Today is the 97th blog entry I have written for Forsyth Woman Magazine. I just can’t believe I will be writing blog 100 in three weeks! What should this blog be about? Should it really matter, should it be serious or silly, meaningful, reflective or should I give away something free! Do you have any suggestions?
Historically speaking and based on website comments, hits, Face book comments and reshares, the following links are blogs that seemed to matter most to others:
A Giant Hug from heaven (Easter)
A New Family Tradition (Christmas)
Wednesday Word Series
Do you have any suggestions for my 100th blog entry?
Did you know that last Sunday was National “Go Back to Church Sunday?” Personally, I did not know such a day existed until I was driving home yesterday and saw it on a church sign. Do you think it would make a difference in our community or nation if every church closed their doors? How?
A recent Gallup poll report said that church attendance in America is increasing. This includes all types of churches and includes synagogues and mosque attendance as well. The report said that 43.1% of Americans report weekly or almost weekly attendance at church. Below is the averages reported:
* 2009 42.1%
* 2010 42.8%
* 2011 43.1% (Jan – May)
Growing up in the Bible Belt, I have attended church most of my life and for me the reasons have been different, at different ages and stages of life. I doubt I will ever fully know the difference it has made in my life, but I am convinced my life has been enriched, supported, encouraged and changed by participating in a community of faith.
Most that know me, know that I cannot find my way out of a paper bag….so the invention of the GPS was a very welcome addition to my travels, saving me a lot of time so I thought. I went to visit my sister in St. Michaels and was trying to get back to Baltimore so I plugged in Baltimore and let the GPS do its magic to find me there.
I’m driving, and driving then start wondering when I’ve moved from major roads to very minor roads, my GPS still confident that it will get me where I am going.
“This isn’t the way I used to get there?” I talk to the air.
“Turn right on Ma N Pa Drive and follow for 8 tenths of a mile,” the GPS replies.
“But this is a gravel road,” I say as I kick up dust from the rental car.
“Turn right on RedNeck Lane then make an immediate left into Hatfield Family Lane,” the GPS replies confidently.
I take all these back roads wondering if I am going the right way, when I come out of the woods and right up to a dead end and WATER! “Take the Oxford Ferry,” my GPS states.
“What?” I look at a very old man standing at a small boat waving to me looking like, “well come on?”
“Take the Oxford Ferry,” the GPS says again.
“This isn’t the right way,” I whine to no one, the man still waving me on. Finally he gets frustrated and walks up to me. “Are you taking the Ferry?” He asks, I can almost feel the GPS saying, “That’s what I TOLD HER to do.”
“I’m trying to get to Baltimore,” I reply looking at the boat.
“What?” He looks at me like I’m crazy.
“Will this take me to Baltimore?” I ask.
“I don’t know…..” He replies looking at the car that just pulled up behind me, she’s looking more confident that me.
“My GPS said it would,” I hold up the GPS screen it is confident in its route pointing the way.
He looks at it, “Looks like it will, there’s someone waiting behind you, are you taking the ferry?”
“Can I turn around?” Looking at the wooden bridge to the ferry, pretty tight looks like I am pretty committed.
“Take the Oxford Ferry,” the GPS repeats, I almost catch myself saying, “Shaddup!”
“Ummm, not really, you’re in the lane to take the ferry, and someone’s waiting….” The captain of the boat is looking out his window like, “What in the hell is going on?”
“Take the Oxford Ferry,” the GPS repeats itself, I’m waiting for it to add “you idiot” to the line.
So I take the oxford ferry (11 dollars later) then follow the GPS through a beautiful small town along a bunch of other roads and back onto my highway and into more familiar territory. It was a surprise but fun byway, probably picked by the GPS because it knew I needed to slow down and enjoy the sights. Or I made a wrong turn and the GPs thought, “Oh she wants to take the scenic route……” Either way sometimes life can throw in a detour, rather than getting upset go with it and enjoy the ride!
Ever had the GPS take you totally off track…in a good way?
Did anyone watch the Jaycee Dugard interview on ABC Sunday night? I watched it Monday morning online and I must say I was speechless as I saw a poised, beautiful, wise, strong, hopeful and free young woman speak about appreciating life.
Below you will find two teaching moments from the interview:
After being held captive for more than 18 years, after being raped repeatedly and many other horrors, Jaycee said:
Life is too short for bitterness and rage
I will be happy
Live each day to its fullest, whatever life brings you
2. Jaycee’s mother
Jaycee’s mother remembers the morning when her daughter was kidnapped at age 11. It would be 18 years before she saw her daughter again. That morning, Jaycee asked her mother to kiss her good-bye before leaving for work. Concerned that she would be late for work, Jaycee’s mother left without kissing her. Jaycee’s mother said that she hoped that her failure would be a lesson to all parents: Do that extra thing that might be an inconvenience to you, but it is important to your child.
There were many other teaching moments throughout the interview. I encourage you to watch it online or read Jaycee’s book, A Stolen Life.
In the battle between good and evil . . . good wins!
(Jaycee and her Mom)
The explosion of red, white and blue during this time of year, houses with flags, cars and motorcycles sporting our national colors, down to the lady at the beach with the red white and blue bathing suit!
Moving around the different channels on TV and seeing such a variety of opinions and being thankful that we can express who we are and what we think! I may not agree with everything everyone says, but we can all agree that the ability to say what’s on our mind is special!
Sandy hotdogs, burnt hot dogs, cold hotdogs, but the hotdog none the less. Fourth of July celebrations are not complete without our American staple – tofu, turkey, kosher, all beef as long as it’s a hot dog and fits in a bun, I love it! Add some watermelon, potato salad and ice cream and you’ve got a real celebration!
Pool parties complete with those few friends/relatives that wear the bathing suits that don’t really suit them! This gives the rest of the party plenty to talk about as they dive for that last shot at the volleyball game! A little Marco Polo, some time floating in the sun, AND a trashy romance sitting by a lounge chair!
The smell of sulfur and dogs hiding under the bed with the explosion of fireworks. In the mountains, we can lay on top of a mountain and watch them explode right above our head. I love oohing and ahhing with everyone then holding my breath during the finale with the bittersweet feeling when it’s over – of course, the traffic afterwards trying to get home!
What do you love about the 4th of July?
What makes a man a truly great father? Is (was) your father truly great in your eyes? What words would you use to describe your dad? If you had a truly great father, this is the weekend to let him know how blessed you feel. For some people their father is no longer alive and for them (and me) it is a time for good memories and a sense of gratefulness and thanksgiving.
My husband exceeded every hope and dream I had for the father of my children. He loved my daughters, provided for them, taught them responsibility, gave them countless opportunities throughout their lives and demonstrated how a man should love and treat his wife. My daughters had a father who was a protector, he was (and is) a source of wisdom and an example of integrity. I treasure the fact that my daughters knew their dad prayed for them – they saw it and experienced it personally.
My daughters are adults now, married and live far from their dad but they have already made plans to show their gratefulness to their dad. If you had a truly great dad, are you making plans to let him know how much you love and appreciate him? What words would you use to describe your father?
~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~
He didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.
(C. B. Kelland)
It is much easier to become a father than to be one.
If you had your life to live over again, what might you do differently? Below are a few nuggets of wisdom that are worthy of reading.
• I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for the day.
• If I had my life to live over, I would have talked less and listened more.
• I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.
• I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.
• I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.
• I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.
• I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.
• I would have cried and laughed less while watching television – and more while watching life.
• There would have been more “I love you’s”.. More “I’m sorrys” …
• But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute… look at it and really see it … live it…and never give it back.
These words were written by Erma Bombeck about 30 years ago. Often I hear people say they would not do anything different if they could live their life over again. While I’m very thankful for my life and feel I have been blessed far beyond anything I could have hoped for, there are things I would do differently.
What could you do differently now?
Workers traveled through the woods of Jerusalem looking for wood to make crosses for the crucifiction of criminals. Today was a different day that any other day, word had traveled that the “King of the Jews” was to be crucified and they were told to find heaviest piece of wood as the King was to travel carrying the cross.
God spoke to the trees asking them to provide the wood for the cross, the trees did not want part of this, “We will be forever remembered as the tree that crucified our Lord,” they said. God asked the tallest, the strongest, the noblest of trees – the Dogwood. This tree was prized for its wood, being the preferred wood of construction at the time. The Dogwood a good tree, a devout servant of God and immediately replied, “Lord if you ask of me to do it, then I will do it. I will be forever tied to the death of our Lord and Savior.”
The tall Dogwood was cut and made into a large and heavy cross and taken to when Jesus was held. The tree once proud of his strength shuddered as he touched the gentle shoulder of his Lord. As Jesus carried his cross through the streets, the Dogwood felt the spit that touched him and his Lord as the people cried out at them waving their fists, he felt his Lord’s shoulders weaken under the weight of the wood that was him wishing he was lighter. The blood that flowed from our Lord with each touch of the whip touched the wood, searing this mighty tree and leaving it crying with pain each time our Lord fell.
The Dogwood felt all the anger and bloodlust of the crowd that surrounded, it felt the compassion of Simon as he was brought to help our Lord, he felt the resolve as the man he loved moved slowly to his death. The nails tore through the soft skin of Our Lord and into that tree, splitting the wood, the Dogwood felt all the weight of the worth as the cross was heaved up and for once the tree did not want to stand tall. This mighty tree was sick and tired when Jesus finally died and fell limp against the wood.
Upon the Resurrection, God felt pity on the poor tree, forever scarred from his journey as a cross. He said, “Thank you mighty tree, this is a task you will never do again. In gratitude for your loyalty and steadfastness of this journey and I will make sure you are the symbol of the Resurrection and not the death of my Son.”
He breathed on that might tree and all the pain the tree fell went away as those strong limbs softened and turned from tall and straight to gnarly. The wood once strong and prized for the construction of criminal crosses for crucifixion turned soft and unusable, the echoes of the cries of the people, the crying of our Lord turning whispering then silence as peace came taking away the horrors of that journey.
The once mighty tree, treasured for it’s strength became small and gnarly, as it sighed from a job completed. No one would ever make a cross of that wood again. Pain became joy as it’s blooms were stained with red representing the blood on the hands and feet of our Lord, the flower in the middle of the bloom represents the crown of thorns our Lord wore at the time of crucifixion. The Dogwood would only bloom around the time of the celebration of Easter, a reminder not of that night of darkness but the beautiful light of the resurrection that saved the world.
The dogwood softly felt the cleansing breeze on its soft gnarly limbs, its blossoms opened and worshiped our Lord it smiled at peace as workers passed the unusable tree for other pieces of wood. The Dogwood did God’s will and with the blessing of our Lord it did what it wanted to do – it rested.
My daughter and her new husband took this picture on their honeymoon. The picture makes me laugh every time I look at it. It also caused me to think about what is disappearing from our world and will be unheard of to future generations.
What will make your grandkids say, “What?” Can you think of other things that could be added to the list?
- Phone Booths
- Phones that plug into the wall
- 8 Tracks
- Rabbit ears (the kind that was on top of TVs)
- TVs that you had to get up and turn on and off
- Dialing a phone number
- Video Cameras the size of a shoebox
- Film for the camera
- Open roads
- Long-distance phone calls
- Gasoline that costs less than a dollar
- Plugging in the computer
- Handwritten letters
- Baking from scratch
What would you add to the list?
Hospice’s slogan is “It’s about how you live”. Mom died on May 21, 2010 after a 6 month roller coaster ride with COPD. Her and my biggest fear was that she would suffocate. Hospice did everything they could to make sure that didn’t happen. She was admitted to Hospice 3 times over 6 months. Her last admission was just before the 2010 Hospice Hope Run. Two of Mom’s sisters and a friend from Massachusetts had just visited with her for the weekend and then she started declining….again. She was extremely short of breath. The nursing home called for transport back to Hospice, we were told it would be late in the afternoon before they could transport her as it wasn’t an “emergency”. Mom looked at me and said, struggling to breathe….. ”I’m not going to live that long”. Julie, the Hospice liaison “coincidently” was visiting the nursing home that day. She looked at Mom and told the staff to call 911, Mom was going back to Hospice NOW, and Hospice would pay for it. If it wasn’t for them, I would have sat alone by my Mother, watching her struggle to breathe her last, painful breath. Instead, she spent another few weeks with friends/family and peacefully passed away. Watching my Mother die was the most difficult thing I have ever done, but had it not been for Hospice, it would have been even harder.
www.support4hospice.org Sign up for Team F4!!
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