This Has To Stop

My heart hurts. Seeing another senseless tragedy due to gun violence just makes me sad and angry all at once.

This has to stop.

It is more than access to guns, but do we really need the access we have?

It may involve mental health, but with little funding and not making a diagnosis are we doing enough to fix it?

It might be trauma. Kids who experience trauma and don’t have the right resources can escalate.

Whatever it is, we need to take action and make it stop.

We can have a second amendment and still have gun safety and control.

We need to start diagnosing mental illness earlier and make sure there is access to care.

We need to stop bullying, isolation, and things that cause people to lash out.

We need to vote. We need to pray. We need to start talking about solutions and stop putting our kids and our country at risk.

Schools aren’t safe.

Workplaces aren’t safe.

We can’t build a wall around everything.

This needs to stop.

Emotions

One year ago today we moved this beauty to Seattle. The second one of our children to graduate from college and move away from home. We were excited for her to take on a new adventure, but sad that we would not see her nearly as much.

Being empty nesters is our new normal. With 2 kids having careers and one in college, our house is quiet except for the meows of a needy cat or two.

As I looked through my time hop this morning, it made me a little emotional to re-live our journey of this time last year.

I am a proud and happy mom, but I do miss the noise and chaos. I miss the extra chairs at the dinner table and the conversations. I miss the extra friends staying and keeping me up at night. I even miss some of the teenage years of drama and emotional outbursts.

So this morning I am a little emotional. I spilled my coffee all over Eddie’s shoes. I shed a tear or two, and then I reflected on how blessed I am to be part of such an amazing family. đź’—

Taking The High Road

I have fond memories of driving in the car with my kids and giving them life advice. I am not sure what their feelings about this are, but they have turned out to be pretty awesome people. It was a time where they were a captive audience and we could talk about things that happened whether it was at church or school or just in life. One of my “famous” pieces of advice was to take the high road. We even had a song about taking the high road and not the low road.

I have used that life lesson with friends and coworkers over the years. It is one of my life mottos when I am surrounded by drama or negativity.

Sometimes it is really hard.

Sometimes people hurt us and they don’t even know.

Sometimes we are slighted.

Sometimes people take our ideas and don’t give us credit.

Sometimes people are mean.

Sometimes people lie.

Sometimes people put their agenda first.

Sometimes people tear you down.

It can be easy to get mad. It can be easy to stay hurt and I certainly don’t suggest keeping toxic and hurtful people in your life, but you choose how it affects you.

You can give feedback.

You can stand up to a bully.

You can fight back.

You can take the high road and forgive. Sometimes this means walking away.

I choose to fight the battles I need to fight. Pray for the people I need to pray for. Most of all, I choose the high road.

Women Who Inspire Me

Over the past few years, I have been intentional about surrounding myself with people who inspire me. I wanted to be around other women who were strong and passionate and wanted to make a difference in their community and the world.

I feel like many doors have opened for me to be around these type of women from working with nonprofit leaders who work tirelessly to help others, to serving on the board of the League of Women Voters, to attending a meeting of inspiring women of faith at J4, to 100 Women Strong, to the individual relationships I cherish.

The common thread with all of these women who inspire me and feed my soul is their ability to build each other up. They are strong yet empathetic. Driven yet patient. Imperfect yet striving to be better people and make their mark in the world. Most of all, they are friends.

I just want to say thank you to all the women in my life who inspire me, support me, and make this world a better place. There are too many people to name, but you know who you are.

Thank you!

Realizations

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Casselberry Care Cabin 2011

I was talking to a friend the other day who asked if I was still writing. I responded that I really don’t write much anymore. There is just too much in my head and it is harder for me to just write on one subject without rambling, I start posts, but do not finish them. It is really unlike me in any of the other areas of my life to just start things and then not finish without a good reason. I think my realization came that I don’t have a deadline and I really don’t know who I am writing for. Is it me or others or both?

As I look back through some of my posts and re-read my last one, I realized it doesn’t really matter. If writing helps me to clear my head of all of the extra “stuff” then i should just do it. If I am rambling, so be it.

The past few years of this journey called life have been challenging, and also have been good. I have made new friends, said goodbye to a few friends too soon, and met extended family. I have worked on exciting projects at my job and seen how when the community pulls together we can do good things. I have experienced being a caregiver and being cared for, I have experienced my kids moving away, and I have watched them have their own challenges, but also successes. i couldn’t be more proud of the people they are turning out to be.

The two topics we are “never” supposed to talk about have become front and center for me in the past few years, I have been watching the political landscape and I have been challenged in my faith. While I have not lost my faith, I have realized that if I base my faith on the way others behave, then I am focusing on the wrong thing. My biggest struggle has been faith leaders who have ignored things that should not be ignored, and spoken positively for things that I think should be called out. But that is me.

One of my friends mentioned another person I know. They are both Christians, but the way they see the world is different. My response to her is that she is left and the other person is right and they just have different views. My hope is there is a common ground in the middle and common sense will prevail.

So I realize that I will write when I feel like it, and I will say what is on my mind. If no one reads it, that is ok too,