Anger, Back to School, Christianity, Don't Judge, Education, Fake Christians, Gun Control, Lies, Making Excuses, Respect, Respecting our Educators, School Shootings, Taking responsibility, Uncategorized

No, We Have NOT Taken God Out of Our Schools!

Well, I may make a few enemies with this post, but I’ve had enough.  Every now and then, I see a post on social media about how schools have “removed God.”  This is complete and utter nonsense!  I’ve also noticed that the people who post that garbage are the people who DON’T work in schools, and have no idea!  Oh, and the most recent statement I saw was in response to the latest school shooting…..give me a break!

First of all, there is no law saying you can’t pray in school, or mention God.  None.  The law states that you cannot force anyone else to pray the way you pray, and educators can’t inflict their beliefs on their students.  I’ve taught in public and private schools in several states, and have witnessed with my own eyes and ears how much God is present in our schools, through the people who work there, and the students they teach.  I see teachers bow their heads in prayer.  I hear teachers say, “God is good!” or “Praise God!” or “Thank you, Jesus!” on a daily basis.  Frankly, if someone were forcing me to pray like them, I would be very unhappy.  My relationship with God is MY business.  I’ll pray the way I choose, and when and where I choose, which is exactly the reason for the law.  Even Christians differ on how they worship.  No one should be forced to do anything when it comes to religion.  I have seen teachers hold hands and pray together, form Bible study groups, and offer prayers to co-workers, students, and families.  I’ve also witnessed prayers around the flag pole, music programs which featured hymns, and silent prayers for veterans, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and tragedies our country has dealt with.  How is that removing God from our schools?

I never remember people praying in school when I was growing up.  Maybe they were quieter about it, but I don’t remember seeing it or hearing about it.  So when did we exactly “remove” God from our schools?  I see and hear more about faith and religion in schools more now than I ever did as a child.  My children were members of FCA, Fellowship of Christian Athletes when they were in high school (actually, I think my daughter went for the free food, since she wasn’t exactly athletic).  That didn’t exist when I was in school.  I am familiar with at least one public high school that taught a Biblical history class in recent years.  How is that removing God from our schools?

Another famous falsehood that circulates throughout social media is that schools no longer say the Pledge of Allegiance.  We don’t???  Again, this infuriates me because it’s completely false, and comes from people who have no clue what they’re talking about.  Yes, we say, “One nation, under God….” EVERY day!  The only students I’ve ever taught who didn’t say it were the Jehovah’s Witness students.  They pledge allegiance to God, not the flag, and most of the ones I have taught have been instructed by their parents to be respectful, but are not required to say it…..and it has never been an issue, so why should it be an issue for anyone else now?  We’ve respected their rights, which is exactly what we should be doing for everyone.  “One nation, under God….” How is that removing God from our schools?

By claiming that we have removed God and prayer from the schools shows very little faith on the part of the idiots saying it.  I mean, if you are true Christians, does that mean you are able to just leave that part of yourself at the front door while you enter public buildings?  Isn’t Christianity a way of being?  A way of life?  A commitment everywhere you go, and how you love and treat others?  Aren’t you supposed to be a reflection of God’s love?  Then how do you just take off that hat and leave it at the door?  Statements like that make you appear very uninformed about not only what goes on in our schools, but also about what it is to be a Christian.  I don’t think it’s that easy to take Christianity out of someone who is a true believer, and lives their lives according to the Bible.  Actually, I know a few atheists and agnostics who are more in tune than some self proclaimed Christians!  Doesn’t make you look like you are very dedicated to your own faith, now does it?

Instead of placing blame for school shootings on the lack of prayer (even though you’re free to pray wherever you like!), why not look at the combination of so many other things?  Parents on drugs or in jail,  poverty, lack of parental involvement, the availability to mental health care, gun laws that need to be updated according to our current needs, etc.  To invent a reason such as no prayer in schools, is like saying the shooting happened because we started singing show tunes every day to start the day….it simply isn’t true, and is ridiculous!  And I’m sick of it!

Stop blaming the schools!  Stop spreading untruths on social media on this subject!  Before stating something you think is fact, why not ask someone who does know?  Better yet, how about YOU go volunteer in the schools, and see what actually goes on?  Then, you’ll be free to form an educated opinion!

 

 

Advertisements
Acceptance, Be Kind, Egos, Insensitivity, Karma, Kindness, Lies, Manipulation, Rejection, Relationships, Respect, Self respect, Support, That's life, Uncategorized

Here Comes the Karma Bus!

I’ve always been a believer in karma.  Some people don’t believe in it, and that’s okay for them, but I’ve seen it too many times to dispute it in my life.  If you do good things, good things will come back to you.  Just as, if you lie, cheat, and steal, it will come back to you. Sometimes we have to go through some very rough times before we feel the effects of karma, but it’s usually quite satisfying when we finally see it pan out!

I’ve known people who have had their hearts broken, and they claim they did all the right things.  They treated their former partner with respect, spoiled them, doted on them, etc.  Now usually, a breakup is a two way street, but occasionally, it is true that one person gives more, and gets taken advantage of.  They can’t understand why things didn’t work out when they were doing all the right things.  Well, of course, it’s a life lesson, but the “karma bus” will most definitely catch up to the one who did the hurting!  It may take time, but I believe it will happen.  And, the one who got hurt usually ends up with someone a lot more suited for their personality and needs….someone who treats them with respect and reciprocates the good care they have given.  Soooooo….karma has come back to them in a positive way.  It works both ways.

If someone has been a liar and cheat for most of their lives, it’s not usually an easily broken habit.  They get away with it for as long as they can, and when it catches up to them, they still don’t take responsibility for their dishonesty.  In their minds, it will always be someone else’s fault.  There are people in this world who make a living cheating others….their spouses, neighbors, family, customers, the government….  They’re greedy, arrogant, lying cheaters.  Instead of compromise, they tend to bully their way through life, using money to get their way.  And when called out and proven that they’re in the wrong, they still refuse to admit it…..didn’t happen….fake news……  They’re somehow above the rest of us who have tried to do the right things, and they continue their shady ways.  Don’t worry…..karma will catch up to them.

I try to always be nice and understanding to people.  I make mistakes, just like everyone else, but I try to remedy it in my actions every day.  I’ve always believed that if you are kind and nice, warm and friendly, generous and compassionate, you will get that in return.  Not everyone treats me the way I’ve treated them, and it really does hurt.  That’s when I tell myself that I have to step back and try not to care about their poor treatment.  Their karma will get them just as mine will reward me.  I’ve made a point to “be the bigger person” so many times.  It sometimes sucks (a lot!), and I admit, I get tired of it.  I have done things for people who I know will never treat me with the same kindness and respect.  Sometimes I have to protect myself and just walk away…..no hate or anger….just self preservation.  Karma can take care of that too!

Be good to people.  Be good to those who are good to you.  To the liars, cheaters, arrogant people and meanies….sit back, rev up the engine on the karma bus, and watch what happens.  Let karma take care of it.

Be Happy, Be Kind, Comfort, Family, Kindness, Mother, Mother's Day, Relationships, Uncategorized

Celebrating Our Mothers

Mother’s Day….that bittersweet day for those of us who no longer have a mother here on Earth.  It’s a beautiful thing to celebrate our mothers….even if they are no longer with us.  There are also mother figures we can celebrate.  No one can ever take the place of our mothers, but we should consider ourselves blessed to have female friends who are there to love, guide, and protect us.

I have several female friends who I know I can reach out to for advice, a good laugh, a cry, or just to vent, and I love them for that.  They’ve come into my life at different times, when I had different needs, but they’ve remained….as part of my circle of support. They live all over the country, but I know I can pick up the phone right now, and they would be there for me.  We may have sisters, aunts, or cousins who can also be mother figures to us.

What about the single fathers out there who have no partner to help?  They deserve to be recognized as well, for being both mother and father!

While I’ve never met my ex husband’s current wife, and I doubt we would be friends, I am grateful that she seems to love and care about my children.  I know that I am their mother, and no one will ever replace me.  But why would I deny my children the opportunity of receiving more love and friendship?  Just as my husband is a very loving, supportive friend to my children, we are secure enough to know we can’t be replaced.  The more love for them, the better! You can never have enough, and my children deserve that!  But I will always be the only mother they have.

So yes, this holiday is a little rough for me.  I do the best I can, even though there are always a few tears, while I miss my mama.  I will get through it, and I will enjoy hearing from my three “babies” that day.  It’s a day worth celebrating, and showing the women in our lives how much we appreciate them.  Let’s celebrate the women we love (and who love us) this Mother’s Day….our mothers, daughters, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, cousins, step-mothers, friends…..whether they are still with us or not……whether they have children of their own or not.  The nurturing we do for one another is priceless.

To all of my female friends and family…..happy Mother’s Day!

 

 

Art, Be Happy, Crawfish Festival, Happiness, Life Happens.....Make the Best Of It!, Misconceptions, Pensacola, Pensacola Lighthouse Museum, Thankfulness, Togetherness, Uncategorized

Appreciating Your Surroundings

It sure was a beautiful weekend here last weekend!  Because I’ve been really stressed lately, I needed the weekend in a big way!  Al and I don’t get to see each other for more than a couple of hours each day during the week because of our work schedules, and sometimes he works on Saturdays, so it felt like we hadn’t really had a chance to talk about much lately.  We spent Saturday downtown, where it seemed that everyone and their dog  were also out and about (seriously…..there are dogs EVERYWHERE downtown, and I love it!)!  It was busy with graduations, the Crawfish Festival, Cinco de Mayo celebrations, farmers’ market, and  people out just enjoying the beautiful weather!  It was nice to see so many people enjoying the festivities.

We walked, and talked a lot, and of course, when we are together, there’s always a lot of laughter and affection.  We started by cruising through the farmers’ market, which is weekly, and we have a our favorite vendors we like.  We sat at the Crawfish Festival, listening to the music, watching the people, talking to new people, and enjoying the food.  There was an abundance of delicious items, besides the “mudbugs” (crawfish, for those of you who aren’t familiar with that term)….shrimp, alligator, oysters, shark, chicken, gumbo, etouffee, rice and beans, paella, etc.  Then we walked through downtown, and stopped off at a few places along the way, just enjoying each other’s company.

This part of Florida has a hillbilly reputation…..some of it earned, but some of that label is unfair.  Pensacola has rich history.  Did you know that it even predates Jamestown and St. Augustine?  We have historical museums, art museums, the Naval History Museum and Lighthouse, Fort Pickens (where Geronimo was held when our government was relocating/imprisoning Native Americans), GREAT food, dolphin cruises, fishing excursions, entertainment, and shopping…..oh, and don’t forget the beautiful beaches (some of the best in the world), and water sports.  Every weekend, all year long, it seems that there is some sort of festival going on (usually free) from Destin to Pensacola.  Whether it’s seafood, art, jazz, Gallery Night, or a cultural festival, there always seems to be something happening, and you can experience it on a budget.  We also have minor league baseball and hockey teams.

No, we aren’t Miami or New York, but that’s okay.  If we wanted that, we could go there.  Those places are fun to visit, and have great energy, but the pace of life here is a lot more agreeable to our lifestyle now.  We have what we need, and enjoy our peace and quiet as well.  We can relax on the beach, or stay busy in town.  We can appreciate our life here, and make the most of what it offers.  We love good weather, and we have over 300 days of sunshine a year…..as Al says, “You can’t beat that!” I’ve been fortunate to live in a lot of different places in my life, and I have appreciated each one for everything it offers.  Take the time to learn about your surroundings.  Appreciate the history, food, culture, and weather.  Even though I have to deal with the lizards, frogs, snakes, and bears, I do like it here, and I get to be here with my best friend.  Will we stay here forever? Who knows?  But for now, this works for us.

 

Anger, Be Kind, Being Strong, Bill Cosby, Coping, Egos, Insensitivity, Laughter, Make a Difference, Racism, Respect, Respecting our Educators, sexual assault, Speak Up!, Uncategorized

Bill Cosby’s Sad Legacy

Bill Cosby……Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids……The Huxtables…….the Jello pudding guy…….I Spy……..the Little Bill books……so much a part of my childhood, as well as my children’s.  I’m not here to argue his guilt or innocence….the verdict has been handed down.  It is what it is.  And it’s incredibly sad…..

I remember being upset and disappointed in the downfall of O.J. Simpson.  He had been such a charismatic personality, and the events playing out on television each day became part of our lives.  It was sad, but O.J. had not had the same positive impact on lives as Bill Cosby has.  Bill Cosby depicted African Americans and their families in ways that were positive, and lifted them up, during times when a lot of America was only portraying the negative, perpetuating ethnic stereotypes.  He helped them believe that everyone can make something of themselves with an education and hard work. He contributed to charitable causes such as the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and the Jackie Robinson Foundation.  He was a supporter of educators and literacy projects (his son was dyslexic).  The Little Bill books that my son had taught life lessons to early readers in a sweet storybook.  He and his wife have created scholarships for hundreds (maybe thousands) of recipients. And he made ALL of us laugh.  You can’t deny it.  He was funny…..especially when it came to his skits with children.  He brought a lot of good to the world, and yet behind closed doors, had a completely different personality.  All of those good things he did will now be tainted or scarred because of his conviction for sexual assault.  I can’t watch the news because it makes me so sad.  Of course, he wasn’t who we thought he was (what television personality is?), but he was doing a lot of good things…..and unfortunately, bad things.

I have heard a story that Cosby wanted to buy NBC, and there were people who didn’t like this because of his color.  They knew he had these allegations against him by different women, so they used it to bring him down, in order to keep him from buying the network….”we’ll show him!”  Now….this could be an excuse.  It could be his team playing a bit of the race card.  Or, it very well could be true. Whether or not you want to admit it, racism is alive and well!  I’ve seen it more than I want to admit.  There are an awful lot of powerful white men who have been accused of the same type of behavior, and are not facing jail time.  Sure, they may have lost their million dollar jobs and their status in their field, but they’re not facing charges in court……yet.  To be honest with you, I don’t believe every woman who makes these accusations.  I do think that a lot of them are out for their 15 minutes of fame, money, or to ruin a man’s career and/or life.  But each one should be heard until a decision/verdict is made.  The deserve to be heard.  We can’t ignore them.

Bill Cosby should pay for his actions, as anyone should who commits the same type of acts.  But what about the good things he did?  Do they just get erased?  Are the scholarships now gone?  One of my students was looking at a “Little Bill” book the other day.  Does Bill Cosby’s conviction mean that the lessons in these wonderful books are no longer relevant and helpful?  I know I also learned a lot of lessons from Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids every Saturday morning.  And what about the Huxtables…….you know there were a lot of other people involved in the making of that show.  There were other actors, writers, producers, directors, stage hands, etc.  By pulling the show off of television, those other actors also lose their royalties, and they did nothing wrong.  Many of them were children! How about keeping the show on the air (it has been syndicated for many years), and ordering Bill Cosby to give 100% of his royalty shares to programs that help victims of sexual assault? If you don’t want to watch it, then don’t, but at least he would be forced to make amends in some way, and the rest of the cast can receive the money they deserve.

The man obviously has a dark side, but he also had so much to give.  It’s incredibly sad that all of the good he did will now be forgotten.  Yes, his accusers did the right thing.  I fully support them.  But let’s not erase the good things.  In fact, let’s continue some of those good things.  Let’s contribute to charities, literacy programs, help children learn valuable lessons, look past color and stereotypes, and always, always, ALWAYS have a sense of humor.

Now let’s move forward, respecting each other, hearing each other, helping each other, and….making each other laugh.

 

Be Kind, Cliches, Compassion, Doormat, Emotions, Insensitivity, Kindness, Love, Manners, Uncategorized

That’s So Cliche!

Bury the hatchet.  Clear the air.  Look on the bright side. Everything will work itself out.  Beat around the bush.  All’s well that ends well. You’ve all heard those, right?  Cliches!  Some are pointless, and I do not believe what they say.  Others have a lot of truth to them. Does it solve the problem at hand by repeating them, or do we just say them out of habit?

Recently, one of my Facebook friends posted that the saying, “Sticks and stones will break your bones, but words will never hurt you,” was not true.  I completely agree!  This is not a true statement.  Words (and sometimes a lack of words if you’ve been given the cold shoulder) can be incredibly painful! Even as adults, it can be very hurtful to be on the receiving end of mean words and actions, especially if you would never do that to someone else. I used to know someone who would say, “I won’t let them hurt me. They mean nothing to me, so why should it hurt me?”  It isn’t as easy as all of that for some of us.  Some of us hurt more deeply because we actually care more.  That particular person wasn’t exactly the most sensitive or kind person, and he could really dish out a lot of mean comments, so I’m pretty happy I don’t deal with him anymore.  But those of us who are loving and caring individuals tend to hurt more because we feel more.  We have empathy for others.  We haven’t selfishly made life all about us.  We tend to put up with a lot of crap from other insensitive people, and hurt very much in the process.  I’ve been going through this a bit lately, and it hurts very much.

A saying that I completely agree with is, “Actions speak louder than words.”  I’ve heard a lot of people say “all the right things,” but when it comes to actually “doing the right thing,” they don’t.  I’ve had people make promises to me, or fake concern or interest in me, but then do something incredibly hurtful through their actions, proving their words were just insincere statements or someone being nosy.  Some show a complete lack of manners, or make no effort to show they care, but if you did the same to them, they would be angry.  In that case….”When people treat you like they don’t care, believe them.”  I have definitely seen this since my diagnosis of a brain tumor a few months ago.  It has given me some clarity as to who I should devote my time and attention to.  Not that I want it to be “all about me,” but don’t pretend to care “once in a blue moon” just to ignore me when I need support.  I’ve tried to go on as normally as possible, and do not want this to dominate my life, but it has caused me to make changes, and I do suffer.  I’ve had people pass judgement on me over this illness, but unless “they walk a mile in my shoes,” they really will never understand what I go through every day.  I’m not a whiner, and don’t want to have all of the attention on myself, but it is a very serious condition.  Don’t pretend to care if you don’t.  I wish I had a dollar for every, “Let me know if you need anything,” that was coming from some insincere individual who really didn’t care a bit about me.  Maybe they don’t know what to say, but I can tell the difference between those who care and those who don’t.

Cliches…..applied to our lives….does this cheapen our situations and our feelings?  I think in some instances, it does.  Not all of these can be applied to everyone.  If someone was saying unkind things to me, and I was told, “Sticks and stones will break your bones, but words will never hurt you,” I would feel that I was not entitled to feel pain.  Who can tell us when and how we feel?  That isn’t fair.  Don’t take the right to feel away from someone.  Don’t hurt someone with words or actions, and then decide that they don’t have the right to hurt.

Be careful with throwing out cliches when it comes to someone’s personal feelings or situations.  “Until you’ve walked in their shoes,” you don’t have the right to cheapen their feelings.  Be sincere with your concern.  Allow them to feel on their terms.  Our lives are not built around cliches.

 

 

 

Attitude Adjustments, Be Happy, Coping, Do something, Doing your best, Happiness, Uncategorized

I’m Doing the Best I Can

Well, it’s spring break, and it’s been a bit of a different kind of week off for me.  Usually, I spend spring break with a few days at the beach, a lot of cleaning and organizing, and my youngest daughter comes to visit if she can get a few days off from school.  Well this year…..the planets are aligned differently I guess. It’s been nice, but different.  I’ve had another doctor’s appointment (ugh!), with yet another adjustment to my meds.  I’ve been to the farmer’s market with my husband, and to a couple of local museums (you just can’t beat buy one get one free coupons!).  We’ve fixed a television and a toilet.  I’ve studied for, and passed, another three hour test for my post licensing real estate course.  I’ve rested a lot.  I’ve scared a snake……he scared me first.  I’ve been annoyed with Facebook and the data breach.  I’ve watched a lot of television shows that I enjoy.  I’ve tried to organize a few things around the house.  That’s a slow process, but I’ll get there…..maybe.  Otherwise, you might find me on an episode of Hoarders!  Just kidding!  I’m not anywhere near that….yet!  So I”ve been able to get a few things accomplished, while relaxing.  Nothing exciting at all, but I’m doing the best I can, and it’s exactly what I need.

I used to think that needing to be busy and doing something was important for the time off from work.  And it is….but that something may involve just going for a walk to get fresh air, or watching movies and relaxing, or reading a book.  Teachers work hard.  I spend an hour and a half in the car every day for a commute.  I’m enjoying the peace and quiet away from my busy, lovable 1st graders!  Besides, having a chronic illness has forced me to make changes.  I’m not missing out on life, but I do have to adjust! Even though my activity level has changed, the week off still seems to be flying by! But part of me still feels like I should be doing something.

Part of these lifestyle changes have involved a bit of guilt.  I feel like I screw up fun for other people.  I can’t have things too loud.  I get tired easily.  I need to hold onto things or people for balance.  I feel dizzy and light headed most of the time….some people will say it matches my personality! And my head hurts!  I may not be the life of the party, but if you tell me to walk across a room unassisted, I am the party!  I’ve never been one to need to be the center of attention because of an intense social anxiety problem, but I’ve always enjoyed being out and about, and doing things.  I like meeting people in the right setting.  I like learning about people, and new places.  So making lifestyle changes is hard.  I would guess it would be similar to trying to eat healthier, exercise more, or stop smoking or drinking. Those seem to be pretty common and relatable, and we need to support anyone who is just doing the best they can.  Have you ever been out to eat with someone who is on a diet?  Or at a party where alcohol is being served with someone who is struggling to stop drinking?  It’s hard for them, but we support them.  They’re doing the best they can.  That’s all we can ask of them.  No guilt.

So I guess I need to stop putting guilt on myself, and remind myself daily that I’m doing the best I can…..that’s doing something.  No one else is going through exactly what I’m going through.  Sure, other people have had this condition, and I’m so grateful to my friends who are there for me to answer my questions (especially my friend Karen from college!).  But no one knows what I deal with daily, just as I don’t know what they deal with.  I would assume that everyone is just doing the best that they can, no matter what their circumstances.  That’s all we can ask of each other.

If I’m grumpy, it might be my best for that day.  If I’m sleepy, it might be my best.  If I’m goofy, it might be my best.  If I seem fine, it might be my best.  If I want to walk around a quiet museum, it might be my best.  If I’m confused or in pain, it might be my best.  I have to stop allowing myself (and others) to make me feel like I’m lazy or rude or not pulling my weight if I am unable to do more.  So this week, what might seem like a mediocre, boring spring break to others is my best, and it’s exactly what I need for me.  If we are all doing our best, then we should all get along just fine, right?  How about we all do our best for support, understanding, and not judging what we don’t understand.  I promise it won’t cost a thing, and it might make life a lot easier.  Do your best for you, and don’t feel guilty for it.  That’s doing something.