Knotty Musings

Ideas, philosophies, and evil plots to take over the world through love hatched here.


I Am Enough

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people
won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,

we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically
liberates others." ~ Marianne Williamson


Remove the Nots

Remove the Nots

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Be A Voice

Such a gorgeous and poignant song. Share it far and wide. No bystanders.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHGf-UUqnSg

Be A Voice

by Yvonne Goss

1st verse:
There's a painful truth in our world we've got to face.
For too long we've ignored their desperate cry.
Please consider the cost,
another innocense thats lost.
We have to speak for the children and be their voice.

Chorus:
Be A Voice for the ones with no choice.
Forced to live in a world they cannot change.
Be a light in their darkness,
a trusting hand that they can hold.
Be A Voice for God's chidren,
Be A Voice

2nd Verse:
Can you hear the voice of the innocent cryin out,
rescue me from the evil all around me.
And make my world as it should be,
a loving home where I can grow free.
Rescue me, break the silence,
Be my voice

Be A Voice for the ones with no choice.
Forced to live in a world they cannot change.
Be a light in their darkness,
a trusting hand that they can hold.
Be A Voice for God's chidren,
Be A Voice


Tag:
Be A Comfort to the innocent, the pure in heart the meek,
Oh we have to speak the truth, only the truth will set them free,
set them free...

Chorus:

Oh Be A Voice for the ones with no choice.
Forced to live in a world they cannot change.
Be a light in their darkness,
a trusting hand that they can hold.
Be A Voice for God's chidren,
Be A Voice

Be A Voice,
(bring His light into their darkness)
Be A Voice,
(its never too late to make a change)
Be A Voice!


Be A Voice Yvonne Goss

Honor The Children - My Story

I told my story publicly for the 1st time a couple of weeks ago and it was very well received. I am sharing it here with you in the hope that it will help you to be a voice for children and help to break the cycle of generation devastation.

My past has not defined me , destroyed me , deterred me , or defeated me it only has given me strength to carry on another day for I’m just a vessel cant you see my sign” God is still working on me .”



HONOR THE CHILDREN-MY STORY

My name is Paulissa Kipp. I am the face of child sexual abuse. I am 46 going on 6. Stuck in an age of innocence and the beginning of a long nightmare. Beginning when I was 6 years old and continuing for the next 10 years, I was the object of my stepfather’s tainted love.

The first incident occurred the day of my brother’s funeral. I was playing my stereo and crying. I welcomed being comforted since the rest of the adults were comforting my mother. My stepfather began fondling me. My grandfather burst into the room and pulled him away from me. Restraining orders were filed but the court ordered visitations with my mother and stepfather. Every visit brought a new occurrence.

Child sexual abuse causes many cracks in the veneer of the soul. I had nightmares, blamed myself for what happened, sought and needed more male attention, and had a difficult time concentrating in school which resulted in my teacher recommending me for counseling. I suffered seizures and migraines.

As I developed, the attention of the males in my family (with the exception of my grandfather) took on a more sexual nature. I was an affectionate child and an easy target for advances of the inappropriate kind. I was told I was beautiful, which is exactly what a gawky, bookish, pimply pubescent girl wants to hear. I didn’t realize that it was inappropriate. More requests to take me places alone began to roll in. Ice cream outings became sexual advances.


I began trying altering my appearance. I developed unhealthy eating habits in the hope that if I gained weight the attention would stop – it didn’t.

I couldn’t relate to the opposite sex – I acted promiscuous but wasn’t. I was a tease, not please. Developing healthy relationships has been difficult. Vulnerability was not a safe place to be. My learned behavior was that a soft place to fall meant being violated. I gave love and took it away. I projected all of my pain onto healthy relationships and made people who loved me and treated me well into villains the same as those who hurt me in the past. It cost me 3 marriages. I was terrified of having children and the thought that they might be subjected to what I was. I put off trying for children until I was 40 and then it was too late. I am now unable to conceive.

Depression has been a near-constant companion for many years. I am mostly medication free, except for those times when life threatens to engulf me.

We tell our children about stranger danger, but place trust in those who show interest in our children. We are proud of our children and it is only natural to want people to like our children. There are red flags, however:

1. An adult is overly affectionate to your child or touches the child in a more intimate fashion than a hug, pat on the head, etc
2. Pulling a child older or bigger than lap holding age onto the lap
3. Unwanted tickling or wrestling
4. An adult makes repeated requests to take your child places alone or to do sleepovers
5. Your child’s behavior change drastically after spending time with a particular adult
6. Urinary tract infections can be a sign of inappropriate activity
7. Bleeding in the genital areas

If any of the symptoms are present, please take your child to a dr for a physical examination and report the abuse to the authorities. Honor the children.

Healing from child sexual abuse is a slow recovery process. It requires a courage that does not come naturally. It often requires counseling and brutal honesty. It requires forgiveness, but not forgetting. It requires not being a bystander. It requires making a stand and saying “Not on my watch, not my child and not your child. As Charlotte Davis Kasl correctly observes, "Whether or not you have children yourself, you are a parent to the next generation. If we can only stop thinking of children as individual property and think of them as the next generation, then we can realize we all have a role to play."

It requires faith, even when you don’t know if the wound will heal. It requires acknowledging that we are all broken in some way. In the words of Leonard Cohen, “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets through."

October is Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Awareness Month. When is child abuse awareness month? April . It is represented by a blue ribbon. Yet child abuse awareness needs to be an everyday occurrence. Speak it, think it, and hold it your hearts. We need a different kind of army. An army of the kind.

Charlie Chaplin's Great Dictator Speech

in 1940, when Charlie Chaplin was filming "The Great Dictator", Hitler invaded France. Chaplin changed the ending of the movie and added an out of character speech which now is legendary. It was not a speech by the character, but by Chaplin himself to the world.

You can find video of this speech here: It is quite moving.

I'm sorry, but I don't want to be an emperor. That's not my business. I don't want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible; Jew, Gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other's happiness, not by each other's misery. We don't want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone, and the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way. Greed has poisoned men's souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in.

Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost. The airplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men; cries out for universal brotherhood; for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women, and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people.

To those who can hear me, I say, do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish.

Soldiers! Don't give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you, enslave you; who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel! Who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don't give yourselves to these unnatural men - machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines, you are not cattle, you are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts! You don't hate! Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural. Soldiers! Don't fight for slavery! Fight for liberty! In the seventeenth chapter of St. Luke, it is written that the kingdom of God is within man, not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people, have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy, let us use that power. Let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfill that promise. They never will! Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people. Now let us fight to fulfill that promise. Let us fight to free the world! To do away with national barriers! To do away with greed, with hate and intolerance! Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men's happiness. Soldiers, in the name of democracy, let us all unite!

Long Low Road by Paulissa Kipp

OK, this piece did not come consciously as a song. This was truly divine inspiration. I was driving home from visiting a friend and out of nowhere began singing the chorus. So. . .I present to you The Long, Low Road. A gospel spiritual.

LONG, LOW ROAD

Spiritual by Paulissa Kipp

CHORUS:

There’s a long, low road to meet my savior

Long, low road to pre-pare my soul

You keep me cry – ing, keep me sigh-ing

Keep me moving down that long, low road


My heart keeps breaking, trials keep taking

Keep me rolling down that long, low road

Man turns a blind eye to his brother’s cry

Keep on rolling down a long, low road


But grace keeps sav-ing

There’s a constant cra-ving

For love and understanding

On that long, low road

Sing a-men allelujah

Keep me rolling keep me rolling on the long, low road

I keep stumbling but I keep rising

To walk with you on that long, low road

CHORUS:

There’s a long, low road to meet my savior

Long, low road to prepare my soul

You keep me cry – ing, keep me sigh-ing

Keep me moving down that long, low road


Sing amen allelujah

Keep me rolling keep me rolling that down that long, low road

I keep stumbling but I keep rising

To walk with you down that long, low road


We shall never walk alone

cry-ing and sigh-ing

In the si-lence

Down that long, low road

CHORUS:

There’s a long, low road to meet my savior

Long, low road to prepare my soul

You keep me cry – ing, keep me sigh-ing

Keep me moving down that long, low road


Sing amen allelujah

Keep me rolling keep me rolling on that long, low road

I keep stumbling but I keep rising

To walk with you on that long, low road

© 2011 Paulissa Kipp

video

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Walking Wounded

When I was at lunch today, I had the honor of speaking with 2 Vietnam veterans who were sitting at the counter. I thanked them for their service and one of them - George C - told me that he was in the 1st batch of military members who were hit by Agent Orange. He has lived through 6 heart attacks and a recent surgery on his jugular vein. An amazing man who seemed more amazed that I didn't recoil at the sight of his scars. His friend, George C II, was also struck with Agent Orange and has health issues as a result. He said he felt that his biggest scars are the ones no one sees. The mental scars of PTSD and being a prisoner of his own mind at times and having flashbacks while he was driving that the cars were not vehicles, but rather trees in the jungle of Vietnam. He has given up driving.

When we parted, they asked me what I do for work. I told them and then George C asked me what I do for life (for joy). I told him that I am a writer and photographer and said that if I'd had my camera with me, I would have asked to take their photos. I paid for their meals, thanked them again for their service and the conversation and they invited me for coffee next Friday afternoon and told me to bring the camera. They would like their stories told through photos and essays. How amazing is that? Simply because I took an interest. I am so amazed at where these encounters are leading me these days and the way my art helps me to interact with the world around me.

I wrote the following piece as part of my eulogy for a friend, a Vietnam veteran I'd known for 35 of my 45 years who committed suicide to escape his demons.


NONE UNWOUNDED

A soldier died today. Not in combat on some foreign soil but in combat on the battlefield of the mind. A soldier died today. He took his own life. Some will call him a coward.

Whether we agree with the reasons our country is at war or not, the fact still remains that we have people fighting for our right to play Monday morning quarterback over it all. Those who would say that our soldiers are stupid and that's why they're in Iraq, Afghanistan, or anywhere else in the world they're needed are naive.

The soldier who serves our country is not evil, self-serving, or looking for glory. Some were given a choice: the military or jail. Others were drafted, still others joined voluntarily after some heinous act jeopardized the safety of our country and its citizens.

These men and women have seen things in the performance of their duties that most of us haven't even dreamed of in our worst nightmares. Decades after their service, what they did because their country asked them to or because their own life was threatened during combat, still haunts their minds and hearts. Many have never forgiven themselves and believe they can never atone enough for the lives taken, damage caused, and peace of mind taken, even though those lives were of the "enemy". They weep for the loss of humanity.

Even those who did not die, lose limbs, or see comrades die lost something. The years and months away from family, freedoms, and easy going spirits were lost. Innocence was lost. Simply because the pain cannot be readily observed does not negate its existence. José Narosky has said "In war, there are no unwounded soldiers."

It takes people with courage to stand up for the weak, less fortunate, and humanity to allow us our freedoms. The right to raise our families and sleep safely in our beds each night rests on their weary shoulders. Hold them up, thank them, and most of all, honor them.

Paulissa Kipp 2011

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Time Marches On - 9/11 Reflections


This will be the only post to my stream regarding my reflections on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. So many thoughts are going through my mind. I will take my camera out and record the different moods and sights of this day that is like no other in a myriad of ways.

10 Years On
9/11/11
I remember how topaz blue that morning was, the crispness of the air and the smell of fall as I walked that morning. As I returned back home, my neighbor came outside, handed me a cup of coffee and told me that a plane had hit the world trade center. I thought it odd but believed it to be a small plane. We went inside and were visiting when her husband called and said the 2nd tower had been hit. That is when the realization set in that it wasn't an accident. We called our loved ones and turned on the TV and watched in horror at the death and struggle for life wrought by hatred. Crying and numb, we watched. I don't think we even ate the rest of that day. We were too numb to even think about anything but being with other people. It didn't matter whether those other people were friends, family or strangers. We just didn't want to be alone. We heard about the collapse of the towers, Flight 93 and the Pentagon. The waves of nausea, shock and grief washed over us repeatedly like the coming and going of tide.

Then the news came that President Bush was coming to Offutt AFB in Bellevue. A new wave of terror overtook me. It was terrifying to know that Stratcom is a target and that we might be next. I remember walking to the stereo and putting in Anne Murray's "A Little Good News" and playing it repeatedly, wishing there would be some good news. I rocked back and forth in a catatonic state and the tears found a wellspring I didn't know I had.

Our church held a prayer vigil and we sleepwalked our way into the sanctuary and held hands with our friends and neighbors, prayed for the lives lost, for understanding, for love to overcome hate and reminded ourselves that vengeance is not ours.

We gave blood, helped fund first responders and rescue dogs to help and tried to find our way to a better love of one another. We pulled together as a humans, as neighbors, as a country and as part of something bigger than hate.

It seems that each generation has its version of The Day the World Changed - WW I, Pearl Harbor, the assassinations of JFK, RFK and MLK, Vietnam, Kent State, OKC, the 1st WTC bombing, the Cole and 9/11. It seems the fabric gets torn apart so that it can be patched together in a more meaningful fashion.

We lost so much that day: 2977 souls and service and rescue dogs, our sense of security, innocence and freedoms.

Yet we also gained some valuable things: Appreciation for connection, the value of binding together in times of crisis, sorrow and confusion and pride in our country. While I was always glad to be an American, I think I took it for granted before 9/11. After 9/11, my heart swells at the national anthem and the flag waving in the breeze moves me to tears. That day will never be forgotten. For me, it was the day I learned to appreciate my country.

Now, 10 years later our lives are impacted nearly daily by the reactionary nature of the response to the attack. We have readily given up freedom after freedom as 9/11 is invoked as the end-all argument for never-ending regulation, eavesdropping and stripping at the airport. There is no denying the effect of 9/11 on our freedoms but what about upon our hearts? Are we living our lives with joy and fullness, loving our neighbors and striving to foster understanding of one another? My heart answers yes, what about yours?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Loving Ourselves and Stopping the Hate

Our society needs a little less hate, and a little more love.

The news needs a little less negativity, and many more smiles.

We should start to slow down, and stop rushing.

We need to remember to take deep breaths, instead of jumping to conclusions.

We need to love ourselves, and stop the hate.

http://indecisivewar.tumblr.com/ :)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Prayer

Dear God,
I don't know about the challenges my Friends are facing,
But You know everything........
I hear their silence,
You hear their plead.............
I see their laughter,
You see their tears.............
I see what they receive,
You see what they sacrifice.............
I see their happy faces,
You see their scarred souls.........
I know their faith,
You know their doubts............
I know about their dreams,
You know about their fears........
Today, I pray to You to give them everything they need & bless them for all times to come...
Amen

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Haruki Murakami

"... once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in." — Haruki Murakami

Friday, July 8, 2011

Preventing Bed Bugs

Passing this along since bedbugs seem to be everywhere these days:

I received this from a friend who deals with situations that put her and her significant at risk of catching them more than most people. Here is what she shared:

I travel alot for work and my boyfriend works in hotels. We talk a lot of preventive measures. I spray down my luggage and shoes with a pesticide everytime I travel. I ask the hotel if they have had bed bug breakouts in the last year. I ...thoroughly inspect my room before I use it. I store my bag on the vanity in the bathroom. Upon returning home all clothing and bags are loaded in a hot dryer for 30+mins (120 deg will kill them). We also have bed encasements and keep treatments on hand at home. I spray down movie theater seats before using them too and keep my purse on my lap. I buy clothes on-line and avoid the stores. Sounds excessive but it can cost a home owner $5000 or more to de-infest their homes and much more to replace their furnishings. Prevention is the best medicine. Take it seriously. Anyone can get them.

I buy on-line from a site I found http://www.domyownpestcontrol.com/bed-bugs-c-39.html. I use products that have Pyrethrin. It is a natural pesticide that comes from Chrysanthimums. I heard about it on Dr. Oz. I have never had bedbugs and I don't plan on getting them, but that is because I have done my homework and take precautions. I keep a 2oz purse size spray bottle of a product called Sterifab in my purse and luggage.

Anyone can get them. I am a bug-a-phobe, so when I first started hearing about this in early 2010, I called a "bug guy" and asked for his opinion. We talked for an hour and he gave me a lot of good advice. Since then, I have come up with my own preventive measures and they seem to be working. Again, both my boyfriend and I are in and out of hotels daily/weeklly for our jobs and in several different states. We need to be prepared.

Not A Former

By the way, I'm a writer, photographer and artist. What are you??

"Not a former..."
Bob Perks
"Once you become, you are."
"Once you attain you never go back"
"Once you cross the finish line, you may
one day cross it again even faster, but
the first time you win, you remain a winner."
"Don't give me any crap!" I heard him say.
I don't ever want to hear you say you are
a former anything!"
It was a conversation God wanted me
to hear. A note I wrote on a piece of
paper..."not a former," has remained
in my wallet for weeks.
I wondered what I was going to do with it
until I crawled up the steps last night after
a long battle in my mind over what and
who I was vs. what and who I wanted to be.
Once you learn to dance you are a dancer,
once you run a race, you are an runner. Once
you learn to climb, you are a climber.
For "becoming" never goes back to wishing it so.
You become a champion and stay a champion.
You are never a former champion in life.
You can take three steps forward and four steps
back, but that does not put you behind. Because
once you go as far as you can you've attained
a new distance mark for the race of your life.
Don't tell me what you can't do. Talk about what
you did and who you are because of it. Even if you
set out to climb the highest mountain in the world
and you only go so far, you can never say you
failed to finish. You went the distance... you climbed
further up the mountain than ever before. That
makes you a mountain climber.
"Today, make a list of your accomplishments,
no matter how big or how small.
You may not be where you want to be,
but it's better than nowhere at all."
By the way...I am an inspirational writer/speaker.
"I wish you enough!"
J
Bob Perks
I encourage you to share my stories but
I do ask that you keep my name and contact
information with my work.

P.O. Box 1702
Shavertown, Pa. 18708
Contact Bob 2believe@comcast.net

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Veterans

As inadequate as is sounds thank you for all you have done. Thank you for the sacrifices made, the chances taken and the freedoms defended. Thank you for all you have given up and are willing to give up, even unto your life. Thank you for all the little moments of liberty we so often take for granted, paid for by the coin of your many lives. Thank you for wearing a uniform that may mark you as a target, and always marks you as a hero. Thank you for enduring so as a nation we all may endure. Today and everyday please accept my undying gratitude for all you stand for. ♥

Love

Our society needs a little less hate, and a little more love.

The news needs a little less negativity, and many more smiles.

We should start to slow down, and stop rushing.

We need to remember to take deep breaths, instead of jumping to conclusions.

We need to love ourselves, and stop the hate.

http://indecisivewar.tumblr.com/ :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Personal Bill of Rights

A Personal Bill of Rights

1. I have numerous choices in my life beyond mere survival.
2. I have the right to discover and know my Child Within.
3. I have the right to grieve over what I didn't get that I needed or what I got that I didn't need or want.
4. I have the right to follow my own values and standards.
5. I have the right to recognize and accept my own value system as appropriate.
6. I have the right to say no to anything when I feel I am not ready, it is unsafe or it violates my values.
7. I have the right to dignity and respect.
8. I have the right to make decisions.
9. I have the right to determine and honor my own priorities.
10. I have the right to have my needs and wants respected by others.
11. I have the right to terminate conversations with people who make me feel put down and humiliated.
12. I have the right not to be responsible for others behavior, actions, feelings or problems.
13. I have the right to make mistakes and not have to be perfect.
14. I have the right to expect honesty from others.
15. I have the right to all of my feelings.
16. I have the right to be angry at someone I love.
17. I have the right to be uniquely me, without feeling that I'm not good enough.
18. I have the right to feel scared and to say, "I'm afraid."
19. I have the right to experience and then let go of fear, guilt and shame.
20. I have the right to make decisions based on my feelings, my judgement or any reason that I choose.
21. I have the right to change my mind at any time.
22. I have the right to be happy.
23. I have the right to stability, i.e., "roots" and stable healthy relationships of my choice.
24. I have the right to my own personal space and time needs.
25. I have the right to be relaxed, playful and frivolous.
26. I have the right to be flexible and be comfortable with doing so.
27. I have the right to change and grow.
28. I have the right to be open to improve my communication skills so that I may be understood.
29. I have the right to make friends and be comfortable around people.
30. I have the right to be in a nonabusive environment.
31. I have the right to be healthier than those around me.
32. I have the right to take care of myself, no matter what.
33. I have the right to grieve over actual or threatened losses.
34. I have the right to trust others who earn my trust.
35. I have the right to forgive others and to forgive myself.
36. I have the right to give and to receive unconditional love.

http://www.angelfire.com/realm2/simons-place/Bill_Of_Rights.html
By: Charles Whitfield

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Promise Yourself

Promise Yourself

Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can
disturb your peace of mind.

To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to
every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel like there is
something in them.

To look at the sunny side of everything and make your
optimism come true.

To think only of the best, to work only for the best,
and expect only the best.

To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others
as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past and press on the
greater achievements of the future.

To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give
every living person you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself
that you have no time to criticize others.

To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, and too
strong for fear, and to happy to permit the
presence of trouble.

Christian D Larson
(The Optimist Creed
From The Optimist International)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Be.

Be.

Be understanding to your enemies.
Be loyal to your friends.
Be strong enough to face the world each day.
...Be weak enough to know you cannot do everything alone.
Be generous to those who need your help.

Be frugal with what you need yourself.
Be wise enough to know that you do not know everything.
Be foolish enough to believe in miracles.
Be willing to share your joys.
Be willing to share the sorrows of others.

Be a leader when you see a path others have missed.
Be a follower when you are shrouded by the mists of uncertainty.
Be the first to congratulate an opponent who succeeds.
Be the last to criticize a colleague who fails.
Be sure where your next step will fall, so that you will not tumble.

Be sure of your final destination, in case you are going the wrong way.
Be loving to those who love you.
Be loving to those who do not love you, and they may change.
Above all, be yourself.

~Author Unknown

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Oak Tree

The Oak Tree - by Johnny Ray Ryder Jr.

A mighty wind blew night and day.
...It stole the Oak Tree's leaves away.
Then snapped its boughs
and pulled its bark
until the Oak was tired and stark.

But still the Oak Tree held its ground
while other trees fell all around.
The weary wind gave up and spoke,
"How can you still be standing Oak?"

The Oak Tree said, I know that you
can break each branch of mine in two,
carry every leaf away,
shake my limbs and make me sway.

But I have roots stretched in the earth,
growing stronger since my birth.
You'll never touch them, for you see
they are the deepest part of me.

Until today, I wasn't sure
of just how much I could endure.
But now I've found with thanks to you,
I'm stronger than I ever knew.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Holy Alphabet...This is Beautiful!

The Holy Alphabet...This is Beautiful!





Whoever came up with this one must have had some Divine guidance!



Although things are not perfect



Because of trial or pain



Continue in thanksgiving



Do not begin to blame



Even when the times are hard



Fierce winds are bound to blow



God is forever able



Hold on to what you know



Imagine life without His love



Joy would cease to be



Keep thanking Him for all the things



Love imparts to thee



Move out of "Camp Complaining"



No weapon that is known



On earth can yield the power



Praise can do alone



Quit looking at the future



Redeem the time at hand



Start every day with worship



To "thank" is a command



Until we see Him coming



Victorious in the sky



We'll run the race with gratitude



Xalting God most high



Y es, there'll be good times and yes some will be bad, but...



Zion waits in glory...where none are ever sad!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

If You're Ever Going To Love Me


I remember reading this poem in an Ann Landers column when I was in my teens. Just as true now as it was then and it is how I try to approach showing others they matter to me. I've found no copyright, so author is still unknown.

If You're Ever Going To Love Me

If you're ever going to love me

love me now, while I can know

All the sweet and tender feeling

which from real affection flow.

Love me now, while I am living;

do not wait till I am gone

And then chisel it in marble--

warm love words on ice-cold stone.

If you've dear, sweet thought of me,

why not whisper them to me?

Don't you know 'twould make me happy

and as glad as glad could be?

If you wait till I am sleeping,

ne'er to waken here again,

There'll be walls of earth between us

and I couldn't hear you then.

If you knew someone was thirsting

for a drop of water sweet

Would you be slow to bring it?

Would you step with laggard feet?

There are tender hearts all round us

who are thirsting for our love;

Why withhold from them what nature

makes them crave all else above?

I won't need your kind caresses

when the grass grows o'er my face;

I won't crave your love or kisses

in my last low resting place.

So, then, if you love me any,

if it's but a little bit,

Let me know it now while living;

I can own and treasure it.

(Author Unknown, though many have claimed authorship)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Maybe We Need A Lullabye




I sat down to work on some algebra but my thoughts kept turning to the violence the past week has brought:

A school shooting here in my community of Omaha, NE that left 2 dead and one injured .

A shooting in a shopping mall in Tucson, Arizona that left 8 dead.

The shooting of a Congresswoman who mere days before took the oath of office and that took the lives of a child, a judge, and many others.

Suspicious packages detonated in Maryland.

What a way to begin a new year that a mere 9 days ago held hope for peace, freshness, love and kindness.

In the face of events such as these, perhaps it is only human nature to ask why, to look for reasons, to lay blame on society's ill (of which there are many) and to spin like a web answers to those questions that may never have answers.

Large scale violence shakes us to our souls and invites introspection. We question upbringing, influences, availability of guns, emotional scars and many times we wonder what we as a society or an individual have done to contribute to these occurences. Have we extended love and understanding to another? Have we turned a blind eye to the outsider and the inconvenient reminders of poverty, homelessness, age or neglect? We vow to change, to be kinder and to pay more attention. Sometimes we pray more, we hug our children more, say "I love you more" and even cry more. Pain is palpable, even if those affected were not a part of our own families. We vacillate between anger, disappointment, fear, love for those who lives were lost or forever changed in an instant. We wish for comfort.

Perhaps we need a lullabye. Oh, how I can hear the pooh-pooing of that suggestion already. "Psshhhhhh only children need lullabies". I say we all need lullabyes. After all, what is a lullabye? We sing lullabies to small children as we rock them to sleep, to calm them when they fall and get scraped up and when they're scared. Yet as adults, we fall and get scraped up, we hurt emotionally, we get upset and we keep going and going. We try all manner of things to quell the pain - tears, writing, alcohol, tobacco, exercise - the list goes on and on. Yet maybe what we need most is a gentle touch and a lullabye. A "there, there. It will be OK". Because perhaps it really is that simple.

Perhaps all the broken hearted people need a calming song, a change in the frenetic soundtrack that is our lives and a chance to hum a new tune. A song, a melody or a harmony to reset the metronome differently. Think about it.

My adult lullabies are Dire Straits' "Why Worry"
Elvis "Walk A Mile in My Shoes"
Blind Boys of Alabama "Give A Man A Home"
K D Lang "Hallelujah"
Susan Boyle "Don't Dream It's Over"
Bee Gees (yes, I'll admit to liking them) "Gotta Get A Message to You"
Ben Harper "There Will Be A Light"
Timothy Schmit "Secular Praise"
Elvis "You'll Never Walk Alone"
Anne Murray "A Little Good News"

And with each tune, we are reminded of something different - hope, vulnerability, kindness, love, faith, compassion and so much more. We gather the strong to go on, for that is really what the lullaby does. Maybe that's all we need.