Saturday, October 30, 2010

should Christians celebrate halloween?

this question has been plaguing me for many years, namely since i've had children. as a Christian, i always want to walk in the ways established by God, doing as He requires Christians to do, and not as i want...or doing as i want, so long as it's according to His will.

but i have to admit, i have never reached a conclusive, decisive or even satisfactory answer, even though i've researched the question and potential answers many times. so it's left me sort of scrambling last minute to decide what to do concerning the celebration of holidays, namely halloween.

why am i confused only about the celebration of halloween?

well for me, i can't even fully answer that question without confusing, or even contradicting, myself. the only thing about the holiday that i can really put my finger on that would keep the question alive of whether or not Christians (and moreso--my family and i) should celebrate halloween is that fact that i always feel something eerily sinister about the holiday when it comes around.

but that's all that i get. this odd feeling that there's something about halloween that i shouldn't be celebrating. i've had this feeling since i was young (about 7) or so, i think it stemmed from the fact that halloween always frightened me in one way or another as a child (i remember being the mad hatter from alice in wonderland--a scary childhood story in and of itself but more on that another day--and i was terrified of the costume. and then my mom dressed me up as a cinderella one year and when i looked at the eye holes in the mask i freaked out because it was so scary looking). but regardless of why or how the feeling came to be an innate part of me is irrelevant, the point is, it's there and it's never left. but even still, i can't figure out why as an adult i am still so murky on the answer to this question.

add this (the fact that i really don't know why i should or shouldn't be celebrating halloween) to the fact that the girls' school always celebrates it in a harmless and even fun way, and i'm stuck every year begrudgingly celebrating halloween with my children...even if just by giving out candy to the neighborhood children.

so i decided to end the confusion once and for all this year (after i've already determined that my children will not celebrate halloween--but not for reasons one might think--they're actually on punishment, so i was able to use that as the "excuse", but i'm even questioning the correctness of my motive and actions in this case too) by researching and finding answers to the question from different sources.

one of my favorite sites answers the question this way, and explains the origins of halloween here, and good old fashioned wiki says this about the origins of halloween.

now while according to everything i've read, the ultimate decision of whether or not to celebrate halloween is left up to the individual, there were some key points that stood out to me that made my thoughts concerning the question a bit easier:

"The ancient Celts believed that the border between this world and the Otherworld became thin on Samhain, allowing spirits (both harmless and harmful) to pass through. The family's ancestors were honoured and invited home while harmful spirits were warded off. It is believed that the need to ward off harmful spirits led to the wearing of costumes and masks."

"Bonfires played a large part in the festivities. All other fires were doused and each home lit their hearth from the bonfire. The bones of slaughtered livestock were cast into its flames.[6] Sometimes two bonfires would be built side-by-side, and people and their livestock would walk between them as a cleansing ritual."

*i have to take note here...the whole bonfire ritual sounds like a mimicing of the animal sacrifices done in the Old Testament*

"Another common practice was divination, which often involved the use of food and drink."

"Trick-or-treating resembles the late medieval practice of souling, when poor folk would go door to door on Hallowmas (November 1), receiving food in return for prayers for the dead on All Souls Day (November 2). It originated in Ireland and Britain,[19] although similar practices for the souls of the dead were found as far south as Italy."

with that being said, and the fact that the Bible is specifically against divination, inviting spirits (demons) within one's environment, and casting/psychics/witchcraft/sorcery/etc., and all of these things are in some way, shape or form associated with halloween, i believe that i am correct in the belief that i should NOT be celebrating halloween.

and i don't believe that i need to "replace" halloween with a celebration of another type. for me, i'd rather my family just avoid the whole scenario altogether.

now this is just my belief, i say that every Christian should come to the conclusion of whether or not to celebrate halloween by reading the information available on the topic and then consulting with God on the final matter.

gee, that was easier than it's ever been in the past.

now that i've answered this question which has been hounding me for quite some time, the best action to take with my children is just explain to them why we don't celebrate it anymore, and then simply not celebrate it. for the last few years, i haven't allowed my children to go to school for the halloween celebration, but i think it's time to get a tad bit stricter on the reasons why.

i suppose it won't be that easy, but that's my final answer and i'm sticking to it.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"mommy, my belly button is coming out of it's hole! if i'm not careful, it's gonna to fall all the way out and i'm gonna lose it!"~ my 4 year old

"i LOVE black marriage!"

ok, from the title of my post alone, you'll probably figure out that i'm black, or my husband is black, or both of us...if you don't already know.

that's a great thing (to be black and all), and i indeed am black and proud, and nappy and happy and all of that...but i have to admit, i found it a bit odd when many of the congratulations on my marriage were pre or pro ceeded with "i love black marriage!"

ok. well, in this day and age, i personally love ANY genuine, God-led, love lined and committed marriage, black, white or other (these days, even if someone doesn't believe in God but has the other qualities in their marriage i'm happy)...but some people at least only really love marriage when it's between two black people it seems.

when i was engaged to my ex, i never got complaints on our pending marriage, but no one was saying how they couldn't wait for us to tie the knot...and certainly no one ever mentioned the color of our skin as being a huge reason why they loved the idea of us getting married.

my ex isn't black though--he's puerto rican and german. mixed.

technically, my husband isn't black either. he's puerto rican and black. mixed. now, many people don't know that about my husband, so it's no wonder they just assume him to be 100% "black with really good hair."

and they let that be known all day and evening at our wedding reception. and it was funny in a "haha" kind of way, but not in a "guffaw!" kind of way. and after about three hours or so of hearing it, it ceased being funny at all and i found myself wanting to ask, "what does being black have to do with us being married? can't you be happy for us without always reminding us that we're an allegedly 100% black couple (with no 100% black children thank you very much--all of our children are mixed)?"

ok. i know i'm in stone age times with that mentality according to some. i mean, i suppose i understand the sentiment because black marriage is a dying breed in this country and blah blah blah, but i still wanted to ask people anyway, just for the heck of it. but really, i don't believe BLACK marriage is a dying breed, i believe MARRIAGE is a dying breed, and GODLY marriage is on the endangered species list. skin color be damned.

had he (or i) not been black, would many of our guests have still "LOVED" us getting married?

i'm pretty sure a good portion would've, but it still makes me question the other whatever percentage of guests who were there...methinks they wouldn't have been so happy had my husband been any other race except black, and i wonder what would they say if they were to find out that he's not as black as they think he is?

which led me and my wandering mind to other questions...why is "black" marriage such a dying breed these days? are marriages between other same race non-blacks thriving and surviving? why is it such a huge celebration when black people get married to other black people, but not so much so when interracial couples get married? i mean, don't hate on the non-black partner for grabbing up some black love right?

heck, my philosophy is get in where you fit in, regardless of race. if your mate treats you the way you should be treated, never no mind skin color, culture, or height/weight. in this world, finding a good person to marry is a goldmine in and of itself. don't ruin the chance by getting all superpicky (especially if you ain't got that much to offer yourself)...

i'd honestly rather marry outside of my race and have all the great things a good, healthy marriage has to offer versus marrying within my race and being miserable just for the cause of doing my part to "save black marriage". i'm not accusing black marriages of being miserable or upholding interracial/non-black marriages as being the "saviors" of the marriage realm. but what i am saying is, for a minute there, it seemed to me as if some people expect black people to marry black people at all costs, even if it's going to be an obvious failure down the line.

it never dawned on me a single time before, during or after my marriage ceremony that i did something good for the black community by marrying at least halfway within my race (until i was mercilessly reminded of it at our reception). it dawned on me that i did something good for my relationship with God, my family and myself by marrying a good man for the right reasons before, during and after my marriage ceremony. that was all i thought about the whole time, God, my husband, my children, myself, and our families becoming one...race played no role in my special day.

and i can't really say that i would have had it any other way.

Monday, October 25, 2010

"but you don't believe in God!"

today i was perusing my facebook friend's status messages, and came across someone who is on my list that was lamenting that someone "supposedly close" to her remarked that she "didn't believe in God" during a conversation, and how that really made her feel worse than she's already feeling.

well, my first thought was, "well you don't believe in God as far as i know." but because the topic was sensitive and people were swarming around her post like bees, bobbing their heads in agreement with her lamentations and telling her that "God loves us all and you too, and you'll be fine" and the usual hodgepodge of politically correct garbage, i simply didn't say anything...but moved on to another status update.

now, i may be a bitch here because i've been just mean these past few days, but for the life of me, i can't see why she was so hurt over someone telling her that truth when in fact, as i said before...she indeed does not believe in God.

a little background to make this story clearer. the woman in question lost her mom about a month ago pretty unexpectedly, and she's been struggling with her mother's death. so now, i suppose to help her sort out her feelings, she suddenly believes in God wholeheartedly, or is needing God to believe in because she feels like she has lost a good portion of her life with the death of her mother, or something along those lines.

but i still can't understand why she was so upset at the comment that she received. i mean, especially since this is the same woman who has mocked the worship of Christians, the philosophy of true Christians, and our goals in this life. i distinctly remember 2 discussions i had with her in which she used secular logic to compare worshipping God and believing in Jesus to "worshipping an apple or whatever your heart desires" and another where she mocked those who forgave others for trangressions, and the words of Jesus on forgiveness concerning forgiveness, saying it's basically a copout from facing our weaknesses, and that any person who truly forgave is a weak minded being.

now that her mother is passed and moved on, she is suddenly trying to read the Bible and "get clarity and peace" concerning her loss. typically human, and typically secular. mean? i'm not so sure. true? definitely.

this reminds me of the addage, "no one needs God until He's all that they have left."

for some odd reason, i cannot wrap my head around her anguish at that comment the friend told her, that she doesn't believe in God. i must be missing a point here? why was it such a low blow to say that? sounds like the truth to me. i mean, should Christians not speak the truth in every situation? she didn't say that the other woman was rude or condenscending when she said it, so i can't assume that she was. i don't know what her tone/intent was with the words, or even the whole situation surrounding and leading up to and beyond those words that were spoken. but given what i do know, i am absolutely stumped.

now this is the daughter of my mother's best friend who died. she and i are the same age and as far as i know, played in the same playpen as little girls...but because we are so fundamentally different as adults, i don't converse with her much. she is no stranger to me however, my older sisters and mom consider her and her family to be our family. granted, i am not that close to them as a family unit, but i do have a knowledge there that goes a bit beyond facebook statuses. and usually her words would just roll off my back, but this is something that for some reason has stuck itself into my brain and i can't shake it loose, as i just can't understand it.

i am going through the responses she's given and received since that inital comment, looking for a straw to grasp to understand this situation better, but so far i am honestly confused. this woman is really emitting a believable pained response to what she was told it seems. and the more i read, the more i am prompted to break up the pity party by asking, "well DO you believe in God?" but then that would seem to cause a bigger problem.

now i am in no way, shape or form downplaying the pain she must be going through because of her mother's death...i can't fathom it and i cannot relate to it as i have not lost my own mother. so i don't want to give that impression. but i just don't understand that how a basically self proclaimed atheist can feel pain at being reminded that they don't believe in God when they are in a painful/helpless situation? i would think they wouldn't even turn to God, since to them, He doesn't exist? it makes me wonder, were they discussing how God can help her get through the pain, and the convo went wrong?

this also makes me wonder, in however long from now, when her healing over her mother's death has begun, will she once again mock those of us who truly do believe in God?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

what does a baby need?

when i found out i was expecting my fourth daughter, i was excited and humbled, thankful and hopeful, but i also was a tad bit anxious. the economy is rough and my husband lost his steady work for unsteady work as he was laid off. being frugal, it was a no brainer that i would take that route with the baby...i mean we have a small home anyway so going overboard would only add to the stress of our situation, not make me feel like i've amassed a bunch of great baby items.

so frugal i decided that i would be, and frugal i was.

into about my 3rd week of making up my mind how i would supply the baby with what she needs, i came across a woman in my freecycle group who shared with me the story of how her daughter was going to give her own baby up for adoption because "she didnt have what a baby needs". now it was no coincidence that i ran into this woman on my list, who's daughter i also knew. the year before the daughter had given me 2 huge trashbags full of baby boy clothes that she had collected from her local church for my nephews pending birth...and also shared with me that she was pregnant but had decided to adopt her baby out to a family (sans any explination and i didn't ask). now the story was complete, and as i went back into my home, happy that the mom convinced her daughter to keep her baby and that God would supply the baby's needs (and that He did), i was also distraught that a mother would give her baby up for adoption SIMPLY because she didn't have "what a baby needs", whatever that is. it prompted me to ask myself...what does a baby need anyway?

i even googled the question. and the most basic answer i got went something like, "most infants need a safe place to sleep, adequate clothing, diapers, and food upon coming home from the hospital as well as a carseat for the ride home in a car." it didn't mention anything about swings, diaper genies, baby walkers, high chairs...those glossy extras that most of us seem to equate with being effective, "good" parents deserving of keeping our own blessings from God. after thinking about it some more, i decided to be the first parent i know of to get everything my baby needs (or as much as possible) without purchasing a single item. i mean, not even purchasing through a consignment shop, thrift store, or my all favorite place to purchase items, ebay. i said to myself, "i am going to see just how hard it is to get what a baby needs on a tiny, basically non-existent income, which means spending as little as possible, and nothing if possible at all."

so started my 5 month long project. using freecycle, craigslist, word of mouth, the people i knew and facebook, i went on my quest to find everything my baby needs without spending money.

i'll admit, sometimes i was tempted to go out and purchase items because i felt that i wouldn't get them before the baby was born, but each time, right before i could actually gather up my pennies to purchase the item, someone was put in my path who gave me the item for free. i wound up with ALOT of free baby items, each one in EXCELLENT/GENTLY USED or NEW condition. not a single thing was given to me looking like it had been regularly used or even used at all:

this bassinet is #1 of 1 and was a piece that i absolutely abhorred, but it was listed on craigslist, and i figured i'd need SOMETHING safe and clean for baby to sleep in, so i took it. it's made of real cherry wood and the mattress is a great quality. it came with rockers (pictured), but one broke and i decided to junk them both because they weren't sturdy or safe, thus effectively turning this into a very large, very roomy moses basket of sorts, without all the wicker lol. it's propped up on a large, sturdy coffee table that we don't use, and our bed is right next to it so i can reach over and pick her up easily. i must admit, it has since grown on me. i don't have a retail value, but i am sure it was over 150.00, as the wood is real cherry and i was told it's a designer piece (something was imprinted on the rockers but they're gone--i didn't pay much attention).

this is a gap pocketbook, which i have turned into a gap baby bag. it's perfect for putting baby things in, is stylish and sturdy, and has pockets that will fit bottles perfectly! it was given to me brand new and unused by a freecycler, the price tag said 40.00.

this is the exact same safety 1st tub i wanted to get for the baby, given to me by a great freecycler (the one who gave me bassinet #2 of 2). i had one long ago with my oldest daughter and it really is a neat, comfortable and safe baby tub. i recommend it. retail value is 20.00 new.

this mobile was given to me from a freecyler (the pillow too) hangs from the ceiling! how adorable. i believe the retail value was 30.00, there was a pricetag on the box that was hard to read...and it's an item that was sold in a different country, everything on the box was written in what looked to be chinese.

these bottles were purchased with a free gift card from target for creating a baby registry with them. retail value is 20.00 for everything you see here. i am breastfeeding and these bottles are great transitions from breast to bottle and back again. and since breastmilk is free, that's one less thing i'll have to purchase for baby (formula). all i do not have to date is a breastpump, but i bet i come across one...right now a pump is not mandatory, as it's not advised to use one until 4-6 weeks after milk has regulated and baby has latched on and is feeding well.

this stroller actually came to me in two parts that "just happened" to match perfectly! a freecycler gave me the frame part, retail 69.00 new. the carseat itself was being washed so that's why the whole thing isn't assembled. it's a safe seat too, retail value between 84.00 and 130.00 new, given to me by my sister-in law.

this carseat was a gift to me, brand new. i only included it because it also fits the stroller frame pictured above! so i got 2 carseats...this seat's purchase price was 83.00, brand new.

this is a baby bjorn city baby carrier, original in black. it was given to me by a freecycler, retail value 80.00 new.

this boppy pillow was given to me by the same freecyler, who really was happy that i am breastfeeding lol. the slipcovers can be replaced for 13.00 each. this item retails new for 35.00.

this bassinet was #2 of 2 that i received from a freecycler. she also gave me a bag of little girl items, brand new. this bassinet retails for 129.00 new. the only thing that's missing is the mobile piece, which doesn't matter. what newborn looks at mobiles? plus, i got the mobile above anyway from great freecycler (who also gave me baby's bunting and about 7 sleepers for free):

these items weren't all that i received. i had a small get together in which people brought items for the baby. i don't label it a baby shower because it was just supposed to be a party where the hubby and i met with some friends and enjoyed dinner before the baby came, but after much prompting that we just "turn it into" a baby shower, we told people they could bring a gift IF THEY'D LIKE. from that party, we got diapers, baby wipes, more clothing, and socks, hats and booties. most of the clothing booty i received is pictured in my first picture, but that isn't all that i received. and everything you see in any picture i have on this post was given to me for goods or money was exchanged for me to get the items. not shown that i received for free also are:

a graco baby swing, excellent condition

a seashell pregnancy body pillow (has saved me many a night)

baskets for storing baby items/essentials

more diapers


breastmilk storage totes

binky holders


so with all of the efforts combined from myself and generous people around me, i was blessed abundantly with everything a baby needs (God is AWESOME)...and my total cost out of pocket was 15.00. and the only reason i even spent 15.00 was because i came across a cute little set that i "had to have", but i didn't NEED it. i had everything she needed way before i purchased the items i purchased.

so my conclusion: it is indeed possible to get everything a baby needs to come home and have a very comfortable, healthy and safe first year of life, even if finances and this economy seem to dictate otherwise.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

maybe baby?

well, since this is the year of surprises (ended one relationship, got into another one, got married, etc. etc.)...i guess it won't be the wrong time to let another cat out of the bag...

i'm pregnant!

and not only that...but i'm like beyond pregnant. so far along i'm almost due. next month to be exact (stay tuned for an interesting story and pictures on how i'm preparing for her arrival).

no, this wasn't a case of "i didn't know i was pregnant..." i truly did know i was pregnant. from the very first weeks actually. i just decided not to tell anyone for various reasons, but mainly to keep my own stress level down to a minimum as much as humanly possible.

now onto the really fun part...

it's another girl! so far we have a name picked for her, kinda. actually we do, and while some people are still getting used to it (including my husband), i love it because it means, "the Lord has heard me"...and answered me.

i have to admit, He's also straightened out alot of the mess i've been in the last 12 months. and i'm happy about that because i want to bring home our newest addition with as much peace and joy as i have inside of me. i finally feel like i'm where i not only should be, but where i want to be after a long time of being confused and unsure of myself.
and that is a huge relief, because i am really getting excited over the fact that in a few short weeks, i'll be mom to not three, but four beautiful little girls. :0)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

well i did it!

i'ze married's official! lol. i didn't want to say anything before it actually happened (i believe in jinxing yourself)...but now that the "i do's" are all "i done's", it's cool to let the cat out of the bag. so i am officially a proverb's wife. it feels pretty good...i have to admit, better than i ever imagined it would (and i have to admit, i really loved my hair on my wedding day)! so now i can *restart* my blog off on another foot...and just move on with life! yessiree.

Monday, September 13, 2010

changes...and the cowboys!

i've been thinking on my blog for a while now...and while i definitely am staying in the blogosphere, i am simply not sure how i want to move forward. there are some postings here that i feel are unneccessary to keep around, but there are way more that i believe i should have around. i have decided to get married, and i am happy to say that i am also on my way to being mommy to a brand new baby, while also fostering shelter kittens *again*. so while my life is slowly resuming it's normal way, my blog is not. i'm thinking it's fine to simply turn around and revamp things, erase posts and redo my blog information without losing what i intended this blog to be. after all, why can't blogs change and evolve? i've already gone through two name changes here. for me, i don't think that's a problem...and i do think it's a good idea to simply change my blog around...
while i sit here and contemplate this blog's direction (and make the changes i see neccessary, if any) you can think about america's football team...the cowboys! while i was sorely disappointed in our loss last night *are you serious?!?!??!!?!??!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!*, i understand that crap happens *hey, who knows that more than i do?!*.

Monday, August 23, 2010

my locks 8.22.10

well here are my locks as of this august 22. theyre really growing long and full, and now it's more difficult to see the oddities that i call my parts lol. i've added a ton of little broken sterling silver jewelry pieces and most people tend to think they look really nice. i can also pull them all into a ponytail at the back of my head now lol, a feat i've been dying to do since i got them. they are officially 2 years and 4 months old, and the growth really isn't all that bad for that time frame, considering that they fell right to the lobes of my ears when i first started. i love it because my hair is ALWAYS done for nearly free...i spend appx. 10.00 a month to keep them up, including shampoo and beeswax. i used to use anything and everything to keep them in place but now i see that murrays dark beeswax does the job the best, so i use it. most hair grades can't take the stiffness and stickiness of beeswax, but within a week my hair has eaten it alive and needs another application after a good washing. and i find that the black wax is a bit stiffer hold than the light, so i've been using it. murrays is by far the best grade of wax for my hair, other than homemade, which i haven't been able to do for a while.
i'm currently thinking about tying some more silver wire around the roots of my locks in the front of my head to keep them in place. i did that in the summer of 2008 and it really helped alot. at this point however you have to look hard *or my hair has to have a fresh black dye job* to see the wire because my hair has basically twisted and locked all around them. thank goodness metal detectors don't go off when i walk through...although i'm hoping i don't have to have any cat scans/mri's ever again. ha.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

i'm back!

nothing has made me miss my blogger more than my lack of home internet service (which was due partly to trying to save money and partly due to a worsening economy)...but i'm back online thanks to comcast! AMEN! i was so happy i had to take a picture :ox ! not sure how long it'll last but i'm appreciating every day of this bad boy...there's so much to share with my little space, alot happening at once and nothing happening at all...and i'm so happy i can start a normal blog again...woohoo!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

in a *tide-al* wave of dilemma!

ok, so i've come across a stump in my usually flawless frugal abilities!

my cousin brought me a huuuggeee container of tide detergent last month that was given to him that he didn't need. so me, being the frugal genius i am, took it gratefully and used it immediately.

well, i loved the way tide detergent cleans our clothes, and i love the fact that you truly only need one capful. now this is especially great news because we wash clothing on average 4x a week in my household. and this is especially great news because i've been washing off of this same container of tide for the past 2 weeks at 2 loads per day 4x per week and i still have about 1/3 of the container left.

the horrid news about this situation is that the particular bottle of tide that i was using costs 20.00 AND i have to set our machine on the longest setting *which uses more electricity* than i normally do to get those clothes good and clean. eek. now usually i spend about 10.00 per month on detergent and it gets our clothes nice and clean on the shortest setting possible, which cuts down on energy costs for my household and laundry time in general.

however, the tide gets out tough stains and it also gets out grease stains better than my current detergent *which DOES get out the stains but i have to use shout on them beforehand*.

so that is my dilemma. do i start using the tide at 20.00-24.00 a bottle *depending on where i shop* and using the longest laundry setting *which is double the time of the shortest* to clean our clothes, or do i revert back to the 10.00 worth of detergent i buy *which is a blend of detergents* and shout gel along with the shortest laundry cycle to get our laundry done? we save about 15.00 per month on our energy bill using shorter laundry cycles. unfortunately, our appliances aren't the most energy efficient available, and we aren't allowed to just change them because i don't own my home.

so hmm...what SHOULD i do? i was thinking about keeping a small bottle of the tide on hand to use, but that may be more trouble than it's worth. so i do need suggestions!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

me, cook?!

anyone who knows me knows automatically that cooking was always my vice. i mean, it was more than a vice. it was my archenemy, my archnemesis. i just could not stand to coook. i mean, all that measuring, patience, watching the food, making sure it doesn't burn, heat, timing, all of those odd ingredients and let's not forget the fact that you MUST season to perfection or the whole thing is botched.

i'da rather get locked in a barn full of dirty laundry with only a mini washer and dryer.

but oddly enough, as much as i can't stand cooking, i love to eat.

it "just so happens" that over these past few weeks, i have been going through some health changes that need my immediate attention if i don't want them to worsen. namely, my thyroid and my blood pressure, which has been steadily rising.

in addition to all of this, i have been also struggling with anxiety brought on by a worsening economy, my lack of a regular income, and the ill treatment of people towards each other in general. i have been praying over this, and some days are better than others in my journey towards peace over it all.

so a few weeks ago, when my anxiety was way worse, it led me to ask my mom, "what are we going to do when there is absolutely no way to work and take care of our families?" and she, in turn, brought the question to God.

to which He gave her an answer, and she reported it back to me. "Go back to the land", she says He told her.

now my next question obviously was, "well what land do we go back to?! we don't own any land! or any farm animals! or anything natural that can sustain us!" *and by now i was talking in clipped sentences and more than a bit agitated at God for giving me that answer. i had wanted this earth shattering, profound answer that would set all my doubt free, not an answer that actually seemed to be worse than the question*.

but, me being diligent in knowing that God makes no mistakes, decided to take that answer and work with it as best i could. which meant praying over it, mediatating over it, and letting God clarify it for me *which He has no issues doing for most things i believe*.

fast forward to a few days later. i realized that my blood pressure isn't doing well, and this is during a time when i NEED it to do well. so as i was praying over my health, God told me..."take your health back to the land, because you're going to have to do that anyway!" and like a LIGHTBULB, i understood. in my mind i saw the huge garden that we had when i was smaller, the garden that served many purposes. not only did that garden feed us because we couldn't afford to buy food, but it helped my mom develop a relationship with God, it helped to relax her during difficult times, and it helped to foster my love for animals and insects, as well as a healthy respect for nature. and as much as i never thought it'd be me, my heart's desire quickly became to do the same for my kids. to show them that there is more to living than what we have out here commercially, what the secular world feeds us, both literally and figuratively.

as God continued to work with me, i realized also that i had to learn to like to eat good food, cook good food, and eventually grow good food. and not worry about the literal land, because God would provide it. what i need to work on doing right now is actually LIKING food, LIKING cooking, and LIKING to eat right. because let's be honest, it's not exactly the most fun for me to pick out some corny old vegetables, put them in a pot and boil them down to crapola that i'm then forced to suck down with a straw. but maybe if i put in the effort, and allow God to show me what Goodness He has in the world in the form of food, i will actually grow to not only like cooking, but maybe even to love it.

today, just a few short weeks later, i wholeheartedly understand BETTER what God has in store for me in the future of an uncertain world. i won't say that i understand it all, because i don't, but i trust His way. and i also know that doing this *the whole food thing* will not only help me to have better health, but it may just be what saves my children from feeling the FULL effects of a crashing america later on in life, something that has really provoked my anxiety. and knowing this is actually enough to not only ebb my anxiety, but to make me INTERESTED in cooking GOOD food without SALT and CHEMICALS in it to the point that i'm actually flipping through recipe books. so don't be surprised when you see me blabbing off about how i actually cooked such and such from scratch, and how economically savvy i was while doing it, and what great blessings and revelations were revealed from the whole activity, haha.

leave it up to God to work out the messes in my life for His glory and my good! i am feeling better.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

19 things i like about the duggar family.

during my spiritual journey these past couple of weeks, it was revealed to me that one of the things preventing me from continuing up my spiritual ladder to the position i should be in is the fact that i am not humble enough. so i pondered this dilemma of mine, mainly because i'm not exactly sure if i understand the definition of humilty. after spending much time looking up acts of humility and lessons on humility taught by Jesus Christ, i sort of kind of grasp the idea of humility better, and after much prayer and talking with the Father, i even see in myself where i do indeed need to become a more humble person. and i have been striving diligently over these past few days to become more humble.
it "just so happens" that i've also been watching more television lately. i am not sure if this stems from my search for humility in a world that's not so humble *and what better place to see how unhumble the world is than tv?*, or if it stems from the fact that i haven't been feeling my greatest *more on that later*...but whatever the case may be, i have found myself to be this learning-to-be-humble couch potato.
so while flipping haphazardly through the television stations at 3am four nights ago, i came across the television show on tlc "19 and counting", the reality show about jim bob and michelle duggar, a married couple with 19 children. i watched the show mainly because it piqued my curiosity, and i didn't think much of it...they seemed like an ok enough couple and that was it.
it "just so happens" *it's amazing how God works*, that the next day, i caught myself watching not one, but another two episodes of 19 an counting, and this time i had more time and inclination to actually pay this family attention.
and i came to the startling conclusion that i actually admire the duggars very much, and how i am becoming more humble by forming my own opinions of people and situations instead of relying on the opinions of others and the media to shape mine for me.
so, because i actually like the duggars that much, despite some of the not-so-nice things i've read about them, i've decided to make a like of 19 things that i really admire about the duggars, just from what little i know about them *and trust me, i will be watching them daily now*:
1. they have home church, and do not attend "formal" church services *more on that another day*.
2. their children play instruments.
3. their children are very well disciplined.
4. their house is very clean.
5. jim bob and michelle clearly love each other.
6. their ideals are in alignment with each others, and none of them "force" themselves on anyone else, they are who they are and it works out beautifully.
7. they do alot of community work.
8. michelle homeschools all of her children, and makes it look easy.
9. they eat pretty healthy foods, for the most part.
10. they have 5 acres of farmland.
11. before they became "famous", their family was well in tact and in order, despite jim bob making an average salary and michelle not working.
12. michelle is a sahm *woohoo!*
13. their children are actually cute.
14. they stick to their belief systems, no matter what others think or say.
15. they have never used welfare to support their children *not that i am against welfare, more on that another day*
16. michelle still has a great shape to have delivered 19 children.
17. they utilize technology PROPERLY...for education, not recreation.
18. they utilize the knowledge of the people they meet.
19. they live a relatively simple life, without the clutter of too much modernism.
it's already humbling to see how my own mindset is formed when i don't allow others to infiltrate my thoughts *i was surprised at how much i allow that*, how much in common i have with other people, to recognize that i'm not above or below anyone, and to realize just how much alike people really are.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

church issues.

so, i've decided to leave my church. this decision came after much prayer and meditation, and an experience that only the Holy Spirit Himself could have taken me through.

i am a non-denominational Christian, and i like that just fine. however, because there are almost no non-denominational churches in my community *and NO orthodox Christian churches*, i have to take my pick from what i have to choose from...the typical conglomerate of church choices: baptist, catholic, COGIC, episcopalian, methodist, pentecostal, reformation, etc. so of the choices i had, i decided to attend an AME church, or african methodist episcopal church. one of the deciding factors in my choice was the fact that the church is literally around the corner and one day while going past i saw a few of it's members chatting outside and they seemed really friendly. after about 3 months of visiting i decided to join the church because well...God hadn't told me NOT to join the church.
i don't think.
now i'll admit, i don't always have the best ears when it comes down to listening to The Father. if i did, i wouldn't be in half of the crap i'm in, and always praying and thanking Him crazily when He throws one down *while rolling His eyes at me no doubt* for me to catch and hold on to. so it wouldn't be a surprise to me if God had said, "don't join that church!" and i totally brushed His Voice off as a figment of my imagination.
so let's just say that either way it goes, i didn't get the message NOT to join the church. but two sunday's ago i was preparing to go to Sunday Service and as i walked towards the front door to go to the car, something told me to leave the children home. so i told them they weren't going *to which they actually were bummed about*. after taking off their clothing and settling them down *my bf was there to watch them because we all go to church together*, i decided to head back out the door. as i neared the door, a sudden depression came over me. like a huge wave, it just washed down my entire body, and i heard my heart tell me "don't go to church today!". me, ignoring the feeling *which i now believe was God*, went towards the car anyway. i got in, and i was feeling so sad and down, out of nowhere, that i started to cry. i pulled out of the parking spot and as i neared the church, my chest felt compressed, and i had to catch my breath! i was having an anxiety attack over going to church. i tried to look for a parking spot next to the church, but my body wouldn't even let me park the car...i just couldn't bring myself to stop and look for a space to park! after about a minute of this i was so flustered and upset i drove straight to my mom's house, in tears, shaking and praying. she calmed me down and suggested we visit another church, to which i readily agreed. immediately my spirit calmed down, my anxiety went away and i felt better.
now, i'm trying to pinpoint where things went wrong in my church life, but it's very hard to find out when, where, and most importantly, what happened.
all was going well for a year, until i decided to be the director of the children's ministry, or the ypd department. now taking on this leadership role seemed easy enough, i'm pretty good with children and my teaching skills, while not the best, aren't the worst.
let's just say that i was NOT a happy camper within 3 months of taking on the role as ypd director.
being in this position requires the director to meet with "sister" churches for "connectional" purposes. the idea is that these historically black churches will keep their power and stay in alignment with the will of God by keeping in touch with each other and supporting each other. so in essence the ame is a network of sister churches that is run in an hierarchal manner by higher ups, preachers, elders, and at the highest rank is the bishops and council of bishops or whatever.
the ame church, in my opinion, has developed over the years into nothing more than a scam, with a group of testa-liars as it's head. it is only a matter of time before the breakdown of this particualar church system becomes universal in my honest to goodness opinion.
now i know every church has a bit of satan in it, and many churches have a lot o' satan in them. but the ame church is a hotbed for what i call subtle satanic activity (you know how satan isn't always in your face with it, sometimes that lil nukka likes to be so subtle that you have to wonder is it even him)...mainly because it's system is set up more like a secular system than any other church system i have ever run into.
the ame's are a very "social" people--there is a social scale of importance, and if you aren't at the top of the food chain, what's your name again??
the ame's are very ehh..."adamant" about "their" way. they tend to try and "brainwash" the younger generations by "teaching" them that the ame is "the way to go". now i wouldn't have a problem with this, except that i am not into teaching my children that any particualar denomination is better than another for the simple fact that i am a non-denominational Christian and i believe that denominations as a whole add to the breakdown that we see in the church community and much of our walk with God.
the ame's are a very...financially "savvy" people. aka they take from the smaller churches to take care of the larger churches. so your church can be direlectic and absolutely falling apart, but if you want to be a part of the larger connectional ame community--well then you'd better get out a checkbook. and guess what? the bishop drives a 100,000.00 car and will charge you 2,000.00 to "grace" your church with his presence.
the ame's are also a very...flashy people. never before have i ever seen so many electronic Bibles, fur coats and high heels on 80 year olds at a service, and i'd be flabbergasted *if i expected any better of them* at the fact that very few ame's actually carry bonafide book-form Bibles to services and events.
now don't get me wrong...there are quite a few God fearing and loving Christians within the ame community, the pastor of my ame is definitely a man of God, and he is really asking me to at least attend the Sunday Services because he doesn't want me to be without the Word of God. i am thinking he is right, and i do want to attend, but i really don't want anything to do with the ame church as a whole. but it's a shame how black people in today's society have taken a very honest and well meaning idea for the black church and turned it into the devil's stomping ground with a bunch of riff raff and foolishness, money focusing and social ladder climbing.
so, with all of that being said, i am left back at square one of finding a church. for now i am going to continue at my church as a "guest", mainly because the pastor has personally asked me to return as well as the congregation it seems. but i don't believe it's a permanent choice, mainly because of my experience two Sundays ago and after constant prayer, i do believe God has told me i'm released from that particular place.
on another note: it is very hard for most of us Christians who don't have a church home to find one in these times, it seems. i am not the only Christian i know looking for a church home--there are at least 3 other Christians i talk to on a daily basis that have the same problem that i'm having. what is a Christian to do without a church home?!

Monday, April 26, 2010

how do you say something you really need to say?

ok...i've been thinking about this for months now...and actually wasn't sure how to say it. it's funny though because well, this is my blog and i can say what i want to say how i want to say it and i technically don't have to worry about what anyone else says about what i say.

however, it's not that easy. i'm still anxious about saying *technically typing* out what i have to say. but i'm going to go on and type it anyway.

i am no longer with my husband. i am a single mother again. there. i said it.

but that's not all.

i AM with my ex-fiance, who is asking to now be my husband.

that's not all either.

i am totally taking my time with my boyfriend, *who just so happens to be the father of my 10 and 8 year olds*, before being married again.

to make a super long story short, i realized that i no longer WANT to be the wife of a man in prison. not that i couldn't do it, but i began to feel as if my ex husband was turning into a different man and really trying to manipulate and force me into decisions that i didn't want to agree with, especially when they make me go against what i know to be true as a child of God. while he is a great man, i decided that we were not a great team anymore and he was becoming a true stress on my spirit. funny, but everyone around me supported me 100% when i thought they would bash my lifestyle and decisions.

i have been the wife of a man in prison for 5 years. and i don't regret not being that woman anymore. i realize that i not only need more out of my marriage, but that i have the right to live my life fully for me. unfortunately, my ex husband is NOT out of prison and may not come out until 2011. when he does make it out here, i will do my best to help him, but i am 100% certain that i do not want to maintain a romantic relationship with him, and i will not become his wife again. it is over for us.

i love my ex-husband, but i am no longer IN love with him. prison DOES have something to do with it, but really his attitude and expectations have totally turned me away. permanently--they aren't something that i care to ever forget *although i have forgiven him*.

i love my boyfriend, but our breakup was very nasty and many years later, i still have trust issues. however, something deep down in my heart is telling me that he is marriage material.

i am still a woman of God though, and although i've done plenty that i had to pray over, i know God is still by my side, and instead of condemning me for my decisions, is working His booty off to get me out of any drama that i may be in.

and that is all *for now*. i am still a Proverbs woman, and because i very well may be a wife again soon enough, i will leave my blog as it is *especially since someone else may take the name if i let it go hehe*.

that explains my hiatus AND i finally *said/typed* what i needed to say. and while many people may not read this blog often, some people do, and i just wanted to keep it as real as i can without telling my social security number *snicker*. to all of my fellow prison wives who read this blog, you know who you are. i love you dearly and i will always be here for you no matter what...although i'm not tied to the prison system anymore.

and now...i feel better! my anxiety has been reduced considerably, and the world is still turning after my major announcement. wow, that was easier than i thought it'd be!