Monthly Archives: July 2008

Finding that Buddha Nature

Self-talk from Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love:

I’m here. I love you. I don’t care if you need to stay up crying all night long, I will stay with you. If you need the medication again, go ahead and take it – I will love you through that, as well. If you don’t take the medication, I will love you, too. There is nothing you can ever do to lose my love. I will protect you until you die, and after your death I will still protect you. I am stronger than depression and I am braver than loneliness and nothing will ever exhaust me. (p.54)

Learning to love yourself — ah, there’s the rub.

the truth … hurts?


Imaginary friends

Last night as I was drifting off to sleep, I had a flashback to my past-life as a Christian. Back then I would often “talk” to God at the end of the day, especially as I laid in bed before sleep. It would be a bit of a debriefing chat, going over what had happened that day, and remembering what I did wrong or things that went really well. Of course, I’d do the conventional confessing of my sins, seeking forgiveness from God, and I’d also have different requests I’d “offer up” – ranging from sick friends to my own personal desires. It was a daily comfort I had, a way to end my day and start off my sleep.

But as I started backing away from my faith, I started questioning the whole process of prayer. Keep in mind, ever since I was a little girl, prayer was a big part of my life. Telling someone “you’re in my prayers” was almost second nature. I had conversational talks with God, pleading with tears in my eyes types of prayers, and often said prayers aloud in a group setting. I knew Bible verses, did studies, and read various books on the topic. Yet the more I started getting some distance (some would say perspective) on my faith, the more acts of prayer didn’t really make sense.

For example, there is a parable in the New Testament that has always bugged me about prayer. It’s the parable of the “unjust judge” and is in Luke 18:1-9 –

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’”

“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!’”

And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?’”

So what is the faith lesson to be learned in a story like this? Verily, thou shalt bug God until he can’t stand it anymore, and then you shall have all your prayers answered. Throughout all of my years of being in the church, various Bible colleges and faith groups, I never heard a satisfying answer to my many questions about this passage.

But beyond this one parable, I had other questions regarding the practice. If God is supposedly all-knowing, why do we need to even have prayer requests in the first place, since his mind is (presumably) made up on the matter and the end-result is already known by him? Are prayers supposed to change God’s mind? Can a human persuade God? Or, can God be forced into answering a prayer, by reminding him of his promises? Or, is prayer a way to make us all feel better about trouble in our lives (read: placebo effect), or simply a way to make us feel somewhat involved in the unpredictable, natural process of life? Remembering my past prayer life brought up all these old questions of mine again.

I can still remember the day when I realized that all of my “conversations” that I’d been having over the years were truly one-sided, and that I was not actually communing with my divine, albeit invisible, friend.

The sadness I felt could be equivalent to the betrayal a child may feel when finding out that there really is no Santa Claus, no tooth fairy, no Easter Bunny, etc. For all these years, you just knew in your heart (in addition to grown-ups telling you) that these beings really existed, and lived to make you happy by bringing you gifts — and yet, in reality, you find out that they weren’t real.

Just like God isn’t real. It’s comforting idea, maybe. But real? And yes, I’ve heard many of the anecdotes from people who want me to see the validity to the claim “God answers prayer” — but I’m finding, more and more, the coincidental can look an awful lot like the supernatural, especially if you specifically are looking for it to be.

Tub o’ fun

Earlier this afternoon, I put Emma to bed for a nap, and then sat downstairs to wait for her to fall asleep.

Now that she’s in her “big girl” bed, she tends to get up for a few minutes before settling in to sleep. Jerry and I took extra measures to baby/toddler-proof her room, so that I can rest assured she can’t hurt herself as she wanders alone in there, unsupervised.

Our downstairs is directly under Emma’s room, so I can usually hear her little patter of feet above, along with the occasional thud of toys hitting the floor. As I listened this afternoon, I heard her wandering, along with a couple thuds.

Finally, since she wasn’t settling down, I went upstairs to put her down again — only to discover a very slimey child. Apparently that thud I heard earlier was Ms. Emma pulling down the Vaseline from her changing table and smearing it ALL OVER herself and her room.

I don’t think her baby dolly will ever be the same again, the poor slimey thing. I had such a hard time trying not to laugh as I mopped up Vaseline, everywhere on Emma and in her room! Needless to say, I’m sure I’ll be finding mementos of this grease-filled adventure I may have missed as I cleaned up her room.

[p.s. Might I suggest that you NEVER type in "Vaseline" in Google's image search engine? Ewwww.]

via my new favorite distraction

It could happen to you.

I got it from him.

okay, so my musical taste is varied…

The latest meme circling the Internets is a list of the top 5 most embarrasing songs on your iPod. Oddly enough, I had a hard time just picking five, since I really do have odd tastes in music.

My list:

  1. New Kids on the Block — Hangin’ Tough (the whole album, actually)
  2. Britney Spears — Toxic
  3. Milli Vanilli — Blame it on the Rain (I also have Girl You Know it’s True)
  4. I Can’t Dance — Genesis (I blame my little sister for this one)
  5. and yes, I have the Macarena and the Ketchup song on my iPod

In addition to these gems, I’ve got several Christian music groups I can’t let go of — including Rich Mullins, dc Talk, Jars of Clay, and a local guy Marc Imboden. I’ve also got a couple JudyBats cds that remind me of high school days, in addition to my country fixes (Loretta Lynn, Alan Jackson, and Alabama). Oh, and what iPod isn’t complete without a Carpenters “Love Songs” cd?

Needless to say, whenever I put my iPod on shuffle, a party inevitably results.

I tag Marc, little sister Suz, Rilla who-should-be-writing (as should I), Jordon (who’s taste in big-hair music is like my husband’s: questionable), and Shannon (who needs a distraction from being around all those Yankees).

Of course, the comments are always open for those of you looking to confess your own warped musical tastes.