SPONSOR: www.linkedin.com/in/joseph-joe-ledford-03407421/ Mk 1:15 The Kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the Gospel.
It's so easy to say, really. Probs why we all do it so much and so often:
"Don't let him/her bother you."
"Let it roll off your back."
"Take the power away from him/her by not allowing them to hurt you."
"Only YOU can control how you feel."
Man, it is SUCH good advice...for androids. I mean, sure, it works for C3PO ... or Siri. But the humans have, you know, the feels. And for some of us; they are a big factor in ... well, everything, really. Mostly related to self-image.
Which is good ... and bad. And happy ... and sad. See what I did there? Here's the thing, sometimes, even when you know that you're just the unfortunate recipient of someone's misplaced anger ... the feels don't let you remember that. They'll whisper:
"He's right. You're not that great of a writer."
"Look, you are far enough up the ladder. Be thankful for what you've got and be quiet."
"You're not all that."
"It's not like you're smart--you don't have a full-fledged Master's degree, just that stupid certificate."
Aw, those creepy, crawly insecure feels. Guess what? There are a buncha other types crammed into the humans, too: confidence is a biggie. He screams:
"You are here to be your best self!"
"You are NOT less than!"
"You are smart and capable and have great worth!"
"You are loved and you matter!"
Confidence sounds a lot like the Big Guy ... and your Ma, no? Look; as long as you're treating the other humans well, working hard, trying your best, and doing good...you are winning.
So believe in yourself because I (and the Big Guy and your Ma) think you are awesome...it's just that you forgot for a sec.
Sponsor: www.linkedin.com/in/joseph-joe-ledford-03407421/ Mt 5:16 - Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.
Autumn. Here it is, ding dang it.
Not that the joy of summer hasn't long since passed. Of course, it did that back in August. #IMISSMYCOLLEGEKID
There's just something about seeing it on the calendar...and it being splashed all over the web...and pronounced so prominently by every news organization, entity, and walk of life that makes it so ... FINAL. It's like a huge, blinking warning sign at a very dangerous crosswalk.
NO MORE SUMMER!
NO MORE BEACH/LAKE/POOL DAYS!
NO MORE SUN-SOAKED WARMTH & RESPITE!
ENTER THIS SEASON AT YOUR OWN RISK!
Yep, it's really, really, truly over now and there's no more denying it. At least, not for those of us living in these here northern parts.
Because, even though the calendar claims that fall lasts through December 21, we know better up here, y'all. It's more like, September 27th, Capisce?
I know, I know; there are so many WONDERFUL things about autumn. I get it, I do.
The hues, the scents, the open-window sleeping. Good stuff...but you know where it's leading, yo.
It's just that, in my heart of hearts, I yearn to be where the sun shines more than four times a year and the temperature doesn't drop below that which it takes to freeze nose hair in .004 seconds.
Oh well, at least mid-October is coming...and that means college swim meets are just around the red/orange corner. Shoot...
I don't care how cold and snowy it gets; when the Golden Griffs hit the water, it's time for some serious road-tripping to see that boy 'o mine. #SwimMom
And just like that, a glimmer of sunshine on this first day of fall.
Besides, Spring is only 160 days away. Hang in there, fellow summer lovers! #Fall2019 #GoodbyeSummer #HelloAutum #Pray #Peace
Sponsor: www.linkedin.com/in/joseph-joe-ledford-03407421/ Lk 16:13 13 'No servant can be the slave of two masters ... You cannot be the slave both of God and of money.'
I’m good with the people stuff, as it were.
No, I’m not bragging. I’ve never thought that was a very good look.
Tooting one’s own horn = bad form, egotistic, patently rude, and just kinda icky. Now, if I’m gushing about the sheer wonderfulness that is my child; well, that’s another matter entirely.
I suppose we proud Moms tend to get obnoxious from time to time. We’re sorry. Especially cause it’s not stoppin’ us any time soon. Or ever. I digress.
Anybody who knows me will tell ya: PK is a big fan of the other humans. I dig ‘em.
I smile at them for no apparent reason. I’m pleasant without agenda. I gladly open their doors, carry their packages, and/or otherwise physically or emotionally assist as many of them as possible as a standing rule.
NOTE: This applies whether we share DNA or merely a species. Period.
I just feel I oughtta.
Any-who, again, I say this modestly and with much outside validation: I am, generally-speaking, the homosapien whisperer.
I can strike up a friendly convo with anyone, any time, any old place on the third rock; a gift for which my husband is not always immediately grateful.
“What took you so long?” he repeatedly asks when I take a few extra minutes in the lavatory of a restaurant or wherevs.
“Well, I was just talking to the nicest lady…” is always my chipper response.
To which he generally says, “Ah, of course. Is she coming over for coffee Sunday?” or “Did we add her to the Christmas Card list?” Very funny, Kerry. And yes, to both, by the by.
So, I must admit to being recently caught SO off guard that the guy should probably be stripped of his big long sword and fancy feather cap.
It was at a rest stop last weekend that I found my perky self in in some very unfamiliar territory. And it was hostile, yo.
Surprised that there was an actual LINE for the stalls, I scanned the crowded space for a fellow optimist.
For the first time in my 51 years of beaming at a roomful of strangers, NOT A SINGLE ONE responded in kind.
In fact, the group in front of me (all attired in the exact same flip-flops) were speaking Asian and avoiding direct eye contact with me and, I’m pretty sure, dissing my kicks, too.
Hurt and a little scared of the clog cult shunning, I was left with the impeccably-dressed, lovely lady, also clearly from a different culture, behind me. Did I say behind me? I meant on top of me. Seriously.
I can tell you what she had for lunch, since her exasperated breath was being forcibly exhaled up my nostrils. It was some type of fish, incidentally.
When the large, end stall opened (and since she was a senior citizen) I told her to go ahead of me. Still no smile…or nod…or nuthin’.
Except a silent scream to come and hold her door closed when she couldn’t work the lock. “Get over here!” she yelled in universal scowl language.
I did, then somehow got the latch to work from the outside.
Defeated and fearing I’d lost my touch, I crawled back into my car. As I waited for the yellow light to turn green in the E-Z Pass lane, I glanced sideways to see a young man in the toll booth and smiled out of reflex.
He grinned and said, “Have a good one!”
I’m making him pot roast tomorrow.
Kimerer is a Trib/Vindy columnist who will never stop smiling. See her silly grin at www.patriciakimerer.com
SPONSOR: www.linkedin.com/in/joseph-joe-ledford-03407421/ Ps 49: Blessed the poor in spirit; the Kingdom of heaven is theirs!
Sometimes we need someone to save us from ourselves. We just do.
Like when we start resenting the other humans out of envy. Don't think you do it? Me neither. But unfortunately, we do.
Yeah, sometimes we get gnawed by the green-eyed monster and don't even see the bite marks.
And then again, sometimes, we are blissfully oblivious to the fact that we've been completely mauled, chomped on, digested, regurgitated, and puked out by him.
Seriously. Talk about Mr. Yuck. Blech. 'Cause there is nothing pretty about jealousy, my friends.
And believe it or not, we all do battle therein occasionally. Oh yes, we do.
Look, we all wonder "Why me?" once in a while. Right? We all wallow in the poisonous pond of self-pity from time to time.
To be sure, we all get a little downtrodden when we feel that we've worked twice as hard for much less than someone else whom we see putting in minor effort. Yep. It definitely happens.
What we don't always consider are our blessings. But I'm here to tell ya, they are there. EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.
I mean, I'm not now nor will I likely ever be a millionaire...but I'm filthy rich in so many other ways: faith, family, friendships. I'll bank on those any day.
I'm certainly no super-model (or even remotely close!) but I do try to make sure my demeanor isn't entirely beastly. At least, most of the time. WINK.
I may never be Louisa May Alcott, Harper Lee, or Sylvia Plath (dang it!) ... But I'll keep tryin'. And if my prose brings faith, hope, love, and/or joy to even one other earth-dweller; well, shoot, I'm a bestseller.
The rub about fame, glory, or even material wealth is --
1. It never lasts.
2. It's never enough.
3. It doesn't feed your soul.
Good thing someone reminded us that Caesar can keep his coins -- because there's a mansion with tons of space and lots of gourmet grub waiting for all the peeps who get it. "It" being the whole loving one another and knowing what's truly important kinda stuff, Capisce?
Oh, and hey, about that swanky estate; did I mention the room and board are free?
Yeah, some really nice young man picked up the tab for us a very long time ago. #StayFocused #MoneyIsntEverything #LoveOneAnother #Pray #Peace
SPONSOR: www.linkedin.com/in/joseph-joe-ledford-03407421/ Lk 7: Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof but only say the word and I shall be healed. LK 7: A great prophet has arisen in our midst and God has visited his people.
I was at the grocery store the other day; just zipping in and out for some salad as I do...hmm... A LOT.
I noticed that my best bet for a hasty getaway was the self check-out lane. Never one to snub my nose at a D-I-Y opportunity, I slid right into the open space. I was moving hurriedly, out of fear/anticpation of general homosapien intolerance. It's been my experience that the other humans tend to get crabby when you take too long to check groceries out or pump gas or put your mascara on at a red light.
Right, my bad on that last one. Either way, everyone is in a collective mad rush here on the third rock. All day. Every day. No exceptions.
Sigh. It's exhausting just trying to keep up with the Joneses. They've gotten really competitive in these last few decades, Capisce?
Back in line, a little old man wearing an Ascot cap appeared behind me. I smiled. He did not. I quickened my pace. He crept toward me, little by little. I kept throwing out smiles. He kept smashing them back down my throat. Suddenly a woman from the next line over asked me a question.
I began to sweat as I felt the mini-man boring a hole into my left temple as if to say: "Answer her and DIE."
"Do I need a store card to check out?" she smiled. "Oh, no, I don't think so," I offered back cheerfully, out of friendly habit and forgetting the imaginary arrow pointed in the general direction of my carotid artery.
"I'm not trying to hurry you BUT..." said FATHER I-have-no-TIME-for-frivolous-chatter. A stern scoff and glare followed. Oblivious, the kind stranger popped back over. "I'm sorry but apparently I DO need one and I'm not from around here. Do you mind if I borrow yours?" she said so pleasantly I wanted to hug her.
Torn between the crusty curmudgeon's grumpy glower and my desire to help a sweet gal in need, I ransacked my own purse like a thief and robbed myself of the store card at warp speed. "Here, here you go!" I said, flinging it at her with one hand and putting items into quickly ripping plastic bags with the other. "I'm sorry sir, I'm going as fast as I can!" I stammered as his solitary item of a large log of cheese crushed my fingers -- he'd already started scanning.
"Here, take your receipt!" he spat as he grabbed the curdled milk that matched his sour deMEANor. Ironically, it was HE who held ME up on the way out the door because, after all his huffing and puffing...well, the octogenarian couldn't move very quickly.
And, though I kinda wanted to return some of his acidity, I poured out a little sugar instead. I figured he may always be hurrying because it takes him twice as long to get places as it used to.
And, even though he sent it back unopened, I shot him over one last smile. #BePatient #BeKind #LoveOneAnother #Empathy #Pray #Peace
SPONSOR: www.linkedin.com/in/joseph-joe-ledford-03407421/ 2 Cor 5:19 God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
Remember the original Flo? No, not the Progressive Insurance gal.
I’m talking about the factionary waitress who worked for the pretend boss Mel at the made-up diner of the same name in the 1970s/80s sitcom “Alice.” I loved that show.
It’s the story of a young widow who scoops up her preteen son to hit the open road from Jersey to sunny California to start a brand new life. Along the way, she winds up having to take a waitressing job at “Mel’s Diner.” There, she befriends her fellow waitresses: sweet but simple Vera and sassy, streetwise Flo.
Flo often invited Mel, as well as various cooks, patrons or boyfriends who irritated her to “Kiss my grits!”
I thought of her as my family sauntered into a “Mel’s”-ish diner one recent Saturday morning.
Not only did it look and feel like “Mel’s” but we actually got Flo as our waitress. She took an immediate dislike to me.
After I ordered a garden salad versus the lard-laden breakfasts my boys requested, I said sheepishly, “Could I please get a straw?” For my diet cola, natch.
I swear she’d have hit me with a frying pan if she could have. She launched into a tirade against me as she tossed down one for each of us into the middle of the table.
According to Flo 2019, I am single-handedly killing every fish in the Atlantic because I use the occasional straw.
Yep. I was straw shamed times about a bazillion and 47.
As I began to defend myself, she abruptly left --- presumably to sprinkle my salad with syrup … of ipecac.
Look Flo, I LOVE Mother Earth! When I lived out in the country, I collected recyclable materials and took them to the donation site because they didn’t offer home recycling there.
I always cut up the plastic six-pack rings holding my soda cans together into super tiny pieces so none of God’s creatures great or small chokes on them.
I never EVER litter and will not tolerate it on my watch here on the third rock.
I remember the 1970s PSA with the crying Native American who crosses the garbage strewn river to a polluted city where he’s pelted with fast food garbage. I still want to punch the drive-by litterbug in the face!
Listen, my family was green and organic before they were catch phrases, you dig? We did -- as in compost piles because Pop fertilized the top layer naturally.
We used margarine containers until they disintegrated under the spigot…where we washed dishes by hand as opposed to using a water and electricity guzzling dishwasher.
Don’t tell me I don’t’ care about the environment. Shoot, you know electric car Ed Begley, Jr. has been driving around since the late 1970s? I lent that to him!
Okay, that’s not true. But I’ve tried the straw alternatives, honest.
Paper straws are weird; they collapse, auto-reshape, melt and disintegrate. And they taste icky. Silicone ones are funky and get all moldy and smelly and what not.
Stainless steel ones are just bizarre; it’s like drinking from a dental spittoon?
Besides, we’ve made so many advances, why the heck can’t we recycle straws?
Oh well, I was going to recommend that place to Guy Fieri, but not now. Kiss my grits, Flo!
And, if it’s any consolation; Your tip got recycled to our next restaurant server … who smiled and automatically gave me a straw.
Kimerer is a Trib/Vindy columnist who thinks being berated for sipping is the last straw. Check out her other dumb puns at www.patriciakimerer.com
SPONSOR: www.linkedin.com/in/joseph-joe-ledford-03407421/ Lk 6: "Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give and gifts will be given to you..."
I judge you. And you judge me. Every.Single.Day.
It's what the humans do. Even the best of 'em.
Don't like to think of yourself as judgmental? Yeah, me neither. Especially because I've been on the receiving end of some incorrect ones in the past. Fairly biggies, BT dubs. And it HURTS. Like, a lot.
Which is why I make a concerted effort not to be critical; I absolutely try hard not to be disparaging. Man I don't like when people do that! Again, I've had the unfortunate occasion to be the pile upon which Nitpickers R Us have dumped their considerable load. More than once. #Ouch
And even still, with my open heart, well-meaning spirit, and great intentions...
I judge you. And you judge me. Every.Single.Day. I don't want to. I don't mean to. But I do.
Every time I get angry at a driver who cuts me off and then proceeds to drive 17MPH.
Or when I scoff at a woman my age walking around in what equates to a thong while navigating with her toddler granddaughter along the most public walking path in a 70-mile radius. Did I mention her six-inch stilletos? It was my husband who noticed those...I digress.
Or when I hear about some low life, er, I mean, person, who neglected 14 cats and seven dogs and left them to starve in a pile of their own waste...and I want lop off his digits and give those animals a little protein, Capisce?
The thing is, I don't know what's happening with my road cohort. Maybe they're lost or upset or 147 years old?
And I don't know if Grandma Glitter's going through a midlife crisis and needs to let it all hang out for a minute. Maybe she's just unseasonably warm?
I should just keep those snap opinions to myself and offer the other humans a little prayer, instead. In fact, I just did.
And heck, if I'm very lucky; I will get the same "get outta jail free card" from the other earthlings, since I'm about as far from perfect as the north and south poles, okay? Man, why can't we all be more like our canine counterparts and just immediately forgive a person and lick his hand? Er, sumthin' like that.
As often as possible, I dole out (and frankly am banking on!) forgiveness, since I, personally, sure do owe and need it. Who doesn't? Yep I, for one, will keep on trying, every.single.day. to do better in the "not judging the other humans" department.
Hopefully I will get there someday.
P.S. But clearly not today since I still feel the animal abuser needs to lose some fingers. Sorry, not sorry. #BeKind #DontJudge #Forgive #Pray #Peace
SPONSOR: www.linkedin.com/in/joseph-joe-ledford-03407421/ Lk 6: Raising his eyes toward his disciples Jesus said: "Blessed are you who are poor, for the Kingdom of God is yours...Blessed are you who are now weeping, for you will laugh...Rejoice and leap for joy on that day! Behold, your reward will be great in heaven."
We still remember. All of us who are old enough, anyway.
There isn't an American who will not, at the very least one time during this day, think or utter the phrase, "I remember where I was that morning..." or words to that effect.
We all know. The NYPD officer in that photo above sure knows. The pain on his face from nearly two decades of mourning the single greatest act of terrorism ever evoked on our soil is still as plain and clear as a bright, sunny September morning in the Big Apple.
We know exactly where we were and what we were doing when we saw and/or heard the news.
Me? I was making my AM pot of coffee after having been awakened by a busy 20-month-old several hours prior. Still in his light-blue, footed PJs and stinking cute as a cherub (I never thought buttons were all that?); my little man was zipping around the family room yelling, "Barney, Mommy! I watch Barney now?"
I remember laughing as I caught sight of him dancing about, video in hand, and ready for some serious toddler TV. It was the last time I laughed for a quite a while.
Because shortly thereafter, I heard Matt Lauer say that a dramatic scene was unfolding at the World Trade Center ... that it appeared as though a small commuter plane had accidentally crashed into one of the famous Twin Towers.
So, I stopped putting grounds in the filter (this was pre-Keurig machine) long enough to turn around and look at my TV screen. Somehow, it was just in time to see the second plane hit the other tower...LIVE. It took me about four minutes to process that I wasn't watching a video replay.
Oh, I remember. I recall expressly how my little boy, happily clueless to the fact that our nation was under a terrorist attack, jumped about and, having given up on Barney, began to inquire instead about "Blue's Clues."
I remember grabbing him and holding him so tightly he wriggled to get away from me. I remember being terrified of the world we'd brought this beautiful young life into...
I remember wondering if I should go scoop up my niece and nephew from school and daycare for my sister, who was in her office when it happened. I remember praying for peace at a special Mass held at my parish that night.
I remember NOT SMILING about anything as the days and weeks unfolded...and being distraught about what would happen next and where and how; especially after failed copycat suicide missions (remember that idiotic underwear would-be bomber?) popped up and anthrax-riddled letters began arriving in mailboxes.
Mostly, I remember the aftermath. It was a sheer outpouring of LOVE FOR ONE'S FELLOW MAN. There was a surge of American patriotism that rose from those ashes in NYC, Washington, D.C. and Shanksville, PA.
I remember how we treated each other with kindness, respect, dignity, and compassion. And that, my friends, is my hope for America today...and everyday.
Also, I hope we never forget:
-This tragedy's victims, especially those fighting for their lives with lung diseases acquired through efforts to help at the plane crash scenes (most in NYC) and those who have to grow up without a parent.
-The fact that we take our freedom for granted ... but that it comes at great sacrifice and cost to the brave men and women who dedicate their lives to keeping us free, secure, safe, and healthy everyday here on the third rock. #ThankYouUSMilitary #ThankYouFireFighters #ThankYouPoliceOfficers #ThankYouFirstResponders
-That the Big Guy didn't leave us; it's been the other way around and we need to right the ship, Capisce?
-Love is greater than hate and good always wins out over evil in the end. Always.
Please always remember 9/11/01 --- and 9/12/01, too. #Septemer11 #PatriotDay #America #GodBlessTheUSA #Pray #Peace
SPONSOR: www.linkedin.com/in/joseph-joe-ledford-03407421/ Jn 15:16 I chose you from the world, that you may go and bear fruit that will last.
Aw, who am I kidding? This is on my "Urgent Deliverables List" every single day, Capisce?
You may be aware that today is #WorldSuicidePreventionDay
It's important to recognize because suicide is a tragedy that is now at epidemic levels. We gotta do better.
In addition to being open to signs of depression and other mental illnesses among your family members and friends, might I humbly suggest a lot less judging of the other humans...and a ton more hugging them, instead?
There are so many people I'd love to hug RIGHT THIS SECOND. One of them is Tyler Joseph.
Joseph, half of the duo comprising the band 21 Pilots (Josh Dunn is the other half) is a voracious suicide prevention advocate. He is the group's lyricist and often writes songs about fighting internal demons. I feel he tries to reach young --and maybe not so young-- people and encourage them to embrace and choose positives over negatives in life.
Here's my summation of the key things he wants us all to remember:
1. God is real and He's pretty cool.
2. We all have demons, struggles, fears, doubts ... it's okay. Just fight through yours because you are strong and brave and smart. Never stop fighting.
3. There's no shame in asking for help when you need it. Find it and take it.
4. Life is your only option --- and it's beautiful even though it will never be perfect. So relax and stop trying to make it flawless.
5. Obliterate negative thoughts with positive outlets: music, dancing, singing, drawing, writing. Do what fills, lifts, and lights your mind and soul and there won't be any room for darkness.
A song from the band's most recent album "Trench" called "Neon Gravestones" is an anti-suicide anthem and a perfect listen for today. I think it's beautiful and compelling and brilliant and powerful; but you decide for yourself: www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QB3rvtN7Sc Courtesy: 21 Pilots & BBC Radio 1
P.S. I'd really love to hug Josh, too. #WorldSuicidePreventionDay #Hug #Love #21Pilots #Pray #Peace
SPONSOR: www.linkedin.com/in/joseph-joe-ledford-03407421/ PS 62 In God is my safety and my glory. Trust in him at all times, O my people! Pour out your hearts before him; God is our refuge!
PHOTO COURTESY: http://sarahscoop.com/scoop-real-housewives-dallas-leeanne-locken/
I love the "Real Housewives of Dallas." Okay, not all of 'em.
Those who don't watch won't care either way what I'm about to reveal, but those who DO may be shocked: I love LeeAnne Locken.
Yep, the "Elvira-if-she-was-supermodel" looking LeeAnne. Isn't she gorgeous?
Yes, I know she's as feisty as a rattlesnake and lots of folks think her over-the-top-ness is just, well, too far over. Not I. I appreciate that she's bold and she's loud and she's honest. Sure, she says things she shouldn't. Like a LOT.
But then again, don't we all do that, sometimes? At least she's clever about it. In fact, I like to refer to her as Mistress of the Snark. Either way, I love her for these simple reasons:
1. She is loyal. Not every southern belle would just stand by her man in 2019 after repeated accusations of infidelity. LeeAnne never batted an eyelash extension when her dude was called out. She believes in her retired-cop/new hubby and those who don't like it can kiss her cactus. Also, her true friends know she will always take up for them, too...unless they really chip her off, which I don't recommend.
2. She is REAL. I never realized it being a Yankee and all, but apparently Dallas high society is just this side of royalty? Seems as though there are real-life Jock & Miss Ellie Ewings running the place; each with their mansions, minks, and multi-millions, Yet, this Texas tough girl isn't afraid to look or act different than her very expensive jetsetter clones, I mean counterparts. She even proudly embraces her humble beginnings that include a topsy-turvy childhood as the daughter of a carnival worker.
3. She is hilarious, as evidenced by her tagline: "I'm a true Texan. No bull but all horns."
4. She is a giver. Say what you want about her but it is UNDENIABLE that LeeAnne devotes a majority of time to charitable causes. And she is happy to give back; in fact, she is driven by it. Doing the most good she is able seems to be an Olympic sport to her? And she's golden at it.
5. She's got a great heart. Sure, she mouths off ...excessively and sometimes not with event a hint of grace... but at the end of the day, she always comes back around to the Good Book. She's got Christian values, an eclectic spirit, a passion for advocating on behalf of victims, and a true desire to find and exude peace. LeeAnne's often overheard quoting her favorite bible verse: Acts 2:25 =I have pitched my tent in the land of hope. "Everyday I wake up with a heart full of hope!" she beams.
And THAT is why I love LeeAnne. Now if she would just stop stirring the pot in said tent, things might be a little more copasetic with the other RHOD.
#BeTrue #HaveFaith #Smile #Pray #Peace