Martin Luther King

January 26, 2008 at 3:58 am | Posted in adopting august, Church, Family, God, love, The American Dream, Thoughts on God | Leave a comment

I just watched the Martin Luther King special from Oprah. I will be honest when I say that I do not know a lot about Martin Luther King. I know we covered him in school but now I wonder how much of his life did we really cover? I went to a mostly white private school and I don’t think they had the desire to really dive into his life or legacy. The older I get the more fascinating this man becomes. I listened to pieces of his speeches during this special and just cried like a baby. This man changed the face of America with the passion inside of his heart. I believe he READ the Bible and he preached equality. This special inspires me to learn more about his message and mission of his life. I will be looking tonight for a book of his life.

We are all the same. White, black, rich, poor we are all created in the image of God and we are equal. We are a fallen humanity who is in need of hope and a savior.

When I dream about my family I realize that I can dream these dreams because this man stood for what he believed in. I long for a family that is transracial. I want as many colors of skin as we can squeeze into our limit of children. I want our family to stand for equality and love. I want to celebrate every culture we have in our family and I want us to love each other the same. Our colors are beautiful.

Sometimes I worry about what people will think of our family especially when we are out in public. After watching this and seeing what people fought through to get here my fears are eased. What if MLK lived his life based on what people would have said about him? What if he had never pushed the envelope and encouraged people to think outside of the box? What if he had never taught people how to love? How would America look today if he had worried and tamed down his message due to stepping on toes?

There is racism that still plagues our country. Do we surround ourselves with other cultures? Do we stay in our safe white community? What are you going to do to change the face of racism? Please take 5 mins to watch this video.

Heath

January 25, 2008 at 3:44 am | Posted in Life, Memories | 1 Comment

I just can’t get over the fact that Heath Ledger died. There is not much I have to say other than I am so sad. I just hurt for his little girl and his family. He was one of my favorite actors. I just can’t believe that we will never see another movie with him in it again. So sad.

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My favorite shoes

January 20, 2008 at 6:28 pm | Posted in Church, Consumption, God, love, poverty | 7 Comments

This morning for church I decided to dress up a little and wear my favorite pair of shoes. These shoes are hand me downs from Laura. I could care less that they are hand me downs. They are black zip up boots that fit me perfect that are the exact height that Steven loves! I love these shoes. I went to church and I sat as we continue talking about missions. This morning one of our pastor’s challenged us in a way that I was not expecting. The messages have been about the need for people to get off their butts and do something for this world. There are huge needs that have to be met and it is our responsibility to go and meet these needs. He later challenged us to take off our shoes that we came in with and donate them to the Soles for Souls organization that provides shoes for people all over the world that don’t have shoes. God has been doing so much in my heart here lately about obediance and being open to change and giving up something when He asked me to.  Well today I was faced with a small step. I want to tell you how freeing it was to give up my favorite pair of shoes for somebody who doesn’t have any. It didn’t feel like it was enough. I wanted to do more and that was a feeling I was not expecting. I think it is about 16 degrees here in Murfreesboro and I was late so I had to park far away. What a sweet walk to my car it was. It is the least I can do. I was so thankful for the challenge this morning!

Top 10 things I miss about my man… and a few more!

January 20, 2008 at 4:43 am | Posted in love, My Husband | 3 Comments

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10. I miss cooking large extravagant meals for him. (haha) More like I miss him cooking for me!

9. I miss how much more clean the house stays when he is home.

8. I miss his hair from his beard laying all over the bathroom counter and floor when he  “trims his beard.”

7. I miss putting my cold feet on him right before going to sleep and him wiggling away from me and laughing.

6. I miss the smell of coffee brewing in the air.

5. I miss his music.

4. I miss him smoking his pipe while driving around town in our car.

3. I miss his laugh.

2. I miss his smell.

1. I miss our talks.

0. I miss…..  🙂

-1. I miss him!!

I could go on and on. We are almost there baby! Its been a long week but absence makes the heart grow fonder!!!

Its to much

January 19, 2008 at 7:43 pm | Posted in AIDS, Church, Consumption, God, poverty, The American Dream | 1 Comment

This whole week I have been chewing on the sermon from last week at church. This guy named Reid Monaghan spoke about missions and creation. These are some thoughts that won’t leave my mind from that sermon. I can’t stop chewing on them.

He talked about America. It was SO REFRESHING to hear someone be straight forward about the American culture from the pulpit. He talked about the beloved, “American Dream.” He stated that all the american dream leads us to is lonliness and wasted expectaions. Just go with me there for a second. That might offend some however lets look at our own lives and what we see on tv and everywhere else around us. People want more and more. We are sick with consumption. We think we deserve it. “We have worked hard for what we have.” That statement makes me want to throw up. We think we own everything we have. What will we leave this planet with? What will we take with us? When we die, we will take nothing. What makes us any different from the man over in Africa? When you die and stand side by side there is no difference. We are no better than that man because we have a house or a car. We are all the same no matter what amount of wealth, what color we are, our work ethic, our location. We are all the same! We put expectations on ourselves and what we want our lives to look like. We get lonely because nothing is ever good enough. It is a trap and we are sick with consumption. When we work so hard for one thing we get bored with it and go on to the next thing. IT IS NOT FULLFILLING nor will it ever be. So why do we continue? Why do we keep chasing? Why are we not learning from Solomon’s words in Ecclesiastes? Are those words written in there for us to ignore?

I have been increasingly frustrated as I see myself, the church as a whole, America and the rest of the world. I have seen true poverty with my own eyes in Haiti. I have seen and heard stories from my husbands eyes in Peru and Africa. I have heard more and more stories from Licia and Lori over in Haiti. It is overwhelming. There are tempting thoughts that enter my mind like, “Lighten up Maris. That is not you, we are in America. Just ignore it and live your life.” However it will not let me go. Once I have been there I cannot go backwards. I must change.

This week I have been so down. Its all just to much. How do we fix this? How can we get people to stop chasing personal gain and help others? How can we change the way church is now? How do I learn how to love? How do I let go of the possesions I treasure? How can I look at them as they are on loan and I am not the owner? How? How?

The one thing that Reid reminded us of last week is that there is something wrong. There is something wrong with the church. It IS NOT WORKING. We have to change. We have to move. We cannot stay where we are at. We are bored.  We are in debt with our buildings and programs. We cannot move because we are trapped by debt. There is something wrong. There is something wrong with America. No matter what president we have he will never fix all of our problems. Will America ever snap out of it? Will we ever stop chasing the dream of success? There is something wrong with the world. There is poverty that is an epidemic. There is AIDS. There is violence. There is hate. Its all to much.

There is redemption. There is a longing for redemption. We want something. We are longing for something to save us. He is weaving redemption among us. Maybe this is what I needed to see this week. I have been so discouraged. I have longed for redemption more this week than I ever have in my life. I long to be rescued from all of this. In all of this I have seen the desperate need for God this week. There is nothing but God that can save us from this. Its to bad. He is all we have. He is hope. He will save us. He is the answer that the world needs. We start with where we are and we try to share that message with everyone we can. He is our redemption. He teaches me how to love. He teaches me how to help. He teaches us to let go. He teaches us how to change. He teaches us what is important in this life. He teaches me that there is nothing in this world worth desiring but Him. It his Him. He is the answer to every question.

The load is lighter.

Why is love so hard?

January 19, 2008 at 12:16 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I am having some issues with love here lately. I am seeing some contradictions in my pursuit to love others above myself. It is so hard to love people that frustrate you! I am not really talking about family because family seems to be a process and you usually have moments of weakness and work through it. It is so hard to love people you see day in and day out. I know this seems like venting but I have a point. Its just difficult when somebody doesn’t live by your same convictions and they don’t have a reason to be nice or love you back. I know we don’t love for the response but you would think it would be somewhat courteous huh?

I am finding that if I try to put others before myself I become a dormat. I will sacrifice my frustration, pick up the slack, talk myself through it, get over it and then it happens all over again. Pretty soon you can’t stop being frustrated. How do you do this?  How do you not be a dormat?  Jesus loved others and he wasn’t a dormat.  I know what some are thinking- “Maris why don’t you try talking about it?” Talking doesn’t really help because why should people be honest? Why should they talk? I have tried.

Why is it so much easier to love a homeless man on the streets, a child in another country who needs food, a waitress or an employee at walmart?  I don’t get it. I am a failure at this love thing. I feel like I have already damaged a friendship and a witness. Now I am clueless on the repairing and gaining trust part of it. Can’t I just pick and choose who I want to love?

“I really like this person and I want to bless the pants off of them.”

“They really get on my nerves and I really don’t care much about showing them love.”

“They burned me one time and now I don’t have time for them.”

“They burned a family member or a close friend and I am done with that person.”

“Ohh you like me? Well I like you too, I can love you!”

I suck. Plain and simple.  I am lost. Honestly I just want to pick and choose. More thoughts later but I just want to leave this with no conclusion that I have conjured up on my own. Its kinda freeing.

American Gladiators!

January 15, 2008 at 1:22 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Words do not express my excitement for American Gladiators coming back on tv. My family and I used to watch this show all the time! Its back and better than ever! I always wanted to be “Ice” when I was younger. Loving watching this show tonight!

This picture is kinda dirty looking but the show is awesome! Just don’t look at the fake boobs!

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Random again :)

January 12, 2008 at 5:47 pm | Posted in Life, My Husband, Random, Thoughts on God, Updates | 7 Comments

*Well Steven is gone and I have lots of plans for this weekend already but am a little frustrated that I cannot find my Tivo remote!!! I cannot work my tv without it at all!! I have been saving stuff to watch for when Steven leaves and now I can’t watch any of it! If anybody has an extra one or knows where I can get one let me know because its going to be a looonng week without it. I have turned the house upside down looking for it!!

*I can’t wait to see my friend Jamie at dreamingbigdreams.wordpress.com and hear all of her stories! I miss her so much.

*Steven should be getting into Ethiopia within the next couple of hours. Poor guy will be exhausted. When he gets there it will be like 9:00pm and he just flew through the night! I miss him so much already but he left me notes all over the house to remind me of him and flowers too! SO excited for him. So much of Steven’s life is a team effort of great friends (which I wouldnt trade for anything!!) living out the journey that God continues to show them but this is something special. This is his baby. I love the chances he gets to learn and grow in something that God could use him for so much more in the future. I could never be more proud of him.

*I tried this new bakery here in the boro last night. I am a HUGE fan. My weakness is sweets. Its Julia’s bakery and they have about anything you could want. Its huge and a cute little date place. Maybe I will take my man there when he gets back!

*I am really seeing the need for people to get out of this courtry and visit somewhere else in this world. I really think it changes every part of you and your thinking. I think it is so crucial for us to go and not just come home and be thankful for “America” but just to have a heart for people outside of this land. Sometimes I just feel so claustrophobic and need to get out for a bit. I have to go somewhere this year. I need it for my soul.

*I am so ready to be a mom. I have no idea when we will be able to get August but I feel like it will be a little while. The other night we were over at the Ivey’s and Jamie is of course in Haiti and while we were talking C woke up and was crying out for his mommy. He missed her. This woke up a huge part of my heart. Why does it just pull everything in me and make me long for that so much that it brings me to tears? It is a longing that grows and grows. I know that some days are crazy for you moms but I beg you to be so thankful today for your kids. You are so blessed! I know that I am blessed too, I just look forward to that blessing.

*I am trying to be reading my Bible everyday. I decided that if I have the time to read blogs and check my facebook daily I have time to read my Bible. It is has been so good. How I have missed that book more than I thought I did!

*In highschool I used to listen to Crystal Lewis’ “Beauty for Ashes” CD before I went to bed almost every night. I would put on the last 4 or 5 songs and go to sleep to them. I recently found them again and man they have been incredible. I can’t explain the peace that they speak to my heart. She says so much. If you haven’t heard this record and you need some “Jesus” time I would encourage you to get it. Some may be a little old school but gosh its so timeless for me.
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I hope everyone has a great weekend!

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