Musings From A Musical Mind

Archive for the ‘Kids’ Category

Walking Inside Of You

Scared child

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“First of all,” he [Atticus] said, “if you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view-until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

To Kill A Mockingbird

 

This is one of my favorite quotes from the movie – and the book.  And sums up how much better we would get along with people if we would first take the time to see things from their point of view – instead of just looking at them through our very limited lens of understanding.

I watched the original version of ‘Freaky Friday’ last night with Jodi Foster – and although it is a silly movie – the point is made quite clearly:  If we walked around in another person’s body and could see things from their point of view – how differently we would see them!

In this film a mother and daughter change places only to find a unique perspective on what is going on in their world everyday – and what seems to be easy to the other person – turns out to be difficult.  How many times do we wish we could change places with someone so that they could see how hard – or how complicated our life is!  Or for them to understand us better.  I have often wished I could understand them better too and  have wished to be a ‘fly on the wall’ in certain homes – so I could watch the ‘drama’ unfold – as I know it does.  Many have wanted to do this in my home as well, I’m sure.  It’s human nature.  It’s difficult to identify with what we cannot understand.

Think about it – if we all were granted this wish – to walk around and be somebody else for a day – who would it be?  And who would you want to walk around in your skin for a day and be you?

If we could apply this simple principle into our lives everyday – to stop and consider – the next time someone says something unkind or uncalled for – or the next time someone acts irrationally – or hurts you, remember this:  consider what it is like to be them. Walk around inside their skin and look through their eyes.  You may just see things you didn’t see before.  And you may gain some perspective and understanding for things you didn’t have before.  You see if we really did this – If I really did this – there would be no room in my heart for blame and bitterness.  I would no longer have to hold you at an arm’s length because of fear of the unknown.  I would know.  And I would love and embrace the scared lonely child in you.  And if you did the same in my skin – so would you.

 

I am praying this prayer today for you.  That you would see people how God sees them.  Understanding them on a heart level – with no agenda and no angle.  Just pure love.  Take a little walk inside of them today.

 

God Bless

 

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Perception is 100% As I Perceive It.

I have been noticing as I’m getting older – no – let me rephrase that.  I am noticing as my HUSBAND is getting older – that his driving is getting more and more creative.  Yes.  That’s the word.  Creative.

For example:  We were turning onto a street from a shopping center going at a constant rate of speed appropriate for turning into traffic.  I was secure and proceeded to check my emails on my iPhone – when all of a sudden I glanced up as I noticed my husband accelerating to the upcoming RED light!  I was curious, mind you – like any passenger would be (and a little concerned for my personal safety) as he was NOT slowing down – but going toward that light at an alarming speed!  But just like a man (of a certain age) he had misjudged the light turning green and had to SLAM on the brakes – or so it seemed to me.  He has another story – something about having to go at the rate of the traffic on the road.   Hmmmm.  I didn’t see any of them speeding up to the red light – only our car –  leaving everyone IN THE DUST and me with a very worried and stunned expression on my face.  You know the ‘look’.  It’s the one where the mouth opens – but no sound comes out.  Yeah – that one.  When I do this ‘look’ – Greg is quick to tell me that I’m going to catch flies like that.  The nerve.

Now I realize that his erratic driving may just be a perception.  It IS possible that I’m starting to ‘lose it’.  It wouldn’t be the first time I felt like I was.  I’ve raised two teenagers for goodness sakes.  And sometimes I really fear that my grasp on reality is slipping away.  But I do not EVER drive this way – nor do I remember him driving that way in all the years I’ve known him.  He’s always been a very safe driver – much more aggressive at the wheel than me – of course – but still very safe and reliable.  I could fall asleep in the car while we were going somewhere and feel perfectly safe.  Now I keep my eyes open – mostly in a wide-eyed stare – but they are still open.

Perception.  My perception.  It’s different from yours.  I view the world through a different lens than you.  The problem comes when I think that you should see things the way that I do – when you don’t.  Or try to get my husband to see that he shouldn’t be speeding up to a red light – but he should allow plenty of time to put his brakes on (and make me feel more safe).  But his perception of the incident is entirely different from mine.

Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone could just think like me – or do things just like me?  I wouldn’t have to guess at why things happen between friends – worry about what others are thinking – and wouldn’t be concerned at the actions of others.  Unfortunately life isn’t like this – it’s full of ‘give and take’ with the people in my world – making adjustments and allowances everyday with things I just can’t understand.

I have to believe that God made us this way on purpose.  We don’t understand everything and we’re not suppose to.  I don’t understand even the closest people to me and why they think like they do – and life is full of navigating around that.  Different opinions – different preferences – different perceptions.

The older I get – the more I realize this:  It’s not important that I understand everything – I know now I never will.  But it is important to have an open mind for others – to accept and embrace change in my life and realize that I am not the only one in this universe.  To accept that I am not the only one with an opinion or perception of fact.  And to learn to navigate through all the ‘junk’ of youth and inexperience to where I finally get to a place where – that’s okay.  Even if it means getting very used to speeding up to red lights.  Even then.  I guess.  After all – this is how I perceive it.

God Bless

I Really Did Hear Something

A few years ago Greg and I were eating dinner at a Shari’s restaurant close to where we live.  We were having pleasant conversation – exchanging ‘niceties’ about the day when suddenly Greg looked at me and said, “Shhhh!! – did you hear that?”  I looked around and listened as hard as I could – but could not hear anything.  So I replied, “No dear – I did not hear anything.”  He said, “No really – it was like a weird ‘metallic’ sound!”  Well since I did not know what a ‘metallic’ sound – sounds like – I was at a loss.  He shrugged it off and we went back to our conversation.  A few minutes later he stopped me again – this time with a hand gesture  raised to stop me from talking, while turning his head he said, “Shhhh!  There it is again!”  Well by this time I really thought he was losing it – so I said, “Does it sound like something is trying to communicate with you – on a different frequency? – Is it the MOTHER SHIP?”

Needless to say he did not think it was funny – and I tried SO hard not to giggle but come on – it WAS pretty funny.  He kept insisting that something was happening – and it would only happen when either of us started talking again – pretty bizarre.  This went on for about 15 minutes or so – until my poor husband thought he was losing his mind.  I could tell that he wasn’t really ‘with me’ in the restaurant anymore – he had that ‘far off’ look in his eyes – the same look he has when he’s listening more to the people talking directly behind him in a booth – than to me.  It’s annoying how easily distracted he is!  This rarely happens to me – I am usually so focused on the person I’m with and the conversation that a hurricane could be going on around me and I probably wouldn’t even notice.

Case and point: I was with my friend Melody about a month ago at a local Starbucks for a ‘coffee date’.  We were heavily engaged in deep meaningful conversation.  Little did I know that behind the scenes the people who work there (they know me because my daughter works there – and they all call me Mom) were playing a little game – trying to get my attention.  The manager and assistant manager were trying to see who would be able to get me to look away from Melody first – and because I was facing toward them when talking to Melody – they thought, “piece of cake”.  They do not know me.  They do not know that I am not easily dissuaded or thrown off track – even though they were waving their arms WILDLY in the air!!!  I think they did EVERYTHING short of actually SHOUTING out my name!  Ashlee told me about this later that day – I was so surprised!  I saw nothing.

So back to the Shari’s and Greg hearing something unusual.  He paid the check and we stood up and were turning to pass another table behind where Greg was sitting and saw a nice older gentleman with a mechanical voice box.  If you’ve ever heard them – they make an unusual sound – something like R2-D2 from “Star Wars” makes.  And Greg smiled as we walked by – he was not crazy after all!  “I told you I heard something” – he whispered.

So yesterday we were having a very late dinner at a local Teriyaki  place.  We were eating our favorite chicken, salad and rice – the Christian radio station was playing music in the speakers just above my head.  We were talking about normal ordinary things – when all of a sudden I heard something.  I said to Greg, “Shhh!  Did you hear that?”  He looked around and then back at me and said, “No”.  Hmmmm.  It stopped.  I waited.  Nothing.  So we continued to talk again.  A few minutes later I heard it again.  It was directly to my left – an empty table – in fact we were the only ones in the little place.  But it was coming from the table – I was so sure. When I told Greg where it was coming from – he said, “Are the salt and pepper shakers trying to communicate to you?”  Nice – I guess I deserved it.  I mean normally I would hear nothing – even if the world was falling apart – but this was really strange.

It was determined that it must have been an alarm in the kitchen that was making a sound through the kitchen door and down to where our table was – giving the impression that the sound was coming from right next to me.  It was bizarre – and now I know how Greg felt in that Shari’s.  You really do feel like you’re losing it.  I’m glad to know that I am still in my right mind – at least most of the time – but if you ask me about it – I will still say, “I DID hear something – I really did!”

Here’s hoping you have a wonderful evening and that if you hear unexplainable sounds – just let them happen.  It’s okay.  I believe you.

God Bless

Living An Authentic Life

Heard an excellent message this morning by our Pastor.  His opening question:  “How authentic are you”?

It seems we spend a lifetime preparing and carefully grooming an ‘image’ of ourselves.  We are even taught in the church world that we must preserve an ‘image’ of no problems – no struggles – no failures – in other words – a false ‘image’ of who we really are.  This is largely due to the fact that we do not want to appear ‘weak’ or worse yet – that God would appear ‘weak’ in us.  We are strangely satisfied with the fact that very few people – even sometimes our own families don’t know us.  The passing by of church people on Sunday morning when we’re asked, “how are you”? is answered by “great”!  But what if it is not?  Who really wants to hear that?  Who has time to listen to a long sad diatribe about your day, your past week, past month and even years where maybe life hasn’t be so great at all.

I am caught between two generations.  My parent’s and my children’s.

In my parent’s generation – you did not talk about problems openly.   You did not admit that you were struggling with anything.  Counselors were only for those who had serious problems.  Real Christians didn’t have problems – at least problems that couldn’t be fixed by reading the Bible and praying more – and if you were filled with the Holy Spirit you simply didn’t struggle with issues anymore – and if you did you never admitted it.  It made you appear weak – and who wants that?   People who had ‘issues’ such as addictions or family setbacks were marginalized and assigned an outer orbit.  If there was a divorce or a child from a church family who had gone astray – it was thought that there was something wrong with the parents.  It was what they believed.  (Clearly this is just wrong – and many parents today are still feeling guilt and blame that they did something wrong when their children are less than perfect)  Confessing failures or problems was considered ‘self indulgent’ and weak. Therefore – no one ever really knew you – you had to keep so much of yourself hidden.  This is not a slight to that generation – it is simply the way that they believed, were taught – and still hold to today.  Being a role model and teacher to their children meant having to sacrifice their authenticity – because they could never lower their standard – but felt that it was their ‘job’ to bring up their children and raise them to a ‘higher’ standard – and so this became the cry of their generation – in the home and in the church – ‘never let them see you sweat’ – and ‘always have a teachable moment’ and ‘never show weakness – or problems to anyone’.  These values were good ones!  But there was fall-out as well.

My generation tried to take the good we learned from our parents generation – change it up – and make it more personal to our own children.  We struggled with living ‘authentic’ lives because we were taught to keep so much of it inside and not let others think we had problems of any kind.  We were so good at masking our own problems – after a while we really believed we didn’t have any!  How naive we were.  It leaked over into the church world – and if you were in church leadership like we were for years and years – you kept so much of your true self hidden away – for the sake of the greater good.  It never occurred to us that we could be real.  That we could ‘let down our hair’ so to speak.  We had a few trusted friends that maybe we could confide in – but it was a risk to do so – and getting burned a time or two by doing this – we quickly learned our lessons and solved it by TELLING NO ONE.

My children’s generation is very different.  They are quick to spot someone who is not being authentic.  They were not raised on ‘appearances’, and guilt – as many of the ‘rules’ assigned to my generation did not exist for them.  We encouraged them to talk to us – we gave them permission to ‘mess up’ and confess what they were struggling with  – without a lecture – tried to demonstrate love and openness – realizing that ‘messing up’ is in itself the greatest teacher.  My children abhor hypocrisy of any kind and are quick to spot it – in the home and especially in the church.  The greatest gift I ever gave to my children was admitting I was a human being who had blown it.  By allowing myself to be less than perfect – a flawed human being capable of much failure – they were able to see the grace of God working in my life – and it made me much more accessible to them – it made their own walk with God something real – as they saw first hand what God’s love, forgiveness and mercy is all about – in a personal and tangible way.

I am proud of the fact that both our children do not have the ‘appearance’ only of being Christians – but they also have their own journey of personal faith in Christ that is very real.  They are not perfect – far from it.  They’ve blown it so many times – but because Greg and I have also allowed our children to see that we have also blown it – it gives them great hope that Jesus can forgive and does forgive.  His mercies are new every morning.  He is in the restoring business – and accepts and loves us just how we are – with no pretense, half-truths or mystery.  They do not have to hide how they feel from us.  Instead they identify with us – and know they have an ‘ally’  in which to confide in – someone who has blown it too – and found the secret to overcoming – and coming out a winner – with great hope for tomorrow!

I challenge you today to become an authentic person who lives an authentic life.  Is it easy to admit failures and problems?  No way!  It’s so much easier to hide behind the smile of  ‘everything’s all perfect for me – thank you very much’ and keep your spotless reputation in tact.  But your neighbors and the other people in your world cannot relate to this – at all!  It is intimidating to say the least!  And it is also amazing to note – that when we act like this – people are quick to read between the lines and spot a phony!   When we had a small group in our home we always shared real stories of authenticity to those there – and they all told us how much they appreciated the fact that we were real people – and they too began to share and open up.  People feel safe with you when you will be real with them in that way.  The person with ‘no problems’ – or appears to be ‘too perfect’ will never be able to pour experience, perspective and wisdom into another.  There just simply will be no opportunity to do it!  They will just be looked at – and possibly admired – but not trusted.

If we allow our lives to be a ‘light’ as Jesus talks about in Luke chapter 8 – then we will have an influence over those that are in our circle –  in such a real and dramatic way.  Being authentic is a risk.  Living that kind of life is always scary and risky because people can take advantage of you.  But that is always the risk when you give yourself away and allow God to use you in a special, personal and authentic way.  Won’t you allow yourself to be that ‘light’ today?  Not hiding where it’s just safe and no one knows you – but coming out of yourself and being a true example by saying, ” look at what God has done for me!  He can do it for you too!”  Isn’t that what the gospel message is all about?  We are called to give ‘hope’ and ‘light’ to all those around us.

I am praying for all of my dear friends today – as you attempt to live a more authentic life – and that you would be a ‘light’ to those around you – in your circle of influence today.  One kind word of encouragement may be all it takes – as you slowly let go of  ‘appearances’ and live a more authentic life today.

God Bless

Why God Made Moms

The following was sent to me by a friend – and it was just TOO GOOD not to post and let all of you enjoy too!  Hope you have a day filled with laughter!

WHY GOD MADE MOMS

Answers given by 2nd grade school children to the following questions:

Why did God make mothers?

1. She’s the only one who knows where the scotch tape is.

2. Mostly to clean the house.

3. To help us out of there when we were getting born.

How did God make mothers?

1. He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.

2. Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring.

3. God made my mom just the same like he made me. He just used bigger parts.

What ingredients are mothers made of?

1. God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean.

2. They had to get their start from men’s bones. Then they mostly use string, I think.

Why did God give you your mother and not some other mom?

1. We’re related.

2. God knew she likes me a lot more than other people’s moms like me.

What kind of a little girl was your mom?

1. My mom has always been my mom and none of that other stuff.

2. I don’t know because I wasn’t there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.

3. They say she used to be nice.

What did mom need to know about dad before she married him?

1. His last name.

2. She had to know his background. Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk on beer?

3. Does he make at least $800 a year? Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores?

Why did your mom marry your dad?

1. My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And my mom eats a lot.

2. She got too old to do anything else with him.

3. My grandma says that mom didn’t have her thinking cap on.

Who’s the boss at your house?

1. Mom doesn’t want to be boss, but she has to because dad’s such a goof ball.

2. Mom. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed.

3. I guess mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than dad.

What’ s the difference between moms and dads?

1. Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them.

2. Dads are taller and stronger, but moms have all the real power ’cause that’s who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friends.

3. Moms have magic, they make you feel better without medicine.

What does your mom do in her spare time?

1. Mothers don’t do spare time

2. To hear her tell it, she pays bills all day long.

What would it take to make your mom perfect?

1. On the inside she’s already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery.

2. Diet. You know, her hair. I’d diet, maybe blue.

If you could change one thing about your mom, what would it be?

1. She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean. I’d get rid of that.

2. I’d make my mom smarter. Then she would know it was my sister who did it not me.

3. I would like for her to get rid of those invisible eyes on the back of her head.

WHEN YOU STOP LAUGHING — SEND IT ON TO OTHER MOTHERS, GRANDMOTHERS, AND AUNTS….and anyone else who has anything to do with kids or just needs a good laugh!!!

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