Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Out of all the lectures I received from my mother as I grew up the only thing I really remember her saying to me was, "You will never know how hard it is to be a parent until you are one."  I hated that.  I really did.  I used to inwardly roll my eyes (because if I outwardly did it she'd have knocked them out of my head) and think to myself, "You just don't know or remember how hard it is to be a kid."  How self-centered.  But that's kids. 

Without going into theories of human development and whatnot, kids are self-centered.  There are no two ways about it.  It's true some of them grow out of it faster than others and some never at all.  And there are varying degrees of self-centeredness within each child.  But it's there in all of them.  Sometimes they do are say the dumbest things that make us parents stand with our mouths open, heads shaking, thinking, "Don't you get it?!"  No they don't.

We've always taught our children that they may get to do or say or be whatever they want but they don't get to choose the consequences.  And the bigger the stupid, the bigger the consequence.  Some of our kids get it pretty early and some don't.  Our oldest said today that he only broke our trust once and he was so  disappointed in himself, as we were in him, that he never did it again.  Or at least got caught.  Because really isn't that part of being a kid?  Doing stuff you are not supposed to and not getting caught.  I still relish those moments myself. 

I have to say that my teenagers are the funnest people.  I enjoy this stage of life with them way better than the infant stage.  Babies are soooo cute and cuddly but they poop and throw up on you and get you up at all hours of the night and you can't sleep in and the laundry--don't get me started on the laundry. My teenagers don't poop on me anymore and they do their own laundry and sometimes they are out too late and I need them to come home so I can go to sleep but they have these great personalities and they have fun friends and interesting adventures.  But they can do some of the dumbest things.

Really dumb things.

Things that make me say something to the effect of, "You will never know how hard it is to be a parent until  you are one."  And I hope, somewhere, deep deep deep down inside their little self-centered hearts they get that.  But I afraid they don't.  I'm afraid it's a pipe dream. 

And so my next thought is this, "I hope you get one just like you."  I know my mother thought it at least once.  Because I did.  I got one just like me.  Possibly two.


Friday, February 15, 2013

Crap Happens (I really want it to read the other way but thought better of it.)

Yesterday was our anniversary and after spending a lovely day and evening with my husband we were driving home from our wonderful french dinner talking about some people we know.  I recalled a conversation I'd had with somebody recently about how they felt their life hadn't turned out the way they thought it would.  It had been wrought with hardship, divorce, parental estrangement and childlessness.  The comment they made on their life that really got me thinking was "God has a purpose for why he has given me these challenges and I have to figure out what that purpose is." Or something to that effect.

I don't believe that.  I don't believe that God "gives" us challenges.  I believe He gives us agency. 

A woman I follow on Twitter who is going through some trials right now tweeted yesterday, "For each moment that I allow myself to feel joy, I receive a double dose of my messed up reality."  I tweeted back, "Feel joy anyway."

Why shouldn't we feel joy even though we are going through trials? Men are that they might have joy! Who is it that wants to take our joy away from us?  The Adversary.  Satan wants us to be miserable like unto himselfThe way Satan takes away our agency is to bring us down to his level of misery that we can see no way out.  

Let me define agency:  The free gift (although agency is NOT free.  Never say free agency in front of me because you will quickly be corrected) God gives us to act, think, feel, react, speak, etc. anyway we like.  Any way at all.  We get to CHOOSE how we do these things.  There isn't one person on earth or Satan for that matter that can MAKE us do what we don't want to do. We can be charmed, we can be cajoled, we can have it suggested, we can be harangued for that matter to give into our baser selves and act against what we know is best.  However, and this is a big however, we are NOT FREE to choose the consequences of our actions or inactions.  This is why agency is not free.  There is always a price to pay.

This goes for what people have done to us in the past.  They have their agency also.  And unfortunately the consequences made from their poor use of agency ripple down to us. 

Yes, there are horrible things that happen in this world.  My heart hurts from the abuses made against women and children.  Jesus said in Matthew 18:6 (also in Mark and Luke)
But those who offend cannot hide from God even in the depths of the sea.  

And yes, the pain people who offend leave in their wake can be devastating.  But we have the opportunity to use our agency to move past this pain.  We don't have to continue being victims to the pain someone has inflicted on us.

And this is why I do not believe that God "gives" us challenges.  He gives us agency.  He allows bad things to happen to people (good and bad alike) because that is His gift to us.  To take the hand that was dealt to us and make our lives better. 

Do you think He wants us to be miserable?  NO!  Remember, that is Satan's tactic.  To use our agency to become miserable. God is our Heavenly Father.  A true and loving person who wants us to be happy.  Who wants us to have joy.  He knows we will fall down over and over and over again in this lifetime and he hopes we will continue to get up, dust ourselves off and keep on going.  

We choose our unhappiness.  We choose how we react to situations.  We choose our joy. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Rules For Engagement

How to communicate efficiently with me: (this shouldn't be a list exclusive to me, people.)


1.  Call me directly if you have any comments, questions, or criticisms.
2.  Email me directly if you have any comments, questions, or criticisms.
3.  Text me directly if you have any comments, questions, or criticisms.
4.  Talk to me directly if you have any comments, questions, or criticisms.
5.  Expect me to listen to you and plan on me sympathizing, empathizing, agreeing, OR disagreeing with you.
6.  Expect me to be polite whether I agree with you or not.
7.  Speak to me with a normal tone of voice.
8.  Make sure you have your facts straight before you talk to me.
9.  Once you start something with me make sure you are ready to finish it.
10. Expect me to disagree with you.
11. Expect me to agree with you.


1.  Don't talk to everyone but me about any comments, questions, or criticisms you have.  That's called gossip.
2.  Don't talk down to me.
3.  Don't use your snarkiest voice with me.
4.  Don't accuse me of things before you get your facts straight.
5.  Don't start something with me and then walk away because I don't agree with you.
6.  Don't call me names.
7.  Don't assume I'm going to disagree with you.
8.  Don't assume I'm going to be unsympathetic.
9.  Don't assume I'm going to agree with you.

And the lists could go on.......

I'm actually a very easy person to get along with.  Now that I'm medicated.  I rarely, if ever, get really angry and most likely will sympathize with you and even if it's not my problem will help in any way I can to make the situation easy for you.  However, if you come at me claws bared and in attack stance before I even know what the hell is going on.....expect a fight.  I won't take your crap.

One more thing?  I can not be bullied.  It's that simple.  I was raised by a bully.  She was 6 feet tall and 200 pounds of mean.  She would push her way through every situation making sure she got her way, always.  I learned two things from this:  1.  That's not nice.  2.  I can't be bullied so don't even try.  I know how to fight back and I am mean when I have to be.  I stand up for myself and take control of my life. Nobody else will do it for me.