Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Domestic Violence and Children

In the domestic violence training I teach we watch a video called SinnaMan (Angry Man in English). It gives a highly accurate account of DV from the child's perspective. While Boi is hiding under the covers in his room as his father decimates the living room Boi's pictures on his wall tell a story as they come to life. One of the things we know is that even when kids are in another room and not "seeing" the violence they are imagining it.  Sometimes their imaginations are even worse than reality. Their fears are larger than life, understandably so.

The night my mom left my dad he took his pistol into my bedroom while I was in the living room saying goodbye to my mom.  He shot the gun. In my head I saw and heard, can still see and hear, a herd of buffalo running through our house. It was how my young brain could understand the danger, the fear, the sound.

I was a little girl obsessed with "Indians" and the Wild West.  A buffalo stampede is what I felt I was stuck in.  It was terrifying and I wasn't sure if any of us would make it out alive.  Thankfully we did.  Just barely. Enough that my obsession has turned from all things Native Americans to helping other families survive and conquer domestic violence.

Kids see the violence.  They don't sleep through it.  They hear it.  They cower under their beds in fear. They see the aftermath--the bruises, the mess.  They feel the tension as it builds.  They believe that if they change how they act it will get better.

For more information on the effects of domestic violence on children please check out this video featuring Dr. Bruce Perry

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Cradled by God

I went to church this morning. It was the first time in months. I arrived 45 minutes early because I didn't remember the correct time.  

The upside was sitting in the solitude of the sanctuary. Then the choir came out and practiced.  It was lovely.  

Then came the sermon...it was exactly what I needed to hear. While we sang one of the hymns I felt as if I was being cradled by God.  Between the words of the sermon, the words of the hymn, and the music flowing over me I realized that I was where I needed to be.  Not just this morning but in my life.

My good work is part of my calling right now. I need this time to rest in church, to listen to others' preaching, to remember that it is not all about me.

I'm also learning to be a part of church again. I'll be leading an Advent class at the end of the month. This week I'm meeting with a woman (UMC no less) who is charged with planting a church --she was told I'd be a good resource. That feels pretty damn good.

It's not about me. I am being cradled and healed.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Good work vs. God's Calling

"Do not do good deeds for the sake of doing good. Doing good work is not the same as following God's calling on your life."

These are the words that escaped my mouth during a sermon in a dream. It seems that I was preaching to myself as these words continue to haunt me now.

The dream was wonderful.  There was an beautiful old abandoned church in which several groups had begun to gather--different churches, homeless people seeking safe refuge, children hiding from parents, people starting new churches with no where to meet.  We all gathered here and shared space.  As I preached in one section of the church a conservative pastor preached to his congregation in another room.  It was rather magical and finally someone came to shut it down.

But as they did another person led us to a less beautiful but abandoned mega-church.  The altar was a small circle in the center of a circular sanctuary.  Nothing separated the altar from the sanctuary except for the details in the carpet.  There was no pulpit.  The altar was not lifted up.  Actually the pews sloped up from the altar--sort of like in a movie theatre where the seats in back are the highest part of the room. I remember pointing out that it was beautiful because the altar and pastor were not higher than the rest, they were not separate, they did not look over or down on the people--they were equal.

As I began to worry about how we would pay to cover the utilities, if we would be kicked out again, we discovered the building as a gift to us--all of us--utilities included.  Outside of this modern and non-descript church where fields for the children to run and play.  I worried a bit that it was far from the main roads but in the field there was room and safety for all to come and stay.

It was quite joyful as we discussed ways to share the space so we could all have a voice, take turns preaching and learning from one another.  It was paradise.

Yet,  I still feel haunted by those words, "Doing good work is not the same as following God's calling on your life."  In the next few weeks I start my new job. I'm excited about my "good work."  I also recognize that it is not my calling.  I keep wondering, can I do both?  If I can, how?  Where is the line?  What counts? What comes next?  

Friday, November 7, 2014

I'm a liar

I'm a liar.

5 days later and nothing from me.  Good intentions be damned. 

Why did Journey just pop up on my Pandora Macklemore and Ryan Lewis station?

I tend to be confused more often than not these days.

Life is a strange and twisted journey. 

Here I am. 

I

wrote

something

today.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Hello Again

It's been a long time but somehow I just can't quit you. No matter how hard I try I end up back in your arms, your warm embrace holding me and I feel safe.

So many changes since we last spoke. I know, I left you for someone else and here I am begging you to love me again. Thanks for being my constant over so many years through all of my changes. Thankfully have grown but you haven't outgrown me.

This month I start a new job. I'm both excited and a little terrified. I'll be in charge of a whole program. I've been in charge of two churches at once but this has a lot more challenges. But I'll be working with fantabulous people so that helps a lot.

I've also been seeing a shrink. She has encouraged me to start writing again. It was just the encouragement I needed to come back.

This month...this November I'll see you at least once a day. It may not be good or purposeful but I'll be here.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Visit me at my new digs

I've moved over to Wordpress...come and visit me at RevHipChick's Fresh Start . I hope to see you there!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Yesterday I checked in with someone who interviewed me for a position that I didn't get. It was terrible. I heard that the job was essentially mine but I blew the interview. It was a team interview, 2 of the people knew me and really wanted me to get the job. But when I interviewed, I gave vague answers. I wasn't specific enough. Then came the words I was loathe to hear,"We know she knows this stuff. She's amazing. But she didn't tell us." These are haunting words for me. They are the same words I heard during the ordination process in Misery. The people who knew me on my boards were disappointed because I didn't shine. I didn't share who I was. I didn't demonstrate my knowledge and capabilities. For a few years I've told the story that it was politics that did't allow me to be ordained. But now I'm sure it was something far more disturbing than policitics. It was myself. I stood in my own way. Just as I blew this recent interview for a job I would have rocked and loved. I'm not sure what that is about. My husband says I need to get an interview coach. I'm not sure if I need an interview coach or a shrink.