Tag Archives: Truth

Truth I Can Cling To

25 Sep

Real life is hard.  It’s unpredictable and it’s messy.  Sometimes it’s painful and scary.  The one thing you can always count on, is that there are no guarantees.  People disappoint.  People walk away.  People say things that hurt.  People take you for granted.  People make mistakes.

In the midst of all that life throws at me, there are several truths I cling to. They are the only things that keep me going some days and they are my hope for sanity in this crazy world.

1.) God is faithful.  I can stand on His promises and rest in His peace.  He’s the only one that will never let me down. Because of His love, I am never alone.

2.) My children are the future. They are my legacy. When all else is going wrong, they are the thing I’ve done right. They are a beautiful combination of love and laughter. They are the embodiment of all of my hopes and dreams. They are proof of magic.

3.) I am surrounded by people who, when life falls apart, will step in and help me sweep it up. My family and friends are strong and supportive in ways that I never knew. When I need it the most, they are the constant faces in the background reminding me of everything I am.

4.) My husband has always been right where I’m supposed to be. He’s imperfect and frustrating. He’s the exact opposite of me. He’s confusing. But, he’s mine. I know that I could never feel, about anyone else, the things I feel when I look at him. I know that we were fated to walk this life together. I know that the love I have for him has changed me in ways I would never have imagined. I know that, for better or worse, I will always fight to love him the best I can.

5.) Me. I am easily amused. I am easily distracted. I am loud and outgoing. I am passionate. I am forgetful. I am temperamental. I am loyal. I find it too hard to say no. I am emotional and illogical. I love to laugh and play. I give too much of myself to other people. I am flawed. I am valuable. And that took me far too long to learn.

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Real Men

6 Jun

Man portrait

It’s time for a rant.

I spend a lot of time and energy fighting the way that society forces girls and women to view themselves and each other. I have written many posts about it and I talk about it constantly to anyone who will listen. I still feel that this is a huge problem and I will continue to fight it. Recently, my eyes have been opened to a new problem. Society has done the same thing to men. As someone who has a lot of men in my life that I love dearly, this concerns me. As a mother who is raising a boy that will one day become a man, this terrifies me. As a writer, this inspires me to try to create change.

So, today, let’s talk about men.

When I ask you what makes a man, what do you think of? Do you picture a muscled, sweaty guy working on a car or building something with his bare hands. If you didn’t, kudos to you! All around me, though, are people who are always quick to point out the characteristics of a “real man”. And even quicker to point out when a man around them doesn’t fit.

This is my idea of a “real man”. The kind of man I would like for my son to be. The kind of man I was looking for when I was a single mom; and why I was so picky about who I would date. The kind of man I think society needs more of. And the kind of man that needs to be recognized for being a “man”. (Notice how changing spark plugs didn’t make the list. I have a great mechanic for that!)

1. A real man knows what he believes in – He stands firm on it. He defends it. He examples conviction and lives out what he professes. He respects others, even if they don’t agree with him, but he doesn’t let them put him down. He doesn’t fall in the face of adversity.
2. A real man keeps his word – He doesn’t need to be reminded, because when he says something, you can count on it. He does what he can, but isn’t afraid to say “no” because he knows that’s better than making a promise he can’t keep. He is dependable and honest. Trustworthy.
3. A real man supports his family – He works hard to provide the financial security they need. If he has children that don’t live in his home, he understands that his financial obligation still stands. He budgets and spends responsibly so that the needs and wants of his family come before his own. And he carries that work ethic into his home. He does what he can to ease the workload that comes with taking care of a family.
4. A real man understands emotion – He handles his anger and doesn’t have to raise his voice, or his hands, to be heard. He knows how to be strong and he knows that sometimes all you can do is cry. He doesn’t hide his emotions because he doesn’t have to. He is not ashamed to feel.
5. A real man is a real dad – He takes an active role in the lives of his children. He fights to give them better. He is always on their side. He shows them and tells them he loves them every day. He sets high, but attainable, expectations. He listens and speaks with love. He sets a positive example each day. He draws the line between parent and friend, but knows it’s important to be able to be both. He gives his best to his children.
6. A real man gives real love – He loves his wife actively. He understands that love requires action. He makes a point to show his love in personal and sincere ways. When he causes hurt, he doesn’t make excuses, he makes amends. He stands up for himself and doesn’t back away from conflict, but does it in a way that doesn’t devalue. He creates an environment of security, intimacy, and trust within his marriage.

These are just my thoughts today. They are very general and can apply to all types of men with all different personalities. I think it’s time men stop focusing on the stereotype and start realizing what’s important. When I think about the great men I know, never once do I consider whether or not they can use a hammer. I think about the way they treat the people around them; because that is where you see the signs of a real man.

The truth comes out

16 Feb

You’ve all seen them. The picket lines. The painted faces of children. The restaurant receipts that look more like hate mail. We’ve all heard them. Those and many more. The voices, louder than all of the others, screaming to everyone. Listing off the people that God hates. The people that are certain to be banished to hell. The people deserving of the wrath of God. Even blaming natural disasters on those people. Blaming the downfall of America on those people. Blaming everything on those people.

I have quietly sat in my living room; seething, broken hearted, angry. Quietly sat while the voices louder than mine portrayed God as angry, unloving, and heartless. Quietly sat while humanity mourned lost heroes, with picket lines in the background. Quietly sat while children were used to further a message of hate they didn’t understand. Quietly sat while small numbers of people were allowed to tarnish the image of thousands. I can sit quietly no longer.

See, I have been afraid. Afraid that my one voice wouldn’t be heard over the crowd. That my whisper would be drowned out by the storm. That I, one person, could do nothing to change it. And for that, I apologize. All of that may be true. I may be able to change nothing. But if I don’t try, if I don’t shout and hope to be heard; I will never even have the chance. So, I’m doing it. I’m shouting through the darkness. I’m shouting love.

I am a Christian. That doesn’t mean I’m religious. I’m not. What that means is, I have a personal relationship with God. It means that I talk to Him. It means that I cry to Him. It sometimes means I get angry when I don’t understand. It means I love Him and that I know that He loves me. He loves me with a love greater than anything I could ever comprehend. He loves me with an infinite, everlasting love. And, because I have a relationship with Him, I make it my purpose to know everything I can about Him. I spend time with Him daily and I soak up every bit of knowledge I can. Many things about Him I may never understand, but there is one thing I know. God is love.

There is this reoccurring message in the Bible. One that says that God loves. He loves all of His creation. He loves us. While there are many things He expects from us, love is paramount. We are supposed to love Him back. That is number one. Directly under that, above all else… we are to love each other. Love. That is our job. As Christians, we are supposed to spread God’s love.

I’ve read the Bible. I know what it says about sin. I know what it says about certain lifestyles and choices. I also know what it says about being a hypocrite. I know what it says about judging others. I know what it says about me. I know my shortcomings. I know my failures. And I own up to them. There are people in my life that it is hard for me not to be judgmental of. It is hard not to think that I deserve to have an opinion of them. But, the truth is, I don’t. I don’t get to judge anyone. I don’t get to make that call. I don’t get to project my insecurities onto them: after all, isn’t that what our judgment of each other really is?

No one on this earth knows what God has in store for our futures. No one on this earth has the power to condemn people to hell, and I believe that claiming to do so is a dangerous game. None of us has any right to point the finger anywhere else. The Bible clearly states that, to God, no sin is bigger than another. To God, wrong is wrong. And people will be judged. But, they will be judged by God; and no one else.

It is my hope, of course, that everyone reading this would believe this message and lives would be changed. It is my hope that my words could change the world. I realize that’s not realistic. There will alway be people who choose not to believe. I know that. My responsibility, and my desire, is to spread this message of love. The option to believe is up to you. No one can be forced. That is one of the things I love most about this great nation. No one can be forced to believe anything. And no one should be. True belief can not come out of coercion. As for me, I can sit quietly no longer. God hates no one. No one.

I’m going to do something I’ve not done before. I’m going to ask you to share this. Share it with everyone you know. I don’t believe that my words have any magic powers. I do believe that the truth has a way of cutting through all of the lies. But it can’t if no one says it. So, I’m saying it. And I’m asking you to help me. Let’s share some positive. Let’s share some love. Thank you.

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