Love/Hate Challenge

http://justplainolvic.com/2015/06/07/lovehate-challenge/comment-page-1/#comment-2026

I got this idea from “Just Plain ‘Ol Vic”. Basically, we name ten things we love and ten we hate. I’m not that interesting so you might not care one way or another, but here are my lists.

 

Love-

Red Curly Hearts clip art

-God, although I don’t show it well
-My husband
-My cats…animals in general, really. I have five of them. I would take home every homeless little whatever if I could.
-My family and friends
-The joy my friends’ little girls show toward everything. I still think it’s sweet how one of them saw me across her yard and ran to hug me at full speed. That was two years ago, but I still love it.
-Chocolate!
-The sheer beauty of nature, especially flowers and animals.
-Mediterranean food. It’s the main way I get my husband to eat salad.
-Movies, music and TV. I just wish I had a talent or way to get into any of these, particularly music. I can carry a tune in a bucket, but that’s about it.
-Taking pictures. At this time I only use my phone and iPod, which have surprisingly good cameras. Even so, I would love to learn how to take professional-grade pictures with professional-grade equipment. I think there’s a digital camera around here somewhere, but it’s not mine.

 

 I like most people until they give me a reason not to. I think that, aside from earning our salvation  (because that’s just not going to happen), non-perfect humans have the capacity for good and the capacity for evil.  There might be a few on the far ends of the spectrum…I guess the Mother Teresas and Hitlers of the world…but, for most of us, it’s a matter of degrees.  Jesus is the only perfect person who ever lived, but that tends to happen when you’re the son of God.

 

Hate-

Proud Nerd Image clip art

-Snobby people
-People who are racist/sexist/homophobic/etc
-Beer…although there are some hard ciders or flavored beers (i.e. Redd’s Apple Ale) I like
-The smell of fish and liver pudding. Don’t ask.
-The way I get obsessed with things like TV because I don’t have a job or much going on outside the home. I also hate that I’ve not been able to work, so money isn’t our friend either.
-People who go out of their way to make everyone else miserable. They can’t stand to see anyone happy because they want everyone else to be as ill-tempered as they are.
-People who hurt animals
-The way I can be selfish and frustrated sometimes
-The fact that I can get so stuck up my own butt that I don’t catch the things going on with other people around me. I especially hate it if I get a guilt trip about it.
-People who are mean just for the sake of being mean

Wow, I always thought of myself as a positive person, and yet I found it a lot easier to think of things I hated than things I loved. Maybe it’s because I don’t spend as much time thinking about things I love enough to be able to put them into words? No, that’s sad. Maybe it’s because I like most things (or am at least ambivalent toward them), so it’s easier to narrow the things I hate down? I don’t know. I just think that life is too short to go around throwing fits and arguing with people over trifles. Most things like what soda you get, who cleans the catbox or what food you bring to a party aren’t things worth bickering about, especially in front of other people. Some people call this being a doormat, but I call it picking my battles. Most of them aren’t worth fighting.

Now, it’s my turn to “tag” ten other bloggers. Hopefully they won’t mind.
-DA Ugly Duckling http://dauglyducklin.org/
-Express with NeJae http://blog.nejae.com/
-Notes From The UK http://notesfromtheuk.com/
-Cee’s Photography http://ceenphotography.com

 

I’m not as active in the blogging world as some I know. Again, I hope they don’t mind.

 Oh, and, I did think of one other thing I love.
 -A full moon reflecting on a perfectly still tide
I grew up on the beach. I think I’ll always love stuff like that.

Be Gracious, Lord: A Reflection on Psalm 6

theprozacqueen:

Reblogging because Tony Roberts is a very spiritual and generally awesome person…and, well, I was blessed by reading it and perhaps you will be too.

Originally posted on A Way With Words:

Be gracious, Lord, rebuke me not in wrath,

Nor in Your anger, for I waste away;

My bones, my soul are troubled — heal me, LORD!

How long, O LORD, how long will You delay?

On days I have been devastated by despair, it has been difficult to pray. It is hard to conceive God cares, else why would I be languishing in misery?  Like Elijah seeking shade under a sycamore or Jonah sleeping at sea, waves of hopelessness and despondency prompt me to tune out the world and God along with it.

The Psalmist here shows us a different approach. Rather than run from trouble or responsibility, he calls on the One (and only One) able to help. This prayer acknowledges that God may well be the cause of the hardship. God may well be angry for something the Psalmist has done or failed to do. Be that as…

View original 491 more words


If only I could leave this bed and house…

theprozacqueen:

Re-blogging because, although I’m doing well now, I’ve been here. I think we all will be at one point in time.

Originally posted on Marie Abanga's Blog:

I have had to face this since Monday Morning I have had to face this since Monday Morning

Hello world, it’s been such a mixed couple of days so far that I just had to share not one but two blog posts this very day. Ok let’s start with the first.

Since Monday morning, I have had a very hard time leaving bed. Ok, for someone who once slept just 4 hours (yes that’s bad too I know), sleeping 7 or 8 and still feeling like staying in bed, isn’t so good either.

Monday morning

Well, I am jobless sort of (don’t mind my other posts of creating lots of positive stuff, recently publishing another memoir, and much more), and the dread of not having an income and knowing that the minutes will usher in another bill, does root in apprehension. I try to stay positive and to do lots of stuffs like even learning to bike and writing…

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Manly men??? A Re-Blog

theprozacqueen:

I know I have a lot of feminist-esque stuff on my blog, but that doesn’t mean I can’t give good men a shout-out too. The only thing my husband does on this list is eat a lot of beef and, well, I loves me a good steak too. He even likes hugs and puppies, although we’re both more partial to kittens. The rest I left behind when I dumped my college guy. Anyone who’s met him knows it wasn’t much of a loss.

Enjoy the reblog!

Originally posted on Pouring My Art Out:

Why the hell is it that every time there is a TV show that uses the word ‘manly’, it is always a show about something stupid? It shows guys eating way to much, or doing something idiotic and dangerous, or being sexist jerks. Is this all men are?

Hey, a guy painted the freakin’ Sistine Chapel ceiling.

A guy designed the Taj Mahal.

We have been responsible for some of the world’s most beautiful and moving poems and songs and works of art.

We like flowers and sunsets.

We like hugs and puppies.

There is more to us than appetites, muscles, and the incredible ability to succumb to peer pressure and injure ourselves doing something moronic.

In fact, I would go so far as to say that the majority of men now… and it wasn’t always this way… are more interested in art and culture and creativity than we are in sports…

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The Painted Kitty

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This is my cat Missy. I call her “The Painted Kitty” (or just “Painted”) because of the way each individual hair of hers has specks of the colors that make up her patterns. You’ll probably find this on most tabbies, although it’s usually easier to see in cats with multiple colors than with different shades of the same color. She looks as though God took a paintbrush and started marking up a canvas in whatever pattern He wanted to use. My friend’s tortie (tortoiseshell calico) Daimos was the same way-black with yellow and orange blotches that showed up bit by bit on each of her hairs. My vet said that no two tabbies or torties have exactly the same patterns, so it’s as though He really did “paint her special”. That’s what I tell her, anyway.

She might not understand the words, but I think animals pick up on a lot more than we think. My old roommate’s cat Thomas would immediately follow her into her room when she came in crying, which happened a lot. Her other cat would camp out on the edge of my bed when I was home with a sinus infection; she had sinus issues too, so it was like she “felt my pain.” When I came home from the hospital after having been there for a month, I’d wake up to find Missy at the end of my bed each morning. I think she wanted to make sure I didn’t go away again. They’re aware of these things, sometimes more so than humans.

Anyway, I hope you liked looking at her as much as I do. It’s like I’ve said about a sunset-if God is willing to put so much care and effort into something that can’t talk or have a relationship with Him, imagine how much care He puts into us. Something to think about.


Why I’m *Really* Going to Hell (Or So I’m Told)

(I’m re-publishing this because I added an idem. Hope you like it.)

Last year, I wrote a post joking about going to Hell based on a discussion thread I posted on Beliefnet.com. It was meant to lighten the mood on a normally-heavy debate board. It was mostly successful, but there were several people who didn’t appreciate my sense of humor and implied that God wouldn’t either; I *am* in the Bible Belt, after all. After reading a few responses, I figured I’d better write a something a bit more serious. According to some people, here are the reasons I’m going to Hell.

Having the wrong political views.

But Here’s 5 Reasons Why American Evangelicalism Completely Lost Me

I’m citing this post by Benjamin Corey because item #1 speaks directly to what I’ve experienced. The person I dated before my husband was a deeply conservative Christian. It ended for a lot of reasons, but I’m mentioning this because being with him got me sucked into the Evangelical politics Benjamin mentions. It’s very disturbing how some people would judge your faith by whether or not you supported the Bush administration and/or the Republican party. It wasn’t as creepy as the movie Jesus Camp, but it still felt weird. As a then-Democrat, I learned very quickly to keep my mouth shut lest I be accused of “helping the Devil”. I can’t explain it any better than Ben does, but what got to me the most was that there really was a time when I thought God had abandoned me because of my beliefs. Before you scoff, consider that few things make you feel farther from God than the depression that comes along with untreated bipolar disorder. Why was it untreated, you ask? Well….

Seeing secular medical treatment. It wasn’t getting medical treatment that was the problem so much as the “lack of faith” that prompted me to seek said treatment instead of relying on God to heal me. In “Prosperity Gospel” circles (more on why it’s BS in another post), that can mean anything from having somehow lost my way to (gasp!) not being a Real Christian at all. The fact that I had gone back on medication after having tried the “supernatural healing” approach made it even worse because it was thought that I got sick again because I lost faith and God had taken away the healing. How this made sense to anyone I’ll never know, but it’s thoughts like this that can make someone already suffering from depression or something like it feeling even worse. If even God doesn’t love you, you must be a piece of crap, right? I actually began to wonder if the “diagnoses” of me having an unclean spirit that needed to be cast out were true after all. Again, scoff all you want; When you feel like something else is inside of you controlling your thoughts and actions the way you would in “mixed state”, you’d believe it too.

Strangely enough, I never *did* lose faith. I still believed and sought God throughout all of this. Take that!

Blaspheming the Holy Spirit. Despite the fact that it comes right from the source , I haven’t heard this one as often as the others. The only reason I’m mentioning it is because no one can tell me what this actually *means*. Was it laughing when I saw, “I found Jesus-He was behind the couch” on a T-shirt? Was it playing Cards Against Humanity and giggling at some of the less-disrespectful cards? Some of them *do* mention God or Jesus. When I see a really rude one I’ll say “that’s just wrong” or “that’s sacrilegious”, but I don’t bow out of the game. Was it when I used to play with Ouija boards as a teenager? I won’t touch the damned things now; they creep me out. Was it when a boyfriend started exploring Paganism in college? When a Catholic one stopped going to confession? He said he’d been made to do the “church thing” growing up and was enjoying the freedom. Was it when my friend told God to “shove it” when her husband died shortly after their son was born?

The definition that makes the most sense to me is, strangely again, not the one I hear most often. The way my former Southern Baptist church explained it to me was that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is an ongoing, willful rejection of God. It’s not something you do out of anger or youthful ignorance, nor is it related to your choice of entertainment; that’s another matter altogether. It was also said that it’s not something a Christian can do because, if someone is willing to completely deny Jesus, they probably weren’t saved to begin with. If you’re asking this question, you probably haven’t committed this sin because if you had, you wouldn’t care.

As for the aforementioned Catholic, he never left the church; as much as he liked sleeping in on Sunday, he realized pretty quickly that nothing can take the place of Jesus. I wonder if this minor “straying” was a way of showing him that.

I’m happy for my brother. Before you say “huh?”, let me explain. My brother and his now-husband live in a state (Hawaii) that, after years of debate, finally allows same-sex marriage. They have been together for nearly 35 years but, because of their genders, somehow their relationship is less “real” and worthy of celebration than celebrities who ask for divorce via text message or leave after six months because the “honeymoon phase” is over and it’s not fun anymore.

Some in the more conservative circles would say that homosexuality is an “abomination” and that, by being happy for my brother, I’m somehow “condoning sin” or, worse, participating in it. I think this is ridiculous because even if I did believe homosexuality was a “choice”-and the hell my gay friends went through in trying to “make themselves straight” tells me it’s not-, I’m happy that someone I care about is happy. Period. It would be one thing if this happiness hurt someone else, but it doesn’t. It’s just there for him, his husband and everyone else to share in. I don’t see anything wrong with that.

I’m a feminist of sorts. I think women are equal to men and should be treated as such. I don’t see why this is a big deal.

Not trying to convert everyone I meet. I’ve had friends of other faiths (or none at all) for a long time. This isn’t a problem for most Evangelicals, but I heard some pretty nasty comments about how I needed to “convert” them so they won’t go to Hell. I see two things wrong with this view: 1) I was under the impression that it was the Holy Spirit who converted people, I was just the messenger, and b) I know from experience that the harder you push something on someone, the more likely they are to push back. Harder. That doesn’t mean you can’t talk about your faith; in fact, I do it all the time. I’m not aggressive about it or bring it up in every conversation, but I love learning and talking about Jesus and religion in general. I wasn’t raised a Christian, so this is a big change. I just don’t know why I would need to be aggressive about it when the people who showed me to Jesus were anything but. They didn’t just talk about the Gospel-they lived it. Even if they didn’t say word one about God, you could see Him written all over their faces and in their lives. That is how I want to be. I want to bring people to God the way they did for me. Like I said, though, He’s the one who does the “saving”. I just want to lead people to the door. I suck at it, but that’s another post.

These are just a few of the reasons I’ve been told I’m going to Hell. I’m not saying that doing the right things isn’t important because it is, but I’m not sure if that’s really the “point” of Christianity. I don’t know; I just want to be like Jesus. Perhaps I need to be thinking more about *that* than what other people say. One day at a time.


What Anxiety Is Like In Nine Short Drawings

Yes, I know, this is just a link…but I came across it today when looking at something else and thought you all might find it helpful.

http://distractify.com/joe-white/finally-this-illustration-explains-anxiety-perfectly-for-those-who-dont-understand-it/

 

I’ve used the “raining” metaphor to describe depression before-it’s like a black cloud is following you around all the time when the rest of the world is sunny. People will tell you to cheer up or think positive but, just like the rain in real life, no amount of “good thoughts” stops it. Not for long, anyway.  Therapy, anti-depressants, prayer etc can act as an umbrella but they don’t necessarily stop the rain from coming back. People usually understand it when I explain it like this, but every now and then I will over-hear people talking about how anti-depressants and therapy aren’t “real solutions”, and what depressed people *really* need is faith in God/right belief/etc. To that, I only have one things to say:

Yes, God is the one who can ultimately stop the rain. However, you would never criticize someone for using an umbrella to help them weather the storm. We ultimately don’t know whether the rain is going to stop tomorrow, next week or next year (weathermen try but they can be wrong), so use that umbrella as long as you need to. Ignore anyone who suggests you should go without it because they probably wish they had one too.

Just to end on a happy note, here’s another link:

http://www.cheeserank.com/culture/dear-god-these-pizzas-are-straight-up-madness/


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