Got Your Morning Coffee?

…so you can pull a seat up and sit a spell.


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Blood Flowed, Tears Fell, and Souls Rose

Yesterdays’ shooting in Oregon has left the country stunned, yet again, due to the warped thought process of one individual’s idealization of how things are supposed to be. As furious as I am over his cowardly actions, I refuse to enhance the fame of any such character. Instead, I want to praise the victims on their firm stance of faith.

I’m sure you’ve heard by now about the gunman asking each student to stand and state their faith. If the answer was “Christian” they were shot in the cranium, whereas those who said nothing were shot in the leg. Given the situation there’s no telling how any of us would have responded with a gun pointed in our direction.

Before I proceed, allow me to make one proclamation, I am a Christian! I say that with pride, vigor, and sincerity.

Mark 8:38 states, “If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

Now stay with me for a second. As each victim stood declaring their Christian faith, others in the room watched as the gunman took their life. After the second or third person was shot the students probably noticed a pattern being set as to who was shot where. However, no matter what answer was given, they undoubtedly knew they would be shot… and they knew it!

Starting with the second student and those thereafter, anyone who claimed Christianity as their faith knew their fate. With that said, those who said nothing, which I’m sure was out of extreme fear, did not deny God, instead the terror they endured dictated their silence no matter what higher being they believed in, if any at all.

Just as the victims’ family, classmates, faculty, country, and president wrench in true heartfelt pain over the deaths of these and every victim of domestic terrorism, I also feel that pain. Not only do our hearts cry out in pain, our entire being yearns for a stance to be taken to stop the annihilation of innocent people.

As a result of the chaos, both yesterday and in the months and years before … blood flowed, tears fell, and souls rose.

May Your Souls Forever Rest In Peace!


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“I’m Stupid”

This simply worded sign caught the attention of my family while traveling home from the beach this past weekend. We had just gotten to a long stretch of highway that has proven many times to be an endless, boring ride. The sign was written on a large index card with a thick, light pink marker. The person who’d made the sign had it posted in the window next to where she was seated; the front passenger seat. Accompanying the sign were strange actions she’d chosen to display to everyone passing by; a means of demonstrating the authenticity of her sign. With a blank look on her face, she’d press her nose against the passenger window, dragging her face down a bit until her nose resembled a pig’s nose.

She was a pretty blonde girl who looked to be in her early twenties. Our first impression was that her mother, who was driving, had made her mad and this was her means of retaliation. The next impression I’d gotten was that she truly had a mental problem; thus bringing out feelings of sympathy. Finally we determined she was doing it for fun, to break the monotony of the long ride. Her silliness went on for miles. Back and forth our vehicles would go within the mixture of numerous cars, motor homes, buses, and an endless list of other vehicles, all traveling in the same direction. However, after reaching our turn off, we knew that was the end of our entertainment.

Being the silly person that I am, I started referring to our entertainer as “STUPID.” I meant no harm, it’s just that we didn’t know her name and I was only referring to her as the name she’d given herself. I’d make comments like, “Recon where STUPID’s at? I miss STUPID!” And finally, I pretended to cry and said, “STUPID needs me, she needs me to build up her confidence.” We laughed so much over one simple act this girl did to bring laughter to others; she truly freed us from boredom!

Our last pit stop was a short one before facing another long stretch of highway. Of course STUPID was brought up once we were on our way, but she was just a fleeing thought. Suddenly my husband looked in his side view mirror and yelled, “Here comes STUPID!” Excitement burst from my daughter and me as we began twisting in our seats to look at the vehicle approaching us from behind. Sure enough, STUPID had caught up with us, and yes, her sign was still posted.

Since we were nowhere near a popular visiting site, the highway was quite bare. STUPID’s mom blew past us, taking full advantage of the wide open road. It was at that time I’d come up with the idea to write a reply to STUPID’s sign. Finally we were fast approaching a traffic light that would give us the opportunity to be on STUPID’s side of the car. When we’d finally come to a stop, a guy in a black truck was parked beside STUPID and her crew. He’d got them to roll down their window (STUPID and her sister who was sitting behind her) and was chatting away. He was eating up our time at the traffic light, and our time to connect with STUPID. ARGGG, this man needed to move up so we could show STUPID my sign! Finally, just as the light had changed and the traffic began to move, my husband sped up until we were side-by-side with STUPID. My daughter held the sign up in my husbands’ side window, “AT LEAST YOU SPELLED STUPID RIGHT!” is what was displayed. At that point Silly Ole STUPID rolled her window down revealing her and her mom rolling in laughter. Obviously they hadn’t got, nor were they expecting, a written reply of any kind; much less one pointing out a positive from her silly negative persona.

What I took away from STUPID’s silliness is, though she didn’t care what first impression she’d left with others, she was willing to do so to break the tedious ride home for those around her.

So STUPID, if by chance you’re reading this, my family and I want to thank you for bringing a smile to the faces of everyone traveling Hwy 501 in S.C. and 601 in N.C.

Best Wishes to You Girl  🙂


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Homicide with the intent of Suicide

 It seems a rash of mass shootings have plagued our country, starting with the Columbine High School massacre on April 20, 1999 to the more recent deaths on May 25, 2014 in Southern California.  Was it the media filled “glory” of these killers actions injecting the same thoughts into the minds of future suicidal citizens? Or is it the “high” these monsters get from taking another person’s life? Whatever the reason, taking other people’s lives seems to be the “in” thing to do if you’re suicidal or just plain pissed at someone (or a group of people), in any given situation. The question is “Why?” Why take the lives of innocent people if you’re the one who’s having issues with what’s going on around you?

I haven’t heard anyone speak out on the topic, or question, that has troubled me for quite some time; “If you’re pissed about something and considering suicide, for Heaven’s sake, DON’T END THE LIVES OF OTHERS during your plan of action!  It’s not only STUPID, but it’s a cop-out, a means of crushing family members, and a one way ticket to Hell! (For those of us who are religious)

I ask you, “you” being anyone contemplating taking the lives of others, “Why not get psychological help?” Instead of killing innocent people for ANY reason, STOP and take a breath; reach out for help. Think of the aftermath of your consequences. If you kill ONE person, including yourself, you’ll spend eternity in Hell. If YOU survive this rampage, you’ll spend the rest of your life in prison. Is this what you want??? Is this the life, or “after life” you’ve dreamed of? Don’t be a fool! Consider the before and after picture before you throw your life, and the lives of others, away.

Remember this…

You may look tough during your escapade, but it’ll be TOUGH on you afterward!  

 

Let’s get this conversation going. I want to know what my readers’ thoughts are on the subject.

If you’re reaching out for help, I’m here for you.  I may sound harsh but I have a heart of gold and am genuinely concerned for all.

Don’t beat yourself up, reach out for help.   


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Christmas Begins with Christ…

The title I’m using, “Christmas begins with Christ,” was copied from a message that appeared on my face book wall and has stuck with me for so many reasons. It touched me so much so, I chose to use it as my wallpaper for the month of December. But it’s also a message that I feel Christ wants me to share with each of you.

With Christmas around the corner, the public’s being lured to retail stores like herds of cattle being steered toward a slaughter house to wreak havoc on their very lives. The only difference between Christmas 2013 and those before and after this year is the level of intense advertising and means of enticing us to buy from each store. Think about it, the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping appears in songs, movies, or any where it can be fabricated to look like the “in” thing to do because, after all…”Tis the Season.”

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

Stained glass at St John the Baptist’s Anglican Church http://www.stjohnsashfield.org.au, Ashfield, New South Wales. Illustrates Jesus’ description of himself “I am the Good Shepherd” (from the Gospel of John, chapter 10, verse 11). This version of the image shows the detail of his face. The memorial window is also captioned: “To the Glory of God and in Loving Memory of William Wright. Died 6th November, 1932. Aged 70 Yrs.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Christmas season gets more frantic as years pass, and with it comes the price one puts on another’s worth, or so some think. Now, who hasn’t uttered these words or overheard them from someone else, “Well, I know Junie usually spends ten to twenty dollars on our presents so I’ve got to spend as much on hers.” Or how about this one, “We have to buy a present for ______ because they bought us one last year,” a phrase notoriously heard by many.

Well, let’s slow down a minute and think about this. “Christmas begins with Christ.” Hmmm. We could take that a few different ways. There’s:

1. Christmas
2. We celebrate Christmas because Jesus Christ was born
3. Honestly our first thought, our day, our very existence should start with
praising Christ.

Let’s focus on #2, celebrating Christmas because Jesus Christ was born.

Matthew Chapter 2:11
11. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.

Just as it says in Matthews Chapter 2, the three wise men went and saw Jesus who was with his mother, Mary. They brought him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The bible doesn’t say they brought Joseph and Mary gifts; only Jesus. (Hence, Jesus, a child, is the reason for the season).

Christmas should be celebrated by both adults and children, with Christ at the center of the celebration. However, giving presents should be more so for children than for adults. Hopefully, everyone has had a wonderful childhood where both their wants and needs were met by either their parents or the fictional character, Santa.

Christmas gifts

Christmas gifts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m not saying adults shouldn’t exchange gifts with one another; after all, giving is more enjoyable than receiving. But let’s be honest with ourselves, how many of us have blown our Christmas budget (if you had such a budget set aside) to accommodate funding for all the gifts needed for any given year? Or are you still paying for 2012’s Christmas gifts, or quite possibly gifts from one, two, or even three years before that?

Society has jumped on a train that is moving way too fast; similar to the Polar Express, if you will. The only difference between us and the characters on the Polar Express is we’re not going to the North Pole; we’re headed straight to financial destruction while retailers smile and wave as we go by. We need to slow down. Spending is not the reason for the season, Jesus is!

Earlier today I watched a program that gave some great ideas for gifts, its gifts of time. Examples include: offering to cook dinner for your friends or family, or drop the neighbors’ children off at school even if your children are grown up and on their own. What about volunteering to sit with your neighbors’ grandmother who’s in the nursing home to give your neighbor a break? Or go watch television and spend quality time with someone who just lost a loved one and hasn’t had time to adjust to being alone.

Here’s a thought…
If stores are able to lower their prices for “Black Friday,” which turned into “Thrifty Thanksgiving Thursday” this year, then can they not lower their prices the rest of the year if we show them what’s important? It would take time, and it’d be a ripple effect, but personally I’m getting tired of paying $13-15 for paper that’s being flushed down the toilet, aren’t you?

In closing, I just want to reiterate that society needs to slow down, to get back to the simpler times, and that Christmas isn’t about “keeping up with the Jones.” Christmas is about reflecting on Jesus’ birth and the miracle of birth in itself. For those of you with children, you were given the ultimate gift from God. We all have family. Whether it’s your biological family, a friend, or your lifetime partner, smile and know in your heart that you are loved.

That love began with Christ!


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Nelson Mandela’s Death Brings Me Great Joy!

Yes, you’ve read that right. I, as a white woman, have the guts to say that the death of a black African President brings me overwhelming comfort!

Nelson Mandela

Now, for those of you who have bothered to read on before blowing my blog off in a huff, I want to thank you because you’re the ones who’ll hear the meaning behind my title.

First of all, it’s not my wish for anyone to take my title and first paragraph to heart, as if I truly meant what I said in an ugly way; it’s only purpose was to lure in readers through my wording. For those of you who know me, you know that I adore all living things, including humans, animals, plants, etc. To lose a loved one, a great friend, or a wonderful man such as Nelson Mandela is a terrible loss for many. As we’ve seen in the reports on television, his death is felt far beyond Africa’s boundaries. But let’s get back to my title, the reason you chose to read this blog to begin with.

One’s first instinct after losing a loved one is to mourn, however, over the past decade or so people have focused more so on celebrating the deceased person’s life. Although we love and appreciate those in our lives, we tend to lift them up more so after they’re gone. Though this is sad, we have to admit, it’s true. Just as my family recently celebrated my father’s life, millions, including me, are celebrating Nelson Mandela’s life.

When I reflect on Mr. Mandela’s life, according to what reporters convey to us, I get a good understanding of his personality, his collapse, his success, and what he stood for in general. Although Africa has lost a great leader, the world has lost a wonderfully honest man that was a prime example of what all men, leaders, and presidents should pattern themselves after.

So, in closing, since we tend to lift loved ones up more so after they’re gone, I feel comfortable in saying that I’m grateful for Mr. Mandela’s passing. Because of his passing, others can reflect back on his life and see him for the wonderful person he was, and shall remain, thus raising their standards to the example he has set before them.


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Welcome Back… Me

So… got your morning coffee? Good, let’s chat.
Wow, it’s been a long time since my last post. I’ve missed sharing my thoughts, as well as reading what others have on their minds. Truth is, I’ve been under the weather and have been struggling with some family issues.
I don’t want to go into too much detail and bore everyone, but come January will make it a year that I started having symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Of course there are a lot of other diseases, etc, whose symptoms mimic MS, and thus the doctor has to do many different tests to rule those options out. I’m happy to say all tests were negative. So that leaves the results for the MS tests, right?
Well, from what I understand, optic neurosis is usually one of the first signs of MS, which I had experienced. This can take the form of blurred vision, double vision, loss of vision or any other vision problems in one or both eyes. Everyone’s different; therefore no two people have the exact same symptoms. My doctor saw nothing in my eyes. I had an MRI of my brain and C-Spine, other than a few flakes of saw dust in my brain, no lesions were found.
While I continue to have symptoms of MS, some constant, some infrequently, as well as having signs of “flair ups,” or relapsed episodes of many of my symptoms, it has been determined I do not have MS. While this is good news, and I trust my doctor tremendously, I have my doubts that it’s anything other than MS. I’m told I have “Conversion Disorder.” This is when traumatic emotional things happens in your life, and in turn, since the individual doesn’t know how to deal with it properly their body “converts” emotional problems into physical symptoms. Weird, huh?
So yes, I’ve had some emotional things happening in my life over the past year, including my father’s passing a couple of months ago. Two weeks after his passing all my symptoms reappeared again (keep in mind I still had a few that had lingered all along). The lingering symptoms can, in no way, be connected with emotions, their more neurological.
If you have MS, can you please answer two questions for me?

1) Do you go periods of time without having cramps or any pains whatsoever?
2) Heat is a no, no for MS’ers because it makes me feel ________________?

Anyway, it’s great seeing y’all again; and it’s great seeing my new visitors as well.

Until next time,
Y’all take care now, ya hear?


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Accountability

As we celebrate Mother’s Day, I’m reminded of a mother who has more than her precious child on her mind, more than a wonderfully handcrafted card she’ll get as a keepsake. No, this mother has a murder charge hanging over her head that technically, she’s not guilty of. If you’re thinking about the Arias case, she’s not the one, as a matter of fact; I don’t think she’s a mother.

I’m talking about a young girl in N.C. who was in her kitchen preparing dinner one day when she heard someone calling her name from outside. Her three year old girl was busy helping her mom fix dinner for the family of three as well. To find out who and why her name was being called, she went out her back door to see who it was. When she looked across the way, she saw a rival of hers that appeared as if she wanted to fight for reasons unknown.

Walking out into the street, the mom was surrounded by her rival and two others, all with the intensions of ganging up on the young mother. After a swing of her fist, the rival made contact with the mother’s face. Acting on reflex, the mother swung her arm around toward her rival. Unbeknownst to her, the knife she held in her hand made contact with the rivals throat… slashing her juggler vein. Hearing the young rival scream out, “You cut me,” the young mother runs. Where? No one knew. Within two minutes the 19 y.o. rival was dead.

In a split second the young mother and her rival’s life had changed forever. As it turns out the two girls were set up. A third person, a 40 y.o. woman, had gotten in an argument with the young mother earlier that day. In turn she beckoned the 19 y.o. over to do her fighting for her. After it was all said and done, friends and family members of the two girls put two and two together and knew who should shelter the blame.

Unfortunately, the local deputy’s didn’t see it that way. No, they got their girl… the one who swung the knife. Once the police found her, she got her one way ride to the county jail. While in route, I’m sure she thought of her little girl’s future. She thought of her daughter while the 19 y.o.’s body lay on the lawn getting colder by the minute.

So… what happened to the 40 y.o. woman?

Well, while the news cameras were in her face she tried her best to conjure up tears over her “best friend;” referring to the young girl who by now, was in the morgue. Later, as the detectives interviewed everyone in the vicinity, they were quickly pointed in the 40 y.o.’s direction, but to no avail. No matter what was said or who said what, the very person who should have gotten charges filed against her walks free to this day.

It’s been two years since Kadi lost her life, and Dakota has found herself in a nightmare that has yet to end. Weeks after the incident, the judge set Dakota’s bail at the lowest the law would allow because he himself said, “It’s obvious there’s more to this case than what’s presented before us.” With any luck, and hopefully a lot of acknowledgement from those who are willing to back the truth, Dakota’s case will be thrown out of court.

To date, the 40 y.o.’s guilt shines through when she comes face to face with those of us who know her. She cowers away in hopes of not being held accountable for the actions she set into play.

With the help of a dear friend of mine, Annmarie Lockhart, a poem was co-created titled, “Accountability.” It tells of the lack of accountability from a supposedly adult woman guilty of this entire crime and loss of life.

Published by: Vox Poetica