Thursday, July 26, 2012

Intolerance- Thy Name Is...Misconstrued

Chic-Fil-A has been getting a lot of flak about their stand on heterosexual marriage. Gay rights activists are shouting about the company's intolerance and plan rallies and 'kiss-ins' in protest. I don't get it.

Intolerance means something won't be tolerated. Did Chic-Fil-A state they wouldn't allow gays to eat there? No. Have they gotten all of their employees together and rallied at the local gay support groups to protest? No. All they said was they support a man-woman marriage. They never said 'We Hate Gays'. Sounds to me like the ones who are suffering from intolerance are the very ones making these claims against the Christian-based company. Again, I don't get it.

They want the right of free speech. They want the right to their beliefs. They want to be able to promote their opinions (and their businesses opinions) the way they see fit- yet when someone else does the same thing- and it's against their own opinion- there is a great cry of 'Intolerance!' and they rally around the so-called offender until they see things their way.

Sorry, but that's bullying. Chic-Fil-A is not the one doing the wrong thing here. Those who are fighting Chic-Fil-A are the ones who show the most intolerance. Bullying is not accepted in our schools, so why is this type of behavior acceptable in society?

I encourage you who are supportive of a man-woman marriage to go to Chic-Fil-A and show your support- even if you can only afford the one dollar ice cream cone. Let them know that you're there for them, and you believe in a biblical marriage too. Write to the company president and tell him. Blog it. Facebook it. Share this post. Do what you can against this bullying that's being misconstrued as intolerance.

They are allowed their opinions, but by God's Will, so are we- and it's time to let them know we are done being bullied about our beliefs.

And to those at Chic-Fil-A...Don't let the bullies win!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Menstrual 'Pains'

This wonderful fact of life occurs from puberty to 'whenever it feels like stopping' regularly, or irregularly. But there's one rule that's consistent regarding this stage of life-  it never happens when it's convenient.

Why is it that:

We bloat like balloons for at least two weeks, then pee for two days straight after it shows up?

Even after all that water loss, we never lose an ounce?

When the sugar/salties hit us, it makes us eat weird things like pretzel coated ice cream or chocolate-covered potato chips?

It always shows up in the middle of the night, right before a big event, during a vacation, or when we're wearing white pants/shorts? Or when we're teens, and we have to do a problem on the blackboard?

We can never find the ibuprofen when we need it, even though we know we have an elephant-sized bottle in the house or in our purse?

Our body temperatures go from volcanic to arctic the moment we get the sheets off?

No one has invented a fan in the floor that will blow up our nightgowns to cool us down?

Just when we need the most comfort, we can't stand being touched?

We get an icky surprise when we sneeze or cough, yet we can't just bear down for a few hours straight and get it over with faster? (boy, if we could do this, we might not have problems with the 'night before a vacation/big event' thing!)

They make the pads so thin you can't feel them, but you also can't tell if you're totally protected? I want one I can feel, so I know I'm covered!

Certain companies added wings to the pads? Oh sure, they protect the underwear (sort of), but don't they curl around the panty and face the inside of your pants? That's a bad thing...right? (especially if they're white pants?)

The cramps can be so bad that even if you sat on a volcano, the heat wouldn't be enough to give you relief.

Just when you think it's done and relax, it decides to show up for one last huzzah- right when you have no backup in your purse?

And men wonder why we're so grumpy this time of the month. 

One of these days I'm going to write a spoof of 'The Twelve Days of Christmas' based on this (if it isn't out already, that is). I think the women of the world could use a good laugh!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Living a Nail Polish Existence?

For the past two weeks I've been having fun with my daughter painting our nails all kinds of interesting colors. Last week it was pearly pink with purple glitter, this week it was dark purple with purple glitter (yes, I like purple glitter on my nails!), and this week? I have yet to decide. 

I chipped off the old polish (which was chipping and falling off anyway), and began choosing my new color (one that will probably don purple glitter) when I noticed my nails. Stuff I didn't see after I don the polish.

There was a little dirt, some uneven spots, and a few nicks in my nails. Not big ones mind you, but enough that I knew I had to trim them a little and do that nail board thing to shape and smooth them. A nail goddess I surely ain't- I had to look up nail care advice on the Internet first!

God decided to turn this recent little vanity into a lesson. Only when I removed the pretty polish did I notice my nails needed work. How many times have we done this in our spiritual lives? How many times have we covered up some blemish in our hearts with a little purple sparkle? How many times have we quickly chosen another color to brush on so we don't have to look at the dirt under our souls? 

More importantly, do we even bother to try cleaning that stuff out before we add a new coat of polish?

Personally, I don't like the idea of dirt under my nails before I polish them. I like the feeling I get when I do a job well (like staying in the stinkin' nail-bed and not hitting my skin- which isn't often), and that means cleaning the nails, shaping all the rough spots and washing my hands before I start polishing them. If I don't, I feel like I have zombie nails under all that color. 
And no, I'm not a nail diva- the second the polish is dry I'm back in the kitchen getting chips in it by washing the dishes. 

I like the feeling that my nails are as good as I can get them before I make them pretty. I also like the feeling I get when I get rid of some soul dirt. That makes me feel pretty too!

Do your nails reflect your spirit? Do you need to trim this, smooth out that? Have you regretted doing something and feel a little grit in your soul when you think about it? You don't need colorful polish- just do your best to get your spirit right, pray, and let God's colors shine through you!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Seeing With New Eyes

I want you to do something for me after you read this paragraph. I want you to close your eyes for a few minutes. Why? For two reasons. One, I want you to use your other senses to 'see' your environment, and Two, to get a better perspective on things. Closing your eyes will allow you to imagine your life differently. I want you to forget what your messes look like, and allow yourself to create the life you really want in your mind. Not only your home, but your inner self life as well. What would you come up with if you could make any changes? Do this for at least two minutes, and remember to keep it positive.
Ready, Set, GO!

What happened? Did you imagine a life without clutter, or did you imagine the house smelling of fresh-baked bread? Was your life less stressful? Did you find joy in hearing your children playing in the background? Write down what you 'saw' in your mind. Does it compare with your current life? Can you look around and see what changes you can make for the better? Did you pray? Did your mind wander?

Did you do a little bit of everything?

This weekend God opened my eyes to many things- self reflection isn't always pretty, but can change your life once you realize that you are the one who can change things if you don't like them. That includes your environment as well as your inner being. 

If there's not enough joy in your life, you need to make room for it. It can be something small- for me it was an 'out of the box' moment- I bought nail polish for my daughter and I. One was pink shimmer, and the other was clear with purple sparkles. Both of us now don pink nails with the purple sparkles on top, and we look awesome! I barely have nails to paint (and it always chips off when I do the dishes), but it doesn't matter- when that sparkle catches my eye, it makes me smile. And my daughter loves to chip it off the next day so we can have another nail-painting session.

Don't get me wrong, she loves the polish- but it's the time I spend with her that matters. And yes, I'm going back to the dollar store for more colors so we can try new things!

When doing this self- reflecting, I've learned a lot about myself- and what I don't like I'm changing. You can too- just stop making excuses (like I used to) and do it. Make yourself and your environment better. Step out of that box - it hinders the view of the horizon!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

Change is never easy. 

If you're like me, you hate having to step outside of your Comfort Zone. It doesn't matter if the change is large or small- if you tend to resist change, your reactions will reflect in the size of that change, whether it be ant-sized or the size of an elephant.

Think of your comfort zone as a balloon. You leave it alone for a while and it starts to shrink- but if you untie the knot and blow fresh air into it regularly, it expands and widens your perspective. The problem is people are so afraid of popping their Comfort Zone balloons that they don't even try to untie the knot- and their comfort zone shrivels up like an old grape, with them feeling trapped inside.

We have to step out of our comfort zones on a regular basis- We become stagnant and afraid if we don't!

Let me give you a few examples:

1. We plan to buy a home for the first time. It will be cheaper than renting, but fear is causing me to hesitate. What if we can't handle the responsibilities? What if we miss a payment? What if the house leaks, or we have rats the size of horses? What if the place collapses five minutes after settlement?

This is how my thoughts run when I become afraid- they jump from reasonable to mind-numbing unreality. Here's another:

2. I'm working on becoming a public speaker. What if my topics are uninteresting? What if I stutter or my voice shakes during a talk? What if I forget what I'm talking about? What if they hate me and either fall asleep or start pelting me with fruit? What if my clothes decide to pop a button or rip during my presentation, and fall off because I'm shaking so badly?

You see what I'm taking about here? It doesn't matter if it's big or small, my fearful reaction to stepping out of my comfort zone will only yield one result if I let the fear take control. I'll stay in my Comfort Zone and do nothing, where my fear wants me to be. 

But that's not where God wants me to be.

When my thoughts run this little gambit, God tells me to answer in faith. He wants us to step out of our Comfort Zones. He wants us to expand as His followers. He wants us to grow, become confident, and face our fears, no matter how big or small. Why? Because He's right there beside us, egging us on or holding out His arms to catch us if we fail.

No, change is never easy. But it's necessary to become a better, more confident person. 

Face your fears. Step outside your Comfort Zone. Expand that balloon and see where it takes you. You might be surprised where you end up!