Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Sometimes he sits.....right in front of our eyes, at the tip of our noses.
Usually disguised as something COMFORTABLE.
Something that TEMPTS us.
Most of the time he WANTS us to walk right past.....denying the TRUTH....COMFORTABLY.
He WANTS us to look past him..because we are so USED to him.
He wants us to be BLINDED by tradition,
He want us to be INDIFFERENT in the name of "making memories".
But thankfully......sometimes he is SOOOOO OBNOXIOUS that he sticks out like a "sore thumb".
That's how I felt when I saw the SANTA sitting in the PLAZA of downtown Saint Augustine....on the EXACT spot that SLAVES were sold in the OLD SLAVE MARKET .
Sick to my stomach.
Grossed out...the smell of SATAN was permeating.
The sight of all the children waiting in line to SEE him was so sad.
Not ONLY because Santa is such a BOLD LIE, but because the TRUTH was being IGNORED.
No thought was being given to the SERIOUSNESS of what TRULY happened ON THAT SPOT.
Babies being TORN from mothers arms.
True loves being RIPPED apart.
Families being SEPARATED forever.
And now....it is all forgotten.
In the name of some stupid Christmas tradition that has PAGAN roots.
All for a snapshot of an FAKE old man who just wants little children to give him a LIST of material things they WANT.
I thought Jesus was SUPPOSED TO BE "the reason for the season".....
So sad....Jesus would be DISGUSTED.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
I am not good at this…
I was good at changing diapers and nursing babies.
I am not good at letting them GROW UP.
I am not good at letting them venture off by themselves.
I am not good at the whole “independence” thing…it HURTS.
Not in the sappy “It hurts” way…more like a PHYSICAL PAIN.
Like my heart is “ACTUALLY BREAKING” kind of hurt.
It is like I am watching my life HAPPEN…without any say so at all.
I can’t stop it or change it.
ALL I can do is TRY and navigate THRU it.
All I can do is WATCH and try and learn.
THAT is what happened this weekend while we were with my Dad on vacation in Texas.
We went to the Yogi-Bear themed “Jellystone” campground in Waller, Texas.
It was awesome….there were PLENTY of things to do with the kids.
But…Best of all we were all alone …pretty much.
I kept thinking to myself, “This is AWESOME. It would be NUTS in Mid-July when EVERY campsite and cabin were filled. I LIKE IT THIS WAY.”
Then it happened.
A TRUCKLOAD of eight 10 year old boys showed up….and stayed at the cabin 3 doors down.
As you can imagine…our boys were ESTATIC.
Zeek immediately ran off to meet them, and Malachi was RIGHT BEHIND.
The funny thing is that Zeek is SOOOOOO SWEET and good natured that he has NO IDEA what he might be walking into.
I mean really…8 boys? what are the chances all these boys are going to be NICE.
Seriously…there is ALWAYS at least 1 BRAT in the bunch.
But …he doesn’t get that. He runs up with NOTHING but good vibes and intentions.
So ….I watch and listen.
“Hey!” Zeek said. “I have a GREAT idea.”
Then …JUST like I suspected, the BRAT of the bunch said, “No one CARES.”
But…Zeek isn’t phased a BIT…he keeps talking, putting himself RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE of the party.
He doesn’t hang back …..he jumps in.
Head first he DIVES in.
As I listen it takes EVERY bit of effort I have NOT to run over there and tell those kids that MY KID is amazing and sweet and CONFIDENT and COOL.
I want too…I really do.
But…lucky for me- Zeek doesn’t even hear him. He just keeps talking. ALL CONFIDENCE…NO FEAR.
THAT …he gets from his DAD , I am SURE of. lol.
So…I do my best to hang back…I sit with my Dad and WATCH…from afar….which is SOOOO HARD for a “helicopter mom” like me.
I have a tendency to HOVER….just HANG around. there. in the background.
But…they kept telling me to let him go.
“He is growing up.”
“You HAVE to learn to let him go.”
blah blah blah
So this went on for a couple of hours….playing. listening.watching.
Then he wanted to go to the petting zoo …with the boys.
I looked around for help…they said, "Let him go, it right there.”
And as I watched him walk off with a group of boys I said to my Dad, “This is SOOOO hard. I can hardly STAND to let him go. What if they are mean to him? What if they are BAD KIDS? “
Then my Dad said something to me that made me LOOK BACK and reevaluate my whole childhood.
He said, “Do what I did…Let him get around the corner and then follow him.”
OMG….I had NO IDEA.
I felt like I had been given the “golden key”…..
Then he said something even better, “Or let me go and then he won’t THINK you are checking on him.”
So I did.
And he was fine…..in fact later that day, when all the OTHER BOYS went fishing, Zeek went with them.
And about 5 min later I see my Dad get a fishing pole and get on the golf cart.
About 30 min later ha came back WITH ZEEK and told us how all the boys were fishing and NOONE was catching ANYTHING.
Then Pawpaw showed up and took Zeek to the OPPOSITE side of the lake….he cast 1 cast and caught a fish.
Sweet. All the boys were watching NOW.
Then…he cast his 2nd cast…and caught ANOTHER fish!!!
Pawpaw said the other boys came running to THEIR side of the lake.
This made me think 2 things…
1.My kids have the best Paw Paw EVER!!!
2. Who is COOL NOW boys, WHO IS COOL NOW????
I love how GOD and PawPaw together serve the BEST REVENGE.
Friday, November 18, 2011
Life is funny....
I moved to Florida when I was 19 without 1 THOUGHT as to what that REALLY meant.
I didn't know what my life would be....but I knew I wanted to go.
And now....well now- I KNOW, and I wouldn't change a THING about the twists and turns mylife has made.
But ...As I have grown up...I have become AWARE.
AWARE of how important family is.
AWARE of the toll distance can take.
AWARE of the TIME that passes...
while you aren't AWARE.
So now...as I sit here .........
IN TEXAS on vacation, after moving to Florida 14 years ago-
I am flooded with LOVE for my home, appreciation for my family, and the knowledge that
LIFE is a BLESSING, and every MOMENT we have with each other is PRECIOUS.
"Life is a thing, when you learn- you grow."- Damian Marley
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Monday, November 14, 2011
Many mornings I wake and wonder.....
I wonder WHY?
I wonder HOW?
Why is it that we sit HERE...
with food to eat.
a BED to sleep on.
access to medicine.
clothes to wear.
CLEAN water to drink.
Why is it US?
Why do THEY sit THERE???
with NO FOOD to eat.
with nothing but a mud floor to sleep on.
no access to ANY kind of health care.
no shoes on their feet.
nothing but DIRTY, disease-filled water to drink.
Why are we the "lucky" ones?
Why are the ones that "have it good" and have the LUXURY to NOT CARE or CARE on a moment to moment basis?
Why are THEY the ones who have to PRAY they make it BACK from the well without being kidnapped and raped?
It feels UNFAIR.
It feels SAD.
I feel UNWORTHY...and DEFINITELY not MORE WORTHY than her....
That woman loves those babies...just like I love mine.
Thant woman wants her babies to be safe and healthy...just like me.
She is there and I am here...In front of my computer listening to music in my MANSION, with a FULL fridge, while my children sleep in their safe beds.
Seems so UNREAL...Like a blessing granted but not understood.
As I think about this, all that keeps coming to mind is that - NO MATTER WHAT- I should GIVE THANKS....always.
Maybe the reason I see these things is because I need the constant reminder...I NEED to be aware.
I NEED to remember..
I need MY LIFE to be put into perspective.
I need the constant reminder that ...
my life is BLESSED.
No matter how much I want MORE...I NEED LESS.
Maybe the reason I sit here an SEE is to remind YOU.............
I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or living in want. I can do everything thru HIM that gives me strength. Philippians 4:11-13
Thursday, November 10, 2011
My life is changing....every minute.
I find myself traveling a ROCKY ROAD.
A road that moved me from "Mommy" to "Mom"...so quickly.
Sooo fast that I feel like my head is SPINNING.
You see....it has been COMING.
I have seen glimpses of it on the horizon...
The PRE-TEEN years!!!!!
It has SLAPPED me in the face....REALITY, that is!!!
Shasha is 9 and Zeek is 11...which puts BOTH of them SMACK IN THE MIDDLE of it.
The crazy part is they have NO IDEA why they are freaking out.
They just FREAK OUT.
I try and tell them that their bodies are changing ..blah, blah, blah.
Who am I kidding....I try and tell MYSELF that.
But sometimes....I just stand and stare.
It is as if I am having an "out-of-body-experience"...I am there, but my mind has gone into THINK mode.
Take a breath.
I SAY all those things...while I wait.
I am waiting on the words...the words that seem to manifest themselves in times when I REALLY need guidance.
And then they come...
"You are CRAZY. WHO ARE YOU? Stop acting like a maniac!!!!"
Oh wait!!!....THOSE are the words that I say n my mind.
Those are the words that would be EASY.
Those are the words that would hurt and offer NOTHING.
So instead I try another road...
I try and explain that just because we FEEL a certain way DOES NOT MEAN we can act a certain way. We are all children of God and no one deserves to be talked nasty to. I try and explain that their bodies are changing- they are starting the walk from kid to adult. I try and rtell them that they will have to face things that they cant imagine in their lives...and HOW they handle them is PROOF POSITIVE of the person they are. I try and tell them that no matter if I never see them misbehave...GOD does.
I also tell them that THOSE choices will have to be made for the
The journey is never over.
We are forever students who SHOULD continually GROW and LEARN.
I pray they hear me...
Because if they DON'T...
We may be in trouble.
Monday, November 7, 2011
If I have said it once, I have said it 1000 times…
She is AMAZING and can teach about chemistry and science like NO OTHER!!!
And by no other….I mean ME!
I am THANKFUL everyday for technology. I love being able to hop on the internet and within seconds have a science cartoon and an experiment. SWEET!…especially on a rainy Monday morning!
THAT is exactly what happened THIS morning.
It was Monday….I was not ready YET, so I put on Magic School Bus episode called “Ready, Set, Dough”.
It is all about how baking IS chemistry.
What kids doesn't like a CHEMICAL reaction?
So while they were watching the episode I got all the stuff for muffins out…
We did a small experiment with baking soda and milk and the difference it makes when barely mixing(lots of foaming bubbles) an mixing a lot(hardly any bubbles).
Then we made chocolate chip muffin,taking the time to mix MOST of the batter barely…and the last bit A LOT.
Then we waited…..
The top muffin was the one mixed A LOT…it was more dense.
The bottom was less mixed …less dense.
We love science.
And we certainly don’t mind chocolate chip muffins!!!!!
A royal name for a royal girl.
You are my little tag-along,
always by my side.
I loved you from the minute I saw you and live you more every minute that passes.
I love watching you grow and mature.
Although I have to admit, when I see you run iff with your friends at the dance studio laughing and giggling...It makes me a little sad.
SAD because you are not so little anymore.
You are GROWING UP.
9 years old seems like FOREVER when watching a soul bloom.
It seems like an eternity and a moment at the same time.
I cherish these days.
Because...RIGHT NOW- In your eyes, I am still cool...you still want to cuddle with me at night and you have NO INTEREST in boys.
It is PERFECT....
I pray that we will forever be Besties....no matter your age.
I pray that you stay true to YOU and never lose your fire.
I pray you KNOW God loves you...so that you love yourself.
I pray that when you are a teenager you can learn from SOME of my mistakes....so that you don't HAVE to make ALL your own.
Happy 9th Birthday Baby!!!!
Friday, November 4, 2011
Erasing the memory of an entire race of people is systematic racism. Not only is biased history presented to us through a distorted lens, but we are also subjected to the realities of capitalism, in which commercialization of an ambiguous holiday pulls us away from facts and meaning. Turkeys are associated with “Thanksgiving” in the same way Santa Clause and the Easter bunny have become synonymous with Christmas and Easter, respectively. Through the guise of innocence and “good holiday spirit”, capitalism is constantly telling us to consume because consumption equals “happiness.” It is no coincidence that we all rush to our favorite malls and shopping centers on “Black Friday” for “big savings.”
And as children dress up as Pilgrims and Natives to reenact the romanticized version of history, they are not only perpetuating stereotypes, but more importantly, they’re embodying racist and ethnocentric lies. What do they really know about the Pilgrims and the Natives? Consider a high school history textbook called “The American Tradition” which describes the scene quite succinctly:
After some exploring, the Pilgrims chose the land around Plymouth Harbor for their settlement. Unfortunately, they had arrived in December and were not prepared for the New England winter. However, they were aided by friendly Indians, who gave them food and showed them how to grow corn. When warm weather came, the colonists planted, fished, hunted, and prepared themselves for the next winter. After harvesting their first crop, they and their Indian friends celebrated the first Thanksgiving.This patronizing version of history excludes many embarrassing facts of European history. As stated by James W. Loewen, author of “Lies My Teacher Told Me,” many college students are unaware of the horrific plague that devastated and significantly reduced the population of Natives after Columbus’ arrival in the “new world.” Most diseases, for instance, came from animals that were domesticated by Europeans. Cowpox from cows led to smallpox, which was later “spread through gifts of blankets by infected Europeans.” Of the twelve high school textbooks Professor Loewen studied and analyzed, only three offer some explanation that the plague was a factor of European colonization. The nine remaining textbooks mention almost nothing, and two of them omit the subject altogether. He writes: “Each of the other seven furnishes only a fragment of a paragraph that does not even make it into the index, let alone into students’ minds.”
Why is it important to mention the plague? Quite simply, it reinforced European ethnocentrism and hardly produced a “friendly” relationship between the Natives and Europeans. To most of the Pilgrims and Europeans, the Natives were heathens, savages, and demonic. Upon seeing thousands of dead Natives, the Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony, John Winthrop, called the plague “miraculous.” In 1634, he wrote to a friend in England:
But for the natives in these parts, God hath so pursued them, as for 300 miles space the greatest part of them are swept away by the small pox which still continues among them. So as God hath thereby cleared our title to this place, those who remain in these parts, being in all not fifty, have put themselves under our protect…The ugly truth is that many Pilgrims were thankful and grateful that the Native population was decreasing. Even worse, there was the Pequot Massacre in 1637, which started after the colonists found a murdered white man in his boat. Ninety armed settlers burned a Native village, along with their crops, and then demanded the Natives to turn in the murderers. When the Natives refused, a massacre followed.
Captain John Mason and his colonial army surrounded a fortified Pequot village and reportedly shouted: “We must burn them! Such a dreadful terror let the Almighty fall upon their spirits that they would flee from us and run into the very flames. Thus did the Lord Judge the heathen, filling the place with dead bodies.” The surviving Pequot were hunted and slain.
The Governor of Plymouth, William Bradford, further elaborates:
Those that escaped the fire were slain with the sword; some hewed to pieces, others run through with their rapiers, so that they were quickly dispatched and very few escaped. It was conceived they thus destroyed about 400 at this time. It was a fearful sight to see them thus frying in the fire…horrible was the stink and scent thereof, but the victory seemed a sweet sacrifice, and they gave the prayers thereof to God, who had wrought so wonderfully for them.Perhaps most disturbing: it is strongly argued by many historians that the Pequot Massacre led to the “Thanksgiving” festivities. The day after the massacre, the aforementioned Governor Massachusetts Bay Colony declared: “A day of Thanksgiving, thanking God that they had eliminated over 700 men, women and children.” It was signed into law that, “This day forth shall be a day of celebration and thanksgiving for subduing the Pequots.”
Now, one may ask: What about Squanto, the Wampanoag man who learned to speak English and helped the hungry, ill, and poor Pilgrims? As cited by Professor Loewen, an American high school textbook called “Land of Promise” reads:
Squanto had learned their language, the author explained, from English fishermen who ventured into the New England waters each summer. Squanto taught the Pilgrims how to plant corn, squash, and pumpkins. Would the small band of settlers have survived without Squanto’s help? We cannot say. But by the fall of 1621, colonists and Indians could sit down to several days of feast and thanksgiving to God (later celebrated as the first Thanksgiving).Note that this text states the first Thanksgiving was on 1621. Indeed, there was a feast on that year, but it was not called a “Thanksgiving feast” nor was it repeated until years later after the Pequot Massacre in 1637. In regards to Squanto, the correct question to ask is: How did Squanto learn English? History textbooks neglect to mention that the Europeans did not perceive Squanto as an equal, but rather as “an instrument of their God” to help the “chosen people.” It is also omitted that, as a boy, Squanto was stolen by a British captain in 1605 and taken to England. He worked for a Plymouth Merchant who eventually helped him arrange passage back to Massachusetts, but less than a year later, he was seized by a British slave raider. Along with two dozen fellow Natives, Squanto was sold into slavery in Spain. He would manage to escape slavery, journey back to England, and then talk a ship captain into taking him along on his next trip to Cape Cod in 1619.
As Squanto walked back into his home village, he was horrified to find that he was the only surviving member of his village. The rest were either killed in battle or died of illness and disease. Excluding Squanto’s enslavement is to paint an incredibly distorted version of history that suggests Natives, like Squanto, learned English for no other reason but to help the colonists. It is to glorify the Europeans and erase the struggles and experiences of the Native people.
When history is transformed into myths, tales, and bedtime stories, we ignore historical research that enables us to learn valuable and meaningful lessons about our present, as well as about our future. History is meant to be an accurate and honest account of civilizations, cultures, and events; not a one-sided narrative of ethnocentric and selective alterations.
As Professor Loewen states:
Thanksgiving is full of embarrassing facts. The Pilgrims did not introduce the Native Americans to the tradition; Eastern Indians had observed autumnal harvest celebrations for centuries. Our modern celebrations date back only to 1863; not until the 1890s did the Pilgrims get included in the tradition; no one even called them ‘Pilgrims’ until the 1870s.I did not write this post to pass judgment on everyone who is celebrating “Thanksgiving.” None of us are responsible for the atrocities committed hundreds of years ago. None of us caused the plague or the massacres. But as human beings, I do feel that it’s important to educate ourselves about history, to acknowledge that the United States was founded on dispossession of Native people, to be aware of our complicities (when we, including people of color, seek to become social equals with those who use their power to oppress others). Yes, we should spend time with our families and Loved ones, and yes, we should be grateful and thankful for all that we have, but not at the expense of ignoring an entire race of people, their culture, and their history.
The fact that history textbooks and schools try to glorify the Pilgrims while omitting significant facts about the Natives represents that there is a lot to improve in the United States. Let us not become clouded by super-patriotism or the blowout sales of “Black Friday.” Let us be conscious of our brothers and sisters in humanity, learn about their contributions, and embolden ourselves to stand up against racism and genocide in all forms.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
“Life is a thing, when you learn…you grow.”….Damian Marley
As I grew up- I lived my life a “certain” way.
I was rebellious …without a reason.
I was so blessed …I was BLIND.
I was had everything I ever needed or wanted….
Yet…I found it necessary to SELF-DESTRUCT.
No matter what anyone said to me ….no matter how much they tried.
In ONE MOMENT….
I was forgiven. God entered my life and SAVED me. My eyes were opened and I could see clearly.
From THAT MOMENT on….
My life COMPLETELY CHANGED.
It was NOTHING LESS than life changing, crazy stuff.
I went from WILD and REBELLIOUS to STUNNED.
I was so new to my new life that when we started having kids we decided that we were not going to participate in the typical “American-culture” based holidays.
I felt like I needed to breathe.
I needed to RE-think everything that I had known or thought.
I needed to push the “RESET” button.
God was new to me….not that he hadn’t BEEN THERE the whole time.
Not that he didn’t SEE everything.
I had just
I had never taken HIM into account when making my decisions….
And when I finally DID notice- I decided I wasn’t sure what was right or wrong…so we made a decision that we would take a HARD look at the holidays and THEN decide.
So there we sat for about 10 years.
I spent my time cacooned into MY LIFE.
I was busy growing babies, nursing, changing diapers, raising and teaching kids, studying myself and being a stay at home mom.
The kids were little and and we were kinda just ..
But in the last couple of years, we have had some BIG CHANGES in our lives.
I started working …which brought me OUT into the world again.
the kids GREW UP…they are now-
They are in dance classes, flag football, library game days, and sleepovers with friends.
We are ALL more exposed to the world.
So life has changed.
I have loosened up….I have found myself realizing that I CAN walk the line between
I can teach my kids to navigate in the world…
And I can LEARN to navigate the world…despite MY FEAR.
I can loosen up and let a little of the old me out…I can learn to LET GO.
So this past weekend ….I made an effort.
And it is SAFE TO SAY….I succeeded!!!