Humor · spirituality

Church Chat

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If there’s one thing I dread discussing — it’s religion.

All those pesky questions: Who created us? How did we get here? Why are we here? Where are my car keys? I just had them a second ago and — oh. Someone put them in the fridge. Ahem. Anyway. So yes…lots of questions. If you happen to think you have a good grip on some of the answers, there will always be some jackass to say that you are “wrong, wrong, wrong!” –and your ultimate fate is burning in hellfire for all eternity.

The two ultimate goals in my lifelong spiritual path?

1) To get to the actual truth.
2) To not be that jackass.

I was raised to find my own way, discover my own mysteries in life. I took cues from my grandmother who was deeply religious yet hardly talked about it. My parents tried not to cram their views down my throat. They allowed me to get to know either God or Buddha or the Big Void of Nothing in my own time.

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My earliest memory of church-y things was when I was around 6 years old. My dad had a part time job cleaning the local Baptist church and once dragged me and my brothers along on a quiet Sunday afternoon. I was mesmerized by the giant stained glass Jesus peering down at me as I skipped around the empty pews. Hmm….he seemed like such a nice guy! Maybe he could be my friend? His eyes were warm and understanding.

Jesus-with-Open-Arms-Stained-Glass-Window
((Cue the angel choir))

Suddenly my bowels cramped, gripping me with fear. Oh no! Would Jesus be mad at me if I pooped in the church bathroom? Jesus seemed to wink down at me and chuckle, “Well, my Dear One, God created you AND your need to poop. So it’s okay, go on. Poop away, my child, poop away. I love you and everything about you. Even the poopy parts.”

And so began my lifelong relationship with God*. As I grew older there were a couple things I knew for sure in my heart: He was good. He was all about love, acceptance and forgiveness. He was like a close friend of mine, always there if I needed to talk. And He was hilarious.

Of course, my spiritual beliefs weren’t always so solid. I read the Bible many times as a kid, purely out of curiosity. (Encyclopedia Brown Takes the Case was out on loan.) Then I entered college and read it again (Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Disgusting Sneakers was out on loan). Only this time with fresh eyes, more cynical. I used my Big Brain and thought, well I’m much too smart to believe in something that I can’t prove, right? This book was written by mere mortals after all. There were lots of parts I didn’t believe in (and still don’t.) I thought maybe religion was for suckers. For people who have their own sins to hide, so they use religion as a shield to protect their own personal ego and pride (I still think this to be true for some).

I flip-flopped between believing in some Big Creator and thinking, maybe there really IS nothing else? How clever I was! I had discovered the real truth! Maybe others who believed in God were brainless sheep?

But I remembered that fateful poopy day in church, I love you no matter what. And that experience of feeling completely accepted and loved, plus the countless personal experiences that I’ve had with God since (none involving poop) have shaped my faith over time and made me the person I am today.

So I’d like to stand up now and say something.

Hi, my name is Darla and I believe in a Creator*.

The most important thing I’ve realized in my quest? This is my story. These are not your memories. This isn’t about what you believe and don’t believe in. I am me and you are you. And we are all together. Goo goo g’joob. So how can I possibly condemn others for their own views? I don’t care if you believe in God, Buddha, The Big Nothing or Justin Bieber. Whatever works for you and brings peace to your heart (OK, I take back Justin Bieber) because you are on your own path and finding your own Truth in your own time, just like me.

I’ve never understood religious fanatics who pound on my door to tell me they know the answers and it’s their duty to tell me. It’s like they’re carrying a punch-card: Convert 10 People and Win a Free 6 inch Subway!

Eat Fresh!
Eat Fresh! And Repent Your Sins Now with Double the Meat!

Well, you don’t need to convince me of anything. I’ll be fine, really. Because when I am dying and facing the reality of things, you won’t be there beside me, will you? No one will — it’ll just be me all alone, facing my own deep and intimate relationship with the Source and the Unknown. And when it comes down to it, all that matters in the end is what I know in my own heart to be true.

My simple truths (not yours, mine, so take a chill pill) about religion and spirituality:

None of us knows for sure what is the Ultimate Truth of All Things.

For crying out loud, we can barely figure out how to program a DVR or how to make a good cup of coffee.

If you do believe in something, great. If not, fantabulous.

But try not to tell others they are obviously wrong.

Never treat anyone with disrespect, no matter what they believe in.

Unless it’s Justin Bieber.

Don’t go pounding on doors to tell people they’re going to burn in hell if they don’t go to your church.

Especially when I’m in the middle of a Golden Girls marathon and still wearing my bathrobe. I appreciate your concern, but I think I’ll be just fine. It’s a nonflammable robe.

Everything in life is about two things:

LOVE and ACCEPTANCE.

We are here for only three things:

  • to experience
  • to learn
  • to eat chocolate

Get it? Is that so hard, people? Sheesh.

And finally,

If you have to poop in a church bathroom, it’s okay.

I know God is laughing at me right now for that last one.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

*Creator, God, Source, Spirit, He, She, It…whatever.

Image result for church lady snl
Amen, sister! (Betcha didn’t even notice I Photoshopped the pic from above the post. My resemblance to Dana Carvey is uncanny!)
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Humor

Sorry, God

Are you there God? It’s me, jackass.

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I’ve been reading several books on near death experiences about people who’ve apparently died, only to come back to life so they can tell us what happens when you cross over.

Most of the stories are similar: there’s a long tunnel, a bright light,
all-encompassing love,  indescribable peace…yadda, yadda, yadda…

But then a lucky few (or unlucky few) go so far over to the other side, they undergo a type of “life review”. They are shown clips of their past life events in hi-def surround-sound quality. If that wasn’t jarring enough, the person is also reliving certain moments of their life with the “Creator” by their side.

This is the part that worries me. What exactly does God know? Does she see everything? Every single thing I do or think in my entire life? Even the super secret stuff?

If so,  I apologize in advance for the following:

  • Every day I announce I’m on a diet and “this time I really mean it!”
    Then during my lunch break, I inhale a Big Mac and fries in a remote parking lot while gently weeping.
  • When the trash can is overflowing, instead of emptying it, I just cram the next bit of trash down in there, quickly close the lid, and run away cackling.
  • That obnoxious driver at the stop light blasting music so loud it rattles all the cars around it?

    Me.

  • I love Coldplay. All of it. Every song. And I blast it at stop lights.
  • Sometimes in the middle of the night I creep out to the kitchen in the dark and shove a steady stream of chocolate chips down my pie hole while hovering over the sink.
  • Once I willingly ate at Kentucky Fried Chicken. And liked it.
  • Whenever I’m home alone, the first thing I do is take off my bra and throw it on top of the ficus plant. Then I park my ass on the couch, watch a marathon of Big Brother Celebrity Edition, drink a couple beers, devour a large extra-greasy bucket of fried chicken carcass, and burp and fart myself into oblivion.
  • I think cute pocket-sized puppies are annoying little yippy shits sent to Earth to destroy me.
  • I think Adele’s voice is too breathy and overrated.
  • Once I hid my mom’s meatloaf in my napkin, then excused myself so I could discretely flush it down the toilet.

    This was yesterday.

  • Sometimes instead of actually brushing my teeth, I would pretend by running some water from the faucet and swishing the toothbrush around for awhile.

    This was yesterday.

  • I try not to be jealous. But whenever I scroll through a friend’s Instagram photos of her ridiculous f***ing bare feet resting next to a f***ing sparkling cocktail with a stupid-ass frilly umbrella on the f***ing beach in the f***ing Bahamas, I tend to swear out loud a little.
  • I do not like Stranger Things. Not even a tiny bit.
Image result for stranger things
Whoa! Hey, guys? Guess what?!  It’s the ’80s and we’re on bikes and this show is boring as hell and makes zero sense!

 

 

Ah! That felt good! The truth CAN set you free!

Anything you’d like to share in the comments so God will go a little easier on you later?

 

 

 

 

Humor

My Doomsday Bucket List

Get ready! Today is End of the World Day (again)!

I’ve already prepared a to-do list:

  1. Shampoo hair.
  2. Rinse.
  3. Repent.
  4. Repeat.
  5. Rent a limo and cruise through the streets of New York City eating a slice of hot pizza.
  6. Beg the Messiah to absolve me of all my sins.
  7. Binge-watch Outlander.
  8. Check the Second Coming Countdown! Have You Got Your Shit Together? ticker on CNN.
  9. Repent.
  10. Eat a foot-long Italian BMT with extra mayo and triple the meats.
  11. Spend rest of day in the bathroom watching Home Alone 3 on iPhone.
  12. Repent.

Are you ready? What’s on your to-do list? Is today really the end? If not — dear God, pleasepleaseplease can it be before the next presidential election?

And if for some odd reason, I don’t disappear into the heavens leaving behind only a pile of my clothes during the Rapture today, I look forward to your comments and likes below.

Humor

When God’s Your Facebook Friend

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[It’s early morning. I’m folding a mountain of laundry. A bolt of lightning cracks overhead and a blinding light fills the room. I drop my husband’s underwear to the floor, shield my eyes and squint at the ceiling.]

Me: What the…?

God: [voice booms] IT IS I!

Me: God? Is that You?

God: [yells] YES! OF COURSE IT’S ME! [mutters] Didn’t I just say that?

Me: Wow, oh wow! You finally show up! I have so much to ask you! Let’s start with the wars and the poverty and the sick and the dying and the pain and the suffering and the–

God: I know, right?

Me: So will humans ever learn to choose love over fear, compassion over hate?

God: Tsk-tsk. Oh no. Oh no, no, no. That shirt doesn’t go with those pants, dear child.

Me: Huh?

God: And your makeup! Please! The color is all wrong! [sighs] Atrocious. Have you not seen my recent Pinterest featuring Rihanna’s latest look?

Me: But back to the pain and the suffering. Why do we have to suffer God? Haven’t we learned enough?

God: By the looks of your hairstyle, no.

Me: Tell me the future. Will humans survive? How many years do we have left? Is this planet toast? Will global warming do us in?

God: George Clooney is getting married.

Me: I…I don’t understand.

God: Yes, I was just as shocked as you.

Me: I….

God: What people don’t realize is he was actually married to actress Talia Balsam from  1989 to 1993.

Me: Huh. Good to know. So anyway, is the world going to end, God? Is it too late? Can you tell me anything about the future at all? Is there hope for the human race?

God: Beyoncé will get a new haircut.

Me: Um…

God: Three of them in the next year. She’ll go from pixie to shag to a very sassy bob.

Me: Forgive me, God, but uh….I don’t really care about that stuff.

God: Oh of course you do, dear child! It’s all you people down here talk about!

Me: You people? Well, not all of us. And if we do, you sorta created us so…

God: Create you? {scoffs] Ha! No, I’m not responsible. Nope. Nuh-uh. Can’t blame me for that one.

Me: You did. All of us. You created everyone. And you gave us all free will.

God: Ooooh. Yeah. I guess I did, didn’t I?

Me: Yep.

God: Well, this certainly is depressing.

Me: It is.

God: Hey! I know what will cheer us up! Selfie time!

Me: No–uh, I really don’t want to–

[God holds up gold iPhone, leans in close. Phone clicks.]

God: [looks down at phone] Ah! Nope, do-over. I look way too fat.

[Holds up iPhone, more clicks.]

God: [frowns] Still awful. No worries!  It’s salvageable. [taps screen] Hmm…go to Instagram…maybe change the color tone here…add some soft focus there…ooh! We look sa-weet in Orton! I’ll post it on your Facebook wall. Because peeps be jealz! Because right?

Me: Right. I guess.

God: I know, right?

Me: Right.

God: I know, right?

Me: R-right, sure whatever–look, we done here? I’ve got some folding to do.

God: [stares intently down at phone, dismisses me with a wave] Yeah, I’m good. Huzzah!  Already 5.5 million likes on our selfie!

Me: Great. So..thanks for dropping in…

God: [taps phone] Huh? Hey, no problemo. [frowns] Gah! So frustrating! Have you gotten past level 352 on Candy Crush yet? I don’t think it’s possible, I mean, seriously?[groans] So can you send me some lives? I’m outta of lives again.

Me: Sure, anything for you God.

God: Oh, and I give it 3 years max.

Me: [gasps] The world will end in 3 years?

God: What? No! George Clooney’s marriage.

[bolt of lightning flashes, God fades into a pinpoint of light and disappears]

 

 

 

Family · Motherhood · Parenting

Deep Thoughts by Little Miss J

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My daughter is six and a half years old and tends to be a wee bit dramatic at times. She’s also much smarter than I’ll ever be.

The other morning she flew into my bedroom, eyes ablaze, and wailed, “Oh, Mommy! It’s just not fair! I mean, seriously! Seriously!” She threw herself onto my bed. “Like, seriously!” she cried again.

“What? What is it? What happened?” I rushed over and started stroking her long brown hair.

She lifted up her tear-soaked face and sobbed, “It’s this!” she blurted, dramatically handing me the board game cover she was holding.

“Oh! Of course,” I shook my head. “Scrabble. Wretched game. Just terrible.”

“No! I love it! I was winning with the word, QUIET! But it says Ages Seven and Up, Mom! Seven and up! So I can’t play it anymore!” and she continued her writhing, moaning, and gnashing of teeth.

When I was her age, I spent most of my days either eating Scrabble tiles or jamming them up my nose.

So it’s no surprise that my girl is also interested in other typically light, playful subjects such as life, death, afterlife, God and reincarnation. And she usually interrogates me with rapid-fire questions right as I’m tucking her into bed at night.

This wouldn’t be a problem if I were half as smart as she is or knew any of the answers.

“…and so Big Bird and Elmo played baseball and they all lived happily ever after…” I read aloud to her then closed the book.

“Man, I love Big Bird…” I sighed and stared off into the distance.

big bird

“Mom?”

“Is this a question about why Elmo has no ears?…. Please?”

“Oh, Mom! Elmo’s not real,” she wrinkles her nose. “He’s imaginary. This book was fiction. That means it’s made up. Mrs. Bouthot [her kindergarten teacher] said so.”

“Well, she would know,” I frown. “Pffft.”

“She does know. She knows everything!” her eyes widened. “Mom? What happens after you die?”

“Um, you go to heaven. OK, good night!” I kiss the top of her head.

“How?”

“You just go.”

“What do you take with you?”

“Um, your soul. Okay! Good night!”

“And where do you go? Is God there?”

“Yes. And it’s very nice and beautiful and wonderful,” I pull the covers up to her chin. “Sweet dreams! Think of Big Bird! I know I will!”

big bird

“What’s God like?”

“Umm….he’s a pretty cool dude. He loves us no matter what.”

“Even when I don’t brush my teeth?”

“Even then.”

“So….we’re babies again after we die?”

“Uh, I’m not sure…”

“Do we stay the same after we die?”

“Uh…”

“How old are we?”

“Well….I don’t know exactly…”

“Where do we all live? Are there houses? Do we eat food? Is there candy there? Can we come back? I’d like to come back as a baby again. That’s what we do, right? We get to pick new families and keep coming back down here?”

“Sure, I guess….maybe, but I’m not sure…”

“I want to come back as a princess ballerina veterinarian!”

“I want to come back as Mrs. Bouthot. Or Big Bird.”

****************************************************************

Parents: How do you handle heavy questions from your kids? Do your kids know more than you do, too?
Others: What happens after you die? What’s the meaning of life? Why does Elmo have no ears?

Short Story · Uncategorized

Einstein and the Theory of Slurpees (Part 2)

THE BIG EVERYTHING

After the man in white whisked me away from the Past Lives Viewing Theater (he never did tell me his name, so I decided to call him Mike), I noticed an odd sound. It was a buzzing of sorts, pulsing in waves.

Buzzzzzz…..buzzzzz….buzzzzz….

Or maybe it was more of a whumm….whummmmm….whummmm….

I imagined a giant generator floating off in the distance, plugged into a monstrous power strip. I knew it. The universe is powered by Home Depot! I chuckled to myself, stopping to hover in the sky right above the gardens while John Lennon sang on the stage below, “There are places I’ll remember….”

“We must move quickly now. The Light is waiting for us,” said Mike.

“But first, tell me this, does John imagine there’s a heaven now?”

“Ha. Ha. Yes. Good one. We have to go. Right now.”

“Wait…is He or She, I mean… the God and/or Goddess of Everything, giving off that loud buzzing sound?”

“Sort of.”

“You should really try to be more vague.”

I never realized a spirit was capable of eye-rolling with his entire body until that moment. Tiny specks of bright red flared up like sparks, rippling in waves across his energy cloud.

I sensed he was growing tired of my jokes.

“Hey!” I yelled as I felt a zap of heat where my wrist used to be. Suddenly, Mike and I were zooming straight up into darkness, closer to the big generator in the sky.

Although the spirit dimension is just above the living, the place The Light resides is well, light-years away, straight up in an immense oval-shaped black space surrounded by blindingly bright stars. Kind of like a giant football stadium.

“Well, here we are. I will leave you now. Oh, and good luck, although I’m certain you won’t need it,” Mike snickered. At least I thought he’d snickered. Another thing you’ll learn up here–even spirits in a perfect world can be a bit snarky.

“Wait! What? You’re leaving?”

“Yes. Piece of advice…” Bursts of pale red streaked through Mike’s aura as he leaned in to whisper. “Do not ask if they serve chili dogs. Do not ask for a beer. Do not ask if Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix will be the halftime show. This may very well be the place of The Big Everything, but you need to warm up to God a little before you start with the one-liners, okay? Got it?”

Man, this Mike sure is a buzz-kill! I thought.

“I can heeeear you, remember? And my name’s not Miiiiiiiike….” Mike said, his voice trailing away as he dropped straight down through the clouds below.

So I waited.  I floated.  The Big Everything, huh? I thought, glancing around. Sounded  promising. Huh. So far it looks like The Big Fat Nothing.  I tapped my vapor cloud foot and hummed the theme to Greatest American Hero. “Believe it or not…I’m walking on air…I never thought I could feel so freeee….” I looked around some more.  Hmm.  Still nothing but stars and that infernal buzzing.  I checked my watch. Dang it. No watch. Or wrist. I sighed. Is God coming? Is He held up somewhere? Did He have an emergency? I thought He was everywhere all at once. If so, why isn’t He here now? 

Right on cue, the buzzing changed.  Now it sounded musical, like a gentle harp was playing, along with some violins and a little new-age synthesizer mixed in. Soon I heard a haunting angelic voice singing. Not bad, not bad. Very soothing.  Had a nice beat. I wondered if this was the waiting room.  Or the pre-waiting waiting room? In any case, the music was quite nice….

YOU LIKE ENYA?

A swoosh of heat and light blazed overhead like an enormous fireball, only to disappear on the other side of the star stadium, sparkles of white light dancing in its wake.

Now that’s the way to make an entrance! I let out a snort. Then I started to giggle. I couldn’t help it.

Get a grip. I need to maintain. Maintain! Be cool.

“Uh…God….? Is that You? Was that You?” I asked the darkness.

Nothing.  I glanced around and noticed the stars changing colors from purple to gold to deep blue, all twinkling in time to the music, which was now growing louder. “Who can say where the road goes….where the day goes…only time….” Enya continued to sing. Her voice was pretty dang calming, I had to admit.

“Sure! Sure, I like Enya. Love it! Yeah! Good stuff!” my voice cracked as I started to panic. When The Light had blown past, I’d felt the most incredible sense of peace envelope my entire soul. Peace that was so strong, so all-encompassing, it made me like Enya.

I FIND HER MUSIC TO BE QUITE RELAXING. REALLY HELPS TAKE THE EDGE OFF.

God’s voice was coming from close behind me now, my entire energy-cloud body shivering and crackling in response. His voice wasn’t a mere voice. It was an entity all its own. It took hold of all my senses and seeped into my soul, radiating pure peace and love. If His voice is that big, I thought,  I can’t wait to see what this dude looks like.

I turned around.

“Whoa,” I said. “You are….I mean…wow. Just wow. You are incredible. Astounding even. I’m in awe. Pure awe. You are. Awesome. I really mean that.”

YEAH, I KNOW. I GET THAT A LOT.

I know you’re dying right now to know what I saw, what The Light looks like and all. But trust me, words will never be enough. I suppose if you can imagine a light so bright, so vivid and bursting with the biggest, most exquisite love ever felt on Earth, then multiple that by a gazillion, you still won’t even come close to what I saw and felt.

“So how…uh…how can I help You? Is there anything? A-anything at all?” I sputtered.  It was hard to talk to God without lapsing into a catatonic state of bliss. As you know, when I get spacey, I tend to ramble.

“Not that You need any help.  I mean, I’m sure You don’t need any help at all. You’re God. You’re perfect. You never make mistakes. Well, there’s the Honey Boo Boo show….but I’ll let that one slide…heh… I’m sure You had nothing to do with that….I mean…what I’m trying to say is…can I help You? Or is it may I help You? Does grammar exist up here? Please tell me it doesn’t!   Anyway….if I can help, in any way…just let me know…don’t be shy…” I gulped and continued to stare, transfixed with the gorgeous rays of gold light bursting out of what I could only assume was His head. Does He even have a head? The glaring light made it hard for me to make out any distinguishing features. If only I hadn’t left my sunglasses on the kitchen counter that morning!

I THINK YOU’RE VERY FUNNY. YOU MAKE ME LAUGH.

“Oh! Thank You! Thank you, er… Your Highness! Can I call you God? Or is it The Light?” I squinted up at Him. “Or….something…else….?” Once again I felt hopelessly mesmerized.

YOU CAN CALL ME WHATEVER YOU WISH.

God paused.

JUST DON’T CALL ME MIKE.

The Light let out a thunderous roar. Millions of rainbows shot out of the sky and stars were rearranged. It blew my mind across the universe and back again.

“Was that your laugh?”

YES. I LAUGH ALL THE TIME. I APPRECIATE HUMOR. DON’T LET OL’ PHIL GET TO YOU. HE’S NEVER BEEN THE SAME SINCE THE INCIDENT.

“Incident? Phil? Ha! I knew it! Phil!”

SO I NEED YOU TO DO A FEW THINGS…

“You’ve got it.”

As God moved closer to me, the warmth and love was so overwhelming, I started to cry.

“Sorry, “I sniffed. “You’re just so…so nice to hang out with.”

IT’S OKAY, REALLY. THERE, THERE.

God gave me a squeeze and in a flash, I suddenly knew everything there was to know about everything.

“Whoa,” I said.

OKAY—SO, WE GOOD? I NEED YOU TO HELP HIM. HE’S IN REAL DANGER.

God scooped me up and we zipped straight down to Earth within a millisecond of a nanosecond. He parted the clouds with a flick of his massive hand to reveal the glittering skyline of a city below: Portland, Maine.

“Maine? Really? Seriously? Not someplace warmer? Like Hawaii?” I asked. He chuckled, careful not to scare me again with a real laugh. He showed me a two story brick house at the end of a cul de sac dotted with the soft glow of lampposts. Floating high above, I watched as a dark minivan pulled into the driveway. A woman with a worn Red Sox baseball cap got out, sipping on a grande half-caf vanilla latte with skim milk from Starbucks. (I told you, I knew everything about everything now.) She slid the backseat car door open, juggling her coffee in one hand while hefting a chubby, curly-haired toddler onto one hip. As the woman walked to the front door, the baby turned to look up into the night sky, letting out a loud squeal that pierced the cool quiet air.

“Baba?” the baby asked, pointing directly at me with his little hand. I felt my aura prickle with electricity.

“Shhh….” his mom soothed into his ear.

Locking my gaze onto his hazel eyes, entire lifetimes spun, weaving circles around and around–death, birth, sadness, longing, pain, wisdom, hope and love. All of it there, meshed together in some bizarre cosmic tapestry, floating within the green and brown specks of his eyes. “Baba,” the baby giggled and plugged his thumb into his mouth, still watching me as they vanished inside the house.

I had finally found you again.

But this time around, in this lifetime, I knew I would have to make things right.

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*This is a fictional short story. It didn’t really happen. I swear.
You can read part 1: Einstein and the Theory of Slurpees, so that this part will make much more sense. Hopefully.