Tag: Relationships

mom Christmas 2016

The first Christmas without your loved one

These next couple of weeks are going to be very hard for a number of people, those who have lost a loved one this past year.

I am one of them.

At least with my mom, I expected it. She was ill and in her nineties. But even with all that, this Christmas will be kind of “hollow” if you know what I mean.

There’s an echo where there used to be a voice.

There’s a spirit where there used to be a presence.

There’s one less person at the table.

There’s one less person to buy a gift for.

Loss is hard and especially at Christmas. I think of all those who lost family and friends due to violence, drunk drivers, natural disasters, etc.; that’s even harder. I hold them up in prayer.

Later this week I will be posting about my cookie baking over this past weekend. Last year at this same weekend, I was frosting Christmas cookies with my mom.

Can you believe this is a ninety-two-year-old woman? She was something else.

mom Christmas 2016

(I still have the tablecloth.)

When we were baking this past weekend, I found a plastic container to store some cookies. The lid is written all over with notes about what was once in the container. I hand-washed the lid, told hubby to do the same. I have very little in my mom’s handwriting so I’m hanging on to this. I kept her recipes as well for that reason.

Christmas container 2017

One less person to frost cookies with and to laugh about what a bad job she did. She laughed the hardest.

“Hey, mom, I know you hated decorating cookies, but you did it every year because I asked you, too. Thank you.”

The snow is blowing hard today as we are under a winter storm warning. I would be calling her today and we’d be talking about this terrible weather and how glad we both were that we didn’t have to go out.

One less person to talk to about the weather.

But I have more as well. I have people I love and who love me. I have the assurance that I will see my mom again someday. I know she is in God’s arms and is totally at peace. I wouldn’t take that away from her. Not for a minute.

I have the more of God’s grace that we can’t imagine until we need it. I have the more of God’s presence. I feel God’s love more.

 When there is the less, God always provides the more. In ways we couldn’t imagine. He has for me.

It’s just a hard day. Hope I didn’t bring you down. This wasn’t going to be the post for today but all of a sudden, there it was. Hopefully, someone is helped by these words.

God bless and have a wonderful day with the people you love.

 

 

Christmas idea, stones, 2017

Another “almost free” quick Christmas gift idea

Hubby and I traveled north this past weekend to a little town where we used to live.

We wandered up and down the streets and in and out of the little stores. It’s so much more fun than malls.

I miss how Christmas used to be:

……….dashing in and out of the stores,

……….with the snowflakes falling heavily,

……….and the wind blowing.

I miss having to make frequent stops to have coffee.

I miss brushing off the snow as I walked into the stores and saying to the clerks, “Boy, it’s really coming down out there.” And, of course, they would respond, “It sure is.”

It sparked immediate connection and conversation.  A rarity today, don’t you think?

There is just something about trudging in the snow and carrying snow-covered packages and freezing to death because, God forbid, you dressed “cute”, translated, not warm.

It wasn’t as frantic either.

It wasn’t about checking off the list.

It was about looking and really shopping for that gift that caught your eye. It was about the snow and the cold and the greeting people across the street as they trudged along as well.

There was so much more gaiety.

Anyway, back to the shopping. We went to this one store I’d not been in before and I found this basket of painted stones on which various saying were painted.  I love stones.

I keep a stone in my bathroom that sees “Remember”. It’s based on the story in the first few chapters in Joshua. Sometimes I forget all the ways God has blessed me, so I like the visual reminder.

My Pinterest board has lots of ideas if you want to check it out.

But these rocks almost looked like a child had painted them, which made them all the sweeter in my eyes.

So if you are looking for a last-minute idea and you have some rocks lying around, try this out. I would suggest you use a fine-tipped paint marker for writing the words.  A black oil-based marker will work as well.

painted rocks Christmas 2017

There is something about holding a stone that immediately connects us with the earth.

God bless and have a good day.

superman

Don’t make the exception the rule, men and harassment

(I am reposting this.  I’ve also retitled it. It bears repeating. Especially seeing as this is a story that continues to grow. )

A part of me feels sorry for men in today’s world.

superman

Not the abusers. Not the harassers. Not the jerks or the bullies.

What with all the nasty news these past few weeks as a number of men have been accused (most, rightly so) of exactly that, one would think these few men represent all men.

Not so. We need to be careful that we don’t make the exception, the rule.

I’ve talked to a number of women these past few weeks and all of them said the men they personally know are gentlemen. I can truthfully say that I do not know any man who acts or would act like these men that have made the news.

Most men are decent and well-mannered. 

gentlemen

I was talking to my husband tonight and he said he’s talked some men who are genuinely nervous. They don’t know what they’re supposed to say or how they’re supposed to act toward women anymore. They know what the parameters were, but now it seems the boundaries have changed but no one has told them. 

Is this fair to anyone?

I’m a strong supporter of women’s right to live, work, and be free of worry about such things. But I am also a strong supporter of men who shouldn’t have to worry that every innocent word or innocent act can be misconstrued and labeled as something offensive.

Physical assault and rape are wrong.

Harassment is wrong.

Gender discrimination is wrong.

Period.

No debate.

Men who commit these acts should be held accountable. They need to suffer the consequences of their actions. The law should protect anyone from any kind of abuse and harassment.

But I know the difference between a jerk and a gentleman, don’t you? Is it really that hard?

Besides, over the past couple of decades, the lines have become “blurred”. (Please read the next few lines carefully. 

Women now tell bawdy jokes openly in the workplace and at times their language has degenerated to a level previously ascribed to men. Perhaps it’s an attempt at equality. I don ‘t see it that way.

Even how women dress has in some cases become overtly sexual. Now, don’t go throwing something at your screen. NOTHING justifies harassment and assault. But perhaps a return to certain standards of decency in dress and speech may offer a degree of protection. Doesn’t some of this stop and start with women? Every woman I’ve talked to has said the same thing but no one dares say it out loud for fear of recrimination.

I don’t think that’s right. Why can’t we suggest that women have made some poor choices themselves? I mean, any woman over the age of twenty-one should know enough NOT to go to a man’s hotel room alone.

President Pence was ridiculed during his campaign for his comment about saying he would not have dinner alone with a woman other than his wife. Considering recent events though, and even without those, his stance protects both parties. Even pastors now make sure they are not alone with a woman in their office;  they leave the door open.

I was once put in an awkward position myself.

When I was a young woman living in Chicago, I went to lunch with a male co-worker. We were friends at work. I knew he was engaged. He knew I knew he was engaged so everything was very open. I thought of him as a brother. I thought it was just a quick lunch in a public place. However, he made it clear that day that he’d like to take our friendship to another level and his fiancée wouldn’t have to know!

I about choked on my sandwich. I’d never been “propositioned” before.

As I recall, I laughed. First, I told him I was Christian which I assumed made the situation clear. But to further emphasize my response I also told him that even if I weren’t, there was still no chance.

I walked out. I never suffered any recrimination.

In light of today’s standards, what would I call that? He was older. His place in the company was a few levels higher than mine. But I felt it was up to me to handle it, right then and right there. It never occurred to me to worry about how he would react. I wasn’t worried about losing my job. I wasn’t responsible for anyone buy myself which also made it easier for me not to worry about my job.

I worry that real cases of assault and abuse won’t be taken as seriously if every innocent action a man takes or every innocent compliment he makes is seen as offensive.

This is just my personal rant today and I hope no one is offended. I have great empathy for any woman who has suffered real abuse and/or harassment of any kind but I also have empathy for the majority of the men who are decent and treat women with respect. And that’s far more than are making the current headlines.

It’s often been said that it’s hard to be a “woman in a man’s world” but in the present climate,  I think it might be harder to be a “man in a woman’s world.”

God bless and have a good day.

 

 

 

mother/daughter

Alphabet of thanks, “D”

I am grateful today for my Daughter.

mother/daughter

She is one of the nicest, kindest, most giving person I know. I would love to say the “apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”, but I’m not sure that’s true.

Sometimes mother/daughter relationships are troubled. I loved my mother dearly and I know she loved me but our relationship was complicated at times. She never really knew me and that wasn’t her fault, that was mine. For reasons I won’t divulge, I was hesitant to share too much. I will probably always wonder if our relationship would have been different if I had.

Female relationships can be more complicated than male relationships, don’t you think? As a general rule, men are more “surface” in their relationships. They don’t worry too much whether they said the right thing, did the right thing, etc. They don’t worry about the future of a relationship. We women do all these things.

Back to my daughter.

We are very close. We talk every day. She doesn’t try to be something she isn’t. I am grateful for many things this Thanksgiving season and she is at the top of the list with some other people you will read about.

mother/daughter

I hope if you are reading this and your relationship with your own daughter is not as healthy as you’d like it to be, you won’t give up. Just because something is a certain way today, doesn’t mean it will always be that way. Remember, “It is what it is”, doesn’t mean it will always be that way. It’s not written in stone.

Give it some time.

Give it some thought.

Give it some prayer.

I found this article I thought might help.

God bless and have a good day,

cowardice

Courageousness versus cowardice. Know the difference.

Yesterday I wrote about how, especially when we are “down”, that we often respond to remarks too sensitively.

Proverbs twenty-five was the Proverb I read yesterday:

Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in right circumstances.

Like an earring of gold and an ornament of fine gold, is a wise reprover to a listening ear. (Italics mine.)

I mentioned social media and how it seems like someone is always offended by something.

Think about that for a minute.

We check-in on social media no matter what our mood. And, of course, many respond negatively because they are in a bad one. If we were having a face to face conversation, we would probably be much more sensitive and less apt to blurt out in a ridiculous manner. I heard a good term the other day and I buy into it one hundred percent, “Social media courage”, something like that. It means we are far more courageous when faced with a computer than faced with a person.

It’s true, isn’t it?

Or in front of a camera. The politicians I heard yesterday on the various news programs sounded like a bunch of third-graders.  I wonder how many of them would have been so brave without a camera in front of them. This kind of “fake courage” just nauseates me.

cowardice

Does it affect you the same way?

The Bible says there is a “right” circumstance to speak up and that “right” circumstance is when the listener is willing to listen. 

So let me ask a question?

How can we possibly know how receptive a person is to what we want to say unless we are in their physical presence, or at the very least, talking on the phone with them? (Yea, I know. Talking. An antiquated social skill.)

The short answer is, we can’t.

And one thing is for sure, no one really hears what is being said unless they are in a receptive mood. When we are more courageous spouting off on social media and/or in front of a camera, then we are not brave at all. We are no different from the neighborhood bully.

My conclusion is that those who do spout off when it’s safe are those people who hate confrontation. They have a lot they wish they could say in person but don’t have enough guts to do it.  I guess that’s why I’m seldom on social media.

The words in Proverbs are as true now as they were before social media was a “thing”. Don’t you think God foresaw all of this? He allowed words to be written that would prove beneficial for us thousands of years later.

Truth is truth no matter how old or new it is. 

Be willing to voice your concerns in person. Don’t be a coward.

God bless and have a good day.

%d bloggers like this: