The Nights (part 2)

Momma loved to tell the family history after supper. As little girls we would gather in the drawing room and listen. If we had guests over, as we often did, the stories were more animated and even boisterous at times. 

“Isn’t that devine! Have mercy! My eyes have never see anything as beautiful as this before!” My great grandfather Hubert and great grandmother Willowmene exclaimed these words when they first saw the land they had purchased and planned to farm. This land represented their hopes and dreams to become landowners, raise a family and serve our Lord. “Devine Mercy has been in our family for generations and will continue to be forever more. One day one of your husbands will inherit all of those hopes and dreams and continue to make them a reality.” 

“It’s time for bed my little doves.” I had become the storyteller after mother’s illness left her unable to speak above a whisper. I had become many things during her illness. I now realize it was preparation to become the mistress of Divine Mercy. 

By the time daddy and momma died I understood how to run the home, the house slaves, create menus and host parties which were talked about in neighboring states. The governor and his wife were regular attendees. Our slaves played the best music and our food was the most coveted. Poppa use to always say, “A man who beats his slaves is no man at all.” Because we didn’t beat them, they produced the finest of everything for us. They were loyal to us. Well, at least most of them were. I do not believe I will ever understand why any of them would want to run away from here. It was the best plantation around. The ones who ran were immediately sold upon capture. We would not allow them to come back and poison the minds of the others. We posted the paperwork in the quarters for several nights. Although they couldn’t read they understood the meaning. The runaway had been captured. Because we didn’t beat or mistreat our slaves they were sold at the highest prices. 

Momma had taught me to use my head when making decisions regarding how I ran the house. She would often say to us, “Never allow jealously to rule your emotions. The good books says a man who is unable to control his emotions is like a city without walls.” I stopped going to the slave quarters after seeing the children born from the slaves we bought from a few counties over. My heart broke each time I saw another brown, male version of my husband. I prayed faithfully to God for a son. During the nights when John left our bed for the quarters I would silently cry out to God. “Please allow me to birth just one healthy boy, an heir like Isaac.”

My cries were often drowned out by their cries. 

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I can’t help but wonder

I was reading an article about Meatless Mondays that is being “forced” on students in public schools. The article states animal rights activists are behind this movement. They are talking to students about the earth, the animals and what eating meat does to both.
Read the article here: http://news.yahoo.com/public-schools-forcibly-subject-students-meatless-monday-activism-021822637.html

I don’t have a problem with Meatless Mondays or Fish only Fridays. But I do wonder what life would look like if everybody minded their own business. What would the world look like if you were allowed to worship, eat, marry, learn, teach, dress they way you wanted to. Now don’t get me wrong, I understand we need rules and laws. I don’t support abuse of humans or cruelty to animals. Hhmmm I guess that’s the thing, my definition of abuse to animals is not the same as an animal rights activist’s view on abuse. Where is the common ground? If you don’t believe in eating meat then by all means, don’t eat meat. If you don’t want to wear clothes at the beach, there are places designated for that. If you dont’ want to worship a God then don’t go to church. If you don’t appreciate emissions from cars then walk. If you want to feed your children fast food every night and never give them a vegetable, I’m good with that as well. How much of life are we going to regulate, manipulate, and dictate?

Is it our duty as a society to push our agenda on others? Why do we insist on others living the way we live? Why must other’s worship your God? Let me throw this out here, how different is the ISIS from the Christian Crusades? How many lost their lives in the effort to advance the kingdom?

If I don’t vote the way you think I should, why can’t we still be friends? Why must we insult other people who vote, live and think differently? Why can’t I embrace your way of life and you embrace mine.

Again, I understand we need laws to deter crime. But we have a lot of laws on the books now and there is still quite a bit of crime going on daily. Is it because we don’t have enough laws? Is it because the thought of sitting in prison for life is not a deterrent? Perhaps it’s because we don’t love enough. If we put our differences aside and I look at you as a fellow human on this journey of life together and accept you where you are the way you are, would the heaviness of life appear a little lighter? If you could go to a neighbor and say, I am having a bad day and need to leave my kids with you for a day and not fear the state taking them away, would more children live or not experience abuse? If you could say to your partner, I need a break from you and have the option of taking a break, would more marriages survive? If a teen could say to a parent, teacher, friend, counselor I am having a tough time and have thoughts of committing suicide or killing people in mass and receive help instead of judgement or isolation, would they reach out?

I don’t have answers but I do have a lot of questions.

Meatless Mondays… Per the article, if you don’t support meatless Mondays, pack your kids a lunch. Don’t get me started on the number of kids that don’t have food at home to pack. That’s another topic for another day.

What it boils down to

How many times have you heard the phrase, what it boils down to? I cook and watch my fair share of cooking shows. What it boils down to is what’s left when the liquids are removed or greatly reduced by cooking them out. Think of cooking rice or making a sauce. What’s left in the pot at the end of the process?

I had the opportunity to speak with another mom recently who had a marriage similar to mine and whose husband fit the description of mine. We have been divorced about the same amount of time as well. As a matter of fact 3/18 is my 4th anniversary. The way custody worked out this year, our ex husbands had the children for spring break. I took the time to refresh myself by sleeping, reading and sleeping some more. I would often sit without tv or music playing. The noise level for the Fantastic4 can get pretty high. I learned to let go of any anxiety and enjoy the time. She spent the time being distraught and stressed.

When I spoke with her yesterday she commented several times how difficult it was to have her children gone for so long. I get it, mine are gone as well. I listened. I let her vent. I let her cry. Then I said to her, what this boils down to is your trust in God. Either you trust him or you don’t. Once you make that decision then you move forward with your actions.

If you don’t trust or believe in him then your next action is to find the strength within to make some changes. She had already said she was weak. Then find the strength using outside sources. However, one of the things she told me is she is a Christian. If that’s true then she has put her trust in him.

I’m not saying trusting a being that you can’t see is easy. No, I’m not saying that at all. But if you decided to trust and believe then trust and believe.

When I was going through my time of adjusting to my babies spending a week or even a month with their dad, I was anxious and nervous. I had been a stay at home mom and the primary caretaker for the kids. I prepared 99% of all their meals and I was the person who did all the housework. He had never taken all four kids out of the house at the same time. How was this ever going to work? They needed me. I admit I didn’t sleep well initially. I was anxious. I was fearful. I had vented to friends. Then finally I said (interpret, cried out) to God, I know you love these children more than I ever could. Please, protect and provide for them while they are out of my care and out of my sight. Letting go isn’t always easy. I don’t have a five or ten step plan that I can outline for you. I know part of the process is surrendering your thoughts and trusting things will work out for good. Its realizing you can’t control or maniputlate the situation. It’s believing good things will come. I guess I had a three step plan.

When it boiled down to it, my faith and trust in God is what was left. It’s not an easy process for some of us. But eventually after you’ve done all you can, when you’ve prayed, cried, worried, lost sleep, sought professional help, vented to friends; you stand. Stand on your faith. Trust God. He cares for you. Everything may not look the way we want it to all the time. Living in a state of despair, if you’re a Christian, boils down to a lack of trust. Even in the midst of the pain and despair, trust him.

If you’re not a Christian and you’ve continued to read, believe things will get better, make things better, change your actions and your thoughts. I believe it all boils down to the same thing.

Unfailing Love

I walked back in time this week at work. I’m training for a new position and the person I’m replacing has worked there for 29 years. She’s as sweet as pie and has more knowledge about this job than she can pass on to me in two weeks. When I walked into her office, I had a quick trip down memory lane. She still has a word processor. For those of you who don’t remember, they replaced typewriters. If you don’t know what a typewriter is google it or better yet spend some time talking to your grandparents about life when they were kids. You might find the time before modern technology fascinating. Where was I? She has files that date back 30 years that are kept in big, blue, three ring binders. She copies certain documents and files them, numerically, in these binders and keeps a copy on her computer’s desktop. She keeps the copy in the binder because she doesn’t trust the computer. What if something happens to the computer system and all the data is lost? I smiled and nodded my head telling her I completely understand. It’s hard to trust computers. They lock up and shut down at the most inconvenient time. When you want answers they don’t always provide reliable information. They fail us. Over time, we’ve learned not to trust them which is why we backup information on a disc or in the cloud or print paper. We want security. We want to know that all of our hard work is there and easily accessible. We want something that will not fail us.

In a recent e-mail someone made a statement to me about God’s unfailing love. I couldn’t take my eyes off of the word unfailing. Unfailing…I know what it means  to me but I wanted to see what MERRIAM-WEBSTER thought of it and here are three words used to define unfailing-constant, everlasting and inexhaustible. WOW!

We know that computers are fallible, cars break down, houses become worn, people disappoint us but God and his love towards us is constant, everlasting and inexhaustible.

Unfailing love indeed.

The power of 1

All it took was 1 deity to speak and light was
All it took was 1 act and paradise was lost
All it took was 1 look and a pillar of salt was made
All it took was 1 promise and a nation was birthed
All it took was 1 burning bush and a nation was saved
All it took was 1 rock and a giant fell
All it took was 1 virgin and a savior was birthed
All it took was 1 cross and we can be saved
All it takes is 1 person to pass the good news
All it takes is 1 person to hear
All it takes is 1 person to believe
All it takes is 1

Questions

If you are of the faith that believes there is a heaven and hell once this life is over, I have questions for you. Is there a get into heaven free card when you die a tragic death? No matter your previous choice to believe or not, whether you wanted to be reincarnated or just wanted it all to end at the end. Do you make the list to get into heaven depending on how you die?

I ask these question because of posts on Facebook, the media and other conversations I have heard or had concerning recent tragedies. Everybody assumes the people who were victims of the senseless tragedies all went to heaven. Dare I say it is presumptuous of us to think the adults all wanted to go to heaven or the families of the children want them in heaven. Are the assumptions more about comforting those of us who are here and needing reassurance they are in a better place? Is this thought a  disregard of other faiths as a result of arrogance? Or is it simply our default way of thinking and reacting?

I am sure there wasn’t any malicious intent. However, there doesn’t appear to have been the conscious acknowledgment that maybe, just maybe they wanted a different choice for their afterlife.