It’s a Pinterest Life…..

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                I’ll put it the way my one English professor did in night class: “What…what is a Pinterest? Do you pin things on it?”

                Sometimes I’ve asked a similar question. For the longest time, I owned a Pinterest account that I never looked at. Ever. Now I’ve got loads of people following my account and constantly filling up my e-mail with updates I already knew about.

                I suppose I’ve come to enjoy my boards, my likes, and the general idea that I can express myself through what I post. My only concern is how much of it is realistic or even bloody possible. I have one board that is specifically for stories. There are random pictures of tales I love, characters that I swoon over (for more than loving reasons). But once I’m in the category of home ideas and clothing fashion…well, I feel stuck. What the hell do I post there? Clothing brands that I could never purchase? Home décor and renditions for a house that I don’t have or will never be able to afford?

                Seriously – what the hell?

                I can’t do most hair-dos recommended because I lack the thick hair required to pull them off. And all those house ideas are silly for me to consider, because no house is built with everything I would want in it. I might as well construct my own home and make it in the unique fashion I desire (good luck, Grace; you’ll never own a tree-home like Thranduil or a hobbit-hole like Bilbo Baggins). I can’t even own the cute animals I pin all the time. Where’s my baby elephant and red panda?

                But I guess these silly fascinations with what we want aren’t entirely unaccounted for. At least there – in our Pinterest fantasy – we can have ideas of what is and isn’t possible. We can try to have those things, even if they don’t come in our preferred version. If I want that pair of shoes, I can at least find a substitute. If I want those cute, painted mason jars, I’ve got paint and mason jars to make the convenient clones. Pinterest is the imagination waiting to become a reality.

                But for this reason, I’ll always prefer Tumblr. At least there, the imagination can stay in its perfect picture and only be wished upon for its entirety.

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Repeat: I am NOT a Robot.

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                Considering the present turmoil over Robin William’s death, I think it’s time to have a talk I’ve wanted to make for a while.

                No, I’m not going to be insensitive to William’s death. I have no reason to be. I didn’t know him and I don’t know what he could have been going through. Sure, I feel an ache in my stomach every time someone commits suicide. But I’ve seen some of my own friends deal with depression so badly that they considered suicide a way out. And at the time, they didn’t really believe there was any other relief. All I could do was show I was there and hope my presence was enough to revive their hope.

                But I’m not here to talk about suicide explicitly. Enough of that conversation is splashing my Facebook like a water-gun. I’m pretty sure everyone knows the ups and downs that this topic brings.

                No, I’m here to explain the extreme importance of not playing the “I’m okay” game. There’s this strange mentality in our world that we have to play it cool at all times. We can’t go around looking glum because we feel terrible. Instead we have to pretend we don’t feel that and convince everyone that we’ve got our problems under control.

                Listen: I have been under this influence for a long time. And only recently have I grasped the truth that it’s okay to not be okay. It’s fine to have a good cry. It’s sensible to let your guard down once in a while. If we don’t express these emotions when they are needed, we’ll be more robotic than we already are.

                I was lucky enough one time to have a boss that didn’t mind me losing my composure one time at work. I can’t quite recall what it was I was upset about; but I remember trying hard to not cry when I arrived at the job that morning. I went hastily about my business, playing it cool like everyone in the world said was the logical response. And in some cases, I suppose it is. But my boss could tell I was troubled and instead of scolding me for not being in control of myself, she came up to me and wrapped her arms around me. Her consoling warmth revived my spirit that day, helping me to continue my job without the fear that my real feelings were making me less of a person.

                I know we aren’t all fortunate enough to have people like this in our lives 24/7. But I believe we need them now more than ever. We can’t be afraid to weep and we cannot fear the sound of our voices crying out. Stop treating these emotions like they are a sin. And stop thinking you’ve got to be a solid rock through everything. There will be a time for us to stand tall and strong; but sometimes we need to let that burden go and allow someone else to stand tall and strong for us.

                We are people who are supposed to love in all circumstances. And not seeking for a hand to hold or a shoulder to lean on (or vice versa, we being the hand-holder, etc.) is a pretty poor example of what love is.

Just Another Angle, Right?

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The world is full of people. People are full of stories. Each story is full of angles that lead to more stories with more angles. And those angles could turn into a hundred more.

Do we only listen to one of them?

Perhaps I speak not in logic, but in reason. Recently I have been in pursuit of truth; an honorable truth. A truth that is relatable to everyone and applicable to each person.

That’s what the Bible should be.

Why isn’t it? Because most churches are at war with each other. Each denomination is upholding their version of Christianity as the firm truth. And if we do not accept one thread of supposed ‘truth’ from one church, we are in the wrong and must be judged for it.

There are two points I would like to make. The first are my observations of denominational conflict. The second is our interpretation of the Bible.

Denominations, in my firm opinion, are acting much like the Jews and Gentiles did in the New Testament. There was disagreement about who truly had the Christian life right. The Gentiles ‘obviously’ have their version of Christianity warped. They couldn’t possibly be Christians (notice the sarcasm). But Jesus saw them all as Christians. Even their differences in belief had no effect against the base that they all shared. They all believed in God. And that’s all that mattered.

(I don’t like quoting Scripture, because it makes me sound preachy. But for those of you who are desperate for references, check out Galatians 3:23-29, Romans 10:11-13 as some examples.)

This is where, I fear, people may start to get mad at me. “She’s twisting Scripture for her own devices,” some may be thinking. And so it would appear. But that is where my second point takes place.

I once heard a pastor tell the tale of Jesus walking on the water from another approach. He dared to speak against most theological points and say that maybe Peter’s sinking was not his lack of faith in God. Maybe it was a lack of faith in Peter himself.

Can you hear the cannons of spiritual warfare in the distance?

But before everyone gets carried away that the Bible is being twisted, consider your own life. Consider what you’ve gone through and what you still go through today. What if you’re having a hard time in your relationship with your dad? Does anyone expect this person to relate to God as the image of a Father? I doubt it. Or if someone is having conflicts with a spouse; do they want to call God ‘husband?’ Nope.

So maybe there is a reason God is called many names; because he knew not everyone would relate to them all. And that’s NOT wrong. It means that God will relate to us right where we are, for what’ve we’ve been through and what we are today. I may read a verse in the Bible and find it applicable in a way that the church would say is my misinterpretation of the Word. It’s just not true.

I don’t say all this to cause a fight. Religious debates are hardly worth the effort. If we just looked at each other as human beings, we could avoid a lot of these conflicts to begin with. Maybe that’s what each denomination’s weakness is. I don’t know.

Frankly, I’m still trying to figure it all out.