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Monday, August 31, 2009

New 2 the Family

I have a new great-nephew. His name is Damien & his big sis is Tianna.

Now, get ready for this, people, cause you have never seen anything so stinking cute!!!



Lookit that smile!

Looking a lil bored with the picture-taking :-)

Tianna's already told Mom & Dad that Damien is HER baby!
Go ahead: say "Awwwww!!!"


Now look at that & tell me that God's not a good God!
Peace
--Free

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Twitter Shout Out!

By now, you all know that I'm on Twitter, and you know I love my twitter friends. The only thing I'm kind of bad about is the Follow Friday mentions. Usually, I'm late doing my list, or I forget and leave someone wonderful off... (I even had been putting up some tweeters over on my Tracks blog, but decided this blog is a better outlet for showing tweet-appreciation.)

Well, this post is for my fave tweeters. These are folks that I'll be following as long as I'm on Twitter. If you're on Twitter or decide to sign up, I can tell you that these are some people who are the coolest. And what do I like about them? Well, either we seem to have a lot in common (faith or interests), or we manage to converse respectfully without having a lot in common. For instance, one of my new faves is @dead2god. Odd, huh, that I would have this one on my list? Not really, because, despite the fact that I am Christian and he obviously is not, we are able to discuss news and such without hate. (And, yeah, I AM trying to win him over to Christ, but whether I do or not, I respect that he respects our communications.) Of course, @bustabitch is my web-sister! She knows how much I appreciate her!

Anyway, here is the list - which I will update often. You just never finish meeting new tweeters! And, by the way, if you want, you can find me @FreeBeing

@twhtan (this man is such a warrior for Christ! He is tireless in his efforts to win souls for the Lord)
@biblestudies
@crjournal
@VictoryMinistry
@faithwalkr
@FaithGuuuurl
@AnointedArts (I almost got to meet her in person when she visited here. We just missed it!)
@goatfox
@mistygirlph
@vovh
@Cortnee4Christ
@carmorg
@crjournal
@biblicaltruths
@ItsJulieChapman
@JimQuillen (He's one of my first faves & always lifts my day!)
@LilianChisca (One of my very first faves & the reason I stuck with Twitter. *waving*)
@Ask4Me
@adndotcom (Anchorage news...)
@BreakingNews (IMO - the best news source on Twitter)
@CRInstitute
@heartcures
@itsmrscooper (We are so silly when we tweet each other. She's very cool)
@BrokePimpStyles (Such a sweetheart. Always kind & always remembers people)
@wordoffaith
@superkingdom
@AlaskaArtist
@ErinPatrick
@JuanitaBerguson
@urbanperspectiv
@ryanfellman (Mellow, wise & kind!)
@heartfulart
@kimshahan
@Jillmz

Like I said, these are not my only faves & I will have to update this list, but if this sample gets you over to Twitter, then I'm happy :-)

Peace
--Free

Monday, August 24, 2009

Yearnings

Man.

Life is so tough sometimes. I think some tough things are easier when they are crappy for you and everyone can tell things are crappy for you, but when tough things are just crappy and people can't understand it... Well, that's the toughest thing of all.

I mean, if you become widowed or get divorced, people can understand that kind of hurt. They understand that, until you've healed, it doesn't seem to matter to you that you have a your health, your home, your job. They understand that those things don't ease the pain of your loss. No one with a decent heart would dream of coming up to you after a funeral or divorce hearing and say that you should just buck up and enjoy your blessings. They'd give you time to deal with your loss and pain, and they'd even acknowledge that part of the loss and pain is now forever a part of you - in spite of your other blessings.

But when you have a unfulfilled yearning for something that many folks take for granted, people don't seem to understand that kind of pain. They not only dream of telling you to buck up and get on with your life, they make it a point to tell you.

Okay, maybe I'm being a little bit unfair. I know that most people (at least the ones I know) are more sensitive that that. But, still, I myself and guilty of sometimes minimizing the hurt caused by things not as big as death, divorce, etc. But then, sometimes, I see someone's hurt rise to the surface so strongly that it can't be ignored.

Here's the thing:

A really special person in my life has always - and I mean, ALWAYS - wanted a baby. She's smart, funny, sweet, amazing, married, settled in home and career and has been ready for the longest to be pregnant. So, after over 7 years, still no baby. And all around her, less smart, funny, amazing, married and settled-in people are having a baby every time you turn around. (Not that some of these folks aren't fit or ready to be parents, but, dang - some of them have NO business getting pregnant at this time in their lives...)

So, of course, when you yearn for something that you just can't seem to have, you see others all around you getting that very thing. And because the rest of your life is so blessed, people can't understand how crappy you feel about that one missing thing.

I myself don't know what it is to yearn to be a mother. I have worried some about that missing desire. Part of the reason I don't have it (or at least this is what I tell myself) is that I helped to raise two of my nieces. Loved them, loved the experience and have been shaped and changed by it for the better, but I feel like: been there, done that. When the girls were young and I tried explaining our home situation to friends and co-workers, I'd joke that I'd been every part of a Mom except for the pregnant part. Don't get me wrong - I have had those temporary flashes of "Awwww...." when watching a new mother and father, or when I'd see an infant dozing or smiling... But the flashes passed. I seriously don't know what it feels like to just ache for the full motherhood experience.

What I do know is what it feels like to yearn for something while it remains just out of reach.

So all I can do is pray for this special person I know and hope that she will be blessed with a child. And I really hope that all those people out there who ARE blessed with children will appreciate their blessing to the fullest. And I am training myself hard NOT to say certain things to her ever again, like: "Maybe it's not meant," or "Just give it time." God knows, I don't want to hear any of that when it comes to what I want. I can tell her to keep praying and seeking God about it. I can let her cry and I can remind her often of what an amazing person she already is.

Peace
--Free

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Bust the Busy-ness

I was taking my sis around a few days ago to run errands. We hit up the Target, Walmart, a hair shop, etc. It was a nice day and we just wanted to be out. We had a great time, but it struck me that so many people I saw looked unhappy. I mean, just miserable. It's as if they had no joy or contentment.

Since then, I have been paying more attention to this. I just study people while I'm out and about. I watch to see how many of them are ready to share a smile, and how many of them are looking beaten down. Let me tell you: if you can go by their expressions and body language, there are some really pitiful people out there. Just makes me want to stop and find out what's wrong and if there is anything I can do or say to make them feel a little better.

Anyway, I was talking to my sister about this. I told her I just didn't understand why people seem so determined to be joyless. She doesn't agree with me. She doesn't think it's that people want to be joyless, she thinks it's that they are just too weighted down to remember to be joyful.

The more I think about it, the more I believe my sis may be right. I mean, for one thing, we have been taught to be too busy. You know what I mean, right? It's like we aren't allowed to feel content anymore. We are supposed to be multi-taskers, on-the-go, go-getters... People don't look "important" enough unless they are moving fast and carrying a satchel full of work. It's very status-boosting to talk about the frequent-flyer miles you rack up because of your business travel. It's classy to talk about how you have to squeeze in your vacation time and time for family and time for friends. If you aren't rushing around like a successful maniac, you look... like you aren't successful.

I don't know many people anymore who just go to work, come home and hang out with the family. And when I say "hang out," I don't mean they're cramming in as much homework and extracurricular activities as they can into the off-hours of their lives.

When I was in school, I had two major responsibilities: homework and chores. The rest of the time, I spent with family and friends. Not every moment of my existence was planned and mapped out. A lot of the time, my friends and I just played outside or hung out in each other's bedrooms. We daydreamed, talked, listened to music, walked the neighborhood and hung out with our families. Any sports we played weren't exactly organized. Mostly, we scraggled together for an impromptu game of softball or soccer.

During the daytime hours of the workweek, my parents did their jobs (Dad at the base, Mom at home) and then we were a family in the evening. My parents watched television together, but the television was not constantly on. They sat and talked and had friends over at least a few nights a week. One of my favorite memories is Mom and Dad sitting around the living room, laughing and talking with the Delaneys or the Powells. They'd talk until it was getting dark, then Mom and Dad would follow their guests out into the front yard where they'd all talk a little while longer.

Now I think about how life is and how busy people are expected to be. There's no more peace and quiet in the day. We have to be busy or at least look busy so that we fit in with the rest of the people who are busy being busy.

When I worked for a large family-owned company some years back, I had a boss who understood what time meant. Once, after our department had busted our tails for over a month on a big project, the boss told the group of us to go home early. After I went home to grab some lunch, I went back to the office to clean up some of the things I'd had to neglect while working on the project.

Around 4 or 5 o'clock, my boss saw me in my little cubicle. He wanted to know why I was there. When I explained, he shook his head.

"There is a reason some jobs are 9 to 5," he told me. "You and I work here. We don't own the company. Don't let the company own you."

I thought that was a little de-motivational and I guess my expression showed what I thought. My boss kind of laughed and he asked me to remember something very simple about life-work balance:

"Work to live, don't live to work."

I never forgot that. Wherever I work, whatever I do, I give a hundred percent, but I don't give so much that it damages other parts of my life.

Now there are some people who get so caught up in being busy that they lose their personal joy - and they resent people who haven't lost their joy. For instance, I had a manager once who just did not like me at all. It was purely personal. She was mostly fair with me as far as the job went, but it was obvious that something about me rubbed her the wrong way. Finally, at a company party, when she'd had a few drinks, the truth came out. "You know what bugs me about you?" she blurted out. "You're just too damn happy."

That was it. She was a miserable, discontented woman, even though she was very successful in her career. I bugged her because I was not a miserable and discontented woman. (I have to tell you that some co-workers and I did a little experiment and realized that she favored her workers who groused about their personal problems to her. The sadder they looked, the more she mentored them!)

Ah well.

I guess this was kind of a rambling post, when the only point I really wanted to get across was: How happy are you? Are you to busy to be happy?

Now, there are some people who just are unhappy. They have made it a habit to be unhappy and they don't even realize it. They have forgotten how to smile just to be smiling. It's easier or more comfortable for them to be a grouse. It gives them a kind of power to express their misery. Some people are just too caught up in life to really live it. They will just stay busy until time runs out. Then what? *shrug*

If being busy is a joy to you, then great. But if you haven't ever really slowed down enough to look at whether you are happy or not, this might be a good time to do that.

Peace
--Free

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Just Happening

Been getting out more lately. I figure, might as well be out in the sunshine. Usually get out with my sis and a niece. We don't do too much, just get out and ride and people-watch - which is better entertainment than TV will ever be.

Yesterday, sis and I went to Carrs/Safeway for a few things she needed to make spaghetti. Our pal, Bonita, was there. Bonita is a bag carrier at the store. I have never met anyone as instantly sweet and kind as this woman is. Every time we see her, she has a hug for us and she wants to talk about how good God is. I can be in the worst mood, but once I see Bonita, I am just filled with knowledge that God IS and that He has put people like Bonita in my life.

In other news, the weather is starting to turn. It's more likely for the day to be cool and overcast than sunny and warm. You can feel a deeper chill in the night air. Just a few weeks ago, the nights were warm enough to leave a window wide open while you prayed for a breeze. I can't believe how fast the weeks of summer have gone by.

Went with sis today over to Red Apple, which is only THE best grocery store if you're looking for "ethnic" foods. Sis has been craving those canned tamales she loves so much & RA is about the only place they can be found here. I almost always pick up a bag of garlic cloves there. I can get a baggie of about 6 cloves for $2 or I can pay 89 cents EACH for cloves at Carrs/Safeway. I told my sis that if I was of a criminal mind, I'd buy a few bags at RA and return them at Carrs/Safeway...

While we were at RA, a guy came up to sis as we waited to check out and asked what happened that she was missing her legs. This guy looked to be about 30 or so. He had fumes of alcohol coming off him, but he was sweet and kind enough as sis explained that she lost her legs to diabetes and high blood pressure. He told her that his mother had both those diseases and that he had a paraplegic sister. When it was our turn at the register, I offered to let him go first since we had more items. He looked around vaguely and said he couldn't remember what he had come in to buy. I checked our stuff out and the guy was still just kind of hanging around us, looking a little lonely and lost. The clerk told him that if he was going to buy something to buy it, or else quit hanging around bothering people. Sis and I were getting ready to roll out of the store and he was still lingering around us. He looked so hurt as he turned to my sister and asked, "Am I bothering you?" She smiled and shook her head. He then held out his hand to show the clerk that he had three quarters to spend, but couldn't remember what he wanted to buy. When we left, he was still just kind of hanging around.

At the car, I loaded up the stuff we bought and my sister just shook her head. "Poor guy," she said. "He's just lonely and kind of lost."

Now that I'm back home, I can't get that guy's face out of my head. He's somebody's child, maybe somebody's brother, uncle... He is somebody. And he could be any one of us. He's just wandering and lost and not sure what to do with himself. He could be any one of us.

Yesterday, sis and I were talking and I asked again about one of the ladies I haven't been seeing at the dialysis clinic lately. Earlier this week, sis had guessed that the woman was one of the patients who moved to the newer clinic we have here. Yesterday she found out that this woman hadn't moved to the new clinic but had suddenly passed away a week or so ago. Sis said the technician she learned this from wasn't sure what the cause of death was... This woman was maybe in her 40's, but she was very large-sized and she smoked like crazy. Matter of fact, I only ever saw her sitting outside the clinic, smoking cigarette after cigarette and hacking so hard it seemed painful. To me, she's just someone I was used to seeing and won't see again, but to someone else she was a wife or girlfriend or sister or mother... Another life.

Oh well.

Now I'm going to go and try to catch up on some of the other blogs. I've been neglecting my own lately, but I might as well read up on everyone else's.

Peace
--Free