Friday, July 19, 2013

Tell your sons a story to help them understand recent events when they ask

Once upon a time, a young man grew tall. His Daddy was six foot four, and he could not wait to be taller than his Dad.   At six foot, two, and 17 years old, some called him, “Slim”.  It was a nickname.  Slim.  Slim loved sports.  He could play football or basketball.  He wore glasses, but they broke, and besides, some silly girl and his friends were calling him four-eyes, and one cute girl said he looked better without them.  Why bug his stepmom? Dad was busy driving trucks, and while it was hard to see the whiteboard/blackboard, Dad’s girlfriend was not going to take him to get his eyes checked.  One night in February, it was raining, but Slim got the munchies.  He heard that mixing skittles with Arizona tea and cough syrup made a sipping opiate, but drugs are bad.  Marijuana gave him the munchies.  Slim enjoyed chatting on the phone with his friend from his old school, in his old neighborhood, Rachel. Rachel did not do marijuana, but she did not judge his twice a week smokes.  Sometimes they’d chat all day on the phone about school, family drama, birthday parties and stuff.  No, there was no way he was going to ask Dad’s girlfriend to take him to the mall for glasses.  He did not want to hear the lecture about being careful. Eyeglasses break.  So, he called his Dad and asked to go to the store.  If only he had his own car, his own wheels.  But, a car, car insurance, gas all cost money.  Dad already forked it over for the new white track shoes, and his Mom said it was a race keeping him in jeans as he was growing so fast.  Slim cut through a neighborhood and noticed this dude in a truck watching him. Creepy.  Since Slim couldn’t see clearly at long distances, he hid and waited for the dude to get closer.  The creepy guy got out of his truck and came towards Slim.  Still chatting with Rachel, she wondered if the creepy guy was a rapist.  And Rachel dared him to punch the guy in the nose.  Slim didn’t want this creepy guy to follow him home because he was home alone with his Dad’s girlfriend’s son.  So, he waited until the creepy guy got closer and jumped him. Slim knocked the creepy guy down, and started punching him and the creepy guy started yelling!  “help!” And when his shirt slid up, Slim saw the gun.  But the creepy guy shot up through Slim’s chest and Slim said, “you got me” and fell back.  The creepy dude was able to roll free.  Come to find out, the creepy guy had called police.  The creepy guy was Mr. Z, who thought Slim might be a robber, as Slim was wearing a black hoodie, and slinking around the houses where some burglaries had occurred.  Mr. Z cooperated with police, and was handcuffed and taken in for questioning.  And his head wounds, and broken nose photographed, and treated.  The next day, Mr. Z did a walk through with police and a cameraman and explained what he saw and experienced.  Mr. Z was a crime watch captain for his neighborhood.  He was not on duty that night, but on his way to Target he noticed Slim in the black hoodie and called it in to police as he had been trained to do.  He was waiting for the police to arrive, and checking for a street name and address house number, when Slim jumped him.  Slim punched him in the nose, and sat on his chest and repeatedly banged his head into the sidewalk and Mr. Z thought Slim was going to kill him.  He did not know Slim.  He had never seen him before that night.  What if he blacked out and Slim found the gun in his holster? Where was that phone in his jacket pocket?  Surely, the police would be here soon?  When his shirt and jacket slid up as he tried to get out from under and away from Slim, Mr. Z was afraid Slim had seen the gun, and so he grabbed it first.  Mr. Z did not realize he had fired it until Slim fell back and rolled off him.  Mr. Z got up and hollered some more for help.

That dark, rainy night in February, it took hours for the police to take notes, for the coriner to come, and the witnesses to give their accounts.  Flashing lights and police tape and reports were taken until 2am.  Rachel found out two days later that when the phone call ended at 7:17pm, that her friend had died.  Slim’s Dad did not miss Slim as he assumed Slim was at a friend’s house.  J

Tell our sons that story.  For want of eyeglasses…

Did you notice that in telling the story, not once did I mention anyone’s race.  It was dark, light rain, and the neighborhood robberies and home invasions had been committed by black “youths” and Mr. Z was concerned that the black-hooded tall person he saw might be one of the perps.  But, he merely observed and reported, as neighborhood watch persons are trained to do all over the country.  Call in suspicious people, try to get a description, direction which way they are headed, but stay in your vehicle.  Slim was tall, in a black hoodie, walking in the dark in the rain, through a neighborhood which had been recently burglarized. 

Make the story you tell your sons about the eyeglasses, and how neglect happens sometimes in broken homes, the need of compassion, help…of even a pencil or food if a fellow student comes from a home of high drama.  Make it about what a child CAN do:  never make fun of someone who needs glasses, food, or help with homework.  Bring an extra pencil to share.  Lift up.  If someone is being a bully, tell an adult.  Encourage.  And use this opportunity to give your sons permission to defend himself and his sisters.

In a speech on March 22, 1964, MLK said: “We must learn to live as brothers or perish together as fools.”  His niece, Alveda King wrote 7-18-13:  “Every human being is part of the one single human race. We are one blood. One race.  We are created with a dream inside, and when we are allowed to be born and to live out our God ordained lives, we have a chance to be great.”

Monday, July 15, 2013


First, this most unusual weather.  To have a low sit upon us from the northeast in July giving us rain, gentle, soft, sweet rain ALL day and night and Day again...a miracle.  In July. In Texas--where most summers we see no rain until Sept./Oct.  Wow.  Windows open.  I walked around during and after my birthday saying, "wow".  Again yesterday.  and today.  "wow."  You have my attention, God.  Wow!  Blessing rain.  no wind.  no thunder nor lightning.  Just gentle, sweet rain.  I want to sit out in it.

Thank you, Lord.  We neither earn nor deserve it.  You know we need it.  And I hope it helps dampen the anger and protests.

Now, the political.  I am a news junkie.  I poke and prod the internets looking for conservative news: the truth.  I think we have been played.  The mainstream media stirred up the emotions and anger and are partly to blame for the rioting.  And skittles and Arizona tea and robitusson makes a sipping opiate.  It was not just a young boy buying candy.  Trayvon Martin was a druggie. a thug. a punk. He towered six foot two inches.  He was in shape, but it was just a matter of time, as the drugs made him angry and he slunk around burglarizing houses.  He was kicked out of school because of a third violation with stolen property, jewelry missing from local houses, in his backpack.  His parents received a huge settlement suing the housing association.  Supposidly, his mother is a church going, Bible verse quoting, praying lady.  Surely, she knows her son.  She had to endure weeks of listening to the shots, the pictures, the stories, testimonies...she even testified.  She mourns for her baby.  Did she pay for his cell phone?  minutes?  Did he ever steal from her?  Pawn her jewelry? 

Would one relative, one honest person please come forward and say the truth?  Trayvon was punk.  He was going to hurt someone.  It was just a matter of time.  he texted and facebook chatted and spoke with friends about getting a gun.  He was a ticking time bomb.  But, no. 

As parents we are cowards.  Our baby.  Our reputation.  Our family story.  We are too afraid to admit that our children are SINNERS.  we are all capable of murder.  And we all desire self-defense. 

What of George Zimmerman?  He co-operated with police!  He had a judge for a father.  He knew the rules.  He tried to comply.  He tried to be a law abiding citizen.  he tried to be a man protecting his neighborhood from robberies.  His life was taken from him 17 months ago when after the night he defended himself, after trayvon tried to pound his head into the concrete, after the gun went off in his hands and after George was able to roll Trayvon off of his chest, he helped the police.  He answered all their questions.  He had his hands cuffed.  he was CLEARED.  He even did re-enactment walk throughs with cameras recording.  (should have been filmed at NIGHT, however, to be correct, as in daylight, things look different.)  all those videos and interviews were used against him during the trial.  the trial that the media and liberal progressive politically "correct" mob insisted upon.  And they were not going to be satisfied with manslaughter, either.  the threats on the family, the jurors...

Imagine being in your fifties, minding your own business, not bothering with news or newspapers.  Busy taking care of your own families, work, grandchildren, pets... hearing about some "young boy" being shot...but not bothering to research it.  Well, you get called onto a jury.  six women.  peers.   They get to sit through the trial.  Listen to all the evidence.  See the grieving parents, and family, and hostile witnesses.   Lawyers rant and rave and act and do their performance.   And these six ladies had to sit there and take it.  They had to become familiar with the new lingo, the legal terms, the strict times, sequestered...not allowed to talk about the case until it is dumped in their laps.  And the whole world waits for their verdict.

the whole world...except for my own children...too busy to pay attention as they have children, road trips, relatives to visit, sites to see... and yet they want the guns for'd think they'd be curious how this case went down.  But, no.  and I am still in shock.  As the country melted down with riots, where were my children???  wearing black hoodies in one of the cities.  that  night.  I. kid. you. not.   I guess I should be glad they were not wearing sheets to a kkk rally.  But, seriously?  black hoodies in a downtown where stores were being looted, windows smashed?? 

Saturday night...we are watching the Texas Ranger game on TV.  we are only allowed to WATCH the baseball game on Friday nights on channel 21 or 27.  but, for some odd reason, getting ready for the all-stars break, Fox 4 generously showed the game.  on a Saturday night.  we marveled at the Detroit crowd---NO black people in the stands in any of the games...neither Friday night nor Saturday.   I have heard bad stuff about Detroit.  How come only white people attend the games in a stadium downtown Detroit??  Don't the black people and muslim people of Detroit like baseball?  And they refused to show our black manager.  They kept showing Mattox, not Wash.  strange.  prejudice cameramen???  WTF?

So, I check twitter after the game, and the jury said, NOT GUILTY.  I find the live lawyers blathering and patting themselves on the back.  They should have shut up.  The Florida prosecutor that blocked evidence and fired whistleblowers was blathering on and on...someone should have cut her mike.  yikes.  now is not the time for celebration.  was she out of her mind?  or just loving her fifteen minutes of fame?

George Zimmerman's brother, Robert junior, spoke eloquently.  Revealed how their family had been homeless, on the run. persecuted, silenced.  Unable to respond and were on their own.  Their brother tried to defend himself, and their lives were forever changed that night in February. the 26th of Feb.

Did you know George has been on a curfew for 17 months?  wearing an ankle monitor?  hated by the press, and all who believed the lies?  Yikes.  His mother was born in Peru. 

Irony---a Zimmerman is buried at Arlington. 

Is George Zimmerman safe?  Will his marriage survive?  Where can he live and breathe free?  What can he do?  Write a book?  The Department of Justice is threatening to come after him.  Angry black mobs have sworn to murder him.   He desired to become a policeman someday.   He feels betrayed by a country, a media, a government, and has been unable to defend himself except through paid lawyers.  His father has had to hire lawyers.  The other side outspent them by how much??  I'd like to know.  If your son defends himself and shoots a matter what color, should we get an insurance policy just for this?  So that we can afford the lawyers, the hotels, the life put on hold?

On the spiritual side:  did Trayvon's church going momma take him to church?  did he hear the gospel?  will we meet him in heaven?    and Martin L. King's daughter---she is all for nonviolence, but she just wants a boy like trayvon to be able to go about his his candy and walk home on a rainy February night in a neighborhood that has been suffering break=ins.... 

When are we going to talk about the black on black murders in Chicago??  When are we going to talk about the black abortions??  broken homes? 

apathy.  ignore the news, and you get to be on a jury.  stay current, and your children will wear black hoodies in a downtown city where riots are breaking out.    what a country.

Wednesday, July 17  More thoughts on the trial. verdict.

Again, what I'd like to ask Trayvon:  did your momma take you to church? any of your step moms?  Did you hear the gospel?  Let us assume you did.  Knew your need of a Savior, and are now in heaven.  What would you like to warn your friends?  future boys your age?

1. eyeglasses.  I saw you wearing them during a formal occasion---one of your Dad's weddings?  But, other pictures do not show them.  Did you have lasik? contacts?  or did your glasses get broken playing sports or rough housing around?  Were you too embarrassed to admit it?  Boys are rough on glasses.  And being sent to three or four stepmoms/girlfriends houses, did any of them notice your need?  Is that why you acted up in school?  any reading problems?  Counselors and teachers need to be alert and aware of students who for want of eyeglasses...  But, in this looks-is-everything culture, all it took was some stupid girl making fun of your or your friends calling your four-eyes for you to be too embarrasses to wear them? 

2. drugs? Did you take drugs? autopsy showed brain damage and liver damage.  Who paid for the drugs, cell phone, minutes chatting all day with your friends? 

3. Did no one warn you that slinking around in the dark in a dark hoodie was dangerous?  Sure, we'd all like to roam about, but in a neighborhood plagued with robberies, was that such a good idea?

4. Were you a ticking time bomb?  Talking guns and drugs and immoral behavior with your friends? What were your plans?  What kind of music, video games, movies did you enjoy? 

5. We don't get a do over.  But, I sure wish parents, teachers, pastors would use your life to redeem others.  Too, too many are murdering each other in Chicago.  Innocents are being caught in the crossfire.  I heard Rachel J. say she "doesn't do def" but someday, we will all die.  What is our legacy? 

6. since you were six foot two inches...why not basketball? did you enjoy football?  back to the eyeglasses question. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Can we substitute "earthly father" for "husband" ?

My earthly father may have abandoned me.
My heavenly Father adopts me (Rom. 8:15).

My earthly father may see me as a situation to manage.
My heavenly Father sees me as his daughter to redeem (Isa. 43:1).

My earthly father may lie.
My heavenly Father speaks the truth (Isa. 45:19).

My earthly father may be deceptive and dark.
My heavenly Father is light (1 John 1:5).

My earthly father may believe he’s perfect.
My heavenly Father is perfect (2 Sam. 22:31).

My earthly father may demand perfection from me.
My heavenly Father gifts Jesus’ perfection to me (2 Cor. 5:21).

My earthly father may be selfish.
My heavenly Father selflessly gives me his Son (Rom. 6:23).

My earthly father may want glory for himself.
My heavenly Father deserves all glory (Rev. 5:13).

My earthly father may judge me.
My heavenly Father is the only judge (Isa. 33:22).

My earthly father may want to be king.
My heavenly Father is the King of kings (Rev. 19:16).

My earthly father may want me to pay for my sin.
My heavenly Father provides Jesus as payment for my sin (1 John 4:10).

My earthly father may accept separation.
My heavenly Father brings me near (Eph. 2:13).

My earthly father may place a burden on me.
My heavenly Father put my burden on Jesus (Col. 2:14).

My earthly father may ignore me.
My heavenly Father hears me (Ps. 10:17).

My earthly father may not truly know me.
My heavenly Father not only knows me, but he designed me (Ps. 139:13–16).

My earthly father may have mistreated or abused me.
My heavenly Father is my refuge (Ps. 18:2).

My earthly father may scare me.
My heavenly Father’s love casts out fear (1 John 4:18).

My earthly father may be unpredictable.
My heavenly Father is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb. 13:8).

My earthly father’s love may be based on my performance.
My heavenly Father loves me despite my performance (Eph. 2:4–5, 8).

My earthly father may not value me.
My heavenly father sees me clothed in the image of Jesus (Rom. 8:29).

You are the loved daughter of the perfect Father, and nothing will ever change that. So then, it is safe to look the wounds from your earthly father in the face. Psalm 30:2 declares, “O LORD my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me.” Tell him your hurts, your fears, your pain. Though he already knows them, there is healing in bringing to light those deep places of your heart (Eph. 5:11–14).

There is this dangerous hour or two---before church, when your husband is putting the final edits to his Sunday school lesson (or for the preacher's wife---his sermon) and the enemy is extra busy.  Snark happens, and while he may regret what he said when/if the HS convicts him, you are laid low.  sad.  Having to hear and be humbled, but to the point of suicide or divorce?  Instead, handle it with humor and realize that as you lean on Jesus to be like Jesus to submit and be subject to, He never heard His Heavenly Father say what your husband just threw at you.   Enjoy!

My earthly father died in March.  And guess what.  He was an earthly father.  He was not perfect.   But, now he is.  And while I can do this list for/with my Dad, I read somewhere that we marry a guy like our Dad in some/many ways.  I arrogantly think I rejected my first three boyfriends because they reminded me of negative things about my Dad. 

My Dad never enjoyed the phyco-babble and to dredge up stuff to him meant I had not forgiven.  We kinda held each other at arms length in the final years.  But, I was so thankful to be there the week he died.  It was an awesome experience.  I never want to forget how he saw something we could not see.  He wanted to get up and go there!  

(I need to credit the list to another site. I need to go find her name. I would not want you to think I came up with the list. ha)

Friday, July 5, 2013

gifts are not my love language

Okay, I confess, gifts are not my love language.

My dear sister once sent us alligator heads for our boys for Christmas.  They had glass marble eyes.  I sent them back.

My son and daughter-in-law tried to give me the new special Whataburger ketchup for my birthday. But, I gave it back to them.  I have plenty of Hunts.  And little packets of Whataburger.  And the Heintz is unpatriotic.

Nope. I do not receive gifts well.  I either re-gift them, or give them to them that might use or want them.  

My husband gave up trying to buy me clothes.  I took a sweater back---don't remember if it was the wrong size/color or what.  Just did not want to see it go to waste. 

Getting to play with all the grands---that is the best gift.  Getting to see my sons, and daughters-in-law and future daughter-in-law.  That is better than jewels or trips or dust collectors. 

I'd rather have bottles of Tazo tea than a cake.  Cakes do not keep.  Bottles of Tazo tea will be fun for days and days.  I'd rather have a fun meal out than cake.  Salmon at BJs, or ribs at Angelos or lasagna at Olive Garden, lemon veal piccatta at Carrabbas, limas and lemon chicken at C. Barrel, catfish at Babes...

no, fat ladies do not need cake.   Oat meal cookies---perfecting a recipe with a dollop of sour cream, and olive oil and butter...much better than cake and roses.  roses fade.  But, the memory of little guys playing lasts a long, long time. 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

My "wow" birthday 2013

Journaling the memories here---for next year.  I am walking around the house, doing dishes, picking up, as Bob vacuums and sorts toys...saying "wow" over and over.  God gives THE best birthdays.  wow

Last Sunday, at church, I thought my birthday would be sorta quiet.  I thought Bob would go to work, as he had been in Alabama the week before and needed to catch up.  I thought we might see James and Amber on the 4th.  just for an hour, as they needed to get west.  But, mostly, I thought we'd be staying cool. indoors. poking around on facebook and twitter.  maybe see a movie.  ha.

After church, We met Ben and Tiffany and Tiffany's grannie and her friend Ashley at BJs for lunch.  They serve the best salmon I have ever tasted.  impressive. 

And Monday I talked to Suzanne on the phone, and mailed some packages.  And we rode the roller coaster of James contemplating a deployment---which by Monday afternoon he found out the door on that slammed "violently" shut.  yay.  But, it is like we were put on notice, tested, for some reason.  And with things unsettled in Syria, Jordan, Egypt...  But, thankful the cloud was lifted for their vacation. 

Tuesday, Andy called and said they were headed up...and so I started cleaning, shopping.  They attended a college buddy's wedding right across the street from my Mother's house, and had been staying with her, visiting Lauren's folks and grandparents and friends.  I was glad they decided to come here for my birthday before heading back to Florida.  It was a wonderful chance to see Abby and David...  and we still thought we'd see James and Amber on the 4th...

Ben and Tiffany came over Tuesday night after Andy and Lauren got here about 5:30pm.  Abby is getting so tall, and she is so patient with her little brother.  David talks amazingly, and if you set the timer for each hour, potty trained! 

On Wednesday, my actual birthday (even though I had been celebrating all week) James found out at 2pm that they had been released early, so they were headed our way by 2:30pm.  wow.  They got here by 9pm??  And Ben and Tiffany came back even though they were in the middle of painting Tiffany's kitchen cupboards.  I got to sit and watch all my grands play.   And Abby got to experience what it would be like to have three little brothers.  Sometimes they ganged up on her, and tried to tickle or tackle.  And there was lots of spontaneous hugging.  Baby James and Baby David are about the same height.  It was so cute to see them hugging each other.  eye-to-eye.  sometimes gently, sometimes in a take down tackle.  amazing.  And little Matthew, who turned one in March, who is walking and climbing just gets right in there, too.  Gets a toy, shares a toy, has a toy snatched from his hands...but he does not seem to mind. Rolls with it.  And smiles so big. 

What more could I have wanted for my birthday?  I got to babysit my grands, play, watch them, delight in their interaction, and see my sons and my daughters-in-law and my future daughter-in-law.  Eat ice cream.  What more is there?  I do not need gifts that collect dust.  We are trying to give away those things to good homes.  simplify.  Someday, we will move the bed from the middle bedroom to the little house and make it another spare room for when both families are here---on those very rare, once every two years or so occurances/miracles. 

This morning, the 4th, I made coffee, careful not to wake sleeping babies.  And I got to watch them eat breakfast sitting on our breakfast stools.  More hugging, foot fights, fork their daddies packed the cars.  Now one has pulled away to the east, and one to the west coast.  Florida and California.  with their little dvd players and juice bottles, and books and toys...

What a fun, fun 4th!  They ran in the back yard.  conquered the hill.  talked to the neighbor dogs as long as GrandDad was near.  And gave us lots of hugs and kisses.   so fun.  I bet they all take naps on the trip.  

Thanks again to my sons and their families.  I wonder if we won't all be together here again until next March when Ben and Tiffany get married??  what fun.  wow.