My amazing friend sent me this link to this blog post this morning and asked me what I thought about it.(Go read it. Seriously)

The Modesty Debate

If I didn’t have an entire day that I needed to be a functioning adult I imagine I would be on my knees, face to the ground sobbing in gratitude and praise to Jesus for His mercy and grace that until a few years ago, I never truly knew.

People I know get really pissed when I say things like that, that ‘I never really knew Jesus or that I wasn’t ever taught that” and things of that nature, it’s very offensive and I get a lot of shit for it. It ends up bringing up a lot of resentment from them and I realize I cant speak of these things to them, that these are conversations I should have with other reformers I guess. Because it wasn’t until we joined the Reformed Church of America that we were presented the Gospel in such a way neither myself OR my husband had EVER heard it before.

I’m not sure WHY that offends people either.

It’s true. And whether they were the ones who raised us in the knowledge of

God sending His son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins and we have to obey Him and live like this and don’t do that and if you do do that you are going to hell. And if you are doing that and the Rapture happens you are going to be left behind. And don’t have sex before marriage because it’s a sin and you will go to hell if you are having sex and the rapture happens so just don’t do it.

After reading that blog my mind went a thousand directions and I couldn’t help but wonder what in the hell happened to the Christians before my parents that was so awful that they were able to read the Bible in such a way that they were able to create this entire doctrine that was so abrasive. It would either scare the HELL out of believers to the point that they were afraid of EVERYTHING and they would then in turn pass the legalistic doctrine on to their children and teach them to live a life in complete fear of the wrath of God they would face if they didn’t do this and live like that…

OR on the flip side, and how I reacted to that doctrine was to live in complete rebellion because there was NO way I was going to ever be able to live up to the standards set before me anyway and so it didn’t matter. (even though I felt guilt and condemnation of the Holy Spirit with every bad decision I made once I was in church on Sunday being preached at about the wages of sin is DEATH and I was certainly going to die outside the will of God). 

Why did ANYONE  think this doctrine was sound?!?!?! Why did anyone think that beating your children or your congregation down to submission and not even true repentance because lets face it, after going up front on Sunday and having someone lay hands on  you and pray for you for being such a piece of crap of a sinner, that condemnation doesn’t really ever bring you to a place of true repentance where you desire to not live like that, because you are never really brought to an understanding of Gods grace. You are only made aware of how awful you are and now you are up in front of the entire congregation admitting to your faults feeling even more shameful .How is THAT teaching ANYONE who Jesus REALLY  is and what Jesus REALLY did and why He REALLY did it?

It isn’t!!

So don’t get pissed at me for being so filled with the Holy Spirit because I FINALLY have been brought to an understanding of who Jesus is and why out of His absolute love and admiration for us He took all of our dirty rotten sins to the cross and died for us. Now I understand that deep deep love and in turn desire to live a life to honor Him, not because even though I am a believer, if I don’t live for Him I’m going to burn in hell but because He is so amazing and loves me so much and wants the best for me and wants me to be a reflection of Him I want to be the best version of myself to honor Him in my life. Not out of guilt and shame but out of love and grace, the same love and grace that is extended to me. I cant even imagine had I the understanding of the merciful, loving, compassionate, understanding, human Jesus that tenderly brings me to Himself because He loves me how different would my life be from only having an understanding of the vengeful judgmental sacrificial lamb Jesus who was murdered so I should be obedient?

I cant change my past. I cant change any of it. But I can move forward and I can change the future of my family now and teach my son and daughters to not live in fear of Gods wrath but live in gratitude because of His love for them. There is a lot that can be reversed and I am so thankful for the people God has brought into my life that have delivered the Truth in such a way it forever changes us misfits who have been lost in a world of condemnation with no hope of ever being able to satisfy God. I am so thankful to truly understand that Jesus was the only one who actually could and that the burden isn’t on me anymore. I feel like a seraphim just burnt my eyes, mind, and heart with a refining fire and I can just run with peace and share this truth with my generations to come.

Thanks Louis CK

And this was the moment it all came to light.. 
If someone would have told me that Louis CK could be the human that brought my self loathing to a screeching halt I would have never believed them.

Even before watching this episode of Louie I heard him do a bit about being 40 and going to the doctor and they aren’t even remotely interested in helping cure your ailments. When you’re in your 20’s doctors go above and beyond trying to find a way to treat whatever is going on. But when you are in your 40’s they basically just attribute your aches, pains and overall feeling like garbage to the fact that you’re old and dying.

I’ve been saying that for years now “I’m just dying” and it started when at 41 I began to suddenly FEEL my age, my age being “halfway to death”.  I mean, its true, I probably have about 40 more years here maybe, and it’s fine with me. I’m not afraid to die and have already explained to my kids that when I do just know that I am in the most perfect place with the most perfect God and they should live on in complete peace that I’ll see them when they get there too. Death is quite the beautiful thing except for the part that it means my body is deteriorating at a more rapid pace until I get a new one.

So what can I do to stop feeling so bad about myself? So bad about my looks and the changes that my body is making that I dont want to obsessively spend every day working at trying and unsuccessfully reverse until I’m 50 or 60 and just give up? I think I need to stop “following” the lead of people younger and healthier, more fit and more genetically perfect than me for starters.

The horrible mind game of mentally comparing myself to women 20 years younger than me is absolutely absurd! I don’t know WHY my thoughts even go there because it’s completely pointless. I’m not 20!  I’m not going to look 20 regardless of how hard I try and more importantly why am I trying to? Even in my thoughts why am I tormenting myself wishing to look like that younger girl? Desiring to have her legs or her butt and her face with no wrinkles, her ability to still wear a bikini especially when I couldn’t even do that at 20!!!!

It’s stupid!!!

So now I disconnect. Now I take all the plastic people I “follow” on social media out of my daily life because not only are they not the least bit important, they are completely toxic. Seeking to be someone other than who Creator God made me is kind of really sinful and wrong. I’m pretty much telling God that He messed up in designing me and all of the people before me that my ultimate genetic make up was built upon.  That’s probably not a very good position of judgement I should want to one day be in me thinks.

So thank you Louis CK. Thank your for igniting an idea, even though it’s one that’s completely off base and jaded as hell. It really brought a reality I desperately needed to see.

Fitbit Bullsh

A couple of years ago I was able to juice off nearly 50 pounds until I injured myself God knows how, and had to stop walking and began an immobile life again. It’s crazy how once you become an injured immobile person suddenly the desire to not eat yourself back into the 50 pound person you once were becomes a distant memory.

I have managed to gain back half of the weight I lost and I asked my husband for a Fitbit last Christmas and he obliged. My thought was that I would force accountability into my daily life and track my food, water and movements and perhaps it would help encourage me to work on losing that weight again.

I have gained 5 pounds since I began using the fitbit.

Not only that, but I am so damned obsessive about every thing I even THINK about putting into my mouth it’s disturbing. I dont know how this stupid pressure to not be fat all of a sudden came from and I swear to everything I was SO much happier when I didn’t give a crap what I looked like.

I liked how easy it was to shop for clothes in the plus sized section because I never really needed to try anything on, it just fit. Being smaller than I was, it takes a tremendous amount of effort to buy clothing because not everything in my sized pants ever fits the same, it’s a horrible horrible industry for insecure people. I liked eating whatever I wanted, especially with the husband and my son. Now, the husband brings home these damned blooming onions because Nascar has a driver for Outback Steakhouse and if he makes it in the top 10 you can get a free one, god forbid the husband pass up something free let alone delicious horrible food, and I have like NO self control and simply can not walk past it like it isn’t even there. In turn I am pissed at him for even bringing it home and contributing to my unhealthy habits. I purposely refuse pain medication when I need it. I dont go to parties that could possibly have alcohol or drugs I like when I really want to go and there are various other things that I simply can not flirt with having in my life because I have issues with self control regarding them, so for him to bring home horrible food almost feels hurtful and mean and really, my own bad habits shouldn’t be made to be HIS responsibility( I guess)

The fitbit has shown me just how bad my issues with food and lack of self control really are, and it’s really depressing. Yesterday I had a really poor food day and I went to bed nearly in tears, plagued with utter disappointment in myself. Today I woke up and made mean greens and my banana smoothie and am determined to try to starve myself get back on track with my eating and TRY my hardest to lose this stupid weight again. I will probably fail. Not because I want to but because I have problems. I want to not care about myself and eat myself into sweatpants again, but I will hate myself even worse if I do.

I dont know what to do.

Small circles, broken hearts

During this lenten season I’ve been kind of disconnected from everyone not being on facebook and I’m learning just as I do every year, that life will certainly go on without you if you are not put into the center of it with those you care about.

My social life is pretty non existent on a “social” level. I hang out with my husband and my son. My weekdays are pretty predictable too. If I am not at work I am at home. We have bible study one day, we go to shooting another and the rest of the work week we are home. I get off work, make dinner, do a few chores and if I have cake orders I work on them then go to bed pretty early and wake up early and do it all over again. On the weekends my cake orders usually go out on Saturdays and I’m completely exhausted but there is always something going on and I am always doing that with my husband and my son. I’m not complaining I love doing things with them very much and we always have a nice time. Sundays we go to church, sometimes to brunch after and then we’re home. We watch The Walking Dead on Sunday nights and then start the week over again.

It should not bother me that people I know are busy doing life with each other. I don’t know why it does sometimes though and right now is one of those times. We know some people who we have known for as long as I can remember, and they are having a party that I am making the cake for. Now, I know that I have said “just because I’m making the cake it doesn’t mean you have to invite me to the party” but these are people who we love and cherish very much and the idea that we’re not being extended an invitation is killing me inside. It seems petty on the surface I’m sure and most of the time something like this wouldn’t even hurt me I’d more than likely be talking crap and carrying on but this one really hurts.

I brought up to someone that when you really care about people you make sure, you make an unconscious effort, it naturally becomes a thought to extend an invitation to them to make sure they are with you… at an event, at a party, for something social. You invite the people you want around and when you don’t, it is clearly an indicator that you just don’t want them around. It’s not an insult really it’s more of just a matter of fact. The only time it becomes insulting is when the people noticing they aren’t invited come to the realization that the people they thought they were an important part of their lives actually aren’t as important as they thought they were.

I’m not one to sit here and cry about it for weeks and I TOLD my psychiatrist the other day that I am probably going to have a meltdown soon and then I will carry on, and I am. I wont sit here and dwell on the fact that I thought I mattered to people that matter to me, I will simply absorb the truth and move on. There will be a sting i’m sure every once in a while, when I see them doing something else again without me, but I will come to the realization that it’s just a matter of fact, this is how it is.

I am learning at this time who matters to me and how important my husband and my son are to me not am learning not to care too much about how much I don’t matter to people. I am also learning how important I am to God and how important HE should be to me in my life and the life of my little family.It isn’t an easy lesson to learn. It’s much easier to desire the company of other people than to rest in the company that you already have.

Oscar the grouch is my kind of Oscar

Anything the world can do, including hair styles, jewelry, and fashionable clothing, is no clear witness to what only God can do.

I am so exhausted and want nothing to do with today and yet I know that today’s troubles and nonsense will not depart from me. I worked my butt off over the weekend and I feel like it was for nothing and I have nothing but pictures of my work on Instagram to show for it, big deal. I’m not sure WHY I thought I needed to make extra money except out of fear and so it serves me right to sit here exhausted now I suppose.

I walked over 6,ooo steps on Saturday which for me is a lot as I sit all day and as hard as I worked I come to work, step on the scale and see no change, again. I’m beginning to think the fitbit is a complete waste of energy and time. I started taking some supplements after finding out it wasn’t the supplements making me sick it was an infection in my bladder, and all they do is make me carefully but steadily rush to the bathroom after I eat. No thanks, I’d rather be fat. It’s really starting to affect my personal life (yes, I do have one) and having to excuse myself because I have to excuse myself is just growing old. As much as I dont want to admit it I am thinking I have no other choice but to get off my ass and start moving, foot to pavement, even if it means I fall on the ground in pain from the pinched nerve in my groin that I refuse to go get an xray on(but only now because I’ve misplaced my xray order because I didn’t want to go get one anyway).

My attitude sucks and it always seems to suck right before my boss goes on yet another vacation or excursion and I am stuck here sitting in my own sour funk. Maybe I just need to go outside and walk around a minute. Guess I’ll take a walk around the building.

 

It’s how you look, move on

This morning I got myself ready for a casual Friday, felt pretty confident about what I was wearing, how my hair cooperated with me. My makeup went on smoothly and knowing I would be heading to the dreaded mall right after work to get the boy a haircut, I made sure that I wouldn’t be waking into that mall feeling completely dumpy if by some freak chance I did run into someone. 

But when I went to walk out of my room and pass my full length mirror for one quick glance at my ensemble for the day, I stopped myself and stared in disappointment. I thought I looked good!!!! What happened??? How did one minute I feel confident and the next completely mortified???? 

I didn’t have time for a re-do I was already running way too late and had a few errands to run before getting to the office, so what I was wearing was going to have to just happen. I simply did not have time to try to hide what I thought I looked like. I had to bring myself to the reality that

This is what you look like Shannon. Changing your shirt doesn’t change what Shannon looks like, this is you. There isn’t anything you can do right now to make your body thinner or your shoulders not so broad. You can’t be the 25 pounds thinner than you are today RIGHT NOW and you still are running late and still have a job to be at. You still have to face life today and who you are today is who God created you to be today,so just go face the day anyway. 

 It’s simple truth like this that trips me up the most in life and it’s stupid because I’ve never thought to just go out the door as confidently as I was when I got myself ready and not spending the whole day dwelling on what I wish I looked like. 

What a concept!!! 

Wait. WHY am I fasting?

I’m going to be honest here(like anyone who reads my blogs should assume I’d be otherwise) I’m not real sure why I decided to fast from Facebook this year. I might even begin to be thinking it’s stupid and I am really struggling with the idea of it all. I will be honest(again) when that week started and my friend (who lived 400 miles away from me and that is how we communicated)died at the same time, it was horribly difficult for me to NOT be on there looking at all the memorials and just being a part of all of it with everyone who loved her and fought this battle of the big C by her side. After a couple days it became almost peaceful though and I realized that not having that in my face 16 hours a day made the mourning turn into something entirely different. My pastor gave me the book written by the beautiful Kara Tippetts called “The Hardest Peace” and it brought me back to the time I was on the other end of my phone and computer cheering on Kara and being so in aw of her faith in Jesus as she verbally poured out her anticipation about meeting him one day soon. With my friend though, she was convinced she would beat this and live here on earth with us all until our old age and be able to declare the healing of the Lord God Almighty!!

It didn’t work out that way though.

In my own arrogance I like to think that the way this all fell into place had intentionally to do with my decision to disconnect form the web of the web until on Sunday, a non fasting day, I decided to get on facebook for a bit and check in on her family and her page only to find out not only was her husband already selling her car but he had ‘killed’ her facebook page. Now, in a day where EFFING facebook is so prevalent in ALL OF OUR LIVES, the girl I am from the 1990’s when facebook wasn’t even a thing felt SOOOO stupid for crying about this man deleting his dead wife’s facebook page and then felt even more stupid for crying when telling someone at church about it. I am so mad at the way this ridiculous “thing” facebook( I dont even know what to call it, I dont even know how I would even begin to try to describe and explain it to people who actually don’t know anything about it) I am so mad at what it’s created in us as living and breathing people. I seriously have very little clue as to what people are up to right now and part of me wonders, “why do you need to know”?

Maybe that’s just it!

Maybe I DONT need to know and I needed to see right now just how much none of the everything that is happening on the facebook matters at the end of the day. I managed to get through the death of a human being, one I loved very very much and didn’t need facebook to do so. Being that this fast is just to signify the time Jesus was in the desert for 40 days, for the sake of recognizing I don’t NEED the facebook I would say it’s been beneficial fasting from it. I SEE that and I want to believe I can continue to stay off of it when this time is over because it’s just unnecessary. Now, that doesn’t mean I haven’t spent time habitually scrolling Instagram and posting stupid crap on SnapChat, but they aren’t the same they are dumb and I wouldn’t care if they were just gone. It’s the facebook that is such the stronghold and only 3 weeks into being separated from it I can see just how much and then again, I see how much more that it isn’t a stronghold at all, not when I am honoring the Lord and being separated from it.

That’s pretty interesting really, I hadn’t thought about it until just now.

I don’t think next year I am even going to suggest that I am “fasting” from Facebook because I don’t feel like I am being “deprived” of anything really. I think it’s just a way to just disconnect from the “things of this world” and get in tuned with the things in my own life that I need to reconnect with instead.