This URL will provide information about my faith journey. I apologize ahead of time, that information may be posted at inconvenient intervals.

This additional blogsite to Sappy Happy Tales,  will be singular to my personal ‘faith transition’ or ‘post Mormonism’ content. The sole purpose for adding the site is purely for self-centered reasons. My life is full of wonderful things, but driving and seeing a therapist has yet to enter my schedule. I would like to have this resource, but until then-there will be “Journaling to Discover and to Express Faith.” I do not intend and most likely will not publish all my written experiences- there is at least 7 years worth.

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An Exit From Fundamentalism

Jake and I value our relationship with family and friends. We strive to live in honesty and honor, while rooting our family in the unconditional love God gives. Sometimes joining these concepts within these mediums isn’t always clear on how to do it smoothly. Our family has resigned our membership to our religion, but not in our faith. It is difficult to know how open we need to be and with whom. Many aspects about being open with our transition makes me(Heidi) uneasy. A part of uneasiness comes from defining ourselves, which doesn’t align with my value of, everybody is on equal playing grounds. Any type of seclusion or separation of our Self depletes humanity. It would be nice if we all tapped into feeling and perceiving our fluid connection with Life. A natural progression to  personal communication with this topic is ideal. While other times may require the authenticity for Self to speak up. We imagine this news may be heart-sinking for some who know us and view this post. If questions arise, we are willing to respond with simple answers if that is your desire. Because we value our relationships, we have no intentions of persuading others to change their course of direction. A common misconception when people leave their religion is that they have been offended, are unhappy or desire to ‘sin’. But in reality, it is because they have a tendency to ask questions, seek truth, and want understanding to their cognitive dissonance. This transition to a new chapter in our family’s journey is hard-earned. We persevered in pondering, praying, searching biblical scriptures and researched most all controversial topics about our religion. We are happy with our decision and feel at peace. We continue-on, heeding God’s Divine Power to navigate our family with ‘special needs’ children. The ideology is to raise our girls in the healthiest way we know how and/or have parental control over. Undergoing this awakening of truth, allows our faith and spirituality to develop directly under God, who isn’t limited by anything Earthly. We wish for a dual acceptance in each of our life- journeys. We hope you will trust us over time that we are making the best decision for our family.

Warm Wishes,
Heidi and Jake

Washington DC: Election Week

The week in Washington DC was challenging because it took me out of my comfort zone, was physically exerting, and made me wish my IQ level was much higher.  Jake works in this amazing city every other week, so the girls and I worked it into our school schedules to come out with him. It just happened that the best week for us was election week. I am so glad for the “perfect timing”. Conquering an unfamiliar city with three young girls was daunting and invigorating. The first day the girls and I had a conversation about “getting lost”. They were concerned and nervous. Their past experiences with my navigational skills wasn’t giving them confidence, nor should it have. So I had to think about what I could give them for confidence and said something along the lines of, “I’ve been getting lost since I was Ivy’s age (2) and I’m still here and doing fine. Getting lost isn’t the end of the world. You work through it and make it in the end.” Getting lost has always been incorporated into my traveling methods….or lack of. I’m used to it, but my kids weren’t. Jake does extremely well with finding his way around, and I do hope my kids latch onto this strength of his. Ivy had major meltdowns several times in every day. But it was something to see her confidence grow as she rode the Metro, and did so much walking without a stroller. Ayzia and Eden helped with navigation and felt grown up  when they got to stand on the Metro, opposed to sitting. They were motivated explorers in a new territory. Elementary age is the perfect age to go to the DC! I am not going to go too much into my observations and personal feelings about election week. The Nations’ feelings are still raw and tender with the event being current. My girls haven’t spoken much about their opinions regarding the election and what they witnessed. But hopefully when they are older and can articulate their feelings better, I’d love to know how it shaped them. Within our tight-knit little family, we had both Donald and Hillary supporters. For viewer information it doesn’t matter what family member was with what presidential candidate. But our family had the discussion after we found out who won, that it’s important to always vote for who they feel is the best candidate, regardless of what their parents think. We can still be a family and be friends!  I guess there is one personal experience worth sharing. I got an impression that it was important to express concern and empathy about Hillary and sorry that she didn’t win. (I was sincere, and was able think about their feelings.) Next, I want to mention something, but not sure how to articulate it so  I’m just going to say it; I loved being around the local Americans that were black. Every where I went, there was a black person laughing and in good spirits. I don’t know how this will come across to the viewers reading this, but in the  moments surrounded by black Americans, I was keenly aware of how calm, safe, loved, and “right at home” I felt. The diversity there in creed and color felt good within my soul. We are all one America, God bless our great country!

Waiting For the Metro

20161111_160301704_ios 20161110_143013533_ios 20161110_143008008_ios 20161108_144055957_iosWalking Around the City

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This gentleman was our greeting into the zoo. He wanted us to take a picture of him and email it to him. My judgement was that he was a little deranged, but it turns out, he is legit. Super friendly guy. ( Click the picture to be routed to his website)

This gentleman was our greeting into the zoo. He wanted us to take a picture of him and email it to him.  Super friendly guy. ( Click the picture to be routed to his website)

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Despite the advertising on the packaging, the girls didn’t understand what it was made out of…That was until after the purchase and the cashier informed them, “Now you can write on elephant poo!” Eden’s face was priceless and we left the employee in her apologetic laughter.

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I would have lost weight on this trip from all the walking and carrying of Ivy. However, it was the daily icecream that made me come home heavier than when I left. :( The emotional eating was worth it though.

I would have lost weight on this trip from all the walking and carrying of Ivy. However, it was the daily icecream that made me come home heavier than when I left. 😦 The emotional eating was worth it though.

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Good food! Ayzia loved the Thai Dumplings.

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Eden and Ivy had spaghetti, Ayzia had buttered noodles, I had the Alfredo, and Jake had a sea food dish(Lobster, scallop) It was okay, but we have had better.

 

Although I have never drank an alcoholic beverage and I don't plan to, a liquer cabinet is always pretty.(even with a messy counter top)

Although I have never drank an alcoholic beverage and I don’t plan to, a liquer cabinet is always pretty.(even with a messy counter top)

 

Family History

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My great grandparents lived here from 1929-1935 while my great grandpa studied law at George Washington University

My great grandparents lived here and started their family from 1929-1935 while my grandpa when to school.

This side walk is across the street from their place. The neighborhood is predominantly black people. It was quiet and calm, but run down. I looked up homes in this area on Redfin, to see how much they were selling for? About $600,000 plus. YIKES! Guess my fantasy of buying one for a second home and renting it won't be happening any time soon.

This side walk is across the street from their place. The neighborhood is predominantly black people. It was quiet and calm, but run down. I looked up homes in this area on Redfin, to see how much they were selling for? About $600,000 plus. YIKES! Guess my fantasy of buying one for a second home and renting it won’t be happening any time soon.

The building where Jake works

It was super cold and windy. Luckily we had our jackets and our friends McKay's lent us their stroller.

It was super cold and windy. Luckily we had our jackets and our friends, the McKay’s, lent us their stroller.

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My great grandpa Stewart got his law degree at George Washington University

Arlington Cemetery

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World War ll Memorial

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Lincoln Memorial we saw on Vetran's day. We heard an amazing man sing the National Anthem.

Lincoln Memorial we saw on Vetran’s day. We heard an amazing man sing the National Anthem.

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This wasn't planned, but when you have kids that are tired of walking around and come across this. It is a "pick-me-up" in their moral.

This wasn’t planned, but when you have kids that are tired of walking around and come across this. It is a “pick-me-up” in their moral.

Smithsonian Castle

Smithsonian Castle

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I would like to recreate my back yard to have this kind of atmosphere.

I would like to recreate my back yard to have the feel this courtyard’s atmosphere has.

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Writing in their journals while protesters come and go.

Writing in their journals while protesters come and go in front of the White House

The White House

The White House

Natural History Museum

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Ivy wanted to walk through this over and over. Having to leave it behind triggered a 45 minute meltdown and ended with an ice cream sandwich from McDonalds that was outside and around the corner.

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They enjoyed experiencing the flight simulators. This was another pick-me-up, having to wait through Ivy's tatrums and walking around.

They enjoyed experiencing the flight simulators. This was another pick-me-up, having to wait through Ivy’s meltdowns and walking around.

Native Indian Museum

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The architecture is most intriguing. Both Jake and I have architects in our family and love to admire the structures of buildings. This is definitely interesting to reading over.

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I haven’t quite figured out why, but this was my favorite quote. For me, it has something to do with, put in your best work while you are here on earth and having a fight for ‘life’ mentality.

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It was so cute. One of the days we were there, the day Ivy and I got ice cream at Cold Stone. In the elevator on the way back to our room, Ivy and I stood in between a tall, well-suited black man and a sharp looking black women. Ivy lifted her finger towards the woman to offer her a sticker on her finger, “Here you go sissy.” I wasn’t sure if the adults could understand her 2 year old language so I repeated, “Aw, are you calling her sissy?” Ivy claimed, “Yes.” Again she looks up in pure delight toward this woman. I didn’t want the two adults to misunderstand her definition of ‘sissy.’ so I ask Ivy, “Is she your sister?” Ivy says with a big smile, “Yeah!” The woman gladly excepted and the man chuckled under his breath. There was so much to learn and feel in that moment. -Children are certainly God’s blessed-

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“Seas the Day and Adjust the Sails”

The thought has been lingering well over a year to write on a particular matter. However, the matter touches every star in my little universe. It may also touch on one of your stars. My hesitations come from wanting to protect my privacy. I also don’t know how to write about this so it won’t come across as too self-indulgent and whiney. So it is what it is, let’s begin by talking broadly about a few of my blessings in life: Jake has a good job that allows me to stay home with my children, I attend Palomar College, I have three children and a dog, and I live in San Diego! Each of these bring me great joy and I like it just the way it is. These blessing are not here because of only myself. Everyone in my life has helped put me here. These blessing don’t come from one solitary choice and acted out only by me.

Blessings also come with heartaches and challenges. Jake travels every other week, leaving me to be a single parent. Learning my school material is harder because my brain isn’t as absorbent as it once was and I’m a lot busier. My children each have their challenges. My dog, well… she just causes a lot of unwanted hair all over the house. Living in San Diego, means I’m away from family and their possible help while Jake is out of town.

The other day was one of these challenging-blessed days. Often I feel there are so many different opposing sources being thrown into my life and I cannot keep up. During this reflection in a doctor’s waiting room, I looked up and saw these signs on the wall.

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My body settled down and attained a bit a stability. I cannot direct the wind, but I can adjust my sails. One of my sails is that Ayzia has ADHD and Autism. Some say these are disorders, and I find myself saying that as well. However, hear me loud and clear it is NOT. These are blessings in my life and just like any other blessing, it comes with challenges. I remain physically active because of my Ayzia, I keep my brain learning new things because of my Ayzia. But how do I really feel about the diagnoses? As Donald Trump would say, “The relief was HUGE!” But so was the self-inducing guilt. I was happy and blessed to have an ADHD, Autistic child and that all her beautiful and challenging eccentricities had a name. The guilt came from, “I had a feeling it was this all along and not until 8 ½ years old is she getting a diagnoses.” I am angry, frustrated and impatient! I am protective and defensive. I also feel refined individually and in my marriage. My impatience and frustration comes from this rough estimated time line:

  • January 2015: Scheduled an appointment with Rady’s Children Hospital at Autism Discovery Institute to be evaluated. They picked the date of the appointment and my job was to agree it’s timing, August 2015. Say What?? 8 months away!!
  • March 2015: Sitting down with her school and talked about getting her some extra help. We came up with a plan, but getting her an IEP was held off.
  • August 2015: Evaluated and diagnosed with ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder.
  • Wahoo! All things sail straight from here right? Nope.
  • April 2016: 1 year and 3 months, she finally started speech and behavioral therapy and the school is working on getting an IEP.

Around the time of Ayzia’s diagnoses, I was to restart school. Somehow I got the start time confused with my kids and missed the first two weeks of class. Consequently, I took fall semester off. Which proved useful because it allowed me more time and energy towards family and myself. Reading articles on learning disorders; many of the articles felt deeply familiar and I related to most of them on a personal level. It was then, I admitted to myself that I too, have a learning disorder. It may not be the same as Ayzia’s, but I have something, I just don’t know what exactly. I vowed to myself then, I would not leave Ayzia in the dark about this part of herself and this is why. My prior school years burned a self-belief in myself that “I was stupid.” I genuinely felt and knew I was stupid. Not because anybody told me I was, but that school and friendships were an extreme challenge. I didn’t understand most of my social interactions and friendships. I self-taught myself to read people’s mannerisms. To this day when people talk, I mostly read what their body and face are saying and little of what words they choose. I can look back and understand why, in high school, my friend was frustrated with me because I wouldn’t talk with her as we walked to our next class. During a math test, I couldn’t answer any of the questions because one of my guy friends was chomping on his bubble gum. Near the end of the period I blew up and yelled at him to stop “Smacking his gums!” I cried and laughed to my best friend all during lunch about how stupid I acted and confused I felt. If I would have known what was going on and why, if it had a name, maybe I would have had a stronger self-esteem. I couldn’t and didn’t know how to tell my parents. You may be thinking, what did her parents do? They didn’t know. Because like Ayzia, I didn’t tell them most things and unless you are watching every intricate detail in someone’s life…..it’s still nearly impossible to understand internal problems. For the most part, I look and act ‘normal’ and so does my girl. But if you want to have a conversation with us? Brace yourself because, it is going to take a lot longer than the typical. It is difficult to get thoughts out. I stuttered as a young child and as an adult, if it’s urgent and I have to talk fast the stutter comes back. Learning and dealing with Ayzia’s challenges forces me to deal with myself and my own learning problems. Now that Ayzia is getting therapy, she knows her autism and that I can relate to some degree. I’m helping her believe and feel she is beautiful and extremely smart. She is highly motivated in learning and has an amazing memory with scientific facts and creativity. Our family enforces we are here to help each other build our strengths and overcome our challenges and with this we have times of success and times of failures.

Learning is difficult for me and always will be. I am smart and dealing well with being a slow learner. Given the right topic and the right amount of studying time, I can do well. I received all A’s and 1 B in massage school. In the last 2 ½ years I’ve taken 7 college courses and achieved 6 A’s and 1 B. There are 2 supplements (Phosphatidylserine and Huperzine A) that I take every day that help me absorb new information, retain memory and help me verbally express my thoughts. I should add that my fibromyalgia causes brain-fog and these supplements help with this as well.

To those who come across this blog entry, may God bless your little universe and know that I am here with you striving to be the best kind of star in His big universe.

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After we had a heart-to-heart talk about some of her challenges, she was teary and a little upset. She didn't want to talk and wanted to be alone. She gave me this after some time passed. I truly cherish these gifts from her.

After we had a heart-to-heart talk about some of her challenges, she was teary and a little upset. She didn’t want to talk and wanted to be alone. She gave me this after some time passed. I truly cherish these gifts from her.

 

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New York City

Jake and I took a trip to New York with some friends, Amy and Reagan Clark. We were there a full 3 day with 2 days of travel. It’s a lot to absorb in such a short time. Being in New York made me feel like I was ‘somebody’, because anybody important in the media has been there. It’s a place that connects a person to the world and its temporary residents. New York is not only an attraction for the United States but globally as well. Islamic radicalisms crashed into the twin towers in hopes to achieve their dominance over the world and emit their hate for America. However, the tragedy only made people love New York and America more. Their efforts didn’t drive our nation apart, but brought us together. It’s easy to feel like ‘you’re somebody’ when you are in New York. In fact, I miss that feeling. It’s invigorating, energizing.

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I began each day asking Heavenly Father what lesson he wanted me to learn. These were the spiritual insights:

• How does feeling like a ‘somebody’ turn into pride? Or to put it scripturally, 1 John 2:16. Time square in particular, does a great job infiltrating pride. In the H&M store they have a place upstairs where anyone can dress up and pretend to walk the run-way with a live DJ. Outside, a huge billboard screen magnifies people down below on the walkways. They wait there until they see themselves blown-up in lights. Topless ladies walk the grounds with their chests painted red, white and blue. One lady rubbed her breasts on the person taking a picture with her, another lady was paid by a father to stand with his 4 year old son. The father took a picture of them while the lady bent over and dangled her breasts in the young child’s face. This father passed the perfect opportunity to teach his little-man the proper way of treating a lady and how to give them attention respectfully. There are great men and women, the world just needs more of them. An example would be, on the subway station a father was there with his young son who was playing a difficult piano piece on a keyboard.

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• When you look at the moon, is it the craterous planet seen with a telescope or a smooth surface smiling down at you while lying on the grass? Each bright light of goodness has its opposite dark adverseness. In New York there were people who were loud and rude as well as loud and gracious. Much of my experience depended on a duo perceptiveness; one was positive and the other negative. For example, am I eating breakfast in an untidy ally way outside my hotel or is it a patio revealing the infrastructure of an awesome city? We spent at least 12 hours each of the 3 days trying to see Manhattan. At certain times of the day it felt like being in crazy mayhem. Peace came from good food, and beautiful architecture, like St. Patrick’s Cathedral. However, the most success we found was in the Manhattan LDS temple. A serviced church is inside where Sunday meetings are held each week and the public is welcome. LDS temples and churches differ with one another. Anyone is welcome inside a church building as long as it is open., but the sacredness of the temple requires its occupants to live a life without worldly addictions. The inside of the church was similar to all the other ones around the United States in the way it felt, smelt, and looked. This was the only place in Manhattan I felt away from the city without actually leaving.

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• The third spiritual lesson was received by watching people’s choices on how and where they used their talent(s). On a street corner was a group of men in robes, standing side-by-side. The middle man shouted proclamations with vigorous energy. Large in stature and handsome, his voice reached many. He obviously had courage and leadership. However, what stood out was the anger and his offensive words of belittling people’s appearances as they walked by him. The energy this group created left us no better than when we arrived. In an opposite comparison, our last night in Manhattan I saw my first Broadway play, Finding Neverland starring Matthew Morrison. Fulfilling every measure of my expectations, I was filled with deep gratitude: for all the talent and energy each person put into making this production amazing. I was grateful their fruitful labors steered toward edifying the human spirit. Their performances moved me towards greater light and I was indeed blessed to share this experience with my husband and friends who appreciate uplifting activities. The previous day we visited a firefighter museum by RadioCity. A gentleman there was a retired firefighter and now devotes his time to teaching young children about the work they do. Each day we saw New York police out on the streets keeping their city safe. My experience here has made me a better person and hopefully more kind and gracious to those around me.

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These patches are from fire departments all over the world showing their appreciations for the FDNY. The first one came after 911 and now the store’s walls are covered in these! It’s amazing to see in person.

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NYPD were gracious enough to take a picture with us. Thank you for keeping us safe!

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Jake got Matthew Morrison’s signature on our playbill!

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This was taken after screams for Matthew Morrison and his appearance outside the theatre. (Huishes and Clark’s)

 

Boiled Eggs and Poopy Diapers: A Life Lesson in Jokes, Religion and War.

It’s Sunday morning, the day of our church primary program. Our family and many others are excited and anticipating how our children will do. There is a wonderful feeling children bring when they sing about Jesus. On the car drive over Ivy poops her diaper. There isn’t a clean one because I’m planning to leave early due to a head cold. Brainstorming synapsis fire away. I can make it work! Go to the bathroom inside the church, clean out the poop, fold lots of toilet paper inside the diaper. We are good-to-go, problem solved!

Directly turning into the crowded church parking lot, a car is parked in a non-designated stall; along a curb where everyone who enters can see! The trunk is opened. Just below, on the freshly tarred lot, are at least 10 white manikin limbs, each having a section of bloody red dye at the base! I’m not Ann Rice or Tom Clancy, but try to imagine in your own words a disturbing scene. Completely caught-off-guard lightly palpitates what my heart feels. Thoughts occur: this is supposed to be a place of refuge, a place to heal my spirit, a place to enjoy my child’s primary program-where they sing about Jesus and feel His love. Wow! That’s one way to kill the spirit of the Holy Ghost. Could this be a joke? No, it can’t be. It must have been an accident. Someone was trying to get something out of their car. Their career is giving seminars teaching First Aid and they have these props that coincidently fell out. Right? Fiction or Non Fiction, the initial reaction to the ‘stage’ has been felt and imprinted into the sinews of each person affected.

Luckily the awful scene leaves my mind during the few minutes of Ayzia and Eden’s parts. Eventually Ivy is too active during the program and people sitting nearby are trying to enjoy the performance so I leave. In the car, I exit the parking lot the same way I entered. Three men stand by the car of the incident. The trunk is still open, but no bloody limbs scatter the ground. I pull out onto the road without an episode, but my eggs are boiled and they need to be shelled! I turn around, back to the men. Our exchange goes something like, “Were your guys involved with the bloody limbs?” A man answers, “Yes, this is my car and my friend thought it would be a funny joke. We have thrown the parts away. In the service of the joke, my tire got popped.” To my calculations they are standing around, waiting for the tire to be repaired. I don’t know if it is him or I who spoke next, but an apology is made. My feelings are relayed, “I had kids in the car, it was a disturbing image and most likely the people walking out of the church with their kids were also disturbed.” He admits, “It was too graphic of a scene for young kids.” Then he turns to one of the men and says, “He shouldn’t have done that.” I can only assume this was the ‘friend’ who played the joke. The ‘friend’ hugs close to a tree, with his arms folded and head down. His body language portrays his remorse, but his snickering face says he enjoys my complaint because it fits perfectly along with his joke.

I love to laugh. Years ago, I was the one to play the April Fool’s joke too far! I have since then learned my lesson. This man was older than me. One would think being wise in years gives the knowledge as to where and when these kinds of jokes are played. I say to the group, “I’m all about playing jokes and having a good laugh, but this was the wrong place at the wrong time.” Driving away, more thoughts come to mind. The bloody limbs aren’t just obscene for young kids. Real crime scenes look like this that afflict trauma on family members and friends. What about the people who fight in war and come home struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder. Many of the members in our church congregation serve our country. Recently I was in possession of a graphic picture of a family member with an infection in their leg from a surgery. I am able to look subjectively at these kinds of medical photos. Unfortunately I tried showing a friend this picture, who incidentally fought in the war on terror. Shamefully I remembered his service too late. As I replay the scene over in my mind, I see on their face the trauma of war and will for the rest of their life. Of course, my phone-photo of an infected leg is real and the manikin legs aren’t. But it doesn’t matter whether it is fake or real, each person is affected differently with or without past trauma.

Reasons over shadow each other as to why this post is necessary. To the reader it is based upon their interpretation. Personally, some would be: repenting for what I did to my friend, to keep my kids innocent as long as possible, to be aware of my actions, respect people’s life story that isn’t similar to my own, to check myself before I think a joke ‘would be’ funny. One thing is certain, the reasons for war, an act of crime, and PTSD cannot be resolved simply by stuffing a diaper with toilet paper. When we share or re-share a video, a picture, a news clipping, a joke or display a dreadful scene; let’s ask ourselves, “Who’s hard boiled eggs do you really want to crack open?”

Youth At Any Age

While strollercizing Ivy on a track around a baseball field,  a slogan ran through my mind, Youth At Any Age. The first person I saw was a man past his peak of high metabolism. He was walking a little Yorkshire Terrier. The man’s pace allowed me to get a good look at his dog’s little visor that kept the sun out of his eyes. The second person I saw was another man, who wore a floral Hawaiian shirt and had settled into his creaky bones. He walked with a black lab mix. They looked to have arthritis problems because not only were they walking slow, it seemed difficult.The slogan came to mind when I saw the slow arthritic black lab step onto the grass of the baseball diamond. It was as though happiness pumped energy into his body. He skipped…if dogs can skip, and then he lay on his back with its mouth wide open and rolled around in pure delight.

Seeing the two men and there dogs at separate times, it’s likely they didn’t know each other. Since they were without another human, I imagine the probable causes as to why. I took comfort that whatever their circumstances were in life, they both chose to go out walking and had a companion to share their time with. Coincidently, as I was ending  my strollercizing, another man who had many good years left of playing ball, entered the track with his dog. Something in the Universe was definitely showing me, Youth At Any Age!