Stay Cheerful!


Today, my two children have the sniffles – one is a baby, so it’s that sad little puppy-dog look they give when they’re so tired but they can’t sleep long because they’re having trouble breathing. Boooooooo….and I have them too.

This morning my husband asked me how I was feeling, and I said, “Fine.” Sniff sniff.
He asked me how I was really feeling. I wanted to scream. I was trying not to complain despite feeling like my head was stuffed with cotton, I wasn’t going to be able to taste my coffee (pumpkin spice – I know!), and my back pain was, well, back.

Anyhoo, I drank two cups of coffee, which fortified me enough to actually get out of bed and take a short, hot bath, and armed with caffeine and warmth,  I made it to the park for a short but productive walk.

Staying cheerful is really hard for people who aren’t naturally full of mirth. I’ve met people who are; I often wondered if they were on medication and discovered that usually,  they weren’t. It was just their nature to be bouncy and effervescent. It’s still annoying to me, and I try to limit my time around people like that, but it’s really a good thing.

Photo courtesy of mountsaintagnes.org.

For people such as myself, cheer is a chore. The only  time we just feel cheerful is when we’re doing something we want to do, even if that’s sleeping. I have slid under the covers in a downright jaunty mood!

Anyway, the point is that I’m trying to be more lively and less gloomy on a regular basis. More a pocketful-of-sunshine and less rain-oriented.  Today was Day 1!!! Talk about luck, huh? Well, I have managed it so far, so I’m doing great! Ooops…it’s only 10 a.m.! Well, I will keep trying. Joyce Meyer did a talk during Enjoying Everyday Life about being an example in our homes to our children. But it’s not just about them! We can be examples to everyone!!! Everyone we meet, even during days when we feel like pulling the covers back over our heads; even on days when it seems like no one is being nice back.

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The Mommyhood


A dear friend came by to visit today. When she got here, my baby was napping peacefully. All was quiet. We  sat outside talking for a while so we wouldn’t wake the little one.

And after the baby got up and we were holding it, taking turns, she asked me how I liked being a stay-at-home-mom. I gave her an honest answer – sometimes it’s really boring, and it’s menial work at times, but in the end it’s totally worth it. I’m settling in.

She laughed and said she would never have pictured me as a stay-at-home-mother. I thought back to when I met her at work. I don’t remember this at all, but she claims I came to collect my paycheck one day and I strolled in wearing a cowboy hat. The idea of it makes me smile, mostly because it’s entirely possible. So, yeah, I guess if you look back at the wild girl I was, I’m not the Mommyhood type!

Right now the baby is watching Eebie, and attempting to climb out of the bouncy seat. My children are growing so fast. Lately I’ve started to wonder – how in the world am  I going to go back to work  outside the home? Do I even want to? Who says you have to go back when the baby of the family finally makes it to kindergarten?

So, I don’t know what I”ll do. I do know I don’t have to figure it out today. Then again, time flies so fast if you’re not paying attention. I can hear my husband, though, screaming: FIND A JOB!!

It’s Time to Sharpen a Bouquet of Pencils!


It’s getting marginally cooler out there. It feels great during my early-morning workouts. The air seems clearer. Fall is on the way!

And with it, the beginning of the school year. My oldest had his first week last week. He was pretty scared the first day and so was I. He is in a really big school, and he never has been. Neither have I, not counting college. I was terrified they were going to lose him. So far, he hasn’t gone missing. He actually likes his class. There was a boy with a Sonic the Hedgehog shirt on last week. As far as he’s concerned they should be friends. He’s usually more discriminating, but that t-shirt just did it for him.

As for the first day, we both cried. He really missed me. This is the longest school-day he’s ever had, so by the time I pick him up at carpool he’s so happy to see me he runs straight to me with his arms held out, ready to hug the life outta me. Yeah, I know that won’t last. I’m taking advantage of it while I can.

I hope the rest of you with kiddos out there are having as much luck as we are. Be safe everyone, and best wishes for a new year of learning!

Small-Town Politics


I have a friend who grew up on a ranch in a small town in rural Alabama. She now lives in the suburbs of a large Southern city, but she knows of what she speaks. She spent most of her life there, and although she doesn’t want to go back to live there, she misses it terribly and wants what is best for all its occupants. She relayed this information to me and I thought y’all just might find this interesting and that you should spread the word. This coal ash needs to go – and so does Albert Tuner Jr. Don’t take her word for it? Then do the research yourself and come up with your own conclusions. I think my friend is right.

The basic storyline is that a few years ago, coal ash from the TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) began to be moved via rail through Birmingham, AL to Uniontown, AL. This ash is highly toxic. The majority of the good people of this town and county did not want it, but they lost. This is the poorest county in the state of Alabama. Some have even called it “environmental racism” since the premise is that minorities who are also poor are either used as guina pigs for testing the hazzards of dangerous materials or are considered stupid and taken advantage of by those who want to, literally, dump their problems off somewhere else.

The campaign to bring it there was spearheaded by Albert Turner, Jr., a local “character” – that’s Southern code for jackass. He has threatened numerous county council members (he sits on the council) as well as ordinary citizens  who criticism him. The following tripe can be found in an article on black politics in Alabama from al.com:

“This is their school they built,” Turner says with contempt as he drives past Marion Academy, the private school that many of the county’s white children attend. NOTE: Public schools in Perry County, AL are notoriously dangerous. White children’s parents pay, for them,  an exorbitant amount of money to send them to very small private schools for safety’s sake.

The Marion bank has never had a black loan officer, he says. Judson College, the Baptist women’s school and one of the county’s largest employers, has one black professor and no black administrators. NOTE: Having attended Judson College for one year myself, and having visited its campus many, many times prior to that, I think I speak with enough authority from experience to say that finding qualified blacks who actually want to come back to Perry County to live and work is next to impossible.

“There is no integration here,” Turner says. NOTE: This county has one  major import and export – drugs.  Crack, cocaine – these are some of the biggies. Knife fights and gunfights in the street are commonplace. I once worked downtown in a major Southern city and witnessed several drug deals made openly on the streets. My very first thought w as, “My, how homesick I am!” There may not be as much integration there because it’s a safety issue, but I assure you there are PLENTY of good, white people who want what is best for the county and it has nothing to do with racism.

It galls Turner that Judson’s president, David Potts, mainly employs blacks in the kitchen and on the janitorial staff, and yet he says Potts constantly meddles in city and county politics, trying to control the majority black government. “His involvement in local politics is going to be the death of that school,” Turner says. “A school like that can’t stand the heat that the black community can bring.” NOTE: You are a gangster. A thug. You have sold out your “own people” for money and are inciting them to violence. I happen to know this delightful fellow,  David Potts,  and he is doing nothing of the sort. The real”‘heat” is coming down  on ABJ and he is the one who must see the end is in sight.

I want you to read the information regarding the coal ash problem but I also want to get the word out that gangsters like Turner need to be investigated by the State of Alabama. He has committed criminal acts and should be held accountable for them – criminally. He is guilty of harassment, assault (one-on-one and via his radio show), and Lord knows what else. He needs to be stopped.

Grace Sufficient for One Day


And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”2 Corinthians 12:9 (KJV)
I’ve written before that I despise the “one day at a time” mantra, but that it’s really true that that is how we have to live in Christ. It isn’t that we don’t plan for the future – more that in our difficult times, we simply get from one day to the next using sufficient grace, to travel through our problems to the other side. “My strength is made perfect in weakness” means that true, reliable strength only c0mes to us after being forged through the fire of infirmities, of tragedies, of suffering. That is why a firm foundation in God is so vitally important. If we have not been tested  – if we have not been forged – then we are relying on a false strength. When that first serious trouble comes, we will learn that very quickly. It is that reliance on God through it that will make us stronger.

The power of Christ rests upon us. That is an intense thing!

What’s Love Got to Do With It?


In Gift from the Sea, Anne Morrow Lindbergh wrote that the Argonaut shell is a good mental image for love. She stated that we don’t love the same person the same way, all the time. Spoiler alert! That lustful, first-blush love may not last forever! “It’s a lie to…pretend to.” But that’s what we all believe, right? The songs, the movies – they only show us the beginning, the giggly period, the crush-like phase where everything the other person does is wonderful and brilliant. Do they show marriage after a few years? Ten? Twenty? Nope. I think Lindbergh is genius.

“We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships.” We are worried the ebbing tide will never flow our way again. “We insist on permanency…when the only continuing possible…is in growth, in fluidity – in freedom.” So how do we create a secure relationship? We can’t attempt to own or possess another soul. We can’t look back dreamily, but ahead, in “anticipation.” We must accept what is, now.

And yet, when you include the every-day nagging things that drive you crazy about each other, letting go of the other person’s flaws and mistakes can be highly difficult. We have to re-train our brain, I guess, to anticipate the future and quit focusing so much on the present day’s troubles.

 

The Difference Between Feelings & Truth


I’m currently reading Joyce Meyer’s book Living Beyond Your Feelings, and I’m learning even more about how feelings do not have to translate to actions. This, of course, is recommended with negative feelings. And it got me to thinking about the things I struggle with in my own life, some of which are trust, insecurity, feelings of worthlessness, and love. I noted to myself that these are all feelings.

How come I didn’t get that before? That how I feel and what it is are not always the same? For example, it’s hard for me to trust anyone, but that doesn’t mean that when a person commits an act towards me that seems untrustworthy, it actually is untrustworthy. I have spent a lot of time totally misreading people. Truthfully, when you can’t trust your own judgment over things like this, it makes it hard to be in relationship with others.

The book of Proverbs is chock-full of pithy things we need to know. Here’s one that suits this message: “The virtuous think before they act.” –Proverbs 21:29.

So, the next time you think someone is treating you badly, think.