Summer Storm!

Thunder &  lightening and rain!  Oh, my!

I tell ya, there’s nothing like a thunderstorm in Missouri!  California ain’t got nothin’ like this!

We are in the middle of a summer storm tonight and the thunder just keeps crackin’ and rollin’!

And the rain!  What you talkin’ ’bout!  The heavens have opened up and have just poured and poured and poured!

Condee and I just came in from watching and listening to it.  We sat out on a swing on the deck off our bedroom.  It was amazing and so loud!  Believe it or not, it has been thundering and lightening and raining for over two hours now!  Condee said he’s never seen anything like it.  Maybe we should call it The Duracell Storm cause it just keeps going and going!  Don’t get me wrong…I’ve seen it rain for days…but I’ve never seen it thunder and lightning for two hours!  And get this…it’s doing that every minute!  Did I make myself clear?  I meant lightening every minute!

Now, that brings me to another revelation…not all lightening produces thunder!  I don’t remember ever knowing that.

Oh, no!  The news says that all this excitement (for us) has produced flooding for others!  I feel guilty for enjoying it so much.  Lord, help them…and help those who are helping them!

Until this storm lets up, there won’t be much sleepin’ goin’ on.

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Spoiled or Grateful?

I read a great article recently. It was written last year but its message is timeless…

Made in the USA: Spoiled brats by Craig R. Smith

Posted: November 20, 2006
1:00 a.m. Eastern

The other day I was reading Newsweek magazine and came across some poll data I found rather hard to believe. It must be true given the source, right? …

The Newsweek poll alleges that 67 percent of Americans are unhappy with the direction the country is headed and 69 percent of the country is unhappy with the performance of the president. In essence 2/3s of the citizenry just ain’t happy and want a change.

So being the knuckle dragger I am, I starting thinking, ”What we are so unhappy about?”

Is it that we have electricity and running water 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? Is our unhappiness the result of having air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter? Could it be that 95.4 percent of these unhappy folks have a job? Maybe it is the ability to walk into a grocery store at any time and see more food in moments than Darfur has seen in the last year?

Maybe it is the ability to drive from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean without having to present identification papers as we move through each state? Or possibly the hundreds of clean and safe motels we would find along the way that can provide temporary shelter? I guess having thousands of restaurants with varying cuisine from around the world is just not good enough. Or could it be that when we wreck our car, emergency workers show up and provide services to help all involved. Whether you are rich or poor they treat your wounds and even, if necessary, send a helicopter to take you to the hospital.

Perhaps you are one of the 70 percent of Americans who own a home, you may be upset with knowing that in the unfortunate case of having a fire, a group of trained firefighters will appear in moments and use top notch equipment to extinguish the flames thus saving you, your family and your belongings. Or if, while at home watching one of your many flat screen TVs, a burglar or prowler intrudes; an officer equipped with a gun and a bullet-proof vest will come to defend you and your family against attack or loss. This all in the backdrop of a neighborhood free of bombs or militias raping and pillaging the residents. Neighborhoods where 90 percent of teenagers own cell phones and computers.

How about the complete religious, social and political freedoms we enjoy that are the envy of everyone in the world? Maybe that is what has 67 percent of you folks unhappy.

Fact is, we are the largest group of ungrateful, spoiled brats the world has ever seen. No wonder the world loves the U.S. yet has a great disdain for its citizens. They see us for what we are. The most blessed people in the world who do nothing but complain about what we don’t have and what we hate about the country instead of thanking the good Lord we live here.

I know, I know. What about the president who took us into war and has no plan to get us out? The president who has a measly 31 percent approval rating? Is this the same president who guided the nation in the dark days after 9/11? The president that cut taxes to bring an economy out of recession? Could this be the same guy who has been called every name in the book for succeeding in keeping all the spoiled brats safe from terrorist attacks? The commander in chief of an all-volunteer army that is out there defending you and me?

Make no mistake about it. The troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have volunteered to serve, and in many cases have died for your freedom. There is currently no draft in this country. They didn’t have to go. They are able to refuse to go and end up with either a ”general” discharge, an ”other than honorable” discharge or, worst case scenario, a ”dishonorable” discharge after a few days in the brig.

So why then the flat out discontentment in the minds of 69 percent of Americans? Say what you want but I blame it on the media. If it bleeds it leads and they specialize in bad news. Everybody will watch a car crash with blood and guts. How many will watch kids selling lemonade at the corner? The media knows this and media outlets are for-profit corporations. They offer what sells. Just ask why they are going to allow a murderer like O.J. Simpson to write a book and do a TV special about how he didn’t kill his wife but if he did � insane!

Stop buying the negative venom you are fed everyday by the media. Shut off the TV, burn Newsweek, and use the New York Times for the bottom of your bird cage. Then start being grateful for all we have as a country. There is exponentially more good than bad.

I close with one of my favorite quotes from B.C. Forbes in 1953:

”What have Americans to be thankful for? More than any other people on the earth, we enjoy complete religious freedom, political freedom, social freedom. Our liberties are sacredly safeguarded by the Constitution of the United States, ‘the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man.’ Yes, we Americans of today have been bequeathed a noble heritage. Let us pray that we may hand it down unsullied to our children and theirs.”

I suggest this Thanksgiving we sit back and count our blessings for all we have. If we don’t, what we have will be taken away. Then we will have to explain to future generations why we squandered such blessing and abundance. If we are not careful this generation will be known as the ”greediest and most ungrateful generation.” A far cry from the proud Americans of the ”greatest generation” who left us an untarnished legacy. (End of article)
Link: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=53028

This article has been plagiarized and distributed on the internet as an Urban Legend. In it, the comments are attributed to Jay Leno, in addition to another comment Leno made but which has evolved or devolved, rather, by other people adding their words to his words.

As best I can determine, Leno’s original comment in September, 2005 went something like this:

As you know Hurricane Rita is headed toward Florida, Texas and Louisiana. Another hurricane! It’s like the ninth hurricane this season. Maybe this isn’t a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance.

Right on, Leno!

I don’t know why some people feel the need to do these things but someone has taken Smith’s article, “amended” and added Leno’s comments and then mixed the two to create an Urban Legend that is cluttering up the world wide web and will undoubtedly do so for years to come. Here’s the link to learn more about that, if you like: http://urbanlegends.about.com/od/dubiousquotes/a/jay_leno.htm

Anyway, this week, our nation has been glued to our TV and radios watching the scenes from a “massacre” at Virginia Tech, where 32 students were killed. Their website has a special page dedicated to news on this tragedy… http://www.vt.edu/tragedy/ …for those of you interested in learning more. Whenever I am struck by such a sense of loss and begin to feel a sense of despair when I realize that there really isn’t much that can be done to prevent it from happening again, I try to take a step back and take a fresh look. Otherwise, I can be overwhelmed.

Let’s face it…as horrible as the shootings at VTech were, we need to realize that we as a nation are pretty blessed if this is the biggest campus shooting in our nation’s history. In other countries, people die from terrorists and bombers on a regular basis. There are other senseless atrocities all over the world. Please don’t get me wrong…I have cried along with the rest of the nation as I sympathize with those whose lives will never be the same. I grieve and pray for all those who witnessed the shootings and lost loved ones. I feel sad for the killer’s family and can only imagine the guilt they feel as they replay so many memories and wonder what they could have done differently. I can only imagine all the “should have, could have, would have” thoughts that are going through people’s minds. I am also aware that these events have caused many to lose their innocence and hope for the future. Some are considering giving up because they wonder what’s the point if your life can be taken from you after all you’ve done.

But don’t you see? That’s why I must step back so that I can keep from sinking down into that mire of despair. You know, there’s an old saying, “You find what you are looking for”. If you are “looking” for bad things in order to confirm your negative view of life, you will find plenty of things to continue to fuel your negative thoughts. Conversely, if you happen to be an optimistic person, perhaps one who believes that you have some control in determining your future, you can find good things around you to support those thoughts, as well.

So, who’s right? To answer this, I can’t help but think of another saying, “Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re probably right”. Our expectations do have some influence over our lives. Obviously, we can’t control everything around us. That was evidenced this week at VTech. But our expectations do play a role in our future and in the amount of satisfaction we feel in our day to day lives.

That’s why I believe an attitude of gratitude is such an important thing. Even though I am a Christian and I believe that God is the source of every good thing, I don’t believe you must be a Christian to have this attitude of gratitude. I think that happiness depends, in large part, on being grateful.

At this point, I’m reminded of this VTech killer. According to one expert, this young man was paranoid and delusional. In all of his complaints, he doesn’t give a single concrete example and makes no accusations against anyone in particular. Everything is vague. This is because there was no wrongdoing. It was all in his head. In spite of being a young man whose parents sacrificed and brought him to America, offering him a simple life, perhaps, but much better than he would have had in Korea. He was in college, which is something that isn’t an option for many people. He made comments about rich kids but VTech is not made up of rich kids. It has been said to be made up of “blue-collar” families. Several students told of trying to get to know him and the school didn’t kick him out when he did several things over the years that we would assume could have gotten him expelled. As a matter of fact, they even gave him a tutor to accommodate him when he got kicked out of a class for his behavior and refused to stop.

I’ve heard testimonies over the years from people whose families were poor as they were growing up. Several of them have said that they didn’t FEEL poor and sometimes didn’t even know they WERE poor. Instead, they were grateful for what they had and went on to become successful adults. What made the difference? In my opinion, expectations and gratitude made the difference.

I got an email recently. It fits in perfectly here:

One day a wealthy father took his family for a trip to the country with the firm purpose to show his son how poor people live. They spent a week on the farm of a very poor family, just barely managing to scratch out a living. When they got back from their trip the father asked his son, “How did you find your week on the farm?”

“Very good, Dad!”

“Do you understand now how poor people live?” the father asked.

“Yeah!”

“And what did you learn?”

The son answered, “I saw that we have a dog at home and they have four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of the garden but they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lamps in the garden but they have the stars. Our patio reaches to the front yard but they have the whole horizon.”

When the boy was finished, his father was speechless. His son added, “Thanks for showing me how poor we are, Dad!”

Now, that was obviously not the father’s goal but it is clear that his son came to value of the simple things of life. I sincerely doubt that the son actually felt poor but it is possible, in the worst possible scenario, that he could have become disenchanted with his rich life and all the extras that he was given as a result of his father’s wealth and provision. It is possible that he could have spent the rest of his life wishing he had the simple life of those on the farm, resenting where he was. While it is unlikely, can you see what a role expectations can play?

I think it is important to live in the moment, be grateful for what you have…even while you are striving to improve your circumstances and future. What is…simply is. How you feel about it doesn’t change it…but it can affect your happiness and your future. Accept your life for what it is…take credit or blame for your part in making it what it is…change what you can…accept what you can’t…learn from it so you can prevent or repeat what you can…and move on from there.

Forgiveness is critical, too. If you don’t forgive others, you are doomed to be held back, unable to move on with your life. You don’t have to go to them or even restore relationship with them to forgive them. Forgiveness is sort of like releasing your right to punish them. I suggest you release them to God who said, “Vengeance is Mine”. I imagine He is verrry good at it, too. You see, as long as you reserve the right to their judgment and punishment, you keep God from being able to hold them accountable. On top of that, unforgiveness does several other things. It is like a ball and chain that you drag around with you and drains you of your energy. It affects your perception of others and has the power to change the future. I have known people who wouldn’t allow people to be close to them because their unforgiveness of something in the past caused them to protect themselves yet this caused them to miss out on many good things. It determines the behavior of others and the outcome of many circumstances. So, you see, forgiveness is for YOU. And in a sense, it also helps to assure that those you have forgiven actually are held accountable for their actions. “How?” you ask? Because you can rarely actually cause them the type of retribution or punishment that is warranted…but God can. Remember that God can’t do that until you release them to Him. I must tell you, though, that if those people you forgave/released ever come to a place of genuine repentance, then God, Who can see and knows their hearts, will forgive them. But then, that’s what He has done for most of us and hopefully, that’s what we would do if we believed and could know that they were truly sorry and changed. It’s a good plan, isn’t it?

You know, I experienced quite a lot of abuse from my ex-husband but I had to let it go so it wouldn’t affect my next marriage. My husband does not deserve any of the distrust that my ex had earned. I didn’t want to hold my husband at arms length so I could protect myself from potential pain. I must say that if it wasn’t for God, I don’t think I could have learned this or done it but it has caused me to reap such wonderful rewards! I often say that I am the happiest married woman I know. I’m not living a life that a casual glance would bring others to envy but I do know others who say they would be happy to have what I have…

To be honest, I have less money than most, have relationship issues with loved ones, am unemployed and have many hurts and things I would love to change about my past…but I am still grateful for most of those past things. I have a simple home but I don’t have to work like crazy and worry that I can’t pay for it so that brings me peace of mind. I do have relationship issues with a few people but I’m grateful that I haven’t spent my life lonely with few contacts or friends. I don’t expect all of life to be perfect or others to be in agreement with me so I expect some issues. I am unemployed but grateful that we have such a low overhead and that I have the skills and health that will allow me to work, even if my health keeps me from doing many jobs. You know, I realize that I don’t have as much as most but there are many who suffer every day and don’t have as much as I have. If I want to compare, I can always choose to compare myself to those with less.

Some of my past really hurt but I must admit that those experiences have helped to make me who I am. Instead of moaning over what could have been, I choose to think about what I learned from those things. I like to think that I am a stronger person and more sensitive and understanding of others, too. I believe those things have made me a wiser woman and sharing them has allowed me to help others with what I’ve learned from those disappointments and pains.

An important thing to realize is that even if you want to go back to change the past, you can’t. You can only get stuck in the present or move forward to your future. Albert Einstein is credited as saying, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Sounds to me like it would be kinda crazy to get stuck in the past…or present, as it may be. Instead, we need to learn from those things we go through so we can stop repeating the things that are not bringing results we like and continue doing the things that bring us good results.

Another thing…stop expecting others to fix your life. “Spoiled brats” expect every one and every thing to center around them. They expect others to cater to them. It’s your life. Seize the day…make wise decisions…and remember what the families in Virginia are so painfully aware of today…that none of us are guaranteed tomorrow. Death comes to us all…and it obviously can come before old age…so start today living so as to make every day count. You don’t have to make every moment count…just work to make a difference in any way you can, while you can. One person CAN make a difference. I mean, look at what Jesus did in just THREE years of ministry!

Let’s face it. We do have choices and we make them all the time, good or bad, every day. The Bible says that we will reap what we sow and that works both ways…good or bad. I want to reap good things so I’m doing what I can to sow good things. I hope one day to hear those words from God, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Don’t you?

VOIP…huh?

Ready for the next installment of Word of the Day?

The word today is VOIP.

It stands for a phrase, actually:  Voice over internet protocol

Still clueless?

Most people are.

Voip is a phone service that runs over your high-speed internet connection.  It’s the latest technology and come to think of it, I’d better get this written quick because the speed at which technology is changing, it might not be “the latest” for long!  ; )

Anyway, as you know, it all started with a phone…

as time went on, though, we were able to get DSL through our phone line…

now, instead of getting your internet through your phone line…

you can get your phone line through your internet!

Crazy, huh?

I’m working right now doing tech support for SunRocket, a VOIP company.  I’m not sure if I like doing tech support, yet.  Actually, I’m not sure I’m cut out for it.  I love helping others…as most of you know, it’s in my nature!  The question is really about how quickly I can do it…and if this is the best way for me to help others.

I’m exhausted all the time and I’ve lost my joy.   It could be temporary…and if I listen and learn from my own blogs, I’m not supposed to expect everything to be rosy all the time…so I’m hanging in there…even if it’s only by an ethernet cord!  Hahaha!  (oh…you don’t “get” that?  not surprised…ethernet cords connect computers and gizmos and routers…that sort of stuff…sorry…inside joke)  ; )

Ahhhh, technology!

On Life…

Life is wonderful, life is hard and life is long…so don’t get stuck in the moment…there are better days to come.

Of course, if you are in a wonderful season, don’t expect it to stay that way…no matter how hard you try to control things and do the right thing, bad times will come. It is a fact of life. Every life. I mean, you just have to look at Jesus to see that no matter how good you are, bad things happen to even good people.

Why does that matter? Because our expectations have a way of tripping us up. This is due in large part to their beliefs and expectations. As an example, I remember one young woman who had to have a boyfriend and if she didn’t have one, pretended that she did because she believed that other single guys would think there was something wrong with her, that if she didn’t have a boyfriend, perhaps there was a good reason for that. Consequently, whenever she would break up with someone, even if that someone was undesirable, she was sent into an emotional tailspin…basically brought on by her own beliefs.

Here’s another example…
A young man and woman break up…and he thinks it’s the end of the world, believing he’ll never find another love such as this…while she responds with sadness but is not downhearted. She moves on with her life, knowing there are better times ahead. In time, they both find someone else and even discover that they learned something from their old relationship that they brought into this new one, making it even better. And life goes on…but meanwhile, the young man suffered much more than necessary. That suffering was due in part to his belief that she was his one true love and the resulting expectation that the future was now hopeless.
I have found that many people freak out when the bad times come, even becoming depressed, when in reality, there’s no reason to believe that things will not get better! Just as we read a book and throughout the chapters, we find people experiencing various difficulties, we know the book’s not over yet. We keep reading, hoping that things will work themselves out before the book is over. In fact, we’re counting on it! If we didn’t believe it, most of us would just put the book down and never finish it. When the bad stuff happens, we know we’re just in the middle of the book…not at the end. Yet, when bad things happen in some people’s life, they act like it is the end of the book. Even later, when things resolve themselves, they often don’t learn from their lesson. When the next bad day happens, they fall back into the old mindset of fear and depression.

It is wrong to expect everything to always go right…so why do we do that?

Ominous

Hello, everyone!

I thought it would be fun to share a Word of the Day once in awhile. Did you catch that? I said, “once in awhile”…as in, “not everyday”. Hahaha!

With the storm on its way today, along with the ice and potential for power outtages, I’ve chosen as today’s word, “ominous”, which is pronounced “AH-min-us” or “AHM-in-us” or “om-i-nus”, which to me, all sound the same when you say them fast. ; ) The “ahm” sounds like you used to sound when you were a kid and caught someone doing something wrong. You’d say, “Ommm, I’m telling Mom!” Hahaha!

It is an adjective whose meaning is: threatening, or warning, a sign of danger to come as in “ominous clouds threatening a big storm“. Ominous used to be used for positive and negative things but now is only used for evil or negative things. It comes from the latin word, “omen”, which means a sign or warning of something in the future, either good or evil.

Here are other forms of the word and a few other helps:
Adverb : ominously
Noun: ominousness
Synonyms: foreboding or forebidding, warning, menacing
Antonym: promising

Best quote I found: The most ominous of fallacies – the belief that things can be kept static by inaction.
Freya Stark quotes (French adventurer and explorer 18931993)

Just a reminder:

Adjectives describe a noun such as, “ominous silence.”
Adverbs describe verbs such as, “he stood ominously over her.”
Nouns, of course, describe people, places and things such as, “His ominousness was as evident as his ugliness and size.”
Synonyms are similar words to be used in place of another.
Antonyms are opposite meaning words.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this Word of the Day and will try to find a way to use it some time today. That’s the best way to remember a word is to find ways to use it quickly and as often as possible after learning it. Go ahead…try it! ; )

In that spirit, I hope your day…or night… is NOT looming OMINOUSLY before you and that it turns out just as you’d hoped it would!

What I’ve learned this year…

Here at the close of 2006, I pause for reflection and consider what have I learned this year. Some things are more important than others…yet all are significant in some way and a few say something about the world around me, too…

With Saddam’s execution, I have learned that justice in Iraq can be swift.

In moving from CA to MO, I learned to take chances and trust God to work all the details out. I also learned that selling a home and finding a new one often takes longer than you think.

When one of my vehicle registrations expired while I was on the road and then others needed new tags before I got stuff from storage and went through it, not to mention getting approved for a home loan, I learned to take all of your important papers with you including birth certificates, auto paperwork and two years of tax info with you when you go. Do NOT pack them with your stuff in storage!

With so much time in transition, I learned there’s still such a thing as having a General Delivery mailing address.

Being snowed in for days, I learned to stock up for more time than you think you’ll need and to refill water jugs in case the power goes out and the toilet doesn’t flush.

Watching stories of the family on TV that was stranded in their car in Oregon, I learned that I wanted to keep blankets, water and other emergency supplies in the car.

With a new kitten that never goes outside, I learned that all the fleas don’t die with one or even two month’s applications of Advantage flea treatment.

In the process of living for months without all my stuff, I’ve learned that I really don’t need it all.

In watching the news and so many crime shows on TV, I’ve learned that things are not all they seem at first glance.

Having just celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary, my husband and I have learned that love does become like a fine wine. It gets better with age!

Since so much of what we learn is just a reminder, a refresher course, we were also reminded of how important it is to marry the right person in the first place! 😉 Some things…er…people, you just can’t fix!

Well, that’s enough for now. I’d love to hear from some of you since I’m sure the list is absolutely endless!

It’s hard to care…

It’s hard to care…ya know what I mean?

I mean, if you care, you can be disappointed. If you care, you can get in arguments. If you care, you can lose. If you care, your heart can be broken.

I’m predominantly speaking of the elections yesterday and fighting to keep other scenarios away.

Don’t worry…I won’t go into the specific issues since I’m betting YOU care, too…but therein lies my dilemma!

You see, YOU might be against what I am for and for what I am against. That would mean that what makes me happy makes you sad and vice versa. You may even be disappointed in ME for feeling the way I do…and if you told ME, I might feel the same. Who knows? It may even cause us to “come to blows”! (Hahaha! Not really!) ; )

It’s a fact of life…you win, you lose. Ya can’t get around it. So, what’re you to do? Do you just choose not to care??? Is it possible to shut your brain off and build a wall around your heart? Is that an option anyone would even WANT to consider??? Shye…NOO! Hello! No way!

Besides, what’s the point of living if you don’t LIVE? You’ve just GOT to know what you love and hate…even just like and dislike. In many ways, life is about trying to find ways to have as much of the things and people you like around you and as little of those things and people that you don’t. That’s why we form opinions and vote...because we don’t live in a vacuum even if we wish we could. ; )

Choices. Decisions. Those are either good words or bad words depending on who you are. For me…they’re usually good words. I don’t struggle making decisions as much as some others that I know. The hard part is that we don’t always know whether our choices will bring what we hope they will. And another person may choose to take a different route (aka choice or decision) to answer the same issue than we would. Alright…NOW those words are beginning to sound like bad words! Hahaha!

But who in his or her right mind would want their right to make choices and decisions go away??? None of us. The hard part is that we don’t get to make all of our own decisions. Parents, bosses, spouses and politicians are among the most common people who also make decisions “for” us. ; ..

And in the case of the election…all the other voters have a say in making decisions for us. And as much as we hate that, it sure beats having a dictator (whom none of us chose) making the choices that please him/her without regard to our happiness or wishes.

I am reminded that it is GOD who gave us this ability and permission to choose…and whether or not you choose HIM or even believe IN Him, I choose to believe in Him and be grateful this ability to choose. And I must say, the alternative of no-choice is not desirable nor acceptable. So, I guess I should be saying, “Thank You, God!”

As far as my original comments on caring, I was thinking about caring enough to make a choice about things in life, in particular, the political issues. I was also thinking about the fallout of sharing your thoughts with others and their respective responses. When I spoke to my husband about it, he reminded me of Shakespeare’s quote: “To thine own self be true”. I took that to mean that you should be true to yourself and not worry what others think. I agreed but as I continue to think about it, I find myself only agreeing in part.

You see, often we need to influence others so that we can collectively work towards accomplishing goals that bring good and reduce negative things in our world which affects our lives so we must work together, we must talk about it…and yes, we must vote. Sometimes, we’ll be voting for people that will make decisions for us and we want them to represent us and our beliefs well. That’s why we can’t just keep our mouths shut. All things are not in our control…and we cannot even have an influence on things that happen in our world if we keep our mouths shut.

And life goes on…and some of what happens we don’t like and so we complain about them…until someday someone comes along and changes them…or a lot of people go out to vote and their votes change them. But how did that even come to a vote except someone opened their mouth and showed they cared enough to try to make a difference? Only then could others learn of it and if they agreed, were able to join and help make their world a better place…according to THEM.

So, yes…it’s hard to care…it even hurts to care…but care we must…or we will die horribly alone, having lived a life not of our own choosing, not caring nor enjoying anything much…maybe even bitter…oops…if you don’t care, I guess you can’t be bitter, can you? No, this life, if it were possible, would be a life of endless monotony and lacking in either pleasure or disappointment. I’m pretty sure that’s not even possible although it reminds me of another quote I heard somewhere: “If you don’t have any expectations, you won’t be disappointed.” There’s a lot of ways to interpret that saying but today, I’ve added a new one than I’ve ever thought about before.

So, where do we go from here? To care or not to care? That is the question…but then again, maybe it isn’t. Maybe we can’t help but care. Maybe it is in HOW we express our caring and what we do to bring about a measure of success in those things we care about. Maybe we need to learn HOW to care, HOW MUCH or LITTLE to care and WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT? Ahhh, those seem like the better questions. Along with them, we may need to learn how to handle the disappointments, when to “turn off” our caring, what the boundaries are in our caring for others. We could probably learn better ways of communicating our “cares”, too. There are inappropriate ways and times to share, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Well, I must say that I feel better than I did when I began this blog. I was “smarting” from the losses at the polls on issues I care about. I was disappointed once again with some of the people elected to office…those who will be making decisions “on my behalf” that will affect me and my life. In my disappointment, I felt the urge to run…to not participate in the process again…but how can I benefit from that?

Maybe I need to remind myself that “this, too, shall pass”…this pain that I hate so much. Maybe instead I should use this pain for gain, reminding myself that next time, maybe I should consider getting involved in the political process, helping others to hear my position. Yes, there will be those who disagree…and the worst part is that some may disagree very disagreeably…but some will agree very agreeably, too…and maybe even change their vote once they understand and agree…and only then we can become a team to help change our world and our choices.

Okay, it’s official…I choose to continue to care…even if it hurts! And I choose to remember that each of us has that same right…even if what others care about and want is different than what I care about and want…and I will respect them in their choices and if I disagree, I will try to do it agreeably, remembering that I do not have to respect what they’ve chosen, only their right to choose.

It occurs to me that this is what God does. He does not approve of many of our choices but He allows us to make them. As sad as it makes Him, He doesn’t remove our right to make the choice. One thing is certain, though; we will always reap what we’ve sown. I think that’s why we try so hard to intervene in others’ affairs, knowing that they will reap and what’s worse, we may even reap alongside them. It’s a painful way to learn and understandable that we would want to avoid it since we care so much…but there are times when the choice is not ours…and that’s just a part of life.

Whatever we do, we can’t just shut down and run and hide with our tails between our legs, licking our wounds for long. We’ve GOT to care again or we aren’t really living. (Boy, does that hit home!) So, once again, here it is: I choose this day to care…I choose life! How ’bout you?

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