1: a pretense of having a virtuous character, moral or religious beliefs or principles, etc., that one does not really possess.
2: a pretense of having some desirable or publicly approved attitude.
I had to come home and look up hypocrisy the other night to see if my picture was next to it. (It wasn't....yet)
I worked at the bookstore Friday night, and while I enjoy 98% of the people that I speak to at the store there is that pesky 2%. Last night driving home I was just thinking about what a hypocrite this woman was, how she was just so mean, snarky, condemning and worst of all, that she fell into this ridiculous sect of Christianity that truly believed the only 2 issues God truly cares about is homosexuality and abortion. Oh I was switching my bracelet back and forth and back and forth on the drive home last night. But I was just so taken aback by the force with which this woman came at me.
She was upset because she didn't get the coupons to the store. She literally stepped back from the counter and started preaching to the few remaining guests in the store (seeing as we had closed 10 minutes earlier) about how if this store wasn't going to appreciate her money then she was going to *insert competing chain store name here*. Her money was just as good as anyone elses money and we darn better well recognize that.
Considering it was after 9pm on a Friday there was honestly very little that I could do. So I apologized, tell the woman that there isn't anything I can do tonight, but that I will take her information and have the manager call on Monday. "SEE! SEE! THIS IS WHAT I MEAN!" she shouts in my face. "They don't care, they just want me to stop bothering them! This is why if I don't get some coupons soon I'm no longer going to shop here!" I decide to just ignore her, so I tell her the total is $50.03. "I mean this is what I"m talking about! I never spend any less then $50 and you act like my money isn't good enough"
Ok, my blood was pumping I was so annoyed and pissed at this woman. I hypocritically think, way to show the freakin love of Jesus lady.
She and her entourage were getting ready to leave and she was still passive aggressively muttering about how shady it was that we were intentionally withholding coupons from her when she spotted them, the cards that would save all the unborn children in the US and world that were being aborted.
After I checked out the "last" customer (the one that caught the door as I was letting someone out after we were closed and she walked in) this deeply offended woman walked back up to the counter shaking and almost in tears. "Have you seen these cards? They're beautiful. Don't you think so?" Yes, I replied halfheartedly, I just wanted this woman to leave before I started asking her if she had read something about kindness in that bible of hers. (as I switched my bracelet while standing there). "I just, they're just, it's just" she stammered. I could feel tears pricking at my eyes, convicted of my inward seething towards this woman, she was so moved.
"I mean, it's nothing against any one person, but I just am so scared for the future of this country because of the party that's been elected into the White House. All those babies, they're just all going to be murdered now. But these cards, they're just perfect, they're perfect to show people that they shouldn't kill babies."
I mean, please don't misunderstand me. I am not now and never will I really share with you my thoughts and feelings on abortion because frankly I do not have the energy to get into it. I also won't really share my feelings on the whole election drama that's been unfolding or who I ended up voting for. Because at best, my patriotic position is apathetic, at worst it's outright ungrateful and hateful. But let me tell you this:
Just because I work in a christian retail store, just because I smile and am patient and kind does not mean that I agree with you on the best way to approach broken and damaged people, broken and damaged people being all of us of course. Just because I pull the purple shirt over my head and remain silent when you tell me that God is somehow paralyzed because a *gasp* democrat has been elected president does not mean that I agree.
He can do whatever he wants, whenever he wants, however he wants. Because he's God. I thank God that he is God and not any of us, and certainly not I. Because the grace that he extends is so much deeper and wider then the grace I have been able to muster up to date for this woman, and certainly more grace than this woman was able to muster up for me.
I don't know much, but I know that Jesus wasn't a white middle class republican. I know that he forgave irrationally and completely. I know that instead of telling a woman that had an abortion what a ridiculous mistake she made and how guilty she was of murder he would have sat with her and told her about the redemptive and everlasting love of a God that pursued her. I know that it's true that God cares for people that have abortions, he cares for the babies that are aborted, he cares for those who are gay. But I know that God is so much bigger then the pigeonhole that we try to force him into with our rhetoric and hate speech. God loves the poor, the hungry, the naked, the forgotten, the widows, the orphans.
God loves. So those of us that love him, that preach his name, shouldn't we love too? I get that love doesn't mean always getting along, I know it means conflict and standing firm in our beliefs. But I will say again, telling someone they are a disgusting sinner does not woo them into the arms of Jesus. Should we even be focusing on them and their brokenness anyway? Shouldn't the focus be, shouldn't what we tell them be about this redemptive, powerful, loving God that pursues us, that writes us love letters on the lips of kindness, generosity, and grace? Shouldn't we tell them about the God that loves us so much he sent his son (Jesus) to die for us, so that we might one day live?
I was graceful and kind to this woman at the store, but in my car the bracelet was flying between wrists as I unleashed my sinful nature, my ugliness, and my hypocrisy.
Now, I love purses. I'm not really talking about designer purses, I just like cute purses. Large, small, as long as they're cute I really like them. Another sign that I'm slowly but surely turning into my mother. Since I've bought the house I've put myself on a purse ban, and it's difficult, more difficult than I thought it would be.
Her purse was brown, it was large had a zipper in the center with compartments on the side. It was awesome and I told her so. She said she got it at Target, just a few days before. The purse was $24.99. I was immediately a flutter, I was shaken to the core, I wanted that purse. But blast! I had placed a ban on all purses!
Then, I remembered. I had just gotten a gift certificate to Target in the mail from the lovely LaCourses as a housewarming gift. (my first gift from Ryder!) Now, Lisa had written something about a hammer, or a wrench...but I didn't really understand what those words meant I've never heard of them before. (kidding, kidding) Of course, I could always use the gift certificate for toiletries, or some food, or clothing, or some tool like device. But what I ended up using it for was THE PURSE. I had to pay the taxes ($1.61). Let me tell you, it is the best damn house warming present I've yet to receive!
I worked until 930, came home, and jumped on target.com. As I was looking through the purses to find it I noticed, that they came in different colors. The brown my customer bought, black, and RED. RED! RED! The decision was made, the purse was to be mine and it was going to be RED!
Target opens at 8am. Did you know that? I had to be at church at 845 for Washington Project, so I had just enough time to grab the gift card and head to Target. I arrived at 805.
At approximately 807 I saw it, THE purse.
Hooray! I literally switched my purses while driving the rest of the way to church this morning. It's so lovely and so beautiful, and SO roomy!
Here I am with my lovely new purse!
I love purses. I've never been this excited about a purse before, but I am, I am just so excited about this purse!
If we wait for our emotions to dictate/prompt our actions/attitudes then it will never happen. We are growing numb to the things we should be grateful for everyday.When we're first in love, it's easy to go out of our way to do kind things for the one that has captured our affection. When we make a new friend, it's easy to lavish attention and spend tons of time together, or on the phone, texting, IMing. We get a new job, the dream job even! It's perfect, we work so hard for the whole 8 hours and often off the clock because of the passion we feel for what we're working towards
But then, the glow wears off. What drew us to our spouse, friend, job, whatever has transformed into what annoys us, gets under our skin, and drives us absolutely insane. We begin to campaign to change that which we fell in love with. We berate it, we beat it up, we ignore it, we talk badly about it to others.
What is it that made us forget what we fell in love with?
Was it that we captured it? That we got to be part of that which we loved everyday so it stopped being something unexpected and special, and became something ordinary and mundane?
Why did you fall in love with your significant other?
Why did you seek out a friendship with someone?
Why did you love spending time with them, getting to know them?
What was it that first took your breath away in those first years with your kids?
What are you holding onto that you won't let go of in order to get back to that falling in love, can't wait to spend as much time as possible with you feeling?
How about God? Why did you first, if you've ever, seek Him? Pursue Him? Listen for Him?
Do you still?
Some days, I don't feel like concentrating on all those things. Some days, I sort of feel like forgetting all the reasons I love people and all the reasons my heart is broken by the damage that is in this world. Some days, I just want to be mean, selfish and nasty.
But then I am reminded, of all that I have been given, all of the love that I receive, all of the kindnesses that are extended by people...and most of all I am reminded in ways both small and large of the grace that was freely given, without condition to me, to all of us, by God.
It's then that I think, how can I not be kind, loving, and thankful? How can I not seek that which I fell in love with in my friends, family, and in God?
So remember why you fell in love, why you're friends; remember the good more than the bad, and remember to listen for God, because he is there, moving, speaking.
Better than remembering, express your gratitude for everything that you have, everything you've been given, and give something to show that gratitude. Tell people thank you in a way they understand.
Show your gratitude to God by loving his people.
They got married the week after mom graduated college, on December 16th 197something or other. (What? I always get confused if it's 72 or 73)
My parents worked hard, and still do. Our vacations as kids were 6am-midnight with little rest for the wicked. My parents worked hard to overcome a long line of bitterness trying to barrel like a freight train through their lives, they worked hard to overcome alcoholism and abuse. They did an excellent job and my sister and I reap the benefits every day of their intentional turning away from those choices.
When I was a little girl, I would eavesdrop a lot. (I was very good, I think it's a spiritual gift). I would hear soft conversations, fights, I love yous, and what is wrong with yous. My parents weren't perfect, but they were often the only exception to the lies being shoved down my throat by so many other adults in my life.
These are my parents, who I love.
I found this picture when I was looking for a new picture for blogger, and thought it was a great pic and had to share.
I thought none of this when I was younger. When I was younger I of course was stifled, no one understood me, they just didn't get it and they obviously never would. So for those of you struggling with the drama that is having kids, they might not get it now, but one day they will.
But this line just jumped out at me:
I think you would be surprised at how unremarkable many remarkable moments are.It's so true. It actually reminded me a lot about what Greg spoke about on Sunday. How little we actually express our thanks for each other, and especially to God about what they, He, does in our lives.
There are so many extraordinary things happening every day in my life, that I don't even realize in the moment. In the busy I forget to stop and breath in the lovely.
A friends encouragement
Laughing and sharing over clearance sugar cookies and skip-bo
Taking the trash to the curb at my house (MY house!)
Mending fences with someone where there was previously only burnt embers
A break at work
Having a job
Celebrating a friend getting older and being around for another year
Kind words uttered unprompted and unexpectedly
What are some of your unremarkable remarkable moments?
i’ve been talking about a secret project i’ve been working on the last few weeks…today’s the official launch day!
IT’S THE LAUNCH OF 50000SHOES.COM!
soles4souls is an amazing charity here in nashville that has one mission: get shoes to people who need shoes. over 300 million people around the world don’t have shoes and are forced to walk around unsafe and in potentially life-threatening conditions. not only is it unsafe physically, but having to look down all the time causes these people to also live without dignity and confidence.
just a few weeks ago, i was meeting with wayne elsey, the founder and CEO of s4s and he asked me what is the craziest thing we could do using social media to meet this huge need? what kind of ridiculous goal could we create? and literally ten minutes later we had the answer.
let’s get money raised for 50,000 shoes in 50 days and make it as easy as possible for people to not only donate online, but to spread the word about the campaign. the only way this goal can be reached is if you not only donate $5, but spread the word!
HOW DOES IT WORK?
go to 50000shoes.com. a $5 donation buys two pairs of shoes.
everyone has $5 (or more!). and everyone has 2 minutes. from start to finish, donating is literally three clicks. no fluff. no hassle. anyone can donate. it is so, so easy!
YOU CAN WIN A TRIP TO GIVE SOMEONE THEIR FIRST PAIR OF SHOES!
besides the fact that the blogging world can literally impact 50,000 people before the end of the year, one person (and their guest) will be chosen at random to hand deliver the shoes they purchased on a s4s trip to mexico. can you imagine handing someone their very first pair of shoes? it could be a child. or it could be a mother. or a father. or a grandmother. who knows?!
PLEASE DON’T CLICK AWAY…
we could have made the goal attainable - like 5000 shoes in 50 days. i have no doubt that could happen. but we wanted to show a watching world the positive power of social media. we wanted this to be a challenge for bloggers and people to unite in a way never before seen!
50,000 pairs of shoes in 50 days. THAT’S HUGE!!!!!
please donate. please blog about this. please email everyone you know about this.
five bucks. three clicks. two minutes. that’s all and it can make a HUGE difference!!
if 500 people influence 10 people to donate, and those people influence 5 more, that’s 50,000 pairs of shoes (because remember - $5 buys 2 pairs!)…please help make this a reality! let’s blow it out of the water…can we raise enough for 100,000 pairs? I THINK SO!!!
300 million people around the world need you!
chris and i donated on friday. we are spreading the word today.
please join in! even non bloggers can help. just email everyone you know! take up a collection in your office or at your church. do you know someone in the press who can do a story on this? be creative!!!
are you in?
Nashville-based Soles4Souls(TM) facilitates the donations of both new and used shoes, which are used to aid the hurting worldwide. Since its inception, Soles4Souls has distributed more than 3.5 million pairs (or one pair every 23 seconds) to people in 61 countries, including Honduras, Romania, Thailand, and the Sudan. The charity has been featured on CNN Headline News, NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, ABC News, FOX, CBS, and hundreds of regional outlets around North America. Soles4Souls is a 501(c)(3) recognized by the IRS; donating parties are eligible for tax advantages. Visit www.giveshoes.org for more information.
I was living alone in this big old rambling farm house, that was also in an urban neighborhood, with a door to the outside every 2 feet or so. Also, the shower was in the stairwell to the basement, which was unfinished.
I remember wandering around cleaning the house and being generally very important and glamorous. Then I needed to take a shower. While I was in the shower I kept thinking that someone was creeping into my house, but I didn't know for sure. While I was in the shower, the light in the basement, which was attached to a timer, went off. So I was showering in the dark, but also somehow illuminated from behind.
I turn off the shower and and crawl up the dusty basement stairs and crouch at the door. Which then flew open. Crouched on the other side of the door was James Eckhouse. Weird.
He threw a towel at me and said that I was in a lot of danger, that he was with the CIA and some associates of my dead husband were coming for me. Then he disappeared.
So I set about, wrapped only in a towel of course (oh and I was sooooo thin) to lock all the doors and windows. Well, not all of them would lock. Some of them were just held shut by hooks, others wouldn't line up right to lock. As I'm struggling with one of the doors I look out over my balcony and see Lukas Haas leaning against a tree. He came over and offered to help lock up the house.
While we were locking up the house he kept giving me all these padlocks and saying he confiscated them when he busted his mom out of prison. To which I replied....oooookay.
So that was finished and I walked back into the kitchen and mom, dad and Sharen were in there. Dad was telling them that they really needed to take over securing the house because I wasn't able to protect myself.
I was so mad! I proceed to explain to him that I was perfectly able to defend myself. After all, when I worked for the bank they used to send me on secret missions all the time! Once I killed a man in Paris after all! I told him that I almost stole some of the Queens jewels, but luckily one of her men stopped me, because it was just an oversight, nothing on purpose.
After I got done with my tangent James Eckhouse popped back into the kitchen and started yelling at me because I never told him I was a secret agent...because maybe it wasn't my dead husbands enemies that were after me but the Queen herself!
I also had another dream that I had a kid, but he was Matthew's drawing from the other night. He was a tall tall tall skinny stick figure drawn in brown with orange hair, because it was on fire, with pickle juice in it.
He played basketball and was our remote Mexican villages hero because he was breaking out of the poverty cycle.
I would like to add that I didn't eat anything weird before going to bed! I had PB&J and some chips at 630 for dinner and that was it!
When it was one woman's turn, she paused. She opened her mouth to speak, and then she paused again.
Finally she asked for prayer for her anger towards a family member, because it was bad and she needed help. She asked for prayer for the way she spoke about her husband, because it wasn't terrible, but she tore him down and wanted to lift him up instead.
I thought that was so true, so brave, so transparent.
My prayer request has often been that I feel like I'm totally and completely falling apart and I just don't know what to do or how to take one more step in any direction, let alone the right one. But I was in the midst of prayers that while, true, while valid, were very clean and neatly packaged.
How encouraging that someone was brave enough to peel herself open and be vulnerable!
I told her as much last night, and it felt all awkward and weird. But I just so wanted to encourage her to keep being brave, because when she is brave, it can grab someone else by the heart and help them be brave too.
If we, as believers, do not make it less intimidating for people with messy lives and broken hearts to come into our lives then we will begin to paralyze ourselves and disable any relationship before it's even begun. People do not have to accept your systematic theology for you to love them! Just love them. Just be present for them, listen to them, speak truth into their lives in a way they can hear and receive. (Note: the way THEY can hear and receive)
Do not threaten them with hell. Don't lie about what you believe, but the first thing you say to someone that doesn't believe in God doesn't HAVE to be, nor should it really be that they are disgusting sinners that will burn in hell without Jesus.
Because I am a disgusting sinner. Without Jesus I would not go to Heaven.
Just because something is true doesn't mean it should be blurted out immediately with no qualifications.
It just seems to me that Christians proclaiming how right they are isn't alluring to many people. It seems to me that the most attractive thing should be Jesus, not me, not my opinion, not my sanctimonious bull. It should be, and ultimately is Jesus that will woo people into relationship with Him. It will not be the genuine sheep's leather bible and Calvinism vs. arminism vs. my denomination kicks your denominations ass argument that I slap them across the face with.
We are not all shiny happy people. We are a mess sometimes (I am a mess most of the time).
But all of that mess is cleaned by the blood of Jesus and the grace that flows freely. I am so humbled to be the smallest part of the biggest story that God is writing.
Especially wearing this bracelet that I'm switching back and forth whenever I criticize, complain, or gossip I'm noticing just how often the words that spew out of my mouth, the thoughts that swirl around in my head, don't match what my heart really longs to say.
How often does what I say and how I act pull Heaven down?
My actions don't match my words, my words don't match my thoughts, and my thoughts don't match my heart. How then can I expect anyone else to understand what I'm saying or doing if I can't even match up those things?
I guess what I'm trying to say is, when you say that something is important to you, when you say that you believe in something, that you want to live your life a certain way but you don't...why is that?
I do understand (trust me I totally understand) that people aren't perfect and aren't going to live that way 100%, but sometimes, it seems like I don't even try.
Sometimes I feel like it's just to hard to eat better, not cuss, not avoid temptation. Sometimes I feel like it's just easier to give in and ignore the pangs in my heart that causes.
It is totally easier.
But that doesn't make it better, or right.
In Matthew 6 Jesus teaches us to pray, and gives us the Lord's prayer (one or two of you may have heard of it). In it He says, "Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven"...or for those of you old schoolers that memorized it before the NIV, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven" (it always sounds awkward to me when it doesn't have the word Thy in it, and I'm so not even close to being a KJV (king james version) girl)
That's not later, when we're older. That's not when we're dead and go to Heaven, that's not when the book of Revelation begins (or ends, or is in the middle of happening, I am by no means clear on that whole end times topics and I don't even want to get started on it). It's now. What are you doing NOW to bring as much of God's kingdom to earth today, this minute?
What am I doing? What could I be doing? What could you do?
Have you ever had someone pull Heaven down for you?
We were given white bracelets (a la Live Strong) and asked to participate in an exercise to develop a habit of gratitude. Place the bracelet on one wrist. Every time you find yourself complaining, criticizing, or gossiping you should switch bracelets. To help illuminate the number of times you do those things in your day.
I'm less then 48 hours in and I've changed it 4 or 5 times (the first time I went 22 hours! so what if I was sleeping for 8 and alone for another 8 of them.....)
I think it will be interesting, and so far I'm developing a ridiculously annoying chipper attitude. Also, just ask Pete. I'm apparently also trying to diffuse those things by saying super nice things about things being complained about....sigh. I really do apologize it was sort of annoying me today!
So just in case you and I have an extended conversation in the next 30 days....please be forewarned.
But it's such a fun song, and I often hum it to myself whenever I see pictures of Sharen and I. Let's just say I got the lucky stick (whatever that means) when God was doling out sisters, because I got a pretty great one. (Even when she posts grotesque pictures of me as her default picture on Myspace)
She takes care of me, worries about me, encourages me, and kicks my ass when I wouldn't even think about allowing anyone else to do so. She has thrown a boy (by his neck) up against a wall for me and she has threatened to hunt down and remove the boy parts from anyone that even thinks about not thinking I'm the most fantastic thing that ever happened to them.
(she also picked a pretty nice guy to marry that helps her take care of things for me, but please don't tell him I said so because he'll get all full of himself..(oh and happy birthday old man))
My sister makes beautiful babies and takes them back immediately when I realize I'm so over playing house with them. She is lovelier then she believes and smarter then most anyone I know. Moving to Cincinnati was one of the best decisions I made, for a lot of reasons. But most of all because I get to live life so close to my sister.
Little does she know, that if I ever get married I will insist we both dress in blue flowing dresses, complete with feather fans, and perform this song at the reception....and I will have the bride bag, so she will have no choice by to comply.
Love you Sharen!
And it's apparently all about me...but if I'm buying the book for me, shouldn't it be for me? (I have a headache after that sentence) But I digress...
I finish putting my stack of books away, and think that maybe I should go to the single section, because maybe the women's interest section is only for married (or about to be, or want to be) married women. Although this fact confuses me, as I'm a women, and I am none of those things.
I make the dreaded walk over to the single section, which is the shelf of humiliation in most Christian stores that I've been/worked in. It's humiliating because there are 1 of 2 types of books that you will find there:
1) Purity books- these can indicate that you have a booty problem and need to get back on the straight and narrow. It also contains purity books about reclaiming your purity after you've slipped and fallen into a sexual relationship. This means, that you are not a super duper everything is ok holy Christian. I've read a lot of these books, because I am not a super duper everything is ok holy Christian and boys are pretty. While there are paragraphs here and there that are helpful and pertinent, I find that most of the books contain the reassurance that you're "saving yourself" for your future husband/wife. What if I don't want one? Then what?
2) How to find a Godly partner books- these indicate that the allure of your looks and personality are not enough for someone else that loves Jesus to want you. Which ok, super duper everything is ok Christians shouldn't be hung up on looks...they should love what's on the inside...so these books are about helping to clean up your damaged insides and I find often about playing games to lure a godly man into your snares. Uck.
But I digress again...I can't type as fast as I'm thinking...I hate that.
So I wander over to the singles section. I find the two types of books that I was expecting. I'm out of place again.
Now, keep in mind that I didn't even really WANT a book for women to buy. But with the post of yesterday (or a few days ago...) I was in the married/single mindset and curious.
In 1 Corinthians 7 Paul talks about marriage and being single. Paul for your information was unmarried. You should read the whole chapter here, because it's very good. But in verses 6-9 it says:
Now as a concession, not a command, I say this. I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
Do I think I'm called to be single? I don't know
Do I think I'll ever get married? I don't know
But I just am so weary of the messages that are being sent to women, specifically single women about the necessity of being married.
On a (probably large) side note let me also say this;
When I am single, not dating, not "involved" I find myself less distracted and so much more focused on God. I make time for Him, I spend more time with Him and I hear Him so much more clearly then when I'm "interested" in a boy. The most ironic thing about that revelation, is that it took said boy (one that doesn't classify himself as even remotely a believer) to point that out to me. He called out in me the abyss I was choosing to place between God and I because of my choices. He located and pointed out the true desire of my heart to be free from that type of relationship, and he ended it. Not me, not this super duper everything is ok holy Christian. This boy did. This non-believing boy.
I hope that you are hearing my heart on this. I'm not condemning the married or engaged. I'm not trying to comment on those that are dating and sleeping together/living together. All I know is this: when I date a boy (as in have a relationship with him that is not an obviously platonic relationship) I struggle to find ways to express and receive affection that isn't sexual (I'm sorry Sharen, I probably should have told you to stop reading). I tried. I failed. For a very long time.
I don't know what the answer is to that. That one point (and it's a doozy) is the only reason that I hold back from thinking I'm called to be single permanently. That's it. At this point, I can't imagine getting into a relationship with a man except for that one reason, and that is a terrible reason.
I cannot unsee the things that I've seen, I can't undo what I've done. I can't unthink the thoughts that come uninvited into my head. But God is churning in my heart, and he is holding my hand and pointing out things to do to help lessen the devastation it has wrecked on my heart.
So where does that leave me? Somewhere between women's interest and Single I suppose.