Trusting

Today I’m reminded of a story I’ve heard over the years about a man who trusted God in every situation.

Until this one particular day.

He was drowning during a flood. Literally. And prayed intently to the Lord to save him. He had unquestionable faith and knew his God would save him. 

A man came by in a rowboat and told the drowning man to get in and they’d row to safety. But the drowning man refused, saying simply “Thank you, but my God is going to save me.” So the man rowed away to rescue someone else.

Another man came by in a large motorboat, actually a yacht, filled with people. They were obviously having a party on board.

“Hang on,” the boat captain said, “we’re lowering a lifeboat to come get you! You’ll be safe”! 

But the drowning man simply thanked the boat captain and replied, “I’ll be fine. My God is going to save me.” 

The captain shook his head and called the lifeboat back. And they went on their way.

The drowning man continued to

pray for the Lord to save him, because he was becoming exhausted. The water was getting colder, and he knew he couldn’t tread water much longer.

Just then a helicopter appeared overhead and started dropping him a lifeline. “Grab hold of it, sir, and we’ll pull you up to safety!”

But again the man refused. “My God will save me,” he said. So the helicopter flew away, pulling its empty lifeline up as it went.

The next thing the man knew, he was standing in front of the Lord. “Why, Lord? Why did you not save me? I prayed. I believed.”

“My son, I heard your cries,” the Lord began. “And I answered. I sent two boats and a helicopter to rescue you. But you refused my help. Just because the help I sent you wasn’t what you expected, didn’t mean I wasn’t helping you. I answer prayers in My way. It’s up to you to accept what I do.”

Why tell this story now?

Think about what’s going on today. We pray for help, but because we don’t get that help in the form we expect, or even demand, we think our prayers aren’t being answered.

But did anyone stop to think that our being saved from this pandemic may just involve the scientists that have received extensive training in their fields and are providing ways to keep us safe? That the medical knowledge they are using is an answer to prayers? Just not the way we expected it. Or demanded it. 

The scriptures speak of physicians and doctors. One of Jesus’ disciples was a physician.

I have seen miracles firsthand of healing not necessarily through medical intervention, because the doctors had tried all they knew to try. But our prayers called forth a heavenly hand of healing and miracles were seen. It happens.

I’ve known people healed from serious, even life threatening events, because the doctors and nurses had the training and the knowledge to know exactly what to do. 

I’ve also seen others pass away even though a chorus of prayers were diligently prayed in faith believing for a miracle. Medical science couldn’t do it, and God did it in His own way.

Our way isn’t always how we think

it should be, and God’s way is also not always how we think it should be. Who are we to tell our creator he isn’t doing things the way He should? Isn’t that telling Him we know better than He does?

Who are we to insist certain things are wrong because they’re based on science and not faith? The way I see it, the Lord gives us knowledge. He gives us people who can use that knowledge to help others. 

Because He has a plan that only He knows. And He knows the outcome of that plan.

Who are we to insist we know better than the God we profess to love? 

How many times will He answer our prayers with boats and helicopters instead of the way we insist He do it?

And how many times will we refuse the help we’ve prayed for because that help doesn’t fit into what we expect?

Is that what you might be doing?

A Gift from the Bridge

A few weeks ago we had the story of the welcoming party that each of our beloved pets experience when they cross over the Rainbow Bridge. How those cherished fur babies are welcomed into their waiting area by all of their friends who’ve crossed over before them, waiting not only for their other furry friends but for their beloved owners to come for them one day.

You see, the Rainbow Bridge is the entrance to a very special place where our pets go to wait for us to join them. An almost magical place of beauty and joy, where these beloved animals are not only free to play and enjoy a freedom they’ve never known before, but a place where they’re not only our furry companions, but where they’re also gifted with special abilities that they didn’t have on earth.

Abilities they had no idea were possible until they crossed the Bridge. 

Not only are they now able to speak to each other in ways never before possible, but they’re also able to help their beloved owners cope with losing them in ways no one would imagine. 

No, it’s not something magical, because magic really doesn’t exist. It’s something similar; something that can only be caused by a Creator who is so much more than any of us can begin to imagine. Our Creator loves every part of His creation, from those of us who are human, to those He created to love us in ways that only beloved pets can do.

We know our pets love us unconditionally. And we love them as well. But they leave us far too early. And even though they do, they don’t want us to be forever grieving for them. Because once they cross the Bridge they know for certain we’ll all be reunited again.

It’s those of us who loved them that are still here on earth that really can’t understand.

But Rusty and his best brother-friend Rudder know. And they also knew their owners needed a new friend, not only for them, but for Drake, their other doggy-brother who was now alone, except for his human family. They’d been a special threesome, and Rudder and Rusty knew there was only one thing to do.

And they didn’t want to wait.

They were told about a young pup, about 4 months old, who was in danger of having to leave his current home. He’d only been there about two months, and had just adjusted to being away from his brothers and sisters, but his new owners couldn’t keep him because he was going to be bigger than their apartment complex allowed.

This poor pup was facing being put in a shelter for who knew how long unless his owners found him a new home. And quickly.

This pup also happened to be a yellow lab-golden retriever mix. Rudder was a yellow lab and Rusty was a golden retriever. After the two dogs heard about this pup, there was no doubt in their minds. He had to be connected with their human family. 

And after a short talk with the Creator, the wheels were set in motion for this young pup to end up with Rusty and Rudder’s human family.

Just like it had been planned, Ashley and Chris saw an ad online about the pup. And they knew it was meant to be. The perfect combination of both of their beloved dogs.

They looked at pictures and videos of the pup. So much like the best of their lost fur babies. 

So a few days later, Tucker joined his new family. It was like he already knew them. When he met his new fur brother Drake, they immediately got along. Not one mean growl. They both knew it had been planned.

Rudder and Rusty watched from the Bridge, as the Creator normally allowed in times like this. They smiled, as only dogs can do. They were happy that they’d sent the right one, not to take their places, but to be a perfect new companion for not only their human family, but for their brother Drake.

They watched as the two dogs got acquainted, and their human family as well, and acknowledged the bond that immediately formed because of the gift from their heavenly brothers at the Rainbow Bridge. 

“We did good,” said Rudder and Rusty to each other. And they went off to play with their other friends, knowing they’d made everyone happy.

Welcome to the family, Tucker.

Why Do I Blog?

Some people have asked me why I write a blog if I’m not making any money on it. It’s very simple. I enjoy writing. I write from my heart. I write about what’s important to me. Sometimes it’s humorous; sometimes very serious. I write about my opinions, my thoughts. I share stories. And I have fun doing it.

If my writings make a difference in one person’s life then I have accomplished what I set out to do. If my writings make you upset or angry, then I’ve made you think. And that’s another accomplishment.

If you can identify with some of the stories I tell, or just laugh a bit with them, then I’ve added something to your day.

If you find yourself trying some of the recipes I occasionally post, then I hope you enjoy them. Some I’ve made, and some I have yet to try.

The new blogging category I am getting ready to introduce talks about my favorite books and authors, and I hope when I start introducing those blog posts you may be interested in reading some of them as well. And if you don’t, then that’s ok, too.

Sometimes my blogs are based on things that people I know are going through, or that situations they find themselves in. I usually tell that person I’ve done it, but sometimes not.

Blogging is fun, and it can be addictive. Sometimes I wake up in the night with an idea, grab my phone, and begin to write before I forget my idea. After I’m done, I go back to sleep.

Saturday blogs like this one are usually light hearted, just fun stories or ideas, or perhaps crafting or recipe ideas. After all, it’s the weekend. Don’t we deserve a little down time?

If you don’t like what I have to say, then don’t read it. No one is forcing you to. Or write your own blog. In fact, I encourage you to do so. I use WordPress and they have a number of free options to choose from, although my format choice isn’t free, nor is my domain name that I have hosted very economically by GoDaddy. WordPress is an easy platform to use, depending on what theme you select. And there are a lot of them.  And a really good thing about WordPress is the ability to schedule blogs in advance. I imagine other platforms have that ability as well, but this is the only one I’ve tried.

So…why do I blog? Because I enjoy it. It’s my way of talking to my friends as well as the world, It’s my chance to let my voice be heard,

What about you? Try it. You might enjoy it.

When They’re Ready…But We’re Not

There comes a time in many of our family members’ lives when enough is enough. There’ve been too many times of unrelenting pain; too many trips to the hospital; too many times that the doctors say, “someone needs to make some major decisions.”

Too many times our loved ones are put through painful and embarrassing procedures to keep them here with us for a while longer. When all they really want to do is rest. Forever.

Because they’re tired. They don’t want to live like they’re living any more. They want to eat and drink normally without fear of choking or vomiting. They want to be able to walk on their own. To have a normal conversation without gasping for air or coughing uncontrollably. They want to be able to breathe without having a machine doing it for them, They don’t want to be in constant pain which can only be dulled, never really going away.

They just don’t want to be here anymore. And who can really blame them? Would we want to live like that?

Before you start saying that what I’m writing is wrong, cruel, or even anti-Christian, try to put yourself in their situation. Because one day you may be there.

We are never ready to say goodbye to our loved ones, especially our parents. Those of us who are fortunate enough to be blessed with one or both parents who live long lives expect them to be around forever. We want them to be, because the pain of losing them is too hard to bear. We don’t know how we’ll make it without them.

That’s being selfish. Because we’re only thinking of how we’ll react, how we’ll feel. We don’t stop to think about their wishes.

They want to “go home”. And not to the home they’ve been living in for so many years. They want to go to their eternal home, and be free again, pain free, with a new body that works properly. They want to join their loved ones who are waiting for them, and they want to be with their Lord.

My mother went through that. She told me that, in no uncertain terms. But did I want to hear it? Absolutely not. Did I know she was serious? Absolutely.

Did that make it easier? Of course not.

Fortunately I was never faced with those difficult end of life decisions that some of my friends are now facing with their loved ones. Because my mother passed into eternity before those decisions were needed.

And I’m sure that’s the way she wanted it.

Like many of us, my mother had a living will, an advanced medical directive. She had named me her medical power of attorney years before she’d ever been sick. And if you or your loved ones don’t have such directives, I strongly urge you to get them.

Because you never know when you may need them.

Although we’re all living longer, and many of us enjoying fairly decent health into those later years, our bodies do not live forever. They were not designed to live forever. Eventually they wear out and just can’t be repaired any more.

We pray for healing, not realizing that many times in these situations healing takes on different meanings, and our loved ones go on to eternal health.

But before this happens, quite often end of life decisions must be made. And it’s not easy, no matter how strong our faith, no matter how much we know in our head that such decisions must be made. Our emotions, our hearts, don’t want to go there.

Sometimes it’s not or parents, but our spouse. That’s just as hard, and sometimes harder, because we really don’t expect our spouse to pass asway before we do. We need him or her with us. For better or worse. But that vow also added til we are parted by death. We tend to forget that part.

However, we have to accept the decisions our loved ones make. Whether we agree or not. And that is part of honoring our parents, our elderly relatives. Or a spouse with an incurable disease.

Palliative care and hospice care are two options most of us don’t want to hear about, nor consider. But it is a reality, and one that more and more people are having to face for either their loved ones, or themselves. It’s not a decision made easily, or in haste. But it sometimes must be made.

It’s not easy. It’s also not easy watching someone you love dearly suffer. And I daresay none of us would want to be the one who’s suffering so badly.

No matter how much we love them; how much we don’t want to let them go, there’s a point that our love has to love them enough to let them go. To let them be at peace.

Those of us who have faith know in our hearts we’ll see them again. But it doesn’t make it easier.

To all of you going through it, or who have gone through it, be assured you did the right thing. No matter how difficult it was.

Be comforted in that realization.

Party at the End of the Bridge

Somehow they all knew. They knew who was coming and they knew when. The guest of honor didn’t know of course, but then again, they never did.

But the other residents of that land just beyond the Rainbow Bridge knew, and as is the custom, the pets already there were waiting for their special friends to join them and welcome them to their new home; to make them feel loved and special until their earthly owners came to get them to take them with them to THEIR forever heavenly home.

And today was no different from any other welcome home party at the end of the Rainbow Bridge. The only thing different was who the guest of honor the party was for, and of course who was planning it, and who would be attending.

You see, every beloved pet who crosses over the Rainbow Bridge has a welcoming party with his or her friends who have already crossed over. It’s a tradition that’s been going on as long as the Bridge has been around, which is a very, very long time. Pets come and go all the time because as we said earlier, they leave and join their former earthly family eventually in their eternal home, but until that day happens, these beloved pets enjoy a life of pure happiness, playing in meadows, chasing birds and squirrels, playing with favorite toys, swimming…all the things they enjoyed previously with their earthly family. Only now they’re healthy and pain free, able to do and eat anything they want.

Today’s big party was for a special golden retriever. His best friend Rudder knew he was coming, and he was planning the party. Rusty’s favorite thing to do was swimming in his owners’ parents’ pool with Rudder, so this party was going to be held at one of the many luxurious swimming pools available in the land beyond the Bridge. He couldn’t wait to welcome his old friend and find out how their earthly family was doing. Rusty’s friend Samantha was also helping plan the party, and there were lots of other furry friends attending, including Rusty’s litter mates who he hadn’t seen since he was adopted 11 years ago.

What a celebration it would be!

Rudder and his friends made sure the pool was sparkling clean. They hung balloons all around. They even had a huge sign that said “Welcome Rusty”! There were presents, too. Tennis balls, golf balls since he liked to chew those, stuffed chew toys that he could chew and destroy like he did before. There was a little garden with freshly planted bushes that he could dig up, just like he used to do that so irritated his family. 

And then there was the food. His favorite dog treats, bowls of ice cream, along with a huge cake, just waiting for him to smash into and share with his friends!

The dogs looked at their handiwork and knew it was ready for him. They all lined up, with Rudder and Samantha in the front. Waiting expectantly.

And then…the Rainbow Bridget began to light up, like it does when a new pet comes across. The dogs held their breath and watched.

And then Rusty came across it. A smile on his face. Walking easily. His fur was clean and shiny. His eyes were bright. His teeth shiny white, as they held a tennis ball he’d already picked up along the way.

He saw Rudder and his other friends and ran to them, and what a reunion it was!

“This is all for you,” Rudder explained. “Here we’re all happy, healed, and pain free. We play with each other while we wait. I’ve missed you,” he added.

“I’ve missed you, too,” Rusty said. “And they haven’t forgotten you. They miss you as well.”

“We’ll be with them again,” Rudder explained. “But for now, we play, we have a great time together, and we go swimming!”

Rusty looked around and saw the huge pool. He took off running and jumped in, just like he used to do with his family. He was so happy. The other dogs joined him and soon the pool was full of wet splashing dogs, having the time of their new lives.

The Rainbow Bridge seemed to smile at them as it waited for the next visitor to come across. It’s a happy place, you know. Where all of our beloved pets go while they wait for us.

To Rusty, and Rudder, and all our wonderful pets who are living there now…we miss you, but we will be with you again. Until that time, enjoy your new temporary home. While we remember you in these pictures.

Actions Prove Who Someone Is

Words just prove who they pretend to be.

And we know actions speak louder than words. It’s not just an old wives tale. 

Someone tells you how much they care about you, how much they love you. But do they really? Or is it just words they think they should say?

When you pour out your heart to them, tell them your innermost thoughts and feelings, do they really hear what you’re saying? Or do they give you lip service, and say they know what you mean, and then launch into a conversation about their own problems that they want your help with? 

Are they really listening to you? Or are they too self absorbed to actually think about your feelings? Your problems.

As well meaning as they may appear to be, oftentimes they are still more concerned about their own problems than yours. Or how other people perceive them. Who talk about you behind your back and even tell others what you told them in confidence to make themselves look important, or better than someone else.

Or they may wholeheartedly profess to love everyone, no matter what their political, religious, or other views. After all, to love others is to understand them and respect them even if they don’t always share our viewpoints. Right?

Well, sometimes that’s right. And sometimes not, unfortunately. Many people only like you as long as you agree with them. If not, it doesn’t matter how they used to care about you. They can’t agree to disagree.

Do your words and actions match? Or are you saying one thing and actually presenting another persona?

Which one are you anyway?

I’m Tired of Adulting

For those of you on Facebook, we see this almost daily in someone’s status. We usually laugh it off, make funny comments, or just scroll on by because it’s, well, old news, as the saying goes.

But after a few long and difficult months, I think giving up being an adult sounds like a really good thing! I’ve tried it for a lot of years now. The first few were kind of fun. I could sort of do as I wanted and no one told me I couldn’t. Well, that’s not entirely true, because the first few years as an adult I was in college, and I had to do what our instructors said in order to get decent grades, but that’s different.

When we were in high school we couldn’t wait to be 21 and be “adults,” whatever that meant. And yes, back then, you weren’t really an adult til you were 21, although you could get married and serve in the military at 18. And when we graduated from high school at 18, many of us started careers or got married…before we were really “adults.” We couldn’t wait to be grown up, to be adults.

We thought life would suddenly be great when we really became “adults.” Well, that suddenly happened. But it wasn’t the way we expected.

The world we thought we had grown up in, the world that seemed to have so many opportunities and such a bright future, took on a new look of war, social unrest, and rioting. And we realized that maybe being an adult wasn’t quite what it was all rumored to be.

Adulting came with responsibilities, and a lot of them we weren’t ready for. And many of us still aren’t, although we have no choice.

Adulting means making decisions we really don’t want to make; decisions that affect our lives, as well as other people’s, for the rest of our lives. If we make the wrong one, there’s no one around to fix it for us. We have to live with it or work really hard to turn things around.

We thought being an adult would make our lives simple. Instead we had to work for a living; no parents to pay our way any more. We had bills to pay, cars to buy and repair, rent or mortgages to pay. We had to buy our own food, and prepare it, on a daily basis.

Suddenly we became parents, and had responsibilities for our own children. And wondered how our parents ever did it! Raising children was certainly not as easy as we thought.

And then there were the adult problems that came along as we aged. Our health, or our friends’ or loved ones’ health, began to deteriorate. Addictions and rehab became a part of many of our friends’ lives. Serious illnesses attacked many of us or our loved ones, changing our lives forever.

The ones we married and thought would love us forever didn’t. Many of us experienced divorce, and sometimes even more than once. And it was nothing like the breakups we had in high school…the ones we never thought we’d recover from. Until we found someone else the next week.

No, divorce was far worse than that, and we really began to wonder why being an adult was supposed to be so great. Being a child was much easier.

Being an adult is tough. No matter how old we are. It’s a huge responsibility.

So many times we look at our kids, or our grandkids, as the case now is, and for a moment or two we think how wonderful it would be to have that childhood innocence back; to be a child whose biggest concerns are what they’re going to play with next, what their mom or dad is going to fix for dinner, and how they’ll avoid going to bed too early.

And I think back to those long ago times when our own lives were like that. And yes, I get nostalgic and wish I could stop being an adult for awhile and just be a child again. No worries and no responsibilities.

But then, would we want to go through growing up again? Through all it entailed? Would we want to face becoming an adult again and having to go through all the rough times again?

No. Probably not. At least I wouldn’t. That would mean we’d give up the loved ones we have now…our spouses and kids and grandkids…and start over without them.

But it’s nice to just imagine times being so simple again. And to think about what we’d do different.

And in reality, we’d probably do the same things all over again.

You’ve Been Given a Full Box of New Crayons

But if the beautiful picture you were born to create is going to happen, you have to open the box and start to color.

You look at those crayons. So new. So colorful. Sharp and unbroken, their paper wrapping still fresh and new. And you realize if you begin to use them, they won’t look like that for long.

So you put them away to save for a special time. When you really feel creative. When what you create will be worth messing up those beautifully sharpened crayons. You pull the box out occasionally and wonder “am I ready to use these to try and create something really special, really breathtaking?” You even pull out a fresh clean piece of paper and almost touch the point of the crayon to the paper.

And then you stop. What if you mess up your creation? What if it’s going well and suddenly you mess up? So many of those beautiful crayons would now messed up, used, their points no longer sharp, and their paper wrappers torn. You’re upset because you’ve now taken something of beauty and messed it up, and now those once beautiful crayons don’t look capable of creating anything any more.

You feel bad and can’t even bear to look at the mess you’ve made. Throwing them away seems unfair because it’s not their fault you couldn’t use them correctly. What to do?

So you decide to give them away. Maybe someone else can salvage them and use them for something, and you can at least you won’t be reminded of your failure. You put them in a box, mark “free” on it, and leave them in your yard, hoping they won’t be left behind for long.

The next morning they’re gone. You feel guilty but you just can’t be reminded how you failed and messed them up. And you’re not going to try that again!

But a month or so later, when you open your front door, there’s a beautifully wrapped package sitting there, the tag reading simply “thank you. Open when you’re ready.”

What in the world? You haven’t done anything special for awhile, at least not that you’re aware of. This must be for someone else.

But after a few hours of looking at that package, you can’t stand it any more. You have to know what’s inside; maybe you’ll find out where it came from, so you can properly thank them.

As you’re unwrapping it you take a close look at the colorful wrapping paper. It seems to be a rainbow of fine colored swirls, all carefully mixed together to form a beautiful pattern. It’s too pretty to tear up, so you carefully unwrap it so that the paper can be re-used.

Inside, you find a sketchbook, filled with colorful hand drawn pictures. Turning the pages you find seascapes, florals, even portraits that resemble people you know. At the end of the book there’s an inscription that reads “don’t be afraid to use your crayons. Just because they get broken, lose their points, and don’t always look perfect, they can still be used to make wonderful, beautiful pictures.”

And at the bottom of the box were several crayons, the few small pieces that were left from the whole crayons that had been used by the artist to make the beautiful pictures in the sketchbook.

Those were the crayons she’d given away, of course. Or what was left of them.

What do you think that person did next? Use the leftover pieces to draw more pictures? Buy new crayons that would actually be used to draw more pictures? Or continue to be discouraged because someone else did something with what they were given while he/she threw away the opportunity?

What would you have done?

A Plea for Help

I watched President Zelensky’s impassioned speech to Congress Wednesday morning and I must say I was most definitely moved to tears. Yes, I was actually crying. His message was powerful and truly from the heart. Then came the video. And again, many more tears. I do not have an answer to what we should do. But I will say this. We and the rest of the world must do something to help these people who are being injured and killed on a daily basis because of where they live. This is wrong on so many levels.

When Zelensky spoke about the planes dropping bombs on Pearl Habor that Sunday norming in December and comparing it to what’s going on now in Ukraine I was trying to imagine what that must have been like. And I just couldn’t.  And I don’t want to know. My mind went back to those air raid drills we had in elementary school. Sitting out in the hall with our heads down and covered by our little arms. As if that would’ve helped. Or hiding under our desks. How strange that feels to remember. It was a lifetime ago.

We can’t even begin to imagine what these people are going through. And how we would feel if it were happening to us. Would other countries come to our defense? Or would they stay silent, afraid it would come to us?

We all know the saying, there but for the grace of God… And it’s true.

The photos online are horrifying because they show the truth. Teenagers going to fight with their skateboard pads as part of their defense. A young girl with a lollipop in her mouth and a rifle in her hand. Childhoods forever lost. Apartments destroyed and homes and belongings totally lost. Families separated and not knowing when or if they’ll see each other again.

I’ve read a lot of stories about how the Ukrainian people are doing their parts to help. Families are learning to make Molotov cocktails from the internet so they can defend their homes or give them to the Ukrainian soldiers to help in the fight.

A retired seamstress who used to make evening wear and designer suits for Gucci is now sewing flak jackets in her home for the Ukrainian soldiers, using fabric and pieces of metal welded together while her adult son makes blue and yellow arm bands for the freedom fighters to wear to identify themselves from the enemy.

Men in their 40’s and 50’s are being summoned to fight and gladly going out to defend their country and families, taking their own weapons with them, even though they haven’t served in the armed forces in 10-20 years.

Hundreds of people were hiding in the basement of a theatre in hopes of surviving Russian bombings. Some did. Some didn’t. Even though the word “children” was clearly written on the grounds, the bombs and the soldiers who released them didn’t care.

Bombs also hit a maternity hospital, killing and severely injuring women about to give birth as well as newborn babies, killing the babies who never had a chance to live. Can you imagine being an expectant mother in this environment, not knowing if you and/or your child will survive?

Food distribution centers are being bombed so that a soon to be starving population will have nothing to eat. And they certainly can’t call for takeout or delivery.

These are the realities of war in a 21st century world. In a modern country whose citizens only several months ago were living lives like you and me. Celebrating holidays, engagements, weddings, birthdays, and births of new babies. Going to school. Buying homes. Enjoying nights out for dinner or movies. Going shopping just for fun. Not needing to look up into the sky to see anything but sun and clouds.

But now there is a new reality. Their daily lives have been turned upside down, never to be the same again.

I have no idea what the answers are. None at all. I only know something needs to be done to stop the insanity before the. country of Ukraine is destroyed. And before another country, possibly Poland, is invaded because this Russian dictator wants to control Europe and then the rest of the world.  Where does it stop? When will it stop?

What will be left?

My heart is breaking for these people. All I can do is pray, and I do. Every single day.

May the decisions made in the coming days by our world leaders be good ones, based not only on intelligence but also on the need to save innocent lives, and may these decisions begin a road to peace in this world, and not the beginning of World War Three. Because none of us could recover from that.

May God bless Ukraine. And the rest of the free world.

Each of Us Lives a Storied Life

What story are you living?

A love story?

A tragedy?

A mystery?

A hero/heroine story…helping others, fixing things, coming to someone’s rescue?

Fulfilling your lifelong ambition to do something special?

Is there a love interest, or a potential one?

Or something else altogether?

There are as many different types of stories as there are genres of books, and I didn’t even list all the genres I’ve been known to read. Many of those genres also incorporate bits of other genres, just to make it interesting.

What happens when your personal story gets boring? When you decide you need a new plot line. Is it a story that can easily change, or will it take a lot of time and effort? And are you ready…and willing…to do it?

Think about this. Every day we can choose a new plot line in our personal story. Is it one you’re going to follow up on, or will you erase it the next day and start over?

Who is narrating your story? Is it you, or are you looking at it through someone else’s eyes?

Are you making it truthful or embellishing it? Telling others things that aren’t really exactly the way they really are.

Chances are, your story is actually a series, rather than just one volume, one particular story line. How many books do you think it would fill?

And even more importantly, what part of your life would you start your story in? Would you write the ending differently than your actual life?

I know exactly what story I’d write about my life because I’ve thought about it often. I’ve even plotted out parts of, but haven’t quite figured out the ending yet, because it won’t be what really took place. It’s something I’ve thought about for many years, and maybe it’s time to try my hand at writing it. And no, I’m not giving any hints.

What about you? What’s your particular story? Would you like to change that story? You can, you know. 

It’s your story. And your choice.

You Can’t Change the Past

But you can make sure it doesn’t happen again. 

The memories will always be there, though. Memories of what was, what will never be again. Memories of happier times, or memories of what you wish had never happened.

Those memories are part of us, and they make us who we are. Who we’ve become. 

Sometimes they’ve made us better. Sometimes they’ve put us in a dark place that it seems we can’t escape from.

Sometimes we take those memories and change them around in our minds so that we’ll have a happier ending. It’s our way of escaping the past, and in many cases, trying to make certain memories less painful by giving them a better ending.

But the reality eventually seeps back in and the real memories are still there. And you realize memories are a truth we can’t change.

Hindsight isn’t just a matter of timing; it’s a matter of wisdom that’s gained with experience. You can stay stuck in the place you are in, reliving every moment of hurt and pain over and over until it consumes you, or you can choose to pull yourself out of that place and start living your life again. 

No, it won’t be the same. You’re not the same. People around you have continued to move on with their lives, while you’re still stuck in the past and afraid or unwilling to join them.

Who you were is not necessarily who you are now. And do you really want to continue living in the past forever?

Because it’s really not a fun place to be. 

Let the past be the past. It’s time for you to live in the here and now and look ahead to your future.

What are you waiting for? 

We All Have a Past

Yes, we do. All of us. We’ve all done things we aren’t proud of. But most of us move on from them, learn from them, and don’t repeat them.

We don’t talk about those things, and we certainly hope no one else does either. Many times very few people even know about them. They may have happened at a time in our life many years ago, and either no one ever knew about them, or the people that did know, and may have been affected by them, aren’t in our lives any more. 

It may be something others did to us, something we’ve had a really tough time putting behind us. We may have kept it secret, or have shared it with friends. But it still happened.

Or it may be something we did, bad decisions we made, things we’re really embarrassed over that we hope no one ever finds out about.

Most of us go on with our lives, build careers, raise families, and are happy with who we are. We have friends who love us and respect us. We put our past behind us and don’t repeat the mistakes, and don’t keep pulling it out and reminding ourselves about those awful things we did at another time. We’ve forgiven ourselves, and we’ve been forgiven.

But there are many others who cannot do that. They continue to dwell on past mistakes, past errors, past indiscretions. They cannot forget the things they did wrong, usually many years ago. They blame these past mistakes on perceived failures in their current lives, and feel like they’re getting what they deserve. They have no self-confidence because they’re too busy telling themselves how bad, how undeserving they are.

Or they continue to look back on the things that happened to them, the wrongs that were done to them, the people who treated them wrong, and instead of placing the blame on the ones who hurt them, find a way to blame themselves for others treating them that way.

Really? Why? Not everything bad that happens in your life is your fault!

Misplaced guilt is a prison you put yourself in. There’s no parole; it’s a life sentence. There are visiting hours, but the visitors go home, back to their own lives while you continue living in the prison of despair you’ve created for yourself.

The only way out is escape! And escape isn’t the easiest thing in the world.

It requires planning. It requires help from those who aren’t in that prison. And it requires confidence.

Because if you don’t have the confidence to think you can escape, chances are no matter how hard you think you’re trying, you won’t succeed. Because you just won’t let yourself break loose from the chain that keeps you tethered to your past.

It’s sort of a misplaced safety net. You know the past all too well, but the future is an unknown. And you’re not sure you can deal with it.

But if you don’t move on, move forward, the past will start to repeat itself, and then where will you be except back in the same place you were years ago. And that’s not what you want.

Keep in mind that you’re probably the only one who really cares about what mistakes you made in the past.

And you don’t have to tell everyone you meet your entire life story. At least not right away. And unless it’s something so bad they can find out about it in a police report, what does it matter?

You weren’t the same person then as you are now. They probably have things in their past they don’t want anyone to know either.

We all have a past. We’ve learned from it. It’s time to let it go and move on with your life.