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Bed Learning, Exfoliate with Chicken Coop Sand, and Shame...

As we sit bundled up in warm clothes and blankets, together we learn many subjects with short lessons. We just can't use text books anymore. Not that we took to them religiously, but we have gone back and forth from Oak Meadow to Charlotte Mason depending on the rhythm of our month or week. The more time I spend reading with my girls, the more we all learn through discussions and the play of just being together. Our public school charter, starting next year is not allowing 7-8 grades to study topics of interest. The demands of added testing and constantly checking in with the teacher, school emails on a daily (many a day) basis have taken all the joy and curiosity from our passion to learn. The girls enjoy the rigorous discipline of short Charlotte Mason lessons, so short we can accomplish our necessary learning within 1-2 hours and the rest of the day is left for them to pursue learning of their own delight.

Wanting to exfoliate my skin, but never finding anything harsh enough for old lady skin, I've made up my own treatment. I used 20 grit sand from the chicken coop (I picked from a clean place) and added olive oil. I started with a vigorous scrub, turned it down a notch, gently rubbing all over my face, neck and chest and then let it sit for 10 minutes. That was 2 days ago and my face still feels like a baby's butt. Of course I drench my body in oil every day, 2 times a day....and more if I need to.

Reading on the topic of vulnerability, I am understanding SHAME. I certainly have a great deal of it in my body and mind. I can pinpoint the great deal of it that stems from religion, always having to have my shit together. Always needing to dress, talk, and play the part of a christian homeschooling mom who is devoted unashamedly to her family and submitted to her husband who was her authority.

Now, I am not married, living with a man who is not my husband, WITH MY GIRLS, and no longer attending church. All our neighbors are religious, attend church, and don't talk to us except for quick glances and maybe a hello. When my girls go out to play, their kids come in from play.

Love for me, was based on whether or not you loved Jesus also. And if you didn't love Jesus, I will love you, but only as long as the time it takes to convert you. If you don't convert or accept Jesus like me, we will soon part.

Love for me now, is based on nothing more than the fact you are a human.

As I talk about my many, many failures it frees me up to be transparent, to be human, and hopefully in doing so, it will free others who struggle as I do. Just saying I "struggle" is difficult for me. I also know my many sisters in religion are hurting and struggling as well, we were not free to bear one another's burdens because if we were really living holy lives, we shouldn't be struggling.

And, I still love Jesus, but not so much Paul who seems to me to have hijacked the teachings of Jesus....but that's just my conclusions for now.

May the spirit of god who lives in each and everyone of you be made known to you as you sit, meditate, be still and cry out in longing and gratitude.