Niceness

I love people who are driven by compassion, but I am consistently befuddled by their fixation on niceness. They love to look for niceness in their social environments. I have found that many Christians have a compulsion to try and live out the spiritual fruit of kindness by being nice, and I have become resistant to that compulsion over the passed few years.

As far as I understand, kindness has to do with a desire to do good and be helpful to others, and niceness has to do with pleasurable, enjoyable or attractive qualities or experiences. They are not the same thing. Kindness is nice, but niceness does not automatically indicate kindness. (This feels like it could be another flawed syllogism; I think I have a thing for those.)

To be nice is to be polite. It is to behave in a way that everyone agrees is good. To be kind is do what is good and helpful for someone, regardless of whether or not everyone agrees that it is good. I would say that compassion is far more synonymous with kindness than it is with niceness. I think when we begin to tie kindness to politeness, we begin to loose what kindness really is.

Don't just accept what I am saying though, because once again, I am biased. I don't like looking for niceness. I like looking for grit. I like messiness. I look for people to unfold their messiness and grittiness before me, because that is where I find the hidden treasures. I was recently told that God would give me the treasures of darkness (especially in relation to my writing), and that fascinated me because shortly after that was spoken over me the scripture where that phrase is used was read aloud. Isaiah 45:3. Simply titillating!

I am beginning to wonder if this might be one of the things about me that was being referred to. I am fascinated by dark things. I want to know why the human psyche has such darkness, and I want to know what's hidden inside of that darkness. I know many Christians will give me the blanket answer that we have fallen short of the glory of God and live in a fallen world, and while I don't disagree with that, I want to dive deeper. I'm not satisfied with just the all encompassing answer; I want to know all the smaller answers within it.

Well, I guess that's my rant for today. I'm strongly considering changing the description to reflect how much I ramble on. I think I may actually do that.

Anywho! Thanks for reading my blog! God bless you!

On Friendship and Mentorship

I have a confession to make. I don't want friends. *gasp* I must me emotionally stunted! What kind of person doesn't want friends? Surely I am a sociopath, or something like it.

Well, now that I have made you question my socio-emotional maturity, allow me to elaborate. I see the value of friendships, and I am very grateful for the friendships I have in my life. I love you, friends. However, I don't want any more friends. I no longer crave having peers. I crave something else now.

I crave a mentor. I yearn for a mentor. That's weird, though. I mean, how do you go about getting one? Do I just go up to someone I respect and say, "Hey, wanna be my mentor?" It's not quite the same as making a friend.

Mentorship is very important, though. It's basically discipleship, and I think sometimes Christians misunderstand the depth of discipleship. I wonder if we often think it begins and ends with an unbeliever becoming a believer, or whatever terminology you want to use, but it doesn't stop there. Discipleship actually truly begins after process is finished, because it's really a relationship. It's a relationship that has a teacher-student dynamic, and that's clearly very important sense those were some of the central relationships in Jesus' ministry.

I struggle to find a mentor. I think it's partially an issue of modern culture, because people have become so suspicious of the very concept of authority that a discipling relationship looks problematic (oh, I hate that word). However, it's also because the people who have tried to mentor me have neglected a very important need of mine, and by no fault of their own.

The people who have been drawn to me have been deeply spiritual people, and that's great! I love exploring the depths of spirituality! However, I don't want to neglect my intellect, but that's almost impossible to avoid when the people who want to invest in me focus almost exclusively on spiritual and emotional growth. Again, there's nothing wrong with that! If they're wired that way then they're wired that way. No judgement here.

I hesitate to say this, but I can't help but notice a trend. The people who have wanted to mentor me have mainly been women, and the people whom I have wanted to mentor me have mostly been men. I have nothing against other women, and I will reiterate one more time, I highly value their wisdom and investment in the socio-emotional pursuit of spirituality. However, I want more, and I struggle to find women who are as interested in exploring a purely intellectual examination of faith and spirituality as I am.

Unfortunately, it's weird looking for a male mentor. I am extremely neurotic, so any possibility of my relationships even LOOKING like they could be inappropriate is enough to stop me. So, what do I do? Well, so far, I have satisfied this need by finding people on the internet to listen to.

I love Dr. Jordan Peterson, J. Warner Wallace, and even David Wood. They are huge inspirations for me. I also enjoy the YouTubers Sargon of Akkad and Computing Forever, and to be honest I view their content more than anyone else's content. (I know, I know, some people consider them pseudo-intellectuals, but I still think they have good insights.) Now, I am not trying to bad mouth atheists – quite the opposite actually, I have a great deal of respect for a lot of social and political commentators who happen to be atheists – but I wonder what it might say about what Christian communities may be lacking , when the majority of my need for mentorship is being fulfilled by atheists. We have lost something in our Christian communities. We need to find it again.

My dear atheist friends, please don't misunderstand me. I don't think you are lesser than Christians, I am simply saddened by the lack of Christian mentors who I can connect with. I have found much wisdom and companionship with atheists and agnostics, and I am deeply grateful for that. I only make the distinction to illustrate my point that I wish I could find a mentor who would invest in my intellectual growth as a vital component of my faith walk.

Anywho. Thank you for reading my blog. God bless you! I love you all!

News Flash: Married People Know What Sex Is

Good day all! How are you doing today? I’m still under the weather, but I am significantly improved from yesterday. 

So I bet you’re wondering why the title of this post is so stupid. It really is stupid, isn’t it? Well, it’s an exaggeration of an assumption I often notice when the ethics of sexual behavioirs are being discussed; namely abstinence. Usually the first thing people who are of the opinion that abstinence should not be encouraged will bring up is that sex has health benefits. 

Yes. I know. I am married. I know very well that sex is beneficial. I don’t think you understand just how deeply and intimately aware I am of the various benefits of sex. Seriously. 

This is both astounding and depressing to me. If a person doesn’t know I or whomever they are talking to is married when they bring up this point than whatever. That’s not depressing. However, if the person is aware of the marital status of whomever they are discussing sex with when they say sex has health benefits, it’s just unbelievably sad.   What do people think of marriage these days? Do people honestly think that a married couple is oblivious to sex because of the fact that they’re married? 
Not to mention how cynical people get when they know a married couple is also a faith based couple. It’s as if they immediately evoke some puritan image of two people who sleep in seperate beds and only ever take part in coitus when they decide that they don’t have enough children to run their old colony Mennonite farm.  

I’m just so sad that people have such a dismal view of marriage now, and this is one of the examples of how poorly people view this special bond. Contrary to what appears to be popular belief these days, marriage does not automatically kill sexual chemistry or whatever you want to call it. People who believe sex should be kept in marriage are not just old colony menonites who think it’s only meant for procreation. We are not all sexually suppressed puritans who punish ourselves for enjoying orgasms. Trust me. You have no idea how utterly contrary that is to the truth. 

Okay, I’m done my rant. Thank you for reading it. I just wanted to get that little point cleared up a bit. 

God bless you! 

Hey, Guess What…

I’m back again! 

I know, I know, I have no consistency. I am terribly flippant and emotionally driven. I feel like I suddenly cocoon every few months and then emerge a stranger creature everytime. Like a shy little caterpillar that becomes a bold and brilliant butterfly, but then that butterfly cocoons again and emerges as a slightly less tolerant and slightly more aggressive version of the previous butterfly over and over again. Like a sad little teenager who thinks she’s edgy and punk when really she just has very bad stress management skills. Yup. That may be who I really am deep inside. I shant supress my true self any longer.

Anywho, I had a very pleasant experience today and I felt compelled to tell someone about it, and who better to tell of my personal life stories than a bunch of people on the internet whom I’ve never met before? Jolly good idea, I’d say. 

So, let me begin by telling you that I have had a stressful weak, and as I mentioned above I have bad stress management skills (I’m an INFP according to an online Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator, and supposedly they are notorious for having poor stress management). On Friday Januaury 27th a water main broke on my street, and so for a couple days we had no running water. They gave us a day of reprieve and turned the water back on, but still kept the drinking water advisory in effect, and then shut the water off again the next day. My shower opportunities were quite limited for the first half of this passed week, and that was quite irksome.   

Then on Tuesday I got a sinus infection which turned into a vicious head cold on Wednesday, and then on that very same day my period started. On top of all that, I couldn’t call in sick at work because the other two supervisors who normally would have been available to take a shift both happened to have personal matters which they had to taken time off for this past week. No hard feelings, of course. Far be it from me to fault someone for needing time in their personal lives. I need more than what many would consider my fair share. 

So, today has been the first day I could really lay back and rest for the whole day. The water is back on and the advisory is lifted, I have no social engagements I am required to take part in and because I am still sick my husband has been putting in an extra special effort to take care of me. However, once my husband left for work today, I couldn’t get back to sleep. This was a serious problem, because I didn’t get back home from work until 10:00 pm last night, and my husband’s alarm woke us up around 5:00 this morning because he started work at 6:15 today. 

So, I’m sick, I’m stressed, and I haven’t had a decent enough sleep to recover my health in days. What does my brain decide to do with this dilemma? Obsess over politics. Oh yes, my body was in desperate need of some good old REM sleep, so my brain decided that I should scroll through political memes on Twitter. So I did just that. I ended up spending the rest of the day watching Steven Crowder videos, Sargon of Akkad videos, Rebel Media videos (especially Gavin Mcinnes) and some Paul Joseph Watson videos. Yes, I know, many of them are insensitive assholes, but I love them.

All I have wanted to do all week was get a good, long, uninterrupted sleep, but noooooooooo. My brain has to think about stuff. Why must my brain always think about stuff? Half the time they’re not even good thoughts. They’re just half baked ideas about things that don’t even matter in the long run. Why? Why, oh why do I do this to myself? 

Then something wonderful happened. My husband came home around 4:00, and within a matter of minutes I began to feel sleepy. He made me a cup of hot chocolate, because even though he insists that tea would be better for me when I’m sick, I argued that I am more likely to take in large quanities of fluids if I drink hot chocolate because I drink it faster than tea. I won. He made me hot chocolate. However, by the time he brought the hot chocolate to me I was already nodding off. I forgot about the hot chocolate before I took a single sip, and fell asleep. 

This is one of the tremendous benefits of having a strong, masculine, and dare I say it… dominant husband. The moment he was in the home I felt safe. The moment he walked in the door I felt calm and peaceful. I have realized that I fall alseep significantly faster when I know he is near by, and I have no doubt that is because his pressence gives me a deep sense of security. 

So, once again I wish to give my thanks to all the strong men of God out there. To the men who understand the authority they walk in, and who understand that their strength must be tempered with patience and gentleness. A woman who is not battling against her own biology should recognize the value in your masculinity. I hope more women who wish to marry find men who will strive to keep them safe and won’t be ashamed of the implied gender roles therein. It really is a great blessing. 

Thank you for reading my blog. 

God bless you! 

Your Words Matter

Today I received a compliment from a man whom respect, and I realized something. I almost feel giddy when a man whom I respect compliments me. Even if it’s a simple, “Hey, nice dress.” It just makes me giddy. Of course I love it when women compliment me. It feels great to hear my female friends tell me things that they appreciate about me. It can really give me a boost when a woman I respect compliments me, too. But something about a man’s acknowledgement of my qualities is just so unique. 

I think it may have something to do with authority. I believe that God has given man greater authority than woman. Women do have authority, but if I am to keep true to God’s word and his order of things, which I want to do, I must acknowledge that at least on a spiritual level a man’s authority is innately greater. 

I don’t have a problem with this. In fact I am thankful for it. I do not envy the authority that my husband holds, and I am very grateful that he accepts the responsibilities that come along with his measure of authority. 

That being said, I shall go back to my original point. I simply love receiving compliments from respected men! It’s almost like receiving praise from someone higher up the corporate ladder at my place of work. Sure, it’s great receiving compliments from a peer at work. That’s very encouraging. But when someone who has more authority and therefore more responsibility takes notice of something I’ve done and says, “I’m impressed. Good job.” I become giddy. There’s something so gratifying about that!  

It’s almost like I get the feeling of… Oh dare I say it… “Senpai noticed me!” LOL I was steeped in anime and Japanese culture as a teenager…

Anywho, I just wanted to share that today. Men of God, your compliments matter. To those who acknowledge and accept your authority, your words really do have an impact. Sometimes that thought may be nerve racking, but I hope it’s also encouraging. 🙂 

God bless!

Anaisa 

…It feels kind of weird writing this freely. I hope I eventually get used to it.

Embarrasment and Confusion: Part 2

A while ago I wrote a blog post that revealed a rather humiliating moment in my young life. Well, now I have another, and in is one, the humiliation isn’t even the worst part.

When I was probably six or seven years old, a male family member who was about three years older than me wanted to kiss me. (I shall call him Dave.) No big deal right? Lots of kids had that one time in their lives when they were curious about kissing, and decided a family member like a cousin or a sibling who’s around the same age would be fine to explore that with. Well, I didn’t feel that way. I was always baffled when I heard other girls on the playground asking “Who was the first boy who ever kissed you, and brothers and cousins don’t count!” Because this experience counted in my books. I tried coming up with excuses not to kiss him, one of which being that someone might see us. So he invited me into a closet for privacy, and in that moment I panicked. I made the excuse that I couldn’t kiss him because I couldn’t see him in the dark closet, and then I left. I retreated to the opposite end of the house and avoided him for a while. 

Later on, when I was about eight years old, strange feelings started to surface. I still can’t remember how this occured, but I have a vague memory of laying ontop of Dave and kissing him. I remember feeling dominant and powerul. What a strange thing to occur in the heart of an eight year old girl. Later on a friend of Dave’s came to visit, so he went downstair to hang out. I remember going downstairs and staring at Dave. I had seduction in my eyes. Oh yes, you read that right, an eight year old girl was trying to be sexually seductive. Suddenly Dave’s friend glanced over at me while I was intensely staring Dave down, and realizing that he glanced my way I snapped out of it. Where power, dominance and seduction had been growing, shame suddenly took over. Deep, unbridled shame. I have never felt such shame before or since. I went upstairs and wallowed my shame, and sank into the horror of my lustful heart.

I think that what terrified me the most about this, was that I was eight. My body was not fully developed. It was not fully capavle of sexual arousal yet. The lust I felt had next to nothing to do with my body. It was purely in my heart. How devestating that was to discover.

Thankfuly many years later when my husband and I were getting pre-marrital counseling we chose a lovely Christian counselor who saw the need to touch on this subject. I remember her quoting Matthew 19:14, from the King James version I think. “Suffer not the little children.” I cried. In fact I’m tearing up right now. It took me a long time to accept that I did not have to carry that shame. This lovely counselor helped me to see that through Jesus own words. 

Anywho, that is all I shall write for now. God bless you and keep you. 

Joy

A lovely young lady whom I simply can’t say enough good things about just wrote a blog post about cultivating joy as part of being a godly wife, and I totally agree with her. That’s one of the things that my husband often mentions when he tells me things that he loves about me. He has said many times that he has never seen such joy in any one, and that no one has ever made him feel such joy as I have.

I have been called happy, joyful, bubbly and cheerful. Just this afternoon a customer at my place of work told me that she appreciated my cheeriness. In high school a friend of mine jokingly theorized that my brain must be made of marihuana, because he couldn’t believe that anyone could be so happy all the time. A few years ago at church someone told me not to lose my smile because it lights up the room.

Why then do I struggle with depression?

Oh yes, quite the sharp turn I just took there. Well, that’s what life is often like for me emotionally. One sharp turn after another. Lately I’m beginning to wonder if I’m manic depressive.

But what is the cause? Well, I believe there are a few sub causes that all fit under one main cause. I think the first sub cause is my attempt to justify each and every mood swing. I don’t like thinking that what I’m feeling might not be justified. I just want to feel. Unfortunately I do have to acknowledge when my mood swings are completely uncalled for eventually. I don’t usually do that though…

Another sub cause would be my tendency to destroy my own self esteem. When others see a minor slip up in me I see a landslide of failure, and I just continuously put myself down until I am convinced that I have degraded myself as much as I deserve.

Another sub cause is my habit of remaining in my basement suite by myself whenever I have free time. I am very protective of my alone time and am unwilling to spare any of it if I feel that even a tiny portion of it is under threat. This sub cause leads to another sub cause which is a lack of sunlight.

Basically, I am resisting correction, resisting mercy, and resisting relationship.

What major cause could all these sub causes fit into, you may ask?

Well, I’m trying to be the god of my own life.

I decide when my thoughts or behaviours should or should not be corrected or when they are justified.
I decide when I should or should not receive mercy.
I decide when people are allowed in my life.

I’m trying to be the god of my own life, and as a result the joy of the Lord is escaping my grasp. If I am to find the joy of the Lord again I must first accept that He is God and I am not, and begin living my life accordingly.

All glory belongs to God. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. I must behave in accordance with this truth. Then the joy of the Lord will be in me again. 🙂

Thank you for reading my blog. God bless you!!! 🙂