Monday, March 22, 2010

I Only Have One Answer.

Last week a pal of mind wondered, "How can anyone believe that Jerry Falwell is in Heaven and Gandhi is in hell?"

It's an interesting question, and one that could potentially spark a calm, rational conversation between people of varying beliefs. Or ignite the flames of passionate opinions and, probably, religious diatribe.

My reply to this friend was, "I don't know much about Gandhi, but I did know Dr. Falwell personally, and I know he's in Heaven."

I know this because I know what Dr. Falwell believed. I know in Whom Dr. Falwell believed. Because I believe the same.
Me, Beckie, and Kelley--on our alma mater's seal, 2003. We rule.

Now, I'm not one to write a controversial, pot stirring post. (The mere mention of Dr. Falwell's name seemingly causes people to squirm.)

It's why I don't write about health care reform.

Or being a stay-at-home mother versus a work-outside-the-home mom.
Breast fed or bottle.
Pro Life versus abortion rights.
Red states and blue states.
Gun control advocate or staunch supporter of 2nd Amendment rights.
Attachment parenting or Ferberizing.
Coke or Diet Coke.
Hank Williams Sr. versus Hank, Jr.
Natural nails or acrylic tips.
Target and Wal-Mart.
SPF 45 versus the tanning bed.
Lost or...well...any other television program out there.

The truth of the matter is I know very little about Gandhi. So I'm not one to pronounce that he is "in hell." Oh sure, I'm aware of those in our world who are filled with a piousness to rival the Pope's. Those super holy types who love nothing better than to sit around all day, pointing fingers, placing blame, and declaring, "Well if anyone's in hell, it's _______________."


Here's the deal.

My belief system is firmly rooted in God. Not God, "whomever you deem that to be," as it is politely worded in certain circles. Uh-uh. I believe in God and His Son, Jesus.

Respectfully I ask that you do not call me a Bible thumper. (The Bible I'm currently using is on my BlackBerry. Like I'd thump that modern marvel. Please.) I'm not "religious." I'm not holier-than-thou. In the same vein, I am not some intolerant, ignorant, small-minded, backwoods conservative who can't see the forest for the trees.

I don't have all the answers. And let's be honest here...I don't have many answers, period. Here's what I can attest:
"I know Whom I have believed, and am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him for that day."--2 Timothy 1:12

Simply stated--I know in Whom I believe and what these beliefs entail. I also know that God "has my back," and is protecting me forevermore.

Do I have strong opinions on controversial subjects? Yes. As I told my friend who pondered about Dr. Falwell and Gandhi, I do have my views. And I don't apologize for these beliefs I hold deeply within my heart, because to do so would be to go directly against my God.

Do I love and embrace those with a different set of morals, worldviews, standards, political and religious beliefs? Absolutely. Because to do so means that I'm fulfilling precisely what Jesus asked of me..."Love your neighbor as yourself." (Mark 12:31)

I'm not perfect. I've never claimed to be. My feelings are very easily hurt. My tongue has a life of its own. I whine and complain more often than I care to admit. And sometimes I cry to God, "Seriously? Are these people FOR SERIOUS? Will You do something about these people?!?"

Then He gently reminds me, "Child of mine, I love 'these people' just as much as I love you."

And that, my friends, is the only answer I have.

Just thought y'all might need to know where I'm coming from. It's not all about me. Oh, I usually try to keep it centered upon me, me, me. But it's not.
(Vulnerable, at 1 am.)

P.S. Thanks, Jordan, for sparking this conversation. You know I think so highly of you...and your intelligence...and your love of Twilight. Dude, did I just out you? xoxo

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Honey, Don't Patronize Me.

Here's the preface:

-There are zero sponsors on Lulaville, as well as zero advertisements.

-I don't make a dime off my blog, nor has it ever been my intention to do so. Many of my fellow bloggy pals do earn revenue from their blogs, and for this I salute them. "Go, you!" is my mantra.

-If Lulaville has a "brand," it's certainly hard to sum my brand...
*Random musings from this head full of useless information?
*I love Jason Statham more than you?
*Is there a bigger Sci-Fi lover than me?
*How is it even possible that you don't watch Lost?
*Southern belles who have tattoos and wear blue nail polish and hot pink Converse high-tops?

-I have no problem with Lulaville being viewed as a "glorified, electronic scrapbook."* Because...guess what? IT IS!

Got it? Good. Let's move on, shall we?

Two years ago I met the women whom I now consider to be my best friends and confidantes. At the age of thirty-three I found my sister soulmates. Women who, at the risk of sounding utterly and shamelessly cheesy, complete me. Women I've flown across the country to visit. Women with whom I've vacationed. Whose husbands I've met. Whose lives are entwined with mine, as we grow, live, love, laugh, cry, and celebrate the bond of friendship.

I met Heather Blair and Tiffany Romero because of blogging. I knew Heather and Tiffany before they started their wonderful site, The Secret Is In The Sauce, a community which fosters support and friendship amongst women (and a few men!) in the blogging world.

How thankful I am for SITS and the women I've met because of a simple website. Living in a small, very rural mountain town, I'm surrounded by wonderful people who are very much like me: caucasian, married, a parent, and evangelical Christian. Through SITS I have met women who are beautiful and intelligent. I'm honored to know ladies who labor at home as full-time mothers (such as myself), and women who are mothers and employed outside the home.

Because of SITS I have friends who are Evangelical Christian, Jewish, 7th Day Adventist, Mormon, Agnostic, and Atheist.

Because of SITS I have friends of all ages...single gals navigating their twenties, young mothers with new babies, women who have not yet become mothers, ladies who never plan to have children, and grandmothers who blog alongside their daughters.

Because of SITS I am friendly with Democrats. See, we all really can get along!
(I do jest...friendship is bipartisan.)

Because of SITS I am proud to be known as a "mommy blogger."

Rather than refute an article written by a New York Times author, about the recent Bloggy Boot Camp held in Baltimore by Tiffany and Heather, I choose to use this post to declare my love and support for my friends and fellow bloggers. Whether you're part of the "minivan crowd," or a mama blogger such as my friend, Fran, who happens to hold an M.B.A. (and uses this degree to be one excellent mother!), I salute you.

Regardless of whether I know you "in real life," or if we've only "met" via our blogs, I salute you.

To those of you who make a living off your blog...rock on! Have a particular brand, such as the brilliant Kathy, of Mama Kat's Losin' It, or Jill from Scary Mommy? (Two ladies I'm proud to call "friend.") Awesome!

Those of you who could care less about building a "brand" and instead use blogging as a creative outlet to celebrate your life and your loves, I applaud you.

I quote Kathy, in her post where she addressed this same subject, "We're women, and we're amazing, and we don't need a newspaper to validate us."


And to my family, particularly my husband and my daughters, who've supported Lulaville from its inception, I say to you..."Feel free to interrupt me at any moment...because you, my loves, are far more important to me than this blog."

But they already knew that.

*Quote from the article written by Jennifer Mendelsohn, published in the New York Times, March 12, 2010.