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Been Busy

Between working the past 7 days in a row, getting my house and paperwork ready for new tenants, and trying to (and failing miserably) stay on top of the other household chores, I haven’t had a chance to think through the past 3 days’ 30 Things posts. I’ll get to them though. Some are serious. Some are funny. Looking back on them, I’m not quite sure how I came up with some of them. I had originally posted one a day on Facebook and I’m totally excited to look at my Facebook memories every day to see what my topic for the day is. It’s super fun to have a writing prompt every day.

Anyway…. I may be absent from the blog the next couple of days too. More work.

 
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Posted by on May 1, 2016 in Current Events

 

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Vern Eide is the Answer

What is the question?

Someone told me that since neither they nor I have any clue where a girl might run into an eligible bachelor, I should google it.

I mean, since online dating doesn’t work.

And since in-person dating doesn’t work either.

Google has to have some kind of answer.

I found the answer on TV. I think it was channel 11.

After finding the answer on channel 11, I searched for it on google so I could link to the answer so everyone would know the secret.

Apparently, Vern Eide isn’t prepared to have The Answer plastered all over the world.

The answer is, you have to buy a car from Vern Eide.

The latest commercial has this girl at a convenience store and she literally bumps into a cute guy and he hears a snippet of the song she’s listening to and he says “I love that song” and they smile sweetly at each other and walk out the door together.

Because good things happen when you buy a car at Vern Eide. It’s The Eide Effect.

Now to commence with the money hoarding. Finding a husband sounds expensive.

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2016 in Current Events

 

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30 Things, 4 Years Later: Day 19

30 Things to Accomplish in my 30s: Day 19

#19 Avoid making decisions based solely on fear.

I think this one made the list simply because today, I needed to be reminded that decisions that are made because we feel afraid or insecure tend to be not-so-good decisions.

Because today, I could make all kinds of decisions because of bad things that could happen. I’ve had a bunch of unknowns pop up lately. And it would be so nice to do the safe thing.

Faith or fear? Faith or fear? What’s it going to be?

I might have done too well on this goal. I bought a house for crying out loud! I bought a house against the recommendations of everyone who offered an opinion.

I went back to school. I went back to school terrified that I’d flunk out — or even worse, I’d get through all the classes and then not be able to pass the NCLEX for licensure.

I started orthodontia, knowing that I might have to have surgery, which would have been a nightmare on many levels. (It turned out that I didn’t have to have surgery!)

When you’re a grownup, you have to make lots of decisions that involve choosing between the safe option and the unknown. I used to always choose the safe option. I’ve learned that being safe all the time is almost always boring and more often than not, it’s not the healthiest choice or the choice that will bring the most peace and joy.

For those who struggle with choosing the courageous option, the risky option, the option that requires the most faith — for all of us, including myself, I want to close with this:

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.
Surely He will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with His feathers and under His wings you will find refuge.
His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand
but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.
If you make the Most High your dwelling
even the Lord, who is my refuge
Then no harm will befall you.
No disaster will come near your tent.
For He will command His angels concerning you,
to guard you in all your ways,
they will lift you up in their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
Because he loves me says the Lord,
I will rescue him; I will protect him for he acknowledges my name.
He will call upon me and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble.
I will deliver him and honor him. with long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.
Psalm 91

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2016 in 30 Things

 

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30 Things, 4 Years Later: Day 18

30 Things to Accomplish in my 30s: Day 18

#18 As much as is possible, avoid sacrificing tact on the altar of truth.

What this means is that if it can’t be said kindly, it probably doesn’t need to be said.

This one comes and goes.

I stumbled across this article this evening and it explains beautifully how and why tact is sometimes absent in everyday conversations.

It’s because hurt people hurt people.

No, it’s not ok to hurt someone emotionally, physically, or any other way. It’s also not ok to use past (or present) pain as an excuse to inflict pain on someone else.

But, our own pain is the reason we speak and behave unkindly.

I suppose you could say that this goal could be reworded “deal with my pain so I can be a healer instead of a hurter.”

As I said before, it comes and goes.

Lately, things have been particularly painful and difficult and I’m sure I’ve been less than kind on several occasions.

And for that, to those I’ve hurt, I apologize.

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2016 in 30 Things

 

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30 Things, 4 Years Later: Day 17

I read this article this evening and it reminded me of my 17th goal.

30 Things to Accomplish in my 30s: Day 17
#17 (Original wording) Raise awareness for victims of domestic violence. This does not mean wearing a ribbon, posting underwear colors or even raising money. It means educating people as to what sorts of things are classified as abuse. It means developing relationships with victims and helping them see their value and purpose. It means teaching parents how to raise kids who are neither victims nor abusers. It means putting forth time and effort in order to eradicate domestic violence from our society. I’m really passionate about this because heathy families equal a healthy society. And every child deserves to live in a non-chaotic, non-violent, healthy and happy home.

I spent many years prior to moving to SD being deeply involved in ministry and leadership at the church I attended. Then things happened. Jesus did something in me. I had been really…. arrogant, I guess. I looked down on people who weren’t as “righteous” as me. I avoided people who were different.
 
And then I became the “different” one. It’s a long story, but suffice it to say that I went from top of the heap to bottom of the pile in my social circle. I learned what it was like to be treated the way I had treated other people.
 
I spent a lot of time on my face, sobbing and crying out to God to fix it.
 
He didn’t fix it.
 
Some things happened. One person wanted to reconcile, but by the time she had gotten to that point, I had begun to realize that I had learned many of those habits from her and I didn’t want to be that way, so I said no.
 
For two and a half years, I spent most of my spare time on my face on the floor, sobbing and asking for things to change.
 
The thing that changed was me.
 
I finally began to have a small understanding of grace.
 
I looked at the people around me. Not the pastors. Not the deacons. Not the elders. Not the wealthy people who had it all together. Not the married people. Not the people who had good careers and natural abilities to do wonderful things.
 
I looked at the addicts. I looked at the broken people. The ones who had their first babies when they were 13 and the ones who were on their 4th marriages. I looked at the ones with mental illness and physical illness and the ones who had had abortions and the broken families. I looked at the moms whose hearts were breaking because their sons or daughters were dying from alcoholism or drug addiction. I looked at the children who had been abused, the mothers who had to choose between a “godly home” (staying with a spouse who was abusive) and a safe home.
 
I looked at those things and I think I saw what Jesus sees when He looks at us. I didn’t see sin. I saw broken people. Scared people. People who need love and support and a place they can call home filled with people they can call family.
 
I looked at those people and I saw myself.
 
A broken person, desperate for love.
 
I looked at those people and I said, “But for the grace of God, that would be me.”
 
When one has that kind of revelation, one of two things happens.
 
The person could get incredibly stuck up. “Oh, yeah. Look at me! I just happened to escape all these horrible things that other people struggle with every day.”
 
Or, they can be incredibly humbled.
 
The latter happened to me. I began to be more open and friendly. I had tasted the grace of God and I was eager to extend it to all who came. It was a beautiful time in my life — except for one thing.
 
The church hated this change in me.
 
The straw that broke the camel’s back was that I was a friend to a woman who had chosen to leave her abusive husband and I was as much of a protector to their sweet baby girl as I could be.
 
I could go into a bunch of detail about this, but I’ll spare you. I got really familiar, really fast, with the resources available to battered spouses and victims of domestic violence. I also got really familiar with how little law enforcement wants to be involved. I got really familiar with the retaliatory tactics of abusive spouses. I learned what abuse is and how to spot it and how to get away from it. I learned how it hurts children for generations to come.

I learned that domestic violence has got to end.

I haven’t been closely involved with shelters or anything like that because my life has been so busy with so many things.

When I converse with people and learn of people experiencing violence in their homes, I try to provide education and options. If I can, I take women and kids into my home so they can be safe. I do whatever I can, whenever I can to see people as Jesus sees them — broken people who need love.

Learn more about domestic violence by clicking here.

If you need help, click here.
A book for women in abusive relationships.
Understand why abusers do what they do.
Understand how childhood trauma affects people into adulthood.
 
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Posted by on April 26, 2016 in 30 Things

 

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Stumbling

I was talking tonight with a friend of mine about ridiculous things that have happened to us at the hands of pastors and elders and whatnot from “Christian” churches.

I don’t think that a lot of what happens in churches and between clergy and congregants is necessarily something that Jesus would condone and I don’t think He would be pleased with a large chunk of it.

I have to put quotation marks around the word “Christian” after the things I’ve experienced. Many of those things have been decidedly un-Christian. Many of those things have caused me to question my faith and whether God is really real and if He really loves me. The very places where we are supposed to go to learn and grow and be nurtured and protected have been more painful than helpful for me.

Believing is hard when the place you’re supposed to go to get watered and cared for is a war zone.

Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come. It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble.” Luke 17:1-2

I’m not sure how one would process those verses with this situation. Obviously, Jesus is compassionate to the broken and the oppressed. He has no tolerance for those who break and oppress.

If you’re broken and oppressed, Jesus loves you. Jesus weeps for you. Jesus wants to crush everything that is breaking you and oppressing you.

I don’t know what that means when the breakers and the oppressors are at church. What does it mean when a pastor lies about you? What does it mean when the church’s agenda is to control every little detail of your life and keep you in perpetual childhood? What does it mean when the people who think they’re serving Jesus use their “ministry” as a means to micromanage every last detail of your life?

Believing is hard when the people who are supposed to demonstrate Jesus to you use their “authority” in ways that hurt you.

I want to believe. I really, really do.

The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)

The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace. (Psalm 29:11)

I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.
(Psalm 27:13-14)

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2016 in Rants

 

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30 Things, 4 Years Later: Day 16

30 Things to Accomplish in my 30s: Day 16

#16 Something about eating breakfast every day.

I love breakfast. I don’t eat it every day, but I do have an unhealthy obsession with IHOP and I’m willing to eat breakfast any time of the day or night.

That being said….

This one is a huge fail.

The only time I eat breakfast is when I go to my friend’s house for brunch, or when I eat at IHOP or Perkins, which could happen at any time of the day.

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2016 in 30 Things

 

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