Saturday, August 24, 2019

My interview with Denise Pass about Shame Off You

An Interview with Denise Pass,
Author of Shame Off You

Enter to win at the end of this blog post!
Shame is an assault on the core of who we are. It assassinates our character, minimizes our worth, and dashes our hope. Like Adam and Eve, we often hide shame, but hiding never heals it. Left unattended, shame can develop into a crippling reality that paralyzes us. Like an infectious disease, shame impacts everyone . . . but not all shame is bad.

Shame can either be an oppressive and powerful tool of worldly condemnation or a source of conviction that God uses to bring his people back to himself. Having the discernment to know the difference and recognize shame in its many forms can change the course of one’s life.

In a transparently honest style, Denise Pass shares of her experience dealing with shame after learning that her former husband was a sexual offender. Having lived through the aftermath, she leads you into God’s Word where you will see for yourself that God is bigger than your pain, shame, mistakes, and limitations.

Shame Off You (available from Abingdon Press) shares how freedom can be found in choosing to break the cycle of shame by learning from the past, developing healthy thinking patterns, silencing lies, and overcoming the traps of vanity and other people’s opinions.

Q: Can you start us off by sharing a little bit of your own story?

I did not realize just how significant of an impact shame had on my life until I started writing this book. I don’t think I recognized all I was experiencing in my life as shame. Shame affected me in profound ways—from worrying to the point of obsession about what others thought of me to shame from my past, present and in the future. Shame was pervasively impacting all of life: how I related to others, processed my perception of myself and responded in social situations. Shame was snuffing out my hope and life, and it felt like I had no way out.

Then in 2007, God revealed to me my (then) husband was a sex offender and some of our children were his victims. This revelation crushed us, and the ensuing shame was crippling. I had waited for marriage and married a Christian man. We were that homeschool family. It did not seem possible. But it was. Through that devastating season, my children and I drew nearer to God, reading the Bible through and clinging to His precious promises. I continued to home educate, and we put one foot in front of the other. Through a five-year long court battle. Through tragic new revelations. Through sorrow up on sorrow and financial woes. God was our God through all of it and the lessons we learned as shame lost its grip on our souls were priceless.

Now, my four oldest are all in college and walking with God, and my youngest son who I adopted from Russia is still home educated by the grace of God. And me? God brought a precious man into my life who I call my Kinsman Redeemer. There’s more about him (my “Bo”—short for Boaz) in the book.

Q: At its root, what is shame, and why is it so detrimental to us?

There are many roots underlying what we call shame.  Shame is the broad term used, but there are so many things interwoven in our culture that we accept as “normal.” Shame is an accusation on our soul that says we are not enough. News flash—we are not enough—but God is. He is our righteousness and removes all of our sin and shame. Shame is peer pressure and the fear of man—we would not have shame if we did not have an audience. Shame is a label or box that imprisons our souls and steals our joy. Shame is detrimental because it gives us a false identity and keeps us from living the abundant life Jesus promises, distracting us from the mission we have been called to.

Q: What are some of the most common underlying sources of shame? Is shame always caused by a sin a person commits him/herself?

Shame is a head game that we do to ourselves most of the time, but there is also plenty of social shaming that goes on—shunning and people condemning one another. While sin invites shame into our lives as a natural consequence, shame is prevalent within our culture. We come by it naturally and so we don’t question it. Expectations cause shame to rise when we don’t meet them. Comparison. Pride. These are huge contributors to the game of shame. The presence of shame in our lives is ultimately a spiritual matter. We feel the truth behind the statement that we are not enough. We accept this condemnation, but it can become our vindication. We are not enough. That’s ok, because Christ is our Righteousness. The enemy of our souls is always accusing us, but our Savior is always interceding for us. 

Q: Shame typically surrounds a situation the public is aware of, at least in the mind of the person walking through it. How can the church community be more supportive of a member suffering with shame?

Great question. We would not have shame if we did not have an audience. It is this fear of man and focus on self that makes us feel so very exposed as we seek acceptance and to snuff out rejection. In my situation, I felt like the church did not know how to handle sex abuse situations, so they didn’t. I was told to be silent. The shame culture thrives in silence. However, being able to talk about it in a God-honoring way and having support instead of isolation would take the sting out of shame and turn it on its head. When we protect the violator and silence the victims, we are propagating and promoting shame.

Q: In what ways do we intentionally or unintentionally heap shame on others?

We live in a society of labels. People try to define one another by false identities based on their performance—good or bad, or their status in this life. When we move away from our identity being in Christ, we find that our identity falls short. Shame was introduced to man in the garden of Eden. We left perfection and chose an insecure, shame-filled culture, instead. Discontent with our lot, comparison and the fear or man have robbed us confidence and plagued us with shame in all of life. Shame is also used as a tool of power by people who seek to subject others, shaming them into submission. And again, shame is in our culture, so it is fairly invisible. We just accept it as part of life, which can cause us to unintentionally continue in the shame culture.

Q: How is Shame Off You set up and designed to be used?

Shame Off You is the story of a girl who shrunk her shame. It is a guide for recognizing the shame all around us and how to rid ourselves of shame biblically. There is a biblical lens of Truth, Humility and Grace that we view shame through, as well as Cycles of Shame and Redemption, a Shame Spectrum and Shame Quiz so we can evaluate how shame is impacting our lives. There is also a resource guide in the back of the book that covers 40 different common shames we might encounter along with Scriptures to combat that shame.

Shame Off You systematically covers everything from feeling shunned and rejected, to being shy, to worrying about what others thought or said about me to traumatic shame that paralyzes us.

Q: What are the steps to overcoming shame?

Shame distracts us from the mission of God and keeps us from living on mission for Christ. It causes us to focus on self and limits our worth. It hurts our relationship with God and others and causes us to live defeated, discouraged lives. It has to be dealt with. Recognizing shame’s presence is necessary to be able to deal with it effectively.

From recognition, we need to discern whether we are dealing with condemnation or conviction. Condemnation is based on works whereas Conviction is based on relationship. Once we know what we are dealing with, we need to consult God’s word and use a biblical filter to evaluate our shame and then let it go. We defeat shame not by mere words. And hiding shame does not heal it. We have to face shame and deal with it biblically to be set free. We don’t get rid of shame because it humbles us—but because it prevents us from living the abundant life Christ promises, reaching those around us.

About the author:

Denise Pass, author of Shame Off You, is an award-winning CCM recording artist and singer-songwriter, accomplished writer/blogger, speaker and worship leader at women’s conferences as well as a worship leader on staff at her home church. After a crushing discovery of her former husband’s hidden life and surviving a painful divorce, she now shares an inspirational message through her ministry, Seeing Deep Ministries, about seeing the deeper truth in God’s word when life hurts.

Denise also founded and directed a home educational co-op for 12 years and engaged in many educational pursuits, including forming and directing a classical children’s choir. A graduate from the University of Maryland, Denise now resides in Virginia, with her “Kinsman Redeemer” husband and five children.

Learn more about Shame Off You at https://shameoffyou.life/the-book. You can also find out more about Denise Pass at DenisePass.com. She can also be found on Facebook (Denise Pass – Author/Speaker/ Worship Leader) and Twitter (@TheDenisePass).



Thursday, August 15, 2019

Weeping May Last for a Night

*Be sure to enter to win your own copy of
Shame Off You at the end of this blog post!*

Weeping May Last for a Night

Excerpted from Shame Off You by Denise Pass, ©2018 Abingdon Press


What is it about crying that makes us feel shame? We are shamed for being less than perfect, then doubly shamed for crying out for help about it. Sounds like a serious plan of condemnation from the enemy! But what looks like weakness becomes a secret source of strength for those who know and trust in God.

For the record, crying has been given a bad rap. Weeping in cultures all over the world is deemed something to be embarrassed by. Goodness, we even apologize when we do it. Showing emotion is often seen as a sign of weakness, sometimes associated with mental or personality disorders. Add the sting of shame to the feelings of inferiority for just expressing emotions, and the overwhelming humiliation begins to paralyze us and affect our ability to function. Getting to this place of crying out is made even more difficult with the lingering shame for doing so.

But there is another type of crying. Set aside the helpless, I’m-so-ashamed crying. Instead, there is a sweet place of brokenness where we cry out and look to God for comfort. And it is in crying out to God from our place of shame that we obtain victory. Admitting our need is not a display of weakness, but a testament of relationship. But it can be so very hard to admit that aching need. God made us for relationship, to know Him intimately. We were not made for independence, but dependence upon our loving God. There is no shame in that. When we cry out to God, He helps us to recognize the oppressive presence of shame, so we can rightly deal with this stigmatizing emotion.

In Scripture, Hannah felt the scorn from shame in being childless. She knew all too well the taunts of those around her, especially from a rival wife. She wept at the altar. She was not enough. She could not bear children. And there was nothing she could do about it. This is a classic situation of shame. Circumstances we cannot control, yet we somehow accept the shame as if we earned it. But Hannah had a weapon. She cried out to God—the only One who could truly remove her shame. And God answered. Sometimes we have to wait for the Lord to restore. We may have to walk through shame to be able to appreciate the shame being removed from us. Hannah’s tears were counted that day, and the priest serving in the church saw her too:

Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord. And she made this vow: “O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, if you will look upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime, and as a sign that he has been dedicated to the Lord, his hair will never be cut.” As she was praying to the Lord, Eli watched her. Seeing her lips moving but hearing no sound, he thought she had been drinking. “Must you come here drunk?” he demanded. “Throw away your wine!” “Oh no, sir!” she replied. “I haven’t been drinking wine or anything stronger. But I am very discouraged, and I was pouring out my heart to the Lord. Don’t think I am a wicked woman! For I have been praying out of great anguish and sorrow.” “In that case,” Eli said, “go in peace! May the God of Israel grant the request you have asked of him.” “Oh, thank you, sir!” she exclaimed. Then she went back and began to eat again, and she was no longer sad. (1 Samuel 1:10-18 NLT)

There is so much to learn from Hannah when we are surrounded by shame. She did not try to fix her situation. She did not try to cover up her shame. She simply went to the only One who could. And she wept before her great God, surrendering to His will. But she also did something astonishing in her prayer—she was not merely looking for the release of shame. She wanted to honor God for His removal of it. She would give her son back to Him. Our shame never really is about us after all. It might feel like it, but we feel shame until we come before God. Like a magnet, shame draws us either nearer to God or propels us away. Hannah knew where her help truly came from. She clung to God and let go of her shame. She also knew that the one who commands armies—El Shaddai—could surely remove shame off her soul. She demonstrated this by leaving her shame there at the altar. She did not carry it anymore.

There are many such altars every Sunday where people have the bravery to come up out of their seat and lay their burdens and shames down. The very public transparent display of my shame on that altar initially hurt so deeply. Like Hannah, I did not hold back. It led to confessing the secrets hidden within, the very thing I never wanted to mention again. There I shared what I had been prevented from sharing before. And instead of finding shame and pressure, I found acceptance and compassion. Somehow, I had thought concealing my shame would make my own unwanted testimony disappear. Surely the scorn and condemnation I felt would someday be removed. But hiding shame does not heal it; it makes it multiply. Shame has taken on many forms in my life and colored my world with guilt and humiliation. Shame screams out “condemnation” to a weary soul too tired to fight the accusation. It tries to define us, but we can rise above shame. Shame impacts us all, but it is how we deal with shame that determines the lasting impact shame has on our life.

Shame seems insurmountable and hopeless to us when we listen to it. But that’s what shame does. It makes it seem like there is no way out. Trapped within the walls of our own mind, we don’t even recognize all the shame we are bound by, but we try to combat this shame through our own devices, nonetheless. We might not even be cognizant of our own approaches to deal with shame. Maybe we rationalize it or try to ignore it, but underneath we let shame chip away at our worth. We consider and turn the matter over in our mind a million times, trying to cast off the yoke of shame. Perhaps we allow bitterness to overtake us as we seethe at those who hurt us or who are judging us. Self-made strategies and techniques lack sustaining power to remove an entrenched, invisible force such as shame. Nice anecdotes and willpower cannot extinguish it, either. In all our struggling with shame, could it be that God has a better way to remove shame and that He can even use its presence in our lives for good?


About the author:

Denise Pass, author of Shame Off You, is an award-winning CCM recording artist and singer-songwriter, accomplished writer/blogger, speaker and worship leader at women’s conferences as well as a worship leader on staff at her home church. After a crushing discovery of her former husband’s hidden life as a repetitive sex offender, and surviving a painful divorce, she now shares an inspirational message through her ministry, Seeing Deep Ministries, about seeing the deeper truth in God’s word when life hurts. Denise also founded and directed a home educational co-op for 12 years and engaged in many educational pursuits, including forming and directing a classical children’s choir. A graduate from the University of Maryland, Denise now resides in Virginia, with her “Kinsman Redeemer” husband and five children.

Find her online at DenisePass.com.




Monday, August 12, 2019

Coming this fall: Be Loved by Emma Mae Jenkins


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Releasing November 11, 2019!

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Emma Mae Jenkins, a young writer, has inspired many with the freedom she has to be herself—a dearly loved child of God. In her first book, Be Loved, she invites readers to join her on a journey of life-changing faith and the freedom that comes from knowing the love of God.
She chronicles her own high school journey through starting a new school, navigating the typical pressures of school work and sports, going to prom, and even homecoming. Emma Mae faced each new challenge with the confidence that God was with her and was going to make her uniquely useful in the place he had prepared for her.
For Emma Mae, it all starts with her relationship with Jesus. Because she knows she is loved by him, she is free to be herself and to live out her faith no matter what the cost. As a young, passionate, and intimate lover of Jesus, Emma Mae’s love for her Savior overflows unashamedly into her unconditional, fierce love for people.
Readers will experience the chain-breaking liberty of knowing the Lord’s presence and the freedom to be unique. This full-color, hardback book includes pictures from Emma Mae’s life, along with key Bible verses that God used to strengthen and guide her through the ups and downs of her high school years. Readers will learn to face the challenges of their student years with faith, courage, hope, and lifegiving love for others.

About the author

Debut author Emma Mae Jenkins is a social media influencer, writer, speaker, and YouTuber with the sole purpose of leading others into a relationship with Jesus, sharing this chain-breaking freedom, and being a vessel of God’s Word. Emma Mae chronicled her journey through high school on social media and has inspired thousands of young people to live their faith freely and with courage.
 

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Win a copy of Standing Together by Carlos and Rosemarie Evans


For the next couple of weeks,
the I Read with Audra team is featuring
Standing Together by Carlos and Rosemarie Evans. 

Read more about the book below, and enter to win a copy of your own at the bottom of the post.

You can also read the two-part interview with Carlos and Rosemarie by clicking below.
Part 1 ~ Part 2

About the book:

A true story of hope and courage in the face of astonishing challenges

During his fourth deployment, US Marine Corps Sergeant Carlos Evans stepped on an IED--and the loss of both legs and his left hand was just the beginning of the struggle for his life.

For the next two years, he and his wife, Rosemarie, went through the rehabilitation process together. As a nurse and mother of two young children, Rosemarie was used to caring for people, but the task of taking care of her triple-amputee husband brought new challenges every day. In addition to his limb loss, Carlos faced PTSD and developed an addiction to painkillers. He was sure Rosemarie’s life would be better without him--and that it might have been better if he hadn’t survived at all.

But unlike the majority of marriages put under similar strain, Carlos and Rosemarie stayed together. With the help of family, friends, and--most importantly--a strong faith, they’ve built a solid marriage and discovered a ministry they never expected. By the hand of God, their story, which began in devastation, has turned into one that draws in and lifts up more people than either of them would ever have dreamed.

Not only will disabled veterans and their loved ones find help here, Carlos and Rosemarie’s captivating journey also speaks to those who long for stronger marriages, care for loved ones with disabilities, or are facing a new normal in their own lives, small or large. It is a powerful resource for leaning on God in the midst of life’s great difficulties--and for finding ways that, through faith, profound loss can bring incredible blessing.

Read an excerpt from Kregel by clicking here.


About the authors:

Sgt. (Ret.) Carlos R. Evans is a minister with the Assemblies of God USA, a Wounded Warrior spokesman, and a motivational speaker. Born in Puerto Rico, Carlos was an avid athlete through his high school and college years.  At university, he studied Theology and was very active in his church. When the tragic events of September 11th occurred, he felt compelled to join the family legacy of service in the US Marine Corps, and originally planned to join as a Chaplain.

Carlos served three tours of duty in Iraq and was assigned to Afghanistan for his fourth deployment. In May 2010, he was the squad leader on foot patrol when he stepped on an improvised explosive device. The blast took both of his legs and his left hand. Medically discharged after his rehab at Walter Reed, Carlos served in the Marine Corps for eight years.

Rosemarie Evans, also a native of Puerto Rico, is an experienced nurse. She is now a full-time caregiver and student working toward a master’s degree in marriage and family from Liberty University. Carlos and Rosemarie live in Orlando, Florida with their two daughters.

Learn more about Carlos and Rosemarie Evans at CREvans.org as well as on Facebook (CR Evans), Instagram (@crevans923) and Twitter (@crevans923).


Sunday, August 4, 2019

Bind Us Together


Bind Us Together

By Bob Gillman
Used by permission. CCLI # 1132191

Bind us together Lord;
Bind us together with cords
That cannot be broken.
Bind us together Lord;
Bind us together Lord;
Bind us together with love.

There is only one God.
There is only one King.
There is only one body;
That is why we can sing.

(repeat first part) 

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Get that Shame Off You!


During the month of August, my I Read with Audra
team is featuring Shame Off You by Denise Pass.

I would love to share a little bit about the book with you now. You can even enter to win your own copy at the end of this post. 

Keep an eye out later this month for an interview with Denise and an excerpt from Shame Off You.


About the book:

Learn to recognize and process feelings of shame in a biblical way to restore God-ordained self-worth and hope.

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” — Romans 8:1 

Shame is an assault on the core of who we are. It assassinates our character, minimizes our worth, and dashes our hope. Like Adam and Eve, we often hide shame, but hiding never heals it. Left unattended, shame can develop into a crippling reality that paralyzes us. Like an infectious disease, shame impacts everyone . . . but not all shame is bad.

Shame can either be an oppressive and powerful tool of worldly condemnation or a source of conviction that God uses to bring his people back to himself. Having the discernment to know the difference and recognize shame in its many forms can change the course of one’s life.

In a transparently honest style, Pass shares of her experience dealing with shame after learning that her former husband was a sexual offender. Having lived through the aftermath, she leads you into God’s Word where you will see for yourself that God is bigger than your pain, shame, mistakes, and limitations.

Shame Off You shares how freedom can be found in choosing to break the cycle of shame by learning from the past, developing healthy thinking patterns, silencing lies, and overcoming the traps of vanity and other people's opinions.

Learn more at https://shameoffyou.life/the-book.


About the author:

Denise Pass, author of Shame Off You, is an award-winning CCM recording artist and singer-songwriter, accomplished writer/blogger, speaker and worship leader at women’s conferences as well as a worship leader on staff at her home church. After a crushing discovery of her former husband’s hidden life as a repetitive sex offender, and surviving a painful divorce, she now shares an inspirational message through her ministry, Seeing Deep Ministries, about seeing the deeper truth in God’s word when life hurts. Denise also founded and directed a home educational co-op for 12 years and engaged in many educational pursuits, including forming and directing a classical children’s choir. A graduate from the University of Maryland, Denise now resides in Virginia, with her “Kinsman Redeemer” husband and five children.

Find her online at DenisePass.com.




Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Discovering Your Blind Spots




Honest and life-giving conversations 
about blind spots will lead to transformative
change and spiritual growth

To the outside world, examining and exposing your own blind spots can be viewed more as a weakness than a courageous step toward change in your life and relationships. However, true transformative change starts when we finally face our weaknesses—and we all have them. Uncovering our own unseen areas for spiritual growth is impossible without the help of God and trusted individuals. What does Jesus see that we tend to miss, and what does he think about the threats that blind spots pose?

With the release of their book, Blind Spots: What You Don’t See Can Hurt You (New Growth Press/July 29, 2019), authors Tim Riddle and Fil Anderson discuss Jesus’s primary mission to expose the deadly nature of blind spots, sharing how he alone has the cure. They urge followers of Christ to engage in honest and life-giving conversations about blind spots: what they are, why they exist, how to identify and remove them, how to keep them from returning, and how to point them out in others.

The authors define a blind spot as anything that stands in the way of being all that God has intended for our lives. In introducing the book, Riddle and Anderson write, “Yes, many of those blind spots are sins, but others are rooted in ignorance, immaturity, circumstances, and sometimes the sins of others against us. Sometimes, they are things we don’t see because God has not yet revealed them to us. But blind spots of many kinds may fuel our fears of stepping out in faith to use the talents and gifts God has given us.”

The inspiration behind Blind Spots came as the authors were reflecting on the challenge of spiritual growth. As they looked at their own personal lives, they realized obstacles in their own growth were usually due to a blind spot. Both consider coming together to write the book as being one of the most rewarding things they have done. In the process they have become each other’s blind spot partner and have developed a safe place to freely talk about potential blind spots they each may have.


Through sharing their own stories to uncover blind spots, the authors demonstrate how spiritual growth only happens in the context of seeing and acknowledging our own flaws. While Riddle and Anderson note the importance of community in dealing with blind spots, they emphasize the lasting, gospel change of the Spirit. By exploring the different ways we unknowingly sabotage ourselves and our relationships, Blind Spots guides readers toward depending on the Spirit for help.

“The Holy Spirit is the revealer and healer of our blind spots,” says Riddle. “In this book, we talk more in detail about the work of the Spirit and how the Spirit may work through others to help identify our blind spots.”

“The goal of the spiritual journey is the transformation of our self,” says Anderson. “This requires knowing both our self and God. Both are essential if we are to discover our true identity as those who are in Christ, because the self is where we meet God.”

The authors’ hope in releasing Blind Spots is that readers would see beyond the challenges preventing them from living fully and freely. Both know this is a journey that requires a combination of humility, trust, openness to change, and a willingness to submit to the Holy Spirit.



Tim Riddle, author of Blind Spots, is the CEO of Discover Blind Spots whose mission is to help leaders of corporations, churches, and non-profits address blind spots within their organizations. DBS provides help with direction and strategy, clarity in marketing and messaging, and alignment in staff, which leads to a healthy organization and effective leadership.

Previously, Riddle was the Executive Pastor of St. Mark’s Church in Burlington, NC, for thirteen years.  He used his leadership and strategic gifts to lead the staff and ministry of SMC. He also enjoys preaching/teaching and continues to speak at SMC. Prior to SMC, Riddle was the founder and CEO of Riddle & Company, a specialty textile company in Burlington, NC. 

Riddle is a graduate of Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC, and Fuller Theological Seminary.  He and his wife, Stacy, live in Burlington, NC, and have four children.



Fil Anderson is executive director of Journey Resources, based in Greensboro, NC. He’s a frequent conference speaker, spiritual director, and directs retreats and workshops nationally and internationally. Anderson is a member of the teaching team at Potter’s Inn Soul Care Institute. As a member of the pastoral staff of St. Mark’s Church, he provides on-site soul care to their staff and volunteers. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees at The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology.

In addition to Blind Spots, Anderson is the author of Running on Empty and Breaking the Rules. He also contributed to Transformation of a Man’s Heart and is a regular writer for InTouch Magazine and various other publications. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and Fuller Theological Seminary, Anderson also completed the Graduate Program in Christian Spiritual Guidance at the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation. He worked with Young Life for twenty-five years, serving as Area Director and Regional Director before becoming National Director of Training.

Anderson and his wife, Lucie, live in Greensboro and are the parents of three adult children. Avid beach lovers, they frequent Wrightsville Beach, NC, as often as possible.

Learn more at www.filanderson.com.


New Growth Press publishes gospel-centered Christian books, small group, and children’s Bible resources for discipleship, biblical counseling, and missional ministry. For more information about Blind Spots: What You Don’t See Can Hurt You and other releases from New Growth Press, visit www.newgrowthpress.com.


Blind Spots: What You Don’t See Can Hurt You
By Tim Riddle and Fil Anderson
July 29, 2019 / Retail Price: $15.99
Print ISBN: 978-1-948130-59-2 / E-book ISBN: 978-1-948130-60-8
RELIGION/Christian Life/Spiritual Growth



Tuesday, July 30, 2019

The Bachelorette: Hannah B. - Week 12 (The Finale Part 2)

Here we go with the finale finale of Hannah's season. My eye twitch is back, and I am thinking of tall the things I really need to be doing other than blogging about this.

Anyway, Hannah says you have to show all your good and bad layers during this, and she has done it all. She's fallen in love with both.

Both men meet with Neil Lane. The overfed scripting has them each talking about how the ring is like their relationship with Hannah. For example, Tyler looks for loud and proud while Jed goes for a round diamond because the shape is more constant.

On the car ride from the hotel to wherever they are doing the ceremony, Hannah freaks out and asks the driver to stop the car. She climbs out, starts walking across the street in heels and trips out in middle of an intersection. She's sitting out in the road in a white dress. She scraped her elbow on the way down. A producer offers to help her up, but she declines his help. Hannah says she can't do this.
After a few minutes, Hannah decides she's ready to proceed. Both men have a part of her heart, and she claims there is no good way to tell someone they are not enough.

Tyler arrives. He's afraid of losing his words and getting cheezy. When he gets up to the stage (because that's what it is), he beings a well-rehearsed speech. She finally cuts him off. The look on his face when he realizes "This isn't it" is quite painful. There's no more looking her in the eye after that. She loves someone else.
Tyler says he's still going to be her biggest fan and wishes her and Jed much success. She gives him a hug he would like to escape. He says she and Jed will be great. He lets her walk him out.

That's got to be embarrassing for a guy. They should make every woman (or man at this point), go to the guy and tell them before they start their big speech. It's cruel and unusual punishment.

And then there was one...

Today she has clarity, and she has prayed for peace. She's waited her whole life for a happy ending. She's what, 25? (This reminds me of debating my age with my boss today.)

Oh snap, back on topic. Jed brought is guitar. I'm going to gag, not just because I'm coughing again (yes, I'm sick again).

If I was ever a Jed fan 12 weeks ago, I'm far from it now. Everything about him annoys me. However, he's what Hannah's looking for. She and I are far from alike though.

Oh my, I woudn't know pitch if it slapped me, but he sounds uber pitchy to me. It's painful.

Hannah doesn't have a song, but wants to say some stuff. As a little girl, she always prayed for her future husband. She didn't know who she was praying for. She's not always understand her heartbreak and why she's been through what she's been through. (I wish I could type her accent.)

Cue knee, ring, rose.

We're 35 minutes in. What are we going to do for the next hour and a half? I hope she doesn't sing and dance.

Chris Harrison tells us it's not been happily ever after and that Jed has to face the music. See what he did there?

Their home videos are annoying. After some happy times the first couple of days, Jed tells Hannah he was hanging with a girl a week before he came on the show. He told her it was over. People magazine articles talking with the girlfriend said otherwise.

At some point along the way, Hannah and Jed sat down in front of the cameras for a conversation.

Jed comes in, sits down, says he misses her, then silence. Hannah asks why he waited to tell her all this.

Jed says there's a different story she hasn't heard. Back in October, he dated her, but he was dating around. He didn't think it was exclusive or anything. He'd slept with her a couple of times, then went to Gatlinburg on a trip with her. "There wasn't a label on it." "Were you still hanging out with other chicks?" "Yeah."

The girl did meet his parents, threw him a surprise party in January, and her parents bought a vacation to the Bahamas for his birthday. They went over her birthday. He joined the show to get some attention for the music thing. He highly doubted he'd actually like anyone on the show.

They were on this Bahamas trip when he found out he was going to be on the show. He was drinking and told the other girl he loved her. It wasn't a proper goodbye, but once he got to LA it was goodbye in his heart. It wasn't verbal. He never told this girl that he was with the night before he left anything.

Hannah has seen texts from the girlfriend and from other girls that were at his apartment the night after she was in Nashville.

She was in it for love. He was in it to get famous. Jed wants to know what he needs to do to demonstrate he's for real. She walks out.

When she comes back in, followed by cameras, Jed tries to smooth stuff over by saying Hannah is what he has wanted. "Where do you want me to grow?" It seems an odd question.
Hannah asks if it ever crossed his mind back at the mansion when Scott was sent home on night one that he was guilty too. In Jed's mind, he didn't have a girlfriend. He didn't tell her in the fantasy suite because he was scared Hannah would walk away and leave him.

Hannah accuses him of going back to his old life when he got home. He told his friends that he "won." All of a sudden, what his family told her makes a lot of sense.

Jed says he never met someone who made him want to be a better person. He asks her for grace.

She takes off the ring.

Jed said in the two months of the show he became the person she wanted. I'm thinking not so much.

So, enough of that and back to the studio with Chris Harrison. He brings Hannah out to talk about what we just watched. What is she feeling? She still can't believe this is the way the conversation is going after this experience. 

The first she heard of anything was the day after they were first engaged. He warned there was a girl he was hanging out with. She questioned him, but he LIED.

When the People article came out, she quizzed him again. Again he LIED.

Chris asks where there relationship is. Hannah is not with Jed anymore.

They haven't seen each other since the day she gave the ring back, but they evidently did talk on the phone. Chris gives him the first chance to speak when he comes out. He apologies to her. Now that he has had a chance to review his behavior, he wasn't the best that he could be. This guy is weird. What he says is weird.

Jed knows he has hurt everyone involved. He just never would have fathomed that he would fall in love with someone on a reality TV show. He should have known more about it.

When asked what is going through her mind, Hannah has to take along pause before answering. What he didn't wasn't right. She did fall in love with him, and she knows that person is in there somewhere. She hopes he learns to be honest and grow from this for whoever in her future.

Jed is lame. He never pictured being with someone forever. He does still love her though.

Hannah isn't trying to punish him, but his feelings have changed. When the trust was broken, her feelings were gone. She doesn't love him like that anymore.

After sending Jed on his merry way, Hannah says she realizes though she WANTS a husband, she doesn't NEED one. With that, Chris Harrison reminds her she hasn't talked to Tyler yet.

Hannah's feelings for Tyler didn't just go away. Will Tyler want to play second fiddle? If I were Tyler, I wouldn't give anyone a second chance.

Hannah is giddy uncomfortable sitting there. Tyler has been looking forward to this moment.

The conversation is kind of boring me. Hannah asks him out for drinks. He accepts. Hannah wants them to be normal people and just go out.

That's it.

The end.

In other news, I will not be blogging about Bachelor in Paradise, but I'll watch. You can message me questions or hit me up on Facebook to talk about it. I just find Paradise too hard to keep up with for blogging. Plus, I can straighten my house or something while it's on. I'm ready to be able to park my car in the garage, and that means I have to finish unpacking.

Monday, July 29, 2019

The Bachelorette: Hannah B. - Week 12 (The Finale part 1)

A two-night season finale just means we are going to drag things out way more than they ever had to be, especially given that Chris Harrison is in the studio with an audience.

But, here we go with night one.

Hannah is ready to hand out roses. She has just sent Luke packing... AGAIN.

The three men remaining are wondering who among them is going home. I say Peter stays after their time in the windmill and that Jed is leaving. We shall see if I am right.

Cue the voiceovers aka voices in their heads.

After her speech about not wanting to break anyone's heart, but she knows what she needs to do, the first rose goes to Jed. Crud. I was wrong on that one.

Ohhhhhh... I was sooooooooo wrong. Tyler gets the second rose.

Hannah takes Peter out. She says it has all been so perfect. It was like when she was a little girl and he was her Ken doll. She will always have a piece of his heart.

What is wrong with this girl?

They cry together, hug, and he leaves after a kiss on the forehead.

Her dress is awful too, by the way. and her messy top bun. The dress looks like a swimsuit top attached to a really long maxi skirt via an awkward middle piece on the front. This girl looks a mess.

Hannah is ugly crying on the curb.

Peter says it hurts, but he isn't mad at Hannah.

Peter joins Chris in-studio. He just watched it for the first time with the rest of us. Chris knows Peter was really in love with Hannah and that we all fell in love with his family on hometowns. The family joins him in the audience.

Peter knew he was in love with Hannah when the fireworks went off in Latvia. Chris asks if he still loves her. Peter doesn't think you can completely fall out of love in two months. A piece of his heart will always love her.

Hannah comes out. It's the first time for them to see each other since Greece. Peter stumbles over his words as he starts out, "Beginning with the Netherlands... hometowns that went so well... where did it go wrong?"

Hannah told him there wasn't anything wrong. She thought he would meet her family. All through the fantasy suite date. Leaving the windmill, he was so sure it was "Us." She was falling in love with him, but she was falling for two others two. It was waking up that final morning that she made the decision.

Hannah says if there was anything, she thought he was afraid to fall in love with her and that he was apprehensive about sharing his feelings. She just wish she knew sooner how he felt. Peter wants to know one more thing. She has referred to their relationship as "a slow burn..." She agrees it was passionate, but thought him not verbally saying where he was may have hurt them.

This is painfully boring as this drags on and on about what did and didn't go right. At least Peter is a gentleman.

What is awkward is his parents clapping when Chris Harrison says, "Thanks to the two of you, no one will ever look at a windmill the same." Take it a step further when Hannah says she has to confess it wasn't two times like she had previously said, but four times. Chris Harrison then points out that Peter's mom is right there. Chris adds that Luke's heart is exploding somewhere.

Then there were two...

Picking up in Crete, Jed and Tyler will be meeting her family.

But first, Hannah meets up with her family. She fills them in on Tyler. She explains until last week, she wasn't sure if she was falling in love or falling in lust. When he brought it up that was more than just physical for him, she knew he was a keeper.

She tells her family that he is a dancer. His first year of college, he was flunking English and needed some classes to up his GPA. He thought dance was going to be easy, but they weren't and he enjoyed them.

Mom grills Tyler first. Nothing interesting. Dad asks about the fantasy suite and the decision to get to know each other only. Tyler says his dad getting sick put a lot of things in perspective for him. He has no doubts about their relationship.

Hannah and Dad talk. Mom and Hannah talk. Both parents feel good about Tyler. I don't know why the brothers and a sister-in-law are there. I guess that's who they are. No intros were given.

Before he leaves, Hannah wants to talk to Tyler about what her struggle had been, and how sure she is that she loves him now. She is surprised, but she can see a future with Tyler.

I still don't get Tyler. He strikes me as a frat boy, but, what do I know?

The next day, Hannah is nervous and freaking out before Jed arrives. From the beginning, she thought Jed fit in her life. Her mom tells Hannah it's because she is about to have to make a decision. 

Her family thinks the bar is set really high after yesterday. They really liked Tyler.

Hannah lets Jed take the leading in telling their story. He's a snooze.

Dad can see a connection between Hannah and Jed, but there was a connection yesterday. Dad wants to know his goals in life. Can Jed provide for his little girl? He asks about finances. Jed's first real breakthrough is selling a song to a dog food policy.

Jed feels a little confused. He thought the family was going to see how natural they were together. He wasn't expecting Mom and Dad both to be questioning his songwriting career.

Mom tells Hannah she wasn't so impressed. Tyler was a standout.

Dad said Jed kind of beat around the bush and didn't give as straight of answers as Tyler. Hannah is miffed that the dog food commercial got brought up.

Hannah, of course, wants her husband to provide for her, but she's going to be successful and provide for her family too. Hannah wants to get past the money part and talk about Jed's feelings. Hannah can tell her Dad has issues. The way her dad tells her that he's just trying to tell the facts kind of reminds me of what my dad does sometimes. He doesn't want to be negative, but it's obvious he's not #teamjed.

Hannah steps away to think. Jed joins her. Jed wants her to talk to him and about how she feels. Hannah knows he doesn't want to talk another guy, but after Jed is blunt, she spills. She's confused because things went really well with Tyler yesterday. This is where Hannah realizes you don't date two men at the same time. Jed must have had the lead in her mind.

Jed believes in Hannah. I think he's trying not to write lyrics in talking to her.

Now... one final date with each.

First up: Tyler

They are going horseback riding again to see if he can figure it out this time. He's no less fearful of horses this time. It doesn't start any better.

The two talk about the family time. Her dad was comfortable with him. Tyler was glad to hear her feelings. It was a positive talk.

That evening, on part two of the date, they recap what a great date it was, how it was great to hear how well her family responded. She takes him upstairs.

The last date: Jed

She's anxious. Meeting the family didn't go like she had hoped. The nerves show when Jed arrives. The kiss looks awkward too. They board a boat and set sail. Evidently it's about repeating date activities. It wasn't with Jed that she went on the boat before though. The waves are a bit much for Hannah. She's feeling queasy.

Seeing Jed in Paradise (he needs some sun) would make me queasy. Hannah talks about being nervous making her queasy too. Jed admits to being nervous knowing there is still someone else there. Knowing her dad didn't believe in him hurt. That part made him sad, but it didn't change how he felt for her at all.

This date is such a downer. She's getting sick again and has to excuse herself. She's anxious about having to break someone's heart tomorrow.

How about breaking up with the guy still wearing the leather belt with his khaki shorts on the boat?

For the evening portion of the date, Jed apologizes in advance. He's nervous. However, he can't see his life without her. Hannah tells him that she's less worried than her dad is about their potential finances.

They are both in such a funk, it's putting me in a funk. They cuddle awkwardly on the couch before she leaves him to go think about her final decision for the next day.

She knows she will break someone's heart.

Chris Harrison and Hannah tease tomorrow night. Hannah says she doesn't know how tomorrow night will go.