My tongue is in my hand…

Archive for August 2009

Damn it

Posted on: August 27, 2009

There’s this saying that I’m not sure if it’s somehow Bibicial, or more a Christian myth, that the harder you press to God, the harder the devil presses after you…either way…Damn if my car is not f+#@*^.  I am so tired.

And all the other bills, the house, the complete lack of funding…the fear of the options, or lack thereof…I’m tired of this…I’m so tired. I feel like words can’t fully express, or even touch the ache in my heart. I wake up anxious. I spend hours in a confused fog, and anxious knot…just get me through the day…but nothing changes. Maybe I haven’t been trying hard enough all along, making enough effort to improve this, to manage it…I don’t know. I just feel like I shouldn’t have to. I shouldn’t have to. I don’t want to. I want it taken care of for me.

I’m freaking out inside all the time…or numbing myself to the freakout….distracting myself. I’m scared of what every person I talk to about it will say. Scared sick…I just want it to get better, go away. Why do I have to keep trying? I just want to quit…walk away…not give a shit. I just want something freer than this. But, I don’t want to let my family down.

God, help me. There’s so much more to me than this, so much more in me. This is holding me back. God, guide my hands, my feet my voice, to move as I need to move. Hold my heart. Just take over. Just take it. You know me. You know my dreams, my heart’s desires. You know my passion, my completion…you know what I ache for, you know how to get me there…and if what I ache for is some result of some falseness in my heart, show me, help me understand…I love you. I need you desperately, not just to get through the day, but to get through these situations, to get to a different place. Please. Take me. I’m a little scared to say those things, prayers are powerful…but that’s where I’m at, so that’s all I can say…

As soon as I heard this song, the first lines, I felt that this was a prayer I’ve had as well. Bonus that her vocal delivery is beautiful, throaty, soulful.

Have Your Way Lyrics by Britt Nicole

Feels like I’ve been here forever,
Why can’t you just intervene?
Do you see the tears keep falling?
And I’m falling apart at the seams.
You never said the road would be easy,
But you said that you would never leave.
And you never promised that this life wasn’t hard,
But you promised you’d take care of me.

So I’ll stop searching for the answers,
I’ll stop praying for an escape,
And I’ll trust you, God, with where I am,
And believe that you will have your way.
Just have your way.
Just have your way.

When my friends and my family have left me,
And I feel so ashamed and so cold.
Remind me that you take broken things
And turn them into beautiful.

So I’ll stop searching for the answers,
I’ll stop praying for an escape,
And I’ll trust you, God, with where I am,
And believe that you’ll have your way.
Just have your way.
Just have your way.

Even if my dreams have died,
And even if I don’t survive,
I’ll still worship you with all my life.
My life.
Whoa-Oh..

And I’ll stop searching for the answers,
I’ll stop praying for an escape,
And I’ll trust you, God, with where I am,
And believe that you will have your way.
Just have your way.
Just have your way.

I know you will.
I won’t forget.
Whoa-Oh…
You love me.
Have your way.
Yeah…

The only line that I think could use some work is “Even if my dreams have died, And even if I don’t survive” It seems like that was a case of “hey, this rhymes!” I get how it could work, but I think something like “Even if some of my dreams die, your dreams for me survive and ….” I don’t know, something like that.

Anyways, I’ve been listening to this non stop. I have been weary lately. Overwhelmed. Not sure of what to do, tired out from trying. Listening to this song over and over is like a chant, a meditation. God is so different than us, God’s ways are not our own.

The way our societies are constructed does not necessarily coincide with the vision of God. Yet God knows us, loves us, designed us, and in love allows us to choose, to explore, to test, to journey, to discover, and to decide for ourselves. God allows us the dignity of self, of decision, of failure, and redemption. So many take the hard parts of life as an argument against a loving God, or against God at all. But, I don’t. I think it’s all in how we look at it.  As I’ve established before, I have to believe. I would not live if I didn’t. There would literally be no motivation for me if I didn’t believe this was part of something ultimately beautiful.

So I say, letting God have God’s way with me lets me see a little more from a different perspective, from a supernatural eye.  In this, God knows exactly what we need when we need it, the ultimate needs of our soul, no matter how that looks in the material. In this, I’m high on this supernatural experience, living beyond the world even while in it. I come down from the high and experience more, take it to God and talk it out, fight it out. I get high, and come back down, adjusted eyes…everytime a little different. It’s a pilgrimage. God is every where. In things we find ugly as well as things we find desirable. God is not limited to our sight, our perspective. But our relationship, communion, interaction with God is limited by our perspective, by our willingness to accept or believe certain things, or to even entertain certain things that are foriegn to us. I think that’s why broken is beneficial. Broken is open. Open is free to explore, adjust, and believe.

Adjust my vision Lord, calm my heart when it worries, move spirit move. Beautiful Artist, Parent, Lover of my soul. I’m still working on full out belief. On remembering there is an ultimate art to life, to existence, that everything is part of the big big picture, everything. So everything really is okay. I’m day to day with this. Minute to minute. Praise the being that loves me in every movement I have and ever will make before I ever moved. Praise You who promises always, your hands, your hope.

I love You. And it’s true that it’s because you loved me first. It’s the only way I’d ever really know.

Posted on: August 19, 2009

Sometimes I just get so upset that I can’t write music. I can sing music, I can read music, I can love music, I can write poetry, I can even, roughly, play music. But I can’t make music like I make poetry. Poetry feels so pointless sometimes. No one really cares about poetry. You can’t do anything with poetry…but that’s what comes out…frustrated tonight.

Feminism is…?

Rebecca West: I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat, or a prostitute.

[Feminism is] a socialist, anti-family, political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.  ~Pat Robertson (Oh, Dear God!)

Michele Le Doeuff: A feminist is a woman who does not allow anyone to think in her place.

Nobody will ever win the Battle of the Sexes.  There’s just too much fraternizing with the enemy.  ~Henry Kissinger

The thing is, this isn’t a battle we’re fighting against each other, or at least it shouldn’t be.

Gloria Steinem: This is no simple reform. It really is a revolution. Sex and race because they are easy and visible differences have been the primary ways of organizing human beings into superior and inferior groups and into the cheap labour in which this system still depends. We are talking about a society in which there will be no roles other than those chosen or those earned. We are really talking about humanism.

Men weren’t really the enemy – they were fellow victims suffering from an outmoded masculine mystique that made them feel unnecessarily inadequate when there were no bears to kill.  ~Betty Friedan

Every time we liberate a woman, we liberate a man.  ~Margaret Mead

If the Mead quote is true, and I do believe it is, perhaps through me, my father liberated himself a bit, because my Daddy- southern boy, son of a farmer, corporate company executive and business owner- is a Feminist.

I keep trying to pinpoint the first feminist statement my father made to me, just for a starting point, but it’s hard to do so, because it was constant…Perhaps one of the first was when, at his encouragement, my sister and I were playing on a soccer team as 2 of 3 females on the team. I was in second grade. I complained about playing with the boys, I said they were too rough. Daddy told me to get out there and be rough too! Show them what  girl can do! For the record, I was just really bad at soccer, and the subsequent sport I tried on a co-ed team- basketball, so I’m not sure how much I “showed them”. But I didn’t quit and I didn’t cry when I was smacked into or kicked in the shins. I got dirty and I got up. That’s what the boys did and that’s what my Daddy said I could do to. So I did. And I’m so glad I did.

When, in 6th grade, I said I wanted to be the first female president of the United States, my Dad said “You go girl!” (it was the early 90’s, you can’t really blame him for using that phrase 🙂

When I finally found a sport I could play (believe me, he wasn’t letting up till I tried them all), he co-coached my softball teams and in doing so opened up a world to me of competitive, hard working, don’t care if we get bruised up, loud, powerful girls.

Daddy said God may be a woman.

Daddy said I could kiss all the boys I want.

Daddy said I could do whatever I want.

Of course, he rallied against things like short shorts (he usually lost) and driving late at night (lost again). I mean, feminist or not, he is my Dad, there are some things he has to oppose 😉

My advice to the women’s clubs of America is to raise more hell and fewer dahlias.  ~James McNeill Whistler

Sometimes, (or often) I’d get hyped up and on a role about some injustice and Daddy would shout from his corner “Alright Feminazi!” Usually followed by “You go girl!” Feminazi was a nickname he made up for me, jokingly, when I was out of my head raging against whatever I was raging against and stomping my feet around.  I would say, part of effective feminism (or effective anything), is being able to laugh at yourself and not take things too seriously all the time.

He also would strut his 6’3 farm boy frame around the house and tell us to “Flaunt it if we got it” (he claims he was channeling his grandma Pearl) He wanted me to know how to be a woman, a full out woman. And he wanted me to know I could be pretty, smart, and strong all at the same time.

“Scratch most feminists and underneath there is a woman who longs to be a sex object.  The difference is that is not all she wants to be.”  ~Betty Rollin

The other day my daughter,  Natalie, saw a policeman and claimed that that’s what she wanted to be. She then said, “but I have to be a man”. I laughed and said, nope baby, you can be a policewoman, and then introduced her to a policewoman. She probably won’t remember that, but for me, it’s just the beginning.

We’ve begun to raise daughters more like sons… but few have the courage to raise our sons more like our daughters.  ~Gloria Steinem

To quote my Daddy, the feminist “The only thing stopping you is your mind, don’t let your mind defeat you.” I will feed Natalie feminism, because feminism is simply the idea that woman are equals to men, deserving no special treatment nor discrimination. In this way, all children should be told this, this message is for everyone.

“We’ve got a generation now who were born with semiequality. They don’t know how it was before, so they think, this isn’t too bad. We’re working. We have our attache’ cases and our three piece suits. I get very disgusted with the younger generation of women. We had a torch to pass, and they are just sitting there. They don’t realize it can be taken away. Things are going to have to get worse before they join in fighting the battle.” Erma Bombeck

This quote reminds me that we owe our best efforts at equality not only for our present and future, but also to honor those who’ve gone before us. When I was engaged and planning my wedding, the older ladies in my church kept coming up to me, holding my hands, asking if I was still going to college- their eyes imploring me to say yes. I had never considered not going to college, but the mix of fear and hope in their eyes reminded me how big a deal it was, to not have homemaking and factory work as my only option. I think, sometimes, because we were born into this “semiequality” that we take for granted how recent the victories occurred, and how hard they were fought for. And I think, sometimes we forget that we’re not there yet. We’re further along, but we’re not there yet.

Nobody objects to a woman being a good writer or sculptor or geneticist if at the same time she manages to be a good wife, a good mother, good-looking, good-tempered, well-dressed, well-groomed, and unaggressive.  ~Marya Mannes

Marlo Thomas: One of the things about equality is not just that you be treated equally to a man, but that you treat yourself equally to the way you treat a man.

As always, equality is not just about one gender, one race, one religion. It’s about all of us, we’re all in this together. And if we do it right, the advancing of others can advance us all, not take anything away from any of us, but instead, give something to humanity as a whole. Liberate us all.

I am working for the time when unqualified blacks, browns, and women join the unqualified men in running our government.  ~Cissy Farenthold

And it’s not just this, but also that anyone making an effort to play a productive role in society, in any way, is respected in their role, with equal respect given to each role, as each role plays a crucial part in the functioning of our communities as a whole.

So, thanks Dad. Thanks for all the ways you allowed me no special treatment or discrimination. To do anything else would have been a disservice to me and anyone I have, or will, encounter along my life.

I’m tough, I’m ambitious, and I know exactly what I want.  If that makes me a bitch, okay.  ~Madonna Ciccone

There has always been this one passage in the Bible that I just can not be okay with. More than that, something within me rages at the words in defiance every single time I hear them. Nothing fills me with righteous indignation more.

So, here we go: “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husband in every thing.”  Ephesians 5:22-24

Ew, no. I will never fully submit myself a huMAN of any kind (doesn’t that border on idolatry?). And, in case anyone missed the memo- I, even as a woman, have direct line to God (ever since the crucifixion, you know?). And God talks to me, lives in me, guides me. I don’t need any PERSON to be my head. I’ve got my own head! People are crazy, even the most well intentioned, and we shouldn’t submit completely to a person. That’s asking for serious T-R-O-U-B-L-E.

Can we inspire, sharpen, and and hold one another accountable though? Absolutely. But I don’t think any PERSON needs to believe they are head of another PERSON.

I don’t care that the next part says  “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it.” Eph 5:25, because the next part says “That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.” Eph 5:26.

I’m sorry, no. No MAN can cleanse me! He’s going to be busy enough with his own self, as we all should be. To me, this passage has always implied that a woman is less godly than a man and needs a man to reach her ultimate best. That, is also a mentality that is asking for T-R-O-U-B-L-E. Even if the man does as he “should”, it still makes the woman out to be the lesser of the two. I can’t be okay with that.

People then say “Well, the point of it all  is in this verse-“So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.” Eph 5:28. Yeaaaa, that’s nice. But I’m pretty sure the whole love others as yourself thing was already covered earlier on (“This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” John 15:12) so I don’t buy that the whole point of that passage was that men love their wives as themselves. Because if that was all there was to it, then that is all that would be said.

This is where I intellectually understand that the Bible was assembled by men. God-lead, but still- men. And we can never fully escape our personal perspective, influenced by gender, among other things. I’m a writer, I’ve been inspired to write things I never had in my head on my own, but even as a vessel, traces of me come through. I also understand that the church, as an institution, was created and designed by men (again, God-lead, but still, men). And I understand that the church is an institution. That religion is not faith and vice versa.

The last thing women need in this world is to wait for a man to lead them or love them. I’m not men bashing, I’m being realistic. We all have to love and look out for one another, but we also all have to ultimately take responsibility for our lives and our relationship with God. We are individuals, even in marriage.

Why in the world would one person need to “lead” the other, particularly based on gender? Why is it not a 50/50 split (possibly focusing on personal strengths and weaknesses within the couple)?  Instead of women holding back our selves to submit to other mere mortals, why don’t we all work on loving God (and submitting to God) enough to love ourselves to love each other the very best we can? In this, I believe we do, through our love in God, submit ourselves to many things, but never to be less than another. How would it be effective to love others as we love ourselves if we consider ourselves less…

Why does this passage exist? I know there are plenty of things in the Old Testament that we put aside because with the Resurrection, there is new life, new law, but this is New Testament. So, what’s up?

The thing that got me going on this today was this article:

Weighty Words on the Meaning of a Husband’s Headship

August 5, 2009  |  By: John Piper |  Category: Commentary

What follows is one of the greatest reasons for a man to get married and stay married: not the rapturous flame of eros, but the refining fires of holiness.

No relationship is more clearly commanded to model the death of Christ. No relationship is more costly—in both senses of that word (painful and precious).

This quote comes from one of C. S. Lewis’s last books, published in 1960, The Four Loves. In it we hear the wise fruit of a lifetime.

The husband is the head of the wife just in so far as he is to her what Christ is to the Church. He is to love her as Christ loved the church—read on—and gave his life for her (Ephesians 5:25).

This headship, then, is most fully embodied not in the husband we should all wish to be but in him whose marriage is most like a crucifixion; whose wife receives most and gives least, is most unworthy of him, is—in her own mere nature—least lovable. For the church has no beauty but what the bridegroom gives her; he does not find, but makes her, lovely.

The chrism [anointing, consecration] of this terrible coronation is to be seen not in the joys of any man’s marriage but in its sorrows, in the sickness and sufferings of a good wife or the faults of the bad one, in his unwearying (never paraded) care or his inexhaustible forgiveness: forgiveness, not acquiescence.

As Christ sees in the flawed, proud, fanatical or lukewarm Church on earth that bride who will one day be without spot or wrinkle, and labors to produce the latter, so the husband whose headship is Christ-like (and he is allowed no other sort) never despairs. He is a King Cophetua who after twenty years still hopes that the beggar-girl will one day learn to speak the truth and wash behind her ears. (105-106)

http://www.desiringgod.org/Blog/1943_weighty_words_on_the_meaning_of_a_husbands_headship/

I have read this several times over, giving myself time to think about it, trying to see why the person who posted the link (who I like and respect) likes this article, and trying to process, not react. I don’t know if I’m there yet (though I am asking them: I know they find this useful/inspiring and I really want to see their perspective, or try).

The imagery just disgusts me. Why is this inspiring? It makes the woman sound dirty, unworthy, ugly, etc and marriage is related to a crucifixion but is also the only thing that makes the woman lovely. That’s not inspiring! That’s horrible!  I get that it is calling men to be holier, and to give of themselves (right, isn’t that the “point”?), but at what cost? At the cost of viewing women (their wives) and marriage as something to bear, something to endure? It sounds pious to me. I mean, we all know it’s called the “long haul” for a reason, but that’s just depressing. Why would anyone want to be married, or close to God, reading this?

I know Christians are called to die to their “selves”, but our “selves” are also created by and cherished by God. We have to be careful with this…without trying to sound too conspiracy theorist here- religions are often institutions of social control…We have to be careful with religion and faith. With things we are “supposed to do”…

And where is the advice for women? Just submit? Is that it? Lame. Or are we to just assume they mean the same for us? (to bear our marriage and husband like a dirty crucifixion through which we will gain our holiness? And, don’t we already HAVE our holiness- through Christ’s crucifixion?) Was it they just didn’t have gender neutral language back in the day?

If so, I still find in unappealing and disgusting.  It’s just not a visualization I am moved to action by. There’s nothing motivating about it for me.

Where’s the love? Where’s the inherent worth and beauty we (ALL of us) have as beings created by God?

Why are guilt trips, scare tactics, rule-focused sacrificial, and generally unappealing (and ego-tripping?) visuals used in Christianity? WHY?????

Where’s this stuff?

Love. Faith. Freedom. Courage. Grace. Mercy. Love. Joy. Hope. Promise. Strength. Rest. Forgiveness. Acceptance. Adoration. Worth. Love. Freely Giving. Unconditional. Intense. Consuming. Love.

Isn’t life itself hard enough? Don’t we need to focus on the good stuff? Doesn’t everything fall into place with love (meaning works and action will follow the commitment and acceptance of love)? Is that too touchy-feely-liberal- hippie-ish?

I don’t know that it’s so much the ultimate concept that is being presented that bothers me so much as it is the language that is being used…but there are some fundamental issues I think I have with all of it as well…I know I sound like my mind’s made up. To be honest, it kind of is. That doesn’t mean I can’t hear out dissenting perspectives, and keep thinking about it. I like thinking. It’s good for me. So, if you can help me understand the article as inspiring, or even, how the passage in Ephesians is truly relevant to male/female relationships now, I’m interested. I’m not saying it’ll change my mind, I’m just saying, I like all the info I can get, from all the sources I can get it. In case it matters:  I’m more likely to actually consider input that is not regurgitation, but more someone’s true perspective to which much thought has been given and processing has occurred.

…and I’m off the soapbox for now.

This is what I wrote down, word for word, during a sermon. That’s why it may or may not make sense. I just wanted it recorded, mainly for myself, (but also for anyone who likes to read my streams of consciousness…:) there’s some things I want to revisit.

Magnification, magnificence.

Clear eyes:

all the colors

and

movements

of light.

Vessel. Love Life, Be Brave. Time- precious, peace, patience, courage, Free. Hymn, Piano, Puritan. Native, Pilgrim. Gypsy: Spiritualist. Bare Bones Belief. Tragedy vs. Comedy. Belly of the Whale. Joy is a choice. Unexpected deliverance, Truth. No fear, you have plenty of time here. Called apart. Everlasting arms. Catacombs. Three Days. Heart of the Earth, there is coming a day. Hope vs. Desperation. Crosses to wings. overwhelmed? pray. No guilt. Everything has meaning. Quotable lyrics. Music. What have I to fear or dread? My life is in you. Cemetery, history. You can’t screw this up. Everything is as it should be. Get there. You will get there, God will get you there, one way or another. It’s not enough if just I’m okay. Vessel.

Love, Joy, Peace; Wisdom, Clarity, Courage, Belief