Saturday, August 15, 2009

Ramblings on Reality TV

Let me preface this entry by saying that I know what some of you will think. Yes, all 11 of you. lol I haven't lost my mind, or changed my views on God, life, or coffee. I'm just saying that sometimes Christians can be so heavenly minded that we're no earthly good (as Oliver Wendell Holmes first said). There are times I feel that by being so seemingly strict and unbending we're driving people away from the love and light of Christ that we Christians are supposed to be.

I've recently started watching reality TV. Yes, I am strange. I've never seen an episode of American Idol. I could care less about Big Brother. And until we got the expanded channel offerings, I only watched cooking shows on Food Network, as my hips will attest. We have the big channel package before, but all I watched then was Food Network, Clean House and when my mom was in town, Bridezillas. lol The rest of the shows our family watched were on regular channels, so we got rid of the other channels. The basic package had Food Network and Hallmark, so I was good. lol Now, we have many many channels. Yes, we watch approximately 7 of them now instead of the 4 we did before.

There are two reality shows that I watch now. They will be a surprise to you. They were a surprise to me. I watch Tori and Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood and Gene Simmons Family Jewels. If you don't know, the basic premise for both shows is following a famous family through their everyday lives. There's the mom, dad, and two kids. All sorts of situations, both normal and only-the-rich-and-famous-would-have-this-happen type stuff. Now, real or contrived, what comes through in both of these shows is the love that the families show. I do know that there are many people who would say that it's all editing, or that they are only showing what they want people to see. Yes, I'm gullible. I think that there is a true deep and abiding love with these couples and their families.

For those of you still with me, I bring these shows up for a reason. I've heard people say that these shows are trash or what a "proper" Christian wouldn't watch. These same people watch movies and TV shows with content that surely is more questionable. They listen to music that talks about these same situations, they use language that is dicey, they wear clothes that are the wrong kind... Anyone else see this as hypocrisy? Seriously folks. Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed, although not married, have a beautiful family and home, are devoted to each other and have lasted a lot longer than other marriages in both Hollywood and the rest of the world. They are hard working and take time to not just write a check to charities, but actually give of their time. Obviously, I don't agree with some of their lifestyle choices. I've never actually heard a Kiss song, at least that I know of, but I've heard it is kinda out there. The make-up is enough! lol But why throw out the good values being shown? I know people who would say I'm not a real Christian because my hair is too short (it's a little past my shoulders) or because I buy store bought bread sometimes. Get real!

Tori and Dean is based on the same premise. They are married with two very young children. They show the trials that all of us working (yes, even work from home) parents deal with. Finding a balance between work and family, wanting success at our chosen careers, even family relationship issues. They lean on each other, fight with each other, love each other. There's one scene that just cracks me up. Tori's infant daughter is fussing and Tori says this line about every mom does the check and smells for poo. It's classic parenting. Who among us hasn't had to do that smell check. My son is 11, and instead of smelling for poo, I'm now checking that he puts deodorant on his smelly man-funk pits. That's as real life as you get! As with Gene and Shannon, Tori and Dean are not Christian and don't espouse Christian views. But they are committed to their marriage (or in Gene and Shannon's case, long term relationship) and their family. They are real life people living extraordinary lives. Tori and Dean's arguments about Dean's motorcycle racing reminds me of fights with my husband about his computer games. Um, yeah, we no longer fight about that with my blogging, tweeting, facebooking, and on and on. lol

All too often, we Christians throw away great opportunities to share with the world around us. We spend too much time trying to witness to each other that we forget we are supposed to be lights to the world. That would be the world of NON-Christians. They are not going to be won over by our Christian-ese language. They are not going to be converted by repeated thumps over the head with our Bibles. And the last time I checked, a forced salvation isn't a real one. As my husband says when I'm trying to get him to do things my way, agreeing with a gun pointed at your head isn't real. (Kidding! I don't really use a gun. It's a frying pan.) The world is going to run in the opposite direction when we are negative about everything that they do. If you can't find common ground to start a dialogue, then you're just talking to yourself.

Here's the point of this long rambling post is to say that if you are serious about trying to model Christ and show Him to the world, remember, it was the sinners He dealt with. None of us are perfect, and we shouldn't try to impose our own prerequisites when God doesn't require any. Do you remember who you were, what you were doing in your life when you heeded God's call to you? I remember where I was.

I used to party. I mean, get drunk, hang out in the club, act stupid partying. The stories I could tell! I met my first husband while pledging, don't remember that, then met again at a party, don't remember much of that, and didn't remember what he looked like when he showed up for our first date. We dated for a year and a half before I became pregnant and we thought we should get married. The next year, I was saved after realizing what a horrible mess I was in. Fast forward six years later. We were divorced, our son was living with me and seeing his dad on weekends. I met and married my husband in four months. Seriously. We met in January, married in May. And I've never been happier. That story is for another post. Talk about God working out things!

God worked (and is still working) on me in tremendous ways. It took me many years to stop partying and going to clubs. It took the death of a friend to get me to stop drinking. My driving, which was legendary for it's awfulness, is now much improved. I know what a speed limit is! And I follow it! My temper, which once led me to park my ex-husband's car in the middle of the front lawn in January, in Michigan, in two feet of snow, is now under control. Imagine if that first person who told me of God's love had tried to do it by saying how wrong I was in the lifestyle I was living. I have no doubt that I would have been living that lifestyle a lot longer if that happened. Instead, the person who first planted that seed met me where I was. She didn't go clubbing with me, but she didn't tell me I was going straight to hell either. She was a friend. She was honest and real and that, more than anything, made me crave what she had.

I'm not going to start writing letters to try to convert Tori, Dean, Shannon, or Gene. I'm not going to start preaching on street corners. I'm not going to be Suzy Sister Christian with the perfect family, perfect house, and perfect bundt cake. I'm me. I'm someone who still listens to secular music. My husband calls it noise, but that's kinda what I think of that rock stuff he likes. lol I'm someone who's house looks more House Lived In than House Beautiful. Shoot, I'd love to have a housekeeper cuz I hate cleaning (hint hint John!). I am guilty of neglecting my family at times for business, and vice versa. But you know what? I have real relationship with people and am open about my faith. That's where God will meet the world. More people have been saved by craving what others have. It's the keeping up with the Jones syndrome. Let's use that to our favor!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Plan B

There are times when Plan B is really Plan A. It's just that my Plan A is not always God's. Take this weekend for example. I was supposed to do a craft show. Things happened, and we decided I shouldn't do it. We have a family friend spending the night. Her little brother was just diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. I signed up to do a marathon for Team in Training on Monday, he got the diagnosis on Tuesday and started Chemo on Wednesday.

Now, she is spending the night with us, relaxing and de-stressing. The show I was supposed to be in? Well, it poured all day today. It would have been canceled due to rain anyway, and I would have lost inventory, time and sales. I've been able to test a few new recipes, which I will post on my other blog. More than that, we were able to minister to a teenager dealing with a serious illness in the family. See, my plan A wasn't the important one. God's plan A was so much better.

I'm heading to bed soon. I want to get up and make pancakes for breakfast tomorrow for John and the girls. Maybe I'll get pictures of those BEFORE they eat them all. lol

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I'll be honest here

I didn't accomplish even a portion of what I planned today. So, I'm heading to bed and will try again tomorrow. I did post on my domestically challenged blog about pizza. I attended a meeting that I'm so excited about. And now I'm going to bed, late. I did accomplish more than that, but it wasn't at all how I planned my day. Oh well. I'll be up early to play catch up before my day really begins. I need to start tomorrow with God. That will make my day run all the more smoothly. So, goodnight all!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Where have I been!?

Right here! lol Very busy trying to take the business to the next level, trying to be sure the kids finish school on a good note, trying to manage the every day items of life that seem so overwhelming at times, but always joyous. Plus, I've been on twitter. A lot. lol I've actually cut back lately, but still it is there. I joined because someone said it would be good for business, but I've mainly been chatting. lol I admit it.

I have been storing up things to blog about. As I prepare for the new school year and all the challenges of having a high schooler and (gulp) a junior high schooler, I find myself anxious to get back to the routines of life, and establish new routines. If you think about it, it's the routines that keep life and all its surprises going. We have to have the basics - food, shelter, clothing, God. I find if I have those things in order, I can cope with anything that comes along. Well, we have food, shelter, and clothing. But lately, my time with God has been decreasing and decreasing. Now, it's at an unacceptable level. So, it's time to regroup and get back to those things that keep the rest in check.

Today, I have to realistically look at my schedule and figure out how to make it work. I'm not willing to reduce my committments because I know that I am supposed to be doing these things. But I am going to reduce my "committments" to my time wasters. ***and now, while I'm typing this, my handsome husband just emailed me asking me to plot out how to accomplish the goals I have for this month. lol*** You know what time wasters I'm talking about. For me, it's TV, twitter, and texting. True, I can do some of that while I'm melting wax or stuff like that, but they need to take more of a back seat. (this is kind of ironic since an upcoming post is on a couple TV shows. lol) My time with God needs to be in the driver's seat - Bible reading, Bible study and prayer. The rest of the schedule will fill in.

Well, I'm on my way to get more work done. I have some exciting things coming up. I can't wait to talk some more to everyone. I've been reading blogs and trying to stay current. I'll have scheduled blog time now, so I'll be able to keep things even more straight. At least, with prayer, that's the plan.