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masculinity is not a four letter word

Riding the bus during my childhood school years became my first memories of boys and bullying and the inexcusable being excused. These boys were older and they were, by far, worse than any "mean girls" I've encountered since. They were persistent and loud. They were relentless and aggressive. and they were never stopped.

My first encounter of being groped was on that very same bus. A different boy but just as aggressive, just as persistent, just as relentless. A foundation had already been formed. I was less than and had no voice, no backbone, no knowledge to fight this surrounding system of boys will be boys. and I never stopped him.

Years later, I would encounter this same attitude in the workplace, the one that had me trying to avoid the handsy cook in the walk-in, that had me laughing off customers advances so that I could make enough tips to support myself, that had me scared because a forceful patron had followed me home from my job at the bar and now knew where I…
Recent posts

smashing the ceiling...with love

I am not going to tread lightly here. I am going to stomp over feelings and mindsets and long-accepted ideas and traditional avenues of right and wrong. I am going to speak bluntly, transparently, from my heart. I am going to shed light on my perspective, illuminating the path that has driven me to my truth. I am going to smash the ceiling of religion. I don't ask you to agree, only to be respectful of my narrative.

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Growing up inside of a conservative home, inside of a conservative religion, smack dab in the midst of  conservative country, led to some pretty conservative experiences. I played the game, never questioning the black and white truths being preached at me from every angle. I swallowed them down and regurgitated them on command. Do this, don't do that. This is right, that is wrong. Your aim is heaven, but it looks like we are all doomed to hell.   . Disillusioned with this overly narrow road that my exceedingly wide thinking never seems to fit onto, I hav…

why I waited

That night is shrouded in a dense, alcohol fueled fog. I remember most of it, but it is the feelings that stand out as markers throughout the experience. I cannot tell you what he looked like, but I can tell you how he made me feel.

Comforted, accepted, whole, safe, wanted.

I didn't know him at all. He showed up at a party. I was feeling sad, alone, insecure. He said all the right words, did all the right things. I had no reason to fear him. yet. I cannot tell you what his car looked like, but I can tell you that my intuition screamed at me the moment I was inside of it.

Get. Out!

I ignored her, as I unfortunately do at times. Besides, the charm was still there - why would I worry? We talked and drove and I remember thinking, 'well maybe this night isn't a total bust'. I cannot tell you where we were, but I can tell you that fear was making her presence known. And when I asked to go back and he refused, she settled into the pit of my stomach. and some days, I'm not…

what marriage counseling taught me...lesson #6

We have grown apart.

I have heard this as a reason to end relationships, both of the married and of the friend kind.

We are no longer on the same path.
We no longer see eye to eye on this, or any, matter. 
He changed, she changed, they changed, I changed.

We all change. If a person doesn't change, I am concerned for them. honestly. Every new day brings more opportunities for growth, for an expansion of who we are, a progressive transformation into who we are becoming. I understand the fear of change. I spent too much time stuck in the miry mess of worry over who I was, anxiety over who I could be, frozen in a state of doing what I thought was expected, while never being who I was created to be. Being liberated from that chaos has brought a freedom to not only accept this metamorphosis of mine, but to welcome it.

As I have traveled this road of transition, I have learned so many lessons. Among them is the lesson that change is indeed beautiful. As I give myself permission to change,…

racism inside of america...part 1 - in the church

Because this post also fits into another of my series - where the church gets it wrong - I will add the same disclaimer:

I desire open, honest, and nonjudgmental communication from all people and all views and all ideas. The words of my posts are simply my own thoughts on how the church (When I say "church", I mean as a whole entity, not necessarily one denomination or actual building, etc., but as I see her, the Bride of Jesus, of which I am a part. I do not mean to condemn or judge her as an outsider, but simply to encourage her to even greater love, from the inside out. I also acknowledge my own involvement in the past (and even now) in less than stellar behavior before fully grasping just how deep and wide and far the grace and love of our Father flows.) can fully be operational in His Love.

Racism. It's a dressed up word for an ugliness that this country seems unable, or unwilling, to purge itself from. The struggles have been long and hard for all people of …

the give and take

Somewhere, somehow, we've picked up this belief that relationships are a 50/50 endeavor. You give and I give. You take and I take. We have these preconceived allocations of how much, and it has to be a perfect balance, an equivalent counterweight.

It's a misguided notion that ends with unmet expectations, both from others and of ourselves. If, at any point, the other takes more, gives less, we run to our drawing board, we add and subtract, we calculate the answers based on ourintentions. And they come up lacking. 

Or, we constantly measure ourselves against the others actions. Are we giving enough? Are we taking too much? Do our own insecurities cause us to tip the scales unfairly? We are desperate to maintain some semblance of uniformity. And we come up lacking.

We each separately draw this arbitrary line, calling it "the middle", the meeting ground of our equal give and take. We do our part and we wait, impatiently at our line in the sand, watching for the others coun…

what marriage counseling taught me...lesson #5

The journey for us started 21 months ago. It has been one of the best gifts that we have ever given ourselves. We’ve grown in ways that we only imagined before and can honestly say that our marriage is stronger, deeper, and better than ever before. We are living in the best, that elusive place we longed for.

I don’t mind sharing our journey with all of you. Sooner or later, all of the pieces of my life make it into these pages. This post is one of those pieces that I’ve kept to myself and my close others for awhile. This part of our journey has been mine alone.

...

5 sessions in and I knew. We couldn’t continue until I found some healing. What I was searching for with us - a whole, healthy relationship - was being hindered by my own brokenness. I was dragging every piece of my shattered life, from childhood on, into this marriage and expecting...

...Expecting him to fix me, to fix all the tarnished and busted parts; to climb down from his white horse, in his shiny armor, and be the …