Use My Voice

Speaking up about the issues I can't get out of my head or heart.

Being Who God Created Me To Be

For as long as I can remember I have always felt like I thought or felt differently about things than most people I knew. I can remember being a child in church and in my head questioning how I would hear people talk. How I would hear adults talk about “sinners” or ” the lost” and thinking that the way they talked about them didn’t sound like the way Jesus talked to people in the Bible. I can remember being a teenager and listening to Bible lessons and listening to other Christians and thinking something must be wrong with me because I didn’t understand God’s word the way they did. Then there was going to a Christian college. Please understand I do not regret my time at a Christian college. If I had to do it over again I would still go to one. I fell in love with God’s word in college. Even though many professors seemed to have their goal to make it as boring as possible. I loved being challenged in my faith and learning more about God’s word. I loved being able to discuss spiritual things with people frequently. However, during this time I can still remember knowing I didn’t see things the way everyone else did. Women in ministry, Calvinisim, evangelism, there were so many conversations that I left once again thinking something must be wrong with me. I can remember praying that God would help me to see things the way everyone else did. Surely if they were all right I must be the one who was wrong. As much as I tried I could never silence the voice inside of me, so eventually I just began to ignore her.

I think I spent most of my twenties ignoring that voice. There was a problem with that though. God had given me that voice. That voice was part of how I was suppose to serve God. When I look back on my twenties I can see a lot of good. I was involved in some incredible ministries that I know have had an eternal impact. I made relationships that will last the rest of my life. However, when I look back on that area I also see a lot of emptiness. I pretty much stopped reading my Bible unless I was preparing a lesson. My prayer life for years was nonexistent. I was a children’s pastor so nobody actually excepted me to be in worship which was just fine with me. Because if I read my Bible, if I prayed, if I worshiped that voice became harder to ignore. She cried out to be heard to have her say in things. The closer I came to God the louder that voice became.

I spent nearly a decade burying that voice and building a wall around it. Well, God did not intend for us to live with walls. Around the time I turned thirty God began the process of removing those walls. Let me tell you demolition hurts. He began to let me see how I had ignored that voice and the damage that it had done. He began to show me how I had become selfish and unconcerned with the needs of others. He showed me how I had traded in the unique person he had created me to be to be a person that others would respect. I learned that respect that way is hollow and meaningless.

I have spent the last several years rediscovering that voice. Learning to listen to it more. Learning how to speak through it with love. I am still learning when that voice is just for me and when it is for others to hear as well.

I am still not completely sure why I see things differently than other Christians do so much of the time. I am learning as I do speak up more that I am not as alone as I one thought I was. Last night in my small group when a mom spoke up and said her daughter was being bullied at her Christian school because she supported marriage equality I heard that voice. I had words to say to that mom. I also was reminded that there are young Christians coming up who need to know that it is ok to think differently, to question, to use the love of Jesus as the prism that you see the world through. I owe it to them to be who God created me to be so that they can know they are not alone .

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Threat to Marriage ?

There has been a lot of talk going around about marriage. The sanctity of marriage,what marriage means, who has the right to marry and what the effect of same sex marriage is on marriage in general.

The argument against same sex marriage that I don’t get is that it is a threat to “traditional” marriage. I am in a “traditional” marriage. My husband and I have been married for 14 years, we have three children, he works full time, I stay home and work from home, we attend church and until recently I was in paid ministry. You really can’t get to much more traditional than our marriage. Let me tell you the “threats” that our marriage has survived. I come from a divorced parents. My father has been divorced multiple times. So we started off with a couple strikes against us. Then during our marriage here are some of the “threats” that we have faced. Both of us working full time and him going back to school full time when we had a toddler at home, a child born with a heart condition, our oldest child having special needs and learning disabilities, ministry, loss of jobs, loss of a baby, a job that is going nowhere but meets our needs, a child with asthma who seems to be sick about 4-5 months of the year. I could go on. Those are just the threats we can’t really control. There are also the threats of our own selfishness, pettiness, and just taking each other for granted.

No other couple is a threat to our marriage. Not two men, two women, or another man and woman. The only two people that can threaten our marriage are us. Marriage is hard but beautiful work. At the end of the day nobody knows me like my husband . Nobody loves me like he does. My life would not be complete without our marriage. We are committed to each other, to God, and to the three crazy little people who depend on us. Our marriage makes us stronger. We are a team. My marriage is the best thing that ever happened to me. I would not want to deny that to anyone that wanted it.

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Happy 11th Birthday

My Sweet Boy,

Happy Birthday! You are 11 today. I am in complete disbelief over this. It seems like the days are going faster and faster. Everyday you seem taller. The reality of how tall you will be one day is becoming clear. The other thing that is staying clear is that you are so uniquely you. Your likes and interest are wide and ever growing. You are so smart. Your brain has ways of understanding things that amazes me. Even the areas you struggle with can not easily be put into a box. You challenge people’s understanding of what someone “on the spectrum” or someone with “learning differences” is suppose to be. You also have the biggest heart of anyone I know. You are loyal, empathetic, and kind. I pray you never lose these strengths. You are also learning the right ways to speak up for yourself and others. This one takes some work but you are getting it.

You have challenged yourself this year, macaroni and cheese, steak, new movies, and shows, a new church. I can not wait to see what the next year will bring. I worry sometimes because I know the next year will involve a lot of letting go. Boy Scouts and youth group. Places you will go without us. I hope you are ready because I don’t know if I am. I am ready for you to experience more of this world and make a difference in it so ultimately I know I will let you.

You are one of the greatest gifts that God ever gave me. I pray every day that I am doing the job I should. I am so proud of you!

Love,
Mommy

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Sickness, Sickness, and More Sickness

I am so tired of sickness. Having a child with asthma who started preschool this year and another child who started kindergarten we have exposed ourselves to all kinds of lovely bugs.. We kept the youngest out of school for January and February to try and keep her away from the worst of the germs. After her third day back at school she came down with a stomach bug that lasted 4 days and left her completely run down. Guess what happens when a child with asthma gets run down? Yep, time for the breathing treatments.

I hate for her to be sick. I hated to see her just laying on the couch yesterday without enough energy to talk or play. I hate pumping her full of drugs and all of their side effects. You know what else I hate? The overwhelming feeling of failure I have every time she gets sick. I think I feel this way partly because so much of my life is spent trying to keep her well. I think also I feel this way because of the well meaning but not useful comments of others both that I know personally and in the world at large. The list of “have you tried….” that I have received is a mile long. Then there are the people who are sure that if we exposed her to more she would build up a better tolerance to things. Of course the world in general tells parents 1,000 different ways to keep their kids healthy. Breast feed ( did that for 18 months), vaccinate, don’t vaccinate, all organic, use hand sanitizer, don’t use hand sanitizer, antibiotics, no antibiotics.

I know ultimately it’s up to Scott and I to work with her doctors and come up with the best plan for her. I know I’m doing the best I can. I know that ultimately her health issues are relatively minor and she will out grow them. However, when you are giving a breathing treatment at midnight it never feels that way.

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