Saturday, December 1, 2012

~ The Motto ~

Last spring I slipped away to Charleston for the weekend so I could graduate with my Masters in Nursing Education... Yay, finally! Carrie and Jordan had reserved a suite at the Ansonborough Inn for us all. It was so beautiful... Built in 1901, it was originally a paper warehouse. Huge exposed beams graced the ceilings lit by exquisite chandeliers. It was expansive and yet quaint. Lining the hallways and rooms were gorgeous original oil paintings, everywhere. Though I can be creative, an artist I am not, however, I possess the soul of an artist. I was enthralled with the beauty.

After settling in, we went and ate at Hyman's Seafood. I love Hyman's. In the first place, I'm not sure that there is anyone anywhere that hasn't eaten there. All the tables have brass tabs indicating who sat there at some point in time... Neil Armstrong, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and all sorts of other famous individuals. While there, I picked up a card with their motto. It was written by Chuck Swindol and I'm going to post it here... It resonates with me.

~ Attitude ~

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude... I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our attitudes.

By Chuck Swindol

It is clear that this is Hyman's motto. Every time we have ever eaten there, the owner has spoken to us... not because we are anything special but because he sincerely cares about your experience in his restaurant. Imagine if we all cared as much... each moment, each day... imagine...

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The story of the good, little girl...

Once upon a time,
 there was a good, little girl.
A pretty, petite child, 
who by all accounts,
was sweet too.

 She lived in a castle.
A home fit for a princess,
surrounded by exquisite and beautiful things.
 But she was all alone,
or so it seemed.

in this worldly kingdom,
where love was conditional,
 the good, little girl
 learned to obey, 
and comply.

After all,
conditional love was better than no love.
Was there any other kind?

The good, little girl worked hard
so people would notice.
She was kind
so folks would care.
She aimed to be smart,
so they would be proud.
Being perfect was not so difficult...

And so it was 
that the good, little girl
began her quest for perfection,
for love,
and for acceptance.

it didn't work.
Try as she might,
it did not work.
Perfection was exhausting.
And no one noticed
or cared.

 Love shouldn't hurt but sometimes it did.
Love shouldn't be conditional,
but it was.
The good, little girl was confused.
She felt used, insignificant and worthless.

God who created the whole world 
and the good, little girl 
noticed her,
and chose her for His own.

She was His princess and He loved her.
He nurtured, guided and cared for her,
because He was proud of her,
and in Him she was perfect
just the way she was....

The End

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

"Bibliomania ~ passionate enthusiasm for collecting and possessing books."

A while back, I was scouring through books at Goodwill. 
I guess I could be considered a bibliomaniac. 
The secret to this fascination with the written word eludes me. 
I really don't know what it is about books that delights me so, what I do know is I love them.

This day I came across an enchanting little book by Kent M. Keith called Anyway: The Paradoxical Commandments...Finding Personal Meaning in a Crazy World. 
It is profound. 

In this small volume, Keith elaborates on the  commandments which he wrote 
when he was nineteen at Harvard. 

They have been reproduced and repeated often through the years. 
It was when Keith realized these simple words written years earlier had traversed the globe and been repeated by Mother Teresa that he chose to publish them in a small explanatory text. 

Anyway: The Paradoxical Commandments
"People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down 
by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.
People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway."

Wise advice...

Monday, August 6, 2012

'Sunday go to meeting' visit...

There is so much to reflect about lately. Today, however, I visited a new church. I found this experience fascinating and upon this I will elucidate.

My spiritual background is quite varied but one thing is for certain, I am a believer in Abba, Father; Son, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, our Comforter and Friend.

As an infant, I was christened into the Methodist Church. Later as a child, I was sent to an Episcopalian school and attended a Presbyterian Church. Sometime after, I met and married a Baptist and the rest is history ;) Upon this journey, I have also had occasion to visit and worship in Catholic and Pentecostal Churches as well. Thus, my experience with 'religion' in the denominational sense is quite varied.

I long ago decided that much of what divides our congregations is not the scripture or the beliefs about who God is and what He has done for us, but rather how we study, praise and share about Him....

Today was no exception. I visited an Apostolic Lutheran Church. Now, my first misunderstanding occurred as I 'assumed' that this was a branch of the local Southern Lutheran Church.

Now, being from down south, I will openingly admit that we are a interesting people, with a unique and admirable culture. Friendly, open, country, and stubborn, we can talk to a lamppost, and more often than not, get a response! Yep, Southerners have been blessed with the gift of gab. Check it out, it's right in there with all the other spiritual gifts.

Southern Baptists widely believe that we will need to carry a covered dish to get into Heaven where our regular pew will be waiting on us. Children will be in 'children's church' so as not to disturb the adult's service and we will celebrate the Lord's Supper once a quarter.

The choir will be at the front of the sanctuary singing "How Great Thou Art" and we will stand and sing, sit and pray, stand and sing till the preacher ends with a call to worship. Everyone goes down to the front to repent, while we sing the last stanza over and over. Now mind you, all this has transpired in 59 minutes and 30 seconds because at 12:00 noon we will go home eat a lovely 'Sunday' dinner.

Sunday nights we go back to do it all again to help us make it till 'prayer meetin' on Wednesday night. You gotta love Southern Christians... and I say this with all due respect. Please do not think because I can poke fun at our spiritual 'traditions' that I do not admire and respect them. Let me point out though, these are merely traditions, for the real Christian these are the 'trappins' of faith. Real faith is about a relationship with Jesus Christ, our Savior.

This Sunday the sanctuary was simple and beautiful in its architecture. The doors at the front of the church opened out to a shaded parking parcel and a green, canopied playground. Everyone was kind and the preacher spoke from the heart. I felt the Spirit of God. Children were everywhere and I loved this. They talked and played quietly during the service and parents were not constantly shushing them. It was a beautiful family worship. I would have loved this when my children were younger.

 Everyone was also very conservative in their dress. Now as a southern lady I am pretty conservative but my mama taught me you are not dressed till your hair is done and there's makeup on your face. Well, imagine my surprise when 75% of the congregation had dresses down to their feet, no makeup and long hair in buns. Well, I want to admit to you right here and now that I felt like Jezebel for sure, either that or Rahab the harlot.

Now I want to hasten to add that everyone was kinda quiet but real sweet. I did have a handful of people speak to me and invite me back. And I might go back too...maybe. One thing that I have noticed is that most of us don't like to stand out. We are more comfortable blending in. This is often what makes visiting churches difficult. Just as every community or area of the country has its own culture so do churches.

Well, in the words of Forrest Gump, "That's about all I have to say about that...". Till next time, Jezebel is signing off and out.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Why does a child act like a child? Could it be because they are a child...

Alright, quick update.
For those of you who follow this blog,
it occurred to me that you probably think,
awww, what a beautiful family,
how perfect...

yes, we have a 'real' beautiful family,
with the emphasis on real!

We are not perfect
and never will be.

We have stubborn strong willed children that go through phase after phase
just like you...

Given the chance to observe our family,
you would probably recognize...
the 'my parents are so mean' phase,
the 'dare devil' phase,
the 'whats an inside voice' phase,
the more subtle,
'at least my parents have one good child' phase.

let's not forget
the 'tattle tell',
the adorable little 'liar'
my personal, all time favorite
'so and so is so lucky because they have the best parents alive' phase...

These phases eventually progress to the more sophisticated stages of young adulthood
such as the 'know it all' stage,
the 'my parents are so stupid, it's embarrassing' stage,
the 'I'm going to be so much more sophisticated than my country bumpkin parents' stage,
ultimately concluding with
the 'I'm sure I was switched at birth because these people cannot have birthed such an awesome creation of nature as me' stage...

I tell you all this to remind you that children are not adults,
they can not think and reason like adults 
and this is normal...

Someday they will be adults,
and it will come sooner than you expect...
At that time, it will bring with it an easy camaraderie and an immense sense of pride.

Until that time, hang in there and
why does a child act like a child...
because they are a child!

Love and enjoy them...
through their eyes the world is much more beautiful and magical...

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Where did the time go? Ode to Nate the Great...

Where did the time go?
I am not very sure.
It slipped through my hands,
faded out the door.

It wasn't very long ago,
I caught you in my arms.
A laughing young boy,
 with innocent charms.

Where did the time go?
Goodbye, magic age,
 my fair blonde boy,
has grown tall and sage.

Computers and games,
 replaced trains and things.
A World of Warcraft
battle reigns.

Gone the boy
 in OshKosh blues,
Now in hipster jeans,
and mosh pits too.

Where did the time go?
I confess I do not know,
but the greatest joy of all
has been watching you grow.

We love you Nathan,
Mom and Dad

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter's promise... He has risen; He has risen indeed!

I came across a poem that was read at a funeral a few years back. This reading occurred for me during a particularly raw time of my life. My own mother had just died and I was sorting through the wealth of emotions which accompanies such a loss. I felt then and feel now that this piece speaks volumes about our lives and eventual deaths... I am posting it for safe keeping.

A Death Has Occurred by Paul Irion... 

A death has occurred and everything is changed.
We are painfully aware that life can never be the same again,
that yesterday is over,
that relationships once rich,
 have ended.

But there is another way to look upon this truth.

If life now went on the same,
without the presence of the one who has died,
we could only conclude that the life we remember made no contribution,
filled no space,
meant nothing.

The fact that our loved one left behind a place that cannot be filled
 is a high tribute to this individual.

Life can be the same after a trinket has been lost,
but never after the loss of a treasure.


I would be remiss not to add that Easter
assures us all of the promise of the resurrection.
An eternal home for all God's treasures...

He has risen,
He has risen indeed!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

What will matter is not your success but your significance.... ~Michael Josephson

       Well, it is official; I'm finished with graduate school! How and when it happened I'm not really sure... Now before you go assuming I have started taking drugs or simply lost my poor, ever-loving mind, I assure you I have not. What did happen though, I was somewhat unprepared for, exhaustion, sheer and absolute exhaustion. I don't think I realized how tired, stressed, and overwrought I had become.

       Fortunately I had time to rest somewhat by only working one job for a few weeks. By the time I rang in the new year with the kids, I had begun to feel more refreshed and relaxed. I actually couldn't remember the last time I had felt this way. It is safe to assume I have been running on empty for a while...

       So, how did I make it, survive, finish? I'm not entirely sure! It was not a perfect landing or a particularly graceful finish but there are times we must just be thankful for a job completed. I finished with a 3.8846. Yes, I know it down to the last decimal place! I had hoped to pull a 4.0 but with work, well, I guess I should be proud. More than the grades however, I am thankful for the education I received. My teachers at Charleston Southern University were phenomenal. The program itself was amazing. My family deserves the degree as much as me, as do my colleagues and friends.

       I have started my new job as a pediatric nursing instructor; yay! My goal is to stay prn at the clinic too. I want to stay relevant, current and passionate about what I do. I feel that students often sense a disconnect when instructors don't maintain their clinical expertise or have lost their joy. Plus, where would I get all the riveting stories and experiences? Minus the names and identifying information, of course ;)

       I have an office!!! Silly, I know but this is so exciting to me. Currently though I feel as if I'm trying desperately to 'hurry up' and get comfortable and capable at my new job. I am not used to being the one without the expertise! This will come however, so in the mean time I must practice patience. Everyone has been so welcoming and awesome.
       I have applied to a PhD program; this satisfies the nerd in me :) So we shall see what the future holds...