As we celebrate hope and love this Easter, I’ve been thinking about some of the words of Jesus:
Be like children. Faith and love. These are natural states of our being, from the moment we enter life. Babies bask in love. You might wonder how a newborn baby can have faith. I believe the very act of being on earth is a commitment of faith. How beautiful and strong you are, just to be born into God’s creation! Religion is very lovely, yet with many rules we must learn as we grow up. Many people need the structure of certain kinds of religion to help learn and share God’s love–we’re all at different levels of understanding–but let’s remember that religion is structure only–not the contents–of God’s love. Think of it as a jar or a box we use to help us hold God’s love. If there is no structure, the contents simply spill into everything–not exactly a bad thing, considering the content, although it can be a bit messy for us humans who tend to like structure.
Love your neighbor as yourself. This gets complicated only because we each have different ideas about how to share love. We get hurt when we expect others to love us in the same way we give our love to them. This is why babies are so easy to love. They haven’t learned to think of love in different ways yet. For them, love is easily defined: sleep, eat, clean clothes, warm cuddling . . .
When much has been given a person, much will be asked of that person. I don’t think Jesus had socialism in mind. I think he was talking about personal responsibility. God gave each of us our own free will. What shall we do with this amazing gift? Use it! We help write The Story God Made. He is with us as we make choices that affect every page-turning scenario, but he wants us to do the page turning. Every time we make a life-affirming choice, no matter how small, we help push our story into a higher level of light and love, to the place God has promised to us.
I am The Way. But what of people who have never heard of Jesus or the bible? Who’ve never been baptized? No problem, because God works big. Just think of what Jesus embodies: Simple, beautiful love. Love is The Way. It is so big you can’t fit it completely into any jar or box. It is, however, pure delight to try and fit into an Easter basket.
Happy Easter! Wishing you light and love!
Three months of blogging today. I have bravely waded in the online waters. My feet are wet and I’ve even stomped through a few mud puddles. To date I have not drowned or gotten stuck in the mud . . .
So what do I know so far?
Blogging is about giving to others. On the surface, writing a blog may seem self-centered, but the best bloggers are all about sharing (granted it might be as simple as showing off your awesome taste in clothes or spouting your bad hair day).
It is hard work. Clicking away at the keyboard every thought that speeds through my head is easy. Clipping away at the 85% that the world doesn’t care to hear about is a different story. Trust me. There is a very fine line not to be walked by the insensitive. Only the truly talented can cross the line and get away with it. There is also of course the technical part of editing, which is an impressive yet extremely undervalued skill in my opinion. I am brazen. I break grammar rules all the time. There is nothing any expert can say to make me afraid of a comma. This is what happens when you spend a lifetime mastering a skill. You become the master.
Writing a blog is more about reading than writing. As any good writer knows, the same is true for writing itself. You must be a voracious reader and soaker-upper to be an effective writer. Soaked would describe my life these last few weeks. Most nights I spend hours on my blog. If not writing I am checking out sites and reading blogs about writing, blogging and just-about-everything. There are so many amazing bloggers out here! The subjects are as endless as people’s personalities. I highly recommend doing a little blog surfing once in a while, especially if you’re feeling a little jaded. It will renew your faith in the human spirit.
There is a LOT of competition. This is very helpful to remember when my daily reader count falls below 10 views.
A little progress is exhilarating! You cannot imagine the feeling of knowing that I have somehow reached those 10 people.
Blogging is about bravery. It’s scary to put myself out here. Period. You might be thinking, how hard can it be to talk about painting cardboard? Well, try it some time. And it’s especially scary when I ponder all the things I really want to talk about eventually. Messy things like God (yeah God I think you’re a huge, perfect mess), politics (aka taking part in the leadership and well-being of our world), the mysteries of our universe (like how math is the language God gave us to figure it all out, and I mean ALL out–messy but infinitely clever), and of course all the chaotic people issues . . .
What I’m not so sure about?
Focus. As many of us do these days, I have serious ADD issues. One day I will die of explosion (not a bad way to go). I want my every second to explode with creation and love of life. If there was a drug that would keep me awake and productive 20 hours a day I would buy it. Oops. There are drugs for that. They are illegal and very bad for you. Horrible idea . . .
Structure. It’s really hard to structure what you can’t focus on. But wait. If I structure first would it help me focus? Should I keep my one kitchen-sink blog or branch off into nine sharply-focused blogs? Should I keep it light and fluffy or dig for the uncomfortable? Should I write my blog entirely in poetic form? Today I bought new jeans / a size up / Ugh / Tonight I’ll eat no beans. Should I add annoying music? Should I buy a better camera in the interest of looking more professional? (Yes it’s on my list). Should I add the link of lovely-appearing charities? (I don’t have time to research every single fact about any of them.) I really need to work on reader interaction. Will I sometimes hurt the feelings of someone I love when I write exactly how I feel about an important issue? (Most likely yes which makes me sad.) Should I change my blog template so I can use fonts I really like? Should I tell everybody what I’m making for supper? Do my friends and family think I’m a spy, just waiting to exploit their every move? Should I blast to the world my anger at yet another newly purchased glue stick that doesn’t work? How will I find time to create my new art project? How will I find a foot of space for it on my art room table? Will people think I’m a lunatic if they see my messy art room? Should I add the polling feature to my blog? (With readership patience at about 3 seconds, a technical mishap could be fatal.) Hmm. That line of sensitivity. Maybe I should cross it once in a while? Or move the line? Wait! I am all-powerful out here. Maybe I should just go ahead and define it. Maybe I could learn to actually draw a straight line (daughters laughing). Should I Twitter? Maybe I should just go to bed because I’m being self-absorbed. Maybe the world doesn’t want to hear from me? Surely other bloggers have these feelings. Hey. I could write a blog about that.
So . . . even if you come across an eh . . . blog, please at least appreciate that most of us are cutting out our hearts and brains and eyeballs behind the scenes.
What I love?
As a blogger I am a real live published writer. I’d like to think if my parents were still living they’d be emailing and stumbling around in Facebook, embarrassing me with their blatant bragging. I am also an art director, a counselor, literary agent, editor, photographer, teacher, community link, brand manager, product manager, business manager, copy writer, retailer, Web specialist (hubby laughing), entertainment commentator, reality star, granny-to-all and public relations specialist. I am in the driver’s seat of my own organization. Every decision is made by me alone, which also means I can take me down fast (lots of responsibility which I also love).
I love that (usually) at least 10 people are counting on me each day. I try to put myself in your place every time I write a post or add a new link. I try to think about the things we all think about. The things that connect us. I want to share all the goodness in my life; my much-tested, almost-50-year-old wisdom, thoughts and passions (yes our passions are tested); and my nice collections of information. But most of all, I want to create a little place where you can relax, get a few ideas for supper or something fun to do, enjoy pictures and poetry and maybe a laugh; and sometimes even think hard on tough issues. But always leave with the sound of your warm heart beating in sync with this beautiful project we call life.
What’s the next brave thing I do?
Ask for your feedback. Yikes I’m jumping off the high dive . . . What do you think?
There is still time before November 2 for every single one of us USA citizens to become better informed on our freedom-protecting constitution, the performance of our current public servants, the views and plans of new candidates, and the many stressful issues facing our country and the entire world.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. — Margaret Mead (1901-1978), US anthropologist
Be informed. Be an American. Vote.
That’s how Boy, my freshly turned twelve-year-old grandson, greeted me the other day. Or to be more exact, he said “Whadup?” and then smiled a great big little boy grin. Who could resist? He still got a sloppy kiss from his granny, although I sternly reminded him I’d rip his hair out if he thinks for one second any kind of gang stuff is cool. And then I started wondering, just exactly what does “Whadup?” mean? It seemed obvious, and he’s a wonderful, affectionate kid with lots of equally sweet friends. Life is good. But it pains me to know he’s at that age when things could get perilous in the blink of an eye.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the terrible worries of parents and grandparents, especially with the new school year already underway in many parts of the country. Violence is too real. The healing must start. Now. Let’s keep hugging and kissing our overgrown adolescents even when they shrug us off due to their coolness, or whatever it is they call it these days. It’s all about them, for they will be the healers.
So, I’m going to share a link with you and you’ll probably think I’m a massive idiot after my little speech on healing our society. I thought long and hard about whether or not I should. It is full of extremely nasty, disgusting and offensive language:
I have several reasons for sharing tonight (but not listing as a regular link):
- I don’t believe you can be truly educated on anything unless you are brave enough to read everything.
- I believe in free speech.
- It’s very hard to relate to the younger generation if we’re clueless about their lingo or humor. Humor, however twisted, always hints at the real gist of an issue.
- I am a G-rated person, but I am not perfect. (I did say in the tagline of my blog title that this is a messy place.)
- You’ll even find a little G-rated funny. For instance, I learned that I have been guilty of Muffin Topping. (Yikes. I’m telling this to the world?)
And “Whadup?” just means “What’s up?” Whew Boy.
Every child begins the world again. –Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), US author, naturalist, historian & philosopher (I really like him!)
I just added a new link to my site. It’s for National Right to Life. I think now is a good time to tell my readers (who I suspect so far consist of my sisters and daughters and maybe my curious hubby–all who know this already): I love life and I love life for all people, especially for beautiful little babies. I’ve never known one who wasn’t a perfect little human. Sadly, many unborn have very poor prospects of a happy, healthy life if their mothers choose not to kill them. Yet we all know many adults who’ve had the best of everything: attention, money, education, etc. but who still have very sad prospects of ever finding that health and happiness. At what point do we decide who is worthy of living? I had my oldest daughter three days after I turned 17. I did not for one instant consider killing her. Now there were a few times–probably when she was around the ages of 13, 15, 17–that I figured if I could’ve justified it so many years ago why couldn’t I justify it now? Just take her down to Planned Parenthood and explain that she’s ruining my life. Easy solution. They can suck her brains out and throw her in the garbage can. I wouldn’t even have to deal with the messy body. Anyway, all the worry and fuss over a hormone induced teenager was surely enough to affect my health and well-being. We certainly didn’t have much money, and I was trying to go to school when my kids were teenagers, plus a full-time job and a terminally ill mother. What the heck. Why not just throw in her two sisters as well? I could always have more children when my life was more stable.
Okay I’m being dramatic.
Please consider this: How can we save our broken society with love and peace if we say it’s ok to mass murder babies? How do generations of young adults and children now live with the knowledge that they exist purely because they made the don’t-murder list? To me it seems they might have deep fears, not only about our ability to take care of humankind but of society changing its mind about their life-worthiness. To me it seems a warped paradigm for their journeys of life. Try asking one of them about it.