Life is Like a Biscuit

Have you ever had a really good homemade biscuit?  One with flaky white layers that the butter just drips across when you pull it apart.  It's light and airy and makes your mouth water just considering how to eat it without devouring in one bite.  

It took me years to learn how to make good biscuits.  I had so many failed attempts.  My husband would roll his eyes when I said we were having home made biscuits with dinner.   Most often, they would be hard as rocks, hockey pucks or some other disc like object.  But when I learned how to be gentle with the dough, life changed.  They were light, fluffy and tasty.  I didn't know I had been too hard and intense when kneading the biscuit dough.  Life is hard and intense much of the time.  We get beat up and pushed down often.  When this happens to children they learn to mistrust their feelings.  They never develop a healthy intuition. As an adult, I have spent years developing these things that  I should have learned as a child.  It has taken repeated effort, intention and hard work.  I have had to revisit situations with the help of trained adults to interpret them with truth.  My recipe for life started with everything, I mean everything, being my fault.  Being blamed for things that were not my fault as a child made me hard and  intense as an adult. I also lost my childhood to the desires and needs of sick people around me. Which made me determined not to come apart.  

As a result, I have been forced to unpack layer after layer of lies that I believed about myself.  It has hurt more than I can say and sent me reeling more times than I care to admit.  I have also had to unpack lies about the people around me growing up, those who were charged with my care.  People who should have helped build me up, berated me and tore me down, often daily.   

As I am learning to be more gentle with myself I am learning to appreciate different things in life. Simple things, like a delicious biscuit dripping with butter.  I am learning that life can pile things on us, but we can choose to take our pain apart and face it.  In doing so, we can heal layer after layer. As Kelly Clarkson sings allow others to piece by piece fill the holes burned in our soul.  So Forest Gump's mother says that life is like a box of chocolates.  I say life is like a biscuit.  It can be hard and dry,  but when we learn to be gentle with ourselves, it can be light, airy and bring smiles to my face. 

I say life is like a biscuit. It can be hard and dry, but when we learn to be gentle with ourselves, it can be light, airy and bring smiles to my face..png

Pain- A Prelude to Provision

 Pain can have a purpose.  Sometimes it is due to the bad decisions of other people.  At times, it is a result of our own bad decisions.  Death, destruction, divorce, disease, and despair all have one thing in common.  They often drive us to the end of ourselves. Abraham Lincoln once said,  "I have been driven to my knees many times by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go." 

Life can be overwhelming and when it is, we often realize just how powerless we really are. I am not saying the divine, or the cosmos or karma cause pain to teach us this.  I am saying that a natural result of pain is the knowledge that life is larger than what we can explain. Pain can drive us deep into ourselves and deep into the divine.  We can emerge stronger and more resilient. Pain is often a prelude to provision.  

I remember when I found out my brother had died.  We had been estranged for most all our adult lives.  The next day, I sat in the office of a co-worker and recounted things that had happened in our family.  I cried more that day than I had ever cried over my family.  She cried with me and told me how strong I was.  I didn't feel strong.  I felt damned.  My whole life my family had dictated how I could or could not interact with them.  Always I felt like I had no way to go that seemed right.  No way that resulted in my peace, in freedom or with my feeling love from them.  In that time of pain, I could not see how God was making a provision for my healing. But He was.  

If you are feeling pain today, I encourage you to sit with it. To feel it, don't try to stuff it away. Allow it to penetrate your heart and soul.  In doing so, you may feel worse before you feel better. Today or tomorrow may not be the day that the pain starts to subside.  But the day will come when you feel it a little less.  Pain pushes us to know ourselves better, to know the divine better, to pause and ponder what truly matters.  Pain can propel us down a different path than the one we have been on.  

Be encouraged today that while we don't understand why we hurt, we all face pain of some kind.  That means we are not alone, it is not unique to you or me.  It is not unique to Jesus either.  He felt pain, more than I can comprehend.  But in his pain, he held onto the fact that his purpose was our freedom.  I don't know what the purpose is to the pain in my life or in yours.  I do know that without the pain that has been in my life, I wouldn't know how much I needed the Healer. 

Change a Law or Change a Life...Is There A Better Way to Spend Big Dollars?

This week marked the anniversary of Roe V. Wade. Abortion is a topic that seems to divide our nation, even dividing families and friends.  I hear much about the need to overturn this decision in our court system.  Many people voted for our current president because he stated he was pro-life.  That fit their desire to have a pro-life president in hopes of overturning this law.  My view this week is a different view.  Why do we need to overturn this law? I am sure many have valid reasons and may decide to educate me on them.  

My thought is this.  Alcohol is illegal for people under the age of 21.  That didn't stop me from consuming alcohol, I began to drink at the age of 13.  Speeding is illegal but people do it all the time.  Think about it.  What would make more of an impact, making abortion illegal or educating the women facing the choice?  When I say educate, I mean true education, medical, scientific and psychological. All sides of the issue.  Post Abortion Syndrome was never discussed with me at either of the abortion clinics I went to. No discussion about emotional baggage or PTSD.  There was no discussion about risks and complications.  There were people who held up signs at one of them about abortion being murder, which did nothing to educate me.  It just made me think they were radical and angry. I was numb to them.

What would be different if the pro-life movement spent more money in local communities? Providing resources for pregnancy resource centers and educating women with good unbiased information.  I am not sure but I think it would matter.  I think women are smart.  We need good information to make good choices.  There should be pregnancy resource centers in every area.   They should be as well funded as Planned Parenthood. Then there could be more counselors, nurses, and doctors doing the educating.  There could be more connecting women who don’t want children but are carrying one, with women who can’t have them but desperately desire a child.   The possibilities are endless.

When demand drops, supply lessens.  That is simple economics.  Yet too often this issue of abortion is tied to dollars.  Politicians come and go, the question I am raising is where is the most impact going to be felt?  Changing the law or educating and helping the women affected by the law? 

I love people on both sides of this discussion. Many women would carry their babies if they knew they had the money to do so. Some would place for adoption some would parent.  Seeing all the people at this year’s march, made me think.  Many of my friends who go to Washington are active in their local communities if there is a pregnancy resource center there.  Imagine if each person at the march this year all did help one woman in an unplanned pregnancy, what an impact on our nation that would be. 

 

 

 

Change a Law or Change a Life...Is There A Better Way to Spend Big Dollars?

This week marked the anniversary of Roe V. Wade. Abortion is a topic that seems to divide our nation, even dividing families and friends.  I hear much about the need to overturn this decision in our court system.  Many people voted for our current president because he stated he was pro-life.  That fit their desire to have a pro-life president in hopes of overturning this law.  My view this week is a different view.  Why do we need to overturn this law? I am sure many have valid reasons and may decide to educate me on them.  

My thought is this.  Alcohol is illegal for people under the age of 21.  That didn't stop me from consuming alcohol, I began to drink at the age of 13.  Speeding is illegal but people do it all the time.  Think about it.  What would make more of an impact, making abortion illegal or educating the women facing the choice?  When I say educate, I mean true education, medical, scientific and psychological. All sides of the issue.  Post Abortion Syndrome was never discussed with me at either of the abortion clinics I went to. No discussion about emotional baggage or PTSD.  There was no discussion about risks and complications.  There were people who held up signs at one of them about abortion being murder, which did nothing to educate me.  It just made me think they were radical and angry. I was numb to them.

What would be different if the pro-life movement spent more money in local communities? Providing resources for pregnancy resource centers and educating women with good unbiased information.  I am not sure but I think it would matter.  I think women are smart.  We need good information to make good choices.  There should be pregnancy resource centers in every area.   They should be as well funded as Planned Parenthood. Then there could be more counselors, nurses, and doctors doing the educating.  There could be more connecting women who don’t want children but are carrying one, with women who can’t have them but desperately desire a child.   The possibilities are endless.

When demand drops, supply lessens.  That is simple economics.  Yet too often this issue of abortion is tied to dollars.  Politicians come and go, the question I am raising is where is the most impact going to be felt?  Changing the law or educating and helping the women affected by the law? 

I love people on both sides of this discussion. Many women would carry their babies if they knew they had the money to do so. Some would place for adoption some would parent.  Seeing all the people at this year’s march, made me think.  Many of my friends who go to Washington are active in their local communities if there is a pregnancy resource center there.  Imagine if each person at the march this year all did help one woman in an unplanned pregnancy, what an impact on our nation that would be. 

 

 

 

Talking About Trauma

     I have experienced quite a bit of trauma in my life. Some I talk about, some I do not. A friend asked me why I would write about growing up in abuse. My answer is first, it is healing to me. Second, maybe it will help someone know they are not alone. Third, I lived so much of my life afraid and I don't want to continue to do that.  

     What was I afraid of? Well, the list was long. I was afraid of people finding out. Afraid of it happening to those I love. I was afraid of telling my truth and others saying I was lying. Afraid of who I had become inside as a result of the trauma I experienced. Afraid I would never be enough. Afraid if I let any of what I was feeling out I would fall apart and never find wholeness.

     In society, especially in the church, I think we underestimate the effects of trauma. I believe this is true for both children and adults. From The Body Keeps Score, Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D., states the following, "Trauma results in a fundamental reorganization of the way the mind and brain manage perceptions." This is no small statement. He goes on to discuss how it changes how we think and even our capacity to think. I see this in my own life. For years I thought I was crazy. Now I know I was traumatized.

     So why do we underestimate the effects of trauma? My working theory is because we too often choose to look away from hard things. It feels easier in the moment. The unresolved issues we bury never die, they just decay. We should instead be staring what we buried in the face. Do you remember as a child playing stare down with others? You stared at each other until one of you broke. I have chosen, over time and with a lot of help, to keep staring my trauma in the face until it breaks. I refuse to continue to react to things that have affected me. The way I approach this is by learning and educating myself. By talking, writing, sharing, growing and refusing to give in. I will continue as long as it takes. I am thinking that might be a while yet, but at the same time, I acknowledge I have journeyed past the point I started at. Many of my blog posts coming up will further address the effects of trauma. What I am learning. How I have seen them play out in my life and how I am learning to heal. My prayer? If even one person gains a greater measure of peace by joining me on this journey, that will be more than enough.

 

From the book....Jesus, Jack Asses and Jehovah Rapha -Healing the Inbetween

I grew up with intense emotional pain. I was the victim of molestation; both from younger males and an older man, who was a friend of the family. People will often say to me, "God let you go through all that so He can use you to help others." I used to say, "Yes. Amen, thank you Jesus."  But one day I was riding down the road talking to God and it hit me...out of the blue.  

When I believe that, I believe that God sacrificed my innocence to help others. Well isn't that what He did with Jesus? So it all sounds right on the surface, right?  

But on this day, I realized something deeper than that. I knew for the first time, deep in my soul, what that looked like in my mind. 

It meant that He, God, caused all that pain for me, an innocent child. 

I was angry at God for not protecting me from all the perverse evil pain I had endured. I was so deeply angry. It took a long time to get to that anger... but there it was. On that day,  He shined a light on it.

Wait a minute; He didn't cause it, He allowed it.
Right?  

Take that apart. You are a parent. Your precious child is being molested by a pervert. You are watching it happen in real time. You think about it for a minute. You have a gun in one hand and are an expert marksman. You weigh your options.

You decide to turn your head while the abuse is occurring.  Even though you know you could pull your gun and shoot the SOB molesting your kid.  But you stop, holding the power to turn it around and you just watch it happen.

Why?
Because you think one day that child might help another heal from the same thing. You choose to submit your child to the intense emotional hell that will result. All, for the benefit of others in the future? What kind of parent would do that? Yet, is that not what we say about God, the perfect Father?  And after all, isn’t that what He did with His son, Jesus? Okay church people, bear with me for a minute.  Unchurch people you stay with me too.  There may be something to ponder here.
 

Why did God do that? Sacrifice His son, Jesus? He did it so that we can be free. Free to know Him, free to come freely before Him. So if God sacrificed Jesus for us, why would He then sacrifice us for another when the price has been paid? 

If you bought a car and drove it home. Your best friend sees it in the driveway. Because she loves you she decides to go to the dealership and pay for it. Problem is, you paid for it before you drove it off the lot. The salesman didn’t tell her that it had already been paid for. The price was covered and the title was in your name. She paid the same salesman you did, for the same car.  That doesn’t make sense, does it?

 But isn’t that what we say about God?