Influenster

Monday, May 1, 2017

This weekend we were without power for about 15 or 16 hours. Today I will empty our fridge of a large portion of it's contents, including several things we bought Friday because we got paid. I want to make a choice to grateful about this little event. Perspective is so precious. Does it stink? Yes. But God is good. The storm was rough but we were fine. Most of our frozen stuff is fine. We aren't worried about having hungry children or being hungry ourselves. We have the means to replace the food. We didn't have property damage or flooding. Our power came back on before dark the next night and the temps were moderate. We were blessed. So many people are struggling because of the same storm.
I hope that if this were harder I would still chose to be grateful and be able to say God is good. That's part of our calling isn't it. to be content and have joy, even when it's hard? I struggle with that. When things go my way, it's great, but the rest of the time, I can be a real malcontent. I need to watch out for that. Life can be hard and painful. People will disappoint you and you will disappoint people. Storms, both literally figuratively will come. Life will happen. Perspective, attitude, living in the eternal and not the moment, those are choices we can make. If you see me being short sighted, negative, making the wrong choice, call me on it. Going higher is easier when we pull each other up.
Say a prayer today for the less fortunate, all you have to do is look around you to find them. I hope you don't stop there. If you can do something for them, be His hands, reach out and do what you can for them. It's easier to be positive when we focus on others and the One who made us. Today I'm going to crank up K-Love while I throw out things that could make my body sick and try to get rid of some negativity that could make my soul sick too. If you have a few things you need to throw out, feel free to join me! Hugs people.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Oh sweet ones, there are many of you, some still young and many grown, who have crossed my path as children or young adults and live in my heart. I gave birth to two of you and “inherited” the rest of you. You are living in troubled times. This is not the first time in history this has happened. Sadly if the world continues to turn, it will not be the last.

I grieve for the state of things and the hateful ways we treat each other but I live in hope. I see in you people who want to make things better for the ones around you.  Often I see you fighting for others and not yourself. You are of all persuasions, ethnicities, faiths and opinions. I have tremendous love and hope for you all.   I urge you to avoid senseless arguments, in person and on social media.  It is easy in the moment too resort to fiery speeches and shouting matches with those with whom we disagree. This is not a criticism of you. The passion of youth is a gift. I fear many of us lose the passion overtime but don’t mature in our behavior. That is on us not you.  It is important to present your beliefs with thoughtful intelligence. Do not give in to anger. Anger robs you of so much including the ability to be heard by others.  Let them walk away with food for thought and not simply angry soundbites.

Accept the fact that most of you won’t change the world. That’s okay, neither will the rest of us. Truthfully, most of the time you won’t even change the mind of the person you are talking to. That’s okay too.  What you can change is yourselves. Your behavior is your choice. It’s a choice each of us has to make and live with.


My advice to you, even though you didn’t as for it is this. Work on a personal level for the changes you think are needed. Treat people the same, all people, even the ones you disagree with. When you return insult and abuse to those who behave in that manner, you just bought into their behavior and have become them, regardless of how noble your intentions are. Take responsibility for what you can. Vote. Contact your representatives. If you didn’t vote and are unhappy now with the outcome, accept that some of the responsibility falls on you.  If you weren’t old enough, then stay informed and vote your conscience when you are.  If you are concerned about climate change, make choices in you daily life to lessen your personal impact on the environment. Practical suggestions are easy to find. Don’t want a pipeline, reduce the amount you depend on crude oil products. You might not be able to protect someone’s sacred grounds but you can absolutely show respect for others and their heritage and customs. Worried about your local environment or social issues then volunteer with the homeless, collect food to feed the hungry, work in a soup kitchen, engage in cleanup and care of cemeteries, historical areas etc. in your area, plant neighborhood gardens, you get the idea. Absolutely take it personally by choosing to make changes on a personal level. This is how real change begins, when each one of us starts with ourselves and our actions.  It’s not our job to force others to be better, to think like us, or act like us. It is our job to be better ourselves and show the way. 

Monday, January 30, 2017

Extreme Nationalism feels an awfully lot like hate wrapped up and tied with a big flag bow on top.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Seeing Shouldn't Always Be Believing

“Believe nothing of what you hear, and only half of what you see.”
The unending parade of political posts and rants on social media continues, at times comical and at times just sad. If eye rolling were an exercise I would have very healthy eyes. My exercise routine is balanced too because I see both sides engaging in the same behavior. That being said, these are things I know.
We all think we are right.
Just because you see it online does not make it true.
If I shoot pictures of you continuously through an event I will find a frame that tells the story I want to tell. It may not be the real story but one frame out of context can prove my point, Maybe you were cold, or needed to go to the bathroom, or were thinking about what you would like to eat.  But out of context, I can use it to prove whatever point I wish too.
Children are capable of editing video to tell a story. They do it for school projects. Why would we assume adults can’t or wouldn’t.
The opinion piece that was sometimes presented at the end of the news is often the whole broadcast now.
It is easier to push share than to fact check. Most of us have done this.
Debating on social media is pointless.
Children should be off limits regardless of who their parents are. They are a gift to us all and should be treated as such.
Sometimes the memes and videos are funny so lighten up and don’t take them as facts. The caveat is; cruel is not funny. It is bullying.
Finally, It is difficult to “love your neighbor as yourself” while beating him with the club of your opinion.


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Acknowledge Pain. Don't Cause It.

Today I messed up. Not just a little oops but a legitimate major faux pas that caused someone pain. Was it intentional? Maybe not, but still it is my fault. I forgot a lesson that I had already learned, not something that I didn’t know. That lesson is that people in pain, especially emotional pain, sometimes need to have their hurt acknowledge, not fixed.
In trying to fix things by giving voice to the maybes, I failed to acknowledge the right to have our own feelings.  I wanted to help but truthfully, I was reacting out of fear and frustration also. I often try to be fair to everyone at the expense of those I am dealing with. Today I went completely overboard with that behavior.    I tried to slap a Band-Aid on it by presenting other sides instead of just acknowledging the frustration and pain that was in front of me.  
My thoughts have been so colored lately by all the negativity and vitriol being slung about online. The fear of seeing someone fall into the kind of negativity that is rampant led me to do instead of just be. Was I wrong with parts of what I expressed? No, but that didn’t make me right because I didn’t met the need. I was more interested in changing someone else’s thought process than in caring for their pain. That makes me wrong, regardless of good intentions, regardless of any truth that I might have shared, (and I fully acknowledge that I could have been very wrong in my analysis of the situation), regardless of any feelings I may have had. I was flat out wrong.

Until I learn to look at things from the perspective of another instead of forcing them to look through my glasses nothing changes.  Can I learn from this? Sure. Can I repair the damage? I don’t know. What I do know is I am the only one who can change my behavior. I can be sorry all day long but until I learn to acknowledge another’s pain without arguing the legitimacy of it nothing gets better for any of us.