A while back, in my blog perusing, I stumbled upon a video which introduced me to three things: peanut butter pie, Jose Gonzalez & Mikey. You can check out that blog HERE.
These three things lead me to this blog: In Jennie’s Kitchen, which I have since become a follower of. Jennie lost her husband, Mikey to a heart attack almost a year ago and though she is a foodie blogger, this past many months have followed her journey of grief and moving forward. Sometimes I cry when I read her blog posts, but mostly I feel so inspired by the way she has chosen to move forwards with such bravery and grace. I certainly don’t want to discount (not assuming she’d ever read my blog) the pain she has felt. She certainly doesn’t make it sound all sunshine and rainbows, but I appreciate her brutal honesty and desire to hold onto her husband in a way that honors his life and yet still allows her to move forward.
Anyways, I was re-reading this blog from back in November of 2011 and I can’t help but find it very inspirational. De-cluttering, spending less time in the virtual/technical world and instead, appreciating and enjoying the little moments and making sure to focus on loving those close to you well. I’ve been recently been toying with the idea of deleting my facebook. This is a difficult decision for me because of the amount of friends I have that are in a vast array of other countries. But I literally feel gross when I realize that I just wasted two hours looking a pictures of FRIENDS friends – people I don’t even know – in the Dominican Republic. HOW DID I GET HERE? WHY AM I LOOKING AT THESE? What the?! Enough!
We’ll see how this all plays out, but summer is here, it’s been (for the most part) gorgeous outside. I don’t want to waste it sitting around on my computer. I want to breath deeply, love big and laugh a lot.
I was perusing Facebook when I noticed a post on my dear friend Allena’s wall that caught my attention and captured my heart. I’ve known Allena since 2006 (wait, WHAT!?!? 6 years already!?!? – sorry, I just realized this – crazy!) I walked with her for a tiny bit of her journey as she struggled to make sense of her attraction to women and her love of God. Because in a Christian world these two do not go hand in hand. I’m not saying that’s what I personally believe (I’m not taking a stand for or against being a gay Christian at the moment), it’s just a fact. Most of you who know me would (should/hopefully?) know that I am a Christian. Though I admit (with some sadness) that I have not had a lot to do with the Church in the past few years, I have not let go of my faith nor will I; I will white knuckle it till my time here is over. I understand that this may seem a strange post for those of you not raised with Christian beliefs, but I encourage you to read on because that said, you’re probably waiting for this post to head straight downhill. Instead, I believe that this should remind us of what the God I believe in is all about.
The following is Allena’s post:
If you have ever asked me or wanted to ask me how my family has reacted to me being a lesbian, read this. Now. Right now. This is my Moms wisdom which can be applied to almost all relationships. We both decided to stay in the room and that made the difference for everything.
Staying in the Room
“A few years ago I watched an interview of a man who had been married for over 50 years. His wife lay dying in a hospital room and he sat faithfully by her side. A nurse who was struck by his commitment asked him for the secret of his long marriage and he answered, “We stayed in the room.” As John and I celebrated our 32 anniversary this last summer his answer resonates with me. We have weathered changes in jobs, horrible arguments, too little money, too much drink….really things to depressing to list. But our marriage is alive because we stayed in the room. Sometimes we were in opposite corners with arms crossed ignoring each other but we didn’t walk out the door. Relationships are about commitment and unconditional love and I know God has called us to be in a relationship with each other.
I am just as confident the He has called me into a relationship with my four daughters. My daughter Allena proposed to her girlfriend Dana a few days ago and John and I chose to stay in the room. Was is easy? No. Was it comfortable? No. But when as a parent do I get to remove my support? Is it if she has sex outside of marriage? If she drinks and drives? If she has a child out of marriage? Divorces? Lies? Smokes? Where is the sin line that is so strong that God says I am not allowed to engage in her life? This is not to diminish my responsibility to clearly define my beliefs and I am sure both Allena and Dana know where I stand.
Whatever discomfort you may feel about the subject of lesbianism I assure you I have lived through those emotions and wrestled with the ramifications for my daughter, her girlfriend and our family. And I have prayed the desperate prayers only a parent who loves her child can understand and each time God has been clear. Love her. I love her.
I am guilty of gossip, gluttony, murder, fornication, lying and so much more and how grateful I am for those who loved me unconditionally in the midst of it all. As a Christian I reject the idea that the goal of my faith is to make others change their lives by rejecting them or judging them into repentance. What drew me to Christ and His broken, dysfunctional family was His unconditional love and the efforts of His children to show me His love.
For me the church is not an exclusive clique in high school where only the beautiful and athletic get in, it is a place where I can safely and honestly work through my struggles. As His children we have the challenge of standing firm in our journey to be more like Christ in a broken world surrounded by broken people that He adores.
I don’t have easy answers but I also am no longer confused about my response to my daughters no matter what they choose. I am called to stay in the room.”
Ah parents. We couldn’t live without them. We wouldn’t be here without them. Some parents are not the best at parenting. Those kind are not that kind I’m focusing the attention of this post on though. I have my own two fabulous parents in mind. They’ve been on mind a lot more as I’ve gotten older. I will be thirty one on my next birthday (!?!?!) and I find myself more and more grateful for them with each month that passes.
In the last while I’ve been hearing of people losing their Mom or their Dad or their Husband/Wife. I recently wrote a post titled “#a pie for mikey“. I was perusing some blogs and kept coming across people making peanut butter pies for this “Mikey” guy. I finally made my way to his Wife’s website (she is a food blogger @ In Jennie’s Kitchen) to find out that her Husband – the love of her life – who was in great health as far as she knew, just dropped dead of a heart attack one afternoon. So completely devastating and painful. And just this past week a family that I know lost their Wife/Mother very suddenly. She was here and seemingly fine one moment and gone in the next. I wasn’t a close friend of the family’s, but I know them and I felt sick to my stomach the whole evening after my Mom called me to let me know.
After I got off the phone with my Mom I could feel my heart sinking. I could feel the fear creeping up through my toes and up, up, up into my heart so that it felt incredibly heavy. I am so scared of losing my parents. If I even have this conversation with someone I begin to cry. I know that eventually it will happen, but I honestly don’t know how I’d make it through if I lost one of them so unexpectedly.
My parents are so good to me and I have been fortunate to have grown up feeling very loved and important. When I was younger I used to always want time away from them. These days I want to be around them as often as I can. Obviously some days we don’t always see eye to eye and we argue or whatever, but that’s part of being a family. All of the sad news I keep hearing is a constant reminder to love and appreciate my parents well. I have no idea how long I have with them. I have no control over it. I do know that I certainly don’t want to be standing at their graveside with regrets.
Feeling so thankful for my Mom and Dad. So very, very thankful.