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!

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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!

Slowly Growing Out of My Grudges

I'm growing. I'm changing. I'm a little different today than I was yesterday, and much different than I was a year ago, two years ago, five years ago, ten years ago, twenty years ago, and even twenty-four years ago! (I'm twenty-four years old; feel free to roll your eyes at my so-called humour.)

I have contemplated and argued thoughts and philosophies all over the internet. I have adopted different schools of thought, dropped some and kept others, and I've challenged myself here and there. So, I'm different. I'm new. A new creation even. A new creation in Christ! (Oooooooooh.)

The reason I say these things is because I am not proud of everything in this blog. I have written things that I'm not sure I agree with any more, and things that I do still agree with but perhaps were better left out of the public sphere. I know who I am (sort of), and I know what I stand for (mostly). I also know that I lack understanding of myself and what I stand for, so naturally as I grow and my knowledge of myself deepens and expands, some of my thoughts and opinions will change. They have, and they will continue to do so in the future.

I will not delete anything on my blog. I like to remain transparent whenever I can, and I never want to hide my past. I won't hide the paths I've walked nor the thoughts I've entertained. You are free to examine who I was and what I thought. You are also free to patiently wait so you can examine who I will be and what I will think.

I will not go into detail about what previous expressions conflict with my current positions or why. I will only tell you this: I have been holding a lot of grudges. Those grudges were often directed toward left-wing political adherents, and until recently I did not fully understand why. Now I think I do.

You see, I am a very emotional and sensitive person, and for many years now I have experienced significantly more emotional manipulation from the left than the right. That is my weak spot. Right-wing adherents more often challenged me on an intellectual bases, and usually made a point of leaving "the feels" out of it, so I suppose I started to feel safer with them. They can be just as ideologically aggressive as the left, but they never went after my weak spot. After rallying with them it became easy to harbour anger against the left, but I just don't want to do that anymore.

So, even though I still feel emotionally manipulated on a regular bases by people who identify as liberals, I'm starting to let go of my grudges. Now I feel free to agree with them if they happen to address an issue in a way that makes sense to me. I still often feel backed into a corner by the emotional manipulation I see from the left, but I don't feel trapped any more; if you can make sense of that.

In conclusion, I'm slowly shedding the defences I've put up over the passed few years. Hopefully I will continue to shed them as I grow, and I will no longer be partially motivated by grudges in the future.

Thank you for reading my blog! God bless you! (Seriously; ALL of you!)

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! 

Sometimes Lyrics Annoy Me

Hello everyone! I’ve been trying to sit myself down and right another blog post for the past week, but my brain has been kind of all over the place. I keep having little thoughts that turn into whole blog posts in my head while I’m at work, but then when I get home I just take a bag of chips to bed and watch YouTube. Not only that, but I’m struggling to write 10 things I love about my dad, which I’ve been meaning to do for a while. Not because I don’t love him, but because he’s a great guy and I love him as a whole so much that it’s hard to break it all down into smaller points. 

Well, here’s a thought I had at work a few days ago that I continued to rant out loud about while walking home each day. 

Music affects me. It probably affects everybody. Lyrics can make or break a song to me, and sometimes I hear a lyric that bugs me so much that I’ll start singing my own lyrics in it’s place. Unfortunately because I work at chain store I have no choice but to hear music that annoys me if it comes on. 

A few days ago the song Big Girls Don’t Cry by Fergie came on. When this song was first on the radio I didn’t think much of it, but after having to hear it a kajillion times the lyrics started sticking out like a sore thumb. One lyric in particular really bugged me. 

“And I’m gonna miss you like a child misses their blanket.”

I know, it’s not a bad lyric. It’s maybe weird, but not bad. Well, I really don’t like it. I’ve come to believe that the biggest blow you can give to the average woman’s ego is to make her believe she is not wanted, and the biggest blow you can give to the average man’s ego is to make him believe he is not needed. What does this lyric say? It compares the emotional attatchment to the (probably male romantic partner) subject of the song to the emotional attachment of a child to an old blanket. Wanted, but no longer needed. To most women this is probably fine. Not ideal but still okay, because being wanted even when we’re still not needed is almost comforting, even if the comfort is a bit bitter. What if this could be devestating to a man? Yeah, sure, he’s still wanted, but now he has about as much practical use and purpose as an old children’s blanket. 

It’s a small thing, just some pop song, but it has been making me think lately. 

Well, those have been my thoughts. Thank you for reading! God bless!!

10 Things I Love About My Brothers

I am really beginning to enjoy writing more light hearted posts lately. I think I shall continue. I am the baby of the family, and the only girl. I have two older brothers named Josh and Erik, and today I will share ten things that make them grewt brothers.

10 Things I Love About My Brothers 

1. They have always protected me.

Whether from ominous threats or creepy admirers, my brothers have always been more than willing to step in and keep me safe. Wether by threatening to relocate an unwelcomed suitor’s testicles, walking me to and from school when a rumor was started that me and my girlfriend at the time were going to get jumped, or by offering to fight a then future in-law who didn’t take kindly to me at first, my brothers always have and I’m sure always will stick up for me. 

2. It has always been a personal goal of their’s to make me laugh.

Sometimes it was just for their own amusement – like when they would try to make me laugh so hard at the dinner table that I’d squirt milk out my nose, or have to run to the bathroom because laughing so much made me have to pee – but other times it was because they genuinly wanted me to be happy. When I was much younger the older of my two brothers, Josh, had a particular performance that always made me laugh. He would pretend to be a dog who gets electricuted because he was chewing on a wire. It’s pretty morbid, but apperently he could always cheer me up when I was sad with his great comedic timing in his “Dog Gets Electricuted” bit. I’ve always been a bit twisted. 

3. They noticed my struggles, and remembered them. 

I struggle to keep up with regular day to day life, and I recently found out that Erik understood that. Not only did he understand it, but he had compassion for me because of it. Almost every time I have tried to do a full-time job I have had nervous breakdowns and became depressed. Sometimes dangerously depressed. About a month ago I was offered a promotion at my job, which demanded more responsibility and effort from me, and I accepted the promotion. My mother told my brother about the promotion, and he asked with genuine concern in his voice, “Does that mean she doesn’t have panic attacks because of work anymore?” I was so touched when my mother told this to me. 

4. They can lighen up just about any situation. 

My brothers are not too keen on conflict, so they sometimes handle conflict by totally deflecting it with their own special brands of humour. For example, one day some of Josh’s friends were having a very intense debate on Facebook, and he thought it was getting way too out of hand, so he left a single three word comment on the thread: “I like pie.” Those three words derailed the entire conversation, and before long everyone was discussing their favourite pastries. 

5. Josh is a man of few words.

You may have picked that one up from the previous point. Josh generally doesn’t speak much unless he feels something needs to be said. On top of that, he will only feel the need to say something if he truly, honestly believes it. I can always trust Josh to say what he means and mean what he says. 

6. Erik is a man of great volume. 

He is a loud man. Very loud. To this day my mom and I joke about what we called his “peackock impressions”. It was mearly the sound he made when he stretched, but we honestly thought it sounded like a peackock. His volume is also in his personality. He is often the life of the party, and he doesn’t even try to be. It’s just his natural personality. 

7. They taught me that opposites are fun. 

As I’m sure you also picked up from the last two points, there are ways in which my brothers are polar opposites. By sharing a home with these two very different personalities for about 18 years, I have learned to love seeing different people balancing out the social atmosphere. It’s quite fun. It’s almost enchanting to see a man of few words and a man of great volume enjoying eachother’s company. 

8. They care for those who are weaker.

Whether it’s a poorly treated pet or a child being bullied, my brothers hate to see somebody using whatever advantage they may have over another to abuse them. My brothers have leant their strength to those who have none left.

9. They defend my mother.

My mother is fostering two boys right now, and because of the disfunctional household they grew up in they don’t really understand how to show respect to people, especially not to women. They will sometimes say particularity hurtful things about my mom that sometimes really get to her. When my brothers are around they don’t tolerate this. They quickly put the boys in their place and in a way they defend my mother’s honour. 

10. Their eyes.

My brothers’ eyes speak volumes about who they are. Of all the people in my life who are truly special to me, my brothers are the only people apart from my husband whose eyes always catch my attention. Why? Because their eyes are full of sincerity. Josh’s eyes are full of gentleness. Erik’s eyes are filled with caring. They both have such genuine, unwavering, untainted compassion in their eyes. It has always caught my attention. 

Thanks for reading! I’m really enjoying writing these things! I would like to suggest that other women who have good men in their lives do something similar, even if it’s in a private journal. I’m really beginning to wonder if we women don’t always acknowledge the virtues within the men we love as much as we should. 🙂 (Actually I’ve wondered that since I was a teenager.)
God bless!