Category Archives: anthropology

The world is not going to get better in the end, but that’s okay

In my blog feed, I follow two types of writers, believers and non-believers. Within those types I notice two additional types. Believers who faithfully encourage and uplift with hope, trusting that God has things under control , versus the ones who aren’t so sure He can be trusted and have a lot of fear in their hearts. And then there are non-believers who are truly lost and have never had faith,  versus those who used to, or want to believe but for various reasons have decided God doesn’t exist or care about them or this world.

To me the scariest one are ‘Christians’ who think that God needs our help to fix this world and that it can be fixed. These people have not studied the Bible or have been lead astray by false teachers into thinking that God is waiting for humans to do certain things to usher in a new prosperous, peaceful world. That is not what the Bible teaches! This is a false teaching. Things will go up and down as far as war and peace and poverty and prosperity, but they will trend downward until Jesus returns in judgment against Satan and his followers. If you don’t follow Jesus, you follow Satan, whether you believe it or not. Satan has used people to do his earthly deeds of destruction since the beginning, starting with Cain, moving on to Herod, Roman emperors, and modern day dictators like Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini. He also works in local governments, schools, churches, synagogues, and mosques. The progressive movement is actually a religious movement disguised as a political one. It is actually the HUMANIST movement which denies the existence of the spiritual world and even believes that religion is the cause of the world’s problems and should be abolished. Progressives have figured out over time that by dumbing down the schools, keeping people focused on the wrong things like celebrities, their bodies, sex, working to maintain a false sense of security,  and now addictive electronics, they can gradually destroy the family, the church and American freedom and government without anyone really fighting back. Based on the last few elections, they have almost succeeded. Christians must guard themselves and their families.

For the lost ones, I pray for you. For the discouraged ones, turn back to God.  For the misled ones, read your Bible.

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Oh , how I love my parents!

It’s been a rough week.  What to write about? Running is always on my mind, but so is my as of late not so happy life. Looking at my $8 lamp on my donated dinner table that I currently  use as a desk,  I think I will write about my life.

How about a little background to who I am? Well, my dad was almost given away as a baby. His mom was so poor that she considered giving him away to I’m not sure who, but decided to keep him. My dad adored his mother! Maybe because he knew he was loved. My grandma was married to a drunk, which seems to be a strong gene in our family. They were poor and my dad was born in 1939 after several other children.  He picked cotton as a kid in East Texas. Later his family moved to Houston, which was a smaller city at that time.

My dad’s grandpa was  a preacher. My family is a mix of alcoholics, drug addicts, Christians, and food addicts. We like to overdo things.

My dad was awesome. Everyone loved him. He was very good at social skills, unlike me, but he worked at it. He took courses from Dale Carnegie. He was the #1 salesman.  But before that he was  a ‘kid’, working in a grocery store,  who caught my mom’s eye. She was just a girl, 15, whose mom had died unfairly from blood poisoning, when she was just a wee girl. Raised by a Black housekeeper and her dad, along with 5 brothers,  that shaped who she became, an amazing woman. She determined she would marry my dad and she did, God bless her. They had three kids in 4 years. Then a few more for good measure.

Deep breath. My dad had a knack for bullshitting so he was good at customer service and sales. He spent his life selling various things including cars. He started having some health issues in the year 2000. Who knows what caused it but he had cancer and he died mercifully at a very young age.   I miss him so much! If ONLY I could speak to him now! I hope you are proud of me dad. I love you so much!

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Dad in red shirt with his  youngest brother and  his older sister. They were very close. My Uncle Paul and Aunt Mae are still alive.

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Dad in the tie . Father in law with camera. At my second son’s birth, the nursery. 

 

Sorry, I got a bit emotional there. My dad loved gardening, dominos, dogs, fishing, being outside, his mother,my mom,  food, and people. Oh how I wish we could spend more time together! I am so thankful for the good times. My dad and mom had six children. My sister Susan Kay died, and I was born after her, so they named me Paula Kay. Now you know.  My dad and mom were very traditional. She did all the housework and never complained. Then later she started working to help pay bills. She was and IS the best mom ever! My mom is amazing.  She is 77 years old and still working. She works for American Express Travel. They should give her a  raise. She is the QUEEN  of corporate travel. I love hearing her stories of how she has rescued various clients from impossible situations. I am so proud of you, mom!  I am so blessed by my parents. Another deep breath.

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My mom is the tiny lady behind my daughter in the wheelchair. Then we have my nieces, my sons and my son’s girlfriend.

 

Okay enough. I could brag on my parents all day and night. Sure, they made mistakes, but as a middle-aged parent myself, I am very sympathetic to how hard parenting can be. The patience and forgiveness and love they gave is really extraordinary. I can only hope to do the same with my brood.

Longreads on Wordpress

Today I read some crap on Longreads that I wanted to comment on, but there was no place to do it. So I thought I’d do it here. Dear author of Blowin’ Up the 90s. Your article is gibberish. Your sarcastically-hip style is annoying. Your points are pointless. I feel sad for you that your experience of life is so awful. Yes, the 80s were way better than the 90s but life has gone basically downhill since the Industrial revolution , with a few good periods. Progress is relative. The way you deconstructed every little thing was simply depressing. I know that was the point of the article, but why? Find something better to do with your words. Use them to uplift, encourage, motivate, inspire. Pointing out the bad in people helps how? Maybe I’m just too old to understand. I hope you find Jesus.

Celebrating our Addictions

Scroll down any social media feed and you will see plenty of memes glorifying various addictions with humorous, creative graphics and witty sayings. These can be anything from alcohol, food, weight loss, tacos, running, crossfit, cycling, climbing, shopping, coffee, shoes, to iPhones and other weird things. Sometimes the posts don’t actually call it an addiction, such as memes related to anger, political outrage, judging others, or social media itself, but we all know people who are hooked on those and post about it daily.

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Why is this okay? Why do we click LIKE or HAHA on these posts to give approval to what we know is sometimes a very unhealthy relationship or even unwanted slavery to these things? I do it, too! I laugh and then I think , well that’s actually not that funny, is it? So do we just laugh because otherwise we’d cry? I think it is because most of us are in the same boat and if we admit to it , we might want out of the boat and then we might be all alone and have no friends. So we play along and encourage the things that make us miserable or at the very least do not lead to joy and contentment and peace. Those things come from another place, a person, the Lord, Jesus Christ. But sadly posts about Jesus do not get the same approval, do they? I suppose it is the company one keeps. And I have over 800 ‘friends’ on the F-book that I may have something in common with, but not the main thing. I think most of my Christian friends are still following my posts, but many have either unfollowed or snoozed me because they don’t want to read Bible verses  or logical political posts. They’d rather keep their heads in the clouds and focus on wine, tacos, and running. It’s okay. I will be praying for them and for myself to fight these non-Jesus substitutions, aka idols,  for real peace and joy. And let me just add that I know that most of these things can be enjoyed in moderation in a healthy way and not be an addiction. We know if we’ve become dependent or not.
Romans 1:32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things are worthy of death, they not only continue to do these things, but also approve of those who practice them. ~ This verse refers to some pretty bad sins, but it came to mind as to how people tend to encourage others in the same behaviors they are slaves to.

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My life in pictures #2

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I’ve always loved Volkswagen Beetles . I had a copper colored one like that. 

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Enter a captionIphone 072Iphone 133Iphone 187Iphone 196Iphone 286Iphone 364Iphone 372Iphone 430Iphone 448My husband gives himself tattoos. This is my favorite.

I had some issues with this post and couldn’t get the captions under most of the photos. The group photo is a special one. It’s literally a group of moms who all have children with the same very rare condition that my daughter has, Lissencephaly.

The one of the motorcycle was me a few years back in my faster, fitter, younger days.

That’s my husband with a painting on a wall of Willie Nelson, a very famous singer and musician in America.

The Summer Solstice, anxiety and what to do about it

I am a university educated, non-pagan,  Christian living in a modern society. I don’t believe in Mother Earth or that the Universe is God or vice versa. I don’t read horoscopes for advice on daily living or otherwise. HOWEVER…. I do believe that God in His infinite wisdom is a God of order and patterns. The Bible, aka the Holy Scriptures, are full of examples of this. For instance, from the beginning when God created the world, He made it have a 24 hour day, a 7 day week and seasons based on the rotation of the earth and it’s journey around the sun. He created gravity which influences everything. He created our human bodies which respond to other things he created such as barometric pressure, humidity, temperature, light, darkness, and wind. All of these things are external to our bodies , yet you don’t hear much about them when you read about mental health.

SAD , seasonal affective disorder, is a psychiatric diagnosis given to people who get depressed during the winter when they don’t get enough sunlight and their vitamin D levels drop, and probably other changes  that are not measured. This is one condition that has been recognized by the medical field, but is not given much attention unless the sufferer finally seeks helps. Thankfully it does seem to be more acknowledged than it used to be. This condition, in my opinion, is happening year round now that more people are afraid of skin cancer and also because children and adults alike are spending much more time indoors on the internet. One thing everyone can do is take quality Vitamin D3 supplements. I do suggest getting your levels checked first if you have that option. Many people benefit from fairly high doses. Do your research. I am not a doctor.

On to the main topic, seasonal changes. Just when you are getting adjusted to a new hotter or colder temperature and longer or shorter days, it starts to change again! I know some people are not as sensitive to these things,  but those people don’t read articles like this.  I believe that God uses seasons to keep us from getting too comfortable with worldly life. Today is June 11. In Texas, it has been even hotter than normal. As in 90s and above with very high humidity.  Last month was fairly pleasant as far as weather , if you’re used to Texas weather, and people seemed mostly happy.  But as we get closer to June 21, the first day of Summer, I’ve notice a lot of irritability. But I don’t really think it’s the heat that is making them grouchy. I think it’s the upcoming Summer Solstice.

What is the Summer Solstice? It’s the longest day of the year , meaning the most time elapsed from sunrise to sunset.  And the Winter Solstice is the shortest day.  Like I said, I am not a pagan , but I am aware that pagans celebrate these days. I believe pagans have corrupted all God-given things by ascribing perverted rituals and nature/god worship to the creation instead of the Creator, just as pagans have distorted and abused the God-given gift of sex and love. In fact, pagans of the past, and even now, use sex as part of their worship of their false gods. God hates this idolatry and punished and punishes it severely.  That’s a topic for another day.

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What does this have to do with Summer, and seasons in general? Just as humans are affected by having too little light in the Winter, and by the phases of the moon, they are affected by the seasonal changes and long bright days of the Spring and Summer. You’d think the effects of warm weather and sunny days would be mostly positive and I think it is, but I think this time of year can create anxiety in people. Spring and Summer is when God intends for people to be productive and actively preparing for Fall and Winter. If a person is trapped indoors at a desk job or otherwise stuck in a non-productive, toxic or sinful lifestyle, this season, just like Winter,  will cause discontent and unease. People may not know what is wrong , but they feel like they should be doing something. This feeling can build and build. If you follow the worldly ways, you will seek relief in the usual numbing addictions, entertainment, food, alcohol, sex, internet, TV, etc. , instead of doing productive activity and spending time outside and in  the deep soul-searching, prayer, and evaluation that we all  need to do to keep growing into the person God made us to be.  You will feel anxiety because you are resisting God’s will. If you will trust God and seek His will, you will find peace and freedom!

What is God’s will? To put Him first in your life and to grow into a godly person.  You will find that daily living by the power of the Holy Spirit will reap great awards. He will help you shed the shackles of sin and your pet idols and fear of man. How do you do that? First you must know Jesus and receive the free gift of salvation by confessing that you are a sinner and need Jesus to make you right with God. Then you begin to learn about Him and His ways and , yes, His rules for right living. We are not saved by those rules, but they are what God wants because they are for our good. The more you get to know God, the more you will see what a good and loving Father he is! He has your best interests in mind. Then your faith and trust will grow and you will be able to hear the Holy Spirit as he guides you daily. All Christians have the Holy Spirit in them, but not all Christians listen to him. Please note that I am not talking about ‘going to church’ or ‘religion’. Knowing Jesus is neither of those. If you’re new to all of this, I suggest first reading the book of John or any of the gospels of Matthew, Mark , or Luke. Or you may want to read Genesis first. You can read it online. Here is one source.

My prayer is that if you are feeling out of sorts or even if you’re not, that you will seek the Lord and find Him and begin to live for and by him. Feel free to post questions in the comment section if I can help.

Happy Mother’s Day (to those with human children)

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What?!! You consider your pets, animals, furbabies to be your children? You are not alone in your confusion.  On the eve  of the American Mother’s Day holiday which is tomorrow,  I would like to honor those women who have raised  actual human children and also explain to the childless why animals are not the same as children, no matter how much you want them to be.

I guess you could say that I find the trend of adopting animals and considering them children to be very sad and disturbing. Don’t get me wrong, I love animals! We have lots of them. They are a wonderful addition to our family and we treat them well and enjoy their company and even , yes, talk to them and treat them like humans sometimes. But we also have six human children, all of which I gave birth to. I’m not leaving out adoptive moms, though. Raising human children doesn’t require going through the birth process, however I think whether you carried them for 9 months or not possibly could lead to slightly different parenting of your children, but I don’t know for sure. I have great respect and even awe for adoptive moms of whom I know quite a few.

Back to honoring mothers, it truly is the hardest job in the world. Nothing  prepares you for it. I wanted to be a mommy since I was a little girl. I started babysitting for neighbors when I was eleven years old, then worked in child care centers for several years during college and also cared for my siblings’ children before I had my own. I had many ideas/fantasies of what I thought it would be like to have my own children. Like most human relationships, mothering turned out to be much more complicated than I expected! I am not the first woman to secretly think they may not be up to the task when holding a screaming , colicky baby for weeks on end. Even if you are really into child development and read all the best books and have a fairly easy baby , you still have to stay awake way past your bedtime, get up during the night, do things you never wanted to do and dig deep for the energy, patience and creativity that parenting humans requires. And then there are the ‘stages’. Terrible Twos, pre-teens, teens, young adults, etc.  And even when they grow up and get married , most of them still expect a lot from their parents.

My children are now 13 years old to 26 years old. One of them is totally disabled. She is the easy one! Every day they give me reasons to pray for help and guidance and wisdom because they are people! People with complicated emotions and needs, unlike pets. They are born with personalities and genetic tendencies that are not easy to change , just like you and I . Sometimes they are easy when they’re little and then they hit puberty and they become like different people. Thankfully it is normal to have a  some good months mixed in with the difficult ones. One heartbreaking , yet common pattern, is for children to repeat their parents’ worst teenage and young adult behaviors. Whether this is learned or genetic is not always easy to pinpoint. Nothing hurts more than to know that your child is hurting the way you hurt when you were their age and not be able to fix it even though you try. I’m always thankful for the times when my children seem relaxed and content. It’s tough growing up!

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My mom and I . She’s the world’s best mom! I may be biased. 

To keep this from getting too long I will just list some of the differences between human children and animals.

  1. Babies require constant attention and supervision unlike animals.
  2. You cannot put a baby in a cage when you need to go somewhere, like to your job.
  3. Humans live much longer and cannot be ‘put down’ when someone decides they are in pain or sick.
  4. Humans babies become human toddlers and begin to rebel against your every instruction and test their boundaries . This goes on for the next 21 years at least.
  5. Puppies require a lot of attention but are usually pretty well behaved by the time they are 1 1/2 to 2 years old. That is just when children are revving up to make you think you are the worst parent ever.
  6. Oh, never mind, everyone knows that dogs, cats, donkeys, monkeys, or whatever pet you have are not the same as humans.
  7. There are just so many ways human children can cause you extreme anxiety, grief, anger, frustration, and also bring you joy , love, and hope that animals cannot begin to replicate. 

    Why would anyone have children in this screwed up world and knowing that they are so complex and can ruin your life just as easily as they can make you proud? Because that’s what humans do! We carry on the human race . It’s built into us to reproduce and nurture. We have hope. We fall in love. We want to raise a family. However those things seem to be in jeopardy. So many young, 20-30 somethings are getting married but not having children. They may be too selfish or maybe they’re scared or maybe they have bought the lie that the earth is overpopulated or humans are less valuable than the earth itself,  or they may think it’s too expensive.  Be brave! Be thrifty! Read books! Make babies and put your whole heart into for caring your family.  Give up buying more stuff and doing more stuff and form real, human relationships with your offspring. Or adopt some of the many orphans that need loving families. Or do both! Even if it’s difficult at times, it’s still worth it.

Happy Mother’s Day !