Monday, October 22, 2012

I just can't stay silent

**This post has been sitting in my "drafts" for months now.  Most of it was written back in February.  As a Christ Follower who believes that God has given me a mind and heart and that I need to use both of them, I just can't stay silent any longer.**

My parents raised me in such a way that I never really thought that there were things that a woman couldn't do that a man could. (There are definitely things I don't WANT to do but I can still do them.  Thus, I found myself taking apart the deck, a couple of months ago, and dealing with the dead rodent under the deck.  Yuck, yuck, yuck.) Yes, Yo Momma did all the cooking but Papa Bear was very good about cleaning (his nickname is Mr. Clean).  Yo Momma stayed home with Lil Bro and I until we went to school all day and then she got a part time job.  They both did their fair share of discipline and I never once heard Papa Bear talk down to Yo Momma, like she was a second rate citizen.  I went to a church where women had leadership roles, the larger church included women in Pastoral leadership roles, and I was always, always encouraged to chase whatever dream I wanted to chase.
One summer I wrote a letter to the editor of the newspaper in the Bay Area.  I think they were doing a series on "Hot Topics" and I wrote in about one in particular.  My letter was published for the world to read, my thoughts in print.  My parents were proud.  Our family was out of town the weekend my letter was published.  I remember driving to the local store that carried that particular paper to buy a copy and Yo Momma and I deciding not to let the extended family that was there see the paper with my letter.  We just didn't want to get into the conversation.

The other night I was with a bunch of my young adult friends and the conversation of politics came up, as it always does.  There were two in the room of eight that don't necessarily agree with the rest of us.  Those conversations, I always feel like we're walking such a fine line between listening to the other opinion and disrespect.  I usually try to avoid the conversations as much as possible.  I have opinions, I have convictions, I just don't want to get into the conversation.

I've been listening to conversations in which the rights of women are seemingly being chipped away, one by one.  I feel like this country is taking huge leaps backwards when it comes to the equality of women.  I don't want to get into the conversations...I cannot stay silent any longer.
  • I am tired of women continuing to be belittled, criticized and harangued for living their lives in the best way they see fit.   Whether that be a stay-at-home-mom, a working mom, a single mom, a single woman, I'm tired of women having to defend their life decisions.
  • I'm tired of the conversation in churches that continues to tell women that they should be silent or that they are just baby machines and should know their place.  
  • I'm tired of the conversation that says that women should subject themselves to whatever a man requires of them, because of that verse in the Bible that says a woman should "submit" to her husband.  Why don't we focus on the verses that follow as much?  The one's about men loving their wives as Christ loved the church.
  • I'm tired of the double standard that says men can have sex with multiple women, but a woman who has sex with more than one man is a whore.  
  • I'm tired of women being denied birth control because of their religious affiliations or who they work for.  
  • I'm tired of the discussion about abortion, especially in the church, when: A.) there is strong resistant to educating people on how to use or allowing access to birth control; B.) we continue to criticize and demean women and their families who work hard and still struggle to put food on the table and need a little help to make it through life; C.) there are children in our foster care system that are desperate for families to shower them love and attention, right now.  Where are the people in the church for those children? (and I know some amazing church people who ARE there for kids in the foster care system and are walking their talk)  D.) We make it so hard and expensive to adopt children.
  • I'm tired of the line of rhetoric that says all people on welfare are druggies or low-life's or not working hard.  It's simply not true.
  • I'm tired of being told that my voice really shouldn't be heard in the church because of my gender.  As I told a friend recently, I didn't choose to be in church leadership, God CALLED me to church leadership.  Time after time, God put me in positions of leadership in the church, even when I was resisting,  If you want to argue, argue with God, stop talking to me.
  • I'm tired of women being rated as second class citizens who can't make wise decisions and choices because they are missing an appendage.  
  • I'm tired of women (and men) who have been violated physically, emotionally and mentally by rape, being violated, yet again, by people running for a political office.   
Actually, when it comes right down to it, I'm tired of the party lines.  I'm tired of hearing how one side is right and the other side is wrong..and I mean that about both of the top political parties.  It seems to me the people whom the conversations focused on are the one's who are the losers across the board...because who is actually listening to them?

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A celebration weekend!

This morning in the wee hours of the morning my "little" cousin became a Dad.  I was privileged to be the officiant at his wedding this last summer, which was strange enough, but now to call him a Dad...yeah, it's pretty awesome.

Baby A has been highly anticipated for the last few weeks.  Her Mom was ready for her to be born a couple of weeks ago but she took her time.  I know my "little" cousin will be a spectacular Dad.  He's going to love this little girl, spoil her completely and cherish her for life.  I'm so proud of all of them!

It does seem like a celebration weekend.  Tomorrow I officiate at wedding number 4.  Woo-hoo!!!  My precious friend Meg and her love are getting married in a beautiful vineyard.  The rehearsal just happened and there was much laughter and joy.  I predict more laughter and lots and lots of tears tomorrow. 

Meg is one of the most ah-maz-ing women I know.  She is quiet, keeps most of her feelings close to her heart and her face gives.away.nothing.  If you are lucky to be one of the people whom she has adopted into her world, she will do just about anything for you, be your number one champion and passionately fight for your cause.  I have been blessed by her friendship in so many ways over the years and have been blessed to stand behind her and cheer her on as she has gone toe-to-toe with life.  I can't think of anyone who deserves happiness more than Meg and I am praying, as she begins this new life chapter, that God will shower her with love, will keep drama from her doorstep for a long time and for her and her man to be partners in all ways for life. 

Tomorrow, about this time, I will be pronouncing them husband and wife...and the party will begin!  It's a good celebration weekend.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Adventure Boy

Last weekend, Adventure Boy had his 6th birthday.  I can't believe it's been 6 years since he was born.

Anyway, for his birthday, Adventure Boy requested a cake.  A chocolate cake with strawberry filling.  Well, he started with Chocolate cake with strawberry frosting and I helped him change his mind...because he also wanted his cake to be in the shape of a scarab.

Yes, I did say a scarab.  I looked at a couple of pictures and breathed a sigh of relief.  I could make a scarab cake for Adventure Boy.

I think the end result came out pretty well.  There are things I would have done differently but there are always things I would do differently when it comes to cakes!

Adventure Boy and his scarab cake
Adventure Boy, well, he looked at it and said "It's good."  When his friends started commenting "hey, it's a beetle!" he was quick to correct them.  "No," he would say, "it's a scarab."  That meant, job well done.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

You can't make this stuff up!

It's been kind of a slow day at the office.  I've been going through the membership charts and making sure we have acknowledged all the new members.  Slow day.

However, I ran across this little gem that I had seen a few weeks ago and it made me chuckle again.

One way to join this group is to be sponsored.  Let it be known that a certain individual named "Fish" was sponsored by one individual named "Fry".

And that, my internet friends, is my funny for today.

Hmmm, now I'm thinking about catfish...

Thursday, October 4, 2012

A day of reminiscing

This morning on Facebook, I saw a message from a former classmate of mine to New Sis.  It struck me as funny that the world is small enough that New Sis and former classmate met up, without my introduction, and are now Facebook friends.  Very strange.  It also got me thinking about elementary school (yes, I've known this person THAT long) and being invited to someones birthday party and what a big deal that really was when I was in elementary school.  Then I started thinking about how my mind works and how my mind has always told me I'm not likable because of a certain issue, which I really don't want to get into here and so we'll move...and no I don't want to talk about it later, thankyouverymuch.

This afternoon, again on Facebook, a high school classmate posted about another high school classmate who died suddenly.  Shock has been rippling all afternoon.  I happen to be friends with the aunt and cousin of this classmate who passed away, pretty good friends with them actually.   My classmate's husband died earlier this year in a very tragic accident, leaving her 6 months pregnant.  Which means there is a 4 month old out who is now an orphan.  Words are just failing.  Pray, if you are the praying kind, for the family, please.

Then tonight as Papa Bear and I were leaving a restaurant this guy smiled and said "Hey!  Hi!"  I know I looked at him blankly and kinda looked a Papa Bear and then realized, I KNOW HIM!  Another high school classmate, though he was a freshman when I was a senior, whom I literally haven't seen since I graduated...not saying how many years ago.

Some days I marvel at how we are all connected, how cool it is to reconnect with people, how small the world is and how unfair life can seem.  I am very glad I am not in charge.

Monday, October 1, 2012

What to say

I get to this page, lately, and have a bazillion things I think about posting.  I start a post, my mind wanders, the words don't come out easily and eventually I hit the "save" and "close" buttons and journey elsewhere.  I have things to say until I start writing, it seems, then the words dry up.  They just float away.  Maybe I don't really have anything to say...

But I do have things to say.  I have things to say about politics, the church, family, forgiveness, the bus, the light rail, the weather, friends, cake baking, weddings, babies, health care, traveling, hopes, dreams, relationships, children, faith, hope, grace, love, imagination, evangelism, religion, depression, rats, prayer, books, lying, secrets, work Diet Coke vs. Diet Pepsi and how G.W. Bailey on "Major Crimes" and "The Closer" before that and "M.A.S.H." a way long time before that reminds me of my Boompa every time I see him. 

Yep, I do have things to say...and one day they will make their way to the surface and move through my mind to my typing fingers to the keyboard to this page and instead of "save" and "close" I will hit "publish".