Lost, Broken, or Hope? Which Are You?

My heart hurts today. I just can’t sit here and say nothing. Am I the only one who feels it lately? All this hate, rage, toxicity oozing out of social media?

Can you not feel its destructiveness to your bones? I can.

There’s already so much pain and desolation and fear in the world. Must we really rabidly spew more hate into it? For the first time in a long time I hid someone’s posts from my Facebook posts from my feed because I couldn’t stand the hate messages wrapped up as “activism” anymore. Every message was filled with vitriol, spewed hate, and fanned the flames of extremist behavior while denigrating anyone who might value something other than what she believed.

I felt sad. Sorry for her. That she was so unhappy and filled with poison and looking for someone to blame. But I couldn’t be in her universe anymore. For me. I couldn’t condone her messages of verbal violence against others. That’s not a solution. That’s not helping make this world better. That’s just more of the horrible cycle of fear and hate and violence.

Listen…

I live in Florida. My heart broke for all the lost young lives. I ache for their families. It hit very close to home. The violence is not ok. I think we all agree on that. Gun control? Maybe it will work, maybe it won’t. I don’t pretend to know. Do I think mental health issues play a big part in the violence of today? Absolutely. Do I think teachers should have to carry guns? No.

Billy Graham, who has been a religious leader to many, also died this this week. He lived to a ripe old age. Good for him.

Death isn’t death. Everyone finds their strength to move on from different sources, faith in God being a big one. So when I see the same people shouting hate comments at political leaders due to gun control laws, then spewing filth, nastiness, and wishing violence on a religious leader, I get sick to my stomach. I begin to wonder just how broken you are to fan more fuels of hate after such a painful week, and I walk away.

I feel sorry for the person, but I forgive them and I leave. Because I can’t be around that. I refuse to believe that the world is so broken and disgusting that it now only filled with rage and hate and finger pointing.

I don’t like people who extol hate and vicious rage. Who fan flames of doubt and violence. I may love you as a person, but it doesn’t mean I like you. Or that I’m blind to a person’s effect.

I guess what I’m asking is this… Have you considered the message you’re sending out into the world? Is it truly representative of the person you are? Are you helping to make the world a better place? What things have been hurting your heart lately? What things have given you hope or joy?

Reject Hate, Choose Love #PrayForOrlando


How do we battle the debilitating sense of loss, grief, fear, hate, and hopelessness?

The last two days have been brutal… Orlando has been devastated with so much violence and death…first with Christina Grimmie, the with The Pulse shooting.

We have a choice… Really, it’s pretty simple. To battle hate, embrace love. To fight fear, bitterness, intolerance, and bigotry–hold tight to kindness, faith, forgiveness, and patience. Interlace it with understanding.

Hope. Hold on to it. It’s pretty much all we have.

It’s like the Garth Brooks song says… Here are the lyrics I’m choosing to live:

The Change

One hand 

Reaches out 

And pulls a lost soul from harm 

While a thousand more go unspoken for 

They say what good have you done 

By saving just this one 

It’s like whispering a prayer 

In the fury of a storm 
And I hear them saying you’ll never change things 

And no matter what you do it’s still the same thing 

But it’s not the world that I am changing 

I do this so this world will know 

That it will not change me 
This heart 

Still believes 

The love and mercy still exist 

While all the hatred rage and so many say 

That love is all but pointless in madness such as this 

It’s like trying to stop a fire 

With the moisture from a kiss 
And I hear them saying you’ll never change things 

And no matter what you do it’s still the same thing 

But it’s not the world that I am changing 

I do this so this world will know 

That it will not change me 
As long as one heart still holds on 

Then hope is never really gone 
I hear them saying you’ll never change things 

And no matter what you do it’s still the same thing 

But it’s not the world that I am changing 

I do this so this world we know 

Never changes me 
What I do is so 

This world will know 

That it will not change me

The Heart….

I adore this song… It’s a great reminder that what makes this holiday great is the little things:

  • Time Spent With the People Who Matter
  • Hope (for the future, ourselves, our loved ones….both inspiring it and clinging to it)
  • Love (the kind you give freely, and the kind you accept)
  • Cherishing Special Moments
  • Taking a Second to Stop and Appreciate the Little Things

It’s not the monetary gifts that make the season special. It’s the things that money can’t buy.

X is for Xenial

Definition of XENIAL

:  of, relating to, or constituting hospitality or relations between host and guest and especially among the ancient Greeks between persons of different cities
That’s the definition according to Webster, anyway. Urban dictionary’s actually not very far off from that…

xenial

Xenial is an adjective meaning giving gifts to strangers. Xenial people are usually very helpful.
This spoke to me. It reminded me that kindness and generosity are what makes the world go ’round. It also brought to mind the joy and hope, not to mention the beauty that can be found in random acts of kindness.
Xenial

These acts are not limited to only the people around us. It’s scope of impact is so much bigger than we realize. It’s something that can be done for anyone. Anytime or anywhere. Someone you know or a complete stranger. You never know if you’ll change their day or their life.

Kindness means that much. Makes that strong of an impact.

You never know when that cup of coffee you bought for that person standing in line behind you might have been the first nice thing they’ve experienced today or maybe in much longer than that.

Xenial to me? Kindness and generosity to someone you may never have met before. When’s the last time you did something kind do a random person? Do you remember the last time someone did something nice for you? How did it impact you? Wouldn’t you love to pay it forward?

N is for Nothing and Nobody

We’ve all been there.

Those moments when we feel invisible.

Like we’re nothing. A nobody.

Invisible.

No one likes to feel that way. Everyone is worth something.

Sometimes, though, we forget.

When you catch someone believing the worst about themselves, what do you do?

You can make such a difference! Remind them about their worth.

And when someone goes out of their way to make you feel that way? Take a page out of Pink’s book when she addressed a few haters… Is it any wonder I’m such a big fan?

At the end of the day, though, it all starts within ourselves, right?

To change the world, we start with us. By lifting someone else up. By choosing to see the best in ourselves, and looking at our weaknesses as opportunities rather than with hate and self loathing. So why don’t we help each other out?

What’s the nicest thing someone’s said to you lately? Share something admirable or heartwarming that you witnessed recently…. Let’s spread some uplifting goodness!

It’s Not About What You Get….

Well, at least it isn’t for me. My joy has always been in the giving. Knowing I managed to do something to brighten someone else’s day. So what about those who are less fortunate? Maybe this song was meant to be part of a children’s cartoon lesson/story….but I think the message goes way beyond them, don’t you?

I’m trying to think of some sort of anonymous thing I could do to brighten someone else’s holiday… Have you got anything like that planned? If you do, I could use some help brainstorming…

What can I say, I once heard the lyrics “Love isn’t love till you give it away” and it stuck with me.

Humbug Heartbroke Holiday

This morning I hopped onto Facebook like I usually do only to see a post from a dear friend from my childhood asking for prayers for another friend and her family. Apparently her friend lost her 3 year old child suddenly. I didn’t know this woman or her family, but my heart broke just a little bit. An event like that has the ability to color the holiday forever.

Hers is not the only situation like that, I’m sure. In fact, my cousin’s wife reached out recently, too, with a request for prayers. Her brother was in ICU and had been put into a medically induced coma so that medical staff could do tests to figure out what was wrong with him. Thankfully, he’s out of the coma and is responding…and the hospital was able to pinpoint an area to focus their tests.

As beautiful as the sentiments are behind Christmas, the truth is that there are things that can happen to make the holiday feel that much more lonely and painful. Relationships end. People die. Health can fail. Maybe that’s why, despite the sad tone, Blue Christmas has always been a favorite song of mine.

Personally, I love a good sad song…. Lyrics have a way of touching the heart and sometimes releasing healing memories and tears. This Taylor Swift song speaks to me in that way….

With all that hurt and heartache, it’s easy to get lost in feelings of hopelessness. We need help and kindness…from family, from friends…sometimes from total strangers. There’s salvation in kindness…and we never know when we’ll need to be on the receiving end of that helping hand. We never know when reaching out to another person with a helpin hand could be a helping hand reaching back for you. Nothing illustrates it for me better than this Emerson Drive song. Heck, you never know when you might be the Guardian Angel sent to save someone else.