Gandhi says I suck.

“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

-Mahatma Gandhi

As a Christian, this makes me feel two ways:

1. Well, we aren’t Jesus Christ himself, so we can’t possibly be perfect!
&
2. Shoot. That’s extremely true.

We do suck. I suck, and I’m sorry. 

I’m sorry that when I wear a cross around my neck, some might see it as a symbol of hate, and not love. I’m sorry that when you hear I’m a Christian you might automatically think I hate gays, atheists, and anyone who doesn’t think just like me. I’m sorry that I’ve probably done many things in my life to make you think that this would be true of me, and other Christians around me.

It’s become overwhelmingly apparent, especially lately, that people don’t like being judged, looked down upon, or told what to do. This has of course been true since the dawn of time, but admittedly it’s been more publicized now, than ever.  At the same time, as the world becomes more and more evolved and progressive, Christians are seeing the need to get more and more belligerent about the way we approach people. Standing on college campuses yelling about those who will be damned to hell, picketing weddings, fighting over social media, you name it, it’s happening. I almost feel like I have to give a disclaimer that I don’t hate everyone when I first meet people and they become aware of my faith.

“Hi I’m Brooke, I’m a Christian but I promise I don’t hate you.”

It is absolutely ridiculous that things are getting to that point.

There was about a year in college when I thought that I was responsible for the salvation of all the people in my life. It was an extremely, extremely stressful time. My relationships became inauthentic, my interactions almost always had an agenda, and I didn’t feel good about myself. AT ALL.

As I have grown and matured in my faith and adulthood, I have been free’d of that way of thinking. Thank you God!

It is not my responsibility to judge you, speak of the possibility of you being cast into a lake of fire, or come down on you for the way you are living your life. That’s NOT MY JOB. I didn’t apply for that, I did not accept an offer, negotiate, or sign a contract to do that: so no thanks. That being said, if you ask me to tell you how I feel about something, I’ll give you my honest opinion, but it will  need to be solicited.

It is however, my job to show you love, and if you give me a chance I’ll try my best. But like Gandhi said, I might still suck at it. (Sorry in advance).

Sadly enough I think some of the most condemning, unloving and judgmental Christians are those who have guilt, or unfinished healing in certain areas. Sometimes it’s a lot easier to make a certain sin, or group a scapegoat instead of facing your own shortcomings.

“Well yeah, I was unfaithful to my wife, but at LEAST I’m NOT GAY!”

Hey Christians, can we please stop condemning people? Show me where it says we are supposed to judge and not be kind? Show me where it says that we are supposed to hate and not show grace? You aren’t going to find it.
How about showing some love? No, don’t point it out in the bible, don’t tell anyone, but SHOW IT. Go let the world experience how a Christ follower is.

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Reverse Resolutions

I have almost survived this whole “eating clean” thing for a week. If I can make it past tomorrow with no discrepancies, I’ll only have one more lifetime to go! Ugh. This is going to be rough.

It sucks being here deep in the heart of Texas without Andrew. But I’ve already gone over that. I strongly considered moping about it, and then I did. Oh how I did I mope! This girl was blissfully pathetic at the beginning of this all, admittedly. I mean, I finished both seasons of Orange Is The New Black in two weeks, I avoided any evening social conquest other than frozen yogurt, and I gained a nice comfy 10lbs from emotional overeating, As much as I can justify that it’s now fall, and I’m just like a bear settling in for the winter, I simply can’t. I don’t exactly need any extra warmth. It’s a blistering 95-100 degrees here on a consistent basis, and don’t forget the humidity. Who am I kidding, you CAN’T forget humidity, it’s like a cockroach. You never think about it until all the sudden it’s there and it’s changed your whole world; you can’t kill it, you just have to hope at some point it goes away.

Now 3 months later, I have improved. Even if it’s just minor, it’s still progression. I’ve limited myself to football and the occasional How I Met Your Mother, and I’m actually leaving the house for more reasons than work and the grocery store. However, the nutrition part of my life has been seriously lagging. SERIOUSLY.

Last week I decided I’m going to do something different.
REVERSE RESOLUTION.
Okay, so it’s just me but I think this is totally brilliant, (maybe another resolution will be to not be so full of myself, ha!).
Instead of gaining a bunch more weight during the holidays and absolutely hating myself to the point of creating a list of ridiculous and nearly impossible life changing commitments on January 1st, why not do something different? Like instead look and feel my BEST and be where I’d like to be BY January 1st. This is going to truly give me the chance to have a brand new and fresh start to the year! TOO MANY CAPITAL WORDS BUT I DONT CARE I’M EXCITED ABOUT THIS.
My process?
I joined a new gym and going 5 days/week, I’m eating clean, and I intend to spend some funds on new workout gear. (If I’m going to do this, I at least want get some cute workout clothes out of it).

Also, I thought about posting before pics, but there’s no way I’m doing that until I’ve shown some serious progression in the right direction. But, someday, I might! Who knows.

Oh, and hi Andrew. I love you and I can’t wait to celebrate a year with you next month!

10-4 over and out.

A Touch of Pathetic Fallacy

Arizona and rain are not usually typically spoken of in conjunction with one another. All the reason why the rain was all that more metaphorically and spiritually pervasive on this trip.

Andrew and I met in the Houston airport where we both had layovers. We were lucky enough to get the same flight to Phoenix and had our first experience on an airplane together. (Crazy right? We have been to Arizona, Wyoming, Utah, California, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, and Florida together; not a single one of those trips was made by plane). Having traveled so much in the air alone,especially lately, it was great to be sitting next to Andrew. I however, made a fatal mistake when I sat at the window seat. I was begrudgingly subjected to Andrew’s constantly moving head and hands observing the world at thirty nine thousand feet. Now as I’m sitting alone on my return flight to Houston, I would give anything to have him bugging me.

The main purpose of this trip was to see Andrew’s cousin Stephanie exchange vows at the Grand Canyon; Shoshone Point to be exact.

Friday night was spent in Flagstaff breaking bread with family, pouring libations, and two stepping at the Lumberyard.

I simply cannot articulate how lucky I am to have found such an amazing man, with such an amazing family. They made me one of their own almost immediately, and for that I am incredibly thankful.

Saturday, wedding day! We made our way up to the Grand Canyon and checked into our room at the Maswick Lodge. It was such a beautiful day for a wedding…and then all the sudden, it wasn’t.

Rain. And lots of it.

We drove to Shoshone point, hoping the rain would let up.
It didn’t.

As we shuttled to the point, Andrew’s Aunt Bev turned around and said to us, “This is great!”

To our surprise she wasn’t being sarcastic. In my somewhat limited experience with weddings, when speaking of rain at an outdoor ceremony, precipitation is usually greeted with animosity and anxiety, seldom praised.

She then continued, “This is great, God is just showing us that he’s in control, and that he’s going to take care of us. Then right at the right time he is going to send us blue skies to remind us he loves us and that we’re important”.

In her voice there was no wavering. This was fact. She knew that it would happen that way.

Admittedly, I had my doubts.

I doubted until I saw her spoken fact come to fruition in the form of a rainbow stretching from the bottom of the canyon out past the collected worries and questions of a dry exchange of rings.

The rain stopped exactly at the five o’clock scheduled ceremony time. Towels dried the seats, guests found their places, and blue skies opened up like it was the first time they ever had.
The bride found her groom, the sun found our faces, and we all further found the glory of God in his beautiful creation, and perfect timing.

The rain had yet another lesson for me this morning. One of the largest monsoons Arizona has seen in the past decade hit, and hit hard late last night. Andrew and I were woken up multiple times to the tune of the emergency flash flood warnings and advisories. After we woke up to the only alarm we had intended to, we got in our rental, left the house in North Scottsdale at 5:30 AM, returned our car and made our way through security.

We walked up to my gate, and they were already boarding. With tears in my eyes, and a brief goodbye, I boarded a different plane, set to take me to a different airport, to eventually return to a different home.

Sometimes it really sucks. My heart longs to not have to explain to our friends and family that we live in different states. My body yearns to be held by the man I promised my life to. I know we are both doing what we think have to do right now for a bright future, but when you look back from that walkway as you’re boarding just to get a glimpse of your husband for the last time in a little while, it weighs heavily on your spirit.

The rain taught me that the weather on the surface is so arbitrary. You have to push through the storm and continue upward to get to the blue skies. Because eventually, you’ll be on top of the clouds looking down on a storm that once captivated you.

2 months down, 6 to go. The blue skies are in February. We can do this.