Category Archives: parenting

Musings on… My Value

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val·ue
/ˈvalyo͞o/
noun
1.
the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something.
“your support is of great value”
synonyms: worth, usefulness, advantage, benefit, gain, profit, good, help, merit, helpfulness, avail;
2.
a person’s principles or standards of behavior; one’s judgment of what is important in life.
“they internalize their parents’ rules and values”
synonyms: principles, ethics, moral code, morals, standards, code of behavior
“society’s values are passed on to us as children”
verb
1.
estimate the monetary worth of (something).
“his estate was valued at $45,000”
synonyms: evaluate, assess, estimate, appraise, price, put/set a price on
“his estate was valued at $345,000”
2.
consider (someone or something) to be important or beneficial; have a high opinion of.
“she had come to value her privacy and independence”
synonyms: think highly of, have a high opinion of, hold in high regard, rate highly, esteem, set (great) store by, put stock in, appreciate, respect;

~~

Yesterday a bunch of older men and my hubby were talking about life insurance and he mentioned that I was upset that I don’t have any life insurance. They all, in unison, said and snickered, ‘what does she need life insurance for?’

[Patriarchy at its finest] *sarcasm font

Lately I have been thinking about my value, more, I have been feeling defeated because I don’t think I HAVE any value.

But how do I even define value? An insurance policy? A pat on the back from my family? God’s approval?

And do people who have servants hearts all feel this way?

by nature a servant is ‘below’ the people they are serving. I’m not against that. I love helping people. I’m at my best when I do that. If I am not serving, I’m not living. Not being able to say no…that is another story for another time.

by nature a servant thinks of others needs. Most of the time before their own. Servants have empathy. Why do servants do what they do?

According to the definitions above

Do they want to feel worth or usefulness

Are they abiding by rules, moral codes

Do they, or can they, put a price on their servant hood [life]

Do they want others to view them with esteem, importance, respect?

~~

In my case
growing up my parents weren’t the best at affection and encouraging words. my father wasn’t present in our sports, concerts, school life. He worked. Hard. He kept food in the house he maintained. His job was done, apparently. I think my dad attended one thing, my graduation.

My mother likes to blame my dad for talking down to us, in reality [or my reality] she was the one who called us stupid and any dreams and ideas were stupid.

In essence, if my dreams are stupid, the dreams are a part of me, so I’m stupid. This also would follow the same lines…[If being gay is wrong/sinful and I am gay, then I am sinful and wrong.] *sorry, rabbit trail

Fast forward to marriage, birth of son [in the interim years, I never kept a boyfriend long, never was going to let anyone hurt me, another story for another time]

Shitty start to a relationship..and after son was born, MAJOR depression. Mix in some alcoholism and poof…. feelings of inadequacy and not being able to work, and ending up in a week-long hospital stay… ugh. hate just thinking about it.

Played stay-at-home mom with relish. As I remember hubby and I agreed to it. made better sense. Too much work always stressed me. We didn’t have a financial burden to worry about. Since we are dealing with value and this pertains to it, and even tho hubby hates it. Hubby deems money highly. He has made a good life for all his family and has worked hard to be a good provider.

Its more about things that he thinks and then proceed out of his mouth.

I’ll try not to get into too many details, but over the years, its obvious that I am not of the same ‘value’ because I don’t make money in this household.

I think it is worse in the christian culture. the bible is wrought with women being less-than and groups that hold to literal interpretations of the bible are super guilty of this.

Maybe I feel hurt because it’s the people who I think should value me the most, don’t. I know that most people just value me for what I do for them and I can handle that. They aren’t in my life all the time.

Never when I feel hurt by being under valued, do I want to stop being a servant.

What about legacy? Does that have to do with value? Will I live on in, well, I know I will only live on in people’s minds as long as they live.

Sidenote, the movie Coco stuck me hard, at first I thought it silly, but its true, only if the loved ones still remember you, you live on. hmmm.

Legacy…. I want to pass on more than just yarn to my son. Does an insurance help that? Would he value me more if he knew he was in cash money when I die? Does it really matter?

Does any of this really matter? and how do I stop these feelings? I know, I know, christian readers, my worth should in Christ. I shouldn’t care how I am treated because Christ loves me and values me.

I should look toward Him for my worth. My value.

but as we say, we are fallen sinful creatures and living the everyday life wears ya down. Christ isn’t sitting in my living room with pom poms cheering me on everyday.

How do you think about value?

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A Mother’s Worst Nightmare

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Let me preface this post with this comment :

‘Yesterday marked the realization of a mother’s worst nightmare [almost]. Regardless of what people tell you, parents of gay children aren’t mad they are gay, they are worried that they will be bullied, picked on, kidnapped, beaten or killed.’

~

I was driving home from the store early evening and I received a call from my sons’ phone. A couple of [sounded like] black men told me they had my son and wanted money to release him or they would kill him. They told me they met him on a chat line and when they realized he was gay, they kidnapped him, taped his mouth and wanted recompense for the insult on their straight sexuality.

They told me to drive to the nearest store and get some ‘moneypak’ debit cards, $500 on 5 cards to be exact. I told them I wanted to hear my son, they made a big deal of getting the tape off his mouth and I did hear my son say ‘mom, mom, hello, hello?’

They said they were on the north end of town and would release him after I did what they told me to do. I was to go into the store, get the card and read them the numbers off the back.

I need to enforce to you the detail of which these guys went into their story-telling. They were talking to each other about getting my son in the back seat of the car and deciding on the best way to rendezvous with me after I did what I was told. I even heard a high-pitched scream in the background. I was distraught, to say the least. I made it to the store. They would not let me hang up and keep telling me all the ways they would hurt my son if I hung up or tried any funny business.

I wrote a note on a piece of paper and handed to the first person at the customer service desk at a big chain market. MY SON MAY HAVE BEEN KIDNAPPED CALL 911, TELL THEM TO SEND A CONCEALED CAR HERE.

The kidnappers made it sound like they would know if the cops came. The phone kept disconnecting and they would call back and yell at me for trying funny business. One of the clerks knew about scams that ask for this certain type of card and wouldn’t let me pay for any of them, one was on the phone to 911, one was talking loud to me, keeping me up to date on why it was taking so long to process. [so the ‘kidnappers’ could hear]. I wrote another note to call my sons work to see if he was there. He was not.

When the police came I was sitting in an eating area and was trying to phone all my sons friends. No one would answer the phone, and the ‘kidnappers’ kept calling, getting angrier with each call. The police officer wouldn’t let me buy cards either. During this time the kidnappers asked me if this made any sense “Please take care of Orange Julius for me”. They said my son said that. I freaked! [that is his cats name, and of course I thought my son was saying that like after he got killed I was to care for his cat!] Then I heard his voice again, but it repeated the same words ‘mom, mom, hello, hi?’

I finally had to stop answering their calls because I was trying to contact my sons’ friends and getting addresses for the police to drive to, to see if son was there. I couldn’t figure out where they were getting their information and didn’t know if they had my sons phone. I was telling the officers that I really didn’t care if it was a scam at this point, they were getting my money, they had too many facts about my son.

When I answered one of their calls, I asked them to ask my son what movie we were going to watch that night and seconds later, after making a great imitation of asking him, they said the right movie!!! FREAKED OUT!

I managed to get a hold of 3 friends. Sent them out in all directions looking for son. Police sent units to his boyfriend’s house, son’s place of work and was going to our home, but I got a friend who lived close by to check the house. No one at any location.

Everyone was texting and calling my son, but he wouldn’t answer. You’ll know why in a minute.

I am shaking as I write this, but I need to get it out of head, onto ‘paper’. UPDATE: 2 days later and I still can’t shake this. I’m paralyzed by the ‘what-ifs’ and how to stop these assphats.

The police were asking me all kinds of questions; does your son do drugs, has he been trouble lately? Where would he go? [he was going to work and his boyfriend’s house, then was to come home]

The boy just graduated college, and since he moved back in a month ago, all he has done is school, work, home. He is as boring as it comes, but then again, mothers don’t always know all of what their kids do. I got a call from a friend saying son left work at 4:30 pm and told a co-worker, “I have jury duty, I need to take care something, I will come back and clean my desk’’. That was last anyone had heard from him.

The last call I picked up from the ‘kidnappers’ they asked if I had the cards and they were going to send me a video. I told them I did not have the cards and they said, “ok then, goodbye”.

After what seemed like eternity, my son calls crying, “I think I did something bad, I think I got stabbed’’ [he didn’t say stabbed, but that’s what I heard] I asked him if he was alone, and he said yes. I told him to go his work and stay there. That I would be there as soon as I could. I told all his friends the same thing, get to the workplace, son is on his way, keep him there, the police and I will be there soon.

So, come to find out my son was being scammed at the same time I was!!!!!

He received a phone call from an unknown number and googled it. It was the county sheriff’s office number. He called them back and was told in a very professional manner he had a warrant out for his arrest since he missed jury duty [son has never had jury duty nor knows what all that entails] and he needed to pay the fine, so he would not get arrested. They kept him on the phone and told him to keep telling them his mileage, they knew when he pulled over, when he got out of the car. He went to 3 different stores and all of them let him get these certain cards to put money on. The ‘sheriff’s office’ even told him to call his bank and tell them it was really him making these withdrawals. Their elaborate story included southern accents, first a man, then transferred to a woman with soothing words but stating if my son hung up or didn’t do as they said, a cop would come immediately and arrest him. They asked for an emergency contact and he gave my name and number. They asked if there was something I would know as a secret security measure and he told them ‘Orange Julius’.

They had him running around for about 3 hours. At one point they had him park in front of the county courthouse to finalize the warrant freeze, but because they told him a police officer would arrest him if he was found, he didn’t go inside.  They were so professional and knew exactly how the law worked in warrants and son didn’t know enough about it to refute them. At one point they asked him if there was another secret security measure they could use for me, asking about something we both know, like a favorite movie. He said Blade Trinity.

THEY WERE ACTUALLY ON THE PHONE WITH US BOTH AND PLAYING US BOTH!

My son said he heard me say, ‘’son, son, where are you, are you ok?’’. Not actaully sure how they made that happen, but it was very convincing.  He was told after he got the cards he was to scratch off the numbers on the back and read them off to them and that would zero out his account with the sheriff dept and drop the charges. After he did that, they hung up.

That is when he called me. We all met at his workplace and hugged and cried and talked to the police. I guess this series of scams comes in a few forms. IRS back taxes, kidnapping and warrants. We got hit with two. They got money from son. None from me, only thanks to the calm, informed people at the grocery store and the police.

It was awful. And terrifying. And very violating.

I’m still contemplating going to the news, I really want people, especially people in retail, to know about these scams and not even carry these types of cards in their stores. The way the cards are set up [not having to be physically present to access money] are the perfect storm for cyber fraud.

Update, we decided we need to get this out so other’s won’t be put in this situation.  Please share this. Please ask your stores to not sell these types of cards. Please inform any retail worker friends you know not to sell anyone these types of cards, especially if they are on the phone.

http://komonews.com/news/consumer/scammers-target-upscale-neighborhoods-posing-as-federal-marshals

 

 

 

 

Love Might Win the Wayward in Your Life [REPOST]

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This hit home for me:

If you are paired with a prodigal, you know pain. Few trials slice as deeply as the spouse who goes rogue, the child who rebels, or the sibling who spins out of control. Rejecting their role and shutting out those that love them, wayward souls thunder with reckless entitlement, myopic selfishness, and chaotic, grief-instigating choices.

It’s a world of indescribable, emotional turmoil. Here’s some reasons why.

You flog yourself with the “why-stick” — why is this happening to them? Why is this happening to us? To me? Why? Whack. Whack. Whack. “Why?” is a cross that lovers of the wayward carry.

Often, they carry an ironic shame, too. With the wayward, a subtle paradox appears: the prodigal acts shamefully and feels justified — you love them sacrificially and feel ashamed. It’s a hellish twist on the idea of justification — their shame imputed to you.

Additionally, prodigals possess a dangerous, life-sucking power. They siphon the fuel out of those who love them in a “weariness-war.” The effects of this power take you beyond mere fatigue to a mind-enfeebling, soul-sapping, confidence-wrecking, depression-inciting, bone-tiring exhaustion.

What the Wayward Want

1. Choices Without Consequences

For someone fleeing from God, freedom is typically the ability to pursue desires without the burden of responsibility for their decision. John, infatuated with another woman, left Sally and their marriage of ten years in pursuit of freedom. When this appeared unstable to a judge, and Sally was awarded custody of the kids, John was outraged. Why?

A prodigal doesn’t typically engage in moral reasoning, so consequences strike them as offensive, unjust, or excessive. They fail to see that true freedom recognizes and honors the God-installed fences that define the borders between good and bad, wisdom and folly, sowing and reaping.

2. Autonomy Without Accountability

Wayward people want autonomy without the rule of love. They want a world where their wants are met without question or accountability. For the prodigal, life is about indulging desire, not accepting responsibility. The results are often disastrous.

Charlene is rarely cooperative, often stoned, and has little tolerance for discussion about how she spends her time or money. Charlene seeks a world where she can freely indulge and never explain. When accountability comes knocking, she withdraws behind an impenetrable emotional wall of unfettered autonomy, away from meddlesome scrutiny.

Few things plant a family in the manure of dysfunction quicker than feeding the delusion that one can live autonomously, yet dependent; unaccountable, yet family-funded.

What the Wayward Need

Ask the average Joe or Jaclyn about “love,” and their answers will skim the shallow pond of sentimental feelings, magnetic attraction, or the thrill of someone who makes them feel alive. Christians reject the merely sentimental and embrace a more robust vision of love. “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us” (1 John 3: 16).

At the eternal core of biblical love, we find a rugged cross. Blood-drenched yet triumphantly empty, this cross testifies to a promise-keeping love that goes beyond trifling sentiment. Think of it as “rugged love” — a love with teeth!

Love is rugged when it is

  • strong enough to face evil;
  • tenacious enough to do good;
  • courageous enough to enforce consequences;
  • sturdy enough to be patient;
  • resilient enough to forgive;
  • trusting enough to pray boldly.

Consider just two examples.

Strong Enough to Face Evil

Pete knows Becky is a serial adulterer, but he says nothing. Claire believes her brother is on drugs, but she won’t probe. Tammy overlooks the cruel comments her husband makes about her in public. Though each situation is distinct, they are all connected by a common compromise: Pete, Claire, and Tammy are all tolerating evil. If you ask them why, they say they do it all for love.

The Bible says, “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil” (Romans 12:9). True and genuine love abhors evil. It means that we have eyes to see evil and the courage to respond to it. Sin and folly inhabit the soul of the wayward like unwelcome squatters. If these vices are ever to be expelled, they can’t be ignored or hidden, but must be honestly named and exposed.

Love goes beyond prodigal management to the deeper power of gospel application.

The gospel of God’s justification of evil people does not deny evil. In fact, the gospel shows us God’s deepest feelings about evil — he abhors it. “The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men” (Romans 1:18). God’s wrath is his settled and determined response to injustice, sin, rebellion, and evil. The gospel showcases how God met radical depravity with genuine, rugged love.

Let’s face it, loving like this is not simple or easy for us. To get here, you need to experience this love yourself, a love so sturdy that it enables you to face your biggest fears — rejection, anxiety over the unknown, failure. Giving rugged love begins by receiving the rugged love of God and holding fast to the promises of the gospel, knowing that he will never leave us or abandon us (Hebrews 13:5) and that he is truly with us until the end (Matthew 28:20).

Tenacious Enough to Do Good

Naming evil is an important step, but it is only a first step. Love is made rugged by a tenacious commitment to “not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).

By doing positive good — responding with godly, rugged love — we overcome the evil that has been done. But if things deteriorate, we need to be ready for the painful reality that love may require letting a prodigal go. In the heart-breaking act of letting go, our intent is not to punish the person or to retaliate for what they have done to us. We must not meet evil with evil. When we do, everyone loses, and no one gets loved.

Rather, we let go as a way to do good.

Doing good requires tenacity, because the moments when it’s most necessary are the same moments when it’s most difficult. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.”

Desperate Times Need Deeper Love

Anyone embracing rugged love faces huge emotional hurdles. It feels like we are piling on, almost as if we saw a drunk stumble in the street and decided to kick him to teach him a lesson. But if we’re serious about helping people enslaved in selfishness, we will find faith to think honestly and deeply about the gracious grit of genuine love.

Don’t be afraid. Speak the truth in love, and trust Jesus. He may surprise you.

How to Fiercely Love and Protect Someone in Difficult Times

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Remember you cannot control anyone else. Just YOURself.

1. Cry with them

2. Laugh with them

3. Listen to them

4. Keep your mouth shut.

a. Seriously. Unless they specifically ask for opinion, advice, help. Keep it zipped.

b. Be prepared to have kind, good and sane advice for them.

5. Follow this easy guide…

1 Corinthians 13  (NIV)

4 Love is patient, love is kind.

It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

 

6. Keep in touch. Send a note, a card, encourage. Keep doing it. Especially with a death, people forget that the survivor still lives and has to go on. Fiercely loving them means being in it for the long haul.

7. Empathy: : the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner; also : the capacity for this.

8. Take into consideration [empathy] what they are going through. Emotions run high and they are scared, sad, mad, depressed, sometimes in a chokingly exhausting way.

9. Offer to help [and only help them in #5 ways] Bring a meal, babysit, run errands, go to mtgs with them, sit in mourning with them, forgive the people they forgive, love the people they choose to love.

10. Keep your mouth shut. Keep your hands and feet close. Delete all distractions from your life that interfere with fiercely loving your friend/family member.

11. You can only control YOURself.

12. Last but never ever least. Pray. If you are not a praying person. Do whatever, meditate, light candles, etc. Just do it.

Please feel free to comment below if you have any other advice for fiercely loving others in difficult times.

*Dedicated to those who have suffered loss. I love you.

Musings on….. On Guard Preventing and Responding to Child Abuse at Church

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9781939946515m

from here

This book. Is everything I wanted to say to our church but couldn’t articulate.

A bit of background. Hubby and I went to our church council to talk about putting some safeguards in place and having some more resources available for kids and parents affected by child abuse. This book deals with sexual abuse. Mostly by an adult to a child. In a church setting.

We tried to come up with plan for prevention and a plan for responding. We, as fallen humans, sucked at trying to get the importance of the message across.

This book states in plain terms what we only couldn’t formulate even in our minds.

I bought the council members each a book and I devoured the book in a night.

The book discusses the importance of stewardship of children, the types of predators, the false assumptions we make about predators and asks the question “Why the church”?

The numbers and statistics shown in the book would astound the average person.

Probably the best sentence “..We must remember our high calling as parents, pastors, and children’s ministry workers – the God five charge to love, protect, and shepherd children under our care.’ [pg 11]

Creating a child protection policy is one thing we want to see happen in our church, background checks, also. This book gives an outline on how to begin to write out a policy and guidelines for background checks.

A check in and check out policy for the youth/kids groups/nursery. Being a member first before becoming involved in church ministry. Putting windowed doors or making dutch doors on class rooms. When sunday school is over, lock up all the doors. Train all volunteers.

Preparing before it happens means pastors/leaders being humble in caring and planning. Parents who are vigilant and understand the importance. Teens and kids, and even parents, going thru a class/curriculum on child safety AND sex.

there is a whole chapter on getting to know your community and resources. God-given resources that a church should look toward to help victims and abusers. Churches aren’t usually equipped to give specialized help to individuals.

The next few chapters deal with responding to an abuse that has already happened.

I plan on going through the endnotes and look at some of the reference material he used in the book.

I would love to have my church, your church, any and all churches read this book, prayerfully consider the importance of loving, protecting and teaching our kids.

~~

a couple things I found online:

wrfnet.org

child molestation prevention 

minibook

gospel coalition article [good quick read]

When the child abuser has a bible 

clergy as Mandatory reporters

 

Musings on…. Life in my 40’s

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People say their 20’s was a life changing experiences, but this momma will have to say that my 40’s have been the craziest and life changing…to say the least.

I was into all kinds of debauchery in my 20’s. psst…everyone does it, sowing the wild oats, drinking, drugging, partying… blah,blah, blah. But my 40’s….man….crazy.

As I head into my 50’s decade, I’m gonna try to look back on this past decade and see what the hell I have done. I wish I had a big calendar that I wrote all the stuff I did so I could look back.

But maybe its good there isn’t any paper trail. turned 40 in 2004.

Joined Facebook in 2008. Started blog in 2007. Became a vegetarian/vegan in 2008. Lost 30 lbs doing body for Life in 2007. Weight has yo-yo’ed ever since.

Only had 2 tattoos, now I have upwards of 15 which includes a half-sleeve.

We only had one dog and 3 cats, now we have 3 dogs and a pig. gone through lots of animals, lost my heart to each and every one of them. I had two things I wanted to accomplish before I died. Knitting and ride a motorcycle. Did both in my 40’s. Own a pretty little Rebel right now and more yarn than I know what to do with.

Had a son late in life, at 28. Got married late in life, 32. Son has gone thru so much and so have we. My 40’s have been full of heartache for/with this kid.

I homeschooled my child for a year. Never EVER thought I could do it, but do it we did.

At 44 I was left to become something other than a stay-at-home mom. So I started a critter care business. kristinascrittercare.com It’s been amazing to say the least. So many wonderful animals and human clients.

Haha, never been high in my life, so i thought i would try that. It’s legal where I live. I hate to smoke and never have, so i ate it. Trippy. different from drinking, but the same. Just want my thoughts to stop and relax, altho the pot does let me relax, my brain still goes and I have the weirdest dreams.

Started this blog in my 40’s. It’s been one, if not the best way to do therapy.

Put my big girl panties on and went to IOWA to meet strangers, all by myself, in my 40’s. Best thing I ever did. I love Doug and Micaela so much.

Went on my first mission trip in my 40’s. To the Yakama Indian Reservation. Made many new friends that I will treasure forever. Had many craft fails, I get a little OCD and try many different crafts, much to the chagrin of my hubbys pocketbook.

Did a trial test thingy for the drug Abilify for about a year. It was pretty interesting and I still don’t know if I was taking the Abilify or a placebo.

I had dreads for about 3 years, off and on, always got to a point where I couldn’t wash them every day and they wouldn’t dry fast enough. I also got my first case of lice!!

Had nose surgery this past year. It was the most horrifying thing to not be able to breathe for two weeks. I have had all my woman parts yanked out and a ruptured disc fixed.

Thinking of going to school for vet tech, so I can transition into a desk job someday when I am unable to walk. lol.

 

And many many other things I cannot recall right now.

Hopefully my 50’s will be a bit more mellow and I can rest in the Lord more and more, knowing He holds my life in His hands.