This month, October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and today, the 20th, is wearing purple, the focus day. The news has been filled with the Gabby/Brian domestic violence tragedy. This tragic result happens more than we might know or realize.
We must get involved in separating and offering choices if we encounter these situations; through reporting and not ignoring.
Two families lost their children in front of the people on every news medium available, yet others die every day and get no media attention. We need to learn from high-profile cases to learn how to "see" those that happen in the dark, hidden but crying out.
Pray for all of those who live in domestic abuse "hell" that God will use his children to bring them out.
How does He do that? God, you know, the One who knows me best. He leads me beside still waters, and when I need encouragement, He provides it through His children. Prayer, words, sweet gifts, at the time I need to feel Him most. This morning a dear long-time friend dropped by pumpkin bread. The bread is fantastic, but that God placed me in her mind and heart means more than I can express. The bread came in this little bag...
Then, this afternoon I was waiting for an appointment, and my phone alerted me that someone was at our door. I look at my phone and I was so sad to miss getting to hug this out of Plainview, friend. When I got home, I found this...
Inside the tissue was this shirt...
Isn't it the cutest!!!
I am reminded of how much my Father loves me, the degree of which I cannot fathom. I pray that He uses me to encourage others like so many of you encourage me.
How does He do that? How does he know? Just be ready when God says, "GO."
This guy right here, Sir Clinton Wall, knows about work ethic. He has been working since his family moved to Plainview over 50 years ago! This has been a busy season, even through Covid. Construction was essential, and we are excited for the growth of the city we call home!!!
The two most common kinds of skin cancers are Basal cell cancer, which starts in the lowest layer of the skin, and Squamous cell cancer, which begins in the top layer of the skin. A third skin cancer is melanoma which starts from the color-making cells of the skin (called melanocytes).
I battle Squamous Cell Carcinoma ...
One of three main types of cells in the top layer of the skin (the epidermis), squamous cells are flat cells located near the skin's surface that shed continuously as new ones form.
SCC occurs when DNA damage from exposure to ultraviolet radiation or other damaging agents triggers abnormal changes in the squamous cells.
SCCs can appear as scaly red patches, open sores, rough, thickened, or wart-like skin, or raised growths with a central depression. At times, SCCs may crust over, itch or bleed. The lesions most commonly arise in sun-exposed areas of the body. SCC is a fairly slow-growing skin cancer. Unlike other types of skin cancer, it can spread to the tissues, bones, and nearby lymph nodes, where it may become hard to treat.
While SCC is less common than basal cell carcinoma (BCC), the number of reported SCC cases in the U.S. has steadily increased. An estimated 1.8 million cases of SCC are diagnosed each year, which translates to about 205 cases diagnosed every hour. SCC incidence has increased up to 200 percent in the past three decades.
SCC, Though not as common as the basal cell (about one million new cases a year), squamous cell is more serious because it is likely to spread (metastasize). Treated early, the cure rate is over 90%, but metastases occur in 1%–5% of cases. After it has metastasized, it isn't easy to treat.
Just like you have a yearly check-up, a colonoscopy, prostate, a mammogram, etc., let me encourage you fully and without hesitation to start seeing a dermatologist yearly.
I may feel like this, but I am thankful for the scars that allow me to live! It is why this piece speaks to my soul of thanksgiving.
About every two years, this little strand of lights burns out. I always think about just not replacing the strand of lights, but then I would miss the soft glow of these very vintage Japanese multi-colored covers with tassels. So, I replaced the lights last night!
I got permission to break a piece off of a plant growing in front of a local business. The ground was hard, so there were no roots, so it was just a broken stem. But, after water and sunshine, today it bloomed. I'm sure hoping it is established enough to come back out after this winter!!!
Pagliacci is Italian for clowns, an opera by Leoncavallo. During the overture, the curtain rises. Then, from behind a second curtain, Tonio, dressed as his Commedia character Taddeo, addresses the audience ("Si può?... Si può?... Signore! Signori! ... Un nido di memorie"). He reminds the audience that actors have feelings too and that the show is about real people.
Growing up, I related well to the Smokey Robinson & the Miracles song, Tears of a Clown. I think because I was alone inside myself trying to navigate a world I did not understand. Here are the lyrics...
Oh yeah yeah yeah Now if there's a smile on my face It's only there trying to fool the public But when it comes down to fooling you Now honey that's quite a different subject
But don't let my glad expression Give you the wrong impression Really I'm sad, oh I'm sadder than sad You're gone and I'm hurting so bad Like a clown I appear to be glad (sad, sad, sad, sad)
Now they're some sad things known to man But ain't too much sadder than The tears of a clown when there's no one around, uh Oh yeah, baby
Now if I appear to be carefree It's only to camouflage my sadness And honey to shield my pride I try To cover this hurt with a show of gladness But don't let my show convince you That I've been happy since you 'Cause I had to go (why did you go), oh I need you so (I need you so) Look I'm hurt and I want you to know (want you to know) For others I put on a show (it's just a show)
Now they're some sad things known to man But ain't too much sadder than The tears of a clown when there's no one around, uh Just like Pagliacci did I try to keep my surface hid Smiling in the crowd I try But in my lonely room I cry The tears of a clown When there's no one around, oh yeah, baby Now if there's a smile on my face Don't let my glad expression Give you the wrong impression Don't let this smile I wear Make you think that I don't care 'Cause really I'm sad
There are so many who wake up each day and put on the face of happiness when inside they are so sad, broken, hurt, grieving, or are trying to overcome a hurdle that seems impossible at the time. I'm not talking about non-believers or followers of Jesus; I'm talking about an issue that runs rampant through the human race.
We are so preoccupied with what the world is throwing off into the atmosphere of our minds as it spins out of control that we choose to not take the time to look into the hearts of those God places in front of us each day. I believe this breaks God's heart that we don't see. He removes the veil for us, and we walk right by without thinking twice.
The tears of a clown when no one's around. Will we step in and be the ones who aren't fooled? But when it comes down to fooling you. Now, honey, that's quite a different subject!
I pray that God allows me to see inside you and be sensitive to you and how you feel behind your smiles and joy. I believe we can have the Joy of Jesus and battle mental imbalances, as well. Regardless of the physical, mental, or spiritual struggles, we need to be willing to love and serve others as they work their battles, many every day anew.
When I look at the clowns around our home, I am reminded to see past them.
I titled this blog pride because it gets attention. The very word hangs in front of us tantalizingly. It teases. We think that we have accomplished something out of the norm when in fact, there is probably not much that we ever do that does not carry others along with us. There are those who encourage and those who, well, are not encouraging.
God has provided me with way more than I deserve in every aspect of this life here. Don't get me wrong, I deal with unanswered prayers, life struggles, insecurities, just like anyone else, but at the end of the day, I am thankful that God led me through another day of living with him; every day with Jesus is sweeter than the day before.
There are two ways to look at pride, at least in my mind. There is selfish pride, and there is joy-pride. Joy-pride is when you celebrate someone else's success because you are genuinely happy for them; bringing them joy or celebrating their accomplishment bursts your buttons! God wants us to lose self and bring joy into the lives of those around us, those he strategically places. When we consider how worthy we are in Christ, this thought should catapult us into another realm of understanding the love of Christ.
As followers of Christ, we all have the same thread running through us that connects us in a most beautiful pattern for His glory. Our pride limits our ability to see others. The joy that comes through watching God use the gifts of others in ministry is truly a gift. Stepping to the side for others to shine is not easy, but anything I can do, you can do better. You can do anything better than me...yes, you can, and I'm excited for you to shine!