common core

image found at adam-purcell.com

image found at adam-purcell.com

(I truly am not going to even tackle the most familiar meaning of “common core”.  I am just borrowing the phrase.)

common = prevalent, occurring often

core = the central, most important part of something

my my my…the interwebs have been buzzing
transition of “power”
marches in support or protest
opinions galore, spoken and unspoken
perhaps even the emergence of questions….

I know I have some. (surprise, surprise)
and yes, I will return to “common core” and square peg in a round hole…
I guess that is just a teaser for now

Perhaps my questions are definition related…
so, let’s unpack a few words, shall we??

equality – the state of being equal, especially in status, rights, and opportunities
equity – the quality of being fair and impartial; being given what is needed to be successful

justness – the quality or state of being just, equitable, or right
justice – just behavior or treatment
just – based on or behaving according to what is morally right and fair

morality – principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior
moral – concerned with the principles of right and wrong behavior and the goodness or badness of human character
demoralized – having lost confidence or hope; disheartened

rights – that which is morally correct, just, or honorable
human right – a right that is believed to belong justifiably to every person
dehumanize – to deprive of human qualities, personality, or spirit

women’s rights – rights that promote a position of legal and social equality of women with men
legal equality – the doctrine that all persons, regardless of wealth, social status, or the political power wielded by them, are to be treated the same before the law
feminism – the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes

political
– relating to the government or the public affairs of a country
public affairs – matters of general interest or concern, especially those dealing with current social or political issues
politics – the activities associated with the governance of a country or other area, especially the debate or conflict among individuals or parties having or hoping to achieve power

separation of church and state –  the principle that government must maintain an attitude of neutrality toward religion
religion – the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods
government – the system of people, laws, and officials that define and control the country that you live in

marginalized – treat (a person, group, or concept) as insignificant or peripheral.
label – a short word or phrase descriptive of a person, group, intellectual movement, etc
stereotype – a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing

liberal – open to new behavior or opinions and willing to discard traditional values
conservative – holding to traditional attitudes and values and cautious about change or innovation, typically in relation to politics or religion
opinion – a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge

pro-choice
pro-life
anti-abortion

whew!  that is a lot of questions
a lot of words being tossed around like autumn leaves in the wind
do we even know what the fuss is about?

a divided country
a divided Church

fear
anxiety
powerlessness
dehumanization
demoralization
inequality
injustice
blurred boundaries
skewed definitions
biases
opinions
disgust
hatred
anger
fear

the truth is…
I often don’t know what the fuss is about

as a woman, in America, I voiced an opinion at the voting booth in November
that is how I chose to make my statement
others have chosen different means of expression
do I get it?
I must say that I honestly didn’t pay that much attention
and yet, here I am…
kind of drawn into a conversation
about justness
and equity
and grace
and mercy
and I feel stuck.

as a Christ-follower, apparently I “need” to have a certain viewpoint
(if I don’t, then there must be something “wrong” between me and God)
as a Conservative, apparently I automatically have this notion of a political side of the aisle
as a woman, where do I stand?
do I have a choice?
do I have to be “either-or”?
is there a “both-and” box to check?
is life just black-and-white?
is there no gray?

and what in the world does Jesus think about the ways in which we have been treating each other
and talking about each other
and rejecting each other
…does He get a say?

personal freedoms and choice are what make this world go around
I am thankful that I am able to write this blog
and that we can voice our own opinions
and not fear tyranny
…having said all of that, you may not agree with my viewpoint
— do you know what?  I am OK with that.  You are free not to agree.

We all have these core fears that live inside us.  And when they’re poked awake, our first inclination is to reach for some form of power to soothe the pain. – Emily Freeman

our fears are poked awake and we reach for
condemnation
and a “holier-than-thou” attitude
and shaming
and disgust
and superiority

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

more questions…
will I as a woman ever experience equality?  is that even possible?
I don’t have an answer for that.
will I as a woman ever experience equity?
isn’t this concept what part of the fuss is about – to give everyone (regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation) what they need to be successful?
do I fight for justice – for everyone to get what they deserve – or am I fighting for, standing up for justness — what is just and right?
(I am more inclined to lean toward grace, getting what I don’t deserve, and mercy, not getting what I do deserve – rather than actually getting what I deserve.)

do I do my part to fight for those who are marginalized, those who are treated as insignificant
the same-sex couple
the woman who had an abortion
the person with a drug and/or alcohol addiction
the personal experiencing mental illness
those who are in physical bondage and slavery
the person who identifies as lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender, queer, or are questioning their sexuality
the person who does not respect their spouse
the person who is living on the streets
my neighbor who lives alone
my coworker who is being abused
the student who feels shame and rejection everyday
the church member who lives with depression and anxiety
my virtual Facebook friend who has a different opinion than me?

or—-
do I not pay attention?

am I so blinded by
biases
opinions
labels
stereotypes
that the lens through which I view life
lets absolutely no truth, no light in?

lens – a ground or molded piece of glass, plastic, or other transparent material with opposite surfaces either or both of which are curved, by means of which light rays are refracted so that they converge or diverge to form an image

you see…
in all of this, the common core
is me.
all of my life experiences
all of my notions of justice and fairness
and equality and inequality
of right and wrong
morality and immorality
all of my relationships
and loyalties
they all converge on those things
and skew
enhance
distort
enlarge
the image, the issue, the debate.

and sometimes…
I am stuck being the square peg
being forced into a round hole.

Let’s agree, for just a little while anyway, that both sides are probably wrong and right in some ways.  I’m probably wrong, you’re probably wrong, and the opposite is true, because we still see through a glass darkly.  I want to approach the mysteries of God and the unique experiences of humanity with wonder and humility and a listener’s heart. – Sarah Bessey

fresh eyes
open mind
soft heart
…could this be a prescription for corrective lenses?

grace, mercy, love.

 

 

 

 

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alright alright alright

alrightalrightalright

year 43…the day was headed in a fantastic direction
and no, I was not dazed and confused
(insert movie r

to have a day with no agenda
no schedule
no to do list

just a girls’ day…
of reconnection
of favorite people
of the best of the friend

with a great breakfast
laughs
a hangry 3-year-old
pieces of the puzzle and bargains galore
story time and literary treasures
rounded out by frozen delights

alright, alright, alright…
the day was really fantastic

no snow covering the ground
no impending cancellations
politics
bravery
dreams
conversations with ease and no segues

delightful
fabulous
needed
appreciated
lovely
….quite possibly
the.best.birthday.ever

thank you!

embracing imperfections

image found at whoisdanfonesca.com

image found at whoisdanfonesca.com

blemishes
imperfections
scars
flaws
defects
weakness
limitation

do I really need to define these?  you know what they are…
you look at yours everyday
you despise yours often
you cover-up
you hide
you mask

those things which you see
the new pimple (oh, how I wish I had outgrown them!)
the scar on your collarbone…a reminder of tragedy and triumph
your chest riddled with reminders of shattered glass
the barely visible “point of impact”

the things you can’t see…but you feel
the imperfections
the “if only”s
the comparisons
and inadequacies
struggles and things that are hard to let go

blemishes
we all have them

I wonder if….
I could look at those things
those blemishes, those defects,
those imperfections
that tend to define me, at least for moments
through a different lens
and see them as

“Not blemishes. Adornments.” — Ian McEwan

to embrace them
to decorate them
to be proud to have survived in spite of them

for those imperfections
seen and felt
make me who I am.
and yours make you who you are.

“Our imperfections make us human and our humanity makes us influential”.  – Josh Shipp

you
and
me

my story is my story
just like your story is owned by you

Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing we will ever do. – Brene Brown

all so very different
and yet
full of imperfections and blemishes
that allow us to be
used and molded
to make a difference

you are influential.

that is a true statement.
I was told by a lady that was reading my book that it was so good that she couldn’t put it down.

could it be that what she sees as an adornment (something that adds attractiveness) I still see as a blemish (a flaw)?
hmmm….

what if…
the imperfections
and the flaws
and the scars
and the blemishes
were truly adornments….adding to the attractiveness of our character and the core of who we are?

what if…
we embraced the love that God pours out
we called the things that we believe about ourselves

that because we make a mistake, we are a mistake
that just because we have screwed up, that we are screw-ups
that just because we have failed, we are failures
that just because we have done something terrible, that we are terrible (again, from John Shipp)

called them out for what they truly are….and they are LIES

what if this day
this first day of a new year
this morning of new mercies
I decide that 2017 is going to be different…

“And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been”
— Rainer Maria Rilke

could this be the year,
the month
the day
the week
the hour
the minute
the second
that I embrace my story – filled with my imperfections
and love myself through that process?
could I have new eyes
to see my blemishes differently?

could this be the year that I embrace
welcome
accept
those things which I see as imperfections and limitations
and truly view them differently…

you are loved beyond measure
though we are incomplete, God loves us completely.
though we are imperfect, God loves us perfectly.
though we may feel lost and without compass,
God’s love encompasses us completely.
He loves every one of us
even those who are
flawed
rejected
awkward
sorrowful
or broken. – author unknown

could this be the moment?

brave, limitless, grace

earlier bits

January 2017
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