Putting off “the call”…

I am being a bad daughter…..  again.  I have been putting off calling my mother back.  I am just so fed up with things that she’s doing.  Even though I haven’t talked to her, I received some verrrrrrrrrrrrrrry lengthy emails form her – telling all about her time at The Call”, and then her latest trip to help with Katrina – which she writes more about praying than anything else. 

I want so bad when I do talk to her, to NOT let her bother me.  I want to be supportive to her… and give her credit for following her heart.  But, it’s so hard when I feel her thrusting all this crap at me.  But still… why do I let her get to me?  I should be use to it by now.  I mean, I know what she’s going to be talking about, and that there’s no sense in trying to tell her how I feel about any of it.  I tell myself I won’t let her get to me.  She’s sick.  I feel sorry for her…  but, yet – every time we talk – especially when she’s on a roll with her latest “adventures” – I wind up feeling drained, and annoyed, and aggrivated by the end ot it.  And, yes…  somehow guilty as well….

You should have heard her go on and on in her email, though.  I was curious, and skeptical of some of the things she was saying – so I stupidly went to Youtube to get a peek for myself.  I found many many short clips there… mostly of people praying, singing, jumping, speaking in tongues, and shouting.  Most of it didn’t surprise me.  Some of it brought back not so good memories and I was glad I am not still in that scene. 

Still…..  most of the people looked happy…. really happy.  There was one clip that almost made me wish I still believed…  This one:

 Don’t they look happy?  All 500 million of them (man there’s a lot, isn’t there?) The part where they all were singing “hallelujah” hit me.  I remember that song well… and I actually really liked singing… and remember feeling moved many time during that song.  It is a pretty song.  Just being in a group… where everyone is swaying and raising their hands and really wanting to feel that love is a powerful thing.  I think now, looking back, that much of my faith and feelings were just wanting to belong… basking in the community and “good” vibes.  Then again, I remember getting almost the same really cool feeling when I went to see “The Who”.  I think, longing to be a part of something is a huge part of all that…

There were many more clips regarding “The Call” that made me think I made the right move by getting out… and raised seriosus doubts in my mind about the whole deal, and especially Lou Engle – the “prohetic” leader.  Here’s a much longer clip than you’ll want to watch:

Lou Engle was also very involved in that whole “jesus camp” thing – which I personally found very, very disturbing.   Sadly, I could relate.  My childhood experiences weren’t far off from a lot of what they are showing.  (see this post of mine for an example
Maybe not quite as big of a group… but, same thing on a smaller level.   Here’s a clip from that too:

 I especially didn’t know wether to laugh or cry at this lady going off about Harry Potter being evil:

My oldest son loves Harry Potter.  So do I.  I know damn well that if my mother had her say – she would agree with the above clip.  She hated halloween and totally had me freaked out about evil spirits when I was a kid.  Almost everything was off limits or “evil”.  I have vivid memories from teen group leaders telling me how evil rock music was… how just the beat was satanic… making young people want to move in sexual ways.  We talked in length about Led Zepplin’s “Stairway to Heaven” song, and don’t even get me started on the KISS albums!  LOL (Kids in Satan’s Sanctuary! Look out!).  I imagine the kids now days get a real earful over Marilyn Manson LOL

I get a kick out of all the “christian rock” music now.  I gues, that beat is okay this way.. as long as they are not dancing for “the flesh” and only for God.   My how things keep changing.  LOL

Can anyone seriously blame me for putting off talking to my mother. Ok Ok.  I’ll call her tommorrow.  I promise…

~smj

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The Call

Saw mom yesterday at my brother’s. She seemed to be doing well… except she started in again about not knowing where she was going to live in a few months… and complaining how broke she is. I mentioned that my oldest brother said she could go there… and she scoffed at the idea. Too far from her church, she said. Well, then, I told her she better start looking into cheaper apartments.

She was fishing… hoping I’d give her the slightest hope of coming to live with me.  She was being downright blunt.  So, I was very careful not to move too fast or give even the slightest glimmer of a chance of this to her.   Sort of like being at an auction, and afraid to move and make a bid.  LOL

After going on and on about how broke she is, she then went on and on about her latest plans for ministries. She’s flying to Nashville for “The Call, Nashville, direct from Tennessee with Lou Engle”. Then, in a few weeks later, she is traveling to help out with some other missionary trip to help (and preach to) folks still rebuilding after hurricane Katrina. Read the rest of this entry »

God will provide…

My mom’s been saying “the Lord will provide” forever, but especially ever since she up and sold our house… and decided to become a missionary.  She had the house, all paid for, in the divorce settlement between her and Dad years ago.  The house we all grew up in… and, he gave her without a fight.  She promptly decided to sell it and everything in it…  because God told her to. 

My brother’s and I asked her several times, what would happen if the missionary thing didn’t work out?  Where will she stay when she comes home?  “The Lord will provide” she’d said. 

In a way, I give her credit.  Whether or not she heard the Lord’s advice – it took guts for her to do that.  And, I think it was a life long dream.  And, she did it.  She up and moved to China.  Who would have thunk it?? 

I know she was just running away from a bad situation.  She felt like her whole life here had crumbled apart.  Her marriage had finally fell apart, along with her belief that someday God would turn her atheist husband into a Christian husband for her.  In addition, she had finally crossed the line with her “stories”, and her own children and family (along with doctors and police) had all told her that basically, she was crazy, and needed to get “help”.    So, it was either admit she needed help… or turn into a missionary.  Hmmmmm…???  China, here she comes! 

Still, took guts… and a passport… and all kind so other stuff.  And, she did it.  Off she went.  She spent a few years in China… only returning for a week or two here and there.  She lost touch with all her grandchildren – but, became a little hero with her church friends.  I emailed her regularly and handled her finances here.  I think, we actually get along better via email. 

She made me upset when she insisted on flying home immediately when my father passed away.  She hated him all my life.  She accused him of terrible things.  She acted like he was the devil himself.  I did not want her at his funeral.  Nobody did.  I was shocked when she said she’d take the first flight home.  I tried to tell her nicely, and then not so nicely, that she shouldn’t come.  She didn’t listen.  She said, she wanted to be there “for me”.  But, I think she wanted to be there because she knew we didn’t want her there.  Whenever she feels “rejected”, she is even more pushy. 

In the year before my dad died, I had mentioned to her via email that he was dying.  I didn’t go  into it much, because they didn’t get along – but, thought she should at least know what was happening… what *I* was dealing with, if nothing else.  She told me in one email that she didn’t believe it… he was faking.  I told her that I was the one taking care of him, dealing with all the doctors and hospice care, that I KNEW he wasn’t “faking”.  She then responded that “if she was God, he would have been dead a long time ago”.  ??  LoLetinf!   Very Christian of her, don’t cha think?  But, then, when he actually passed away – she couldn’t understand why I didn’t want her to be there. 

Truth be told, I never really turned to my Mom for comfort much.  She always annoyed me.  I remember when I was a kid and sick with the flu or anything, and I’d be getting sick in the bathroom… she would come in… and put her hand on my back… and pray in tongues for me as I was getting sick.  It always made me feel sicker.  I was always trying to nicely shrug her off of me.  I didn’t want her there.  This was how I felt when Dad died…   ten fold…

But, she came.  And I did my best to be polite, but unavailable to her for the most part, as I had told her upfront I would be. 

A few weeks after that, she came home for a few months… stayed between my brother’s house, my house, and a friend of hers.   I felt like I had to let her stay with us too…. but, it wasn’t easy.  She takes over when she’s around.  Expects to be waited on… take over the TV and sofa… and, thinks someone should give her full access to their vehicle. 

Shortly after that she got out of the missionary group in China – and moved back to the area for good.  She hinted at staying with us.  Luckily, my oldest brother told her she could stay with him… but,he lives out about 1.5 hrs away, and she didn’t want to be that far from her church, etc.  So, she opted to get her own apartment.  Fine.  She got one RIGHT around the corner from where I grew up.. and where I live now.  Fine.  We helped her move in… helped her with everything.  She said, it was too expensive.. .she wouldn’t be able to stay there long… but, “God will provide”. 

Now, she has hit the point where her lease is up – she says she can’t afford it there anymore.. .and she needs to find a less expensive place.  Again, “God will provide”… but, every time she says it, I get the feeling she thinks God has the same last name as my husband and I!  She started off hinting around BIG time that she wants to live with me… and now is just basically asking by saying we could “go in on” a bigger house together.  ?!?!?  Is she nuts???  (duh! stupid question, I know.)

Doesn’t she remember how it was when she lived her briefly before??  Way back when, she lived with me for a few months BEFORE her and my Dad’s divorce went final  – and it was Hell! I can’t help it.  She drives me crazy.  Even DH, who normally would tell me, “now, honey… she is your mother… be nice”… even HE was hitting his boiling point when she stayed here.  He suddenly was following me out the door every time I had to leave saying, “wait!  I’m coming too!” – because he didn’t want to be left there.  I wound up having to write her a letter, telling her that she NEEDED to wrap things up with the divorce and leave because she was affecting every aspect of my life, my marriage, my job, in a negative way.  Can’t she re-read that note?? Maybe I can find a copy… LOL. 

I mean, she KNOWS I love her… she also KNOWS we do not have the closest relationship.  I don’t know why she thinks this would work.  No way.  I think that just because my Dad lived with me for 15 years, she things she should be able to.  It’s the old “rejection” thing again, and she wants her fair share” of my life.  It ain’t gonna happen.

If anything, the fact that my Dad lived with us is a deterrent.  It was hard enough living with him, and he and I actually were very close and got along great.  My marriage barely lived thru that – and he did his best to not overstep boundaries when he was here.  My marriage could not withstand my mother living with us.  Thank God I still have my brother offering up his home.  He has a big house… his kids are grown… and he can handle her better than I can anyway.  She will have to go there.. or find a cheaper apartment. 

God will provide.  Ha!  In other words, “I have no idea what I am going to do, and shouldn’t be responsible for myself.  Everyone else take care of me now”.  She should have never sold the damn house.

~smj

 

Say what?? God got your tongue?

One of my friends was asking me about speaking in tongues…  this, is a little of my personal experience with it…

I mentioned before about how we switched churches a few times when I was a kid… Starting off Baptist, and then each change leading to a more jubilant Pentecostal/Full Gospel type. We were at one in particular from the time I was about 7 or 8 – until I was about 14 yrs old. I went in there a wide-eyed, full blown Baptist believer kid… and left a skeptical and somewhat bitter teen.

I’ll never forget my first Sunday at that church. The pastor was Italian and screamed constantly. People clapped and shouted “hallelujah!”, raising their hands and yelling “AMEN!” here and there. I was shocked and scared.  I felt Read the rest of this entry »

Sometimes you just gotta laugh… (Mom reads my Diary)

So, when I was 17… I came home one day to find my diary on my bed.  Not burried in my closet where I left it… but, on my bed.  Worse yet, there was a long letter in it, written TO me, from my mother. 

YIKES!  Can you say, Panic??

I had kept this diary since I was about 11.  It had EVERYTHING in it.  I would write pages sometimes, and it was in a big 3 ring binder.  I later learned that it took my mom a week to read it… before letting on she had found it. 

 Now…  can I blame my mom for reading it?  Not according to her.  She said, I must have wanted her to.  But, the fact that I had it hidden in the deepest darkets corner of my closet didn’t seem to say that to me!?

The weeks immediatly following were a big turning point in my life.  It was when I finally had the guts to break out from my double image of a life…  but, not until going thru a bit of hell first. 

There were some pretty trying times…

First of all, I woke up in the middle of almost every night for several weeks, to find my mother praying over me in tongues, and anointing my forhead with oil (vegetable oil to be exact, and she’d be painting a cross of it on my forehead)…  accusing me of all kinds of outlandish things.  I was a nervous wreck for a while… couldn’t sleep… couldn’t eat… lost a lot of weight (the one GOOD thing!).

Yes,  mom had read my diary and found out I had lied, and had sneaked out my window, that I had been drinking a little, and heaven forbid – that I secretly did NOT like going to church anymore but was going because I felt like I HAD to. 

Really, there wasn’t anything that bad in my diary… I hadn’t even had sex yet…   but, you would’ve thought she read that I was in a Satan-worshiping-sex-and-drugs-cult or something.  ?? She wanted me  to go to the pastor with her and to repent, ask forgiveness, “drop all my worldly friends”, and basically admit I was the biggest f!#@-up on earth. 

For once, I stood up to her.  

I refused. 

The biggest thing that helped me to do this, was the “dropping my friends” part.  No way.  She called me a hypocrite, and I told her she was right… and that I HAD been going to church only for her sake and that I should not be going, and so… I wasn’t go to go anymore.   And, with that she…  well?… can you say “freaked out”?

She didn’t believe anything I said… and the fact that I got good grades, and didn’t get in trouble didn’t matter.  Yup –  my mom went on a mission to “save me” from my heathen friends, the brainwashing of my father, and all my sinful worldly ways.  

Ahhhh… well… 
Sometimes… you do have to laugh.  Here’s a good example of a such a time:

Ok – So, right around this time, I came home one day, and my Dad was sitting there, all serious… holding a little copper mug, and a little test-tube water bottle. 

I was scared.  Uh oh.  What had mom told him?  What was happening now??  She told me she wasn’t GOING to tell him anything she read in my diary, because she said “he couldn’t help me”.  So, I was confused for a moment…  what was up?

Dad said to me, “Do you know what this is?” in a very stern and serious voice -as he showed me the mug and test tube…

I said,  “yes
…. feeling relieved a little because this was something he DID know about… sort of… and it wasn’t anything bad. 

 “Well? what is it for??”, he demanded… “your mother found it in the basement.”
His tone was accusing… as if he had caught me red-handed at something really bad. 

Me: “Well… Remember when I “found” that hamster than I wanted to keep years ago when I was like 12, and you wouldn’t let me keep it?”

Dad: “yes??”

Me: “well?  remember, I told you that I hid it for a while under my nightstand and nobody ever knew? But then I finally gave it away… and you never knew about it until I told you about it years later??”…

Dad, looking a little more relaxed and a little confused himself now, “yes…?”

Me: “well, THAT was the little cup that I had in his home…  and the tube was part of his little water bottle.  See?  there’s still a piece of litter stuck in the cup.  I must’ve hid them in the rafters years ago after I gave him away”. 

I was still confused.  But, my father began laughing uncontrollably.  And, teasingly calling out to my mom  – who was lurking around the corner, eaves-dropping.  He asked her to come and  tell me what she had told him. 

My mom was not amused.  She had that glazed over crazy look in her eyes.  Her eyes darting back and forth.  I knew immediately she thought we must be ganging up on her.  She woulnd’t answer him and stood there looking like she was going to explode. 

My father didn’t care.  He was relieved… and laughing still…
and between laughs, he said,
“your mother told me she found this in the rafters in the basement, and that it belonged to one of you kids… and that it was for smoking some kind of dope.  She thought, you put stuff in the tube, heated it in the cup, and inhaled it when it came out the tube thing”.

With that, I also began laughing… hard.

 And, my mother did lose it.  She screamed at us, “Well, how was *I* suppose to know that!?!?!”

It never dawned on her that, perhaps, she could’ve asked before making up such a crazy thing.  I wondered how many people she had already told.  Then, I didn’t care.

 This was around the time I decided that I just didn’t care what she thought anymore or what the rest of the church thought either… of course, deep down, I did care… but, I began telling myself at that point that I didn’t… that I shouldn’t… and I tried real hard not to. 

For months I came home, wondering if she had told my Dad anything, and if so, WHAT she would tell him.  I was very bervous.  Eventually,  I realized that even if she DID tell him anything “bad” I did – that he would have to take my side.  He knew she made up things, I know he did.  I also figured he couldn’t ground me for something my friends did, or something I had done YEARS earlier.  So, eventually, I got over it…  and stopped worrying about it. 

 Years later, I told my Dad about what happened when she read my diary.  He was mad that I never told him when it was gonig on.  He said he would have “made her stop:.  

Hindsight…

====
 A few other pretty funny things my mom accused me of?

  •  snorting the butane refills that were for my cordless curling iron… (she kept stealing them from me and throwing them out).
  • being bulimic
    (I had lost weight… but, it was because she turned me into a nervous wreck and she made me feel sick all the time and I couldn’t eat much, not because I was bulemic.  I absolutely hate throwing up.)
  • going to meet my “connection” –
    when I had no idea what one was.  She obviously thought I was a drug addict, and I would have to show her receipts of clothes I bought for the prom to prove I hadn’t been buying drugs.  Usually this was in the middle of the night… when I could barely think.
  • being a whore that would never be satisfied by the touch of a man until I repented and became a child of God again. 

Okay – that last one wasn’t so funny…  especially since I had never even had sex when she said it.

So, maybe not so funny… but, still… ya gotta laugh…. at least I had to… and still do.  What are my other options? 

~smj