Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Chick-Fil-A controversy.

Hi! I'm Laura. I'm energetic, I love people, I take a copious amount of sugar with my morning coffee, and I think the vast majority of people are seriously overreacting to this chick-fil-a thing.

For those who don't know, the President and COO of Chick-Fil-A recently was interviewed by the baptist press about what he believes. As near as I can tell, they were just excited to have such a successful person who is helping so many people affiliate himself with the Baptist denomination (I think after all of the recent Westboro debacles, they're desperate for someone to point to and say "Look, not all Baptists are this way!").

In this interview, he happened to mention that he, and most if not all of the other people in charge of the Chick-Fil-A company are against same-sex marriage.

This, the last statement of the interview as shared by the Baptist Press, is what everyone's so upset about. Heaven forbid society take a second to focus on the good things, like how cool it is that the company isn't open on Sunday or the neat fact that they make more money (and thus pay more in rent) working six days a week than anyone else who would occupy the buildings they're in does in seven, or even the awesome PR gold nugget that is the way they've stimulated the economy around them by making so much money and putting it to good works. Nevermind the research they've done, the fact that the people in charge of this company are some of the only corporate executives IN THE WORLD who are still happily married to their fist wives, or the jobs they've provided. No, society says. Let's instead focus on their one little controversial statement, the one where they say that they believe gay marriage is against the principles outlined in the bible.

I've got news for you, society, it is. But so is hating people, any people, for any reason. So you should be happy. Because a person who is willing to publicly admit that he believes gay marriage is unbiblical is also likely to have someone else arrested for harassing you in one of his stores for being gay. He's also more likely than people who don't believe that the bible is against gay marriage to stop you on the street if you look sad and ask what he can pray for you about. He's more likely than most of the people protesting his stores to genuinely care about you, your well being, and your right to choose.


Well, because all of that's in the bible too. "Love your neighbor as yourself" covers it all. And if that wasn't enough, "Love covers a multitude of sins," and "It is not the healthy who need a doctor but the sick," and Jesus' decision to hang out around a prostitute despite God's obvious and repeatedly demonstrated special dislike for sexual sins (read the old testament), and Paul saying "There is, therefore, now no condemnation..." should be adequate enough evidence for you.

Bible based Christians believe that homosexuality is wrong. But we'll love your socks off anyway because you're a person regardless of what your sexual preferences are and we love people.

Let me re-say this one more time: As Christians, it is IN OUR NATURE to love. We cannot call ourselves Christians and hate someone at the same time, and I'm sorry that some people do. I'm sorry that some people are hypocrites and they use their beliefs as an excuse to hurt you. But Christians who believe in the Bible and actively seek God like this man does are not going to hurt you. They will love you, they will help you if you need it, they will defend your safety, they will pray fervently for you, and they will teach their children to do the same.

And, just in case that wasn't clear enough: I'm a Christian. I believe that the Bible does speak very plainly about homosexuality. I have several friends who are very dear to me who - for whatever reason I can't pretend to understand, be it choice or nature - are gay. I love them to pieces, I believe they're great people. If I found out they needed help with anything, I would do everything in my power to help them. I go out of my way to cheer them up when they're sad about something. I would do the same for any of my straight friends. They're people. They're generally good people. I don't have to agree with their choices in order to love them and think they're awesome people and want to spend time with them.

So instead of creating such a big stink about that last little statement in this article, let's applaud the executives of Chick-Fil-A. Because, seriously, big corporate executives almost never stay married to their fist wives. Let's realize just how much of an amazing accomplishment that is, for the men and for their wives. Let's point out how much of a testament it is to the strength of the people involved that they're still married despite the inevitable stress associated with being one of the people who runs a company. And let's all stand up, give them a handshake and a hearty pat on the back, and move on with our lives.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Awesome things about life

Those kisses where you smush your nose into the other person's face because you're just so dang excited to be kissing them.


As I mentioned before, we're fasting this week.

Our church is being moved in some awesome directions. The pastor's new son-in-law, Moses, is taking over leadership of the previously poorly organized connect groups (otherwise known as cell groups or home groups) and uniting them under a common purpose, lesson plan, and set of guidelines. Our pastor's oldest son, Caleb (yes, I know, Moses and Caleb. It's hilarious!) is getting more organized and aggressive with his training of the youth and young adult groups; working under the belief that trials don't just come to the Christians in their 30s, and neither do the opportunities to reach into someone else's life and make a difference.

Two of the major outreach programs in our church, Serve1 and Won by One, are going full force, bringing the gospel into places it doesn't normally go here in the Northwest and encouraging everyone to just reach one person a year. If each person in our church were to reach one person every year for Jesus, within 8 years the Northwest would go from the most unchurched region of the united states to the most faith-filled.

Pastor's getting pretty deep in his messages lately, too. Even Sunday mornings, which tend to be a bit watered down for the sake of newcomers and new Christians, have been hard-hitting and focused on deep concepts. Several times he's stopped mid-sentence and said "They're telling me we're out of time, so let me close with this."

All of that to say that something awesome is happening in our church and in response to the obvious outpouring Pastor has called for a week of churchwide prayer and fasting to usher in a time of spiritual breakthrough. According to the veterans in our church he has never done anything like this before, it's quite unprecedented in his 30 years as pastor, but I think everyone is excited about it anyway. At least, everyone who's participating in the fasting and prayer is. I can't speak for anyone who doesn't feel led to participate.

Dearest and I, for some reason that is still beyond my understanding, felt led to participate.

Now, here's one of the times when I look up at the heavens and go "really, God? Really? I certainly hope I can see the point of all this when it's over!" My first fast ever, and we feel led to make it a "complete fast" - meaning that we don't eat anything. We're drinking gatorade and one protein shake every day, a glass of milk before bed so we can fall asleep, and that's it. No food, no meal replacement shakes or bars or pills, no candy, nothing solid, nothing that can actually satisfy the hunger of an entire day. As a dear, trusted, wise friend of ours told us on Sunday "It's about getting hungry enough to remember to pray."

This is all going jolly well for Dearest. He feels better right now than he has in ages, to hear him say it. He's focused, emotionally and mentally uncluttered, physically rested and at ease. He's even lost a whole 7 pounds!

I, on the other hand, have been feeling...well...let's just say not good. My body isn't taking to this no-food idea very well, objecting only at the end of the day when I'm home from the long and emotionally draining (those few encounters with people can be terribly negative) day at work. I walk in the door and within five minutes, WHAMO! Attitude problems, stomach cramps, and a general "woe is me" feeling about the whole deal.

Which, I might add, I feel rather ridiculous for in the morning. Especially considering that we're only now beginning the 3rd day of this.

This morning, though, I did experience something interesting that I think may be in correlation with the whole fasting thing. I was sitting in dead-stopped traffic, and not even worried or upset at all.

Those who know me well know that this doesn't happen. I have a thinly veiled version of road rage that comes out in snarky and sarcastic comments aimed at other drivers who I know can't hear me.

I don't like being late, I don't like being stopped when I want to be moving, and I don't like not having any idea why there's a problem. But today, quite uncharacteristically, I wasn't worried. Sure, I was about 45 minutes behind my usual schedule. Sure, I'd been almost hit several times while people tried to escape the deadlock. Sure, I'd sat behind the same four cars at the same intersection in the exact same spot for five whole light cycles. But for some reason, none of it bothered me. I had this peace, this sense of "Okay, whatever, I've got time. This is no big deal. And if I'm late, then I'm late. Oh well."

If more peace in life is what I get out of fasting then I think that's worth going hungry. I certainly spend too much time freaking out about things that don't warrant a freak out.

I have decided that I'm going to go through with the whole 7 days for a few reasons. For starters I feel like I need to prove to myself that I can do it, that I don't quit everything I start, that I don't give up when it gets difficult, that I can handle a little bit of pain even though I don't know what the benefit is because with something like this there will be benefit.

 It's only 7 days, after all, and there's only 4 and a half left in any case. I just need to stop thinking about it as "Oh my gosh, 7 whole days!" and take it a day at a time. Maybe that's another reason God wants me to do this, maybe he's trying to teach me that "tomorrow has enough worries of its own" lesson. In any case, I realized yesterday that if I just make it through today, I'll have gone three days. Then, one more isn't a big deal so I can go four. After that I'm more than halfway done with the week. If I can go for four days without food then there's no reason I can't just stick it out for three more.

I think if I live this way, this day-by-day way, a lot of the things in my life that I can't seem to balance out and make work will just fall into place. I'll realize - at a level deep enough to get me to actually do something about it - that it really does make more sense for me to just fold the laundry now, just do the dishes as I cook, just pick up the messes as they happen; and I'll end up developing all those habits that I'm so frustrated with myself for not having right now.

So maybe there's more benefits to this fast than I can realize, because I'm just not there yet. And sure, it's frustrating to just not be there yet. But for some reason, today I don't mind.

Plus, I've decided that I'm having Panda Express for dinner on Monday, so that's something to look forward to in those moments when I just can't see the benefit enough to want to stick it out.

Hello, Sweetie

In case you didn't already know, today's post title is inspired by the amazing, fierce, beautiful, fictional woman of the week: River Song. Otherwise known as Melody Pond, famous for saying "Hello, Sweetie!" and "Spoilers." The Doctor's wife and the only one in all the universes so far besides The Doctor who knows his real name. She's stuck with him the longest, even though they were travelling in opposite directions on the timeline and she barely ever got to see him. She watched him die - in fact, she was the killer! But she couldn't help that bit, it was a subconscious suggestion that had been reinforced repeatedly throughout her entire life.

Anyway, River Song is my fictional woman of the week. She's strong and spunky and independent and dangerous and fun and oh so clever; and somehow never lets that get in the way of her total adoration for and trust in her beloved Doctor. She never loses faith in him, not even for a second, not even when she's the most frightened she's ever been, not even when she's staring her own death in the face. Fictional or not, I admire River Song. In fact, if I could choose a fictional character to become real and be my older sister, she'd probably be it. Amy Pond would be my twin. Hopefully identical, because then I'd get that beautiful red hair.

In other subjects:

> I've been asked to make something I've never made before. The person referred to it as a "turtle costume" for newborns, she wants to gift it to a friend of hers. The pattern looks simple enough, and I'm sure I could do it, I just need to figure out how much I would need to charge for it. Neat stuff, though.

Ironically enough, it's not anybody I've ever met in my entire life. Ever. Go figure, with all the people I've met, that the one person who would appreciate my ability to crochet and give me a challenging project to work on - that they'll actually pay me for - is an utter stranger. In any case I'm pretty excited, just have to figure out where I'm going to set my price.

> This week is my first full week working and boy, am I intimidated!

The job is actually pretty easy. Sit in the office and watch Dr Who until someone comes in, help the person with what they want, then sit back down and watch more Dr Who. The hard part is that most of the systems and protocols and whatnot are stuck inside my boss' head. My boss is on vacation. I did write a basic manual a few weeks ago, which he appreciated so much that he promptly forgot I had written it, printed it up, and handed it to me saying "I just found this on the computer, it looks pretty decent but I had completely forgotten about writing it. Look it over and tell me if you have any questions."

My answer was, "Just one question: What do you think of it? Did I do a good job, or is there something missing?"

> We're fasting this week, which I've decided to to an entirely separate post on, since my feelings and experiences on the subject thus far are so dratted complicated.

> Life, as of late, has been busy. I'm learning how to keep my house clean, learning how to not be so focused on the wrong things, learning how to live a normal life - well, sort of. We are, after all, very not normal. This month is turning out to be super busy, but that's pretty much the way I like it anyway.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Stole this from a teenager on Tumblr. But what the heck, I'm bored.

  • 1: Real (first) Name? 
  • Lauralanathalasa. I'm named after an elf, which is easier for people to understand than when I say "It's elfish". In any case, I'm the only one I know with my name. :D
  • 2: Current crush!?
  • My husband :D Other women talk about celebrities "AHMAGAHD, Bobby Flay! I would have his babies. He's my exception" Not me. I'm more in the "Meh, he's okay looking but I really prefer my husband" category.
  • 3: Addiction?
  • Oh, lots of things. Attention, cuddles, Netflix, chocolate, adorable clothing, starbucks, and so much more.
  • 4: How tall am I? 
  • 5'7" ....I think.... Recently it's been feeling more and more cramped in the leg area of our cars, even with the seat all the way back.
  • 5: Relationship status?
  • Married - usually quite happily. 
  • 6: Girls I trust?
  • Those who have earned it. 
  • 7: Boys I trust?
  • Again, those who have earned it. Bear with me, I stole this from a highschooler.
  • Where did #8 go?
  • 9: Current mood?
  • Mostly sleepy but still feeling pretty good. Just got back from a workout, so I can't fall asleep right now, and I want to be still enough to be able to fall asleep soon, so I'm not doing housework. But nevertheless, I feel good.
  • 10: When was the last time I did something for the 1st time?
  • I tried squid for the first time a few weeks ago. It was gross. 
  • 11: Confession;
  • Squid is very gross.
  • Really, though, I'm pretty afraid of new things, to the point where I'll not try them so that I don't have to fail or be disappointed. 
  • 12: Who I miss?
  • Lots of people in Indiana
  • 13: Who I last hugged?
  • My husband.
  • 14: Who understands me?
  • My husband
  • 15: Someone who is always there for me:
  • ...My stuffed froggy. (lol) and my husband.
  • 16: Last Text?
  • "Life would be so much easier if God would just text me" (pastor's kid said that.)
  • 17: Who’s a stranger:
  • You are! 
  • Cryptic and slightly dumb questions deserve dumb and silly answers :)
  • 18: Who makes me laugh the most?
  • my husband
  • 19: Who I do the craziest stuff with?
  • My husband
  • 20: Who makes me smile?
  • My husband. And most small children
  • 21: What am i listening to?
  • Married with Children playing in the background
  • 22: Turn on’s?
  • Men who know how to be real men....y'kno, my husband. :D
  • 23: Turn offs?
  • Super bad breath, super bad lines and catch phrases, general wussiness.
  • 24. Bestfriends?
  • At the moment, Dearest is really my closest and only friend. That will change later.
  • Missing #25 as well
  • 26: Second confess?
  • Another one!? Sheesh, what do you people want from me?
  • I can't bring myself to feel as bad as I think I ought to about the way our relationship started. Just can't do it. I'm more excited and proud that I won and I get to keep him. 
  • 27: What I hate?
  • that ice cream makes me fat.
  • 28: Who’s annoying?
    My husband (lol)
  • 29: Favorite Sex position?
  • Classified information, not sharing that one.
  • 30: Last person to give you butterflies?
  • The good kind? My husband. The bad kind? The creep who came into the office today.