Monday, July 7, 2014


The other day while on a social media site perusing what those linked to my page had shared, I found myself doing something I often find the need to do, hide other's post from my view. It isn't that I am narrow minded, uptight, or judgmental.  In fact those that know me the best find me to be quite the opposite. It was rather that the things posted were vile, extreme, offensive, rude, inhumane, and the like.

Why do I need to know in detail how an abortion takes place? Why would I want to see pictures of animals suffering? What exactly is accomplished by blasting a political party? How are jokes funny when they are at another's expense? To what end would a post detailing a crime benefit anyone other then the prosecution, judge, and jury? Why would people claiming to follow a God of pure love think it ok to kill animals without need, take away freedom of choice, and judge others so harshly? And why do those who follow one theory try to belittle those who follow another?

I'd like to answer the above questions quickly and precisely ... there is no reason at all.

For unless I plan to preform and abortion or have one, there is absolutely no need for that knowledge! Regarding animal abuse, all I need to know is an animal is suffering to know it is not ok. And if one is a member of a political party, there is probably reasons, whether based in fact or fiction, that led them to that very personal decision and now I hope to change their minds by personally attacking them? I am sorry but unless you are trying to be abusive and break their spirit and soul like an abuser, I have never known that tactic to work.

And when did it become funny that another person is hurting, whether emotionally or physically? When you are in pain, do you find it funny? Where did this total lack of empathy come from?

There are many reasons, studies, theories, opinions, books, and more that I could quote, discuss, or flaunt as I write. Personally though I find an old antique thought from an old antique book to be the simplest most concise answer I in my life have encountered and it is simply this; "As you behold, you become changed" .

No fancy words or long dissertation why. No threats, arguments, or bargaining. No loop holes, Hail Marys, or clauses. Just simple and direct....what you focus on changes you. But changes you how?

Could one argue that knowing these horrible things might discourage me from engaging in the activities, groups, or parties? You could. Would there be truth to it?

I look to history to answer that question. And sadly I don't really have to go very far back. All around me I see and hear evidence to the contrary. Troubled kids cite seeing their families doing drugs or other crimes as to why they have the skills they do. Alcoholics are often children of the same. Addicts often grew up around it or had a "friend" introduce them to drugs. Abusers often come from homes filled with abuse.

To uneducated for your taste? Let's bring it close home then. Most Christians I know are in the  same church their parents, family, or close friends were in. The majority of those with higher education did so because of those around them valuing education. Animal lovers grew up often with pets or someone they looked up to who loved animals. Need I go on?

So it seems obvious that when we focus or behold things that are negative we often become that way and the opposite seems to hold true as well. But how do we know exactly what we should focus on? What should we behold? Thankfully for those of us that like this old antique book there is a simple answer... Things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praise worthy are the things we should focus on.

Are the things you are sharing, posting, talking, and discussing doing that for you? Are they doing it for others? What do they say about you and your focus? What do they say about you and your God? Or you and your belief system?

There is an old saying " what you win them with is what you win them to". Do I want to win or lead others to abuse, death, prejudices, bashing, anger, arguments, evils, bad politics, crime, slander, and a total lack of empathy?  

And this is for the Christians out there...the rest of you can skip this next paragraph if you want!

Did you ever stop to realize the devil doesn't really need to work very hard when you are lighting up your space with all that's wrong in the world, drawing attention and energy to his work rather then the focus on the beauty and goodness that God helps create and maintain in this world? As you are working yourself and those around you in some frenzy about some atrocity in the world you are ensuring that it is one less moment they might find goodness and the God of Love. And yet one more person who's focus is not where we should be wanting their focus to be. Do you realize which side you are helping?

Do I think you should put blinders on and not notice any thing wrong about you? No. But I do think this world would be much better and our energies more pure if we focused our energy and time on solutions.

If abortion bothers you, then focus on programs that seem to be finding solutions that are honest, just, and pure. Get education, support, love, and mentorship to the group that uses the service the most! Become a big sister! Mentor a young person! Volunteer with groups that are helping young mothers and families to move forward! Promote those groups so others are aware of them! Don't bash girls feeling they need an abortion or the places they find, enable them to have solid and workable solutions!

You don't like animal abuse? Volunteer at a shelter! Foster some pets until good homes are found! Go to schools with therapy animals and educate the children on the wonder and splendor of animals and the wonderful responsibility we as humans have toward them! Vote when appropriate for programs and laws to help. Sign petitions!

The other political party driving you nuts? Then stop wasting your time bashing a party you don't even belong to! Work on your own party! Help with a campaign! Encourage people to vote! Educate yourself on ways to improve the world around you! Sign petitions! Learn the facts and then vote for the changes you believe will truly help! Run for office!

  You don't like someone's religious views? Then live yours! Get involved in a church! Study the Bible or other religious guide seeking to understand and find truth! Make your church or place of worship friendly and welcoming and then invite everyone you can to come! Volunteer at your church! Be the epitome of your beliefs in every way you can! And then realize how hurt or offended you would be if someone bashed or belittled your views and beliefs and stop doing it to others! Now take it one step further, understand how angry you would be if someone tried to force you to follow their beliefs and never do that to another soul!

And then get on your social site and praise and promote all the good and kind things you have found that you believe will make this world a kinder, happier, more loving place!!

The truth is no matter what you believe, what you focus on affects you and changes who you are. Make sure you are becoming a better version of you. Try to draw attention and energy to that which will improve this amazing world we live in!

Behold that which you want to be.

Friday, July 4, 2014

The Fourth Freedom & Judgement

As I watched the beautiful and amazing Fourth of July celebrations I was struck by the difference between the beauty and splendor of these incredible displays and the ugly and disrespectful displays that have been playing out on various social medias. My heart swelled with pride and joy over all the many blessings we here enjoy, but it occurred to me that so many are forgetting why this wonderful country really came about.

Are you ready?

It was to escape and survive the mainstream Christian faith forcing all others to follow and live according to the rules and demands this Christian group decided was truth and therefore within their right to enforce and push these beliefs on others to the point of making laws to enforce them. Eventually and frequently this escalated to murder in the name of God and what was right becoming common place. The religion claimed truth, the bible, and God as their backing and power and used and abused these falsely to control, bully, and manipulate the world about them.

Wanting to escape to a place where they could live as they believed, our forefathers and mothers understood that without making certain that no religion or group, no matter how popular or right they seemed to be, could ever control, bully, or manipulate we would risk history repeating itself yet again.  Their dream was not to impose God on the people who came to this land but instead to deal with them in a way they believed was right and godly. In a way to protect the right of every human being to have freedom of choice and, though not united in beliefs or understand in all things, the belief that if these freedoms were to be maintained, defended, and fought for, this nation under God, not run by God, would succeed.

You see after witnessing the horrors of what man could and would do in the name of religion and truth, they realized that unless all  were seen as equal and all freedoms, as long as they did not directly harm another,  were protected, history would repeat itself. And while yes, they believed in God and the Bible, it was because of these beliefs that they realized how important it was to protect the choices and rights they believed God himself had given and therefore no man or woman had the right to strip away.

Yet here we are, hundreds of years later, supposedly advanced and wiser, fighting over rights and trying in the name of "right" and God to keep others from equality and force religious beliefs on others! It frightens me greatly!

Are we so weak and insecure in our own beliefs that unless others do the same we can not stay true to who we are? Has our God lost His power? Have we forgotten the wheat and the tares must grow together? Did we forget to love our neighbors? To love our enemies?  To love ourselves? When did the sins of someone else become a reason to cast the first stone? Are we not to render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's?

So as you ponder and reflect on the freedoms we hold dear and enjoy, please remember that unless we stand up for and protect all rights equally and all humans equally, one day we may not only see history repeat itself but live to regret it. Don't just worry about the freedoms you want and have, but the freedom of others as well. Don't join a group or side because it protects and follows your personal beliefs, follow and join the side of allowing others to do the same. And don't blast others and their groups for what you despise and hate, most likely they are doing exactly what you are doing, so change it up! Promote all you find that is good! Cherish the freedoms you love by ensuring they are available for others too! Fight for the underdog! Believe and support equality for all, not just who you agree with! Love yourself! Love your neighbor! Love your enemy!

I saw it said on social media that "Judge not that you be not judged..." was the cry of the unbeliever. That might be. But I find it sad and ironic that an unbeliever has to be the one to remind us.

Sunday, May 18, 2014


If I should not care
Then what would my life be?
 Would I be held by
ideals and heart's misery?
Would I feel the need to stand
For it is right to any man?
Would I lose many nights of sleep
Would I often turn to weep
Would my heart much freer be
 if I could just but find the key?
Would once I let the worry go
Could I be joyful great and full
Would taste that of sleep ?
Or would I find but coldness keep
My soul to leave again
Would my weary eyelids close
And open to but joy
Or would I find but heart of stone
My soul to weigh or break?
Could I learn to look and see
Only that of joy
Or would I then forget to thank
And count my blessing ne'er
At time I wish my soul to rest
So weary I must be
If I digress and do not see
What would that truly mean?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


A friend I have known for most of my life was talking with me the other day and she posed a question. This question was of no normal fair for her voice and words were wrapped in deep heartache etched in loss and grief. As I listened closely to not only her words but her feelings, my heart ached for her....

"Why" she said " does God always say no to me?"

I knew much of her story well and what I didn't know came through in her pain. She had lost much, suffered much, and endured much.  And now she longed for answers. But I was puzzled. As I listened, she explained.

"God said no I couldn't keep my son, He said no I couldn't keep my husband. And then He said no to love,  health, and so much more! Why? Why does He always say no?"

My heart ached doubly now, not only for her but for God too.

As my heart ached I realized how many times I had heard sentiments like hers. People who felt angry, hurt, forsaken, or let down by a God they wanted to believe in. How many times have I  heard people saying  "God only gives you what you can handle." or "Well God's will be done."? Every time I hear these words in relationship to a sad or bad occurrence I cringe! And it leaves me wondering what Bible they read.

God doesn't take away our loved ones, or give us sickness. He doesn't stand around while we suffer, or dole out atrocities to see how we cope. He loves us and as a loving God only gives us good gifts. And while it is true that bad things happen to good people all the time and our world is often filled with evil and heartache, these are the result of choices made by us or others as humans, not by Him. And for some reason we like to blame Him! We get mad at God for the things that go wrong in this world. We blame Him for the pain and suffering in our lives and the lives of others we find blameless. And worse, we often cheer at the misfortune of those we don't like and nod our heads knowingly that God must have fixed them.

But God cries for it all. He cries when we cry and He hurts when we hurt. He feels our pain and sorrow and He can't wait for the day He can take us out of this mess and bring us home! He longs for your heart to be happy and for your soul to be filled with joyful song! He wants for us to flourish and thrive and forever in His love to abide! We each and every one have a perfect purpose to make this world a better place. To create love and joy. To spread His love to everyone! To live, and laugh, and love! And anytime that joy is stolen from us or ripped from our hearts, He cries and bleeds with us.

So why do we blame Him? Why do we turn on Him so quickly? Honestly, there is no good answer for this. Maybe because He is safe; we know no matter how much we turn on Him, He will be right there waiting when we need Him. Or maybe we really do not understand God and that He only gives us goodness and love. Regardless of the reasons, we bring God into, and blame Him for, so many things that have absolutely nothing to do with Him.

I like to share a story that I heard long ago that eloquently shows what we do and the ere of our ways.

There was a man and his wife who were happy and in love. But they had one problem. You see the husband was a good man and a hard worker but he worked in a place that was, well to be blunt, miserable. And no matter how hard he tried to please his bosses or do a great job, it never seemed to make a difference. Day in and day out he would come home discouraged or upset and he would tell his woes to his attentive wife. She felt awful for him and listened to his every complaint and problem and offered to help in anyway she could. With kindness and love she supported him and often asked what she might do to help. He would always thank her and acknowledge there wasn't much beyond the love and support she was giving that she could do. But nothing changed and the poor man continued to deal with work related issues. One day he came home particularly upset. He ranted and complained to his loving wife for quite some time. When he finished, his ever eager to help wife asked as usual if there was something she could do or what was he going to do. To her surprise he answered that he knew exactly what to do! He was going to divorce her!

You might be shaking your head or smiling at the ridiculousness of this story and the decision the man made. But isn't that what we often do to God?

God has nothing to do with the chaos and pain in this world. That all came about because of a choice made by a man and woman long ago. And every bad and evil thing that has happened since then has been a direct or indirect result of more and more bad choices we as a human race have made. God had nothing to do with any of it! In fact, if it weren't for Jesus coming to die and give us all the power of choice, we would be doomed to live this life and when it ended, it would truly be the end. Now because we can choose to have more, to live again, to have a do over, to live without the consequences of the poor and awful choices that have been made, we can choose to do better, live better, and be able to live happily and eternally as we were created and intended. But that was a gift. It was something given with no strings attached. What we do with that gift is still our choice. So don't throw it away!

Does God say no to our prayers and questions? At times, absolutely! But always when it is in your best interest. And He never ever gives us bad things or rips good things away from us.

So the next time your heart is sad or breaking please remember, His heart is breaking too. And when you are tempted to lash out in anger and turn your back on or "divorce" God, please remember the little story I shared. God isn't the problem, He loves you more then you could ever imagine, and He will never leave you or forsake you!

Friday, February 7, 2014


My daughter came home from school today with a pained look about her. As soon as I looked into her beautiful eyes I knew. Someone had broken her heart. Without an audible word, as her heart sobbed in silence, she handed me a neatly folded note. There slowly and with hesitation the words spelled out what she had been afraid of for a short while...

Her boyfriend of almost a year was breaking up with her. As my eyes rose from the paper in my hands to meet with her eyes once more, my own heart sobbed along in silence with hers. I knew her pain all too well. I had been in her place. And as I wrapped my arms around her in the hopes of comforting her trembling soul, she softly with tear stained voice asked a question  ... "Why?"


If I could have even a penny for how many times I have been asked that question by the six children I have raised, or by the hundreds of children I babysat,  helped, or taught I would be quite rich indeed. In the best of times, even in the mediocre of times, I often enjoy the question. But this was not one of those times.

This time it was from a heart broken in bits on the ground, startled and shattered by the instant that can oft betray or change ones' life forever. It was from innocence, disbelief, and betrayal. It was and is a pain that I know all too well and feel to my very core whenever those I care about and love experience it. And I hate it!!

Hate because I have no real answer. I have nothing that can explain or really make one understand. Try as I might I have never been able to make sense out of senseless acts.

Of course I could give some canned answer, some flowery ditty about pain making us stronger. Or perhaps some lovely poem about not giving up or pressing on. And to be sure there are Bible verses, songs, essays, books, and various other words sacred to some or most that give one strength or courage to gather up their shattered life or heart and try to mend it again. I could tell her there are other fish in the sea or how if it is meant to be it will be.... But will it? Do any of these really give an answer?

Why is it the world is so harsh? Why are so many hearts broken? Why can't relationships last and friendships stay true?  Why is there selfishness and greed? Why do feelings fade as cloth in the sun's rays?

And yes, I know the Bible and the story of how we got here. But does it really answer the question?

As I hold her tight in hopes of providing her some strength and comfort, I earnestly and desperately claw through the archives of my mind for an answer. Some where some how along the way I must have gathered an answer, key, map, or clue. This is what comes...


Because we get so wrapped up in our own lives and worries we forget the other moving things about us have feelings too. Because we allow our feelings to fade. Because we forget that love and friendship do not just keep happening, they are often a choice. Because we try and work hard for money and power but get lazy in love and kindness. Because we make decisions quickly and without enough thought and make changes out of need without considering those affected by them. Because we allow things to fester and when we become poisonous and infected we blame others and force them to deal with our mess. Because at times we are young and stupid. Because the world changes and we let it change us as well. Because...

As true as all that might be, does it really help?

It would if most of us tried to be more careful with those around us. If we were to keep promises, choose to have integrity, and continue to choose to love and care for those you have asked into your life. But there is one "because" that stands out more then all the rest...

Because life is not what is was meant to be.

And as long as we live on this earth, love will be fickle, passions will fade, hearts will be broken, promises forgotten, friendships lost, and souls will be crushed.

One day though we will be in a place where life will be as it should be. Love will last eternally, passions will soar, hearts will swell from joy and contentment, promises will bind, friendships thrive, and souls will be indestructible!

I do not know when that day will be. But it will be.

I hold my daughter closely and I whisper in her ear, " I may not know why, but I do know this..."

"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; 
and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, 
neither shall there be any more pain: 
for the former things are passed away." Rev. 21:4

Monday, January 20, 2014


"When you ask how I am, it comes across as needy and it is unattractive!" ...those words hit me like the discharge of a skunk. Putrid, overwhelming, and foul, the words filled the air with a smell not easily escaped. I sat stunned for a second from both shock and amazement.

Before me sat a person I had spent fifteen years of my life loving, accommodating, coddling, and appeasing. When difficult times arose I would bravely face the problems alone and carry the load no matter how heavy or painful, all the while protecting and shielding this person with what at times seemed my last breath. When conflict came I helped them, by coaxing and pleading, to communicate and enable change to emerge. I supported, cared for, stood up for, cooked for, cleaned for, created a loving sense of family for, and nursed them when they fell ill. I couldn't tell you how many hours I spent helping them with their school work and problems in life. I dealt with moodiness, whining, immaturity, and at times extreme selfishness.  I was always there putting them way above my own needs and wants. And I am the needy one?

Thoughts raced through my head as my memory shouted its' records. I wondered how it is in this twisted mind that has been in need of so much love, patiences, maturity, and long suffering  that that label could even be uttered in regard to someone else. Was it self hatred that loathed any one who dare care? Was it a poor upbringing that led to this delusion? Or has society become so tarnished that to care is needy and to be selfish is strength?

As time has passed, I often think of the look on their face, the disdain in their voice, and the sneer on their lips. Their words were dipped in selfishness and neediness. The need to tear down a good soul. The need to damage a good heart so their own feels more at ease. The need to control the world around them not realizing that if the world were to be as they deem, no one would care. Never once realizing that the selfish people in this world are truly the neediest people of all!

For they are the ones that need someone to tolerate them, to support them, look out for them, love them even though they may never get that love back. They need others to clean up their messes, wipe their brow, give them a break, shield them, and be a shoulder to cry on. Most of all they need someone they can trust! And believe me, no one selfish would do that for another person ever unless there was something they could gain.... and can you really call that trust?

And maybe this is the problem. Maybe if we gathered up all the truly selfish needy people in the world and forced them to live together, maybe at some point they would learn. Perhaps after dealing with other people who are truly needy, they would figure out what "needy" really is. If all of us who are the opposite of needy, the ones who care for everyone else, the souls who cry and suffer alone, the truly strong ones, were to stop throwing our pearls before swine, maybe then the swine would cease to be.

I do not know

I do know I am the extreme opposite of needy. I carry burdens and loads far heavier and painful then the world around me would ever know. And while I do this, I smile genuinely, laugh purely, love fiercely, protect my world with my life, and all often with a song in my heart or on my lips. I do not whine or complain, do not put my needs before others, and am loyal to a fault. I have been knocked about in this life many many times, yet I rise from the ashes still loving and kind.

Kindness despite mistreatment and misfortune takes courage and strength. Love even when betrayed and taken advantage of takes a heart pure and truly otherworldly. And a good soul surrounded by evil, heartache, and pain yet remains good and true takes a soul of unfathomable worth, for it is a soul that can not be bought or sold. All these are signs of strength and indipendance.

No dear soul, needy does not describe me!

It may describe you. It may describe the way you choose to see the world. It may describe many other people in this world. But you need to examine the truly needy souls in life. For they are not the ones that care despite their own needs. They are the ones who can not spare kindness or love for fear. They are the ones who lash out in immaturity and poison uncaring of the effects on the world about them. They are the sad souls who miss out on so much goodness right before them because of their yet unfulfilled destiny to evolve into the creatures God intended them to truly be.

So the next time my dear one you want to call someone needy, think long and hard about who and what that really means.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Dancing Lessons in the Storm

Almost since I can remember I have been learning. Thankfully it is something that, either because of my upbringing or personality, I often truly enjoy. There are many lessons learned however that I have never been that found of. Those are the ones I gained through pain, sorrow, misery, heartache, embarrassment, losing someone or something, and stress.

The past five years have been a lesson indeed though, to be honest, I am not always sure what lessons I am to glean. Sometimes I am afraid that in all the hurt, stress, and sorrow I may miss the lesson for the pain.

This is frightening to me because I am a firm believer that once a lesson is learned, you move on. However, if the lesson is not yet learned, it will come around again until you realize and not only learn, but put your new found knowledge to use. I do not want to repeat uncomfortable situations. Nor do I want to repeat mistakes. Sometimes I panic and feel that if I just hurry up and learn the lesson, I can emerge from the mire.

Then I realized something. I am always doing that! I push through and rush on, stubbornly pressing on to overcome, learn, fix, patch, conquer, and squelch any and all problems that come into my life or the life of those I love and care for. Maybe just maybe THAT is my lesson.

Maybe I need to learn to have peace and calm IN the storm. Perhaps within the storm is my answer, my still small voice. Could it be my lesson is to learn to dance in the rain? To sleep through the storm? To have so much love, joy, and peace within that no storm can rile me?

I look back over my life and I realize that every time something negative has happened, I lower my head, wrap those I love in my arms, and head strong, push through. I don't really stop to rest or even breath. Do I get through? Absolutely! But at what cost?

I am in a storm. One that threatens to smash my soul upon the rocks. To steal my child like faith. To crush my passion and love. Panic, anger, fear, sorrow, and urgency are awakened within me. I am betrayed, used, hurt and lost. I long to run headlong into the fight, punching my way through the fray, conquering all in my way, and coming out on the other side victorious!

At last though I pause...

IF I conquer, what is lost? If I battle, what do I slay? And if I constantly fight, what toll will it take on my health, person, my soul? A light seems to filter into my mind and heart. I think of a movie I once watched where someone realized that everything is perception. What you choose to believe is often so. And most importantly, you control more then you often realize.

And so, though with fear and uncertainty, I am learning to stand my ground. I am learning to truly find peace in the storm. I am finding things don't have to be so scary when you hold on to His hand. I am learning to draw my lines where I am. To face the rage without fear or urgency. Seeing things for what they really are and how, in the scheme of this vast universe, small and insignificant they will soon become. As the bullets fly about me, I am slowing down, thinking, praying, pausing, and sometimes most difficult and important... breathing.

 Am I frightened? At times almost petrified! This is not my style! I fight by jumping, zig-zagging, creeping, crawling, running, smashing, crashing, and quickly conquering. It seems though a new lesson is to be learned. One where I stand my ground. Where I flee no more. A lesson that takes more strength then before, for now I must face with calm clarity the beast before me. I will have to be more aware and precise. My mind must be at peace and calm. Decisions made need be weighed carefully with a clear mind and peaceful heart. None of these are easy in battle. It is much easier to fight or,I believe for some, to hide. But that is not dancing in the rain, it is not sleeping through the storm. There is no peace or calm, only fear and angst.

So I am putting this battle into slow motion. I am carefully weighing every move and action. I am taking time to breath and laugh, to love and connect, to cherish and create. And though there are times I am not sure I can stand another minute, I can dodge another bullet, I pause. And then I see an encouraging post from a friend, something that makes me laugh, beauty in the eyes of those about me, a message of love or hope received, a rainbow in the sky above me, a beautiful moon that wraps me in its' soft glow, a bible verse I remembered just because, or a song that makes me feel invincible. Then I realize my table is spread before me in the presence of my enemies yet I will fear no evil. I can not control the storm about me, but I control the one I am within.

So while the calm days with warm sun rays and scented breezes are enjoyed, I am learning to enjoy my storms too. I do not have this lesson learned as of yet and I do not know if I will ever be so blessed as to fully enjoy myself through the conflicts of life. But I love to laugh, I love to smile, I love to feel peace, and I love to dance! So, when the storms do unleash their rage about me, I pray I can sleep through the rage and dance in the storm.