There Will Always Be Pull-Your-Hair-Out Days

The life of a homeschooling mama is not easy. I don't care what amazing super woman you know out there that wears a vintage apron (that she sewed herself), get up at dawn and bakes the whole family (husband included) whole grain muffins with a side of melon balls, braids her daughters hair, has them all fully clothed, lesson plans color coded and oh-so-carefully organized, 30 minute bible studies WITH an accompanying craft...



I am not her.

Dude...

Not even close.

I do not get up before anyone. Unless, the times when I wake up to nurse the baby counts. If not, then the baby and I are usually the last ones to wake up in the morning.

Breakfast?

Cereal and milk. You pour it yourself. And not only do you pour it yourself, you clean it up yourself. Bowls rinses and put in the sink.

Not an accurate depiction of my kitchen. Promise.

Pfffft.

Who am I kidding? The bowls sit on the table until lunch.

My kids sometimes do all their lessons in pajamas and I only remember to ask them at lunch, "Did you brush your teeth yet, today? Yes? Good!" And the fact that they did and I didn't have to tell them, is a HUGE accomplishment in my eyes.

I'm not that amazing. Sometimes, the days go incredibly great and I end it with a content smile and feel that everyone should know I made it through the day and was a FANTASTIC mom the entire time. Then, other days (like today) it goes something like this:

"Lucy, sit on your bottom, please. Please? Sit on your bottom. Lucy! Your bottom! Sit on it. Seriously, child! That's NOT your bottom! Do you not understand? Lucy Danielle!!!! SIT ON YOUR BOTTOM!"

Sits on her bottom.

"Thank you."

Two seconds later...

"Lucy, sit on your bottom, please. On your bottom. SIT ON IT! Lucy, we don't need to sing opera while doing our school work. Lucy...can you hear me? Are listening to me? Stop singing, please. Lucy! SIT ON YOUR BOTTOM! LUCY! STOP SINGING!!"

Stops singing. Sits on her bottom.

Fives seconds later...

"Mommy, I have to go potty."

I growl. "Hurry. Up. Please."

Twenty minutes later...

Lucy walks in with a smile on her face. "Like my bangs? I cut them myself."

OH MY GOODNESS!!



"Lucy, you are...like...four years behind. You were supposed to experiment with cutting your own hair when you were a toddler."

"What?" She says, matter-of-factly, "They're not in my eyes anymore." And I know that her statement is actually meant to say: Mommy, it ain't my fault you're a slacker and haven't gotten me a haircut.  

Somehow, by the grace of God, we get through the day's lessons. I clean up the cereal bowls and replace them with sandwiches for lunch. Afterwards, I tell Teddy he has to go poop.

Yes. I have to tell my five year-old son to do this. If I do not, he will simply go his entire life NOT pooping.

So, he gets a pen and notepad and heads to the toilet. I don't argue about this. Whatever passes the time...because that boy takes FOREVER!!!!

Five minutes later, I go to check on him. I find him on the toilet with his hands twisted up in the front of his shirt. "Mommy, I dropped my pen in the toilet. It's okay, though, 'cause I used my hands to get it out and I'm drying it off now."

Again...OH MY GOODNESS!!



"Teddy! We DO NOT put our hands in the toilet!!!"

I'll pause a moment to tell you, yes, I know I'm yelling. A lot. In fact, I'm screaming inside my own head the very moment I'm screaming in real like, screaming at myself not to scream. But...sometimes, a woman's brain and emotions do not want to be friends with a good mommy's brain and emotions. Sometimes, you just can't get a hold of one tiny shred of common sense and self-control.

Back to the story...

Teddy begins to cry because I tell him toilets are filled with germs (I don't mention that they're cleaner than the kitchen sink because that's not important right now). I snatch up a towel and use it to  pilfer the pen and throw it away. When I come back to the bathroom, Teddy is still crying with both hands shoved in his mouth. "Teddy!!!! DON'T PUT YOUR HANDS IN YOUR MOUTH!!!"

He cries more.

I think I cry a little, too.

In the chaos, I notice there is a bit of poop already in his underwear. I throw them away. I don't feel like soaking them today. I clean the boy up and get him in the shower, scrubbing his hands. When he gets out, he sits on a towel and cries that it's cold. I tell him to get dressed and he won't be cold. He yells that he IS drying off. I tell him he isn't, he's just sitting on a towel.

After five minutes of arguing over if he would like to get dressed or go to bed early, he finally decides that getting dressed is the better idea. Fully clothed and looking clean, he walks by me and says (as if he's telling me that it's sunny outside), "Hey mommy! I don't think you got all the poop off my bottom. There's poop on that towel where I was sitting." And just keeps on walking.

So what did I do next? I cleaned the boy up...SOME MORE...and escaped to granny's house. I had to bring the kids, too. I mean, the sensible mommy in my head screamed at me not to leave them behind. I came out here, I sat in the sunroom (where a very scary centipede just crawled across the floor and I attacked with my flip flop...DIE YOU NASTY LITTLE THING!!!) and my grandpa made me a cup of coffee. The kids are running free outside, trying not to blow away in the wind. I've text my husband and asked if there was a permanent full moon this week (he said there was not).

Since there is no logical reason why my kids sometimes revert back to toddlerdom, or why coffee is not removing the sleepiness from my eyes, I will now just sit....and breathe...and remember that there's always hope for tomorrow. Right?


~Gia
0

I'll Murder The Easter Bunny



Holidays should not fall on Sundays. This makes Easter very difficult for me. And how terrible am I to say such a thing, right?

But here is the deal...

It is hard for a mama to get a house of kids dressed and ready to head out the door on any given morning. It's chaotic. There are bowls of cereal to be poured, puddles of milk to be wiped up, and toothpaste to squeeze out of the ends of tubes. There are clean underwear to find, hair brushes to wrangle, and matching socks to discover. There are children to pull out of bed and away from cartoons...babies to nurse and diapers to change...and...

Wait.

Hold up...

What about me?

What about my toothbrush, underwear, socks and cereal?

See what I mean. It's crazy!

I won't mention the snoozing daddy curled up under the covers that scream for mommy to jump back in. Oh...those mean blankets. They mock me...



Because of this, I am seriously considering outlawing the Easter bunny from hopping by my house next year. After all, Easter is not about baskets, right? It's about the resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Savior!

All the Easter bunny manages to do is steal mommy and daddy's extra money for those overly stuffed baskets full of plastic junk and sugar.  In five minutes, the living room goes from nice and tidy to a mess of confetti and blasted paper grass EVERYWHERE. Plastic halves of eggs are suddenly land mines. Aluminum candy wrappers are tossed on (no UNDER) every surface...and chocolate is melting in the one patch of morning sunlight filtering in through the windows.

Don't believe me?

Well...to prove it, this is exactly how my Easter morning played out:

6:30 am:
The house is quiet and everyone is sleeping. I hear the children's' bedroom door creek open and the sound of my two big loves whispering as they hunt for their baskets.

6:31 am:
Daddy gets up because he has to be at church super early for worship practice. He starts pulling on jeans tossed on the floor and tells me the kids are up. I know.

6:40 am:
I hear the kids start to panic. They can't find the Easter baskets.

6:41 am:
Lucy pops her head in our door and says pathetically, "The Easter bunny hasn't come here yet." Daddy asks if she checked the front door.

6:42 am:
Wild squeals of joy and surprise that the bunny DID come by. The sound of cellophane tearing open commences. I hear them declare with happy relief that they got the kites they had been hoping for.

6:50 am:
Lucy asks daddy to open her kite. Daddy says we are not opening our kites right now.

7:00 am:
 Roger has all his guitars and gear packed into the Jeep and heads to church. I climb out of bed, put the baby in the swing, and begin to curl my hair and apply my makeup. "Get some cereal," I tell my oldest.She unwraps a snickers.

7:30 am:
I walk out of the bedroom to start a pot of coffee. Lucy is on the couch and asks, "Can I open my kite, mommy?" I say no. After all, we can't fly it right now and the pieces will get lost.

7:40 am:
I head back to the bedroom with a cup of coffee. Teddy is running around naked. "Put some underpants on," I say. Lucy is on the couch...with the kite opened and pieces everywhere. O_O I take it away and put it up...clearly stating my displeasure.

8:00 am:
I have my hair and makeup finished and slipped into Spanks (Slipped? Impossible!). Lucy is dressed in her new Easter clothes. That's good. Now all she needs to do is brush her teeth and do her hair. I sit down to nurse the baby again and change her wet diaper. "Can I go outside?" I hear Lucy asks. I tell her no, she's in her nice clothes.

8:00 - 9:00 am:
I have no idea. I lose track of time. I think I accidentally zone out while I sip my coffee. I know I dug through the dryer looking for all the parts of Teddy's Easter outfit that I tossed in there to get the wrinkles out. When I find them, they're covered in lint. I don't have a lint brush. It walked off a long time ago. It never occurs to me that I am still only wearing Spanks (which are nude colored). My poor son will need serious therapy. Not to mention my neighbors who more than likely got an eye full when I dug around in the mud room (windows everywhere!) for shoes.

9:00 am:
Teddy walks into the bedroom carrying a huge board and asks if he can have it. "I want to build you something," he explains. This is terribly sweet, and I kinda wonder what he was going to build me, but I tell him no and ask him to put it back before he hurts himself. He puts it away. I try really hard to pick the lint off his blue trousers.

9:30 am:
I hear Teddy tear off through the kitchen. Then, I hear a thump before he falls to the floor . Next...blood-curdling screams. He put the board away...and then smacked his head into the corner of it as he ran through the kitchen. Now he is in my lap, screaming and shaking, a bit of blood oozing from two small scratches on his scalp.

9:45 am:
I am still trying to calm Teddy down as I dab away the blood, spike up his hair, and make his toothbrush him. The baby is screaming from the front of the house. On my way to soothe her, I catch Lucy sneaking in from outside. She sits down at the kitchen chair and pulls her tunic over her knees. "Stop," I kinda shout (yes...I stupidly shouted). "You're gonna stretch out your clothes."

"I can't stop," she explains....

And then I realize what she's done. "Did you fall down?" I ask, stopping dead in my tracks. I begin to put it together in my brain while the color of my face goes from human to volcanic. I can see her kite on the ground outside the window. I look at Lucy who's bottom lip begins to quiver and giant tears fill her eyes. She pulls her tunic up and green grass stains and mud are all over her knees.

I will admit that for the next five minutes, I cannot honestly say I kept my cool. The volcano erupted and everyone was running from the lava. I took Lucy's leggins off and began to scrub at the knees with Shout Out and warm water, tossing them in the dryer. London is still screaming from the front of the house. My heart is pounding. The heat in my body is hellish.

10:00 am:
Somehow, I am finally dressed. London is dressed. Teddy is dressed. Lucy is dressed (leggings back on and stain free!!). My mom walks in to pick us up. I can't find a pair of heels. She tells me my dress is a little low cut. I put on a layered, long necklace to camouflage the cleavage. I can't think about that right now. I grab the diaper bag and we're all on our way too church. Because, you know, I obviously NEED a risen savior. Desperately. My lava spews too often.

11:00 am:
I realize my dress really is low cut...and the milk building up is not helping. :( Neither is the layered, long necklace (it just draws more attention). Boo. Well. I need Jesus. Now we all now. For sure and for certain.



I will spare you the rest of the day. It was a good service at church. I didn't hear a word of the message, but I know it was good. We went to lunch for burgers afterwards. London was perfect...even if she pooped in my hand. It was still perfect.

The afternoon was filled with crankiness and attempted naps. The candy carnage was still all over our house, leftover from the havoc the Easter bunny brought. Bedtime was something mommy and daddy were grateful for...

But heaven help the bunny should he come to my house next year on Sunday morning. If he MUST stop by, it had better be on Saturday morning. Or else.


~Gia

PS: In the all the craziness, this is the ONLY picture I got of anyone in the family on Easter morning. It kinda speaks louder than words, right?

Oh, and in case you want a quick lesson on the history of the Easter bunny, you can check it out here.





0

Why I Am Superhuman...



More than a decade ago, I had a miscarriage (one of two). It was one of the most heart-wrenching experiences I have ever experienced. To add to the pain, I would dream very vividly of childbirth in the nights after the baby was lost. Each time, I would dream of drawing the newborn baby up to my breast so I could feed it. As strange as it is, I could feel it...the baby sucking...the milk flowing...

After that, the reality of truly breastfeeding a baby became my biggest desire. When I gave birth to my oldest daughter Lucy, nursing her was what I looked forward to the most.

Now, here I am, having just finished nursing London (my third baby) and I have to tell you a terrible, awful, monstrous secret.........

Ready?

...


..........



...................


I do not like breastfeeding.


I know. I know.

I'm terrible, right?

After all, breast is best, right!!!! Or so they say.

For women that breastfeed, there is a lot of pride. And why not? It certainly isn't easy. You would think it would be easy, though. Out running errands and baby starts screaming like it hasn't eaten 120 minutes ago? I mean, 120 minutes sounds a heck of a lot longer than 2 hours. And what is mother to do when she's in the middle of the supermarket somewhere between frozen pizzas and aeresol whipped cream? Why, just pull out the boob and pop it in the screaming baby's mouth. Easy? Totally.

Not.

Also, women that breastfeed save on tons of money that others use to stock up on cans of powdered formula. I mean, you don't have to stop nursing your child after 6 months, 12 months, or even 24 months. You can nurse that baby well after your little pumpkin develops the ability to unbutton your blouse on his own. Think of the money you'll save bypassing chicken nuggets, baby carrots, and squeezable apple sauce pouches! Dude. Those pouches cost a mint!


Lately, there has even been this war on anyone that dares to suggest that women cover up when publicly breastfeeding. In the UK, one woman was even called a tramp for refusing to cover up while breastfeeding. The offended mama was the one to fire the first shot. I'm sure you've seen friends of yours post on social networks of they themselves nursing their baby...a bit of areola clearly on display. It's natural, right? So why should it bother anyone? Breasts are not sexual parts!


Except...try to convince any red-blooded, straight man that he should not be sexually attracted to breasts. It just isn't happening. YOU CANNOT REPROGRAM MEN. Period. And if you're a lady, try to convince me you didn't just stare a little at Gosling's pecks...err, areolas.  Gotcha!

I breastfeed in front of others, don't get me wrong. But I work hard to keep my...milk bottles...covered up by a blanket, nursing apron, a scarf...something, anything...because my boobs are mine and I don't want you looking at them!

But it is a hassle.

 I don't like trying to be modest about it. It isn't easy! I can find a quiet little alcove and tuck the baby under a cover and get her to nurse, but all the while she screams and sputters (like I'm drowning her) and kicks and claws at the cover, doing all she can to expose me in front of the creepy dude staring from across the way. He catches me staring back at him (glaring at him, more than likely) and pretends to text, but I know he's secretly snapping a picture and texting it to his buddy: "Dude! Look at this crazy chick! Just waiting on the blanket to drop! Picture to follow if it does!" (That's actually too many words for one male to text to another, right???)

It. Is. Not. Easy.

And do you know what it feels like to always be wet and leaky? Or hear some strangers baby start screaming bloody murder from waaaaaaaaaay back in the store, only to cause a tidal wave of fresh white milk rushing down into your bra? There's no way to stop that. I mean, if you gotta pee really bad and a bit threatens to come out...kegels save the day.

A kegel cannot save your bra.

Suddenly, everyone in the store knows mama just lactated all over herself. 


Along with constantly digging in the bottom of one's diaper bag for the last two nursing pads you are HOPING are buried down in there, you get the honor of producing a very sour aroma. There have been times when I've pulled a nursing pad from my bra only to have it dripping wet and smelling suspiciously like beer. Beer?! Really!? Is there a sobriety field test for a two month old?

But then I wake up this morning and bring London close to me to feed. I'm so tired...and I lay there, thinking about all the things that I have to accomplish today. Yet, a soft little hand rubs against my skin and I look down...

A staggeringly beautiful set of enormous blue eyes are staring up at me and she smiles while eating, milk dribbling down her cheek and onto the clean sheets.

Suddenly, breastfeeding is something I hope I never forget the beauty of. I might smell bad (like soggy frosted flakes and sometimes...beer). I might be damp and ruin my shirts and change my clothes nearly as much as my baby does...

But...

No one can do what I can do for my perfect little baby.

And THAT...is why I am superhuman.

At least, it's one of the many reasons I am superhuman.   ;)



EDITED:
Last night after I posted this, my dear husband went on a wild goose chase of a shopping trip to find me Mother's Milk tea to help with my milk production. Lesson learned in all of this? Husbands tolerate A LOT for their wives! ;P Also, autocorrect is of the devil:


-Gia
0

If Mommy's Housecoat Could Talk...

I read a note that I wrote in 2010 that said, simply: What If Mommy's Housecoat Could Talk?

What...?

I mean....WHAT?!?!

In 2010 my oldest child was four years old and my youngest was two. I know I wasn't on drugs. I know I wasn't drinking. So...what in the world was I thinking?

And yet, here I sit...curled up on the couch wearing the very same housecoat, plus another baby to the fold.

So, what if my housecoat could talk?


I cannot remember which Christmas it was that my mom gave me this soft red housecoat. I know I've had it since Lucy was little. It came with matching red slippers that were amazing (but are now in a landfill somewhere). I don't know when I've washed it last. Yesterday, Roger told me I had baby vomit all over the left sleeve. I shook my head and corrected him with, "No...that's been there for a while. I don't know what it is." However, I investigated it closer later last night and I am almost eight-nine percent positive that it's the remnants of homemade salt dough...though I'm not sure why I was making salt dough wearing my bulky red housecoat.

My housecoat smells a little.

It has the faint scent of my perfume on it...

...the natural smell of my hair (and by "natural" I mean "unwashed")...

...it smells like milk. My milk...

It doesn't smell like baby spit-up. But now that I have publicly declared that, London will be sure to christen it with a tidal wave of half-way digested milk.

It smells a little like sweat. I mean...it just does. And why shouldn't it?

But if it could talk, it might say these things:

1. It does not matter if you wear me all day, so long as you were a good mom while wearing me.

2. I'm sorry you had to discover the baby had a blowout only after lifting your hand to brush hair off your face and wondering why your hand was all wet. It. Was. Poo. And now it's smeared across your face. I won't tell anyone.

3. Don't worry about your post-baby body. It is the body of a mother and I will always fit around it, even when it is nine months pregnant. Of course, wearing me then might make you look like Mrs. Claus, but I will fit you. That's what matters.

4. Wear me and read a book in bed when you need to escape. Just. Make. It. Happen.

5. I promise never to tell anyone how many Oreos you eat when the babies go to bed. It's our secret.

6. I know that they don't listen well, but don't yell at the kiddos. One day...they'll start listening. Maybe. And if not, still promise not to tell anyone about locking yourself in the pantry and binging on the Oreos.

7. I am not sexy. Do NOT wear me as lingerie.

8. Shop for lingerie. Unless you don't want more children...

9. You can write so many novels while wearing me. I make the brain work a little better. It's the snuggles.

10. I always feel better on you than blue jeans. And that's okay. But DO NOT wear me out of the house.


Yep. I think that's what my housecoat would say if it could speak. And if it could speak, it would speak to me in Tyrone Power's voice as Jamie Boy the devilish pirate. Oh...yes. It would.



PS: I washed my housecoat. I shouldn't have. Now it smells bad.


~Gia



0

My Jesus Is No Purple Dinosaur



I'm a sensitive person. Always have been. I remember as a little girl, my heart hurting so much from another child's cruel words (most likely a brother's). Everyone has heard the statement, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me." We've all said it. We've all heard it. But me, when I said it, it was a lie. My heart was bruised every single time.

 There's an ugly trend that's taken root in the American church recently. It seems that Satan has gathered up every hot-button subject he can find, orchestrated them to ignite every nerve, and tossed them out there for Christians to pounce on. The words that are coming out of our mouths, being tossed back and forth between us and the unchurched, are staggering.


Recently, I happened across Matt Walsh's blog titled "Jesus Didn't Care About Being Nice or Tolerant, and Neither Should You". I couldn't get all the way through the blog post without feeling like I was going to throw up. The idea behind Matt's post is that some of us (and I would be one of those people) have invented for ourselves a blasphemous and perverted Christianity based on  the heretical false "Nice" doctrine. I don't know Matt, but the tone of the writing is a bit more than angry...

 

 Tolerant.

 I am HATING that word these days. I wish it would just die already. Drop off the face of the earth, disappear into the depths, and never return.

 tol·er·ant
ˈtälərənt/
adjective
adjective: tolerant

    1.
    showing willingness to allow the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with.
    "we must be tolerant of others"
    synonyms:    open-minded, forbearing, broad-minded, liberal, unprejudiced, unbiased,
    patient, long-suffering, understanding, forgiving, charitable, lenient, indulgent, permissive, easygoing, lax;
    
    
    In reality, as you can see, the definition isn't something so terrible, it is? 


"Showing willingness to allow the existence of opinions of behavior that one does not necessarily agree with."
    
    Hmmmm? Because where are you actually going to find a world where everyone's opinions line up with yours? And if someone happens to not share your opinion, what can you actually do to change it? Argue? Fight? Call names? Flip tables and yell? Consider physical force (as Matt alluded to in his post)? 




  
Come now. 

We're grown adults. We aren't literally going to stand in the room with another person and yell at them, flip the tables, and push and shove. At least, most people I know are not going to behave that way. But on the internet, it sadly appears that anything is fair game. 

But back to that four letter word: Tolerant.

 Some people might look at some of the synonyms above and cringe. Conservatives might read the word liberal and think it's a four letter word. Others might read open-minded or broad-minded and roll their eyes. But what about patient, long-suffering, understanding, forgiving, and charitable? Do those synonyms fall to the wayside because liberal was in the mix? They shouldn't. Those words are in my bible and have the fingerprints of God all over them...

    "Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love."
    ~Ephesians 4:2 (NIV)


    "The the Lord passed in front of him and proclaimed, "The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in loving kindness and truth...""
    ~Exodus 34:6

    
"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."

~1 Corinthians 13:4-7
     

"Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins." 
~ 1 Peter 4:8
    
Matt Walsh mentioned various references to back his post, one of which was Matthew 10.  I spent a lot of time pouring over that chapter, so I will pause and throw my two cents in the ring.

Matthew 10: 34 (NIV) says, ”Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”

I believe Matt is pointing to that verse as a reason to define Christ as a tough guy who would have been charging into battle right about now, flinging some strong words towards those of us that are touting the “nice” doctrine around and painting Jesus to look a lot like Barney the dinosaur (hey, that's what he said, but I can't stand Barney).
 

Yet, here’s the thing…there was MUCH more to that verse than that one simple soundbite.

Matthew 10 opens with Jesus introducing his disciples. He begins to outline for them what their life without him physically leading them on earth will be like. He teaches them how to conduct themselves during their travels as they carry out the Great Commission (Matt 28:16-20). He even tells them that when they enter a town that will not listen to them, to shake them off like dirt on their feet and leave (Matt 10:14). He did not tell them to get angry and defend righteousness. He told them to simply leave. Jesus goes on to paint a rather painful picture of what life will be like for his disciples. He warns them that they will be persecuted and advises them on how to handle that.

“All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.” (verses 22-23 NIV)

Note that once again, Jesus never tells them to fight back or defend their faith.

So, why did Jesus say he did not come to bring peace on earth, but a sword? I don't believe he is being literal here, and I don't think Matt believes that, either. After all, no where in the Gospels is Jesus seen unsheathing a long blade. Instead, I believe that Jesus was talking about the aftermath of his birth, his walk here on earth, and what the world would be like after his resurrection. He did not ascend into heaven and leave his disciples in a peaceful environment. All hell had broke loose and the Romans and the Jewish leaders were on the warpath to find them and kill them. They weren’t exactly safe. In fact, where did Jesus find them when he rose from the tomb? They were hiding out, scared for their lives—and rightly so. After Judas, all other disciples were martyred for their faith (with the exception of John who was exiled). 


Jesus did not come to bring peace on earth, that is true. The sword he spoke of was one of spiritual warfare; for when he was born, Satan raged and did all he could to hide Christ's light and keep him from the cross. After Christ’s death and resurrection, Satan continued on in his relentless battle to squelch and twist the truth of what Christ’s death and resurrection truly meant for mankind. That is the sword. That is the battle.

Matt goes on to point out several times in scripture where Jesus speaks out against and ridicules the Scribes and Pharisees. I think he was drawing a comparison between those that follow the “nice” doctrine and the Pharisees who didn’t truly know Jesus. 


I don’t know. 

I read those verses and I see Jesus reprimanding the hyper religious that had little grace for those around them. The men in those scriptures certainly weren’t being “nice”. So, for me, those points were moot.

In scripture, Jesus wasn’t reprimanding people that could be defined as nice; Jesus was correcting those that thought they knew what was right. Christ even chastised the disciples on more than one occasion. When he took the boy's 5 fish and loaves to feed the thousands, the disciples balked. He had to correct them when they were more concerned about the cost of the perfume Mary poured out on Jesus’ feet than the act of love she was displaying. But to those religious folks that knew their laws like the back of their hands, he put in their place. He called them all out when they tossed a prostitute at his feet and demanded that he allow them to stone her. He healed the crippled man in front of them, defying their strict rules about Sabbath…

Most of the times that Jesus spoke with even the hint of anger in his voice, it was not to sinners or those that chose to love him unconventionally (like Mary and her perfume), but towards those that supposedly were “good” and knew their stuff.

So Jesus isn’t nice. Matt Walsh is right. Jesus was kinda mean, at times. He was quick to jerk a knot in the tails of those that were sitting high on their self-righteous high horse. But, for the sinners, he showed compassion and grace. Yes, he pointed out their sin, but he did so in such a way that they did not feel the need to be defensive. Christ had all the right, careful, loving and graceful moves to reach the heart of those in bondage. For those that did love Christ but were more tender hearted, Jesus was nice. He also encouraged us to be kindhearted to those around us.

I am tolerant. I realize I have to live in a world with people who do not believe the same things that I do...but I can't get rid of them. I don't want to fight with them, either.

I am patient (well, actually, I am not…but desperately trying to be).

I strive to be understanding.

I am open-minded to the point that I know I don’t know everything, and most importantly, I don’t know everything about Jesus or the Bible.

I am kind (again, trying hard to be).

I want to be charitable, lenient and forgiving…

And I am holding tight to my “nice” doctrine, believing that my Jesus was very masculine, tough and a fighter. He would stand on a mountaintop and be tormented by Satan, tempted and persuaded, beaten, mocked and abused, whipped and publicly shamed…for me.

But he was tough. He endured it all. He was not weak.


My Jesus was angry when he needed to be and stood his ground. He did not allow the religious crowd to stone a sinful woman. He took her in his arms and protected her. He was strong, tough, and masculine.

My Jesus looked menacing when he overturned the merchants tables and yelled and screamed at those people mocking his fathers house. He was red-faced and violent. But he was also the same Jesus that was soft spoken and drew all the little children unto him, despite his disciples trying to keep the innocent—the insignificant—from his knee.

My Jesus…

He is a warrior filled with love and grace. He is beautiful. He is touchable, as the bleeding woman discovered. He was (and still is) approachable, as the children knew. He was fun and and not too proud, as the tax collectors, drunkards, and prostitutes learned.

He loved.

Maybe that’s why the nice doctrine is so hard for us to swallow these days? If we started acting like Jesus, we’d have to suffer a little, take the hard hits, be persecuted…but still endure it…and still do it all while loving those doing it to us.

Not too easy, right?

Not too nice.

But clearly the example Christ gave us.

Let us not be too quick to assume that we know exactly how Jesus would act today and how he would handle all these very sensitive issues. After all, the disciples were closest to him. They walked with him. They shared meals with him. They traveled the countryside with him. But after seeing him perform miracle after miracle, they did not recognize him walking out on the water to them. They mistook him for a ghost. 


I promise not to make my Jesus a purple dinosaur if you promise not to make him William Wallace dripping in blood. Let’s just try to behave like he asked us to…

And he clearly commanded us to love. Period. No conditions or stipulations attached.

Not easy to do, right? It’s much easier to yell.

I’m going to be pretty honest about myself for just a moment. As sensitive as I am, and as much as I desire to be kind to others, I am no tender-hearted, weak woman who trembles when someone gets a little angry. I am the woman that took off across a parking lot to rescue a woman being beaten by her boyfriend. Thank heavens my husband was quick on my heels, because I have no idea what I actually would have done when I got there. I am the same woman that got in a drill instructor’s face when he picked on my family in the Commissary (dumb move, by the way). I have yelled at a bouncer who accused me of underage drinking (I was NOT drinking!) and told him, “Shame on you for even believing I would do such a thing!” I’ve held grieving women in my arms. I am the little girl that took up a sword (not literally) and defended my brothers with every fiber of my being. And I am the woman, that should you dare try to mess with my husband or children, I will dig out the sword that is hidden and buried in my closet (yes, THAT one is real…don’t ask) and chase you with it until you beg for mercy. All bets are off when you mess with those dear to me. So…I am not a hippie, filled with love at all times. I am pretty mean. It is a chore for me to love those that are buttheads. True story. I'm actually quite vicious. I’d rather punch you in those nose than try and be kind to you. 


However…

I know the incredible power of words. 


It’s about time that we started caring about the hearts of all mankind and sacrifice our rights, laying them at the foot of the cross. Because if we do not, Satan gains more and more ground in this battle for mankind. We are building a huge wall between us and the lost with all our yelling. Isn’t that what the enemy wants? We need to be more careful with what we are saying, writing, and accusing others of. I'm no heretic. Neither is Matt. We just have a different idea of who Jesus is. But the bottom line...

We need to be shining a light on him for the world to see but all our stupid words are clouding the view.


~Gia

PS: I wrote this entire post just so I could use the Gatsby meme. ;P Oh! I also have a crush on Mel Gibson as William Wallace, blood free, of course.
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