Friday, December 30, 2005

New Year, New Choices


Grace and Peace,

I hope this post finds you all in good spirits. Below is a piece that I’ve been working on since October that has been fighting me for direction. The title has gone through the gamut of “Deferred Dreams”, “Being Disabled”, “Choices” and now to finally end with “New Year, New Choices”. The ease with which I sailed through its completion today, indicates to me that maybe the struggle wasn’t about the title, or even the content, but about the timing:

October 12, 2005, 2:35 p.m.

I’ve just returned from a very nice wake. That’s right. I said “very nice wake” as in dead body, weeping and wailing. In this instance, it was less traumatic, at least for me, because there was no body. His ashes were in a lovely wooden box with his pictures on it as well as items placed on the table which were relevant and important in his life.

As Gina, my co-worker, bravely read her husband’s eulogy, I womanfully tried to hold together the sobs that wanted to break loose from my chest. I told myself that it was her husband, if she could hold it together, then so could I. I was pretty successful at this task, until she got to the part where she stated,

“In our twenty-eight years together, Mark and I had many dreams and fulfilled many of them. Though Mark had a physical disability, it did not incapacitate or limit him in any way. He knew no boundaries and felt everything was within his reach or attainable. He dared to dream with me and we did our best to fulfill our dreams.

Two of the first movies we saw together were Rocky and Superman. I remember thinking that neither of them could hold a candle to Mark. Little did I know in 1977 that throughout the coming years he would continue to surpass them, as he was truly a quiet hero who repeatedly beat insurmountable odds. He never wanted, nor asked for help since he felt he could do it himself. His independence and desire for people to see and accept him for who he was, were core to his existence.

As a result he lived a full, productive life, and touched many. It would be presumptuous of me to try to encapsulate all that he did or was into “one favorite memory.” Mark was passionate about life and people. One example was when he recently became a MedEvac Outreach Volunteer and it was his hope he could finally help the flight crew. A drunk driver hit Mark in 1971—there were no air ambulances at that time, therefore, he did not have the benefit of the “Golden Hour.” I believe that by his desire to contribute to MedEvac, he felt he would in some small way help other accident victims survive.” This is why his realization of that particular dream stands out in my mind.”
At this point, all suck-it-up bets were off and I proceeded to do what I do best--emote! I vaguely remember being handed a tissue by some benevolent hand as my thoughts raced and I equated the abuse I suffered as a disability that had been forced upon me.

Mark had refused to acknowledge his limitations, much less operate within said limitations. I, on the other hand, had given into the perceived reality of my circumstances without a whimper, my dream of being a writer and teacher, deferred indefinitely as I struggled to just—live.

I pondered why? We’d both been around the same age, him, seventeen, and me, eighteen, when we became disabled, yet Mark had chosen to fight tirelessly and endlessly to retain his status quo, whilst I floundered around for years, going from one mishap to the next. It seemed as though I had the words “perpetual victim” tattooed on my forehead.

Then one day I realized that instead of working towards healing, I was doing more wallowing than anything else. I blamed my circumstance, my parents, my job, oh and we can’t forget God—He got His share of the blame as well.

Then in one of those unexpected conversations with God, He dropped into my spirit that yes I’d been victimized, yes I’d continually been hurt, but I am still alive and able to learn from those situations and exercise the greatest gift He had ever given me “free will” or choice. Choice? Yes, choice. I could choose not to be a victim, I could choose forgiveness, I could choose healing…heck…I could choose Him!

What will your choice be for the New Year?

Also see closely related post Endings and New Beginnings:
Saturday, December 24, 2005

My Way of Saying Thanks!

Springboarding off of Guppyman’s idea to have a Christmas sale for the rental of space on his blog, I've come up with my own way of saying thanks to my all my renters of 2005 and especially my TOP six renters!

Thanks to BE’s wonderful stats. I can tell who's rented my blog and how often. I'm going to tally up the stats of the six blogs I have listed at BE and the top six renters will be featured in my sidebar as "Blog of the Month" right above the "Blog of the Week" spot from BE for the month of January, 2006.

I will post and notify the owners of the top six blogs. I will also rank my blogs in order of performance from most traffic/unique hits/clicks to least traffic/unique hits/clicks so that the top ranking blog will go to the top renter and the second ranking blog to the second frequent renter and so forth.

And to all other renters you will each be mentioned in my recap of the year post due out by 12/31/05.

Thanks again, it was wonderful having you all as tenants!
Thursday, December 15, 2005

Holiday or Christmas?

Acting Balanced

I try my darndest to stay away from all things political, I really do, but in this instance, it seems as though the political arena is trying to enlarge its sphere and encroaching on God's territory.

Evenso, I was still sticking my head into the sand, like the ostrich I can be or trying my hardest to be the invisible woman, but alas...it was not to be. This I realized when I opened an email from a friend this morning and beheld its contents.

It was one of those lengthy forwarded emails I delete regularly, but considering the source, and the pretty pictures, I read on.

Although I understood the original author's pride in being an American (a thing of beauty), I edited* some of his** harshness in order to draw your attention to what I consider to be the main concern--Holiday or Christmas?

This is a Christmas tree.




It is not a Hanukkah bush,
It is not an Allah plant,
it is not a Holiday Hedge.
It is a Christmas Tree.
Say it with me now...




Christmas, Christmas, Christmas!
There is a debate going on in America, about taking Christ out of the Christmas Holiday. To wit, Christmas would universally become "The Holiday Season," thus making it a secular holiday instead of the religious holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus the Christ.

Under the guise of promoting diversity (and their bottom line) many stores have already jumped on the bandwagon and begun to eliminate any words that pertain specifically to Christmas.

It is important for each and every one of us to do our part to preserve the Christmas season, so that our future generations will know the same joy of Christmas that we have known.

For the few who complain about being offended at the words, "Merry Christmas," I suggest you visit other countries to see how unlikely they are to comply with your complaints. America was founded on the basis of Christianity, schools were erected, not to learn math and english, but to learn how best to serve God.

An intrinsic part of being an American, and right up there with apple pie and baseball games, is the celebration of Christmas. My concern is that we have deviated from the original intent or mission, if you will, of our founding fathers:
--"One Nation Under God"
--"In God We Trust"
In addition, all other religions retain the designated names for their religious symbols.
I have not proposed to change the name of the menorah to candle holder.
I have not changed Hanukkah to Dedication.
Neither have I renamed Kwanzaa, nor have I told you it's an insult to celebrate family, community or culture.
Sorry, I can't sit quietly on this subject.
To that end, I walk out of stores wishing others a Merry Christmas very loudly.
Or I pass Christmas jokes and love wherever I can!
To all who believe in the love and take our religous rights seriously as Christians, I say, "Just because the stores do it doesn't mean you should stop saying God Bless you or Merry Christmas to each other and to all you encounter.
Stand tall and with all the love in your heart do wish one another a Merry Christmas or a Blessing of God!" 
Similar articles:
DEE'S NOTES:
*I must admit I was quite zealous in my editing endeavors, if you care to read the contents of the email as it stood originally, click here.
**The gender of the original author is merely an assumption on my part
Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Cookies vs Apples

Here’s a little chuckle for the day:

At a Catholic gathering Mother Superior stacked a pile of apples on one end of a table with a sign saying. “Take only one apple please – God is watching."


On the other end of the table was a pile of cookies on which a student had placed a sign saying, “Take all the cookies you want – God is watching the apples.”
Sunday, December 04, 2005

Change is a Coming

Good Morning Folks,

Hope this post finds you well.  Just a quick announcement to advise that I’ve changed subscription service from Bloglet to Feedblitz.

Not only does the Feedblitz poll more than once a day, (which gets your updates to you on a more timely fashion), but it also retains most of the formatting so that your feed doesn’t appear as one huge paragraph, (which I personally find off-putting).

It also doesn’t pull my drafts and sends them out before I’ve completed my thoughts and edited my post (as it did to me on Friday past…arghhh).

Another difference is that Feedblitz’s email arrives with an attachment and would appear as follows:

FeedBlitz          [FeedBlitz] There are 2 new posts in "Divine Perspective"

If you have any problems receiving your updates, please do advise and have a blessed day!

Peace,
Dee
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