Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Kid Rock-Cash-Cyrus Approach

One question seems to plague me today.

It's something I've thought about vaguely for a while, and until today it has nested in the back of my mind.  But now I'm wondering, and so I'm asking--not for an opinion, but for a truth.  A Jesus-truth.

Around a year ago I really became fascinated with Johnny Cash.  Today I watched "Walk the Line" again and saw it from a whole new angle.

I have also become a huge Kid Rock fan over the past 24 months, and although I consider myself a devout Christian, I find his "in your face", almost-offensive lyrics refreshing somehow.

I think what draws us to these pop culture masterpieces is their originality.  Kid Rock prides himself on being a master of mixing hip-hop, southern rock, and blues all into one.  And listening to his music, I can tell you it is truly a beautiful collaboration and somehow he makes it work--and he has made it work with his obvious multi-platinum record sales.

If you look up Johnny Cash on Wikipedia it explains that his originality and rebelliousness to the country music genre is what set him apart and put him light years ahead of his competition.  He too was creative in his mix: gospel, blues, and western music.

What further intrigues me about Cash is that he considered himself a very devout Christian, yet he was the "biggest sinner of them all."  To be so complex and contradictory really confused a lot of people, especially his Christian fans.

And in the movie there is a scene where Johnny goes to his record company asking to design a concert tour around the nation's top penitentiary systems.  His record company tells him that this is clearly not going to reach his loyal fans.
"Your fans are church folk, Johnny.  Christians.  They don't wanna hear you sing to a bunch of murderers and rapists, tryin' to cheer 'em up."

Mr Cash's striking reply was,

 "Well, they're not Christians then."

 I guess what gets me is that WE are Christians.  We are to model Jesus.  Jesus loved sinners--murderers and rapists.  But in the church today, you don't hear or see anything remotely close to that.  No one loves them or hangs out with them or buys them lunch--much less sings to them or tries to cheer them up.  

In fact, I would assume it would be easier and much more popular for the Christians to look down at Mr. Cash for doing such a thing.

His lyrics are just so rebellious!
                                     He sings about popping pills, killing people, and getting drunk!
How can such a person consider themselves a Christian??
                                          I heard he started out as a gospel singer--I wonder what happened to him?
Poor guy--he's so strung out on drugs he doesn't know what he wants.

Of course, I wasn't around for Johnny Cash's career and the live gossip that followed.  But we are all here for Kid Rock.  Also to many people's surprise--he too sings several songs on faith, Jesus, and God.  He is a political and social activists and participates in several charities.  But I'm sure most of my fellow Christians (I used too as well) can be caught with this kind of opinion:

Kid Rock?  He's definitely not a good guy.  Have you heard his lyrics?  
                         Didn't he go to jail for drugs and stuff?
I think he is pretty strung out on drugs too..
                        I have no respect for him.
                                           He is disgusting.

But really, would Jesus gossip like this?  Well, Jesus wouldn't gossip.  But he would definitely hold the same opinions as us...right?  

What about Lady Gaga or Miley Cyrus' new stunt??

Yeah and did you hear about Amanda Bynes??  Oh my gosh, she is totally loosing it.  Such a shame too because she was so talented...

So it's okay to make "pity" comments and judgmental thoughts about them because they're famous right?

What about you?  How are things on your end?

I heard she's been hanging out with a rough crowd lately..
                He might be gay, we better keep him at a close distance.
I pray for them, but gees there's just no changing them.  They are total hypocrites!

And I'm the one writing this so you know I'll get slammed!

Who is she to talk?  Why does she always think she has the right to preach to us??
                    Well she obviously can't say anything..she dropped out of school for a year!
I don't trust her beliefs anymore..I heard she works at a bar.

I think we've all wasted too many precious hours lying and covering up our mistakes with cheap Covergirl cosmetics.  You see, I am a very black and white person.  Tell me what to do and I'll do it, but this question I have seems to have no clear answer--and so I'm asking you to think on it with me.  Let's think and pray until the Lord searches our hearts with a solution.
Here's the question:

In my family, (Disclaimer: Obviously I love my family, this is just a thought so don't freak out.)  we were raised to keep our sins on the down-low.  Yes, we acknowledge that everyone sins and Jesus totally forgives those kinds of things--but at the same time, we really don't want the whole world knowing about our just gets, well, kind of messy.  It's too much to explain.

  • Like your father's infidelity for instance.  We won't mention that because it was wrong, he knew it was wrong, and so him and your mother worked out amongst themselves and moved on.

  • Or your sister went to jail on a crazy party mishap.  That's great that your parents got her out immediately and had it expunged from her record, but please don't bring it up ever again--especially in a family setting.  We don't need to discuss that.

Part of me agrees with this approach, part of me doesn't.  

The Bible teaches me to expose sins and confess them to my prayer warrior friends so I can be healed and set free (James 5:16, Proverbs 28:13, 1 Timothy 5:20.)  But when I do that, I get more gossip in return and worried looks from parents, family members, and old teachers.  I even got awkward talks from many people who barely knew me or my situation!

On the other hand..if you keep quiet about the whole thing and handle yourself between you and God then everyone avoids the awkward conversation and we all politely disregard the fact that you also are human and you have sin.  Because we disregard this fact we can quite confidently turn around and not only judge each other for listening to Lady Gaga's music, but we can join forces together by calling her a "sinful ugly whore who is desperate for attention."

I guess in a perfect world we would follow the Bible and stop judging each other, but we don't live that way--so we sin.  And we sin more to cover up our sin.  And when people ask us about it we lie about our sin.

It's a lose-lose situation.

I had a wonderful friend once who was THAT honest with himself, his friends, his parents and his church family. 

Now we all hate him.

I just don't get it.  What are we to do?  Save face and be (fake) clean little Christians with good (outward) habits and hobbies, or do we take the Kid Rock-Cash-Cyrus approach and be upfront with everyone about being "troubled but devout Christians."

Friday, September 6, 2013

Gert and Char: Reloaded


Now that we live in the same state again, we have….

Had a reunion brunch. All sorts of fancy delicacies were eaten.

We go on walk and talks. We don’t run. We talk about boys and our feelings.

We mock social media but secretly use some of it.

We justify each other’s impulse purchases.

In all the years we’ve been kindred spirits, we have never gone on a double date together. Apparently people like us better when we’re apart. Whatever.

We like old buildings and vintage furniture. Not because that’s hip these days but because we read books like Bleak House.

Char tries to persuade Gert to get back on Pinterest and covet with her.

Gert treats Char to lunch for graduating.

We frown upon V-necks on guys.

Happy summer ladies,

Charlotte and Gertrude

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Well, which is it?


One time I went to the grocery store with my little brother to buy some rice krispie treat ingredients (you know, the essentials). The cashier asked my brother if he was excited to help "his mommy" (me) make the treats. 

My little brother is 6.

No, cashier lady, I am not his mother. But thank you for supposing that I am much older than I am. 


Now riddle me this.

On my last plane ride, the flight attendant asked me where my guardian would be picking me up at the airport. She said she had to make sure that everyone 16 and younger was accounted for.

I'm sorry- what? 

I told her my age and left it at that. But deep down I wanted to explain to her that I am indeed a working woman and that this flight was in fact part of very "important" work travel.

So what is it world?

Do I look young or old?

It messes with my head a bit. 

Gertie (for the young soul in me) or Gertrude (to match the wrinkles) whatever tickles your fancy....

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Night of the Infamous Rodeo Clown

So I didn’t go in to work yesterday because I had eaten of loaf of ciabatta bread and a bucket of cookies at 11:30 the night before and turns out you feel sick when you do that. Live and learn.

Let’s just say that going to Target during a clearance sale is already potentially dangerous. But going while you’re sick is just plain fatal. I barely have self control at Target in a right state of mind…

While perusing I heard a girl say, “Just get it.” I looked over, expecting to see a very Gert and Char moment where a friend was encouraging her fellow Spinster to buy something. I was mistaken. The girl was talking to herself. #selfmotivation #irespectthat

Later on I found myself looking in a mirror in the dressing room. I was wearing black and white polka dot pants, heels, a silk shirt and a cowboy hat.  That’s when I knew it was time to go home. I looked like a clown. A rodeo clown.

I left the store with only the cowboy hat. Okay the heels too.

I felt ashamed of my impulse buys so I texted Gert. She said, “Remember when you danced at the rodeo all by yourself? #youearnedthathat.

So, in the spirit of impulse cowboy hat purchases…I will now tell you the story Gert mentioned.


So there we were. At the Bull Wars Rodeo. Gert and I were with a crew. A rodeo clown stopped our girl MB and asked her if she and two friends would like to participate in a contest. And not just any contest. A dance off.

Gert, being the classy and respectable woman she is, said no. I on the other hand, was thinking something along the lines of YOLO or some foolishness like that. We grabbed another fella we were with and hopped the fence into the rodeo area. They put us dead smack in the middle of the arena and spread us out. They explained that we were gonna dance ONE AT A TIME and the crowd of maybe 200-300 people would scream the loudest for who they want to win. So MB went first, our other friend next and then I started to dance. It was at that moment that the “lose your mind” button was tapped in my head and I started dancing like a maniac. I was trying to remember how cute girls dance. All my body was doing was something similar to a soulja boy-high kick nightmare.

The clown then said, “Ok we’re gonna blind fold you because you’re all copying each other”. They blinded fold us and I fully expected to be trampled by a herd of bulls.
I started dancing my heart out because I needed to win this thing.

The clown asked,
“Who likes contestant 1?” (MB) and lots of people cheer.
“Who likes contestant 2?” (fella friend) and again, lots of people cheer.
“Who likes contestant 3?” (me) and the place erupts.

I was obviously elated because I had won this most noble contest. The clown said we could take our blindfolds off and as I did, I realized the horror of my situation.

I was the single solitary person in the rodeo area.

Apparently they had snuck off MB and the fella right after they blindfolded me so I, and I alone was dancing for a solid 2 minutes by myself in front of hundreds of people.

There was only thing left for me to do.


No prize but fame and endless glory were given.



Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Second Date Breakdown

While prepping my house for a baby shower for one of my girlfriends…
(For whom I also helped throw a bridal shower. Time flies when you’re….single)
p.s. I thought only ladies on Pinterest looked that cute pregnant. She was such a styl’in mama! Sheesh! I’m on her team.


While prepping I got a text from a fellow Spinster:

Went on a date last night.
He didn’t open my door once.
He asked me if I was hungry.
I said yes.
He didn’t buy me dinner.
He asked me if I wanted ice cream.
I said yes.
He only bought one so we shared.

This made me ponder the tactics needed for a second date. Gert and I have been contemplating this sticky situation. How do you show him you want (or don’t want) another? For guys it’s simple.

How to get a second date for Guys:
They need to copy this text message and paste it to their mirror and say, “I will not make these sad mistakes. I will buy dinner. I will open doors. I will throw my wallet open to buy delicacies for my date.” That will for sure at least keep us Spinsters intrigued.

How to get a second date for Girls: (warning: not as simple as the guys)
1.     Smile lots on the date.
2.     Laugh at his jokes.
3.     Do the elbow touch. If you are unfamiliar with the elbow touch see our earlier post. Don’t go touching people’s elbows willy-nilly. You will get arrested.
4.     On the doorstep pull the classic lines, “We should do this again”, “Call me next time you go_____. I’d love to come!”
5.     Close the door.
6.     Read (or send) your post-date thank you text.
7.     Wait contently for a few days.

Oh my gosh. What do you do now? Do you wait for him to call for the second date? Do you ask him to hang out? Do you plan the second date? Should you tag him in a picture? Should you like his instagram? No, I’ll just wait. Wait! Why did that girl post on this wall!? Did he take her out too? Oh my gosh. He hasn’t called in days. What am I supposed to do? Was that my phone? Oh. No it was just the oven. Okay, so if he hasn’t texted me by 7 I’m going to text him. Ugh. I hate him. Why hasn’t he called me yet? I am never going out with him again. He is being a punk. Why did he act all flirty if he wasn’t even going to take me out again?! Oh. Phew. He texted me.
 I love him.

Dear Second Date. Stop playing so hard to get.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

5 Love Languages

Ever heard of the 5 Love Languages

 It’s the idea that you have a way you like to receive/give love. Everyone has their own.

Acts of Service
Receiving Gifts
Words of Affirmation
Quality Time
Physical Touch

I am definitely a Words of Affirmation girl.

Defintion: Words of Affirmation: verb. To speak lovely things to another.

I was dating someone at the time who I thought I’d try it out on! (such a good idea, right?)

Char: “So I’ve been thinking, I would really like it if you would write me little notes or something sometime. I just really like that kind of stuff.”

Ex: “I don’t feel like I need to do that.”

Char: “No see, that’s the point. I read this book where it said I needed to tell you the way I feel loved. And I feel loved when you shoot me a text to say you’re thinking about me or that you think I look nice today.”

Ex: “Yeah I don’t do that.”

Char: “Yeah could you start? And I could start showing you that I care about you in the ways you like. What do I do that makes you feel loved? Do you like when I bake you cookies or go running with you or tickle your back?”

Ex: “I don’t feel like that’s an area that I need to improve in. I don’t need to start writing you notes.”

Char: Okay…he’s graduated from college. I think he should be able to get his.
“Alright so what I’m trying to say is I need you to express your appreciation for me a little more and I can do the same for you.”

Ex: “Yeah I don’t feel I need to do that.”

Is it just me or is there a br-br-broken record in here?

Apparently we were speaking different languages.