A LOOK AT THE WORLD THROUGH THE EYES OF A CONSERVATIVE FREE-SPIRIT

Sunday, July 31, 2011

To whom it may concern at Straight Talk,

First, I'd like to say that I have been enjoying the Straight Talk service for nearly a year now. I have had very few problems with y'all. I adore my little phone with its qwerty keyboard and 3.1 MP camera and all the other fabulous features. I have a great signal even though I live in a rather small town in the middle of nowhere. I am usually ecstatically happy with my little phone. I think it is clear to see that I'm a fan. However, right now--I am severely displeased with y'all. I phoned your customer service department a few months ago requesting that I be taken off of the "text in the middle of the night informing me that my minutes have been refilled" list. That request had been filled for several months--until this morning at about 1:17 a.m. in the morning. The fact that this happened AGAIN is completely unacceptable for several reasons.

1) I requested that it stop several months ago. That fact ALONE should be the end of the matter since I'm the customer, i.e. the one who pays a portion your salary via my patronage of your services.

2) You may say that I should just turn off the phone at night so that I don't hear it. Why should I? This is the only phone I have. What is some member of my family called with an emergency in the middle of the night and my phone was turned off? I use my phone--probably like many employees of your company--to keep in contact for both normal and emergencies reasons.

3) Speaking of emergencies, do you know what it is like to be awakened at 1:17 a.m. with a "phone call?" What do YOU think of when you get a phone call in the middle of the night? Very likely you immediately think, "Oh no! What is wrong? Something must be wrong for someone to be 'calling' me in the middle of the night--aka 1:17 a.m.! Who is hurt? Who is dead?" Your heart rate rises exponentially. If you are at all prone to heart issues, strokes, or panic attacks, you might be in the danger zone in the moments immediately following one of these middle of the night Straight Talk business phone calls. Seriously folks, there should be no business phone calls from ANY business--unless there is a pre-arranged agreement between vendor and customer--between the hours of 9 p.m. and 8 a.m. Listen, my MOTHER won't call me or allow me to call her from between 9 p.m. and 9 a.m. unless it is an emergency. That is just basic, decent, common social etiquette.

4) In these "modern" times, a text message from a business is like a business phone call. I'd really like to know why in the world a business is calling and awakening me at 1:17 a.m. That is completely and totally unacceptable. It actually should be a practice that is abandoned--WHOLESALE--by Straight Talk. Not one single Straight Talk customer should be receiving business phone calls (i.e. texts) from you between the hours of 9 p.m. and 8 a.m. Once again--that is just a common and widely accepted bit of social etiquette. I am quite certain that you have--on staff somewhere--some wonderfully adorable computer nerds who have the skills necessary to write codes which requires these business calls (i.e. texts) be done ONLY during acceptable times. I know this can be done, Oh Straight Talk, cos computer nerds can do just about anything. They're like Daddies that way.

Seriously, this issue needs to be addressed--post haste--by your company. I certainly do not expect another phone call/text from y'all in the middle again FOR ANY REASON. If it happens again, I will have to very seriously consider spending my money elsewhere. I hope that y'all seriously consider making changes across the board in this practice of 'middle-of-the-night' business phone calls.

Thank you for your time. I seem to have plenty of it since I'm still WIDE AWAKE an hour after receiving your text--in the middle of the night.

Loralee

Friday, July 29, 2011

Thought on Genesis 19

I am now in the late teen chapters of Genesis in my daily reading. I was reading the story in chapter 19—you know, the one about all the adventures Lot had when he lived in Sodom and Gomorrah. I’d gotten to the part where two strangers came to visit Lot’s fair town and he invited them to stay at his home for the night. They tried to refuse him, at first, but his continued urging made them relent and they accepted his offer of hospitality.

The Book says that he fed them a great meal and just before they were getting ready to head to bed, Lot and his visitors heard a large amount of yelling coming from outside the house. It turned out that all the men of the city of Sodom, “both young and old, all the people from every quarter” (19:4) had surrounded Lot’s house and were demanding that the two visitors be sent out to them so that they could "have relations with them.” (19:5)

Now there is a lot of clamor around ‘Christendom’ as to what it was these men wanted to do with the two strangers. I’m not really going to delve into that issue; however, I can state definitively that whatever they wanted to do was sinful because Lot pleaded with them not to act “wickedly.”

As most people are wont to do, the men of Sodom did not exactly appreciate being called wicked so they pressed their case even more vehemently to the point that they were squishing Lot against his door and almost breaking it--and him!
Fortunately for poor old squished Lot, the two angel visitors were keeping and eye on things and they reached out and hauled Lot into the house, threw a curse at the wicked men--blinding them, and then quickly shut the door behind him.

What amazes me most about this story is that the men of Sodom didn’t just quit at this point. You know, “Well, let’s take stock of our situation here. Lot’s gone back into the house and shut the door. It doesn’t look like he is going to be willing to send those men out here so we can act wickedly with them, and--WE'RE BLIND! Maybe we should just crawl back the way we came.” Nope. The Text says that those men wearied themselves trying to find the door so that they could get to the two strangers.

In case ya didn’t know, ‘Weary’ is an adjective that means “physically or mentally exhausted by hard work, exertion, or strain.” Normally, I’d admire someone who had a goal and worked diligently to achieve it. This time, however, these men became weary because they were trying to be wicked. Though BLIND, they grew exhausted in striving to do something evil.

I guess I really don’t have much of a point here. I was just so amazed at how stridently these men were working to sin. It isn’t as if they were just there in a group of friends and the sin was this really simple thing to do—like putting your hand out, accepting a joint and smoking it. Nope, their actions were equivalent of trekking through 2 miles of mountains, then running through a large and dense forest at top speed for an hour from federal agents, finding the hidden garden of 'herbs', cutting them down, making the return trip home, rolling the marijuana into papers, lighting it and smoking it. Their efforts were clearly on the side of wanting to do sin so much that they put themselves in physical harm to do it. YIKES!!

It sounds terrible, doesn’t it—putting your body in physical danger in order to sin? And while I imagine none of us often go to that kind of extreme—physically--in order that we might sin, I wonder if I or you or any of us ever realize that no matter the sin we do, we are wearying out spiritual ‘body’ to the point where we will die if we don’t straighten up and fly right.

You know, I can imagine what some of those men of Sodom looked like when they went home that night. I believe that their hands and knees were probably nicked and scratched up from crawling around in the sandy and pebbled streets. I imagine that they were covered in bruises everywhere from bumping into all the other blind, wicked sinners who were crawling around with them, unable to see where they were going. I even wondered if—maybe—some of their clothes were torn cos their fellow sinners got tired of waiting or perhaps mistook them for the two angels. Just imagine walking into your home looking that way! I know one thing—I don’t want to walk into the place of Judgment looking the same.

Just a little food for thought, y’all.
Love,
ME,
Loralee 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Things that are cool about Pop, #35

Me, to Pop, as I headed back to my bedroom to do a bit of cleaning: Goodnight! See ya later, Taterhead!"

Pop, heading back to his room to get ready for bed: You, too, Taterhead!

From the Cobwebs: Merry Christmas!

I found this note whilst going through boxes today. It was written on an unlined 3 X 5 notecard. It said:

Miss Ford,
I hope you pass college and have a Merry Christmas.

From: Jade
To: Miss Ford



Stinkin' cute, yeah? <3

Monday, July 25, 2011

......

I’m supposed to write every day—at least two paragraphs. I’ll tell you that I’m sitting down right now--across the room from Pop who is watching Bonanaza—ready to write, but I can’t think of a single thing about which to write, whether fiction or non-fiction. No poetry either.
It is funny how hard it is to write. I’ve been stuck on one story for prolly about three years. It is crazy. How hard can it be to just WRITE it already?!? I’ve pondered changing the style of the book. First, I should explain. The very first book I wrote in the Hunter series was created as a birthday gift for my friend, Lieh. I conceived of the book whilst in Jamaica doing mission work with her husband. He mentioned that they had planned a birthday party for her at the cement park outside of town on the Saturday after we returned.
I was devastated cos I had promised my elder sister that I would come to see them. She said I hardly ever came to see the kids and that they missed me. For whatever reason, I saw a picture in my mind of a big bird clutching me in his large beak and flying me from San Marcos to Spring (to see my nieces and nephew) and then back to San Marcos in order to catch the tail end of Lieh’s birthday part at the cement park.
I wrote it in poem form and I illustrated it myself. It was the best I could do and fairly good for a beginner. I was happy with the gift and never intended to do more than the one story. Then at Christmastime a year or two later, my younger sister invited me to a special birthday party wherein I was able to meet the governor of our fair state. It was a lovely party! The decorations were fabulous! The Christmas Tree was H-U-M-O-N-G-O-U-S!!!!
Looking at it, I wondered how in the world they managed to decorate it! It was about 16-feet tall! Somehow from that experience, I imagined a young girl whose mother worked for the governor’s decorating team. She was given small little tasks in order to help get the tree decorated. Though I know it isn’t logical, part of her job was putting the star up on the tree, which—of course—was a very daunting task for this little girl. She was so frustrated with her inability to perform this small task that she went out to the gazebo and began crying. Hunter the big bird with the huge beak was flying over Austin and heard her crying and flew down to help her solve her problems.
Then came the day I realized that the story hadn’t even begun yet. I was flying home from a family reunion in Lubbock when I met a young boy who had a certain kind of cancer which rarely allowed its victims to survive more than a year after the diagnosis. I was devastated. I decided Hunter (the boy) needed to be part of the story (actually, previously, the bird had been named Homer, but after I met Hunter, I decided a name change was in order—in order to honor this boy.) With the help of my friend Rachel L. , I decided that Hunter needed to be part of the first story in the Hero bird series. Hunter, the bird, could be going on a vacation whereat he would meet the boy who had cancer. I named the boy Ernest Wayne.
In the story, Hunter ended his vacation by flying Ernest Wayne up to Heaven and dropping him off in the bosom of Abraham. And—as he was flying home—Hunter, the hero bird, decided his life’s work should be helping little kids live good and happy and worthwhile lives.
A great idea, I think (thanks Rachel, for your part!) But somehow, I can’t write it. Writing in rhyming poem form is often very difficult anyway. So, I’m having a hard time. Recently, I have considered re-writing all the stories in prose form instead of trying to wrangle another poem out of such an important story.
I think the idea is important. There is definitely room for future stories and important life lessons can be learned from a series about a helpful hero bird. I feel like this is something I need to do, but I’m having trouble forging on. I wonder if I’m being my own worst enemy?
Anyway, that is what is going on in my mind. It didn’t end up being so hard to write two paragraphs today. ‘Course, y’all oughta know that was just another example of me writing in ‘stream of consciousness. If it is crazy, please forgive.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Learning to Forgive

I’ve been struggling with something today. I’m not going to go into a huge amount of details about it, but I will say that it revolves around ‘forgiveness.’ In the last week or so, someone in my life has treated me in a way which I thought was disrespectful and unnecessary, and—well, hurtful, really.
And—though it is over, I find myself still thinking on it. I’m still worrying about it. I’m still allowing myself to feel the hurt from it. In the intellectual half of my brain (and I’m being generous with the word 'half', I know!), I understand that I just need to let it go. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t really matter that Mr. X was so pushy in trying to get his feelings across to me that he was not anywhere near to respectful to me. He was very hurtful, in my opinion. He made demands of me as I were a child and took a hollerin’ tone instead of sitting down and discussing it with me softly, but firmly. I’m pretty certain Mr. X would be able to express every inch of his displeasure with me in a more respectful and helpful manner.
I will tell you that I felt attacked! I felt that the “punishment” didn’t fit the crime, by any measure. I need to let it go, but it is hard for me to allow a person to get off—scott free!—from doing something wrong. And I’m not only talking about being upset when something was done wrong to me, but also when people do wrong to others and I witness it. I want everyone to acknowledge their part and repent and apologize. Of course, that is a pipe dream, prolly. I want to live in an ideal world but I don’t think it exists. But I digress.
During worship this morning, I was listening to the songs we were singing and I thought “Well, Jesus put up with a lot of people being hurtful or hateful or thoughtless to Him.” And he still went to the cross on the behalf of those people—and all the rest of us, too. I remember thinking “My interactions with Mr. X are nothing like what Christ has to experience when He was living on earth. I need to find a way to let this go, to forgive—even if Mr. X never apologizes. That is a hugely hard thing to do, isn’t it? I don’t know how Christ did it. But He did. And, I should at least try to follow His lead on this one, yeah? I’ve been praying for the ability to let Mr. X’s behavior go and throw away the hurt I have been feeling. Hopeful the results will come soon.
P.S. If you read this and want to make no comment, that is perfectly fine. If you read this and have some constructive ideas as to how I can learn to throw away my hurt sooner rather than later, I welcome it. If you wanna add my rebellious soul onto your prayer list, I welcome it, also.
P.P.S. In case you were getting worried, this post is NOT about Pop.
P.P.P.S. Thanks for listening.

Simple Woman's Daybook: 24JUL11

Simple Woman's Daybook: 24JUL11
FOR TODAY
Outside my window...it isn't foggy, but it is cloudy and it looks like we may be in for a rainy day. This is the first time I think I've ever done SWD when it wasnt' dark outside.
I am thinking...that I'm very confused and saddened about something and I wish I understood what happened yesterday.
I am thankful for...my friend Tony who is helping me get better.
From the learning rooms...I'm learning about World History from my "World History for Dummies" book.
From the kitchen...I had oatmeal with rainins and dried cranberries and dried something else.
I am wearing...a sky blue nightgown.
I am creating...some hats to sell on ebay or amazon.
I am going...try to be forgiving when I don't want to be.
I am reading...a story about some people in the 1800s.
I am hoping...that I can figure out how to take care of things financially.
I am hearing...Snow White going crazy cos Rose is here.
Around the house...nothing much is going on here.
One of my favorite things...English Breakfast Tea.
A few plans for the rest of the week: guitar lessons on Tuesday and Kelly will be taking me out for my birthday.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Majority Rules? Sadly, it looks like it.

I was doing my daily reading in a book on politics that I have bought. I ran across this little section which says:

"The majority rules, but the Constitution controls. The Constituion restricts some of the effects of majority rule. If a right is protected by our Constitution, the majority cannot pass laws or adopt policies restricting that right. Our courts would declare such actions unconstitutional." (Politics For Dummies, 2nd Edition, page 15)

Reading that paragraph got me to thinking about the way the wind has been blowing in our nation lately. Religion is being forcibly 'hidden under a bushel.' And to be honest, it is more often 'Christendom' which is being hidden rather than some of the many others. Political Correctness has made our nation one which runs screaming away from threatened lawsuits instead of standing her ground. Whatever happened to the First Amendment?

"Article [I.]

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

That means that everyone gets to practice the religion of their choice. That means that Islamic people can kneel facing west three times a day, if they wish. That means Atheists can say what they would like to say regarding the existence of God. It should also mean that Christians should also be able to believe in and discuss the tenants of their faith as well. But that isn't what is happening, is it?

If anyone tries to stop an Islamic person from kneeling on their prayer rug, then someone cries 'Foul!' The KKK may march and assemble and spew their hateful rhetoric, if they wish. That ridiculous Baptist group from up north can picket military funeral and spew garbage and they are backed up by the courts of our land.

However, we of 'Christendom' are forced to hide. No prayers at football games just in case 'someone' is offended by it. I'm offended when Atheist deny the existence of Christ and call me ignorant for believing in Him, but I don't cry 'Foul!' and insist that they be disallowed their right to express their opinion, do I? Nope. Cos I know what the laws are in our land. Do I like what they're saying? Nope. But they have the same rights I have.

We are forced to take down the Ten Commandments from our Justice Buildings. We are forced to take down Christmas decorations or call the season 'Winter' Holiday so as not to offend those who don't think much of Jesus of Nazareth. (Whether or not the season is really when Christ was born in a different story for a different day; however, it is being squelched cos people want Christ to be like children--not seen and not heard)

I find it all kind of ridiculous, but I also do not see it stopping. At the end of my lifetime, things will be much worse than they are now and I'm not sure there is anything I can do about it but to pray.


I want to address one more idea herein. Many, many people cry as loud as they can that the constitution requires "separation of church and state." What they mean by this phrase is that not one single thing touching religion can have anything to do with "The State." They think this means no prayers at football games or no Ten Commandments hanging from a courtroom wall and so many other things. I think they are wrong. Following is the one proof I will present in regard to this matter.
Here is the letter Thomas Jefferson wrote which included the phrase 'separation of church and state.':

Mr. President

To messers Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, & Stephen S. Nelson, a committee of the Danbury Baptist association in the state of Connecticut.

Gentlemen

The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist association, give me the highest satisfaction. my duties dictate a faithful and zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, & in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more and more pleasing.

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection & blessing of the common father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves & your religious association assurances of my high respect & esteem.

(signed) Thomas Jefferson
Jan.1.1802.

This "wall of separation of church and state' had EVERYTHING to do with allowing United States citizens to practice and express their religious beliefs and NOTHING to do with taking the Ten Commandments out of Courthouses and stopping young Christians to pray before a ball game.

Anyway, enough of my rant. I'm just presenting some food for thought.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

21JUL11

Well, it is ten a.m. I am striving to go through my list of things I need to do each day. I have done three and 1/3 of them. Bible Study, pray, eat oatmeal, and drink three of the large blue glasses of water each day. I’ve consumed one of the large blue glasses full of water, hence the “1/3.”
I have to admit that I don’t much feel like writing today. I slept very poorly last night and I have a terrible allergy headache. Since I moved here to South East Texas, it feels like allergies have plagued me more than they used to do. I awakened today with a roaring headache and even though I have taken the appropriate medicines, I am still in crazy pain. It can prolly be rated at a seven out of ten. You can imagine my annoyance. It is bad enough that I almost begin to feel nauseated every now and then. I’m not really a huge fan of pain that is so bad I feel as if I might vomit. I’m sure you understand fully. Unless you’re a weirdo. ;-P
I really can’t bring myself to the point where I want to finish writing this—thing, whatever it is I am doing. Complaining, I guess. And, in reality, my list only says “I am writing at least two paragraphs every day” so I am past that point, yeah? I’m going to go take a nap and hope I feel better enough (is that anywhere close to proper phraseology?) later on to write something more hopeful and happy and…

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hunter packs

First of all, I want to say that this half-story which will follow is not anything I planned. It is part of an "assignment" of sorts. In case you didn't read (or didn't realize cos I was vague) yesterday's blog, I have started some counseling. I'm taking a line from one of the papers I received yesterday from my counselor, but this line sums it up quite nicely--"I now recognize that my way of 'being' is not working for me." When I recognized it, I knew I needed to make some changes. I also knew that I didn't know how or didn't have the strength or didn't....whatever...to do it by myself, so I decided to seek out a counselor.
One of the things we discussed yesterday centered on what I thought were "important things." There are plenty of things, but I'm not going to go into all of them. Suffice it to say that I have 'homework' with this counselor. I actually think that is prolly a great idea cos I need every ounce of help and guidance I need, and, sometimes that help and guidance is going to have to come from inside me.
Anyway, some of the homework is actually DOING--even if only for one minute or two minutes or five minutes a day--those things which I think are important to me. Since I consider myself a writer, I wanted one of those important DO things to be writing. So, one of my daily homework assignments is to write something every day--even if it is only two paragraphs. In fact, on the "I am" list I have now is "I am writing at least two paragraphs every day." I will post each day's work; however, I might post it on my private journal page on another website (No offense, Blogspot. I just haven't figured out how to make one of my blogs private and keep the other ones public, so I just went to another blog 'company.')
Okay, so here we are today--20JUL11--and I am posting my first day's homework assignment. Today it is a piece of fiction. Tomorrow, it may be a poem or non-fiction. I just don't know how this will work out. Today's homework is just a 'stream of consciousness" piece of fiction. It isn't even a finished story. I don't know where the story would go, but if I feel compelled to finish it, I'll link any subsequent parts to this first one. Anyway, I told you all that just so that you know that what you are going to read isn't really anything planned out or scheduled. At this point, I ain't J.K. Rowling (I'm Loralee Ford) Anyway, here goes...


Hunter sighed as he placed his last t-shirt in the suitcase. This packing nonsense was for the birds. He wished he had a servant who could do it for him, like in those old Victorian novels. ‘Course if that wish was granted, he’d also have to put up with garbage like servants bowing and scraping and calling him “Sir” and “My Lord” and he’d have to remember which of his friends preceded him into dinner every night. What a nightmare!
Hunter walked back over to his closet. “Which suit should I take?” he thought. He knew there would be a “Dinner with the Captain” night on the cruise. Those nights usually required people to dress up in their finery. That particular night on a cruise was interesting because you saw people all dolled up ‘to the nines.’ Every other moment of the cruise, they were half-naked in their swimsuits with a towel hanging around their neck or they were dressed in their casual shorts and Hawaiian shirts standing in line waiting to leave the boat for a day’s excursion to whichever warm vacation spot the cruise ship had decided to visit.
He chose his navy blue suit, along with a tangerine dress shirt. He usually looked pretty sharp in it. It’d be fine for the Captain’s dinner. He zipped his suit up in a hanging bag and placed his dress shoes in the suitcase. “Ahhh! This is done.” He said with a sigh of relief. “No more packing.” He walked over to the dresser and opened his carry-on bag. For the third time, he checked in the inside pocket to assure himself that his plane ticket, passport, and cruise tickets were safely there.
“Now…” he said “…the real choice is upon me. Do I try to get two hours sleep? Or do I sit up and catch a few infomercials until my airport shuttle arrives?” He knew that his flight would be four hours long and that there would be plenty of opportunity to sleep on it. But, unless you had a window seat or were traveling with someone you knew—someone who wouldn’t mind you using their shoulder as a head-rest—the combination of sleeping and air travel was no fun. Fortunately, Hunter had assured himself of a window seat when he booked the flight. There would be plenty of opportunity to catch some zzzz’s aboard flight 217 from Austin to LA. His biggest problem would occur if he happened to be assigned a seat next to a “chatty cathy.” Sometimes he enjoyed making friends on airplanes. There were times, though, when he just wanted to stare out the window and watch the passing scenery until he fell asleep.
Even on those occasions when he wasn’t interested in sleep and was hoping to catch up on a book he’d been putting off due to work concerns, those “chatty cathy” types could be problematic. He wanted to turn to them and say “Can’t you see I’m reading, gal? I’m not really interested in the fact that you are going to visit your great-aunt Bessie who had six cats name Abraham, Delacey, Giuseppe, Casey, Thomas, and O’Malley! Let me read my book!” Of course, he never did it. He just wanted to do so—deep down inside. He couldn’t bring himself to be so rude. He knew his Mother would roll over in her grave if he did. He’d caused enough problems for her while she was alive. He didn’t want to continue the tradition now that she was lying quietly in her mahogany casket, buried under a ton of dirt.

He had five hours ‘til his plane was scheduled to leave. He could try to take a nap, but—on days like these—he was always afraid to go to sleep if he didn’t have the time to sleep a whole night before he needed to be up and going. He was always afraid that he wouldn’t awaken on time and he’d miss his flight. He certainly didn’t want to miss this flight. He hadn’t been on a vacation in five years and he had been looking forward to this cruise since his cube-mate, Rachel, had regaled him of tales of her cruise to the Mexican Rivera two years ago. That night on his way home from work, he went through the drive-through at KFC and picked up some dinner. Usually at night, he went home and fixed up a salad and a small meal. But he knew that tonight he wanted to spend every minute on his computer researching. Rachel had planted a seed when she waxed eloquent about all the adventure and fun she’d had exploring Acapulco and cruising around land’s end in Cabo. Hunter decided he wanted an adventure, too. All the way home he thought about where he’d like to go. Somewhere with beaches and warm breezes? Somewhere with cobble stone streets and historic buildings?
He still hadn’t decided when he arrived home and unpacked his $6 chicken meal. He fired up is computer and sat down with a notebook on his left and his meal on the right. The computer—of course—was front and center. It was the most important tool in this scenario. He’d had to research countries, look up flight schedules and rates, and figure out which cruise lines serviced the area he wanted to visit...
...perhaps to be continued?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I am a seeking teacher

I was reading something today. It was called “My 30-Day Promise to Myself.” Below those six words was a list of eight things. Several things jumped out at me in this list of eight items. They were things that prolly oughta have been common sense ‘no duh’ kind of things, but I suppose I have forgotten them over the last several years. I believe that my commitment to a period of introspection is “just what the doctor ordered.” Here are some of the things which caught my eye (and I’m paraphrasing):
1. I can see that the way I’ve been choosing to behave is not good for me. I have to be the change I want to see in myself.
2. I can totally be my own worst enemy. I gotta stop that stuff!
3. I am responsible for myself, whether I do right or wrong.
4. I have to forgive myself for the past.
5. I have to be patient with myself.
6. I have to be willing to ask for help if I need it. I am not—as Simon and Garfunkel sing—an island. I cannot do it all myself.
Anyway, part of what was interesting about this paper I read today was that it was easy to see that a person could be both their own worst enemy AND their own rescuer. As I read this paper, I had my headphones on and was listening to my I-tunes library. Dolly Parton was singing her song ‘The Seeker’ was playing in my ears. I was struck with the similarities between what I was reading and what Dolly was singing to me.
In school, I was always the kind of student who—if I took notes and listened—could pass classes without too much extra studying. Today--as I was reading the paper and listening to Dolly—I was struck with how important this journey of introspection and—hopefully—growth NEEDS to be to me. I am both the problem and the solution in this current situation. I can be the one who continues to bring me down or I can be the one who hauls me right up out of the rabbit hole and into the sunshine.
So, anyway, all of that to say that Dolly’s words really made me understand how HUGE my part in any project needs to be. I need to own my faults. I need to forgive myself. I need to be my own hero. I must be both my own seeker and my own teacher. And so that y’all understand a bit more clearly—Sing on, Dolly:

I am a seeker
A poor sinful creature
There is no weaker than I am
I am a seeker

You are a teacher
You are a reacher
So reach down
Won't you reach out and lead me
Guide me and keep me
In the shelter of your care each day
'Cause I am a seeker
You are a keeper
You are the leader
Won't you show me the way

I am a vessel that's empty and useless
I am a bad seed that fell by the way
I am a loser that wants to be a winner
And you are my last hope
Don't turn me away

I am a seeker
A poor sinful creature
There is no weaker than I am
I am a seeker
You are a teacher
You are a reacher
So reach down
Won't you reach out and lead me
Guide me and keep me
In the shelter of your care each day
'Cause I am a seeker
You are a keeper
You are the leader
Won't you show me the way

Oh, I know you are a mountain
From which there flows a fountain
So let it's water wash my sins away
'Cause I am a seeker
You are a keeper
You are the leader
Won't you show me the way

I want to post script here and make sure y’all know that I understand this song was written as a praise to God, originally. I didn’t when I first heard it today as I was reading. I heard it at face value—just by the words Dolly was singing.
I know that I can be and do nothing worthwhile without God’s help. But I also know that if I depend on Him and pray to Him that I can help Him help me. I think we all need to be willing and open to helping Him help us.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Old Pictures




I saw these two pictures on my sister's facebook. It was taken about three years before I was born. The little girl is my big sister. The other two are--in the top photo--my maternal grandma (Mom Paralee)on the left and my paternal grandma (Grandmommy) on the right.
And in the bottom photo, they are my maternal grandpa (Papa JT) on the left and my paternal grandpa (Pops).
They look so cute! <3