Loving those Birthdays!

Well, shoot!  As hard as I try to ignore it, someone always yells “Happy Birthday!” this time of year.  Yes, I just aged another year…… thank goodness!  Now, if I ignore the mirror and pay better attention to where I put my car keys, I’ll be fine. 

I am fortunate and thankful that I have survived the ups and downs of my life.  There is something about “making it through” that gives one a new lease on living.  When we survive heartache and trauma, we find that strength, faith, and attitude are necessary to attain peace. 

There are a lot of grumpy people hanging around earth right now.  They come in all colors, shapes, ages, and sizes.  Yes, some folks must enjoy being ill-tempered and mean.  They hang out on social media, spewing their misery and anger.  Life for them has become a hassle, a daily grind of worry, and tormented existence.  It saddens me that they have lost the ability to look forward to tomorrow because they are stuck in anger over yesterday.  What a waste of precious time. 

Care enough to be bold

I learned long ago that we should never discount what God has planned for each of us. Sure, our lives have been interrupted these last two years, but there is a reason to celebrate.  If we are still breathing, that means we are to continue our never-ending journey to find our purpose.  So, get off the sofa, hang negativity in the closet, and make the world a better place because that is what we are meant to do.  I’m serious … like, get up right now!

I love telling folks what to do.  Now that I’m older, fear seems to have melted along with all those birthday candles.   You can ask the girls who work out in my garage gym how I yell exercise routines to produce sweat.  I do so because I don’t want them to leave this earth before they were meant to go.  They perform a boatload of sit-ups so their backs will hold them up as they walk through time.   They need to lift weights to keep their hearts beating and their arms strong enough to carry on.  I shout because I love, and I write because I want my concern for others to travel far. 

Living long has taught me that hate is useless, resentment is mind-altering, and complaining about it all is worthless.  Birthdays are just a reminder that we can become more joyful than our last year if we look at life a bit differently.

Your life is not really yours

You see, life isn’t just about you.  We are all in this time zone together.   We are each given gifts, and it is up to us to determine how to use them.    Some are ignored, and some are expanded, but our talents are gifts to be shared.  We are better people when we attempt to make others happier and healthier.  We are intended to be instruments of God’s work. 

I have a new book out this week.  Did I write it? Yep. Did I spend the money to publish it? Yep.  Was it my idea? Nope.

When I was young, I promised God that one day I would write a story.  He put that bee in my bonnet so long ago, the buzzing just became a daily noise.  The birthdays passed, and the noise grew louder, and of course, I wrote because I promised.  Was it my wish to sit on a beach and watch the gulls fly by? Yep.  But it wasn’t God’s idea for me.  If there is one thing I absolutely understand is that for me to continue to enjoy life, I must do what the Almighty asks of me.  No matter what.

Happy Birthday to you

When we go against the plan God has for our lives, we lose hope.  When we choose hate over love, we lose our purpose.  We become selfish, mean-spirited, and heartbroken because we no longer hear a bee buzzing in our ear and whatever success we have attained is meaningless. 

So, I am old.  So what?  I am grateful that I get to spend one more day listening to God tell me what to do!  How cool is that!

May each of you have the best of birthdays this year because a bee landed in your bonnet and told you to get up, better the world, and believe, no matter how old you may be.   

Declaring War for Curtis

Curtis is walking toward his first day of middle school this year with his buds.     Curtis will notoriously spend a good bit of his time in the principal’s office for the comical excuses he invents for not doing his homework.   

Being an eleven-year-old, Curtis would rather watch a movie, pick on his little brother, Barry, and listen to music.  He is your typical American kid who resides with good parents and possesses a kind heart.

Curtis lives in the panes of a comic strip written by award-winning cartoonist Ray Billingsley.  Curtis’s shenanigans usually make me laugh because they remind me of my own preteen son years ago.  Today, however, Curtis made me cry.

As he and his friends near the school’s entrance, they notice two groups of adults shouting.   They are calling each other names, and it looks as if a physical fight will ensue.  Curtis runs toward the group, telling them to “STOP!” 

Who are the spoiled children?

The angry crowd notice him as they argue over COVID masks and mandates to the point, they are clenching their fists as their screams become nastier.  Finally, they look to Curtis to hopefully utter something profound to reinforce their side of the argument.  However, Curtis simply says,

“Children used to brag ‘bout their parents…… but not very often anymore.”

I recall when my son was Curtis’s age.  He played Little League baseball during most of his youth.  Occasionally, a parent would attack a coach or umpire over a call, and the words that spewed forth for all to hear were nothing short of abysmal. 

When we see parents in fistfights and public brawls while their young children watch, most of us want to crawl into a hole of shame.

Adults can become as spoiled children in a nanosecond and should be humiliated each time they do. When a parent loses common decency because of a desire to win, the only one who loses is the child.

Today, parents are fighting over masks and vaccines.  So, let’s say you don’t want your children to wear a mask in school.  What do you have to lose if your child is required to wear such monstrous attire?  You may say, “freedom.”   What do you have to lose if your child doesn’t wear a mask?”  Maybe his health or yours.   Face masks do not pose a wellness threat, but COVID certainly does.

Protecting our children is #1

We should have declared WAR when COVID began.  We marched to battle terrorism after we were attacked on September 11.  When Japan flew to our shores we declared war, yet COVID has killed more Americans than all who died in World War II.  Maybe if we had stated “WAR,” we would have joined to fight in the battle and win. 

We are not winning this war.  We are not united in battle.  Many have put personal ideology above America, its people, and the children they vow to protect.

What if a foreign enemy dropped a chemical weapon on our country and forced us into gas masks?  We wouldn’t think a thing about putting one of those on our kids to protect them, right?   

Yet, we fight in front of schools, in front of our children over a harmless mask. What?  Who are we, what have we become?  We all desire our children to have a free life.  We want them to be able to dream, play, and go where they would like. Because we are not consolidated to win this war, our actions are imprisoning us and them.    If we had simply done what was required to fight the enemy earlier, the war could have ended before another winter of discontent began.   

Exhausted from battle

Many Governors say, “People know what to do!”   No, they don’t.  If they did, this disease would not still be ravaging our lives, our sanity, and our ability to move on.  We have let politics literally kill us.  None of us should allow anyone to lead us into believing we are fighting for freedom when, in reality, we are actually fighting to live free from an enemy.

I’m sorry, folks, I’m tired.  I’m exhausted from worrying over my grandchildren.  Watching other’s suffer is frustratingly painful.  I’m tired of the screamers, mockers, and bullies using deplorable tactics to gain power or fame. I’m tired of watching nurses and doctors tirelessly giving their all while folks refuse to just do what is healing for all.  I am over folks exhibiting senseless acts of selfishness while professing patriotism.  Patriotism is joining our comrades in a war to fight our enemies, not each other. 

 Curtis lives in a colorful cartoon where a brush of an eraser can stop the madness of his world.   For the real little boy today, it will take much more.