HOW we love matters…

It’s been snowing on and off the last two days.  We were supposed to get a couple of inches of the white stuff overnight, but alas woke up this morning to just a light dusting.  Yea!  No driveway to shovel (smile).  I’m sure there were many disappointed kiddos this morning when they discovered that they had to go to school today.  I even heard grumbling from my college age daughter when she heard her college was one of the only colleges that didn’t at least have a delayed opening.  Welcome to adulthood dear (smile).

I remember those snow days as a kid.  Even though I lived in the city, we had some awesome sledding hills.  They were streets though so we had to have a system set up.  We always had kids “stationed” at various points to make sure there weren’t any cars coming.  It was tricky sometimes navigating the cars that were parked on those streets, but we had some fun times.  Of course the enemy in those days were the snowplow drivers.  There were always some kids that let them know their presence wasn’t welcome by whirling snowballs at their trucks.  On one particular day when the drivers came through and ruined our fun, my cousins and I came up with an alternate plan.  We were at my grandmother’s, and across the street from her house was a steep grassy hill that was parallel to what we referred to as “the big hill.”  Since the streets were plowed, we decided to try out this hill.  There was just one problem…at the bottom of said hill happened to be a large grouping of bushes and trees.  We weren’t going to let them ruin our fun though.  We came up with a plan.  We would go up the hill one at a time and the remainder cousins would stand at the bottom by the treeline as a shield.  Brilliant…or so we thought.

The first couple of runs went perfectly.  My turn came up again so I took the saucer and trudged my way up the hill.  I got to the top and yelled down to see if everyone was ready.  I got the thumbs up so I put the saucer on the snow, plopped down, and gave myself a good push.  Things were going great until the saucer turned around and I was going down the hill backwards.  There were many problems with this, but the main one being I couldn’t see when I was sleddingnearing the end of the hill.  To help stop ourselves, we would dig our feet into the snow to help the other cousins stop us in time.  This method didn’t work as well going backwards and suddenly I felt their arms at my back only to break through them right smack into a branch.  Crack!  I thought for sure that stick was actually in my back.  It felt like it!

Luckily the damage wasn’t too bad.  I had, as you can imagine, one nasty bruise and lots of soreness in my back.  In fact, it’s only been the last five years that I haven’t felt that old injury thanks to some physical therapy.  We thought we had the perfect plan to keep each other safe.  It didn’t quite work out that way.  We knew it could be dangerous, and we knew we needed to be mindful of that, but we didn’t think of the consequences if it didn’t work.

I think love can be like that too.  Love matters…but how we love matters even more.  This seems really obvious, but I think sometimes we think we are being loving when actually to the other person it doesn’t feel like love at all.  I’m becoming more and more aware of this fact as I meet more LGBTQ people and hear their stories.  People do some awful things in the name of love.  Ask the LGBTQ youth that’s been kicked out of their home in the name of love.  “I love you and because the Bible says it’s wrong I can’t have you here thinking that I agree with what you are doing,” are some of the things they are told.  I find it interesting how people pick certain things in the Bible to stand by while ignoring so many others.  For instance, there should be many Christians in church on Sunday’s missing their right eyes as Jesus describes in Matthew 5:29.  It’s in the Bible…right?  When confronting someone with what you think is sin in their life, you need to ask yourself is this my truth – something I perceive  or is this God’s truth.  Do you know the person’s life story?  Do you know what’s in their heart?  All too often we take words from the Bible and use them to condemn others…in the name of love.  This has caused deep-rooted pain and scars in God’s people.

My cousins and I thought we had a good plan that would keep us safe.  If we had consulted with an adult, things may have turned out differently.  When you are faced with a situation that involves another person and could cause harm if not handled correctly, consult God.  Ask Him how you should respond. If a person walks away from you feeling shame, you have failed to show love.

Love matters…how we love matters even more.

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Crisis diverted…

It was a normal school night.  I was sitting at the kitchen table doing my homework.  Both of my parents were out for the evening so I was watching my little sister.  She was downstairs in the basement watching television.  All of the sudden I heard a loud “boom” and we lost all of our electricity.  As I sat in the dark wondering what happened, I heard a panicked voice from the basement say, “Lesa, I’m blind!”  My poor sister thought she had suddenly gone blind.  Now you have to know her to understand this.  She was/is a worry wart.  She is the person you tell not to read side effects of medication because she will have all of them (smile).

I got up from the kitchen table and walked over to the basement steps.  “You’re not blind,” I said.  “We just lost electricity.”  I told her tomaxresdefault stay put…that I was coming for her and I carefully made my way down the steps to get her.  When we got back to the kitchen, I picked up the phone and dialed my uncle’s number who lived just around the corner from us.  To this day, my sister will say how amazed she was that I could dial the phone in the dark.  Impressionable little mind (smile).  My uncle came to check on us and let us know that someone hit a telephone poll and the transformer blew up causing everyone to lose electricity.  Crisis diverted.

I feel like I’ve been in a bit of a crisis lately.  Not a crisis of faith in God….more of a crisis of faith in humanity.  I’ve been having a hard time being at church recently.   I feel guilty that I can be there when so many of my LGBTQ friends can not go to church….or don’t feel comfortable or welcome in church.  I’m part of a private FB group of moms who have LGBTQ kids. Moms desperate for help, guidance, and answers.  I hear story after story of rejection…from their churches, their friends, their family.  There are times that I have to step away from the computer…for days…because I am overwhelmed by their pain and their children’s pain.  I’ve driven hours to meet some of them for lunch.  Total strangers…with a deep connection that can’t be explained.

It’s also hard to sit in church with people who think terrible things about my son (if you say something about a gay person, you are saying it about my son).  Most of whom have never even had a conversation with him…don’t know him at all for that matter.  Things that are said always seem to have a way of coming back to me.  I wish people would actually say these things to my face so that I could at least have a conversation about it. Sometimes I wish God would protect me from the things that people say, but that burden is so small in relation to what LGBTQ people themselves have to deal with everyday.  I asked God to break my heart for what breaks His…and He answered that prayer.  I also asked God to help me to love as He does.  I love these people tremendously.  People that I just meet…it’s like I’ve known them my whole life.  And I love them.   How lucky am I that I get to be a participant in the demonstration of God’s love?!  The love I feel is just a glimpse of the fierce love that God has for them.

So when I wonder “Why in the world am I doing this?  I am just a small fish in a really big pond,” I remember that I’m part of God’s plan.  When I worry about whether or not I’m making a difference, or if I’m doing enough, in the quite moments God reminds me that I’m not alone in this and I’m exactly where I need to be.

This past weekend was the GCN Conference.   I wanted to go SO BADLY, but it was in Portland.  A little far for me (smile). There were some Westboro Baptist protesters outside of the event.  I wouldn’t have a problem with people standing up for their beliefs if they did it in a respectful way.  The signs that they were carrying were disgusting.  I won’t even repeat what they had on them.  The most shocking thing to me was to see young children holding the signs.  When the local churches heard that WB was going to be there, they decided to come with their own signs and they formed what they called a “wall of love” protecting conference attendees from the protesters.  They were signing praise and worship songs so loudly that the protesters couldn’t be heard. Tears.  And to top it off…God provided a rainbow overhead (smile).  (Rainbows are symbols for LGBTQ)  Faith in humanity slowly being restored…Crisis diverted.

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Love each other…because love matters.

Exciting things coming this year…

Happy New Year everyone!

2014 was quite a year.  It was my first full year of blogging and although it can be a bit nerve-wracking at times…it is also a therapeutic way to share my heart on the things that God has been teaching me.  I challenged myself to write a post a week and I posted 49…not too bad (smile).   Here are my top posts of the year (the posts that received the most views)  If you didn’t see them, be sure to check them out:

More Than Just a Peanut (written January 2014)

Say It Isn’t So (written March 2014)

Does Love Really Matter? (written September 2014)

A Mother’s Heart (written October 2014)

Beauty in Ink (written September 2013 – continued receiving top views in 2014)

Thank you to those who have shared my posts over the year.  I appreciate your help on getting my message of love out there (smile).  The year was full of many ups and downs…some progress and some set backs.  I think this coming year is going to be very exciting.  Along with the help of another mom of a gay son, I am starting a support group for LGBTQ folks and their parents.  We hope to get it launched very soon in this new year.  Things are already starting to fall into place and I’m looking forward to sharing God’s love with those who are hurting.

I’m not sure how much writing I will be doing this year as I would like to focus on the group, but I feel like God is telling me I’m not done yet so we shall see.  I do know for sure it will be less than last year.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank my followers for their support.  It means the world to me.

This year, I’m hoping to meet people face to face to let them know that they are loved.  People like Leelah Alcorn who took her life this weekend.  This can’t continue.  You can read Leelah’s story here.

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Because Love Matters…