I Love a Good Yarn – A Story That Is

He doesn’t exist. It’s a beautiful story of love and charity, but the evidence of his existence isn’t there. THERE’S NO LAND ON THE NORTH POLE! No houses, no elves, no reindeer, no toy shops, nothing but air and water in the form of ice exists on the north pole.

Magic

Saint Nicholas was real a person, but his story grew into the legend of Santa Claus then morphed into a fantasy.  It makes me wonder. Is this what happens to the others? As in legends of Robin Hood and Marco Polo? I grew up believing that Marco Polo was a living, breathing man, not just the threads of a story that had been told and retold until they came to be a full-blown legend. But that’s the magic of a story. And of how it can grow.

There is ancient belief that if you tell a belief well enough and say it often enough you can create a Tulpa out of your story, giving it life. It’s almost a truth isn’t it? Maybe not as in bringing a true Frosty the Snowman to life or bringing a Santa Claus to a land of toys, but we almost have created an industry ran from just that type of story telling.

My Dad’s Tale

I was at the folks back in January and they were telling about growing up. Dad was talking about his dad being afraid of taking a government loan to buy land when he could have owned his own property. And he told a story about a “Balking Horse.” His dad had just purchased two horses, Duke and Dan, with some money he’d borrowed, for pulling the wagon for gathering his corn. They were renting some property on Grand River along White Horn Cove in Wagoner County Oklahoma. Dan was the horse that would “balk” and wouldn’t move and dad’s dad would get so furious he’d almost kill it by beating him. They’d load the wagon with the corn, then start moving forward, then the horses would stop because Dan would refuse to move. Then all the corn would fall out and they’d have to reload it. It happened several times until finally I guess Grandpa gave up and they went to get another horse they had. I can almost feel the sweat and the heat. Those good ol’ days.

The Deep

A story tells so much. After listening to my dad, I realized he had some of the same frustrations that every generation has with their parents. Some he stated aloud, but some he didn’t. He never talks much about his childhood, but one thing has always stood out to me, he believes in this story – his dad should have bought some land. His dad should have borrowed the money, worked for something, gave something to his boys and somehow built something even if it meant being in debt to the government for a while. How do I know this? It’s not just this story, it’s his life also. My dad went into debt and built something, then was frustrated when his sons weren’t interested. Isn’t that how it always goes?

So what’s your story?

Seth’s Blog – Your story about money 

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Trouble Makers

wordart forget the dog beware of the kids

Trouble kids.

What is your definition of trouble makers?

When I was 16, we had a new pastor come to our church. When I first met him I was sitting on the counter, legs swinging, in the church’s kitchen. We had a decent size youth group in our small church for the size of our town.

We were active, loud, and enthusiastic. Normal. The one thing I later learned was that I looked like trouble, or so my pastor thought. This perplexed me since I believed I was a good girl.

Going back in time, in junior high about 7th grade or so, I got into a scuffle on the bus ride from school. I was in the coveted back seat, and a bigger boy wanted my seat. I didn’t budge. We scuffled, and we both got suspended from the bus. I don’t remember much except being aggravated because I wanted to win and feeling scared of going to the principal’s office. The one thing I didn’t remember my mom had to tell me later. My dad confronted the bus driver. I was surprised since my family is pretty quiet. We each handle ourselves and take care of our issues, but my dad was miffed. The boy was big, around 200 pounds; I was a little 80-pound girl. That wasn’t right, and Dad’s all about right.

I don’t remember much except being aggravated because I wanted to win and feeling scared of going to the principal’s office. The one thing I didn’t remember my mom had to tell me later. My dad confronted the bus driver. I was surprised since my family is pretty quiet. We each handle ourselves and take care of our issues, but my dad was miffed. The boy was big, around 200 pounds; I was a little 80-pound girl. That wasn’t right, and Dad’s all about right.

We each handle ourselves and take care of our issues, but my dad was miffed. The boy was big, around 200 pounds; I was a little 80-pound girl. That wasn’t right, and Dad’s all about right.

You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.

So, is it better to raise quiet, subservient children? Not in my world. Sit and take it or cause a fuss?

If you want a quiet, compliant, factory worker then fine, don’t hire me. I taught my children to think, to question what they read. Don’t believe everything. Investigate.

We need to feel free to speak up, to call attention to injustice, and to think of solutions for our problems.

More recently in my life, I’ve had a few minor verbal scuffles. And by a few, I mean six months worth of hell. When asked to help on a project at work, I dove in feet first. I asked questions.

  • Why are we doing this?
  • What do we want to see as a result?
  • How hard do we need to push the software company to modify their product or do we adapt?
  • Are we missing any steps along the way in this process?

I ran across some gaps in our process, so I spoke up. In one instance I noticed we’d have a noticeable loss of income in 2 months. I ruffled feathers. The birdies got angry with me. Would I do it again? Hell yes.

Maybe it wasn’t my job, but it affected me. I knew the software, and I knew the steps that needed to be taken to get the money in the door.

What concerns me is how we define a trouble maker. I see accomplishing a task as getting things done, even if you have to bump a few noses along the way.

Trouble making is causing a problem because you want to stir up attention. I avoid attention, but I like to do a job well. Work done well is what counts.

Or as in the song “Stand Out.”

And if your gonna make a mess make it loud

And if your gonna take a stand stand out

I highly recommend you listen to this episode of This American Life – Is This Working. Act 3 specifically talks about a school with an unusual method of discipline. When the method reached the real world things got interesting. This episode made me want to punch an idiot. The shortened version – Act 3 Is This Working

The Talking Cure! Yeah.

I Rant Sometimes

I hate being negative. I hate being judgmental and I hate being on a rant, BUT, I’m going to rant anyway. You are free to skip over this one. No hard feelings. Or join me if you’d like.

I’m tired of the fighting and the political posturing. If the people in our government can’t do their jobs, maybe they need to step down. Can we sue the congress or the senate? And they’ll say anything almost. The most ridiculous things just to stir up the people.

And when do Guns, Flags, Bibles, and Republicans go together? In Oklahoma they do. Is it possible to think independently these days? I have family members who post pictures of Flags and Bibles. You’d think Jehovah was an American. Or is it Jesus-only now? Do they still include Jehovah as god. I’m not sure.

If Christians’ preach about love and believe in love so much, why are they not concerned about loving the orphaned children that came across the border? Yes, I realize some of the parents sent them here, but it’s not the child’s fault.

14 facts that help explain America’s child-migrant crisis

 Jesus told this story when speaking of the day of judgement,

The Sheep and the Goats Matthew 25

37“Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 ‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You? 40“The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’

 In the Old Testament

Proverbs 19:17

Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward them for what they have done.

Micah 6:8 

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

I angered a SUV driving lady with a fish symbol on her car. She was upset because I let another vehicle into traffic. How dare I take up her time by being nice. What happened to just being kind?

My rant’s over for now. You may return to your regularly scheduled program. Thank you for your mercy and kindness.

Slow Starts

I don’t know who put super glue in my eye drop bottle, but when I find out they will be repaid in kind. You’ve had the mornings like mine. I always think of the song line, Mama said there’d be days like this. It seems the whole day is stuck in the sludge pit and you’re wearing lead shoes. Aside: So tired. I’m in Oklahoma and we’ve had a lot of noisy nights. Lightning, thunder, rain, and hail. The tornadoes that have went through the state haven’t made for the most peaceful sleeps and there’s been a lot of scary nights. But I have nothing to complain about since I’m still alive.

There are times when I tell myself to get home and just stay there. The days when I bump into walls and drop everything I pick up.  I want to sit down. I want to hide. When driving on those days, it seems everyone wants to dart in front of you.There are also times when I’ve just had enough. I’m tired, exhausted, and feel like a failure.

Sometimes, we feel like quitting. What’s the use anyway? If you’re never going to make it where you want to go, why not sit down and give up? Stop! First you are assuming exhaustion equals failure. Second, don’t forget your desire. You started for a reason. Finish for the same reason, because you want it. I will refer you to Seth Godin. A hierarchy of failure (from brave to shameful)

No one’s failed until they’ve quit. The one that I have the most difficulty with is Giving up in the dip. The beginning is exciting. It’s beautiful delicious hard work. And well worth every late night and every drop of sweat. Then it slows. It’s the dip. I usually call it the slump when I experience it. This time is only an issue if you view the slowing down as failure.

“How did they know it was a Dip and not a dead end?…By measuring incremental progress, they could see that the corner was just ahead.” http://sethgodin.typepad.com/the_dip/

If you started an exercise routine and are not seeing the progress you think you should, don’t quit. Look again. Are you still working out? If not start again. It’s not over until you decide. this is your life. This is your time. You have the choice to keep on going or to stop. www.nytimes-restaurant reservations go online-open table

Where the Wild Blooms Begin

English: Tree in winter. Part of a sequence of...

Childhood gave me a gift more valuable than I ever realized. Growing up in my childhood religion, people joined the church, “got saved” and many around saw their outward changes and cheered.

They saw old habits drop and lives healed. We talked about the life-giving flow of the Spirit. It was exciting.

Soon people forgot about the flow of the spirit. Many became fixated on the changes. The bad words not said or the clothing the converts wore.

Sunday morning came, and we preached about the clothing and the drinking, forgetting about the life force that caused the changes.

Lies, Illusion, Truth

I am thankful for the gift, sight. I crave truth. I’m meaning the ability to see past illusions. In a book I read, Sorgitzak: Old Forest Craft, Veronica Cummer called it Sooth, after the old Forest tradition. Seeing through illusions in practical life has been important.

When a person says something with their words, but their actions are speaking the opposite, know the truth. It’s easy to change your clothes to impress another.

It’s easy to pretend to be kind and gentle. We’ve all seen people that lie with actions and words, but something leaves you uneasy. Underneath, the lie, the discord, is screaming.

Behind the Picture Screen

A picture formed in my mind as I was reading this book. For me, it clarified what I’ve seen but didn’t always understand. Hopefully, I can describe so others can understand.

I remember the Viewfinders I played with as a child. I’d insert the round plastic disk, pull the handle and a new image was there. I could play for hours.

Take the Viewfinder image and underlay another big whole picture. I call this picture underneath “Truth” and it doesn’t turn. Pretend the picture underneath is a picture of life and love. Maybe even a tree of life. It’s unchanging.

Each pull of the Viewfinder’s handle brings a new picture on top of the tree. A cross appears. A statue of Mary. A man is sitting cross-legged in quietness. The tree remains underneath. It continues the seasons of its life.

Springtime blooming, summer brings full green vitality, autumn colors, and winter with its bare bones. Turn the handle, change the religious face, and you can choose where to look.

What do you see? Do you see the statue of Mary with the colors of Autumn and worry that your religion is dying? Or do you see the tree with its season turning and know true religion with its love and life never ends.

Life expresses itself

When a person came to our church and become saved, they flipped a switch to allow life to flow into them. They felt the vitality flow into them and wanted to adapt to the contemporary expression of religion.

I watched a documentary called Fat, Sick and, Nearly Dead. Two men changed their physical lives, and you saw their charisma return, and their will to live restored. These were two sick men.

800px-klimt_tree_of_life_1909It was the most inspirational film I’ve seen in a while, and there was no praying involved. No chanting, no symbolism, no bowing. I was in awe because there in front of me was lifeforce in action. Sooth. Truth. The tree of life is under the pictures flashing in front of our societies’ Viewfinder.

The truth is there, and once you see it, you will hardly notice anything else.

It’s almost spring here in Oklahoma. The squirrels are active and the birds are noisy. The Dogwood trees have put out their blossoms. And of course, the people are sneezing. The chatter of spring has arrived. I love this time of the year. Beginnings are fun. The thunderstorms and the smell of Petrichor.

She Let Go

10 of 365 - Let Go

I was once afraid to let go. I was afraid of drifting away on the wind, like Winnie the Pooh.

With no direction, I didn’t know if I’d drift to the closest tree with honey or blow up into the sky and be lost forever. But I let go. When it hurts too much to hold on, you let go.

She let go

On the last day of school when I was five, I came out the school door to find my mom. My hands and arms were full with a big poster, sacks with crayons and paper, and stuff. A big gust of wind came and I was afraid I’d be picked up. I was tiny. The wind felt strong, but mom was in front of me and I ran towards her. I knew she would grab me. She was my anchor and probably still is in many ways.

Once, when I was an adult, I was helping my in-laws. They had huge nursery greenhouses full of plants they sold wholesale to florist. The greenhouses had coverings of heavy plastic that they replaced when torn. We were in the middle of prairie land Oklahoma, where the wind really does go sweeping ‘cross the plains. I had an end piece of a 100 foot long piece of plastic sheeting and the wind was showing her might. All of the others were struggling on their hold so I didn’t feel alone. But one thought was there. What if the wind picks me up? Yes that nagging fear has followed me all my life. Well? What if?

What would happen if the waves of the ocean would have lifted me and carried me away. What if the balloons had too much helium and I drifted into the sky? What would it mean? Would I never see land again? All I’ve ever noticed was the fear. The first taste of panic. I’ve never thought of it in practical, light of day terms.

Dandelion wind

I could lose my footing in the ocean, but I would just as quickly be pushed forwards. The wind may have temporarily lifted me but I would be slammed back down again. It might be painful but I’d probably survive. Truly, I lacked control over life and it was terrifying to me. Still learning this. There is no control. We grab and cling and grasp with all our might, but we can’t hold on forever. Let go. I promise, the wind won’t take you completely away. You will not fly away into the clouds, just moved. When you let go, you learn. You learn what’s important and what is habit. You learn how strong you really are. Life is full of surprises. Some good and some bad. We may not want a change, but they tend to happen anyway. I like this moment. I want it to stay. I even believe I can keep it a little longer sometimes. If I hold my mouth just right and say the right words and think the right thoughts. You know what I mean?

The truth is, the right words are pretty. And being positive is healthier like jogging and eating your vegetables, but not going to keep the bad guys out. We all have a set point. The base of who we are. It’s our foundation, our steady. When I went through my “dark night,” the words came to me, Go back to what you know for sure. I didn’t know exactly what that meant, but I felt inside of me an understanding. I to go to the basis of my beliefs. That took me all the way down past religions and holy days and all the frills of rituals. What do I believe? What do I know for sure? I AM LOVED and I LOVE. At that time I wasn’t sure about marriage, or family, or even God. But I did know love. If I am able to move mountains, but if I have not love, I am nothing.

Love is my anchor. Love is my guide. It helps me decide which way I want to go. If only I stop and check my motives, I can see clearly because of love. The one thing I was so blessed to have in my childhood was love. And it kept me.