Category Archives: faith
Being different is something I have been all my life. The principal’s daughter, the minister’s daughter, the one who could not be still. Yep…that was me! These things set me apart from most of the kids my age…”I used to wonder why!”
As I grew up things got easier. I had a small circle of friends…a judges son, the police chief’s son…we found a common ground!
My friends today don’t care about what my father was…they only care about who I am. I am me! And It’s Okay to be Different! I am…and I love it!
Have a great day!
The anticipation of choosing the right box of chocolates, to give, is filled with decisions. Milk or Dark…Truffles or just plain old assortment…We might even pick the box based on the way the package is designed. So many choices…just like the individual pieces in the box!
The box is opened and the sight is laid out before you as a buffet. Each piece, decorated and detailed, in little chocolate cradles. There are dangers and hazards to avoid in this collection of cavities waiting to be devoured. Eyes widen as big as the teeth exposed smile and you reach in…
You bite into it and “YUM”!
The pleasure filled experience is…well…”YUM!” Relishing the first piece and closing the box is the next hurdle to jump. “Exercise is always a good activity to enjoy while holding a box of chocolates!” Moderation is key when receiving a box of chocolates. How long can you make it last? We had competitions, as children, to see who could have their candy the longest. The pleasure from the first selection has faded and we quickly open the box again to replace the feeling. Do you find yourself going from experience to experience in hopes of having another “YUM!” That is no way to live. We have to experience good and bad to appreciate the good as well as learn how to maneuver the bad.
The uncharted delicacies laid out are tempting but…what about that piece? The one filled with chewy caramel…”OUCH!” Broken tooth or your filling is pulled out are two of my not so fond memories of the delicious treat. Just because it looks good it may cost you in the long run. You know the painful trip to the dentist and the painful experience at the desk as you pay for the visit. The decision is made and the memory is stored…”No more of that piece!” The lessons we learn are needed…to guide us in the future.
So no caramel pieces anymore…What about this piece? We bite into it, cautiously, and “YUCK!”
Spitting the chocolate buttercream out quickly and rush to get the taste out of our mouths. Okay…so I am not a fan of this flavor but you may be…The point is there are those issues that give us a bad taste and we find ourselves searching in haste as we spit and sputter at the situation. My advice..if you don’t like buttercream then don’t eat it.
Our delight in the box starts to fade and a decision must be made. Throw caution to the wind and just eat them all, throw the remains away to avoid the temptation, or share. You could end up disappointed in yourself if you inhale the tidbits of joy but you don’t want to seem ungrateful and throw the unwanted treasure away. I say share! We are all different and that maple or buttercream delicacy is just the piece someone else is looking for. You will be helping someone and yourself when you share what you have with others. Those little pick me ups during our day or week strengthen our resolve to complete the tasks ahead. “Nod your head…you know what I mean…don’t you?” Whether a distraction or interaction between friends, these times of sharing with another give us the chance to breath and recharge. Sometimes the best things come in small packages. Just a smile or chuckle is all it takes!
Well you may have realized I am a poker! I poke every piece of chocolate to see if it is one I want. At least I used to be this person. I have finally reached a place in my life that I know my limitations. The beautifully displayed assortment of joy is not for me. I am a simple girl with simple wants. Dark chocolate, sugar free, on sale! Yep..that is simple! Dark chocolate keeps my husband out of my stash as well as sugar free. He needs his to be sugar free but complains of aftertaste. “He is too picky!”. On sale…if you can’t afford it you don’t buy it! That is a blog title if ever I heard one!
Knowing our limitations while still reaching for the dream is an asset to hold on to. Remain strong and capable in your choices. Charging into a dream could land you in Buttercream and, if you don’t test it first, you may end up trying to get the bad taste out of your mouth. This could cause you to draw back and recoil from the dream. Don’t let this happen…poke it first…to see if it is Buttercream or something worth eating.
Life is to be experienced…the full spectrum of emotion! Every piece of candy must be tried once to have the full experience. There will be those pieces you search for and love and those you really want nothing to do with but deal with. Families are like a box of chocolates!</em. That makes sense! We are unique in many ways but look for those who share the same likes and dislikes. Friendships are built on similarities with the occasional Buttercream thrown in for fun. Don’t throw your box away…share the life experience with others. You may be giving yourself that needed break without even knowing it.
Have a great day and may you find all your favorite tidbits of joy today!
Do you find yourself nodding your head at how the ins and outs of the average family resemble the Family Circus cartoon? “I know I do!” The child-like views of normal…and reality. There are days we find ourselves running around in circles just going from point A to point B. We live and, for the most part, function in our own Family Circus!
The stay at home mom is becoming a relic…found in the museum or on old television shows. The balancing act of laundry basket and a child on the hip while stirring the dinner has given way to a different balancing act of work and home. I was a stay at home mom for many years! I really enjoyed this time with my three active boys. They kept me hopping and taught me the concept of planning ahead. Planning ahead was easy to do because of the Family Circus I grew up in! Manners and following directions were the cornerstone and as the four of us kids grew up the more we helped around the house. I learned to care for a baby when my youngest sister came home from the hospital. “I was 12 years old a month later!” The art of packing a diaper bag for a full days activities was mastered and stored away until I had my first child.
I returned to work when my youngest entered the Pre-K program and continued till he entered 2nd grade. We moved that year and I was glad I was not working…outside the home! I later worked as a substitute teacher, which turned into a full-time position, at a church-school. I really liked it there and would still be working there but, they decided not to call me because we moved our membership to another church. “Church politics…let’s not go there!”.
I found activities to fill my daily schedule without working. Taxi driver, tutor, counselor, chef, coach, and snack coordinator…were just a few of the various jobs performed all centered around the boys. With the newly adopted son…we have doctors to see on a regular basis and school meetings and normal life activities. “I am glad I am not working…outside the home!” It gives me the chance to make priceless memories and enjoy the little things in life!
The three older boys can drive themselves where they need to go. They have found they still need mom…”Can you iron this for me?” I thought I taught him how to iron! “Where did I put my keys?” and my favorite “Mom, what’s for dinner?” I still do a head count for dinner…it was six..then 5 and now it can be 3-5 for dinner. I am lucky…I have found that if I lay down, during allergy/sinus season, I will only rest for a little while and rise to continue my day. No need for alarms though…
Life is busy and our schedules can change daily! We all have situations that alter our plans and we all find solutions. We have to…when it comes to our family we will do everything we can. We may gripe and complain…and we are not alone!
We teach our children to stand on their own two feet and think for themselves and watch as they begin their own Family Circus. I know my parents have enjoyed the hours of side-splitting humor they have received from watching us in our little Family Circus!
My husband recently obtained a coin from 1884. He let the boys see the coin and asked if they had ever held anything that old. “I had to think quickly…they have a sharp witty humor…” I shook my head and dared them to speak…knowing exactly what they were thinking. “I was not going to say anything about you mom…” followed by a sheepish grin. “Right!” We need to draw from the past and find the humor, when we can, to form the foundation of a strong family. As we stumble through mistakes and find the solutions we will make our foundation stronger!
Do you live in a Family Circus? Do you find yourself shaking your head at the cartoon in agreement? Do you find humor in what your children do? You are not alone!
The dryer is buzzing…and the coffee cup is empty. I will continue with my day and wish you success in yours.
We wear a smile and laugh with those around us. We encourage others to follow their dreams and build up their spirits. We help, when we can, in ways no one will notice. We have loving and wonderful friends but,“The Real Person Behind the Mask” is struggling.
I was taught, at an early age, the art of the “Baptist Smile”! This is a broad, face filling grin put on around church people. It comes quite easily to my face and most people don’t even notice it is a mask. “We all wear masks of one sort or another.” The reasons for wearing the mask are as varied as those wearing them. Basically hiding the real you inside or protecting yourself from emotional scaring. We build walls around ourselves to prevent revealing our faults and weaknesses. We use our personality strengths wisely to avoid suspicion. “Or do we use our strengths openly so that the injured spirit we hide away is never seen!”.
How do you stop being organized when that is a strength that is appreciated by others?
“The Real Person Behind the Mask is confused!
Our emotions are worn in different ways…those close to us may pick up the vibe and know something is wrong. Migraine pain can be seen in the eyes, red nose means allergies or cold…runny makeup comes from tears…or in my case- bad application. The range of emotions are written on our face and how we carry ourselves. The sad thing is most people just don’t see it. You can be in a very happy mood and wearing a frown. “My glasses need to be updated and my vision is blurry.” “The Real Person Behind the Mask” has needs.
I am not one of those personalities that need to be the center of attention. I like being in a group but not the center. I do not want the responsibility or pressure that comes from this role. I know my limitations! Small circle of friends and even a smaller group that know me without the mask. I feel secure with this wonderful group and appreciate the mutual encouragement that we share. As the circle of friends grows we develop a closeness with the core while maintaining the mask for the others. “What they don’t know won’t hurt them!” They have no clue what battle scars you cover with your mask. These battle scars can make you stronger and not everyone needs to know. Advertising the battles we have been involved with is not a personality trait I admire. Everyone struggles with battles daily…from economic to health, each individually difficult and trying. We do not want to be judged on the battles we have and we are afraid. strong>“The Real Person Behind the Mask” is not the person you think they are.
The mask is there for many reasons…protection from future injury, embarrassment, security. Maybe the mask is there to push the limits…taking the personality behind the mask to the next level in achievement, lending strength to the wearer. “The Real Person Behind the Mask” is misunderstood. Our fears and anxieties become lessened as our strengths are allowed to surface and be used. But if our strengths are challenged the insecure emotions rise and we will retreat further behind the mask. Each of us have different aspects of ourselves that we don’t like…truths that we don’t share with just anyone. The way we handle this flaw determines the type of person we really are. Some wear these personality flaws on their sleeves for attention and can act like a “martyr” while others hold those flaws in trying to improve themselves. “You can’t judge a book by it’s cover!” We must not assume we understand the situation or the person…“The Real Person Behind the Mask” is strong and intellectually deep.
Just like learning to ride a bike or tying your shoes…it takes practice. We practice daily to conquer those imperfections we battle. Habitual successes and failures only make us stronger. We have to trust ourselves and those closest to us. The life experiences we gain make us stronger…stronger than we sometimes know. When we share ourselves with those around us…there is a reason. They may be in the same type of battle or be headed down the same path. Our experience and knowledge can help them and in addition heal us. It gives us strength over the situation allowing us to move to the next challenge. The Real Person Behind the Mask is a compassionate warrior. What a contradiction of terms…sharing, loving, guiding, strong, capable…the strongest warrior has a loving heart.
“The Real Person Behind the Mask is a work in progress! Over time the need for our mask will diminish. We will become confident in our strengths and our inadequacies will fade to a tolerable level. We must strive to rise, leaving the chains of these failures and fears lying on the ground, confident in the strength gained through these battles. Lessons learned must be built upon and made stronger so that the mask is not seen…just the real person!
We all fight the same battles…some just have better weapons to fight with! We can all learn from each other and help each other…if we are willing to shed our mask. Unfortunately the human race is a judgement based species and the struggles continue behind the masks! So…“The Real Person Behind the Mask” knows something you may not know…You are wearing a mask too! We all do!
We face many obstacles everyday as we journey along through this life. Brick walls block our way forcing us to alter our direction and plans. We see no light at the end of our endless tunnel that seems to grow darker with each step. “Just Find Your Happy Thought Peter!”
Finding a happy thought can be difficult but not impossible. The smallest glimmer of hope can shed light on a virtual wasteland of defeat. We force ourselves to get up in the morning and trudge off to jobs or busy schedules with family and friends. There are many happy thoughts in that statement…we can get up and are breathing..we have a job…we have family and friends… Many people feel they don’t even have these luxuries in their life. They may not be able to get out of bed or may have experienced the death of a loved one. There is an emptiness than envelopes us during this time. It is temporary but does not feel like it at the time. “Just Find Your Happy Thought Peter!”
Tinkerbell tries to help Peter remember his happy thought so Peter can fly. Faith, trust, and Pixie Dust…that is all it takes! Unfortunately we don’t have a Pixie Dust distributor or fairies flying around sprinkling the transporting glitter over the heads of those in need. We all have needs in our lives and have to find ways to get past them and move one to the next challenge.
Faith is one way…faith in your beliefs and in those around you. Faith grows with each giant we face…even though we may not realize it at the time. We may not slay the giant but we will get past the giant. Situations bombard daily life in the decisions we make, people around us, finances, and health. We may not be able to see the road block until it is too late. What builds our faith is our reaction. The approach we take in resolving the situation could lead us down
various paths and we must follow through…step by step. The path may be steep and hard to maneuver. Trials and tragedies may come our way in many different varieties. We may find no solution is available to solve the problem and the only way around this road block is filled with treacherous, spirit defeating, landslide prone ground. We must have the faith to continue and trust in our progress. Faith goes hand in hand with Trust!
Bad things happen to good people…we trust that something good will come out of the situation. If our finances are dealing us fits and thrusting us into a life of uncertainty we can trust that we can find something good. (Happy Thought) Things are tight and we cannot do the things we used to do…but we can spend time together as a family or enjoy quality time with those dear to us. Making the most of what we have, at any given time, is the best use of time. The death of a loved one or friend affects many in different ways. Withdrawing from those closest to you will only lead you into a dark place. We must cling to those around us and hold each other close. Healing will take time! We must find our happy thought in the memories left behind. Those we lose want us to continue and not dwell on their passing. A smile or scent may bring us that happy thought needed to get through the days ahead. These complications are difficult and overwhelming…but as we move forward and glimpse the problems we faced behind us we can see they were just growing pains. “Those pains during childhood growth spurts, doctors call non-existent, that let us know we are changing.” We get through them and stand taller because of them. (OOO! Another Happy Thought!) We will get through these situations and do not need Pixie Dust! In our set backs and struggles we must hold on to our Faith and Trust, setting our eyes forward and take the next step. There are happy thoughts all around us…“Just Find Your Happy Thought Peter!”</em
We are always together in small giggling groups. We act as if we have been friends since childhood. We share a friendship that will last forever…that’s us…“Just Peas in a Pod!”
The kindred spirits, anchored together in faith, clustered together because of talents and similarities. The fun has just begun as we sit and visit. The laughter bounces off the surrounding walls and fixtures uncontrollably. “We are going to be banned from Starbucks if we do not calm down!”. Whispers rise from one of the peas and we snicker and huddle closer together. The non-verbal communications begin with simple looks and sparkles in the eyes of those around the table. We miss those who are not with us…of course we will be with them soon enough in choir practice.
We flutter around, in large crowds, visiting and laughing with many. Hugs abound and conversations are varied as we move in a harmonic dance. There are pods on this plant…each pod shares similar views making us alike in so many ways. The stages of life may separate us a little but the humor is a bungee cord yanking us together with a vicious snap. We know when one is not feeling up to par by the squint of the eyes or lack of volume in the laughter. The twinkle does not seem as bight and the peas will lend their strength and well wishes in hopes of quick recovery. “Just Peas in a Pod!”
Our pod is either very large or perhaps we pod-hop! We fit snugly together in many different combinations and pods. We nudge each other in passing as we go about our day. Actively popping in and out of the pods and developing lasting relationships with those we meet.
We share many parts of our life…but never share the coffee…”I chuckle softly at that thought!” We do share the time together with our individual cups of the “heavenly brew” warming our hands. The types of liquid based fixes are as different as the individuals drinking from the cups. There are a few of us peas that indulge the cold-bottled liquid, Diet Coke and Mr. Pibb being the standard, due to not liking coffee. We need to pray for them!
I know you are probably thinking how weird I am for writing about this group of people. I have been fortunate most of my adult life to have this “pod-like” friendship. I don’t think I could function without them. We may not share the deepest parts of us with everyone in the pod but, there are those in the pod who hold our secrets. Sadly, as with any pod, peas will be separated. Some move to another city or state and some across the country. The gathering ceases and the laughter is decreased. A “new pod” replaces the “old pod” and the cycle begins again. Memories are made and built in hopes of surviving the next separation. “Just Peas in a Pod!”
I know, if you just take a moment to evaluate those you hold dear, you will see you are part of a “pod” too. What brought you together? Demographics, school, clubs, work, travel…the lists just goes on. It is not about looks or wealth! “I am so glad about this!” Our bond was created just for us…and will increase in strength and love. I miss the other peas and cannot wait to see them. They become extended family…important to our basic survival. The peas get sick together and help each other through the hard times. We may not know, at the time, how much we help each other but that is not important. “I only have one regret! That my husband is not a functioning member of the “pod”!” His schedule and mind-set keep him uninvolved.
Speaking of the daily nudges from the peas…I just received a text…Hehe! My day has started and I must begin the tasks ahead in hopes of completing the list. I hope you have a great day! Don’t forget to touch base, or nudge, the “peas in your pod” and brighten their day as well as your own.
We have all seen signs along the side of the road informing us of situations coming our way. Detours and road construction are common sights and we hit the steering wheel and complain as if we have no options. We can continue, following the Detour, and still reach our destination. We can sit, realizing we are not the only ones inconvenienced, and wait for the traffic to flow again. We can rely on our GPS to “recalculate” your route to avoid the complications. Wait…we can just turn around and give up! “REALLY!” Warning “Rough Road Ahead”
If you watch the news and pay attention to what is going on in the world today you know this to be true. Preparation for winter weather driving and cutting back on unnecessary travel to save $$ at the gas pump, are just a couple of common sense reactions. We will all struggle to get where we are going in our little world. The road blocks are talked about daily though the media and at the “proverbial” water cooler. Wisely consider the options and think first before heading boldly out into the day. I wish you good luck in your daily travels wherever this Detour may take you.
With this said I would like to think about the bumps in the road. The ones that are not visible from a distance. You never see them coming! Typically we cannot plan for these and are thrown for a loop by the circumstances surrounding this “bump in the road”. There is no way to avoid them and we must stop what we are doing to resolve the issue. Health concerns, loss of job, and accidents often invade our day to day existence quickly with hurricane force winds. Our feet are swept out from under us and we ask ourselves why we never saw it coming. I am here to tell you…there is a ..“Rough Road Ahead!”
It would great if there were warning signs letting us know when accidents or health concerns would effect our travel. But…where is the fun in that? I do not mean to make light of the hard situations we have to sometimes maneuver just to tread water. There are many degrees of impact associated with these bumps in the road”. We just have to stop and take care of the situation the best we can and allow those around us to help. “Just a thought…make sure to help others during their travels…you never know when you will need a favor in return”.
Can you imagine driving down the road and seeing signs that said…
You did not make the grade!
Keep looking…No job here!
Warnings do not occur at our convenience and we do not have the luxury to plan ahead as the bridge collapses in front of us. Recalculating our direction may take longer but we will at least have time to consider the options in front of us. I think if we take the precautions to protect ourselves and study…taking care of those around us first…the bumps in the road will at least be driven over slowly. We will be able to complete our time on the road and reach our destination safely. We may be bruised and dented…but we will be able to face the day! Knowledge and preparation are wonderful but nothing compares to strong relationships of family and friends during this time of upheaval. One foot in front of the other…one day at a time…slow and sure…We will manage to survive the “Rough Road Ahead” and possible learn something along the way to help others when they have a “What now?” situation happen in their life.
How will you handle what get thrown in your way? Will you stand up straight and bravely face the situation or will you hit the steering wheel and turn the car around and go home? Maybe you are in the detour right now and have some wisdom to share or need to hear suggestions. We must help each other…share what you know and if you need help let someone know. You might find the the “Rough Road Ahead” will slowly smooth out and return to a normal peaceful journey.
The National News shows us a disturbing picture of the road ahead. The world’s finances are faltering and the jobs situation is in a downward spiral. Those people looking for jobs are competing with those who have more experience that have lost jobs due to cutbacks in the companies trying to stay afloat. Insurance is at an all-time high and there are too many families without insurance. Current Event Friday is the theme today! So many issues to choose from…where should we start?
How about the World of Finance?
I will talk from the prospective of an average Middle-Class American Family.
My husband had retired from a high management position to focus on the business he had started from home. The new business had begun to take off and within a year of his retiring we were living “high on the hog”! It was to good to last…the business took a hit and has all but dissolved. My husband, fortunately, was a saver and this allowed us to maintain for four years while he tried to find a job.
The strategies for our survival during this economic downturn should be used as a model. The
only problem was that the Financial Advisors were telling the nation to spend. Spend? We could barely afford gas for the cars and food. We paid the bills…kept the house current…and still managed to eat. The proverbial “belt was tightened” and our little family used it as a teaching tool.
My husband and I came from humble roots and were both familiar with wants versus needs. We kept the same philosophy even through the good times. “I told you he was a saver!” I became an experimental chef…that means I was very creative with my recipes. It is a good thing to know that ground beef can be so versatile! We combined trips to avoid having all the cars on the road using up the fuel…we found rides (“very humbling”), and cut out the unnecessary spending. “Pizza was not delivery but homemade!”
My husband found a job and things remained tight. He needed gas to drive the hour to work and home…he took the car that had been at my disposal…”that hurts” and the paycheck was not what we were hoping for. This was probably a good thing…we remained watchful of the spending and have survived. The boys have even learned a thing or two about living on a small budget.
The bad news is that so many people around us and throughout the Nation could not do what we have managed to do. They have lost their homes and families have fallen apart. Fear and crime are on the rise…people do not know how to react. “Cut back…way back…” may sound like a corny cheer but it works. Yes, it has been difficult and very inconvenient but, we are still together and still enjoy being around each other.
I know you are probably thinking how elementary my approach seems to something so serious as this National Financial-Economic Crisis. It is not due to my lack of understanding. I may not fully comprehend the intricacies of the Finance World or the reasoning behind the plans from Washington. I just wanted to keep my family safe and together. If we just take care of each other and work out from there…to those in our community we can all get through this.
Saw this and had to post it…This reminds me of you…What was I thinking?
Those little thoughts that accompany the unique peek into our deepest essence of humor….We have seen them on our Status Updates and have put them on our own Update…
True statements that make us smile as we go through our day are just a part of this culture. My page is filled with inspirational thoughts and quotes from friends along with coffee pics and favorite song videos. Family gatherings recently attended and bragging sessions keep us connected no matter the distance.
The virtual scrapbook of our lives, complete with cartoon characters and journal entries, deepens the understanding of our individuality. These personal tidbits allow those with similar personalities to be drawn into a closer knitted group. This is, at times, a scary scenario!
“Confession!”. I try to be positive everyday when updating my Status.” I would rather cause a smile and have someone LOL than reply “What’s wrong?”. My friends and family deserve to start their day with a smile…”Don’t you agree?”
I have thought provoking and Kleenex grabbing Status Updates on my wall too! We, as a group, have recently lost a little saint to cancer. His life, through this devastating disease, was journaled on FaceBook.
Remember the movie “You’ve Got Mail”? “Those three little words changed our lives forever….at least until the iPhone. Every time someone updates their FaceBook or replies to one of your comments notifications chime their way into your day. Annoying and inconvenient at times but a wonderful source of positive communication. The assortment of notification tones are as humorous as the personalities posting on my wall. “It is a good thing we, for the most part, turn off the sound during practices and church.”. (Mahna Mahna).
Search for a cartoon or picture that speaks to you and makes you smile…post it…and share the ROFLOL with those close to you.