Friday, July 8, 2016

Madness...

I woke up today, wanting to name-call and finger-point and throw a temper tantrum, all while climbing under my rock. I can't. I won't. I am called to be loving to all, to extend the Grace which was extended to me. ***sigh*** It's hard sometimes... Two wrongs won't make it right -- nothing and no one can undo what has been done, or undone. Name-calling and finger-pointing and temper tantrums will not fix things. Climbing under a rock doesn't make it all go away. We HAVE to find a way to end this cycle of hatred. Drop the labels. Stop with stereotypes. Call evil what it is. We must find a way to unite beyond the boundaries of color, orientation, religion. We must stop taking things so personally, being SO sensitive -- stop living as though the world revolves around our lone self, like some spoiled toddler who doesn't get his/her way. We need to take pride in our humanity, compassion, caring, and uniqueness. We are all different. We all have "history." We have all walked our own difficult paths, and no two are alike. Your struggles are real. So are mine. So are my neighbor's. So are my kids'. Let's stop trying to one-up each other, reducing the other's struggles to a speck so that ours can be "the most important thing in everyone's world." My daughter was in the ER last summer, in excruciating pain. Her dad and I were very worried. It had been a very rough time (she hemhorraged after her tonsillectomy), and we were all exhausted. They gave her pain meds, and told her to press the call button when it wore off. It never worked, so we pressed the call button. No one came. Several nurses walked by, but she wasn't "their" patient. Finally, someone came in to see what she needed (her pain meds weren't working), and left. Outside our "door" (curtain), he said, "I hate that people come in here thinking that their emergency is the worst one here." Umm, exCUSE me? For every person in the ER, their emergency is just that -- an emergency. I get that they triage, yada yada yada, but his callous response to what we were going through, whether directed at our situation or not (it turned out her IV was not in correctly, and the pain meds were not going into her vein -- they were spilling into her tissue in her arm), was completely uncalled for, and extremely insensitive. To me, my daughter's complications were terrifying; to the person in the room next door to us, their problems were terrifying. To the person next to them, THEIR problems were terrifying. Get the point? Don't you see? It's all in perspective. It's all about what we bring to the situation with us -- our past hurts & joys, successes & failures. Who are you to judge my experiences? Who am I to judge yours? We need to dig deep and find our compassion and empathy. We need to throw off our predjudices and preconceived ideas about the people around us, and take them for who they are. Actions may speak louder than words, but video doesn't always tell the whole story. We rely so much on social media for our news (go ahead and tell me you don't -- I won't believe you, because I see what you post), and we are so quick to have a knee-jerk reaction to "social wrongs," that we forget that people make mistakes, and there may be more to the story than meets the eye. I don't believe that cops go around shooting people for pleasure. I know too many, and they are good people. But they are faced with garbage (literally) that we know nothing about. A friend's hubby was filling his squad car with gas, and some lunatic ran up and dumped a garbage can on the hood of his car. Why? Another local officer was berated with profanities and insults for pulling a woman over who was speeding. Why? Likewise, I don't believe that every protester out there is hell-bent on chaos. Please, I'm begging you -- dig deep. Forgive. Look for the positives. Overlook "insults". Don't become so filled with hate that the cycle continues. Don't assume that because I am sympathetic to the plight of our officers that I think corruption is okay -- it's not.
The struggle is real. I still want to cry and scream and stomp my feet and pound the floor, name-calling and finger-pointing all the way to my hole in the ground. But I won't. I can't. I have a responsibility to my family, to model the behaviors that I hope they will exhibit. Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Gentleness. Faithfulness. SELF-CONTROL. And I have a responsibility to my Savior, to model the behaviors that He modeled for me. Grace. Forgiveness. Strength. Expectations. 2nd chances. LOVE. "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.  This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.  This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us."  (1 John 4:  7-12, NIV)

Friday, March 11, 2016

Drowning....

I wrote this during a particularly difficult time in my life.  I'm happy to say that things DO get better.  My hubby and I are still together.  My kids are all still alive, and we still speak. Life is good.

My point:  Things can seem bleak. Hopeless. Dark.  Lonely.  Sometimes, we have things that weigh so heavily on us that we can't bear it.  When everything is dark, seek the light.  When all else fails, PRAY.  We are not meant to carry our burdens alone.  Lay them down, at the foot of the cross.  Lay them down.  

Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Romans 8: 38-39 “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

See? We aren't alone.


"Drowning"
No one knows my silent hell. 
No one knows the constant emotional pain I endure. 
I have no one to tell. 
No one.
I am alone. 
Some days, I feel like I'm going to explode.
***KaBLOOEY***
There goes my head.
Today is one of those days.
So much pressure.
So much responsibility.
So.much.PAIN...
I have no one to talk to.
Well, no one I feel like I can talk to.
My friends are busy.
My spouse is in a mid-life crisis.
My kids have issues.
I have issues!
Other family members wouldn't understand...
(or, I don't want to even try to explain it)
Days like today, I feel alone.
But I know that this isn't really true.
On my darkest, saddest days, there is
     One who is listening.   
     One who is supportive.
     One who is here.
I just can't "see" Him.
Sometimes, I wish He would pull up a chair, or burn a bush and talk to me.
Especially right now.
My life -- my self -- is at a breaking point, and
     I don't know what to do.
     I don't know if I have the strength to go on like this.
(No, I'm not contemplating suicide!)
If I could support my kids alone, I would leave.
But I can't.
Not financially. 
Not emotionally.
Not while I'm battered and bruised.
I don't want to be here
     in this house.
     in this "place."
     in this part of my life.
Can I just move on now?
Help me.
I'm drowning.
Seriously, something has to give.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I am SOOOO not a feminist!

A friend posted this meme on her facebook, and I wrote the following reply.  I decided not to post it, because it's not right for me to hijack her page. Instead, I thought I'd post it here.  


Don't believe everything you read online.  There's more to the story than what this meme says.  

The Equal Pay Act was passed in 1963, and signed into law by Kennedy; there should be no need for a new one – just the need to enforce laws that are already in place.  It's been widely reported that Obama pays his female staffers less; Wendy Davis paid her female staffers less from 2009-2013. This is a people-problem – NOT a party line problem – and the law needs to be enforced on Capitol Hill, as well as in the general population.  

As for the pay-gap, when you compare job-to-job, women are usually very close to men's pay, if not equal-to (and frequently paid more) for the same work.  However, if you're comparing the pay of waitstaff (predominately women) with oil workers (predominately men), there will be a HUGE gap in gender-vs.-pay.    

I was hired to do the same work as another woman in my office, but she is paid quite a bit more than I am.  She's only been in the job about 3 years longer than I have, but I can't make the same amount, even though I had similar (not identical) experience.  Yea – it’s unfair, because I work more hours than she does, and manage a program that's twice the size of hers – but there is nothing I can do about it now.  I accepted this job, at the pay I got, so I can't do much other than a) find a better-paying job, or b) fight to try and get a raise.  OH – did I mention she's a minority? – maybe I should file a lawsuit because I have been discriminated against because I'm white....  That would be absurd!  Did I also mention that EVERY person in the hiring process – my boss, her boss, her boss's boss, and the HR veeps – were ALL FEMALE (no men were involved in the deal I was offered).  My point is that, YES, women should be paid equally; yet, while equal pay for equal jobs looks good on paper, there are often other reasons for the differences.  I failed to do research regarding what average pay is for my job – that’s now MY problem.  If you don't like your "underpaid" job, maybe it's time to find a new one...

I challenge you to get your info regarding what Republicans and/or conservatives want/believe/philosophize from sites that are not left-leaning – and for the opposite to hold true, as well.  You might be surprised to learn that they are not as evil as most liberals like to believe.  Study history, and see who made what policies, who freed slaves, who passed laws to provide better pay for minorities, etc. Study farm-bill history. Get your information from time-honored sources, and not places like the Huffington Post or the major news outlets – all of which have obvious political spin.  I try to look at both points of view through the eyes of their own particular party – if I only believe what conservatives/Republicans post about liberals/progressives/Democrats, I would never even SPEAK to one, let alone call him/her my "friend."  

It's time to put the partisan negative talk to bed, and get educated about the truth.  I'm tired of being told, or hearing that, I'm stupid, lazy, evil, healthcare-hating, woman-hating (Hellllloooooo – I AM a woman!), poor-hating, minority-hating, etc., because I am conservative. To the contrary, I am educated, intelligent, ridiculously compassionate, and dream of solving world hunger problems; I also oppose entitlements (for those able to work, but milking the system), the ACA/Obamacare (they should've fixed Medicare/caid, rather than pushing us toward the single-payer system that they want), and am staunchly against what appears to be a socialist agenda.  I oppose amnesty for the masses of illegal immigrants, but fully support those who seek immigration through legal means (and I support fixing the system so that it isn't so difficult to immigrate legally!)

I work for a non-profit, which falls under "entitlements," and I see how our elderly are treated by our government.  How many people do you know on food stamps?  I know families of 4 or 5, who get $700-$1000/month for food stamps, plus who knows how much welfare – and are perfectly able-bodied to find work, but have stopped looking (they’ve told me they’re good with what the government gives them, so why bother?).  My senior volunteers, who want to work but are at an age that it’s getting very difficult to find a job, get an average of $800/month is Social Security, and an average of $16 (yes – SIXTEEN dollars) a month in food stamps.  Their food stamps were cut from an average of $125/month to $16!  That's WRONG.  

So sure, we can sit around and whine that we aren't paid equally because we're female; I, however, think we need to focus on the bigger issues that are going on around us and stop being mean to each other.  Stop pointing fingers. Stop blaming conservatives, Congress (there are 3 branches of government, people!) and George W. Bush.  Wake up, people – we are actively giving up our freedoms to an out-of-control government that shames us for being exceptional.  As I’ve said in previous posts, for hundreds of years, people have risked life and limb to get to America. Why?  Because we ARE EXCEPTIONAL.  Don’t you think it’s time that we start acting like it?


Other interesting articles on this subject, and related...

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Sweet? I think NOT.

“I must really have people snowed.” 

That was my thought yesterday when I was joking with someone about being a trouble-maker.  She said to me, “There’s no way you’re a trouble-maker; you’re too sweet.” 

“I’m too sweet?” I wondered to myself.  “Since when?”

I’ve never thought of myself as sweet.  I’m friendly.  I’m mostly well-behaved.  I’m polite.  I try to be respectful and kind.  I hold doors open for people, offer to help with projects at work, and generally try to be cheerful.  I have empathy and compassion.  But, “sweet”?

I often think of 1Peter 3:3-5a: Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes.  Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.  For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves.  I’ve never been accused of being “gentle and quiet,” so this singular passage has been one of the proverbial thorns in my side.  It’s also how I viewed the description of “sweet.”  Uh -- NOT me. I’m big. I’m loud.  I’m talkative.  I blurt.  I often feel like a bull in a china shop – I have been known to trample, no matter how “accidentally”—people’s feelings.  Without exception, I leave gatherings and wonder “what stupid thing did I say now?”  My insecurity knows no bounds.  I’m not a meek, mouse-like creature, though – I am big, loud, and have a big personality!


This morning I was listening to Fernando Ortega sing a fairly old song that I don’t hear as often as I would like to.  “How Deep The Father’s Love For Us”.  It’s a beautiful thought-put-to-music about how God loves us so deeply, he gave his only Son, and made me, “a wretch, his treasure.”  The lyrics speak of how God turned away from Jesus on the cross, and of the pain that Jesus must of felt.  But what stopped me in my tracks (figuratively speaking, since I was driving!) was this line:

Behold the Man upon a cross, my sin upon His shoulders!
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice call out among the scoffers.

Did you see it?  Did you see what stopped my heart?  No, not that the Man was upon the cross, bearing my sin – that’s something that I think about, and pray about, every day.  No, the next line: “Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice call out among the scoffers.” 

Me? My mocking voice?  Ummm…

I have studied the cross in depth.  As an extremely empathetic person, I have spent countless hours thinking about the weight of my sin that He bore for me.  I have prayed countless prayers of gratitude, thankful that I no longer have to bear that weight.  And yes, I have even thought about how MY sin is what put him there.  I beat him.  I mocked him.  I pounded the nails in.  But it’s not something I camp on often. 

It’s easy for me to remember that He died for “us.” Collective.  Humanity.  Everyone.  But, do how often do I stop and make it personal?  Every Sunday I sing about how God loves me, how Jesus died for ME, so I suppose I think of that in a more personal way on a fairly regular basis. 
But MY mocking voice?

I want to believe that I was in his small band of supporters – that I was among those who cried at His feet, and who gently removed His broken and battered body from the cross.   I held him reverently, cleaning off the blood and wrapping Him in cloth and herbs, and giving Him a proper burial.  I was Mary, who sat outside His tomb, weeping.  I was she who discovered Him missing, whom He appeared to first.

Maybe I am.  Maybe I would have been.

But I was also the mocker.  I stood among the rest of the angry cowards, and shouted at Him.  I laughed at His followers who cried for Him.  I betrayed Him like Judas.  I denied Him like Peter.  I riled up the crowd like the Pharisees.  I pounded in the nails.  I pierced His body with the sword.  I was hate-filled, or scared, or na├»ve – whatever I was, I was LOST.

WAS.

But because of this greatest act of Love – because of the deep, deep love my Father in Heaven has for me – I have the most important things in this world:  Forgiveness.  Redemption.  HOPE.

How deep the Father's love for us -- how vast, beyond all measure! -- that He should give His only Son and make a wretch His treasure.

How great the pain of searing loss!  The Father turns His face away as wounds, which mar the chosen One, bring many sons to glory.

Behold, the Man upon a cross -- my sin upon His shoulders!  Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice call out among the scoffers.

It was my sin that held Him there until it was accomplished.  His dying breath has brought me life; I know that it is finished!

I will not boast in anything, no gifts, no power, no wisdom; but I will boast in Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection!

Why should I gain from His reward?  I cannot give an answer.  But this I know with all my heart: His wounds have paid my ransom!
©1995 Kingsway's Thankyou Music 
Words and Music by Stuart Townend


If you were to ask me, at this very moment, the reason for my faith – THIS would be my reason.  

This. 

God, the Father, gave His only pure and faultless and perfect Son so that I, a wretched mocker, can be His treasure. 

No matter how unworthy you feel – how wretched, mean, how LOST – you have Someone who loves you.  He already sacrificed for you, and gave you the most incredible gift – you just have to humble yourself and accept it.  I know how hard that is to do – I drug my feet about ever setting foot in a church in college, because I knew what a rotten person I was, and thought, “There’s NO WAY God will ever want ME.” 

I’ll write again about God’s love for us, and my thoughts about why Christians get such a bad rap, and what I think I need to do to help change it.

In the meantime, think about the words of Paul:

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.  Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die.  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!  For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! (Romans 5:6-10, NIV)


Hang in there, friends – YOU ARE LOVED.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

[My opinion post from Facebook regarding the article "EX-DISNEY STAR RENOUNCED CHRISTIANITY AND BECAME A PAGAN – BUT THAT’S NOT THE END OF THE STORY" by Billy Hollowell, about Matt Morris/Teo Bishop, a former Disney star who left Christianity several years ago to become a Druid.  Read the article here (http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/11/25/ex-disney-star-renounced-christianity-and-became-a-pagan-but-thats-not-the-end-of-the-story/)]


“I’m overwhelmed with thoughts of Jesus,” he wrote. “Jesus and God and Christianity and the Lord’s Prayer and compassion and forgiveness and hope and judgement and freedom from judgement and all of the things which made (and make) me feel connected to the Sacred." ~Teo Bishop


That simple description, of compassion & forgiveness & hope... & freedom from judgement -- to me, THAT is what Christ brought us. Those who focus on the judgmental side of the people who call themselves "Christians" are missing the point of what Christ taught. Unfortunately, people (Christians included!) are imperfect. We are called to love the unlovable, and to be kind and compassionate, forgiving as we have been forgiven. We can have opinions, but opinions are not necessarily "judging."

Regardless of what he does with his new-found confusion-of-faith, this is an interesting read, and should challenge many of us to do a bit of navel-gazing, as we search out the meaning of our OWN faith. "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander." (1 Pet. 3: 15b-16)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Once again, I find myself only posting things I've written on Facebook.  Perhaps I would be better off posting here, first, then linking to it on my FB page?  Is that too much pride and/or self-promotion? Whatever it is, this is my not-all-that-humble opinion.  On that note...

Back on the ol' soapbox...


Originally posted October 18, 2013

Hmmmm....  Just mulling over my soapbox speeches of the past.... I'm naively disappointed that some of my more liberal friends have not understood my point, that the hatred they display towards the right is highly offensive to me. 


Why are those on the right objectified as "white" and "christian," as though being either of those two things are bad? Especially when the majority of said liberal friends are one of those two things themselves? Yep -- I'm saying it here -- I am disgusted at how many of my WHITE liberal friends rip on white conservatives. WHAT is WRONG with you people?! I didn't choose my skin color, but I DID choose my religion -- as an educated adult, mind you! -- AND my politics. I don't like Obama's policies or politics, and his skin color has NEVER been an issue for me -- this is the first time I've ever even addressed it! So stop putting words into the mouths of conservatives, and SHUT UP. You think I'm being naive about race? Actually, it's quite the opposite. I've been the "victim" of prejudice, and I worked VERY hard to earn the respect of those who didn't trust me because of my skin color. I get it. I don't like it.  But YOU need to leave race out of your comments, because the only racist here is YOU.

When you post inflammatory comments, like "If you vote republican you're voting against women, clean air, babies and starving pandas," you're telling me that I'm against those things. How would you even KNOW what I'm for or against? Have you ASKED a conservative what they are for/against? Or are you just repeating the slander the media spins? Frankly, I'm sick of it. 

We all need to take a good, hard look in the mirror, and determine what it is we stand for; then, take a step back and think about how you come off to your "friends." Are you showing no respect for others by basically posting that they are idiots because they don't share your opinion? If so, you sound like a pompous windbag, and really need to put a sock in it. It would be one thing if you were posting opinions about issues facing our nation, but just spouting off about how awful an entire group of people are, and how it's so "funny that they are imploding! hahahaha!" is about as mature as a baby on a dating site. C'mon -- stop generalizing, and start showing the intelligence that I know you have. I work hard to try to understand where the "other side" is coming from, and it's time that you get down off your high horse and try to do the same. You show absolutely NO compassion or generosity or love by being flat-out MEAN. I don't have to agree with you to show you that I respect you; there are ways to disagree yet show love. 

So, yea, I will keep posting that I think that Obamacare is a colossal failure, and that the debt ceiling should NOT be raised -- we need to live within our means as a nation, just like many of us try to do at home. I will continue to post my opinion that our POTUS is the most divisive President our nation has ever seen, and that I think our media needs to get out of the opinion business and back in to the FACT-reporting business. I also will tell you that I am tired of being told that I'm "against the poor" because I am against a thinly veiled socialist agenda -- NO, I AM NOT; I just have a different idea of how the problem could be solved without breaking the bank. I'm not against immigration -- but I am against breaking the law to get here, and against a blanket-amnesty for all. I am not ashamed of our nation's EXCEPTIONAL past -- but I am sick of hearing from our media and many liberal "leaders" how it's wrong for us to be exceptional. How ridiculous is that? Isn't it what we supposedly are pushing for in schools? An exceptional education? How about on the job -- don't you want to shine? 

There was a reason, for hundreds of years, that people have risked life and limb to immigrate to our EXCEPTIONAL country -- their desire for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Our free market society -- yes, friends, much to your chagrin our country became great largely because of capitalism! -- our rights to keep and bear arms, to pursue education, to vote, to choose whether or not we have health insurance, and the freedom to practice religion without interference from the government -- these are all things that have made our country one of the most exceptional places in the world to live.

I think it's time we all do a little research into where our country came from, what our forefathers INTENDED, and learn from the mistakes of other countries and societies who once excelled, but now suck. Take time to educate yourself about what the "other" side REALLY believes and desires, and stop spreading the hate-filled lies your friends and the media are spinning. And if, after reading this little rant of mine, you no longer want to be friends, that's OK, too; I'm still good enough, smart enough, and, doggone it, at least SOME people still like me! 

I've cleared my conscience; it's time for a good-night's sleep. Pleasant dreams of world peace, my friends....

Thursday, June 6, 2013

But Moooooooommmm! I don't WANT to be a bug zapper!

Note: I am reposting this from my Facebook page, and have made a few minor edits.  This has been on my heart since I woke up today, and I feel a strong desire to share it publicly.  I do find it rather humorous that the only time I seem to post is when something political has been going on.  I've recently been told by a liberal "friend" that "you're the only conservative with half a brain that I've ever met."  Uhhhhhhhh.... Should I feel complimented, or insulted?

Anywhooooo, thank you for your time & understanding!  


I've been thinking a lot about the diversity of my friends; I think I have Facebook to thank for that. We’re all so unique, in so many ways. Many of my FB friends are people I knew in high school, but I wasn't necessarily friends with them. As an adult, I've found that I actually LIKE people more – there isn't any of that teenage angst or hormonal craziness mucking up the waters. In high school, few people took the time to get to know the REAL ME – I couldn't look them in the eye, let alone tell them my opinion or speak to them at all. If I did get the guts to have an opinion of my own, I would have DIED if my friend disagreed with me or told me I was wrong! Same goes for college (unless I was drinking -- then I had no trouble chatting!) and early adult-hood.  I suppose I'm more comfortable now in my own skin -- after all, it's all stretched out -- than I was when I was young.

As I stated earlier, I've been thinking about the diversity of my friends:

Some are older than me. Some are younger. Some are even my age (29!). Some are “white,” and some are NOT “white” (most are a mix of some sort – do your genealogy!) Some are blonde or brunette or gingers; some WERE blonde or brunette or ginger, but are now growing platinum like I am (we should be rich, by the way!) Some dye their hair “normal” colors, and others dye theirs “weird” colors; some don’t dye theirs at all. Some have long or curly or straight or short hair; some don’t have hair at all. Some did, but lost it. Some are tall. Some are short. Some are thin. Some are fat. Some were fat but are now thin, and some were thin but are now fat (or “fluffy,” like me!). Some are male, some are female, and some haven’t made up their minds. Some are married, some are single, and some have been both at different times, many times over. Some have worked in law enforcement, and some have been in jail/prison. Some are from abroad, living in the USA; some are from the USA, living abroad. (I’m totally jealous of those of you in Italy or New Zealand, by the way!) All speak some form of English, but some speak other languages at different fluency rates. Some have jobs; some did but lost them for many different reasons. Some are stay-at- home moms; some are stay-at- home dads. Some home-school, some attend public school, some attend private school, and some attend charter schools. Some are in college, some are too young for college, and some didn't/don’t want to go to college; some have graduated, and some couldn't make their minds up about what they wanted to be when they grew up. ;) Some consider themselves successful; others are insecure. Some are wealthy, some are not, and most are wealthy in ways that the “world” doesn't understand. Some are teachers, some are students, some are public servants, some are office workers, and some are still looking. Some dress up; some dress down (I hope you all “dress” at some point before going into public!). Some are omnivores, some are herbivores. Some have real teeth, some have fake, and some have a combination of the two. Some have crooked teeth, some have straight. Some play sports. Some coach. Some drink. Some smoke. Some rat their hair. Some get ill from one cigarette. ;) Some do drugs; some are in recovery. Some have been molested, some work with those who have been molested, and some work with the molesters. Some live in small towns; some in big cities. Some of my friends have run for Congress, and some have testified before Congress; some are still trying to figure out if Congress is the same as the House of Representatives or not, and some just don’t care (but probably should). Some are liberal, some are conservative, and some just don’t know what that means (or don’t care). Some are on the right, and some are on the wrong (I mean LEFT, lol!), and some are somewhere in the middle. Some are Christians (from many different churches), some are Buddhists, some are agnostic, and some are new age. Some hike. Some bike. Some run. Some walk. Some skip. Some swim. Some dive. Some ride horses or skateboards or bikes or trikes or motorcycles or mopeds or other scooters; some sit on their couches and eat bon-bons (or carrots). Some are doctors, nurses, receptionists, bill collectors, cable/satellite-TV people, phone people, accountants, IT-gurus, yoga-gurus, MMA instructors/fighters, Pilates instructors, Zumba instructors, personal trainers, bartenders, cab drivers, worship leaders, musicians, actors, babysitters, landscapers, architects, builders, developers, Realtors, travel agents, pilots, flight attendants, dog washers, dog walkers, chefs, and more. Some are “dog” people, some are “cat” people, some are “horse” people, and some are “chicken” people; some are all, and some are NONE. Some are “black-and-white” rule followers, and some toe the line. Some are just out and out rebellious. Some are close to their families, some are not, and some don’t have families. I could go on and on and on and on…..

Here’s my point: we are ALL UNIQUE, and that is what I love about you all. I don’t care about whether or not you look like me, act like me, dress like me, or believe what I do – I only care about how you treat me, and how you treat those I love. I don't care about whether we listen to the same music or read the same books – I just hope you can respect my heart.  We all bleed (close to) the same color. We live, we die, and we all will experience loss and prosperity. My journey is not going to follow the exact same path as yours; I do not expect yours to follow mine, either. We will have differing rocks in our paths – some will be the same type, but different sizes or shapes, and we may have different ideas on how to deal with them. You move yours, and I'll go around mine; whatever works best, that’s fine with me. I may even pause and help you on your journey, just as I hope you will help me with mine. Your path may take you uphill, and mine might take me the long route; either way, it's OK, and we can meet up at the end.

I simply ask that you respect me for who I am. I hope that, whether you agree with my religious or political persuasions or not, you will see that I sincerely love people and want to help. I hope my life will be the proverbial light on a hill – not a neon “closed” sign, but a pleasant light that draws you in (and not a bug zapper, either!). It never has been, nor will it ever be, my intention to alienate people. Yes, I have my opinions, and it is my right to share them on my page, or blog; likewise, it is your right to ignore me, or block me, or “unfriend” me. I hope we can have open, civil, non-condescending dialogues, and that at the end of the day a clear conscience will be our bed-fellow. I hope you all understand that I poke fun at different things, but that it’s intended to be just that. I respect each of you, and can appreciate our differences (it's the reason you're my friend here to begin with!), even when I don't agree.


Bottom line (and then I’ll go): Our hearts all beat in rhythm, creating this beautiful symphony of humanity that I call my friends. Let’s just enjoy the music, all right?