Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Memories

Everyone's got some kind of Christmas memories- whether they observe the holiday or not. Here's a walk down memory lane and a few things I remember:

- Feeling all warm and cozy sitting by the tree & watching snow falling outside the window.
- When I was very little (Before parents split) my Mom used to make Christmas very special. Dad was always gone trucking, but she would decorate late at night with garland, tree, ornaments, lights and tinsel. When we awoke the next morning, the whole trailer had been transformed into a Christmas wonderland.
- A couple of Christmases, my folks hid some of our gifts and we had to search the house for them. That was fun!
- My Aunt & Uncle always had a pretty tree with a train set up underneath it.
- Making popcorn strings, drinking cocoa, listening to Mantovani Orchestra play carols
- Watching Rudolph, Frosty & Charlie Brown Christmas Specials. It's a Wonderful Life was always a hit.
- Hearing Dean Martin, Bing Crosby, Patty Paige, Julie Andrews, Jerry Mathis and the golden voice of Karen Carpenter on the radio
- Decorating the Christmas tree with my dorm roomate & listening to Manheim Steamroller's Christmas tapes
- Caroling with friends and performing in Handel's Messiah many times
- Eating cashews and pistachios out of pretty Christmas tins.
- Gathering in pajamas, wrapped in blankets to snuggle and listen to Christmas stories
- Driving around looking at Christmas lights.
- Christmas of '96 we had a blizzard in PA- snowed in with my husband's family. We were all stuck for 2 wks and it was great. Nice memories were made. Little did we know at the time it was my Mother-in-law's last Christmas on earth.
- Serving Chrismas Dinner at a homeless shelter and eating with the people there.
- Taping Christmas cards we receive on the wall. We get fewer every year. E-mails are not the same!!! You can't tape them on the wall and enjoy them. There's just something special about getting something in the mail. (Due to the hectic pace of our lives this year, I didn't send out cards. Feel bad about this, but maybe next year?)
- Sharing Christmas with our kids and seeing their delight. Hearing them sing carols.
- The joy of handing some stranger $50 in Walmart and saying "Have a Merry Christmas". I LOVE to see their reactions!!!! Wish I had more money- I'd do that more often.
- Being 'Mary' for pageants 4 years in 1 decade because I was always quite pregnant during December.
- Mistletoe- I'll say no more.....
- Big Christmas dinners with family & friends.
- Grandma B's Christmas cookies

Christmas Future:
- I'd like to take my kids on a sleigh ride and sledding- they've never been!
- I want to see the 'Transiberian Orchestra' in concert
- I want to attend a live Nutcracker Ballet
- I'd like to make a Christmas album
- I'd like to find a place to ice-skate (won't be in TN or GA) where they play Christmas music
- I want to adopt a goat, cow or chickens to send to families in third-world countries through World Vision.
- I'd love to participate in a live nativity someday
- It would be neat to have a house big enough to hold a large family gathering...
- Starting a Christmas Tree Farm
- Spending the holidays in Ireland & Scotland
Do you have any Christmas memories or dreams you'd like to share?

Friday, December 22, 2006

It's That Time of Year Again!

Guess I'm getting older, but the hustle and bustle I used to find so exciting totally exhausts me! As a child, I was blissfully ignorant of the behind-the-scenes work that went into making a Merry Christmas. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy people and being in public, but shopping the Mall until your feet hurt and standing in line for 45 minutes at Walmart is ridiculous! Traffic in our little city is crazy right now! I love celebrations, just not all the busy-ness that goes along with them. I think it should be a time just to chill out and breathe a little.
I find there are two approaches to the current season. On the far right of the religious scene, we have militant Christians protesting "Put the Christ back in Christmas", while on the far left we have people screaming that Christmas is a "Pagan" holiday- an abomination. Enough already. Why can't we just let people be and observe as they see or don't see fit? Why the militant attitudes about a holiday meant to be filled with joy & peace? Yes, I've studied with Jehovah's Witnesses (was one for 2 yrs) We didn't observe Christmas, birthdays or say the pledge of allegiance- thought God was asking this of us. We led a bland existence and felt quite the self-righteous martyrdom for our abstainance.
Honestly, I really don't give a rip what the "supposed origins" of Christmas are- I've heard every argument under the sun for and against the celebration of Christmas. Well, I didn't live in the time when it all got started. All I know is what it means to us today. Christmas is a time to connect with friends & family- a very deeply spiritual time for me, but not everyone feels that way and God gives them that right. Having the heart of Christ in us means being able to look anyone in the eye and wish them a "Happy Holiday" and truly mean it- regardless. In the name of peace and goodwill, my family and I will be singing 3 songs for a Christmas program being held by the very church that caused a LOT of our problems last year. They invited us and we are singing for them. Not going to rejoin them, but we want them to know we forgive them for what they did and wish them a Merry Christmas. Not easy after all the hurt, but in my heart I know it's the right thing to do.

Those who bash Christmas as being pagan- in the name of being Biblical, had better go all the way with their reasoning:
Where in the Bible, does it command wedding ceremonies & honeymoons?
Where does it say we should have Thanksgiving Day?
Where in the Bible does it command that we register to vote or have a Driver's Licenses?
Where does it say you have to wear a dress or a 3 piece suit to worship the Lord?
Where in the Bible does it endorse the Pipe Organ as the official church instrument?
Where does it say we should have a middle name?
Where in the Bible does it say to observe birthdays or wedding anniversaries?
It doesn't. So are all these things "Pagan"? Or because Christians start some of these traditions, does it mean God is offended?? I think not. I've written along these lines before... All I know is that my Bible says God is love and I do not see Him in the angry faces of debators & protestors.

There are people out there whom I refer to as 'religious scientists'. (not to be confused with Scientologists) They are constantly out on the fringe of paranoia studying every religious conspiracy theory-not in depth, or with well-rounded perspectives, but just enough to consider it a cause legitimate enough to go around lecturing any poor soul who crosses their paths. They consider themselves "in the know" about virtually every topic politically, historically and Biblically and love to set everyone else straight. I was once very outspoken for several religious "causes". Once you catch a true glimpse of Who God Is, everything else just fades in comparison. I have no higher cause than seeking God, learning what it really means to live and love. Any theory or mindset that makes me think of myself as better, smarter or holier than someone else needs to be closely examined...

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Silence is a Treasure!

As a Full-Time worker & busy Mom of 4, it seems my life is quite noisy! Cell phones ring, doors slam, car alarms go off, loud music plays, TV's blare, dogs bark, children cry- everywhere there's a constant stream of chatter. It's rare these days to stand in line at the store without hearing someone talk on the phone. Can't even do the bathroom thing in peace without being captive audience to the whole story of Torrie's big break-up because, like, the gal in the stall beside you is, like, spilling drama on her phone. First of all, I don't get it! How on earth does she manage to keep from dropping her cell in the jon? (There are times I wish it would happen- especially when my girls are with me- just to have a little quiet for 5 mins and avoid the over-education of my daughters young minds.) Cell phone usage, though a necessary evil, is often the bearer of T.M.I. (Too Much Information) I'm regularly forced to overhear someone describe details of their colonoscopy, ingrown toenail procedure, etc. over the phone in the lobby of the YMCA. Do we regard our privacy so lightly these days? Try to have a rare, intimate evening out with your man, while the chick next table over is yakking on her phone- relaying everything the other party says to her date. We all but stood up and cheered when they left! I'm not the only one who's life is full of noise pollution. I feel like a misfit in today's crowded, fast-paced society. Perhaps Trailady was born in the wrong century?
So, I read once more in my 'Native American Wisdom' book and find a chapter about Words & Silence. As a speaker, poet and writer, I love words- they are a gift. However, I believe there's such a thing as too many, or overuse of words. As an editor I learned that often we use too many words to make even a simple point. Language is a gift to be used wisely. So here goes, from the heart of our Natives:

"The first American mingled with his dignity a singular humility. Spiritual arrogance was foreign to his nature and teaching. He never claimed that his power of articulate speech was proof of superiority over "dumb creation"; on the other hand, speech is to him a perilious gift.
He believes profoundly in silence- the sign of a perfect equalibrium. Silence is the absolute poise or balance of body, mind and spirit. The man who preserves his selfhood ever calm and unshaken by the storms of existence-- not a leaf, as it were, astir on the tree, not a ripple upon the surface of shining pool-- his silence, in the mind of the unlettered sage, is the ideal attitude and conduct of life... To maintain silence is the cornerstone of good character." - Ohiyesa of the Santee Sioux

"Silence was meaningful to the Lakota, and his granting a space of silence before talking was done in the practice of true politeness and regardful of the rule that "thought comes before speech."
And in the midst of sorrow, sickness, death or misfortune of any kind, and in the presence of notable and great, silence was the mark of respect. More powerful than words was silence with the Lakota. His strict observance of this tenet of good behavior was the reason, no doubt, for his being given the false characterization by the white man of being stoic. He has been judged to be dumb, stupid, indifferent, and unfeeling.
As a matter of truth, he was the most sympathetic of men, but his emotions of depth and sincerity were mixed with self-control Silence means to the Lakota what it meant to Disraeli when he said, "Silence is the mother of truth." for the silent man was ever to be trusted, while the man ever ready with speech was never taken seriously." - Chief Luther Standing Bear of the Teton Sioux

I love to sit in silence, listening for the whisper of wind in the trees or the soft sound of falling snowflakes. There have been nights on my back deck where I sit in contemplation and hear the flapping of bat wings as they eat bugs around the barn light. I will greatly miss this while we live in the city. God, I sure hope this is REALLY temporary. My spirit wilts when I'm fenced in... I pray my journey will someday lead to the wilds of Montana.

Saturday, December 16, 2006


I think, therefore I exist,
I breathe, therefore I am alive,
I bleed, therefore I know pain,
I laugh, therefore I remain hopeful,
I need, therefore I am human.

~ PW

To be limited by flesh and blood mortality is a challenge to all. There is a deep hunger in us that seeks to be filled and so we try all sorts of things and hook-up with all kinds of people in order to find fulfillment. Lessons are learned and we react to life in one of two ways:

1) We reject ourselves, focusing on percieved flaws and wallowing in guilt and shame. We constantly reinvent ourselves in hopes of finding just the right lifestyle formula (job, church, mate, car, house) to feel happy, earn more acceptance from others and convince God not to burn us up. We remember our shortcomings, often doing penance through great deeds and sacrifices in order to prove to ourselves and to God that we are good.

2) We accept that we are weak, imperfect beings and love ourselves anyway. We view our mistakes as learning experiences and are not afraid to move on, trying different things and weighing out many thought processes. We come to realize that in order to love our neighbors, we must first embrace ourselves. We relax into our existence and enjoy living.

I ask, which of these two approaches is most healthy? God gave us minds and He wants us to use them. We should not be spoon-fed our beliefs, blindly accepting whatever we are taught. We must ask, seek and knock in order to gain truth. We must read, pray and weigh things out for ourselves. Sometimes, we may reach incorrect conclusions, but Grace allows us the opportunity to explore our faith. God is not impressed with our martyrdom. We cannot force His hand to bless us. He loves because that is Who He is. He forgives and saves, because He is merciful- not because we earn it.

Life is too short to constantly feel bad about ourselves and be down on others. I do not believe this is the will of God. Either He is big enough to save us from ourselves or He isn't. There is no middle ground. That is the reality I am facing... I choose to believe God can handle my sin and change my heart. I choose to relax and live my life abundantly.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Go Figure!

To all my readers: I'm not perfect, okay and I'm the first to admit it. I make mistakes everyday. I'm just a lady on a journey and I do not perfectly live out what I have learned. (Who does?)

Apparently, "Ro" is a real person who claims his first comment was meant as sincere not as sarcastic. Sometimes when you read a comment from someone you don't know, it can sound either way. I'm a fiesty girl who is on the defensive right now. I am painfully aware of my shortcomings. There have been more than enough people wanting to bestow their wisdom upon us- usually by telling us how we are doing things ALL wrong and offering us cute little cliche statements that amount to a hill of beans when you are feeling devastated. Not a great way to help people who are down to tell them they are on the wrong path or being stubborn. Anyway, my response to Ro was meant to set a boundary while being somewhat humorous, as for all practical purposes it seemed he was a flamer- if I for a moment thought he was legit, I would never have responded to him in that way. (I deleted several nonsense comments lately that are not worth repeating- from bloggers I don't know and spammers.) If Ro is a genuine person, then I welcome him.

Anyone can disagree with me on this blog as long as it's done respectfully- and many have. I am open to a variety of opinions...

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

One Step at A Time...

Our house sold! We won't come out with tons of equity, but that's to be expected since we only lived here 2 yrs. Jay has been driving a 1985 auto for 2 yrs now- it's literally falling apart. We've come out far enough ahead to get a new (used) vehicle, start our savings toward a future home-building project and give a large chunk to our Producer over in Nashville. Yes, we are moving forward with our CD! Pieces of the puzzle seem to be falling into place.... slowly, but surely....

Gave our chickens away to the neighbors and they wished us well. Found out, in addition to the racoons and possums that were killing our hens outside, two chicken hawks found a way into our barn and were wiping out the chickens inside! Smart critters! Though I don't like what they were doing, I do respect their intelligence in figuring out how to perch on the side of the barn, squeeze through a small gap between the wall and the roof to get in and feed. Amazing!! We won't have chickens again until we are able to build a home in the country and a proper barn to house them. Chalk this lot up to experience.

Gave my notice at the YMCA today- my last day there will be Feb 2. We will be renting a house in GA until we get back on our feet financially. It's in town (big sigh) but only temporary. I will cut way back on my hours, or perhaps not even work after we move. Hate to switch the kids schools halfway through the year AGAIN, but that's unavoidable.

The Praise Dance recital went very well. We did 2 songs: 'Come Holy Spirit' and 'In this Sanctuary'. My husband- who tends to be very unemotional came up hugging me in tears afterward saying, "That was so beautiful Baby, I was sure blessed by that ministry. You girls did a great job". He was not the only one, so we feel that strongholds were broken that night in the name of The Lord. Of course, there were a few 'holier than thous' totally offended by our slow, worshipful routines, graceful arm movements and SLOW, conservative songs, but I guess that's always to be expected. Can't please everyone. My question to these people is always, "When did God make YOU an authority over the Bible?" The Bible repeatedly talks about praising the Lord in the dance. Miriam danced, David danced, it's likely that Jesus Himself, being of Jewish heritage also danced. There is NO sin in movement- those who can't separate Holy dance from sexual club dancing are no experts!! So, I'm totally continuing this activity- unless God Himself speaks to my heart, I will continue to lift my hands and praise Him in this way. Not sure where I am with the whole religious thing- still sorting it out. The things I've witnessed/experienced the past 2 years have really BLOWN my mind in that respect and have reshaped my thinking. People can claim to be Christian, but actions can show otherwise. The wounds go deep and I'm sick of people saying we have no right to feel anger. When they say that- it's a slap in the face. In essence they are saying, "You shouldn't have any feelings. You have no rights. Snap to it and forget all about it." This is highly insensitive. It's kinda hard to "forget all about it" when you have to live with the results of their mistreatment on a daily basis. I can be angry about what happened without hating anyone. Yes, it's possible! The Bible says, "Be angry, but do not sin". Here's what I've learned recently:

1) Being Christian gives NO right to judge or condemn people who don't think like you.
2) Being Christian doesn't mean you have a right to exert your influence/control over others.
3) Being a Christian doesn't mean you have all the answers.
4) Being Christian doesn't mean being preachy all the time.
5) Being Christian doesn't mean you won't suffer- even if you pay a faithful tithe. There are NO guarantees in this life for Christians or non-Christians. Sunlight and rain fall on the Godly and Ungodly alike.

PS. "Ro Hunter" and anyone else who wants to leave nasty, negative little comments just out of the blue, I will not take you seriously. I will delete you- so don't waste your time! I don't mind people respectfully disagreeing with me, but ignorance and backhanded comments are not welcome here. Go chase yourself!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Thought Provoking Poetry...

Don't look for the flaws as you go through life;
and even when you do find them
It is wise and kind to be somewhat blind,
and look for the virtue behind them
For the cloudiest night has a hint of light
Hope somewhere in shadow is hiding
It is better by far to hunt for a star
than the spots on the sun abiding.

The world will never adjust itself
to suit every whim to the letter
Some things may go wrong your whole life long,
and the sooner you know it the better.
It is folly to struggle with the Infinite,
and go under at last while you wrestle
The wiser ones shape unto God's plan,
as the water shapes into the vessel.

My Daddy wrote a letter- not to me but to my husband. This is a RARE thing. I can count on one hand the number of letters I have ever received from my Dad over the years so this is BIG. His letter packet included a book and this old poem. Author is unknown. I really like it though and of course it's special to finally hear something from my Dad during this trial.
Folks, it's no exaggeration to say that our lives have been a terrible struggle, all but completely unsettled the last 14 yrs following the radio ministry all over the country and the various challenges that brought. However, the last 5 yrs took the cake! Anything that could go wrong did and now we're moving AGAIN! We tried so hard to 'Count it all joy', but eventually you get worn down to nothing and the effort taxes an exhausted mind, body and spirit until it can no longer make the choice to be hopeful. We know what it feels like to be stretched to the breaking point and held there.

Last night on my way to work I cried. Evenings used to be a special gathering time for us over the years- even when Jay couldn't be home, the kids and I would read or tell stories, watch a movie, play games or sit by the fire. Now because of my crazy work schedule, I miss out on that a lot. I pounded the steering wheel and shouted to God, "What do you want from us? Tell us and we'll do it, but You've got to give us some kind of indication what Your plan for us is and help something work out in our favor. I can't live this way any longer!" A sense of calm came over me- I cannot describe it except to say that I suddenly felt quite warm inside and calm- my anger and frustration evaporated. The Voice that speaks inside me said, "Wait just a little longer... I'm not done with you or Jay. I still have a purpose for you and I will bring things to pass for your good." (I still feel a sense of peace.)
Our house is for sale- take a virtual tour of our property here: We like this place, just can't afford it without killing ourselves to pay for it, so it must go. We are currently in serious negotiations with one of several potential buyers right now, but had NO IDEA where to go from here. Obviously because of our current financial situation we aren't coming out with much equity, so our options were quite limited. When I got home last night, my man told me that we now have a place to rent down in Georgia and that he will be working in greater capacity with a businessman we know and trust. This means, we will have a lot more money and I won't have to work- or at least not so many hours away from home. Still don't have all the answers, but this is definitely a step in the right direction!!!!!!!!

Saturday, December 09, 2006


"In the end, you're measured not by how much you undertake, but by what you finally accomplish." - Donald Trump

Easy for him to say- he's richer, more powerful and successful by far than many of us will ever be. In worldly terms he's a real giant of achievement. Truly, he worked his way up and deserves to enjoy his accomplishment.

Sometimes I feel like all I'll ever do is try and never succeed. As life drifts by year after year, I am beginning to realize that perhaps I will never accomplish any of my dreams. In a spiritual sense, I'm glad I'm not graded by God on how much I accomplish.

I still think that in this life we have a warped sense of success. The man with the most toys and the biggest bank account still dies. How many times we laughed, played and danced upon the earth and passionately caring for the people in our lives is more important in my book.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Native Wisdom: Good -vs- Evil

A Native American Elder was trying to describe the struggle between good and evil here on earth to his young Grandson.

"Good is a bear, evil is a wolf and the two are always fighting to decide who is stronger" said the Elder.

"Which one will win, Grandfather?" Asked the child.

To which the Grandfather replied, "The one you feed."

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Thoughts of Mother Earth

Still reading my 'Native American Wisdom' book- lovin' it! Always intrigued by NA culture. I attended two friendship fires, have danced around the big fire with the natives of this land and traded friendship trinkets. I've listened to their stories, eaten the fry bread and ridden across the deserts of New Mexico at break-neck speeds on their Mustangs. It was a Native American who told me I could ride my horse through a herd of grazing deer while sitting straight & still in the saddle. The scent of the horse mingled with my scent and I passed unnoticed through the middle of a herd in the wilds of Northern Idaho- just as he said I would. Awesome!

Faith in God should expand, not narrow our points of view. The older I get, the more I understand the greatness of God, and feel connection with my fellow man and the earth around me. It is disturbing to see a lack of concern on the part of believers- not only for each other, but for conservation of our resources. God is our Father, and I agree with the Native view that earth is like our mother. God formed man from the dust of the earth. We were taken from her and fashioned into something that is functional and spiritual. She offers us food and shelter. When we die, our bodies decay, returning to oneness with her. In recent centuries, humanity has shown greed and disrespect for the earth. I've seen enough tree-stripping, chemical spraying and have done enough time on trash patrol along the highways to know this. I am inspired and touched by the wisdom I find in this little book regarding the earth. Here's a quote from a Native Chief who was also a Believer:

"Every part of all this soil is sacred to my people. Every hillside, every valley, plain and grove has been hallowed by some sad or happy event in days long vanished. The very dust you now stand on responds more willingly to our footsteps than to yours, because it is rich with the blood of our ancestors and our bare feet walk softly upon her, conscious of the sympathetic touch.... A few more hours, a few more winters, and none of the children of the great tribes that once lived upon the earth, or that roamed in small bands in the woods, will be left to mourn the graves of a people once as powerful and hopeful as yours.

The whites, too, shall pass-- perhaps sooner than other tribes, Continue to contaminate your own bed, and you will one night suffocate in your own waste.
When the buffalo are all slaughtered, the wild horses all tamed, the secret corners of the forest heavy with the scent of men, and the view of the ripe hills blotted by talking wires, where is the thicket? Gone. Where is the eagle? Gone.

And what is left to say farewell to the swift men and the hunt? When is the end of living and the beginning of survival? We might understand if we knew what it was that the white man dreams, what he describes to his children on the long winter nights. What visions does he burn into their minds so they will wish for tomorrow? But we are called savages. The white man's dreams are hidden from us." - Chief Seattle of the Suqwamish and Duwamish (1786-1866)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Birth of A New Blog...

I have opened a new blog called 'Signs & Wonders'.
I will tend to post things of a more spiritual nature on this blog and welcome reader comments- especially if you've read a really good or bad church sign recently or enjoy discussing beliefs.

From here on out, 'My Journey' will be more of a personal journal/worldview/random thought spot. I am a spiritually minded lady, so you'll still hear some of my thoughts about God here- just felt it was time to make a seperate blog solely for posts of that nature. :o)

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Native Inspiration...

I am the very satisfied owner of a book called, 'Native American Wisdom', edited by Kent Nerburn & Louise Mengelkoch. EXCELLENT! Below are some of the quotes that I thought were simply profound:

On the ways of words:
"I believe much trouble and blood would be saved if we opened our hearts more. I will tell you in my way how the Indian sees things. The white man has more words to tell you how things look to him, but it does not require many words to speak the truth." - Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce

On integrity:
"My people are poor, because we are honest." - Red Dog of the Oglala Sioux

On Relationship:
"Friendship is the severest test of character. We think it easy to be loyal to family and clan, whose blood is in our own veins. Love between a man and woman is founded on the mating instinct and is not free from desire and self-seeking. But to have a friend, and be true under any and all trials, is the mark of a man! - Ohiyesa of the Santee Sioux

On Religion:
"My people do not want churches because they will teach us to quarrel about God as the Protestants and Catholics do. We desire peace. We may quarrel with men sometimes about things on this earth, but we never fight about God. We do not want to learn of this."
- Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce

"Grandfather, Great Spirit, one day more behold me on earth and lean to hear my feeble voice. You lived first, and You are older than all things, stronger than all need, older than all prayer. All things belong to You-- the two-legged, the four-legged, the wings of the air, and all green things that live. You have set the powers of the four winds of the earth to cross each other. You have made me walk the good road and the road of hardship. The place where these two cross is holy. Day in, day out, and always, You are the life of all things." - Black Elk of the Oglala Sioux

"No tribe has the right to sell the land, even to each other, much less to strangers. Sell a country! Why not sell the air, the great sea, as well as the earth? Didn't the Great Spirit make them all for the use of His children?" - Tecumseh of the Shawnee

The Ways of Dying:
"Death will come, always out of season." Big Elk, Omaha Chief

"Each soul must meet the morning sun, the new, sweet earth and the Great Silence alone!"
- Ohiyesa of the Santee Sioux

"I know that skin robes, leggings, moccasins, bear claws, and so on are of little value to you, but we wish you to have them and preserve them in some part of your lodge, (museum) so that when we are gone and the sod is turned over our bones, if our children should visit this place, as we do now, they may see and recognize with pleasure the things of their fathers, and reflect on the times that are now passing." Sharitarish of the Pawnee

"If the Great Spirit had desired me to be a white man, He would have made me so in the first place. He put in the heart of the whites certain wishes and plans; in my heart He put other and different desires. Each man is good in the sight of the Great Spirit. It is not necessary for eagles to become crows, yet both are good. Now, to you my people are poor, but we are free. No white-man controls our footsteps. If we must die, we die defending our rights." - Sitting Bull of the Teton Sioux

Some of these words really hit home for me. I was smiling and nodding my head in agreement to many and tearing-up over others. As I read this touching and wonderful book I could almost feel the rush of clean, fresh air on my face. Can you hear the sound of Elk calling in the distance? When I close my eyes, I am standing on the open plain, my arms open to the sky. Like the Indian, I want the freedom to live, to enjoy my family. Material things are nice, but also tie us down. The Natives of this land were very simple people, but they were not ignorant, heathen savages. I am deeply touched by the reverence of the Native American for all things living and the depth of feeling they had toward their lands and their families. There is wisdom to be learned from every culture. I'm glad someone recorded the words of these great men. :o)

Friday, December 01, 2006

Good Quote & GREAT Film!

"What a fine comedy this world would be if one did not play a part in it!" - Denis Diderot

Wow- isn't that true?! Painful experiences and challenging events happen- it's a fact of life here on earth. We cannot always choose what is written into the pages of our lives. There remains a hope for me that someday all that has been hurtful, I will remember while rolling my eyes and grinning. I am quite prone to taking myself, my life, my feelings a little too seriously at times. There are so many facets of me. At work I am upbeat, outgoing and fun- I love to help people. At home, I am more reserved and thoughtful, but always ready for a good joke, a snuggle or some slow-dancing in the living room to my favorite songs. On my blog I am often quiet Melancholy- that is the artistic part of me that examines everything and ponders the ways of God and the purpose of our existence.

It is the end of a very long & busy week. I've had ZERO quality time with my man and very little with the kids. There were several times when I called my man and got cut off so he could talk to someone else. (Okay- who's priority here?) When I work such long hours, most of my time at home is spent trying to catch my breath, rest my foot, return phone calls and catch up with chores. I refuse to lose the sense of self that God has breathed into existence recently, so I have to make time to write, contemplate and pray about what I am learning & feeling.

I can't live like this forever- Jay may be able to do without spending much time with me, but I need quality time and lots of it! God knows this- why has He allowed our circumstances to be so chronically messed up? Jay is feeling rejected and has no sense of direction after his career ended so abruptly. He is restless and hurting- which hurts me. He doesn't say much, he just stays busy or sleeps. The kids aren't blind, they see our pain and it frustrates them.

Life stirs up passion in us and a desire for each other in the innocence of youth. We commit our lives to one another- we want to be together, hearts are on fire thinking we can outwit, outlast and outlove all those who ever tried & failed at marriage. Then, reality hits and for the rest of our lives we cannot seem to connect? We were always together or talking on the phone during our courtship. Literally, when I married him, I felt like I lost him- hardly saw him our first year of marriage as he devoted himself entirely to his studies. Then the kids came along. I love them dearly, but I've had to share him with them. They are top priority for him- I think I'm a close second. Perhaps if I felt like I was first, I would have more to give the children emotionally because my cup was full?
I'm a hopeless romantic, but I'm trying to become more realistic in my expectations and make the most of what I've got to work with. Reality is, Jay is a nice guy and I've just barely scratched the surface of what it means to love. Sometimes, I don't know if I want to go any deeper than the romance phase if the "settling in phase" means feeling bored or ignored most of the time. Traditionally, we eat supper at Ryan's at the end of the week. Tonight as I sat there with my family, I looked around at all the smiling old couples. I can't help but wonder how many trials they have overcome together? What deep strength do they possess in order to stay together and find happiness? More than anything, I want to be faithful and to love more deeply. My own weaknesses are daunting.

If only I could unlock or describe the passion that is within me for living, loving and laughter. I think we both just want to connect- to feel alive again, instead of dull and unappreciated.

We recently saw a wonderful movie- an allegory about human relationships both male/female and parent/child. 'The Lakehouse' stars Keanu Reaves and Sandra Bullock. (Two of my favorites) They are soul-mates who are trapped in two different times. He is in 2004, she is in 2006. They want desperately to connect, but everything seems to stand in the way. I could totally relate to the film because I often feel the space between my heart and those I love is insurmountable. Sometimes I feel like a little bird beating against the glass pane of the window to their souls. I can see in, but can't quite break through and I'm not sure anyone wants to let me in. How many times can one beat against this invisible, but very real barrier until falling lifelessly to the ground? Is there some strange and wonderful magic that will come into play, renewing the flames that have burned so low??