Typecasting

I do this thing while watching movies and TV. I predict the ending, the bad guy or girl, the plot, sometimes the twists and all sorts of things, within the first 15 minutes of the show. This irritates my family, most notably my oldest daughter.

I do this because of 2 things.

  1. Shows usually follow a standard formula. Once you determine the type of show you are watching, you can generally infer some of the formula they’re going to use for the remainder of the show. You can see misdirection, twists in plotlines and other common themes. They’re all very similar, and since I’m so old, and have seen so many of these shows (don’t judge me, I watch TV when I crochet – I crochet A LOT) I’m able to anticipate the show.
  2. Actors are recycled. Often who you’ve seen as a bad guy in one show will generally be a similar bad guy in the next show because he’s been typecast. Hollywood has determined his acting career based upon previous performances and now, that’s what he’s going to do for the rest of his career. So, when one of these “generic actors” show up in a show, I remember them from another show and immediately can determine how the course of the show is going to go because I too have typecast them.

Recently I was watching a new TV show all by my lonesome, while crocheting, and I spotted one of these “generic actors” on the periphery. I thought, hey – I know him – he’s usually a nerd and a good guy. Strange… At the very end of the episode it’s determined he’s a drug kingpin and a murderer. I wasn’t really thrown off, but it did make me pause and consider how we ALL typecast those around us in this world based upon past experiences and encounters with similar people.

You may look at someone in a suit and think they’ve got their entire life together, but deep down inside they’re struggling for purpose. You may see someone that cracks jokes as happy go lucky and determine that they’re life must be hunky dory, but in reality they’re using humor to mask their pain. You may see a moderately overweight woman in her mid forties with purple hair and think, man – she’s a mess, look how she’s trying to be someone else. She must be going through a midlife crisis. You may see someone with a Mohawk and tattoos and decide you need to cross to the other side of the street, but what you don’t know is that they’re in a gang of bikers that protect children who have been sexually assaulted.

We all typecast every single person around us based upon their outward appearance. We straight away decide if they’re depressed, overly unique, angry, happy, judgmental, gay, hateful, bigoted, and so on and so on. And often, we keep those people at arms length so that we won’t get hurt, or challenged, or changed. And we are missing out!

I am almost 47 years old. I have purple hair and 4 tattoos. I have 3 piercings in one ear and 2 in the other. I am overweight. I am a devout Christian and wear a butterfly cross necklace around my neck every day. I draw in my bible. I am quirky. I’m funny sometimes. I’m a little socially awkward and I hate to cry in public. These are all the things you can see from the outside or through social media. But this is not WHO I am.

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The only One that will ever be able to know me is my Lord, because humans look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart (1 Sam. 16:7).

Let me challenge each and every one of you 25 people that read my posts, it’s time we stop typecasting everyone around us based upon what we SEE from the outside, and get to know the people around us by interaction and investment into WHO they are on the inside.

Here is the only thing you need to know about me above all else – Jesus Loves You, and so do I! I don’t care if you have tats, purple hair, an atheist, vegan, gay, or straight, whatever. I love you! Sometimes an outward appearance may intimidate me and make me pause, but I refuse to let this world tell me that it’s okay to typecast everyone around me. I done with that life.

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Can’t we all just be HUMAN?!

I’m sick, tired, angry, irritated, disgusted and just plain DONE!!! I’m done with people losing their humanity and I’m done with people expressing their opinions in disgusting and vile ways!! I’m over pettiness, hate, and disrespect.

A few days ago my sister shared a post about a shoe repair shop in Ohio. The picture below is how the owner feels about this country and some of the decisions being made by the President. This picture isn’t what got me fired up, it’s what happened after. The moment he placed his protest in the window of his shop he began to receive threatening notes and phone calls. People have threatened his livelihood and his life!

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What kind of world do we live in where protesting has turned to threats? Disagreement to hate? Tolerance to intolerance? Discussion to accusation? Conviction to violence?

If you think this blog post applies to you, then it probably does. If you think I’m speaking to you directly, then I probably am! If you think you may not want to be friends with me anymore, then start stepping because I have NO ROOM in my life for people that cannot be kind and loving and treat others with respect!

If you disagree with someone, then talk about it, agree to disagree. Share in love and concern for the OTHER HUMAN BEING that you are talking to. If you don’t like what a company stands for, then don’t shop there. If you want to boycott a place, then do – but don’t threaten them.

God’s word says so many things about how we should treat others. Luke 6:31, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Mark 12:30 – 31, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. And also, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.” No other greater commandment than loving God and loving others.

Whether you share my belief in God or not, you should share my perspective on humanity or maybe you should then begin to question whether you are even human. I may not agree with people’s political ideology, morality, decisions, religious beliefs or the lack thereof, but I agree that you are human and therefore I LOVE YOU! I love you regardless if I agree with everything you stand for. I love you because God first loved me and has commanded me to LOVE! If love is not at the cornerstone of every interaction you have, then you may need to question your motivations and perspective.

Tirade over, thanks for listening!

The Best Laid Plans of FOOLS

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Proverbs 19:21, “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.”

I’ve really been quite over the last few months. I suppose it was because I wasn’t sure what  to say, so I didn’t want to say anything at all lest I place my foot directly in my mouth. So, I have stayed quiet. And while I have nothing profound to state about the world in which we live, I do have something to say about the God that I love and serve.

You see, this world that we live in can seem, feel and even BE unstable, but my God is not unstable. This world can feel and even BE chaotic, but my God is not chaotic. This world can seem to have no direction and BE completely out of control, but my God has direction, provides direction and is ALWAYS in control.

Proverbs 19 is filled with instruction, verse. 20, “Listen to advice and accept instruction that you may gain wisdom in the future.” Verse 27, “Cease to hear instruction, my son (or daughter), and you will stray from the words of knowledge.”

The bottom line, you can make all the plans you want but the Lords plans are the only plans that are ever going to stand the test of time. They are the only plans infused with wisdom. They are the only plans that have eternity planted in the center. God is the ONLY STABLE PIECE OF GUIDANCE you will ever need! I, for one, prefer to put my trust in the Lord my God, and forsake all other worldly wisdom. I prefer to put my trust in “the purpose of the Lord that WILL STAND.”

No More Compromises

I’m a 45 year old woman attending 8th grade. I say this because much of what I’m reading today in homeschool I don’t remember from my youth. I’m especially interested in social studies. I have always liked history, but as an adult these history lessons are impacting me much differently. As a child I enjoyed reading about life in the backcountry. As an adult I can see the hard work that such a life required. As a child I was interested in colonial living, as an adult I also see how ignorant the colonists were at the plight of the Native Americans and the African slaves. Reading through the history of my country can make me equally proud and ashamed.

I am free. I am free to write in my blog exactly what I think. I am free to express my views without fear of being killed for my view, even if they would call my own government into question. For this – I am proud. When the US Constitution was drafted many of the colonies were fearful that the Constitution would not ultimately protect the rights of the people and would potentially provide the government a way to be tyrannical. For this reason the Bill of Rights was drafted guaranteeing the rights of the people that would have to be protected by the government. As a refresher, here are the Bill of Rights that were ratified on 09/25/1789:

  1. Prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.
  2. Protects the right to keep and bear arms.
  3. Places restrictions on the quartering of soldiers in private homes without the owner’s consent, prohibiting it during peacetime.
  4. Prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and sets out requirements for search warrants based on probable cause as determined by a neutral judge or magistrate.
  5. Sets out rules for indictment by grand jury and eminent domain, protects the right to due process, and prohibits self-incrimination and double jeopardy.
  6. Protects the right to a fair and speedy public trial by jury, including the rights to be notified of the accusations, to confront the accuser, to obtain witnesses and to retain counsel.
  7. Provides for the right to trial by jury in certain civil cases, according to common law.
  8. Prohibits excessive fines and excessive bail, as well as cruel and unusual punishment.
  9. Protects rights not enumerated in the Constitution.
  10. Reinforces the principle of federalism by stating that the federal government possesses only those powers delegated to it by the states or the people through the Constitution.

All of these rights were meant to represent the people of the United States of America. It’s beautifully written and the foundation of our country. They are the foundation upon which all present day laws are drafted. They are the building blocks of our country. I am proud of these words because I agree with their meaning and what they represent.

And yet, I’m a deeply saddened by what these words don’t say. In 1787 (a year before the Bill of Rights was ratified) the colonies met to debate and finally draft the US Constitution. During this meeting, representatives from the colonies came to speak for their constituents. They discussed how the government would be structured and how it would govern its people. The Southern colonies decided they wanted more representatives within the legislature and for taxation purposes. This is when the 3/5th’s Compromise was developed. The compromise stated that slaves would be counted as 3/5th’s of a person when counting up the population thus providing the southern colonies with a higher population count and more clout within the legislature. Basically, they wanted to acknowledge their slaves as partial humans so that they could become wealthier and more influential. However, they continued to deny those same slaves basic human rights, because beyond counting them in a census, they weren’t considered to be human beings. Not only that, none of the colonies chose to represent Native Americans because they were not considered human beings, and therefore deserved no representation. Ultimately, this compromise became a driving force for the Civil War and was not nullified until the Abolition of Slavery in the 13th Amendment in 1865. Personally, I question if some people in our country realize that the 3/5th’s compromise no longer exists, but maybe that’s just me.

Reading this lesson with my daughter broke my heart. My country that I LOVE was founded on so many things I believe in, and so many things I hate. I love freedom of speech and religion, our right to bare arms, legal representation, and restrictions on what the government can take and do. And I hate that it was also founded on ignorance, servitude, slavery, and a lack of integrity. But just because this is what my country was founded on, does not have to define its future, nor does it have to define mine.

I will no longer compromise my integrity to be politically correct. I WILL speak my mind. I WILL vote. I WILL stand up for the oppressed. I WILL stand with my friends that are judged because of the color of their skin. I WILL stand with my friends that practice a different religion then I do. I WILL stand with my friends that practice no religion. I WILL consider EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN THIS WORLD TO BE WORTH SOMETHING, not worthless. I WILL BE DIFFERENT!

And do you know why I will be different? Do you know why I will not compromise one more day? Because God’s word tells me so:

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Hopefully, I’m not alone. Hopefully, this blog will speak to one person. Hopefully, if you’re reading this then you know that I value you and you ARE worthy!!! #nomorecompromises

Exercise Your Rights

I’m doing homeschool. And when I say I’m doing homeschool I mean that I am the one learning, in addition to my thirteen year old daughter. Each day I have been re-learning (to be more accurate) something about science, social studies or language. I had forgotten most of these things, and I think that’s the problem with our world. George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” We seem to be repeating the same mistakes over and over again. So, let me give you some reminders over the next few days:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In 1776 our country declared independence from Great Britain by writing the Declaration of Independence. This declaration opens:

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

My daughter and I have been discussing these first 2 paragraphs at length today. We have talked about what these words mean, and what the motivation was behind this declaration. We have talked about how this simple but powerful document has shaped our country. And then my daughter said something profound, “Maybe we need to ask our government to read this again, it seems like they’ve forgotten what our country was made for.”

If I’m honest, so did I. I forgot. I forgot that I have rights here in this country along with my freedom of speech, and right to bare arms, and practice my religion. I also have a right to voice my opinion about this broken government because “whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive to these ends it is the RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE to ALTER or ABOLISH it, and to institute a NEW GOVERNMENT.”

Coming up this November you have been given a right that not all countries have, a right to voice your opinion ABOUT your government. You can shout from the rooftops who you believe should be voted into office. You have the right to run for office. You have the right to call your representatives, senators, and other public officials. Stop whining about how this world is going to hell in a handbasket and DO SOMETHING, or else you will be condemned (not doomed) to repeat this same idiocy over and over again.

It’s Not About You

weddingdayMy Wedding Day – one of the happiest days of my life. Seriously, not a thing went wrong. Not one thing! It was beautiful, touching, sweet and lovely. I just loved our wedding. I married my soul mate.

My Wedding Planning – it was a breeze. Probably because I was 39 when I got married for the first time. I’d spent decades dreaming of my wedding day.

All the stages of the planning and day were drama free.

Recently I’ve been reflecting on my experiences, which were freaking awesome. But I have realized that not everyone has a freaking awesome wedding. I have also realized that planning the wedding can be an absolute nightmare. So let me take a moment to impart some of my wisdom. After all I was an old maid when I got married. Or my oldest daughter calls me a crypt keeper, so there’s that!

To the Bride – Sweetie, you may think this day is all about you, but it’s about both of you, as a couple. Let your future hubby play a part in the decisions. I get it, I’m a total control freak. But hubbies have opinions about music, prayer, communion, and vows. My hubby was an active part of OUR wedding. I mean, let me ask you a question, do you expect your hubby to take on an active roll in your marriage? If so, shouldn’t he also have a say in your wedding?

To the Groom – Hey… step it up. I know you’ve thought about marrying this woman. You’ve probably even thought of a processional song, or maybe just what songs you want at the reception. Speak up! She needs to know you care. So show her you’re present by being present in the planning. That makes her feel valued and I’m trying to clue you in to the female psyche. Pay Attention!

To the Wedding Party – Listen up here folks. Your guidelines are basic, this wedding ISN’T ABOUT YOU… AT ALL!!!! Seriously, this wedding has nothing to do with you. It’s not your marriage! It’s not your lifetime commitment! It’s not your soulmate! It’s not your vows! It’s not your rings! So, just STOP IT!!! Stop the incessant complaining. You don’t like the dress? Who cares! The bride likes the dress, suck it up! You don’t like the venue? Who cares! You’re not paying for it! Let’s get this straight, unless you’re living in some back hills where you have no choices in your life, then you were ASKED to be in the wedding party and you could have DECLINED!!! So suck it up and shut up, or MOVE ON!!! If I hear about one more bride shedding a tear because her wedding party is filled with selfish twits I’m going to pull out all my hair. Be supportive. You were chosen for this roll. You were asked to be in this wedding party because they love you and value you. So, return the favor, love and value them.

I’ll leave you with this. A long time ago I was about 300 pounds and I was in my friends wedding. She chose this silver dress that was nice, but it would hug all my love handles (which were extensive) and just highlight how overweight I was. Someone much smaller than me tried on the dress and it looked fantastic on her. So the bride looks at me and says, “Would you be comfortable in that dress?” My first thought, “NOPE!” But what I said out loud was, “I love you more than anything! If you love that dress, then that’s what I’ll wear. It’s your day, not mine!”

If this is your wedding, enjoy it. Don’t let anyone steal your joy. If you’re in the wedding, don’t be a joy sucker! Be a joy  lifter!!

Follow the Leader

tinkerbellFollowing the leader, the leader, the leader. We’re following the leader wherever he may go. This song ran through my head today after I got done reading Leviticus 8,

I was just struck by Moses’ leadership. Throughout this entire passage (and much of Leviticus so far) it says, “and Moses did as the Lord commanded.” In fact, in this chapter alone, this statement is repeated 7 times. I think if something is being repeated over and over again, we need to pause and pay attention.

So why was it important to repeat this phrase? I think for a couple of reasons:
1) To first give credit to God’s instruction
2) To acknowledge that all of these decisions and practices were meant to honor God and do what God commanded. It wasn’t Moses making all these decisions.
3) To show God’s leadership and how both Moses and Israel were following God.

At the end of Leviticus, in verse 36, we are left with this, “And Aaron and his sons did all the things that the Lord commanded by Moses.” Aaron and his sons followed Moses, and Moses followed God. And since Moses was doing “all the Lord commanded” then by default Aaron and his sons were also doing “all the Lord commanded.” Moses was an amazing Godly leader.

Moses was a good leader because he followed God and inspired others to follow God. Moses was a good leader because he led people down a path that honored God and set God as the only light to follow.

John C. Maxwell said, “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”

You see, you can be a great an amazing leader, but you can lead your followers right off a cliff. You can be an inspiring leader and inspire your followers to commit murder. You can be a dynamic leader and encourage your followers to drink poison and kill themselves. Just because you’re a good leader, doesn’t mean you’re leading people down the Godly path, or even leading yourself correctly for that matter.

I’ll leave you with these thoughts, how are you leading yourself and how are you leading your children, friendships and families? Maybe it’s time to follow a different leader, before you run into Captain Hook.

Following my God, my leader, THE Leader
I’m following my God, WHEREVER He may lead!