Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Way to go Susan G. Komen *Update*

Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah, and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.” Luke 1:39-45

Life, according to, is the condition that distinguishes organisms from inorganic objects and dead organisms, being manifested by growth through metabolism, reproduction, and the power of adaptation to environment through changes originating internally. It would seem, that according to that definition, that a newly formed baby, in its mother's uterus, would qualify as life. I think it is life from the moment sperm and egg meet. I do understand that not everyone agrees with me. 

I often think back to the scripture that I shared, Luke 1:39-45. Many times I have heard the argument that the fetus is just a fetus and that it isn't really who it is meant to be until it is born. But the passage in Luke shows me that that's not true. John the Baptist leapt in his mother's womb when he heard Mary's voice. He had been hearing other voices but it wasn't until he heard the voice of the one who also carried Jesus in her womb that he leapt. John the Baptist was who he was meant to be even as a 6-month-old fetus. And Jesus was who He was meant to be as an even younger fetus. They were alive, they were human, they were babies, they were Jesus and John, even from the very beginning.

But I cannot stomach the thought of all the babies that have to die every year because so many people disagree with me. It makes me sad that people think life is expendable. 
So often I hear, "I would never have an abortion, but it's not my place to tell someone else they can't have one." But we do that, every day. We have laws that make it a crime to kill people, even unintentionally. If you are driving one day and you look away for a moment and then hit someone and kill them, you are charged with a crime, vehicular homicide.
Involuntary manslaughter is also a crime. Students who participate in hazing rituals can be charged with manslaughter if the person they are hazing accidentally dies. 
No one ever thinks it is wrong to punish people who perpetrate these crimes. Why? Because it is a commonly held belief that to end another person's life is wrong.

I don't see the difference when it comes to abortion. If left alone, pregnancies will continue and a baby will eventually be born. There are some that end in miscarriage, but there are people who die natural causes every day, too. 

I was very pleased to read that the Susan G. Komen foundation had decided to stop sending money to Planned Parenthood. SGK is stating it was not for political reasons, and I have no reason to doubt that, but it doesn't matter to me either way. The bottom line is that they will not be sending more money to PP. Planned Parenthood claims to be in the healthcare business. While I do believe they provide many services to many women, especially women who have no (or little) insurance, I believe their main business is making money. And the number one way they make money is by providing abortions. I do not believe that any money that comes from taxpayers should go to a business that provides abortions. I wish that the government thought that way as well, but for now, it doesn't. 
But, I am all for a private company deciding on their own to stop funding PP.  So my hat's off to Susan G. Komen.

I do want to add one thing that I am furious over. I have seen a lot of people that have blasted SGK and are saying they will never again support the foundation. I saw this statement on Facebook, "I am so furious about this. PP is the only access to healthcare many underserved women have. I wrote to them this morning. So disgusting." And many comments were made that said that this will hurt women. 

And it's so preposterous! I did some research. I only picked a few states, but I checked on how many PPs there were in these states and I checked on how many health clinics (funded by the governement) there were and found that it doesn't even come close. PP/HC for these states: Alabama 2/154, Arizona 13/131, Arkansas 2/76, California 116/1022, North Carolina 9/171, Pennsylvania 41/234, New York 68/442, Hawaii 3/76, Wisconsin 27/86.
Wow! I just don't see that women will not have access to healthcare if PP doesn't get funding. Now, of course, I don't know if any of these clinics get funding from SGK. I am making an assumption that SGK will still be funding breast cancer screenings and mammograms at all kinds of clinics around the country, just not PP. So even if PP were to have to shut all its doors (which it doesn't, it still gets funding from other sources and makes a profit), women would still have access to healthcare. 

It's not an issue of healthcare, it's about abortion. No matter how everyone tries to package it, it still comes back to abortion. PP is in the business of providing abortions and they make money doing so. Therefore PP wants to make sure that everyone who is pro-choice supports their business. So they use the strawman argument. If they can get people to believe that they are the #1 provider of women's healthcare, and that if they are defunded women don't get healthcare, then they win. But it's not true.
Women will still have access to healthcare even if every PP shut down. I would prefer the government (and everyone who gives money to PP) take all monies going to PP and shift them to the health clinics. I want uninsured women to be able to be treated. I just prefer they be treated in a place that doesn't also perform abortions.

It sounds as if SGK is bending to the pro-choice pressure they have gotten since they made the announcement to defunded PP. I am not thrilled by it, but they caved to the pressure in the first place to defund, so I am not surprised they have caved again. That said, I was never a supporter anyway just because I don't have much $$ to give and when I do give, it goes to my church and missionaries. However, I will not boycott SGK because I don't boycott. I think this is a classic example of why it doesn't work. This country has become so divided on most issues that there is almost a 50-50 split on any given issue. So you'll get pressure from either side. As a business, you just need to know what your values are and stick to them no matter what. No good comes of flip-flopping.
I will watch this and see how it turns out. No matter what, I will always be opposed to abortion, always. And I will always support the funding of clinics that provide healthcare for the uninsured, as long as they do not perform abortions.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

I'm in Marvelous Light!

Well, it appears as if God thinks I can't take a hint. He sure keeps telling me the same thing over and over again.

This time He was telling me through the sermon at church this morning. I love to listen to our pastor preach the sermon. For the last year or so, we've been going line through line through the book of Ephesians. I love that Pastor Paul teaches us directly from the Bible. He doesn't add to it. And he always cautions us not to add to it. But he also tells us that we are to test it, not the Bible, but his sermon. He lets us know that he is only human and that it is our responsibility to read the Bible and make sure that what he is preaching is biblical. That is awesome! And I also love how Pastor Paul is faithful to bring the message that God has for all of us.
I find it interesting how God uses the message to reach people, often reaching people that the pastor may not have realized.

That's what happened to me today. I took away something from the message that I don't think Pastor Paul intended, but God intended for me to get it.
The sermon was "A Different Walk" on Ephesians 4:17-24. The verse that really stuck out for me was v17 ...that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk... There's been a theme on my blog since I started writing again, the idea that the world is different and that I am trying to figure out what that means to me. I've been too concerned with how the world views me. And obviously I needed a big wake-up call, a 2X4 to the head is more like it.

Pastor Paul always gives us sermon notes, and I'm following along, listening intently (after all, God was speaking right to me this morning) and I read this bit, "Why do we have to be different? Because we are different!" It was like Pastor Paul had read my blog. I've been feeling so out of step with the world and feeling different, and like I didn't belong. Well, dang, it's because I don't belong.
Light bulb moment!!!! I am no longer part of the worldly part of this world. Peter says, "But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light." 1 Peter 2:9

I just need to keep reminding myself (or just listen to God who keeps reminding me) that I am a new creation, I have a new heart, my new nature is calling me out of the sinful one, I need to strip off my old coat- let the Holy Spirit peel back layer after layer of sin to let the new me through. I should not imitate my dead self, the sinful self, I should reflect my inner self which is filled with the Holy Spirit.

And if it takes God reminding me every day, if it takes writing it in my blog every day, I am going to keep trying. Every day.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


Well, God keeps telling me to keep my eyes on Him and then it will stop being so important what the world thinks of me.
In my Bible reading, I came across a section I needed so much now.
James 4:4-10      You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

I have still been reading online, not as much, but what I am reading isn't bothering me like it was. I am doing my best to draw near to God, and as He promises, He is drawing nearer to me. I can feel His presence.

It is in times like these I realize that I shouldn't try to do it alone. It is only by God that I can do what I need to do. He carries me.
Thank you Father.

That reminds me of a chorus we sing at church:
Thank you oh my Father, for giving us Your Son. And leaving Your Spirit til the work on earth is done.

Again, I can only do it because He is with me.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Seeing things through the right eyes

I've been feeling a bit down about my life.

Wait, no, that's not quite right. I've been feeling down that there are people who think I am a whack-a-doo when I don't think I am. Or am I? Or at least, I've been wondering if maybe I'm missing something and I really am a whack-a-doo.

I spend too much time online. I also care too much what other people think about me.
Case in point:
I get worked up when I read about people who aren't Christian and think I'm doing it all wrong. Well, not so much they think I'm doing it all wrong, but primarily that they disagree with homeschooling and the Bible. It bothers me, even though I know it shouldn't, that people think that I am stupid. I read a lot of stuff online and I see places where people get together and bash Christians. Not all Christians, but ones like me. Ones that believe in a literal Bible; ones that teach their children to believe it, too; ones that believe that God created the world in 6 literal days; ones that believe that Jesus is the only way to heaven; ones that believe that people who don't believe that Jesus was God's only son will go to hell; ones that believe that the Bible says homosexuality is a sin; ones that believe, okay, I could go on and on, but I've made my point. Often the people talking will talk about how fundies (as they call Christians like me) are stupid, repressed, deluded, brainless, etc. The thoughts that we have no intelligence because we believe in creationism is what really sends me over the edge.

Logically, I know it doesn't matter at all what they think, but unfortunately, my heart hurts when I read it. And again, logic would say just don't read it. But it's like a sickness and I just can't stay away.

It got so bad recently that I started thinking maybe there was something I was missing. Maybe....

You know, sometimes the world feels good and right. I want to believe what I hear. I want to say it's okay for people to love who they want to love and live how they want to live. I mean, it breaks my heart when I hear about how people are discriminated against because they are gay, or black, or Muslim, or Arab, or, or, or whatever. And I agree that discrimination is wrong. And even worse when it turns to violence. It makes me so very sad. And I want to protect everyone.

It sounds right to say that we shouldn't say it's wrong to love someone just because they happen to be the same sex as you. It feels right to say that we should love everyone and welcome them and take care of them no matter what. (and we should do that part)

So I felt like maybe I was missing something, maybe God wanted for me to be open and accepting and not teach my kids that the Bible is the be all end all. That maybe being good and kind and loving is enough. And I wondered why they saw it differently than I did. How did they not see it my way if indeed my way is the right way, the true way, God's way? (not that I always get it 100% right)

Then God showed up. In a big way. I was reading in Corinthians and the Spirit started glowing all over the place. Listen to this: "But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.... but the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can they know them, because they are spiritually discerned.... But we (*the believer) have the mind of Christ."  taken from 1 Corinthians 2:10-16  (*added by me)

So what this says to me is that they don't understand, they don't get it because they don't have the Holy Spirit. So how would they be able to understand where I'm coming from? They can't. So they will never understand it, never think I'm right, unless they become a believer, unless they allow themselves to become open to the Spirit.
And so I'm not doing it wrong. Well, I'm sure there are some things I'm doing wrong, but because I am looking at God, and trying to live the way He wants me to, He will take care of the things I'm doing wrong in the right way and time.
So somehow, I have got to let go of the concern about the rest of the world. I need to remember that it is only God I need to be pleasing. And if I am pleasing Him, the rest won't matter.
And one of the ways to keep pleasing Him is to keep reading the Bible every day. When I do, I find that it's easier to remember that it's Him I should be concerned about, it's His ways that I should be striving towards, it's His approval I should be seeking.

I'm going to keep making this mistake. I know that it's something that still has a grip on me. But I know where to look for help. And I know He won't ever let me down.

**I just remembered that I wrote a post very similar to this only 3 weeks ago. H'uh. Still haven't learned this lesson yet it seems. I keep talking a big talk but I keep falling right back into the same place. I hope, I pray that this time things will be better. It's pretty sad that it took less than 3 weeks for me to forget that I wasn't going to worry about what the world thinks about me. But, the one thing I hope I learned this time was to keep in the Bible. I had gotten out of my daily routine of reading every day. In fact, I had slipped into reading only once a week. Maybe this time, keeping the word in my daily life will be just what I need to learn this lesson. This is a lesson I will learn eventually. I will get there. I will. But only because I have God.**

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Migraines suck. That's all.

Okay, well, anyone who knows me knows that is not all. Can't just write 4 words and call it a night.
But I don't want to type. I just typed this morning. But I went to bed at 9 and got the worst of the migraine pain over. So now it's almost midnight and I woke up hungry and I hate to waste a perfectly quiet house.

I love journaling. That's what I think of this as, not blogging. Blogging seems like something professional writers do and get paid lots of money for. Their blogs all decked out with lots of links and colorful ads and posts that have a clear message, with a beginning, middle, and end, and they all three go together. Yeah, that would not be this blog.

But I like to write out my thoughts. It was something drilled into me by Ms. Simpson and Ms. Myers way back all those years ago in high school. They were my English and Creative Writing teachers. I had Ms. Simpson for 9th and 11th grade Honors English, and Ms. Myers for 10th grade Honors English, 10th and 11th Creative Writing, and 12th grade AP English. Boy, would they be shaking their heads now. Maybe. Maybe not. Or probably. Because they were both very, very liberal. And I don't think we'd agree on much now. But they did teach me a lot.

I was always a reader. I cannot remember when I didn't have my nose pressed in a book. I do remember being told to "put that book down and go play!" I lived in a fantasy world of books. They spoke to me. I listened and spoke back. I imagined that I lived in the pages, that at any moment someone would turn the page and my next adventure would start. I imagined I was a long lost Russian czarina missing since she was a tiny baby, her parents desperately trying to find her. I was a twin, separated from my sister and one day we ran into each other at the store. I was the homecoming queen, a cheerleader, an opera singer, a ballerina, a world famous pianist, a softball star, a time traveler. I was every character I ever read about, and all the ones I could only imagine. I started inventing my own stories; I started my own great American novel at least 20 times. I would act out the stories in my room. Every trip to the store or doctor's office was a chance to add another chapter in my head. And the books didn't have to be masterpieces. Any book that told a story, that allowed me to be caught up in the telling of it, that was a book good enough for me.

My mother would take me and my brothers to the library on Saturday. She would drop us at the front door and arrange to meet us in an hour. She and I and my brothers would spread out in 4 different directions like arms of a compass. I would head straight for the fiction. I would pick out however many books you were allowed to check out at once and then get one more. I would see how long each book was and then start to read the shortest one. It was a sad, sad day when I couldn't finish and had to decide which book to leave. Parting with one book was torture. Finishing one was worse. It meant I was done with my life, my friends, that story.
Even now, I just close my eyes and I can feel and smell and hear the books, the smooth pages, the older pages, the musty smell, the sound of a new spine cracking open, the sound of the pages turning, the crinkle of cellophane, the give of paperback, or the stiffness of hard cover. I can also vividly recall the day I came home only to remember I had left a book outside on the patio and our puppies had not realized its worth. That was a tough day.
I never have trouble in a library or bookstore. Or at least, the only trouble I have is how to not take all the books with me.

And so in the process, I have developed my own language, the language of books. There are words I don't remember learning but I know them. I've never looked them up in a dictionary but I can see them and know what they mean and use them properly. But imagine my surprise and embarrassment when quite often I cannot pronounce them.
But I have been given the gift of words. I love words, they are beautiful. They tell us when to laugh, to cry, to get angry, to forgive, to love, to let go, to feel. I feel blessed that I can use them as I can. But I can also recognize mastery in others. I cannot tell a story. I meander around, take the road less traveled, and rarely get back on point. I start out telling one story and end with another sometimes forgetting that I started it aloud or in a place where others could see, and not just in my head. I can follow all the twists and turns, and so I love my meanderings. But it doesn't always lead to others being able to find their way. It can be confusing and distracting. But it's me, and it's beautiful and powerful, and necessary for me.
And I love it.

And so I find it comforting, even with my head pounding a bit, to sit here in this quiet house and let the words flow. It's something I've been missing. An old friend who I forgot all about.
Had I not gotten this migraine, I would have sat at the computer tonight, watching some show or movie, I would have been knitting, and sometimes reading what someone else wrote on facebook or another blog. But that's not what happened tonight. Tonight I got another migraine, and for once I am glad.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


Depression. Webster's dictionary defines it as (1) : a state of feeling sad : dejection (2) : a psychoneurotic or psychotic disorder marked especially by sadness, inactivity, difficulty in thinking and concentration, a significant increase or decrease in appetite and time spent sleeping, feelings of dejection and hopelessness, and sometimes suicidal tendencies.

I've never considered myself depressed. Well, at least I didn't used to. I just never realized that people could truly be happy. I don't know how much of this is related to just my personality, or genetics, or my childhood. But I never really felt an overall sense of happiness in my life.

Even as a child I just moved from moment to moment, enjoying myself somewhat, but never with the glee I've seen from other people. When asked what is my favorite childhood memory, I can't really answer. I can tell you about my childhood, I can tell you about traumatic memories, I can tell you about general memories, but I can't tell you about happy ones. When I remember things that should have been happy memories, I can remember the moment, but I can't remember feeling joy in those moments.

But to be completely honest, I don't really have the greatest memory anyway. I can't tell you how many times one of my brothers will talk about something from the past and I have no memory of it. And now that I've gotten back in touch with old high school friends (thanks to facebook) I'm amazed at how many things they remember that I just can't recall.

Maybe I just have a faulty memory, or maybe it's that there wasn't much good to remember.

But I can't blame it on a terrible childhood. In some ways, yes, I didn't have the idyllic childhood. My parents separated when I was 2. My father was present in my life but he won't ever win any father of the year awards, at least not from me. And I don't have a lot of warm fuzzy memories of him from when I was little. But I don't have that many of my life with my mom either, and she does deserve a mom of the year award. So it's just a terrible memory on my part.

Or maybe it's that I was depressed even back then.

Once, several years ago, I saw a commercial for an allergy medicine. It showed people going about their lives with a film over everything. And when they took the medicine, the film was stripped away and everything was clear.

A light bulb went off for me when I saw that commercial. I realized that that's what I felt like. It's like there's always been a film over my life. Always.

Then someone told me about dysthymia. It fits me perfectly, especially this: "in general, you may find it hard to be upbeat even on happy occasions." To be fair, I haven't been diagnosed with this. I don't particularly like going to doctors. But there is no doubt in my mind that this is what I have.

I've been on medication for my depression before, and it helped. And I have no doubt that if I went to a doctor now, I would only have to ask for medication and I would get it. But I don't want to. I want to be able to handle it myself.

Heh, I just read what I typed and realized something. I'm not approaching this the right way. What I really should have said is that I want to handle this with God's help. Or, even better, I want God to handle this.

Psalm 34:18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

I can't do it alone. I can try everything possible but without God's help, I can't do it.

I did however come to realize that the only way I do ever start feeling better is by spending more time with Him. It's so hard to see that when I am in a very bad cycle of depression, but when I actively read my Bible, pray, spend time with other believers, the dark doesn't overwhelm me like it can. There is more light when I am spending time with Jesus. Which, hey, truly just makes sense. He tells us all about it.

Psalm 48:14 For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end.

Psalm 55:22 Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you;he will never let the righteous fall.

Psalm 71:20-21 Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once again.

Psalm 73:26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Psalm 138:7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes, with your right hand you save me.

Nahum 1:7 The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him.

I mean, look at that! Do you see how many scriptures I found in just a short time? And there are so many more. When I am reading the Bible, it is easier to see these. When I am allowing this world to win, I close my eyes and my heart and I don't see these wonderful promises that God has given me in His word.

I'm not trying to oversimplify it. I know the benefit of medication. And I believe that God blessed me with medication in the past. And I know that there are times when it is necessary, and it's what God uses to help people. I just know that I hate taking it. And I want to do it without having to take it. And I know that there is no way I can do it without God. I can't. I've tried. And all that happens is that I stay in a state of "sadness, inactivity, difficulty in thinking and concentration, a significant increase in appetite and time spent sleeping, feelings of dejection and hopelessness, and sometimes suicidal tendencies."

That won't do. I don't like living like that. And I don't have to. With God on my side, I can do all things. Nothing is impossible with His help. But that doesn't mean I just do what I want and He cleans up after me. I have to do my part. Whenever I look back at the hard times, the times I felt the most underwater, it was those times I wasn't spending time with Him. The times that I glory in His presence, those are the times that no matter what is going on, I can handle it. I can get through, I can find some joy.

Maybe I won't ever feel like that film is completely off of my life, at least not this side of heaven. But when I let Him in, when I spend time with Him, then it is so much brighter, life is so much sweeter, everything is so much happier. There, I said it, happier. God makes me happier.

Thank you Lord, for making me happier. And please help me stay that way.

PS, Is it obvious that I'm in one of my better cycles right now? I've been reading my Bible every day, worshipping more, praying more, spending more time with Jesus. I guess it makes sense that I am happier right now. 

Sunday, January 1, 2012


I am Lisa; a human, a Christian, a wife, a mother, and I'm sure many other things. I am done trying to be a people pleaser; I am done censoring myself; I am done worrying about what anyone else thinks of me. I refuse to apologize for who I am and what I believe. I am me; take me or leave me.

I have been reading things online recently about the ATI/QF movements and it's made me do a lot of searching in my heart. On the surface, I often agree with some of the tenets of the movement, but when I dig a little deeper, there is a lot to disdain. But I do not know enough about it at all, and my post isn't really about that.
Through the course of my readings, I have also come across those who have been hurt by the movement. I have seen people who have completely turned their backs on God because of the hurt, I have seen others who have turned their backs on the movement but still trust God.
And then there are some who still believe in God but have wholeheartedly turned against anything that even remotely resembles the movement, even when those things may not be even slightly hurtful.

Okay, it sounds as if I am talking in riddles. I do not mean to. I read a blog today written by a man that was hurt by the ATI/QF movement and in the process has an issue with all kinds of things now, including any form of religious homeschooling.
So, yeah, I read that and got a little upset, and defensive.

I've been thinking about why, why did I get so upset, so defensive? And part of it is because he's right. (he's wrong, too) Some people, some Christians are just parroting back what they hear and read. Some just try to do what they think they are supposed to do without ever once thinking about why, or (gasp) reading the Bible and finding out what they really should be doing.

I've done it. I've been that person who just did what I was told without thinking about why. But I'm not that person anymore. I'm not even the person who started this blog. As a thinking human being, I change. There are things I've written on this blog that I don't agree with anymore. I have been so many different people in my life, and I don't think that I am the person now that I will be when I'm 80.
I've been a Christian for almost my whole life. I believe completely, 100%, that I was saved as a child. I always believed and had a relationship with Jesus. But it's changed over the years. I've been a Southern Baptist, a Methodist, a (can't think of the word but I believed once that maybe Jesus wasn't the only way to heaven, maybe Buddha, maybe Gandhi, maybe Mohammed, maybe anyone else was right, too), a Pentecostal, a Charismatic, and probably a lot of other people along the way. And now I've settled into just a plain old woman who believes that Jesus is my Savior, that He is the only way to heaven, and that He guides us through His word.

I also believe that there will be many different Christians in heaven. In my walk with Christ, I have been a very judgmental and self-righteous follower. As I have grown in my faith, I have tended to look down on those who weren't where I was spiritually. You know the type: I don't do XYZ so I am a better Christian than ________; and I do XYZ, and so-and-so doesn't so maybe they aren't really a Christian.
Yep, been there, done that. And not all that long ago in some cases. And really, still working on not being that person again.

Okay, so I was that person. I was self-righteous and judgmental. But I changed. Because I am not some fundamental robot that only takes in the words of others, and because I am always trying to draw closer to Jesus, I changed. And I have come to a place where I realize that not every Christian believes the same things I do, that not every Christian is in the same place as I am. And that there doesn't have to be a wrong or a right. Now, don't get me wrong, there are some things that can only be one way, that are either right or wrong. I will not try to make a list because I would surely not make it perfect but I do believe that Jesus is the only way to heaven. I believe that unless a person has a personal relationship with Him, they are not a Christian. Just believing in God, just being a good person, just being spiritual, just saying you are a Christian does not cut it.
But I no longer believe that just because you do XYZ that you are a Christian either, or are a better Christian. I will always strive to be more like Jesus, always. I will never succeed. NEVER. So there is probably something I am doing wrong now that I will one day recognize, be convicted of, and work to change. But that doesn't mean that someone who has already worked on this thing is any better than me. It just means that we all have things we need to work on, we all have issues that God is trying to deal with us about, we all sin. And these things will be dealt with in different ways with different people.

So who am I to condemn others? I am not God. I am Lisa, human, not divine. Not my job.

So, what does this have to do with the blog I read earlier? (Can you tell I will never be a professional writer? I write journal style and it doesn't always flow, but it's how I write, and what works for me.)
While he was right in some ways about how Christians are in homeschooling, sheltering their children, parroting back what they have read, etc, he is wrong, too. He has a list of things that, if you can answer yes to, means you are part of this negative movement, and lumps all in with ATI/QF. And that's not true. I can say yes to many of the things on his list, but I am not at all like those in the ATI/QF movement that he is so hurt by. I think, I reason, I search for answers. While I make mistakes and too often trust without searching the truth, I recognize this flaw and am trying to do better. I am also trying to instill this in my children. I do not want them to blindly follow my faith. I want them to question, to think for themselves, to truly have their own personal relationship with Jesus. I tell them and show them what I believe, but I also ask them what they believe. I want them to believe the way I do, but I will not force them to. I want it to be a choice, not a command.
But I also refuse to paint families who aren't like me who also homeschool for religious reasons with as wide a brush as this man has. It is not for me to judge anyone. And I don't like being judged by anyone either.

And that is why I got so upset when I first read this post. I felt judged. I felt judged by someone I don't even know, by someone who doesn't know me, who doesn't know anything about my life. And I finally realized that it's ridiculous. There will always be people who judge me. I will probably always judge others unfairly. It's wrong and I will try not to, but I will probably fail. And by the same token, others will continue to judge me, wrongly or rightly. It will happen. And if I continue to get so upset every time I perceive that someone is judging me I will spend a lot of my life being upset. So I'm going to try not to get upset. I am going to hold my head up high and boldly do what I believe to be right. I love God, I want to be more like Jesus. My way may be different than someone else's, but that doesn't mean that my way is wrong. It may be wrong for someone else, but it's right for me. I am doing what I know God wants me to do. Me, not someone else. Me. Lisa. And I have friends who are Christian who wear revealing clothing, who watch/read Harry Potter, who own a television, who don't own a television, who homeschool, who send their kids to public school, who encourage their daughters to sign purity pledges, who encourage their sons to want to marry virgins, who push for gay rights, who push for one man/one woman being the only true marriages, who are against abortion in any form, who aren't too concerned about abortion, who listen to secular music, who only listen to Christian music, who watch secular movies/tv shows, who don't watch anything, who drink beer, who think no one should drink any alcohol. I could go on and on. Christians do not fit into a cookie cutter mold. We do not all look the same. But it doesn't mean that one is more Christian, more deserving of grace, better than those who are different. But I am tired of trying to explain myself, trying to prove myself to those who don't agree with me. I am who I am. I am ever changing, ever growing, hopefully growing closer to Jesus every single day.

I am Lisa; a human, a Christian, a wife, a mother, and I'm sure many other things. I am done trying to be a people pleaser; I am done censoring myself; I am done worrying about what anyone else thinks of me. I refuse to apologize for who I am and what I believe. I am me; take me or leave me.