How many things are truly unconditional? It’s almost Christmas and we tell children that Santa will bring them presents if they are good. We put Elf on the shelf so that they know he is watching them for Santa. I know that some families play games with this toy but many people don’t.
Love is supposed to be unconditional but it often demands things from others or it’s removed when the child misbehaves—no matter how old he/she is. Christian doctrine teaches that God is love but one must say the “right prayer” to avoid going to “Hell.” I feel like true unconditional love is rare. I have seen both in my life and now it’s even more apparent with the pandemic. Love for our neighbors means doing everything we can to protect them from COVID-19 by wearing masks, social distancing, washing hands frequently, and staying home for Christmas with immediate family.
And children should have presents just because they are loved; not because they were good. The real St. Nick gave to the poor and helped the oppressed because he was kind and loving. He didn’t expect anything from them. Here’s a wonderful video on the history of Santa.
Have you ever just given something to someone without telling anyone or given something to a complete stranger who needs help? These have been the most rewarding experiences for me. This is loving people unconditionally.
I believe that respect is earned but love is not. Love, especially for children, should never ever be earned. This doesn’t mean that we have to be involved with toxic people. Love them by walking away from them.
I understand that some people have very high-needs children and it is really hard but they should love their children for who they are. Speaking from my own experience of being a very high-needs child as well as having a parent ask in a Facebook group about what to do to prevent damage from not being able to meet every single need, I believe that it is more important to explain to the child that we are trying our best and validate the child.
However, coming from an abusive, narcissistic home and struggling to come to terms with my own mother being narcissistic and and that she will never be able to be a good mom to me, what hurts is parents not talking about it in a healthy way. I have severe cerebral palsy and even my husband can’t meet every emotional need I have and sometimes he gets frustrated which is human but it triggers me. The difference is that he is truly trying and admits to his shortcomings. I do the same.
But with narcissistic parents, they don’t care and won’t admit that they are falling short. In these cases and other abusive situations, the love is not unconditional. I think as long as one has a good connection with his/her child and teaches healthy coping skills, the child may need help later on in life, but he/she shouldn’t have the same amount of pain and damage that us who were abused by our narcissistic parents have.
Accepting that one’s child is different than the parent is unconditional love. When this happens and children have very different personalities than the parents, the best thing that parents can do is accept it and support the children. Get involved with at least one activity that the child enjoys. And share each other’s interests with each other knowing that it’s ok to be so different. Yes, it is hard at times but the key is to validate and accept.
This Christmas, with so many people sick and dying from COVID-19, let’s remember the little Baby that came to Earth to try and teach us what unconditional love is. Or if you don’t celebrate Christmas, please think about how you can make this world better by loving people instead of being selfish.
Have a peaceful Holiday season. We remember all who we lost this year. May 2021 eventually be a better year!
Tomorrow’s Thanksgiving and while my husband and I are used to celebrating on our own, I know many of you are doing the right, selfless thing by staying home to celebrate with immediate family only. Some of you are facing a first Thanksgiving without loved ones due to COVID-19. Please know that we’re thinking and praying for you.
This has been a year of constant anxiety, trauma, uncertainty, and unrest. Therefore, as we, hopefully, stay home and gather with immediate family, may we try to find things we’re grateful for even if it is small. May we think or look at the children in our lives and consider the type of world we want for them. One full of divisions and hate and bad church doctrine. Or one full of unity, love, kindness and compassion.
The past few months have been really difficult for me with the Covid-19 pandemic and being super high risk. It has made me struggle with dealing with my own trauma, trying to do what is right and safe regarding the trauma of having a mother who can’t give me what I need, but still wanting her and my other biological family to remain safe. I have felt isolated and anxious and depressed. Being so high risk due to my asthma and severe Cerebral Palsy (CP) has made me angry when I finally realized how serious this virus is for many and seeing how people just don’t want to do what we need to do to be safe!
Life with CP is limiting and even though we find a way to do stuff that I want to do, it’s not easy like typical people who are able to just jump in the car and go. My state is in Phase 3 of reopening and I got my first non-essential, non-medical outing this week to my tattoo artists and chosen family to finish my Samoset kitty tattoo that was started before the outbreak and lockdown started. I was only able to do it because they locked the door and my husband and I were the only ones in there besides the artists. Masks were worn and sanitizer was used even more.
Samoset tattoo by Todd Bass at Triphammer Carbondale.
Throughout this pandemic, I have been aware of all the different aspects of it. My mental health as well as others have suffered due to isolation, people are losing everything, suicide is up. There’s so much to this pandemic and it is so sad that some elected officials are not doing everything they can to prevent this from being so out of control.
I know children and parents are struggling. I think the best thing to do for children is to create routines that are flexible and, if they are old enough, allow them to have a say in the routines. And as I’m sure you have already heard, answer questions honestly but briefly depending on their age and development.
This is scary for the children too. They have lost a lot and they may not be able to understand why. So I have heard a lot of regression in children’s behaviors have been happening from parents. This is so hard because I know parents are stressed out too. I recommend reassuring the children and finding an activity such as meditation or reading or yoga to help calm stress and fear. This is not an easy time for anyone.
Now we have a horrible murder of a black man, George Floyd, that has set off protests and riots in the midst of a pandemic. It is so scary and sad. Racism has got to stop!
I used to say “all lives matter” and even wrote a blog post in which I used “All Lives Matter” for the title of the post that covered every race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and, of course, children mattering.
Having a severe physical disability made me question, “what about other minorities?” I was a Republican slowly making my way towards Libertarianism at the time. I am now a Libertarian and while I still love Jesus, I’m no longer into mainstream Christianity anymore due to the legalism, bad church doctrine, and abuse, and hate.
I now understand the Black Lives Matter movement and right now this group of people desperately need our support, validation, and LOVE! Saying “all lives matter” doesn’t do this for black people who are hurting badly. Jesus immediately went to the people in desperate need no matter who they are. Jews didn’t hang around Samaritan people but Jesus did.
I know many Christians and conservatives won’t hear me because I was the same way about this topic and I had to figure it out for myself. But I am embarrassed by my ignorance even though I was trying to be fair and supportive and was trying to validate everyone but I was wrong. I support Black Lives Matter and peaceful protests except for the Coronavirus concern. I hope my story helps someone moving away from ignorance to validation and love over being “right.”
Our children are watching everything and need to be taught kindness and acceptance for all. There has also got to be a major change because most black families experience so much pain and violence in their lifetimes and parents of black children are even more likely to spank/hit and harshly punished because they fear that if they don’t teach strict obedience to authority that it could be their child that is murdered by a bad cop. But this spanking and hardship make the children more likely to act out and get into crime.
And while police lives also matter, it’s important to keep in mind that there are many good cops of all races and they don’t deserve to suffer. On the other hand, white cops need to remember that at the end of the shift, they are like everyone else. But black people still have to deal with the racism and can’t hide from it.
Please be safe and get tested for Covid-19 if you participate in the peaceful protests and quarantine yourself because we can’t make change can’t happen if we’re sick and in the hospital or dead.
May we strive for kindness and love and create this in our children. May peace, love, and light reign in our world!
I haven’t been writing much lately due to my new trauma, so here’s a short post with thoughts about a recent meme from my meditation app Calm.
It is really sad some people don’t know how to truly love. I believe that we love unconditionally as infants and young children but how we are treated as children can literally rip this ability away and cause mental illness that will not allow us to continue to truly love unconditionally.This is so sad because they miss out on true love and end up hurting the people that they “love.”
I’m not pregnant and not adopting yet, but I have been thinking a lot about unconditional love and thought I would write this since it is almost Valentine’s Day and every child deserves true unconditional love.
Dear my precious child,
I wanted you since I was a child myself and you are a dream come true. I promise to try to never make you feel unwanted. If I do, please tell me and I will make it right!
I will always love you unconditionally! Nothing will ever change that! If you ever question my love for you, I will do everything I can to help you feel my love for you!
I know I am going to make a million mistakes while we work together to get through this life but I promise to always apologize to you and truly mean it!
I will teach you how to handle your big feelings and I will always do my best to validate your feelings. I will have my own feelings and may mess up by not remaining calm, but I will always apologize for yelling or saying anything that hurt you. I hope you will always feel safe enough to see share all your feelings with me.
Yes, you will have appropriate limits and boundaries that you won’t always like. I will do my best to be appropriately flexible with you. Sometimes I will have to hold firm in the limit but I will always listen to you. If you want to do something differently, I will be open to that.
Our relationship will be built on mutual respect and trust. I will always apologize if I disrespect you or break your trust in me. Of course, the same will go for you too.
I will allow you to have self-expression as long as it’s not hurting anyone. I may not be into something you are, but I will never put you down for being yourself. Be yourself!
I will never ever punish you by hitting/spanking you, time-out, taking away your stuff arbitrarily, or shaming you. I will apologize if I do. There will be natural consequences for you and I will help you understand them.
You’re always welcome! I will want to see you! You always come first!
I will never manipulate you for any reason.
My precious child, this is a cruel world sometimes. You’re heart will be broken and my heart will break every time yours does. I am here for you. You will know how loved you are by me, your dad, your Heavenly Father, and others. It’s ok to protect yourself from toxic people and relationships. But please don’t lose your loving, vulnerable heart. It’s worth it to love. I will help you through this.
I won’t be a perfect mom. Just know that you are my world and I will do everything I can to love you as you deserve. You’re a beautiful person. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!
Actually I emailed this to close family and friends over a month ago. He is now 6 months old and things are continuing to progress slowly but surely.
On July 11th we adopted the sweetest, craziest kitten ever. Ever since our sweet boy, YP, went Home, on top of other 2 major back to back losses, we’ve been in a dark place and trying to get out of it. I know very few people understand the depth and love we have for our kitties, but, for us, they are our kids.
After an almost adoption went terribly wrong last October, we had agreed that Patches, our 12-year-old female calico, would be our only kitty until the horrible day she crosses the rainbow bridge into Heaven. I grieved that loss of hope but accepted it until late this spring. Even Chip started talking about getting another kitty but was in absolutely no rush! And I mean no rush.
I respect my husband so I did my best to let it go. I stopped looking at shelters and told people not to send us kitties who needed homes…Until sometime in May when I started occasionally looking at shelters but Chip wouldn’t really look at anything, yet, he kept talking about getting a new kitty and what age Patches would be more likely to accept. We were quite concerned about Patches adjusting to a new kitty despite getting along great with YP except for after the vet she’d get mildly aggressive with him for a day or so until the vet smell subsided.
Well, as YP’s first anniversary of going Home approached (July 5, 2018), the desire for a new life started to grow to the point of desperation and I was confused, angry, and really hurting. Losing YP just absolutely devastated us like losing Sara, my first kitty did! But YP was special in the way he loved us. He was/is one of our soulmates. I thought I would eventually lose the desperate desire for a new kitty after we got through his first anniversary but it didn’t subside. It only got worse and Chip started talking about getting one in the fall. That confused me and even angered me. Grief is so hard and weird. So I started researching the different local animal shelters just for the heck of it.
I would look at kitties and think, “sorry, not for us.” THEN on June 28th I was looking at all the pictures of adoptable kittens and found this picture of Samoset and immediately started laughing at his nose and felt a HUGE connection. I tried to show Chip, but he barely looked at it and I emailed it to him asking him to pray about if God and YP might be sending him to us. Yes, I truly believe that there’s so much more going on in the spiritual world than we can even imagine, and I believe Sara and God sent us Patches because I didn’t want another girl kitty back then because I didn’t want to replace Sara in anyway but they didn’t give me a choice.
I tried to put him out of my head so hard but ended up asking the shelter if he was still available and he was. “Great! That was so stupid of me,” I thought with a few expletives. I prayed he would get a good home. I meditated to try to let go. But I couldn’t! I was in love with him.
Finally the Monday after YP’s first anniversary of going Home, I blurted out that I was in love! Chip said he’d think about it and finally actually really looked at the picture and he said maybe Thursday we can go see him and talk to them about helping Patches adjust. I cried but then I was worried about him being adopted before then, so later, I explained that this is a very bittersweet, emotional thing and we should not try to combine it with other errands. I got him to agree to go that Wednesday.
That day you would have thought I was having some major surgery or something. With my brain/emotional make up, I knew I could easily get my heart broken again and I was extremely anxious about Patches adjusting to him if he did choose us. I don’t believe in forcing cats to come home with you if there’s no connection. There was a very real possibility of him either not liking us (some kitties are afraid of me due to my wheelchair and involuntary movements because of my severe cerebral palsy.), already being adopted, or the staff not recommending this with Patches being an older cat (12).
So I had Chip talk about weird things to distract me from my anxiety. But then signs from loved ones in Heaven started occurring. Again, there’s so much more to the spiritual world than we can ever understand on Earth. First, we had music on and Chip’s mom’s favorite song, “What A Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong played which I thought was weird and I acknowledged Mom2 in tears.
Then heading to the van to leave, I looked up and there was a heart shaped cloud in the sky. I asked Chip, “Is that a heart?” He agreed. A sign from God. Obviously, signs were happening but I didn’t know what they meant. I didn’t know if they were good or trying to comfort me. I now know it was both. Then we go by a bright red corvette. Grandpa!
We arrived at the shelter and I was having a little PTSD because it was the same shelter we adopted Patches and YP from, and flashbacks of YP confidently locking eyes with us and walking across the counter into our hearts and arms flooded my mind, so I kept focusing on my breathing to keep calm and telling myself that I was gonna have to accept whatever was going to happen. But my husband, who had to be dragged to the shelter, started acting goofy and excited. I was like what the heck is up with you.
Deep breath and in we go. They greeted us and said that we could go in the cat room and meet him but that they had been sick so the kitties were confined in their cages. I started to freak out a bit because I needed to get him out of the cage to make sure he wasn’t afraid of me and they said he could get out but not on the floor. Yay!
The second I found him and we made eye contact, for a split second, it was like I was looking at YP again. Samoset gave me that look of pure love and immediately started to come to the door to get to me/us. I cried. Unconditional love is major for me due to being abused throughout my childhood and rejected and hurt by people throughout my life.
He got on my table, did a nose kiss to my nose, and bit on my glasses. I cried again. He snuggled with Daddy too. Of course, he jumped on the floor before we could catch him but Chip apologized. He’s a fast little booger. We have so many nicknames for him already. So we told the staff about Patches and her mild aggression with YP after vet visits and that she is 12. They said it would take her longer to adjust to him but if we move slowly, she will eventually get there. One staff member told us about her experience with adopting one of the kitties and there was howling and fighting for over a month and she was afraid she was going to be one of the people who relinquished the animal after adoption, but she covered the crate and eventually it stopped and they are fine.
They still had our adoption applications from Patches and YP which is over 11 years old. They were so sorry about YP going Home. We filled out a new application for Samoset, known at the shelter as “Katio,” and they called Lakeside, our animal hospital where the vet is, for a reference and he was ours. Yes, I cried.
They wanted us to take him home that day which we thought he would have to go to the vet first like YP and Patches but that’s not the policy anymore since he was already neutered. We just had to get him to the vet within 7 days so if he had any life altering diseases, the shelter would cover the vet care for that.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have a carrier nor any kitten supplies so we said that we could get him the next day. They were fine with that. We told him we would be back tomorrow but he looked sad watching us leave the kitty room. Patches looked like that as did YP leaving them. Animals have feelings and know more than we think they do. Just like children. We underestimate the innocent so much.
I had to shut my emotions off and just focus on him both that day and the next day because the room was full of kitties and even some in the lobby. Please adopt from shelters and spray/neuter your animals to help stop the overpopulation problem. Thankfully, there are more and more no kill shelters but healthy animals are killed just because there’s no room for them. I’m grateful all the shelters here are great about not killing animals and finding foster homes for them and making sure they are adopted.
I wish I could have adopted all of the kitties in there so I just acknowledged them and focused on my new baby!
On the way out to the van after adopting him but not bringing him home, a yellow butterfly fluttered at Chip’s hand. He almost waved it off until he saw it was a butterfly, YP’s sign from Heaven. More tears and a whirling mind with emotions and thinking what we needed to go get at Petco. On the way to Petco, the funeral home had a sign about the shelter needing food. Ok, we get it God.
It’s been wonderful having him here. We did the separation of kitties for quite a while then with a gate and now he’s out of the bathroom a lot of the time but he still goes in there to sleep at night and then when we cannot watch them. They’re slowly adjusting but we just had a little incident because he wanted to go to the top perch and Patches was in the second level and didn’t like his tail flicking in her face so he is getting fed in the bathroom and time to let them chill. They’ve had other incidents but he is out here almost all the time and they eat together. Gentle parenting works for kitties too.
Overall, he loves to snuggle, sleep in my arms, and play. He’s hilarious. Patches is coming around but I will be happy when alpha kitty is established. Plus, the age difference is harder for her to adjust but we’re respecting them so we’ll get there. He’s getting better at sleeping out here but still sleeps soundly in the bathroom so when he is pushing it, we know he is getting overtired.
He plays and runs and attacks us. He’s learning not to bite hard and limits. He’s smart but still a baby. Yes, gentle parenting works for kitties as we don’t believe in spanking/hitting animals either or even punishment. We just remove them while saying “No” firmly and redirecting him. Sometimes I bop them due to my spasms and even Chip has accidentally stepped on them and then we immediately comfort them and apologize. They just know more than we give them credit for.
Thankfully, he is afraid of outside and is being good about getting away from the door. He loves to run into other rooms like Patches does and YP used to but not outside. Yay. Kitties are safer and healthier indoors only.
I still get anxious about Patches as stress isn’t good for older kitties, and I still feel like leaving YP and Patches at the vet, even though they get excellent care at Lakeside, for over 2 weeks when my grandpa went Home could have gotten YP’s diseases going. I know, it’s probably unlikely, but it still haunts me so we won’t be leaving them for more than a week at a time. They’re our babies.
Before I end this, how did we pick the name Samoset? All my kitties are somehow connected to each other and I picked Patches after the name of Sara’s favorite toy which I had named Patches as a child as Sara ripped the eye off one of my pound puppies and my mom sewed a patch over its eye so I named Patches Patches. YP was named after a ham radio friend who encouraged us to adopt 2 kitties when we were ready after Sara went Home.
With Samoset, we watch the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving show and used to be goofy and give each other roles. Most years YP played Samoset so we decided that our next boy kitty would be named Samoset.
Samoset was an Abenaki sagamore and the first American Indian to make contact with the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony. — Wikipedia
I strongly believe that animals should be a part of every child’s life even if it’s a fish. Having a life to help care for teaches children responsibility and teamwork because the animal is a family member. It also helps teach children kindness and empathy as we help our children learn to respect the animal and treat it gently. Lastly, pets provide another source of love and support for the children as they can talk to the pet and love on them.
Anyway, that’s the story of our new wild man, sweet baby boy like YP. He’s a lot like YP so we know God and YP sent him. I’m so grateful for new life and experiencing happy firsts instead of sad firsts after 3 years of fresh grief. Please keep praying for them to co-exist more and more.
“…and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:32, NASB).
As I mentioned in my last post, I have had people get angry for labeling my dad as abusive. However, when we look at the definition of labeling, we see that describing his behavior is not “labeling.”
Here’s the definition of labeling:
“assign to a category, especially inaccurately or restrictively.”
“children were labeled as bullies” (Google Dictionary).
I believe that the key word here is inaccurately. I hate labels, especially when it comes to children. There are no bad children. I have constantly been labeled inaccurately as “retarded,” “heretical,” and a “drama queen” by people who don’t even know me and judge me wrongly. Frankly, I’m guilty of judging others and labeling them inaccurately as well. This is something that I continue to work on.
I also had another run in with a “Christian” pro-spanker who became more and more insulting to me and others as we tried to point out the Truth that Proverbs was not meant to be taken literally when it comes to the rod verses that seem to advocate for corporal punishment. I don’t know where he gets his Hebrew and Greek definitions, but I do not believe that they are from accurate resources. Of course, he thinks the same thing about me.
“Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment” (NASB).
I don’t fear God, as in being afraid of Him, but I am reverent towards Him. Thank the Lord that God is love and forgives. The pro-spanker tried to say that the Hebrew word for fear the Lord means to be scared of Him. It made no sense in the context of 1 John 4 where the Bible describes God’s amazing love for us and that fear has to do with punishment. I’m sorry but love and fear cannot co-exist.
Well, things got heated and I described what I was seeing in his comments. With both my dad and this pro-spanker, I have been thinking a lot about labeling and have come to the conclusion that it’s not “labeling” if you are describing behaviors you have experienced and/or observed.
Here’s the definition of describing:
“1. give an account in words of (someone or something), including all the relevant characteristics, qualities, or events” (Google dictionary).
There’s nothing wrong with pointing out negative behaviors in an appropriate manner which can be difficult in the heat of the moment. My dad was physically, verbally, and emotionally abusive to me and my siblings whether they want to admit it or not. To keep quiet about the abuse is to make it ok. It’s NEVER ok to hurt a child in any manner. There’s so much victim blaming and gaslighting from people who don’t want the abuse exposed. I will never be able to pretend that this abuse didn’t happen even when I have forgiven him.
The same goes for pro-spankers who become insulting and un-Christian like. A person can only take so much before he or she explode. Being mean, insulting, and hateful just sends people—adults and children into fight or flight. They cannot hear the person any more and will eventually either lash out or shut down. I imagine that this is what most of these people who resort to being mean and hateful want—a reaction from the person trying to be kind and respectful and explain our viewpoints. If these people must inflict pain on children, then I can see why those people also must inflict pain on everyone else.
Children grow up and some become trapped in the horrible, abusive doctrine that they were raised in. Or get stuck in believing that an abusive pattern is fine. People like me who were traumatized by the abuse find their voice and must speak out for the children. I don’t think I’m better than anybody. I just want people to know and experience the true, beautiful love of Christ and to STOP children from being hurt due to man’s traditions.
Plus, with children we teach them by describing what they are doing and asking questions. Gentle parenting describes emotions and helps children work through them appropriately. During a conflict between two children, we describe what is happening in the moment to help each child see the others’ point of view and come to a resolution. Without describing, learning would be difficult.
I must point out that diagnosis of a disability or disease is fine and necessary. However, diagnosis should not become labels that are used against children and adults. I have severe cerebral palsy and it doesn’t define me. It just affects how I live my life which is not easy but I am blessed with a wonderful life.
In conclusion, it’s necessary to call a spade a spade. Sometimes the truth hurts when we humble ourselves and realize that we are wrong. However, the Truth (Jesus) will sett us free if we allow Him to do so. What a wonderful message to teach our precious children!
This is a rough week for my husband and I as we commemorate the birthday of our sweet kitty on the 4th of July. He would have been 12. Then the 5th marks the first year since he went Home to Heaven. We love our animals like family, so this is hitting us harder than we expected.
The Bible says to endure hardship as discipline.
“You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin;and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons,
“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, Norfaint when you are reproved by Him; For thosewhom the Lord loves He disciplines, And He scourges every son whom He receives.”
It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live?For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness” (Hebrews 12:4-11, NASB)
Unfortunately, many Christians take these versesto mean corporal punishment. But if you read the Proverbs section of this blog, it has nothing to do with spanking/hitting children or hitting anyone. It just means that growth and discipline is not always pleasant and easy.
And being a Christ-follower, I take to heart what Jesus said,
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”
(John 14:27, NASB).
After much research, and guidance from the Holy Spirit, I truly believe He that one of the many ways He does this is through His gift of cannabis, and the appropriate use of alcohol (see 1 Timothy 5:23, Ecclesiastes 9:7, and Psalm 104:14-15 also references cannabis). Of course, the Bible makes it clear not to get really drunk, but to relax and relieve some medical issues, alcohol use is perfectly fine and encouraged throughout the Bible. In fact, one of Jesus’ first miracles was turning water into wine at a wedding in John 2:1-11. Please see this post for a link to the use of cannabis during Biblical times.
Yes, we go through hardships throughout our lives and these hardships should make us grow—and grow closer to Him. I truly believe we should use discipline to help everyone grow, opposed to using punishment which keeps us stuck in the place we are in, no matter how old we are.
For example, children may appear to be growing despite being punished, but it’s really them learning to hide things from their parents in order to avoid getting punishment. For adults, such a punitive attitude and belief system can trap them in harmful legalism and toxic relationships. They can’t see Who Jesus really is—love.
My husband and I watched the movie Reincarnated about Snoop Dogg changing his life to one of peace and love. He went to Jamaica and he became a Rastafarian. While we don’t agree with some of the Rastafarian doctrine, we love the way they love all and respect all people no matter what they believe.
They use cannabis as both medicine and to grow closer to God. I have absolutely fallen in love with this song:
Yes, heartbreak will hopefully and eventually lead to growth. It is not God punishing us. It’s life. We, as Christ-followers, must learn and understand this. We must teach this to our children so they can truly grow in Christ.
One last thing about cannabis: I have severe cerebral palsy and use it medically for spasms, pain, anxiety, and PTSD. As the result of being blessed by this sacred plant, I truly believe I am growing in Christ. I’ve become more open to more encompassing love and grace. I am still very imperfect and make mistakes, but I am slowly getting better at loving others.
For years, I bought into the doctrine that marijuana is “evil.” It’s anything but. In fact, it allowed me sit here with fireworks going off next door, and I was not jumping as much and not being anxious about the next boom. I am looking forward to going to the fireworks on the 4th. I will be using cannabis, thereby remaining more clearly aware of and the Holy Spirit’s guidance and comfort to continue to deal with my heartbreak. I am hopeful that cannabis will continue to ease my spasms and other ailments. Yay for Cannabis!
As the line in the song says, “so raise a glass to the memories, set em free, and fill up all those ashtrays.”
In memory of Sara (January 27, 2007), Grandpa (May 2, 2016), my father-in-law (June 29, 2007), YP (July 5, 2017), Penelope (July 6, 2012), my mother-in-law (August 8, 2015), Sadie (October 6, 2011), and the rest of my loved ones in Heaven.
Interesting title, huh? I’m glad I got your attention.
I have been moving away from the dogma of the evangelical Christian community for quite some time now. The closer I get to Jesus Christ and His teachings, the more I have trouble dealing with evangelical Christians. Why?
They use the Old Testament and parts of the New Testament that were written in a completely different time, culture, and historical period to oppress groups of people who don’t subscribe to their dogma. These people include:
*The LBGTQ community. Drag queens and kings are cool!
*People of different races and ethnicities. Missionaries are simply supposed to teach the love of Christ to them but end up totally changing their culture.
*People who choose to decorate their bodies with piercings, tattoos, and unique hair styles and colors.
Basically, the conservative evangelical Christian will preach love to draw people in, but then use verses out of context to abuse, hurt, oppress, reject, and even torture people. I am not ok with this.
I used to be an evangelical Christian. I used to be legalistic. I used to think the written Word was infallible. But I don’t anymore because when you take time to research different topics and what the original text said, it’s written for the people of that time but, through the Holy Spirit, we can gain much insight into Who God is by reading and studying the Bible. I just don’t think the Bible is the be all, end all for the issues of today.
I think the main thing God wanted all of us throughout the entire earthly time until Jesus’s return to gain from Him and His Word is LOVE!
“If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.2If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails; but if there are gifts of[prophecy, they will be done away; if there aretongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.For we know in part and we prophesy in part;but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:1-13, NASB).
Did you read this? Whatever we do, if we don’t havelove, it means nothing to God. And I know that many Christians will tell you that they’re doing everything “in love” but love doesn’t hurt people! And love is the greatest of all.
Jesus preached love. He died a horrific death for all of humanity in love. He sure didn’t suffer and die for His health!
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NASB).
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8, NASB).
The Bible is a Book of love and redemption. It was never intended to be used to oppress, abuse, hurt, or even kill people. We’re supposed to be breaking the yoke of oppression.
“To loosen the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the bands of the yoke,
And to let the oppressed go free
And break every yoke?
‘Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry
And bring the homeless poor into the house;
When you see the naked, to cover him;
And not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
‘Then your light will break out like the dawn,
And your recovery will speedily spring forth;
And your righteousness will go before you;
The glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
‘Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
You will cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’
If you remove the yoke from your midst,
The pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness,
And if you give yourself to the hungry
And satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
Then your light will rise in darkness
And your gloom will become like midday.
‘And the LORD will continually guide you,
And satisfy your desire in scorched places,
And give strength to your bones;
And you will be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.
‘Those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins;
You will raise up the age-old foundations;
And you will be called the repairer of the breach,
The restorer of the streets in which to dwell'” (Isaiah 58:6-12)! NASB).
Jesus quotes some of this in Luke 4:17-19. And if you really read through the Gospel, it’s full of teaching about treating the “lowlife” people in society with love and freeing them from their oppression, not separating children from their parents and holding them in cages because their parents are seeking asylum, not telling the LBGTQ that they are going to Hell, not treating people with disabilities patronizingly or thinking their disabilities are due to sin, not picking certain people who need help while ignoring or rejecting others that don’t fit the “criteria,” not promoting child abuse and corporal punishment, not judging people with tattoos or piercings, and not stopping and insulting people who are using a God-given plant to help heal themselves and grow closer to Jesus.
Jesus was the hardest on the self-righteous teachers of the Law and Pharisees.
“Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples,saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses;therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them.They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger.But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments.They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues,and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men.But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers.Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. But the greatest among you shall be your servant.Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted” (Matthew 23:1-12, NASB).
I just cannot be associated with these evangelical Christians. I will love them from afar as Jesus wants, but many are wolves in sheep’s clothing. Some have just gotten caught up in bad church doctrine and dogma like I was for many years. I hope that more and more people wake up and teach their children to love above all else!
I really related to a recent meditation session. I’m finding myself. Have been for a few years now intensely and I’m not the “sweet, good Christian little disabled girl” everyone seems to see me as. I’m a badass, humble, loving, kind, Christ-follower who loves to party, get tattoos, free spirited woman who will always speak up for the children and the oppressed.
My husband and I recently went to Pride with my friend who is gay. Our first pride event ever. It was so peaceful and fun and nobody promoting anything but love and supporting each other. We went to drag queen bingo and had a blast. So fun. Nothing evil or even very adult only.
I didn’t understand drag queens and kings when I wrote the post to which I linked to above. These people are simply bringing awareness and poking fun at traditional gender stereotypes. They are not sinning by dressing up as the opposite sex. They simply want people to further understand and respect the LBGTQ community. Good fun people.
So with that, I sign off with what this post is about and why I am no longer an evangelical Christian, but rather, a Christ-follower:
I got my MRI yesterday. I had to be put to sleep for it due to my cerebral palsy and spasms. Hopefully tomorrow we’ll find out that the mass they found when I was in the hospital for my bowel blockage is benign. Thank you so much for your prayers and patience with me in not staying on top of everything like I always try to do.
Remember! My book is limited quantities and only $10 with FREE shipping in the continental U.S.A. It makes a great gift!
I hope to write a post soon about the first Christmas and how there’s so much love from God, but in this world, joy and pain coexist and this is not punishment! We just live in a very broken world that Jesus came to restore.