I am a white girl, who grew up in a poor family. My dad worked construction, and of course we had to move where the work was. There were many times that my dad decided he would go to another state to work and send money back to us, just so we would not have to change schools. There was a time when we lived in a tent, but my dad did not allow us to go to school in dirty clothes. I remember the heartbreak of being in junior high and not wanting to make friends because, I did not want them to know I did not have a home. I would actually go eat in the bathroom to avoid being made fun of. It was a devastatingly difficult time. As I grew up, I rejected religion, yet was oddly fascinated by it. I tried it all, new age, Buddhism, Hinduism, Spiritualism etc. It was not until I turned 19 that I decided Christianity was the path for me. Jesus was the main reason for my decision. He did not judge, he preached love of all and he came for everyone! He accepted all! All.
As I have continued my journey, I have come to realize that everyone has their path, and I love listening to their stories. I love sitting a talking with those who believe differently from me, so that I can better understand where they are coming from. What they have been through. How they overcame whatever it was they went through in their lives. You see, America is pretty cool that way. We have come from different places around the world. We celebrate culture and diversity. We celebrate being different. At least, that is what I thought until lately. But maybe it has not changed. If I and all of us, have been shaped by our past, that means that we can learn from our mistakes as a nation. This means, that instead of becoming more divisive, we can come together in peace, love, and unity despite our political agendas or religious preferences. It means that we can find common ground.
It seems to me that we as believers in Higher Power or those who believe in humanity, have all been taught something similar: to welcome the stranger. To practice a hospitality so radical that it means to extend our hand and hearts to those who are in need. This does not change in any religious belief. It is common ground.
I implore everyone to seek facts and not fake news. To meet others different from you, and to extend your hand to ALL. We do not know everyone’s stories, but we can learn to listen.
Many times, we think we have to do something big to change the world, but really, it starts with small steps to put a smile on someone’s face. Here are five small things you can do this week to change someone’s outlook.
Monday: leave a treat in the mailbox for the postman/woman. We have had so much snow lately, and they have delivered the mail faithfully every single day! Brighten their day and let then know how much you are thankful for them.
Tuesday: Write a letter to a family member, friend or colleague letting them know how wonderful they are. I recently got a letter in the mail “just because” from my grandmother-in-law. This made me feel so special and makes me want to do this for someone else!
Wednesday: Have your family round up the carts in the grocery store parking lot.
Thursday: Hold the door open for people with a smile on your face.
Friday: Hand out hand warmers to homeless you see on the streets as you drive around. Remember not every one makes it to a shelter for the night, and it is cold outside. It is something small, but it is something.
Please post any other ideas that you may have for making a difference in the world. Its starts with the small, and snowballs into something big!
I am a Christian. I believe in Jesus Christ. I try to follow the example that he led of radical hospitality. I do not always get it right, but that is what we are called to do as Christians: love our neighbors as ourselves. I am deeply saddened by what is happening in our great country. I am saddened by the divisiveness that is happening. I am saddened that I am lumped into the fundamental Christian right just because I say I am a Christian. I am saddened that Muslims are being banned because of their religion. I am saddened by the obnoxious way people are name calling on all sides.
Let me get this out there:
We are all made in the image of God. Christian, Jew, Muslim, refugee, unborn child, politicians, gay, straight, transgender. If we are pro life, we should be pro refugee! If we are name calling, on both sides, we should remember that the best thing we can do is stand together, not name call to cut down. I have never known anyone to change their mind because they were called a name! In fact, that makes them fight more!
I am a mother of two children born from me, and one born of my heart. She is from China, and looks different from the rest of the family. She is my daughter, whom I love as if she were born from me, and I am scared for her. We do get looks everywhere we go. We do get asked where she is from, and I have witnessed people say shameful things when they think I am not listening. This will only make me grip her hand even stronger and stand with all those who are afraid. Only when we stand together peacefully, without name calling will this country make a positive change. Get out there and do something. Go and meet the Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, refugees, Christians in your area. Break bread together. Talk!!!!! Face to face.
If you happen to be in the Ogden Utah Area, please come to my free community meal on Wednesdays where we have the opportunity to break down barriers and get to know one another. If you want more information, please go to our Face Book Page:
This girl has been talking my ear off today! Today she read 4 books that were full of information, and believe me, I have heard so much about random things! Like how a python can get so big that it can eat a crocodile! Ummm…Wow!
But the best part of her day was making these cool Lego creations! She is so very proud of them, and I am very proud of her. She had a great day and is riding high!
Love you Little Bit!
I have been reminded lately of childhood and when I was sick. Truly sick. Not just a cold, but one of those flus that knock you out. That keep you bedridden for days. I remember feeling that it would never end, or that all I wanted to do was go outside and see the sunlight! I wanted to see my friends, and actually go back to school!
But what I really remember is how all I wanted was my mommy to tell me it was going to be alright. Her to bring me a bowl of hot soup and stroke my hair and tell me its okay to stay in bed all day long. Do you remember someone doing this for you? It does not have to be your mom, but someone who just showed you love when you felt like complete and total crap.
Whatever you are going through right now, whether it be depression, sickness, recovery from surgery, recovery from drugs or alcohol. Whatever you are going through, know that it is completely okay to stay in bed some days and have someone show you love. It is completely okay to just cry. This to shall pass, sooner or later.
The views from where I lay, healing.
My kids are doing their homework without a ton of convincing. They know that they need to and I am so thankful that they are old enough to just get to work!
This dog! Every window he sees me through, he sits next to. It’s like he is keeping me safe and making sure I am well!
A peaceful room with lots of warm blankets! It is so very cold outside, and the weather has been crazy! Last Friday, the day I went into my surgery, the temperature was -6! Today it is 37 and raining! It has been so very strange, but I am not complaining! We are a state that thrives on snowfall and skiing, so keep it coming.
I am feeling a little better, which is also something to be thankful for! However, today I have a ton of swelling and discomfort. But even with this discomfort, I realize that I have a wonderful family who is waiting on me so well! The kids are getting whatever I need and are ordering me to stay in bed! How nice is that?
I also read this quote today which has put so much in perspective:
“…just for today — DO. NOT. WORRY. “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” Matt6:34MSG
Just for today: Be a prayer warrior–not a panicked worrier. You either leave your worries with God . . . or your worries will make you leave God.
Worry is just the facade of taking action — when prayer really is. ” -Ann Voskamp
I have been so tremendously worried that I will not heal properly this week. I have been having this condition for 4 months, and I am so concerned that the surgery will not fix the problem. I am ready to get back to “normal”. But I am seeing that this has been a way for God to show me how to rely on Him. How if I ask for help from others, they are quick to come to my aid. That I have wonderful friends who will help put on a Wednesday meal at a moments notice. I have a friend who brings me Dr. Pepper because she knows I love it! I have a husband who takes our daughter to Girl Scouts and sits through meetings. I have readers who wish me the best. Guess what? The world still moves when I am not! I am so very grateful for you all and this longer than expected recovery. Without it, I would not get to see the tremendous blessings in my life.
This surgery has been a little bit tougher than I thought it would be. It is not really the pain of the procedure, although it is uncomfortable, but it is instead the anesthesia. Anesthesia is always so hard on my body, and on Friday I spent most of the day throwing up and then Saturday feeling very hungover. Today, I finally was able to get up and move a little. I put my Christmas ornaments away, and was able to tell my kids where all the boxes of decorations go. Then, I laid down for most of the afternoon, feeling quite down. The pain and weariness were getting to me, and I was allowing my anxiety and depression to get the better of me. Felling quite sorry for myself. Then I started to look around and I noticed how my family loves me. My husband and Middle Bit have spent the past two days making meals together. Meals that will nourish the family and help me to feel better. The house has been picked up, laundry done and the chores finished. The house has been quite and they have allowed me to sleep whenever I needed. We have spent some precious time together as a family watching movies, and listening to the radio. My daughter has made me some of the cutest get well presents. My husband has been so gentile and kind to me as I try to recover. Most importantly, this recovery is truly going as scheduled. My body has accomplished the major “landmarks” it is supposed to. I was blessed enough to see a specialist who provides a surgery with a week of recovery as opposed to 4 to 6 weeks of being down. There is truly so much to be thankful for, and now I must allow myself to take the time it needs to recover. This is how I give of myself this day and in the upcoming days. Allow my family to take care of me, allow my body to heal properly. So much to be thankful for.
I hope you all have a wonderful week!