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Thursday, July 28, 2016

It's what's inside a person that matters

Would you like fries with that?

This is your friendly reminder that it's what's inside that matters.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Introducing: Captain Jack Sparrow!

Welcome to the 2nd annual Individual Worth Week! 

To kick off the week, I thought we'd visit Jack Sparrow. Ehem, sorry: Captain Jack Sparrow. 

Ignore the part where he lies and steals (not the best message for individual worth week), and focus on the boat. Or lack there of. Even when things are going south, even when the boat is literally sinking, Jack never lets go of his sense of self. He knows who he is, he has his goals, and he isn't going to settle or put himself down.

Think back to the time when you first saw this movie. The opening shot of Jack standing boldly above the sails, insinuated that he was standing on some grand ship. But why? It isn't like they really showed any of the ship itself. No, you think he's on a grand ship because of the way he is acting, his boldness, his confidence. He is taking what he has and making the best of it, sticking to who he knows he is.

Then he jumps down and you realize that he is in a tiny, sinking boat. I bet you laughed the first time you saw it. And yet, did it lessen your views of Jack? You might have been surprised, but in the end you knew that Jack was serious. That he took himself seriously, and that he had a strong sense of self.

Throughout the movie you know that Jack is a pretty big deal because of the way he treats himself and views himself. Not because of the way others viewed him

Friday, July 22, 2016

Crunch! Shriek! Ewww!

Can you see what is in this picture? Let me zoom in for you.

And that's how my story began . . . the day my visit to the local Lawn and Garden store scarred us.

It was a normal stroll through the garden section until a small, rather cute mammal showed up. A mouse! Just like Angelina Ballerina, Gus Gus, and the Rescuers! 

We jumped backwards, startled. And as the mouse scampered towards us, we kept moving away. It may have been cute, but not cute enough to let it near us.

At that moment, a worker gentleman started to walk past our aisle. "Sir?" I got his attention, "I thought you might want to know that you have a mouse here."

His eyebrows shot up as he started to follow the mouse and he said something like, "Oh! We do!"

He started walking after it, presumably following it to know where to set a trap or something. 

The mouse sped up, not too thrilled about being followed, and tried to scamper away. 

And then, with speed like a cat, the man hopped forward and stomped on the mouse with his boot. 


I repeat.


Now, I don't know if I really heard a crunch, or if it was just my imagination  filling in the blanks. But ewwwww, right?


I shrieked.

Then the man stepped back, picked up the flattened mouse by the tail, and left the guts on the floor.

Sorry I didn't get a picture of that part, but, no. No.

I'm sure we had a look of shock on our faces. It wasn't quite the warm and cozy family experience we were planning for. 

But eventually the experience turned into a story that is fun to tell. And that man probably acted like any farmer would have. And, if nothing else, he was efficient. That mouse was gone instantly!

Do you have any stories like that? Experiences that started out . . . interesting . . . but that you are now able to look back on with a different perspective.

Like maybe that experience made you stronger, or smarter, or more aware, or happier, or more merciful. 

What is your mouse?

Note: No other animals were harmed in the making of this blog post. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Repent! Said the old Lady

When I was much younger I had the opportunity to attend church with a group of aging senior citizens with mental deterioration on multiple occasions. It was quite an experience, and very interesting.

One day we were listening to a talk on repentance and an old lady with some kind of mental deterioration stood up, lifted her arms and yelled "Repent! Repent!" Her voice, which was shaky from old age, was firm and determined. She was very intense and serious in her loud admonition. "Repent! Repent!"

I remember some of the workers there reminding her to sit quietly. I wish I could remember how everyone else responded. But multiple times she would start yelling again, calling us to repentance.

The younger me found this kind of amusing. It was a memory that I have always thought back on with curiosity and laughter. The sweet, but crazy, old lady who yelled at us all to repent. It was quite the scene to my young mind.

I often liked to peek my head in to her room and say hello. She was a nice, sweet, and funny lady.

I found out later that she passed away not too long after that.

Every once in a while something will remind me of the time she stood and screamed for repentance and still I found it funny.

Until this last time I thought about it.

The last few years especially I have had a front row seat to what happens to someone when they are riding the downward spiral of bad choices. Especially when they want to pretend that there is nothing wrong with their actions. You just want to pull them out of it and say, "Can't you see that this is tearing you (and often times your family) apart? Stop now!"

But even if you don't have that experience, we all have things we could improve on or change.

Suddenly I saw that old lady's yells as something more than just a funny outburst to be shushed in the name of reverence. Suddenly her hilarious act was thrown into the sharp light of seriousness.

At the end of my life, when my energy is gone, what advice would I give? What will I yell out? What will I hope to teach people? What will be worth my energy to stand up out of my wheel chair and use my shaky breath to yell?

At the end of her life, this old lady plead for repentance. Who knows where her mind was at that point. Was it in the present? Was it somewhere in the past? Who was she really pleading for to repent? Or was it just the general advice that had moved her so much?

Now I look back on her yells as the advice from someone who had lived her life and was close to moving on. After all of those years of living, "Repent" is the message I heard her share. The message that survived the mental deterioration and stood firm in her mind. The message she felt compelled to stand and shout.

Now I hear her echo, "Repent!" And I understand why she would shout it out like that.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

True Love and Roxberry

I was talking to a friend a while back, and she was complaining about the way her boyfriend treats her. I told her to go find someone who treats her well. Because, if your boyfriend doesn't respect you, he won't change just because you are married.

I think we all deserve someone who treats us with respect. We all deserve someone who says:

"Of Course I Love You, Now Lets Go Get A Roxberry."

Now that is true love.

If you don't believe me, you've never been to Roxberry and had their P-Nut Butter Blast.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Everyone has problems

Sometimes people feel alone, that they are the only person or family that has do deal with crap or get through hard times. Especially with things like Facebook and Pinterest which frequently give the impression that most of your friends have perfect lives.

Which... is a lie.

Everyone has problems.

The problems are different, of course. Some people have to deal with health problems, others financial problems, or marital problems, etc. etc. etc. Or more likely a combination of hard times.

That's life. Choosing how you get through the hard times.

And apparently, I had no idea how wide spread it was, there is a pandemic of warped feet spreading throughout the world.

Otherwise, how do you explain this:

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Or these:

The store was full of them!


So, remember that no matter what hard times you are going through, you are not alone.

Everyone is dealing with something.