Spirit Sunday: Perseverance & Patience

“If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.”
-Buddhist Proverb

When the world says, “Give up,”
Hope whispers, “Try it one more time.”
~Author Unknown

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
-Galatians 5:22-23

“The fates have given mankind a patient soul.”
-Homer

I could find thousands of quotes to share about perseverance and patience. None of them change the fact that it is HARD to keep on hoping, sometimes. Most of us do it, though. We wake up every day and keep on going, often against the current, trying our best to make the best of things.

I have a lot to be thankful for. I know I am blessed and lucky. I have family, friends, a roof over my head and food to eat. I try to focus on that, but I also have to continually think about how I can make other areas in my life better. It’s harder than it sounds.

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Separation of Church and Perry

The letter that follows is from the Houston Clergy Council. It is written to Gov. Perry in response to his planned prayer event, “The Response.” I thought it was worth sharing, which is why you now find it here. Perhaps we would be better off if Perry were to go into seminary instead of politics…

“June 13, 2011

As Houston clergy, we write to express our deep concern over Governor Rick Perry’s proclamation of a day of prayer and fasting at Houston’s Reliant Stadium on August 6th. In our role as faith leaders, we encourage and support prayer, meditation, and spiritual practice. Yet our governor’s religious event gives us pause for a number of reasons:
We believe in a healthy boundary between church and state. Out of respect for the state, we believe that it should represent all citizens equally and without preference for religious or philosophical tradition. Out of respect for religious communities, we believe that they should foster faithful ways of living without favoring one political party over another. Keeping the church and state separate allows each to thrive and upholds our proud national tradition of empowering citizens to worship freely and vote conscientiously. We are concerned that our governor has crossed the line by organizing and leading a religious event rather than focusing on the people’s business in Austin.
We also express concern that the day of prayer and fasting at Reliant Stadium is not an inclusive event. As clergy leaders in the nation’s fourth largest city, we take pride in Houston’s vibrant and diverse religious landscape. Our religious communities include Bahais, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Unitarian Universalists, and many other faith traditions. Our city is also home to committed agnostics and atheists, with whom we share common cause as fellow Houstonians. Houston has long been known as a “live and let live” city, where all are respected and welcomed. It troubles us that the governor’s prayer event is not open to everyone. In the publicized materials, the governor has made it clear that only Christians of a particular kind are welcome to pray in a certain way. We feel that such an exclusive event does not reflect the rich tapestry of our city.
Our deepest concern, however, lies in the fact that funding for this event appears to come from the American Family Association, an organization labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The American Family Association and its leadership have a long track record of anti-gay speech and have actively worked to discriminate against the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community. The American Family Association and its leadership have also been stridently anti-Muslim, going so far as to question the rights of Muslim Americans to freely organize and practice their faith. We believe it is inappropriate for our governor to organize a religious event funded by a group known for its discriminatory stances.

As religious leaders, we commit to join with all Houstonians in working to make our city a better place. We will lead our communities in prayer, meditation, and spiritual practice. We ask that Rick Perry leave the ministry to us and refocus his energy on the work of governing our state.
Signed,
Rev. Dr. Jeremy Rutledge, Minister, Covenant Church, Alliance of Baptists/American Baptist Churches
Rev. Douglas Anders, Conference Minister, South Central Conference of the United Church of Christ
Rev. Paul Beedle, Unitarian Universalist
Rev. Dr. Ginny Brown Daniel, Minister, Plymouth United Church, UCC
Rev. Beth Ellen Cooper-Davis, Minister, Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Church
Rev. Michael Diaz, Director of Connections, Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church
Rev. Pat Farnan, Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church
Rev. Lura Groen, Pastor, Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church
Rev. Teddy Hardy, Minister, St. John United Church of Christ
Rev. Lori Keaton, United Church of Christ
Rev. Harry Knox, Senior Pastor, Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church
Rev. Janice Ladd, Executive Pastor, Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church
Rev. Dr. Becky Edmiston-Lange, Co-Minister, Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church
Rev. Mark Edmiston-Lange, Co-Minister, Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church
Rev. Mona Lopez, Volunteer Staff Clergy, Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church
Rev. Laura Mayo, Minister, Covenant Church, Alliance of Baptists/American Baptist Churches
Rev. Dr. Daniel O’Connell, Senior Minister, First Unitarian Universalist Church
Rev. David Pantermuehl, Grace United Church of Christ
Rev. Adam Robinson, Assistant Minister, First Unitarian Universalist Church
Rev. Ken Richter, Senior Minister, First Congregational Church, UCC
Rev. Bill Royster, United Church of Christ
Rev. Sam Schaal, Transition Minister, Bay Area Unitarian Universalist Church
Rev. Robert Tucker, Foundation for Contemporary Theology
Rev. Bonnie Vegiard, Unitarian Universalist”

Flashback Friday: Me…With a Gun

This is me. Holding a gun. What. The. Heck?

Today, as a rational, educated, 32-year-old married mother of two, I honestly dislike guns for the most part. I mean, sure, if you’re planning on hunting to put food on the table (especially MY table) and you have been trained and certified in all safety areas, then guns really don’t sound so bad. Handguns and other items that belong in your personal arsenal? Nope. Not so much.

I don’t want to get overly political (shocking, I know), so I’ll keep it rather tame (don’t roll your eyes at me). Regardless of all of the precautions my parents took, and even if this were a “relatively” harmless BB gun, this picture still shocks me every time I see it…and I was THERE! That is ME holding a GUN!

I don’t even like my children to play with toy guns, which isn’t to say they’ve never had water guns or the like. I don’t think I will ever willingly give them a weapon of any magnitude, even just to pose in a picture. I don’t want them to be near guns. Perhaps I’m being overprotective, but I’m completely ok with that. I also won’t let my children ride in my lap, “driving” the car…or sit in the back seat without a seat belt, much less a car seat. Maybe it’s not a miracle that my generation and those before me all grew up happy and healthy. I, for one, am glad of the new precautions that we take these days in order to prolong our lives and increase the safety of ourselves and our children. It certainly was a different time just a short 25 years ago, wasn’t it?

Girls Night Out: Geriatric Style

I admit it. I have a fabulous husband…most of the time. 🙂 We argue, bicker, and nag each other like most every other normal couple I know. One thing he never does is complain when I want to hang out with my friends. Being a mom, this isn’t extremely often, but when it happens, it’s great to have his support.

In the past week I’ve been blessed to have fabulous friends that have encouraged me to just get out of the house and sit with them in a different setting. I’ve been to happy hour with my BFF and her sister, another awesome friend of mine, and had a fantabulous margarita. I’ve also been to my friend, K’s house, where we sat outside on her porch with a bottle of wine playing Rummy-O and chatting for literally hours!

If it weren’t for these friends at this moment in my life, I am pretty sure I would be a hermit. I would do all of my shopping online and “let” my husband get groceries or anything else we needed. (Isn’t it nice of me to be so generous with giving out chores and errands?)

Why don’t I hang out with my girlfriends more often? That’s pretty easy, at least on the surface. One, I’m a mom and I have a responsibility to my two beautiful children. My hubby never minds flying solo with them, but I like to be there for them anyway. Two, I’m currently unemployed (and hoping to remedy that soon). We are trying to subsist on one teacher salary, which is a feat in creative budgeting, to say the least. Not having ANY extra money to play with often precludes me going out to most places my friends want to go to. And three, I’m not as young as I used to be, which may sound like a really lame excuse but it’s true. I don’t go out just to “be seen” anymore (did I really ever do that?!?). I’m not looking for a mate, obviously. I’m perfectly happy sitting at home, watching my children play, crocheting a nice afghan or reading a great book. Yes, at the grand old age of 32 I am an avid crocheter and I’m not afraid to admit it. Maybe that’s a true sign of old age, but I don’t care.

If my friends and I all had more time and money and babysitters, we might possibly hang out every single week or more often! Or, maybe not…because I think we would get tired of each other, as much as we love each other. Since we don’t get to hang out all the time, it is very special when we are able.  I imagine sometimes when all of our children are grown and away at college, that we will plan vacations together to exotic locales where we can dream of lurid affairs with cabana boys half our age. We’ll sit and reminisce about our glory days in college and brag about how successful our children are. I suppose it’s not really the quantity, in this case how often we hang out together, as much as it is the quality of the time we get to spend with each other. If that’s the truth, my friends and I are doing just fine!

Mama’s Losin’ It

Wordless Wednesday: My Metamorphosis


Top Ten Ideas for Top Ten Lists

Top Ten {Tuesday}

Knowing that it’s been on its way, I’ve been wracking my brain to come up with a top ten list to share today. I came up with many ideas, but that’s where it stopped. I just couldn’t find it in me this week to pump out a complete list…except for this: My top ten ideas for future top ten lists. Consider it a sneak peak into (hopefully) the next ten weeks. Now that I have a spring board, I’m hoping I’ll be able to bounce them out quite easily. So, here’s what I’ve been thinking:

10. Reasons I really need a job (among which is my sanity)

9. Things I Worry About (I could probably do an entire year’s worth on this one)

8. Places I Want to Visit (and why)

7. Things I Want to Teach My Children (from the mundane to the profound, I hope I can narrow it down!)

6. Favorite Cheesy Movies (you know…those movies you’re kind of embarassed to say you like)

5. Gadgets I’d Like to Spend (Waste) Money On (this one will be SOOOOO easy!)

4. Pet Peeves (overdone, perhaps, and always changing…could be insightful)

3. Chores I Hate (maybe this one is too inclusive…)

2. Things I Would/Wouldn’t Change About My Life (I could go either way on this one…so maybe it will be two posts!)

1. Irrational Fears (even if I think they’re logical)

Next Tuesday, you’ll probably see one of the above topics. Which one should I start with?

Flashback Friday: She Poked My Eye!

My cousin, Krisha, and I, circa 1979. Parents are mean.

And the chair…THE CHAIR!!! Seriously. I hope someone burned it.

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