super full of grace.  So much grace that she’s going to forgive me really quickly for this!

I love you, sseeeeeesssssttttttttteeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrr!  (Please don’t be mad at me!)

But for real, don’t they look alike???

Love these girls
Love these girls

And the story continues…

I seriously cried a lot.  I fought a lot.  And ultimately I obeyed.  And here’s how that conversation went down.

Well, husband, here’s the deal.

You want another baby.  Fine.  We’ll try for 6 months to a year and see what happens.  On three conditions.  1 – Three carseats won’t fit in the Jetta and I’m going to need a new car.  I want a Mazda5.  2 – I want to move home.  I’m going to need help with that many kids.  I sure can’t do it by myself.  3 – I need a new maternity wardrobe.  I’m going to need some money.

His response was pretty much a look of unbelief and excitement at the same time.  And with his usual reasonableness he told me it would be cheaper to just hire a baby-sitter than to move home.  The other 2 were understandable.

We’ll see, I told him.

I also might have warned him that this was going to be the hardest thing that I had ever done, that I was going to need his help, and there was a good chance that we would all be miserable.  But, yes, I was willing to try.  And, shockingly, there was part of me that actually wanted another baby.

We decided that we should probably pray about something like this and make sure this was how God was directing us before I went off all my meds.  You see, I was diagnosed with restless syndrome in college and have a sleep specialist that I see in St. Louis.  The bum thing is that he won’t let me taken any sleep meds if I’m pregnant or trying to get pregnant or nursing.  Dang doctor.  I also love my birth control.  I get a little bit crazy without it.

Chad did finally admit that he didn’t think I’d ever actually agree to this.  And he admitted that it was a little scary now that it was actually an option.  We were getting older afterall.  I completed agreed.  We were off our rockers.  Although if this worked like we thought it would we actually would be in a rocker quite a bit more.

Shameless Plug

So here it is.  A shameless plug.

Trailhead Church is having a women’s breakfast this Saturday (Feb 23).  It starts at 9:00 am.  Free breakfast, home cooked, healthy, fruit, there will be options.  Budgeting is the topic, presented by yours truly.

For those of you that don’t know me, I love budgets.  Yep, I’m a total loser and I’m not ashamed.

Women only.  No kiddos.  No men.

You should come.  Really.  It’ll be a blast.  I promise it won’t be too terribly awkward even if it is a roomful of women.  (Sometimes women get awkward, but that’s another whole post.)

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Truth or Dare:  Do you budget?

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Merry Christmas and Here’s to as Few Fits, Tantrums, and Outbursts as Possible

I’m hoping for a Christmas miracle.  We already got snow, so I’m hoping that we’re in for a few more miracles since they’ve started so early.

I just want to publicly confess my tensions rising as Christmas draws nearer and nearer.  I love it.  I couldn’t be more excited.  I’m pretty much a 5 year old on the inside.  However, I also feel like it’s a bit of a ginormous freight train headed right for me and I’m powerless to stop it.  ha  That might even be a bit of an understatement.  hehe *wicked giggle*

5 days of multiple big family events.  The pressure of opening gifts in front of people.  The pressure of giving gifts in front of people.  The pressure of sharing food that I cooked/baked.  The pressure of my children’s reactions and behaviors.  The pressure of being away from my house and my routine.  I feel like I’m about to be hit by a train or better yet, trapped in a pressure cooker.

I’m going to go ahead and spare myself and you all the awkwardness.  My children will melt down.  My children will awkwardly ask for more presents.  My children will not like what you got them, or they’ll like what you got their sister more.  My children will make a mess or break something.  My children will act their age, which, as of tomorrow, will be 3 and 4, and as of Christmas, will be 3 and 5.  Yep, I’m going to remind you that not only is it Christmas, but also their birthdays.  My children will not say thank you.  They will forget your name.  They will certainly embarrass me and maybe you too.  But to be fair, I’m probably going to embarrass myself too.  I’ll forget your name.  I won’t like what you got me.  You won’t like what I got you.  Or, I’ll have forgotten to buy you a present.  You won’t like my food.  You won’t like something.

There.  It’s over.  The awkwardness is over.  The tension over waiting for it to come is over.  It’s inevitable anyways, there is no perfect Christmas.  There are no perfect children.  There are no perfect family events.  There are no perfect cousins, aunts, uncles, grandmas, grandpas, nieces, nephews, spouses, siblings, etc., etc.

I’ve taken the pressure off.  Unplug the stupid pressure cooker.  Now that I have reminded myself that my desire for a perfect event and my unrealistic expectations is ridiculous I feel better.  Maybe I can actually enjoy the holidays, my children, and the family events.

Afterall, it’s really not about the stuff, the beauty of my children, the pressure on the family events, it’s about baby  Jesus.  And who doesn’t love a baby?  Especially a baby that is Jesus.  Nothing beats being unconditionally loved, accepted, wanted, treasured, gifts poured out on, an always available shoulder and lap, the pressure taken off, fought for, and made new.  Everything on my list.

Let me be singing when the evening comes.

Wouldn’t that be great?  To still be singing when the evening comes.  To know that we survived Christmas and actually enjoyed it and felt loved and fought for.  I think for me the goal is going to be singing His song this Christmas and not my own.  Thank goodness for baby Jesus.  And maybe, just maybe, I’ll sing like never before on this Christmas.

It is, afterall, a birthday party.  Happy Birthday, baby Jesus!

And Hannah Grace.  (Dec 25)

And Leah Noel (Dec 21)

Women are intimidating. Or are they?

So, I’ve been having an ongoing conversation with my great friend.  It has to do with women.  You see, it seems like we, as women, tend like to convince everyone, but especially other women, that we are perfect.  There are certainly exceptions, but I think as a whole our tendency is to let everyone else think we’re really great at everything, that we have no weakness or flaws, and that they should want to be our best friend.

I’m totally guilty.  I want you to think that I’m good at everything and that I really do have it all together.  I’m going to act like I did not just yell and rush my husband and my kids to get us all dressed and ready and to whatever event we’re going to.  Dressed impeccably, if at possible.  Which isn’t really possible with a husband or girls that actually do have an opinion on what they wear and refuse to be my little dolls to dress up at my whim.  Lame, right?  They’re ruining my perfect image with their mismatched clothes and wrinkles.

Here’s the other thing, I’m not that girly.  I don’t want to be best friends with everyone.  I’m not going to every bridal shower, baby shower, or women’s event that I get invited to…mostly because they’re usually lame and I am easily bored.  If I really like you or have nothing else to do and need a break from my own kiddos then maybe I’ll come.  But, c’mon, sitting around in a group of ladies gets a little awkward and uncomfortable and the shallowness usually gets on my nerves so I’m going to take the easy way out and just skip it all together.  Besides we usually are too busy comparing ourselves to each other to really enjoy it anyways.  I don’t really need to know that I don’t measure up, that I’m not wearing the trendiest clothes, and that I’m not the wittiest, most amazing woman in the room.  I already know all those things.  Or maybe I’m the only one that does that.  In that case, you can just go ahead and tell me I’m the crazy one.

Why am I blabbing on about this?  Well, I’m pretty sure that all this has a big impact on women in the church.  We would rather have fake shallow relationships and do all the right things and look all the right ways than have actual, meaningful, deep, genuine relationships with other women.  What’s the barrier?  Our own sin.  For me, it’s what I described.  I would rather impress you and keep up my image than let you in to my real world.

Except, God’s not allowing me to do that.  I simply can’t live the lie for long.  Go ahead, ask me something real.  Something really hard.  I have a hard time not being drawn into that kind of conversation.  Truth is, I long for that kind of conversation.  I’m one of those girls that’s a really bad liar.  I want to know and be known in community.  And I can’t for the life of me get Titus 2:3 – 5 out of my head.  And as much as I’d like to pretend I’m not old…I’m pretty sure at this point in my life I’m starting to become one of the “older women”…at least to some people.  Dang age.

So, this is probably the first rant of many on having genuine, deep, impacting relationships with other women.  We’re commanded to do it.  It’s really not optional.  We all secretly want it.  So, how do we do it?

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Who have you let in your life?  No holds barred, no question off limits, no time is a bad time, kinda friendship?

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Soap and Vaccines

I guess there is always kool-aid to to be drunk (drank?  not an English major here sorry).  The question is which side will you get the kool-aid from?

I am at the beginning of my hippie journey.  I’m asking for your grace and good questions as I seek earnestly to make wise choices for myself and my family.  You may think I’m weird, but as my momma always said, “Everybody’s weird except me and thee and sometimes I wonder about thee.”

Bear with me, here is part of my journey.  I have always had dry skin, basically since I came out of the womb.  I can remember as a little girl itching and scratching til I bled.  My mom used Tide at the time and we finally realized I was allergic.  I haven’t used Tide since then, but have still struggled with dry skin.  I’ve been to the dermatologist since I was in high school for acne and dry skin.  I was diagnosed with Xerosis (dry skin).  I use chap-stick and lotion like a fiend.  I’ve seen several different dermatologists and tried more commercial soaps and lotions and chap-sticks than I can tell you.  I still itched and scratched and basically just kept trying whatever new lotion they suggested.

This past summer my friend was making some soap and I decided to try a bar.  I figured it couldn’t be any worse and at least in the summer I wasn’t quite as dry.  You can imagine my shock when it actually worked.  I was better.  I even managed to stop using lotion on the days that I didn’t shave.  (Shaving still does a number on my skin so I started making lotion to use on those days.)  My husband’s back acne is gone when he uses homemade soaps.

I’ve done some reading and from what I can tell the commercially made soaps have the glycerin removed (to sell separately for more money), but removing the glycerin takes away its skin moisturizing and softening properties.  They use additives and fragrances which also irritate  sensitive skin.  I’m not sure as to the oils and fats they use, I’m going to assume that they are not the high quality skin nourishing kinds because of cost and my own experience.  Whether all that is true or not, I can’t say for sure, but what I do know is that homemade soap has literally done wonders for my skin (and my husbands).

So, I can’t for the life of me figure out why my dermatologist never suggested anything other than the commercially made store bought soaps.  If they are experts in their field and in the corresponding skin related products then why do suggest products that have glycerin removed and other harsh additives included.  It just seems like they maybe don’t know quite as much as we expect them to know.  If they couldn’t help my skin not itch, which was supposed to be their specialty, then what other things do we expect from our doctors that they are not experts in and are not capable of.  I’m pretty sure that they get lotion samples and other medicine samples from pharmaceutical companies wishing to peddle their own products for their own bottom line.  Some of the lotion samples I used simply were horrible, but I continued to see the same samples every time I went.

I guess what I’m saying is that in the end it was my own research and trial and error that gave me the best results.  If I can’t trust my dermatologist to be willing to research and include more than commercially made, mass produced, pharmaceutical pushed products why should other doctors be any different?  Why should I not ask the hard questions about bigger topics, like vaccines?

What if what we’ve been told isn’t correct regarding vaccines?  What if there’s more out there than we know regarding the long-term negative affects of these vaccines?  What makes these doctors and pharmaceutical companies and agencies more trust worthy than my dermatologist?  What if they don’t know best for everyone?  What if?

That’s all I’m asking, what if?  What if we don’t have all the information?  I still have a ton of questions and not a lot of answers.  I know that some vaccines are certainly helpful.  But are all of them necessary?  Do they really need to be given to infants?  I wish there was an easy clear-cut answer.

I also wish that there was no cancer and no other diseases but there are.  We can’t get rid of everything by a shot.  We can’t keep eating the crap that companies want to sell us to make them more money.

I can’t keep using commercially made soap that’s not good for me.  No more itching.  Not for me anyways.  They can keep the kool-aid thank you very much.

Maybe people like me wouldn’t be so mistrusting of vaccines, doctors, companies, agencies, and government if we hadn’t seen more often than not them lying to manipulate people and make more money.  So, whether it’s soap or vaccines, the real problem is that I’ve been manipulated and lied to and now the consequences are that I don’t trust them.

And I certainly don’t want their kool-aid.

Yeah, I’m good at that

So my sister-in-law said something the other day that really caught me off guard.  She was talking about how open I am about my faults and that I’m lovely.  Isn’t she sweet?  🙂  I think she’s pretty fabulous and she’s taught me a lot in the last couple years.  Anyways, her comment made me really aware of something.  I’ll explain.

I try very hard to be real and genuine.  Sometimes maybe more so than you (or I) wish.  ha  Women, men too, but I’m more familiar with the female version since the majority of my relationships and conversations are with ladies, tend to hide.  Thanks a lot, Eve.  We hide our faults and our sins.  Especially in the Christian world.  Afterall, we wouldn’t want the “non-Christians” to think we “sin” and “struggle”, now would we?  Newsflash: we sin and struggle.  Just like “them”.  Only we have Jesus.  Thank goodness.  Newsflash: He makes the difference, not you.  Not me.

Moving on.  I am very aware of my faults.  I hide them, to be sure.  But, I try very hard in life and in my blog-life to be legit in where I’m at and what I’m processing.  Now, in my blog-life I do try to protect the innocent and blah blah blah, but I give you as much info as feels safe for those in my life.  I keep my swearing to a minimum and keep people nameless…that’s pretty nice of me, right?

Well, here’s the big kicker.  We, people (and especially “Christians”) also hide what we’re good at.  Boo.  We call it humility and condemn the boastful.  But, what if, maybe, just maybe, we shared what we’re good at??  If we share our strengths, talents, and goodness He might actually get more glory.  It’s his goodness that he gave us.  What if we actually claimed our goods and gave him the credit.  That might just make us all a little more real.  I get pretty freaking tired of hiding…I’m supposed to hide my faults and my goodness, ugh, it just makes me tired and quite frankly it just makes me not me.

I think it would be terrific if we could learn to appreciate the goods of each other.  Shoot, if I could ask my friend Andrea to help me when I need to bake or if I could ask my friend Julia to help me run better or Katie to help me hem better or Kelly to help me dress better or Mom to help me know what books to read to the girls or Anna to help me pray in the moment with people or Alicia to help me Zumba better (may not happen, my hips just don’t move like that, but I could ask) or Sarah to help me be more natural or LaToya to help me not mind messes or Ashley to help me accessorize and “own my shit” and Aunt Denice to help me be compassionate and thoughtful and Husband to help me chill out and think things through and solve problems??  They get to use what they’re good at and I get better at what I’m not good at.  That sounds like a super fun world.  Seriously, makes me excited to think about people in my world helping me with what they’re good at.  Saves me time and energy and I get to have better relationships with my friends and family.  Super fun world filled with our goodness…God’s goodness given to us, lived out through us.  He gets the glory and the credit and we get his grace and his goodness.

And I named names and swore.

Lets be real people…good and bad.  We all have it.  Here are a few of my goods.  I can sew pretty well.  I can craft it up with the best of them.  I see the holes in plans and schedules.  I am really good with details and organizing.  I can cook decently well.  I can account and use excel.  I’m a good mom.  I’m a good wife.  I’m covered by his blood and that’s the best of all.

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What are your goods?  Go ahead, name them.  As many as you want.  I’d love to read them.   I’m excited to read them actually.

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Just Another Store…and Other Unrelated Things

Today was eventful.  Here’s a recap.  Not sure I can handle any more than a brief recap.

I loved Ikea.  I love the stuff I bought.  At the end of the day, it’s just another store.  And I now have more stuff.

I watched a BMW drive by and thought of the wise words of Husband.  It’s just a hunk of metal, plastic, and other parts…just like all the cars.  Since when did a name make it more cool.  I think God must look at us like we’re a bunch of crazies chasing after metal and plastic and stuff just cuz it’s painted certain colors with certain letters on it.  Lame.

A crazy creeper came to the fountain where Hannah & I were sitting and spread out random business cards along the rocks.  Then they blew away.  People are weird.

I have a strong-willed child.  I am a strong-willed child myself when she throws fits and I can’t force her into submission.  I then usually throw a fit myself because she won’t obey me.  I am not a great example of how to restrain your emotions.  Ugh.

I often respond out of ANTICIPATION of others’ judgement of me.

I don’t sleep.  Well, not well anyways.  Sucks that I have a sleep disorder.  I finally am starting to accept that I probably will never sleep well and that 8 hours of continuous pain-free sleep is a myth for me.  😦  😦  (That’s a double sad face in bold because I’m really sad.)

I have an ugly sinful heart and my God loves me all-the-time-no-matter-what.  And that’s what I tell my Banana, “I-love-you-all-the-time-no-matter-what.”

How do I live in that place instead of in the place of anticipation of others judgement?  Does anyone’s judgement of me matter?  ha  I am not judged a sinner condemned to hell by the God of the universe because the gospel and blood of Jesus covers my sinful ugly heart.  So, why the the hell would anyone else’s judgement mean a damn thing to me if it can’t, in fact, damn me to hell?  And you know, all I can think as I type those words is fear of people’s judgement of that sentence.  Ridiculous.  Jesus, change my heart, because, you, God of the universe, already love me “all-the-time-no-matter-what”.

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Do you fear judgement from others?

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