Putting it Out There

When I sat down to write a blog post for today (last night), I just felt like what I wanted to share, is something that I’ve wanted to share for awhile. But the words have always been lost…they’ve always escaped me. I didn’t know how to be gracious; how to say what I wanted to say without people thinking I was being insensitive, or that I was making something that wasn’t really about me…about…me. I didn’t want to sound selfish, or dramatic even (a word that I fight often, because growing up, I was always called “drama” or friends with “drama” or was told to stop being so “dramatic”). But, this is my story too. And I’ve attempted to explain it before but I didn’t say it the way that I wanted to say it. I meet people, and I share small parts of it, because it has shaped me, and if I am being really honest, it still messes with me sometimes. I wish that it didn’t. I wish that I was over it. But, I am not. So, lets just say it.

I grew up in an evangelical church, that at the time, was awesome.

I was extremely involved in the youth group, and at the time, thought it was awesome too.

I prayed passionately.  I spoke the language.

I met girls at coffee shops and inspired them to be better. I prayed with them. We cried together. I played my part.

I knew without a doubt that God was real. But, I built a lot of my faith around this youth group, and this church.

Then, in 2006, our pastor turned out to be living an entirely different life than what was presented on the platform. He had been making trips to Denver to “write” and there, met up with a male prostitute, who he was involved with, and allegedly purchased drugs from. For some reason, the prostitute came forward, and the scandal put our church that was already in the limelight, in it again, but really in it, and this time, for not so great things.

The church banished him. They would never say that is what they did, but that is what they did. He was sent away, with a nice severance package, and was set-up with some outside counseling (supposedly).

How did this change me? Well. The church failed. Many knew this was going on and didn’t say anything. The role of the church, to be there for the broken and the hurting, wasn’t fulfilled in this case. I went from being prideful about the church that I attended, to a state of complete embarrassment. People who I hadn’t talked to since high school, suddenly came out of the wood work and was texting me. The fact is, my faith was shaken. Mostly, because it made me evaluate the culture of the church itself. It made me look at the way I had been leading my life, and ask myself if it was authentic, or if I was simply playing the part. I think I was playing the part. At the end of the day, yes, I knew who my Creator was, but I had become a person who was judgmental, prideful, and ultimately, self-serving. I wanted to pray for people so I could meet my quota. There are so many different angles of this story, but the biggest fail was that love did not win. I am not saying that the Pastor of our church didn’t fail, he did, big time, and he lied about it, and probably still doesn’t recognize the weight of his mistake. Because I did not know him well personally, yet I was affected by what happened. The ripple effect will continue for sometime…but, the church did not do what I think a church is supposed to do.

When I write here, in this space, I speak from this place. A place where I believe that we are supposed to be better. I remember crying every morning in the shower. I had a roommate at the time who was really interested in all of it, and I think that was largely due to the fact that she, herself, was incredibly judgmental of the evangelical church. This happened, and she sort of acted like she knew it would. I know that she felt bad for me, but her questions made me feel like she wanted the gossip. Now, obviously, I wasn’t in a good place, so maybe she was being genuine, but, I chose the shower as my place to cry because I did not want her to see me broken. But, I cried out to God to fill the holes that were in my heart. I asked him to show me the ugly parts of me, to reveal all of the parts that needed fixing, and it was the single most significant moment in my life.

Church fails sometimes. But, there are the people who build their faith on men, and buildings. And then, there are the people who build their faith on the truths. Up until this point in my life, all I knew was that I went to the mega-church, that everyone knew about, that put out record breaking worship albums, that had massive church conferences, and big time celebrity speakers. That was my identity. And now, I’d like to think that I define myself a bit differently.

Do you have a moment that changed everything? A time where you were traveling one way, and your heart completely changed directions? I believe that this was my moment. That was 5 years ago. And my memory of it is just as fresh, as if it happened yesterday. I hope, that one day, I can not remember the ugly parts so clearly. I hope that I’ll recall the beauty that came from it, and that, that, will be more apparent to me than the brokenness.

Baby Foodie

I have so much anxiety about this, I can not even tell you. It seems so stupid that something like FOOD would stress me out, but holy moley. Let me try to put it into words for you.

I had decided that I would wait until 7 months to start introducing foods, simply because I didn’t think that Kinsey was ready for it. We would sit at the table and eat and she paid no attention to us. She isn’t sitting up fully yet, and since she clearly didn’t care about what we were putting in our mouths, I thought, we’ll wait. Well, for the last week, suddenly, Kinsey is REALLY interested in what we are eating. She was staring at us the other night as we put dinner into our mouths. I will even go as far to say as she is licking her lips a bit. I feel like a pretty big asshole every time I eat a meal in front of her. It’s like when you are hanging around a friend who is on a diet, and you are stuffing your face with cake and they are just staring at you with defeat. (FYI, I am NOT the kind of friend who would do this. If my friend was on a diet, I would be a little bit more considerate….just wanted to put that out there).

So, this morning, I was eating my granola/yogurt with berries, and Kinsey had her eyes locked on me. I knew better than to give her some of what I was eating, because you aren’t supposed to introduce dairy yet, so I thought, let’s give some bananas a shot. I cut up a banana and put it into the mesh feeder and handed it to her. Faces of total disgust. Curious? Definitely. But ultimately, disgust. It made me laugh hysterically, but all of that built up anxiety turned out to be just fine because she didn’t like it and it didn’t kill her.

However, here are the things that I am now stressed about…

Serving sizes?

What if she hates all foods? Will I be breast feeding for life?

How many times do I introduce the same food before I try another?

What if I feed her too much food and then my supply goes to crap?

I don’t want to give her rice cereal because I’ve read it isn’t necessary, and often times, upsets their stomachs. But, I bought organic baby oatmeal and it says “for babies who are ready to move on from rice cereal.” What the shit?! What does that mean?

Is it ok to just let her try foods from time to time, or if I start on this thing, am I fully committed?

I know that it isn’t about nutrition at this point, but I don’t want to delay to the point that I have a picky eater. Which brings me to the question, how do I prevent a picky eater in general?

 

Here I thought that breast feeding would be the hardest thing that I would ever do. But, the truth is, once I got it down, it is the easiest thing that I have ever done. Giving her real food? Something that I put into my body on a daily basis, well, that is stressful. Which really, how retarded, because I EAT FOOD EVERY SINGLE DAY AND I DO NOT DIE. I don’t even know. I went to Target this morning to pick up a few other items, and while I was there, I bought a bunch of Plum Organics foodies. Purchasing them, it got me kind of excited, but then once I put them into my pantry I actually thought to myself “I am not ready for this.” I’ve been reading Kelly Mom and trying to memorize her tips, but I feel like my questions are more paranoia related than actual serious fears. It seems so silly that I am this worked up about food. I mean really…this is just ridiculous.

 

When A Dog Manipulates You: A Franny Update

Franny. Oh, Franny. I do not even know what to do with this dog. I took these pictures of Franny and Zoey this morning, and it was hysterical (and sad), because if no one knew which dog was which, they would clearly see which dog was the bitchy one and which one was the sweet precious angel.

We tried to get the Franny some Xanax, but our vet said that we needed to first try to train the crazy out of her. Not in those words of course, but we were given a pamphlet that talks about positive re-enforcement, and how to discipline without killing your dogs spirit…it was a bit fluffy for me, and truthfully, I looked through it like one time and then threw it in the garbage.

Here is what I have realized. The dog is manipulating me. I know you think I am crazy, but she is seriously too smart to be owned by humans. She doesn’t understand her place in the house, and I always chalked her behavior up to her just being a bitch but as it turns out, she is trying to establish dominion over me. I used to think that everytime she crawled underneath the ottoman, that she had done something wrong. I thought she was hiding from my wrath. But then, I’d search the house and not find anything. So then, I thought maybe I broke her. Like, she was so used to being in trouble every time I came home, that she just instantly hid, assuming I was going to walk in the door and beat her. Now, I have realized, neither of these are the case. For a week or two, I thought it was self esteem issues. Because, I would walk in the door, and she would be sitting on the couch, then jump off and hide from me. She would not come out from under there until I called her name. Then she would be all happy and excited. I thought “poor Franny, she thinks we hate her, we have to call her so she knows that we love her.”  Now, I don’t think it is self-esteem at all. I think that is what she wants me to think. One day, I deliberately didn’t call her name for over an hour and she stayed underneath the ottoman. Eventually, she just gave up and came out. She wants me to spend time worrying about her stupid self. She could want to kill herself, or she really is smarter than me and wants me to give her whatever she wants.

The ottoman situation is just another creep factor that can be added to her long list of weirdness. She still stares at me, for hours on end, waiting for me to give her something…she won’t jump onto the couch to sit with Bryant and I unless BOTH of us tell her to come up. If I tell her its ok, she’ll stare at Bryant and wait for him to say it too. On the surface, it seems like self esteem, but in reality, she just thinks we are here to serve her. I do not know how to end this ridiculous charade, but I’m convinced that this dog has some sort of underlying plan, and we are now in phase 2 of her bullshit.