Author Archives: Becky Buck

Destroyed In the Destruction of Addiction

She stumbles onto the clinic floor with eyes glazed and pupils dilated, with hands shaking and body pacing. Words coming out in incoherent sentences as she tries to give the sweetest, elderly lady a haircut. My heart breaks. She’s high again. Heroine wins again and there is nothing I can do. I feel so helpless, so powerless, and so angry. Angry at her, angry at whoever supplied her, and angry at society.

I am no stranger to dealing with addicts. Having been in the entertainment and beauty industries for over ten years, it seems like every artist I know has struggled or is struggling with some form of addiction. We all have family members, friends, or ourselves that struggle with addiction to porn, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, food, caffeine, etc. What never ceases to amaze me is how faithful we are to our addictions, how we sacrifice greatness and ultimate satisfaction on the altar of the immediate. Obviously the root of all of this is sin, but simply saying that is both unsatisfying and unhelpful. There is so much more to addiction than just “sin makes me want to do everything I can apart from God so I choose heroine, sex, porn, food, gambling, gaming, meth, cocaine, pills, weed, alcohol, fill in the blank to fill me and complete me and make me happy.” There is a society full of government, organizations, churches, hospitals,  and people who SUCK.

Yep, I’m being extreme.

In a society where money and trade is everything, we fight a war on the import and export of drugs. It’s fast money. Dangerous but fast. I know a friend of a friend that netted $250,000 in one year selling pot. We see it glorified and idolized in shows like Breaking Bad, where healthcare costs become so high Walter is chooses to cook and sell meth to pay his hospital bills and make sure his wife and kids have savings for life and college if he dies. Because, as a high school science teacher, his salary in the good old USA can’t provide for his medical bills and save for college or emergencies. You find yourself sympathetic with Walter.

For one 30 minute walk-in clinic visit where they took no blood or pee or X-rays I have a $200 bill to pay because I have no insurance. I can’t even begin to imagine the medical bills for someone with chronic/terminal illnesses that need hospitalization or ongoing treatment, let alone addicts that need to be in hospitalized detox and an inpatient rehabilitation centers. Trust me. I’ve looked into it for loved ones. Rehab can cost a whole years salary for some people.  So our government comes up with The Affordable Care Act, a half-hearted, ineffectual band-aid. Healthcare is charity, in that old school King James way. Charity, from charis, love, generosity, devotedness. Not a money-making endeavor.

So addicts, if they are lucky, get put into hospitalized detox and then get bounced to maybe 2-4 weeks of inpatient rehabilitation, and then a life long commitment to attend outpatient rehab? WHAT A JOKE. Most addicts have spent years in their addiction but are expected to be able to function back in a society with drugs available at the touch of a finger and alcohol available everywhere within a month? You need time to replace your addiction and learn to live life in a rhythm and community without your addiction. TIME. Until we as a society start valuing human life instead of work and the mighty dollar no movement is ever going to be made to lifelong change.

Create a therapeutic culture, USA, that glorifies and highly prizes being a whole and healthy person, not how much money can be put into your pockets. We as a society have devalued human beings into machines. Stop glorifying that party lifestyle, Hollywood, to justify your shattered view and treatment of humanity. Stop dealing primarily with the supply side of the War On Drugs, Government, and deal more fully with the demand side. And let each of us support government leaders and organizations that are really trying to affect positive change by valuing human life and the planet we live on.

She vomits in the bushes and is finally asked to leave school. Crying and ashamed she packs her things defeated and hopeless. I pray that I never forget that image. I pray that her tear-stained face and hollow eyes burn so deeply within me that I will do whatever it takes around me to educate, empower, and support. So that the story of being destroyed in the destruction of addiction will end.

May the cycle be broken.

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What to write when there’s nothing to write?

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. I often hide behind the amazing gifting of my co laborer and friend Ruth. I use the excuse that she is much more gifted and competent than I. Plus I work full time now and have 2 boys and a hubby to love on so my time is restricted. But honestly it’s more because I don’t believe that I’m smart enough or have anything important or profound or encouraging to write that hasn’t already been written. We are inundated with blogs and videos and links almost constantly. Why would anyone want to hear from my crazy ADD, anxious, creative brain? And then I read my friend’s beautiful post about her struggle with body image and I realize I receive that knowledge that pierces my darkness with light because I know her. I can hear her voice and see her eyes in her writing. And I love her and being loved by her, so the truth she plants in my heart with her written words roots deep down into my soul. What a gift! We read each other’s writings to move us out of despair and into hope. We read over and over again similar truths and stories because they reach deep down into our souls and wring out the pain.

So this is my public confession that I will try to do better and be braver, Ruth. To hopefully be used in writing a bit more to pull others out of despair into hope through the power of written word and wring out the pain into God’s overflowing bucket of redemption, grace, mercy, justice, and love.

Beautiful and Dangerous: Body=Image; Sex=Symbol

Join Ruth and Becky as they interview Lisa Wells who is the Family Ministries Director at North Harbor Community Church in Topsham, Maine. Lisa is a gifted teacher and musician and a mom of 3 beautiful girls and is married to Dan Wells our lead pastor at North Harbor. The 8 week sermon series is called Beautiful And Dangerous. Lisa’s sermon is part 5 and is entitled, Body=Image; Sex=Symbol and the link to listen to it is here: http://www.northharbor.net/

And here is the link to our interview:

You may also want to watch the Amy Cuddy body language talk that Lisa references.

Be blessed!!!

 

Do What You Want What You Want With My Body…

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Consume/Objectify/Dehumanize

The singer/songwriter Lady Gaga chooses to do a duet with the singer/songwriter R Kelly. She wrote the lyrics to this song with the help of a few others. I loved the synth pop 80’s sound and then I really listened to the lyrics.

LADY GAGA LYRICS

“Do What U Want”(feat. R. Kelly)

Yeah
Turn the mic upI feel good, I walk alone
But then I trip over myself and I fall
I, I stand up, and then I’m okay
But then you print some shit
That makes me wanna screamSo do what you want
What you want with my body
Do what you want
Don’t stop, let’s party
Do what you want
What you want with my body
Do what you want
What you want with my bodyWrite what you want
Say what you want ’bout me
If you’re wondering
Know that I’m not sorry

Do what you want
What you want with my body
What you want with my body

You can’t have my heart
And you won’t use my mind but
Do what you want (with my body)
Do what you want with my body
You can’t stop my voice cause
You don’t own my life but
Do what you want (with my body)
Do what you want (with my body)

Early morning, longer nights
Tom Ford, private flights
Crazy schedule, fast life
I wouldn’t trade it in
‘Cause it’s our life (let’s slow it down…)

I could be the drink in your cup
I could be the green in your blunt
Your pusher man, yeah, I got what you want
You wanna escape all of the crazy shit
You’re the Marilyn, I’m the president
And I’d love to hear you sing, girl

Do what I want
Do what I want with your body
Do what I want
Do what I want with your body
Back of the club, taking shots, getting naughty
No invitations, it’s a private party
Do what I want
Do what I want with your body
Do what I want
Do what I want with your body
Yeah, we taking these haters and we roughing ’em up
And we laying the club like we don’t give a fuck

You can’t have my heart
And you won’t use my mind but
Do what you want with my body
Do what you want with my body
You can’t stop my voice cause
You don’t own my life but
Do what you want with my body
Do what you want with my body

Sometimes I’m scared I suppose
If you ever let me go
I would fall apart
If you break my heart
So just take my body
And don’t stop the party

You can’t have my heart (Help me now)
And you won’t use my mind but
Do what you want with my body
Do what you want with my body
You can’t stop my voice cause
You don’t own my life but
Do what you want with my body
Do what you want with my body

Do what you want with me
What you want with my body
Do what you want with me
What you want with my body (world)
Do what you want with me
What you want with my body
Do what you want with me
What you want with my body

World, help me now
What you want with my body
Do what you want with my body
Do what you want with my body
What you want with my body

       Yikes. Here is a song we let ourselves, mothers, friends, daughters, sisters, aunt, nieces, and men listen to but are we conscious of the destructive message these lyrics bring? The lyrics show forth the objectification of her body and that she has no control over it so go ahead and do what you want with her body because she can separate who she is from the physical acts she engages in or lets people do to her. This is a very disturbing, wrong, and dangerous psyche. We cannot separate who we are from what we do or let people do to us or what people do to us that is unwanted. Just look at how the victims of rape and molestation and abuse are affected when people do what they want with those victims bodies. Without help and therapy these victims become fearful, angry, depressed, detached, guilty, ashamed, addiction prone, unable to connect deeply with others, unable to trust others, and a general feeling of being unwanted and unloveable. And we allow society to feed us a song that says it’s ok to let people do what they want with our bodies? That it won’t affect us mentally? What a horrible and dangerous lie.
        Sexuality is part of who we are.  It is part of us as human BEINGS. We are not human DOINGS. Sexuality is a beautiful thing. It expresses our uniqueness as image bearers of our Creator. It is meant to connect us in deep and meaningful intimacy. So when we express it and it’s acts outside of a monogamous marriage relationship it hurts and distorts and changes us and invites shame and guilt into our being that lies to us about how beautiful and worthy of love we are. Shame and guilt torment and torture or inner monologue that we speak about ourselves. And then shame and guilt seek to silence us in our suffering to further impair our ability to live out who we are meant to be in vulnerable connectedness to others. Shame and guilt are the dangerous consequence to distorted and self seeking sexuality.
       It also makes me sad that Lady Gaga who is actually really talented as a creative being feels these dark emotions because of a society that wants to make money off of women and men’s bodies. I only wish she had put forth a more whole view of how to change society and fight the system instead of giving up and letting the media/men/women “Do what they want with her body.”  R. Kelly disgusts me in his portion of this song. Instead of being a voice of strength and encouragement and wisdom and tenderness to her dark and hurt voice he capitalizes off of her vulnerability to do what he wants with her body. Talk about dehumanizing. What we buy and support and listen to matters!!! Let’s WAKE UP!!!
       We SHOULD NOT be buying into these lies  and allowing society to further oppress proper expression of our sexuality. Instead when we listen to this song, buy it, and support the artists and companies affiliated with this propaganda we invite and encourage sexual exploitation and objectification that further perpetuates a cycle of consume/objectify/dehumanize. I encourage each of you to at least boycott this song. The only way media and society will change is if we STOP BUYING AND SUPPORTING SEXIST AND DEHUMANIZING CRAP!!! Dare to stand up and let your voice for be heard.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder…

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What do you see when you look in the mirror? Go on. Go look. Ok. What was the first thought that popped into your head? Mine was, “Yikes! I need my brows waxed!” Was your similar? Why is it that? Why can’t we look in the mirror and say, “Wow. I am beautiful.” After all, isn’t that what God sees?

I get asked often as a hairdresser and makeup artist about a thousand questions about what to do with ones hair. Then that goes into what cut should I have, what style should I wear, do I need color, what makeup and hair products should I use, etc. and mind you this happens EVERYWHERE. I’m talking the grocery store, while washing your hands in a public restroom, restaurants, church, you name it. Because I am a cosmetologist I should have all the answers about beauty and how to make you more beautiful. But here’s the thing. YOU ALREADY ARE BEAUTIFIL!

I believe that we are putting way too much pressure on ourselves to be what society’s definition of beautiful is. What is that definition? Well, first advertisers make you presume that something is wrong with yourself and that they have the perfect services/products to fix you. This aggravates me. Makeup and hair should be tools of creative expression that tell the story of who you are. Not cover it up so we can spare no expense to make you look like Kim Kardashian.

In the garden of Genesis 1-2 we see that everything God creates is very good. (1:31) The Hebrew word for good is tov. It means the broadest sense of good. That what is good literally is desirable, beautiful, and pleasing. We as human beings that bear the image of God are desirable, beautiful, and pleasing just by being.

Now go back to that mirror. Ok. Now I want you to audibly speak this to yourself: I am desirable. I am beautiful. I am pleasing. See yourself dear one the way that your Creator sees you and let’s commit to stop hearing and believing lies.

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Am I too much? Am I not enough?

In a society where it is the unspoken rule that women work full time but have an immaculate home full of food made from scratch and well behaved children, the risk of falling short is inevitable. There comes a point in trying to make the impossible possible where we just burn out, and the lie of not being enough comes to be known as a truth in the depths of our soul. And it stings.

There is also an unspoken rule in some evangelical circles that women are welcome in ministry and dialogue as long as they are not too much. I know that myself and some of my girlfriends who have offered biblical solutions to ministry problems have been shot down simply because the solution was coming from a female. How can a female who is supposed to be submissive to men in leadership be correct? Plus, she may be having “that time of the month” so her perspective will be emotional and irrational. Yep. I have believed those lies of being too much and it has taken a lot of therapy and Holy Spirit to begin to unravel them.

So what do we do? What are our options? How do we dispel these lies? We begin by repentance for our unbelief. When we choose to hear the voice of the accuser over the Voice Of Truth we have slipped into unbelief and unbelief is sin. Let’s flesh that out.

When we think back to the Fall in Genesis, Satan grabs Eve by first posing a question that causes her to doubt God’s heart for her.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”

This question implies that God is holding out on her. She then chooses to engage in the dialogue. Sometimes it is most wise to call a spade a spade and walk away. How often do we choose to engage in a dialogue with the accuser that plants the seeds of doubt that grow into unbelief in our lives? Eve acts on the premise that God is holding out on her. She believes the lie that God doesn’t fully love her and know what is best for her. And so she must take matters into her own hands to control her own destiny. She acts on unbelief. And because of her unbelief the world is plunged into sin. Sin that oozes into the cracks of who we are and distorts the core of who we are as image bearers. Unbelief destroys.

I feel like I must make the distinction between questioning and unbelief. To question is to pose a thought we don’t have an answer for and I believe questioning things is totally healthy. Look at Job, David, Isaiah, and other prophets. They question God on many things. God knows that we are finite in our being. And as finite beings why wouldn’t we have questions for an infinite God? After all, we are humans not puppets.

However when we allow the questions to give way to doubts that make us not believe in God being who He says and Him doing what He says He will do, we have let the crippling sin of unbelief take root in our hearts and it will choke us to death. Unbelief makes us bitter and cynical. So if you find yourself in a season of unbelief, critical thoughts and words, anger, bitterness, and/or cynicism, I encourage you, dear sister, to ask yourself what lies am I believing? Where in my life do I have an unbelieving heart? Do I need to ask Jesus to forgive me for choosing to believe, live out of, and act on lies instead of truth?

Now, here is where I would shut down with crippling guilt. So if you are feeling dumped on and guilty, this next word is for you. There is a massive difference between conviction and condemnation. Conviction causes us to see how much God loves us and desires for us to be fully His. It helps us call sin for sin. Sin left not dealt with will destroy us. Sin takes what God intended for us to be and twists and bends and distorts until what was meant to be holy is unholy. And what is unholy cannot be with God. So He provides conviction when we sin to get us back on track to spur us on to hope that He is who He says He is and will finish the good works He has made in us before the foundation of the world. Conviction leads to seeing God for who He is and seeing us for who we are and if needed asking God to forgive us and believe His Truth which then gives us hope to act to live out our story in God’s story.

Condemnation is not from God. Condemnation makes us look at our sin and feel hated. Condemnation makes us feel unlovely. It makes us feel beyond the reach of love. It makes us feel shame that makes us want to hide just like Adam and Eve wanted to hide after they sinned in the garden. It talks down to us and tells us there is no hope so why bother. If you feel any of these things that is the voice of Satan the accuser. “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1

So if you are feeling like you are too much and not enough, know that you are not alone. The only way we can begin to change is to let Christ change us from the inside out. To let Him expose areas of unbelief in our lives. Will you let Him? Will you let Him then love on you? Really love on you. You don’t have to bring anything or be anything or do anything for Him to love you. Just be in Him and let His truth that you are beautiful and intricately made and so loved wash over you today. Live out of his abundant love today. And when you begin to hear the whispers of the accuser I dare you to boldly shut him down. Don’t engage. Instead speak truth to yourself and leave no room for doubt. I know I struggle with this deeply and as we move forward into discussing more about what it means to be submissive, a feminist, and a minister of the gospel to a dying world all from a biblical perspective we must start here. At the beginning where sin entered the world so we can be aware of the pitfalls as we seek to redemptively engage in difficult conversations. That a spirit of nasty criticism and anger and unkind words come from unbelief and sin and if we want to dialogue in love it’s going to take believing in a big and sovereign and good and just and loving God that will stop at nothing to make right the wrongs and heal our wounds from sin and His divine purpose for women in His kingdom alongside His men co-warrioring to spread His light and love throughout the world. I’m ready! Are you?