Do we appreciate our freedom?

In this country we take our freedoms for granted. Most of us are unaware of what it is like to live where there are few personal freedoms. We have never experienced it. Maybe we need to spend some time in North Korea or another country where the decision are not ours to make. As a people we are so naive.

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Be grateful for the freedoms we have. We have to guard them carefully and speak out when we see them being eroded .

Mostly moms is the reality

raising aloneTimes are tough. There are many children who are being brought up by single moms. Most of the work hard and do their best for their children. Still, being without a spouse is doubly hard. I think it takes two parents. The stress on one parent is horrendous. We all need help and in the case of raising children it is critical.

Regardless of who is doing the raising having more than one person to be looked up to and hopefully emulated is so necessary. It is helpful if boys have some male in their life and a female for girls. This is not always possible but hopefully some other family member is able to step up and help.

raising alone 2When we grew up in small towns there were many others to help. It really does “take a village” to raise a child. The more adults loving and molding growing up the better. Many of the children I am seeing now have only one parent and it is most frequently the mother. We need to grow the organizations “big brothers” and “big sisters” to fill in the gaps. children who are mentored do so much better. If not they seek affirmation from all the wrong people.

We must care for our youth

Somewhat normal?

love-warming-your-soulThis is the first day that things have felt somewhat normal. We put everything back on the porches and cleaned up some of the mess. There are small tree limbs and scattered pine and oak stuff everywhere.  It will take a while to get it clear but we are lucky that’s all there is.

 

It is nice to see the sun today. Sunshine always makes me feel better. Now I have some catching up to do with my Community Conference case for next week. Back to routine.

How-To-Help-Teens-After-Rehab-676x400This volunteer work really is important. Everyone involved is hoping that it will help to keep kids from the courts and keep their lives on a better track. It gives me a good feeling to try to help. The schools have become so strict regarding what kids can do that sometimes it is overkill. We have had children sent to court for drawing a picture of a gun. Hopefully the program will be able to see if this is a truly troubled child or just one who wasn’t thinking. After all, they are still children. Maybe some who need help can be sent to the right people.

It is nice to be thinking about this instead of constantly watching the Weather Channel and the storm. I hope the storms showing up now don’t affect anyone.

Tangled up

dog-tangled-up-in-blue-1Today I was knitting a top for my adult granddaughter. The yarn I’m using is very tricky to work with and gets tangled up easily. It did! I realized that I had done something wrong and had to back up several rows. No way did that work. The yarn became so tangled that I ended up cutting it and pulling it all out. Now I will start over. To say that I was frustrated is an understatement.

I thought about the saying “oh what a tangled web we weave.” I didn’t practise to deceive anyone but I sure wove a tangled web and had to fight my way out.

dont get stuckWe can get ourselves into messes from time to time and some of them are more complicated to get out of than others. Sometimes we volunteer to do something and discover that it not only it too much but also that we don’t like it. The getting out gracefully may not be possible.

When I got married 57 years ago the only advice that my mother gave me was “start out the way you intend to go on.” I asked her exactly what she meant and she said: “if you plan on getting up at  4 am every morning to fix breakfast just be aware that it will set the pattern for the rest of your marriage.” I have found this advice to fit so many situations. Take a good look at anything you are getting into and see if you want it in your life before you are stuck with it.

Mastering Silence

There is so much noise in our daily lives that silence is almost unknown. When I worked for the church I would occasionally ask people to sit in silence for one minute. I actually timed it and after 30 seconds the fidgeting would begin.

silence power

There is not only no silence on the outside but there is little silence on the inside. Most of us have not learned how to shut off the voice in our heads. Since we have been so little exposed to quieting that voice it requires time and effort to learn how to do it. We decide that we want to try meditation and we can’t seem to settle and so we quit. It really is difficult to meditate in the beginning on your own. It is so much easier if there is a voice directing you. There are many Amazon Alexa apps that will take you through a meditation but even those aren’t always enough.

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The best meditation I ever did was in a group with someone walking you quietly through the process. A really good leader can help you explore more depths that almost any other way. I have not found many meditation experiences except in yoga classes and most of them don’t meditate long enough for you to get into the place where you can let everything go.

I am hoping to start a group but I don’t know if I will have any takers. It remains to be seen.

Help where you can!

Yesterday I didn’t write which is unusual for me. I spent the afternoon with my friend while someone came to get a history on her husband and help to evaluate her husbands mental status. He has had such a devastatingly physical journey that it has taken its toll. It took all afternoon to get it all down on paper.

She wanted me there because I have been on a good bit of this journey with her and could help with the history. Just having someone write it all down made me realize what an extensive and harrowing time it has been.

I feel so humbled by how she has weathered this whole scenario and my heart aches for all she has been through with him. I don’t think anyone can appreciate the level of exhaustion and stress seen when a long illness puts their partner into the caregiving role.

fragile

It is so important for caregivers to have time away from the situation. Without it their physical and mental status is at risk. It is a blessing when help can be afforded but in some cases that is not possible.

Most people just keep going and hate to ask for help. Frequently there are friends, neighbors, church members or others who would be willing to sit for a while with the ill person. When they do it is important for the caregiver to do something for themselves…..meet friends for lunch, go outdoors away from home, or whatever rejuvenates them. Too often they take that time for errands and tasks that must be done. This may be necessary but even a short while doing something they love will help.

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If you know someone who is a caregiver take the time to offer help. Be specific. Tell them you can sit for them or run errands or, if they can, take them out. Caregivers need all the help we can give. It is so easy to continue with our own agenda but remember those who have no time for themselves.

The Circle of Life

Today part of our day was attending a funeral. The deceased was in his late eighties and an amazing man. He was a former Air Force Officer was extremely active in supporting the community. He was dearly loved by family and friends and will be deeply missed.  The good news is that he lived a full and fruitful life.

birth-and-death

After just having another great grandson born at the end of June I am again thinking about the connection of birth and death. Someone is always coming and someone is always going. It’s almost as if they are trading places. I guess that sounds like reincarnation but that is not exactly what I am thinking. To quote The Lion King it is the “Circle of Life.”

 

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New life is amazing. It seems to tell us that something is going right. It is too bad that the births are increasing the population beyond our planet’s ability to cope. We need to be more conscious of our place in the scheme of things. I hope that somehow the whole world’s population will begin to understand.

Don’t fear

It is a funny thing about love. We really can’t experience the fullness of it unless we are open to it. Being open, however, puts us at risk of being hurt. That is the trade off.

vulnerableSometimes we choose to love someone and are hurt by that person. It happens to everyone. Sitting back in fear gets us nowhere. I know people who have spent their lives alone because they couldn’t accept the uncertainty. Love is rarely certain.

We take a risk when we choose to love. I have taken that risk more that once and been hurt. I also took that risk 56 years ago when I married my husband. That risk paid off. Not all of them do.

For me, a life without love is a barren life. Yes, I have been hurt by relationships. Sometimes even those we think of as friends can hurt us terribly. It takes time to know a person well and the person we see at the beginning may be wearing a mask. We may not find out until later what is underneath.

I know someone who was married for years only to discover the person she loved was a criminal. We can be fooled.

Is it worth it? Yes, yes and yes! If the love is lost we will experience pain. We learn from the pain and become someone who has more depth. If it lasts it brings joy.

Don’t stay away from love out of fear. It is one of the most fruitful things in life. You can’t afford to not live fully!

Exploring the journey

win or loseToday I went back and read some of my original posts. I had a plan for this journey. I wanted to find a way to accept what comes each day and to learn new ways of coping. In some things I have done well in others not so much.

I have managed to spend more time in the “now.” I am more aware of each day than I have ever been. I have made daily prayer a habit. I have always prayed in erratic moments but now I also pray intentionally at the end of each day. This has worked for me and allows me to explore the events of the day in a different way. It is a time for contemplation.

I have not done as well with meditation. I can’t seem to get into a pattern or keep to any kind of a schedule. My past experiences taught me that meditation works best when it is practised consistently. This is something I want to improve.

Life is all about changing ourselves to better manage our place in the world. The world is not going to change for us. We are the only ones in our control. We have to continually work to understand how we react to what happens in our lives.

change ourselves

It is so easy to say that I know what to do and so hard to actually do it. I will continue to fight the struggle that some things are for me and work to truly immerse myself in changing. The struggle will remain until I am no longer on this earth but that is being alive. There are always challenges but we can move forward each day.