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Monday, February 17, 2014

U -Turn to an Upgrade

Have you ever just been driving along with the nagging feeling that you're definitely headed in the wrong direction? You realize that nothing about the scenery or the landmarks seem to resemble any of the places you've seen before, yet you continue to plod along getting yourself farther and farther away from familiar territory. Suddenly, it hits you and...whoa! Your brain has signaled you that it's time to slam on the brakes, come to a screeching halt and make a u-turn!

This is an example of a physical experience that can actually happen to us inside of our heads; within the depths of our psyche where all of the important stuff takes place. You see, our thoughts and our intents, our desires and our call center for action are centered within that big mass of squiggly tissue referred to as "gray matter". Gray matter is very real, and it is here that thought processes are triggered and resulting actions are spurred.

Of course, I am using theoretical analysis to make my point for this blog. I am not a doctor or a psychologist. But I do believe that I can use this analogy to illustrate my point even if the example is not 100% accurate. So if any professional medical folks read this; cut me some slack...okay?

Moving on...I was in such a rut. I was like an airplane that taxied and never took off. I was like an astronaut who accidentally got locked out of her spacecraft...lost in space. I was like a run-down watch battery where the hands keep moving back and forth in the same place. Driving along in my mind and traveling the exact same routes over and over that went nowhere. Get the picture?

Then one day it hit me and I slammed on my mental brakes. When I came to a rubber-burning stop, I looked around my mental landscape and took it all in. Nothing seemed recognizable to me. My thoughts and my hopes and my dreams had all undergone a drastic change. In a way it was somewhat frightening because after all; these are the things that made me who I am, and if they have all changed then who am I now? What do I mean? I'm glad you asked that question!

I have always been a BIG dreamer. Dreaming and hoping...hoping and dreaming...my escapism. I have set goals for myself and developed ways to achieve them (well; maybe some of them if not all), and most of all I have taught myself to be grateful and to be happy in the meantime while God works out all of the small details of everything else. But somewhere along the road to fulfillment, my mind took a wrong turn on a side road. It must have happened during a temporary and brief moment when I was feeling a bit down. You see, it can happen precisely in this way. You can take a detour from your purposed road of travel onto some side trail and BOOM! In a second you're in foreign territory and if you continue down this side trail, pretty soon you're out and out LOST!

We have GPS and Navigators on our smart phones and in our car dashboards. Bet you didn't know that there is a GPS for our minds and hearts too. It's not called Global Positioning System but it's called God's Positioning System. It's the word of God! It's the scriptures that teach us, lead us, order us, and guide us. If we get off of our beaten track, they will turn us around and place us in the right direction and get us going again. If we find ourselves lost and afraid, we can turn to our spiritual GPS and voila...we are back on the road again. We are never truly alone as long as we carry God's word with us in our hearts.

So, I quickly made a u-turn and headed back to where I had come from. My GPS lead me back all the way. It was no trouble to find my way back. As I traveled along the road, I began to recognize familiar road signs. Each sign was a scripture verse put there to encourage me on my journey. Each one was a guide and a promise and an assurance from God. And probably one of the most important road signs I saw was the one that said "In this world there will be much tribulation. But; fear not for I have overcome the world".

And most of all what I discovered was a great big free benefit of using my GPS . Along with a lifetime free subscription was a free upgrade. I received this free gift simply by accepting it. Simply by saying "yes, I'll take it and thank you". Just like that I had become instantly improved from my old version that had the doubts and the negative thinking and no peace. Just like that I had been upgraded.

Just like that.

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Invisible Woman

The invisible woman. Perhaps you have seen her. She is the middle-aged mature woman that shops at her neighborhood supermarket, worships in church on Sundays, browses through a local branch of the library and buys her clothes at several big name department stores. She comes and goes from her home to work, visiting friends and waves at her neighbors. Sometimes she gets the chance to spend quality time with her close family.

Her clothes are well-chosen and smart. Her appearance and grooming is always immaculate and stylish. Intelligent conversation and a quick wit spice up her personality. This woman is no slacker. She's always had an excellent work ethic and lives up to the highest of moral and ethical standards.

Well...here is a woman that should command a very high visibility judging from the descriptive paragraphs above. One would automatically assume that this particular woman would lead a busy social life and be a hip member of her in-crowd. Let me tell you that the case involved here is totally the oppposite.

For all intents and purposes, this woman may as well be invisible. All of the previously mentioned accolades and observations are true and accurate. But, in spite of all of the above, she is invisible to the opposite sex. That's right; men. 

Some men that she encounters on a purely everyday situation such as in a supermarket, at the gas pump, in line at Starbucks, or in the waiting room of the mechanic while the oil is being changed in her car...will either avoid eye contact completely; or ignore her attempts at a simple smile and a friendly invitation to conversation.

She may be smiling just for the pure fun of it; because the weather is beautiful...or she feels special that day. She might want to strike up a conversation to pass the time. It's not an impossibility that she may be a people person and find it fun getting to know others. Every routine effort to be friendly is not...I repeat not an invitation to something else!

But...these days if any of the aforementioned scenarios take place, most men have either mumbled a few unintelligible words and made a hasty exit in the opposite direction, or ...(and this is one of her favorites) managed to bring up the fact that he is married in the second sentence of the conversation! Here's a for instance. She was outside her favorite supermarket one fine summer morning browsing and admiring the new array of bedding plants. There was a man nearby doing the same thing. He mentioned the marigolds to her first; noting how healthy and beautiful they were.

She agreed cheerfully (but not overly so...merely cordial) and threw in that she really liked the growth rate and the hardiness of marigolds. The next sentence out of his mouth was how his wife planted them every year. Where did that come from? Was she standing next to him? No. Was she waiting in the car watching his every move? No. He wanted to make it clear that he was off limits just in the off chance that she would come onto him.

Isn't that just sad...just pure pathetic? A woman cannot utter a complete sentence before a man thinks she's flirting! And please don't allow your eyes to wander in the direction of a man doing his own shopping. If you get too close to him, he'll bolt like a scared baby rabbit.

And her all time favorite is the conversation that a man will hold with who knows who to avoid the look or the slightest possibility that she may speak to him while standing in line anywhere. Suddenly, it is imperative that he makes a phone call that ends just as suddenly the moment he gets to the cashier to place his order! Then, he feels safe enough to tuck away his phone...place his order and busy himself with payment, etc. so he can make his escape as quick as possible.

What was once a perplexing enigma has now become a source of amusement for our sophisticated and savvy woman. She enjoys making a man feel uncomfortable in these situations, and feels that if he is unable to hold his own and not feel threatened by a person of her caliber, then that's his problem! No sweat off her nose. She smiles and laughs anyway and finds a great source of amusement in his dilemma.

So, our girl is slowly accepting of the fact that good, strong, confident men are a scarcity; especially in her age group. She is happy being who she is, living a good life and being her own person even if that life is independent of a special male relationship. Until he comes along (and he WILL come along one day) she is content in her own skin. Smiling, and taking care of business one day at a time and appreciating each and every one of the days she is blessed to live in.

Life...is good.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Dear God, Why Am I Needy?

This post is being written from the perspective of the central character in my book. She is writing a letter to God. These are her thoughts and what she would say if she were writing this post. If you are moved by these words, read more about her and her story in the book "Not Easily Forgotten" on sale now online in the Create Space e-store. http://www.createspace.com/4341572.

Dear God,
You know that Christmas is my Daddy's favorite time of the year. He really loves this holiday so  much. He always takes me and my little brother out to the woods behind our house to cut down a beautiful cedar tree. Then we help him carry it back down the hill and Daddy puts the tree in the big metal Christmas tree stand so it will stand up straight. Daddy laughs a lot when he is cutting down the tree and he talks about the decorating he is excited to do. Our whole house is decorated with colored lights that twinkle on and off. Daddy puts lights on the front porch rails, on the bushes in the front yard and around the front door.

The tree is always decorated with red and gold ornaments and colored lights. My brother and me get to throw the silver tinsel on the tree after Daddy finishes the decorations. Momma always sits back and watches us, sometimes she hands Daddy stuff, but mostly she watches.

Then, Momma will slowly start to put presents under the tree after she wraps them. She always wraps them so pretty. They have different colors of wrap and she always ties big pretty bows on the gifts. And of course on Christmas morning, Santa has left toys under the tree for my brother and me. Santa always eats his ham sandwich and pound cake Momma fixes for us to leave for him. We leave the snack in the living room on the coffee table.

But this Christmas my Daddy won't be here. He is in jail. Momma says there won't be much for us under the tree. She can't have enough money to buy us a lot of presents, and to pay for Santa. It's okay. All I really want for Christmas is my Daddy to come home.

Last night some white men came to our house. They looked at our house funny. They acted like they didn't want touch nothing, and that made my Momma feel bad. They brought a few toys for me and my brother. They said they brought them from the Needy Children Fund what buys toys for children who are needy at Christmas.

The toys looked funny. They won't wrapped in pretty paper or nothing. It was four little boxes. Two boxes with pink labels said "Girl child " and two blue labels said "Boy child". Dear God, I know I'm a girl, and I know Stevie is a boy. But what I didn't know is that we was needy. Dear God, I miss my Daddy. Please send him home in time for Christmas.

Your friend,
Deana Williams