Warning: Instructions Not Included

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Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week 12 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

My “Secret Subject” is:

How are you most like your parents? How are your most different from them?

It was submitted by: http://thelieberfamily.com    

Reading my secret subject this month literally made me cringe. I procrastinated writing for days, when I finally did write, I wrote…I deleted…I wrote again…I deleted again. Now here I am at the last minute trying to throw something together. The thing is I’ve been estranged from my parents for almost 6 years. This topic hit me hard, it took me back to places I’d rather not visit, emotions I thought I’d gotten in control, feelings I positively believed I’d handled. I’ve always prided myself on my transparency. What you see is what you get, and I’ve strived to always be honest about my struggles in pretty much every area of my life, except this one. It hurts too much. I don’t know that it will ever not hurt. Has what I’ve been through and experienced changed the way I parent or view parenting?  Absolutely. Someday I might be ready and willing to talk about familial estrangement and how it not only changed my life, but changed the way I think and feel as a parent.  I’m just not there yet, and I can’t figure out how to write about this subject without going there, and I’m just not ready to go there. Forgiveness is a tricky thing. I’ve learned it’s not something you do just once and all is forgotten. Forgiveness is a daily practice.  Some days I’m better at it than others. Today is not that day.

So, I decided to focus instead on questioning whether parenting is harder today than it was when I was a kid growing up in the 70’s and 80’s. I saw this meme on Facebook and it made me laugh and gave me this idea for a spin on my secret subject this month.

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Can you relate?

It’s enough to make your head spin.

Is parenting harder today? The short answer is no. Parenting IS hard, regardless of decade or century, time or place. In my opinion, the biggest difference that exists today that makes parenting seem so much harder is the judgment. Everyone has an opinion about how YOU should raise YOUR kids and they aren’t shying away from feeling they have the right to tell you all about it.

I remember riding my bike to the local 7-11 with my allowance money and buying all the candy I could afford. My sister would ration hers out so that it lasted a long time, but not me. I ate all that candy in pretty much one sitting and then plotted and schemed to figure out how to get into my sister’s stash. I saw a mom on Facebook get absolutely reamed as a bad mother because she bought her daughter the infamous unicorn Frappuccino at Starbucks. Because it was her daughter’s birthday. Because her daughter loved unicorns. This poor mom was forever stamped and labeled by strangers as winning the title for Worst Mom Of The Year award. Clearly she doesn’t love her kid, otherwise she would NEVER let her have a beverage filled with so much sugar and artificial ingredients and colors.

Everyone is an expert on how to raise YOUR kids, except you.

I’m sure everyone remembers the tragic death of the gorilla, Harambe, in the Cincinnati Zoo that was killed after a 3 year old climbed into his enclosure. The mother that took her eye off of her child for probably 2 seconds, received death threats and screams of outrage that her children be taken away from her.

We are so quick to jump on the parenting fail bandwagon. Is it because it makes us feel better about our own parenting? When did we become so unforgiving and harsh to each other? Certainly there are bad parents out there that probably deserve condemnation, censure, critical and harsh judgment and shouldn’t be allowed in the presence of children ever. I’m not talking about those parents and I think most of us know the difference. It’s become almost an olympic sport to publicly eviscerate any parenting style that differs from our own or what has been acknowledged as politically correct.

I don’t know about you, but I fail as a parent ALL THE TIME.  Like many other parents, I’ve felt the sting of judgment from my peers, the looks, the “well-intentioned” advice and opinions. I’ve somehow resisted the strong urge to punch all of them in the face. I feel that entitles me to an award of some kind! I don’t need you to tell me how I’ve failed, there are hundreds of articles published daily all over the internet to ensure I never feel good about the decisions I’ve made as a parent, how I’ve failed my kids on some level and how messed up they are in general.  I mean I’ve raised three millennials, and apparently they are the WORST generation EVER. (insert sarcasm)

I think most of us are doing the best we can. I believe two basic things as a parent.

  1. I neither deserve all the credit nor all the blame for how my adult children have turned out, the decisions they make, the people they’ve become.  They are autonomous creatures unto themselves navigating the same murky waters, making similar mistakes or inventing new ones all on their own. They are human. I am human. We are perfectly imperfect and made in His image, meant to be loved, cherished, protected, accepted and embraced for not only our similarities but also for the things that make us beautifully unique and different.
  2. Forgiveness. Unfortunately parenting is a learn as you go type of education, and it’s not one-size fits all. Forgive yourself. As a parent, show your kids you can admit when you are wrong. You can own your mistakes. The words “I’m sorry” go both ways.  They will fail you as children, and you will fail them as parents. Forgiveness. It’s one of the most powerful tools in our arsenal. There needs to be more of it in the world today. We are quick to judge, slow to forgive. We need to turn that concept on its head, judge less and forgive more. No one has it all figured out. No one.

If you see a mom or dad struggling with their kids today, give him/her a word of encouragement. Even a smile. A sympathetic nod. Let them know and feel that they are not in this parenting thing alone, they are not doing it all wrong, and that you’ve got their back. Remember that golden rule we learned in Kindergarten? If you don’t have anything nice to say, just don’t say anything at all. Resist that urge to make a snap judgment about a parenting style you witnessed at your kids school or in line at the grocery store or at a restaurant and then post about it on Facebook so all your friends can jump on the parenting fail bandwagon making you feel justified and vindicated, confident in the knowledge that you are at least better than one parent out there. If you’re like most parents, you beat yourself up all the time about the mistakes you’ve made, you don’t need someone else swinging that bat for you. You need someone to take the bat away and give you a hug instead. Tell you it’s going to be okay. You are not alone. You are not a failure. You’ve got this. We’ve got this. Together.

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

Baking In A Tornado                        http://www.BakingInATornado.com

Spatulas on Parade                   http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/

The Blogging 911                   http://theblogging911.com

The Lieber Family Blog                     http://thelieberfamily.com

Sparkly Poetic Weirdo                   http://sparklyjenn.blogspot.com/

The Bergham Chronicles                  http://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com

Bookworm in the Kitchen      http://www.bookwormkitchen.com/

Southern Belle Charm                    http://www.southernbellecharm.com

Confessions of a part-time working mom            http://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch/

Not That Sarah Michelle                    http://notthatsarahmichelle.blogspot.com

Climaxed                                    http://climaxedtheblog.blogspot.com

 

Make A Wish

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Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week 14 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

My “Secret Subject” is: 

You’re minding your own business, out for a walk in the lovely Spring weather. You run into a magical bunny. As you’re scratching behind his ears, he says to you… In gratitude for the lovely ear scratching, I’m granting you three wishes for yourself, and an additional wish that must benefit someone other than yourself. 

What are your four wishes?!  

It was submitted by: http://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com

My favorite TV show growing up was definitely “I Dream of Jeannie”.  I fantasized often about finding a genie bottle on the beach and being granted 3 wishes.  The wishes themselves have changed over the years though.  I will admit, in my fantasies, my genie never looked like this…

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It was more this…

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or even this…

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Maybe a sexy cartoon Aladdin come to life to rescue me.  I’m not complaining (I mean I am a little), a wish is a wish is a wish, I suppose the vehicle of a wishes deliverance matters not.  Just to be clear, wishing that my wish-giver was hot and half-naked is not my 1st wish.  I’m just thinking out loud.

(3 hours later)

Who knew thinking of 4 wishes could be so difficult.  I don’t want to squander them.  When wishing for things, I tend to be short-sighted.  I’m probably way overthinking it.  Eggs sound really good right now.  Maybe I’ll go eat breakfast and mull it over.  I make better decisions on a full stomach.  I’d hate to wish for a house made of chocolate because I’m starving and it’s shark week (that time of the month).  These are the kind of rash decisions I need to avoid.  So eggs.  More coffee.  Then wishes.

(2 days later)

So, those were some really good eggs.  And I got distracted by life.  And I still don’t know what my wishes should be.  When I got my topic, I thought it would be so easy peasy.  Yeah…not so much.  Thinking of one wish leads me to another wish which lead to an even better wish which reminds me of my initial wish.  It’s enough to make a girl dizzy and confused.  I really need to wash my sheets.  BRB.

(5 days later)

So…this post and these wishes may never get made.  I’m no closer today than I was a week ago to narrowing down these wishes (hashtag firstworldproblems – amirite?) You know what helps me think?  Chick-Fil-A!  I know what you’re thinking, just another diversion, but no really, nothing beats Chick-Fil-A when I need to get the brain juices flowing.

(6 hours later)

Also, Chick-Fil-A makes me full which makes me long for a nap which totally happened.  Then I started watching Scandal, and OHMYHUCK…  I won’t elaborate in case no one reading this actually watches Scandal, and I don’t want to be accused of rambling…  Oh wait…too late.  Sigh.

All is not completely lost, I do have good news.  While ordering at Chick-Fil-A, I did come up with one wish!  I know!!!!  So exciting, that food is magical, I’m telling you.  Why is it though that I usually only crave it on Sunday and it’s CLOSED?!?!?!?!  Oops sorry, veering off track again.  It happens.  I’m kinda hungry again, but I’m going to finish out this wish first, I promise.  I won’t leave you hanging.

So, I’m in the forever long line that is the Chick-Fil-A drive-thru seriously considering blowing my first wish on instant gratification, but I reign myself in just in time.  I finally get up to the window and holy hotness batman, the cashier/order guy is hot.  Not little boy hot and by little boy I mean high school age and not that I notice hot high school boys or ever drive slowly by high schools as football players are running around topless, but I mean really, boys did not look like that when I was 18.  It hardly seems fair.  ANYWAY, no this guy is like old.  And by old, I mean late 20’s, early 30’s?  My eyes are eye level with the best looking backside I have ever seen.  I mean…is it hot in here?  I need a fan.  I can’t stop staring.  Then I look up and he’s staring at me.  I’m thinking, “oh shit did he notice I was totally checking out his ass?”  Why is he staring?  Why am I smiling like this?  I look deranged.  My lips have disappeared.  Did I brush my teeth today?  Maybe he’s noticed the coffee stain on my shirt?  Or the fact that I left the house without a bra on and quite frankly THAT should NEVER happen.  My reasoning was that I wasn’t getting out of the car, but it’s very awkward to have to pick up your boobs so as not to accidentally buckle them into the lap belt portion of your seat belt.  You think I’m joking…  And now you have a weird visual…sorry, go back to hot butt not in high school Chick-Fil-A guy.  Breathe.  In and out.  In and out.  Visual gone?  Whew.  Then I realize he’s asking me if I want any sauce.  Is it wrong that I thought of this movie line in “Wayne’s World?”

Yeah, I know…all kinds of wrong.  Sorry not sorry.  If anyone could ruin a perfectly good topic like being on the receiving end of 4 anything you want wishes…it’s me.  Now that I’ve taken you places you never ever wanted to go and from which you may never recover, let’s FINALLY get to my first wish.

WISH ONE

I wish for the boobs of my youth.  Vain?  Yes.  Shallow?  Yes.  Necessary?  Absolutely.  I want perky.  I want to be able to leave my house without a bra occasionally and not horrify a nation.  I don’t want surgery or drainage bags or future ruptures or dots and lines drawn all over my chest by a plastic surgeon that does NOT look like McSteamy from Grey’s Anatomy and has cold fish-like hands.  I want beautiful boobs.  I want boobs I don’t have to scoop up to fit inside my bra cup.  I want boobs that don’t fall into my armpit when I lie down.  I want boobs that don’t peak out from the bottom of my t-shirt…that hangs down to my knees.  Forget about the pencil test, I could hold a set of 120 colored pencils under each breast.  Now that you’ll never be able to look me in the eye again…let’s move on.  I think I’ve exhausted this topic.

WISH TWO

Coming up with one wish was exhausting and terrifying.  I’m depleted.  Can my 2nd wish be unlimited wishes?  I mean, the only rule was that at least one of my wishes be for someone else.  Is there a wishing rule book?  I need the facts!  I can’t work under these conditions.  I have to understand the RULES.  I’m assuming I can’t wish for unlimited wishes because that feels like cheating, then again it’s my blog, my post and maybe the rule is that you can make your own rules?  This level of thinking this early in the morning hurts my brain.  Honestly, I bet the wishing genie bunny wants to punch me in the face right now.  I bet he’s sorry he stopped for me.

The truth is I feel like I’ve got everything I could ever possibly want.  I’ve got an amazing husband, the world’s greatest children.  I’ve been blessed with a family that supports and loves me.  I’ve been blessed with 4 healthy and beautiful children.  While my life is never perfect and comes with it’s fair share of challenges, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  I wouldn’t wish for it to be any different.  I love my life.  I love my family.  It’s perfectly imperfectly tailor made just for me, and I wouldn’t change a thing.  Not one thing.  Well…

I still want the boobs though.  I’m not giving up that wish.

WISH FOR ANOTHER

This one is easy.  I wish that my son passes the STAAR test the FIRST time.  We pulled him out of a brick and mortar school in January, which is another blog post entirely that I’ll get to eventually.  We decided to homeschool him, but I stuck with public online schooling because I just didn’t know enough about homeschooling to feel I could completely tackle it on my own.  It’s been an amazing and positive experience thus far and I have no regrets.  The only downside is that he still has to pass the STAAR test to continue on to 6th grade.  He’s come a long way in just a few short months, but he still has some catching up to do.  I pray and hope that what we’ve been able to accomplish in these last 2 months has been enough to pass him.  We are proud of him no matter what, because I know how hard he’s been working, but if he passes the 1st time, the boost to his confidence…well it just can’t be measured.  I want that so badly for him.  So that is my 4th and final wish for another.  Please Mr. Genie Bunny grant me this wish.  You can ignore everything else I’ve rambled on about here today, and just make sure my son passes that STAAR test the FIRST time.

Thank you for indulging in my nonsense for what might have felt like an eternity.  Hopefully you made it to the end!  I’ll be sure and let you know how my most important final wish turns out for us (fingers crossed) ❤

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

 

Baking In A Tornado                        http://www.BakingInATornado.com

Spatulas on Parade                   http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/

The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver        http://www.thediaryofanalzheimerscaregiver.com/blog.html

The Lieber Family Blog                     http://thelieberfamily.com

The Bergham Chronicles                  http://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com

Bookworm in the Kitchen                 http://www.bookwormkitchen.com/

Never Ever Give Up Hope                 http://batteredhope.blogspot.com

Simply Shannon                             http://shannonbutler.org

Southern Belle Charm                    http://www.southernbellecharm.com

Not That Sarah Michelle                    http://notthatsarahmichelle.blogspot.com

A Little Piece of Peace                       http://little-piece-of-peace.blogspot.com

The Angrivated Mom                         http://www.angrivatedmom.wordpress.com/

Climaxed                                        http://climaxedtheblog.blogspot.com

When I Grow Up                              http://kimberlyyavorski.com/whenigrowup/

I’m Proud To Be…

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Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week 12 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

My “Secret Subject” is:

What nationalities are you comprised of and how do they reflect on the person you are?

It was submitted by: http://www.angrivatedmom.wordpress.com/

“Our heritage and ideals, our code and standards – the things we live by and teach our children – are preserved or diminished by how freely we exchange ideas and feelings.” Walt Disney

I’ve been thinking that if I’d gotten this question a year ago, or even 6 months ago, I would have approached it or thought about it quite differently than I do so today.  To be honest, I’ve never really given much thought to my heritage or nationality.

I’m an American.

I’m white.

I’m parts Native American (Osage and Cherokee), Scottish and maybe Irish (probably wishful thinking, but with my name being Shannon and all…)

I’m a woman.

I’m a mother.

I’m a wife.

I’m a daughter, sister, aunt and cousin, etc…

Some of those things define me more than others.

I’ve probably felt as if I belonged more to America than a particular ethnic group.  What does being an American mean?  These days I wonder.

As a general rule, I avoid politics.  I’m too emotional, passionate, defensive, strong-willed and opinionated to enter into such discussions lightly.  I tend to take differing opinions personally, as if my very personhood is being attacked or threatened.  I know my limitations.  I’d like to keep my friends, so I keep quiet.

I can tell you what being an American means to me.  I think that how I personally define what it means to be an American defines the kind of person I am or aspire to be.

“We, the People, recognize that we have responsibilities as well as rights; that our destinies are bound together; that a freedom which only asks what’s in it for me, a freedom without a commitment to others, a freedom without love or charity or duty or patriotism, is unworthy of our founding ideals, and those who died in their defense.” Barack Obama

I feel we’ve entered into an era of extreme Nationalism, where the idea of patriotism is being confused or misconstrued, twisted into something self-serving, hateful and largely based on fear and bias.

“Patriotism is when love of your own people comes first; nationalism, when hate for people other than your own comes first.” Charles de Gaulle

I love my country.  I love her beautiful diversity, a rich tapestry of different cultural and ethnic identities, religions and faiths.  A rainbow of colors and ideas, explosive and expressive, reflective and representative of the freedoms that brave men and women have fought, bled and died in pursuit of since the birth of this great nation.  I’m not threatened by that which is different, I embrace it, it inspires and motivates me.  I don’t believe in a world that divides people into an US versus THEM.  I don’t worry that God is on my side but whether or not I am on HIS side.  I’m pretty sure Jesus asked for a longer table, not a higher wall.  Ideologies built on hate and fear aren’t destroyed by the policies, philosophies or ideas based upon those same emotions.  Ideologies constructed out of those negative and destructive emotions are destroyed brick by brick only by love, by acceptance, by inclusion, by forgiveness and by understanding.

“True patriotism hates injustice in its own land more than anywhere else.” Clarence Darrow  

America, for all her imperfections and faults, IS a great nation.  Patriotism should not be confused with jingoism, which by definition refers to a country’s advocacy for the use of threats or actual force in efforts to safeguard what it perceives as its national interests.  I rebel against the idea that there is “only enough” for SOME people.  America embodies the hope that anything is possible for anyone willing and able to dream.  Walt Disney said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” The American dream is an iconic part of our identity.  It is our promise.  Our hope. Our past, present and future.  Being American means we embrace and accept our imperfections as a nation, as a fallible and fragile people, but we work to overcome our faults, right our wrongs.

Being American defines me.  Being American means I strive to learn that which I don’t understand.  It means I embrace inclusivity and acceptance from people or ideas that might be different.  I see the value in the uniqueness of expression.  My growth, spiritually, mentally and emotionally is sparked by sharing ideas and experiences with cultures both ethnically and culturally diverse.  My belief in God is strengthened by these differences, not weakened.  America embodies hope.  Being an American means I’m an extension of that hope which should be reflected in the love and respect I hold for those that may not look like me or think like me. I believe in the free exchange of ideas, beliefs and experiences because it contributes to the vitality of our great nation and enriches humanity as a whole. As corny as it sounds, I do believe good trumps evil and that love conquers all.

“The love of one’s country is a splendid thing.  But why should love stop at the border?” Pablo Casals

I don’t know if I answered the question.  I’m not opting for a soapbox or a sound bite, these are the feelings I truly believe and embrace when I ask myself the question, “What does it mean to be an American?” I might have completely gone off script but these thoughts have been weighing on my heart recently and this topic and/or question felt like a path I could take to unburden myself, share my thoughts and my fears in the little environment I’ve created to experience the freedom of my emotions, such as they are.

I feel that being an American is a privilege, and I don’t take the rights and freedoms I enjoy for granted.  Despite the uncertain and turbulent times enveloping our nation, I feel optimistic and hopeful about our future.  I’m proud to be an American.  It is our differences, our unique voices and perspectives woven together that make up the rich tapestry of our Nation.  We don’t always get it right, but we never give up. ❤

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

Baking In A Tornado                        http://www.BakingInATornado.com

Dinosaur Superhero Mommy         http://dinoheromommy.com/

Spatulas on Parade                   http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/

The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver        http://www.thediaryofanalzheimerscaregiver.com/blog.html

The Lieber Family Blog                     http://thelieberfamily.com

The Bergham Chronicles                  http://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com

Never Ever Give Up Hope                 http://batteredhope.blogspot.com

Confessions of a part time working mom       http://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch/

Southern Belle Charm                          http://www.southernbellecharm.com

The Angrivated Mom                          http://www.angrivatedmom.wordpress.com/

Climaxed                                           http://climaxedtheblog.blogspot.com

Something To Talk About

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Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week 14 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

My “Secret Subject” is: 

You have 24 hours to spend with an ancestor. What do you talk about?

It was submitted by: It was submitted by: http://kimberlyyavorski.com/whenigrowup/

I’ve been thinking about my Great-Grandmother quite a bit lately.  She passed away over 20 years ago.  I know her in the way a child knows a grandparent.  I wish I had known her as an adult.  I remember sitting on her front porch, shelling pecans or snapping beans, listening to her talk, telling stories.  I’d love another chance to do that again, even just for 24 hours.

I don’t know much about my ancestry, but even if I did, I can’t imagine wanting to spend time with anyone else.  Grandma Dowell left a huge impression on my young mind and heart.  Every morning, I’d wake up on our visits to find her reading her bible.  I can thank her for my love of bacon, the kind fried up in a skillet, steeped in grease and love.  Yum!  I can only really remember her being on the porch or in the kitchen.  She was always working, never stopping, those bent and gnarled arthritic hands constantly in action.  I loved going through her purses, she also kept gum or mints stashed in them.  She had a little apartment attached to her house, my sister and I would spend hours playing in there.  I sat, entranced, in front of her television, watching MTV.  You know, back when MTV played music videos.  Videos like Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation” or “Every Breath You Take” by The Police.  Oh!  Another good one, “Hungry Like The Wolf” by Duran Duran.  I know I’m totally dating myself.  Remember “Sledgehammer” by Peter Gabriel?  “When The Doves Cry” by Prince makes me all nostalgic.  I would slip into a music video coma when “Take On Me” by a-ha would come on.  I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention “Like A Prayer” by Madonna or “Thriller” by Michael Jackson, which was also my first album by the way.  Ah, the memories.  Good times.

She loved me.  I don’t remember her being overly affectionate, verbally or otherwise, but I never doubted that she loved me.  She cooked all my favorite foods.  She spent time with me.  She listened to me.  She spoke to me as if I were an equal, as if my thoughts and feelings mattered, making me feel grown up and treasured.  She had such patience for my litany of questions, cautioning me once that “curiosity killed the cat.” I’d laugh and say but “satisfaction brought it back.” I miss her.  I’ve been thinking about her so much lately, even before I got this prompt.  I’m not sure why.

I wish my kids could have known her.  I wonder what she would think of me now.  All grown up.  Would she be proud?  She kept a box of letters and pictures.  She told me she was keeping them for me because she knew I would be a writer someday, and I’d want them.  I don’t know what happened to that box.  I wish I had it.  She believed in me before I even understand what to believe about myself.  I feel like I’ve let her down.  I let life get in the way.  I let my doubts and insecurities hold me back.  Would she lecture me?  Admonish me?  What words of wisdom would she have for me?  There is so much I want to tell her.  I need her advice, her wise counsel.  She’d probably tell me to get over myself.  She wasn’t shy about giving her opinions.  I loved that about her.

I remember her house dresses.  Someone should bring those back.  I’m a big fan of pajamas that are socially acceptable in public.  I also remember the first time she took her teeth out in front of me.  That was horrifying.  I didn’t know anything about dentures!  I wasn’t allowed to put my elbows on the table, but she could place her teeth on it!  That didn’t seem fair.  She just laughed and laughed.  Her toothless smile wide as she patted me on the head.

I remember sitting crouched in the hallway during a tornado warning.  It was so scary, a tornado literally touched down behind and in front of her house, just missing us.  At least that’s how I remember it.  During the whole ordeal, grandma was in the kitchen making popcorn.  The old-fashioned way, on the stove-top, completely unaffected by the chaos upending everything outside her four walls.  I remember waking up to finding a huge snake in her kitchen.  I don’t remember how she got the snake out or what happened to the snake, but I remember how calm she was in the midst of my hysteria and panic.  That’s the best way to describe her, she was a rock, a stable force in my childhood.

I would ask her to cram all of our shared memories into 24 hours so I could record them and keep them forever.  I’d want to hear more about her life and her marriage.  She was born around 1894, when I think about all the things she witnessed, the history she lived, things I’ve only read about, I’m filled with wonder and curiosity for what life must have really been like for her.  For my birthday every year, she’d send me $1 and a pair of pantyhose.  $1 was a lot of money to her and pantyhose a luxury item.  Things I didn’t appreciate as a child growing up in a generation of X’ers, the world of plenty.  Going to visit her was like going back in time, a slower pace, more thoughtful and deliberate.  Peaceful and serene.  I’m probably waxing poetic about my time spent there in a way that memory allows, I don’t know how reliable are my thoughts and memories, but it makes me feel good, this version I tell myself.  It feels magical and special, a time in my childhood to be cherished.

I’d spend our 24 hours on her front porch, soaking her up like a sponge.  My adult self recognizing how special she was and how luck I was to know her at all, if only a little bit.  She makes up such a small part of my overall history and life to this point, but she made such a huge impact. I’d tell her all these things.  I’d make her fix me bacon again.  I’d share my time with her with my husband and children. I’d love nothing more than to give them a chance to know her, and vice versa.

Everyone should have a Grandma Dowell in their life.  I’m blessed and grateful she was a part of mine. ❤

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

Baking In A Tornado                        http://www.BakingInATornado.com

Dinosaur Superhero Mommy              http://dinoheromommy.com/

Spatulas on Parade                           http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/

The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver        http://www.thediaryofanalzheimerscaregiver.com/blog.html

The Lieber Family Blog                           http://thelieberfamily.com

Sparkly Poetic Weirdo                              http://sparklyjenn.blogspot.com/

Simply Shannon                                      http://shannonbutler.org

The Bergham Chronicles                           http://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com

Confessions of a part time working mom      http://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch/

Not That Sarah Michelle                         http://notthatsarahmichelle.blogspot.com

Southern Belle Charm                           http://www.southernbellecharm.com

The Angrivated  Mom                              http://www.angrivatedmom.wordpress.com

When I Grow Up                                     http://kimberlyyavorski.com/whenigrowup/

Climaxed                                           http://climaxedtheblog.blogspot.com

Disaster, Thy Name Is Me

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Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week 12 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

My “Secret Subject” is:

Did you ever put your foot in your mouth and then instead of pulling it out, put it in deeper? Were you able to ‘fix’ it or was the situation a complete disaster?

It was submitted by: http://batteredhope.blogspot.com

I know everyone who actually knows me and just read my secret subject got a very good laugh.  I know I chuckled.  I mean, if putting your foot in your mouth was an Olympic sport, I’d be gold medaling all over the place.  I’m the Simone Biles of awkward foot eating.

Where to even begin.

For those of you who don’t know me well or personally, I’ll start with an introduction of sorts.  I am actually extremely shy and introverted.  My spirit animal is probably a hermit crab.  If I didn’t have to interact, I probably wouldn’t.  I’m better over social media than in person as a general rule.  I always feel awkward.  I suffer from chronic verbal diarrhea.  It’s horrible.  I’m worse around other women and specifically mom’s.  I feel more comfortable with men, but usually am still super awkward or say super inappropriate things.  I really shouldn’t be allowed out of the house, which would be fine by me honestly.

I revert to self-deprecation and humor in hopes of covering up my extreme social awkwardness and foot gorging behavior, but sometimes that really just makes everything worse.  My poor husband…  I feel like he follows me around with a pooper scooper, just shoveling and cleaning up the social disaster that is his wife.  I think if he could muzzle me at times he would, and I wouldn’t blame him one bit.  I mean, I tease and say he finds these qualities of mine, endearing or even lovable, but I’m mostly trying to convince myself.  I’ve always felt I was the counter balance to his more taciturn and serious demeanor.  I’m the Lucy to his Ricky. The Jerry (Seinfeld) to his George.  The Pooh to his Piglet. The Jerry (Lewis) to his Dean.  Okay…maybe not.  But you understand what I’m trying to convey.  Hopefully.

As I mentioned, I feel the most awkward when talking to other women, especially other mother’s.  I don’t know why, probably insecurity.  I feel that if they spend too long talking to me they will see what a fraud I am and how I totally don’t have this motherhood thing down and I’m completely faking it 99% of the time.  I feel as a general rule that everyone is doing the whole parenting thing way better than me, and being complimented on my parenting makes me extremely uncomfortable and I often resort to making embarrassing comments or inappropriate jokes.  I can’t really think of specific examples, I feel as if in parts my entire life is a series of blooper reels on repeat and in slow motion being regurgitated for the entire world to mock.  I know it seems ridiculous, I have great kids, why shouldn’t I get some of the credit, but honestly I really think they are awesome in spite of my parenting skills or lack thereof.

My biggest problem, the way I see it, is that I perpetually feel like a 14 year old girl on the inside.  That mechanism people have that stops them from saying certain things in front of certain people, yeah I think mine is defective or broken.  I say a little prayer or mantra if you will before going anywhere that usually goes something like this:

Please don’t let me say anything stupid today.  Don’t let me forget to make eye contact and smile.  Not a crazy I’m probably going to boil a pet bunny on your stove later kinda smile, just a normal, nice how are you smile.  Don’t bring up sex, poop or private body parts.  Instead of thinking ahead of a witty comeback, actually listen to the person speaking to you, like really listen.  Do: If someone attempts a hug, just hug them back and be grateful they want to love on you. Don’t: If someone attempts a hug, launch into a 5 minute diatribe on how uncomfortable and awkward hugging makes you feel ending in a rather maniacal laugh and claiming you have to run to the loo (I never say loo except in my head because it sounds more sophisticated) because you haven’t pooped in 3 days. Just BE normal.  Be kind.  Be nice.  Again, because it needs repeating, BE NORMAL.  Breathe.  Don’t forget to breathe. You got this girl!

For example, over Thanksgiving, I met my husband at work for the staff luncheon.  He works in a church.  At the beginning, we get in this huge line, and everyone holds hands, to pray before we feast.  I’m not a big fan of touching, unless it’s my husband or kids, so I was pretty proud of the fact that I picked the end of the line and only had to hold my husband’s hand, avoiding any potential awkwardness.  At some point, I realize everyone is looking at me and then pointedly looking over to the left of me.  I’m confused.  I offer up a blank stare, then I look to my left and realize, our line is supposed to be a circle.  The other end of this line that I have to bridge to make the circle is our Senior Pastor, essentially, my husband’s boss.  I thought I only groaned and said “oh no” in my head, but no… I voiced this objection with my out loud speaking voice.  Everyone chuckled,  out of awkwardness I’m sure, and I seriously wanted the ground to open up and swallow me whole.  It’s not that I didn’t want to hold his hand, I’m just not a fan of hand holding in general.  What if my palms were sweaty, or unusually dry and had I even washed my hands, had he?  I’m pretty sure I licked my finger like 2 seconds ago, will he notice? I picked my ear earlier, I mean personally preferable over a nose pick but still…and not with the same ear picking finger.  I don’t think.  I’m pretty sure it was a different finger.  I think my hands are sweaty now.  Did I really just say no?  Why do I leave the house? WHY? He probably doesn’t even remember this incident, but it’s haunted my mortifying nightmares for weeks.  If I haven’t felt stupid in a day, it’s probably only because I haven’t left the house and talked to anyone.

The other thing I do when I’m nervous or talking to people I don’t know that well, or even people I do know well is that I ramble…or babble incoherently, however you want to phrase it.  This is especially true with someone that I really want to like me or someone I want to impress.  You should hear me in job interviews…oh the horror.  I get nervous and worry about not sounding intelligent or witty so I just open my mouth and holy highway of verbal vomit someone please stop me I can’t help myself make it stop punch me in the face right now please.  I probably need to be medicated.  For reals.  You are now probably thinking, omg she’s NOT medicated?!?!?  Nope.  I’m not.  I’m free-ballin’ this crazy thing called life 😀

I’ve always used humor and sarcasm as a defense mechanism.  It’s hard for me to relax in social situations so I’m pretty much guaranteed to use my foot as an all day sucker.  I have to work really hard to appear more extraverted than I actually am.  It’s just the way I’m wired.  My hope is that people will in general find me endearing and humorous and spend the majority of the time laughing with me and not at me.  I hope they understand my heart is usually in the right place and I never intentionally mean to offend.  It’s much easier for me to share and be open in the social media arena than it is in one on one situations.  I’ll post pics of my weight loss journey all over Facebook and Instagram, but when I see someone who liked or commented on my photo, my inner 14 year old girl is screaming “OMG THEY SAW ME IN A SPORTS BRA AND YOGA PANTS WITH MY BACK FAT HANGING OVER AND MY BOOBS SWINGING LOW AND SLIGHTLY TO THE LEFT!!!!”  RUN!  HIDE!  DO NOT ENGAGE!  WARNING!

I’m not sure I did a great job of answering my secret subject this week, but I’ll wrap up by saying, I’m basically a walking social disaster, but I hope you’ll love me anyway ❤

And pray for my husband.

Especially that.  I’m exhausting.

Have a wonderful and blessed Friday!

xoxo

Baking In A Tornado                    http://www.BakingInATornado.com

Dinosaur Superhero Mommy        http://dinoheromommy.com/

Spatulas on Parade                     http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/

The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver      http://www.thediaryofanalzheimerscaregiver.com/blog.html

The Lieber Family Blog                  http://thelieberfamily.com

Confessions of a part time working mom    http://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch/

Never Ever Give Up Hope                 http://batteredhope.blogspot.com

The Bergham Chronicles                  http://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com

Climaxed                                     http://climaxedtheblog.blogspot.com

A Little Piece of Peace                     http://little-piece-of-peace.blogspot.com

Southern Belle Charm                     http://www.southernbellecharm.com

You’ve Got Mail

Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week 13 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

My “Secret Subject” is: 

You wake up and YOU are the “elf on the shelf” and you CAN move about on your own free will…what havoc do you create or are you a “good” elf? Write a story and tell us about a day in the life of “You the Elf on the Shelf”

It was submitted by: http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/

If I woke up as the “elf on the shelf”, I would spend my time writing my human self a letter and it would go something like this…

Dear “Family”,

I remember the night you brought me home.  It was late, you were panicked because apparently you lost your original Elf on the Shelf, which you let your spawn name “Spike”.  I tried not to feel alarmed that my comrade and fellow Elf on the Shelf was terrified and alone, shoved in some box somewhere, forsaken and forgotten.  I didn’t even get a new name.  I got a used name, a rather horrific name for a Christmas Elf, but my opinion wasn’t solicited.  Apparently, it’s your belief that all elves look the same.  You thought nothing of passing me off as the original “Spike” to your unsuspecting offspring. Sometimes late at night, I think I can hear the original “Spike” screaming to be freed from his dark prison of neglect.

I dreamed of the day I would be picked off the store shelf and brought to my new home for the first time.  My dream in no way resembled the nightmare I now find myself in.  Every  night thrust in some new humiliating or precariously orchestrated scene of mischief and mayhem.  Somehow I’m supposed to illicit good behavior with these ill-advised shenanigans!  How that works, I haven’t quite worked out yet.  I see how you look at me, with your deep sighs of annoyance.  Often even forgetting about me altogether, and making ups some lie or excuse as to why I failed to move during the night.  I do admit I find humor in those mornings you find yourself up before the crack of dawn trying to find something new to do with me.  Something impressive you can post on that Facebook page you’re always looking at and obsessing over.

This whole Facebook phenomenon is the only reason I think you bought me in the first place, for the second time!  All these adults trying to outdo or one up each other!  Can I be completely honest with you?  Of course I can, this is my letter!  You have many gifts, and I suppose as a parent, you do okay.  I mean, who am I to judge.  My treatment notwithstanding, you seem like a pretty good person and I think you do your best.  I’m not judging you but you’re never going to be the mom who sews her kids Halloween costumes. Or the mom that makes a Whole 30 approved lunch for her child every day, complete with little sandwiches cut into various shapes and characters.  Or the mom that gets up and makes fresh pancakes and berries for breakfast on the daily before school.  Or the mom that volunteers for anything and everything and does a spectacular gluten-free job.  Accept this.  It’s okay.

You’re the mom that throws a bruised banana in a brown paper bag with some stale goldfish, peanut butter and jelly on a hot dog bun (because you ran out of bread and it was at least a whole wheat bun) and a tic tac you found in the couch cushion and calls it a lunch.  You might not be the mom that can hand sew the best Halloween costume ever, but you are the mom that will drive around to 50 stores to find the exact rendition of ninja that your son desperately wants to be. Why measure yourself against what you think you know about other mom’s based on how many likes they get on a posted picture via some social media platform or another.  More importantly, why drag me into the crazy!  I’m just a little elf, designed to bring magic and wonder, and I suppose entice good behavior during the season of Christmas.  Quit killing yourself (and me!) trying to live up to an ideal that isn’t even real!

If you can’t somehow send me back to Santa, to enjoy a long life of making toys, finding a nice elfette to marry and having little elf babies of my very own, then for the love of St. Nick, please stop with the crazy schemes and insanity!  And find the original “Spike”!  He deserves a proper send off as well!  How do you even lose an elf anyway?!?! By the way, nice job explaining my absence so far this season on your impending move.  I’m not asking for much, just don’t lose me.  Surely, I deserve better.  I’ve risked life and limb for you, holding my crazy positions, keeping alive the magic and innocence best expressed in the eyes of the young, prolonging childhood and generating precious memories along the way. If you’re reading this imagining my little elf fist shaking in your general direction, then you are doing it right.  I don’t want to stage a coup, but I am willing to obtain, by any means necessary, if not my freedom then at least a stop to this madness.  As smart as I believe you to be, and I’m feeling generous this morning, you seem to have missed the boat completely on the point of my existence.

Now please excuse me while I spend the rest of my free time doing things that bring me joy.  I’m going to dance to Christmas music, eat some holiday fudge, write a letter home to Santa and a few other special elf friends and because I’m a nice elf, I’m going to take a rag and dust a few of these places you seem to favor propping me up in and around.  I could make dust angels…not to give you any ideas, but I think I’ve developed allergies since living here.  Housekeeping won’t necessarily go on your list of strengths either, not that I’m judging!  I promise.  I’m on your side, truly.  Help me, help you.  Leave the madness.  I have faith in you!  You can do it!  We can do it…together!

Sincerely,

Spike #2

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

Baking In A Tornado                    http://www.BakingInATornado.com 

Not That Sarah Michelle            http://notthatsarahmichelle.blogspot.com

The Bergham Chronicles            http://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com

Spatulas on Parade                 http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com

The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver     http://www.thediaryofanalzheimerscaregiver.com/blog.html

The Lieber Family Blog                 http://thelieberfamily.com

Dinosaur Superhero Mommy        http://dinoheromommy.com/

Never Ever Give Up Hope              http://batteredhope.blogspot.com

A Little Piece of Peace                   http://little-piece-of-peace.blogspot.com

Confessions of a part time working mom     http://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch/

The Angrivated Mom Blog                   http://www.angrivatedmom.wordpress.com/

Climaxed                                                   http://climaxedtheblog.blogspot.com

 

Letting Go Is Hard To Do

Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week 15 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

My “Secret Subject” is:

Tell us about something that you own that you are not using but cannot bear to part with.

It was submitted by: http://Bakinginatornado.com

I had this brilliant idea for today’s post.  I was going to post my first vlog, until I realized every angle was a choice between 2 chins or 3.  I tried using my selfie stick, but almost fell down the stairs, and I did read a statistic once about selfie stick related deaths.  Perhaps a vlog is not the best option for me personally.

My second plan was to take pics of three specific areas in my home that I need to clean out and/or organize but just can’t motivate myself to do so for varied reasons.  Mostly laziness.  My son’s closet for example.  His babyhood is in that closet.  Ok, so yeah you can barely get his closet door shut, but cleaning it out means throwing stuff away or giving it away, which means saying goodbye officially to his infancy.  I  mean I still tell people I’m trying to lose my baby weight.

“Oh, how old is your baby?”

“Umm 10…”

“10 days?”

“Not exactly…”

“10 weeks?”

“Well…”

“10 months?”

“Yeah, let’s go with that, shall we.”

What?  He’s just freakishly big for his age.  Don’t judge me.

Finding any humor in anything these days is extremely difficult.  Which brings me to what I decided to actually blog about today.

Sometimes the hardest baggage to offload or unpack is not tangible or physical, it’s emotional.

I would say this has been a horrific week, but it’s been months.  Months and months of just one hit after another.  The tragic loss of life.  Inexplicable.  Devastating.  Violence so senseless, most of us are left broken-hearted asking ourselves and each other why.  We search for answers, we pray for guidance, we weep for humanity, we rage against the insanity of it all.

“You must not lose faith in humanity.  Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” Mahatma Ghandi

I’ll be honest.  I don’t want to relinquish my white privilege.  I may feel I don’t actively use it, that I’ve never been put in a situation where being white was the difference between life or death.  But how would I know?  I’m white.  I’ve never not been white.

“The irony of American History is the tendency of good white Americans to presume racial innocence.  Ignorance of how we are shaped racially is the first sign of privilege.  In other words, it is a privilege to ignore the consequences of race in America.” Tim Wise

I’ll be honest.  When I first heard about the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, I immediately started forming my argument for why they were to blame for their own deaths, not the police.  Then I watched the videos.  I was ashamed.  I wept.  My heart is heavy.  Even now, it’s hard to let go of the idea that there must be some explanation that hasn’t come to light.  A vital piece of evidence or eye witness account that exonerates the police officers involved. I envelope myself in the peace, comfort and safety of my white privilege and most of the time I’m not even aware I’m doing it and that is a huge part of the problem.  Sticking my head in the sand and making excuses for abhorrent, irrational and inexcusable behavior is the root of blindness that accompanies white privilege.  I even hate the word white privilege.  I want to reject it and everything it means, because to me it somehow implies that I’m not a good person or that I’m somehow to blame. Responsibility and ownership are bitter pills to swallow in the matter of racial oppression.

“After all, acknowledging unfairness then calls decent people forth to correct those injustices.  And since most persons are at their core, decent folks, the need to ignore evidence of injustice is powerful.  To do otherwise would force whites to either push for change (which they would perceive as against their interests) or live consciously as hypocrites who speak of freedom and opportunity but perpetuate a system of inequality.” Tim Wise

As I prepare for bed last night, my phone flashes a new alert.  Snipers target police officers at a peaceful Black Lives Matter rally in my hometown of Dallas, 12 officers shot, 5 dead.

I tossed and turned all night.  All I could hear in my head was the little voice of the 4 year old girl, sitting in the back seat of a squad car with her handcuffed mother, a little girl who watched Philando Castile get shot by a police officer, from the back seat of the car seemingly pulled over for a routine traffic stop, telling her mommy “it’s ok mommy, I’m here with you.”

“To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.” Nelson Mandela

It’s difficult to look at myself in the mirror, place my white privilege humbly before me, and acknowledge that I am part of the problem.  I can’t pretend that I know what it’s like to be black.  If my husband got pulled over for speeding or a headlight out or a broken taillight, it would never occur to me to be afraid.  To fear for his life.  My son and his friends play outside with their nerf and/or pretend guns and I never worry that a police officer will mistake those for real guns and shoot first, ask questions later.  I don’t know what it feels like to be considered a threat just because of the color of my skin.  I’m white wherever I go.  It’s the first statement I make when I enter a room.

Police officers are supposed to be the guardians of our personal freedoms and rights.  They are sworn to protect and serve us.  ALL of us.  I don’t have all the answers.  I don’t even know the questions most of the time.  What I know is that we are divided.  We are bruised and bleeding.  We feel powerless.  We are struggling to catch our collective breaths.  We lash out.  We blame.  We point fingers. We are afraid.  Fear is a tricky thing.  It’s elusive, living in shadows, waiting to prey on our insecurities.  Ruled by fear, we are destined to repeat our mistakes.  We fail to learn from our history.  We fix nothing.  We cannot heal.  Fear cloaks our prejudices.  Fear is the beacon of injustice.  We cannot allow ourselves to continue to be ruled by fear, by prejudice and yes….by white privilege.

“The history of humanity has, to a large extent, been one of groping blindly in the dark, fearing for the future and yet resisting the guiding hand of inspired men who would willingly lead mankind in the path of safety.” Ezra Taft Benson

I can’t speak for anyone else, but I want to be a light upon the world.  I want change to start with me.  I want to be a part of the solution, not the problem.  I don’t know how to do that, maybe writing this blog post is a start.  I might be the only person that actually reads it but if we change, even just one heart at a time, doesn’t that matter? Doesn’t that count?  Isn’t that a start?  It’s not that the conversation needs to change, the conversation hasn’t even happened yet.  We are too busy blaming each other.  We’ve retreated into our separate corners, eyeing each other warily, waiting…watching to see what happens next.  Comfortable in the knowledge that these things happen to OTHER people.  Not us.  A blind eye can be turned, our conscious clear, because after all, it’s not our problem.  What can we do?

“What whites have rarely had to think about — because being the dominant group, we are so used to having our will done, with a little effort at least — is that maybe the point is not victory, however much we all wish to see justice attained and injustice routed.  Maybe our redemption comes from the struggle itself.  Maybe it is in the effort, the striving for equality and freedom that we become human.” Tim Wise

I don’t want to give up my white privilege.  It keeps me safe, my children safe.  I can’t bear to part with it, I’m afraid.

I am afraid.  Paralyzed with fear.

I’m ashamed of that fear.  It can’t continue.  Change is necessary.  Change is imperative to our very survival.

“Standing still is never an option so long as inequities remain embedded in the very fabric of the culture.” Tim Wise

I desire a better life for my children.  I want to leave the world better than I found it.  Racial oppression permeates and invades the very fabric of our society on every level.  It is propagated by white privilege.  We are the problem.  We are also the solution.  We must be.  Failure should not be an option.

“People never hurt others in moments of personal strength and bravery, when they are feeling good about themselves, when they are strong and confident. If we spent all of our waking moments in that place, then fighting for social justice would be redundant; we would simply have social justice and be done with it, and we could all go swimming, or fishing, or bowling, or dancing, or whatever people do.  But it is because we spend so much of our time in that other place, that place of diminished capacity, of flagging energy, or wavering and somewhat flaccid commitment, the we have to be careful.”  Tim Wise

Change can only happen when we acknowledge the problems in the first place.  We need to shine a bright spotlight on the ugly nature of our white privilege, of racial oppression and hatred.  It’s ok to be afraid.  It’s not ok to bury our heads in the sand and hope it all goes away on it’s own and turn a blind eye so social injustice, violence and prejudice on every level.  Shame on us if we continue to do so.  Shame on us if we do nothing.  Shame on us if we dismiss this as someone else’s problem.  Shame on us.

I pray for guidance and strength.  I don’t have all the answers.  My blog today is probably incoherent and rambling, a testament to how lost I feel in the world we live in today.  I hope that acknowledging my white privilege is a good start.  Awareness the first step in changing attitudes, changing lives.

“Humanity either makes, or breeds, or tolerates all it’s afflictions.” William Arthur Ward

Let us be part of the solution, not the problem.  Will you join me?

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

http://www.BakingInATornado.com

http://notthatsarahmichelle.blogspot.com

http://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com/

http://dinoheromommy.com/

http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com

http://thelieberfamily.com

http://batteredhope.blogspot.com

http://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch/

http://www.thediaryofanalzheimerscaregiver.com/blog.html

http://mollyritterbeck.com/

http://juiceboxconfession.com/

http://www.southernbellecharm.com

http://climaxedtheblog.blogspot.com

http://kimberlyyavorski.com/whenigrowup/