A Day of Freedom 5-27-19

Freedom is a crazy thing. To most of the people I know it’s like oxygen. It’s like air. It’s not something we see but we know it’s there and we can’t survive without it. It’s essential to life as we know it. But what we fail to remember is that freedom is not a luxury, and trust me it is definitely a luxury, that most of the world has the privilege of knowing. Ever. In their entire lives. Let’s just look at a day in the life of a person that lives with this freedom. I honestly wish I could give you a glimpse into the other side of it but I am not qualified nor will I ever be to even remotely imagine life without freedom. I am extremely grateful for that!

Today, Memorial Day 2019, is the day in America that we celebrate those soldiers that fought for and lost their lives obtaining and defending our freedom. You know the freedom that’s like oxygen. Oxygen is free and everywhere. Freedom is expensive and limited.

Today I had the freedom to wake up in a nice comfy bed with a pillow and blanket. I had the freedom to walk into another room and turn a lever and fresh clean water come out of spout. I had the freedom to urinate in an actual toilet inside my house and pull another lever and it all go away making a clean bowl for the next time. I had the freedom to walk into yet another room and use a machine that required electricity to make a hot drink for myself. And it only took 90 seconds. I had the freedom to walk outside and sit in a comfortable chair OUTSIDE and listen to the birds and animals and feel the breeze on my skin and the sun on my face and I felt safe. I had the freedom to enjoy this quietness and sit there for as long as it took me to drink my hot drink and pet my dogs. Dogs that I have the freedom of owning and loving.

I had the freedom to go for a 3 mile run from my house down a country road and back. Safely and with lots of beautiful scenery to look at. I had nice shoes to run in and clothes especially made for exercise. I had clean water to drink when I got home and a cool house and soft couch to rest on.

I had the freedom to get in my own car and drive down the road and go to a retailer and buy food to cook later. I had the freedom to buy sunscreen to protect my skin.

I had the freedom to have vegetable and fruits available to eat and cook for my family and a place to keep them cool and keep them from rotting. I had milk and meat in this place to keep cool and fresh. I had a stove to cook the food. All I had to do was turn a button and it got hot enough to cook.

I think you get what I’m really trying to say.

These are freedoms that most of us take for granted. We don’t even consider them freedoms at all. We consider them expected. We just expect these things to be there and happen and honestly most of the time we don’t even give them a second thought. We do when they aren’t there. We get upset when they aren’t there. We can’t function normally when they aren’t there but we never stop to think that these are freedoms. Freedoms that most do not and will not ever know or understand.

In saying all this, maybe take a moment out or your day, maybe even everyday and stop and think about the many “freedoms” you have. Dig deep. Because it’s hard to think of such trivial everyday things as “freedoms” because honestly you have no other reference point. Think about the lives lost to obtain this freedom and defend this freedom. Think of all the hard work. The blood. The sweat. The tears. Just so you can walk outside. Have electricity. Running water. I could go on but I hope by now you understand that basic necessities are freedoms and they are like oxygen. Now say a prayer for those that don’t have them. Think of them. Now say a prayer for those families that lost their loved ones whole they were defending these things we take for granted everyday.


Do Not Let the Letters and Numbers Define You

Grades. Let’s just start there. When we start school we are given grades on our performance. We are taught that the different letters mean different things and based on that we are either good or bad. A for good. F for bad. And all ranges in between.

Position on a team. If you have played or even watch sports you know that each player has a job and with that job comes a title. Point guard. Forward. Pitcher. Catcher. Quarterback. Kicker. Wide receiver. Goalie. Anchor. Lead. Most of these are abbreviated for easy reference on the TV screen or stat book. They are represented my letters or a set of letters most of the time but not always. QB. F. WR. You get the picture. These basically tell everyone what you do or are expected to do on the field or court. Where you are supposed to stand or play on that field or court. You also get assigned a number too. Almost all players on a team have a jersey with a number on it to distinguish them from the others. So therefore you are identified by these letters and numbers

Degree. Those of you that have a specific title behind your name know that it is usually abbreviated with letters. MD, PharmD (my favorite for obvious reasons), RN, DPT, Ph.D, DO, LSW, LPN, etc. These are titles as well and tell people what you are educated to do as well as what your vocation is. It represents years of study and hopefully knowledge from all that study.

These are all examples of letters and numbers that tell who we are, what we do, and what we know. They do NOT tell how good or bad we are. How beautiful or handsome we are. How ugly or unfit we are. How smart or stupid we are. How skinny or fat we are. How successful or unsuccessful we are. How rich or poor we are.

I could go on but I won’t.

What I am trying to say is that the numbers and letters do not define you. They may identify us (what we do, what we know about) to other people. They do not tell your story. They do not show your heart. They do not show your mind and soul. They do not DEFINE us. They do not limit us. They do not make us who we truly are. We are so much more than the letters and numbers that we are associated with. We are so much more than what we do for a living. We are so much more than the education that we have.

Don’t let the letters and numbers tell your story. Let your heart tell it. Let your mind tell it. Let your soul tell it. Let the love you share tell it. Let the compassion you have tell it. Let the honor you have tell it. Let the sadness you have tell it.

Don’t let the letters and numbers define you.

being real, Christian, Dog mom, encouragement, family, God, God's Plan, grateful, life, love, slowing down

Love like a Dog..unconditional and intentional

We could all take a lesson from our pets, mainly our dogs.  I’m not a cat person and therefore have no frame of reference there.  I have not always been a dog lover.  My parents had dogs as I was growing up but I was basically indifferent to them after they stopped being the cute little snuggly puppy.  I became a dog owner when Santa himself dropped a basset hound puppy on the door step of my home for my daughter when she was in elementary school.  Don’t worry, the irony of this all does not escape me.  It was basically my dog to care for and feed and clean up after.  ALL THE THINGS.  But that hound loved me.  She thought I was the coolest person in the whole world.  Still the irony of this does not escape me.  She knew who fed her.  But she still loved me when I forgot to feed her.  She still loved me when I came in the house and went straight to bed and never spoke to her.  She still loved me when I left her at home alone for hours.  Dogs have this uncanny ability to love you unconditional and intently every day…all day long…no matter how you react on the other end.  This sweet hound has long since gone and went the special place in heaven for Dogs.  If you have ever loved a dog then you know that there is no doubt such a place.

Now I have been blessed with another such companion, his name is Stitch.  He was part of an accidental litter that was born on our farm.  He is a Texas Heeler and he was the runt of the litter (my favorite).  This guy looks at me like I look at cheesecake.  He thinks I do no wrong and I’m the most beautiful person in the world.  (He told me…we have a special connection..no joke).  I sometimes forget to feed him.  I sometimes forget to even speak to him as I walk in the house.  I sometimes pay him no attention at all some days, but when he lays eyes on me I can see the love in his eyes.  I will go on the back deck to relax or read or just be alone with the sounds of the woods and he will show up and look at me and smile.  I swear yall, he smiles at me.  He is a large dog and would literally sit in my lap if I would let him.  But he is always by my side if I am outside and on the occasion that he gets to come in the house he is right beside me or on my lap. When I’m outside he will lay at my feet and just let me be and do what I need to.  I think he knows what is in my heart and in my soul.  I think he can see straight in there to all the mess and he loves me despite it all.  He loves me because of it all.

Humans on the other hand…well.  They don’t see like dogs do.  We need to be more like dogs.  Love unconditionally.  Look at someone and just love them in their mess.  Love them despite there mess and because of their mess.  Love them through their mess.  Intentionally love them.  No agenda for returned love.  Just love because that is what you do.  Be there for people even when you don’t get anything in return.  I think what it boils down to is that dogs do not judge the person on their actions or lack of actions they just love them no matter what.  They see straight into a person’s true heart and loves them right where they are in their heart with their whole heart..every day…all day long.

Dogs have a way of finding the people who need them, and filling an emptiness we didn’t ever know we had.  -Thom Jones

Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. -Roger Caras