Wednesday, December 30, 2015

I did not know I would Help


Some of my recent blog posts have opened me up to people, and they have confided in me and thanked me for being upfront and expressing myself in a way that gets my point across.  They have told me that my words have helped them; they have shared my words with others. That means a lot to me. I appreciate it. 

I was not looking at making this blog about my transition away from the LDS Church. But it is heading that way.  Those posts have gotten the most positive responses and that has kept my confidence going and helping me feel that I am helping others at the same time I am helping myself.  
I am going to continue to share my Spiritual journey, but also my Life journey.  They will intertwine for sure as it does for all of us.  I will continue to share stories, examples and my point of view on the good, bad and ugly of the Church and my life.

I am not going to bash the Church. I am going to share my view and opinion. If it will offend you so be it. I can't worry about that.

I guess the biggest challenge of my life right now is finally cutting the strings and sending in my Church resignation.  It is hard. And it is not hard because “I still believe” or “my decision will effect countless generations of family members”. It is hard because of the way people will perceive and treat Liz and McKinley when I take that step. It has already happened. Some people have decided that just because I am following my heart, they have started to take it out on them and or assume many things about our marriage and myself.  I posted this before ( http://jonathankmarshall.blogspot.com/2015/11/adverse-effects.html )

So again, I ask you. If you feel that my decision is going to affect you and how you treat my wife and daughter, please remember that it is my decision, they support me. I am not doing anything to influence Liz or McKinley to step away from their religion.  I support Liz in going and her spiritual growth. I support McKinley in going to Primary and learning what is taught. But I am also not going to hide or shield her from other aspects of life and things that should be enjoyed and not shunned or treated as taboo.  And that goes for all aspects of her life. Liz and I are raising her OUR way not anyone else’s.

If you feel that you are not ok with it and can’t be friends or close to us that IS on YOU and I am sorry that you can’t see that I am the same person. We just have different Sunday schedules and I am sure different viewpoints on most things. But that will never stop me from being a friend.
So thank you for all of you who read this blog. I hope I can continue to help in any way you need.

Quote of the Day:

“My journey through life has led me through both light and dark places, and it’s because of those experiences that I have learned how to work through my character defects and to help others do the same” – Jessie Pavelka

Video of the Day:


What If: Five for Fighting


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Looking Back on this past Year


Driving my bus the past few days has given me plenty of time to reflect on this past year and go over the good, bad, ugly, craziness and poignant points of the year.

There have been many instances of laughter, anger, sadness, anxiety, frustration, love and tears. 

I learned that most friends are a dime a dozen. The ones that do matter are the ones that accept you for who you are and realize that everyone does not have to be the same in beliefs or life style. 

I love my job.

I love Liz more than anything in the world. This past year has been filled with daily struggle for her. She is a fighter. One in a million. She is a fantastic mother. She is a loving wife and is willing to help anyone if she can and if we can afford to. Lately, not so much :)  She is not the same person she was before her Coma. And she probably never will be. But what has happened is, it has softened her. She lets others help. She is not as much a neat freak. She lets things slide to a certain degree. She takes life as it comes.  She has said that she does not know how much time she has left and that she just wants to not worry about things like that. If they get done, they do, if not, there is always tomorrow.

McKinley has been a blessing. She has also been a curse. She is great 95% of the time, and yes i know that growing pains are part of the process of raising kids, but man, she has my personality and its a constant reminder to me of how much of a pain i must have been as a kid to my parents.  She is also extremely intelligent. She is only 5, but is starting to do addition, subtraction and able to read words and sentences. We work with her daily. She loves to color and write and tell us stories about her drawings. She loves people and is a friend to anyone. 

I have been amazed at the kindness of strangers and people in our lives. They have gone above and beyond.  We would not be where we are right now without them.

This year was full. It also was the year where I decided to be a more vocal person. Not only in speaking to others and face to face interactions, but also in writing and sharing my thoughts and opinions in hope that i could be a help to anyone. I am going to continue to share stories, thoughts, and what I feel on this blog, facebook and emails.  Some posts might be similar to other posts and that is fine with me. I will hit on the same subjects here and there.  

I hope this year has been a good one for you and that you have grown from its experiences. Please keep in touch.

Quote(s) of the Day:

"Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful" - Margaret J. Wheatley

" The unexamined life is not worth living." - Socrates


Video of the Day:

100 Years : Five for Fighting









Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Who are we Spiritually accountable to???



This post might make some of you uncomfortable.

A few weeks ago I was in a group discussion with some people on facebook and it also spilled over into work. The subject came up of being held accountable when it comes to being truthful with the Bishop when it came time to get your temple recommend. Now i know you are all wondering what was i talking about with then, with all my recent posts and thoughts on the Church and how i feel about it and how great its been releasing myself from its grip.

But one comment really struck me and I asked him point blank if he ever masturbated. No Answer from him at all. Which to me was his answer. I then commented that if you go to a Bishops interview and when he asks the sexual pure questions and you say you do not do any of them, than are you not lying and should you be deemed unworthy to enter the Temple? Of course people will say that the Church knows no one is ever perfect and assumes as much and that white lies like that do not hurt. But it is pounded into men's heads from a young age that Our Little Factories are for procreation only and not to be used willy nilly for self amusement. But as most of you guys know who read this and ladies take note, sometimes Its needed. Sometimes you have to and ladies if you can, help him out.
 ( and for one, i hate that they generalize the penis or anything thought as sexual into such an industrial sounding scenario ).  

It is something for me that strikes home because I have had a few instances with the Church and its supposed Courts of Love or Disciplinary Counsels and I felt like it was not any of their business. I look back and ask myself " Why did I go?" The answer is pressure, pressure to fit in, pressure to not be looked at as you don't take the sacrament and so on. I let my esteem be persuaded by the thoughts of others and my spiritual self suffered for it.  I actually walked out of a Church Court when the questions were getting to intrusive, they wanted details that to me were not relevant to the point. I told them as such in my way ( which most of you have experienced with me ) and told them to do whatever they wanted.  I never did hear back.

The point is that i have learned that my spiritual accountability is up to me and God. No one else has a say. I don't have to go confess to anyone. I don't need to be told that i am letting my family down and or hurting my spiritual path. And that goes for all aspects of your life and spirituality. There is so much more to worry about than what the Ward, Bishop,Friends or Family will think.  Why stress over things that have no bearing on the type of person you want to be and truthfully want to be.

I can honestly say that I am Happy with my spiritual side.  I am finally un-hiding my true self, take it or leave it.

And i wish the same for you. I know some of you believe and are steadfast in the LDS Faith that is great. I am glad that it works for you. Whatever religions or spiritual aspect you live by, just be happy and know that its ok to have thoughts outside of what is perceived or taught by your leaders. Stand up for what you believe and not what the majority thinks. Defend yourself physically, mentally and spiritually.

Quote of the Day:

"I learned in an extremely hard way that accountability falls with me."
-Stephen Baldwin-

Video(s) of the Day:

Lullaby: One Republic

( I love this song. It is one of my all time favorites. It is just comforting. )



Ordinary Human:  One Republic