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Archive for January, 2014

I first heard this song at Rock Eagle 4-H Center in the early 1970s with my church youth group. It touches my heart today as much as it did back then but maybe more so since Frank died. I can’t sing it without crying. 😀 I’m such a wuss but that’s ok.

~ 😀 ~

It’s one of those days where things are not just right. I played this on the computer and Simon came to snuggle with me (remember, Simon doesn’t snuggle 😉 ). He knows.

May your gardens be rooting in eternal happiness!

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I have been working on some posts and can’t get them to say what I want so I will start here. God loves you and all of us before we profess our faith in Him. He doesn’t wait for us to pledge our hearts or lives to Him. He doesn’t care where you are or who you have been. It doesn’t matter. He doesn’t care who you have been associated with. This is true for every single person on earth. This is my belief.

 

I can do the vilest of things and He loves me. I can’t change that. People want to make others feel out of place for whatever reason—sins in the Bible or whatever. Forget all of that. God loves us—period. I can wear blue jeans to church. I can even smoke or drink. I can have tattoos all over my body or piercings. Guess what…God loves me. It doesn’t change! I can live a life not pure and God loves me. I can break all of the 10 commandments and God loves me. Please hear this! This is how it is because…guess what…not one of us is perfect. I may not choose to accept God and He loves me.

 

  • The God I pledge my love and life to, loves everyone the same. No one is better than another and no one is beneath another no matter what we believe and what we practice.

 

I can’t stand by and watch us bicker any more—or fight or whatever. This is my New Year’s resolution for this year…to give accounts of how we are loved by God and to tell others that we should love each other the same—not just one time but to do this all year long.

 

So…if I offend you by saying these things, I can’t help it. I apologize for my hurting you but in reality I am not the one who did the hurting. I really feel this important. We are hurting ourselves. I have changed some of my beliefs—difficult but I have done so because I look at things through the eyes of Jesus. He told us to love. Even if you do not believe in Christ, think of someone who would give his life unselfishly for another and see there is love. Through these eyes—His eyes, I see. Jesus is my way to the Father.

 

If we think that we have to be pure and unbroken to serve, we are wrong. I have been wrong. I also know we must strive to be better but we don’t get to tell others where they are in life. The only thing we can do is to love and to help others love and really, I don’t see anything more important than these two.

 

  • “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’”   Matthew 25:45 (NIV)

 

God lives amongst us.

Happy Gardening! 😀

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Rather than making resolutions last year, I fine-tuned my bucket list and added it to a page in my blog. It needs some updating. First, my girls are still and will forever be working on happiness (life) but I think they are less worried about ‘Mom.’ That’s an accomplishment—a big one. And, ‘Mom’ is less worried about her girls. I have been trying to have fun and carry a song in my heart but that is not always easy especially when so many things happen at once like it has been lately. I find being upbeat and happy helps to spread cheer amongst those who are in pain and/or are alone so I keep trying. 😀

 

As for romance, oh dear. Start laughing because no more tears. Let’s just say that gaping wound where everything was ripped away much like an Airport movie of the 1970s (apologies for that analogy) … well, I am better. I don’t feel that I must (absolutely have to) share things with a significant someone and I guess this is where I needed to be—stitching up the last of the holes 🙂 . The heart is a slow healer and mine is the slowest it seems. There will always be a scar that is easily ruptured when trust is broken by those I care for but that is what we call life and this is where bandages will be needed. It will always happen because I am tenderhearted to begin with. Enough of this drivel. 😀

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My bucket list… I would really like to knock a few things off the travel part of my list but funding is lacking. I also have this thing for learning to play the harp—I want to learn and I don’t understand why. I guess it is number one and to own a harp but more than anything…I would like to be good at playing and to play for those in hospice situations or similar. See. It’s not selfish 😉 .  

 

The Northern Lights…now, that’s a little selfish. I wanted to see them this winter but it isn’t going to happen it seems and this winter is probably the best it will be for the next 11 years (don’t hold me to that). As I write this, the thought of needing a passport pops up again which leads me to another desire. I would love to go to Ireland to visit but I would also love to stay for a year—to study and research and whatever. I have never felt a connection to England but to Ireland and Scotland I have. It is from where most of my family came. I have to remember if I don’t hurry and get going with my travel, I’ll never go. I’ll be ok with that, too. I have received so much contentment through my life ever how dull it is. 🙂

 

So… I’m not going to be disappointed if I cannot check off everything or maybe anything. I just want to be happy—content 😀 . Is there anything on your bucket list that has changed your life or something you want to do or somewhere you want to go?

Happy Gardening! 😀

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Story… A boy lies in bed with tubes everywhere. His mother is sitting by his side holding his hand. She won’t let go. His father just left the room. Tears are rolling down his face. The scene has been ongoing for months now. The prognosis…not good. The boy has a malignant brain tumor. They were just told nothing more can be done. Even with the advances of technology and medicine, the rest of the tumor cannot be removed. His mom just wants to hold onto him—touching him. Every moment is special. His dad is trying to say goodbye, trying to separate himself. Their hearts are broken. The boy is suffering but pain meds are being given. He is in and out of consciousness. He knows everyone around him.   STOP!

 

This is not an uncommon sight. We hate to see loved ones suffer but we expect to go through it with them, some of us do. It’s part of life. Make a note about this… I am speaking about our travel with the one who is “dying” because it is not their journey alone. Please remember, no matter how alone someone is when they pass away they aren’t alone because they are part of humanity. We walk with them because we are all part of One and hopefully we are there for the other on their journey.

 

  • Some say we should allow people to have the ‘right to die’ if they choose. I have not been totally against this thought but it is one of those gray areas where one size does not fit all and it never will.

 

Depending on how I tell the story above is how I make you feel sympathy (and empathy) for this person and situation—how much I can play on your emotions. I can tell you that this child is ready to die and does not fear death—that his parents are ready to let go or I can tell you that they are not ready to let go and they will do anything to preserve life with him not at the cost of their feelings but for their family.

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You see, it isn’t a single argument and if we think it is, we have become much too callous for me. Life is precious. Advocating ‘right to die’ because we are too scared to look at suffering is just plain wrong. Putting someone out of his or her misery isn’t the answer we are seeking. It’s just like when people would hide the crazy aunt upstairs away from visitors. We can’t deal with it so we do away with it. I hope you understand what I am saying.

 

What if the child wants the ‘right to die’… to have a lethal injection to put him out of his misery? Think long and hard about this. This is not an adult. There are no do-overs. Fini is what it is—final. Think if it were your child or maybe someone you don’t know. Consider all of the ramifications of helping a child to die, consenting, preparing…cleaning up afterwards—the memories and how we adjust to making it “right.” It is more than just saying good-bye. How would you go about it? What would you do? Could you prepare? And, yes, I know what it is like to watch a child suffer and us as parents not able to do anything—oh, I do! There is nothing a loving parent wouldn’t do for their child who is sick.

 

So, my question is…

  • Are we attempting to give power to those who want to help their child because they can’t deal with it or are we giving power to the child?

These are two very different things.

 

Childhood euthanasia…I can’t even believe I am writing those words. I read an article talking about the ‘right to die’ argument and including those with anorexia. What? I don’t mean to make light of this but where do you draw the line? Who gets to die and who doesn’t? Who gets to decide? “Honey, Joey is having a hard time—pain wise—he wants to die. I think we need to allow him to do so.” Switch out the word ‘pain’ for ‘depression’ or so many other words. We get angry at the child who commits suicide and yet we want to help those who have a disease or pain or whatever to die? No, it’s not the same but where do you stop? Where is the journey the family makes with the person who is sick nevermind considering the consequences this could have comparing it to natural selection/survival of the fittest? I have long considered dying with dignity more important than us keeping our loved ones around for us because it is selfish but there is more to it—lots more.

 

My brain does not allow me to think this way. I understand perfectly what is at stake. I cannot say this is ok. Where does it stop? I talked to a friend about this—the friend wasn’t aware of how bad my pain is at times. It’s worse than childbirth, not always, but it’s also not bad enough to die—I know that pain also. Just because it is bad now doesn’t mean I should throw in the towel. He asked about my children—didn’t I want to spare them—he wasn’t advocating me dying by any means. We were exploring this topic. My children.. seeing me suffer has been one of the biggest fears I have had and I don’t want that. I also understand the need to take the walk. If you have never done that, if you have never walked with someone who is dying, you will not understand until you do. It is tough. Difficult. But, it is also rewarding because you learn from others and from yourself. 

 

  • The walk is not for sissies, pardon the expression. It takes a strong person and if you aren’t strong to begin with and you are willing to stick with it, it can make you strong before it is over. It can also break you.

 

Joni Eareckson Tada did an op-ed piece for the Wall Street Journal where she criticizes this thought of ‘right to die’ for children of any age because we have become accepting of people with disabilities but we are quickly becoming unaccepting of the disease or disability. It’s true. If you can find it online, I encourage you to read the article. You will have a better understanding of where I am coming from.

 

I know people who have been struggling with disability, pain, all types of suffering and they keep pushing on. I applaud them. They are my inspiration 🙂 because they are not giving up but what it is to stop people in the future from giving up? It could easily happen. Elderly who feel they are a burden on their family/society will just want to die. Who wants to keep fighting when there is an easy out? How many will be encouraged at any age to take a lethal injection? I want to scream and say, “WAKE UP!” This is coming whether we want it or not. It is already legal in other countries. Only the age is the limiting factor. We have to decide what the parameters are going to be. We have to decide what the message is going to be. Is life valuable? I know adults who can’t make decisions. Do you think their children can do better?

 

‘Right to die’ no matter the age is going to happen one day but it depends on our attitude of how we handle this—so important. Can you imagine a family suing because they were not able to abort their child? The child was born with a birth defect and the mother wasn’t told her baby had it. Imagine suing because you were not able to abort your child. This is not the only perspective for this situation but they have been awarded tens of millions of dollars by the court because of this. This is real. Will they be able to help this child die later on? Do you see where I am going? We have cheapened life and we continue to do so. We need to wake up and we need to take some responsibility.

 

  • Think about it. There is not a quick fix or simple answer. This cannot be shoved under the rug or ignored. Death. It’s time to talk about it and not treat it so carelessly because it isn’t about death but about LIFE. 🙂

 

All of this that I have written is real even the child at the beginning of the post. He was the boy I knew so many years ago but his family went with him on the journey—they took the walk—to the end. He suffered but his memory lives on.

 

May God search our hearts and help us to know that every life is precious and that no one should ever be discarded.

 

Happy Gardening! 🙂

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I have been gaining peace and tolerance and it was the best thing I could ever do because I have been able to see things from a different perspective and actually live the concepts of love that I believe in. My journey has been rewarding. I have learned so much and the first thing I learned was that I didn’t know anything. 😀 I thought I did. I wasn’t stupid. I even possessed wisdom but none of us know as much as we think we do—we know even less because we are such an arrogant people and so dang selfish. So, I try to call attention to things I think need improvement. Many others do, too. Nothing has changed in that respect.

 

One of the most difficult things to learn was that people will try to hurt me no matter what I do because I didn’t fit into their mold, meet their expectations, or when others fail to manipulate me. I’m me. This is what you get. This is it! There is no more or no less. We are all different and we should allow and celebrate others when they are trying to grow. We should be understanding. We all have lives to live and most of us are just trying to do the best we can. Sometimes there are things that happen in our lives and others don’t see it because someone is too selfish, too busy in their life/drama. We need to step in the shoes of others. There is room for forgiveness on both sides of the line—a lot of room! I am preaching to myself, too.

 

I made a promise to myself that I would not engage in opposition (take sides) if there was any way to get around it. I’m still like that and this has been difficult because I don’t like to turn away from a fight or from someone picking on someone. In the Bible, it says (in my words) to turn the other cheek. I’ve talked about the actual meaning I believe is to offer the other cheek—different meaning than what we usually think.

 

Think about it. A thief takes $100 from you and you offer him/her another $100? 🙂 First thing and last thing—LOVE! Then we don’t say, “Hey, I’m going to enjoy the day when God sends him/her to hell so he/she can live eternity there.” OR do we? I know plenty of people who do. I have said something similar. Maybe you think this way. Am I condemning you? No. Am I judging? No. I just want people to see things from a different perspective. We cannot love and hate at the same time. 🙂 In this instance it is truly one or the other.

 

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A long time ago (once upon a time) there was this girl who entered college. She didn’t know what she wanted to do when she grew up (graduated). The two things she was good at were math and physics—go figure (eye roll 🙄). So, she planned to major in physics. Silly girl. 😀

 

Why do I tell you this? I love science. REMEMBER…I love science. There is a reason I’m writing this but it won’t become apparent right away. My dad instilled that in me–the science part. During the winters, we would pack up telescope, binoculars, star charts, coats, gloves, hot chocolate (the critical essential 😀 ) in the back of the old International pickup and sit out in the middle of a field to watch the stars and planets for hours at a time. I remember freezing my backside off—or I thought I was. I learned that there was a whole universe out there and later, I learned that there is a very complicated world here on earth. 😉

 

I love this world but we are beating each other up and not listening to the other. We don’t get another chance to do this ‘right’ or make it better unless we physically and consciously act. I have long thought the people who are living ‘right’ are the ones who are not yelling at everyone whether it is on youtube or what. They are quiet people. So… How do you help spread that thought? Right now, it is just one thought at a time. 😀

 

Happy Gardening! 😀

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A lady rushes to the post office to mail a package. Inside is a quilt she made as a surprise birthday gift for a childhood friend—her best bestie. She spent hours upon hours sewing with the one intent to make her friend happy. She even included pictures of them when they were young copied onto some of the blocks in the quilt. Needless to say the quilt could never be duplicated—never replaced—not exact. As the lady walked home, she thought about how much excitement this friend would have when opening her gift. Oh, to be there… The whole purpose was to make the friend happy for her birthday. They could not be together so this was the next best thing.

 

Days went by. Two weeks passed. The lady heard nothing about the package. No thank-you, nothing. The lady started to get a little agitated. Here she spent all of this time on this one gift and her friend wasn’t even courteous enough to thank her. Imagine. Who would do that?

 

The lady became angry. She was so mad. How dare this friend do this to her. She began thinking what she could do to get back at the friend for not thanking her. It wasn’t right that she be overlooked. She emailed at first—still no mention of the quilt. She called once—no mention of the package at all. What could she do since her friend was evidently not going to acknowledge all of the hard work that went into this project—a project of love? Not be friends anymore? Hmmm… She began to wish bad things on the friend and even write bad things to her. If she only knew. If she only knew…

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This is another fictitious story that is based on a true story—one that is very hurtful. In both stories, the gift never arrived. The packages were lost in transit. That option never occurred to the lady or to the person in the real story. Both were willing to judge their friends and hurt them for no reason. Is this true friendship?

 

Never assume what you do not know. Put yourself in the friend’s shoes. The friend never knew the gift existed. How could she know? A gift is a gift, period. There are no strings attached; no return gift; no thank-you is necessary 🙂 … hear me out, please. If you are holding something against a person because they didn’t thank-you for something, I am sorry. We probably all do that to an extent—wishing for acknowledgement but truth is we should never expect gratitude. The reason is that when gratitude comes, we are blessed because we receive–not because of “payment” in return. Gifts are free. There are no—NO—strings attached because if there were, it wouldn’t be a gift. It doesn’t change the fact that we should acknowledge and be thankful when we receive but when we give, we can’t expect anything in return. I wish people understood that. We would be so much happier.

 

How many of us did (or do) keep Christmas card lists of everyone who sends a Christmas card from the year before in order to repay the next year with a card? It is like trading Valentine’s – in my opinion. “Here is yours—where is mine?” An awful thought when we put it that way, isn’t it? This is just one example of many. We need to let the petty things go. We need to forgive. 🙂

 

Stories will continue. I hope they bless you in some way but be warned that some of them are less than fictitious. 😉

 

Happy Gardening! 😀

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An older man, perhaps in his 60s, was trying to repair a window. Some passersby stopped to watch. He had dropped his hammer and then a glove, having to retrieve them from the ground each time and climb back up the ladder to the second floor window. He looked rather odd. People began to chatter amongst themselves saying they would do the task differently—better. They pointed out things he was doing ‘wrong.’ The old man—he kept busy while ignoring the voices—hurrying to finish the job. A storm was coming and it was imperative that it be finished before the sun went down.

 

The crowd grew. Neighbors wanted to know what was going on. Had someone been hurt or died—just what was the commotion? They came out of their houses and gathered at the street watching the old man as he clung to the ladder trying to replace the damaged window. To the people on the street, it was comical to watch as the man kept dropping things. He never asked for help. Why would he? This group of people, they were laughing at him. He kept busy knowing he had to finish the job—he was determined.

 

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Which one are you? The man or one in the group watching him? Or maybe you are the kid down the street who sees what is going on and rushes to help the man just before he falls and hurts himself… 

 

This story is based on actual accounts I have witnessed. I see it happening today where people will gather to watch and criticize/laugh at the person—even on the internet. I have even been one of those people—perhaps you have, too. I’m not talking about being part of big group but that happens, too. Perhaps you have seen someone in a predicament that you have experienced. You snickered a little as you pass because you know what it feels like to struggle. You know their place because you have been there.

 

We are so lost in this world. There are people who believe they have all of the answers. There are people who are very arrogant. Well, I can’t fix everything that is wrong with the world but I sure can choose to write about it. Welcome to my resolution for 2014. 🙂

 

Happy Gardening! 😀

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