Friday, November 29, 2013

Traveling Options: I'll Take The High Road....

Waking up in a house full of wadded up kleenex, Nyquil bottles, and the smell of Unker's Salve spells one thing: We is ill at the Hunt household.
You see, Mr. Hunt has his own upper respiratory mysteries going on, with much uncovered sneeezing which is followed by my lamenting about the spreading of viruses. He's making coughing/wheezing/snorting sounds as he goes about the house, speaking only in whispers, because his throat is sore.

I am on the tail end of a migraine. This does not bring out the best in my personality.

All this is said in pretense to the following: "IT'S HARD TO BE NICE WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE POOP!"

Still, it's no excuse to be sharp, short tempered, or snarky, or is it? I admit, I've used my illness, or womens monthly issues, and headaches as a reason to justify my inner lunatic at times. No, I'm not proud of that. But you know, as you get older, you kind of reflect on your character, and on your habits, good and bad. There's some things you settle on, and other things you know must change if your going to continue on for another 40m or 50 years. Aim high I always say.

Here at mid-life, when you have the occasional reflection about your behavior, you want to ask yourself ; "HOWS IT WORKING???" For me, not so good. So I'm rethinking many things I do that usually backfire, and I'm reworking my behavior into an intentionally positive pattern, to make a NEW PATH. This path is called "The High Road". Perhaps you've heard your Mother speak of it? Or at least your shrink? Oh come on! Your guidence counselor for the love of Pete?? Someone along the way surely suggested you take The High Road, I know they did.

Beginning today, I am not going to use my headaches, my body aches, my frustrations, or my unexpected visits from my Aunt Flo, or hot flashes as a springboard to speak my mind. At least as much as I'm able. I will make a conscience effort to find my inner kindness, or as Mr. Hunt says I should do: "Take a kindness pill". (Not to be confused with a chill-pill, that's a whole 'nuther ball of wax)... I will intentionally recognize when I feel under the weather and CHOOSE to rise above it or lay low. I will take The High Road. Why? Because the Bible says to. Proverbs 31: She doeth him good and not evil, All the days of her life. (I see no exception clause, do you?) I want to do right by God and by my husband. That's my priority, even if it doesn't always come naturally to me. That's why we have the Bible... to help steer us on course when we loose direction. Besides, being calm, cool, and collected in the face of adversity is one to the greatest blows to the devils stradegy. Don't you think he wants to see you come completely undone, and go for each others throat?? Of course he does!

I'll use my own character flaw as an example: In the past, I was happy 27 out of 28 days a month. But day 28 kicked my butt. There is no praying my way through it, no making a choice that today is no different than any other day, no way to escape the oppressive, black cloud that hung over my head for a good 24, sometimes 36 hours .hours. But you know what? I can CHOOSE to be walk ignore... to wait 10 seconds before I respond and choose the tone in which I speak. I can select my words wisely. I will take practice, but it CAN be done. Truthfully, in my youth I thought it was everyone elses job to *lay low* on this day. I mean surely, they can see a pattern?? If I were in their shoes, I'd be marking my calendar to make sure I knew exactly what day Mom's going to loose her mind, and blow a gasket, or burst into tears over probably not much at all.

Now, I believe Satan knows a womans monthly cycle. I suspect he has a legion of mini-satans who's only job is to follow the lunar cycle of each fertile woman and day 28, (actually it's day 21, but you get the gist), they launch an assault on that woman by prompting every soul around her to test her limits. But you know what? I am a child of The King!!! Even at my weakest, at my most vulnerable, I am forgiven, I am loved, and I have domninion over anything un-Christ-like, including my behavior, my tongue, my tone and my eye-rolls. Even if I am only this way one or two days a month, it's not acceptable to use a headache or tummy cramps as an excuse to be ugly. But that's exactly what my flesh tells me I can! Well, that's just what Old Red Legs wants me to think. Guess what? He's in for a surprise!

Today is the day!! I will, regardless of my migraine, be a kind wifey to Mr. Hunt. I will not yell: "Shut the flippin' door!!" or sarcastically say; "Can you raise the volume so that those mortor shells sound more realistic?"... or better yet, as he lays on the couch, watching the same war movie he's seen so often he can lip-sync the dialogue, I WILL NOT ask: "Have we saved Private Ryan today???"... No, no I won't. I won't give the devil any fodder I tell you!

What I'm going to do is send the Father of Lies, back to the drawing board. I will gently get up and turn the volume down myself, and remind my inner madwoman that Mr. Hunt feels poorly too, and he probably can't hear the mortar shells and gun-fire because his head is stuffed up. I will dim my own lights, and make him hot tea in a dark kitchen, see that he gets his Alka-Seltzer every 6 hours, and do it kindly and pleasantly, regardless of any urge to rant, to eye-roll, to give him the stink-eye, because, gosh-darn I feel like poo too!!!

But truly, the real reason I'm choosing KINDNESS is: I will not give my husband any cause to resent me. Why give the devil a foothold? I will choose the path of meekness and love. The devil won't know what to think? He won't have a leg to stand on, he won't have ammunition to destroy!
Seriously- look at any failed relationship and regardless of the details of the situation- the bottom line is: two people resent each other. The behavior is the cause of course, but the outcome is always the same: Resentment.

Today, I will ask God for the grace that is sufficient to get me through this migraine without damaging my marriage, or the Sheetrock.

As many women have mentored me, I try to mentor other. Wives, we have to be gentle to our husbands even when we are overwhelmed. The silent killer in all relationships, whether it be a marriage, or a friendship, is: RESENTMENT. Let nothing you say bring resentment into the fellowship. It's from the devil, and the wrench that loosens the bolts that keep your relationships hinged tightly. Ask yourself; "Am I snarky, quit tempered and hostile to my mate? How do I justify this? Is this what God wants for us as a couple?"....You probably have your answer by now, but just in case:

A few Proverbs will support this train of thought:

Clamorous, foolish women are empty-headed (Proverbs 9:13).
Gracious women retain their honor (11:16).
Lovely women without discretion are like jewels in a swine’s snout (11:22).
Wise women build substantial homes (14:1).
Foolish women destroy a home (14:1).
Contentious women are like a continual dropping on a rainy day (19:13; 27:15).
Brawling women are not easy to live with (21:9; 25:24).
Angry women are never good company (21:19).

So, if like me, you find yourself not at your best when your overwhelmed by duty, illness, or tension... take joy in knowing you'll send the devil running if you act in Godly Character. It won't happen overnight. Your going to fail many times before you change a pattern, but if you keep working at it, your character will transform itself. But keep one thing in mind- be yourself, just try to be a better version of yourself. Never try to be *Sister _________, who always seems to have her ducks in a row, and looks like the perfect version of the Titus 2/Proverbs 31 Woman. God meets you where you are and made you to be divine and unique.

Remind yourself that IF YOU STAY AWARE of any behavior that causes *RESENTMENT*, it's easier to be conscience going forward, and cut Old Red Legs off at the pass. God will reward you with joy in your marriage as you journey together.

I'll see you on the High Road, won't I?

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Longing To Belong..........The Long Road to Self Discovery

Have you ever seen the video to Blind Melon's "No Rain"??

Here ya go, just in case you haven't. Go ahead and laugh at the *Bee Girl* who takes on the wrath of her peers just to be who she really wants to be, and ultimately finds herself in the process, as well as a community that is accepting of her, quirks and all. It's a wonderful story.

And, it's a visual metaphor that I can relate to. I would imagine many of us can, (?),which is why the video and song were so popular, and the *Bee Girl* captured our hearts.

I could very well have been *The Bee Girl*. Perculiar, and awkward as a child, but always willing to try put me in so many situations where I had to learn flexibility. This in return created skills, both social, and occupational. I tend to embrace the wierd, the outcast, the loser who is simply not sure of who they are or what direction they should go. I'm supposed to, right?

As I have grown spiritually and matured as a person, I can clearly see how my own awkwardness, and social and behavioral quirks have been a blessing. They've allowed me to think outside the box, learn to utilize my creative thinking, make friends with anyone who is willing, and take on bullies, realizing that they are truly the one in need of a friend. The older I have become, the more I've realized that whatever it is about me that makes me a bit peculiar to some, is also my strength.

But recently, I joined an Aspergers awareness group, and as I learn more about what is simply my uniqueness and what is Aspergers-driven behavior, I have noticed a trend for Aspie's to gravitate towards sub-cultures. Probably because they do not feel like they "fit in" with normal everday popular culture? That's my guess.

So, I had to ask myself; "Did I become plain, join the Mennonites, and submerge myself in Anabaptism simply to have a place to belong?".... (chew on that for a minute)

Answer: "Possibly".

Ultimate Answer: "Does it matter??"

I would say that perhaps we ALL have a desire to fit in somewhere. I wasn't lucky enough to be born into a culture that was accepting of me *as is*. I had to seek and find.

First I was with my Nanny many-a-Sunday among The Pentecostals, as a young girl. I think that may have groomed my perception of what I thought I should desire in a church?
Then I attened the Southern Baptist church for many years. It was good, and I don't have a bad thing to say about the experience, as it helped me understand the Bible, learn memory verses, help the poor, and learn the need to support missions, (God Bless Lottie Moon)

But I do believe I related strongest to The Pentecostals. There was something about being all together as a group- all with similar habits, dress, and lifestyles that beckoned to me. Like a siren to a sailor, like a moth to a flame. I just wanted to belong.

In my younger days, I combed through my geneology, seeking a race or culture to identify with, and yes- something to attach myself to and a place to once again: "BELONG".

You know, like some people can say: "I'm 1/4 Cherokee", (thus attend every Pow-Wow within driving distance and get sneered at by the local tribesmen) or "I'm Greek! Opa!!" Or SOMETHING... ANYTHING! But what I found, is a lot of interesting historical detail, and a legacy of a mutt. I am Scotch-Irish, Welsh, and African American for the most part, but I never got a Pow-Wow or cool drinking habit to claim. I DID find Slave History, but I promise you that I cannot walk around and claim to be black. It would be a slap in the face to any black person who has ever suffered racism. I can only claim the heritage, history, and have some interesting documentation of my GGG Grandmothers *emancipation* from slavery. But not enough of any ONE culture that I can identify with! Darn. Still,  I make a good "American" and historically, that's what my descendants will refer to me as.

So, here we are. I have invested a good chunk of my life learning why and what The Anabaptists believe, and trying to serve others in like fashion. Many times I fail horribly. Other times I do ok, and I think God might just be happy with this *odd little bird* He created?

I worried for a while that my drive to BE Anabaptist in lifestyle and worship was not genuine, but more of a desire to fit in somewhere? But upon deep reflection, I think that might be a small part of a bigger pie of possibilities? Greater than that, I confess I have a problem with my enormous temper, my red-neckedness, my quick-wit-ed-ness, (that is usually a gift, but sometimes a curse), and compulsive behavior that rises up like fat in a bean-pot to bite me in the butt when not kept in check. I'm mouthy, stubborn, and don't really believe that we are supposed to **link** every single like-verse in the Bible to apply to what we want it to mean. I usually have an opinion about that too, (thus in trouble again). I am fairly sure there are alien beings if we have thus discovered other universes, but I try not to talk about it at church, unless it's to Eugene & Amanda Ulrich, who love astronomy. They will indulge me.


I also have problems with road rage and poor customer service. Brother Richard Miller and his lovely wife Tina understand me on that point. And I don't always understand the difference between biblical and cultural issues. It's a mind warp for me. Brother Jerry Ulrich and Sister Velma, as well as my adopted family "The Ainsworths" (Howard, Leslie, and brood), have spent hours trying to help me in all my awkwardness. Don't worry, I don't take myself too seriously. We've had loads of laughs over me...LOADS!


I've come to a place where I believe God not only wants me to be where I am, but possibly NEEDS me to just sit and stay, (which is an act of obedience), not just for my own spiritual growth, but also to challenge and sharpen the minds and hearts of those raised within the Anabaptist Culture, to help us all learn acceptance of what is not common amongst us.


 Maybe I'm wrong? But I see everyones hearts beating bigger, faster, and yearning to comprehend each other at every service I attend. No, I'm not a member at the Mennonite Church I go to. I likely never will be, because I'm D & R. That's another blog, but let me say: My church does not hold that against me. They just have a bar to keep held high to raise Godly generations. I'm not the norm. They can't make an exception without opening a can of worms. I get that. SO - they love me despite it, and let God lead both my and my husband. They also let me help in the communion and foot washing. It's hard, I admit, but I can sit with the Sisters and watch.. hold towels, and pray with them. Some people would insist that is horrible, or ask;"Why don't you go somewhere else?" I answer: "Because this is where I FEEL God placed me"... that's enough. And because of these people who put into practice much more than I'm able, I am a more BALANCED person. It actually helps me, with my compulsive behavior, out-spoken, mouthy, self... It SEASONS my heart and helps me see the bigger picture. It reminds me to take myself out of the equation, and love people, even people different than myself. It gives me the balance I need to shut up, be humble, and live for others.

I think it's where I belong and God knew what He was doing when he made me *a little different*.

I'd love to hear your thoughts. Do you *fit in*? Do you feel accepted? Are you where God can use you, and mold you more into HIS image? Are you willing to try?

Leave me a comment or write me at
You can also find me on facebook under Kelly Watson Hunt

God Bless!



Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Detour

Rumbling through some old pictures from about 10 years ago, I stumbled upon these. It's of a cabin near Shirley, Arkansas that was fully occupied until the late 1970's. Scott and I were on our way home from a bluegrass festival in Mountain View, when we stopped to look at this cabin. I've seen it quite a few times on my way up there, but never had time to step inside and take a peek? It was one of those rare occasions that I actually got going on time, and we had plenty of daylight to burn, so Scott agreed to let me go poking around. 

The door was closed, but not locked. At first glance, the main room that you enter had a fireplace on the left and an old bedstead with springs still sitting there. No mattress to be found. I'm guessing the mice got it piece by piece? The windows let in plenty of morning light, and I noticed a narrow set of stairs. Up I went and would you believe this little cabin had an upstairs room, completely sheet rocked, and a small closet! The add-on in the back is a make-shift kitchen. There was a sink, and a drain that had a pipe that just let the water out to the grass behind the cabin. No plumbing, but the outhouse was still standing! I took a look-see inside and it was still functional! (Good for me, we were in the middle of nowhere!). I saw a broom in the corner and I took to cleaning it out. You always leave a place in better shape than you found it, right? Little did I know that I was tidying up for myself! Our afternoon did not go as planned.
After I did all my investigating and was fully satisfied that I'd taken a glimpse back in time, we shut the door and left it the way we'd found it. I put my camera in the backseat of my car, and Scott asked me to drive. No problem, I love country roads! I put the key in the ignition, and tried to turn it. But it was frozen. My key would not budge. We sat there in the autumn air with the windows down for about 15 minutes trying every possible thing we could think of? Is the car in park? Yes. Well maybe we need to rock it forward? No luck. Eventually, it occurred to us that we needed help, but we were so far out in the mountains, that we couldn't get a signal on our new "cellular phones"! So, off Scott goes up a hill, holds the phone up to the sky and prays for bars! He was able to make a phone call to Triple A (AAA) and they actually knew about where we were, but said they had no idea when a driver could make it out that way? Just sit tight.

At this point, Scott and I realize we might actually be spending the night right where we were? We evaluated the situation, and decide to put our tent (never leave home without it!) inside the cabin. It was late October, so it would get nippy by morning, and this would keep any critters away from us. We had a case of bottled water, although there was a well behind the cabin if we needed more than just drinking water. We unloaded out car, and pulled out our folding chairs in front of the cabin, facing the road to watch for the wrecker that might or might not be on his way?

I have to say; I married a Boy Scout. Actually, Scott is an Eagle Scout, for real and for true! He shined like a brand new penny that day when he broke out a box of food I didn't know he'd stashed. We had canned ham on crackers, kippers, and oatmeal for lunch. When you THINK your going to go hungry, the most meager meal tastes so delicious! There was peanut butter and other foods for later. We could have lasted 3 or 4 days without worry.

I kept looking at my watch and Scott noticed I was getting a little nervous. You know there are BEARS in The Ozarks, right? My sweet husband pulled out his guitar and my mandolin, and we sat and picked out songs, and sang badly, just as some old pioneer probably did over one hundred years ago in the very same spot! I noticed I wasn't really concerned over the wrecker anymore, as I saw the sun start to get low in the west, and touch the tops of the trees. I noticed the birds, saw a raccoon, squirrels, and took note of berries and various herbs growing wild. I found that walking around, the Mullein was abundant, and realized I needed to pick as much as I can, because this will make a great salve! So I did, and Scott just chuckled at me for filling an ice-chest full of the fuzzy leaves.

Just about the time I think we need to light lanterns and get busy with setting up our tent, I hear a low rumble in the distance and a motor running. No one had been this way in hours. The wrecker arrived to see the two of us sitting in front of that cabin, playing and singing to our hearts content, and not really sure we wanted to go anywhere just yet? But we had to...
It was kind of sad when they hooked my car up to the chains and pulled it up the ramp. Scott and I hopped into the cab and they took us to back to Mountainview to a hotel. Ok, I've been stuck in The Ozarks before. I'm just telling you that their sense of urgency is not the same as say, someone in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Not by a LONG SHOT. It  took a week to get the starter  in and have it installed. Something that would have been an overnight job in any big city. They didn't seem to be in any big rush. Then it hit me.. what a beautiful thing! I called my supervisor at work, and explained that this is going to take about 5 days according to Roy at the Auto Repair shop. Yes, it's the only shop in town. No there's nothing I can do about it. But that didn't mean they were slack on their customer service- not at all! They gave us a rental. A beat up model, with four wheels and 4-60 A/C. (That's four windows down, at 60 miles per hour)...
We spent five days a little miffed that we couldn't stay in the log cabin, but happy enough to be able to cruise around the mountains and extend our vacation! That's one happy detour, and it changed my perspective about what I think I "need". Truthfully, you don't need much to be happy. You just need "enough".

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Deep Foundations In A Shallow World

Recently, my Grandson and I had a "talk" about God. He's a teenager, and still struggling with the concept of God, and in fact, the very need for a God. Is there a true need? I know the answer and you may know the answer, but many of today's youth are finding little need to God. They are simply opting for the agnostic route. It sounds arrogant,. Simply put; most American teens have never truly suffered anything. They've been handed a lot. School is easy. Jobs are easy. The economy is easy. Life is good. Few teenagers have ever broken a sweat for lack of air conditioning, and have never had to stoke a fire for warmth. Food is overly abundant. Not a whole lot is required of them compared to their great grandparents generation. 
So, I have to ask myself, what will it take to make this generation humble? It seems horribly arrogant to think that God, Jesus, heaven, and the Bible are mere fairy stories? That it's without a purpose? That God gave His only begotten Son for no particular reason, or worse, that it's a fable? But that is a common thought among America's teens. 

However, if you're faith has never been challenged, it's possible that a person lacks it entirely. So here we are: the land of plenty. Majority of America is kept fat and happy by personal employment, the government, churches, and charitable organizations. It wasn't that way not so long ago.

According to Census Bureau data for 2009 (the most recent year statistics are available), of the almost 50 million Americans classified as poor, 96% of the parents said their children were never hungry. Eighty-three percent of poor families reported having enough food to eat, and 82% of poor adults said they were never hungry at any time in 2009 due to a lack of food or money. And we are seeing obesity rates in children that historically have never been witnessed. Now, I'm not knocking today's children. They don't know any different and of course I want them fed! I'm simply making a comparison from a century ago when true hunger was a reality, and quite common.

Death Rates by Cause of Death, 1900–2005

(per 100,000 population)

all forms
and pneumonia
Mortality rates were very high in areas of disease, such as venereal disease, and sickness. Infant mortality was as high as 30% percent in some areas of America in the early 1900's. Penicillin wasn't even invented until 1928. That translates into: the average American teen witnessed a lot of death and sickness unless they were unusually fortunate. 
Of course I do not wish any hunger, illness or death on today's youth. I simply wish history was taught accurately, and I wish we had better teaching tools? I sometimes long for a new invention like "smellevision". Yep, if today's youth could capture the average smell of a household from 100 years ago, they'd be thanking God for soap and water, let alone their deodorant, or Juicy Couture?
 I wish they average teen could be transported in time to see a real closet of 1900? My grandparents home was built in the 1920's and had no original closets. Each person had their own "wardrobe", a tall cabinet with a door. It was probably about 6" in height, and 3 and a half feet wide. There was room for perhaps 6 changes of hanging clothes at the most, 3-4 small drawers, and if you were lucky; a mirror on the inside or outside of the door. That was IT. You had ONE pair of shoes until you outgrew them, or wore them out. Underpants? Optional depending on how affluent your family was. Typically, a teen had 1-2 pairs of pants or skirts, and 2-3 shirts or blouses. Not drawers of designer t-shirts, and jeans. Not a small room we now call a closet full or clothes that get worn a dozen times then given away. People literally wore their closes out and even then, saved the remaining fabric for bandages (band aides were not yet marketed) patching other clothing, or cut into quilt squares. Nothing went to waste.

  Today's America is so vastly different than the America 1913. Imagine where your at?  Did your town even exist? If it did, was their a train? If not your great grands where likely isolated and counted on family and close neighbors for any socializing. Days started early, because of the heat in the summer, and the need to milk the cow year-round, and to break the ice and stoke the fire in the winter, and yes, milk the cows, even in the bitter cold. All this before they went to school, IF they went to school at say, age 15? Many had to stop schooling by 13-16 to work on the family farm, or in a factory to help their parents pay the bills. By 1914, we were at war, and many young teenage males were called away to war on their 18th birthday by either choice or design, as the Federal Draft was in full swing by 1917. Poverty was very common and many young men chose to join the military to learn a skill, see the world, as well as serving their country.
I suppose the point I'm getting at is this: Our society is so affluent compared to the America of 1913, and also to other countries TODAY. My fear is; the youth no longer have a need for God? My question to you, the reader is; HOW do you teach Jesus to a society that lacks nothing? Medicine is readily available for most, food is not an issue, and today's youth have so many toys, games, and videos that those born just 20 years ago, don't even know what it's like to use their imagination! Bicycles are a novelty, not a necessity, and outdoor play is "scheduled" in play dates.
Most kids don't ever break a sweat and are more likely to strain their thumb on the playstation than any other injury. No one chops wood. No one totes water. So why would they need Jesus?

St. Augustine said: "If you plan to build a tall house of virtues, you must first lay deep foundations of humility."

How do we lead our teens to Christ when they have no humility? It's not their fault... they are arrogant because they have nothing to compare their world to. We, their parents and grandparents know to be thankful, because we've seen war, we've made do, we've seen others struggle, and we've watched technology evolve. We all remember when a digital watch was $200.00! So we appreciate the affordability and luxury of what we have. Our teens, not so much.

Now, I admit that I did my best to make sense of  The Bible and the need for Christ for my Grandson, most likely because I've always believed in God? I don't recall a time when I didn't? My parents were agnostic growing up, but my Grandmothers were adamant about God, and drug me to church. Wow am I thankful! But, no matter how thankful I am, I need to know:  "how do I answer today's youth when they suggest The Bible isn't real, and heaven is just a fable?" How do we present the need for a God? Or do we just give them the facts, and pray?

One thing I know; faith is developed out of need. And basically TWO PRAYERS I've repetitively prayed: "HELP ME, HELP ME, HELP ME!!" And; "THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!" I know my grandchildren will get there. That sometime in their life, something will challenge them to the point of prayer, even if it's in a God whom they are unsure of?

I'd like to hear thoughts on leading youth to God, and how to develop their foundation in Christ? Raising Godly youth from the cradle is optimum, but what about those who have not been taught?

Your thoughts are precious to me. Feel free to comment.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

All Labels Aside- Why Be Anabaptist?

Recently, I've been rather challenged to remain among The Anabaptists. I know I am not plain... I am not ultra conservative, nor am I so radical that I want to live in a colony.

I love the group I worship with, I certainly do. I agree with "most" of their doctrine, as I do agree with the most basic of Anabaptist theology. I certainly do not feel called to worship in any other church.. I feel connected and loved where I'm at

But that's pretty much where the rubber meets the road. You see, I'm not sure we can say for certain HOW God feels on a lot of issues? I can tell you how He feels about the issues surrounding the 10 Commandments, but then more questions arise when you put it to the test. Take Murder for example? Of course we are not to murder anyone. Right? What about war? What about the police? What about self defense for your family??? Yes, I know most Anabaptists are conscientious objectors and will not go to war literally. But would they protect their children from harm? What about voting? Some say it's a sin to be involved, and some participate.

"Some" Anabaptists seem to have a fairly firm opinion on how God feels about everything from divorce and remarriage, to alcohol, war, and even foster care? Yep, some people think they've got it nailed down. And all of it is by building a case, just as an attorney would with scripture. They take several scriptures, from different places in the Bible and link them altogether to form a defense for the subject they are trying to defend or prove. ... Unless you visit another church, which may have different views on the previously mentioned subject, with a nailed-tight scriptural opinion based on some other view of how the subject should be translated. It's a lot to digest! 

I'll speak about what I've witnessed personally: Mennonites tend to reason much of the individual church theology, which can vary from church to church, district to district, committee to committee. Everyone has an argument and are willing to split what they at one moment call *the body of Christ* over it, and start an entirely NEW body of Christ a few miles away. Now, is this wrong? No, not if it's to end cult like control that can't be reasoned with. But the whole theology is to love each other so humbly... I'm perplexed WHY the most humble can't humble themselves with each other? I suppose they are asking themselves the same question? I'm not here to judge... I'm just trying to wrap my mind around it all, and I've been doing this for over 17 years. But in the end, it's the people that keep me coming back, because after all; people are people regardless of their labels. The Mennonites seem to have a certain simplicity not only in their dress and habits, but also in their love of family. It's just not all that complicated to them and that is very appealing to me.

 I've never known love and friendship like I've known among the Mennonites. I am not one of them... I am grafted in. Jesus had some thoughts on grafting in the ones who love Him and I believe while they have their flaws, as any human, the Mennonites I know personally have one character trait that really sets them apart and keeps pulling back to them; They LOVE with their whole heart. And as  someone not raised in the Anabaptist faith.., I see things from a peculiar perspective. I've been Baptist, Non-Denominational, and attended a Lutheran Church (a.k.a. "Catholic Light"), for a reasonable amount of time. I spent many a weekend with my Grandmothers at their Pentecostal Assemblies...As a child I would secretly visit The Methodists and The Church of God to see how they compare to The Southern Baptist Church my parents assumed I was at? Yes, I know this was deceitful now, but as a kid, it seemed more like civil disobedience? I was a bit mischievous then. Guess I still am?

After all these years of attending various denominations, I find a sense of ease in the simplicity of The Mennonites, and I am also challenged to practice their belief in non-resistance. This doesn't always happen in a flawless, un-bumpy path. It is often a trail of regret that leads me to rethink my actions. I have always had a big mouth. Those who know me are smiling and nodding. And it's difficult for me to stand back, be quiet, stay reserved, and let God do things in His time. I'm more inclined to pop-off, lean in, raise an eyebrow, and stare someone down when challenged. But I see in the lives of my Mennonite sisters, that none of that is necessary. Most of the time, I am simply in the way, like a tree in the road. They have taught me to be patient, quiet, tender, and obedient. Not that it always happens that way, trust me, I'm still me. Still, my friends have been there, and prayed with me and for me as I work against myself day to day. I'm always envious that they were raised to be gentle. I was raised by wolves in comparison!

 I think I've found my niche among the Mennonites, and I'm content to just be among them, and feel  no pressure to be a cookie cutter version of them. I'm staying put. I just do my best to love God, take their interpretations to heart, and respect their culture, just as I have every domination. And all this travelling around various denominations paid off and created something neutral and unique: It gave me a beautiful perspective to love all denominations for whatever in them shines the brightest. For me, my Mennonite friends shine like diamonds in the sun. I have stopped worrying about what facet shines for what reason?  I'm just thankful they shine.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Thing Or Two About Nanny

  Meet my "Nanny", Mary Cue Ogle Watson, pictured here at age 85, with one of my second cousins.  She's been gone for nearly 20 years, and still I miss my Grandmother something fierce. I can hear her voice, I can imagine the smell of her Chamberlains Lotion, and see her smile in my mind. All of the cousins have a little bit of Nanny in them, but I have been told by most of them that I got hit with the Nanny stick pretty hard! I am very much like her both in physical features (I am tall, and have her bone structure and build), but also in her mannerisms, love for cooking; homemade biscuits and gravy, fried chicken, beans and cornbread, and chow-chow. "Country food".  Oh, and I lean towards conservative churches, just as Nanny did. I tend to want to be a "separate people" as a follower of Christ.

 Now, there's no *moral* hinging on the tale of this post. I just saw this picture in my files on the computer, and it conjured up such strong memories, that I thought I'd share? Let me tell you how I see this: This was taken at my Aunt Jo-Jo's house in the early 90's. Jo-Jo is her middle daughter and my beloved, old-fashioned Aunt. I take after her a lot too. Aunt Jo-Jo had a house filled to the brim with cool, old, antiques like that old piano, and bookcases filled with all kinds of stuff to fill your imagination. One thing that struck me as a kid was when Aunt Jo-Jo learned she was to become a Grandmother, she wallpapered her guestroom with beautiful Victorian floral-striped wallpaper and put an old-timey looking crib there. She literally made a nursery. I thought that was the sweetest thing I'd ever seen, and I vowed to have a crib in my guestroom when I became a Grandma too. And I did.

 Aunt Jo also was huge into "Natures Sunshine" Herbs, and in this picture you can see a bottle of something herbal and 100% natural on the table beside Nanny. Aunt Jo had a kitchen cabinet full of herbal medicine in the 70's, long before it was popular, and mainstream. If one of the women had *change of life* symptoms, Aunt Jo gave them Dong Quai. If you were lacking "umph" and generally feeling poorly, we all went on "Alfalfa", the "Father of Herbs". If us teenage girls had cramps, we got a coca-cola.  That's how I learned about herbs, and life from my Aunt Jo. She had no problem trying to cure any of us who ailed with some little something she had in the cabinet. And it usually worked! Pondering all of this, I realize I am about the age now, that my Aunt Jo was then. And my kitchen cabinet is full of herbs!

  Back to my Nanny- I had never seen Nanny in anything but dresses, and her hair was long, long, long, as she was Pentecostal. This picture shows her hair a lot different than I knew most of my life. It's short and permed, and probably easier to handle, but it's a reflection of Nanny.  She was hurt when the church she'd devoted her life to went through a split, and more of less dissolved because leadership didn't live up to what it preached. I don't want to gossip- so I'll leave the details alone, but I when I first saw Nanny's hair cut short, even though it was full, and feminine, I was probably in my 30's, and my jaw hit the floor. She was also wearing a pants suit, and I'm sure she was comfortable, but it was hard to wrap my head around, all this new dress and shorter hair! I used to brush that hair out at night, and it went way down to her waist. I thought nothing could be as beautiful as her salt and pepper locks that she called her "glory".  As a girl, I wanted long salt and pepper glory too, when I became a Grandma. That could still happen. (grin)

  Nanny is gone to be with her Savior, and Aunt Jo's house burned to the ground last year, along with  all her beautiful antiques, but thank God she was spared. She now lives with her daughter, the same as Nanny lived with her. I'm glad I have a few pictures. I'm glad we can save these memories on computers, so that they live on, even if the original paper burns to ash. Mostly, I'm grateful that God granted me such a good family,  and the good memories of them, even if it's in a photograph to take myself back in time to the sights, smells, and the emotional tug of an era gone by for a moment. I guess we all have closets full of random photo's? I suppose they all tell a story? Hope you enjoyed mine.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Free Indeed... (Helpful Links for Post-Abortive Mothers and Fathers)

I can't post my last post and just leave my blog to hang in the air. I want to follow up with a reminder to everyone; abortion has more than one victim. Even if you have no connection to abortion, you may know someone who may benefit from seeking help in recovery. The biggest problem with post-abortive Mothers is that they don't feel like they deserve to be forgiven. It's tormenting. And it's
a lie from the devil.

Here are a few links that may help you, or someone you know find the road to peace on this issue. It starts with a confession, and asking God to forgive you- but living day to day with the consequences is often painful.
C.A.R.E Restoring Lives Wounded By Abortion
Silent No More

In Our Midst
Articles on the churches role in healing after abortion.
Post Abortion Syndrome: NOTE: Every Pro Choice group, every agency that stands to make a dollar, and every feminist publication stresses that PAS does not exhist. Yeah, I remember when PMS and PTSD didn't exist either. That's a crock.
Abortion Healing Resources.
Post Abortion Healing/Retreat

These are just a few links. I am not connected with any, but hope they bring you, or someone you know the healing that only Jesus brings. Remember; He died not just for some of your sins, not just for the lesser of your sins, not just the socially acceptable sins, but for ALL YOUR SINS.

May you find forgiveness, and the peace that passes all understanding.