Let civility reign!

Civility ~ Let us consider this, before we speak or act.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

My grandma Velma's letter on Death... brings a warm comfort somehow.


When you are older and have lost someone, you don't have to ask why.  You find yourself praying not so much for them as for yourself because it seems the only way to make contact, and gradually the tone of the prayer changes, at least it did for me.  I found it became less a cry of desperate longing than a prayer of loving release.  A message of blessing, a time to remember those I loved and to rejoice that they were safely in God's gardens.

You get used to anything, even personal loss, and you get used to the more and more frequent departures.  This relative, that relative, a close friend, another friend, a neighbor, a beloved teacher, your boss, ... You even get used to receiving that first shock, No! I can't believe it, ... not him! There seems no rhyme or reason so often, no special order, only that there are always more and more. Until after awhile it dawns on you how many there are. It must be getting crowded in heaven!  When you try to remember them in prayer, you have to call the roll but there is something actually joyful in the thought... they are not alone up there. They have "The blessed company of heaven." And quietly, steadily, all unseen, this procession of departures has been leading you closer to God.  At least so it was with me.  With everyone who leaves, I am being drawn, without knowing it, just a little nearer to the original source who designed their destination and my own.

For as surely as He sent me to this earth, He has given me a return ticket.  I know that one day I too, will be in that same procession.  I will join them, ... and the mere fact that I call their names in prayer, lifting them up, asking for them, peace and joy and all God's blessings, confirms the fact that they are there.  As I too, will one day be there.

Lord, dear Lord, I will hold fast to you and remember, you did not take lives but you received them.  How gently and how generously you received them. You did not will their going, but you accepted their return.

Written by Velma D. Clark at an older age.

My grandma was very close to the Lord. She was faithful to His ways and His words.  She suffered many great losses at this point in her life when she wrote this, but she always remained faithful to the Lord.

My mother gave me this letter recently, she knew I would find comfort in reading it. I typed this out from my grandma's hand written letter, on a double sided piece of paper.  I decided, others might enjoy it as well, so I'd share it with you.  I miss her, but I too know where she resides, and I believe it is in the house of the Lord. I give glory to Him and I too hope one day to reside there.

S.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Trying to walk in the white light of goodness and kindness and acceptance

I'm not perfect.  I don't mind that I'm not perfect because I like to learn from my mistakes.  I also like sharing what I've learned with others, namely my two kids.  I think it's good for them to see me fail sometimes, proves their not alone in their failures.  We all fail, learn, and do things so much better the next time.  I learn something new everyday.  Sometimes I learn what not to do, sometimes I learn a new way of doing things, but learning everyday is how we continue to grow.

Here's the thing, I'm not sure what I learn watching television, or reading Facebook posts, or posts on Twitter are very trustworthy ways to learn new things.  I think the media can be so misleading, so judgmental, so unhealthy.  I'm not always sure what I hear is accurate and therefore I'm cautious.  It is so easy to be swayed these days.  It's almost as if we don't realize we're not thinking for ourselves, we are letting others tell us how to think.  When I catch myself spewing negative things I've read or heard, sometimes after the fact I replay what I said in my mind, in my voice and realize, this doesn't sound like me at all.  This sounds like someone getting sucked into the under-miners of the world.  How easy it is to let someone else's opinions speak for us all.  I think it's unfortunate and I wanna shake us awake.  Stop and think who you really are to your core.  Are you a good person, are you critical or judgmental of others, are you quick to judge.  I believe if you are, you've been swayed by the media and all other forms out there that inform us of what's happening in our world.

While I know we are not all the same, one thing we should all agree on is this, a human is a human.  Every human walking planet earth deserves respect and assistance if needed.  Our world is full of misfortune, hatred and despair.  While it's almost impossible to think that everyone could love their neighbor, everyone could learn to accept one another, I believe there's a large percentage that do or could.  We have to open our minds to the possibility that our attitude is catching.  If we are accepting and voice that acceptance, more will follow in our footsteps.  If we embrace one another, help one another and truly care for the human species, others will see our actions and follow our lead.  It simply takes everyone coming together and expressing so nonchalantly, so mindlessly our feelings of love, acceptance, kindness, helpfulness, to spread this wonderful humanity to all.  I hope our goodness can seep into the minds of those around us simply by being with us.  Simply by example.

Empathy is a wonderful concept and a wonderful thing to teach our children.  I work hard to ignore the hate I see on the news, the desperate who act out on innocence.  I try to find a way in my heart to understand the human species, understand the differences in thinking but I always come back to this, why can't we just open our hearts and find nothing but love, patience, kindness and goodness within ourselves, enough to spread across all we know, and make a difference in the lives of others that they too could possess and pass along as well.  I forgive often, I wipe the slate clean when I could hold a grudge, I don't think of ways to get even, I work hard to be the woman the good Lord made me to be.
Just thinking out loud again I guess.  Wishing so wholeheartedly that our society at large could stop spewing negative, angry, evil, views that turn warm  hearts into stone.  That take an accepting mind and turn it to stone.  I have so much hope for humankind, so many views of peace.  Peace is a good word, a word I often define as the best word that was ever made. Because with peace comes a calm mind, a calm heart, and a content human.  I wish you all peace today.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Because I'm lucky enough to write for the Petoskey News Review in Petoskey Michigan, I've decided to post those same stories here as a way to continue using my blog and providing readers with some new writings by me.

Life is busy and I'm terribly behind when it comes to my blog. I apologize.
Look for a story here soon. ☺️

Friday, February 24, 2017

Another sign my dad is near....

Every so often, I have something happen that makes me feel like I have a better understanding of the after life.  While I believe there is an after life, sometimes the idea of proof really feels good.  While so many may disregard mediums I find them to be soothing.  I especially like watching the show, Long Island Medium.  However, this is not about mediums this is another post about another interesting occurrence that makes me feel my dad is closer than farther away from me. Here is the story, ...

All true....

Near the end of my dad's life, as things began to decline, I became more and more concerned.  The idea of losing my dad was unbearable.  Two weeks after my dad passed away and I felt my heart sink more and more, my sadness growing and my mind spinning I called a girl friend of mine from high school.  While she and I don't talk that often, I know how spiritually connected she is, and just the idea of talking to her brings about feelings of peace within me.  I needed to talk to her to help me calm down.  The idea that I'd never be able to talk to my dad again had me in a mode of panic.  How would I? How could I, survive his absence?  As she and I talked, as we discussed his passing and how I was doing, she interrupted me and said, "What is the connection between your dad and a black bird?"  I was perplexed.  I said, "A black bird?"  She said, "Yes, when I see your dad, I see a black bird beside him.  What's the significance of a black bird to your dad?"

I sat and thought about it for a few minutes and I said, "My dad loved owls, are you sure it's not an owl?"  She said, "No, it's a black bird.  I think it's a crow.  A black crow.  It could be a raven but I think it's a black crow."  I told her I had no idea but had noticed a black crow around my house recently.  I told her that I had even commented on the black crow to my kids.  A black crow in our front maple tree.  I even wondered if it was a sign but I didn't figure it was.  It just seemed strange that a black crow, all alone would be sitting in our tree out front,"  She said, that's a sign your dad is near.  That is his sign to you, your dad is a black bird, probably a crow.  After we hung up I decided I'd pay attention to black birds and see if I thought they were in fact, a sign.  While I did notice the black crow now and again, and I noticed if I drove I'd see a black crow in a tree, two blocks further a black crow in a tree, etc. it seemed that there was a correlation but as time passed and more black crows were around, I wondered if it was just coincidental.  I actually dropped the idea over time.

My dad had been gone for 21 months at Christmas. A family Christmas party was happening at my sisters house so my husband, the kids and I headed down state.  After the party ended and most everyone accept my mom and step dad had left, my sister, her husband and my husband poured ourselves a glass of wine and kicked back in the kitchen around the table to put our feet up, talk, laugh and relax.  It was peaceful.  We started talking about our dad, my sister and I and how long he had been gone.  She got up from the table to bring the wine bottle over to the table and when she set it on the table, she stood there in the kitchen with her hands on the back of her kitchen table chair and she said to me with a serious look, "I'm going to tell you something that I know you are going to think sounds crazy, but I'm going to tell you anyway."

I said, "Okay."  She said, "I think dad is a black bird."  I didn't say anything as she continued but I immediately put my hand over my mouth. I was in shock at what she had just said.  She continued, "I know it sounds strange but I'm pretty sure dads a black crow.  I notice a black crow hanging around a lot.  It sits in our maple tree out front, sometimes a black crow flies along side of my car, one time a black crow flew right across my wind shield while I was driving.  So the other day, when I drove in our driveway with (her son) I said to him, 'I know this is going to sound strange but I think Grandpa is a black crow.'  She said he looked at her with a funny stare.  She said, 'See that black crow right there in the maple tree?  He said, "Yes."  She said, "I think that's grandpa."  She said they got out of the car and she asked the bird, "Dad is that you?" and the bird started shaking its head up and down. Both she and her son saw this happen and looked at each other in disbelief.  She concluded by saying, "So I just wanted to tell you, I think dad is a black crow."

I was literally in shock and amazement at this story.  I had never told her what my girl friend Heather had told me about the black bird.  Like I said, I kind of dropped the idea all together.  I told her I needed to call my girl friend in Colorado.  It was late but I knew with the time change it wasn't that late where she was probably nearing 11:00 p.m.  I called her and she picked right up.  I put her on speaker phone and I said, "Heather, do you remember what you told me about my dad after he died? Do you remember you said when you see my dad, you see something beside him?"  She said, "The black bird?"  I said, "Yes!"  I said, "Do you still see the black bird?"  She said, "Oh yes!" Then I told my sister the story and she was blown away.  She said, "You mean, you thought dad was a black crow too and we didn't know we both thought that?"  I said, "Yes.  That's why when you said, 'I think Dad's a black crow, I put my hand over my mouth in shock.'

She said, "WOW!  Oh my gosh!!!  He is a black crow!"  My girlfriend said, "He's not a black crow, but that is his sign for you to know he is near.  He is around."

After we hung up I said to my sister, "Why would dad pick a black bird?  Why not an owl?"  She said, dad always loved that poem, "The Raven."  I said, "He did?"  She said, "Yeah, he did."  I didn't know that.

Anyway, a black crow all alone in my yard holds special meaning now, more than ever and for my sister too.

xoxo

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Love Month

February 14th.
Love ❤️
I like that word, it's short, easy to spell, you can even replace the letter o with a heart drawn on all by yourself if you want. February is the love month. ❤️ I have my house fully adorned in hearts. Pink ones, red ones, big ones, little ones.  Love is an intense word. If you don't love something you only like it, well that holds a whole new meaning. If you go from loving to liking or vice-versa something has drastically changed.
The other night my little boy said, "How do you know if you really love someone ❤". I told him, "The best way to know is by imagining your life without that person in it. If it's too painful to imagine, it's love. ❤️"
He said, "How do you know when you ask a girl to marry you, she'll say yes?" I giggled at this question from my 11 year old. I said, "Typically you wouldn't ask unless you've talked about marriage before. Little hints she gives should let you know if it's wise to ask."
He shook his head while he mauled over that idea. It was cute.
Love,...we all need it, we search it out, and thank heavens we can usually find it. ❤
Have a wonderful love month❤️ Love Day ❤and a Lovely life. ❤️
S.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Happy New Year 2017... to me and to you.

Do you know what's exciting about the New Year? The possibilities.
The possibility that this will be the year I buckle down and lose weight. The possibility that I might find money hidden in the back pocket of a pair of old jeans I haven't worn in awhile.  The possibility that I might buy a new tube of lipstick only to find it's the perfect hue to make my lips look luscious and yummy. That alone makes me smile and I must smile, so I can really enjoy these first days of January because a new year means mystery, and wonder, excitement and good thoughts in order to attract all the best that life has to offer.

There's truth in that, the belief that all that is good can visit you and stay for awhile. Like a porch swing that beckons for someone to sit and glide back and forth.  When someone arrives, the swing is alluring, it draws you to it.  You approach it slowly, you look it over and instead of sitting down you stop instead, imagining what it might feel like to sit and what it might feel like to get caught up in the swinging motion.  Then you finish your imaginings and you sit.  You put your toes to the floor and lift yourself backward and release your toes and float, a gentle glide, an easy motion, a light breeze sweeps across your face and you smile without even realizing it.  That's what a New Year can bring, unexpected results through imagination, unbelievable scenarios because you imagined them.

When you think a negative thought be quick to change it.  Rush to replace it. Make it a beautiful thought instead.  When things look down, imagine what good could come from the down, imagine the good, the present that might await you, waiting to be opened if only you will imagine it.

When you feel lonely, absorb yourself in thoughts of love, find hugs waiting for you in the arms of those you love. Never forget you are worth others love and if you reach for it, open your heart to accept it.  You will find it, you will receive it, and you will glow from it.

There are no obstacles in your way, only the ones you place out in front of you.  So clear them away.  Imagine every orange cone in front of you being picked up one by one so you can travel your New Year's path with ease.

Possibility. It's there I promise, so look for it in 2017, don't just look for it, search it out, find it, grasp it, pull it to you and hold it tight.  If you've lost someone you love, live life for them.  If you've had a broken heart, take time to mourn but imagine your heart being healed, caressed and pieced back together so another love may enter into your life.  If you feel lonely, pick up the phone and call a friend. Life has a way of starting fresh each and every year.  This is 2017 and I'm wishing you the best year yet.  Find the good, stop to smile at something you see and love, touch something with your fingertips, put a taste to your tongue, embrace a sunrise or a sunset, feel the cool winter breeze on your face and look to the heavens to offer thanks. Pet a dog on the head, cuddle with a kitty or enjoy a hot cup of coffee but take life a day at a time.  As the months pass by, never forget what the New Year brought around, a fresh perspective, amazing possibilities and a fresh start.

Happy 2017....
Love, S.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

So it's one day later and we have a new President. My thoughts.....

It's the morning after the country voted for our next president.  I haven't spoken much about politics these many months.  I have been divided in my thinking.  Not knowing who to support, based on the negative propaganda that flooded our television sets, our news papers, magazine articles, etc. I bounced back and forth trying to weigh out my true feelings.  Honestly, just when I thought I knew who I was going to support, some new development would rock the news and I'd be back to square one.  I've listened to so many friends argue points for both the democrat and the republican nominee. With a smile on my face, I would listen openly, hoping one of my friends would say just what I needed to hear to sway me in one decisive way or the other.  But what I found, was while everyone pushed for their nominee, the negative they spewed about the opponent would sting and leave me with a lasting impression that far outweighed the impression of what was good about their nominee.

One time, thinking it was okay to share my thoughts, I mentioned to a friend that I wasn't sure either nominee was worthy of anyone's votes and possibly there was no, 'right' choice. I was corrected rather sternly and even slightly insulted by my, 'friend.'  My friend, insulting me?  I decided I wouldn't let it affect my relationship with this friend who I had been friends with for 29 years, because my relationship with this friend is worth so much to me. My history runs deep with my friends, I have no personal relationship with either candidate. However, I did learn a lesson, to stay relatively quiet about this debate between the (two parties) candidates.  I do give major props to those who speak their minds or post their views. There is risk in doing so. Some have a stronger conviction and therefore must express and I'm grateful for that, because much like in a debate, hearing the sides, hearing the views of others, helps many to react to something said and uncover their true feelings, feelings they might not have known they had. Eye opening moments can come through and yet, in the same breath, I can say, over these past months, some things that have come through may not be a true reflection of your friend, your parent, your neighbor, they are emotions spewing from an unsettling situation in our country, so find it in your heart to forgive, move forward in a positive light starting today.

One thing I've kept to myself over these past couple of weeks, are two sad moments I had.  I found myself crying about the election, about my upcoming need to decide.  The question of who to vote for. Should I vote at all.  As I know, as you know, Americans are encouraged to vote even if they don't know who to vote for.  You have a voice, use your voice.  If you've been given the green light to vote, let your voice be heard.

I'm a Christian, therefore, I'm sure you know what I did. I prayed.  I prayed a lot.  I conversed with The Lord in prayer a lot. I spoke to my own dad a lot in prayer, who passed away from his earthly existence 18 months ago and one who loved political science. Even then, I found zero relief, I found zero answers.  It was as if The Lord above, said, "Figure it out.  You're a big girl, a mother, a wife, a good human, figure it out."  It was as if he wanted me to struggle through it. He was taking this opportunity to teach me the power I have within myself is real.  "Figure it out on your own. Don't rely solely on others opinions, dig, deep down into your heart and decide. Decide who is right for you!"  I broke down in tears, for the ache inside me, my family, my children and my friends. All so torn. Some even losing the friends who prior to this election had touched their lives in a positive way, daily.

Yesterday was a hard day for me. Any moments of down time, any moments where I was alone, I was analyzing, STILL, trying to decide.  As I went to voting booth, I thought about what I had told my 11 year old son, earlier that morning.  He wanted to know who I would vote for because his school would be casting their votes and he would follow my lead.  My lead.  I still was uncertain. I gave him an answer.

After school let out for the day, I picked my son up and he went with me to watch me vote. At the poles I stood there between the two beige walls, my son beside me, watching. I stood there staring down at the ballot. He watched me and waited for me to start filling in the little circles on the ballot. I stood there in my final contemplation. He said, "Mom. How long is this going to take?" I turned my head and acknowledged that I'd heard his question, but I said nothing, I just smiled and looked back at the ballot.

In those last moments of delay, I spoke with my dad. I told him I wanted to vote the way he would have advised me if he were alive.  You see, we often spoke of politics.  It was something he and I did. I told him, I really didn't know what he would be advising me to do.  Over the past year I had envisioned my dad sitting beside me on the couch, grateful I had political shows on so he could keep up, something he'd always invested so much time in.  I thought if he were near he would be watching, albeit, probably relieved his need to care had passed but maybe in someway, being concerned about me and his grand-babies, he would remain interested to a degree. Because I had spoken with him so often about this topic, I talked to him as I stood there between the beige walls. I told him silently in prayer, that I thought I would change my mind once again, and vote for the other nominee. I told him, "If there's anyway you could give me a sign, I'd like to know if I'm doing the right thing." 

If you have read my blogs in the past, you may know that I have extremely moving moments with my father and what I believe to be his spirit interacting with mine. Those of you who shake your head at this, I'm fine with your skepticism, this isn't your relationship with my father, it's mine and I often know he is near. He covers me in goose bumps, all over my body, sometimes so extreme I feel like I will crack apart from the extremeness and intensity of the goose pimple (bumps).  A family member once told me, she had read about this experience. Could it be, the spirit of the loved one you are engaging with, has passed through you?  Could it be equivalent to an embrace by the one who's passed?  I've never been able to explain it, therefore I acknowledge my dad when it happens as his way of saying, "I can't physically hug you but I can let you know I am here with you, only on another level."

As I stood there and asked the question for a him to give me a sign, the hair on my right arm stood straight up and goose bumps covered part of my arm from ONLY, only my wrist to my elbow. No where else. It truly seemed as though he wasn't giving me a 100% nod on who to vote for, but he was telling me, "Pick up the pen and hope for the best." One thing that ran through my mind, one thing I heard, coming through, in his voice, was, "There's no way to know what is right, only time will tell," 

So I picked up the pen and voted opposite of who I told my son, only 8 hours earlier I would vote for. My son moved in close. Quietly he said, "Why are you doing that? That's not what you said to me this morning." I told him, "Momma is still in debate in my heart honey. Momma just has to hope for the best now."

Early in the night I tried to stay disconnected from the television coverage, I found peace in old t.v. shows from the past. Literally, I watched an episode of  Little House and an episode of The Waltons. Which by the way ended as they always do with John-boy Walton saying, "Peace on Earth and Goodwill to men."  A hope I shared with him. It was a Christmas episode. :)

Eventually I did tune in. I watched the television coverage on multiple news channels, I surfed to hear what people were saying. I followed posts on Facebook and Twitter. My heart ached for the division in our country and the division among friends. I watched people cry, I watched dreams crushed, hopes dashed. I watched enthusiasm erupt, I took it all in knowing just how important it all was. I sat somberly.

As the map of the United States shown on every major news channel turned red in support of Trump, I too was surprised. I found it very curious. His lack of tact and bad taste in his words not affecting his numbers? Was it the words of "Change" that he was promising our country pushing him forward?

Listening to the various anchors on various channels, I listened to the hosts trying to make sense of the scenario at hand.  They were dissecting the best they could, trying to decipher what was happening. It was something that obviously had them somewhat dismayed, possibly shocked even. I continued to watch.

At 3:00 a.m. I sat back and watched as Donald Trump spoke to the nation with those who were up and watching as well and he surprised me. His demeanor was different, his words were well written, most likely aided by someone else close to him, he tried to draw non supporters to him and I found myself accepting him.  I of course can only hope he continues to act in this manner, apologize for all the terrible insults, and unacceptable statements he has made. I certainly hope he realizes the errors in his ways and never reverts back to those awful ways of being.  I could take a deep breath and remember the words I heard in the voting booth earlier, "Time will tell."

So today, I have woken to posts of people wanting to leave America because of our new president elect. I've heard people comparing this scenario that has, and is playing out, to resemble Hell and I was prompted to write. I know this is long, and if I've lost most already along the way, I'm okay with that. Sometimes what I write, is for me, or my hope that my children will one day read and find comfort in knowing their mother truly invested time and hours of contemplation during these trying times in our country.

I want my children to know, I believe we must stay committed to leading by good and positive examples in our own communities.  Good people, who feel helpless, need to find ways to spread the goodness in their hearts so as to build up our communities in good ways.  What happens in Washington has an underlying affect on us all, but what happens locally in our lives, in what we do and say, will touch people directly.  Through our goodness, our upbeat personalities revolving around the wonderful things, that living in this country possesses, will help us be able to find good in this situation, in any situation.  You can't threaten to leave the country because of this development, you must lead as though you are an extension of the office of the president. You will make a difference in the wake of this decision.  You must remember who you are and who you were down to your roots before this banter between candidates began.  You were a good person then, you ARE a good person now, and you are the influence in your own life, your community, your family, and your children's lives. They will follow how you lead them, so lead them in peace and gentleness, kindness and acceptance, and an understanding that who they are, affects all those around them, and that others often reflect what they see, so let them see the good.

We as American's can breed hate, can breed disappointment, can breed hopelessness due to this development, but why do that to your children, why do that to yourself?  Be the good in their lives, continue to be the good in your life, the moving positive vibe in your life and your world around you.

Teach them you are resilient to any development. You will never give up hope when things seem dark in our country, you will not be knocked down, you will always stand tall, hold your head high, and be the proud American you should be.

You are the good you hold in your heart and by reaching out, grabbing the hands of your friends now and before this election, start in your own lives, your own communities, make an impact of goodness, graciousness, a proper example so we continue to breed good into the lives of Americans around us.

I will stand behind my president. I will hope for the best! I will breed all good in my life and to those around me, and I know I will survive any struggles because that is an American, strong, proud, resilient and true to our country.

Sending out blessings to all and envisioning a blanket of peace around the world today.

With Love, Hugs and Prayers,
S.