Where are you Christmas?

 

A song that I like during Christmas is the song “Where are You Christmas?”.   There are Christmases that I connect with it more than others. The Christmas after my father passed away was one of those that I felt disconnected from the holiday season. I didn’t know that I would just have 2 more Christmases with my mother after my father passed, that she would pass away as well. Though those aren’t the only times that the song has applied.

Life is about change and that change sometimes is hard to adjust to. My first real coherent memories of Christmas was the Castle Family Christmas when everyone tried to make it in to my grandparents to enjoy Christmas together. I remember the love felt during that time. The gifts weren’t special but the love was very special. Then it disappeared when my grandparents passed away. So Christmas changed.

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Sandi’s mom appreciating a christmas basket we put together one year

Then I got married and we would juggle which parents would get Christmas and which one would get Christmas Eve. With the kids, it became a special thing to me again. Watching their little faces light up to all the magic of the season. My wife’s father would do a Christmas hunt for her and myself every year and the kids would get such a kick out of watching us try to figure out the clues. We’d have Christmas at home as well. You know the kind where everyone is in their pajamas, you have hot cocoa and you watch with anticipation as the kids open their gifts.

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My Dad wanted a record player for sometime so surprised him with one.

The Christmas after my father passed felt so empty to me, but I never really said that to anyone. My father had a special place in his heart for Christmas, and with him gone it just felt empty to me. So Christmas had changed again. After mom passed, I found myself thinking how we needed to work out whose house we would go to on what day only to remember that we weren’t going to one house anymore. That was a hard change for me.

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My Mom would get excited over any gift no matter how small.

Christmas changes again as my wife’s father has Alzheimer’s. With some things becoming more difficult some traditions are going to the wayside because of his disease.

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Sandi’s Dad loves Labradors. Doesn’t matter the size.  Love seeing a smile on his and my daughter’s face.

Though one of the interesting changes for me is as the kids have gotten older and our own traditions change. Christmas was always me finding events for us to go enjoy. From a candlelight Christmas in Vandalia to a candlelight walk in Augusta. I was always finding different things to do with lights, etc. I would spend quite a bit of time on event sites planning out the holiday season. Those things have kind of gone away, especially with busy schedules and etc. Something I miss quite a bit.

This year is an off year for me. I am finding it hard for me to get into the Christmas spirit. My tree was just put up today but no decorations yet. I can’t even explain what is wrong, just that this year is different for me. Though I know one thing about Christmas will always remain with me and that is the Love. Love is the biggest connection I have to Christmas from that of the Christmas story to the love of family and friends. Love is the one thing that doesn’t change.

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Duquoin has a great light display with an inside thing with trees, shows, etc. My kids and wife being patient with me taking the pic.

 

In fact it is Love that makes some Christmases harder than others.   So no matter how Christmas changes for me, as long as I can feel the love it is a good Christmas.

I hope you have a great holiday season and hope you feel love this season and always

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I, Swear

P1170989“So it’s not gonna be easy. It’s going to be really hard; we’re gonna have to work at this everyday, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever, everyday. You and me… everyday.”
― Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook

It is kind of funny to think that the year I was turning 21 is the year I got married. Even more odd to me is the concept that today I celebrate 21 years with my wife.  There is a song that called “Don’t Blink” and when you are young you don’t quite understand that concept, but I can tell you in some ways 21 years ago seems like ages ago but in other ways it feels like not that long ago.

When we started this journey we were just a couple kids with a child on the way.  There is no way I could have predicted the path our lives would take. I could have never predicted the trials and joys or how quickly that 21 years would go. I couldn’t foresee another 2 children, deciding to homeschool our kids, me staying home with them, the fights, the uphill battles, the passing of my parents, or her father getting diagnosed with Alzheimer.

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“Happiness is only real when shared” ― Jon Krakauer

There is no way I could have predicted anything ahead of us.  In fact 21 years ago the only thing I was doing was fighting to have the woman I wanted, then saying I do to someone I wanted in my life. To think about  that start amazes me. Also that back then I had no idea how we would make it.  It felt so overwhelming and I took a lot of walks just to figure things out. We started living with my parents for a few months and then our own place.

Expenses exceed income driving old cars (though I did love my 81 Riviera),  and just the support of our parents. We had state aid from health insurance to food stamps.  Sandi would have to go shopping with the food stamps because I couldn’t use them because of how it made me feel.  You learn to focus on the beautiful people that see beyond the situation to the people inside. There are plenty of jackasses out there but you try to focus on the beautiful people.

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“A great marriage is not when the ‘perfect couple’ comes together. It is when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences.” ― Dave Meurer

We’d go for drives with the kids and the car didn’t have air conditioning so we would use a spray bottle with cool water to spritz the kids sometimes to keep them cool.  It seemed everyone had an opinion and well I’m pretty stubborn person with my own ideas of how to approach things.  Which is probably why it worked out that my wife and I did a role reversal and she went to work and I stayed home. You see we both always believed that one of us should stay home and that meant even when finances dictated that both of us should work.

The priority was our children.  I’d fit various ways to bring in extra money in over the course of the years I stayed home including starting my own business. It was an interesting start to a marriage. A small wedding in the woods with only a few people and a honeymoon at a cabin in the woods that her parents rented for us. In fact my wedding band I had to borrow money from her dad to buy.  Which that man has always amazed me even though he didn’t agree with me, disagreed with us getting married, and he still helped us, though you always knew a speech was going to come with the help.

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“The only way love can last a lifetime is if it’s unconditional. The truth is this: love is not determined by the one being loved but rather by the one choosing to love.” ― Stephen Kendrick

So 21 years ago most people didn’t think we would make it, some didn’t even think we would make it a year. It was a tough way to start a marriage and even tougher way to start a family. It didn’t help that I was very headstrong and not willing to listen very often to others.  Which sometimes was to my advantage and other times not so much. Though I guess the biggest perk is both her and I were committed to making it work and we trusted were brought together to complete each other.

While our song back then was “I, swear” by all4one, the song that really touches both of us back then and even now is “Keeper of the stars” by tracy byrd.  I can’t think of anyone that would put up with me 24/7 for any amount of time, let alone 21 years. I’m moody , headstrong,  and brought scars with me that there she could not have been prepared for. Especially since she had the typical American family upbringing, while my childhood and youth was by no means typical.  I didn’t bring any drinking or drug use with me nothing like that. Okay I did bring smoking with me which she hated but the things she had to deal with was those scars that impacted how I dealt with life and influenced my anger. I’m so glad God helped me find a way to handle that anger because that was my most destructive trait from punching walls, throwing things,  to my mouth. I’m still not sure how she put up with that. Faith is the only thing I can think of.  Maybe it helped to understand the root of that anger but still it was the one big thing that could have taken down our marriage.

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“Sometimes the best and worst times of your life can coincide. It is a talent of the soul to discover the joy in pain—-thinking of moments you long for, and knowing you’ll never have them again. The beautiful ghosts of our past haunt us, and yet we still can’t decide if the pain they caused us out weighs the tender moments when they touched our soul. This is the irony of love.” ― Shannon L. Alder

Her father and I talked several years later and he said that was the concern he had with us as well was my anger.  He saw it before we even got married that he would anger me with his comments and I would walk out saying some explicative and slamming the door as I went for a walk. Though I would always return when calmed down to continue the talk.

When you stop seeing the world as always against you and allow yourself to see the beauty. When you deal with the scars and stop allowing them to control you. When you open yourself up to be healed and stop seeing yourself as a victim and just as something that happened and is part of you. When you realize that the life ahead of you is so much more important than the scars from the past.  When your focus changes it changes everything.

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“To keep your marriage brimming, with love in the wedding cup, whenever you’re wrong, admit it; whenever you’re right, shut up.” ― Ogden Nash

21 years later and with the faith of my wife and  God. I have learned to nurture the loving caring heart that my wife saw in me and I let the anger go years ago.  It has been an amazing ride and I can’t think of anyone better to take that ride with.  Though our years has been filled with mountains and valleys but it’s the love and joy that has made it a beautiful 21 years.

I’m listening to music while I write this and the song “I,swear” came on as I finished writing this. It has brought a smile and tears to my face.  What an amazing, beautiful ride this has been. I thank God for his guidance the entire time and giving us all the opportunities he has along the way and showing me how to truly use my heart.

Thank you for your time and I hope you have a wonderful day.

p.s. My editor has not reviewed this so any grammar issues blame Microsoft word for not catching it for me. 🙂

“Love’s about finding the one person who makes your heart complete. Who makes you a better person than you ever dreamed you could be. Its about looking in the eyes of your wife and knowing all the way to your bones that she’s simply the best person you’ve ever known.”
― Julia Quinn

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To Feel

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The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart” Helen Keller

Sometimes I wish I didn’t have the emotions I do and the caring that I do for others. I know people that claim not to care and their actions sometimes does seem to show that they don’t always care what impact they have on others. This has always perplexed me. I always think about my actions in regards to others and the impact it has. A part of me sometimes wishes I could be more the “not give a shit” mentality.

There’s a scene in The Hobbit: Battle for Five Armies, where a character dies and another inquires why the loss hurts so much. The pain of loss of love hurts so much they desire not to have love. That is what caring about others does it means opening yourself up to pain. It means you hurt when they hurt, you feel the pain of loss when they are gone, and a part of you is wrenched away as you watch them disappear.

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Is it really possible to tell someone else what one feels?” Leo Tolstoy

I worry and hurt for people which seems to be part of my makeup. I want to help lift others up to lend a hand. I want to wave a magic wand and make everything better. I’ve sat with people crying telling me things that I have no words to respond with. I want to say something to make it better but I have nothing. I might say a few words knowing that it didn’t really help but you can’t fix some things.

I can’t fix a disease that steals your identity away from and changes you. I also have no words that can truly help. I can gain all the knowledge I can about it. I can relate the research and knowledge but that doesn’t take away the pain nor does it fix anything. It merely imparts coping skills for a specific situation, but it doesn’t tell you how to heal or how to manage your internal thoughts.

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Don’t allow your mind to tell your heart what to do. The mind gives up easily”
Paulo Coelho

My cousin lost her father and this Easter she made a post about the absent chair that now exists. I could only tell her that the firsts are the hardest and it gets easier with time. Though honestly that is little relief and it depends on the individual. Plus how do I tell her that even with time, there will be moments of hurt that come out of no where. That memories will be ignited by a simple gesture or object. I have my father’s hands and there are moments I do a gesture or a movement and I find myself thinking of him. It will be 4 years this July since I lost him, and yet still I have my moments.

I think the hardest part to feeling and caring is not always being able to help. I read a book about Superman and in it Clark tells how his greatest hurdle was trying to accept that he couldn’t save everyone. He had been given these great powers yet he was unable to save everyone. I think that is the hard part to caring, is that very idea that you hurt with them or for them, yet sometimes you can do nothing but feel pain.

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One can be the master of what one does, but never of what one feels.”
Gustave Flaubert

On a bit of a funny side note. I took a moment to flip over to Facebook while writing this and the first headline in my feed that I read is “ACETAMINOPHEN MAY BLUNT BOTH POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE EMOTIONS”. I found it a bit ironic given what I am writing about. My first thought was a new marketing campaign by Tylenol saying something like “did you just lose someone close, take tylenol to help ease the pain”.

Though really that is an interesting thing with much of our society. We don’t want to feel pain. While I prefer not to feel pain whether emotional or physical, I accept it most times as a part of being an emotional creature in a physical body. Its an inevitable. Though as I read that I thought of my stay in the hospital where the nurse wrote “refuses to acknowledge pain” on my chart when I guess I gave her too low of a number for her liking on their pain scale.

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One ought to hold on to one’s heart; for if one lets it go, one soon loses control of the head too.” Friedrich Nietzsche

This is something else we do. We put standards on pain. We believe people should feel a certain way or act a certain way to a set circumstance. I’ve heard people remark at a funeral that someone must have not loved the person that passed as they haven’t seen them cry. So I must have seemed a bit callus at each of my parents’ wakes and funerals. I had so much to deal with and handle that my breakdowns normally came in silence after everything.

After my mother passed away, which was after my father, I was at their house taking care of things and I just broke. I found myself sitting in a dark house on the couch just crying and completely lost. Pain had caught up to me and for that time period all I could do was feel loss.

We each handle things differently and caring about people comes at a price but its a price well worth having. Yes, it comes with pain but it also comes with joy and beauty. I figure the most devastating moment in my life will be if I ever lose the love of my life. I say if I ever, because well stastically speaking she’ll lose me first. Though it will hurt so much because of all the joy we have had and the love we have experienced, losing something like that hurts.

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Never apologize for showing your feelings. When you do, you are apologizing for the truth.”
José N. Harris

Though to avoid opening yourself up and giving of yourself because of the pain doesn’t make sense to me. I would rather have the pain and be open than to close off and have a different kind of pain. See if you close yourself off, you aren’t really avoiding pain, you are just trading one kind of pain for another.

While I have my moments that I wish I didn’t care, those moments are rare and most times I love my emotions and caring that includes everything that goes along with that. I want all the joy and beauty. I want to share and feel. I want to sit listening to a stranger share their pain and feeling for them. I want to sit out under the stars feeling awe and wondering how many other people out there are experiencing the same thing and wanting the whole world to feel the way I do at that moment. I would rather feel something, than nothing at all.

Thank you for your time. I hope you have a wonderful day.

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What would happen if you stopped fighting, and gave yourself permission to feel? Not just the good things, but everything?” R.J. Anderson

Diversity in Christmas Lights

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We need to give each other the space to grow, to be ourselves, to exercise our diversity. We need to give each other space so that we may both give and receive such beautiful things as ideas, openness, dignity, joy, healing, and inclusion.”

Max de Pree

I enjoy Christmas lights. When the kids were younger we would go out and drive through neighborhoods looking at all the different lights people displayed. Monday night I got a special treat and was able to go with my wife to Missouri Botanical Gardens Glow night for photographers. They allowed tripods and monopods in the garden for that evening. It was wonderful. Though I would love to upgrade my camera and let my wife have my old one so when an opportunity comes up again we both can take pictures. She isn’t quite the photo buff I am but I felt like all she was doing was carrying my stuff that night and keeping me company.

Though last night I went out with the camera to find people’s homes that were displayed with wonderful lights. I had fun driving around and seeing the diversity. Though this got me thinking about diversity and lights. I was thinking how when you drive around looking at all the lights people put on their homes you realize how well that represents human diversity. You have colored lights, white lights, blue lights, simple displays, elaborate displays, and gloriously gaudy displays. I would drive by homes with just candles in the windows then others would accent framing of the house, and yet others would go all out so the people on the space station could see.

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Diversity in the world is a basic characteristic of human society, and also the key condition for a lively and dynamic world as we see today.”

Jinato Hu

Humans are much the same you have diversity in color, culture, and language. Then you get into style, you have clothing choices, extroverts, introverts, and just well so much diversity. Sometimes you find someone like the simple candles in the windows house and other times you find the ones that boldly present themselves to the world. Also much like the lights on the homes, much of what we see is just an outside representation. We can’t see in the homes to see the inner workings and setup. We just see what is presented to us. Sometimes you get to glimpse inside the home but even that is just a small percentage of the whole house.

Could I tell you something about a person by merely looking at their Christmas light display? I’m sure some psychologist out there would say yes and then go through a list of things that the display represents about the person. Though really its just lights. It is what the person wants you to see. It says something about them indeed but it in no way gives you the depth of the home they are displayed on.

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My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?

– Bob Hope

I saw a home with a very simple display last night it was a couple lit trees and 2 pink deer. Now without knowing the individual that displayed those I could make wrong assumptions about that home. I could assume girls live there, maybe gays, or maybe it has a child that really really wanted the pink deer even though daddy really didn’t want pink deer in his yard, but he decided the smile on his child’s face was more important than what other people thought about it. The only way to know is instead of judging based on appearance is to actually talk to the people of the home. Maybe they just wanted something that would be a talking piece. 🙂

Also I noticed that the size of the home nor the neighborhood influenced the style of lights you saw. I saw in what some would call a higher rent district a Christmas monkey in the yard. Yet I saw a simple display of wreaths and lights in the older part of town. I saw homes with wonderful style and thought to their decorations and others that seemed to be put together with whatever they found on clearance last year. All still very beautiful and the people that put up the display equally as beautiful. They just wanted to share something with the rest of us and I was glad to be one of the people to enjoy that sharing.

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Tradition: sit with husband in a room lit only by tree lights and remember that our blessings outnumber the lights. Happy Christmas to all. “ ~Betsy Cañas

Though just as there was diversity in the displays, I also saw there was also a common ideal of lighting the home for others to enjoy. The idea of sharing something with others in their own way. A common element of while being different we are all human no matter the light display and that is beautiful.

I even saw a 18 wheeler with a Christmas wreath tied to the front grill and lit up. You know what I learned about that driver from that simple display. He likes this time of year and wanted to share that. Maybe there is some reason to the wreath, maybe his child put it on there for him, I’ll never know. I do know that I appreciated seeing it and it made me smile.

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The outdoor Christmas lights, green and red and gold and blue and twinkling, remind me that most people are that way all year round — kind, generous, friendly and with an occasional moment of ecstasy. But Christmas is the only time they dare reveal themselves.” – Harlan Miller

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season. May Peace, Love, and Joy be in your hearts this season and in all seasons.

Thank you for your time. I do apologize this is my wife’s busy time of year so grammar errors will most definitely occur because she has enough to handle without her grammar impaired husband bothering her. 🙂

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I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.” ~Charles Dickens

Love is the greatest of these…

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The one who loves all intensely, begins perceiving in all living beings, a part of himself. He becomes a lover of all, a part and parcel of the Universal Joy. He flows with the stream of happiness, and is enriched by each soul.” Yajur Veda

Today I turn forty one. This is not a spectacular feat to most. The average life span is approximately 80 years and a fair amount of the American populous makes it at least into their sixties. So forty one does not seem that great a feat. For someone like me, that never expected to make it out of his 20s, it is a pretty wonderful notion. No, I did not battle any great physical disease that could have taken my life. In fact, the only real threat to my life up until now has been myself.

See that is why I am impressed I made it to forty one. That means I have kept the demons at bay much longer then I ever expected. Though I did not accomplish this feat alone. It was with the help of many along the way, that did not even realize they were helping me. It was love that kept me going. The love of others and my love for them. I found the best way through it is to focus not on myself, but on others. I want to help others and help make them better. I truly enjoy doing things for others. To know that my existence, which I once thought was a mistake, has meaning because of love.

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Presents don’t really mean much to me. I don’t want to sound mawkish, but – it was the realization that I have a great many people in my life who really love me, and who I really love.” Gabriel Byrne

I always get moody around my birthday. It is for various reasons and depends on the birthday. There are times it is because of nostalgia, my blessings, and sometimes it is because I ponder if I was a mistake, an anomaly that should never have happened. Though it is love that binds all those things for me. When I am nostalgic, it is because I am thinking about the love of those I have lost and the times with them. When it is about my blessings, it is directly about the love I have received. When it is about my existence, it is love that reminds me I was no mistake for if I was then the very concept of love would elude me.

The love of a parent. Many of my memories before seventh grade are fragmented. They are pieces scattered throughout my brain. I get highlights here and there. Sometimes the bad memories appear and when I was younger, the bad memories were more present and could break me. Though I always remember the love of my father in particular. Yes he was flawed, as we all are in some fashion. I never questioned his love for me.

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Treat your parents with loving care, you will only know their value when you see their empty chair.”

– unknown

The fact that he would take me on drives, be involved in whatever I was doing even if he did not understand it, sit listening to me when I needed it. When I got older he would just sit out in the garage while I worked on a car to keep me company. After he passed, my desire to work on vehicles seemed to pass as well. So even with his issues with drinking when I was younger and his anger issues, I knew in my soul he loved me.

My mother loved me in her own way and I did not appreciate that until I got older. Our relationship changed also, as I got older a mutual appreciation formed. I also will always remember that my mother was the only one that seemed to truly believe me when it came to light about what a friend of the family had done to me. That in itself told me she loved me and cared about me.

Friendship can be its own kind of love connection. We moved around a lot when I was younger. Every year for about a six year span it seemed I was in a different school. We were moving yet again after 8th grade but this time my dad gave me a choice of two towns and a promise that we would stay there for me to be at the same high school until I graduated. I chose and that is where I went to high school and met some of my life long friends. It is also where I met the man that is my brother in every way,other than genetically.

Help us to help each other, Lord, Each other’s cross to bear; Let each his friendly aid afford, And feel his brother’s care.” ― Ralph Harrison

His friendship got me through many dark moments in my life. Just sitting on our car hoods chatting in the church parking lot or at the park. If you read this Dan, I have two words for you….Duck Hunt. His friendship has been one of the greatest gifts ever given me. When I got in an accident senior year, he heard from someone that I was being taken to the hospital and he drove out to the hospital to be there. I also think Dan is the only friend of mine that my father saw as sort of an adopted son.

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Because everything of value that we will know in this life comes from our relationships with those around us. Because there is nothing material that measures against the intangibles of love and friendship.”

R.A. Salvatore

When my father passed away. I texted a couple friends that we were on the way to the hospital and that dad had a heart attack. Dan and Jason both showed up at the Hospital. They stayed there as we received the news and offered support in however they could. I also remember while being overwhelmed getting everything together for the funeral, that Dan took a night and got my mind off everything. We sat there at the park like we used to do and just chatted.

Then you have love of a spouse. I am by no means a perfect man. I can be moody and flippy. I once was told by a woman that I was moodier then a woman. I also came into our marriage with baggage from my childhood. We were young, she was 17 and I was 20, with a child on the way. She endured the adjustments it would take me to truly become a loving spouse. She knew my heart, and had the patience to endure me getting to where I am now. For me to learn how to trust, since the only person I had ever truly trusted was Dan. I knew nothing really about trust especially in a relationship. Which means she endured those trust issues and covered me in her love. I would give my very life for that woman. She is my entangled and completes my soul. She has been the truest blessing any man could ask for.

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What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.” -Mother Theresa

Now we get to the love of children. The gift of a child is magical. It is a gift of pure love wrapped up in a crying bundle. The unconditional love they have shown me, and I them has transformed me. They have taught me so much along the way. They have taught me what it means to love someone without any expectation. They have given me great purpose in this life. They strengthened my love of my wife and in humanity. I could no longer see humanity as a bad place. I had to learn to love others and make this world a better place. I had to do that because if I was going to send my little love bundles out into the world, I had to see the kindness and love that was out there. So I knew that no matter what they would find that kindness and love regardless of their trials.

Love from a stranger. A truly caring heart exudes love. When you come in contact with a soul that cares you feel it, you see it. You feel touched by it. The person that by the way they speak and act, you feel changed. You feel a twinge of love spark inside you. These are the truly beautiful souls in this world. The ones that share kindness that see past everything and look to the person inside. A caring soul has saved me on more then one occasion from the darkness and demons inside.

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Smile at strangers and you just might change a life.”

Steve Maraboli

Also the love found in what you see out in the world. Those that seek out to help others. Those that use their craft to share stories or love. I know the impact of a song that touches the very soul. That makes a connection. I see tragedy and yet I see those running to help. I see people rallying to lift others up. I see love in strangers every day. It gives me hope just seeing strangers helping without thought of repayment. They help because love speaks to them to help out another soul.

In fact this is the person I look to become. Someone that cares about every person I interact with. I wanted to see past any stereotype or prejudice and see the soul within that yearns to be loved. My friend Pete once said that when I ask someone how they are doing, that you can tell that I want to know. When he said this it let me know I was at least on the right path of becoming a kind person that showed my love to all. I will never be done journeying to be that person but it is because of love that I strive to be that person..

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Your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it”

Siddhartha Gautama

You have love of God. God was my friend growing up. I talked to him like a friend. I was an only child so the one I trusted and shared with was God. I have always had a very strong connection to God. He has guided me and protected me over the years. I have various stories that show that, but just know that Love of and from something greater then us is a beautiful thing.

Okay one story. I was in Evansville, Indiana and was out of money and needed gas to get home. I went to the ATM machine and tried to get money. There was no money in my account to be had, yet it dispensed enough cash to get home. This was the one and only time I have ever been able to get money that was not there. The next day I got bounce fees for the withdraw which did not matter because the only thing I needed that night was enough money to get home, and it was given. Though I still believe it was given because He knew I had learned a lesson that night as well. A lesson that changed my behavior.  It could have been a glitch with the ATM, but I prefer to see God’s hand in what happened.

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Legalism says God will love us if we change. The gospel says God will change us because He loves us.” ― Tullian Tchividjian

You have love from animals as well. Anyone that owns an animal knows the love this beautiful creatures can extol upon you. They watch over you when you are sick. Show you random love throughout the day. They have even shown that owning a pet can extend your life. The fact that you are sharing love. You care for the animal and they in turn care for you. I can remember Fluffy, our dog when I was young, would come and lay beside the couch when I was sick and stick his nose up on me to check on me. He even would whimper sometimes if I was really sick.

You also have the love of community. This is whatever group you are part of, whether that be a church, work, charity, tennis club, book club, etc. There is loved shared there as well. People come in with one expectation and can gain the benefit of caring depending on the group. You tell people in your group about something troubling you, and some if not all of them can show great love and concern. I had never had this experience until my mother passed while I was at work. I work at a church, so I suppose it would be two groups in one. 🙂

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We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community.”

Dorothy Day

When I got the call about my mother, I was at work. By the time I had reached the janitor closet to put up my stuff I was surrounded by my co-workers all with looks of concern upon their face. The only thing they knew was that I came down the hall crying like a big baby. Then they prayed and even offered to give me a ride to go take care of my mother. I had never had that kind of love bestowed upon me before. Though after, I also had other church members inquiring how I was doing and making sure I was okay. Again, not something I was accustomed to having happen. It was another time that my life changed was then and not because I lost my mother, though that did change me, but the love shown in that moment. It changed me some for the better.

You see the reason that many religions have love in their message, is because it truly is the greatest thing you can give or receive. It truly transforms lives. I know it does because I turned 41 today and that speaks volumes to the love shown me in my life from all sources. Love is the foundation for everything else. Love is hope, faith, kindness, and more. True love does not quote books, laws, or prejudices. It simply shines upon the recipient a light that says you mean something to me.

I hope you get to feel and share love today. I ask you to think about how love has transformed you. How has even small moments of love made a change in you?

Thank you for your time. I hope you have a truly wonderful day.

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13

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And to my Uncle Roger, you have been an amazing blessing and demonstrated to me love in many ways. Flying in and staying here when both parents passed. Taking time to show love, to text, to care. You have been a true blessing to me and my family. To my in-laws you to have been an amazing blessing to us and shown me much love over the years thank you.

“And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. “ Colossians 3:14

Charity sees the need, not the cause.

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You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”

John Bunyan

I have given to various charities for years. I have given in various ways from money to volunteering. Though until recently it was to help others. Now with my wife’s daddy being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and progressing in the disease, I am seeing charities from a different perspective. Now it is from the side of receiving the benefits charities offer.

My wife and I use the Alzheimer’s association site all the time. She and her mother attend support groups sponsored by this association and they use information on the site to find various other helpful information. Also contacting the association, the people have always been helpful and provide any information and help they can.

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Not until the creation and maintenance of decent conditions of life for all people are recognized and accepted as a common obligation of all people and all countries – not until then shall we, with a certain degree of justification, be able to speak of humankind as civilized.”

Albert Einstein

Charities are a saving grace for those afflicted with a disease, poverty, or various other life troubles. They help lift us up when we are down. Charities supply support in various ways from support groups, to information, to even financial assistance. The people that volunteer their time to help are beautiful souls that want to help others lift out of darkness as well. Charitable acts big and small provide a light to those in need.

Though it is not just charities that shine a light for those faced with trials. There are individuals that start grassroots projects, forums such as Memory people on facebook for dementia patients, churches, and other groups. When you worry about the world and the violence and turmoil you see reported on the news, take a moment and look to those lifting up their hands to help others. Ferguson made the news a short while back, and while there was violence, there were also peaceful marches, people helping cleanup the day after, and those helping others even in the midst of the turmoil. There was a story about people helping keep people that got caught in the midst of the riots safe in their homes or guiding them to safety.

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The simplest acts of kindness are by far more powerful than a thousand heads bowing in prayer.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

Charity is one of the first things you see in disaster. First from everyday people helping those afflicted by the disaster, even if they themselves have been affected. People helping dig out someone under rubble, giving water to the thirsty or helping them find someone. Then it continues when organizations show up and start helping people rebuild not just physically but spiritually. Charitable people are a beacon of hope in the cloud of desolation and despair. They save people and let them know they are not alone.

I find solace in the beauty of the human soul represented by these charities, individuals and groups that help lift others out of darkness and give them a little light. There are groups that provide food to the hungry, help support those faced with a disease, and yes even groups and individuals that go into dangerous areas to help those impacted by violence. I like supporting groups like Doctors Without Borders, Feeding America, St. Louis Food Bank, as well as those that are a little more selfish for me, such as Alzheimer Association and Parkinson groups.

Love is greater than anything else out there. Love from others supplies hope. Love lifts faith. Love creates the fire that is manifested as light to the world. These charities, groups, and individuals are empowered with love. They are powered by the givers of the world. Love breeds the kindness shown to humanity and propels us forward into a better world.

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There is not a man of us who does not at times need a helping hand to be stretched out to him, and then shame upon him who will not stretch out the helping hand to his brother.”

Theodore Roosevelt

Charity is not just an organization but a state of mind that is manifested in humans. That need and want to help others. That grows into something bigger when those hearts are combined. Charity starts with you and me. It starts with love and the need to share love, to lift others up so they can be better. I have always believed in helping others not because of what I could receive but what I already have been blessed with in this life. I want others to have the opportunity to find a form of happiness and feel blessed. Which is probably why much of my focus is on food banks because being able to have food and eat is one of the basic elements we all need and keeps us healthy. I know when growing up food was one of the biggest concerns we had.

My belief is that helping people meet their basic needs helps them be able to be better. It is hard to focus on being better and improving your situation when you are just trying to survive. When you are hungry, cold, and lacking basic essentials for living. Your existence becomes about survival. So helping with this basic needs helps people focus on other elements of living. Charities that train people for jobs, help them get jobs, or go to college, also provide another basic need to help others.

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Better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference.” ― Franklin D. Roosevelt

I also think that is why government programs that help lift others up are important. These programs also help charities do their job as well. It allows for a broader expansion of help. The biggest thing charities, government programs, groups, and individuals do is provide hope. Hope helps lift us out of despair and pushes us towards something better.

I hope you show kindness to someone today. I also hope you show kindness to yourself. I also ask you give even in some small way to charity or volunteer time. We are designed to help each other, it is a symbiotic relationship. When we help others we help ourselves. We improve our mood, our mindset, and we lift up humanity.

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Beauty is not who you are on the outside, it is the wisdom and time you gave away to save another struggling soul, like you.” ― Shannon L. Alder

How can you help someone today? When you are out today look for some way to help someone else even in just a small way. Also, check out the Charity Navigator website to find charities you may wish to help with, as well as which ones use it most efficiently to help others. http://www.charitynavigator.org/

Thank you for reading and may you have a truly wonderful day.

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4 Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous. 5 Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely, who conduct their affairs with justice.” Psalms 112: 4-5

” All that we are is the result of what we have thought”

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“Alzheimer’s is the cleverest thief, because she not only steals from you, but she steals the very thing you need to remember, what’s been stolen. 
”  ― Jarod Kintz

I am naturally inclined to research things. It is one of the reasons I love the internet. Though researching on the internet takes a bit of training so you can notice false data and that you at bare minimum double verify what you find. Though I always have several resources for whatever I am interested in up. I never have been a one site or resource person. When I do research I jump into and my wife will laugh because I will have several tabs open with various sites. If I happen to have books on the subject I can have them around me and I go full steam ahead.

 

You see information is very important to me. The more information I can get on a subject the happier I am. I like having a good grasp of the subject matter I tackle. There are times when I learn something from just one resource and I do not pursue further research. Though if it peaks my interest it gets shuffled away in my head and at some later point I may come back to it and expand upon it. There are times I only remember pieces of the information but enough that I can communicate to someone else knowledgeable in what I am speaking on or to do a few quick look ups to refresh the knowledge. Though with all the information that swirls around my head it is funny how sometimes simple information will elude me.

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“Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind than on outward circumstances.”
– Benjamin Franklin

 

People should realize the true memory capacity of the brain to quote Paul Reber, a professor of psychology at Northwestern University, “neurons combine so that each one helps with many memories at a time, exponentially increasing the brain’s memory storage capacity to something closer to around 2.5 petabytes (or a million gigabytes). For comparison, if your brain worked like a digital video recorder in a television, 2.5 petabytes would be enough to hold three million hours of TV shows. You would have to leave the TV running continuously for more than 300 years to use up all that storage. “

So think of it like your computer. It is what you do with it that matters. If you just use it to surf a little, watch a little youtube, check your e-mail, and the like. Then you are just using a fraction of what the brain is capable of. I have always thought we limit ourselves to much with our own thoughts. With the idea we aren’t smart enough or other various negative thoughts. Though sometimes the inability to utilize the capacity of the brain comes in a different fashion.

 

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“Affirmations are our mental vitamins, providing the supplementary positive thoughts we need to balance the barrage of negative events and thoughts we experience daily.” 
― Tia Walker

So why all this talk about the brain, research, and the capacity of the brain. Well ironically the brain has been on my mind. You see my father-in-law is now having that beautiful perfect computer of his corrupted by what equates out to a virus. After several tests it appears he has Alzheimer’s. His father had it as well. So my research focus of late has been about the brain itself. I think Alzheimer’s is the one disease that scares everyone. Unlike many other diseases this one effects the most fundamentally essential part of your body. The part that makes you who you are. My research also has started a philosophical thought process of pondering just exactly what makes us who we are and various other concepts.

 

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Those with dementia are still people and they still have stories and they still have character and they’re all individuals and they’re all unique. And they just need to be interacted with on a human level.

Carey Mulligan

I just got more books in on the subject. Most of the books I got are to assist my wife and her mother in understanding things. Though I have started reading them myself for the sake of knowledge and understanding as well. I do not believe in pure data when it comes to things like this. I want to understand the emotional side to it. Actually I have always been interested in the human element to knowledge. I have a book on Einstein that relates his thoughts as a person not as the physicist he is renowned as. I want to understand the human element just as much as I do the cold hard facts.

 

So I looked through the book with tips on how to deal with Alzheimer, another on learning to speak Alzheimer’s then I hit the one that made me cry. First I love that the chicken soup for the soul: living with Alzheimer’s has right on the front that all royalties goes to Alzheimer’s association. Though I sat down and started reading some of the stories and then I began to cry.

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We can alleviate physical pain, but mental pain – grief, despair, depression, dementia – is less accessible to treatment. It’s connected to who we are – our personality, our character, our soul, if you like.

Richard Eyre

This cry was not just because I felt for the people in the book but because the connection to the situation before my wife and her mother. Yes I am part of it as well but the toll falls most on my wife and her mother. I am just the support system here. Much as my wife was when I lost each of my parents. My job is to help lift them up to help provide whatever I can and that means no matter what I myself am facing. For them it is going to be so much more heart wrenching. I love my father-in-law and I care about him deeply but that love can’t compare to that of it being my wife’s daddy or to the feelings of the woman who has been married to him for over 40 years. So I am the support system.

 

I also found a book called “While I Still Can…by Rick Phelps that is written by someone with the disease and gives insights into the person themselves. It is highly reviewed and I want to be able to understand the inner plight of the individual not just the diagnosis or the caregiver perspective. I bought it for my kindle but have yet to open it. I am sure I will need a steady mind before I do so.

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“To care for those who once cared for us is one of the highest honors.” 
― Tia Walker

It is hard to watch as I see the apparent slipping of my father-in-law but even harder when I hear the stories from my mother-in-law and from my wife. My wife took him to a jazz event at the botanical gardens here. When she got home you could see how she is trying to come to terms with this. She talked about how he was very quiet. How it just wasn’t daddy. How there would be a few sentences spoken then he would go silent again. She decided not to discuss something with him because she felt his mood was not up for it. While she mainly relayed what occurred I could see in her eyes the hurt that during the outing her daddy just wasn’t really there.

 

Just a few nights before she laid there crying while I held her. The heart wrenching reality of all of this starting to set in on her. As I held her, I let her know it was okay to just let go of those emotions and cry as much as she wanted. I let her know that I understand that what she was feeling just had no words that could describe it. Sometimes words just can’t convey the feelings we have. Also sometimes like in my wife’s case that night its also because you are so overwhelmed in feeling that you, yourself aren’t sure what you are feeling, it just hurts and you feel overwhelmed, you feel loss, anger, and just everything as the awareness begins to settle in.

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My father started growing very quiet as Alzheimer’s started claiming more of him. The early stages of Alzheimer’s are the hardest because that person is aware that they’re losing awareness. And I think that that’s why my father started growing more and more quiet.

Patti Davis

 

So I plan to use the talents I do have to help my in-laws and my wife as best as I can while coping with everything now and what is to come. I really feel for my father-in-law. What it must be like as you slowly feel yourself slip away. What it is like to be told you forgot or to make mistakes just because you forgot. This is one of the reasons I got the book “while I still can”. I want to be able to understand his plight as well. I have a picture in my living room which has the words “True love is born from understanding” a quote from the Buddha. I think also it can be reversed that love can bring about a desire to understand. I want to understand some of what he must be facing. This also will help me to help him as well as my wife and her mother.

 

 

Thank you for your time. I hope you have a blessed day.

 

Please forgive any grammar errors within this entry. While I may have various talents grammar is not one of them. My lovely wife has not edited this.

 

The books I got about Alzheimer’s in case anyone else is interested (I just got them and only started perusing them but I wanted to share):

 

While I still Can… by Rick Phelps

http://smile.amazon.com/While-Still-Can-Rick-Phelps/dp/1469188473/

 

Learning to Speak Alzheimer’s by Joanne Koenig Coste

http://smile.amazon.com/Learning-Speak-Alzheimers-Groundbreaking-Approach/dp/0618485171/

 

Alzheimer’s Disease 300 tips

http://smile.amazon.com/Caregivers-Guide-Alzheimers-Disease-Making/dp/1932603166/

 

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living with Alzheimer’s

http://smile.amazon.com/Chicken-Soup-Soul-Alzheimers-Caregiving/dp/1611599342/

 

Just a word by Rose Lamatt

http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/1440475172/

 

The first book my wife started on and read half way through last night was “Alzheimer’s Disease 300 tips”.  She said she really liked it because it gives her answers to questions she has.   This coming from a woman that reads only fiction.  I made a joke about that and she said oh it isn’t her normal read nor enjoyable but it is a needed read that has answered many questions for her.

 

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“Many of us follow the commandment ‘Love One Another.’ When it relates to caregiving, we must love one another with boundaries. We must acknowledge that we are included in the ‘Love One Another.” 
― Peggi Speers

 

An emotional lead up to Mother’s day.

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“Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have roses.” 
― Alphonse Karr

Last Sunday I got in a mood and I was not sure why. There were a few things that came up that could have started the mood and I thought maybe it was a compilation of those events that caused it. Which they may have been, but this was not my normal moody behavior due to events such as those that presented themselves.

My wife had a migraine Monday, and given I am connected to my wife in such a way that when she gets things like migraines, it effects me as well. So I thought maybe the mood that started the day before was just a prelude to her migraine on Monday. I went for a drive and went to Baldwin Lake. It is a lovely little lake and it did help get me out of the mood for the most part. Though a little lingered still.

“I want my children to have all the things I couldn’t afford. Then I want to move in with them.” 

-Phyllis Diller

I then realized when it really started. It had started Saturday. We were with friends in St. Charles and doing Main Street there. We went into one shop with a rather friendly and talkative shop owner. There were signs everywhere about Mother’s day throughout the store. I was looking at a beautiful wolf statue. I love wolves. My wife pointed out a horse that had a wolf painted on it. Even now I am starting to get emotional trying to type this. See my mother loved horses. She had a big collection of horse statues and the previous Christmas I had bought her a horse with native american motif painted on it by the exact same brand that my wife showed me with the wolf.

In that same area was a whole bunch of horse statues. If my mother were still alive, then I would have bought her one of those statues. I always looked for unique horse statues that I thought she would love. Then, as I attempted to avoid that area, I moved to the front of the store. The store owner mentioned I should buy my mother something nice for Mother’s day. He then made a joke that I should get something for her that I would like so that way I would get it when she passed. He was meaning it as a joke but I must have had a look because he followed it with that he should shut up while he was ahead.

“Everybody wants to save the Earth; nobody wants to help Mom do the dishes.” —P.J. O’Rourke

That shop was where my mood actually had started. It just had started in my subconscious in that peripheral view, just out of sight but impacts you and sets in slowly. Then I got home to more things to deal with, and the snow ball started rolling. Then constant reminders of Mother’s day all around me, which I tried to focus on my wife and Mother’s day, and her mother, plus all the other wonderful mothers out there, but a part of me kept hurting. Even now I am crying a little as I write this and have to take pauses.

I think last year when my mother passed away, it was close enough to Mother’s day that I had not quite recovered from the shock of losing her, that it did not have quite the same impact. Last year I was so busy trying to deal with everything presented me because my father had already passed a year and a half before, and now I was trying to settle an estate and etc, that it just never really set in quite as this year has. Then paired with the various events over the past year and the various realities that I have had to face. This Mother’s day just slipped in and opened up that loss I thought I had controlled. All because I couldn’t buy my mother a unique horse for her collection like I would want to for Mother’s day.

“Youth fades; love droops; the leaves of friendship fall; A mother’s secret hope outlives them all.”

Oliver Wendell Holmes

You know, my dad always said it was interesting raising me with me being an emotional child. It is pretty hard being that emotional child sometimes. I mean all the overwhelming emotion caused a breakdown last year, which just a few months ago I got off the meds from. Though my doctor did make a point that it seemed I was double grieving with both parents passing so close together, and that my attention after dad passed was on my mother. I had not truly grieved my father because I was making sure mom was taken care of, so when I lost my mother it opened me up to both losses.

So this week has been hills and valleys for me on the emotional roller coaster that is me. Though I have managed pretty well. Once I got past those first few days, it has been okay. Though getting out to nature always helps balance me. Monday was a perfect day for me to get in some nature and just open myself up to being guided where I needed to be.

Tuesday when I did some cleaning at home I found a wall decal I had bought a couple months ago. I put it on the wall. It states “Enjoy this moment, for this moment is your life”. Every moment you are alive is precious and we should be happy for those moments. Live for now, not the past or future. My parents were both in their 60s when they passed. My father always had big ideas for retirement which he got to do some of them, but it would have been so much more beautiful if he had taken the time throughout life to do those things.

This is the song I had played at end of Mom’s funeral.

She loved Dean Martin and the song was so fitting for her.

“When your mother asks, ‘Do you want a piece of advice?’ it is a mere formality. It doesn’t matter if you answer yes or no. You’re going to get it anyway.” — Erma Bombeck

My mother always said that it did not matter how big I was or how old I was that I always be her little boy. When I chose to stay home with my kids, she supported me. When I chose to homeschool them, she supported me as well. She may have had her flaws, as we all do, but she was a beautiful woman. In her later years she would constantly tell me just how proud she was of me and the man I had become. It was hard to lose her last year given I had just started to watch her truly blossom into something rather beautiful. Though I know she missed dad dearly.

So now that you muddled through my rambling. I want to say to all the mothers, Happy Mother’s Day. I hope you truly have a blessed day on Mother’s day. Also, I hope you appreciate just how beautiful you are and how beautiful your children are no matter what difficulty they may toss before you. You have more impact on your children than you may ever know. Thank you for being special people that do all that you do and show the love you do to your precious bundles that no matter how old they become will always be your little one. 🙂

“My mother was a reader, and she read to us. She read us Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde when I was six and my brother was eight; I never forgot it.” —Stephen King

 

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers that read this. Thank you for all you bring to this world. Mother’s day might be the national day to celebrate that beautiful contribution you bring but every day is Mother’s day in a child’s heart and you are celebrated always not just on that one day. Even if it does not always feel that way. So again, I hope you have a blessed day and may it be truly as special as you.

Thank you to everyone for taking the time to read. I hope you all have a blessed day.

The top picture is because my mother absolutely loved roses. I even have some of her roses from her house planted here now.

 

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 “My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.” —  Mark Twain

 

 

The Wife Look….

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“If at first you don’t succeed. Try doing it the way your wife told you.”

If you are a married man then you are probably well aware of the “wife” look. They come in varying fashions and degrees, but all basically are telling you one simple thing…..you are being an idiot. Most wives are nice enough to be polite and say something like “Honey, did you think this out” or some other polite statement. Unless of course we hit one of the higher degrees of the “look”, in which case they normally feel free to tell us we are being idiots.

I bring this up because I experienced the “wife look” recently. I know some of you that know me probably figure I get the “wife look” on a quite regular basis and probably at least daily. I must admit I do get the lesser degrees of the “look” on a regular basis, but the recent look was a higher degree look. In fact, it happened on two higher degrees. The second, I was happy that she was experiencing a migraine, otherwise I may have been in pain myself, but moving to hurt me would take too much effort.

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“A good wife always forgives her husband when she’s wrong.” – Milton Berle

For the wives that read this blog, what will follow will probably not surprise you and in fact you will probably agree with the degrees of looks I got and the inclination she had to cause me harm. To get this out of the way…I am a man…. Yes, yes, I know this is a surprising revelation, but I state this because as George Carlin said “Women are crazy and men are stupid and the reason women are crazy is because men are stupid”.

So after my parents passed both whom were in their 60s, my wife made me promise her that she would get at least 50 years of marriage out of me. I still have approximately 30 years left in the contract until apparently I even have an option of leaving this earth. Even then, I think she expects me to ask permission first. I did not realize this contract also included a mandatory maintenance program that would assure she would get the required mileage out of her husband. I think there may be other hidden things in this contract, and in the contract that I signed almost 20 years ago. Things like eating “healthy” by her definition not mine. Regular exercise, that again is by her definition not mine. As well as other conditions that apparently are defined by her standards not mine.

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“In my house I’m the boss, my wife is just the decision maker.” – Woody Allen

So I have to monitor my blood pressure at home because I have what they termed “white coat syndrome”. What this means, is that my blood pressure does not like doctor offices, which I quite agree with my blood pressure on this matter. So I take it at home to get an accurate reading. Now, I have a bit of a scientific approach to things….hmm that is not quite accurate… I have a “curiousity” about things, and thus will utilize the device to determine other reactions to my pulse and blood pressure. Effects of caffeine, working out etc. Hey, if I paid for this device then I am going to use it for more than just checking my blood pressure for the doctor.

Anyway, so over past little while I will get light headed spells from time to time, moments of dazing out etc. Typical life stuff. Over past couple weeks I have had headaches, which I rarely ever get headaches but they were frequent past couple weeks. Various other little symptoms over the past couple weeks. Notice I say symptoms. Slight uncomfortableness in chest…etc. I, of course, being a man blew these symptoms off. Especially given the physical activity I do and things like pulling out posts and pounding in posts for signs etc. A little discomfort is to be expected. I should also state that I have not been taking my blood pressure the way I should the past short bit but the last readings were fluxing between pre-hypertension and hypertension.

 

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The snapshots you take of your husband are always more flattering than the ones he takes of you.
Murphy’s Second Law for Wives

What drew my attention was Thursday around noon I got light headed and dizzy, etc. I ate a little something there at work, but it did not pass. So I figured well, what I need is some protein. So I went and got myself something more substantial to eat that contained protein. Still, after eating the symptoms had not passed, which if it was due to a blood sugar drop they should shortly after eating. I went back to work and noticed cognitive degradation. Inability to focus, just dazing out, just kind of staring. Things I normally only do when my wife is addressing something I do stupid. 😉 So I tell the wonderful woman that works in the office that I would be back later.

My cognitive function was getting worse. I do not like things that cause cognitive impairment on me. Light headed, little dazed, no big deal. Inability to think brings a level of concern to me. So I first stopped by this quick medical place. When I describe symptoms they tell me they cannot treat me there, that I needed to go to the ER. The even more concerning part, was she offered to call me an ambulance. So I start to head to ER, but decide that given my wife is home with a migraine, that I should probably go by house and get her to join me. Not because she has a migraine, but given she was close meant I might get a “look” if I did not bring her along.

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Marriage is an alliance entered into by a man who cannot sleep with window shut,
and a woman who cannot sleep with the window open.
Ogden Nash

Also in truth, I do not like ER visits. I try to avoid them. So if anything this buys me some time. So I got home and I checked my blood pressure. It was 170/103. This is not good. If you look up information, if the top number goes over 180 then I can have serious issues. If that lower number goes over 110, again I am in trouble. So what do I do? Remember I am a man. A stubborn man that cognitive ability has lowered. I go lay down in bed. Then ask my wife to call my doctor. She calls and Doc calls in scrip for blood pressure meds. My doctor has offered me them in past, but I declined because blood pressure only goes into hypertension a little on some readings. I should note that my Doctor is a woman, a wife, and a mother. I have been going to her for probably about 10 years now, so I have seen plenty of the “look” from her. So I’m really not looking forward to Monday’s appointment with her. 🙂

Here is where that story leads into my wife’s look. She tells me she talked to doctor office and made an appointment for Monday. I tell her but I plan to help Ron move someone on Monday. I just imagined every woman reading this just rolled their eyes. This of course brought the first look. So, I realize I do have an able bodied teenage son that could use a moving experience. So I ask him and he will be helping Ron. So I should be out of the woods on the looks correct? Well yes, if I could learn to keep my mouth shut.

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The honeymoon is over when he phones to say he’ll be late for supper and she’s already left a note that it’s in the refrigerator.
Bill Lawrence

Next I tell her that I had went by the medical place over on 159, but they said they could not treat me and recommended ER. I followed it with how I had started towards ER, but decided to come home first. Now, this only gets a raised eyebrow. The woman has lived with me for 20 years so far. This probably sounds about right for her husband. The “look” comes when I say that when I got home and noticed how bad her migraine still was, that I did not want to bother her about the ER. The “look” does not go into the high degrees yet, but I do get one. I may have gotten a lesser response because it would have been too painful for her to give me a higher degree “look” due to her migraine.

Once my blood pressure comes down and stays down for a decent amount of time, I go back to work to finish stuff I need to get done. I know what some of you are thinking, but no, I did not get a “look” for that. Again, she has been married to me for almost 20 years; this decision does not surprise her. My cognitive function is back and I feel no ill effects from anything. It is like nothing ever happened. No, I am not playing down the event, especially since it happened over about a 5 hour span of time. I am saying that all systems are functioning fine again, and so I need to get stuff done. I have a doctor’s appointment, and while I was at work they called and told me they had called in a script. Which I stopped working to go pick up and take.

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If it weren’t for marriage, men would spend their lives thinking they had no faults at all.

Unknown

The big look, which I doubt she realizes I saw because it was a high degree look of wanting to harm me, came while I was telling the kids about the event and etc. My son was first to be told about everything. Then my daughters. While talking to my daughters, I go through stuff and even mention that I have had issues past couple weeks. I then open my mouth and say I actually have had blood pressure spikes in past that I noticed, including an incident at walmart back while Grandpa was still alive where I got light headed and etc that I had to sit down. I took my blood pressure at one of those chairs and it showed 165 at the time. I remember the high number from then, but not the lower number. I all of a sudden feel the rapid escalation of “the look”, as well as daggers. She said nothing, but I know if she did not have a migraine my wife may have caused me bodily harm at that point. To my benefit, the previous events never lasted long but I was aware of them. As I said I have a blood pressure checker and I use it. Though I was surprised I did not get a few choice words from my wife, again this may be due to migraine, or by her view my stupidity exceeded words. 🙂

This time was first time I ever had this kind of cognitive impairment. I also wrote down everything after the event so that I can give it to doctor with precise account. My doctor almost always gets handed a sheet a paper when I walk in her office. In fact, she expects it now. I go in, hand her the sheet, she reads it, and then we talk. I believe in keeping accounts of what happens to me and things I have noticed with my thoughts on what it might mean sometimes. This way a professional can determine if it is an issue or not on various observations.

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I was single for a long time, and I just got so sick of finishing my own sentences.
Brian Kiley

Men just understand that when your woman gives you the “look”, that women are crazy and men are stupid and women are crazy because well, we are stupid. 😉 Also since I took meds yesterday my blood pressure has been around 123/77 with a little variation. Best numbers I have ever seen for blood pressure in over 10 years of me taking readings. Both my parents had high blood pressure so it was probably inevitable I would end up on blood pressure meds I just should have allowed them sooner. This is the best I have felt physically in awhile.

Thank you for your time and I hope you have a wonderful day.

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“Show me a man who is smiling from ear-to-ear and living a beautiful life,

and I’ll show you a man who is grateful for what he has and utterly in love with his wife.”
-Fawn Weaver

Some of the pictures in this blog in particular the ones taken of my wife and I together were taken by my daughter.

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‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ – 13 ways to show love….

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Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.
Ann Landers

I am apologizing in advance do to the length this post ended up being. It is probably one of the longest posts I have made. As stated below you can skip to the list below I created if you wish. Just look for back to biscuits. Also skimming is allowed. 🙂  LOL.  Have a great day. 

It‭ ‬interests‭ ‬me‭ ‬how‭ ‬many‭ ‬people‭ ‬pass‭ ‬judgement‭ ‬on‭ ‬another.‭ ‬This‭ ‬is‭ ‬a‭ ‬human‭ ‬trait‭ ‬that‭ ‬has‭ ‬been‭ ‬with‭ ‬us‭ ‬probably‭ ‬from‭ ‬our‭ ‬beginnings.‭ ‬We‭ ‬pass‭ ‬judgement‭ ‬on‭ ‬a‭ ‬person‭’‬s‭ ‬clothes,‭ ‬speech,‭ ‬job,‭ ‬and‭ ‬etc.‭ ‬Now‭ ‬this‭ ‬blog‭ ‬is‭ ‬not‭ ‬about‭ ‬judgement,‭ ‬but‭ ‬more‭over ‬lack‭ ‬of‭ ‬it.‭ ‬You‭ ‬see,‭ ‬the‭ ‬first‭ ‬thing‭ ‬you‭ ‬find‭ ‬about‭ ‬love‭ ‬is that‭ ‬it‭ ‬is‭ ‬free‭ ‬of‭ ‬judgement,‭ ‬free‭ ‬of‭ ‬expectation,‭ ‬or‭ ‬any‭ ‬of‭ ‬the‭ ‬normal‭ ‬pitfalls‭ ‬we‭ ‬have‭ ‬as‭ ‬humans.

Also,‭ ‬this‭ ‬particular‭ ‬blog‭ ‬entry‭ ‬may‭ ‬reference‭ ‬a‭ ‬higher‭ ‬power‭ ‬and‭ ‬touch‭ ‬on‭ ‬some‭ ‬of‭ ‬my‭ ‬views‭ ‬and‭ ‬even‭ ‬beliefs.‭ ‬This‭ ‬is‭ ‬not‭ ‬my‭ ‬way‭ ‬to‭ ‬change‭ ‬you.‭ ‬For‭ ‬love‭ ‬is‭ ‬also‭ ‬acceptance.‭ ‬I‭ ‬accept‭ ‬you‭ ‬are‭ ‬the‭ ‬way‭ ‬you‭ ‬are,‭ ‬and‭ ‬I‭ ‬am‭ ‬the‭ ‬way‭ ‬I‭ ‬am.‭ ‬I‭ ‬see‭ ‬it‭ ‬as‭ ‬God‭ ‬puts‭ ‬us‭ ‬all‭ ‬on‭ ‬particular‭ ‬paths‭ ‬for‭ ‬the‭ ‬possibility‭ ‬to‭ ‬learn‭ ‬and‭ ‬expand‭ ‬ourselves.‭ ‬I‭ ‬say‭ ‬possibility,‭ ‬because‭ ‬of‭ ‬course‭ ‬we‭ ‬have‭ ‬to‭ ‬choose‭ ‬to‭ ‬see‭ ‬those‭ ‬moments‭ ‬and‭ ‬reasons‭ ‬for‭ ‬the‭ ‬particular‭ ‬path.  ‭ ‬Though‭ ‬love‭ ‬is‭ ‬acceptance‭ ‬and‭ ‬lacks‭ ‬judgement. ‭ ‬Most‭ ‬religions‭ ‬would‭ ‬agree‭ ‬with‭ ‬these‭ ‬basic‭ ‬premises‭ ‬to‭ ‬love.‭ ‬Christianity‭ ‬states‭ ‬judgement‭ ‬is‭ ‬for‭ ‬God‭ ‬alone.‭ ‬Part‭ ‬of‭ ‬this‭ ‬is‭ ‬because‭ ‬judgement‭ ‬hinders‭ ‬love‭ ‬and‭ ‬love‭ ‬is‭ ‬the‭ ‬greatest‭ ‬commandment‭ ‬given.

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“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
― Martin Luther King Jr

You‭ ‬can‭ ‬always‭ ‬skip‭ ‬to‭ ‬the‭ ‬list‭ ‬below‭ ‬if‭ ‬you‭ ‬do‭ ‬not‭ ‬wish‭ ‬to‭ ‬read‭ ‬the‭ ‬following‭ ‬that‭ ‬gives‭ ‬a‭ ‬base‭ ‬of‭ ‬the‭ ‬list‭ ‬by‭ ‬talking‭ ‬about‭ ‬me‭ ‬a‭ ‬little.

Before‭ ‬we‭ ‬go‭ ‬forward‭ ‬even‭ ‬further,‭ ‬I‭ ‬guess‭ ‬I‭ ‬should‭ ‬state‭ ‬a‭ ‬few‭ ‬of‭ ‬my‭ ‬views,‭ ‬then‭ ‬we‭ ‬will‭ ‬get‭ ‬into‭ ‬a‭ ‬bit‭ ‬of‭ ‬a‭ ‬list‭ ‬on‭ ‬showing‭ ‬love.‭ ‬I‭ ‬rarely‭ ‬talk‭ ‬about‭ ‬how‭ ‬I‭ ‬see‭ ‬the‭ ‬world.‭ ‬Sometimes‭ ‬people‭ ‬get‭ ‬snippets‭ ‬but‭ ‬I‭ ‬find‭ ‬stating‭ ‬my‭ ‬beliefs‭ ‬can‭ ‬hinder‭ ‬people‭ ‬being‭ ‬open,‭ ‬even within‭ ‬the‭ ‬Christian‭ ‬realm‭ ‬of‭ ‬thought.‭ ‬This‭ ‬happens‭ ‬partially‭ ‬because‭ ‬of‭ ‬fear‭ ‬of‭ ‬judgement,‭ ‬as‭ ‬well‭ ‬as‭ ‬judgement‭ ‬from‭ ‬the‭ ‬person‭ ‬speaking‭ ‬making‭ ‬assumptions‭ ‬to‭ ‬how‭ ‬one‭ ‬would‭ ‬react. ‭ ‬So,‭ ‬this‭ ‬is‭ ‬one‭ ‬of‭ ‬those‭ ‬rare‭ ‬times‭ ‬that‭ ‬I‭ ‬will‭ ‬give‭ ‬you‭ ‬a‭ ‬little‭ ‬snippet‭ ‬of‭ ‬my‭ ‬views‭ ‬before‭ ‬I‭ ‬proceed. Not‭ ‬so‭ ‬you‭ ‬can‭ ‬judge‭ ‬me,‭ ‬but‭ ‬so‭ ‬you‭ ‬can‭ ‬understand‭ ‬me‭ ‬and‭ ‬understand‭ ‬the‭ ‬list‭ ‬that‭ ‬follows‭ ‬possibly‭ ‬better.

First,‭ ‬my‭ ‬beliefs‭ ‬are‭ ‬ever-evolving.‭ ‬I‭ ‬do‭ ‬not‭ ‬believe‭ ‬any‭ ‬person‭ ‬is‭ ‬actually‭ ‬a‭ ‬particular‭ ‬faith‭ ‬or‭ ‬denomination,‭ ‬but‭ ‬a‭ ‬culmination‭ ‬of‭ ‬life‭ ‬experience,‭ ‬faith,‭ ‬learning,‭ ‬and‭ ‬interactions‭ ‬with‭ ‬others.

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“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.”
― Dalai Lama XIV

I‭ ‬have‭ ‬said‭ ‬from‭ ‬an‭ ‬early‭ ‬age‭ ‬that‭ ‬I‭ ‬was‭ ‬my‭ ‬own‭ ‬faith.‭ ‬Back‭ ‬then,‭ ‬that‭ ‬meant‭ ‬any‭ ‬particular‭ ‬denomination‭ ‬of‭ ‬Christianity‭ ‬because‭ ‬my‭ ‬scope‭ ‬of‭ ‬the‭ ‬world‭ ‬was‭ ‬limited.‭ ‬Now,‭ ‬I‭ ‬truly‭ ‬mean‭ ‬my‭ ‬own‭ ‬faith‭ ‬in‭ ‬general. ‭ T‬his‭ ‬would‭ ‬include‭ ‬out‭ ‬of‭ ‬various‭ ‬faiths.‭ ‬I‭ ‬was‭ ‬very‭ ‬heavily‭ ‬Christian‭ ‬when‭ ‬I‭ ‬was‭ ‬young‭ ‬and‭ ‬a‭ ‬conservative‭ ‬Christian,‭ ‬which‭ ‬might‭ ‬surprise‭ ‬some‭ ‬that‭ ‬know‭ ‬me‭ ‬now.‭ ‬I‭ ‬grew‭ ‬up‭ ‬Southern‭ ‬Freewill‭ ‬Baptist‭ ‬and‭ ‬Seventh‭ ‬Day‭ ‬Adventist.‭ ‬I‭ ‬spent‭ ‬at‭ ‬least‭ ‬2‭ ‬years‭ ‬in‭ ‬Seventh‭ ‬Day‭ A‬dventist‭ ‬church‭ ‬school, and went‭ ‬to‭ ‬several‭ ‬seminars‭ ‬on‭ ‬various‭ ‬biblical‭ ‬subjects,‭ ‬including‭ ‬an‭ ‬enlightening‭ ‬Daniel‭ ‬and‭ ‬Revelations‭ ‬seminar.

When‭ ‬I‭ ‬was‭ ‬an‭ ‬older‭ ‬teenager‭ ‬and‭ ‬young‭ ‬adult‭ ‬I‭ ‬searched‭ ‬out‭ ‬other‭ ‬denominations‭ ‬of‭ ‬Christianity‭ ‬and‭ ‬learned‭ ‬various‭ ‬views‭ ‬they‭ ‬had. ‭ ‬There‭ ‬can‭ ‬be‭ ‬quite‭ ‬a‭ ‬bit‭ ‬of‭ ‬diversity‭ ‬even‭ ‬within‭ ‬one‭ ‬faith.‭ ‬Though‭ ‬I‭ ‬parted‭ ‬with‭ ‬Christianity‭ ‬after‭ ‬my‭ ‬wife‭ ‬became‭ ‬pregnant‭ ‬and‭ ‬there‭ ‬were‭ ‬issues‭ ‬that‭ ‬arose‭ ‬from‭ ‬that‭ ‬interaction.‭ ‬Just‭ ‬so‭ ‬you‭ ‬may‭ ‬have‭ ‬the‭ ‬knee‭ ‬jerk‭ ‬reaction‭ ‬if‭ ‬you‭ ‬wish,‭ ‬my‭ ‬wife‭ ‬was‭ ‬16‭ ‬and‭ ‬I‭ ‬was‭ ‬20.‭ ‬We‭ ‬were‭ ‬dating‭ ‬and‭ ‬had‭ ‬always‭ ‬talked‭ ‬about‭ ‬getting‭ ‬married‭ ‬when‭ ‬she‭ ‬got‭ ‬older.‭ ‬Well,‭ ‬she‭ ‬became‭ ‬pregnant‭ ‬and‭ ‬we‭ ‬got‭ ‬married,‭ ‬but‭ ‬because‭ ‬of‭ ‬love,‭ ‬not‭ ‬because‭ ‬of‭ ‬a‭ ‬child.‭ ‬Though‭ ‬as‭ ‬you‭ ‬might‭ ‬foresee,‭ ‬this‭ ‬could‭ draw ‬issue with some religious folk.‭ H‬er‭ ‬pastor‭ ‬friend‭ ‬married‭ ‬us‭ ‬in‭ ‬the‭ ‬woods‭ ‬where‭ ‬a‭ ‬fork‭ ‬in‭ ‬a‭ ‬creek‭ ‬came‭ ‬together.‭ ‬Yeah,‭ ‬I‭ ‬like‭ ‬symbolism‭ ‬sometimes.‭ ‬:‭) My wife and daughter just took a hike at the place where we got married and she sent me a picture via text of the fork. That spot where she proved she was crazy by saying “I do”.

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“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
― Laozi

So‭ ‬why‭ ‬that‭ ‬story…‭ W‬ell,‭ ‬that‭ ‬parting‭ ‬with‭ ‬Christianity‭ ‬is‭ ‬what‭ ‬caused‭ ‬the‭ ‬journey‭ ‬that‭ ‬brought‭ ‬me‭ ‬to‭ ‬where‭ ‬I‭ ‬am‭ ‬now.‭ ‬I‭ ‬should‭ ‬say‭ ‬that‭ ‬I‭ ‬parted‭ ‬ways‭ ‬with‭ ‬the‭ ‬institution‭ ‬that‭ ‬was‭ ‬Christianity,‭ ‬not‭ ‬the‭ ‬lessons‭ ‬of‭ ‬Christ‭ ‬or‭ ‬God.‭ ‬I‭ ‬just‭ ‬had‭ ‬an‭ ‬issue‭ ‬with‭ ‬his‭ ‬groupies.‭ (‬I‭ ‬stole‭ ‬that‭ ‬last‭ ‬line‭ ‬from‭ ‬a‭ ‬movie,‭ ‬just‭ ‬in‭ ‬a‭ ‬paraphrased‭ ‬form.)

Jesus was a country boy – Clay Walker
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_c6-rF3jdg

I‭ ‬took‭ ‬time‭ ‬learning‭ ‬a‭ ‬little‭ ‬of‭ ‬various‭ ‬religions.‭ ‬You‭ ‬find‭ ‬interesting‭ ‬similarities‭ ‬between‭ ‬the‭ different ‬religions.‭ ‬One‭ ‬thing‭ ‬that‭ ‬is‭ ‬quite‭ ‬common‭ ‬between‭ ‬them,‭ ‬is‭ ‬the‭ ‬ideal‭ ‬of‭ ‬Love. ‭ ‬I‭ ‬keep‭ ‬trying‭ ‬right‭ ‬now to avoid‭ ‬getting‭ ‬into‭ ‬the‭ ‬technical‭ ‬stuff‭ ‬of‭ ‬the‭ ‬religions,‭ ‬like‭ ‬how‭ ‬some‭ ‬share‭ ‬similar‭ ‬bases,‭ ‬etc.‭ ‬So‭ ‬excuse‭ ‬if‭ ‬I‭ ‬slip. ‭ ‬Though‭ ‬in‭ ‬my‭ ‬exploration,‭ ‬I‭ ‬found‭ ‬a‭ ‬religion‭ ‬that‭ ‬spoke‭ ‬to‭ ‬me‭ ‬very‭ ‬much.

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“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

― Dr. Seuss, Happy Birthday to You!

Think‭ ‬of‭ ‬it‭ ‬as‭ ‬God‭ ‬saying‭ “‬here‭ ‬is‭ ‬where‭ ‬you‭ ‬are‭ ‬suppose‭ ‬to‭ ‬be”.‭ ‬See‭ ‬I‭ ‬follow‭ ‬where‭ ‬my‭ ‬heart‭ ‬leads‭ ‬me,‭ ‬where‭ ‬my‭ ‬inner‭ ‬voice‭ ‬tells‭ ‬me‭ ‬to‭ ‬go.‭ ‬I‭ ‬have‭ ‬learned‭ ‬to‭ ‬trust‭ ‬that‭ ‬feeling‭ ‬that‭ ‬compels‭ ‬me‭ ‬to‭ ‬do‭ ‬things‭ ‬or‭ ‬go‭ ‬certain‭ ‬directions.‭ ‬Anyway,‭ ‬I‭ ‬found‭ ‬Buddhism,‭ ‬which‭ ‬some‭ ‬would‭ ‬argue‭ ‬is‭ ‬more‭ ‬philosophy‭ ‬than‭ ‬religion,‭ ‬which‭ ‬is‭ ‬fine.‭ ‬The‭ ‬other‭ ‬thing‭ ‬about‭ ‬the‭ ‬middle‭ ‬way,‭ ‬there‭ ‬was‭ ‬no‭ ‬need‭ ‬to‭ ‬give‭ ‬up‭ ‬my‭ ‬belief‭ ‬in‭ ‬a‭ ‬higher‭ ‬power‭ ‬or‭ ‬change‭ ‬sides.‭ ‬Also‭ ‬Buddhism‭ ‬is‭ ‬very‭ ‬similar‭ ‬to‭ ‬Christianity‭ ‬in‭ ‬many‭ ‬of‭ ‬its‭ ‬beliefs,‭ ‬even‭ ‬if‭ ‬possibly‭ ‬said‭ ‬in‭ ‬a‭ ‬slightly‭ ‬different‭ ‬way.

Buddhism‭ ‬actually‭ ‬made‭ ‬a‭ ‬big‭ ‬change‭ ‬in‭ ‬me. ‭ ‬I‭ ‬think‭ ‬one‭ ‬of‭ ‬the‭ ‬other‭ ‬beauties‭ ‬was‭ ‬I‭ ‬learned‭ ‬much‭ ‬of‭ ‬it‭ ‬from‭ ‬books,‭ ‬and‭ ‬thus‭ ‬could‭ ‬learn‭ ‬it‭ ‬first from‭ ‬a‭ ‬somewhat‭ ‬scientific‭ ‬approach.‭ ‬Also,‭ ‬that‭ ‬meant‭ ‬I‭ ‬did‭ ‬not‭ ‬have‭ ‬the‭ ‬judgement‭ ‬of‭ ‬their‭ ‬groupies,‭ ‬either‭ ‬me‭ ‬judging‭ ‬them‭ ‬or‭ ‬them‭ ‬I. ‭ ‬So‭ ‬this‭ ‬was‭ ‬a‭ ‬perfect‭ ‬fit.‭ ‬I‭ ‬also‭ ‬firmly‭ ‬believe‭ ‬that‭ ‬I‭ ‬was‭ ‬directed‭ ‬to‭ ‬that‭ ‬path,‭ ‬because‭ ‬Buddhism‭ ‬was‭ ‬part‭ ‬of‭ ‬my‭ ‬life‭ ‬for‭ ‬many‭ ‬years.‭ ‬Buddha‭ ‬simply‭ ‬means‭ ‬enlightened‭ ‬one. Siddhartha‭ ‬was‭ ‬believed‭ ‬to‭ ‬be‭ ‬the‭ ‬first‭ ‬Buddha‭ ‬and‭ ‬the‭ ‬basis‭ ‬that‭ ‬Buddhism‭ ‬grew‭ ‬from. ‭ ‬If‭ ‬you‭ ‬were‭ ‬wondering‭ ‬how‭ ‬it‭ ‬would‭ ‬not‭ ‬conflict‭ ‬in‭ ‬my‭ ‬belief‭ ‬in‭ ‬God. I make this clarification because some think Buddha is Buddhism’s god but that is not true.

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Mental prayer in my opinion is nothing else than an intimate sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with Him who we know loves us. The important thing is not to think much but to love much and so do that which best stirs you to love. Love is not great delight but desire to please God in everything.
Saint Teresa of Avila

Then‭ ‬I‭ ‬guess‭ ‬when‭ ‬God‭ ‬thought‭ ‬it‭ ‬was‭ ‬time‭ ‬for‭ ‬me‭ ‬to‭ ‬remove‭ ‬the‭ ‬last‭ ‬jading‭ ‬I‭ ‬had‭ ‬of‭ ‬his‭ ‬groupies.‭ ‬He‭ ‬lead‭ ‬me‭ ‬to‭ ‬a‭ ‬place‭ ‬that‭ ‬I‭ ‬care‭ ‬a‭ ‬great‭ ‬deal‭ ‬about‭ ‬now.‭ ‬He‭ ‬lead‭ ‬me‭ ‬to‭ ‬a‭ ‬job‭ ‬at‭ ‬a‭ ‬church. ‭ ‬Irony‭ ‬abounds‭ ‬in‭ ‬the‭ ‬fact‭ ‬that‭ ‬the‭ ‬denomination‭ ‬of‭ ‬the‭ ‬church‭ ‬was‭ ‬the‭ ‬same‭ ‬denomination‭ ‬of‭ ‬the‭ ‬church‭ ‬that‭ ‬had‭ ‬put‭ ‬me‭ ‬on‭ ‬my‭ journey‬.‭ ‬Though‭ ‬the‭ ‬other‭ ‬beauty‭ ‬was‭ ‬the‭ ‬position‭ ‬is‭ ‬of‭ ‬course‭ ‬custodian.‭ ‬No‭ ‬position‭ ‬of‭ ‬great‭ ‬importance‭ ‬other‭ ‬than‭ ‬to‭ ‬make‭ ‬sure‭ ‬the‭ ‬church‭ ‬always‭ ‬looks‭ ‬good.‭ ‬The‭ ‬other‭ ‬humor‭ ‬is‭ ‬the‭ ‬position‭ ‬in‭ ‬some‭ ‬ways‭ ‬matches‭ ‬Buddhism‭ ‬but‭ ‬I‭ ‬am‭ ‬getting‭ ‬off ‭ ‬track. ‭ ‬The‭ ‬position‭ ‬allowed‭ ‬me‭ ‬to‭ ‬get‭ ‬to‭ ‬know‭ ‬the‭ ‬people‭ ‬of‭ ‬the‭ ‬church.‭ ‬It‭ ‬allowed‭ ‬me‭ ‬to‭ ‬get‭ ‬to‭ ‬know‭ ‬those‭ ‬behind‭ ‬the‭ ‬scenes‭ ‬and‭ ‬see‭ ‬all‭ ‬the‭ ‬good‭ ‬his‭ ‬groupies‭ ‬did.‭ ‬I‭ ‬use‭ ‬groupies‭ ‬this‭ ‬time‭ ‬in‭ ‬a‭ ‬loving‭ ‬fashion‭ ‬and‭ ‬mean‭ ‬absolutely‭ ‬no‭ ‬offense‭ ‬in‭ ‬the‭ ‬word. The people that work at the church are some amazing people and I am very proud to have met them and gotten to know a little about them along my journey.

So‭ ‬after‭ ‬my‭ ‬journey‭ ‬that‭ ‬spanned‭ ‬many‭ ‬years,‭ ‬I‭ ‬found‭ ‬myself‭ ‬falling‭ ‬in‭ ‬love‭ ‬with‭ ‬the‭ ‬people‭ ‬of‭ ‬the‭ ‬church‭ ‬again.‭ ‬Though‭ ‬this‭ ‬time‭ ‬I‭ ‬was‭ ‬not‭ ‬a‭ ‬hot‭ ‬headed,‭ ‬self‭ ‬focused‭ ‬kid‭ ‬with‭ ‬strong‭ ‬opinions.‭ ‬This‭ ‬time‭ ‬I‭ ‬had‭ ‬been‭ ‬softened‭ ‬by‭ ‬time‭ ‬and‭ ‬my‭ ‬journey.‭ ‬I‭ ‬had‭ ‬learned‭ ‬how‭ ‬to‭ ‬truly‭ ‬love‭ ‬people‭ ‬and‭ ‬see‭ ‬everything‭ ‬as‭ ‬connected. ‭ ‬God‭ ‬had‭ ‬sent‭ ‬me‭ ‬on‭ ‬a‭ ‬journey‭ ‬so‭ ‬I‭ ‬might‭ ‬first‭ ‬learn‭ ‬myself‭ ‬and‭ ‬love.‭ ‬He‭ ‬taught‭ ‬me‭ ‬his‭ ‬lessons‭ ‬through‭ ‬a‭ ‬different‭ ‬religion‭ ‬that‭ ‬happened‭ ‬to‭ ‬share‭ ‬many‭ ‬traits‭ with ‬Christianity. ‭ ‬So,‭ ‬you‭ ‬see‭ ‬to‭ ‬me‭ ‬it‭ ‬does‭ ‬not‭ ‬matter‭ ‬what‭ ‬religion‭ ‬you‭ ‬are‭ ‬as‭ ‬a‭ ‬reader.‭ ‬You,‭ ‬in‭ ‬my‭ ‬eyes,‭ ‬are‭ ‬a‭ ‬child‭ ‬of‭ ‬God‭ ‬no‭ ‬matter‭ ‬your‭ ‬faith‭ ‬and‭ ‬that‭ ‬makes‭ ‬you‭ ‬beautiful or if you prefer, a fellow human deserving of my respect and you are beautiful.

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“A person’s a person, no matter how small.”
― Dr. Seuss, Horton Hears a Who!

 

See,‭ ‬I‭ ‬learned‭ ‬true‭ ‬love‭ ‬makes‭ ‬no‭ ‬judgement.‭ ‬It‭ ‬offers‭ ‬up‭ ‬its‭ ‬hand‭ ‬and‭ ‬only‭ ‬wishes‭ ‬you‭ ‬to‭ ‬take‭ ‬it. ‭ ‬I‭ ‬taught‭ ‬my‭ ‬kids‭ ‬not‭ ‬to‭ ‬see‭ ‬color,‭ ‬religion,‭ ‬or‭ ‬sexuality.‭ ‬They‭ ‬are‭ ‬to‭ ‬see‭ ‬the‭ ‬human‭ ‬that‭ ‬exists‭ ‬before‭ ‬them,‭ ‬and‭ ‬that person is‭ ‬deserving‭ ‬of‭ ‬love‭ ‬and‭ ‬acceptance. ‭ ‬Whether‭ ‬their‭ ‬clothes‭ ‬are‭ ‬tattered‭ ‬and‭ ‬torn‭ ‬or‭ ‬they‭ ‬are‭ ‬wearing‭ ‬the‭ ‬best‭ ‬suit‭ ‬available.‭ ‬They‭ ‬are‭ ‬a‭ ‬human‭ ‬and‭ ‬deserve‭ ‬love‭ ‬and‭ ‬an‭ ‬offer‭ ‬of‭ ‬help‭ ‬if‭ ‬they‭ ‬need‭ ‬it. ‭ ‬If‭ my children ‬are‭ ‬judged‭ ‬by‭ ‬someone,‭ ‬that‭ ‬is‭ ‬that‭ ‬persons‭ ‬issue,‭ ‬not‭ my child’s ‬issue. ‭ ‬As‭ ‬one‭ ‬of‭ ‬the‭ ‬magnets‭ ‬on‭ ‬my‭ ‬fridge‭ ‬says‭ “‬how‭ ‬people‭ ‬treat‭ ‬you‭ ‬is‭ ‬their‭ ‬karma‭; ‬how‭ ‬your‭ ‬react‭ ‬is‭ ‬yours‭”‬.

So‭ ‬my‭ ‬beliefs‭ ‬come‭ ‬from‭ ‬my‭ ‬journey‭ ‬and‭ ‬I‭ ‬am‭ ‬my‭ ‬own‭ ‬faith‭ ‬or‭ ‬religion.‭ ‬I‭ ‬may‭ ‬lean‭ ‬towards‭ ‬one‭ ‬particular‭ ‬flavor‭ ‬or‭ ‬another,‭ ‬but‭ ‬I‭ ‬may‭ ‬not‭ ‬hold‭ ‬all‭ ‬the‭ ‬ideals‭ ‬presented‭ ‬by‭ ‬that‭ ‬particular‭ ‬leaning.‭ ‬I‭ ‬also‭ ‬believe‭ ‬everyone‭ ‬falls‭ ‬into‭ ‬this‭ ‬state.‭ ‬You‭ ‬can‭ ‬say‭ ‬you‭ ‬are‭ ‬a‭ C‬hristian,‭ J‬ew,‭ M‬uslim,‭ ‬or‭ ‬whatever‭ ‬but‭ ‬other‭ ‬than‭ ‬those‭ ‬that‭ ‬started‭ ‬the‭ ‬particular‭ ‬faiths‭ ‬or‭ ‬denominations,‭ ‬the‭ ‬rest‭ ‬I‭ ‬believe‭ ‬just‭ ‬lean‭ ‬towards‭ ‬that‭ ‬faith‭ ‬or‭ ‬denomination.  ‭ ‬Part‭ ‬of‭ ‬it‭ ‬is‭ ‬because‭ ‬we‭ ‬all‭ ‬interpret‭ ‬things‭ ‬differently,‭ ‬even‭ ‬holy‭ ‬texts‭ ‬of‭ ‬our‭ ‬faiths.  ‭ ‬I‭ ‬also‭ ‬believe‭ ‬that‭ ‬many‭ ‬religions‭ ‬do‭ ‬quite‭ ‬a‭ ‬bit‭ ‬of‭ ‬good in the world.

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“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”
― Desmond Tutu

Anyway,‭ ‬I‭ ‬have‭ ‬rambled‭ ‬enough‭ ‬on‭ ‬the‭ ‬base.‭ ‬I‭ ‬will‭ ‬say‭ ‬this,‭ ‬I‭ ‬have‭ ‬always‭ ‬had‭ ‬a‭ ‬faith‭ ‬in‭ ‬something‭ ‬beyond‭ ‬us.‭ ‬In‭ a ‬God,‭ ‬though‭ ‬I‭ ‬am‭ ‬not‭ ‬quite‭ ‬sure‭ ‬the‭ ‬term‭ “‬he”‭ ‬is‭ ‬the‭ ‬right‭ ‬terminology‭ ‬but‭ ‬it‭ ‬is‭ ‬what‭ ‬I‭ ‬was‭ ‬raised‭ ‬with‭ ‬and‭ ‬thus‭ ‬what‭ ‬I‭ ‬am‭ ‬comfortable‭ ‬using.‭ ‬Only‭ ‬because‭ ‬I‭ ‬believe‭ ‬God‭ ‬is‭ ‬greater‭ ‬than‭ ‬any‭ ‬gender,‭ ‬or‭ ‬for‭ ‬that‭ ‬matter‭ ‬faith.‭ ‬I‭ ‬think‭ ‬he‭ ‬uses‭ ‬everything‭ ‬in‭ ‬his‭ ‬design‭ ‬to‭ ‬accomplish‭ ‬things.

three wooden crosses – randy travis
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cP8lCapcqwM

I love the parables of Christ, my favourite Parable of Christ has always been “The Good Samaritan”, a beautiful example of kindness and love.

Back to Biscuits…

Now‭ ‬on‭ ‬with‭ ‬ways‭ ‬to‭ ‬show‭ ‬Love.‭ ‬Also‭ ‬in‭ ‬my‭ ‬opinion,‭ ‬anytime‭ ‬you‭ ‬show‭ ‬love‭ ‬you‭ ‬are‭ ‬showing‭ ‬God‭’‬s‭ ‬love. ‭ ‬So‭ ‬if‭ ‬you‭ ‬wish‭ ‬to‭ ‬see‭ ‬this‭ ‬as‭ ‬a‭ ‬list‭ ‬of‭ ‬ways‭ ‬to‭ ‬show‭ ‬God‭’‬s‭ ‬love,‭ ‬that‭ ‬is‭ ‬fine‭ ‬or‭ ‬how‭ ‬to‭ ‬show‭ ‬love‭ ‬to‭ ‬humanity.‭ ‬However‭ ‬you‭ ‬wish‭ ‬to‭ ‬see‭ ‬it‭ ‬that‭ ‬allows‭ ‬you‭ ‬to‭ ‬accept‭ ‬the‭ ‬message‭ ‬attempting‭ ‬to‭ ‬be‭ ‬conveyed…..

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It’s about sharing. You just give what you have to give wherever you go, and you let God handle the rest.
Lindsay Wagner

All the Same (Free Hugs) – Sick Puppies
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vr3x_RRJdd4

1.‭ ‬Acceptance.‭ ‬I‭ ‬covered‭ ‬this‭ ‬way‭ ‬up‭ ‬at‭ ‬the‭ ‬beginning.‭ ‬Though‭ ‬acceptance‭ ‬means‭ ‬true‭ ‬acceptance‭ ‬without‭ ‬judgement.‭ ‬This‭ ‬means‭ ‬who‭ ‬you‭ ‬see‭ ‬before‭ ‬you‭ ‬is‭ ‬a‭ ‬human‭ ‬of‭ ‬equal‭ ‬stature‭ ‬and‭ ‬deserving‭ ‬of‭ ‬your‭ ‬attention‭ ‬and‭ ‬love.

2.‭ ‬Without‭ ‬Judgement.‭ ‬Remember,‭ ‬Jesus‭ ‬forgave‭ ‬the‭ ‬adulterous‭ ‬woman‭ ‬while‭ imparting the ideal that ‬those‭ ‬without‭ ‬sin‭ ‬cast‭ ‬the‭ ‬first‭ ‬stone‭ ‬to‭ ‬those‭ ‬that‭ ‬brought‭ ‬her‭ ‬before‭ ‬him.‭ ‬While‭ ‬it‭ ‬is‭ ‬true‭ ‬their‭ ‬intention‭ ‬was‭ ‬to‭ ‬cast‭ ‬doubt‭ ‬on‭ ‬his‭ ‬acceptance‭ ‬of‭ ‬the‭ ‬law.‭ ‬Jesus‭ ‬did‭ ‬not‭ ‬have‭ ‬to‭ ‬show‭ ‬compassion‭ ‬or‭ ‬forgiveness‭ ‬to‭ ‬the‭ ‬woman,‭ ‬but‭ ‬he‭ ‬did.‭ ‬With‭ ‬the‭ ‬simple‭ ‬utterance‭ ‬of‭ ‬sin‭ ‬no‭ ‬more. ‭ ‬Showing‭ ‬Christ‭’‬s‭ ‬love‭ ‬is‭ ‬acceptance and lack of judgement. I have talked with motorcyclist covered in tattoos that were the nicest of people and various other people that do not fit the norm of society view that turned out to be amazing people. The one perk to someone with a lot of tattoos, is you have something to open the conversation with. I generally notice a particular tattoo that I comment on or inquire about.

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“I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.”
― Albert Einstein

The Road You leave Behind you – David Lee Murphy
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6DLsf8VG5Y

3.‭ H‬elping‭ H‬ands. ‭ ‬Whenever‭ ‬you‭ ‬can‭ ‬help‭ ‬someone.‭ ‬Even‭ ‬if‭ ‬that‭ ‬help‭ ‬does‭ ‬not‭ ‬seem‭ ‬like‭ ‬much‭ ‬to‭ ‬you.‭ ‬Even‭ ‬the‭ ‬smallest‭ ‬gesture‭ ‬of‭ ‬help‭ ‬can‭ ‬be‭ ‬a‭ ‬great‭ ‬gesture‭ ‬of‭ ‬love. There is a blog I read recently that talked about someone in line paying the blogger’s seventeen dollar grocery bill and giving them a hug. http://truestoriesofamidwestyankee.wordpress.com/2014/03/19/to-the-woman-behind-me-in-line-at-the-grocery-store/

 4.‭ ‬Kindness. ‭ ‬You‭ ‬can‭ ‬always‭ ‬be‭ ‬kind.‭ ‬I‭ ‬will‭ ‬not‭ ‬start‭ ‬on‭ ‬this‭ ‬one‭ ‬because‭ ‬well,‭ ‬first‭ ‬a‭ ‬previous‭ ‬blog‭ ‬covers‭ ‬this‭ ‬a‭ ‬little‭ ‬and‭ ‬well,‭ ‬I‭ ‬would‭ ‬get‭ ‬wordy‭ ‬about‭ ‬it.‭ ‬It‭ ‬is‭ ‬safe‭ ‬to‭ ‬say‭ ‬that‭ ‬I‭ ‬believe‭ ‬kindness‭ ‬is‭ ‬the‭ ‬greatest‭ ‬gesture‭ ‬of‭ ‬love‭ ‬you‭ ‬can‭ ‬show‭ ‬anyone.‭ ‬Even‭ ‬if‭ ‬you‭ ‬cannot‭ ‬offer‭ ‬them‭ ‬anything‭ ‬else,‭ ‬you‭ ‬can‭ ‬offer‭ ‬them‭ ‬kindness.

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“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
― Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

I saw God today – george strait
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q06AvQF5NOw

5.‭ ‬Smile. ‭ ‬Your‭ ‬smile‭ ‬can‭ ‬show‭ ‬so‭ ‬much‭ ‬love.‭ ‬Even‭ ‬if‭ ‬their‭ ‬is‭ ‬pain‭ ‬underneath‭ ‬that‭ ‬smile.‭ ‬Smile‭ ‬anyway.‭ ‬Someone‭ ‬else‭ ‬in‭ ‬pain‭ ‬might‭ ‬just‭ ‬need‭ ‬that‭ ‬smile.

6.‭ ‬Give‭ ‬people‭ ‬your‭ ‬attention. ‭ ‬In‭ ‬this‭ ‬tech‭ ‬age‭ ‬we‭ ‬can‭ ‬get‭ ‬so‭ ‬caught‭ ‬up‭ ‬in‭ ‬our‭ ‬tech.‭ ‬Just‭ ‬as‭ ‬today‭ when ‬I‭ ‬saw‭ ‬someone‭ ‬answer‭ ‬their‭ ‬phone‭ ‬while‭ ‬dealing‭ ‬with‭ ‬a‭ ‬cashier. ‭ ‬That‭ ‬call‭ ‬could‭ ‬have‭ ‬waited‭ ‬however‭ ‬long‭ ‬it‭ ‬takes‭ ‬to‭ ‬checkout.‭ ‬Instead‭ ‬ask‭ ‬how‭ ‬the‭ ‬cashier‭ ‬is,‭ ‬how‭ ‬their‭ ‬day‭ ‬is‭ ‬going.‭ ‬Give‭ ‬them‭ ‬your‭ ‬attention,‭ ‬not‭ ‬that‭ ‬device.‭ ‬You‭ ‬have‭ ‬a‭ ‬human‭ ‬in‭ ‬front‭ ‬of‭ ‬you,‭ ‬they‭ ‬deserve‭ ‬your‭ ‬attention.

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Love is cheering and sharing and compassion and giving and receiving. Love is an action thing more than a word thing, that brings comfort or joy or relief to anyone or anything.
Ziggy Marley

God’s Will – Martina Mcbride
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCRrrP0EhPc

7.‭ ‬Respect.‭ ‬Love‭ ‬is‭ ‬all‭ ‬about‭ ‬respect.‭ ‬If‭ ‬for‭ ‬any‭ ‬other‭ ‬reason‭ ‬than‭ ‬you‭ ‬are‭ ‬dealing‭ ‬with‭ ‬another‭ ‬human.‭ ‬No‭ ‬matter‭ ‬how‭ ‬badly‭ ‬I‭ ‬have‭ ‬been‭ ‬treated,‭ ‬I‭ ‬always‭ ‬remember‭ ‬the‭ ‬person‭ ‬is‭ ‬at‭ ‬least‭ ‬deserving‭ ‬of‭ ‬respect‭ ‬as‭ ‬a‭ ‬human,‭ ‬maybe‭ ‬not‭ ‬a‭ ‬very‭ ‬good‭ ‬human‭ ‬at‭ ‬the‭ ‬moment‭ ‬of‭ ‬our‭ ‬interaction,‭ ‬but‭ ‬still‭ ‬a‭ ‬human,‭ ‬a‭ ‬creation‭ ‬of‭ ‬God. ‭ ‬We‭ ‬seem‭ ‬to‭ ‬get‭ ‬online‭ ‬then‭ ‬lose‭ ‬the‭ ‬respect‭ ‬aspect,‭ ‬but‭ ‬in‭ ‬my‭ ‬opinion‭ ‬online‭ ‬is‭ ‬where‭ respect is most needed.

 

8. ‭ ‬Listen‭ ‬to‭ ‬your‭ ‬inner‭ ‬voice.‭ ‬You‭ ‬know‭ ‬that‭ ‬voice‭ ‬that‭ ‬tells‭ ‬you‭ ‬or‭ ‬compels‭ ‬you‭ ‬to‭ ‬do‭ ‬something.‭ ‬You‭ ‬do‭ ‬not‭ ‬know‭ ‬why‭ ‬you‭ ‬feel‭ ‬compelled‭ ‬to‭ ‬pay‭ ‬for‭ ‬someone‭’‬s‭ ‬drink‭ ‬or‭ ‬go‭ ‬talk‭ ‬to‭ ‬someone,‭ ‬but‭ ‬for‭ ‬some‭ ‬reason‭ ‬you‭ ‬feel‭ ‬compelled‭ ‬to‭ ‬take‭ ‬a‭ ‬certain‭ ‬good‭ ‬action.‭ ‬You‭ ‬do‭ ‬not‭ ‬need‭ ‬to‭ ‬understand‭ ‬why‭ ‬you‭ ‬are‭ ‬being‭ ‬compelled,‭ ‬but‭ ‬you may just‭ ‬find‭ ‬out‭ along the way‬. ‭ ‬This‭ ‬is‭ ‬one‭ ‬area‭ ‬I‭ ‬have‭ ‬learned‭ ‬to‭ ‬just‭ ‬follow‭ ‬the‭ ‬compelling‭ ‬notion‭ ‬that‭ ‬strikes‭ ‬me.‭ ‬I‭ ‬learned‭ ‬not‭ ‬to‭ ‬question‭ ‬it,‭ ‬but‭ ‬you‭ ‬will‭ ‬find‭ ‬that‭ ‬some‭ ‬of‭ ‬your‭ ‬greatest‭ ‬gestures‭ ‬of‭ ‬love‭ ‬will‭ ‬come‭ ‬from‭ ‬following‭ ‬that‭ ‬voice.‭ ‬You‭ ‬can‭ ‬change‭ ‬a‭ ‬strangers‭ ‬day‭ ‬or‭ ‬possibly‭ ‬even‭ ‬life‭ ‬by‭ ‬following‭ ‬that‭ ‬compulsion‭ ‬to‭ ‬do‭ ‬something. ‭ ‬You‭ ‬may‭ ‬even‭ ‬renew‭ ‬their‭ ‬faith‭ ‬in‭ ‬humanity‭ ‬or‭ ‬God. ‭ ‬You‭ ‬may‭ ‬be‭ ‬answering‭ ‬someone‭ ‬else‭’‬s‭ ‬prayer‭ ‬without‭ ‬ever‭ ‬knowing‭ ‬it.‭ ‬Learn‭ ‬to‭ ‬listen‭ ‬to‭ ‬that‭ ‬voice.

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We all have that inner voice that is wise, even if we don’t always follow it. It’s that voice I’m trying to listen to.
Ray LaMontagne

Angels among us – alabama
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ey0HrEvh44c

9.‭ ‬Be‭ ‬nice.‭ ‬This‭ ‬seems‭ ‬to‭ ‬go‭ ‬with‭ ‬the‭ ‬others such as‭ ‬respect,‭ ‬etc.‭ ‬But‭ ‬I‭ ‬made‭ ‬this‭ ‬separate,‭ ‬because‭ ‬I‭ ‬always‭ ‬try‭ ‬to‭ ‬be‭ ‬nice‭ ‬no‭ ‬matter‭ ‬what‭ ‬I‭ ‬am‭ ‬going‭ ‬through‭ ‬in‭ ‬my‭ ‬personal‭ ‬battles. ‭ ‬I‭ ‬try‭ ‬to‭ ‬smile‭ ‬if‭ ‬I‭ ‬can,‭ ‬there‭ ‬are‭ ‬days‭ ‬that‭ ‬mustering‭ ‬that‭ ‬smile‭ ‬is‭ ‬more‭ ‬challenging‭ ‬than‭ ‬others.‭ ‬I‭ ‬still‭ ‬hold‭ ‬the‭ ‬door‭ ‬open.‭ ‬I‭ ‬ask‭ ‬how‭ ‬someone‭ ‬else‭’‬s‭ ‬day‭ ‬is.‭ ‬My‭ ‬battles‭ ‬are‭ ‬my‭ ‬battles‭ ‬and‭ ‬those‭ ‬should‭ ‬not‭ ‬rollover‭ ‬to‭ ‬those‭ ‬I‭ ‬interact‭ ‬with‭ ‬in‭ ‬a‭ ‬mean‭ ‬way.‭ ‬If‭ ‬I‭ ‬believe‭ ‬I‭ ‬am‭ ‬so‭ ‬overwhelmed‭ ‬that‭ ‬I‭ ‬am‭ ‬going‭ ‬to‭ ‬be‭ ‬mean,‭ ‬I‭ ‬try‭ ‬to‭ ‬avoid‭ ‬interaction. ‭ ‬Remember,‭ ‬you‭ ‬never‭ ‬know‭ ‬the‭ ‬battles‭ ‬the‭ ‬other‭ ‬person‭ ‬is‭ ‬going‭ ‬through‭ ‬themselves. They‭ ‬do‭ ‬not‭ ‬deserve‭ ‬your‭ ‬meanness‭ ‬just‭ ‬because‭ ‬you‭ ‬have‭ ‬your own‭ ‬83‭ ‬problems‭ ‬as‭ ‬well. ‭ ‬This‭ ‬means‭ ‬being‭ ‬nice‭ ‬even‭ ‬if‭ ‬they‭ ‬are‭ ‬mean. Though‭ ‬it‭ ‬can‭ ‬be‭ ‬quite‭ ‬trying‭ ‬to‭ ‬accomplish‭ ‬pairing‭ ‬a‭ ‬bad‭ ‬day‭ ‬with‭ ‬someone‭ ‬else‭’‬s‭ ‬meanness‭ ‬but‭ ‬try‭ ‬to‭ ‬be‭ ‬nice.‭ ‬At‭ ‬least‭ ‬make‭ ‬the‭ ‬effort,‭ ‬then‭ ‬use‭ ‬the‭ L‬ouisville‭ ‬slugger if effort is not enough…um‭ ‬yeah‭ ‬ignore‭ ‬the‭ L‬ouisville‭ ‬slugger‭ ‬comment. 🙂 and remember….Grinches need love too.

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“Love yourself. Forgive yourself. Be true to yourself. How you treat yourself sets the standard for how others will treat you.”
― Steve Maraboli,

 Father’s Love – George Strait
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2af10YlLoc

10. Understanding. “True love is born from understanding” stated the Buddha. When we attempt to understand someone else. To see things from their perspective, it enlightens us. Before my wife and I traveled to Nauvoo, Illinois one year for our anniversary; I spent time learning about Mormans and their faith. This way I would understand the customs and beliefs of the area I was traveling. This also allowed me to avoid offending anyone. By attempting to understand someone else you are touching on accepting, respect, and non-judgement, which in turn touches on Love. A quote from Aristotle that I love is “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” You can learn and understand something without having to change your own idealogy. You are merely gaining insight and understanding of someone else’s. Which helps love flourish.

11. Be vulnerable. Sometimes to show love you must open yourself up as well. You have to put yourself out there. You have to make yourself vulnerable. Sometimes being vulnerable and honest shows a great deal of love. It shows trust not just in someone else but in yourself. It also connects us. Love is connection so anything that brings connection opens the door to love. By opening the door it not only allows love to be shown but to be accepted by all those involved. I love brene brown talks. I really think watching at least her vulnerability talk is very important to view. She’s funny so don’t worry about it being dry. 😉 http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability

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A smile is the light in your window that tells others that there is a caring, sharing person inside.
Denis Waitley

Have a beer with Jesus – Thomas Rhett:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dphMriny1Js

 

12.‭ ‬Allow‭ ‬yourself‭ ‬to‭ ‬feel‭ ‬love,‭ ‬experience‭ ‬love,‭ ‬and‭ ‬see‭ ‬it.‭ ‬If‭ ‬you‭ ‬want‭ ‬to‭ ‬share‭ ‬love,‭ ‬you‭ ‬have‭ ‬to‭ ‬feel‭ ‬it‭ ‬yourself.‭ ‬You‭ ‬have‭ ‬to‭ ‬accept‭ ‬the‭ ‬love‭ ‬given‭ ‬to‭ ‬you‭ ‬by‭ ‬others‭ ‬and‭ ‬allow‭ ‬yourself‭ ‬to‭ ‬experience‭ ‬it. ‭ ‬Allowing‭ ‬yourself‭ ‬to‭ ‬be‭ ‬deserving‭ ‬of‭ ‬love‭ ‬can‭ ‬allow‭ ‬you‭ ‬to‭ ‬give‭ ‬love. Only through love can you understand love.

13. Empathy. Many people are just looking for someone to try and understand what they are going through. Someone that gives them the feeling of genuine caring and knows how they feel or at least tries to understand how they feel. Showing empathy for our brothers and sisters that share this earth is one of the most genuine ways we can show love for them. To listen to them, show compassion, and let them know they are not alone.The first time I ever listened to this I cried when it came to the part of shame and men. Well everytime I listen to it I at least get teary eyed at that point, but the first time I had a good cry. http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_listening_to_shame

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“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.”
― William Shakespeare,

Moments – Emerson Drive
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzriEXPJ1-k

Thank‭ ‬you‭ ‬for‭ ‬your‭ ‬time. ‭ ‬Have‭ ‬a‭ ‬wonderful‭ ‬day. ‭ ‬I‭ ‬truly‭ ‬appreciate‭ ‬the‭ ‬fact‭ ‬that‭ ‬you‭ ‬took‭ ‬a‭ ‬moment‭ ‬to‭ ‬read‭ ‬this‭ ‬no‭ ‬matter‭ ‬what‭ ‬your‭ ‬opinion‭ ‬might‭ ‬be.‭ ‬I‭ ‬am‭ ‬just‭ ‬thankful‭ ‬you‭ ‬took‭ ‬time‭ ‬from‭ ‬your‭ ‬day‭ ‬to‭ ‬read‭ ‬it‭ ‬or‭ ‬skim‭ ‬it.‭ ;)‬

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“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”
– Dr. Seuss

Just as I am – alan jackson
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=meITKEI7Wdo

and I believe 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 gives one of the best depictions of how we should love.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

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He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
    and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
    and to walk humbly with your God?

Micah 6:8

if you get a chance read this interesting blog entry by moved by love:
http://www.movedbylove.org/blog/view.php?id=287

 

“OFFERING love is a mere gesture . . To become an ANGEL . . one needs to BE love . . for love is SEEN with the heart” – – Hans

From the Angels among us video by alabama above

also all pictures in this blog entry are owned by the author of this blog. If you care to use elsewhere please ask. Thank you.

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