Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain


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Broken and Spilled Out

shattered-glass-1-daniele-smith

Often when reading blog posts I’m triggered.  Not into a downward spiral of despair.  More of a remembrance.  A remembrance of who I used to be.  A remembrance that causes me to take note of who I am today in relation to that person.

As I read this post at VictoriaNeuronotes and the subsequent comments I was brought to just such a remembrance. I remembered when I thought so little of myself that wanted nothing more than to be broken and spilled out because of what my supposed savior had done for me.  I was, in my mind, such a wicked person; so evil and vile that only a perfect blood sacrifice could atone for my shame, my depravity, my iniquity.  Unworthy of such a sacrifice I would be willing to sell my soul to the one who had made such a sacrifice.

I was reminded of this song by Steve Green which used to be a sort of personal anthem:

Broken and Spilled Out

One day a plain village woman
Driven by love for her Lord
Recklessly poured out a valuable essence
Disregarding the scorn

And once it was broken and spilled out
A fragrance filled all the room
Like a prisoner released from his shackles
Like a spirit set free from the tomb

Broken and spilled out
Just for love of You, Jesus
My most precious treasure
Lavished on thee

Broken and spilled out
And poured at Your feet
In sweet abandon, let me be spilled out
And used up for Thee

Lord, You were God’s precious treasure
His loved and His own perfect Son
Sent here to show me the love of the Father
Just for love it was done

And though You were perfect and holy
You gave up Yourself willingly
You spared no expense for my pardon
You were used up and wasted for me

Broken and spilled out
Just for love of me, Jesus
God’s most precious treasure
Lavished on me

Broken and spilled out
And poured at my feet, in sweet abandon
Lord, You were spilled out
And used up for me

I so identified with the very first verse of Amazing Grace:

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me….
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.

I even took to heart that John Newton had originally written, “…that saved a worm like me.”

A worm.  I was nothing more without Jesus than a wriggling worm in the dung heap of life. As a result of being told over and over that I was born as an affront to God, his enemy, I needed Jesus to mediate on my behalf. Made in God’s image, of course.  But I marred that image from the start by my own unrighteousness.  Anything good, and noble, and beautiful were the remnants of God’s perfect image.  The blackness, the ugliness, the humanness, that was all me. And that part of me deserved eternal damnation in a lake of fire. I needed a savior. And like anyone who has ever been saved from a sure fate of hell I was enamored with the savior.

This, folks, is the prescription company defining the disease and selling the cure.

I wanted to be broken and spilled out and used up in sweet abandon for any cause to which my savior called me.   And I was.  I was broken.  Every bit of my essence spilled out.  Shattered into a million little pieces.

You see, just as Victoria states in her excellent post, this all comes at a price.  Any notion of self-worth is hijacked and jack-knifed. Why would any loving parent want their child to be so broken?  How can this be called love?  In any other setting, if you removed the super-natural being from all of this, we would see it as twisted and abusive.  How can we just excuse this and say that because this is God there is some sort of caveat that makes this all different?somethingnew

So I’ve taken my million little pieces of broken and spilled out mess and I’m putting them back together.  I’m making something new.  I am reborn.


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Happy Valentine’s Day

floatondowntheriverI love the water.  Always have.  There’s something healing, something soothing, something so peaceful about it.  It makes me feel at one with nature and the universe.  That’s about as spiritual as it gets for me.

For Valentine’s Day, instead of swapping cheesy cards and overpriced flowers, TheBrit and I decided to have an experience.  We finally got to go on a kayaking trip a couple of weekends ago.

It was the perfect day for it, too.  It was breezy and sunny.  Not too hot.

As we paddled along the seven-mile course sounds of the kayaks and the oars gliding through the water ran through me and I felt so relaxed, so mellow, so at ease. It is truly medicinal.

Turtles were on nearly every log and every rock we passed by, stretching their necks and their legs as far as possible to soak up the warm sun.

fishingsunningturtlesGoing on down the river a bit we saw a hawk soaring overhead.  I turned my kayak to try to get a shot of this magnificent creature as he lit and perched on a branch nearby.

hawkhawk2Later, as I dangled my feet over the sides to do as the turtles had done, stretching myself to soak up the warmth of the sun, this damsel fly hitched a ride on my foot.

damselHe rode for quite a ways.  Then a green-eyed dragon fly decided to join the cruise.

dragonfly

A damsel in distress!

The dragon fly decided it was lunch time and made a meal of the damsel. I watched with intrigue as the dragon fly started with the head and ate the whole thing.  Then he eyed me!

dragonfly2dragonfly3I wasn’t entirely sure the damsel wasn’t just an appetizer and he was sizing me up for the main course.  I guess he decided he couldn’t take me and eventually buzzed away.

We completed the journey by docking at a crystal clear natural spring filled with children splashing and laughing.

scenicscenic2

427I love the water.  Always have.  Happy Valentine’s Day, MyBrit.


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Just Hum, Hum, Humming Along

So I’ve been hella busy lately.  I’ve got some posts in the works but haven’t had the time to polish them off like I’d like to.  I’ve been visiting around and commenting sparsely in the blogosphere.  In my down time I’ve been trying in vain to capture a blog-worthy photo of these busy little hummers that frequent our feeder.  After about a bazillion attempts these were the best I could come up with:

hummer4 hummer3 hummer2 hummerThese beautiful and awesome little creatures brighten my day so I’m putting them here for you to enjoy.


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Drink Monster, Unleash the Beast!

[Trigger Warning: Sarcasm in abundance]

 

I really just don’t know what to say about this.  :blink:  It’s scary.  Not the Monster Energy drink, or their advertising campaign.  Okay, maybe the MILF part is a little scary.  But what’s really scary is all the subliminal messages that someone with apparently nothing better to do and nothing but time on their hands can imagine and promulgate(that’s my big word for today).  Be afraid, people.  Be very afraid.  Satan is just as clever and just as powerful as Yahweh.

The people perish for a lack of knowledge.

The people go insane for an abundance of Jesus.


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The Right Way To Answer

Originally posted on Cloak Unfurled:

Instead of just getting upset and complaining I have decided to be proactive. I recently posted about the Indiana business owners who openly admitted to not wanting to serve gay people and received $500,000 dollars in donations. While such support for hateful attitudes upsets me, I have decided the best way to answer this was to try and match that by raising money in an equal amount and support a local organization in Indiana who is trying to make things better for the LGBQT community. So I started a charity fundraiser page. While a goal of $500,000 may be ambitious, and perhaps other people had the same idea, even if I raise only the money I have donated to start things off, then at least I am doing something positive I figure.

So I’m asking that you please give what you can and share this message on social…

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Who cares about beauty? (Advertisers make girls feel ugly)

Ruth:

I couldn’t agree more! If I had all the money I’ve spent buying cellulite cream back…well…I’d have a lot more money! I’ve had it since I was ten, for crying out loud! How many of us have purchased products based on the promise that we’d get shinier hair, whiter teeth, an even complexion, flatter abs, no muffin tops, perkier, or bigger, or smaller breasts?

If we take time on our appearance we’re vain. If we let ourselves go we’re lazy.

It has taken me nearly all my forty-two years to get to a place where I’m comfortable in my own skin. I think I look better and I know I feel better than I ever have. Most of my life I’ve spent comparing myself to unrealistic, airbrushed, and photoshopped images of what it means to attain perfection. No longer!

I’m inviting everyone – everyone – men included to comment here and tell us all one thing beautiful about yourself. Don’t be shy, now.

Originally posted on Humyn:

Source: lisapetrilli.com Are girls vain just because they feel pretty? Source: lisapetrilli.com
Are girls vain just because they feel pretty?

I wrote a post a while ago about beauty and why I think society’s obsession with women achieving unrealistic standards of beauty is dangerous. This topic is fascinating to me, and I’ve realized that I could write more posts about the topic of beauty. It’s complex, subjective, and broad. Since I can’t write just one blog post on the topic of beauty, I’ve decided to break the topic into a series of blog posts.

I’ve created a new category on my blog, called Who Cares About Beauty. I’ll be covering topics that I’m interested in at the moment. The topic for this post was inspired by blogger Grace Curly and her post Pretty.

For this post, I wanted to focus on the problem with beauty in advertising.

Grace Curly’s post got me thinking: “Why are women told to…

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There are compliments and then there are compliments

***Edited to add:  This post is intended to bring awareness to the subtle sexist subtext(say that three times fast!) that permeates society.  It is not intended to slay or skewer anyone for having questions.  This issue is complex and confusing and we are all conditioned by our cultures and subcultures. 

In the last post Professor Taboo asked the following question:

Can women please list for us hetero men 10-20 appropriate ways to verbally (and non-verbally) compliment them intellectually, emotionally, spiritually, and physically that THEY find acceptable and uplifting? Please do not leave any of the four areas out.
Thank you! :)

My initial reaction to the question was…angst.  How hard can it be to compliment people without being sexist?  How hard can it be to compliment a woman without it being sexual?

My initial reaction as probably reactionary because we had just been discussing how to treat “scantily clad” women in a bar.  And then I was asked if it was sexist to wolf-whistle at a woman in a short skirt.  So when the question was asked I was viewing it in that context.   As if he were asking, “Well, if we can’t wolf-whistle, and we can’t cat-call and we can’t tell you you’re hot, just what the hell can we say?”

Turns out that’s not so much what The Professor was asking.  I think many men do want to know what is and isn’t appropriate.  Sincerely.

Many things sprang to mind when I thought about what my answer to that question is.  I didn’t come up with 15 or 20 but here are a few that immediately entered my mind:

1.)  Wow!  That’s really your color.  It brings out your eyes.

2.)  You’ve got a great sense of humor!

3.)  You’re a very interesting person!

4.) You’re intelligent.

5.) Your smile is infectious.

6.)  You’re very thoughtful and thought-provoking.

7.)  I like your work ethic.

8.) You’re so easy to talk to.

9.)  You’re a good listener.

10.)  You make the world a better place.

Some of these require that you have an actual conversation before you begin complimenting.  Some of these can be conversation starters.  ALL of these apply to any gender.

Immediately following Professor Taboo’s question Swarn Gill left a couple of comments.  These are prime examples of how to compliment a person in a way that is uplifting and positive but which carry no hint at a hidden agenda:

You are an interesting person. I’d rather just sit down and have a conversation with you!

And:

You are a much better writer than I am which is both annoying and great a the same time, but somehow just reading what you have to say has me completely agreeing but also going off in all sorts of directions.

Both of these comments made me feel really good about myself.  It let me know that I have value and that I’m appreciated as a person.  Not as a person of the female persuasion but as a person regardless of my gender.

About the wolf-whistling and cat-calling.  Just. Don’t.

This may come as a surprise but most women do not dress to attract men.  [Most] women dress for other women.  It’s a daily competition and most women would rather be complimented on their dress by other women.  It just means more.

[Most] women also dress for their own comfort.  I’ve been known to wear a dress above the knee or shorts.  I live in South Georgia.  Otherwise known as hell in the summer time.  If I wear a tank top and shorts it isn’t to attract a man.  It’s because I’m freakin’ hot.  And I don’t mean the way I look.

Wolf-whistling and cat-calling – especially from someone I’ve never met- is intimidating.  It’s presumptuous.  You might think that I’m stretching it to say that it’s not that far a hop to rape but when a man does that it shows that he’s aggressive.  It feels more about power than it does about complimenting anyone.  If a man would wolf-whistle or cat-call a woman he’s never met what else might he do given the opportunity?

When giving any sort of compliment the foremost thing should be sincerity.  Don’t say things you don’t mean.  It’s patronizing.  Think about what message the other person is going to get.  Don’t be superficial about it.  Show the person that you’ve really taken the time to notice what is important to them.

The important thing is to treat people with respect.  This is how we can address the more subtle sexism and misogyny that permeates society.

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