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Guilt Culture

H and I get together about once a week to chat.

Jesus said that when you leave everything for the Kingdom, you receive more than you left in the Kingdom. H is one of a few women who’s sort of filled the mom-role for me here. (My mom is awesome for advice on improving as a musician, gardening, food-prep, lots of very practical tasks, but when it comes to worldview and relationships, I have to talk to someone who read their Bible that morning.)

We have tea, talk over life. Usually at her house, sometimes at a bookstore coffee shop. There’s some other overlap – I watch munchkins for two hours one midweek morning, and three of them are her granddaughters. We’re in the choir together. But this is the time when nothing else is pulling our attention, and I can pull out the drawer of everything weighing on me right now. H listens, and offers practical advice, based on years of teaching, raising children, being married, and leaning hard on God through all of it.

One of my favorite pictures is when she gathers all three of her kids (the middle one is my age, so this is years back) close and says, “Okay everybody, we’re going to stop for a minute and pray that God will give mommy more patience.” Love it. It never entered my mind to pray FOR my parents when I was a kid. Give thanks for them, certainly, but the idea that God could help my parents handle things that they couldn’t handle without Him – mindblowing.


So, this week we’re talking over about seven different things at once, and somewhere in there comes the concept that one of our marriage-mentors believes Rick and I keep having the same issue because of some unconfessed sin between us.

H knows me. She hears me out about my mom and my sisters, my frustrations, my goals, my marriage, my confusion about what I’m supposed to be doing in all this, and she’s been doing it longer than I’ve been married. So she listens to my bafflement, because I can’t think of anything I’ve been keeping from Rick, and I know Rick isn’t keeping anything from me (because he can conceal important information from the person who needs it for maybe all of ten hours). She was calm, “No, you’d know if you had some unconfessed sin.”

And then she reminded me of something – I do guilt. It’s a pervasive part of how I understand my place in the world. I am guilty. Not in a logical sense. It’s, “I am guilty,” in the same sense that, “I am female,” in my mind. It was a major part of my growing-up; I didn’t understand that my parents had problems, I thought that my parents were wonderful and *I* caused the problems. If I could just be a good kid, they wouldn’t have these issues.

This is something I have to work through, and get past. Same way that H has to work through being emotionally demonstrative. She didn’t grow up with it, her husband did, and it was a long time before she could be comfortable with hugs.

The thing is, this dovetails with what this marriage mentor is seeing. It doesn’t have the same root cause, but a lingering, pervasive sense of guilt is usually the result of some hidden sin. And it can easily produce the things that he’s seeing and hearing in our marriage.

I haven’t actually been doing anything wrong. I don’t have to DO anything to be female, I just am. It’s similar with guilt. I don’t have to DO anything to be guilty, but it’s very easy for me to accept that I’ve done something wrong and it’s my job to figure out what it is.


This was one of the hardest parts about Christianity for me, by the way. Christianity isn’t about guilt. You have godly sorrow over doing something ungodly. Guilt is like a brand, or a bad smell hanging around you that you can’t get rid of. You sorrowfully bring to God what you’ve done that’s ungodly, and He considers a broken heart a worthy offering. He lifts you up at the right time, and you’re free, and you have joy again. I’ve experienced this so many times.


For H, demonstrations are separate from love, and she has to work to link them. After several decades, she’s pretty good at it now, though she still isn’t very emotional. (I am TOO emotional. When I learned that H never cries in front of her husband, because she doesn’t want to upset him, I took that to heart as swiftly as I did learning that J never denies her husband sex. Made it my goal to never cry in Rick’s presence. This was fairly exasperating for him.)

For me, guilt is separate from action. I can ACT guilty, the way I can act more feminine, or I can try to ignore it and distract myself, the way I can dress frumpily and swear like a sailor*. The best remedy for this I’ve found, so far, is to read gobs of Scripture. Big, big chunks. Like, let’s knock out the book of Acts this afternoon.

*Okay, meaning no disrespect to your personal definition of femininity. Culturally, my sisters and I grew up with the ideas that women are to be lovely, well-read, kind, and above all, gracious.

Because I’m not fighting an idea, a statement. I’m fighting the sense of who I am. That’s not something that gets answered in a one-time wilderness experience, not for me, anyway. I’ve spent a lot of time in the woods. In the woods is where I go to meet with God and haul out the pieces of myself that are sunk in the landscape like truck carcasses in a redneck lawn. It’s where I go BECAUSE of who I am, not to find who I am.

I’m one who needs God. I’m one who God loves.

I read Scripture in big pieces because I have big pieces of guilt culture. Some Christians have to fight the sense that they’re the wrong gender. Some have to fight the sense that they’re married to the wrong person. I have to fight the sense that I’m guilty.


Let all tears turn to gold
And all the hell I've raised
Lord, let it fade away
As Your glories unfold
Give me a part to play
Grant me another day....

 
 
   
 

Guilt Culture

H and I get together about once a week to chat.

Jesus said that when you leave everything for the Kingdom, you receive more than you left in the Kingdom. H is one of a few women who’s sort of filled the mom-role for me here. (My mom is awesome for advice on improving as a musician, gardening, food-prep, lots of very practical tasks, but when it comes to worldview and relationships, I have to talk to someone who read their Bible that morning.)

We have tea, talk over life. Usually at her house, sometimes at a bookstore coffee shop. There’s some other overlap – I watch munchkins for two hours one midweek morning, and three of them are her granddaughters. We’re in the choir together. But this is the time when nothing else is pulling our attention, and I can pull out the drawer of everything weighing on me right now. H listens, and offers practical advice, based on years of teaching, raising children, being married, and leaning hard on God through all of it.

One of my favorite pictures is when she gathers all three of her kids (the middle one is my age, so this is years back) close and says, “Okay everybody, we’re going to stop for a minute and pray that God will give mommy more patience.” Love it. It never entered my mind to pray FOR my parents when I was a kid. Give thanks for them, certainly, but the idea that God could help my parents handle things that they couldn’t handle without Him – mindblowing.


So, this week we’re talking over about seven different things at once, and somewhere in there comes the concept that one of our marriage-mentors believes Rick and I keep having the same issue because of some unconfessed sin between us.

H knows me. She hears me out about my mom and my sisters, my frustrations, my goals, my marriage, my confusion about what I’m supposed to be doing in all this, and she’s been doing it longer than I’ve been married. So she listens to my bafflement, because I can’t think of anything I’ve been keeping from Rick, and I know Rick isn’t keeping anything from me (because he can conceal important information from the person who needs it for maybe all of ten hours). She was calm, “No, you’d know if you had some unconfessed sin.”

And then she reminded me of something – I do guilt. It’s a pervasive part of how I understand my place in the world. I am guilty. Not in a logical sense. It’s, “I am guilty,” in the same sense that, “I am female,” in my mind. It was a major part of my growing-up; I didn’t understand that my parents had problems, I thought that my parents were wonderful and *I* caused the problems. If I could just be a good kid, they wouldn’t have these issues.

This is something I have to work through, and get past. Same way that H has to work through being emotionally demonstrative. She didn’t grow up with it, her husband did, and it was a long time before she could be comfortable with hugs.

The thing is, this dovetails with what this marriage mentor is seeing. It doesn’t have the same root cause, but a lingering, pervasive sense of guilt is usually the result of some hidden sin. And it can easily produce the things that he’s seeing and hearing in our marriage.

I haven’t actually been doing anything wrong. I don’t have to DO anything to be female, I just am. It’s similar with guilt. I don’t have to DO anything to be guilty, but it’s very easy for me to accept that I’ve done something wrong and it’s my job to figure out what it is.


This was one of the hardest parts about Christianity for me, by the way. Christianity isn’t about guilt. You have godly sorrow over doing something ungodly. Guilt is like a brand, or a bad smell hanging around you that you can’t get rid of. You sorrowfully bring to God what you’ve done that’s ungodly, and He considers a broken heart a worthy offering. He lifts you up at the right time, and you’re free, and you have joy again. I’ve experienced this so many times.


For H, demonstrations are separate from love, and she has to work to link them. After several decades, she’s pretty good at it now, though she still isn’t very emotional. (I am TOO emotional. When I learned that H never cries in front of her husband, because she doesn’t want to upset him, I took that to heart as swiftly as I did learning that J never denies her husband sex. Made it my goal to never cry in Rick’s presence. This was fairly exasperating for him.)

For me, guilt is separate from action. I can ACT guilty, the way I can act more feminine, or I can try to ignore it and distract myself, the way I can dress frumpily and swear like a sailor*. The best remedy for this I’ve found, so far, is to read gobs of Scripture. Big, big chunks. Like, let’s knock out the book of Acts this afternoon.

*Okay, meaning no disrespect to your personal definition of femininity. Culturally, my sisters and I grew up with the ideas that women are to be lovely, well-read, kind, and above all, gracious.

Because I’m not fighting an idea, a statement. I’m fighting the sense of who I am. That’s not something that gets answered in a one-time wilderness experience, not for me, anyway. I’ve spent a lot of time in the woods. In the woods is where I go to meet with God and haul out the pieces of myself that are sunk in the landscape like truck carcasses in a redneck lawn. It’s where I go BECAUSE of who I am, not to find who I am.

I’m one who needs God. I’m one who God loves.

I read Scripture in big pieces because I have big pieces of guilt culture. Some Christians have to fight the sense that they’re the wrong gender. Some have to fight the sense that they’re married to the wrong person. I have to fight the sense that I’m guilty.


Let all tears turn to gold
And all the hell I've raised
Lord, let it fade away
As Your glories unfold
Give me a part to play
Grant me another day....

 
 
 

   
NewsNewsNews... :)
It's been awhile since my last post, huh? oh well....
I know I'm late, but happy St. Patrick's day!!! I'm Irish, I had to say it :P

Now, on to the "News"...
I'm going to be a mommy! We found out on St. Patty's day and ever since, my boyfriend and I have been planning and just being excited. I told my mom yesterday and she took it surprisingly well. The rest of my family might not be as easy. All I know is that I'm happy, my boyfriend's happy, and we know it's going to be okay. I'm still going to finish school, which will be easier since I don't have to take my gym class anymore :P I'm not looking forward to pushing it out, though.

So, anyone with parental/pregnancy advice, baby names, anything basically, I'd love to hear it. Unless you're going to be mean about it. I know some people are going to judge, but please keep it to yourself. I know I'm a teenager, it's a sin, blahblahblah... If you insist on ruining my happiness, I suppose I can't stop you.
 
 
   
 

Pictures -- My life is awesome, part two.
I'm effin' impatient, fuck waiting for tomorrow to post a new entry.  (EDIT- LMFAO THIS TOOK ME SO LONG THAT IT IS  TOMORROW NOW)

HEY HI HO WHOA HELLO THERE




Autumn with the non mackdaddy werewolf:




BEST.PICTURE.EVER.








this butterfly/moth thing basically ruined my entire night, I kid you not:




(i spy with my little eye an ICED COFFEE)


It took me forever to figure out how to take a picture with Angie's phone, lol


little big truck and big big truck:


right when the roller coaster stopped (still strapped in!):












Metallica day<3

 
 
 

   
One Year
It's hard to say what only one year means for most people.  To so many people it can mean so many different things.  It could mean a job promotion, relocation, marriage, a birth, and it can also mean a death.  Approximately one year ago my Mom died.  I don't think I've ever thought back to a certain day a year previous, thought about the fact that it has been 365 (give or take) days, and absolutely 100% completely NOT understood how it has been a whole year.  I've made little jokes all the time.  "Oh man!  It's already been a year?  Shit!"  But never have I realized just how fast time flies by.

One year ago, my Mom let go of this life.  She surrendered all she had left and slipped, relatively smoothly I might add, away.  Her body was still here on this Earth and her closest family and friends gathered around her bedside to bundle our love for a care-package for her to take with her.  At around 8:30 at night, on August 17th, she finally let go completely and made the journey from this life to the next.  I don't know what made her stick around for the 15 hours she did in a sort of "limbo" but I like to think that she just loved us too much to just jet on out of here.  Ya know what I was doing during those 15 hours?  I was watching fun movies with my best friend Tommy (and later Will and Emily as well).  Doing exactly what she would have me doing.  Carrying on.  Not doting on her.  When it first happened (when we realized that she wasn't coming back), I did probably the hardest thing I've ever done in my entire life.  At that moment in time, it didn't feel hard because I just NEEDED someone but I called our priest, Mike, and let him know that "This is it."  But after that, I spent my time with my greatest friend on Earth.  The only person who could POSSIBLY give me comfort.  Exactly as my Mom would have liked.

I realize this because of the year that's passed.  I've realized many, many things.  I've grown.  I'm moving out of the third house of the three I grew up in and, ironically, moving into the first house that I grew up in in order to live my own life and grow up, for the second time, in it.  There's no doubt in my mind that this house is where I need to be.  It's an ironic full circle but it really represents how much I've come in just one year.

In only one year, I've realized just how much love means.  You always hear "Don't throw around the L-word."  Maybe in relationships that works but it doesn't work in life outside of a romantic relationship.  Can there ever be enough love?  The answer is no because God is perfect love.  We make it what it can be and it comes damn near close.  I feel love for all of my friends, the newest and the closest.  I feel love for all of my family, even those I don't speak with.  And the greatest source of this love, other than God?

My Mom.

My Mom was love.  She is love.  Which means she is constant.  Which means she is always near, always here.  I think that one of God's greatest gifts is a Mother's love and, if you don't realize this, now is the time to realize it.  Don't realize it after she's gone.  Realize it now and be thankful for it.

Now I realize something else.  I realize that it has only been a year.  One year.  I can't lay claim to how many years I have left but, however many I have, I will strive to make sure that other people know of this love.  Today is only the start.  How far can I spread this new realization in two years?
 
 
   
 

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Re: Get Set - yes :) it also makes me more inclined to unpack all my traveling stuff, instead of throwing it…

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