New Year. Fresh Start.

I don’t know why I suddenly decided to give up Facebook for a year… But once the idea came into my mind I knew there was no turning back. Initially, I just wanted to see how difficult it would be for me to stay away from social media. I know that I, like many other Americans, am pretty much addicted to my smartphone (and to Facebook). But with Mark Zuckerberg cracking down on “fake news” (i.e. censoring anything he doesn’t want people to read) I couldn’t think of a better time to leave Facebook…

With all of that being said, my biggest takeaway on Day 1 is the startling realization that social media makes it difficult (almost impossible actually) to stay mindful. Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment. It’s about moving on from yesterday and staying present in the current moment without worrying about the future. For the last few months I’ve dabbled in yoga and meditation, but I knew that I really wanted to dedicate myself to both in 2017. That’s why it was ironic today, on my first day without Facebook, that I realized how impossible it was to achieve mindfulness while constantly being plugged in and turned on to hundreds (or thousands) of “friends” all the time.

Let me be really honest with you. I used to have such a short fuse! Like REALLY short! And when I would run out of patience (which was often) I would tell my kids that I “just needed a break” from them! Then I’d take my phone and sit in another room surfing Facebook or the internet so that I could “calm down.” I guess what I really needed was a break from was MY PHONE!

Today I had more patience than I’ve ever had. I felt FREE. I accomplished SO much – Bryce and I decluttered and reorganized our ENTIRE crawl space. (The kids even helped us!) And I know that I was so much more pleasant to be around. I even had time leftover to do EXTRAS with the kids tonight before dinner- things like bake a cake and do a craft!

I realized that I was always so “overwhelmed” with my kids, and with Bryce, and with LIFE because I was actually OVERSTIMULATED from my social media. As an empath, I feel everything so strongly, and being a participant on Facebook is akin to walking on to the Psych Floor during the full moon. Emotions run strong, crises are constant, people need help, I “have to” check a million groups and pages. It’s no wonder that every time my kids would talk to me I would tell them I just needed a break! I was giving my family all the leftovers. I was never fully present. I was never mindful.

Until today.

Happy New Year, friends. Here’s to new beginnings!

Quote Of The Day:
“As soon as we wish to be happier, we are no longer happy.”
-Walter Landor­

Three Months Without Adderall

adderall-photo

I’ve been off of the Adderall for three months now. As my mind has cleared, and the brain fog has melted away, I’ve seen the manic behaviors I once exhibited myself in the people around me. I can instantly tell who is taking a stimulant like Adderall and my heart breaks for them.

I see some of my friend manically cleaning, organizing, running on endless errands… Thinking they are getting so much done, when in reality they have lost more than they even know. The MANIA of the Adderall is insane… and you don’t even realize that’s what it is. As soon as you take that little orange pill you feel like Superwoman. And for those few hours it’s AMAZING.

While you’re on Adderall, you think you are MOTIVATED, energetic and accomplished… but it’s just the drug making all of the dopamine and norepinephrine in your brain instantly available. It’s not real. The truth is that you are short-tempered, easily agitated, chaotic and manic. Your to do list is endless and you are rushing around starting a million projects that don’t matter all while ignoring the PEOPLE who do.

You never catch up.
You never get it all finished.
You never truly feel like you’ve accomplished anything.
The list just keeps growing longer.You just keep finding more things to do.
You expect everyone else to go at this same neck-breaking pace.
You become IMPOSSIBLE to be around and you destroy relationships without noticing.
But you’re so motivated. You feel so GREAT!
You tell yourself that if you can do just a few more things you will be done with today’s “to do” list.

But your mind is always racing. Always going. Always manic. The list keep growing.

Faster and faster you run… running towards a finish line you will never cross.

Not until you stop taking it.

Happiness is possible… but you’ll only find it when you stop looking inside of this bottle.

What is a Himalayan Salt lamp?

The first time I saw a Himalayan Salt Lamp I was in awe of their beauty. I thought it was a beautiful piece of natural home décor that was simply meant to create a calming ambiance in the home. When I found out that this beautiful lamp had health benefits I knew I had to own a few!

Fortunately for me, my husband and my mom BOTH bought me Himalayan Salt Lamps for my birthday this week.

himalayan-salt-lamp-blog-graphic3

So what exactly is a Himalayan Salt Lamp?

It’s pretty simple. It’s just a giant piece of salt that has been carved and hollowed out in the center so that a light bulb can be inserted. But what are the supposed health benefits and how does it work?

We should probably start with a little chemistry lesson, “An ion is an atom or group of atoms in which the number of electrons is different from the number of protons. If the number of electrons is less than the number of protons, the particle is a positive ion. If the number of electrons is greater than the number of protons, the particle is a negative ion,” WhatIs.com explains. Negative ions are produced by nature (think ocean waves, waterfalls, rain, sunlight) and positive ions are produced by electronics (laptops, cell phones, tablets, televisions). When are constantly exposed to this EM radiation we see an increase in stress and fatigue, and it even weakens our immune system…

Enter Himalayan Salt Lamps.

You’re probably thinking that these amazing salt lamps generate negative ions and that this is how they work… But in fact, these lamps don’t produce any ions at all. Salt lamps are “hygroscopic” which means that they absorb any moisture or airborne water molecules in the air. That’s why you can’t just have salt alone, it needs a heat source to cause this moisture to evaporate. It’s this evaporation that creates the negative ions.

And how well do these negative ions work to actually improve our health? Pretty darn well!

In a 1966, a hospital in Jerusalem conducted a study of thirty-eight infants suffering from respiratory issues. They placed half of the infants in a ward without any ion change, and placed the other half in a ward where negative-ion generators were in use. The researchers reported that negative ions without any other treatment (no prescription drugs) seemed to cure attacks of asthma and bronchitis more quickly than drugs (antibiotics included)… and that the children treated with negative ions were less prone to ‘rebound attacks’ (relapses)… The scientific report said that the tests “demonstrated that atmospheric ions have an effect on infants, especially those suffering from asthmatic bronchitis. Less scientifically, they found that the babies didn’t cry as often and as loudly as they did in normal air.” The Ion Effect, by Fred Soyka, p. 57, 1991.

As a mom of a child who once suffered from debilitating, life-threatening asthma this intrigues me more than anything else. I’d heard of Salt Therapy for children with asthma back in 2009 when my daughter was diagnosed with asthma, but I never believed it could help my chronically ill child… Salt rooms to cure something that bottle after bottle of medication couldn’t cure? It seemed impossible… But it was true!

untitled-4

Himalayan Salt Lamps are also said to:

•Clean the air
•Soothe allergies (as well as reducing asthma)
•Calm coughs and other symptoms of the common cold
•Boost blood flow
•Raise energy levels
•Improve concentration and performance
•Enhance mood
•Reduce stress
•Improve sleep

We love our Himalayan Salt lamps so far – and I’ll keep you posted on how they work for our family!

Our New Normal Family

450-187014300-pink-lotus-flower

The finality of Mason’s death hit me like a train. 

Ollie and I were laying in my bed when I looked over and saw Mason’s baby blanket. I’d been looking at it earlier and had forgotten to put it away. I showed the blanket to Ollie and said, “This blanket was your brother Mason’s. We used to wrap him up in this before we put him to sleep. This was his favorite blanket.” He smiled at the blanket and quickly went back to chattering about a game.

After a minute, he finally looked up at me and asked, “Mommy, Why do the clouds come down? What if the clouds are clouds from Heaven?” I realized he was talking about fog and smiled at him. “Fog?” I asked. “Yeah. Fog. What if they were clouds from Heaven? But… I guess not, because no people came out.” I smiled at him wondering where this was going. “Who would you want to come out of those clouds, buddy?” I whispered. “I don’t know. Everybody that lived in our family.” He looked down at Mason’s baby blanket, “Like that guy, who used to use that blanket. Then you and Daddy would be happier. Wouldn’t you be happier?” 

And that’s when I realized it. Oliver will literally only know Mason as the guy that used this blanket. He’s a complete stranger to him. And while that thought was completely heartbreaking, it also felt amazingly… liberating.

I felt free. Like maybe we’d finally arrived at the actual “new normal”… The part where you realize you’ve actually started to live again. The part where your soul wakes up and you feel a revival. You move from wondering how the Hell you’d survive without them, to being unable to imagine them being IN your life… because you’re used to them being gone. You’ve adjusted to your new normal.

Today as I realized this, I wept. I sobbed, and cried, and yelled at God a little bit more and I felt it in the deepest depths of my soul… I realized that life has indeed moved on. We’ve settled into our new “normal” so much that Mason isn’t a part of normal anymore.

I can’t even describe to you the combination of both heartbreak and joy that this realization brings. 

I remember calling my friend Courtney the day after Mason died and screaming into the phone, “How long does it hurt this bad? I mean, I know it will hurt forever, but how long does it hurt THIS much? How long does it hurt this fucking bad? Because I don’t know how long I can take it.” I can’t remember exactly what she said, but she gave me the hope that one day I would love more than I hurt. But what I’ve learned is that the hurt never goes away. You “heal” because you become more tolerant to the pain. 

Tonight, as I looked into the eyes of my four year old son, I realized that I’d finally reached the other side- and that this is probably as “over it” as I will ever get. It’s not an all consuming sadness unless I chose to let myself go there. It’s not because I’m cold or in denial, it’s just that I’ve learned how to compartmentalize that part of my life in order to continue living. Because I had to.

Gone are the days where I can’t imagine life without him. Newly arrived are the days where I can’t picture him in ours lives at all. I can’t imagine having four children. The completeness of this feeling shocks me and breaks my heart.

This must be what it’s like for a lotus flower waiting to bloom. I imagine it feels heartbroken as it lays buried under mud and trapped in the darkness… and like me, I’m sure it’s unaware that it’s only because of this darkness that it will soon spring into the light, completely unstained, with a beauty and resilience that can’t even be described.  

As long as the sun is shining, I know that the lotus quickly forgets the darkness, enjoying the warmth and joy that the light brings.

And from now on, so will our family.

Our new normal family.

Day after Halloween: I’m THAT Mom

a58f18f3-76f0-4f2f-85cc-3b3631e8ecba

a58f18f3-76f0-4f2f-85cc-3b3631e8ecba

Yep. I’m THAT Mom. I didn’t start out intending to become this Mom, let me just start there. But years of research into where our food comes from has led me to this point. Led me to becoming THAT Mom. The mom that throws out her kids Halloween candy.

This morning I showed my kids a PETA video of how the cows are treated to make the candy produced by most major chocolate brands in the United States. After watching that video we discussed how artificial preservatives, dyes and filler ingredients make us feel crummy and irritated anyways. (This isn’t the first conversation we’ve had about the subject of artificial ingredients).

And so goes the day after Halloween in the Bundy home. We are eyeballs deep in research and information about our broken food system and where our food is coming from, and what that broken system is actually costing us in terms of our health.

We talked about how it is possible to produce meat and milk without cruelty. (I’m not forcing Veganism or anything yet! I’m not THAT Mom! Not yet anyways.)  We discussed the huge difference between factory farming and small farming, between having cows graze on grass until they are eventually processed vs feed operations that confine cows to boxes smaller than the size of an average cow. We talked about how cruelty is something that we justify out of our desire for convenience.

After I knew both girls were fully informed about the ingredients of the candy, (where it comes from, health side effects that can occur, etc), I laid out an offer for them regarding all of their prized Halloween candy. (And this is exactly the moment that I became THAT Mom.)

I told them I’d take them to the new American Girl store and let them pick out ONE thing if they traded me all of their Halloween candy.

I know that a lot of you think I’m insane. That I take things to the extreme and that my kids are deprived and are missing out on a “normal” childhood. I know my kids aren’t “normal” and I’m certainly not “normal”… and I’m actually completely fine with that. I’m fine with the fact that I’m THAT Mom.

Normal is completely overrated. More and more I’m learning that normal is something I don’t ever want to be. Today being “normal” involves turning the other cheek and ignoring cruelty, corruption and corporate greed. We justify the behavior of these companies as they cut corners, abuse people and animals, damage our health and destroy our food system… all while trying to teach our children not to lie, cheat, steal or take advantage of other people (especially people who are less fortunate than ourselves).

I’m the first to admit that yes- it’s extremely challenging to constantly deviate so far from what our culture and society has taught us to accept is normal. Factory farming, with its growth hormones, antibiotics and cruelty is normal. Cheap, dangerous, toxic ingredients being added as fillers and preservatives to our cosmetics and food products is normal. Medications and vaccines with carcinogenic ingredients and horrible side effects are considered normal.

But I really challenge you to look at the health of the people that grew up in these last few generations of “normal”. Look at the cancer rates. Look at the chronic health conditions. Look at child mortality. Look at the health of our children. Look at the autism rates. Look at the age of the average first cancer diagnosis. Look at the infertility rates. Look at the obesity rates.

Then look back at the generations before factory farming. Take a look back to the days before the Pharmaceutical/Health Care industry became the most profitable industry in the nation. Take a look back to the days where hard work, honor, respect and integrity were the signs of success.   Take a look at the way our food was grown and produced when those were the ideals that companies were founded on. Then take a look at the health of the people then.

I don’t want today’s “normal”.

I love this quote from The Washington Post article Big Agriculture wants to reach millennials, but it started a food fight in the process“We are three or four generations removed from the farm,” said David Fikes, director of consumer affairs for the Food Marketing Institute. “There was a generation of people who said, ‘I don’t care where it comes from, I’m just glad that someone else is doing it.’ That day is over and gone.”

And this gives me hope. This gives me hope that since millennials have the desire to see our food system change, that we might actually change it. We know that turning the other cheek leads to nothing but destruction. We know that even if we refuse to acknowledge problems that they continue to exist. We know that we are going to be the generation responsible for stepping up and trying to clean up this chaos and destruction left behind from the generations before us, or else we will end up worse off than our parents. Our parents who are dying younger and younger every day, mostly from cancer and chronic disease that probably could have been prevented with more concern for the environment around us.

I know that it can seem daunting to start removing chemicals ingredients, or to start researching where food is coming from, or what conditions animals are kept in to produce the products you are consuming. I know that when you start researching it seems like you have to remove everything. I know that at the end of the day, it’s easy to ask, “What’s the point? It’s everywhere?” I know that it’s difficult. I know that it’s easier to say you’ll look into this “later” when you are “ready” to make the commitment to eliminating this plethora of ingredients.

Martin Luther King Jr sums this up better than I ever could–
“I often feel like saying, when I hear the question ‘People aren’t ready,’ that it’s like telling a person who is trying to swim ‘Don’t jump in the water until you learn how to swim.’ When actually you will never learn how to swim until you get in the water.”

Today, my kids made me exceptionally proud. They chose to trade in their candy. They chose to throw it in the trash* and walk away from corporate greed and unjustifiable cruelty. They chose health (and a toy from the American Girl doll store).

I’d like to think that they’d both have chosen to throw the candy away without a trip to the American Girl store, but our 6 year old was really excited about her candy 😉 For my 10 year old animal lover, her motivation was that she didn’t want animals to suffer for her candy. And as an adult, I am willing to throw the candy away without eating it myself because I know that my “treat” is my health. Because as I get older, I’m learning that once you lose your health, it’s almost impossible to get it back.

So yeah… I’m definitely THAT Mom. And there’s no one I’d rather be.

*I won’t be donating this candy to the troops because I don’t want them eating this junk either. If the ingredients make me grumpy and unable to focus, then I don’t want to give it to a soldier who is already risking his/her life on little sleep, while missing their family. That soldier doesn’t need neurotoxins in their care packages. For more information on neurotoxins in your food read: http://energyfanatics.com/2010/05/02/ten-neurotoxins-you-should-avoid/

In Response to the Response To The Viral Post about Anna Duggar

I have tried my hardest to keep my mouth shut on this one, but I can’t do it for another second.

Today, this gem of a blog post popped up on my newsfeed, and let me tell you who is breathing fire now.

There have been so many opinions written on the topic of Josh Duggar, and quite frankly, I’m sure we are all getting tired of talking about it and debating it and even hearing it. But for one second, I’d like to address a few of the major flaws I can’t get past when reading the response to a viral blog post about Anna Duggar.

When someone says to me, “If I were in her shoes, I would do _____”.

No. Just stop. You do not have the ability to KNOW how you would feel and what you would do if you were in someone else’s shoes. You do not have that ability, and I do not have that ability. So please, let’s not pretend we are capable of doing and being things that we are not. You have no idea what you would do in her shoes.

Then comes Grace. It’s interesting, because at the beginning of the year we had to pick a word to be our word of focus for the next year…. and my word is Grace. I chose Grace because it’s a word (and a concept) that both intrigues and confuses me.

Grace has got to be the most manipulated concept of the entire bible.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German Lutheran pastor and Nazi resister who was hanged in 1945 by SS officers, coined the term “cheap Grace.” This cheap Grace seems to be what people are referring to when it comes to justifying Josh Duggar’s actions by stating that we are called to pour out the Grace to him that Jesus pours out to us.

An article written about true Grace caught my eye as I researched the topic, and is the truest explanation I can give to explain the kind of pseudo-Grace most women are instructing us to give to Josh Duggar. Here’s an except:

“Many professing Christians today utterly ignore the biblical truth that grace “instruct[s] us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously, and godly in the present age” (Titus 2:12). Instead, they live as if grace were a supernatural “Get Out of Jail FREE” ticket-a no-strings-attached, open-ended package of amnesty, beneficence, indulgence, forbearance, charity, leniency, immunity, approval, tolerance, and self-awarded privilege divorced from any moral demands.” (Read this article HERE. It’s truly a must read on the topic of Grace.)

That kind of Grace is not okay.

Neither is it okay to toss out comments like, “I look forward to the day that immediately standing up and stepping out of a marriage isn’t seen as the strongest thing to do” (as our friend Mo did in her response to another blog).

First off, I’ll admit right now that I don’t think that she should have stayed in that marriage after the FIRST incident, when she found out Josh Duggar molested his siblings and the baby sitter. (If you read the police report, you will understand why I feel so strongly about that. I believe that sexual abuse is never a one time offense, and because of this, I don’t personally believe that Anna should have married him to begin with, since she said she knew about his past. I do not believe that sex offenders can be rehabilitated to a point where they no longer constitute a risk to children. But I won’t address that further here.)

But notice I said, “first off”… This isn’t the first incident. No one is immediately saying to stand up and step out, because this is a MOUNTAIN, not a molehill.

I also firmly believe there is a reason that Jesus addressed the sin of cheating on your wife, and that he excused divorce only in that one circumstance. If you haven’t experienced betrayal in your marriage then you don’t know the darkness than can consume you from feeling forced to live your life by standing by your husband regardless of his offense.

If Anna Duggar is staying in a marriage and doing all the right things, saying all the right things, and outwardly acting like she is okay with working through the marriage; but inwardly she is feeling bitterness in her heart and doubt, then she’s not really showing Grace. She’s listening to the voices of PEOPLE, and putting their opinions over the opinion of Jesus, over her own discernment that might be telling her to leave.

Using scripture as a guilt trap induces the peer pressure that can force Anna to feel like she is being ungodly by even thinking about ending her marriage. Even though Jesus clearly stated that in this instance, that would be excusable.

Scripture is the best guiding source, but not when it’s manipulated. 

Galatians 6:1 says “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.

Sometimes, it’s impossible to stay in a marriage and help restore the person who hurt you with a spirit of gentleness. It’s hard when you are struggling with the temptation to say ungodly things, behave in ungodly ways, ignore the true (unmanipulated by man) scripture from God’s word because it’s been used as a manipulation tactic to get you to stay, else be shunned by your family and friends.

If you aren’t able to have a relationship with God because your heart is so hurt, and burdened, and broken and shattered that you’ve lost your relationship with God; if you have lost the ability to show true Grace to anyone else because you are so consumed with trying to show Grace to a husband who has repeatedly shown you that you don’t matter, then by ALL MEANS, maybe you should consider kicking that man to the curb.

I loved the original post that mentioned that Josh Duggar should be cowering in a corner. He SHOULD be. Marriage absolutely should not be a place where we keep a record of wrongs. But marriage SHOULD be a place where we cower at God’s word, and after all of the blogs and discussions regarding homosexuality in the past few months, I know most of us can recite THIS bit of scripture in our sleep—

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (KJV) tells us, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

But Mo is right about one thing, it SHOULD be a place where we have overwhelming amounts of mutual respect and forgiveness and grace.

But let’s just stop pretending that pseudo-Grace is true Grace.

Anger Does Not Produce Righteousness

11755345333_dc525bc95a_z

A little over a month ago I sat down to write a blog about the injustice of a church I’d been disappointed and hurt by. I was tired of people leaving the church in silence and I felt like it wasn’t fair for me to just walk out and not “warn” people.

(I pondered and prayed for more than a week about whether I should share the post, and finally decided to share it. While I was glad it encouraged some people to ask more questions, I was disappointed that instead of being a warning, it became a way for people to attack the church itself and not the issues.)

I was upset because I didn’t feel like my family was given the opportunity to talk about the things we saw happening that weren’t right. I was frustrated that we were discouraged from ever questioning anything. That no one was willing to sit down and actually discuss instead of forcing us to conform or step down from being volunteering altogether. I was worried about the people that would walk in and possibly turn away from church entirely if they experienced the things that we experienced.

But even though I had valid concerns, I don’t think I should have written that post.

As I’ve spent the last five weeks looking for a church that is more of what I’m looking for, and getting lost in Scripture trying to figure out where to go and what to do… I came to the startling conclusion that *I* wasn’t even the kind of person I was looking for to lead me. I wasn’t practicing what I was preaching.

Those in my inner circle definitely deserved to hear what happened, but did the entire world? Maybe not.

I heard from several people that I should have just “left in peace” but that seemed outrageous. I wasn’t feeling at peace with anything and so I didn’t think I should leave and pretend that everything was okay. I never even entertained the idea that maybe my silence would leave room for God to work in that space… that my words may not even be necessary.

As I was writing my blog before, I kept asking myself, “Isn’t this hypocritical too?” But another part of me wondered, “But who else is going to get hurt and maybe turn away from church forever if you don’t say something?”

In my mind, writing it all out in one post and then never talking about it again wasn’t “gossip” and my words wouldn’t be able to get twisted out of context. I chose that avenue because I thought it would be the best way to explain things without everything getting more out of control. But I realize now that this doesn’t really make it better.

I’ve been in an almost constant state of prayer, and I’ve studied scripture more in the last month than I ever have in my life… and I couldn’t get away from all of the scripture that I’m confident God was illuminating on the page for me to read and use to try to understand that what I did was wrong. (Again, my concerns are valid. My method, however, was not appropriate.)

Matthew 5:38-48 was the very first page I landed on when I flipped through my bible to start reading. That irritated me, so I flipped again. James 1: 2-4 (This is one of my very favorite verses anyways… but it was the first moment that I really began to explore and question what I’d just done by writing the post).

How much better was I than them, if I couldn’t follow such simple scripture that clearly showed me over, and over, and over again that what I’d done was completely unbiblical and completely against everything I knew from scripture…

Exodus 14:14 The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.

Psalm 4:4-5 Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord.

John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things not hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

(And really Hebrews 11:1-40 was perfect to read)

James 4:11-12 Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. but who are you to judge your neighbor?

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

1 Peter 2:23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.

Colossians 3:13 Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive.

Luke 6:31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

Romans 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Ephesians 4:27 And give no opportunity to the devil.

Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

Colossians 3:8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander and obscene talk from your mouth.

Proverbs 19:11 Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.

There are so many more verses that I have written down and stuck all over my house on post-it notes… but the final one that just really made me feel CONVICTED right then and there was James 1:20

For the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

I didn’t understand that being right or having valid concerns doesn’t always mean that I need to share it all with the world. At the end of the day, after writing that post, I wasn’t even the kind of person who I said I wanted to surround myself with.

But do you know what’s so incredible? God’s Grace washing over me. I certainly don’t deserve it, but I’m thankful to serve a God who gives it anyways.

Sure, He would have much preferred that I had been able to figure this out long before now. (But I guess God did know it would take me this long to learn since he knows every step I’m going to take in my life long before I take it).

God already knew I would be stuck in this moment, conflicted about what to say or where to turn. The very moment where I can’t quite figure out how to move past the moments where I actually behaved in unbiblical ways trying to help others be aware of other people that were acting in unbiblical ways. Trying to save people from the hurt. Hurt I may have unintentionally inflicted by writing that post anyways…

Somehow God has softened my heart and worked through me during this time.

What it comes down to is… I’m sorry.

I’m sorry I had to learn this lesson the hard way.

I’m sorry I aired it all out in public.

I’m sorry I hurt peoples feelings that I really care about.

I’m sorry I didn’t act like the Christ I so desperately want to represent.

But I’m not sorry for my beliefs.

I’m not sorry that my concerns are not things I can simply “turn the other cheek” to.

I’m not sorry that I married a gay couple.

I’m not sorry that I disagree with their interpreted meaning of those 6 or 7 pieces of scripture.

And I’m not sorry for choosing not to be involved there anymore.

But I’m very sorry that I didn’t think that blog post through more before posting it.

Because I know that anger does not produce righteousness.