A New Commitment in 2018

As 2017 came to a close I was drawn to pray for a teacher who was up against the board of education at her school. Her having prayed for her students was the reason behind the meeting and the possibility of losing her job was amiss. As I read of the circumstances she was within I began to feel her pain. I too, had been a teacher who prayed for the children in my classroom. I knew it was not legal to do so but did it anyway knowing all of the while I was risking my career.  I was blessed in that the district I worked in did not complain when I had a small picture of Jesus near my desk nor did they call me out when I walked the hallways blessing each room prior to the commencement of each school year. I kept my praying low key. I never initiated it aloud.  I would pray in silence and often leave the lunch room to avoid the gossip and be where I could find solace. I find that now I am home more and unable to work I am drawn to prayer more and more each day. As I watch things on television and see the news etc. I hear so much negativity in all areas.  One part of what we all witness is the violence in our schools.  I never dreamt when I became a teacher that we would have secured entranceways and hear of shootings in the buildings. But even more so than that I never dreamt I would have to experience the negativity of life in the buildings.  I did, teachers are human and it happens, Yet, in addition I was so blessed to work with teachers who were people of faith. In fact for a while we even had a morning prayer group once a week in a classroom prior to the commencement of our day. We prayed for one another. We lifted up those in need. But, more than that we were the light of God in our building. We brought his light and his love into that building and loved all children no matter their walk of life. For they, are born in his image and all perfect in his eyes.

As we enter a new year I had made a commitment to God to begin a new prayer group on Facebook to pray for our schools.  God Bless our Schools will be a venue through which we can lift up our concerns and pray for those in our schools. Why the schools? Because they encase the future of our nation. Those young people are the ones who will one day be the adults that lead our nation. I dedicate myself to posting scripture on the site and ask that you join us in our endeavor. Pray daily, or as often as you can. Light a candle or sing praises to God. The more light we cast into the world the better it will be. Today, I pledge as a part of 2018 I will pray daily for our schools. Feel free to join me. God is looking for those who will serve him.  It might just be you.

 

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Cherish :Daily Prompt

via Daily Prompt: Cherish

 

“Cherish is the word I use to describe… all those feelings that I have hiding deep down inside…. ” These lyrics rang in the mind of my younger self.  I loved the words to this song and yet I had just begun to understand the true meaning of them. To cherish back then was to love in a simple way; holding another’s hand or to view a brief kiss of a couple nearby.  Yet, now I see so much more depth and breadth to that simple word.  To cherish now means to hold one’s heart in your hands and in your heart. To be blessed enough to have that person in your life for the long haul no matter what is to be able to cherish them. It is to know that person inside and out and to love when they walk into the room even after forty years of marriage.  Cherish is only one part of the vows I took so long ago – I pledged to love, honor, and cherish the man I love. Those words spoken to be done in any condition even in sickness. In the last few years since the accident that left me unable to work I have watched my spouse take on all of the challenges including the monetary ones without even one word of complaint. In those years I have watched him work hard as he always has asking nothing in return. He has even told me that all will be okay and has encouraged me on so many occasions. I am so blessed to have a man in my life that is so loving and caring. I cherish my time with him. The time home has brought us closer together and allowed me to love him through simple acts such as baking or cooking meals for him. To cherish is to love in a way that nobody else will ever know of. Even if you read this you will never understand the meaning of our love.

As I read posts on Facebook from those who are caregivers I see so much distress in their words. I see their emotions that they wear on their sleeves. I feel for them. Yet. I also feel for their loved ones with the TBI. I wonder if their loved ones read their posts. I wonder how they feel being caught in a world that they did not ask for with someone they cherish complaining about them. To lose one’s self has to be hard enough. To lose one they cherish and live through their opinions and blasphemy has to make it far worse.  My old self is gone. But parts of that old me remain. I am thankful that my love for my spouse remains. I am thankful that he cherishes me enough to not cast his problems on me as I heal.

“Cherish is the word I use to describe… all those feelings that I have hiding deep down inside….” Do you cherish the person you are a caregiver for? if you do then think of how you show that to them in your every day actions.  I am blessed to have my spouse. Are they blessed to have you?

 

 

Daily Prompt: Penchant

via Daily Prompt: Penchant

         Okay, I am going to come out and just say it, I had to look up this word to know what it meant. LOL According to the online dictionary it means to have a strong or habitual liking for something or tendency to do something. Well I have a bunch of those.
1. Chocolate – I love chocolate. In fact some might say I am addicted to those little chocolate pieces we call M&Ms.  My kids knew I love those little morsels and avoided eating them. They knew that momma had times where her cravings were too big for her and if they were gone a silent parade of events would occur. First up would be the finding of the keys and some money. Second would be the drive (20 minutes) to town to buy more. Lastly, the overindulgence of chocolate — as by now the craving was more intense than ever. If the purse was empty then a search of the house for anything else chocolate would ensue. Fudgesicles, cookies, you name it, even chocolate chips were in danger of being consumed. Chocolate is an obsession for me. It is my number one go to in times of stress.  I have a penchant for eating chocolate as many do.
2. I have a penchant to fight for what is right. I do not know why this is a part of me, but it is. If I see something I disagree with I do not just do it as some do, I stand up and say something. I must say that this has caused me a lot of stress in my life. My book, Molding Sharon, is an example of this. I wrote it as one who has lived life with the loss of a child due to an abortion. An abortion that neither the father nor I wanted. I wrote the book as a way to process what had happened and it helped me to heal immensely.  Following it’s publication, I was asked to speak in DC at the march and other locations locally. That was all fine. But the ramifications from family were the things that hurt the worst. I have found that even when you stand up for what is right (in your mind) there will be people who oppose your line of thought. Some are nice about it and others not so much. That is their right. After years of fighting for the rights of my special needs kids, asking for clarification in the laws as to be sure someone is not being forced into an abortion, and now the effects of a TBI on oneself and family I have slowed down fighting for what is right. My PTSD flares up easily and the possible threats from those in opposition scare m
e away for the most part. Typing on this site seems safe thus far. I will fight in a new way for what is right. It is a part of me, that part of the old me did not die.
3. I love animals. When I see a puppy or a pet of any kind my world turns into a childhood sea of emotions. I want to run to touch, pet, kiss, and love on them every time. In the past I was the person who had the imaginary sign that only animals could see in my front yard. I imagined it saying in bold print – SUCKER LIVES HERE – GO TO THE DOOR and look lost.  Worked every time. Over the years we have taken in so many strays. Some I kept following a search for the owners. Others I nurtured and set free. The last stray I took in was a little raccoon. He had been bit by a car and was stunned. I fed him with an eye dropper. He was too cute, but oh so messy. I love animals and always will.  It is one of the best things about working the farmer’s markets. I get to see all kinds of dogs there. I even get to pet the Amish horses waiting to pull the buggies home.
4. I loved teaching. It is in the past now but I yet find myself doing things that will help my grandchildren to learn. I buy the  gifts that will foster their creativity or love of sports. I miss teaching for it was a big part of me for over 30 years.
5. I love learning. Why, even today I learned a new word! Life is so full of wonderful things to explore! Why not explore it to the fullest all the while doing as you love. What are your favorite things to do?
 When someone asks you who you are do you answer and say what you do for your profession? Many do.  I have changed that now. I would say that I am one who is a Christian woman, in love with chocolate, animals. children, and learning. I stand up and fight for causes I believe in and love the little guy. I am me. How would you describe yourself? I would love to know.

Will I Overcome? Not This Time

via Daily Prompt: Overcome

 

My fortieth class reunion is tonight. I am not going. I would but the people I held most dear during that time on my life are not coming or have passed away. I thought about going but then realized that with a traumatic brain injury the band after dinner alone would be too much. I picture the reunion in my head and see the tables of people talking and laughing about old times. They are discussing their careers and grandchildren. I have grandchildren. I could discuss them. But my career is over and I miss it dearly.  The multiple conversations going on about me would force me to attempt to focus in on the one nearest to me and somehow attempt to hear what they are saying. That used to be so easy to do. But, now it is frustrating and it makes me quite anxious.  I have overcome so many things in the past forty years. I have lost dear friends, family members, loved ones. I have survived major accidents and more. Yet, this time I cannot beat this thing that has messed up my brain. I keep on trying. I cannot overcome. I cannot be successful with beating this injury. It has literally taken over my life. I cannot even go and enjoy my class reunion. I know I am venting. I seem to need to do that from time to time. I vent because when I looked forward in my life I did not see this one coming.

I sat at my graduation while over 400 students walked up to get their diplomas and pictured my future. I saw a family who loved one another, a good looking dude at my side, a house with the white picket fence, a dog, and I was working as a teacher. That was all I wanted. I wasn’t asking for much. God blessed me with all but the dumb fence. I was living my dream. Then came the accident. It all seemed to come crashing down little by little after that. No more career, no more being able to drive to go family or friends, no more dog. Why no more dog? I get sick if I bend over too much. To care for a dog and have to hook them on a line to let them out would literally make me ill. So, I visit them at the farmer’s markets and swoon over them there. I miss so many things. I miss having a dog to jump on my lap. I miss being able to drive to soccer games and to be at the pool with my grandkids. Yea, I smile and make people think it is all good. I am pretty good at wearing that mask, jacket, whatever you want to call it. Then days like today come along and I come on here and type. I type to let others know how I truly feel. How hard it is to not be the old me. I miss her. I liked her more than I like the new me I have had to become. She would have been able to go to the reunion. But, here I sit and read the posts of the people in town and sulk. I have not overcome. Not today. Some days I do all right. But just like when someone you love dies you have those days that rear their ugly head and remind you of your loss. You cry and move on. It is life.

I thank you Lord for my family, and my home without the silly picket fence. I thank you for my dude at my side and for all of the things you have blessed us with. I will overcome this day by day one step at a time with you by my side. But as for today, keep me busy and let me feel you near. I overcome only with you at my side. HUGZ

Infatuated with Life

via Daily Prompt: Enamored

 

Enamored, a word not often used in day to day verbiage.  Defined it means to be filled with a feeling of love, to be in love with, smitten by, or merely having a liking for something is to be enamored with something.

As a young woman I would have stated that I was infatuated with the love of my life, my spouse, and although that remains true I would not be here to love the man of my dreams without life. Life, a word with only four letters and such a large meaning.  To have life, to breathe, to sustain a way of living is not a given. It is a day to day gifting.

Only yesterday a dear friend underwent an eight hour surgery. She is resting now and healing from the endeavor and she is alive. Alive to be with her family yet another day. Breathing and taking in air, enjoying a breakfast that only a hospital can make. 🙂 She has been given the opportunity as have all of us to reach out and touch people in a new way. As one who is fighting back at breast cancer she is a stronghold of the culture within we live. So many have fought the battle against cancer, so many have won the battle against death with accidents, illnesses, and on and on the list could go.  I have survived a few things myself but today I choose to focus on the fact that I live for a purpose, a reason.

What is that reason? I live to serve. I live to serve God and his church. I live to serve those who long to know more about what it is like to live with a TBI.  I live to love my friends and family.  I am infatuated with life.

This morning as I rose from slumber I came right to my PC to go onto Facebook. I knew that a post would have been made concerning the well being of my dear friend. A photo of she and her daughter greeted me as I slid down the page of entries. In that moment I knew she was okay. Joy entered my heart as I knew I would be able to talk to her again soon. We would be able to come together and make handmade cards for those we love and speak of our lives. We would form more memories and explore our lives. I am thankful for that opportunity.

In a few hours I will venture out to celebrate a birthday with someone who was in the rollover accident with me. We will celebrate another year of life. I will look at her and recall those moments wherein we were not sure we would make it. She will look at me and do the same. Then we will embrace and know that we are blessed to be here. To celebrate yet another year, to be there with those we love, and to serve.  To live, to celebrate life and to be enamored by all of its possibilities.

 

Dignified Responses Only Please

via Daily Prompt: Dignify

I am active on Facebook as many are. I state that as a preface to my blog today because I have found that my conservative posts are not always met in a dignified way. It seems as if others who are of a varied mindset seem to think that it is okay to correct me and to go on and on about how I see things wrongly.  I would like to clear the air and state that I see things differently than they do but in my eyes that does not mean they are wrong.

With many things in life there used to be a clear cut wrong and right. But in today’s realm we do not always have such a clear cut difference. We have become muddled with our beliefs and it seems that everything needs to be politically correct. To offend someone is bad. To tell your side of the story is wrong if it does not agree with another’s way of thinking.  I reflect back on my life and wonder when this line of thinking began. It has been within my lifetime. I know that.

I was raised to speak to my elders with respect and to call them by Mr. So and So and Mrs. So and So. First names were less formal.  Respect was expected.

I was taught to let the adults speak and to listen when spoken to. It was in this manner that I learned many things and how the adults seemed to have a wisdom I had not yet acquired as a child.

So, that takes me back to my original question – when did it become okay to challenge those with lifelong wisdom? When did it become common place to toss aside someone’s opinion if it does not align with yours? When did it become okay to punish or even kill those that we disagree with? Don’t like what they believe? Do something about it. Let me tell of a happening in my life wherein that exact thing happened.

It was in the mid eighties when I lost someone I loved very dearly to cancer. I mourned her death more than any other I have ever experienced in my life. I went with her spouse to shop for the tombstone and agonized with him over the perfect one to represent her. It was bought and placed onto the site. I took care of the grave and visited from time to time to take flowers as loved ones do. But, one day I went to find that someone had spray painted that stone with scribbled gestures. No words, just a mess of white paint sprayed upon the grey granite we had chosen. I became angry that someone would do such a thing. Who would desecrate her grave and why? She had hurt no one. Looking around the cemetery I noted that her grave was the only one that had been damaged. In that moment I recalled how a family had been upset with me at the school where I worked. I had made their child do the work she had been asked to do. Her mother had attempted to hit me, and if not for the principal being nearby she would have succeeded.  My mind wandered to thinking, wondering if they were so upset that they came here to hurt me in another way. Living in a small community it was quite possible.

I cleaned up the stone, painstakingly washing it down after getting all of the paint off with removers. I cried as I wondered it the remover would damage the finish. I never told a soul. But, inside I hurt as if she had died all over again. They had put me in my place. I would never forget that lesson.

By now that child is a parent herself. I have to wonder what she teaches her children. I wonder if they are a part of the minority out there desecrating the graves today and tearing down statues. Back then, I let what happened go. I did not tell anyone. I did not rise up and protect the grave of my dear one against another possible attack. But as for today I chose otherwise. I am going to speak up. Each of us has a voice that needs to be heard. Nobody has the right to tell us we are wrong or to eradicate our free speech.  I have opinions that are just as worthy as anyone else.  Please stop telling me that my opinions and the way I feel about things are wrong.

Lets get back to dignified responses only please. Ones that express how we feel without tearing the other person down. Responses that allow us to debate without hatred and malice toward those we do not agree with. Let us not have to feel like we are unworthy to speak. It is okay to disagree. But it is not okay to allow undignified mannerisms.

 

 

 

 

Rhyme and Rhythm is Gone

via Daily Prompt: Rhyme

 

There is a rhythm to life that seems to stand upon the threshold of time. It is one that takes us through the days, the weeks, the years until we meet the maker of our life. Rhyme and rhythm are a part of us. The synchronization of the hours, the days, tick away in a unison of ups, and downs with the syncopation, the sound, of our heart beat ever strong within us. There is a certain rhythm to life. One that goes on for years, or days at a time. Get up, go to work, eat dinner, watch t.v., go to bed – over and over until the rhythm changes and we shift into a new form of life. One without rhyme. One without that familiar rhythm and reason and we scream from within trying to figure out what is going on. The new loss of rhyme and reason makes us yearn for the past and all it entailed. Even if it was no longer what we held dear it was our normal. It was who we were. Grasping onto anything we can we move forward trying to get back into any kind of pattern.  Time passes. We see all others around us yet in their patterns as we once had. We are jealous that we cannot succeed at doing the same. We move on. Time passes and we yearn for some kind of norm. Something that we can predict and draw upon. It is coming. Wait. It will come.