Totally and Completely Self-Centered Post


Having had such vast and varied life experiences, I can say without a doubt that there are some things a woman will fight you over. And you all know what I’m talkin’ about.
First, and foremost, would be her kids. Never, under any circumstances, say something less than flattering about a woman’s kids. And don’t insinuate anything either. So what if her kid is the school’s biggest bully? Don’t tell her that. Even if you catch her sweet child dropping a garden snake in your back yard pool, which by the way, happens to be full of assorted kids of all ages and sizes. Or if your bff’s precious little girl has sticky fingers, you notice, at the store on the corner. In that case you can tell the momma, but for heaven’s sake, be careful how you say it; ie; “But she was so hungry for that big ol’ chocolate candy bar!” Yes, in a case where the law might be broken, there is a certain – shall we say – naughty child etiquette. Of course, your child would never do anything wrong. I know, right?

Ok, Second: Watch what you say about her man. It’s ok to listen to her complain on and on (and on) about how lazy he is, that he can’t take out the trash, help with the mopping, or fold his own dang socks, but under NO circumstances should you ever add your two cents worth. If you make this mortal mistake, you will see with amazing clarity, how quickly those freshly manicured red fingernails can grow two inches. It’s only a matter of seconds. Then you’ll notice how distorted her smile is when she asks in a sickeningly sweet voice, “What did you say?” She won’t even have to drop an eyelash as she prepares her basic plan of attack which, thankfully, will be mostly verbal. Her significant other may not be perfect, but, by golly, he’s hers. You can’t say he’s the bad guy until the ink is dry on their divorce papers. And only then if she left him because of some major provocation. And please, be certain to keep your mouth shut if she complains about her sex life. That is a case where misery does not love company. It doesn’t matter who does or doesn’t want it. Keep your mouth shut. Your feelings could get hurt. You could get hurt. Take my advice; always, always listen, support, and take sides, preferably hers, if you value your friendship, life, etc.

Third: Her hair. People, don’t you know you should always compliment a woman on her hair? Chances are if you aren’t close friends or family, you won’t even notice any changes at all. It doesn’t matter. A woman’s crowning glory is her hair. Don’t believe me? Look it up in the Bible. It’s there in black and white. Women are vain about their hair, and well they should be. Even if their hair is very thin -ahem- like mine, it is a good idea to say something nice about it. Every little strand is beautiful. Seriously. A woman wears her hair. She wears it, you know what I mean? Even a woman with no hair ‘wears’ it. It’s a sign of her self-confidence, her attitude, her very person-hood. Trust me, whatever is on her head speaks volumes of what she is going through in life. For example, if you come across a woman who’s hair is a mess, and by that I’m referring to maybe a new hairstyle that she got on the spur of the moment when she just happened to pass Fantastic Sams and she was maybe a little depressed and thought she needed a lift because she was feeling old and dowdy so she got this wild hair idea, then you know what I mean. DON’T be the husband who tells her that her new style makes her look four years younger when her friend told her she looks ten years, no- fifteen years, younger. And for heaven’s sake, please don’t tell her you wish she would get rid of the gray. It’s not right, I’m telling you. It’s just not right! Smile at her like you’ve never seen her looking so lovely. And do feel free to wink.

In the interest of fairness, I am compelled to say that I really do think that honesty is the best policy when dealing with women. I know because I am one. But understand, too, that there is a way to say things and a way not to say things. And I also know that my opinion is not every woman’s gospel, although I can’t imagine why not. I do know that:
1) Many years ago, my ex told me he wouldn’t mess with me because he knew I would fight like a mama lion for my kids. Smart man.
2) Even I have been loyal to scoundrels until the last T was crossed. I don’t know why or what kind of stupid I tripped over in those days. Disclaimer: NOT my ex-husband, he, the father of my children, turned out to be a pretty decent guy. At the risk of biting my own tongue off, I may have been a tad too immature back them. What can I say, it was 30 years ago. I think.
3) So. What. I used to be a long hair girl, now I’m a short hair girl. I didn’t plan it. It happened. Live with it. And the gray hair too!

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It’s Sunday!


How I love Sunday!  It’s highly unusual that I would sit around in my bathrobe/lounging pjs, but guess what?  Today is the day.  To be honest, yesterday was, too.  It made me feel guilty at first, but my husband said not to worry about it.  And if he, the stickler for getting up before dawn, says it’s ok, then I’m ok with that.  It’s just that my mom used to sit around in her gown all the time.  I hated that.  She even did it when she came to visit me when I was single.  Didn’t matter if company dropped in, nope.  I hated telling her to go get dressed or stay in the bedroom but what’s an embarrassed daughter to do? 

Yesterday my sister posted on fb how much she wishes she could spend one more day with our mom and how much she missed her.  I commented that I was ok before she posted that but now I’m a mess.  It’s true.  Just one more day, one more visit, one more hug.  I so miss my mom.  We all had drama with each other, but the last few years she was alive were the absolute best as far as I am concerned.  She lived in another state but we were on the phone with each other nearly every day.  I told her “I love you with all my heart”.  And after she died, I was more than happy that I did.  She knew that was a fact when she suddenly passed away at the young age of 67.  Poor mama.  She never got to see her first great grandchild.  Obviously, sitting around in my bathrobe reminds me of my mom.  If any of you have ever had a complicated relationship with your mother you should know how totally ironic this feels. So today, on the Lord’s day, I’m going to dedicate my being lazy to the sweet memories of my mom.  Here’s to you, Mom!  I salute your bathrobe and full days on the sofa!

So, back to Sunday.  Tonight, my husband and I will be attending Mass at Our Lady of Prompt Succor in Alexandria, La.  Awesome.  Even though it is a 45 minute ride away, we are going because we know our souls will be fed.  Of course, I don’t mean to say that we can’t consume the Word anywhere else.  But there is something special about Mass at OLPS.  The place fairly vibrates with the Holy Spirit.  You don’t just attend Mass there, you participate in the Mass there.  You don’t just walk through the doors, you are drawn in, pulled in.  You don’t just sing hymns, you praise God wtih your voice, hands, body.  You don’t just hear the readings, you soak up the readings.  The priest doesn’t just give a homily, he teaches the Way.  It’s not just a church, it’s a Church and Christ is fully present. 

The question is: why isn’t it like that everywhere?  The Spirit is the same.  The readings are the same.  The whole Mass is the same all over the world.  What is the difference? 

I think the answer lies with the congregation.  My belief is that where a group of people gathers with OPEN hearts and like minds, their enthuasism is contageous.  I picture people with their chest cavity open and their hearts full to over-flowing, enlarged and pumping, engorged with the Breath of Life.  The traditional becomes un-traditional.  Rote prayers are renewed and prayed with fervor.  Contageous enthuasism.  Tangible devotion.  I want to physically hold it to myself.  But, I don’t think that is what He wants.  He wants me to take it with me and share His love with that same devotion wherever I go. 

But, Jesus, it’s hard!  I can’t do it with out You!  

True, that.  Wait.  Do you hear the same message I do?  Can you hear Him saying to take heartfelt devotion even (read especially) to those places where your inspiration is lacking?  Good and sweet Jesus, show me how to do that.  Show me how to become totally immersed in You when I’m at Mass and I can’t sense your enthusiastic Spirit, when the congregation won’t even open their mouths to praise you in song, when the priest delivers the Word dryly – WHEN THE EYES OF MY SOUL ARE CLOSED. 

Because that’s it, isn’t it? 

I’m going to get off my lazy butt, take a shower, get ready for church, and fill up.  I’ll take my full fill and bring it with me wherever I go.  I’m pretty sure I can do it with His help.  All I have to do is get out of His way and open the eyes of my soul.

worksbyfaith

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord. Open the eyes of my heart.
I want to see You. I want to see You,
to see You high and lifted up,
shining in the light of Your glory!
Pour out Your power and love as we sing
Holy Holy Holy!

Time To Let Stress Rest!!


AFTER THE KIND OF WEEK WE HAVE ALL HAD IN TERMS OF NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL DISASTERS, I THOUGHT IT WAS TIME TO LET STRESS TAKE A REST!

The world seems like it is upside down. Please pray for peace and the strength to overcome this culture of fear and death. Please pray for the world to be baptised into joy!

Hope these pictures make you smile!

I have been contacted by Cynthia Decker who gently informed me that I used her image without permission.  Please note the image of the birds on wire is apparently her image and is titled “Show off”.   Thank you Cynthia, for kindly allowing me to use your image!

Grandma was herebook characterlittle girl hannahDSCF6606birdssome pups 031worksbyfaithjesus and childarmour of Godmother theresa

Unbelievable Attrocities


Like everyone else in the world, I am appalled at the current events that beset the Boston Marathon.  It is an unimaginable disaster.  I can’t begin to fathom what kind of human being would perform such an unprovoked, grizley, unspeakable act of murderous intent.  It, like the 9-11 catastrophy among others, speaks to today’s society of deviants bent on causing disruptions and chaos to the rest of the world.  What happened yesterday at the Boston Marathon, happens in many places throughtout the world everyday.  Think of it.  Wait.  Excuse me for asking you to think of it.  Of course, you have already.  How could anyone not, considering the state of war we are in?  What I can’t/won’t wrap my mind around are the millions of innocent victims that have succumbed to such needless acts of violence under the various umbrellas of religion, boundries, civil rights, you name it.  It makes me sick at my stomach.  It makes my heart bleed. 

It goes without saying that there were many, many local heroes who just happened to be on the scene.  By that, I wish to imply that Divine Intervention was in place.  Of course, we probably will never know why Divine Intervention didn’t prohibit the attack, but thank God, it wasn’t worse.  It could have been.  It might have been.

And what about North Korea?  What the hell is that all about?  I am ashamed – because I consider myself a Christian and a somewhat kind person – to say that that man postures like a baboon, intent on causing calamity of the worst kind.  I can’t truly say his actions are unprovoked, but what do I know?  His father was that way, and his grandfather was that way.  On the other hand, South Korea and the U.S. have been performing maneuvers and exercise training for quite some time fairly close to the North/South borders.  No wonder the world is paranoid.  There is reason to be.  Dear God, I pray please don’t let the worst happen.

On to another attrocity:  We live in the country.  We have neighbors, not close, but well within eyesight.  Get this – some people of unsavory character actually thought it would be cool to burglerize the property of a 70 something old man across the road from us.  They crept in during the dead of night and relieved the old man of a ton of his prized tools and machines from his barn.  These are things he has worked hard to come by.  Thankfully, they only robbed him of things, not life, which could very well have taken place.  Oh, and one other thing they took is his feeling of security in his own home.  Such a shame.

Heightened security is everywhere these days.

On a different note  –  Our baby granddaughter was at our house yesterday.  It is such a joy to be around such innocence!  She is a total delight, or so I thought.  As was fitting for a day that was traumatic already, she tried out her razor sharp new teeth on my finger.  Then she wouldn’t let go.  I don’t know why.  I had to pry her little baby jaws open, which of course upset her to no end, to withdraw my almost bloody finger from within that perfect little cupid-bow mouth of hers.  Can I tell you how much that hurt??  It felt like she had a pair of sissors in there instead of new baby teeth.  I was reminded of one of those aliens on the TV show from forever ago called V.   My sons never did that to me.  My other grandchildren never did that to me.  I hope it isn’t a prelude to what kind of little demon, oops, I mean angel, she is going to be.  I love that child, really I do. 

Let’s all take a deep breath…

When bad things happen, I find the older I get, the harder it is to mentally process some things.  It seems the hurts hurt more.  I was outside in the early misty morning mulling over the state of the world.  Looking up, I was blessed with a beautiful sight.  Huge clusters of grape wisteria gracefully spread across my pergola and seemed to reach out to me.  Call me crazy, but it felt like a hug.  I’ll take it.  Thank you, Lord.
“I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time – waking and sleeping. It doesn’t change God – it changes me.”
— C.S. Lewis

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Thoughts on Gabrielle Reece, being submissive and Proberbs 31


I was watching (-actually just listening half-heartedly because I am so easily distracted)- the Today Show (NBC) the other day when, to my surprise, I heard the lead to a story about Gabrielle Reece’s new book MY FOOT IS TOO BIG FOR THE GLASS SLIPPER.  My imagination was immediately piqued and my ears automatically grew three inches so I could catch every detail.  The title alone is what grabbed me because I don’t know Gabby Reece, in fact, never heard of her – sorry.  My one remaining goal in life is to become a princess so I wanted to hear all about big feet and glass slippers.  Could my feet possibly fit into glass slippers?  Would I dare try them on?  I would think being a princess does have some requirements and necessary skill.  Could I qualify for the position?  Frankly, I’ve never had glass slippers or been a princess so I don’t know.  I’ve often thought I’d make a good one.  I am spoiled and I think perhaps that might be one of the prerequisites.  And I think I would like having a life of ease and comfort.

Screeeech!  Wait just a stinkin’ minute!  As the interview progressed, I discovered that Gabby Reece didn’t intend to convince people that being a princess is all that.  As a matter of fact, the point of her book was something along the lines of  My Life Is Not Perfect, therefore, I must work on making it what I want it to be. 

Not exactly what I wanted to hear.  And to add to that insult, she had this to say:  TO BE FULLY FEMININE IS TO BE SOFT AND RECEPTIVE AND …SUBMISSIVE.

What?  Did I hear that right?

My heart fell.  This is the argument of the ages between men and women, and as you might guess, a pretty prominant one between my husband and I.  In fact, just the other day we had a slight disagreement that ended with him informing me how he waits on me hand and foot (Yeah, right.  In your dreams!).  I had to keep my mouth shut and walk away because if he had to go so far as to pull that out of the arcenal, he was precariously close to loosing it.  We don’t want that.  So anyway, you can see where this is going.  I prickle at the word submissive.  Yes, I do.  Now you know.  I was born in the woman’s lib era.  I believe in equality on all levals.  Equal pay, equal rights, etc,. etc.  Sadly, I’ve seen men have an advantage over women in too many ways.  To be fair, I’ve seen women have an advantage over men in many ways as well. 

My husband comes from a long line of submissive women in his family.  In the little community we live in, old fashioned women take care of old fashioned men — still.  You guessed it, women do all the housework and cooking and disipline the children for the most part.  Men go make a living.  DISCLAIMER:  not everybody here lives that way.  There are some modern, enlightened families too.  Like us.  Yeah, that’s right, like us.  Much to my sweetheart’s dismay, we are modern and enlightened in ways he never dreamed of.  Example:  Him:  I have to do my own laundry and clean my own bathroom!  (said with a red face and clenched fists).   Me:  So?  I do too!  (said with a red face, hands in the air and exasperation in my voice.)  Keep in mind neither of us work outside the home.

Really, it’s not that bad.  I can almost chuckle over what he thinks is fair.  But that was before GABRIELLE REECE on the Today Show.  After I calmed my reaction to her submission statement, I challenged myself to listen to her message. 

Oh my sweet Lord, she made sense. 

Some of the statements I heard went something like this:   It works both ways.  Being strong and being submissive is a choice.  To be submissive does not mean being a slave.  It’s about respect and love.  It’s about waking up in the morning and choosing to do whatever you can to serve the people you love.   She said she wants to be cherished and her husband cherishes her so she does whatever she can do to show him he is cherished by her.  Of course that’s not verbatum, but that’s waht I got out of it.  She said something about learning to be skilled at loving someone.  Wow, I had to think about that!

I began to listen to the interview in earnest.  And I learned something I had forgotten.  It’s called being a Proverbs 31 woman.  And what Ms. Gabby said was incrediably close to the blueprint of womanhood set in Proverbs 31.  Look it up in the Old Testament.  In essence, a Proverbs 31 woman is one who takes care of her family, is loyal and dedicated, can run the household efficiently, can even work and make a profit, and takes joy in doing what she does. 

I am reminded of a sermon given by Father Charles Ray, a man who became a priest not too long ago.  He gave it on that Sunday when the Church readings were about loving one another, women submit to your husbands, husbands cherish your wife, etc.  I held my breath and was prepared to automatically feel rebellious to whatever he said.  But he surprised me and I’ll never forget what he said.  The message was:  Women, you have the most important job in the world.  It’s up to you to see that the family runs like a well oiled machine.  It’s up to you to keep your family together.  A woman gathers her family unto herself.  Make it count.  Keep it together.  Men, when you leave work, be with your family.  Leave your job outside the door and play with your children, help your wife, love your family.  Staying in love with your spouse is not a guarentee, or an automatic response.  It’s a challenge.  It’s a choice.  If it is your choice, you will do what it takes to keep it.  You do what it takes to serve the ones you love.  Being submissive can sometimes work out to be an honor. 

Awesome

So, I guess I’m going to have to help him with his laundry.  But I’m not yet so skilled that I’m going to touch his bathroom, lol!