Mexico 2015.

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The plain old truth is that I haven’t quite known what to say.  I’ve toyed with shutting my little blog down because I hardly think what I have to share is of any consequence in light of my recent discoveries in all things spiritual.  Then again maybe the little things of life are that much more important because ‘heaven is all around us’ as it were.

We went to Mexico again this year and it was amazing.

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It was a slower pace than normal for me and I realize that part of my emotional/spiritual journey will be learning how to truly slow down.  It is only when I slow down that I can enjoy motherhood.  As a mother I am constantly pulled to move quickly to avoid a child’s meltdown, to keep up with the laundry; to keep up with the dishes, the diapers, the nursing, the teaching and answering questions, the endless amount of chores to be done while also being a good mom.  That is not even to mention the never-ending dust bunnies that I see and I know I just vacuumed yesterday (or was that last week already?).  I will never keep up with all of it.  I will never do enough.  And if I try I might just end up not being as good of a mom as I want to be.

So I need to slow down.

There is a parallel here that I am discovering ever so slowly.  Just as I will never be able to do all that I need to do to reach perfection in my daily life as wife and mother, I will also never be able to be good enough, pure enough, strong enough, brave enough, loving enough, kind enough, etc., etc.  Not without Jesus.  What He did for me is only now beginning to take shape in my heart and mind.  It is just beginning and it is OVERWHELMING.

So you see why I’m having a hard time coming up with something snippy and useful to post?  My normal attitudinal diatribe is sort of paling in comparison to the greatness that is HE who is everything, and HE who has saved us, and guess what?  You have been saved too.  Yup, I said it.  JESUS loves you.  Haha, I don’t even care that I sound like a WWJD bracelet wearing-card carrying thumper.  If you don’t know this I’m gonna tell you, because you don’t know until He has introduced himself to you, but once He does, hold on to your behind.  Not joking.

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So, in light of the revelation that has totally taken over my life (because, you will remember, I thought I was a Christian.  I thought I loved Jesus, but YOU GUYS…I had no idea.  I had never MET Him), you can see why I’m considering my blog to be somewhat ‘meh’ these days.

But this morning a dear friend sent me a text and in it she said something about me being an inspiration.  ME??  I thought about that for a minute, and it was surprising and it felt so good, especially coming from her.  She is the one who is inspiring.  But anyway, it got me thinking about my blog.  If my, ‘testimony’ were to reach ONE person, that is enough.

There was this guy who went to preach in Africa.  He was straight-up American with no foreign languages on the docket.  When he opened his mouth to speak to a large crowd of people his words came out in German.  He was speaking fluent German and he doesn’t speak German.  He later found out there was one person in the audience who only spoke German for whom his testimony had obviously been intended.  This is what I’m talking about.  This is my God.  He cares to go after that one lost sheep so badly that He will go to insane lengths with unfathomable patience to get you.  To get you.

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Yeah that’s right, Mr. H. is staring you down.  Be slightly nervous.  I fell for him because he smoked, drank, had tattoos and dropped the F bomb regularly whilst having a sprinkling of reverence for God which I thought was attractive in that sexy-humble kind of way.  That was us pre-children I’ll have you know.  But God is sneaky because it was marrying Mr. H. that really got me.  Slowly but surely his love for the Lord and prayer for my soul caught me in that net and as I look around at all the other fish here with me I realize that my God is MOVING right now in a way I never knew possible.

He is after you.  Don’t doubt it for a minute, and His brilliance in going after those of us who have lived in DEEP sin and rebellion is that once we find that absolute TRUTH, we are unafraid of what others think of us since we have lived a life on the outside our entire lives.  A girlfriend I never would have imagined would give her heart to Jesus texted me in January that she has met the Lord and now all we do is talk about Him.  You should have seen us 12 years ago (you should have seen me two months ago).

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Oh yeah, Mexico.  This is basically how I lived down there.  Dolly chunk-a-munk lived on me and we walked everywhere like this.  It’s our jam at home now and I love it.

I am sorry I haven’t been posting much.  I am sorry I’m not posting fun food stuff.  I have a ton to share there.  I’ve been baking 100% rye sourdough and it’s good but it’s kind of super rye-ee.  Now I’m trying a mix of rye and spelt.  I just want to steer clear of wheat, but you guys.  I can’t seem to pull off beautiful bread, artisan style crumb, with 100% whole grains.  Anyway, I’m going to get to a place where I’m thrilled with something in that department before I post.  I have a couple of tricks I’ve learned from a sweet little rye cookbook I bought HERE that I will share soon.

I’m making water kefir again, but it is taking about 15 batches for it to be lively enough to be super bubbly and delicious.  I’ll post on that once it’s a total success.

Truthfully I haven’t been inspired in the kitchen.  Just doing the few things I do because I know how, but not venturing out much.  I don’t know if all moms with two kids under two have a hard time finding TIME, but I sure do.  Very often I have to choose between washing my hair or changing new poo diapers; catching up on emails or sleep.  The fact that I’m writing this post right now basically means my living room is covered in legos, there is flour all over the kitchen counter, and I need to vacuum before the Mr. gets home.  Will it get done?  No really, I’m actually asking ’cause I don’t know.

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That is either a crocodile or an alligator, but either way, not cool.  You know how they kill you right?  Spinning down down, creepy evil buggars if you ask me.

Back to Jesus.

There is something I have to say here.  You truly just cannot and will not know until you know.  You are an atheist.  Fine.  I have many friends who are.  I’m woo-woo and you can write me off and that is fine because you know what?  He will have His way.  If the hound of heaven is after you, you almost have no hope of escaping.  I sure didn’t, and thank goodness because now that I KNOW, I am just plain overwhelmed that I may have never known Him.  And I’m only talking about in THIS LIFE.  There is eternity to consider here.  You know the whole ‘you don’t have a soul you are a soul’ thing right?  That’s a deal.  And also, C.S. Lewis said God has placed eternity in our hearts.  It’s true.  I knew it.  That longing, that unfillable by any other means thing.  And believe me, I have tried those other means.  All. Of. Them.  You don’t have a longing?  You are stoned then, and that doesn’t count.  You can’t really measure anything if you don’t take the test properly.

And one more thing.  I was in the camp for a while that subscribes to the whole “well, might as well be safe and believe Jesus died for my sins, because if it isn’t true then no harm, and if it is, ‘yay, no hell for me’.”  I say take that one step further and really put it to the test.  Put Christianity to the gosh-darn test and take your coffee loving, book reading, science-y-snobby-hipster-bottom to your favorite coffee shop, pull out your mac, sip your black americano (or true italian macchiato; none of this ‘starbucks macchiato made-like-a-late’ bull honkey) and follow this foolish little formula:

Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal Himself to you (he doesn’t exist right?  So you can do this safely just to prove it).

Read the bible.  I mean, like the whole thing (no, not in one sitting you have to sleep).  Every time you open it though you have to ask to meet the Lord, and you have to actually want the Truth.  If you don’t really want to know the Truth, whether that be that God doesn’t or does exist, then you are just an angry atheist and those are just funny (Richard Dawkins) because they are so angry at God that they spend their entire lives trying to get others to stumble…oh how grateful I am that my sins are forgiven because I have made so many stumble…but I digress.  Anyway, if you want the Truth regardless of what it is, then you will find it.  I promise you.

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This guy here is a dragon.  This guy dares you to do it.

-Bee

Roar.

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I took this photo in hopes of illustrating how I feel about some things currently happening in my life.

When I looked at it I decided I looked angry, or sad, or anything but jubilant and on fire…which is how I feel.

Dub saw it and said “That’s Mama!”  I said “Yup.  What’s she doing?”

I was genuinely curious as to his interpretation.

Know what he said?

“SHE’S ROARING!”  ROAR MAMA!”

Well Dub, you know me so well.  Roaring is exactly what I was doing, I just didn’t know it.

If you read this blog you probably know enough about me to know that I get really excited about Truth when I discover it.  That and I’m kind of a freak show.

I love food, specifically real food.  I have an unnatural obsession with textiles, particularly textiles made from natural fibers like (in order of importance) LINEN, WOOL, COTTON, SILK.  I have too many neutral-toned natural-fiber throw blankets because I am obsessed with them.  I love a good deal, but not at the expense of quality so the hunt for a steal is something I sort of live for.  I get bored very easily.  I spent my entire young life bored, which explains why I did so many totally insane things.  I mean, you have no idea.  I had no fear of the ramifications of my self-destructive tendencies, and yet until now, I have been one of the most frightened people I have ever met.

I know.  I put up a good front, but I have been terrified for most of my life.  Of what?  Whatever horrific thing is on the news or that was on a show or movie, or whatever I can imagine, etc.  My imagination is rude.

Something happened to me recently that has changed my life forever.  I have had an experience with The Holy Spirit.  I didn’t know that I didn’t know, but apparently I have never known Him.  Until now my life has looked like this:

Non-believer age 12-25?

Believer in a God age 25-29

Believer that the Jesus part is significant age 29-31

Believer that Jesus Died for my sins age 31-34

MEETER and now seeker OF JESUS age 34-THE REST OF MY LIFE

I didn’t have any idea that I was so on the fence in my Faith.  The Holy Spirit has introduced himself to me by giving me a glimpse of what it means to have Him communicate with me through my days, and move me into a light of a happiness so complete that human words just cannot explain.  They can’t explain what is waiting for us in Heaven.  They can’t explain the peace of His Presence.  They can’t explain anything of The Spirit to the spirit so The Spirit has to do it.  He is subtle, working gently and strategically on hearts that He has primed and readied.

I am still that young girl willing to jump off of the highest cliff before anyone else, but the fear that ailed me in the silence of my thoughts and ruled most of my life is gone.  I have been relieved of the spirit of fear because I’ve been filled with Faith.  Real Faith.

I was on a literal high for days when this happened.  Then, I crashed.  I didn’t want to crash, I wanted to bask in the feeling I had received forever but I live here on this earth and I guess I have to stay here for a while.  The fear is still gone, which is amazing, but I’m learning that the feeling of His presence that I was given a glimpse of, is what I am going to be seeking for the rest of my life.  It was given to me so I could know why to get down on my knees every single day and seek The Lord (which to be honest, I had never done, until now).

If you don’t know this feeling I’m talking about and you want it (even if you don’t want it, somewhere in your heart you do because it is gosh-darn what you were created for) I can tell you how to get it.

1. Pray to experience the presence of The Lord

2. Read God’s Word every day

3. Seek The Lord in everything you do

I don’t think much before I write, as I’m sure you have noticed.  I hope I am not giving advice that isn’t correct but I have a feeling I’m suppose to write this.

So what is one to do when they are a thrill seeker (whole new meaning to that phrase now) and the thrill is over (even temporarily)?  Delve deeper into the seeking.  Become the freak show He made me to be and focus my life on the advancement of His Kingdom.

If you don’t get it I get it.  I didn’t even know how much I didn’t get until basically just now when I got it.

What an honor it would be to have people remember me as the girl who “loved Jesus so much she was willing to be a complete fool for Him.”

REGARDING FOOD:

This will come as a surprise to many of you but apparently I am a mere mortal.  I totally failed my juice cleanse and I will fill you in on exactly why that is in a different post soon.  Still juicing daily, just also eating a handful of peanut butter filled pretzels here and there in addition.

Gahhhh….

Full Term Belly Shot And Some News.

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So life is interesting.  I bet you already know that.  For one reason or another life always seems to throw us curve balls.  BALLS.  One might think I’d had my fair share over the last month or so, but apparently I’m much stronger than even I knew.  One thing I hadn’t shared on here is that we did end up finding out our baby’s gender.  It’s a girl and her name is Dahlia.  I will call her Dolly.  (Side note: I would have named her Bam-Bam if Mr. H. would have allowed it-she is lucky he is around.  I’ve always loved that  name.)  So since I don’t have a home at the moment Dub and I have moved from the RV to my mom’s house to prep her guest room for the birth of Miss Dolly.  I had an ultrasound a few days ago (due to some inconsistencies in the reported location of my placenta in my 24 week ultrasound) and there were “unexpected findings.”  Ominous.

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I’ll cut to the chase.  I don’t have a lot of amniotic fluid which led the doc reviewing the scan to look closely at my placenta.  What she found was that the umbilical cord insertion is on the very edge and the placenta looks as though it’s been shrinking to hang on.  Trouble attaching properly I suppose.  Could be due to the several IUD’s I’ve had over the years causing scar tissue in there.  What we know from my past is that with Weston’s birth the placenta detached prematurely during labor and there was some hemorrhaging on my part.  It was a bit scary.  Knowing what we know about amniotic fluid helping to ensure that the umbilical cord is not compressed, my scar tissue laden uterus (or whatever), and whatever else, my wonderful midwife and I have decided it’s best to have this gal in the hospital.  Honestly, I used to FEAR a c-section.  If you told me that I had to get this baby out of me right now to save her life you wouldn’t have a hope of stopping me from cutting my belly open (with a c-section tutorial playing on YouTube of course) and pulling her out myself.  Not joking.

So life is interesting and here we are.  I have to wait.  There is no immediate action that needs to be taken (I guess) except to monitor Dolly closely.  Non-stress test is on Sunday.  Then we do a transfer of care to a wonderful Doc that my midwife works closely with.  If I don’t go into labor naturally (or if something changes like Doll’s movements) before Monday I guess we discuss induction.  I don’t know how to do nothing.  I simply don’t know how people settle for wringing their hands.  I want a bottle of whisky and a pack of cigarettes.  I can’t have those, obviously and so I’m forced to put FAITH and TRUST into real and actual action.  Once again.  Thank you Lord for the serious vote of confidence in my abilities to be strong and be “given much.”  I am trying not to disappoint you.

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Oh and hey if you believe…if you BELIEVE, shoot a prayer up for our Doll baby will ya?

Love,

Bee

 

 

Hi Baby. And a Toddler Room Tour.

“Hi baby.”  Dub has now spoken a sentence and it was “hi baby.”  Apparently we say that a lot around here.

I will try to make this next portion brief.

Sometimes I don’t remember I’m pregnant until I witness myself responding (reacting) in a-how do I say-rather intense way.  I feel sometimes like people really suck.  Most of the time I know that, and I go about my business unaffected by any of it.  Sometimes though it touches me and I can’t shake it off.  Yesterday I was at Costco (which, if you are like me is a serious experience since I pretty much shop at co-ops, farmers markets and Trader Joes) and I stopped in the entrance to put Dub in the cart, very much in the way of people trying to pass by.  It was dumb, I get that, but I was overwhelmed by the sheer mass of the place and the people (and the carts!  Whisky-Tango-Foxtrot).   Anyway, this woman (my age, maybe a little older) walked past with her child already in the cart and said “You’re blocking the entire entrance so people can’t get by” which was simply untrue due to the fact that she had just passed me while vomiting all over me, but regardless it was the way she said it and the look she delivered AFTER.  Granted, I was already having a day, and it was followed by way worse, but it got me thinking…

How often is our first reaction something like the Costco she-devil and not one of offering assistance or even just quiet judgement.  Joking, but not really.  I mean, I think what got my goat the most about the whole thing is that she wasn’t old and crotchety, she was young and with a young child herself!  How did she not identify in any way with my human-ness?

I’ve been seeing a couple of things on instagram and pinterest lately that I feel I can apply to both she-devil and to myself in this situation.

For her:

BE A NICE HUMAN.

For me:

LOVE PEOPLE ANYWAY.

Which leads me to my next point.  In thinking about all of this it occurred to me (suddenly and out of the blue at a stoplight) that today is Good Friday.  Today is the day Jesus died for us.  Today is THE DAY that a faultless man took all of the sin in the world to ever have existed-that will ever exist-upon himself to save us.  I guess the least I can do is not take she-devil’s puke so hard.  I suppose I can love her anyway; dust myself off and take time to consider just how incredible it is that a man like Jesus would love us anyway.

Okay, now for some pictures.  I can’t say I have styled Weston’s room, but I have tidied and pared it down a bit and I’m feeling great about the overall arrangement of things.  I will work on it more through the summer and since we are turning the hubby’s office into a nursery I will have more space to keep baby things there too.

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First, Dub is now in a toddler bed.  I put a pool noodle (the $1 one from target) under his sheet so he doesn’t roll out and it has worked like a dream.

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I have found that the more organized I keep his shelves the more he plays with his toys.  The cleaner I keep his room the more likely he is to be in there using his imagination.  I found old metal baskets in the garden that I use to keep shoes organized.  He loves to get his little animals down and he really loves to read books to himself.  The jute rug is new from Target and I love it for so many reasons, but mostly because the cats don’t care to scratch it.  I swear, I vacuumed twice a day with the last rug and it never stayed looking clean for more than an hour.  I felt like I sucked at housewife.  Also, the fan.  I don’t know if your toddler has the fan obsession, but mine sure does and it doesn’t seem to be going away.  It’s the first thing we say hi to and the last thing we put to bed each night.

As far as food goes, I am still digging Mexican but more than that, it’s just easy.

If you happen to have a little extra time (I mean maybe 30 minutes longer than your allotted dinner prep time) then you should make this.  The chicken itself cooks for an hour, but hands-on is about 30.

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Yes, that is the husband’s plate.  I don’t really like the chicken neck.

This recipe involves roasting a chicken, stewing the meat in Mexican seasonings, frying up tortillas and assembling tacos.  Sounds arduous but is totally fun.  I  mean it.  Throw on some embarrassing 90’s hits and go. to. town.

You can use my recipe for roasted chicken from here:

Perfect Roasted Chicken

I just used Mexican spices with the butter and shoved that under the skin since I knew exactly what I was making this chicken for.  (Basil, oregano, red pepper flakes, cumin, salt, garlic.)

While your chicken is roasting combine stewing ingredients:

On medium heat: sunflower oil and butter melted, then add 1/2 onion and cook until translucent.  Add a clove or two of minced garlic and cook 30 seconds or until you smell it.  Add oregano, basil, cumin, red pepper flakes, chilli powder, salt and pepper.  cook another minute or so and then add 2 cups of chicken stock.  Bring to a boil and cover, simmering on medium/low heat until your chicken is done.

Once your chicken is roasted let it cool 5 minutes and then pull its legs and wings off and slice all the meat from them.  Slice the meat into strips and add to the stock mixture.

–you can slice the breasts off and put them in the fridge for a few days of sandwiches, as I did—

–put the chicken carcass in a plastic bag and stick it in the freezer so you can save up a few carcasses and make chicken stock!—

Cover stew mixture once more and let simmer while you prep your tacos.  Overall I like mine to stew about 45 minutes to an hour.

What you like in your tacos is totally up to you but we like:

refried beans

grass-fed cheddar

romaine

cilantro

green salsa

fresh tomatoes

avocado

sour cream

chicken (of course)

and corn tortillas freshly fried in sunflower oil

We had leftover chicken and it was perfect for making taco salad the next night!  I just added blue corn chips to the rest of the ingredients, lots of romaine, replaced the refried beans with canned black beans, and voila!  The chicken juices and sour cream make a perfect dressing.  I don’t like a drenched salad, but if you do, a little sunflower oil and lime would be great as well.

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I do this so much better than the local Mexican restaurants.  Sometimes it sucks to live so far north.

Happy day and happy cooking, and don’t forget to be a nice human!

-Bee

 

 

 

Warning: This Post Is About Jesus.

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This post is not going to be for everyone.  I’m not secretive about my love for God, but the name Jesus really tends to ruffle feathers.  Why is Dub crying in this picture?  Because this morning was one of those mornings.  Nothing I did could please him.  No food, no boob, no love, no playing, comfort, reading, or anything at all.  Except of course, anything he wasn’t suppose to have, such as dada’s empty beer cans, dog food, and electrical outlets.  It’s this time of the month that I tend to get migraines and so I have been feeling one come on with all Dub’s crying this morning.  At one point I held him while he tantrumed out and I just cried and prayed out loud “God, please help me out here, pllllleeeeeaaaaassssseeee.”  I gave Weston a bowl of yogurt, poured myself a cup of coffee and walked away.  To my amazement, somehow, yogurt was the answer.  Or was it the yogurt?

Regardless of your view on the power of prayer (or the validity of faith), I have been thinking heavily on God’s Grace lately.  I come from a very, very different world pre-baby.  For all intents and purposes I should be at minimum, addicted to something, and penniless.  At a very young age I was using drugs and making decisions that should have affected my entire life.  Through no fault of my parents, I confirm to me that we are born with a certain soul and certain proclivities.  I was born HELL-BENT.  My twenties are a blur for the most part.  Yeah, I held multiple jobs and was functioning, but I was dramatic, lost, and always searching for something that would fill a void in me.  A void I could not understand, much less find the answer for.  So I drank a lot, I smoked a ton, I was careless with others and thoughtless and reckless, and all the other less’ you can name.  This isn’t me being a martyr, this is me just being honest.  It is truly amazing I am where I am considering everything I did trying to ruin me.

dubsmileA few minutes after that last photo…

What is amazing about this is that I am loved by a wonderful man, blessed with a healthy and beautiful son, and I have no addictions to speak of.  I have no temptations that haunt me, and I am blissed-out just to spend my days caring for my boy and taking care of my husband by cooking and cleaning (take that feminists).  Considering where I’ve come from, this shouldn’t be the case, yet it is.  Only now am I beginning to understand what, or rather who, has allowed all of this to be.  It has been given to me without me asking, and without my understanding.  I think that is called Grace.

I’ve loved people who I thought were beyond helping before.  I’ve prayed for them for so long that eventually I came to believe they were gone forever.  Then, they come back.  They return from whatever crazy town/addiction planet they had been on for a decade and they are whole and clean and better than ever.  I catch Weston mid-fall multiple times a day.  He is unaware of my intervention, and carries on like nothing was about to severely maim him.  In a similar way I have spent my entire life being “caught” and spared, clueless to the forces that surrounded me.  I’ve seen people beyond saving come to themselves for no reason other than Grace.  I have experienced Grace in my own life that I still have yet to fully comprehend.  I witness my child hell-bent on hurting himself simply through his own ignorance and I see just a glimpse into God’s world.  I see how He can love us through our horrible choices and sin (sin, another trigger-word).  We are like children who just don’t know.  We don’t see.

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After Weston finished his yogurt he had another good cry and then took a bath.  By this point the coffee had kicked in and I was feeling better.  Bath time=best time for Dub, so he was happy, I was happy, and even though I looked away for a second and turned back to find him tasting his poo, it was cool.  We filled the bath back up and enjoyed the time.

I’ve not always been a believer.  I’ve also spent some time believing in God, but not really being comfortable with the “Jesus” part.  Lately, I’m starting to understand why Jesus is the key to the whole thing.  Without Him, without His sacrifice, we would all be lost forever.  The concept that there is a King of everything, a King higher than all other Kings; that that King would die for those that serve him?  It’s completely backwards and the most beautiful story ever told.  I am finally starting to understand how ever-present Jesus has been in my life.  I need him in every second of my day.  Prayer is a real thing, and I honestly don’t know how people get by without it.  Yes, it is comforting, but it’s more than that.  It is real, and I’m so grateful I have the chance to know Him.

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Are you puking a little in your mouth right now?  I get it, I’ve been there, and no I don’t mean I’ve been there as in I know more than you.  I just get it.  It took me forever to warm to the idea of looking like a complete fool.  Of being made fun of by most intellectuals.  Of being mistaken for those totally screwy Christians that gave the rest of us a bad name by passing judgement, by being hypocrites, by misrepresenting, and by being dumb.  I’m not a typical Christian.

I knew a priest once who was an alcoholic.  He spent years on the street, homeless and addicted to drowning his sorrows.  He had lost everything.  I don’t know what brought him to the priesthood exactly, but I know that he was one of the most REAL people I had ever met.  His humility was humbling.  His honesty dumbfounding, and his entire life seemed a contradiction.  This man passed no judgement on anyone, and was truly, truly kind.  It is a man like that, that brings people into the fold.  He was just one person in my long journey toward God that drove me to and not from.  That man’s life was similar to the life of Jesus.  Jesus, who was perfect, obviously didn’t have a life like the first-half of that priest’s life.  What he did have was the contradiction of the second-half.  He accepted without judgement those who were the lowest and the most despicable.  He loved and welcomed those who all others considered trash.  Where on this earth, other than The Bible, is there a story like this?  Nowhere.

I know I’m late to this game.  I grew up in church, rebelled from it completely, tried on every other faith and approach, and now I am here understanding (or beginning to) just how incredible it is that we are saved.  I’m okay with whatever negativity I will face for believing what I do.  I pray that my life can be an example to even one person that Grace is real, and God is real, and no one is beyond redemption.

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Now go forth, or whatever.

-Bee