The Power of Words

I have not written anything worthwhile for many months; strange for a person who loves

Words

Words (Photo credit: sirwiseowl)

words. I love words both oral and written. I love the way words weave a story or string a song around my soul. Without words I would feel lost, unable to speak the way I feel, unable to find comfort from a single line of text.

In these past months I have had billions of words flow through my brain, cascading like a rushing river over a water fall that never quite seems to find the way to the end, never emptying into the ocean it searches for. I have also had an over abundance of words blown at me, some soft and comforting like a soft breeze on a summer day, while others where harsh and painful like thorns from a rose-bush leaving small cuts and scars.

Words are all relative right? I mean what’s calming and comforting to one may come across irritating and offensive to another. Words are often misinterpreted, misread, taken out of context or just plain out stated incorrectly as an honest mistake. Words, simply stated, often are the bare truth of the one delivering them. Once said, out loud or through written means, cannot ever be returned. Words have the capacity to change a life in two different ways. Words spoken with a pure honest love and kindness can save a life, restore hope, encourage or comfort one who had seemed inconsolable. On the other hand, words spoken with impulsive anger or hate can damage a soul for life, cause one to contemplate death, create invisible wounds that may never truly be healed.

It seems that more and more of the world no longer cares how words are thrown about, good bad or ugly.  Many in the world seem set on destroying others through words or merely not caring how their words truly affect the other person.

I would like to challenge anyone who reads this post to make a commitment to use only kind words for one week. I know this is a real challenge for some. Life can seem negative, the people around you may seem negative, but it may only take one word of kindness to change a negative situation. It may only take one week of kind words to change your life.

Ephesians 4:32 - And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

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Writing Sabbatical, or Just Busy?

Hello friends and readers! I have been out of the loop for some time now…..too long if you ask me. I’m back, so what out :) Blogs to come in the very near future.

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Video of the Crime – Caught in the Act

I was clearing out some of the random photos and videos my daughter takes constantly. My phone had 487 pictures and videos on it! Most are just a few second videos of her making  a funny noise. A few are of her starting to sing Plankton’s song “oh my Karen”. She loves taking pictures of herself, and her feet. As I was deleting the hundreds of pictures and videos, I came across one that stopped me in my tracks.

I remembered the day when this “episode” happened. I was cooking dinner, little princess was sitting on the stairs in the living room making funny noises. I heard something and questioned her. The following is a description of the crime.

The video is only 7 seconds. Her face fills the screen. She leans back. She clears her throat, and proceeds to hock a loogie right on my phone. You can hear me in the background say something to the effect of “no spitting” then her saying “what did you say?” Followed by humming like she was doing nothing. The video ends.

In real life I walked in and asked her if she was spitting, to which she answered no.  All this time the evidence was right there on the phone. My son and I were laughing so hard, that tears where coming down and we couldn’t catch our breath. We replayed it about 10 times last night.

Next time I will check the video logs…..

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Opting Out of Social Media “Thankful”

Since November 1st the social media world has been inundated with the “30 days of thanks”. In case you live in  a vacuum, or do not delve into the social media circus, let me break it down for you. Every day this month people write what they are thankful for, each day being something different. In general I find nothing wrong with this concept, technically there is nothing wrong with professing what you are thankful for. However, after reading many of “thankful” posts I am really disappointed in the thankful movement.

All the general thanks have been mentioned. People are thankful for family, friends, kids, jobs, health etc. My choice to opt out came on day one when I read several “thanks” that were, in my opinion, shallow and superficial. We live in a world that has become so worldly and less human emotionally. We overlook the small simple beautiful things in life and choose to be thankful for meaningless trivial things.

Post of thanks that included the following are a perfect example of why this month of thankfulness has turned to an annoyance for me:

I’m thankful it’s Friday, let the drinking begin

I’m thankful that (insert favorite TV show) is one tonight

I’m thankful for casual Friday’s

I’m thankful that (insert new movie) is out and I’m going to watch it

I’m thankful for caffeine

I will be thankful when the posts of thanks end

Where are the real thanks? The everyday small details of life that get taken for granted, that get looked over. I know there are people out there posting genuine thanks, and these are not the people I’m annoyed at. You may be thinking “who the hell are you to decide what I can or cannot be thankful for” and you are right. I am not saying that one cannot post what they are thankful for, I’m just saying that maybe we all need to look a little deeper at what we are thankful for.

On that note, I am listing 30 things that I am thankful for. Things that I am thankful for 365 days out of the year, not just 30 for the month of November.

1. First and foremost I am thankful for a merciful creator who blesses me everyday with the ability to wake up and breathe life.

2. I am thankful for a family that bands together in good times and bad, who can agree to disagree and still love each other.

3. For the miracle of two beautiful children who show me what the true meaning of love is

4. For the honor of having four amazing step-sons who have taught me so much over the past 5 years.

5. For the ability to see. To be able to open my eyes and witness all the beauty that God has created around me.

6. Clean water. The simple act of clean water that freely flows through a faucet in four rooms of my house.

7. Unlimited food. The ability to run down the street and stock up on whatever my family desires for eating.

8. Teachers who devote their lives to educating all who seek it.

9. Medical care, no matter how expensive it costs my family to have, the pure comforting fact that it is there when ever needed.

10. Free speech. The ability to speak my opinion without fear of repercussions.

11. Electricity, to warm my house, run my appliances, cool my house, make my life so much easier.

12. Freedom of Religion. Where I have the right to believe however I choose.

13. Shoes. I am thankful that my family and I have not just one pair of shoes, but several to protect our feet. There are so many people across the globe that don’t have the means to afford even one pair of shoes.

14. I am so very thankful for my two best friends Cindy and Jody. Without these two woman I would surely have gone crazy years ago.

15. I am thankful not just for the job that I have, but I am thankful that I have a job that I enjoy doing.

16. I am thankful for a church family that prays and supports me in my faithful journey to be a better human.

17. I am thankful for the days that are joy filled, as well as the days that seem as though nothing can go right. Both of these days help shape the person I am, the person I want to be.

18. I am thankful for the painful parts that my life has endured, because they have taught me how to be merciful, to love without reservations and how to forgive and let go.

19. For the renewing, cleansing smell and sound of rain.

20. For the flowers that bloom in radiant colors.

21. For neighbors that are also good friends.

22. I am so thankful for my Parents. They have helped raise my children, have bailed me out when I needed help, supported me even when they knew my decisions were not the best, counseled me in times of suffering and loved me on my good days and my bad days.

24. I am thankful that the Lord has blessed me in such a way, that I am able to help others in need, whether monetary through donations or spiritually through quiet conversations.

25.  I am thankful for a strong Military, and for all those who serve.

26. I am thankful for the opportunity to be college educated when there are many woman in the world who do not have this same opportunity.

27. I am thankful to live in a part of the world where I have the chance to experience the beauty of 4 seasons.

28. I am thankful that I and my family are for the most part healthy.

29. I am thankful that I live in a country that does not deal with the horrors of war and bombs exploding round about.

30. I am thankful that I can click on a computer, and reach out to others, in turn they can reach out for me. Creating a network of learning, supporting and laughing.

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Raising a Man

My son is 12. He is quiet and thoughtful. Overly mature for his age, adventurous, rugged, and yet within him is a special kind of kindred spirit. As a mother I want to raise him to be more than just a good man, I want him to be an exceptional man.

When my first husband passed away, I  faced the realization that I, was the sole responsible parent to raise my boy into a man. I do have help. I remarried, I have my dad, my brothers and my previous father-in-law. I appreciate these men and their role in assisting me in raising a man. Somehow, even with the backup help, I feel like I am alone in raising my son to be a quality man with good moral traits.

Raising a man is more than just teaching them, “yes ma’am, no ma’am, thank you, no thank you”. Boys need to be taught how to be respectful, independent, financially responsible and emotionally strong. I use everyday  life as teaching lessons for my son. Examples are everywhere to teach him what is good behavior or choices, and what is not.

One weekend a skate boarding tournament came through town. Since my son is an avid skateboarder, I bought tickets for him and I to go on a date. As we waited in line to get in, there were two “young men” standing behind us. The conversation between these two 20-something young men was appalling. They were bragging about being so drunk they weren’t sure how they got where they were, who they woke up next to and hoped they didn’t catch anything from the girl. My son kept casually looking at me (probably knowing a talk was brewing within me), and then just past me at the men. My inner mama just could handle no more. I decided to teach my son a lesson, and maybe the “young men” behind me.

Me: (in a not so quiet voice) Son, these “boys” are a perfect example of what you should not aspire to be. Drinking like an idiot, and then driving, is far from cool, in fact only immature people with low self-esteem would find it cool to drink that much and then drive. People die every day by idiots who drink and drive. Never lower yourself to the point of thinking it is okay to sleep with a woman you have never met just because you can or because she is drunk. Sex is not something you just do, it is a special moment between two people who love each other and are committed to each other, preferably married. STD’s are no laughing matter and you never want to be the accidental daddy to a baby that was not planned. Use your brains son, don’t act like an idiot.

The “young men” behind me promptly shut their mouths and my son just smiled and said “Mom, I’m smarter than that, and they just sound dumb talking like that”.

You may think that talking about sex or STD’s is a little over the top for a 12-year-old, I say NO WAY. Kids these day’s sadly are not being taught to wait, or at least be selective with someone special. Teens and pre-teens are inundated with sexuality everywhere. I feel it is so important to have age appropriate communication about sex, what it’s about, ramification etc so they have the knowledge to make the right choice when faced with peer and societies pressure.

I also teach my son about money matters; budgeting, coupon clipping and sale watching. He works for an allowance; I don’t pay him unless he has done his job. If he wants something and is short a little money, he often asks if I will cover the rest for him. I always tell him no; not because I am some scrooge of a mother or because we are poor. I want him to know that I am not a line of credit, and life should not be lived on credit. If you are short the funds for said item, you need to wait until you have enough. When we are out shopping I have him look at the price of what he wants. I set a budget of what he can spend. He can then decide if one pair of jeans for $65 is worth it or is there something he likes on the clearance rack where he can get 4 for $65.

I teach him kindness through empathy. Every Christmas I give him the option to give up a small amount of his allowed budget to give to a charity of some kind. I do not force him to give, that defeats the point of teaching empathy. I let him choose. Every year he chooses to give. Last year he got to pick what his money was used for. He thought about it and decided donating some for a box of shoes, a seed bank, and two chickens would be the most helpful to the children in a village in Haiti. His thoughts were, the kids who could wear the shoes now could pass them to another kid when they no longer fit. The seeds could keep feeding a village for years because they “re-seed”. The chickens, they would lay eggs and make new chickens, thus feeding a village for years.

I teach him to love and forgive. That it’s okay to be angry about something, but it’s never okay to demean or degrade another just because you feel they deserve vengeance.

I remind him that Jesus sees and hears all; his actions should always show the love and kindness that Jesus would give even when the choices are difficult.

I teach him it’s ok to be the kid that says no, that sticks up for the smaller kid, that chooses to pass on drugs or alcohol if offered. It’s ok to be the “good” kid.

I teach him to respect nature. We recycle. We don’t litter. We are conscience of wild life and animals. We respect life. I call him my bird whisperer; birds often get into our house through the dryer vent. He can calmly, quietly, whisper to the bird, catch it in his bare hands and set it free. This seems like a small act, nothing special, but every time I see him do it I am filled with an emotional pride at how gentle his soul is.

I teach him all these things, and more, not for accolades for the mother of the year award, because I am far from that (hence my f-bomb posting). I teach him these things in hopes that he will grow up to be a better Human than I have been. That he will make better choices than I made. That he will care more than the rest of the generation growing up with him. That maybe he will be the ONE person that will stand up and make a change for the right when everything around him seems wrong. I teach him so he will not just be a male boy who grew into an “adult” yet remained in boyish ways. I teach him so he will grow up an exceptional MAN.

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Twig and Berries With a Side of Gum

Have you ever wondered how to get gum off your skin? Honestly, I had never thought about that until I had a child. I’m sure my son and nephew will hate me later for sharing this….HOWEVER, it’s too funny to keep to myself!  The following is a true story in the life of a mom, names have not been changed to protect the innocent.

Many years ago, when my son was three, we had just moved into our first house. My brother, Aaron, was in college and working full-time so he moved into our basement. He too has a son my sons age, and every other weekend( or when nephew’s mom had to work), my nephew stayed with us. One Saturday I needed to run to the store. My husband and my brother had both been working extra so I was watching the boys. They had been off the wall, and into everything all day. There was no way I was going to try to take the two of them to the store with me. My brother came home in the late afternoon; I let him know I needed to make the store run and would be right back. He was obviously tired from working all day and laid down on the couch. I warned him the boys had been quite the handful, and he should be on high alert while I’m gone.

I ran to the store and was back within 45 minutes. As I walked into the house I heard the howling of small children coming down the hall. I hollered that I was home; my brother popped his head out of the bathroom. His face was priceless. It was a mix between anger and helplessness. I couldn’t help but laugh, which was not appreciated by my brother.

Me: What in the heck is going on?

Aaron: I turned my back for one second and these little f#$kers got into the gum!!!

Me: WHAT? How did they get into the gum? It’s on top of the refrigerator.

Aaron: Well, I was on the couch………

Me: Oh dude, I told you to be on high alert, you fell asleep didn’t you??!!

Aaron: No! Well maybe I just closed my eyes for a minute…but they were playing in the play room!

Me: SUUUUURE….so how did they get the gum?

Aaron: These little guys are like covert secret agents. They pulled a kitchen chair to the counter, but they were too short. So they went and got all the pillows out of their rooms and stacked them on the chair, climbed on the counter, and then put the pillows on the counter to reach the top of the refrigerator.

Me: WOW, I’m actually impressed with their reasoning skills here….so why are they crying? And why do you have a scrubby pad in your hand?

Aaron: (a look of pure panic goes across his face) They chewed the gum.

Me: Ok so did they get it in their hair or on the carpet?

Aaron: No, after chewing the gum they took their pants off and wrapped the gum around their twig and berries.

Me: (uncontrollable laughter)

Aaron: (exacerbated face) Sister, this is not funny. I’ve been scrubbing and it’s not helping! I tried peanut butter and that sort of helped,  but it’s still a pretty sticky situation!

Me: Brother, you are a dude! Would you scrub your own twig and berries with a scrubby pad?

Aaron: Sister, I would never have put gum on mine!

Me: Touche! Alright let’s get some rubbing alcohol and baby oil and get these boys clean.

LESSON IN LIFE 1280: Never nap with a couple three-year old’s running around the house, you might get a crash course in testicle gum removal!

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Funny Stuff my Toddler Says – 1

My daughter is hilarious, and after hearing all the negativity over elections the past few weeks, I decided I’m going to take the time to randomly blog some of the funny stuff she says to lift the negative spirits. ENJOY :)

Bubba’s my brother, I love him. AJ, (also her brother) is a pretty nice guy too, he likes to play and read books with me.

Me: Honey I think you lost your marbles, you’re acting crazy! – No mom, Bella took them home with her today.

I dream a lot mommy. It’s always about Ninja Turtles.

Mom, come look at this (points to a small scab from a bug bite) I think I have a boob growing on my leg!

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