Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Voice of a Woman

Twice in my life I have heard this happen: once with one of my daughters and now with a dear friend who herself is like a daughter. Both these women were abused by their first husbands, told over and over how useless and worthless they were that they believed it, and finally in the case of our friend, sent to the hospital with physical injuries. 

At some point both these wonderful, amazing women “got it”, realized they were living a lie created by someone else to keep them in place, and walked away. And with those steps forward, came the return of their voice. I remember when my daughter called to ask if she could come home for a while, I turned to her father and said, “She has her voice back. I haven’t heard that voice for years.” I spoke with our friend yesterday and would hardly have recognized it was her on the phone because there was no more “little girl” voice. The voice over the phone was powerful, deep, strong and sure, the voice of a woman. 

Both women had the voice of another woman in common, my other daughter. Constantly, consistently, usually quietly, being that Voice of Women who said, You are more than this, You are worthy, You can say no to him, You can say yes to your real life.  That constant, quiet voice took the place of the self-esteem that wasn’t functioning correctly and just kept insinuating that whisper into their subconscious awareness.  And it never stopped.  She never threw up her hands and walked away, she never pushed harder than they could take, and she never swept anything under the rug.  She was a constant Voice.  Because none of us do it by ourselves. 

The old saying “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is a Lie! Words do hurt and they can take away power, usefulness, creativity and clarity. I have heard the change twice in my life. All over this country there are women who have lost their voices to abuse. It is time for it to stop, for us to stop protecting and denying, and for the true voice to be free, the voice of a woman. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Very Important Thank You

Yesterday was the anniversary of my first wedding 51 years ago. When I mentioned it to my daughters, both were aware and one of them said, yes, she was aware of good anniversaries. She is in the midst of helping a friend extricate herself from an abusive marriage after some very painful physical abuse during which a neighbor called the police. 

When she was first asked to go be with her friend, she and I talked a lot about the men in our lives ~ the loving, caring, compassionate men who are manly enough to know it and not have to prove it on the bodies of their wives and children. My father, my first husband (her father), my present husband, our son and sons-in-law. All such good men with no thought of hurting anyone. 

Last night I was chatting on line with a friend across the country when I suddenly realized that he too is exactly that kind of man, gentle, loving, delighting in his family. And so I stopped our rather light-hearted banter and became serious and told him Thank You!!

I am not sure we say thank you often enough. Maybe we take our loving husbands, friends, partners for granted because (Thank God) the abuser is still a rarity. But not as rare as we would like to think. So ~ say thank you. Acknowledge the men you know who love and care and hold in healthy ways. Here’s to you, gentle men!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Billions and Billions

I live where there is very little ambient light. We do have a light or two in the parking lot and they are down the hill from the back of our house and the house blocks them for the most part. Last night, very unusually, Oso decided to go out in the wee hours of the morning. So I put him out and then decided to go out too. I took a flashlight, walked out on the deck, and quickly turned off my light and just stared. Leaned back against the deck rail and gazed upward. Billions and billions ~ and one shooting across the sky just where I was looking. Suddenly I was no longer tired or grumbling about Oso or doing or thinking anything. I was just being in the midst of our amazing universe, blessed by a star spangled moment in time. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

You Can, You Know ~

To give credit where it is due: found this morning in Tom Hill's Eaglezine. Thanks, Tom, for sharing this one. 

Today I Will Make a Difference

Today I will make a difference. I will begin by controlling my thoughts. A person is the product of his thoughts. I want to be happy and hopeful. Therefore, I will have thoughts that are happy and hopeful. I refuse to be victimized by my circumstances. I will not let petty inconveniences such as stoplights, long lines, and traffic jams be my masters. I will avoid negativism and gossip. Optimism will be my companion, and victory will be my hallmark. Today I will make a difference.

I will be grateful for the twenty-four hours that are before me. Time is a precious commodity. I refuse to allow what little time I have to be contaminated by self-pity, anxiety, or boredom. I will face this day with the joy of a child and the courage of a giant. I will drink each minute as though it is my last. When tomorrow comes, today will be gone forever. While it is here, I will use it for loving and giving. Today I will make a difference.

I will not let past failures haunt me. Even though my life is scarred with mistakes, I refuse to rummage through my trash heap of failures. I will admit them. I will correct them. I will press on. Victoriously. No failure is fatal. It's OK to stumble... . I will get up. It's OK to fail... . I will rise again. Today I will make a difference.

I will spend time with those I love. My spouse, my children, my family. A (person) can own the world but be poor for the lack of love. A (person) can own nothing and yet be wealthy in relationships. Today I will spend at least five minutes with the significant people in my world. Five quality minutes of talking or hugging or thanking or listening. Five undiluted minutes with my mate, children, and friends.

Today I will make a difference.

From Shaped by God (original title: On the Anvil)
Copyright (Tyndale House, 1985, 2002) Max Lucado

~ blessings to you all as you go about your day knowing you Can make a difference!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Speaking of Missing the Point ~

 I just read an article in which I learned that there have been complaints about Gabby Douglas’ hair. Her HAIR!!! She’s an Olympian with a Smile and people are concerned that her hair doesn’t represent the natural look. ???? Thank goodness Serena Williams, a star in her own right, says the debate is “ridiculous”. Most of the comments supporting Ms. Williams’ stand and praising Gabby for who she is and what she has accomplished are also from African-Americans. Gabby Douglas is an Amazing young woman who has accomplished more in her young life than most of us do in an entire lifetime. And she Smiles! One of the first pictures I saw after her win was of the three medal winners in the women’s all-round. Gabby was smiling! And the two Russians were frowning, even the one with perfect glittered hair and eye lids. The Russians couldn’t even bother to be happy with their medals ~ and after all, they too are Olympians and have accomplished more than most of us. Shouldn’t they have been just a little happy about that? I am always proud of all those who qualify for these games no matter where they place. I am Thrilled to have Gabby Douglas representing the USA as an athlete, an Olympian, and a gold medal winner ~ with a Smile!!