Wednesday, November 26, 2014

I am

I am ignorant-
I don't know what it is like to be a person of color living in America. I have no idea what it is like for them to live day in day out feeling like they don't matter...that black lives don't matter.
In truth, the black population wants us to know that they think the white man thinks that black lives don't matter. When it's black gang members killing other black gang members in Chicago then nobody shouts black lives matter.

I realize that...
I am privileged-
I am a middle class white woman living in a middle class white neighborhood. I live in small town USA. We don't have gang wars where at least 6 people are shot dead every single weekend. In my town we don't have any neighborhoods that are called "The Projects" or The Slums. We don't have dope dealers selling crack on our street corners. We didn't have any protesters marching thru our streets or burning down our stores or torching cop cars or looting after the Grand Jury's verdict.

I realize that...
I'm angry-
When I watch the news and see people are looting the stores, I wonder how in the hell does the Grand Jury's decision make breaking into stores and stealing and looting okay? Where is the connection between the two? A select group of people made an unpopular decision based on evidence which pissed them off so let's go steal stuff?! Let's burn down our town cuz that'll show 'em how mad we are. I've never looted any stores and made it a rational decision in my mind that I deserved to have these things, so it was ok. I've never looted at all. Doesn't make any sense to me. They are complaining about the way that they are being treated and yet they are burning down their town and looting and throwing bricks and God knows what else.

I realize that...
I am intolerant-
If I lived in a place like they do, would I feel entitled to steal stuff that I want because a white cop shot a black man? Would any of this have happened if a black cop shot that black kid? Would people still be screaming and crying and protesting if this was a black on black thing? What if it was a black cop and a white kid? Or is this about the fact that the black man had no weapon? Now, couldn't his size have been a weapon? Couldn't his anger have been a weapon? Couldn't the fact that he and his people have been oppressed for the last 200 years made him angry enough to hurt someone or at least "look" like he was gonna hurt someone? I'm serious...Black people are using the history of slavery as a weapon, as a reason for hating white people.

I realize that...
I am saddened-
I will never know what it is like to grow up a person of color. I will never know a hatred so deep that it goes back 200 years and keeps fueling the fire of a certain race of people. I don't even like my own attitude over all of this. I don't know those people who live in Ferguson-either white or black. They live in a state of tension that must at times seem surreal, even to them and this makes me sad. Do they never know peace or have peace or experience any peace, ever, at all? Is there never a time that they can live tension free? Do they ever feel like they can breathe and just be themselves and live their lives?

I realize that...
I am blessed-
Blessed beyond my wildest imagination.
To be born white, to live in Suburbia, to live in the US of A, to never have to wonder if the cop car rolling down the street is out looking for me because of the color of my skin.  I've never known hunger or homelessness, or drug addiction. I've never had to live in the projects or live off of welfare, my people were never slaves, we've never been hunted down for any reason.
I get it. I am very privileged and I've led a very charmed life.

And I realize that...
I am a child of God. We are all children of God. You, me, them, us. Black, White, Red, whatever.
We all deserve to live our lives in peace. We all deserve to be loved, to be forgiven, to be redeemed.
Setting fires, stealing and looting, throwing bricks and bottles just doesn't seem like the right solution to me. Isn't there a better way? Isn't there a way we can learn to live in peace and harmony with ourselves and our neighbors?

Jesus...please come and save us all.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Grand Kids

Tuesday was a trial.
My 2 grand kids fought and argued and cried  all. day. long.
So of course this means Granny fought and argued  all. day. long. too.
(I almost cried at one point but that would have taken too much energy)

They refused to share with each other so every toy choice was a battle.
He wanted to play with his cars but wouldn't let her have any,
which made her cry.
So I give her the large bucket of Legos.
He sidles up to the table and wants the exact Lego piece that she is playing with!
He takes it from her and she cries.
I take it from him and give it back to her and he cries.
I'm not talking sad gentle crying here...I'm talking howling....and screaming with tears.
She wants to watch her favorite cartoon which is Bubble Guppies.
He cries cuz he wants to watch Thomas the Train.
Even though we just finished watching a movie he'd picked which wasn't Thomas the Train.

She wants her socks off!! while the weather feels like -7 with the windchill today.
I wrestle with her to keep them on, she's laughing but I ain't.
He keeps taking his shirt off and I keep telling him to put it back on.

He won't eat. Period. No matter what I offer it is refused.
When he does finally eat at 4:00 (Chocolate Milk and a PB & J)
he wants to eat in front of the TV in the living room.
She refuses to eat unless it is in her booster seat at the kitchen table,
but at least she eats anything!!

We are, all of us, recovering from having colds.
She hates having her nose wiped and cries when I do it (more tears = more snot)
When she hugs me, she rubs her snotty nose on my shoulder...only later do I see the evidence. Ugh
He refuses to blow his nose, preferring instead to sniff all that crap right up into his ears.
My one ear is stuffed full of what feels like cotton wool so I am having trouble hearing-
With the exception of their howling which I can hear with clarity in stereo.

He gets a time out for stealing her dolly and doll bottle...more howling from him from the couch.
She gets put in the playpen for attempting to hit and claw at him for stealing said dolly.
This time the howling is from her with more tears and more snot.

I've got a slight cough and every time I cough, I pee a little so it always feels like I wet myself.
The deafness in my right ear is maddening, so is the piddling in my pants and my infernal runny nose.
It is making me very short tempered and aggravated and they keep fighting and crying!!!

There is a woman I know who has 2 grown children.
Her son is 42. Her daughter is 38.
Neither one has married and neither one has any desire for children.
And this fact makes her sad.
She wants to dance at their weddings.
She wants to anticipate the arrival of her grandchildren.
She realizes that her children's biological clocks are ticking very loudly now
and that her window of opportunity to ever become a grandma is quickly slamming shut.
The other day she said to me  "I want grandchildren but I guess it's too late now."

On days like the one I described at the very beginning of this post
I would gladly sell her my own grand kids.
Horrible little gutter snipes that they are!!

Then Wednesday comes and they are as good as gold  all. day. long.
They tumble in the front door smiling and loving and happy.
They play nicely with each other and share the toys  all. day. long.
They watch Thomas the Train cartoons and dance to Bubble Guppy songs.
They eat breakfast AND lunch at the kitchen table
And all . day. long. there is no howling, screaming or crying ...not even from Granny ;)

Dear Jesus,
When I pray for peace and quiet, I guess I had better be specific, huh?
I need to remember that there are those who would love to be in my shoes.
Forgive me for my complaining nature.
Thank you Jesus-
For the noise, the snot, the crying, the laughing, the sticky messes, the unconditional love.
For Cartoons, P B & J, chocolate milk, pacifiers, hugs and kisses, pink and blue mittens,
Their tiny beautiful chicklet teeth, Ninja Turtle underwear and the smell of their heads.
For blankies and dollys and trains and Legos and Bubble Guppy dance songs.

Thank you Jesus for blessing me with Grand Kids

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Fruit for thought

I noticed recently while in the shower that I use a lot of fruit scented products.
My shampoo and conditioner smell like Passion Fruit
Face wash~ Orange Burst
Facial scrub~ Apricot
Body wash~ Coconut
Bubble bath~ Grapefruit
Body Lotion~ Cocoa Butter or Warm vanilla Sugar in the Winter
and Tangerine or Coconut Lime in the Summer
Body Spray~Grapefruit Lemongrass or Plum(something or other) from Dove
Deodorant~Tropical Paradise from Suave which smells like Coconut and Pineapple
Bath Powder~No scent but made with cornstarch
Hand Soap-Bathroom~Pumpkin Spice
Hand Soap-Kitchen~Orange Tangerine or Lemon Burst
Even the Lysol Spray that I buy is scented Orange citrus or Lemon
The candles I'm burning right now are Pumpkin spice and Spiced Pear

I'm not sure why I love these scents so much but they make me happy.
Considering the fact that I hate to eat fruit it don't make much sense.

So here's where I'll throw in the Jesus thing today-
You know that Fruit of the Spirit quote from the Bible-

 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, 

faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23English Standard Version 

The following is what that same passage looks like from The Message-

But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.      Galatians 5:22-23The Message (MSG)

Isn't that beautiful? I love the way Eugene Petersen interpreted that passage.

And I love that God has lately been bringing more of those things into my life.
Affection for others, exuberance for life, serenity.

On a sad note...another friend has been diagnosed with cancer.
This time it is colon cancer with "spots" seen on chest and liver x-rays.
She's 44, married with 2 kids.

I wanted to send her via Facebook a poem or a Bible quote or something of the like-
The kind that says stay strong...God's got this.
But I felt like that wasn't true. I don't believe God's got this. 
I don't believe God had anything to do with this.
The God I pray to doesn't give people cancer.
He may heal them...but sometimes He heals them on the other side.
I'm not implying that I think she will succumb to cancer.
I don't know what will happen.
But I am praying for her every time I think about her,
which is to say that I keep praying for her all day long.
Anyway...all the quotes were wrong, stupid, trite.
Where's the cutsey Pinterest quote with flowers and smiley faces that says
F*** You cancer?
And how would that make her feel better? Or loved? Or prayed for??
What I found was a singer named Lauren Daigle on Youtube.
She's fairly new to the Christian singing artist scene. To me she sounds a lot like Adele.
Her cover song for You Make Me Brave was exactly what I wanted for my friend. 
It said exactly what I wanted her to know about God and being brave through this time in her life.
So I sent it to her in a private FB message, only it didn't go private. It went to my public FB page.
I started to take it down, started to hit the delete button but I stopped.
Maybe the words of this song would be just the thing that somebody else needed hear.
Maybe if other people heard this song and saw who I had dedicated it to, 
maybe they would or could pray for my friend too.

"...A basic holiness permeate things and people..."

Her name is Amy. She is a beautiful person in every single way possible. 
And she is all of these things-
love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithful, gentle and self-controlled.

Would you help me pray for her today?
Would you light your candles no matter the scent and help me pray for my friend?