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Archive for April, 2015

I was extremely frustrated on Monday. It showed in my therapy session and my therapist encouraged me to let go of my feelings in my blog. I don’t write in this blog without considerable thought. She thinks I need to share my feelings without so much refinement. I was going to share in another blog but I decided I would do it here, thus Monday’s post. 🙂

 

It seems that every time I get truthful about my life I risk being told how to fix it. Those are good intentions but all I really need is to feel something of value. I don’t usually vent like I did but like I said, I was frustrated. It took me a long time to talk about anything in my life and then when my husband left, I received comments telling me what I needed to do and I got a few judgments too. There is one that still stands out, lol… The thing is…they were all probably good intentions but not all of the answers were the right thing for me—especially the one that I can’t let go of. 😀

 

Each of us is different but we are the same. With that said, we don’t march to the same beat—I don’t even march to the same tune. When I wrote that I don’t fit into a neat little box, round hole or definitive classification I didn’t know quite how true that was. I push people away when I feel judged and I step back when I feel my trust has been violated but those are things that I never want to hide because they are me. I never want to hurt anyone’s feelings either but I get hurt many times. I must express my feelings in some way in order to deal with them and to say that I need to toughen up just doesn’t cut it.

 

I was asked why I began blogging. I wanted to give something of myself…something that I see that can help others. I didn’t want to get involved in the nit-picking type of drama that I see in our daily lives—such as what is in the news. I think when we choose sides, we make others choose sides…that’s not good. I think back to the legend of King Arthur and the round table. There is a lot of truth in the legend in the fact of practicality. It’s not so much of a side that we should choose but of the belief of completeness. Each party brings something to the table…we are equally important and we should embrace that rather than pushing people out.

 

In the US, we have two main political parties. It is my sincerest belief that the people in power—I’m talking about the people with money and power, not necessarily the ones who are serving the people—have choked out all democratic life. There is no room for anything else. We talk about people being liberal or conservative and then there are progressives and evangelicals…etc. You know the buzz words. You may even use them. We want everyone to fit in their little cubby hole and we want only our views to be heard. That isn’t the way it should be done. We do not foster creativity or growth. We don’t want individuality. We don’t want new ideas. Heck, we have people in Congress throwing snowballs to prove there is no such thing as global warming but the only thing people are doing is showing their ignorance. They want to suppress and oppress people.

 

Remember slavery? We really should go back and learn about slavery. The people who owned slaves were scared of their slaves. They didn’t want them to be educated. They didn’t want them to become a threat. Manumissions in South Carolina alone were freeing slaves at an alarming rate. Did you know that there was a law that you could not bring slaves into South Carolina way back when? When I was doing local research there were deeds and lawsuits and civil matters that involved all of this. There were fights about bringing slave labor into the state. The local paper which goes back to the 1700s detailed much of the history. People were held back so that they would not become “equal”…that’s a problem we are still facing today and it is 2015.

 

I have made great effort to try and not say people are wrong but there are a lot of wrongs done by people. I want to say things about it. I want to speak up. I know it hurts people to know that I don’t want people to die for crimes. I have always held to the belief in capital punishment but I had a change of heart after the Boston bombings. I could not understand how someone who calls themselves a Christian could call for the killing of innocent people overseas and then also to refuse to bury someone no matter whether they are guilty or not of a crime. Look at Jesus. He died on a cross…was treated as a criminal and still was given a tomb to be buried in and yet we don’t want to give the same to one of our own—a fellow human being. What kind of hate is that? Did Jesus teach us to hate? No. You cannot justify hate.

 

If you rule by the law of the Bible you are going to lose. Jesus said that the greatest commandment is love. The Pharisees didn’t see that coming. They thought he would pick a law but he chose the heart. He never treated anyone with hate. The rulers…the Jewish rulers—not the Roman ones—were the ones who felt threatened by Jesus. They are the ones who oppressed the people. I see a lot of similarity in today’s world and the time of Jesus.

 

I have had it with people telling me that my views are not good enough to get into heaven and that I am going to hell. I’ve never understood why someone can take that stance over another. So many people say they hate the sin and not the sinner but I beg to differ. You cannot separate the two. We are all human. We all make mistakes. You may not agree with me and you may judge me but it is not your place to condemn me. Sometimes you have to let go to see the forest because you are too close and see only the tree. Happy Gardening 🙂

 

I may vent a little more than usual (or than what I have done in the past) but I need to and I still hold to the belief that if just one person reads something that will help them in their journey then my words have served their purpose. Oh, and I haven’t been reading blogs lately…I need to get back to that soon. Take care and thanks for the thoughts and comments. 🙂

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No matter what, I’m always wrong…wrong in someone’s eyes or not good enough. I try to provide a view different than what many people see for a varying perspective. I try to find solutions to problems. If someone needs something, I try to help. If there is something missing, I try to find it. If something is broken and I can’t fix it, I will try to find someone who can.

 

I am a problem solver and helper by nature. I like to fix things but people like to find fault. I have never had much money but a distant cousin I met on the internet years ago when I was doing genealogy was having problems—money issues—and I offered to help. She turned me down but I offered just the same. It was like offering my last shirt or coat or whatever…I offered on faith.

 

When I offer something, it isn’t hollow. I give from my heart. I know people like that…who would give whatever they could. Those are true friends. They will do whatever they can and when they say, “If you need me, call me” – they mean it. I am like that too.

 

I had a rough day for whatever reason. Maybe it’s all the criticism I hear. I get tired of being criticized and I get tired of hearing people complain. I fight for people to have value but in the end, I don’t mean anything to anyone…there is no value to me—of myself to anyone—and I’m not the only one. I get tired of people saying that others are worth nothing. It hurts to hear this.

 

People would rather complain than fix what is wrong with the world. I used to think that if I said something that helped just one person, then it is all worth it but I’m not sure anymore. People do not give a crap. I see it all over the news. People are selfish and self-serving. They believe it is their way or no way. What has happened to people? Where is the true love and caring of others?

 

I’ve had it! I’m fed up with it all. I have been fighting for people to reach out to each other and really value our neighbors, our friends, our foes, all people but people will not let go of what is dividing us. There is no respect. I don’t get it.

 

 

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This is a personal plea from my heart about our youth. I encountered something that no child or young adult should ever have to face but I know it is happening in social media around the world. Children and young adults are very impressionable…they are trying to find their way, their identity, where they fit in. Most of us go through this type of quest to some extent. We question life and our purpose. We want value—we need it. There have been many killings in America over the years…but look at what is happening now all across the globe—large numbers of people with ideological philosophies that are a tad different than mainstream are acting out–killing others. Sometimes it is radical religious beliefs that pose such a problem. Sometimes it is subtle—sometimes not.

 

I’m sure you have seen the news where young girls (and some young guys) have left the US to join forces, so to speak, with those who call themselves something like ISIS. Before I go any further, the Muslims I know are not of this type. They are peaceful. They want to live in this world with others. They desire harmony. The ones I know don’t push their beliefs on others. They are respectable people wanting respect in return. The ones I speak of are not radicals. They want what all of us want…well, unless you want war against everyone because others believe differently—it is a two-way street you know. 🙂 

 

Let me break here and say after 9/11, America changed…the world changed…but peace should always be what we strive for. People will always want to accelerate things into hate and war but peace is something…the only thing that we should all hold dear even if we never agree about anything else. We have whackos on TV and online who have gone absolutely bananas about things. There are people who are spouting crazy stuff all in the name of God. There are people who criticize the president of the United States when he mentioned the Crusades but do you really know what the Crusades were about? You can say that they were peaceful and knights were needed for protection for people making their pilgrimage to Jerusalem but you would be wrong just like there are those who say that the US Civil War was nothing but about states’ rights and not about slavery. Don’t deceive yourself. Don’t look at things from only one angle.

 

Families are being torn apart by this aggression and this is not an “us versus them” type of thing. There was a young girl from a neighboring state who left her family telling them she was going to Atlanta for something but in reality, she was leaving the states to join a radical band of individuals overseas. She got involved with the wrong people. Her family are now suffering from a barrage of hate speech (and other things) while attempting to come to grips with losing a daughter though she is still alive. Can you imagine going through such grief…everything seems fine one minute and then your world has turned to hell in another?

 

People question how this is happening. I can tell you how with an example. These young people are involved with social media and think nothing of friending people from around the world. It happens when we find others that share similar tastes and interests. All in all, it’s not bad…well until you are contacted by someone who wants you to be sympathetic to their “cause.” I have been contacted by one such individual. The person left me a message on FB. 

 

I didn’t think twice about it at first. I didn’t respond and then I checked his page out. Not good. I was shocked! I never in a million years would think that this was the real deal. I never considered myself to be a target to join such a group but it is real. This type of thing is happening through things such as FB and twitter to name two but there are other forms of social media being used. 

 

Unsuspecting people who use the internet are being preyed upon, vetted and groomed to join these radicals in their fight. Right now, it is radical religious fundamentalism in Syria and such places. This is real—as real as it gets. This is not a dream or something that happens far away. This is happening here and now. We cannot become paranoid or overly defensive but we must arm ourselves with awareness–our best armor in any good defense.

 

I am more angry than anything. If this happens to me (of all people), you can bet it is happening to more people. You cannot follow blindly. You must be aware of what is around you. In self-defense, awareness is one of the first things you are taught. You don’t put yourself in danger and you protect those you love.

 

The story about the young girl is a very sad one. Parents have invested so much in their children—love, time, money. The dad in this case came to the states to avoid what was happening in his country now. He wanted a better life for his family and now he has lost a daughter and many in the country he sought as a refuge (US) have turned against him saying he is to blame. Senseless hate—not that hate ever makes any sense.

 

Get involved with those who you love. Make them feel wanted and appreciated. And, remember not to judge others. 🙂 Don’t hate and don’t separate.

Happy Gardening! 🙂

 

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When I was young, I fantasized about having an older brother…one who could be there for me and help me when needed. Homework could have been so much easier… 😀 I wanted a brother who would be willing to teach me things and let me hang out with him…dreams… It wasn’t meant to be.

 

Much of my life I had big brothers…guys who took up for me. I wish they were still around. I remember in middle school, a boy in my class was physically picking on me. He hurt me a few times and I knew if I told on him that he would hurt me more so I kept quiet until one day he hit me in front of an older guy…one of the biggest guys on the football team. That didn’t go well—for him that is. Let me just say that my classmate never picked on me again and I have been indebted to my hero ever since. I haven’t seen him in ages but he was always special in my eyes.

 

People usually come into my life when I need them most. You might say it is God or Karma or something else or just happenstance… Whatever it is…I’m thankful. 🙂

 

How is your garden growing? May it grow with tender-loving care! 🙂

 

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My heart has been a bit sadder lately because someone I considered a friend is not around anymore—I don’t think they have passed away but I don’t know. People come into our lives—some for a short time, some for longer—we never know how long someone will be in our life when we meet. It can be a simple relationship or it can become a lifetime relationship—we just don’t know and that’s life.

 

I got attached to someone—not romantically. I considered the person a friend. This person lifted my spirits when I was down and helped me through some tough times the past few years. I have not heard from the person so I can only assume that the last time we communicated was the last time we will talk and I find that extremely sad. 😥 I have been depressed a bit a lot but there is nothing I can do more than I have. 😐

 

Negative people leaving my life are difficult enough but people who have a positive impact on my life—those are the ones I try to hold onto and when they leave, I find that there is a part of me missing. Some people find it easy to keep going and not think of someone but this has been extremely hard and a bit emotional I am embarrassed to say.

 

It’s been a rocky time these past few weeks for several reasons. Nothing seems easy anymore. Perhaps it is like the movie, Mary Poppins…the winds of change are about to make a return or there is this musical number…

🙂 

Have a good week and may your gardens grow with extreme kindness. 🙂

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You have heard the saying, “Guns don’t kill…people do.” Well, it is true. You need someone to squeeze the trigger. A gun does not think. A gun does not stop someone from firing it unless WE lock it up. Good safety practices can keep people alive but people become complacent about gun safety. I wonder how many people who own a gun can actually fire the gun proficiently. 🙂

 

Being proficient means…being capable and skilled. We give tests to people who want to drive a vehicle—we do not just give a license. We expect the person to be capable and skilled before he/she gets a permit. We do not hand over our keys of our automobile to our 15-year old son or daughter without instructions and practice. If we do, we are crazy. I digress…

 

So, why don’t we educate and train people on the safety of guns and teach them to be proficient before we give them a license? Here, in this state, a person is required to take a course before one can obtain a hunting license. As far as I know, you do not have to be proficient at shooting and the course was given online but I have not checked lately if this has changed. The course was basically about hunting and gun safety.

 

To purchase a gun, nothing is required except background checks or that is the way it used to be. Why is this? Would you give a child of five years of age a loaded handgun? I wouldn’t!

 

Why have we not required people to be proficient before permitting them to have a gun? It does not interfere with what the second amendment says. I’m sure someone will argue against me on that but back when the amendment was written, civilians were expected to have guns to help ensure safety. You had a gun back then a lot like we have phones today. Back then, if you want something to eat…many times, you had to kill it first. Today, we have so many people with guns that we need to be protected from those with guns.

 

There were two people murdered in the past week in a town where my grandmother was living before she moved here. The last person was 18 and someone made light of the fact that she didn’t have a gun to protect herself from the home invasion. I said that teenagers shouldn’t need a gun for protection. Someone else said that maybe a gun would have saved her life. Are we listening to ourselves? Putting guns in the hands of more people is not the answer. Guns are not the answer.

 

I’m not infringing on anyone’s rights. I’m advocating standards of living. We–I have the right to not be shot or killed by a gun. People are going crazy trying to buy more guns because they believe the government wants to remove those rights and remove their guns. I want to remove the fear people have. People need to be protected. We need to not fear. Fear becomes the monster and fear feeds more fear. We are doing this to ourselves. When do we wake up?

 

Just some thoughts I had… Have a great day! 🙂

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Dogs are remarkable

My first dog will always remain special in my memories of her. She was part hound and part birddog. Her mother stopped in our yard to have her pups and I wanted to keep one of the pups. My dad finally gave in and she was a welcome addition to the family. She was my dog. I loved her. I was about 5-7 when she came to live with us. We had other dogs—all were left with us in the same fashion where someone dropped them off because they were unwanted. I have many stories I could tell about her but she died such a terrible death. She got her leg hung in a wire fence and she was there for days and got blood poisoning. We took her to the vet…I remember when it happened but she was too far gone. She was my baby. 😥

 

Dogs are special creatures. They can be trained for many different jobs. Jobs like those used for guiding blind people, or health companions—some can detect the onset of seizures before they happen—and there are those who are trained to detect cancer cells in urine samples. Yes, believe it or not there is a 97-98% accuracy. Hey, I remember when pregnancy tests were not that reliable. Here is the story I read (link).

 

Science is remarkable. We are still learning and there is much we do not know.

 

Thought I would share in case you haven’t heard about this. 🙂

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Today marks 150 years since the signing of the surrender by Robert E Lee at the Appomattox Court House. The Atlantic publication published an article about it (as have many media outlets). They mentioned that the war and cease fire has not really gotten very far because in many eyes, it is still being fought. I can attest to that.

 

I have been commenting in a certain media forum where people are still fighting for “states’ rights.” There were comments yesterday that it was all Lincoln’s fault…I kid you not. I don’t understand. If people had their way, I would be living in a separate country that condoned slavery as a right guaranteed under the Constitution of the Confederate States of America. (excuse me a minute—I need to barf 😐 ) If you have never read this document that actually says the following, I encourage you read it—all of it.

 

We, the people of the Confederate States, each state acting in its sovereign and independent character, in order to form a permanent federal government, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity — invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God — do ordain and establish this Constitution for the Confederate States of America. (link)

 

It is not pretty. You have to remember that there were black people who were free but many whites did not recognize their freedom. I can go on and on about what I have learned over the years and I am ashamed at our country and I am ashamed of people today. From The Atlantic:

 

“It is easy to proclaim all souls equal in the sight of God,” wrote James Baldwin in 1956 as the Civil Rights Movement took hold in America; “it is hard to make men equal on earth in the sight of men.” Philosophically and theologically, claims of human equality are as old as the hills. But the real struggles for genuine equality of natural rights, of equality before law, and of equality of opportunity are much more recent in historical time. (link) 

 

Just because you claim something does not make it true in everyone’s eyes. In other words…you can lead a horse to water but if that horse doesn’t want to take a drink—it will die right there in front of all the water just because it refuses to do what it needs to do. People are not any wiser than a horse who refuses to drink.

 

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My great-grandfather

My Georgia family owned the farm I grew up on and what is known as Millhaven Plantation is less than 5 miles down the road. I cannot confirm this happened exactly as I was told but this was the story I grew up with… General Sherman made a visit to Millhaven on his march to the sea. That’s how close the civil war came to my backyard—that’s a little close for comfort. The story goes that Sherman was a Mason and the owner of Millhaven was a Mason. It is said that was the reason the plantation house was not burned but crops were stolen as were livestock and after the troops took what they wanted/needed, they destroyed part and ran off the rest of the livestock before heading to Savannah. I think the outbuildings were all destroyed but I can’t say for sure.

 

Being from the south, I have memories that have been relayed to me from people who were born just after the civil war. There were hard times back then from what I was told but no more than usual really, at least for the white families except those who lost family in the war. My family was mostly self-sufficient on the farm. That helped them survive the Great Depression and I am sure that the same holds true for the civil war. My family wasn’t into owning slaves. The only record I can find for a slave was an older black woman and I don’t know that the record is accurate because my great grandfather is listed as a black man on one of the census records and he wasn’t black.

 

I don’t know why people want to continue living like it was before the civil war. I have studied local history for many years and it astounds me that people want to still fight about something that is over with. Like I said, my children get it…they understand. I love it that they do. We are only as strong as our weakest part or link. Why wouldn’t we want to excel—for everyone to be successful? It is a sad thing–people wanting to be in control of others. I wish we could all leave this behind and move forward. Acknowledging history and culture is one thing but waving it in someone’s face is another. Pride and arrogance do not have a place in today’s world. I don’t celebrate the civil war but I honor the freedom it brought. To me, there is no need to scream for states’ rights. It was not Lincoln’s fault. It was stupidity and greed that caused the civil war and it is that same stupidity and greed that is driving some of our laws today. We need to wake up. Discrimination needs to stop! Equality for all people is what we need to honor.

 

Happy Freedom Day! 🙂

 

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There is so much hatred being spewed and our words hurt others. I don’t think we understand what our words will do. The other day there was a picture posted with the president and bunny looking out over the mall in Washington. I was so ashamed to read the things posted and I want to share some of them with you…

 

  • I didn’t think Muslims celebrated easter
  • Easter is not about bunnies or monuments, it is about the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ!
  • So why do we have what looks like Obama standing next to the pagan “Easter bunny” facting an Egyptian symbol for the missing “member” (ahem!) of Osiris?
  • Why not a picture of Jesus resurrecting? Do we commemorate the first time a bunny stared at the Washington Monument?
  • Mr. President,  I do hope you realize the Easter Bunny is not the true meaning of Easter.
  • One rabbit and one ass
  • Of course your back is to us.
  • Too Bad you can not understand the meaning of this day. I will pray for your soul.
  • Apparently hate doesn’t observe religious holidays.
  • Pretty non-Christian photo from a Christian president on the holiest day of the year for Christians.
  • Easter is NOT about a rabbit!!!

 

Many of these (possibly all of them) were from people calling themselves Christian. I thought it was a cute picture and didn’t have anything to do with faith or religion and I didn’t have a problem with it because I don’t think we should be judged.

 

Then, there were these…

 

  • I love this picture!  It shows that our President is a humble man with a sense of humor.  Easter blessings to the Obama family.
  • Oh, I can almost hear the religious zealots’ heads exploding over this one.
  • See the negative comments and how religion is always misused to divide…

 

Where is the LOVE? Watch what you say but watch what you think… If you have love in your heart, you will show love. People believe they are speaking for God and I’m telling you that this vile hatred, the venomous bile that comes forth is not what any God would have. People believe evil is an entity, a thing, people, a monster but I am here to tell you that evil lives within us and it is love that can control the evil if we allow it.

 

Someone tried to argue with me today about love—they said they could hate the evil and still love. I said, “No. You can’t.” When you allow hate in, it consumes you. I know. So you must love and forget hate. Love will grow and push the hate out and there will be no evil left. 🙂

 

I’m not naïve. People will tell me that I am—that I don’t know the Bible and I need to kill myself (yes, 3 people told me that just today—Christian people told me that). What did I say that deserved such remarks…that Jesus came to love and not judge and that we cannot hate. 😐

 

Hate can’t live where love grows so …

fertilize your gardens, tend to the tender plants and allow love to grow. 🙂

 

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Some time back I started to live what I believed rather than saying what I believed. Then, I began to talk about it. I have written about some of the pivotal moments that caused me to see things in a different light. Each one of them involved people I personally knew—some I even taught in Sunday school—some were what I considered really good friends.

 

When you stand up in church and speak of how you are being inconvenienced by others who believe differently than you do, I don’t see that is right. When you say nasty things in church about our president and calling him the anti-christ, I see that as hate. When you tell me personally that you cannot love someone of another faith or of another color or just different than you, I see intolerance. Perhaps you say that you have been persecuted. I say that self-persecution does not count.

 

I still believe in God though my belief is and has been a lot different than many people but that’s my right. I’m not less of a person. I’m not less of a Christian. I’m not wrong. 🙂

 

You see, Jesus taught us to love all people. He didn’t come and tell us that we should shun people. He didn’t hide behind walls or fences. He came with open arms. When a Christian/minister stands before the congregation in church and says that “we” have been inconvenienced too much because “we” have been tolerant for too long and it is time to change…they are right. It is time to change but not in the way they believe.

 

I dare you to pick up a Christian Bible and study only the four gospels until you know them by heart and then I challenge you to walk Jesus’ walk…don’t add to it scripture wise…forget what Paul says…just for a bit. Leave the Old Testament behind. Listen to the stories that Jesus relays in the Bible. For those who do not believe, I still think the stories have great meaning—humility is the biggest facet of the New Testament. Pick up the cloak of humility, and slip on the sandals of Jesus…walk in that path—not the path of the teacher or the one who judges but the one who dines with the unfortunate, the ones who are despised by others. Talk with them and learn to see through their eyes. And, realize that the greatest commandment of love is the willingness to become last, give up your seat at the front, share a meal with those who have none…

 

I’m not confused about what I see and understand. I know exactly where I am and where I am headed. I have no fear of leaving this world and spending an eternity in fire because I stand up for people who are not welcome in this world. You have no right to tell anyone they are going to hell. I don’t care if you think you are doing the best for them. Place yourself in their shoes. Do you want to hear that you are going to hell? No one anointed you to be the judge and executioner. That’s what Jesus was trying to say. When we elevate our status above another, we cannot serve; we cannot be humble; we cannot be last… In other words… we will not be first if we are not last. So if you believe someone will burn in hell, you don’t know God and you do not understand forgiveness and grace. 🙂

 

Again, I challenge you to read and study the gospels…forget everything else for a bit and see through the eyes of Jesus and then place yourself in the place of the person he interacts with. It requires letting go of the checklists and how-tos and don’ts. It requires a pure heart with no hate. It requires having love and tolerance. Can you imagine someone preaching that Christians should be intolerant to others? Jesus’ mantra was tolerance…to offer the other cheek. You don’t get to a point where you say…hey, I’m fighting back because there is no fighting. There should only be love. 🙂

 

 May your gardens grow with tenderness and love. 🙂

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