Discrimination

I am a first-generation American. My father and his family moved from Germany, when he was 5 years old, to Texas. My father had to learn English and his family forced him to embrace American ways so that he would succeed in life in America. My father lost his German language skills through the years and if you met him on the street today, you would think he was just as “American” as the rest of us. My grandmother, although she learned English and follows American ways, is still very German. She speaks German fluently and still holds the German customs high.

My family always taught me to never look at someone’s skin color. I say these things as a background for my explanation of prejudice from my eyes. I started school at a local county school and my mind was blown. There was one black family in the entire school. There were two black students in my class, who were first cousins.   Growing up in North Alabama, I learned at an early age what discrimination was. There was a group of high school aged boys with shaved heads that would meet in the mornings before school and blow their horns and yell around the area. I learned that they were called “skinheads” and they believed in racism and white supremacy. I was over at one of my friend’s houses for a spend-the-night party one time and her dad and uncle discussed hitting a black man for points on a non-existent scoreboard they had kept up with for years. There was a bar a few miles from the school that did not allow black people to enter.

As a young adult, I experienced other races discriminating against me for the color of my skin. I have been talked to like I hated other races, without being asked my opinion. I have been ignored on several occasions while I was the minority of a group. I have had to defend myself in situations that embarrassed me simply because of my color. I believe I was sheltered but I do not believe it was an incorrect decision on my parents’ part.

I tend to discriminate against ignorance. I say ignorance because they live in a normative-cultural environment.   They follow customs of their community. They are accepted when they follow such ideas. I also struggle with the stereotypes of southern families. The man works and the woman stays at home, taking care of the children. The man does what he wants and the woman is left to make a decent home and take care of the children. The woman is not expected to gain education. The man is not expected to gain further education, either. It is acceptable to quit school at sixteen and gain a full time job. There is little desire to excel further in life. This way of living is passed down to the children. I know this is not the way everyone lives. I also know that knowledge has improved and families are beginning to want a better life.

It is hard when I work with families who do not want to better themselves because they do not know the improvement they are missing. I struggle with this prejudice in the community I work for. I have to learn how to meet people where they are at. I have to accept them for who they are and what they believe in. I have to be careful of their feelings when I express the need for change to parent their children in a safe environment free from alcohol/substance or physical abuse. I have to understand that although I am working with a particular family- expecting change, the environment the family is in will likely not change. When a family discusses racism as the norm, I have to carefully explain that race in itself is not a reason for blaming in the community, but at the same time, I cannot expect change in their minds and it is not my job to change that aspect of their life. As a social worker, we are to embrace our family’s differences of lifestyles.  I choose to put myself in situations that will broaden my understanding of groups that I do not naturally belong to.

 

Hello darkness my old friend

Ola!!!!

It’s been a while. I knew beginning my masters program would be….. Interesting…. Little did I know I would be questioning my sanity so soon.

But here I am. Questioning. Ha.

I have a bad habit of second guessing everything in my life. I do anything from experiencing buyers remorse to going back to relationships that needed to end for good or stressing about what I did years ago that has ZERO to do with life today. I have made such poor decisions in my past, it causes me to lose joy in my present. Currently, I’m asking God to work on yet another issue of mine. Learning to accept what is.

Jesus asks us, does worrying add any time to our life? We need to let tomorrow worry about itself. We have PLENTY to do today. I love how Jesus puts a spin on what he says. He’s so loving but he is also real. He doesn’t enable our emotions or behavior. He loves us. That’s for sure. But he isn’t going to let us be stupid. Seek first HIS kingdom and all things will be ours.

God is so good.

God loves you. God loves them too.

When you surrender your hurt to God, truly release it, a fresh new perspective takes its place. God loves you. So much. God loves anyone that has ever hurt you just as much. We are all sinners. We all fall short. My mistakes and downfalls are no greater or less than yours. If we can truly accept what Jesus tries to teach us, we will be able to sail through life in a much happier place. Let go of victim mentality. Let go of what someone did to you and accept that you have probably hurt people before in your life too. How can YOU become bigger and better than before. This is what life is all about. Don’t drag someone through the mud. Rise above. Be the grace you want others to have for you. We all feel pain. Sadness. Loneliness. Fear. We all want unconditional love. Show unconditional love by forgiving. God doesn’t tell us to be ran over and beat down. But he does tell us to let go and let God.

Amen.

Action or reaction?

So. Like always. God teaches me ALL the things.

This seasons’ lesson…… Ok Patpat, you got your actions pretty well focused….. Let’s talk about your reactions… Ouch. #Godslap

Isn’t that true for everything? I can manage myself in a confined space. But give me room to run and who knows what will happen!

I can follow Christ’s teachings closely. I can follow his rules the best I can so I can enjoy the happiness he wants for me. But you add another situation and there I go. I forget what I’ve learned.

My goal is to be Christ-like in all situations. No matter how people treat me. No matter what someone says to me. I must REact in such a way that blesses God.

That is what I am learning. That is what I want to do.

Colossians 3:17 “ And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

I am praying to God. I’m asking for Him to open my heart. I’m asking, as always, for God to shower me with His mercy and grace while I learn to be a better me. I want to react in a healthy, pleasing to God, way. In all my ways.

Amen.

Rely.

My world is spinning. With the upcoming re-entry into school to gain a masters degree, my personal issues, and my well being, I am at a loss.

I’m finding it hard to breathe. I’m gasping for breaths.

This is what I deal with.

I’ve prayed, I’ve screamed, to God. Take this. Take all that I have.

This world is broken. It’s breaking me. I keep telling myself it isn’t my world. This. Isn’t. Mine. My riches are in Heaven.

God created us for relationship. Why is that the most impossible thing to accomplish.

Aahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

My frustrations and sadness are oozing from my every inch of body.

God, give me the strength. I want to be healthy. I want healthy around me. I want what You want.

Soul searchin

My heart is so broken. My heart is so sad. My body aches with pain. I’ve gone over and over and over. What could I have done different? What did I do so wrong? What did I miss? How can a single heart take what I have put mine through.

All I know is to seek God. He fulfills me. He is my all. He doesn’t want me to hurt. He doesn’t want me to live in agony. He wants me to ask myself what I am going to do to heal.

I don’t know.

I can only be responsible for me. I can pray for God to work in others lives but it’s not my cross to bear. I have to ask what I can do to improve. I have to find forgiveness. I have to find peace. I have to dive into my Heavenly Father’s arms and ask that he hold me so tight. I am enough. His love for me is enough.

Amen.

Excuses

Sometimes I find myself excusing behaviors that just don’t need excusing. It’s strictly because I was too lazy or too sidetracked by something more important or too just didn’t wanna do it.

I have asked God to come into my heart and prune all of that out. It’s a daily progression. I am now at the point where as soon as I think or say it, God shows me what I’m doing. I hope to get to the point where I don’t think or say it as much. Our thoughts are powerful. Just as powerful as saying it out loud.

As early as Adam and Eve, excuses existed. It wasn’t Eve’s fault, the serpent made her do it. It wasn’t Adam’s fault, Eve made him do it. What did God do?

“Where are you” – God

God knew where they were. But he wanted to make a point to make them reveal themselves to Him. Just like God wants us to reveal ourselves to Him. If we won’t admit it and see and God does, what if God doesn’t feel we are ready for the change He wants for us??

God, I ask that you prune me daily.

Amen.