Did I do that?

Considering my son’s fathers’ behavior while he was growing up, I understand that my son has issues making decisions but WOW! Everyday he changes his mind about his job. He has a great career working for a well paying fire department. He has a job offer at another fire department from a former chief. The chief sought out my son because of his reputation and integrity. They have worked together for years and share a mutual respect. The inspector job, however, would be a traditional 8-5 job except for on call time which is shared over the course of the month. Weekends off, vacation days, better family insurance but a lot less money than he is making now.

The problem, my son can’t make a decision. Everyday he changes his mind. My daughter-in-law wants to be a good wife and listen to his concerns etc, but he is spinning in circles between the two opportunities and staying where he is. I feel so badly for her because his father was the same way. I am a fixer and I can’t fix this. I am an exhorter, and I don’t know what to say to him to be of help. I feel defeated and useless. He is lacking a life skill and I feel responsible.

I paused to pray and got an idea. I told him he needed to put all three options on a piece of paper. Chart it out with pros and cons for each so they can discuss and decide on something they can actually see. Figure out the money differences, the hours, etc. and see what happens from there.

Father, I know You know what the future holds for their family and I trust you with their future. Please help them make the decisions You want them to make. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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What was she thinking?

Behavior is a tremendously deep subject and science. I shake my head at people all the time. I like trying to figure out what motivates someone to kindness or deceit and everything in between. Were their actions a result of learned behavior? Was it a defensive mechanism? Was it just plain meanness? Or was it something else.

My daughter-in-law is a beautiful young woman inside and out. She has a heart of gold and loves her profession. She is a CNA and also takes care of her elderly grand parents. She is the mother of my newest grandson. She does tend to be brutally honest and seldom has a filter on her mouth; which is very refreshing unless you happen to be the person she is talking to. Although she tells it like it is, she is learning how to do that with grace. Something that her journey to getting closer to God is producing.

Her cousin’s girlfriend has been keeping the grand baby for three hours a day for a few months now. Today she didn’t show up or call. She isn’t answering texts and is avoiding her completely. She spoke to her cousin, concerned since his girlfriend was expected, and he asked “didn’t she call you Saturday, she said she did and she told you that she quit”. Well, she didn’t. So now everyone is wondering what is going on.

It would have been easier to just quit. Call and say she couldn’t make it. Things happen. That is understandable. But to lie and avoid someone who had, up until now considered her a friend, is hard to take. She is digging, whatever hole this is about, making it worse than it needs to be.

Now my daughter-in-law is bewildered, upset, and hurt to say the least. It isn’t that there is a problem, it is how the girl went about it. She left her hanging knowing she had to be at work.

This behavior tells me several things about this girl. She is immature, a coward, has no self respect, is a liar, is selfish just to name a few. Now that she has made this so much worse than it needs to be, how does she come back from that? More over, why would you do that to someone?

Father, You know what the problem is with this situation. I pray that we remember to forgive, to support and to shine Your love to everyone. Especially to those who have questionable behaviors. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

My heart is breaking

…because I can see my son going down the same long broken road as his father. I’m not sure why I thought he would be different. He watched his father tear into me with his words and cut my heart into pieces. I want better for my son. I want him to be a true man of God. I want him to express and feel real love the way it was intended. But I am powerless to do anything.

If I say something, anything, he will know that his wife vented her frustration and fear to me. He unloaded on her with a fury few men could withstand and all because their sweet baby boy threw up on his uniform. I could hear in her voice the fear and discouragement I once had when my marriage was new too. She doesn’t deserve that.

I’m taking a crying break…

A few days have passed and I have prayed and asked God for a way to get through to him. I found a book on Amazon titled, “The Heart of Anger: Practical Help for Prevention and Cure of Anger in Children”. Hmmm, if I present this book to his wife, I might just get away with it. After all it is for the new grand baby. She can read it and show him “interesting” things and hopefully it will start to show him what his anger is all about and how to control it. Now I have to resist the urge to punch his father square in the face next time I see him. lol, sort of.

Father, thank You that You are faithful to me even when I get wrapped up in my own little drama and sometimes forget Your grace and love. Help me shine Your light to all whom I see. In Jesus name, Amen.

 

The Wishing Map 1

Good read, pleasant use of words, leaves me wanting more.

Mitch Teemley

Wishing pix-Title-(framed)

Preface

Bedtime is the time to stall. And asking for “a story” is the best way to do it. In response to such requests, many years ago I began improvising an ongoing story for my daughters about two princesses, who coincidentally happened to have the same names as them. Princesses Amanda and Elizabeth lived in a castle at the end of a cul-de-sac with Queen Mommy and King Daddy (hey, when you’re five years old this is great stuff).

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Us vs. Them

I went to a planning meeting tonight for an event in October involving two local churches. One is the Methodist church where we currently attend and the Baptist church my dad and I grew up in. I was amazed that among the 26 or so people who attended, the terms depicting separation were widely used throughout the room.

When I wrote incident reports about burglaries and such for a previous job, I constantly got called out on the fact that I left out the race of the people in the report. I don’t see color, I saw a burglar. I’m not a racist by any means. When I speak about people; regardless of heritage, color or belief, I do not use terms showing separation. There should not be any “us” and “you”. “We” should be sufficient but not once was it used unless it was spoken about the entire event.

I grew up with very nice, polite but somewhat racist people in my life. I never heard my parents use the “N” word, but others around me did. They were not words of hate, mind you, just what they used as a description. To this day, I have an uncle that throws that word around like any other word in his vocabulary. My dad worked with a lot of black people when he was with the railroad. He referred to them as “Mr. Name” or “the black operator”, never the “N” word. The black men on his crew always called my dad “Mr. Name” in an extremely respectful manner. The first time I heard one of his crew talking to my dad, I was amazed at the amount of respect they had for each other. Dad said it went that way on the job until he was fortunate to retire. We have run into a few of those men from time to time over the years and that respect is still there.

It is hard for me to think in those terms. I have been trying to do that for a few days now and it just doesn’t work for me. But how do you fix that mentality? What has to happen to change how people think about other people? How did it get so screwed up in the first place?

Signs of Deception

I study kinesics as a hobby and this post is very helpful.

Kamala Thompson

Not surprisingly, no one likes to be lied to.

And, I think it is pretty cool, rare, and unique when a person can detect deception in another person through nonverbal hints.

The two cases I most commonly see this happening are when mother invariably knows or the professional cases of the most experienced and seasoned detectives.

But, of course I am here to spill all the secrets =).

Deception can be detected if you know what to look for, especially when dealing with suspects and witnesses because suspects and witnesses tend to reveal more than they intend to through their choice of words.

  1. A number one sign of deception is suspects is their lack of self-references because they are fabricating a story rather than being truthful. Truthful people will make frequent use of the pronoun “I” to describe their actions whereas suspects will describe events in the passive voice. For…

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More Venting

I am the proverbial optimist. I haven’t always been like this. It is the result of many years of intentional change. These changes were extremely difficult in the midst of a negative environment. One that eventually became the downfall of the world my ex-husband had created for himself but the new beginning for me.

I spent many years trying to “fix” him and looked for ways to make him happy even at my own expense. That was how I thought a good wife was supposed to be. I didn’t learn until later that none of that was the definition of “Love”. It was all about him. So I learned you can’t “fix” someone who doesn’t want to be “fixed”.

The man next door to us was married to my dad’s sister. She died several years ago. I guess you’d consider him my uncle but there is no relationship there. Even before his wife died, he was a womanizer. He had several mistresses over the years and stopped even trying to hide it after a while. He was never a dad to his twin boys unless you consider beating the crap out of them something a dad does.

Fast forward to now and this is where it gets weird, for me anyway. He is a liar, cheat and many more things so the only people who will have anything to do with him are also liars and cheats, etc. He has two women that live with him this week. Both make their livings in bed and are either on drugs or coming off of drugs which is pretty much the same thing these days. Now these girls are getting money from him to buy their drugs or whatever. I’m sure they take care of him, and that is all I will say about that or I will become nauseous.

Several times now someone has called EMS because he keeps “falling down”. He didn’t fall down. He won’t make them leave. He doesn’t want to be alone and is willing to put up with what they dish out so he won’t be alone or whatever. So there is nothing that can be done about them until he decides they need to go or he becomes so incapacitated that he can’t make those decisions anymore.

Why am I venting? He doesn’t deserve any consideration from anyone considering how he bilked tons of money from customers years ago. But he is human, although a bottom feeder of a human, he is still human. I am mostly frustrated because this mess is going on next to my home. I am also concerned because he obviously isn’t in his right mind. If he is, then he is worse off than I thought. Yes I am venting. It flores me how someone could put themselves in that position and seem to like it.

I don’t think I will ever understand. Some will say it is his low self esteem or whatever. You may be right but somewhere in his mixed up head he has to know it isn’t right. At least I hope so.

Father, I don’t even know what to pray for him but I do know You know what is needed. I pray that You will make happen what needs to happen. In Jesus name, Amen.

Eyes on the Prize

My daughter-in-law is a lovely young woman. She was a cheerleader in high school and my son had a huge crush on her. She married her high school sweetheart but soon realized he wasn’t the prince she thought he was. He did the “church” thing but not because it was in his heart. She found out he was cheating on her and their marriage went down hill from there. Against her beliefs and preference, the marriage was not salvageable.

She is also her grandparents caregiver most of the week. She shares her duties with her mother and holds a job to boot. I’m not making her out to be a superhero, but that kind of sacrifice and devotion is more than worthy of mention.

She calls me on nights when my son is working and she has a moment of thought. If she vents to her mom or sister, they turn it back around on her instead of hearing her out and being an empathetic ear. She needs to cry. She needs to let it out and let it go. She needs to be heard. It isn’t a call to action. It is a call of compassion. The same compassion she pours out as a caregiver.

Lately they have had several scares. A few months ago he fell outside while messing around in his shed. His wife came looking for him a few hours later. It was late at night by then. He had missed supper. He was on the ground, not hurt but still unable to get up. His wife tried to get him up but couldn’t. She did manage to drag him, on the rug he landed on, as far as the step to their back door. She didn’t want to call anyone because it was so late and she knew everyone was sleeping. She brought him a pillow and blankets from the house and made him comfortable, then went inside to bed. Needless to say, her grandmother got a serious chewing out, in love mind you, but sternly.

Every summer, for 50+ years, her grandparents take their RV to the beach. During a wonderful three week vacation, different family members will take turns taking their families to spend a few days with them. They just returned from their last vacation to the beach. They know it is their last one. They spent the last few days cleaning it out to get ready for the For Sale sign. The end of any tradition is difficult but especially considering the reasons they are not able to do this anymore.

He has also been having chest, neck and arm pain in varying degrees. When he had pain a few days ago, he didn’t want anyone’s help. My daughter-in-law was trying to help him but he told her to get the Tums instead. He proceeded to tell her his version of  the “end”. He made it clear to her that he wants to die at home, not in a hospital or nursing home. She promised him she would help make that happen.

She is a strong woman, wife and mother who puts her trust in the only living God. He strengthens her and gives her peace. I pray for God’s blessings on her and her family as they travel this long and difficult road together. We know the journey will end at the beginning of paradise.

Father, losing someone is never easy, even when we know they will spend eternity with You. We don’t get to spend time with them anymore and long for a reunion. Please bless us with Your comfort and peace as we face these heartbreaking times in our lives. Help us remember to trust You through the pain and keep our eyes on the prize…Eternal life with You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

The Loss of a Day

You know when you lose something and you search for it until you find it? Well, how do you find a lost day. I wasn’t in a flare so it wasn’t lost there. I didn’t have a hundred appointments to cram into an eight hour day so that can’t be it. I don’t sleep well enough to miss an entire day although that would be awesome. I woke up yesterday and had an average day. But my inner clock is stuck on Saturday. The problem…it’s Friday!

With Summer in full swing parents all over are hearing their children complain because they are bored to tears. I remember wishing my days would just be over with. Get to the weekend or something, anything but stop where I was. I text my grandchildren and hear the same things we use to say. Nothing is worse than being bored.

Or so I thought. My grandmother use to say I should never wish away a day. She never elaborated why but as I approach the age she was when I was a little girl, I think I understand. We can’t get our days back. Luckily there aren’t many days I’d want back. Maybe the birth of my children and grandchildren. Maybe a day here and there with loved ones who are gone. Maybe a day or so when I honestly had fun and was pain free. But not many. I haven’t led a perfect life but I have had a contented life. I have everything I need right here and gaining a day wouldn’t change a thing. So why the lost day. Where did it go?

Out my window I can watch the birds and squirrels take turns hogging the sunflower seed container hanging from an orange tree. Their antics are fun to watch. They don’t care what day it is. It has no effect on them whatsoever what day of the week it is. I see people coming and going and wonder if any of them lost a day and if they did, do they feel like I do? It is almost like someone stole it. I know I can’t get it back but I don’t like being stuck in tomorrow when tomorrow isn’t here yet. Then what will happen the next day? Will I stay in this lost feeling of not knowing what happened to a day? Will there be more days or just the one day? Why does it matter, it’s gone. Never to be experienced ever again. Funny how that sounds so final.

Stay safe and God bless!

The Scowl!

I’m not sure where it came from. I was busy doing my thing when suddenly I realized it was there. Sitting pretty as though it was accustomed to perching like a majestic male bird showing off his manhood for a lucky female bird. But nay, it was there. Somewhere where I find it all too often.

You know it is there because you can feel your eye brows narrowing at the top of your nose. And the usual smile has turned drastically upside down. But where did it come from? Why did it show up today, this moment?

As I write, it is still there. It doesn’t have a name. It is something which cannot be readily identified. I don’t like it. It makes me feel controlled. I am not that person. I am happy. I am joyous. I am grateful. I am content. So what is this scowl and where did it comes from?

It could be that some people say things that are condescending regardless of their knowledge of the subject. Whether right or wrong, it doesn’t matter. They just have to have their say, welcomed or not. Or that people are generally rude to each other in unimaginable ways. More than mere words, but by how they treat each other.

I didn’t watch the news today because I just don’t feel like hearing all of the bad news. It won’t make this scowl go away, that’s for sure. I haven’t said much to anyone today because, sure enough, I’ll get in the middle of something and I just don’t feel like defending anything or anyone.

I think I need a soul revival. To spend time with other believers who are on fire like I am. I’m not around enough believers to feel the fire that builds and grows, like when a group of people who are on fire for Jesus get together.

I use to go on retreats several times a year before I moved to Florida. I have friends from several churches and they would invite me to go with them no matter where my church home was. We would learn, laugh, cry and hug to our hearts content while shedding the garbage the world was throwing at us. It was a time of renewal, release and regeneration. I miss those times a great deal. I miss what it felt like to pray with a group of ladies who could all relate to each others challenges. We actually felt each others pains and joys. There is something liberating when you pray with someone going through something familiar and you are able to provide comfort and understanding that ultimately helps you to heal too.

After my walk and a cool shower I noticed the scowl is gone. It has been replaced by a slight smile. Just thinking about going on a retreat has renewed me a little bit. Given me hope. Now I am looking forward to getting together with some of my friends when I visit Carolina in a few months. Time to catch up with everyone and recharge our batteries.

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” —James 5:16

“Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.” —1 Thessalonians 5:11

Father, Thank you that you love and forgive us unconditionally when we believe and trust You. Help us to keep the smiles on our faces despite the pain and longing in our hearts. In Christ’s name, Amen.

Seeds of Change, Day 7

Today makes one week since starting the challenge with Makayla. I don’t think I have ever been able to stop eating all things baked and candy type junk food. I have given up certain foods for Lent but I knew I would be eating them again so it wasn’t that bad. Now I have started rolling the snowball and I hope to make it huge.

The hardest thing I have to do is plan meals for a household of 4 whose likes and dislikes are completely different. I get bored eating the same things and sometimes I just don’t feel like cooking and trying to please everyone. So it remains a challenge. Especially now that dad has lost another 9 pounds and he isn’t even trying.

I will continue to post about my ongoing effort to eat better and be healthier. I hope to ditch several medication for the several issues I am dealing with. Walking a mile hurts while I am doing it and my naps the next day are a little longer but I’m sure it is beneficial otherwise. I just have to move past the pain.

Stay safe and God bless.

Seeds of Change, Day 6

I narrowed a lot of information into a 7 day routine to make things easier for my granddaughter. But the time frame for how you do your attack is completely up to you. You can take a week or a month but move it along as fast as you can . The sooner you get use to not eating sugar, the quicker your cravings will disappear.

The sugar discussion didn’t go over very well with Makayla. But I also realized she has issues with food such as potatoes. Mostly because she doesn’t eat very many other vegetables. I told her mom she needs to make less so there are no seconds. She said that wasn’t fair to everyone else. I said, “SO! It isn’t healthy for anyone”.

One to the task at hand.

Today I asked Makayla how much water she usually drinks in a day. I told her she can count her water bottles or refill them and keep track that way. We could be drinking about 4, 20 ounce bottles worth of water each day.

Well, that’s it for Day 6. Avoid sodas and sugary drinks that have sugar added. At worst, diet drinks are OK, but ultimately you want to get away from the preservatives and artificial additives.

Stay safe and God bless.