Lessons I've Learned

There was time in my life when I allowed another’s lies to define who I was.
       That was a lifetime ago; and that time has ended.
       We learn, as Christians, to see Jesus when we look at people; but how many of us actually have that thought running rampant through our mind every second of our busy days?
       My former mother-in-law never missed an opportunity to voice to my mother that she told her son he should not have married me – and this was while we were married. Do you think she was seeing Jesus when she spoke those words to another mother? Truth be told, it would actually hurt me to voice that sentiment to another mother. I identify with other’s feelings on too deep a level to ever consider voicing such a hurtful comment.
A "What Would Jesus Do?" (WWJD) bracelet
A “What Would Jesus Do?” (WWJD) bracelet (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
       I remember a time when my former husband and one of his co-workers went fishing for the day. At the end of the day, after cleaning the catch, we shared a meal with the other family. As women will do, we talked as we stood in the kitchen preparing the meal. I was surprised – or perhaps not – when she very candidly told me that my husband had told her of a conversation he had with my then husband. In that conversation, he said that I was a bitch. There is no other way to phrase that particular word – my apologies. She went on to tell me that her husband said that he was told I did nothing but scream and yell and fuss all of the time.
       Anyone who knows me will tell you I do not handle matters in that particular way. I am a person who holds their anger inside. I rarely ever show my anger or hurt. I detach and become very quite. That doesn’t mean I am not human. I am, and I have been known to slam a few doors – loud and hard- did I mention loud and hard – but screaming is not something I do. I do not like confrontation, and I avoid it whenever possible.
Ephesians 4:29 – “Don’t let any foul words come out of your mouth. Only say what is helpful when it is needed for building up the community so that it benefits those who hear what you say.” 
       I asked this woman, if after getting the chance to know me, if she still thought that I was this kind of person. I did not let on, but I was extremely hurt when she replied that she did in fact still believe all that she had heard, because she did not feel that my former husband would lie – which said to me that she thought I was lying when I denied the allegations. What I wanted to do at that time was grab my daughters and leave. I did not want to stay in a place that was detrimental to my emotional well-being. I could feel myself shutting down.
       What I did was hide my hurt and anger inside of me, and stayed for dinner. I never told anyone how devastating that conversation was to me. Little did I know that it would only be one of many to come.
Colossians 4:6 – “Your speech should always be gracious and sprinkled with insight so that you may know how to respond to every person.”
       Ever since that night, when the thoughts come back to haunt me, I get angry with myself. I am angry because I did not stand up for myself. I am angry because I did not confront my ex-husband. I am angry because another person believed his lies. I am angry because I let it bother me. I am angry because I wish the memory would vanish.
       And, then I think, maybe the memory comes back to remind me that I am worthy. I am worthy of Jesus’ love. I do not need people like this woman in my life because they make me feel like less than. And, to feel less than, is an insult to God. It is also a lesson that we need to know and remember. Lies hurt; lies maim; lies destroy; and lies kill. Lies destroy a person’s spirit; what lies within.
Proverbs 14:1 – “A wise woman builds her house, while a foolish woman tears hers down with her own hands.”
       For a while, the WWJD – What would Jesus do – bracelets were extremely popular. It seemed as though everyone was wearing some form or another of the symbol. I wonder if our actions would be significantly different if we had WWJD branded on our foreheads. While it sounds like a farfetched idea, I urge you to think about it for a moment. When we opened our mouths to lie, or to gossip, would we continue or would we close our mouths?
       This story brings me to a lesson we need to remember. Everyone is of God. And, to insult or lie or belittle another person, is to belittle God, our creator. For that reason, when we see or speak to others, we need to remember one of the greatest lessons of all – look for Jesus in each face we see and not be led astray.
       As always, I encourage you to share your opinions and experience, and/or questions. Remember to show courtesy to others in your comments.

From the Heart – What we all long for

        I was reading an email that I received today and it immediately brought to mind my first marriage. The topic was about longing for a person to turn to, someone to defend you, and keep you safe.
        The reason I thought of my ex-husband was I did not receive this acceptance and love from him. He never defended me, in fact, he often belittled me and told lies about me. I learned the difficult lesson that without mutual love and respect, the relationship does not prosper and grow; it falters.
        Maybe I am a little old fashion, but my core beliefs are a husband/wife should love his wife/husband unconditionally. He should be willing to do battle for her – not against her, and above all, he should respect her. This was not what I found in my first marriage. I have heard my ex-husband’s family described as mean. Sadly, I would have to agree. I have bore witness to it on too many occasions; and since the divorce -16+ years ago-, some of the meanness has developed into hatred towards me; and the relationships with my daughters directly affected by the detestation.
        When I met my husband -Hubby-, I knew that I would not settle for less than I deserved. Love and respect had to be part of the package, or there would be no relationship. Having gone through a similar marriage and divorce, he felt the same. It was hard for me to trust in the beginning, but with him as a light in my life, I learned how to trust again.
        My marriage today is abundant in love, trust, respect, forgiveness, and a faith in God to guide us. Our marriage has been like the bed of roses in my garden. There are beautiful blooms, but there have also been pricks from thorns along the way. With God’s help, we continue to prune the thorns. It is the definition of a marriage blessed by God, and one that nurtures both my husband and myself.
        I hope this post leaves you pondering, and I invite you to comment. What is your definition of marriage? Is there something you long for?

Thank you for visiting with me today.”Say goodnight Gracie” – “Goodnight”


Are YOU making this etiquette mistake?

Sunday’s From the Heart Series – It’s all about the etiquette 
OR, maybe you don’t give a hoot about proper etiquette?
         I do! Even acquaintances of mine will tell you it doesn’t take long to see I am all about manners and proper etiquette!
         I was reading an article the other day about the proper way to handle different etiquette situations, and the topic of being invited to a shower or a party (etc.) hosted (and I use this term loosely) at arestaurant, but with the intention of you paying for your own meal. I thought it was funny because this is a pet peeve of mine, a HUGE one! I have addressed etiquette on my blog before and I thought – it’s a favorite subject of mine, so why not do it again? I love hearing what other people are thinking, so I really hope you will comment. It can’t be just me who is missing those long ago days of manners, along with “Please” and “Thank you.”
         (Back to the subject) This has happened to me on several occasions, and I must admit I chose not to attend the functions. We all view situations in a different light, and this is only my opinion. “Hey, we are having a baby (wedding, etc.) shower at (insert restaurant) in (insert town 2 hours away) on (date, time) for (insert name). We would love (exaggerating) for you to attend, but you will have to buy your own meal.
         This is what I hear when someone issues this type of invitation: “Hey. We want to you to drive two hours, bring a nice gift, and buy your own meal. Want to come?”
         My answer: “No thank you”.
         Now, my circumstances may be a little different in that this is the only time I hear from these types of people, and maybe my response reflects this. Hubby and I do not invite people to join us for anything unless we can pick up the tab. I feel that it is inappropriate to invite someone with the expectation that they travel this distance (and incur fuel expenses as well as four hours driving time alone), purchase a gift, and their meal.
         It really makes me wonder if they had the party at their house, would they have a donation box at the door to defray the cost. Personally, under the conditions where the host cannot actually afford to “host” the event, a smaller gathering at their home would be more suitable.
         I know if I were to attend such an event, the cost of the gift would be significantly altered by the additional expenses I would incur; than if I were attending the same event at someone’s home where I was not expected to also pay for my meal.
         Now, that being said, there have been occasions where my Hubby’s large family has met at a restaurant for a birthday and each family picked up the tab for their family. This is not the same thing. There are always occasions when friends will meet up at a restaurant and everyone will pay for their own tab. These are not the occasions of which I speak.
         To sum up this post (I guess I did that already) I feel that if you cannot afford to host the event at a nice restaurant, you should choose a less expensive venue, or have the party at your home. You should not ask others to pay for your party. I would much rather attend a simple affair at your home than pick up the tab for your party.
         Now that I have vented and expressed my personal opinion, I would love to hear your take on this particular situation. Do you think it is proper to host an event and expect people to pay their own way?
Thanks for joining me today!
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Sunday’s From the Heart and Tuesday’s All Things Southern! 

From the Heart – Sundays as a day of enlightenment

   Sundays – they always seem to be a day of enlightenment, a day of renewal.

         I returned home a short time ago from our “normal” Sunday morning activities. Each Sunday morning, Hubby and I, along with many others from church, visit the local nursing home to say theRosary with the residents.

         Not normally one for making friends easily, I have become friends with an older couple who come to the nursing home for the Rosary on Sunday mornings. I have also grown quite fond of a friend of theirs who is a resident of the nursing home; and when one of us is not there, we are truly missed.

         There is an older gentleman referred to by everyone as “Coach”. I have no idea if he was a coach, but he loves sports. He has also become somewhat of a preacher and on most Sundays, shares a messagewith those gathered. This morning was no exception. He shared the story about the lion who wanted to eat a mouse and how the mouse convinced him he would not be full if he ate him. Then, later in the story, the lion was caught in a net and the little mouse chewed a hole in the net and saved him. Then the lion and the mouse became forever friends. I may be the only one who did not get the moral of that story, but I did get the moral of the second part of his message.

         The second part of his message this morning was about deciding to be happy. Each morning when you open your eyes, you can decide to be happy or you can decide to be miserable. This was the second time this morning (and it is not lunch yet) that I received this message. I was reading the thought for the day from Joel Osteen and his message centered on how we make the decision to be happy or not to be happy. We can dwell on past unhappinesses or we can start the day brand new with a smile.

         This message hit home with me because on so many days, I wake up thinking that today is going to be the day I do not allow past hurts to sneak in; and on so many days, that is exactly the opposite of what happens. Today, after hearing that message twice in such a short span of time, I am determined more than ever to adhere to it; to make it my mantra, and stick with it.

          We pray for God to grant our wishes, but when he does, because they are not exactly what we prayed for, sometimes we do not see the granted wishes. I prayed that my daughters would want to hear my side of the story, my reasons for divorcing their father, and to understand that I did not abandon them. They have never asked or been interested in my story; so I have harbored hurt and anger in my heart about the divorce.

         God has chosen to answer my prayers in a different manner, in a positive way. So, today, I am shedding the cloak of gloom, the cloak of hurt and anger, and I am choosing to move forward with a smile.

         It is no wonder that Sundays are considered a day of rest. God works hard to open our eyes to his blessings. He definitely needs the rest.

         Happy Sunday to everyone. I hope that God answers one of your prayer requests today.
           **Be sure to check out my primary blog at http://mylife-in-stories.blogspot.com  Thanks!

If I only had a brain…

by: Donna McBroom-Theriot/ @MyBookofStories

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         One of my sisters took my mother to have a test run at the hospital this week. It was either a nerve test or a brain test. It escapes me at this moment.

         We already know she has nerve so that may not have been the test. Then, after you look at the picture below, you will see why it must have been a brain test and why this phrase, borrowed from the Wizard of Oz, seems so appropriate: “If I only had a brain”.



After viewing this photo, the after affects of having collided with a curb and using her face as a shield to the – brain? – itleads me to the conclusion that I have inherited my pension for accidents – clumsiness, lack of grace – from my mother. Hence, “If I only had a brain”.

         After I was diagnosed with two rare blood disorders, she was worried that she had somehow passed a defective gene on to me. I assured her that she had not; but she had passed something far worse on to me – clumsiness! It seems as though my grandmother also suffered her share of falls.

         If you recall – and I’m sure you can, but if you can’t, here is the link: My Life. One Story at a Time.: Elderly Entertainment, my mother suffered another fall two years ago. She took a nosedive down the steps attempting to use her head as landing gear. Sadly, I do not have a photo to compare to this one. I assure you that it was just as bad, even requiring stitches.

         I haven’t quite figured out what is Southern about this story, other than some of us Southerners were born without the grace factor that I tend to associate with Southerness. Try as I might, an easy, gracefulness escapes me. Hubby says I prance. I don’t think that qualifies as gracefulness, however, it does qualify for the raison d’être I have suffered my own litany of accidents – bruised rotor cup, dislocated fingers, fractured fingers, injured ligaments, nerve damage to a hand…the list goes on. I remember being called into the doctor’s office and isolated from Hubby while they inquired whether I was being abused or had been abused. The ludicrously of the entire scenario had me laughing hysterically. That may have given them the impression that I was a bit loony. Oh well – at least they didn’t schedule a “brain test”.

         Getting back to my Mother, fortunately, for her, this fall took place at the hospital. She had an entire staff of nurses who came running to her rescue – which reminds me, I still have not figured out where my sister was while all of this was happening. All my mother wanted to do was continue on to her appointment – gotta find out about that brain. The nursing staff had other plans – which included several hours in the Emergency Room and a re-scheduled appointment. Mother is back home, stiff as a board, and sporting lots of bandages.

         Not to be left out of the excitement, my Godfather, her brother, was in an accident Tuesday morning. While driving over an overpass, he rear-ended a truck as he was cresting the bridge, causing a four-truck accident with at least two totaled vehicles. I am now realizing that I forgot to ask why the traffic was stopped in the first place. He’s home and doing fine. He phoned me yesterday and then again this morning. He ended our phone call so his wife could clean and re-bandage his wounds – so he may not be doing so fine at this particular moment; especially if he looks like his sister – and I’ve been told he actually looks worse.


Bumper Cars!

         Aging should not be about competition and comparing wounds – Bumper Cars and Skip the Curb? Will these siblings ever grow up?

         That’s what is going on in the South. What is going on in your neck of the woods (to quote Al Roker)?


Ten Rules for Being Human by Cherie Carter-Scott

Ten Rules for Being Human

Inspired by: Cherie Carter-Scott

personal develpment

Ten Rules for Being Human

You will receive a body. You may like it or hate it, but it’s yours to keep for the entire period.

Ten Rules for Being Human

You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called, “life.”

Ten Rules for Being Human

There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of trial, error, and experimentation. The “failed” experiments are as much a part of the process as the   experiments that ultimately “work.”

Ten Rules for Being Human

Lessons are repeated until they are learned. A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it, you can go on to the next lesson.

Ten Rules for Being Human

Learning lessons does not end. There’s no part of life that doesn’t contain its lessons. If you’re alive, that means there are still lessons to be learned.

Ten Rules for Being Human

“There” is no better a place than “here.” When your “there” has become a “here”, you will simply obtain another “there” that will again look better than “here.”

Ten Rules for Being Human

Other people are merely mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects to you something you love or hate about yourself.

Ten Rules for Being Human

What you make of your life is up to you. You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours.

Ten Rules for Being Human

Your answers lie within you. The answers to life’s questions lie within you. All you need to do is look, listen, and trust.

Ten Rules for Being Human

You will forget all this.