September — What a Month!

Hi and Happy last Monday of the month.  How did that happen?  How have I not written but one other time this month?  Why has the time been flying so fast?  We have been super busy with homework, PTO activities, family business, a business trip, writing a story, and much more.

We have been making some great memories and going about the business of living, but I keep forgetting to log onto this site and write.  And, I miss that.  I am going to do my best to write more frequently in the future, but realize that things may come up again.

We watched several Star Wars movies this month and that was fun.  Although a quote in the movie when Anakin Skywalker turns to the dark side of the force gave me chills. “If you are not with me, you are my enemy,” he says.  We stopped the movie to discuss this with Ian and are glad that we did.

We are thankful that he is learning that disagreements and different opinions are okay.  And, that we are to respect others as they should respect us.  Also he is learning how to treat others, to have compassion, to be caring and kind, and to love.

As with most children, he hasn’t learned to hate others or to mistrust them because they are different.  We are doing all that we can to help that from ever happening.  Listening to his insights, his opinions, and how he feels about issues has been a real blessing this month.  Our almost 10-year-old is developing into a lovely young man.

Also we have been concerned and worried about our loved ones and those we don’t know who have been affected by the recent hurricanes, earthquakes, and fires.  So much going on in nature and with catastrophes that we cannot believe keep happening.

We have heard a lot about climate change both that it exists and that it doesn’t.  No matter which way you believe, I hope that we can all become better stewards for ourselves, our families, our neighbors, strangers, and our planet.  The fact that more devastating storms keep occurring should give us pause to think if things can be done better.

In the last month, we have seen the best in people and we have seen the worst.  We have seen people reach out to help strangers.  We have seen people walk through standing water to save others from their home.  We have been brought together by common problems and have realized that we are in this together.

We have also seen people stealing from those who lost so much.  We have seen threats of violence and harm to others, we have seen hate, we have seen violence, and we have seen the worst in humanity.  All of this saddens me greatly.

We have talked a lot with Ian about these two extremes.  We have talked about how wrong it is to harm and bully others, how important it is to show kindness, caring and love to everyone he meets.  We have talked about so many things with him and he has been listening, asking questions, and sharing his thoughts.  It has been an amazing blessing.

We continue to talk about the fact that just because someone in leadership tells him how to think that he has to believe it and go along with it.  He doesn’t.  There is entirely too much of that going on these days.  We instead want him to think, mull it over, ask questions, and then decide if he agrees or doesn’t.  We live in the land of freedoms to think and believe as we see fit.

Recently I have been wearing a button that says “Think.”  I want to spread the message that we should each use our own brains to think, to reason, and to decide what we believe.  We should research, pray, read, and discover why we believe what we do.  We should not be treated like cattle with no brain of our own or no way to reason for ourselves.

My prayer is that we remember to show compassion for others, to realize we all have struggles that we are dealing with, that we all have feelings that can be crushed or supported and, that we are all of value and worth knowing.  And, to remember to always, always, always love.

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Amazing Love in Action

I don’t know about you but Hurricane Harvey has shocked me with its incredible strength and size, the rain that never seems to end, and the extreme and dangerous flooding.  On the other hand, it has brought people together and reminded us how important and precious each and every life truly is.  And that to me is the silver lining.

The acts of love and kindness in recent days have been amazing to watch.  People stepping up to help total strangers who are in desperate need.  People taking in strangers who have no safe place to go.  People having others ride in their boats to higher ground and safety.  People demonstrating love and compassion in action.

Not only are the first responders and those trained for disasters going above and beyond, many citizens are as well.  People are volunteering at shelters and encouraging each other through songs and prayers.  Others are bringing clothing, diapers, and water to help those who arrive at the shelters with only what they could carry.

I have cried both sad tears and happy tears.  A few weeks ago, we seemed more divided than ever.  Now, we see people helping each other because they can and want to make a difference.  Little things, gestures, and donations are adding up to big things that truly help a lot of people.  We seem to have found compassion again.

By and large, we are people who truly do care for each other.  Most of us do what we can to help our fellow men and women.  It boggles my mind to think of what so many are now dealing with since their entire homes and towns have been under water.  Or loved ones have died, pets were lost or were abandoned, and so much more.  And some have had happy reunions.

A few things I don’t like through all of this are the scammers, the looters, and those who take advantage of these people.  Also, the judgement and criticism being given out doesn’t help matters.  May we focus on what is being done to help these people, give what and how we can, and be thankful that so many are helping.

And, let’s make it about the victims and those whose lives have forever changed.  They are who matter now.  They are who we are pulling together for and donating our money and our time to help. They are the ones who are suffering and in need of assistance.  They are the ones who will eventually rebuild and start over.

My prayer is that we can pull together and help each other during more than just times of disaster and crisis.  We can reach out and lend a helping hand through these difficult times and afterwards as well.  That is my hope.  After all, we are more alike than not, and we are all in this together.  May God Bless you and your family. (photo in clip art from Power Point.)