Tuesday, November 20, 2018


Earlier this year, I felt prompted to study something that has perplexed me and upset me for years:  Why does my religion that professes the unconditional love of God refuse to accept the LGBTQ community?  “We love them, Windy," I sometimes hear.  Me, "You don't accept them, won't validate their marriages, give them equal rights, don't welcome them to worship alongside you......... that doesn't look like love to me and I imagine that it feels a lot like hate to them."  I also hear, "You can’t question the Bible.”  I can, I did,  I am, and lots of people in the Bible doubted God at some point and still found their way.   God isn't afraid of any question that anyone has ever had for Him.  I also decided it was high time to take my head out of my rear end  (or the sand if that makes you feel better) because that is a tight fit and neither place is where God intended it to be. So religious hate, fear, and ignorance in the name of God is what I am running from and here’s what I am frantically sprinting into : the arms of truth.  Here’s how I’m doing that:

First of all, I would say that I discovered some truth when I found the sisterhood of you gals this past spring.  Embracing all things ttwd here kind of set my spirit free. (Thank you!)  Next, Storm helped me put some boundaries into place for the specific people in my life who are of the same faith as I am but who keep harassing me because we have chosen to accept the LGBTQ community in our hearts as well as with our votes. Writing the blog helps me, but it isn't enough and since I struggle with being able to read romantic fiction and write creatively at the same time, I know I needed to read something different, but I didn't know exactly what.  But, I thought I might know exactly who.

Meredith was probably cross-eyed from reading (or half reading!) my long ass posts in between airplane flights this past summer, so she would sometimes refer to her book reading.  About every 3rd conversation I would have with her, she’d be all, “Windy, you need books!”
 Me, “Books, huh?”
Her, "Yes, books!”
Me, “How are you today, Meredith?”
Her, “Books!”
 Me: “What’s Jack making for dinner tonight?”
Her, “ BOOKS!”
Me, “Really? What kind? Broiled Biographies? Melted Melodrama, Fried Urban Fiction, Simmered Suspense, Cold Cuts Classic Literary Fiction?"
She humors me, “Yes, but read this one first,” as she hands me the title of her favorite book of all time. Sauteed Sultry Tales of the South with Grilled Gargantuan Number of Pages. I kid you not, my first thought was, “Don’t you ever complain about one of my long emails or posts again!” Longest book I have ever read in my life. Best book I have ever read, too, and I barely survived the beauty of it all.

I don't like to push people.  I like them to share at their own pace.  I appreciate when I am afforded the same courtesy.  I'm more of a pull-it-out-of-you kind of friend.  Because of this, sometimes getting Meredith to open up is like trying to get the tomato soup out of a classic can of Campbell’s with that sharp triangular puncture thingy on the opposite end of a bottle opener. All I do is puncture it and let it dribble or plop out at the rate of which only the laws of science control. Or I can go read about life hacks and figure out how to carefully get her to open up that can herself …… and then sit down with her and have some grilled cheese with our tomato soup.  (Ignore the fact that she probably got spanked with the very spatula she just flipped those sandwiches with.) But do you see how she got me to read without even being involved in this conversation? She does that on purpose.  See how I just got her to make the sandwiches?  I did that on purpose. 

I have come to love the stories of some people who are more than just characters in books to me, which is good news for you published authors. I’ve read about atrocities of the Vietnam War both at home and abroad, and the humor it takes in some dire situations to preserve the human mind and spirit in order to carry the physical and mental burdens like millions of military personnel did. I have some imaginary friends in South Carolina whose families were difficult yet still greatly prized and within whom a sense of humor was held in place all along the way. I now know a little more history of South Africa and of the persecution and starvation of the Congolese as they fought and died in desperation for democracy.  Within the same story, I identified with each of the daughters raised in a religiously oppressive home.  I know real girls somewhere have been damaged throughout childhood just like me.  And I know that no matter at what age we were when we became aware that this damage occurred, that we have spent our lifetimes recovering and rebuilding.  And then we pass what we've learned on to the next gal so she may travel a little less bumpy of a road than we did.

I'm also learning through all of you. I love learning about the command and mastery of your individual fields of expertise, your sources of inspiration, facts, and fiction and I'm assimilating that with your advice and the healthier remains of my faith to make a stronger, well-informed, more appreciative, better balanced, smarter me. To my book-loving connoisseur and generous friend, Meredith, the catalyst and the quencher of my thirst for reading outside of what I could have ever chosen for myself, thank you is not enough. Nevertheless, you have my sincerest gratitude.

I think all of this reading and growing is what happens when some of the "noise of religion" is taken out of one's head!  It's a great incentive to kick hurtful beliefs and practices off of the heels of my Sauconys.

What are you running from?  Or toward?  And what have you preserved?


  1. Ms. Windy,

    Great thought provoking post today!

    It is hard when your faith says one thing, but in actual fact does the opposite. I am glad that you are findjng a way to reconcile your faith with your personal beliefs!

    Books are an awesome way of learning about what you believe (or thought you did), the world and how it came to be the way it is today.

    What am I running to? Me, or what I think I want to be. As soon as I figure it out! Until then, I will continue to read and grow.


    1. Hey, Boo! I think this the hardest post I've ever worked on...2 months in the making and a ton of rewrites. I like the way you stated that, "reconcile my faith with my personal beliefs." Exactly! Books sooth my mind and feed my newfound curiosity and have opened my mind to some healthier ideas. I'm glad you're running to find your true self... it is a journey for all of us. Have some fun while you're growing! Thank you for sharing your thoughts here with me(us), Boo. Hugs! Windy

  2. Windy,
    You really got me thinking today. Since, in my heart, I ran away from church at the ripe old age of 8, I have spent a lifetime reconciling my perception of faith and that of the church. I am trying to write about that now, so it was timely that your post popped up today.

    When I left the church, I did not turn away from God. The religions of this earth were all created by men, and therefore are flawed. At least to me. I don't have to be a part of that if I do not choose. I can speak to God in my heart, and that is enough for me.

    One has to be diligent to remain a free thinker. There is pressure from all sides at times. Remember who YOU want to be, no matter what.

    Hugs From Ella

    1. Ella,
      8 years old, huh? Well, that makes you about 40 years quicker than I am! It's sad that we feel we have had to run, but you are right that it is man's fault and not God's. I don't want to turn my back on the heart of my faith.

      I don't completely know who I want to be, but I know who I DON'T what to be...... and I am finding it wonderful to grow with Storm.

      Thanks, Ella! I look forward to what you are writing if it is something you are going to share. Best wishes even if you decide to keep it private. Hugs! Windy

    2. Wow Ella! That is how I feel exactly! Nicely said!

  3. Hi Windy,

    I wish you well on your personal journey. Meredith got you reading, as you mention, and now you have this unquenchable thirst for reading. That's really neat!

    I think that Ella said it exactly right- it is your journey. Maybe that is where book lists, suggestions from people around the globe, and even simply walking into a book store and looking through until one of the books looks interesting to you, fall into play.

    Religion is tricky. I was raised Catholic. Over the years, I have spent much less time in church. I rarely find my way there these days. But I am spiritual, and believe in God. As a child in grade school, I learned that above all things, God is love. Then there is what is referred to as "the golden rule", which is basically treat others as you would yourself. Good ways to live one's life. In my humble opinion, it seems that many, many people seem to skip over those basic fundamentals, and look for scripture that will substantiate personal or business gain. That is a big problem. "Do unto others... Well, "Others" is all people. Imagine a world filled with love for all people, that is accepting of differences. It would be a fine place! I'm a dreamer! Honestly, we can only do our part. Be kind and loving to others. I'm not very religious these days, but I try to live my life that way.

    You will find the way that is just right for you. Enjoy the journey! Many hugs,

    ❤️Katie xoxo

    1. Hi, Katie! Long gone are the frequent days of browsing Borders or Barnes and Noble for hours upon end with Storm for the first 25 years of marriage although we still do it occasionally. Looking at all the New Releases, Best Sellers, former hits now in the Bargain Section....and sipping yummy hot chocolate while doing it is a familiar feeling even though I experience it much less often now. Having the world at our fingertips because of places like Goodreads and Amazon and Barnes and Noble online now makes the entire process of choosing books a whole lot quicker and easier, as I am sure you know.

      What is different for me recently and why I have such a renewed excitement about reading is that I have friend now who knows me very well probably because the primary communication between us was and is a whole lot of writing and sharing. So now, it's like I have a reading guide who tailors a wide range, yet targeted in areas in which I WANT to learn. It's a lot of fun, too, bonding over books we love!

      Your point on "others" being all people is true and that is a daily challenge for all of us as everyone isn't pleasant to deal with every day and that includes me. Throw in politics With the intense religion and you get one giant ball of stress! I have found the need to be in self-preservation mode a lot this past year or two as a result of this. Although good advice, it is very tough to "move on, America" as your Rob likes to say when loved ones are literally hanging onto my feet. Trying to pull away and stand up for myself doesn't always make me feel kind to others. Nevertheless, my Storm has got me right here in his hands and so does God, so I know it will all be okay. Thanks for sharing, Katie. Hugs! Windy

    2. Hi Windy, :) I'm sorry that you are up against so much stress from all arenas. That's rough! So glad you have your Storm to see you through. Ttwd always amazes me at times like these. It provides a framework for love and support, a you get through these times, together. That sure can't be beat! (A pun. Not on purpose. It worked though! LOL!) Hold on tight to him as you make your way through.

      I think that it is wonderful that you have found a friend that you can share so much with, and who helps to guide you with your reading endeavors along the way! Friendships made here in the land are really special. Meredith is filled to the brim with amazing historical knowledge. She knows how to share it all too, so that one can almost feel as if they were there. That's very cool. Have fun!

      I so agree about the bookstore browsing. It's sad that there are less and less of them these days, as the big giants on the web take over. We are lucky to have a little village one around the corner. I hope it stays, but wonder if it will last...

      Sounds like you are off and running, on the path to figuring it all out, with your Storm at your side. That's a wonderful thing! Happy Thanksgiving! Many hugs,

      ❤️Katie xoxo

  4. I have read and reread your wonderfully open and honest post, Windy, several times since yesterday. I love that you have found friendships here, in ttwd Blogland, that have inspired you to expand your knowledge, and continue to feed your creative writing abilities.

    When you ask about running away or towards ... I am often amazed when I look back at how we came to be here, and then look at where ttwd taken us in a few short months. For Frank and I, it has been one of the most dramatic shifts in our life together ... Hugs! ... nj

    1. Hi, NJ! Several times, huh? Well, it took me 9 years to write it so thank you so much for taking it seriously even though what I just said isn't serious at all! HA! But, that is totally me and I know that YOU know this!

      There is lots of 'NJ' in my posts whenever I talk about people giving me very solid, heartfelt, and experienced advice WITH LOVE (so important!). You also inspire me as an artist and I love when you include me in your endeavors and share with me the amazing things you are involved in so that I really know more about you, and you do share with me the folks that are inspirations to you and why that is!

      I love hearing about how much of an enhancement and positive life altering practice that ttwd is for you and Frank. I know of your personal growth through this and I think the gals and guys can see this in your writing on your blog. I love sharing things with you that are about tttwd and that you have some great advice there yourself even though you guys are newer at it. It's like you're on the accelerated program! HA!

      Thanks for all you are to me. And thanks for being on the positive side of all the running I am doing.... Your calm demeanor really helps me as does your sincerity and your sense of humor is wonderful and I love all the goofing around and laughing we do. I"m so glad we're on this ttwd blogging journey together! Love, Windy

  5. Wow, Windy. There was I, pondering whether fishing might be a sport where teeth could get broken, when, on the other side of the Pond, you were writing this amazing post about personal growth. I have no answers, we all have to find our own way, though you have some great ambassadors on your side to help you along.
    As for me, I am neither running to, nor away from, anything. But, then, I’m quite a bit older than you and contentment may have come with advancing years!
    Rosie xx

    1. Hi, Rosie! I am still laughing at the "fishing probably not the sport that is knocking one's teeth out" from your blog! HAHAHA Yes, a personal growth post is what is reflected here, as you say. It's been rough and it's a lifelong journey for all of us, but I am happy to hear you are in the place of contentment. That's how it should be! And when you're not feeling content, Harry will take care of that for you quite quickly, I believe! LOL! I love that you used the word "ambassadors!" Wow, that is a REALLY powerful. And so you're not running...... even away from Harry when he is chasing you around the kitchen table with a wooden spoon? Thanks, Rosie! Glad to hear you'll be keeping all your teeth! Hugs! Windy

  6. Hi Windy, I too — like Katie was raised Catholic and for most of my life attended. We have not been to church for a bit, however decided to start again. I have always disagreed with the church on many issues. The LGBT community Has ALWAYS had my unwavering support. As a priest once said to a friend.... love is love. I believe we evolve as people and truly believe one day people of all faiths will look back and be amazed such a devisive thought was spewed.

    As to reading, I LOVE reading. At this time I read spanking romance and health blogs and some art books. However when I have more me time I will expand my horizons again! Yea that Meredith has encouraged you!

  7. Hi, Minelle! I love what you said that one day we will all look back and see what a ridiculous, divisive issue this was!! Love is love, yes! Kind of like Galileo and the whole earth revolving around the sun thing that we all know it true but they were afraid it went against God back in the day. Good grief!

    Yay for you loving to read! I hope you get lots more reading time soon!! Thank you for your wise words here and for your support! Hugs! Windy

  8. Windy,
    I let the comment dust settle before taking on a comment. Because we are still away, I really should just wait until we return.But I wanted you to know that I loved this really strong, loving post. The God I love is all accepting. That is the way it should and needs to be.

    As for my reading suggestions, I love sharing what I read with someone who is so eager and receptive. We have great fun discussing those books too. Thank you for your kind words, my dear friend.

    1. Meredith,
      Thank you for giving me permission to compare you to a can of tomato soup. LOL! You have been right here for me during the seriousness of this post and all the rough drafts with me in tears trying to find my way. I'm satisfied with how I ultimately decided to share with blog land some of what I have been experiencing. But, I do love that I was able to write creatively and find some humor in all of this as well because you and I have certainly had plenty of that along the road, too. Thanks for being a good sport about it all. Keep reading so that I don't ever catch up with you! HA! Much love, Windy