Tag Archives: faith

And The Greatest is This

Toodle

Religious views always differ from person to person. Always.

The idea of faith never changes.  Faith is Believing.  Christian, Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran, Muslim, Cherokee or voodoo… it all takes faith, believing, trusting in something other than yourself.

To not have a religious view or faith in someone other than yourself still requires a faith.  A faith of yourself, a trust that you are right.  Life takes faith.

1 Corinthians 13

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become a sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have no love, I am nothing.

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails.  But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.

For we know in part and we prophesy in part.

But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face.  Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

And now abide faith, hope, love these three; but the greatest of these is love. 

Life takes love.

Mark 12: 31

And the second, like it, is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  There is no other commandment greater than these.

Faith, Hope, Love.  It’s all we got.

Faith is not about which pastor you follow, which books you read, or how many lines of scripture you can rattle off.  Religion is not about being perfect or about being better than another.  It’s about faith, hope and love.  It’s about living your faith, showing it through you actions and leaving the judging to the one who is truly in charge.

We hope to inspire, hope to change, hope to grow.

We love with all we have, and have the faith that we shall be loved back.

And the greatest is Love.

 

{This is an oldy from a different blog I used to have, but seems extremely relevant today, so much so that I couldn’t find one part that I wanted to edit}

~A Quick Short Story~

She took a deep breath, and told the boy, she’d never let go.

She ignored his warnings.  The promises of the demons lining the road ahead of him.  The mountains, valleys, and rivers that blocked the way.

She’d walk it all with him.

Her heart, her soul, would be trampled, bruised, and scraped.  A casualty of his pains, not the victim.  She couldn’t turn away.

The path would be cold, and lonely.  Covered in shadows, and bitter winds.  It would hurt, and she would be hurt, but she’d never let go of that boy.

And maybe he was right, maybe one day, together, they would reach the end of that path.  And they could both laugh, together, at the trials they had conquered, the fear they had tackled.

Then together, hand in hand, they would continue down the next one, towards the next mountain that needed to be moved.

And then the next one.  And the next one.

And she would never let go.

A Speech from the Conservative Girl

Things have been awfully busy around here.  Between getting the animals ready for the winter, hail storms, starting a new business, the minions and more… well breathing some days takes a backseat.

Let’s throw in a whole heap of “I’m pretty sure my muse has run away forever.”  And yeah, my blog has been abandoned.  Which totally allows me the right to break my number one rule for here today.  I’m gonna talk politics.

*Gasp*

I’m pretty sure you all can make it through one long post enough to just humor me.  Just one time.  Swearz it.

I am an outspoken, thick blooded, concreted in, Conservative.  Yes, I’m talking tea party backer, Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh listener.  Constitution Lover.  That’s me.  I have guns, I have bibles, I voted for Romney and I’m damn proud of it.

And my “side” didn’t “win” the election.

*double gasps*

Election night I was up to 1 am, watching, waiting, observing.  Mouth tightly closed, fingers off the keyboard.  I didn’t go into Tuesday with shouting out that my party would kick arse.  I didn’t go into Tuesday thinking my party would lose.  All I knew is that I was DAMN proud that I could vote and show those in power that I did not agree with them, once again.  See that Claire, that gap between you and Todd, yup, that was ME.  Because every vote matters.

And we did loose.  And I didn’t say a word, because I have found it is wiser to watch and listen, then it is to flap your mouth.  Anything new takes time to process.  So I watched.  And then my life got super busy and I couldn’t make it back to the interwebs.

Then I got the phone calls, the text messages, the facebook messages (S and A this does not include you two! <3)… Everybody waiting, watching… what would I say/do?!

And so this long-winded blog post is my reply to those people who are waiting for some sort of speech from the hard-core conservative girl.

Eh hem.

I am damn proud of my fellow conservatives.  Especially in my state of Missouri.            So our GOP screwed us on the Akin deal.  He said something stupid, just like every other politician in the nation… and we got screwed.  Whatever.  But even with Miss I know better than the people of Missouri Caskill, we also voted in the same breath to take away the power she wanted the most.  Awesome!  (FYI Missouri passed a law that no government player could pass any type of healthcare law (affordable care act) without our vote)  And then to top it off we beat down the tax raise of 760% on cigarettes, to stay the state with the lowest cigarette tax in the nation.  We gave back the power of our police departments to our cities, and voted for Romney to ice the whole cake.  I love Missouri.

Yet Romney lost.  And we get four more years of the same nothingness (you can debate me later on facebook, this is my speech) we just had.  And my husband will most likely lose his job for good, and we lose our awesome insurance… and so much more.  A little part of my heart, my country, died.

But all is not lost.

See, the president works for us, the people of this country.  He is but one man.  One single man.  And we only lost an election… and not by much.  We, the conservatives have not lost the battle for a better nation, and we are nowhere near giving up.  Republicans took many years to mess things up (not to be confused with the blame Bush mantra that is still going on, gah), and it will take us many, many battles to get things where they should be.

I am not upset.  I am not depressed.  I am excited.

Four more years for those who voted for Obama to get what they asked for.  Four more years for my party to show you why that’s not going to work.  Four more years to gather the Libertarians, the constitutionalist, the tea party, and the conservatives into a strong foundation and rally together.  Because let’s face it, the division caused by yesterday’s Republicans is why we lost.  The Democrats/Liberals played that card very well.

This is just the beginning.  And the work has already begun.

And I’m still excited and proud to be a conservative.  I am proud to have voted for Romney.  And I’m not ashamed of my political and faith stances.

So there you have it.

In closing this post does not leave room for any debates.  So don’t try it.  Adult, intelligent, researched debates are always welcomed via private message, email, or on my facebook page.

If you’re freaked out because you are on the opposite side of the fence… don’t sweat it… I’m not big on political bashing, and this blog isn’t going political anytime soon.

The end.  *ships soapbox back to Facebook*

~Going Home~

When the prodigal son returns, he’s afraid.  Very afraid, as the bible tells us.  (keep reading, I’m not getting biblical on you)  He wasted his entire inheritance, abandoned his family, and screwed up royally.  Yet he goes home, faces the truth, and prepares to beg for forgiveness. 

Because at some point we all have to go home. 

But life doesn’t always follow the story.  Or maybe it always does, but it’s the path that becomes entirely different. 

We’re not prepared for the hill that lays in wait just before the doorstep.  The hill built out of fear, hate, spite, revenge, hurt, and denial.  The hill that our home has not built, but the one that the prodigal son has built himself.  And we can’t see our loved ones standing in circles around that hill with shovels, and spades, and even explosives, just waiting for the words to be spoken, just waiting to help tear down that hill.

Yet we choose to add to the hill.  Always heaping on more and more, making it seem impossible.

Until we despise the idea of going home all together.

But you see, going home is not an option you can choose to ignore.  Denying truths only eat at your soul.  One way or another you will climb that hill, eventually.

And just know you have a family, waiting to hold your hand…

So…

You know what itsn’t fun?

Having your jaw dislocated on purpose, four big honking needles shoved in around your ears into your jaw, two molars pulled and a root canal.  Not one second of fun.  Not even the endless stack of drugs that came with it can help make any of it fun.  Nope, it all sucks.  Every tiny second of it.

This all may or may not explain why I haven’t been online for more than two seconds in days.  (Fine maybe it’s been over a week, who’s counting?) 

I appreciate/need/love/want/am thankful for all your thoughts, comments, well wishes and prayers… I just didn’t have it in me to respond, because every response I could come up with was along the lines of “Whaaaaa, Owwwwwww, Ouchhhh, Shoot Me, Why Why Why!”  Yes it has been and is that bad. 

I’ve been a cloud of gloom, lined thick with a black lining, not one ounce of silver lining.  And I’ve been slowly trying to work my way out of it.  I’m trying to reach all deep down inside and pull out some positive feelings. 

I almost have some.

I’m working on it.

Stick around… please….

Hope and Staying Grounded

There’s a funny little thing about hope.  Sometimes you can have too much.  And having too much hope is pretty much like having too much coffee in your cup.  It’s going to slosh all over and get you burned.

You know that time when you had everything planned out, thought everybody was on the same page, and you knew you were going to have the best day ever?  And everyone else followed their own script and not yours and you’re left with the bitter taste of disappointment in your mouth.  It’s like that.

Or if you read so deep into the little things and your hope swells up like a hot-air balloon and starts pulling you through the daydream clouds… Until you fly straight into the electric wires, and you realize your balloon was only the size of a nickel to start with.  It’s like that.

Hope can make you develop this whole other world in your head, one that may not ever come to be.

But you can’t ignore the hopes.

Fill your balloon, but keep your ground ties secure.

My stepdaughter was seen back near her home town 9 months ago, she ignored everyone she saw and quickly left again.  She or someone emailed my husband 6 months ago, with some thing against a pastor he likes… no response ever came back. 

Hope, it swelled, it blossomed, it stung.

Hope is what keeps telling me that they will be the case that defeats the odds and bends to my will.  So many have been lost to cult like lives… why would our case be special, turn out different?  Just because I say so?  Because I HOPEYes because I HOPE.

And then they’re back again, just this week, back in their hometown.  Just when I have my hope all balanced and checked, and tightly secured.  Back again, spotted by a close family member, at a garage sale.  There was a brief conversation… my balloon swells, it pulls tightly at the ground ties… it wants to soar.  My stubbornness, my pride, my heart, my soul… they shake and tremble, they want to cut the ground ties…

But my mind has seen this movie before, it’s not sure if there can be a different ending, isn’t this just everything playing on repeat?  It doesn’t want to get lost in the daydream clouds… it doesn’t want to feel, ANYTHING.  And my heart screams at my brain that this is not the same movie, this is not the same thing… that this time there is hope.  Real hope.  New hope

The ties in the lines are double checked, and pulled extra tight.  I need to stay here, we need to stay here, all grounded and safe… Safe on the ground, looking up into the clouds, because I’m not ready to leave them yet, even if it might hurt.

He Doesn’t Ask Anymore

It was hard on my son at first, he’d ask weekly where his big sister was.  I’d lie flat out, saying, “Oh honey, she’s just been working really hard, she’ll call… one day.”

Except one day hasn’t come in over a year and a half.  The phone has not rang in over 365 days. 

He doesn’t ask about her anymore.

And how do you explain to a six-year-old that his big sister has run away because she thinks we’re sinners who are unchoosen?  How do you tell those brown eyes that she doesn’t want us anymore?  How do I break his heart ever so softly, when in truth, it’s all harsh?

How does anyone explain how a normal human being can take the bible so far out of context to believe that God is calling you to abandon everyone, even your own child to worship him?  How does one praise from under a bushel?

I wrote almost daily after she disappeared.  I had a blog specifically aimed at reaching her, knowing (with my lurky super spy skills) that she or her mother were online… but over the past year I’ve lost the words.

How many times can you say, “Come back, no matter what, we still love you”?

How many tears can be spilt over a keyboard?

How many prayers can be said alone in the cover of night?

I don’t cry anymore, not for her, not for her husband, not for her child, not for me.  My soul will forever be broken for the loss that her father, my husband, is experiencing, a loss I’m not sure he will ever get past. 

A loss I’m not sure we will ever get past.

Yet we have no choice.  We must keep living.  We don’t get the choice to run away from the things that hurt us.

And so my son forgets, and so I shall allow him to.  Just for now.  It feels safe to let him let go slowly, quietly, peacefully.  It feels better, maybe easier to let him in on the hurt when his heart isn’t so young.  When his mind can better understand… even if I’m positive my mind never will.

And maybe I’m quietly praying that she’ll come back before he ever feels the real loss…

365 days, my door has remained open, forever it shall remain.

 

 

~In the Storms~

Life happens.  When it rains it pours and sometimes you get gail force winds right on top of everything else.  Things can really suck. 

It’s hard to not look back over the past year and a half and to not get depressed.  Disappearing family, broken homes, two family dogs lost, emergency surgery, cancer, seizures, bills, migraines, devastating tornadoes,  it rains, it rains, it rains, it pours. 

I need stock in Kleenex and wine. 

Life can be so jaded, so complex that we forget about the blessings, the good times, all the days that happened, the moments in between the tears. 

Like this weekend, the memory of driving through a deadly storm to get to my dog… how did it erase the night before, less than 24 hours before, of dancing all night with my husband and my kids, singing together, twirling, laughing, and falling down.  The kind of night that made me wake with a smile.  I’ll never forget the loss of that weekend… but I don’t want to forget the gains. 

Kids blowing bubbles, toes in a lake, smiles, hugs, a new reader proud and beaming, playing pretend, a perfect loaf of sourdough, working together, sitting under the stars, warm fires, tree frogs singing….

Getting back up when your heart is too weak to stand. 

Letting yourself fall apart to start with.

I’m convinced living is about every single moment, about letting yourself feel all the pains that surround you and choosing to keep going.  It’s not about the telling yourself you have no right to hurt because others have it worse, it’s about feeling every inch of your own grief and allowing it, because it is yours.  It’s about seizing every second that’s given to you, every bump, every smile.  It’s all about putting yourself back together and facing it all again. 

 

There will always be rain, the storms might always be on the horizon, but I’d rather be out there taking pictures, flying a kite, than hiding away in the basement.

*All pictures are my own.  Taken on Good Friday of last year when several tornadoes hit St.Louis, devestating many lives and shutting down Lambert Airport.

In the Dreams

Above all, beyond all, the dreams bother me the most, the worst.

They taunt, they squeeze, they twist, they leave gaps little can fill.

Breadcrumbs of hope laced with sweet honey, they offer perfection and the ending I’ve so been longing for.  The winds soon gust, wiping away the trail, scattering the hope in places unreachable.

I wake. 

Unsure of what my mind is trying to say.

I can guess, and try to name.  That one moment must be in the shadows of my shelfishness.  That one there, maybe it’s telling me if I got ahead of the game things will be alright.

I guess.  I push.  I want to know more.

I cannot command my dreams.  I can only beg for more.  For more pieces to solve the riddle.  A riddle with no answer, a riddle to the story without an ending.

I try to keep my mind from buying into the jumbled movies, the thoughts, the images flashed through my head as I sleep.  But they weigh heavy as I keep on with the day… there in the dishes, there in the meals, there in the kisses and hugs and bed time routines. 

I come to terms with the year and plus time that has passed since she was here.  I’ve dealt with most of those fears, hurts, losses, struggles.  But it’s in the dreams that I feel.  It is in the dreams that I’m unraveled.  It’s the dreams that get me.

~Waiting for an Ending~

She left us all too long ago.  Nothing more than a memory lingering on our souls. 

It’s strange how much one person can affect so many, even when you fight the knowledge, not wanting to give attention, to feed the fire.  It’s strange how much one person can affect your own self, even when it shouldn’t.

My stepdaughter, my husband’s daughter left all that she knew, all that we thought she loved over a year ago.  Vanished into thin air to pursue a faith we were too sinful for. 

Of age, and too stubborn to sway there was little anyone could do.  We lie to ourselves, promising better results had we just said a little more, loved a little deeper, stood up just one more time.  I doubt little could have been changed.

She didn’t go alone.  She was weak and fresh into postpartum depression (un-diagnosed), and her mom, complete with her own list of troubles, wisked her off into a romance of being perfect with God, and better than this world.  Abandoning her new husband, her new child and anyone that was not chosen.

I could diagnose, point fingers, speculate and blame.  But that time has passed. 

We heard little at first, and now we hear nothing.  There’s been small traces of paths, and I do believe that I know exactly where they are.  But her blood family wishes for me not to act on what I know, and that I must respect.

I keep writing, keep sharing our story, for reasons I can’t explain.  The months of crying and questioning have passed, the urgency has fizzled.  Life after all can’t stop moving, and one can’t sit still forever. 

I was never close to her, I never became her stepmother.  We talked, we shared and we laughed, we were both pregnant at the same time.  We had a bond of our own, nothing deep, nothing intimate, just an understanding of two souls who were so different but so the same, forced together into an instant family.

I get why she ran.

So I suppose I keep writing, I keep sharing, because some where inside I know there’s good in this.  One day the words will become clear, the story will flow and the ending will finally be made known.  And that’s the trouble.  Writing a story without an end. 

I’ve been asked repeatedly by family members to write on this, beyond my blog that I had long abandoned.  But how does one write a story with no ending?  I guess that’s my own mystery to find out…