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To Men and Women

The longer I live, the more I see and realize about our world and culture.  Some things can be very good and inspiring, while other things are not so much…  One of the things I have started to notice more and more is how the different sexes treat each other, and it really, really makes me upset.  So here are my honest thoughts.

Men, women are not objects.  We are human beings with thoughts, feelings, hopes, fears, and dreams just like you.  When you are nice to women only to get something from them in return (read sex), you are being nothing but selfish.  When you are friends with women or approach women only because of your physical attraction to them, you are treating them as nothing but objects for your eyes and pleasure.  When you are out and looking for attractive women to look at, you are seeing those women, not as people, but objects.  We go to stores to look at things to buy.  We should not be shopping for people - that is called slavery.  Slavery was the ownership of people who were considered property or “things”.  Women are not your property to show off to others how attractive they are.  We do that at dog shows with dogs.  That is incredibly dehumanizing.  It is also incredibly shallow to only have anything to do with people we find physically attractive.  The truth is, we as women can’t help whether you find us attractive or not.  We’re born with what we have and can’t do much about it, just like you can’t.  How would you feel if only the women who were physically attracted to you talked to you?  Or if the only reason I was friends with you was so I could sleep with you?  It is dehumanizing and nothing but selfish and it needs to stop.  Both men and women need to do a better job of valuing people for their character, something we must work hard for and create ourselves, and not our looks over which we have little control.  Start appreciating people for who they have become, not for what they look like on the outside.  Once you do, you will find that your life will be overflowing with truly beautiful people, inside and out.

Also, being a man does not give you the right to be vulgar or insensitive.  Being vulgar is very much related to the previous point (especially sexual jokes) because if men viewed women the way they should, they wouldn’t make a lot of those jokes.  It’s not very becoming or flattering from a woman’s point of view, and all it does is perpetuate the notion that women are only good for sex (objects).  ”Boys will be boys” is a horrible philosophy.  Because you are a boy does not give you the right to say or do whatever you want and not have any consequences.  Boys are just as capable of controlling themselves as girls are.  And I know it may not be considered “manly” to have feelings or care about other people, but it’s human.  We all should care about other people and consider other people before ourselves, regardless of our gender.  Being a man doesn’t give you a trump card.  As a matter of fact, Jesus was a man and He went so far as to die for those that he loved.  Not only did He die for them, He lived for them as well.  He was the most loving person to have ever lived.  He even told people that He loved them!  And He is no less a man for doing so.  Being kind and considerate to others, especially when they are not kind and considerate towards you, requires true strength of will and heart. 

Also, it really bothers me when men just write women off as crazy.  Some women are crazy, and so are some men, but not all women are crazy (and not all men are).  Let’s face it, you writing off women as crazy is just your excuse to not try to understand women.  I think society has done a big disservice to the genders by portraying men as easy to understand and women as complicated.  Women really can be understood, just like men.  It just takes work…just like understanding men, or anybody for that matter, takes work.  People, in general, do not always make sense, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try.  If you at least try to understand women better, your life will be so much better.  

Now…  Women, men are not stupid and not all of them are jerks.  Men are just different than women.  TV tends to portray the males of any sitcom as stupid or incompetent, especially fathers, and this couldn’t be farther from the truth.  While I’m sure men like that do exist, men are very intelligent and capable.  Men process and think about things differently than women do.  Just because you can articulate your thoughts and emotions better than he can does not make you more intelligent or capable.  Also, just because a man struggles to articulate his emotions, does not mean he doesn’t have them or feel them just as deeply as you.  You have practice doing that with your girlfriends, he doesn’t!  Give him a break (and some time to gather his thoughts)!  Men are also not all jerks.  Men are very sweet in their own way.  Most any man would do anything to make a woman happy or put a smile on her face.  However, I understand very well that it doesn’t always come across that way.  Sometimes men do some pretty boneheaded things (from our perspective), but they usually don’t mean them the way it comes across.  Men don’t process things the way women do.  While men tend to take things at face value, women tend to look for meaning behind things.  I have been hurt many times by things that men have done that they never intended to come across that way.  They were trying to save money or time, not tell me that I was invaluable or disrespect me.  They come at it from a different angle, and it’s not usually the emotional side.  That doesn’t make them a jerk, it just makes them different!  I’m saying all this to say, give men the benefit of the doubt.  If he says he loves you and he’s still around you, he really does mean it, even if he does some seemingly “boneheaded” things sometimes.

Also, being a woman doesn’t give you the crazy license.   Yes, women can be more emotional than men, but that doesn’t mean you use it to your advantage or not exercise self-control.  I absolutely cannot stand it when women cry or are emotionally manipulative in other ways to get what they want.  That’s what babies do (albeit with completely pure intentions).  Women being emotionally manipulative is the same as men being manipulative to get physical.  (Also, emotional pornography like Twilight, Notebook, etc. are just as damaging to women as physical pornography is for men.  And as a side note, expecting a man to be emotionally perfect is just as ridiculous as a man expecting a woman to be physically perfect.  It just doesn’t happen.)  Being passive aggressive and ostracizing people and emotionally attacking people is just as bad as beating someone up and just as damaging.  We shouldn’t tolerate it more than we tolerate physical aggression.  Being a woman also does not excuse emotional tirades or outbursts.  We must exercise self-control!  It also does not excuse oversensitive feelings or emotions.  We need to learn not to take everything so personal or make such a big deal out of the simplest of things.  They may not have meant it the way we took it (see previous point).

Also, you are not your body.  Read it again:  You are not your body.  You are what’s inside of you and who you choose to be.  You do not have to show off what you have in order for some guy to like you or be attracted to you.  You do not have to show any cleavage or show off your rear end or wear the tightest clothes.  If it’s not for sale, don’t put it on display.  If you do put it on display, do not get mad when men stare or treat you like a piece of meat.  The truth is, you are not a piece of meat for men to gawk at!  Have more respect for yourself than that and dress the part.  You shouldn’t want to turn men’s heads, but their hearts.  Let them be attracted to who you are on the inside, not what you have on the outside.  Do you want him to love you for what you have (your body) or who you are?  Until you realize this, only the men mentioned in the second paragraph will go for you because that’s what you are portraying.  You are not being helpful to men who are trying to see you as a person when you are only showing yourself as an object and encouraging them to view you and other women as such.  And we as women should never use our looks to get our way.  That is nothing but shallow and manipulative and disrespectful to yourself.  Don’t sell yourself short.  Your value doesn’t come from how many men look at you or find you attractive.  That’s not love; that is nothing but lust.  Your value comes from your character and the fact that God sent His Son to die for you.  You are not valuable for what you look like, but who you are.  Dress like it and act like it.  

There you have it.  My thoughts.  Take them for what you will.  As a whole, both genders need to be less selfish and more considerate and understanding of others.  Easier said than done.  In reality, we can really learn a lot from the opposite gender.  I’ll leave you with a quote I read a long time ago that I’ve always loved:

"The best people we have ever known are those who marry both the genders within themselves."

The Final Victory Lap

So…I am about to embark on my final year at WKU…  My LAST year…ever.  I can’t believe it.  It hasn’t settled in yet, and I’m not looking forward to the day it does.  Despite one person, I absolutely love what I do.  I could do this for the rest of my life and be completely content and happy.  I love coming to work and having the opportunity to help and get to know Dr. Schallert and Dr. Bright.  They are such great guys, and I have learned so much from them - as teachers and people.  I just think of this job as a small way to “thank” them for all they’ve done for me.  I just try to make their lives a little easier and less stressful.  I hope I help some.  

To be honest, I’m scared.  Terrified.  Not so much about what I will do after this, but I’m scared of losing what I have now.  I love my friends and professors like Dr. Schallert, Dr. Bright, and Dr. Cipolla at WKU.  They have become wonderful mentors and friends to me…but I’m scared I will lose that.  I’m scared I’ll lose my friendships with them and other students.  I’m still scared of losing friendships with the people I graduated with.  I miss them a ton.  I know I’ll miss it here at WKU.  I have had the time of my life here and I couldn’t be happier.  I poured my heart and soul into WKU and gave it all I have and then some.  I don’t want to lose the people and the memories that mean so much to me.  

If there is one thing that gets to me more than anything, it’s goodbyes.  I can’t stand them.  Just saying the word makes my heart skip and melt.  I wish I could keep everyone I love in my life with me forever, but unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.  I know we will still see each other down the road, music people always find a way back to each other, but will it be the same?  Will we still be able to talk for hours like it’s nothing?  Will you still confide in me and trust me?  Will we run out of things to talk about?  Will it be…different?  Will you still want to talk to me?  Maybe I’m just scared of change…  I love the way the relationship is now, and I don’t ever want it to change.  If it does, only for the better.  I know I will miss seeing everyone often and going to talk to them whenever.  I’m just terrified of growing apart…of trying to keep the conversation going like old times, but you can’t find the words to say.  How do you make up for lost time?  How do I still keep in touch?  I don’t want to annoy you.  I struggle with this in all my relationships it seems like.  Maybe I just worry about it too much.

When I know a goodbye is approaching, because I’m so terrified, I have a bad habit of distancing myself from them, whoever it is, so the goodbye doesn’t hurt as bad.  (Maybe that’s why it’s hard to keep the relationship going afterwards…)  I’m not doing that this year.  I’m living this year with my heart wide open, taking advantage of all the time I have left.  I’m not shirking back to protect myself (even if that means crying some…which I hate with a passion).  These people, my friends, deserve better than that.  I will just have to work on making sure it’s a relationship worth keeping and maintaining, and trust that it’s a strong enough relationship that it will last across time and distance.  Trust that it’s a relationship we both will mutually enjoy revisiting and maintaining, hoping that our paths intersect later.  

It’s moments like these that I am so very thankful that God has blessed me with such wonderful people to want to hold on to and to miss.  I am so blessed!  

Here’s my completely vulnerable, honest post for the year.

"We must place the beauty in our hearts right there next to loss and pain and whatever else it is we have in there, and we must pass it on.  We must love…  Shamelessly and fully without any "but this might not last."  With acceptance and duty and honor and grace." (Jennifer Pastiloff) 

Have you ever fallen in love with someone? It can be anyone - a significant other, spouse, teacher, preacher, elder, friend, co-worker, boss, classmate - anyone. Not a romantic or physical love, but in love with who they are - their personality, character, mind, and heart. Their smile. Their laugh. The sparkle in their eyes. How they listen. The tone of their voice. Their sense of humor. How they care for people. Their ideas, beliefs, and philosophies. What they stand for. Their enthusiasm and passion. Their work ethic. Their insight. Their mannerisms. The faces they make. Their intelligence. Their big heart. Their faith. Even hearing them say your name. Seeing them puts a smile on your face and in your heart. You thoroughly enjoy spending time with them, regardless of what you are doing. They make your heart swell up with so much love that your chest feels so full that you can barely breathe and you really think your chest is going to burst wide open. You just can’t help but let that love spill over on everyone else in your life. They fill your soul with joy. These people are like sunshine - beautiful, warm, and illuminating. You love them for nothing they can give you, only for who they are. That is beautiful. Love is beautiful, and love makes things, people, and life beautiful.

Trust

"Love and trust are two very different things.  You should love your enemies, but don’t let them babysit your kids"  (Dave Willis).

I once wrote an insightful post about trust and honesty on here, but it somehow got deleted before posting.  I often think about writing it again, but I don’t trust this thing anymore…  Maybe once school is out.

Teacher’s Pay?

So after everything that has happened in our country within the past week, I, and I’m sure many others, have been contemplating many things.  One of those things that has been up for debate is that of teacher’s salary.  Hearing the stories of teachers saving the lives of their students warms my heart.  To think that someone could love kids not their own enough to lay down their life for them is nothing short of incredible.  And to know that these same people put their lives down and sacrifice everyday for these kids?  Teachers truly are special people.  I don’t think anyone would question that.  These people deserve far more respect and appreciation than we could ever give them.  How do you thank those who dedicate their lives to changing young people’s lives?  I’ll tell you right now, money isn’t enough.

I know there’s a lot of talk about how teachers should be paid more, and I completely understand the reasoning.  Don’t doubt for a second that I think teachers deserve it.  I have heard it said that you can tell someone’s priorities based on how they spend their money, and I think the same can be said about our country.  Looking at teachers’ salaries compared to other professions, it is obvious that our country doesn’t value the role of teachers in our education system and all of our lives.  However, I know that some people want to raise the salary of teachers to make it more competitive with other jobs. I understand the reasoning.  We want to attract the brightest, most talented students to be teachers.  No doubt.  But have we stopped to consider the consequences?

What would raising the salary do?  Teachers would get paid more, yes, but what about those coming in to the profession?  What kind of people would it attract?  I am going to be honest, I have never met a single teacher that chose the profession based on money.  You may say, “Well that’s obvious!  Look how much they get paid!”  True, but I can tell you this, that even if teachers were paid more, even considerably more, those same people would still say that they didn’t enter the profession because of money.  Those people could care less about money!  What they care about is helping young people and making a difference in their life, and that to them is far more rewarding than anything money could give them.  Teachers are the most kind, generous, humble, genuine, selfless people I’ve ever met.  They were not drawn to the teaching profession by the size of their wallet but by the size of their heart.

If we raise the salary for teachers, would we still be attracting the same kind of people?  Would we still get the humble?  The kind?  The generous?  The tender-hearted?  The selfless?  The ones that value people over money?

Maybe there is a little bit of (unintentional) wisdom in the way we pay teachers.  I would want my kids to be taught by those people who have their priorities straight, who value people over money, who are kind, generous, and selfless.  By people who truly care and love people.  I would not want any children to be taught by those who only entered the profession lured selfishly by monetary gain.  True teachers enter the profession, not seeking what they can get out of it, but what they can give.  

Every teacher I’ve ever met would do the exact same thing those teachers in Connecticut did.  What they need isn’t necessarily more money.  What they need is love, support, encouragement, and appreciation, and that starts with YOU.  I know that would mean more to them than money ever could.

I love my job. (Grad Semester #1)

I absolutely love my job.  I really do.  Even though I may complain about working with a particularly difficult person, I really do love what I do.  I love learning more about teaching and the leadership/administrative role.  I never realized how different things are from the other side.  Completely different being a “teacher” (teaching assistant, whatever, haha) than a student in college.  I knew the directors were busy, but I really never understood how busy.  I don’t fully understand now, but I have a better understanding than before.  Those guys are awesome!  There’s always something going on and something to do.  It’s a good busy and I love it.  

I like driving the Gator and the band truck, even if I don’t get to do it that often.  I like riding the Gator and in the band truck.  I love wearing the headset (not really…although it’s not as bad as I make it out to be).  I love having an office.  I feel so much more official than I am, haha.  I like getting to set my own schedule.  I like that I get paid!  That’s nice.  I like having my own seat on the bus when we go on trips.  There are some nice perks that go with being a GA.  :)

Although those perks are nice, the things I love the most aren’t those visible things.  I love having the opportunity to continue to develop my musicianship and perform on my instrument.  As much as it scares me, I love having the opportunity to help teach the undergrad conducting class and to rehearse and conduct the concert bands on a piece to perform on concerts.  It gets me out of my comfort zone like no other, haha!  I really love having the opportunity to help out every single day I go to work.  I love the people I work with (even the difficult one).  They are so much fun to work with and we work hard!  We’ve gotten so much done this semester that it’s ridiculous.  I love the friendship I’ve developed with them through work.  We’ve had a lot of fun times and great conversations!  I also love getting to see and know Dr. Schallert and Dr. Bright more, as teachers and people.  These two are really wonderful people with such good hearts.  Really.  I have a ton of respect for both of them.  I love spending time with them, listening to their stories, and laughing with them (and at them).  I love learning from them and their years of experience and wisdom, not just about band and teaching, but in life.  I love that they both give me opportunities to teach, help, and learn.  They’re good about getting me out of my comfort zone, pushing me, and encouraging me.  They don’t just care about me as a student or employee, they care about me as a person.  They have both been so sweet to me.  True gentlemen.  I love working for them and having the opportunity to help them and make their lives a little easier, especially after all they have done for me.  I really feel like I’m getting the better end of the deal, though.  I love working for them and with them.  I truly value and appreciate their trust in me (and they put a lot of trust in me).  I feel like my time and work is valued and appreciated.  I feel appreciated.  That means more to me than they could ever know. 

I feel guilty that I get paid for this.

Anonymous

Anonymous asked:

So you just don't care that your views on gay marriage are theocratic? Why does Biblical morality belong in the laws of this country? Isn't that a bit unfair to those who don't believe that the Bible is the "word of God"? I mean, why don't you care at all about their Freedom of Religion? What would be so wrong about keeping the laws of this country completely secular, so as to avoid promoting one religion above all the rest?

Technically speaking, all laws are theocratic when you boil it down.  Our laws are based on a sense of morality that all humans share, which I believe to be evidence of God.  We all innately believe that murder, stealing, lying, etc. are wrong.  How is that?  For one, God made us this way, but He also states in the Bible that it is wrong and sinful to do these things.  Also, government is a system that is set up by God to provide a sense of justice and protection for people (Rom. 13:1-2).  So, whether you believe that the Bible is the word of God or not, you are still following Biblical principles in a sense.  Are you going to throw those laws out because they coincide with the Bible and are not completely secular?  I’m not promoting my religion, I’m promoting morality.

 ”Also, if homosexuality can be changed, then how come there’s such a low success rate for that? Does God just pick favorites in terms of who he decides to allow to “turn straight”? Or will you just admit that it’s not actually possible for the large majority of homosexuals to change their sexuality? The most the majority of homosexuals can do is pretend to be straight, and that’s not emotionally healthy at all. It causes frustration, high levels of stress, and depression.”

I’m not sure where you get this information from.  Honestly, I believe there is supposedly a “low success rate” for people changing their sexual orientation because they believe they are born that way and cannot change it.  If you believe something is impossible to change, why try?  There are plenty of stories of people changing back once they had a reason - God.  To say it is impossible is to doubt God’s power (Matt. 17:20; 19:26).  

"Also, what exactly is so "wrong" about homosexuality? I mean, all homosexuality is, is love, just like all heterosexuality is, is love. And since when is love ever a bad thing? I mean, as long as a loving relationship is consensual, I see no way that it could possibly be wrong. So why not try thinking this issue through for yourself, instead of blindly believing that homosexuality is wrong just because you think the Bible says it’s wrong?"

First and foremost, homosexuality is wrong because God said so.  God created us (therefore, He knows what we were made for and how we work better than we do), and the Bible says that He created females for the males, to be a companion for man (Gen. 2: 18-24).  God created the world with this relationship in mind.  Also, just look at nature.  Male bodies and female bodies are made to go together, so to speak.  God made man and woman to be together and anything else is unnatural (Romans 1:25-32).  Throughout the Bible, it talks about husbands and wives, never two husbands or two wives.  Also, there can be love between two people without the prospect of sex.  Not all love is demonstrated that way.  I have thought these things through and believe them because the Bible says they are wrong and because I believe it’s wrong.  All faith in the Bible is not blind.  I see evidence of it all around me and even in my own body.  

I know we probably do not know each other personally, however, I want to share something with you.  I am not the most feminine girl in the world and never have been.  I have always been the ‘tomboy’ and had more guy friends than girl friends.  I was bullied and picked on because of this a lot in high school by people who didn’t even know me.  They made fun of me and called me all sorts of names regarding my perceived  sexual orientation.  Some people even asked me if I was gay.  I told them I wasn’t, but it got me questioning myself.  I began to wonder if I really was.  I knew at that point I could either do what everyone else was suggesting that I already was (be gay), or do what I knew to be right and natural.  Am I frustrated, stressed, or depressed because of it?  Not at all.  All of us have tendencies, but it’s what we decide to do with what we have.  We don’t give ourselves the credit we deserve for the amount of control we have over ourselves.  

Anonymous

Anonymous asked:

Why are you against gay marriage? After all, homosexuality isn't a choice and it can't be changed, which means that being against gay marriage is like being against inter-racial marriage or inter-cultural marriage. I'm sure you think it's hateful to be against those types of marriage, so why do you think it's somehow not hateful to be against gay marriage?

I appreciate your question! The fundamental difference between our beliefs (I feel like) is that I believe in what the Bible teaches on homosexuality. The Bible does not approve of homosexuality, therefore, if God condemns it, it is reasonable to believe that He would not condemn us for doing or being a certain way that is beyond our control (after all, He created us and knows us better than we know ourselves). This means that homosexuality, in God’s eyes, is a choice and not something that cannot be changed. The best example to me of this in the Bible is 1 Corinthians 6:8-11. Homosexuality is listed along with other sins that are choices and condemned (“will not inherit the kingdom of God”). Pay close attention to the beginning of verse 11 - “Such were some of you…” These, to me, are some of the most powerful words in the Bible. Paul is saying that the Christians in Corinth were thieves and drunkards and homosexuals, but then they were washed in the blood of Christ and were no longer. They corrected their sin. From this we can imply that people who were formerly homosexual, when converted to Christianity, dropped their homosexuality to follow God. If I believed we were created being gay or not, it would be different, but based on the Bible, I cannot believe that.

You also asked: “Also, just FYI, this country (meaning the US) is not a theocracy, which means that the laws of this country (including the laws regarding gay marriage) should not be based on any one religion (or holy book) in particular. So just because your religion teaches you to think that gay marriage is morally wrong doesn’t mean a thing in terms of whether or not it should be illegal. So do you have any non-religious reasons as to why gay marriage should be illegal?”

I actually believe we are more similar than you would think. Yes, I realize our country is not a “theocracy”, and I do understand your point. However, you believe that being homosexual is not a sin, something people are born being, and therefore, how could refusing their right to be married be right, just, and fair? Understandable. Same logic as inter-cultural or inter-racial marriage (or women’s rights for that matter). I’m all for that. The Bible never condemns inter-racial or inter-cultural marriages (or women’s rights) and your race and culture is something you cannot change. However, I believe homosexuality is not like that. Culture and race (and gender) are beyond your control, but homosexuality isn’t. You say, how can I support an institution that does not defend gay marriage, but I say how can I support one who does? It’s the same logic and argument. I simply cannot support a law that goes against what I believe in. Same with abortion for me and same with gay marriage for you. It is my right and your right to stand up for what we believe in. I am only exercising my right to stand against it just as you are by supporting it.

I hope I explained myself clearly. If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask!

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