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Forgiveness

January 7th, 2016 1 comment

 

Seriously speaking  . . .  Photo 193

Marks made in fresh cement, gang symbols on a white stucco wall, initials inside a heart shape carved into a tree, names, dates, obscenities.

They are there until a jackhammer or an earthquake converts them to powder, or until a saw or lightning strips aways layers of wood, or until a paint brush covers what has been sprayed on.

The destructive impact of isolated or collective incidents starting early in life may be etched just as deeply into our psyche, requiring all the forces available to reduce their scarring. 

Many times we never confront the real source of our emotional damage; rather, we apply quick patches, deny our true feelings, and add new hurts on top of the old.

Eventually the veneer of denial wears thin and the awful effects of those moments shine through as if they had never been covered at all.

We have a choice: to add another quick patch or to face the truth and work our way through the pain and sadness, forgiving and being forgiven.  

I call it growing up.


Labor Day Over – School Begins

September 8th, 2015 Comments off

For many kids and teachers, Labor Day signals the end of their wonderful summer vacation and the beginning of another year of work.

The children are excited to see their friends, but apprehensive about the teachers they will get.  The younger kids especially look longingly at the teacher from the year before.  If they can they run to her and give a quick hug. Even if they weren’t crazy about him or her, there was a comfort level in knowing what that person expected.  

If they get in the class of a teacher who has the reputation for being ‘nice’ then they are relieved, but if they get the ‘mean’ teacher they are petrified.  If they are separated from their best friends they are crest-fallen.  It is really bad when a group of kids have been in every year together and then they are split up.  At least one is bound to go home begging their parents to intervene and get them moved to the class with the friends they have known since Kindergarten.

Teachers have been at school for days before the kids arrive.  On their own time they have decorated the bulletin boards and brightened the classroom with attractive art. With their own money they have purchased individual plastic boxes for each child to hold his eraser, pencils, and other necessities.  They often will have purchased spiral notebooks and other materials not supplied by the district.  

The teachers look at their list of children and they recognize some names by reputation alone and they know they will have a challenging year. If there are more children on the list than ever before, they grimace, wondering how they can manage that many personalities,  how can they fit that many desks into the classroom and still have room to walk around them?

After the chairs are arranged, the room swept, the flag put in place, and everything ready as it can be, the teacher will sit at her desk and with a familiar excitement of a new beginning, she will sigh.

Remembering the Unforgettable

September 11th, 2013 Comments off

me 2013-08-25This day will live on in infamy for the destruction, terror, and for the way it changed our lives forever.  

The churches filled for a few weeks afterwards, people spoke of God and turned to Him as if they were discovering the comfort of an old friend.

But it didn’t take long before most had fallen back into their old ways and didn’t feel the need for Him as they regained their footing.

Why is this?  

As someone who seeks to feel God’s presence every day, and considers Him vital to my very existence, I wonder how it must feel not to have that security of faith.

Does that mean nothing bad will ever happen to me? Of course not.  It does mean that when it happens I will not be alone, He will be with me. What more can I ask?

Humor her, today’s her birthday!

October 26th, 2012 3 comments


On my 70th birthday, let me leap up on this soap box to say:

Aging can be a bummer, I agree.  I remember how shocked I was in my forties to see lines appear on my face,  falling into creases that  changed me from looking young to not looking young.  I hated it, I cried, and felt self-conscious.  It was not the outward me that had a problem with aging, it was the inward me.

It took quite a while to come to grips with the fact that I was not 35 any more and that I didn’t look 25 . What helped more than anything was meeting a friend who convinced me that I was fine, just the way I was. Thank God for friends who can put things in perspective for you.

Now that I am truly experiencing the aging process, I am resisting it in a different way, and that’s why I’m on my Soap Box:

We have to watch ourselves that we don’t fall into the trap of believing the cartoons and jokes.  Sure, I laugh at them and can relate, but that view is not the view I want to concentrate on.  I want to focus on my strengths and wisdom gained by growing older, instead of what doesn’t work as well as it used to.

The more we accept the image that we are out of touch, incompetent and insensitive, the more we become that way.  I refuse to do that and I hope you will refuse it too.  Here are my thoughts:

  • We still have a lot to offer the world and we need to hold on to who we are.
  • Our spirits are no less beautiful than when we were young, maybe more beautiful.
  • We must refuse to be defined solely by our number of years!
  • We must not accept being painted  with a broad brush, we are still individuals.
  • We must embrace who we are now, not just who we once were in the eyes of others.

We are still relevant and needed in this world, but if we don’t believe it, no one else will.

Do I hear an Amen out there?    

The older and hopefully wiser, Mary Taylor

Expressing Love to People Too!

June 22nd, 2012 Comments off

It is difficult to type this morning because a certain little dog named Ralphie wants to be on my lap, and so he is.

His breathing is more constricted every day and he coughs a series of deep coughs after every bark or exerting himself.  He doesn’t act as if he is in pain, and he still is quite active and alert. I know, after a year and a half of dreading these days, that he can’t go on forever like this.

 The strain on his enlarged heart has to be taking its toll. I tell him often how much I love him.I thank him for his wonderful devotion and friendship.

Hopefully I am as thoughtful with the people in my life, as I am with this dear little friend. How about you? Do you speak words of love to your animal companion more than the humans in your life? May I urge you to be generous with your words of love?  They mean so much.

Who should hear that you love them?  If you can think of someone then I urge you to tell them today.

To The Schoolmarm Family

November 24th, 2011 Comments off

You are a big part of why this website is fun for me.  Thank you.

Is Anything Wrong?

September 26th, 2011 1 comment

 

I completely understand that not everyone chooses to say grace aloud at the table, except for special occasions, and that is certainly their right;  but I grew up hearing Daddy pray at every meal,  and I continue asking ‘the blessing’ over my food , as he always did. 

A few years ago Tim, Bill and I were in a restaurant in Arizona, and I offered to pray. (Maybe they thought I said pay, because they quickly agreed.)

I know praying in public seems extreme to some people, maybe because they are shy,  but I’m not shy and to me it doesn’t matter where I am, I still want to express my gratitude. 

Anyway,  we had our heads bowed when I felt someone standing by our table.  It was our young waitress.

“Is anything wrong?” She asked.

“No, we were just about to pray.” 

Embarrassed, she stammered, ” I, I, I can come back later.”

“Or you can join us,” I offered.

She blinked a couple of times, “Okay, I guess I’ll join you.”

We bowed our heads and I said a brief prayer.

Afterwards I wondered: was it that unusual to see people saying grace in a family restaurant over breakfast? For some reason that surprised me.  

Praying at the table for our food is different than most other prayers.  We aren’t reciting a long list of needs, desperate for answers, we are just thanking Him.  It is an act of giving back a tiny moment of our time to acknowledge that God is our source and that we are grateful.

 It is such a small thing to do compared to all He does for us.  “No, nothing is wrong, we’re just saying thanks.”

 

The Blogging Muse

September 16th, 2011 1 comment

Photo 75

The Schoolmarm gets up in the middle of the night. Staggering to her computer she clicks it on.  The bright light hurts her eyes, but she refuses to be deterred.  She has been awakened with an idea so phenomenal that she can not wait till the morning light comes streaming through her window nudging her into consciousness.  Nay, she must capture it now, lest it be lost to the world forever. Her fingers touch the keys, her eyelids droop, Mr. Sandman calls, and she says,

“Nawh, it can wait!”

The ‘Marm is back on the soapbox! Offensive emails!

September 8th, 2011 Comments off

So, I got this email that really upset me.

It was making fun of the First Lady of the United States. Catty, mean-spirited and bitter, someone should be ashamed of themselves.

With all the problems in the world, with so great a need for prayer and Godly guidance, why would someone take the time to look up pictures and write nasty comments?  How does this help our country?  Couldn’t the originator of this email (and probably others) have found  something more constructive to do with his or her time?

I used to just delete them and let them go, but I’ve had it with this kind of garbage of hate.

Let’s use our creativity to lift the world, not tear it down;  to demonstrate love, not hate; and if you receive this kind of email – please, please, don’t forward it to me.  I have enough to do without getting back up on this soapbox!  

A Question for the ‘Marm

September 6th, 2011 Comments off

A friend half-teasingly asked me if I really remembered my childhood moments or did I make some of them up for a good story.

I explained that much of what I share, of those early years, was written some time ago (when memories were fresher.)

My task now is to edit, rewrite and tweak the writings to fit the space.  I try very hard to remember verbatim comments, and stay absolutely truthful.

Obviously I can only write from my own memories and at times they may be faulty.  I am always open to hearing other peoples memories and will adjust writings when necessary.

The creative writings are pretty obvious, with my various characters: Pastor Rick, Ezra Jane, Sonia and Gertie, Thad and Tender, Eve, and others who are developed as we go, but when I talked about my life, it is the real thing.

Thanks for the comment, my friend.  I figure if one person asks, someone else may be wondering the same thing.  If anyone else has a question, just leave it as a comment. I love the interaction.

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