Archive for the 'Faith' Category

Motivational Monday

“Be who you are and say what you mean because those who matter don’t mind and those who mind don’t matter.” - Dr. Seuss

A Daisy Doesn't Pretend To Be A Rose

I love this quote. No matter who you are, you should live by this rule and teach your children to do so as well. Low self esteem not only comes from bullying, but from the fear of allowing others to see who you truly are. Be honest, be direct, and never hide the real you.

The kids are making a new start right now, why shouldn’t mom and dad? Don’t let resolutions and goals to make changes come only at the beginning of the year. Little changes add up over time, especially those that can help boost confidence.

Why not choose a new quote to jot down on a small piece of paper once a week and try to live by it the best you can? When you’re feeling low or just need to have a little reminder, pull it out of your pocket and read it. Read the quote out loud if you want. Use it in conversation.

And don’t stop with quotes from famous or historic people, come up with your own. Who knows, you may end up with a quaint little coffee table book of inspirational sayings you have written!

From now on, let’s start the week off with a quote. Feel free to email me suggestions!

Posted in Character Development, Daily Living, Faith, Mental Environment, Stress Management | No Comments »

Making It

There are times in everyone’s life, I think, when they question if the path they are on is the right one.  Having a calling in life - like being an artist, a teacher, a writer or anything of the sort - begins to dictate to you how you live and what you strive for.  It’s hard to say that we aren’t getting there. Personally, I am much closer now that I was a year ago - but there are still days when I wonder why I just don’t give up and try to live a simple and calm life instead of the one that I was born unto.  Some days my husband and I will look at each other and wish that the urge to create would subside - it is, beautifully, out of our control though.  So, when I get exhausted and feel like the ideas in my head are taking me nowhere, I become elated to read things like todays Writer’s Almanac

It was on this day in 1955 that Vladimir Nabokov’s novel Lolita was first published (books by this author). It’s the story of Humbert Humbert, a European who falls in love with a twelve-year-old American girl.

Nabokov started thinking about the novel when he was still a new immigrant to the United States, struggling to support his wife and son as a professor of Russian and English literature. He began working seriously in the summer of 1951, while he and his wife drove to Colorado in their Oldsmobile station wagon. He said he loved writing in the car because it was the quietest place in America. The following winter, he began doing research on young girls, traveling on city buses to learn current slang, writing down popular song titles and phrases from teen magazines and Girl Scout manuals. As he grew more and more excited about the book, he was miserable that he had to do anything else. He wrote to his friend, Edmund Wilson, “I am sick of teaching, I am sick of teaching, I am sick of teaching.”

He finished the novel in 1953, but when he sent the draft to friends, most of them were horrified, and told him that he could never publish it. It was rejected by all the major publishing houses in the United States, so he finally had it brought out anonymously in France by a publisher who specialized in pornography. He played around with different titles, including “The Kingdom by the Sea,” but in the end the novel was called Lolita (1955). He later said that the novel was, in part, about his love affair with the English language.

After a few years of controversy, it was published in the United States in 1958, and went on to become a best-seller and a movie. Nabokov had put off writing it for so many years partly because he was afraid that it wouldn’t make any money, but in the end it was the success of Lolita that allowed him to retire from teaching. He moved with his wife to Switzerland and spent the rest of his life writing novels in the top floor of a luxurious hotel.

I don’t suspect I will ever find myself atop a fancy hotel in the Alps writing my days away, but there is hope in hearing something like this.  And, sometimes, it’s that thread of hope that urges one to become.

Posted in Uncategorized, Daily Living, Faith, Writing | No Comments »

All Hail the Queen: Remembering Coretta Scott King

The first time I heard her name, I was a scrawny seven year old army brat knee deep in red Georgia clay…. I can remember that summer, days before I began second grade. The wind still blew in the summertime in 1984 - there always seemed to be a breeze, even in south georgia in the middle of august… and I can still hear my mom’s voice calling for me across the park where I dangled upside down from metal monkey bars, my blonde hair floating underneath as the red sky glowed a quiet sunset that was always my reminder to head home.

I can remember, just as vividly, walking into Mrs. Stenson’s second grade classroom. She had the usual posters of Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., Kennedy and kitty cats tangled up in yarn with the quote “hang in there!” smattered here and there throughout the room. And then she had a wall full of people that I had never seen before. Sojournor Truth, Harriet Tubman, Jesse Jackson and the beautiful and steadfast Coretta Scott King, poised on stage and singing. And then, aside from that iconic picture that she had in a golden frame on the wall, she had this picture in an intimate frame,that kind of frame you would put a picture of your mother in, on her desk:

Coretta Scott King

Within that year, I believe I learned more about life, reality and the kind of person that I hoped to become, - the kind of person that I hope I have - at least mostly - become. We all know her story and the life she led in the wake of tragedy - that alone is worthy of pedestal placement. But there was something else - maybe perhaps that next to a man who seemed so mighty and capable of escaping human charactersitics like hate and violence, she held her own ground and, once he was gone, she kept showing us the way toward peace. I dunno, I have always found her remarkable for something other than the obvious reasons though - maybe it is not for words, and maybe it is not just me. We probably all feel that way about her - and, truly, we all should.

As much as I tried, I couldn’t stop myself from crying at the dinner table the evening of her death. We always listen to NPR at dinner time and they had a poignant piece in which you could hear her speaking in Memphis after her husband’s death. She spoke with honor and in a voice that only she could muster after having had such a man taken from her family. I couldn’t hide it from my son, a fifty eight year old trapped in a five year old’s body - he notices everything. He brushed his hands together as if he had been working in the coal mine all day and was shaking the soot off and said “whelp, I guess she was the last wise one we’ll see for awhile”. Several things hit me, one being utter confusion about how someone as scatterbrained as me has had such a well put together, perplexing and thoughtful child, the other things had something to do with the passing of time and the remarkableness of people who are great and even those that are not so “great” within that time. Without getting too sentimental (perhaps it is too late) I will just say that she was a great lady that made me realize what I am capable of, both within myself and within my community. that’s all. I will miss knowing that one of our last “wise ones”, as my son put it, is no longer around.

Visit NPR to hear the 1968 speech in Memphis and to read other interesting facts about Mrs. Scott King.

Posted in Lifestyles, Grief and Loss, Faith | 1 Comment »