Spiritual

When Love tells Depression, “That’s a Wrap!”

Hello, my beloved readers. Today I commemorate the 500th post on The Beggar’s Bakery! What a long, strange trip it’s been. Thank you for letting me share you thoughts and dreams with each and every one of you. Here’s to 500 more!

By: Jana Greene

To all my friends struggling mightily during this crazy, isolating, chaotic time, I see you.

For those of you also hurting so deep inside that you feel like you’ll implode from the sadness and confusion. I hear you.

My sweet friends wondering if things will always be this way, and despairing because there is no end in sight, I feel you.

Depression is a cold bitch who delights in despondency, but she will not have the last word.

Because as much as she feels like the strongest force around right now, she lies.

She is a house of cards, building upon one fear at a time on a foundation of sand. And she is helpless when the tides turn and again – always – wash her out.

Love will have the last word, as it spurs us all on toward hope.

Hope is the Comeback Kid, and Love it’s vehicle.

Hope nudges us to remember to reach out to others, even when all we really want to do is shut down.

And there Love gently guides us. It holds us. It comforts us through one another.

Love says “keep going” and eventually, one fine day, yells “that’s a wrap!” when despair finally backs down and we can laugh again.

And it will back down.

It will always bow down to Love.

It can’t help but bow down.

I’ll keep going if you will. Keep going with me.

And we will wait together for the tide that is surely turning again, just as it always has.

Just as it always will.

  • Jana Greene
Spiritual

Ballad of 51 (for my half-century sisters)

By: Jana Greene

I took a “selfie” today, you see,

And gave myself the third degree

Right off the bat, right out of the gate,

I found a lot of things to hate.

Like, oh my neck!

What the #%&$! HECK?

It used to be tighter

and I think you’d agree,

The Thanksgiving turkey’s

got nothing on me.

And didn’t my eyes used to be bluer?

Was ever there uttered a statement truer

Than “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder?”

So why do I mind so much getting older?

My neck and chest scream “Sunblock please!”

Crow’s feet pop up with careless ease.

Marionette lines around the mouth?

Body parts migrating South?

What’s this new crease in my chin?

*Sigh.* Pass the wrinkle cream again.

See the furrows in my brow?

You ask how it got there and I’ll tell you how…

Birthing two daughters and raising another

That is the furrow of being a mother.

And the crinkles you see around my eyes

Are from laughing so hard I thought I’d die

(Laughter’s a good way to go as any…

And occasions for laughter have proved to be many.)

Those lines are proof of the joy life brings,

Because silliness is such a sacred thing,

Sure, everything on my body is a little bit lower,

Every task I complete goes a little bit slower,

But even as I rush to cover gray hair,

I’ve survived long enough for it to be there.

My teeth are not straight and there’s fluff

in my booty,

But I’ve earned the right

to be eccentric and moody.

Women, this is the pivotal stage in our being.

All the years have led up to our seeing

This as OUR time to shine and regroup.

Who cares about a little bloat and droop?

Society may think we’re past our prime,

But I’m calling bullshit on that line!

You’re a queen! Stand strong!

And y’all?

We must love ourselves, cellulite,

wrinkles and ALL.

I’ll remind you if you remind me

To love the image in the mirror we see.

I’ll fix your crown when it’s off kilter,

(And post the occasional pic with no filter).

At this point in life, we’ve covered our bases,

We wear history itself on our faces.

Women of a “certain age?”

Let’s flip the script and turn the page

On accepting that we are fine as we are,

Embrace every crease, and wrinkle, and scar.

Cuz there ain’t nothing more fierce, feisty, and bold

Than a woman over half a century old.

Spiritual

Marry Your Best Friend (and the rest will fall into place)

We will soon celebrate 14 years as a couple.

By: Jana Greene

If I could give one nugget of advice to my daughters and all the young women in my life that I love so much, it would be this:

Marry your best friend.

Marry someone who loves you not ONE iota less when you are at your worst, someone you are proud to be associated with, someone who impresses you with his integrity.

Someone you miss when you are only apart during the workday. It’s possible, I promise!

The secret, I think, is that each person loves the other far more than him/herself, and puts his/her needs first.

You will spend your life adoring the person you wake up next to and fall asleep with. Don’t settle for any less!

If he doesn’t “get you” move on. You deserve to be “gotten!”

It is far, far worse to be with the wrong person Han to be alone.

You deserve to be loved big, and to love hard in return.

Blessed be.

Spiritual

White Evangelicals Confound Me (Or “why are they claiming President Trump?”)

By:Jana Green

This piece is born of sheer frustration. So enjoy, or don’t enjoy. You’ll feel one way or another though! I can guarantee that.

NOTE: It’s been brought to my attention that thisis article may enforce stereotypes that are obviously not true of all evangelicals. But bear with me. As a Christian who also doesn’t fit the stereotype of evangelical (or any other “denomination”) I get my fair share of misunderstanding. I am writing today about the “Trump can do no wrong” segment of Christians that seems oblivious to the fruits of his Spirit. Read ahead with an open mind, and try to understand the point of view of a Christ-follower who cannot figure out what the Sam Hill “born again” people SEE in said POTUS. This is one person’s POV on her personal blog. Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk.

  1. Too many white evangelicals blindly follow the cult of Trump, even though they wouldn’t accept his words and behaviors from ANY other person.
  2. Too many loudly proclaim him King ‘o the Land now and forever more because they believe he is sent by God and not even his OWN actions and words will sway them.
  3. Many evangelicals claim to be persecuted by the media, freethinkers, and humans with eyeballs who see what’s really going on. If you don’t agree, you’re in the dark side, no acceptions. Christians, open your eyes and risk seeing him for what he is. Keep them closed and you told America will be “great again.”
  4. White evangelicals tend to be keen to agree with every petty, nonsensical, mean spirited thing Trump says. You are wrong if you think differently, according to the current line of thinking. We don’t do dissenting points of view here now in America; not unless you tow the party line. If you dissent out loud, enjoy your brandishing. You are now a flag-hating, Jesus-loathing, baby-killing, God-denying, anti-American dumbass and he will not hesitate to call out out as such.
  5. Today’s evangelicals also get to be martyrs for staying true to Trump even though they are “persecuted” for it. Fighting the good fight, I suppose. We are being divided by design, more every single day. And not just by ONE political side. Trump is no unifier.
  6. Many white evangelicals insist that you are “among the deceived” if you don’t buy all-things-Trump hook, line, and sinker. If you’re lucky, they’ll pray for your soul because you’re going to Hell if you don’t support the POTUS.
  7. They like to banter about their loving God sending human beings to eternal conscious torment forever. No wonder they believe POTUS is sent by God, if that’s their theology. It seems like he would totally be down with throwing anyone who disagrees with him into the lake of fire. But maybe that’s just my perception. I’ll be super happy if proven wrong.
  8. Many white evangelicals don’t seem to mind that he calls world leaders names like a first-grader. Or that he deeply insults every person who isn’t on his “team.” Or that he has the diplomatic skills of (um, I can’t even think of anyone with worse diplomatic skills.) Never you mind! He is clearly doing “The Lord’s Work.”
  9. And some – not all – white evangelicals are in denial that in addition to him displaying evil tendencies, he’s is off his rocker entirely. And like the Emperor’s New Clothes, I guess none of us are supposed to notice.
  10. Please wake up. Look at the fruits of his Spirit. Don’t blindly believe what he tells you. Don’t blindly believe what I’m telling you. God gave you a brain and expects you to use it. Until we all start thinking for ourselves, I worry about the direction we are heading.