Daily Prompt: Viable

Daily Prompt: Viable

To be viable means to be capable of surviving or living successfully in a particular environment.  If we consider a plant, the concept is easy to decipher as to whether they need a desert, a forest, or the sea. But, as for people it is a bit more difficult to discern where they are viable or not in varied settings.  I must say that I am most viable in a peaceful environment wherein I feel safe. Being one with PTSD the world can startle me in many ways. It is then that I pull back into my cocoon and attempt to block it all out. For example, one day I had traveled to a little town to look at a dog I was considering to adopt. A large truck turned the corner near me and as it did it hit a light pole and broke it in half. The pole must have impacted the tire as an explosion ensued. I was not far from where this took place and it brought about a reaction from my gut. I sat there in my car trembling unable to focus on what I needed to do. As cars behind me began to blow their horns I had to regain my composure and move on.  Other examples are not as extreme. People who are aggressive and accusatory scare me as well.  The emotion that comes with such behavior impacts me more than most people. If I see someone engage in an argument or accuse someone of something that they may or may not have done I pull back into my shell and retreat. I do not tolerate that environment well.  I do not flourish in any unloving scene. I retreat and want to leave it as soon as possible. Most recently I find myself pulling out of society for the most part. I am happier alone where I know what to expect. I don’t even like to answer the phone depending on who is calling.  If I feel that they might be negative or want to gossip I don’t answer. I seem to want to manipulate my environment in the hopes of being able to grow, survive, be me.  PTSD has changed me in how I live. I now dread certain places I need to go and people who are mean just simply infuriate me. I can barely tolerate them.  In order for me to be viable in this society I need to force myself out of my shell I have built and get out there. I will not be successful if I don’t.  I need to take baby steps and go where I feel safe. Church is one of those places. Being with certain family members is another. Crafting is peaceful and I flourish in my own little zone doing that. I am one when planted in certain areas I shrivel up and would surely die without the proper feeding of love and being given the waters of life.  Viability I have found is not just about plants.  It is about humans as well. I think that many who withdraw cannot tolerate the negativity that is rampant in our society. The media is made up mostly of negative gossip and hatred. Even our t.v. shows upset me and I have to turn them off. I do not flourish in society much anymore. I need a viable setting in which I can live.  I live in my little world and try to keep out the boogie men. I just want to survive in this world.  But it is getting harder every day.

 

Advertisements

Ice – Growth Frozen in Time

via Photo Challenge: Growth

As a child I was blessed to live near a pond where we would ice skate. As I passed time there with friends we always seemed to search for life frozen in the ice. We found fish, plants, and more. The ice seemed to perfectly hold in time the item it had captured.  Along the edges of the lake the ice crystals formed on leaves, sticks, and whatever nature provided for us to view. Back then, I did not have a camera to capture the beauty of what we saw.  So, a few years ago I took a day and walked along a local reservoir and again witnessed the ice sculptures formed along the edges. 6641icer2goThe beauty was something that I had not witnessed for such a long time and I was taken back in time while listening to the sounds of the lake moaning and groaning as I walked along the edge.  Back to when if we heard that sound we would hurriedly get off of the ice. It was possibly moaning as it was about to crack.  As I walked along taking photos of all I could a young man came along and showed me how to skip a rock on the ice. It made the most marvelous sound as it jumped along. We stood there skipping rocks and listening to the symphonic orchestration of ice meeting stone. IMG_6775A small dog came up and I knelt to pet it. His warmth was welcome on my cold hands that had been exposed to the elements. I moved along after a while and found an area where the ice was reaching up toward heaven like they were yearning to see God. I was in awe and took far too many pictures.  I have to say that I never did find any fish frozen in the ice that day. In many ways I was glad for that. Yet, I did find God in the frozen IMG_6713crystalline structures created by wind and water. In those moments I grew spiritually and am still in awe of the things I witnessed that day. Growth frozen in time became a vehicle for me to grow. I am now ever closer to the one who created all and am glad of it.

Darkness or Light? Which Do We Choose?

In our world today it seems to be quite common that the television as well as any media format is filled with the things that fill our minds with visions of the darker side of life.

Murder is mentioned at all hours of the day. It is on the news, on mainstream television shows, and is a part of our daily lives. We give glory to those who do it and then sit and discuss why/how for weeks, if not years on end. Thus giving the perp. the glory and making the lives of the victims and their families live it over and over and over again.

Arson, hate, lies, blaming games, racial issues, ethnic slurs, political party slamming, the list goes on and on.  These things that come to kill and destroy humanity are so common place that many can no longer see them as the evil that they are. Things that tear us apart are not good. They stem from a power of darkness.

Where is the light? It is there. Yet, we do not focus on it. Let’s look at our news broadcasts as an example

Can you imagine a news cast filled with things such as the release of a man’s celebration of meeting the people he saved from the Holocaust over 50 years ago? (Which I just saw on Facebook the other day.)

How about introducing the new man of God working at the local parish to those in the city and telling them about who he is as a man? (We just got a new one as did where my mother in law attends) Or even an interview with those who feed the needy at that church who have done so for years?

I would love to see shows that teach of the goodness of man. I would love to see what is going on in my community that I can cherish. How awesome it would be to see people attempt to outdo one another with good deeds to be recognized on the news! The bad stuff would be mentioned through the eyes of the goodness of the person whose life was snubbed out and the sadness that they will no longer be able to serve the community as they had.

My  dream newscast ideas –

We offer up our condolences today as we have lost an integral member of our community. Miss Gone was a major influence on the local community as an employee of the local library. Her research techniques were a blessing to many as she assisted them throughout the last 20 years. Her murder fills us with sorrow as the police are yet trying to find the suspect in this case.

No name given as to give recognition to the killer, no family members or neighbors interviewed that knew them. Imagine that! No blaming the parents, no talking about why he did it for days on end and giving the lime light to the person who does not deserve it. None of that. What about this next idea?

    The Red Cross has been called in to help with a family who lost their home today due to suspected arson. The family of five lost all of their belongings and are looking to rebuild their home in the near future. If you would like to help this family please contact the local bank who have started an account or call 000-555-5555 to hear a recording listing the items they need and where to take them.

Now there is an idea! Not only telling what happened but also mentioning that the family is in need of help and how to do so! Wouldn’t it be awesome to know that when organizations like the Red Cross are stepping in and how to help the victims in a tragedy!

Flipping the way we state the news might just help! Let’s look at another fictional broadcast-

  In national news today the streets of Pumpkin town were filled with protestors angry about the election results. Protestors there broke windows and spray painted the windows on several buildings. Aside from these things this protest was peaceful.  The local business people have asked that the costs of repairs be billed to this group in reparation of their assault on their properties. They also ask for  coverage of the loss of business due to these crimes. Police in the area did state that they were able to keep the opposing side from entering the area thus keeping the situation from worsening. The stores on Victims Road will be closed to the public while clean up is in progress. There will be follow up pieces to keep you abreast of the clean ups progression.

Now, this is a bit out there I know. There is no mention of the group’s name or cause. There is no mention of any names of the people involved. The group who protested and did the damage are being held liable for said damage. Not the insurance companies or the tax payers. There had to have been cameras on those buildings to be able to prove exactly who did what. If you want to protest – fine. But, do not hurt others while doing so. The police were praised for all that they did to keep the issue from getting worse.

I could go on and on. Yet, by now you get my point. We, the people of the US, allow things to happen that prosper the dark side of life. We are glued to our media sources awaiting the next tidbit of gossip, sex, or slander and devour it daily. We are not only obese from food in our kitchens but ill from the slop we feed ourselves daily on our media venues. Words are to be used to edify, to glorify, but we do nothing of the sort. We smash, torture and ridicule and go back for more. We hunt down those who we disagree with and send them a message and get our names plastered on the news. Why is that? Because it is what we have done for decades and it sells.

So, how do we get the light into our lives? First, recognize when you are a part of the problem and begin to make changes in your life to stop being a part of the system that is on the darker side of things. Next, begin to call out those who ridicule and slander. As an example, I had shared the posting about the man who saved children from the Holocaust and someone decided to make a political statement. I did not delete it but I did clarify that I had shared that post to praise the man not initiate political discussion. Finally, buy into what you want our world to be. If you buy a product or support it by consuming it in any way you are saying that you like what they are putting out. If you like it – they will keep on doing it. If you don’t like it- don’t be a consumer of it – if enough people do that the producer will change as to make money. To bring light to the darkness you have to stop promoting the darkness. I hope I am making that clear.

In summation – where do we go from here? Many think we are on a slippery slope and I tend to agree. Right now we are headed into an area nobody can predict. But, there is a light in the window directing us to change. History years ago told of such a light. The British were coming and light was to be lit – one if by land – two if by sea. We are to learn from history – that light  was used to tell of the future and what to do because of their certain situation. How many lights do we need in this day and age? Surely more than one or two. We must all choose to let go of the darkness we have come to know and move forward. Stop watching the commentaries and the guessing games of today’s media broadcasts. That is not uplifting nor is it factual news. It is commentary – it is an editorial – a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It makes us think that we have the right to look at the things of today and editorialize it ourselves. Then some choose to act upon it in ways that are ILLEGAL. Free speech is a right – yes – but not killing people with your car because your opinions vary. THAT IS MURDER – not free speech. Marching and destroying property is VANDALISM – that is illegal – not free speech. Stop it! You are accountable for what you do. I digress. Place the light back into the US and help us to stop sliding down that slippery slope. I BELIEVE IN THE USA. We can do this but the petty dark side of things has to stop. Choose the light. I beg of you for my grandchildren and their children – choose the light.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Immerse Yourself

via Daily Prompt: Immerse

Immersion has more than one definition. One definition is to involve oneself deeply in a particular activity or interest.  Another is to dip or submerge in a liquid. Odd how in faith we may have done both.

Baptism is an example of immersion in some faiths.  I have been lucky enough to have been submerged by a man of God at the River Jordan as others witnessed my cleansing. That was something that took but a few minutes yet meant so much to my walk of faith. But, I dare say, that was the easy part of immersion in my walk with faith. The other definition, the one that involves going deeply into an interest is much harder.

Immersion, that daily walk with my faith is something I do okay at some days and not so well on other days. The ability to walk with Christ daily seems to be a challenge as there are other things that seem to get in the way. Our modern world offers up so many things that entertain us and keep us busy. Television and radio are two of them. Having heard sermon after sermon on how we spend more time with both of these things than with God I began to realize that I had what some may call false Gods in my life. So, I began to change how I viewed media. I began to seek ways to shift from the cultural influences on both to the spiritual ones. I now watch and listen to Christian channels more than I ever had. I have even discovered a Jewish channel and have found programs out of Israel that show places I had visited while there as well as new locations. I am now able to immerse myself in things of faith daily. It is not a perfect answer but it is a start.

Immersing myself into a prayerful life is another area wherein I have found small ways to make a difference in my daily walk. I now pray while in the car, while I sew, or when I walk out to get the mail. I have found that my mind is becoming better at flipping into prayer in my mind than it had before. Immersing myself in prayer helps me to obtain the goal of praying unceasingly. I may never master this, but I am making an effort and am seeing progress. I know God sees it as well.

Immersion has more than one definition and if you attempt to follow it faithfully it has more than one challenge in your life. Look for the little things that you can change in order to walk with him more closely. Immerse yourself in his word and listen when he speaks to you. He will help you. HUGZ. God bless.

immerse

The Road Taken

Photo prompt: The Road Taken

Prior to the days of the technological tools that we now depend upon, cell phones and GPS systems,  I had decided to sing at a Christian event far from home.  I went even though it was in the middle of farm country away from the main roads and highways. Finding my way there in the daylight was even more challenging than I thought it might be as there were closed roads along the way that I had to reroute for. Even then I wondered how I would get out of there that night in the dark. Upon arriving at the venue I checked in and gave them my cassettes to back me up when I praised the Lord with my voice. I had gotten there late and thus was placed in the lineup toward the end of the evening. I admit that I was quite nervous about getting back home at  a decent hour. I wanted to be there when the kids got up in the morning and not upset my spouse by his not knowing where I was.  Praising God from the crowd I lost myself in the glory of his presence and soon got up to sing on the stage. It felt good to lead the gathered in song. For a time my concern of driving home and to not worry my family was lost in the moment. Praising God with song among those with same intent was inspiring. But, as in all times of worship the sermons ended and the songs drew to a close. It was time to go home. As I walked to the car I noticed the stillness of the night. There was not much moonlight to light my way and the lack of street lights did not help. I had my Google map information with me but it seemed to be of not much help as seeing the road signs was nearly impossible and the reroutes had been plentiful.  I began wondering why I had not just gone home in the light of day and not even gone to perform. But, I knew why. I wanted to praise with God’s people. Driving on into the night I became disoriented and the roads were confusing. I grew tired and had no place to stop for directions. I pulled over to the side of the road and took out my paper map of the state. I had no idea where to look on it. I began to cry as it grew late and by now I was tired and needed sleep. With no other recourse I bowed my head and began to pray. I asked God to help me get home safely. Just then a dark colored car pulled by me. It was the first car I had seen in a while so I pulled out and began to follow it. I couldn’t see anything but the fact that there were two people in that car. I watched as we approached the next intersection. It appeared that the one in the passenger seat seemed to be motioning for me to turn to the right. I blinked and looked again. Again I saw the arm motions to go right. I questioned what I was seeing but trusted that this was the answer to my prayer. I turned right and drove on for quite some time before coming to a main road leading to a highway. It was here that I knew what to do with the aid of my Ohio map. I turned onto the highway and began to weep. In that moment of being lost God had reached out to ME. He had seen that I was one of his lost sheep and he found me and helped me to get back home. I will never forget that night. Not because I got to sing so much but more so for the lesson that I learned. Faith is so much more than prayer and praising. It is knowing that God is always with us. He knows our every move, our every thought. I look back on that day and know that God is always with me. I just need to have that faith, the size of a mustard seed. to realize it. Trust that he is with you. Choose the path toward him. He is there waiting for you with open arms. You are loved. HUGZ