Skeletons

Well, here I am in Texas, after a very fun, very exhausting motorcycle ride all night long. We actually began looking at stopping for the night somewhere near Dallas, but in my honey’s true fashion, we stopped at several hotels, but none of them appealed to us — too far away, too expensive, won’t let us check in early — the list goes on and on. Finally, we made it all the way here to Austin, only to find out that there some basketball Big Event going on, and all the hotels are filled up for the week.

Oh, the horror. My husband had gone to work at 3:30am the morning before, and by the time Jesus miraImageculously turned the water into wine for us, he’d been up for almost 30 hours straight. I’ve never been so happy to climb into a 1 star bed in my life. I slept for a whopping two hours, and now I have to kill about nine more before he wakes up. Thank God I brought my computer.

There isn’t much to do on the back of a motorcycle other than think, pray, and sing. I literally will only sing aloud when we are travelling on the motorcycle. I am terribly tone deaf, and yet the roar of the bike seems to hide that fact from everyone, including me. Most of my praying is pretty much done quickly, except when I am freaked out about someone nearly killing us. And thankfully, this was a fairly freak-out-free trip for us. That left the majority of the time to think, think, think.

One of the things I thought about was my Ambien induced blog. I have always had a problem with insomnia, and about 4 years ago, my doctor prescribed Ambien CR for me. I know I’ve done odd things occasionally on it, but recently, I woke up to find that I had written this whole post that I remembered nothing about. It was weird. It didn’t sound like me, it was manic, and I evidently was cyber-stalking some blogger….I have no idea why. It creeped me out.

After I straightened out that fiasco, I used my web history to see if I’d done anything else so odd, and I found this:

http://exploringcybergraveyards.tumblr.com/

I’d found that I’d set up a whole other blog called “Things Better Left Unsaid”. It was strange to read what my sleeping self was doing. I changed the name of it to “Things I do on Ambien”. I pretty much hadn’t figured out how to wipe the whole thing out, until my daughter Rebekkah saw it. And laughed and laughed.

Bek has been having some hard times lately, and as she sat on my bed laughing at my foolishness, I thought — “My embarrassment is totally worth it.”

On the back of the bike, with the cool night air blowing like a hurricane in my face, I thought I could see the lesson in all of this. I am a whole person. I have my good days, and I have my bad. Sometimes, I say the wrong thing, or make the wrong decision. My motives aren’t always pure, and I know I can be a bad representative for the God I love so much. My Ambien-soaked brain starts blogs that seem bizarre, and I often owe people apologies, with no drugs to blame my words on.

That being said, I’m unveiling my embarrassing blog. I think I’ll keep it and add stuff to it that I think will make my kids laugh. I’m letting this skeleton breathe!

— Bird

The Motorcycle Club

As anyone can probably tell from my pictures, my husband belongs to a well-known motorcycle club. I don’t write much about this in my blogs because frankly, I don’t think about it much. But, it is probably worth a minute to clarify where this culture and my Christian beliefs come together.

 

I once had a proclaimed Christian tell me that because I was part of this 1% culture, she could not in good conscience hang out with me anymore. This “Christian” opinion always angers me to no end. And I always refer back to Matthew 9:10-13.

“Then it happened that as Jesus was reclining at the table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were dining with Jesus and His disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, ‘ Why is your Teacher eating with the tax collectors and sinners?’ But when Jesus heard this, He said, ‘ It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: “I desire compassion, and not sacrifice”, for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.'”

I was understandably nervous when my husband first began to associate with what the world would consider “undesirables”, but as I got to know each of these people, I had a powerful compassion on them. I also had to put aside preconceived opinions that I’d gathered from television, internet, and books. I had to open my mind up to the possibility that I had ended up here for a reason, and Jesus thought that His work was more important than what the Christian community around here thought.

As with any large group of people, there are going to be the good, the bad, and the ugly. But, just from the ones I know on a personal basis, I see that God hasn’t written off these men and women. Evidently, God isn’t bound by our social standards, and I have come to feel that He has put my husband and I here for a purpose.

Where in the Bible does Jesus say we are to only associate with those who already know Him? What purpose would that serve? If you insulate your whole existence away from those who are dying, who do you save? And what is your worth in this kingdom? Isn’t that a little like hiding your light under a bush?

My brother is a pastor of a church, and he recently wrote a book that I sincerely love. It isn’t because it is a masterpiece of wordplay. It is because in it, he chronicles the building of his church by fighting Satan in a real world setting. He talks about getting out in the real world and stealing from Satan what belongs to God. His church doesn’t put on a pious, religious front. They instead, are warriors, pillaging from Satan’s camp using every method they can think of.  There aren’t great discussions on whether or not viewing Harry Potter is going to make everyone into a witch; there is a restaurant operated for the sole purpose of getting to know the people they hope to lead to the Lord. He talks about websites set up as the first taste of any church. He is fighting fire with fire.

From the time my babies were small, I’ve tried to impart to them the understanding that living a Christian life is choosing to be a soldier. The enemy doesn’t fight fair. It is a bloody, exhausting, but satisfying existence. Jesus has us here for a purpose — and working up enough faith to own mansions, labeling yourself a god (creepy, and blasphemous),  and be healed of every hiccup isn’t it. We’re in a battle for souls, and everything in our lives are circulating around that. And if you, as a Christian, are leading a quiet, uneventful, rich life going to church, eating potato salad as you pat your righteous self on the back, attending seminars with other like-minded brothers and sisters, and nothing is ever going wrong for you — well, then you have been neutralized by the enemy. However, if you find yourself in the Valley of the Shadow of Death on a pretty consistent basis, then you are probably a threat, and you should be happy that at least you aren’t wasting away the talents God gave you. I find the most dangerous Christians in the world these days, emotionally exhausted, but spiritually powerful. Sometimes, you can almost see them lying in a crumpled, bloody pile with a big smile on their face. There is nothing like defeating the enemy! And the true warriors always untangle themselves, stand up, brush off the dust, bind up their wounds, and jump right back into the battle.

I am a Christian. My battlefields are no more or less important than anyone else’s. If the proclaimed Christian community has objections to my orders, they can take it up with our commander — Jesus Christ.

Ride it like ya stole it!!!

— Cathie M.