Thursday, February 27, 2014

I Run, I Leap..

I run, I leap , I soar in the weightlessness of freedom. Wind rips through my hair  with the force of realized liberty to my soul. 

Reckless, yet fully in command , I plunge headlong and single minded into the mission. There is no turning back, no reconsideration. With fearless determination, my eyes are fixed. My talons wait expectantly for their target, and with sure, solid aim, I extend my full reach to lay hold of the prize that was set before me.

Praying I bring honor to the One who sent me forth, and pride to those whose servant I am, with readiness from the stiring of my nest, my leap is both ordered and voluntary. I accept my fate knowing that many have lept and met their end on the brutal rocks below, while others, having the strength of maturity, taste the victory of soaring into that for which they were created. 

Believing in the call, my goal is not to remain intact, but to finish well having given my all. Without reservation, and great anticipation, I run, I leap.....

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Waving Goodbye to the Good Ship "Normalcy"

Special appreciation to Jeff Goins for the inspiration of his post, and also for Cherie Strickland who spends much time sitting with me on the rocks of life sharing a cup of tea.

    She watched as the first big gust of wind filled the illuminated canvases of the good ship “Normalcy”.  Its brilliant white sails, propelling it far from the banks of Eclectic, cut the bow through the waves of sea of where she had expected to find herself a passenger. A hot tear rolled down her cheek with the sting of goodbye. She lifted her arm reluctantly and waved, realizing her place had never been on board.

    The sail boat stayed within sight of the lonely island. Its shores, difficult to navigate, were often painful for her to walk upon. Her eyes drifted to the ship frequently, and she doubted in her heart her place in the world. At times she longed to compromise her decision, don a uniform, and commit to life on the majestic vessel. Perhaps, even one day, she imagined, she could learn to be its captain. 

    She looked down at her hands and knew that being confined to “Normalcy” would, for her, be a sentence that she could not perform. She may indeed be able to sail with them for a while, but soon, the sea and the island’s mysteries would call to her with a wail that must be answered.

    “I must learn to love this island,” she thought as she began to explore its gardens, pools, and cliffs. Perhaps this island is not a place of lonely desertion, but one of a peaceful paradise. Its variety is indeed as diverse as the sands of the shore, but it is my heart that yearns for the comradery of the ship. “I need a friend to join me here,” she thought. One that can share the beauty I see and appreciate this glorious creation.

     At times visitors came, but one by one, they either returned for the comforts of the ship, or struck out in search of their own island. She understood their quest, however, it was just so hard to let go.

    Sitting on the black rocks of the shore, she sat alone watching the gentle rocking of the vessel. Its rhythmic dance and joyful music that rose off the boat seem to taunt her. She wondered why her place was not with the others, and contemplated if she had imposed this exile upon herself.

    “Hey, how are you,” a kind and gentle voice broke the silence of the shore. Surprised by the company of another, the lure of gazing at the ship was broken. With smiles and conversation, love and laughter came to the island and solitude in the company of another was no longer a prison, but a paradise. Exploring was exhilarating, instead of endurance. The color of beauty now held the vibrancy of expectation, and the coolness of walking together beside the water restored her soul.

    When evening had come, they sat together on the shore and watched the ship as its lights danced off the water. No longer longing to be something she wasn’t, she could enjoy the beauty of the ship for what it was, and be grateful for the gift of her island.
    She looked at her companion and smiled, realizing that friendship was what had made all the difference, and that she was truly blessed.

A special thank you to each of you who have so graciously sat with me on the rocky shoals and walked with me on the shore. I love you and thank you for being there for me in what has been such a difficult time. I can’t express what you have meant to me. Thank you. Happy Valentine’s Day.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Let Them Slurp Sno-Cones!

In front of an invited crowd of unemployed Americans, the President took the stage to champion an extension to unemployment insurance benefits. Refocusing the country on this petition for the poor, and “so- called” callousness of his conservative opponents, Obama aimed at making a better photo-op for himself rather than the all too familiar “The system is down” Obamacare image the world has come to recognize as the icon for his administration.

Politico reports that “Organizing for Action”, formerly known as “Obama for America” (the DNC organization that was formed after Obama’s win in 2009), has scheduled events in 30 cities for the President to push his new agenda to rectify “income inequality” and unemployment benefits. The White House promises daily efforts to keep this story in the news through the coming elections.  

The teleprompter reading Commander in Chief may cry a plea for non-partisan political unity while petitioning the country to pressure their congressmen to for an extension of unemployment benefits, but glaring throughout his speech is repeated bashing of Republicans.

Fresh off his two week Christmas Vacation to Hawaii costing taxpayers 4 million dollars according to the modest estimate of Hawaiian reports, Obama didn’t bat an eye as he bad mouthed Republicans for going home for the holidays and outright accused them of not caring for the poor.

I’m sure the snow cone slurping Commander in Chief was heart sick for the single mothers struggling to diaper and feed their children while he played another 8 rounds of golf, dined in the finest restaurants, snorkeled on a private reserve and indulged for 16 days, as even the Washington Times described, “like royals on a lavish Hawaiian holiday.”

Currently, Unemployment insurance provides support for individuals for up to 26 weeks who “through no fault of their own” (qualifications defined in each state) find themselves out of work. The President is demanding a 3 month extension of the time benefits can be drawn by those qualified with no plan or discussion for how to pay for those benefits. Republicans are asking for  fiscal responsibility, and a plan for funding for the extension before approving the spending.

There appears to be no accountability from the President and Democrats in office about the still high unemployment numbers. Quick to shout out about how many jobs he feels he “created”, there is no mention of all the full time positions that were lost with the imposition of Obamacare, nor how the regulations of the heavy weight bill is the culprit for small businesses not being able to have full time employees and only hire a limited about of employees due to its overwhelming new mandated health care costs to employers.

How much more weight can we lay on top of a bulging sack of debt and overly taxed workers before a total breakdown of the economic system in America?

How can this president CUT Veteran benefits… and in the same month take from the taxpayers yet another extravagant vacation for his family? Has this president forgotten that he was here to SERVE? Or is service only for the peasants that protect this serve this country? Shall we fight for an extension of benefits for people not working, who yes, are struggling in this difficult economic situation, yet CUT the benefits of those who have put their very lives on the line over, and over again in service to this country? These men and women are owed a far greater debt by this country than the already petty compensation promised for their service.

It is disgraceful, at a minimum, that this President has the utter audacity to then point his finger at any other statesman and accuse them of being “cruel” and “abandoning their fellow Americans when times get tough.”

Times have been  tough for quite some time, Mr. President! 

Perhaps, not unlike Marie Antoinette, who in losing touch with reality in the plight of her people proclaimed, “Let them eat cake!” Obama’s callousness is largely in part to his self-imposed, indulgent ignorance and misplaced political loyalties. However, we don't have time to slurp snow-cones, Mr. President. Its another freezing day in most of America, and some of us have to tend to the hard, unglamorous work that needs to get done. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Faith and Hope for what Matters, and Going Cold Turkey for T Daigle

Monday night, my daughter and I went to a town hall style meeting featuring Congressman Tom Marino. After a brief introduction, the congressman jumped straight into questions posed to him by the citizens gathered.

Most of the answers that mattered to me had the same answers: we are investigating that, or we don’t have the votes for that. The Congressman gave grave warnings to what lie ahead if we don’t get spending under the control, and explained the  efforts that were being made to try and make a difference, yet held not much hope for positive fiscal change that would move the country in a better direction. The situation looks dire, and without a monumental push by the people, we can expect to continue to barrel down the tracks without tapping the breaks on the out of control financial train.

The one light at the end of the tunnel that the Congressman held out for us, was a constitutional amendment that he is proposing that he asked for everyone’s support for. He mentioned that he felt it would undo many of the problems we now face, and rid our government of much of its corruption. That amendment will be for term limits.

“Term limits?” I thought. Well of course it is logical and yes, I agree that it would improve much of what has been ailing Washington DC for at least the last 50 years. How on earth, do we get an amendment when we can’t even get a budget. How do we get votes from the corrupt, to limit the very people who are guilty of blatant corruption? Yet, his faith and hope for making a difference in this area were so high.

We have faith and hope for what means the most to us.

I came home with not much hope for a positive change in my government.

The next morning, I received an email from my blogger buddy, Lucy. Lucy and I met through our contributions to the opinion pages of The Daily Advertiser. She, apparently was coming to much of the same realization about our government that I had. In an effort to tend the fires of her “American Spirit”, she is putting aside politics and giving first place to the One who deserves full attention this season. In service to God, family, and country, I too am choosing to lay it down for the holidays.

From our families to yours, we wish you a holiday of faith, hope, and love.


As difficult as this is going to be, I am declaring the next three weeks - politics free.  I will not blog, post or discuss politics.  Anyone that knows me is snickering right now.  Even my own children do not have faith that I can do this.   My oldest daughter told me last night that as strong a woman as I was, this was something that was too against the grain of my personality to accomplish.  Well, we will just see.

Last night was one of those nights that sleep just was not in the cards.  I lay snuggled under my big comforter, with my little dog up against my leg and let my mind wander.  Thanksgiving had been such a nice holiday, with all my children and grandchildren together.  It is one holiday that I can count on them all being home.  Christmas on the other hand, was going to be different.  My oldest daughter and her husband like to have their daughter’s Christmas at their own home.  I don’t blame them, dragging children around at Christmas time, when all they want to do is stay home and play with their new toys, is a trial.    My oldest son is leaving for his transfer to Colorado next week, and will not be able to come home.  That leaves me with my youngest daughter who will come over for Christmas Eve dinner and my youngest son who will work part of Christmas Eve.  At least I’ll have one on Christmas morning.  As much as I love my youngest, it is not quite the same on Christmas morning with one that is 20, as it was when he was 5. 

The rest of my family are all in different states, which will leave me quite a bit of time alone on Christmas.  I’m a soppy old woman and sometimes I wallow in my memories of sweet days gone by.  The Christmas’ I had at my Grandmothers with all the family crowded in her living room with the anticipation of opening Christmas presents.  Then, Christmas mornings when all four of my children were home and calling to get me out of bed at the crack of dawn to open gifts.  Smiles around the dinner table and my Daddy’s laughter, so many wonderful memories.

As I lay there, I decided to not let myself get into the funk I did last Christmas.  No, it was time to appreciate the wonderful life I still have, and rid the negativity from my brain.  It was time to be grateful and happy with the full life the good Lord has blessed me with.  The first negativity I needed to clear out is politics.  Politics are like a drug to me.  Watching the news has me digging around on the internet daily trying to find out what is truth and what is propaganda.  I get this feeling that if I can shout the truth loud enough I can change some of the minds that have put our country in this situation and when it doesn’t work, I shout some more.  Then I get depressed and anxious that I’m doing enough.

This three week reprieve from anxiety will give me time to focus on making this Christmas a productive one.  Instead of sitting around feeling alone, I am going to fill the time with positive energy.  While shopping for my family, I will include a child from the Wishing Tree at the mall.  I will contact a local nursing home and get the name of someone who doesn’t have anyone visit them on Christmas and visit them.  Maybe I can even get my youngest son to tag along and with his hilarious jokes, we can brighten their day.  Maybe I’ll take a bag of dog food and a bag of cat food to the local shelter.   There will be plenty of quiet time to work on my book, maybe get a few more chapters in.  Walking my dogs around the neighborhood and visiting with neighbors is always good for the soul.  I feel better already.

So, as I said in the beginning, I am going cold turkey and for the next three weeks I will be nothing but a positive-happy woman.  The quest to turn around those not of my mind set will be set on the back burner.  Come January, 2014, election year, Lucy will be back with energy and plenty of truth!   Especially with all the extra time I’ll have to research!

Merry Christmas, and a blessed holiday to you all!  Oh no, was that political?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

If This Were My Last Christmas

If this were my last Christmas, I would play less on my phone. I would watch less TV, and bake a lot with my kids. I would try and imprint special memories so they would know for sure in the hard days ahead, that they are good, strong, beautiful and priceless. I would encourage them to never discount themselves to a price others think is fair.

 My personal ambitions would no longer be a race that I am trying to complete, but my only quest would be how much I could pour into others. I wouldn’t miss church. I would forgive easily, and not mind our differences as much. I would understand that we each have our own journey, and know that I had the opportunity to walk among some amazing people in my time.

If this were my last Christmas, I would enjoy the food, champagne, and chocolates without guilt. I would bundle up and take walks in the snow with my family, and also alone. I wouldn’t rush unless it was to get a hug, and then I would embrace longer than usual. I would worry less, trust more, and have faith for the best.

If this were my last Christmas, each gift I sent would have meaning. Rather than what a person’s wants or expects, I would plant a seed that I hoped would grow in their hearts.

If this were my last Christmas, I would no longer strive to win approval and love from those who withhold it, but I would rather enjoy the relationships that love me for who I am, and be content. I wouldn’t cry for what I will miss, but be so very grateful for the abundance of beautiful moments I have been given. I would know that during my time here, I have seen the very best that the world has to offer – to love, and smile knowing that it would be the one thing I would be able to keep that with me as I go.

This Christmas, I'll choose to live like it is the last. Savoring each moment as a one of a kind, I'll be grateful for another day to love, while my heart is full of anticipation for the coming of the King.

1 Corinthians 13
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.Love never fails.

The Nativity Story