Thoughts and Whatnots

Red White and Blue

“And the woman who held a babe against her bosom said, Speak to us of Children. And he said: Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.” ~ Kahlil Gibran, THE PROPHET

Moms and Dads. Today I am thinking of you, because behind every soldier are parents who somehow instilled in their children that the world is about far more than just them and their place in it. You, in your quiet and continuous way, nurtured compassion and empathy in their hearts, so that when the call was heard their minds did not fail them in choosing to serve. Thank you, Moms and Dads, for planting the seed of self-sacrifice in little hearts, so that one day they could make big differences for others.

listening to:

The slow-to-rise sounds of the neighborhood. Neighbors calling to their pets, birds chirping at sunrise, a motorcycle in the distance.

reading:

Today’s devotion from JESUS CALLING, reaffirming that in His presence I can face uncertainty with perfect peace.

EVERYTHING IS PERFECT WHEN YOU’RE A LIAR, a memoir of sorts by Kelly Oxford. “I made my eyes really wide to express how honest I was being,” she writes. Because we all know that liars have squinty eyes, right?

watching:

“Master Class” on the OWN with Diane Sawyer. “A criticism is just a really bad way of making a request. Why not just make the request?”

living the liturgy:

“Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence, keeping your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who defame your good conduct in Christ may themselves be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that be the will of God, than for doing evil.” — 1 Peter 3:15

This week’s scripture really tapped something deep within me. There were several times in my life that doing the dishonest thing would have made my life easier. As a single parent, suffering financially from an emotionally chaotic divorce, and a paycheck that did not sufficiently provide for the needs of my family, I sought temporary monetary relief from public assistance. After filling out all of the paperwork, the social worker said:

SW: “Do you live alone with your children?”

Me: “No. I rent rooms from a friend’s mother in her home.”

SW: “So there are other people living in the home who can help you?”

Me: “They live in the home, but it’s not their responsibility to help me. They are my children and I am solely responsible for them and their care.”

SW: “Yes, I understand that. But we have to assume that the others living in the household will contribute towards your overall need.”

SW: “I see here that you were awarded $200 a month child support.”

Me: “Yes, but I don’t receive it. He’s supposed to send it to the DA office, but he hasn’t.”

SW: “Well, we still have to factor it into your monthly income, because you COULD receive it.”

Me: “Why don’t you go across the hallway to the DA’s office and verify that he hasn’t paid in years?”

SW: “I can’t do that. If we factor in the $200 per month that you could receive, it brings you over the maximum income allowed to qualify for supplemental assistance. You do however, qualify for $9 a month in food stamps. Do you want me to set that up for you?”

Me: “No. Thanks anyway.”

In recent years, I’ve heard politicians begin to cite how, “Single mothers are the new poor in our country.” New poor? Where have they been? The above happened to me in 1985. Single mothers have been poor for decades. It’s.not.new.

I remember good intentioned friends saying that I should have lied. I should have said that I lived alone with my children. But I couldn’t lie. Call it Catholic guilt. Call it being a good Christian girl-woman. The reason I couldn’t lie, ultimately, was — How could I raise my children to not lie to get what they wanted or needed, if I did?  “For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that be the will of God, than for doing evil.” And I get that.

red white and blue 2

living yoga:

Sometimes lighting a candle in the dark centers your soul.

around my home:

Taking advantage of a three-day holiday weekend with the husband “gone fishin’,” by deep cleaning as many rooms as I possibly can. With the help of one of my sweet granddaughters, I managed to clean the living room on Saturday. Yesterday was spent clearing, cleaning, and wiping down the kitchen. Today I’ll tackle the bathrooms and the master bedroom. I may not like cleaning the house, but I do love a clean home.

thinking about:

The victims of Isla Vista. The family of the shooter. A sleepy west coast college town now afraid of the dark(ness). Prayers and blessings going out to everyone. Also hoping that this incident does not unfairly mark those families and persons living with Asperger syndrome.

thankful for:

Good friends who send me sweet gifts on a whim. Daughters who visit with one another on long weekends. Nieces and Nieces-in-law with  “baby bumps.”  “Praise the Lord, I tell myself, and never forget the good things he does for me.” — Psalm 103: 2

red white and blue 3

looking forward to:

A short week at work and a weekend visit with The Toddlies. And dare I say, Christmas? As my sister may attempt to come out — with our mother — for the holidays.

~ Blessings from the concrete to the sand.

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