Tuesday, July 18, 2017

My 500 Words: A Writing Challenge - Day 20

Today's prompt says to write about about an important cause.

A cause that's important to me is unity. We aren't unified, and this is the time it is most needed. Martin Luther King said, ".... I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character..."

I have a dream that one day we will be unified. Not fighting to prove who is better, stronger, or smarter, but seeing that we are stronger together.

I have a dream that one day we will see the bigger picture. The one that shows that everyone has value.

We have so many schisms, so many divisions. We have broken each other down, but we need to build each other up.

I have a dream that humanity will be whole. To do that we must put aside our differences. We must stop fighting amongst ourselves and with ourselves. Our true enemy is not a person. It is the whole system of the way the world operates. Things have been set up to cause us to hate each other. Hate will never breed unity. Hate only breeds hate.

Love breeds unity. Compassion breeds unity. Connection and relationship breed unity. We don't even know what unity means. We are so disconnected from everything. We are merely existing. We are content to just do things on the surface level, afraid of the truths we would uncover if we dared to go a little deeper.

Whether we want to admit it or not, we can't be our best self if we are not unified. We have to have others in our life if we want to succeed and thrive. Think of it this way, a branch will wither and die if it's not connected to a vine. We have abandoned our life source because we have fooled ourselves into thinking we are self-sufficient.

Our nation is not unified because we don't know what we believe. Our nation is not unified because families are divided. We are not unified because we still think our voice should be the loudest. We are not unified because we love criticism. I dare to say we thrive on it because it is everywhere. We have stopped looking for the good things happening around us. We argue just for the sake of arguing, never achieving anything.

To achieve unity, we have to work towards agreement. We have to want peace more than we want to be right. When something is united, it is about the sum of all the parts coming together. It is no longer about an individual or a group of people. It is about everyone. We have to be willing to say, "Your vision is now my vision. Your heart is my heart. When you hurt, I hurt. When you rejoice, I rejoice."

I have faith we will get to that place one day. Oh, what a day that will be! As Martin Luther King beautifully stated, "With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood."

Monday, July 17, 2017

My 500 Words: A Writing Challenge - Day 19

Today's prompt requires me to borrow the voice of one of my favorite authors, which would be Denise Hildreth.

She crept down the hallway, careful not to wake the kids. As she cracked the door, her heart swelled with pride. "I played a part in creating these awesome little humans," she said, smiling.

The day started out like any other day. Working in the rose garden as the sun bathed the surroundings in a glorious light. Jeanne was thankful for these quiet moments before the whole world woke up.  It's when she liked to talk to God the most.

"God? Can you hear me? I know it's been awhile since we've talked. I need your help. I don't know if I can be a mayor's wife. Many days I don't even feel like I am a good wife period. If this is really what you want Paul to do - what you want our family to do - please give me a sense of peace. Let me know this is really the right thing."

Jeanne finished pruning her roses and clipped a few dusty pink ones to put in the vase near the kitchen table.

"Mom, I'm hungry! What's for breakfast?" Jack yelled.

"I made some blueberry muffins. They are warming in the oven."

"Thanks, Mom!"

As she suspected, Lily hadn't moved one inch since she checked on her this morning. Her brown hair was tousled in every direction, but Jeanne didn't mind. Paul was already eight, so she was determined to savor Lily's babyhood every chance she got.

Finally, Lilly plodded downstairs to the kitchen, still rubbing the sleep out of her eyes. She, too, woofed down a blueberry muffin. "More!" she squealed delightfully.

After everyone was fed and dressed, it was time to take Jack to school. Jeanne loaded up the kids. When they got to the school, Jack and Lily were very popular with the teachers. 

"Hey, Paul!" one said, as they helped him cross in front of the line of cars.

"Miss, Lily! Just what have you been up to today?" Mr. Robbie asked. Mr. Robbie was the school security officer. His job was to make sure everyone stayed safe.

"I'm going to play with my dolls!" Lily replied.

"That sounds like fun! Wish I could join you," Mr. Robbie said.

"Maybe you can come over to my house one day, Mr. Robbie."
"I'd like that, Miss Lily. I'd like that very much."

Mr. Robbie had to help other kids. Jeanne and Lily pulled away from the school. They were going to an awesome place - Wilson's diner.

Jeanne stopped at Wilson's diner at least twice a week for their scrumptious scones and lemon pie, but also the company. You never know who would be at Wilson's diner, but there was always at least two people you knew.

Jeanne and Lily sat down at the table.

Not long after someone stopped to chat. "Is that Lily?" Virginia Stapleton exclaimed. "She just gets prettier and prettier each time I see her!"

"Yes, Virginia. That's Lily."

"Is everything going alright?"
"We are fine."
"Are you sure you want Paul running for mayor?" Virginia asked.

Jeanne felt a surge of strength and confidence pulsate through her. Just weeks before, she wanted to pass out every time she heard the word mayor, but this time things were different. Maybe this was God's way of letting her know everything was going to be just fine.

"Yes, I will support him in whatever he does." 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

My 500 Words: A Writing Challenge - Day 18

Today's prompt is to write about a time in my life that I've had to wait. I saw that and laughed. I laughed because my whole life I've had to wait. 

I've waited on test results - not knowing when I'd ever feel better.

I've waited on surgeries many, many times. I wait for the surgery day to get here, and then I wait for the surgery to begin. Waiting happens in phases. We are always starting and stopping something.

I've waited on insurance to pay for things I need - only to be denied and have to submit again and again.

I've waited for appointments with specialists.

I've waited for x-rays.

I've waited for pain medicine to start working to relieve hours of physical agony.

One thing about waiting is it forces you to slow down. You have to just sit and find ways to pass the time. Sometimes I find a magazine to read, but most times I will try to strike up a conversation with someone around me.  I wonder why they are there. What are they waiting for?

Waiting has taught me the meaning of patience. I know there is no magic wand to move me to the head of the line, so I might as well enjoy the wait. That is hard. Waiting tests your body and mind. Waiting means that you have to stay still.

The hard part about waiting is you can't see evidence of anything happening. The clock steadily ticks on as seconds turn into minutes and minutes turn into hours. Waiting can cause lots of frustration because you want to be moving forward, doing something. But it seems like your stuck. Waiting can make it seem like the promise is delayed. You may think that thing you have longed for might never come. 

Be still. In the midst of the waiting, quiet your thoughts. Refuse to listen to those voices of doubt and fear. 

Know that life does happen while you wait. You are growing while you wait. You learn many things while waiting. Don't miss those opportunities that come only through waiting. Many times you don't appreciate things you get instantly. You are more thankful for the things that were put on hold.

Like I said in earlier post, "Delay is not denial." Just because you are waiting on something to happen doesn't mean it won't happen. It make take a while, but don't lose hope. Waiting can cause discouragement. Another way of looking at the word discouragement is without courage. Don't let the waiting period rob you of your courage to persevere through the tough times. 

When people talk about waiting, they often associate it with bad things. Part of the definition is being inactive while waiting for something. Yes, you don't move while you wait, but there's a good reason for that. You have to stay put so you will be ready when your name is called. Stay alert while you wait! Better things are coming. Wait and see! 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

My 500 Words: A Writing Challenge - Day 17

Today's prompt is to pick a fight. Ask yourself: what's wrong with the world? And then address that problem. Pick a fight with it, and invite others to join your cause.

What is wrong with the world today is people are so self-centered. They don't even care about others's needs. In fact, many people have become blinded to the fact that other people have needs. All they think about is what they want and when they want it.

Some other issues that stem from self-centeredness is being ungrateful and rude. So many people are ungrateful for what they have today. They want more things. They want more money. They are never satisfied, which leaves them riding on an endless hamster wheel of life. People go in circles chasing happiness when happiness is not found in things or places. Happiness is found within. 

Both of these problems can be corrected at home, but you have to teach them young. It breaks my heart to see children pulling their parents in every direction, manipulating them to give in to their every demand. That is not the way it should be. A society is only strong if it has strong people. Parents, BE parents. A parent is someone who natures. A parent loves. A parent supports. A parent disciplines. A parent guides. Kids are little. They don't know which way to go. They don't know what is right and what is wrong. They have to be taught.

We have a weak generation of young people because they were left to their own devices. They did not have any structure. They did not know what boundaries were. It is a perpetual cycle that ends up being passed down to more generations.

And I know that most parents did the best job possible with what they knew to do. Some of them didn't have an example to follow either.

What can you do to change this? Be the change you want to see in others. Model good behavior. Show kindness. Practice patience. Show love. If you do these things, the children will follow. Like it or not, children become what they are around. If you are mean, they will be mean. 

Strip away the fluff from your life. Your nose doesn't need to be up in everyone else's business every day. Think about someone else for a change. The opposite of self-centered is giving. Give of yourself. Give of your time. Make every moment mean something. Aren't you tired of living an unfulfilled life? As a wise friend once said, "The key to true happiness is giving your life away to others." You are not happy when you live just for yourself, your wants and needs. We were put on this earth to help others. Let's start doing that!