My Thoughts on the Turner Case

I don’t know if you’ve heard about the Brock Turner case, but it’s got a lot of us thinking about the issue of rape. 

Buzzfeed News published an article that was powerful. The rape victim (I don’t know the young woman’s name or I would use it) issued a statement following Turner’s sentencing.

This is not for the faint of heart, okay? Don’t read this if you get queasy or anything. The whole situation is just a mess…

Should the woman have been drinking? Does that even matter?

How can Turner get such a light sentence?

In my mind, there’s no way what happened was consensual. Not with the statements of the 2 men on bicycles who chased Turner. 

And I frankly don’t care anything about Turner’s college prospects or how fast he swims. That shouldn’t even matter in a trial about sexual assault.

Some are pointing fingers at the disparities between the classes and the justice system. I can see how that conclusion was reached. If this was just about anyone else, the judge would not have given such a light sentence. 

Bright future or not, Turner made a bad choice. The consequences of that choice are supposed to be steep. He’s not a little boy, so his punishment should reflect that.

I am sad because justice was not served. Two lives were shattered (as well as their families’ lives). The victim was treated like the perpetrator and the perpetrator was treated like a victim. 

My college experience was VERY different because of where I went to school, but there were still a lot of young ladies who made poor choices.

For all of my college aged friends, please be careful. I’m especially thinking of all my friends at Judson. 

Be smart. Stay safe.

Say no to yourself

You don’t have to eat sweets everyday, Audra!

I like food. All food. 

Sweet. 

Sour. 

Savory. 

Salty. 

If it’s food, I like it.

Unless it’s liver…I draw the line at liver. 

Self- control with food is hard. Just take a stroll down the weight loss section of your local bookstore. 

Hundreds of books!!!

Yet most people fail their diets. 

The problem is not so much the food you eat, though, pizza and cheeseburgers everyday isn’t helping you. 

The problem is self-control. Gluttony is a real vice.

Moderation is key, but where’s the fun in that?

Not everything has to be fun. 

I want ice cream and chocolate right now. There will be no delicious goodness tonight. 

Am I happy about this deprivation? 

Absolutely not!

Saying no to yourself is not always fun, but it’s the small choices that snowball into big changes. 

The hope of a new year

2016 New Year

2016 is just hours away. The hope of a new year is upon us.

I know there are naysayers out there.

Can you hear them?

“New Year’s is just another day. If you can’t change today, you’ll never change in a new year.”

They’re not incorrect….just a little too cynical for my taste.

January 1, 2016 will be another day. Nothing magical will happen to make change any easier.

But the new year is special.

The possibilities are endless and you will change in 2016 because it’s impossible to remain alive and not change in one way or another.

The choice is up to you: Will you use the new year to change for the better or for the worse?

I looked in the mirror today and didn’t recognize myself. I have been changing so much and so fast that it surprised me.

Who is this chick looking back at me?

I’m moving 11 hours away to follow God into the adventure of a lifetime.

2015 changed me and I am better for it.

My emotions are all over the place.

I’ve been fighting back tears and waxing nostalgia and bubbling with excitement all at the same time.

Dad tells me I’m normal, but I feel a little bit crazy. I’ve never felt this much emotion at one time before. (At least, not in a healthy way.)

Take some time this New Year’s Eve to feel things out.

Count your blessings.

Set some goals.

Look in the mirror.

I bet you won’t recognize yourself in 2017.

 

 

A life of action

I was taught from an early age that waiting around for God to do something you can do is wrong. 

God does mighty things on our behalf, but we have a role to play too. 

Praying is great. Faith is great. 

Knowing when to put feet on our prayers and actions behind our faith? 

Even better. 

I have a lot of friends who say God requires them to wait forever. He never seems to show them what to do. 

This has not been my experience. 

God has always led me to action. Very few times have I been told to wait. 

I certainly believe that there are times and seasons of waiting, of growth. 

But my problem is not waiting. My problem is hesitation. 

If left to my own devices, I will second guess myself in every decision. I willtake forever to make a choice. 

So, God always charges me with action. 

Audra, do something! Anything!

There’s nothing wrong with waiting on the Lord. Just don’t wait so long you decide to set up camp and are not ready when He calls. 

There’s also nothing wrong with making a decision, especially if you know it lines up with Scripture. The Bible talks about this specifically. 

I want to leave you with a list of practical ways to make decisions. 

  1. Pray. Talk to God and then listen. 
  2. Read your Bible. What passages speak to your situation? Make your decision accordingly. I highly recommend you don’t do something that goes against the Bible. 
  3. Seek wise counsel. You’re not alone. Talk to the wise people God has planted in your life. 

After you do these things, make a decision! Faith without action is dead. 

Learning how to know and follow God’s voice is the most important thing a Christian needs to learn. 

Indecision is not a spiritual gift or a fruit of the Spirit. 

Every hero in the Bible knew how or learned how to make decisions. 

Because of Christ we have nothing to fear and nothing to lose. 

Let’s live out of that confidence instead of quaking in our boots, afraid to move. 

Perfectionism is a choice

IMG_1566If perfection is unattainable, why do we keep striving for it?

Nothing will ever be perfect. The sooner you and I realize this simple truth, the sooner you and I can enjoy our beautiful, yet messy, lives.

Social media is filled with “inspirational” quotes and pictures about how no one is perfect. Thank you, Captain Obvious, this is not news.

Or is it?

Our obsession with warning others about the trap of perfectionism is an indication that many of our friends and family really believe it’s an obtainable goal.

And this is coming from a girl who knows its a trap and frequently makes the insane choice to walk right in it….

Notice, though, what I said: I know it’s a trap and I choose to step in it.

It’s time to get honest.

We all know that perfection is unobtainable, but continue to chase after it.

Maybe what we need is for our friends and family to say, “Stop it!” instead of hearing another inspirational message about embracing the messiness of life.

So, my sweet friends, I think it’s time for us to make a few changes. In order to do that, though, we’ll need to acknowledge the facts:

  1. You will never be perfect.
  2. Life can be hard and unfair.

Now, let’s look at those facts from the gospel’s perspective:

  1. Perfection was never an option. If we could be perfect, we wouldn’t need a Savior. Jesus lived the perfect life and then gave us all the wonderful benefits that go along with it.
  2. Even though life is not fair, we have God’s promises on our side. Everything–both fair and unfair–must work together for our good. Those are some great odds when faced with a challenge.

If you struggle with perfectionism, know that I understand your struggle because it’s my own.

My only request is that you be proactive in your efforts to avoid the trap. In the end, it’s your responsibility to make the necessary changes.

.

Building Windmills

Choices, choices

Choices, choices

Today I needed pens for my office and I had 518 options.

Not everyone has these kind of options.

In The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, William Kamkwamba built a windmill using parts from a junkyard. He did it without modern tools too. 

There were no trips to Lowe’s or Home Depot to agonize over 50 brands of hammers.

And William still managed to bring electricity to Malawi.

A whole country found hope because one boy got busy.

What could be accomplished if we stopped complaining about not having the right tools? The right education? The right job?

You can own 518 different pens and never write that book. A garage full of tools and never rebuild that classic car. harnessing wind

Are too many options crippling us as a people?

My circumstances will never be perfect enough to do ___________.

Yours won’t either.

As a kid, I rarely had a complete set of toys.

I collected toys from yard sales and thrift shops. I made my toys houses out of cardboard boxes.

Countless hours were spent weaving stories in my own little world.

What I had was enough. My imagination had no limits.

And then adulthood crashed my party.

“You’re an adult now. Play time’s over.” is something I’ve heard a lot since graduating college.

But I don’t want to spend half my life hating my life.

I’m willing to pay the price for doing things differently. It’s better, to me, than waking up one day and realizing I’ve been asleep for 50 years.

Which brings me back to having enough….

Here’s my favorite definition of contentment:

Contentment is knowing that I already have everything I need to be happy.

What I have–right now–is enough.

There’s nothing I can’t accomplish if I already have what I need.

It’s time for you and I to build some windmills.