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I spent a lot of time this weekend thinking about parenting, probably because yesterday was Father’s Day.  For me, one of the toughest things about being a parent has been letting him be his own person.

I wish he was neater.

I’d love a kid who loves crafting as much as I do.

Hunting?  Ugh.

But there are amazing aspects to his personality too.  He may not care if his surroundings are perfect, but he’s forgiving.  People don’t have to be perfect either.

Crafting is out but building and repairs are in. He’s reglued chairs, helped me paint and more.

He has no fear of being out in the forest.  Every little noise has me looking over my shoulder.  This is his space and he loves it.  And because of that he works to protect it.

Me, you, that kiddo who is technically an adult?  God created us all to be unique individual people.  The great thing about that?  We each have special skills, concerns and abilities.  He made us that way.  Celebrate the diversity in God’s creation!

–SueBE

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When we were kids, my best friend and I would announce it was “opposite day” and turn our jackets or sweaters around backwards.  Who knew that this silly childhood game would become a national pastime.

Did someone there on the right disagree with me?  Sorry, couldn’t hear him.  I’m already running my mouth again or jabbing my phone to post a snippy response on social media.

Step back.  Take a deep breath.

If this is something you truly believe in, leave off the snotty Facebook posts. Look for a protest march to join.  Write a letter to your Congress people.   Mine is going to include a quote from Romans.  A slightly longer quote than the one used to justify the abuse of children.

Yeah.  I said it – abuse.  But it isn’t a term I selected in anger.  Being slow to anger doesn’t mean ignoring wrongs.  It just means you need to hear them out in good faith.  Then you get to have your say.

–SueBE

You can tell a lot about a person by how they handle things they don’t like.  The other day I walked into the community center with a group from my yoga class.  As we walked in from the parking lot, we noted that the flag was flying at half mast.  None of us knew why.

One of the women marched up to the receptionist’s desk.  “Why is that flag at half mast?”  No “excuse me” or “good morning.”  Her tone wasn’t even polite. I’ve since learned that this woman treats everything she doesn’t like as a personal affront. If she’s happy, every one is happy because she’s very gracious.  Unhappy?  Well, she shares that too.

I’m not going to say that I don’t. But I try to start things out with a smile and a kind word.  It’s my way of trying to reflect a bit of God’s light.  There’s enough darkness without creating more.

–SueBE

 

I have to admit that I laughed when I read Miss Ruth’s post on whether or not we see each other around our own world view. I do not change directions easily.  I don’t think I’m narrow-minded but my brain seems to hard wire things.  This is X.  That is Y.  When I find out that I had it backward, it takes me a few minutes to reorient my brain.

Yesterday our Bible class was discussing Jonah.  Pastor Sean pointed out how important it is for us to understand that the Israelites saw the sea, any sea, as chaos.  The giant fish?  A beast of chaos.

As much as I loathe water and swimming, I would have remembered this if I had ever heard it before. It so fits my world view!

But my grandad grew up on Biloxi Bay.  He was a bay life guard and swam in the ocean, the ocean that scared me silly.

My great uncles on the other side were river fishermen.  My grandmother and aunt pointed out that out often.  “Fishermen, Susie.  Just like the apostles.”  For my family, the fact that they were fishermen made them, and faith, that much more accessible.

Chaos?  Really?

The problem with this mental reversal was that I was teaching the class.  Not the best time to sit there and reorient your world view.  Fortunately, most of them have known me since I was 12.  Chaos.  I had it backwards?  One tiny step forward but still not wise.

–SueBE

These young ladies know the power of team work and use being part of a time to spread light and love throughout their community.  A lesson for all of us on how to do it right.  –SueBE

Not happy with how things are in this world?  Tired of the swirling chaos and negativity? Thoughts and words, my friends.  Both have a huge impact.

I’m not saying that there aren’t bad things that need to change. There are.  Just this week, two workers died in St. Louis, Mo where I live.  Somehow the cage they were in while working in an elevator shaft disconnected from the safety line and fell.  It is horrible and the cause of the accident is being investigated.  Yet I saw that someone today is using this event to “prove” that elevators are unsafe.

The scariest part?  Watching people jump on her bandwagon.  She says elevators are unsafe.  Doesn’t that make it so?

Can I issue everyone who reads this a challenge?  For a day, when you don’t like something and the world seems bad, step back and look.  Are you creating negativity?  Making something worse or bigger than it is?

The world is  complicated place.  Acknowledge the impact that your thoughts and words have on how you see things.  Why not look for God’s light instead of the Darkness?

–SueBE

 

I am a painfully sarcastic person.  In truth, I’m fairly certain English is my second language and sarcasm is my first.

Snarky humor aside, I’m also basically positive.  Drop a problem down in front of me and I’ll brainstorm solutions with you.

But waking up each day with a positive attitude.  I’m not 100% there in part because I am a night owl.  Even when I get to bed and get to sleep, I approach the next day with caution.  Because of that, if you encounter me too early, I’m not going to seem positive.  I’m still waking up and preparing to actually interact.

Once that’s done, I’m generally good to go.

If, like me, you take a bit of time to warm up to positive, you know yourself.  Take the time you need.  You’ll enjoy the world much more and your positivity will help spread God’s love.

–SueBE

Lori’s post from yesterday was so timely.  Liberals are complaining about what this person and that person said.  Conservatives counter with some other hateful thing that a liberal said.  All of the comments are dehumanizing and need never have been said.  But then one person disagrees with someone else and you’d think the sky was falling.

And so often it just doesn’t make sense.

What was being discussed wasn’t even about the person who has taken it all oh-so personally.  And it isn’t that I never do this.  Oh, no.  There are days where I Am the Queen.  Usually it means that I need to take a step back.

Why?  Because what has upset me didn’t have to.  I let it.

There will be upsetting things in this world.  There will be suffering.  As Lori pointed out, we ran right over to the Tree of Knowledge.  That decision has made for a life of suffering.

But what someone said in response to a post, a meme or a comment?  That’s small in comparison.  We all need to learn to let some things pass.

–SueBE

 

Two weeks ago I got to go on retreat for four days.  It was amazing.  It was a writing retreat at a Benedictine Abbey.  I can’t say that I got a lot of writing done because I took advantage of the retreat aspect.  I read. I walked.  I thought.  I contemplated.

I expected that at home I would be oh so relaxed and productive.  Instead my first week back was a big bummer.

I can’t say that anything huge went wrong.  Sure there were lots of little stressful things but that’s life.  Might as well learn to deal with it.

But isn’t that true both for seeking “retreat” and beauty as well as dealing with the stressors?  That is life and you might as well learn to deal with it.

So spend some time seeking out the beauty in the world around you.  Look at the colors.  Listen to the birds songs.  Stop and really taste that cup of coffee that you so enjoy.

Seek the beauty in the world around you.  And while you are at it. Thank God.  It will help you to better see the beauty in every day actions.  Here is an example from Lord, Teach Us to Pray.  It is “An Everyday Blessing” by Kris Haig.

Bless to me my potted plants, O God.
Bless to me their green leaves
Bless to me their sturdy stems
Bless to me their ghostly roots
that stretch deep
into the secret loam.

Bless the pots that encircle them
Bless the water I pour on them
Bless the rivers and reservoirs
the pipes and spigots
and the sea-green glass pitcher
that catches and carries
your water of life.

Bless the sun
that draws my plants to itself
and bless you, O Christ,
who draws me to yourself.

–SueBE

If you’ve looked at the headlines today, you’ve probably seen news about young children being taken from immigrant parents, complaints about President Trump, and his daughter Ivanka.  You have already spent some time thinking about other turmoils in this world – environmental problems, those seeking asylum and more.

Frankly, it’s overwhelming.

Take a deep breath.  Now raise up your eyes.  Above the turmoil and the crisis are a group of men and women who have heard a calling from God. They have signed on to serve their country.  You may not agree with where they serve or the actions they take, but these men and women are the bridge that carries many of us across danger.  

They fight our wars and offer assistance in natural disasters.  Their leaders have even petitioned the Federal Government regarding climate change. Memorial Day belongs to them.

–SueBE

Have a Mary Little Christmas

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