Monday, November 8, 2010

Christmas-I am a Scrooge

You might want to call me Scrooge but I don't really see it that way. I love Christmas, but Christmas in its present form is a bummer to me.
I love decorations, lights, parties, the food, the air, the carols, all of these I love and look forward to. Then I remember that I am required to buy at least gifts for my immediate family, probably a few gift exchanges at parties, and maybe some other extra ones and Christmas becomes stressful.
I would much rather make my gifts or, better yet, not have gifts at all except for the kids.I love giving gifts but having the pressure of buying that many at one time,being expected to do it, and spending that much money takes any joy out of it. I think gifts should be a symbol of thinking of someone. I feel more like it is a test.
It is also stressful on my budget and I feel like people say they understand but don't really. If I didn't buy gifts for anyone I don't think they would be very happy and if I spent very little, they would say "thanks" but it would mean "this is lame." I cannot forsee anyone else agreeing with me or, at least, anything being done about it. So Christmas will never be a completely joyful holiday for me.
Gifts should be spontaneous and because you see something you remember someone wanted or because you just feel such a burst of love and want to show it some way. Also, never give coupons you make as a gift because people never redeem them. If Elijah ever makes some for me I will redeem them because it is insulting when people don't. It is like they think you did it to get off the hook when really it was a thoughtful way to not go outside your budget.
It isn't that I don't give, I do, but I would like to give of my time and effort and if I have it, money, but I don't want to feel like I have to and for a bunch of people at one time.
I love my family so much, I would love that Christmas should be a time of just spending with people you love and eating good food and watching kids open a couple of presents each and singing about our Saviour, looking at a transformed city of decorations and lights...

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Silence Of Adam

I have headr a theory about Original Sin that I have to say makes me more than a little irritated. I blew it off the first time I heard it because it was a pastor I didn't care too much about and I didn't want to waste my indignation on someone who wasn't worth it. However, I also have heard this theory from a pastor who is not my own, but who I think is a smart, godly man.

 I am willing to listen, but I am not of the mind that a pastor (whether you respect him or not) is the ultimate authority on God's word-they are fallible human beings just like we are. I don't think that God gives them special knowledge on his word or special wisdom- I think He gives them as much as they ask for and believe for Him to give. God gives us the same opportunity. That is not my main point, it is only to say that even after listening to this man I respect I was a little tight in the jaw. I won't say that it is a subject important enough to spend every post on, but I will say that it is more than just something I disagree with, I really think it implicates women.

When I listen to a pastor say the things like this theory it really negates any teaching that tries to say that women are not inferior (just need to be submissive); that women were made in God's image and are equal (but have "different roles");that women are priceless (not just a "weaker vessel"). Those teachings, which have a bitter taste to them already, are hard to swallow when you hear teachings such as "The Silence of Adam."

The gist of the theory is this: Adam sinned not necessarily because he ate of the fruit from the forbidden tree, but because he passively accepted the fruit and "listened to his wife."
I don't have a problem with the teaching that passive sin is still a sin-it is. The part that upsets me is that it was a sin because Adam listened to his wife . I have a problem that it was because he was supposedly not "man" enough to refuse her offer. I also have a problem with the subtle allusion to Eve (and, therefore, other women) being naive and, at the same time, deceitful or seductive. In this sermon, the pastor also said that "sometimes women just want to be told 'no.'" He said that they want boundaries. I am a woman, not a child. It seems as if the world, including Christians, treat women as a step barely above them, someone to be disciplined and guided because decisions are difficult for them to make. God has put us in place that I don't always understand, but we are not children and God does not place us in that role by any means.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Back In the Day I Was All That and a Bag of Chips. Boo Ya!

SPOILER ALERT: There are pictures at the end!

I definitely wasn't all that and a bag of chips but I just HAD to use three terms from "back in the day" in my title. There were so many more I could have used. Like "what up, G"?" and "duh" or, better yet, "doy." Where did that one come from anyway?
I have definitely been on a 1990's kick lately and it might be because I am nearing 30. And, also, as I mentioned in a previous blog, people a decade younger or so don't know what I am talking about OR they don't realize we didn't have something they have now.
I have a story from just last week that is the perfect example, actually. My husband was telling a story about a homeless magician guy that did a card trick for him in a restaurant (this was about ten years ago). My husband was with some friends and the guy came up to Bobby and had him pick a card from an invisible deck, the guy walked out of the restaurant and didn't come back for a good ten minutes. Meanwhile, Bobby told his friends what the card was but they didn't leave the table during that time and the guy was not even inside the restaurant. The man comes back and pulls out the card Bobby was thinking of! Well, the boy he was telling this story to (who is about fifteen) says "maybe your friends texted him." Bobby and I looked at each other and we both realized the same thing, there was no such thing as texting then! It was funny. It just makes me think about the 90's and what was different then. It's late and I know I will leave out a ton of things but here is what comes to mind:

Bowl Cut
Ceasar Cut
Shag Cut
Crimped hair
The Bob and bangs

Then Grunge
Hooded Shirts
Platform Shoes
Lots of layers and, wow, the patterns didn't go together
Wide leg pants
Baggy polos
Babydoll dresses
I could go on...

Spice Girls
MC Hammer
Vanilla Ice
Smashing Pumpkins
The Cranberries

Fresh Prince
Family Matters
Full House
My So-called Life
Silver Spoons
Duck Tales
Tale Spin
Darkwing Duck
Tiny Toons
Rescue Rangers
Step by Step
Growing Pains
Family Ties
What was that one with girl that was a robot?
Which reminds me...ALF (he got on my nerves, though)
Too many shows

Pogo ball
Nintendo (just nintendo, no super, no whatever came after that...)

Home Alone
Ninja Turtles
Edward Scissorhands
Hey...the FIRST Toy Story
Apollo 13
A League Of Their Own
Dumb and Dumber
Mighty Ducks
Father of the Bride

Slang or Lines:
Talk to the hand
Boo ya!
Don't even go there!
Jacked up
Oh snap
Bra (as in, "bro" or "brother")

It is late and I need to quit but to top off the blog some pics of me in the 90's

You're welcome

I really do have on a fanny pack "Shoot, I know you just di-nt"

So sweet...

The grunge look, I loved hats...and does my hair look gold? Yeah, I dyed it with peroxide.

The grunge look again, hat again, Carmen might kill me. "I am slowly going crazy 1,2,3,4,5,6 switch, crazy going slowly am I 6,5,4,3,2,1 switch..."

And some 90's boys. "Ain't no thing but a chicken wing-is that G-money, bra?"

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Ministry of Truth

1984 by George Orwell was one of my very favorite reads in High School. I still remember how it intrigued me then. If you have never read 1984 or don't remember it really well or just read the SparkNotes then I may have to explain the reason I chose the title for my blog.
In 1984 the main charater works at The Ministry of Truth in which it is his job to change newspapers to reflect the way that the governing authorities would want history to be portrayed. He rewrites history but the Ministry of Truth is also involved in chaging entertainment media and any other sort of media that would cause the citizens to think differently than those in charge think they ought to. Anything that would oppose their ideals.
Keep the above explanation in mind while I explain this next part because they will tie in eventually. The other day I read an article in a magazine that has a specific target audience which is, namely, Christian homeschool families. By just skimming the magazine you can tell there are most certainly some ideals that a large part of the demographic have concerning how to raise your children and what a proper Christian looks like. Then again, it may be the editor that is skewing it one way.
I was reading this magazine in the first place because I am working on breaking into freelance writing. I figured it would be wise to break into it through an avenue that was familiar to me- a subject I know a lot about. I was homeschooled throughout my formative years-elementary, junior, and high school- and I was raised in a Christian home. I thought this magazine would be good because as far as I can tell it is the most professionaly done and widely distributed of its kind. I have learned that the first step to writing for a magazine is to research it and study the format and what sort of articles they are interested in.
While loooking through the magazine I came to a section suggesting books to let your boys read and books to let your girls read. Before books were listed the article explained why the different sexes should read the suggested books. In short, boys should read adventurous books with plenty of sword fights and confidence and resourcefulness, books that help them become a provider and speaks to their love of adventure. But for girls, the contributing author (who is a woman) said that "modern" books provide girls with role models who are too focused on education and adventure. This shouldn't be so girls are the ones (in her words) "who hang the calico curtains in the cabins the men build." In a word, this author managed to say "don't fill their pretty little heads with ideas." She said that girls should read books about the home and the family and relationships since that is eventually what they will be concerned with. I was flabbergasted. I had to check to make sure that this was a recent publication and that it wasn't dated 1950 something.
I am a mother, I love my son, I love my husband, and sometimes reading about adventure IS discouraging because it is hard to do with a family. But that doesn't mean that I can't have adventure ever and it doesn't mean that some girl out there or MANY girls out there aren't meant to have adventures and to invent and discover things in fields of education. Not all are even meant to marry,not all are meant to have children and not all are meant to follow the mores set on wives and mothers even if they are in that position. By the way, why do Christians forget to tell girls that they don't have to get married? Why do they pose the life of singleness as a plight to be endured? God said marriage was good but he also said (through Paul) that those who are married will endure hardship because they are focused on the things of this world. But this is another blog subject entirely. Back to the subject at hand. Further than that, the thing that bothered me the most about these "suggestions" was that the boys were supposed to delve into and relish adventure whereas girls were supposed to abstain from looking at it. It isn't because girls would not find pleasure in the reading of adventure or in imagining themselves doing adventurous things or being educated but because they would be dissatisfied with their lives and not focus on their inevitable purpose.
In the same vien, it is a double standard because nothing is said about men being involved in the family. If there are women having a family then certainly there is a man who helped the family come to fruition. It seems as if that man is meant to inseminate the women with his seed and not bother further with the family, but to pursue satisfaction in his work and adventure. He is free to go here or there and so it is no problem for him to read all his life about adventure. He should be pursuing it then, as a boy, and later as a man; wherever his mind can take him he can go. Whatever is his pleasure it is in his reach, it is his privilege, his birthright as a male. However, the woman will only have so long to revel in the summer of her life. Soon she will be concerned with babies and surely she will leave this resonsibility if her head is filled with ideas. It is not in her future, it is not her privilege, why make herself unhapppy? It is a sin for her to be unhappy and she will inevitably be unhappy if she expects adventure. It is also unladylike. BS.
I admit, when I was young I had so much freedom and I loved adventure books. I imagined myself in each one of them. As I grew older I realized that my decisions were a little more limited than boys. Mostly because I was not encouraged to reach for the stars so much as they were. It was cute when I was young to exclaim that I was going to be a pro pitcher, but the older I got the more I heard what women were not capable of or should not be doing as it was a violation of ladylike behavior. I wondered why I had these desires if they were wrong. I don't those think those desires were wrong. Man and woman alike should realize their responsibilities and look at their adventuerous dreams in this light.
A man has a family as well as a woman and they should both be tied down in some respects and both encouraged in their dreams as well, able to support one another to enjoy their family as well as to reach other goals. Family should not be a rope that ties you down. Suggesting that a girl should not read these books suggests that a family is a weight more than it suggests its original intent which is for the woman to be a good mother and wife. But why are these the only words that define her? "Wife" and "Mother" she is also many more things as well, those are only her titles. If a family is a rope it should be to support, to help climb, to lasso the bad guys.
I would suggest that boys read books about men who love their kids if girls are to read books about relationships and that if boys are to read books about adventure then girls should be able to read books about adventure if it is something that rings true with the desires God gave them.
It just made me think of the Ministry of Truth. Have the females read only the propaganda that keeps them in line with this media venue's own ideology. We need family men and family women. We need men with adventurous hearts and minds and women with adventurous hearts and mind. We need men who work hard to provide and women who work hard to save and budget what the men provide. We need women who can sew and men who can brag about the quality of the sewing. We need men who will iron and women who will hammer. We need them working side by side enjoying the satisfaction that hard labor brings. We don't need one independent and full of life and the other dependent and dull. Interdependency on Christian brothers and sisters, wives dependent on husbands and husbands dependent on wives. Most of all, dependency should be reserved for God only and in that case men and women alike must lean on Him in an equally submissive and trusting manner.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Monday, June 7, 2010

Oh My!

I haven't written a post since January! When I have a break from running after my baby boy, cooking for my family (which included 4 teenage foreign exchange students) and cleaning up after them all, I found that it took so long to de-muddle my brain that my baby had woken up from his nap or someone needed to be taken somewhere or cleaned, etc.

I have this desire to write well thought out posts, but I think, once in awhile I should just post something to make sure I do. However, I have been writing in a notebook consistently for the past month. I have to say I am proud of this accomplishment. So, now that I am writing something, let me at least broach some subject.
I have found that I am finally entering a new stage in my life, where kids in high school do not know what some of the things I talk about are. I wondered when I would reach this stage where I am unique to some generation, where I say "we didn't have that when I was your age", where I date myself, when I mention a fad that I didn't really realize was a fad until I see that they have no idea what it is, where I say "I was there" and they were, like, 3 or when technology is a little ahead of me.

In the past month, I have predicted fashion, but only because I have recognized that the 1990's are back, and I guess what might come next. In the past month, I have mentioned three things and the teenagers I talked to didn't know what I was talking about.

1) Remember the Magic Eye pictures? Where you had to stare at them and see if you could see an image that didn't seem to be there? They didn't know what that was.
2) Remember the Sky Screamer at Astroworld (at least you Houstonians)? They had never ridden it and they didn't know what it was. But, really, they were only 13 when Astroworld was gone completely.
3) They didn't know that DC Talk was originally Hip Hop. Not everyone knows DC Talk but these kids did. However, they didn't know that they started out Hip Hop. I started talking about it because they mentioned Fanny packs. I told them Fanny Packs were actually cool at one time (like when I was a kid) and then I proceeded to talk about how Toby Mac wore one in a DC Talk music video for Heavenbound when they were Hip Hop. I even started to sing the song. That is probably one of those moments where Elijah will slap his forhead and say "OMG" when he is older.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Something I Found

Today while looking at organizing a desk (but not actually doing it) I found a notebook that had only a few pages written in (both in my handwriting and in Bobby's). The one in my handwriting was titled "Snippets on my brain today." There were four "snippets" one on Atheism, one on kids, one on a website, and one on ideals. The one on kids read like this: Kids-are wonderful and free. I wish people would let me dance ballet in the middle of Chik-Fil-A.

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