Enough with the articles! (0r) 5 Reasons why all millennials aren’t coming back to the institutional church, as told by a reluctant millennial.

*disclaimer, I am not speaking here for my entire generation, just a lot of us.  I am also not telling you that your spirituality has to look like mine.

  1.  Historically, the institutional church has been on the side of evil over good. (inquisition, perpetuation of slavery and segregation).
    • We yearly see history repeating itself world wide….
  2. The doctrine of “grace”is happy to apply to “all”, even those predators that are running rampant throughout the pulpits.
    • We are not ok with another generation being sexually abused, exploited, indoctrinated, and shamed.
  3. The way the Bible is being interpreted and used as a bully pulpit is often in direct contradiction to what was actually being said in the original language and time.
    • Guys….we have the internet, we can study it on our own…..we don’t need some suited up dude trying to remember what some professor taught in their college doctrine courses….
    • Remember Martin Luther?
  4. Again, the internet……
    • We see all the elements of the institutional church that was “borrowed” wholesale from other religions…..be real y’all!!!  You don’t have to pretend this is all “God ordained…..” because when you preach that stuff right next to “thou shalt not lie….”   ya lost us……
  5. Why would anyone ever go to an organization, seeking spiritual honesty and vulnerability, when that organization has written and shared more “crap” about that group of people?
    • You see, we are starting our groups of spirituality.  There are small groups, book groups, home groups, etc.

The thing is, we are thriving spiritually, just not in the way that makes sense to you!

 

Real Housewives of West Virginia (RHoWV)

“life’s a bitch, but you don’t have to be!”

Dear Andy Cohen, 

 I have carefully been considering what my tagline would be if you ever wanted to do a REAL Real Housewives show. (Like really real!)

Like really real when a 60 foot gyser erupts in your front yard, your refrigerator and hot water tank die in the same week.

Like really real when you put your creditors name in the phone so you can say “hey Bob! Sorry, it is really tight this month…you are gonna have to keep calling.” Sorry man.

Like really real when you have to decide between taking a day off because you can’t get out of bed or forgoing a day’s pay. 

Like really real when you realize you left your coffee cup on the roof of your car and it made it all the way down the road, only to fall through your sun roof (cough rust roof cough cough) and douse you in sticky Carmel / hazelnut sweat to coat your day and your spirits.

Life is seriously the biggest bitch I have ever met, so be kind. Help a sister out. Let’s do a Dave Chapelle version of the Real Housewives and get really real!  

“life’s a bitch, but you don’t have to be!”

Ten ways to say I care: An open letter to those who love someone with an invisible illness. 

We all know that hypochondriac. That is not who this letter is about.   It is not easy to watch a loved one suffer, even more difficult when you just don’t understand. To often our fear and lack of understanding can build. As a woman, fortunate enough to have lived on both of sides of this, I feel I have unique perspective and advice to offer.

1. Only ask how a person is, when you truly feel like hearing how they are doing. It is exhausting to truly listen and understand about someone’s life with chronic illness. We can only begin to imagine how exhausting it is to actually live it. When you are not up to it, It is ok NOT to ask how someone is doing! Truly understanding what a life, prognosis, treatment, etc is like will often leave the listener feeling sad, confused, and wholly having no clue what to say. It is ok if you aren’t emotionally up to talking about it. Quite often the person living it is not up to talking about it either. But when you can, when you have the heart, time, and stomach to ask and listen, that asking and true listening will mean more than words can express. 

2. Instead of telling them how good they look, tell them how glad you are to see them. Invisible illness is just that. Invisible. You rarely see the scars physical, mental, or emotional. This makes it difficult for people living with these diseases. They are daily fighting for their futures, their lives and some manner of normalcy. If a person with an invisible illness is out and with you, then something else in their life has been placed in the back burner. You are a priority to them. The fact that they are with you in that moment is huge. Dinner wasn’t cooked, laundry wasn’t done, and they may pay for it for days. A simple “thank you for being here” means that you appreciate how much their effort took and what it says about their love for you! 

3. These are proud people. They don’t want you to see their scars. The saddest part of invisible illness is it seems to strike those who are passionate in their lives and careers. They are marathon runners, doctors, nurses, therapists, business developers, mountain climbers, and more. If you are seeing them, it is because they really want you to. It is a GOOD day. Which is horrifyingly strange phenomenon when a good day used to constitute kicking butt and taking names like no ones business. Everyday is like learning to live again, as the rectify the life they now have to the dreams for the one they used to live. 

4. Answers aren’t easy and cures rarely exist. Like many diseases, invisible illness ones can be convoluted, political, and are ALWAYS desperately under-researched. Without proper understanding, funding, research, and medical information a cure will never be possible. Instead of suggesting treatments, telling anecdotal stories, etc, read the research available about the illness your loved one is facing. 

5. These illnesses can be fatal. While not everyone who experiences invisible illness will die, some do. We have all know that one person who dropped dead one day looking so healthy and vibrant the day before. Silent, invisible killers like Heart, Chrone’s or Lyme disease, endometriosis, depression, PTSD and others are real and demand our attention before they take more loved ones.

Living with invisible illness leaves the sufferer as well as their support system depleted, confused, scared, and on edge. We are often left wondering what can we do? 

  1. Ask how someone is, but only when you can listen. 
  2. Offering someone with invisible illness a meal is like the biggest hug in the world and winning the lottery. It gives you time, energy, healing nutrients, and the feeling that someone gets it! Healthy food makes all the difference. Not only is this a great way to support them but also their caregivers. 
  3. Understand when they can’t follow through on plans. Invisible illness may follow a pattern but is rarely predictable.
  4. Check on their care givers! Remind them they are human to. They spend their lives steeped in medical terminology, crushing diagnosis’s, and emotional upheaval. They need a break! They need to know someone is caring for their loved one so that they CAN take a break. 
  5. Be private with the information they share with you. Do NOT share their medical issues. They are not yours to share. Most of those who suffer from this disease are proud, and while they are desperate for someone to understand what they are facing, they do not need the world to know their embarrassing, exhausting medical issues. Show your support through sending positivity and prayers, listening, providing a meal, or a laugh.
  6. If you work in a place that allows sick leave donation, and you are able to do this, this not only provides a paycheck, access to insurance, and peace of mind. I was so blessed to have weeks!!! WEEKS 😍donated to me by my fellow teachers. This was the difference between paying bills and not paying bills. Treatments for these illnesses are very expensive and rarely are covered appropriately by insurance. 
  7. Take an activity to them, if they are up to it!  Tea time conversations or a movie can be great ways to provide distraction. Just remember not to overstay your welcome.  Visiting takes healing energy as well as giving it. 

Middle School Compliments

Who knew middle schoolers could boost your confidence.

I really don’t have this working mom thing down at all….but apparently I am sexier than I remember.

Thank god for the little things.

I may have burnt every thing I have tried to cook for the last two weeks, my daughter and I may have a nasty cough that provided us a day home today, but dang it…I am bringing sexy back!!!

Never give yourself a bikini wax OR 10 life lessons I have learned by 30

  1. There is never a comfortable way to answer your mom’s questions about stds.
  2. Nothing says “trashy” like camel toe.
  3. True love and true friendship are equally hard to find. 
  4. Someone will always be better, smarter, prettier, stronger, ballsier, (fill in the blank_______) than you. 
  5. Too much of a good thing will always be bad, (i.e. too much vit C = UTI.)
  6. Never wear white to a wedding, ever. 
  7. Never judge a book by its cover. (or Sarah Jessica Parker is gracious enough to look the other way when you poop pants.) 
  8. Never let your partner deliver your baby….the things they see….you will not live this down.
  9. Never give yourself a bikini wax … And if you must ….
  10. ALWAYS Make sure your partner turns off their Xbox live mic before helping you with the hot wax accident.

Versatile Blogger Award.

Mckinleysmilestones nominated me for the Versatile Blogger award.  I am really new to this blogging thing but I think it is a great way to share some awesome blogs with the people that follow me and share some love to some of my favorites!

So thank you Mckinleysmilestones and lifebeyondmommy for your nominations and please check out the blogs below.

 The Rules:

  1. Thank the person that nominated you and include link to their blog.
  2. Nominate at least 15 bloggers. When nominating bloggers–please keep in mind the quality of their writing, the uniqueness of their subject matter, and the level of love they display virtually.
  3. Link your nominees and let them know about their nomination.
  4. Share seven facts about yourself.

My facts:

  1. I woke up one morning (at 10 years of age) with a white streak in my hair, and it won’t dye, grow, or change 20 years later.
  2. I am a lush.  I love  art, music, life, good food, good wine.
    • Hell, I like bad art, music, food, and wine too, though I still prefer good life.
  3. I worked (in London) across the street from Orlando Bloom for a month.
  4. I read Little Women 17 times by the age of 12.
    • I was home-schooled until I was 12.
  5. I HATE to bake but LOVE to cook.
  6. The first time I danced, I was 20 years old….and it was a religious experience.
  7. I watch WAYYYYYYY to much TV.

My Nominations:

That Mom-Wife Life

LifebeyondMommy

Tiffanybeingfree

Bigbaddad

Mombum

Somersault. Headstand. Repeat

Bumpy when Bare.

Queen of Lyme

Lyme and CO

Wears 2 Jolly 2

Birth of a New Brain

Lyme Coordinator 56

Body Inflamed

Oh Bless Your Heart

Lyme Mom of 4 Kiddos

 

 

Up-cycled Leftovers: Chicken Parm Soup

I am a big fan of taking one easy recipe and making leftovers into a completely different and equally easy new dish. As a mother of a 14 week old, returning to the work force, I don’t have time for fancy and I don’t have time for gross.

Earlier this week we had roast chicken and baked potatoes which is one of the EASIEST meals on earth to make!  You need one roast pan, a chicken, some herbs, some oil,some butter and away you go.  Find the recipe I use here.

  • This week I substituted rosemary for thyme and lime for lemon because it was what I had on hand.

The Up-Cycle 

When we are done with the chicken, I always remove the extra meat and make stock out of what is left, but as I started this process yesterday, I remembered an easy recipe I had saved weeks ago for Chicken Parmesan Soup. This recipe from Delish.com is as easy as it is delicious.

  Because I was using the stock pot already, 

  • I sautéed the diced onions and garlic with olive oil in a skillet for about 8 minutes. (On medium heat)
  • I then added a can of tomato paste and a quarter cup of chicken broth and let it cook down for about 5 min, stirring occasionally.
  • While the onions were sautéing, I took the meat off the chicken frame and added it to the chicken stock.
  • I then dumped the contents of the skillet into the stockpot along with a can of diced tomatos.
  • I added 3tbs of Italian seasoning and let the broth and chicken simmer for  30 min.
  • I added some gluten free penne pasta, set the timer for 7 min, and got out the parmesean, mozzarella, and parsley.
  • When the timer went off, it was dish up and serve with some garlic toast! 

It was even better today than it was yesterday and we still have a TON of leftovers.