Looking through old boxes while moving, I found a paper I did for my psychology class. I chose research the faith community’s response to family violence. My professor encouraged me to approach this topic from a different angle, and I included interviews with two ministers, and an imam. The imam interaction was a brief contact, one time only; I completed my interview with a young woman, one of their teachers. Because we had a short time to complete our papers, I could not include rabbis, as the appointments were outside the deadline.

I saved my interviews with women survivors, who were actively involved in their churches, for last.

This assignment garnered me an A+, but the knowledge and understanding of the faith communities’ sense of duty to the call of ministering to hurting congregants meant more to me than a grade.

The interviews were eye-openers. The young woman I talked with at the mosque was very knowledgeable, breaking down the similarities/differences in southern/northern cultures’ view of women and their status in their respective regions. She was from the northern middle east region, where women are allowed to receive an education, drive a car, pursue careers, own property, own and operate businesses-pretty much different from the media portrayal I’d experienced ( I didn’t ask her where she was from, since my paper’s focus on this issue was general). Women living in the southern region were not so fortunate. It surprised me to learn that the wives walked two steps behind their husbands. I appreciated all she had to say, but I left with the impression that not too much is done, other than the women are given assistance. I received this interview after attending their worship service; I saw the imam after this interview. He just wanted to know if I was satisfied with what I learned.

The interview that impressed me, to this day, was with the minister who personally involved himself in assisting one of his congregants to safety-to another state; and helping another woman to move forward after counseling with the husband proved futile. He was Mexican, and I learned his perspective on the cultural views of women in his country, north and south regions. The surprise here was the similarity to the young woman’s interview. The story was the same.

My interview with the last minister, an African-American, was similar to the other minister. He was involved on a community level, working with social agencies, and preferred to maintain a distance from the families he serviced. His experiences led him to not become personally involved. So my question to the minister who involved himself on a personal level: Why?

He understood his ministry goes beyond praying with and for his congregants. He understood the practical religion of Jesus Christ. Both families are still active in their respective congregations. He maintains contact with them, even though he no longer pastors them.

Pastor….key word.

My interviews with the women who left their abusive relationships was interesting. I say interesting because these women were very active, holding leadership positions, on the surface looking like “I’m a survivor”-but still attached to their abusive ex-spouses- emotionally and mentally. One woman, married twice, was battered in both marriages. The pain, the emotions were still very raw. One couldn’t talk anymore after opening up. I respect that, I feel for them, having been there myself.

They didn’t say too much about their churches’ responses to their situations, and whether their pastors kept in touch with them.

My mentor, a social worker, offered much support to me and my family, along with the pastor and his wife whose leadership my family was under at that time. I know these individuals were the reason I was able to move on, forgive my ex, and live freely.

That was five years ago when I did that assignment. I was researching this morning, and want to explore it again, this time along with spiritual abuse.

 

 

 

 

 

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There. I did it. Just picked it up, and tossed it in the garbage without hesitation. Feeling warm, full, and so satisfied.

What’s next?

I have no idea-and that’s the best part ( well, I’m not doing this makeover totally blind).

I’m just traveling on this road to fantastic health, and enjoying: the calmness of spirit, the settling down of my body, the sweet peace taking over my mind. That squirrel-y feeling I’d grown accustomed to, has vacated the premises. I admit, I doubted eliminating gluten would have that much of an impact on me; it’s been a lifetime….

Making up my new grocery list is exciting. I look forward to culinary adventures in quinoa, amaranth, teff, Job’s Tears, and other “free” grains. I delight in soursop, pomegranate, and avocados; parsnips, and cassava, all kinds of legumes, nuts and seeds.

Basil, bay leaf, dill, parsley, sage, and thyme-endless seasoning combinations to master.

My choices are many, my benefits, motivating, and I’m thankful for them all.

Now off I go to collect recipes!

Name: Child of God, Follower of Jesus

Date: January 15, 2014

Course: My Life. Chapter 50

Instructor: God”s Blessed Holy Spirit

Lesson: 15, Quiz 3

Time Limit:  24 Hours, beginning the moment God opens my eyes

Write my answers to the following:

“Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable-if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise-dwell on these things.”  – Philippians 4:8

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It’s been a week since I started my new routine to manage my allergies.

I’d made the necessary lifestyle changes, but I experienced no progress. In fact, it got worse. So, I did some more research, and found my answers on Oil of Olay’s website (not promoting the product, but I was at the point where I needed to look in this direction). I also went back to Uchee Pines Lifestyle Center website, to review some other protocols I may have missed.

Well, the OOL product worked immediately for the inflammation; I’m very pleased with the results. Using the product, along with EVOO (unrefined, unprocessed, extra virgin olive oil), daily, I see a dramatic change on the outside.

Along with the elimination & challenge diet, vitamins and minerals( I take the health market brands), I’ve noticed reduced cravings, and my weight is dropping-it’s basically a gluten-free vegan diet I’m eating. I figured I may have gluten intolerance, but after I took out the gluten-wow! My body is loving it! The other changes: switching to all natural fabrics, using toxin-free laundry soap, and more-I’m making those changes one by one, as finances permit.

I started drinking P’au D’arco and Red Clover teas, and will continue to do so for the next week. I’m only doing them short term, as I don’t want to take herbals on a regular basis. I only use the heavy herbs when necessary. The herbs I bought from the West Indian mart, in particular, cerasee, I’ll try after I’m finished using the first two herbs. I researched all my herbs on academic and well-known herbalists’ websites, found YouTube videos on how to prepare each one, so now I can take my time and go through them. I’ll keep only the ones that work well for me.

I’m just so excited that my lifetime challenge with allergies is turning around. It’s nice to be able to do this-and find out what the doctor will say!

Western Mind | Eastern Thinking

Besides for having a Saturday Ashtanga practice today, I was looking forward to two things- a hot Epsom Salt bath and a facial. It was a long week. I probably shouldn’t have practiced today, but I listened to all my aches and pains and took it easy. I’ll save the intensity for India (omg India. Squeeeel). I also treated myself to the most amazing thing I’ve ever eaten (well, at least at that moment since I was starving)- a vegan meyer lemon tart from the brand Hail Merry. Their company uses raw oils including coconut, are gluten-free and is non-GMO verified. I highly recommend.

My epsom salt bath was divine. I kicked it up a notch and added a few drops of camomile and lavender essential oil. I decided to make an at home face mask. If you read my recent post about my new beauty find, you’ll know…

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Mustard Seed Budget

Jesus is EnoughPhoto credit Alexey Trofimov

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