No Wussies Allowed

You can stack them but you can't throw them...
You can stack them but you can’t throw them…

I call myself a Wayseeker – someone who seeks to follow the way of Jesus, This is actually a lot harder than it sounds.

Here is what I have determined about Jesus and his Way thus far:

1. Forgiveness is mandatory.

2. Revenge is not allowed under any circumstances.

3. Judging other people is strictly forbidden.

4. You have to love a lot of unsavory people.  In fact, you have to love everyone. That can get tiring, let me tell you.

5. Caring for the sick, the needy, the destitute, the possessed, outcasts, adulterers, thieves and all folks of questionable virtue and cleanliness is another requirement.

6. Being rich is a liability.

7. Being a woman is not a liability.

8. The Kingdom of God is here. Right now.

9. We are all members of the Kingdom.

10. Love is the price of entry into the Kingdom. All other debts and liabilities have been redeemed by Jesus.

So essentially the Beatles were right.  All you need is love.

But like I said, that is easier than it sounds.  I mean, it sounds straightforward in the abstract, but when you get down to real people and real situations, it is pretty darn tough to live the Way.

Take, for example, a couple of lessons from my own life this week.

Continue reading No Wussies Allowed

We Were Robbed….but not quite

We were driving through a quaint Welsh village (Betws-y-Coed, since you asked), just getting ready to sling-shot free of civilization and head for the pass at Mount Snowdon, when my husband showed me an email.

The Pass at Mt Snowdon, Gwynedd, north Wales
The Pass at Mt Snowdon, Gwynedd, north Wales

We’d been waiting to receive our security deposit back from a short-term vacation rental. The email was from the “letting” agency informing us on a “without prejudice” basis that the owner had discovered blue crayon on a wall in the property and since he had been unsuccessful in removing the crayon, he was keeping the deposit in order to repaint the room.

Because you need to repaint an entire room when you are touching up some blue crayon.

I was blinded by anger.  My face became hot, and my blood pressure soared as my stomach dropped. I raged  against the injustice.

You see, my youngest boys – who, at 2 and 3 years old are the only ones who still consider colouring fun, and colouring walls exceedingly so – do not have any crayons, blue or otherwise.

Not only that, but my husband and I went over that cottage with a fine tooth comb before we left, cleaning it as if Jesus himself was going to be the next guest there.  There was no blue crayon marks.  Not one. Anywhere.

The guy was lying and it sent me into a mental tailspin.   I was overwhelmed by fantasies of revenge.  I mentally composed my negative review for Tripadvisor (take that!), drafted my arguments for small claims court, and imagined an internet
Campaign of Destruction whereby I’d buy up all the domain names with his company name in it and write negative blog posts (SEOd up to the gills) so that anyone searching for his cottages would find my bad reviews first.

He might be able to keep my money, but I’d damned well make him pay for it.

Continue reading We Were Robbed….but not quite

“Do Not Be Afraid, For I Am With You”

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Jesus said, “It is written…”

Lent has begun.

To be honest, I never got Lent. I went to Catholic school and everyone would debate what they were going to give up, but I never really understood how to turn this sacrifice (as if giving up potato chips or chocolate is sacrificial in the context of the man we were trying to emulate) into something spiritually meaningful.

Lent always felt…childlike.  Like we could give up partying, smoking, or gluten and magically get right with God.

Somehow, I always felt this was not exactly what God had in mind when he sent his only begotten Son.

It’s taken a few years, but I am starting to understand.

Continue reading “Do Not Be Afraid, For I Am With You”

I’m Baptized so Piss Off

Self-doubt is a cold and barren companion
Self-doubt is a cold and barren companion

I struggle with self-doubt.

Quite possibly I should not.  I am well educated, have 5 beautiful and healthy children, a loving husband, and more books on my Kindle than I know what to do with.

But I often feel like I am shit at everything.

I have no career despite my expensive education.  I used to be many things – a teacher, a lawyer, a civil servant – but because of my family and my Asperger’s, each of those careers is now…impractical.

These days I beaver away at writing with little discernable success.  As a 21st century writer, success is measured in sales, yes, but also in the number of “likes” your Facebook page has and how many Twitter followers you catch.

I have been at this for 3 years.  My Facebook page has 314 likes.  I know bloggers that have been at it for 3 months and have 3 times as many followers.

It can be…disheartening. Continue reading I’m Baptized so Piss Off