Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Fast Forward

Quick update: married & pregnant.

life lessons:

1. when you marry your opposite who you have a handful of philosophies and interests in common (like 3) then life is a challenge in being more open.

2. marriage is hard work even if you love someone so much that it makes you cry when you watch a romantic movie and one lover dies (obviously because you could never imagine living without your partner)

3. hard work does not mean planning more date nights or being more romantic. it means compromising when you don't want to. it means sticking around when someone is mad and says something hurtful. it means talking through those communication fumbles and being on the same team when you'd rather root for the other. it means being firm on the things that are important and letting go on the things that really are just more of social constructs.

4. mad respect for moms. pregnancy is a beast and i've never had my body betray me in every imaginable way. our maker designed us to start living a life of flexibility, compassion, understanding, and sacrifice before the child even enters into our post-utero world. i feel more prepared for child birth, long waking hours, sleeplessness, being uncomfortable, diaper rashes, and many other unmentionables (not that i have a problem but my mother would say it's unladylike to talk about bowel movements).

5. i can get rid of stuff. this has been the hardest thing but recently, i find myself throwing away things i have stored for years: clothes, decorations, gift wrapping, items i "might" use one day, etc. i'm finally making room for my husband and my child by shedding some of me - the unused and cluttered parts of me to make room for an even better version of myself.

6. i look around at my unkempt house and it hits me why keeping a clean house is so important now that i'm becoming a mother. this is the environment which i will raise another human being. is it okay to forget the chores every now and then? to me, yes. BUT the environment is so much mentally healthier when everything is in its place. [our bedroom is awful right now].

7. being controlling has worked for me in the past [safety and anxiety relief] but it doesn't work when you are married. learning to trust the man in my life has been the hardest thing but i'm convinced he is the only person who could help me with this issue. still a work in progress and i'm sure we have a lot more learning to do once the baby comes.

8. i will only recommend marriage to those who want a difficult life. to those who are willing to see what they are made of and to really learn about sacrifice, compromise, and commitment. In the world of choosing a mate by swiping left or right based on a person's looks and interests - i think we are losing touch with what we are pursuing. it's not a hot date or even a companion - but a commitment.

In college when i was single, I could easily spend time with 5 different guys in 2 weeks. men were dispensable. I had a boyfriend for 3 years but the commitment was an issue for each of us - we just weren't 100% about marriage. Not until I met Bryce did i learn what commitment meant. He sticks to his word and 99% of the time never goes back on it unless i make him be flexible. I change my mind often. i'm a feeling person. so if i don't feel like doing something - even if i have promised, i go with my feeling. there is some personal history, logic, and reason behind this - but it does not make a marriage.

some days i "feel" like i hate Bryce because he won't listen to me or do what i ask. he says things where i end up feeling upset. in that moment i think, "i'm done." and guess what, my personal history says that i would be done. it's my little safeguard for my heart. when it starts to feel stomped on - i just remove myself, my feelings, and my brain. "out of sight, out of mind." Bryce never let me do this and i will be a better person because of this. i truly adore him but i've developed some unhealthy patterns to protect myself from users/abusers. again, that does not make for a healthy, happy, or lasting marriage.

9. having my own interests is important. i have always waited around for a guy and got into whatever he did. dang, that's boring. there's only so much you can do with another person and then it just comes down to watching a ton of tv together.

10. pregnancy has a way of taking away all of your interests because your body can't keep up. i was super excited about doing theater again, even small parts, but now it's almost out of the question. but at least i have found something i am excited to explore again: theater and tennis. i'm hoping to do crafting, writing, or pursuing a side project in the next couple of years if possible. i also want to spend time in the wild with my family and take my son outdoors. my dad intentionally took us camping, hiking, and exploring and i hope to do that with my son. Bryce is more of a builder/maker/strategist so i expect him to teach those skills.

overall, i am intrigued with this part of my life and just saying "I do" instead of... "well, let me think about it, analyze it, and see if there is a statistically significant chance this might work." Sometimes jumping in and making that commitment to a path has its own set of rewards.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Rock Being Single & Living Alone

Being single can feel utterly lonely, especially if you are living in a new city away from old friends and family. People have their cliques, are coupling up, getting married, having kids and you are like...I guess I'll stay at work until 8pm. Your dishes stack up, there are piles of clothes in every corner of your living areas, and let's face it...there are few reasons to stop binge watching Netflix and eating cereal in bed.

Just stop. You are better than this. Don't wait to live your life when you find a companion. Here are some helpful things to rock being single and not daydream about the day you'll have a lifetime roommate before it's the right person.

1. Stock toilet paper within arms reach of toilet. REPLENISH FREQUENTLY. Have a backup pack in storage. This is often overlooked but VERY important.

2. Stock Gatorade, sinus/cold/flu/NyQuil and nasal spray and soup for sick days. You might have friends but most will stay far away from you if they suspect your house is covered in tissue paper (also a good reason to stock up on toilet paper).

3. Have a pe that forces you out of bed on the weekends. They'll cuddle, keep you company, and give you someone to talk to...even if you are fussing at them.

4. Some might say keep fridge stocked with beer & wine but I say keep frozen fruit in little bags for those snacky-bored times. Healthy option and won't make you depressed like alcohol does to your system.

5. Keep a yoga at, weights, and computer/tv hook up so you can exercise at a moment's notice when bored and no one is free to hang out.

6. Stay in at least two nights a week to clean, do laundry, and spend some quiet time reading, meditating and getting your spiritual health check-up.

7. Have one night a where you invite neighbors or acquaintances to dinner or dessert. This might be the scariest thing for an introvert or someone with low self-confidence. Just do it.

8. Bake for your neighbors or do something thoughtful. Again...connections.

9. Get rid of clutter and donate items to a real charity, not just Goodwill (a multi million dollar company).

10. Decorate our house - please don't seep on a mattress and furnish your house with milk crates and other dumpster finds. Create a living space you would be proud of having these new neighbors and friends over to. Splash some paint on the walls and a few mirrors or splurge on thrift store finds that make up a cool eclectic vibe. Thrift store furniture can be amazing with some paint, new handles, and good placement.

11. Save money for emergencies - at least $1000. This will help you continue living on your own without moving back in with your parents. It will be tempting and they may dangle "free rent" over your heads....but here is the secret....they don't want you to get married or to live as an adult. They want you to hang around and be their baby forever even if they push you to "grow up." It is a trick!

12.Call your college friends regularly - not facebook them - call them. At least once a month.

13. Take mini-trips even during the workweek to explore nature trails, sites within 2 hours of where yo live: hike, kayak, caoe, swim, bike, etc.

14. Have a standing date night once a month with a good friend.

15. Join a non-profit board or young professionals group. Get on a committee that you can really make a difference in.

16. Go to the doctor regularly for check-ups. It may cost about $150 a year, but it will help out down the road and prevent anxieties about bigger bills (cavities for example).

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

One Life to Live

Heard a movie quote saying "I just have one life to live and I want it to mean something."

That's about where I am right now. I'm busting my ass at work doing my part to make the world a little bit better in this moment for kids in Jacksonville and for people who work with kids here.

My personal life is hell because I've never really cared about myself. I have everything I want but it's disheveled and at any moment's notice could fall off the rocky cliff it's hanging on to with a blow of a mood swing or lack of sleep.

Some people wait for Jesus to save them - but all of my praying and singing hasn't made me feel whole. It's the quiet moments in peace that brings me back to life. I came to a realization this week that I don't think I know Jesus. I thought I did my whole life. Then, I realized he lived a long time ago. I've made up the Jesus that I love in my head. His image brings me comfort, reassurance, and rest.

"Come to me you who are weary and heavy-burdened and I will give you rest." That puts my racing mind to ease - soothing my anxious mind. But that doesn't make him present with me or even culturally relevant as a white American middle class single female.

This week I've felt a sense of mortality and I don't want to live pleasing other people. I don't want to carry a label over my head and I don't care to assign them to others either. This is huge for me when it comes to living out my faith. From what I've experienced being with and around people is that to me, The whole point of belief in a god is hope and connecting to ourselves/others.

Everyone practices their own version of faith (especially inside of faith traditions). Most people get ideas from their god (prophesies) and judgements. All of them are so different. How can Christians say Mormons are whack when we believe that Paul heard Jesus and was preached to after Jesus died. Muslims think Christians are evil (Westerners) but they murder each other in the streets and rape women as a part of their faith.

To say one is right and another is wrong is an interesting concept. Who can TRULY know? Isn;t that the whole point of faith? That you cannot know but must have a supernatural power to believe in that which we cannot see?

I really like people who believe in God - the spirit of people, love, forgiveness, encouragement, compassion, mercy, and justice. I just don't understand why we give so much authority to pastors to reveal truth when in reality we need spiritual guides. People who help guide us to look inward and grow, to shake off fear - insecurities - hate - narcissism - vanity - etc. People who guide us to live sacrificially, accept others, and show kindness to the vulnerable populations instead of preach fear of people who are different.

So, with this said. I have one life and I want it to mean something. I don't want to live in a shell of fear of not knowing or living in limbo with my faith. I just want to blossom and create a happy home starting with my spirit.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

This American Life

"If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world." CS Lewis

In My Head
Lately, just been feeling incomplete. Yearning for more and learning life is just a progression of the next step. Why go to college? So you can get a job. Why get a job? So you can earn money. Why earn money? So you can buy stuff. Why buy stuff? So you can impress people and get a date. Why get a date? So you can maybe get married. Why get married? So you can have kids. Why have kids? So you can be happy and raise them to do all the things mentioned earlier. It's just a non-stop cycle of repeating humanity.

Coming To Terms
In order to be at peace with my life, my choices, and the things I can't control I look to eternity and find hope in the crucifixion of Christ. I'm just human and there is a certain order to our life here, but because of Christ, I get the chance to be born-again and live a resurrected life. A life undetermined by human standards and instead a life of freedom from that cyclical bondage. A life where I get full support in my identity, healing from my past life, and unconditional love from my maker. I get to have adopted family members from all-over the world as brothers and sisters in Christ --- totally demolishing segregation, intolerance, and narcissism that culture emits. #selfie #girlsnight #america

Right now, I'm in a desert when it comes to my life as a Christian. I feel dried out, thirsting for drink but feeling hopeless to finding an oasis. Too scared to even start the journey to seek, worried that there's nothing out there or it's all just been a mirage.

Holy Spirit Makeover
When I think of my life as a follower of Christ, I can imagine starting off it would look pretty much the same. I'd go to a Bible Study or Life Group but it would feel insincere and unnatural (social awkwardness and intimacy issues due to childhood bullying). Over time, maybe something would happen like real spiritual connectedness and growth. Instead of plumping up on theological head knowledge, it would start to change my heart.

Maybe all of the things I yearn for would start happening because I wouldn't be living in a way to satisfy my body, but my soul. The past 10 years I've been living to satisfy my loneliness by filling it with activities and boyfriends. That's a long f*ing time (curse word totally appropriate for that). Because of that I've missed out on building myself and who I want to be so that I can be who someone else might want from me. Maybe I could have grown into maturity and done what I've actually wanted to do since I was 20…. being a foster mom.

What Now?
Instead of just making changes, I need to start with a heart operation. It's been dead under the premise of being alive. Artificially pumping from the American pacemaker. Apparently, the real Gospel of Christ (The good news preached by Jesus) is that by death to ourselves ---getting rid of the pacemaker --we actually get new life in the spirit and satisfy that which cannot be satisfied in the body.

Earthly things will always make me smile and happy: kittens, puppies, sweet tea, sunny days, hugs from my mom, watches, checklists, candles, good books, kissing, etc. Rarely will I be satisfied eternally and filled with joy or hope from these momentary things. On the other hand, knowing that I was created intimately and loved deeply makes all of those things sweeter. Instead of getting things to be happy, praying over things to know that it won't and to let go of our expectations (actually a pretty Buddhist ideology as well).

I'd like to get back to me, the unchained and healed version of me, so that I can live the life I was created for. No matter how simple. Culture wants us to believe we are special and kings of our life. Then reality hits and it's grossly depressing how ordinary we are meant to be. Extraordinary people aren't rich and famous but are courageous, upright, and honorable. Instead of sitting around watching other famous people on tv or shopping to look rich, I'm going to "do" instead of "be."I have started designing my house on my own without copying a pinterest or southern living photo. I am really looking forward to the building stage and metaphorically building the support to hold up an honorable life.

Peace. -LC

Friday, August 16, 2013

Rotting Beauty

I have to post this because it really freaked me out. Last night before bed I was reading some of Jesus's last teachings. He talked about how the religious leaders/pharisees were like beautiful moratoriums with dried rotting bones inside. They loved following the Jewish law but totally ignored these three things: justice, mercy, and faithfulness. He went so far as to call them "Vipers" which I'd assume is another word for Satan or the devil.

 Last night I dreamt that I was turned into a witch by a very beautiful witch leader. We had these cool powers and such but she was dark and bitter. I asked her if I could still get pregnant and she laughed because now we were rotting on the inside/womb was dead but still beautiful on the outside

. It just hit home what I had read and how on the outside we can have everything together, know every bible verse, do good works, be convinced that we are incredibly wise/intelligent but without being born with a new heart then we are dead inside. 

Love is transformational and I think that was Jesus's message. The Gospel is good news because Jesus said I WILL DIE so that You can live and have a new spirit. Not one of greed and self righteousness  but true righteousness through God. 

He made this available to all people in the world, not just the Jews or "chosen" people. Religion is mostly specific to a cultural group but his love is for all and the price has already been paid. You can't earn His love through prayer 5x a day, through sacrifice, or abstaining from eating beef/pork, or making shrines. 

Micah 6:8 is one of my favorite verses from the Old Testament: and what does The Lord require of you? To act justly, love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. 

Jesus gives the insight of godliness when the disciples admonish Jesus for spending time with children (only those with faith like a child will enter the kingdom of heaven) and with women who shower him with tears and love (he cared deeply for women and showed them great justice and mercy in a culture/time period so quick to stone them or sell them for marriage). 

Love God & Love people were the two greatest commands...

So now that I have insight to what rotting from the inside is like I'm drawn closer to love God for redeeming me of this fate. My goal is not to be a Christian just so I can get good gifts and go to heaven but to be transformed and alive from the inside out! My life here and now will be complete and I'll be alive and free from the bondage of the temporary advertisements of this world. Get rich quick, be beautiful with this new surgery, just buy this and you'll be happy consumer mentality. Instead, I'll fill it with grace, love, mercy. Live out a life worthy of His death. And be resurrected with his love.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Justice and Wisdom

Justice systems on earth will never be perfect because mankind is made up of individual beings whose individual needs and beliefs are different from the others. How can this be when our souls cry out for justice? Absolute Justice has no bounds of race, religion, or creed. Where do we get this concept of justice from even when it may not be consistent in our world?

This is a great passage from the Bible, Proverbs 21:

"All a man's ways seem right to him, but the Lord weighs the heart." -verse 2

"To do what is just and right is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice." -verse 3

"Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked, are sin!"

"The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty."

"A fortune made my a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a deadly snare."

"The violence of the wicked will drag them away, for they refuse to do what is right."

"The way of the guilty is devious, but the conduct of the innocent is upright."

"The Righteous One takes note of the house of the wicked and brings the wicked to ruin."

"If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered."

"When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to the evil doers."

"A man who strays from the path of understanding comes to rest in the company of the dead."

"He who loves pleasure will become poor; whoever loves wine and oil will never be rich."

"He who pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor."

"The sluggard's craving will be the death of him, because his hands refuse to work. All day long he craves for more, but the righteous give without sparing."

"A wicked man puts up a bold front, but an upright man gives thought to his ways."

"There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord."

"The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord." -verse 31

Now I left out a few verses, mostly about keeping away from a nagging wife. We see a lot of truth in these proverbs from Solomon, the wise king giving his heir his most valuable treasure: wisdom.

In the midst of unrest over the way we handle justice, I would suggest this: let's all work together to solve the real problem. Let's love our God, love our children, and love our neighbors. If we work together to end crime and not encourage a culture of hate and violence against women or minorities then we won't find another Trayvon Martin case.

We will create community based on love and must trust that trusting in Jesus can heal wounds made by man. Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice and unjustly died a criminal's death. His resurrection redeemed all of man and created equality between free and slaves, Jew and non-Jew, man and woman, gay & straight, colored skin and white, educated and uneducated. So cry out to your Abba, Father and proclaim your inheritance and ask for wisdom and justice! Galatians 3:26-29, 4:1-7

We must take a moment and look inward, no matter how painful it might be to find that plank in our own eye. But don't just find it; remove it. How are we each working to end a culture of hate for our brothers and sisters? While protest brings attention to issues, let's do the real boots on the ground work. Let's go into the Sanderfords, Jacksonvilles, and New Yorks to keep kids off the streets, women from being trafficked as sex slaves, and men from lifestyles of addiction and abuse.

Saturday, June 29, 2013


It is a human right to experience freedom in yourself. Bondage to the ideology of the officials in power creates hostility in peaceful people. God is not a politician, not a race, not a sexual being, not a man in body, but a spirit and creator of ALL people. To assign these attributes as better or less than is not of God.

The attributes we can assign to God are love, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and justice to name a few. These are the law: Love the Lord your God and love your neighbor as yourself. To break these are sin. I am convinced of this and there will be justice for how you spend time in your physical body.

Our ideas about the value of people have changed over time with more exposure to the heart of people and education. We are all human. There are evil people but that is not determined by who you love but by how you love. If you love someone by controlling them, putting them down, raping, abusing then that is evil. You cannot both love and despise someone at the same time. Jesus said, if you harbor hate in your heart someone, you have broken the commandment, "Though shalt not commit murder." If one of you causes a child to stumble then you are accountable.

I teach my students the law of physics when we discuss anger and violence. "For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction." We discuss exactly what the equal reaction to hate would be and the opposite reaction. Then we discuss the consequences and benefits to both. They get to choose their reaction. When you stir anger, the equal reaction feels good in the moment and builds pride. The opposite reaction takes longer to find justice but ends in peace.

I say all of this because I am angry. I am angry about injustice everywhere and that it takes so long to understand and love each other. I hate that in other countries they use violence against men, women, and families because of unwillingness to connect. They torture and murder people of different races, skin colors, and religions. In Sudan and countries around the world Christian pastors and believers are imprisoned for years and tortured: ripping out fingernails, castration, regular beatings, etc. In GITMO people are imprisoned secretly for years and tortured without due process. People die from starvation around the world when I throw half of my food away because it's too much.

I feel powerless but I hold onto the sayings of Martin Luther King, Jr. "Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." That is what being Christ-like is about.

Recommended movie of the week: "Skin" a story of a South African woman who is a light skinned African born by blood to two white parents. She endures incredible prejudice, even by her own family. Can be seen on Netflix Instant streaming.

Recommended reading: research stories about Near Death Experiences. The after-life is real and the stories are very similar. The message everyone generally gets when they choose whether to go back to their body is to love people and to stop living a life of hate. There are people missing from the afterlife. The people who proclaimed no God and were atheists faced an eternity of void and darkness. Read up on it and discover for yourself.

1 Corinthians 13

If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.