Quirk & Logic Posts

This is the twelfth day I must call myself ‘unemployed.’  Here are somethings I’ve learned:

  • I do not like dusting any more when I do, in fact, have time to do it.
  • When actively working on learning to ‘slow down’ – I will, in fact, choose to shampoo the carpets over sitting on the couch.
  • Digging through layers of stress and years of ingrained strategies to cope with stress is hard.

My goal during this time (although I understand it may be cut short by the need to obtain an interim job), was to stop the ‘do all the things today.’

(actual photo of me)

 

I remembered what it was like to curl up on the couch with a book and a blanket, in front of the fireplace.  To sit and read and escape ‘all the things’ for just a little while.  Reading is one of my great joys.

So I pictured taking the kids to school, walking the dog, getting in a workout – then spending an hour or two reading and (gasp) relaxing.  If only to remember how.  Get the kids from school, prepare them a healthy snack, and then start working on supper.

What I have learned is that remembering the process of relaxing is not as easy as doing it.  Its realizing that my brain has been set on ‘high alert’ for about nine or 10 years, and there has never been enough time to get everything done.  Sometimes there isn’t enough time to get the important stuff done.  There have been a lot of nights up until midnight over the years to try to be everything to everyone.

The reality is that it was never about the time.  It was always about me.  It was always about the pressure I put on myself to ‘do all the things.’  Having more time is not the answer.

Its about me and my brain.  Its about learning that my value in life is not the number of things I make.  Not in how clean my house is, or what I’ve named my dust bunnies.  My value does not rest on what I provide to others.

This is a tough one.  This learning to embrace the fact that you have value simply by being.  I’ve told countless people that over the years and I’ve never once believed it about myself.  The world has given me countless reasons not to believe it.

For a long time I’ve believed that real meaning is to find meaning (If you want to read an amazing book on the subject, I would suggest ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ by Viktor Frankl).  I have interpreted this to mean that while circumstances do sometimes just happen, my responsibility is to figure out what I am supposed to learn from the experience.  It is often easier to see looking back, so I rest in the confidence that I am on the right road and future me will look back on a path that ended up making perfect sense.

As every journey must start with a single step, so must this.  My goal today is to spend a single hour resting, reading, refreshing my spirit.  Without guilt or shame.  Without worrying about what I should be doing to benefit others.  My goal today is to spend that single hour reminding myself that the love, respect, and regard I hold for every member of God’s creation might just apply to me to.

 

Wish me luck.

Kim

Life Logic

Fun fact: I love Eleanor Roosevelt.  That was a lady ahead of her time.  I would have voted for her for president in a heartbeat.  Except she’s dead, and didn’t run for president (even as a zombie).

I still would have voted for zombie Eleanor Roosevelt. I even named my dog after her.

She was a smart, strong-willed lady, and I admire that.  Seriously – go and google ‘Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes,’  I’ll wait here . . . . . .

Ok, I’m not good at waiting.  She said stuff like this:

“Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway.”

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

“I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then live with that decision.”

“Light a candle instead of cursing the darkness.”

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

Whoa, whoa, whoa now Eleanor.  Let’s check in on that last one.

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”  If that’s true, why do we have so many inferior-feeling people?  Who on earth would consent to feeling ‘less-than.’

The reality is that we humans are all too susceptible to our fellow humans.  We toss out sayings like “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent,” and in doing so subtly blame everyone who life has beaten down.

The fact of the matter is, if you are told you are inferior, or that you don’t matter, often enough – you will believe it.  True, some people have a stronger fortitude, more resilience, against that message – but everyone has a limit.  Anyone survivor of abuse (physical, sexual, psychological, emotional) could tell you the same.  So many people with the same message, ‘I felt like I was nothing.’

We aren’t just talking about abuse here.  Take a look at the media, and the messages sent to all of us globally.  Beautiful, healthy women are told they are inferior if they dare to wear larger than a size 4.  Even models will talk about hating their bodies, because all they hear about is how this part or that part isn’t quite right.

People of color, the LGBTQ population, persons with disabilities, other minorities have dealt with this for decades.  Being ‘less than.’  Inferior.

We do it – all the time.  We fat shame, we mom shame, we glamorize toxic masculinity.  We are constantly firing our ‘inferiority gun.’

So, yes, you can be made to feel inferior – and it sure as hell isn’t because you consented.

Here’s the good news.  You aren’t.  Please listen.  Please repeat.  You. Are. Not. Inferior.

And you are NOT to blame for feeling like you were.

So, Eleanor Roosevelt, I love you but you had this one wrong.  Its time for a new version.

‘Most of us know what it means to feel inferior.  We must learn to see one another, value one another, and celebrate the beauty of one another.  We must reach out to every ‘inferior’ person and show them love.  The only way we rise is together.’ – Kim Burlage

 

 

Life Logic

I wrestled with this for a while.  I wasn’t sure what to say – whether to say anything.  The reality is, though, that to hide is to be ashamed, and I won’t be ashamed.

Today is Day 1.  For the first time in my adult life, I am unemployed.

I had the good (?) fortune to have known this was coming since late October.  Time to get my head around it.  Here’s the short version: Reorganization, eliminated position, opportunity to apply for a position that was truly not a good fit for me.  Hit me like a freight train.  Then this occurred to me.  When my husband was laid-off about 8 years ago, we look back on that as the best thing that could have happened to him (although it certainly did not feel like it at the time).

Well, this doesn’t feel so great either, but I have decided its the best thing that could have happened to me.  A couple of weeks ago I wrote a letter to the universe.  I really didn’t think I would publish it here, but I have decided to.

Dear Universe,

 Is this a test?  Because it kind of feels like you are testing me. 

I think about the last five years or so when I started to feel like maybe I needed to move in a new direction.  I think of opportunities that fell through.  When they did, I put more energy back into my work, seeking a way to make more of a difference.

I started feeling dissatisfied with the limits on how to do that work, like the demands of others (reasonable or not), restrictions of funding, and others.

I took on new challenges and learned new things.  I still felt that itch, but I was doing good work.  Then the itch grew bigger and became more insistent.  Another opportunity fell through.  And I knew.

I knew it was time to make the big change.  To leave organized employment and set out on my own.  Not yet, though, because I still didn’t know exactly how to do what I wanted to do.

I wanted to help people heal.  I’d spent two years at that point researching trauma and its long-term effects.  I’d seen first hand the struggles of those who had not gotten sufficient support.  I was beginning to explore energy work.  I liked talking people through finding creative solutions to problems.  Yet, I knew becoming a licensed therapist was not my path.

Somewhere along the way, my inner self had gotten tired of being pushed aside to make room for logic, the world, and everything else.  My inner self started speaking up, and for once, I started listening.  Within 2 days I had made the decision to become a massage therapist, open my own business, and develop a protocol to reintegrate touch to those who struggle with it due to trauma.  I could use massage to help anyone who needed it, to calm the body and mind.  I could do energy work.  I could be a life coach.

It all fell into place.  I could take classes part-time for a year and continue my full-time work.  Work I was good at.  Work that paid bills and allowed for a few extras.

I had to wait a year to begin classes.  The timing was just a little off. So I waited, and though the itch continued to grow, I did my good work.

I started classes.  I juggled.  I stretched.  I was tired and a little overwhelmed.  But I managed.  I am good at managing things.

I figured I would graduate next August and start to build my business on evenings and weekends.  I would be tired and a little overwhelmed for a while longer.  I would juggle.  I would keep doing good work at my job and I would build my new career.  My new purpose.

I figured maybe by the following January, if I was lucky (and worked hard enough), my business would be viable to go full-time.  If not, I would continue a while longer.

Here is where you stepped in, Universe.  You see, I am really good at planning.  I need to plan.  I don’t like unknowns.

Then I was told there was no more job.  Not after the end of December anyways.  There would be a different job, and I could apply for that if I wanted to.

Except I didn’t.  That inner self looked at me and said, ‘please, no.  This is not our path.’

I felt like I was standing on glass over a deep pit.  A safety net had been offered, a chance to continue earning a steady wage.  It was the safe choice.

And it was the wrong choice.  Wrong for me.  It wasn’t the work I was driven to, that I had been pouring myself into.  It wasn’t work I felt good at.  It wasn’t work I felt I could do and be well.

I waivered.  I crave safety and predictability.  I need it.  Logic and order. 

But now safe and logical didn’t feel safe.  It wasn’t ‘safe’ to my inner self.  It was a sacrifice.

I’m willing to make sacrifices, to make hard choices.  But this time it felt like I was sacrificing the well-being of my innermost self.  And I stopped.  I couldn’t do it.  I wouldn’t.

I went ’round and ’round with ‘but what will happen’ if we step off the safe and predictable path.

And that’s when I felt it.  I felt you, Universe, grip me by the shoulders, and with a little shake say ‘Will you just trust me this one time.’

You know, trust is not something I naturally do.  I thought back to the single other time I decided to let go and trust you Universe.  And I married him.  And he is the best man in the world.

So ok, Universe – if this is a test – Challenge Accepted.

Let’s do this.

 

So, today is Day 1

It is Day 1 of my new career and my new business.

It is Day 1 of my future.

It is Day 1 of me learning to love and honor myself.

It is Day 1 of me learning to listen to that ‘still, small voice’ inside.

It is Day 1 of me reminding myself that life is not a dress rehearsal.  We have one chance to make it count.

It is Day 1 of the next chapter.

 

Carpe Diem.

Uncategorized

I had a couple of post ideas in mind, but figured I should really post about gratitude.  Since its Thanksgiving tomorrow and all.

So, here we go.

You are probably expecting the usual reminder to look around you at all the things you have to be thankful for.  Family, friends, shelter, food to eat, love, and laughter.

Nope.

I can see why you thought that though.  That’s what we (society) always talk about.  Why?  Because sometimes we get so busy, so wound into the hustle and bustle that we forget to stop and look around at the things we have in our lives.  Practicing gratitude is a great (even essential) tool to truly living in the present.  Being grateful for the delightful smell of a burning leaf pile in the fall grounds us, and makes us stop worrying about the past or the future for just a moment.  We are thankful for the present so we pay attention to the present.

That’s all good right?

(Its not a trick question.  Yes, that is all good.)

But- I also said that’s not what this was going to be about.  In many ways it’s a little too simple to ONLY give thanks for those good things.  Yes – we must be thankful for them, and often, but we cannot stop with the good things.

When was the last time you were thankful for adversity?  For challenge?  For pain?  For bad circumstances?  For difficult people?

For most of us – never.  Or close enough.  Sure, we say we are thankful for a challenge because without challenges we can’t grow.  Do we always believe that?

So, here’s a challenge for you this week.  Once you’ve given thanks for all of the good people, things, and experiences in your live (seriously, still do this part), consider the less-than-good parts.

Consider being thankful for and adversity that reminded you what you really needed and pointed out what you only thought you needed.

Consider being thankful that a we endured pain.  Perhaps it made us into a deeper, more real version of ourselves.

Consider being thankful for that difficult person you have to deal with, because they make you increase your store of patience.

Consider being thankful for someone who loudly and often rudely disagrees with you – if only because it forces you to consider WHY you believe what you believe, and it encourages you to do your homework and get your facts.

Consider being thankful for negative circumstances that helped to show you who you can count on (sometimes we are surprised).

Consider being thankful for local or world news stories that break your heart because sometimes what breaks our heart spurs us to take action.

I’m not asking you to be thankful for EVERYTHING.  Some wounds are too deep and too raw.  It is ok not to be thankful for those wounds.  But maybe, just maybe there is a little gratitude for something around the edges that you never expected.

Look a little closer

Today, I am choosing to be grateful for all the “no’s,” all the doors closing and opportunities ending.   They made me stronger, smarter, braver, more creative, and more determined than ever.

And of course, I am grateful to each of you – for taking a moment to consider.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Life Logic

Image result for man in the arena speech

If you like plainer text:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again. Because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause. Who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
– Teddy Roosevelt (often called the ‘Man in the Arena’ speech. Taken from a speech given at the Sorbonne in Paris, France, 1910).

It is not the critic who counts.

How many times do we listen to the critic? How many times are WE the critic? How many times do we look on from the cheap seats and criticize others. How often are we in the arena, getting discouraged by those comments from the safe zone?

Because there is no effort without error and shortcoming

That sounds familiar. . . .

Image result for it is impossible to live without failing

Both Rowling and Roosevelt strike on the same point. Life IS failing. Its making mistakes, getting messy, getting back up, and trying again. Failing means learning that was NOT the way to accomplish your goal. Lesson learned, thank you life, moving on.

but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause. Who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.

Here, I believe that Roosevelt is reminding us that we must pursue our passions without concern for the end result – but because there is a fire inside us demanding that we see it through. Win or lose. Succeed or fail. Maya Angelou says ‘A songbird doesn’t sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.’ Your song is your fire. SING LOUD. If some mock you for daring to raise your voice – turn to other people, because you are daring greatly.

So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

How interesting. In Roosevelt’s view (which I share), it is better to have tried and failed, than to extinguish your fire and sit quiet and safe. If any of you out there has seen the first Rocky movie – this makes me think of it. I refuse to be concerned about ‘spoilers’ in a movie older than I am – so here’s the scoop. Nobody boxer gets a chance at the title bout as part of a publicity stunt. Training montage, love story, motivational music. . . . . and then the big fight at the end. And he loses. And that’s not even the point of the movie. The point is that this nobody stood toe to toe with the best boxer in the world and put everything out there. He failed while daring greatly (and then there was a sequel and then like 47 more sequels after that.) I think of those Olympians (especially divers, gymnasts, figure skaters, snowboarders, skiiers) who go for the ‘big move’ only to fail – but they failed trying to do something amazing. They could have gone ‘safe’ and had a clean routine. But then they have to walk away knowing they didn’t leave it all out there, that they held back. And they will always wonder ‘what could have been.’

I came across this speech via Brene Brown – who has called it ‘life changing’ for her. One of her books is even titled ‘Daring Greatly.’ So I am ending with a quote from Brene reflecting on this speech and what it has meant to her. Because while the crowd in the cheap seats can be loud – sing your song – sing loud – because its not the critics who count.

Image result for brene brown quotes

 

If you enjoyed this – please consider clicking ‘like.’  You can also get updates for new posts on Facebook – just look for Quirk and Logic.

Life Logic

What do you think of when I say ‘ordinary’?

Normal?  Boring? Unimportant?

So then, what is an ‘ordinary life’?

Get a job, pay bills, juggle kids’ activities (if you have them), buying groceries, cleaning the house, doing the laundry, and crying over how bad that last thing you tried from Pinterest turned out.

Right?

The Olympics just wrapped up, and for two weeks we watched, breathless, as some of the most talented and disciplined athletes in the world complete for glory and country.  That, we say, is extraordinary.  I follow a Facebook group called the Jessie Rees Project.  Jessie was just twelve when she was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer (DiPG).  As she was going through treatment, she looked around at all the other kids in the pediatric cancer center and wanted them to have something that made them happy.  She and her family started raising money to send ‘Joy Jars’ to kids all over the country (now the world).  She passed away a short time later and her family continues her work.  They are extraordinary.

I think we all admire the extraordinary.  Maybe on the global scale, like those examples, maybe on a smaller scale.  We all know that one extraordinary person who seems to make friends effortlessly, or who has brilliant business sense, or is super creative.

And somehow, I think we feel less when we look at ourselves and see ourselves as ordinary.

I want to challenge that.  There is power in an ordinary life, if you embrace your life.  In not letting your job, or your income, or your house, or your status define you.  In going to work, paying your bills, and finding the happiness in everyday life.  In finally flopping into a chair at the end of the day and realizing you got your work done, got food (of some sort) on the table, the family was where they were supposed to be, everyone is reasonably clean, and the house hasn’t fallen apart.

Yep.  Nailed it.

We don’t, of course.  We take those precious few minutes and think about how we didn’t get that load of laundry done, we were 5 minutes late to soccer practice, and dinner was chicken nuggets (again).  We need to stop.  We need to be kind and gentle with ourselves and grateful for what we have.  I am thankful that we have enough clothes that if the laundry didn’t get done, my family has things they can wear until I get to it.  I am grateful that we have food to fuel us.  I am grateful that my car is working and that my kids have the opportunity to participate in sports to enjoy being outside and moving their bodies.

And once in a while, you just sit back and look at the life you’ve made.  See your choices reflected in it.  Love what you have – even if you see things you want to change. 

Tonight, I’m going to sit with my family around a little bonfire in the backyard and make s’mores and read stories.  A completely ordinary evening.  Nothing special.  Yet, it contains within it everything that is magical and amazing in my life.  It is time to reflect and be happy.

And that, my friends, is extraordinary.

 

Find yours.

 

Please ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ if you enjoyed!

Life Logic

Sorry Gents – go ahead and clock out on this one.

Ladies.  Let’s talk purses.  I am not the girliest of girls.  Actually, I would classify myself in the lower 50th percentile on the girliness ranking scale.  You know what I mean.  I like clothes ok, but if I CAN wear cargo capris or running pants, let’s face it – I’m going to.

I like shoes, and absolutely love my taupe patent pumps with wooden heels.  I am usually wearing flip flops.

Make up is all well and good.  But not in the summer because its hot and I like to be outside and it gets all runny and stuff.

I wear skirts, but mostly because they are cooler (temperature) than pants.

I’d rather go hiking than shopping, and sometimes (usually) I go a year between haircuts. 

But, all in all, I would say I appreciate being female, but don’t put a lot of time or energy into it.  So, bottom 50th percentile most likely.

But.  BUT!  I do love a good bag.  Whether it’s a BAG bag or a purse, I’m always looking for that ‘just right’ bag.  I’ve made some bags (making bags is a gateway-craft into quilting, which is an obsessive and expensive hobby.  More on that later.  You’ve been warned), and I am sitting on some fabric to make more bags.

Last year, I bought a purse and solved my whole existential crisis.  Ok – more on that later too.  Long story somewhat shorter – I was in the midst of an existential crisis.  ‘What do I do with my life?  What do I want to be when I grow up?  How do I take my developed interests and put them to use?’  Much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

At that time, I was also in the market for a new purse because my old purse was looking a little worse for wear.  It was really more of a bag anyways.  And I still use it for a bag.  If you don’t understand the distinction, just play along, its all good – no judgment. 

So, I had found a truly awesome bag/purse (it was sort of both) on a discount website and I loved it.  It was a little more than I had planned on spending – but it was already half off of what it HAD been.  I am a sucker for a good bargain.  Being me, I had to fret and debate and worry and consider – going back and forth and forth and back over whether I should purchase this bag-purse. 

Then my husband (who had been through all the wailing/gnashing of teeth AND all the fretting and debating) said this: ‘If you like it, just buy it.  You’ve been looking for one you like for a while.’

SERIOUSLY???  You use that kind of logic when I’m being a crazy person??  Ok, fine.  I’ll show you MR. RATIONAL.  And I clicked ‘Buy.’

And everything fell into place.  I mean everything.  It felt like when you play tetris and you are an inch from losing and then you get these three pieces in a row and suddenly you’ve cleared your screen.  The next day I announced to my husband that I had figured out my existential crisis.

Buying the right bag-purse can do that for you.

Fast forward a year.  I love my bag-purse, and it is still awesome, and when it arrived I found the lining is ORANGE, which is my most favorite color.  A sign.  Anyways.  I love it, but after a year it becomes clear that it is a bag and not a purse.  I assume it was also going through an existential crisis, and that is how we found one another.  On the bright side, I am currently in need of a really spiffy bag, so since we had an internal opening, I offered the position to the bag-purse, who cheerfully accepted.

This left a power-vacuum in ‘purse’ position.  I had been looking for a little while.  I knew what I wanted and didn’t want, and I was feeling pretty cheap on this round, so I didn’t want to spend much.  I found one that ‘would work’ but was clearly a place filler until the right bag came along.  I did not purchase it (I rarely purchase anything on the first pass, because I prefer to drive myself half-crazy with ‘what ifs’ before I commit to even relatively small purchases).  Last weekend, because I really did need a purse, I decided to go back and get the ‘good enough’ purse. 

What was hanging right behind it, you ask?  THE PURSE.  The one.  The one that had everything I wanted and nothing I didn’t.  It was the right shape, it was the right color, it had details that corresponded with my personal preferences.  It had the right size and number of pockets.  IT WAS GLORIOUS.  IT WAS ON SALE.  *sigh*  I am listening dear Universe.  I am listening.

 

So, with my lovely new purse, and my lovely old/new bag, more pieces just fall into place.  Like that one long piece in tetris.  You know, the one with four blocks all in a row.  You know – the one you need for ever because you have a trench that’s like 12 blocks deep and you’ve been waiting and waiting and then you get it.

 

Well, I get it.

 

 

Life Logic

Hi,

 

I haven’t been writing much.  Not for a year.  That seems like such a strange thing to say.  I haven’t written anything worth reading in a year.  Its not entirely true, but true enough for here.

I haven’t written anything I thought I could put here in a year.  I always envisioned this space for fun and foolishness.  I haven’t felt very fun and foolish in the last year.  If writing is sunshine, I have been in a shadow.

That’s not to say I haven’t written, because I write a weekly blog at my big-girl job, and I have been proud of what I’ve included there.  Its intended purpose is to inform people about Trauma-Informed Care (which is a big deal in its own right), but I mostly focus on empowerment and self-care.  I realized that there was a sort of light there too – one more like fire than sunshine.

So, I’m going to write again.  I’m going to try not to worry about the number of ‘likes’ a post gets, or anything like that.  I’m just going to focus on the fire I have inside to write, and put those words out.  Some of it will be fun, because I believe that fun is powerful.  Some of it will have other focuses.  Like kindness, acceptance, and love.  I’m going to call this section ‘Life Logic.’

I hope you’ll come along for the journey.  I’ve started a new pathway for myself this week that I will expand upon at some point.

Thank you for reading what’s been here so far.  I hope you’ll like what is coming next.

 

Take care,

Kim

Uncategorized

Greetings and Good Fortune!

I’m trying to work out a ‘signature greeting’ – as you can tell, this isn’t going to be it.  However, ‘how’s it hanging’ is probably not it either – too chancy on the responses.

Anywaaaaaaays. . . . .

I thought I would fill you in on one of the (many) things that will eventually make me rich and famous.  Pretty sure.  Its called Humanity Bingo, or alternately, People Watching Bingo.

So my primary human co-habitant (aka: husband) and I first came upon this idea at the St. Louis Zoo, on a stop while on vacation last year.  Whenever we are together, without children to filter for, we generally like to do a bit of people watching.  As it turns out, the St. Louis Zoo is a pretty good place to go!

I’ll get back to that – because ordinarily I don’t just write about things that happened 18 months ago.  You see, recently, we took the family to Adventureland.  Now, for the one of you not from Iowa, Adventureland is a theme park somewhere in between six flags and Carny-ville.  Its actually pretty fun, and my kids love it.  We stay on the dry side (except for the fact that it rained the whole day), so I am not referring to the attached water park.  Now, Adventureland also has some QUALITY people watching.  Not quite up to the level available at, say, Walmart or the State Fair, but still pretty good.

In any case, it brought up the whole subject of Humanity Bingo again.  So, here’s how it will work.  I will make up your standard issue BINGO style cards and sell them via ‘ye olde internet.’  Then, all of the grateful people-watchers will challenge friends and family for fabulous prizes*

(*you have to buy your own fabulous prizes)

I know what you are thinking, ‘What on earth are you even talking about?’

I see how your are.  You need examples:

  • Teenager who spent hours getting ready and is trying to pass it off as ‘didn’t even try.’
  • Person who vastly misunderstood the dress code for this event.
  • Person who clearly doesn’t understand what temperature it is.
  • Lady in work-out clothes. . . . And full hair and makeup.  (I love workout clothes as much as the next person, but lets face it – it looks kind of silly to have your hair and makeup fully done too.)
  • Screen zombie (in our family, this is what we refer to when someone is so glued to their ‘screen’ they have no clue what’s going on around them.  You can often find them in crosswalks of busy streets in an event I like to call ‘natural selection.’)
  • Mad Grandma who didn’t want to watch the kids today.
  • Lady who feels super high heels are ALWAYS appropriate (note: we actually saw Mad Grandma wearing the high heels, and couldn’t help but wonder if she would have been less mad in sensible shoes).
  • Parents who appear to be attempting to ‘lose’ one or more of their children.
  • Pajamas as clothes
  • Swimwear as clothes (note: this doesn’t count at a water-based event!!  Note on that note: unless the water-based event is a trip to the aquarium, then it totally counts)
Obviously we still need to add just a few more.  Then, its time for the riches to roll in.  Don’t worry, I won’t forget you.  Either one of you!
Don’t forget to LIKE and SHARE.  Also LIKE and SHARE the page,  Oh – and the facebook page too.
My husband tells me I need to get on Twitter too, but I haven’t, so don’t bother going there just yet.

Quirky Thoughts

I’m going to go ahead and spoil the whole point of this blog post right off the bat.  We are not in competition with one another.

(Ok – those of you involved in athletics, musical groups, or reality-television elimination shows: you are actually in competition with each other. But that’s not what I’m talking about).

WE.  US.  You, me, that guy over there.  That lady with the cat.  Not in competition.

Why do we do this?  I’m honestly asking.  Why must we tear down those around us?  Why must we snipe and pinch and carp and complain?

Why do we steal our own joy?

I’m going to break it down a bit.  I really enjoy singing.  I will never be a professional singer, but I love it.  If I hear someone else sing, and it sounds lovely, I can say ‘They have a lovely voice!’ and then sit back and enjoy.  But so many times in the past, I felt compelled to nitpick every reason why their voice (or looks, or clothes, or whatever) wasn’t as good as whatever praise they had gotten, because hey – I was good too!

Then, I sat myself down for a little talking to.  Seriously?  Do I want to live with that whiny voice in my head?  Answer: I do not.  Because whining is super-duper annoying, and because it was stealing my joy.

So, if I hear someone sing, and I like it – do you know what that means for my own singing?  Absolutely nothing.  Not related.  Because I am not in competition with that person.

My body does not reflect my observations of the bodies I see.  My clothes do not, my marriage does not, my bank-account does not.

By now, you are asking yourself, ‘why is the crazy lady rambling about competition?’

Because Christians do it to each other all the time.  I’ve shared before, when I talk to people who have either drifted away from the church, or who have run away as if on fire, the number one reason I hear is the hypocrisy of other people in the church.  This is ‘the church’ as in ‘Christian Church’ – not one specific church.  And they weren’t literally on fire.  I don’t think.

So, I was thinking about this, and I think it comes back to competition.  I think we get the first part, ‘For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.’  Good!  We understand!  We ALL (I’m looking at you.  And me.  All means all) have sinned.  None of us deserves the forgiveness we were offered.

So why do some insist on looking down on others, as if they are MORE undeserving?  Perhaps because they are still figuring out this whole ‘life’ thing (its HARD!).  Maybe they don’t find a seat in a church pew as often (do you all have pews?  We don’t, we have padded chairs, but I still say pews, and I don’t know why) as someone else.  They aren’t on the church council, they don’t teach in the Sunday School.  They aren’t pillars of the PTA, and they don’t organize the bake sales.

Which is really too bad, because all of those things mean. . . . . . well, nothing.  I don’t mean nothing – those are wonderful things, if the people doing them enjoy it and it adds to their life.

But it doesn’t move you ahead of someone else in the hierarchy of God’s love.  Because God doesn’t have one.  He’s awesome like that.

I guess what I’m saying is – do the things you are lead to do.  Perhaps they help YOU develop a stronger relationship with God.  Perhaps they fulfill you and bring you joy.  I am the first to say – I am happy for you.  I thank you for the service you offer.  I appreciate what you do.

If you are someone who is just getting by, and feels disheartened by all those Christians who seem so much more ‘Christian’ than you?  Don’t worry, you aren’t in competition.  I’m not a huge scripture quoter, but I do know one of the most common phrases in the Bible is ‘Be not afraid.’  Here are my thoughts.

Be not afraid to be who you are.

Be not afraid to love deeply.

Be not afraid that you are not ‘doing enough.’

Be not afraid to follow the path in front of you – walk in faith, and the reason may become clear.

Be not afraid of what other people are doing – that’s their path, not yours.

Be not afraid of what other people think – Christ said ‘follow me’ not ‘follow those people over there.’

Be not afraid that God’s love will be used up on those ‘better’ than you.  First – ‘better’ is competition, and we’ve agreed to stop doing that.  Second- God’s capacity for love is so great that no amount of people could ever fill it.  Third – you deserve that love.

Be not afraid to be.

 

And be not afraid to see the beauty, brilliance, and strengths of others.  When you recognize it and honor it, you open your eyes to a new world.

 

And you’ll win back your joy.

 

Take Care!

Kim

 

If you enjoyed this, or it made you think, or you think I’m nice and I might bake you a cake, please LIKE and SHARE both this and my Facebook page! (Ok, so I know we’re not in competition, but I do kinda sorta want to get this out to more people, and that would be really helpful!).

 

 

Guerilla Christianity