Category Archives: Uncategorized

A Christian’s Plea for Civil Discourse

Having been on three sides of this discussion, as a fundamentalist, a Methodist, and now an atheist, I can say that sure, civil discourse is possible between the more liberal, mainstream Christians and non-believers, but there is no such thing as civil discourse between fundamentalists and anyone else – not even among themselves.

godless in dixie

rachel-held-evansCNN’s Belief Blog posted a short article yesterday by Rachel Held Evans calling for atheists to avoid using the worst of Christian extremism in their critiques against Christianity, offering to return the favor by not doing the same in reverse against atheists. Evans is a favorite Christian writer of mine for the simple reason that she speaks prophetically to the Christian church as an insider. By speaking “prophetically” I mean that she openly speaks up when she sees her friends and fellow Christians saying and doing things which she feels are contrary to the faith, no matter how important or influential those people may be. She holds the professors of her faith accountable to the ideals she feels are central; and those ideals are, in my opinion, some of the better tenets of the Christian faith. Incidentally, those elements which I find praiseworthy are the same principles which can be…

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Don’t Forget the Advice Asterisk

I just came across this post…awesome advice!

The Gratitudenist

IMG_0020I am falling short in the advice-giving department of parenting, especially with regards to gratitude. I realized this after my teenage son broke his arm skiing recently when he was with friends. A man and his daughter stopped to ask if he was OK.

“I think I need ski patrol,” my son said, grimacing in pain. “My arm feels broken.”

“Your legs still work, right?” the man asked.

“Right.”

“Then you can ski down yourself,” the man said.

“Oh. Yeah. Right. Thank you so much for your help. Thank you!” my sweet son gushed to those super helpful people before getting up and skiing downhill with the broken arm. “And don’t worry, Mom, I thanked them, like, the rest of the way down,” he told me from the emergency room right before the orthopedic surgeon set his bone. Luckily, he didn’t fall and make the break any worse. But he…

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Don’t Ask; Don’t Tell

[Hello, this is Rene A. I had started this blog a while back (as you can tell from the date of this post) but have recently decided to re-purpose it as an advice blog with my friend Lara B. I deleted most of the former posts, but I wanted to keep some of the ones I felt were still relevant.]

[This post isn’t very relevant, but I decided to keep it because of the good family memories. ]

Today was the annual C-mas party at the armory. I usually don’t go to it, but since it was my dad’s last year in the military, I decided to make a couple memories.

I think the best one of all was what my dad said about a “potentially gay” member of the company. He was telling me that a few of the other guys were asking him what he was going to do about having a gay male amongst all the other “clearly hetero” men. I loved his response. He said that the young man was here to serve his country and that as long as he does his job, he has no problem with him.

I asked if he could point the guy out to me, but as he looked around the gymnasium, he didn’t see him. Well, I have pretty good gaydar and as I was walking to the ladies room, I saw him. He looked at me kind of sheepishly and I smiled back. I can’t imagine all the shit he’s had to go through in his life, and anyone who joins the military is brave in my opinion. He didn’t know it, but he was my hero today.

I should have made sure he knew it though.

I should have walked right up to him, gave him a hug, and thanked him for serving our country.

If I ever have another chance to do something like this again, I hope I have the presence of mind and the social awareness to think of it and the compassion to do it.

/steps down from my soap box ’till another day.

Divorce…blah.

[Hello, this is Rene A. I had started this blog a while back (as you can tell from the date of this post) but have recently decided to re-purpose it as an advice blog with my friend Lara B. I deleted most of the former posts, but I wanted to keep some of the ones I felt were still relevant.]

Today I found out the reason behind the separation between a friend of my family’s and his wife. They were missionaries to Mexico, and while they were serving at a church, his wife cheated on him with a Mexican man, got knocked up, and left him. She wants to divorce him, but she wants him to initiate the proceedings so he will have to pay for it.

It’s been a year since they’ve separated, and he’d still rather try to get her back than divorce her. I feel really bad for him because she has no remorse over what she did, and she could do it again to him just as easily.

I hope I can convince him to try Divorce Care. This support group for separated/divorced people helped me tremendously when I was going through my unexpected divorce.

I remember how it all began. My husband had come home from work in a mood and didn’t want to talk about it. I pressed him because I didn’t like seeing him in emotional distress. For the next twenty minutes, I got to listen to him tell me everything he didn’t like about me followed by, “I’m not in love with you anymore.”

And you know what? That’s bull. True love is accepting a person for who they are, warts and all.

I’m at the point where I don’t think true love even exists except for maybe a few lucky people. I definitely don’t believe I am one of those lucky people.

I said yesterday that my answer to the “When are you getting married” question is, “Never”, and I think the reason why is mainly because I don’t think I could go through listening to someone tell me everything they don’t like about me again.

The Christmas song “Last Christmas” by Wham says, “Last Christmas, I gave you my heart, but the very next day, you gave it away.” “Gave” denotes that the person handed it to another person when in reality, they threw it away.

Divorce feels a lot like being thrown away, and you’re not even good enough to be put into the recycling bin.

/steps down from my soapbox ’till another day.

No, I don’t need you.

[Hello, this is Rene A. I had started this blog a while back (as you can tell from the date of this post) but have recently decided to re-purpose it as an advice blog with my friend Lara B. I deleted most of the former posts, but I wanted to keep some of the ones I felt were still relevant.]

I don’t get the stereotypes for single moms. It’s as if we are so weak and so unable to care for ourselves that we need to get married so someone can take care of us. That may be the case for some women, (and I say some women because it’s not just single moms who can act like this) but it definitely can’t describe all of us.

I am a young-looking single mom. I look more like a teenager than an adult, so when people find out I’m a single mom their first thought is, “Oh, I bet she got knocked up at 16.”

I actually happen to be one of those rare individuals who waited until her wedding day to have sex. Not that I’m a complete nun now, far from it, but my daughter was the product of a loving relationship.

However, I still get the looks, the murmurs, the “so, when are you going to get married?”

Never.

Honestly, the only thing I miss about being married is the companionship. Someone to come home to.

I have everything I need, but I won’t lie; this life gets lonely.

As a strong, independent woman who rejects the stereotype of single mothers, I say, “No, I don’t need you. If I ever pay attention to you, It’s because I think you might be a cool person to be around.”

/steps down from my soapbox ’till another day.

Just let me be me…please?

[Hello, this is Rene A. I had started this blog a while back (as you can tell from the date of this post) but have recently decided to re-purpose it as an advice blog with my friend Lara B. I deleted most of the former posts, but I wanted to keep some of the ones I felt were still relevant.]

Why is it that in this country, everyone is “free to be themselves” except our own children? From the moment of birth or conception, we create futures for them; what is and what is not acceptable for them to do with their lives. We take away their God-given free will before they can even talk. We impose restrictions on our “unconditional love and acceptance”. So long as they “fit” into our preconceived notions of what we think they should do and who they should be, all is good; however, the slightest deviation results in rejection and bullying.

It’s not fair.

A few months ago, I decided to go a different path than what I was taught was acceptable. Am I doing anything against the law? No. Am I being an irresponsible parent? No. Does my work suffer in any way? No. So, what was so bad that I decided to do that would cause my parents to think I’ve become a “less than good” person? I decided their religion wasn’t right for me. A religion who’s focus isn’t on inner spirituality but outer righteousness. If you don’t look/act a certain way, you are ungodly.

Yesterday, I went to my parents house and showed them the very subtle dark purple streaks in my black hair. I was ignored by my mom, and all my dad said was, “Why??”

That hurt. It did. I was excited about my hair, but in less than 30 seconds, I was reduced to feeling like a chastened 14 year old.

I’m a responsible 27 year old mom of one. I know how to make good decisions for myself and by myself. So when, Mom and Dad, are you going to start treating me like an adult?

What do I want my daughter to be when she grows up? It’s not up to me. It’s up to her. All I can do is love and support her.

/steps down from my soapbox ’till another day.