Point of Grace: Emmanuel, God With Us

Point of Grace is an all-female Christian band (that I honestly haven’t kept up with over the years) that dropped one of my most favorite Christmas albums. It’s a classic to me and symbolizes the wonder and magnificence of Christmas. With a mix of Jesus-based songs and standard holiday fare, A Christmas Story is an all-around great Christmas album from a Christian group. Below is “Emmanuel, God With Us,” a beautiful song about reaching out to a stranger during the holiday season.

The Tree of Life shooting hits home for me

Tree of Life victims

I recently attended a bar mitzvah and entered a synagogue for the first time in my life. It was an enriching experience. Considering that Christianity is a religion based on Judaism, it was eye-opening to gain a glimpse of a service that Jesus was a part of. Reading the Torah and the prophets. Carrying the Torah. Imagine Jesus having a bar mitzvah at 13! The reverence for scripture is amazing.

It was also fascinating to hear Hebrew songs and read along with the lyrics in Hebrew (English translation provided on the other side of the page). Of course, none of the Hebrew characters made sense to me but to be exposed to them—reading an ancient language that Jesus would have read—was incredible. I really enjoyed attending a Shabbat service and definitely wouldn’t mind doing it again if presented with the opportunity.

While I was at synagogue in Philadelphia, on the other side of the state in Pittsburgh, an anti-Semitic man decided to bring his hate into the Tree of Life synagogue, killing 11 innocent people. The shooting hit close to home for me because it reminded me that it could easily have been the synagogue I attended. I sat on the train with profound sadness for those attending a routine Shabbat service, only to have it destroyed during at 20-minute hate crime. To be honest, I don’t think I would’ve experienced the deep sympathy I felt if I hadn’t been partaking in a Judaic service that very morning. As if Jewish people haven’t endured enough in history, to have such a terrible assault simply because of who they are and their religious faith was astounding. I shouldn’t be surprised by hate given what I believe about sin and the depraved souls of humans, but the depth of and actions from hate never cease to amaze me.

My deepest sympathies and prayers are with the Tree of Life congregation. May the Lord have mercy on the shooter’s soul. And I won’t go into the need for practical actions, such as gun restriction legislation, including mental health records in firearm background checks. I’ll save that post for another day.

 

Once eccentric, now just disappearing

I started this blog as the eccentriceditor for content’s sake. I didn’t really want to name my site eccentric (I forgot I wanted to use the word eclectic.) I probably wouldn’t have changed the name of the blog if it had been eclecticeditor. Alas, here I am now.

Black Girl in the USA—girl disappearing (what on earth’s occuring?)

Why girldisappearing.com? Well, I bought the domain name because I love the Tori Amos song and thought it would be a good blog site (easy to type and remember). Then I decided to rename it to Black Girl in the USA. You’d think I have commitment issues. I guess I do when it comes to writing and blogging. I’ve been married for 13 years so I have no problems with fidelity there. But I will cheat on my other blogs. I will probably cheat on this one after a while, too. In the past, I’ve written about:

  • Mental health/mental illness
  • Psychiatric drugs
  • Infertility
  • Childlessness (I know, I have a kid now, but it goes along with the infertility part)
  • Postpartum depression/OCD
  • Christian beliefs
  • Books
  • Music
  • Current events

I’d like to take this blog in a different direction. Not just talk about my life, but provide regular content on different things. I won’t say NOTHING is off-limits but I plan on being pretty open about my political leanings, my thoughts on current events, the music I love, and the iPhone apps I ADORE.

And Bitmojis. All the Bitmojis, y’all.

Stories I tell myself

There’s a Christian children’s song called “Jesus Loves Me.” The simple lyrics are as follows:

Jesus loves me
This I know
For the Bible tells me so
Little ones to him belong
They are weak when he is strong
Yes, Jesus loves me
Yes, Jesus loves me
Yes, Jesus loves me
The Bible tells me so

Sometimes my mind likes to twist and pervert the lyrics.

No one loves me
This I know
Because I tell myself so
I belong down in a grave
Where no one can help or save
No, no one loves me
No, no one loves me
No, no one loves me
Because I tell me so

Of course this is not true. But it feels true. Distinguishing between what is true and what is false is sometimes a hard task for me.

Hi God,

A prayer. I pray that my husband and I would be able to afford a home within the next 3 years. To stay in the school district where we are now. To have a home that will allow us to expand (add an in-law suite). And one that would not be visited by bugs (especially large ones) all the time. (Occasional like here?)

A home where my son can make neighborhood friends. Where my husband and I can plant roots. Where we can host community groups and fellowship and birthday parties.

Because we can get specific with requests, here’s mine: central air, the opportunity to finish a basement, some backyard space, at least two floors, remodeled kitchen, at least three bedrooms and the room to build an in-law suite, a single home (not duplex or townhome), no association fees, and one that we can grow into. Oh, and driveway and garage where we can have storage space.

I’m throwing this out there because even though this seems impossible for us, nothing is too impossible for you, God. You can make it happen. Of course, you don’t have to but I believe you can. Within the next 3 years would be great.

And while you’re at it, can I have a second kid too? Thanks for all that you do, have done, and will do.

In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Love,

Your Eccentric Editor ❤️

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I’ve been a member of my current church for the past, Oh, I don’t know, 6 or so years. It’s gone through so much member turnover. The senior pastor I knew left. All the elders I was close to are now gone. And I don’t really know anyone except one couple. I feel lost in my own church even though I’ve been there longer than a good part of the congregation. (There are still a few who have me beat by a long shot.)

No one really knows me. They don’t know anything about my life or my struggles. My husband hating his job, my miscarriage, my son’s behavioral problems. Believe it or not, finances are currently not an issue. But a surplus of money can’t make everything in my life turn out all right.

My son loves going to church. I think it’s great that he’s interested in learning and socializing. I’d like him to grow up and know God. One of my prayers before I had him was that if I had a kid, s/he would grow up in the knowledge and fear of the Lord. I’m a horrible Christian, terrible when it comes to reading the Bible regularly and even worse when it comes to daily prayers. (I throw a couple of “thank yous” and “pleases” at least once a day. Especially when I’m driving.)

But my son doesn’t know anyone. He’s shy at first. He doesn’t know his teachers and he doesn’t know his peers. That’s because my church attendance has been so spotty and I’d like to make commitment to go to church regularly so that my son gets the proper Christian education that he needs. We read Bible stories at night but I think Sunday School helps reinforce the lessons he’s learning. Now, to teach him to pray…

I try to attend community groups to get connected to others in the church. I feel out of place there too. Uncomfortable with some people. Wondering if anyone really cares or if my prayer requests are being sent out into a hearing void. I know God hears but does anyone else really care?

I’m also dealing with secondary infertility. I’m hopeless and pessimistic that I won’t have kids again. It’s not looking good for me. Poor egg quality, not being able to produce enough follicles FOR the eggs even though I’m on stimulation medication. I was hoping that my son could have a sibling but it’s not looking that way. I always hoped that I didn’t have an only child—if I was going to have one, I had to have two. I’ll be OK if my son is all I have. But I will grieve the loss of the child(ren) I’ll never have. Sigh.

Adoption is always an option but I’m so short tempered with my biological son that I can’t imagine treating an adopted child the way I do him. Isn’t it horrible? I don’t abuse or smack my kid. But he irritates me and I walk away. He doesn’t do something the way I want him to and I lose my patience. I tell him repeatedly not to do something and he doesn’t listen, doing the incorrect thing. And that kindles an emotional fire of anger.

I’m much more patient with adults. Kids are learning; I need to remember and understand that. My son is still learning—lots of things. It’s hard often to keep that in mind.

But I also wonder if adoption is really right for our family. I dreamed about it at one point. And now I don’t know if I could do it. I believe it takes a special kind of person or family to bring an existing person, not related, into your fold. As much as I idealized adopting a child, I just don’t think I am cut out for it. And I’ve never had the desire to adopt a baby either (babies are in hot demand for adoption). I would adopt a 2 or 3 year old. (I’m a toddler girl anyway. I love the little shits at that age.)

When I’m around toddlers, I’m so inspired. They have an amazing way of looking at the world. They learn things and you can see the light bulb go off in their head every time it clicks. And then they love it! And then they do it again and again and again and again. Ad nauseum. BUT that’s how they learn. And I love helping them learn. Chasing them around the room. Playing peek-a-boo. Reading simple board books. Or perhaps even watching a bit of educational TV. (Toddler shows are hellannoying but my son learned a TON from that stuff.)

But I also don’t know that I can handle/go through the baby phase again. If God doesn’t allow me to have another, I’m going to guess that’s it. Or maybe spare me another episode of postpartum depression. I’m not going to question what He does. All I’m going to do is pray that He answers my petitions and if He doesn’t, it’s OK because His ways are higher than mine and I certainly don’t know what’s best for me. He does. And I will trust Him.