In my favorite poem by Robert Frost, Nothing Gold Can Stay, he reminds us that like the seasons of nature, life is one season melting into another, and quickly fading away. This is my attempt to document each season in my life and my family.

The Freedom to be Cruel

Filed under: Faith,In The News,Love,Venting — Rachel at 1:48 pm on Thursday, December 19, 2013

People are coming out in droves to support Duck Dynasty star, Phil Robertson. They see A&E’s actions to put him on an indefinite hiatus as discriminatory. Facebook was lit up this morning with angry Christians crying persecution. In case you have been busy for the last day or so, let me recap.

Robertson

Robertson did an interview with GQ magazine where he made some statements about black people and gay people. You can read the article here.  Here are the quotes about both parts:

Phil on “the blacks”…

“I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field…. They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word!… Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”

And Phil on “the homosexuals”…

“It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”

So the article came out, people read it, a lot of people were offended, some gay rights organizations urged A&E to take swift action, and, subsequently, A&E released the following statement:

“We are extremely disappointed to have read Phil Robertson’s comments in GQ, which are based on his own personal beliefs and are not reflected in the series Duck Dynasty. His personal views in no way reflect those of A+E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community. The network has placed Phil under hiatus from filming indefinitely.”

As a result of A&E’s decision, a lot of conservative Christians are very angry. Most people are saying that Robertson’s freedom of speech is being suppressed, and that Christians are persecuted for their beliefs. I’m not so much concerned with that. If you want to cry that his freedom of speech is being impeded, that’s your choice. It’s nonsensical, though. I have the freedom to say whatever I want, but I have the common sense to know that I shouldn’t always say it. I don’t want to deal with the consequences of it. Phil said what he wanted to say and most of us have heard it. He had that freedom. Now, he’s paying the consequences of saying something so blatantly inflammatory. His employers decided that they didn’t want those statements representing their company, and he has effectively lost his job. That is life.

Okay, so that’s what happened. Here’s my take on it.

I don’t care an awful lot about what Phil Robertson says. I am not a Duck Dynasty fan. I have seen a few episodes, and I’m just not into it. In my opinion, he doesn’t present as someone who should be known for an intelligent analysis of the human condition. I’m not going to say much about his comments about black people, because I think the ignorance there is so blatant that pretty much everyone can see it. I do have a couple things to say about what he said about gay people, though.

First off, I’m offended that so many people who call themselves Christian don’t have a problem with what he said. Even if you think homosexuality is a sin, do you really want his presentation of that belief to speak for you? It was rather crass, in my opinion, but beyond that it is very hurtful. Let me tell you why.

The more we learn scientifically about homosexuality, the more we know that it is not a choice. Besides the sheer ignorance behind the idea that being gay is just a decision about what type of sexual activity you engage in, Robertson’s comments are just mean. Robertson’s comments boil the entirety of a gay man’s existence down to a sex act. He is saying to each of them, “You are anal sex.” Homosexuality is not a sex act. Being gay means you are attracted to someone of the same sex. You don’t ever have to have sex with someone to be gay. You just are or you’re not. According to a lot of Christians, this (uncontrollable) attraction is sinful. If you believe that, have at it. However, to proclaim Christ in one breath and then be intentionally disparaging of an entire people group in the next is a bit hypocritical.

Because the heart of the matter, as I see it, is not what he said, but the effect of what he said. It is incredibly dehumanizing to have your entire relationship be boiled down to a sex act. To not be seen as a person, but as a sex act. For the kind of person you are to not matter because of the type of sex you have. It’s hurtful. It makes you want to hide from the people who make you feel that way. It makes you cry. It makes you feel like you are worthless. Hearing the statement from one redneck man in Louisiana stings. Hearing it defended by hundreds of Christians…often people you love and care about…on Facebook, Twitter, etc. cuts to the core. It is not drawing people to Christ. It is causing the already wounded to run away from the Healer.

Christianity is supposed to be about loving God and loving people. Robertson’s comments do not make gay people feel loved, even if he follows them up with the assertion that he loves everyone. That’s not love, because “Love is kind.” Love doesn’t poke fingers into the sore spots and laugh when you wince.

We all have the freedom to be cruel. I just wish we would consider the consequences of our cruelty.

An Open Letter to Everyone

Filed under: Family,Friends,General,Loss,Love,Me,Venting — Rachel at 12:33 pm on Monday, June 24, 2013

Life has taken such a drastic turn for me. I know I’ve shocked a lot of people. It has been a huge shock to my system, and I knew it was coming!

Amy and I broke up.

Wait. Just a minute. Let me tell you up front what I want you to say. If you are a friend or family member or just someone who has cared about me at some point in my life, you are supposed to say, “I’m so sorry. Are you okay?” It doesn’t matter if you liked us together. It doesn’t matter if you think it is weird, gross, or even a sin to be in a same-sex relationship. If you care about me, that is what you say. It’s not hard. It’s not complicated. It’s not saying that you aren’t filled with joy that my relationship ended, because I know some of you are. It is saying, “I am sorry that someone I care about is sad.”

Because I am. I am heartbroken. So is she. I may put on a brave face. I just smile at people’s jackassery and move on. Because I am strong. I don’t break when times are tough. But I am hurting, people, and the jokes and the snide comments don’t make me feel loved. They do the exact opposite, and I don’t need that right now, to be quite honest with you.

Amy is still my best friend. We are still going to live together and be roommates. We still love each other dearly. The only reason we broke up is because I’m not gay. I know that’s not a newsflash for a lot of people. I thought we could make it work without that piece of the compatibility puzzle, but it was becoming more of an issue as time went on. So we decided to end the romantic part of our relationship to save the other parts. We didn’t fight. No one is mad at anyone. So, when you say mean stuff about her, I don’t feel validated. I just want to punch you in your face. When you make jokes about “getting rid of dead weight”, I want to castrate you with a cheese grater. Just shut up. You’re not funny.

The truth of the matter is that I would not have survived the last couple of years without her. I needed Amy, and she needed me. She got me through the worst time of my life. She gave me hope when I was hopeless. She held me when I cried. Held my hair when I was sick. Held my baby when I was working. She has shared the load. She has taken on the world with me, and we are doing okay. We never asked for your validation when we were together, and we don’t need your judgments or jokes now that we’re not. We have made it this far, and we will make it the rest of the way…wherever our journeys take us. I, for one, don’t regret our decision to try to make a life together. I regret that meanness and bigotry have hurt so much along the way. I regret that I couldn’t make it work. But I don’t regret the last year of my life.

So, for those of you who care about me…

Amy and I broke up.

Full Disclosure

Filed under: Venting,Whining — Rachel at 10:36 pm on Saturday, April 7, 2007

Lest anyone think I’ve got it all together, I wanted to let everyone know that I am losing my mind.

I have been working on Algebra for the last six hours.
I’ve had to stop several times to see to Owen, who has been incredibly cranky.
It is 11:30 and none of the kids are asleep yet.
I just took an Algebra test and I only made an 88 on it.
I have to get up early in the morning to get ready for church.
None of the kids have had their baths.
My house looks like a tornado went through it.
While I was doing math, the kids scattered cereal all over the living room and all in the couch.

I have a headache.

And now you know.

Help me!

Filed under: Elijah,Family,Venting,Whining — Rachel at 8:19 pm on Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Someone please come and sit on my hands. My fingers keep slowly creeping up toward my head. Sometimes they are trying to rip every last strand of hair from my head, and sometimes they are trying to gouge my eyes out from sheer insanity. Right now, they are itching to ram themselves against my eardrums to keep.out.the.whining.

Oh, the whining. Someone should just broadcast Elijah’s whining over the entire Middle East. Osama will turn himself in just to get them to make it stop. I can’t handle it anymore. I put all the kids to bed an hour before their usual bedtime. Given, they are all sick. Not dreadfully sick, but they all have bad colds. We stayed home from church again tonight, and Kyra didn’t go to school this morning. I can handle the runny, raw noses, the deep hacking coughs, the incessant need to sit on me, and the constant needing of different foods and beverages. I can handle the drooling, the chewing on my…ahem…baby-feeders, and the sleeplessness due to teething. What I can’t handle is the whining. It is like having someone following me everywhere while raking their fingernails down a chalkboard.

Let me just share a snippet of my evening…

After giving Owen a piece of teething toast to occupy him in the bouncy seat, I was again trying to work on my algebra assignments. I had finished half of it earlier, but had to stop to take care of the baby. I was in the middle of it when Elijah, who had just ceased with his previous attack on my sanity about five minutes prior, came back to bug me ask me for help.

Elijah: “Mama….Mama…Mama.”

Me: “What, Elijah.”

Elijah: “Me want my spiderman suit.”

Me: “You don’t have a spiderman suit, Elijah.”

Elijah, insistently: “Me need my spiderman suit. You get my spiderman suit for me?”

Me, annoyed: “You don’t have a spiderman suit.”

Elijah, crying: “Me need my spiderman suit. You get my spiderman suit for me? Mama…Mama….Mama, stop that.” He indicated my schoolwork. “Put that down, Mama. You get my spiderman suit for me. It’s in my closet. Get my spiderman suit for me mama.”

Me, very annoyed: “Elijah, go away. I’m busy.”

Elijah, crying louder, and wiping snot across his cheek: “Get my spiderman suit, please. Please, Mama, get my spiderman suit for me. It’s in my room, Mama, in my closet.”

Me, slamming shut gently closing my math book: “Fine, Elijah. Show me where it’s at.”

I went to his room, looked up in the top of his closet, and saw a red shirt that he was pointing to. I got down a Batman shirt that is about six sizes too big for him that someone bought him at a yard sale. “This is Batman, Elijah.”

Elijah: “Huh, Mama.”, nodding emphatically through the snot and tears. “Now me need my Batman shoes.”

Me: “You don’t have any batman shoes, Elijah.”

Elijah: “Huh, me do, Mama. Me want my batman shoes.”

I left the room. He followed me. Whining.

That has been my entire day. It has been one stupid thing after another. Over and over and over. And over.

Sick Kiddos

Filed under: Elijah,Family,Kids,Kyra,Owen,Venting,Whining — Rachel at 7:40 pm on Monday, January 15, 2007

I’ve got a houseful of sick kiddies today. We skipped church last night because Elijah woke up from about a three hour nap at my mom’s with a fever and complaints of his belly and head hurting. So, instead of church, I took the kids home. Elijah ran a fever until bedtime. Both he and Kyra had been coughing all day, and Elijah had a very runny nose. So, we put the kids to bed, and I was half-way expecting Elijah to wake up during the night sick. Chris and I headed to bed at about midnight, and, as I was taking my make-up off, I heard someone coughing a very croupy cough. That sound was quickly followed by Kyra crying very hard and very sick-sounding. I immediately took her to the kids’ bathroom to sit in some steamy air. That seemed to calm her down a bit, and help her to quit coughing. We went to bed, and slept until about one o’clock when she again woke up. She was feverish, coughing, and crying, but was still very much wanting to sleep. We slept until about three thirty when she had a really bad bout of coughing and couldn’t breathe well. We got up and gave her some motrin, and Chris put a chair in the tub and sat in the steam with her. I had already gotten dressed to take her to the emergency room, but the steam helped enough that she calmed down and went to sleep. I took her temperature periodically during the night, and called the doctor first thing when we woke up. She was running a 103.1 fever when I woke her up to take her to the doctor. I spent all afternoon at the doctor. We left there and had to go across the street to the hospital to get a CBC drawn, and then went back to the doctor’s office when we finished. She had gotten a little bit worse in the mean time, and they decided to give her a shot. The shot really helped, and her fever finally broke about four this evening. She’s feeling a lot better, and has been playing some this evening. She is starting to cough more in the last little bit, and is sounding hoarse. Why is it that croup always flares up at night? We have orders from the doctor to take her to the E.R. if she gets bad like she did last night. The only problem with that is that Chris is working tonight. I hope she doesn’t get bad again. I have to take her back to the doctor tomorrow at eleven.

On top of all of that, Elijah has a bad cold. His fever was gone when he woke up, and he’s been feeling better today than yesterday. He still has a cough and a very runny nose, though, so is a little (or a lot) on the whiny side.

The icing on the cake? Owen is teething with a vengence. He’s just about got his first tooth in. It’s just below the surface of the gum. He is very whiny and very clingy.

Me? I’m very tired, and I didn’t get any housework done today. I’m still way behind in the laundry, and my classes (and Chris’) start tomorrow. I would ask for more sympathy and prayers, but I have to tend to the screaming baby who is drooling on my feet.