About Me

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I'm a lesbian mom living in Bergen County, NJ. In 2015, I created a blog called A Seat at His Table for Christian GLBT people who are looking to reconnect with their faith. I pray it becomes an online community of faithful GLBT people and allies to humbly take a seat at God's table. My proudest accomplishment is being a mom. I have two beautiful children, a 15 year-old son and a 10 year-old daughter.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

"God likes to be told what He needs to fix."

Christmas is rapidly approaching, and we are nearly ready. Donna and I have a few small things to wrap up (literally), but for the most part, we are ready. And the season seems to have come more quickly this year. Perhaps it's relative, but each passing year seems easier than the one we're currently in. There never seems to be enough time to get everything done with days to spare so we can simply bask in the true reason for the season. Instead, we find ourselves rushing toward a finish line with only seconds left before the big day is here.

Skye reminded me of the reason for the season yesterday. She has come to love Amy Grant's music, perhaps more than even I do, and she was asking me about the message in "Better Than a Hallelujah," one of Amy's more recent songs. I told her that when we praise God, we will shout Hallelujah in our joy. But, God wants us to come to him with all of what's on our hearts, especially the hurt and pain. Skye pondered that for a moment and said, "God likes to be told what He needs to fix." I thought that was so powerful.
God wants to carry our burdens

Although God is omnipotent, He does want us to tell Him what He needs to fix. He may not be able to answer our prayers in the way we would like, or in the time we would like, but He is constant and wants to carry all of our burdens for us. I'm so proud that Skye understands that and is developing a relationship with God that is truly her own.

So, as we celebrate Christmas, I'm going to slow down a bit and take the time to appreciate all of the ways that God carries my burdens. It's a heck of a lot easier to move through the world when we can focus on our blessings instead. Merry Christmas, everyone.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

"Your sister certainly loves you...don't ever doubt it."

Some moments make it hard to put to words the love that wells inside a parent's heart. That is especially poignant when a tender moment is witnessed first-hand by a grandparent. This afternoon, Skye stayed with her grandparents who are visiting from Trinidad, while Donna and I picked up Hunter from the high school and ran a couple of errands.

When we returned home, we saw that Skye had made herself a pop tart and only ate half. She intended the other half for her brother, and wrote, "I split it in half and gave you the bigger piece." We couldn't wait to show it to Donna's parents. As my mother-in-law read the note, she turned to Hunter and said, "Your sister certainly loves you. . . don't ever doubt it."

I split it in half and gave you the bigger piece

Skye has evolved from an ego-centric approach to life to that of a very generous little girl, particularly when it comes to her big brother. There were times when they were younger that my faith in their having a healthy relationship was challenged. Skye was all about Skye and anyone else getting attention threatened her to the point of a melt-down. And Hunter was in a space where he was so tired of the chaos her behavior caused that he kept to himself and wanted little to do with his sister. Over the better part of two years, that has changed significantly.

Much of it I tend to attribute to Skye finally being diagnosed with hearing loss in one ear; because once she was fitted with a hearing aid, her mood and disposition did a 180 degree turn. She suddenly became pleasant to be around and learned to share her feelings with words rather than tantrums. Initially, the behavior change was something we enjoyed with baited breath. After living for years with a child that we were convinced at one point had Oppositional Defiance Disorder, it was hard to trust that the change could be permanent. Eventually, we exhaled and enjoyed the true Skye.

We are so proud of our kids. Of course, most parents are so that's not hard to understand. As parents we work hard to raise children who grow up into thoughtful, considerate kids. At times, we sometimes simply aspire to raise a child without a criminal record. How far we raise the bar is dependent on the kinds of situations our children put us in; but lately, our children continue to raise the bar of our aspirations for them.

And, when moments like this can be shared with our parents, it's that much more precious. No prompting, no cajoling, no staged interactions here. . . just a beautiful, tender moment between a brother and a sister. What parent wouldn't be struck with gratitude? I know I'm basking in it as I type and I can't wait to share the next signature moment with you all.

Monday, October 12, 2015

"What if you're wrong?"

I've recently befriended someone who has deep faith and was raised in a fundamentalist Christian home. As she's gotten to know my family and me, we've had conversations about whether being gay is a sin or not. It's not surprising that the topic came up and yet it still stirs such controversy, fueled by fear and ignorance. She asked me when I told her I was certain that being gay is NOT a sin, "What if you're wrong?"

What a great question. I lived most of my childhood thinking I WAS wrong and that being gay was a sin. And the more I hated that fundamental part of who I am, the more tormented I was. I did everything possible to "pray the gay away." My love for Christ had to cure my attraction to members of the same sex, right? If I just prayed hard enough and became a leader in our church community, then it really would be nothing more than a phase, right? By the way, this "phase" started for me at seven years old and continues to this day.

The fear I felt as I read Leviticus 18:22 that said, "You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination," (ESV, NKJV) made me sick. But I also noticed that Leviticus shared a lot of other laws.  The vast list of laws written in Leviticus show the rigidity of the culture and how it was used to fuel the Theocratic influence of the times in which the words were written. The laws were put in place to keep people in their place.  
Jesus accepted EVERYONE

Recently, I researched the New Testament, where there are at least three passages that may refer to homosexual activity: Romans 1:26–27, 1 Corinthians 6:9–10, and 1 Timothy 1:9–10. A fourth passage, Jude 1:7, is often interpreted as referring to homosexuality. However, none of the four gospels mentions the subject directly, and there is nothing about homosexuality in the Book of Acts, in Hebrews, in Revelation, or in the letters attributed to James, Peter, and John. So, that leads to me to believe that with Christ's coming, we ALL have a seat at his table.

As I've gone to the Bible for direction and prayed for clarity and enlightenment, over time my relationship with God has grown. In that maturity, I've come to read the Bible for inspiration and use my own God-given discerning spirit to understand that the presumed references to 'homosexuality' itself in the New Testament hinge on the interpretation of three specific Greek words. As stated in Wikipedia, those words are arsenokoitēs (ἀρσενοκοίτης), malakos (μαλακός), and porneia.[1][2] While it is not disputed that the three Greek words concern sexual relations between men (and possibly between women), some academics interpret the relevant passages as a prohibition against pederasty or prostitution rather than homosexuality.

Again, I believe that we have to balance the politics of the time during which the Bible was written against the Holy Spirit's guidance (that part of us that is divine and serves as our moral compass). God and his wrath were used to keep common people in line. That oppressive use of God's word coupled with the loss of intended meaning through translation from Hebrew and Greek and Latin language makes me unwilling to take the Bible literally. Also, the fact that what was written about Christ was done years after his death also forces me to be a bit skeptical about the true meaning we  get from scripture. As with any re-telling and the passage of time, much is lost in translation. Like the game "telephone" what was originally stated gets passed along with a lot of human error in the message.

The bottom line is this, I have to trust that God made me the way I am so that I can demonstrate through my faith and the way I love my family that my love for my wife is no less holy than my friend's love for her husband. I am as worthy of a spot at God's table as my heterosexual peers. Now, don't get me wrong. I know I will have made many mistakes when I am called to Heaven, but I'm also sure that the mistakes God and I talk about when I finally reach Heaven will have more to do with the importance of living with integrity and respect and honesty rather than being condemned for having fallen in love with another woman. That's my faith and I'm sticking to it.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

"See! I TOLD you everything will change!"

 Our lives are rapidly changing now that Hunter is in high school. He's got new found independence and social circles he's enjoying. We watched our "little boy" join the Cross-Country team with more passion that he's shown yet for any other sport or activity he's been involved in. He had been practicing for months, running either on the treadmill or in the neighborhood approximately 4-5 times a week and 2-4 miles each time. We're so proud of his accomplishment and watching him hone his athleticism.

But that's not the only thing he's honing these days. He's working on his social skills too. Hunter has never been lacking in that area, but it's now expanded into social media and things that I've never heard of like snapchat and other catchy phrases meant to imply an online community of some sort. The most social media outlets I'm involved with are old news now . . . facebook, LinkedIn and the occasional tweet on twitter.

Donna and I have been fortunate enough to attend the first two meets of the season.  The first one was a definite learning experience for all of us. We were learning about how the heats were organized and saw a bunch of kids head out first. Another parent explained that they were the freshman athletes. We were a bit concerned that we didn't see Hunter in the pack, but soon learned that Hunter's dedication allowed him to run with the varsity team. Another proud moment.

His most recent meet resulted in Hunter shaving off two minutes from his original time. He was so proud. And Donna and I were congratulating him at the end of the finish line when a very confident young woman from a neighboring school district said, "Good job, Hunter. . .you looked good out there."

Imagine the three "women" in Hunter's life all reacting at the same moment to that interaction. Hunter thanked her and Donna, Skye, and I immediately descended on him, wondering who she was, how old she was and other nagging questions. I'm not even confident that the young woman was out of earshot before we surrounded him. We learned she was a senior and that another member of Hunter's team was envious that he had spoken to her. Hunter's response to his friend was, "Yeah, man. . . I talked to her. . . I'm not a wimp!"
Skye's not the only girl congratulating Hunter

I love his confidence. What summed up the whole exchange was Skye's reaction in the car on the way home. She said to Hunter, "See!!! I told you everything will change! You just think you're never going to get married, but more things like this will happen. Just watch!" Although a bit on the melodramatic side, she verbalized everything that Donna and I were feeling.

She's right. Everything will change, and all I can hope is that as his independence grows, he will still need us for the important stuff and that we'll figure out how to give him space without loosening the grip our love has on his heart.  So far, so good. . .but we're only one semester in.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

"Mama and Mommy are Lovable"

Skye loves to express herself with art and writing and she pens love notes regularly. Her timing defies reason as she will send a note to me before I even realize how important it will be to balance my day. I found her most recent note earlier today. I'm in the throws of PMS, so  juggling work and home responsibilities with the confidence I usually have is shaky. I tell you, her timing is not only perfect, but sometimes prophetic!

Because of my hormonal roller coaster, I'm feeling less than lovable, but I found this on my desk today.
True love

In true Skye-style, she shows unapologetic enthusiasm in each pen stroke. She even used my favorite color for her background. And, because she's always in a hurry, she masters the art of emoticons. It's a short-hand style that I usually can't stand, as I fear it's undermining the literacy of young-people everywhere. But, when it's done in the hand of your nearly nine-year old princess, it's easily accepted.

Feeling lovable has been rather hard to grasp recently. In the wake of the SCOTUS's decision to overturn bans on same sex marriage, there has been much a lot of divisiveness over  an issue that has so little to do with sexuality and so much to do about love, commitment and family. Even families we know and love are divided over the topic.

Fortunately, Donna and I have very supportive families, so we are not feeling that personal pain. The support we enjoy is amplified in our children's ability to easily express their love for their parents. If it's not a love note from Skye, we receive daily reminders from Hunter about how grateful he is for his parents being together for so long and being happily married. It's a particularly sensitive topic for Hunter because he has so many peers whose parents are not together.

Donna and I are proud of our kids and only need to look at them for validation and reassurance that our marriage is powerful and serves as a healthy example of long-term commitment and love. So, I have to thank Skye for the love note and give thanks to God above for all he's blessed us with.

Friday, June 26, 2015

"I just wanted to call and say congratulations."

I always brag about having the best in-laws in the world and today just proves it again. As the news exploded about the Supreme Court's ruling in favor of Same Sex marriage, my mother-in-law called to congratulate me. She had called Donna first and her love and support mean the world to us.

She's a study in enlightenment. A staunch Roman Catholic living in Trinidad for more than 80 years now, she's been told her entire life that homosexuality is a sin. I can't imagine her struggle as she realized her child was gay and how she was to reconcile that reality against her religious beliefs. What was so remarkable for me, was that Mummy was not only present first time that Donna and I said, "I do," more than 15 years ago, she also did a reading; 1 Corinthians 13. 
Love transcends bigotry

 Ironically, later this week, Donna and I are going to enjoy our first vacation alone together since we had children. It's something we've looked forward to for months now and our venue is the iconic gay playground, Provincetown. Although we won't be hitting the club scene, we will be basking in the joy of equality finally granted to millions of Americans who have loved but not been granted the same privileges as their heterosexual peers. But what makes it even more special is the recognition from our parents. As Mummy shares in our joy, it makes this milestone more exciting than ever!
 
I firmly believe that love outweighs all politics, whether parochial or state-mandated. Love drives enlightenment and we are seeing that today, as our nation finally recognizes the dignity of all Americans. I can't imagine a better way to wrap up this blog than to share a verse from what Mummy read from 1 Corinthians 13  more than 15 years ago, " If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing."--1 Corinthians 13:2.

Friday, May 15, 2015

If I was a girl in middle school, I'd dance with him."

There are moments that I witness between our two children that lead me to conclude Donna and I are doing something right. I sometimes joke that Hunter and Skye can use their college fund to pay for therapy later in life. However, a moment last night showed that perhaps they're going to be just fine.

Hunter is getting ready for an 8th grade dinner/dance. It's a formal affair, so he needs a suit and we went out last night to buy it. Because it's such an important event and we want it to be full of positive memories for him, we were making sure that he was happy with the suit he selected and the shirt and tie he chose to wear with it. You could say we were being a bit overbearing, because Skye piped in at one point and said, "Listen, if I was a girl in middle school, I'd dance with him." Well, that statement promptly put an end to the nagging and a start to the lump in my throat.
My pride and joy

Hunter smiled at her and thanked her for the compliment and I hung back a bit to share the moment with Donna. We were both so proud. Our kids are growing up so fast! I look at my son and he's standing eye to eye with me now. It seems that it was only last week that he fit in my arms so perfectly. His peach fuzz-covered head was in the palm of my hand and his tiny feet reached the crook of my arm. Now, he's interested in cars and girls and dressing like he should be in GQ Magazine.

And more often these days, our children are enjoying each others company, rather than antagonizing each other and driving their moms to drink!  I suppose that if we're lucky enough, our siblings do become friends. I know that Donna and I feel that way about our respective brothers and that's really what drove us to want to have more than one child. The bond we share with our own siblings is something we wanted for Hunter and Skye.

So, as I hear propaganda about how children raised by same-sex parents are at risk (of what, I'm not sure), it's great to see how our kids are showing compassion, sensitivity and an ability to articulate their feelings. I'm so proud of our family and the support we give each other. My family is my safe harbor. Given the moments that I've been able to blog about, I believe Donna, Hunter and Skye would echo that sentiment.