Let’s Be Different Than the Haters

So I don’t usually talk politics. I have my viewpoints and I don’t want to create any tension with those I love. I am just really struggling with some of the things I’m seeing in the media so I hope my friends read this, knowing my heart and my love for people.  I’m not ‘YAY Trump’ or anything… I don’t agree with a lot of his politics and views or how he communicates.  However, I don’t see what in this latest press conference regarding Charlottesville screams that he supports racism/slavery (please watch it now if you haven’t seen it in full – don’t wait until you’re done with this blog entry, simply because I hope what I have to say will cover all the annoyance you will be feeling lol).

What I saw was that he said there were violent protesters on both sides and peaceful protesters on both sides. He didn’t say Nazi’s and White Supremacists were good people and he said the people showing up in black clothes with bats in their hands were ‘bad’. He called the woman who died an incredible woman and the man who killed her, a murderer. I mean… he repeated himself 3546875154 unnecessary and obnoxious times, so I don’t understand why this is being said about him with this particular conference?

I’m not saying he’s not frustrating to listen to and arrogant; he talks about his money, property, and how great he is a lot and it’s annoying… I just don’t get why the snippet of the conference, out of context of what he’s saying, that leaves out the part where he specifically clarifies that he’s not supporting Nazi’s and White supremacists, declaring him as hateful and racist for saying there were *some* violent people on the side of those who wanted the statue to come down as well as *some* peaceful people on those protesting the statue coming down.  I guess I feel like the guy has enough issues without having to twist something out of context to make an example of it. I don’t understand.

Just to make it clear, I am pro-life: black lives matter, I hear their cry to be seen and heard, and empathize with their need for love, compassion, and support; I cry for the babies who have been aborted; I mourn for the children abandoned; I grieve with those who’ve endured abuse; I rally with men and women overcoming trauma; and I stand up for those who need a helping hand and who struggle with standing up for themselves. I am anti-slavery, racism, violence, and hate. I believe all people deserve respect, no matter how different our views are. I believe each of us and our own personal journey’s matter and that we all have a basic human need and right to be heard and loved.

I don’t support Nazi’s or White supremacists. I don’t support black people murdering white people. I don’t support those who agree with slavery. I also see how our history lifts up people who did support slavery… it was sadly, a cultural norm at one point, so there are those historical figures who had slaves.  I do recognize however that as culture shifted, and the norm changed, that black men and women who have made a historical impact on our nation have also been recognized as they should be! It shows how we can learn, grow, be enlightened, and ultimately make changes in a huge way.  Both realities matter! Where we were and what we were brought through to get to where we are reveals the power we all have to make a change.

For some perspective on what I’m saying.  I don’t agree with abortion. It grieves me to know millions of children have not lived their lives due to this act of violence done against them… however, it’s a cultural norm. I’m seen as the odd one and non-progressive for that viewpoint.  I’m seen as perhaps one might also view a slave owner, as though I’m oppressive to women in some way because I care for the lives of these children.  However, you will not find me protesting the statues that our culture puts up as a mark of our history, revering and promoting the abortion industry. Why? Because it doesn’t change hearts. It’s my heart, that someday, people will begin to see the lives of the unborn as valuable and precious. As valuable and precious as the women carrying them in their womb.  I stand for them both.

If there comes a day that our culture shifts, and we all agree that the lives of the unborn are sacred, we will see in our history, a culture who celebrated abortion, that was brought through to get to a place that celebrated LIFE.

Much like I am looking forward to the day where we celebrate life, and how these little people impact our lives and the lives around us, where we see the opportunity to sacrifice a selfishness inside of us to love and cherish a vulnerable, fragile, and beautiful creature that offers an unconditional love in return, a love that changes our insides straight to the core, and that wrecks our perception of everything we ever thought was important… as much as I am looking forward to that day, I am also looking forward to the day we celebrate variations of skin color, that we see the beauty in people and how our differences help us learn, grow, and inspire. That we’d see all violence as wrong and not justify it.  That we stand for kindness and stand for historical change, but not try to erase what’s brought us to where we’re going: because it’s in seeing it in our history that we learn the importance of why we should never go back!

I hope whomever has read this far has heard my heart… I’m not a Trump supporter. I also wasn’t a Bush or Obama supporter. I want God’s best offer for our country and I have had to settle for the presidents we’ve had since being old enough to vote.  I see good in all of our presidents but I don’t agree with everything they’ve done. Ultimately, I see them for what they were and seek to impact change in the small part of the world I’m a part of. If we all do that, through love and respectful communication, I believe we can make a difference. Violence won’t; focusing on the violent and grouping the peaceful with them as though they too are violent, won’t; nor will ignoring the violent and grouping them together with those who are peaceful as though they all were peaceful.

I hope whomever has read this far sees what I’m saying in context… in context of who I am as a person, in the entirety of my views, affections, and character, and with the compassion I have for those who so desperately want to be heard.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, but I respectfully request that you be kind. This is a hot topic for sure, and I want your thoughts heard, but I also would like to be spoken to appropriately about it. Love and kindness, honor and respect, start with at least two people. Communication and dialogue clears the path for insight, understanding, and perspective. Let’s be different than the haters. Thanks for reading. 🙂

Hold on to me…

A baby
placed into your life,
Vulnerability and defenselessness
The purest form,
You wouldn’t give
You only took
She was there
Bare and begging
Empty and alone
He broke her
He stripped her
She lost herself
He ruined her
You did nothing.

You were blind
Pretending you could see
You saw
And did nothing.
You heard her cries
Your own needs
They screamed louder
You turned away
You never looked back
And when she was gone
You pointed your finger
She was the pain

How could you?
She stayed quiet
That wasn’t enough.
She sought you out
You regretted nothing.
She spoke the words
That pissed you off.
You blamed the darkness
You learned nothing.
You shut her down
She walked off.

She was unsteady
She was unsure
You yelled at her
Trust her?
You couldn’t.
Look at her.
Just look at her.
You said it.
You didn’t get the emotion.
You scared her…
She just wanted love.

Hold her…
She wanted you to touch her.
Love her…
She wanted to be special.
Kiss her…
She wanted to be loved.
He did…
He stole from her
Your love… was replaced
By trickery and confusion
You mocked her
You punched her with your words
She was broken
And you stepped on her pieces

You had peace
But where was hers.
You forgave yourself
But never showed her
You moved on
You left her
She was wounded
And you were gone.

Daddy, your daughter needed you.
Mama, I was all alone.
Our house never felt like home.
I needed you to be there
I was shaken and alone
You moved on.
Mother you hated him
It was all you could see
But I was there
Wishing you’d come to me
Father, you weren’t there
You abandoned us all
You left me scared.

Forgive.
Forget.
Move on.
But you haven’t.

You’re still putting your responsibility on me.  Sitting in silence as if you don’t know.

He disrespected, deceived, and confused me and now you do the same.

Don’t you see? Don’t you see me and what you’re doing?

Blame me… but I won’t apologize for reacting to what you’ve done.
This isn’t about the past. This is about today.

You were never there… and you’re still not.

Your words hurt me and now your lack of them hurt me…

Say something.

Say the right thing.

And mean it.

 

Being Who I am…

I’m sitting here, listening to Karyn talk to herself as she plays… she’s so imaginative and creative, with so much enthusiasm… and Christopher just started talking to himself too… he’s sitting next to her and playing with his Mario toys, making them excitedly do math… neither of them are hesitant, embarrassed, hiding behind what is or isn’t cool or socially acceptable…

I’m so thankful for that…

I still remember, over 20 years later, when I made my stuffed animals talk to each other as I played by myself and someone coming up behind me and laughing at me. Poking fun at me that I was talking to myself. For all I know, they thought I was cute… but the impact left me embarrassed and paranoid that I was immature. I was just a kid being a kid, and I was embarrassed that I was being weird and different.

It’s spilled over into other areas of my life… how I clean my house, how I dress, how I walk to my vehicle or down the road or across a parking lot… it led me to stop wearing ski pants to go sledding because it made me look like a kid…

but I was a kid…

I’m so glad my kids are being kids and feel free within that realm of their childhood. They aren’t thinking about being kids… they just are.

I want to be that type of woman… not thinking about being who I am… just being who I am.

Moments

I watched a show where the mother of an adult woman passed away. They were close and had a friendship that I’ve never had with my parents… and I found myself grieving what I never had, and what I could never have, even if it’s another 30+ years before my parents pass away because that relationship of trust and security was never established.

Something I said to my husband the other night about it… I’m the grown up now and I have little ones looking to me to be what they need as their parents. I can’t dwell in what I didn’t/don’t have because it’s on me to provide it for these precious people. I’ve spent over a decade since becoming an adult searching, yearning, and desiring more from my parents, and now I feel I have to close that chapter and move on.

The desire isn’t gone, there is certainly overlap where I see myself momming my own little ones. With my oldest just a couple months from becoming a teenager, which was the most pivotal time in my young life and when everything fell apart, I see the need to let the broken and hurting parts of myself and the relationships it stems from to slip away. It’s not a lack of love, a lack of interest, or a lack of forgiveness… just simply less love and less interest, and a less important relationship to work through than the value in the one I have before me with my children. Nothing is more urgent than the energy and love I have to offer the babies that the Lord has entrusted to my care and if I’ve learned nothing from what I never had, it’s that no one can make that choice to be the parent that I needed, that my children needed, than the parent themselves. Me.

Parentless with parents was always a difficult position to be in… my parents live 10mins from me. They gladly, willingly, and even joyfully open their door to my growing family… they are there but there is a detachment present. Perhaps not for them, perhaps they don’t feel the disconnect and it’s something they don’t understand. I was oblivious to my need for them until my safety was shattered and all I wanted was them to fix what was broken… I was 13, searching for stable footing. Perhaps they could never repair it, no matter how they tried. All I know is that all I had was The Rock that I was standing on… I didn’t even acknowledge it was there, because I could only see the vast waters that surrounded me, empty but suffocating whenever I tried to step off. The only safety was on that Rock…

God was always just sitting there with me, and often I never noticed, much like a toddler keeps watch of their parents as they play but doesn’t notice their presence so much until they’ve returned from a trip to the store, and realized they weren’t right there, and how much they needed/wanted them. Sometimes this made me angry, because I longed to be scooped up and hugged, held, and loved on, showered with affectionate words of how special and important I was… but my parents were supposed to do that… instead, they had no idea how much I needed it and I had so many others filling my head that I was a horrible human.

I definitely fall short of where I could be, but I’m learning more and more of being comfortable in my skin and simply desiring to grow because that is inevitably what happens when you seek to be healthy and whole – not because I need to be better, not because I’m not good enough, not because I’m dirty or ruined. Simply because growing is what you do when you are loved and have value… and I am. I am loved. I am precious.

My parents were children once… they had siblings and they had to grow up and figure things out for themselves too. They had children and faced each other in marriage as they sought to survive and thrive and impart what they felt was best for their own family. I have compassion on them and what they had to work through… and I hope my children will give me grace and love through all my daily mess ups.

I envision the future with my children, seeing them marrying and having babies of their own, spending time with them and playing with them, passing on a legacy of love and compassion, hoping the message of their value in Christ sticks. I envision how I might respond to the mistakes I’ve made if they were to confront me with them and how I definitely wouldn’t respond. I don’t need validation anymore, but I did. I needed my parents to let me be angry at them and to say they were sorry. I needed them to say they wish they had done some things differently.

I don’t need that now. I still have anger, but I don’t need validation anymore. I don’t need them anymore… and now I’m faced with ‘what if they die’ what will I do. Will I be okay? Will I have wished I done things differently. Should I give them the time with my kids before they die? Am I hurting my kids if I don’t give that relationship to them? I’m left wondering what the right things to do are,what would make me a good daughter or a good mother or a good person? But ultimately, I just think about what’s going to help my family thrive.

I can’t be everything to everyone, and I am struggling with that, but I’m trying to embrace it. I’m simply not strong enough to be the daughter without what I need, as well as the mother I never had, for the children I’ve been given… trying to give all I am to them so they are not children without what they need… and perhaps this is how I’m without to begin with, because my parents couldn’t give me what they didn’t have themselves and were searching for it as well… but alas, that doesn’t change anything other than perspective, which is good because it leaves me aware but in the same place.

This is a moment… and I leave room for everything to change in any such moment… but I also acknowledge where I am in every moment also and this is where I am, counting each moment as precious in the lives of my children above all else as I walk out God’s calling on my life – to be a mother. The hardest, most rewarding, most challenging, most crazy-making thing I do… and right now, that’s all I have time for.

If someone makes it like I’m in a bad place or that I’m thoughtless of their own needs, then they don’t have my own kids’ needs in mind and they can wait. Anyone else who gets it, will get it and support that, and will wait willingly.

I am taking all I have to be closer to Jesus and pour everything I have into what God calls me to. It’s all about Him.

Being Considerate

In an effort to get out of my head a bit, I brought my husband to work today to get some things done since we have a full day tomorrow. Well, after getting our system situated to go grocery shopping, my six kids and I began to work our way through the busy store. It wasn’t long before I noticed that others were in a hurry and my six kids (well stationed around the cart so we can move through the aisles and I can see all of them, while also respecting that the aisles are shared space), and I were quite the inconvenience to those trying to enjoy their own shopping trips.

One lady actually glared at me that she had to walk around my two daughters in order to get to the other side of us. One elderly couple stood there grumbling, and after I gently and respectfully apologized and said ‘oops! we’re right in your way!’ the woman said, ‘yep!’ without cracking a smile. That was about 5 or so minutes into our mission at that particular store…

Add to that kids asking for things, me reminding them to walk with me, looking at my list, processing what I needed next, my oldest in lala land that I had to keep bringing back to the cart so I didn’t lose her, training my youngest ones to stay where I’ve told them to stay, and trying not to walk past any of the items I needed to get and needless to say, I was beginning to feel, well, angry. I was angry that these folks were upset that they had to pause for a moment or go about 3 feet out of their way on account of my family trying to live our lives in the same space. I can’t even imagine what they’d have thought of me if I had let my kids run wild if they were so disgusted with us in the manner we were moving along.

I can’t say I remained respectful, unfortunately. I had grace for about 4 people before I made a slight scene as I spoke to my children about how surprised I was at the people’s reactions to us simply trying to buy food for our home. Thankfully, my kids pointed out the kind man who winked at them, the man with a little boy who smiled and gladly let Kimberlyn say hi and talk to him; the woman who smiled and nudged her own teenage daughter and pointed at us… I don’t think anyone realizes how much these small moments mean to us.

I had to leave before I burst into tears. With only half my list completed, I hurriedly checked out and got the kids in the van before calling my husband and having a little cry on the phone. Mind you, this was our third stop. I’d already brought the kids to the bread store, the liquidation center, and they’d been in the van for about an hour so I could bring their Daddy to work to take the van. They were behaving quite well considering my expectations… so I was angry. What kind of expectations does society place on parents and children? I simply don’t understand.

Well, I’m not sorry for being in the way. I live here too. My being considerate of the time and efforts of others doesn’t mean my time and efforts aren’t important, it simply means I care for others as well as my own.

Thank you to all of you who take a moment to smile. Your kindness means a lot… my kids clearly noticed, and I’m so so grateful they do. They help me see the kindness when I’m struggling to do so.