Conviction

We are not convicted by pastors and preachers. We are not convinced by bible-thumping, church-going and rule-following. We are introduced to the power of Christ over our dinner tables, in our bedrooms, on the street corners. We are tugged at by common images we see over and over that we know and feel deep down are against God’s love. The little girl who is abused, the old man who is cold and alone, the adult who has been abandoned and misguided. We are convicted by hand-holding, grace-giving and life-living. We are not motivated by anger or fear, we are pushed forward by compassion and understanding. We are compelled by the Holy Spirit. His presence in our lives is only possible if we make a home for him. If we clear out the clutter of the world and prepare a place for him to dwell.

Prepare ye the way of the Lord.

Mark 1:3 New Living Translation
He is a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the LORD’s coming! Clear the road for him!'”

This can be a metaphor for our lives. Clear the mind, body and soul for him to do his work through us. As Jesus moved through the crowd to perform miracles in his time, he does that now as well. He moves through us, from person to person, performing miracles through the kindness of outreach. His presence is here. His presence is love. We need only open our eyes to it.

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Jesus was table-flipping mad.

if we are to prepare a space for the living God (holy spirit), then we shall have to turn the tables as Jesus did in the temple. when he saw the mess and corruption, he didn’t go find a bucket of suds or the latest swiffer mop, he went radical, he went nuclear. we are the temple. our bodies and minds are compared to the temple. more accurately, we are the tabernacle (worship tent). the portable home for God to dwell. Jesus didn’t neatly put everything away: sort, keep, donate, trash. he violently flipped the tables aside and cleared the space for God to come in. he showed them the error of their thinking immediately and required a change. stop tidying up and start flipping out!

This is Evil

peacepeAce
does not feaR men or guns.

time will have its perFect results of heaven.
our God will not abIde craven idolatry:
murderous sacrifice oF our innocent children,
worship of weapons insTead of His power on high,
grEed,
thEft,
a complete abadonmeNt of morals or wisdom.
keep your thoughtS and prayers alive

with actionS of this body
stalk and storm Halls of justice
with your powerful autOmatic voices of reason
attack vaUlts of law
where this Love of guns
is stored and protecteD by evil money and favor

oust and roust, Bust virtue out
kill the silencE of idling hands

demand safer lives wIth cautious liberty.
turn over the tables of destiny by eLecting those who should die for you
rather than kiLl in your names.
in thE name
of God,
peAce
should never be down the dark barreL of a privately-purchased democracy.


AR-FIFTEENS SHOULD BE ILLEGAL.

This is an acrostic poem, aligned in the center.
The center column has an equal number of letters on either side in each line.
The power in this country rests in the hands of those with guns and money.
It should rest on the peaceful people.


If you need a gun to protect what you have?
You don’t have what you need.


AR-15s should not be made legally available to murder 15 yos.


Every gun ever made was forged to kill a being.
Every gun ever made has or will kill a living thing. Or multiple living things.
Guns were made for no other purpose.
Only man could make killing so easy.
Karma will call and collect her damages.

Back the F up.

My favorite saying is:

E’erbody bettah back the *F* up off me. Except I don’t use *F*. Well. I use the F and 3 more letters immediately following. 😀

I say it jokingly. Except when I don’t. Or I like this phrase as well. Check yourself, before you wreck yourself. I say it sassy with a few snaps and head whips. Followed by an “MM-hm!” It’s a power move. Sometimes it’s funny.

But. It’s offensive. It can be ugly. I can be ugly. Depends on the mood and reception of the audience.

I do it to protect myself. I do many things to protect myself. I lose my temper from time to time when I can’t cope with life in general any more. Tuesday night, I snapped. And not just my fingers.


I served at Tuesday’s special election in my county. It was interesting, humbling and an incredibly long day. I was at the poll for 14 hours and change.

I got up at 4 am (not something I normally do) to be at the poll at 6 am sharp. I had to drive for 30 minutes just to get to the location. Hopefully, the next election will be closer, in my own precinct or near it. Administration said it would be.

I served all day, had a small break for lunch, and 2-3 shorter breaks here and there. The steady flow of voters didn’t allow much downtime. By the time I finished, I was exhausted. Plus, I spent the day with older women who had all the time in the world to complain, moan and lecture me about the way voting should change or how I was not properly allocating ballots.

“I’m going to work the floor!” A job that most of the older women loathed. Standing (I had a chair to sit in if there were no voters on the floor), addressing the parting voters, checking the booths for left items, and repetitively explaining the tabulator/ballot box procedure (Slide your ballot over the green arrow, over the gray, under the black, wait for the waving American flag to tell you “Thank you for voting!” and then I would say, “Yay! You voted! Yay democracy!” and that would illicit usually a laugh, smile or a thank you.) But I gladly worked my tiny corner of isolation to get away from the bitching bitties.

“Oy! My back!”
“Why do you have to stay 5 feet away from the ballot box?”
“Don’t forget…!”
“OH! You did that wrong!”
“Martha, do this…”
“Martha, do that…”

Most of the older women were racist. Or bigoted. Or just clueless to etiquette, correct terminology, or considerate behavior.

“That guy who came in with the two Oriental kids.”

WTF??

“You mean Asian?” is what I wanted to say, but I just let it go.

Finally, before I left, one of the women was bossing me around, biting my neck (she had been hateful most of the day and specifically to me at times) and I finally bit back.

“Martha, put these away! You know where they go.”

My 5 o’clock whistle blew. Except it was 6:57 pm. “(Bitch), I will put them away when we close the poll!” (Her name has been changed to Bitch to protect the guilty.)

She thought the poll had closed, but we were still a few minutes from shutting the doors. “Oh, I thought we had closed. Sorry.” But Bitch said “sorry” like your husband on your period. “Saw-ree!” Like the inflective (not a word!) equivalent of “Sheesh!”

I was silent. Everyone should worry when I’m silent.

After the poll closed, I turned to Bitch and said, “I’ve never put this away before, I don’t know where they go, but I assume they go in this envelope. Is that correct, (Bitch)?” And I said it firmly, politely, but with that edge of “I will cut a Bitch.” One raised eyebrow.

One quiet, schooled, submissive “Yes.”

“Thank you!”

I heard no more from Bitch.

Needless to say, I was on edge after my husband picked me up.

On the way home, we got into an argument. It doesn’t matter why, but he did something that always triggers me. Always. We’ve had many discussions about the behavior, but he continues to do said shenanigans. After being triggered by the horrible woman at the poll for 14!!! hours, I was weak, vulnerable, tired, hungry, in a really bad place. I was not grumpy. I was not taking out my frustration on my family. I was talking about the day and my frustration with the woman, but I don’t think I was berating my family. I wasn’t. My husband and daughter had asked about my day and I had simply told them all the various good and bad aspects of working an election. Procedures, attitudes, expectations. They were interested because none of us had ever worked an election before. Overall, it was gratifying. But any 14-hour day doing anything is going to be taxing. Gratifying or not.

So, the inevitability of the situation was obvious. My husband spent most of the day pursuing a low-priority goal and neglected some crucial chores. He needed to find a power cord for an item we need to sell, he needed to follow up about a temp job for IT, and he needed to feed our daughter dinner. Or at least communicate with me about dinner coordination. Unfortunately, he waited to pick me up at 8:00 pm in hopes that we could all grab a bite together.

Okay. Not horrible. Mildly thoughtful. I say mildly because we both will use any excuse to eat out at any time and the benefit to our partner is secondary to satisfying our eat-out lust. But our daughter eating dinner after 8 on a school night is a digestive juggernaut. Not unheard of, but normally highly-questioned by my husband. It’s just not ideal. But it’s okay if he says so.

And then, on top of all of that, triggered from 14-hour Bitch, chores neglected and now, engage the boosters on trigger-happy hubby with his self-proclaimed “productive” morning routine of dragging home stereo equipment from a thrift store to transfer old tapes to digital storage and cleaning the stereo equipment on my dining room table! with alcohol.

You may not know this, and I’m not sure that he did either, but alcohol would probably eat the finish off my cheap, not-solid wood table. It would probably at least dull the surface. I would like that not to happen. I just bought the damn thing 3 years ago.

We just can’t have nice things. Sigh. LOL
That, and “I can’t take you anywhere.” LOL

Thankfully, it was fine. He put a towel down, but if it had spilled? No towel is going to help.

My husband trying to clean something is like a 5 yo shouting, “Mommie, look! I washed all your sweaters in the toilet!” LOL Just kidding. It’s not that bad. But close.

It’s just, after the day I had, and one of the first things my husband tells me on the way to dinner is, “I did a thing that we have talked about not to do. I did that and only that while you’ve been gone for 14 hours working for our family to make ends meet because I don’t make enough money any more.”

He didn’t say that. That’s what I heard.

So. I lost it. I got super upset. I was PTSD-ing all over the car. I was shrill. Screamy. Angry. We had a bad fight. But we made it through. It took a while. Lots of talking. (He hates that.) Lots of emotion. (He hates that.) Lots of stress. (We both hate that.)

I don’t like being sassy, but I tend to get that way when I feel attacked. As with Bitch. I tend to get that way with my husband, too. Sassy. Mean. Sarcastic. Hateful. It’s mainly when I feel he isn’t listening. Or understanding. Or trying.

You know, it’s like, what’s the point in behaving if I’m talking to a brick wall? Right? And then out comes the mud.

I don’t want this though. I struggle with changing my approach. I struggle with being sweet or polite or even-tempered when I feel neglected. And my family has just not been paying attention lately. Our Christian approach to life is care for each other. This is what God has intended. That’s our thinking. Except, I care for others, put myself last, and then everyone else cares only for themselves. So I get the poopie end of that stick! Feel me, Ladies? I know I’m not alone.

But. Still. I have to do right, no matter what. I have to control myself. I have to follow God. I have to ask for help not from my husband, family or friends, I have to rely on God’s Holy Spirit. No one, not me, not my husband, not my daughter, not Bitch can give me the fruits of the Spirit. That can only come from God. So I have to remember. Ask. Receive. It’s hard to remember when sin and evil are right on top of you. Biting your neck. I need help to remember to ask for help! LOL

I want to be better. Trigger free. I just know that’s not realistic. So I need to call on God. Pray. Submit. Remember. Practice.

Everyone will let you down. Eventually. I’m not perfect. I let my family, friends and co-workers down every day. We just have to reach for grace. For ourselves. For others. For the people we have vowed to love. As a Christian, that’s a vow with everyone.


God, help me. Fill me with your Spirit today and every day. Help me back that *F* train up. Help me be beautiful on the inside. Let your face be the face that others see when they look at me. Help me show your love to the whole world. Help me be an example of your grace with the help of your Spirit. I can’t do it alone. I will fail. I need you. Without you, I am not whole. I am ugly and weak and imperfect. I need you to complete your work in me: your intention, your purpose, my heart transformation, my life dedication through your providence of the Spirit. Amen.

unlovable

from 2014. i’m better now. almost.


so, okay. i have this terrible condition that rears its ugly head every so often. i start to feel bad. mentally, internally. then it sort of morphs into something worse. a terrifying feeling of not being loved. then i set about to let everyone in my tiny family know about it. i moan and shout from the next room, “No one loves me!” then my family rushes in and kisses me and reassures me. “We love you!” it’s a fun, silly game, but one that i need sometimes because while i make a joke, i still need that comfort and love to bolster my fragile mentality.

well last night, i finally realized, what i really feel is, “I’m unlovable.” i begin to feel as if no one in the world could possibly love me. that i’m too fat, ugly, annoying and selfish for anyone to love. so i said, from my bedroom last nite, “I’m unlovable!” then my family rushed in, Lilli who is so smart, “I love you! And God loves you!” I said, “No, you don’t. You can’t possibly.” and she made some silly joke to make me laugh about how i was being impossible. and then Guy rushed in, hugging me and kissing me, singing Voice of Truth.

…and the voice of truth tells me a different story,
and the voice of truth says do not be afraid…

which is his subtle-not subtle way of saying, “Shut up! Stop lying to yourself.”

and that’s what i am doing. i’m lying to myself. i’m listening to that tiny, crazy voice that tells me:
i’m worthless.
i’m scared.
i’m not loved.
and that’s not the voice of truth, that’s not the voice of God. that’s the voice of the enemy–my own thoughts OR the twisted up world OR the devil.

i am lovable. i am loved. if for no other reason than God loves me. i am thankful for my family. for my husband, who is the voice of reason. for scooping me up and sparing me from my own terrible thoughts, for giving me undivided attention even when i’m pretty obvious about it. i love you, Guy. thanks for the reminder.

take me to church

church has begun
it’s not Sunday now
but the bells have rung
we’re attending somehow

church is not
a building or shrine
it’s the body of Christ
it’s the collective mind

church is a place
down in our hearts
alive in our actions
where the Spirit starts

church is a job
church is your wife
church is a neighbor
church is your life

church is happening.
everywhere.

Carve Hearts on the Tree of Life

Proverbs 3:3 NASB

Do not let kindness and truth leave you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart.

2 Corinthians 3:3 NASB

being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.


Write God’s words with a Sharpie on your heart.
When you wear a necklace, let it be of LOVE or a HEART or the CROSS.
The cross is a symbol of death, but also of love and sacrifice for the entire human race.
Only God can turn death into life.
Keep the letter of the law.
And if not, the spirit of the law.
And if not, GRACE.
And if for no one else–for your own safety and benefit.
Carve into the center of who you are what God wants.
Write those words.
GRACE.
By forgiveness and kindness, we shall be known.
By bearing God’s image, we shall be loved, saved, and most of all, forgiven.