Saturday, December 16, 2017

Santa and God

Our trip on the Polar Express railroad has me in a deep spiral of introspection.



Santa.
God.
The parallels.

And how much fun it is to be on the other side of belief.

I rented The Polar Express and watched it several times with both daughters this year. Then, I felt like the ultimate mom, finding tickets to a Polar Express EXPERIENCE! Riding on a real train? Drinking hot cocoa while arriving at the North Pole to see Santa?! I was willing to pay every dollar in our bank account, justifying the importance of experiences over things. The tickets were bought. The trip was booked. I was stoked.

Prior to this trip to the North Pole, my husband questioned the experience, "So we are all in on this lie then? I mean, I'm cool with it, but I'm just confirming, like we're flat out lying to them and pretending to go somewhere that doesn't exist."

"Yup, and we're gonna have so much FUN with it, babe," I reassured him.

He took a half day off work, and I picked up Lilah Grace early from school. I bragged to the registrar, "I'm here to pick up Lilah Grace, we are headed to the North Pole!" The 2 1/2 hour drive as our family of 4 was the perfect chance for the girls to nap, while I excitedly listened to Christmas music, thinking about how much fun we were about to have, and the memories we would create together. Papa G worked diligently on his laptop.

I finally got us to the station, parked the car, and loaded the train. The hostess and "chefs" came dancing down the aisle to a soundtrack of The Polar Express. Hot chocolate and cookies were served, and the book was read aloud. This was honestly the best part...we were huddled up under our warm Pendleton blanket, and the hot chocolate and cookie really were delicious. Better than usual. We attributed it to the North Pole secret delicious recipe. Magical.


After about 30 minutes (maybe? Time warp. Who knows.) of cruising, we made it to the North Pole. I thought we would be parking and playing there, but it was more of a...drive-by. Papa G and I tried to contain our laughter. 

When our 4 1/2 year old daughter saw the elves jumping up and down in front of a painted refrigerator cardboard box, she had a look on her face. My husband and I locked eyes because we both knew that look. It wasn't upset. It was inquisitive. It was one of the first times our daughter felt cynicism. 

"Dad, I have a secret," she said as she leaned in toward him, cupping her mouth over his ear. She told him she thought the "elves are actually just people dressed up as elves."

"I think so, too," my husband responded. "But you know, the real elves are probably busy making toys. This is the busiest time of year for them." She bought it, hook line and sinker.

She's only 4. I want the magic of Santa and the innocence of childhood to last a few more years, at least! But it got me questioning why I was so protective of this myth. To me, the myth symbolizes innocence and joy. I started thinking about what our response will be when we do have that conversation. My hope is that she never felt lied to, and that she will be excited about being "in on the secret," affirming that the Spirit of Christmas and the Spirit of Santa are real, and we get to make magic for others by embodying that Spirit. It's even more fun to be the magic maker behind the scenes, than to be the recipient!

Then, I kept going in my mind. I felt light, and at total peace, when I merged Santa with God.



I have been a Sunday School teacher, a regular Bible Study attendee, an acolyte, and was confirmed after a year of study in the Methodist tradition! I definitely once believed God to be like a "Santa." An old, wise, loving man.


I started to wonder why so many Christians are so afraid to question their idea of God, when they don't seem to struggle explaining the Spirit of Christmas with Santa. Is it fear of hell? Is it fear of "just in case I'm wrong, I don't want to turn my back on God?" Isn't that the definition of superstition?

When people believe in God as an external deity and go to church, tithe, confess sins, and ask for things in prayer, they are really hoping for heaven ((toys)) and avoiding hell ((a lump of coal in your stocking)). Whether it's writing a letter to Santa asking for a toy, or praying to God asking for a miracle, the parallels are uncanny.

So many people will stop reading now. Blasphemous. Sacrilegious. But what good is your faith if you can't question it? What if the most common view on God ((keep in mind I live in the Bible Belt, yall)) is actually a super limited view on God?

I feel called to share this post, because I am on the other side of this, and it's not scary. It's actually very fulfilling and peaceful. I see God in everybody, rather than pretending God is somewhere, and hoping for it to be true.

So, why do we lie to our kids about Santa? Because they are age appropriate for it. Their innocent imaginations pair perfectly with Santa and elves on shelves. It's fun. And honestly, it helps their behavior! I once believed in both Santa and God, and I am grateful for those previous beliefs! I'm glad I had the opportunity to believe in Santa, and now get to be Santa. I once "believed in God," and now connect with God, through my own Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit in others. I think experiencing both Santa and God through a magical lens was once appropriate, and enticed me. Now, I want both to be real, so I insist on being both in my world. 

One thing I know for sure is prayer without action is spiritual laziness. Imagine the disappointment a child would have if they asked for presents from Santa, and nothing came at all, because the parents didn't give a shit. That's heartbreaking! This is a wake-up call. You are both the parent and the child. You are both Santa and God. Ask, and give. Pray, and act.

To me, Santa and God are both the inherent good of everyday people. Divine, Selfless, Unconditional Love. Every single day, God is right there. When you pick up the phone and call your mom, you're talking to God, through your mother. When you hug your spouse, you're hugging God, through the conduit of your spouse. When you gaze into your child's eyes, you're LOOKING at God. My unsolicited advice is to quit thinking about some "North Pole" (("Heaven")) destination that doesn't exist, and for goodness sake, don't pay $150 to fake it on the pretend Polar Express ((or, with the religious metaphor, by attending some of these mega-churches)). Open your eyes and see God, and be God. Know who Jesus was. He would've flipped tables at a mega-church. Christians don't need all those HDTVs and stages with fireworks and confetti. Jesus was a hippy. If you don't know that by now, you literally have not read the New Testament.



The awareness of being that Love, and embodying that Spirit, during this time of year especially, has me on a high. Thank you for making it this far and reading these musings. Thank you for considering this view if you haven't before. Thank you for affirming this view if you feel the same. Thank you in advance for praying for my salvation, if this has freaked you out. I know your heart is in the right place, and I know mine is, too.

xo,
L







Saturday, June 17, 2017

To The Divine Masculine.

It is no secret I have a deep reverence for women, for mothers, and for the Divine Feminine energy I see pulsing through this beautiful planet. However, on Father's Day, I want to focus my energy and gratitude toward the Divine Masculine and express my gratitude for the men and fathers in my life.

I am so grateful for my Daddy. He has been on a pedestal all my life, and for good reason. He is calm, collected, and has always been ready to catch me when I fall. He taught me to ride a bike at Lilah Grace's age, without training wheels! He took me camping on countless Indian Princess trips. He taught me the importance of listening to lyrics and appreciating good music.

I am so grateful for my father in law. He prepares dinner every single Sunday night for the entire family. He is focused on his family, and providing for us, whether that means working hard at his job, or grilling food for us all to eat. He has been extremely supportive of George and I when we became parents, and has been so motivating and spiritually connected to us during that transition into parenthood. He sets the bar so high.

I am so grateful for my husband. He is not my father, but he is an amazing father to our girls. Watching him keep his cool while talking Lilah Grace out of a fit impresses me. Watching him prepare healthy meals and cutting them up into small pieces for Everleigh is so endearing. I love seeing him play guitar or pedal steel while the girls stare in adoration. I love seeing him hoist Evy up on the stool at the drumset, and encouraging her to rock on. Seeing him snuggled up with both girls in our bed is one of my favorite things in this lifetime. He works tirelessly, providing for us a roof over our head, food in our bellies, and health insurance for peace of mind. I can never thank him enough for all the work + love he pours into this family, keeping us afloat. My morbid mind often races, thinking about how lost I'd be without him. I can't imagine doing this without my partner.

During this administration, I have found myself extremely disgusted with men. Hearing Trump utter the words "I grab 'em by the pussy, I moved on her like a bitch," and knowing how many men ((and women!)) voted for him anyway, was extremely disappointing to me. I understand not every Trump voter supported these statements, but they were willing to accept them and vote for him anyway. Quick sidenote, here is a bulleted list of comments our current president has made about women:

  • That Megyn Kelly had blood coming out of her ‘wherever.’
  • That Hillary Clinton got "schlonged" by Obama in 2008.
  • That “there has to be some form of punishment” for women who have an abortion.
  • That he still believes sexual assault is an expected consequence of allowing women to serve in the military.
  • That the women who Roger Ailes sexually assaulted were "just complaining."
  • Alicia Machado, a former Miss Universe who says Trump called her “Miss Piggy” (after she gained some weight) and “Miss Housekeeping” (because she is Latina). 
  • That Lindsay Lohan was probably "good in bed" because girls with "daddy issues" are the best in bed.
  • That he was able to watch Miss Teen America contestants change backstage, as one of the perks of being the owner of the competition.

Clearly, when I mention "The Divine Masculine," I am not referring to this disgusting excuse of a human being, nor anybody who thinks like him. But the good news is, not every man is like our current President. Thankfully, as a result of our misogynistic president, many men are becoming MORE outspoken on women's issues.

Seeing man after man after man sexually assault, rape, and/or kill women, and the justice system excusing them from serving time, has left me feeling hopeless and angry. However, the more I focus on these instances, the more I will continue to see these horrible situations manifest. I know I need to turn my energy toward the men in my life who are allies. Who stand up on behalf of women, who march alongside women, who demand equal pay + equal say for women in legislature, and who revere the Divine Feminine. Not every man is Divine. Most human beings are walking around completely unaware of their purpose or Divinity...but to the men who know their worth, I bow in reverence today.

I believe the Divine Masculine energy is filled with strength. Physical strength, but also spiritual strength. No matter the obstacles placed in front of Him, He will overcome. He doesn't fight for other people; he fights for Truth and Justice. He is the Divine Protector. He sets clearly defined boundaries for Himself and His Family. He is a King. He doesn't bow to kneel or worship anybody. He knows the Divine is within Himself. He is resilient. He is stable. He is active, logical, determined, sensible, goal-oriented, smart, rugged, and disciplined.

When the Divine Masculine + Divine Feminine merge, the Divine Union becomes the building block of the entire universe. The Divine Masculine is the Oak, and the Divine Feminine is the Willow. The Divine Union is perfectly balanced, unconditionally accepting + loving + honoring. There is nothing more Holy than Divine Love.

I am honored to be in this body, at this time, with my Man. My Divine, Holy, Beautiful Husband, I love you, I respect you, and I honor you. Thank you for fathering our children with such Divine Love.

xo,
L


Sunday, May 14, 2017

To The Moms of Young Kids in 2017.

Dear Mothers of Young Children in 2017,

You are appreciated.

Thank you for every single lunch you made, and every caring note you wrote and tucked in the lunchbox. You did this every single day of the school year, and you weren't thanked a single time, but you continue to do it because your source of love for your children comes from the Divine.

And yet, the Divine has been historically called "Father God." Well, this year, I'm calling bullshit.

Thank you for every single dish you've put in the dishwasher, every single load of clean dishes you put away, every single dog hair you swept up, and every single load of disgusting human hair you took out of the hairbrush and threw away. Thank you for all of the comforting you provided for your teething child. Thank you for brushing your child's teeth. Thank you for finding clothes for your child. Thank you for feeding your child. Thank you for talking to, listening to, and playing with your child. Not one of these were acknowledged (and if you'd blown it off,  you know damn well you would have heard about it). But thank you.

Thank you for every load of laundry. Yes, all 12, every week, that you put in the washer, switch to the dryer, run an extra cycle because you're picking up your kid from school, take out of the dryer, fold, and put away. Thank you for doing this. If the laundry hadn't been done, you would've heard "Where is my white shirt? Where is my blue dress? I have no clean underwear!" but you did the laundry. You didn't hear a thank you. But you're getting it now.

Thank you for every class party. Thank you for every parent student conference. Thank you for every missed day of work so you could be present for your child. Thank you, to the moms who GAVE UP THEIR CAREERS AND ARE SOMEHOW RIDICULED FOR BEING LAZY?! Thank you to the moms who CAN'T TAKE A SICK DAY AND ARE SOMEHOW RIDICULED FOR BEING ABSENT PARENTS?!

Thank you for the fresh flowers that are always in the house. Thank you for the tidying up every other hour of every single day. Thank you for feeding the dogs, letting out the dogs, changing their water, and watering the house plants. Thank you for making this HOUSE A HOME.

Thank you for 9 months of SOBRIETY. Whether you asked for a child or winded up pregnant. Thank you for dealing with morning sickness, with heartburn, with monthly, then bi-weekly, then weekly appointments taking away from your career. Thank you for the lack of sleep, the cramping, the fatigue. Pregnancy is HARD. Thank you for BIRTHING. Whether you went without drugs, whether you did it from home, in the water, or you had an epidural, or you had a c-section. Who gives a shit. It's all hard.fucking.work. And not one man on the face of this planet EVER has done it. THANK YOU FOR THE GIFT OF LIFE.

Thank you to the moms who were willing to endure every ache, pain, contraction, and incision, but couldn't. And chose to pursue adoption or in vitro. Thank you for every paper you filled out, every appointment you scheduled. You are the organizer behind the scenes, and you do the bulk of the work. I know you do. You drive this ship, and your husband is called the Captain. Thank you.

Thank you to the biological moms who found themselves pregnant and knew they weren't ready. Let us not underestimate the wisdom and heartache they have been through. Warriors, every one of you.

Every act you do is taken for granted. Every single thing you do at this point is unacknowledged. You see your husband hold your toddler while walking from the park to the car and hear the accolades. "What a good daddy! What a hands-on father!" and you shrug it off. You know your efforts are taken for granted. He was born in a man's world, and so he is praised and you are constantly falling short. And if somehow, you are able to do every single thing expected of you, but somehow not fit in your pre-pregnancy jeans, or have your child naturally "the way God intended," or God Forbid, not have conceived and grown your child in utero, you are somehow innately flawed. You're not flawed. You're perfect. And you work your fine ass off every single day.

Thank you for dusting the house, or for finding the housekeeper who dusts your house and works out her schedule and pays her. Thank you for watching your children, or for finding the nanny who watches your children and works out her schedule and pays her. Thank you for planning your child's birthday party. Thank you for finding the babysitter for date night. Thank you for not having gone on a date for years, because you're a single mother and between work + parenting, there is no time for a love life.

Your children are too young to thank you so your children's father should.

And if he takes you for granted, just as most of this world does,
know that this woman,
behind this glowing screen,
sees you, acknowledges you, and thanks you.

And if he does appreciate you, and if he does thank you,
hold him close,
and know that he is a special man worthy of your love.

In the Name of The Mother, The Daughter, and The Holy Spirit. Amen.



Thursday, January 26, 2017

Mothers Rising

We are Women Rising.
Right here, right now, this is the age of the Mother.
Whether or not one has birthed a child, adopted a child, fostered a child…we, as women, are all Mothers of this Earth. 
We are all Mothers of this Country.
And, like any good mother, we must love and nurture our country back to health. Right here, right now
When a toddler is throwing a tantrum, the mother might want to raise her hand, or yell, but if she can take a deep breath and honor the Divine within her, she knows that child either needs time alone, or some attention. Perhaps, the child needs both. The Ultimate Mother allows her child space to feel those intense feelings, and then embraces and rocks her child. The Divine Mother kisses her child’s tear-soaked cheeks, and reminds the toddler, “I love you. I’m here, and I’ll love you forever.” It is through love that the child calms down.
When a troubled teen is speeding down the road, sneaking out of the house, doing things with people he shouldn’t be with, saying things he shouldn’t be saying, the mother might want to scream in his face. “I RAISED YOU BETTER THAN THIS! WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?!” She might want to take away his keys, ground him from seeing his friends, and speak to him in a condescending way to ensure he knows who the boss is. The Ultimate Mother creates strong boundaries, allows the teen to explore his feelings within safe parameters, and then embraces and rocks her teen. The Divine Mother kisses her teen’s cheeks, despite him brushing her off, insisting that she’s “gross” and embarrassing him. She kisses him anyway. “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be,” she lovingly reminds her teen of the bedtime classic she used to read to him when he was younger.
American women, I’m speaking to you. Our country is our child. Our country is acting out. She has been defiant, rebellious, and irresponsible. Believe me when I say I want to shake this country into submission. Believe me when I say I think I know best, and need to impose my beliefs on this country FOR THE SAKE OF THE COUNTRY, just like a mother wants to impose her opinions on her child for the SAKE OF HER CHILD. Every annoying political post I’ve made has been rooted in love and deep concern for this country I love so much.
Every mother has her less-than-perfect moments. We have all disappointed our children, our spouses, and ultimately, ourselves. I know I have. I know I’m not the perfect mom. And I’m not the perfect American, and I’ve definitely gotten out of hand on social media. It seems like every time I log on, I am overwhelmed with anxiety, fear, concern, and sadness. I have often questioned deleting my account, but this voice inside thinks maybe I can make a difference, and I need to keep my account activated to maintain a platform. 
I read some reassuring words from my friend Amber Magnolia Hill’s account:
“We aren’t meant to take in this much bad news at once. The amount of devastating, terrifying headlines flying at us every hour since the Orange Fuhrer’s inauguration is completely overwhelming. A living nightmare. If you’re feeling anxious or hopeless, please know you’re not alone. This isn’t normal, and our nervous systems did not evolve to handle this much stress-this many threats to the wellbeing of ourselves and the people we love and the planet we all exist because of-at once.”
The feeling of solidarity, camaraderie, and support is getting me through this President’s first week. I know when I’ve had a rough week parenting, I lean on my spouse, my mom and mother-in-law, and my mama friends, because they know the struggle. They know what I’m going through, they feel my pain, and they can offer support. I am not deleting Facebook, even with this tense political climate, because it is my source of support. There are many of us out there (over 70% of this country, in fact) who do not approve of Donald Trump. And living in Texas, I sometimes feel like that’s not the case in my interactions with people on the daily. 
So I will stay on here. And because of that decision, I am going to have to change the way I internalize these feelings. 
I am going to try to be the best Mother to this country I can be. I will continue to love this country, even when She is pissing me off. I will kiss Her, rock Her, and love on Her, reminding Her that I love Her. I will not threaten to move to Canada because I would never threaten to walk out on my kids. I'm not going anywhere. I'm not done Mothering yet.
I will do this through peaceful demonstrations and my voice. I felt so uplifted by my community at our Women’s Sister March. And when I see or hear people chastising my efforts, I will let it go in one ear and out the other, just like I do when my toddler is whining. I will pick my battles. Healthcare for pre-existing conditions is a battle I am ready to fight. I will not stand idly by if a Muslim Registry is formed. I will not complacently watch more innocent black lives taken by the hands of police. I will remind this country that building a wall we can't afford is hateful and financially irresponsible. I will stand and fight for respect and equality for women, because I am raising two of them. I’m invested in these issues, and I will peacefully resist policy that endangers equal rights for every single American. 
This moment will be written about in history books. I believe we will look back and thank the Mothers. The Mothers are Rising. We will love America through this rough stretch, and we will make it out alive. 
XO,
L

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