Challenging Feminism

BeautyBeyondBones

Lately, it’s been really weird to be a woman.

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Not because of any fashion or makeup trends…although, I will say…I don’t quite understand the reemergence of the shoulder pad.

But because of all the recent hyper focus on…feminism.

The Women’s March, International Women’s Day, protests, walk outs, I mean, we get it already

But to be honest, I am confused by the whole matter.

Women are not marginalized in the United States of America. 

What are they fighting for? Why all the anger?

Now listen, I know that this post is probably going to garner a lot of backlash, but you know what, that’s okay. I would love to hear thoughts on all sides of this issue. Truly. Every person is entitled to their own viewpoints, and I respect those feelings, even if they differ from mine. And of course, there is always room for improvement in removing some lingering…

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Agape

3da769d0c764d37a6a8dd6ef237d9a98The other day my mom and I were talking about relationships and how much work they require. We agreed that the most difficult and scary part of any relationship is the inability to control whether someone chooses to leave. I have lost friends that were like sisters, had boys give up on me, and have even had times when family members chose not to spend time with me anymore. I am pretty sure the only reason my mom has been able to put up with me this long can basically be summed up to the fact that she is a saint. I feel like I am not alone in this regard or at least I hope not. I am pretty sure everyone has lost someone from their life that they never imagined losing.

Even to this day I have times where I think back a few years to a friend I lost or someone I do not talk to anymore and it brings up painful memories. Losing people has not been all bad though because it has taught me to cherish who is with me now and who chooses to stay. The times when I felt furthest from the path I thought I was meant to be on is when I have ended up meeting the most genuine people.

A few years ago when I left the first college I attended after a few semesters, lost some friends during the process, and moved home, I felt like I had ruined my college experience. I was back working in my hometown as a waitress and attending community college in the city. I was the cliche college failure with no idea of a future and not much going for me.

It was during this time that I met two of the best people I could have ever found, in the most ordinary places. I met Lauren at work and thought that her outgoing and bold personality was too much for my quiet, antisocial self. Eventually though, we became friends and I realized she loves fearlessly and puts others before herself always. I am in awe of her selflessness and how much she gives to others, asking for nothing in return. She is not scared to tell you her honest opinion because she wants the absolute best for each person she meets. She is a woman of God who has the best sense of humor and has a way of lifting everyone around her up.

Also during this time I made a friend at the community college I was attending. I was going through a rough week and was not feeling very good about myself when a girl sitting at the same lab table asked if we could eat lunch together. Like I said, I am an antisocial awkward mess most of the time but I am so grateful she did ask because we hit it off right away. We were only friends a week when Tate and I took a road trip to Manhattan for a real college town weekend. Within the next year we were best friends, both living in Manhattan and attending Kansas State.

Another wonderful human being that God placed in my life when I felt I had absolutely nothing to offer. We can have fun nights out being crazy together and also times where we meet for drinks and talk about culture and religion for hours. Both of these women have seen me at my lowest times and have chosen to be my friend because I hope they see something good in my heart and know how much I value them. I still feel like I am not on that “path” most of the time but I know God placed these women in my life for a very specific reason, they are going through the same things.

It is hard for me to imagine either Lauren or Tate ever feeling unsure because they are both very determined and strong women who I know have and will continue to make positive changes in the world. I have seen them when they were vulnerable and felt lost and I have seen them succeed and accomplish over and over again. They have pushed me to better myself constantly while bettering themselves and I am so grateful for their friendships. These are the Godly relationships everyone needs because they nourish your soul and give you love even when undeserving of it.

So yes, I absolutely think that the scariest part of any relationship is the fact that someone can always choose to leave it. I also think the most beautiful and genuine part is finding those relationships where even on the days when you do not like yourself, even when you have nothing to offer, they choose you. I do not deserve the amazing people I have in my life but I thank God for them everyday. The ones that find you when you are real, not when you are faking it or have something to offer, are the ones you will end up cherishing.

Do not be scared to let people into your life and do not be scared to open up to others around you. Every human soul craves a relationship with others. Look outside yourself to be that person for someone else and also to recognize what truly amazing relationships you might already have but have taken for granted. You may end up being that reassuring light in someones life or remind someone already in your life what a difference they make.

 

 

 

Oh and thanks mom, for putting up with me for twenty four years and asking for nothing in return. I am eternally grateful.

 

Words Matter

My generation gets the majority of their information from social media sites instead of books and actual life experiences. This would be fine if people took the time to actually learn about topics, read full articles from original sources, and make their own conclusions through researching multiple perspectives. Most of the time though, they do not take the time to do that and it is becoming increasingly evident in their lifestyles. We settle for “what meets the eye” as the truth, presented to us by biased media sources. We’ll take the time to retweet the opinion of an actor we like because they might have been in one of our favorite movies. That qualifies them to only make credible unbiased statements, right? We refuse to delve deeper beyond what is noncontroversial to the majority and those things that provide us with fleeting feelings of happiness. Words and their meaning matter and the context in which they are used matters as well. No matter what you believe, it is important to distance yourself from comfort so that you can clearly and objectively see the absolute truth.

This is why it is important to understand what you support, especially with all of the issues we are facing today. Pro-“choice” sounds comfortable and safe. Obviously “pro-mutilation of children in the womb” wouldn’t work as well for the leftists agenda, although Hillary has no qualms with letting babies that survive botched abortions die outside the womb. So does the left actually consider them children when they leave the womb or is it just whenever it is convenient for them? What is convenient is usually selfish. This applies to every thought, action, and belief that we have. When I buy new clothes I do not really need, with money I could have given to help others, selfishness. When I avoid volunteering or going to Mass to watch television, selfishness. Selfishness is the root of all sin and evil. I know we want life to be relaxing, easy and fun all of the time. The Devil knows that, too. That is why I have found in life that I am the most depressed and have the most anxiety when I am dwelling in self-pity or self-indulgence. I have been my happiest when putting others before myself and resisting the urge to feed my ego. Pride blinds you from truth and makes you deem what you “want” as what is “right”. Unfortunately many people continue to believe that what brings you comfort and pleasure should be associated with the right way to live. I call that sleeping through life.

It is difficult to wake up to what is going on in the world around you, to look beyond yourself. And not just when it is easy. This means putting people first even when those people don’t deserve it in our eyes. We are all unworthy and recognizing we are all flawed is how we can truly accept and love one another and ourselves. There are things you naturally want in life but that does not mean you should always have it. Being a parent is one of the best ways to realize that, by putting your children first and also teaching them that they cannot always get what they want. If you let yourself have what you want all of the time then it will lose value and purpose to you. Sex is often seen as something we “deserve” to have and people say that it is natural need. Yes, sex is natural but is meant to create life. When it is twisted to feed selfishness, it loses its sacredness. Taking away that sacredness is makes it easier to abort a child when they do not fit into a selfish plan. Even with ample amounts of birth control available, people are having sex and getting pregnant. If you want to live a selfish lifestyle then that is a choice you can make, but it is absolutely disgusting to kill innocent children because you are so selfishly absorbed with yourself.

Feminists claim to be pro-women? All I see are insecure women trying to be more like immature men and then hating on mature men that call them out on it. Liberals and abortion clinics claim to be about women’s health and having control of their bodies but refuse to acknowledge the mental and physical detriment it inflicts on those same women and their bodies. I will never support that. I’m sorry, liberal women, that you have such hatred for women who actually take responsibility for their actions.

C.S. Lewis said, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.”

Humility. What a concept. Pride and selfishness are the opposite of humility and patience which are sacred virtues we should all hope to acquire. Society tells you that your mistakes shouldn’t define the rest of your life. An unplanned pregnancy is not a mistake, it is a realistic possibility when you choose to have sex. Having a child is a life-altering experience but being an adult is accepting responsibility and true acceptance is people allowing you to know your options in that situation. The selfless choice is to have the baby and keep it or give it to a family. It is not the easy decision but it is the one resulting from true love. Be aware of your decisions and do for others more than you do for yourself. I promise you will feel more fulfilled than you ever did taking the path that seemed easy. Be smart and refuse to settle, dig deeper and always try to acquire more knowledge. Your faith will be ridiculed and even mocked as a security blanket to hide behind. It is the absolute opposite. Faith is living the truth no matter the consequences. It is much easier to create your own morals than to live by absolute truths. Christianity calls you to put Him before yourself just as Jesus selflessly laid down his life for us.

“I didn’t go to religion to make me ‘happy’. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity”- C.S. Lewis

Simplicity

This last week my family and I went on a camping trip at Toronto Lake. We stayed in cabins that overlooked the water and basically had a secluded cove to ourselves. Growing up, my four older siblings and I were blessed to be able to go on camping trips as often as my parents could take us in the summers. There are some people who have never gone camping, people who hate camping, and people who don’t understand going somewhere to sleep outside. I never saw camping like that.

It may not be the fanciest of vacation choices but what it comes down to is having the right people with you. Every morning this last week my siblings and parents were up before 7 a.m. sitting around the smokey campfire with coffee in hand. No alarms set. No one to look good for. Just people who you feel comfortable and secure with. People you want to lay and watch the stars with and wake up to watch the sunset with.Some of my best childhood memories are from camping trips. Helping my brothers bait their hooks for fishing, riding my bike around campsites, making smores, and swimming in lakes that contained catfish the size of cars (in my eight year old self’s imagination). This year we were blessed to be able to stay in charming and cozy cabins, a step up from sleeping on the ground with only nylon fabric to keep out those random thunderstorms. That wasn’t the only difference.

Camping as a kid and camping as an adult are two entirely different things. Everything is not as new and exciting as it was when we were little. That is why I am so grateful for my five nephews that helped me witness that new and exciting feeling again on this camping trip. Seeing them out on kayaks and taking walks with their grandparents. Having them tell me they’ll make smores, for everyone else first before they make one for themselves. That childhood sweetness and aim to please the people you care about. In a lot of ways kids can be selfish which is natural part of being a child. But the amount of times they choose to be selfless for nothing in return but to make someone else happy, that is something to learn from. The random hugs around the waist and even the jokes at my expense made me realize how important these moments are. They won’t always want to play cards with me or sit on my lap. Soon they’ll be too busy making their own way into adulthood.

Camping trips are about the simplicity. Slowing down and taking the time to really look at the people you love. Hearing stories you’d never heard before, singing songs you all know the words to, taking hikes that ended up 11 miles longer than planned but you make it back to camp in one piece by the grace of God. You don’t need an itinerary, gourmet meals, or five-star hotels to have a memorable vacation. Are those things nice and would I take advantage of them if I had the money? Probably. But there is a reason we grew up the way we did and made the best of it. I have seen it make my family into humbled, appreciative, and hardworking human beings that enjoy time spent with the people God blessed us to be connected to our entire lives.

The last morning of the trip my brothers and I got up at 5 a.m., made coffee, and headed to watch the sunrise near where we had previously hiked a few days before. I sat wrapped in a blanket watching my brothers find good spots to take pictures for when the sun came over the horizon. My dog ran off to explore the quiet woods and I watched the water reflect the rapidly changing colors of the morning sky. We got to watch a doe walk quietly through the woods across the bridge from us. Simplicity. In many ways the most simple things in life are the most stunning and the most valuable.

Less Is More

I got a free Redbox coupon this week and I was not about to waste it on another overly sexualized romcom or possessed child horror film. I found Brooklyn amidst the plethora of B movies and I was not disappointed. It was a beautiful film that was refreshingly wholesome and honest. It delved into a plot that covered everything from opportunity, sacrifice, family, homesickness, grief and of course, love. The difference about this love story is that it did not just centralize around a young man (Tony) and a young woman (Eilis). The story went beyond young love and all its enticements. This movie was so refreshing because very rarely nowadays do we get through a movie that involves romance without the couple’s relationship being oversexualized by the first or second date. The setting is in the 1950’s which is why there is actually “courting” going on. Back in the day, people met naturally and got to no one another through actual dates rather than social media stalking and “hanging out” in each other’s dorm rooms. Not to say that everyone was like that in the 1950’s but overall men were expected to take women on dates, meet each other’s families, and actually invest time getting to know each other as a person and not just as the opposite sex. People may say it is old fashioned, naïve, unrealistic, and frankly boring. Now we go to a Seth Rogen or Amy Schumer “romantic” comedy and the opening scene is comparable to porn. How did it flip so far to the other side so quickly? We took control of our identities and sexual freedom, right? Cheating, divorce, and the misconstruing of lust as love is evidently rampant in our society but hey, those are just the side effects of liberation and aren’t necessarily even considered negative anymore. A woman recently told me that if a woman does not have sex with her husband enough, it gives him a free pass to cheat on her. Sounds degrading and antifeminist, right? Wrong. It is the direct result of feminism. We wanted the sexual equality that men have always had and as they say, be careful what you wish for. Now women’s promiscuity is on the rise, we can take health hazardous pills to not conceive, and we glorify it as progression and freedom. Thanks, feminism. Yikes. Back to the movie. This movie was exemplary not just because of the love story but because of what it showed true love to be. It showed the sacrifice, patience, humility, understanding, and selflessness involved. This is something my generation dismisses as weaknesses and being naïve. We focus on the “feeling” we get from “love” which is actually just us using one another for our own selfish reasons. Love is taking the time to see who another person is, what they are passionate about, how they interact with their family, their morals, and their attitudes on life. Yes, attraction and sex are part of love but it is meant to be between two people devoted to one another wholly, for the rest of their lives. It is for people who want to create a family together. My generation is numb to the absolute miracle of life. When abortion is normalized and legal in America, we forget the beauty of bringing a life into the world. So you can say that we have progressed since the 1950’s. In many ways we have. With technology, equal rights for women and minorities, etc. But in many ways we have progressed into something I think is absolutely terrifying. Brooklyn isn’t the first movie that made me yearn for more of that kind of romance in modern times. Roman Holiday taught me that true love can be simplified into a day of doing what you love with another person. Audrey and Gregory showed me that movies being filmed in the 1950’s still had flirting and sexual humor but it was not overdone and central to the plot. Friendship, integrity, and sacrifice were glorified because they are worth more than the physical parts of a relationship. In The Philadelphia Story, Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant show us that real love requires loving yourself, acknowledging your own shortcomings, and being vulnerable to another person without fear they will leave you. This is also the main theme in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I just can’t get enough of old movies, it must be the actual acting and good old storytelling that makes it so unique. It is nice to see such beauty and integrity in this new film Brooklyn, which has had great reviews and is gaining popularity. I feel its success is in part due to our society’s crave for authenticity and examples of how to recognize true love and hold on to it.

Miss Your Exit Playlist

The start of summer is the perfect time for a playlist refresher. Whether you’re taking a road trip, sitting around the campfire, or just taking some time to mellow out with a glass of wine, it never hurts to have some good music to enhance the experience and enrich the memories.

Didn’t He Ramble by Glen Hansard

New music from Glen never ceases to amaze and this song from his recently released ‘A Season on the Line’ exemplifies his diverse style. He picked up the pace, included some great instrumentals and created a song you can’t help but tap your foot to. Another example of Glen’s enduring brilliance as an artist, this song is something to be appreciated.

Ain’t Much For Lyin’ by Fairground Saints

Go ahead and roll your windows down and let this catchy tune help you get into the “no worries” mood that accompanies summertime. You won’t be able to resist pushing the repeat button and you will catch yourself humming the tune for days.

Montana by Less is More          

A unique ballad that induces wanderlust and the need to take a road trip to Montana as soon as possible. Listen to it with your eyes closed and it’s not hard to imagine yourself under that big blue sky.

Shorty Don’t Wait by A Great Big World

A beautiful acoustic piece that will undoubtedly put a smile on your face and inspires you to follow your dreams. Or it will at least inspire you to miss your exit and take the long way home so you can have a few more minutes of musical bliss.

High and Dry by Colin & Caroline

This newly released cover is a beautiful rendition of a Radiohead classic. A mixture of new experiences and nostalgia will make you fall in love with this song all over again. Definitely a duet worth hearing more of.

Hear Your Heart by James Bay

All of his songs are meant to be categorized under “acoustic therapy”. Every song he sings is as beautiful and raw as the last. He is one of those artists you yearn to see live because of the unwavering confidence in his talents and performances. The only criticism for this particular song is that it ends too quickly. Alas we have the repeat button.

 

 

 

 

 

Cultural Cancer

 

Most of us can list off the seven deadly sins; pride, greed, lust, malicious envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth, but how many of us are aware of their presence in our own lives and culture?

Pride

This sin is often correlated with vanity and it is very often misconstrued and hidden in our culture. I am probably the only twenty three year old without a Snapchat and I have grown out of the selfie phase (thank God). The concept of constantly showing off what we look like or what we are doing in comparison to others always seemed futile and vain to me. To be honest, I think our youth has way too much time on their hands and when we spend a good amount of time worrying about what we wear, our makeup, our haircut, etc. then we are feeding that egocentric attitude. All of these things are barriers we place between God and ourselves because in many ways it causes us to be narrow minded and forget the glory of God creating us. He values our minds, thoughts, and actions. He sees right through the Mac and Versace to what is at our core. Beauty may symbolize positive traits in our culture but God is not of this world and judges us on our souls, not our styles. If you judge others based on how they look or are constantly insecure about how you look then you are feeding into pride. If you think body enhancements or spending excessive amounts of money on your looks is justifiable then you have lost sight of the precious natural beauty of yourself. Our generation has forgotten to “fear God”. This does not mean to be scared of Him and tip toe through life hoping not to disappoint Him. This means we must constantly knock ourselves down off our towers of superiority that we create and remember to be in awe of God and the grandeur of His creations.

Greed

St. Thomas Aquinas refers to greed as “a sin against God, just as all mortal sins, inasmuch as man condemns things eternal for the sake of temporal things.” Oh how human we are. We are blinded by what we can touch and see and we so quickly forget these things are of no value in comparison to the riches of Heaven. Our culture and media constantly fills our minds with what we need. We need new clothes, new furniture, a new car, a bigger house, more electronics, and so on and so on. The devil loves material things because we place too much value on them thus creating more barriers between us and our Lord. They cause us anxiety because of money and trying to compete with other people’s lifestyles. Our society screams that money and possessions make us important and add value to our life. God whispers again and again that we need not worry about these things but instead we must stay unattached to worldly items and be prepared to give them away. There is quite a bit of scripture on this and basically God wants us to remember that what we have is nothing in comparison to what we give and how much we love others. The beautiful thing about love is that it costs absolutely nothing to give it to others. It is also important to pay attention to what you spend your money on and if possible readjust and contribute money to things that do not directly benefit you in a material way.

Lust

This sin results from feeding into desires and wants in an unhealthy manner. Lust is a commonly accepted part of our culture. We are taught to embrace it as a natural and healthy desire to be acted upon. It may be natural to desire a person or possessions but it is an absolute lie that we should have it for the mere fact it entices us. I was very blessed to have been raised by a father that always treated my mother with utmost respect as both a mother to his children and as a wife. My dad obviously loves my mother very much but he never had to comment on her appearance for us to witness that love. Many men find it acceptable to comment openly on women’s looks, watch porn, and exploit the bodies of women with sexual stereotypes. This leads to people becoming overly obsessed with how they look to please others and feel worthy of want( commonly mistaken for love). So our culture may say that lust is a natural desire to be acted upon but what a scary concept that is. It may be natural for someone to get angry but that does not mean we condone them acting upon that anger to hurt others. My dad always stresses the importance of couth which is basically having manners, being aware of what you say and how you act, and refining from acting or saying inappropriate things. It may seem trivial but what you allow yourself to say or think makes an impact on those around you and the world. Being able to control lust and refine it is essential to living a life that pleases God and allows your soul to stay nourished.

Envy

Wanting what others have whether it be material possessions, jobs, relationships, etc. is natural but again God calls us to avoid it. Being envious is frivolous and lessens the value we place on the blessings we have in our own lives. Envy is a stronger form of jealousy in that we want what we are envious of. People that act upon envy usually act upon greed and lust as well. They think they need more in their life and if it means taking it from someone else then so be it. It is dangerous because it pulls our attention away from what God has given to us and disconnects us from respecting and loving others. We should strive for a grateful heart and take time to reflect on what we have. I have always struggled with “being happy” for others who are better off. When something good happens to someone else I have the tendency to ask why not me? Again this is prideful and blinds me from seeing that when someone has a positive event in their life we are able to witness God revealing his work through blessings. It is an honor and a privilege if we can look beyond ourselves and our own wants.

Gluttony

This is an epidemic in our generation because we no longer place value on things that back in the day were treasured. Food and material possessions have become indispensable to us. No one wants to learn to fix something when they can go out and buy it brand new. One third of America’s food goes to waste which is due to several factors but it especially has to do with the mindset of our generation that we have no fear of running out. My grandma used to make sure every part of a meal was not wasted. She gave stale bread to the birds and always gave us meals in small portions to avoid waste. With the abundance of convenience stores, fast food places, and large chain grocery stores we have endless options. We are going to be picky because we have the option to be picky. We buy too much, eat too much, and overindulge in almost everything because we have the ability and no immediate consequences. Democrats always stress the environmental issues and  I find this interesting because most of these problems are man made problems originating from a progressive and self centered culture. Environmental problems are the least of our problems when we consider how gluttonous we are with overeating, drug and alcohol abuse, sexual addictions, and promoting birth control and abortion instead of abstinence and the sacredness of our bodies. It is a mindset and it is taught to our children and it will not change while we allow them to overindulge and be weak to their bodily tempations.

Wrath

This is a dangerous sin because many times we find a way to justify feeling hateful, vengeful, or impatient. My grandma used to tell me on a daily basis that patience is a virtue. I once said that to a coworker who was annoyed with a customer and she laughed and said patience is a waste of time. I genuinely feel that the cancer of culture is rooted in self righteousness. It is very easily felt and is falsely empowering which makes it appealing. It spreads into our lives and makes us weak. It creates a self loathing in ourselves that we are unaware of and that we transfer on to others. Wrath, vengeance, and impatience trickle from the wound of pride. We hold ourselves above others and tell ourselves that we are more important. These feelings are not from God. He wants us to be humble, understanding, and patient because not only is it right but it is what we expect from others. Humble yourself to take hatred our of your heart and truly forgive others and yourself for all acts and thoughts rooted in hatred.

Sloth

Another glorified sin in our culture is laziness. Doing the bare minimum to get by is seen as smart and appealing. I work in a convenience store and let me tell you the amount of people that cannot make themselves walk a few extra steps to throw away trash is staggering but these acts are to be expected in a self righteous society. It is so good for our souls to push ourselves out of our comfort zones. We tell ourselves lies like “we deserve to be lazy because…”, and those ideas can only be attributed to the devil. God reminds us again and again that working hard, serving others, and putting less importance on ourselves is key in reaching Heaven. There is a reason that working a tough job at a humbling wage can be rewarding. God wants us to realize that the things that do not come easy are the most fulfilling. Going out of our way to be efficient and have a strong work ethic is essential to appreciating life and the abundance of blessings it supplies. Choosing the easy path leads you to gain nothing. Taking the rough path will make you stronger and will help you bear fruits of patience, humility, appreciation, love, selflessness, etc.

It is disheartening how apparent these vices are in many leaders of our nation but that is why it is essential that we do not give in to the world. These sins and lifestyle choices can not only be overcome but they can be replaced with the fulfilling virtues that God intended us to have. With chastity, temperance, diligence, patience, kindness, charity, and humility we can heal our culture, our families, and our relationships with one another and with God. To stop the cultural cancer of sins from growing we must acknowledge their presence, remove them, and remedy our souls through the preservation of our faith.

 

 

Why Does God Not Reveal Himself?

Beautiful discussion on true faith and the glorious evidence of God’s creations and presence in our lives.

The Daddy Blitz

I engaged in a discussion with a group of atheists the other day in response to one of the group’s members asking why God does not reveal Himself in an obvious way if He is real. Then, the atheist claimed, all witnesses would believe. At first glance that sounds rational, doesn’t it? How many times have each of us either longed to see a sign from God or directly asked for a sign? How often do we pray and yearn for a sign that God is listening? As the seeds of doubt sprout in our minds, perhaps we need just a small sign to give us comfort that what we believe is real. Is that too much to ask of God? We can empathize with the atheist’s question, can’t we? And yet, the Bible shows God revealing Himself to the world time and time again to no avail.

God reveals Himself in nature…

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Millenial Misfortune

Today was another busy day for me rushing from work to school to the dog park to the library and back home again. During these hectic week days I always have a few moments that stand out. As I was fighting for a spot in one of the crowded University of Missouri-Kansas City parking lots I saw a multitude of Bernie bumper stickers as I usually do driving through the downtown area. I parked, ran to the meter for a slip, and hurried back to deposit it on my dashboard and get to class, when I noticed the car next to me had a variety of cool stickers on it’s bumper. The usual COEXIST for all the different religions, a radio station sticker, and then one that included a short quote. It read something very similar to:

“Maybe someday we’ll properly fund our education system and the Air Force will have to have a bake sale to raise money”.tumblr_njoh5ir4NO1s8y4koo1_500

It was so random and off the wall it made me laugh out loud. The Air Force? Why not the Army or Marine Corps. or the Navy? Why so specific? What an interesting comparison of the education system to the military. Education is something that we are blessed to have because of our freedom which is ironically gifted to us because of the dedication of fellow Americans like those in the Air Force. I am a pro-life Christian woman forced to contribute money to organizations like Planned Parenthood which are slaughterhouses of our future generations but do you see me slapping a bumper sticker on my car about it? No. Instead I have a scriptural sticker,

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…” Jeremiah 1:5 NIV

That right there says it all for me. It does not condescend against those who choose to give their money to the left or their organizations. So you want your education paid for and you want peace and you want and you want but you need to grow up. I am appalled at our generation filled with people who want everything to come easy and stand behind ironically twisted versions of “love” and “equality” for everyone. It is no wonder they flock to the Democratic side and trample each other to vote for a 74 year old socialist or a 68 year old manipulator. They do not take enough time to understand the issues and the severity of their impact on the future of our country. Forget not being able to militarily protect our country, we’ll self implode before it gets to that point.

Liberals like to be the “cool” parents that give you no boundaries. You know, the ones who give you the talk at 14 and say as long as you’re safe and on BC (which is completely unhealthy) you can have sex and it is your choice to get an abortion if you end up pregnant but do not want your life to be “ruined”. Since we all want our parents to tell us that it is the child in that case that would ruin your life, not the sexual actions themselves or how you handle the consequences of your actions. We don’t need the “easy” way to be taught to us. The one that forgets to mention God created us and sex should be with someone we love and want to have children with. Once they normalize the empty feeling and rejections involved with truly loveless sex and say it’s experimenting and “our body means our rights” we fall down the slippery slope of a self serving lifestyle. The same one that discourage religion but emphasize the importance of “equality” amongst the races. Just as children yearn for guidance from their parents, citizens with the leaders of this nation are desperate for structure and strength.

The parents and politicians and the celebrities and so on are to blame for the flourishing relativism in this country. When Bernie Sanders stands up and says we need to stop wasting money on war and use it repair the inner cities. When Beyoncé makes a point to criticize our police officers that protect us in order to further the skewed agenda of BLM. Give money and speeches to inner cities, Jay Z and teach them why selling drugs isn’t the answer and that young blacks can do more than rap or play ball. These pandering 70 year old white politicians are off their rockers but so are the young famous idols of the millennial age.

We don’t need a leader we think is going to magically fix everything. We have to understand foreign policies, economics, human rights and so on to critically analyze candidates and their policies. This election year is a joke. By idolizing liberal celebrities, by stoking the fires of selfishness, taking God out of the equation and making ourselves a country that rules on what feels good we will run ourselves straight into the ground.

So before you talk about how mistreated you are in America, look at the fact that you have the ability to acquire an education, that you have free speech, that you have a somewhat secure country to call home with people dying to make that freedom stand strong. Get rid of your Netflix and iTunes account, get a flip phone, cut down on the $5 lattes every week and save money for your education if you really want it that bad. Quit blaming, get off your ass, work hard and have something substantial to build your life on. Stop the blame game and definitely stop treating our soldiers like they are an expense to this country when they keep this country standing. *End rant*

The Soul Purpose

 

The beauty of creativity expressed through artistic outlets is that no matter what it may be, it can connect the souls of all people. Whether you grew up in a small town in Kansas or a bustling metropolitan area in New York, you can share a universal connectedness through art.

As humans we have the amazing ability to use our souls and minds to contribute unique personal gifts to the world through our work. You do not have to be a prestigious lawyer, professor, or politician to have a stance on what is happening in the world. That is the beauty of countries like America, where everyone has a voice, even if it may not be as easily heard as it is by others of higher positions.

You may feel that you merely agree with the masses and that there is nothing left to contribute or that there are others who do a better job at voicing your shared opinions. That is absolutely untrue. No one has the same exact mindset or perspectives as you. That is something to remember and treasure. You cannot act, cook, sing, dance, draw, write, paint, or play any sports? It does not matter.

Our society pressures us to be these super humans that not only have a variety of passions but are extremely good at them. Think for a moment about what makes you get up every morning, those are your passions. They fuel you to go out and live and contribute to the world no matter what madness surrounds you. I do not care if it means going to work every day at Wal-Mart, an office, or the Mall of America. It is an act of courage to live and to live honestly.

A good example of this is Humans of New York, a photography project started by a man named Brandon, which has accumulated over 17 million followers on Facebook over the last few years. He photographs people on the streets of NYC and also in other countries that he travels to. They discuss everything from what circumstances they have had to overcome in life to what brings beauty to their life. He interviews people of all ages, ethnicities, religions, and backgrounds. No point of view is altered to fit an agenda. People by the millions have been drawn to these pictures and stories because of their authenticity. The diversity of people is remarkable and yet no matter how opposite we may seem to be, we can relate on an emotional level to every story.

Someone once told me that they did not like that subjects like poetry and philosophy have a multitude of meanings. It may be impossible to know what the author truly meant or intended to mean so what is the point in trying to find an unreachable truth? The fact that every person can infer a line of poetry differently is an essential beauty of art. Forget the “school” idea that there is a right answer. The right answer is the one that naturally occurs. When you listen to a song and the haunting lyrics makes the hair on your arms raise. When you walk through a gallery and “feel” a piece of art speak to you. Something that the artist drew, wrote, painted, created, or said, connected to your soul. This is a feeling that cannot be manufactured or fabricated. It is an authentic association between humans that may never meet or even know of each other’s identity.

So I would argue that the ambiguity and unending depth of art is precisely the point. How a film or piece of literature speaks to you on an individual level is all that matters. Of course it is intriguing to analyze what the artist’s intentions were and sometimes we are able to read or hear about what inspired the artists. I would argue though that many times, the creator doesn’t always know the intent but rather expresses it into the world because they merely need to. Our creations are born from inspiration in our souls. To share who we are and how we get through life.

If you ever feel inadequate please take the time to reflect that there is no level of perfection that exists. There may be the one our society creates or one that we have unconsciously created in our minds but there is no universal truth for how to feel or express oneself. Be brave and courageous and watch how people connect with you. It makes life so much sweeter and reminds us that we are all humans.

Take joy in the moments when art makes you weep or sick to your stomach. When it makes you laugh or remember fragments of memories long forgotten. When it makes you dream wildly or enlightens you to be bold. Use your minds and bodies because they are gifts but never forget what makes you human and irreplaceable is your soul. It inevitably ties us back to our Creator.