Friday, January 11, 2019

You don't have to live like a refugee.-Tom Petty

I was thinking about deleting my last post, but I decided against it. I'm just going to be real. I'm going to write things here "on the fly" and let it go. Why shouldn't I? I mean, we're only talking about grammar problems for the most part, and a lot of the people who may actually read this won't recognize those problems.  I'm not a great writer when it comes to grammar. I want to be. I'm still learning. And yes, I'm a public school teacher. I think that statement alone inhibits me from being free with my more ways than one. LOTS more ways.

Maybe that's what I should write about. I don't know. I'm still figuring it out.

I'm writing all of this here for C and K and D. My grandchildren. And they're just the beginning. Those initials represent individual lives who will one day be my age. They'll be 55 years old and wondering how the heck they arrived at the place where they are. And if they've learned grace...even if it's willful grace (the kind you have to pretend to extend until you're able to actually extend it) it will be enough. And that's all any of us really need. Enough.

I've been attempting for a good while now to figure out WHY the heck I married T-dub in the first place. I'm pretty sure I've figured it out. And I've forgiven any perceived (by me) wrongs done to me that resulted in my decision to marry him. I'd go so far as to thank them, but that would be making a commitment to willfully hurting others in the same way. I can't do that. But I can thank GOD for allowing me to live and learn through the situations that I've been through.

I could rewrite the previous paragraph with the name of my first husband replacing T-dub. That's tough for me. WAY tougher than dealing with the reasons I married T-dub. But I do understand now exactly why and how I decided to make that choice as well. And I don't regret it because I understand fully why I did it. And because that marriage produced two of the finest human beings who will ever grace planet Earth.

I'll stop for now. I have school tomorrow.

Thanks for reading. Whoever you are.

peace&love and grace,


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Sunday, October 28, 2018

I'm going to start writing here again. It's so stupid and ridiculous that I don't write down all the STUFF I think about.

For instance, I don't believe in HELL. HELL seems really goofy when you've grown up with a mindset that forces you to believe in IT simply because you also believe in HEAVEN.

How does your belief in Heaven depend on your belief in Hell?

peace&love and grace,

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Sunday, May 06, 2018

I'm learning to fly, but I ain't got wings.-Tom Petty

 I enjoy creating little wooden peg doll people- WHY? So far, the best answer I've come up with is that I never really wanted to stop being a kid. I long for a childhood that's carefree and supportive of imagination and curiosity. Don't get me wrong. I had a perfectly fine childhood. My parents gave me everything (and more) that a child needs in order to grow into a healthy, self-sustaining, responsible member of society. I don't believe for one second that they knew or understood what was going on in my head. In fact, my mother stated as much on numerous occasions, "I have no idea what goes on in that head of yours!"

When I was a kid, some of my favorite friends were younger than me, and most of those were cousins.  Playing with them was a win-win-win. They had different toys and still liked  playing pretend games which I usually made up. I could be somewhat in charge and have fun at the same time. That's pretty much exactly what I do now as an elementary art teacher. I love how that worked out. But holding on to a carefree childhood when fear flowed through my little-child veins like Koolaid(TM) through a silly straw wasn't easy-no matter how many younger cousins might be available for pretend games.

I prayed to Jesus every night to keep the fears at bay. I'd lie there and think about my day to try and remember any bad thoughts or words I'd said-anything I may have done that Jesus would need to forgive me for so my name wouldn't get crossed out of the Book of Life.

By the way, when I write these things down and see them in print, it looks and sounds extreme to me. As if I grew up Mormon or something. I used to consider Mormans to be pretty extreme and "out there" as far as Jesus-based religions go. *phfft* It's all sort of extreme to me now. Also, I've rarely met a Morman that I didn't really like. They're good people.

 It's just so peaceful to leave it all behind.

 ANYWAY.  I was always asking Jesus to forgive me for not wanting the rapture to happen until after I'd turned 16 and could drive. And as long as I was being honest, I'd have to admit to Jesus that I'd also really enjoy being able to grow up and go to college, get married, and have a family. At the very least, Jesus, could you wait until after my next church trip to Six Flags? Getting on an old, retired school bus and driving from Duncan, Oklahoma to Dallas, Texas (I know it's Arlington, but it was all Dallas to us.) to spend the day at Six Flags was what I considered a top level perk of being a member of the Bethel Assemblies of God Church.

Most of the other perks I got from being a church kid came from the fact that my mom was the church secretary. She had keys to the building and went there during the week to work on the books while I explored every nook and cranny of our A-framed church building. Our church looked like a big triangle. I guess at the time, it had a modern 60's vibe with its giant,, lighted, wooden cross that shined through a stained-glass window behind the stage of our sanctuary which overlooked the many evils of US Highway 81. Rarely a sermon was preached that didn't at some point touch upon the sinfulness zipping up and down and lurking on the south part of  the little two-lane highway running through our town. You'd have thought it was the Las Vegas strip to hear some preachers talk. Occasionally, bums would come up from the highway to our church looking for money or food which only served to reinforce the message of wholesomeness and security represented by our churchy-looking A-framed building. I was told with a straight face in Sunday School class that demons could be living in our church building at night, so you can imagine the adventures going on in my young, curious mind as I peeked and prodded my way over every inch of what potentially, after hours, became enemy territory. My favorite architectural feature of our church building was the pair of spiraling staircases that led up to the baptistery from each side of the church. The red carpeting and wood-paneled walls made the narrow, twisting passageway feel cozy. I remember seeing the baptismal tank up close for the very first time and being astounded that it was so much like a bathtub. I guess my little mind thought there might be an actual babbling brook of living water encased behind that stage front.

Despite all this, I'd end my nightly prayers to Jesus by promising to be a good witness and tell people about him if I got the chance. And then I'd usually apologize one more time for wishing he wouldn't come back yet just for good measure.
In Jesus Name,

Did I mention that I was eight years old when I started these  prayer discussions with Jesus? EIGHT. An eight-year-old living in constant fear that the rapture was about to happen or already had happened. My contingency plans for being "left behind" were to immediately try calling my Granny W in Sulphur since she didn't go to church and was probably also left behind. I figured she'd probably not know any better and go ahead and get the Mark of the Beast, so at least she and PaPa W would be able to buy food for us after the Antichrist took control of everything. As a second back-up plan, I knew my PaPa M (on my mom's side) would also be left behind, but he was known to be a little crazy, and I knew I'd much prefer sitting on my PaPa W's lap for comfort during 7 years of tribulation. Thank God I can laugh about it all now. But it wasn't a bit funny at the time. Maybe it sounds like the worries of a child that wasn't too bright, but I'd argue it was just the opposite.

Believe it or not, the ever-present fear of the rapture wasn't my biggest source of concern as a child. It wasn't even in the top two. My number one fear as a child was of the devil and his angels. Which may actually count as two fears. It's hard to keep up. My 2nd biggest fear was accidentally committing the unpardonable sin. There were lots of opinions and even arguments over Sunday lunch about exactly how one goes about committing the unpardonable sin, but my fear was mostly based on the fact that such a sin existed at all. I'm quite comfortable stating that I heard as many sermons, lessons, and studies about the devil, hell, and things like the unpardonable sin growing up as I did about Jesus. In truth, probably way more.

Maybe it was my own fault for taking the things I learned at church so literally. Why couldn't I have been more like a "normal" kid and just pick my nose or stick chewed-up pieces of gum under the pews during sermons? Why did I listen to messages in tongues and interpretations as if it was God himself speaking? Where'd I get a crazy idea like that?

I was always asking questions. I can't tell you how many Sunday School teachers I've heard make that very comment to my parents about me, "She sure asks a lot of questions!" But there were always answers with a Bible reference to back it up. And the people teaching me were loving, kind, and supportive. The preacher at our church was a wonderful person. A good man. It was obvious that he actually cared about the people at church. Why wouldn't I believe him? Or them?

But if everything they said was true, that's a LOT to worry about for a little kid. A smart little kid. A curious little kid.

A trusting, gullible little kid.

It's shameful.

Thanks for reading. Whoever you are.

peace&love and grace,

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Saturday, March 31, 2018

In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: It goes on. - Robert Frost

It seems like people get the most personally upset and worried about my being agnostic because of the implication that being agnostic means I no longer believe in heaven.

Yes. I realize that part sucks.

We desperately want to know that we'll once again see those people we've lost or never had the chance to really know during the time we were here.

We want so desperately to experience some form of "happily ever after."

I get that.

But when that "happily every after" MUST include a majority of people burning in everlasting torment forever and ever....which is what the bible narrative explicitly states according to every single Christ-based church I've ever been a part of....

I'm out.

I just can't do it. I'm not sure how this all ends, but I refuse to believe that MOST people will end up burning and tormented forever and ever for all eternity.


Watching T-dub attempt to change himself into a person worthy of heaven made me see myself in the same way. None of us are worthy of heaven because it's not a real place. And neither is hell. THANK GOD.

Thanks for reading. Whoever you are.

peace&love and grace,

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Sunday, January 14, 2018

The big broad line between love and hate.

My reflections about the things I initially wrote on this blog center around religion and gayness. I don't know if those things are somehow related to my purpose in life, but I do know that those two things have collided in my consciousness in a way that's caused me to rethink the foundations upon which my upbringing was based.

I was taught to hate gay people. That's a strong statement because no one ever told me explicitly that I should hate gay people. However, I was taught (from a very young age and for as long as I can remember) that gay people are an abomination in the eyes of God. My own mother is alive to this day and continues to demonstrate that she believes this. She REALLY believes it. Bless her heart.

I bear no ill will toward my mother. I love her and have done what I can to ensure that her existence remains comfortable and as happy as it seems she's capable of being.

Nevertheless, she taught me that I should hate gay people. But, here's a truth: WHAT YOU TEACH isn't necessarily WHAT THEY LEARN. I was taught to hate gay people, but I learned to love them instead. Her hatred fed a curiosity in me. And in learning to love gay people, I learned to love pretty much everyone in general. All people. Including myself. (My dad actually taught me that last part.)

People deserve to be loved in ways that teach them to love themselves because no one chooses to be born into this world. And sometimes, by the time we're able to make choices on our own, we've been screwed over by the choices of others so profoundly that we can barely overcome it. My mother once screamed at me, "You don't know how to love!" so I decided to spend the rest of my life proving her wrong. It was a great decision. I stand by it.

As I look back, I see now that this story with Todd is really just MY story. Proving that I do indeed know how to LOVE.

Thanks for reading. Whoever you are.

peace&love and grace,

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Monday, January 01, 2018

 THIS IS what TODD SAID TO ME PUBLICLY regarding SEXUALITY...bless his heart...

Yeah, you really crystallized the issue … I mean, hell if I would write this stuff down,
(which i'm just still just afraid of--you know how i feel about the power of words) I think what might’ve come out of it is something like that … at least that’s how I would want you to perceive I was reasoning about myself and our marriage… which it seems you have although I say very little. … If that makes any sense at all.

Yeah, I have to admit that I don’t “get off” looking at opposite sex, boobs, etc….. so women in general, yeah, you’re right, although I appreciate their beauty and characteristics and nature.

And about you, yeah, I get that.
I do feel that way—bcz I’m in love with YOU and attracted to all the components OF you that MAKE YOU a woman, including the physical meldings of our male and female forms….

I mean, maybe some day I’ll start wanting to buy t***y mags…hahaa....

….but I’m content to be en eros with regard to ONE woman, my earthly companion. The one I was destined for all along. [Lucky you. :D]

And for me, the battle is such a head game. To appreciate and observe strength and beauty (male or female) vs. obsessing over personal inadequacies, feeling isolated, needing affirmation/touch, …. All of those things comprise my struggle each day.

Keeping that struggle in perspective; meeting needs in healthy ways—not by sexualizing or contextualizing or settling for “oh this is how I am”; recognizing my purpose in life (including struggle); and aye, even…dare I suggest…thanking God for where he’s grown me from…and to….

These are NOT mere mental posturings in response to the battle, rather they are viable weapons I can use in the fight for my masculinity, manhood, role as husband, father, and friend. As the whole man God intended.

You’re far more perceptive than I would have ever imagined; far more at peace and clear-thinking than I could ever have hoped; and provide much enc o u r a g ement for me to face this; deal with it; and perhaps come to embrace it fully. I mean, my gosh, to be able to even talk about this.

You’re truly amazing.


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And so, we begin.

It was a dark and stormy night.

How does one go from being a born-again Christ warrior Assemblies of God trained ambassador of everything Good and Holy and HEAVEN-BOUND...

to this.


What is this?

This. Is me.

I'm small and insignificant. But I'm still me. And I hope I'll do a good job this year of telling the story of how I got to be me. This format seems like a good way to do it, and I'm grateful that current technology makes this possible.

I'm an agnonstic believer of Jesus and His way of going about things.

Part of me can't believe that I felt compelled to preface everything I'm about to say this way.

Oh well.

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Friday, December 29, 2017

Place Holder

It's obvious to me that no one is reading any of this. Which ironically encourages me to keep sharing.

More tomorrow. I promise...(we'll all see how that goes)

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