7.3.18 My Silence

8

 

 

I often pride myself on being a non-judgmental person. The irony laden in that sentence is thick with implication. Since when, after all, has anyone with pride not been intimately acquainted with judgement? And it’s true come to think of it. If I’m being honest, which I might as well be … I judge people all the time. I know this because of how often I offer my advice and my opinions. I give them out for free like candy at a narcissistic parade. Whether or not it’s always warranted or asked for, I toss pieces of “wisdom” out freely, imagining the little sugar drops will somehow taste sweeter if wrapped in pretty words. But you know what? It’s supremely condescending. And I’m sorry.

While I think being a sound listener, offering words of kindness and support, and even opinions (when asked for) are all meant for good … I think that sometimes I just get so distracted by my own parade of thoughts … of what I would do, of what I would feel if I were in a situation, that I let my imagination take control of my mouth. And suddenly my standpoints, perspectives, and judgements are skewed by my own summation of what I imagine. NOT a very flattering realization of myself to say the least – but a necessary one, especially at this time of year. 

You see, I’m a pacifist to the core. I hate war. I hate hate. I hate that we are a part of a country that has a history rich with both … and yet, I love the freedom that I have to think, and speak, and act according to the will that was paid for by the lives of those who put themselves before themselves. One of my favorite people in the entire world is a man who fought in the Vietnam War. It is a war that I have a bitterness toward, yet one that I also know very little about. And there I sit, my blonde-haired, blue-eyed, white-privilege, thirty-something self … full of opinions on a subject I barely understand … and there he sits … ex-soldier who has seen and done more than I will ever know – listening patiently to me as if I do. 

A day away from my favorite holiday of the year. Twenty-four hours from “God Bless America.” From red, white, and blue outfits that will look fantastic in a family photo. From food, and friends, and conversation that will carry me into the magic of fireworks that glisten and linger in the heavens. And how many times have I forgotten to think of what all this nostalgic safety cost? A much lower number would be how many times I’ve actually remembered. 

I don’t say this to dampen the spirits of our precious celebrations. It’s the opposite really. I’m apologizing, because I realize that so much of what I value as a citizen of the United States, come from realities I could never have afforded on my own. No amount of good will I’ve done, of nice things I’ve said, of opinions I’ve shared, or viewpoints I’ve held will do even a fraction for the lives of this nation, as the silent men and women behind the scenes who make sure daily that I am able to maintain a sense of freedom I don’t deserve. You see, it’s easy to offer advice on something you’ve never experienced, because don’t we all have just the grandest imaginations to think we know one another’s pain? 

Well today, to honor the men and women of every branch of our services, I offer you my greatest admission – I do not know how you feel. I do not know what you go through. I can’t imagine the things you have seen, the places you’ve been, or the sacrifices you consistently make for strangers. I do not know the sense of integrity that runs through your core. I do not pretend to have even an ounce of the bravery you bleed. I cannot know the heart, the mind, or the spirit that overwhelms your being just in being you. 

Today I have no advice. No opinions. I offer no viewpoints. No outlook. No stance. I simply, humbly breathe in this Fourth of July with gratitude for all that you are. God bless America’s hands, and feet … from the first soldier to the last – your debt of time, of protection, and of selfless courage inspire me to the highest act of praise I can give … my silence. 

Elle 

9.20.17 Down to Sleep

6

 

Dearest friends …

I know that I just posted a day ago, but my heart is so heavy for this weary world. Please pray with me below. Please share this with anyone whom you think would care to join us. Please believe that tomorrow is another day, the sun will rise, and that even in the bleakest of times, hope remains alight. 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Down to Sleep 

Now I lay me down to sleep

I pray the Lord this Earth will keep

and steal the dangers from the night        HURRICANES: HARVEY IRMA, JOSE, MARIA

as darkness quenches out the light

 

Now I lay me down to stay

among the wreckage, come what may

and feeling tremors do not fear           EARTHQUAKES: JAPAN, MEXICO CITY

for all the lives we’re losing here

 

Now I lay me down to dream

that nightmares aren’t quite what they seem

and all the men who make our choices        GLOBAL POLITICAL UPHEAVAL  

hear our screams, and pleas, and voices

 

Now I lay me down to cry

for those who can’t see eye to eye

and those whose skin has sad affected    EXTREMISM, RACISM, TERRORISM

racist views and minds defected

 

Now I lay me down to wait

until all hope can conquer hate

and if I die before I wake       RELIGIOUS DIVISION, ENTITLEMENT, ISOLATIONISM

please pray to God, for this world’s sake

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts, your prayers, your reactions, and your comments below. Be blessed dear ones. Grace surrounds you.

Elle

11.11.16 A Double-Fisted Day

0

img_0311

This week I was in line for Starbucks … again.  I’d just been there two days before, but I needed it, and vindicated my drinking choices with my blonde-head held high.  I was that kind of girl … the Starbucks-toting, it-is-what-it-is “Gold Card Member,” drive-through frequenter that women like me are so typically pegged to be.  There’s a favorite verse of mine, Corinthians 15:10 that says, “But by the grace of God, I am what I am, and his grace within me is not without effect.”  I realized I would not be “effective” at all, without a Ventì.

While I might regret my Starbucks affliction at times, this week, (yes I’m talking about Wednesday morning) there was NOTHING that could keep me away from my perkalicious-pick-me-up.  The funniest thing was, as I made the necessary left, and quick right turn into the parking lot, my kids chorused, ” Again mom?”

“Don’t be judgmental,” I chided, “it’s not an attractive quality.

“Yeah,” my son said, “but weren’t you just here like – a day ago?”

Thankfully, right as we pulled into the line, I saw something beautiful … a man drinking a large porcelain cup of coffee, as he waited in the drive through line to order MORE coffee!  I laughed out loud and immediately diverted the conversation by throwing this amazing man right under the proverbial bus. “See,” I literally pointed,”now that guy has problems!  He’s the addict.”  My kids reluctantly agreed, and let me proceed with my order sans discrimination due to the double-fisted wonder ahead of me.  Still, if I hadn’t felt so “on-watch” I’d have loved to get another drink today … maybe two.

And while my pride won’t let me, I’ve decided to exonerate you … to absolve if you need to have a double-fisted day of three shots of espresso, or even something stronger.  So here’s a small list of reasons to allow you to be, “Off the Hook,” so-to-speak.   Relate to one, or ten … and enjoy a drink on me!

Official Double-Fisted Off the Hook List

  • If you’ve lost sleep because you’re looking into moving to Australia instead of staying in America … you’re off the hook.
  • If you’re balancing work, or kids, or school, or all of the above … you’re off the hook.
  • If you’re going on a television fast because you can’t stand to see another Black Friday commercial thus reminding you of the inevitability that you’re about to be broke in a month … you’re off the hook.
  • If your laundry is tracking you and the only way to avoid it is to leave the house … you’re off the hook.
  • If your inbox is filled to the digital brim with things you’re trying hard to ignore … you’re off the hook.
  • If you realized that the Halloween candy bowl is a lot lighter but you aren’t … you’re off the hook.
  • If you just want to go jump in the leaves but have to go to work instead … you’re off the hook.
  • If you needed to wear your winter coat for the first time this week … you’re off the hook.
  • If the only family member who hasn’t made you lose your temper this week is the cat or dog … you’re off the hook.
  • If you’ve already double booked (or triple-booked) for the holidays … you’re off the hook.
  • If you’ve spent any amount of time at all on Pinterest, thus making you feel like an epic failure … you’re off the hook.
  • If you had someone tell you, “You look tired,” this week …  you’re off the hook.
  • If you would do anything to stay in bed but the alarm is reminding you that the world expects you to show up … you’re off the hook.

You’re vindicated, you’re exonerated, you’re double-fist coffee worthy!

Carry on.

Elle