Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Letting Go of the American Dream?

Are we letting go of the American Dream?

Things are not always what they seem.
Lately, everyone seems to have some kind of scheme.

People are mad at rich CEOs.
Maybe I am too, I suppose.

People talk of the 99 percent.
Before we earn, the money’s been spent.

People try to find answers inside of a glass.
What happened to the “middle” class?

People who make little, but will spend it all
To see some highly-paid people play with a ball.

People look up to those who have fame,
Go to their concerts chanting their name.

People try to have faith in our government.
They tax us enough, but the money’s all spent.

Is this what our grandparents envisioned when they got off the boat?
They had some shoes and maybe a coat.
They left their countries to get a new start.
If we want recovery, we’ll all play a part.

Will we move into the future or be stuck in the past?
This leaves one more question that needs to be asked:
Who’s living the American Dream?

kl 7-12-12
I apologize if I sound all gloom and doom. I usually try to avoid political discussions. The parties are so far apart on so many issues I don't know if agreement is possible. So we stand still....and wait while the campaigning continues. Does any president really get anything done that last year in office? They're busy trying to get re-elected!

I thought of the above when I was looking at ticket prices for a concert or a game. Events are billed as "family-friendly", but the cost is too high for average earning families to afford. While the people we pay to see, are earning millions. I'm beyond thinking that life will be "fair", but it just seemed ridiculous at the time.....who am I kidding? It still does.

I'm praying that there is an actual American Dream to be dreamed of for our future generations. If we don't change something, we will just keep going in circles....and accomplish little if anything..

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

That Bites!

I have to admit I do not understand the fascination with vampires in Twilight or similar stories. I suppose when I was younger it was Dracula and bats, but still.....the whole romance thing with a vampire and living forever? I hate needles, I don't think pointy teeth would be any better. Living in the world we're in now? No thanks.

If you hang around little children for any length of time more than likely you will experience their frustration when they bite another child, him/herself or you! Take a toy they want? Chomp. Not paying attention to them? Chomp. These are not usually little love bites either. They leave marks!

I started to wonder though. How do kids learn to bite when they are frustrated? It's not like it is a modeled behavior. I highly doubt (in most households!) that the child has seen mom and dad biting each other when they get frustrated. They might have seen another child bite someone and saw the reaction it received. Behaviors that receive attention get repeated....often!

As loving parents and kid caregivers, we start teaching children that it is inappropriate to bite when frustrated. We help them learn to recognize that feeling and handle it in a better way that does not hurt them or anyone else. As adults, we don't walk around biting each other so we obviously learned somewhere along the way other ways to handle frustrations.

One way adults usually handle frustration is to use words. Sometimes this is probably not much better than biting. Words can hurt without leaving marks. Unfortunately? Once it is out of your mouth? You can't take it back. You can't make the other person forget what was said, how it was said OR keep them from replaying that over and over in their head. Even as adults, we need a reminder that we need to handle our frustrations appropriately.

Galatians 5:14-15 (NIV) For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

Monday, August 06, 2012

The Power of the Table

Ok, bit of a confession here....and for those who really know me I'm not spilling anything new. I am messy....especially with papers. For SO long with the rentals, we have had SO many papers. Add that on to dealing with depression on and off and the mess accumulates at a much faster pace than I can keep up with or sometimes even know where to start. By mere convenience of location, the table has been the landing point for most paper coming into the house. The table is flat and I know where stuff is at....well, at least what pile it may be in.

Unfortunately, the piles of paper and other stuff that doesn't belong there eventually take over most if not all of the table. This does not make it easy to eat AT the table. I know family dinners and time at the table/in the kitchen are important. Every once in awhile, I would think that I needed to get the table cleaned off. Then I would feel even more guilty for how long it has been that way....and still not take care of it.

Over the past couple of weeks, hubby and I have been working together (works MUCH better that way...but amazing how often we forget and work against each other) on getting things more organized and cleaned up. The table finally got cleaned off. Yes, there is still "stuff" to deal with....but it's not on the table. 

We ate and had a discussion that really helped both of us see where the other person was coming from. This may not seem like a big deal. It didn't really to me at first. Then I got to thinking how often or, sadly, how little we have communicated more than just in passing. We probably fixed more in half an hour than we have in weeks.

Sometimes it seems we as a society are getting so caught up in technology and keeping our kids busy that we have forgotten the importance of sitting down together and chatting face to face. Leaving the TV off and not answering the phone during table time shows that the people around us are more important than any possible distraction.

We also had communion at church today. I was reminded again of the importance of spending time with God   as well as my family. My parents did a very good job when we were little kids with having a devotion time after dinner. My grandma helped me recite Psalm 23 when I had lunch at her house. They knew the power of the table and shared it with me. 

Maybe a messy table isn't your problem. Maybe taking time to spend together with family isn't an issue. For me? I have some habits to break....and some new ones to start. 

Acts 2:42 (NLT) All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.