Tuesday, July 27, 2010

check out, a good read

Grab a cup of coffee or tea, log onto http://55blahblah.blogspot.com

this is a very good read!

Thanks J.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Patience or Bust!

"Oh, Lord....grant me the patience......."

I would hear this line so often in my house- my Mother- my angry Mother- my frustrated Mother- my Mother who thinks she knows everything Mother.
I stole her favorite line.

Over the past few weeks while driving my precious cargo around to the pool, to summer field hockey tournaments, to visit family and friends I have been asking, well, probably screaming "Oh, Lord grant me patience!" due to reckless & aggressive drivers. Patience~ because my inner lining was beginning to boil. Can't these people see that I have my children in the car? Do they notice the speed limit is 45 and quickly jumps to 25 within a few yards? Do they not understand YIELD at the round-about? What is so important that someone feels the need to tailgate another person - go around me! I actually dream about that.
The reckless aggressive mom in her mini van who is now part of our conversation in my vehicle due to tailgating - I vision her getting even more irritated.....she's munching on M'Donalds fries....sipping coffee....cell phone in the other hand......now she's pissed and ready to pass me....as she passes there sits the township cop sitting in the parking lot of Pop's Diner looking bored til' now
he flips the lights.....he's off after the mom in the mini van......she's pulled over to the side of the road......and there I am.....passing slowly smiling from ear to ear. Oh, yeah...I wave to her..toodles!

Football Superstar tells me to pull over to the shoulder of the road and allow the aggressive driver to just pass me. if I can of course~
I tell Football Superstar that's giving in to their recklessness. And yes, I know it's for my children and my own safety.
And this is where my patience is truly tested. This is where I want to be a traffic cop- a vigilante - superwoman- no, better yet, Bewitched! This is where I could wiggle my nose or wink and the aggressive drivers car would float into the air - oh to see their faces! And I would just drive by waving......toodles!

I guess for now I must ask for patience......pratice my patience.....and pray that sooner or later this aggressive person will come to their senses. AND my soon to be 16 year old son will never meet this person(s) or become one.

As the song goes: "Slow down, you move to fast, you've got to make the morning last
Just kickin' down the cobble-stones, lookin' for fun and feelin' groovy....."

Maybe I could get this on a bumper sticker?


Friday, July 16, 2010

Thank You

Sharon owner/designer of TEA BREWS PEACE www.teabrewspeace.com
Brenda- in the Dominican Republic {an Italian friend I will one day meet at the Piazza}

Mother Teresa
Doctors Without Borders
Greg Mortenson

With Compassion
With Love
With Devotion
A Vision
A Mission
A Purpose

6 different people
6 separate parts of the globe
with 1 goal~

I want to thank you~

And to many other organizations or groups that I have not mentioned- thank you.
As our media world focuses on so much negative stories because they sell and as a society we are so interested we rarely hear the positive stories in the media of what is taking place in our world. The danger our missionaries place themselves in to feed, clothe and educate some of the poorest and violent countries. The vision of a church leader- his/her "vacation" is traveling to Cuba or India to help build a well. The financial donation(s) from the CEO of a company to the orphanage in Haiti. The Youth Group who travel over summer vacation for a moment they will never forget- craft time in a ghetto outside of Brooklyn~~ I could go on and on forever.....but I think you get my message. I'm hoping you do
Our visions and missions begin within our own 4 walls.


Monday, July 12, 2010

To humble myself

When I look over these past few months, I know I have grown spiritually. I've taken giant steps forward while I took my baby steps in becoming a believer.
Does this mean I don't question God...no. Does this mean I don't become angry or scared...no, because I do. But I do not question the old questions from the past.

And why?
Most of those old questions opened old wounds. Those questions that brought back pain or sadness -I simply covered with a patched quilt. Each patch holding a memory or a thought- safely sewn into the fabric of my past. Like my favorite psychology class we were told to "talk about it" or "rehearse and review with clients/students". I was never good at rehearsing, but I can talk a good talk about it!

And now, every once in awhile when I see that old patch quilt in the corner of my mind- I may just question why something happened- asking why a young life was taken, or why did the couple loose their son and why hatred and suffering continues to blanket the world.
I don't clutch onto that dark thought as I have in the past. I try to see the world through the eyes of others- those who have walked in a spiritual journey their entire lives- or most of it.

One man comes to mind. His story or life journey is one that I have heard many times. I would learn something more about this kind gentle man when his story would surface in conversations. friends and family From his active roll in church to his active roll in packing every nook and cranny in the family station wagon for their 3 month stay at the beach- where the family business was located. His smile could melt your heart and his love for his wife and family spoke volumes. But it wasn't until I actually read his journal- his writings of years past and present that I listened.
*This story was not taken out of his writings~these are memories shared by family and friends.

1943 he was on a beach in Peleliu. He was only 23 years old. He was shot by a large machine gun bullet- the bullet penetrated his skull.
Collecting the dead, medics found him- assuming he was dead- as they plan to tag him- they notice this Marine is breathing. Still alive- just barely.
He is taken to a hospital ship placed in a ward with others who are severely wounded- expected to die.
He contracts malaria. He isn't expected to survive the massive skull injury- all odds are against him.

After months in the hospital- numerous operations- titanium plate is placed in the skull
skin graphs- physical therapy. He gains strength little at a time. He must learn to do everything all over again. A man once strong and healthy- a vibrant graduate of Harvard, not only fought in WW2- but now battled the enemies taking over his body.
Meningitis 7 times - losing one eye to cancer- hearing loss- later losing most of his sight in his "good eye". Forcing this independent man to now surrender it all.

Never once did this man question God as to why. Why was he given such a "bad deal" in the card game of life. When most people I know I would would become angry, depressed, feeling pain asking- why? Why me?
His passion for life never went unnoticed because of what and how he projected to others. He loved his life and people. He took nothing for granted.
He became a Sunday school teacher. A man who was modest - quietly proud of his faith.
He was comfortable within himself.

His son once told me how his father was an inspiration to others. But yet his father never looked at himself as such a man.
Confident - without boasting. confident

When I asked his son how would his father describe himself- his son smiles and tells me that his father never talked about himself...only others. His wife and their 5 sons.
His grandchildren and friends. His comrades.

His son tells me at the end of our discussion- "my father lived life pretty much the way it was intended to be lived". His love for God and his knowledge belief that God loved him unconditionally carried him through all of his struggles.
Life of course was not perfect for this father of five, husband, business owner.
He tackled business and financial issues and the physical road blocks that life throws at us- yet he traveled through his life with grace and dignity.

This man is known as Mr. Ice Cream. the original since 1912!
He was my father-in-law for 4 years.
It saddens me that I only had such a short time to be with him. China Doll and I knew the first time we met Mr. Ice Cream he was a real life teddy bear. One that you wanted to hug over and over again. His crooked smile would have you smiling no matter what happened or how you felt that day.
He loved to read. He would sneak down to his office and spend hours reading.
Hours- because unlike most, Mr. Ice Cream needed a special reading machine. What could take 5 minutes to read a letter would take him 30 minutes on this massive machine that enlarged the print of anything he wanted to read. Wall Street Journal, Penn State newspaper, NY Times

When I think of my father-in-law it is impossible not to smile, laugh and cry.
The month Football Superstar and I found out we were to be parents again, Mr. Ice Cream was recovering from a 3 month meningitis battle- one that placed him in a coma.
As he recovered in the hospital- we told him the good news.
There was that crooked smile. He beamed and congratulated us.
He then took over announcing the good news. I don't think there was a nurse, doctor or any hospital employee that did not know Mr. Ice Cream was going to be a grandfather- again!

Apple Cheeks was able to meet her Grandpa Ice Cream.
He could make her smile and giggle. He enjoyed every moment with his newest grandchild.

Mr. Ice Cream passed away 2008.

Thank you Mr. Ice Cream for inspiring me. ~ I love you.


Friday, July 9, 2010

Dance the Day Away....

To Dance:

I will stop looking back WITH REGRETS......
or looking forward WITH FEAR.....
and give the best I have today.

I will celebrate the relationships I share and never take them for granted.
I will treasure them~ as one of life's sweetest joys.

I will take pleasure in the smiles that warm me
and in the hugs that always say "I love you."

I will stop hiding my problems and doubts and trepidation
and confront whatever is in front of me
in the present moment.

I will let the love of God touch the depths of my heart
and mold me into the person I should be.
I will make love the center of my being and all I do.

I will not stand to the side and allow the music in my heart
to fade away and die...
I will dance to my own life song.

Recently I pulled out one of my favorite "gentle reminder" books.... DANCE While You Can by
Lance Wubbels. A special gift from Eva.....this sweet little book is filled with beautiful photos and words. Inspirational & encouraging.

Have a wonderful weekend~ and get out there and dance!


Monday, July 5, 2010

The Divided Human Race

Deciding to attend LW this Sunday (July 4th) was a coin toss- and I hate to put it that way- however due to a busy weekend we thought perhaps we would take this particular Sunday and well, sleep in. That's funny because our sleeping in is until 6:45 am on pretty much any given weekend.

I made the call....we'll go!
SO glad I called it.

After my latest post with all the whining and complaining of one particular issue- our service on July 4th given by Pastor B*, was a standing ovation. Not that he received one- but on the inside I was applauding him, I was standing on my seat as if I were in Yankee stadium cheering for my boys- I was saying "yes, yes, yes it's about time!"- something I have been feeling for a very long time- way before I began my spiritual journey.

He spoke of our judgements towards others. He spoke of a human race so divided, we build walls due to complete misunderstandings- because we don't understand the differences of people we become suspicious and build not only walls, but we add barbed wire layers surrounding the walls.

This has been existing for a very long time- it's nothing new.
The power of hatred. The power of evil in all of us.
The judgement we hold against others because of their differences. Race, religion, gender, what we wear or where we live, what gang we belong to, or what country club we socialize in.
What car we drive or the house we own. Some examples were those of political parties, sport rivals and religious beliefs.

I personally appreciate the visual examples Pastor B* provided for us. Using such movies as Crash and Hotel Rwanda was a perfect tool. I watched both of these movies more than once-and they are not the type of movie to invite your friends over for pop corn and iced tea.
Like The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, these movies are raw- they are so close to real life.
They express a broken human race- humans that judge and hate.

Pastor B* became very emotional while speaking. He gave a warning that we will feel uneasiness as we listen to him. Open wounds maybe? The guilt? The raw pure hatred some of us, maybe most of us feel for others? The judgement? The shame? The racial tension? The religious wars we fight?
As he reminded us that God loves everyone- not just Christians- or the "do gooders"- but all mankind. His closing question was given with a cracking in his voice- "What will pull us together?"

You would have needed to be a stone hearted individual not to feel something during this service. You would have to be closed off completely. Am I judging here? Possibly, so I apologize. For me, and my family sitting in the low attended service on this 4th of July, 2010- I felt something. I felt a lot of something.

I felt as I begin my new day- I want to be part of the leaders and followers who tear down these walls. The new Berlin Wall- the Chinese bamboo gate- the "no trespassing" sign attached to a fence- the Mexican/USA border war- the racist barrier that divides us- the religious wars attached to our hearts.
And with this march, I must remind myself not to judge or find the hatred in my heart that once festered because of what I may have witnessed or the pain I may have felt from someone. I must remind myself to hold the hand of my enemy- in my heart.
If I could....I would highly suggest Pastor B*'s sermon be repeated yearly.

You may listen to Pastor B* by linking onto: www.lwccyork.com (July 4th service)

Suggested movies: Crash ** Freedom Writers ** The Boy in the Striped Pajamas ** Hotel Rwanda ** and if you can stomach the violence and tolerate the language- American History X

Life Lesson: Less division- I never really liked math anyway.


Saturday, July 3, 2010

Stop the madness!!!


I'll warn you- this post has nothing to do with my journey- well, I guess it could. I was undecided - to post or not to post- and well, I did.
This is a story of a woman who has been harassed, teased, insulted - call it what you will- in the end- all I'm saying is " STM"!!!!

Does it really matter to anyone in my group of friends or my family who I voted for in our most recent election- for President?
Does it really matter who was in office during 9/11, the fall of our economy, the fall of man?
Does it really matter to you what I feel deep within my little ol' heart? Politically speaking here now.

Well, apparently to one man, who I will not name but will dub him as "MR. MYPEOPLEARERIGHTYOURPEOPLEAREWRONG".
I've been receiving e-mail jokes regarding our President.
These e-mails have not only be rude,racial and disrespectful but have become harassing.
Okay- before you say, block his e-mail- I have folks. So due to my blocking - I'm now receiving the oh, I'm gonna be a jokester and pull this sensitive gals tail one more time- phone calls.
I'm not related to this person. I've known this person for some time now.
I've tried the nice gal trail and kept my tail pinned between my legs, asking for strength to not explode with an angry bark over the phone or bite him thru the fence by stating "does this matter?" And if so...why?
WRONG!!!! Apparently it does matter!

Football Superstar tells me to ignore him. To allow people who feel empowered to speak their tongues and bother me? No, that is not what my husband is saying.
What he is saying is I'm going to find ignorance no matter where I walk, swim, work, and play. which I do know this
I'm to gracefully tell Mr. MYPEOPLEARERIGHTYOURPEOPLEAREWRONG to please stop sending me e-mails or any other source of information what he meant was bull sh*t due to my Christian beliefs. It's offensive- end of discussion. And, I really didn't want to get my husband involved in this->unless it would be absolutely necessary.

What I want to say is this: STOP the MADNESS! I am 100% a supporter of our country.
Racial slurs offend me- I have a Chinese daughter, duh my father is a "Whap" which would make me one, I have African American, Asian, Puerto Rican and blended friends, I also have Republican friends....and you know what they tell me...people like YOU embarrassed THEM.

Okay, my dream conversation went somewhat like that~ with a few extra ingredients. But how I informed this man was with the grace my husband suggested I add to the recipe, not hot peppers.
Let's see how it taste....MMmmmmm, haven't had a call or a harassing joke sent via e-mail.

My only last word that I need to get in, or type is I still find it amazing that in todays society- there are people that refuse to look at the big picture. My husband laughs at me because I just can't let some things go. I get a hug....and I promise to be a good girl as my Football Superstar heads out the door. I grin, give him a kiss and ask what color peace sign should I get tattooed on my bum? I'm looked at oddly. Well, the next time I need to say my piece/peace.....I'll just shoot over a friendly moon! Good bye honey- and please stay in the house today.
Why does my dear sweet street rat Ginny come back to mind? Oh, yeah....I'm a pit bull with my tail waggin'.

Have a groovy day folks! And let's keep the peace!