Silent Screams (and other odd sounds)

This is what I'm thinking RIGHT NOW. It may not be what I'm thinking tomorrow.

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Tired after a long day of work, feet aching and body weary, Rosa Parks rested her bones on the seat of a bus only to be told that she was “less than” all the “whites” riding the bus and she had to give her seat up to a white person.  Perhaps out of exhaustion, perhaps out of just being plain tired of being considered “less than” other humans, Rosa held fast and refused to stand.  Rosa sat and started a movement that could not be stopped; a movement that should not have even been an issue.  Rosa was a God-created woman who bled the same color as any other white, yellow, red, or black person.  When will the human race realize that each of us are humans who hurt, who cry, who bleed, and who love?

I can’t help who and what I love.  In fact, I pray daily that God will instill in me the capacity to love as He loved.  I don’t know for sure, but I’m thinking that the God that I hold dear to me loves mankind.  The God I hold dear is no respecter of persons; the God I love loves me just as I am.  I can’t believe that if God loves me as I am, he can not or will not love others just as they are.   God loves murderers and thieves just as He loves me; God loves heterosexuals and homosexuals alike.  He loves all these people as equally as He loves His church.

Now, the time has come, that we must petition the government to tell us it is okay who we love, how we love and who we can or cannot marry.  This issue, as was the issue with Rosa Parks, should not even be an issue.  It should not be “black” rights or “gay” rights, it should be “equal HUMAN rights.”  There are so many other “issues” that demand our attention.  Perhaps focusing on hunger, education, and our elderly and disabled would serve our resources better than legislating something that does not affect anyone but the two people involved.  The only marriage that impacts me is mine.

Long ago, a man started a revolution when he decided that Jews were not fit to live.  Hilter herded these people into boxcars to haul them to the ovens of ignorance.  It was ignorance that lead to the annihilation of many HUMAN Jews.  This man, who was adored by a multitude, also murdered Catholics, elderly, and homosexuals.  The legislation of today is not calling for the holocaust of human life, but before the killing of millions of Jews started, legislation was enacted to keep them “under control.”  Please don’t tell me “it can’t happen here” because it did.  It was not too long ago that black men and women were whipped, hung by trees until dead and crosses were burned.  In fact, the KKK is alive and well right here in this land that we love.

Out of ignorance, we feared educating the blacks, out of ignorance we allowed the annihilation of Jews before we said stop, and now, out of ignorance, this nation does not want to allow two souls who are bound by love to be bound legally.  The things that “mainstream” marriages take for granted, such as being covered by your spouses medical insurance, social security benefits, death benefits, and even being called a spouse and thus a family member, are being withheld because two people, who happen to be the same sex, found love.  The thought of excluding people because of something like being in love feels wrong to me on so many levels.

I will leave you with the thoughts of a man much wiser than me.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.  (Martin Niemöller)

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Bad Things Only Happen to……


Bad things only happen in “bad” neighborhoods.  People who rob, kill and rape are only from poverty stricken areas.  Only inner city areas have brutal crimes.  If a child goes to a good school and participates in sports, they will never harm or be harmed.  The nice boy, girl or child next door could never harm anyone.  The time for delusional thoughts is over.  The war of all people, of all neighborhoods, of all schools has trespassed  into my back yard while I was dreaming of white picket fences.

Friday evening may find most of a community watching the high school football team as young athletes run down the field toward the goal posts and victory only to party hardy on Saturday night at the expense of a young girl who had been drugged, awakening the next morning with her brutal rape filling the airwaves of a social media.  Young lives, innocent and not innocent, will never be the same again.

A young boy enters a high school cafeteria donning a gun where students are resting from their morning studies and catching up with the usual high school social pleasantries.   Suddenly, a spray of bullets rip through the chatter; the distinctive sulfur smell filling the air as the students scurry for cover only to see their classmates fall to their death in front of their eyes.  Not one of those students will be the same again.

A young man engages in a relationship with a young woman.  The dating scene between the two of them starts off pleasant at first but eventually fizzles out.  The young woman begins to obsess about the young man; her mind perhaps changing slowly from affection to pure jealously ends up leaving him in a pool of his own blood.

Two pre-teen boys sneak up on a mother and her infant son demanding money while waving guns.  When the money was not forthcoming because the mother had none to give; the young boys threaten to kill the infant if no money is given over and they follow through on their threat, leaving a mother to mourn her dead child.

These stories are a few of the “news-worthy” items that sounded from my television just this morning.  None of these events occurred in “bad neighborhoods.”  None of these events occurred in poverty stricken neighborhoods.  None of these events happened in bad schools or inner city areas.  They all took place in your back yard.  They all took place by the child who lives next door. 




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Which Face of God is Right?


When I was a child, my version of God was a man with long hair dressed in bright white robes with his hands outstretched in a seemingly loving manner ready to slap me silly if I did anything wrong.  The God of my youth was strict, religious, and I was so unworthy to be in His presence.  He loved righteousness and I was so not righteous.  I was a sinner.  I was born a sinner.  I had no hope of ever obtaining the goodness that God required.

Since I thought I had no hope of ever pleasing God, I lived my life the best I could knowing that I was not one of the “chosen” to live an eternal life with God.  Although this was my thoughts about God, I was always searching for a “loophole” for Him to like me….to love me.  I found many loopholes but none that lasted.  Once again, I felt unworthy of God’s love.  The proof that I was unworthy was the “lot” in life God had given me.  I was ugly, I wasn’t financially blessed and my mother was not in the best of health.  I was blind to the blessing that surrounded me.  Gratitude was elusive.  Even though I knew I was unworthy, I still searched, even more diligently, for a loophole into God’s heart.

I thought about why God was not working in my life and I had to ask myself a real question.  Image

Who is my God.  I didn’t like the answer.  My God was not who I thought he was.  My God was materialistic.  Since my God didn’t bless me financially I had to admit that my God could possibly be…  I shivered.


I didn’t like the revelation so I discarded it immediately.  It was a lie.  I didn’t have to accept it and I wasn’t going to accept; but in the back of my mind I wondered if it could be true.  I cried out to God to give me a more pure vision of God.  I begged God to give me a vision of Him that I could live with….a God that was there for ME.  My only desire was to have a closer relationship with God.  I wanted a God that I could love, respect and trust.  If God was so powerful, why did I trust my car to stop when I stepped on the brake pedal more than I trusted God to care for me.  Then it hit me.  In my youth, I had put God in a box and I had never let him out.  The God of my understanding couldn’t work for me because I didn’t allow Him to do so.  The box I put him in kept getting smaller and smaller and my cry to have Him work in my life was large.  He couldn’t do anything for me because I wouldn’t allow Him to do so.  I had made my God too small.Image

Today my God no longer fits in any box.  He can not be contained.  He is the first thing I think of in the morning and I am more than willing…in fact eager… to get on my knees each morning and each night to express my gratitude and love to him.  I am more than willing to humble myself in all things because He knows what I want but more importantly, He knows what I NEED.  I don’t have the entire picture of what my life is to be but HE does and I trust Him to do for me what I can not do for myself. 

My God is spiritual…not religious.  My God is everything to everybody.  My God had many names and is no respecter of persons.  He loves those that call Him Allah, Buddha as well as God.  He loves the righteous as well as the sinner.  His love is endless; caring for the murderer, homosexual, liar as well as the “godly.”  He is all in all.  What more could I ask for in a Higher Power?

The God of your understanding may not be the same as mine; and that is fine…in fact that is the beauty of a God that is so powerful and crosses all barriers. 



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Hats Off to the Working Mom


I entered the work force long before my children were born and stayed in the work force long after they were born.  I have worked weekends, holidays and birthdays.  I could be found at work caring for other people’s children while my mother watched my sick children at home.  I have worked the grave yard shift so I could attend all those “special” school events.  I have gone hours upon hours without sleep so I could attend a softball game or a band concert.  I caught a few hours of sleep here and there on the fly so I could be “in attendance” in my child’s life.  I have been criticized for being a working mother and I’ve been told that my child’s life would suffer because I chose to go to work.  I’ve been told that a “good” mother sacrifices her needs and wants to stay at home with her child

Hmm.  I struggled with the guilt of being a working mother for years and years.  I felt guilty when I couldn’t attend the Parent Teacher Organization meetings and I felt less than a “good mother” when I couldn’t be a Home Room Mother for my child. I felt the pang of guilt when I had to decline from being a chaperone for field trips and I felt a little “different” when I attended school functions dressed in my scrubs while some of the other mothers looked as if they were going to a high-class restaurant.  When I look back on my appearance, I saw me without make-up, my hair a little messy, and my work shoes costing more than than the stiletto hills of my peers (but looking far less classy), and my fingernail short and not painted.  I saw the other mothers as beautiful models who wore designer clothes, fine perfume and well manicured toes.  Yes, my perception was skewed.  I just didn’t see it that way back then.  I was programmed to believe that mothers stayed at home and catered to their children.

Although I was a horrible mother for working during my children’s formative years, I was also a “fool” for carting them and their friends to and from school functions, softball games, soccer games, athletic practice, school dances and chaperoned parties.  My peers who stayed at home to care for their children did not seem to have time to drive their children to and fro to various activities.  It seemed that the schedules of the parents who did not work seemed to have multiple conflicts with their children’s activities.

Although being a taxi for my children was inconvenient at times, I was more than glad to do it.  I always (to my knowledge at least) knew where my children were and what they were doing. I learned that being the taxi driver to a bunch of children allowed me to fall into the background which allowed the children to say more than they normally would have if they remembered I was driving.  Out of guilt, and out of love, I wanted to do what I could for my child to be a part of their life.

My children are now adults and I have had the time to reflect on the damage I have done to myself and my children.  First I will address the damage I have done to myself.  In feeling guilty about my career, I conceded that I was a bad mother.  Looking back, I was not the type of mother who actually wanted or would have liked to be a Room Mother.  I preferred to interact with children on my terms not the terms of others.  This interaction was more beneficial to all involved.  It made me happy and I hope, it made them happy as well.  How did my working adversely affect my children.  I’ve thought and thought about that question.  Being a working mother made my children more independent and enabled them to make decisions on their own. Yes, they made poor decisions at times; but those poor decisions enabled them to learn and make better decisions in the future.  To be honest, I can’t see where my working harmed them; in fact it molded them into adults that could trouble shoot and make good decisions.

I have often asked myself, “Why did you work when your children were young?”  That answer is easy.  I needed to work.  I didn’t have the luxury to be a stay at home mother.  My children needed food and clothing which would have been sparse if I stayed at home.  Working enabled my children to participate in activities they would have not been able to participate in had I been a stay at home mother.  Working enabled my children to pursue activities which they may not have been able to participate.

In a perfect world, I probably would have been a stay at home mother because that is what society thinks I should have done to be able to label myself as a good mother and role model.  Now that I am older and I have the luxury to look back on my life I don’t need labels. I can honestly say that I was and am a good role model BECAUSE I was a working mother.  Working enabled my children to grow into productive citizens who value others as much as themselves.

Each mother needs to do what is right for them.  Each mother needs to search inside of themselves and ask the question, “Am I doing the best I can with what I have?”

Working mothers juggle life.  My hat goes off to those mothers who work endlessly at juggling being in the work force and managing a home.  Loving the child…..that’s the easy part.  Don’t feel guilty.  Know that what you do is as close to being a super hero as you can get.

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Love in the Driver’s Seat


My husband and I took our children out to dinner this evening.  It was such a wonderful experience.  There are few things that can fill your heart with joy and love more than watching your children laugh and experience the complete joy that being a part of a family can bring.  I don’t know if I was being nostalgic or what, but the experience of merely eating dinner with my family nearly brought me to tears.  I loved watching the interchange of loving conversation between my daughters.  Tonight, even “touchy subjects” didn’t bring angry words but a compromise of being at peace in the moment with each other.

After dinner, my husband and I drove home in relative silence.  Our silence was not from anger but of perfect contentment of being comfortable with each other.  The wordless conversation between us was born of the realization that we did not have to entertain each other with meaningless chatter; we knew instinctively that the silent conversation was the utter ease that we felt with each other.

As my husband drove home, I looked at him in utter awe.  Sitting beside me was a man who loves me despite all my imperfections.  In fact, a little piece of me thought that he might actually like those flaws in my character that make me uniquely me.  My heart swelled with gratitude that God sent this man to me.  God chose this man for me.  He chose him specifically for me.  Wow!

As I sat beside my husband and gazed at him, I thought about his multitude of loving attributes.  He is kind, considerate, compassionate, loving, caring, giving, and so many other things.  The list is endless.  He caters to me endlessly and thinks nothing of going that extra mile to make me happy.  He hurts when I hurt, he laughs when I laugh, and he loves God.

Watching his face as he drove, I thought, “What did I do that was so good that God gave this wonderful man as a present to me?”  What possible good could I have done to have such a gift bestowed upon me.  I am certain that what my husband does for me is greater than anything I do for him. 

My thoughts turned to his relationship with our children.  He is the perfect father.  In fact I have told my children that when it is time to pick a mate, they should let the way their father treats me be their guide; if they do so, they will not go wrong.

Does my husband have anything that he does that irritates me?  Of course he does; but those same things that irritate me are also the same things that make me smile when I think about them.  Those irritating flaws in his character are the same characteristics that makes him endearing to me.  Those “irritants” may just be the same things that I will miss if he should happen to go away. 

My heart swelled with pride and love as I just gazed at the side of my husband’s face.  I am truly blessed just to be a part of his life. 

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Getting Right With God

So often people think that getting right with God is manifested by how often they attend church services or how much money they put in the basket as it is passed around each service.  Most well meaning people think that living a religious life gives them a free pass to enter the pearly gates.  While living a religious life may or may not keep us out of trouble on this earthly journey, it certainly does not give us a “get out of hell free” pass, if in fact, there is a hell.  Religion, in my humble opinion, can be recognized by a set of rules that identifies a particular belief.  Each religion, be it Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, etc., has a dogma that is followed to be identified as being a part of that religion. 

Spirituality proceeds from the heart and does not have a set of “rules” that must be followed to enter a place of perpetual peace.  Spirituality gives the believer a “peace that passes all understanding.”  The crazy thing about spirituality is that anyone…..ANYONE… can live a spiritual life if they have a belief in a Power greater than themselves.  That’s right, a Buddhist (gasp) can be a spiritual being along with a Catholic, Methodist, or Mormon.  Even a person who does not believe in any organized religion can be a spiritual being.

So, in my mind’s eye this is what I see.  There is a huge round banquet table in heaven (or any place you’d like to call a place of perfect peace).  Sitting around that table is a person of every organized religion and some who have no organized religion. There are rich men and women sitting at the table next to the homeless.   At the place of honor is the God of our understanding; however we choose to see Him.  All of us are praying and nobody is praying incorrectly.  There we all sit, with the God of our understanding; all of us praying in perfect harmony. 

What is amazing about this vision?  We are all praying to the same God, we just choose to call Him by a different name.