Friday, March 16, 2012

Random pointless post.

This makes me smile.  That is all. :)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Soul Knitting, Part 2

Tonight, I'd like to one again bring to your attention some very dear friends of mine.

First off this evening, is a very dear lady who recently lost her husband.  Her husband was ill for over two years, and she cared for him.  They had been married for more than 40 years.  The grace and faith with which she has met this new chapter of her life amazes me.  Though she experiences deep grief and loneliness every day, she still gets up and goes on.  I don't know how someone can look at this woman and still not see Christ.  She truly lives as if she believes that she will see him again someday.  She is truly a testament to enduring grace. I love you, my dear friend, and I pray for you often.

Next, we have a wonderful lady in her early 30's.  She is a para-educator (with a Master's degree!), and works in special education.  And not just ANY special education classroom, specifically with children who have behavioral and emotional disabilities. Wow. She is patient, and loving, and kind.  Not to mention absolutely adorable.  She is one of the funniest people I know.  And being able to make me laugh is one of my very favorite traits in anyone.  Love you, girl!

And a very, very dear lady.. she is a homemaker, and homeschooling mom of 7.  She has little ones and grown ones, and an absolutely adorable grandson.  She's sweet, compassionate, smart and loving.   Her kids rise up and call her blessed.  And so do those fortunate enough to call her "friend".  I am honored to be among those who can.  Her husband truly got a gift from God when he got her.  I love you!

And our final friend for this evening, a truly lovely, sweet woman.  She's also a homeschooling mom, 5 kids for her.  Some at home, some grown, and adorable grandbabies. She's sweet, and softhearted, but by no means a doormat.  She has no problem standing up for what she thinks is right, and she often goes against the grain.  She's a better person than I am, and she encourages me to be better.  She's everyone's mom, and I don't imagine she's ever met a stranger.  Love you!

Saturday Smiles

It's a gorgeous, almost Spring day here in Southern IL, and I'm in a good mood.  So I'm going to start my own meme. :)

Here are some things that never fail to make me smile.

Daffodils are the first sign that the long, dark winter is over, and Spring is on it's way. And they're such hardy little things.. they'll survive wind, rain, snow, and ice.. because they're not always quite right on the "Winter is over" thing. :)

Coffee, in general, and lattes in particular.
There is no better way to start a brand new day than with a beautiful, caffeinated cup of hot coffee. :)

Look at them.  How can you look at a sweet, soft, little bundle of fur and NOT smile?  They're so cute and soft and.. uh-oh.  Puppy fever is kicking in again.

What are some things that make YOU smile?

Friday, March 09, 2012

Modern Day Etiquette or "How not to be a rude jerk"

I had originally intended today to continue my series on friendship (have no fear, it WILL continue), but today something caught my notice.  It's nothing new.  When working with the public, the lack of manners, common courtesy, and respect for others is glaringly obvious.  And this bugs me.  And since, hey, this is MY blog.. I am going to vent here.

Cell Phones
Everyone has one.  It's how we keep in touch.  Call, text, update your Facebook status, check the weather, local movie listings, find a recipe, all right there in your pocket.  Except.. people can't seem to leave it in their pocket.  I've often noticed a group of teenagers walking together, in a store or down the street.. and most of them are using their phones.  This shows such a disturbing lack of respect for those around you.  If you want to spend time with a friend, then PUT YOUR PHONE AWAY and spend time with them.  To me, when I am speaking with someone, and they pull out their phone, it says "You are unworthy of my attention."  
It is thoughtless, rude, and shows a decided lack of manners.  It is not a credit to you.  It does not make you look important, that you just have SO MUCH going on in your life that you can't put away your phone for 10 minutes.  It makes you look like a rude idiot.

I had a woman, just today, walk up to the deli, and without pausing in her phone conversation order hot food and sliced meat, and keep walking.  Really?  REALLY? Get over yourself.  What did people do in the grocery store before cell phones? Are you so incapable of face-to-face human interaction that you cannot interact with a real, live human being without hiding behind your phone?

When you're in a restaurant, turn your ringer off.  When I am having dinner with my husband, I do not want to hear Snoop Dogg blasting from the table behind me.  Learn some manners.

Other inappropriate places for cell phones:  Libraries, courthouses, funeral homes, offices of any sort (doctor, lawyer, etc.), churches, theaters.  

When you're checking out at the grocery store, don't talk on your phone, or text.  Working in public sucks bad enough without people actively refusing to acknowledge your existence.  Yes, that cashier really has to ask how you want your groceries bagged.  Yes, she really has to ask you if you found everything.  Learn some manners.

When you're talking to a friend, for the love of all that is good, put away your phone.  You are a jerk.  When we are having a conversation, don't get your phone out and start texting someone else.  Learn some manners.

Children in Public
Here's another one.  Teach your children manners.  I understand that if you're reading this, and think the above points were blasphemous that you, yourself, don't have any manners.  But work on it.  And teach your children manners.  Teach your kids how to act in public.  If your kid can't behave him or herself in a store, and runs around like a little heathen, put them in the cart.  Or better yet, leave them at home.  I have seen kids running around in a local store knock an elderly woman down.  And when said children were escorted back to their mother (who was, shockingly enough, on her phone), she didn't seem to have a problem with it.  10 minutes later, they were back running around. Teach your kids to behave.  I can't do it for you.  Trust me, I would if I could.  Teach them how to act in a public place.  Teach them how to show courtesy and speak respectfully to others.  Bratty kids don't just grow out of it.  They are trained out of it.  It's all on you, parent or guardian.  

Well, now that I've got that off my chest....

Soul Knitting or "Biblical Friendship"

I am a part of a very special group of women.   There are about 40 of us, give or take. We have no common thread.  We come from all walks of life, all areas of the country, and are a wide variety of ages.  We have all different interests, hobbies, perspectives on life.  We are mothers, daughters, wives, sisters, grandmothers, and friends.

I love these women.  They have my back. :)

Everyone adds their own unique experience and point-of-view to the group.  I'm not sure what I have to offer, but they accept me.  They love me.  They pray for me.

And today I'm going to shine the spotlight on a few of these women, as a reminder of how much they mean to me, and how wonderful they really are.

One of the personalities among us are a beautiful, blonde, 30-something, single midwife. She is an independent and strong woman. She is a fighter. She is still overcoming a very confusing, inhibiting childhood.  My dear friend has a heart that seeks after God.  She desires so much to do God's will, and has such a heart for people.  Her kindness and wisdom touch me every day.  I love you, my friend.

Next up?  A 40-something mother of 4.  She has a husband with disabilities, 3 grown children (one of whom struggles with mental illness), and a teenage son.  She has had to bury a child. Her family has financial difficulties.  She does not have an easy life, but she loves with her whole heart, unrestrained in any way.  She is the most loyal, loving person I know.  She is strong.  Her ability to pick up the pieces, super glue them back together, and keep on going is such an inspiration to me.  She will give you the shirt off her back, and then ask if you need the ones in her closet.  She amazes me.  I love you!

Now allow me to give you a glimpse of another dear friend.  This gorgeous 20-something is one of the most interesting people I know.  Another one who had a childhood that has/is definitely worthy of some overcoming, she never fails to surprise me and make me laugh.  She has no reason to trust, and yet she does.  She is a strong, independent woman.  She has no desire to marry or have children, and yet she's a wonderful caretaker, and loves her niece with all of her heart.  She's beautiful, smart, and funny.  I know you don't like to hear it, or say it, but I love you, my friend, and I am so proud of you.

Last, but certainly not least, is one of my favorite people.  She has amazing children.  She has a husband who, a few years ago, had a traumatic brain injury, and some days, is not the man she married.  And yet she stays.  And she loves.  She is loyal.  She is committed.  I know that some days, her heart aches, and yet she goes on.  She's a fighter.  And her husband and her family are her whole world.  She also has a love for animals unlike anyone I've ever known.  She's spunky, and I admire spunkiness above almost any other trait in a woman.  I love you!

Well, it's late and I must get to bed, but I will definitely be revisiting this topic in the days to come, so if you don't see yourself in this post, have no fear.. your day is coming.