You’re All a Bunch of Hypocrites!

Myself included.

There seems to be so much judgement going around lately, I can feel myself becoming desensitized to it. If we’ve got a scoop on someone; if we’ve got evidence of their imperfections, we relish with evil glee in sharing it with the world.It is even more fun to contrast what someone says, with what they do. Because, of course, we are not guilty of having done that very thing ourselves in the past, and thus it is delightfully rare to find such a specimen who does so.

My frustration derives from the observation that, those who throw around the word “Hypocrite” most frequently, usually do not hold themselves to the same, (or even a different) standard, yet take it into their hands to deem one as not respectable, a “douche-bag”; and to twist the accountability card, claiming the individual in question to have said one thing, and then to have done the opposite.

My question is, who hasn’t?

Who hasn’t run into work or class late, apologizing to the glaring boss or instructor saying ” I’m sorry, it won’t happen again!” but then ended up being late again sometime down the road?

Who hasn’t said ” I don’t really drink”, then had a rough day and downed much more than they should have?

Who hasn’t said “I’ll call you!” and not done so?

Who hasn’t said “Picking your nose is gross!” then waited until they were alone to do that very thing?

Who hasn’t said “I’m religious” or ” I believe in _____” and NOT broken at least ONE rule of said religion/belief?

If you have never been guilty of any such thing, I applaud and admire you.

Now, Have you ever called someone else a hypocrite? Why?

If I have a friend in the church, who I know to have the same beliefs as myself, and hear that she is doing something contrary to these beliefs, should I, as one who knows and understands her beliefs, talk to her and confront her about these things?
Yeah, probably.
The Church for me, is a place full of other broken people, lifting up and encouraging each other, because we know no one is perfect. We know everyone falls; we know everyone makes mistakes. But because we are on an equal playing field, we can hold each other accountable.

When I hear someone say “They’re a Hypocrite!”, I can’t help but think, who are you to determine that? How can you hold someone accountable to their supposed beliefs, when there is seemingly none in which you yourself are to be held accountable?

I get it –

We just want to believe in people. We want to trust that, when they say they do or do not do something, they mean it.

However, instead of turning into gossips, can’t we just talk to that “hypocrite”? Can’t we lovingly say. “Hey, I don’t mean to sound judgmental, but I thought you said you didn’t drink?” Maybe we would learn something we didn’t know before. Maybe we’d find out we had actually heard wrong. Maybe they would say it’s none of our +#$% business.
But I think attempting to understand, is a better way to love people than to smack a label on them and shove them aside.

Wouldn’t you agree?

Or no?

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I had a Vision…

I saw a sign…
Suddenly, I just knew –
that was what I had to do.

Have you ever stepped into something new, and knew 100% that was where you were supposed to be? Knew 100% that, that was where God wanted you?

Well, my confession is, I rarely feel 100% sure about anything. I over-analyze and allow myself to become plagued with self-doubt. And I think, God, I know it’s a silly thing to ask, but can you just give me a sign? Something bright and flashy; or even a thumbs up? Because I’m just not… 100% sure…
So I pray and wait. And wait. Until suddenly a deadline in some form forces me to commit, or not commit. I fill in the form; I hit ‘Apply’. I take a deep breath. I wait again. This time though, instead of waiting for the ‘go-ahead’ from God, I am waiting for a sudden and abrupt ‘STOP’ sign.
Nothing happens. Three months later and still nothing. (That is, of the miraculous and unexplained variety, that I sort of mentioned a second ago. Nope. No bright and flashy whatsoever. )
So maybe nothing is a good sign?

I sure hope so.

Now 8 years out of high school,  I have decided to  go back to school. It was an option that had tugged at the back of my brain, on and off, for the past few years, but for what would I go back for?  I requested information packages every year; some were studied almost religiously, others not even opened.
Over the years, I grew to realize I love kids. ( Perhaps largely due to the abundance of awesome nephews and nieces I have!) I love to see them learn and grow;  I enjoy their crazy imaginations and their eagerness to share every discovery.
So, I filled in the form, I hit ‘Apply’. And in the Fall, I will begin the Educational Assistant Program.
I’m excited. I’m scared. And I really hope this is where God wants me to be.

On and Off

There are some days, when the lyrics to a Relient K song paint me so well;

“On and off, the clouds have fought for control over the sky;
And lately, the weather has been so bipolar, and consequently so have I.”

There is not one sunny day lately, that isn’t eventually clouded over with rain. I went for a walk. Or attempted to, rather. Halfway down the block, the scheming breeze pulled at my sweater, and I clasped my hand over my collar to keep it out. The ominous clouds approaching from the south choked out the sun, and I soon lost all desire to walk the 30 minutes to Starbucks; instead, promptly turning on my heel back towards home.
So I sit here and dream of somewhere warmer; somewhere with real seasons, real spring and summer, real sunshine, and of course a really nice lake to dip into.
I try to be happy and grateful for whatever I have; for whatever circumstances life brings me to and through.
But sometimes, I just get so darn restless. I long for change. Change that I can see; that I can mold and make happen. Change that I can control.
I have so much freedom, but seem to know not how to retrieve it.  I have a life full of potential and possibilities, but I know not how to unleash it. I have community, but know not how to open up to it and appreciate it.
I have an abundance of blessings,
yet they lay trumped by my self-pitying party.

And yet, through the dark grey clouds, the sun still shines.
And it will set. Then rise again.
No matter how dark and rainy the days may get.

Dear Spring, Don’t be Shy!

I guess I’ve been  a little uninspired lately. At least, in regards to writing. It has been a painfully long winter – as if Spring gathered up all her paint and coloring supplies, took one look at the dirty, dusty canvas that is currently this city, and hopped on the next bus to B.C. instead.
I can’t say I blame her. Sometimes I’m tempted to do the same.
After months of snow and snow, and snow and cold, sometimes I can’t help but feel a little flutter of something new – a little surge of excitement – when the sun finally, and graciously, shines its lovely face upon the land. I think of gardens, and flowers; walks and parks and holidays; I feel the ember of creativity within me glow brighter. I just want to grab a brush and paint the town!

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Today, it was a balmy +8 degrees Celsius. ( Yes, EIGHT) I could hardly contain the Spring within me. I wore a floral print dress to church; I painted  a sunrise, layering color after color – blue, purple, pink, orange, yellow, white! I went for a two-hour walk, snapping photos of my surroundings, while juggling mittens and a café vanilla frappuccino.
I looked to the trees and the water for signs of Spring. But not wanting to be discouraged by its still-lacking presence, I soon turned to architecture, admiring the bricks and stones and windows that made these houses some of the nicest in this city. I suppose I may have been a little bit of a neighborhood creeper, as I took photos of houses in a neighborhood I certainly didn’t belong to.  But I just love to look.

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Sometimes, I want to grab the sun and shine it in all areas of my life. Make my perspective brighter, the future brighter, relationships brighter. To rid myself of the browns and greys that have had me down, and saturate my world with colors and light.
I am grateful that with Christ, we can do exactly that. And then, pay it forward and brighten other lives. 🙂

 

Thirty Things

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I have seen lists on other blogs. To-do lists, wish lists, bucket lists, etc. So in that fashion, I decided I would make a list of my own; 30 things that I hope for/would love to do/will aim to achieve, by my 30th birthday ( 4 years from now). It also happens to fall on the 30th of March; I’m told this makes it my golden birthday.
And so, I present to you my list, in no particular order.

1. Grow our family. Have kids. Or buy a goldfish.

2. Trip to Disneyland or Disney World. (Seriously, am I the only one in this country who hasn’t gone??)

3. Be a student again. Someday. Never too old to learn!

4. Be a part of a play. Because, why not? ( The more dramatic the better. Plus, I can cry on demand. For real.)

5. Travel overseas with the husband. (2 more years of school and then we are FREE!)

6. Get some body art. A piercing, or a tattoo. Something cute, yet classy. Something I won’t regret.

7.  Take a fun artsy class. Like pottery!

8.  Attend a fancy dinner, with evening gowns and tuxedos. And maybe a limo ride too?

9. Make/ Sew some of my own clothing. ( Received a sewing machine for Christmas; gotta put that thing to use!)

10.  Read (from beginning to end!) a Charles Dickens book.

11.  Invest! In gold or silver or stocks of some kind. My savings account is bored with me.

12. Grow my hair out past my ribs.  (Currently sits a few inches past my shoulders) Or  if I get bored with that, go funky.

13. Change of scenery; Live somewhere else for a while. Start anew!
B.C. maybe?

14. Learn to drive a stick-shift. And then take a ride in a hot sports car? 🙂

15. Go on a hot air balloon ride.

16. Change someone’s life (for the better). Eg. Big brother big sister program, or sponsor a child.

17. Go karaoke-ing. At least once.

18. Paint a masterpiece. Then sell it. Or display it with pride on a wall in our home.

* This is harder than I realized! Been making this list for a week…*

19.  A race. Or two or three. That color me rad looks like a lot of fun!

20. Buy a new(er) car; Oh, how I would love to have heat! And no coolant leaks for a change!

21.  Start a small garden. Yay real food!

22. Enjoy a beach in the middle of winter.  ( Because 6 months of winter is TOO Long.)

23. Enter a writing contest. What’s there to lose, right?

24.  Photo shoot. It would be so much fun to feel like a model for a day!

** It’s hard for me to think long-term. Majority of these things I should try to do in the next year; live and love boldly! **

25.  Go to a European food festival. Because they know their food.

26. Be hippies and attend an outdoor concert weekend.

27.  Find a favorite bible verse; how is it that I don’t have one?

28.  Join a sport. Like non-competitive women’s soccer.  I specify non-competitive because I’m quite terrible at most sports.

29. Take spontaneous road trip(s).

30. Meet Norah Jones. She is just super awesome and I love her voice. On a random note, we share the same birthday!

That completes my list.
Hoping I can cross a bunch of these off in the next few years! 🙂
What’s on your list?

New Year’s Resolutions

2014

It’s never too late to set goals for one’s self, right? I’ve had a few ideas floating around in my head regarding how to be a better person; a better Christian, a better wife, a better friend, etc.
So, in no particular order, here is my list:

1)  Eat Healthier / Cook More
~ Okay, so who doesn’t  have this on their list? My husband loves to cook, but between school and work, the opportunity to do so doesn’t come around very often. So lately, it’s been up to me. Meaning, a lot of frozen pizza and toast… Plus, it doesn’t really boost my confidence when my cooking lately seems to turn out only 50% of the time. Baking however, I am a Master of.
( My attempts in such ventures can be found on my ‘Food and Fun’ page:
https://thesleepwalkerswife.wordpress.com/category/food-and-fun/.)

2) Exercise
~ Again, on almost everyone’s list. I have one more kickboxing class, and then I will be on the hunt for something new. Swimming, maybe?

3)  Say Yes
~ I blog about community, but I am often shy to go out where I know there will be a large group of unfamiliar faces. Off with the shell, young turtle!
Church meeting? Yes! Tea Party? Yes! Baby Shower? Yes, yes, yes!

4) Dig Deeper
~ If I profess to be a Christian, I better have the knowledge and passion to back it up. Perhaps along with my morning devotions, I could start an evening read too. Like, Mere Christianity. I think I started that book (for the 2nd time) several months ago. And guess what? I’m still on Chapter 3. Or 4. 😛

5) Show People I Care
~ People need to know they are loved and appreciated! Whether through cards, goodies, words, etc.  Especially with my friends and family – I really, really need to work on this.

6) Pray More
~ Too much of a good thing? Not so, with prayer. Sometimes I think I forget (somehow) the power of prayer.

7) Get Creative / Get Skills
~ My husband and I already have some goals for the Spring, for making and planting a small garden, using pallet boards. Also I received a sewing machine for Christmas; so, I would like to bust that baby out one of these days and try my hand at refashioning.
(Speaking of, I really enjoy this blog: http://refashionista.net/ )

Those are some goals to get me started for 2014.
How do you plan to be a better You this year?

Time is Love

timeisloveTo Love someone – to love anyone – to love everyone,
is not  and should not be a half-hearted thing.
In James 2:14-26, James tells us that faith without deeds is dead.
Sometimes I think similarly about love.
It’s wonderful to say and hear ” I Love you”, and ” I care”.
But it is simply awesome to put the time and energy into showing that person how you feel. Showing people they matter to you.
I’m working on this. And Lord knows I’ve got a long way to go.
It’s the little things.
But the little things, can become big things.
Today, I’m particularly focused on special occasions.  We’ve just had two; Christmas and New Year’s.
On a little side note – the other day I watched a video showing New Year’s Party expectation vs. reality. One point was something like this:
Expectation: Best night of your life.
Reality: Just a Wednesday.
Maybe I’m silly. Maybe I live in a bubble. But I was a little sad by this. Yes, sometimes our expectations are too high. However, if life is what we make of it,
I want to make it special.
At least, several days a year, anyway.
Today is my husband’s birthday. I love him so much; I wanted to make it special. So I tried to make the day about him. Whatever he wanted to do, we would do. We watched the world juniors ( Disappointing game!); I made him breakfast of bacon, potatoes, and eggs; we went shopping for books; I baked him an apple crisp ( His favorite dessert); and tonight, we’ll go out for supper with good friends.
Every so often, there’s this country song that gets stuck in my head. The only words I remember are ” Time is Love”.
Perhaps one of my New Year’s resolutions could be showing people I care, by spending time.
When you give yourself, – give your time – you may find eventually that, in return, your life is enriched and blessed.
And that’s a beautiful thing.