A Room With a Southern View

Thoughts on Life and Liberty from an Average Middle-Class Kentuckian

I’m Unique, But You’re Different

i6HviS3N5H2hwTZS0BuP2KbqjHuGfuDGNS5oW2WvhrwWe are all unique, one of a kind, individuals.  We all know this. We all accept this. And most of us see that uniqueness as a good thing. Right?

We’ve been taught that being unique is a great thing. “Stand out from the crowd,” they say. “Be your own person,” they say.

So why do we yearn to be part of a clique? Part of a  club? Part of a group of like-minded individuals? (Isn’t that kind of an oxymoron?)

Truly unique people are usually seen as a little crazy.  Sometimes they’re even outcasts.

It’s lonely at the top…  or at the bottom…  or outside…

In America, we idolize freethinkers for their courage to stand alone; then we want to be just like them. Huh? Does anyone else see the irony in that?

In the real world, we don’t love our neighbors as we should. We focus on the differences and put up walls. We don’t truly value uniqueness.  We try to impose our values and habits and morals and image on those around us.  We are drawn to people like ourselves.  Yet, there is no one like us. We are unique.

And there is the eternal human struggle.

Let’s promise ourselves today that we will look past our differences and find common ground as Americans, as Believers in a higher power, as Humankind, or whatever we can discover in each other that can bring us together instead of tearing us apart.

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Do You Need To Be Perfect?

When I was growing up, I wanted to be perfect. My mother was an intolerable woman, (which is a long story for another time,) and my dad was a good man in a bad marriage who dealt with his lot in life by working long hours and volunteering in the community, which kept him away from home as much as possible. As children are hard-wired to do, I believed my mother. I believed it was my fault that my Dad was away from home so much, that he didn’t want to be around me because I was bad. I believed that I was a constant disappointment to my mother because there was something wrong with me. So I always tried to be the best at everything, to prove to my dad that I wasn’t bad, and to show my mother that I was not unlovable.

This mindset – that I had to be perfect to earn love – carried over into my adult life. I was so wrapped up in the endless pursuit of perfection that I even hated myself if I failed. It bothered me for years, and just a little still, that my college GPA was 3.96 and not 4.0.

When I failed at things, and I did as everyone does, it was life-changing for me to realize that my husband still loved me, still supported me, still believed in me. I began to see that most of the time good enough is good enough. Striving for perfection in every little thing you do will wear you down and make you feel inadequate because nobody’s perfect.

Do your best. Love yourself. Accept your limitations. Think hard on which things in your life really truly need to be perfect, and accept a passing grade on the rest. Trust me, you will live a longer, healthier, happier life if you do.

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We Were Made to Be Courageous

Just as the Casting Crowns song says, “We were made to be courageous.”  In this politically correct world where people compete for the Most Tolerant award, Truth is seen as a liability. Even Christians fall for Satan’s lies.

Don’t get me wrong, tolerance can be a good thing. But just like all good things, it should be practiced in moderation with common sense. In other words, there are some things we shouldn’t tolerate. That may seem like a no-brainer, but it seems the Liberal/Socialist/LGBT ideology is spreading into traditional conservative arenas.

It concerns me to hear about churches accepting openly practicing homosexual ministers. Yes, gays need Jesus too. And God loves them as His children, just as He loves me. But the “gay is OK” mindset is just not Biblical.

No one tells a minister that it’s OK to continue with his lifestyle of adultery, fornication, pedophilia, pornography, or bestiality. Sexual sin is unacceptable– unless you are speaking of homosexuality. Then it’s “hate speech” or “homophobia.”

Personally, I see no difference. One sexual sin is as bad as the next. But I think Satan has convinced people, many Christians included, that homosexuality is not a sin. Sorry folks, the Scriptures say otherwise!

Then there’s the complaint of gay-bashing, which some of you probably think I’m doing here. I’m not. I think the reason so many preachers talk about homosexuality is because of how accepted it is now. Therein lies the need to counsel people more often about that issue.

If society decides that pedophilia is acceptable (and there’s a movement fighting for that) then preachers will start speaking out more and more about that. The growing acceptance of homosexuality makes it a hot topic for sermons, not because it is a worse sin, or because preachers are picking on gay people, but because preachers want to speak to their congregations about relevant topics.

That is not hate speech. It’s love speech. We Christians are commanded to love people. And love doesn’t mean being tolerant of everything coming and going!  Part of love is showing people the error of their ways, and guiding them in the right direction. We don’t say, “I hate you because you’re a sinner.” We say, “I love you, therefore I hate your sin because it’s going to separate you from Christ if you don’t stop it.”

So we Christians should be courageous. Speak the truth from the Scriptures. Be Biblically correct, not politically correct.

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Secret Admirer

Today’s Daily Post  prompt is

“You return home to discover a huge flower bouquet waiting for you, no card attached.  Who is it from — and why did they send it to you?”

Well, it had better be from my husband!  Then again, my husband probably wouldn’t send me flowers. Not because he doesn’t want to; but because he knows how I feel about cut flowers.

I think cutting flowers for our enjoyment is a misuse of God’s Creation. I prefer to enjoy flowers in their natural habitat.

My husband might send me a potted plant, or flower seeds, or bulbs.

So, the huge cut flower bouquet must be from someone who doesn’t know me very well, and is trying to impress me, and doing a poor job of it.

But it’s the thought that counts. Right?

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Be of Good Courage

It’s easy to get discouraged and depressed in today’s world. We’re faced with strife and discord every day. On a simple trip to the store we’re confronted with rude angry people.

I was shopping at Aldi yesterday, standing at the produce, and one of the workers almost knocked me over as she hurried along. She never missed a step, never said ‘excuse me,’ or ‘sorry.’

I was driving out of the Wal-Mart parking lot and a man in a white pickup truck almost ran over me. He was busy talking on his phone. I don’t think he even saw me.

Everyone is so engulfed in their own lives that they have no thought of the person right next to them.

I find myself more and more despising my fellow-man. I find less redeeming qualities as time goes by.

A Scripture that helps me push back my ill feelings is —

Psalms 31:23-24 “Oh, love the Lord, all you His saints! For the Lord preserves the faithful, And fully repays the proud person. Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart, All you who hope in the Lord.”  NKJV

This reminds me to love God, and not pay so much attention to ill-mannered people.

I hope it may help you too, as you read this.

Have a blessed day!

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Question of the Day #6: What Is a Judgmental Attitude?

It’s been a long time since I wrote one of my Question of the Day posts, so I thought I’d do a short one today.

Question of the Day #6:  What Is a Judgmental Attitude?

First of all, Scripture tells us, ” Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear.” (I Timothy 5:20.  Merriam Webster defines “rebuke” as “to criticize sharply, reprimand.”

Jesus said in Luke 6:37 “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned.”  Merriam Webster defines “judge” as “to form an opinion about (something or someone) after careful thought.”

I think folks get rebuking and judging mixed up sometimes.  In rebuking we stick to the facts, considering someone’s actions compared with Biblical examples. For example, “you did a bad thing.”  In judging we express an opinion of the person in light of their behavior.  For example, “you are bad because you did this thing.”  Let’s not get our rebuking and judging confused.

Hate the sin, not the sinner.

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I Think Therefore I Am, the Basis for Diversity

Most people have heard the adage, “I think, therefore I am.”  I believe Rene Descartes was speaking about the sentient nature of Mankind.

I have a slight adjustment to Descartes’ statement:  “I think [X] therefore I am [Y].” The [X] is the variable that represents each person’s individuality, and the [Y] represents the results of [X]. For example, “I think [Jesus is the Messiah], therefore I am [a Christian]. Or, “I think [there is no God], therefore I am [an atheist].”  Who I am determines what I think. What I think determines who I am. There is no separating the two, no matter what you’ve heard.

Each of us comes to an opinion from our own unique perspective. Everything we are colors that perspective. Our lifestyle. Our upbringing. Our relationships. Our religious beliefs. Our friends. Our family. Our heritage. Our culture. Our social status. And a thousand other things that make us unique. When we dismiss others’ opinions we are also dismissing everything that makes them who they are.

Yes, I am a Christian. I consider that a fundamental and intrinsic part of Me; but I don’t force my beliefs and opinions on others, though I speak them readily.  As Americans, we have a right to our own opinions.  And I believe many doctrines from various Christian denominations are merely people’s opinions on what the Bible means.  I’ve heard some folks say, “If you aren’t a member of the ******* church, then you’re going to Hell!”  And I say, God is the Judge of all; let Him do his job.

When we take away a person’s right to an opinion, we strip away their humanity.  Individual opinion/belief is a basic human right.  I am so very thankful that our United States Constitution recognizes that right.  I strongly believe the drafters of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were guided by God in their endeavors, as God also grants us free will.

My fondest wish is for people to respect each other as individuals with differing beliefs, opinions, situations, and habits.  We are all God’s children, all citizens of the same Earth.  Look past hate, see the person.  We don’t have to agree on everything.  We can agree to disagree, and respect diversity.

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Happy Birthday to Me

I recently celebrated my 50th birthday.

I think to myself, “I don’t feel 50.” But what is 50 supposed to feel like? I guess I thought by the time I reached 50 I’d feel different. Old. Crotchety. I actually feel better than I did 10 years ago. I began Weight Watchers in January and have lost 45 pounds. I get more exercise now and I feel more energetic.

Most people guess that I’m 35,  just a few fine lines around my eyes. My doctor says my oily skin ages more slowly. Thank you Dad.  And thank you Mom for my darkish complexion, which protects me from sun damage.  I reckon I’m blessed with good skin genes.  My parents both died in their 80s, and looked 20 years younger.

It’s flattering to look younger than my real age, and good genes are part of it; however I think the biggest factor is my lifestyle.  I trust God.  I don’t smoke, drink, or do drugs.  I’ve been happily married for 25 years, my only marriage.  I’ve been pretty healthy.  I don’t have any chronic conditions, and take no long-term prescriptions.  We’ve been blessed with little tragedy, good kids, steady income, and good friends.  We’re not rich, but have what we need.  The face really is an indicator of the state of one’s soul. Stress related aging is a problem for many folks.

There was a time in my life when I let people drive me crazy.  I tolerated disrespect and abuse. I suffered with constant drama. I believed the bad things I was told about myself. I worried about EVERYTHING. But no more. Those people and bad habits are chaff in my life.  They blew away with the wind, and the quality stuff remains. I am happy, content, and loved.

Perhaps the twinkle in my eye, the pep in my step, and the smile on my face just makes me seem younger, rather than look younger.  It makes no difference to me. I’ve learned that what happens on the inside is more important than what happens on the outside.

Thank you God for the wisdom I’ve gained from 50 years on this Earth.

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Never Grow Up!

Ice-Cream Face

In certain ways I still feel like a kid. I think it’s important to keep a youthful spirit as we age, so we don’t get too cynical, like the stereotype grumpy old men. The world and all its trials can drag us down into despair if we let it. Kids live in the moment much more than we adults do. We could learn a lot from them!

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Pet Peeve: Disrespect

This is a biggie for me!!  I spent so much of my life being the target of disrespectful people that I guess I just got my fill. Many times I’ve wondered what qualities I had that made people so cavalier with my feelings.  I try to be polite, respectful, caring, and fair with everyone. I think some people see this as weakness, and go for the kill.  Shame on them.

I have little use for people with no regard for me.  I used to get all weepy, and I’d be like, “Why don’t they like me?” I tried to be what I thought people expected or wanted. Yet, I have been betrayed and belittled so many times, it boggles my mind!  Do I have a target on me somewhere?  🙂

As I approach the Big 5-0, I have better things to do with my time than worry about ‘haters.’ I’m comfortable with who I am, and I accept that I’m politically incorrect. I try to be the best me I can be, and if anyone responds to that, great. But it no longer worries me if people like me or not, except for my husband, kids, and select family and friends.

I will continue to be polite, and people will continue to not give a damn.

So is the circle of life.

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