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Yes.  You read that correctly.  Cricket made me cry.

No, not “a” cricket.  Just Cricket.  Not an insect (are they insects?  Hang on a second I need to Google this.  Ah….they are indeed insects.  Closely related to katydids.  Who knew??)  Not the sport.  Just Cricket.

Cricket is a moniker used by someone who posts on an internet bulletin board on which I frequently lurk.  (RMSJr if you’re reading you’ll know the board and moniker I’m talking about.)  Cricket’s not her real name (No!  Really Spudsie??  LOL!) .  Her frequent posts help balance out my infrequent ones.  Over the years I’ve come to really respect what she has to say and look forward to reading her views on political and social topics.  Her views frequently mirror my own (sorry RMSJr….I know that probably pains you….you love me anyway right?  ;-))  and she’s able to articulate things better than I could.

The main thing that has impressed me about Cricket is her willingness to state her point of view and not care what anyone else thinks.  (Or at least that’s how it seems from my perspective.)  She’ll let everyone know where she stands and engage in dialogue regarding just about any topic regardless of the online insults hurled by “anons” or even known posters.  Her beliefs are her beliefs and she’s not afraid to let anyone know.

That’s sooooo far from where I am.  I suspect my beliefs and views are just as strong and deeply held as Cricket’s.  I tend to keep them to myself.  I recently told a friend of mine that I’m a democrat and she was really surprised.  The circles I tend to “run” in are largely republican—make that vocally republican.  And I’ve learned over the years just to keep quiet on most political topics.  It’s a habit I’m slowly trying to un-learn. 

(Yes, I know.  I’m not really “un-learning” a habit.  I’m changing the way I interact with people.  I’m choosing to speak up.  I’m choosing to be authentically “me”—whoever that is.  It’s just easier—and shorter—to write that I’m un-learning.  Grin!)

So I really admire Cricket for being herself and for being willing to freely state what she believes.

There was a thread started recently about Jim Wallis and the subject of social justice.  It hit a nerve with me when someone called Jim Wallis a Socialist.  While I cannot claim to have read everything written by Jim Wallis, I have read a fair bit of it.  And it seems crystal clear to me that he is NOT a Socialist.  Period.  So I jumped into the thread and gave my opinion.  And somehow Cricket and I ended up posting a few things back and forth to each other. 

Now I’ve “known” of Cricket and actively followed her postings for a while.  But given the infrequent nature of my own posts I’m positive she had never noticed me before.  Since we seemed to share similar views on the topic and had similar experiences from other Christians when discussing the topic I made a bold move.  Well…..bold for me anyway.  LOL!  I posted an e-mail address and invited her to drop me a line to continue the conversation off the board if she’d like.  And she did!!  Cool beans!  J

She sent me an e-mail with some more of her thoughts on social justice, a little of her back ground, a little bit about her views on different stuff, and an invitation to share my own thoughts.  So I did.  I replied with an overly long e-mail (some of you who have received similar e-mails from me can commiserate with Cricket….LOL!) about a little bit of my history and my thoughts on social justice.

Describing what “social justice” means to me is challenging.  I feel very inarticulate.  I feel as though I stumble and fumble my way through it.  It’s something I FEEL rather than THINK.  And goodness knows I have problems identifying emotions and feelings, much less using them to explain a bigger concept.  When I hit “send” and watched my e-mail disappear into cyberspace I wondered if my words made any sense.  Was there anything of worth in them?  How many typos did I have?  LOL!

Evidently it made a lot of sense to Cricket.  She replied with an e-mail today that made me cry.

Good tears.

She shared a few stories from her life, some of her early exposure to the concept of social justice—before she knew what it was called or knew that not everyone viewed it the same way.  She shared some of her frustration with “church people” (my words—not hers) and their frequent opposition to social justice. 

It was really cool learning that about her.

That wasn’t what made me cry. 

What made me cry was what she said about me. 

Recently I’ve been praying that God would show me what he wants from me in a very clear way.  In a way that I CANNOT miss or misinterpret.  I’ve been praying that in the context of trying to find a life direction.  (See previous blog entries for more about that.  J)  “Hey God, I’m gonna need some major help.  Could you show me what you want from me, where you want me to go in such an obvious way that I cannot miss it.  In a way that I will feel in my soul that it’s where I can start.  Even if the direction changes along the way, even if you have something different in mind for further down the road, could you simply show me where to start.  Make it resonate in the core of my being.  Make it energize me in a way I’ve forgotten I can be energized.  Please open my eyes, my heart, my mind.”

I trust God will help me as I continue my search.  There hasn’t been handwriting on the wall (yet!) or anything like that—and there may never be exactly what I am praying for.  And that’s okay because I know he’s got my back!  And when the creator of the universe has your back, it’s probably best to just let him do his thing.  He’ll come up with a way of guiding me that will be more impactful, more effective than anything I could imagine.  (You rock God!!)

I think in my prayers he’s heard something else.  Something I didn’t really articulate.  (He’s really good at reading between the lines.)  He’s heard my desire to try to see myself differently.  He’s heard my frustrations at not understanding why people say the good things about me that they occasionally say.  He’s heard me say, “What do they see that I don’t see?  Why can’t I see that in myself?”  And he’s sending people to me to help me see ME more clearly.

And this is where Cricket’s e-mail made me cry.

She started her reply to me by calling me a beautiful soul.  I kid you not.  It caught me completely off guard.  I wasn’t expecting anything remotely like that!  I mean, really, the only thing she knows about me is what she read in one e-mail (albeit a lengthy one…).  That’s it.  One e-mail in which I felt I didn’t express myself very well.  Wow.

And she didn’t stop there.  She went on for three paragraphs to say the most heart-felt things about me.  In one e-mail she was able to see things that I haven’t been able to see in thirty-cough-some years.  Not only did she see them, she told me about them.  She told me about me.  And since I wasn’t expecting it ALL of my defenses were down.  I felt the full impact of it deeply.  It actually resonated with me.  Wow.

As Yoda would say, “Unexpected this is.”

I love it when God answers a prayer I didn’t even realize I prayed!

So today has been a good day.  Cricket made me cry.

And see myself a little differently.

Thanks God!

Thanks Cricket!

Cricket

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Joy

Evidently I’ve been missed.  Friends from Maine to Nashville to Colorado have been e-mailing, writing, and sending good wishes and encouragement my way recently.  (Who knew Supdsie was a nation-wide phenomenon?!  ;-))   And to a person they’ve all expressed some degree of concern at my blog absence.

First and foremost (does anyone besides me say that anymore???), than you sooooo much for the warm wishes, thoughts, cards (thanks Doctor!), etc.  Hmmmmm….I feel like I’m listening to a thank you card being read at the church where I grew up.  “Mr. Spuds and I would like to thank everyone in the congregation for the prayers, thoughts, cards and meals while we have been going through….”  Wait!  I didn’t get any meals from y’all!  Where are the meals???  LOL!!  Just kidding!  J

Seriously, thank you for your notes.  They are greatly appreciated.

I’m hanging there.  I’m not in the good mental/emotional place I want to me.  But I’m getting there.  And any progress is good!  I’m still working my way out of my funk and haven’t really felt like writing anything.  Haven’t felt like I had anything to say….other than grumbling.  And who wants to read a blog full of whining and complaining?  No one I can think of—with the possible exception of Grumpy, the dwarf. 

So, what’s new in this potato’s life?  Not much.  I’m still working with Coach Jim.  (Hiya Jim!)  I’ve watched a fair number of movies recently…..haven’t really been able to focus on books so I’ve tried to catch up.  I went to see “Doubt” by myself while Mr. Spuds was out of town.  That was probably the wrong movie to watch by myself—I wanted to sit down with people and talk about it as soon as it was over.  What was the symbolism with the light bulb?  How many different layers of doubt were explored?  Was one doubt stronger?  Did doubt “win” in the end?  Is anyone certain of anything?   Sigh.  But instead I went home and watched Dr. Who.  (Not an altogether bad thing!  Though I’m bummed that David Tennant is leaving the role………siiiiiiiiiigh….)

I’m trying to get back to my books.  I certainly have enough of them!  Mycroft is nowhere near full, but has a goodly number of unread books.

What’s that?  Who’s Mycroft?  Oh.  I forgot to mention it.  I’ve named my Kindle.  J  Yes, that does cement my total geek status.  And oddly enough, that’s a source of joy for me.  J

One of the things Coach Jim has me working on is a joy journal.  (Or something like that.  Maybe it’s a joy list?  I don’t remember.  I keep calling it a joy journal.  The alliteration flows much better than joy list.)

Jim has defined joy as, “Intense and especially ecstatic or exultant happiness; the expression or manifestation of such feeling; a source or an object of pleasure or satisfaction.”  Basically (a gross oversimplification on my part here) joy is happiness on steroids. 

So I’ve spent a good deal of time this past week thinking about things that bring me (or have brought me) joy.  It’s been fun!  There are the “typical” joy laden things you might expect—vacations, a wedding, food, people, bird-watching, etc.  And today I added another item to the list.

“Pure government/pure politics”

Yeah…if my geek status wasn’t secured before it is now.  LOL!

I love what’s happening today.  I have a great sense of joy!  I took today off work to stay home and watch the inauguration.  The peaceful passing of power to a new leader is extraordinary.  It really is!  I’m grinning ear to ear and crying at the same time. 

I love listening to and watching the campaigns.  The debates are awesome!  It’s amazing how so many people who all want “what’s best for America” can have so many different views and opinions on just what is “best” for the country.  And they all believe it so passionately!  You can hear it in their voice tones as they argue on morning talk shows.  You can see it in their facial expressions as they listen to opponents express opposing views.  You can feel it if you are ever in a room with them.  It’s impressive.

And to watch today the way everyone comes together to pass power from one leader to the next, with no malice, with no (obvious) bitterness, with no hatred…..it’s a joyous occasion.  It’s one of the most incredible things about our nation.  There may be words used as weapons during campaigns, but in the end they all recognize what an impossible job it is to be President of the United States. 

I just love this stuff!  It’s not the fighting, it’s not the arguments, it’s not the “who can talk the loudest to be heard at the expense of anyone else with an idea.”  It’s pure government.  It’s altruistic. 

Yes, yes.  They all have egos beyond belief.  I get that.  But that makes it even more impressive to me.  They have to work to overcome those egos, or at least learn to set them aside.  Being President comes at a huge cost.  One most of us would not be willing to pay.  Or at least I wouldn’t.  How they manage to keep a hold of any sense of self in that role is beyond my understanding.  So many people talking in your ear—either telling you what they think you want to hear, or trying to find some way to get you to decide things the way they want them decided.  How do you discern truth?  How do you keep hold of your core values, your core self under such unbelievable pressure?

The mind boggles.

Days like today bring out the best in our government and in our politicians. 

And that brings me great joy.

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Friends don’t let friends……

……..Kindle drunk.   LOL! 

Yup.  I did it.  I bought a Kindle.  (Yay Spudsie!)  I bit the bullet.  I quit straddling the fence.  I stopped “being of two minds” as the British would say.  (I heart BBC Amercia!)  I even paid extra for expedited shipping.

And Thursday afternoon, that magical Brown truck delivered my Kindle.

And I am TOTALLY IN LOVE!!!!

Before I wax too poetic (and make my coach even more green with envy….sorry Coach Jim!  I hope this won’t impact our next conversation too negatively…..hmmmm….maybe I should have thought of that BEFORE gloating???  LOL!)…anyway, before I wax too poetic I have one word of caution.

Friends don’t let friends Kindle drunk.

Well….I suppose in the interest of full disclosure I should admit I wasn’t really “drunk” per sey.  I’d had 2.5 glasses of wine during dinner and a movie at home.  (By the way, don’t waste too much money on the movie “21”….it has more fatal flaws than ….well…than a movie with a lot of fatal flaws!  It’s worth the 99 cents Mr. Spuds and I paid to download it from Amazon to our Tivo.  But I’m glad I didn’t pay more.) 

Where was I?  Oh yeah….Kindle-ing under the influence.  (Can I be cited for KUI???)  Pressing the “next page” and “previous page” and “back” buttons while slightly tipsy can become confusing!  Hey!  How the heck did I end up back at the “Table of Contents”???  Buy how often do I read after slamming down….er….I mean indulging in a glass or two of wine with dinner with my husband?  Never.  But the Kindle was new enough that I tried it.  My advice?  Stick to drunk e-mailing.  LOL!

Seriously, the Kindle is amazing.  (In my opinion.)  I cannot say enough good things about it.  (We’ll see what I’m saying 6 to 12 months from now.)  I wasn’t sure it I’d like it.  In fact I was a little concerned I’d end up like Opus from Bloom County….using the Kindle as a book light…or as a flat surface on which to attach a reading light.

 

 

In spite of my concerns I decided to order it anyway.  What the heck!  You only live once….and Amazon will still accept returns right?  What’s the worst that could happen? 

Evidently the worst thing that could happen is that I’d love it too much and spend far too much time reading on it.  And surfing the Internet on it.

Oh.  You didn’t know?  Yep.  You can surf the web on the Kindle.  I’ve bookmarked this blog.  And Coach Jim’s.  And Maggie Mae’s.  And my friend in Maine.  And…well….you get the idea.  I can keep up to date on everyone’s blogs wherever I am.  How cool!

And I can bookmark as many pages as I want.  I can add as many notes as I want.  I’m not limited to trying to squeeze my reactions to really meaningful passages in margins that are far too small.  AND I’ll never have to worry about not being able to read my own writing again!  Though if I continue to Kindle under the influence I may accidently refer to a character named “Joe” as “jpoe” in my notes and confuse myself later.  (The “jpoe” reference is for my friend BAM……….…thanks for setting the bar so high for tipsy e-mailing/blogging/typing!  J)

Which brings me back to my main point.  Friends don’t let friends Kindle drunk.

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