Tuesday, November 25, 2014

10 pieces of advice to OnceUponATime characters...

10. Emma - your superpower is really not knowing if people are lying. You need to accept that and move on to embrace your actual powers.

9. Regina, please get on with Emma's lessons. Maybe if you taught her how to wield magic she might not end up screwing up your life so much.

8. Hook, Emma, Belle, Mary Margaret: Rump NEVER does anything without making a deal first. Stop trusting him. Seriously. He's the DARK ONE.

7. Belle, wear some flats. You're going to have some major bunions and back problems if you keep on with those stripper heels.

6. Hook, never change. Well, I mean, get your heart back from Rump, but then don't change.

5. Regina, Mary Margaret, David, Emma, maybe y'all can take some trust lessons from Elsa and Anna? Not to mention their kick ass aunt, Helga. Those sisters know how to love and trust. Hey, maybe they're the ones with the superpower of knowing when someone is lying?

4. Ingrid, I know you're lonely. Maybe if you just brought Emma and Elsa in on the ice cream business you could get that family life you're longing for? In, you know, a nice normal way?

3. Regina, once you get your happy ending, don't give up your sarcasm. It's easily one of your best features.

2. Henry, be careful about Rump. Just because he's your grandfather doesn't mean you can trust him.

1. Regina and Robin, have you perhaps thought, maybe by NOW, that perhaps Marion's little son, who adores his mommy, might be able to give her true love's kiss and save her from the spell? I mean, I know it's easier if she stays frozen, but at least give it a try? I mean, who's even watching the little guy?

Monday, November 24, 2014

Rage, anyone?

So I'm angry. Haha, big surprise! I've had to leave my church community and I have a strong willed 3 year old who is potty training. Frankly, I'm surprised I'm not a festering explosion every day. (Patting my own back here).
I'm taking steps towards my healing, and one of them is to accept that I am angry. Right now, it's ok for me to feel anger. What happened at my church was wrong. I was mistreated, gossiped about, and so were many people that I love. I'm learning the hard way that the community I was intimately involved in for years does not want to continue in relationship with me now that I'm gone.
In addition, parenting is HARD. Parenting a strong willed toddler is even harder. Parenting a strong willed toddler using the attachment positive parenting paradigm is damn near impossible. It's certainly exhausting. Doing that while establishing a business and running a household is super human, and right now my relief valve involves anger, rather than other feelings. And that's OK.
On the plus side, I'm feeling more creative than ever, and I just committed to writing 1000 words a day in 2015, which means a whole lot more blog posts here!

It's like I tell my clients all the time: rage and anger are not evil or bad feelings. It's how we express them that's negative. I'm choosing constructive ways to deal with my anger. Journaling, blogging, talking with supportive loving friends, and laughing as much as possible. Rough housing with my 3 year old, which relieves all those stress hormones and leads to laughter. Asserting myself as needed. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Why I Now Attend an Episcopalian Church

I started attending a nondenominational church back in 2000. For 14 years I was committed to this idea - the idea of a church stripped to essentials, open for discussion and communication. Unfortunately, as someone who holds liberal opinions, I learned that when it came down to reality, this model wasn't working as designed. Now I am attending an Episcopalian church, a church that aligns with the churches I was raised in, but also differs significantly in that it is definitely not an Evangelical church. Here are 10 reasons I made the switch.*

10. At the end of the day, I want a choir and an organ. As a classically trained musician, this is the music that I appreciate most. Not that pop Christian music doesn't serve a purpose in my spiritual life, but as a mother, I want my child to hear historical and unique music as well as by the numbers praise and worship songs.

9. The liturgy gives me words. Ever since I attended a liturgical church, at age 9, I knew there was something powerful in the words, words which were assembled out of the Catholic tradition over 500 years ago. Phrases which were assembled in the time of Shakespeare, in English, my native language. My prayer book does not disappoint: there are prayers for everything: for rain, for the care of children, for social justice, for times of war, etc.

8. I am finally in a community which affirms my own social convictions. Over time I have come to support and advocate for gay marriage. Episcopalians marry and even ordain gay people.

7. I am tired of Bibliolatry and fundamentalist interpretations of the Bible. The longer I studied the Bible, the more Episcopalian I became in my view of it - although I didn't realize my views were Episcopalian!

6. The rituals of the service remind me to be awestruck and reverent toward God. Watching the Bible be carried to the middle of the church for a reading, kneeling to pray, watching everyone process and recess beneath the Cross: it all reminds me of the majesty of God.

5. I am a feminist. The nondenominational movement struggles with women and where they belong. Episcopalians have been ordaining women since before I was born.

4. Sometimes, you can not be silent: you must affirm. In my experience, nondenominational churches stay silent on the issues of abortion, LGBT issues, divorce, and war. The LGBT community can no longer continue in a place of limbo: they must either be fully affirmed or denied. To stay silent is to condemn by inaction. In my experience, churches trying to be "seeker-friendly" avoid these issues, saying they want to focus on the essentials of the Gospel. But isn't affirming the oppressed and those in the minority one of the essentials of the Gospel?

3. No more surprises. Oftentimes nondenominational churches are pastor-centric, and when the pastor leaves, the church changes, sometimes significantly. Episcopalians have a well defined and thought out theology that will not change simply because a new priest has been hired.

2. It is the "via media." The Anglican communion was born out of a desire to hold on to what was good in Catholicism. The men who crafted it did not want the upheaval of the Reformation to dictate their faith. It is a religion of compromise: of allowing people to follow their conscience, up to a point. If there is any place where some wiggle room in beliefs is tolerated, it is here.

1. I feel safe again. My beliefs as a feminist, as a person who upholds the legality of abortion, and as an LGBT supporter made me a target in every nondenominational church I have been in. I no longer feel like my faith, my devotion to God, my willingness to follow the Holy Spirit, my very salvation, will be questioned because I hold certain beliefs.

* Full disclosure: I have not attended every nondenominational church in the world. I'm sure there are many which do not present the problems I complain of here. I have been wounded and I am beginning my healing process, so I'm sure in a year my opinions will be different. However, I do believe that the nondenominational model has some very fundamental problems, which I touch on in this post. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Bedtime Battle

It is 7:40 at my house, which means I am at the verge of victory in the bedtime battle. My saintly husband is doing daddy duty by reading a book. I am sitting on the couch waiting for my turn - the nightly singing ritual.
I treasure our time together after reading - laying in the dark, singing songs and hearing rare information about my daughter's day. It is a special time, a time when we can connect with no defiance, no agenda, just me and her connected in love.
But getting there? That's a battle.
There's the running around the house, sucking on a pacifier that is strictly for bedroom use only (don't lecture me, she's only 3.5 and I know she won't have a paci when she walks down the aisle at her wedding).  There's the complete defiance about putting on the diaper and pajamas. There's the singing and playing that only a true master dawdler can create.
Then there's the out and out battles: no to the potty, no to the toothbrush, kicking and screaming no to the pajamas. It is the end of the day and my mommy bank is empty of empathy, patience, and unconditional love, and all I can think is that soon she will be corralled into her bed and into darkness, the star light will be on, and she and I will spend a few precious moments together. SO WHY CAN'T SHE JUST GO TO BED ALREADY?
Haha, the everpresent mom dilemma. Why won't my child just behave so we can have fun?
One day my daughter will no longer be 3 years old. Sure there are things I'll miss, but honestly? I think I'll really be glad when she's potty trained, not dependent on the paci, and ready to cooperate again.