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Archive for May, 2010

“Saving Grace”

Saving Grace is a show on TNT on Monday nights at 10/9c.  It’s a show with really weird theology that I actually really like.  It makes me think about God and how we each relate to him even those we do not know him.

I have a HUGE heart.  I cry at those Army commercials, the ones where the army woman (or man depending on the commercial) is walking through the airport and people allow her to go through the line first and then the old man stands up and claps which makes everyone else clap.  I cry because of the appreciation and the love. 

Tonight I cried during the episode of Saving Grace because this man on death row died.  I cried because I felt what he was feeling.  How is that possible?  Yesterday when I was watching North & South I cried because I felt what the man who commited suicide was feeling.  I think I might be feeling too much lately.  Could be stress but I know what it most likely is.

Anyway I was watching Saving Grace tonight and thinking about the paper I have to write for my systematics class. We have to write a statement of faith where we explain our own faith.  That explanation is our own. We are not to use any outside sources.  Which seems like an easy assignment and it probably would be if I wasn’t in the process of changing my mind about things.  I have been taught all my life that the Presbyterian way is THE way because that is what my Presbyterian Pastor father taught me.  But lately I have been rethinking things.

I am definitely a feeler and in the past year or so God has shown me some amazing spiritual gifts that in my tradition I didn’t even know were possible.  God can show me who is abused by showing me rain around them when I am sitting in a classroom.  (That one really freaked me out).  God can show me weird visions when I ask him to (and even when I don’t).  God has always spoken to me and usually when I heard him it was like a two-by-four hitting me over the head but lately, when I have been listening it hasn’t taken a two-by-four.  It has only taken a soft whisper.

God speaks to us, all of us but we choose whether or not to listen.  I have been abused, I have had things forced upon me so I cannot stand to think of God as someone who forces things upon us. I would rather think of God as someone/something that opens his loving arms and allows us to come to him.  Maybe that’s wrong.  Maybe everyone else is right and God chooses us or forces us to come to him.  But my own faith, my own experiences make me doubtful of that. 

People have problems with my ideas of God as opening up and waiting for us because they think this lessens God’s power.  That’s CRAP! God is still the powerful God even if he allows us to make that decision.

That’s where the show Saving Grace comes in.  In the show Grace has this weird experience with an angel Earl that is trying to save  her.  Hence the name of the show “Saving Grace.” I like this idea that God saves us in our time.  It makes sense to me.  In my extended family there are all kinds of people: believers and non-believers, democrats and republicans, gays and straights, (you name it I probably know someone that has either had it, said it, or did it).  When I think about my theology I think about my family.  I think about how God might move in their lives.  I think about how God might meet my Cousin who is an alcoholic and tried to commit suicide.  I think about my Aunt who cannot comprehend a god that would let people abuse other people.  I think about my gay Uncle.  I think about my Republican Uncle who cannot listen to anyone but himself.  I think about all these people when I think about my theology.  How would God meet these people? How would God enter their lives? My Republican Uncle will not see God if he is overbearing but he cannot be soft spoken either.  How could God meet my gay Uncle? How can he meet my Aunt? How can he meet my Cousin?

My huge heart allows me to think about these things.  It makes me think about these things.  I ask these questions because I want to know how God meets the real person where they are.

Watching Saving Grace helps me to think about these things.  I am hoping in the next couple of days I can come up with some of the answers so that my theology will make sense.

Lord, help me to do that!

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North & South

I just got done watching “North & South” for the second time.  I love this movie/series. It is a BBC film of the book North & South by Elizabeth Gaskell.  I have never read the book but I absolutely love the movie. 
If you like movies based on books from the 20th Century you will love this movie (it’s on netflix instant right now). 

I have a wonderful group of friends who get together every 3 weeks or so to watch a movie and make dinner and we always pick some British ditty to watch.  This past week we watched “The Young Victoria.” It was a fantastic film and beautiful love story.

“North & South” is also a beautiful love story about a very strong woman who stands up for herself and speaks her mind. I love stories like that. I cannot stand it when the woman is so very passive and allows the man to think for her and make her decisions.  Nothing makes me more angry than when a woman is portrayed as such in film (which I know says a lot about me and my own past decisions but for once I will not go into that).  I love stories where the woman can take care of herself.

Recently I have fallen in love with the Mercy Thompson stories.  I like them because they are fantastical (lots of vampires and werewolves) and because Mercy is a strong woman.  She fights for herself and when the man shows up to rescue her he is always too late (she’s not dead just managed to get herself out of a tight spot).  It reminds me of the end of “Ever After” when the prince comes to save Danielle but she has already saved herself.  I love a story where the woman gets in trouble but I love it more when she saves herself.  When she does not need a man to come rescue her.  Don’t get me wrong I love a good romance novel that depicts a man who saves the woman he loves but I like it better when they are on equal footing and she can save herself.

In the second Mercy Thompson book Mercy is raped and in the third her boyfriend helps her heal from that trauma.  I love that Mercy gets herself out of tough spots but I also love that it is the soft areas of her life that she needs help in.  It is the area of intimacy where she seeks the most encouragement.  It is in giving and receiving love that she is finally able to heal the scarred part of her life. 

In “North & South” Margret is the same.  She needs help in the love department but not in any other department.  I feel like these two women in many ways. I know they are fictional characters but I find it hard to be vulnerable in any area of my life but it is hardest in the love department. I have a hard time being vulnerable with my friends male or female and even harder to be vulnerable with someone I am attracted to.

I have been thinking a lot lately about the guy friends I have. I have a lot of guy friends who when we first met I was attracted to. I was asking my therapist a couple of weeks ago how in the hell that happened.  I wanted to know what I was doing… if I was putting out some sort of vibe and how to stop it.  She gave me no answer (and I expected as much).  Perhaps I was not vulnerable enough or too vulnerable.  She encouraged me to ask them (which is something I have thought about doing a time or two! Trust me I have thought about it) but then I said, “but then they would know I liked them.” 

We all have patterns of behavior that we do in every relationship.  I like to avoid.  When conflict arises I like to say it is my fault so that the conflict will go away (although i have been trying not to do that). I like to either avoid, run or grab on and hold with a death grip.  There is a guy I like at church (no I will not reveal his name).  He is kind and sweet and younger than me (yes I know age is only a number).  And every time I am around him I feel safe.  Even when I thought he had done me wrong somehow I felt at ease with him.  I like when he acknowledges my presence and when we talk in a group I like that he is always looking at me.  It reminds me of the beginnings of relationships in the period pieces I like to watch like “North & South.” 

I have no idea if he likes me or not and I am working hard to sit with that.  There is a deep part of me that is dying to tell him that I like him but there is this other stronger part that says no.  It says “YOU DESERVE TO BE PURSUED!” I do like him a lot and even though I feel it going to the friends zone I still say to myself “let him come to you.”  If he wants to make this sideways glances and smiles and laughter more then he will have to do so because I want to be pursued.  If nothing happens then nothing happens. I will try to be happy with the sideways glances and smiles and laughter.

Change is hard but I do believe it is possible. I feel I have rambled on about nothing (every time I think of “rambled” I think of Friends and the episode where Rachel writes Ross a letter…I have added it here for fun :))

Anyway I am done for now…I don’t know why but I always feel like I have to end the post with some sort of conclusion…it must be the English teacher in me 🙂

Very personal but on my mind

I am feeling much better. In the last few hours I have been able to sit up without becoming dizzy and I have little to no pain in my ear. YAY!!! Praise God!! If this lasted a few more days I was going to have to go back to the doctor and I would do anything to avoid that.

As I was sitting in the doctor’s office last week I was wondering why I hate doctors so much.  After I had spoken to the doctor and was waiting for lab results I remembered why: they never believe me.

I have lived in this body for 29 years and I know it well.  I know when I have an ear infection or sinus infection, I know when I have a kidney infection. I know that if I take anything with antihistamine (day or night medicine) I will be out or in a fog for the duration of taking such medicine.  I know that my head is still spinning as I write this (although I don’t really know why).  I know how odd my body is: it never tells me when I have a bladder or urinary tract infection, it never responds very well to antibiotics no matter how many new ones come on the market, and even though I am only 29 my body has hot flashes before and during my period.  I know how quirky my body is and I know how unlikely people are to believe me.

I also hate going to the doctor because they are constantly asking me if I have ever had a PAP and because I am a uniquely honest person I always say no.  Then I get looks and questions and I have to explain that I was sexually abused and raped.  Although this time I got this wonderful nurse who listened to me talk and because she listened I continued to talk.  She gave me a great idea that I just might use.  She told me to set up the first appointment and to explain my situation to the doctor.  She said to continue setting up appointments to she that doctor and that eventually if the doctor took care and if the doctor was nice about it and explained things that I might be able to go through it.  I really liked her idea and it made absolute sense to me.

I was talking with a lady last week at church (whose name I will not reveal) who told me she had an abuse problem and never enjoyed sex with her first husband but just complied because she thought that was her duty.  But then after a divorce she met a great man who showed her kindness, who taught her that sex could be good.  Who refused her sex when she wasn’t into it.  Who taught her that sex was not her duty but something that she should enjoy, that was an act of giving and receiving love.  I was honestly taken aback and given hope in her story.  She was able to move on because of this man (who is her second husband).

This kind of story I have only read in fiction books and never seen with my two eyes, or heard with my two ears, or believed with my whole heart.  This story of truth gave me  hope, hope enough to talk and open up with that nurse this week about something I hate to discuss.  I wish I had been well enough to go to church this morning.  I missed worship and seeing the faces of people I have, in a few short weeks come to see as my church family, and I missed talking to this woman.

It is so funny and amazing how God works. Over the past few weeks I have always rushed out of church because I didn’t know many people there. I would say quick hello to people I had seen before and then rush off so I didn’t have to feel so awkward.  But last week I sat down next to this woman. I think it was because she looked me in the eye.  We spent a few minutes feeling awkward and then somehow we got on the topic of abuse. I think because we were talking about how I came to the church and how she came to the church.  Anyway we both equally opened up and I am truly grateful for the story she told me.

I have more to say but it has nothing to do with what I have shared here so I will post another post and leave this one be

So over this!!

I am so over this sick thing.  I went to class today which was a huge mistake.  I spent the whole time feeling like I wanted to vomit and my ears were hurting so much I thought my head would burst open add to that the fever and I was in my own living hell.

Tonight I have been watching tv and trying to read the info for the paper that is due tomorrow.  I have these waves of feeling okay mixed in with waves of feeling like crap.  My mother has nagged me from hundreds of miles away and I am going to the doctor tomorrow afternoon.  I would take some meds to keep the ick at bay but the meds keep me in such a fog that I wouldn’t be able to write this paper and have it make sense.  So to keep the paper and the material I am reading coherent I have to stave off taking the meds.  Oh happy day. 

So do I stay up all night and finish writing the paper or do I read the material tonight and write the paper tomorrow?  This is a dumb question to ask because I already know the answer. I am going to stay up for another hour or so and then take a 4 hour med and sleep until early morning, write the paper in the morning after a quick shower and then go to class (because you have to turn in all papers in hand). Stay in class as long as I can handle it and then come home.  Sleep until I have to leave for my doctor’s appt.

The song of the day is You’re Beautiful by James Blunt because this day has been crap and I like this song. I think it is beautiful. Women never believe they are beautiful for someone to create a song that says it is cool.

I feel icky

I feel icky! I have been sick for about 2 days now.  My ears are killing me, my throat hurts and I am exhausted.  The pain keeps me up and the feeling in my throat and ears makes my appetite non-existent.  My mother and mother like friends on facebook.com want me to go to the doctor but no money = not happening!

I read this thing on the internet that 80% of all ear infections go away on their own so if I can get through the next few days then maybe it will go away on its own.  Maybe  a trip to Ralph’s tomorrow to get Cranberry Juice would be a good idea. 

I hate swallowing and being able to hear it happen, I hate sitting up and feeling like crap, I hate taking a shower and feeling like I will fall over.

I hope this will all end soon the only good thing about feeling like crap is watching a lot of tv and not being able to write papers (well that would be the good part if I didn’t have so much work to do). My head is killing me so I guess I will go lay down again.  Oh the joy: 20 minutes sitting up and 4 hours laying down.

I like this song right now because it is quiet and has a great build-up to the chorus: Chasing Pavements by Adele

The video doesn’t make sense to me but I like the song so much I try not to care

I also like Hometown Glory by Adele

And Make You Feel My Love by Adele

My Ministry Dreams

Ever since I announced that I have an internship people have been asking me what that entails and since I have to put together that info anyway I thought I would share some of that now as well as what it will mean for my future Ministry.

Internship: The internship will be at Oasis Church which is a Vineyard church located in Pasadena.  I will be developing and leading an Abuse Ministry that includes meeting with women in groups and one-on-one as well as education for the church community.  I am really excited to see what God will be doing with and through me with this community!

My Ministry Dreams: Ever since I came to Fuller God has been telling me that I would have to develop a new ministry and my whole time here I have been saying “NO WAY!” I really didn’t believe that I had the tools or the knowledge or the know-how to do such a thing but that isn’t true any more.

God has placed on my heart big dreams of ministry and I can’t wait to do all of them.

1. To develop a Non-Profit that will help women who have been sexually abused. To help women get healing in their spiritual and emotional lives. 

2. To write books to help women who have been raped: on dating, sex after rape and masturbation after rape.  Books that will help women move on with their lives and get to the point where they can ask for help.

3. To help churches develop Abuse Ministry programs and Abuse Education programs  to help women in their congregations feel safe in the church community as well as get healing spiritually and emotionally.

4. Through the non-profit set-up a ranch/retreat for women who have been sexually abused for intense therapy, and intense spiritual and emotional healing.

Those are the dreams I have today.  Each day more dreams come to light.

John Mayer’s Daughters is the perfect song: about a girl who needs healing from the relationships in her life.

Oh the Finales

Okay so tonight there were two huge finales on tv: Bones and Grey’s Anatomy

Bones 

 In the Bones finale Booth, Brennan, Daisy, Hodgins, and Angela all leave for a year.  How crazy is that??? It will be great to see what happens next season. In the end Booth and Brennan seemed like they didn’t want to leave each other.  They are in love with each other but Brennan doesn’t think she can be in a relationship.  Maybe this year apart will make her see how she can’t live without him. I just hope that she doesn’t meet someone else. 

This next season could  be crazy. I can’t wait to see what  they do with it!

Grey’s Anatomy

If the Bones season finale was crazy then the Grey’s season finale was INSANE!!! I have never been on the edge of my seat so much. I actually yelled at the tv a couple of times.  All the main people live  but a couple of the Mercy West kids die and Derek gets SHOT!! Owen gets shot as well and Meredith has a miscarriage!! Owen chooses Christina and Lexie chooses Alex.  Alex chooses Izzie.  Oh the humanity!!! It was so crazy and so many earth shattering things happened.  I know that Izzie is off the show permanently (which I actually like, she was too whinny) so I wonder what will happen with Alex.  Crazy!!! I can’t believe I have to wait all summer to see what happens!!

The finales this week have all been crazy including the Castle finale!

All I have to say is that the summer shows better be awesome!!

The song for now is John Legend’s Sun Comes Up

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