Are you a Mary or a Martha?
What a great question. A question I repeated over and over again to myself at the 20th Anniversary event this past weekend. I was running around like a mad woman trying to find answers and solutions for the questions and problems. I didn’t get a chance to hear the message or soak in the worship. There was just too much to do, too many people to keep happy, too many tasks at hand.
To be honest I am a Martha, I keep busy, I’m the hostess with the mostest, and I never sit down. Why sit down when you can be running around keeping busy and looking stressed out?
Even at church on Sundays I’m keeping busy, journaling/taking notes from the sermon, running around assisting my mom, or teaching preschool. But that’s not necessarily a good thing. Always staying busy, running around, and being to hostess with the mostest isn’t something to be proud of.
Being available, being flexible, being willing to sit still, to pay attention to the present, and to focus on our surroundings is something to strive for. It’s something to actively pay attention to throughout the day.
Did I miss something because my hands were full and my mind was racing? Or was I available to my present? Was I aware of the people around me? Was I listening? Was I soaking it all in? All day long I need to be actively asking myself these questions.
Because my whole life will pass in the blink of an eye and all I will have to show for it are shallow business successes built on a jam packed day planner and stress induced medical problems. Not worth it.
It’s not worth missing out on relationships.
Quick thoughts I have as I’m waiting for A in the car pick up line.
What’s something small that completely ruins your mood? Take your time to think it through because I found out there are a lot more minor inconveniences I let get to me than I first thought.
Do you ever have two coffee cups in your car -one that’s new and one that’s from the day before…or maybe even older than yesterday? Have you ever accidentally taken a confident sip of the older coffee instead of the fresh new one? It definitely isn’t pleasant, it’s gross, its lumpy, but it shouldn’t be mood ruining. So why do I let that ruin my whole mood? Why do I become sour over that sip? Yes, pun intended.
Instead of being angry or overly irritated, I should be taking a step back from that tiny interaction and assess what’s really going on. Maybe it isn’t the fact that I just took a swig of something gross. Maybe I’m dealing with something deeper. Because something so small shouldn’t make me so angry so quickly. My day isn’t ruined, I’m just having a heart issue.
Minor inconveniences have a way of bringing heart issues to the surface. Why did I become so ticked off when that person didn’t use their turn signal? It didn’t do anything to ruin my day – I was just minorly inconvenienced and it irritated me way more than it should have. Today I am going to focus on my own heart issue when I’m quickly irritated.
Patience….patience….patience….I repeat to myself as I patiently wait for my coffee. I glance at the long line waiting behind me in the drive thru, I feel bad. Really bad. They all have places to be, and I feel as if I am holding them up. I notice through the window that the baristas are hustling with a smile. That’s huge – they’re running around short handed and it seems two of them are in training – but they’re smiling!
The barista hands me a venti frappuchino topped with a truck load of whipped cream. Ugh oh no. I ordered an iced latte with almond milk. I’m allergic to dairy. I profusely apologize and repeat what I ordered. She’s new. She feels bad. I tell her it’s okay not to worry about it, that I’m fine with what she handed me, but she turned around to remake my drink. She couldn’t stop apologizing. And with a smile I reassured her it was no big deal. I would have never had her make if it was a normal day but I’ve been up since four am and had no sleep.
I watch her make it, hot with whipped cream. I don’t have the heart to tell her that I am allergic to dairy. That I ordered an iced latte. And that I don’t have time to wait for another drink. I have to pick A up from school in twenty minutes. I thank her as she hands me the hot latte with whipped cream and tells me it’s on the house. I thank her again. She was trying her best to keep the smile on and not seem flustered. Mega props to her for keeping it together amidst frustration and unfamiliarity.
I’ve seen this same situation happen where the customer lost their minds at the new barista/cashier/bartender. And maybe they aren’t new, so what? Maybe they’re just having a really rough day. Maybe they had to put down their dog. Or they got some bad news. You don’t know what’s going on their life right now. Cut them some slack. Have some patience.
People seem to forget that the person behind the cash register is a human being. A person with feelings and a heart and a mind that is filled with everything all at once. So be a human being and take the coffee, thank them, tip them, and encourage them.
It’s easy to focus on the negative. To say, nothing good ever happens to me, when something goes wrong. Why does God hate me? Why does He not want me to be happy? I’ve been focusing a lot on the negative lately. The car accident, medical stuff, family stuff, financial stuff. A whole lot of stuff. It almost seems like the stuff never stops. I have a history of getting bitter instead of better. And that isn’t healthy, it isn’t healthy to carry around the heavy burden of anger and self pity. Being miserable all the time is exhausting. It’s also exhausting to those around you. You will notice that the more you focus on the negative, the stuff, the less people will want to hang around you.
Joy, happiness, positivity, those are inviting and encouraging. But miserableness, anger, bitterness, worry, those are uninviting. It’s vinegar for the soul. It’s a foul odor for those who used to want to be near you. Instead of being a drain on yourself and your family, friends, coworkers, etc…join me in trying to replace the bitterness with something better. I’m actively working on getting better. Better at this whole happiness thing.
Today I am asking the Lord what He wants me to learn from all of this stuff, and thanking Him for what He has blessed me with.
Sometimes (okay more than sometimes) it can be extremely difficult to stay positive, especially in crappy situations. Well lately most everything that escapes my mouth has been negative and filled with fear. I don’t like not being in control, and these past few weeks I have been very not in control of the situation. So here’s to adding a little bit more positivity in my day. Because I can’t change the situation…but I can change how I respond to the situation.
The world is a daunting place, filled with miserable nonsense and unfair situations. I didn’t ask to be born into this nightmare. And I am certainly not trying to stay in these unfair situations. They just happen.
The phrase, “This too shall pass…” has become meaningless to me. As soon as one trial passes, another trial pops up in its place. I compare my unfair situations to the mythical creature Hydra. When you finally cut off one head, two more grow in its place. Well when I finally get over one trial, another much bigger one replaces it. It’s not fair. But who ever promised life would be fair? I guess I should be on my knees crying out to God in these times. But I’m exhausted. I’m exhausted of the constant. The constant aggravation, the constant pain, the constant frustration. It gets old very quickly.
Finally get my clutch replaced, new door hinge put on, registration renewed, tires rotated, etc….and some guy speeding in a truck crashes into me. I can’t win. I’m not trying to be a martyr or a negative Nancy…I’m just so done with everything. The world is daunting and I’m becoming very tired from constantly fighting. I don’t have a car. I owe thousands of dollars. I don’t have a job coming up. I’m in a lot of pain from the truck crashing into me. They aren’t willing to see if he was texting. And they aren’t paying attention that he wasn’t paying attention. There were no tire skid marks. He was speeding and he didn’t even attempt to slow down. He was a jerk to me at the crash site. He couldn’t have cared less. Besides having to pull my car door open because the car was crunched up…he didn’t care.
How is that my fault?
How am I the one entirely at fault? How come I’m the one in pain, dealing with PTSD, lacerations, and bruised bones. I can’t sleep, I’m having so many nightmares and the pain is too intense for more than thirty minutes of sleep at a time. I’m crying all day long and I’m having constant panic attacks. I feel alone. I’m scared. And I’m worried. I’m on double doses of pain killers and double doses of sedatives to sleep. It’s not helping. I’m a mess. I don’t want to be a mess. I want to have a normal life. I am craving boring right now. I am craving not having to worry about every single aspect of my life. There is no such thing as a smooth straight road. My road has been filled with potholes, caters, road closings, and detours.
I should have died. I really should have died. So why am I still here?
*If this post doesn’t make any sense, I’m so sorry, I can barely think straight.*
Long story short: Got into a nasty car accident this morning, had to go to tow lot to pick up all the crap out of my car. Fire department disconnected my battery and taped everything up at the site. So my trunk won’t open and it can only open with key fob or button next to steering wheel. I go into tow lot office to ask them to assist me hooking up the battery. The guy fumbles around counting some random change he just found on the desk and then agrees to meet me out there.
Well he never met me out there. So I popped my hood and had mom hand me my knife. Got the battery hooked up and was able to unlock my car, pack up all of the protein powder covered crap into bags, and get it all into my moms car. By the time we were done with that entire mess he comes wandering out with JUMPER CABLES to “help me”. Wtf. No that’s not what you need to RECONNECT a few wires. Jeez idiot. WHAT WAS HE PLANNING ON DOING WITH JUMPER CABLES?????
So he condescendingly says, “Oh you got that all by yourself?”
Mom said, “Yeah I’m not a weakling.”
And I said, “It’s not like it’s a difficult thing to do. If you want something done right you gotta do it yourself.” Moron.
Keep in mind: I did all this while covered in blood, cuts, bruises, and bruised bones. It helps dealing with the pain to be really pissed off!
Moral of the story: If you want something done right you gotta do it yourself. Win for women everywhere. Booya. 💪🏼 Currently laying on a stretcher, hooked up to an IV, with a neck brace on.
This is the three hundred and nineteenth time I am attempting to sit down and get through this post without breaking down into a mess of tears. Here we go.
There are so many years worth of pain hidden deep within me – it’s so much more comfortable to live with it than to work on it. I honestly don’t believe my relationship with God or the church will ever be repaired. I have spent years being extremely pissed off at both. I spent so many countless hours sobbing uncontrollably on my bedroom floor or in the hospital. I remember one time in particular…the pain from my PFRF was so intense I could barely breathe. I fell down on my knees, face to the floor, sobbing, screaming for Him to take the pain away. To give the doctors answers. To get me through this because I couldn’t take it anymore. I couldn’t take the pain. I couldn’t take people staring at me. I couldn’t take getting worse and worse every day and no one could help me. Nothing helped the pain, the swelling, the bleeding, nothing helped.
That same month I almost lost my dad to cancer, stage three on the brink of stage four kidney cancer. They said he would have died very soon if he didn’t come in with appendicitis pain. I remember where I was sitting when my parents told me he had cancer. My dad had never looked so small to me. Just laying there in the hospital bed. I was terrified. My best friend at the time made a comment, “What are you going to do if your dad can’t walk you down the aisle?” I lost it. Within a month we weren’t friends. I didn’t need that negativity in my life when I was going through hell and I was watching my dad go through hell.
I read scriptures on healing, pain, and perseverance over and over and over again. I truly believed God would heal me. I believed He would rescue me from the pain. I believed He would make it all better. Instead I’ve been dealing with five years worth of symptoms, pain, and scars that will never go away. I’m bitter. Instead of getting better I got bitter. I got really bitter. I don’t even recognize myself. My actions, my thoughts, my behavior…I don’t even recognize it. I barely have any friends now because I’m so guarded I refuse to let anyone in.
Agony and denial swallowed me whole.
It has been an entire year today since the tragedy that took place at Pulse Nightclub in Orlanda, Florido. My heart still aches for the loved ones of those 49 people who lost their lives that night. Terror shouldn’t exist – yet it does. I think one of the most gut wrenching things in all of this is how many people I used to call my friend rejoiced that day. They saw it as some gift from above. Your religious background shouldn’t matter – you should be kind to everyone. You should mourn for those 49.
I can’t speak for everyone but I remember feeling like the wind was knocked out of me when I heard the tragic news. It felt like someone punched my stomach. The number of deaths kept rising, the number of injured reached almost 60. I read the tweets and Facebook posts of loved ones who had yet to find out if their best friend, brother, sister, daughter, son was alive. I read the texts that a mom and her young son exchanged before his was killed. I can’t even begin to imagine the pain they endured during that time – and are still feeling to this day. Those families will never be the same.
Christians should be offering love and support – not shaming them for their sin. Christians should be seeking out those who are in pain – and offering a safe haven. We should be going out and being Jesus to all people. We shouldn’t be feeding the stigma that Christianity is hatred. Christianity is not hatred. Christianity is love. Christianity is following Christ and striving to be more like Him every single day. Jesus would be crying with those families. He would be visiting with those injured in the attack. He would be praying for those people and the families. This is why I am so ashamed with the people who saw this as a sign from God. It’s not a sign from God. Get off your high horse and show Christ’s love. What if you are the only way these people will ever see Jesus? Think about your words, your actions, and your thoughts. Think about spreading love and being a missionary in your own backyard. If you continue to be filled with so much hatred for the group – you are no better than Westboro Baptist and that’s a fact.
Islamic fundamentalism is the movement of Muslims who look back to an earlier time and seek to return to the fundamentals of the Muslim religion. They are seeking to live like Muhammad. This means having an absolute hatred for the LGBTQ+ community.
Islamic fundamentalism has been defined variously as a movement of Muslims who think back to earlier times and seek to return to the fundamentals of the religion and live similarly to how the prophet Muhammad and his companions lived. Islamic fundamentalists favor “a literal and originalist interpretation” of the primary sources of Islam (the Quran and Sunnah),and seek to eliminate (what they perceive to be) “corrupting” non-Islamic influences from every part of their lives, and see “Islamic fundamentalism” as a pejorative term used by outsiders for Islamic revivalism and Islamic activism.
The perpetrator was a 29-year-old Islamist named Omar Mateen, a U.S. citizen of Afghan descent who was residing in Port Saint Lucie, Florida. Mateen is reported to have pledged allegiance to ISIS, and was previously monitored by the FBI for his extremist proclivities. It is now quite clear that the mass shooting was yet another Islamist terror attack. There can be no doubt: Mateen was motivated to attack a gay nightclub because he believed this was a righteous Islamic cause of jihad
I urge you to listen – really listen – to Andy Mineo’s song Uncomfortable. It rings true.