Monday, September 15, 2014

Adrian Peterson Should Play

I'm not a huge football fan.  And I don't believe in using a switch to discipline a child.
Here's my question:  Does every person in every occupation automatically lose their job or face suspension if they are charged with assault?  I don't think so.  Maybe some do, depending on the occupation.  But for the most part, what you do outside of work is kept separate as long as you show up and do your job, unless you're in an occupation that requires you to be a role model in the community.  Why are we suddenly putting football players to a higher standard of behavior than anybody else?

 I do not believe that football players should be considered role models.  Parents, teachers and clergy should be considered role models.  Football players are paid to play football.  Period.  However, I know that many youngsters look up to them and idolize them and want to be like them.

Why do our young children idolize athletes?  Because they're glamorized on television, on articles of clothing, on toys, in video games, on cereal boxes, and the list goes on and on.  Who is responsible for this?  The retailers and the NFL would be a good place to start.  It's all about the money.  But who is responsible for purchasing these items for the kids?  The parents.  Ultimately, the consumers drive the market.

But I don't want to get too far off the subject here, and that's the fact that if Adrian Peterson is not incarcerated, then he should be allowed to play football.  The NFL should let the authorities handle what happens off of the football field.

Since posting Peterson has been reinstated - for now.  It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Reality TV

Phil Robertson got himself in some hot water for a quote in the most recent issue of GQ magazine.  He was critical of several 'sinful' activities, but the one that specifically angered most people was his views on homosexuality.

Suddenly there are facebook campaigns for and against the Duck Dynasty show.

People, don't get so uptight about everything!  Does every actor in every show have to have values that line up exactly with yours?  Do your neighbors'?  Do your friends'?

I don't happen to agree with what Phil said.  In my humble opinion, we cannot judge one sin to be more heinous than another.  That will be up to the Lord.  But I'll probably watch the show again, when I have time.  It's still entertaining, on a very basic level.  And isn't that what reality tv is meant to be?

When did reality tv characters become our moral leaders?  Their main goal is just to shock and amuse.  Don't expect any more than that.  And don't be surprised when they say and do things that are humanly flawed.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Safely Inside

I've been thinking about the UMD student found frozen on the steps of a neighbor's house this past weekend.  I know I'm not the only parent who is disturbed and wondering how this could have happened.

When I was growing up in Northern MN we always made sure a friend made it in the door before driving away.  It was a precautionary action just as habitual as keeping a sleeping bag in your car, along with a coffee can full of survival supplies.

 I carried on with the habit with my own kids.  They sometimes chided me for doing so, but I just couldn't stop myself.

Perhaps we haven't taught our next generation to look out for each other in that way.  It's looking as though each progressive generation has a more casual acceptance of an easier lifestyle.  Previous generations could still remember a lifestyle that insisted that they look out for each other because they needed each other to survive.

We've been stuck in sub-zero temperatures here for many days.  But it doesn't seem to stop any of us from going about our business as usual.  As I drove by the house of my neighbor who lives alone yesterday, I noticed there were no fresh tire tracks on her driveway.  I stopped at the next stop sign and called her number.  She was fine, and happy to chat with me for a few minutes as I continued to drive into town.  She declined my offer to pick up any groceries for her at the store.  I just felt better knowing she was 'safely inside'.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Who Says God Isn't In Schools?

The title of this post comes from a comment that a friend of mine made in response to one of those photos floating around the internet recently.  It says something to the effect that we are crying out to God, wondering where was He on 12/14/12 in that school, and His response was that we banned Him from our schools.  I'm sure many of you have seen it.

Who says God isn't in schools?   I believe - no, I know that God is everywhere.  And that does not stop evil people from doing harm.  God does not stop bad things from happening.  He does, however, provide us with the strength to get through it all in one piece, if we ask for it.   On the same token, he doesn't play favorites.  I feel uncomfortable when people say "We are so 'blessed'" in regards to their beautiful, smart children, or good health, or whatever good luck comes their way.  Does this mean that someone who has a child that is born with a birth defect or has a low IQ is less loved by God?  No, I don't believe it works that way.  And therefore I can't bring myself to use that phrase, "I've been blessed".

God did not turn away from those children.  God does not ever turn away from us.  We turn away from Him sometimes in our grief and pain and anger.  But He waits patiently for us to return.  He is always ready to give is the strength to get through the day, the hour, or the minute by minute sorrow.  Just keep asking.

Friday, October 26, 2012


I came across this paragraph from a creative writing thread this morning, and it was so real to me, I felt as if the writer had read my mind:

“The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them -- words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they're brought out. But it's more than that, isn't it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you've said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That's the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a tellar but for want of an understanding ear.” 
― Stephen King

Sometimes I sit down to write and I'm frozen.  I like knowing that someone like Stephen King has experienced the same thoughts.  That's not to say I'm ready to pour out all of my euphoria and angst on page yet, but it helps.  It's really all about being brave, isn't it?  I always thought I was courageous:  I'll stand up for my kids against the establishment, I'll face down a vicious dog, I'll take a needle in the arm without flinching.  But revealing my feelings?  That's one place I won't go.  Too scary.  I don't cry in front of anyone.  I'm a master at keeping a straight face in a surprise situation.  Serves me well in a crisis, but I've also been accused of being heartless.

One of my facebook friends, J, recently began reading her mother's journals.  Her beloved mother passed away a year ago, and had been an avid journalist.  Now that some time has passed, J feels ready to start reading the journals and she is feeling so blessed to have these peeks into her mother's thoughts and feelings. I have often thought about journalling, but honestly feared revealing too much of myself on paper that way. It's so permanent!   But I'm starting to realize now that it's also very generous.  What a tremendous gift J's mother has left behind.

Do you journal?  Have you ever written a memoir?

Be Brave!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


It's a tough life sometimes.  A friend of mine lost his brother.  There I go again, using that term 'lost'.  What I mean to say is, his brother died.  They were twins.  Imagine.  He - they- are only 30 years old.  Too young to have to lose that connection.  But it happened.  We used to be so close - he was my daughter's first serious relationship, and they had plans for a future together.  But it ended, and sometimes it's awkward for me to maintain our friendship.  But I had grown very fond of him.  He was a part of our family for over two years.  He practically lived at my house, day in and day out, even accompanying us on our family vacations.  So we stayed in touch.  We still have things in common - a passion for organic gardening.

But lately I had not been in contact with him for about 6 months.  I didn't have his phone number, he doesn't use facebook, and we don't have the same social connections, so we don't run into each other casually.  I debated whether or not I should go to the visitation because I don't know the rest of the family.  I figured he probably wouldn't even notice if I showed up anyway, since we haven't spoken in 6 months.  But in the end I decided to go.  When my own brother died 2 years ago, I remembered everyone that was there.  So I sat in the back pew at the visitation last night, looking at the backs of the family members.  I noticed that he was missing.  Suddenly, someone plopped down on the seat next to me and enveloped me in a bear hug.

"I knew you would come!"  he whispered.

"Of course," I whispered back.

"I miss you guys," he said.

Ok.  Now I feel like crap.  What the hell have I been doing?  I'm an idiot.

"Friends are God’s way of taking care of us."

Not sure who is responsible for that quote, but I find it very comforting.

So here's what I know for sure:  I need to take better care of my friendships.  I don't want to get caught like this again.  If a friend is in need, I want to be there.

Be an Authentic Friend!