Thursday, November 2, 2017

November Gratitude

November, the month of Gratitude.  I see all of your Facebook posts popping up with your gratitude and I read them and I smile.  I’m drawn to look every day for things to be grateful for, every day in November and it makes me happy.  Why?

As a little girl, I was a free thinker, someone confident and satisfied with my world around me.  I think I was pretty happy most of the time though I have been told that I was pretty stubborn too.  It wasn’t until I was older, around ten, and my family made a significant move many states away that I became more cynical, and for lack of a better word, sad.  It was hard being the new girl in a small town that thought me strange.
I spent a lot of years feeling pretty sorry for myself.  Suddenly this confident, bubbly girl, was sad and shy and feeling pretty badly about herself.  If only people could be kinder, if only I could be prettier, if I could just speak without a Midwest accent, if maybe I could be more clever, then maybe I could be happier.
Flash forward thirty years.  I’m still me, only more chubby (I blame it on the six kids, or maybe the gluten, all the beautiful wonderful gluten,) I still stumble on my words and once in a while that accent pops back out to the teasing of my kids, my skin still breaks out and sometimes people are still mean.  But I am happy, far from shy and rarely feel bad about myself, (for very long anyways,) and I wonder what has changed.
I have worked on those things in life that I have control over and tried to let the other things go.  I’ve made conscious effort to look at myself in the mirror every day and see me how God sees me.  I’ve tried to remember who I am and how much I am loved.  And I’ve made out right choices to be happy, trying to teach my children the same, that happiness is a choice.  And it is, but I have found over the years that the world can be mean, and scary, and downright sad.  And things are probably going to continue to keep going that way or worse.  I can’t let the world decide for me whether or not I’m going to be happy, but I can decide for me and the best way that I know how to do this is by finding gratitude.
Instead of being bored because it was that Wednesday again yesterday when I take Stephanie to the orthodontist and my whole day goes to driving and ortho and my house stays a mess from the night before, dishes undone, laundry unwashed, I can see the blessing of hours of alone time that I get to spend with my sweet quiet daughter whose voice is sometimes drowned out by her more boisterous sisters and noisy brother. Those are moments and shared talks that maybe would never have come about any other way. 
I can see hard things as opportunities to grow and moments of service as time to reflect my love for God instead of add to the list of must dos.  I can watch with amazement as a spider spins a web and dust swirls in whatever pattern I last washed it off in on the front porch tables instead of grumping at the spider web too high to reach and the table once again needing washing even though I just did it two days ago. 
I can find a million things to be grateful for if I make an effort to find them.  It’s amazing how many things are beautiful, and kind, and happy when I am looking for them.  It’s amazing how much joy can be found when I’m looking for it.
So keep those Facebook posts coming of your gratitude.  Keep me looking each day for things to smile and laugh and love about and help make this crazy sad world a happier place and when December comes, and January, (that month that just seems to lag on forever in the cold and lack of any happy holidays,) comes keep looking for those gratitude moments too, and share them.  Share them with everyone you see and you know what, things will change.  Maybe not the whole world, but people around you, and me, your Facebook buddy, I will change by your example too and before you know it that sad little person inside that keeps trying to pop its head out when things get sad or mean or lonely, that little whiney person that lives in all of us will learn to smile too.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

It is not enough!

How do I describe the many heartbroken tears that I have cried over the last few years, how do I describe the tears that I shed while on my knees today?  Ugly.  Mascara running down my cheeks ugly.  But in reality that is how it should be.  My heart has broken so many times as I look at the world around me and the world around my tender daughters.  For those of you who know me you know that this is a topic that I am passionate about, my girls have had more articles and life’s lessons about it taught to them than their ABC’s and 123’s but it isn’t enough.

Some call it my opinion, my stubbornness, my dictatorship and I should respect them their own “opinion.”  But how can I?  This isn’t just a thought or an idea of mine, this is a truth, and not just my truth but the whole world’s truth even if people try to say otherwise, or rather “YELL” otherwise.

I have recently become a grandma, yes a very young, fun, classy grandma!  Brantley Bear is the most amazing little boy.  I would share his picture with you and you would see deep dimples on a face of the sweetest little boy that only smiles all of the time, but I know some would use his little face to protest against me.  His little infectious laugh and ever smiling face lights a room and calls others to find joy, to be happy. 

I remember the first time my husband and I got to go with my son and his beautiful wife to see our Little Guy on the ultra sound.  He wiggled and moved so much they couldn’t find out his gender and I remember thinking is there anything more amazing, more perfect, or more holy than this?  It was a miracle, he is a miracle.

Now if my daughter in law had been in the middle of something that she thought more important than being a mom, or if heaven forbid she had even been brutally raped, Brantley Bear would still have been that same amazing, perfect, and yes wiggly guy on the ultra sound.  Nothing about how he was created could change what he was or what he is, Holy!

Now I am not going to go into the proof, the pictures, the articles, the testimonies of so many.  I’m not going to try to prove my point.  So many before me have already done that, and if your heart still hasn’t soften to this Truth than nothing I say will change that, what I am going to say is this… It is not enough.  It is not enough that I kneel every day and ask God to heal this world and heal our hearts.  It is not enough that I ask him every day to help me teach my daughters about how sacred they are and how Holy the act of creation is even if sometimes it results from the sins and unholy acts of others.  It is not enough that I share stories and articles on Facebook and preach love.  None of it is enough until every last baby gets the right to live like my Brantley Bear or like every one of my children when they were conceived did.  It is not enough!

In a world where the left and the right and everything in between speaks loud and yells until the quiet truths of our Father in Heaven is drown out by their pollution, it is not enough to quietly shine for him.  We have to do more, we have to be loud, we have to be heard.  Millions of little Brantley Bears need us to be their Saviors, and quite frankly our Savior, our Redeemer needs us to be His voice above all the other wicked voices calling good evil and evil good.

This day, and every day until it is enough and abortion is done away with I will be that voice trying to do my best to yell above the others.  And I will not shy away from those who wish to yell right back at me, I won’t be afraid that I might lose friends and that my truth, The truth, might be unpopular.  Brantley Bear deserves all of our voices, all of them do and if your voice isn’t being heard, yell louder, stand taller, be braver!  Fill your lungs with the words, fill Facebook and Twitter and every aspect of everything around you with this truth.  You may tire of my rant and you might even tire of my posts, but until it is done, until It Is Enough, I will stand for this truth, His truth, and no one will silence me.

Will you stand with me?  Are you Brave enough?  Are you Passionate enough?  Will you fight for all of the Brantley Bears that no one else is willing to fight for? 

It Is Not Enough!