Friday, August 31, 2012

I'm going to lose friends over this one...

So I feel like I should say why I've been absent, yet again... family. rest. vacation. family. blah blah blah.  Summer is OVER! (well for us, ha, not so much! It's like so hot, I don't even shower anymore because I sweat more after the shower and hardly anyone who isn't in a million $ home has ac by the beach.  And, let me tell ya, the little window units don't really do anything for our set up - open living, dining, kitchen...too big of space to cool down.  First world problems, yep!)  Anyways, I'm so ready for the fall.  Our summers are crazy busy and this fall is hopefully one of rest (idiot - you have three kids 4 and under.  This does not equal rest).  But I tell you, I have only committed to 3 things a week.  Nurture, (my mom's group at my old church, yes old - shut up, I love that group and I'm not leaving them.  My best friends are there.) And my new mom's group (at my new church- YES, shut up.  My "going to be" new best friends are there.  Haven't you heard the song, "Make new friends, but keep the old...")  And thirdly, being a life group leader at our new church.  MMMMmmmm... I LOVE my new church.  I kinda wish I could french kiss it, I love it so much.  I'm just so excited about what is happening at my little community.  Jes and I were asked to share a little on Sunday morning about caring for orphans and adoption (in our series, Who Is My Neighbor).  I can't say much more or I'll spoil it, but I'm just really excited.

Ok, so our church. Series. Who is my neighbor. Last week we talked about loving our vulnerable neighbor, including our undocumented neighbors.  Yes!  And I LOVE it.  (Lets not debate this now - lets just be Jesus to the ones who are here)  This spurred on a thought, accompanied with conversations I have had with new and old dear friends, let me tell ya lovies, that I CANNOT get out of my head.  This is where I'm going to lose friends... wait for it.

Background A, brief. ha! Sammy, to send or not to send to K next year at 5.5?? Thinking maybe yes, instead of my original plan of sending both my twins at 6.5 and 6. (another debate for another time).  We are in an amazing school zone (not all schools in our district are deemed "amazing" by others).  We might get kicked out of our home if our new owners knock our place down to build million $ town homes in place of our single family home and the duplexes that surround it.  Where to live?  Half of our friends live on the east side of town (where we are now) Half live on the other side of the freeway 1 mile from us in an area we'll call C.P.  Beautiful homes.  Amazing community of people.  School in the neighbor that NO ONE SENDS THEIR KIDS TO.  Why?, you ask.  Well, lets go back to our undocumented neighbors.  Rumor has it, that the majority of the attendance of the school is Spanish speaking with no to little papers.  MY GUESS, is that there isn't much parent involvement due to a) fear of judgment, b) don't feel equipped, c) doesn't know that they are needed or wanted. Pure speculation.

Background B. I'm a teacher.  Credentialed K-8.  I taught in this district.  Not at CP school.  I did do my student teaching at a school "like" CP.  At the time, my thought was "if ever I have a blond hair, blue eye babe - they will not go here because the one that does is pushed into a corner and does busy work all day while I try to get the other 25 kids in my 2nd grade class to learn their colors and letters IN ENGLISH."

Background C.  (where I might begin to lose some conservative friends....) Totally off topic, but a "must know" for this.  Jesse and I LOVE the LGBT community (is that PC anymore?).  We HATE how the CHURCH at large treats this community like the "least of these" because they are absolutely NOT.  And, I'm so sorry to all my friends who have been damned by the church.  Sometimes I think, man - the JESUS that the "Church" is portraying is not the Jesus I know.  Another post for another time.  I also know some of my friends in this community who HATE Jesus because of how the Church has treated them and I HATE that.  I think Jesus mourns over his children treating his other children like sh*t.  All that to say, Jes and I have thought about (don't make plans because God always changes them... yata yata yata.) uprooting our family one day and getting 10 of our friends to uproot their families and all move into the middle of this community in San Fran to do nothing but live and do life and show them a different Jesus with NO strings attached.  To become their friends because we want to.  To live in their community because we WANT to.  We would not be moving there so they will lose the lifestyle (is it wrong even? again, another post on my liberal thoughts another day ... and I just lost more friends. haha.).  And we wouldn't be moving there to make some straighties...hahahaha! NO.  That's a preposterous thought, if you ask me.  We just want to radiate the love of our Jesus, so that our friends can meet this Jesus and love this Jesus that I know.  HE gets to do the changing if any changing needs to be done.

Wrestling thought now (and here's where I lose a bazillion friends...friends that I lose now, I LOVE YOU, don't hate me, I'm not judging, I'm not in your shoes yet... but I'm praying to be in your shoes, I think??!)... If I'm willing to uproot my family and 10 other families and plant us in a community that is liberal in every way possible (I'm not just talking about lifestyle), then why the hell am I not willing to uproot myself and 10 other families to invade this school.  OH WAIT, 10 of my friends live in that community already!  Why hasn't this happened yet?  I know that my community (friends) pour into this school, but why won't they send their kids there?  Couldn't much more be done to further the kingdom if we reached out to this school is such a radical way. (I have done absolutely 0 research, haven't talked to the principal, haven't visited the school.  These are just questions I am having).

I hear this from most of my friends, "But my kid loses out on good education."  ok, I get that, but the school is going to have to change if we all send our kinders there next year - all 10 of us.  Plus, again, coming from a former k-8 teacher and a reading specialist, it's kindergarten.  You can supplement at home.  You CAN.  You can probably supplement until 3rd grade pretty easily.  5th grade, maybe not so much for the typical parent.  This is NOT to say that kindergarten teachers are worthless.  They are absolutely valuable.  There are parents everywhere that in any given month would rather take a gun shot to the abdomen then to have their kid plus 25 other 5 year old kids over to teach them every day.  Not me, I LOVE kindergarten.  In 5 years, if you're hiring... pick me!

My question:  What is education?  Is it merely reading, math, science, writing, art, oh ya - history, I hate history?  Or is it life skills as well?  Is it kingdom teaching?  Is it teaching diversity?  Is it befriending these kids who aren't like your family and then maybe one day that will have an adverse affect.  Can I dare say, "Johnny's" whole life course could be changed because his parents and him know YOUR family.  One less gang member?  One more college student?  One more teacher one day?  One more soul in Heaven???? One more teacher blessed by the extra help and love from our families?  One more family (you?) learning what it means to "love your neighbors?"  To do LIFE with your neighbors?  

This ISN'T a "WHITES, LETS TAKE OVER THE CP SCHOOL!" (duh, Sammy is black guys)  It's a call to Christians who live in that community to come together and do life together.  Not just with the other white, middle class folk, but life WITH YOUR NIEIGHBORS... ALL OF THEM!  It's a call to stop lying about your address so that your kid can attend another school in another district.  It's a call to love on our neighbors, all of them, despite WHO they are or what documents they have. (again, don't start flooding my blog with comments about border control)  Regardless if you like it or not, they are YOUR neighbors and Jesus is very clear that we are to love them.  Yes yes yes, and to follow the rules of the land... but lucky for us, we make those rules!  :)  So, go to your local town hall meeting and fight for them to stay here now. (wow, the blood is just dripping from my heart tonight!)  (I might need to tame down if I'm going to be a pastor's wife, but I'm not one yet... not until March baby!)

But, seriously, what's it going to do if 1 family doesn't transfer out?  Very little.  What will it do if all of the families that I know DON'T transfer out and send their kids there?  More than very little . And, from one planner to the next,  Jesus could come back before tomorrow - so why the heck are you worrying about what high school your kids are going to in 9 years?  He IS coming back before my kids hit 13 because dude, I can't deal with teens.  Karma's a b*+@h and we all know what kind of teenager I was.

Easy for me to tell you what to do, huh?  Yep, totally is.  But, I kinda pray that the Lord leads us over there so that I can partner along side of you and send my kids.

KNOW, that I don't look at you with judging eyes, although you don't believe me right now.  I swear to you.      I love you all.  And, I hope that you let me wrestle this one out loud.  You might laugh at me one day, and I might laugh at me one day about this.  Or, you may never speak to me again.  I definitely told Jesse last year before we moved to our house now, it HAS to been in the east side because of the school.  I just wish that I would have thought about that more.  And if you take NOTHING away from this, well, at least you gave your eyes a good workout.  Don't hate me, please give me grace.  I'm just stumbling down this road called life, trying to decipher between rebellion by my nature and this thing called conviction that looks like rebellion sometimes to the world's eyes.

x, b

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Miss Me Much?

Oh my, this is quite laughable.  Literally the last post I began to write, like 2 weeks ago ended with "and shoot, I'm dreading this media fast that I am a getting ready to embark on.  Lord, I need your help." and CRASH my computer came down.  Seriously, shut off, wouldn't turn back on.  Luckily, our dear friend is an IT guy (didn't know that, although there's a hint of dorkiness in him - shoulda known. ;) j/k Matt).

Anywhoo... Saint (when I just typed it, I accidentally spelled Satan...whoa, haha) Matt laid hands on our computer and prayed because there was stuff that I just couldn't lose, like pictures, Jesse's homework, adoption stuff, etc.  Apparently there is maintenance that one is supposed to do with a computer to make it last.  Well, clearly my cool husband and I are far above this dorkiness to hold this nonsense in our mind.  But, nonsense it's not.  Apparently, our computer history had never been cleared...and guess what Matt said... "It would totally explain their problem if I find a ton of porn on here."  But, ye of little faith, there was no porn... just adoption stuff.  Thousands and thousands of adoption sites, cloth diapering online stores,  a few articles on how to make your own laundry soap, the occasional theology website and homeschooling blogs.  haha... want to know who someone is, look at their computer history.  Guess we're not that cool after all.  We're (Jesse will argue it's not him, he just lives with me) a big bunch of passionate dorks who are ignorant in how to take care of a computer.  And funny thing is, we don't even have our computer back.  Jesse borrowed Matt's wife, Shannon's, computer so he could do school work and while J's at work, I high jacked it.  Now, how smart is Matt really???  Letting us dumb-ass ignorant computer people use HIS/Shannon's computer.

Well, let's catch up friends!  What did you do the last 2 weeks?  Well, for me - it's been quite eventful, but I wish there was still less of a presence of tv.  Seriously, I'm not an alcoholic, not a drug addict, but I really think I'm addicted to television.  Why can't I be addicted to working out???   More on that in a few.  I'll just hit the BIG points.

1) I'm CANCER FREE!!!  Maybe I mentioned that in my previous post a couple of weeks ago, but guys, it's worth mentioning again.  I was terrified it was back, the doctor made me nervous, and I seriously thought this round I was going to die.  I was seriously, intentionally giving my kids "good memories" so if I died, they would remember how much fun mom was, although I'm not that fun.  But, this scared mom let them have Popsicles for lunch one day and we ran through the sprinklers with our clothes on and then rolled around in mud.  And, one day, we didn't even get dressed.  We just read books and watched movies while eating popcorn in our pjs all day.  Why does it take me thinking I'm dying to let loose sometimes?  That's so stupid.  So, I hope to continue to pull the stick out of my own butt more often, and drink more wine.  Maybe there is a correlation?  But who knows, maybe the cancer was back and God took it away?  All I know is that God met me in my fear and my heart even began to soften and think, "I really do want Jesse to be happy and for the kids to have a mom if I die, so maybe I'd be okay if he remarried."  But here's the real issue, I don't want to share my mansion in Heaven with Jesse and the other woman and ALL our kids, bc I'm sure they'll have like 5 of their own... seriously?  NO.  He's my man, and he's not supposed look at another woman the way he does me, even if I'm dead, right?  Jealous much?  Well, really, I'm not jealous now, but the dead me is totally jealous.  God and I need to work this out.  But, seriously, I'd rather Jes just fine a lovely, gay woman to give him companionship and love on my kids.  I could totally share my house with her in Heaven.  Just no bed sharing in Heaven.  Man. I. NEED. TO. STOP.

2) We had 2 of our nieces, 9 and 5 spend the night with us for a cousin sleep over.  Please shoot me in the foot if I say in the next year that I'd like to adopt 2 more kids.  (haha, as I'm proof reading I noticed I just said the next year, I didn't say ever! :) )  My nieces are amazing.  I love them.  They are the best behaved and HELPFUL little girls ever.  It's just that 5 is WAY more than 3.  My sister-in-law deserves mom of the year award.  5 kids 9 and under and she is so grace filled and doesn't even drink.  She's nursing right now and is SO not like me not the mom who would have a glass of wine while nursing.  On the way home from the beach with all 5, I made J stop at the store to get us more booze just to make it through the night.

3) this is a big one guys.  "Bug (what I call J), I'm ready.  If you feel like God can use you and grow you here, us here (at the new church, previously called the other woman), if you feel like this should become our new family and new home, I will jump in feet first with you."  Tears are seriously pouring down my face as I'm typing because there is excitement but so much mourning going on inside me.  I don't have to tell you again, but I LOVE my (not quite old) church, my family there.  It feels like home.  It feels safe.  It feels like Jesus to me.  It's really where I first encountered Jesus and KNEW it.  I feel like God is giving me a picture now, this very moment... so I'm going to type it:

I feel like at my old church, Jesus started to really shape this plant, tend to this plant who was in a little clay jar.  And by no means is the plant beautiful in her own eyes, but yet God is still pruning it and loves it, and calls it beautiful.  But this plant has almost outgrown her little clay pot.  It's now time for her gardener to transplant her into a larger clay pot and it hurts, it disrupts her.  But here, in this large clay pot, there is room for her to grow, room for her to learn that she is exactly who her God made her to be.  Not a tiny stem with a little bud, but maybe a full plant with life.  There is room for her to see herself beautiful as she starts to see the fruit that is able to be born from her, because there is room and because God moved her.

Now that I'm totally bawling, this encourages me.  Makes me want to throw up a little, because so often I forget that God actually sees me, cares about me, loves me, could call me by name... not just Brandi who went to RockHarbor, but Brandi his precious daughter whom He created to love. So if you hear nothing from this whole post, hear that GOD LOVES YOU.  YOU.  HE MADE YOU UNIQUELY.  AND HE KNOWS YOU BY NAME.  And keep reminding me of that because I forget all too often.  I just wonder how many times in my life, I've tried to be someone else because I look up to them, because I think they hear from God way more than I do, because I love their clothes and shoes and self confidence.  But I wonder how many opportunities were wasted for kingdom work because the ME he made me to be, I was not confident in and I missed it because I was trying to be someone more spiritual, more cool, more dorky even, who would never go "there" or talk to "him" or do "that" for a job.  There is grace from our Savior, I know, so I won't dwell on the missed opportunities, and neither should you.  But I want to be encouraged, I want you to be encouraged, that God made you YOU so that He could use YOU and your uniqueness to touch unique people who would respond to accepting His love through the very unique, YOU. 

Not at all where I saw this post going... but I want to stop there.  That is enough for me to process and sit with for one night.  I'll get to the not so perfect media fast soon.  Ironically, I'm going to need some accountability from the blog to hold me to less media. ha!  I'll explain later.

Much love to you not only from me, but from God.  He genuinely loves YOU, even if you don't quite love him yet, or even like him at all.  He's okay with you where you are right now.  But He longs for you to know his love, even if it's on your terms for right now.  It doesn't change how he feels about you.